The Dress Project, Part 1

31 August 2009

There's something about vintage style dresses (by this I mean 1950s shapes, or the 80s rehash) that I love. I'm constantly on the lookout for the nipped in waist, structured bodice and full skirt whenever I hit the shops, with varying degrees of success. I'm fed up of seeing body-concious styles in the shops, that provide me with no shape, and extortionately priced vintage on eBay, so I've decided to have a go at creating my own vintage inspired dress, with a modern touch. Here's some of the inspiration I've gathered so far, from random blogs and good old eBay.

Sources? Well this inspiration folders been going a long time, let see if I can remember.
Ebay, ReneƩ Sturme, MTV Buzzworthy, unknown, Luna Supernova, forgotten, Fashionista diary, oops again

A lot of the favourites are floral, but I'd like to see if I can create something a bit more Autumn/Winter in lace or velvet (but it could well be next Spring/Summer by the time I end up making it). Slightly ambitious I know, but I'll try and work something out (I know a few people I can bore with numerous pattern cutting queries, plus my Mum's a dab hand at sewing pretty much anything). So far I've managed to create a basic block for a few things (leggings, jersey tops), so my Winifred Aldrich book has lulled me into a false sense of security with the ease of it all, but I'll let you know if there are any major developments.

My lovely bodice block, hopefully the start of many, wonderful patterns

By the way, I'm going to keep the Joy competition open until midnight tomorrow, so make sure you enter if you can be in London this Thursday night (3/9). It's really a fantastic opportunity to get free clothes and meet fellow bloggers.

Now August is over, I'm excited (and slightly scared) for September. There's fashion week and hopefully foreign travel to look forward to; what will you all be up to?

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Some illustrated people

27 August 2009

There are many illustrators I love in the big wide world, but Chicago based Brett Manning's works really struck a chord with me. Not only are her characters (yes her; Brett's site is humorously titled 'Brett is a Girl') gloriously whimsical with exaggerated features, but each texture is painstakingly drawn in the finest detail, whether it be flowing locks or a fluffy jumper. Her mission is to let the 'viewer to construct their own meaning rather it be dictated to them,' which is a fitting way to look at her dream-like images. As per usual, I was particularly amazed by the way she represents knitwear, with immaculate stitch detail and the form of the garment captured realistically.

images from and etsy

I would love to see more fashion illustrations from her, to admire and take inspiration from, as they are not the typical, somewhat soulless sticks that you see many designers create. Since I was a child, I have always loved to draw, but I would like to develop my style further by making my figures and textures more accurate. This has definitely given me something to think about when I next have to illustrate a collection, in the distant, fourth year future.

Thanks to Kay Bee (very similar to my alias) for sharing this!

Don't forget to enter the competition for Joy vouchers and a fantastic evening, if you're London bound next week!

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It's competition time...again

24 August 2009

Now for something I'm really excited about. By now, you probably all know that I love shopping (especially if you've read the post below), and you hopefully love it too, so who would like to get the chance to go to a private shopping evening at the Joy store in Bankside, London on September 3rd? It will be filled with wonderful clothes, fellow bloggers (and their readers) and little Ford Ka miniatures that can be redeemed for £60 worth of vouchers on the night (so potentially free clothes). It's all to celebrate the release of the new Ford Ka (if only I could drive), letting people find the hidden gems all over the place, and together (yes, I'm coming too) we will find the miniatures, find some nice clothes and have an awesome time in London town!

So I hope this makes sense, find the car, answer the question and come shopping with me next Thursday!

Anyone can enter, but of course you have to be able to get to London for Thursday September 3rd (so this perhaps excludes international readers, sorry). I've hidden a small picture of the silver Ford Ka car somewhere in the blog, so all I need to know is the name of the post I've hidden it in (it will be from the last 3 months) and the answer to a question:

What would you most like to find in the boot of your Ford Ka, and why?

