Friday, 27 November 2009

CovertCandy.

CovertCandy is an exciting website where you can exchange clothing so you can refresh your wardrobe without spending a fortune and other wonderful things! However, I wanted to mention my most favourite part of their site, which is the shop that contains vintage clothes.It is super easy to navigate and presentation is crisp. Pricing is also fantastic which is rare for vintage clothing nowadays due to the rise in popularity... but the pieces here are very much affordable.
I got this 'oversized' peach cardigan with the sweetest embroidery and embellishment which I would throw over a bodycon dress or something fitted and slimline. I also plan on working into the embellishment a bit more...and as I typed that last sentence I got a sudden rush of déjà vu! I have so many unfinished projects, but I do plan on finishing them at least this year before they pile up even more!!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Suede and Leather.

I've always wanted a suede jacket and a leather jacket but I've never come across those 'perfect' ones, that look and feel great when worn...until I came across (and got) this dusky pink suede jacket and black leather jacket from Select.The slightly cropped sleeve makes them easier and more comfortable to wear, and as I feel that they look better worn 'open', I could easily layer it over a sweater dress when it's cold, or wear it as it is when it's warm.The jacket has been very well designed into, which is especially important for a pink jacket! I specifically love the zip inserted into the collar and the double top stitching which helps turn the jacket into a biker style.The suede one also comes in a rich red (it was hard choosing which one I wanted!) and the leather one also comes in a stunning green. Also, as I seem to have the inability to leave things how they are, I do plan on studding or embellishing the pink suede jacket and possibly attaching a salt and pepper sheepskin fur collar to the leather one... I hope to show the results sometime soon!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Film Review: The Twilight Saga - New Moon

First of all, the film was brilliant! However I strongly feel that the film would come across extremely different depending on whether you have read the Twilight Saga or not... and I believe that those who have read the Saga would have a much better viewing. In my review for Twilight, I was frustrated at the amount of important scenes in the book, that was left out in the film... but with New Moon, I didn't notice this. This might be because the books are not as fresh in my head as they were when I watched Twilight last year, but I truly believe that New Moon had done a good job with following the book.

The story for New Moon starts with Bella cutting her finger while opening her birthday present while at the Cullen's which provokes Jackson to kill her. Edward, being the mind reader, obviously knows what is about to happen and saves Bella in time. Nevertheless, Edward feels that Bella will always be in danger if she is with him, so him and his family leave Forks. Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart were extremely good with this scene, it was very much as I had pictured it and I'm sure I could hear the odd sniffle from some audience members. Bella then becomes depressed and reckless, when she realises that she can see and hear Edward whenever she is in danger, so she embarks on riding motorbikes and cliff jumping! There are many revelations throughout the film which gives the viewer enough reason to follow the rest of the Saga.
One scene that I found quite memorable is when Bella goes to the cinema with Mike and Jacob. Both vying for her affections and wanting to hold her hand... to which she entertainingly ignores! I found Mike (Bella's high school friend) very irritating in Twilight although I think he's supposed to be anyway. In New Moon, his character started to grow on me and I started to feel that the interpretation of Mike from the book was well done.

Another important part of the second book was that it was more about Bella and Jacob, rather than Bella and Edward, who is only prominent in the beginning and end of the book... and due to high female adoration of the character based on the first film, I was worried that the second film might force the presence of Edward for public appeal... but it did not!

