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sex and the city- my review

Disclaimer: Don't scroll down if you haven't seen it yet!

I said I was going to see the movie on Wednesday but plans changed and we just saw it tonight- WOW! OK to start from the beginning and make the story ten times longer than it needs to be, like I always do, we didn't book tickets but got there a good forty-five minutes early and the screens at the counter displayed 'low seats' so we only managed to find good seats just in time. We thought we wouldn't though as we got to the bus stop and it was rammed with girls in heels and dresses! The the cinema was crazy, literally every girl or woman was totally dressed up in huge groups; I saw alot of high street prom dresses with little shrugs and tongs hair. I didn't wear heels as the cinema is too far from the bus stop and none of my friends dressed up so I already felt over dressed! I wore the H&M flapper dress that I've put off wearing because it's too damn fancy to wear in the day, even with the scruffiest pumps and no accessories. I thought it was suitably 'Carrie' enough!

The film took ages to start as there was something wrong with the credits. On a totally different side note- we saw the trailer for Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging (although they're calling it 'perfect snogging'), the Louise Rennison book, and it looks so great! I hated the idea of the superb book series turned into a film but they've picked the characters perfectly and it doesn't look like they're holding back too much on the naughty stuff; the Sex God is even played by that hot guy out of Nearly Famous!

But yes, to the film, those credits at the start were fab! I loved how they played a little bit of the theme music, when the HBO sign came up I had so many butterflies! I loved how they put in little bits from past episodes, I so didn't think they would do that. As it opened and bombarded you with loads of different outfits, it was a little weird. I'm so used to seeing the videos on my tiny TV that it was strange to see the girls on the same streets but on a massive screen with constant emotion-matching background music and high definition cameras. I didn't think the acting was so great and could imagine people behind the camera and the script being very carefully put together, line by line. But then it started to flow and my eyes adjusted and it was fantastic! I thought they executed it so well, loads of natural jokes with little characteristics of the girls down to pat. I loved how the story wasn't too happy or too dramatised, it was more realistic than I'd expected. After Big left Carrie, her pain was played out so well, those shots of her with no makeup and cried out eyes were so believable and I thought introducing her assistant as a new character flowed perfectly, although it was slightly cheesy at times.

I was disappointed that Samantha didn't have more of a story line, hers didn't seem as significant as the other's. Miranda had more sex than her! A favourite moment was when Carrie was sifting through her wardrobe and she put on the dress from the show credits! I didn't think it was very Carrie-like to throw away clothes though, no matter how dated! I don't think I've ever cried or laughed so much in a whole film, I adored how Miranda and Steve met back up on the bridge. The whole audience were cheering and clapping at the end, almost all girls apart from a few gay couples. I didn't get the Stanford and Anthony part, were they meant to be together or just friends all of a sudden? I thought it was too insignificant to matter yet they deserved bigger parts. From the ads I also assumed it would be full of 'inspirational quotes' about girlfriends, but the end was simple and perfect.

It's easy to criticise and go in with a judgemental mind but I can't think of a movie I've enjoyed more and it's the kind that you leave and think about for days, replaying it all the way home. I loved how my friends said it made them want to dress up and wear heels every day. In the end, writing this blog is just me pretending to be a little Carrie!


know yourself

This guide has been frequently helpful to me and might be to some of you guys! A while ago Lady Smaggle of Smaggle Style raved about stylist Annebelle Van Tongeren and she replied and offered personal advice if you sent in your silhouette. I took the chance and sent in mine!

If this helps, I've got great affinity with this American Apparel girl; wide shoulders, small waist, smallish bust and definite hips. I never listen to those apple/pear/boyish guides because for one thing, I don't see how anyone can fit into a category so easily, and another, how can you be sure what you 'are'? I've found the tips from Annebelle very helpful as they're tailor made, and while I don't shy away from any clothes because they may not be flattering and don't shop with them in mind, when wearing certain things together I can totally see her points and have taken the positive ones on board. Some of you may find some tips helpful...

Killer Feature: Waist, then hips

Worst Enemy: Bust small

Widest horizontal: True hip

Key point:

If you get concerned about widening your shoulders with any garment you wear, look for vertical treatments around the shoulder line that will mitigate your strong horizontal. This means deeper necklines, square necklines and even strong Vs. Vertically focused collar details, long bows and ties, all of these will create a force to help make your shoulders not look so wide.

Love your tiny waist. Personally I would kill for it!

Colours on red heads could include anything warmer in hue, from ivory through the entire autumnal palette, chocolates, black of course and my favourite, emerald green. Ditch lightweight neutrals as they might drain you, and bright red can be problematic of course, greys might also suck the pigment from your face. When in doubt, warm your make up tones to compensate.

