Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Royal Ascot 2010.

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Royal Ascot for the first time (as it was for work purposes) and it turned out to be a lot more exciting than I thought it would be! The Royal Ascot is a famous horse-racing event in Ascot, England where the Queen and other members of the Royal Family attend. I never really paid attention to it before as I am completely uninterested by horse-racing...however, I would actually now just go to see what the women wore, especially on their heads!!While I was there, Joan Collins had arrived and was quickly surrounded by many photographers which was quite scary as I was very close to her! I thought she was very beautiful and didn't realise I managed to get such a good photo of her (without zoom!) until I checked my camera!I don't really like putting 'real-life' photos on my blog, I much more prefer editorials, art, or just anything with a strong aesthetic so this entry is very straight-to-the-point! I was very amused by these two head pieces consisting of some sort of solar system notion and a box of chocolates!

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Beauty Review: Body America Bath & Shower Luxury Foaming Mousse.

I had to try this Bath & Shower Mousse by Body America when I read that it was 'New York Cheesecake - Vanilla & Strawberry' ... it just sounded really fun! I tend to prefer exotic plants and fruits as ingredients, not anything like a dessert!... But I was curious, the packaging was cute, it was discounted from £10/$15 to £5 and it was promoted as being quite organic so I thought why not!I have to admit that I didn't read the 'mousse' part when I bought it, so I was surprised when it came out as a mousse, and not the thick liquid I am used to using in the shower. I tried to get it much foamier but it seemed to just go really flat to the point where there was no more foam left! The scent was too literal and made me feel a bit queasy and I didn't feel like I was making myself clean at all! I was really disappointed and haven't touched it since...so unless I can get my family members to use it, it will just be sitting in the bathroom for a very long time as I can't bear binning something I have only used once!
However, I haven't completely given up on Body America products. I am willing to try one more thing from them (but keeping well away from the New York Cheesecake flavours!), so keep a look out for what it may be!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Resort 2011. Part III.

This third entry on my favourite Resort 2011 shows is entirely about Givenchy. I was so amazed by what I saw, I couldn't possibly filter it down to four outfits! The use of just red, white, black and leopard print made me appreciate the shape, cut and detail of every garment so much more, and I would wear every single piece. I usually annotate my thoughts between each image but I'll let the clothes do the talking this time!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

New Books.

It had been absolutely ages since I made anything new for my Etsy Shop which was starting to get on my nerves, so I set aside the whole of today (these are very labour intensive!) and concentrated on making some more of my Ribbon Bound books that I've been selling from the very start. I had been missing Gemini, Libra, Pisces and Sagittarius from my 'Traits' collection for many many months as I never got round to making more when the originals had sold. So when I started to get messages asking if I had them in stock, I knew it was time I get making and here they are in all their glory! I was especially pleased with the outcome of Sagittarius, as all the tones of purple put together in a book looked rather pretty and I rarely make the exact same book once it sells so I'm never quite sure how a book will look until it's finished! However, I always like to use the colours associated around the specific astrological sign, but in different ratios.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

95.8 Capital FM - Summertime Ball 2010.

A couple of Sundays ago, I attended the 95.8 Capital FM Summertime Ball at Wembley Stadium with my best friend (I was treating her to an early birthday present!) and it was actually the first time I had been to a music concert!! I had no idea what to expect, how the acts were going to sound live or how loud it was going to be! First up was Usher which I thought did a great performance. The crowd reaction wasn't as strong compared to some of the other acts (which I later noticed) but I think that it may be to do with age - which I will mention later in this entry. Usher sounded great live and I was glad to hear some of his old school tracks. His two new songs, 'OMG' and 'Lil Freak' were fantastic and got me interested in current music again as for the past couple of months I have only been listening to music from the 70s and 80s!!Referring back to my comment about age, well I felt incredibly old (25?) when Justin Bieber came on stage in his red jeans and black leather jacket outfit and the loudest screams shook the stadium. I'm certain I've never heard noise that loud before! I didn't know what the fuss was and didn't really know who he was - like I said, I've been in my 70s/80s bubble! I thought his music was very annoying and from the screams, I would guess that 80% of the crowd were under 15. Sean Kingston then came out to join him whose No.1 song 'Beautiful Girls' also annoyed me... and I thought maybe I would use this opportunity for a toilet break. However, it was so crowded I decided to just wait which I was glad about because a few minutes later, Sean Kingston left the stage and Justin Beiber did a little Michael Jackson melody and dance routine which I actually thought was quite good! I do love it when people incorporate Michael Jackson into their performance!
Other acts included Jason Derulo who sounded terrible live and had a wardrobe malfunction when he couldn't get his jacket off which I thought was quite amusing as the whole stripping act never impresses me. After getting help from one of his dancers, it was finally off, then a couple of minutes later, he tore his t-shirt to bits. Again, I was very unimpressed and felt that it was done to compensate for a terrible performance. Cheryl Cole also sounded terrible live which was disappointing as her songs aren't too bad. She's definitely a better dancer than a singer but she also needs to get a new stylist! Alexandra Burke was excellent and I was thoroughly impressed with her singing while doing an intensive dance routine. Ellie Goulding sounded ethereal but I was disappointed that she only sang one song -'Starry Eyed', especially when I thought her other song 'Under The Sheets' is much better where she usually performs it while banging a drum filled with glitter so that they scatter every time she hits it.
Dizzee Rascal, Tinie Tempah and Chipmunk were real crowd pleasers because of the heavy bass and performances by Scouting for Girls, Ke$ha, Pixie Lott and The Wanted were alright but unfortunately forgettable. JLS also got the crowd excited (almost as much as Justin Bieber) but singing over a recording is so disappointing!!The only highlight of the show so far was Usher, but the show ended with Rihanna who didn't disappoint one bit! She looked and sounded great and I originally didn't really like her 'Rudeboy' song, but I certainly warmed to it when I heard it live.
Overall, it was a brilliant day out and I would definitely go to more music concerts in the future!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Resort 2011. Part II.

