Saturday, 28 May 2011

Fictional Book Characters, Inspirational and Fashionable

Most of these books are books that I read a while ago so they are either children's books or (the ones that I read more recently) teen books.

Penelope Hayes , The Luxe series
The books might be set over a hundred years ago and Penelope is evil but there is no denying that this girl has style. From the big red dress featured on the front cover of Rumours, the second book in the series to the Louis Vuitton suitcase mentioned. The above look would belong to a modern day Penelope Hayes. It is sexy and chic and the attention to detail is beautiful.

Shannon, Ginger Snaps
Again, not a particularly nice character but she is described as trendy. She reads Now magazine and and the way she looks means a lot to her. I can imagine that she tends to go for safe style and likes to fit in so jeans and a high street designer top is probably the sort of thing she will wear often. As she cares about her appearance a lot she probably pays close attention to her makeup.
Rochelle Diamond, Diamond Girls
Rochelle is only twelve and she is described as a bit of a bimbo and although I read this book ages ago I can remember the fact that she has pink, fluffy rubber gloves and long nails. This dress and shoes show simple but pretty and slightly formal style. She is not very rich but I can imagine her being the sort of person who wears marginally formal clothes for everyday events.

Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird
For many millions of people, Atticus Finch is the world's most inspirational book character. He has inspired hundreds of lawyers in the 1960s and early 1970s to fight for black people even if there was still the threat of violent abuse and in some cases, death. Most people wouldn't consider Atticus as a style icon in anyway but I thought I would display an office outfit that would be ideal for a lawyer to wear.

Hermione Granger, the Harry Potter series
Hermione might not be the main character in the books however, she saves Harry a lot of times. She always seems to handle every situation with smarts, style and a little bit of magic! In the bottom left picture Hermione wears a brown coat. I found a similar one from none other than Burberry, the brand which actress Emma Watson has modelled for.
Violet Baudelaire, A Series of Unfortunate Events
Violet is in many ways similar to Hermione as they are both intelligent and have to use their intelligence to get out of tricky situations. This series is set in the Victorian era however, I have adapted a couple of outfits to the sort of thing that people may wear today.

Alice Kingsley, Alice in Wonderland
The blue dress worn by this character is now synonymous with her name. She is loved globally, although the book was banned in China in 1931 as it gives animals the power to speak. After the new film was brought out last March the country went mad for Alice in Wonderland style. I bought about three magazines that month and every single one of them featured Alice-a-like looks.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Fashionable Films

The September Issue - this is not really a film. It would be more aptly described as a documentary. However, this is definitely a key feature of the must-have kit for anyone who would like to work for in almost any aspect of Vogue magazine. It takes you on a journey through the process of putting together an issue of the world renowned style mag. It also gives you an insightful look into the lives of the editor in chief, Anna Wintour and other people that are very high up in their work for both the magazine and the industry.

Sex and the City - this film is world renowned for its style. The chief costume designer, Patricia Field has made a name for herself throughout the TV series and the two movies. She ensures that the clothes play almost as much of a part in the film's creation as the actors and actresses do.

Clueless- although I only started nursery school in the UK in the late nineties I have heard from Americans who are about a decade older than myself and they say that the film truly does represent American high school in the 1990s very well. The style is a bit dated now but it is sure to come back as all old trends do. Look out for over the knee socks and tartan mini skirts in the future!

500 Days of Summer - Zooey Deschanel's costumes in this film are beautiful. They match her characters bubbly, laid-back personality. They definitely represent her characters name, Summer, as there is no lack in cute florals and vintage dresses.

Coco Before Chanel- I have mentioned this film in previous posts but it is after all my second favourite film of all time (you will discover my first favourite soon.) The film is in French but don't let this put you off as the subtitles are clear and easy to read. If you are practising French (like myself) then it is great to try and pick out some words. It really takes you on Chanel's journey from under-privileged orphan to a world renowned designer of a luxury fashion label. I learnt Chanel's rags to riches tale through this film. I learnt everything about Chanel from this film. Before I watched it I wasn't even sure what the label's logo was.

The Devil Wears Prada- This is my third favourite film and that is because it gives you an insight into the creation of a fashion magazine but it is highly entertaining at the same time. Unlike The September Issue it is more of a fictional work based on the best-selling book by an ex-assistant of Anna Wintour, herself.

Grease- I told you that you would find out soon! This is my favourite film of all time. I LOVE it! The whole film is about style really. It is about how you dress and how people judge you because of that. We see Sandy's transformation from the sweet girl next door type who wears long pastel dresses to sexy in her unforgettable black leggings. The T-Birds wear leather jackets and tight trousers which were classic rock and roll staples.

