Monday, 26 July 2010

Patricia Anders.

Here is another little feature on the work of an artist I have come across - Patricia Anders. I actually first came across her work a couple of years ago on Etsy but I never bought anything because I just could not decide which one to get!! However, after browsing her work some more (specifically for this blog entry) I realised that the below piece, titled 'Red Dress' is my absolute favourite! My first reaction to this piece was laughter, it made me chuckle! Just look at her little face, her eyes!!! Her pose is equally funny with her fingers widely spread and stance is completely frozen, as though I have caught her doing something she shouldn't be doing! Then she is wearing this beautiful red dress that just completely pops out of the canvas!However, even though her pieces have a strangely humorous quality to them (or is it just me?), there is something incredibly dark about them too which is why I love them so much...I feel that there is something so much more behind the faces of these unusual creatures (which on a side note, could become an amazing animated film) and I just can't put my finger on it!The above piece titled 'Two sides to Suzee' comes a close second behind 'Red Dress'. I just adore the heavy black strokes creating both the hair and the background and their face expressions are very thought-provoking!This next favourite of mine is called 'Tangle' and the colours used are absolutely beautiful! The black and white striped accents are fun and again, it is top heavy where the hair makes up the background and really makes it stand out. However, this does not take any attention away from the rest of the piece such as the cute little sheer dresses that are common in some of the other pieces.These hand puppet sketches were on Patricia Anders' blog and they really made me laugh!! - Just look at that last one!! It is amazing how these sketches have the same amount of personality as the oil paintings!!
One more piece I wanted to show was 'Pregnant'...I love seeing characters pregnant and this one really made me giggle!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Haute Couture Fall 2010. Part IV - Givenchy.

I adored the Givenchy Resort 2011 collection and was delighted to see how beautifully it evolved into the Haute Couture Fall 2010 collection. The strategically placed lace, embellishment and feathered dress was just stunning and the overall colour palette of neutral tones made it easy to appreciate all the fine details.
My most favourite piece in the collection has to be the embroidered dress with heavy fringing inserts. I don't think I've ever seen fringing used in a more exciting way and the back is just as striking as the front!!

Charm Necklace & Pouch Giveaway. The winner is...

...Cimmy!
Thank you to all who participated in my Giveaway, it has been so interesting to see what you all like in my Etsy Shop and I will definitely be doing another one soon which may consist of a custom made book, a custom pouch, an initial necklace (which seemed to be the most popular!) and many more things!

As a sneak preview for a future giveaway (not necessarily next... or maybe it could?), I will be giving away a set of my Advent Calendar Pouches for you to use this Christmas, (yes, this Christmas!) and they sit alongside the more expensive things in my shop, so this will probably be one of the biggest and greatest giveaways I will ever do! Once you have this set, you can use it for life! However, the giveaway date hasn't been penned in yet so you will have to wait and see!!

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Charm Necklace & Pouch Giveaway. CLOSED!

Last week, I published my very first Giveaway and it has now officially ended! I was extremely shocked at the amount of interest there was (I guess everyone loves a freebie!) but also how much it has helped me identify what people really love in my Etsy Shop. This will then help me decide what I should prioritise, as since I started working full-time, I have found it difficult executing all my ideas!
One of the questions that had to be answered to enter the Giveaway, was what you would like to see in my next Giveaway... and I could potentially do them all at some point! One of my favourite suggestions, and totally unexpected, was to offer a Gift Voucher for my shop... I thought this was such a lovely idea!
So just to wrap up this short entry, I wanted to say thank you to all who entered and the winner will be announced tomorrow!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Haute Couture Fall 2010. Part III - Valentino.

