|Today’s Threads | 31 December 2012|
Weeeell, more like the day before yesterday, but you get the idea, right?
New Years Eve in Edinburgh is a pretty big deal, so I was lucky to able to experience it! We decided to opt for a low key house party, organised over the internet with strangers (!) as we’re fairly new to town and didn’t know anyone. All in all, I have to say it was a wonderful evening. Though, being starved of any human contact for last three weeks sure did make me talkative!
My adventures in austerity have meant that I’ve been cutting my own hair. It was scary at first, but I’ve been dyeing my own hair for years, so it wasn’t too much of a challenge. After a pin curl set it was short enough for a lazy faux bob a la Zelda Fitzgerald. Or at least that was the plan. I paired a comfy, if not a little baggy, black cashmere jumper with a wool skirt as was good to go!
Boots: New Look
Bag: Vintage (Out of the Blue Flea Market)
I’ve been lusting after vintage suitcases again. About two years ago I picked up an especially sexy oversized doctors bag in vegetarian leather. While it was lovely to look at, it’s one flaw was a complete lack of wheels. I’ve since then bought a luggage trolley, which does the trick for short distances. But nothing beats a suitcase with a pair of wheels attached. But all those wheeled suitcases are ugly! Or so I thought….
Here are four lovely vintage inspired suitcases and the imaginary women who use them;
Kara is travelling to Japan for the first time. She wants to eat lots of sushi & buy all the Kawaii trinkets she can get her hands on. During the flight over she gives herself a manicure with delicious pink nail polish & listens to Blondie on her ipod. She’ll make little videos of her travels in Japan & put them up on youtube for her family & friends. Kara packed her lime green Doc Martens, copies of Fruits magazine, a rhinestone tiara & bottles of her favourite bubble bath.
On her way to Vienna to see her grandmother, Olivia daydreams about taking possible shopping trips to London & Paris afterwards. While in Vienna Olivia & her Oma will shop for sweet pastries, go to the Volkstheater Wein, gossip about relatives & catch the tram just about everywhere. She will return home with her suitcase full of German magazines, old photos & a pair of Louboutin’s she managed to pick up from Paris, of course.
Morgan is traveling from New York to Edinburgh for a business trip. She’ll stop by Holyrood while there just to see what all the fuss is about. She carefully packed all the business documents in her suitcase, alongside her tailored suits & black patent pumps. Underneath everything she hid a leather riding crop & her teddy bear Mustafa. During the stopover in LAX she taps away nervously on her Vaio & updates her facebook status compulsively. “STILL waiting at the airport”
Isabella decided to take the train to Krakow because she thought it would be more romantic. She’s travelling there to begin studying at art school & hopes that the two years of Polish language classes will have been useful. On the weekends she’ll sketch pictures of the Jewish Quarter in charcoals & sell them to tourists. Besides all the vintage hats & gloves in her suitcase, she has packed her folio, conte crayons, a broken medium format camera & peppermint sticks. Unfortunately, Isabella forgot to pack anything warm to wear.
Loomis Luggage looks very promising!
Scour Etsy for the real deal – sans wheels of course.
|Grab a Book|
Pocket books and purses disguised as books are becoming quite popular. I can’t guarentee that toting one around will boost your literary cred, but they are a cute idea, with loads of vintage appeal. Provided that no actual books were harmed, of course! Here are some of my current favourites.
The Femme Sud Ex Libris pocket book is the original book-shaped purse. The collection was originally released in 2008 and featured cheeky embroidery, a handy mirror and even a cute little coin purse. When you could still manage to find one, they sold for roughly $500 each.
These sleek purses debuted in 2010 and feature such titles as Pride and Prejudice (above), Emma, The Great Gatsby, Great Expectations, and The Importance of Being Ernest. I love the gold-tone hardware and the adorable black and white striped lining. $325 from Kate Spade.
Chanel included two book clutches in the 2011 Spring Ready to Wear collection. Apart from Diane Kruger bringing one along to the Berlin Film Festival that same year, they were never seen or heard of again. A pitty really.
