Saturday, 30 October 2010

Jacket Customisation.

My 'Tutorials and Ideas' category is one of my favourite subjects to cover on my blog, but I haven't done one in almost 4 months, so I decided to put aside my Film and Beauty reviews for now while I get this one typed out and published!
I've wanted a quilted shooting jacket for a while now and being petite, I wanted one that was slightly fitted and shaped, rather than a boxy one. So when I came across a black one on ASOS.COM, I snapped it up! However, when it arrived and I tried it on...I felt that I needed to do something to it, which seems to be a case with many things that I buy!I can't remember where the inspiration came from, but I loved the idea of embellishing with something in the same colour so that it was there, but in a subtle way. I instantly thought of using black chain and purchased several different ones off eBay!I then proceeded to drape the chains along the shoulders of the jacket in a snake-like way as the chains were so long, and held them in place with pins. It was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be! After I was happy with the placement, I then simply hand-stitched the chain to the jacket every few inches to secure them and very happy with the results!It has been a few months since I embellished my jacket and as I often carry two bags on both shoulders, some of my stitching has loosened, prompting some of the chains to just hang as they please...but I actually don't mind! This is such an easy way to customise a piece of clothing and also completely unisex! If you do attempt to do this, please let me know as I'd love to see it!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Beauty Review: SteamCream.

I'd seen 'SteamCream' mentioned in several places and I was keen to try it out, so I got myself a PPQ decorated tin for £10! Quoted from the site;

"STEAMCREAM represents the latest concept in skincare. Using a revolutionary steam-infused manufacturing process, STEAMCREAM provides a long-lasting, intensive and effective form of skincare that can be used on face, body and hands.

STEAMCREAM have pioneered the use of a steam technique to create this unique, gentle and loosely-bound emulsion. This looseness allows each ingredient – including a moisturising and soothing oatmeal infusion, orange flower water and healing lavender oil – to breakdown and penetrate areas of the skin that other creams find hard to reach.">When I first used the cream, I was expecting a heated effect, the same way with my Soap & Glory 'No Clogs Allowed' Self Heating Detox Mask, but there was no heating at all! Anyway, it never claimed to do this but the name is slightly deceiving and I'm not the only one who thought this!Apart from that, the next most prominent thing I noticed was the smell. It was incredibly strong and made me feel a bit queasy. In fact, I thought the smell was absolutely disgusting. I looked at the ingredients as I was very curious and the dominating smell was actually only Lavender, which I don't usually mind...although I must admit I have never put anything scented with Lavender on my face before, so maybe that was why the scent was so overpowering!
After knowing what it was, I didn't find it 'too' bad after all...although I was still unsure if I liked the herbal-esque scent.
Putting the scent aside, the cream initially felt heavy and greasy on my fingers, but when applied to my face, it blended very easily and I immediately noticed how soft my skin felt.The strong Lavender scent disappeared within 10 minutes (maybe I got used to it?... or maybe I need another opinion?) and it felt very light on my skin.
My skin is dry/sensitive and the cream made it quite shiny, although I'm not sure how it would be for users with oily skin.I like the fact it is in such a pretty and secure tin, which comes in several designs...but I'm not sure if I would ever purchase this again, because apart from making my skin feel soft, there isn't anything visual and £10 is slightly overpriced.
Nevertheless, I probably just need to use it more frequently so I may give an update on this product some time in the future.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Film Review: The Storm Warriors.

