Let it be known: I love San Francisco. The people are left and right, straight-up attractive, and the food is so divine that your palate reaches enlightenment three times a day. The drinks are strong and beer floods the pints of dive bars everywhere, getting you there and back like the best taxi ride of your life. I’ve sat in parks, on patios, bay side, bar side and on roof tops so high and glorious that all I could do was spin in circles, reliving the panorama rotation after rotation.
It’s been two weeks and then some. I could never leave, I think, if not for the dreams I dream of sundresses.
This isn’t an invented allegory. Before I fall asleep there’s a consistent scenario that flashes through my mind. It’s just me in a denim sundress and a little wicker boat hat. We’ve seen this outfit before. It’s a classic take on that summer-time girl, traipsing from garden to stream, unencumbered by norm or cares or cold, wind or jackets. It’s sunshine and warmth and fireflies, though I’ve never seen one before in my life. And while I live in a city that’s perfect at a perpetual 60 degrees, my unconsciousness schemes to remind me of summer.
And how terribly ironic, to flee Hawaii in part of the heat only to slumber of days in the sun. I roll my eyes at my dozing mind to betray me in such a way, though I understand that it’s the sudden lack of it that makes me crave the warmth.
While I insist my blood has thickened and that I love rewearing the two wool sweaters I own, I’ll simply have to bear with with those midnight reminders that may haps I miss the sun.
(But you know I just miss wearing sundresses, right?)
I made the relocation. It was a long time coming, predestined before the move back home, and now the miles have been traversed and I am here! I’ve arrived! The great Nixodus has occurred!
And while it’s a breath of sweet, sweet fresh air, it doesn’t change the fact that I’m living out of boxes. My wardrobe is but a decaying corpse, bloating within its mobile coffin, ready to spill forth its guts and tarnish the ground with loose skirts, bras and jackets. I can’t keep it contained, this string of intestines, and what arrived as an organized body of clothing has only manifested into a crime scene.
Which brings to hand the arduous task of getting dressed when your closet is a metaphoric cadaver.
Here’s what I learned:
1) Organize your suitcases beforehand. I’ve got business in one, party in the other, and I simply turn to the appropriate bag when tackling the morning ritual.
2). Have a separate bag for dirty laundry. Eff the idea of errant, dirty socks (panties) schmoozing with your fresh and so clean linens. No. Get a laundry bag, fool.
3). Hanging wrinkled clothes in a steaming bathroom is bullshit. You gotta do some old-fashioned ironing or pick up some spray-on wrinkle relaxer. You may be living out of a suitcase but you really don’t need to look like it.
4). And relax. You just moved to a new city! What an adventure. Now stop fretting, put some pants on and drink a mimosa (bottomless), please.
And now here are some lovely snaps of my first week in San Francisco.
My best friend Mai and I were watching something like Life of Pi or that gangster flick with Ryan Gosling when we first saw the trailer for The Great Gatsby. Since then, we’ve been all a flutter for this film, (re)reading the book and engaging in countdowns. And while the culmination of our wait was somewhat bit mediocre, there’s still a lingering impact that Gatsby has left in its wake.
Similar to how Lisbeth Salander silently lent her gothic aura to the mainstream wardrobe, so too did Daisy Buchanan.
And there’s no denying the sudden and uproarious influx of drop-waist dresses. They’ve been coming out all season and the one before, from A.L.C.’s silk paisley dress to a color-blocked basic from T by Alexander Wang. And while the 20s dress emphasized a kind of shapelessness, from sheath dresses to tunic tops, it didn’t take away from a woman’s sultry femininity. Pearls, lace, and feathers were adornments that helped to retain a kind of sexuality despite the onset of slacks and short bobs.
Which is just the kind of juxtaposition that titilates my fashion hankerings!
So go ahead and throw me in a drop waist. Give me chunky heels, lace for days and enough pearls to make the ocean rise two centimeters from the tears of death-row oysters. And then top it off with some glitzy hair comb or a darling cloche hat to take it back 100 years. I’ll be the splitting image of my great-grandmother and it’ll bring instant zen to my white ancestors.
