Friday, October 31, 2014

Inspiration: Rosemary's Baby

It's Halloween so I thought it would be appropriate to briefly address a classic horror film: Rosemary's Baby (1968). In terms of style, I think the most famous aspect featured in the film was the short pixie cut that Mia Farrow sported when her character, Rosemary, was pregnant. A new haircut for a new stage in her life.

Besides the haircut, I thought there were quite a few pieces of clothing or aspects of outfits that I admired. As much as I would love to say that the 50s was my favourite silhouette, I adore 60s Mod more so.

Here are my favourite aspects of the outfits:

 Maternity dresses - empire waist and baby-doll
I have no need for maternity wear as I'm not an expectant mother and I don't expect to be one any time soon but I thought a lot of those dresses were adorable with the empire waist and baby-doll. 
Especially the baby-doll.

Shift dresses

What would the mid-to-late 60s be without a shift dress?

Rosemary's wardrobe features florals and plaids. I believe the far left photo has a striped scarf. Something about plaids and florals whisper demure. 

Collar details

Lots of peter pan collars. I particularly liked the crocheted collar in the middle. Though the far right photo does not feature a peter pan collar, the collar is still an important detail of the dress.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Inspiration: Princess Jellyfish

Princess Jellyfish (Kuragehime; 海月姫)is an Japanese manga series featuring otaku (Japanese counterpart of geek but with more negative connotations). The otaku sisterhood Amars, along with a trendy cross dresser, form a fashion brand to raise enough money to buy their home back, which is facing the threat of redevelopment. They call the brand "Jellyfish" because Tsukimi (the main character) designed the dresses and drew inspiration from her favourite animal - Jellyfish. They create dresses that are more avant-garde in the beginning and attempt to develop a line of ready-to-wear, realising the challenges that come along with creating a new brand and generally speaking, entrepreneurism.

I have a soft spot for this manga. I adore jellyfish, though I don't fancy having them as pets (I hear they're quite finicky).

The live-action is to be out at the end of this year. My expectations aren't that high but that is because I don't like to place high expectations on what I watch.

There are a couple of outfits I love that Kuranosuke wears in the manga/anime. He definitely has a flair for style. Here's a few tips to gain:

1. Don't be afraid of a statement piece

2. Learn to accessorise

3. Experiment

3. Get a signature perfume

4. Shop within your budget

5. Don't let anyone get you down

In any case, I'm stoked for the live action. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Inspiration: Hitchcock's Leading Ladies

The Hitchcock blonde - perhaps one of the most iconic characters of his films. In this list, I've probably shown five of the most notable Hitchcock Blondes - the leading ladies who graced the silver screen. Grace Kelly is the ultimate Hitchcock Blonde - arguably the most beautiful. Ingrid Bergman was the better actress of them all. I adore Hitchcock's films, particularly how meticulous Hitchcock is to the details in his films. Combine that with Edith Head's artistry in costume design, it's no wonder that some of these films are the better known of his classics (Notorious, Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, Vertigo and The Birds).

Notorious (1946) 
Ingrid Bergman as Alicia Huberman
This is the only Hitchcock film I have watched that features Ingrid Bergman as the leading lady. I should probably catch up on the other two she had made. I loved the wardrobe in the film because there were elements of androgyny from 40s fashion. Also I love how the dresses at the time would drape over the body.

Rear Window (1954)
Grace Kelly as Lisa Carol Fremont
This is perhaps my favourite Hitchcock film for a lot of reasons but concerning the wardrobe of Lisa Fremont, I loved the classic 50s silhouette and the floral patterns.

Dial M for Murder (1954)
Grace Kelly as Margot Mary Wendice
Colour symbolism was used in Margot's wardrobe. I admired how the colours of her clothing transition from vibrant in the beginning, to drab at the end, which help to support the story. I also loved the burgundy handbag.

To Catch a Thief (1955)
Grace Kelly as Frances Stevens
I loved the scenery in this film. I'd say this film was loaded with pastels and also, Kelly as Frances wore a black turban, which became one of the iconic accessories we associate with her, other than the Hermes Kelly bag.

Vertigo (1958)

Kim Novak as Madeleine Elster/Judy Barton
Vertigo is probably one of the more twisted Hitchcock films I've seen. Nevertheless, I loved the wardrobe, particularly the green dress in the middle above.

