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May 2008
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July 2008

anti-barbie

The last post I did on TV recommendations went down well so I have to share a new programme on BBC3 called Snog Marry Avoid? Some of the ideas such as using a sad 'computer' with some bad CGI to talk to the people and the weird title are really cheesy. But the concept is quite funny, they take people who totally embrace barbie/plastic culture or major makeup to the extreme and show them they don't need all the slap to look beautiful; they call it a 'make-under show'.

You can watch last weeks episode on the IPlayer or catch tonight's at 8.30. Last week the first girl was typical fake tan, 50 extension layers and a dress that was totally backless and gaped open like crazy. The last girl  got some duct tape and wrapped one strip round her boobs and went out just like that! They looked better in the end, if less fun and adventurous, and they did have a sort of goth boy who spiked up his hair into a 'crown' on who they said he shouldn't change his personal style.

But while watching these extremes, it moved away from horror to almost admiration. Some commenters may be ready to say I'm contradicting myself again (so shoot me!) but I truly admire people who are fierce enough to commit to their style no matter what people think. I was the first to highlight my annoyance of clone girls with bleached extensions and fake tan, but the first girl was saying 'well I like the trashy look, it makes me feel confident.' I like extreme and rather than sheeping the style, she'd taken it to her own level and just went for it. I'm not saying it was nice and that if I saw her in the street, I wouldn't be shocked, but she knew what she was doing and didn't care.

The second girl said as she took her five hours to get ready to go out, "Alot of girls these days backcomb their hair because it's fashionable, but people say that I go extreme. I keep going until it's completely knotted... and there we go, it's all done, a big, crazy birds nest!" See they obviously know their style doesn't appeal to everyone (although she did have a boyfriend) but they like it and that's all that matters. Surely you could compare ganguro girls to lolita girls in the way that they both embrace their style to the max?

The lengths they go to is funny to watch though so I recommend taking a look as it's only half an hour and is one step towards fake tan going out of fashion!

P.S. If you were interested in the post about commenting, check out this great post, and here's the link to my ebay auctions.


i wouldn't advise chin blusher

I don't think I can hit another charity shop again! Summer job hunting is pointless as there's nothing out there! I think I can make enough money on eBay to cover the rent for our Manchester house we have to pay over the summer (why?!) but I can't take it anymore! I've got bags and bags of dresses and accessories in my room, though I've made packing more fun with lollipops and little cards with tissue paper. The new auctions however seem to be working well, as does the new setting. Here's the stuff I'm selling now, some stuff goes up tomorrow, and note the Lula magazine!

I did my sister's hair with plaits wrapped around her head. My hairs a bit too long for this and I don't have any sort of fringe so I end up looking a bit like a geeky Lily Cole from St. Trinians but Chloe looks great, boo! My favourite thing is the awesome bright green sweater with the stars.

To my great sadness the Barnardo's Bargain Box shop has closed! Noooo!! The alternative is The Salvation Army store where I found this amazing video! It's from 1993 by a magazine called Looks (anything to do with Look magazine I wonder?) for 'the girls who get noticed!'. It's barely half an hour long and has some hilarious hair and makeup tips. I've videoed some seriously bouffant hair, a seriously funny advert for hair dye where the hair moves around and dances, and a blusher tutorial, where she tell you to put it all the way up to your forehead and chin?! The model has bright copper hair and it does look like she has a little beard! Tomorrow I might go to the library and find some of the books you recommended!


like, tell me about it!

While this title wasn't an instruction, and more of the girl talk slang agreement, it does refer to a subject I've been thinking about ever since Catwalk Queen posted this poll on why their thousands of readers don't comment. Commenting seems to be a bit of an almost taboo subject on blogs, a bit like how many hits you get could compare to telling someone your salary! Some may say it's in correlation with the amount of comments you get but CQ proves this point untrue.

Now I, and I'm sure a lot of bloggers too, get emails asking how to get comments or emails from people promoting their new blog and asking for comments. I don't believe that you're blogging for the right reason if you want complimentary comments all the time. Blogging is about discussion and feedback on ideas and outfits so of course comments are useful, insightful and almost all of the time charming and a privilege to receive! But I don't think they are the sign of a great blog or even how well a post was received. You can notice that outfit posts will get more comments because as soon as you see one you form an opinion but say a post about a discovery of a designer may get less because a person's reaction may simply be 'ah, interesting.'

