30 March 2008

There are many things that make me happy and one of those is anything Art Nouveau. The movement (technically a style) originates in 1890's Paris and it's key features are organic and sinewy lines inspired by plantforms. So very tactile, I just want to trace the organic curves! I was originally introduced to it when I was about 14 by my art teacher who suggested that I researched Aubrey Beardsley for one of my projects. I've not looked back since and did further work based on Art Nouveau for A-Level where I went to visit the V&A. I was so blown away, particularly by the Art Nouveau Jewellery which were so beautiful. I've also got to mention that visiting the Musee D'Orsay in Paris last year made me even happier because they have a wonderful collection of Art Nouveau furniture etc and some fabulous Lalique glass (see the beautiful hair decoration to the left). Of course they had the metro signs too, and I had a field day with my camera :) I guess I'm only touching the surface with this post of my love for art nouveau...but I have to make sure I go and visit Barcelona and see Gaudi's masterpieces! It's clear that it's a movement that I have connected with many memories, school, college and university.

It might be quite telling that I made sure I went to visit Gallerie Lafayette before we left. Couldn't leave Paris without a bit of shopping! I think I only left with a scarf from that dept. store though because it was like any other (expensive!). Next time I go back I need to spend more time in the Marais (the jewish quarter) because there were some great vintage shops and boutiques I want to go back to!
Anyway, briefly back to Galleries Lafayette, I couldn't help but be wowed by the amazing 1900's domed roof and the beautiful balconies of each floor. Very reminiescent of French Opera houses and those theatre boxes. Stunning stuff! Ah, I would love to go back...


The Face

28 March 2008

This first week back from uni has come and gone so quickly. All I've managed to do this week is type up part of an essay, working a couple of days to earn some cash and hanging out with my sisters. I can't wait to catch up with my friends tomorrow seeing as we're all finally back in town. Right on to the main topic of this post! I'm sure everyone has some sort of face routine and I have been using Clinique's 3 step for the last 6 months which consists of face wash, toner and moisturiser. It was great at the start and really helped my oily skin. However it's only been recently when I realised just how drying it was on my skin and now I only allow myself to use the stuff at night and only very sparingly and I've cut out the toner too. The reason was because my skin was becoming quite dry and tiny little red bumps appeared on my cheeks. So after a few days of not following the routine they've all gone and my mom has commented how nice my skin looks since being at home. Of course, thats also when she told me that she's never got on with Clinique face washes, and I don't know why she never bothered to mention it to me before. Typical huh? It's like the time I went to Paris and I came back and my mom casually mentioned that she had been before when she was younger.
Anyway, I thought I would show you my latest buy and it's MAC mineralised skin finish natural in Medium plus. It's a powder and I have been using it as a very light foundation. It's ace and my skin seems to love it. Mineralised make up is meant to be better for you anyway as it doesn't clog your pores etc. Although I have also heard horror stories where people have broken out really badly after using it. For the moment I really love it, and I've never found a colour that looks so perfect against my skin so I'm really pleased with the product! So many of my posts have been about make up lately but I find make up is just another canvas to express myself! I do need a new dress though...they are like my wardrobe staple, can't have too many!


Staying In

26 March 2008

Bit of a boring outfit post as I'm spending most of today working on an essay which means staying in. It's raining outside anyway. Is it me, or do I look really short in that first image? I got my fringe cut :) so it's no longer in my eyes. I love fringes but they grow out so fast! Luckily my hairdresser did it for free...

I attempted to do some clothes shopping yesterday but It nothing caught my eye! I guess it can only be a good thing because I ended up shopping for my younger sister and bought her some nice things. She's only 10 and she was so excited when we left with two dresses and a hannah montana t-shirt! It reminds me of when I was little and used to get excited walking into Toys R Us and going down the Barbie aisle!

Anyway gotta go do some work!



23 March 2008

It's Easter Sunday (well, whats left of it anyway) and after munching on my Lindt Chocolate bunny, I realised just how long it has been since I've read a book for pleasure. My absolute all time favourite author is Haruki Murakami (suprise, suprise-he's japanese) His books are surreal, a little bizarre and often open ended. You never know exactly what he was trying to say in his novels but they are beautifully written. It may lose a little something through the translation into English, but it doesn't lose the originality and the dreamlike quality of the writing. I picked up my first book, Sputnik Sweetheart in the library but it wasn't until I read Dance, Dance, Dance and Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World did he win me over. I want to escape to one of Murakami's lands where reality becomes a blur and people can converse with cats!