In Her Shoes- this film shows two sisters who are constantly arguing over their differences as one is a sexy party animal whilst the other is a preppy workaholic. However, the latter has a huge collection of shoes but never finds the right occasion to wear them. This film is moving and it shows how even the biggest differences between sisters can be resumed through a bit of family love. Aww...

The Confessions of a Shopaholic- this film is hilariously funny but I do think that women all over the world can relate to Rebecca Bloomwood in this fabulous chick flick. This also gives you a small look into the world of fashion magazines.

Pride and Prejudice- this period drama remake featuring Keira Knightley is simply stunning. The costumes are really authentic and although those dresses probably won't come back into fashion, films like this will make sure that they are in the memories of this generation and those to come. It also shows that fashion is more than just current trends as the history of fashion is remarkable also.

Mean Girls-this is my fourth favourite film and I think that some parts are realistic to teenage girls from all over the world. Some girls really are that bitchy and girls at secondary school really are that complicated. The fashion of "the plastics" might be slutty at times but it really shows how much the way we dress affects one's status.

Legally Blonde- pink, pink, pink! What more can I say?! Elle Woods has girl power. Her style is independant as it expresses her personality and she does not care what anyone else thinks of her. I saw the stage production of this and it is the best show I have ever seen.

Down With Love- there is a huge focus on style, costumes and fashion in this vintage flick set in the 1960s. Shift dresses, pill box hats, candy colours... Need I say more? Only that her apartment is amazing :)

27 Dresses- You can just tell by the name that this is no frumpy film. Anyone with twenty seven dresses has to have at least one nice one. Although the dresses are all bridesmaid dresses and some are a bit quirky to say the least this lovely rom-com will warm your heart and inspire your wardrobe.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Roaring '20s

You are in the streets of London and jazz music is flowing out of the west end theatres and night clubs. The devastation of The First World War is over and celebration fills the air. The difficulties of the previous decade have evaporated. You are in the roaring '20s. Inside the night clubs saxophonists play jazzy tunes whilst show girls dance up on the stage. With cropped hair and dazzling, glittery outfits. The twenties were undoubtedly a time of glamour. I think that everyone has an era in history that they feel as though they should have belonged to. For me it is the 1920s. Coco Chanel was at large and the jazz-age had begun.

The Show Girl
Hair accessories were big and flamboyant in the '20s and this statement piece is from Zara. I have a similar hair band that I bought about a year ago from Accessorize. Bowler hats and hair fascinators were also a popular pick for show girls. As far as dresses go tassles and sparkles were big on the jazzy 1920s night club scene. You can buy 1920s style dresses from most dressing up shops that look very authentic. Big cocktail rings have definately come back into fashion recently although they were also very popular almost a century ago. Mary-jane's are very sweet therefore they can fit into almost any era as long as the wearer's personality fits the style of them. Platforms are for the more daring. The ones shown above are for vintage lovers. The ones in bright colours are for the individual and the flat ones are for really sweet girls.

The Chanel
Well, what more can I say about Coco Chanel? I think that there is hardly anything that I have not mentioned. If you do want to know more about Coco Chanel either read
Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life by Justine Picardie or read any of my five blog posts that include her in them here. Chanel had been building up her business during The First World War but people's minds had been otherwise preoccupied at that time so fashion did not seem quite so important. However, when the war ended people needed something uplifting and Chanel's clothes seemed to fit the bill.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Interviews: Clever Little Buttons

