Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Knit: Angora and Lambswool Hat

Hello there,

So I've been knitting lately, trying to occupy the free time I had after my exams have finished and I've finished knitting a piece using the same angora/lambswool blend yarn I had used to make some mittens in my previous posts. I'm not very pleased with the quality of my finished product, merely because I didn't have enough yarn to properly follow the pattern I was using: All-Day Beret

Rather than a beret, I've made a pseudo-beret/beanie. It was originally supposed to be a gift but I'm not sure whether to give it anymore. It's small enough to fit a dog, if dogs wore berets. Here's a picture showing how small it is as I've placed it on my cow plushie (who I call うし、which is 'cow' in Japanese [pronounced ushi] but it also has an English name Daisy because a girl I know insisted that it should be called that)

Well, it's small enough to fit a big dog like a labrador, or a German shepherd.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Scraps: My Style

Hello there!

Though it has nothing to do with fashion, what I'm going to say is: I've finally finished my exams! That was actually a week ago but I've just been grieving for the fact that I ended my exam period with a fizzle rather than a spark.

Anyway, back to fashion, I've realised that I've never really showed my style on my blog but that is because I did not wish to put anything too personal in this blog. I just had the idea to break down my style in this blog post, so that is exactly what I'm going to do.

If I had to describe my style, I would not really be able to put into words. I wouldn't describe it as chic, or classic, sophisticated. I'm not trendy nor am I casual or relaxed. Though I'm quite fond of vintage clothes, I would not describe it like that either. It's simply a reflection of who I am, what I like and what I feel like on that day but I used to have some goth and punk influences in my style.

1. Plaid

I'm very fond of this pattern, ever since I was a little child. In fact, I don't remember a time when I haven't liked this pattern and it seems I'm always wearing this, whether it be in the form of a dress, a skirt or a jacket. However, I don't always go out and I don't actually own that many pieces that are plaid. 

2. Boots

I've started wearing boots after I grew tired of my converses. I don't actually have a large collection of shoes but I've been quite fond of boots, especially the lace-up ones or ones with buckles on them. At the moment, I own a pair of docs and some short ankle boots -- all in black.

3. Skirts + Dresses

I haven't been wearing pants very often as of lately. It is merely because I find it more comfortable to wear skirts and dresses and because I've become a little more feminine. Once in a while, I'll be in some jeans or trousers but very rarely do I wear shorts.

4. Semi-precious stones + pearls

As for accessories, I don't wear a lot of them. I don't always accessorise my outfits either but if you ever want to glam an outfit up, you can always do it with accessories like statement necklaces, rings, bracelets. However, it really isn't my thing to wear anything like statement jewellery. I'm also one of those people who enjoy making their own jewellery but I haven't made any as of recently. The amethyst bracelet in the picture is my work. I've pretty much wore the hemp and stone bracelet everyday. I would also wear pearls if I ever want to be a bit formal and girly.

5. Dark, Neutral & Tones

If I were to show you my entire wardrobe, it would mainly consist of tones(black, white and grey), neutrals (ivory, beige), and dark colours (navy, crimson). There will be some colours such as pink, orange, red, blue, mint but I mainly wear dark colours and tones all year round.

Now, for the things I've grown out of but I would occasionally wear:

1. Gunmetal + Crosses

When I mean gunmetal, I meant gunmetal grey in jewellery. At one point I really liked crosses, especially the elaborately decorated ones and I would occasionally wear them in my outfits but I felt like I quickly grew out of them. As with gunmetal, that gradually occurred but I would still wear them.

2. Converses

I feel as if I haven't been wearing them as much as I used to. They were so comfortable and it was pretty casual. I used to wear them with jeans and then when I got into dresses and skirts, I still wore them (a bit Bella Swan much? Well, I wore them like that before the movie was ever made anyway...).

3. Printed Tees

I haven't been wearing them either as of lately but I used to adore Skelanimals.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Update: H&M's Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Line?

