All’s Fair

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A few weeks ago, I won a World Fair Trade Day giveaway from The Leakey Collection and Manos Zapotecas! These are two wonderful brands that provide sustainable and fair employment to people in Kenya and Mexico, respectively. The Leakey Collection offers beautiful jewelry made from grass and other natural elements made by a team of over 1400 Masaai women, and Manos Zapotecas offers gorgeous bags hand-woven by Zapotec people in the Valley of Oaxaca.

The Leakey Collection was actually the first fair trade company I ever knew about. I discovered them years ago and bought a few Zulugrass strands, which are still with me today (they’re pretty durable)! They sent me this cool stacked bracelet set, which is made up of four Zulugrass strands and two Zuluwood bracelets. I could even use the Zulugrass strands as a multi-layered necklace if I so desire!

Manos Zapotecas sent me a rad woven bag with fringe all up the sides. It’s really beautiful and well made, and I can tell it’s going to last a long time. Plus, the design is just divine!

And not included in the giveaway, but pictured and worth mentioning: my awesome acai seed necklace from the always excellent fair trade company Greenola Style. I always wear it with this black sweater, because the sweater just doesn’t feel complete without it.

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Another sartorial choice of note here: this is the first and only maxi skirt I’ve ever owned. Normally long skirts just aren’t my thing, but I really liked this striped one with the slits up the sides. I tried to find inspiration for how to wear maxi skirts recently, but most everything involved sandals as the footwear of choice, and since I’m also not much of a sandal person, I thought black tights and Dr. Martens would make me feel like myself despite the unfamiliar length. I think it works great, especially with this strange-yet-lovely bout of cold weather we’re getting. (I hear it may rain on Thursday, by the way!) Yeah, I’ll wear the skirt with heels sometime too, but I’m liking how it works with Docs.

Geometry

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Mata Traders, aka my favorite fair trade clothing company, has really hit it out of the park with this year’s Spring collection. I have my eye on a few pretty pieces, but the first one I knew I had to grab was the Seneca Dress. I love the simple triangle pattern, the soft robin’s egg blue, and the gathers at the shoulders and waist. It goes great with my Matr Boomie fair trade brass circles necklace for a little contrast between angles and curves. But that necklace goes with everything, really.

I feel like I went through a period where I wasn’t really accumulating as much clothing as I used to, but right now I feel like the pendulum is swinging in the opposite direction. The thing about buying fair trade is that I feel much better about my purchases when I know they’re actually doing some good, which is great, but then it makes me more likely to add to the amorphous clothing pile blob in my closet. Maybe this means I should do a little purge of some of my old clothes so I can justify getting this dress. And maybe also this dress.

Long Overdue Band Photography: ROME

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It’s been a very, very long time since I’ve posted any band photography here. Since Arthur left Cormorant and I left music journalism, we haven’t been going to that many shows. But when ROME played DNA Lounge two weeks ago, we knew we had to attend to support our favorite Luxembourger, Jerome Reuter, as well as Arthur and my SF metal scene buddies, Worm Ouroboros.

At first, we were on ROME’s guest list, but when the tour manager told me they needed some help running merch and guest list for the night, we volunteered, and spent the night doing some work for the band. And really, that’s what we’re used to anyway, so we loved helping out and having things to do. I ran the merch table for most of the night, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to get photos of our friends Worm Ouroboros during their set. But thankfully I got to watch them perform from across the venue, and they were beautiful, atmospheric, and heartbreaking as always. It was really great to see them live again. Arthur took over merch for me during ROME’s set so I could snap a few photos.

The ROME set was even more beautiful than expected, and for totally unforseen reasons. Of course it was an overall wonderful performance with great energy, but things got really magical when the power went out on the entire block in the middle of the set. The venue was pitch black, with only a little bit of light from the street filtering in through the windows. So while we waited for the power to come back on, the band played an entirely unplugged set while the audience listened intently in total silence. It was really quite lovely.

The outage lasted just the right amount of time, and both lights and sound came back on soon enough. The band finished their set without having to cut anything short, and the people there were totally ecstatic about the whole show. It was perfect.

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Dear

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This sweet little Dear Creatures frock came in the mail this week and now I want to wear it everywhere. It’s the perfect sundress for mild spring weather. The red lip comes from Bite, a line that caught my eye at Sephora recently. All their products are made from food grade ingredients and not tested on animals, so I was sold already. They also happen to make the perfect red for me!

