second life I, II and III

January just sort of tumbled into February, marked by the Lunar New Year. A few things that happened in the transition.


Sometimes you buy things and they just sit there because you're not sure what to do with them. I bought a tunic last year in Thailand. I knew it was a mistake because I don't wear tunics and it was too short to be a dress, but the blocks of colour were so appealing.

This sounds like a classic mistake, but last week I impulsively picked up my scissors and snipped the bottom off, leaving a small strip of beige behind. The result: a charming "on-trend" colour block t-shirt that brings a welcome change to my repertoire of black and white t-shirts.

Most of the nonsense impulse mistakes are just that: mistakes. But with a little effort, I can sometimes save things from becoming a total waste.


I literally ached for this book, but whenever it popped up on ebay or Amazon, it was always a little too pricey. Just when I was about to take the plunge on a offering on ebay, I gave Amazon one last try, and there it was, a copy marked as "used" going for less than US$50. It carried warnings for possible folded pages and underlining, but I've never minded books in less than mint condition.

It arrived last week, and it was in excellent condition, although the cover was slightly weathered. For me, Peter Lindbergh's brand of gritty glamour defined fashion. The book contains some of the first few fashion pictures I saw that left a deep impression on me. I don't know to whom this booked belonged to and why that someone didn't want it, but on my shelf, it will be treasured once more.



My aunt, who has no daughters, brought out a big box of her costume jewellery for us to plunder when we stayed at her house in Malaysia over the Lunar New Year. Her style is colourful, bold, bohemian, so there were many beautiful beaded pieces we oohed and aahed over but didn't take home. But we did literally strike gold a few times. The quality of her costume jewellery is incredible; they're all in excellent condition, considering the age of some of them, and the clasps and closures all feel very solid.

The deco-Egypto silver and gold necklace has tiny carvings that give the piece depth and texture. The snake-like one also works as a bracelet and is the only piece I see myself wearing. My younger sister rocked the gold link necklace right away - it's perfectly pitched between bold statement piece and Chinese loanshark. The faux-jade bead long necklace went to my mum - it's luminous on skin. The gold knot necklace is our favourite: clean, simple glamour. I was super excited when I saw the triple-strand faux pearl necklace, so very Breakfast at Tiffany's. None of us have figured out a way to wear pearls without looking all dowager-ish though, but they looked fantastic on my mum. And so old things are new again.


All great finds, of course I love the jewelry the most! :)
miss sophie said…
what a fantastic post. i love those moments of brazen inspiration when you decide to give little-worn pieces new life. and your aunt's trove of jewelry is just so wonderful. there must be so many fun and fascinating stories behind those pieces! the gold knotted chain and pearl strands are my fave :)
Ammu said…
Ooh, what a lovely find the Lindbergh book is! And the jewelry is gorgeous - the snake piece is my favourite too. And I love pearls - just wear it over tees and trousers. I inherited a small Mikimoto strand - given to mum by her dad when he visited Tokyo - and wear it constantly with tees. Hope you had a fun vacation!
lin said…
Pret a Porter P: It's easy to see why :)

miss sophie: my aunt is a pretty interesting woman, i definitely need to get those stories out of her!

ammu: what a lovely thing to inherit. i can't wait to wear the snake piece some time actually. when the right mood strikes i suppose.
Ammu said…
I know - the sentimental connection is the best part of wearing heirloom pieces. I think the snake necklace will look stunning with your white VB dress.
Great job on the tunic! If anything you can always re-purpose it as a cover-up in the summer, like a "nautical stripe" kind of look ;-)

I have an aunt who is constantly giving fine jewelry away to me and my sister - she keeps saying, oh I never wear these things any more, may as well give it to you young ladies! It kind of makes me sad to hear her say that, but I have yet to refuse anything. Though I doubt I wear the stuff as often as she thinks I do, they are just too precious for subway rides!
Alexandra said…
Lindbergh's photographs are so wonderful. I've always loved this shot of Angela Lindvall.
The Bohemienne said…
Beautiful jewelry! I've never been able to wear peals without feeling mumsy, but I see other ladies look so modern and chic in them. I've given up for now, but maybe I'll try again someday.

Great idea about the tunic--it looks great now. Very Rothko-esque.
lin said…
Ammu: That's an idea!

koko: I know what you mean by that sounding sad. At least you can give it new life. Do show some of them on your blog!

Alexandra: I love that shot (actually, that whole editorial) too. I'm looking forward to collecting more books of his work.

The Bohemienne: Yes, my older sister actually looked very elegant in them but she also looked older. Not in a bad way but it's like she became a portrait. We'll have to figure it out...
Kate said…
i love the colour-block top - it's striped without being overly nautical, which is something i fall prey to very often. the jewellery is an amazing find, too! i love wearing things that have a bit of family history.
If Jane said…
so far so good i'd say...lovely post!
lin said…
Kate: Thanks, I never thought of it from a nautical point of view, and now I wonder how I missed it...

If Jane: Thanks!
marzena said…
lately, i'm really all for chunky necklaces. the gold ones seem just perfect...

and congratulations on the peter lindbergh book, such a good buy. and i have to agree with you on the development of his work. although i'm afraid that it would be really difficult to pinpoint the reason for it without falling back on clichés. what do you think?
info said…
Wow love those retro looking knotted necklaces (in gold). Looks like something straight from the 1920s 1930s. Simply Beautiful.

Tiffany @ Prayer Necklace
lin said…
marzena: I may not always like the evolution of a photographer's work, but I respect the impulse to grow and develop new styles - perhaps he was tired of his own "signatures" and treading familiar ground. And yet he uses man of the same tropes seen in his older work - but less effectively. What are yout thoughts?
marzena said…
i completely agree with you: it is important that a photographer has the liberty to let his style evolve over the years. to be honest, i would be quite disappointed if it would be otherwise. i think that it is perfectly normal that one's personal definition of aesthetics changes.
however, in this specific case the visual rhetoric of the photographer seems to have softened up. maybe it is just a question of sticking to his guns? maybe once you have worked out that your signature style is indeed "commercial", you don't want to spoil this specific quality. do you think that this would be just a cliché?

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