When I first read about this, I admit I was a little curious, then excited, then started questioning about it: "Why make a line based on Lisbeth Salander when most people wouldn't be wearing grunge/goth?" I'm among those millions of people who have bought a copy of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and read it. (I have the trilogy sitting on my bookshelf now... sitting in front of the Twilight books I haven't touched for years and probably won't touch again.)

She's my favourite character and probably everyone who has read the book would at least feel sympathy for her, if not admire her strength despite all those unfortunate events that happened to her. Now you can actually dress like her with H&M's collection based on her style. I wouldn't go all out with it but I do have my eye on their leather jackets. I've always wanted to get a leather jacket but I feared that it wouldn't suit me at all. I wouldn't dare go near the leather pants though. I don't have the figure for it.

I am aware that it's almost insulting to some people that Salander's inspired a line of ready-to-wear clothing, which is partly why I'm hesitating about this. Also, it's a bit ironic how H&M (a swedish clothing chain) is making this line based on this Swedish novel.

Unfortunately we don't have a H&M here in Australia but I'm travelling to the US this summer (winter in their hemisphere) so I'm hoping I could have a look, along with all those stores that Americans always talk about yet we never really see in Australia. It releases on December 14 in their stores, in case you haven't heard.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Trend: Flower Accessories

In Australia, spring has already crept in and it's nearing summer. There is a reason why I love looking at accessory trends: they don't change as regularly as clothing. Headbands are still in. Feathers are are still there (with Melbourne Cup drifting in, there's no reason why you wouldn't see them) And now, there's flowers. I don't mean floral patterns on headbands or gold earrings in the shape of a flower but rather fake flowers chained up into one: the realistic look.

Floral garlands have popped up in Sportsgirl, from simple designs to more elaborate ones. More hair accessories from Diva. I can imagine those garlands being worn at a concert or a nice casual day out but even I hesitate to try this trend. Those garlands could even be used for a wedding, if the flowers were white. 

The two accessories on the far right from Diva. The rest are from Sportsgirl.
Although it hasn't hit stores, it can also be in the form of jewellery. In etsy, there are heaps of designs. 

I love how realistic the leaves look. From here

So if you wish to try out this trend, I'd recommend you wear it with something flowy: following the hippie trend that's in now. Try white or subtle colours like pastel or earthy tones to avoid clashing with bright multi-coloured flowers (despite the fact that colour blocking is in... I don't think it works with accessories like these).

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Trends: Polka Dots

久しぶりね。It's been a while, hasn't it? (I don't know why I wanted to type Japanese... but I've pretty much translated that)

So I felt in the mood to do a short post, or somewhat short post to me. Although Australia's just entering spring and heading towards summer, I don't exactly know what struck me to do a fall trend that's picking up in the northern hemisphere. But I think this trend will definitely hit our stores when the time comes. 

Polka dots is what I'm talking about.

Looking at some of the pictures in the collections for fall ready to wear, there seems to be polka dots popping up. Mainly in the Marc Jacobs and Diane von Furstenburg shows but even celebrities are wearing it. To be honest, I'm not too fond of dots because they can end up looking very psychedelic? They just make my head spin, especially because they opted for OTT dotty.

I can recognise that face anywhere. It's Ming Xi in DVF Fall 2001 RTW.

Both from Marc Jacobs.
Hooray for Collette Dinnigan!

It's not that polka dots were never in trend. I'm sure last fall had some polka dots... or at least I saw dotted tights but I think this is a new level of polka dots. It's not the meek little spots you had on your tights or on a blouse. You're pretty much piling on dotted fabric. Of course, this trend is for the young and confident, energetic and a little quirky. 

That is why I won't be caught dead with those polka dots (heck, it'll draw too much attention). I'll be lurking in the shadows... 

Images mainly obtained from Style.com

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Picture Overload: Outfit with Bow Headband

Hello there,

It's certainly been a while since I've posted anything. I've just finished all my exams so now I could actually spend some free time updating this blog. To be honest, I lost a bit of my passion for writing about fashion and I couldn't think about what to write. So I thought I'd just do a post on something I'd wear with the bow headband (which I made a tutorial on).

I can't get away with wearing it in my normal outfits because while my style is a little girly, it can't really get away with this cutesy OTT headband. The headband really isn't as wearable as I had thought it would be... which frustrates me to no end because it just sits there in my drawer. 

