I can't lie and tell you that I didn't heavily pack my best outfits I thought I could pull in centres of Hong Kong while on exchange here. Of course, with the trusty COVID-19, it has put my expectations in perspective and right now I'm just thankful I can still buy groceries. Plus, after I traveled to Jakarta for a break with the extended family, I ended up being under house arrest for two weeks, with wristbands for app-trackers and everything. Irregardless, it's not a crime to indulge in harmless escapist hobbies. My favourite at the moment? Pinterest(ing) every dream outfit imaginable and then proceeding to never buy any of the items because fast fashion is bad. But, the Pins can still serve as an inspiration, so I thought I would share them with you! Behold, my most recent Pinterest board additions...
F A S H I O N
As you can tell, I'm really interested in the squidgy right now. The sort of wacky and weird; dramatic linings, 70s psychedelic influences, zebra and cow print, soft hues but vibrant colours, cowboy boots, accentuation of the feminine shape, loud but understated. I think it's a very appropriate mood board for the spring time, without it being an obvious remnant of Easter's pastel throw-up. Yikes, graphic. I think after the winter season with it's over-the-top oversized silhouettes, I'm starting to lean towards the tight-fitting, skin-showing cuts again. Pinterest is, of course, dominated by the skinny, white, non-disabled body, but I do believe these pieces would look great on anyone. Out with the Instagram six-pack and in with the whimsical, fun and frilly fashion for all.
I N T E R I O R S
Aside from planning my outfits, I've also been manifesting a great deal. With manifesting, of course, comes the interior decoration. Similar to my fashion interest in the squidgy, I gravitate towards the spherical, the smooth, the groovy mixed with the almost vintage eclecticism that's distinctly European. I think my taste is very heavily influenced by the Scandinavian style but it's a lot more earthy and classic to move away from being too infantile. I've been thinking a lot about pottery, repurposed wood, and brass picture frames. I've also been obsessed with spaces like the Azulik hotel and Javier Senosiain's "Organic House", which you can definitely see here. Oh, and Emily Ratajkowski's loft home.
Let me know what's been on your mood boards!
If you know anything about me, you'd know that I'm a serial Pinterest boarder. I love a good Pinterest board. I have boards inside of boards to organise my pins. It is, however, mainly dominated by fashion inspiration and food recipes I might never try. Every time I feel like I don't have something to plan, I'll scroll through Pinterest to....you guessed it; plan some more. Namely, my outfits. I have a document on my Notes app solely dedicated to different outfit moods and ideas based on clothes I actually own. Since I get super excited about fashion, but don't really have a place to express said excitement, I thought I would share the outfits I plan (while discussing fashion trends and inspirations along the way) to wear when I go back to campus with you!
1. All White = Balloon Top + Wide-legged Denim
Model: Melchior Burgzorg
Street Food, however, does not follow that format. Instead, we learn about the food through the eyes of the local. The Jogja episode follows Mbah Sentinem, a 100 year old grandmother who makes jajanan pasar (market snacks). But more than that, this episode is a love story between Mbah Sentinem, her mother, the family she provides for, and her food. After watching it, it left a gnawing feeling of adoration for my culture at the depth of my stomach and it definitely made me cry. The food, the process, and all the actors in what makes food in Jogja delicious were wonderfully shot without that Orientalist, othering view that many "street food" shows have on TV.
On top of that, there is a huge stigma around being an active elderly in the Javanese culture, I've noticed. Once you reach a certain age, society tends to fuss over you and tell you to stay home, watch over the kids and take it easy. To watch Mbah Sentinem and all her vigor, all her love for life and hilarious humor made me so happy. It made me want to go back home and revisit all the places I went to as a child. I highly recommend.
First of all, the soundtrack is great. I love me some 90s Hip Hop/R&B. Second of all, Ali Wong's acting style is just so good. There's something extra hilarious about watching her small frame waddle in all her gigantic heeled boots.
Second of all, this has got serious feminist undertones, y'all!!! And not in the roll-your-eyes-we-get-it kind of way. Wong's character, Sasha, is a female power house who is supportive of and supported by her queer best friend. There are so many "woke" jokes that made me actually laugh instead of nod as though I'm listening to a preacher. Sometimes it's just so fun to laugh and completely get it without having to get into it, you know?
On top of that, a lot of mainstream rom-coms that try to feature strong female leads often get it wrong. They always have to sacrifice something, always have to dim their ambition. I always have a lot of hope riding on that final decision (usually it's the Work vs. Boyfriend/Fame vs. Boyfriend trope). And for a second those whack films had me guessing. I was like: wow, what is Sasha going to choose? Maybe she is selfish and a workaholic! Plot twist: she ain't. There was absolutely nothing wrong with her ambition all along! And loved ones who don't support what you want to do (and they, of course, must be good for you) are weak! End of story.
