The Jewellery Project, Part 1

29 May 2010

Have you ever felt extremely overwhelmed when walking into a shop, so much, that you had to pretty much leave 5 minutes later?  This is a true story, though this may have been due to the dire need to go back to work; this fleeting visit made me determined to make a return trip to Metalliferous as soon as I possibly could.  It was tricky due to it closing an hour before I finish work and not being open at the weekend, but I made use of a rare half day to get started on my jewellery making aspirations.  

A wall of inspiration shows the possibilities this shop could offer

A stone's throw away from Bryant Park, this store is like an Etsy lovers paradise; not only is there chain in every size or colour (including some fancy silver plated stuff) but gorgeous charms, antique watches and various knick knacks which in combination could make something really special.  My original inspiration were the pieces seen at Fenton Fallon or Subversive but after some careful consideration, the sky's really the limit.  I can see my luggage being seriously overweight due to some of these trinkets; London suggestions for when I return please?

I've been playing around with knotting some chains I picked out and will start to assemble it with the jump rings and clasps I bought.  Hopefully it doesn't all fall apart once it's made!

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27 May 2010

Recently I've become a bit obsessed with nail polish, more specifically the serene shades that American Apparel offer.  Perfect pastels mixed with jewel tones at $6 a pop (slightly cheaper if you buy three, which I obviously did....twice) has motivated me to adorn my nails a bit more.  In fact, I've been changing the colour every few days like some kind of addict.  Which shades have you been admiring recently?  I'll probably get some of the Topshop colours once I'm shopping at UK prices again.

I tend to stick to the less typically girly shades (though I like to think the lilac is pushing the envelope a little), my absolute favourites being the dark green and black.  Note the shades have a certain similarity to them in colour, though I'm tempted to try out peach or yellow.

If I were to rap, I'm sure this is what my hands would be doing...

It's not quite Wah nails but it'll do for now.  I hope you're all having a great week; seeing Sex and the City tomorrow to finally see what all the promos and blogs have been teasing us about for months.

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Dresses, double denim and new trews.... (OOTW)

23 May 2010

The weather is always a hot topic (geddit) on this blog, as I guess I'm either moaning about it being too hot or cold and therefore having nothing to wear.  I guess I've been a bit distracted from trying to buy things from my wishlist, but after hiding all the thermals and things I don't wear so much anymore, I'm trying to present a more summery version of myself.  Thinking less leggings and more just legs, plus brighter colours and less black and definitely more dresses with ankle boots.  How is your summer outfit planning going?

 Cardigan, shorts - H&M
Dress - Forever 21
Boots - Steve Madden
Belt - Vintage via Angels

There's a lot you can say about Forever 21 (controversial employee treatment, crazy store layout, and overworked pieces) but you can't deny that they know how to produce a decent summer dress.  A lot of stores are doing premium ranges at the moment, and Forever obviously doesn't want to miss out, so this dress is a silk mix with an unusual trellis sort of detail at the neckline and hem, all for $33!  It's definitely grown on me and I've already worn it twice....

 Shirt - Topshop
Dress/top/thing, sunglasses - H&M
Boots - Doc Martens

I never learn; re-bought this H&M tank dress (which I need to yank down every few minutes) in purple to brighten myself up a bit and decided to wear it to the Opening Ceremony sample sale, which had no changing rooms whatsoever.  Luckily I hid behind a rail to try on the trousers, and the rest as we know is history.  Next!

Cardigan - H&M
Vest - Topshop
Bandeau - Forever 21
Trousers - Acne
Sandals - Steve Madden

First outing of the super comfy Acne trews, wasn't sure about the hot pink stitching at first as I'm generally not a pink person, but I definitely think they add an element of fun.  I've worn the sandals so much they're actually falling apart and I should really get them fixed, but never fear, a new pair is on the way.  

Still wearing the broken sandals...
Shirt - Topshop
Tank - Erin Wasson x RVCA
Bandeau -  random shop on Broadway
Jeggings - TK Maxx
Sandals - Steve Madden

I'm not going to lie, sometimes blogs are a go to source for outfit inspiration if you need to get dressed in five minutes.  Just head to your wardrobe and pick your own versions of the look displayed and presto!  You're ready to actually get to work on time.  I was finally convinced to do double denim by calivintage mixing two different shades, instead of how I used to do it when I was 13 with my matching indigo bootcut jeans and baggy denim jacket.   Will I be regretting this in 9 years time?  I hope not...

Dress, belt - Vintage via Amacord
Vest - Topshop
Boots - Steve Madden
Sunglasses - H&M

Finally got round to doing my bodge-job shortening on the dress I bought here.   I might take it up even higher eventually, but for now I'm wearing it with layered vests to counteract the extreme girly-ness.  Note to self; find more layered vests!

I need to live here...please?

Photos from a water taxi tour around lower Manhattan; this city never ceases to amaze me.  I think I have slightly under two months left here and I'm fitting in some super touristy excursions.

Hope everyone has had a great weekend!

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Boats, Bahn Mi and Brooklyn Discoveries...

