Saturday, 27 November 2010

Jumping on the Boutique Wagon


Just set up my boutique on the brand new boutiques.com, I'm still playing around with it at the mo, but it seems to be an interesting idea. New post coming soon!

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Dazzle




I went to an exhibition yesterday which had some lovely 1920s beaded dresses, but I wasn't allowed to take pictures. Instead, how about some lovely photos of the entrance, and a display cabinet which was outside containing a couple of copies of Vogue from 1929! I loved the dresses, and I wish I could share them with you, but if you live in Winchester, I would highly recommend a visit to the discovery centre to see the dresses, because they're so detailed and delicate. One even had to be layed out in a cabinet rather than put on a mannequin because the material wasn't strong enough to maintain the heavy beading. My personal favourite was one made entirely of strips of blue sequins, which looked like they would swing very pleasingly during dancing.

Today I went in to town and did a little shopping, including the maxi dress pictured at the bottom. You can't really see it, and I suppose there's not much to see. It's a plain blue dress with a scoop neck and 3/4 length sleeves, I just liked its simplicity and the way it reminded me of Yvaine from Stardust. I also tried on a blue, tiered and pleated dress which reminded me of my favourite one from the exhibition. Holly bought that floral dress you can see her in there, and didn't have to borrow any money from me this time!

I'm thinking of organising a Stardust movie night just so I can wear my new dress now, (which by the way was marked down to just £5) but I'm not sure what everybody else would dress up as. Princes? Pirates? Michelle Pfeiffer?

Pleated blue dress picture by Holly B

Sunday, 14 November 2010

stamping stars from the wrong pavement


























Isn't America amazing?

I made this collage because that's the kind of thing I do, particularly when I'm ill and watching Devil Wears Prada on a Saturday afternoon. But the inspiration to do it came mainly from a feature in British Vogue with American sportswear, which I LOVED because it reminded me of my favourite T-shirt (below). You may notice more than one image from the video for Hollywood by Marina and the Diamonds, that's because the song really captures my feelings towards the States: "I'm obsessed with the mess that's America"

I think that I first fell in love with America on my first -and only, so far- trip there, to Boston. I remember going into what looked like a bar, and being absolutely certain that they wouldn't serve food. I was 8 at the time, and slightly baffled by this enormous city which looked like the ones on TV, but seemed much colder. Come to think of it, this was probably the beginning of my love-hate (mainly hate) relationship with hats, because it was so cold that I was forced to wear one no matter whether I liked it or not.

Anyway, I was hungry, cold , and wandering why we were sitting at a table in an almost empty bar. The only other customers were a couple at the next table, I remember that the man was wearing a baseball cap with a 'No War in Iraq' badge. Then my food arrived. It was a PB&J sandwich, something I had only heard of in Calvin and Hobbes up until that point of my life. After overcoming the shock of such a thing being real, let alone the fact it was served in an empty bar at midday, I took a bite.

It was delicious. Something about the way it was sticky, sweet, salty, thick and soft all at the same time made it amazing, and all the better for being eaten on a cold October day. At that point, I decided I liked this country, something only reinforced by the Halloween puppet show, the father and son we met at a restaurant who could have doubled for Martin and Frasier Crane, the classic Diner breakfast and the lights display somewhere in the middle of the city, which nobody else was watching. Yes, I decided, I think I'll come back here.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Poppies





Of course, Remembrance Day calls for a post about poppies. Though first let me repeat a comment made by a librarian today when she saw people wearing their British Legion poppies in their hair: "It's not a fashion accessory", and she's right. It's not.

The reason I want to talk about them is the way wearing one reflects on my opinions and what people see them as. I bought one, of course I did, and I agree with what they raise money for and the importance of remembering. But I worry that by wearing one for these reasons, people will assume more about me.

Will they think I condone war?
I don't want them to.

But I don't want to seem disrespectful. So next year, I think I'll get a white poppy, which I'll wear with a normal poppy, which signifies that you don't agree with war. You don't see them very often actually, which makes me wonder if the BBC bans people from wearing a white poppy in addition to the one they are given as policy. You also don't seem to see them in the houses of parliament, which I find surprising due to the number of anti-war  (or at least Iraq war) politicians.

Some say that the white poppies are disrespectful, but when they were created by women who had lost their relatives in the first or second world war, how can they be? Please don't take anything I say as more than an opinion, but I really do think we should think about the message we send out, as ever, through what we wear.

