Saturday, 18 April 2015

March + April Favourites

I do believe I promised monthly Favourite posts on a more regularly basis...like, on a monthly basis...obviously. Well...heh...heh...that didn't happen. I blame procrastination. I've been making lists in my head each month like, "Oh, yeah. Damn, this needs to go in my Favourites." And then I get busy and have other posts or just get lazy. So, I'm like "I'll do the Favourites post next week." Then next week happens and the one after. Suddenly, it's the next month. And I've left it too late.

So, yeah...sorry about that.

But here I am with one again for a combination of two months. And, boy is it chuck full of good stuff as a result. Hold on to your butts, here we go.


Television.

I've been super-into a lot of shows the past two months - some new releases, some old favourites. But they've definitely overshadowed movies. I feel like I had a slump with cinema for a while there but programming has been knocking my socks right off.


Wonderfalls

Goddamn short-lived, wonderful shows.

Wonderfalls is a 13 episode long, 2004 show about a young woman named Jaye who is in her twenties and has no idea what she's doing with her life....I wonder why I related to it so much? In the show, inanimate objects start to speak to her and alter the path of her life and those of everyone around her, causing Jaye to rethink everything she thought she knew about the world. The cast is perfectly chosen, it's funny, there's some amazing/dodgy early noughties fashion and Lee Pace is in it. 'nough said, amirite?

Seriously though, it's something I remember seeing on television when it first came out but I was too young to get. Now, I see that it's kind of the less obnoxious, more charming alternative to Girls. It deals with the same themes of figuring out what you want and where you're going, love, friendship, dealing with being an adult and the changes to family dynamics that come with that. The characters are flawed and imperfect but so much more likeable, IMO.



Pushing Daisies

More noughties goodness, more Lee Pace, more of a show that should have gone on for longer.

This show is just the epitome of charming. Like, really. It follows the adventures of Ned, a pie-maker who can raise the dead (with limitations) with a touch, Chuck, his childhood sweetheart who he brought back to life, and their friends. The romance between Ned and Chuck is just...perfect, for lack of a better word. It's very sweet and the way they look at each other is beyond enviable. The whole show is quirky, dreamlike but sardonic enough to avoid being twee. I can't recommend it enough.



iZombie

Launched just this year, iZombie came to me when Gerard Way tweeted about it. It's based on a comic book and, though zombies seem like tired territory, this is a different take. It's more self-aware and less about the living dead and more about living. Again, we're talking people in their twenties figuring shit out. The main character, Liv Moore (lol), is a medical student with a nice fiancé who becomes a zombie and has her whole universe turned upside down. She appears normal but has to eat brains to live and, when she does so, takes on the memories and personality of those she consumes. In her new role as a medical examiner, she begins to work with a detective to use those memories to solve murder cases. 

Basically, though, all you need to know that Rob Thomas is involved. If you liked Veronica Mars, this is probably going to make you happy.



Daredevil

I'm still not sure how I feel about Netflix's Daredevil adaptation. It's better than what we've gotten out of the character before but I'm still not sure if I'm 100% convinced...All the same, I binged on it. And Charlie Cox, who plays Daredevil, is damn easy to look at. He's always been one of the coolest of Marvel's characters in my mind - I mean, a blind superhero, come on - so I'm glad he's getting his own show. Plus, the whole thing connects in with the wider Marvel cinematic world which is rad. 

For sure, worth a watch.




Music.

The Cure

I've been binging on The Cure a lot lately. I love a lot of their less obvious songs, ones from ancient albums that are quiet and sad and so beautiful they make me ache. Anything that makes me imagine Poe scenes on cliffsides, really.




Marina and the Diamonds

The new album, Froot, is the shit. Seriously. I'm talking days and days of listening to nothing else. Or belting out the lyrics until you notice someone else has popped into the room...which is always awkward. Especially if you do it at work.





Daniela Andrade

This Youtube musician does a lot of AMAZING covers. Stick anything she has done on when you need to relax because everything she touches is beyond lovely and sweet.






Books.

When the weather gets better, I start to devour books. Usually, My activity levels stagnate in January and February and I choose more passive modes of entertainment. But, once I come out of that last period of cocooning after winter, I want to read again, to engage my brain a bit more. I grab books and start to venture out into the world again. YA fiction and old favourites, comforting things, nostalgic things, easy things, begin the process. So, I've been reading a lot of old Meg Cabot classics that I loved as a teen and still adore. I also read some YA that was new to me and which I really enjoyed, including the Abandon Series by Cabot which follows Pierce, a teen who had a near-death experience and John, king of the Underworld. It basically retells the Persephone myth in a contemporary setting. Two other YA books intrigued me recently; Holly Bourne's Soulmates, which suggests the subject-matter in the title. and Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, which takes an interesting twist on werewolf lore. Other than these books, I've also been dipping in and out of Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist, a collection of essays about being a feminist, a woman and a woman and feminist. I've really been loving it, especially as the essay format gives me time to think and work out my own feelings on the topics without being overwhelmed.