Oh, also, can we mention but not talk about Keanu Reeves? I read in an interview that Keanu Reeves basically helped develop the Keanu Reeves character. What a wild time that was. As a person who watched John Wick 3, I advise Keanu Reeves to quit martial arts and do comedy full time. Man.
The show explores sexual harassment, female friendships, addiction, confidence, anxiety, family, female ambition, female anatomy, and other general adulting things in the most absurdist way possible. I love it. It's hilarious. Also that scene where Bertie has a mental breakdown in the grocery store is exactly what I experience every single time I go grocery shopping.
Heroine by Col3trane - Col3trane released an albuuuum. How blessed are we this summer, y'all? So blessed. Too blessed. He just has such a distinct voice and all of his beats are always so good - yet so different. His entire Tsarina album was genius and I have to say Heroine is a great follow up. My favorite track from the record right now is The Fruits (I mean, a collab with RAYE? Come on.)
Sucker Punch by Sigrid - Now that we've established that Rosalía is the Spanish pop princess, let's establish that Sigrid is the Norwegian pop bad ass. I love girl power and Sigrid packs a massive punch (aha! Get it?) She is so talented and after watching a live video of her performing Strangers, I realized just how powerful her voice is - which you wouldn't otherwise guess considering how soft and melodic (and almost yodel-y her voice is on her tracks). Her music makes me feel like I'm Robyn in a neo-neon-horror film about a teen pop star. My favorites from the record are Don't Kill My Vibe, Strangers, and Sucker Punch.
- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer - Why did I like this book? Because it destroyed me, that's why. I think it was so gorgeously written and I love the way all the characters view life and deal with their love for life. Largely, it is a story about a little boy who lost his father due to 9/11 and goes on a scavenger hunt after he finds his father's last puzzle for him; a key. However, it's really about the small things in life that makes you feel glad you are alive. The love you share between you and the people around you, the kindness, the guilt, the fear, the heartbreak. My heart stings a little just thinking about it.
- Between The World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates - This book isn't even an "oh, yeah, that was a worthy read" type of situation. I think it's a "this book should be a bible and implemented in syllabi worldwide, but esppecially in the US". I won't write too much because I'm planning to post my book review, but it's basically just a heart-wrenchingly beautiful love letter from a father to his son about being black and having a black body in the United States of America. Read it.
- Sexy by Jhumpa Lahiri - This is a short story that's almost framed as if Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and The City had a racial existential crisis. Reading it at first, I thought the main character was a mixed-race woman. Turns out, she's white?! Wow. Wild. Basically it's a white woman who has an affair with a wealthy Indian man and as a way of getting closer to him, she tries to consume Indian culture as best she can. Or perhaps, as a way of getting closer to Indian culture, she tries to consume him as best she can. That's up to you to decide, I suppose.
Amazing Oriental, Dukenburg, Nijmegen - Okay, so let's take a moment of silence for the fact that most Asian stores in the Netherlands are called Tokos (Indonesian for "store") and Oriental. Heavy stuff. Anyway, I do recommend their Pisang Goreng and their bubble tea actually tastes like what bubble tea should taste like. It tastes like Chatime, y'all.
Whether it was binge-watching The Get Down on Netflix (which I highly recommend, by the way), or Uniqlo's seemingly endless supply of flared high-waisted pants, the essence of the 70's seems to be very much alive in me right now. What better way to express it than through fashion? Welcome to my latest (groovy) Auntie Look: 70's Galore edition.
Hi, folks! Guess who's back from the (academic) dead? You guessed it! I'm here and I'm ready to update you all on the fun times I had in Hong Kong over the winter break. Yes, I'm aware that was about a month and a half ago). And yes, I will also be posting the vlogs that I made while I was there real soon.
On another note, I wanted to share a great piece of Hong Kong with you all: the Mee & Gee thrift shop(s) in Mong Kok, Hong Kong. Situated on the sidelines of the lane that is blocked out for the Ladies Market in Mong Kok, Mee & Gee holds all sorts of hidden gems - ranging from FILA sweatshirts to boujie-silky blouses.
The store is wedged in a little alleyway, between a New Balance store and the famous Ladies Market. In the picture above, I'm posing right in the middle of said alleyway. As you can see, that $10 sign is legit, y'all.
Pro tip: there are two Mee & Gee stores right across the street from each other, but they do sell a different assortment of clothes to choose from. When I visited, I personally found more things in the Mee & Gee store by the New Balance shop. If you're looking for those crazy printed blouses specifically, I suggest you visit that one first. However, if you do have time, I recommend checking both out!
