Sunday, 29 January 2012

a love for real, not fade away

hello! only a quick little post today as i am not feeling at all well, think i'm coming down with some kind of flu :( so annoying as i have so much to do this week! i'm going to sheffield open day on wednesday (but driving down on tuesday) and it's the deadline for my digital textiles project next monday. urgh, so not looking forward to trying to get it finished!
anyway, i had my hair dyed on friday & here are the results! it was actually really difficult to capture the real colour with my camera, the above picture is a little bit dark.
i really love the colour, but it was so hard getting there! i was at the hairdressers for over 3 hours! first i had my hair bleached, then two wash in colours put in which didn't work out, then i had a full head tint & two colour mixes. absolute faff on. when it was bleached, the ends were such a horrible yellow dirty blonde colour and the purple just wouldn't stay! i think my hair is obviously just really problematic & difficult to dye, aha.
the colour is more permanent than it was originally going to be, but it should fade quite a bit which is good as i love that whole grey/lilac candyfloss hair look. i washed it last night & it's already faded a little! i'm going to buy some of that "touch of silver" shampoo for platinum blondes (and old people, natch) because apparently if you use it more often it gives you a violet tint.
so, yeah. there you have it, my lilac hair! i love it so much, pastels are my favourite colours ever & now i have pastelly lilac hair. so good. i don't think i'm going to be able to stop dyeing it now! kirsten dunst's pale pink hair in marie antoinette might be my next colour of choice, so keep an eye out!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

but gentle violets weeping with the dew

i went to my local charity shop the other day hoping to find some little photo frames to paint in pastel shades so i could use them to display necklaces when i do craft fairs, but unfortunately they didn't have any small enough! however, i did find a few nice things;
i'm not a massive madonna fan, but i saw this for £1 and thought it's about time i branch out my music taste into the 80s! besides, like a prayer & express yourself are brilliant, classic songs.
i also saw this little pocket book of oscar wilde's poetry, also only £1. i already own the collected works of wilde, but i thought this book was so pretty & it would be a beautiful addition to my bookcase. also, it will be much easier to take to uni with me than the completed works, seeing as that is about 10cm thick! it also has one of my favourite poems by wilde, which is the grave of keats. it's so beautiful, and i took a line from it to use as the title of this post.
there was also a whole box of vintage tights for only 50p each! i went for these blue christian dior ones because all the blue tights in my wardrobe are either riddled with holes or have lost their elastic so they are now completely unwearable.
i also popped into my local chemists to buy some hair padding (which they didn't have), but came out with this hair net instead. i know, old woman alert, but i love my hair to have lots of volume & be quite curly, and it's always getting squashed at night so i thought i would give this a go to see if it can help keep my hair in shape a bit more. it should also reduce frizz and static, so it's worth a try!
hope you're all having a lovely day (:

Saturday, 21 January 2012


just a quick (scheduled) post today! i thought i'd show you the colour boards & mood board i was talking about the other day.
i made these on photoshop, which was actually a lot easier than i thought when i managed to get my head around all the tools! the colour swatches are done in the style of color collective, which has become one of the blogs i obsessively look through for inspiration.
as i mentioned in my other post, our title for this project is vintage americana so i chose these lovely bikini clad women for my first colour board.

this is my favourite picture! i really hope we take our colour palette from this photograph, i definitely would love to but unfortunately it's not just up to me because it's a group project. hopefully i can use my best pleading persuasion skills on the rest of the team!

this is my final moodboard. each person in our group has to make an individual moodboard, then we look at all of them next week to decide where we take out inspiration from for this project. mine is very sugary sweet & pastelly, hopefully everyone else won't mind this overdose of girlyness too much! for me, the 1950s (which is the era you're most likely to be referencing when you talk about vintage americana) was the best era for women's clothing; everything in bubblegum colours and full skirted and feminine.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012


hey guys!
 i've been meaning to post this outfit for a while, just kept forgetting to take photos whenever i was wearing it. and then i kept forgetting to post the photos, these are from before i got my hair cut so my hair is a fair bit longer here than it actually is in reality! this is actually one of my favourite outfits to wear, although it's not the most winter appropriate. just love the pastel colours!
cardigan - vintage via etsy, blouse - charity shop, floral shorts - liberty print at topshop, lace shorts (underneath) - ebay, tights - primark, necklace - gift (accessorize) 
my cousin bought me this necklace for christmas, and it is so pretty! it matches the colours of this outfit exactly, so serendipitous! i really love that dusky pink, cream and powder blue colour combination.
i love the different floral patterns in this outfit; the stylised embroidery on the blouse, the 3D lace motifs on the cardigan and the neat blue liberty print roses on the shorts. also, there's a floral/paisley-esque print on the tights, but it's not really very visible!
sorry that the photos are a bit poor quality, i took these just after i got back from seeing the artist with some friends & it was getting quite dark! i'm also still getting used to using my remote, hopefully i'll get to grips with it the more i use it.
i've scheduled a couple of posts for the next few days because i wasn't sure how much time i would have to post. goodbye for now!

