a Jordan Baker Halloween

“The bored haughty face that [Jordan] turned to the world concealed something…”

I’ve never been a flapper for Halloween and always wanted to be, but this year I’ll be more than just a flapper: my costume is inspired by Jordan Baker’s costume in the 2013 film version of The Great Gatsby, which I’m sure you know I’m obsessed with. I like the idea of my costume being semi-literature related, and the costume idea made me delve deeper into Jordan Baker’s character, and I realized I never paid her enough attention whenever I read Gatsby. Here’s a telling description of her:

Jordan Baker instinctively avoided clever, shrewd men, and now I saw that this was because she felt safer on a plane where any divergence from a code would be thought impossible. She was incurably dishonest. She wasn’t able to endure being at a disadvantage and, given this unwillingness, I suppose she had begun dealing in subterfuges when she was very young in order to keep that cool, insolent smile turned to the world and yet satisfy the demands of her hard, jaunty body.

Jordan is a professional golfer, so a self-made woman in a way. She was suspected of cheating during a game, moving the ball from “a bad lie.” Interesting choice of words, huh? She spends a lot of time in the beginning of the novel with Nick Carraway, who is “half in love with her” but lets her go when he begins to realize that she’s a careless person too, just like Daisy and Tom Buchanan.

A lot of Jordan’s characterization is sacrificed in the movie, but with costumes like these, it’s hard to care:


I’m modeling my costume after her black dress, and I like that the clothes I’ve chosen don’t have a typical drop-waist silhouette. I have this irregular hem skirt and a halter top, along with a whole lot of jewelry. I’ve still got some shopping to do but I’ll post the costume here when it’s done! Can’t wait for Halloween…

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DIY: Gatsby Heels

A few months ago I wrote this post on my love for Carey Mulligan’s Gatsby-inspired Vogue spread last year. I decided to recreate the blush pink shoes she is wearing in one of the photos, and the process was actually really fun, although time consuming. Today I wanted to share with you all some pictures of the process along with details.

I have to preface this by saying I really didn’t know what I was doing until I started, and it just happened to work out! So if any of you want to try DIY projects but aren’t really 100% sure you know what to do, just try! The worst thing that can happen is a messed-up shoe and maybe some gluey fingers.

What I wanted:

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So, I started with black and white heels from Alibaba, that kind of cheap online store with shoes that tend to smell funny:

IMG_4872 IMG_5004And I bought two kinds of metallic paint (same finish is important), lots of jewels and beads, paintbrushes, E-6000 glue, and high gloss finishing spray. I also borrowed a box cutter (very sharp!) and laid down some old rags to work on. J5184x3456-82031J5184x3456-82041J5184x3456-82044J5184x3456-82053J5184x3456-82066J5184x3456-82096-2As you can see from these pictures, first I stenciled out the cut-outs that appear on the original heel. Then, because I got nervous, I switched over to painting the black heel the same off-white as the shoe upper. I used a Martha Stewart acrylic paint with a satin finish and it came out so well! See more…

After painting the heel and stenciling the design, I carefully used to box cutter to slice into the shoe. I did this in a quick, strong swipe to make the cut smooth. It’s dangerous, so be careful! I put a pincushion inside the shoe to absorb the blade on the other side.

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Then it was time to paint the shoe. I used a combination of copper metallic paint and silver metallic paint to achieve a blush pink tone. I painted two coats of the mixture on the toe and then swiped a bit of the paint on the rim of the shoe to cover all the black. I also dabbed a little of the pink paint on the inside of the cuts I made, to match the original shoe.

After came the fun, but very meticulous, bedazzling of the heel. This challenged my patience but it was also really satisfying in a way!

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I used a tweezer to dip the rhinestone into a pool of glue and then stuck it on the heel–about 200 times (this took a couple weeks. My stubborn personality was a major factor in the success of this project). I bought bigger stones for the top of the heel and also put some pearls in there for good measure.   J5184x3456-82033Finally, they were finished and dried. I sprayed a light coat of high shine spray on the cap toe and it came out dazzling. The E-6000 glue is supposed to hold up to anything, but just in case, I’ve saved a few stones to replace should any go missing!