Your blog mentions that you had been made redundant, what did your job use to be?
I was a fashion Content Writer for an Eccomerce company. My job was outsourced to a company as this costs less. I am unemployed now and it is impossible to find a similar job now. 
So, had you always wanted to work in fashion?
I have always loved fashion, it's been my main focus for years. I never believed I would get a job in fashion as I studies fine art at university. I thought is was impossible without a degree. 
You mention studying art at university however, at school what did you study for GCSE and A Level?
GCSE's were a long time ago (I'm an old lady now hehe) I studied - Art, History and R.E at GCSE along with the subjects I was forced too! For A Levels I studies Art, Music and Drama.  
What inspired you to create a fashion blog?
I started the blog for two reasons. 1. I have no money to shop at the moment and this gave me the space to pretend to shop and be creative. 2. I wanted to continue my writing, it gives me a reason to get up in the morning and a focus to my day.
Who are your main style icons?
Coco Chanel and Blake Lively.
Do you remember exactly when you first became interested in fashion?
I was 12 when I first became obsessed with fashion. I was given a pair of Doc Martins and I became obsessed with shoes! It has all grown from there I think.
After you had left university what was your first job?
A Care Worker, I enjoyed this job but needed to be creative and I couldn't be.
How would you describe your style?
My style is a cross between grunge and classic vintage. I tend to clash style and make my own way in the fashion world.
What was your daily schedule like at your old job and what is it like now?
When I was working my day involved early starts, lots and lots of coffee, meetings and work wear (mainly statement dresses and heels) My routine now is up early - still, feed my two gorgeous house rabbits! Then straight on here blogging, doing any freelance work that I get. I also exercise everyday by going for long walks, this gives me time in the fresh air to think and get inspired. 
Do you have any words of advice to anyone wanting to write about fashion as a career?
My main advice for anyone wanting a career, in fashion or anything else is perseverance. Never give up, even when you feel like your hitting a wall and getting nowhere.Just keep pushing through. Network as well, the more people you know, the better!
Obviously it is tough as you have found out so also do you have any advice to people in a similar situation to yourself?
Come say hi to me, talking helps and keep applying - I apply for something everyday, even if I don't get anything I feel better by doing it.
You are a writer now and art was obviously your favourite subject at school but did you enjoy English too?
I enjoyed English at school, but I only realised how much I enjoyed it when I was writing my dissertation.
Do you read any fashion magazines for inspiration?
I try to keep as up to date with the journalistic side of fashion as possible. I read Glamour, Look and In Style religiously. I also read as many blogs as possible and The Times Fashion is brilliant.
What are your five fashion must haves?
The Maxi Dress, perfect for all shapes and occasions.
Wedges - great for work and play and more comfortable than killer heels.
A Denim Jacket - So Versatile and vintage denim looks great with most outfits.
Ugg Boots - For everyday comfort
High Waisted Flared Jeans - Perfect for all seasons.
How do you find inspiration for your blog posts? 
For my blog I get my inspiration for my daily life, things I do, people I spot and, well, things I eat hehe (meaning the Skittles post)!I don't like to just follow the latest trends, so I try to keep it personal.
Do you write about other topics or just fashion? 
I currently only write about fashion, but when I have money I want to also look at interiors.

Mid Century Style

I love 50s style simply because Grease is my absolute favourite film of all time. I love the way that the skirts swish when they spin round at the dance and the way they all wear different distinct colours. I love the shift dresses that came in in the 60s and Hairspray is also one of my favourite movies as I naturally have big hair so I have adapted to love the big hair look.
She may be evil but you gotta love this girl's style!





From left to right, top row: brownsfashion.com, Dorothy Perkins, Warehouse, lovemissdaisy.com, suzannah.com. From left to right, second row:         fashion-conscience.com, coggles.com, Topshop, suzannah.com, lkbennett.com. From left to right, bottom row: Karen Millen, julesb.co.uk, usa.frenchconnection.com,   julesb.co.uk, atelier-mayer.com.

It was not only the hair in the 60s that was outrageous but the makeup too. The 1960s was a decade when women were just starting to experiment with different styles.
Below are some of the most interesting events from the 50s/60s. In the 1970s post I noticed that technology took up a lot of the space however the events in the 50s/60s had a lot to do with race segregation and the civil rights movement.
1950- First modern credit card produced.
1951- Coloured television introduced. Winston Churchill becomes prime minister for the second time.
1952- Queen Elizabeth the Second takes the throne.
1954- Reports say that cigarettes cause cancer and more research takes place.
1955- Disneyland opens. Emmet Till is murdered. James Dean dies in a car accident. McDonalds is founded. Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on the bus.
1957- The Cat in the Hat is published by Dr. Suess.
1958- Peace symbol created.
1959- The Sound of Music opens on Broadway.
In 1961 the Berlin Wall was built.
In 1962 Marilyn Monroe died.
Marilyn Monroe style dress, Asos.com
1963- Martin Luther King makes his "I have a dream speech" and JFK is assassinated.
1964- Nelson Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment.
1965- Japan's bullet train opens.
1966- First ever heart transplant.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Jockey Chic

From tweed blazers to leggings with patches on and boots that resemble those used to ride in: the jockey look est tres chic en ce moment.
I love the slouchy effect of the oversized t-shirt from youheshe.com as the rest of the outfit is very smart and the picture on the t-shirt is of a polo match which is often a very formal affair so it all balances out. The blazer (theoutnet.com) and leggings (lagarconne.com) look very fitted and the boots (endless.com) are smart. The bag (americanapparel.net) is useful for carrying lots of things in so it is perfect if you are busy and want a comfortable bag to carry to each place with you.  
The World's 10 Best Jockey's in the Last 100 Years and What They Wear/Wore
1) Fred Archer was the most successful jockey of the Victorian era with a staggering 246 successes in 1885 alone and 2748 wins from 8084 rides. His wife died after childbirth and after that he got so depressed that he comitted suicide at the young age of 29 years. 
In this picture he wears chinos as they were common for jockeys in that era to wear. Fred Archer was also known as the Tin Man as he held onto all his money.