So basically, I pulled out the girliest thing I had, which was a Sass and Bide Vie Dress. The material is sheer so it's actually more of a beach dress but it sort of channels Snow White and Minnie Mouse with the headband in the summer.

It's very difficult trying to take a picture of yourself. You can see that I'm holding my camera because the strap is dangling from my head and that it's actually a photograph of my reflection.

My artsy thoughts kicked in. I thought I'd add a bit of eeriness by making this picture a bit dull. This definitely channels Snow White... I mean with the mirror. Oh and this isn't my room either. Currently, my room is a mess with notes everywhere.
For a somewhat better look at the dress:

Sorry for the very blurry picture but I was shaking a lot.  So this is my haphazard attempt to get back into blogging.

In any case, I'm happy to say that I'll be going to the US for most of the Australian summer. So I'll be taking refuge away from the blazing Australian summer sun. When the time comes, I might make a post on the winter trends in the US and predict which ones will end up in Australia for next winter. 

Meanwhile, I have to go back to studying for my last set of exams for the year.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Scraps/Trend: Spring/Summer

Hello there!

So it's been a while since I've typed anything up on my blog. I'm actually supposed to be studying at this moment but I couldn't help but I had to force myself just to write this post. I thought I'd do a little thing on the spring/summer trends I think might come to Oz (Australia... if people aren't familiar with that term). 

Most of the trends we get in Australia were trends from Spring/Summer in the northern hemisphere. I just have a gut feeling that I'd be seeing lots of colour in stores this spring and summer (hopefully, I'd get to flee from the sticky Aussie heat and spend my days in icy weather in the north, this year.)

From the runways, lots of orange popped up and something called "colour-blocking". So I thought I'd draw both into one little outfit. There's a reason why I don't like drawing faces and I'm sure you can see why from this scan:

 Ignoring this hasty and pretty ugly drawing, there's a colour-blocked skirt. I thought I'd make it a little 70s inspired, merely because there seems to be a trend with the 70s floral dresses. Anyway, the flowy long skirts and the flowy peasant blouse seems perfect for spring, when it's a little cooler.

So going on with this colourful theme, I thought I'd draw something that's a little twisted from the trends. I love Diane von Furstenberg's designs for her patterns and this was sort of inspired by her work (I could never have the patience to create intricate patterns on her clothes). It's not a unique design but I thought it was a little twist from the stripe trends going on with other runways. 

  You can see that I got lazy with the chevron stripes. My concentration span is very tiny so I could never bother making it look perfect. Some of the colouring is dodgy but there's only so much you could do with limited copic markers. 

I believe there was a recent trend on these zig-zags but I didn't think it was very big. I don't even think it even reached Australia (unless I was blind). 

Originally I wanted to do something a little bit 60s but I ended up with a trapeze neckline and a simple and colourful dress, perfect for the summer. I thought I'd add a little bit of cuteness by drawing some flower earrings too.  

Just to note, I don't have fashion in my mind as a career, so you can all breathe. It'd be terrible if I were a designer for some major fashion label and all I do is copy but then again, there's not much that's original. It's all recycled in a way, with the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s trends popping up again but slightly altered. 

So another tip: to be trendy, buy VINTAGE (a fancy word for old)!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Model: Ming Xi

Hello there!

I thought I would make a post, seeing as it's a long weekend here in Australia and I probably won't be blogging for a while as things are going to get busier for me. Oh, and I've also started a beauty blog at: http://maquillagebythesea.blogspot.com/ 

Whether you want to read the beauty blog, it's really up to you. I thought it would be fun to write one, even though I'm still struggling to keep up with a fashion blog. 

I've been focusing on street fashion and alternative fashions so far, as well as mainstream trends, so I'll be writing about something different. I've been hiding under a rock and finally realised that there's a lot more Asian models now. I still think it consists predominantly of white females though. I was just searching on the net and I came across a model called Ming (Mengyao) Xi (also was known as Barbie Xi for a period of time) and I was stunned by her work. 

