Saturday, 19 December 2009

Ode to the Glasgow Thrift Store

Well well well...I have managed to leave my Christmas shopping until the last minute (again) but this time it's only because my boyfriend was eager to get a Christmas jumper and I couldn't find one ANYWHERE! So I have spent the last week raiding charity shops and thrift stores for a Norwegian knit-style Chrimbo jumper and been deeply frustrated at my lack of findings. I started in Edinburgh, making my way down the many many charity shops on Nicholson st, going to Armstrong's, Bernardo's Vintage and...well that's about all Edinburgh has it is rubbish. Of course I didn't make it to Morningside charity shops and I have heard they are excellent - especially if you're after tea sets!

So this took me a good chunk of time, made worse by the fact I was looking for other people's presents and therefore got distracted so ended up getting NONE and I was also restricted on time as I was heading to The Filmhouse on the other side of town to see the revamped The Red Shoes.

But then I went through to Glasgow and the first Vintage Shop I went into had THE Christmas jumper! It was brown and white with that lovely Christmas pattern resembling snowflakes and it was Norwegian knit and VERY WARM! There we go. Sorted. And it's because Glasgow has the most amazing concentrated selection of Charity and Thrift stores in the West End. Ever.

Vintage Guru (where I got the Christmas jumper) has to be my all time favourite right now. It's kind of dangerous when I go in there as I tend to always buy something. And the prices, for vintage, are fairly reasonable. You can buy a tweed men's jacket at the same price the charity shop next door is selling one (approx. £20) but here there is far more choice!! Right now they have just got in a selection of amazing 1920s hats; unfortunately some of them are made for 1920s heads and are TINY.

I also love Starry Starry Night for the location alone.

Continue down the alley and you have Glorious (formerly known as Glory Hole and you can see why that was changed...) Start walking up Great Western Road and you get to Watermelon: the original West End vintage shop! The there is Retro (makes sense) and the new NEW Glasgow Vintage Co. which I have yet to visit and I can't wait.

And they aren't even including all of the charity shops! But if you've done all of those and are still somehow sane and have money in your pocket then head over to Merchant City to the daddy of Vintage Mr Ben's.

I'd be surprised if you could control your cash after that vintage dash! Christmas jumper or no Christmas jumper...

Monday, 14 December 2009

In the frosty highlands

The sooner it gets to Christmas the more here there and everywhere I am. I bought THE most amazing fringed jacket the other day when late night shopping/ sipping mulled wine, but have not yet photographed it so will not post it up yet.

I have just been up to Tharna outside Nairn to visit my granddad before Christmas. It was FREEZING and absolutely beautiful. Here are some pictures to make up for my short post.

Mum taking a photo of me taking a photo of her. Oh the hilarity.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Consequence of Sounds

I saw Regina Spektor the other day at the O2 Academy. She was absolutely wonderful. I must confess I was a tad disappointed...if I'm going to be nit picky then I would say I was expecting her to be a bit more talkative. Although her performance was wonderful and she was very sweet there was nothing personal about the gig. She didn't address Glasgow or the audience in a way that felt she was playing especially for us, which I really like in a performer. The only part of the gig that felt unique was when a fan threw a t shirt on stage and it hit her in the face.

Only Glasgow.

Still, it was very enjoyable and I got the opportunity to listen to some of my favourite songs of hers. 'Us', 'Samson', 'Sailor Song' and 'Poor Little Rich Boy' to name a few. She also spoke/sang a peculiar (and very cute) poem about boys and the colour of their eyes and played lots of tracks from her new album.

My favourite is definitely 'The Caluclation' and 'Eet', but they really stood out as catchy pop tunes. Once I listen to the album more I think the slower ones will maybe get my attention. It always takes a good few listens before I get into an album properly

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

London Baby Yeah

I have just got back from a trip down to London. I love it. I'm still not entirely sure if I could live there, but boy do I love to visit.

I saw friends and family. I went to see A Serious Man at the Curzon Soho; a film described by one critic as written by Woody Allen and directed by David Lynch...not far off to be honest! I went to see Inherit the Wind at the Old Vic. It was absolutely excellent and both Kevin Spacey and David Troughton were brilliant. I wasn't particularly keen on the man who played the journalist, he had a phoney "newsman" accent, but apart from that it was incredibly powerful, standing ovations all round. And to finish off that particular treat of an evening we had dinner afterwards at Live Bait which was so delicious! Everything on the menu looked good so I had a hard time deciding, but eventually I went for the "create your own" in which you pick the fish, the sauce, and the side. They burnt my salmon so I had to wait for them to cook it again (they wouldn't even produce the original crisp as they informed me they would only serve it if it was perfect). This meant we got free desserts so I can't complain! All very yummy.

