Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Back to Black

rain, quotes, sayings, positive, cute, rythm, best
Hello! (Can anyone explain to me why that feels so strange? Why I prefer to say 'Greetings' or 'Salutations' - Maybe I have issues and just need to learn to say it to people more. Well, I'm testing it out here) So here are some photos of what I've been wearing today. I don't know why, but when I got dressed this morning, I did not feel like much colour. I felt like wearing black clothes, clip-on faux diamond earrings and sunglasses and carrying a black umbrella as I trotted through the rain, like a sort of reluctant young widow in stilettos who drinks too much. Or has a reason to hide her identity and doesn't understand the concept of 'blending in'... just like all these celebrities who wear sunglasses in the middle of winter and wonder why people realise they are celebrities. 
The outfit was only brightened up by the vibrant red strip of my lips... though prepare yourselves because I think tomorrow might be red. Head-to-toe BRIGHT RED... and I shall probably feel the need to share. Tomorrow, I shall also be in London, in a ploy from my Father to remove me from the Sitting Room where I have been living, consuming an endless supply of Chicken Tikka Masala and Pepsi Max... (He also has to pick a bike up from Kings Cross. Bearing in mind his love of cycling, I think that might have actually been the driving force)

So... What am I wearing?
  • A Black gauzy tunic-blouse - Thrifted from a Charity Shop.
  • Black skirt with golden details and sequins - Vintage.
  • Black Pia Handbag - I actually nickname her my 'Jewel' - she was just so glossy and purty-ful when I bought her... and she was half price! If there is one thing that never fails to make me happy it's the words 'Half Price'.
  • Iron Fist Girls Platform Heels with polkadot bows and colourful detailing - These are my go-to shoes for dramatic semi-comfort. Because of the platform, the heel does not feel that high and so they're great for walking around in (as long as you're walking through a flat city or town and you intend to stop walking and go home after two or three hours)
  • Black Ribbon with white border from an Art supplies shop. Used as a belt you really cannot go wrong.
  • £1 earrings from a local shop which sells end of the line accessories.
  • Rimmel London Blood Red lipstick.
  • Starry red and white bangle, bought for £1 from the same shop as the earrings.
  • Radley umbrella - a present from my EPIC Maman. I love it so much... it's light, beautifully shaped and has the loveliest handle. IMPORTANT NOTE: When buying nice umbrellas, handle is key.
  • Circular Sunglasses. I have no idea where they are from. You'd have to ask my brother since he is the one whom I stole them from. It's his fault for going on holiday without them and leaving them on the Kitchen Table. #Some people never learn.
I am rather glad that the pictures came out this way... it could have been so much worse bearing in mind I had to pry my Father away from his beloved computer to go out in the rain without being able to hold an umbrella to take pictures of me. I think I may have got what I deserved for putting him through this traumatising experience though. I fear I may have the beginnings of a cold. Ah-choo!

^^^ Individual shots of my Jewel and my beautiful new umbrella. I should give her a proper name too... Any suggestions?

^^^ Another look into the psychology of MOI... Why can I never resist taking a picture of a tree? Why? Even if there are better pictures of trees and more interesting trees and nobody wants to see my photo of a tree. Why do I take the photo? And why do I feel the need to include it in a post? Well, I always say that if you have an ugly house, you plant trees around it... maybe that works with ugly blog posts.

Thank you for reading, do comment and please follow! (I really want to reach the two hundred mark. :)

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Inspiration: Rosie the Riveter

Truly, the title says it all.
So, I have been busy recently with acting commitments, preparing quote from the Duchess of Malfi for when I return to school, buying clothes and supplies for when I return to school... Oh, and I've been on holiday and recovering from my GCSE results as well as learning an audition piece so I will have more acting commitments next year.
These photos were taken before I went off to Amsterdam, even before I went off to Prague. I wasn't going to share them until October or maybe September because they felt a little autumnal to me, but I could not be asked not to do it now, if that makes any sense at all, which it probably won't.

My inspiration is the sort of Factory Girl, Rosie the Riveter style. This is most apparent in the way I arranged my hair, and that is sort of what I focused on. The rest is just something which I felt worked well with it.

This is very simple and laidback - the sort of thing I wear when the Summer is really not going the way it should be. It's sort of cute but it's 'pulled on' rather than 'I thought about this' and, to me, the hairstyle is what makes it worth wearing (Otherwise, I think I would sincerely find this really rather boring)

There is a slightly 1950s/Rockabilly feel, though that was not my aim and, again, the thing which pulls it into this retro direction is the hairstyle. Otherwise, it would just be a modern style with a pretty blouse and a denim skirt! :)

Staple of my Wardrobe Moment: Okay, so the favourite item which I am wearing here is the blouse. I LOVE blouses. I think I would be quite happy to only ever wear blouses on my top half - who needs tube tops, polos or T-shirts? That said, I have some very nice Polos and Turtleneck items.

