30 July 2009

Ketchup Makes It Better

I was (as it all turned out A-0K in the end) having one of those ridiculous, challenging days today probably because I was running on empty in regards to sleep. I had zero snooze last night.I caught Skins as I was instructed to watch it and give it ago (I've never watched Skins to the disgust of my friend) personally it done nothing for me I found it pretty dull.Through out the whole program there is this OTT Topshop plug. Which when its so in your face, is kind of corny, no?
After fifteen minutes I relocated to my bedroom and began sketching in my scrapbook, singing along to some tunes. I wish I never began sketching as I found myself on a roll and didn't pass out to sleep until 4am. Mind you the phantom spider I have living in my room didn't help either: as I spent ages trying to catch it you know the old glass and piece of paper trick? However this sod of a spider is one step ahead, and once again vanished into the shadows. Some spiders I like some I hate depends on how chunky their bodies are.The long legged variety don't bother me.There's one spider in my room already, which I've named Boom (she lives at the back of my speakers) and crawls out when ever I play vintage KOL. Hmmm I suspect Boom adores the track 'milk' as much as I do, bless her.

All the above drama of last night equals to moi feeling very sleep deprived, equals tough day. Luckily enough my retail training thingy didn't begin until lunch time. I switched on the box to indulge in some dirty daytime TV, and to my delight re-runs of very vintage OC was on. 'Today is going to be a good one I can feel it', err how very wrong was I?
Firstly I get toothpaste in my hair and in my eye *ouch that stings*, then I'm seduced by none other than honey nut crunch cornflakes which I was planing to have for brunch...I spill milk all over the floor, returning to the lounge I trip over the god damn rug!
This annoying pattern has continued through out this trying Thursday.
In fact the pattern has only just come to a final end: I just got back from the supermarket and even that little task was similar to a military mission.The shelf was pesto free nooooooo I need my pesto fix! When waiting in the line at the till this woman oblivious to manners and lacking them also pushed in front. Nudging me with her fully loaded and about to collapse trolley.

So I survived the twisted events of today, and convinced myself a small fashion purchase was there for deserved if not fully justified?
I didn't go too nuts, and it doesn't make me materialistic as all my fashion buys (with the exception of one: being the red Dorothy pump brogues )were good old thrift bargains.
I discovered a gorgeous fine red leather classic clasp purse with those rare words 'Made in England' sadly a thing of the past.In Mind charity shop I picked up this bold Ketchup red bag. Which is so deep I could possibly live comfortably inside it without suffering from any claustrophobic( erm is that correct spelling ?Claus-troph-obic? Jeez this word always gets me confused)attacks. As much as I adore the red dress by quirktastic label loveyoulongtime, my purse failed to stretch that far!
All my purchases are evidently influenced by recent obsession and food phase. Tomato Ketchup, I've always been more of an brown sauce 'gal.

*PS...My link thing, yep is still dead. So like I've mentioned before if you want the website link to anything just get in touch prettyneons@live.com

29 July 2009

Happy Fix

Joy yes literally,nope I've not obtained my one way ticket to San Francisco, nor have I finally learned how to do the perfect handstand (hmm time I just let go of that little gymnastic ambition of mine. Handstands are way too difficult and require more balance than I'm really capable of. Though I can skate so that doesn't add up?).
Joy one of my beloved stores, I first fell in love with her (joy is a she right? It is now!) when I was about seventeen went to visit my sister in London and when walking through Clapham Junction station there she was beaming at me. Joy.
A glittering and retro array of fashion goodies all on display at the window, decorated with quirky super woman fairy lights.
My memory of discovering Joy for the first time remains etched on my brain,'I heart Joy' is how that memory reads.

You can't beat the adrenalin kick that walking into a Joy store provides, its so flamboyant with a dizzy combination of colours and patterns.Bursting with off the wall fashion labels and kitsch accessories, amusing novelty bits and bobs. Joy is the dream bedroom you so much desired to have as a naive child with a appetite for rainbows and sequins (is it so alarming this remains to be a few of my favorite things?)The whole store is one chirpy, positive, funky, exciting alternative retail experience. A brilliant refresher from them all to familiar mainstream retail giants all flogging the same stock just in a slightly different shade of mundane. Once you've scanned the rails at say Dorothy Perkins (other fashion retail outlets are available)your finished and ready to exit. The difference at Joy is once you've fallen head over hills in love with a ladybird print bow skirt and all their other fun vibrant pieces. Your far from finished for that was simply the warm up ( star jumps are dead).
Its time to get that fashion- pulse- a- going- and a- head rush-a- flowing, by giving your full undivided attention to the magical, adorable accessories from Russian dolls to Alice in wonderland i.e Joy is not to be mistaken for or confused with the daily lunch time fashion retail fix. Nooooo Joy is a full blown happy day out!

