Monday, 28 February 2011

New Frocks for Nights Out

My lovely flatmate Anna and I have forgone a social life this term in favour of nights in watching the O.C and gossip girl in our pyjamas, and have turned into student hermits. This week we decided to break out of our rut and have gone out a few times in two weeks, starting last Saturday to 90 degrees and Kaos in Southampton, with the gorgeous 4 Wilton ladies. The following Tuesday we went to pre drinks and 90's for our friend Emily's 21st, although being the drunk weakling that I am, I neglected to make it to the final destination of Audio!
I bought a new dress from Boohoo for the occasion. I have never ordered from there before, and have only online shopped for clothes a handful of times, but with a few big nights out planned and West Quay devoid of options I decided to splurge and order two dresses. The first dress I bought is a black and white striped number, which has a slashed neckline and nipped in waist, with a lovely skater style skirt. This is my usual style, as I don't have the figure or confidence for body-con unfortunately! 

I wore my big voluminous hair extensions and simple gold jewellery, as anything too bold would have looked silly with the dress.
On Saturday I attended the 21st birthday party of one of my flatmates from halls, which was held on a boat that sailed around the Southampton docks. I went with my flatmate Anna, our flatmate next year Joanna, and Vicky. It was a really good night, even though my smuggled vodka got confiscated by a bouncer, which meant we had to fork out £10.50 for a bottle of absolutely vile rose wine!
I wore my other boohoo dress, although unfortunately I don't have any full length pictures of me wearing it. It is a beautiful bright green colour, with a high neckline covered in chiffon flowers. I wasn't crazy about the style, but I loved the colour so much I bought it anyway, and it was only £20. I wore it with nude courts, gold jewellery and my amazing five dollar earrings I picked up in New York in December. 
Anna and I forcing down the wine

my bargain-ous $5 earrings
It was a really good night, and it was nice to see everyone all dressed up on a boat, although I did feel a little bit like I was at my year 11 riverboat prom again! I know its a long way off, but I have no idea if I'll throw a big fancy party for my 21st, although it would be nice it seems like a lot of hassle.
Did anyone else do anything nice at the weekend?

Fruit Cocktail Nails

For the past week I have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of my first ebay purchase. As a die-hard Amazon girl, I had always been sceptical of ebay, despite many friends scoring bargain priced benefit make-up on the website. 
However, all that changed early last week when I was idly browsing (ok, putting off doing work and I'd run out of box sets to watch) when I spotted the cutest, prettiest, tiny little fruit stickers for nails. I am a sucker for anything glittery, cute, bright and a little bit naff, so I promptly snapped up 120 minuscule stickers for the princely sum of £1.24 all the way from Hong Kong. 
They dropped onto my doorstep today, and after I had completed boring but necessary tasks such as an Asda food shop, I scurried up to my room to try out my new playthings!
The nail art wheel - click here to buy your own!

I used: tweezers, a treatment nail varnish that turns clear as it dries (despite owning every nail colour under the sun, I could not find a clear anywhere in my drawer!) and the stickers.
My tools
Rather than put them an every nail, I decided to decorate my thumbs with as many stickers as possible. Below is the finished product...Voila!

A grapefruit, watermelon, orange, lime and two apple stickers.

In my nail art frenzy, I ordered another sticker wheel from Hong Kong, this time with a flower and butterfly theme. As soon as they arrive I will show you in a brand spanking new post. 
I'd love to know what you think; would you wear these stickers? 

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Tangled up in Fun

For one of my course option's I have had to write a review on a topic of my choice. Having seen 'Tangled' at the cinema recently, I decided to review it, as it is honestly one of the best light - hearted films I have seen in a while. Hopefully you enjoy my review, and if your considering going to see it, you should!

