Thursday, 20 December 2007
It's 20th December, and most people are still working until the 24th. Hell, some people haven't even started their festive shopping yet: fools!! Still, i'm not most people. In Tor's world (It's a weird and wonderful place)Christmas started at the weekend when I left my Norwich hovel and returned to the rural expanse that is my parental home: a fantastic luxurious place where mincepies appear all the time, as if by magic, and laundary does itself.
The downside of this wonderland however is the dial up internet. For you, dear reader, i've just sat for 20 minutes waiting for this page to load, and I dare not add a picture- That's an hour of my life i'm just not prepared to waste!
So this is just a note to say thank you to: (cough cough, prepare for the speeches) Becky, for coming on board and adding that special sparkle to this blog with her witty reparte. To all of the highstreet stores I fill up the changing rooms of most days with no intention of ever buying anything. Thanks for unwittingly letting me advertise and (lets not lie) criticise your clothes for my own selfish means. Finally thank you to (no, not my parents) you, lovely reader, for reading my random ramblings this year and not laughing too loudly at all those dresses that just didn't fit. (yes, there were many)
I will try and post regularly from this back of beyond (i'm starting to feel farmer chic as a major trend: it must be my surroundings) but I make no promises precious readers. Even for you i'm not prepared for a 30 minute page load! If I don't manage to tap out a word or two, complete with pictures of those lovely Christmas dresses i'm expecting santa to drop down the chimney any day now, then have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Check us out from the 2nd of January, when I will be doing a week of daily live reports from the sales showing you what's hot, what's not, and what's a plain got-to-have-it-now bargain. I hear Primark is having a January blow out this year: just when you thought that store couldn't get any cheaper: thank you santa, a Primark sale is just what I asked for (Well, that and YSL shoes but you can't have everything.......)
See you in 2008!
Devastating news - Catwalk Queen didn't include me n Tor in the Top 100 Fashion & Lifestyle blogs. It's almost as though an online experience that's only been going a few months and features badly photoshopped pictures of Karl Lagerfeld doesn't cut it anymore. That makes Karl sad.
Well, inwardly sad, anyway. Karl is nothing if not a trouper. He is a Belgian of many layers and mysterious caprices. I, however, am outwardly sad and rending my polyester garments. You know though, when I feel blue I always turn to my secret love -- musical theatre.
There is much to be learnt from musical theatre when it comes to fashion. Costumes have to project character to 150 rows and beyond, they have to swoosh and dance well and they have to glitter! sparkle! and shine! enough to delight the 13 year old girls and gay boys (I consider myself a spiritual member of both communities) this is not only fine entertainment but good style. I'll be conceptual and Japanese tomorrow,.
Because it's so insanely apropo-po, I'm going to take a look at Legally Blonde - The Broadway Musical. I've been obsessed with it the past few greyish days.
.....equals one awesome outfit in which to defend innocent fitness instructors. Topshop coat is £75 and the Giles S/S 2008 dress is on of those 'price on request' dealies. That translates to at least a grand.
Blow your grand on chilhuahua puppies.
They're not accessories, however. Remember: if it shits, it's not fashion. Puppies need love. Fortunately you can express that love through fashion. Legally Blonde's merchandising is way intergrated, you guys. You can purchase every handbag used in the show - they just happen to be made and sold by Laura Bell Bundy herself. This hand-made bag entitled Bruiser's Cruiser will set you back $150 or around £70:
You can buy it all with your internet prowess just click: Schmancy Purses. then your doggies can travel in the diamonte'd style to which they should have become accustomed.
You see Catwalk Queen? We all need love. Especially me - I'm needy. Oh dear, my getting my rejection anxiety shakes. I need an uptempo triumph song!
Monday, 17 December 2007
I have danced around it in previous post but I'll say it loud: I'm broke. Not la-di-dah o!noI've only got£45beforepayday broke, but the real hardcore broke where the letters are red and the phone is your enemy. Christmas therefore is going to be something of a sedate affair. I've painstakingly bullied and alienated my friendship circle down to 3 people so as to save money on potential Christmas presents. I'll make new and better friends next year - cheaper ones with fewer expectations!