Sadly it isn't always so easy to jump into the other worldly joy vortex. As their few and far between hence I suppose why Joy has such a magical almost rare quality to it.My nearest Joy (to my knowledge) is London, a bit of a costly trek. Thank the powers that be at Joy for their website complete with online store, which almost captures the essence of the real Joy store. I've got my eye on the tier deer print skirt and ladybird bow skirt: yes, yes I can make a decision without changing my mind a hundred times. Erm...the deer skirt? What about the skull floral bow vest?Wait no, that wasn't even included in my original options. Why do I sense this is one of those to no avail moments?

Go get some joy in your life: WWW.JOYTHESTORE.COM

PS...My link thing remains down and out, so copy & paste I'm afraid folks.

28 July 2009

Ware It Well

Hello hello,my purse is feeling all so fragile.Oh but why? one tiny word beginning with 'w' warehouse. I've not been giving the highstreet much attention I can't even recall the last time I made the effort to browse the predictable samey highstreet. Last time I looked it was festival look this festival look that, plus I live in fear afraid of possibly bumping into that annoying Gok 'fashion style guru' from the box. Shivers down my spine.
Jeez that man is irritating,I'd rather chew on tin foil then have him in my face 'girrrl confidence is key, so is a statement necklace' fuck off.
I'm sure his a nice guy and all that polite nonsense.

Er where was I before I went into one about Gok and my sarcastic streak took well and truly over?
Oh yes, right returning to the highstreet jungle and the glorious wonders of Warehouse or should that be Wowhouse (OK, OK that pun was inexcusable). Now after avoiding the likes of primark, newlook, H&M etc for so very long, I wasn't sure exactly what to expect, probably Kate Moss splashed across every 'fashionable' window and banners printed with swirly tattoo style patterns and Gothic font with those all too familiar descriptive words 'festival chic'. Pass.
Indeed I did spot one or two banners and lots of Kate Moss/ Chung/Geldof wannabes, tragically appearing way too influenced by numerous Moss/ Chung/ Geldof loving magazines (you know who you are, and your mags bore me to tears). It saddens me how some girls can't use a bit of their own imagination and combine elements of their fashion icons.Maybe I just notice these pointless things more then I really need to? I confess I have and will always be fascinated with fashion as communication, fashion theory why we all wear what we do and whats the outfit saying(so to speak).Someones outfit can speak volumes and be a instant conversation, I'll get back to this later.

Right I WILL get to the point and end the rambling on and on and on...Warehouse they've some mighty marvelous pieces right now and a massive slayer of a sale too making it all too tempting to dive into my hollow purse, hence why my purse is feeling fragile. My purse can sense me being seduced by loud prints, fantasy like tee prints,grantatsic floral scarves and classic popcorn box style skirt (well it reminded me of a popcorn box anyway). All of which was literally screaming at me when I paid a visit to Warehouse, despite me having my trusty over the head (their the best variety me thinks?) headphones. Biffy, Incubus, Thebigpink,Takingbacksunday, Hole, Willy Mason all bouncing off the sides of my brain, must keep humming tunes to myself it should distract me from purchasing, evil consuming ...leave me be!
'Quick, quick these sales are nothing but one big trick you can do so much better go thrift',informs my inner fashion saint.
'Thrift?! Nope stuff that come on these price tags are low, only three quid more then say a Oxfam item, go indulge, now hurry!' instructs my not so inner fashion saint far from sensible advice.
I need to escape, and run pass all these lethal Warehouse rails.

