Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Heroine: The Best of the Boys

There’s nothing I love more than a strong female character in a book, movie, or show—one who triumphs on her own merit and in spite of the odds. And there’s no better example than Brienne of Tarth from George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, the first book of which is A Game of Thrones. Brienne is a fierce warrior and expert swordswoman, living as a knight in armor at a time (modeled after the Middle Ages) when a high-born woman’s sole purpose was to have sons.

In the HBO series Game of Thrones she’s a new character; she was introduced in Season 2, Episode 3, played by the statuesque, 6’ 3” Gwendolyn Christie. But those of us who’ve read the books know her well and are looking forward to her continued adventures with the haughty hottie Jaime Lannister.

Though kick-ass in many respects, Brienne is also a tortured and insecure character. The first thing out of people’s mouths when they meet her is, “You can trick out a milk cow in [armor] and silk, but that doesn’t mean you can ride her into battle” and,  “Is there any creature on earth as unfortunate as an ugly woman?” That last was from Catelyn Stark!

Everyone she encounters mocks her for her height, male dress, and “beautiful” face. Other knights will never accept her as their fellow, though ironically, Brienne is always the better man. She slays misogynistic foes left and right, keeps Jaime in check, and takes her vows of honor to heart.


In an interview with Access Hollywood Christie said, “All of the bullying and insults that I have received, very painfully over the years — about being tall and about, you know, my androgyny — I was stepping into that. And I found it incredibly difficult, sometimes, to look at myself. But it was in service of something that was so much greater than that, that you’ve just got to make the best out of it, really. It’s my dream job.”

Brienne’s (and Gwendolyn’s) ability to take abuse and give hell—without loosing faith in humanity—is what makes her a heroine and role model.

Blogger LeAnne Rudy gets Brienne right: “She’s strong and ugly in a society that wants her to be weak, demurring, and, most importantly, beautiful. Just her quiet defiance is inspiring to me. She doesn’t go looking for trouble, but when it finds her, she doesn’t back down.”

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Conversation {from Afar}: UK Blogger Georgia Lloyd

Just in time for the London Olympics, I had a chat with Georgia—a 19-year-old blogger, Etsy seller, and vintage enthusiast from Liverpool, UK—about the games and her up-and-coming style site Satiable Fashion.

All photos courtesy of Satiable Fashion.

Why did you decide to start collecting and selling vintage clothes?

I really started to notice vintage fashion about a year ago, and I just fell in love with it. Ever since, I’ve been getting up that hour earlier on a Saturday morning to visit my local vintage market. When I’m shopping on the high street, I don’t just walk past the charity shops anymore; I find some amazing treasures—things I just wouldn’t be able to find in high street stores.

I decided I had to share what I found with other people; I couldn’t just keep it all to myself because that would be selfish (and I’d get a very full wardrobe)! My hope is that I can introduce fellow fashionistas to the world of vintage and supply some amazing products to amazing people!

Was your fashion blog an extension of your store, or have you always enjoyed writing about fashion?

It was about the same time I decided to start an online vintage store that I decided to write my fashion blog. I’ve always enjoyed writing and I’ve always loved fashion, so it made sense that I put the two together! I then used my fashion blog as a springboard to launch my vintage store.

Georgia on a recent trip to San Diego, CA

Which styles are you most excited to try this summer and fall?

I think (when worn well) galaxy print looks really fabulous! I have to say, I’m still working up to braving this style myself, but some girls wear it really well. I love anything with studs on it too; I just got a gorgeous studded dress for my fiancĂ©e's birthday party that I can’t wait to wear.

Of course, I have a whole list of styles that I’m loving…lace, asymmetric hems, anything dip-dyed, and in the autumn my big thing will definitely be big, woolly, retro sweaters!

You mention in your blog that your family’s very patriotic; how does it feel to be the host nation at this year’s Olympics?

I think it’s amazing (as does my family)! The country has really got together to support our athletes, which I think has brought a really nice atmosphere amongst people. It’s had an effect on fashion too—there are Union Jacks everywhere! I really like our flag and I think it can look so fabulous when it’s worn! I own a pair of Union Jack tights from Selfridges, which I’ll be wearing sometime this week to celebrate the end of the Olympics.

Of course I have to ask: how tall are you?

I’m not actually that tall, I’m just fortunate to have long legs. (Thank you mum for passing them to me!) I’m about 5’7” (1.7m).

What styles of clothing (or vintage clothing eras) do you think work well for tall women?

I think maxi skirts work really well for tall women. They flatter long legs and can really accentuate your figure. If you’re going to a party, it’s great because you can get away with just wearing flats.

If you’re not like me, and don’t want to accentuate the fact that you’re tall, then 1920’s ‘flapper’ dresses are perfect. They have a dropped hemline, which gives the effect that your torso is longer than your legs; it will look like you’ve dropped a few inches in seconds! They’re so glamorous and sparkly. They had fabulous accessories back then too, so your whole outfit will be sorted!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Event: Proud to Be, You & Me

I love my city, and I love the non-judgmental openness San Franciscans take pride in. Pun! Before I lived here, I’d drive in from the Central Valley to see the PRIDE parade every year I could. As a newly-minted resident of the Castro, I couldn’t miss PRIDE 2012, could I?

Megan and I interned at VIA, the AAA company’s travel magazine for the Northwest. She and I were invited to march with AAA’s float (read: tow truck), dance, hand out bracelets, and be merry. In the dark days of Chic-Fil-A Appreciation, it’s nice to see some big-name companies publicly supporting the LGBT movement.

We and Madi arrived at the staging area at 11:00, but didn’t march for almost three hours—at least there were 1,000 things to see and photograph! We were lined up near the Leather Pride Contingent, the cast of my favorite Rocky Horror live show Barely Legal, 200 Facebook employees, and a cadre of “Southern belles.”

We shook our asses, smiled, and gave out tchotchkes for 12 blocks—I think we deserved the cookies & cream milkshakes we got at Super Duper after.