Monday, 16 January 2012

run the water till it scalds

hey guys! sorry it's been about a week since my last post, i have been absolutely swept off my feet trying to finish my last textiles project! i was up until half 11 last night, and then set my alarm for quarter past five to do more work, absolute nightmare. i really liked my final pieces & i'm so proud of them, so when i get everything back from being marked i'll put some photos up here!
anyway, as part of my sketchbook work for that project i bought vogue (for only the second time in my life!) as i'd seen on a few blogs they had a feature on trends and i just knew i had to have the piece on pastels as that's what my colour palette was for this project! so so pretty, pastel colours are my favourite colours to wear, & i so wish i could afford to buy some of these pieces! just have to wait until it all filters down to the high street shops i guess.
another of the trends which took my fancy is gatsby glamour! (sorry about the blurry picture, only just noticed!) i love the whole 1920s look, gorgeous long fringed skirts & bare shoulders & draped necklines. i also love the short hair cuts & the pin curls, i would so love to be able to do that with my hair! black, cream & gold aren't really colours i wear that often but i may have to make an exception for one of these beaded beauties.
also, i personally can't wait to see the film (although apparently it doesn't even come out until december? boo!) as the book is one of my favourite novels ever.
now, i'm not usually an avid fan of florals - in fact, i can only think of one floral item in my wardrobe! - but this darling buds spread is so beautiful! i know, i know, "florals? for spring? groundbreaking" but they are so pretty, and not overly ditsy like they seem to be every other year. plus, i love pretty much everything that erdem do (especially their spring 2011 collection), so this trend is perfect.
the next project we are doing in textiles is digital print, and we have to create a design for a tshirt using one of the spring/summer 2012 trends as a starting point. it's a group project, and the trend our group has been given is vintage americana! i'm quite excited for this as I have lots of inspiration ideas; grease, diners, pin up girls, full skirts & poodle motifs, cadillacs, striped swimsuits, bubblegum colours & more. i adore the prada car prints, so lovely! we made some inspiration & colour boards today on photoshop which i will try to put up on here some time in the near future! i was really worried about using photoshop for this project because i have absolutely no skills at all in that department, but making the colour boards was actually really fun & so simple when i got my head around it.
just a few more things to tell you/talk about!
1. i had my hair cut on saturday, & i've asked for some lilac hair dye to be ordered so hopefully this time next week i will have newly coloured hair! provided i don't chicken out of making the appointment, of course. i've decided that i need to get on with it, and now is the time. i'll be 20 next year(!), so i need to  make the most of my ~crazy teenage yrs.
2. i can't believe i have reached 100 followers! that is so cool and amazing and lovely, i never even imagined that 10 people would find what i say interesting, never mind ten times that! thank you thank you thank you all so much, i will do a giveaway some time soon to properly show my appreciation for all of you wonderful lot! i will have to have a think though as i'm not sure what i could give away, maybe pick something from my shop? i'll figure something out!
3. one of my favourite bands los campesinos! are touring in march & i'm going to see them with some of my college friends! so excited, i love this band & they are apparently really good live. plus, i might be able to pick their new album up for cheaper than in the shops, as for now i've just been listening on spotify.
4. just realised that this post and my last post have both been about fashiony things! this is quite unusual, no planning on my part, that's just the way it turned out! i guess i'm just getting more interested and more aware of this stuff now that i have to do so much fashion research for my course. better get used to it guys!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

a wolf in lamb's clothing

okay, so if you follow me on twitter you may have seen some of my incoherent ramblings about being unable to write my essay/dissertation for college! we had to pick a textiles/fashion designer and write an analysis/overview of their work. at least, that's what i did. to be honest, it wasn't massively clear what we were supposed to do!
anyway, i spent quite a lot of time on it & i'm actually really pleased with and proud of what i wrote. i've never really ~analysed a fashion collection before, and this is one that i absolutely adore & it really speaks to me. i thought i'd post it here for you guys to read - that is, if you're interested! i may have been a bit heavy handed with the similes in some places, but it was pretty late when i finished writing it.
Designer Profile of Meadham Kirchhoff and Analysis of their Spring/Summer 2012 Collection

