Thursday, February 23, 2012

Formal: Final Post

Hello there,

I realised that I have not posted anything regarding my year 12 formal from last year and I've just left it without an end. I actually did write a post but was unable to finish it before leaving for the US. I'm back in Sydney and with summer hopefully coming to an end, I'm also starting my first year of university, doing a degree equivalent to the pre-med programs they have in the US (we don't have anything called "pre-med" here).

 I didn't end up making a dress for the formal and my purchase was a last minute one. I ended up purchasing a lacy tea dress. My bad time management is to blame and my lack of motivation... I shouldn't make empty promises. Fortunately, I had some time to make my headband because I wasn't going to go unless I had something I had personally made on me. It's a ruched headband made of golden silk habotai and it was possibly the most difficult project I had ever done without a proper pattern. That means I had cut out a piece that was larger than the headband and was snipping a little here and there while sewing it, so I don't actually have a tutorial for this headband. Completely unprofessional, I know...

Silk habotai was hell to work with because it was quite slippery. I had made it a little stiffer using interfacing. I believe there are some people who hate silk with fusible interfacing but it saved so much time. I had put a lot of blood, sweat and tears (actually, just the sweat and tears. I really did cry over this headband and because of the fact that it was a hot day). After minutes machine-sewing and hand-embroidering and hours of hand-sewing, I ended up with this:

As for those pearls, they are actually freshwater pearls.

The finished result was a bit wonky because of my hand-sewing but it isn't too noticeable. I actually finished the headband the night before the day at one in the morning, so I was cutting it close.

My school formal was actually on the day of my birthday, so I had a full day of dressing up for the formal, having my make-up done and my hair being done up (even though it was just for the formal, it was nice to have it on my birthday). It was a cold day so I had a coat on...

I'm on the top left hand corner and these are all my friends. I was looking elsewhere... so it's not the best picture but it is the best picture to use to sum up the night.

The main course I was eating! The risotto underneath was undercooked and disgustingly strong (too much parmesan!)
Here's a picture of my hairdo after the night:

 Yes, I know it's messy but it was designed to be messy.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Inspiration: Alice Cullen

Hi there. So I thought it has been a while since I've done a post like this so I might as well. It seems like most of the world hates Twilight but the fad has toned down a little, hence why I'm doing this. My friends know that I've read Twilight before there was this explosion of popularity in Australia. I believe Twilight was gaining popularity in the States as well. What they didn't know was that I had to look in 5 different bookstores to find the book... and it was the only copy they had (that was how unknown this series was in Australia until they planned to make a movie). Once it became popular, I saw Twilight everywhere from supermarkets to department stores and it makes me think about how stupid I was for spending all that time looking for it.

Keep in mind, I was around 14 when I picked it up. I only read it because this book was recommended to me (and I was in that phase where I wanted to read about vampires). Normally it takes me 1 week to read a book leisurely and Twilight took me a month. What kept me reading was not because of the love triangle but the character Alice Cullen. She's the friend most girls would love to have and had a horrible past, so I could not help but to feel sympathy for her. Who could've possibly hated her?

So today, I'm doing an inspiration post on Alice Cullen, the lovable vamp with style.

It was stated in the books that she had a taste for designer fashion but by no means must you hunt down every piece that is worn in the movie, although I loved the DVF Oleada dress she wore in the first film. For most of this post, I'll be referring to the films. There are just some things that the wardrobe department did that I disagree with, so it'll be DOs and DON'Ts. These tips are based on my opinion.

DO: Look for pieces in your wardrobe that are black, grey, white, ivory... Just your basic colours as these often appear in the film. Plus these are basic ones you should have in your wardrobe.

DO: Wear jewel-tone clothes. It doesn't necessarily have to be purple (amethyst) like she usually wears in the film. Choose what suits you like ruby, emeralds, dark blues like sapphires. These colours are more mature and are more for autumn.

DO: Find clothes that are feminine, ie. Chiffon, lace, ruffles. You can tone it down with a fitted waistcoat, if girly is not your style. After all, Alice is really girly, so feminine clothes suit her the most.

DO: Find oxidised silver/antique gold accessories or jewellery with semi-precious stones. It gives accessories a little something more than just plastic beads you wear. People also love vintage because these days, you see a lot of fashion revivals. I personally loved her blue lace agate ring.

DO: Accesorise with scarves, especially silk scarves she wore in New Moon.

DON'T: Wear crest jewellery. Seriously, I think it's a little tacky. I did not understand why they had to develop a family crest just for the movie and put it in the form of chokers and necklaces, and leather wristbands. The only exception is a signet ring but who wears those nowadays? Save it for royalty and aristocracy (if they even wear them...)

