Monday, 29 April 2013

Scottish Ballet present Matthew Bournes Highland Fling

I don't know what I thought Scottish Ballet's new production "Highland Fling" was going to be like. I expected there to be a lot of tartan (there was), I expected it to be beautifully danced (ditto that) and I expected the set design to be gorgeous (mischeif managed guys, it was flawless.)  What I wasn't expecting was it to be as sexy, cool or indeed as funny as it was.

That said Scottish Ballet have never been ones afraid to push boundaries and experiment, and with Matthew Borne (known for his gender bending take on Swan Lake) at the helm there was no room for their modern adaptation of La Sylphide to be anything other than amazing. With a gritty punk rock sensibility Highland Fling manages to be funny, dark, romantic and tragic - all in under 90 minutes. And when it comes down to it, that's the only critique I can think of Highland Fling. I wish it was longer.

From the kitschy tartan backdrop to the grungy abandoned car lot - Highland Fling brings humour, passion and sheer emotion to every scene. It's entirely captivating. If there was ever any ballet to introduce a naysayer to this would be it. In fact this is the perfect introduction to ballet for anyone who still holds the horridly outdated misconceptions that ballet is stuffy/old-fashioned.  Or anyone really. The dancers were on form, Lez Brotherston's set and costumes were fantastic and Bourne's take on the classic tale was just everything I want from a ballet - or any night out really.

You can catch Highland Fling for yourself

Theatre Royal- Saturday 27th April - Saturday 4th May

Eden Court -Thursday 9th - 11 May

His Majesty's Theatre 16th-18th May

Festival Theatre - 22-25th May

Head's up - if you're under 26, a full time student or unwaged you can also score yourself some tickets for £10. Take full advantage while you can. A show not to be missed!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Silk and lace deliciousness from Scottish lingerie designer Gilda and Pearl

It is my belief that every fashion lover has their vice. For some it's handbags, other shoes - I've known ladies with an excess of 50 dresses, but for me? I am ALL up in the lingerie. There has been weeks where I've had to get real imaginative with cupboard food because I may have bought a new set that I couldn't quite afford. Responsible? No. Worth it? HELL YES. I regret nothing. So it should come as no suprise that Gilda and & Pearl have been on my radar for the longest time.

Crafted and designed in Scotland by the immensely talented Diane Houston, Gilda & Pearl's designs ooze sensuality. From floaty flirty baby dolls to full on sex kitten bralets I've been in love with her designs for a while, but alas they have always stopped short of my sizing. Most of her bras from previous collections came in S/M/L sizing and I pretty much lack the confidence to go for anything that isn't under wired and prevent me from blackening my eyes when I do anything other than a moderate walk (joking/not joking.)

However it has come to my attention that her latest dreamy creamy S/S line features Gilda & Pearl classic 'How to Marry a Millionaire' up to an F cup (she has previously done F cups with Love Letters but thrilled to see more.) HALLEYLOO. The collection as a whole is beautiful - loads of soft colour - loads of lace and silk. It's very light and ethereal without loosing any sexuality. Gilda & Pearl are handmade to order so to find out that they can make to size and change colours is an utter dream. Highlights for me from the collection have to be the peachy keen Bonbon silk kimono (£179) and the How to Marry a Millionaire (naturally) bra (£69) with bow knickers (£42.) Not a collection if you're looking for something on a budget but perfect if looking to treat yourself. Love the new S/S lingerie and really hope to see more of her lines by made bigger bust friendly (Lila and Harlow maybe? Hope hope wish wish.)

Gilda & Pearl could quite easily become one of my favourite lingerie brands fairly quickly (and could just as quickly see me very very broke.) Def one to check out for all you lingerie lovers!

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Swap Shops and Clothes Swaps

Real talk time. Who hasn't stood in front of their wardrobe and despaired? I have more clothes than is sensible for any one person to have yet frequently find myself freaking out and thinking I have nothing to wear.  We've seen the rise of Clothes Swap nights, sites like Girl Meets Dress and shops trading in on the idea of "swapping" (H&M want you to trade in a bad of unwanted clothes for £5 off when you spend £30.)  This isn't anything particularly new. I grew up (and continue to) pilfer bits and pieces from my friends and sisters wardrobe like some weird fashion magpie but the internet has made it easier than ever. But do we really want to share our clothes with strangers?

