I am very excited to tell you about the Clothes Swapping Party I hosted last Saturday. I ended up with a few lovely new items and shared some laughs and prosecco with great friends.
Hosting such a party is easy to do and inexpensive. Here is a list of reasons why having a Clothes Swapping event is such a fantastic idea:
1) You get new clothes for free
We’ve all done it, bought that skirt or that dress that looked amazing on the mannequin but not so amazing on us. It’s natural, we all have different body shapes, while mannequins - is safe to say – all look exactly the same. Knowing and loving your body shape will stop you from making future purchasing mistakes, but in the meantime, you can give those unsuitable (yet absolutely gorgeous!) items to some of your lovely friends who can wear them better.
2) You get rid of clothes you no longer wear, need, like etc.
I highly advise you to host a clothes swapping event particularly after you’ve had a wardrobe assessment / overhaul. So instead of fretting over when to take all those bags of clothes to the charity shop (I for one struggle, as I don’t have a car and the only charity shop situated at walking distance from my house is currently closed), just have some friends over and give them away. You’ll be left with a lot less bags of clothes to cull.
3) It’s a great occasion to bring friends together
We all do it, promise to get together an life gets in the way. So sometimes it’s best to add an extra incentive for bringing friends together and hanging out. We’ve spent the first hour or so catching up on the latest, nibbling and eating prosecco and them started rummaging through each other’s clothes. It was the best fun we’ve had in ages!
4) Because we like clothes!
I know it’s silly, but we’re girls and we like clothes. Scattered all over the living room, bags, shoes, hats, jewellery, anything you can think of. I managed to even fall back in love with some of my own clothes, which I guess it’s a good thing.
5) Because your clothes go to people you love
As much as I like clothes, I hate waste. So if I find myself in the situation of having too many similar items, as much as I love them, I’ll try to limit myself to the minimum and to give away the excess. It makes me happy knowing that clothes I really liked (like the black Diesel boots below!) go to someone I also really care about. It just makes me smile.
Making cool sounds with attitude and style
Interview with DJ Janette Slack
Hong Kong born Eurasian, DJ Janette Slack has been making music in London since 2003. She has now launched her own label Slack Trax and some really cool tunes she’s been crafting lately. As you’d expect, this is one lady with attitude. Her DJ-ing outfits are a mix of punk, hip hop, manga, latex and heavy make-up. Just before launching her label, I caught up with her to find out more about the East and West mix lady DJ who’s been jamming up the nights on the London club scene.
Tell us about your music, what makes it unique, what makes it different?
I’m not musically trained so it takes me a long time to write tracks. The only musical instrument I learnt how to play was drums for about a year. So I don’t know how to play any instrument at an amazing level but only enough so I can lay down ideas which make sound engineering and programming come in handy as you can programme it all and as long as it sounds clear and crisp then you don’t really need a band to rely on. I really enjoy programming drums and because I come from a more of a rock music background (my dad’s influence) I enjoy recording real bass guitars and real guitars. My music is a hybrid between rock and electronic music. I’m really inspired by bands like Hybrid, Nine Inch Nails, Dave Grohl from Foo Fighters, Underworld, Orbital, The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, Basement Jaxx, all these amazing artists which are their own thing. You can hear they’ve got inspiration from something else and they’ve turned it into their own thing using electronica. So I collaborate sometimes with vocalists, it can be funk vocalists, a rapper, a singer, male or female, and it’s really nice to see what interesting layers they bring on top of my music.
What kind of clubs have you normally performed at, is there a particular scene you tend to stick to?
I’ve been kind of drifting, between all the scenes. When I first moved to London, because my passion was in break beat, I’ve played at various clubs and bars ranging from gay, straight and fetish. About 6 years ago I got my first warm up set at Torture Garden. I’ve now been a resident there for 6 years and it’s definitely not boring.
Have you got a signature look when you’re performing?
It took me a long time to find the image that was right for me. You just got to believe in whatever it is what you you’re wearing. But as long as you don’t get lazy and stay on top of your craft it doesn’t really matter what you wear. I generally tend to wear what I feel like. As a woman there are days when you want to wear trousers and days when you want to wear tights. It’s trying to keep a balance, dressing with a bit of attitude. And if there’s a theme like Halloween, hen dos etc… it helps you do your thinking about what clothes you’re going to wear. You end up wearing something you never thought of wearing before and the night gives you the option to. I am also becoming more open to things such as wearing body paint etc. Sometimes I want to stand out and sometimes I don’t.