20 May 2010

After spending a weekend in scorching hot Jamaica, some major NYC bonding was needed.  Sure there may not be white sandy beaches, reggae themed adverts and a crazy exchange rate but the various parts of the city allow one to discover a multitude of things about my adopted home.  First there was some rowing in Central Park.  I discovered that I wasn't as afraid of water as I had previously thought and didn't fall in a la SATC.

This happened on Sat btw, there's no way I could fit all of this into one day!

Then there was an Opening Ceremony sample sale in Soho.  I discovered that the last day is the best for bargains, as everything was reduced by a further 50% off, but that also meant that a lot of random stuff was left over.  Think entire rails of trousers, a bizzare assortment of furry gilets and old Kate Moss Topshop dresses from yesteryear. Undeterred I decided to find a new pair of trews to roll up to my hearts content (hello Acne) and a Erin Wasson RVCA tank to layer repeatedly.  

 Can you spot the Kate Moss?  What is this, 2007?

First (and probably last) Opening Ceremony purchases, Acne trousers (love, love, love the pink stitching) and an Erin Wasson tank...sometimes basics are best

There may have been a Vietnamese sandwich consumed in between these events, though I have no photographic evidence.  I discovered that $4 for such a wonderful snack will be greatly missed in England.

Afterwards I decided to head to the Brooklyn Museum for American High Style: Fashioning a National Collection.  I discovered that there's a lot more to 'Brookers' than hipsters and flea markets and that there would be a guided tour around the exhbit, meaning that I would learn a lot more than just looking at the gilded plaques (plus photography was allowed).  Many of the pieces were gifted especially to this Museum from a variety of people and due to the way that clothing decays, this could be the last time that any of these pieces are displayed (there are also even more in storage, hopefully meaning many more exhibitions will follow).  The Met also has an accompanying exhibition showcasing even more gorgeous clothing and is definitely next on my agenda.

Elsa Schiaparelli is officially a legend in my eyes, though don't ask me how to pronounce her surname.  Not only did she shock the public with her groundbreaking butterfly prints in the 50s, but she continued her whimsicality with piano and bullet buttons, insect jewellery and a music box belt. 

 I really would like a vintage cape, preferably this one...

The perfect fabric reference library; it's rare to be able to touch anything in exhibitions but here you could.  Wouldn't mind some Charmeuse...

I also loved the grand couture dresses, worthy of any Met gala.  The amount of construction and layers under such dresses is incredible in order to get them to fit and look as the designer wished. I love looking at past fashion and seeing details that have been adapted for today.

Have to leg it onto the rather squashed L train for work now, but I'll update my Facebook with even more photos when I can!
Edit: Here they are...


17 May 2010

I've had a strange sort of relationship with jewellery.  When I was younger, I'd pretty much only wear the regulation gold studs that were free when I got my ears pierced, and the odd crystal necklace, but it's only in the past few years that I've managed to work out what I like.  If you see my outfits, you'll notice that I tend to have two accessory looks; quirky/kitsch and metallic/randomness.  I love to wear random objects around my neck, be it purses, timepieces or animals, but lately I've being craving something a bit more abstract and developed an obsession with layered necklaces.

Anyone willing to contribute to the fund so I can buy the following?  l-r Banana Republic, Fenton Fallon for J Crew x2, Subversive, Anthropologie, Cheap Monday, Fenton Fallon for J Crew, forgotten x2 (can you tell this was a draft for quite a while...)

I'm not quite sure how it came about.  I guess some time earlier this year I got bored of wearing just one necklace and decided to layer them up but now I want to commit myself fully with a piece that makes more of a statement.  These kinds of of necklaces do vary in price (the J Crew designs I seem to like are over $150) but I'm going to try and unleash my creative side by making one!  I know I say I'm going to make a lot of things ('The Dress Project' is on the back burner and the knitting is still going) but my need for neck adornment is motivation enough.  Plus I've bought some plier type thingys to cut chains down to size and I've noted down a few useful shops in the Garment District.  I have no idea how these things will turn out but I'm just going to play around with a few ideas and publish the results here.  If I haven't started anything in the next 10 days, please feel free to leave 'nudging' comments to make me fulfil my promise.

What's your favourite kind of jewellery?  I've also been lusting after these, wonderful pieces.

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The Very Short Long Weekend

13 May 2010

After disappearing from the internet for a few days to sunny Jamaica, I'm back in NYC and quickly getting used to the built-up surroundings again.  The main reason for the trip was to see my grandparents, as I hadn't seen them in over five years!  The cheaper flights and shorter travelling time from the States only confirmed the decision; my last visit was almost twelve years ago and I wanted to create some more recent memories. I remember seeing a country of extremes (think grand houses with makeshift huts just around the corner) which is still apparent, but there is a certain charm about this island that makes me want to plan a much longer return visit, say, for next week?  Lush countryside, colourful architecture and flavoursome food and I can't wait to go back to explore more places on my map.

The obligatory beach picture; white sand, 30 degree heat, jealous much? It made all the mosquito bites worth it!

The Enchanted Gardens in Ocho Rios; wearing a Minkpink dress, H&M shorts, vintage belt and Steve Madden sandals in the crazy heat...