Frocks:

A-line skirt shapes will also help keep the shoulders seeming smaller. As your hips as slim, you can afford pocket tabs, and other hip detail like embroidery, fastenings, topstitching etc, which will also make your small waist the focus. The best length for you is about ten centimetres below the knee to balance your silhouette. Play up a small bust with textural highlight, pleats, gathers, colour contrast, lace etc. Anything that builds the area will be helpful. And best of all the highlight here will also take advantage of your slim waist. You can’t lose.

Items:

Unlike lots of us mere mortals, separates will work well on you as a break at the waist is something you can afford. The current must-have higher waisted pants and skirts will also suit you. Feature belts and strong waist detail will be great and for heavens sake go get yourself some cute 50s style pieces as this era is the one that will work best for you.

Avoid:

Boat necks, wide off the shoulder garments and puff sleeves.

If you want this treatment I'm sure Annebelle could help you or maybe if you pester Lady Smaggle enough she will do another guest post!


so you wanna be a buyer?

It's a shame that I haven't actually got my sights set on being a buyer when I grow-up (can I still say that even though I'm nearly 19! I don't mean buying stuff for myself (of course I do alot of that!) but I often select and purchase things to sell on for profit for myself. Although I'm doing a textile management degree, I wasn't planning on working in the retail industry because I don't want to set too high hopes for myself, as literally all the girls on the courses similar to mine want to be buyers and there are few jobs. I've gone through a few eBay selling tips before and although I am no expert at all in either field, here are a few tips on making a bit of extra money from things right in front of you.

So basically this is just buying things from shops that you know will sell out or spotting something that will be a major trend. It sounds really simple and it probably is to you if you're like me and keep constant tabs on shops and trends. I scour the high street at least once a week, not to mention endless magazines and internet store browsing, as well as blogs detailing things like press days and collection showcases. Also when the fashion weeks start, I tend to collect pictures in categories, as demonstrated by lots of trend posts I tend to do, and sum up the themes before magazines do. This gives a great base of knowledge of being able to predict and analyse what will be in demand and the existing selling ability of items. These things will then sell on eBay or similar auction sites once they've sold out or become popular.

A great example is heart shaped sunglasses. In 2006 I wanted a pair and the only place to get them was off American eBay as novelty pairs of children's party treats. I got a pink pair for £10 including shipping and saw that they sold pretty well but there were none for the UK, so I put them up and got nearly £30 for them. So over summer 2006 I was shipping batches of sunglasses over and making profit through many bidders, even though they could have just clicked to expand their searches to international sellers and buy exactly the same pair. Then last summer Topshop brought out their pairs and as it's just a habit to check their new stock every day, I bought up one straight away to keep but knew they'd sold out quickly and were featured in magazines, so put them on eBay and got £50. I bought around 10 pairs and made just about the same profit on each, putting some as buy it now and auctioning some, as a lot of people messaged me to ask for them straight away for holidays, etc. I've sold a few pairs this year too, although now they've got a constant stream in store. I've also made hundreds of pounds on festival tickets, but that's a bit more like touting which is a bit wrong.

So to make a bit of spare cash, it's best to know whats going to be hot. If you're thinking generally, just look over what's in magazines or on the high street. For example, playsuits are super hot right now, and while charity shopping or thrifting if I see a playsuit, even if I didn't think it was especially nice, I would snap it up because there's a demand. Internet stores are great because you get to see what sells out straight away before it comes into store. Shoes are great for this as they are impossible to replicate and rack up lots of bids. I reckon sellers like the one I've linked work for the shop and get discount. It's really about luck. This post was spurred by the skirt I bought today pictured above. Around a month ago I stumbled across an auction where one went for £85, which I though was a little crazy as it looks quite easy to make or just get a tailor to make for you. Then totally randomly I spotted one on a lone rack of things in Topshop today in a size 14 and snapped it up. That's the great thing, if you think an item may sell and it doesn't, you can always return it. So browse odd rails, the 'last chance to buy' rack and changing room rails. Often you can look at auctions already on ebay for items that you think you could sell for more profit with better pictures and description. I know it's rumoured that some of the power sellers just mark costumes or new clothes as vintage and make major profit.

But things have to be fresh to sell and everything has a time limit. The sinnita frilled platforms were big sellers but now have been brought out again so wouldn't sell for as much. Don't bother buying any Primark sell outs as they rarely make very much profit as they are cheap in the first place and there are so many stores with such large volumes of stock that they keep replenishing. Plus I wouldn't pay an excessive amount for something from Primark?