You’ve launched you own label. Tell us all about it.
I’ve launched my own label Slack Trax last year and it’s got its first release on 29th Oct with a track called ‘Girl in Black’. It’s the most ‘pop’ish, commercial track I’ve ever done. All my tracks have always been moody. The next single ‘You Can’t Stop This’ was released on the 4th of Dec. I’ve collaborated with Kickflip on that one and it’s more honest to what I play at Torture Garden and what I’m writing right now. It’s got guitars in it, real drums, vocals from Javone Prince (from Channel 4’s Phoneshop) and some really cool noises that make sense.
My album ‘Torture Garden Session’ got released in late January/ early February. I have limited edition CDs that you can order on www.janetteslack.com . The album is available on all the digital shops such as iTunes, Trackitdown, Beatport, Juno, Amazon etc…. So far the label it’s been getting really good response. DJMag have shown lots of support, Mixmag have given Slack Trax 2 ‘Tune of the Month’ titles, and I just got interviewed by Time Magazine because of setting up the label.
I just want to keep writing and I just want to get better at everything I’m doing. One of the styles I play is progressive and electro and break beat and there’s a slower tempo called nu funk and glitch hop which is faster than hip hop but slower than electro and it’s a really sexy pace, there’s cool vocals, it really hits the spot for me. And that’s something I really want to explore more.
Regardless of whether that was Queen’s Victoria’s intention or not, the white wedding dress and the veil have traditionally been associated with modesty and purity. However, bridal gowns of modern era have somewhat lost their original meaning and have evolved more towards glamour and sex-appeal than innocence.
But why do nowadays brides seem to have all been to the same wedding shop, specialising is corsets and crinolines? It feels like weddings are crying out for a bit more imagination. And a bit more fabric. Perhaps some sleeves? There’s nothing wrong with hiding under lace, less is always more.
So let’s take a look at these stunning and yet less revealing wedding dresses for the demure brides to be and find some inspiration for the upcoming white weddings of 2013.
US Vogue Shoot
All images via Pinterest
Look like a princess, feel like a star
Most of today’s wedding dresses can be quite a bore. Whether it be a strapless mermaid dress or a simple A-Line number (again, strapless), many bridal gowns are predictable and monotonous. Even lack a breath-taking quality. Perhaps this is due to an overkill in replicating modern celebrity bridal trends, or brides just following along with what’s in fashion. For the sophisticated, yet bold bride, however, there are a ridiculous amount of vintage-inspired dresses that conjure up the days of old-school celebrity and royal weddings gowns are becoming popular, as chic brides are looking for exclusive, unorthodox dresses.
Today’s fashion-focused women desire gowns fit for Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Natalie Wood, and Vivian Leigh. These brides desire stylish, uncommon twists on popular throw backs from the 40′s up to the 70′s. As any modish girl knows, “what comes around, goes around” is a mantra within the fashion industry, so gowns that are vintage-influenced or true antiques are what hip brides crave.
Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton isn’t the first royal bride to capture the media spotlight as she graced Westminster Abbey. Although her stunning gown, designed by Alexander McQueen fashion house’s creative director Sarah Burton, was classy and magnificent, several royal brides before her were adorned in enchanting dresses. Princess Diana’s over-the-top, flowing gown was a hit with women around the world during the 80′s.
But many fashionable brides-to-be seek styles from an even older royal generation. Similar to other fashion and beauty trends, celebrities from decades ago are being invoked when it comes to bridal attire. American actress turned Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly, will forever be a fashion icon; however, her elegant, refined gown has become an inspiring template for delicate, tasteful wedding dress designs. In 1978, Grace Kelly’s daughter also became a fashion icon in the bridal world when she embraced the spirit of the era and wore a charming, lacy dress during her first wedding. Much like Ms. Kelly, America’s first lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onasis made a lasting impression when she walked down the aisle in 1953 wearing an Anne Lowe ball gown fit for a princess.
