Sunday, 8 April 2012

Blog, interrupted

I'm afraid I am going to pull the plug on this blog, whether it's momentarily or for good I'm not sure. Sorry to sound so abrupt, but there is a lot going on at the moment in my life and I cannot find time to write decent posts at the moment. (I also don't think this blog is the right place to talk about these things).

There are a couple of sew-along and blog-along I was meant to take part in the next few weeks/ months, right now I sincerely don't know whether I'll take part or not. I'll just have to wait and see.  You might still see me commenting on your blogs though, I am not planning on disappearing from the blogosphere just yet.

To everyone who even landed on this blog thank you. An even bigger thank you to anyone who took the time to leave a comment.


Monday, 26 March 2012

Nail Art Attempt #1

 This is my first attempt at Nail Art since a long time. When I was a teenager I used to draw on my nails using a calligraphy pen and black China ink! Today's post on the Beauty Department website looked so easy that I didn't resist and gave it a go as soon as I came back from work.

I love this Revlon polish I used as a base (I actually painted my nails a couple of days ago without the white dots). I got it in Poundland (look out for the Famous brands packaging in the make-up, this is where I also found my lovely Rimmel lipstick). I picked the white polish once in Boots and I never used it before, but now I think I will be going polka dot mad!!!

Using a pin is surprisingly easy, and with a bit of practice all the dots should look the same. My next attempt will probably involves scallops!!!


Thursday, 8 March 2012

My History of Fashion- Day 4- 1960s

"My History of Fashion" ends today, with a 1960s inspired look. One of the trends in the 1960s was all about bright colours contrasting with each other, experimenting with new fabric and texture (PVC catsuits anyone?), boxy shape (as seen in the... 1920s) and shorter-than-ever hemlines. That was the decade of the mini-skirt (a child of Mary Quant or Andre Courreges, depending who you speak to!), Space Age Costume, A Line dresses, Mods, and the emergence of pop culture as such. Later in the decade, there will be a shift in fashion which will culminate with the Hippie Movement.


I couldn't mention the 1960s without a picture of "the face of 1966"- the super lovely Twiggy (still looking as amazing today as she was back in the 1960s)

Another 60s icon, Diana Rigg

And here is my take on the 1960s look:

 Sleeveless dress (Cache-Cache)/ Black jumper (bought in France years ago and recently re-discovered)/ Grey tights (no idea...)

This wasn't a hard look to pull since I own about half a dozen 60s style pinafore dresses in red, black, purple, you name it. With the chilly wind outside I settled on my (slightly thicker) knitted sleeveless Mondrian style dress.

I love to pair these dresses with colourful tights which either match or contrast- today it matched!!

So, that's it! My weekly challenge is over. It has been very fun to taylor a different outfit everyday- especially since I loved all of them!!


Wednesday, 7 March 2012

My History of Fashion- Day 3- 1950s

So we're now in the 1950s, a decade full of expectations after the horrors of WW2. As the world started to slowly recover from one of the worst global conflict, things started to change at a great pace, paving the way to the world we are leaving in today.

On 12th February 1947, a fashion designer launched a collection which was completely at odds with the austere fashion of the 1940s. His name was Christian Dior, and his collection was soon known as "Le New Look".

It took a while for the countries affected by the war to recover and rebuild themselves, and as a consequence rationing was still in place until the early 1950s, with clothes rationing ending in 1949 and meat rationing in 1954. The "Make, Do and Mend" ethic was still going strong, so you can imagine the shock Dior caused when his collection revolved around below mid-calf length, very full skirts, small waists and full bust. 20 yards of fabric were necessary to create the look-a real folly.

Somehow this revolutionary take on the way women looked took on, and soon the New Look influence was copied by other designer and carried on influencing fashion for years to come.



For me, it was quite an easy look to pull off, since I have made a couple of circle skirt and have a particular tenderness for this fashion era. I could have worn one of the circle skirts I already blogged about, but then a parcel arrived in the post....

I am so pleased I get to finally show off my purple circle skirt! It was made in a lovely purple wool mix, and I followed the same tutorial as above. The hem was finished with contrasting grey bias tape. There's an invisible zip at the back, along with two hook and eyes on the waistband.

