Stepping into what used to be the Grand Hall; all that’s left is moss and broken stones. The energy of lives that once filled this room still vibrates in the air, though weakened after hundreds of years. Green and golden hues fill each and every crevice and crack. Spiral staircase towers and medieval architectural planning construct a playground. Curiosity all consuming, it pulls me to each new doorway. I skip down halls, dance through old bed chambers, giggle with an adolescent excitement as I climb my way up to the top, taking the steps two at a time.
The ceiling crumbled centuries ago, but I would wager that the princesses and princes who once lived here would have preferred it this way – natural light exposing every thoughtful detail, inscribed initials and family crests. Grand windows would have once let light kiss the floors, but now the sun’s rays flood every room without obstruction.
Window seats provide the same function they were once intended for; sitting, gazing, wondering. The journal comes out, the pen pours ink. What is it that’s making my heart burst here? I’m in love with this place. I’m in love with the way I feel here; enchanting, magnificent.
Something so grand that makes me feel so minute and humbled. People felt here, people loved here, people lived here. Their entire world reduced to rubble around me. Joys and sorrows long forgotten, but still present – the taste of abandoned ruins is so bittersweet. It’s a spiritual experience to truly recognize evidence of other worlds than your own; the palpability of knowing you make up less than one second in the clock of the world and its history.
All the wonders of the world don’t compare to what I’ve unearthed here. It’s a storybook, and coming here in solitude is allowing me to understand how I am in fact my own fairytale ending. I am a princess, twirling about in what used to be the King’s Throne Room. I record a mental movie of myself in this moment, later to be projected onto my dreams, and I continue on my way.
“Fast fashion.” You’ve heard the term; you get the gist. But did you know these facts about it?
Behind oil, fashion is the 2nd most polluting industry.
In 2013, the average American threw out 70 pounds of clothing.
Workers in factories which produce fast fashion are severely underpaid, making as little at $10 a month.
Trends are coming and going even faster than they did 5 years ago, a phenomenon which is made possible by the fast fashion industry, but also encourages the accelerated consumption of clothing.
It’s contributing to the demise of truly original style. (This is a personal opinion but I’m sure many others agree).
Fast fashion is the phenomenon occurring throughout the world of cheaply made clothing selling for cheap, then getting tossed into the trash after only a few wears. It’s propagated by stores like H&M, Zara, Forever 21, and others of the like. It’s effects on the earth are horrendous, and it’s only just now gaining notoriety as a world issue.
I’ll be the first to admit, I own pieces from each of the stores I’ve just named. As a student, those price points are near irresistible as well as the styles offered. But throughout the past year or so, the darker truths behind these stores have failed to escape my observation, and I can’t un-imagine what I now feel towards the industry.
With the widespread newfound negativity towards fast fashion, thrift shopping is becoming increasingly popular. It’s the cheaper alternative to small scale, locally sourced or sustainable brands, and it usually gives way to some very interesting pieces. Of all the encounters I’ve had in which I’ve complimented a piece of clothing, about 60% of responses I receive are, “Thanks! I got it in a thrift store,” or “It’s vintage!”
So the draw to thrifting in these trying times is obvious. But let me tell you, if thrifting was a sport, I would be picked last in gym class every time. While I’ve of course found some gems (it’s hard not to when you’ve lived in San Francisco), I would hardly call myself a thrift shopping connoisseur and am the last to give advice to others on the subject.
So instead, I’m taking you all along on the journey as I better acquaint myself with this world of ill-fitting jackets and 80’s shoulder pads, hopefully uncovering some stars along the way.
A little over a month in Edinburgh, and I’m enraptured.
Here are 18 photos from my first weeks abroad that only manage to capture about 5% of the beauty I’ve experienced. I couldn’t possibly describe the context behind every captured moment, but I think they speak pretty well on their own. (But if you’re curious about location, I’ll list those at the bottom).
2. – 3. Edinburgh Castle
4. High Street
5. – 6. Inverary
7. – 8. Oban
9. St. Giles Cathedral
10. Lovecrumbs Cafe
11. View from my window :~)
12. Fortitude Coffee
13. Calton Hill
14. Arthur’s Seat
15. – 18. Glenfinnan (filming spot for the Hogwarts Express (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) and Black Lake (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire))
In September of 2013, I started a blog. Looking for a creative outlet for my innate earnestness to enter the fashion world, TheClosetCraze served as the perfect platform. And for over 3 years (can you believe it?) it has fulfilled its duties and been what I needed it to be, when I needed it. I’ve experienced times of intense motivation to create content, and just as much I’ve left it alone to focus on other life experiences.
TheClosetCraze was an idea birthed from my 16-turned-17-year-old mind. Wrapped up in a world flooded with like-minded teenage girls just trying to “make their mark” on the fashion world and worshipping Danielle Bernstein, I naturally fell into step with the rest. As any unseasoned young girl, a little too scared to wear what she really wanted to wear and act how she really wanted to act, it was easy to think what I was doing was right when everybody else was doing it too.
By no means am I discrediting what TheClosetCraze has done for me – it has helped me to blossom and flourish in so many ways. On my journey since its inception, it has not only enabled me to trace where my style has gone as its surface purpose prescribes, but it has provided the much needed encouragement to ride the wave of my imagination rather than chase it.
But it’s clear to me, and hopefully to you as well, that I am not the same self that I was when I was 16. And it seems to me that running a blog that no longer reflects where I am in life – creatively, intellectually, and otherwise – doesn’t make much sense.
So I present to you, the blonded.
the blonded is just a blog. No more, no less. It’s the portal through which I will toss my thoughts and feelings into the black hole of the internet. Fashion still plays the primary inspiration in the blonded universe, but by removing the confines of definition, I feel that whatever my content will be, will be unreservedly me.