Next Garden

Vancouver (and some times Los Angeles) weirdo wears stuff, takes pictures, makes fashion blog.

Fly

Before I even say anything about this dress that I adore, let me just tell you about the disaster that was this photoshoot! Meghan and I planned to go hit up the beach at low low tide so we had a lot of sand to work with, and could be closer to the boats and mountains. Thanks to some Googling, schedule coordinating, and bum rushing to pick up balloons, we finally made it to the busy beach! We trekked for a good 15 minutes from the parking lot out to where the water was when I realized my memory card was not in the camera, but sitting on my desk at home.

There we were, balloons at the ready, so far out on the beach that the road was just a tiny ribbon in the distance and I decided to book it back to dry land and drive like the wind to go home to grab that damned card. After hopping over some sharp rocks encrusted with barnacles (whilst cussing with every step,) I made it home and back and ready to shoot in good time! The only sacrifice were my shoes that were just not made for dashing in wet sand. No matter, it looks much breezier this way anyways.

And now onto the outfit... When I was picking out balloons, I was too overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices to even be able to remember what I had in the closet to go with what. But pastel pink and teal was a pretty safe choice because... well, I can guesstimate that 70% of my clothes include those two colors in some combination or another. After digging a bit, I found this dress that I actually forgot I had... It's one of those things I like to call a Target classic -- as in I know I got it at Target eons ago and but no clue exactly how long ago. It was a perfect companion for my balloon bouquet!

I may not remember when I got it, but I do remember clearly the thought I had when I first saw it: Floral print and plaid?! What kind of abomination-combination is this? I must have it! It's busy but I love it. It's breezy and goes perfectly with my perpetual messy wind blown hair. For this shoot, I felt like I wanted to flap my arms, squawk a little, fly away with balloons in tow... and that open back would help me glide in the air like some floral-laden mutant pastel bird.

I guess the moral of this whole debacle is if you fail at first, run run run and get it done! Run fast enough that you feel like flying when you do get all your shits together. I'm happy I got to rediscover a cute dress. Happy the low tide was still low after I doubled back to get that memory card. Happy that of all the haphazard things to happen, even with a bloody foot after stepping on a barnacle, we got some great photos for my blog.

Ok, this post is getting a bit too long winded for such a simple outfit, so I'll just leave off by saying this: Sometimes things go wrong, but teal and pink fixes all the boo-boos. Oh yeah, and don't be afraid to fly.

I'm flying to LA this week! Hello old home, I hope we can get something productive done together. Vancouver with your gorgeous mountains and beaches, I'll smell you later.

Photo cred: Meghan Latta @discomoon | EditingMe!
Outfit details: Dress,: Target | White shirt: Joe Fresh

Colo(u)r Theory

H&M tropical flowers pinafore
Meghan's back on the blog! This time she's wearing a killer pinafore I would punt someone for. Ruffles? Yes! Bright warm yellow? Yes yes! And this time, we talk a bit about wearing colors, even though we don't agree on the spelling of the word, we both love it. (I will stubbornly spell it the American way even though I have converted to using metric! Celsius rules!)

Color, colour, however you choose to spell it, this yellow and green set of photos was botanical-icious and looked like some kind of post-impressionist painting.

yellow and green romper
Angel: Let's talk about how our friends don't wear color. You're probably the only one I know who likes wearing colors.
Meghan: Slag off our square friends. People are I think, one, afraid to stand out. Two, they think it's too hard to have stuff match if it is colour rather than black.
Angel: I don't want to say it's lazy, but it's kind of lazy. Colors are good.
Meghan: Colours are great.

Wonderful frolicking in the plants outfit.
Angel: What's so bad about standing out though?
Meghan: I like to peacock a bit. Also, it's Vancouver, nobody really cares.
Angel: Ok, what city have you been to that has more colors?
Meghan: Ehh... none, actually! Like, people dress well in London, but not that much colour. Actually, Paris, I suppose. But they just dress really nice there, not even sure if so much colour. Old men in London have mad good style, but it's very simple.