The Valentino Haute Couture Fall 2010 collection is the epitome of cute sophistication.
The red dropped-waist-full-skirted bandeau dress is just adorable and the magnolia white dress embellished with skinny bows is just the sweetest thing! The full length gowns were beautiful and I loved the delicately embellished long-short tiered dress.When I saw the birdcage dress come out I almost gasped! It is totally random but utterly amazing! I also thought the model and her poise was perfect...which reminds me, I keep meaning to find a video of the collection so I can see it all in motion and listen to the music!
That sugar pink makes another appearance on the catwalks (previously noticed/liked it in the Giambattista Valli collection) and completely works. Sugar Pink isn't one of my favourite shades, but it looks very appropriate here.Here are some more dresses that I loved from the collection, the lace, the pink, the bows, the crinoline dress and a maxi version of the previous red dress that I loved... the collection was just 'wow'.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Clothes Show London 2010

A few weeks ago I was kindly invited to attend the Clothes Show London. When I was a teenager, I used to go to The Clothes Show which was always held in Birmingham, but I think it has only recently been held in London - which makes sense seeing as London is a Fashion hub...so I jumped at the chance to watch a fashion show and check out any new and exciting brands.I was most excited about watching the fashion show as I've always loved how they mix dancing into it...so, when the introduction started out in an oriental-esque theme, with female dancers in kimonos...I knew it would be good!
When the lead dancer whipped off her kimono, revealing a gold jumpsuit, it was very clear what they were portraying - Kill Bill....which happens to be a favourite of mine and is one of the best female-friendly action films!This was all very exciting and the music was suiting. It was very cheesy, but that's what probably made it so entertaining. Overall, I wasn't very impressed with the clothes shown on the catwalk and much preferred the dancing...or maybe the dancing was so good that it made the clothes look dull - who knows?
After the show, I browsed the shopping area which consisted of stalls with several brands, many recognisable...one which included Kit Kat! They had their own little cafe area which I unfortunately forgot to take a photo of, but it consisted of red seating etc etc... I'm sure you can just imagine it! There were also free samples of their new chocolate 'Kit Kat Senses®' which was very yummy!...but reminded me of Ferrero Rocher.
I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the event and would happily go again, especially as it is in London! Thanks for the invite!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Haute Couture Fall 2010. Part II - Dior.

I love flowers in Fashion. Whether it's an embroidery, an embellishment, a fabric manipulation... if I can see floral inspiration, I will love it! So, when I saw the Dior Haute Couture Fall 2010 collection, with an extremely literal floral theme and stunning colour palette...I got very excited. I also thought the 'face/head pieces' were so clever, I instantly saw this as a nod towards the cellophane used to wrap flower bouquets in. However, I was hoping that there would be an amazing multicoloured cellophane dress at the end with amazing headpiece to match...but nevertheless, the collection was just breathtaking.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Charm Necklace & Pouch Giveaway.

Deadline: Saturday 24th July 2010
Giveaway is now closed!
I've previously had two giveaways hosted by other blogs but I felt it was about time that I hosted one myself - worldwide! Up for grabs is a 16" gold plated charm (tiny!) necklace which comes with a matching pouch. I have hand assembled the necklace myself and I made the pouch from complete scratch with unbleached cotton fabric and I have also printed a complimenting image on it! You can choose to have one out of the following seven.For my first Giveaway, I want to make it nice and easy for you (and for me!) so to enter, all you have to do is:

#1 Browse my Etsy Shop and tell me what your most favourite item is and/or what you'd love to see in my next Giveaway!

Yes, that's all you have to do! Of course, for additional entries, you can also:

#2 Follow my Blog. (via Google Friend Connect-on my right sidebar)
#3 Follow me on Twitter. (on my right sidebar)
#4 Blog about my Giveaway.
#5 Tweet about my Giveaway.

Each thing you do is equivalent to one entry, so there is a maximum of 5 entries! If you do all 5, please leave 5 seperate blog comments to tell me this!

The Giveaway ends on Saturday 24th July 2010 at 11am UK time. Winner will be randomly picked and announced on Sunday 25th, and will have one week to respond (otherwise a new winner will be chosen!) so please ensure that there is a way for me to contact you by (as I will need your address and your chosen set).. whether it's through your blog, twitter, Etsy shop or if you simply want to leave your email, please use the safer format of breaking up your address with brackets etc. Good Luck!

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Dyeing with Dylon - Trial & Error.