Short answer - maybe. While there is still some stigma about shopping in charity shops (and for some people even the thought of vintage gives them the creeps) the actual swap factor seems like a more human and a more palatable way to expand your wardrobe. Clothes swap nights are all over the shop (I'm dying to go to one soon, but this is also down to me being a nosey parker and wanting a deek in other folks wardrobes and charity Playbusters recently opened their Swap Shop on Duke Street last week and invites you to bring in your old (but good quality pieces) to swap in their store.

I can't wait to find a wee Thursday or Friday to creep down - hoping I can find something fancy for my holidays or maybe for a night out, and def seems like a much better alternative to heading down to Toppers and dropping some dollah! It's a wonderful initiative to make sure we don't waste what we have.

Simply Swap is located on 439 Duke Street in Glasgow's East End Thursday's 9.30 till 5.30 and Fridays  9.30 till 3. TAKE THEE TO THE SWAP SHOP.

NB: Also you Glasgow lovelies reading this Saturday night/Sunday morning I'll be at Granny Would Be Proud at Hillhead Bookclub Sunday 21st of April (tomorrow) selling some vintage and other treats all under £5. JUST SAYIN'.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Obscure Couture present Fake Believe

Obscure Couture is the kind of label that seems to tab in to your subconscious and deliver exactly what you didn't know you wanted. High fantasy, frothy, uber-fem deliciousness characterises their latest RTW collection 'Fake Believe.'  Fringe, frills and fantasy dominate this fairy tale inspired collection seeing the Obscurites teaming with local artist Snookie Mono and hair Queen Hair for Heroes to deliver a super girly, fun and light hearted collection. Large tulle skirts, pastel and rainbow bright paneled leggings and splattered slogan t-shirts ('I Flew Here on My Unicorn' is a firm favourite) dominate this collection which is big on fun and wear-ability without sacrificing style. Snookie's illustrations are gorgeous and fit perfectly with Obscure Couture's off-kilter fantasy vibe. It feels like a complete face heel turn after the darkly decadent "Lithium Party" instead going for a softer and lighter approach for their latest collection. Naturally I'm all in about it.

The Xanthro silver biker jacket with rainbow fringing (£190) is a stand out and I'm DYING for one of the tutus.  With each collection Obscure Couture continue to show me why they are one of the most exciting young brands working within Scotland, and have made me even more excited about the launch of their latest couture line at Nightwalk. Now where did I park my unicorn?

Saturday, 6 April 2013

OOTD Needs More Cats

 Top c/o Skip N' Whistle, Cropped trousers - Matalan, Necklace - Forever21, Watch -  Casio, Bag - New Look, Shoes c/o Barratts, Sunglasses - c/o wishful optimism

I've been out of commission for the past week - working from home and sustaining myself mostly on cola flavoured eyes poles and strepsils. The silver lining to this is that I was also in when a sweet little package from stateside landed on my doorstep.

I'm a self confessed crazy cat lady (despite you now, not having any cats) so it should come as no suprise to anyone that I totally fell in LOVE with Skip N' Whistle.  It was literally HUNNERS of super cute screen printed jumpers and tank tops. Heavily featuring cats. That said the light great giant cat face jumper was my utter favourite. I can already see it featuring heavily in my forever part of my wardrobe. For now though it served pretty well in to my first foray in to the outside world in a week. It's super comfy and now that the snow has finally decided to bugger off it won't be hiding behind massive coats either.

I've been having a bit of a style rut at the moment (you know those days where you just stare at your wardrobe and think I have nothing to wear? I know I know, a full on case of 'First World Problems') and can't really find anything in the shops I like so being sent something that speaks to me on a fundamental level (CATS) and gives me something new to play with def feels like it's given me a big old sartorial boost.

My wee Skip N' Whistle jumper is available for $29 (which is just under £19) with free postage on orders over $50. HOLLA. Even after that still cheaper than Toppers (also bonus points for no customs charges.)  Def worth creeping out for your kitty cat fix.

