Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Some Recent Buys

Ta-dah! Finally, I have found a LWD which is almost - but not quite - perfect. It's a second-hand dress from Phase Eight which I bought from a car boot sale yesterday. I don't know how much it cost originally, but Phase Eight would normally charge about £60 to £130, and I got it for £3!

I have a keen interest in film, and not just in the costume aspect (though that's a major factor). I'm not that .clued in on anything pre-2000 though, so I got this on offer in HMV to broaden my spectrum on great films and maybe find some good things to watch on movie nights

Speaking of classic films... it may shock you to know that I had never seen Breakfast at Tiffany's before this weekend, and honestly, I didn't understand what all the fuss was about. Now I get it. This movie makes me want to lounge around in my best dresses, to buy an apartment in New York with a fire escape and to build a classic wardrobe of trenches and LBDs. Audrey Hepburn/Holly Golightly = True Style Icon.

I only really wanted the gold Alice band but these came in a pack of 3. 

Another brilliant find at the local car boot sale. I love looking through old magazines, even though the clothes have supposedly long gone out of fashion. However, when you review Vogues from a few years ago, you realise three things: the same trends recur constantly; good editorials will always look stylish and you can track a model's journey to the top through old copies of magazines (April 2009, Karlie Kloss was in two of the editorials. By June 2010, she is in at least 3 of the campaigns).

Not technically a purchase - I was sent it for review through Amazon Vine. So far, it's been very entertaining, and beautifully illustrated! Basically it's a memoir by this writer, Kelly Doust, about her life and how clothes have affected it and been affected by it. I will share my review with you once I finish. If anyone else has read it please share your thoughts!

Again, this flower badge wasn't technically a purchase. I did actually buy it from a friend's mum at a school spring fair, but later had my money given back because I'm a fiend of the family. How nice is that? It's made from the material of a dress my friend had which I also own one of, so it should match very nicely!

Saturday, 26 March 2011

1883 Interviews

If you read this post or this post you'll know I loitered around London Fashion Week back in February. I also mentioned that I'd picked up this pretty cool magazine called 1883, which, despite a few spelling errors, was very well put together and interesting to read. I was just going through the magazine's website the other day when I found this video, and realised that I have a few photos of these interviews happening! It's a great little film and really captures the atmosphere of Fashion Week, so if you have a couple of minutes, please just give it a watch.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

They tell of spring returning

A selection of photos I took for art today and yesterday- flowers and my friend Holly. They'd better get me a good mark, I scraped my hand climbing in and out of that tree to take pictures of the blossom up close! How we suffer for our art...

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

I grant I never saw a goddess go...

In the words of my good friend The Theatrical Holmes: "I seem to be one of the few people in our year who has retained the childlike wonder that comes with dressing up"

This was true for both of us on Friday when our school decided it was a good idea to ask students to dress up as superheroes and donate £1 to Help for Heroes. This was a good idea in theory, and would have worked if we all had the mental age of about 7. Unfortunately, it was just us select few who fell into that category and everyone else who came in their own clothes. Even then, several people had decided to come as 'their hero' rather than a 'superhero' - I saw a Holly Golightly, a James Bond and even a Gandhi! I, however, decided to go a step further and deliberately misinterpreted the theme and instead of a 'hero' came as 'Hera', Greek goddess of women and marriage.

It made me wonder, why do some of us still love to dress up, while others still see it as immature? Then I realised that these days, my interest in costume mainly manifests itself as an obsession with fashion. In my friend's case it has evolved into a love of all things to do with the theatre. In fact, a lot of the people who chose to raid the dressing-up box are people who have shown a disposition to the fashionable, theatrical or just plain attention-seeking.

This turned my thoughts to another question: Does everyone in fashion have a secret love of dressing up? I think the answer to this is usually yes - minus the 'secret'. Anna Della Russo et al are hardly retiring wall-flowers. But after all, isn't modelling just performing in a costume? Don't stylists just pluck things from their dressing-up box? Obviously it's a little more than that, but perhaps a love of fashion -or theatre, film, performance of any kind, really- does stem from that time when you first put on a Disney princess dress. The swathes of synthetic material and shiny matching accessories might just have sparked that desire to become someone else, look different, find a little bit of magic in life. Then again, perhaps it just sparked the desire to wear pretty dresses.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

asos fashion finder

Sorry, for the little gap in posting, I had a minor crisis regarding image hosting, but it's sorted now! Here is a short post to apologise, and a new one should be coming soon.

A few months ago I told you about how I'd signed up to Boutiques.com and was so far unimpressed. Well, I'm still unimpressed, but now I can add the fact that I've found and become obsessed with a much better site! ASOS fashion finder is essentially a cross between shopstyle and lookbook, with the unfortunate limitation that you can only search ASOS. However, with the site's extensive range which includes countless brands and designers, what's the problem?

I love creating dream outfits from their archives of pretty clothes, and you can upload images to accompany them. You can also upload pictures of looks you have worn or browse through them for inspiration. You don't even have to create an ASOS account, you can just sign in using facebook.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Florals? For spring? Ground breaking

As a very wise yet fictional editor of Runway magazine once pointed out, floral pieces for spring are hardly original. But as with all recurring trends, there must be a reason why it is so popular, and the reason for this trend's refusal to go away is pretty obvious. Spring is when new life comes forth - lambs, chicks, ducklings, green leaves and of course flowers. But we also tend to feel that we ourselves have some form of new life, hence the idea of spring cleaning and the success of people who decide to give up something for lent (I've given up meat, that's why I had so much bacon on pancake day).

