Rust and Stardust

Brunei Blogger May Cho of The Mayden in a rustic, vintage 50s look

Retro and red, rusted, crusted, industrially busted. Flannel -- not really waisted; a headband, tied and twisted; platform shoes -- forever checklisted. Let's go back to the time where nothing existed, where the rest is rust and stardust*.


Brunei Blogger May Cho of The Mayden in a rustic, vintage 50s look

Following our vintage glam rock shoot, I put on an ensemble reminiscent of the 50s, red lips, flannel, button up collared and all. Juxtaposed against an industrially rustic scene, the result of the shoot surprised even myself.

In true The Mayden fashion, I whipped out the sleeveless flannel from the depths of my mother's wardrobe. Having worn it as a child at the age of six and passed it along the sibling line 'till we outgrew it, or so it seemed, the piece was left to collect dust inside a closet. With intentions to wear the item as a vest when I extracted it out of a mound of stained satin nightwear and crinkled translucent dresses, I gaped in delight when the piece fit me just nicely.

Brunei Blogger May Cho of The Mayden in a rustic, vintage 50s look

Granted that the material has worn from the ticking hands of time tipping by, there's nothing a fitting pair of shorts cannot do to tear the gaze away from creases and wrinkles. I'll admit, however, that the shorts were a decision made because I was too lazy to change from the previous shoot.

Mentioned many times on this blog is the tremendous fluttering my heartbeat performs when taking photos in public. This was no exception. Scouting out locations to shoot (we chose the oldest, dingiest, rustiest places), it must have been, on hindsight, a rather bizarre scene to see two photographers following a Chinese in 5 feet 7 pinup on a Tuesday morning roaming around the crumbling alleyways of a prime business area.

Brunei Blogger May Cho of The Mayden in a rustic, vintage 50s look
Brunei Blogger May Cho of The Mayden in a rustic, vintage 50s look


Named for one of my favourite books ever, Nabokov's classic 'rust and stardust' stanza from darkly ingenious Lolita resonated with me incredibly this week. 

With undertones of discarding insignificant, trivial moments in life, flushing them down murky depths of peeling drains, or so Nabokov waxed poetic with romanticized "rust and stardust," -- the eternal rhyme and alveolar plosive coating one's tongue, pointed -- I've grown increasingly aware of the tectonic plates that, when put together in unparalleled delight, make up the world I wander in.

Perhaps with arrogance and ignorance bubbling in shameful bursts like mine, it does not come as a shock that my focus has been placed upon the stardust -- oh, the pretty, pretty stardust, so heart-wrenchingly beautiful under glimmering, shimmering particles! -- that have soiled my world fatastical. No matter, however, for a snap of my finger and I shall awake to reality where decaying weeds threaten to engulf me shall I not jolt back with a shmack.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY ARTHUR JOHN AM

*FROM LOLITA BY VLADIMIR NABOKOV:
MY CAR IS LIMPING, DOLORES HAZE,
AND THE LAST LONG LAP IS THE HARDEST,
AND I SHALL BE DUMPED WHERE THE WEED DECAYS,
AND THE REST IS RUST AND STARDUST.

MAY X

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