Me? About fifty grand in cash, but I want to know your creative and inventive answers (nothing morbid please). If you're confused about any of this, don't hesitate to comment here for further explanation. You have until Sunday night (30/8) to e-mail your answers to, from which I shall pick a winner. I will contact the lucky person on the Monday (31/8), who will also be featured in a future post about the event.

Let me know if you're a fellow blogger going to this event, it'd be great to meet you!

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23 August 2009

Now as promised, the super-duper shopping post! Bear in mind that this was purchased over the course of a few weeks and not in a matter of days. First things first; my bits from Schwing Schwing finally arrived in time for a very important evening out, which was very useful. I loved this monochrome top when I saw it on the site, and I was glad the slightly unusual shape suited me. The only problem? It has the tendency to blow up with a gust of wind, so the whole world knows what underwear I'm wearing! Despite this I still like it, and will experiment with different bandeau tops underneath to protect my modesty.

Also, here is my Marc by Marc Jacobs magnifying glass necklace, bought in their lovely Mount Street store for just £7. I like how they have bargain bucket priced bits mixed with all their catwalk pieces, making the store itself far less daunting than others. My jewellery can only get more random, whatever next? A bathroom tap? My house keys?

I had no idea that Henry Holland would be selling his tights from his Autumn Winter 2009 catwalk show, and was even happier when I heard they'd only be £10! After being completely priced out of the market for the Chanel two-tones, I was glad to see a reasonably priced pair, as tights are notoriously fragile (I only have to look at a pair to ladder them or stub a hole in the toe) and easy to ruin, to warrant a ridiculous price tag. So I happily legged it to Selfridges, and picked up one of the coffee style cups, full of tights goodness. The tonal effect is not as pronounced on my skin tone (perhaps I can pull them up more, Simon Cowell stylee), but there nonetheless. Now I've got my posh Selfridges bag, I'm tempted to order the purple and alphabet pairs online, to keep my legs well adorned this Winter.

Time for another blazer methinks. This was picked up from Topshop, with a hefty uniform discount, so I can channel the slightly eccentric country look this Autumn. I was originally going to get another black blazer, but the tartan won me over, and I look forward to teaming it with suitable patterns/chunky scarves etc.

Now a lot of bloggers have opened their own shops (and I will too eventually, once I've worked out what to sacrifice from the overflowing drawers) as it's an easier way to sell their clothes to the right kind of audience, and slightly cheaper than eBay. I've bought a few things from Daniella's shop, and this American Apparel tee is the most recent. I fell in love with the subtle floral print, and the price was far cheaper than in store, which secured the deal. Another bargain was the burn-out leggings from an accidental visit to Primark, which sent another fiver from my purse in as many minutes.

I hear tapered trousers are the thing for this season, and it's always nice to have an alternative to miniskirts and dresses. I picked this grey pair up from the Topshop sale for a fiver, and I really like how the cropped styled shows off shoes (hmmm, I think I need some new shoes now). Also here's my other Schwing Schwing purchase, the mesh bodysuit, which looks scarily saucy in person but I'm sure it'll be fine with a lace bandeau (I do love that word) underneath, and tucked into a nice skirt, to cancel out any association with the way American Apparel might style it.

What's this, some non-clothing purchases? Well not quite, the knitting pattern (bought off eBay) will be used to make a chunky cabled cardigan at some point. I throughly recommend picking up the knitting needles, as many shops are producing bits that can easily be knitted by hand (especially the Rodarte style knits, with dropped stitches and ladders galore)! The Time Out city guides were a gift from my mother, so I can finally start getting my head around the concept of NYC (126 days until I go, better sort out that visa), as my knowledge of the city isn't quite up to scratch. I seem to think Central Perk actually exists due to the amount of Friends episodes I've watched.

Have you bought a lot recently? I guess the recession hasn't really changed how I spend, everything I buy is still quite cheap or discounted!

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Rambling in London

19 August 2009

Now for another vaguely self-indulgent birthday post... After not quite knowing what to do for a somewhat unspectacular age, I decided to round up a few friends for a combination of my two favourite things; food and shopping. The crazy selection of sushi was bought from the Japan Centre near Picadilly Circus, and was devoured within a short space of time.