DON'T: Go overboard with embellishments. The Knitted and Knotted Limehouse Sweater Coat was borderline too much. I do love the sweater's details but realistically speaking, a teenage girl wouldn't wear that  unless Grandma Chic was in or she was cosplaying as Alice Cullen. This sweater might suit someone who is in her late 30s and up because the shape of it seems quite fitted (when buttoned up) and would suit those a bit younger but in my mind, the Alice Cullen in the book would've never worn something like this.

DON'T: Wear fingerless gloves. It's great for rocker chic or grunge or punk but when we're talking about Alice Cullen, fingerless gloves are not elegant and I think she'd be too sophisticated for them. Don't get me wrong, I like those gloves she wore in New Moon but as for the whole outfit, I'm not sure. If you want to look classy and sophisticated, just don't wear them.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Update: San Francisco

New York's got Fifth Avenue, Paris has the Champs Élysées, Sydney's probably the Pitt St Mall and San Francisco's would be Union Square. Yes, I've been shopping. However, while I was shopping in San Francisco, I was off tourist mode so I don't have any pictures I have personally taken out on the streets.

You should know that I have a fascination with Lolita fashion or Japanese street fashion in general. While I was heading to Union Square, I wandered into Angelic Pretty (I really didn't know where I was going until I walked up to it). It's a small boutique, split in half with Harajuku Hearts, so one half is mainly black and the other half is pink! Anyway, I actually took a look and walked around the block, only to come back to purchase a jumperskirt from them.

Warning: these photos are not very good quality since I took them in a hurry, and at night. The room I'm staying in is so dark, even in daylight.

I adore the little tarts on the print but the gingham does make it difficult to spot out the tarts and is a little bit too much for the print. However, I adore Angelic Pretty's prints and I'm glad I now own one of their dresses. It's pretty much a work of art hidden within the gingham.

Of course, there's Baby the Stars Shine Bright and h.NAOTO in the "New People" building, located in Japantown. It felt like I was walking into an art gallery the first time I visited. It's a shame there's nothing like this in Sydney. I also bought a jumperskirt from Baby the Stars Shine Bright. I love their Alice and the Pirates (AatP) line but I have yet to find something I think is worthy of purchasing from the store from that line. While I was visiting this store with my sister, she pointed out an AatP nightgown (I believe it was a nightgown because it was like a long cutsew) and said "Buy this!". She'd prefer it if I don't wear Lolita in public, unless I was lurking around in Japan or in the city. Despite that fact, she adored the designs of AatP but she could never justify spending that much money on a garment for herself (I'm talking about a girl who's happy in jeans and a t-shirt and doesn't care what brand her clothing is). The good thing having her around is that she gives me a reality check and keeps me in line when I go "kid in a candy store" mode in a Lolita boutique.

I still have an obsession with plaid/tartan and it's been like this since childhood. I'm always drawn to this pattern so the first thing I'll ever walk up to or notice first thing I enter a store is a garment with plaid/tartan. If only I can shake this habit off...

What I love about these little "boutiques" is the service I get. The shop assistants are often friendly and while I was shopping at Baby, the shop assistant offered to put the clothes I select in the change room. They also wrap up your purchase nicely in pink tissue paper, so you'd stand there for a little while waiting for them to finish.

Whether it is a good thing or not, most Lolita brands only offer one size. This is why dresses tend to be shirred (either fully or at the back). In my case, I believe it's a good thing because it can fit onto your body because I tend to find that dresses that don't have shirring either have too small of a waist or too big of a bust on me.

As for my other purchases, I just bought a Calvin Klein dress, a pair jeans from Tommy Hilfiger and a lace and cable sweater in emerald green. They're not really that special. 

I plan to go shopping again once more in San Francisco before I return to Sydney because I haven't actually entered the h.NAOTO store. Also, I'm hunting down more Lolita items before I leave... but I'm worried it might not fit into my luggage. 

Perhaps the next time I post, I'll be back in Sydney safe and sound. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Trends: Faux Fur Fawn Collars

So what's in trend at the moment is fur. As I've said before in a previous post, I'm not into fur and animal prints (That was when the leopard print trend emerged again in Australian fashion) It's not that I am an animal rights activist and I'm totally against fur. It's just that I've never taken a liking towards it. Of course, it's different when you're talking about leather (because I do like leather shoes and wouldn't mind a leather jacket).

However, I believe I've found an exception to this and it's the fawn print on faux fur.

This trend was in the Lolita community. Innocent World had released a fawn collar a while ago but I believe it is popping up again with seamstresses in the Lolita community selling them and in Mori Girl too. But even mainstream fashion has caught onto this with H&M having released one for their kids range. Of course, it maybe a one off thing for mainstream fashion.

Perhaps why I like this is because I have a fondness for deer. Of course, I would never want a genuine fawn fur collar (that would be cruel!). Would this trend catch onto Australians? Probably not. Would I try this out? Definitely.

Image found here