Looks

Halloween – Scary V Sexy

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Above is my costume from last year, I went for a low budget cat woman concept so literally just a black dress from Topshop, leather Zara jacket (from ebay), sheer tights and a handmade sequin mask which my Granny Juno bought me when I was about 8. Such a simple/lazy outfit which I loved but as I’ve got older I think the whole concept of Halloween has changed drastically.

I remember going ‘trick or treating’ with my mum and brother round our little village dressed as a witch with a fake warty nose made from this rank rubber material, next to my little brother who would’ve worked for ages on something like this:

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(Apologies to Olly if you’re reading this)

It just seems to me that nobody really makes the effort with their costumes anymore, nearly always shop bought and always the same. In my opinion it’s the home made ones which really make the night what it is. Halloween is the time of year to be scaring spirits – not your bank balance!

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Also another point which I think the movie ‘Mean Girls’ has illustrated somewhat is the fact that once you reach maybe 14+ Halloween becomes a night where “A girl can dress like a total slut and no one can say anything about it”. Has this become the reason why people bother with Halloween still? Or is it more down to the fact that the costumes produced by companies are all “sexy”, giving very little alternative? I’m assuming the latter but regardless this year I’m not going down that route, I’ve decided to go for a horrific look – made/styled myself which will most certainly keep to the traditional scary theme.

This year I’ll be stepping out as…

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Shouldn’t be too hard seeing as this is literally what I look like when I get out of the shower…

VOTE SCARY NOT SLUTTY

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Looks

Lady in red

As we slowly creep our way into November, the winter party season looms above our heads and everyone starts debating whether they’ll get away with wearing last years dress again. This time of year there are plenty of things which simply never change or maybe take a few years to at least, what I’m mostly referring to is colour now I think people get a bit too comfortable with the whole ‘little black dress’ idea, including myself – in 2012 I must have accumulated at least 5 of them, all pretty similar characteristics, all as nice as the one before but where is the excitement? I remember during my year 10 work experience placement in a prom dress shop back home one tip given to the girls searching for their dream dress was to: “Go for a colour you wouldn’t usually wear”. I totally agree, when turning up somewhere with familiar faces who know your style etc, why would they be amazed at you flouncing in wearing a little black dress? They probably won’t even notice that you’ve made an effort, the trick is to surprise them – don’t be predictable, do not let yourself become trapped in a cage built on the whole “black is sexy and goes with everything mantra” because it will get you no where.

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Now here’s an example of a dress that’ll get you noticed, I bought this from Rare @ Topshop about a year ago, I like to think of it as the sort of dress where you can decide how daring you’d like to go with it – simply be how you choose to do your hair for example. Here I’ve gone for a subtle look, hair over the opposite shoulder to the sleeved one, keeping some mystery value alive, it shows just enough skin to be sexy whilst not tarty. A similar aim to the little black dress however this one will get you more compliments and envious glares from across the room. However the cut out style this dress provides can be a tricky one to operate and does require a certain level of confidence to actually wear. In this situation I have another solution for you, and in all honesty it completely depends on your body type and  what you feel confident wearing.

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This dress maybe isn’t the best example but if your body shape is more curvaceous then this might be for you, a mesh insert dress subtly highlights your assets   curves and gives almost a 3D shading that you can’t really get from anything else, in fact even if like me you weren’t really blessed with said assets then this can actually provide the illusion that you do! It just says “Yeah, I know my boobs look good in this don’t they?”. If you could buy self confidence is a physical form the mesh dress would be it for sure.

So step out of your little black dress comfort zone and express your self with new colours and textures, you’ll be overwhelmed with the compliments you receive!

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When I was about 13/14 years old, I heard Made Of Bricks by Kate Nash and became absolutely infatuated with her quirky hopeless romantic anecdotes which I later found I could really identify with during the days of my lost and confused teenage love life or the lack of it.
I still cringe a bit at the thought of myself printing out a photo of Kate from google images and asking for my hairdresser to replicate it, just as I’d done a few years before with Nadine from Girls Aloud – but let’s not go down the road…

I always loved Kate’s style, the vintage dresses and pretty shoes were maybe where I got a lot of my fashion tastes from today. I remember at the time I just had to settle with wearing summery dresses from Primark because the only thing we had remotely close to a vintage shop in my home town was Cancer Research! I just loved the way she could express herself through her clothes, she never felt the need to follow trends, if anything she set them.
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That’s why I think at first I was a little shocked when Kate went down the whole ‘riot girl’ route, I was probably just confused if anything – where had cute little Kate and her chirpy keyboard gone?!

