Friday, 11 December 2015

Lady Luck

It's little strange but I've always had amazing luck when it comes to winning competitions. My winning streak began age 6 when I won a Crayola colouring competition for my drawing of Oranmore Castle. Then came Goldfish at the fair (though for some reason I opted for the plastic crown and necklace set instead...!), magazines, days out etc etc. This year has been particularly lucky I've won tickets to the Liberty exhibition at The Fashion and Textile Museum, a beautiful handmade ring from Miranda Hope and finally I've just won an amazing selection of items from Eat.Me.Do. They are a fab Australian company specialising in all things sweet and tasty - think jelly baby earrings, sweet packet purses and cheez-it rings! I've followed them on instagram for a while so I was delighted to win. The package included this very sweet Afternoon Delight dress, it's emblazoned with teddy bears, cakes, jam mallows (my favourite and a staple in every Irish child's diet, although I wasn't really allowed them) and, to stop it being completely cutesy, ants! It's completely different to anything I'd usually wear as I tend to opt for long flowing dresses in 70s shapes but I love this dress so much I've worn it twice! It's cut really well and I love the illustration style, I hadn't realised but my friend Isa worked on the illustration for this collection. I love her work so I was very happy when she told me, it reminded me a lot of her things and I was glad it was hers and not just someone ripping her off!

Teddy bear's picnic's are close to my heart, my granny was a bear lover and started a picnic for the children of Worcester when my granddad was mayor. Yesterday would have been her 83rd birthday. My granny was one of my favourite people so I always like to spend a little time thinking about her on the 10th December as I think birthdays are better  to remember than other anniversaries. I'm sure she would of liked this dress enormously - anything with bears on was good in her book.  

The package also contained a cropped t-shirt and some socks. Here's the t-shirt (just to prove that I do actually go out and about dressed like this), I wore it with some sparkly hot pants I got in the Topshop sale a million years ago. They were very heavily reduced and I leapt on them. They've formed the basis for many outfits over the years but I feel this t-shirt is their perfect match.

Christmas is coming and I'm jolly excited! I love making mince pies, decorating the tree and wearing glitter, I'll be back next week with a VERY festive post.

In other news a Christmas cocktail recipe I put together will be featured in The Guardian's Cook magazine tomorrow (Saturday), hooray!

Outfit Details

Afternoon Delight dress - Eat.Me.Do

1950s velvet turban hat - Vintage shop 

Bavarian folk dancing clogs - Car boot sale

Pink tights - New Look 


Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Good Grief Charlie Brown!

Anybody that knows me knows my love for Peanuts. Snoopy and Charlie Brown have been a main stay for me for a long time, the sharp mix of cynicism and humour is hard to beat. I was very excited when I heard there would be a new Peanuts film this Christmas. I love the tv series, the clunky animation is so great and I love the one liners: "I love mankind – it’s people I can’t stand!" I was pretty excited to see the trailer for the new film however, to my disappointment it's all been digitised to the extreme and is so incredibly slick. I'll still definitely be trekking to see it but I can't help but feel that something of the charm has been lost in it's reimagining. 

Today marks 50 years since A Charlie Brown Christmas was first shown on tv so I of course had to celebrate this event with a Charlie Brown inspired ensemble. Charlie Brown is a pretty hard guy to mimic style wise so you'll have to settle for a loose interruption.  

The hat is of course integral to his Christmas outfit.

A Charlie Brown Christmas, 1965

Which of course riffs on Holden Caulfield's hat in Catcher in the Rye:

"I put on this hat that I’d bought in New York that morning. It was this red hunting hat, with one of those very, very long peaks. I saw it in the window of this sports store when we got out of the subway, just after I noticed I'd lost all the goddam foils. It only cost me a buck. The way I wore it, I swung the old peak way around to the back—very corny, I'll admit, but I liked it that way. I looked good in it that way." 

and both Charlie and Holden's style in turn influenced the character of Max Fischer in Wes Anderson's Rushmore. If you haven't seen it definitely make time to watch it, it's one of my favourites to watch during the festive season.

Rushmore, Wes Anderson, 1998
Source: 1

On a small side note I recently put together a Max Fischer inspired ensemble:

All three characters have always been a big influence on my style, it's a combination of the humorous cynicism, intellectual but chic vibe and great hats.  Anyway I tried to a pile a little of all this into my own interpretation. The t-shirt I'm wearing is from the Peanuts collection that Uniqlo did a couple of years ago it says 'Love is getting someone a glass of water in the middle of the night' - I think that's mostly true as it takes a lot to make me want to hop out of my toasty warm bed! 

My little velvet Woodstock belonged to my auntie when she was little. It was bought from the big Biba on Kensington High Street in around 1972. If I could travel back in time I'd want to visit big Biba so I always like to think about his life there. He's lived in all my various homes and remains with me to this day - a faithful companion. I have another Woodstock which is a tiny little knitted one from 1965 and my brother also won me a Charlie Brown from one of those grabby machines at a service station. I'm starting to sound like a super fan...!