Dylon is always the first brand that comes to mind when I need to dye something and I think the dyes are fantastic, especially since they revamped their brand image and it seems like there are many other colours in the range now! I blogged about them last year which you can read here.This entry is to show a 'before' and 'after' which I love seeing on other sites/blogs etc and also to explain the dyeing process - what to do and what not to do.
So, I started with a dress that I have never worn and didn't think I would wear in the future. I think at the time of purchasing I really loved it, but then my dress sense completely changed (this happens a lot) and as I plan on dyeing clothing in the future, I wanted to practice on a garment as I had always usually just dyed pieces of fabric. Also, I wanted to see how the dye would effect the plaid! I chose the Navy Blue dye.The following steps (in bold) are the instructions that Dylon provide you with...however, I only like reading instructions once, then making up what I can't remember!
1. Weigh dry fabric. Wash thoroughly. Leave damp
I didn't have scales to hand so I skipped the first part, I didn't think it was important. The rest was easy to follow!
2. Using rubber gloves, dissolve dye in 500ml warm water
This was also very easy and straight forward. However, I work in Fashion Design so I know my centimetres, inches, millimetres...but I have no idea on millilitres, and I didn't have a measuring cup to hand so I estimated this. I assumed it wasn't much, but enough to dissolve the dye.
3. Fill bowl/stainless steel sink with approx 6 litres warm water (40°C)
I am not that much of a perfectionist where I'm going to whip out my thermometer to check the temperature, so this was all guesswork.
4. Stir in 250g (5tbsp) salt. Add dye & stir well
Nice and easy, I appreciated the (5tbsp) comment.
5. Submerge fabric in water
Straight-forward.
6. Stir for 15mins, then stir regularly for 45mins
This is when I start doing my own thing. I stirred for 5 minutes, then left it for about an hour and only popped back in to stir another two or three times for a couple of minutes each.
7. Rinse fabric in cold water. Wash in warm water and dry away from direct heat & sunlight
This was fine, although when you think all the residue has left the garment, more keeps trickling out!

So, here are the results! I was pleased with my choice of using the Navy Blue dye and even more pleased with the plaid colouring. I could possibly wear the dress. However, there are flaws...which doesn't surprise me seeing as I did not follow the instructions properly!As a whole, the coverage was great...but as you can see, there are very small areas where the dye hasn't been able to completely reach which of course is due to the fact that I didn't give it a good stir at the beginning and did not stir it frequently afterwards. These areas are also where there is elastic so the fabric would have been ruched while in the dyeing process. I actually quite like the faded effect but there isn't enough of it to look like it was intentional, rather than accidental!
If I was to wear this dress (after working out what to do with the faded bits - maybe an embroidery?) I will definitely change the buttons! Overall, it was so easy to do and isn't as messy as you may think and doesn't require much effort at all. I'm sure I could have got away with doing what I did if it was just fabric, where there isn't any ruching etc.
Also, the top stitching has remained it's original colour, because it is polyester, so keep this in mind when you're dyeing. Dyeing works best with natural fibres i.e. cotton.
However, I'm sure there is a way to dye synthetic fabrics which I will blog about once I find out! I hope this entry has been useful and will encourage you to dye your clothes once you tire of them because they could look completely different and it will only cost you £3/$5 and an hour of your time. My overall conclusion of Dyeing with Dylon is to follow their instructions for maximum results!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Beauty Review: Soap & Glory The Fab Pore 15 Minute Facial Peel.

Soap & Glory are fast becoming a favourite beauty brand for me so you will be seeing a lot of reviews as I am determined to try everything they have! This entry is about 'The Fab Pore 15 Minute Facial Peel'. I initially thought that I would put it on, it would harden, then I would peel it off...but it was simply a put-on-and-wash-off or you could also put-on-leave on-then-wash-off ...with no change to the texture of the cream. I quite liked that there wasn't a strict method you had to stick with to get results and I actually found myself just leaving it on most of the time anyway, which I assume is the best method!I definitely noticed a difference in my skin after washing it off. My pores looked as though they had shrunken, my skin was smoother, although maybe a little tight (but my skin type - sensitive-isn't listed as a skin type for this product which is greasy/problem/combination, so maybe this is why it felt tight)...but as soon as I piled on the moisturising cream, it was fine. I really liked this, but I had also bought another (Soap & Glory!) product that does a very similar job and I think I prefer it over The Fab Pore...but my final decision about this will probably be made when I come to review the 'other' product!
At £6/$9, it's definitely worth trying to see how your skin reacts to it, and the cream spreads quite a lot so it will last you a long time. Again, I felt the need to make another remark on the packaging, I loved the milky white pot and found it endearing that the Soap & Glory team didn't feel the need to make this in the pink too - like many of the other products. However, because of my current obsession with the brand, I think the all-over pink colour is actually only used when a certain ingredient is used?

