Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Three days in Japan, outfit edition


-Bow skirt from Mew, a shop full of adorableness in Namba, Osaka
-Catherine Malandrino alpaca lace top from Ratsy's, post-epic repair. I can't even find the holes anymore, probably because I kick so much ass.
-vintage flower pin
-grey tights, maybe We Love Colors?
-yellow kimono flower earrings (not pictured)

I had some extra time in the morning, so I went out to my porch to get a couple pictures of this great little skirt. I bought it last week on a trip with a friend to Namba for an MP3 player, when we stumbled upon a little underground shopping mall. The largest size at Mew actually fit me, which is pretty exciting, since I'm on the larger side of average people sizes here in Japan. Anyhow, Friday was full of class, then a yarn store field trip to a place in Makino, then down to Hirakata for dinner at an izakaya with some friends from school, then pleasantly intoxicated karaoke. We had stopped off at a convenience store for some desserts and fruitily flavored beverages, so there was tiramisu and friendly banter along with our karaoke. Where we all Rick-rolled each other. I caught the 3rd-to-last train home and proceeded to conk out early.


-Vintage Derek Lam silk skirt. I have no words for how much I love this skirt - it flutters like wings when I walk, and when the wind kicks up I feel like an old-school movie star.
-Kersh button-backed boatneck sweater.
-Thrifted navy and cream polka-dotted square scarf.
-Miz Mooz button boots. My friend Chuck calls them my shit-kicker boots, which amuses me to no end.

Saturday was a little harder. I'm a senior at Oberlin this year, which has been difficult for a couple of reasons. First, Oberlin has been my home for almost four years, and it sorta kills me to know how much I'm missing while I'm here - the adorable new freshpeople, the descending of fall upon the Midwest, the amazing new changes at Smith's, and my incredible friends. Second, I'm trying to figure out what I'm doing with my life. Which means lots and lots of applications. Which adds another hoop to the whole hoop-jumping experience, and not just any hoop - the fact that I also happen to be in another country makes this particular hoop covered in rabies-infected weasels. Some of which are also on fire.

Anyhow. One of the applications I filled out was for the Watson fellowship, a jaw-droppingly awesome fellowship that sends accepted students out of the United States with a stipend for a full year to do whatever fully-researched project they have dreamed about doing their whole lives. My proposal was for an in-depth study of traditional weaving and surface design communities in Okinawa Prefecture and Indonesia. And, as you can tell from the singed weasel currently gnawing on my (extremely emo) face in this picture, I was notified on Saturday that I was not chosen to move onto the interview process for this fellowship.

Which makes me bummed. In the end, it's probably good - the Watson seems geared towards people who are extremely self-motivated and willing to put themselves out there in a foreign country. And, though I would call myself type A (minus), I am pretty shy, especially when I don't fully understand the language. From that fact alone, it's likely that the Watson would not be an ideal fit for my learning style.

Luckily, Saturday went on to be pretty good - my classmates and I went to a demonstration of tea ceremony, saw some gorgeous Raku ware, and then I came home and caught up on some stupid American television.


-Super comfy grey waffle-knit sweater from the Gap
-Cut Loose tunic top, which is basic but has a great shape.
-The only pair of jeans I currently own. Silvers, I think? This pair has an acid hole in the mid-thigh region and is shameful, yet still unretired. Sigh.
-Enormous hair flower from H&M

Aww Cory, don't look so freaking depressed in pictures all the time. Go eat a chocolate bar.

Much better!

Sunday I went to Byodoin and Toji temples in Kyoto with my Buddhist art history class. Saw some beautiful Buddhist sculptures, felt very cultural, etc. We ate lunch on the banks of a huge river (tuna and mayonnaise onigiri = my favorite food ever) and then wandered back down to the train station, picking up some tasty matcha soft cream on the way. Being in a class with field trips has been seriously cool - I've gotten to see a lot of art and a lot of temples I wouldn't have seen otherwise.

On a final note, today in class we watched a Japanese romance (Twixt Calm and Passion, for those who are interested) in which the main male character works as a paintings restorer in Florence. The scenes in the restoration lab made my baby-conservator heart cry out in agony: they take perfectly good old paintings, mysteriously rip all of the cracked old paint off of them, and repaint them all brand-new-and-shiny looking. The entire time I was watching it, I was like, "WAIT THAT IS NOT, NOOO, I, NOOO, WHY IS THE NOOOOO", and when I got home I knew there had to be someone, somewhere, on the internets who could articulate the difference between conserving and restoring. There were a few brief articles, and to the best of what I could ascertain, the difference between the two is this:

Conservation is the ethics-bound documentation, cleaning, and low-level restoration of areas of loss in art objects in order to maintain a pleasing aesthetic without compromising or fundamentally changing the original material.

Restoration is a full-blown restoration of an art object to reflect its original appearance, which may change the structure or identity of the materials.

One of the problems with restoration is that it relies on the subjective opinion of the person who is restoring the object as to the artist's original intent. In conservation, one would never ever ever ever in a billion years strip off the original paint to slather on its modern equivalent. The lab that I saw in that movie, to my eyes, was destroying art - it would be better served to create slick oil-painted copies of the paintings. And while the profession does exist, and its use on art objects ultimately depends on the judgment of the owner, my own opinion falls pretty squarely on the side of not messing with art more than you are strictly required to.

Annnnd I'm out.


Unknown said...

I'm sorry you didn't get the Watson...that really sucks. But think how many other opportunities are out there for next year! I think the hardest thing about choosing where to go this year was that it meant I was choosing something concrete, as opposed to having the whole world open for me.

Also...I have that sweater from Gap, only it's black! And I kind of love it. :)

Cory Ellen said...

Yeah, it's nice to have a little perspective - we're all still so young and have all sorts of crazy options. Not getting one fellowship just means there's a better fit out there. On a side note though, I am so freaking proud of you! It was so cool to visit Yale with you spring break, and I hope that it's continuing to be a good fit.

Isn't it a great sweater? I practically live in it.