A familiar face...

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

I know, I've not posted for AGES. It's a mixture of getting sucked up by Christmas, having lots of weekends away, working and generally just being a bit crap.

Anyway, my own rubbishness aside, I was in Topshop recently and noticed something...


"Nice top", you say, "unusual, cute, simple, I like!" Yes, it's lovely, so lovely in fact that I already have something VERY similar that I made myself having been inspired by THIS;

Lanvin have been doing these doodly cartoon face t-shirts for a while now. I first saw this particular style last February and made one myself out of a Primark man's t-shirt I had lying around (surplus item from a show I'd costume designed for, not because I have some kind of weird men's t-shirt collection).

I've just Googled this item and found that myself and Topshop are not the only ones who saw its copying potential - you could buy THIS 'Lanvin Style' tee-shirt from instarshop.com which looks like a dodgy version of ASOS and appears to no longer exist anyway;

Aside from the ribbon being in a different position and there being frills around the neckline, surely this is exactly the same design! Now I know High Street and online stores take inspiration from designer but THAT is ridiculous!

The Same But Different - Wetlook Leggings

Thursday, 13 November 2008

I'm finally getting back on track with my blogging after a couple of busy busy weeks - world rejoice.
This week's The Same But Different item is kind of a cheat as leggings go with most things, but I figured wetlook leggings are a bit trickier to wear so I've done two contrasting looks; one is a kind of punky, daytime look and the other is a chic, evening look. The leggings are £18 from Topshop and are certainly not for the faint-hearted (or the claustrophobic...)

Just call me Donatella...

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

I feel like I'm regressing back to my childhood days of stripping my Barbies of their clothes and mixing and matching all of their outfits. For as long as I can remember I've always loved playing dress up and "designing" clothes; remember that toy, Fashion Wheel, were you created outfits and then crayoned over textured bits of plastic to make the patterns? Pretty basic idea really, like when you colour over a coin, or some bricks, or the dog , but it provided hours of good wholesome fun. My sister had a bridal version and I would literally spend all day creating different combinations of dresses and colouring them all in (a little obsessively now that I think about it...).

Ah, crayons and side ponytails...those were the days...

Well you already know that I spend a little bit too much time on Polyvore, making dream outfits for my future when I'm married to a rich old gentleman named Floyd and have money to spend at Brown's, but I've discovered another website to waste the day on - Style Shake. Now when I say 'discovered' that's not strictly true because I've had an account on there for at least a year and had played around with it a bit before, but it's only recently that I've realised how much fun it is! Kind of like a Fashion Wheel for the Noughties, Style Shake allows you to design your very own dresses, skirts and tops, section by section - you choose the fabric, the colour, the length, sleeves, neckline and you can even add extras like belts and collars. There are literally thousands of possible combinations, from floaty linen dresses to super glamourous silk party ones! But the real beauty is that once you've finished designing, you can choose to have the item made to fit your measurements, so you end up with a one of a kind garment, designed by you and for you! Brilliant!

I've not actually ordered anything from the website as, despite the fact everything's very reasonably priced, considering you're getting a bespoke piece, I'm depressingly low on funds and need to save up for Christmas presents and New Year boozing. But I've read some really positive testimonials on there from people who have purchased things and it sounds like all in all, the Style Shake team run a pretty good tailoring service. They also have a photo gallery showing how some designs would look on actual people rather than on the scary, bald mannequins used on the rest of the site, and they do look really pretty!

Images taken from styleshake.com

Here are a few of my designs - they just go to show how many different possibilities there are!

Now I know that whole 'malnourished' look is in for models, but these guys look seriously ill...

My tea's gone cold...

Friday, 7 November 2008

Last night I worked as a perky, flirtatious drinks waitress at the MTV Awards. I had to carry a tray of drinks and mingle with the VIP guests, which is not actually as exciting as it sounds as the majority of the VIP guests were just rich people who'd bought their way into Very Important Person status. I did, however, serve a drink to Max from Hollyoaks (the one who just died tragically). And Henry Holland. HENRY FRIKKIN' HOLLAND! That's cool. I'm sorry, but it is. His quiff was impressive and he was wearing a floral blazer. And he's so Northern! I love him. What amazed me though was how nobody else seemed to know who he was. After the show when we were waiting to get into the after show party (which we didn't get into in the end, which is a travesty, as we should have done but got screwed over by our boss...) he came out and walked past a huge crowd of celeb spotters and they didn't even bat an eyelid. I actually had to tell the paparazzi who he was, and even then, they didn't bother to take a picture! He's Henry Holland! Is it just me who thinks he's cool? People knew who Perez Hilton was but not him! Fools....FOOOOOOLLLLLLSSSS!!!!