Crochet top detail
Angel: What kind of old man fashion do they have in London?
Meghan: Coloured sweater, one solid colour, like green or red over white coloured shirt. Some kind of acceptable trouser. Coloured socks, and very nice lace up leather, possibly Oxford shoe. This one old man had very light pink ones and I was like, 'Eeee!'
Angel: Oooo I want! I would rock some old man shoes. Oh wait, I have old man shoes!
Meghan: Haha, yes you do!
Angel: Do you get compliments when you wear bright colors?
Meghan: Yes, I don't think anyone has ever said anything disparaging.

laying in a flower field
Angel: One lady saw my pink holograph belt once and said, "Wow it takes someone with real confidence to wear something so bright!" I don't think it's really about confidence though, I just don't want to look like I'm going to a funeral every day by wearing basic black.
Meghan: Haha, I also don't think black really does anything for me. And I like bright colour in winter 'cause everything is already kinda grey, so why do we gotta be? I think that in order to wear colour you do have to know a little of the basics of colour theory.
Angel: I'm sure I learned this in art class, I just don't remember any of it.

red roses, yellow outfit
Meghan: Like what goes together, how many different colours and patterns can you put together in one outfit, how to break the rules, what clashes, sometimes you want things to clash. But it works best if you kinda have a sense of how that all works. Having a visual art background does make all that intuitive more or less for me, so I don't have to sweat too much. Also by now I know what I like, and what I want to convey with my clothes.
Angel: What's a good kind of clash?
Meghan: Like pink and green, or red and pink... Or orange and fuchsia.
Angel: Everyone says red and pink clash, but I think it's the best combo.
Meghan: Yes! But you gotta know the kind of red, and the kind of pink.

There you have it, we love colo(u)rs! Are you a brightly hued peacock or do you prefer to keep it simple?

Follow Meghan on her Tumblr or Instagram.

Photo cred: Me!

Comfort

There's something quite old about this set of photos... It was taken back in June and I completely forgot about it, and the dress and jacket are both old-ish. I guess when you buy things from H&M and they last over 5 years, it just seems... old.

In fact, this has been a staple spring/early summer outfit of mine for years. It's something like a comfort outfit -- I know it goes together because I've worn it 509 times. I know it's old but I still like it. Do you have one of those? The outfit you can throw on without much of a second thought because you already know exactly how it fits and how it looks. It's familiar, a comfort zone.

I had a better transition from talking about clothes to talking about life... but I definitely just lost my train of thought so allow me to make a hard left here. Speaking of comfort and something you can fall back on: sinking into comfort and complacency is fine... for a while.

I'm at a weird crossroads right now in life. I'm about to leave the job I got after a good 8 months of looking to try and do something that's more fulfilling.

It's doesn't pay more. It's not a guarantee. It's just a leap of faith.

So whether or not I fail miserably, or finally find something I can wake up happily for, we'll see. I have to say, I spent a large chunk of my life being comfortable and complacent, and found that it was a huge waste of time. Yes, a steady paycheck is essential, but it also came with a steady sense of a mediocre, bland life devoid of ambition. I have a goal now after floundering in uncertainty for a long time, and won't call it quits until everything comes crashing down in flames.

And if everything does go horribly wrong, at least the people at this job now are OK with me coming back after I'm done chasing dreams.

Kind of like this outfit. An oldie but a goodie. Something to fall back on if that shiny new thing doesn't work out.

Yeah I'm aware I'm being very vague, but when I did type out what exactly I wanted to do, it seemed to be very boring of an explanation. So for now, just meet my comfort outfit before I take off (and no, I'm not bringing it with me... Limited suitcase space! But guess what... it'll be here ready to be worn the day I'm back and short on clean clothes.)

Do you like basking in comfort? Or do you like throwing caution to the wind? There is no right answer, but one thing is for sure: I fucking love polka dots.

Photo cred: Meghan Latta @discomoon | EditingMe!
Outfit details: Dress, jacket, socks: H&M | Shoes: Joe Fresh

Oh Deer!

I've been sitting on this photoset forever.

By forever I mean it's from this January!

It was actually one of the first sets that I ever shot for this blog, but never got around to posting it because I'm not quite sure what to say about it. It's so maximum me, but also so extra that it's not something I would wear out casually.

Woodland creatures? Check. Golden antlers? Check. Crazy good make up that doesn't look all too heavy in photos but I felt like my face was entirely painted on? Check. Clothing pieces that are half borrowed? Check check mate. Not that I'm complaining or anything, this was probably one of the most complete and well put together shoots for my blog ever.

The flocked sheer shirt was instant love when I saw it -- if you look closely, you can see deer lurking in the storybook like pattern! It was a I-must-have-this-immediately-even-if-I-don't-have-anything-to-wear-it-with purchase. That was, until I brought it to my friend Pauline's house.

Let me just tell you, it is really amazing to have an amazing friend who would a) let me scavenge through her closet to find things that match, b) do my hair and make up, and c) take these photos for me even though I was awkward AF when I first started this blog.

