Saturday, 17 September 2011

Classic vintage style at Lady K Loves

I've long been a fan of Lady K Loves neo-vintage designs, helping to bring those of us with more of a vintage taste plenty of bespoke style.

One of my wardrobe secrets, I've been adorning plenty of their designs for the past couple of years since I first discovered them. It's the designs tailored around vintage patterns & styles that first drew me in, taking classic items from swing dresses to capri trousers and making them adaptable for the modern wardrobe.

One of those occasional irks with vintage clothing is getting your head around the sizing, will it fit?, whats the equivalent of that size 14 tag nowadays?, will it be too tight? too short?, will it last? But with Lady K Loves neo-vintage take, it's all the perks of vintage but with a brand spanking new item.

There's certainly plenty of styles to tempt you in across their site. I personally adore the Old town dress for a night out, & their Classic jersey tee teamed up with the new Classic jeans for day wear.

Give neo-vintage a try, you'll certainly adore it!

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Friday, 26 August 2011

The mis-sizing dilemma

Sizing on the high street & fashion industry has been irritating me more than ever of late. It's certainly a hot topic for debate with size zero constantly in debate, fashion shows putting plus size women on the catwalk & more companies than ever catering for a wider range of sizes, but this is still only in the minority when you look at the grand scheme of things across the industry.

In terms of measurements and size guides I'm classed as a size 6-8 due to my curvier hips. But when it comes to shopping for clothes I can come out of the changing room with anything from a size 12 to 8 that fits well. It's not just chain stores that are the culprit in this either, brands across independent stores are exactly the same. One will be too tight, too low cut, or short, & the other will fit several sizes up.

It goes the same way down the sizes too, in some stores I'll find a size 6 falls off me & nothing in the shop is a sensible fit. This is whats generally referred to as vanity sizing, mis-labelling items or moving the sizes down a number.

That's not the main problem for someone of my size either, most high street stores just don't tend to stock much smaller sizes. The amount of times I've tried something on several sizes too large just to see how an item looks on, then ran back home to order it online before they sell out of a size 6. In all honesty I've rarely even been able to grab that elusive size 6 afterwards & ended up with another lost purchase.

Now to some of you this may just seem like a 'poor unfortunate skinny girl having a winge', but it's not just across the small sizes that this problem lies. After speaking to other women of various sizes it goes across the board. Stores rarely stock plus sizes, and of those it stops beyond the 16 figure with that classed as an xxl size. It's sheer madness.

It's not all doom and gloom of course, there are some shops and brands that have a perfect fit. But it should be the same across the industry, not just select companies sticking to the actual standard sizing measurements.

Some could say that's it's the 'throw away' fashion state of the industry that's at fault, with such cheap, affordable fashion so readily available, most items tend to get worn once, maybe twice without any care to the item itself. Or it's simply a case of cost cutting measures in the tight economy of the past few years.

Whatever excuses it may be it's certainly disheartening.

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Sunday, 14 August 2011

The prettiest legs in the land

When I first stumbled upon Tattoo socks on Etsy I was absolutely blown away by how stunning and intricate their designs are. With inventive and cutting edge designs that appeal to both fashionistas and those of us with a bit of an addiction to tights.

My own tights drawers are bursting to the brim with designer and brightly coloured vintage tights, so I'm no stranger to printed tights. Personally my favourites tend to lean towards bold graphic prints & dainty subtle designs, a bit of a mix of that stands out against my more vintage inspired wardrobe.

The intricate fairytale-like forest and snowflake designs caught my eye from their designs. Whilst it's still midsummer here there's nothing wrong with planning your autumn/winter wardrobe already & these are certainly on my wish list for the season, ensuring that my legs will look as pretty as my hair flowers.
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Thursday, 4 August 2011

Roll for victory

Remember a while back, I posted about vintage 'hairspiration', finding examples of vintage hair styles that would suit my hair style & look. Well I finally had a go at it a couple of months back.

Finding some longer guides I could follow, without completely messing up my hair do was a gruelling task at first. Me still behind the times when it comes to some of these 'new fang led gadgets', had neglected to turn to You tube when I had my first attempt flicking through print outs of thumbnail pics from vintage tutorials. Thankfully after a few miserably failed attempts at victory rolls I decided to turn to You tube for some help.

I stumbled upon Classic retro glamour & Lisa Freemont Streets channels, my an entirely new concept to me from the start! But how grateful was I to find those girls handy video tutorials!

Within an hour of flicking back and forth between videos and jotting down notes I had my first attempt at victory rolls for an evening out. It does take some effort to get each roll in place, a lot of hair spray and fumbling around my pin box but I got there eventually. It certainly helped visualising the tutorial, seeing the differences in styles between each video & working my own way to create them. I still have a long way to go to perfect them but each attempt is an improvement on the last.