Olympia Le Tan
These amazing clutches have popped up in the hot little hands of everyone from Natalie Portman to Tilda Swinton. Michelle Williams has a few herself, which is quite an investment considering the $1,300 price tag. Classic titles include The Great Gatsby (above), Dracula, Lolita, Doctor Zhivago, In Cold Blood, Madam Bovary, and The Portrait of a Lady.
Laguna Moon‘s embroidered book-shaped bags are adorable. Spiral-bound and featuring a handy chain, they’re also made from synthetic leather and come in at about $120 with current exchanges rates. Making them one of the more affordable bags on this list!
Lest I speak too quickly, this clutch is the cheapest of them all! Wherever there is a trend to be had, ASOS is usually all over it. This lovely little blue and gold clutch fetches for $40. And really, who can resist that tassel?!
Too many to choose from really! If you’re game enough, this is the kind of thing that you could very easily whip up yourself one rainy afternoon. Arianna, Kate, Marlena and Jenna have all shared their DIY secrets, though these involve slicing up real books. Over on good ol’ Etsy, there are several people selling old books converted in to handbags and Kindle covers. But my favourite so far has to be Bromeliad, who made hers out of an old DVD case, as opposed to cutting up a perfectly good book. You could even choose a different cover for each outfit, which is very clever really!
|12 Creative Printable Calendars for 2012|
I’m one of those people that always leaves off buying a new calendar till halfway through November. Can you tell? Whilst trawling through Esty I found these totally adorable printable calendars. They’re super cheap and I bet they would make great last minute gifts for teachers or your office secret-santa. Twelve seemed like a good wholesome number, all things considered. So here are a dozen of my favourite creative printable calendars.
|Battlin’ those oily roots|
I fell in love with dry shampoo about four years ago. It’s great for extending the life of your hair colour because you can get an extra day out of each wash. Here are a few I’ve come across in my travels.
This product smells like teenage girl. Which is great I guess, if you’re a teenage girl. Unfortunately, I don’t want my hair to smell like Tropical (a rather sickly combination of frangipani and vanilla) or like Blush (“the essence of femininity”? That sounds kind of gross…). I found it powdery and kind of sticky. In the end the smells put me off.
This is the only product that I have found that uses powdered oats instead of rice. Do they have some kind of patent on the inclusion of oats in the formula? It works really well and doesn’t have too much of smell with is perfect. On the downside, it can be powdery and gives my hair a matt texture.
Lee Stafford Poker Straight
I usually stay the hell away from cosmetics that come in cutesy pink packaging. However, Poker Straight smelled okay so I took it home with me. Sadly, it didn’t work. The formula came out damp and my hair was just as oily as before and .
Tigi Rockaholic Dirty Secret
I was wooed by the sleek black can. It promised that the “near colorless formula won’t show on your clothes or pillowcase!” Uh, I’ve never had that problem before, but okay. I got two uses out of the 100g bottle. First it was full, then it wasn’t. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. It did a reasonable job at soaking up the oil on my roots, but at $6 a use I’d rather get up fifteen minutes earlier and was my freakin hair.
Cedel for Dark Hair
Oooh! It’s for dark hair! My conclusion is that Cedel have added a dark brown pigment to their regular formula. It smells like crayons. I found it really off-putting. It did an okay job of keeping my greasy hair in check, but after using it twice the smell became too much.
The smell isn’t too bad, and it didn’t cost much either. At first blush, this did a good job of controlling my oily roots. It didn’t last too long though. I was oily again before midday.
Toni & Guy
My favourite. Unfortunately it is sold out everywhere and may be out of production. The formulation is nearly invisible, so it doesn’t leave white powdery streaks in my hair and it doesn’t have a noticeable smell. My hair stays reasonable all day and one can lasts for about a month.