Are comments everything though? Maybe they are when you start out and it feels like no one is hearing your voice but it shouldn't over take the pleasure of blogging. Right here on Flying Saucer is an example of what happens if you barely promote a blog and gain an average of one new reader a day for the first months, thinks just gradually snowball!

I started thinking about the topic because I just recently registered what 'replying to comments' probably means. When I used to read bloggers writing 'sorry I haven't replied to comments yet, I will do soon!' or something similar, I thought it was reading them and answering any questions. But if I'm right, does it mean if someone comments on your blog, you repay the 'favour' and comment on their blog? I literally didn't think of this before and it made me wonder if people comment here only because I comment there? I've never done this process but every blog that comments here, I will add to my blogroll and my general policy is that if I think something while reading, I'll comment it. It's almost like a conversation, in real life if someone told you something or sent you an email or letter, you wouldn't be mute or just walk away or ignore it. You might just answer 'mmmm' or 'yeah' but generally would form an opinion or reply and it just seems natural to comment it.

If new bloggers email and ask how to get comments now I generally say you could comment other places and usually a comment is returned. It seems that blogspot is a bit like a community but typepad is a bit more business like, and we have to pay! In the past I have emailed some lovely frequent commenters who don't have blogs with thanks as you can chat with bloggers on their blogs and commenting is more natural for bloggers, but it's almost like an extra effort for a reader to comment as it's rarer.

Catwalk Queen's poll said that 30% of non-commenters have nothing to say. This may be because a lot of their posts are like news but they do lots of videos and shopping posts. This is starting to sound like a CQ advert but their poll struck a cord with me as their at least ten posts a day takes time and dedication and I think they're pretty damn good! Claiming that you have nothing to say makes it seem like you read something and it just goes out your brain straight away. I know a major proportion of my hits don't comment and I am beyond happy with the lovely, thoughtful and interesting comments I am lucky to get, don't think I'm asking for more or anything by this post! I'm just wondering if people read things here and don't have an opinion. My sister just came and had a good rummage through all my clothes and accessories and I did a few hair styles on her (we sound like we're at a pre-teen sleepover!) and she asked me where I get all these ideas from, and I said it was the gazillions of blogs I read! So if I manage to take some inspiration from almost everything I read, don't others?

41% of the poll said they didn't feel like commenting. I guess it does take an extra minute to comment. When I think back to first discovering the much smaller amount of fashion blogs out there, I didn't comment under my real name or email address. I don't remember why, I think it was a bit scary for the big, successful blogs as you feel your opinion is random and unimportant or don't feel any connection with the writer so it's strange chatting and putting your opinion to someone you don't know. It's safer to be anonymous.

Commenting is a major reward in blogging; most people believing for compliments and self confidence but it's so helpful and insightful to hear different opinions and takes on things and to chat with other bloggers. But as much emphasis as there is on it, it doesn't get an equal amount of discussion. Is it really a taboo?


hey sweet cheeks

I love Fafi, the mix of graffiti with sexy yet girly paintings in popping pastels are very easy on my eyes! I think they're a bit like modern day cherubs. This shoot from Vogue Nippon is luscious! There has been some controversy over using young girls but it doesn't seem like they're being portrayed as sexy, just quite aloof but charming. I love the big doe eyes and bright walls, a bit like AlicePleasance's house of The Cupcake Diary!

Pics from Flickr.

But I've been pondering those heart cheeks for literally weeks and weeks. Obviously the outlines and blues or purples are venturing into clown territory but how about normal pink blush but in a faint heart shape? Keeping eyes strictly just lined and maybe adding the same cheek pink lipstick, this might work? In the confines of a dark, drunken club this could be a little detail to boost into lolita stratosphere or maybe just look stupid? Questions, questions! If I hadn't already decided my makeup for tomorrow (that sounds quite sad! it's only because I got a new eye shadow...) I might have gone for it, especially as my Mom got me the Topshop patent heart bag.

The girls below have gone further than I would do but I am tempted... watch this space!

Pic sources: 1, 2, 3


coca-cola

Would you wear this t-shirt of that legendary tabloid snap of Kate Moss doing cocaine? I never buy tops so anything slightly appealing always gets my second glance and I can't make my mind up about this one.

