Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Between working, packing my bags, wrapping presents and (failing at) cooking, I don't see myself having time to come online and wish you all a Merry Christmas, so I'll do it a little early. I hope every one of you has a wonderful day, filled with grotesque quantities of food, smiling relatives and toys that make noise :D
Apparently those of us in Melbourne can expect a cool-ish Christmas (thank goodness - it was well over 40 degrees last year) so I can finally wear this dress:
It's a gorgeous little vintage silk number that has just the right shape to wear my new What Katie Did bullet bra underneath (I swear, my waist is nowhere near that tiny - optical illusion!) I was nervous ordering one, as I didn't know what the shape would be like on me, but I feel like an absolute bombshell with it on! Definitely going back for more~!
As you may have guessed from the packing reference earlier, I'm going away on holidays. I'll be staying close to the beach for a week and a bit with my grandparents, can't wait! They live in NSW so we don't get to see them often. Unfortunately, my suitcase is too small to pack my parasol so I'm going to have to get "wear sunscreen" henna'd on my hand - I burn incredibly easily and no amount of floppy hats are going to save me if I forget that vital step!
Enjoy your holidays, and have a swell new year's! Be seeing y'all!
Friday, December 18, 2009
I only need 'Vintage Furniture' now to complete the set, as I already have 'Vintage Shoes' and 'Vintage Clothing'. I'm hoping they do a book on hats soon! I know there are other books out there that I could buy, but the ones from this series look so nice sitting next to eachother on my shelf.
Next to it is an adorable showercap I bought to help protect my pincurl sets! Hopefully this will help them last a day or two longer without getting frizzy.
I wore my thrifted Calvin Klein jeans, so as promised, here are pictures of me wearing every pastel colour I could find in my wardrobe - according to the friend I went out with, I looked like the predatory housewife Joyce Monroe from Edward Scissorhands! My dad, however, said I looked like a fruit salad D:
She was bang on though! I was aiming for that kind of suburban teenager look - something like this:
Hope everyone is having a lovely weekend!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Don't be fooled by the picture! The Baseballs are actually a current band from Germany, who, in a reversal of the norm, create doo-wop covers of modern songs. Their 2009 album, Strike, shows off their amazing skills in adapting songs that could be considered polar opposites of that 50s sound (think Pussycat Dolls and Beyonce!) into smooth, rock n' roll styles. The experience of listening to their songs is made even better if you know of the originals, so one can marvel at the changes made.
I simply must share a few of their videos with you all, so you can see how complete the transformation is (the addition of screaming fans in cat-eye glasses is just perfection)! First off is a cover of 'Umbrella' by Rhianna:
Not to mention they are all gorgeous! *swoons* I can definitely see myself in that crowd chasing them! Their other video is a cover of Katy Perry's 'Hot n Cold':
The reaction of passersby is priceless, no?
I highly recommend digging up Strike to listen to (and dance along to - you will not be able to help yourself!) The Baseballs have also got other covers floating around on Youtube that aren't on the album itself - you may even stumble upon a doo-wop rendition Lady Gaga's 'Pokerface' (it must be seen to be believed!)
Monday, December 14, 2009
That's a pair of brand new Calvin Klein jeans there! They're high-waisted and lovely, I've been searching for a pair of preppy pants like that for a while. Gonna work them with so many pastel colours that you'll think I'm an easter egg <3
The other find I'm really psyched about is that little black playsuit! I simply had to show it to you on:
I have a long torso, so this find is even more special due to the fact that it actually fits me! Not to mention it saves me the trouble of making my own (my previous attempts to make a frankenpattern for one = not pretty).
I also got a lovely surprise from Pink Champagne for Dancing and Stefanie Valentine - a Glamorous Blog award! Thanks lovelies <3 Unfortunately I'm going to be a terrible community member as I don't have a list to pass this on to - I'm trying to expand my reading list so I can link to some new blogs next time round.
Wish me luck dealing with the Christmas shopping crowds tomorrow! Working retail this time of year is terrifying D:
Friday, December 11, 2009
It appears that certain stores are cashing in on the resurgence Audrey's name is currently experiencing in the media. (One of them being 'Forever New', who were selling the book 'What Would Audrey Do?' in store. Answer? Probably never wear half of the items they stock.) I was passing K-mart on my way to work today, and out of the corner of my eye noticed a familiar image - the iconic Breakfast at Tiffany's poster.