Naturally, I did a bit of shopping. As a wide eyed innocent Scottish girl I am drawn into Topshop in Oxford Circus. I try to avoid it. I went to Camden and bought very cool fake ray ban clubmaster frames which are terribly made, but I still can't wait to get lenses in them and see how long they last!

But, despite my Camden outing I couldn't resist and ended up spending far too long in the accessories department (over an hour!) before giving in to my strong urge of rummaging around the basement floor at the various overpriced labels they have on show.

What I took away from that trip (apart from some cheapo glasses and some gorgeous high waisted button up wool swing trousers in the style of Katharine Hepburn or Ginger Rogers)

was that I LOVE tights. I love them. I almost always wear skirts and dresses and it's so great to mix up the patterns on my legs. Especially in winter when you can get those warm woolly cosy tights. Yum.

I got a pair with a tiger crawling down the leg, spots, House of Holland alphabet tights and black and white leg tights. And I would get more if I could! Tights, tights, tights...they are my new obsession!

Monday, 23 November 2009

Skunk Anansie

Saw Skunk Anansie last night.

After 9 years of being apart Skunk Anansie reformed and, last night, played at the O2 Academy. Having listened to Hedonism (Just because you feel good) through my sadness, Selling Jesus through anger and Weak when I wanted a good sing-song (I was of the emotional teenager variety who felt little emotion other than anger and sadness), I was met with feelings of nostalgia as I bought the tickets for this November gig.

None of this phased me, however, I was so excited about hearing all of those songs mentioned plus many more. Cheap Honesty, Charlie Big Potato, Twisted(Everyday Hurts). And from the moment they came on stage there were even more. Songs I didn't even realise I missed and some I didn't think I liked until I heard them. Even better was that this wasn't a trip down memory lane. It didn't fling up old high school memories of over emotional dramatic teenage sadness. Not one bit.

The gig felt fresh. Skin rocked up on stage wearing black sequinned harem pants and a gold mane which covered her head and upper torso entirely. For the first song she was a gold sparkly cousin it from the Addams Family, her piercing eyes only occasionaly appearing as she belted out the chorus.

Needless to say, Skin was absolutely sensational. She walked into the crowd, held up by her ankles and sang with her all might - which is pretty damn impressive! She has the most amazing voice and if I could sing like anyone it would definitely be her voice I would want to snap up.

I'm in love. Even the new songs sounded quite good. I think I might have to check out Smashes and Trashes: the ultimate test would be, after I've had the hits on my Ipod for the next few weeks 'can I listen to Skunk Anansie in 2010?'

I think, maybe, I can.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Che I want it all

Last night was fantastic! Che Camille; a shop/ gallery space/ studio/ anything you want it to be, is an amazing space. On the 6th floor of Argyle Arcade the views across the city are outstanding. All the collections are on moveable clothes line, so an instant runway is created just with a bit of clever redcoration.

We saw shows from Bibico, Mzuribeads, Johari, Mia Nisbet, ate African food and drank fruit punch! Camille is such a warm person that you immediately feel at home amongst the cardboard gorilla and paper tree surroundings.

At the end of all the shows the clothes were rolled out and we could have a look around all of the collections we had just seen modelled so beautifully and have a sneak around the current in store collections. All of the designers, apart from Mia Nisbet, were available for a chat too.

Instead of saying more, though, I shall let the clothes speak for themselves. Here are just come of the designers selling at Che Camille right now!

Judith R Clark

As we as being available in Glasgow at Che Camille, her collection is also available at London's Junky Styling and LF Stores in LA.
And that's just three out of a huge amount of wonderful gorgeous stuff! I tried on one of Judith's gorgeous coats which I want SO MUCH! There are also photos floating around of the show, but unfortunately the camera I had was AWFUL! So I will see what I can save from those photos and post them up shortly.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Sewing Roots

Feeling better and feeling like I wanna head to Glasgow and see an ethical fashion show!