Givenchy Couture - Paris - S/S 10
Emilio de la Morena - London - F/W10.11

People call her "versatile" (which kind of makes me think like she's some kind of object) because she can pull off that sultry vampire look and she could look feminine and natural. I just can't help but to stare at her eyes. Ugh, I'm so envious! Why can't I have big eyes like hers? (Excuse my little girl crush here...) At least she doesn't have the double eyelid that most Asians sought after. Also, I've noticed that a lot of Asian models in high fashion tend to have monolids (the one's I've seen so far). It's funny how in the western world, monolids are admired and yet the east prefers double eyelids merely because we love big Caucasian eyes. 
EDIT: When I mean Asian, I'm talking about East Asians: Chinese, Japanese, Korean.

I also love that Emilio de la Morena dress she wore. It's so elegant and feminine. Anyway, I don't know whether I'd call her new to the scene as I'm a little late to report but she hasn't been on runways for a long time. She's certainly popular, popping up in a lot of fashion shows. 

Erdem - London - F/W 10.11

There's a certain elegance she has wearing that dress. Unfortunately, I could never wear a floor length gown (unless I want to look extremely short!).
Emilio Pucci - Milan - F/W 10.11
3.1 Phillip Lim - New York - F/W 11.12

Banana Republic - New York - F/W 11
Ha... I had to add something a bit more casual seeing as I kept looking into high fashion. I personally dislike what she's wearing for Phillip Lim (I don't know about the pink pants...) but that's just to show that she doesn't just do high fashion. She's appeared on Vogue China April 2011 but I don't believe it has much to do with fashion. It's more like beauty/makeup.

So to conclude this post, I shall bid you all adieu. 

[Pictures are not mines and were taken from various sources.]

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Formal: Update

Hello there!

I haven't been updating this blog lately as I've been quite busy with reality. 

My personal situation (if you're not interest, please ignore): My final examinations are drawing near, I'm in my assessment period before the finals. I also plan to take the UMAT (which would be an external examination) and not to mention that I thought it would be fun to add a chemistry competition into this mix. School is practically dominating every minute of my life at the moment. 

Back to what I plan to talk about: my formal dress.

I've decided to be lazy and instead of sewing the dress myself, I'll just decorate a pre-made dress. I've got most of my materials to make the dress except the dress itself. It will probably be difficult to stick to the design I had originally wanted.  However, I still have that Gibbous Fashions inspiration in mind. I can just imagine how fun it would be to rip those strips of cloth and the hours it would take to sew the strips onto the dress.  

At the moment, I have no pictures to post up either. I thought I would just do a short post to ensure that I'm not dead, neither is this blog.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Picture Overload: Autumn Knitting

I'd like to mention a few things first. Firstly, there aren't a lot of pictures. Secondly, it's the end of the holidays, so I won't be posting much anymore. I'm lucky if I can post once every week.

I believe I have mentioned before in a previous post but I have a strange habit of knitting in the summer and for the rest of the year, I hardly do any knitting. So this post won't have a lot of finished projects. In fact, I've only have one.

So the yarn that I had used was handspun by Shadyside Farm Studio: here.
It was the yarn called Bunny Hug, which is 40% angora rabbit and 60% lambswool. Enchanted by the of angora rabbit but knowing that angora fibres weren't very elastic, I chose a blend (I didn't make the purchase myself, because I can't). It isn't as fuzzy as pure angora but it still has that bit of fuzziness.

I had turned the skeins of yarn into balls. It's not exactly very neatly done but it made it easier to knit with.

I realised that I was fooled when I began knitting with it. Angora sheds like CRAZY and while I was knitting, I had rabbit hairs sticking to my clothes and flying into my mouth and up my nose. It wasn't exactly... pleasant. That aside, it was a beautifully made yarn and very soft but I won't be knitting with angora again. 

If you're knitting with angora, NEVER wear black. I was wearing black stockings while knitting with it and it just clings onto it and white really does stand out of black.

