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January 2008
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March 2008

strawberries

I find it's so much easier to understand and absorb a show when watching a video, especially the style.com ones. In the Luella one, hair stylist Guido Palau says he got the inspiration for the falling tendrils of ribbon from 80's band Strawberry Switchblade. I had no idea who they were but they seem to be two Scottish girls with a few one hit wonders who had the ribbon and huge crimped hair thing down perfectly!

Images from here

Now who isn't a fan of bad 80's polka dot prom dresses! Maybe it was because they could get away with being so flamboyant in that era, but they seem to work the ribbons and flowers quite well, with out looking like some sellotape fell on their head! I'm still not about to venture outside with things trailing round my face but I do like the idea from the picture above where a single ribbon is tied at the top of your hair but the ends could fall down longer than normal.

On a separate note, I really like the huge heart on the right. I've experimented with sequin hearts but always thought an eyeliner heart would just look like a funny shaped beauty spot, but I guess the bigger, the better applies!

It says in the video that charms are tied in the crimped hair. If I take time to straighten my hair I'm sure not going to crimp it back to frizz! But I do like the black corsages and plastic charms. There must be some sane way to get the amazing, witchy look. I'm thinking of just tying ribbon around two pieces of hair either side but leaving the rest down, and twisting in broken necklace charms I have lying around and possibly now a big flower.


i skipped detention

For arguments sake, here's the school blazer I got. I haven't styled it, just threw it over what I was already wearing (and btw, it's been SO hard to take photos with a camera that has no screen! I might as well be closing my eyes! Got a new one today though, yay). I was looking for a really vintage, tiny-fit, cropped one but I could have just nabbed my brother's old one as this isn't vintage and it isn't extra small. It's horrible, it just has this vibe about it that someone recently wore it through years and years of school. It could be workable in a boyfriend blazer way but I really hate it and stuffed it into a bag so I wouldn't have to know it was there!

I'm not usually this fussy about old stuff but recently certain vintage things have started to make my skin crawl. If I receive things off eBay, I have no idea where they are from and they're usually in good condition so they have no effect. But I've explained before how some vintage stores here are just second hand stores, which is fair enough, but when I go into the £3 second hand shop my skin just crawls. I got a really cool, ruffly skirt/dress there last week and just can't get the smell out!

Some of my friends don't like vintage because usually each item has had a previous owner. I never think about that, I don't really mind, but when you pick out some gloves or a shawl from a charity shop bin, it's the smell that makes me start to itch. I'm creeping myself out now by thinking about skin rubbing against mouldy fabric eeeeee! I do however adore my vintage dresses because I know a fabulous person must have worn it to a cool party once!

p.s. if anyone wants the blazer, you can have it!


take the plunge?

£247.50.

Do I buy it?

About 90% of me says, "YesYesYes!!!! The cute charms and big almost bow-like tassels and the large size means I can carry it everywhere and fit all my books inside so get the most wear out of it and always looking super fabulous. And it looks cute with Camilla Belle, though I'm not sure exactly who she is, I just googled for images and found her! And it's in a sale and will last forever because it would be so well made and some people out there justified spending £500 on it! It's not the calf hair one on the left, the hair creeps me out a bit, it's the grainy calf on the right but bigger. My brothers and sister have gone crazy with x-boxes and Wiis and TVs and I have bought nothing, and wanted nothing but a bag, and here it is. I'd feel a million dollars. And it would be brand new from the website and would arrive in an amazing box with wrapping ahhhh"

The other 10% says "£247.50. You could buy a nice £30 bag and spend the rest on loads of other things! Also, you're a STUDENT! You are meant to have no money and shop in Primark (and wear uggs and joggers but lets not go there)!"

What to do?!?!?!


end of an era

I have some extremely upsetting news. Get the kleenex and chocolate ready....

The fridge white board has been taken down!!! You might be familiar with our fridge from here, here, here and here. Well apparently someone wrote a horrible message about the boy who was writing the threatening strawberry and goujon warnings so his girlfriend took it down. Boo.


