Friday, 27 September 2013

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Bumper Bangs and Giant Crepes

I bought a hair rat! I bought a hair rat! I bought a hair rat!

Guess what? I bought a hair rat the other day. I've been meaning to get one for ages - I have a small one, made out of my own hair, but it isn't suited to crazy gravity-defying updos. Thus on to Sally's I hopped, and while I was at it I picked up a new rat-tail comb, pin curl clips and even a curling wand.

Now, as my ex-boyfriends will know, I dress up on bittersweet occasions. Defensive mechanism, or what have you. One of my closest friends is moving to the other side of the planet, I reckoned her leaving party was an occasion warranting going to town...

Cowboy swing dress - Love Life (original 50s fabric)
 Bandana - Claire's
Shoes - Nine West

Gel liner - MAC
 Lipstick - Marvelips by Soap&Glory

This was my very first time doing bumper bangs and I felt like Snow White... If you need a good tutorial, Cherry Dollface's is excellent. Worked well for me, if I may say so myself~ One correction, maybe: for frizzy hair, I recommend treating your bangs with a smoothing serum rather than a texturising spray. Best of the best? John Frieda's Glossing Mist. I mean, hey, it works on me, and NOTHING works on me, for I am the FrizzMonster...

We ate giant crepes!  

Hello, blinding table in the background

The Vintage Family Album

An amazing photo album resurfaced at a family reunion last weekend...

My grandmother, age 20 (1946). This is seriously amazing, for at least 3 reasons.
1) She hasn't changed a bit.
2) I look a lot like her.

My great-aunt in the late 30s and 40s. The bathing suit shot on the right is so cool!

Fur and victory rolls...


1958. Travelling in style!

Amazingly 80s... *cough*hats*cough*... The hottie on the far left is my mother.

So adorably 60s <3 I absolutely adore the short flower dress on the right.

A very 50s wedding...

This I find just incredible. It's my great uncle in his Tunisian army uniform,
presumably - judging by the photo style - in the late 30s.

Winter 1961.

Hilariously 70s... This is like a caricature of all the fashion faux-pas that characterised the era.
I promise I will never let the concerned parties live it down.

A 60s wedding...

...and more 60s partying goodness

French cafe terrace... I would love one of those bags in white. Or pale green.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Sixties Sunday

Well, summer is definitely over in London. I woke up this afternoon with that good old feeling of cold humidity seeping into my bones... If it wasn't for my birthday, I really would hate autumn in this country. It's such a gloomy season! It's that time of the year when the sun sets at 9, but really you need the lights on from 6, when it's too cold and wet to go outside, but the uncomfortable humidity indoors is something no hot chocolate can cure, when you find yourself pining for dry, crisp winter in the never-ending grey of the autumn day. Gloomy, gloomy, gloomy as hell. Somebody PLEASE find me an antique-style riding coat to wait out the season in style. In the meantime, I've decided to cheer myself up with new vintage clothing. Vintage clothing, and a lot of cherry tea.

 Shirt - thrifted
Knitted skirt - Primark
Shoes - Truffle

This is the most clothes I've worn in months!



I decided to try my new Scunci hair padding, but simply couldn't keep a straight face today... What do you think?

Yes, I always match my drinks to my clothes...

I'm so happy about my new leather bag!! It's actually a vintage camera case, but it's the perfect size to hold everything I need without being too bulky. I went and raided the Blitz vintage store near Brick Lane the other day (more on this later), and it took all the willpower I had not to buy the whole shop. I did also get  earrings, though! Big plastic tartan hoops, which you can sort of see in the photos. I usually stay well clear of secondhand earrings, but I just couldn't resist. Tartan just has that effect on me! Must be a remnant of my high school punk phase.

Bootcut sleeves?
White rose ring

My new toys

This is what happens when I am given 60 pounds to waste on Boots products. Not that I'm complaining, really, I'm just saying.

1. Herbal Essences straightening shampoo and conditioner. Tried it twice on my naturally very curly hair, and so far I'm surprisingly satisfied with the results. Short of making my hair magically lose its curls, it does make it silky smooth and achieve the near-impossible task of preventing it from frizzing. Suddenly my purple minion mane was rendered stupidly manageable, and straightening it with a heating brush gave me results that even the Zohan couldn't get if he tried.

2. Eylure naturlites false eyelashes. This is just a refill, I swear by that brand. Their texture and  length makes them look very natural.

3. Simple Eye makeup corrector pen. I haven't actually tried this yet, but love the concept and been meaning to try it for ages. I'll let you know.

4. Sure deodorant. I normally buy Dove, but felt like a change. Verdict? Well... everyone keeps complimenting my new perfume. When I'm not wearing any perfume.

5. Standard hairclips. These are actually H&M, not Boots. They're just in there because I needed something to fill the gap. I do keep buying those very clips, though, because they're the perfect size and shape and a friend of mine keeps soullessly destroying them.

6. Babyliss curling wand. Yes, yes, I know what you're thinking. Doesn't she have curly hair already? Well, yes, I do, but they're tight, crazy curls, and I've always wanted to make myself some loose barrel curls. So far I'm quite satisfied, it heats up incredibly fast. The resulting curls are soft and loose, which is quite nice. Barrel curls are a tricky thing, though. Probably easier to achieve with a curling tong.

7. Soft cotton headband. I love them. I use them to braid my hair out of my face before I go to sleep, because I'm weird like that. I like to think it gives me an Anna-Bates-from-Downton look.

