Exchange in Photos: Part I

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).

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1. Grassmarket

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))

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the blonded.

Blonded.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

Welcome to the blonded.

Take me on a trip

If you had asked me two years ago if I would be wearing this jacket today, I would have grimaced and mumbled something about being “too casual,” or “not black enough.” And even though the essence of my style has changed since then, my mind still drew a question mark when I saw it on the hanger. But it intrigued me enough to try it on, so I did – what happened next should be obvious. The structured shoulders and loose hang spoke to me in a way that they may not have in a different phase of my life.

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Free People Jacket, Levi’s Wedgie Jeans, Free People Boots

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I look at my closet and realize that most of the pieces I own are light-years away from where I thought they’d be only a small time ago, and I wonder, why does this happen? Why does our style change so dramatically yet so steadfastly? And I know what you’re going to say: trends. I get it, trends influence everybody, even the consistent ones among us. But I think beyond that, what we’re looking to get out of our clothes changes.

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For me, clothes aren’t just about how I look. I pick out a piece from my wardrobe and it doesn’t just tell me what color I’ll be wearing that day. A white frilly blouse peeks out among my hangers and it urges me to become the 70’s rock star I’ve always wanted to be. Suddenly, I’m thrown into a rebellious state and my beat up sneakers don’t look so ugly anymore, they look well worn in and beckon adventure. My sweet heeled loafers (shoes you’ve yet to see) call out to me to hop on a flight to Paris and spend the day reading French literature with a bottle of wine and a baguette on a park bench. My clothes lead me to lives I haven’t lived, and they only bring me that much closer to the woman I want to become: adventurous, brave, curious, and strong.

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I’m sure, in ten years’ time, that the places my clothes take me won’t be backstage at a Rolling Stones concert or walking along the Seine River – they’ll transport me to other locations and lives that will bring me closer to my desired end state.

But for now, I’m going to keep wearing this jacket until I don’t quite feel like camping out in the African plains anymore.

 

Feminize

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In light of all the leopard we saw this past fashion week and an attempt to ~feminize~ my fall look…

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Finding this dress was a blessing sent from another realm. In this weird transitional time I keep finding myself gravitating towards my baggy jeans, vans, and simple tees, and leaving my look at that. While I’m all for simplicity, the effortless cool one feels whilst wearing blue jeans and a white tank has gradually slipped into a mundane dressing routine, and I’m beginning to hate it.

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The result of this pendulum swing is a newfound attraction to more feminine dressing that I haven’t felt in a long time. Just in time for fall, too, when life is becoming routine again and I need something refreshing. Wearing a skirt or a dress can put a spring in my step that nothing else can, and you don’t need baggy jeans to bring you down when school is already doing so.

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Here’s to another 2 (maybe 3) weeks of being able to wear this dress! Then I’ll have to start engaging my brain while getting dressed again.

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