Kristen Stewart still had that awkwardness which I had always found endearing and suited the character of Bella very well... Overall, I felt that everyone was actually very consistent with their acting. Despite the higher budget for New Moon, I could still see Kristen Stewart's contacts! I know it is such a small detail, but surely there is good enough technology around to eliminate this! I also noticed that she was 'prettier'. I'd always found her beautiful, but she was even more so in this second installment.In fact, everyone just generally looked better, and so much more in tune with the story. When comparing the promotional photo for the Cullen Family for Twilight (which was truly terribly), to the one for New Moon, the difference is striking. While on the subject of looks, Jacob Black's hair was supposed to be 'crooked', as he cuts it himself... but after it was cut short (when he realises he is a werewolf), it looked more like the work of a professional hairdresser!... obviously this was to appeal to the female fans which was slightly annoying! I just hope that the next couple of films will be a bit more gritty! There is also a scene where Bella falls off her motorbike and cuts her head... Jacob Black then (unnecessarily) takes off his shirt to dab the wound, which stirred up a lot of noise from the females in the audience!... What happened to just ripping a bit of fabric from the sleeve? Anyway, I can't remember what exactly had happened in the book, so I can't criticise it too much!

The werewolves were represented quite well and the way each person transformed into them was exactly how Stephenie Meyer described it in her book. Although my friend asked me why they were always topless (when human) - because their clothes would rip when they transformed and they would usually tie their trousers to their legs to put on afterwards - but of course she didn't know this, so maybe this should have been addressed in the film. Again, an example of why it would be better to read the Twilight Saga beforehand.

When time is passing in films, they usually black the screen out and have the date shown at the bottom, or they state how much time has passed, i.e. 3 years later etc... so, I was quite impressed at how 'time passing' was done in New Moon when Edward leaves Bella and she sinks into a depression. It simply showed Bella looking through her bedroom window, and the camera going around her...each time it reached the back of her head which enabled the viewer to also see out the window, it would show the month, which was visual in both text and season... I really liked this!!During the run up of New Moon, I didn't really pay attention to new cast, so when I saw Michael Sheen on a promotional poster for New Moon on a bus, I knew he would play his part well! Michael Sheen's presence in New Moon suddenly gave the film panache and the authenticity that other cult, vampire films sometimes lack. However, I am probably being completely biased as he was in one of my most favourite vampire films, Underworld. Casting Michael Sheen as Aro in New Moon has to be one of the best decisions for that film!!! Nevertheless, I hated the casting of the other Volturi members who looked like boys from High School Musical with red contacts... they didn't speak or do much, so I can worry about them in the next film.The casting of Dakota Fanning as Jane was surprisingly good! She was better than I thought as I had always found her characters annoying and could not imagine her as a devious vampire...but she did a good job.I really disliked the actress who played Victoria in Twilight, and I still did in New Moon. She is nothing like the Victoria I imagine in the book and quite frankly, I can’t wait until she is killed off in Eclipse. She can't act at all, even if she's just standing there not having to say anything! However, on a better note, at least she was actually a redhead this time (like she was always supposed to be) and not a strawberry blonde with brown roots in Twilight.
So just to finish off my extremely long blog entry, New Moon was wonderful and was worth having to queue for a very long time and watching a 22:30 performance because the earlier times were fully booked! I don't remember having so much trouble for Twilight! I am sure the next one, Eclipse, will be even better with a lot more action, which is what the film is slightly lacking. It is just a bit too soppy at the moment! Those who don't know what happens next will definitely be in for a surprise, and I look very forward to how they are going to achieve the look of the next, extremely important character that will be introduced in Eclipse.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Book Review: Helen of Troy.

I’d always loved Greek mythology and had a particular interest in the Gods and Goddesses as a child. I was forever watching repeats of Hercules and Xena: The Warrior Princess…along with cheesy, but great films with humorous special effects such as Jason and the Argonauts and Sinbad. Then of course, big budget ‘epic’ films such as Gladiator, The Last Samurai, King Arthur, Troy and 300 further peeked my interest in historical events in both film and novels.

After watching the film Troy (2004), I became quite curious about Helen, who was known as ‘the most beautiful woman’ and perceived as being the cause of the Trojan War. I highly doubt this is how it happened, but I do like how the story has been romanticised to make us believe that she was – which in turn makes her seem more interesting. If you don’t know the story of the Trojan War, you can read this Wikipedia article.My impression of Helen has always been indifferent even though I’ve watched the character in several television dramas and in 'Troy', to which I was incredibly disappointed with Diane Kruger’s performance. I personally don't even imagine Helen as being blonde, I like to think of her as a pale skinned, freckled redhead... I feel that the 'most beautiful woman' should have an eye-catching look and distinctive features. Helen has just always been…boring.

