Saturday, 31 January 2015

Fashion Geekery - Making Couture

The Spring 2015 Couture collections have finally hit the runways, and as always there are some AMAZING garments. I haven't been through all of the collections, but what I have seen is some beautiful dreamy clothes I can only dream about being within 10ft of let alone ever owning one or making a piece!

But in amongst all the runway pictures, this 'Making of a Dior Couture Dress' caught my eye.

Having studied fashion at university & worked for high street fashion suppliers and made my own garments, I can tell you the amount of work that goes into your average high street garment is far greater than most people think of. A whole team of people work to get that one jacket/skirt/dress/trousers into that store; from designers to fabric agents, fabric mills, trim suppliers, buyers, merchandisers, testing houses, garment techs, fit models and not to forget those all important machinists who actually sew the garments, as well as the transport & shipping companies and all those assistants who do all the little jobs people can't get by without!

If I've forgotten anyone/thing then my apologies, but there are a lot of people & work involved in every aspect of fashion! 

This video blows my mind, partly due to geeking out seeing some of the patterns & sewing and partly because how amazing is that skirt?!

Couture garments showcase the highest level of craftsmanship and you can see why they are so expensive when you factor in the quality of the fabrics & trims as well as the time they take to make.

All in the name of fashion!


Happy watching!

Em x

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Top Hat (1935)

The other day something miraculous happened...

My Mum & I were left on our own for the evening!

Doesn't sound like anything to special I know, but that never happens in my house, especially during the week. So we took the chance to have a girls evening together, complete with painting our nails & watching a 'girlie movie'. The chosen film being Top Hat. The 1935 film starring Fred Astair & Ginger Rogers.

Image: Retrogasm

**Now I say 'girlie movie' as neither my Dad or brother would ever put a musical film on to watch themselves or with myself or Mum! I don't think of classic films like this as a 'chic flick', but I'll call it that before we get into the specifics of film genres!**

If you haven't seen Top Hat, I thoroughly recommend it. It's funny & uplifting with amazing dance sequences as well as being beautifully shot. The video below is slightly grainy, but I thought the other videos I found showed too much of the dancing, and I didn't want to ruin it for anyone!

As with many classic films, the costumes are amazing. Fred Astaire apparently chose & provided his own clothing for the film. The suits are so crisp & suave, and the top & tails are especially effective in the all male dance scene pictured below. With Fred taking centre stage of course!  

How do they get their shoes so impossibly shiny!?

I also love the suit Ginger Rogers' wears in the 'Isn't This a Lovely Day?' scene - a form fitting check jacket & white jodpur trousers. She wears the suit so well, and it gives a nice twist to the usual man/woman dance number. I haven't included any images of this costume as I'm trying to do this 'blog thing' all proper-like (!) and only using images I won't get in trouble for! 
Buuutttt! You can click the video below to check out the dance number & see what I'm on about!

Bernad Newman is the man responsible for the beautiful gowns in the film. 
Ginger Rogers also stepped in & helped design the infamous feather dress she wears in the 'Cheek to Cheek' dance. It's a gorgeous bias cut, ostrich feather number with a plunging back - very typical of the 1930s. 

It's well known that the dress caused havoc in this scene. The dress wasn't finished for rehersals so the first time Ginger wore it was when they were filming the 'Cheek to Cheek' number. With feathers flying everywhere (you can see some on the floor in the film if you look closely) Fred was quite understandably very annoyed! 

Luckily, it all worked out and this dance scene is stunning. The dress move so beautifully you can't take your eyes off of it, enhancing every movement Ginger makes. 

Clothes on Film has a great article on the infamous feather dress here

Other costumes that caught my eye were the black ruffle sleeved dress with white corsages worn by Ginger in the italian hotel scene, and her chinese style 'pyjama jacket' worn to greet her new husband towards the end of the film. Both are stunning items of clothing and should be mentioned more! 
I've tried to find images on them on my pinterest board, so make sure you look out for them - the link is below at the end of the post. Let me know if you've seen any other costume items that deserve a mention, whether from this film or another. 

