Thursday, 28 June 2012

Super summer sunglasses

The sun is out and it's sent me off on a vintage sunglasses daydream.

Fuschia/orange lipstick and a pair of one of these babies would be perfect on those scorching days when you've got two minutes to prep before madly rushing out of the house. 

For the more relaxed, take a 99 flake, add some Hawaiian Tropic suntan oil - for that coconut holiday smell - and add the sound of the sea. Failing that, an iced coffee and the local park will do very nicely, thank you.

These are from the intriguing and purse-emptying shop Roope Vintage:

via Roope Vintage

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Cats in fashion looking annoyed

We love cats - well some of us do, some prefer dogs or badgers or cars or shoes instead - and we love fashion so why not put the two together?

The following is for anyone who has ever had the idea of dressing up their adored pet and merrily snapping pictures in the hope of a super-cute image. 

What we never count on is the seething anger/abject humiliation expressed by those lovely feline eyes...

Orange cat wearing a beret
via livsreality
Cats wearing rabbit ears and crowns in costume
via icecreamsandcake

Cats in Opening Ceremony clothes
RPHMGMJ5E7AQ For the cat who has everything, how about a little something from Opening Ceremony?

How to dip dye hair

Dip dye hair rainbow colour
via another hair blog
The dip dye hair look is everywhere right now. You may even have popped into Topshop if you're in London to try out the ever-busy Bleach salon and get this lovely look. It's a brilliant way to flirt with colour without the commitment, as long as you don't mind losing a bit of condition at the ends of your hair (if you want a lighter colour then you're going to need to use peroxide).

Ombre hair dip dye hair blonde blue
via effyeahombrehair
Even better, if you have fast-growing hair, when you're tired of your dip-dye you can go for a cut and get the ends chopped off.

I would leave the natural-look brown to blonde highlights/ombre hair to your hairdresser, as it's easier to cover up any mistakes with a red, blue, pink etc dye at home.

Model with pink dip dye hair
via effyeahombrehair
Dip-dyeing your hair at home is pretty easy, as long as you have the right tools.

Choose a colour (or two)

First of all decide on your colour. If you have brown hair, bright pink or red really stands out, while natural blondes can go for a subtle pale pink or lilac, or try a contrasting bright blue. It's up to you. Remember that the paler the colour, the faster it will fade. If you have a bright colour that you want to tone down, mix it with an equal part of hair conditioner - this is great for making pale pink from a bright pink, pastel blue from bright blue etc.

You will need:
  • Gloves - not silk. Plastic!
  • A plastic bowl
  • Tint brush
  • Tail comb
  • Hair bands
  • A good mirror
  • Bleach kit* consisting of bleach powder and peroxide (unless you're a natural blonde)
  • Vaseline
  • Hair dye (try Stargazer, Manic Panic or Directions)
*Look to the colour of your hair to determine the strength of the volume of the peroxide you need. If you have light to mid-brown hair, go for a 30% volume peroxide mix. Dark brown or black hair needs 40% volume peroxide. If your hair is naturally dark and you want it super light, you may have to bleach it twice. Be careful if your hair is weak, already dyed or over-processed, and keep an eye on the clock. A great place to order from is Sally's, which is a hair supply shop.

Get started:

1. Start with dry hair and give it a good brush/comb to get rid of tangles. Stick some vaseline on the side of your neck if you're dip-dyeing from this level down as it stops bleach/dye hurting or staining your skin.
2. Use a hair band a little bit above the level you want your dip-dye to begin. Tie it around the hair.
3. Put on gloves and mix peroxide and powder bleach in the plastic bowl. Stir it into a smooth paste (not too runny or it will go everywhere). Make sure the window is open so you don't asphyxiate!
4. Using the gloves and brush, apply bleach in small sections to hair below the hair band line. Depending on whether you want a definite line or not, you can follow the hair band line or paint it on for a more freehand look so there's no dividing line. Doing it a bit haphazardly actually look better than a severe line, unless you've got a sharp bob or severe fringe.
5. Let the bleach do its work. Follow instructions on packet - set the timer on your phone so you know when to rinse it off. Check the colour of the bleach every fifteen minutes. If you have dark brown hair and want to dip dye it red, purple or bright pink, letting the bleach lighten to a mid-orange will be a good base for adding colour over the top. If you want a pastel shade then it needs to be pale yellow or lighter.
6. Rinse it out using some shampoo.
7. Dry your hair. 
8. Apply your chosen colour over the bleach, making sure you work it in to get good coverage. If you want a rainbow effect, apply more than one shade, either vertically or horizontally. Take your time, as you don't want the colours to blend too much or you could end up with one-colour hair. You can also leave the ends blonde and apply the colour in a strip above, so you have your natural colour, crazy colour and light ends. Use hair conditioner mixed with dye if you want graduated shade of the same colour (e.g. bright pink fading to pale pink).
9. Let it go to work, have a cup of tea.
10. Rinse it out, dry and hey presto! Gorgeous dip-dyed hair.