The Carte Blanche tee is limited edition with only 400 available at Fame Theory. It seems to have some artistic meaning which I don't really understand but I like the statement it makes. I don't get the Kate Moss obsession (much like any Agyness Deyn adoration) and don't think she's particularly amazing or stylish; it's like a way of reminding people that half her fame is tabloid hype and people admire her even when she was exposed. I don't feel too strongly about the controversy, I just quite like the shirt. It doesn't look much like a fan girl tee either I hope.


a skirt and a tripod

I made two steps up in the blogging world today. The first was going to a meet up for Birmingham Bloggers which was a little scary but when I got there I met some looovely people! I hope some fashion bloggers will come next time (I'm looking at you Winnie and Leah!). Secondly, I bought a tripod! The white tiled bathroom from uni may be iconic but unless I'm about to break into Tree Court every time I want to take a photo, it isn't possible *sniffle*. At home I only have one of those thin, wavy Ikea mirrors which just isn't great so I happened to pass one of those pawn shop places for gadgets and spotted the tripod of perfection in the window! This means I get to play dress up with the tutu skirt that has been all over the blogsphere, namely on Strawberry Kitten, Lisa Place and Emma Nygren to name a small handful of owners. It might be popular because it's cheap but I like it because it's not too poofy like some Topshop are offering and a bit longer as well. I got a 152 and I'm about an 8-10 so I reckon they go up to at least a size 12 for adults. Most have paired it with AA dresses in that very simplistic Swedish way but it has way more possibilities than that!

H&M red strapless dress, red tutu from dressing up costume, vintage turquoise belt, Topshop socks, Primark customised stud shoes (although not shopping from there after that Panorama!)

H&M corset, Topshop knee high socks, vintage suede pumps, Junk Shop hair bow (not really seen)

Vintage glasses, H&M cropped tee, Mango lamé matt leggings, Office platform zip boots

American Apparel purple U-neck dress, Oasis stripe tights, vintage Bally heels

Vintage lace top, Accessorize hair bow, Sock Dreams thigh highs, Topshop mary janes.


saturday market

You might know that I don't usually post on Saturdays when I'm at home because I stay at my Grandma's house. My sister and brothers and I have done it since forever. Although now my sister is usually out drinking Strongbow...!

Here are a few thing I thrifted today. The American term sounds cool rather than 'picked up in a charity shop', it's better with a verb! I got some Clark's t-bar heels with remind me a bit of something Liebemarlene might sell. The patent toe is a bit long but they're super comfy and fit like a dream so I might just keep them. I found a hilariously fake Vivienne Westwood bag. I got it because Oxfam do returns but eBay will take down your account for even saying something is counterfeit so I'll take it back.

These cute shorts are originally from Zara but are a little big so I'll have to take them in. Last night I made the worst attempt at a romper...ever! The shorts went ok but attaching the top part proved too crazy and it was super wonky and then there was the problem of actually getting it on, eek!

I found a high waisted bright purple skirt but it doesn't fit too well so I may have to sell it. I got a scarf because I liked the pink and grape in it and some Judy Blume books because I love her!

Speaking of books, I used to read all the time in the summer and got through a few a day so was always hitting up the library. I read from the teen sections because I prefer fiction but hate those cheap books aimed at women where they are a journalist and have a one night stand who they fall in love with, etc. Do you have any recommendations? I got these and some others from the library in town and said to the librarian guy, " I'd like to say I'm not reading kids books, but I am!" He didn't have any qualms!


the topshop crop

Thanks to Susie for highlighting the Topshop AW Look book as it makes for great browsing! I've highlighted a few things and slotted them into the mishmash of folders on my computer, which now constantly runs out of memory!

My favourites of their typical four trends are firstly 'Darkside', lots of black and navy with fringe and corset details and like Susie said, upper body volume and those shiny Docs. The other is 'Wonderland' which has a circus vibe; think lots of harlequin, polka dots and prints with ruffled collars and capelet necklines in popping satin and sequins. I'm still verging towards something more classy, a bit more Milan FW than London, but it's almost like Topshop is classed as what's fashionable all by themselves.

Topshop always has that effect where the outfits are simply made up of fabulous things without being overloaded. I'll plan to put tutus under dresses but over tees this Autumn. I've tried socks with heels but I feel like they make my legs look funny. TS shoes prices are heading over the £100 mark but some lace up boots would be a must, we'll have to see about the socks!

