The Bling Diary

Swarnima, the jewelry artist 

I stumbled upon Swarnima's Instagram posts a couple of days ago and I couldn't help but comment on her amazing outfits as I found them unique in the way she combined material, colors, accessories, and designs. She quickly replied in the most sweetest way and that's when I checked out her blog on her website The Bling Diary.  

The blog is very well done and invites to a level of fashion that is very detail-oriented, passionate, artistic but also "doable".  

There is a quote from the designer and entrepreneur Swarnima that says:

"Every woman is a reflection of her own values and identity. For each woman it is my purpose to adorn her unique charisma with the elegance of jewellery. To highlight her power with the vigor of stunning gems and precious metals that are befitting of her inner and outer beauty. To me, the tenacity of fine metals is the sculpted masculine space that holds the glory and exquisite face of feminine gems in its strength. The metal is the anchor and the gems, eternal luster. It is much more than jewellery. It is a story of her self expression. My craft is made with passion to match her individual shine wherever she is be it the East or the West."

This is the part that moves me most about a woman, who knows her values and knows how to express herself with design, colors, and accessories as I feel I don't really know yet how to do that and I hope that I can learn little by little how to embrace my whole body with fashion. 

Check out Swarnima's Instagram posts and her website and you'll see what I mean. 

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My personal stylist

"clothes make the man" 

On the one hand there is truth to the idiom “there is no accounting in taste”.

On the other hand there is also truth to Gottfried Keller’s novella’s title “Clothes Make the Man”.

 

As for me, when it comes to fashion, I like the elegant-sporty-comfortable style. When I see people with outfits of that combination I get envious and each time I can’t help but ask myself:

“Why is it that I know what style I like but can’t get myself to look like that in my daily life?”

It’s like having a sense for the fashion I long for when I see it in front of me but having little sense left when I put on or buy clothes.

 

It's a true mystery to me!!

 

my personal stylist 

Anyways!

 

The best way to move forward in a situation in which you know what you want but don’t know how to get it is to ask someone who DOES know. And that’s what I did.

 

I asked my friend Mai, who in my eyes is the personification of Elegant Sporty AND Comfortable in One, if she could help me shop the right clothes for me.

 

challenges

Before I tell you more about our shopping day let me bring to your attention that I am a curvy woman in a land of NOT very curvy women with most fashion retail shops offering M as their biggest size, which makes me often feel like an elephant trying to shop in an ant shop. In other words, it’s pretty frustrating for most Western women to shop in Japan, where Zara and Gap become your best friends.

 

In addition to that it was Mai’s first time to be a serious personal fashion stylist. It’s one thing to shop for yourself and to know what looks good on you and what does not. It’s a completely different story to find the right clothes for someone else, especially if that person has a different body shape.

 

Now you know. These were the exciting challenges we were facing.

 

being prepared 

Therefore we wanted to be well prepared for the big shopping day. Since Mai lives far away from Osaka at the moment we needed to make her visit to Osaka count.

In order to be efficient and achieve our goal …

 

1) Mai kindly studied my fashion folder on Pinterest to get a vague idea of what I like.

 

2) She was so sweet to agree on staying over the night before, so she could check all my current clothes. She had to see what I already had in my closet and what I needed to purchase.

 

3) We had to confirm and decide what outfits I was looking for for this summer season and what pieces I definitely needed to buy.

 

4) We prepared a to-do list of what shops we should go to and in which order so that we didn’t waste any time.

 

5) Mai understood that my budget was small.

 

 

Finally the day came and I can’t tell you how pleased I was with the outcome at the end of our clothes hunt. 

 

But let’s start at the beginning:

 

The night Mai checked my closet and made me wear 2/3 of my wardrobe in different combinations she impressed me with how quickly she understood what suits my body shape and what didn’t flatter my curves at all. With only a little tugging out a shirt here and pulling up a skirt there or adding a belt or accessories she managed to make me see my clothes with different eyes.

I was so fed up with so many of my pieces in my closet that I was close to throwing most of it out. Thanks to Mai though I learned how to put another complexion on them, how to combine them and how to spice them up by using different accessories.

 

This very exhausting process (we slept like a log that night) was also very beneficial for keeping the budget low. We knew that I didn’t have to buy as much as we thought we would have to.

 

the actual shopping day

On the shopping day itself, Mai introduced different stores to me that were perfect for accessories that suited me.

What I liked most about her shopping style was 1) that she could find something pretty even in stores that sold rather ugly stuff and 2) that she was only ready to buy a piece if she was 100% convinced it was a good match and 3) that she cared about my budget situation and instead of buying lots of pieces for me she made sure we purchased clothes that I could combine with a lot of the stuff I have at home.

 

Even though we had taken some short breaks throughout the day to refresh and also to plan where to go next and what to look for, our feet craved for a 10-hour massage at the end of the day.

Nevertheless, we were both really pleased with the clothes we had in the bags although Mai, as she is someone who always wants gives her best, wondered whether she could have done more for me.

 

the new me

Personally, I am very grateful for everything she has done. I love the ideas she gave me, the combinations she taught me, and the pieces she picked out for me.

 

I feel really good in the clothes I have been wearing since we went shopping. It’s great to feel fashionable AND comfortable at the same time.

 

As I think that Mai is a wonderful personal stylist I hope that she will make this into a hobby and maybe, one day, even into a job. 

 

Would you consider a low budget personal stylist? 

LOHAS Festa

The other day I went to Banpaku Park in Osaka, where an event called LOHAS Festa, which stands for Lifestyles Of Health And Sustainability, was held.

We were lucky with the weather - It was a beautiful autumn day with a blue sky, which made the leaves that had already changed colour look even prettier.

I didn't know what to expect but I was thrilled to see lots and lots of tents on a wide field functioning as shops and beautiful, creative handmade items or old goods, just like at flea markets. Around the shops people were picnicking and enjoying all kinds of different dishes from various food stands. 

We had a fantastic time, wandering from shop to shop and admiring knit-, wood-, pottery work and all kinds of accessories as well as antique glass work and so on. At some point we were overwhelmed by the amount of shops, up to the point we didn't know anymore what we liked and what we wanted to buy. 

One thing I DID buy was a balloon dog at a shop that sold all kinds of balloon animals. It was so cute I thought I had a new pet. I named him Luke and thought my little 2-year-old nephew might enjoy playing with him. After the event I went to their house and he was indeed very happy about his new friend.

 I visited my nephew and Luke just yesterday - it looked like poor Luke had lost some … air. 

Anyways, if you decide to go to the next LOHAS Festa event then I recommend to bring your own picnic blanket, plates, cups, and cutlery so that you don't have to pay for that when you visit the food stands. 

LOHAS takes place twice a year (in autumn and spring) at Banpaku Park in Osaka. 

Here is the link: (only in Japanese though)

Luke and I on the train. 

Luke and I on the train.