Friday, 16 December 2011

The ultimate Ultra party outfit

So Ultra Shoes, one of my favourite shoe stores in Wellington, is having a Facebook competition at the moment. The rules? To put together your ultimate party outfit, including a pair of Ultra shoes, and you could win the shoes featured in your coordinate.

Hmm, I said. Hmm. An ultimate party outfit, you say? Well. Let's try this out then.

As I said in my post to their Wall, "it's not Wellington fashion if it's not black", and really, when you have this much sparkle and glam, who needs colour?

The shoes, of course, are from Ultra - they're the 'Will' by Nude booties, and I figured that even though it's supposedly nearly the height of summer, Wellington weather laughs at 'summer', and therefore a pair of excellent black booties never goes awry. The dress is from Asos, and is just a wee bit fantastic. I mean, seriously, I love sequined dresses, but compared to this, sequins are baby spangles. This is entirely covered in SQUARE PAILLETTES. 

I immediately started thinking about what jewellery I could coordinate this, and Meadowlark delivered with these faceted drop earrings and onyx stud knuckleduster. Oh, Meadowlark, if I didn't have bills to pay, you could totally have all of my paycheques for the next ... like, six months, and then maybe I'd have enough jewellery to satisfy me. Maybe. Adding to the dark, rough-glam aesthetic is the black quartz ring by Stone and Honey, available up at Madame Fancy Pants, and a party outfit isn't perfect without an awesome little bag to hold your lipstick and phone. Kate Sylvester's Willa bag adds a great pattern to the look while keeping to the monochrome colour scheme, and with a thick chain strap, it has the delicacy of a clutch without the annoying "I have to hold my bag all night long and it takes away my function to drink gin and eat nibbles at the same time" issue.

For makeup, I just today popped into the MAC store and found their Glitter and Ice collection, and these five shadows are part of a six-colour palette I'm totally eyeing up for payday (the other colour is a warm, deep maroon). A perfectly smokey eye with highlights of silver on the browbone, and dirty gold on the inner corner, would work ever so well with red hair, and match the slightly-edgy glitziness of the rest.

And if it got really cold? Well, I guess I'd just have to layer on a black leather motorcycle jacket. Something like this Paul Smith studded version would work perfectly. Oh yes. Now, I suppose, the only problem with this is that even if I did win the competition, I suddenly wouldn't be satisfied with just a pair of shoes. In fact, just putting the damn coord together has made me go OH MY GOD DARK EDGY CRYSTAL AND SPANGLE DRESS, and the unfortunate truth of the matter is that this involves $1400 just in jewellery. FML.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Five days five hairstyles

You guys, I have a problem. I'm addicted to messy topknot buns. I know, I know, it's an extremely first world problem, but a dilemma nevertheless. They're just so easy to fall into the habit of, especially in a city where Wind is a factor (yes, wind with a capital Wuh), and before I know it I make posts like these and while the outfits are many and varied, five of the six involve a topknot. It just won't do. Clearly, a style challenge was in order.

I can do it, I said to myself. Five hairstyles in five days. WHAT, I hear you cry. SHE'S MAD WITH POWER. SHE'S NOT READY FOR NIBBLY PIG A CURLING IRON. And yet. Despite a bout of rainy, windy weather in the middle of the week, I scraped in, even if I did fall back on "loose straightened hair" as a hairstyle. Shush, it's not a topknot, and that's all that counts. It's my blog, and I'll straighten if I want to, or something.

Day One: Curled low side ponytail

The beginning of the challenge looked promising, with a low, sleek side ponytail with neatly curled ends nicely coordinating with a particularly office-y dress. This is a style I started doing a couple of weeks ago, and I can already see it becoming my work version of topknot (because really, I am a wee bit aware that the best kind of topknot looks a little like I scraped it up into a haystack, and that's not really office appropriate except in my office where people wear jeans...). It looks nice enough just sleekly pulled to the side, but curling the ends ups the adorable factor to eleven, and given that I usually have permastraight hair, a curling iron is a huge novelty.

Day Two: Side fishtail plait

I hit a snag here, because my initial plan was to run with the residual curliness from yesterday and have loose, pretty curls. But then Wind struck! And somehow all the curl had fallen out of my hair, despite me perfectly transitioning last week from a curled side ponytail one day to loose curls the next. Stupid hair not doing what I want. And stupid weather. Somewhat luckily, though, I'd watched a Youtube tutorial for fishtail plaiting just the night before, so instead of a basic side plait, I kicked it up a notch with a fishtail braid. Looks good man.

