Thursday, 31 March 2011

on a brief history of hair...and an inevitability

It's been on my mind for a while now. Mainly because I'm lazy. Well partially. It's more of an upkeep thing more than anything. Thing is...I'm a natural blonde. I started bleaching my hair a good 7 years ago...because it seemed like a really awesome idea. Bleached blonde was my go to colour between playing with blues and pinks - namely because it looked great , but it had the fun and cheeky bonus of my roots not actually looking that horrendous when they came back in. Then I decided to go on some weird kick a few years ago. Give my hair a break I said. Let it grow and love it I said. After 2 and a half years of being brunette it's time to go back to my roots (heh.)
The upkeep of being dark is worse than I could have imagined. When I let my hair grow in it looks like I'm going either grey or bald, and if I ever miss bits I've got little blonde wisps kicking around my hair. Not the most powerful of looks. While bleached blonde is by no means my natural colour...I'd like to think of it as a stopping point before going au natural once more. Response among the friend group has been mixed - those who knew me blonde seeming to be in favour of it. Mum's used to the "grown up dark hair"...and also questioned how I was planning on paying for it. My answer....wine and cake my dear, wine and cake.
I've fooled around with hair quite a lot, and though being dark has given it a welcome break from peroxide death, it's long enough that I find I can live with loosing a few inches, and it will act as a baby step to getting back to never having to dye my hair again. A girl can dream. Seriously though......there is only so many intensive conditioning treatments a girl's bank balance can take. I mean I still miss my blue hair (though it was tougher to keep than the dark)...and I definitely had some interesting remarks on it once upon a time. "Blue hair down the barras....you better watch yourself hen..." Thank you random stall holder.
Maybe I'm just nostalgic. Maybe in my head returning to blonde will make me look younger (I'm turning in to one of those people)....but I think mostly I'm actually looking forward to being able to experiment with make up a bit more.
I guess part of me is nervous as not entirely sure my hair will take to it. Any recommendation from going to reddy brunette back to blonde?
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Wednesday, 30 March 2011

on origins brighter by nature moisturiser review

For far too long I'd been using cheap moisturisers...reassuring myself "it's okay...my young skin can totally get away with it." This was of course ignoring the fact I'm a smoker and have pretty much the worst sleeping habits in the world. A few months ago my skin was not in a happy place. I was breaking out, my skin felt greasy one moment, dry the next (way to make myself sound like a stone cold fox right?) but then my love affair with Origins started and everything got a whole lot better. Checks and Balance proved to be a real life saver to my daily routine, so when I ran out of cheap brand less moisturiser, I thought I'd give one of the Origins moisturisers a try. After a wee consultation and a quick evaluation of my bank balance I splurged on Origins Brighter By Nature Moisturiser. At £33 for 50ml I did wince a touch as I entered my pin, but now I can't imagine not using it. I found the moisturiser to be very light and I don't really need much in the morning. Like all Origins products it's got a very light herbal smell - it's one of those things that just smells like it's good for you. It's all cucumber and basil and just feels very fresh. The moisturiser is marketed as being a skin tone corrector - and it's really helped balance out my skin, or maybe I've just found a good match. It feels nice and light while still quenching my skin. With an SPF factor of 35 this guy pretty much has all the bases covered. It's become one of my favourite things - and while I'm still on my eternal search for the perfect skin care routine, this guy is a front runner for best moisturiser.
Any skin care favourites that I should know about ladies?
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Monday, 28 March 2011

on fleet ilya spring time

Fleet Ilya return to form with their stunning spring/summer collecting. Continuing to take their cues from bondage and fetish, Fleet Ilya's leather accessorise are sexy and fun, and the new collection subverts the usual black harnesses in favour of mixing brights and pastels to juxtapose the full body harnesses and belts. The light toffee and bone coloured harnesses are astounding and manage to look like something that could be brought in to any one's wardrobe to add a little bit of an edge without making you look like a prostitute. The waist cincher belts as always are gorgeous and I find myself strangely attracted to the money belt (it's like a bum bag...without being horrendous.) The bags as always are gorgeous - specifically the satchels, though I do have a soft spot for the clutch. What I like most about this collection is the 70's colour palette of coral, peppermint and nude and how well cut everything is. The harnesses and belts don't feel like they are being edgy for edgys sake but are presented as something that could be a wardrobe staple, as with any of these pieces.
I'm not going to pretend any of these guys are within my budget (the money belt clocking in at $255)...but can't really help swooning a bit at everything here. Wonder if I could make a money belt work without looking like a total tourist/loser? Hurm...I smell a challenge.
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Sunday, 27 March 2011