This past week has been a bit crazy for me, but in a good way. Luxembourgish dark folk band ROME was in town, so I was busy most of the week being their merch queen/tour guide/host/etc. It was really great, and I have a few photos from the DNA Lounge show in San Francisco to show you all. It’s been so long since I’ve posted any band photography here, and those should be up soon!

Fresh Crop

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I don’t know about you all, but I love getting my hair cut. Getting it done extra short is always so much fun. I have a metric ton of hair on my head, so getting it closely cropped always feels so liberating. These days I just tell my stylist “give me the Jean Seberg” and she gives me exactly what I want.

These pants are back again, because they’re perfect and I’m still finding plenty of tops to pair them with.

I’m really into these cute lipstick red mary janes from Alegria. Ever since the death of my beloved black naturalizer mary jane heels (RIP) I’ve needed a basic, comfortable shoe I can wear with just about everything. Because Doc Martens aren’t going to cut it for every outfit. These are great because they’re built for comfort, but are actually cute. They’re kind of like something a 90s goth kid would wear, which is exactly why I love them.

Also, it feels like it’s been a while since Odo has photobombed an outfit post, so here he is!

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Hello, Springtime

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This Saturday was unseasonably warm, which means only one thing: crop top time!

These great jeans and sunglasses were part of my most recent ModCloth order. I’ve been wearing the same Ray-Ban Wayfarers since I was 17, and I thought it was time for a new frame. And I’m slowly replacing all of my low-rise jeans with high or mid-rise waist jeans like these, because I’m realizing a higher rise makes it so much easier for me to wear the majority of my tops. These ones are great. I love the material and the two rows of functional buttons. I would have even liked a higher rise, but these are still great.

I originally bought the headband for my Rosie the Riveter/We Can Do It Halloween costume, but now I want to wear it all the time! Especially between haircuts like I am right now. In a few weeks, the mop is getting chopped again, and I have to figure out how to cover up the nascent mullet out back. Seems this headband should do the trick!

Danke Schön

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I had a birthday this week, and I just wanted to say thank you to the people who helped make it great. Thank you all for your kind wishes!

Plus, an outfit photo of a birthday gift I got for myself. It’s Mata Traders of course! The necklace was a birthday gift from Arthur. It’s fair trade like the dress, by a company I just recently discovered called Matr Boomie. I think the two go together perfectly.

Sunshine

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This dress is an early birthday gift from Arthur, and a vintage find that he made himself! We were at a local consignment store on Saturday, looking for gift ideas for my birthday, when Arthur found this gem in a rack of modern clothing. It’s a late-50s handmade sundress. He pulled it out from between some Forever 21 and H&M dresses and said, “This would look good on you.” I took one look at it and estimated its age almost immediately. It was an incredible find, and I’m so lucky it fit me! Clearly I need to take him shopping with me more often. He has a great eye!

Valentine

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I never meant to go this long between blog posts, but here I am! Arthur and I had a great Valentine’s weekend. He made me dinner on the 14th, and then we went out for dinner at Picco (aka greatest restaurant in the world) on Monday. This was my Monday outfit, featuring three fair trade pieces: Greenola Style’s Paka Bracelet and Mata Traders’ Buck Stops Here Skirt and Trailblazer Necklace.

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I love stacking the Greenola Style bracelet with my stamped leather bracelet from France (also pictured). I bought it at a truck stop gas station somewhere in the Massif Central back when I was a little punk teenager. It was my first trip to Europe, and my first trip with Arthur, who I had been dating for less than five months at the time. Buying this little bracelet was my first introduction to Europe’s amazingly clean, awesome gas stations that have legitimately great gift shops and other things you’d never find at American gas stations. This particular gas station shop had a lot of wine and leather goods and wool, and they had little leather bracelets like this in all different colors, so I got myself this one in dark brown. It reminds me of that great trip we had together over 8 years ago, which makes me happy to know that we’ve been together for so long (almost 9 years!) and are so strong as a couple. I love him very much.

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New Year

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I realize I haven’t posted in over a month. December is always a busy time, and I just got caught up in all the craziness.

We’ve been having hard freezes recently, so I’ve been dressing for warmth and comfort. This old leather jacket from my punk days is perfect to wear in the cold, since it traps in the heat so well. And I love this new tee I got for Christmas, which Arthur refers to as “feminist ursine couture.” It’s a bear saying “don’t tell me to smile,” a gem I discovered from this feminist gift guide. Arthur and I call each other “bear,” so we have a lot of bear-themed things. Plus, we’re both passionate about gender equality, so this was pretty much the perfect gift for me. Scarves are also a staple for me this season, and this fair trade scarf from Marquet has kept me nice and toasty.