Monday, 8 November 2010

The REAL House of Dior

When you create dresses like Christian Dior, you must have some sort of beautiful surroundings to inspire those beautiful designs. In his case, it was his childhood home, Les Rhumbs in Granville, Normandy, France, which is now a museum dedicated to his career and the history of the label before and after his death. Ideally visited on a sunny day in August or a cool summer evening to wander around the gardens. When I went, the museum was displaying an exhibition of ball gowns, all of which were so beautiful I wanted to take them home, but alas, I was not even allowed to take a picture. I can tell you though that the crowning glory of the exhibition was the Dior Midnight Poison Dress, shown on the poster above, which was used in the advert for the perfume.

In the Salon de The, a tent was screening footage from the Dior 60th anniversary show at Versailles. You know, the one when John Galliano takes his bows in full on Toreador gear. Around the garden were full sized black and white photographs of models in Dior dresses printed on canvas and strung up in place of more traditional garden decor. There are also boards about each of the Dior perfumes with scented boxes so you can smell them. Diorella was my favourite.

Visiting the house seems like some sort of fashion pilgrimage, not just because Christian Dior lived there, but because it was his inspiration, and he obviously loved it very much. The garden has been made to his design and the views afforded by the house over the sea certainly inspired me.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

The Strangest Birthday Party Ever...





Last night, I went to a Harold Pinter play called 'The Birthday Party'. I can safely say it made the least sense out of any play I've ever seen. But let me just say that surreal as the play was, the performers were fantastic and didn't forget a single line, which is impressive considering it was a school production. Overall, it was a fun night and gave me an excuse to wear my new French Connection dress (which I got cheap second hand, but don't tell anyone that). You may notice that my hair is curled, then again, you may not, as I lack the patience, skill and curlers-which-are-not-travel-ones-won-in-a-raffle to do it properly.

I did however get some new eyeshadow... and Vogue, which I really didn't need, but could you resist the promise of a photo shoot of Emma Watson by Mario Testino?

That was a rhetorical question.

Top photo by Vicki G

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Glasses and their many advantages




 OK, so first of all, I'm not saying you NEED glasses to be intelligent. I'm also not saying that wearing glasses makes you intelligent (or geeky, for that matter, have you seen The Social Network?) All I'm saying is that it tends to be a preconceived notion- whether right or wrong- that people with glasses appear to be cleverer, harder working, more intellectual than others. Having just taken a Grade 5 Music Theory exam and awaiting the joyous occasion that is my GCSEs, I think I could do with a miracle cure for inattention! And it's always worth a try, so I put on these 3-D glasses with the lenses poked out (I don't have any real or even plain glass ones, though Urban Outfitters have a range which may be worthy of some cash splashing) and how do I feel?
I feel more intelligent,
I look more intelligent,
It works!
But a quick look at my maths homework reveals the truth: I am no more intelligent than before.

Of course, thinking about it, this makes total sense, why should there be a relationship between poor eyesight and high IQ? So that begs the question, where does the whole only-smart-people-wear-glasses thing come from? The truth is that like most stereotypes, the whole thing comes from some super-brains wearing glasses like Stephen Hawking, and others making a connection in their mind.

Having said that, wearing glasses has loads of advantages, besides being considered cleverer: your eyes look bigger; you have the option of wearing some designers all the time; the right thickness adds interest to your face; the right shape emphasises your cheekbones. Why don't we all wear them?

Monday, 1 November 2010

Dressed to Express




I went to this exhibition in Reading on Saturday called 'Dressed to Express', all about how teenagers used clothes to express themselves. It was very interesting and based around 8 different teenagers and their styles, though despite how good the exhibition was, I found some of the things the teens said a bit... un-thought-out.
For instance, there were two girls, one who dressed in a goth way and the other in a punk way. I have nothing against these styles, but one of them said something about how just following catwalk trends isn't expressing yourself, which I totally disagree with. OK, so some people might take their looks directly from the shows, but anyone really interested in fashion knows that this doesn't use fashion as a tool for showing your personality in the way it can be. Look at this quote from Anna Wintour:

"Create your own individual style. I'm not interested in the girl who walks into my office in a head-to-toe label look that's straight off the runway. I'm interested in a girl who puts herself together in an original, independent way." *

So even Anna Wintour sees your point about catwalk trends, however, the thing is, from my perspective, punk and goth are supposed to be about not dressing like everybody else, about rebelling against the system, which it was when somebody had the original idea in the 80's, but now so many other people have been there tried that, had that label put on them and sort of changed the whole point. So how is joining a teen tribe any different from copying the catwalk? Surely either way you are just dressing like other people?

In truth, expressing yourself through clothing is really about being independent and comfortable in what you're wearing (not always real comfort but you know what I mean). And I don't see how being part of a teen tribe: Goth, Punk, Hippy, Chav, Emo, Posh, Geek or whatever, is in any way independent.

*Source: The Teen Vogue Handbook