28 February 2010

Just marching

"I've always been the opposite of mainstream.I march to my own beat,it's the only way I know."
Juliette Lewis

Hey all how's your weekend going? Me? Well I'm simply busy doing nothing much, which is refreshing as usually I spend my weekends working and whilst doing so I daydream about one day having my own 'ickle arty/fashion line and donating pennies towards forest projects, as deep down I'm a eager Eco warrior.
*Ouch I just hit the ground.Enough of my dreaming, crash back to reality.
This weekend just like Juliette I too have been very much marching to my own beat.Yesterday I had a delicious rum and raisin chocolate pot for lunch at this old quirky pub, avoiding banging my head on low wooden beams, afterwards I browsed lot's of junk shops, and yes thrift shops too. Where I picked up a beautiful embellished folk style skirt for £2.50, come on how could I leave that behind and allow it to gather dust? I couldn't.

Besides consuming large chocolate pots and causing carnage (have you heard of the bull in a china shop? Erm that clumsy bull is indeed moi here) in the antique/junk shops,I've been scribbling away in front of the TV (I know right such a no go...the box zaps creativity from you such a bad, bad distraction).Catching up on strangely addictive 90210 episodes ( very guilty pleasure: for I have sinned and am going straight to hell)screaming, 'Noooooooo don't do it, don't sex it up with Jasper he's telling you big fat fibs...he is a drug dealer!' followed by spilling fruit tea all over my scrap book:multi-tasking sure can get messy.Eventually after all the 90210/Jasper/fruit tea drama I completed my 'Sexy Paris' illustration, and celebrated by baking yet another cake, (what can I say? I love cracking eggs open and washing up the cake bowl with my tongue) here's my weekend in the form of pictures...not including the cake as sadly it's already been demolished.

photo:folk skirt,from thrift shop
illustration by:prettyneons

24 February 2010

Ouch Viv

Shocker,climate crusader and for many a fashion role model, Vivienne Westwood declares:"Stop all this consumerism I just tell people, stop buying clothes."
Hmm slight contradiction perhaps?
Vivienne may be bemused with the fashion industry? After years of being apart of it,becoming a great success and profiting rather well from her numerous collections.
However this is a damaging comment, which could potentially spoil things for up and coming, budding fashion designers, who mostly admire Vivienne's creations and take great inspiration from her: regarding Dame Vivienne as a fashion genius.
Consumerism makes this fickle world go round,people will always have a predilection for shopping,it's inevitable.
So why can't Viv simply retreat to her grand home and enjoy all that cash shes made from clothes? Instead of trying to ruin the futures for others?

board by:prettyneons

23 February 2010

Need Want Wishing

Once in a while something ( or something's) grab my full attention, and I begin my month long yearning (sometimes longer), and well, I thought I'd reveal which items I'm currently craving because I can, plus it's probably the nearest I'll get to obtaining these things.

First up is the book by Patti Smith "Just Kids", man I love this woman shes one of my idols (I have many idols all completely different...this is a whole other post)shes had such a impact on many modern artists,imagine what music/fashion/style would be like if she were never born? Pretty bland I reckon?

Next up is Roberto Cavalli's exquisite creation, the Shantung-silk dress. The touches of gold detail makes this dress shine, and gets my fashion pulse beating hard...this dress even featured in my dream recently, it was one bizzzzzzzarre dream too.Pencils with wings,the depressed teenage dude from Little Miss Sunshine needed a home, so I begin constructing one for him out of several Roberto Cavalli frocks. No I didn't get it either?My surreal dream sure isn't in my 'Dreams and what they mean' book.I shall remain forever baffled.

Alexander Wang pieces don't normally have me swooning, however the Dennis the Menace
jumper with peek-a-boo moth holes is an exception.

Accessorize, Accessorize I adore everything in this treasure chest of a shop, have you seen the neon Aztec style shoulder bag? One word-whoa...um is this even a word?

