23 Jan 2014

King Of The Concrete Jungle

Happy New Year, readers!

2014 has already rolled in, and, after getting over the stress of the holidays, and being sick with the flu for about two weeks (?) I’ve finally managed to find some time to post this outfit I wore back in November.

As usual, I started this outfit by looking at the colour of my nail polish – which happened to be metallic purple at the time. Of course, my first thought was to go for a monochrome purple outfit, but I couldn’t really find any purple clothes I felt like wearing, so I decided to try with a contrasting golden/bronze palette instead.

The first thing I picked was my MNG cracked golden blazer. I bought it in the same pack with the golden cracked jeans you already know so well (they were both probably designed to be worn together), and the snake-print jeans from this outfit as well. It had the perfect size and shape, and looked cool as hell. I honestly could have used a thicker jacket, but...

The other key element of this look were the trainers. I got them right the day before. As soon as I held them in my hands, I knew they HAD to be in this outfit, whatever it cost. The contrast with my purple nails was SO perfect. These trainers are just AWESOME. They have a great bronze/gold colour, with reptile skin texture on the tips (in fact, it looks a bit like pangolin scales, actually LOL) and an extremely baroque-ish buckle on the side. They are sporty and elegant at the same time; prince-like and punk… sort of :P The only problem about them is that they are a little bit too small for me, so walking in them for a long time can become a bit of a challenge… But more on that later.

With those two elements in place, it was time to go on and define the rest of the outfit.

The weather had just gotten EXTREMELY cold that week, so the first thing I did was to put on my thermal shirt from Decathlon. This is a pretty useful invention, actually. It’s designed specifically for sports, and it really helps to keep the body warm without adding excessive thickness, which allows me to wear it underneath pretty much anything. You won’t really feel any heat before you start moving, though, but, once you do, it stays there for a looong while.

I wanted to wear my MNG punk jeans because I thought their three-quarters length would reinforce the baroque nature of my new trainers. However, the cold made me drop the idea immediately. I was definitely going to need something longer and thicker, so I tried with my MNG snake print golden metallic jeans instead. They are pretty impressive, and quite thick as well. They looked really cool with the golden blazer, and, what’s most important: they solidified the concept of reptile theme, already present in my trainers.

It became clear that my outfit was going to be a reptile print explosion – Roberto Cavalli style LOL

Roberto Cavalli Spring 2014 Ready-To-Wear Roberto Cavalli Spring 2011 CampaignRoberto Cavalli Spring 2011 Campaign

[A tiny pinetree growing straight from the rock. How awesome is that?]

After that, I still needed something to wear underneath the jacket; something rather punk to match the irreverent spirit of the trainers – preferably with some reptile print on it.

I tried on my new BITE IT T-shirt (a black three-quarter sleeve T-shirt with a cobra and the slogan ‘BITE IT’ printed on it – you might remember it from this instagram shot), but I wasn’t sure. It was thick enough for the weather, but the shape didn’t really suit the look. It didn’t even get to fully cover the thermal shirt, and the three-quarter sleeves were hard to put through the sleeves of the blazer without getting stuck somewhere around the elbows – a real mess. In general, it didn’t look impressive enough in this particular context. It definitely needed more reptile print (and more gold) to match the high standards of my outfit.

I thought of an old pair of velvet pants I’ve had since around year 2000 (yup – I still have them!) that had the perfect snake print texture. Oh, if only I could have turned them into a T-shirt! Man, that would have been perfect. But I guess that’s too much of a DIY for anyone LOL

[A pretty rare shot of 11-year-old me wearing the aformentioned snake-print pants on Christmas Eve back in 2000. As you can see, I already enjoyed the pleasures of dressing fancy every once in a while :P]

I couldn’t perform such a miracle, so I had to stick with the closest option I had: my grey animal print turtleneck. The funny thing about this turtleneck is that it’s MNG, but I actually got it from Humana LOL I love it because it’s completely covered in animal print. I’ve actually used it for an outfit before, but it was left un-posted because of my lack of time and my chaotic schedule (e_e’).

It wasn’t reptile print, strictly speaking, but animal print is not that different anyway, and the whole thing looked really nice. Perhaps I wasn’t going to be covered in golden/bronze reptile print head-to-toe, but it was still cool. I instinctively added one of my MNG animal print scarves. I had wanted to wear this combination of turtleneck and animal print scarf with this blazer ever since the day I bought it. I actually instagrammed myself in the changing room wearing the three elements together, so, of course, I already knew it would look great.

I though I also needed something to put on my head. I didn’t really know what, so I just sat down and let the inspiration come to me. And there it was, on top of my rack: my purple cowboy hat. Should I really put THAT on??? The idea was way too absurd, even for me. It was way beyond acceptable (LOL)! However, it was undeniable that the purple colour really matched my nails (and the animal print matched the overall theme as well), and I liked the thought of having more of it represented in the outfit. I had a hard time trying to understand if the idea was totally absurd or just brilliant. And I really couldn’t decide.

On one hand, I really liked it. On the other, I found it a bit too distracting. I didn’t like the way it interacted with the scarf, and I felt it drew way too much attention to itself, distracting from the rest of the look.

