Saturday, June 8, 2013

20 on +40: Clothes, Cameras vs The Beret ROUND DEUX

Note:  To showcase the wide appeal of +40 bloggers that goes beyond their own age-group, I'm starting a new blog  feature, the 20 on +40. This feature will showcase 20 other friends in the community who pick their favorite +40 blogger, and interview them.  This is part two of the second of this series. You can read part one by clicking HERE.   

The Luminaries: Roz and Mel Both Light Up the Bloggersphere with Substance and Style
Canadian beauty, +40 style blogger Melanie is an artist from Vancouver. Her personal style blog, A Bag and A Beret hit the ground running last year, and her voice, style and face made powerful impressions on anyone ever visiting her blog. Thoughtful, introspective explorations of style ala Cindy Sherman and Mel's artistic flourishes of dress hang seamlessly with her nearly model good looks. It's a powerhouse style impact: bold dressing on her lithe figure, and that unforgetting piercing blue stare. 

Decades apart, and across the Atlantic resides a certain Roz Jana, a 17 year old  fashion wunderkind, who already has been peeped at from around the world on a slew of street style blogs. This teenager  has written expertly on the subject of fashion for the likes of Oxfam, The Guardian and British Vogue.  Like Mel,  her leggy figure and gorgeous face could easily be confused for that of an off-duty model, but Rosalind's interests seem to lie elsewhere.  As good as she looks in front of the camera (you can see how good on her blog, Clothes, Cameras and Coffee) it seems apparent that Roz would rather be behind it, or at least behind a  good typewriter, clacking out in resounding Querty beat, her thoughts on fashion, feminism, and  taking a poetical turn at her arts + letters. Clearly, these two are kindred spirits.

So it came as little surprise, when I asked Roz to interview her favorite +40 blogger for this series, that Roz picked Mel in a heartbeat. What did surprise, however, was how well they meshed- there was never a sparring tone, but instead both expressed of fun sense of play and use of the imagination.

Melanie:  What, if anything, would you like to change about people's perceptions of you?

Rosalind: I think that I can appear quite aloof to those who don’t know me. I’m sometimes a little shy when meeting new people, but I try not to be. Melanie, it strikes me that you really relish the opportunities given by blogging for world-wide communication. However, do you think that there any downsides to such instant access?

Melanie: Instant access is addictive. Online conversations never sleep and I think the more we slip into them, the harder it is to step away. It has been difficult not to feel mildly anxious if I "get behind" on blogging: What am I missing? Who posted? Who commented? And I do love paper and pen. It's easy to whip off a post on a keyboard but the process of handwriting requires a different, more sensory and reflective process, which I enjoy. I know that I certainly use more exclamation marks and superlatives when I blog than in handwriting because I want to convey the immediacy of my emotional response. It's true!!!! The problem is that using too many expletives diminishes their impact. Overall, I hope to harness the positive aspects of instant access as a force for good.

Rosalind:  In a hypothetical situation, the entire contents of your wardrobe spontaneously combusts, hours before an important party. However, luck is at hand! You still have all the materials left in your artist's studio to make something out of. What do you wear?

Melanie:I have a wonderful old beige-y curtain in my studio that I use as a drop cloth. I love the paint stains on it so much that I have decided to turn it into a maxi dress this winter, so that piece is out of contention. Instead, I would cut up and tape myself into one of my finished abstract expressionist paintings on heavy paper. The dress would be somewhat Elizabethan in style with enormous coned sleeves and a coned skirt, a flat tubular bodice, and a gigantic stand-up collar. For my feet I would fashion slippers from finished unstretched canvases taped together with green and blue painter's tape. And I would braid plastic twine together for a belt and suspend paint brushes from it which I would offer to my guests when I invite them to contribute to my dress in the drawing room as postprandial entertainment.

Melanie: You are hopelessly lost in the magic forest. Suddenly, a mischievous elf appears. He compliments you on your beauty and invites you to the elves' feast that evening. If you dress to their satisfaction, they will tell you the way back home. What would you do?