Apply the feelings associated with Spring to fashion and it makes sense that designers want to show clean whites, bright colours and fresh blooms. That's not to say that all florals are good, some of them are completely awful! It can often depend on the size of the print, the colour scheme and the fabric, all of which vary from season to season. Even if you have an acceptable piece, how do you avoid look boring or even granny-like? Well, my answer to that, as ever, is a list! Follow these tips if you want to go manic for botanics, but would like to avoid a floral faux-pas.

Christian Dior's garden in Granville

1. Clash - It's a risky move, but if you play it right and mix your prints, you can achieve a look that shows off both your sartorial expertise and sunny disposition. The trick to pulling it off is not to pair prints which are both loud - let one do the talking and one sit in the background nodding. Also avoid prints which are too similar, as it could end up looking like they deliberately match and you don't want to look like this do you?

2. Choose carefully - Before you buy anything with any sort of print on, always make sure you try it on. A loud daisy print may look cute on the hanger, but without checking, you have no idea if it's going to emphasise your tummy to a less than flattering extent. Look out for things you would normally steer clear of - particular silhouettes, colours which don't work on your skin tone etc. Just because it's disguised with lilies doesn't mean it will look any better than it normally does.

3. Don't overkill - Clashing two prints is probably enough, but the same can be said for the mixing of florals with other features. It's generally seen as part of the romantic trend, so mixing in too many other aspects of that (frills, bows, pastels, feathers etc.) can leave you with the appearance of a children's birthday cake. If you are really worried about this effect, start with some floral accessories, a scarf, a ring, something small which will help you work your way in. Another way to avoid it is to wear florals with tough pieces which completely contrast with their femininity: a biker jacket, black boots, a skull ring...

Something I'm working on for Art-don't worry it's not finished yet
4. If all else fails, top and tail - I've heard Gok swear by it many a time. Basically this is a styling technique where you wear something on top e.g. a red beret and match it with something on the bottom of the same colour e.g. red shoes. This makes whatever you do in the middle OK (within reason). This works best for patterns if you pick out a colour in the print and use that.

To put some of my theories to the test, I wore the outfit you see above to a play on Saturday night. Technically one piece is floral and the other is a kind of leaf print, but I think the fundamentals remain the same. However, no matter what I wore, I don't think it was possible to look as pretty as Henry - pictured below on the left with my friend Vicki - who made for a beautiful Miranda Lionheart in the play, Theatre of Blood. He certainly knows how to work a floral dress (and, surprisingly, how to walk in heels).

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Book Review: Sugar and Spice

Have you ever wondered what's going on behind the camera during The Hills? Scrap that, have you ever wondered what's really going on in front of the camera? Lauren Conrad's L.A. Candy series portrays this and more through the trials and tribulations of Jane Roberts and her friends/frenemies. This is the final in that trilogy, which picks up the story after the revelation that Jane's friend and co-star Madison was the one who leaked compromising photos of Jane to the press.

Sneer all you like at the concept of a celebrity author, but I've been stuck trying to read various long books for a while and I needed a break. I devoured this book about 100 pages at a time, and it was delicious. Overlook, if you can, the slight overuse of the characters' names and general annoyingness that the naivete of Jane Roberts brings, this story is fun. Something which I think is looked down on in the world of literature, but really - why read a book if it's more fun not to?

Overall, this has its flaws, but is a sweet, summery, dramatic romp through the streets of L.A. The ending is satisfactory and leaves the door open for a follow-up series for Madison, and the whole series reveals some interesting truths about reality TV, or should I say its lack of reality?

Read it if you like: The Hills, Gossip Girl (book or series), 90210 or if you just love L.A. and like to read things which name-drop its biggest attractions.

Marks out of 5: 3.9

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Black Swan

I made this a while ago, and I just found it. So, in honour of Natalie Portman's well-deserved Academy Award last week, here is my black Swan collage. I know, I know, I'm way behind the rest of the blogosphere, it's OLD NEWS. But I'm hoping the fact that my collage includes a reference to Billy Elliot AND two shots of the oddly handsome Benedict Cumberbatch will allow you to forgive me... please?

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Hey, I put some new shoes on and suddenly everything's right

Apologies for the lack of posting recently, it's the first week back at school after my lovely week-long break and GCSEs suddenly seem like they're happening tomorrow. However, I have made a few new purchases in the shoe department, and they were such good bargains. I think I mentioned the shop Cadogan and James when I was talking about their deli. Well, there's a clothes shop as well, but I rarely go in there because of their high prices. Last week though, they seemed to have just given up on that, and all the prices dropped dramatically! I have here a pair of Cefalu brown suede shoes, marked down from £36 to just £9! And as if that wasn't enough, Cadogan do a few of their own shoes, so I now have a pair of blue kitten heels marked down from £165 (!) to just £17. I thought it must be a mistake, but I now have £201 worth of shoes for just £26!

They are just the right size and the brown ones in particular are quite on-trend, I could wear them with my Zara trousers... if I hadn't managed to split those down the seam! On the brighter side, I've now ordered this dress to go with the blue ones so I can wear them to a party next week. I will try and do some more posts this week, but if not then I promise I'll have photos from the party.