While I was compiling my favourite four outfits for the second part of my Resort 2011 blog entries, I noticed how they all contained dresses! Below is Stella McCartney's collection which was such a dream. The concertina fold back detailed dress in oxblood was something I had never seen before and again, the appearance of lace florets were so sweet.I always love the collections by Oscar de la Renta who I think is completely underrated...I don't think I've ever seen another blogger mention his work - past or present...and same again in other types of press. This may be because his customer is an older, more mature woman (as the designers that get a lot of Press have garments for a younger market)...but I felt that these dresses I have picked out actually look really young!Next is Erin Fetherston who produced the most beautiful dresses!! The colour palette was also particularly lovely, with nudes and a pop of red helped prevent it from looking too washed out. The Marc by Marc Jacobs collection was one of the sweetest yet! Lace florets made yet another appearance in a colour blocked technique and the darker tone of the popular oxblood colour was shown in a midi-length waisted dress where a polka dot pattern was formed using cabochons!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Resort 2011. Part I.

I think I went slightly overboard when I showed my favourites from the Fall 2010 fashion shows which you can read here and it goes on for miles...so for the Resort 2011 shows, I've decided to be strict with myself and only select my four favourite looks! First up is Alexander Wang which I instantly loved. He carried through the deconstructed tailoring which I was unsure about in his Fall 2010 collection, especially with the pinstripe...but it looked really beautiful and wearable here. The colour palette was also so fresh with whites, mushrooms, greyed-off blues and complimented with an oxblood tone.Rag & Bone's colour palette was also fantastic. The mix of charcoal and marl grey, with black, and then spiced with tobacco was truly beautiful. I thought the model was also a perfect pick and did a great job for the label.The Louis Vuitton collection was very sweet with my favourite detail being the lace florets which has also been present in many of the other collections. Lace has been very popular for a couple of years now, so I feel that making them into more of an embroidery or an applique instead of just a fabric has been a natural progression!And lastly (for now), the Balenciaga collection was just delightful! It was a very smooth transition from the Fall 2010 collection which I also loved, and the idea of a cherry blossom pink trouser suit would usually make me feel queasy but the proportions are just so spot-on and the cut looks amazing so naturally, it works!

Monday, 14 June 2010

Graduate Fashion Show 2010 - University of Westminster.

When I graduated with a degree in Fashion Design from the University of Westminster in 2007, I planned on attending all the future Graduate shows. However, this did not happen until a couple of weeks ago and I wish I had made more effort to attend the past shows as it was fantastic! The atmosphere was wonderful, it was great to see all my tutors again although I didn't get a chance to speak to them as I had to leave as soon as it finished, but in regards to the quality of each collection, I was blown away!
First up was my most favourite and is by Hannah Menzies. Please excuse my photos as I have the worst camera ever, but I like using my own photos in my blog where possible... so if you click on the designer's name, it will take you to their full collection for better viewing! It had an obvious ice-skating theme where the models wore actual ice skates but the blades were encased in a block of clear acrylic so that they could be walked in...I thought this was a fabulous idea and actually really tickled me!! Admittedly, I found the footwear so fascinating I didn't pay enough attention to the collection overall, but I recalled a beautiful colour palette and perfect music.My next favourite is by Sophie McKay which was a mix of faux fur and sheer fabrics. The garment shapes were simple but I felt it was all about the fur!...and each outfit looked amazing in person especially as there was so much movement.I was sent an email suggesting that I should also blog about Menswear, which was something I always intended to do as I dabbled around with Menswear while I was at University and completely appreciated it. So, when the models in Shefa Rahman's Menswear collection came out with flashlights, I knew I would want to blog about it! It was exciting and maybe also because it reminded me of Pitch Black, a great film! I thought it was a great theme for a collection and one I haven't seen before (but then again, I wouldn't really notice if it has been used before within Menswear). All the garments looked really well made (I was right at the front) and I was thoroughly impressed!Next is the collection by Carly Ellis which is so far from what I usually like but there was something so sweet and playful about it!!I thought Hannah Clayton had a great ready-to-wear collection and looked the most professional. My favourite items were the shin-skimming skirts which looked really edgy with the super-high heels. The colour, mood, music and styling of the collection was just spot on. This was the first collection to come out and it definitely set my mood for the rest of the show which you can view here.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Clogs.

