DISCLAIMER- blog: standard student behaviour. woops. please humour me, by forgiving me for occasionally projecting the (generally inane/mundane) ponderings from my brain into a pretty font. it's just that blogging's quite relaxing. like sudoku, but with letters.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Skin deep

Cymbeline- 2011

Good things come to those who wait. But what's glamorous about waiting? What self-respecting starlet would stand for being scribbled on the waiting list; drum their manicured fingers while humming to "please hold" music; peer over superior shoulders, hovering at the wrong end of the queue?

The waiting game? They just won't stand for it. But there'd be a standing ovation for these... Because these looks don't leave a girl hanging; taking 'brand' eerily literally, for these designers fabric is just the beginning, scrawling their signatures straight onto your bones. Flesh and fashion meld until each complexion sweats with pattern, and colour-steeped pores glow to show a style so strong, it'll creep right under your skin...

Picked from a few recent seasons, it's some of the best ways to be at one with your garment...but be careful what you wish for. Take care to check now and then that it's you wearing the dress, not (quite) the other way around. Flaunt these show-stoppers a little too long, and under the heat of paparrazi flash you might not feel the cold glitter start to steel through your veins, or the lace gracefully unfurling across your throat...

Maybe beauty is better left safe in its seams, resting tame and muted inside carefully defined sartorial lines. How close is too close? Perhaps these models found out...

Wandering motifs at Marchesa

Marchesa- Fall 2010

 Marchesa- Fall 2010
Marchesa- Fall 2010

Gilded limbs at Michael Van Der Ham

Michael Van Der Ham, Spring 2010
Michael Van Der Ham, Spring 2010

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(All photos are from the respective designers websites.)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

It's the little things

Keeping cosy by the fire...it won't make the headlines, but it'll make you happy

"Whipped-up spray that is rainbow-scattered
And a swallow curving in the sky
Shoes so comfy though they’re worn out and they’re battered
And the taste of apple pie.

So I mustn’t forget
No, I mustn’t forget
To say a great big thank you
I mustn’t forget. 
~ Estelle White, Autumn Days

The last one. Shit. Knew I should have seen this coming.

I mutter and furrow my soapy brow at my only remaining hair-tie sprawled on the bathroom tiles. Its spring has sprung right out of it, along with its usefulness, purpose and raison d'etre. I'd worn it out, putting it to work with a flippant twist, morning after morning after morning after- oh. And suddenly, it just... wasn't, any more.

What if it hadn't been a spindly old hairband that had snapped into uselessness in an unexpected instant? (...can you see where I'm going with this yet?). What if it had been something else round, ancient and pretty darn essential? Tenuous link, I know, but go with it...what if Mr Harold Camping, of Family Radio, had actually been onto something with reckoning the End-of-the-World-as-we-know-it would happen around dinner-time last Saturday? What if he had seen us stop sniggering as he and his followers floated up to the Big Guy in the Sky, as the chaos began below? And what would you have thought when the streets started to rumble forbodingly beneath your feet?

What memories would have flickered behind your frozen gaze, before the lamplight cracked and was lost to the thundering shadows? 

As the "Autumn Days" assembly hymn used to teach our primary school selves, it's not just the big deals that make our world what it is. Thing's don't have to be rare to be special. So I wanted to make sure I remembered what makes my day, every day.
Yeah, this sounds cheesily twee now, but I'll bet many a dinosaur wished they'd taken time to savour their favourite watering hole/tufty gress/Stegasaurus-steak house, as they spied a meteor suddenly casting its mercilessly speeding shadow over the plains...

It's those lazy morning breakfasts...

...and watching the evenings drawing in
Kicking off the sandals for sunbathing...
...but sloshing through the slush too
Hours well spent celebrating with friends...
...or just keeping a book company.
Eating (pizza)  in...
...or eating (pizza) out.
In fact, there's a lot to love about Italia
...like the view from my room
...and my fly (definitely legally obtained) ride, for spinning about town...
There's always the canal-crossed paradise a train-ride away
But the homeland will always be where the heart is...
...with beautiful views of its own.
Knowing that family, and its furry friends, are important, every day.
I've let the pictures do the talking for me, but to summerise: there's a lot that I have to love. And a lot to look forward to. When the lights go out, I'll know what I've been lucky enough to live.

What will you remember?

(Don't be shy, step right up! Leave me a comment and tell me what you're thinkin'...)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

At ease

Looks like they've found a comfy spot. Making themselves at home, the clouds plumped snugly on my rooftop have nestled down to drizzle that bike ride out of my morning...
Well, as I can't beat 'em, I'm joining 'em- I've found a cosy corner of my own, and have built myself a Sunday nest. Books and bits and bobs rustle in curls of duvet, my sleepy vision is blinkered by the XL hoodie bowed over my bed-hair, and juice, cereal and last night’s pudding experiment are an easy amble away. Everything is in order.

