Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Ugly-pretty vs. pure ugly!

I know it's a matter of personal taste but I came across what I believe is the ugliest shoe I've ever seen today and it inspired this post! A lot of the time I love shoes that are clunky and inelegant and could definitely be considered ugly by some people but I like the look of dainty dresses mixed with clunky boots. It's from my punk(ish)days of wearing a tutu with steel toe boots!

Carvela Shout reduced to £59 Debenhams

Carvela Nude Angle shoe £140

dico Copenhagen €197.43 ASOS

ASOS Activate Peep-toe Clog £27

Jeffrey Campbell Tick Stud Office £120

True Grid $234.99

Notch-ural Beauty Boot $174.99 these are amazing aren't they?
However these are just plain UGLY!!!!!
Fornarina Alette- Office £61

Office Marble £32
 I don't know if I was too traumatised as a child by the Wicked Witch of the East's pointy toes sticking out from beneath the hot air balloon in The Wizard of Oz but I just cannot warm to shoes with pointy toes. I like the idea of having petite feet (it's the only vaguely dainty thing about me!) and pointed toes make even the smallest foot look huge! And although I can't wear very high heels, very low heels like on the Office Marble here are just a bit pointless? Am I wrong?

Monday, 23 May 2011

Midi is the new maxi?

I'm not saying the maxi is a no-go anymore, I just like the midi, it's elegant but quirky.
Personally I think the more demure midi length means you can get away with something that may look tacky in a shorter length such as...

ASOS drape midi €44.87 - get some metallics into your wardrobe!

This lovely fifties Reiss dress is a nod to the strong crimson trend predicted for Autumn 2011...

Reiss Leah Frill dress $300

ASOS 50s knitted dress €64.10. This is so cute. Would it hold its shape though?

ASOS Ponti dress, also in orange €64.10

Modcloth B.Jones midi skirt $89.99
I really love leather midi skirts with pleats in light colours, in particular these wide box pleats. There's something very demure and elegant about them but the leather stops them being too twee. And the pleats stop you looking tacky!

ASOS White leather midi skirt €115.38
Whistles grey leather midi €288.45.
If you don't fancy wearing half a cow here's a dusky pink fabric version from Topshop....

Topshop box pleat skirt £40
It's box pleats all the way methinks....

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Stripe heaven

I am addicted to stripes, my preference being white and black. I quite like the Beetlejuice look! Stripes and strong blocks of colour are all over the catwalks for this spring/summer, especially in the Prada and Moschino collections. There's something very chirpy and summery about hot pink with stripes too, I love it with orange or bright green.
Some designer striped offerings...

Fendi Spring Collection leather-look skirt

Prada Spring 2011 stripes, i love the 3rd dress

Moschino Spring 2011

Michale Kors sold-out ladder dress €1,259. Great length

Balmain sequin trousers €3,759!
J.Crew studded jumper €346 I'm still looking for a studding project, don't think I have enough for this but it's a possibility...
ASOS have lots of beautiful striped things. I always gravitate towards black and white, it's more 1960s than other colour combinations and I loves my sixties.

ASOS collarless mac €96 - I want this!

ASOS stripe bow detail jumper €44.75. Cute, no?

ASOS floppy '70s hat €32, also available in orange

ASOS cream &navy Peter Pan collar dress. Isn't this gorgeous? Sculptural detail, peter pan collar but quirky.

ASOS Parka €38.46. Very cute. And let's face it, we do need summer macs.
 Lots of stripes to be seen on the highstreet too, too many to list, Topshop, Mango, H&M, Pull and Bear amongst others....

Stradivarius striped dress €29.95, very seventies, I like..

Topshop multi-stripe top £18

Monsoon Fusion Ellis sequin top £35

I know horizontal stripes are sometimes not a curvy girls's best friend but life's too short to deprive yourself lovely clothes on those grounds surely? Go with vertical stripes or downward V-striped/chevron stripes for an elongating and more complimentary look if you're a little nervous of the horizontal.