So if you need some extra cash for the holidays, wise up on the high street! I'm watching a few auctions for the riviera skirt to see if it will be possible to make profit or I'll return it, I'm not too sure yet. It's been a pretty weird day because I also won the dispute for the Miss Sixty jeans and will get my money back, yay! On the bad side, I went out and all the way to town and into shops wearing my skirt inside out! It was the red one I made so there were no labels but raggedy seams were definitely on show and my friends though it was hilarious! I think I've gone nuts from all work and no play!


play that record again

H&M dress, Zara cardigan, Miss Selfridge tights, Topshop necklace and shoes, Junk Shop bow

Just another super girly outfit from yours truly. As I was walking to my economics exam eating a fruit cookie, it struck me how little colour there was around. The day was grey and windy too, I stuck out like a sore thumb. It's less than two weeks until I have to move out of halls, it's so sad! I'll even miss the fridge raiding and broken windows and hearing everyone's sex lives... well maybe I won't miss that! I'll go out with a band though, expect lots of photos in the key surroundings. It truly is the end of an era... speaking of that, the Sex and the City movie is out tomorrow! I'm very much hoping it won't be sold out or queues a mile long all day. If I owned Manolos I would wear them. Sadly I don't so it will have to be lots of corsages instead! I like my newest hair bow though from Junk Shop, tomorrow I'll check out the Northern Quarter store and pick up a copy of last years Uncovered encase I've missed anywhere. Vlada is possibly my favourite model and this morning I bouffanted my hair a bit like hers but the wind played havoc with it. I like the way she looks a bit gothic lolita but in a spooky way rather than kitchy way.

One of the main things I'll miss from Owens Park is the sunset each night that I watch out of my window, it's the perfect view. Back to revision!


darko

I can't ever help watching Donnie Darko and considering the uniform, blue pinafores with white shirts. It makes me wish all uniforms were pinafores rather than ugly blazers and the shortest skirt you can get away with. Are all uniforms like this in the US or is it just in Gossip Girl worlds? I'll definitely be getting out my pinafore and Viktor and Rolf shirt in the next few days.

His casual skeleton Halloween costume also flashed the memory of the Topshop boutique skeleton t-shirt dress a while ago. Is it just me or does a blogger have this? Maybe I'm imagining it. I really want one now. I'm looking for an XL mens t-shirt that I can trim down the sides as I doubt one would appear on eBay. I think I'm blinded by the whole 'buying things as least girly as possible' thing; once I plant a seed, it sticks... oh well, back to microeconomics revision, clothes get out of my brain!

pictures from mad world fan listing, but this has got to be the strangest website ever....


what i did in didsbury

After a reader recommendation I decided to trek down to West Didsbury and Didsbury village to check out a few vintage stores, partially for the Uncovered issue, partially for myself! It's a gorgeous day but extremely windy, so I only wore a knee length pleated second hand skirt but had many Marylin Monroe moments!

I checked out a few bus journeys and made a dodgy map but luckily got on the 46 from OP that took me all the way to West Didsbury. First I checked out Hub which I think either has a different name or a sign I didn't see or I checked out the wrong place because I don't actually think it was called Hub... it was in the right place though! For a little row of a few shops in a very suburban area it was quite busy, possibly because of the lovely day. There was rails of independent designer stuff and some vintage items, with a fair half of the shop for guys clothes with lots of Fred Perry and Lacoste. I saw a cutish dress and looked at the price tag- £185! This place wasn't the cheapest so I kept my purse in my bag and went onto Junk Shop.

Junk Shop is so cute! More of a vintage boutique than a second hand store, but there was enough stock to have a wide range to pick from of girly dresses and blouses, possibly reconstructed. They had a huge lot of accessories too and some Tatty Devine stuff, with lots of random retro bits like batman necklaces and videos. I asked to take photos but the girl wasn't sure if the manager would allow it, even though I said I was from the student newspaper, so you'll have to make so with the store font, even though that doesn't reflect the pretty interior. Dresses were around £30-40 and accessories were around £10, so it's not the cheapest but great for a special outfit or birthday presents.

I was thinking that these high streets may have a few charity shops but West Didsbury is very small so I wandered down the road with my little map under the shady trees. I'd compare the area to Mosely or Solihull in Birmingham because it's fairly middle class with lots of greenery and nice houses. I walked to the bus stop but could practically see Didsbury village so it only took a few minutes to walk there. It's no scummy high street, it's a bit more of a little town centre with lots of posh eateries where people were having lunch and wine outside. I found Fonda, which like Hub is full of designer clothes from places like Denmark and Sweden at not so cheap prices. I wasn't allowed to take photos here either until the manager was present but was allowed to take one of the store front. I was starting to think I should have taken sneaky photos!