The inspiration:

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The finished project:

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Hope you enjoyed! See my other shoe DIYs by clicking the tab above or going here.



Fashion: Fall Seven Times

DIY boots! I recently wore this on a windy day to a brunch in Soho with some friends. It was unseasonably warm out a couple weeks ago and I got so excited I decided to put on some flowery shoes! These shoes are actually really comfortable but I had to glue them up a bit more to stop all the fraying. Hopefully the stubborn, crazy strong E-6000 glue holds because I can’t give these shoes up. They’re too pretty.

I can’t wait for spring to really come!

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shoes DIY, top from Garage, skirt from H&M, jacket from Charade

“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.”
― Paulo Coelho, Alchemist

Wear Your Books

Inspired by my previous bookish look, I wanted to see if there were any fabulous book-related fashion items I could wear to flaunt my nerdy love for books. A Pinterest scour yielded many, many pretty results. Too many. I’d love any number of these items, but my favorites are that tutu made of pages from a book and that gorgeous skirt, which would make a great DIY project for a lazy Sunday. I’ve actually done the newspaper nails, as well, but mine did not come out that perfect! Screen Shot 2014-03-02 at 12.57.33 PM

The bib necklaces are unbelievably beautiful. The first one I especially love, since it is a quote from one of my favorite poems of all time, T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land:

“April is the cruellest month, breeding
lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
memory and desire, stirring
dull roots with spring rain.”

The Waste Land is mesmerizing and lush in its beauty and pain. The other quote is Virginia Woolf:

“I thought how unpleasant it is to be locked out; and I thought how it is worse, perhaps, to be locked in.”

Another thing I loved when I saw it on Pinterest were these shoes covered with book pages:


I’m not crazy about the papier-mâché texture of the shoes. If I do these, I want to find a way to make them flat and shiny instead. I’d also probably want to make the type white on a matte-black shoe, to make it more wearable. I swear, I can’t stop with these shoe DIYs! See more here, here, here, and here. Oh, my.

All images are from Pinterest, and the links may be found on my Polyvore page.

Fashion: A Bookish Look

A bookish look in honor of Jane Austen and her scathing character portrayals. Lizzy Bennet is one of my favorite characters in all of fiction, as she should be to any book lover and admirer of strong women who are also intelligent, flawed, and emotional. Austen knew what she was doing when she wrote characters like Lizzy, Emma, and Catherine, among others, who are smart, arrogant, funny, proud, naive, and dynamic. Austen consistently makes me laugh out loud. And I dearly love a laugh.

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Pride and Prejudice shirt and lace collar from Etsy, shoes DIY, skirt from Forever 21

“I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me.” – Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Literature and Fashion, 1920s Style

In the summer of 2013 I gathered all my courage to see The Great Gatsby in theaters, and found with delight that I loved it. I thought the film captured all the drama, emotional nuances, and pain of the story, but adapted it to fit a contemporary audience with a eye for spectacle. I may have loved the clothes even more, though. When the May 2013 Vogue spread starring Carey Mulligan hit magazine stands, I salivated over the clothes. It also helps that Mulligan is gorgeous and that her looks are so well-suited for a 20s-themed shoot.

The pictures were so beautiful that I couldn’t help clipping out the photos and making a collage, arranging the photos in a frame that I hung on my wall (I say this like it’s new, but really, half my wall space is filled with collaged magazine spreads). I especially loved that these photos, full of gorgeous 1920s fashion, also incorporated one of my favorite novels. Seriously, it was Keira Knightley’s Pride and Prejudice all over again.



I also typed out my favorite line from the novel and printed it on vellum paper so I could lay it on the photo spread.

