Saturday, 30 January 2010

Jamie Bennett: Playful Illustration

When I was a child I hated taking medicine.  It always came in awful flavours, from stickly strawberry to banana....particularly banana.  I hate banana's and everything banana flavoured.  I remember once when I was very young banana medicine made me sick.  I don't remember the conditions, but from then on I refused to take it.  I would fight, kick, scream and eventually be pinned down by at least both of my parents and my Granny.  Often more people would get involved.

This image reminds me of the panic I felt everytime my mom opened that cardboard box and took out the measuring spoon...

In fact, a lot of Jamie Bennett's imagery reminds me of my childhood.  And childhood in general.  There's a playful use of colours, fonts, textures and imagery that sends me back.  I adore it.  It is this that tugs on my heart string rather than her computer illustration.

Make sure you check out Bennett's Sign Painter's Daughter folder.  It tells a sweet little story and I didn't want to post random bits out of sequence.  However, here's some more that might interest you...

Couture Fashion Week: Fashion drama at it's best...

There's nothing better than couture to get a person excited about fashion.  Couture is not really high street, it isn't basic/toned down/simple and chic it is dramatic, exciting and ultra impractical a lot of the time.  I have had a love affair with couture since Dior's 2006 fairytale catwalk and they have remained a firm favourite of mine ever since.

This year I have taken in as much as I can of Couture Fashion of course, sadly I am not important enough to gain an invitation, one day though (a girl can dream)...and decided to do a round up of my favourites.
Chanel, Armani Prive, Gaultier, Givenchy and Dior

From feminine fantasies at Givenchy, all ruffles and feathers, to Amazonian creations as John Paul Gaultier takes inspiration from historical world favourites (think 'pirate' hats and structured cage dresses).  There's such a strong contrast of androgynism (tux's and long length gloves) and feminity (Chanel's 'doll' look) it's hard to not want to try out both.  If you're not Lady Gaga it's unlikely you'll be sporting anything like this come Autumn, but I am fully expecting rails full of silver, the return of the tux, more feathers (yay) and hundreds of riding boots.

Once again Dior has completely stolen my heart.  Top hats, billowing dresses, cerise riding blazers contrasting with metallic skirts....I'm in love.  Just pass me a riding crop.

If I get married (and somehow become amazingly rich) I'll be wearing Dior couture.

My favourite shots from Dior's couture catwalk...

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Eye Candy

I always thought that in serious fashion, such as Vogue, people wouldn't swoon over the male models as I did at Fashion Week this year.  Turns out I was wrong...thank you to Vogue's Twitter-er for making my drooling seem more acceptable.  In fact, a whole Vogue online article is dedicated to the lovely male models in fashion.

It seems this week is built for eye candy...especially with the return of Skins.  Not only does that mean Freddie, but it means Cook as well.  The debate about which is better seems to be at an all time personal opinion?  Freddie.  Anytime.  He may not be such a bad boy on the show (and who doesn't love a bad boy) but I'm sure Luke Pasqualino can be as naughty as the rest of them in real life.

Long live fashion.  Long live Skins.

Oh I almost forget...with nearly bang on 2 hours until Skins Series 4 begins here's a preview to whet your appetite.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Melk Z-Da: Rio Fashion Week A/W 2010/11

I really don't think anyone could moan about Rio Fashion Week...sun, sea, sand and high fashion.  Despite the tragic winter conditions they must have they manage to inspire the likes of us back in snowy/wet England with innovative shapes and use of texture.  Melk Z-Da's catwalk show is my favourite...spikes of fabric and dark, metallic fabrics provide a sharp contrast to the silks, feathers and playful plastics that made up his S/S 2010 collection.

His models almost look like urchins with their 'grubby' metallic faces and short messed up hair, combined with the loose over-sized styles, which sometimes give the impression the clothes weren't originally theirs.  This may sound terrible but believe me it isn't.  Exposed zips, flashes of neon, high volume ruffles and strongly sturctured 'cages' adorn form fitting dresses giving the feminine styles we saw in S/S a harder edge.  Despite the fact I'm not sure some of it would hold any ground off the catwalk (though I'm sure it will adapt itself onto the highstreet) and that some of the more dramatic aspects are things I've seen on our costumes at Design by Janine, I love it.