2) Sir Gordon Richards is considered to be the greatest jockey of all time and he is the only one to have ever been knighted. He broke Fred Archer's long standing record of 246 winners in a season, by riding 259 winners in 1932. He holds the record of riding 4870 winners. He started riding in 1921 and retired to become a trainer in 1954. I could not find any full body photographs of him but below is a photo of his face/upper body.

In the photograph of Sir Gordon above I could not help but notice that he is wearing a rain coat and I love bright rain coats at the moment like this one for £25.00 at Topshop.
3) Lester Piggot. His eighth Derby success has gone down in folklore history when his machine-gun whip rattling, lifted The Minstrel over the winner line in 1977. Only Lester could have come out of jail after serving just over a year for tax irregularities in 1990 and then 10 days later produce a dream ride on Royal Academy to win the Breeders Cup Mile in New York. 
Baseball (or perhaps even jockey) jacket from Fred Perry at asos.com
4) Tony McCoy is said to be the greatest jumper so I thought I would pick out a stylish jumper, so check out this one from Jack Wills. However, seeing as I have a picture of all the other jockeys it is only fair on Tony that I get one of him as well but most of the photos of him he was wearing the stripey yellow and green top as seen below and I think it's safe to say we won't be following that fashion trend anytime soon!  

5) Steve Donoghue won the jockey's title ten times between 1910 and 1920. He was the darling of crowds on Derby Day, winning many races.
Here Steve is, following the monochrome trend.
You can follow this trend too with this dress from Boohoo.com for only £20.00.  

6)  Fred Winter will always be remembered for partnering Mandarin (horse) to win the Grand Steeplechase de Parisas his Mandarin's bit broke in his mouth after the third fence leaving Winter to control the horse with no reins. It got even worse with two fences to go, when Mandarin broke down, but Winter still managed to keep the horse going to a head victory. Few would have bet on victory for Winter in those circumstances. I could not find a picture of Fred Winter however, he died in 2004 at the age of 77.

7) George Fordham was Fred Archer's main rival in the Victorian period. He was nicknamed "The Demon" due to his kidding of other jockey's. Again I could find no pictures. Grr...

This dress from Dorothy Perkin's is so beautiful and that fact that it's red makes it seem Demon-like.

8) Pat Eddery will always be best remembered for his finishing burst on Dancing Brave to beat a star studded Prix d’ la Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in 1986.
Here, Eddery is with his wife and two daughters. His smart tuxedo clearly follows the rules that I explained in my earlier post about men's fashion. Simple and timelessly chic. 
9) Charlie Smirke came out with the legendary post race quip of “What did I Tul yar” after guiding Tulyar (the horse) to win the Derby in 1952. He was very confident and sure of himself. He died in 1993. NO PICTURE AGAIN.
Feel confident as well with this gorgeous statement top from River Island.
10) Harry Wragg only won the Jockey Champions once however he was nicknamed "The Head Waitor" as he always left his tactics until the last minute. He died in 1905.

I tried to search for some female jockeys however, like in most sports females are in minority. Comment if you know any really successful ones. I can only think of Katie Price :P
 Below are some pictures of my friends horse riding :)



Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Peter Pan Collars

Peter Pan is the classic tale of adventure but now every lady can go on their own fashion adventure with a range of tops or dressses with peter pan collars as they are available on the high street. I recently noticed that River Island do a wide range of beautiful colours and styles.


Beige Polka Dot Peter Collar Shift Dress, £34.99, River Island 
Orange Peter Pan Collar Dress, £19.99, River Island
This dress has more of a simple look and it suits the Peter Pan, Lost Girls style.



Cream Aline Peter Pan Tunic, £19.99, River Island
This dress is definately my favourite because it works with more than one trend as it is white and has an almost silky look to it.
  
Cream floral print Peter Pan collar tunic, £21.99, River Island

This dress is more formal, sort of like what you could wear for a wedding. The flowers are pretty but the colour scheme makes it not too girly.