Oh...and please excuse the Dan Brown that is visible in this photo...since studying History of Art I realise how much of it is just a fabrication. Still, you've got to give him credit, hasn't he done well out of it??


Cheap and oh-so-cheerful!

21 March 2008

Oh, it's nice to be back home for Easter. I've decided that this weekend is time-out for me workwise, so I caught the bus and went into Birmingham for a bit of me time! As I got off the bus I noticed an old department store had been reopened as a New Look! I went in, and I was blown away. I've never been much of a New Look fan, but this store was awesome and I think I've been converted. It was the first day it opened so everything was super neat and similar to a TopShop layout rather than what I was used to seeing from New Look. There is one in the BullRing, but this one is far more superior! So anyway aside from treating my sister to some Hannah Montana brooches, I ended up buying two bags. One for me and one for my friend's birthday, they were a measly £5.40 after my student discount (oh how I'll miss it when my uni days come to an end..) You can't go wrong with a little 'ombre' envelope crossover bag (which works as a clutch too) in pink and purple. Not so sure about the whole 'ombre' thing as I feel it's more patchworky than anything. I'm keeping the purple one...
I also have one thumbnail swatched with Chanel Blue Satin nail polish. That stuff was actually avaliable at the Chanel counter (the stuff has become a bit of a cult product and is pretty elusive at times) it's so pretty but wow that stuff is expensive. I'll stick with my cheap and cheerful Barry M, even if it does stain my nails...



20 March 2008

Hello! I haven't blogged in the past few days because I've been super busy rewriting various parts of my dissertation and generally making sure It was at a finished standard. I've never felt so stressed in my life, I only had about 2 hours sleep on Tuesday...but it's all over now! I can never listen to The Beach Boys again without recalling those few days of intense stress and being glued to my laptop!

So, lets get back into the blogging mood! I was browsing on facehunter and came across this photo of a girl with super huge chunky wedges! I don't quite know how she walks in them, because I certainly couldn't! They're so chunky and heavy looking! I guess the angle that the photo has been taken from do make the shoes even more humungus! They kind of remind me of when I was younger when me and my sister used to build lego shoes and walk around the house in them, we felt like giants! Good times! My mom is always telling me to buy shoes with a bit of a heel because I'm quite short, I think I'm around 5 ft ish. I don't own that many, mainly because the walk into Uni requires comfy footwear, especially as there is a cobbled path towards the Library. Heels are lethal, and I'm surprised I've not seen someone trip on the cobbles!
What do you guys think of wedges? My sister hates them but I don't mind. I certainly wouldn't be caught in those huge ones as seen above (might accentuate my shortness!) but I do find myself looking at shoes with little wedges. I guess for someone who doesn't wear heels often, wedges are a bit easier to adapt to!
I'm off home tomorrow morning for Easter break which I'm quite looking forward to! Nice to have a change of scenery for a while and de-stress! My friends from home are all back in town too, and a bit of shopping and having a catch-up will do the world of wonders.


Picture Time

16 March 2008

My dissertation is almost ready to print out, get bound and sent off to my department secretary who will eventually pass them on to the tutors to be marked. They will then decide on the fate of my dissertation which was written with endless amounts of tea, sleepless nights and towering piles of books. Seriously, I can't wait to return them to the library on campus. The nice thing about Art History dissertations is that I have to print out a bunch of illustrating Images...so I thought I would share a few with you. My dissertation is based on the image of The Beach Boys. I didn't realise how much I loved British Pop Art or how amazing Peter Blake was until I finished writing the dreaded dissertation! It's a shame how he hasn't made that much money career wise (he was only paid a flat fee of £200 for the iconic Sgt. Pepper Record Cover with no copyright or royalties) and who also had a major retrospective at Liverpool Tate this year. After he passes away his family can't afford to keep his studio which is apparently more like a museum as he is a bit of a collector of things. He hopes that it will go to auction one day...

The first three images are by Peter Blake followed by two from my favourite artist, Richard Hamilton. (PB: The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Self Portrait with Badges, RH: Just what is it that makes today's home so appealing, Swingeing London)


Time for some recycling...