No other time period was as glam and alluring as old school Hollywood. Actresses like Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, and Natalie Wood were chic trendsetters, so, naturally, these famous ladies’ wedding gowns; whether they be dresses worn during their actual marriage ceremonies or just on the silver screen; are popular with vintage loving brides. Simple, yet lovely tea length dresses are ideal for the casual, dainty bride. These 50′s style dresses also make superb bridesmaids’ attire and are available at retailers like Marks and Spencer. Brides-to-be who need something a bit more formal can look to the runways of Paris, London, and New York for awe-inducing, traditional gowns. No matter what vintage style you go with on your big day, you’re sure to look like a bride befitting royalty or a classic Hollywood star.
The essential holiday wardrobe
I know we’re in the middle of the winter and we should probably be talking about scarfs and mittens, but this time of the year is also popular for sunny getaways. So perhaps talking about an essential holiday wardrobe is not too far fetched.
I’ve just come back from a 3 weeks holiday in Vietnam and travelled a bit up and down the country with a heavy backpack mainly full of toiletries and a fair amount of clothes. I am a practical person and I hate carrying around unnecessary things but I also think one can never be too chic even when travelling in hot exotic countries, so I packed for evey eventuality. However, experiencing a few such trips in my life, I realised that you only really need a few essential items regardless of how long you’re going away for, items which I will detail below. If you think you will need more than this, don’t forget that most countries these days offer laundry services so refreshing your travellinng wardrobe should not be a problem. Travelling light is practical and eco-friendly. Plus, it leaves that little bit of extra room in your luaggage for those amazing finds you’ll want to bring back home.
The oversized white shirt
Important because it will keep you cool when it’s hot, it will keep you warm if it’s chilly, it will protect you from mosquitoes and it will look good on you no matter what (especially against that sun kissed skin).
The denim shorts
I’d say go for boyfriend style of oversized, you won’t want to offend any local eyes by showing too much of your womanly bottom. Unless you’re in Brazil, which is fine!
The long skirt
Important for the same reasons as the oversized white shirt, for visiting temples and holy places and for making you look sexy and mysterious.
The oversized T-shirts
Make sure you pack a couple of plain grey or black ones and a few printed ones. Not more than 5 or 6. They go with the denim shorts and the long skirts.
We all know why!
The flat sandals
They must be a) comfortable (think city visits), b) stylish (think dinners and nights out)
Earrings are the essential holiday accessories. They don’t feel sweaty against your skin like necklaces and bangles, and they will flatter you whether your hair is up or down.
Festival style straw hats or fabric ones which you can fold and carry around. Any other kind will take up too much space and attention.
As essential as your underwear. They will protect you against sun, wind, rain, too much attention. Perfect for covering shoulders during temple visits and for looking stylish and put together!
And other than suncream and mineral powder don’t think you’ll need anything else. Harem pants and jumpsuits are ok too, but only as extras. You’ll be able to mix and match at large with the items above, still looking like the girls from Sex and The City. Ok, maybe not quite like them! But close enough!…
All images via Pinterest.
Return to elegance
This year I didn’t post any suggestions for the party season. Because I am bored of what the shops are offering and of what the people are wearing. I am bored with the party season becoming just another trend following occasion. I’m bored with people not making an effort and I yearn for the return of elegance and grace. If anything, this year I wish we all looked like princesses.
All images via Pinterest
Style icon of the week: Chloe Sevigny
She’s got attitude, this girl. She does red carpet with a bit of a twist, she does street style like no other flaunting her amazing bare legs as her most precious item and she does punk, whenever. She’s edgy, her face is different, she can look sweet and she can look dangerous. And on top of everything, she’s a damn great actress!
I recently came accross a great post on Fashion Photography blog which attracted me because it was talking about two things I am really fascinated by: staying true to yourself whilst feeling no necessity in explaining that truth to anyone = the ineffability of being.
‘Shooting what I love and how I see fashion. My greatest wish for myself is that I can stick to this and not listen to people anymore telling me I must conform and change to shoot in a style that isn’t mine. I guess we’re all going to find out together if I can stick to my guns and stay true to my vision now’ are the words of the photographer, Ben Trovato. I like what he’s saying, it’s important not to conform and stay true to oneself, to ‘be at home’ no matter what you do.