It was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness


In other news, now I can’t stop staring at the shoes Carey Mulligan is wearing in the blush pink dress. I think it may be about the time I start another project… 😉

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Today I scoured the Internet looking for cream heels in a similar shape. So far, little luck, but that’s never daunted me before. I’m sure a strange blush-pink homemade shoe tutorial is in this blog’s future.

Only Gatsby, the man who gives his name to this book, was exempt from my reaction–Gatsby who represented everything for which I have an unaffected scorn. If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures, then there was something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life…This responsiveness had nothing to do with that flabby impressionability which is dignified under the name of “creative temperament”–it was an extraordinary gift for hope, a romantic readiness such that I have never found in any other person and which it is not likely I shall ever find again. No–Gatsby turned out all right in the end; it was what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.” (6-7)

It’s passages like these that make me love Gatsby (and Gatsby), and make me drunk on the beauty of Fitzgerald’s prose. I’m such a sucker for a tragic love story and a lonely boy.


DIY: Flapper Shoes

A few months ago, I got it into my head that I wanted a flapper birthday. Or, more specifically, a Gatsby-esque birthday, complete with cloches, bottomless champagne, and an attentive Leonardo DiCaprio. I told my sister my great idea, telling her that everyone can wear cute hairbands and glittery skirts with fringe and bob their hair (extreme, but still) and she says, “Um, isn’t that a little weird? Like, for all of us to go out dressed like flappers like it’s Halloween?”

And so, with her judgmental reaction, my dreams were crushed. But it had gotten me thinking about the outfit I wanted to wear on my birthday, and the shoes. In the Twenties, and even until the Forties, designer shoes were custom-made, and the heels were specially ordered by style. These heels were made from celluloid to create a marbled look and came in all colors, jewel-tone and pastel alike. Oh, and they were also bedazzled to the extreme. The amount of detail on these heels are so phenomenal that particular ones are featured in fashion-related museum exhibitions and carefully preserved.

I wanted them.

Here are some examples:



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So I collected all these pictures and prepared to make my very own flapper-inspired shoes. (Seriously, I need an intervention.)

I started with the heel:

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I found these for $25 at my local Easy Pickins (Modcloth had them for $40 + shipping!) and then I ordered two sample-size swatches of fabric from a fabric website. They were 3 x 5″ swatches, which was the perfect size for the back of the shoe.

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Then, I ordered a beaded appliqué piece from Etsy that I tore apart to reveal only the jeweled parts, along with some blue rhinestones from a craft store. I also picked up white paint.

Photo Oct 01, 5 54 28 PM Photo Oct 01, 1 15 18 AM (1)I started by making patterns of the back of the shoe with muslin, then cutting out the correct size fabric:

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Glued it on with simple fabric glue.

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Lovely! Now the heel…

I used white paint with a little shimmer in it to duplicate that shiny, celluloid effect. It’s not perfect, but I like the way it came out:

Photo Oct 02, 2 30 04 PM Photo Oct 02, 3 33 44 PMI put two coats and then cleaned up any “coloring outside the lines” with a toothpick. Then it was time to bedazzle!

Photo Oct 02, 11 23 08 PMI glued the appliqué on the heel with E-5000 glue, the strongest thing known to man. I also used it to attach little blue rhinestones to the outline of the heel, shown below!

Photo Oct 03, 1 05 09 AM (2)Here they are! My very own bespoke Twenties-inspired heels.

fashion: frozen

Yes, I was frozen when I took these photos outside! But it’s okay, because I love the cold. I wore this snow-inspired outfit to a Christmas party this week!


This old skirt from H&M was far too long; I bought it a couple years ago but only wore it once or twice, but I decided to hem it so I could wear it this season. My sister cut the skirt because I can’t be trusted with scissors.


This skirt makes me wish I could be a ballerina, if only I had the smallest amount of dance talent!

IMG_2518Blush pink and burgundy is my absolute favorite color combination; I must wear some form of it every other day!

skirt H&M – heels Tobi – lace top Garbage – tattoo tights Etsy – fur vest Charade – coat Modcloth