Last but not least, Rise graffiti skirt in the sale and soon to be in my wardrobe (once it's been further reduced to five quid...this being pretty much my bank balance right now, ha!).

board by:prettyneons

22 February 2010

Leg it

As I have a fear of jeans (I'm petite and it's impossible to find a pair that don't roll, gather around the knees, sag and drag along the pavement.Leaving a trail of fray denim bits behind me)be it flare, bootleg or the skinny jean,I'm not interested one of my biggest nightmares involves being forced against my will into a Levis store. Jeans forever remind me of my cringe worthy wannabe skate chic days,eager to impress the cute scruffy skater boys, I'd walk around the skate park holding my skateboard (as I never mastered the art of actually skateboarding,it instead became this accessory) with rap metal blasting from my Walkman 'Keep rolling, rolling, rolling' said Limpbizkit... boy how I wish I'd rolled out of my skate phase quicker then I did.
Erm swiftly moving on, and departing from the above embarrassing confession, I only have one pair of jeans which I only ever wear when I have no other item to cover my posterior.

This may explain why I'm forever stocking up on leggings, knee high socks and tights,I can't walk past claires accessories (not just for pre-teens I'll have you know)without taking a looksee to see what tights they have in stock, nor can I click past Bebaroque without snooping their sales.
Now and then I treat myself to a pair of gorgeous Bebaroque tights,I call them my posh fancy tights, and yes I wear them even when I'm just indoors cleaning my room. They make you and your pins feel ultra glam,with their stunning intricate details of elegant embellished prints, swarovski crystal's,velvet ribbon bows,tassels, swirling cord and pearls.
These sort of stylish tights you want to avoid laddering,I go to extreme measures of protecting my 'posh' tights by wrapping them in tissue paper and placing them in a shoe box...I wasn't kidding when I said extreme measures.These aren't no cheap and cheerful Primark opaques, which I simply roll up and shove in my draw, no my Bebaroque Priscilla leggings and tights are super special.

all images:Bebaroque

21 February 2010

Louder now

As today's weather is pretty depressing and very wet,I only ventured out the house to collect a bunch of Sunday newspapers and a box of eggs (I'm going to attempt making a meringue... whip up some stiff peaks).Soon as I return home with the now soggy newspapers, I try to salvage what I can the high priority being those glossy fashion supplements that are tucked inside the middle of the newspaper. Without fail I'm always pleasantly surprised when they slip out and crash in one big heap on to the table, though I'm already aware those Sunday supplements are hidden in there somewhere? Some of these Sunday fashion magazines are hit and miss about as impressive as today's dismal weather,with predictable and repetitive fashion features and the norm editorials, 'Flirty florals''Mono Madness' etc etc.

Out of all the fashion supplements that fall out of the newspaper and drop on to my coffee table, You is by far my personal favourite though a big contrast compared to my other beloved fashion titles such as Love,Dazed&Confused and i-D.You is more all grown up and sophisticated with the likes of Mimi Spencer's (who I love!) witty, sharp fashion musings and 'darling' wardrobe wants which I religiously read every Sunday whilst consuming a giant bowl of banana flakes and Jaffa cakes (...Jaffa cakes the best biscuit ever, or rather cake).And today for the first time ever I skipped Mimi's musings, as my attention was diverted straight to You's electric editorial, a spread of dizzy kaleidoscopic and super loud prints.This isn't just chaos,nope this is chaos on Red Bull the photography is buzzing with an array of abstract and modern prints by the likes of Holly Fulton,Josh Goot and print gods Basso & Brooke...

all above images from:You

I've always had a weakness for bold prints, I studied print at university since then my print obsession has only spiralled out of control,the whole print design process is astonishing.What I admire most about print is how it has the power to communicate: as quite a reserved person I often gravitate towards print,I rely on it almost, to express my mood,to speak when I feel awkward,and to distract people from my awful awkwardness which I'm always so very aware of. It's impossible for me to avoid print, the louder the better as it compensates for my ridiculous shyness, which at 23years old I perhaps should of grown out of by now?Until that day arrives these statement pieces should do the trick,for when I'm stuck on mute and struggling to utter a word...



All above items from shopnastygal


Beyond the valley.
All above items from asos

18 February 2010

Old Antiques?

