Monday, 24 September 2012


Before I left for Sheffield, I made a little Meadham Kirchhoff shrine in my room, which I have actually been very sad to leave. The whole thing is a collection of things that remind me of either their Spring/Summer or Autumn/Winter collection, because those are the two I love the most. Here are a few pictures I took before I went away;
A fluffy pig pen, a tinsel bird pen and a rainbow headband I used to wear ALL THE TIME when I was about 15 until it snapped, I haven't been able to bring myself to throw it away ever since so I'm glad it finally has a purpose here. The googly eyes, tinsel and stars in the bird pen remind me of their A/W collection, while the pink fluffy cuteness is very obviously an homage to their S/S collection. The pig pen I bought while I was on holiday a few years ago, and the other one was a gift. 
Two bow hairslides and a skein of wool on top of my feather collar, which I have worn in this post. The gold sequin hairslide is from Asos, I actually have one in blue as well but I can't find it, and the pink is one I have had since I was about five I think. The wool is left over from some collars I made for my shop.
Butterfly brooch on top of a pastel pom pom. The blue, green and purple feathers in the foreground are from a box of craft supplies.
Clockwise from centre; milk character purse (gift from a friend), empty packet of Meadham Kirchhoff for Topshop nail wraps, ball of pom pom wool my mum has had since I was little, dried up turquoise heart glitter nail varnish, bleached out candle (it used to be pink) given to me as a gift from someone I disliked who also disliked me.
Pink teddy bear trim around the base of the candle, and some more pastel wool. I bought these trims to stitch onto one of my plain cardigans, but then I decided I actually preferred it plain. Or chickened out, you decide.
Tea cup cupcake mould with feathers and yellow teddy bears around the base.
Vintage (pretty expensive) brooch and a plastic ring I had when I was a child.
Pom pom I made in school when I was six. It's actually kind of bizarre how exactly it matches the colour palette and textures of Meadham Kirchhoff's A/W collection.
Another pom pom I made with spare pieces of wool I had lying around. You can't really see it that well, but it's made with red, cream, pink, lilac, green and blue wool.
Marlena's Pastel Puke zine, which is kind of the centrepiece of my shrine and which I love so much I'm taking it with me to uni to pin on my wall.
Sequins and the ribbon from my feather collar.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Don't tell me to smile.

On one of my recent outfit posts, someone left me a comment saying I should "smile more". Now, I'm sure, whoever you are, that you meant well and that you were probably just trying to be nice, you probably didn't even mean anything by it. But that comment made me feel quite uncomfortable, very uncomfortable in fact.
You see, I really, really do not like it when someone tells me what to do. Especially when that something involves my appearance, or directly relates to societal standard on how women in general "should" look. I was going over and over this comment in my mind while looking through Tumblr, and I came across this post, and it seemed to encapsulate exactly how I was feeling - and how I am still feeling now. Why is it that you want me to smile? To make sure I'm happy, or so that I look presentable to you? I shouldn't have to think about that, or even acknowledge it, when I am simply showing you the outfit I wore one day.
I don't choose my outfit pictures based on whether I'm smiling or not (I choose them based on how good the clothes look/how good the overall shot is), and I don't make a conscious effort to smile when I'm taking them. This is because I am perfectly content with how my face looks, with or without smiling. It has taken a while for me to get to this place, so you can understand how frustrating it is to have my face and the way I present myself undermined like this when I have come so far. From the age of 11 (when I first started middle school) up until I was about 16, possibly 17, I really cared what other people - more specifically, people my age - thought of me. So I sat quietly at the backs of classrooms, smiling meekly, and wearing the same things that everyone else was wearing. Because I was not comfortable or happy with being myself. But I am now. I discovered blogging, and people like Arabelle who were really cool and wore whatever they wanted and were completely, unashamedly confident and comfortable with themselves. And that was fucking amazing! Because I'd never experienced or seen anything like that before. I have learnt from them, and I too am now very happy and confident about the way I look and dress.
That is not to be said that I feel confident everyday, and with every outfit picture I take. Sometimes I don't feel comfortable looking at the camera or smiling, but that's my business and I'm dealing with it. On most days, I like the way I look so I'm not bothered if I'm smiling or not. I like my face, get over it. I am perfectly comfortable and happy and, let's face it, fucking proud of the way I look and the way I dress. I do not need anyone to tell me what I "should" be doing to look better or more attractive. Because I don't care about anyone else's opinions on the way I look, I only care about the way I feel about it. So, please. Do not tell me to smile. I don't need to smile in my outfit pictures because I am comfortable with the way my face looks when I'm not. If that makes you uncomfortable, then I'm sorry but I'm not sorry.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Reasons to be beautiful.