on Svenja Specht

Reality Studio from Onitsuka Tiger on Vimeo.


As a full time voyeurist and part time creep, this video exploring designer Svenja Specht's studio and creative process pretty much appealed to the part of me that loves interior living blogs and reality tv. With her Berlin based label Reality Studio she talks about some of her collaborations, particularly with Onitsuka Tiger. Svenja's work is gorgeous, and her collaborations with artist Jen Ray are brilliant. I'm pretty sure I'm ready to pack up and move to Berlin now.
via Vice
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on steamline vintage inspired luggage


I have all these super grand designs to go on holiday this year. For now it's looking like a beach holiday for a week or two with the sisterling in June. The idea of lying on the beach, going for swims, playing scrabble and drinking sangria sounds pretty idyllic to me at the moment. However I'm not completely adverse to a city break - Rome for gellato maybe? Anyway as a result I've been creeping at luggage porn - aka SteamLine Luggage. They do this gorgeous vintage inspired leather luggage in various sizes and colours and designs. They are broken up in to collections like Aviator, Editor, Stylist,Explorer, Producer, Diplomat etc. All of the collections are very classic, my favourites being the Aviator and Producer collections. The mustard cases from the Aviator collection are gorgeous - and though maybe not as classic as the chocolate or cherry red cases, still manages to feel timeless. The Producer cases with their contrasting leather straps have a more contemporary feel to them and a pin stripe interior to keep everything just very classic. The fact that they come with wheels is a welcome addition, and some of the designs are more lightweight than others - over coming some of the issues with original vintage pieces, so they manage to keep practicality in mind while still creating something beautiful. Pretty sure there guys are the antidote to my usual suitcase anyway.....
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Saturday, 26 March 2011

on how to be a modern gentleman

I didn't think I could love Tom Ford more than I do, but then he had that interview with AnOther magazine with his 5 rules on how to be a modern gentleman.

1. You should put on the best version of yourself when you go out in the world because that is a show of respect to the other people around you.

2. A gentleman today has to work. People who do not work are so boring and are usually bored. You have to be passionate, you have to be engaged and you have to be contributing to the world.

3. Manners are very important and actually knowing when things are appropriate. I always open doors for women, I carry their coat, I make sure that they're walking on the inside of the street. Stand up when people arrive at and leave the dinner table.

4. Don't be pretentious or racist or sexist or judge people by their background.

5. A man should never wear shorts in the city. Flip-flops and shorts in the city are never appropriate. Shorts should only be worn on the tennis court or on the beach.

These rules could pretty much apply to anyone. Oh Mr Ford...you're so wise.
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Thursday, 24 March 2011

on senso dreams

Dear Senso......please continue doing what you're doing. You are completely killing it. It's just the kind of tacky that I love. It's just all leopard print and glitter, it's splendid. Nudging it's way in to that special place in my heart next to things that will break my neck/make me look like a stripper. These 4 are pretty much my favourites from the collection, can't chooose, and hell if I can afford it.
Looking at this collection it's pretty much like 70% of my shoe collection has come together and someone has turned up the hoochie and cranked up the awesome.
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on fable and fury

Tom Waits necklace? Don't mind if I do. Stumbled upon Fable and Fury on etsy, and gadz, I'm pretty much in love. Combining the romanticism of Victorian chic and curiously wayward subjects with modern techniques and materials, Fable & Fury creates unique jewelry and wearable art. It's all cameos and silhouettes. The collection has pretty much something for everyone. I have a particular fondness for the laser cut Lovecraft and Poe necklaces. It's all woodland creatures, pop culture icons and literacy references. It helps that pretty much everything is also under £20. Swoon.
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on high times and corruption