Beauty & Fashion.


Make-up


I have two major make-up loves these past two months. The first is Collection's Lasting Perfection Concealer which has been stripped of the writing on the packaging. My make-up tends to look pristine as I use it so infrequently so this is a sure sign of how much I've been using it. It's so lightweight but has great coverage for my nasty, nasty breakouts! Also, it's amazingly reasonably priced - just over a fiver!

I've also been LOVING Inglot's Freedom System Blush in the shade 125 which is peachy, pretty perfection.


Skincare and Haircare

Things I've been reaching for to keep my face and hair in check pretty much on the daily for the past two months are: Aveda's Volumizing Tonic (just a spritz at my roots to stop my hair from being too flat), Elizabeth Arden's 8 Hour Lip Balm (to keep the chapped lips at bay), Trilogy's Blemish Control Gel (to banish spots), Botanics' All Bright Hydrating Day Cream with SPF15 (for moisture and SPF in the morning at a great price point) and Mio's Boob Tube (for intense moisture and plumpness to the skin and an AMAZING scent).

Also, I'm just crazy for everything and anything made by Neom Organics - the best smelling products in the world? Perhaps.

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Fashion

Denim, denim, denim.

Oh, and my new selection of sunglasses from Boohoo. YES.

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Miscellaneous.


Cherry Blossoms

One of my favourite things. Ever. Ugh, so beautiful.

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The Hobbit Production Videos

I finally got around to watching the last Hobbit movie in March. And then I watched all the Youtube behind the scenes content I could find. Peter Jackson put up production vlogs that are fantastic and perfect before bed viewing.




Well, that's a lot that I've just thrown at you...Sorry this turned into such a monster but hopefully you'll have found it interesting/found something you like/both.

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Thursday, 16 April 2015

COS AW15

COS' AW15 collection is highly conceptual - as their collections are wont to be. Two main design threads run through; Outdoor Creativity and Mono-ha.

The former is inspired by the outdoors, as the name would suggest, and ties together the few prints present for the up-coming season, inspired by camo and bark, with pieces inspired by performance-wear. The clothes are in muted tones and woodland hues but the silhouettes are dramatic, challenging. Not for the faint of heart.

The latter jumps from a starting point in a twentieth century art movement from Japan of the same name. This section takes up more of the collection and tames the wild organic shapes of Outdoor Creativity. It combines natural and man-made fibres, steely greys and salmon and peachy tones. It is pared back, raw, minimal. It is balanced, elegant, makes a statement without needing to shout. Wools and felt abound and, in an Irish setting, one can't help but see parallels with our own traditions in knitwear and outerwear. Though the palette may be unusually light, the fabrics are completely what one would expect for AW. They are dense, durable, very much investment pieces that will serve you well for years to come.

There is both drama and calm in this collection. There are many of my favourite colours to wear. There are highly challenging pieces.

And this is why I love COS.

Their collections are like being back at fashion week. They're inspired and inspiring. They respect the high street consumer by refusing to talk down to us, by reinventing and by giving us the tools to access style normally relegated merely to the highest end.  Particularly in the case of menswear. There's a lot that is wearable. There are classics but there are also pieces that have proportions that are off, textures that are unruly.

But even while all that is going on there's room in the clothes, room to put your own stamp on it, to make it yours.

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Monday, 13 April 2015

Avengers

Initially, this blog was born as a space to talk about clothing in shows and movies I loved. To talk inspiration from a myriad of varied sources. I had just gotten into blogs but could find no one squeeing about the clothes in Buffy or Heathers. Sure, there were articles floating around here and there but rarely were they in-depth or thematic. Just the odd, unsatisfying, pieces on "outfits inspired by x" which, admittedly, is what I'm about to do. But, not to toot my own horn, I feel I'm doing it better and less half-arsed than a lot of those existing pieces.

Point is, as much as I'm inspired by the catwalk and seasons and street style, so, too, am I inspired by lots of other elements of culture and pop culture. Especially the shows and manga and books and movies I love.

I began reading comic books when I was around ten. Marvel was my entry-point to this world, something I shared with a particularly close cousin and a few friends in primary school. I loved Spiderman (such a sarcastic bastard, I love it), the X-Men (esp Gambit and Rogue) and Daredevil (I'm a sucker for an underdog) most of all but dabbled in others. As I got older, I maintained my soft spot for superheroes and, in recent years, my inner child has been running around in dizzy joy. Marvel is producing content like no ones's business and, best of all, Joss Whedon and others behind my beloved Buffy amongst other favourite shows and movies, are at the helm.