Featuring mzuribeads who make recycled paper bead jewellery

Mia Nisbit's recycled clothing

and Johari

Love it.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Got the Winter Flus

I have taken the afternoon off work due to gross illness. When I say gross I just mean how I feel, not anything too horrific. Razor blade throat, yellowy complexion and general exhaustion are pretty horrific though...

To bed with echinacea tea, plenty of water and thermal socks.

zzz *cough* zzzz

Monday, 16 November 2009

Che Camille

I have definitely been out of the loop.

Not even taking into account my last blog, my last ANYTHING stylish or otherwise was longer ago than I care to share. Being heavily involved in Big Man Walking was an absolutely amazing experience, but has torn me away from all things fashionable and (from all that outdoor work) led me into all things woollen and knitted. Now, don't get me wrong, there are such things as fashionable winter wear. You know, you get them in the titles of unimaginative fashion features such as "cosy knits" and "winter warmers"...but when you're really cold (and I mean REALLY cold like a pair of woolly tights and Laboutin heels just aren't gonna cut it) then style is not on the forefront of your mind. I tried my best. I got a nice 80s style Topshop baggy cream knit and a very very warm Norwegian cardigan which is very hippy chic. But, they don't look so saucy when they're the fifth layer and I look like the Michelin man.

No. Not so saucy.

So, here I am getting back in the loop and what better way to start than by going to Sewing Roots: Ethical Brands?! Having started at the very trendy venue Che Camille on Friday 9th of this month and finishing on Friday 9th December I shall certainly be popping my head in to see some exciting ethical fashion and hopefully popping out with my own environmentally friendly attire.

And most importantly; popping out in style!

Thursday, 4 June 2009

I heart McQueen

Pete Burns style lips and dogtooth print? A sort of evil clown, gothic and suited thing going on all at once....the perfect serious look for Autumn 2009!?!?!

Yes, I'll have some of that please minus the plastic surgery malfunction.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Sunshine on...Woodlands

Ok, pretty cool reference to The Proclaimers there (yes I am up to the minute in my cultural references). But, it is Glasgow (I do miss Leith, but not the trams thank you very much) it is May, it is HOT AND SUNNY! I won't question it oh no. I am embracing the sunshine and counting down the days until bar work is over and hard hard work that is fun and better paid begins!!

Until then though I will slog it out in the busy outside bar I will soon be joining (4 and a half hours and counting) and enjoy the sunshine when work isn't beckoning: bring on Sunday!!

I came across these sunglasses from Gio-Goi in the Mens section that are fantastically crazy and, seeing as it is glorious sunshine, it inspired me to find other ones of an equally fantastically crazy nature without the £55 price tag!

For £15 you can get these wonderfully wacky and great for this seasons 'sports chic' from Topshop.

I absolutely love these sunglasses from Miss Selfridge. An underrated high street store which right now has a lot of amazing things. These kooky creations are £12!

Now I'm going to have to stop talking about sunglasses, put some on and get out into the sunshine!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Graduate Fashion

The first issue of Brikolage is out in cafes and bars around Edinburgh: check it out!!!!

I intend to get it published online, hopefully for the next issue, so a link for that will be on my blog when that happens!!

For the next issue I will be previewing the Big Freak, but what I was most excited about was reviewing the Edinburgh Art College fashion show which I went to last Wednesday. After a short break in Florence which I have just got back from I am sitting down to write about a hugely important part of new Scottish fashion.

But, after having seen the show, what most inspires me is the ECA's fantastic Performance Costume department. The fashion show is very serious; the models are thin and look bored; the clothes can be interesting and original, but don't push any boundaries and over all is it fast and loud and I am desperate for a model to crack a smile!!

The costume on the other hand is in a standard of its own. Of a highly professional quality, the costumes are exciting and beautifully made down to the tiniest detail and the show itself is incredibly entertaining.

A friend suggested that this may just be the difference between fashion and costume, but I disagree entirely. Fashion is a form of costume and catwalk fashion often delves into the outrageous. And I prefer it that way. I want to be inspired and excited, not pounded with plain outfits on plain models. OK, yes, some of the designers managed to capture some interesting ideas, but there was no risk taking, no eccentricity.

For me, when the graduates of 2009 show me what they have achieved, that is what I want to see.

