The Freedom in Books

There’s a lot to describe in a sentence.

When we read the sentence, “The blue sky above”, shits fly in our heads, and that’s how it’s supposed to be. That’s freedom in one single sentence and there are thousands of them in a single book.

 

books, books, books, books, books, books.

books, books, books, books, books, books.

You actually get a lot of freedom from watching TVs also. Continue reading

Thoughts on Buying Preloved Luxury

This was the most debatable topic of the year 2015 for my mother and I. Each time I brought up this topic (or bought a secondhand item) my mother’s eyes and mouth go “WHAT?! ABSOLUTE NO! WHAT ARE YOU EVEN THINKING #[email protected]#$^!^@%^!!!!!”. Okay, she’s old school and she likes her stuff new and shiny. I get it. Me? I’m old school and I don’t care where I get my stuff.

Woman Thinking

To buy or not to buy?

 

The heated discussion first arises when I bought a preloved A&F denim shorts and a local handmade super awesome cowhide bag. I bought the A&F shorts for about $5 (or IDR 70000) and the super awesome cowhide bag for about $25 (IDR 320000). That felt super awesome because both things look super awesome when they arrive, and of course I dry cleaned them first at the nearest launderette. It felt like a super steal and super bargain. My mom agreed to disagree, though.

Yeah okay, maybe Abercrombie&Fitch and a local leather bag isn’t exactly luxury. You can start pitying me (you can ask me for my PayPal email if you’re willing to transfer some money for me). That’s fine and all. BUT! When I told my mom that I’m gonna save so that one day I could get an Hermes scarf from Reebonz, she went like, “YOU’D BETTER NOT BUY A GODDAMN SCARF SECONDHAND, YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT KIND OF SHIT EXISTS IN PEOPLE’S SCARVES!” (okay my mom didn’t use any curse word, they’re just for dramatic effects).

I hope you get what I mean. I’m kind of addicted to buying secondhand stuff as long as they’re in pristine condition, and so are some of my friends. But my mom and a lot of my other friends swear off buying stuff other people already used. They made a lot of sense, actually. But I still think laundry and dry cleaning your stuff basically made them new, right? So what’s the big deal? I mean, I wouldn’t buy an LV bag with a hole in the middle even if it’s 1/100 of its original price.

 

What do you think on preloved luxury and secondhand stuff in general? Big steal or big pile of bullcrap?

 

 

 

-The Dilly Chic-

Artventure

We’re lost in the woods, I get it. We’re entrapped within the very boundaries of what’s right and what we think is right, I get it. Boyfriend high on pills and abusive? Totally get it (not really, sorry).

Art gives everyone the promise of escaping, eluding the dreadful dramatory (short for drama purgatory) that is life. Your best friend backstabbed you? You paint. Your lover dissed you for that ho with the visible thong? You make crafts to sell on Etsy. Your achievement escaped you? You write about the newest Alexander Wang >< H&M collab.

My Sad Bitch - watermarked

Point is, the only one thing that comforts your soul better than the chocolate chip mint ice cream is art. All form of art. All kinds of contexts of art. Be it personal, commercial, or whatever, you know one thing: you found your dramatic venture through creativity.

 

And don’t you say no.

 

 

 

-The Dilly Chic-

Know Your Leather, Ladies (Leather 101)

The battle of the leather is one that stretched for centuries, and for more centuries to come, hopefully.

As a child and adolescent, just like every other child and adolescent out there, I was terrified and petrified with leather. It instantly translated as “dead animal skin, dead animal skin, dead animal skin” in my head. So, naturally, I would flinch and frown and threw a look of disgust every time I would come across items made of leather.

That was a proof I was normal (girls under 18 who beg their daddies to buy them Balenciaga are bullshits lemme tell you).