Day Three: Plaited topknot bun

By Wednesday I really rather wanted a topknot, you guys. Especially because leaving my hair a) out or b) "dressed low", as L M Montgomery so charmingly describes it in Anne of Green Gables, just wouldn't have looked right with my outfit. My life, so hard. But I was determined not to fall back on the basic scraped-up-like-a-haystack twist, so instead I played around until I got this coiled plait topknot which looked adorable, at least while it was pinned up all neat-like.*

Day Four: Retro high curled ponytail

When wearing a fifties-style floral circle skirt and adorably twee ruffled top, how else was I going to style my hair but in a ridiculously bouncy high ponytail? This especially had to happen because it was a special request of a coworker. Apparently she loves how Sandra Dee it is, or something. In any case, I aim to indulge.

Day Five: Loose, sleek and straightened

I swear to God that "loose and straight" can be a hairstyle, right? Right. There's really not much to say about this, because the picture says most of it, except that I managed to keep this going the entire day, including a ramble about the waterfront this evening. (Wellington produced one of those rare evenings where the full moon twinkled on the still harbour and everything was a little bit too well-produced romantic film to feel properly real. There were fireworks. I mean, really.) Also, I have great hair. Great. Lookit all shiny and stuff. Aw yeah. Laydays.

*Warning: on letting my hair out from this style, I managed to startle a friend with the sheer volume of hair I had somehow produced. Viz:

A-yup. I look like Hermione. Book Hermione, where her hair is actually frizzy, as opposed to Movie Hermione, where her hair is charmingly voluminous. My hair is so big because it is full of secrets.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

My fashion sense clearly can't make up its damn mind

So these are outfits from two consecutive days.

Outfit the first: all of the black and drapey. Because a mass of black is kind of hard to photograph, I'm going to state here that I am wearing a skirt. It is an awesome black stretch cotton mini with leather panels on the sides, and I got it for all of $12 brand-new from Recycle Boutique. I am also wearing leggings, a camisole, boots and a drapey black silk blouse, because layers were where it was at yesterday. The boots, just by the way, are second-hand Ann Demeulemeester, and I am kind of ridiculously in love with them. They're similar to my knee-high black suede boots, in that they're flat and black and suede, but they have a fantastic amount of buckles and slouch and super-soft suede. Hooray for boots. (In December, because Wellington laughs at your idea of seasons.)

Details (click picture for larger version): Black skirt with leather panels, Sussan, via Recycle Boutique. Black silk blouse, Ricochet. Leggings, Glassons. Black suede ankle boots, Ann Demeulemeester, via Trademe. Amethyst pendant, via Trademe and Madame Fancy Pants.

And then there was today, wherein my fashion sense swung wildly from one apex of my personal style preference to the other. The one where all my love for twee and bows and ruffles and floral print still hides out, waiting to strike. And strike it did, in the form of a floral circle skirt, high heels with bows on, a pink, ruffled top which my flatmate has told me makes me look like "some kind of delicious strawberry dessert", and a curled high ponytail. I know, right.

Details (click picture for larger version): Pink ruffled top, Temt. Black floral circle skirt, handmade. Black tights, supermarket. Cream bow heels, Ultra Shoes. Lilac belt, Glassons.

Monday, 5 December 2011

It's a business dress! Or is it?

This is a new dress, one I've been working on for the last wee while (although I've had the fabric stashed since probably about this time last year? Who knows. A length of time). It's a pattern I've made before, with one twist - this version has a super-low scooped back and exposed zip, just to sex up the otherwise extremely conservative cut in the front. It has the nice side-effect of suddenly showing off another rather large tattoo to all my workmates, because that's how I roll. AND it has pockets. Pockets. The joy of a dress with pockets cannot be overstated.

I finished the dress this weekend, full of determination to wear it to work today. With these shoes and that belt. Of course, Wellington then had to put on the showery rain all day, so I had to wear sensible closed-toe shoes during my trip from home to work to avoid suede getting rained on (I hear it's not the greatest, hey), but you better believe I took these in in my Bag of Holding and changed into them once I was at work. When pink suede heels are in the offing, who could choose sensible shoes?