Skip N' Whistle on facebook
Skip N' Whistle on le twitter

Friday, 5 April 2013

Glitter, gradients and pups - DIY Nails gives us ALL the chat

I've been a long time fan of DIY Nails - headed by the uber talented Tammy Koslowski. She designed the nails for ITCOW's last show (and our fashion film), has done collaborations with some of my favourite Scottish designers including Rebecca Torres, Isolated Heroes and Bonnie Bling and gurl only went and did my nails all fancy for the Glasgow Film Festival Opening Gala. It was about me and Tammy got some REAL TALK on the go and I found out more about the lady behind the falsies.

First things first - how did you come up with DIY Nails? Give me the full low down of how you went from doing your own nails to full blown nail entrepreneur? 
I've always loved painting my nails and when a friend bought me a nail pen I couldn't stop using it! I did leopard print on my nails in all different colour ways for about a year and then when I saw how huge the nail art community was on tumblr, I decided to start my own blog documenting my own attempts and re-blogging inspiring designs (looking back, my nails were so horrible and messy!). The ball just kept on rolling from there I suppose, friends wanted me to do their nails, then friends of friends/people I knew from my blog so I started painting nails at vintage fairs at the weekends and then scored a wee spot in a local boutique. A lot of girls wanted their nails done that weren't close by so I painted false nails and sold them online and the rest is DIY Nails history haha. I never intended it to be anything other than a way to put my pictures on the internet but I guess it just all happened at the right time and I'm so happy at how it's turned out. I've been so lucky getting to work on photo shoot sand meet other creatives, plus I get to talk about nails pretty much all the time, which suits me.

You are all up in the collaborations - why do you think that indie designers are all about the nails?

Well nails are so hot right now! I think most creative girls love having their nails done and it's something that people will always notice, I don't know about you but I'm always like "I LOVE YOUR NAILS!" "What's that on your nails?" and most people I know are the same. People use their hands a lot and it's the only beauty treatment your really get to see on yourself without a mirror! I also think it's a great way for indie designers to branch out to people who may not know about their brand or offer something of theirs at a cheaper price point.

Where do you find your inspiration?

On photo shoots I usually pay attention to what's going on with the makeup and styling, my nails are never really over the top or fussy (unless that's in the brief), I like them to compliment everything and look effortless. Plus, up in Scotland, using nail art on shoots or for shows is still a bit risky/extravagant for clients so you want to prove that you're there to tie everything in and make sure every part of the model is as gorgeous as she is! As for my online store, my inspiration just comes from my customers and my friends. I know what colour combinations they like, I know they like buying simple sets of nails that they can still customise and I listen to all their ideas. Pretty boring I guess.

You've been releasing some GORGE decals at the mo. Spill - what exactly are decals. Are they easy to apply?

Decals are essentially just water transfers. They're a bit fiddly in the sense that you have to cut round them, soak them in water and slide them off backing paper before you apply them but once you've done it once it's super easy! I think they're great, I used to use a lot of decals before I even put a nail pen to my nails! I used to have Disney characters all over my fingers and toes.

Any favourite nail design? Upcoming trends a sista should be watching out for?
There's too many to even think about, I think everyones favourite will always be the glitter gradient. It's o easy to do, you don't have to be neat and it always looks great! As for trends, nail art is MASSIVE, a whole host of different people could tell you different trends to look out for. Textured polishes are really big right now, I love Illamasqua's speckled nail polishes. I don't like getting too caught up in trends.

What piece of kit could you not live without?

I think anyone who does nail art will say the same, Seche Vite topcoat. I also couldn't live without CND's Solar Oil. Cuticle oil is an absolute essential is you want healthy nails.

Top tips for those fine fresh fierce folk who want to start their own business?

My biggest piece of advice would be to make sure you start a business doing something you love. No matter what you do, your passion will shine through and that's essentially what draws people to you and what you're doing. People smell a moneymaker a mile off. I also think, in your first year, you should say yes to everything. People tell me I let other people walk all over me when it comes to doing free work, but if I hadn't have done those free jobs I wouldn't have me the people who got me all the work I do now. And always be nice and polite! And if you're in Scotland make sure you utilise all the amazing help we have on offer here, there are so many organisations willing to help young people in business out. I would have given up a long time ago if it wasn't for PSYBT or Business Gateway.