I didn't think I would ever want to buy clogs but after seeing a pair in the cutest and not an obvious clog-like design, I finally succumbed! The reason why I didn't want such an obvious design, was simply because I knew I'd get bored of it. At least if it was a clog-sandal hybrid, I would still like them for a longer time. These are from Topshop which they call 'OLLIE' and cost a reasonable £40/$58. There are so many styles out there with a majority being extremely impractical because of the heel height, but Topshop were actually the only High Street brand that offered mid-heeled styles, so thank you!So, let's talk about comfortability- because these have none. The heel height and front platform puts your feet at such a perfect angle that these could potentially have been the most comfortable pair of heeled sandals....However, because the entire sole is made out of wood, there is no flexibility whatsoever and don't even think about walking on cobbled pavements as it becomes a true test of balance and pain! The front strap really started digging into my foot, even though I wore them with socks, so I will never be able to wear them without...which is fine as I find them quite sweet when styled with socks. On a positive note, I still decided to keep them and after wearing them a second time with thicker socks, it wasn't so bad after all...but I will still need to keep away from cobbled pavements! I then wondered how women have been wearing the 4" high versions that don't even have a sling back... but I assume that they are keeping it within their work environment as I have actually never seen someone wear them outside!...and from experience, walking on carpet is definitely easier!

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Tommy Guns.

As I've previously mentioned, I love Beauty products (not necessarily make-up, but more about the hair and skin) and I am eager on sharing my thoughts about the products I have tried. Also, living in London, where there is pollution, air conditioning, humidity in the Underground...all these different temperatures can really affect your hair and skin!
So, lets start with my hair type. It is as thick as hair can be and quite long, I wash it everyday which people are often horrified about (but if I don't wash it when I shower, then I don't feel completely clean!) and washing it everyday keeps my hair thick, which combined with very straight hair doesn't make it too unmanageable I guess. However, I sometimes have to use gentle products to help maintain the frizziness that is caused by the consistent change in temperature... and that's when I came across a small range of TommyGuns products on ASOS.com. I was instantly drawn to the Hair Conditioner which contained Orange Flower, Pomegranate and Hemp, an ingredients mix I have never used before and suddenly very eager to try! The packaging was also very lovely! I trusted that it wouldn't be too greasy as it is advertised as a Daily Conditioner and something I definitely needed for my everyday hair washing. It was also only £5/$7 which I didn't feel was too unreasonable. I also decided to purchase the 'Weather Protect Dew Drop Serum' for obvious reasons and that came to £6/$8...and although a small bottle, I knew it would still last a long time as I would only be using a pea-sized amount each time.

After a couple of months use, I would happily purchase these again once they run out... the Daily Conditioner smelt divine and I'm now obsessed with finding more of those ingredients in other things, like body cream etc! It was not too heavy for my hair, left it smelling lovely and very soft. You're almost tempted to use it as Shampoo instead of Conditioner! The Serum was also great, my hair was left smoother and I particularly found it useful on my heavy fringe. Also while Googling for other TommyGuns products (as I didn't believe that what was on ASOS.com was all they had!) I came across a TommyGuns Salon, and 3 out of 4 of them were in London! However, it was a lot more expensive then what I would usually pay to get my hair done as all I get is a trim, nothing fancy...so it won't be any time soon that I book myself an appointment! But I am definitely keen on experiencing it in the future.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Shearling Boots.

Back in December 2009, I attended the New Look SS10 Press Day which you can read all about here. I was also given a £100/$145 voucher to spend in store which was completely unexpected and as promised, here is what I spent it on!As soon as I saw these grey and taupe shearling lined boots, I knew exactly what my voucher would go towards...they were only £35/$50 each so the rest of my voucher went on simple basics. I was also quite surprised at how quickly these boots were in store, as shearling boots were so popular on the AW10 catwalks so I didn't think they'd be available for purchasing so soon. When my friends first saw them, they instantly assumed I had got them from Topshop as they are so fashion-forward!
The one thing I was disappointed with in regards to what New Look had in store, was that I didn't see many of the Press Day pieces at all, and if you clicked on the aforementioned link to see what I loved about the Press Day - well, the bralettes were nowhere in sight! Nevertheless, there are still a couple of months left for Spring/Summer stock to hit the stores so I will patiently wait to see.
I have yet to wear the taupe pair which you can probably tell as the shearling looks a lot whiter compared to the grey! But I've worn the grey pair about 50 times now and they are extremely comfortable. It is such an odd feeling as it is so soft inside because of the shearling, and it actually feels like I'm wearing slippers!