At that point, I started having issues with pretty much everything. I didn’t really understand the interaction between the different parts of the outfit. I felt like the top and the bottom were sort of mismatched, like the upper half was way too dressy to go with the trainers. I also had the feeling that the upper half of my body looked way too short, and it felt awkward at the waist (just as ALWAYS LOL – me and my waist obsession x_x).

It felt like the trainers had been left alone in yet another way-too-dressy baroque outfit. You can’t say that these trainers are NOT baroque on their own, but, the way I saw it, I either had to choose dressier shoes, or change the vibe of the upper half of the look.

After thinking about these issues for a long while, I finally decided to take a risk, and remove the scarf and the hat. It’s not the thing I’ll usually say, but sometimes you have to go backwards in order to advance.

After that, I was left with just my hipster-looking turtleneck (LOL) and the golden blazer. It all felt a bit stripped, but the absence of the scarf definitely made the top half of my body look longer, and it reduced the overall level of awkwardness a great deal. In general, it all looked pretty cool. The only problem was that my outfit had suddenly become a bit of a concept orphan. It looked nice, as a casual look, but it lacked a strong identity-defining piece that could give an actual meaning to the whole thing.

I tried on a few necklaces hoping one of them would do the magic, but none of them had the thing I was searching for. In the end, I thought about giving my golden plastic spider necklace (you might remember it as the golden counterpart to my Voodoo Dandy silver spider) a try. Conceptually speaking, it was quite perfect. However, I didn’t really like its excessive length. The spider was hanging somewhere below my waist (right where I didn’t need it), and wasn’t filling the empty space on my chest (where I DID need it). I tried to fix it by wraping it around my neck twice, but it was still too long. Then, I had a flash of inspiration: why not turning it into a tie or a brooch instead?

It took a few attempts, some help from The Dude, and a big safety pin behind my neck to hold it all together, but in the end I managed to get the spider right at the height I wanted.

Train selfie

After that, I was still a bit unsure about the whole thing. I thought that perhaps I needed a hat. I tried on my Voodoo Dandy hat, but the result wasn’t great, so, in the end, I decided to leave it just like that. Going bareheaded made my look more prince-like, and that was nice.

The resulting outfit was more casual-oriented than I had expected, and it seemed to keep a much better balance between the dressiness of the top and the casual glamour of my trainers than my first attempt did. I wasn’t sure if it was a bit too minimalistic for my standards, but, hey – can you really say that a look that includes a golden blazer, an animal print turtleneck, golden snake-print jeans, golden/bronze trainers with jewelled buckles and a golden plastic spider necklace is minimalistic? If you asked InStyle magazine (which is basically my fashion antichrist LOL), they would probably tell you that you can’t wear more than ONE of these pieces at once, so I think it should be alright for me ;)

As soon as I hit the street, I understood that my fears had been completely justified: it was very cold, indeed. It seemed like I had chosen the coldest day of the whole year to put on an outfit that was not that prepared for winter (NOTHING can prepare you when you go from 19 to 9 degrees in less than a week). But, you know, one thing I've learned through the years is that, with weather, you can never win. You're always gonna be wearing something too light when the coldest wind blows, or something too thick when a heat wave strikes, or you'll be wearing the most inadequate shoes (and no umbrella e_e) precisely on the day it decides to rain. I always try to adjust my outfit choices to the weather predictions, but getting it 100% right is still impossible, so you just have to deal with that.

My new trainers felt really great, at first, especially compared to the shoes I wore with my last outfit *ahem*. For the first hour, I felt like I was almost flying instead of walking (which, BTW, I was doing at full speed LOL), I even ran for a few meters when I had to catch my train, and it felt incredible (I think I hadn’t done that in a while :P). However, it later became clear that these trainers were not going to be any less of a torment than my Pons Quintana shoes had been back in September T__T As surprising as it might seem, I couldn't almost walk in these either, all because of the aforementioned size issues LOL Me and my painful shoes... the never-ending story.

But, then again, women wear painful high heels all the time and don't complain, so why should I? ;)

Aside from getting cold and experiencing some shoe-pain, I also got to try Indian food - quite against my will, I have to say. I had always suspected that Indian food was not my thing, and that night I finally had the chance to discover I was completely right. I think my unadventurous stomach is too used to the simple pleasures of standard Italian cuisine to enjoy the spice overload and the lack of salt. Indian bread was cool, though… But it was definitely not my concept of a perfect night LOL

[Getting cold, heh?]

I shot these pictures one week later, hoping that the cold wave would go away. However, the temperatures dropped EVEN LOWER, so I just had to deal with it and shoot them anyway. I almost froze my hands off (you can tell that by the healthy red colour they have in the pictures LOL), and I had to start jumping and running around every now and then just to keep my blood flowing. As you might have already guessed, light was far from being perfect (AS ALWAYS), but, once again, an apparently inadequate light turned into an interesting photographic experience. We got some golden afternoon sunlight at first, and then we had to use the flash, which turned out to be quite interesting, in pictures. Aside from that, we also got to enjoy a really beautiful sunset from a quite unusal place, so, in the end, it was a lot of fun :)

Turtleneck: MNG
Jeans: MNG
Trainers: Bosanova
Blazer: MNG
Necklace: Halloween decoration