I've been trying my hand at pin curling, although this is an area I definitely need much improvement on! So far I've got fantastic curls at the front but flat hair at the back, a side effect of sleeping in the curls I suspect.

There's still so many vintage hair styles to try out, some curling tongs and hot rollers to invest in and plenty of pronged clips to purchase but it's certainly rewarding after all the grunting and complaining setting my hair.

-Image c/o The commons, Flickr-

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Monday, 18 July 2011

Wake up!

So I'm back, after a much needed break from the world of blogging. I'd somewhat lost that spark of creativity that got me posting, but after a few months putting my feet up & taking in some inspiration I'm back firmly in front of the laptop.

The mainstream world of fashion had somewhat lost it's passion for me, but I'd forgotten what initially got me behind this blog; a spot of independent style, vintage fashion, & sartorialism. The burlesque darlings with their sequins a plenty, the Clara Bow's with their flapper-esque do's, the Bettie Page's with their perfect bangs & sultry swimsuits, to the dandy's with their perfectly cut suits; I'd almost forgotten what got me excited in the world of fashion.

I've been diving into visual inspiration and a touch of the kitsch over the past few months; baking quirky cupcakes to trying out a spot of 60's make up, & I'm feeling rather refreshed and back to my old self for it.

During my hiatus I was briefly lured back into the world of writing, taking up a fetish inspired photographic exhibition for a review on Alt fashion (check out the write up here). Which was a welcome breath of fresh air to my usual work, whilst I'm not one to brave latex further than a cute bow hair clip it's certainly easy to see how it's made such a huge impression on the fashion world. But all that sultry shiny fabric isn't for me, give me pencil skirts in printed kitsch cotton fabrics any day!

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Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Time to relax..

Dear readers, I'm taking somewhat of a break from blogging for a while so consider this somewhat of a hiatus of sorts.

I initially started this blogging thing off to post about fashion that inspired me, & whilst I've still set about doing that I've been finding myself somewhat distracted when it comes to inspiration of late.

More so the work schedule's been so hectic I'm barely find time to myself, so for the time being I've decided it's best to take a bit of a break from the world according to Jacqui Plume & cosy up with a pair of ruby slippers for a while.

I'll be back eventually, when a random spark of inspiration hits me. But for the time being consider the blog on a hiatus my darlings..

Photo: Nanó Wallenius at Flickr Commons.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

The vintage 'do, you can do!

I've long been intending to have a go at a classic vintage hair style, with these things it's always finding the time & the tutorials for the exact look you have in mind.

I've long been sporting the classic 'betty bangs', cutting them myself after a few too many disappointing attempts explaining the look to hairdressers. Granted I couldn't put pen to paper on how I do it, it's simply something I've honed in myself in a robotic fashion now.

But when it comes to doing something else with a classic vintage look to my hair I've simply not got round to it before; with the exception of a brief Clara Bow-esque bob cut I had for a while last spring. Now I've been growing the ol' barnet out intending to try some classic '30's & '40's looks out, but where to start?!

Stumbling online you can find plenty of tutorials, all varying in techniques & final looks so it's pretty hard to pin point an exact style, or technique that would work for me.

I can't do video tutorials, it just seems rather hard to keep up to speed with a video tutorial personally for me; so finding a few step by step tutorials has been a smidge harder. But after a bit of rummaging I've found a few handy tutorials that should be worth a go:

quick & easy roll tutorial - seeing as I've lately taken to pinning my hair up in a basic pin back look (merely to tame the out growing bob) this quick & easy tutorial seems do-able in my lack of electrical hair tools state.

Granted if & when I do get around to braving some heated curlers this roll tutorial also seems a tad handy, a bit more technique involved than the previous one so I may save this for a while.

Up in back bangs - Some adapted & scanned in vintage tutorials for a stunning classic do.

& to finish, this tutorial is actually not far off my current multi pin hair do, minus the ringlet step.

Of course there's also some handy hints & tips in the last few issues of Vintage life magazine which I've already stashed aside with a flurry of notes for more tools to add to my vintage hair kit. Now to brave a start with the quick roll tutorial sometime this week.

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Sunday, 6 March 2011

Poppy King for No 7

You may be more familiar with Poppy King for her stunning cosmetics line Lipstick Queen, but now she's teamed up with No 7 for a rather exciting collaboration.

Poppy King has teamed up with No 7 to introduce her first exclusive collaboration for a rather special lipstick & lip gloss range. As soon as I saw the polka dot adorned packaging I couldn't wait for the collection to launch!

Comprising of a range of rose, pink, & red shades; in stunning pop art inspired packaging.

"Using the iconic number “seven” for the line, Poppy has identified the top seven reasons why women love wearing lip color and designed a shade to match each reason." Although we don't really need a reason to grab her signature collection, her Lipstick Queen line has long been a firm favourite for her stunning pin up red's, and inventive quirky packaging; all of her trademark notes have been brought in to No 7's classic understated look.