Edward Meadham and Ben Kirchhoff are a design duo from London who launched their eponymous womenswear label Meadham Kirchhoff in 2003, a year after they both graduated from Central St Martin’s. With their exceptional instinct for performance, there is no other place for this fashion label to be than London with their inherently quirky style and unmistakeably British gift for humour and satire. London fashion is famous worldwide for its eclectic, individual street style and the unpredictability of its independent designers, such as Meadham Kirchhoff. In their short history, they have become infamous for the eccentricity, political undertones and social commentary displayed in their collections.
            Both Meadham and Kirchhoff are avid supporters of the Feminist Movement, and an exploration of the trappings of femininity can often be seen in their designs. They also take a lot of inspiration from the Riot Grrrls of the 1990s; especially Courtney Love, whose 1994 Reading Festival dress Edward Meadham faithfully remade in a multitude of pastel hues for the can-can dancers who opened their Spring/Summer 2012 catwalk show. Their collections have garnered a reputation for being “angry” and they are notorious for deliberately pushing against the fashion mainstream and ignoring trends. Meadham Kirchhoff decorate and adorn the walls of their creative workspace with hundreds of images, which they look at in between seasons to contemplate the aesthetic and meaning behind their next collection. These images, according to Edward Meadham, “include representations of every classic beauty: sex symbol, goddess, Hollywood goddess, showgirl, little girl, Shirley Temple, Marilyn [Monroe], Jayne Mansfield, old paintings and portraits from Ingres, Marie Antoinette, dolls, the Virgin Mary.” This wide range of inspirational imagery and referencing demonstrates the designers’ sheer love of collecting and all things “happy and light and funny and gross and pretty”, and also shows their exact path from here to the finalised collection. This eclectic mix also showcases an obsession with representations of supposed idealised beauty.

For their S/S 2012 collection, Meadham Kirchhoff have taken all of these different facets of girlhood, taken in what it means to be feminine and spat it all back out again in a gorgeous pastel scream of rebellion. This collection is fit to bursting with rich textures, eye-popping colour combinations and a decadence last seen in Marie Antoinette’s Versailles palace home. The pair has stated that this collection was “about taking all the things that little girls are taught are beautiful and pretty from an early age – and destroying and celebrating them at the same time.” From just glancing at the whole collection, you can see this in force; the beautiful bubble-gum pastel hues which are the epitome of sugary girlishness contrast with the harsher, darker colours of the occasional navy tie or pillar-box red pinafore, which perhaps reference unsettling male schoolgirl fantasies, or evoke the iconic costume worn by Britney Spears – another victim of the trappings of femininity. Further coquettishness appears with the peekaboo cut-outs in a pink button down cardigan which reveal a crystal-encrusted bra. It certainly seems that Meadham Kirchhoff are trying to playfully poke fun at the constant objectification of women in the media – and indeed the world of fashion – by adding a pair of fluffy powder puff breasts to an intricate 18th century brocade sack back coat. These coats as well as some of the sumptuously embroidered dresses in the collection have an exaggerated hourglass structure; a design feature which shines a light on constant scrutiny of the female form while simultaneously celebrating womanliness. Other stand out pieces were crystal encrusted hot pants, large skirted marabou coats and exquisitely embroidered cardigans; all adding a touch of pantomime drama to this “oddly moving” show all about poignant childhood memories and the loss of innocence. The shoes (designed by Nicholas Kirkwood with marabou pompoms and crystal bows added by Meadham Kirchhoff) are another example of the design team’s great sense of humour. They are ludicrous and hilarious and reminiscent of illustrations in Dr Seuss books, but edgy and fresh at the same time. All of this works together to create something that is kitsch and nostalgic without being tacky. Everything from this collection could have come out of a child’s dressing up box or from a theatre’s dressing room, but it could also fit perfectly in your wardrobe. These clothes are for a real girl, one “not defined by feminine frippery, though she may occasionally indulge in it.”

Made by any other designer, this collection would seem overly kitsch or flippant, but Meadham Kirchhoff have always been serious about what they do. The painstaking attention to detail comes from a real dedication to their craft and an exceptional technical ability. One dress in the collection is made solely from strips of ballerina embroidery with Broderie Anglaise lace ribbons stitched between the bands. This was inspired by “those old Spanish postcards where the flamenco dancers have real fabric skirts”, and this is plain to see as each ballerina’s sequinned tutu lifts up, and they each have individual pearl necklaces and crystal bead tiaras. This couture-worthy level of detailing is extraordinary; especially as such tiny additions like this would be almost invisible on the catwalk. The extremely labour intensive technique of zardosi embroidery has also been used several times in this collection on the wonderfully named “Madonna” jackets. It is the process of creating a pattern by stitching tiny coils of metal to a piece of fabric, and is traditionally used “in ceremonial Catholic dress and ornamentation”, which harks back to the religious influences and iconography seen on the pair’s studio walls. More of their meticulous attention to detail is seen in the cutesy animal and doll motifs which are hand-embroidered, appliquéd and, in some cases, even have 3D leather-appliquéd eyelashes as an added touch. A lot of work has also gone into their bubble-gum coloured marabou frock coats, each weighing a huge amount with a hem of 26 metres and taking hours to stitch just one band of feathers to one hem. Edward Meadham wanted these skirts to feel “endless”, and their sheer density and luxuriousness ensures that they certainly seem that way. Meadham Kirchhoff also have an incredible capacity to think outside the box, choosing to use an “iridescent tinsel yarn” originally designed to be used for fishing as a trim for some of their turquoise ballerina embroidery. The wealth and understanding of traditional and contemporary textiles techniques shown by the designers is very impressive, especially given the way they are able to weave it together with their fresh and individual designs.