8. L'Oreal Color Riche lipstick 233 (Boreal/Taffeta). A really nice, shimmery nude. I've been looking for a nude lipstick that fits my hair and skin tone for a long, long time, and it hasn't been easy, but I think I can finally stop searching. The packaging claims it's a lipstick for blondes, but that's a filthy lie. It's good for anyone with a pale skin and yellow-y complexion (what a nice portrait I paint of myself...).

9. Soap&Glory's Marvelips! J'adiore. The colour side is just that perfect shade of vintage coral pink that Benefit wishes it had come up with, and the white shimmery side does its job just fine. Plus, you know, it doubles as a cool eyeliner. Convenient.

Definitely my new favourite toy. I had to stop myself from wearing it to bed last night, because it went so well with my new nightgown.

Friday, 6 September 2013

I'm all graduated!

...Which is really only that exciting because I got to wear my new dress from China.

But yes, after four years of late-night essay writing, digging, costume parties, more digging, and lots and lots of crazy encounters with amazing people, I finally have a degree! Call me crazy, but it's been a week and I already miss lectures.


The qipao (traditional Chinese dress) was tailor-made for me in a fabric market in Shanghai. Love the coral pattern on the silk! Chose it because it's very 1930s-Shanghai-movie. The heels I just picked up from Primark, they killed my feet all day but I was really happy to find a colour that matched exactly!

Also, I loved my robes! It's not everyday you can use the word robes in normal conversation (unless you're french, that is), so let me just indulge one more time. ROBES. There. How Hogwarts-y.

Treasure box finds

Last night my mother let me have a peak inside her secret treasure box... And this is what I found!! Piles and piles of fabulous old French fashion magazines. From left to right: Spring 1953, August 1922 (!!) and Winter 1948. I tend to hate pre-flapper (1925) 20s fashion, but this is amazing. And there's nothing I want more right now than that red coat!! (Preferably in grey, or velvet, with a matching skirt. Ah, if only...)
Incidentally, special mention to the 50s-print cushion on the right, very cute.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Fashion Report: China

I'm back, people! And this time, with a legitimate excuse for my absence: I've been holed up in China for the past month, travelling the shit out of that beautiful country!! I've got lots of articles planned for you guys, but first things first: here's a recap of the top trends this season.

China must-knows: fashion on the high streets

1. Appropriateness gone crazy

Standards of clothing-appropriateness are noticeably reversed - this is true in Beijing and Shanghai, but also, from what I've seen, in the smaller cities. China struck me from day 1 as very much a top-button kind of population, and yet... in compensation for that upper-half Victorianism, shorts are mini mini mini. If it's longer than hotpants, then it's acceptable.

This may seem like an enjoyable change for some, but as someone who tends to wear tank tops and spaghetti straps, I stuck out like a sore thumb! (And this despite my comparatively conservative knee-length skirts). Eventually, I gave in and started walking around in baggy t-shirts and mini-shorts. When the air is so hot and humid it hits you like a wave of toxic gas from the moment you step outside, how little you wear won't make a difference - you'll invariably be sticky within the hour.

2. Shorts. 

The shorts-mania that's gripping the nation clearly hasn't left out the other side of the world. Sigh. (Sigh? Yes, sigh. I can't wear shorts without looking like I'm in diapers.)
Frilly tops, t-shirts, all are worn with mini-shorts. Even girlish minidresses are worn with shorts underneath, bloomers-style.

3. Cut-out shoulder tops

In compensation for the conservativeness of the upper half of the body, risqué shoulder holes are incorporated into the design of many shirts. I do love that trend :3

4. Platforms and heels of Gagaesque heights

We're talking a good 10cm average, here. Convenient considering the quantity of unidentified puddles in the streets, perplexing when worn on Great Wall treks. Doubly impressive is the fact that most of the available designs are mules. Seriously, how do people walk in mules?? One of the big mysteries of life.

5. Bright colours

Chiffon fabrics and flowing cuts are in this season, and it would seem nobody does bright colours better than China. Turquoise, bright blue, pink and orange are very popular, but yellow takes the prize, the biggest and brightest and most common. Amusingly, after looking through my travel photos, my Parisian aunt's only comment was, "do these people never wear black?!". Ah, you really can't change the French.

6. Umbrellas

Rain? Sun? Whatever the weather, women all whip out their umbrellas faster than they can say Quidditch. Umbrellas are THE must-have accessory this season. Make sure you pack one if planning a trip to China. Else you might get caught in the summer monsoons. Or, god forbid, you might get a tan.

And yet...

The bad and the ugly: anti-fashion habits exposed!

Anti fashion habit #1: The exposed pot bellies and love handles.

Men, why take off your shirts when you can walk around with them riding up to your nipples?

Anti fashion habit #2: The spitting. 

True story for you all: One evening, I was waiting for my overnight train to Xian, when, in front of me on the platform, I noticed a beautiful woman. Presumably in her 30s, she donned long black hair, a sexy casual black dress, and more character than Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn put in a blender together (an odd comparison, I'll concede). There I stood, with nothing better to do than admire her femininity and class, when the object of my observation turned around and spat out more phlegm than I ever thought humanly possible onto the tiles next to her, with about as much class as a low-ranking mafia spawn (again, really weird comparison - I think I watch too many movies).

Anti-fashion habit #3: The split pants.

Referring to the common habit of certain parents of cutting their children's trousers down the middle for... convenience's sake. I'll leave that up to your imagination.

Anti-fashion habit #4: Crocs.

Apparently, in China, Crocs are still a thing. So are Cocs, and Rcocs, and other variations on the originals.