The sad story of my financial situation is pertinent to this blog in that today we're talking about the joys of super-bargain shopping. When I was less broke, I used to shop frugally and fabulously from ebay.co.uk and the world was verily my vintage and cheap designer treasure trove. Now, the rule is: if it's over £1, I can't have it. This isn't the nicest position to be in but it does give one the chance to put on their cheapo Columbus hat and discover new worlds of bargains (no, I will not think of a better metaphor). Here are two recent finds:
Dress#1 Severe Grey Tunic with additional pretty-pretty - Primark (£1)
I picked this up today whilst searching desperately for the final component in my boyfriend's birthday present. Though Primark's men's range is nauseatingly skaterboi and not at all in keeping with his style, I was pleased that this fine garment, previously £12, had been marked down to a much more reasonable £1. I enjoy these things: ( 1)the pussy bow, (2)the ugly charity shop pattern (3)the puffed sleeves (4)the whorish length. If you're looking for a designer comparison, I'd say it's very Anna Sui A/W 2007. All I need is a big long cuddly cardigan, a fluffy hat and I'm good to go. Also, blue shoes. I definitely need blue shoes:
Dress# 2 Ice Ice baby - Vintagey Christoper Kane - £1 at Romanian Children's Hospice Charity Shop.
If you click on my photo and squint super hard you'll see that I even wore my fake Swarkovski bling necklace to add to the illusion. It too was £1 and from Topshop - here's a better picture:
Y'see? I am well cyber goth, me. Designer up to the eyeballs.
Don't contradict me, this shit is what lets me sleep.
Ok, so we haven't ever actually met (her life being Fendi, my life being Primark) but I feel like we are so similar it's scary. I'm recently addicted to Erin's new blog on Vogue.com (which is alot funnier and more down to earth than you'd expect) and discovered that Erin and I battle with a lot of the same demons. Facebook addiction-check. Love of Halloween-check (although Erin wore Vivienne Westwood and I wore a binliner) Indulging at breakfast time because it's 'nearly' Christmas- check (although Erin indulged with champagne, me with trifle, but the concept is the same!)
Sunday, 16 December 2007
Saturday, 15 December 2007
Facebook is a mystical beast. It's a haven, a xanadu -a place where you can fight vampires, reunite with vaguely remembered school friends, be hit in the face with a virtual snowball and prevent child abuse simply by forwarding terrible poems with varying ABAB rhyme structures.
Accordingly, we have set up a Facebook group where fans and vaguely motivated well-wishers can congregate and luxuriate in the splendour of community that this blog provides.
Tor set it up - she's way more on the ball than me. She also drew our logo with her own mouse-bearing hand. Tor is pretty damn impressive.
But here's where I get all New York fashion gay, shake my head and finger in a rhythmic way and say:
"Honey -- high waisted jeans? Step back from the brink. Friends don't let friends bisect their torsos."
You'll see Tor's post below and no doubt you enjoyed her adorable plaid shirt and cardigan ensemble - I know I did. However: no no no no on those Primark jeans, Tor. Yes, I love the big golden sailor buttons too and I know they feel soft like a bunny. I say to you, however, look again at Mischa Barton - if you can clearly identify the lines of a woman's pubic mound then I say no amount of snuggliness can redeem the outfit. In fact, I'd even go so far as to say you look way better than Ms O.C. in your trousers. Again, this is not an endorsement of the trouser shape, merely an observation of your superior styling.
I too coveted the high waisted trend, especially in the mannish trouser style when it first broke on the high street last spring. It led to nought but sadness, fury and vaginal wedgies:
However, i'm inclined to think that if you took away the flat tums and perky breasts and wore these very same outfits you might look a little bit like an Eighties mum doing the school-run. This belief isn't entirely unfounded either. Jessica Simpson (God bless her!) tried to pull of the high waisted look, but the combination of bad top choice (polo neck and high waisters was never going to be a good idea) and ample busom led straight to this style disaster:
Eeeek! Lovely Jessica is normally so beautiful, and yet in this photo it actually hurts to look!
This leads perfectly to my own denim dillemma. I am closer in figure to Jessica Simpson (I wish) than Kate Moss, so can I wear the high waisted jeans I crave (because they're from Primark and they're so soft and only £10)? The jury is still out:
It's a denim conundrum: high-waisted jeans mean denim clinging to your tummy and shortening your torso, but Low slung 'hipster jeans' (my usual denim of choice means love handles and (i'm sad to admit) an ample display of butt crack whenever I bend over.It's enough to make you hope this seasons dress revival will last forever isn't it?
Friday, 14 December 2007
Today was just not fashion. I tried, as I always do, to make sure the events that greeted me upon waking were fabulousity at at least 40% capacity. Nope. Friday 14th December 2007 said "nope" and all was, in my boyfriend's delightful slang, gash and gash to the extreme.
