Sunday, 31 October 2010

Just too unreal all this...

I have finally seen my joint all-time favourite musical (closely tied at the top with Legally Blonde the Musical of course). It may only be an amateur production, and I'll still never forgive myself for missing it on the West End, but Spring Awakening last night was AMAZING. I didn't take pictures during the performance, but you can probably see how the theatre (a converted farm building) was ideal for the play.

I could not have hoped for a better production off Broadway. Thank you so much to everybody involved, the singing and acting was so good, the band was fantastic and it was a beautiful venue. The entire cast was perfect but I thought Alex Deutsch as Melchior was particularly passionate and enthralling in his performance. I must confess I cried a little bit during Those You've Known. The whole thing makes me want to dress in a white dress and grey knee socks and move to19th century Germany, though from what I gather it wasn't that great. OK I'd settle for seeing it again on stage but they had to go and cancel it in London.
I guess I'll have to wait until either I can sneak over to America and catch it on tour or until the film comes out, provided McG doesn't ruin it.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Dangerous Affair

I'm really liking this new nail colour (it's called 'Dangerous Affair', hence the title) which I got free with Marie Claire.

I've never been that good with nail polish. It looks good when it's first on, but then I need to change the channel or turn a page and it starts getting chipped and dented. I do it all properly like you're supposed to: base coat, two layers, top coat, leave it in the fridge before hand, but my problem is I can't sit still and wait for it to dry properly. Even afterwards, it just comes off. Some of it actually just made a mark on the 'E' key.
Oh well, it looks good from a distance, though I have many other colours yet to try, including New York Taxi Cab Yellow and Green-wich Village Green.
At least they all have great names.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Editor Tool Kit

According to the TeenVogue Handbook, these are the "essential items of the pros". Well, one couldn't deal with being an amateur.
I had to settle for 'i' from the independent instead of The New York Times because they don't sell it at Tesco. Also I don't have any business cards or dietary supplements so they too are missing, but I think I'll be OK.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

I'm taking pictures in my mind so I can save them for a rainy day

Fun in town with a friend (that's her at the top by the way, I'm the one trying to work the leopard print top, which I can safely say is the ghastliest thing in New Look, though looks OK with the blazer). I had to lend her money for that blazer we're both wearing in some pictures, but with unlimited borrowing rights, I think that's money well lent.
Missing the warmth of Italy, but Autumn in England is just too nice to despise. Even if it is way too cold for October.
Some pictures by Holly B

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Italian Style in Napoli and Sorrento

What is Italian Style?
Is it older gentlemen in their well-made suits and custom shoes? Is it tan boys with dark hair in ice cream coloured T shirts on matching mopeds? Or is it their girlfriends, clinging onto the back in denim jackets, neckscarves and Valentino red lipstick?
From my recent trip to the Bay of Naples, I can speculate on only a few features of Italian style, and they are hardly expert opinions. But anyway, let me share with you my observations.

1.Italians like their national colours - especially red. There is so much red going on in people's outfits. The first day, I saw a woman wearing all red, closely followed by a woman all in white. Right down to the shoes. There is obviously some sort of plot to recreate that scene from The Italian Job, but with people in place of minis.

2. Flat shoes are in - at least in the Naples area. Comfort is a big priority, but so is style. Their perfect shoe is something brogue-ey, in brown or cream leather, but not worn with the traditional suit. They like to wear something far more relaxed with their footwear. I am so glad I invested in those lovely brown leather look shoes now. Thank you Primark.

3. Black is most definitely the new black. - Saturday night, a wedding reception held at our hotel, and it wasn't just the men in black suits. Black is the perfect match for a mediterranean complexion, and most of the women, men and children wore dresses and suits in charcoal and ebony. Well, it's one way not to upstage the bride.

4. Hold your drink - because any outfit requires an accompanying drink in hand. Going to work in a chic shift dress? Strong black takeaway coffee. Taking the tourist trail in shorts and a cardigan? Have a cooling Granita. Out on the town in a light minidress? Have a glass of limoncello (only one mind).

5. Its all about the classics - Looking around, the evidence of a strong pride in Italian brands is clear: Valentino, Armani, Gucci, D&G, Moschino... I could go on forever. Basically Italians have a rich history of fashion design, and they know it.

Friday, 22 October 2010

10 places to find vintage clothes

1. Vintage shops- obvious, yes. But they are fantastic. If you've never been to one, I can advise you to visit your closest shop as soon as possible. A quick Google search featuring the words 'vintage shops' and your local area should reveal a few places you can go. If you can get to London easily, Radio Days is my all-time favourite vintage shop, with clothes and accessories from the 20's and 80's plus it's really close to Waterloo.

2. Car boot sales- they're very hit and miss. On the plus side, people don't want to drag all the stuff home with them and are willing to reduce their prices to something more affordable, so barter. I got the leather shoes pictured above for just £1 and they're in great condition. You may not get genuine vintage, but you will get something with a previous owner and with a history, which is what vintage is really about.

3. Charity Shops- don't be put off by the inordinate amount of elderly women, charity shops or thrift stores can be surprising in what they stock, plus the average volunteer is not likely to recognise Louis Vuitton when she sees it.

4. Relatives/Friends- have you ever had a good look through your mum's wardrobe? You may not have realised that she kept the Rolling Stones T shirt she wore to their gig when she was 16, or the bridesmaid dress she wore to aunt Dana's wedding in '82. An older person's wardrobe is a Narnia full of undiscovered treasures just waiting to be stumbled upon. Just make sure you ask first.

5. Theatre Costume Sales- I went to one of these recently, and got a long black 1930's style dress which was perfect for the murder mystery I was going to the next week. Even if the clothes aren't genuine wartime pieces or whatever, they will be made in that style by a Wardrobe Mistress who was trying to get the most authentic look for the play.

6. Ebay- personally, I have never bought clothing from Ebay, but I do know someone who has had some great buys from it, including a sequinned gold showgirl dress, all for pretty good prices. Just be watchful of how much postage they charge you and what system of sizing they use.

7. The High Street- OK, so its kind of the anti-vintage, but any knowledgable brand should have picked up on the whole retro craze by now, so you can pick up some amazing pieces from Topshop, Miss Selfridge and River Island to name a few. Or why not go one step further with Urban Outfitters? Their Urban Renewal range is full of modern clothes remade from vintage materials and they now have One-Of-A-Kind, genuine vintage items available online only.

8. Market stalls- in my town, there is a regular stall selling vintage clothes from about the 70's onwards. The prices are slightly better than a vintage shop and the clothes are in better condition than Oxfam donations. Look out for them in your area or if you fancy a trip to London, Thursday is vintage and retro clothing day on the legendary Portobello Road market, and there are plenty of good vintage shops to the sides aswell. Set aside a few hours because this road goes on forever.

9. Make your own- I have a fantastic book called Practical Home Dressmaking Illustrated by Lynn Hillson. Originally published in 1948, I got it for 20p at my school library. It has so many easy to follow designs from the time, and I plan on testing a few out in the near future. Look out for books like these or even vintage dress patterns in charity shops and second hand sales.

10. Army Surplus Stores- military comes back every season. Instead of splashing out on a £3000 Burberry coat, why not salute the trend with something a little more genuine? I've had my on a Royal Air Force jumper with leather elbow pads for a while now...

Blue dress photo by Holly S