The other day I indulged in some antique snooping, there's something oddly appealing about browsing beautiful old dusty objects that are ever so slightly delicate and distressed.I always enjoy observing the eclectic and and disorganized presentation of antique shops:vintage shoes with completely random jewellery spilling out on to the floor the trail of jewellery leads to a funky fifties retro American table on top of the table lays haunting Victorian toys,spooky porcelain dolls with ribbons in their hair,a hand painted wooden train set circling another vintage display of garments representing many bygone decades from the 1920's to the electronic loving 80's. A headless mannequins figure is hugged in a classic prom dress,the more I zoom in on her outfit the more I realise how much of a style contradiction it really is.This is one confused woman (...erm I mean mannequin woman, obviously she isn't real, now that would be shit scary wouldn't it?) prom dress add over sized Blur T-shirt over the top, add stunning strands of white gold heart lockets and finally to complete the schizophrenic style a pair of patent old school Dr Martin boots...is she attending her school prom or moshing about in the muddy fields at Glastonbury festival? She hasn't got a clue.Go figure.
I do begin to admire the mannequins shambolic pile it all on style,especially her array of accessories: chunky wooden bangles,aggressive Punk studded wrist bands,classy strands of pearls, Gothic silver bracelets and THOSE white gold love locket necklaces continued to catch my magpie eye. Were they once the beloved possessions of a tragic young war widow?

board by: prettyneons images:DorothyPerkins

Post antique shopping and I'm desperate for a touch of old antique in my modern wardrobe,my mind conjures up a selection of vintage pieces from my day at the antique shop.Those lockets,pearls and late 1930's soft feminine floral summer tea dresses replay over and over again in my head, I began my search for all things antique via various fashion websites. Many were disappointing their new versions of vintage not too impressive (...polka dots do not equal 'vintage', you don't fool me!)with the prints being too loud, the details too updated to fool anyone in to believing it could ever be antique vintage.I almost give up. Why oh why didn't I just buy the real deal when I had the chance oh yes that's right the price tag would have made my pockets cry.
I make my last stop Dorothy Perkins expecting nothing but a let down (again).How very wrong was I? DT have some marvelous authentic antique vintage pieces,their white floral dress and jewellery captures my day at the antique shop perfectly and the shoes I know would definitely receive the mannequins seal of approval.


15 February 2010

My big fashion romance

Chichia,Chichia it's now official I am besotted with Chichia London,two years ago when I first stumbled upon designer Christine Mhando's intricate and eye-catching pieces I assumed it was one of those shallow fickle fashion romances that I'm prone to experiencing every now and again.When one minute I'm smitten then just one week later the novelty wears off- before I even get to wear it.
This fashion crush is different though, it runs deeper compared to previous fashion crushes, and yes, yes Valentines day is over, however I'd like to take a minute (or two)and declare my absolute love for Chichia London...

I so so so SO very badly want this...

...and these

...and these too!

images:Chichia London

The very first time I discovered Chichia London I immediately felt those butterflies flutter in the pit of stomach (...admittedly at first I put the strange pains down to a suspicious looking veggie wrap I consumed)my head went all dizzy after observing the beautiful textiles.Each garment seemed to consist of multi-cultural, multi continent cocktail of colourful prints,that transported my imagination to various corners of the world,for me,this was a new exciting experience that no fashion collection has ever achieved before.I was quite simply in awe.
My mind began processing all the information, editing through all details one piece at a time, scanning which ones should be introduced to my wardrobe...erm all of them was the final conclusion.
Days, weeks, then months passed by since my Chichia London encounter yet my memory struggled to erase those stubborn Chichia London visuals, of east African cotton tunics and dresses combined with eclectic and effortless prints and embellishment, that now remain etched into my brain for eternity, no doubt.What I appreciate the most about Christine Mhando's designs is that they are modern but timeless pieces,not influenced by passing fashion trends,they have the ability to stand the test of time and adapt.While in ten years time, all other wardrobe items shall shy away,neglected and hanging on for dear life in the back of the wardrobe, embarrassed by how dated they've somehow become?Chichia London garments are far too special to ever be banished to the back end of any wardrobe,they deserve to shine on forever, for the novelty will never wear off.
Now how on earth do I obtain one of these?Sigh.