Apologies for the slightly geeky holiday snaps masquerading as outfit photos; here I am with some ackee
a fruit that isn't really a fruit but great with saltfish nonetheless

I get inspiration from just about anything...

Emancipation Park in Kingston; a very nice place to chill

My Nan's wedding dress; still going strong after 50 years!  I wonder if I could make a shorter version for myself as I wouldn't dream of cutting it.  Did I have a Monica from Friends moment and try it on myself?  That's for only me to know....

I am a sucker for old photo albums as a window into the past; My Grandad and Nan (who's incidentally 22 in this photo)

I also got to see my Great-Grandmother (aka Mama P) after a 12 year gap; here she is back in the day in a gorgeous floral dress

Some of the food that my Nan so kindly sent me back with, (the rum is for a friend, of course).  Looks like I'll be eating a lot of jerk chicken and pancakes for the next two months, though perhaps not at the same time...

I'm not exactly sad to be back in NYC but I realise how much I've missed seeing not seeing any family for four months.  Nevertheless, I still have the travelling bug and am trying to sort out some trips for after my internship finishes, hopefully Disneyland with a friend and San Francisco by myself!  Has anyone ever travelled alone before?  I'm also itching to make the most of the time I have left in NYC (still need to get myself down to the Statue of Liberty and hopefully this sample sale).  I'll keep you posted...

Thanks for following and commenting!  My Google Reader is crazy at the moment, but I look forward to catching up on everything....


6 May 2010

I have some good news and some bad news.  The good news is that I had a ticket for Rodarte in Conversation with Valerie Steele at FIT on Tuesday night.  The bad news is that I had to stay at work and miss out on this fantastic oppurtunity.  Luckily a friend managed to film some of the interview and returned my camera complete with two mini-excerpts, though a bizarre twist of fate means that the file is too large and none of the smaller videos I've created will upload! Plus I have a flight to catch to  Jamaica in less than six hours and I'm still frantically sorting things out!  I was pleased enough with the film but my friend went to even more trouble and managed to get me an autograph and present it in such a lovely way! 

I arrive back in NY early on Tuesday morning, so normal, sporadic blogging will resume probably from Wednesday and I'll try and sort out the video for then.  I don't think I'll have internet access but I'll see if I can Twitter a bit.  See you next week!
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The Marvellous Mind of Tim Burton

2 May 2010

There's a lot of love out there for Tim Burton, and his sell-out retrospective exhibition proves it.  It's been on at the Moma since December, but I just had to pick it's final weekend to visit the most crowded exhibition since time began (beating Kylie at the V&A hands down) and the one with the most rules that just had to be broken.  No photography was allowed (though that never stops me, despite a random old man telling me off whilst snapping), no mobile phones (luckily a quick phonecall which interrupted my train of thought went unnoticed) and I was ordered to follow the queue/line around the room (which I sporadically left and rejoined whenever I saw something exciting).  My main agenda was to get some fashion inspiration of a more surreal nature, so armed with a hidden camera and sketchbook, I set about jotting down some observations and understanding more about the genius himself....

Who the random child is, we will never know.

Talk about crowded...luckily the camera went unnoticed due to the numerous person-shaped shields

The exhibition takes you through the various stages of Tim Burton's life, from small-town beginnings in Burbank to one of his first jobs working at Disney.  No stone was left unturned, with various doodles, scribbles and even competition entries ripe for inclusion and I definitely became a fan of the surreal nature of his drawings.  The personal nature of illustration means that everyone has their own quirks and his were notably playing with the shape and proportion of his subjects, making them into creatures rather than a more realistic interpretation.  Certain patterns, such as stripes, checks, skulls and spots were present in many of his works and I couldn't help wondering what certain scribbles would be like used as prints on skirts, blazers or even tights. I wonder if any designers will be inspired by his work for Fall 2011?

Talk about mixed media; Burton used pencil, pastel, indian ink, regular ink, acrylic, oil and tempera paint, fineliner, coloured pencil, watercolour, wash, crayon, marker, glitter and Tippex to create many of his drawings

As you progress through the exhibition, you see more evidence of the growing popularity of his work as he uses translates his vision into films such as The Nightmare Before Christmas and Edward Scissorhands.  I couldn't get too many photos here, but there were a few models, costumes and props displayed, including the sinister pram from Batman Returns.  The main fashion focus were the generous amounts of aged leather, buckles and hardware providing the gothic, other-worldly look sported by many of his characters. 

The scarecrow from Sleepy Hollow has probably seen better days

I had an inkling that I would leave the exhibition with some kind of enlightenment, but I was  previously unaware as to how such a unique point of view came to exist and  develop into the films we watch today.  You could never accuse him of selling out, as each new picture takes on his typical traits regardless of subject matter and instantly seems like the perfect pairing.  Is it crazy to think that the Harry Potter films would've been an ideal match?  Never mind, note to self; find some old horror movies, become immersed in Japanese monster culture and create a fantasy world using crayons and chalk, for some final year collection inspiration.  What are your favourite Tim Burton films?  I haven't seen them all but I'm definitely planning a movie marathon at some point; let me know your recommendations!

More photos are here...enjoy the weekend!

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