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Flicks Inflict Fashion II

February 27th, 2011

It’s time for another post documenting movies with noteworthy fashion! I am making “Flicks Inflict Fashion” into a series. The first FIF was posted last August. I’m going to try to make this a regular deal, since my husband and I watch movies a lot and I am also currently in a fun film class. Since I for one hate plot spoilers and dislike  distasteful critic reviews, I have determined to keep this strictly for style observance. Alright, shall we?

Changeling (2008) -Set in the late 20s, this film starring Angelina Jolie (Christine Collins) and all the other women working as telephone operators wore earth-toned colors, furs, brooches, and detailed head pieces (or as my husband repeatedly referred to them during the movie, “heeyatsssss”). You’ll notice that almost every woman in this movie wore some kind of hat, and it made me realize how much more people in general used to accessorize in detail back in the day and how that trend has just kind of gotten lost through the decades. I commend the fact that public and private (e.g., lingerie) clothes were distinctly separate. Sadly, what used to be worn only in the bedroom can now be seen worn in public in today’s fashions. What ever happened to this boundary?

An Education (2009)
– How adorable was Carrie Mulligan in this movie? Her character Jenny and Rosamund Pike’s character Helen in this scene are wearing matching coats and hats, making this a nice visual foil. I like Helen’s clothes a lot more then Jenny’s, even though Jenny’s clothes are generally more conservative. I think it’s because Helen puts more effort into her outfits (probably because she has the money for it), and young Jenny admires that about her. Helen though was a bit of a ditz—a common fashionista stereotype. For a long time, I denied how much I liked and thought about style and fashion because of that very stereotype. To defend my brain, which also processed non-fashion-related things, I avoided associating myself with the fashion community until recently. I guess that’s partly why I started this blog—to redefine fashion by adding more intelligence and sense to it.

Mary Poppins (1964) – Since most people have their eyes on Julie Andrews’ array of dresses, I want to pay special attention to Glynis Johns’ (Mrs. Banks) gorgeous outfits of pastels and beads. Although Mrs. Banks isn’t as young and slender as Mary Poppins, she is able to pull off some amazing looks! You really don’t have to be young and slender to be good at styling yourself. Mrs. Banks’ outfits definitely catch my eye more than Mary’s. I would love to replicate that updo from this screen shot!

Babes in Arms (1939) – Before anything else, does anyone else see that Mickey Rooney looks like a “cuter” Rupert Grint? Anyway, teenage Judy Garland (Patsy Barton) and the other young gals in this movie had pretty casual dresses on. I rarely see casual full-length dresses and skirts worn by high school students and adult women now. We mostly see preschoolers wear dresses on regular days, but older girls rarely do except for special occasions. Do girls wear dresses less now because dresses are more expensive and impractical? Whenever I wear a dress out on a weekday, there is sure to be at least one person who asks me what party I’m on my way to (even the people who should know me better!). What I often see more of nowadays are skinny jeans and short skirts on teenagers and older women alike. How about adding some variety to the wardrobe with some maxi skirts? Maxi skirts are a great deal more versatile compared to dresses—if lack of versatility is the problem. I really am surprised at how attractive maxi skirts can look despite their conservative nature. I should have more of them.

The Fall (2006) – This film looks incredible. Everything in this is highly saturated in color, and the costumes are superb. Justine Waddell (Nurse Evelyn) has such gorgeous dresses on, and I also love how they did her makeup. I even tried to replicate it with some pink and brown eyeshadow, and I liked how that turned out. The visuals in this film are just breathtaking and beautiful. I highly recommend this film to anyone and everyone who hasn’t seen it (and even those who have seen it should watch it again!). This film is eye candy. You will know what a rainbow tastes like after watching this (HAH), but the story is quite entertaining too. You will just die when you see the little girl with the adorable accent in this!

Have you entered the giveaway for a $100 Shopbop gift card? It ends next week!

Interview in PrintMag

February 21st, 2011

It’s been a pleasure being a part of PrintMag, an online art and social lifestyle magazine. They interviewed me last month for their third issue. If this outfit looks familiar, it’s because these pictures were from the same set as my previous shoot, which I never published on the blog. Flip through the pages (using the left and right arrows), and you’ll find me!

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You can zoom in to make the magazine full-screen by clicking anywhere on the page (except the navigation arrows). In case you’d rather read in text, I have also included the interview below.

Q: So, let’s talk a little about you. Where do you hail from? What do you like to do?
I live in Baltimore, Maryland, where talented minds like Animal Collective and John Waters hail from. Before I got into blogging, I used to write a lot about my philosophies in life (often deep, sometimes crazy). I have a love-hate relationship with clothes where I  rave about timeless and individual creativity in clothing styles but also rant about the mainstream and commercial trends in fashion. I also like music and movies a lot, which I enjoy with the love of my life.

Q: When and WHY did you start your blog ‘à la Modest?”
The blog à la Modest started in April of 2010, but the idea of it began long before that. Before the blog came, I started a Facebook group for people to talk about the dangers of overtly sexual fashion trends. It raised some good discussion, but then I eventually built a blog to provide regular visual inspiration drawing from my own lifestyle. I think the blog helped a lot to encourage other women to be confident in the beauty they have without selling out their bodies.
Q: What do you do for a living?

I am a Web design and developer and a graphic designer. Recently though, I went back to school full-time, so I have both my job and my hobbies on the back burner. I still blog whenever I find free time. My résumé and portfolio for my Web work can be found at http://redeux.me, so if you ever need some help, wave me down!

Q: How are you able to put together such cool and unique outfits?
Before I decided to “cover up,” I enjoyed fashion but was a slave to it. I think creating a boundary in my life since then from what I know to be sexually enticing and silly trends in fashion helped me to be more creative in my choices of clothing. The limits that I set for myself almost forced me to open my mind to other things unpopular and be more independent. Cultures from decades past, music, and movies became sources of my inspiration.
Q: What are you listening to currently (music-wise)?
Oh boy, this is a big question. Right now, I am listening to the Mumford and Sons’ album Sigh No More. It’s a very deep and thought-provoking album, which leaves you thinking about your purpose in life after listening to it. It’s folky, so it might be hard to get into for some people, but I highly recommend it. I’m also listening to Missing Persons’ album Spring Session M., The Brothers Martin’s only album, Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs, The Jim Caroll Band’s Catholic Boy, and Metric’s Fantasies and Live it Out, among other things…
Q: Favorite designer?
My favorite fashion designers for clothes include Rick Owens, Ann Demeulemeester, Karen Millen, Lee Alexander McQueen, and Mary Katrantzou. I like Jeffrey Campbell for shoes. Since I am a Web designer, I will thrown in Eric Jordan and Billy Bussey as my first two flash animator inspirations.

Q: What would you like to say to the people in the world?
Be brave and do not let your individuality be affected by everybody else’s thinking, but when it comes to making yourself a better person for a better world, change yourself.

I picked up this large nightie at Goodwill, and I was wearing it here as a loose top. I couldn’t resist the heart pocket! It’s honestly still a bit cold to wear this top as is, so I took off my jacket just for these shots. I’m sure you know that one thing I cannot stand is climate-inappropriate dressing. No one should ever sacrifice comfort (and modesty) for style. No matter how much you defend that baring skin during winter is okay, lying to yourself to look good is just silly. I outgrew my stubbornness of dressing like that a long time ago, and I think it’s as simple as common sense to subscribe to more sensible thinking. I must say though that I do wear my clothes all year because I really don’t give in to seasonal style dictations—nothing is “hot or not” or “in and out” of season for me. What I do to make my clothes climate-appropriate, though, is layer them. For instance, in these shots, I am wearing a thick sleeveless shell underneath, and on top of that, I have a cardigan and a coat on.

For Valentine’s Day weekend, Rob and I went to see the noise-pop band Deerhoof at the Theater of the Living Arts in Philadelphia. Thanks to Phrequency for the complimentary tickets! Of course, just like the last time we stayed in Philly for a weekend, we had cheesesteaks for almost every meal (we go to different places each time to try them out). Below is a playlist of not-so-clear videos we took of Deerhoof’s performance. If you will have the patience to look through, you will see vocalist and bassist Satomi’s quirky dance moves! She is so cute.

Below is a picture of me with the love of my life taken from my phone that I pasted over this adorable background Rob made from MS Paint. He made this for me while we were still courting. You can’t really see the most significant parts of the drawing, so I’ll probably post it up again on our anniversary next month. It took him a long time to complete this since it’s so detailed! I’ve forgotten how much I used to love Paint! Adobe has corrupted my innocence. I am in love with this dimpled and clefted cutie/master of MS Paint!

If you haven’t noticed, the giveaway for $100 Shopbop giftcard started this week. Don’t forget to join early because that’s a good way to win! The contest is open internationally.

Time for another monthly giveaway!  Shopbop, a leading online retailer for designer pieces, is giving away a gift card worth $100 to one lucky reader. Shopbop offers a wide range of high fashion apparel including women’s clogs, wedge booties, and Coclico shoes. Don’t forget checking out their ongoing designer clothing sale!

Mandatory Entry:

  1. Like à la Modest on Facebook.
  2. Find Shopbop’s picture under the photo album called “Giveaways” and leave a comment (or URL) of your favorite item on Shopbop.
  3. Get as many friends to like your comment as you can. The person with the most “likes” on their comment + bonus entries by the deadline wins.

Bonus entries:

  • Join this site publicly via Google Friend Connect (if link doesn’t work, try the right sidebar) and leave a comment on this blog post telling me that you did (3 entries).
  • Follow me on Twitter (@alaModest), and leave a comment on this blog post telling me that you did. Include your user name. (2 entries)
  • Tweet about this giveaway, and leave a comment on this blog post telling me that you did. Include your user name and/or a link to the tweet. Copy & paste this to tweet: “Win a $100 GC from Shopbop from @alaModest http://bit.ly/gUCEbv #giveaway #free”
  • Subscribe to this blog through BlogLovin’, and leave a comment on this blog post telling me that you did.
  • Post this giveaway as your status on Facebook, and leave a comment on this blog post telling me that you did. Include your Facebook’s e-mail address. Copy & paste this: “Help me win a $100 GC from Shopbop by liking my comment here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/a-la-Modest/105076206204991#!/photo.php?fbid=170983529614258&set=a.170983522947592.37309.105076206204991&theater” (3 entries)
  • Blog about this giveaway in a new post, and leave a comment on this blog post with the link.

For the bonus entries, I will check to verify if you have done these. If you are already subscribers/followers, indicate that you are in separate entries. Do not forget to leave me your real e-mail address!

This giveaway ends March 7th and is open to both US and international readers.

Remember, the more likes and/or entries you have, the more chances of winning. Good luck!

8 Weeks Until Project Redesign

February 10th, 2011

I was invited to speak at one of Project Redesign’s planning meetings early this week, and I was very honored and delighted to be there! I had a chance to talk to some lovely ladies and to tour around an ancient private school. Project Redesign is a fashion club started by the beautiful Miss Maryland Rachel Harkins, who is also a teacher at Mount de Sales Academy in Catonsville, MD. I found out about this neat little project just last year when modest fashion retailer Christa Taylor spoke at the actual fashion show in May. You can read about my thoughts of last year’s event in my past post. I believe for this year’s show, they will be having me speak. I can’t wait to see it all unfold. The show is going to be held in April instead this year. The date and time are on the flyers that the students made with pictures of shoes from a calendar (I just put a few of them together). It would be great if you live around the DC-VA-MD area for you to stop by that night! Do you have a shop or something to promote? You may contact Rachel Harkins (rharkins[at]mountdesales[dot]org) for advertising.

The last photo you’ll find below is a picture of me with Ms. Harkins and the seniors from the club with all gorgeous smiles. I also took some photos of the other hardworking girls while they were making flyers. I have included a video of my awkward self from that day just so I could share with you what I had to say!

In case the video at the end of this post is barely audible, the point I was trying to drive home was that 1) I look up to women with high modesty standards, and I never think that they are “too much.” I will be humble and say that we should all be moving higher in our standards as our understanding of purity deepens; 2) even with the kind of relationship I had with my mom, I still love her very dearly; and 3) yes, modesty starts with the heart and with your motivations for dressing. Even with that said though, I think we need to be aware of covering up what is at least generally considered sexually enticing—cleavage, thighs, back, and silhouette emphasized through skin-tight clothing. I am putting emphasis on this, because a lot of us may be either unaware or choose to be aloof of how our clothing choices affect others. I really can’t stress enough how important it is to keep these areas concealed for the reasons I mentioned in my speech.

It was fun, and I really look forward to getting in touch and perhaps being a part of their lives in some small way!

Rachel Dahl @ Project Redesign Meeting from Rachel Dahl on Vimeo.

Ready for another GIVEAWAY? Shopbop is giving away a $100 giftcard to a reader of this blog. Stay tuned!