13 March 2008

So here we go again, another post on the wonders of Japan. The country is half way through their fashion week at the moment and today I have spent ages today trawling throught the photos that are on the Japan Fashion Week website. It was one of few things that got me excited today as the dissertation deadline looms ever closer!
The collection from earlier on in the week from Mintcollection really caught my eye! It's hard to tell from the images but the hair pieces are made from shredded paper. There was a definite recycling-newspapery vibe going on with the collection. These were seen in various garments with a newspaper print as well as more shredded paper adorning the shoes. While the merging of recycling and fashion is nothing new, the shredded paper did make me ponder the idea of borrowing my housemate's paper shredder and possibly sticking my creations onto some sort of garment.

However I do believe that a bit of glue, a hair grip and a pop pom made out of shredded paper could turn into a nice hair accessory. See, the possibilities of recycling are endless! (the same housemate would love me for this as she is huge on recycling). At the same time, with the weather we've been having at the moment, I might just end up with soggy newspapery bits in my hair after the rain and wind has attacked it.
Apart from the shredded paper, Take a look at those tights (well you could hardly miss them) it was those tights that made me sit up and take notice. I need some of those aqua coloured ones....


The Daily Make Up

12 March 2008

Make up is a funny thing because lets face it, the majority of us don't need it at all. It's something that has grown out of habit, a confidence booster and for some...a bit of an obsession. Just take a look at Fops and Dandies post on the crazy Lip Gloss Collectors It makes me laugh every time I see those photos because it's just so silly but my 10 year old sister would have a field day uncapping them, sniffing them and trying them all on. Ha.
Anyway lets get straight to the point. Below is a photo of the stuff I use.
I actually don't really wear much make up but do put the effort in when I'm going out somewhere with friends. My daily routine consists of face wash (whatever brand I am currently using which has gone from Neutrogena, Clinique to Kiehls) and then followed with a good moisturiser. A cheap but nice brand is Body Shop's Vitamin E cream.

I then apply concealer which is something that is a must have. I currently use MAC's Studio Finish Concealer which provides an all, over coverage. Next comes eyeliner, a curl of the lashes and a bit of blush. I will use a blot powder to finish which is really good for my oily prone skin. Sometimes I will opt for more coverage and use a powder such as the Clinique perfectly real compact shown above.

When I do use eyeshadow I always apply Urban Decay's Primer Potion which makes the eyeshadow brighter and stay put all day. Most of my eyeshadows are from a MAC pallette which I was bought for Christmas and I've gradually filled over time. It's pretty and like a paint box.

I don't wear mascara and don't wear lip products on a daily basis. My routine is actually pretty simple!


The Future...

11 March 2008

The future is a scary place.
I should be writing some more on my dissertation but all I can think about is what I might be doing when I finish Uni. You can just about spot the London College of Fashion Postgrad prospectus just below my outfit image and that is just one option I might end up taking. I'm thinking of doing 3 day course in Fashion Branding in the summer and maybe a MA in Fashion Journalism Sept 2009. I really have no idea though, it's such a daunting prospect.
Or the other option is going for some work experience which might prove to be more useful. This most likely means moving to London and staying with relatives. Argh! So many people I know have plans for next year, from postgraduate study, Jobs and travelling, I feel at a bit of a loss...Does anybody know what they want to do in the future?? I just know I want to work in the Media Sector and thats a huge area!

It's too much to think about at the moment though but it's always lurking in the back of my mind. However I should probably get on with my dissertation, then onto an essay and then....the finals! It seems all my exams are over two days so while it is great they'll be over and done with very soon, I'm going to be under the most stress I will ever have experienced in my life as my degree relies heavily on exams. Oh no! Gotta go work hard now....


Dreaming of Kyoto...

10 March 2008

This isn't the most exciting of outfit posts as the weather is terrible outside, very windy and rainy! I really don't want to walk into Uni for my seminar in half an hour...

Anyway I dug out my cropped hoodie from the bottom of my wardrobe which I bought a couple of years ago from a TopShop sale and layered it over a baggy navy top. Hard to read as the lettering has been flipped in the mirror but it says Kyoto Japan. It kind of signifies one of the places in the world I really want to visit.
I just want to walk among the cherry blossoms in Kyoto and go and shop in wonderful Tokyo. Im super jealous of people who have visited Japan! I have always been fascinated with Japanese culture and took a Summer Course last year for basic Japanese. Unfortunately I don't remember much of it now!

Just look at the photo that remained as my desktop background for a long time last year. So beautiful! I would really rather be anywhere but England right now, far away from the dreary weather, worries of the dreaded dissertation and pressures of the upcoming finals at Uni...


Pink and Glitzy

09 March 2008

On Thursday the much anticipated Fafi collection for MAC was released in the UK. I do love Fafi and I couldn't wait to see the graphics. I knew I already wanted the 'Fashion Frenzy' bright pink blush. It's not actually as bright as it seems on, and gives you a nice healthy glow. I didn't think I would be lured into buying anything else but it seems I was wrong! I'm a sucker for the packaging and bought the Irridescent Pressed powder in the glossy compact with the Fafinette graphic on the top. I went to the Selfridges MAC counter instead of the freestanding store, I usually find the Selfridges Makeup artists quite snobbish but this time round I found the chattiest, loveliest make up artist and she was so helpful. This obviously meant I gave in to the pressed powder (a sparkly highlighter) It's a good job that MAC is more expensive as It prevents me from buying everything in sight!


The Return of the Perm

08 March 2008

Well, it seems that the Perm is back! I always wanted curly hair when I was younger and this probably goes to all children who have poker straight hair and have friends who have perfect ringlets. Though I recently found out that my friend's mother actually curled her hair every night to achieve the ringletty look! It was actually just as straight as mine. This was quite a revelation when I found out earlier this year and just seems so silly. I loved my friends now, 'fake' curly red hair and begged my mom to perm my hair . I'm suprised that she actually agreed to give the perm a try (I think I was quite young) but it didn't actually work. It only ever became curly when it was wet which wasn't the point at all. The girl was also a red head and apparently I came home from school crying because I wanted this girls gorgeous red, ringletty hair. Thankfully this dream was never fully realised, being a red-headed curly haired chinese kid would not have done me any favours at school. It's funny, because if I wasn't writing about perms that memory would not have resurfaced.

As I was growing up all the adults had them and my mom was one of those 80s perm fans. Quite scary! It seems that today, Perms are being requested more than ever at hairdressers and local shops have been selling far more home kits than ever before. It comes after the BBC 80s drama, 'Ashes to Ashes' which I haven't seen yet (picture above) where the lead actress sports a perm. Apparently because of this, the UK is embracing the perm once more. There were of course the influences from the catwalk but I don't have the time to trawl through the images to put one up here...but here is one I found when randomly googling 80s perms. It's one of those things that you hate to love. Haha. Having said that, there is not a chance that I will be going to get my hair permed any time soon....


Brooch Extravaganza

07 March 2008

I'm a sucker for pretty accessories as can be seen in the photo above. Though I have another lot of necklaces hanging up elsewhere in my room. I love accessories and especially in the form of brooches. My housemate is exactly the same and has an abundance of corsages that she pins on to clothes and bags and has become somewhat a trademark of hers.

I only have a small collection of brooches and a few of them are hair accessories but like to wear them as brooches on occassion. I am constantly losing them in dressing rooms! However I own nothing that is as extravagant as the brooches seen from Galliano.
Though looking at the first Galliano Image I might just start wearing several of my brooches together and produce something to the same effect!


All work and No Play...

03 March 2008

I'm super stressed at the moment as I was given back some dissertation feedback and there is a lot to do before the official hand in date. So forgive me if I don't post as often as I have done before.

It's all work and no play at the moment but will hopefully pop into Birmingham on Thursday to check out the new make up collection from MAC inspired by French Graffiti artist, Fafi (who i absolutely adore) I fancy buying a bright pink blush called Fashion Frenzy....


The call of the Shoe

02 March 2008

Yesterday as I was out shopping for a Mother's day gift and my Dad's Birthday present I got distracted a little and ended up buying these shoes from TopShop (excuse the dirty mirror). I still love the patent grey ones but they didn't have any in my size and ended up spending a little bit of my Chinese New Year money on these shoes. It was incredibly hard to walk away from them and I ended up giving in. Luckily TopShop do a student discount so I don't feel so bad. They're Navy blue with suede that wraps around the shoe.
I wore them today to a family meal which was 9 courses! It amounted to more like 14/15 as there were loads of little dishes. From Lobster to Tapioca Desert. It was great! It was for my baby cousin as it is traditional for chinese families to celebrate the newborn reaching a month old.
I feel a bit stressed though because I really haven't done enough work this weekend...ahhh! Before I go I must leave you with some details from the latest theatrical offerings from Galliano. Time to make some coffee...!


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