I actually loved this fabric so much that I came back to the shop to buy some more last weekend. Sadly there was only 1/2 meter left. At £5 a meter it was a steal.

Beret (H&M)/ Black Jumper, Vintage Pringle (bought on eBay)/ T-shirt (barely visible on the photo, H&M) / Circle skirt (made by me)/ Petticoat (eBay)/ Stripey grey tights (Phildar shop, France)

I absolutely love the collar detail on this jumper- and it's lambswool- so warm!!!

You can just about see the petticoat on this pic...

I had problems taking pictures today, I haven't gone home for lunch and by the time I went back tonight it was getting a bit dark. But you can see the vivid purple colour on some of these pictures. And I like to think I am getting slightly better at taking pictures, although there is still plenty of room for improvement!!

And today, I was wearing my other lipstick- a 17 bright pink shade bought in Boots. I never used to wear lipstick before but I've decided to take the plunge recently, I started out with several different shades of Bourjois Dr Glamour which are more on the subtle side, then moved to bolder colours.

Tomorrow I will end my challenge with another favourite era of mine: the 60s!


Tuesday, 6 March 2012

My History of Fashion- Day 2- 1930s/ 1940s

Thanks for your comments on the whole challenge and on my first outfit of the week!!!

For day 2 of My History of Fashion challenge I wanted to dress up 1930s/ 1940s style. After the Great Depression, the way women dressed changed radically. The carefree, fun-loving flappers were a thing of the past, and as the world slipped into a dark and uncertain future, the fashion changed.

Broad shoulders, longer hemlines, and an austere but somehow feminine look is what comes to my mind when I think of the 1930s/ 1940s fashion. Think natural waistlines, empire lines, capelets and short bolero jackets, coordinated gloves (a staple at this time), hats and bags. 



The 1980s powersuit/ shoulder-pad trend was a long distant relative to this, sadly, it generally doesn't scream elegance as the original does. Unless of course you are trying to emulate Rachel's look in Blade Runner...


... Which is exactly what I tried to do today, with my 80s does the 40s dress!

Hat (H&M, bought years ago)/ Dress (eBay, vintage)/ Belt (Primark), Black tights (bought online). I also added a brooch from Primark on the dress.

This dress is so comfortable to wear and while you can clearly see it's 80s (after all it has padded shoulders) I still manages to pull off the 40s look.

I am wearing my red lippy from Rimmel which I got in a bargain shop for only a pound!

Everytime I wear this hat I get lots of compliments. I just love the vivid velvet and the little feathers and pearls on the side.

I am so pleased with this outfit, even though it's not proper vintage.

Ready for day 3?


Monday, 5 March 2012

My History of Fashion- Day 1- the 1920s

I'm kicking off this weekly challenge with a 1920s inspired outfit. The first thing that springs into mind when you think about 20s fashion is flapper style. I do love it, but it is more suited for going out to a party than going to work (not to mention the super cold wind sweeping Wales at the moment...)

These are just a couple of pictures which inspired me- 1920s day wear...

This is how I came up with:

I wanted to emulate the boxy, boyish silhouette which is so typical of the era,  and this was a bit out of my comfort zone. I had no problem for the accessories though as I have plenty of beads, and a couple of cloche hats. Incidentally the cloche hat I am wearing never used to fit me when my hair was long, but it looks much better now.

From top to bottom, I am wearing: Cloche hat (Marks and Spencers)/ Shiny shirt (Birthday gift from a few years ago)/ Black wool cardigan with contrasting white tie (H&M on sale)/ Beads (bought in France ages ago)/ Vintage embroidery brooch (bought at Northcote Lane Vintage Market yesterday!)/ Silk and Velvet skirt (Laura Ashley sample sale)/ Black tights (Pretty Polly)/ Black boots (Red tape, bought at TK Maxx)

(I tried to take a picture outside, but the only place I could fit the camera was on the bike handlebar- hence the wonkiness of this picture...)

Close-up of the skirt

I nearly didn't buy this skirt, because I thought I would never wear it (a bit too smart maybe?). The shape is so feminine and this teal colour is just so pretty- I am glad I picked it up in the end (it was a steal for £4).