AABC

So the U-neck dress. It's hard to wear with underwear and it's hard to wear with tights. And I'm posting a photo of myself breathing out to be realistic about what I will look like in normal life and not when preening in the mirror with shoulders back and tummy in. Plz do not judge!

I will most likely wear it like this with the skirt I've been wearing a little to death on nights out while waiting for a few eBay dresses. I forgot to add above, I'm wearing the tights that are now my favourite and will feature everywhere to let people stare away as this blog certainly appreciates them enough! I'm starting to think it's not just what I wear but I myself must look freaky because yesterday while walking from a lecture some random chav shouted 'Yo red hair and white tights!' out the window of a pathetic pimped out car driving past, which startled me even more than the earthquake last night! How embarrassing when half your lecture is walking to the bus stop as well. Funnily enough I do realise I have red hair and white tights.

If I wasn't on another shopping ban (which will be successful this time!!) I would buy some more colours, but the time for that will have to wait for a few weeks. Contrary to someone commenting the Blythe card photo that I 'live like a pig' (how rude!!), on Monday I was actually cleaning out my wardrobe, thus everything was on my desk/dressing table. I've discovered a load of things I forgot I had and am selling the rest on eBay/giving to charity so I'll show them here if anything is decent enough to want, and frankly the only stuff I'll part with is pretty rough!


crushing news?

I wanted to hold out until the end of Paris FW but images are getting overwhelming! What do all these looks have in common?

Velvet. Mostly velvet trousers strangely. I am only reminded of 70's flares in mustard so Just Cavalli wasn't far off! I can't imagine velvet skinnies becoming popular very soon, but they could be workable once people realise they'll be a trend. I guess we'll have to wait until at least October for that.

In the mean time though, I started checking out velvet dresses on eBay and came across Virgin Vintage again and the most fabulous blue crushed velvet mini dress with a massive minty bow! Yummy.

Sadly most things in this shop are always XS so probably were originally children's clothes. The models on eBay seem to get tinier and tinier too so I tend to avoid this size, especially when they're stated as kids clothes. I just got the cutest coat that doesn't even do up and was marked XS/S. Sometimes S things surface in this shop, but are still super short and girly. There's generally no tat and usually lots of nautical stuff so take a peek.

I'm itching to get my hands on some mint satin now and may have to make another guilty trip to the fabric store, even though I have a massive pile already calling to be used. I'm keeping eyes peeled for velvet too, some gloves like at Donna Karen would be more wearable than a matching velvet suit in red or blue!


aliens invade again

Sorry about the unexplained hiatus!! I said I was going home for the weekend but didn't expect it to be quite so jam packed! I had no time to go anywhere near my computer, which I had to drag all the way there along with a months worth of washing. I'm about to reply to comments and start on the blog roll!

So how are you all? What have I missed? Well alot it seems! I'll go through some gossip right now that I possibly would have elaborated on in real posts but by tomorrow will be old news! Argh too many exclamation marks! The above photo was taken by my twelve (now thirteen) year old brother- bare skills there! It kind of sums up Birmingham- clouds and the Bullring!

1) So I missed the final trailer for the SATC movie being leaked on youtube! You can still see it here but it's slightly depressing. I doubt they could have thought of story lines that were fabulous and believable but the jokes seem a little lame (I'm hoping they're saving the good ones for the film) and the 'uplifting' quotes from Carrie about friendship make me a little queasy. I will however be first in line at the cinema and if I didn't have exams I would have so gone to the premiere! (to be in the crowd, not the cinema- I'm not that important!)

2) I have developed a love for some Topshop grey tights that are actually a faint lilac when on. I've gone through three pairs in the past two weeks and may have to stock up before they run out as they hole so easily in clubs but I love them so!

3) I broke my camera!!! I wondered why I'd taken a photograph of an open umbrella, then realised it was a big smash in the screen! It does strictly work but I can't see anything which kind of defeats the object, especially with mirror shots. I can borrow friends' cams for now but any tips on good cameras would be very appreciated! I could afford to get an OK one with some of my Nan's money but it will end up being thrown around in bags all the time anyway.

