Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Desperately seeking the perfect jacket


I remember reading an article about Madonna where she was quoted as saying that no one who didn't like a certain picture by Frida Kahlo - I think it was the gnarly and beautiful My Birth - could ever be her friend.

Following rather shallowly in her footsteps, let me say that anyone who doesn't appreciate Desperately Seeking Susan won't be one of mine.

Madonna's jacket in the film plays a key role and is...just the most perfect show-off number in the world, ever.

Glittery khaki green with fluro zebra print and a pyramid on the back:

In the film Madonna is lusting after some boots - see the diamante hotties above - in a second hand store and tells the owner the jacket "used to belong to Jimi Hendrix. But I bet he'd love it if I swapped it for the boots."

And so she does, setting off a chain of events that drive the whole film. 

If you haven't watched it, do. It's tacky, silly and a goldmine of stupid quotes, such as:

"You bought a used jacket? What are we, poor?"
"Stay on the carpet baby!"

and my all-time favourite:

"Bleecker Street Cinema."

Monday, 2 July 2012

Pink and red

Choosing colours
As someone whose natural tendency is to veer towards black, grey or more black, putting colours together can be daunting.

It's always a treat to spot someone - regardless of age - who can put colours together in such a way that it makes their hair colour stand out, their eyes look brighter and their whole ensemble appear effortlessly stylish?

While texture and pattern count, of course, there's something about a gorgeous mix of colour that really finishes an outfit beautifully.

Iris Apfel
For a masterclass in colour, look no further than the legendary Iris Apfel:
iris apfel
via zillahletty
There's a lovely mix of red and beige in the first photo - not that you notice her trousers with that feathery coat paired with the matching glasses and shoes. 

Iris puts together a blue coat, yellow trousers and what looks like fifty necklaces, as many bangles and a mad pair of patterned shoes in the second pic. Why does it work? She's using two primary colours - blue and yellow - as the main pieces of her outfit and then picking up tones from both colours in her necklaces, bangles and shoes.

There's something of the cartoon about Iris and this helps to stamp her seal on the top of the outfit - short white hair, huge round glasses and bright red lipstick.
An outfit from the Iris Apfel exhibition
via aloneonthediamondsea
Her outfits were part of an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2005 called Rara Avis: The Irreverent Iris Apfel. The orange dress, scarf and turquoise jewellery pictured above is one of my particular favourites. 

Pink and red
More often than not, you'll see pink and red paired with neutrals or black. While there can be something really hard-edged and 80s about a good dose of red and black, I thought it would be good to see these two colours together for a change.

Pink and red nails
Pink to red nails

Sequinned pink Miu Miu shoes with red feathers
Salmon pink Miu Miu shoes with red feathers

Vintage 1970s Laura Ashley dress
Pink and red vintage Laura Ashley 1970s dress

Gold earrings and pink scarf
Pink scarf, 70s dress and gold earrings

Pink and red headscarf
Purple pink and red headscarf
All photos by 2kooky 

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Super summer sunglasses

The sun is out and it's sent me off on a vintage sunglasses daydream.

Fuschia/orange lipstick and a pair of one of these babies would be perfect on those scorching days when you've got two minutes to prep before madly rushing out of the house. 

For the more relaxed, take a 99 flake, add some Hawaiian Tropic suntan oil - for that coconut holiday smell - and add the sound of the sea. Failing that, an iced coffee and the local park will do very nicely, thank you.

These are from the intriguing and purse-emptying shop Roope Vintage:

via Roope Vintage

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Cats in fashion looking annoyed

We love cats - well some of us do, some prefer dogs or badgers or cars or shoes instead - and we love fashion so why not put the two together?

The following is for anyone who has ever had the idea of dressing up their adored pet and merrily snapping pictures in the hope of a super-cute image. 

What we never count on is the seething anger/abject humiliation expressed by those lovely feline eyes...

Orange cat wearing a beret
via livsreality
Cats wearing rabbit ears and crowns in costume
via icecreamsandcake

Cats in Opening Ceremony clothes
RPHMGMJ5E7AQ For the cat who has everything, how about a little something from Opening Ceremony?

How to dip dye hair

Dip dye hair rainbow colour
via another hair blog
The dip dye hair look is everywhere right now. You may even have popped into Topshop if you're in London to try out the ever-busy Bleach salon and get this lovely look. It's a brilliant way to flirt with colour without the commitment, as long as you don't mind losing a bit of condition at the ends of your hair (if you want a lighter colour then you're going to need to use peroxide).

Ombre hair dip dye hair blonde blue
via effyeahombrehair
Even better, if you have fast-growing hair, when you're tired of your dip-dye you can go for a cut and get the ends chopped off.

I would leave the natural-look brown to blonde highlights/ombre hair to your hairdresser, as it's easier to cover up any mistakes with a red, blue, pink etc dye at home.

Model with pink dip dye hair
via effyeahombrehair
Dip-dyeing your hair at home is pretty easy, as long as you have the right tools.

Choose a colour (or two)

First of all decide on your colour. If you have brown hair, bright pink or red really stands out, while natural blondes can go for a subtle pale pink or lilac, or try a contrasting bright blue. It's up to you. Remember that the paler the colour, the faster it will fade. If you have a bright colour that you want to tone down, mix it with an equal part of hair conditioner - this is great for making pale pink from a bright pink, pastel blue from bright blue etc.