I've pretty much always liked the 1920's. Style wise it's always something I've liked but always found difficult to wear, especially without looking like I was in fancy dress. I suppose that's what's going to be so good about "High Times and Corruption" - I can pretty much dress to the nines (any excuse) and go listen to jazz, pretending I'm far cooler than I actually am. Let's face it, the 1920's were pretty brilliant - they gave us art deco, the surrealist movement, jazz and The Great Gatsby. The hemlines rose, the corsets were cast off and the waist line on dresses dropped. Good times. That's probably why The Candle Lit Club have produced a cheeky wee night called "High Times and Corruption." April 1st, The Grand Central Hotel will be a night to celebrate the bygone age of the roaring 1920s Speakeasies, with live jazz, dancing, a cheeky wee goody bag and a drink on arrival - looks like it's shaping up to be quite a night. Still need an incentive? First 50 people to purchasey a wee ticket get entered in to a prize draw to win an outfit from Saratoga Trunk. My heart, she beats.
It's worth noting that the money raised from this event actually goes towards Glasgow's Old People's Welfare Association - with loneliness, poverty and ill health being an issue, GOPWA do all they can to improve the quality of older people within Glasgow.
Tickets are £15 and available from Ticket Web. The night runs from 7pm-1am so really quite excited to see what The Candle Lit Club have planned for the evening. Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to play The Great Gatsby game, which is firmly filed under things that make my life better.
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Wednesday, 23 March 2011

on the jett dress

I've been a fan of Jett Sweeney's work since I first set eyes on her graduate collection. It was one of those moments for me where I was very much of the mind set..."oh fuck yes." All black and gold and sheepskin and jersey and I pretty much fell in love with the entire thing...but mostly the shoulder piece. Anyway.....skip to the end, last year Jett walked away with Graduate of the Year at the Scottish Fashion Awards (and rightly so) and as part of the prize one of her designs is being released in Marks and Spencers. I say being...in fact the Jett dress (as part of the limited collection) went on sale in Glasgow,Edinburgh & London yesterday. What I love about the "Jett dress" is how it incorporates pretty much everything I love about the graduate collection (black,brass detailing) while still being wearable...and I use that word in the best way. The dress has an almost classic feel about it, while retaining the edge that I enjoy so much in Sweeney's designs. Anyhow.....the dress will be online soon enough if my sources are correct, but if you're in Glasvegas (Argyle Street), Edinburgh(Princess Street) or London (Marble Arch Store) you can pop down and get one of these guys now for 95 of your British.
Photo: Vogue.com
Millinery: William Chambers
Review of Jett's collection here
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Tuesday, 22 March 2011

on guy bourdin

I feel it's pretty sure when it comes to photography, 3 gentlemen reign mighty in my heart. Helmut Newton, Miles Aldridge and the mighty Guy Bourdin.
Guy Bourdin was a french fashion photographer, and was one of the most influential fashion photographers of his age. The protege of Man Ray, Bourdin was crazy talented - Nick Knight, David LaChapelle and Jean Baptise Mondino all citing him as an infleunce. While Bourdin was not known for his charm, his work was iconic. He created surreal sensual narratives that were way before his time - shooting campaigns for Chanel, Versace, Issey Miyake and working for Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.
His work was cinematic - sexual and powerful and drew the viewer in. His highly stylised campaigns were crazy popular and were hotly anticipated within the media. Again - crazy talent. I'm pretty sure I'm all sorts of in love with his work. Now that I'm back in the working world (that pays) Exhibit A and In Between are pretty high on my life of useless shit I want to buy. Subsidise useless shit with life essentials and you get the idea.
Yeah...he's amazing.
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Thursday, 17 March 2011

on givenchy because we knew this was coming

So Betty Paige & Amanda Lear on "For Your Pleasure" are your twin influences hmmm? Wonder how this will play out.
Let's not pretend that I wasn't going to post this. This collection was pretty much made for my soul. Sheer black, panthers.....lots of tiny little panthers. I love the colour palette throughout...the deep blues and golds and greens - makes my hair stand on end. The glasses are pretty gorgeous but it is the tiny little panthers and the sheer that has my heart a singing.