Any super hot projects you're working on just now you can share with us ;) (obviously in LOVE with your Bad Blood collab. Full on swoon. I would like some rappers on my nails too please.)

The Bad Blood collaboration will be ongoing, we have come up with too many amazing ideas!! (When I say we, I mean Nick!) And as for super hot projects, I have a few up my sleeve. DIY Nails will be changing over the summer, not completely but I'm working on something a bit different for my website and for events, gotta keep it fresh! I always know it's time to move on when I see other companies doing similar things so I'm starting a new chapter, kind of. And then there's the ongoing struggle of trying to get my products manufactured but that's a whole other story!

Favourite nail artists? 
Again, too many. I could sit here for hours. So my two ultimates are Madeline Poole because she makes the most simple designs look fresh, unique and really expensive. And obviously, Sophy Robson, because she is the ultimate nail queen and paved the way for all the other nail artists you see today.

And now for my favourite part - the QUICK FIRE ROUND.

Falsies or Natural: 
Both!! Falsies if you like to change it up but if you've got beautiful natural nails then don't hide 'em!

Stiletto tips or Square:
Going to be awkward and say almond.

Long or short:

Tupac or Biggie:
I might be working with Bad Blood but do I really look like I like rap music? Hahaha! Tupac

Sloths or Sugar Gliders:

Harry Potter or LOTR:
Harry Potter obvz

Teacakes or Caramel Wafers:

Sophy Robson or Wah!: 
They are both super inspirational and do completely different things! Although Sophy has Nail Porn and pioneered designer nail art, Sharmadean Reid has set up an amazing brand that's brought it to the high street.

You can hook yourself up with some sweet falsies or decals by visiting DIY Nails and get all the latest from her collaborations and generally be an internet creep by following on facebook. 
You'll no doubt find me creeping on either of those sites either liking the shit out of everything or filling my virtual basket to the brim with delicious nail goodness! Thanks again Tammy!

All pics c/o DIY Nails.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Jane Gowans Serves Nautical Deliciousness

Dundee based jeweller and Drapers award finalist Jane Gowans is a bit of a favourite around here, and when her new collection 'Captain' dropped in to my inbox a few months ago it's safe to say my expectation were high. Sky rocket high. Gowans does not disapoint.

Truthfully when I first heard the designs were nautical inspired I was a bit apprehensive. Nautical is a straight out classic trend that never really goes away and I was curious to see how Gowans would adapt this trend with her signature style without feeling cliched. I didn't have to worry though as she tackles it with her usual finesse creating a 10 piece collection that feels both modern and timeless. All the nods to the nautical trend are here with beautifully woven rope, knots and compass points making their way throughout the collection. It still feels pretty fresh and they have this really delicate elegance about them which you can bet your bottom dollar I am all up in.

'Captain' is inspired by a picture Gowan's found of her Grandfather in his naval uniform and this collection does feel very personal and has a more classical feel to it's designs. Here more than ever do I feel her work transcends generations (as in I can picture me, my wee mammy and my wee grandmum would happily wear any of the pieces from this collection) which is no mean feat. The designs come in both polished gold vermeil and silver (but why do silver when you can have gold daaaahling) and I find it hard to find a piece I don't like. The easy favorite however for me is the Liberty Bracelet (clocking in at £186 if you want it in gold, just so you know.) It's simple, unusual and I want it on my arm as of yesterday.

Gowan's designs can be built up and wear several pieces at once but really I think these guys pretty much stand alone perfectly on their own.  It's a very restrained and personal effort from Gowan's and it really pays off.  The designs feel more mature and yes commercial (though the two don't necesarily go hand in hand) and as a result she has a very beautiful collection that won't age.

If you're looking to invest in jewellery by a talented up and coming jeweler you could do far worse than Gowans. As her talents as a jeweler continue to evolve she continues to surprise and delight me with her wearable contemporary designs. 

Jane Gowan's 'Captain' collection is available now from her online shop for all your purchasing needs.
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