“All you can do is be confusing. Don’t ever empty the bucket of mystery. Never let people define what you do. It’s not about zigging when you should zag. It’s not about doing something unprecedented and unpredictable. It’s just about never being a word, or something that is not in the process of transformation.” – Marilyn Manson
The original Moloko singer, is one versatile lady. She sports eccentric, futuristic outfits on stage with the same efortlessness as jeans and T-shirts. What I like most about her is the manner in which she wears anything, nothing seems forced or out of place, she does it with grace and purpose. And if you don’t mind me saying she’s been doing kooky way before Lady GAGA.
And her music is as fluid as the way she wears clothes, timeless and iconic. Rejoice!
Bitch-online Boho Photoshoot
A couple of months ago, I styled a photoshoot for Bitch-onlinemagazine ‘s Boho Issue.
Defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as ‘an artist. literary man or actor, who leads a free, vagabond or irregular life, not being particular as to the society he frequents and despising conventionalities generally’, a bohemian is someone who doesn’t mind standing out. In fact, many of the strong women of today are not afraid to show their bohemian side and the magazine’s Boho issue was exploring the boho side of the multifaceted women of today.
So here are the pictures that came out from the shoot. My thinking behind the styling was that the images should be arresting, make you stop and think that, in a way, today, it’s all about too many choices. I saw this shoot as a metaphor for the modern boho woman who is seeking (and can’t help but accept) influences from so many sources and she is all of them at once, standing out through her exaggerated eclecticism. She is the expression of a long history of bohemian lifestyle. So I went heavy on accessories and contrasts.
Met Gala 2012
The Met Gala, the opening night of the annual fashion exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, is now something of a fashion Oscars. It’s a star studded event where conventional evening dresses rub shoulders with extravagant outfits, in an effort to match the theme of the opening. ‘After last year’s emotionally charged blockbuster, a posthumous Alexander McQueen retrospective, the Impossible Conversations: Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada show is a move back into more cerebral, curatorial territory. The exhibition explores the connections between Schiaparelli and Prada, two Italian women whose design was motivated by a desire to challenge conventional notions of beauty and chic.’ (www.guardian.co.uk, accesed 22.05.12).
I am not going to talk about all the dresses on display. The rich and famous stepped down the red carpet surrounded in appropriate glitter and breathtaking frocks. But despite having become an Oscar-style event, The Met Gala is still about art and it’s so nice to see a bit of something else too. These are a few of my favourite outfits of the night and the resons why.
Cameron Diaz in Stella McCartney for reminding us of the elegance of the 40s era
Kirsten Dunst in Rodarte for bringing the Marlene Dietrich look back where it belongs
Ginnifer Goodwin in Monique Huillier for being my most recent revelation: she’s not afraid of colour and knows how to stand out without being flashy
Chloe Sevigny in Miu Miu for taking kooky to a whole new level
Diane Krueger in Prada for how she can rock casual and glamourous at the same time. Plus the colour of this dress is simply divine!
Alexa Chung in Marc Jacobs for making covering up sexy
Cate Blanchet in McQueen for being the epitome of the black swan
January Jones in Atelier Versace for going futuristic in a rather retro way (remember the Jetsons?)and who else could have pulled it off if not the Mad Lady herself?
All images via Pinterest
The Stylist of the 'Girl on Fire'
There is no greater proof of the importance of a great stylist: sometimes it can make the difference between life and death…
I’ve been obsessed with The Hunger Games for a while (for those of you out there still not touched by the Games bug wondering what am I talking about, it is a trilogy written by Suzanne Collins – first of the three has been made into an accurate film, currently showing in cinemas around the world) and it felt only natural that at some point I would take some time to talk about Cinna, the stylist from the Hunger Games.
Brilliantly brough to life by Lenny Kravitz, Cinna is the stylist of the tribune from District 12, Katniss (the main character), who is sent into the Hunger Games arena to fight to the death against other 23 teenagers (one of which is Peeta, the boy from her own district who is also in love with her), until only one would be crowned victor. Cinna’s outfits were made to play up Katniss’ image as “the girl on fire”: Katniss’s first outfit was a simple black unitard, and a black cape that was lit with realistic-looking fake flames to make her look powerful and symbolise her district’s mining heritage.
