Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Am I alone... thinking that there should be more to life than MIC mass-produced rubbish:

Since my exploits with google and the 3 hour sweater pattern I have been trying to find out if there are any other bloggers like me in NZ who are being thrifty, making or mending, buying second hand or refashioning. I can't find anyone at the moment and I must confess it is starting to feel a little lonely. I did look for blogs about Dunedin...but they all seem to be about tourism and let me assure you dear reader, there is a lot more to Dunedin that tourism.

I found my own blog - which was comforting. But what I did not find was any strong sense that I am part of a community which is bored with the MIC mass produced clothing, shocked at the prices of better quality items, and totally and utterly sick of wearing black.

Merino is the new polyester:

I want to wear colour. I want to wear bright colour. I do not want to fade into the grey clouds, or the breccia or bluestone buildings. I do not want to just blend in with the wallpaper or paint. I want to be a point of contrast. I want to set myself apart from those sheeplike individuals who blindly purchase their merino drapey knit items, or their three quarter trousers and knee length boots, the black on black on black, more merino, more top label but MIC. Once stuff is available at the Warehouse its no longer just the realm of the hoipoloi. Merino is the new polyester. Everyone is wearing it. Several layers in fact. And its all plain, and dark or drab. I want to see orange and purple, aquamarine and russet, yellow and scarlet, and patterns, checks, plaids, stripes, dots, bows, textures, feathers, knits and more colours.

You can become the mood of your clothes and your clothes can be becoming of you:

I tried something on at home the other night, and H said, thats "daring". What he meant was "that's bright". I wore my blue and white polka dotted dress yesterday with brown mesh tights and brown boots and a brown leather belt that H does not use. I was going for the "Indie Country" look. I felt summery - even though the weather was not, and maybe it was the light cotton fabric swishing around my legs, but I also felt "girly". The boots nearly crippled me so now they are in the pile of items to go to Recycle Boutique. The day before I wore my Lady Lichfield with a black tie belt and black opaques and black fake velvet ballet flats. The LL is very bright scarlet with flowers. I felt bright and cheery. I was bright and cheery.

The evolution of Penny-Rose style:

There was a time in my life when I wanted ankle to throat coverage. I wore clothes that were shapeless or too big for me, or just did not fit me well. I look back and think I had no sense of style or sense of myself. There were a few things which I liked wearing, like my peacock feather skirt (a Glassons skirt made of black cotton sateen with the outline of a large peacock feather across the front in white), a hand painted polka dot skirt (black with white bought from a stall at a student market).

I had a lot of Glasson's breast cancer tee shirts and tee shirts with graphics. In fact recently I dabbled along the fringe of Vivienne Westwood style and read a lot of books about punk and alternative culture in the 1970s and 1980s. I read a great book on VW and that's when I bought the sewing pattern to make a corset. Then I bought some vintage sewing patterns from Shop on Carrol and well, the rest as they say in cliche terms is history.

So I find myself blogging about buying from op shops, knitting and unknitting, sewing and planning sewing projects. I have not bought one new item of clothing since March. When I look around the shops in town I have no desire to purchase anything - clothes, accessories, shoes - nothing at all.

I am however, compulsively searching op shops, feverishly trying on made in New Zealand items, handwashing polyester or Brylene, mending buttons, taking in waists which are too loose, refashioning tops, re-stringing beads and other Make Do, Can Do type things.

I have changed.

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