#1 Stomach bug
#2 Medicating iron deficiency
#3 Fluffy face
#4 Smirked at by blonde highlighted homosexual Topshop worker probably because of the following:
It's okay. I would smirk at my outfit and face too. Working in a fashion emporium elevates you morally and aesthetically, way beyond the reach of most workaday people. I was once full bodied shoved out away from the Lanvin in Dover Street Market. And I was glad, I tell you, glad to be touched by the hands blessed by Rei Kawakubo.
Anyway, I need cheering up and for that I turn to Marks & Spencer and piracy. I was going to feature this item in a post on ethical tote bags, but frankly I don't have the emotional strength to write and then read another sentence on the subject. All I care for is Erin O' Connor's face.
Behold my massive new shopping bag - 100% Organic cotton, supermodel endorsed and as scratchy as couture in Soviet Russia. All for £2.50. You could also grab a bag featuring Twiggy at her 1960s peak. Though since she betrayed this fine nation so extravagantly by appearing on America's Next Top Model, I don't see why you would do that. The camera laahves, yew, Twiggy but to me, you are less then dead. There. I said it.
Another cheering and welcoming fashion moment comes in the guise of this video of the Sonia Rykiel S/S 08 catwalk show. It's all so floaty and the models are smiling and swooping and gaying it up at the end in a most delightful way. It's so nice when you see models being silly and girlish rather than fierce. It may be heresy but I believe fierce is overrated as a lifestyle choice.
This clip also features some genuine comedy gold: Sonia wrote an erotic romance novel about a man, a woman and a sweater. Thank you, Elle.com! I'm praying to all the Gods I know that it's a sincere literary work. In fact --a dildo wrapped in high street cashmere for anyone who finds me that book!
Thursday, 13 December 2007
Dress #1: The body con(cious) Now firstly, I feel I should point out that the only thing my body is concious of is when i'm running low on chocolate supplies, so I should have known that a dress that clings to every lump and bump was not a good idea. Oh, how right I would have been.
Since Alicia Silverstone wandered down the stairs in that white body-con dress in Clueless and explained to her father how fabulous it was (Father: what's that? Cher: A dress Father: who says? Cher: Calvin Klein) I have had a soft spot for the body-con look. It's just that the look does not have a soft spot for me. Unless of course it clinging to my soft spots counts.
I couldnt fasten the zip of the frock all the way (hence the massive gaping) and the tight fit made my tummy look round enough to give santa a run for his money. Having said that the material was very thick and very stretchy, so if you do have figure, and the confidence, to wear body con I can imagine this would be a good dress to go for. Still, that doesn't help me.......
Dress #2: The sparkly dominatrix
Dress #3: The Animal Cracker
Dress #4: Gok's pick
Dress #5: Rock chick at a prom
The 'pretty' colour of this dress means that it would need some serious accessorising to stop it looking twee and girly. Having said that, it makes a change from the black parade usually associated with a party dress hunt.
Wednesday, 12 December 2007
Unfortunately through bad chosing, bad design, or both, all the dresses I attempted to display systematically hated my body: H&M hate me. Fact!
Apparently being young and having breasts are mutually exclusive concepts to the H&M team! This dress felt fun and floaty. The material was very flimsy, which I usually consider a bad thing, but putting it on it actually worked: it skimmed my hips and gave a great shape until.....i tried to squeeze in my bosom. I would have loved to have made it look good for you reader, but miracle worker I am not- my boobs are just not young and trendy enough. Fact.
For those of you that are feeling young and trendy though, here's how the frock (wich comes in black and grey) looked on the 'perfectly shaped' model:
Is it OK to ever so slightly hate a mannequin!?
There's not much to say about this tuxedo style shirt dress (which looked amazing on the hanger and was made of a lovely quality cotton) except that i'm not holding my arms out like that out of choice. I'm holding them like that because the arms were sooo tight that I couldn't move. What's weird is that there was loads of room around the body and bust, so if the arms have been looser this would have buttoned up and looked rather lovely. Curiouser and curiouser........
Dress #3: H&M hates my curves
And now we move from one end of the scale to the other! Ok, so in the second picture i'm sticking my tummy out a bit but you get the idea! From the front this dress looked lovely: I loved the neckline, it minimised my bust, I even quite liked the (poorly attached) embellishments. But the problem is they had used enough material to make 2 dresses in constructing this frock: the result? From the side the dress looked like a shapeless sack light materity dress that was far too big for me.