Do you use dry shampoo? Are you as fussy as I am with the brands you like?
|Inspiration for the Melbourne Cup|
Ahh, the Melbourne Cup. It doesn’t really matter whereabouts in Australia you are, the first Tuesday of November is an opportunity to dress up, drink champagne and have flutter at the races. The actual race itself is the richest group one race in Australia (first across the line last year, Americain, won AUD$3.3 million!) and at 3.2Km it is one of the longest. It is an Australian tradition 151 years in the making, but unlike other mid-week race meetings, Cup Day is little bit different, it’s an event targeted at women. This means two things; glamorous luncheons and high teas; and Fashions on the Field.
Now, I’ve been working at race tracks for the last four years, so here are my top tips for looking fabulous trackside.
1. Stay away from facinators. They’re cheap but more importantly, they look cheap. It looks like you’re wearing an intergalictic parasite made out of feathers and sinamay. It’s sucking your brains out through your skull. Don’t.
2. A word about cocktail dresses. Racetracks are windy places. Do yourself a favour and wear something that comes to at least your knees. Otherwise I promise that you will spend your whole day holding down the folds of your skirt. Try a tea-dress or something more suited to day-wear. Satin is best avoided as it rarely looks flattering in daylight.
3. In stilettos, walking around on the grass near the track, or inside a marquee, quickly becomes uncomfortable. Oh, and messy. I’m not saying that you should’t wear your most glamorous pair of high heels, but I would recommend wearing something without the kind of heel that is going to sink two inches into the earth with every step. Keep a pair of afterparty shoes in your bag if you’re worried.
Here are four ensembles that are unconventional, awesome and break a few of the rules.
An Ode to Apfel
This outfit pays homage to the amazing Iris Apfel, rocking electric purple, gold, and a turban all at once. Start the day with a visit to the horse enclosure, then enjoy a lively lunch with friends and a mojito or three. Dance with one or two dashing strangers and keep a record of the compliments you receive. Bonus points for wearing an amazing Egyptian styled statement necklace.
Rethink head-wear with the gorgeous embellished vintage comb. Do your homework beforehand and choose a horse for each race. Place your bets with a bookie at the beginning of the day (and flirt to get over-odds). Keep hydrated with fruit juices. Gossip with friends about this years Fashions on the Field winner and help yourself to tapas for lunch. Collect your winnings from the bookmaker’s stand on your way home.
Palamino in Pink
Cosy up in this amazing Prada faux-fur and bat your lashes from underneath a pink beret. Have lunch at your favourite desert parlour before hand. Bet small change on horses with funny names and squeal with your friends when they come first! Open a bottle of Billecart Salmon Brut Rose at three o’clock and giggle your way through the rest of the day. Bonus points for sporting a polka dot manicure.
Break the rules and wear trousers to the track! Have high tea at one of the marquees and then spend the rest of the day flirting with handsome strangers. Pick all your horses based on the colour or the jockey’s jersey. You manage to squeeze a pair of opera glasses into your purse, which comes in handy for watching the big race from afar.
|Today’s Threads | 4th March 2009|
- Black velvet high-waisted skirt with button details
- Black satin blouse with tie
- Black patent pumps
- Black faux-croc handbag
- Silver & amber ring
- Silver bangle
- Silver snowflake earrings
This is what I wore to my job interview! Or as Queen Michelle calls it; Job Shop Style! I wanted something that was professional, neat, tidy & just a little bit fashionable. Minimal jewellery. I know black is very generic, but it’s also very safe! My trusty Mary-Janes are broken at the moment so I wore these lovely patent pumps instead. Look how shiny they are!
I was really excited & optomistic walking to the interview but when I got to the reception I started feeling a little nervous. So I sat & read Orlando to try and clam myself down a bit. I know that I become terribly introverted when I’m nervous & a job interview isn’t the best time to clam up! I think I did pretty well because I was asked back for a second interview. These people seem super nice & I’ll be thrilled if I get to work with them!
|The Cat’s Meow|
The Cat’s Eye is a relatively simple make up style that consists of a line drawn along the eyelid ending with a small flick at the outer corner. It’s elegance lies in this simplicity. The Cat’s Eye is synonymous with all that is sophisticated, retro, glamorous & adorable. The Cat’s Eye is achieved with these five easy steps; Prime, Shadow, Line, Extend & Flick!