Rosalind: In the true spirit of one of my favourite books when I was little, Fairie-ality by David Ellwand, I would fashion myself a costume from the surrounding flora and fauna. This being a magic forest, it would of course be abundant with all manner of colourful petals and leaves from all times of the year. I’d use a handily found thorn for a needle and strong grass for threads, and thus create a bodice of cream roses by stitching each flower head to the dress I was already wearing. Taking Titania as inspiration, my skirt would be adorned with long reeds and fronds, with bluebells woven through the layers. I’d crush berries for lipstick, and get so absorbed in the process of creating this outfit that I nearly missed the elves’ feast!

Instant access is addictive. Online conversations never sleep and I think the more we slip into them, the harder it is to step away. - Melanie K

Melanie:  I know you love vintage clothes and that you also like to mix up your styling. What are your aspirations in terms of your style, personally and within the scope of the fashion industry? Do you feel that your internship at Vogue helped you achieve your goals?

Rosalind: I’m a great believer in the power of fashion. The phrase ‘self expression’ is so over-used as to have become more ubiquitous than a pair of skinny jeans, but I think the meaning still has resonance. I adore the chance that clothing gives to adorn, enhance and decorate the body in any number of potential colours, fabrics and shapes. And yet, I don’t want to work exclusively in the fashion industry. My aspirations are much more in the fields of novel writing and cultural journalism. I imagine my future relationship with fashion to be one where I can dip in and out - perhaps still attending fashion shows, and definitely writing about clothing, new collections and the craftsmanship of design – but also retreating into other areas too. I want to write about literature, about travel, about the past, about art. I would also enjoy training in more than one creative medium: perhaps something more hands-on, as well as writing. I shall definitely continue to enjoy the process of dressing each day though, hopefully for the rest of my life.

Melanie: If someone offered to make all your dreams come true, would you accept?

Rosalind: I don’t think so. There would be no sense of achievement if I was just given everything at once – what would there be left to work for and think about? It would just be enough to know that some of my dreams will actually happen in the future.

I think it's clear from this electric exchange, that the winner is...

You'll never find such a wonderful pair of brains and beauty, at any age, anywhere.

Keep you eye on Melanie deliciously posing, painting, and inspiring the hell out everybody, over at A Bag and A Beret

Roz can be beautifully seen and heard on her blog, Clothes,  Cameras and Coffee.


thorne garnet said...

This is a great idea. Too many times people of different age groups don't talk to each other. I feel lucky that I work at a university and am around people 30+ years younger than I am. I would know none of them otherwise.

Carelia said...

This is a fabulous idea, and I know you will get tons of responses. I like a lot your first post and I can't wait to see more.

Becky said...

This is such a great post! Loving the two bloggers who participated and what creative questions!!
Becky :)

Unknown said...

Yeah ! I love it ! Interesting to read .

Patti said...

two great minds and two great beauties here. I have enjoyed this series so much xoxoxo

Unknown said...

i am really loving this, thank you to all involved. xxx

Melanie said...

Thanks again, Bella, for making this happen. Rereading Roz's comments makes me so excited for her future - she's one awesome woman and it was a privilege to participate in the interview. I love your graphics!

popcosmo said...

Whoaaaa.... such amazing questions! I've always wondered what to wear to an elves' feast! Now I not only have an idea... I have photos :) I adore A Bag and A Beret and am thrilled you have introduced me to Clothes, Cameras and Coffee. Thank you for this fantastic series!!

XO ~Kim

A Matchy Matchy Midlife said...

What a great poem Roz...sad and true.

Flora Cruft said...

What a great idea, and wonderful to hear from 2 such inspiring bloggers!

Rosalind said...

Well, once again, what fun to take part. I'm definitely up for seeing Mel make that expressionist painting outfit. Am willing to hold up my side of the bargain by composing some kind of ensemble from the surrounding trees! xx

Unknown said...

Love your blog.

freckleface said...

Great interview and I loved the pictures too. As you say, they are both stunning, but also very talented and creative. xx

The Style Crone said...

Riveting! These two women are equally fascinating and brilliant. Perfect pairing.

The Foolish Aesthete said...

Again, brilliant on all fronts. And I love how you edited and juxtaposed their images against each other. Really, age has nothing to do with style, beauty and imagination! -- J xxx