Friday, 20 May 2011

I love Biba

I've said before I feel I should have been around in the sixties, I love the music, the clothes, the hair, everything. My second favourite decade would be the 20s, and Biba is a label that perfectly encapsulates the sixties and was influenced heavily by the 20s and art deco period. 
I was really excited to hear that the new re-launched Biba would be available in House of Fraser in Dundrum (and elsewhere!) but I've been really disappointed by almost every item of clothing I've seen there, and anything that did seem to have the spirit of the original Biba was way too expensive to even consider buying! It really disappointed and annoyed me, the original philosophy behind Biba was that interesting design should be available to everyone at affordable prices and to re-launch the label with high prices purely because the iconic name means you can get away with it seems like cheapening something beautiful to me.
 Barbara Hulanicki, the original founder of Biba has distanced herself from the re-launched brand for exactly that reason.
Here are a few pictures from her designs and flagship store in London.....................I have deliberately picked the black and white designs, and those with stripes because I love them best!

The iconic art-deco design. This might be the only logo I'd ever wear on a top

The original London flagship store

Love the spats!

 Barbara Hulanicki designed clothes for girls she described as having the "Dudu" look; ‘fresh little foals with long legs, bright faces and round dolly eyes, postwar babies who had been deprived of nourishing protein in childhood and grew up into beautiful skinny people: a designer's dream. It didn’t take much for them to look outstanding.’ I've also heard that along with an increase in the amount of meat in our diets she feels the contraceptive pill came along and made everyone a little fuller-figured after the sixties. Hmm...

Easy to see how Twiggy and Biba were made to go together!


Twiddy in a "Dudu" pose, very obviously 1920s inspired.
The 2020 take on " Dudu"....more tacky Cleopatra than mysterious 1920s dame
One of the few pieces I like from the re-launched Biba line is this amazing wedding dress...but again this is marketed as a budget wedding dress!!! At £695!!!

Barbara Hulanicki launched a capsule collection in 2009 with Topshop and has just launched her third collection in Asda, staying true to her belief that style should be democratized and affordable for everyone. There are some gorgeous pieces here, I will be popping in on my next trip northwards but the collection can be purchased online here

The retro prints are very cute but the colours are up to date and everything is very wearable, especially love the pink tea-dress, £18.
I'd happily wear a bolder print, my ideal retro dress would be made with the print from Father Ted's bathroom.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Icon investigation

I've been wondering what makes an icon. What makes models from one era have longevity and others fade away? What keeps people intrigued by certain personalities and not by others when both get the same amount of media coverage? Brigitte Bardot was where I started my musings..she is still a large fashion influence today and it can't be just down to her being a buxom blonde, and with her unpleasant racist tendencies it definitely isn't her winning personality or intelligence. Kate Moss is another model with an impressive and unusually long career in the industry but she shies away from the media, we know very little of her opinions and often any information we do learn about her in the media is not flattering. So it just their looks?
Looking at photos of Brigitte Bardot from the 1960s I noted that there are a lot of shots where she is staring at the camera almost as though she was half-wild, wary but self-assured, with a very open but also distrustful stare. Other more provocative poses are much more aggressive than submissive and needy. Both looks are almost feral.
Although there are smiling photos to be found of Ms. Bardot more often than not there is an unsmiling, wary and perhaps defiant pose in every photo, she never appears weak, she does not seem overly concerned at looking beautiful in every shot. For a fashion model or actress that is rather brave, and was maybe a little ground breaking in her time.

Raquel Welch's early shots around her famous bikini-clad appearance in One Million Year's B.C. in 1966 have the same feral wary vs. in heat expressions....! I admit Rachel went down the little clothing and big smiles route after this phase though....

Early shots of Kate Moss are often described as looking vulnerable and innocent but there is still a strength and self-assurance in her eyes as above.

Again, more provocative shots are always strong images, she seems aloof and confident.

I had noted in the past that Ms. Moss NEVER smiles in posed photos, you will see snatched photos of her with friends with a lovely big smile,but posed photos are always unsmiling as above. I do think it's a brave thing for a model but it works! She has maintained a mystery and intrigue about herself that has kept her interesting for two decades in a normally fickle business.
Georgia Jagger, Cara Delevigne and Isabel Lucas have the same blank feral stare/man-eater thing going on, might be a sign of long careers to come!

I read once that Yoko Ono never smiled because her mother had told her that people who smile too much strike others as stupid and weak, they see it as submissive and ingratiating and that in some way you are showing too much of your inner self and becoming too transparent. She (and Posh Spice!) may have taken it to extremes but Ms. Moss shows that you do get more respect, at least in the modelling world, if you keep the toothy grins to a minimum.