Seriously though, the EMAs were AM-UH-ZIN', we kept sneaking off from our waitressing duties to have a dance. The opening and Katy Perry's entrance was awesome, BEYONCE, Duffy, The Ting Tings, we saw them all, it was wondrous. I would have given my right arm to have actually been in the crowd rather than just serving drinks, but I got £50 off a drunk man so I can't complain...

Katy Perry arriving on a cherry chapstick. And why not?


Monday, 3 November 2008

I just noticed that Tavi, of Style Rookie fame, featured some photos on her blog from the November 2001 US Vogue editorial of models posing as iconic music stars from the past and present. Some of the models included in the shoot were Devon Aoki (as Yoko Ono, with a male model as John Lennon), Karolina Kurkova (as Marilyn Manson, REALLY weird) and Karen Elson (as Janis Joplin). The general consensus on Tavi's blog was that most people didn't really like the pictures, they're a bit ANTM-esque and, to be frank, just aren't very good. The majority of the musicians featured were legendary artists and such mediocre images almost do them a disservice in some way. That being said, I do think that this one with Sophie Dahl as Debbie Harry is rather uncanny;

Although it's not quite the same thing, the idea of celebs posing as other celebs got me thinking about the Marilyn Monroe shoot Lindsay Lohan did where she recreated the famous nude "Last Sitting" photos shot by Bert Stern (Stern actually shot the Lohan version as well).

When I first read about this, it really, really pissed me off, mainly because I hate it when comparisons are made between Marilyn Monroe and anyone else ("Scarlett Johansson is the new Marilyn!" No, no she isn't), but also because Lindsay Lohan doesn't even remotely resemble Marilyn Monroe and could never in a million years hope to look as gorgeous as she did in the originals. Not only that, but to recreate this particular shoot is, I think, kind of insensitive, as it was the last one that Marilyn did before she died. And it's not as if they're just trying to do something similar to the "Last Sitting" photographs; they were recreated shot for shot, same props, same poses, same hair and makeup. I know imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and all that, but it just seems a bit conceited to me, as if she thought, "Hey I could so look like Marilyn!"
Come off it Lindsay...

I just looked online, and unsurprisingly, there are countless examples of celebrities recreating famous Marilyn images. The website http://www.ms-monroe.com/ has three whole pages dedicated to 'Mirrored Celebs' from Jessica Alba to Christina Aguilera, to the biggest Monroe impersonator of them all; Madonna. However, none of them are quite as extreme as Miss Lohan. Obviously, Madonna's Material Girl video was based on the Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend sequence in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes;

But for some reason, that doesn't seem quite as offensive, as it's not as if she's actually singing the same song or even doing the same choreography (unlike Kylie Minogue - http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=T10VecAun-Y - ick), it's her own version and is really more of a parody, considering the context of the rest of the video and the lyrics to Material Girl.

Maybe I'm just being biased because I like Madonna and don't particularly like Lindsay. And Madonna looks like she's having a good ol' time in her video while Lindsay just looks awkward and uncomfortable in the photos.

I don't really understand what is gained by posing as a legend such as Marilyn, sure it might be good fun to play dress up, but it's not as if you're proving anything about yourself except that you may or may not have some resemblance to the star you're emulating. When asked about the Lohan shoot, Bert Stern said that he suspected Lohan had 'hidden depths'...Well Mr Stern, that remains to be seen really doesn't it? As far as I can tell, a nude photoshoot doesn't actually aid a person in revealing their "hidden depths"...unless that's actually just a euphemism for "boobies" nowadays...

In conclusion, I would say Marilyn is sacred, don't dress up (or get undressed) as her. Ever.

Unless you're Madonna...


Friday, 24 October 2008

I know I haven't posted in a while - apologies, very busy, not been home much, this will change shortly.

My boyfriend bought me a little copy of the Disney Sleeping Beauty book the other day and it's inspired a Disney-related project, more on that soon.

For now, here's a screen shot I enjoyed from watching a bit of Snow White on youtube earlier. I know it's not really fashiony or anything, but come on, is this not the happiest chipmunk in a sock you ever did see?!

Do you like pickles?

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

I just bought The Little Rascals on DVD because it is amazing and fills me with joy every time I watch it. If you've never seen it, you're missing out, it'll change your life.

I've been a bit polyvore crazy this week and have just done two outfits inspired by the picture of Alfalfa and Darla above. The styles are a little queeky, which is a new word I just made up to mean both quirky and geeky, so ummm yeah!