3rd year costumes for 'The Way of the World'

Design by Sarah Martin

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Gok's Fashion Faux Pas

First of all, just look at his stupid smug face.

Ok, that's as mean as I'm going to get. Because, although he can be incredibly irritating and repeats constantly (and just imagine him saying it) "The GREAT British high street" "fierce" "you go girl" and "you can look fabulous and you don't have to blow the bank", his ethos is quite good. He encourages a healthy body image and campaigns for affordable fashion which is always great.

I do think the high street can offer some great bargains, but they are not always of particularly good quality which is why he always has to add and alter his bought items. (I have also noticed he's no longer sticking to his under £200 an outfit like the last series). But, my best bargains are vintage or designer finds in charity shops and ebay etc. Something of great quality, yet with an amazing price.

The first episode we saw Brix Smith-Start's collection win. Great. More realistic and I love her. I'm guessing, however, that this was only to shut up anyone who thought the competition was fixed as I believe he won the second episode and I have just watched the third which, for no obvious reason, he also won. Now I am not a designer diva and sometimes, quite often, I think designer can look tacky and I prefer the quirky high street. But, in this episode there was no way Gok's line could meet Brix's. I mean; Vivienne Westwood suit?? It was bloody gorgeous!!

This Chambray two piece suit at £560 would have won the entire competition for me without a second thought. Brix teamed it with killer red Gucci heels and the model looked stunning.

Instead a mustard cardigan and gold jacket won. The only thing that saved this outfit was the stunning felt hat by MacCulloch and Wallis with a knitted flower by VV Rouleaux.

Ok, so maybe he's not totally useless.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Sun Sea and Swimsuits

I am not sure what happened and why the plan of blogging every day went to no blogs for weeks.

I am sure anyone who reads my blog has had enough apologising and wants to get down to some actual fashion blurbs!

So, new dilemma: I am going to Florence in a couple of weeks for a few nights and the hotel we are staying in has a pool (yay). I haven't been on holiday out of Britain in over a year which is a depressing thought and one thing which will begin to be remedied starting with this forthcoming Italy trip! I also have not bought a new swimsuit and used it abroad in even longer so a new one is definitely on my list.

Although I do wear bikinis they are really for sunbathing purposes as opposed to swimming. But, I tend to dislike swimsuits as they are often very unflattering for the flatter chested girl. At least, the ones I seem to find are. What I have had in my swimsuit dreams for a while now is a 50s inspired retro swimsuit. Flattering and currently quite trendy. Finding one though so far is a challenge.

Everything online has been so lovely and very tempting, but all incredibly expensive!! Here is a few that caught my eye.

From Retro Vixens a cute nautical 'Sailor Betty' one piece by Steady Clothing, costing £33.97.
This is my favourite style as I love the back detailing, and it is actually the cheapest one I found. The only problem is that it the sizes are general. "small" is between 8 and 10 and I am concerned that it could be on the baggy side and that I won't be able to get a refund if it is too big. I have emailed the website for further sizing details so we shall see what comes of that.

A friend recommended the website DollyDagger as one to try. Although it has a few gorgeous suits they are all bikinis, no one pieces, and is on the more expensive scale of things.
This 'Cupcake Bikini' by Skinny Dip Swimwear is the cheapest at £33 with their other bikinis going up to £45. And it is not very far off something I could get on the high street at a high street price. On the plus side this website stocks cute sun suits such as this on by Tara Starlet. Just a shame it costs £54!

Next on my list is Pin up couture a well known label for the 'alternative' retro girl.

This is one of my favourites; the 'Bettie Halter' in cherry print. On Pin Up Girl Clothing website it sells for $68 which is slightly cheaper than on the Retro Vixens website on which it costs £43. However, I could not seem to figure out shipping costs without actually buying it so the difference might be made up on that.

I also LOVED their three piece bikinis such as this one in a white cherry print costing $80. Expensive stuff but absolutely gorgeous!!!

Last on my website alone list is ModCloth for their sexy vintage inspired bikinis. Again, expensive. This bikini which also comes in a polka dot print is $89.99.

But, what I absolutely love is this nautical one piece below.
Just a shame it costs $124.99!!

So how about on the high street then? Any cheap alternatives? Topshop sadly seems to have very little indeed. In fact, I think the best shop is probably New Look with its Kelly Brook range. Sold as seperates instead of sets you can mix and match and with prices ranging from £5 to £15 they are not quite as authentically reproduced (i.e. low cut leg instead of more modern high cut) as some expensive swimsuits previously listed but they are incomparable in price! And when a girl is on a budget then a girl cannot complain!!