Her second dress was covered with jewels creating fire designs, so she is remembered as the ‘girl who was on fire’ from her first appearance. When she twirled, she looked like she was engulfed in pure flames. “I am not pretty. I am not beautiful. I am as radiant as the sun.” Katniss’s third dress (nicknamed her “innocent dress”), falls to her knees and is a soft candle light yellow and she is wearing it after she and Peeta win the Hunger Games for their broadcasted appearance as victors. The purpose of this dress was to calm the spirits of the Capitol against her, as she was seen as a rebel for defying the rules of the Hunger Games.
His fourth dress is a fitted black jumpsuit, with a crown and it “comes to life as fire” turning different colors like a burning coal, which she is wearing at the 75th Hunger Games parade, meant to reinforce her ‘girl on fire’ image. Katniss’s fifth dress is a long white gown, completed with pearls. Cinna secretly altered the dress so that when she twirled and lifted her arms, she would become a mockingjay, the symbol of the rebellion against the Capitol.
Her being remembered by the crowds ensures sponsors flock the help her out during the games, hence keeping her alive, and also rallies the rebels together. There must be no underestimation of how important the job of the stylist was to solidify the message which she sends across. And the fact that a stylist is an important character in a book that sold million of copies around the world and that the stylist is no longer the shadow of a celebrity but has even entered the realm of literature can only mean one thing: its the stylist’s turn to be ‘on fire’!
Mademoiselle Felee Artdeco Collar Bronze
The perfect accessory to… well, almost anything! I’d probably wear it with a white T-shirt and jeans to start with.
Every change in seasons brings in almost every normal female a strong desire for a wardrobe change. Of course, that comes with a price and a string of other impracticalities, which are too many to mention.
One of the easiest ways to achieve a fresh look without breaking the bank is to invest in items such as coloured and patterned tights. Especially as they are increasingly popular both on the street and the catwalks. Take your pick, there are lots of interesting designs and patterns out there.
If you want to sport the Prada retro car look, but can’t quite afford it:
I tried it myself the other day and believe it or not everyone noticed my tights.
There’s no denying that bold flower prints are big this season. As much as I am a big fan of prints and colours, I would advise using them with care, unless you want to end up looking like you’ve just returned from ‘Club Tropicana’.
There’s nothing wrong with the summer pyjama look as long as it’s an attire you feel comfortable in, but I wouldn’t personally jump in to cover myself in flowers and leaves at the first signs of spring. What I do find irresistible however is to spend as little as possible on pretty flowery items to bring some spring and sunshine into my life. So I bought myself this pretty Oilily purse from TK Maxx (£8.00), a pencil skirt from H&M (£14.99), lots of scarfs (£4.00 each from Primark) and flowery socks also from Primark at £2.50 for five pairs (remember my post about Socks and Sandals? – I’m planning to practice what I preach…).
But if you’re ready to embrace the tropical flowers burst, I say do it in style! Either opt for a shift dress toned down by its classical cut or for a pencil skirt which you can team up with a solid coloured summer blouse. I think my favourites this year are from Oasis – they remind me a lot of Jonathan Saunders’ last year’s collection.
Oasis dress, £65
Oasis skirt, £20 (Sale price)
There are many things I love about the warm season (amongst which picnics, Pimm’s, softball league, longer days, happier people, parks, blue sky, icecream, barbeques…) but, when it comes to fashion, what I really love is that it allows you to be versatile with your outfits in an inexpensive way.
Rather than buying new clothes each season to follow the trend wagon, best to buy a few cheap(ish) scarves and use them in various ways to update your style. They usually go great with plain vests and statement shades. And, if you feel a bit bolder than most, wear them on your head to emulate the 50′s or the 70′s power looks.
And because I am firm believer that the ‘Copacabana’ prints aren’t here to stay for longer than a season, I strongly recommend buying a tropical printed scarf instead of the hawaian shirt women’s magazines are raving about if you want to be part of the latest fashion craze. I personally really like the oversized scarfs from Primark – I have quite a collection at home and consider them wardrobe staples.