While searching for the nearest exit (before those seducing sales get the better of me) I bang into (no 'not girrrl you have it Gok)this complete stranger I express my sorry's for the collision. The stranger taps me on the back of my shoulder I yank my headphones off my head (only for them to get all tangled and knotted up in my long, curly I just inserted my fingers into a plug socket hair).
'erm, erm I just wanted to say you look someone straight from the sixties, your whole thing - cool'
Surprised by the unexpected compliment, seeing as I was expecting a 'watch where your going fool' words just failed me and I didn't know what to say?
...'oh erm, err cheers its all from second hand shops, where did you get your hairband(this tie dye thing around his head) from?'
Damn why did I insert a frigging question for? When I already feel all awkward and dork like, now I've prolonged the moment, and I'm beginning to twitch because all around me are frocks and tops dripping with colourful delight.
'You into your rock, funk psychedelic music(Whoa right there fashion as communication instant conversation clothes are a high tech barcode!) I take it?'
Oh dear god his asking me more questions what about my question? I'm awaiting an answer.
'yep I can't get enough of that stuff though I do enjoy a contradiction and so I also adore metal, Punk and a touch of R&B too,aahh you like Nirvana I see'
Clap, clap brilliant investigating, think not it does clearly say Nirvana on his bloody T-shirt you idiot (the sarcastic insults continue in my head)
Why is a guy in Warehouse?Before I could question him he informs me to as why he is standing near the selection of half price dresses.
'My sis dragged me into this place,Nirvana are genius there's a new statement about them that no ones ever said before I'm sure of it.'
It isn't until I decide to make actual eye contact that I realise and register how shockingly hot this stranger is, one of those faces you could paint.
'Well have fun looking at those half price dresses'
Wait, did I really just say such a pathetic sentence? Shit I did didn't I? Off I go oblivious as ever.
I go straight across the road to HMV and after all that effort to avoid wasting pennies at Warehouse, I have a huge CD binge. Has anyone else got their hands on that new Kasabian album? Its amazing and provides great escapism; go get if you haven't already!Its worth it just for this track called 'under dog'

Oh before I go and press repeat on my stereo (the novelty of having brand new tunes)big, big, big thank you goes out to the fabtastic and kind Emma over at passionforfashion who sent me a brilliant bag of fun treats which included hello Kitty lipgloss and a big red bow hairband. Aaaahhhhh I ADORE!!
So Thank you love and get well soon you can beat that bad ass pig flu! xXx

PS...My link thing is still down and out so just drop me a email if your desperate for the website, its no prob's.

15 July 2009

Oh Bedcrumbs!

I popped down the road to the shop today like you do, you know to get the mundane bread, milk,redbull,hot chili sauce and chocolate odd combination I know. When paying for my basket of goods, I was reminded how very fed up I am of this old primark purse of mine.I've had the purse for three years, once upon a time I adored the quirky print since then I've some how managed to become even more eccentric, there for the old bland primark purse with a broken zip is doing nothing for me anymore. Believe it or not I'm not over the top materialistic nor a massive consuming creature. I rarely purchase new items unless I'm really, really desperate and in need of something.When heading home with my bit of shopping I was oblivious to the fact I was leaving a long trail of pennies behind me, yep pennies had rolled out of my battered old purse due to one giant sized hole.

With the highstreet really quite dull right now, it wasn't easy finding the perfect purse in fact by the time I reached Warehouse I gave up all hope of ever discovering a lovely little purse to keep the very few pennies I have nice and safe.Until I remembered this adorable special gifts company I stumbled upon some time ago now( memory nudged when eating a cheese and mango chutney sandwich crumbs fell into my lap)called bedcrumb.co.uk (once again sorry's for the lack of link 'tis still not working frustrating!!).
It really is a cute as cute can be website, a pleasant experience too. Kind of like visiting your quirky aunts house for Sunday lunch while her nutcase pet parrot squawks in the background with your aunt explaining the story behind each antique teapot that sits upon the shelf.
Erm yeah yeah you get the drift already?

Bedcrumb's unique designs consist of a mish mash mixture of found old vintage buttons, ribbons, lace, bows materials combined with illustration and textile design. The array of random and naive style illustrations such as ladies,cakes teapots,birds and creatures just make your heart melt and your imagination run wild. Each Bedcrumb scarf, brooch, purse and card tells a little charming story,the icing on the cake is each piece is made in the UK with lots of love and totally free of nasty same old, same old mass production.Embrace the crumbs is what I must do, and I sure am going to indulge I'm going to treat moi to not one but two delicious bedcrumbs one scarf and of course a much needed brand new purse. Erm that is when I've decided which purse I want?


14 July 2009

Black Out

With the 'summer' weather being as fickle as it is right now: one minute sunshine warmness, the next black heavy grey clouds and lashings of ice cold rain, thunderstorms and freak floods .I've decided I need not bother with getting together a vibrant summer wardrobe, to hell with it what is the point huh? Besides I've failed to find any summer items that really appeal to me, there is a real lack of exciting prints I'm bored of ditsy floral prints, I've had it up to hear (pointing at my head) with the whole boat and anchor/ Alexa Chung style crap which is just about everywhere from newlook to frigging topshop. GO AWAY. Jeez these retail outlets sure know how to milk a celeb 'inspired' trend don't they?
Rant over, until next time ha!