The latest Disney animation to hit the box office is loosely based on the classic fairy tale ‘Rapunzel’, by the Brothers Grimm. As a 20-year old who has grown up on a diet of Disney, I had high expectations for the film that I just weren’t sure would be met; but I was enraptured within moments.
Taking its cue from previous Disney classics such as ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and ‘Cinderella’ the plot follows a beautiful young protagonist who is prevented from living a full and normal life by an evil villain, but who is eventually saved by a dashing young man.
Disney’s newest Princess is depicted as a teenage girl who is both scared and exhilarated at disobeying the villain Gothal, who is masquerading as Rapunzel’s mother in order to benefit from the magical qualities Rapunzel’s long golden locks possess.  Gothal pretends the outside world is cruel and evil, and forbids her expressly to leave the tower.
Rapunzel is played by Mandy Moore to great effect, as an extremely personable and witty Princess. She is shown at times to be opinionated and strong – willed, a departure from the classic damsel in distress role that Disney princesses of old were often confined to.  The movie also benefits from two very funny animal sidekicks, a horse named Maximus and a chameleon called Pascal. The male saviour and narrator Flynn Rider is a flawed thief, but he changes over the course of the film as the romantic relationship develops.
The film is quintessentially Disney in look and style, yet uses modern CGI effects to make the 3D movie as realistic as possible. It is enriched with colours, shapes and intricate details, such as the inside of her painted tower, with certain scenes as beautiful as a painting. The film also follows Disney tradition by incorporating original songs throughout, resulting in some irresistibly catchy musical numbers, particularly the song “I’ve got a Dream” which has the potential to be a classic like ‘The Little Mermaids’ ‘Kiss the Girl’ original song.
Whilst overall I thoroughly enjoyed the movie, I do not think that the villain Gothal lived up to the archetypical Disney antagonist, such as Ursula or Maleficent, as I was often confused as to whether she actually loved Rapunzel, or if she was solely using her for her magical hair. This conflict in character made it hard to see her in an overtly sinister light; the movie would have been more enjoyable if she was a truly evil and terrifying character.
This Disney film is enjoyable at all ages, and even as an adult viewer, I found myself tearing up at the sad moments, and wanting to join in with the rousing chorus’s. It uses the best in technological advances, yet follows the format of great Disney films that have come before. It is an imaginative and original take on an old tale, which has all the makings of a new Disney classic.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Dogeared jewellery

My shopping obsession has led to my new favourite accessories discovery Dogeared, a philanthropic Californian jewellery and gift company who make accessories that are not only beautiful, but also have a message for the receiver.
After browsing for several hours I have discovered that they have different ranges, but my favourites are the dainty necklaces in the 'Make a wish' and 'Karma' styles. 
The surprisingly inexpensive (although I still can't afford one) necklaces are absolutely gorgeous, and are gold dipped also, which means you can wear them always without worrying about an unattractive rust coloured neck! I first saw their products, albeit unknowingly in 2004 when Marissa / Mischa Barton wore a gold wishbone necklace in several episodes of the O.C, that her real - life boyfriend had given her. I then found them when browsing the Asos site, but found a bigger collection at where I fell in love again and again and again! 

I thought I'd share with you my favourites, as they make a perfect gift for any female relative or friends birthdays, and Mothers day is next month. And if your buying, my birthday is just around the corner...

Gold Love and Happiness Hummingbird necklace, £45.95

Gold Make a Wish necklace, as seen on Mischa Barton, £44.95

Gold Guardian Angel necklace, £46.95

Dip - Dye me!

Lately I have been coveting the dip - dye hairstyle that I've seen everywhere, but my hair has consisted of the same boring, brown side - fringed style for my entire life, with a brief and ill - advised foray into blonde highlights aged 11.
Since she has catapulted onto my fashion radar, Nicki Minaj's rainbow hue tresses have been a particular source of envy, but I remind myself that a) she wear's a wig, and 2) I would look ridiculous going into uni or Asda for my food shop with that hair do!

After deciding that I couldn't pull off a Lady Gaga - esque crazy colour, I started looking at the ladies who have been quietly rocking this trend for a few years, such as Ashlee Simpson and Rachel Bilson. They both have dark hair like me, but have literally tie - dyed the ends a lovely ombré colour.