I don't usually wear shirts. I do love this one, but find it very hard to coordinate it with what I usually wear. It is shiny and has stripes, so you have to "tame it" down a bit. And would you believe that this cardigan is a size Small? I couldn't fit in the XS and this one is not as snug as I want it to be, but it did give that boxy shape.

This morning I was also wearing some lovely red lippy, but by the time I took these pictures I had drunk a couple of cups of tea. I'll try to put some on tomorrow for day 2.

Well what do you think? I've had fun pulling this outfit together. I can't wait for day 2!


My History of Fashion- Weekly Challenge

I just can't believe that with the amount of clothes I have I still get stuck in the morning not knowing what to wear. I spend 10 minutes staring at my very-full wardrobe and end up being late for work!! Too much choice is the problem.

So I have decided to set myself a little challenge this week: one 20th Century fashion trend per day from today until Thursday, using clothes and accessories from my wardrobe. I would have liked to go on until Friday, but I am flying back to France straight after work on that day and I know I won't have a chance to take a picture of my outfit, let alone blog about it.

The schedule is as follows:

Monday- 1920s

Tuesday- 1930s/1940s

Wednesday- 1950s

Thursday- 1960s

 Every day I will post a picture of my outfit, explain why I picked these clothes and why they refer to one particular era etc. I don't own a lot of vintage clothes so this will not be a complete dress-up/ re-enactement- every outfit will be chosen to give a "feel" of a specific era. You are welcome to let me know whether I got it right or wrong in the comments of course!

The Monday post should hopefully come shortly!


Thursday, 1 March 2012

"That's Sew Cinematic" Sew along- Fashion in movies inspiration

First, a very small apologies- no purple circle skirt as promised... I wanted to take pictures in picturesque mid-Wales last week-end, then 1) I forgot to take said pictures 2) The skirt stayed there while I am in South Wales. I could ask my boyfriend to model the skirt (after all I fit in his jeans- yeah, horror) but you know, I think I'm just going to be waiting for the skirt in the post. Hopefully, it should be with me before the week-end, and I promise, I will take pictures this time.

EDIT: The skirt will apparently not be sent by post,  it will come back with my boyfriend's brother but since I don't know when I'm going to see him next I have no idea when I'll be able to get it back. Oh well...


I am extremely excited about Rhinestones and Telephones's new sew-along called "That's Sew Cinematic". Basically, "The goal is to create garments inspired by your favourite actors/actresses from film, stage and television". There are several categories to choose from: FROCKS FROM THE FLICKS, TINSELTOWN TOPPERS, FEATURE FILM FOUNDATIONS, SLIP INTO THE SILVER SCREEN, THE SWEATER GIRL, and THE ABILITY TO ACCESSORIZE. Detailed descriptions of the categories can be found on Rhinestones and Telephones's blog.

Does it sound as exciting to you as it does to me? I love movies, and I always pay a lot of attention to clothes in movies.So here are a couple of  my inspirations:

First, the lovely Peppy Miller from "The Artist"!!! A bit of a tricky look to replicate since all the pictures are in black and white. However an interview with Mark Bridges, the costume designer for The Artist on the L.A Times  about the costume designs on the movie provided some great additional info on some of the costumes...

All I need now is to find a suitable pattern- I have been wondering whether the one-hour dress pattern available on the internet is any good- anyone tried it??

Geraldine Dormoy-Tungate, from L'Express has some fashion and movies-themed posts on her blog. She is the one who made me want to watch "Une Femme est une Femme" (the only Godard movie I can stand).



Now isn't this blue dress lovely? And it looks sort of easy to make...

I have recently watched Brief Encounter- lots of great 40s fashion, and such a great (and heart-breaking) story.

I couldn't find a lot of pictures of Laura's outfits online, so I might watch it again and pause when I see an interesting outfit.

Another take on 40s fashion (and a favourite movie of mine), Rachel in Blade Runner...



Another favourite of mine, Audrey Tautou in Amelie. She wears really feminine and quirky outfits.

Talking about quirky, one of the first clothes shock I ever had watching a movie was Thora Birch in Ghost World. This is another movie I re-watched recently and I can't recommend it enough, it is quite bitter though, but it is brilliant in showing how friendships can quickly drift apart when you grow up.

I could go on and on!

Do fashion in movies inspire you?

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