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.