Times like these, I simply turn to the inner punk/psychedelic/ grunge/emo/indie/ rock i.e the stubborn thirteen year old self who doesn't seem to fade really. Probably because my style is influenced by music and my taste in music hasn't changed since I was pre-teen I remain loyal to all bands with something to say and stories to tell. At thirteen I was already well aware of how I wished to express myself and of course there is no better tool for self expression then fashion, it speaks volumes and is capable of doing all the talking. Even when you yourself wish not to speak and chose to remain silent, those threads will communicate your current mood. As far back as I can remember I've been having a love affair with rock music and I'm assuming its here to stay. Sticking two fingers up to those who called it a phase.
Anywhos I was having a bit of a sort out the other night (being a night owl and all) I came across one fierce poster of The Distillers (fly by band they were, epic tunes though)and another poster of Stone Temple Pilots.
Stuck in a rut with what to wear, I simply turned to these two bands for my outfit reference point. Yep the inner thirteen year old is lurrrrrrrrving this black out!
I don't take part in outfit posts as I'm shy (well sort of) and do not fancy splashing pics of myself for the whole world to see, just the thought fills me with dread. So I figured I'd post up the items I'm wearing to illustrate this glorious black out I'm experiencing...

10 July 2009

Get The Colouring Book Out

Seems I'm back in that dirty old habit of imaginary high end fashion retail therapy via online fashion webby sites, Damn their so seducing and the access is so easy, I morph into this disgusting fashion whore hungry for an extravagant fashion item. This materialistic minx deep within me resurfaces every once and a while.Normally when I'm desperate to pass twenty stubborn minutes or so (why is it sometimes time refuses to tick on by?).

I'm breaking my promise now of never again mentioning those three words -Yarborough jumbo- bangle (shameful to smash a promise, I cannot help myself just look at the glorious multi tie-dye yarn....oh to dye for...OK that was a awful, awful grotesque pun. One of that straight from a Xmas cracker, minus the plastic paperclip of course).
My mouth is watering for Martin Lamotle ( from pixiemarket.com) pastel long blazer, in my fave, flavour colour: Neapolitan, pass me the hundreds and thousands icecream sprinkles and let me embellish pleassssssssssssse? Lush, has me drooling over my keyboard...
Marni, Marni, Marni your collage-esque girl top has my inner child screaming out loud for the following childish craft equipment, colouring book, glitter glue pens, ribbons, felt and playful pompoms.
The make believe fashion binge buying is not yet over, oh no my never ending wish list continues all the way into next year...
Josh Goots swirlywhirly trippy vest top has me feeling all dizzy and excited, how I feel compelled to some how obtain the Goot vest and combine it with THOSE striking purple thunderbolt eighties peep toe shoes (from Office.co.uk). I want thunderbolt feet! I'm afraid that pop pest LadyGaGa (can't tolerate her tunes but good god I'd heart nothing more than raiding that girls mighty Avant-garde wardrobe) may just beat me to the thunderbolt shoe finish line.She is after all high profile,that is one unfair advantage.Alright so in reality I'd lose out to the latest lady of pop, however my craving for THOSE frigging suede thunderbolt shoes is a crazy out of control craving i.e the sort of craving and shoe desire I cannot shake off. Its real bad. During any spare five minutes I have alone, I'm fantasizing about THOSE thunderbolt peep toe shoes when I'm eating lunch the outline of my salad morphs into that of THOSE shoes, when I'm at work my mind is set on THOSE shoes. Hell even while in the land of nod my mind is thinking long and hard of ways to possibly own THOSE shoes ways which don't require having any money as I'm still skint.
Enough of my wardrobe wants, just set your eyes on the items I'm rambling on and on about and enjoy or indeed think... 'what the heck? Shes lost the plot this stuff is vulgar!'

Training Day Three: I've Seen This Somewhere Before?

I've got to say a massive thank you's to all of you lot who have left nothing but super positive, encouraging comments in regards to my first week of training. I really cannot express how very wonderful it is to read such fab lovely words (especially as I'm feeling exhausted from the overload of new skills I'm obviously expected to require).
By the by I'm going to be dipping deep into the fashion blogspehere later on this evening to pass on awards to a few of my fave blogs (this is my first time and its so difficult deciding who to award:So I'm passing giving out awards to a) the very first blogs I ever got addicted to and added to my blog list thingy b)blogs I always, always never fail to read on a daily basis. Good system eh?)Apologies as I'm unable to pass on awards the traditional way i.e in my post with links, the magical link feature thingymebob has completely vanished! I've contacted the blogger gods so hopefully I can resume to linking once again sooney.
This is hundred percent unrelated to any of the above: I purchased a brand new computer keyboard (the letters r, s, y, m, and p wore out oh and the r also got stuck resulting in a whole bunch of rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr's),it feels mighty odd.My hands are failing to adjust to this new unfamiliar style of keyboard, strange huh?