I'm seriously missing some short skinnys and slim cut black trousers and must be on a dress ban until I find them! I found myself lusting after some stone wash Cheap Mondays in Urban Outfitters which was quite alarming.

Checks and tartan always come around but I'd probably pair one with a skirt like Wendy of Hand Me Over. I like the socks with shorts and sometimes find shirts done all the way up to the top quite restricting, but if it was in a comfy flannel it might not be so bad!

I love nudes and was going to have a rich Proenza Schouler Autumn palette but am drifting towards pale chiffon.

I already have princess coats as they come super cheap on eBay so I expect a few of these around this Winter as Topshop are already big fans of cute coats with bows.

Quite a few bloggers have experimented with fringing as it's cheap and easy to sew a strip. I think it would be great to get some Primark £1 boob tubes for skirts and a bit of fringing to make a replica of Topshop's leather version.

I think these little satin skirts will replace the hundreds of ruffled and tutu skirts. They look easy to make though so I wouldn't spend £35 a pop!

So a few things would be reasonably easy to replicate. The dress has simple cups and torso with a gathered skirt in a cute print. If I were going to make something similar I couldn't choose a print as preteen but still something kitschy. Again with a boob tube, you could add two ruffles around and get something very similar to the cute cherry one. And with two pieces of stretchy cotton and a zip, the lace dress might be a doddle!

Does anyone know which designer dress these are inspired by? The Oasis dress is currently in their sale yet Topshop are bringing out a very similar, less formal version. I'm currently evaluating my strapless dresses in my mind to see if I could add some voile or tulle to tie behind the neck.

Maybe they've left the Miu Miu style harlequin for Autumn because it's not as easy to put beside floaty chiffon and florals. They've got a few Luella inspired coats too, look out for double buttoned grey and ruffled jackets with sleeves like this green one. The skirt with the big bow is a Sonia Rykiel dead ringer too.

I'm looking out of the window to a sunny, breezy day but really the all out hardcore buying seems to be done in the Autumn months. I'm still looking for the perfect boots but I figure there's a few months before I'll need them!


the mojo returns?

As I was walking through Birmingham city centre with crazy, giant backcombed hair and loads of dark eye makeup with major blusher, I think a giant penny dropped. Before I started blogging when I first got into fashion after a slightly emo faze (I was young and impressionable OK!), I didn't know anyone into fashion and sourced everything straight from catwalks so wore some damn crazy stuff. But back then I walked around in gold metallic leggings and full on school girl uniform (when in a non-uniform college- although jeans and hoodies were a secret uniform?) and felt total pride, just passing off stares as misunderstanding. But earlier readers of this blog may have seen a change or maybe it is noticeable that I'm always quite self conscious. I'm more perceptive and every outfit is a big deal because I feel like I wear a fashion blogger badge which I have to live up to, and maybe lost some confidence once coming to uni and feeling intimidated and unattractive.

But walking around town and hopping on a bus in rush hour switched a click in my brain. You know when you go out wearing something a bit 'out there', but when you're out the door it's not like you have a mirror in front of you. You just have your normal self portrait in your mind and soon forget what you're wearing. Yesterday I walked with total confidence. Whoever looked at me or laughed I just thought, 'hey I have a big red cloud down to my waist, and what?' The pictures yesterday didn't really do it justice as they were taken before the final backcombing, but I guess it doesn't matter what you wear, it's how you think.

If you read here, you probably read other blogs and possibly wonder sometimes like me, how it takes courage to wear some things as you could never imagine wearing it. As I was walking, there was no going back and it didn't really matter. Maybe the final push is getting yourself out the door, or maybe it's your stance or strut, but I walked and answered all the funny looks in my head with 'I've just been in a show!'

While day dreaming in lectures, I used to think back to the time in college and how thoughts about fashion were quite pure. Maybe it's a teen rebellion thing, where you start to experiment and gradually mix the childhood naivety of appearance with caring about your looks. I think slowly but surely, something has to change, and I can already feel next year being totally different.

Looking back on some of the posts I've made since starting uni, hopefully next year will be a thousand times more confident. And thanks to the comments you guys left me yesterday, I think I've gained my self esteem back. I don't know where it went last year but I think it's returned! I hope this summer can be a turning point for you too...