Pipe Cleaning

…And diamonds: the magical disconnect


Sometimes, I will see an image and connect with it so viscerally and simultaneously inexplicably–and no matter how hard I try to explain the instantaneously forged relationship, I just can’t. Photo essays are weird in that they truly are essays, inciting thoughtful commentary and prolific meaning, by way only of photos. This reverts back to a previous point (or aphorism, rather) that I’ve agreed with re: pictures and their 1000 word-count-worth but to spare you the hearty digression, here is a conclusive period.

A perfect example of the aforementioned oddity: the accessory story that Kelly Framel from The Glamourai styled for V Magazine in light of the holiday season. Photographed above are two sample images from the 6 page shoot that juxtaposes a selection of wildly fancy and expensive tiaras (see: Van Cleef and Arpels, diamonds at large) with shiny pipe cleaners, little pom poms, Disney paraphernalia (Minnie Mouse only, of course) and glitter (see: your local 99 cent art shop).

What I’m thinking: remember last summer’s To Buy or DIY? How about that make-your-own-rave-beads kick I was on? Back then, I conjectured that I was probably trying to be tangibly creative again in what could have been a backlash to the over-industrialized nature of life in 2012. Now, I simply think there’s something raw and very endearing about the prospect of “gentrifying” pipe cleaners and pom-poms with diamonds–or effectively dumbing-down diamonds with primordial art supplies.

And everyone wins. Members from both the crafty (pom-pom laden) and swanky (gimme diamonds or gimme death) camps can appreciate the nod to what is familiar to them, hopefully also recognizing beauty in that which is not. Which leaves my hopeful, albeit rudimentary deduction at this: Even in spite of the conflicting antonym, sometimes disconnects assemble far more productively ideas, theories, and us.

Get more Brain Massage ?
  • I fell in love with this shoot when she posted pictures a few weeks ago too – So youthful & fun yet glamorous!

  • NEED one for NEW YEARS

  • The girls at Rookie Mag have pipe cleaner crowns down to perfection.

  • Denisa

    That looks nice and would be great for New Year party. Have a great day,


  • lavieenliz

    I want one of those crowns!!


  • Mik Ela

    You are a fabulous writer, however, do you realize that by using such ornate language, most of the general audience has minimal patience to decipher your message? As a fashion columnist, I believe you should aim to write for the intended audience. Not to say your audience isn’t bright and well-read, but most shouldn’t have to read your article about a pipe cleaner crown with a dictionary in hand. We shouldn’t have to spend time to decode a simple message. If you get to the point with pithy, simple writing, readers will actually read instead of just commenting about the attached photo. After all, it’s statistics that most online readers ditch an article if they even have to scroll.


    A concerned 21-year-old PR/Fashion student

    • Naw, girl, dis shitz is tyte.

      Don’t dumb down fashion for your audience, possibly you can inspire your audience to become more well read.

    • Rachel Kirb

      the difference between a leader and a follower is in who can push everyone else to rise to their level…

    • Amy

      the writing is wordy, but that’s what makes it fun to read. of course, maybe if it this article was written with simpler words, than more people would actually read it than just look at the photo.

    • Veronica

      Leandra, please don’t listen to this person. I adore the way you write. It’s YOUR voice, and it makes MR unique. Perhaps reading more eloquent prose will inspire someone to expand their vocabulary. Frankly, all of the bloggers that I follow are excellent writers. The stories (both in pictures and words) are what keep us coming back for more.

    • Bree Taylor

      heavens above. Leandra, please for the love of the English language and it’s proper use don’t change the way you write! It’s one of the (many) things that differentiates your blog from the plethora of others that try to BE your blog. If anyone had to read that post with a dictionary in their hands perhaps it’s a good thing – now they can add to their vernacular as well as their wardrobe. 🙂 x

    • Margaret Godowns

      I totally disagree-she’s the Man Repeller. This is how she writes, and this is why she’s different than all the other fashion bloggers out there. Clearly she doesn’t have any problems attracting an audience. Carry on girlfriend.

    • Michelle c

      That language should not require a dictionary, it is hardly above a 10th grade reading level. Perhaps the commenter should consider looking at her level of discourse and getting one of those word a day calendars so it is not so taxing to read a blog. Keep at it leandra!

    • I disagree. Man Repeller is a blog. Let Leandra write however she wants. I read this blog because I want to read about Leandra’s ideas in Leandra’s way of communicating. Otherwise, I would go to some generic writing in one of the glossies that look and sound like all the other glossies.

    • Felicity

      Leandra’s at the top of her game and she wouldn’t be if people didn’t read her blog, so your argument is invalid. I can understand her writing and I – shock horror! – haven’t even been to university. Don’t be so patronising!