This collage pretty much assembled itself into three darling outfits that are perfect for brunches, affairs and lurid house parties. While I don’t particularly advocate three-way cheating, I do support day drinking, patio lounging and clothes flinging. With these classy pieces, you could easily reenact the worst romance in history, or simply have a particularly stylish evening out.
So read the book, skip the movie and dress like that sultry Jordan Baker. And if you’re looking for a few good cocktails to drive the theme home, then check out this Gatsby alcohol guide which will surely get you there.
Hi. I’m back in the U.S. of A. and I don’t know how to balance my life post Japan.
!. Holiday season is upon us like a cunning little beast and I simply can’t out-manuever its deftness and frustrating omnipresence. Secret: Holidays give me anxiety! I’m sure this is true of many-a-folk, but I’m talking all holidays, even the good ones like St. Patrick’s Day and 4th of July. I usually remedy this by locking myself in my room for that day or braving the jovial world with sweaty palms and the occasional outburst of tears (New Year’s Eve is the worst). However, I just feel like if I had the perfect holiday dress, I could get through it just slightly better.
@. I so dearly want to add more posts to Amalgamode but I no longer see my darling best-friend-photographer, Mai, with the frequency with which I used to. Therefore, in my failure to exercise self help, I abandoned my blog altogether. To the every and nothingness of the Interwebz, my sincere apologies. My Instagram is still littered with a few diddys, though. @Nixfunkle if you dare.
#. There was a magical pond in Kyoto that was replenished by a magical fountain that flowed from the base of a holy temple. While there was magic lore to be happened upon everywhere there, my focus for this tale centers around the pond. It is said that if you make a wish, dip your pinky in the water and not speak until it dries completely, then your wish will come true. I approached the pond with clear intentions, the wish at the tip of my tongue, but the second before my finger broke the surface tension, a new wish sprang forth, one that I hadn’t even realized I desired. “How strange,” I thought, “that I desire this so strongly.” And while my superstitions precede my ability to write what that wish was, I do feel as if the tectonic plates on which my life is built have shifted because of that moment. I have a changed direction, though, rest assured, it involves a bit more writing. Ah, the quest for life happiness! What a strange adventure.
$. I’ve been consuming a significant increase of ice cream.
So those are my pictureless updates. Read if you dare. Life is about to get weird.
Despite sleep deprivation, late bed times and early starts, Jet Lag managed to dupe us all by auto-waking us in the dark hours of the morning. Like zombies rising from the earth, we all pushed through the fog of sleep at varying hours: 5 a.m., 6, 6:30. We watched the sun rise as we rolled around in bed, scoffing at our brains for not retaining the memo that, hello, we’ve trekked beyond the International Date Line.
Jet Lag. It gets you every time.
So with a begrudging skip to our steps, we made our way down to Shinagawa Station to pick up our Rail Passes for the week and do some humble shopping.
*Do you remember that scene from The Lion King where that herd of wildebeasts pummels through the plains and canyons until they trample Mufasa to death? Well, that’s the image that plays through my mind as I navigate the train stations here. Everyone moves in this compact formation that, without dedication and a certain amount of finesse, would be completely impenetrable without the risk of becoming a King of the Past.
Regardless, we still played a bit of frogger and survived the few hours we had to meander around the train station. Then we ate some stellar food.
In keeping up with the “fashion blog” aspect of Amalgamode, I’ll throw in today’s outfit. Like everyone else these days, I’m in absolute lust over Oxblood everything and these jeans have fit with just about any top I throw at it. The sweater is another die-for piece by Mossimo (I had no idea they survived the 90s), which complements the enviable cool fall mornings here.
Next up, we made the first of our Sponsor Visits at the Shisedo headquarters on the outskirts of Ginza. We got to put into practice the things we’ve been trained to do, from introducing ourselves in Japanese to bowing. The following photo is of the court and our advisor in the Shisedo Lobby.
(Ps. I know it looks suggestive, but I’m actually pretending to put on lipstick).
Once our meeting was over, we walked to Ginza (a name that reminds me of Final Fantasy) and did some shopping, following which, we had an amazing Japanese dinner.
All-in-all, a wonderful, spectacular day 2. Good night!