<< Trampoline in the background. Not that I ever really use it. I feel silly jumping on my own.

Not really a proper post, was it? *Sad face* I promise to do better next time. In many ways, this was just an assurance that I was alive, well and had not disappeared.:)
Anywho, thank you for reading, do comment and please follow.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

The eternal Blonde Bombshell

The eternal blonde bombshell, and Marilyn Monroe immediately springs to mind. A woman whose face we often find planted all over cheap tack, who had trouble learning the simplest lines and whose white dress in 'The Seven year itch' sold for £2.8 million in the infamous Debbie Reynolds sale. But why has this image survived over the image of other blonde bombshells of the time? Why Marilyn? Why an icon? I will not say that she did not have talent, she was a great comedy actress. For example, 'Bus Stop' proved she had skill as an actress, and I think she had a lovely singing voice, but I do not think that it is for this that we remember her. I can think of many actresses of the era who had more talent and received awards. Was it because she was beautiful? Maybe, though sexy and alluring would be more accurate description. I certainly do not think she would have reached the same status if she had not died so young. Now, fifty years after her death, she is still remembered and iconised by the young and old alike, while other people of the era are all but forgotten in the general psyche.

One thing that people often overlook with Monroe is the more intelligent side to her, which was not much fostered by her 'dumb blonde' image. She loved Goya, ahead of her time in terms of promoting civil rights, her hero was Abraham Lincoln, when she met Nikita Khrushchev, they discussed 'The Brothers Karamazov'...  and she was reading 'To kill a mockingbird' at the time of her death. Although we often like to see the young, innocent side, we forget that many described her as manipulative and shrewd, she had problems with co-stars, lines and turning up to set.

I'm not going to do a simple biography, because I'm languid today, that would take too long and you can find it elsewhere, but I will point out a few interesting items. Monroe was passionate about equal rights, indeed she helped Ella Fitzgerald, who was her friend, with her career.

"I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt was because of her that I played the Mocambo, a very popular nightclub in the '50s. She personally called the owner of the club, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she would take a front table every night. She told him -and it was true, due to Marilyn's superstar status - that the press would go wild. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman - a little ahead of her times. And she didn’t know it." Ella Fitzgerald

+++  'Every Baby Needs A Da Da Daddy' taken from the B Movie 'Ladies Of The Chorus' (1948). This was only Marilyn's thrid film appearence and her first starring role. At 22 years old she is a far cry from the icon we know as Monroe. Nevertheless, this early performance shows how she was later groomed and trained. Her voice is deeper throughout this film - she was not doing the "breathy" thing yet... and I think this shows her in a slightly different light. +++

+++ The infamous 'Diamonds are a girl's best friend' from Gentlemen prefer Blondes where she starred alongside Jane Russell - a sex symbol at the time of a different nature - as Lorelei Lee opposite Jane Russell's Dorothy Shaw and, if it were not for this delightful number, I would have to state that Jane Russell completely stole the show though I am sure Marilyn was the main attraction for the cinemagoers. +++


She signed a one-year contract with 20th Century-Fox in 1946 and played minor roles in several minor movies for the studio.

Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! (1948) Uncredited
Ladies of the Chorus (1948)
Love Happy (1949) Uncredited
A Ticket to Tomahawk (1950) Uncredited
Right Cross (1950) Uncredited
The Fireball (1950)
The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
All About Eve (1950)
Home Town Story (1951)
As young as you feel (1951)
Love Nest (1951)
Let's make it Legal (1951)
O. Henry's Full House (1952)
Clash by Night (1952)
We're not married (1952)
Don't Bother to Knock (1952)
Monkey Business (1952)
Niagara (1953)
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)
River of No Return (1954)
There's No Business Like Show Business (1954)
The Seven Year Itch (1955)
Bus Stop (1956)
The Prince and the Showgirl (1957)
Some Like It Hot (1959)
Let's Make Love (1960)
The Misfits (1961)

The filming of Something's Got to Give in 1962 was suspended and Monroe fired. The film went unfinished until it was rebooted in 1963 as Move Over, Darling with Doris Day and James Garner.

+++ As much as I love Marilyn, again I think that she was outshone in 'Some like it Hot' by her co-stars, though I could never imagine anybody else doing as well in this part. +++

<<< A young Marilyn.
>>> With Jane Russell, outside Grauman's Chinese Theatre on June 26th 1953.

