Thursday, 23 October 2014

Reminiscence - Spring Ball

In anticipation of the upcoming historical Poppy Ball, I thought I'd share with you a few photos of the previous period ball by the same Masters of Ceremonies, the Spring Ball at Normansfield Theatre, Langdon House.

The venue is a Grade II Listed theatre with beautiful hand painted decors.
Built in 1877-79, it retains its Victorian side flaps, in full working order, and is still used for performances to this date.
Langdon House itself is home to the UK's Down Syndrome Association, to whom the Ball's profits were donated.

Waltzes were danced, quadrilles, reels and country dances, including my beloved Pride of Erin Waltz and all-time favourite Waltz Cotillion - all to live music by the wonderful Green Ginger.

Photographs #2 and #6 courtesy of Andrew Rawe

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

A Time Tourist in Kew Gardens

After being asked multiple times throughout the day if I was a tourist in my own city (was it the camera? the odd clothes? Who knows...) it was decided by my friends that a tourist I was indeed, only of the time-travelling kind. And so I was declared a Time Tourist.

This was my first visit to Kew in a very, very long time (a Time Tourist never reveals her age). The only thing I remembered about it was the large Greenhouse by the pond, next to Victoria Gate - I wasn't disappointed.

I like to think of it as a tropical palace...

 Dancing in the Greenhouse

What I didn't remember, on the other hand, was the Other greenhouse, the one where each room amazingly reproduces an entirely different climate to the next. The sights and smells there are wonderful. Seriously, take a deep breath when you enter each room! You'd be losing so much of the experience otherwise. It's like stepping into a different country altogether.

So tropical the lens gets foggy!

Banana alien

Now, I'm not much of a romantic, but on that day we happened to walk into a small and unassuming glasshouse. The contemplative stillness of the waterlily pond took my breath away. 


Making friends with plants

Blouse - Vintage
Leather skirt - handmade by my grandmother!
Turquoise necklace - Oliver Bonas

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Mongolian Chic

So... you guys may be wondering where I've been for the past few months, lack of posts and all.

I've been off having adventures in Mongolia.

Part of me wants to spend the rest of my life out on the steppe.

I met some incredible people and made friends so close they're basically family. I learned of new traditions and customs, how to find monuments and walk the length of valleys for days without tiring. I also learned how to keep singing after the third bottle. I ran through thunderstorms and bathed in rivers, drank salted tea and killed my own dinner. I drank too much dairy, ate too much mutton and drank too much vodka. I wrestled and partied up at a Kazakh wedding. I had snowball fights under the heat of a sunny summer day.

A hunter's tamed eagle

The bride and groom. She was much happier once she got rid of that encumbering dress, and promptly joined us to dance to Gangnam Style.

For months my concept of 'indoors' meant sitting by the yurt stove, playing cards as I watched the smoke escape through the hole in the roof and enjoyed the respite from the biting cold of Mongolian nights.
Coming back to civilization was... a bit of a shock. Strangely enough, the one thought that struck me the most was the rediscovery of windows - you can see the outdoors and not get rained on?! And curtains - what a frivolous thing they seem!

Some things seem incredibly luxurious after you've lived under a tent for a month. Like artichoke juice.
And curtains. And showers.

In the week following the return to Ulaan Baator, I trawled markets, embarrassed myself at karaoke and raided the department store's CD section. I bought a mighty fine pair of riding boots, and still ate too much mutton.

Horse belly hotpot!

Making friends with a giant vulture.
They're a hell of a lot more sociable than eagles.

After missing our train to the Gobi for the 3rd day in a row, we decided to head to Darkhan and make a surprise visit to a very special person.
We may have, on a whim, flagged a random car and asked them to take us on a two-day trip out of the city.
His 10-year-old son drove, we camped out and feasted on roasted pickles and ChocoPies while the wolves howled in the nearby hills.

I told you there'd be adventure on this blog.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Affordable Fashion and the CIRCUS

I AM SO EXCITED. In case that didn't quite come across, let me reiterate. I AM SO EXCITED.



The Moscow State Circus is in town, and I went to get my tickets yesterday. If I wasn't excited enough by the sheer prospect of it, the trip there certainly made sure to correct that. They've erected a huge circus tent in the forest surrounding Alexandra Palace, and the location is absolutely magical.

I don't know what it is about the circus, but I've always been absolutely fascinated by it. The aesthetic of it, the atmosphere, the music... I don't know, nothing else really ever compares. Even world-class acts like Cirque du Soleil seem a little pale to me next to the fun fair-esque entertainment of the People that the circus endeavours to be. Believe it or not, I am actually jumping up and down in excitement as I type.

I couldn't possibly go check out the circus without dressing up for it, so here's the outfit I put together for the occasion:

And then again, this is nothing compared to what I will wear on the day of the performance...

Top - Primark
Bra with criss-cross straps - H&M
Skirt - numph
Shoes - Baker
Jacket - Collectif
Jewellery - Hutan Tulang

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Gua Bao

I may have discovered my favourite food in the whole universe.

I randomly came across a stand serving the tastiest, most fluffy, pillowy bun of awesomeness that is Gua Bao.

BAO serve gua bao, a Taiwanese street food specialty. From what I hear, the traditional version is a steam bun with pork filling, but I had the chicken alternative, one steamed and one fried. I seriously can't help salivating every time I see this picture.

Sadly their permanent stand is only open on weekends *sob*

Hair From Beyond #5: Do the Clara Bow

It dawned on me the other day that I'd never styled short hair. I mean, sure, I've styled long hair into faux-bobs plenty of times, but actual, real short hair? Never. Conveniently, my flatmate happens to wear her hair cropped very short and very straight. Always up for a challenge, I marched straight into her room and declared I was turning her into Clara Bow for the evening. She never knew what hit her.

Clara Bow was one of the very first silver screen icons, THE 'it' girl of the 20s. As Anne Helen Petersen writes in this fabulous post for The Hairpin, "Girls wanted to be her, boys wanted to date her, and old people thought she was a sign of the apocalypse, which obviously meant she was star material".

And so I set to work curling, teasing and spraying, until I was moderately satisfied with the results. Now, you can't have a Clara Bow without the Clara Bow eyebrows. This posed a bit of a problem, as you can't really get Clara Bow eyebrows without plucking it all away, and my flatmate/beautiful model was (understandably) really not that keen. Thus I was forced to compromise and draw them in on top of her (partly concealed) natural eyebrow, but oh well.


Here I'm looking for Clara Bow, but all I see is Theda Bara...
Theda Bara


Model: Betty. Hair, make-up and photography by moi.