11 January 2006

Who needs matching?

When I was young, we used to get a catalog called Hanna Andersson, a Swedish company that was all about stripes, graphic prints, and lots of bright colors all mixed together. It made much of its Nordic personality, so it was my first exposure to the concept. I thought it was so cool, but who would actually WEAR stripes and flowers and stars together?

Next came Marimekko, a Finnish company I learned about thanks to my mom's fashion-forward ways back in the 60's. She was sewing with their upholstery fabric before they'd ever though to do a dress line, and I am happily the right size to wear one of her creations. When the line was revitalized recently, she was thrilled, and has continued to enjoy their colorful, simple designs. Their simple styles and intense colors appeal to the artistic corner of me, so I was delighted to discover that there is a Marimekko store right here in Reykjavik. I then set about making sure all my near and dear were Marimekko'd in proper fashion (which of course includes my own bad self), however I still was not actually wearing it and cross-pollinating it with other patterns and colors.

When I first arrived in Iceland, this place seemed like a melange of crazy brightness, asymmetrical lines, and mixed patterns. After being in Boston, Land of Gray, it was more than I could figure out. However, something happened in the later part of last year, and I think I can trace it back to the first Ice-haircut. After I got over the panic of having a haircut that was different on both sides (my bangs are so short and crooked!! she shaved the back of my neck!! aaa!!) I started to enjoy the unusual look. I began looking for more things to go with it when I was back in the States in July and August. The winter things were starting to come into stores then, so when I found a coat that fit beautifully that had asymmetrical buttons and two different kinds of material in one, I had to have it. Yes, I had not been earning any money for almost 5 months, it was August, and I already have about 7 winter coats, but as a kindly older gentleman in the store said, "trifling matters when considering a beautiful coat that looks lovely on you". You can always count on things gentlemen like that say to be right, as it turned out months later. I wear it every day now.

It's been getting more extreme lately too, since my mom gave me a pair of over-the-knee multicolored striped socks for my birthday. Nothing crazy, you may say, but this is a lot for a girl who used to think an all-gray outfit with black shoes was "just right". Now all I can think of is how great purple-and-navy stripes go with bright red shoes. J is helping me right along too- for Christmas he got me more tall stripey socks, and these shoes, except they're iridescent blue with silver stars. I feel like a super hero in them, and I love that they're different, yet still practical with they're wraparound rubber bottoms. It's the Icelandic way- colorful, comfortable, but interesting enough that you feel special wearing them.

I can't get enough of it now- I want more colors, I want turquoise with orange, and I want things with funny features. All that from a haircut, and maybe the feeling that I MUST do something to counterbalance all the blackness of "days" here in the winter.

Ship sighting: Not much movement lately- even Engey, who was supposed to have been gone days ago, is still languishing in first berth down at the harbor. It's on the Faxaflóahafnir site again today with a departure time of 6 pm, but it was still there when J and I drove home round 8. Maybe the fishermen don't feel like going anywhere in all this blowing snow. It's snowed almost every day for the last week and as I sit in the window typing this, my view is horizontal snow and beyond that, darkness. I can't even see Akranes.

And so in the spirit of remembering what once was, and what will be again, I give you a photo I took of the harbor during the walk I described back in June. It's coming again!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm stunned. You now have a title photo and a bio photo, and attached a photo to this most recent post. My breath was sucked away when I saw it - what a photo!

You know... your blog forces me to read full entries because you never have pictures. In order to appreciate your experiences I have to read the text, which is always well written by the way! I caution you on having too many photos. Even though I always want to see photos from the places you go (and keep asking for them), I feel like photos may end up being like "epodventures pornography", in which I'll look at the photos and not read any of the wonderful text that describes the area. What a shame that would be!

In any case I'll be sure to read the text first and look at any photos second. ;-)