Monday, September 14, 2015

A Few Simple Pleasures...

One of my favorite 1940's rayon dresses in dark navy with cream polka dots - practical and beautiful. It reminds me of the dresses that little old ladies wear in the village. I have a strong affinity for dressing like a peasant - I've never felt particularly comfortable in expensive or designer things.

"Don't explain your philosophy. Embody it."
- Epictetus

 Life is simply a series (sequence) of fond memories and simple pleasures. Ever since I can remember, I've felt a strong magnetic pull toward the natural, simple things in life. Even as a little girl I saw the beauty in the most modest of my surroundings. I suppose growing up in provincial settings has also contributed to my deep love of village life, although even before that, the nature of my native California completely captivated me as a child. My soul has never been much impressed by earthly riches. I truly, deeply believe that a person can be deliriously happy with very few material possessions, in spite of being surrounded by a society that urges you to consume, consume, consume. I find it deeply disturbing that my peers are obsessed with fame & celebrity, money, conformist beauty, and material possessions to the point of existing merely to obtain these fleeting pleasures (?). This isn't even coming from a religious perspective, simply a philosophers perspective.

I know I often proclaim my love for Federico Fellini's work here, but another reason I deeply respect the man is because of his blatant disregard for money. He rarely carried it. He rarely knew how much of it was in his bank account. He didn't make films with the end goal of obtaining it. Whenever I watch one of his films, or a Vittorio de Sica film, I can see the most mundane details in a beautiful, almost ethereal, light. Housewives wearing simple rayon dresses and wooden clogs coming home from the market carrying cloth bags full of peasant bread, onions, and fresh tomatoes. Stout, sun-wrinkled old ladies in perfect chignons watching their grandchildren play in the cobblestone alleys of the village. Weathered old men in worn trousers and wife-beaters playing chess at the cafe, slowly sipping something clear from shot glasses and shouting obscenities at each other. I adore village life.

I am a natural born idealist of the highest order. I see beauty in most things. As an INFJ, I am a strange mix of maverick and traditionalist; empath and hermit; hedonist and innocent. I am constantly a walking contradiction. I absorb other peoples feelings upon first contact, and I can feel your perspective without you explaining it. I know how you feel about everything. Why am I writing this? Because I want to tell you that it is the simple things in life that truly matter. It is my wish that this blog will serve as a documentary of sorts. A documentary of a series of simple pleasures that are attainable to every person, regardless of background and social status. 

Take time for yourself. Be positive. Indulge in the little things. Breathe deeply. Take in the details. Put your phone down. Be a conscious being. Feel deeply. Express yourself. Don't let bitterness or regret dominate your life. Don't be afraid of what other people think. Don't be a cynic. Be present. Just be.
Enjoying the late Summer produce in the best way possible - a Caprese salad comprised of fragrant basil, ripe tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella.
Beautiful bread. Bread is so important to me. I could never give it up.
Is it just me, or does an egg just make anything more luxurious? Saturday morning breakfasts in our home are usually comprised of a hearty piece of toast, smeared with fresh chive cream cheese, topped with creamy avocado, and finished with a slow-poached or crispy fried egg. I call them slutty-fried eggs ;) Add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Such an aphrodisiac!
Autumn decorating - I decided to rearrange a few things around the house and found three of my favorite books to display, along with these brightly colored clementines in an olive green glass candy dish. Surrounding myself with beautiful details makes me happy.
You don't have to be rich to afford style or luxury. I love serving fresh fruit on these vintage dessert pedestals, they always add a subtle touch of glamour to the room.
Comrade Von Pussycat

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Beautiful Sad Rose Of The Nile: Princess Fawzia of Egypt

Princess Fawzia of Egypt - Queen Fawzia of Iran
From the moment I first saw pictures of Princess Fawzia of Egypt, I knew that I had to dedicate a post to her love of glamour - a woman who is never caught without her signature blood red lipstick is certainly worthy of the title "Style Icon" in my book! From her signature pincurled raven tresses to her enigmatic noir red pout, Fawzia clearly favored the 1940's film noir femme fatale aesthetic, and I can't find a single picture of her looking anything but immaculate. Her beauty rivaled the film stars of the time...Hedy Lamarr, Vivien Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor. This beauty, however, truly did not live the fairy-tale that usually goes along with being born a princess. Princess Fawzia was a pawn in a greater political chess game, and the Sunni princess married a Shia prince, Crown Royal Mohammed Reza Pahlavi of Iran, making her Queen of Iran. In Tehran, which was not nearly as cosmopolitan as Cairo, Queen Fawzia suffered a bout of malaria, severe depression, and felt betrayed by her husband, the Shah, due to his adulterous nature. Indeed, their marriage, while it provided numerous beautiful glossy photographs for the world press, failed after a mere six years. The fact that their only child, Princess Shahnaz Pahlavi, would be required to remain in Iran after Fawzia moved back to Cairo, devastated the Princess. After moving back to Cairo, the Princess lived a quiet, private life and passed away at the age of 91 in Alexandria, Egypt, on 2 July 2013. Though born a princess, there would be only a modest ceremony; no glorious processions or nationally televised funeral services worthy of a royal. I can only dedicate this humble post to the beautiful sad rose of the Nile - Princess Fawzia you will always be an inspiration to me.