Well played Givenchy, well played.
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Tuesday, 15 March 2011

on torres x pomeroy

Glasgow based Rebecca Torres has teamed up with London artist Saskia Pomeroy to collaborate on a mega sweet collection of images. Like anything Torres...it's all about the colour. These guys are tagged as preview pictures of this collaboration...which can only be a good thing. More of the same? I can't wait.
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Sunday, 13 March 2011

on ten30s ukrainian girl show

I'm not going to lie to you - I'd been crazy excited about Alan of ten30 premiering his new Ukranian Girl collection. Also....fashion photographer I ain't. Point being - after lunch time chats about the concept, seeing wee squatches of fabric and following the Ukrainian girl blog - to see all of ten30's work fully realised in such a unique show was wonderful.
I have to say I was skeptical when I heard The Flying Duck was the venue of choice for the collection launch. It's not really somewhere I associate with fashion (but fuck...what am I saying, neither is the Subby.) Point being...I was really curious as to see how it would play out. Thing is...it worked really well. The audience looked down on the dance floor that would become the stage for one of the most interesting shows I've seen in the last year.
The fashion show was more of a ballet than anything else - the models (all dancers) performing entirely on point to showcase the collection. It felt so natural everything coming together - the eastern European inspired designs, the ballet and the Russian doll inspired make up. Everything just made so much sense and had a nice flow to it. The over all show had an ethereal feel to it - Heather Leigh Murray providing this really powerful dark music to soundtrack the evening.The clothes themselves were amazing. Embroidery and print feature prominently throughout the collection. Lots of silk, lots of wool throughout....pretty sure the stand out piece for me was the black silk trousers with the embroidered detail at the bottom. The silk shift dresses were nice simplistic pieces that have a nice European feel to them - and something about the print and indeed the colour palette makes them the sort of pieces that can make the transition from spring wear to winter wear. Button detailing and peter pan collars added a nice sense of kitsch and a playful edge to the collection. The white and pastel trousers and jackets proved popular with a few people I spoke to (though not my favourites)..I find myself favouring the dark colours and prints...though the white dress with purple embroidered detail was pretty astounding and may lure me from the dark side yet.
Over all I was very impressed by the collection, and the concept of the show as a whole. To see all the different elements drawn together was brilliant. A few people seemed to have mixed feelings about the make-up and the music - but not a bad word about the collection. I love that the show seems to have got such a reaction from people - and rightly so.
FYI you can still vote for Alan at the Scottish Variety Awards here.
Also for nicer fancier pictorials you can check out Grant Alexander's beautiful photography here.
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Saturday, 12 March 2011

on caitlin paxton at the corinthian

Last weekend I was invited along to see Caitlin Paxton's capsule collection at the Corinthian. After seeing her work previously at Che Camille's Vogue Ball, I was looking forward to the chance to see her work up close in a more intimate setting.

The Corinthian certainly is that. As an event space - it seemed like an unusual choice for a fashion show. The whole feel of the set up felt a bit like a challenge in America's Next Top Model. The catwalk for the evening was this high glass table, the girls walking on to with a staircase that pulled out from under it - wearing sunglasses, I was unsure if this was some sort of safety measure due to lighting or an aesthetic choice, but the whole feel felt rather odd.