The cape is one of my favourite wintery items of clothing. I bought it in a Worcester charity shop about 6 or 7 years ago. I've nearly given it away twice (what was I thinking?!) but it's recently become a bit of a staple. It's very handy during the cold months as I can wear it over lots of other layers. It's also completely reversible. I generally only wear the red side as it's waterproof but I might start swopping it over and wearing the tartan when it's cold but not raining (a rare event).

I hope you are all well. I'll leave you with a clip from A Charlie Brown Christmas because whats a post on Charlie Brown without a little wisdom from the man himself.

Outfit Details

Peanuts t-shirt - Uniqlo

White bell bottoms - American Apparel

1960s reservable cape - Charity shop

Faux fur hat - Joules


Monday, 23 November 2015

The Singing Tree

I promised outfits in my last post and here I am in an outfit! It's been bitterly cold here the last few days. I've had to resort to layers and layers of clothing and have even found myself pulling out jumpers (they are not my favourite). The cold weather has had one use though, it's been far too cold to venture very far so my mind has been whirring. I've thinking back to Budapest and the clean, crisp air there, and reading everything I can about Hungary. My mind has been turned particularly to folk tales and fairy stories, the Hungarians certainly know how to write good ones and the illustrations that go alongside are wonderful. Due to this new found inspiration I've been dressing very much like a character from a Hungarian fairy tale - think long plaits and lots of colour (not that dissimilar from my usual get-up really!)

There are so many wonderful illustrators from Hungary, my favourites are mostly from the early to mid 20th century. I love Kate Seredy's work in particular: how wonderful are these book covers?

Source: 1
Source: 2
 and my other favourite is Willy Pogany. His style is so sumptuous and colour rich I feel I could just walk right into one of the scenes! 

Willy Pogany from the Tisza Tales
Source: 3
Willy Pogany, from the Tisza Tales
Source: 4
My own fairy tale ensemble was a little inspired by these and a little by the wonderful costumes I saw at the Museum of Ethnography in Budapest. They were all incredibly richly layered and intricately detailed that each time I looked there was something I hadn't seen previously. That is always my aim for a good ensemble - to draw people in so they have to look several times to understand it all. 

The beautiful embroidered waistcoat I'm wearing I bought in Budapest (you saw it here first) and I've hardly taken it off since I arrived home. It's wonderfully warm and goes with almost everything I own. It's actually a recycled piece of embroidery that's been carefully stitched to a piece of hessian, reinforcing it and reviving it for a new life. The collar at the back is my favourite bit, it improves my posture and makes me feel ever so slightly regal - high collars always do I think it has something to do with this painting.

The skirt is another new purchase. I found it a few days after I arrived home from Budapest in my most local charity shop, which is a sort of vintage/up-cycled chazza (not always my favourite establishments due to the tendency to hoik up the prices). I rarely find anything I like in there but this skirt leapt out at me from a sea of beige polyester and at £6 I knew it had to come home with me. It's my new favourite, the pattern is utterly perfect - after ogling so much lace in Hungary it sort of seemed like fate that I found it! Oh and of course the headdress. I bought two of these in Hungary. They are not terribly practical but they are such a delight to dress up in that I don't really mind I just have to make sure I don't move my head around too much as they tend to fly off.

Linking up with Visible Monday because I feel excellent in this outfit!

Outfit Details

1970s cotton lace printed skirt - Charity shop
Green wool polo neck - Uniqlo
Embroidered waistcoat - Vintage shop, Budapest
Embroidered headdress - Central Market, Budapest
Choker necklace - Penny MacBeth
Earrings - very old Topshop
Knee-length leather boots - Bertie


Saturday, 21 November 2015

All Day Breakfast

I mentioned a while ago that I had begun writing a cookbook. Well, I've spent the last few months testing, writing and editing recipes for the first chapter. It's been an enormously enjoyable experience. Cooking is my second greatest love next to clothes so spending time writing about it has been an absolute dream! I'm very lucky to come from a family of editors so it's now being sent off  for several rounds of proof-reads and then off to the publishing houses I go to try my luck. Whatever the results I'm very happy to be back in the swing of writing, and I feel immensely proud of what I've put together. 

As part of the first chapter my mum and I shot photographs for a select few of my favourite recipes. Although I'm not going to reveal the final images I thought I'd share a few behind the scenes pictures from our day snapping. We had such fun taking the pictures and then eating all the food - what a dream!

The weather has been truly truly awful in Cornwall this week so I have to apologise for no outfit posts but one will be coming soon I promise. Then at the beginning of December I'm off to London again for work and a little bit of pre-Christmassy cheer. I love London in December more than any other month: the crisp air, twinkly lights and misty mornings - it's magic. If anyone is around and free send me an email and maybe we can grab hot chocolate at some point. 

Outfit Details

1980s lace top - Dorothy Perkins via my mum

1970s cotton lace print skirt - Charity shop

Green children's ski t-shirt - Lidl