Also, if you have any classic movie recommendations for me to watch just shout! I'm always on the look out for new films to watch. This is such a lovely, feel-good film; it makes me wish I could dance elegantly & be able to wear stunning dresses all the time! I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon, so I'll have to be content living out that fantasy by watching Top Hat again

I recommend you do the same!

Happy watching :)

Em x

Have a peek at my Top Hat pinterest board here:

Take a look at Top Hat on here: 

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Oscar Nominations 2015 - Best Costume

The nominees for the 87th Academy Awards were released this week, and of course my mind goes straight to the award for 'Best Costume Design'. I confess that out of all the films nominated, I have only seen Maleficent so my opinion is slightly biased... but let's get straight to it!

The 2015 nominees are as follows:

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Milena Canonero

This looks hilarious, I can't believe I haven't seen this!

It's costume designer, Milena Canonero was the lady responsible for the film Marie Antoinette starring Kirsten Dunst, which won her the 2007 Oscar for Best Costume Design. As soon as I watched this trailer I thought of her! I love the overall look of this film, the sugary colours gel together so well and compliment the stronger tones used in other parts of the costumes & sets.

Inherent Vice
Mark Bridges

I don't even remember hearing about this film coming out!

**Note to self: Keep on top of new movie releases as you used to do!**

Brilliant 1970s styling in this. I think sometimes when people think of 'Costume Design' their brains automatically go to huge elaborate feats of design, as in Lord of the Rings, Cinderella, or Les Miserable, but sometimes over look the productions set in more modern eras. Films like this one or American Hustle, show how much detail is involved in each eras style.

Into the Woods
Colleen Atwood

Well this has Colleen Atwood written all over it!

She is so ridiculously talented and created such beautiful stories with her costumes.  **idol**
How amazing is the big shouldered dress Meryl Streep is wearing?! Stong contender but I think for me Maleficent has the edge over this in terms of interpreting fairytales into something slick & modern.

Anna B. Sheppard & Jane Clive

I cannot begin to tell you how much I LOVE the costumes in this film!

Maleficent is such an iconic character, to be able to develop her into a stylish modern day twist must have been quite a task. But even the details in the armour and the fairies costumes are beautiful. My favourite costume in the film is near the end (don't worry no spoilers here!) when Angelina Jolie is wearing a pvc catsuit... doesn't sound too impressive but I can't describe everything else that goes with that costume without spoiling the plot! This film gets my vote so I really hope Anna B. Shppard & Jane Clive go home with the oscar!

Mr Turner
Jacqueline Clive

Another brilliantly designed Victorian-set picture. When I interned at a costume house, I learnt just how hard it can be to create period costumes that are suitable for the era they are meant to be in without them coming across 'stale' or 'frumpy'. I do not doubt the work that has gone into designing this picture, the costumes sit easily in the scenes and don't distract from the story (going by the trailer of course!), but for me it's not as visually stimulating in terms of design as the other films that have been nominated.

So there you have all the films nominated in the Costume Design category at this year's oscars. My pick would be for Maleficent to take home the award, but I think The Grand Budpest Hotel is also a strong contender.

I will be making a pinterest board for costumes from all the nominated films at the below link, so have a look there in a couple of days.

Who do you think should take home the award? Let me know below

And finally... may the best designer win!

Em x

Take a look at all category nominations here:

Monday, 5 January 2015

Sale Steals!

At the weekend, I decided to brave the crowds and head into the town centre for a spot of sale shopping. Having been very spoilt at Christmas, I have a few gift cards to spend and who doesn't enjoy getting more for that gift card when everything is on sale!?

So here are my two sale buys from the weekend that I am very pleased with.

First up are these studded pumps from New Look
Bargain buy at only £6!

I fully admit to being a shoe lover. My first job being in a ladies shoe store probably fuelled this love! - but having donated four (FOUR!!) pairs of shoes to the charity shop this week how could I resist?!

