Green Eccentric Glamour

by Franke James

illustration by franke james 2008

illustration by franke james 2008

illustration by franke james 2008

illustration by franke james 2008

illustration of SUV by franke james 2008

illustration of coat by franke james 2008

illustration of purse by franke james 2008

illustration of mondrian type top by franke james 2008

illustration of oscar wilde by franke james 2008

illustration of chicken and lettuce head by franke james 2008

Visual Essay ‘Green Eccentric Glamour’ copyright 2008, Franke James, MFA. Inspired by Simon Doonan’s 2008 book, ‘Eccentric Glamour’. Published by Simon and Schuster.

book coverEccentric Glamour: Creating an Insanely More Fabulous You

43 Responses: 29 Comments and 14 Tweets

  • Mother Earth says:

    This post reminds me so much of the very first post I ever read

    ( did you know that you were the first blog I had ever visited? About a year ago! )

    I really appreciate your creative expression and quirky style. I see it in your clothing too. I am left with a smile on my face and warmth in my heart. I see it in your clothing as well, the green question I ask is what will you do with all that you decide not to keep??

  • Franke James says:


    Thanks for visiting — and your great comments! My wardrobe has many good homes to go to — I have five sisters. And they have twenty kids between them. Of course there’s always Freecycle and Goodwill.

    ~ Franke

  • Julie says:

    Your post arrived just after a trip to our little “plaza” where a glance in a shop window has me convinced that I look like a ragamuffin! I don’t think the term “glamorous” could ever be used in the same sentence as my name.

    Here’s the thing for me: secondhand chic. We have the coolest secondhand/thrift store on Pender Island. Totally run by volunteers, and all the proceeds go back into the community to support a multitude of projects. It’s become such an icon of island living that the line up at opening time on Friday snakes around the building. (I know what you’re thinking — not much else to do on an island! ;-) You should see the outfits my girlfriend puts together. She dresses like a pop star for $5 a bag. (I still look like a ragamuffin.)

    The other thing I’m concentrating on these days is not washing my clothes as often as I used to. (Why wash them if they’re not really dirty?) When I lived in Europe, it was common practice to hang our clothes outside every night to air out (on a covered balcony with a clothes line — condo bylaws be damned).

    If I’m lucky, the ragamuffin look will come back in style one of these days. Meanwhile, enjoy going “eccentric glamorous green” with your chickens, Franke. (They’ll love those sandals!)

  • Daharja says:

    This post made me realize that you don’t do enough blog posts!

    Here’s to 70s fashion – colours that were CRAZY, collars that could FLY, and WIDE pants that you could hide your boyfriend/husband/lover in!


  • Franke James says:


    Thanks for your comment. I had to laugh (and groan) at your astute comment that I don’t do enough posts. It is a tough balancing act — I’ve been submersed in another project for months now… Finally I am free!

    But I’m not your usual ‘blogger’. I don’t subscribe to any tyrannical schedule. (Not being bogged — look how close that word is to blogged? — down by anything other than my desire to express myself.)

    I have a few ideas I’m working on so you will see a few more come to life here when they are ready…


    ~ Franke

  • Soulange says:

    Green Eccentric Glamour was too fun! I love the essay – another great one. You should assemble them in a book for your collectors.

  • Allison says:

    I love it, Franke! I know just how you feel as I have had to alter my wardrobe for a corporate job – I was so excited to be able to wear my old vintage dresses and ridiculous ironic t-shirts, but then I thought it best to conform to the heels-and-blazers world of Corporate life.

    NO MORE! If I can get away with funky hair, I can certainly show up in a 1950s secretary dress every once in a while! Thank you for the inspiration! :)

  • Claire says:

    Love it! Congrats and thanks for keeping me up to date!

    All is well

  • Martin Edic says:

    I love the new piece — end the disposable society!

  • D. Diva says:


    just when I was about to go shopping for my trip next week.

    surely I can make do with what I”ve got!!

    and you’re right — I’ve been slowly trying to pare down to essential ‘signature’ styles but I‘m a sucker for the consignment store in Yorkville — L’Elegante.

    oh well — a girl’s gotta have SOME fun!

    happy Spring Franke

  • C.B. says:


    Should mention re cupboard

    I have two sets of Calvin Klein black pyjama-like top and bottom in the most comfortable lightest swishiest material

    $75 each piece

    I wear them every day autumn winter and spring (if ever we have that) and indulged in two sets so I should be able to wash one while I wear the clean one

    It does look smashing!


  • A.H. in New York state says:

    Awesome. So creative. And an important message.

    FYI, I love my Prius.

  • Jennifer in central Toronto says:

    Very cool and I loved reading the comments from others. I’ll take the green skirt when you’re finished with it.

  • Jenn in the Ottawa Valley says:

    We tried the chicken thing, Franke, and it is NOT good! They’re darling as chicks but then, unfortunately, they grow into noisy, messy, filthy beasts!

    Feel free to clean out your closet into mine! I think we’re still the same size!!!! Love it, love it, love it.

  • Franke James says:

    Jenn — Nobody else that I know has real life, daily experience with farm animals! Considering that you are a former-city-slicker-now-Queen-of-the-country-estate, your ‘chicken’ advice is very important to me.