"You are sooo beautiful to meeee..."

Lovely thing of the week

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Yes, I'm well aware that yesterday's post was also about a Matthew Williamson item which was also pink, but I have a dangerous relationship with cardigans and had absolutely no choice in the matter. This one called to me like a 100% cashmere siren perched seductively amidst the jagged rocks of mytheresa.com luring me to a knitwear-related death.


I like it coz it's starry.

(No pink tomorrow. Pinkie promise...)

Happy Mondays

Monday, 13 October 2008

It's Monday again. Whoop. Can't you just taste my enthusiasm? Bleeeuuurgh.

Last night I watched Sex and the City: The Movie again. It really is the most deliciously good film for fashion binging. If you're in the mood for gawping or doing that Homer Simpson drooly thing (aaaaaaaaggggghhhhhhh), I'd definitely recommend it. While I'd find it difficult to choose just one item that I LOVE more than everything else in the film, I can say that the Dolce and Gabbana puffball dress that Carrie wears at Fashion Week is sickeningly stunning. (you gotta love a good puffball...)

After having a little rest from the eye-gasm it gave me, I felt like having a bit of a browse on all the fancy websites I could only ever dream of buying clothes from. I came across this pink funnel neck Matthew Williamson dress at net-a-porter.com (which is basically the best website there ever was ever) and decided to style it on polyvore. I've come up with two contrasting looks and this has inspired me to introduce a new feature - "The same but different" - every week I'm going to find an item online and then style it in two very different ways. So here's my first one, click on the images to go to my polyvore pages for item details. The dress is $1,500...imagine...

I want I want I want

Friday, 10 October 2008

Walking into Topshop yesterday I was faced with an item which has been haunting me ever since I first spotted it two weeks ago; the boyfriend blazer. I love it with all my heart and soul. I know it's fairly simple and basic but a good blazer is something that everyone should have in their wardrobe as it's so versatile. I'm really liking the current trend for big, slouchy, men's style blazers (especially with rolled up sleeves...I don't know why, I just do) and as you can see from the photos above, everyone is rocking them, from my favourite little fashion pixie Alexa Chung, to Anne Hathaway and Keira Knightly.

(photo from topshop.com)

This one from Topshop I've just realised is a slightly less fancy version of the Kate Moss for Topshop blazer they had in stock a while ago (that one had a school badge on the front and silkier lining), it must have sold so well that they decided to do their own version. It's £55 which is fairly reasonable for something that you can wear again and again, but alas, I just can't justify spending that much (or any) money at the moment and so it will continue to haunt me in its oversized, cool-turned-up-cuffed beauty forevermore.

ANTM - Cycle 11

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Having been away from regular Internet for a while, I've just spent the past week or so snuggled up in bed catching up on all of the new episodes of America's Next Top Model. It's taken me a while to warm to this season as I was still VERY hung up on season 10 and the appalling-ness that was firstly BEE-YUTIFUL Katarzyna not getting further than she did and then (mean) Whitney winning over Anya. (seriously, WTF?!) Don't get me started, I'll go mental. It also didn't help that season 11 began with a bizarre, space-age boot camp which was basically just another excuse for Tyra to have a weird, OTT grand entrance. I wish the girls wouldn't all scream when they see her, it's only going to inflate her ego even more. Why do you think her forehead's so big?!
However, once I got over the initial horror I started to get into it and I have to admit that this week's super-glamourous 'Fiercee Awards' shoot was FABULOUS. I'm a sucker for old-school glamour; Elina's makeup and Lauren Brie's hair nearly made me break down and weep for Veronica Lake-inspired joy in my pyjamas. Marjorie's photo was chosen as the best one and who can blame the judges? She is so frikkin cute I could eat her (I won't though...yet) Have to say though that I have a ma-hoo-sive girl crush on Analeigh, she's SO PRETTY! I'm not going to say who I want to win because I have a track record of always favouriting the girl who ends up coming second or third (case in point - Mercedes cycle 2, Yaya cycle 3, Nik cycle 5, Jenah cycle 9) and I want my girl to win. So it's a secret.

Just say NO! The Saturdays at the High School Musical 3 premiere

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

I'm so out of the loop it's depressing. Who are the Saturdays? Why are they dressed in Toffo wrappers?! Remember Toffos? What happened to them?!?!