Thank God then for the clothes. Caitlin Paxton's designs invoke a simple elegance, working with classic cuts with flourishes of unusual details throughout. I had a soft spot for the colour palette throughout - a mixture of black,brown and blue. A nice earthy quality which I find quite comforting - and the sort of pieces that could easily integrate in to any one's year round wardrobe. The garments were finished beautifully and I loved the mix of fabrics going down the runway - leather, silk and wool. The button detailing features prominently within her designs and took otherwise classic pieces and added character. The cut of the dresses wasn't something I was crazy about (this is more personal preference than a critique of the designs) the silk high waisted trousers that went down the catwalk stole my heart. Black and gold colour combo? Colour me sold.
Overall the evening did have a very weird feel to it - and this had more to do with the set up than anything else. The collection was wonderful, although I would have liked if there has been a bit more fluidity to the show. There was no real formal announcement, just loud music and girls walking on the table. I feel that the clothes deserved more focus, and while there is merit in using different locations, it didn't seem to work to it's advantage hear. I can't wait to see more of Paxton's work and look forward to seeing more of her collection soon.
Caitlin Paxton's site is now open for business btw. Deff work a shifty on a Saturday afternoon.
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Tuesday, 8 March 2011

on asking alice

It's no secret that I have a strong connection to Lewis Carrol's Alice in Wonderland. As a self proclaimed English geek I loved Carrol's manipulation of language and nonsense words in Wonderland, and his math play in Through the Looking Glass. Victorian children's literature always struck a chord with me - it was just so poetic and had this intrinsic sense of wimsy. My relationship with Alice has developed in to my copy of Wonderland falling apart at the seams - and a half Alice in Wonderland sleeve on my left arm.

You might ask why I'm waxing lyrical about Alice on a Tuesday (when really I should be making pancakes) but the truth is - I'm just really looking forward to the Scottish Ballet's rendition of Alice. Like...more than you can believe. Alice will be touring all over Scotland (read Glasgow,Edinburgh,Aberdeen and Inverness)...with a cheeky stint in Cardiff and safe to say this contemporary take on the classic fairy tale looks like it's going to be breathtaking. Alice tumbles through a camera lens and ends up meeting all these fantastical characters - and she has to rely on her wits to escape Wonderland. No doubt the costumes will be fantastic, like all of Scottish Ballet's productions.

To commemorate the release of Alice - the Scottish Ballet are having a photography competition, and my super talented friend Levi Macdonald (you may have seen her work in Indicate or Urban Outfitters) has placed in an entry. All bias aside - her entry is beautiful and you couldn't find a more deserving winner.If you think Levi is as talented as I do (and you do) you can vote by following these easy steps
-Like Scottish Ballet's Facebook Page
-Like Levi Macdonald's picture in the photography competition album.

It's pretty much the right thing to do.
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Monday, 7 March 2011

on origins drink up overnight mask review

Origins seems to be something of a cult brand among beauty bloggers - yet with it's premium pricing and with a few brand loyalties already in place, it wasn't really a brand that I'd experimented with until recently. The wonderful Laura at the Origins counter hooked me up with some samples just before the festival kicked off, and I have to say I'm a convert. The one saving grace through the long days and late nights had to be the Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask. February was the month I pretty much put my skin through hell and this overnight moisturising mask was a god send. I'd wash my make up off at the end of a night (or god forbid use a face wipe) and my skin would just feel really tight - so this guy seemed like a good shout. The mask itself has a gel like texture - and I suppose if you don't like scents in your products it's not for you. It's got a really nice natural fruity scent of apricots and feels really fresh and nourishing going on to your skin. My skin the next day would be noticeably softer and I could near enough pass as a normal human being. I used it twice a week during the fortnight of festival madness and it prevented my skin from descending in to fresh hell.
That said - the formula is a bit rich. I found if I used it more I would break out. I think when operating at normal capacity this is a nice weekly treat for the skin. At £20 for 100ml it's a bit more than I'd usually spend on a weekly treatment yet the results are visible and it does smell amazing. I think this might be something that could sneak in to my regular beauty buys quite easily.
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Friday, 4 March 2011

on starry nights and being predictable

I know that the Brightness Dawn Collection from Setareh Mohtarez is old hat (we're talking 2009, almost a life time ago) but I'm not quite ready to give up on galaxy print just yet. Tie dye galaxy is definitely a look that I'd quite like to be a wardrobe staple...and the use of colour within this collection is amazing. It's all smoke,stars and clouds - and I'm very much all right with this.

I thought this weekend I'd be going in to some kind of hibernation and testing out all my origins goodies, but looks like it's going to be a busy one yet again. Can't say I'm not looking forward to it.
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