So, just like normal women I, too, managed to conquer my fear of leather and turned it into one of affection. I began obsessively looking into different types of leather, trying to find the difference between one another, which is the best for the price, etc. I was nuts. And I wanted to share with you what I’ve gotten from my days and days of obsessive-compulsive search.

vintage YSL cross body

Mama’s vintage YSL crossbody bag

 

Without further ado, let me tell you about different types of leather and more relevant pieces of information you definitely should know (these info I collect from the internet, the most reliable source of ’em all)

 

The Animals They’re Born From

Calfskin
Taken from small cows, you know, calf. That being said, the leather is more sensitive and more supple, yet more elastic.

Cowhide
Solid, good flexibility, tough as f***, most popular (since beef gets eaten a lot, so the leftover skin from the cow is usually used to make leather goods, to make sure every cow’s body parts are mutilated to perfection). But also tends to crack without the right treatment. (So is every other leather actually.)

Sheepskin
Also tough as hell. Probably the second most popular after cowhide.

Lambskin
A lot like sheepskin, but considering a lamb is a young sheep, the skin is more delicate and supple but less durable.

Snakeskin
Often used for exquisite leather products, and usually fetch higher price due to its crafting intricacy. Snakeskin when finished improperly tends to crack, flake, and becomes brittle, which is utterly disgusting.

Alligator
The mother of all exquisite animals. The price for alligator stuff stings a lot, though. See example here. To put things to perspective, a Kelly bag usually costs around $5000- $8000 depending on the built, the type of leather, the size,etc. BUT make it alligator and WHOOP! the price goes.

*of course, the choice is a wide array of variety that doesn’t limit to the ones above. I’ve come across a wallet made of stingray leather. Fancy?

cow

I dare you to skin this monstrous thing

 

Types of Leather
(taken from Saddleback Leather’s official website, thanks Dave!)

Basically, there are 4 types of leather:

Full Grain is the best leather money can buy. It comes from the top layer of the hide which has ALL of the grain, therefore, FULL grain. The natural surface of full grain leather burnishes and beautifies with use.

Top Grain is pretty good since it still has some of the grain ( read explanation of “Grain”) on the top after most of the grain was sanded off to get rid of the blemishes.

Genuine Leather comes from the bottom half of the hide and doesn’t have any grain. Suede is an example of genuine leather

Bonded Leather is the PT Cruiser of the leather world. It’s the dust and shavings of the leather glued and pressed together.

Note from me: a leather good made from full grain leather does NOT guarantee the piece will be of high quality, again, the treatments are also a major deciding factor (how they tan the leather, the solvent and coloring used, the stitching, etc). BUT given the same treatment, a leather good made from full grain leather is CERTAINLY better than that made of bonded leather, let alone polyurethane.

Red Frye Wallet

A Frye wallet. Notice the scratches and discolorations here and there? That’s a full grain leather to you

 

The Best Leatheriers

From all those lone time I spent browsing the internet like some angry leather maniac (a poor, cost efficient leather maniac that is), I found out three companies that stand out for their craftsmanship plus attention to detail (including where the leather is coming from, etc)

Fryeicon (I own a pair of boots and a wallet from Frye, they look ridiculously gooooood)
Saddleback Leather (you should read the backstory of the owner too, it’s fun!)
Lotuff (was thinking of buying the Bi-fold wallet for daddy, daddy politely refused)

 

IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: I’m a semi vegetarian who can’t stand the smell of sirloin steak, yet I’ve learned to love the feel of a rich leather. Over the years of my lifespan, I’ve realized that you should know when your conscience and principal are being a hindrance and when they are being helpful. By eluding leather altogether, you are making your own life and craftsmaster everywhere miserable. By buying fake handbags and synthetic leather stuff, you’re also supporting companies that exercise child labor and overwork their employees (you do realize those stuff are MADE IN CHINA, right?). It’s a lose-lose situation, really. So stop being self-conscious and treat yourself some leather goodies. Besides, don’t you want your wallet/bag/shoes/whatever to last forever too?

 

 

 

-The Dilly Chic-