I just Googled the girls and came upon their official website, it turns out I have actually heard their new song "Up" but I've got absolutely no recollection of when or where (which frightens me a little bit...what if they're getting into my dreams?). They seem to be sticking to a very safe clothing pattern here - in the picture above they're all wearing different coloured dresses with opaque black tights and in their new video they're all wearing black dresses with different coloured opaque tights...see what they did there? At least they wore tights - it was VERY cold last night.

I'd hate to be in a girl group; all that matchy matchy dressing would depress me...that and the fact that you're probably on some level always aware that sooner or later a newer, younger, shinier girl group are just going to swoop in like perma-tanned Batmen and take the limelight away from you (probably wearing some even sillier plastic fantastic outfits than you) and nobody will even notice.

Product Review - Guerlain Liquid Eyeliner

A few weeks ago I had to buy a new eyeliner as I accidentally left my old faithful Collection 2000 one at my friend Holly's house in London and I wasn't sure when I'd be seeing her next to pick it up. Being an avid fan of sexy 40s-style eyeliner flicks, I knew I couldn't go without them for very long and, since I had some vouchers for John Lewis, I figured I'd be fancy and buy an expensive new one.
I originally went to the Benefit counter but was told, to my amazement, that Benefit don't actually stock a liquid eyeliner, they only do that gel stuff which you apply from a little pot with a brush which comes seperately. Now I'm sure it's a wonderful product but I just couldn't really see the point of buying two seperate items when one would do me just fine. So I went to the Guerlain counter where I was helped by a very friendly lady who showed me the 'Divinora' eyeliner.
The thing with Guerlain makeup is that it just looks SO PRETTY and classy and gorgeous. I use their Terracotta Bronzer religiously and that comes in a dreadfully chic shiny brown compact with kind of engraved stuff on the front. So when the lady showed me the beautious eyeliner in its little glass pot with a luxurious gold handle, I was pretty much sold. (yeah, I'm all about the looks, though fortunately, I've learned never to judge a book by its cover...I judge by how attractive the photo of the author is...) It cost about £17 and I went away a happy bunny, excited to try it out.
Now don't get me wrong, it's a good eyeliner; the colour is a rich, velvety black and the formula itself is quick drying and very long lasting - no crumbling or wearing off as the day goes on. But the brush is so bloody flimsy! It's very long and fine which means you literally have to have the steadiest hand EVER. Now I've been wearing liquid eyeliner for a good few years so I'd safely say I've got the knack for applying it but even I have trouble getting a good, clean, smooth line with this. With the (much cheaper) Collection 2000 one, the brush was short and firm, a bit like a felt tip, so all you needed was one quick stroke across the eyelid and you were done, but with the Guerlain one you have to take time over it and flicks are so difficult to do because of how thin the brush is!
So I'd definitely say that although this product is good, it's only really for those people who are amazing at Operation and those buzzer games you get at the fairground...

Oh, and I saw Holly last week anyway so I got my old eyeliner back, it was an emotional reunion!

Lovely thing of the week

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Oh Nanette Lepore, you're wonderful, you truly are. This "Magic Wand" dress is 110% lovely. The vintagey-1940s-tea-dressy-shape, the gorgeous floaty fabric, the cute cut-out detail at the neck, the sparkles!!! I LOVE IT and would very much appreciate a donation from some kind soul of $595 so that I can buy it now please. (photo from shopbop.com)

I'm back...again...

Friday, 29 August 2008

Remember how I said that once I'd finished uni, I'd be on here a lot more? Yeah well that didn't happen. But now that I'm back from my adventures in Edinburgh (I was in a show at the Fringe Festival), I promise, PROMISE that posts will be a bit more frequent...

So I'm starting off with a post all about my new obsession, polyvore.com. Now you may have already heard about it as it's been around for a while, but it's taken me until last night to actually check it out and believe me, it's as addictive as crack. Basically it allows you to search through dozens of popular fashion websites and online shops and put together your dream outfits from them. I spent last night and this afternoon creating outfits inspired by fairytales, check out the Mad Hatter and Little Red Riding Hood below. (you can click on them to go to the polyvore website and check out my other designs or create your own!)

CFDA Fashion Awards - Who's wearing the trousers?!