I love watching martial art films, in fact I think I love a lot of genres, but going by all the films I have reviewed so far on my blog, I have never mentioned a comedy!! I think I like the 'escapism' part of watching a film, which is probably why my favourite genre is Fantasy...and Comedy may be my least favourite as it is the most 'real' and something I am exposed to everyday...and anyway, I get plenty of comedy from the genres I like the most anyway.
Back to my review, The Storm Warriors is directed by The Pang Brothers and is the sequel to The Storm Riders which I didn't know until I finished watching the film!! However, I had read that it was not really a continuation and was a story on its own, brilliant!
The 'warriors' are Wind (Ekin Cheng) and Cloud (Aaron Kwok) who are up against a Japanese Warlord called Lord Godless. OK, just to make a quick mention about the names...the first 10 minutes were so confusing but humorous at the same time as I could not keep track with who was who!!! Other names that come up in the story are Second Dream, Heart, Chu Chu (this was OK to remember), Nameless (I felt like this was some sort of test?!) and Piggy King - yes, Piggy King!Anyway, I quickly got used to it and was able to put the name to the obviously, when their names are translated into English - it just doesn't suit them! I wonder if it would be easier to just have their names spelt phonetically rather than it's literal meaning in English? Heart is the name of the warlord's son which I don't think I caught onto very quickly as I was naively looking out for a female! Nevertheless, I love unusual names like that which are very common in the Far East.
Back to the story. Wind and Cloud are sent to look for Lord Wicked where he hides himself in the mountains and who is also the only person who has a chance to kill Lord Godless (the warlord). It is difficult to get Lord Wicked to communicate with the two warriors until his niece (and Wind's lover) Second Dream shows up and helps persuade Lord Wicked to show his face. When he appears, he has no arms and explains that he had cut them off himself as when he practised evil Kung-Fu, it had completely consumed him and he killed many innocents. It then becomes clear that this is a case of evil versus evil for a chance in winning the fight against Lord Godless. I thought this was a bit annoying because why does evil always have to be stronger than 'good'? Nevertheless, it gave the film a brilliant hook. After a test, Wind is chosen to begin practising evil Kung-Fu while Cloud practises a new sword style with Nameless (a martial arts master). The film definitely picks up from this point onwards especially a scene where Wind's training is interrupted and he comes out looking different to when he entered as he now has evil within him and you see him swiftly killing all the enemies with ease, I loved this scene!
Now, I could actually go on a lot longer but I'll leave it for you to watch after I talk about my most favourite scene - the water fight!
This scene is CGI at its best...I loved how it was stylized and the slow motion was great so you could really take it in and it wasn't just a big blur of legs and arms. If you liked the effects in 300 (which I did), you will love this! I was in complete awe of the fighting and makes me wish I could fight like that too! Also, the use of water for this fight scene was absolute genius and helped magnify each and every was just jaw-dropping! There was a real lack of character development but because the fight scenes were so brilliantly choreographed (if they were even choreographed at all?) I dismissed it completely and would have been happy for the entire film to be made up of consistent fight scenes in different locations! Aaron Kwok and Ekin Cheng make a great team and are brilliant actors as well as martial artists which I have found to be quite rare as I am still not utterly convinced on Jet Li's acting skills yet.
If you're into martial art films, this is an absolute must-see and if I haven't convinced you yet, check out the trailer below!!!!!!!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Giveaway - Final Stage.

I published another giveaway last week where participants needed to submit a colour idea for a second version of my writing gift set as seen below, which they will also win! This includes 5 pouches, 5 envelopes, 10 notecards and 5 stickers. There were brilliant ideas and I really struggled to pick my favourite 3 to be put through for I had to go with the ones that I instantly wanted to have in my Etsy Shop!As you can see below, they're all very different! 'A' was such a great idea and reminded me of how much the smiley emoticon is used! 'B' had a beautiful colour theme of grey, navy and mustard and I felt that it would really compliment my original set, as if one would be for Spring and the other for Autumn! Finally, 'C' was also a instant definite as I've always loved dragonflies and the mix of grey, teal, pale mint and pale blue looked beautiful! Also, the suggested idea for the dragonfly set is to have them looking Art Nouveau-like so if this is the winning set, I will draw them myself!

The Giveaway
Deadline: 29th October 2010/11.30pm BST


What you will win: The set you vote for.

What to do: Leave a comment stating which colour set (A, B or C) you would like to see made into reality!