See for yourself at Brazilian Elle or here...

Friday, 22 January 2010

Fundraising Frenzy

I'm not sure what it is...there must be something in the water...but lots of people I know are fundraising.  My purse will be incredibly sparse if I keep saying things like: Here's ten pounds.  Ohhh and the ten pounds I found on the floor.  It's Christmas seems wrong to keep it myself."

Just between one of my closest friends Philippa (raising money for Help for Heroes) keeping quiet for the whole of Christmas Eve, including a lot of alocohol fuelled antics, and my lovely mother shaving off her head (for Cauldwell Children's Charity) over £1000 has been donated to charities within three weeks.

Walks for Leukaemia Research, dieting for Help for Heroes (pennies for pounds....quiet apt considering my recent diet post) and bike rides for...well I don't know who my stepdad plans to ride for.  All I know is he's planning to cycle the 60 miles from Liverpool to Stone (the bridge between the two offices his company inhabits) to raise money for the charity of his choice.  I better stick my hand in my pockets within the next six months eh...

For now I still have a firm smile...I am very proud of my mother.  Some may say she's brave, some may say she's stupid, I just think she's done a bloody good job raising all that money.  There's still time to donate at Just Giving if you think she's done as well as I do.

"I did something bad."

I am not an angel, my love life is dire at the best of times and I can strop like a small child when I don't get my own way.  I know this.  My friends know this.  I don't then understand really why they listen to a bloody thing I say....Twice within four days I have been told "I did something bad.  Please don't shout at me."

This suggests that I am a fountation of knowledge.  At university a lovely friend would say all too often "you're so wiiise."  With a 'why' to the wise.  I can give out the best advice.  I definitely cannot follow it. 

So, whether you want to confuse a previously platonic relationship or risk dodgy post-relationship awkwardness at work then that's fine.  I've warned you to the best of my abilities.  Yes, you have been bad...but haven't we all.  Just don't forget what Stefenie Meyer wrote...and please forgive me for quoting Twilight!..."love and lust don't always keep the same company."

Dying to Diet

I'm pretty sure everyone I know is on a diet.  It is January after all.  They are scrimping, saving and passing me their leftovers....whilst I sit here on a Friday night with a box of Malteasers and a cup of tea wondering what skimpy outfit to wear for a massive drinking session to celebrate various birthdays in Birmingham.  What I should probably be doing is joining then, dancing to the Pussycat Dolls Workout (which I don't actually own but think maybe I should) rather than to the jazz I'll be attempting to dance to tomorrow night...yes I am going to attempt to be mature, I am going to a jazz bar.

Here is an actual conversation I heard in work this week:

1: Oh I have a really bad headache.
2. Diet headache?
1. Yes.  As always.  I know it's working though.  How's your diet?
2. Well I'm working on around 20 Weight Watchers points a day.
1. 20?! I'm only on 16!  I'm sure you should be eating less than that.

I didn't know if 20 was a lot.  I didn't know how points worked.  I definitely didn't understand a headache being clarification that the dieting is the way to go.  These women are dying to diet.  Starving as much as possible before having their binge day....the day after they've been weighed of course.  This makes no sense.  How about you eat in moderation?  Walk a bit more?  No?  Oh.  Ok.

It seems I have a touch of Jean Kerr to me..."I feel about airplanes the way I feel about diets. It seems to me they are wonderful things for other people to go on."...the only difference is I don't actually mind air travel.

Sunday, 17 January 2010


I love Rachael Yamagata.  She has this wonderful, husky, textured voice that sits alongside the sound of rain, the wind, trees and christ knows what else...her songs range from the hauntingly beautiful (albeit sad!) to the powerfully honest.

Happenstance was regularly on play...but when my external hard drive decided to die (for no reason at all...I was devastated!) I downloaded everything of hers that I could get my hands on.  And then uploaded them onto my iPhone and then sat back and let shuffle take its course.

Apparently I have become a total girl...when Woman played I almost burst into tears.  Girls joke, a lot, about becoming a lesbian.  As odd as this sounds it's true.  When the boy you like doesn't like you back, when your boyfriend is being an idiot and...most importantly...when you break up and lose what you think is the love of your life.  Your best friend.