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Last night was the uber (yes, that is correct, I said uber) glamourous Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards and the stars were out in their starry droves looking all shiny and polished. As well as the usual gowns which littered the scene, several attendees wore interesting takes on the trouser suit. Both Naomi (angry) Campbell and Ashley (the good twin) Olsen paid homage to the late Yves Saint Laurent, with Olsen wearing a Ralph Lauren tuxedo and Campbell wearing vintage YSL. Meanwhile beautiful beautiful beautiful Maggie (I love you) Gyllenhaal, (who was co-presenting the Womenswear Designer of the Year Award with Victoria (I hate you) Beckham and Eva (attractive) Mendes) wore a big slouchy Proenza Schouler design. I've already read several negative reviews of this but I really like it, at least it's a bit different, although obviously the sunglasses were ever so slightly unnecessary...unless of course Maggie was actually doing that thing people do where they put sunglasses on so that nobody can see that they're actually asleep, in which case, shame on you Maggie for sleeping through such an important even...but kudos for being able to sleep standing up like horses do.

Lovely thing of the week...

Monday, 2 June 2008

So, kicking off this new promise to post more exciting stuff on here, I thought I'd start with something I'm going to do as a feature every week, entitled simply, 'lovely thing of the week'.
Does what it says on the tin really - every week there'll be something lovely!

This week's lovely thing is this pair of gorgeous Mary Janes from Topshop. They're £65 and 100% leather, I know they're not HUGELY exciting, but there's something about Mary Janes that I just love (hence the title of the blog), they're just so simple and chic. The three little straps make these a bit different and I'm a sucker for a platform (no really; show me a platform and I'll do pretty much whatever you want) so they're just an all-round winner for me!

The beginning of something beautiful...

My last exam was on Saturday which means I've officially finished my degree!!!

Now that that's over and done with, I can focus on more important things, such as this blog (and catching up on my stories...when I say stories I mean like Ugly Betty and Heroes, not like Jack and the Beanstalk and The Little Engine That Could).
I've finally made a banner, which you should be able to see in all it's glory above. Please note, I don't pretend to be a graphics wiz in any way - if you feel that you could design a better one, please do! But we'll be sticking with my collage for now :)

This is just a quick message really to say that from now on, posts should be A LOT more frequent, as I'm hoping for this blog to become your number one stop for general fashion wonderment and glory...

It's going to be special!

Scouse style

Sunday, 30 March 2008

This week's Sunday Times Style magazine has finally picked up on what I've been saying for years - Liverpool is a massive front-runner when it comes to fashion in the UK.

I remember noticing it when I was about 14 or 15. If you looked at what kids in other cities were wearing, it was usually stuff that we'd been sporting at least 6 months before. Going shopping in town on a Saturday afternoon took preparation and thought when I was a teenager, and continues to do so. Before GHDs were invented, regular hair-straighteners just didn’t do the job and several of my friends would literally put their hair onto an ironing board and iron it to the point of paper-thin straightness (no lie). Bronzer and fake tan were then, as now, extremely important, hence the general view that most Liverpool girls’ skin is an unnatural shade of orange or terracotta.

The biggest challenge though was dressing for a night out. I remember when I was 17, the big place to go to was Garlands and we’d all try to outdo one another with how ‘funky’ we could look. My favourite outfit from back then was a pair of cowboy boots, a lilac tutu, a brown embroidered sleeveless smock and a string of pearls. Honestly…

Now though, grooming and style has been taken to a whole new level. In a city where everyone just seems to focus on going out at the weekend, looking good has become an art of painstaking preparation and complexity. The girls are coiffed to within an inch of their lives. Volume is in, so hair is generally BIG, backcombed and hairsprayed into either solid, unbelievably tall quiffs or candyfloss-esque waves. The clothes are generally a selection of bright colours, ruffles and bows, all teetering on platform stiletto shoes. It is the standard opinion that you don’t go out in Liverpool wearing an outfit you’ve worn before. If some people go out every single week, this begs the question, where the hell do young people in this city get their money from?! (I don’t have an answer for that, sadly)

It’s the ‘WAG’ style that seems to be the generally accepted norm in Liverpool, with girls like Coleen Mcloughlin and Alex Curran being hailed as inspirational fashionistas. Of course what really appeals about these girls is that they are living the fantasy of all materialistic, self-obsessed teenagers everywhere – they have a seemingly limitless bank balance with which to shop. But when more and more little girls, on being asked what they want to be when they grow up, reply “footballer’s wife”, we should really be worried.

Sure these girls look good, of course they do, everything about them is fake – their tans, their hair, their nails, even their eyelashes! It’s easy to look good when all the work’s being done for you and you’re wearing expensive clothes. The ones I really admire in Liverpool, and who really do define it as a fashionable city are the ones who dare to be different and who have a genuine eye for style, who can take a plain dress from H&M or even a quirky vintage dress from one of the boutiques in Grand Central and make it look a million dollars. But with all that platinum blonde hair and orange skin all over the place, it’s easy to miss something a little more subtle…
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