My friend told me to 'throw some shapes' for this picture. If you'd like more regular outfit posts, be prepared for strange poses and slightly bemused facial expressions. Just a warning.

In my 22 year old state of mind, I decided to brave a small amount of midriff with the crop top

Also stopped by a few desirable shops, namely Marc by Marc Jacobs and Selfridges. I always knew the latter would be emporium full of wonderful things, but I hadn't fully prepared myself. These days, I'm used to looking at designer clothing in magazines, blogs and sites like Net a Porter, but hardly ever in reality, so it was great to browse rails of Future Classics, Les Chiffoniers and Preen (and to even discover a new found love for Whistles). I really liked the choice of diffusion labels and was constantly sighing as I walked around the third floor, wishing for riches beyond my wildest dreams. Of course the real reason I was there was for a bargain, a pair of House of Holland tights to be exact. Also bought a quirky yet reasonably priced necklace from Marc by Marc Jacobs. Stay tuned for more about these items in a future, shopping overloaded post.

I love my posh bag

Eventually we wandered to Carnaby St, as it always has a more relaxed pace compared to Oxford Street (chaos). Was transfixed by the Liberty print adorned store, and made a mental note to have a more in-depth visit another time, with fellow fashion obsessives. It was nice to wander around the technicoloured boutiques, in particular Anna Lou of London where I had another internet-come-to-life moment after seeing the jewellery. All of my future birthday presents can come from this store.

Now I look like I'm changing a lightbulb.

I could have spent hours wandering around the streets of Central London, but unfortunately my friends weren't quite up to it after the long distances we'd walked (I love to power-walk; I'm slightly impatient). We decided that it would take 5 days to truly see the main shopping areas of London, but if you include all the backstreets and hidden treasures, then you might be looking at using up your entire Uni summer break. I definitely want to explore the capital a lot more, especially the conceptual (mainly pricey) stores that I may have been too scared to set foot in a few years ago. It's really is useful for me to see the designer collections up close (especially the knits) and even though these situations may seem intimidating, it's important to not get disheartened. I can't wait to wander around London again, though it'd probably rain on the day I decide to go!

August is going so quickly!

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17 August 2009

I've been getting into the mindset of being 22 for the last few weeks, rounding up my age when applicable, so it's no shocker really. I'm not so bothered about it now, and I kind of like the idea that it's a palindrome. I'm aware I don't really act like an 'adult', (I don't wear a lot of make-up and hate wine with meals, that's all the proof you need really) and could pass for a lot younger on a bad day, so I'd gradually like to start acting my 'age' and embracing my inner (and outer) twentysomething. This means making the best of myself and pushing a few boundaries, before time runs out. Cryptic, much? Anyway, here are some interesting fashion choices of the past...

Methinks this has a whiff of the Marc by Marc Jacobs or Anna Sui about it. Definitely want something velvet this Autumn.

Gotta love the gingham ra-ra skirt paired with lacy white tights.

These Zebra inspired trousers need to be recreated as a pair of leggings for my 22 year old self.

Today I shall be spending the birthday with friends in Central London, relaxing and reminiscing, and anticipating what the future holds.

Random fact: this post was published at the exact time I was born!

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Shopping mum's closet

13 August 2009

Being at home for the summer, makes me realise that my Mum has got some lovely bits in her wardrobe. She's quite the canny shopper, with a lot of stuff from the 80s (though a lot of it she gave away, long before these thrifty times) and although I can't reveal her true sources, she is currently the best at finding designer stuff for less. Thing is, due to me being slightly careless with stuff when I was younger, she won't let me borrow a lot of it.

Being the bag obsessed person I am, I am just itching to borrow this Fendi number that she recently bought. Sadly I can't, as she thinks I'm going to stain it somehow. Nothing I say can convince her, so I'm reduced to taking pictures with it in my room instead.