To take the look a few steps further, I paired the blouse with a gorgeous faux leather jacket from Musium Div., which I got for Christmas. Unfortunately, the faux leather started giving out and crumbling around the sleeves, so I traded it in for some other cute pieces (including a hoodie, two ribboned-trousers, and a colour-blocking mini skirt). At least it held up long enough for a great Insta post, though.
I also paired it with some slinky dress pants from H&M that I've had for forever. Obviously, the look would have been much more ethical and eco-conscious if I had paired it with some thrifted pants - which is a quest for my next Hong Kong trip!
To end the great day of an impromptu outfit photoshoot, my mother (aka my personal photographer) and the two kiddos (aka my siblings, whom we dragged around Mong Kok while we took pictures) stopped by the pop-up Sweet Monster shop. I got myself a citrusy-summery-bubbly drink and took a really cool picture so now you all have to look at it, too.
All in all, I learned that I am quite fond of looking like someone's grandmother from the 60's-80's. Still not sure which era those prints came from. Comment below if you know. Also, please don't hesitate to comment some great, thrifty places you may know (in HK, or otherwise). I'd love to check out the thrifty scene some more!
Enough about my zodiac sign. Here are some really cool things you should check out because I like them. Hope you find something new. Or at least just something to distract yourself with so you can forget the fact that we're all slaves to capitalism and social constructs for a while. Cool.
The Incredible Jessica James (2017) - Got Netflix? Stream it. Don't got Netflix? Putlocker it. Jessica James is an incredible role model and I am constantly telling myself to emulate her. She's honest and she's beautiful and she's struggling in the way everyone struggles and she's an awesome writer so get with it.
Your Name (2016) - To be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of Japanese movies/TV shows. I've tried, but I Just Don't Get It. Plus, cis women are so hyper sexualized in Japanese culture that the characters in animation always sound super breathy and it's just weird and it makes me uncomfortable. But, if you can get passed that and you're looking for something beautifully illustrated and a crazy plot that makes you go ?!?!?!?!?! then Your Name is perfect. It's about love and space and time and it's kind of nuts but I like it, and the cheesiness of the love story.
Her (2013)- This movie was great and weird and intriguing and beautiful. Love is such a wild human concept in itself so to pair that up with technology is like double thinking for me and I love thinking about societal concepts and the protagonists challenges just that. Coolio. I cried, if that makes it any more convincing.
Health documentaries on food (What The Health + That Sugar Film.) - These documentaries were so eye-opening. The food industry has been a hot topic on my mind for the last month because it's crazy. Yet another thing that the government has manipulated in the name of capitalism and we as members of the market are so blind that we sit there like zombies while we are literally trashing our bodies. To make matters worst, consumerism has been ingrained so deeply into our culture that it's unnatural to go vegan or to cut out refined sugar. Even the products that are marketed to be healthy/low fat/sugar-free are damaging!! Not to mention the ecological impact the food industry has. We really need to get educated on this and real fast too so we can stop romanticizing the foods that are essentially hurting us.
Youtube Videos -
Billie Eilish - This girl. Hoooooooo my god, where do I even start?? I love teenage girls who make music with simple lyrics, deep themes, and dark undertones. Eilish talks about self-love (or lack thereof) in idontwanttobeyouanymore, romantic love (and lack thereof) in Party Favor, murdering her friends and her lover (which is probably a metaphor for violently cutting them out of her life) in Bellyache. She recently released her EP, Dont Smile at Me, and it's a freaking masterpiece. Listen to it. I love her.
MY PLAYLIST VIDEO!!! IS LIT!!! WATCH & LISTEN TO IT!!! -
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, Thomas explores the current racial climate in America. Starr, the protagonist, witnesses the shooting of her childhood best friend (done by a cop). Thomas also explores the two worlds Starr has to manoeuvre between as she goes to a fancy prep school but lives in a poor neighbourhood.
Spiderman: Homecoming fanfiction - Don't shame fanfiction. It's just as much art as mainstream literature. My favorite's Leyla's (spidereyhes on Tumblr) Skyline. There's so much on Tumblr and Archives of Our Own. My favorite AU is Stark!Reader x Peter Parker for obvious reasons.
Fishnet socks - The fishnet tights trend is cute and all but let's be real here, sitting on a chair and having your butt press up against netting the whole day isn't cute. The socks are an easier alternative. They're not uncomfortable but still present themselves just to add a little edgy pizzazz. Yes, I just said the word pizzazz. Well, typed.
Vegan Cookie Dough - Cookie dough is amazing. Vegan cookie dough is even more amazing. If you live in the Jakarta/Tangerang area, @kookie.do is on Instagram and they've got the best vegan cookie dough that you definitely need to try out.
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