– Underestimate the girl, Kate Nash
Was just so punky I couldn’t get my head round it and I honestly think it scared me off a bit, so much so it’s taken me till now to listen to her Girl Talk album! I really wish I had done sooner because songs like OMYGOD and 3am currently just sum up my life perfectly. I adore the 50s/60s looks Kate’s got going on the videos and particularly lyrics like : The sun’s shining down on me but I’m not getting no vitamin D, really made me laugh. Once again her charming wit and analogies that I loved have been returned to where they belong.

‘Girl Talk’ Kate’s new album, talks about how lost we feel after losing someone from our lives and how the little things remind us of them – particularly from a woman’s point of view. How it feels to be repressed and how you notice things when you’re no longer with them, in an upbeat indie style. I truly have been converted to Kate’s new style and as soon as I get paid I’ll be LEGALLY purchasing Girl Talk from the lovely people of iTunes! – Keep it up Kate

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Winter is coming.

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It’s time to say au revoir to spring/summer and bonjour to autumn/winter, as I reluctantly dig out last year’s knit wear collection and start debating whether it’s cold enough to start wearing coats outside again; definitely was in Southampton today!

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In fact whilst hopelessly wandering around Zara yesterday, I fell head over heels in love with their knit wear and B-E-A-Utiful coats! To the extent where I was putting my maths GCSEs to good use and working out how many I could buy without having to starve myself for the rest of the semester! The quality and textures were just fantastic, and I was pleasantly surprised with the fact that I could get a one for around £69, for something of such quality that will get years of use – I just think that in this case it’s a real investment.

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I’m currently planning to save for the one above, it also comes in black, navy and moss green – the green I’m reallllllly not keen on so I’m just going to pretend that never happened! Although in shops such as New Look you could get a nice looking coat for less than £40, which is great and all but in all honestly every coat I’ve bought like that has lasted about a year if that. Paying an extra £20 could get you another two years worth of use, so surely it’s worth saving for quality rather than convenience?

 I bought this double breasted navy coat from New Look last year, it’s nice and all but the signs of wear started showing really fast and I didn’t find it particularly warm, the lining was quite nice but in all honesty it still looked a little cheap – not quite sleek enough, practical but just not everything I want from a coat. That’s why this year I won’t hesitate to pay £70 for a coat that ticks all the right boxes.  snow

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News

Rita Ora named new face of Rimmel

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Rimmel, an iconic high street make up brand with a legacy dating back to 1834. Previously the likes of Sophie Ellis Bextor, Georgia Jagger, Lily Cole, Zooey Deschanel and the legendary Kate Moss have been used to front Rimmel’s ad campaigns. What do all these women have in common? They’re all classy, chic and sophisticated, so the mind boggles as to why Rita Ora, a gobby Rihanna wannabe with a fairly middle of the road range of chart hits – none of which are particularly inspiring, would be given such an honour.

Ora is an attractive girl with a fairly unique look but when it comes to make up all she’s really known for is a bit of red lippy and her bleach blonde hair – hardly anything worthy of a brand with Rimmel’s status. Constantly being the subject of the tabloids and maybe better known to some for her friendship with it girl Cara Delevingne, Ora most certainly is not known for her style after being photographed at several events in very questionable outfits, my advice to Rita would be to either sack the stylist or bloody get one!

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Photographed above at a Chanel show of all places, Rita thought it’d be a spiffing idea to pay homage to her feathered Image

…friends also known as ‘birds’. I can only imagine the look on Karl’s face when Rita rocked up looking like a budgie who’d manage to escape the aviary! I personally think that Rita will lower Rimmel’s credibility and respect in the industry, unless they’re suddenly buying into the whole beanie hat hipster style which to me is just cringe worthy. Beanies are something which should have just stayed in the 90s where they belong and that’s a fact.

Maybe I’m wrong, Rita might pull in a whole new demographic to buy Rimmel products or maybe we’ll just see chavs adopting the red lipstick trend and ruining it for the rest of us – only time will tell.

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Looks

Freshers Ball 2013

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Freshers’ ball was probably the only event so far that I really struggled to find a suitable outfit for, I’d bought a long split dress especially from TK Maxx but was then told that people were going for the more ‘party dress’ kind of look as appose to ball gowns and prom dresses. This meant trawling through my wardrobe trying to find something not too slutty but not too smart… this is a bit of a challenge as I’m 5″8 meaning a lot of dresses barely cover my vajingo!

Until I realised I still had this little gem that I bought for about £5 – yes that’s right £5 from a Topshop sale last year, probably not long after the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations when everyone was going union jack crazy. Probably one of my best bargains of 2012, but it’s been stuck neglected and lonely for so long I thought it was high time it made it’s debut appearance in Southampton! I don’t think you can really go wrong with a bit of white lace and sequins, it’s quite effortless really and I generally doesn’t require a lot accessorizing – which is great for me as I think I’ve left the majority of my jewellery at home/ have no idea where I unpacked it in my uni room… oops

Hair as usual was slightly Lana Del Rey inspired and thought I’d stick to fairly simple make up with a bright pink Barry M lipstick to make it “pop”!