I also love her selection of vintage belts. Fourtunately I managed to pick a load up at the Angels sale, but she still has a few of my faves, namely the mock-croc and snakeskin styles. She can sniff out leather at ten paces.

Somehow I managed to convince her to let me have this cardigan. She's had it a while, meaning to alter it to fit better, but I've just realised that I love it's slouchiness and all the beading detail is really impressive. It's so cosy and warm and will be great to chuck over dresses when the British Winter kicks in. So it's me 1, Mum 263? We'll see if I can find something else anytime soon; it's certainly cheaper.

I wish i made these, image from here, used to have a few followers, now I have 30!

On another note, I am so pleased at reaching 30 followers! It may have not have happened as quickly for me as other blogs, but I'm still proud of how my readership has grown. There's an awful lot of choice out there, and it's easy to forever compare yourself, but it's important to just concentrate on things closer to home. So I'm really thankful for every commenter, follower and subscriber who visits my blog. A lot of people seem to find it via Google, and I'm amazed at what people search for. With a name like 'I want you to know' brings lots of wants and desires, but I'm amazed that people click on it when they search for such random things. The ultimate referral was:

Procrastination is when I want to make a bag of tea
Being the fussy person I am, I don't actually drink tea, just coffee to make up for all those late nights that I seem to have.

Some other faves:

what size of shoes elly jackson wears
I have no idea! My post on La Roux obviously didn't have the answers.

primark jeggings and primark hareem pants
Nice to know so many bargain hunters are out there.

elyse "i'm going to new york
No idea why you might search for this, can someone please enlighten me?

i want to spend christmas 2009 in paris how much will it cost on a budget
I wish I knew! I hope my Parisian post helped; survived for 2.5 days on roughly 110 Euros. I'd love to go there for Christmas one day.

i know that that was something yes i do i know i want you song

My blog is actually named after a song, but unfourtuntely not the one above. I estimate I have listened to I want you to know by Charlotte Hatherley about 700 times, due to being lazy with my iTunes playlist. I thought it was a good name for a blog, as it is ambiguous yet direct. I had to add the 'it' to the URL, due to my preferred name being taken, but perhaps it takes on a whole new meaning.

for every bird a carried on my back i want the world to know what i know
There are no words...

Glad to see that my blog is being found in a variety of different ways, no matter how random. The wonders of the internet. Am trying to figure out the perfect redesign for Autumn/Winter. Let me know if you want to be linked up, as I'd love to find some new blogs to visit. Hope everyone's having a great week; I've been working all over the place...

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Surreal shoe overload (plus some competition winners)

9 August 2009

Thought I'd update on my placement at Cooperative Designs; I'm really enjoying it! I'm machine knitting bits for their upcoming show, learning lots about the logistics of the fashion world and everyone's really nice in the studio. Last week I got to observe a shoot for ID magazine that their creations will be featured in, and although I can't post much, here are some pics of the amazing shoes they had available.

My size! I would gladly have swapped my Docs for these. Apparently 8's are abundant at the Louboutin sample sales, and for a moment, I believed I could purchase such a thing.

I seem to be drawn to Gucci shoes. Funny that.

Insect jewellery is where it's at; I loved the spider ring.


As you all may know, my competition ended on Friday for the My Name Necklace. Without further ado, here is the highly sophisticated selection process:

I got my slightly bemused younger sister to pick names out of the hat.

So the winners are Dane and Tanya, who I will be contacting in due course! Well done, and thanks for everyone who entered and helped to promote the competition. You can still get a necklace here if you're disappointed, and I'm sure this competition will be the first of many, so keep watching this space.

Hope everyone had a nice and sunny weekend; luckily I didn't have to work, so went two BBQs instead! My stomach needs some time to recover.