I was umming & ahhhing between this pair and another for quite a while but these ones came out on top as they seemed like they would wear in and hopefully be less painful than the other ones!

The sole is quite chunky which keeps them casual, so they'll be perfect for the day time, but I'd definately still wear them for an evening out down the pub!
I also love the reflective gold detail at the back.

If they take your fancy click here!:

The next buy is my favourite buy from the day. 
So excited about this!

Ta Dahhhh!

This beautiful 'Ace of Hearts' bag is from Next and is in the sale for just £12!

The reason I'm so excited about buying this bag is I actually fell in love with it a few weeks before Christmas, but didn't buy it at the time in case someone took note of my heavy hinting and got it for me for Christmas! Unfortunately this wasn't the case so after Christmas the hunt for the bag was on!

I popped into Next on New Years Eve and was quite upset to not find bag either in the sale or on full price. I only went in on the off-chance this weekend to see if I could pick up anything for my friend's birthday, and there hidden behind a satchel bag, there it was!

I love it's quirky design, and although I can't fit aaaallllll of my bits & bobs that I would usually take out with me in it, it's bigger than other hard clutch bags I've had before, and the chain strap is an added bonus.

I can't actually find it on the Next website for you but they do have a couple of other nice, quirky bags  that I was surprised to see on their website!

This is a lovely subtle colour, a perfect way to add a little quirky-ness into your wardrobe without going too ott!

This is brilliant! Drumstick is such a bold, iconic design. 
I'd love to add this to my bag collection!

There you are, I am a very happy sale shopper right now!
Have you picked up any amazing sale buys?

Let me know :)

Em x

Visit Next's Website:

Visit New Look's Website:

Friday, 2 January 2015

Hello 2015!

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2015... wow!

Happy New Year & I hope you all had a great Christmas too.
I can't quite believe it's 2015!

So Christmas was very busy, as it is for everyone. Not much to report on the sewing side unfortunately - I just havent had the time! - but hopefully I will be getting going on the chair covers in the next few days. I just thought I'd let you know about a couple of items that have come into my life in the past few days!

First up is my only post-Christmas sale purchase so far. 
This gorgeous dressing gown from Boux Avenue.

I've never bought anything from this store before, so I was pleased to replace my very old (and probably quite skanky!) dressing gown with this lovel purple waffle robe, reduced in the sale from £48 to just £24! Bargain!

It's a mid calf length gown in a gorgeous purple colour with a nice thick tie with pom pom details. I love it! Honestly, it's so soft & snuggly I don't want to take it off!

I can't actually see it on the BA website, but this one is similar.

There's also this teddy robe - how cute!

At least now I can be nice a cosy on those cold post Christmas evenings!

The second item(s) I wanted to show you are these amazing fake nails by House of Holland for Elegant Touch. 

How great are they?! 
These are the Glitter Face Ache set which were a birthday present from one of my girlfriends this year, and I thought 'New Years Eve... why not?!'

Also excuse the mottled look of my skin, I did some henna on my hand for Christmas eve (again I thought 'Why not?!') and it's still fading!

Now I'm not normally a fake or even just long nails type of girl. For one, my nails have never been strong enough to grow that long. Also I've found my work & sports I partake in don't mix well long nails - it's a battle to type this with these nails on!

As much as I'm struggling to do anything with these nails on (to the point the Ginge had to do up my coat when we went out last night!) I love them! So fun and quirky! 
I was fully expecting to come home from New Years missing at least one if not all of the nails but they seem to be holding strong!

There are some brilliant designs available from House of Holland. These are some of my faves.

So there you are.
Some fabulous fun nails for those special occasions, and a fluffy dressing gown for the day after those special occasions!

Oh! And on a final note...

The Ginge spoilt me for Christmas and my dino-wishlist was forfilled!
I'm now the proud owner of the 'Roar' Dino necklace as mentioned in my post here!

Happy New Year!

Em x

Visit Boux Avenue here:

Take a look at House of Holland Nails here:

& here: