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Some of us don’t wait for Halloween to wear “costumes.” For us, wearing elaborate or theme-inspired clothing is a daily matter. You call it costumes, we call it a way of living! Last year, I wrote about escaping from “Sartorial Stereotypes” for Halloween with just a quick list of ideas.  So, for most people who are just looking for cool and obscure references for their Halloween costumes, how about you take a hint from the lovely Lene Lovich?

Lene Lovich (born Lili-Marlene Premilovich) is an American singer-songwriter New Wave artist from the late 70s-early 80s (my favorite period!). Her most famous hit was “Lucky Number.” This lady, although born in Detroit came from an English mother and an Yugoslavian father. She also went back to her mother’s country for an extensive period to study art. In fact, her iconic hairstyle with scarves came from how she covered her hair to keep it away while sculpting!

Looking at her clothing and hair in plaits,  you can’t help but think of traditional Yugoslavian attire, most likely influenced by her father’s side. Below are a couple of photos of the country’s costume for women:

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Source: 12

Lene Lovich’s “Lucky Number” music video:

 

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Clothing: Everything in this outfit is vintage with the exception of the tank top I probably got from K-Mart back in high school!

Do any of you own a layering bib? I’m not sure if that is the official name for it, but it’s this little piece of layering garment that used to exist in my grandmother’s time. You put it on through your neck, and it just sits without having to button it. Some may have buttons, but they are really just there for decoration. The bib starts from above your collar bone to the bottom of your breast. It could have been either for modesty or for adding variety to your tops. Below is an example of layering bibs with a fake collar. I haven’t found these anywhere else with the whole bib attached to the collar. I see mostly just collars. Wish they made more of these! What I have on in the photos above is truly vintage, made of polyester (very light weight) and is decorated with lace.

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The trend today is to wear just the fake collar or bib necklaces (the other kind that you’ll see more), but I don’t really like those as much because most of them are too tiny and sit beneath the spot where your collar actually should be. There are also those fake collars made of fabric, and they look more natural. None of those satisfy modest clothing practices really, because they are so small and barely cover anything. I did buy myself fabric fake collars, because I like the style of uniforms and structure. The layering bibs are ones that actually work for covering up your chest, back, and collar bone, BUT… these things do NOT exist in retail, sadly. I’ve only been finding them at thrift stores. They’re all about at least 30 years old and are mostly turtleneck bibs.

Below is an example of a nice beaded fake peter pan collar you can wear over your top. Like all other fake collars however, you have to have a high neck top to begin with for these to blend in naturally with your outfit as if attached. Otherwise, there your skin will show in between.

fake peter pan collar I do find wonderfully elaborate vintage tops with gorgeous collars everywhere, so I need to make a tutorial for you all soon transforming oversized vintage tops into useful layering bibs. ;-)

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Karen Noseff is the Texan founder and designer of Fortune Denim. Even without any background in fashion, her jeans have been worn by celebrities like Fergie, Jessica Alba, Drew Barrymore, Mischa Barton… and the list goes on. She is also a contemporary dancer who later pursued singing for a career. Despite being the daughter of a Caucasian father and a first generation Asian mother who threatened to disown her if she didn’t become either a lawyer or a doctor (how typical!), Karen is now pursuing the American dream of doing what she has always loved to do for a living and being really successful at it. What a lucky girl!

Fortune Denim sailor jeans worn by Pin Up Girl Clothing:

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She wasn’t always this lucky, however. Not too long ago, Karen was struck with a rare and understudied illness that was caused or aggregated by toxic black mold. This hapa wasn’t a happy camper when her pretty face frequently transformed into what looked “like a monster,” as she’d say.

Her story is featured in length in a documentary called Black Mold Exposure. The movie is available both on their website and on Amazon and not really found anywhere else. It’s a film worth watching and buying for a friend, and I highly recommend it. It’s also in a way quite entertaining to watch, because it’s real but so bizarre. Below is the trailer:

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As Bruce Banner (Hulk) is to anger, Karen Noseff is to mold.

The worst part about her situation is that not many believed that her sickness was real. You’d think, all she needed to do was to show up to a disbelieving friend or family member’s house in the middle of the night, or whenever she experienced the mold symptom, and show them her deformed face. Yet, she stayed strong. It was difficult enough to go through a sickness like this without a clue about the cause or cure. To be treated like you were crazy by those you trust and love was way too much to bear.

Watch Fortune Denim founder Karen’s interviews about her appearance in the movie below:

My Mold Story

I personally have been a victim of black mold. My mold symptom was developing a bad gluten sensitivity after moving into my husband’s house that had a problem with mold. I nor my family have ever had any allergies to speak of, so this was a real shocker. Something in our house caused it, and it wasn’t very obvious to me at first. The gluten allergy in itself was treated like it was non-existent years ago. Thankfully now, it is widely recognized, studied, provided for with options, and profited from. However as for mold symptoms or mold illness, it is not. My husband is in far worse shape than I am. I can just stay away from food containing gluten, and I am fine. He however is still recovering and figuring out how to heal himself, even after moving to a new residence.

How It Affects You

Just like gluten allergy symptoms, black mold symptoms are not the same from person to person. Once you are hit by a catalyst that lowers your immune system (in this case, black mold), the sky’s the limit on illnesses your body becomes prone to—from allergies to cancer. That is why someone with Lyme’s disease (ticks as catalyst) can have very similar symptoms or remedy for relief as someone with a gluten allergy, a mold allergy, acid reflux, etc. What doctors sell are drugs. What you probably need to do is to get rid of the catalyst first if you can and then strengthen your immune system with naturally available low mold, low toxin food from God’s green earth for starters.

If you have some spare time, please do watch Black Mold Exposure! Let me know what you think of it, and help spread the word about mold illness and what we can do to help others recognize it. What happened to Karen, me, and so many others can happen to you too.

 

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Law of the Plainsman (1962)

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Twilight Zone as Maya the Cat Girl (1959)

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Twilight Zone – Ms. Thomas (1959)

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Bat Masterson –  Season 2 Ep 24 “Three Bullets for Bat” as Linda (1960)

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Bat Masterson –  Season 2 Ep 24 “Three Bullets for Bat” as Linda (1960)

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The Saint (1962-1969)

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The Saint (1962-1969)

I first fell in love with Suzanne Lloyd’s face (particularly, her cheekbones) on season 1 episode 9 of the Twilight Zone called “Perchance to Dream.” Although her outfit was rather skimpy in that episode (she was playing the antagonist afterall), her face and acting were enough to capture hearts.

You won’t see too much of Suzanne on the Web though sadly, but you should be able to retrace her movie and TV appearances (mostly TV) from her full filmography on trusty IMDB. She played SEVERAL characters on The Saint, a TV show that ran from ’64 to ’69. She appeared in TV shows like The Avengers in ’65, Zorro from ’58-’61, and Bonanza in ’61.

I seriously think that women in the 40s/50s generally looked better than Hollywood actresses today because the food was better then. It was more organic and less commercialized. The women appeared to be healthier too, but of course a lot of it has to do with the changing perception of beauty as well.

Although I have high cheekbones myself, mine aren’t close to the likes of Suzanne Lloyd’s. However I’m sure with the right contour makeup and technique, you can achieve something like this! I’m a newbie with contouring, but I am having a lot of fun experimenting with highlights and shadows to achieve a chiseled feminine face like this lady!

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This right here is pretty much what I wear on a regular basis these days—capris, sneakers, t-shirt, and a vest. There’s really not much I personally do to accessorize when the heat is just that bad, because I don’t really wear much jewelry. A vest is a good layering piece to make an ordinary t-shirt look modest and not so boring.

These photos were taken with an iPhone last week in Norfolk while I was visiting family in Virginia Beach. I swear, sometimes my phone takes better photographs than my camera! It helps that I was surrounded by beautiful shrubbery right in front of a quaint green house.

While I was headed back home to Baltimore, Rob and I decided to stop a thrift store. He and I parted ways to scurry through treasures found in different parts of the store. I was later approached by a man maybe in his mid 40s while I was going through the female tops rack. The conversation went on a little something like this:

My Conversation with a Creepy Stranger

Man: Is this for women? *smiles, pointing to the clothes then pointing at me from top to bottom*
Me: Yes, these are for women. *goes back to what I was doing, sorting through the tops*
Man: These are nice. I’m buying for a friend.
Me: Oh, okay. You’ll find a lot of good things here. *smiles*
Man: So, what’s your name? *smiles*
Me: No, I’m not going to tell you my name. *I wouldn’t normally be this rude, but he was looking at me so intensely*
Man: Huh? What’s that?
Me: My name’s Rachel. *looks back at him*
Man: I’m ______. What do you do, for job?
Me: I have a store. *continues to sift through clothing as a hint to get lost but looking back at him when answering a question*
Man: Oh, so what do you sell? Art?
Me: Umm, a lot of things. Like, CDs.
Man: You’re very beautiful. What’s your background?
Me: Thanks. Hmm, how about you make a guess?
Man: You’re Filipina, no?
Me: Ha, you’re the first person in a long time to ever guess that right. Not even Filipinos think I’m Filipino.
Man:I know some Filipino! Magandang gabi. Kamusta. Uh, what else…
Me: It’s magandang hapon for the afternoon.
Man: Oh yeah yah, magandang hapon.*big smile* Where do you live?
Me: I’m not from around here.
Man: Oh, really? Me too. I’m from Washington.
Me: Oh, okay.
Man: Where are you from?
Me: Maryland.
Man: Oh, Maryland, huh? So what are you doing here?
Me:  I was visiting my parents.
Man: How long you staying?
Me: I’m leaving today. I’m going back home today. *that was really true*
Man: Aww. Can we exchange phone numbers?
Me: No, I’m married. *points to my ring finger*
Man: Oh okay. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. *smiling* *pause* You have kids?
Me: No. No kids.
Man: Ah, no kids. So are you visiting alone, or…?
Me: No, with my husband. He’s in this store somewhere right now.
Man: *looks around nervously* Ah, I see. Maybe if we exchange e-mail, it’s safe. Okay? Is that okay?
Me: No, I’m sorry.
Man: Okay, how about I give you my e-mail? You’ll have my e-mail.
Me: No… I’m sorry.

My Verdict

The man in this conversation wasn’t what I call harassing me. Maybe a bit persistent but not harassing. He was probably lonely and looking for some company, innocent or not. What I don’t like however is that he kept pushing me to exchange contact information after I said no and also tried to keep our communication “secret” from my husband by suggesting we do e-mail, because it’s “safe.” The nerve! A few people in the store saw the whole thing and a woman just shook her head and said “Oh gosh, some people!”

I’m not against guys walking up to girls and asking them for their numbers (or e-mail). I don’t think that’s creepy. Some girls, if they thought the stranger was cute would give him her number any day. To say someone is “creepy” just because you don’t like how he looks is two faced. The same idea goes for girls wearing revealing clothing to hopefully invite the cute guys and not the “creepy” guys who they just think is unattractive. That’s just mean and unfair to label someone a creep, when it’s biased and totally based on looks.

However, I do think someone is a creep for pursuing someone they know is married. That applies to women who know a man is married. Women can be creeps too (equal and opposite…genders). Men and women, look for the ring first before you start flirting with someone. If they hide their being married, that’s on them.

For your viewing pleasure and nostalgia, here’s TLC (hope you get the reference):

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