I walked down in search of some charity shops and found the poshest Barnardos ever. Where I live in Birmingham, Barnardos used to be 'all items 99p' and you'd be lucky to find anything that was bought past the 80s, but this shop has obviously gone to the Oxfam school of charity shopping. I picked up a worn pair of white flats that were £17.50! Things were also in colour order, ew. True to form, there was an Oxfam too.

So I have yet to find my scummy high street of Manchester! If you live in Withington or Fallowfield I'd definitely recommend going to West Didsbury as Junk Shop is great and Hub does have such pretty things, just they may break the bank! I couldn't resist this hair bow from Junk Shop for £4.


i know what you'll wear next winter: showing in H&Ms near you, September 2008

Fashionologie has released pictures of the H&M Fall collection and I've been having a delighted browse. I love the niche that H&M have now carved out. They've sent Divided down the happy little path of emo cardigans and printed skirts in super small sizes and let the office wear batch out while the corner is reserved for the goodies. This could be a COS influence as it hasn't hit the mainstream high street yet but the Trend line has subtle statement items and super hotties that hits the runway shows on the head. European bloggers seem to thrive on H&M and have gone crazy over the mini Miu Miu floral top, which I tried on but the material is a bit like stretchy lycra! And it's not uncommon to send out a plea for an item you can't find. They aren't afraid to throw out items that are a bit more off the mark, like hammer pants, because they understand some people live for fashion and not sheep-wear, even if things mostly end up on the sale rack. That's the best thing, the stuff is cheap and often discounted even further! Recently I've bought the Aztec-print max dress for a mere tenner, the fringed flapper dress, the red strapless dress (which I picked up in the wrong size and had to sew!) and two u-neck tops, one being a leotard, or more like a babygro as it has little popper fastenings! Hmmm maybe that's why I've ran out of money.

The Fall collection seems to have lived up to this Spring, with a few key items that I will be able to get my hands on but still keep within budget. Their sole purpose isn't to look super sexy or wear everything to a club (note River Island) or thrusting fashion in our face (note Topshop). I'm really into wearing maxi or longer dresses in the winter and intend to pick up a few in the summer sales for this purpose. Also I love the bunched up flowers on the wrist, I'll so be doing that with my £1.99 flower bands!

I think by now everyone has a long cardigan, but under a cape or over sized jacket? Easy enough! Also they seem to be bringing in alot of fitted, button up jackets which remind me of safari jackets; I'll bet they'll get a sleeveless one in too. I'm thinking of taking my existing Zara coat from the past two Winters to a tailor for some revival or getting the exact same coat made because I love it so much! Coat shopping is so hard...

The new t-shirt shape looks cropped with a high neck and smooth shoulders to be worn over long sleeves. I'm not too sure how this will work out now I prefer round necks with low backs but it's a good way to layer. And look at those Prada checked socks with the cropped trousers! I like the way they've put a long top with the short trousers to play with proportions.

I bet this coat would be super cheap in loads of colours, I think the pose makes it look better than it would be in real life! But I'm pretty sure I own the slacks in the second picture and love the top that almost flares out like a dress, it looks pretty simple to make too. Again, it's the mini t-shirt with long sleeves underneath, thanks Marni! I'm still undecided.

I like H&M for their blouses and really like the quadruple bangles on one arm, next time I see some cheap ones that I like I'll stock up and wear the same way! Also the layering of socks over tights with a longer skirt is something I spoke about in the tights post this week. I really loooove the purple coat that's totally Sonia Rykiel channelled, I hope it's really over sized. Also the cropped sleeves are totally the best in winter and you get to show off more of your outfit and accessories and wear elbow length gloves; I'll definitely be waiting for this coat to come in, it could be my new replacement! Chunky knits seem a bit last year but I still couldn't find the perfect snood so the hunt is still on, I really like this one.

Now I'm going to sleep with dreams of coats and tights, as usual! I'm so tired from exams but they've gone OK, even if our school is a bit pants with handing out the right exam papers and setting the most vague questions ever! I might hit up the Northern Quarter tomorrow, I've only been there on a Saturday a few times and I like to sit and watch the cool people go by, or hit up Didsbury, thanks for the suggestions Janine!