4) I found the BEST magazine shop in the Northern Quarter! My friend told me about it and I walked in and asked if they stocked Lula because owning one issue is so not enough. The guy took me to the back and they had shelves with just about every fabulous magazine ever!! Even Wonderland and Rubbish and the one with naked Lily Cole inside (not that I'm a perv or anything...!) I was nearly chucked out for the drool I left on the floor. Sadly I left Lula at home, although I have a feeling my sister nicked it. With a room like hers, she's definitely a Lula girl!

5) Also from the said shop above, which I sadly never caught the name of- will do tomorrow- I got the pack of Blythe postcards and had to stick them on my wall so they didn't have to sit in the packet. Now I've got something pretty to look at while musing instead of fire alarm instructions (not like anyone goes outside anymore)

6) Would it be insane to spend £71 on this Miu Miu collar? I guess if you have to ask, you know the answer. A DIY is in the process at this very moment.

7) I've realised the joys of dry shampoo. I thought I should try it due to numerous rave reviews and it's amazing! Although it does turn your hair grey, where if you are not careful like me, you will end up forgetting to brush it out and go out like this:

It must be a bit worse with the flash as no one noticed but my my, it's definitely grey! If you're wondering why I'm wearing a tie with bunches and fake freckles on my face, and why I'm pulling a massively facebook-type pose, we went to Carnage on Sunday night. It's basically a massive student night where everyone has the same t-shirt with bars from the pub crawl on the back to tick off and everyone writes on their t-shirts/themselves with marker pens. The theme was school girls and boys. And there were 3000 students there. I think that says it all. Fash points if you can spot me in this photo!

I'm sorry if you are worried and a little confused by this sight, I sadly don't go out looking like that normally! If you want another strange or somewhat sickening sight, here's some friends and I with the twins from Big Brother:

Ok, shameful uni photos over. They will be banished from the blog, along with photos of my face!!

8) To bring it back to fashion, I had a dream I found the PERFECT lace-up skater boots! I don't remember which shop I found them in though! I'm hoping this will be one of my dreams that strangely come true.

9) My school blazer arrived while I was away and it's not XS like it described, it fits me perfectly! Not in the way I wanted, in the way that I could actually have worn it to school. Boo. It just reminds me so much of school, and the vibe that someone went there every day in it is something that I don't want to carry around! It will have to go.

10) In better news, I finally got an American Apparel U-Neck Dress and I love it! Like the 300+ comments, it makes you feel super sexy even if you don't look perfect in it, and I looked around 4 months pregnant when I put it on and still liked it! I'm a 10 in most high street stores, and I don't have the biggest boobs but certainly have a booty, and the medium fits fine. It seems that every size will fit your form super snugly, the larger ones just have wider shoulders. I'll probably layer it under skirts for normal clubs as I think it would look too trashy, but in an indie/alt. club it could look OK. Should I review it on here or are they old hat now? I do have a HUGE craving to get one in every colour but £23 + postage a pop means that's just not possible! Also, it's not this purple shade, it's more of a grape. Any other recommended colours?

11) Speaking of double-U necks, I got a black top in the same style and tight material from H&M and have been wearing it loads, day and night. They're fab because they're plain but have a shape that's special enough to grab attention in a subtle way but not show too much skin in the process.

Phew! It's now 1.19am and I have just remembered I need to wash my hair- there's only so much the dry shampoo can do! I'm back to Manchester now which is sad since home was so fun but Easter break is soon and my bedroom is now officially the snooker room of my house so I'm liking it in here with my Blythe display in front of me!


hubble bubble, ribbon trouble

Luella is like my oracle; whatever she produces I will be wearing next season. Witch craft? Hell yeah! So while I was shopping in the fabulous fabric store for ribbon to customise some awful XL t-shirts for a bar crawl (don't ask!) I was struck by the images of cascading ribbon from birds nest hair. I love the ribbon dress too and am planning a DIY but really wish there were close up pictures of the head pieces as I love the ribbon trains.

I popped into a boutique arcade and found an emo shop with a huge wall of hair bows too and was sent to bow heaven! I bought this big red clip and attached some of the ribbon to the clasp which reminds me of maypole dancers.