Psycho (1960)
Janet Leigh as Marion Crane
Psycho is perhaps Hitchcock's most famous film because it sprouted a whole franchise with a remake, a few sequels, a TV movie spin-off and a TV series after his death. Arguably the greatest Hitchcock film ever made. Although Janet Leigh was the star of the show (can't argue with the death scene and the use of a string orchestra), I'd still want to give an honourable mention to Lila.
Vera Miles as Lila Crane
The Birds (1963)

Tippi Hedren as Melanie Daniels
Bad special effects aside and the ridiculous idea of "killer birds", I really enjoyed this film. For the majority of duration of the film, Melanie Daniels wore one outfit only. That fur overcoat was worn over her green suit. Why green? Well, they drew parallels to the lovebirds. I'm assuming the birds' attack is like a prank, just like how Melanie enjoys a good prank or two. The suit was a classic boxy Chanel-esque one -- a timeless piece.

Marnie (1964)

Tippi Hedren as Marnie Edgar
The only film in which I have mixed feelings for -- I cannot tell if I love it or hate it. Why else am I writing about it? I love the concept of it: a sexually disturbed thief blackmailed into marriage. Freud. Sean Connery as the lead man. Everything's pretty good and I'd agree that it's one of Hitchcock's most underrated works. Yet something still falls short and I can't pinpoint it. I'm more curious about what's going in the mind of Connery's character. After seeing this film, I would dare to say Hedren rivals Kelly as the icy blonde.

Marnie's wardrobe once married was so beautiful. My favourite being the yellow dress. I also loved the nude pink lipstick she had on. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Random: Mid-Sem Break

I never feel adequately rejuvenated from a mid-semester break. This year, I've only ever felt profound fatigue -- far from the bright-eyed-bushy-tailed first year I used to be. Caffeine intake might have something to do with it too but I think I'm just feel uninspired with the things I'm doing. I tried to make the best of my break but I honestly didn't get much done. I feel like I'm fizzling out but it's almost the end -- I've gone through nearly 3/4 of the semester.

Other than going to see a friend, lending her my manga, giving her some posters for her new room and some Buldak Bokkeum Myun (seriously hot Korean instant noodles), I didn't meet up with any of my other friends. I did, however, had a nice dinner out in the city with my younger sister after a long day of studying (for her) and a day at the lab (for me). I treated her to one of N2's ice cream flavours: Ferrero Reveal (Ferrero Rocher). I think the syringe of chocolate ganache is a nice touch - a little strange but I find it humorous. Bet all the chocoholics out there dream of having chocolate injected into them intravenously...

N2's Ferrero Reveal
I went out shopping on the long weekend and noticed this intriguing setup at a shopping centre. I wonder if it will inspire anyone in need of home decor ideas.

Then I headed to the city. Though I was planning not to spend any money on cosmetics this month, I gave in. I swung by the Illamasqua counter with the intent of getting a red lipstick but I left with an eyeshadow palette, forgot the red lipstick and couldn't be bothered to go back in and get it. Bonus: I got a little lesson in how to wear this palette and also a friendly reminder that I needed to groom my eyebrows.

 In retrospect, it is the better outcome because I lacked eyeshadows suitable for night or parties but I don't need more red lipsticks. The only reason I could justify purchasing more makeup: it was half off and I paid $27.50 for it. To put it into perspective for people foreign to the outrageous prices of cosmetics in Australia, a Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick costs RRP $21.95 and a MAC single eyeshadow is RRP $33. The Fatale palette was part of their Holiday 2013 collection and they're quite festive colours -- perfect for Christmas.

Eye makeup all came from Illamasqua - only products I recall that were used were the Fatale Palette, Precision Gel Liner, Eyebrow Cake, some purple sparkly pigment and concealer
I had Nars Sheer Glow as a base on and Schiap (lipstick) sheered out as a tint
Oh, and I bought some tea from T2. My sister enjoyed this particular special edition blend: Mini Monsoon - she generally hates tea unless it's fruity and has light flavour.

During the cooler nights, I've been sipping on Chai with almond milk. I tweaked it a little with the recipe I was making it from.