What's next? I squint through the half-open shutters to the bleary drench-fest outside. The clouds are doing what they do best, so, as I don't have a pillowcase-size sack of pic-n-mix to inhale in the first five minutes of a film, I'll stick to cooing at shiny prettiness on the Internet instead.
It's a shame I can't do both; firing sugar, spicy new fashion and everything nice at me, all at once...all that's missing is Chemical X, and I'd be the latest edition to the Powerpuff Girls. Although, I think my designer of choice today definitely has the X-factor...I wonder if that would work too...

Christopher Kane

Austrailian Vogue, April 2011- are those Full Moon Party remnants on her arms...?

If it's wrong, he doesn't want to be right... Bringing us the best in bad taste since 2006, Mr Kane and sister Tammy keep fashionistas clawing at his collections every season. Fall and Resort 2011 are as crisply entrancing as always, as well as pushing the limits of textile use with bright, fluid ease. As a general rule, colourful, squidgy liquid-filled plastic and high fashion aren't lucratively combined. But when your graduate collection- brass rings, lace and the brightest fluoro whipped, short and glowing, skin-tight onto his models- is shipped straight to a Harrods shop window, then rules must seem like a bit of a yawn.

It's also a pretty smart business ruse; if your designs boldly skim the brink of wonderful-and-wacky and, well, cheap-and-tacky, then anyone who attempts a Kane copy, without his immaculate skills, fabrics and wit, will undoubtedly topple right over into tastelessness. (His Resort '11 sandals show off Kane's visual intelligence- as the great Tim Blanks of Style.com noted, they're, "maribou-trimmed platforms, ironic bordering on camp, and a joy to behold".)

Resort '11

Resort '11

Fall '11

Fall '11
As a proud owner of one of his Topshop Collection pieces (scooped off the sale rail for £15... I suppose even King Kane can't win them all), I can see the morning fading blissfully unnoticed into afternoon, behind the flicker of catwalk slideshows, eyebrows lifting and furrowing in delighted absorbtion, and the level of cornflakes in my box being, distractedly but surely, nibbled down to dust.

Probably a good thing there's no pic-n-mix in Padova...who would want to be out, in that weather, saving the world in time for tea, when you could be tucked up with hundreds of Kane creations strutting across your laptop?

(Don't be shy, step right up! Leave me a comment and tell me what you're thinkin'...)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

On the rocks

"I roamed the countryside searching for answers to things I did not understand"  ~Leonardo da Vinci

     I don't mind admitting it- times have changed. These days I like my leisure served up steaming on a plate or three (don't be shy with the mayo), followed by the swift gestation of a food baby. Either that, or complete with reciept, snug inside some crisp carrier that I can swing merrily down the high street.
I've always been partial to emptying my purse to fill my wardrobe and my stomach- trading money for treats never stops looking like a good deal. But as I glance back at the past few years unfurled behind me, I wonder- how can it be that I've grown, when I seem to have lost my roots?

     Those roots that scuffed my knees and boots, pinked my cheeks with gusts, rays and showers, shot my skin with sea salt and grass stains, drenched me, bruised me, froze me, tired me, tested me... but never anything less than transfixed me. The Great Outdoors- it always has me paddling, trekking and climbing back for more. Or at least it did...

     Cue the Donkey- to pull me out of bed, into my walking boots and back onto the straight and narrow of meandering open fields. Luckily for me, Donkey generally makes a living out of keeping it rural, and can usually be found hoofing up rockfaces rather than cantering down town. So, waking up to find a nearby cove stroll, my trusty yellow Micra and party-food posing as picnic, all swirling around in the big empty sun-brushed Saturday in front of us, we knew what to do. It went a little something like this:

Waterfalls: washing worries and essay tension away since...well, long before essays existed.

It's probably wrong that this makes me want a waterfall-chilled Diet Coke...
Unadulterated Vitamin D
The blue beyond.
Nice boots them shoes...
 Jigsaw for giants.
Picnic spot... spotted.
Riverside rock basking... I'll get up in five minutes...
...or maybe in ten...
Malham Cove: sunbathers-eye-view
Nature keeps things trendy with a spot of colour-blocking
"Every wall is a door" ~Ralph Waldo (...or a stile...)

Grass criss crossed

In Malham we (National) Trust
And it's home time...

...but not for the last time. Roaming the green stuff with Donkey has planted my feet back on the ground, and while they may soon find themselves back to toppling in vodka-stung stilettos, or patiently padding round sale rails, they've had a walk to remember. Because while times might have changed, mud on my hands and grass between my toes has always made me happy. I'd just forgotten how much.
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