Details (click picture for larger version): Black/grey linen/wool-blend dress with scoop back, handmade. Black cotton leggings, Glassons. Pink/cream suede heels, Ultra Shoes. Black patent belt, Cue. Pearl strand, vintage via Trademe. Pink rose brooch, from EGL sales community. Tattoos, Dan at New Zealand Tattoo.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Hi, stud (or: Sandy from Grease is way hotter at the end of the film)

So this morning, with the weather all bloom-y and warm and lovely (Wellington weather, y u do dis with the changing of the seasons constantly) I decided "Self, it is time to rock some 50s retro style. Get out your winged eyeliner and your preppy knit shirt and your floral circle skirt. And let's do a high ponytail with the ends curled." Not having the time or inclination to argue with myself that early in the morning (well, 10.30, which is not really early by any stretch of the imagination but still) I faithfully curled my hair, and winged my eyeliner, and put on this adorably twee shirt. 

And then I got to the point of putting on a floofy petticoat, and held up my floral skirt, and something in me rebelled. Sandy is way hotter at the end of Grease than at the beginning, it said. And not owning a pair of tight leather pants, a ruffled leather miniskirt was the next best thing. Aww yeah. Admittedly, the shoes I wanted to wear were my super-high black wooden platforms, but when my flatmate cautiously agreed with me that yeah, they might be a little too trashy, combined with the short leather skirt, for my workplace, these little floral brogues were the next best thing.

Details (click picture for larger version): Pink/black silk shirt, Fred Perry. Leather ruffled miniskirt, Ricochet. Black tights, supermarket. Floral brogues, Shoe Connection.

Have I mentioned I love French-tip style manicures?

So I work a fairly typing-intensive desk job, and also do rather a bit of sewing (with the pins and the wrangling of machines and all else that tends to wreak havoc on unsuspecting polishes), and this means that my nail polishes tend to chip fairly quickly. OH NOES. But although I loved my pink glitter gradient from the beginning of the week (it lasted Sunday-Wednesday, which was not toooo bad, and would have done a lot better with top-up topcoats) I had Other Plans Up My Sleeve, and this was one of them. I love the look of French tips in a contrast or coordinating colour, and when I bought OPI's Your Royal Shineness last week, one of my immediate ideas was to use it as a tip detail. 

This idea was backed up when I swatched it on my nails - it's an odd all-over polish, and the fine metallic shows up every single dent or imperfection in your nail (although this might be somewhat remedied with a base coat). But as a French tip (and as a gradient over a dark polish, as I discovered last week but did not photograph because I don't even know why) it works super-well. The base colour is OPI Steady as She Rose, which I've mentioned before is supposed to be a grey-rose, but comes out very lavender-grey with faint pink hints, so works perfectly with a slightly dirty silver.

Aww yeah. The little bit that look as if they're missing from the silver tip are actually just light reflection. I would like to take a moment to crow over the surprising success of my freehanded tips, also. AWW YEAH.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Octopus necklace? AW YEAH

I have a theory about dresses, and that theory is that you know a dress is really awesome when you can wear it perfectly happily without any big coordinations, dressings up or froufy additions. Sure, you can add a belt, or some really over-the-top statement jewellery, or a scarf, but when you get down to basics, the dress has good enough bones that it can stand on its own.

As you might be able to tell, this dress is one of those dresses for me. It's a very simple navy dress from Ricochet, with a bit of interest added by the lace insert panels on the shoulders, but I love this kind of outfit in a way that is possibly a little unreasonable. Navy dress, leggings, flat boots, a leather jacket and printed wool scarf? Sounds like a perfect early-spring/summer outfit, right? (Yes, it might be the middle of November, but Wellington's southerly winds know not your "seasons", and today was surprisingly cold. Boots cold.) The octopus necklace is a birthday gift from my best friend - I have a wee bit of a thing for cephalopods, so it's really rather perfect.

Details (click picture for larger version): Navy dress, Ricochet. Black leggings, Glassons. Black suede boots, Mi Piaci. Silver octopus necklace, gifted, from Pixel Ink. Pink faux-leather jacket, Dotti. Blue/paisley wool scarf, gifted, via a friend cleaning out her bar's lost-and-found.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Daily outfit: oh, how I love grey and chiffon

After a week of sick leave, I am BACK at WORK doing worky things and hopefully not dying or giving my workmates Plague. I'm sure they appreciate it. So anyway, in getting dressed this morning, I revelled in the joy of being able to dress up for work again and not just throwing on a pair of leggings, a long singlet and a hoodie in which I could skulk around the house coughing up a lung (somehow, I don't think "illness wear" is going to be the new "resort wear" anytime soon). Or at least, I would have revelled in the joy, had I not slept in a wee bit and thus been on a slightly tight getting-ready-for-work schedule. In any case, I decided that I hadn't worn this dress in a wee while, and I had never outfit-blogged it, so it deserved to be worn with a pair of leggings and my new, ridiculously fantastic high heels.