Armed with print outs of google images of my inspiration, I popped down to boots and stocked up on blonde hair dye that promised to take my chocolate locks to a nice dark honey blonde, which can be bought here.

I separated my hair into two pig tails, and put copious amounts of dye in from just below my shoulders. The regret started to kick in precisely 30 seconds after the dye was put in, as I feared I would be left bald, or worse - with a bob! But after 40minutes and a quick wash and blow dry I was actually impressed! My hair had definitely got lighter, and although it wasn't the precise ombré colour I'd wanted, it was a light coppery brown. I am going to buy some more dye next week to make it slightly lighter so the contrast is more visible and I can get the perfect colour, but for now, here is my new Dip Dye do! 

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Quick Picks

My student loan finally arrived in my bank account, and my mum very kindly (and surprisingly) allowed me to go shopping with it! I thought I'd share with you my top picks. Over the coming weeks I will be posting pictures of my daily outfits, and am hoing by blogging I can remember what I liked/ disliked about an outfit, and hopefully to encourage myself to try and wear my clothes in different ways, rather than buying new clothes I can't afford this time. If you have any tips, let me know!


Leopard Satchel: £9. Cable knit skirt: £5. Cameo print Scarf: £3. Silk Scarf: £3. All Primark.

Floral peasant dress: Zara, £9.99. Terracotta blouse: Topshop, £32. Black Chiffon dress: Primark, £15. 

'Titantic' White Star pin: Southampton Maritime Museum, £1

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Sticks and stones may break my bones but chains and whips excites me

By now, you should all have seen the saucy video for Rihanna's S&M video. The song is infectious, but its the video I love; not only is it crazy, colourful and very very rude, but it has also taken its cue from several of the key Spring/Summer 2011 trends that were seen on the catwalk in September.

Rihanna is wearing acid yellow eye-shadow, as seen at Derek Lam's show. Whilst I don't think I would ever have the balls to pull off such a daring shade, I will be looking to update my make up with some bright eye-shadow, although my colouring is more suited to green and purple tones. However if you are a bit braver than me, I've found a similar shade in the 'GOSH' range in Superdrug, for the bargain price of £4.24 which comes with three other colours... my favourite is the green, although blondes could carry off the aqua if they took care not to look too eighties! You can buy this palette here.

Rihanna also borrows one of her best friend Katy Perry's signature looks, by slithering into a latex leotard. This upcoming season is all about crazy clashing brights, and I particularly love her orange, yellow and green platforms, especially as tangeringe is a colour that is going to be everywhere by May.

My other favourite scene from the music video is where she can be seen in the ah-may-zinggg zebra print room, which I am coveting! With the huge red perm, crazy furs draped over her and Perez Hilton being whipped in the background, it has to be one of the most entertaining videos released in a long time. Also, if anyone spots a bandeau similar to Rihanna's 'censored' one, then please let me know as I have a friend who would kill to have it!

When I first watched the video I thought it was so original, but since seeing it compared to the photographer David LaChapelle's work I can see that he has definitely been ripped off, which is shocking as he has come forward to say that he has had nothing to do with it. Why don't you have a look at the comparisons?

WFC takes New York

Back in December I was lucky enough to visit New York with my course (WFC - Writing Fashion and Culture) and I can honestly say it was one of the best trips of my life. I went with my flatmate and best friend Anna, and several other girls, who I have got closer with in the months since we have been back.
 We were only there for four days, but a complete lack of sleep meant I was able to take in nearly all the sights and activities that I wanted to. We arrived in Newark, New Jersey and took a short coach to the city and to our accommodation, a hostel/prison in the Chelsea district. Whilst the accommodation was revolting (think sparse metal beds with thin mattresses, a single pillow shared toilets with smelly strangers and lockers for a wardrobe) I tried not to dwell as I was so excited to be there. After unpacking we went out in small groups with a lecturer, and we ended up in Times Square with absolutely no clue where to start.
 We ended up in an incredibly cool and packed diner called Shake Shack where we ordered hot dogs, milkshakes and burgers. We then wandered the streets, and bumped into a few very strange New York natives; I was offered drugs by a homeless man within an hour of being there! 
Times Square, first night