For additional entries with a maximum of 4: Follow my blog, follow me on Twitter, blog about my giveaway and/or tweet about my giveaway- see my sidebar for these. Please leave separate comments (with your vote) if you do this, and if you're already following me, just say so and it will still count as an additional entry! To clarify, each additional entry also determines which set wins!

Finally: The winner will be picked randomly and will have one week to respond, so please leave your most preferred way to be contacted. I will of course need time to get the set printed and made so it may be a few weeks until you receive your prize. Good Luck!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Bar Review: Callooh Callay - London.

A couple of weeks ago, my work colleagues and I went to Callooh Callay, which is a quirky little bar located in East London. I don't/can't really drink alcohol as it makes my body ache (mainly around my neck and shoulders - someone please enlighten me?) and puts me to sleep (severe lightweight) so it is rather pointless for me to consume!Also, apart from a Snowball which is made with Advocaat and Lemonade, everything else I have tried makes me gag! - but in regards to the Snowball, my boyfriend is the only person who makes it for me and he only puts in a teaspoon of Advocaat and the rest is Lemonade in a highball glass, so that probably doesn't really count as an alcoholic drink anyway! So, without straying off my point (which I often do), I can't really review the drinks at this bar for the above reason - although many of my work colleagues did have some sort of pear cocktail which looked nice and they all really liked it.
Apart from the alcohol, which is actually the least important thing to me and I'm sure you can find information about it elsewhere, I adored the décor! It was quirky, eclectic, and I couldn't stop looking around as there was always something different to see! My favourite part was probably the wall outside the toilets which was completely covered with retro cassettes! This followed straight through to the Ladies and was completely unexpected!
As I browsed the website, I came across the story behind Calooh Callay by the owner, Richard Wynne.

"Having lived, worked & loved bars of all shapes and kinds for the last ten years, I dreamt of creating my own bar; my own world. So, here it is… tucked away on a Shoreditch side street, with eclectic interiors & most importantly irresistible cocktails served by some of the world’s most respected bartenders.

And the name…? Inspired by Lewis Caroll’s poem ‘Jabberwocky’ – a poem of nonsense. As Alice said, “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t.

So here is Callooh Callay: my world of glorious drinks filled with fun and nonsense."

I loved the bar even more after reading this as I could completely see why the bar was so quirky and any reference to Alice in Wonderland (which I should have noticed!) can win me over! However, I wish we were seated in the little booth in the first photo but we were seated in the section parallel to it which was extremely dark, although I'm pretty sure the table next to my seat was a faux tree stump! I didn't mind the darkness at first but when we ordered food, it was hard to see what was what! Again, the food they offered was so was Japanese! We ordered Kushi Age which are 'succulent pork skewers' (these were indeed succulent!!), Ebi Tempura Callooh Callay Style (very yummy prawn tempura), Prawn and Beef Gyoza (dumplings) which were also very yummy. The food was totally impressive, at great prices and really fast! Service was also brilliant, the staff were friendly and attentive.

This was a really lovely bar which many people will also agree with as it was extremely crowded, so if there is a group of you going, I recommend that you book a seating area because you could be standing for the whole night!

Sunday, 17 October 2010

New Product and Giveaway.

I've wanted to combine my pouches and writing sets together for ages and now I have finally done it! I like to call it my 'Emergency Present Pack' as I have my own set to act as a backup in case I don't have the time to get a present, or a card, then having to wrap it - it is just too much hassle!... so all you have to do is to write your note, pop it into the envelope, seal it with a sticker and pop something special into the pouch such as jewellery, chocolate, or vouchers and you're done!
The photos you see here are of my very first set consisting of 5 white pouches, 10 matte notecards, 5 envelopes and 5 stickers. I was inspired by the colours on make-up palettes, where there are so many shades of foundation, blusher and lipstick! I also used my own drawing of a camellia which I feel helps to pull the set together even more.
The Giveaway
-Deadline: 23rd October 2010/11am BST-

I need help deciding what my next set is going to look like, so I want your suggestions! You can enter as many times as you want and the Giveaway is Worldwide!!
What you will win: If I use your suggestion, I will make it and then send it to you!