Discover how to dip dye hair and the products you need here - along with some more inspiration...

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Fashion in Prometheus and sexy robots

Plenty of internet chatter has been focused on how close Ridley Scott's latest movie Prometheus is to the original Alien and whether it's a prequel or not.

While the conclusion depends on who you're listening to, I haven't seen much about the costumes in Prometheus. 

You'll recall that in the first Alien the crew look like this:

Crew member from Alien directed by Ridley Scott in the spaceship
via soresport

In Prometheus the crew look like this:

Prometheus crew sitting down inside spaceship wearing uniforms
via Prometheus movie
So we're talking military jumpsuits or shirts and trousers in shades of white, grey or khaki with a fair dose of camouflage thrown in. Apart from Harry Dean Stanton's flirtation with the Hawaiian shirt, of course.

The real style in Prometheus comes from the sexy robot character. Even the non-robot  who is the most self-contained gets a better outfit than the hoi polloi.

Charlize Theron works the Nehru jacket - with a very severe Mandarin collar - and silver form-fitting uniform beautifully:

Charlize Theron in Prometheus movie wearing uniform
via Prometheus movie
But the film really belongs to the divine David, whose Laurence of Arabia hair asserts his individuality while his pristine grey pyjamas underline his servility. Still, Michael Fassbender somehow manages to make it look chic:

Robot David in poster from Weyland Industries for Prometheus movie
via Prometheus movie

He also gets the best techno dream-reading helmet:

Robot David wears helmet with yellow visor in Prometheus movie
via Prometheus movie
On a similarly robotic note, what's the prediction that the next big thing is a Teddy Ruxpin who sits on your desk to tell you your friends Facebook updates?

...and just how long will it be before Lady Gaga is wearing an outfit made up of tiny talking Teddy Ruxpins?

Sunshine and disco dancing

The sun came out this morning! It just rained for five minutes but we won't count that. I'm not a natural summer dresser - my coat collection is impressive - but I'm being braver with colour this year after last summer's monochrome experiment.

For some reason sunshine makes me think of disco in the daytime. There should be more of this about, sequins shouldn't be kept for night time and if it rains, it looks even better.

So take one Earth Wind and Fire mega stage jacket:

Earth wind and fire disco jacket in silver with black zips

french connection jacket with pale pink sequins
If there's nothing on eBay (there's always something on eBay) how about this French Connection jacket pimped with some added shoulder pads.

Add a Pork Pie or the extra brave can try a LED hat for extra light and confusion (customised with your name for extra disco points):

Wear with a slouchy vest over a pair of low-key jeans if you're on the down low or go for skinny white trousers or booty shorts for the full on effect.

Stick this on your playlist while you're at it:

In the immortal words of Chic "Freak out! Le Freak, c'est chic!" Go dazzle...

Tattoos and trends

Jean Paul Gaultier's third release as part of his latest designs for Diet Coke - he's their Creative Director - is all over the news this morning. Think snakes, tribal markings and the suggestion of piercing but on a bottle. 
Make up your mind on or have a look here:

While Monsieur Gaultier is all about le shock, I'm not convinced if tattoos really have the power to make us gasp any more. Perhaps he just wants us to think about keeping our bodies beautiful and plan our next etchings while we sip on a diet drink?

A decade ago, post rave, very post goth and extremely post punk, you were unlikely to see your barista with a full sleeve or chat to a teenager about their next inking. In 2012, especially in the big cities, once the sun comes out it's possible to carbon date certain people according to their tat style.