Rambling through with.Warning I'm about to embark on yet another post dedicated to my fifth day of training, so if your sick of it already please do scroll on down (yes, yes scroll and skip its OK I won't be offended).
Training began at ten am today(lay in and a enormous bowl of crunchy honey nut cornflakes, flicking through the newspaper. I flicked straight to the music section and was over the moon to spot The Dead Weather's tunes being reviewed. Jack looks pure sex: bizarre Jack has not appealed to me before but in the picture below. WHoa!).The icing on the lay in cake was when at long last my Hockey album arrived, *joy,the drummer in Hockey is one fierce drummer indeed.
Rambling again aren't I?

Lay in over, my cereal bowl empty I'm up and out the door the office was pretty empty today with the manager off on some meeting or other. She didn't leave before giving me instructions, and the glorious news that I'm due in again this Sunday starting at seven and finishing at seven,painful bad times. My lay in today is now justified: instinct told me to have that lay in! Today consisted of shifting,sorting out boxes of shoes and accessories, I'm not complaining not at all. I came across some gorgeous bits and bobs, including this dreamy unicorn and bow ( I lurrrve bows!) long charm necklace.In a rage I also came across two new look handbags, fuming because the purple fringe bag I bought (full original retail price and all) than wrote about on here back in January was there amongst BHF stock.

After organizing the shoes and accessories it was admin time,another daunting task I've not yet got the hang of this is admin on a whole other level to any admin I've ever experienced before.I'm the sort of girl who fails to keep up with her post it notes and maintain my ring bind folder: full up with my important fashion design paper work. Needless to say I don't excel in admin big or small. I gave it my best shot and that is all anyone can really do.If someone else has a issue with it, tough luck. Along with failing the admin task I also found myself failing at remembering the girls names oh and guys names. Confusing and mixing Sues name with Jades name etc. Had such a hilarious moment today, when dealing with the admin this camp guy (think comedian Alan Carr, you've got it!) in the office. Bounced through the door, throwing his arms around me 'you've got to look at this talk about sequin over kill' baffled I go have a looksee to suss out what on earth he is referring to. 'What are you talking about I'm obsessed with sequins and this sequin bag is brilliant. I'd happily buy it.'
Awkward moment, bless him how was he supposed to know I adore sequins more then chocolate biscuits and my drum kit combined.

08 July 2009

Training Day Two: Shoe Porn

My blogger settings are odd, seems my font options have vanished along with the magical link thingymebob: please I beg of you blogspot sort it out!
Little rant over now.

Hi!So Wednesday is done and dusted (almost I'm going to be consuming dangerous amounts of coffee to keep my eyelids wide open: I'm printing some designs tonight...Desperate not to drag behind with my prettyneons collection.I'm going to bore you all now with details of my retail training at BHF aka British Heart Foundation, I can't help it!Writing about my training allows me to process all that information overload of which my brain has absorbed: so many skills,methods to get to grips with.

Today was both intense and exiting, at 7:30am I skipped through the door and skipped upstairs to the insanely hectic office and studio. My full on early bird enthusiasm turning my fellow work mates stomachs, 'I want what ever your on, what are you on?'
Repeating the question parrot style (why do I never fail to repeat peoples questions before simply answering, hmmm ponder?)
'Me? I'm t-total, straight edge, dorky, dull whatever term you want to use. There for this upbeat attitude isn't the result of drug abuse, just the result of fruit salad and a packet of star bursts'
'Your one fruit cake ( to anyone baffled by that it just means crazy)
err..how should I take this?
'Thanks for the insult and complement love!'
After the investigation into where I get my energy from and what I eat for breakfast, it hits eight-o-clock and from across the table I hear, 'Have you ever seen 'em live? BiffyClyro? Fucking blinding they are, you the one is being all trained up?'
I look up from my glass of water and see this guy decorated in tattoos inked as inked can possibly be.
'I love how we don't have to be restricted in some horrid stiff uniform, but wasn't sure about wearing this t-shirt, I've met the front man but failed to register who he was. I listen to bands yet don't really tend to take notes of the actual members. No I've not seen them live'.
Clap, clap (no really the boss actually claps when she steps through the door)our tasks are dished out at such rapid speed: quicker then I can blink!