FAO: m14

Just a quick note to any Manchester born/familiar people: I'm writing the 'alternative' shopping section for the Uncovered issue of the Student Direct paper that all the new freshers will receive. I've got a rough idea of places to include, mostly around the Northern Quarter; are there any places that I might miss out on? I'm trying to find some less obvious or off the map vintage stores/markets/boutiques. Big thanks! x


wear a mask

Exams and stress and worries. I might straighten my hair tomorrow. I found the laundry room is a great place to take photos. I dislike dyeing and knitting machines. Also I forgot to mention that I'm in a £60 paypal dispute with the seller who sent the jeans with the rip in  because they say I've lied, and my friend just sent me a cute picture of Daisy Lowe looking hot in them, sigh. The best way to combat sadness (not involving Glen, if any of you get that reference hehe) is to look in the mirror and not have your tense face or upside down smile staring back... Like darling Cordelia of Curella Says, alot of people think the beauty pages of magazines are fillers but soon discover the potential of makeup. You only need one eye shadow palette and an eyeliner to create an endless amount of looks. Here are a few looks for Autumn that could heat up the summer right now!

Of course you have to take them with a pinch of salt, as I don't want to look like a carnival mask, but mixing eyeshadow colours have been in my mind for a while, I just can never decide which colours to use and move onto something else. If you've ever had a MAC makeover, you might know that they love to do this with their special brushes.

Red nails and red lipstick should be a given twin set and glossy black lids is a little less mucky than full on smoky. I still can't find a red lipstick that suits my hair and skin tone and have come to the conclusion that it just doesn't really suit me, there are other colours in the world!

People believe eyeliner is the fastest way to draw attention and give definition to eyes, but shadow can be more hypnotising and brings out eye colour. Who would have thought a berry lip and mustard shadow could work so well?

Subtle hints for everyday, a berry lip or gold eyes. If you look closely you can see the Nina Ricci eye has a gold stripe that's a bit glam rock and a bit like a tear. if you have a fringe or side fringe, this can work surprisingly well with the eye that is just covered because it doesn't scream attention but hints at something unusual.

Fake eyelashes, my new love. I wouldn't quite go feathered (maybe) but some along the bottom lashes is intriguing...


class begins

Want some light revision relief? I find it much easier to do with half-interesting programmes on in the background and there are a few things around at the moment...

The BBC's poke at teendom, Switch, a selection of programmes and radio shows for a younger audience, are showing Class of 2008, starring models Daisy Lowe and Portia Freeman, fashion designer Kesh and a few other minor London celebs. It follows the friends for a few months white they try and break into their 'fields of talent' and make some money. It seems Daisy and Portia have already established themselves as models so it's more interesting to see their lives and what's behind the breakup since that Dazed and Confused editorial. I thought it would be a good watch for fashion spotting but there are rare appearances of Daisy in shows or of her outfits, although next week Kesh showcases her fashion show that was sponsored by Topman in LFW. Check it out at 12.45 on Saturdays or on the iPlayer online (I'm not sure if it works outside the UK?).

Something I feel upon by accident though was a documentary from 2003 on Channel 4 called This Model Life and the three episodes are fantastic. If you have 4od, look at the free programmes, the short series is in the archives. I don't like biased documentaries that try to hit a scandal, such as the recent Dispatches show on anti-wrinkle creams, where they only tested on 30 women and thought they'd reached substantial evidence, but this is very fresh and almost serene, with no flashy, 'fashionista' shots of models and shows, and no background dance music or active voice over. It's narrated simply with a soft camera lens and follows three models who are in the mist of their careers. Much to my delight, one was Erin O'Connor, and in 2003 she was in the height of her career; it follows her over the couture shows with intimate fittings at Jean Paul Gaultier and Dior. I now associate her with the bright, happy M&S ads but here you really get the sense of her lithe, 6'5-in-heels frame and fabulous face, and you hear the designers rave about her. There is no 'omg, look how crazy fashion week is, models throwing on dresses and backstage hands going crazy, fabulous!', it's alot more real and a great insight into the world. There's alot of contribution from Models 1, where the other two girls are documented after just being discovered. The first is Ruth Crilly, who dropped out of a law degree once spotted and travels to Tokyo and New York to look for work pay her debts. She has a stunning face and the cutest gap in her teeth, and you get to see how models aren't just a pretty face, but they're so graceful! I don't think she's around much now though, I've been trying to find photographs without success. The second is 15 year old Anna Donne, who is a typical, grungy teenager, yet looks like an angel! Funnily enough a sculptor makes a statue of her as a life size angel and he's fascinated by her, even obsessed, which seemed a little weird as she was so young. You get the feeling she's just on the brink of breaking the industry, yet can barely walk in heels. She walked in the Christopher Kane show this year so must be about 20 now, and will hopefully make it big time. Definitely worth a watch.