Tuesday, July 30, 2013

kOs Has Moved!

It is decided: as of August 1, 2013, all new posts will be posted only on the new site, http://musingsofbuffyleigh.wordpress.com. That is, the new version of kOs has almost the same URL, but with 'wordpress.com' instead of 'blogspot.[insert your country's top level domain here]'. This original version of kOs will remain in existence both for my own purposes (in editing the copied posts whose formatting got screwed up in the move), and because links referring back to older posts will not be changed (at least in the foreseeable future) and will thus lead the curious reader back here. Also, I've been weeding out a lot of the older posts on the new site because they just weren't up to snuff formatting-wise and/or were throw-away/rather embarrassing posts. Those will remain here in all their awkward glory for those who want to explore kOs' roots.

I sincerely hope you all will make the transition with me and update your bookmarks/blog reader/email subscription. I'm quite happy with the new formatting I've settled on, with less scrolling needed, a cleaner presentation sans-sidebar, wider space for each post, and a much easier commenting process. If you have any trouble navigating it though or really really miss something that I've eliminated with the new look (e.g. the sidebar), let me know. The new site even has a contact form (click 'Contact' on the top navigation bar or here), so please feel free to send me any comments that way. Also, as I never had a WordPress account before, I could never follow WordPress blogs. I'm sure I've been missing out on some good stuff, so please send me any suggestions of WP blogs I should follow.

Anywho, it's been lovely spending time with you here on Blogger. Hope to see you on WordPress.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Vote for Pedro (or me)


So Fashion156 put out a call for someone to take over their blog for a week. I entered with my nerdy Sulpicia stuff, and I just received word that I'm one of the 7 finalists chosen by the Fashion156 people. Now, it's up to Fashion156's readers and Facebook fans to decide who the winner is. If you're interested in voting, go here or here and leave a comment/like for my entry...if you can guess which one is mine (hint: it's under my top secret name). Thanks!

(Photo from Florent Tosi, which you've already seen here and which I used in my submission to illustrate my Sulpicia-themed posts)

Moving pains*

So, just a quick update on the possible blog-moving. I played around with the different free themes WordPress has to offer today, and of course the one I chose that best suits the content of kOs does not allow for embedded videos in normal posts. I.e. I'd have to pay $60 a year to re-insert videos (that you can watch on the YouTubes or here for free) into old posts, as the videos that were already embedded in the original posts are now gone in the imported copies, and embedding videos in a pre-existing post is not possible. Is anyone opposed to not being able to watch videos directly on the WordPress kOs in the old posts? I can go back to any old posts that had videos to insert the URL, and perhaps should anyway since I'm sure some videos have been taken down by now. Let me know if this matters to you.

And speaking of going back, I have to go back and reformat literally every old post. In the import process, nearly all my careful formatting got lost in translation, such as specific picture-sizing and spacing inserted before/after photos and at the end of posts. I rather like the theme I was working with today (apart from the no-video nonsense) and the overall much-needed makeover, so I have already taken the time to re-edit a few pages of posts. The earliest posts though are complete disasters and not worth the work, in my opinion. So, I'm thinking I should completely delete some of the early posts from the WordPress site, and just leave them here if anyone feels the need to read them. Any thoughts? Of course, this would mean that I won't delete this site at all, but I'm already thinking that's necessary since all my references in kOs posts to other kOs posts link back here and not to the imported copies of the posts on the new WordPress site. Any thoughts/feelings/impressions are welcome.

(Photo that I had saved ages ago via Fashion156, from Parkeharrison)

*This is also posted on the Blogger site, in a slightly modified form.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Do I Move You

I did this today: http://musingsofbuffyleigh.wordpress.com/.

Any thoughts about a platform move? It seems much trickier formatting photos to my liking on WordPress, so that's a big vote against for me. I also can't figure out how to change the colour of the post titles to non-blue. I hate blue fonts. Oh, and there's no back button for editing changes I decide against while writing a post. However, it does look nice and clean all around. And I have to use Safari to work with Blogger, something which no one should have to do in the 21st century. Let me know what you think and I'll do up a couple more posts on WordPress to test it out before making a final decision.