As for these mittens, I kept them natural white because it is much classier than if I were to dye the yarn. Let's just say colours show up bright when dying it with white yarn. The pattern is also very plain as I wanted to capture that halo and I didn't want any decorations to distract it. However, that picture really doesn't do justice in capturing that fuzzy halo. 


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Trend: Feather Hair Extensions

Hello there!

You can debate whether feather hair extensions should or should not be in this blog. It's a hair trend but I regard it as an accessory and fashion isn't restricted to clothing and jewellery. I've actually mentioned these in one of my past posts but it seems now it's popping up everyone's hair, from youtube to celebrities like Jennifer Love Hewitt and Hilary Duff. 

I'm a little late when reporting on trends and I've stated before that I report trends in Australia but I suppose this applies to people in the Northern hemisphere, having spring melt their winter. It's probably just me but I have a feeling that these will probably pop up in some heads when spring comes for us. 

I wouldn't say there is a large demand for feather hair extensions but it is increasing. If it's really popular in the US, I'd say it definitely would pop up here as soon as winter ends. If you're daring enough, it can look really hip and trendy... a bit boho chic. 

So if you want to pull off this trend, I can give you a few tips, based on my judgment and opinion:
  • If you're a blonde, opt for coloured feathers and be a little playful. I wouldn't wear yellow, any neutral colours like browns, black and white. 
  • If you're a redhead, choose neutral colours and perhaps colours like green, blue and yellow. 
  • If you're a brunette, any colours will work and black and white feathers. Browns are okay but it pretty much defeats the purpose of these extensions: they're supposed to be fun and a little daring. 
  • If you have black hair, definitely choose coloured feathers. White and browns if you're a little demure but don't get black feathers (as I've stated before, it defeats the purpose)
Basically, you just have to look for colours that suit your skin colour and your hair colour, for example, if green makes you look grey -- don't get it! (It's just like choosing the colours you wear) You want it to stand out rather than blend in. You might have to consider what sort of colours are in your wardrobe before choosing the colours. 

As for putting these extensions on, I believe you can get it done at a hair salon but you can also do it at home. You can see how it is done in youtube tutorials, or tutorials in other blogs: just GOOGLE it. I haven't gotten these extensions myself so I cannot explain how it is placed onto hair.  

If you plan to put these extensions at home, you can purchase the feathers from Etsy. 

Would I ever get these extensions? I might. I think they're pretty cute but it really isn't my style. Then again... I actually considered getting a coontail a few years ago, which I never did in the end.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Trend: Earmuffs

It's been a little while since I've posted something. I haven't really planned out anything so this post will be a little messy. I don't like to do posts on trends, to be honest. These trend posts focus on what's in Australian fashion at the moment, so I'm pretty much reporting on the trends that people living in the Northern hemisphere just had.

Anyway, I've noticed earmuffs popping up in shops from Equip to Armani Exchange. I actually think it's pretty cute but this trend will probably be short-lived (what I mean about this is that I can't see it popping up again next year). It's more like an accessory rather than something useful, as it only keeps your ears warm. Australian winters aren't that cold and I don't think we need to keep our ears warm. 

However, if you're looking for a pair of earmuffs, 
AUD$16.99 from Equip
If you want to splurge on a pair of earmuffs, they have a pair on display at the Armani Exchange in the Pitt St Mall. I don't have a picture of them but they're black, knitted on the headband and furry where the ears are and they're AUD$119 (That's the number I have in my memory... they're very pretty)

If I were to own a pair of earmuffs, I'd go a little outrageous and opt for a bunny one... just like the pair that was in a Baby The Stars Shine Bright lucky pack:

 After all, earmuffs can be cute so why not go all out on cute to the point where most people consider it ridiculous? I'd love to wear those earmuffs and what better timing for Easter! 

Pictures: here 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tutorial: Red Bow Headband

Hello there! 

As it's the school holidays in Australia, I've had quite a lot of spare time. There was one particular project I had always wanted to make and that was a headband. Specifically, it was the red bow headband on Gossip Girl's Blair Waldorf from "Victor, Victrola" in the first season. It's one of my favourite headbands worn on the show. (The other one being the 'Queen Bee' headband given to Jenny: the Swarovski crystal headband by Jennifer Behr, which she hardly wore.) 