I tried to fashion a head dress with loops at the crown like the first catwalk image but it was pretty tricky and the ribbon is quite lifeless. I think I'll try find a sequin patch or head piece that I can attach loads and loads of sheer, checked and velvet ribbon to. I'll look in the Birmingham markets tomorrow as I'm visiting home for my Dad's birthday party and to give my siblings their birthday presents. I'm a bit worried about the party as it's part of a club night with my Dad's friends and I fear it will just be loads of firemen who I don't know!


a rough guide to aid your travels

I get quite a few emails and questions about where to visit in Manchester, which I really can't give an expert answer because I've hardly lived here! I do have certain haunts around the Norther Quarter but apart from those I'm lacking in good charity shop high streets or hidden boutiques. Can anyone help? Hopefully over time I'll discover more but for now I can review a few places that may be of interest. I'm not sure why I haven't revealed attractions in detail but only fleetingly mentioned them.

If we start from the basics in the NQ, one of my favourite places to make my eyes pop is American Graffitti, which is just off Oldham Street. They do have a little concession in Afflecks Palace but I love wandering round the main shop, lusting after all the bright plastic and every kind of retro item you can imagine. I love the fact that each piece seems specifically chosen rather than just being vintage, proven by the cake-like tiers of the most original shoes ever and pristine dresses. They have a large men's section too with a few 70's items straying from the vintage tee/leather jacket norm.

I'm forever tempted to choose from around 100 pairs of false lashes or the rows of shaped sunglasses. I really like the niche they have and how presentation of the shop seems top priority. Also it's nice to not feel like you may catch the plague if you touch anything!

I'm not sure why the shutters are always half down but it's even open on Sundays, whether it looks closed or not. It's like a time warp and worth a visit to feel a little happier and develop a lust of lace umbrellas and huge platforms. The shop will be old hat to real Mancunians but it's off the main road so could be easy to miss for visitors. Not especially pricey either, everything seems fair, with glasses, lashes and accessories around £5, around £10 for bags and £20-30 for dresses.


loners of the rainbow

Big thanks to the all-fabulous WendyB, who in this post directed me to A Cup Of Jo who wrote an article for New York magazine interviewing people who only ever wear one colour; sometimes even a specific shade. Whether it be for practicality or feelings, this prospect is so intriguing. Before clicking I assumed it was a phobia or psychological issue, or that they just adore one colour, but all their reasoning seems very natural. Rather than restriction, it seems these people have just flowed towards a colour that feels right. Go judge for yourself.

The article made me realise how much I ignore colour. In an aesthetic way, I do not pick clothes because they suit my skin tone or hair, or which are slimming or flattering. Naturally colour does have huge impacts on things but I never solely think 'gosh, this colour is so divine,' it's usually part of the whole package. Today I admired vibrant green and yellow things in H&M but didn't naturally think to pick them off the shelf to appreciate the colours and to wear them as an expression of meaning and history. Wearing one specific colour embraces and appreciates what it stands for. I just realised that my Mom is a colour-lover. She often rings me up to alert me on new buys or things she's pondering (I think I know where I get my shopping love from...!) and most often than not starts by saying 'I've seen the most fabulous blouse/dress/coat in the most amazing colour.'

The rules also attract me. Much like being a vegetarian, it's very easy (or at least for me?) to fall into a routine and make the most of what few things are on offer. If it wasn't for a Peta video, I may have never discovered obsessions with sweet potato, olives, houmous, mushrooms or limes. It looks as though a restriction would force you to appreciate the things you find in your chosen colour and to shop with more care. You could develop a style truly your own.

I feel I've wasted many years of colour appreciation and right now is a turning point. The Satorialist always picks up on colour and I've never really thought about it until now. I am even more interested in experimenting with a one-colour outfit like many bloggers have done but will have to venture out of a rut of white vests to throw on with fabulous skirts and tights. I'm looking sideways at my rail of current clothes and all the colours suddenly pop. I don't think I'll shop the same ever again. How could I have been so blind?