Employed by the likes of Christian Dior, Pola Negri, Marilyn Munroe, Betty Page, Amy Winehouse, Jean Paul Gaultier, Dita von Teese, Extravagent Goths & Fetish Models the Cat’s Eye proves that it’s also very versatile. A simple & demure black line & some mascara during the day can become smoky, alluring & sultry by night. Add a smooth line underneath the eye for a daring & dramatic look or extend the line into a bat-wing ala Winehouse. Add extra flicks to the outer corner for a bit of fifties revival or try experimenting with different colours (fuchsia, teal, violet, neon!)
So rather than writing a boring tutorial that could quite possibly be retitled “How To Draw A Line On Your Eyelid” I decided to give you all something a little more exciting.
The Cat’s Meow
For perfect Cat’s Eyes every time
you must first learn how to prime
(Too Faced Shadow Insurance works best I think)
Now being careful of course, not to blink
first Shadow, then Blend
any colour you please my friend!
After Shadow & Primer
bring out your liner
(M.A.C Penultimate Liner is a good sell)
Knowing small even strokes do work well
line your lid from end to end
as close to the lashes as your fingers will lend
At the corner give a quick flick
& wave around the mascara stick
Knowing that you cannot err
get ready to primp preen & purr
Because if you followed these instructions, written
you will now look like an adorable kitten!
& there you have it! It’s not so daunting that the most humble of makeup students would be afraid, & it’s exciting enough to be employed by kittens everywhere. Have fun!
What makes something tasteful? When do you cross the line into poor taste? I’m not just talking about wearing stripes with spots, or something as mundane as that. I’m talking about fashion choices that shock, horrify & insult. There are numerous debates over the Internet as to whether wearing fur is tasteless or not. Moral issues aside, most wearers of fur do not intend to cause offence every time they don a coat, muff or stole. They may well understand that some people might object, but fur is usually worn for its warmth & beauty – not for its political shock-value.
What then, of items deliberately worn for this reaction?
In September 1976 the singer Siouxsie Sioux was physically assaulted while on a trip to France. At the time she was wearing a black armband decorated with a swastika. Sioux freely admitted that she wore the armband not because she was a Nazi sympathiser, but because she partly failed to understand the role of the symbol as a taboo, & party because she wished to shock people. She later explained;
The Nazis were not only anti-Semitic but anti-anyone different, anti-anyone like me.
The reason I choose Sioux as an example over people like Titler & Doe Deere is that Titler follows in the footsteps of comedians like Charlie Chaplain in ridiculing Nazism & Hitler. Deere on the other hand, was just playing dress up. Sioux donned the armband because she knew people would be horrified.
So what of this?
The text is an unsourced quote form Charles Manson, the man responsible for a spate of violent murders during 1969 in an effort to spark a race-war. Queen Michelle of Kingdom of Style says
For the longest time I have been thinking about designing a t-shirt with the famous quote by Charles Manson
But is seems that Bob hjelte got there first with the above photo featured on her Lookbook. The photo with the bloodied knife & the animal mask, is designed to shock & provoke. This is accomplished by riding on the emotional baggage associated with a particular person & a particular event – one that is almost universally condemned. Is this tasteful? Is it fashionable? Even if it is fashionable, is it acceptable to wear the T-shirt? This quote from Trent Reznor seems appropriate;
While I was working on Downward Spiral, I was living in the house where Sharon Tate was killed. Then one day I met her sister. It was a random thing, just a brief encounter. And she said: “Are you exploiting my sister’s death by living in her house?” For the first time, the whole thing kind of slapped me in the face. I said, “No, it’s just sort of my own interest in American folklore. I’m in this place where a weird part of history occurred.” I guess it never really struck me before, but it did then. She lost her sister from a senseless, ignorant situation that I don’t want to support. When she was talking to me, I realized for the first time, “What if it was my sister?” I thought, “Fuck Charlie Manson.” I went home and cried that night. It made me see there’s another side to things, you know?