Way back in February, my sister sent me the Meadham Kirchhoff for Topshop nail wraps. I didn't want to use them all at once because I thought it would be a bit of a waste, and instead of posting about the way I used each one individually I thought I would do a compilation post! I also tried to picture the nails with the outfits I was wearing when I painted them, or ones that matched the colours I chose. There are actually a lot with the same two dresses, woops! Guess that shows you how lazy my dressing actually is.
The very cute nail wrap packet.
Doll face. The one on the left is Collection 2000 in Button Moon, and the one on the right is Model's Own in Emerald City and Bluebelle. I actually did write a post specifically about the first one, which is here.
Left: NYC in i108A (good name!). Right: Model's Own in Pink Fizz. I wasn't really very good at applying this actually as wraps, so a lot of the time I just cut them out and used them as nail stickers.
Left: Collection 2000 in Button Moon - I used a lot of the same polishes a few times, mainly because I like the colours but also because I don't really have that many. Left: Rimmel in Misty Jade with (very bad!) eyes drawn on with a Model's Own nail art pen.
Teddy bears.
Left: I can't remember the name of this one, but it's by Collection 2000. Right: This is actual craft glitter, and it was the WORST. It was so annoying and scratchy and kept snagging on my tights. And it was an absolute bitch to remove.
Red horse.
Collection 2000 in Button Moon. There were two little horses, I put the other one on my right thumbnail.
Left: Free crappy polish from when I had my nails done when I was around 12. Right: Oil of Olay in Midnight Red. I couldn't be bothered to paint both hands for this one, so I got a few funny looks, but the check out lady in Boots said they were lovely.
Teddy face, the large cropped version of the one above and my second favourite.
Left: the same red polish. Right: Button Moon, Misty Jade, Midnight Red, the lilac one I can't remember the name of.
Vagina, also known as my favourite one! And my favourite nails by far. In my last post I said I was going to address the ~vagina question~, and I am going to now;
Basically, I keep seeing various bloggers* making (what I would call) a fuss over this particular nail wrap. Calling it disgusting; an unnecessary addition to this otherwise cutesy selection of images. Or just asking "why a vagina?!"
These are often the same people who I have seen fawn and rave over Meadham Kirchhoff's Spring/Summer '12 collection - the same one for which this image of a vagina was used as research and inspiration. Now, there's nothing wrong with fawning and raving, with just a cursory glance at my own blog you could see that I do plenty of that myself. But, I personally feel that you cannot love or be truly fanatical about the MK boys and the clothes they design without understanding their motives or reasons for making these clothes. Because it isn't just about pretty pastel clothes and exquisitely made garments. Sometimes, fashion is just pretty clothes - which is perfectly fine, and, of course, there is nothing wrong with that! But Meadham Kirchhoff always go much deeper. And in this case, deeper means clothing with a feminist edge. This collection is about all representations of classic female beauty. Sex symbols, beauty queens, dolls, The Virgin Mary, Hollywood glamour, little girls, etc etc. It is also about taking this apart and examining what beauty is, what it means to be beautiful - and who we are being beautiful for. All of that is encapsulated perfectly in this one image. A pretty, pastel vagina with a crown of natural, black hair. Feminine and also challenging societal ideals of femininity.
If you don't understand why they have chosen to use and celebrate this (frankly, quite beautiful) image of an unwaxed, unshaved vagina, then you don't understand the Riot or Diet slogans, or why they had this image by/of Arvida Bystrom on their wall while making this collection. Or the reason why they so often reference Hole and Courtney Love in their collections - and created an army of Courtneys for their catwalk show. It's that Riot Grrrl spirit; that powerful, feminist cry to be able to dress exactly how we want, without being defined by it. Meadham Kirchhoff girls can wear pink and be powerful, wear frills and be assertive, dress like a prom queen or a ballerina or a show girl and still be smart and tough and strong. It is about celebrating everything to do with being female and feminine, as well as confronting and deconstructing the impossibly high "ideal" female beauty standards in this society, and yes, sometimes that means hairy vaginas.