Dress #4: H&M Hates my hips
Ok, I admit it! By this stage I was dissillutioned with H&M 'Young Trend' dresses and thought I might have more luck with a sequined mini-skirt teamed with a long sleeved top (an idea I admit I saw showcased on LK Today) How wrong I was! The poorly crafted skirt stuck not only to itself but also my tights and gave the illusion of 4 hips rather than my usual curvy 2: not a good look!
So there you have it! A full range of body hatred from the European clothing giant. Here's hoping River Island are a little better tomorrow..........
-Photo 'borrowed' from www.vogue.co.uk
Factory Girl Sienna Miller has been fronting the Pepe jeans advertising campaign for two years now, (see? The picture above proves it!) so it stand to reason that the brand loves things a little smouldering and more than a little sixties. Pepe announced yesterday that they are to take this passion for the era of love up a step with a 250 piece collection based entirely on iconic artist Andy Warhol. Exclusive to Europe, the Andy Warhol Collection by Pepe Jeans London will comprise two lines: Pop, which will be based on the artist's signature works, and Factory - which will take its cue from the style of Warhol and his crowd. The full 250 piece range launches next August, with a smaller capsule version launching at the Portabello road store in May.
Now I have been scouring the tintyweb for some sneak previews of the range and im sorry reader of mine, but I've failed you! Instead feast your eyes on this image set i'm sure the designers will be using as inspiration from an artist who's had far more than his 15 minutes of fame:
Tuesday, 11 December 2007
It's getting towards the end of the year and like many responsible young people, my thoughts are turning to how I'm going to mark my time. Buying a New Years' calender is a tricky business for the aesthetically inclined. It's got to be glossy, embody in its pictures a little of my true nature and have good sized squares for me to write my important business doings and whatnots.
That said, I'll settle for boobies.
I was reminded of how much I love an arty or art-ish nude whilst browsing in Borders and happening upon The New Complete Pirelli Calendars a glossy tome that is wrist splintering in weight and filled with all the Pirelli Calendar images from 1964 to the present day. Apart from a chance to look at pretty much every supermodel that's ever been revelling in purest sun-drenched nudity, it also provides a fascinating glimpse into 50 years of mainstream erotica and how our scientific notions of phwrogh! have changed over the half century. It's also pretty cool to see models (which, face it, women and gay men pretty much own, visually and emotionally speaking) shot with an unabashed eye to the mainstream heterosexual male audience. Let us not forget, the calender is a tool to promote car tyres and I like to imagine Karen Elson's pale artistic buttocks hanging on the walls of the greasiest of garages. High fashion crossover is good, huh?
Doctor E-rotica analyses some Pirelli images from across the decades
When you're digging around the archives, the Pirelli image is fascinating. It's so strange to see how the brand has moved so much from the artish titties and beer approach to a more out-and-out high fashion stance. Now, Pirelli has always employed a lot of fashion photographers to do their shoots - pretty much everyone big in the business but a surprising number of them do soft core a great service and a an equally surprising number don't seem to be satisfied until all the world's hetero winkies have shrivelled and inverted like sea anemones.
This shoot, only the fifth in Pirelli's history, is one of my favourites. No 'name' models but a really amazing scuzzy San Antonio vibe. Sassy urban girls in bikinis....who don't know they're being watched - check those low angles and photographer's print sheet motif and marvel at the seedy voyeurism that's being implied. 'Don't Walk' and 'Don't Touch', friend because this is the sexually violent urban world that created "Last Exit to Brooklyn".These natural untouched photos are genuinely sexy but they're critiquing our lewdness even as we look. It's a really amazing juggling act.
November 1970, Model: Alexandra Bastedo. Photographer: Francis Giacobetti
This is the first Pirelli shoot photographed by a woman and it shows. It's a very female type of sexuality on show here, with an emphasis on texture and implication. It also doesn't acknowledge maleness or the male gaze - the whole year it's the same: gauzey, lacey Pretty Baby style pseudo lesbianism. It may not do it for the fellas but I think it's pretty ace. The fact that the lovely frizzy grainy 1970s style resembles the decadent Ossie Clark print ads is so much the better:
Then....the 1980s happened and it was all big lips and bitches. Pirelli from this era is ACE.
And then Pirelli caught art. Sucks for us when Annie Leibowitz gets all Lucien Freud on our asses:
What with the whole "Images anaesthetise" thing.
Go to the site, you'll see Lily Donaldson, Agyness Deyn and Du Juan.....fully clothed and in a shoot more boring than American Elle (the apex of fashion zzzzzz). Talk about images anaesthetising us, Susan. Neither I nor you, nor anyone else can become aroused by Caroline Trentini with a cabbage on her head.