So, we came up with this look in January, and to this day it's still one of my favorites despite the fact that it hasn't been posted until now. I was busy stewing over what exactly I can say about it this whole time, when it's blatantly obvious: teamwork is precious.

It's been seven months now, time is flying by, and I'm about to go visit Pauline again soon in LA. So much has happened between then and now: life changes, job changes, ch-ch-ch-changes everywhere. Some are good, some dragged me kicking and screaming into new frontiers. But at the end of the day, I'm still a sucker for pink woodland animals and thigh high socks.

The year is more than half over, how have you changed?

Photo cred: Pauline Hsieh @lauhte EditingMe!
Outfit details: Borrowed: Black halter, shorts, necklace, antler hairband. Mine: Flocked shirt: H&M | Thigh high socks: American Apparel | Shoes: Target

The Goldilocks Zone

swim suit fashion blogger
Ojojoj, I missed my usual Monday post day, and I feel bad about it. But honestly, the weather has been so nice that I was out the door every day and too wiped by the time I get back on Sunday nights. Last night, even after an XL coffee, I couldn't peel myself off the couch and put my fingers to the keyboard... so here's a Tuesday post day!

Let's talk about something everyone has experienced -- lack of self confidence. It's been on my mind lately, and what better time to write about it than paired with photos that I feel kinda awkward about? (Swim suit edition -- so exposed!) But here they are, because I adore pink stripes, and the scenery at Sooke Potholes Provincial Park was absolutely beautiful.

So confidence + blogging is kind of a weird balance for me. I'm putting myself out there and having fun doing it while being fully aware that I'm possibly the most low-maintenance person I know. There are bloggers with gorgeous hair, meticulous makeup, shining beautiful nails... and here I am -- if I even bother to run a brush my hair, it's considered a good day. And let's not ever zoom in on my nails, it's a real horror show there. Sometimes I feel like I should put in more effort. But then again, saying, 'Oh well, fuck it!' Pretty much sums me up as a person, and I do enjoy keeping it it real here.

striped shirt striped swimsuit
The flip side of that is I feel inadequate as a fashion blogger sometimes. Could my photos be a bit more polished? Yes. Can I maybe just dig out the flat iron from underneath my bathroom sink for once? Definitely. Should I at some point use some concealer on those mega panda dark circles under my eyes? Sure! But will I? Eh, it's debatable. While I do envy well put together people, I find that I lack the time and attention span to do it for myself. So the balance is hard to achieve. Where is my Goldilocks zone in terms of appearance vs. effort? I don't really know, but maybe blogging will help me find out eventually.

And in terms of feeling awkward in a swim suit, I absolutely prefer one piece suits, but having a freakishly long torso makes that awfully difficult. (Can you say wedgie city?!) Despite gallivanting around with short shorts and even shorter dresses, I'm kind of a prude when it comes to my belly -- kind of like a cat that will claw your face off if you attempt belly rubs. I prefer it to not see the light of day, and only had no problem with it at this particular park because it was so secluded. If you asked me why, I couldn't really tell you because I honestly don't know. It's just a vague, itchy feeling that it should stay inside clothing at all times.

sooke potholes provincial park
But here it is, and this will probably be the only time that vulnerable midriff will be seen in public... and now it's on the internet. But as I like to say, "Oh well, fuck it!" We all have things about ourselves that we're not so fond of... but dang this swimsuit was so cute and so within my budget that I went for it.

How do you deal with your vulnerabilities? Are you comfortable with yourself? How do you improve on that? For me, it's definitely just to plod along until solutions present themselves. I'm in no hurry.

Photo cred: Collin Head @deklyn21 | EditingMe!
Outfit details: Shirt: Old Navy | Swimsuit. shoes: Ardene | Shoes: Ardene | Sunglasses: Ruffles 

Your Freak Flag

tattoo mermaid dress
Excuse my tired incoherence... but I've had a very eventful few weeks lately. It feels like I barely have enough time to do all the things I need to on my to-do list when days are flying by in blazing speed. As I type this post, it's 1am on a Monday morning. I don't know where my weekend went, but in my deliriously overworked and frazzled mind, every frame in this photo set looks utterly hilarious to me.

Have you ever had that feeling? As you look at photos of yourself you start to think, is that my face? Is that my elbow? IS THAT FRUITCAKE INDEED ME?!?

Fashion blogger loses mind
I started this blog with a specific aesthetic in mind -- whimsical, romantic, dreamy... while those are all elements of my sense of style, I just don't think I can photograph as such when the camera is pointed at me. There seems to be a disconnect between my sense of fashion and the way I can't stay still long enough to be captured in the way I envisioned.