What to do: Just copy, paste and delete my guide (in brackets) below into the comments box and tell me your idea! Please also remember to be as detailed as possible, especially with colour.

Pouch colour: (it can be either white or unbleached)
Ribbon colour: (satin only)
Notecard base colour: (this colour will also be the colour of the motif on the pouch)
Envelope colour:
Sticker colours: (these can be 5 different colours or all in one colour)
Motif: (you can stick with my camellia, or suggest something else which I will need to draw...or feel free to browse my Etsy shop for ideas)
Your contact info: email, blog, twitter etc, anything you feel most comfortable with!

What happens next: I will choose my 3 most favourite ideas, CAD them up (which is why you need to be detailed) and put them on my blog (1 week) for people to vote for their favourite! The winning design gets it for themselves (one week to respond) and will be for sale in my Etsy Shop.

The extra bits: I will of course need time to get my notecards and stickers printed, make my pouches, get the ribbon etc so it may be a few weeks until you receive your prize.

I can't wait to read your suggestions and good luck!

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Spring 2011. Part XXIII.

At first glance I was a bit disappointed with the Miu Miu collection. I usually always want to wear everything in previous collections, but this time there was literally one dress that I loved - a black dress with leather openwork around the neckline, I thought this was beautiful! It also came in other colours but I thought they looked a bit garish. Nevertheless, I generally really loved elements of the other pieces in the collection such as a colour blocked star formed within pleats which I thought looked beautiful and I'm sure would look even more beautiful in motion! I also loved the oriental touches such as the navy, white and pomegranate red lotus blossom print.Ann Demeulemeester's collection was completely effortless and reminded me a lot about my very positive feelings towards the Haider Ackermann collection. It had an edgy oriental notion - like the aforementioned designer, but I also loved the reference to fencing which wasn't that obvious to me at first which I think is because I definitely have oriental on the brain! However, it wasn't until the end when I reached the chainmaille fencing masks when I had my 'Oh, fencing!!' moment! I then proceeded to look through the collection again and realised there was a ton of referencing to fencing! Just to back up my thoughts of the orient being part of this collection are the wide self-belts and loose, wispy straps, both reminiscent of an obi belt. The presence of Trapunto stitching across all fabrications further made me think 'oriental'.Nevertheless, fencing was the most obvious theme, in regards to the mask and Plastron details which also followed through onto the footwear which was so beautiful! I always yearn to wear white shoes in the summer but nice styles are so difficult to find! Overall, a brilliant collection from Ann Demeulemeester across all aspects - clothing, footwear, styling etc...
Images from and │ Assembled by nuvonova

Friday, 15 October 2010

Spring 2011. Part XXII. Painted Hair.

During New York Fashion Week a few weeks ago, I kept noticing how a lot of hair was being styled with slicks of paint in them! I first spotted it during Alexander Wang's collection (bottom) with white paint, then in Altuzarra (above) and Alexandre Herchcovitch(last)! I'm not sure if there are any more but for it to be in three collections must be saying something! My favourite interpretation was definitely at Altuzarra as I liked how fresh (literally) it looked in comparison to the other two where I didn't really like the look of the dry bits and the placement was unexpected.
Images from │ Assembled by nuvonova

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Autumn/Winter 2010 Fashion Sale - London.

There is a three day sale happening on 15th October-17th October 2010 at The Phene in Chelsea, London...and it is also where I did one of my many (and one of my most favourite!) Fashion Design work placements almost two years ago! I assisted with embellishing dresses for the first Lily London collection with Swarovski crystals such as the dress below, where I had to be extremely precise with where I was placing each one! The dresses are truly beautiful and I hope to attend the sale on one of the days as I have only ever been back to say hello, once!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Film Review: Let The Right One In.