In the Information Age, our previous fears and fascinations with technology apparently have become defined by our personal and collective intelligent analysis of our acquired knowledge derived from the Internet—particularly that of the World Wide Web. Before the Web, each of our strongly rooted preferences for or against technology came from gut instinct, hearsay, or a one-sided relay of information. The techno-optimist is now sometimes seen as the blind follower while the techno-pessimist is the knowledgeable (but cautious) elitist—-whereas perhaps a few centuries ago, this view was just the opposite. I can look back at how I viewed the Web during its early public stages with wonder and awe, like a child faced with a box of chocolates, and compare it to what I presently foresee it becoming as an adult faced with Pandora’s Box as my knowledge of it grows. Although both the box of chocolates (a reference to Forrest Gump) and Pandora’s Box both give examples of random outcomes, in one of these examples, the subject expects to have darker and more dangerous possibilities than the other.

The more popular fight for sustainability (such as in eco-fashion) and the less-known revival of vintage culture and lifestyle (discounting the poseur) are just some examples of what knowledgeable individuals are concerned about as their awareness of technology deepens. Sustainability aims to prevent and lessen the adverse effects of technology on a finite earth, while the revival of vintage lifestyle is geared towards restoring the beauty in traditionalism. It may seem ironic that I am a supporter of both and more so a proponent of the latter despite my background and profession in Information Technology, but this supports my tenet that regardless of our station in life, we are able to intelligently discern what is beneficial to our humanity in the long run. We often hear about people deleting their social networking profiles, setting personal limits on TV usage and even texting, and installing content restriction software on their computers after they have been educated enough to make informed decisions.

Technological “advancement” is a paradox. It bears both a blessing and a curse. This reminds me of a discussion on privacy from an interview I read that featured the creator of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. He believes that Facebook breaks our habit of being someone else to different individuals or groups of people instead of being just yourself and having one identity shared with all. He believes in “radical transparency” and that our typical way of presenting ourselves to different people is a sign of a lack of integrity. To me, reality is actually the opposite. In normal and acceptable constructs of social discourse, we tend to choose to be intimate only with certain people, sharing a bit of ourselves with the rest of the world (hopefully without lying), and exposing more information about ourselves as we gain trust. Although my husband and I are on Facebook and on one account, we know that it does not mimic reality, and we certainly would not want reality to mimic Facebook.

As technology exponentially expands as shown in examples such as Moore’s Law and the like, certain informed groups of people revert back to what was good, divert from what went wrong, and proceed with caution and with a better understanding of manipulating nature and traditionalist ideologies with the least possible damage on both the environment and morality, including social behavior, as the outcome. When we realize that advancements in technology such as texting and Facebook claim to bring people together while actually pushing people apart by their impersonal nature, we attempt to tame them with the preservation of our humanity in mind. Our technologies are supposed to cater to our being human and not make us less of it—-but what the limit is to this is all subjective. This growing subjectivity leads me back to the informed decision maker’s discernment regardless of their society or place therein. Even if Pangea had existed and were still our world today or if Alexander the Great’s Hellenistic civilization had thrived, without the Web’s negative influence, relationships would probably be deeper and more personal.

Hey information highway
We’ll be online till the break of day
Hey computer age
You don’t need a house if you’ve got a home page.

- Datarock, “The Blog”

Diamonds in the Snow

February 1st, 2011

I am now back to school full time after a two-year hiatus! I’m excited about my film and philosophy classes more than anything. I might not be able to write as much with every post because of that, but I will at least take photos of my outfits whenever I get a chance! I am wearing costume diamond jewelry from when I was a bridesmaid at my friend Imon’s wedding last December. I admit that I thought it was tacky at first, but it makes for a good photo shoot session! I should just remember not to put it on when I walk around the bad parts of the city to avoid looking too flamboyant with big, fake diamonds around my neck. I shan’t risk it.

Also, I am very excited to let you know that I was chosen to be featured in Print VA magazine this year. I will post the fashion editorial soon!

What I Wore: Knit dress and leggings from Burlington Coat Factory – Necklace from being Imon’s bridesmaid (thank you!) – Cardigan from Accents

Because I have a regular point-and-shoot camera and can’t afford an SLR right now, it’s hard for me to focus on my face when taking pictures. Here are a few webcam photos if you’re interested to see a closeup of my typical makeup:

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