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Haute Couture Fall 2010. Part I - Chanel.

Moving swiftly on from the Resort 2011 collections to the Haute Couture Fall 2010 collections...one of my favourites so far - Chanel. I always like what I see from Chanel, but I always feel that the label can be a hit or miss with other people. I guess that if I don't like the clothing, I am always impressed by the overall extravagance and effort put into the actual show. This time, a huge golden lion was center stage with its paw resting on a pearl where the models would come out from...this already made the show 60% good to me!There were strong embellished pieces (always a favourite detail of mine) and even though many were just all-over glossy sequins on simple shapes, the overall styling with the tousled hair and shin-high matching sequined boots was just breathtaking!
The colour palette was pure beauty, with a balanced mix of light and dark tones which made the collection almost non-seasonal - which I think is what Haute Couture should be and is evident in many of the 'old-school' labels who seem to just do what they love regardless of season.I also sensed a nod to the orient such as the embroidered jacquard dress and high neck white and gold embellished dress (but then again the latter is worn by an oriental model!) but it may have started from seeing the golden lion - even though it looks more Narnia than a Chinese Guardian Lion...although, I'm sure there is a Chinese Restaurant called The Golden Lion somewhere?! Anyway, I don't have time to Google it! Nevertheless, I always love to see oriental influences in High Fashion as I don't think there is enough of it!One of my favourite pieces in the collection is this floral embellished cropped garment layered over a dress, with lace peeking through the sheer fabric, I just love it! The matching sequin boots with metal toe caps is also wonderful - the idea of it sounds dreadful, but the actual execution looks so interesting! Admittedly, I didn't warm to the footwear straight away, but they grew on me very quickly!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Twitter.

I didn't think I would ever join, but now I have! I'll be using it to update my followers on new blog posts such as film and book reviews, work in progress, DIY, shopping...also any giveaways I will be doing from my Etsy Shop (I will be doing a lot of them soon!), new Etsy products and anything else I feel is relevant!
Follow nuvonova on Twitter

Monday, 12 July 2010

Beauty Review: Soap & Glory Heel Genius Foot Cream.

It has been incredibly hot in London for the past few weeks so I've been wearing sandals... but because I am so used to wearing socks most of the time, my feet tend to harden around the heel very easily especially as I walk pretty much everywhere and I guess my feet aren't familiar with having such prolonged contact with a hard insole!?!
I had been lathering them in Vaseline before bedtime, and popping some socks on so they can really soak it all up and it works fantastic, my feet are super soft by the morning. However, I really wanted to try something else too (maybe even mixed in with the Vaseline for maximum effect?!) so I had a quick browse on ASOS.com during my lunch hour (the joys of online shopping!) and came across a brand I had never heard of, but definitely looked like my cup of tea - Soap & Glory.I was instantly drawn to the packaging and I don't usually like pink, but this shade was beautiful!! I also loved how the cap was slightly transparent and not solid like the rest of the packaging... it looked very chic! The silver and white text stroked in black is also clear and easy to read. As I browsed the other products, it was clear that this brand definitely had a sense of humour and I even laughed out loud at some of the puns! Anyway, I'll leave that for another blog entry as I actually ended up purchasing several other products by the brand and I will be reviewing them all!
Now, back to Heel Genius...it is amazing! The cream is extremely greasy and sticky which is totally fine if it's doing the job, so you will need to wash your hands after applying (I usually let creams soak into my hands) because you won't be able to cope with its stickiness! I caked my feet with the cream and popped a pair of socks on and the cream did wonders overnight. I just wish I could remember to do this every night as I'm sure I will be further amazed! At only £5/$8, I would definitely consider purchasing this again once it runs out!