These heels, dear readers, are a full five inches (although, bless them, a good inch and a half of the height is in the platform). I am usually an even five-five, a not-too-shabby height, but standing at five-ten and having a full couple of inches height on my Tall And Statuesque flatmate is really rather fantastic. The dress is silk chiffon, bought on Amazing End Of Season Sale (it is from Ricochet's autumn/winter 11 collection, which as previously mentioned I am in complete love with), and I feel just a little bit Rule Breaky while wearing it. It's very clearly an empire line, and I'm not sure whether that makes me look a little pregnant or whether that's just the received wisdom (well, "wisdom") about empire lines on everyone ever, and the skirt has intriguing volume in slightly odd places, and the sleeves are also super-voluminous with their big gathered puffs. And I'm not a model-thin waif on whom volume adds the illusion of curves - I already have plenty of those. But I fucking love this dress, and anyone who tells me it's not flattering can a) eat a dick and b) go talk to my friend Pearls in Vinegar while she is wearing this shirt

Details (click picture for larger version): Grey silk chiffon dress, Ricochet via Gregory. Black leather belt, Agnes B via Trademe. Black cotton leggings, Glassons. Black wood-sole heels, Ultra Shoes. Birdcage necklace, birthday gifted from a friend.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Gradients are awesome

Have I told y'all recently that I love gradient colour at the moment? 'Cuz I do. A "gradient/ombre effects are cool" post is coming soon (with ombre fabric! And hair! And probably more gradient-effect nails!) but for now, here's a subtle nude/pink glitter gradient I did. Confession: I did this at 3.30am last night (this morning?) while more than a little drunk, and sitting in bed in a dressing gown. I am somewhat surprised it turned out so prettily. 

To get the gradient effect, I've painted a single/base coat of French pink (no particular brand, just a French manicure set my sister gave me years ago) and then a couple of coats of OPI Teenage Dream. With the glitter, I did one layer very thinly, dabbing most of the polish off the brush and starting about halfway down the nail for the first coat. Then I did another coat starting about three quarters of the way down, building up the glitter more thickly, and topped it off with a clear topcoat. All the tutorials I've seen for gradient effects recommend using a sponge to dab on the polish, and this would definitely be easier than using a brush, but I was working with what I had (at 3am in bed, ha) and glitter is a bit easier to dab on with a brush than a creme colour would be.

These kind of remind me of ballerinas for some reason - perhaps it's that the pink gradient somehow reminds me of a tutu? In any case, I think they're freaking adorable and I can't stop waggling my fingers around to watch the glitter catch the light.

Monday, 31 October 2011

A memento mori lookbook for your Halloween

As much as I love ruffles and sparkles and prettiness, over the last year or so I've been delving more into the dark, pared-down gothic aesthetic. New Zealand fashion is somewhat known for its black/gothic tendencies, and as you can see from outfits like this, I've been playing with that a little more. And it's Halloween right now, so why not put together a memento mori/gothic inspired lookbook, full of things I own, things I'd love to own and things I think are just plain amazing?

Yes, I own this dress. In both colourways. It is amaze and I will hear nothing said against it. (Lantana dress by Ricochet). The dress above is also by Ricochet and is the Scenario shirt dress. I would further like to point to practically the entirety of Ricochet's autumn/winter 2011 collection. I can't help it. I have a Ricochet obsession at the moment.

Another designer I've been following recently is Salasai ( The two dresses on the left and middle are from their autumn/winter 2011 collection, Sacrificial Grace. The left is the Sacrifice dress, which I own and adore, and the middle one is the Saint dress. The outfit on the right is from the most recent spring/summer 2011/12 collection, A Strange Love Project, and is the Society Skirt and Amour T-shirt. A 'gothic' look, to me, doesn't have to involve blacks all the time - it's more about an overall aesthetic, and Salasai seem to pick up on that fairly well. With the right statement jewellery and shoes, you could easily take that right-hand look to a very gothic place without a scrap of black necessary.

Somewhat backing up my theory about gothic whites is this beautifully-draped piece from Zambesi's spring/summer collection. I want to put a long, creepy pendant on it, maybe a really huge raw crystal ring, and some super-high platform heels.

Possibly, perhaps, some heels like this? The nude pair, perhaps? All three of these are from Ultra Shoes - the first and second pair, of course, I've blogged about before - they're the '70s Living' by Skins. The pair on the right are 'Lucille' by Chaos and Harmony - colour doesn't usually tend to feature in a minimal/gothic aesthetic, but I figure a wee flash of this patent powder-pink with the solid black of the heel works just super.

Oh gosh, jewellery time! This amazing silver ring from BloodMilk over at Etsy adds a true touch of memento mori - it's based on an emblem often used in Victorian funerals for children. Also at BloodMilk is the mini planchette ring, riffing off the idea of ouija and automatic writing.

Claw motifs abound at the moment, and both these examples are lovely. From the Deadly Ponies collection comes this sterling silver/bronze sparrow foot pendant, while again from BloodMilk is this rose gold and amethyst crow claw.

These two rings really push the creepy factor, and honestly they kind of invoke my 'ick' response, but at the same time they're fascinatingly cool. Yes, they're both made with human teeth. Golly. The left is set in sterling filigree by Loved to Death (again, Etsy) and the right is an oxidised sterling silver knuckle-duster from Little Sister Designs, who's on Etsy but from my hometown. Go Wellington!

You just can't have memento mori without a few skulls. I mean, seriously. I am still sulking because I missed out on (read: got into a bidding war and was outbid on) a solid silver crow skull pendant the length of a Bic pen. But it's best to avoid the awful faux-gothic skull jewellery out there, and I think these three really balance a gothic aesthetic with a fashionable 'cool'. The first skull illusion pendant (PEARLS IN VINEGAR I AM LOOKING AT YOU) is again by Charlotte Burkhart at Little Sister Designs and is based on an antique photograph, while both the silver quail skull and carved bone rose-hair skull pendants are from Deadly Ponies. The crow skull hairtie would be an interesting little addition to an otherwise-plain outfit just for a hint of creepiness.

And where would any girl be without her Bag of Holding? These are both from Deadly Ponies - the left is the Mr Bone Mailman, and the right is Mr Stomper. I must confess, I am a wee bit of a Deadly Ponies fangirl when it comes to handbags. I use the Mr Sleepover in solid black as my daily handbag, and it really IS a Bag of Holding - it easily fits a wallet, book, cardigan, scarf, snacks or lunch, magical history books, portraits of former Hogwarts headmasters... oh wait, no, I'm not Hermione. As much as I would love to be. It really does hold a remarkable amount while still being a manageable (if large) daily bag (though I am eyeing up the grey Mr Mini Stomper on sale at Madame Fancy Pants as a smaller alternative). 

Having blogged until far too late a time, I think it's time for me to trot off to bed, dreaming of crow skulls, draped black, white and cream, pops of colour in raw crystal and tarnished metal, and gorgeous leather bags and shoes. I leave you, my darlings, with this:

From Elle Italia November 2008. Go and look at the entire thing. I mean, SERIOUSLY.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Ruffled leather miniskirt: more versatile than you might think

So a wee while ago now, I decided, on somewhat of a whim, to buy a ruffled leather miniskirt from Ricochet. Well. It wasn't really a whim. I'd been contemplating it for a bit, going so far as to ask friends over drinks, "FRIENDS. SHOULD I BUY A LEATHER RUFFLED MINISKIRT, or jeans." Unanimously the answer was MINISKIRT but then the further addendum was a $200 price difference between a good pair of jeans and this skirt. 

AND THEN. AND THEN. My excellent friend from Pearls in Vinegar called me one Saturday afternoon to let me know that said skirt had been reduced from $330 (eesh, a little much to splash out on) to $130, and that she'd taken the opportunity of putting one on hold in my size. Clearly the universe was on my side regarding leather ruffled miniskirts and their place in my wardrobe. (Said excellent friend later took the opportunity to buy her very own leather ruffled miniskirt. She and I have Significant Wardrobe Overlap, which makes for careful pre-event coordination to avoid the terrible awful no-good faux pas of wearing the same item.)

So then I had this miniskirt. And I found myself wondering, "How do I even wear this thing? Is it a party-only thing?"

(Credit to Hyperbole and a Half)

And then I did.

One (one leather miniskirt! Muahahaha!): work-appropriate tailored

This is, I think, the most work-appropriate of my coordinations, involving a cute little Japanese floral cotton jacket belted over the skirt. The jacket is cut with a lovely flared peplum so it sits nicely over the ruffles of the skirt, and with a belt cinching in the waist, it's an excellent emphasising-the-hourglass style. If I worked in a more conservative jacket, I would probably amend this by switching the flat boots for classic black low-heeled court shoes, pull my hair back, and possibly add a black blouse underneath to hide my tattoos, but as it is, it's a lovely crisp look which de-emphasises the sexiness of the skirt while still allowing the leather miniskirt awesomeness to shine through. 

Details (click picture for larger version): Japanese-floral dobby-cotton jacket, DeVol clothing via Frutti. Leather ruffled miniskirt, Ricochet. Opaque tights, supermarket. Black suede boots, Mi Piaci. Black patent belt, Cue. Gold cuff bracelet, vintage via Trademe.

Two (two leather miniskirts! Muahahaha!): party drapery

For a party or going out, keeping the skirt demure isn't a problem, so I coordinated this with a loose singlet and a draped chiffon over-top. Also, a temporary-tattoo fingerstache, because I'm super cool like that. The singlet is actually super-long at the back, so I tucked it up into the waistband of my tights to stop it from showing under the hem (fashion is so hi-tech) and pulled it out from the waistband of the skirt so it fit loosely with a bit of a flash of black bra. I'm a classy, classy lady :P

Details (click picture for larger version): White singlet with black print, Glassons. Leather ruffled miniskirt, Ricochet. Opaque tights, supermarket. Black chiffon over-top, Glassons. Black ankle boots with wood heels, Number One Shoe Warehouse. Amethyst and acorn pendant, Madame Fancy Pants and Trademe. Fingerstache, temporary tattoo, gifted via Ikoiko.

Three (three leather miniskirts! Muahaha... okay I'm bored with this): girly prettiness

This was another work outfit, and I really like the contrast between this delicate, floaty silk/cotton blouse and the leather skirt. Again, in a more conservative workplace I'd probably add a tailored blazer over the top, and possibly switch out the boots for pumps. Also possibly black nail polish might not be appropriate. Sigh. This blouse is adorable, though - it's from Karen Walker, who normally I'm not a big fan of (she overcharges for things made-in-China and not particularly well-made or designed at that, and trades on her big name to do it) but this blouse I love. It's covered in ruffles and a cute little print of wee girls and boys, and I'm always and forever a sucker for a pussy-bow tie.

Details (click picture for larger view): Silk/cotton blouse, Karen Walker. Leather ruffled miniskirt, Ricochet. Black opaque tights, supermarket. Black/brown wedge ankle boots, Mi Piaci.

Four: casual floral comfy

Never let it be said that a leather miniskirt cannot be worn in a casual, comfortable errand-running outfit on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Pearls in Vinegar knows it, and I am totally down with this trend. In fact, because this skirt fits incredibly well over my waist and hips, throwing it on with a pair of tights or leggings, flat boots and a cute t-shirt is actually more comfortable than jeans. It doesn't ride down, it doesn't give me muffin-top, it doesn't have a seam up the inner-leg, and it doesn't wick rain up from the cuffs all the way to the knee (pro-tip: never wear jeans in the rain unless you're tucking them inside boots). You might recognise the print on this t-shirt - I also own a dress version in grey, because when I like a thing, I buy all of it.

Details (click picture for larger version): Black floral t-shirt, Kate Sylvester via Trademe. Leather ruffled miniskirt, Ricochet. Grey marle tights, Glassons. Black suede boots, Mi Piaci. Grey merino draped cardigan, Glassons.

Five: casual Friday cuteness

Why yes, I am coordinating a leather skirt with an adorable Peter-pan collar and pearls. It's how I roll. I probably wouldn't wear this as a normal work coordinate (it's not quite tailored and crisp enough) but for casual Friday it does just perfectly. No jeans-and-a-t-shirt in my casual Friday ensembles, thank you very much.

Details (click picture for larger version): Cream peter-pan collared top, Peter Alexander. Leather ruffled miniskirt, Ricochet. Black opaque tights, supermarket. Black suede boots, Mi Piaci. Gold cuff bracelet, vintage via Trademe. Cream glass pearls, vintage via Trademe.