Anyway, when I had noticed Amazon recommending me a novel about her, by Margaret George, I seized the chance to possibly learn a bit more about her in a different format. I thought it’d take me forever to finish the book as it’s twice the size of other books I read, but it was so brilliantly written, I skimmed right through it. I was so much more enlightened about Helen after finishing it, and she finally had a personality to her name. I saw her as quite spoilt, and slightly annoying. Although at times, she came across as almost… heroic. There were times when I liked her and times when I didn’t, which is probably why I finished it quite quickly as I was constantly reaching out for the parts where I would like her.I particularly enjoyed reading about her life as a child and finding out the story of her birth which was actually something I didn’t know! Her mother Leda was impregnated by Zeus, who was disguised as a swan…Leda then had an egg, to which Helen came out of. I think stories like these are just the things that make me enjoy reading mythology so much more!!!
I would recommend this book, but not just to learn more about Helen, but also because other key characters are exposed to the reader, making you want to learn about them too. I also really liked Margaret George's style of writing which was clear and concise... I'd definitely look into buying her other novels.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

True Blood.

I had started watching True Blood when it premiered in the UK on FX, around August 09 and had managed to watch four fantastic episodes of it before I had to start unplugging everything for the house move. However, it started last month on terrestrial TV so I was able to resume watching the series! The program was so much better than I initially thought as other vampire programs that I expected to be good, were not.For example, Blade:The Series. When it premiered in the UK years ago, I was so excited to watch it as I adored all the films. However, I remember that after 10 minutes, I turned it off. I was unimpressed with the actor who played 'Blade' (so unimpressed that I haven't bothered to even see who he is), but maybe because I loved the films so much, I could not imagine anyone else but Wesley Snipes playing the character. The last vampire series that truly worked were Buffy the Vampire Slayer and it's spin-off, Angel.

The main character in True Blood is Sookie Stackhouse who is telepathic and played by Anna Paquin. I think her presence in the program made it further appealing to me as I had always liked her as Rogue in the X-Men films. Unlike Blade:The Series, the first 10 minutes of True Blood confirmed that I would be watching all of it!It had a very comical opening which didn't even involve the main characters. You were very quickly introduced to a vampire, who had the most hilarious line, which was made funnier with his accent...however, it is just too rude to repeat on my blog so you would just need to watch it! This character reveals himself as being a vampire by flashing his 'fangs' which come out like spikes in the ground of a trap... and I loved the fact they were not typically in place of the canines, but instead in place of the incisors.

True Blood is simply about humans and vampires co-existing and details like vampires being able to purchase bottled blood in pubs and stores was almost...endearing! I also quickly noticed a similarity between True Blood and Twilight and wondered which was first - after some quick Googling, it seems like True Blood was first!

The more I watch this, the more I love it, each episode has been fresh and I can't imagine ever getting bored of it!!

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Fifi Lapin.