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The ball its self was awesome, well to be honest I only know that part of it was awesome because I think I spent the majority of the night in a ‘Silent disco’, which for your information is freaking awesome – if you ever get the chance to go to one just do it they’re soooooo much fun! Was slightly disappointed that the fair ground rides weren’t free considering I paid £25 for a ticket to the ball but hey ho, maybe I’m just being a tight bastard but I am not paying for bumper cars.

The worst part of it was having to get to my 9am lecture the following morning, my god that took a lot of will power

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Reviews

Club to Catwalk review @ V&A

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Some of them want to use you and some of them want to be abused; was the anthem of the Club to Catwalk exhibition at the V&A museum, London. This theme of chaos and anti-establishment was prominently featured in the featured exhibits which showcased everything from controversy to elegance.

A designer which particularly sparked my interest was Katherine Hamnett who realised that her t-shirts could be used proactively in advertising political and poignant messages to the public. Hamnett made her start in 1984 when she began a campaign to stop the USA pershing missiles in the UK,  Katherine controversially wore one of her own shirts depicting the slogan; “58% DON’T WANT PERSHING” to a reception hosted by Margaret Thatcher. Hamnett has recently revealed that she hid her t-shirt until inside the venue and then proceeded to shock the prime minister into a shriek of horror at the bold statement displayed across Hamnett’s chest, having recently approved the missiles to be stationed in the united kingdom despite high public dispute.  After this event Katherine gained a lot of public exposure which resulted in her designs being worn by major 1980s public figures and artists such as ‘Wham!’ who became known for supporting the “Choose Life” motion which was originally targeted against drug abuse and suicide, however in today’s society the choose life slogan is often used as a tool to promote abortion as an option to women. Her main aim was to make people stop and think; “We wanted to give people a voice, if I put my feelings on a t-shirt that’d be a way to get my voice across”. Which is why these infamous slogan t-shirts are still so popular today.

This subject of anti-establishment is one that quite thoroughly runs through the exhibition every corner was full to the brim with rips, tears and safety pins holding the deconstructed garments together. It became clear to me that a major influence to the Club to Catwalk movement was Blitz nightclub who are notated alongside many fantastic designers such as John Galliano who became known as the ‘Blitz Kids’, after becoming bored of the punk subculture the blitz kids developed the ‘New Romantics’ era which started in clubs and later bubbled up into the public eye, becoming a main stream style. A piece which particularly depicted this new movement was Vivienne Westwood’s pirate collection, in which Vivienne used a new ethnic cut construction, inspired by the native Americans which gave a rectangular/baggy structure to the garments – a complete contrast to the skinny jeans and drain pipe cut trousers favoured by the punks.

Although it would be completely wrong to say that Westwood favoured the new romanticism over the punk subculture in fact quite the contrary, Vivienne is perhaps best known as a true pioneer of the punk era, her designs beautifully littered the exhibition and were recognisable from the other side of the room. When partnered with Malcolm McLaren the two became an unstoppable and iconic force that drove punk to the mainstream market, making: tartan, leather and denim wardrobe must haves. Much like Katherine Hamnett, Westwood was a woman on a mission; “I was so upset with what was going on in the world”. Punk was Vivienne’s way to rebel against the ‘man’, to get people to notice that things in society just weren’t right and grab the attention of politicians, a goal she and McLaren certainly achieved. She’d take an existing idea and make it her only, but ten times more superior creating statement looks from modern art such as Andy Warhol and making it her own. An prime example of this is the denim Levi’s jacket she and several other designers such as Zhandra Rhodes and Leigh Bowery were asked to customise for sale in a charity auction hosted by none other than the Blitz nightclub.

The V&A had sourced 9 of the 21 jackets for the display, each one completely unique and a true depiction of life in the 1980s the aim of the auction was to inspire magazine readers to go out and revolutionise their own wardrobe with anything they could lay their eager hands on.  A personal favourite of mine was a design by Stephen Linard, a jacket which you could literally just stare at for a good ten minutes taking in the obscure embellishments which quite literally read like the Swiss army knife of jackets. Draped in everything from cork-screws to can openers to me this just screamed a rising rebellion of youth which was sharp and intimidating to those of high power.

I left the exhibition feeling nothing but inspiration and liberation, in complete awe of what these fantastic creative minds had created and truly amazed at the lengths they’d go to to get their voices heard by those who repressed them.

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