Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I am Lauren, baby doll enthusiast

As a child, I seldom partook in the typical baby doll activities such as playing pretend family or pretend school. I thought it futile to try to talk to something with plastic appendages and cotton fluff innards. Instead, my baby dolls functioned as miniature models. I dressed them in real baby clothes, some of which could be found on my own body back in my infant days. My assortment of barbies donned outfits I could only dream of wearing some day. I arranged them in rooms created in my makeshift Barbie mansion (a bookshelf, what else?!) and they just sat there, until I decided it was time for a new outfit or a change of scenery.

Since those days, I've developed a growing fascination with dolls. In high school, while browsing a the crafty hot-spot, Hobby Lobby, I came across the happiest little kewpie doll that I simply couldn't resist. At $2, I of course had to have him. He found his home on the dash of my car, and lived there for several years. I became known for this nameless naked baby. "Why Lauren?" my friends would ask. "He just makes me so happy!" was always my response.

I was thrilled to find this gloriously tattooed kewpie at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art several years ago. It was part of a show featuring various works from Mexico. This piece in particular is by the Mexican artist and tattooist, Dr. Lakra.

I also was known for my "swinging baby earrings." I went through a phase of goofy jewelry making. Baby dolls were, of course, a prominent theme. I sold these cuties on ebay for a mere $5. I'm thinking I ought to make some more... and, yes, my hair did look like this, once upon a time.

This growing fascination quickly turned into an antique baby doll obsession. I'd scan second-hand stores for quirky additions to my ever-increasing collection. Here's how I have my favorites displayed at the moment.

Sure, they may at times be slightly disturbing, but I simply cannot resist their charm!

P.S. Does anyone know where I can get my hands on a jacket like this?!?!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I am Lauren, swimming pool enthusiast

Riding around town yesterday afternoon, my friend Michelle and I came across what appeared to be a public swimming pool. Our intense enthusiasm and curiosity fueled us to confirm with the guy behind the window (apparently a former classmate of Michelle's) that the body of water is indeed intended for public use. Just one dollar to swim. Can't beat that.

I was more than thrilled. Minutes prior to our discovery, I had just admitted to Michelle that I much prefer the pool to the beach. Charleston is surrounded by beaches, and fairly good ones at that, but going to any of these beaches is something I seldom ever do. I think my main issue with the beach is the sand... the stuff just really wigs me out. I love the way the air feels at the beach. I like what it does to my skin, my hair. But the sand entirely ruins it for me.

I like pools because I like to swim. When I swim, my eyes stay open, so swimming in the ocean, for me, tends to be a terribly painful experience. In the ocean, I do all that I can to keep my head above water, but in the pool I know those chemicals will keep my eyes from burning quite so terribly. And, I love to dive... nothing fancy, just jumping into the pool head-first, and unless you have a fancy boat or immense rocky cliffs, you can't do such things into the ocean.

So, after enthusiastically announcing to my roommate, Kristen, that such a thing as a public swimming pool actually exists in downtown Charleston (and just blocks from our new house!) we promptly decided to go for an afternoon swim. I reminisced about my most recent public pool experience. Two summers ago, in Brno, Czech Republic... lots of topless sunbathers, speedos, and thongs... and, no, I don't mean flip flops.

I dove in, head first, losing my swimsuit as I always do, groping to get it back into place before my head surfaced the water. The pool was simply perfect for the sweaty summer day. But then a kid pooped... in the pool. Everyone scattered, yet seemed to stare at what must have been the turd. Kristen and I were playing in the deep-end, so we were slightly oblivious. We were amused by the lifeguard's poor turd fishing abilities... you'd think, working at a public pool, he'd have this down by now. Within twenty minutes or so the water was supposedly no longer contaminated. We dove right back in and swam until closing time (probably only 15 minutes later.)

I'll be back, no doubt. I've found a new (revived) summer past-time. Pool party, anyone?

Monday, June 8, 2009

I am Lauren, Christopher Kane enthusiast

My two very favorite blogs to follow are those belonging to mother-daughter duo, Judy and Jane Aldridge. I won't go into detail as to how incredibly fabulous these girls are, for I'd like to do an entire post on them in the near future, but I just can't resist gushing on mom, Judy's latest look. This Christopher Kane dress is too good to be true. I wish I had $2612.23 to satisfy the intense clothing craving that I'm having right now.

Judy's daughter Jane says,
"The genius of this dress is that such a compellingly bizarre and barbarous statement has been put on such a conservative canvas....such dichotomy allows for some pretty reckless styling! This dress could seriously go with everything."

It's such a perfect piece. The shape and tones of the dress are so simple and quiet that they allow the image to really pop, in more ways than one. Balance is key.

London-based designer, Christopher Kane (pictured above, handsome huh?), has been putting out some pretty neat stuff over the past few years, but his Spring 09 collection definitely has to be my favorite. The gorillas add something really special to the line. I hope he does more work with these graphics. Here are a few others that peak my interest.

SO when I have my own gorilla dress (perhaps Forever 21 will do a knock-off...?) this is likely how I'll style it...