(Photo via NJAL from British knitwear designer Amber Hards, of whom you can see more on the test WordPress site)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Of what was everything

It kind of makes me grumpy that she's making me think of cold weather, but this padded jacket by Barbara Í Gongini is perfect. Like a leather-less version of something Lisbeth Salander (as portrayed by Noomi Rapace, of course) would wear. Love. To end on a nicer weather note though, here's another piece from Barbara, which is like a sleeker version of the deconstructed ArtLab tee I've worn countless times. All is forgiven, Barbara.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Folding faces

I've thought it for the last few days, but today I actually said it out loud: my PhD thesis idea is dead. Sigh. Which is not to say that I definitely won't be doing a PhD, I just no longer have a case for getting my department to allow me to do an interdisciplinary PhD rather than a strictly Classics one. Meaning my next option is to do a UK PhD, which is about 4X the tuition per year, and thus many years of real employment away. Ah well, researching for that was getting in the way of the more present-day concern of finishing my Masters thesis on time. The books I checked out for the PhD topic also smelled a lot more than the Masters ones. Anyway, the contents of my brain and my thesis-idea notebook now look like the prints of London-based designer Frances O'Leary's S/S 14 collection (found via NJAL), i.e. metaphorical lines drawn to link ideas/cultural phenomenon in a coherent manner, but being more or less just jumbled up lines that have nothing to do with the original elements. Pretty and interesting, but not dissertation worthy. I actually have half a mind to just use the pages of that thing to wallpaper my study or something. Or write a fantasy novel with those ideas. Hmm...

Thursday, July 18, 2013


I've always loved a good clean white button-up, but I haven't actually owned one for at least a decade. I just can't keep it clean enough (and it reminds me of working in an oppressive bakery). This BA grad collection from Natalia Troitskaya (found via NJAL) though has made me realize what it is that I love about the white button-up: the cuffs. And if that's the case, I don't even need the whole shirt, just something made of white button-up cuffs. Like a long skirt. Also, I might revive my search for a McQueen men's tuxedo jacket so I can turn it into a shrug (notice the back of the second look in the third photo). Though perhaps that's what I should do with the McQueen that is nearly a week into its freezing cycle. Reducing the fabric should reduce the smell, right? That's just logical. Though at this point, I'm thinking I should probably just resell it. Any offers on a freshly cleaned size 44 wool/cashmere mid-length 2007 McQueen that is perfect other than an expensive perfume smell, some mending done in the sleeve lining (from previous owner) and a couple other small holes in the lining? Speaking of offers, I think tomorrow is the day to photograph some stuff I'll be putting up for sale. Oh boy.

Monday, July 15, 2013


These fantastic grunge-meets-classic-meets-futuristic looks are from Brussels-based designer Alice Knackfuss' collection entitled 'Syncopia' (found via NJAL). And though the collection is inspired by Rachael in Blade Runner, I think that, given Alice's definition of the collection title, it also stands as a stylistic representation of today, Ian Curtis' birthday. I.e. the day that allowed for the syncopation of music as we know it and the creation of a musical utopia that was all too brief. Happy birthday, Ian. Now, time to spin Unknown Pleasures...