This song reminds me of that terrible time.  When these things happen you give up for a time and often commit to being a lesbian (for all of five minutes) but after saying it myself in jest I didn't expect to hear it turned into such a sad song.  I immediately forced a friend to listen to it and she agreed that it was heart wrenching, remarking that her husky voice "sounds like she's just that second stopped crying."

It isn't on Happenstance or Elephants (her albums) and so I presume it's from her EP...or at least that's where it's stored in my the video I offer you is tremendously bad.  I urge you to scower the internet and download a decent copy like I did.  Oh...and I should mention it is quite possibly the ultimate break up song so if you aren't in a good place right now it may not be wise.  You'll probably end up on the floor surrounded by massess of Kleenex blubbering "Rachael's got it so right.  That's exactly how I feel!"  Don't do's not healthy.


Saturday, 16 January 2010

DIY Plaits...

After wearing my hair in plaits all summer in a bid to prevent the fact camping prevents the use of straighteners (and being spoken to in Dutch a lot...I am blonde.  I do look a bit like a milkmaid.  I am not Dutch.  Shocking I know!) I am glad to finally see that plaits are back.  Ok this may be a bit belated as they have been 'back' for a while but I should clarify...I am glad that DIY plaits are back.

When reading Vogue's beauty pages every on trend hairstyle 'how to' quoted something along the lines of "it should look like you've done it yourself".  This is marvellous as I DO do it myself.  My plaits are not neat, I cannot do French plaits to save my life (and therefore I am incapable of having plaits run delicately through my hair...across the front or into an up do) and therefore they continuously look a mess.  Like I've done them myself.

Grazia tells me this is all due to Alexander Wang's S/S 2010 catwalk.  Thank you Alexander Wang...with the new short layers permeating my hair I'm pleased to have an excuse when people comment (and they inevitabily do) that I have a bit of hair sticking out jussst there.  "I'm supposed to!  Alexander Wang says so."

The Wang Plait, followed by Hanne Gaby Odiele and Cheryl Cole rocking the look


Monday, 4 January 2010

David Sims

In a bid to clear out the pile of junk that is my laptop I dove through files clicking delete haphazardly.  In doing so I discovered a trend in my images file....David Sims.  As a British genius of fashion photography this is hardly surprising.  I have images stolen from Google, other peoples websites, magazines and books all stored lovingly in 'My Documents'.  I thought it would be a good start to 2010 to share some of these with you.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

What I do remember.

I don't know what it is about graduating but I drink more now than I did whilst at university.  Well no, the thing is I drink less frequently but more when I finally get to it.  I'm sure you know where this is leading to...New Years Eve.

I frequented Bourbon in Leeds, had a lovely time....until it hit midnight and it all went wrong.  I don't remember much.  Apparently we went to another bar when Bourbon closed at two...a "Spanish gay bar", though I'm not sure about that...though I don't remember this at all.  Black holes due to alcohol are bad.  Very bad.

What I do remember:
1. I decided it was fine to go to the boys toilets as the girls had a queue and a very tiny black man told me off.  My defense: "Well you let me in." he didn't, I just walked in.
2. I tried to get someone to pretend to be my boyfriend to make the ugly people chatting me up go away....but he was too drunk to understand me for about 15 minutes and so my plot was foiled.  They went away though.
3. We bumped into an old friend, I got very excited, rambled about her ex-boyfriend (she is not engaged, oh gosh) and introduced her to everyone else five million times
4. We walked home.  My C's arm tossed over my shoulders.  I stumbled up the hill to his flat, fell in, landed on his bed and pretty much passed out.
5. The HIDEOUS hangover that came at 3pm New Years Day....I got away with the morning because I was still drunk.

This isn't me though.  I'm not the girl that strolls into mens toilets and then shouts at tiny black men.  I'm the girl that queues for ages, lets other people that need it more go first and apologise profusely if I feel I have held anybody up.  I'm too old for this drinking milarky, it's clearly bad for me, it makes me lose all sophistication.  Time to be mature and get a proper job maybe?  Definitely.  I'd make it my resolution for 2010 but nobody keeps those!