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Film Review: Eclipse.

Once again, I have had to put up with the screams from lovesick teenagers at the cinema because I chose to watch the new Twilight film, 'Eclipse', on the day of release! However, I didn't find myself minding it as much as I did when I watched 'New Moon' as I guess that was when the obsession with Edward and in particular Jacob, was at its peak. I actually found the whole experience quite humorous. I was rather impressed by Dakota Fanning's performance as Jane in 'New Moon' but did not feel the same way in 'Eclipse'. I really loved the character in the books, but she isn't being executed as well as she could be. I also thought that her twin brother in the film, Alec, looked a lot like Justin Bieber which I thought was really funny as I'm sure it was another attempt at pleasing the teenagers!The next point I wanted to make (and get out of the way) was the change of character. I hate it when films do this as it spoils the mood of the film and quite frankly, they should have just made more effort in casting the 'right' person in the first place. The character 'Victoria' was originally played by Rachelle Lefevre who I didn't think was suitable at all but I think I would've preferred if they just kept her in the franchise seeing as though she was not that much of an important character. Instead, she was replaced by Bryce Dallas Howard who I was not impressed with either. I think it was her look that put me off the most, which the producers never really got right with the original Victoria either.. I mean, what on earth is she wearing and why is her hair like that. From reading the books, I always imagined Victoria to be so much more attractive and to have more of a presence. I saw her as a Jessica Rabbit and Alice from Resident Evil hybrid - Jessica Rabbit because of her red hair being such a key feature (it should have been longer with irregular curls), and Alice for her strength and courage. The producers of the Twilight franchise completely messed up with the Victoria character.'Eclipse is definitely the most 'romantic' side of the entire story but the film also made it the most amusing for me... most of these parts were entirely done by Jacob such as when he declares his feelings for Bella and forcibly kisses her which provokes Bella to punch him and in turn breaking her hand - which I thought was absolutely hilarious!Then there is a scene where Bella is freezing cold, so Jacob lays with her (because of his abnormal body heat) and he jokes about her taking her clothes off to help warm up, making Edward furious! I thought this scene was probably the funniest yet! The relationship between Jacob and Edward is also quite endearing and Kristen Stewart does a good job portraying Bella's feelings for the two. Going a bit off track but something I just have to mention... I found Kristen Stewart's hairline incredibly distracting, she must be wearing a wig as it looked very weird and I hated the general hair styling! Also, Edward's sideburns seem to be getting more and more Elvis-like!There were many cheesy bits in the film but I was actually OK with this as because of the popularity of the film, I expected a lot of changes would occur because of budget increase...but I'm glad that the general look of the first film had followed through to the others, same with the editing (where scenes are cut off at weird points!!), make-up (vampire skin is supposed to be flawless, but it has never looked flawless to me in Twilight!) and clothes... nothing in particular really stands out. The Twilight Saga is definitely in its own league.
Other points I wanted to make about the film was that it was very long when not much really happened. Basically, Victoria wants to kill Bella because Edward killed her mate James in 'Twilight'...so, she makes up a vampire army to help her do so. However, because Bella is loved by the Cullens and the Wolves, they work together to stop Victoria. So, in between all of this, Bella is torn between Edward and Jacob, but when she kisses Jacob (to ensure he does not get himself killed in the fight as he becomes upset when he finds out Bella and Edward are engaged), she realises that she loves him...but realises that she loves Edward more. This is all the film shows and was not as satisfying as the others. However, I do find myself becoming less critical (honest!) as I am slowly forgetting the details in the books as I read them all over a year ago...so I'm guessing that the final films will be much better as I won't remember enough to be able to compare them to the books.
One last thing...I had mentioned in my previous Twilight film reviews that I wondered if the Twilight vampires bled, as when James is ripped apart, there is no more detail to that. My question was answered in 'Eclipse' where they are like ice or glass...so during the fight at the end, vampire bodies were simply shattered or 'broken'... I thought this was too simple and a lazy concept obviously taken from the fact that their skin was already 'as cold as ice'. However, this interpretation was typical of the film, where action and vampire physiology is probably the least important aspect of the story.
However, despite all the flaws and lazy concepts, I wouldn't have it any different as it is because of this that I find the film so fascinating (even though I love the story purely for the presence of vampires) and will happily watch all the films again and read the books again. If they improved on the make up, the editing, the special effects, then it would make the film become a snazzy Hollywood-esque film which takes away all the essence that makes the story so unique.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