A couple of months ago I reviewed an art-house vampire film called 'Thirst' which you can read about here...and I mentioned that it was probably one of the most unique vampire films I had ever watched. However, I have found another unique vampire film called 'Let the Right One In' which is Swedish and was released in 2008.'Let the Right One In' is about a young boy called Oskar who befriends a vampire girl named Eli. He initially isn't interested in speaking to her because he is bullied at school and prefers being alone while fantasising about the many ways he can get his revenge on the bullies. However, because Eli is a vampire (unknown to him at first)...I guess he finds her quite interesting and they form a very close relationship. When Oskar gets his face cut by the bullies, it is the first time Eli is aware that he is being bullied and tells him to stand up for himself... I thought this part was so sweet and you can really see the relationship growing, and almost forgetting the human-vampire difference. Oskar stands up to his bullies on a school trip by striking one of them with a pole which causes severe ear damage.As the relationship between Eli and Oskar grow even more, Oskar suggests doing a blood exchange (which reminded me a lot of 'My Girl') which happens very quickly and I think is the part where you really see Eli as a vampire as she responds to the blood dripping from Oskar's palm. This bit actually made me jump as it was totally unexpected!
Talking about the unexpected, there is a part where Eli feeds on a woman but she is saved by her friend and taken to hospital. She becomes very sensitive to light and bursts into flames when the curtains are opened. This also made me jump but was a great, and much needed scene because the overall pace of the film is really quite slow, so it needed these bits in to bring it back to life-and to bring me out of sleep!My favourite part of the film is definitely the ending where Oskar's bullies are dealt with. I won't say what happened but again, it was totally unpredictable, gruesome and filmed in such a creative way!
I also wanted to comment on the title which I thought was a brilliant choice as it makes a subtle reference to typical vampire criteria in terms of vampires being unable to enter a house without being invited in.
Even though it took me approximately 4 sittings to finish watching this film due to my preference of watching them at night (and constantly falling asleep) and its slightly slow pace, I would definitely put 'Let the Right One In' among my top vampire films and also recommend it to those who aren't really into vampire films but curious about the fuss it has caused.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Spring 2011. Part XXI.

Elie Saab is definitely one of the best designers out there when it comes to an evening gown. His creations never disappoint me and although there was a slightly casual approach to his collection this season, I still loved it!
There was also a nod to the 1970s which has been a popular theme throughout the Spring 2011 collections but Elie Saab still kept to his exquisite handwriting with beautiful cutout details and perfect draping.The colour palette is also stunning with apricot-tinted nudes, washed silvers, corals, olives and my most favourite, cornflower blue!! I felt that the pieces in this colour looked the most new and not a colour I often see in evening gowns.
Images from │ Assembled by nuvonova

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Spring 2011. Part XX.

Sarah Burton's collection for Alexander McQueen was beautifully executed although it was clearly so much more feminine, commercial and less severe - with the latter being what I enjoyed seeing the most from Alexander McQueen and also because it would be extremely hard for the High Street to copy! Nevertheless, the collection still looked very natural and it's nice that she hasn't 'copied' his style but instead embracing it and mixing in her own notions. I adored the lattice plaits and the toe-cap boots were also very lovely but very mainstream and I can see these being copied in an instant!While on the subject of footwear, I also loved the butterfly ones with sculptured platforms which again, I thought were actually quite commercial. I can guarantee that these butterflies are going to decorate the toes of all sandals and flip flops next Summer!!
One of my favourite dresses was a black tooled-leather dress in dozens of vine leaf shapes and cinched tightly at the waist with pirate-esque buckles!Naturally, all the best pieces are saved for the last moment of the show and these dresses were stunning. The ashened-lilac feather dress was reminiscent of a swan dress by McQueen for his Fall 2009 collection and it was truly beautiful!
Images from and │ Assembled by nuvonova

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Restaurant Review: Hi Sushi - Camden.