This is actually the first tutorial I have ever written and I really do hope I don't spare any important details. In that case, I had taken heaps of pictures of the process and yet I haven't used all of them.

The measurements I give out are only approximate and you may alter it for a bigger bow or a smaller bow. You may also alter it to make your own design, if you wish.

Level of Difficulty: Beginner/Intermediate
Skills: Hand-sewing and machine sewing

What you need: 

  • Fabric: About 1/2 m or 1/2 yard (That's more than enough). You may use any kind of fabric you wish but in this case, I'm using silk dupioni, in red as I'm making my own replica of the headband.
  • Plastic Headband
  • Thread (preferably same colour as the fabric)
  • Needle (for hand-sewing)
  • Tape Measure
  • Thread clipper/scissors
  • Fabric scissors
  • Sewing machine
What you might need:

  •  Pins
  • Tailor chalk/ Dressmaker's pencil
  • Seam ripper
  • Hot glue gun (I used a low temp hot glue gun)
  • Tweezers
Measure your headband's length and width as shown. Calculate those measurement with some seam allowance (accurate measurement + seam allowance) and cut a strip of fabric with those dimensions. 

For the bow, you will need to cut:
2 strips of 4 ½ inch x 12” fabric (approximate 12 x 30 cm)
2 strips of 4 ½” x 10”(12 x 25 cm)

Also for the knot of the bow, 2 strips of 3 ½” x 1 ¾”(9 x
4 ½ cm)

Confused? I drew a diagram. The measurements in inches are in black. The centimetre measurements are in red while the amount of pieces you need to cut out are in blue.

 On the sewing machine, use the zig zag stitch on the edges of your pieces of cloth. Alternatively, you may use the overlock sewing machine to do this. (If you're using silk dupioni, you know it frays easily, so you must do this step!)

For the headband, fold the cloth in half lengthwise and sew the ends together to make a tube. Alternatively, you may hot glue the cloth onto the headband. Anyway, if you're sewing the cloth, turn it inside out and you may use a safety pin or a pair of tweezers to help you.

 Slide the tube into the headband. The tighter you make your tube, the smoother it will look. However, if the tube is too tight, you cannot slide the headband through it. Make it just right for the fit of the headband.

Once you have make the tube fitted to your headband, you will need to stitch up the ends of the tube onto the headband. You can hot-glue it if you want. 
 For the bow, sew the two pieces with similar measurements together, edge by edge, leaving an open seam in the middle of one of the longer edges and flip them inside out. Once you've flipped them, you will need to close the opening by sewing it. 

You must leave that open seam in the middle on one of the lengths or else this will happen:

As you can see, the stitching in the middle of the rectangles would be less noticeable as you're going to put a knot over it. 

Once you've finished the steps for both rectangles, you will need to cinch the middle of the pieces by folding it like a paper fan with 2 mountain and 2 valley folds - like shown on the diagram below. If you're doing the same bow as I am, the double bow, you will need to lay the smaller rectangle over the larger one before folding.

Once you've cinched the middle, you'll need to hand-sew the folds together in order to keep that cinch.

Now you'll need to sew the strips together that create the knot. You will also need to flip them inside out so at least one of the widths should be open, in order to do so. Wrap the rectangle around the cinched middle of the bow. You will then need to hand-sew the two widths together to form a loop.

 You should end up with a bow and a headband wrapped in cloth. To attach the bow to the headband, you can stitch the bow onto the headband or you can hot glue the bow onto the headband. I had used both in order to secure it properly.

 Enjoy your headband à la Blair Waldorf. (Yes, that's a Legal Studies handout underneath the headband but it suits it, doesn't it? I mean... red for blood and genocide? It also channels that Intelligent Schoolgirl thing that Blair has) 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

'Round the World #4: Steampunk

Today’s all about Steampunk. I suppose it’s a little tribute to my friends. It’s also the first entry of ‘Round the World that has nothing to do with Japanese fashion! 