Friday, July 12, 2013

McQueen blues and kapok dues

Since I'm anxiously sitting here whilst awaiting the results of my experimental treatment of my yet unworn F/W 07 Alexander McQueen wool/cashmere coat (i.e. machine washing it on the delicate cycle with vinegar to get the ridiculous perfume smells of the past owner out that are still around after 7 months of airing it out), I thought I'd share another eco-friendly tip for your home. With my almost year-old sensitivities to scents and many chemical smells, I'm being a lot more conscious as to what I surround myself with. And when it came time to replace our pillows, based on the bad reaction I had to our new Ikea couch, recommendations of staying away from foam (especially memory foam, which off-gasses for far too long), and my man's allergy to (and our mutual dislike of) down-filled pillows, I had a feeling that regular store-bought pillows of any type would not cut it anymore. So, even though the tight moving-time budget didn't really allow for it, I decided it was worth splurging on the one item that I stick my nose closest to for 7 to (I'll be honest) 11 hours a day. The local environmental boutique where I bought the hemp shower curtains had three options of environmental- and people-safe pillows, one stuffed with rubber, one with wool, and the other with the silken seed covering from the kapok tree. Since my man is allergic to rubber and the wool ones were $100 each, I went with the kapok option. And I'm sold. The pillow is rather firm as it's stuffed quite full, but there's a zipper in the organic cotton case so you can remove as much of the stuffing as you want. I like a good firm pillow anyway, and the kapok fibers conform a bit to your head, so I haven't removed any. Best thing of all though is that I no longer get stuffed up as soon as I put my head down on the pillow. I always thought it was a reaction to the air in the bedroom or simply lying down that caused that reaction when I went to bed. I had even been sleeping with a carbon mask for the last couple weeks to combat the stuffed nose reaction. But since getting the kapok pillow, I've been mask-free. Woo hoo! I would highly suggest thinking about the contents of your pillow next time you're in the market for a new one. Now, off to assess the damage to my McQueen. I'm scared.

Result: The jacket seems to be structurally okay except for maybe a separation in the lining seam that might've already been there, but the smell is still there. Sigh. Might have to soak longer in vinegar or baking soda and repeat. Though I'll need to balance the machine out next time with a towel or something, as it was much too loud during the spinning cycle. Anyway, 'dry clean only' is a lie, and spraying perfume on/near a McQueen coat is a heinous crime. And that's all I have to say about that.

(Photo of a kapok tree via here)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Hoist up the John B's sail

As I'd been practically living in this perfect (100% silk!) (reversible!) Ursa Minor piece (a.k.a. my first piece of mail at the new place) since it arrived, I thought I'd give it a break and put on my previously-usual hot weather outfit (i.e. something mydearthing). However, after a half hour of freaking out, thinking I had thrown away this upcoming year's scholarship due to my failure to hand in a form on time, the stress combined with the heat forced a costume change, and this dress was, of course, the first pick. Meltdown (literally and psychologically) averted. Though I'm slowing giving up hope that this dress will ever be off of me long enough to wash...

Speaking of washing, do any of you kOs readers have a hemp shower curtain? I just purchased a couple from my favorite brick-and-mortar store (an environmental boutique called Carbon), and I washed and dried one before hanging it after discovering that it was about a foot too long for my unmovable shower curtain rod. After that, it was the perfect length, but it seems to have stretched out quite a bit again after getting soaked from my man's shower. Is it safe then to dry it on medium heat each time I wash it to reshrink it, or will that weaken the fibers too much? Leave a comment or shoot me an email if you know. And if you haven't heard of hemp shower curtains, I highly suggest looking into it. It's the only fabric curtain you can get without a liner, as the hemp is tightly woven enough that the water doesn't go through it. It does get soaked with each shower, so there is a bit of maintenance to it (i.e. you have to wring it out and make sure it has some air flow to dry it out, and it has to be washed every week or two to avoid any mold growth). But from the reviews I've read, the work is worth it, as there's absolutely no toxic chemicals in it or smells released from day one. Vinyl shower curtains are one of the worst things you could ever bring into your home because of the constant off-gassing of VOCs, and they aren't even recyclable when you inevitably have to throw it out. That, my friends, is what you call 'totally lame'.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Yiqing Yin, F/W 13/14

Without any new (real) Alexander McQueen to look forward to and Inbar Spector being on a bit of break enjoying being a new mother, I thought my sources for haute couture had been depleted. But thankfully I was wrong, as Yiqing Yin has unknowingly volunteered herself for the role with her F/W 13/14 couture collection, just shown in Paris. Phewf. Interestingly, though I immediately gravitate to pieces that belong on Björk (i.e. the first one), I'm particularly drawn to the last one. And I think my man knows why more than I do myself. For, though agreeing with me on the Björk-ness of the first dress and the Oscar-ness of the third, he said that the last one looked like a Japanese cherry blossom tree painting. So much better than my description ('it looks like bandages'). Anyone interested in a 'Mr. Buffy Leigh's Fashion Impressions' feature?