Last night, a couple of my friends and I went to have dinner at Hi Sushi in Camden, London. I'm not a sushi person but I'm always keen to try out new places...I won't know unless I try, right? The restaurant is really beautiful and I loved the TV right at the back which played Anime which I thought was a really cute touch - even though I couldn't hear or read anything! The restaurant also looks quite expensive with dishes to match (but maybe I don't appreciate sushi enough to gauge if it is expensive or not) but the majority seemed very fair to me. Right in the middle are two sushi chefs and I actually really enjoy watching them prepare the food (although I couldn't see much from where I was sitting) - Yo!Sushi is actually best for this as you can really see everything and ask for something you want to eat with immediate results! While on the subject of Yo!Sushi, I knew something was funny about the Hi Sushi name, I couldn't put my finger on it until a while later when obviously it is pretty much the same as Yo!Sushi...this slightly agitated me...not sure which one came first but I'm sure there are many more creative sushi names out there!
Nevertheless, they're both very different, Yo!Sushi is fast-food, Hi Sushi is not. Yo!Sushi staff are very friendly, Hi Sushi staff are not...well, I'm sure they are but I did not see one smile or a flicker of emotion...they were like Vulcans! However, I was quite amused by this and further amused at how the male waiters looked like Final Fantasy characters or Japanese pop stars! Yes, I am guilty of being easily amused.Like I said, I'm not really a sushi person and I love my food to be piping I went for two side orders of Gyoza (my pronounciation was immediately corrected from gy-oza to goza!) which are grilled pork dumplings and steamed rice - this was enough to be my 'dinner' and it was only £6.20 altogether. I don't like alcohol so eating out is always pretty cheap for me! I think this will become 'my dish' whenever I go to a Sushi restaurant from now on.
My friends shared a buffet where they can pick up to 7 dishes (by ticking on a list) for £13 (I think! - sorry, wasn't paying that much attention!) and it was certainly enough for 2 people! The dish on the left actually looked nice but I wasn't sure about the dodgy looking orange sauce on the other one - I did ask what this was but I forgot - but I think it was something spicy. I would definitely go to Hi Sushi again, it has a nice atmosphere and service is fast...although I do feel I should be eating much more!

Friday, 8 October 2010

Spring 2011. Part XIX.

Many of my work colleagues thought the Louis Vuitton collection was extremely tacky, but it's oriental and it's 1920s, my cup of tea! I don't think any collection can go wrong in my eyes if it's made up of my favourite elements! The styling was beautiful and I thought the excessiveness was delightful!!I adored Stella McCartney's Resort 2011 collection and was hoping that some of the pieces would have progressed into her Spring 2011 collection, however I did not recognise any. Nevertheless, I absolutely loved her double-thigh split dresses!Although a lot of the pieces in the Yves Saint Laurent collection were 'too old' for my taste, I still found pieces that I adored! My favourite being the white thigh-split skirt with a contrast black binding and the neckline of the top is just simply beautiful! I also loved the sheer Persian blue halter dress with a high-leg bodysuit...I wish I could carry something like that off!
Images from │ Assembled by nuvonova

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Spring 2011. Part XVIII. Givenchy.

This blog entry is all about the Givenchy collection which I absolutely love! I adore how it is the complete opposite to what a Spring collection typically looks like, who says that a Spring collection has to be all pastels and flowers! The colour palette is so simple, but it is so Givenchy and so effective. Black, white, nude and leopard print. I love wearing leopard print but it is so hard to find in a nice style and most importantly, as a nice pattern/colour...Givenchy does leopard print wonderfully!Givenchy also does Gothic extremely well but it is never overly hard-edged and has a beautiful decadent quality to it. The long sheer skirts look stunning and I particularly liked the sheer-white leopard devoré version!It is so clear to me when a collection makes me tick because I start conjuring up a little story around the collection and with Givenchy, I could imagine something like a vampire version of the Amazons (a tribe of all-female warriors in Greek mythology) wearing this collection!! Oh how great would this idea be as a film and how amazing would they look?!!?
Images from and │ Assembled by nuvonova