The pin up look is certainly booming across the UK now, with more women turning to a classic understated look so the collaboration really seems set to go down astoundingly well.

The collection is due to launch later this month across No 7 counters &; I for one can't wait to grab my hands on the sultry polka dot packets.

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Friday, 25 February 2011

Now that the busiest week in London has been & gone..

The A/W season was a rather pleasant surprise for me this time, lots of tweeds, brightly coloured knits, & more darling accessories than one woman could possibly ever need.

Whilst I may have witnessed the hustle & bustle via the internet, it was still just as exciting to see sneak previews of next seasons trends, & designs that will be washing the high street come late August.

I must admit I was even pleasantly surprised by some of the designer's on show at the main event. The biggest surprise of all for me was Henry Holland's collection, regular readers may know I've never been a fan of his designs; the whole 80's t-shirt slogan rehash was a tad overdone for me. But with his A/W 11 collection featuring notes of tweed, brightly coloured knits, & an overall nod to classic cut 20's fashion. I'm now starting to think that he might be an evil genius, with a sly plan to worm his way into the industry by re-hasing horrendous, easily sell able styles to fund his future designs. All the while intending to actually, gasp, make something classical styled with a very modern, bright twist. I could be wrong though, this might just be a freak fluke of co-incidence...

Surprises aside though, the overall feel to this seasons show was wonderfully welcome. I'm more a fan of classic fashion that nods back to the '20's & 40's, so to see an abundance of lady like style on the catwalk was most welcome.

Now to see what the S/S 12 season brings in September; I'm usually not so easily swayed on the spring/summer season but who knows I could be won over.

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Friday, 11 February 2011

London fashion week approaches

It's that usual heady excitement for one of the capital's busiest events of the year. Even those of us who lean more towards self styling, & vintage attire can still get giddy with excitement over the forthcoming shows.

Whether it's the anticipation of spotting a new designer who wins your heart, the rush of the busy feet & heels clacking along the floor, or simply just the networking rush.

For me it's spotting inventive designers, not just old favourites but new designers whose collections are a breath of fresh air from the standard. Last show it was Meadham Kirchhoff's unique Nicky Wire meets Courtney Love collection that got my attention.

This season around I'm more excited about the fringe events than anything else; the On | off show's collection by Charlie Le Mindu, A La Disposition at Fashion scout, & Berit New York at A La Mode, are the one's I'm more excited about than any of the main events.

It's the excitement of seeing more independent labels for me that does it, those who are thrown among the big names in the industry but whose work stands out for it's unique look, daring to try something a little out of the ordinary.

When next Friday rolls around I'll be stuck to the laptop viewing the shows from the comfort of the sofa before I'm thrown into the manic rush over the weekend. But of course it's always enjoyable, even just to find that cute new designer in the exhibition.

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Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Introducing Fam Irvoll...

How had I not discovered Fam Irvoll before! A bundle of cuteness wrapped up in a cupcake casing, imagine the result of a rainbow exploding on some kittens... or perhaps not as graphic but just as cute.

I just stumbled upon her work on an industry site earlier this week & wish I'd discovered her sooner. Her signature cake headbands are a cute mix of the retro and the darling over sized accessories that adorn scene kids; but in a good way.

The main reason her work stood out to me was for the press release highlighting my folder for her collaboration with A&C, a valentines inspired jewellery collection designed with the Norwegian jewellery designers.

A collection of quirky and fun designs, "inspired by all thing's cute and adorable", with dots of love hearts, cherries, & sweets. From over sized knitted lolly necklaces, nautical scroll love heart earrings, & so cute plastic lolly pop charms.

The collection is online at A&C's website & should be available via Fam Irvoll's site soon. Now if only I could understand Norwegian to order some!

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Saturday, 29 January 2011

Weekend favourites; romantic & stunning

It's almost February, the month rolls around rather quickly. Whilst it may be nippy on our toes, and frosty outside, theres that ever warming glow as we head towards the giddy english romance of valentines. For me autumn's a far more romantic season, but the cute & quirky valentines treats that crop out are always appealing. So I've been picking a few of my favourites out.

The range of heart printed handkerchief's at Paul smith are incredibly darling, and ever so cute!

You can't get more romantic than crochets and lace, after finding this crochet parasol at Urban outfitters I think I've fallen head over heels with it! It's the perfect mix of quaint victorian & the ladylike.

Continuing on the lace theme I've been ever fond of Rock & rose's jewellery ranges, & their Fleur lace necklaces are a perfect touch of gothic romance. They've got far more dainty vintage inspired pieces than I could sensibly buy, but these floral rings are also a perfect example of romantic style.

The range of romantic bird cards at diy boutique Bonbi forest are a perfect mix of cute & romantic without being too sickly.

And of course I can't wait to get my hands on the romantic diptyque valentines candles, in such a cute illustrated package the rose candle is quite high on my list!

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