Or as Jane from What’s Wrong With the Zoo said;
Till…I asked myself what I would think if in forty years some fashion-chicks would come up with quoting Joseph Fritzl on their T-Shirts. Could I ever take them serious[ly]?
I just thought it was worth discussing.
|12 Awesome Calendar Ideas for 2009|
The new year has begun & now it’s time take that old calendar off the wall & replace with a brand spanking new one. But you & I, we’re special. We don’t want just any calendar now do we? Of course not, so here are some of the best that the world wide web can offer us.
1. The Cheap Calendar
Here’s a cheap & easy calendar made out of post it notes. You write the date out on individual post it notes & stick them to the wall. Then use the rest of the space on each post it note for reminders, to do lists or whatever! Take today’s note with you when you leave the house – awesome!
2. The Messy Calendar
This calendar by artist Oscar Diaz uses blotting paper to absorb coloured ink. The line of blotting paper marks out the numbers on the calendar & each day slowly appears over time. Be careful not to spill that bottle though!
3. The Destructive Calendar
Designer Susanna Hertrich developed this hypothetical calender that shreds itself. Each day takes a full 24 hours to shred, slowly moving on to display the next day. With no off button, you had better think about placing it over a bin; if it even goes into production that is.
4. The Crafty Calendar
The cute handmade calendar was whipped up by Rashida of i heart linen. It was auctioned off for charity not too long ago. The removable buttons are held on with Velcro & are removed at end of each day. I love the blue & grey colour scheme & how easy the whole thing is to customise.
5. The Stress-busting Calendar
Popping bubble wrap is an immensely satisfying time waster. The folks at Bubble Calendar have managed to combine the awesome pastime of popping bubble wrap with the functionality of a calendar. Pop each day as it passes you by – if you can even wait that long!
6. The Wallpaper Calendar
Christiaan Postma has created a calendar that come the end of the year will not come off you wall without a little steam & some persuasion. Why is that? Because it’s wallpaper. No word of when the wallpaper will enter into production though.
7. The expensive Calendar
This calendar designed specifically for newave looks & behaves much like a clock. The hands point dutifully towards the present day of the week & day of the month. Each day ticks over much like each second on a clock. Not for regular folks though, this costs a hefty $95,000. With a price tag like that, I’d want it to last more than a year.
8. The Cute Calendar
Artist & illustrator Cecilie Ellefsen is responsible for some of the most adorable creations & her 2008 calendar is no exception. While it is perhaps the most conventional calendar here, it is one of my favourites. I love the decals used for each day’s shape & the cute little characters. Here’s hoping that 2009 calendar will be available soon!
9. The Hands-on Calendar
The Behance Network offers up some seriously artistic fodder for thought & I found this calendar on their site. It is a little box of numbered fridge magnets – awesome! You affix the magnets to your fridge (or any metal surface for that matter) & hey presto! you have a calendar. The customization options are endless, & who doesn’t like playing with magnets!?
10. The Pyromaniac’s Calendar
Also from Behance, this matchstick calendar is any pyromaniac’s dream. The calendar is designed to be similar to a book of matches, with each day written along the length of the individual matches. Think up new & exciting uses for each day’s flame – light a scented candle or a luxurious cigarette. Light the gas ring on the stove for tonight’s dinner – or burn your junk mail!
11. The Indy Calendar
Film for Polaroid cameras is pretty hard to get a hold of these days. You can pick up a pack on ebay for about $50, so really this calander made of photos should be called the “expensively artistic calendar.” Marc of Click. Wind. Repeat. must have spent ages looking for all those numbers! But really, this is just too cute. If they ever start making Polaroid film again I think I might try this.
12. The Human Calendar
This is totally cute. It’s a calendar composed of photos of people, each holding a number or day of the week. (& there’s that one guy who has to hold the year!) The pictures change everyday! I have no idea who these people are or how much effort went into this but it must be my favourite out of all the calendars here.