Saturday, 5 June 2010

deviantART: *ValentinaKallias

I haven't published an art related blog entry in ages, but it was predominantly down to the fact that I haven't bought any! However, the most obvious thing occurred to me... I can still blog about things I haven't bought! I guess when I started my blog, I wanted it to be unique and I was going to achieve this by only using my own photos etc.
However, since joining deviantART last year to find amazing artists and to eventually buy their art to add to My Art Collection...it was clear that from the first half hour of perusing the site, I would be broke if I bought everything I loved! So, I have decided to save them for the future (buying in small chunks over time) and to dedicate blog entries to all my finds in the meantime. I want to kick off my new 'DeviantArt' blog category with a truly talented artist- Valentina Kallias. There are a couple of themes in her work, but I wanted to hone into my favourite, which I would call 'distopic-eroticism'. I love the Sci-Fi element to them and many of her characters remind me of the Borg Queen from Star Trek which is one of the most exciting characters ever to be on TV. I also think of films such as The Cell, The Matrix, Alien, Predator, Silent Hill and Resident Evil (excellent films!) when looking at her work, although I am unsure if that is exactly where she gets her inspiration. However she states in a couple of pieces that she has referenced Silent Hill such as the piece above.I found it incredibly difficult filtering what I wanted to put on my blog because there are so many great pieces to choose from, and even her Self-Portraits are stunning. However some were so haunting that I decided to make viewing it optional such as 'The Closet' which sent a chill up my spine! I also have to admit that I've only started to appreciate digital art since approximately 2-3 years ago where I started to notice how much I loved a lot of the themes that were accomplished via this method and decided not to be so snobby about it anymore! I think my original attitude came from studying traditional artists such as Van Gogh, John Everett Millais, Picasso, Da Vinci, for pretty much all of my educational years which makes sense seeing as they were some of the most popular and relevant to my studies... and we were also always encouraged to use traditional methods ourselves when producing art. Just before I started composing this entry and asked permission to feature her work (thank you!) I admittedly hadn't even realised that she was female! I hadn't noticed that her Self-Portraits were 'self-portraits' and although her name is obviously female, I just assumed it was an alias or alter ego because it was so suiting to her work! I think I initially thought she was male because a lot of the darker artworks that I came across (on DA) and loved, were by male artists and a lot of the feminine, cuter styles of art were by female artists.As I absorbed more of her work, I realised that I would've eventually seen the feminine details which is probably the true, but hidden factor that drew me into her work and I highly doubt a male artist would've executed the same details. The use of the crinoline skirt, butterfly wing etching and a pregnant borg would be enough for me to know the artist was female. Also, whenever there is nudity in her artworks, I noticed how often the breasts are gracefully covered when it is unnecessary for them to be on show and of no real relevance to the piece. I stereotypically feel that a male artist would have them on show in all their glory!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Beauty Review: Elemis Cleanser & Toner.

As I was looking through the categories on my blog (top right of my sidebar), I noticed how empty my 'Hair and Beauty' category was, and I love beauty products so I thought I would start reviewing them! I don't wear much makeup as I find it too unnatural, time-consuming and almost unnecessary so most of my 'Beauty' reviews will be more about the skin, rather than make-up...as I feel that the skin should be cared for, rather than covered. I can understand if make-up is used in a subtle way to enhance a feature (mascara is the only thing that I like to wear because I have long eyelashes) but I find it odd when ones face is entirely caked in it. So, onto my review! I've always heard good things about Elemis so I thought I would try out the Rehydrating Rose Petal Cleanser and Rehydrating Ginseng Toner... but at £19/$28 each, these were not cheap! However, they were very easy to use... all I had to do was massage a small amount of the Cleanser into my face, remove it using a damp cotton pad, then spraying my face with the toner, and removing any excess with a cotton pad...and both smelt wonderful! My skin instantly felt very soft from the first use and there was no sign of agitation at all as I have very sensitive skin. After a couple of months use, my skin feels healthier and isn't prone to drying out as often as it sometimes does and I can see both bottles lasting me a very long time...but despite the positive comments, I don't feel the price justifies the effects given...and I'm sure if I consumed more water, I would get similar results! So to conclude, I would happily use these products for the rest of my life, but only if I'm not the one paying for them!