'See this chart, I need you to work through it and double check the details. Afterwards its shoes, my assistant will explain and give you a quick run through'
Did I hear shoes somewhere within that sentence? Oh I believe I did my ears pricked up.Not so keen about the checking of sales chart, figures are not my best friend.Is there some way I could blag my way through this? Clearly not, its time to face my fear of figures. Thankfully it wasn't half as painful as I suspected, thank you god!
Hope for the best in regards to the chart and skip, skip to the shoe part.
In front of me were five gigantic boxes bursting with shoes,glorious shoes of all shapes, textures, colours and labels. Have I just died and crossed over to the other side, pinch me. Obviously I had to keep my cool and hide the sheer excitement bubbling up under the surface 'I'm cool' exterior ( bull, utter bull I'm now a million miles away from cool: if only they knew this). My palms began to sweat, my hands shaking (jeez I've not experienced this nervous condition since I was a teen heading off on my first ever date!).
Stuffing my head into the box, I'm seduced by a pair of shoes straight from the original set of wizard of oz ( I lie, however they were similar) my shoe fantasy interrupted,'separate those which will fly off the BHF shelf's, from those that are better off being forward on to the recycling company'
Holly shit. Selecting shoes for mass consumption, I'd opt for the wizard of oz shoes, this doesn't mean all individuals would necessarily gravitate towards the red heels. What to do? Think, think, think my silent panic interrupted once again...'you've got until eleven thirty'
As in eleven thirty am right? She means am, how the heck do I work my through this sea of shoes in such tight time eleven thirty pm fine but am?
Phew! Sea of shoe challenge complete,did I make the correct decision to ditch the navy blue peep toe shoes? To me this particular style appeared just that bit too dated, for the peep toe has evolved in the last two months. I'm thinking in the same way as a consumer might would.Got to sit, wait and wonder now for the which stock was a success and which stock took a nose dive results. A case of time will tell,in which case please no, I do not want to be informed let me bury my head in the sand.

Below are just two items that are due to be stocked in store at BHF, two T-shirts from topshop. I recall the bat print one, I saw it in the shop window of Toppers some time ago.

07 July 2009

Training Day One; Rummaging & V V Brown

Yesterday I began my training at BHF nothing could prepare me for the utter hectic go-go chaos (good positive chaos that is) military operation that takes place behind the scenes of British Heart Foundation, nooo there wasn't any drills or shouting but plenty of action and missions to complete...
I arrived calm and collected convincing myself, 'tis just a charity shop were not talking Topshop flagship store.' Ignorance is bliss is it not? When at university I wrote an in depth essay on charity shops interviewing those who make it happen,like I said nothing could prepare me for what awaited in the smart fashion studio style office full with staff around a similar age of mine. Once again my all so ignorant assumptions proved disgraceful. Why? This is what I had envisioned pre- entering the BHF office.
My vision featured, older volunteers and older staff, and a ghost like fashion trend clueless office with the odd tumbleweed of donated tweed passing by in between several tea and biscuit breaks i.e I had expected the condition and atmosphere to be that of those small rooms located at the rear of many charity shops. Where elderly kind laid back volunteers discuss what their going to have for dinner and the next episode of their adored TV soap programs.
How very incorrect my vision proved to be.

The first thing to hit me was the enormous office studio, with several separate rooms and areas, each extremely buzzing with busy energy this is one fierce fashion retail business.Retail with amazing benefits.
I was greeted by the manager and had a tour of her office area, the phone or phones ringing about every thirty seconds! My introduction began with a run through the role of her manager and head office, eekkkk! Intimidating to say the least... nice intimidating.
The process is so very very complex, to fully explain it I'd have to create a whole new blog, basically it involves a whole lot of energy, serious multi-tasking and alot more than door donations. They work closely with numerous highstreet giants, big recycling companies and the communities right across the UK, with important business meetings every few weeks and various training programs every few months. Its evident BHF does indeed operate flagship store style. Their approach, methods and structure is one hundred percent identical to that of your Topshop, Newlook, H&M etc.
In short I underestimated the too humble charity shops, and I'm glad I did. As I feared becoming one bored (short attention span) numb fashion graduate lacking any real challenge ( I thrive on tough challenges it keeps mundane at bay).Feeling like a complete out of place plonker twiddling my thumbs desperate for home time to arrive so I could complain and moan about how basic and repetitive the training was. My lesson has been learned never under estimate charity shops.The retail side involves so much more then rummaging and cups of tea!