12 February 2010

London Beauty

illustration by:prettyneons

Hmmm to go charity shop browsing and dig out vintage bits and bobs this weekend, or do I resist the temptations of Oxfam?My instincts are advising me to avoid abusing my (fragile) bank account and opt for staying in and finish those incomplete DIY fashion projects. Which I'm convinced are rapidly breeding, in the corner of my room.
It's so very difficult to ignore the thrift whore within me,she screams and throws these big fat, childish sulks until eventually I give into her diva like demands.
Conundrum, ignore the shops or tolerate the spoiled little shopaholic brat who doesn't know when to call it a day?
I hope you all have a great weekend, I'm going off to do some problem solving... To shop or not? Remains the question.

peace x

10 February 2010

Old Gypsy Tales

all images from:a collection of (now) vintage Vogue's.

As you already know, I'm well and truly fixated on this book I picked up in a junk shop,which reveals the lifestyle and explores the many tales of Gypsies, it's such a fascinating read and a brilliant insight into the alien world of travellers,the book includes true accounts from Gypsies all over the world.My favourite pick of the bunch is a character named Spider, who explains her accommodation (caravan) as "the real world,my world that don't have no fucking brain destroying TV,the only belongings I have I need is my stereo,bongo drums,hat's and a packet of Kitkat fingers."

Over the decades Gypsies have had one ultra glamorous makeover, this is evident when flicking through a stash of fashion magazines which feature many variations of Gypsy from 'Folk chic'to'Boho babe' and even the highly imaginative (if not innovative and slightly odd combo of...)'CyberGypsy'.The Gypsy image has transformed via the pages of glossy fashion publications and fashion designer personal interpretation's.And has become this pretty paisley and romantic fantasy, evoking ideas of freedom, adventure,love and mystery. With a very modern and trendy sprinkle of heavy embellishment,feathers,suede fringing,floaty chiffon's,spirited prints,silver charms and precious designer stones of course.
Gypsy has travelled a long and epic journey starting from spell casting fortune tellers and lawless outcast criminal nomads, living their life on the outskirts of society, to gracing the global catwalk.Meaning now we can all be like the Kitkat loving Spider, and have a bit of colourful daring, adventurous gypsy in our otherwise safe and perfectly normal wardrobes

Both illustrations by:prettyneons

...though the Gypsy journey doesn't quite stop at my wardrobe.
Seems them decorative, worldly and curious Gypsy girls are determined to takeover my imagination and dominate my entire scrapbook.I now have just over ten pages dedicated to these vibrant and alluring outcasts who shimmer in sequins and drift along life wearing layers of vintage lace: whilst collecting roses,daisy's and other fragrant flowers to pop into their long crazy curly locks.

07 February 2010

Nautical but nice

Nautical never goes away, it's a fashion favourite which may never fade into oblivion,nautical's stripes and anchors will never be erased.With nautical's popularity only ever on the rise,it's only rivals being polka dots and floral prints... and even they are only minor competitors.
For the majority nautical is fun and extremely appealing, it makes many weak at the knees.The navy blue and bright red stripes seem to have a powerful magnetic effect: with most finding the nautical temptation too hard to resist.
Example:My nautical nutter of a friend who's wardrobe is entirely dedicated to the world of (you guessed it) nautical,no question it sure is impressive and would make any sailor extremely proud.My friend did attempt to convert me,it was a case of trial and error,with her using every method from forcing me to browse a whole nautical rail in Newlook,to pulling a nautical bow dress over my head. With much force may I add.

image:Anchors aweigh.