Barbed wire/celtic design - originally a punk fave, barbed wire is still remarkably popular with porn stars and their fans. Celtic etchings are a holiday/stag-do fave as they're easy to do from a stencil. However woe betide you if you've accidentally judged a druid's intricate marking as some sort of Marbella special:

Image of a celtic tattoo design in the shape of a flower
via vectorportal
50s/kitsch/cartoon designs - PIn-ups, ice-cream colours, stylised roses, the ace of hearts are the choice of this generation. While the content may be varied, it's a certain rockabilly style which has grown in favour of the last five years or so:

Woman with 50s tattoos
via sometimes_sam
So where do we go from here? Will I be remarking on the prevalence of the baristas' full face tattoos in five years time? I hope so! Love to see them try this in one of the Ibiza joints:

Rick Genest Zombie Boy looking upwards
via zingwong

Mellow Yellow Hair

Feeling the love for some yellow locks. Probably due to lack of sunshine here in London. The more unreal looking the better, as rocked here by My Little Pony Applejack:
My Little Pony Applejack with yellow mane and tail and orange body
via My Little Pony Scrapbook

On a more cultured note, the poet Robert Frost wrote:

Nature's first green is gold, 
Her hardest hue to hold. 
Her early leaf's a flower; 
But only so an hour. 
Then leaf subsides to leaf. 
So Eden sank to grief, 
So dawn goes down to day. 
Nothing gold can stay.

However with the help of peroxide and some Directions, Crazy Colour or Manic Panic you could get your locks as bright as the sun and prove dusty old poets wrong.

The lovely Nina Hagen staying gold (Ponyboy) back in the 90s:
Nina Hagen with yellow hair in ponytail
via Coolhunter
Pam Hogg keeping it bright:
Pam Hogg with yellow hair wearing black leather jacket
via MeettheDesigner
This girl from tumblr is bringing it up to scratch with a blue to yellow bruisy look I love:

Girl with blue and yellow dip dyed hair
The original and the best:

Wembley Fraggle with yellow hair and hawaiian shirt
via Muppet wiki

Monday, 25 June 2012

King of the Creepy Mr Edward Gorey

Edward Gorey illustration
The first time I discovered Edward Gorey was in a friend's book called The Gashleycrumb TiniesIt's an A-Z of children who meet their fates in a variety of gruesome ways. It's also a disturbing and inspirational style bible.

Edward Gorey illustration
Afterwards I wore smock dresses, slips and laced up boots for months. I had blue hair, but Gorey's pictures are in black and white, so it was artistic license.

Wikipedia says A-Z or Alphabet books "provide a non-threatening genre in which children engage in a variety of both fiction and non-fiction texts." There is nothing non-threatening about Gorey's take on the genre and this is why he is so fierce.

Here he is:
Edward Gorey with his cats writing
Edward Gorey Tumblr

Edward Gorey illustration
I believe Q.R.V. is some sort of opiate (Gorey is not for the faint-hearted)

I adore the style of the wispy and frightened (or frightening) characters in his books. If you're a lover of Victoriana, black-and-white, the eerie, the disconsolate and the creeped-out, make Gorey your first stop.

And here is a reminder why bored people are boring (and ultimately...dead):
Edward Gorey illustration

Love To Love You Baby

Definitely feeling the kitty love for some of these stunning Pamela Love pieces:

Siamese cat looking at necklaces and earrings
From msrayluvscats

Black Summer/White Mountain Side

Mono Crow

So last year I spent the whole summer wearing just black or white as an experiment. Had a minor blip with some red shoes and allowed myself nail varnish in bright red or fluoros. On the really sunny days is all got a bit melting Robert Smith or dogs die in hot cars or Goths in hot weather

Luckily I live in London so the summer only lasts two weeks!

In case the sun comes out and you get bored of the ubiquitous jean shorts, all hail the amazing Devastee, a French label, who have the perfect collection for experimenting with a monochrome summer:

A model wearing a sheer black dress decorated with crosses on the Devastee catwalk

A model wearing a black and white playsuit on the Devastee catwalk

A model wearing a black and white dress on the Devastee catwalk
No chance of looking like a roasted crow in these. Bring on the sun!

Squirrel WIth A Gun

I would like two of these little monsters on either side of the fireplace:

Taxidermy squirrel with a gun from the Wild Few
From The Wild Few
In England people pronounce squirrel as "squiw-rel" but in the States it's more like "squirl". I know this because of having American parents but going to English schools. Another good one is "oh-range" in the UK and "orng" in the US.

I don't think the squirrel cares, he's just saying "hands up!"