(Edit: Yeah, so it turns out all of those links I put in go to the same page, the Rookie editorial of their studio/show taken by Eleanor Hardwick. I can't link to the ones I meant individually, but the numbers are; 4, 3, 6, 4, 34, 29. It's quite easy to scroll along to the right ones, and there are nice explanations from Edward Meadham himself under most of them)

*This is in no way directed at anyone in particular, I'm just voicing my own personal opinions and frustrations. I am also not referring to all bloggers who talk about Meadham Kirchhoff.
Vaginas again! Button Moon & squiggles (wink wink) with the Model's Own pen. I find these hilarious.
I am starting to pack and sort things out for uni, which is getting a bit manic! I have lots of kitchen things to wash, pre-registration & financey things to sort out before I go, and I have never seen all of my clothes together at the same time which is quite a daunting prospect. I have two, potentially three, ideas for posts which I will write and queue over the next few weeks or so, I think I'll be a bit too busy/lacking in inspiration to do any for the first month while I'm down there. After that, I'm not really sure what my posting frequency will be, so apologies if it's a little sparse over here for a few weeks!

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Rebel girl you are the queen of my world

Hello ladies! And gentlemen! And anyone inbetween! I'm sorry it has been a long time since my last post, I'm not going to bore you with a long explanation of all the reasons why (scary long list of things to buy/sort/do for uni, even longer and scarier list of things to read for uni) but this is going to be a pretty long, fairly picture-heavy post to make up for it - SO STRAP YOURSELVES IN, FOLKS.
Introducing my new favourite jacket/garment ever. I bought this a few weeks ago from a fellow stall holder at a vintage market I was selling at. I love it. It's a 1960s quilted bed jacket, and only it cost me a fiver and one of my pin up girl brooches! Sellers' perks 5ever.
Jesus Christ Superstar pose because this jacket is my new religion. Or I'm just trying to show the shape of it. I am in love with the weird juxtaposition of the cutesy peter pan collar and the salmon pink colouring with the boxy, swing shape and structured shoulders. The shape shouldn't be flattering, but it somehow is (although tbh I wouldn't care if it wasn't). It makes me feel powerful and confident and able to take up all the space I can. I kind of feel like it's my misandry jacket; the shoulders literally make me want to shoulder all the sexism and injustice and hideousness out of my path, the shape makes me think of power-dressing and holding my head up high. And it's pink, which is FUCKING PERFECT because it sums up all my emotions about femininity and power and how I can still dress like a "typical girly girl" and still take your head clean off in an argument.
(Maybe this paragraph has been written because Jeremy Hunt is our new Health Secretary and he opposes abortion and I'm still really angry about George Galloway and the Assange case but I can't quite articulate all of my rage, so the only way I can make sense of the feeling of foreboding in my stomach is by relating my clothing to my emotions.)
The back, where you can see the shape a little more. I have been wearing this jacket so much even though it is far too warm because it magically seems to work with everything I own. And I can even wear long sleeveless gloves with it and it doesn't look silly. IT'S SO PERFECT, I'M CRYING.
It also really reminds me of two pieces from Meadham Kirchhoff's S/S12 collection. The swing shape, shoulders and the peter pan collar is very similar to the jacket on the left, and the colour is pretty similar to the ballerina lace capelet.

Sugary pink cape and melted wig style hair.
Jacket - vintage, dress - charity shop, tights - from my mother.
I wore this outfit last Saturday to go out with my friend Alix to my favourite drag/cabaret bar. (My hair was pinker then so the ensemble worked better.) It was so good, drag queens performing a Spice Girls medley and Welcome to the Sixties from Hairspray is pretty much all I want out of life. I've already planned to come back from uni for a weekend in October so I can see their Hallowe'en show.
Vagina manicure coming to you courtesy of Meadham Kirchhoff's nail wraps for Topshop. I know some people really hate this design (which really annoys me & my next post is going to be all about that and why it annoys me so much) but I love it and these nails basically sum up this outfit. My nails sum up my outfit which sums up the misandry moment I am having. Also, the colours match!

Hope you enjoyed my very long outfit post slash feminist deconstruction of my clothing. I move to Sheffield in eleven days, and I'm not sure how much I'll be able to post when I'm there. Like I mentioned before, I have another post planned for before I leave, but after that I don't really know what I'll have to post about. It might be more like photo diary style updates, but we'll see how it goes!
I have noticed a sudden burst of new follower arrivals! This is very cool, hello, how are you all? Thank you, darlings, possums. (That link comes to you because of my major, full blown Simon Amstell obsession. No, wait! Come back!) I think some of you may have come over from the post on Sarah's blog featuring me, which was wildly surreal and amazing to read! Thank you Sarah, you are wonderful! Also, Tori has written a post about our jewellery swap, you can see the things I sent her here.