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Easter Birthday!

It's my birthday on Monday and I am taking a week off starting tomorrow to just chill out and NOT WORK!! So expect daily bloggage as I have a chance to sit in front of my computer for more than two minutes and a much happier me as I take a week entirely to myself to do absolutely nothing.

I can't wait.

Tomorrow I am going through to Edinburgh with the boyfriend to partake in a traditional family painting egg and rolling down hill experience.

On Monday I am going bowling. Yes.

But I'm not quite free from the clutches of work yet...

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Shopping wheee

After having abstained from shopping successfully I finally gave in yesterday and went on a mini Charity Shop only spree. Ok, so I may have strayed a tad from Charity Shops, but I was still pretty good. It started off in Shelter where I bought Labyrinth and The Big Lebowski on video (how retro) as I have an old tv with a built in video player and they were only 99p each. Then it was Oxfam where I got a pair of Killah red and gold wedges which were apparently a size 4, but I'm a 5-6 so I don't know how I fit into them. But, I did and I'm happy!

Then we strayed from the charity shops down Ruthven Lane and into Starry Starry Night in which I purchased a 50s apron dress. I was going to stitch a trangular panel into the back and belt it, but as a temporary measure I pinned the back in the middle, giving the excess material a cape effect which I am starting to prefer. Then, my friend took me into a shop I had never been into before called Glorious in which I was forced to buy three amazing dresses. And when I say I was forced it is with little exaggeration. A jumper dress, open down the sides, so a boob tube is on my shopping list. A fringed flapper dress with a lace neck. And, the best buy I could have seeing as it looked so hideous on the rack; a Karen Millen dress: black with different coloured sequinned squares. It is a bodycon fitting and currently knee length though soon to be chopped into a mini. It is AMAZING.

Now I just need an excuse to wear them out. But, stay off the booze!!

Friday, 27 March 2009

Freak Out

Last night was The Big Freak Zombie special. Overworked and tired I was not in the spirit to go dancing. Stress and working almost 50 hours a week, although not being the definitive reason, has certainly not helped my eczema which has been so awful recently it has put me in a slump. I have a rash which is almost certainly contact allergy related and spreads from my face down my neck across my body and my thighs. It is unbearable and I am a miserable non fashion conscious wreck.

I do apologise.

It is difficult to care about what I am wearing when all I can see is red skin and all I can think about is how itchy I am.

Anyway. Enough of the negative ranting.

I went to The Big Freak as a reviewer for Briccolage; a new zine focusing on the underground arts scene in Edinburgh. Along with the Knitty Kitty interview which I conducted on Sunday it will appear in the first issue out on the 10th April. Knitty Kitty herself had a stall set up in one of the booths in Medina, the club venue, and I caved in and purchased a Bingo ball necklace, a knitted chain necklace with a retro transformer tape/ dinasoar, a band aid bracelet, a dino skeleton earring, a fuse earring and a pink ribboned pirate ship hair clip.

I cannot WAIT to start feeling better and wearing it all again.

PS. I am detoxing and going on a macrobiotic type diet to see if anything sorts it. And I had acupuncture today - frightening, but incredibly relaxing. Defintately feeling spaced out now.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Backless Blooming

The weather is glorious!!! It is Spring time and Spring means flowers blooming and the beginning of Summer.

Last night I was flicking through my friend's copy of Harper's Bazaar with Emily Blunt on the cover and in it's high street trend section it had a dress which was a combination of hideous and really attractive to me. It was white with pinky red roses on it; very tack-granny-tastic. It had a tulip skirt and capped sleeves. I wanted it.

I went on the website and looked for it to no avail. However I did find a good collection of floral dresses. Whether garish such as the asos own brand, or subtle like Trina Turq's design they had a good selection. I found myself leaning towards the backless dresses. Hence the "jazz" print one which I finished off with. It's summer time; show off some back!!!

Diesel Hybiscus Print Halter Backless Dress £98

ASOS Floral V Back Pencil Dress £44.50

Trina Turq Indian Silk Cutwork & Jewel Flower £280

ASOS Jazz Print Cut Out Back Tulip Dress £37.50