Steampunk – it’s based on Victorian fashion, a little fantastical and has a little dust of nostalgia but at the same time, futuristic. I don’t know when Steampunk had started but lately, it’s become a little more mainstream so I’m sure everyone has seen something of the sort, if not heard of it. When it comes to fashion - it’s all about the elegance of the Victorian era, mashed with brass machinery and clockwork and aviator goggle, at least that is how I see it, but it's a little more than that. It's a little daring, just like all alternative fashion.

 I first heard of Steampunk probably around two or three years ago so I’m not exactly new to the style but I don’t know much about the culture itself.

The clothes are very much like your Victorian goth but a bit more brown and brassy. If you really don’t know what steampunk looks like, just have a look at Panic! At the Disco’s video for “Ballad of Mona Lisa”. 

I’m sure you’ll agree that it has that little bit of nostalgia. It’s a little strange that someone has a net gun but steampunk is all about the strange machinery and weapons.

It wasn’t so much the clothing that steampunk had grasped my attention. I was quite interested in Goth back then and the clothes were not much different. When I first came across steampunk, it was the jewellery that had caught my eye. I loved the clockwork and the little specks of ruby. Because of that, I started taking apart old watches just to see the clockwork. 

You may find this piece and many others at http://www.etsy.com/shop/edmdesigns?ref=pr_shop_more

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Formal: Betsey Johnson + Gibbous Fashions + My Plan

As I had promised (I think), I'll be writing about formals. It's been a while since I've written something. I'm not exactly pleased with my examination results so I would have to limit the amount of time I have for writing these posts in order to fill them in for some study. 

I suppose Betsey Johnson would be one of the designers I think of whenever I hear anything about Prom. I adore the 50s inspired, feminine dresses they offer - it's just so girly and lacy. While I was thinking about what to wear for my year 10 formal (I didn't end up going), I came across her Evening Tea Party Dress. I had fallen in love. 

 The dress I'm talking about is what Selena Gomez is wearing. 
Now, I'm not a fan of Disney anymore (hey... who didn't watch anything Disney when they were little kids?) but I really liked the dress. 

Of course, the dress doesn't exactly suit my shape, seeing as I don't have much of a waist. Not to mention, it was about US$400... which I wouldn't even consider buying for a year 10 formal. One can make their own replica of the dress with lace, tulle and satin and don't forget the lining. 

Now, I intend on making my formal dress for Year 12. My tastes in clothes haven't changed much but rather I've found something else I adored. Whether it suits my body shape or not, I would just have to adjust it so it does.

My formal dress will be something inspired by Gibbous Fashions. If you have heard of Gibbous, you'd know that it has this "vintage" appeal but it's patchwork and "out there/alternative". I first came across Gibbous before I was hunting down formal dress inspiration. It hadn't crossed my mind that I could use patchwork for my dress. That was until I saw this gown they had created a while ago and I also fell in love.

Of course, I could never get my hands on one because:
1. US$650 - way out of my budget. It's just a night with your school friends.
2. It's sold and it's an original, so there will be only one of them.

I explained to a friend of mine what I intended to do on the train home. She commented that the idea was like "Cinderella", only she's half-transformed, still in rags but at the same time, elegant. That's precisely what it is. 

I drew a quick sketch of how it would look if it were a little longer at the back. However, it ended up looking like something a showgirl would wear. I also added in a little fabric cage but I probably won't end up doing it as it seems out of place. 

Please ignore the messy writing. It was just little notes I made, thinking of the kinds of fabric I could use. It's also very wonky and the strange line that looks out of place comes from one of my chemistry handouts because I was too lazy to take them out. The colouring is horrible because everything was rushed.

What I do plan to keep for my final product is the fluffy skirt and the lace on the neckline. I don't have much of a bust but it's the place I want to draw attention to (because it isn't flat but it isn't va va voom), so any trims and lace and details will do that. The sweetheart neckline will also make my chest look a bit more curvy. Whether my dress will end up being as fluffy as the original, I'm not sure but I'll probably end up toning it down as something very fluffy will make my derriere look huge.
As for the length of the dress, I really don't mind. I don't exactly had great legs to show off but as long as I don't wear striped stockings, I don't think people will look at my legs. I'm a little confused about the diagonal strips of cloth on the bodice and what they will do with my figure but I love that detail. Of course, that'll be something I need to research on. 

