credit crunch couture (among other things)

28 December 2008

Yesterday I finally had my annual trip to Bicester Village in Oxfordshire, providing the south of England with designer bargains galore. You see, everything I buy must be discounted, so when I decided that I wanted a decent handbag, this was the only feasible option. Unfortunately thousands of other people had the same idea as me, and my stress free shopping experience was short-lived as I tried unsuccessfully to find some new jeans in Diesel amongst a never-ending queue for the tills. I think I might just get another Cheap Monday pair once I get back to Notts, as Cow in Lace Market sells them for £28, and there won't be nearly as many credit-crunched shoppers there. Despite this, I managed to be reunited with the Luella outlet and fulfilled my bag buying fantasy, by purchasing a huge Luella Margo bag for £144, as that elusive Mulberry bag was still out of my reach. I know it's from AW 2007, but I don't care, it's shiny and quirky and fabulous. Here is a picture of it on the runway:

I think I'm taking my Uni project rather seriously (I chose Luella to design an imaginary collection for), though many people chose places like Zara and H&M, and I'm sure they would have done some extreme research in those cases. I also purchased some seriously discounted knitting books, one by Weardowney with patterns and a brief history of knitwear and another with 250 cable stitch patterns. I'm not quite sure whether I shall attempt any of these patterns, but they are nice books to have on my bookshelf nonetheless.

i want to layer

23 December 2008

So I'm back home for Christmas, with nowhere to really go (apart from shopping) and lots of uni work to redo. Somehow I've managed to procrastinate, by scouring fashion blogs and websites for my main vision for 2009- layering. I've managed to conquer the fear of leggings as trousers, and now the world is my oyster. I'm on the hunt for long, arse-covering, tops with slight details, like this Topshop number which has a much loved placket feature. I really want this to come in a grey colour, so it can join the family of grey cardigans, tops and tights that I own.

And I've found another TS blazer to go on top, though I prefer the all saints one they have on their homepage, that appears to be sold out on the website. I'm hoping my friend who works there, can help me with achieving my All Saints vision, ie owning something from there, for the price of something in H&M.

The look also needs a scarf. I'm going to try and knit one of these cool Yookoo numbers over the break, and maybe an AA style circle scarf on the machines once I get back to Uni.

all i want for christmas is...

19 December 2008

left to right, clockwise
1. American Apparel skirt/dress
2. PPQ for Oli Cardigan
3. Sheer AA tee (much layering potential)
4. Bebaroque tights (I hope I don't snag these)
5. Mulberry Roxanne bag (I'm not fussed about the style of bag really, the picture just represents whatever I can afford when I get the Mulberry outlet in Bicester. All I ask for is a huge bag with loads of pockets)
6. Office shoe boots (though I've seen a better pair in the sale, a possible Christmas pressie to myself).

Of course I will probably not find any of this under the tree come Christmas day, due to my parents not knowing any of this, nor having the time or money to buy it. I guess these purchases will be funded Xmas money, leftover birthday money, Ebay sales and future student loans.

all the cool kids knit

16 December 2008

I've been wanting to post about various fashion related musings, such as what the hell am I going to do with the 30 odd vintage finds I now possess, but I've been frantically knitting a toile for a looming deadline on Thursday. Here it is:

It may look strange, but it is actually a sleeve for a cardigan I'm making. I haven't really got time to go into the whole domestic knitting thing, but it is a hell of a lot quicker than handknitting kind of like using a sewing machine instead of doing it by hand. I've now knitted most of the parts, and will put it all together tomorrow. Once I'm done with the mountains of work, I'm going to seriously concentrate on this blogging thing, and the rest of my life.

Rummaging in Wembley

7 December 2008

So here I begin yet another blog, with the fashion event of the year. Being a native Londoner, but stuck in Nottingham most of the year (Uni) can be annoying at times (H&M Nottingham doesn't seem to qualify for Comme De Garcons, or anything else for that matter), but after hearing about this sale last month on Style Bubble, I knew I had to take a trip down South. I booked my train tickets (£12, woop) and rearranged my shift at work so that I could come down, and providing I could get to the sale early and catch my train at 1.30, everything would be fine. I wanted to get there for 7am, not because I thought there'd be lots of people, but because I'd heard cloakroom space was limited, and I needed to dump my luggage (alas, i cannot travel light). I woke up at 5 after precisely 0 hours of anxious sleep, and managed to get myself from South East London to North Wembley in a daze, via the Overground (mission even to find the platform at Euston). When I got there at 7.30am, my arrival time slightly later than planned due to the Bakerloo line being completely suspended, I was confronted with a large queue, though once I'd joined I heard that there was only a few hundred in front of us (!).

I was somewhere on the left by the fence, and waited for about 45mins before they gradually started to let people in and sort bags out. Further up I could see people had definitely stayed overnight, as there was food everywhere (and even, I hear, matresses). Anyways once I'd offloaded my bag, and bought my first £20 bag I was free to rummage. I reckon I got in just before 9, and ran straight to the 1950s room (I'd printed off the Facebook map and memorised it). It was chaos from the start. People were everywhere rummaging through boxes, and I had to take a moment to collect my thoughts and work out my next move. I started to go through a row of boxes in turn, holding up anything that took my fancy to see if it was fit. This strategy seemed to work, and I found 9 dresses in total (though I only think 5 will work, maybe 6 if I can turn one into a skirt) and some other bits. After a while tiredness got the better of me, and at about 10am I made my way to the other rooms. I wasn't really sure about what else I was looking for, as I'd only really come for 50s dresses. I sorted out my bags (I'd bought another by this point) and condensed most of everything into my first £20 bag, so started to rummage in the 80s section as I didn't want it to go to waste. I managed to find leggings (I love my pinstripe stirrup leggings!), jumpers and other random bits, but not the stand-out cocktail dress or band t-shirts I really wanted. Eventually I made my way to bags and belts, and though depleted, I bagged myself a Jane Shilton bag and Mulberry (I hope) belt. I decided to leave at 12, but before I left I revisited the 50s room which held so many fond memories for me. It was now a wasteland of oversized coats, and shredded bits, though people were still rummaging away.

5 dresses, 3 pairs of leggings, 9 belts, 2 skirts, 1 pair of shorts, 3 bags, 4 scarves, 4 tops, all in 2 £20 bags, plus 4 other dud items I won't mention.

I managed to lug my haul to the station, and after some serious transport issues (such as all tubes terminating at the next stop, and a crazy amount of people), I managed to catch my train back to Nottingham and make it to work on time, well 5 minutes late. So what did I get? Here's my haul in pictures, I had to use my cameraphone as my camera seems to have retired, but will try and post some pictures once I've altered everything.

I'm glad with what I got, and if I can sell the duds (about 4 items) then I can perhaps justify this whole excursion. The dresses are great, nice and fitted and pretty much the kind of thing I wanted. Most are slightly two big and long, but can be altered and shortened, and there are a few holes to sew up.. Even the duds could perhaps be sold or turned into something else once I can find the time, a too-small satin dress into a skirt dyed another colour perhaps. In total 35 items, makes it almost £1 per item. I do have a few regrets, I wish I hadn't dismissed the shoes (I have size 8 feet) as I could've added to my collection of boots. There are also a few people I'm jealous of, such as the girl trying on the two tone cardigan and promptly stuffing it in her bag. Maybe I should've given the 60s more of a chance, but hey, there's enough vintage out there for everyone. After that rummaging masterclass, I will now be a pro at the Vintage Warehouse in Hockley and any charity shop, and it's re-awakened my thirst for vintage clothing.