    Perhaps chickens in the city are not a good idea?? Julie from Pender Island pointed out that they would love my green petal sandals and polished pedicure…. But what to do? We have to eat and if this global warming / food crisis gets really bad, well maybe some personal sacrifice is needed?

    Hope the pugs and horses are better behaved.

  • Jenn in the Ottawa Valley says:

    Goats (we quickly learned) are also NOT a good idea! They ate our cedar bushes as far up as they could possibly reach. Your green petal sandals would not stand a chance!

    In our area, we have a few “young” farmers (around my age) that are raising animals without using antibiotics, et cetera. There are two local chicken and turkey farmers that are trying the free range thing, however it can be a challenge with some of the evening wildlife. A fischer (like a weasel) killed thirty turkey’s last week!

    Perhaps the food crisis will make people understand the importance of the family farm! Our local farmers are starving and no amount of government subsidy will help. Beef prices at the grocery store DO NOT reflect what the farmers are getting at market. How on earth can a vegetable farmer be making money when a 10 pound bag of carrots sells for $0.99? It is a travesty.

    It appears that the family farm could be extinct within the next generation or two. Farming is a full time job, yet without an “outside” job, there is no way for farmers to pay their bills. Children of farmers cannot afford to take over their parents’ farms and, further, there seems to be a lack of interest because of the amount of work vs. income.

    In order to have “clean” meats and vegetables, we need these farms to survive.

  • Sandra in Toronto says:

    I love your Green Eccentric Glamour essay! I’ll have to get the book.

  • Mary Stevenson says:

    Very inspiring!! Spring is the perfect time for all those old lovely summery fabrics and fashions to pop out of closets and drawers. I tend to prefer certain colours and textures so that mixing old and new usually works although I may sometimes look like a crazy quilt. When you wear clothes you love and feel comfortable in then you look happy which is a big bonus. Your essay makes me appreciate all the effort that went into creating such wearable art. I’ll definitely dig a little deeper this year and pass along more treasures to my daughters.

  • Julie says:

    Your art essays remind me that there is more to life than clutter and busyness and stress. There are other ways of seeing the world and being in the world. Thanks so much for creating them and sharing them!

  • Heather says:

    Hi Franke,

    Great to see another post – and such a fun one too! I just featured it in our blog here.


  • Nanci says:

    Love your green skirt! What fun!

  • […] Bother’ in NY Times — thinking about growing veggies in our backyard… read Eccentric Glamour today – fun.” Mundane: Weeding the garden — must root out the bad guys before they […]

  • Leigh Spencer says:

    Franke, This could be the greatest blog I have EVER seen! Thank you!

  • Rebecca Whetstine says:

    I cannot say enough for the fact that you are FUN to read whilst doing serious business. The absolute Queen of Seriousity, I’ve always maintained that the best way to gain an convert is to disarm them with an eccentric, softened grin. You, my dears, hold the patent.

    I’ve just jettisoned a political blog that purports to be Progressive but, really, is terribly pugnacious on terrifyingly short cycles. Brings out the absolute worst in me! Now I’m seeking Role Models in the grownup world of Blogging With the Lightness of Being… and believe I’ve found it here. I shall study this delight for a while before embarking upon new uploads. :)….

  • Rebecca Whetstine says:

    Hello Franke – have not communicated in a long while. Is it possible to purchase your books directly from you AND have them autographed curiously by your very own hand? Perhaps with Sudden Spates of Line Drawing adorning therein?

    Much more delightful than other avenues. Enjoy Spring – there should be at least one more good ice storm round the bend, and then it’s on for summer.


  • […] If you’re one of those people, head over to Franke James’ blog and read her complete illustrated post about how she originally laughed at Doonan’s advice – and then decided he might indeed […]

  • Franke,

    You are so right! I have a closet of clothes that I hate. And — I just found a place that has stuff I like for cheap (hard when you are a plus size)…

    So I am READY and using this post as my inspiration springboard for what I have been planning for a while: big bags leaving my home and emptier closets!

    What was stopping me? Feeling overwhelmed~ so, I am inviting a friend or two to help, and we’ll throw a party! Yahoo!

    PS I am loving the aesthetic of this blog — I will be a follower, for sure! I found it due to a repost from an Organizer named Jeri Dansky.

    ~ Julie

  • […] So we need Franke and her Green Conscience. She’s believable. She’s funny. And she’s a talented artist who is open about her own stumbles along the path to being a responsible global citizen. A cocktail-party conversation about climate change with Steven Levitt, “a rogue economist”, sparked one of her visual essays, A Green Winter: Will Global Warming Be Good for Canada? Wondering what kind of Canada her future grandchildren will live in inspired another, My Future Grandkids 2020. When Franke read Simon Doonan’s Eccentric Glamour: Creating an Insanely More Fabulous You, her Green Conscience told her to toss out ordinary clothes and opt for Green Eccentric Glamour. […]

  • Janna Burgart says:

    Thank you. I have only just started to read and look at your work. So inspiring it is. I look forward to more and want to share it with my friends and family. Keep up the GOOD work.
    It’s all about trying, doing and really being isn’t it.

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