For the fabric, I've decided to use both new and old cloth, so it'll have some of that vintage appeal. I've kept about 4m of white soft tulle and I haven't used it (or at least I think it's about 4 metres... it's a lot of tulle. It was originally for a petticoat.) so I'll be using it for the dress. As for silk and other cloth like organza,lacy fabrics, I've been op-shopping for silk shirts in ivory/cream. 

Wish me luck and hope I make it on time. If I ever finish the dress, I would definitely post it up. 

Picture credits, etc:  here, here, Google Images (because I can't remember where the picture came from)

Friday, April 1, 2011

'Round the World #3: Lolita

My mid-year exams are finally over! I'm not sure what I feel about how I did but that's not what I'm here for. I originally planned to add another entry into formal dresses but that will have to wait as I'm still thinking about how I'm going to make my dress. Instead, I'll be adding another entry into alternate fashion.

Lolita has to be one of the most well-known styles. When I say "Harajuku", this style will be one of many styles that pop into people's minds. It's probably one of the older styles too as it goes back to the 70s/80s. Of course, there are many different styles of Lolita - just like how there is in Goth. 

If you are unfamiliar about Lolita, please don't relate it to the book by Vladimir Nabokov. It has nothing to do with it. Lolita fashion is about modesty (usually...) and not about dressing up like girls to attract pedophiles. Lolita fashion is based on Rococo and Victorian fashion, so it isn't really unique but you don't often see people wearing it when you're walking down the street.

I also feel like I know more about Lolita fashion than any other Japanese styles as I'm a constant viewer and admirer of lolita fashion, but I don't wear it (I wouldn't mind though but it is quite expensive).  Lolita is basically all about the bell-shaped skirt (petticoats!) and elegance. 

The most colourful has to be Sweet Lolita. It's all about pastel colours (pink!), teddy bears, rabbits, sweets (ie. macarons), strawberries, big poofy curly wigs (if you want to be OTT) and just child-like. I find this style very adorable but I could never see myself wearing it. Angelic Pretty and Baby The Stars Shine Bright are just some labels that sell Sweet Lolita clothing.  

Angelic Pretty (both images above)

Baby The Stars Shine Bright or BTSSB(Yeah... the last picture was from Australia's Next Top Model 2010)

 A more reserved form of Lolita would be the Classic Lolita.  BTSSB offers some Classic Lolita garments. Other labels like Innocent World, Victorian Maiden and Mary Magdalene also offer this style. It's is more neutral and patterns tend to be floral. Definitely more mature than Sweet Lolita.

Lolita can also be a bit more darker in the form of Gothic Lolita. On the top of my head, I don't really have any brands in mind that offer this style but looking into it, there's Millefleurs, Moi-même-Moitié. Millefleurs also branches into Classic Lolita but basically any black lolita dress can be used in Gothic Lolita, despite the brand. There is also Alice and the Pirates, which is a part of BTSSB, and they offer a more pirate style but it can also be used in Gothic Lolita (I'm quite fond of their dresses and that pirate-ish look). 

 Only the first one is definitely Gothic Lolita but the others could work.
For Gothic Lolita, dark colours and white only. You'll never see pink in Gothic Lolita. Also, it is more Lolita than it is Gothic so you won't see white theatrical makeup. It's all neutral. Gothic Lolita can have bats, or anything Gothic (like silhouettes of chandeliers and Gothic-style gates) but you can also see solid colour. It still has the frills and lace just like the rest of the styles.

There are more styles of lolita than what I've listed so far ie. punk, casual, aristocrat. The three I've written about are perhaps the more popular styles and the ones that I know most about. If you're interested and wish to find more information, you can look it up. There are many internet communities with people interested in Lolita fashion and the lifestyle is comes with.

So, this concludes the third entry of 'Round the World. (Sorry, I had to rush it.)

Photo/Picture Credits: here, here, Kera (magazine), other various sources (ie. Google images). None of these pictures are mine.