So what, dear readers, have I learned from my foray into leather miniskirting glory? Apart from the fact that they are awesome, it really is that this skirt is really rather versatile for such a seemingly-niche item. With the addition of judicious tailored items, such as a crisp blazer or jacket, or a demure and pretty ruffled blouse, it becomes work-appropriate, while dressing down with a draped cardigan and t-shirt is remarkably easy. Also, opaque tights or leggings are an absolute must. Ricochet, I am impress.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Daily outfit: grunge fairy with a pop of red

I am fairly insistent on nicknaming this dress "my grunge fairy princess dress". I mean, seriously, it is grey-green-brown ("overcast", according to the tag) chiffon with interestingly assymetrical ruffles and All The Raw Edges. I adore it. Confession: I may have gone back into the shop to layby it again in the black-and-white-acid-wash print version. While wearing this. I couldn't not! This was for a casual Friday, though I'm intrigued about adding a structured jacket over the top to make it a little more business-appropriate. First step: acquire a jacket. I should get on that. Ricochet did have a soft moleskin cropped jacket with an open draped front, but I am somewhat determined not to let them take over my entire wardrobe. Somewhat.

Details (click picture for larger version): Grey chiffon ruffled dress, Ricochet. Black leather belt, Agnes B via Trademe. Black tights, supermarket. Black suede boots, Mi Piaci. Grey layered chain necklace with red beads, Bling, borrowed from my flatmate. Red lipstick, MAC Russian Red.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Yoko Ono, you are cool.

If this was Twitter, I would hash tag it "what I want to look like when I'm 78". She is one bad-ass old lady.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

I am colourblock, and so can you!

So apparently colourblocking is in this season.

This is from Fashion Week Animals in Hats over at The Hairpin. The entire thing is awesome, as is The Hairpin in general, so I recommend checking it out. What is also awesome is colourblocking. My good (excellent) friend over at Pearls in Vinegar is very keen on it, and she's just generally made of awesome herself, so I was all like, "Self, you need to try out this colourblock thing! You wear too much black recently! It's spring! Buy bright things and wear them with each other! You too can be like the Tarsier (which I think is maybe like a kind of lemur?) in his jaunty little hat." And then I went and bought a bright yellow belt from Trademe, and was all like AWW YEAH.

Readers, given the amount of dark colour above, I am not entirely sure that this counts as full colourblocking. In my defence, the dress I am wearing is really truly honestly navy, not black (according to the tag, it is 'ink'), and I wasn't planning on adding the leggings until a) I realised that both my pairs of sheer stockings had runs in them (DO NOT WORRY, I have now bought some more, everything is okay) and b) it's still actually rather chilly at the moment despite the sunshine. And I've somehow misplaced the strand of hot pink metal beads I was planning on adding, which would have been another pop of solid colour. My life, it is difficult. (This is a lie.) In any case, regardless of whether I can claim to have achieved colourblock nirvana, I still think it was pretty awesome. And that's what counts, right?

My eye makeup, though, that was pretty. And colourful. The colour is, sadly, a little washed out, but essentially this is matte pink on the inner corner, with a gorgeous, shimmery blue blended over the outer corner and crease, a slightly-sparkly teal highlighted across the middle, and a swipe of gold-green under the lower lashes. With a smidge of black liquid liner along the top lashline, and generous black mascara. All of it is MAC - the three on top are from the Devoted Poppy compact, and the gold-green is 'Juxt'. Applying shadow with a wet brush is the Best Thing Ever. Except for tarsiers. I think they might even be better than pug dogs, and that is saying a lot.

Details (click pictures for larger version): Navy draped dress with lace panelling, Ricochet. Yellow leather waist belt, Trademe. Black leggings, Glassons. Hot pink/cream high heels, Ultra Shoes. Pink rose brooch, handmade, via someone on the EGL sales community. Pink/white/black chain necklace, gifted handmade. Green wool capelet, Frutti.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Time for some grunge

This, my darlings, is the "Grunge and Glory" Vogue photoshoot. From December 1992. Oh yes. Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis, shot by Steven Meisel, with Naomi Campbell, Kirsten McMenamy and Nadja Auermann. Just a snippet of fashion history I thought I'd share a bit wider, especially given the grunge-revival currently gaining strength. My take on the matter? Nothing with that many stompy boots can be all bad.