Meadham Kirchhoff’s Spring/Summer 2012 collection is simply beautiful. Combining a wealth of inspiration with an old-fashioned aptitude for textiles techniques, this collection is truly a work or art for the modern age of fashion and textiles. By drawing on the many representations of women and girls throughout history and their own beliefs, Meadham Kirchhoff have created a collection which celebrates all that is good about being female and being a feminist and what this means to us in the 21st Century. It is sugary sweet without being saccharine and girly without being overly cutesy. It is femininity with a theatrical, rebellious edge. If you cut Meadham Kirchhoff through the middle, they would read “eccentricity” like a candy coloured stick of Brighton rock.

Saturday, 7 January 2012


exclamations of "oh my god, fluffffyyyyyy!" was pretty much all i was greeted with by almost everyone i saw yesterday when wearing this marabou collar!
i bought it in the sale from river island for £10 (reduced from £25!), and i adore it!
it's so cute & fluffy & it just makes me feel like marie antoinette or some rich little russian girl when i wear it. plus, it's a totally awesome neck warmer.
i was a little unsure of the colour at first because i didn't think i had anything in my wardrobe that would go with it, but then i remembered my pastelly oversized shirt that actually works really well!
i wore this at college, and then out for a meal with some of my closest friends as a kind of reunion dinner before some of them depart for university again! it was such a lovely night, and i came home thinking that i actually love all of my friends. like, this group is the best collection of friends i have ever had, and i miss them so much when they're away!
i also wore a little lipstick to stop me getting completely washed out by all the pastel! i honestly can't stop wearing pastel shades. i watched marie antoinette today and it was so beautiful! i wish my life was directed by sofia coppola, then everything would be in pastel!
these are some collars i'm working on for my textiles project - which has to be finished for next monday, eek! i can't wait to finish them, i've had so much fun on this project! i'm going to make some versions to sell in the shop too, so look out for those!
bye bye for now!

Monday, 2 January 2012

pretty on the outside

happy new january everyone, i hope you are all having a lovely start to the new year! i personally am not doing so well because i'm a bit under the weather and i've pulled a muscle in my neck, so really i've just been lying around in a haze of pain attempting to get on with things.
anyway, enough about my ailings! i've been doing a bit of procrastinating on writing my essay for college (which if you follow me on twitter you may be all too away of, sorry!), so i've been doing quite a bit of knitting.
these are some mock-ups/test pieces for some collars i'm making in textiles. i'm also hoping i can start selling them in the shop soon!
at first i thought i preferred the more open knit pieces (on the right, done with bigger knitting needles), but now i think the knitting done with the smaller needles has a tighter, neater shape which looks a bit more like a classic peter pan collar shape.
the pastel coloured wool is my favourite. it doesn't really show here, but it's a lovely baby blue colour and has a silky slub running through it in pastel pinks, greens, yellows and white. i've had this wool for ages, in fact i think my mum bought it to make a cardigan for me when i was a baby! it's so pretty, but i only have two balls of it left so i'm going to have to go on a serious investigation mission to try and find some more if i want to sell some collars in the shop!
i'm also hoping to have a finished design ready to send off with some of my jewellery for a photo shoot with another blogger, which is a very exciting prospect that i can tell you all about a little later!
we have to take inspiration from nature for this project, and i'm looking at cobwebs for mine. hence the open knits! i'm using some lovely grey wool with white silky bits which i bought from hobbycraft, and of course the pastelly cuteness from above.
my main inspiration for this project is meadham kirchhoff's spring summer 2012 collection, which is basically the most beautiful, amazing thing i have ever seen in my entire life. i mean, it was all over the blogosphere when it first came out so i won't prattle on too much about it. basically, i love all the pastel colours and edgy feminity and i would wear pretty much every piece in the collection.
also, thought i'd post a picture of how i painted my nails the other day! my sister bought me a topshop nail varnish for christmas (called cyclone, i couldn't find it on the website!) so i thought i'd try it out. it's a really pretty grey shade with a hint of pink, and i also used a model's own nail varnish in pink fizz on my ring finger as a kind of accent. i'm a bit rubbish with doing nails, but i really like how this turned out!
i really want to grow out my nails and try a 1940s style manicure with bare moons, i think it looks so amazing! there's a tutorial in the vintage make-up book my mum bought me for christmas, if i do try it out i shall post some pictures!