I went over to the stand which contained several rails of black dresses to take a closer look. The back of the tag states that these essential 'little black dresses' were inspired by the timeless elegance of Audrey Hepburn - however, in all honesty, I think the designers of this collection lost that same 'elegance' in their efforts to modernize the look. I know I took awful pictures, and I apologize, but I was late for work and didn't have time to capture each dress (not that they'd show up well anyway! Black on black and all.) The one I've taken a picture of is pretty cute, actually, but some of the others were absolute travesties.
Really, K-mart? Strapless, thigh high club dresses? Lamé shifts with bubble hems? Fringed FLAPPER dresses, for heaven's sakes - that's not even the right era! Given that Audrey was all about understated elegance, this all felt a little insulting. I was hoping for some dresses that were classically beautiful and refined, not dictated by passing trends. (I had a good chat about it all with a customer at work, actually. She told me I looked like Katherine Hepburn -my cheekbones are not that nice, must have been my hair- and we got to talking about the difference between those great Queens of Hollywood and the girls of today. I think it gave her a little bit of hope to see that we're not all out buying gladiator sandals and miniskirts!)
I'm still looking for my perfect little black dress. Finding something unaffected by seasonal trends is difficult, as many stores deem what I would consider 'classic' as 'boring'. I have hope though, that somewhere out there is the LBD for me!
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Some of the results:
Capris: Route 66
Top: Thrifted from Ebay
Skirt: Route 66
I have a new lipstick love! Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in no. 75 - Dragon. Feels like silk on my lips and lasts for aaaaaaaaages. It was a very belated birthday present from a friend - lord knows I can't afford to use it everyday, but boy is it taking all the willpower I have not to go and stock up on all the other colours! I've also been thinking about doing a few makeup related posts - different looks, tutorials, things like that. I hope that may be of interest to you all!
Monday, December 7, 2009
Lust, Caution is a film by Ang Lee set in Japanese-occupied China during this period of cultural transformation, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in broadening their knowledge of the Forties. Often, the Eastern Fronts are overlooked in cinema (and similarly, the class I took at university focused on the European Front – thus I cannot personally vouch for the movie's accuracy in any way) so seeing another perspective like this is extremely refreshing. The film's plot revolves around a group of students involved with the resistance against the collaborationist Chinese government, and a particular female agent's attempts to seduce and take down a high ranking official. I feel I should issue a disclaimer here - it does get plenty racy, and there is some sexual violence, so if the thought seeing such things offends you may want to skip this one. It didn't get its R18+ rating for nothing. That said, it is a quietly beautiful, slow burning film and one I rather enjoyed. Not to mention the beautiful outfits! Just to give you a taste:
If you look closely, you can see seams!
It also has me seriously lusting over a mahjong bracelet like this one:
Found here on Etsy. Hint hint, Santa Claus!
Not to mention this gorgeous ring:
It's vintage Cartier! Discovered in a vault in Paris, director Ang Lee had the 6.1 carat pink diamond shipped to Shanghai specifically for the film. Isn't it gorgeous? (I also noticed that Mak Tai Tai has matched her lipstick to her nails here - something I must remember to do more often.)
The film has also inspired me to make up my overall pattern in a deep emerald cord - I don't have any pictures of this outfit, but I can assure you the colour looked gorgeous over cream blouses. I miss winter even more now!
If anyone can recommend any other films set in the 40s that feature the Eastern nations - including Russia, China and Japan - please, let me know of them in a comment! Suggestions are always much appreciated.
Friday, December 4, 2009
The photos are finally up - take a look! I'm "Kelly", apparently. *raises eyebrow*
It is extremely flattering nonetheless, especially considering that Melbourne is full of some pretty swanky individuals. Just another thing that brightened up my day!
It's really a wonderful pick-me-up to come home to, given that I've only been blogging these past two months! I'd also like to use this chance to thank all my followers so far - I never expected so many people to be interested in little old me! Thank you all; it really means a lot and I always appreciate reading your comments.
I'm passing the love on to 6 of my favourite bloggers (It is meant to be 10, but I don't follow that many blogs and a large amount of them have already recieved this award). So, without further ado:
1.) The Big Mama Introspection
2.) Pink Champagne For Dancing
3.) The Republic of Dresses
4.) Vivian Von Dimples
5.) Gone with the Voile
6.) Whipstitch Sewing
There's also a little one word questionnaire that came with it (I will try to keep to the limit as much as is possible):
1.Where is your phone? Lost :/
2.Your hair? Curly
3.Your Mother? Strict
4.Your Father? Loud
5.Your favourite food? Chocolate
6.Your dream last night? Zombie-related
7.Your favourite drink? Coffee
8.Your dream/goal? Neuropsychology
9.What room are you in? Mine :)
10.Your hobby? Sewing
11.Your fear? Zombies ;_;
12.Where do you want to be in six years? Graduated!
13.Where were you last night? Bed
14.Something that you’re not? Confident
16.Wishlist item? Apartment
17.Where did you grow up? Worldwide
18.Last thing you did? Work
19.What are you wearing? Kimono
20.Your TV? Plural
21.Your pets? None...
23.Your life? Confusing
24.Your mood? Better
25.Missing someone? Sister
27.Something you’re not wearing? Shoes!
28.Your favourite store? Myer
29.Your favourite colour? Red
30.When was the last time you laughed? During Twilight
31.The last time you cried? Weekend
32.Your best friend? A star
33.One place that I go to over and over? Boyfriend's
35.Favourite place to eat? Shanghai Dumpling House
(I can't remember my text options - that will teach me to copy and paste!)
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Finally, I feel like I'm doing something productive with my holidays! I put together this dress today using view B of Butterick 6582, a reprint of a pattern from the 60s. I ended up shortening it substantially (mostly due to my failure to read cutting layouts properly) but I think it still manages to keep the feel of the original - just kinder in hot weather!
I'm hoping to wear this out for Mai Tais with friends after we find out our exam results - whether it is a celebration or drowning of sorrows is yet to be seen! *crosses fingers* We're planning to hit this place called the Tiki Bar - I am very intrigued by this "Zombie" drink and the 2 per night limit they have for it!
This is probably the most complicated pattern I've made to date - and that's not saying much! The facings made me cry, and I had to put darts in to fix the gaping back (note to self: start making muslins! Or learn to alter patterns without improvisation in the final stage.) That said, it has the smoothest zip I've inserted to date, so I guess practice does make slightly better!
I'm rather tempted to go back to Spotlight and make this dress (or perhaps another, simpler pattern that doesn't make me cry) in a few other island and surf themed fabrics that they had there (or perhaps even a shirt for The Boy - after all, he'll need something to wear to the Tiki Bar with me!) However, next up I'm attempting View C (the full skirted version) of this pattern in a gorgeous green voile. Stay tuned!
Friday, November 27, 2009
Skirt: The Way We Wear
I'm getting used to it a lot easier than I expected (although my head feels absurdly light!) I can't wait to try out a few pincurl sets with it.
I finished my university exams last week, so I'm about to start some intensive sewing - and I'm not allowed to buy any more fabric or patterns till I get through this lot! I am sure fellow etsy-ers can understand me wanting to circumvent what I am sure is developing into an addiction! Have a sneak peek at some upcoming projects (the fabrics do not necessarily go with the patterns on top):
Thursday, November 26, 2009
This is also the last time you'll be seeing my hair so long - tomorrow morning I am going for the chop! I've been rockin' the Rita Hayworth thing for a while, and although I still love it, I'd like to try something different. Summer feels like just the right time to have it short. It'll definitely be breezier with the hot weather (and if it looks terrible I know it'll have grown out by the time I'm back from holidays, haha!) Wish me luck; I've had long hair ever since I was a child and I'm terribly nervous about the change!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
I didn't take photos of my outfit (as proud as I was of having found a frangipani hairclip that perfectly matched the floral motif of my dress) because I had a terrible bout of insomnia last night and was running on exactly zero hours sleep - by the time the wind and the rain were through with me I was an absolute mess. So, in order to make up for it, here's a photo of the outfit I wore last night to my friend's 21st; taken by a photographer friend of mine (you can tell it's not my handiwork since there is proper lighting and focus for once!)
Saturday, November 14, 2009
I picked up this hat in a little vintage store in Melbourne - a little pricey for my tastes, but it was so gorgeous I couldn't resist! It's a feathered halo style, with burgundy netting that covers the eyes. Made me feel rather vampish, so I did my makeup to match (it's MAC Blackware Glimmerglass over their Diva lippie, for those interested - I am addicted to that combination!) I also tried something new with my nails - filling in the moon with gold polish. It may not be traditional, but I do like the way it made my everyday nail a little more ritzy.
You may remember a slim skirt I sewed previously - well, here is the accompanying jacket. I won't show you a close up, as it has some of the most terrible handworked buttonholes you will ever see D: I really ought to learn how to do them on the sewing machine before I attempt my striped shirtdress (the pattern arrived, the fabric is bought - now, to work up my courage). I do, however, adore the vintage buttons I found for it, after taking up Reilly's suggestion to look for tortoiseshell ones. Thanks for the tip, lovely! I'm so pleased with the overall look.
Friday, November 13, 2009
I've never actually attended a vintage fair before, and my last experience with large shopping crowds (being pushed out of the way and elbowed by a boxing day shopper) has left me somewhat wary of such events. I'm looking for stories and advice from those of you who have attended similar things - particularly in regards to my choice of footwear. Will I need steel capped boots to protect my toes from getting stepped on? I would hope that the attendees are generally more ladylike than that.... eep.
Unfortunately, I have work on the Saturday and thus can only attend one out of the two days, but seeing as I only have $100 to play with (oh, how I regret my post-exam spending spree now!) I am not too fussed. Being around beautiful things that I can't afford for two days straight would only break my heart. I do hope there will be some bargains for me to find though - has anyone had much luck at other events?
Still, I am giddy at the thought! Counting down the days now (but what to wear)!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Capris: Route 66
I tried something new with my hair today - I apologize, the photos aren't very clear, but do let me know what you think :)
Behind me you can see the heirloom I've already put dibs on - an Elvis clock, from our family trip to Graceland when I was little.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
I've wanted a pair of sailor shorts for ages, but these ended up costing me next to nothing (hooray) as I made them using the leftover fabric from my high-waisted pants - how lucky that I had just enough! The buttons I used are with with red outlines, aren't they just darling?
Oooh, better head off - wish me luck!
Monday, November 2, 2009
I have been looking into getting a pair of cat eye frames, but the reactions from family and friends have been mixed. The boy was easily convinced after seeing The Spirit (although I do hope he's not expecting me to turn into a Scarlett Johanson-esque sexpot), and those are the kind of frames I'm interested in: subtle, not too over the top. Or, something like Marshall's friend Petula from United States of Tara:
However, my parents - who are normally, if not supportive of my style, at least benignly tolerant - are staunchly against them. My mother is adamant that cat eye glasses were something that "should have died with the 50s", and admittedly here in Australia they tend to conjure up images of Dame Edna and librarians rather than fifties-era glamourpusses. Now, while I'm not going to be kicked out of home or anything if I do buy a pair, their comments have put doubt in my mind that I could pull the look off...
I have already ordered this pair off ebay, but if they don't suit I suppose I'll just get them turned into prescription sunglasses or something. I am just a little worried I will look ridiculous with them on.
I tried on a few pairs in a vintage store, and took a photo for your consideration (sorry for the blurriness - it's a from a cameraphone):
Saturday, October 31, 2009
But I hate mending.
I have two piles of projects in my room: the exciting, glittering pile of new fabrics and patterns I've yet to try, constantly emitting the siren song of procrastination and dragging me away from my study - "Bring me to life! Make me beautiful!" - and my mending pile, which has sat untouched and unmended for several months now. Perhaps I neglect it because there's no excitement or mystery involved, after all, I already know what the garment will look like. Or simply because it requires the most time and effort for the least reward (hello, hand stitching). However, I can't sew during my exam period (it is a little difficult to hear lecture recordings over the roar of the sewing machine) so I have restricted myself to cutting out fabric, and mending. Le sigh.
Oh, Route 66... I wish I knew how to quit you.