I first came across Fifi Lapin via her Etsy shop almost 2 years ago where she was selling original sketches. I remember thinking how smart it was to draw catwalk outfits onto bunny-girls. Simple but extremely effective, and cute! I wanted to buy some of her art in postcard format and as reproductions (I don't mind reproductions as I can get more for less money) but as she was only selling originals and at a larger size, I thought I'd wait and see if she would sell them in the future. I found images of her originals in her Sold items and it's so lovely to see how much her drawings have evolved. From quick, coloured sketches to detailed drawings.
Anyway, months later, when I started doing work placements in Fashion Design and eventually getting a full-time job, I kept hearing her name (as if she'd just been discovered!) when I had seen her work years before!!...from this sudden recognition, I knew that Fifi Lapin would be extremely popular in the up-and-coming months.So, when I was recently in Oxford Street's Topshop and spotted a pack of 8 Christmas cards by Fifi Lapin in Topshop outfits (of course!) for only £4/$7, I snapped them up right away! I'd always guessed that Topshop would get some of her art in their stores, same with other fashion brands. They are the sweetest cards and I instantly knew that I wouldn't be using them as I'd want to keep them for myself!... however, as there are two in each design, I may succumb to using one of each...Also, something I'd always found amusing with Fifi Lapin is that the artist has literally become 'Fifi Lapin'. In her Etsy shop years earlier, I remember seeing a t-shirt for sale, I don't think it had any of her drawings on it, but she had modelled it herself while holding a cutout card bunny-head against her own head, I found it funny and very memorable. Her profile description is also hilarious."Hi, I'm Fifi. . . Fifi Lapin . . . . . . . . . . I was born one of 257 brothers and sisters but sadly there was an outbreak of myxomatosis when I was just one year old... I was the only one that survived. My parents are therefore incredibly protective of me and spoil me rotten. I'm an hare-ss to my fathers fortune which he made playing fast and loose with carrot and lettuce shares on the international stock market. There are a lot of rabbits out there eating carrots and lettuce so I guess he just struck gold (or orange you might say). . . . . . . . Some people think I’m just a socialite but I think there is more to me than just an extremely stylish clotheshorse!"

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Dior.

While my family and I were packing for our house move back around August, I came across some vintage-looking Christian Dior belts that I'd never seen before, and I instantly adored them. They were both adjustable and funnily enough, I had been looking to buy some nice, skinny belts to wear but could never find any I had liked.I quickly went to my mother to tell her of my find... her face was a hilarious ‘oh you’ve found them’ expression! She had bought them when she was a teenager and kept them boxed up for the last two decades or so! What a waste! After some pleading, she let me ‘borrow’ them, but I know it was more of a ‘fine you can have them’! I think they’re my favourite belts now, especially as they’re vintage. Also, when I had worn one of them to work, a colleague commented on having the same belt, given by her mother!

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

LondonEdge.

Several Sundays ago, I visited the London Edge trade show. I'd always seen it advertising on the London Underground and in fashion business magazines when I was a fashion student and always wanted to go. It was simply all other types of fashion that wasn't dominant on the high street, so a lot of it was gothic, pin-up and 'street' style. I decided that this year was the year I went when I received a newsletter from awesomebadges.co.uk (a website that I occasionally buy custom made stickers from) announcing that they were going to be there, so I thought I would go and check them out in person in case there were other products that peeked my interest.I found their stall quite quickly as they were near the front, and it was nice to see all their other goods that I had not yet bought. They were also very kind enough to give me one of their printed tote bags...another custom item they offer on their website. The quality was a lot better than I thought, so if I ever need a bunch of custom printed tote bags (and not wanting to do it myself), I now know where to go!Next to the Awesomebadges stall was RubyRocks...the clothing was very sweet and I made a beeline for their vanilla coloured, branded tote bags ... the lady was also very kind enough to let me have it!I had often blogged about my adoration for the Twilight Saga (before, during, and after the hype) and was amused when I came across a stall selling New Moon (the 2nd film) merchandise, which I suppose was expected. I didn’t particularly find anything that I would want to own, but nevertheless, it was extremely commercial (i.e. the bookmarks) and I can imagine many of the pieces being great Christmas presents for Twilight fans.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

35% Discount on my Advent Calendar Pouches until 2010.

Since starting my full-time job in Fashion Design in April, I have found it a bit tricky keeping up with some of my Etsy shop activities. So naturally, I have had to raise some of my prices. My advent calendar pouches are discounted by 35% until the end of this year, but if you want to receive them in time for December, all orders must be placed and paid for by 11th November 2009. I will still accept orders after this date but I cannot guarantee that it will reach you in time due to UK postal strikes!