Monday, 22 February 2010

Kneesocks and Neon: the Hadouken Look




So, there's a new band on the block-Hadouken!- named after a Japanese fighting game, whose music I'm really beginning to like. They kind of sound as if someone put Dizzee Rascal, The Klaxons, and The Clash into some giant cosmic blender and tried to make a syrupy, neon Magarita mix out of the resulting mess.

But their style is also catching my eye - it's a bratty club kid look that mixes a bit of rock and bit of rave. There's a lot of neon, graphic prints, studded belts and hoodies. To be honest, it actually all looks a bit like my sixth-form common room, so perhaps its just making me nostalgic! My style is a bit beyond all this now I'm officially a *responsible homeowner*, but it still intrigues me.

I'm going to see them live next month, and my money's kind of on it being a sweaty, garish rave up full of 16 year olds wearing plastic bangles, asymmetric fringes and 'ironic' prints, but I've decided I'm going to see it as a styling challenge and embrace it for this occaision only. Already planning the outfit and embracing my inner teenager:

So I'm thinking...kneesocks, neon plastic, Casios, coral lips and tshirt dresses....but am I brave enough to pull it off?
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Sunday, 21 February 2010

The Devil Wears Primark




Ok, a while ago I promised myself I would stop shopping at Primark.

I suppose part of me feels I'm a little bit over it. I was one of the first to get into the place back in my student days, before it was occupying every high street in the country.

We didn't even have one in my home town, and it was only when a uni friend forced me into what looked like the equivalent of Bon Marche (and I discovered hidden treasures in amongst all the old lady-wear) that I became an addict.

Primark
pretty much clothed me for the next years of my degree, feeding my desire for fast fashion and new outfits every time I went out while miraculously working within my student budget.

It was our little secret, and we referred to it rather snobbishly as 'PK London'. Then it kind of took off and took over the country and the secret was out.

But lately, I've grown tired of it and had actually stayed away for almost six months. I just didn't like the way that certain prints and styles scream 'Primarni, dah-ling!'.

 I want better quality from my clothes these days as well, and I absolutely do not deal well with the scrum of people and jumble-sale atmosphere, so I have to go literally at first opening when most shoppers are still in bed, much like H&M.

But recently in town, killing some time, I ended up having a scout around and actually came away with a few pieces I couldn't resist at the price they were.

The crowning glory was these shoes!If you're anything like me, pictures of shoes never fail to cheer you up, so here goes:

They're black leather with a slight pewter sheen and are covered all over with fierce little metal spikes, with a central zip for added punk princess appeal. Very RiRi on the rampage, I thought. I just loved them and had to break my Primarni hiatus for them.

Only thing is, I think they already look a bit last-season now that the shops are full of the girly, floral spring collections. But the weather outside is still decidedly 'last season' so I guess my wardrobe will be for a while too!

Still trying to come to terms with next season's looks and girly, floral, ruffles and lace are not really my bag at all, so it'll be interesting working out how to make next season my own.

Or my bank manager may be intensely relieved if I don't work it out and we have a repeat of the 'Summer of Boho' when everyone and their pug wanted to look like Sienna Miller and I pretty much didn't shop for three seasons until all the horrible hippy-ness was over. Not my thing at all! We'll have to see how it works out this time.
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OOTN: Totally Gaga

Last week,  I mentioned that I was putting together a costume for a fancy dress party I was going to.

Now, the words 'fancy dress' are like aural Marmite - some people want to run away and hide behind the sofa and some relish the challenge.

Being a closet exhibitionist, I obviously quite like them. But when my friend Kerry decided her birthday party was going to be costumed, I really didn't know what to go for, especially since there was no set 'theme'.

I did toy with the idea of Marie-Antoinette, but I decided if I was to do that, I'd really want to push the boat out and get a top-notch costume and those powdered wigs are awfully expensive, you know.

The timing of the party wasn't great as it was back in January (hence bone-achingly cold) and right before the payday after Christmas, so I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a costume I'd only wear once.

I decided to do a straw poll of the office, and someone said 'Lady Gaga'.

At first I dismissed the idea as too complicated, but then it grew on me - I am a fan of Gaga and I kind of hoped her outrageous dress sense might give me some confidence to go with it.

Now, it's an odd tribute to dress up as her because we know she doesn't like people copying her look, and to be fair most of the more outlandish 'Haus of Gaga' stuff is pretty impossible to copy anyway.

 I looked into the idea a little bit (lots of studious Google-ing of crazy Gaga outfits, which was fun) and found there was one look I could replicate without actually spending a fortune. In the end it was quite easy and cost-effective.

On the night, I definitely found myself adopting some of her diva-like, 'I am an artiste' attitude, especially when one of my friends sat there repeating "....but you actually look famous!' in wonderment.

It was a good night and probably the only place in the world apart from a Living TV seance you could have seen John Lennon dancing with Gaga and Batman.

Hope you like the outfit! xx

Black satin leotard - Leg Avenue (originally part of a bunny girl outfit!), black patent waist belt with rope detail - Primark, Black snood - American Apparel, Black costume elbow gloves - Aunty Dolly's Theatrical Shop, black fishnet tights (not v. visible on photo, but they were there!) - H&M, Long blonde wig with fringe - eBay, Geometric shades - Rainbow Retro, Fuschia lips - Vital Radiance in 'Watermelon', Silver ankle strap peep-toe stilettos (not visible) - Ella.
The real deal - pictures I based my outfit on!
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Freeze: Five Ways to Winterproof Your Office Look






Just when we thought it was all over....

I woke up this morning to a surprise covering of snow, making Sunday morning seem rather like a movie set. It snowed heavily here in January, and I thought we were pretty much over the worst, but apparently I was wrong.

I've been thinking a lot about the satorial dilemmas snow causes. You have the choice of staying warm and forsaking any kind of style in favour of comfort or toughing it out.

Now, I know that for any fashion-lover, 'beauty is pain' and all that nonsense. But when I'm dragging my ass to work on a freezing Monday morning, that all seems to go out the window for me and I end up looking as though my style icon is the Michelin man!

I've found it particularly hard to combine the categories of 'warm', 'stylish' and 'work-appropriate'. It just seems like an impossible task.

I've been scouring the web, magazines, and my favourite style blogs for some hints about how to create an outfit which ticks all of those boxes, but advice has been thin on the ground.

But somehow, I managed to find some inspiration in the least likely of places - The Daily Mail. If you are not familiar with this publication, it's an English newspaper frequently mocked for its 'little England' views on things (Royals are a big yes, immigrants a big no, etc).

So it's not the first place you'd think decent styling would be found, unless you have a particular passion for Boden. In which case, please leave this blog. NOW.

However, I was pleasantly surprised by the above images. Ok, some of them are a little 'older'
than me or the model, but there's a lot of plus points going on there.

The outfits look smart and professional, and I am a massive fan of the nudes-and-navy palette they've used. I especially love the first outfit, with the nipped-in blazer and 7/8ths trousers.

For each outfit, they show how you can change up the accessories to make it warm enough to actually go outdoors in, then presto change-o, you slip on a pair of heels and you've got an office outfit. It just goes to show how fashion inspiration can come from the unlikeliest of sources.
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