Break from Hiatus

I’ve spiffed up my blog again (i.e. changing the theme and adding a header with my anonymized quads by the English seaside). I was fiercely loyal to a fashion-focused Instagram account during the interim,  but quite simply got bored of looking at myself. Rest assured, this will still be a crevice of the internet for one girl’s style and the selfies that entails, but I’ll make it more of a variety show.

I had to take an Insta-break after exploring my own love-hate in an article I wrote for Thought Catalog. But in the interest of catching up, here’s a series of snapshots from this summer:

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SXSW Trends

South by Southwest was lame for me this year, especially compared to last year. This time, over 30,600 paying attendees and about one billion random people who felt like basting themselves in free booze convened to turn the city into a loud, gridlocked, wonderful and terrible week-long party. One truth holds each year: SXSW is a great place for style watching. Here are a few trends I spotted on cool girls waiting in lines and looking lost:

1. Cutouts

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Nasty Gal Candy Cut dress, $58

Cutouts have long been the sexy detail of choice for dresses and tops, but they’re especially perfect for the premature swelter of spring in Texas.

2. Twee Minidresses

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Pop Boutique shift dress, $42

1960s styles are enjoying a thorough replay lately, and I love it. Peter Pan collars, straight cuts and short hemlines are going strong.

3. Prints

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MINKPINK shorts, $69

Usually I roll my eyes when prints are called a trend. (You know what else is in style? Clothes! And colors are having a moment!) But prints were the focal point if not the whole point of outfits. Festival goers wore them on tops, bottoms or both.

4. Open-back tops

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Asos knot tank, $37

I spotted this breezy style on several girls. Give your stomach a break from crop tops and try showing a little lower back instead.

5. Embellished shorts

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Rag & Bone Highclare shorts, $255

Spikes, patterns, patches, colors and fraying jazzed up the music festival staple.

Basically: Minimalism is nowhere to be found. Pile it on, mix it up, and maybe even power clash.

Rennes, France

It’s good to be home, but I could really get used to a city like Rennes, where I spent the last week of my trip. It’s half the size of Austin, but so compact that you have tons of restaurants, boutiques and events within walking distance. I could live in a beautiful apartment at the city’s center for less than the cost of living somewhere mediocre and poorly located in Austin. Texas city planning leans toward boring sprawl instead of this:

Atlas (dress) Found. The shopping situation has a nice mix. There are chain stores like H&M and Zara, lots of local shops, and a few vintage/second-hand stores.

 

Rennes’ cathedral, which has been there in some form since the 1500s.

 

One of two gorgeous public gardens

 

Tabhor Parc was my favorite reading spot. It’s huge and has a good selection of birds.

 

Lou and Greg Forever

 

The park is so well kept that people actually come to it in droves. Students lay in the fields, kids enjoy the playground, and everyone else can find a comfortable spot to read, draw, make out, etc. It struck me that I would like Zilker Park more if it had as many chairs around. And if it was located in France.

 

Here I am on the northern coast, wearing the worst hiking outfit ever.

 

Mont Saint-Michel is the second most visited destination in the country. It’s a tiny city barricaded against tides that recede a mile out, leaving a quicksand-y expanse of land that is beautiful and will ruin your shoes.

 

Dessert for breakfast (all the time)

 

Good ol’ rum again. It was the base of every cocktail I had.

I’m smiling, but also wondering where all the whiskey is…

 

Rennes and St. Malo

Rennes, arrival 

There should be a word for that feeling when one sees a familiar face after a day of being shuffled around with massive amounts of complete strangers. Relief comes close. Hugo picked me up at the Rennes airport after my 18 hours of travel. It had been an awkward ballet of failed sleeping positions with no intermission.

He took me to the apartment where I’d be staying, which used to be a suite in a very old hotel right next to the city center. I spent the afternoon fighting off jet lag, reading and touring Rennes on foot.

For a day, I felt sick to my stomach and could barely eat anything. I slowly replaced my bloodstream with Coca-Cola Light (suspicious of the tap water by this point) and some God-given medicine called “Spasmocalm.”

Sounds dumb, but really: It hits like a drug, the realization of how far away I was from anything I knew.

 

St. Malo, beach

There is so much mica that the beach looks like two parts sand to one part glitter. Rows of algae coated tree trunks stand ready to break breaking waves that could wash over the street. The ocean is freezing, but it’s a welcome jolt after the long walk from the only quasi-legal parking spot left thanks to hoards of French folks ready to bask in the high temperatures.

Vintage sunglasses and earrings, A wear sweater, American Apparel shorts, Bisou Bisou bikini

 

Seagulls swoop, I read a few chapters of Into the Wild, get covered in sand and freckles, etc.

I wish I could claim responsibility for this sand fortress.

In the time it takes to walk into the city, peruse shops, eat two crepes (one crispy, with finely chopped vegetables wrapped in a black flour pancake, one sweet with a caramel unique to the Brittany region), and saunter along stone walkways, the shoreline has receded 50 meters, accommodating more sun bathers.

If the sea can come so close to lapping at the city streets, only to take it all back, I’ll be a little fickle, too.

Fort St. Pere, music festival

La Route Du Rock has a pretty great set-up. The music runs from about 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. Who shows up to these things at noon, anyway? It helps that noise ordinances mustn’t have been too strict at the makeshift venue, which was accessible by long dirt roads through wheat fields. The camping area had rental huts with locks available to patrons with interests such as sex and not being stolen from. The first few hours were shadeless and therefor kind of miserable. I heard it would be cold here. The first band is some bad electro group that America back-washed. In fact, all the music (except for an excessive set by Dominique A) is in English. Alt-J puts on the best show.

Here’s some good footage from Rennes TV, though I can always do without musicians denying they have a genre and analyzing the “internet age.”

 

Between sets, I affectionately watch the interactions of a group of drunk teenagers. The most outgoing girl kisses everyone, but saves the public make-out session for the boy she (presumably) likes most. They grope in a sunny, open area right by the stage. I’m smiling to myself, but the next time I look over, a visibly wasted girl has taken their place and is trying to vomit with the disturbingly involved encouragement of two friends. Maybe 18 is a bit young for the legal drinking age, after all.

As soon as the sun sets, it gets very cold and I can’t ignore how exhausted I feel. A photographer comes by. I smile broadly because I like the idea of looking ecstatic in a French magazine I’ll never see.

Jean Genie

The heat index is already breaking 100 degrees in Austin these days. I decided to sacrifice a pair of vintage Levi’s to the cutoff cause. I cuffed them for now, but hopefully they’ll get a nice fray going.

Thrifted and customized David Bowie t-shirt, Levi’s shorts, Deena & Ozzy belt and boots

I tried doing a half moon manicure, House of Holland style. I can’t decide yet if it’s artistic or simply too messy and WTF-ish.

I’ve been doing some milkmaid braids lately, despite being called Princess Leia by most males I encounter. (She wore buns, guys. Buns!) But it’s really easy to pin up braids in the morning. The messier they get by evening, the better. And it shows off my weird blonde streak!

Business and Pleasure

My apologies for not posting much recently. May has been the most, uh, dynamic month I’ve experienced in a very long time. Terrible things happened; amazing things happened. Less dramatic and more relevant: This outfit happened, too.

Gettin’ blazed: so wrong but so right with a slouchy, striped t-shirt and a tough chain necklace.

It’s nothing new (considering the success of “short suits” this spring), but I love an outfit that would be office appropriate if not for one irreverent item, like little pink denim shorts.

Urban Outfitters blazer, Target necklace, American Apparel tee, Forever 21 shorts, Enzo Angiolini loafers