You will need:
  • Gloves - not silk. Plastic!
  • A plastic bowl
  • Tint brush
  • Tail comb
  • Hair bands
  • A good mirror
  • Bleach kit* consisting of bleach powder and peroxide (unless you're a natural blonde)
  • Vaseline
  • Hair dye (try Stargazer, Manic Panic or Directions)
*Look to the colour of your hair to determine the strength of the volume of the peroxide you need. If you have light to mid-brown hair, go for a 30% volume peroxide mix. Dark brown or black hair needs 40% volume peroxide. If your hair is naturally dark and you want it super light, you may have to bleach it twice. Be careful if your hair is weak, already dyed or over-processed, and keep an eye on the clock. A great place to order from is Sally's, which is a hair supply shop.

Get started:

1. Start with dry hair and give it a good brush/comb to get rid of tangles. Stick some vaseline on the side of your neck if you're dip-dyeing from this level down as it stops bleach/dye hurting or staining your skin.
2. Use a hair band a little bit above the level you want your dip-dye to begin. Tie it around the hair.
3. Put on gloves and mix peroxide and powder bleach in the plastic bowl. Stir it into a smooth paste (not too runny or it will go everywhere). Make sure the window is open so you don't asphyxiate!
4. Using the gloves and brush, apply bleach in small sections to hair below the hair band line. Depending on whether you want a definite line or not, you can follow the hair band line or paint it on for a more freehand look so there's no dividing line. Doing it a bit haphazardly actually look better than a severe line, unless you've got a sharp bob or severe fringe.
5. Let the bleach do its work. Follow instructions on packet - set the timer on your phone so you know when to rinse it off. Check the colour of the bleach every fifteen minutes. If you have dark brown hair and want to dip dye it red, purple or bright pink, letting the bleach lighten to a mid-orange will be a good base for adding colour over the top. If you want a pastel shade then it needs to be pale yellow or lighter.
6. Rinse it out using some shampoo.
7. Dry your hair. 
8. Apply your chosen colour over the bleach, making sure you work it in to get good coverage. If you want a rainbow effect, apply more than one shade, either vertically or horizontally. Take your time, as you don't want the colours to blend too much or you could end up with one-colour hair. You can also leave the ends blonde and apply the colour in a strip above, so you have your natural colour, crazy colour and light ends. Use hair conditioner mixed with dye if you want graduated shade of the same colour (e.g. bright pink fading to pale pink).
9. Let it go to work, have a cup of tea.
10. Rinse it out, dry and hey presto! Gorgeous dip-dyed hair.

Discover how to dip dye hair and the products you need here - along with some more inspiration...

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Fashion in Prometheus and sexy robots

Plenty of internet chatter has been focused on how close Ridley Scott's latest movie Prometheus is to the original Alien and whether it's a prequel or not.

While the conclusion depends on who you're listening to, I haven't seen much about the costumes in Prometheus. 

You'll recall that in the first Alien the crew look like this:

Crew member from Alien directed by Ridley Scott in the spaceship
via soresport

In Prometheus the crew look like this:

Prometheus crew sitting down inside spaceship wearing uniforms
via Prometheus movie
So we're talking military jumpsuits or shirts and trousers in shades of white, grey or khaki with a fair dose of camouflage thrown in. Apart from Harry Dean Stanton's flirtation with the Hawaiian shirt, of course.

The real style in Prometheus comes from the sexy robot character. Even the non-robot  who is the most self-contained gets a better outfit than the hoi polloi.

Charlize Theron works the Nehru jacket - with a very severe Mandarin collar - and silver form-fitting uniform beautifully:

Charlize Theron in Prometheus movie wearing uniform
via Prometheus movie
But the film really belongs to the divine David, whose Laurence of Arabia hair asserts his individuality while his pristine grey pyjamas underline his servility. Still, Michael Fassbender somehow manages to make it look chic:

Robot David in poster from Weyland Industries for Prometheus movie
via Prometheus movie

He also gets the best techno dream-reading helmet:

Robot David wears helmet with yellow visor in Prometheus movie
via Prometheus movie
On a similarly robotic note, what's the prediction that the next big thing is a Teddy Ruxpin who sits on your desk to tell you your friends Facebook updates?

...and just how long will it be before Lady Gaga is wearing an outfit made up of tiny talking Teddy Ruxpins?

Sunshine and disco dancing

The sun came out this morning! It just rained for five minutes but we won't count that. I'm not a natural summer dresser - my coat collection is impressive - but I'm being braver with colour this year after last summer's monochrome experiment.

For some reason sunshine makes me think of disco in the daytime. There should be more of this about, sequins shouldn't be kept for night time and if it rains, it looks even better.

So take one Earth Wind and Fire mega stage jacket:

Earth wind and fire disco jacket in silver with black zips

french connection jacket with pale pink sequins
If there's nothing on eBay (there's always something on eBay) how about this French Connection jacket pimped with some added shoulder pads.

Add a Pork Pie or the extra brave can try a LED hat for extra light and confusion (customised with your name for extra disco points):

Wear with a slouchy vest over a pair of low-key jeans if you're on the down low or go for skinny white trousers or booty shorts for the full on effect.

Stick this on your playlist while you're at it:

In the immortal words of Chic "Freak out! Le Freak, c'est chic!" Go dazzle...