I've always struggled to appreciate nautical as it only ever makes me feel seasick,this is a controversial confession I know.The stubborn trend conjures up unattractive visuals.My brain projects images such as the bleak seaside (British seasides are alot to be desired: sun drenched- 90210 it ain't)grey pebbles, vulture hungry seagulls the size of a small dog,rain,soggy greasy chips and over priced deckchairs,there is nothing romantic or whimsical about these.
So a surprise it was when Gene Kelly and Frank (Sinatra)had me running out to the shops in a desperate bid to source out...nautical anchors and stripes.
After hours of rummaging and raiding miles of rails and only finding novelty Popeye-esque T-shirts, I convinced myself I was on board a sinking ship it being time for me to abandon the nautical mission.So I made my last stop Next to collect a pair of black and white dotty tights (I only use Next for tights:as my local Next is too yummymummy meets bland basics!)when this cluster of nautical bows caught the corner of my eye.Never has a tote bag made me emotional. A visible tear ran down my cheek as I scooped up the bag and held it up to the bright light, admiring the red bows and stripes.
Before hugging it and expressing out loud (by mistake)"Frank I love you!"
Hmm I think the sales assistant was a bit disturbed? As she reversed ten steps back,
and relocated behind the large stand which divided both of us.I continued to declare my love for 'Frank' the nautical bag explaining to him "how wonderful you are: I'm going to save you from your destiny as a baby nappy bag (quote one yummymummy who was observing the same nautical bag as I)your too good for that shit."
How distraught was I when I discovered my purse was three quid short.Big fat immature stamping- feet- sulk and censored language was indeed necessary.

board by:prettyneons

Both bags from Next.co.uk

02 February 2010

Grown up dolls house

SS 2010 collections are most probably doing their rounds around the mighty and speedy blogalaxy, faster than light itself I should imagine?Technically in fashion terms I'm about a million light years behind,fashion has already had its say, highlighted the good and the bad and set out guideline rules to this years spring summer trends. As fashion now focuses on the future and sniffs out any clues towards next years trends,I'm going to opt for savoring the best of SS 2010.Not to be mistaken with a run down, as this would mean reviewing every single designer SS 2010 collection,and I don't adore or have praise for every collection. Most of them are identical from last years (and the year before) with the only difference being a slight tweak or miniature adaption...no fool that isn't a tribal theme.You idiot look harder it's clearly safari!Impression of nobody in particular, simply an observation.

Drum roll please (...drum, drum, bang ting)in my own clumsy,humble opinion the stand out SS 2010 collection is (building up the suspense) Miu Miu for playing with provocative pussy-cats, and flirting with vampires...hints of Miu Miu's collection definitely stepped over to the dark side with a touch of Twilight going on. Before I visit the Gothic side of Miu Miu's SS 2010 collection, I want to fall in love (again: this being the billionth time I've just sat and admired the dazzling details)with the softer and adorable child like side of Miu Miu...

board by:prettyneons

Miu Miu's collection has me longing for the return of my decorative pastel pink Victorian dolls house(sadly and with much regret I allowed my little niece to adopt the dolls house.What with her being a child and me now a boring grown up:it no longer fitted in with my life anymore. Sob)any garments that can have such nostalgic effect on you can only be a good thing, no?
Mi Miu's dolls (so to speak) are far more cheeky.At first glance you think bless sweet exaggerated silhouettes, puff sleeves,romantic ruffles, sprinkles of sequins. Naive prints of adorable cats,ditsy flowers and glittering birds in flight,these are simply innocent little girl frocks with school uniform elements such as the stiff sharp pointy collar's.Think again.Cue the unexpected risky peek-a-boo cut outs, revealing a naughty flash of flesh,the petite-bras on show as daring outerwear,prints of nude female figures alongside those playful pussycats. Which suddenly don't seem as pure and innocent, this is soft porn!Zoom in on the details and the collection begin to take on a different form,the sequins not being a delicate decorative design detail:these sequins are industrial sequins,keeping Miu Miu's otherwise flirty pretty and girly pieces a strong, bold edge,this collection wants to avoid any typical stereotypes.The whole Miu Miu SS 2010 parade wants to empowers 'pretty'.
Don't be fooled though as this collection has a moody, dark twist too,with fierce suits thrown into the Miu Miu mix.Something which wouldn't look too out a place in a vampire flick,though more Lost boys then Twilight with it's twist of eighties Gothic glamour running through the cropped blazers.

Here comes my clumsy (yet I like to believe justified-shrugs shoulders)conclusion this Miu Miu collection is anything but concise or safe you cannot accuse this collection of being predictable nor dull, packed with cunning contradictions and subliminal messages.Only Miu Miu can pull off a combo of cats,naked women,eighties silhouettes and vampires:the result being a collection that is wonderfully epic.Hence why I'd pick up the entire Miu Miu catwalk and squeeze it into my dressing up box, faster then you can even pronounce Miu-Miu
...sigh a girl can dream.