    • I always admire succinct and efficient writing–it is true, one must be careful using slightly more elaborate language as sometimes the meanings of words and their intended usage aren’t completely coordinated (guilty!)

      But I strongly abhor the idea of condescending to your audience (dude how you think we got Honey Boo Boo). Peeps are smart, don’t give them yet another reason to think otherwise.

      I have to say you shouldn’t be using a dictionary for these words if you’re a native speaker over the age of 15, if you are, congratulations you’ve learned something new today!

    • Bea Dias

      I applaud her vocabulary. MAN, am I jealous.

  • Disconnects allow us the permissibility of nostalgia. Our lives are so hectic & compartmentalized that any residual evidence of whimsy we come across, we immediately cling to. Imagine the possibilities of what could be created if we would only lose a bit of our pride and embrace our inner child more often.

  • Lily
  • Reptilia

    That´s really cool!!



  • Bonnie, Clyde + Marni
  • You always come up with the neatest ideas. Hope you are having a wonderful holiday.

    Cheers, Elizabeth of The Corner Apartment

  • Sweet Perdition

    me encanta este post! es genial!


  • Sophie Lewis

    This is a definite DIY; I would love to see what your wacky brain comes up with when given art supplies and diamonds! xx


  • Martin Otharn

    Just awesome, I love these things but the gold one looks better.

    Regards, Martin from http://zalando-gutschein2013.blogspot.de

  • ThĂ©a Unknown
  • Theresa

    I love this! This it the next DIY project! It’s going on the list!


  • Dahlia Jacob
  • Dahlia Jacob
  • monkeyshines
  • BelĂ©n Cavas Hernández
  • BelĂ©n Cavas Hernández
  • Aitana
  • Tia

    Perhaps this is why having “too cute” animals and objects on sweaters has been very big as of late. Liking something as simple and innocent as what we loved as a child, whether it be making bead bracelets or pipe cleaner crowns, in this fast-paced, technology driven world gives us, well, just a little bit of freedom.


  • Eliz Mahbour

    Attn: Mik Ela. if you have a problem understanding the content of Leandra’s writing, you shouldn’t make it everyone else’s ….I am from Dubai and have absolutely no complains about the complexity of her “ornate” language. maybe you should concentrate more on learning to comprehend the writing of a true wordsmith…
    I do not agrees with you on your comment…sometimes jealousy brings people to say stupid things!!!!!

  • Alan

    Awesome post, don’t listen to those losers who think they know it all
    Your writing is what makes who you are and I (along with million others) love you for it
    So, keep it up dearest manrepeller and can’t wait to read your book!!!!

  • Natasha

    Super post….hello from Istanbul

  • DNA (designers+artists)

    Every girl should have a crown, of some sort, and for any reason or occasion.


  • theunknownsisters
  • Natalie

    Well the model in the picture sure looks excited to have it on her head…


  • Dahlia Jacob
  • Splendid, fabulous DYI, and, thanks, now my daughter wants one, too.

  • allenkaren33

    I love the way you write, if people need to use a dictionary to understand each of your eloquent phrases, they can do so. The best writers are those who makes their readers think beyond the obvious and if this requires a dictionary. You accomplished the task. It is better to put the mind to fly with small words and big meaning, than with those that can’t put your brain to work. Keep up the great work dear!..

  • I don’t have a blog to advertise so may I still comment? I typically catagorize pipe cleaners the same as say, q-tips. So I’m going to have to give this a thumbs down. OooOoo I know, how about ribbon! Let’s play with ribbon!!!!

  • Myr

    Leandra! I just had a dream I was with you in Tel Aviv for your birthday and you were the coolest person to be around, you were sporting a LOT of very fine jewellery (including a Cartier necklace version of a tiny Kipling book made into gold by his own mother – and I kept mistaking him for Hemingway) and we could see Manhattan in the distance. Then some tiny spiders were involved, as well as a perfect line of playful, pastel-colored firebugs that I wanted to instagram. That part was awkward, though. 🙂 Anyway… have a good day!

  • pipe cleaner crowns? yes please.

    Sarah x

  • Grandyy

    I love the fact that whenever I read one of your posts such as this one I have to google the definition of at least 3 words! Its like I learn something new every time I visit your blog seriously your writing style is pretty amazing I aspire to write like you definitely. Those tiaras are a tad ridic though its as if a kid in nursery somewhere should be sending a law suit to the designer right about now to say they created the tiaras first, I see how wearing jewellery such as this can be a form of escapism but I just don’t think I could rock one of those crowns haha xox


  • Felicity

    I’m doing this. I’m doing this now. Well, on New Years Eve. FO SHO. x


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  • Lauren Walker

    D.I.Y. Do or Die. That’s how I feel, especially with some of the newer fashions coming out lately. I don’t think fondly about paying hundreds of dollars for plastic jewelry that I can see the seams on.