deviantART: *moonywolf

I briefly blogged about the work of Moonywolf in my 'Water' themed entry in January to celebrate my birthday (Aquarius - water). However, her work is so beautiful that I have to show more!
There is something about 'Safe Zone' that I really love but I can't work out what it is... but I guess that's the clever thing with Moonywolf, a lot of her work is incredibly thought provoking! Moonywolf also uses a lot of female characters which is a favourite subject of mine (My Art Collection shows exactly how much!) and I assume this is because I can relate to them.At first sight, I wasn't sure if I liked 'Let's play' but the more I looked at it the more I noticed little things that I found so adorable such as the ear piercings or the plant pot sitting on the ledge of the head. Without the title, I would have seen this as one of her most surreal pieces.'Dance of the Moth' is just a truly beautiful piece of art and it occurred to me that the reason why these are some of my favourites are because they all contain that vibrant blue, this one especially! Blue has always been a consistent 'favourite' colour of mine and I'm pretty certain it started from when I was a child and desperately hated the association of gender with colour! Having said that, I definitely also went through a pink stage!'Be the Bear' is just stunning! As I pondered over the details, my eyes laid on the 'fangs' of the bear and it clicked. If you've been following my blog from the very start, you will know I love anything associated with vampires (which isn't under the influence of Twilight!) so the fangs did it for me. The title also helps explain this piece and the female is 'becoming' the bear...this also reminds me of Final Fantasy (one of my most favourite and most addictive video games!), where your character can morph into something stronger - a skill used when you are up against a hard enemy, or you just want to kill it quickly! It's a lot better than my explanation!! So, as you can see, there are so many positive associations I can make with this piece and things I generally love!

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Resort 2011. Part V.

This entry is solely about the much anticipated Alexander McQueen Resort 2011 collection by new Creative Director, Sarah Burton.My first reaction was that it looked a lot more feminine and commercial (such as the nude and lace dresses which had a much softer edge) in comparison to past collections by Alexander McQueen. However, I didn't see this as a negative point nor did I find the collection boring...instead, I found it quite nostalgic as it reminded me of my favourite elements in the Fall/Winter 2010 collection which I adored.I mostly loved the full-length gowns in brocade prints and blood-red which in regards to the blood-red, also appeared in the Givenchy collection...which still remains my most favourite so far. I don't usually like red (apart from when it's on my nails) but the colour is definitely growing on me now.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Resort 2011. Part IV.

These three dresses from the Vionnet Resort 2011 collection are stunning! I loved the pleated fabric used in the first one, the chocolate coloured slinky dress surprisingly works and the cut-out detail on the last navy one is beautiful. I also thought the use of colour was clever as they're traditionally quite 'day-like' but they looked lovely styled in an evening way.I don't have much to say about the Nina Ricci collection because all you have to do is look at it! It needs no explanation and the garments used here are pretty much the epitome of the brand...pure femininity.I thought the Preen collection was understatedly stunning and the model did the brand a lot of justice. The limited colour palette was beautiful and the slither of sunshine yellow in an off-shoulder maxi dress was just 'wow'!The Miu Miu collection was fun and flirty but it looked more like a Sonia Rykiel and Moschino hybrid collection. Nevertheless, I still liked it and the colour palette was yummy!The cherry blossom pink, monochrome and animal prints all in one collection shouldn't work but it looked fantastic in the Giambattista Valli collection. I thought this was a wonderful move on from the last collection and I just can't wait to see the Spring/Summer 2011 collection!!!