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Next Night Out

5 August 2009

Sifting through my e-mails brings a fair amount of junk these days, but when I was invited to a VIP evening by Next for their 'Make me the Next Model' competition, I just had to RSVP. The blurb: Next has been trying to find new and unsigned model talent to star in their Next Directory, with the help of the slightly addictive powerhouse that is Facebook. Over 3000 entrants were whittled down to 50 on the day, and 10 finalists on the night after an ANTM-style bootcamp (well maybe I'm exaggerating, I wasn't at that part). The night was hosted at a secret riverside location to crown the winners, with food, drink and entertainment by Flawless of Britain's Got Talent fame.

The 50 finalists; Katy Hill, Paul Sculfor and Alesha Dixon;
The gorgeous winners Kiren and Dan; Flawless, still synchronised

I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I turned up 45 minutes late (somehow got lost despite having a map), but luckily the main show hadn't started yet, and people were milling around and stocking up on the free cocktails. There seemed to be a mix of similar looking 'fashion' people, Select models (recognised a few from Topshop campaigns), competition finalists and their families, plus a few bloggers scattered around. I didn't really know what to wear; the dress code was 'dress to impress', and though I generally dress not to impress others, but to challenge myself, I knew I couldn't be as scruffy as I normally like to be. I threw on some stuff from the Topshop archive, to avoid buying something new, and went for full on floral. As you can imagine, I made full use of the food and drink at the event, practically stalking the waitresses (they were rather fast) for my next fix of minature sausage and mash. My friend Bianca was my companion for the night, and we had a lot of fun catching up and chatting about blogs.

Bianca getting down with the magazines; Me with the part of the canape that I didn't manage to drop on the floor; Trying to look modelly in the thrown together outfit; A very drunk woman took this photo

The event itself was like watching a real-life TV show, with the extremely familiar Katy Hill and Alesha Dixon as well as model Paul Sculfor. There was a chance for all the finalists to strut their stuff, before the fashion show of the Next A/W Collection. I'm not normally a Next shopper, but I was quite impressed with some of their pieces, in particular the knitwear. The jumper in the centre is a dead ringer for Pucci and I shall be searching for it whenever I'm in the vicinity of a store, though I'd swap the boots for Doc Martens. Not everything was my cup of tea, but there was definitely some bits that I'm looking forward to seeing closely in store (and the abundance of male models was definitely a plus)!

I definitely had a fun yet surreal night in this parallel fashion universe, but now it's back to reality with a bump. An advantage of this is that I feel like a person of above average height again, as everyone was so tall!

There's more photos of the night here.

My competition ends at 11.59pm GMT on Friday, so you still have time to try and win one of two My Name Necklaces.

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August expectations

1 August 2009

The long month of July is finally over, perhaps slightly too quickly for my liking, but now it's time for my favourite month of the year. Now my wages have come in, here's some things I'm hoping to come across:

Some new clothes of course. Am hoping to venture into H&M for the first time in a while to see if any of the nice Autumn Winter stuff I've seen on t'internet has actually materialised, and to visit some of the shops near where my placement is. Plus Schwing Schwing's prices are too hard to resist. I must stress, I would not be wearing the mesh bodysuit in this way.

In order to justify my spending, I am going to try and get rid of things I own, when buying something new. I'm considering starting a selling blog, as there are some things that seem to get lost in translation in the world of eBay. Would any of you be interested? Everything would be seriously cheap. If not, we shall never speak of this again.

I need some new music too, to keep my iPod nice and fresh. I posted about La Roux here, but still only have a few songs from her album, so am aiming to download a few more. Also want to get my hands on Florence and the Machine and Friendly Fires; there's a few songs by them that have been stuck in my head for a while.

It's time to read a book; I'm gonna jump on the Twilight bandwagon to get myself started.

Sims 3. Nuff said. EA takes yet more of my money.

Need to sort out something to make me forget it's my 22nd birthday in a few weeks. Perhaps Brighton again if the weather's decent, a London restaurant if it's not. Also need to save for potential city breaks to visit friends on various placements in Milan and Belgium and of course New York in January. What are your plans for August? Anyone else have a birthday coming up? Leos unite!

My competition ends in less than a week! Be sure to enter to win one of two My Name Necklaces.

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