Which finally brings me to the point of this post, in honour of the soon-to-be-released Avengers: Age of Ultron, I've decided to style three outfits inspired by three of the characters from the movie and talk a bit about the basics of their aesthetics.

Scarlet Witch

Scarlet Witch is one of the coolest characters in the entire Marvel Universe. Not only does she have mutant abilities, but actual supernatural powers as well. 

Like, she's legit a witch. 

It remains to be seen how her character will be interpreted in the film and which of her mythologies and versions will be used or if she will be entirely reinvented but images from the movie show us how she'll dress. 

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They're clearly playing up the troubled young woman thing rather than going for her traditional costumes which would be a bit....cough....risqué for the movies. Red hasn't been overly implemented and she's got a punky grungey thing going on. My styling is more dramatic than that of the film, I've gone for lots of her signature red but in a few tones to stop it from becoming flat. The sharp lines and sexy cut-out detail of the crop top give a nod to her costume but the leather pants and boots make it tougher and more believable. I mean, could you really fight in what amounts to a swimsuit? 

I couldn't resist the cape, though highly dramatic. It could be easily swapped out for a long, flowy trench but I wanted to have some length and movement to her outfit to emphasise her witchiness.

Cap

Though for a woman, this look is inspired by Captain America. 

Ah, sweet, good, virtuous Cap. I'm very fond of him. 

And, when not in his uniform, he sports a very distinct look. Very classic, timeless, all-American. He's a man out of time, cast from the middle of the twentieth into the twenty-first century, but a lot of his wardrobe basics remain the same. As I say, classic. Think white tees, Converse, a good pair of jeans - not too dark, not too light, no rips, not too tight, not too baggy. To finish the look, I've thrown in an aviator jacket - once again, timeless but also referencing his military background. And, as a final detail, this little heart-shaped bag with the American flag on it from Moschino, for a great patriot. 

Thor

The final look is, again, inspired by a male character - Thor, God of Thunder, himself. This look is more like the first - very dramatic and not for the wallflower. Not nearly so wearable as Captain America's aesthetic. But until Captain America, Thor doesn't really have street clothes. He is always a prince of Asgard, a warrior. Which is what this look reflects. 

I've ditched his signature red cape for this one (sadly capes are less of a thing in daily life) but kept the red tone in the burgundy tunic. Everything is leather, from the tunic to the leggings, to the boots, to the cuffs. But this look needed to be tough, warrior-like and emulate armour. The flowy silhouette of the top half of the outfit soften it a little but the rest of the elements remain true to Thor. The mixture of tones and silhouettes keep this from going down a dominatrix road but it's still a somewhat costumey outfit, not for the faint of heart. 


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So, what do you guys think? 

Did I get it right? Excited for the movie? And do you like posts like this?


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Friday, 10 April 2015

Inglot

On Wednesday evening, Inglot hosted an event for bloggers in their South Anne Street store. They were not only giving us a lesson on contouring with their products but also tempting us with discounts and new launches and showcasing their new make-up cases - three lines that offers sturdy, beautiful cases for both the professional and the make-up enthusiast who would like to store and transport their make-up more securely.

The leather pieces from the Safari collection are particularly gorgeous and remind me of vintage suitcases though the Diamond range with it's hard, metallic plastic exteriors are probably better suited to being dragged around our rainy little island. While the Classic range is probably the sleekest and most professional-looking.

I had been in the shop a few times before but having it to ourselves gave me the time to peruse at my leisure. And, boy, was I impressed! Talk about colour selection! The girls in the shop are super-lovely and helpful and knowledgeable about the products. And, best of all, they're cruelty free and their polishes are four-free.

The price-range is fairly reasonable too, considering the quality of the product. A quality which I found to be particularly evidenced in their blushes. They remind me a little of Nars blushes but with a wider range of shades and I couldn't help myself but grab a gorgeous neon peach (shade 125) that blends into the most natural, prettiest hue on the skin.

I actually managed to find a few things that had been on my wishlist on the night, including a grey nail polish (shade 364) - which I've been after for a while. That it was just the right shade (not too dark, not too light) and four-free made it seem like kismet - so, of course, I couldn't leave it behind! I was also gifted a gorgeous iridescent shade (319) which reminds me of Chanel's Peridot from a few seasons back.

And I got a shadow (26) in the subtle gold shade I was looking for after spying a similar colour on Lily James in the new Cinderella movie. Other gifts included a blue mascara and shimmery face powder that I never would have chosen for myself but am actually rather enamoured with.

You could really wile away hours in the store - or have a browse online. Currently, there's ten percent off all online purchases so get on over there if you're interested.

I'm probably going to do a full brand overview as I have for Isadora and Lush so keep an eye out for that. Or, at least a review of some of the items. But, so far, colour me (lots and lots of shades of) impressed.

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