Thanks for Reading, do comment and please follow! Very soon, I am going to do a series of five posts chronicling, in my opinion, the 50 greatest film dresses of all time - I've already started working on it and I can honestly say that it is the most difficult series of posts I've ever done!

Friday, 3 August 2012

Prague - The golden city of 100 spires

Salutations! I'm back from Prague and I could not resist sharing some snaps I took - the weather was perfect for photography as you can see... blue skies abounding! Now that I have had a holiday, I feel I might attempt to do something productive instead of lounging around all day, eating and watching black and white films. You may not believe this but, in Prague, I was awake and dressed at half past eight everyday; I was only there for three and a half days and I refused to waste a moment of it in sleep. Apart from touring the city, I also had lessons with a costume designer, two hours a day,  and although it may not seem like a lot, bearing in mind that is a total of six hours, I have learnt a lot more about how to make a dress... how to stop it fraying, the importance of pins instead of just hoping for the best and that the patience needed does turn out to be worth it. :) I will take pictures of it at some point to show you.

Anywho, I arrived in Prague on Sunday Evening, staying with some really lovely people in a much less tourist-y part of Prague and therefore bringing a much more personal side to the city. That evening I went to see Sweeney Todd with my host, who had designed the fantastic costumes for it.
On Saturday morning, I took a tram (The photo of the tram is the only one I didn't take myself, but I wanted to include it because the tram turned out to be my main form of travel and it's a constantly present item in Prague) into the Old Town then walked aimlessly down a street, finding myself quite happily in the central square which quite took my breath away. Cue to whip out my camera and start clicking ferociously.

(PS: You may find that most of the writing here is basic descriptions and history of certain beautiful structures. Feel free to ignore these and instead simply look at the photos of this wonderful city - I did my best to do it justice)

I think Prague is one of the most beautiful cities on earth...

<<< Church of St Nicholas, Prague - the first sight I came to and the thing which called me to the Old Square. It is one of the leading Baroque structures in Europe with the main architectural design made by Krystof Dientzenhofer and his son Kilian Ignac Dientzenhofer between 1702 – 1752. It was Kilián who designed the unique vault and robust dome, which has since become one of Prague’s main landmarks.

^^^ I adore photos of beautiful monuments when taken from the back. It lends it an air of informality and intimacy, so I couldn't resist taking this one.
<<<Vivid colours present in many of the buildings, some of which had a moorish air about them.

 <<< I'm narcissistic so I had to include a photo of myself (wearing my brother's circular sunglasses - well, if he had not wished me to use them, he should have taken them on holiday with him) This is, of course, a self-portrait... you can see my arm reflected in the sunglasses.

Trees make everything look prettier. You can see that I took pictures of buildings with trees in front, often just to frame the image or to add colour and shadow. They are also the best way to improve an environment without doing anything drastic. Not that this environment needed much improving since this photo was taken on Parizska street where all the high end shops I cannot afford are (Not that I didn't do some shopping in slightly less expensive shops - I bought a lot of yellow) . I didn't really take pictures of the shops on this street unless I liked the window display a great deal, instead primarily focusing on the buildings. Well, I would have felt really ridiculous if I had taken pictures of the large Burberry, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Prada stores purely because of the distinguished branding, but I tried to show images to give you the 'feel' of this street anyway, without resorting to pure 'This is the Prada store and this is the Dior Store'.

>>> I genuinely adored this window display. Poppies are just great, aren't they? I just love the contrast of the vibrant red and green colours here with the black window frame and the soft ivory of the beautiful stone walls. *Flails* So chic!

^^^ View over the river. I love the contrasting colours of the red roof tiles with the green of the trees and the different shade of green of the domes. It is so beautiful!

We visited the cathedral of the Prague Castle on the Wednesday and had coffee in the place behind it. The cathedral was impressive, but the most impressive element was its incredibly bright and colourful stained glass windows. Unfortunately, I cannot show you the pictures of those because they came out very blurry.

"The ancient splendor and beauty of Prague, a city beyond compare, left an impression on my imagination that will never fade."  - Richard Wagner

 <<< This is what I wore on the first day (The Saturday) in Prague, and the grey dress above is what I word on the third day. On the other two days I worse just above-the-knee skirts and crop tops. Here, the white shirt is Lacoste, the bag in black leather from Pia, the sunglasses are my brother's and the white skirt is from House of Fraser. Above, the grey dress is vintage Jaeger.

In conclusion, I think Prague is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been to - I was absolutely enchanted - and I met some lovely people. I would love to go back (as soon as possible) and I encourage anyone reading this to go if you can!

Thank you for reading, do follow and please comment!