(Photos via Yiqing Yin's Facebook)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Third gender dressing

These two pieces from the graduate (from London College of Fashion) collection of Alexis Housden do two things. First, they illustrate how the runway can act as a bad change room for even the most beautiful of pieces, as I don't think these photographed well at all in the catwalk show, yet incredibly well in the editorial shots. Second, they provide a couple costume options for Sulpicia, as the mixture of tailored masculine shapes with feminine detailed fabrics and neutral colours create an androgynous aesthetic that is, as Alexis says, fashion for a 'third gender'. I.e. a portrait of a poet as a young (wo)(man). Perfect.

(Runway photos via UK Vogue, others via here)

Seabrook and Bent

While looking for photos of my friend's nephew's graduate collection from Monday's London College of Fashion BA catwalk show, I fell for a graduate collection which is the collaboration of two other students, namely Shanna Bent and Lucy Seabrook. Though each of them separately are nothing new, the twisted detailing, the layered suit jackets, the simple shapes, the laid back palette, and, yes, even the platform flip-flops, just all work together rather effortlessly. As for the collection being a collaboration, from what I can tell (and forgive me/correct me if I'm wrong), the design, development, and twisted pieces are Shanna's work, and the colour palette, tailoring and tailored pieces are Lucy's work. Being a bit anal myself and considering group academic projects to be the worst invention ever, I wonder how it would work to collaborate with someone on something so important as a final project. But collaborating with many others is how it typically works in the fashion world, so Shanna and Lucy have already got one foot solidly in the real world. And they have a great collection to prove it.

(Photos via UK Vogue)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Dubito ergo Cogito

These looks are from Zam Barrett's S/S 14 collection, currently being presented in Paris and introducing a few new configurations to Zam's arsenal. Love love love. I have two pairs of drop crotch pants in my closet, but both of them are wool, making them completely irrelevant for when you need some extra air flow most, e.g. a ridiculously out of place heat wave that keeps you from washing the two already sweat-through dresses reserved for extra hot weather. I'm sure these ones would do just the trick. 

Monday, July 1, 2013


I'm not sure if Ilaria Nistri calling this collection 'SS14 Pre|view Collection' (i.e. preview with a line in the middle of the word) means that it is a pre-collection to the full S/S 14 collection (as the title of the Vogue webpage suggests), or if the title of the collection is 'Pre|view'. Whatever it is, I love it. Simple, no fuss, suitable for any season, lovely palette. Just wish I could show more pieces, as most of the non-leather ones are styled with the leather ones. Click here to view the whole (pre-?)collection.

Wait a minute. S/S 14? By the time this collection is available, I should be done my thesis. And I've basically not even started. Yikes.

(Photos via Vogue.it)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Blooming fabric

Though I have now far out-stayed my welcome on the still off-gassing couch that has just been allowed out of its airing out room (six months after we bought it), I couldn't tear myself away from my comfy toxic spot as I was intently perusing the website of my newest favorite find. The designer of the fairy-like pieces you see here is Berlin-based Beatrice Oettinger. Beatrice brings a whole new meaning to eco clothing, as the details of her impregnated organza clothing are made of things you would find in your garden or nearby forest: peas, seeds, beans, herbs and flowers. Bits of birch bark also become a textile in Beatrice's hands.

Beatrice also brings a new meaning to convertible clothing with such pieces as her top made with young popular capsules that eventually open up to release the poplar fuzz (the process of which I'm well acquainted with, being a step away from a forest of poplar trees)...

...or a dress with Clematis vitalba seeds that eventually bloom. 

Brilliant. As I'm in decorating mode and have made the 2nd bedroom into a thesis/sewing room, I'm also intrigued by her 'textile bakery' pieces, decorative dresses made of flour and various bits of plant, some of which are made into light covers. 

Now that we have room on our patio for more than 5 pots, thanks to Beatrice I'm thinking that I should choose the next things we will grow based on their fashion potential. I think I'll start with some peas...