photo: Google

photos: clothes galore

Day one consisted of organising a major meeting, with phones going off here there and every where, post it notes flying around and admin work like I've never experienced before in my life ( I lived off admin work when at college). All this in the first hour of my naive arrival. Curiosity was killing me when I helped with delivery of brand new highstreet stock, 'These all have tags still intact have they not been worn?' 'Duh air head moment well I didn't know all this went on...
'Yes these are new, we work with a partner company who gather left over stock from various fashion retail outlets. Say for example stock that didn't shift because the retail price was too high, stock left over from sales or stock from window displays there are many insane reasons to as why some stock never even see the shop floor' explains assistant manager, baffled I'm sure by my embarrassing lack of fashion retail knowledge. 'Did you not study fashion retail or fashion merchandise? I assumed you did. Because you've a real merchandise head on you.' Feeling even more red and ashamed of myself, 'Mmm no, no I never studied those, their separate courses so I believe anyway? I studied fashion design which covered an array of fashion related topics such as trend prediction ans I studied art history and cultural studies too as extra extensions.' Bless my assistant manger reassuring me, 'well don't worry not even I know every thing there is to know about this game, I'm learning all the time. I'm still impressed by your merchandise skills though: it is sharp common sense mixed with a strong understanding of the consumer this merchandise game and you've worked that out by yourself.'
Surprised by her praise all I could manage was a pathetic ' erm-oh thanks yeah I never really expected to be working within this area of fashion.'

photo: VV Brown

Lunch break was a piece of fruit, crackers, strong coffee and discussion about the plan for October 'Wow I thought you simply arranged the shops one day at a time, simply when they needed filling up'
There I go again speaking without thinking first, and generally exposing myself as an idiot in need of a frigging clue.
'Oh I wish, I wish. Here which accessories do you reckon from this selection? We rely on these hairbands, necklaces and other products to budge and pull in teenagers. They are key, take a look.'
The term 'key' fills me with dread this surely has to be the true definition of responsibility. Walking into a charity shop and rummaging through rails and purchasing an item I fancy is all very pleasant and effortless. But predict and purchasing a range of accessories for mass consumption is nothing but daunting.Slowly turning the pages, with staff looking at me waiting for answers, 'here highlight and circle your selections don't forget to provide an explanation to as why you think they will be successful' here goes nothing piece of cake, me thinks not!
'Well you see these bright sequin pieces here (pointing with my highlighter) they're not too dissimilar to something Little Boots, Lady Ga Ga or V V Brown might opt for. Sequins, bows are here to stay for a long while yet, and you only have to take note of popular music to gain an idea of trends.' Silence fills the room until someone speaks up, 'great well were get that sorted right away' shouts the manager.
I'm blaming V V Brown if my choices fail to shift!

04 July 2009

That Looks Like Shit

Erm yeah, let me explain the story behind my post title, as it isn't completely random! Once upon a time (like today) I visited the charity shops today donating some of my much loved items such as history books ( this was very painful, I heart my history books however there are only so many times you can read about history events. At least that's what I'm telling myself!) DVDs I've watched over and over again and last but not least some special wardrobe bits. I figured someone else should get joy out of my beloved river island skirt, Led Zep tee ( I've got five, so admittedly that is just greed anyway!) polka dot dress, hello kitty shoulder bag and some studded bracelets and charm necklace.

I walk into the heart foundation and honestly had no intentions on purchasing anything ( OK perhaps just one 90p Aztec style skinny belt that caught my eye. Sugar! Size small too bad) I was desperate to get in and out of the place knowing to well I'm likely to give in and purchase. Being the annoying mag pie and pest I am. I rush over to the counter 'hey hey make sure these adored history books and fashion goodies get a good home alright, have a good weeken ...too late a compact, old fashioned school like shoulder bag caught my eye before I could finish my sentence. ' You alright you've got that look on your face?' asks the guy behind the counter 'What look would that be? 'You pull this face when you've spotted something of interest.' Shocked I spit out 'You what!? Oh god yeah, yeah I have a twitch don't I? I know.Though I never knew it was so obvious?'
Oh well.
I gravitate towards this vintage shoulder bag. This is it the point of no return ( by the by I'm not forever thrift shopping: my last pick up was two three weeks ago I was slow posting the finds).
Before getting my hopes up high I first of all check to see if I've any pennies in my bag. Yes! I found four quid and ten pence meant for lunch and a book fine but hey I can deal with the hunger pains as for the book fine that can be delayed for one more day! Decision made, I shall ignore my hunger pains and buy the damn £2.50p bag. As I'm about to commit to the bag and buy it once and for all I see this faded floral denim waistcoat, 'aaahhh oh my I love it! Similar to the one I saw over on pixiemarket months back and couldn't afford. Except the pixiemarket version had studs on the pocket and along the bottom.' Followed by strange girly scream which I don't often do as I'm a bit tomboyish so the sudden high pitched scream took me by surprise. Where did it come from?
Enough pondering.
'Don't you just lurrrve this waistcoat? Its great gran-grunge' (gran meets grunge, cleaver eh?)
'You are kidding me? That is some vile shit, don't even go there please leave it put it back!' Harsh honesty coming from my friend behind the till.
'I'm liking it, use some imagination! When its teamed with my BRMC tee or KOL tee (complete with holes I've had it for a while now. Four years yet I refuse to let go because the print is so retro) and a skirt of some sort it will be fine. Besides I'm not asking you to wear it so don't you worry it isn't your concern' Yes I was hurt that my appreciation for the 40p denim floral waistcoat wasn't a shared appreciation. 'I'm telling you now that looks like shit.' Lucky enough I just so happen to have selective hearing.

On a thrift roll now I rummage through the bin bag of second hand clothes not fit for sale because their too badly damaged. Too badly damaged for those who can't operate a sewing machine that is (*joy I knew my fashion degree would be great for something). I tug and pull a colourful neckline which is sticking out from all the other grey, denim, coral pink crap... 'Whoa can I take this off your hands? I'll pop some pennies into the donation box' Eye lashes flutter, and I curl my toes up in suspense, 'Well can I please?' 'Go for it!' Whoop whoop I drop my pennies into the box and leave with yet another plastic shopping bag.

As I leave I'm called back by the powers that be i.e the boss/ manager located upstairs. 'We see you going in and out of this place and come back a week later wearing a outfit using the clothes you got from here.The way in which you put things together is fantastic.Believe it or not your encouraging younger fashion aware teenagers to take a look around in here. What do you think about fashion retail? ( Hmm is this a trick question. Panic!) Perhaps you could help BHF out fundraising by creating fashion themed events and other tasks like selecting items for sale and styling those clothes to pull in more younger people. What do you reckon? We really could do with someone who has creative flare.'
'Creative flare?Err well I'm no Mary Portas. Did you see that program?'
'Yes, yes I did, but I had never before heard of her, I'm not into fashion not like that. Have a think about what I've mentioned and if your keen do fill in this application form'
Still shocked, as I never once thought anyone really took much notice of my ensembles. Wait ensemble is too grand... clothes, I never realised anyone took much notice of my clothes. Who walks around thinking their it, I certainly never, never have those confident thoughts nor super style swagger! Usually when I get dressed its a case of 'that will do'.
My gob smacked response...
'Have a think!? Believe you me I don't need to consider or even ponder over this opportunity. I've been struggling to find a job since I graduated, and this is a great start on the fashion career ladder and definitely better then nothing.'

My training begins next week, jeez this really isn't going to help my thrift addiction is it?

Oh before you have a look at the thrift finds below, I received one email from a kind, kind reader who likes my thrift posts, explaining how they wish they could see me in my thrift finds. I've not yet the bulls to post photos of me for the whole world to view (I'm a 'ickle shy). However I don't mind creating a selfish thrift extension. I'll attempt creating a extended section of prettyneons where there will only be post pic's of my thrift finds. That way you can simply skip all the reading( I won't be offended, I write too much I know) and look at the photos instead.
This idea will either a) develop into a beautiful thing or b) collapse and be neglected as the commitment is too much,a sure case of trial and error it shall be. Ha ha!
I'll give it a shot, let me know what you think?

Here's my charity shop finds from this sunny Saturday...

photos: prettyneons thrift find's

I took in the sides of the waistcoat and cut it to make it shorter (it was rather long, wide and frumpy, I embrace slouchy. Not frumpy) I also customized the neckline, got my packs of studs out and began a-studding-and-a glue gunning (cheat, it will do for now though) the pockets etc.
On a 100% unrelated note, I've been having problems leaving comments I tried for ages last night trying to figure out to as why I couldn't comment. Turns out I managed to go and disable myself. How? I've no idea? Right I'm off to say a few hello's to my fellow fashion blog buddies.
You know who you are ;)