Thursday, 26 March 2009

Of prints

Yesterday Sue and I went to the Burberry sample sale. The only thing I can say for it is that it confirmed my impression that the Burberry tartan whatchamacallit is ugly. Why put this print on the lapels of a perfectly good polo shirt, rendering it hideous? Why have it on a quilted bag with black leather handles and panel? Why put it on wellies? Dim gai ah?

In justice I should say that they had one rack of women's clothes which were interesting and which I might have bought if they were not over £100. I tried on a gorgeous empire-waisted calf-length deep purple dress which was made out of some sort of matte silky/satiny material and was just heaven to touch. And some other things -- a gold dress, a hilarious aquamarine top covered with big plastic sequins -- were interesting. But on the whole it was a mildly depressing experience, filled with overpriced mackintoshes.

We bought shirts for our fathers and brothers and grandfathers and skedaddled. After a dim sum lunch to revive our spirits, I ambled with Sue to South Kensington, where she dropped me off at the V&A museum.

I didn't pay the requisite £5 to see the Anthology of Hats exhibition, but I did have a leisurely poke through the permanent Fashion collection, looked through some of the Asian sculptures and carvings, and then wandered around the V&A shop.

I lusted after these Japanese print cotton scarves, which you can get from their online shop if you're willing to fork out the £20:

So pretty, so light, so perfect for spring, so ... much more than I would be willing to pay for a scarf ...

Sigh. :(

I was cheered up by these headbands, which, like the scarves, are pretty and expensive -- in fact they were much more expensive than the scarves, their prices being in the range of £40-£80. Unlike the scarves, however, I see distinct potential for DIY in them.

This one was especially gorgeous. The leaves were very flattering against dark hair, and they were made of a soft suede material that was magic to the touch. I am not entirely sure how one would recreate them -- find some material and cut leaves out of them? Crochet some leaves? Pluck some leaves off a tree and preserve them in some way? But clearly the first step is to find a cheap hairband.

Finally I dropped by TK Maxx and ended up buying this intriguing drapey jersey dress.

It defiantly ignores my figure, the colour is one I usually dislike on myself and it's a strange length, hitting just below the knee ... and yet I love it. And it is super comfy!

I also caved and got the terrifically cute jazzesque shoes I am wearing in the photo, justifying it by thinking of the shoes as a birthday present. Of course, my birthday isn't for a month yet, so I am going to put them away in the back of my closet and pretend they do not exist until it does come around.

And with that, I have resolved to go on another month's shopping ban. Inconveniently, for the first time my procrastinatory eBay searches have turned up floral print hats of the type I have been looking for the past couple of months:

What's a girl to do?

- Zen

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Skirts that go with T-shirts

I've been on a dress kick after years of lounging around in T-shirts, but after picking up a couple of oversized T-shirts for a song at Zara, my interest in them has been reignited. They're surprisingly versatile. Under a cardigan and belt, they are reasonably convincing dresses; they add lightness when tucked into a ladylike calf-length tweed skirt; they are super comfy when worn with tracksuit bottoms as sleepwear. But most of all, with a scarf, a pair of jeans and Converses -- I may look like a misguided hipster kid, but damn it, I am comfortable!

So when I saw that Threadless was having a sale, with their super cool graphic T-shirts going at US$5, it seemed an opportunity too good to miss.

Having dithered and finally settled on three T-shirts from the site, I started wondering how I'd wear my T-shirts. I only have two wearable pairs of jeans, and I'm very lazy about laundry, so there had to be some other option for when both pairs were in the wash.

So I went to H&M and tried on about half a million things I thought might possibly go with graphic tees.

I liked this A-line skirt the best, not least because it had a really mod feel, with the shape and the double row of buttons down the front.

This was the right size; I checked to make sure once I'd put it on, because damn, it was tight! It wasn't bad, I guess -- it didn't make my tummy look quite as obvious as it seems from the photos -- but overtly sexy is not really my style. For one thing, I like being able to sit down.

I was enchanted by this frilly mint-green skirt when I saw it on the rack, but when I put it on I didn't like it quite as much.

High-waisted poofy bubble skirt! I couldn't decide if I liked this or felt it was just too much. It's actually a very demure, non-shiny cotton, though the lighting makes it look as if it's made of PVC.

Blue-and-white striped denim skirt, though you can't see the stripes in the crappy light. Was pretty meh about this; I like the buttons, but dislike the sort of squarish shape of the skirt.

My second favourite of the items I tried on was a navy blue pencil skirt. I have mixed feelings about pencil skirts -- as I said, I like being able to sit down and for all my various bumps and concavities to be hidden from the public eye, and pencil skirts don't always cater to those desires. But this one does look quite charming.

Edited to add: I forgot to mention that I also tried on harem pants!

Yeah, er, I don't know. From some angles they have a chic slouchiness, but from others they basically look like clown pants.

I did in fact buy one of the items I tried on, but a picture of it + T-shirt in all their glory will have to wait till I actually receive the T-shirts. In the meantime, I'll keep rewearing my Zara T-shirts ...

With optimistic pink shorts! :)

- Zen

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Vintage inspiration

I was idly browsing Modcloth when I came across this adorable dress:

I love the black & white colour scheme, the slanty pockets and the buttons. Sigh.

I hadn't heard of Peggy Moffitt so I went to my trusty friend, Google Images. Talk about inspiration!

Peggy Moffitt liked bright tights ...

Crazy dresses!

High hem-lines.

(I love how the circles repeat themselves across her dress and socks.)

And ... looking like a cross between a Regency soldier (the white stockings and black shoes) and a little boy (the shorts)?

I like how she combines colours in unexpected ways, and her distinctive hair and make-up -- the look is almost clownish, more scary than sexy. I doubt I want to try her make-up or hair (too lazy), but I find her palette of clashing bright colours inspiring.

- Zen

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Opposites Work

Presenting to you frabric geniuses. Mix match. Colour co-ordination. Complex layering. Simple lines. Girls gone bad. Ladies who lunch. DSquared2. Lanvin. Enjoy.


Starbucks toting, blackberry handling chic? Brilliant.





I love how elegance and decadence are rolled out nicely in simple block colours.





And can someone please, for the love of the fashion god(s) up there, tell me this is not becoming a trend?

Hussein Chalayan



Because in my honest opinion, they are horrible.

- Sue

Saturday, 7 March 2009

I put away this scarf in hope that spring will!

Here's a little tribute to the long woolly scarf that my sister left behind when she flew back to the US. Was really useful when we had the unexpected cold at the beginning of the year, but my sister would just can we compare when we don't have ice forming on the inside of our window sills? Nevertheless the scarf kept me nice n warm...good job Woolly :) !

...but I'm looking foward to dressing like it's warmer too! English weather never really seems to make up its mind on what temperature it wants to be, so now we are in warm-cold limbo...

wake me up when the weather gets better...


Wednesday, 4 March 2009

I want

Florals ....

Maybe if we dress as if it's spring, that will make it come faster?

Mr. H, So Sweet, €45.50
Accessorize, Japanesque Floral Foil Print Bag, £25.00
LoveColour LoveTights, Lullaby Peach, £9.95
Hetty Rose, Amalie 2
H&M, Rok, €34.90
Modcloth, Floral District Dress, $74.99

- Zen

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Sense of accomplishment

I maded a hat. :)

1 skein and a bit of Noro Silk Garden Lite on 4 mm circular needles, following the Felicity pattern

I poured blood and tears and two pairs of circular needles into this hat. I kinda mucked up the top bit, but I don't think it's too obvious.

I plan to wear this with EVERYTHING.

- Zen