The first full day of our trip saw us rise early (Thanks jet-lag) and we went to the 9/11 site as a group. The site itself was crawling with construction workers and looked like a vast wasteland, although there was a very moving plaque dedicated to the servicemen who had lost their lives in the tragedy. 
After paying our respects, we moved onto the designer outlet emporium 'Century 21' where I was hoping to snap up a few bargains! However the shop was huge and crammed, like a  designer TK Maxx, and didn't really contain any of the goodies I was wishing for; I wouldn't recommend it.
The rest of my course were going on a Sex and The City tour trip, so Anna and I decided to feed our Gossip Girl addiction and hop on the tour for that instead. We walked to he Palace Hotel, the home place of the Van Der Woodsen's in season one, and the hotel that Chuck Bass (my one and only!) owns.  
Hat: H&M kids, Scarf: H&M, Coat: H&M, Satchel: River Island, Boat shoes: Dorothy Perkins
There was plenty of time for Anna and I to practise our best Blair and Serena poses outside the huge decorative Christmas tree, and it was so surreal to be standing in front of the hotel that I have watched a hundred times on TV, especially when it looked so festive and similar to the episode where Dan and Little J smuggle in a tree with Lily's help to surprise Serena. The doorman was kind enough to allow us inside, and we managed to get lots of pictures of the beautiful interior, and we even used the toilet where I stole a napkin with the Palace's crest on it! The Doorman also told us to come back and have a drink in the GILT restaurant which is the where Blair and Serena meet for drinks shortly after Serena returns in season one, and where Dan finds Serena's phone after she drunkenly drops it after rejecting Chuck (how could she?!) We did consider returning, but as the drinking age is 21, we were too scared of the humiliation of being turned away!
After leaving the Palace and clambering on the tour bus, we were taken all around the city and saw Chuck's burlesque club, 'Victrola' which is actually a rather dingy building called 'The Box'. We also saw the Archibald's house, which has the same chandelier in the window that can be seen in the programme, Penn Bagdley's real life apartment and Blair's apartment building, among other places.

West Broadway

We also made a pit-stop at Dylan's candy store, which aside from being the largest candy store in the world, was also featured in GG when Dan told Vanessa about Rufus and Lily's love-child.  The interior of the store was decorated with huge fake lollipops, and every available surface was littered with sweets, and I parted with yet more dollars to buy a hugeeee and delicious red velvet cupcake, chocolate bar and mini photo frame. 
The tour was expensive, at $40, but for a dedicated fan like me it was really interesting and fun, and took me to places in new York I may not have otherwise have discovered. 

Necklace: Forever 21, Beige Frilly waistcoat: H&M, Pink Dress: Topshop
The food in New York was amazing, although bring your appetite, as they are biiiiiig portions. On our third night Anna and I met up with Harriet, who writes the great blog and Emily from our course. We had heard that a nearby restaurant, Lasagne, would serve you without ID, so we popped in for a bite and a cocktail or two! We started off with a round of Cosmopolitan's from our cute, charming and very gay waiter, and then ordered our delicious meals - I had spinach and artichoke fettuccine... heaven! Followed by more cocktails, by this point we were all really quite pissed. As Mariah Carey warbled on the stereo, we looked around and realised that we were literally surrounded by male couples and all our lovely waiters looked to preened and pampered to be straight! Our gaydar's seriously needed some work, as we were CLEARLY in a gay hang out spot! It is now the infamous 'Gay Lasagne Night' something Emily found vital to drunk text our lecturer to tell him, which led to some embarrassment the next day!