And that's OK.

spinning in a mermaid dress
I'm still wearing the things I love, albeit presenting them in a way that I never intended. This definitely changes the look and feel of an outfit, and I guess this is the part where that saying, "It's not what you wear, but how you wear it," applies.

And how exactly am I wearing it?

Like if a rabid panda with crazy eyes had a baby with a hyperactive blob seal with motor skill issues.

And that's OK too.

a total mermaid princess at her castle
It took me a long time to be OK with myself, after being told I'm too loud, too quiet, too weird, too distant, too cold, too obsessive, too emotionless, too emotional... Yes I am all of the above, and I am also too busy to give a crap what people think nowadays.

I think it took a while for me to get over the awkwardness and feel natural while being photographed, and my natural state is to be in motion while making dumb faces -- but fashionably so. Over time, I have found that to suppress the hopping around, spinning, or jumping in order to obtain a tranquil, soft, feminine look is too difficult to achieve. It might be the aesthetic I like, but ultimately can't attain... at least not while I'm the one in the photos.

And that is also OK.

So hello, my name is Angel, I like to wear pretty things but act like a complete idiot while doing so. Welcome to my blog. I swear sometimes I talk about fashion in a way that makes sense.

How do you photograph? Does it align with what you wish to project to the world?

Photo cred: Collin Head @deklyn21 | EditingMe!
Outfit details: Dress: Sourpuss | Jacket: Billabong | Shoes: Ardene | Sunglasses: Ruffles | Panda necklace: A gift!

Days Gone By

weekend getaway outfit
Hello all! I'm back from my Canada Day excursion to the island! Many photos were taken, many bug bites were sustained, many steps were walked, and many delicious meals were enjoyed.

In case anyone wanted a quick crash course of west coast Canadian geography, Vancouver Island is an island (duh) off the coast of (double duh) Vancouver, it is home to Victoria, this province's capital city. The last time I hopped on the ferry to go there I was a tragically tacky teenager many many moons ago. This time I hopefully was a bit better dressed for a long weekend getaway.

palm tree shirt, panda necklace
Parts of the sights were exactly as how I remembered it from ages ago, and I was the one who changed -- older, blonder, more jaded in some aspects, but definitely have more of an appreciation for food and fashion.

And this got me thinking... (and a question for more seasoned fashion/style bloggers out there) What's it like looking back at your posts from a year, two years, five years ago?

chillin' at Butterfly Gardens, Victoria
Blogs are like a personal time capsule, and just remembering what I was like last year... I wouldn't have ever volunteered to wear shorts with pleats in them, much less tuck my shirt in even if you bribed me with a dozen churros. Style evolves so quickly these days -- I'm somewhat guilty of fast fashion and a short attention span despite the fact that I tend to keep clothes for quite a long time before I retire them.

bucket waist shorts
So, some questions (for myself and for anyone reading this) to ponder:

How has your style changed from last summer to now?
Last year I was all about ease, as in easy to put on and get out the door in less than 5 minutes. For that reason, I was mostly in dresses. Throw it on, get going! It was quite minimalist, and I think I only rotated through 4 or 5 dresses the entire summer. Mind you, I was also traveling and weighed efficiency over details.

Have you ever looked back at a not so long ago outfit and just... cringed?
Oh. Yes. I have some things that are definitely impulse purchases and about a week after, I look at it and think to myself, 'Yikes.' I have this shirt with a GINORMOUS bow on the front that I absolutely loved for about a month. I love bows, absolutely love them, but this was just so out of proportion that they look like they can flap and fly away. This was from about a year and a half ago.

Have you ever looked back at an outfit past and just thought, yeah this is still lit?
Yes, some things seem to age like a fine wine. I have a polka dotted dress from Target going almost 6 years strong that's still one of my favorites. Maybe I'm biased because it's in my favorite color (teal!) but the fit, length, color, print are all spot on (pun intended!)

st. ann's school house
I wonder what I'll be wearing next summer. I wonder if this is the first blog that I've made that will stand the test of time so I can ask myself those questions again. I wonder, I wonder, and I wonder how everyone reading this have evolved in their own lives?

More island posts coming up for the next two weeks! Three days of vacation begets three posts worth! I'm always thinking of this blog even while taking it easy!

Photo cred: Collin Head @deklyn21 | Editing: Me!
Outfit details: Shirt: Old Navy | Shorts: Harve Bernard | Jacket thing: Target | Sunglasses: Ruffles | Panda necklace: A gift from my lovely photog/foodie compatriot/partner in crime | Backpack: Amazon | Shoes: Ardene