Always regal - even when donning a simple pair of jodhpurs and crisp cotton shirt, Fawzia always managed to look every part the royal that she was.
Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi and Queen Fawzia off-duty (I presume!) - don't they look like film stars? I love the delicate ivory snood  and button-up blouse on Fawzia, such a beautiful casual look.
Even in motherhood, she always managed to paint on that signature film noir pout and look like a total femme fatale!
Fawzia donning a typical 1940's hairstyle, gorgeous draped rayon dress, and suede peep-toe wedges. I wish there were more color photographs of her outfits!
Pincurls, Noir Red lipstick, and pearls = perfection!
Perfectly poised - Fawzia definitely had a passion for dolling up! Those ivory peep-toe platforms, so droolworthy!
High contrast - Fawzia loved to let her glossy dark tresses take the spotlight by wearing bright whites and softer hues.
Comrade Von Pussycat

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

September, Tea Times & Autumn Wishlists

Au naturel - fresh ginger tea with a dusting of powdered turmeric (look at that color!) Also chock full of health benefits by the way!
I know that there are still a few weeks left of Summer, but I couldn't resist posting a few of the items on my Autumn wishlist. I love Autumn fashion very much! Thick wool tweeds, fluffy Angora sweaters, glossy leather boots in dark chestnut or rich cognac, merlot-stained lips, cinnamon spiked latte's...what isn't delicious in the Autumn?
Pretty Foundation Garments - as I've mentioned before on this blog, I abhor ugly foundation garments (Spanx, I'm looking at you...). The frothy confections of the 1930's, 1940's, and 1950's are such a far cry from the flesh colored sausage casing that you find everywhere today in modern stores, and although they are 70+ old, they still manage to be structurally sound due to the top-notch quality. I would love to add a few pieces in soft peach and pale champagne colors to my Autumn wardrobe. 
1940's dresses in dark chocolate rayon - I just love the versatility of chocolate, chestnut, and mink hues. Less severe than black, more depth than beige, and the color pair so well with furs! I especially would like to add more peplum dresses to my wardrobe...

Fur trimmed tilt hats & thick wool coats - once again, the 1940's aesthetic strikes again. 
Stockings and sweaters! I love everything about this photograph :)

That's all for now - but I assure you, there will be a ton more Autumn inspiration posts in the near future!

Comrade Von Pussycat

Cardboard Angels

The Last Days Of Summer

The golden hills of California
This Summer has passed by so quickly, it seems that I blinked and now Autumn is just around the corner. I love Autumn - the moody weather, the burnt ochre and crunchy rust colored leaves underfoot, the cozy wool knits and seamed stockings! I love it all. I love the earthy taste of pumpkin (although I will be making my own PSL's, thank you very much!), and I will relish the return of hearty stews soaked up with crusty pieces of peasant bread and hot cups of peppermint tea before bedtime


This Summer wasn't particularly eventful - we didn't go on vacation because we made a trip earlier this year to the Bear's motherland. One of my favorite activities (year-round) is hiking. I am an avid outdoorswoman. I get nearly all of my exercise by hiking. I truly do not believe that we were made to exercise in a little cement box, suffocated by the stifling smell of perspiring bodies. I just can't do it. One of my favorite things to is to buy a rustic loaf of bread and layer charcuterie, red onion, fresh basil, cheese, and peperoncini to create a hearty lunch, pack a bottle of water (I use recycled glass bottles, no plastic), put on sunscreen, and head out into the gilded hills for a few hours. I usually do a six mile loop, half of which is uphill, so it really makes you work for your lunch! There are few things that are as satisfying as enjoying a meal out in the silence of nature. The fresh air, the sun, the birds is just magical. My personality needs a LOT of quiet time and solitude, so getting away from bustling city life is of the utmost importance to me. Often times I daydream of what it would be like to live alone in the woods, or to ride horseback through the hills and camp under the stars at night as my ancestors did. I've always been a country girl at heart. When I was a young girl I would come home at night with sap in my hair from climbing the top of pine trees all day. I could dive deeper into the lake than all of the neighbor boys, and once retrieved a huge rock from the bottom just to prove it. One time, when visiting a small village in Albania, I hopped onto a strange black horse and galloped, bareback, down the dirt road following Lake Prespa, just hanging on to its glossy dark mane and praying that I wouldn't fall off. I am often struck by the sting of nostalgia for those times. At least, for now, I can enjoy the languishing last days of summer.
1950's pale mint cotton dress with the sweetest bright white daisies! Shoes by B.A.I.T
Wild sunflowers
Triple digit heat - hence the soft makeup!
Gingham always reminds me of picnic tablecloths!
Chipped cherry-red nail polish and a nice cold beer
Summer fruits!
A bevy of blueberries
Smoothies for those hot summer nights

Comrade Von Pussycat