'Gay Lasagne Night'
Poisonous Passion Fruit Margherita

Anna, Harriet, Emily and I in Times Square
Hat: Primark, Cardigan:Forever 21, Khaki Cardigan: H&M,  Scarf: Chanel, Dress:H&M, Satchel: River Island, Leggings:H&M, Boots: Primark

Like all tourists,we shopped til we dropped, and took in all the views that make the Big Apple so famous. We got the free Staten Island Ferry to see the Statue of Liberty, walked through Central Park, saw the Plaze Hotel, and went to the Rockfeller centre to watch the ice skating and admire the huge Christmas tree and decorations.  we went to visit the Empire State Building, however Anna and I were too lazy to wait the two hours to see the top views! However the lobby did have a beautiful display of mini Empire State buildings, such as this beauty made of LED lights, and another made entirely of sweets.
One of the displays in the Empire State Building's lobby

The Christmas decorations at Macys

Me, with the 'Statue of Liberty' in Times Square
My time in New York was so amazing, and I can't wait to go back, and hopefully drag my boyfriend this time if he feels like treating me...;) I loved how the city literally never slept, even though its a cliché; for example the morning after 'Gay Lasagne Night' and the numerous cocktails, I woke up at 7am on a Sunday with the beginnings of a horrific hangover, and in desperate need of water and caffeine. I walked out our hostel alone and in my pj's and coat, with only a few days knowledge of my surroundings and feeling like absolute shit, yet managed to find a cute little grocery store that sold freshly made coffee, and had a an extensive breakfast menu including the BEST burrito I have ever tasted!
Being the loser that I am, I made a New York stalker wall when I came home, to remind me of all the amazing places I went, and things I've done. It includes the NYC poster of my name that I was drawn in Times Square, the cheesy photo booth pictures of me and Anna from the huge Forever 21 store, a map of the city, a Dylan's Candy bar wrapper, the receipt from Bubba Gump, The Gossip Girl tour booklet, the Lasagne restaurant menu, my stolen napkin from the Palace, and millions of postcards!

If any of you EVER have the chance to go to New York then do it, and please please please bring me!

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Future Beauty: 30 years of Japanese Fashion

Entrance ticket and exhibition leaflet

I visited the Barbican museum on the 31st of January, as I need to write an exhibition review for one of my course modules. Whilst the rest of my course were travelling together on a coach, I had to go solo to the museum a few days before as I had friend's visiting on that day. 
I will admit I was dreading the trip a little, as I have never really explored Japanese fashion (shameful, I know) and have found most museums boring on school trips over the years, however I was pleasantly surprised.
The museum itself was a huge and rather ugly building, however the exhibition, which was set over two floors, was very calm and serene, a direct contrast to the Moorgate area of London outside.

There was a clear trail which led you around the pieces on the lower floor was all clean lines, with white gauze material serving as a backdrop to each of the displayed pieces. The mannequins wore designs by esteemed designers such as Issey Miyake and Rei Kanakuboo, and it was really interesting to see how they manipulated fabrics to create such unusual clothes. 

whilst I enjoyed the lower floor, I found the upstairs more interesting, as they decorated many of the room's according to the designer; my favourite was Jun Takahashi's display featured four mannequins in four different beautiful outfits, and each outfit was matched to the wallpaper behind it.

 I also particularly enjoyed the room named 'Cool Japan' which focused on the Harujaku area of Japan that was infested by cool young designers who set up small kitsch shops when the economic bubble burst in the 1980's. Behind each of the displayed clothes was a collection of cute and fun Japanese sweets and magazines, and the mirrored walls were painted with owls, trees and bumblebees.
 I left just over an hour to visit the museum, and unfortunately it wasn't long enough, as they had rooms showing films, documentary's, and runway shows that I could only watch for a few minutes each. The exhibition finished this week, but I'm definitely now more open to aspects of the fashion world I previously had little or no interest in!

I did manage to take some contraband snaps, but they are EXTREMELY poor quality, so I apologise!