Tuesday, December 03, 2013
"This is the story of a club, a dishevelled and cluttered monument to a bygone age. A shabby beacon, calling out to the lost souls in search of a refuge, a bottle of warm booze, and free flowing music. Trad, swing, be-bop or avant-garde; all are welcome."
If you've got a moment, please take a peek at this trailer. Local interest and my personal nostalgia aside, I think this looks like a truly amazing film. To help finish the project, director Abi Lewis has launched a Kickstarter campaign which ends in four days. It has very nearly reached its target - you can help it get there! Find out more about the film, here.
Sunday, December 01, 2013
screenshots taken by me from this trailer
I went to see the second Hunger Games movie on my birthday and it's been on my mind ever since. It was a great adaptation in terms of story (one of those rare examples of a film improving on the novel, imho) but what really got me was the amazing styling and mise-en-scéne. The grey/blue colour palette of the outer districts sits in stark comparison to the over-saturated rainbow world of The Capitol; on paper it's a little clichéd, in practice it was mesmerising.
P.S. I love grey so much that I have a tumblr blog on which I scrapbook/collect/curate lots of grey things, visit here.
P.P.S. Effie and Haymitch forever. I know it's not strictly canon, but we've still got two films left to realise my otp dreams! Come on people!
P.P.P.S. This review of Catching Fire on The Onion is hilarious.
P.P.P.S. This review of Catching Fire on The Onion is hilarious.
Monday, November 18, 2013
Dear Santa, I've worked very hard this year, and all I want for Christmas is a few weeks off and several glasses of gin and tonic. If you really wanna leave something under my tree though, I'd love another pair of Derek Rose PJs and a new Filofax, and possibly a smart leather briefcase to take to work. Oh, and there's that luxurious (but oh so reasonably priced) grey cashmere scarf from Uniqlo too, and the new Pandora bangle, and some perfume... My gift guides seem to get more expensive every year. It's all about dreaming though, right?
I know it's only November, but there's only one more pay left 'til the big day and twinkley lights have already gone up all over the city. I'm excited. It's truly amazing how different Christmas feels since I started working at my current job - working in a shopping mall over the holidays was hellish; I hope I never ever stop appreciating the immense luxury of knowing that I have two weeks off to look forward to. Mmmmm.
I already feel like I'm wayyyy behind with my Christmas shopping. I'm planning on sitting down this weekend to do some serious list writing.
There are some presents which never go amiss. I've bought kindles for both of my parents over the last couple of years, and it really is - cue horrible cliche - the gift that keeps on giving. If I'm ever stuck for a last minute present I know a kindle voucher is always appreciated.
Robin is a very difficult person to buy for indeed. He never seems to want anything (the complete opposite of me) so I focus on practical gifts instead. He always needs new shoes (his favourites are New Balance*), socks and pants. He loves cooking (and I love eating!), so I'll be heading straight for Wilkos for some cheap basics, and John Lewis for some fancier bit and pieces.
What's on your wishlist this year? Have you started the dreaded Christmas shopping yet?
P.S. I promise that the seemingly strict colour scheme of this wishlist was a complete accident!
Thursday, November 07, 2013
I've mentioned the never ending appeal of looking like an off duty ballet dancer before (here and here). There's something so graceful and elegant and fierce about ballet; feminine and beautiful as well as strong and powerful. The pretty layered skirts and sparkley pumps in the current Repetto collection remind me of my younger days as a dancer (before a martial arts injury put me out of action, *sob*). Maybe one day I'll stop making excuses and get back into it. Until then, I'm on the hunt for a draped jersey midi dress and I'll be wearing my hair in a neat bun...
Saturday, November 02, 2013
key: on my wishlist, needs replacing, thinking of selling, needs altering
I really enjoy sorting through my wardrobe. It can be tiresome - especially when I get halfway through and the bedroom is covered in piles of clothes and I wish I'd never started - but all in all I find the activity productive and pleasantly self indulgent.
The bottom line is that I still have lots of clothes. Too many, really; I still have to do 'the great wardrobe changeover' at the beginning and end of every summer, and I still have a box of vacuum packed items lingering in the spare room. What I've noticed in the past couple of years though, is that sorting through my wardrobe doesn't make me feel sick and guilty like it did when I was a teenager. No longer are there hoards of unworn items lurking at the back of my drawers, or piles of things I wish I'd never bothered with. Going through my clothes actually makes me feel pretty good now. I like my stuff and generally feel as though I make good buying decisions. I still make mistakes, of course I do, but they're much fewer and farther between and tend to be on items which have a resale value, meaning that I can usually recoup some of the cost on Ebay.
I'm not sure how interesting an overview of my winter wear is for people other than me, but I know I enjoy reading these things on other people's blogs, and I find the reflection/dissection very useful.
|Long charcoal wool coat||Grey wool crew neck||Navy & white breton||Light grey cords|
|Black wool trench coat||Black wool crew neck||Black & white breton||Olive cords|
|Grey wool jacket||Navy wool crew neck||Red & ecru breton||Black cords|
|Black & white tweed smart jacket||Grey cotton crew neck||Red plaid shirt||Charcoal cords|
|Charcoal wool duffel coat||Navy fisherman knit||Navy gingham shirt||Burgundy cords|
|Brown tweed blazer||Light grey alpaca turtleneck||Navy corduroy shirt||Blue jeans|
|Rain coat||Charcoal wool turtleneck||Smart white shirt||Black jeans|
|Wool pea coat (navy/black)||Navy alpaca turtleneck||Chambray shirt||Patterned party trousers|
|Popcorn knit camel coat||Black alpaca turtleneck||Grey cotton l/s t-shirt||Lavender grey velvet jeans|
|Burgundy felt cape||Navy merino cardigan||Black cotton l/s t-shirt||Emerald green cords|
|Pink cashmere cardigan||Navy cotton l/s t-shirt|
|Grey cashmere cardigan|
|Black cotton cardigan|
|Grey wool dress||Light grey wool full skirt||Everyday boots||Small black leather handbag|
|Navy & pink velvet flock dress||Charcoal wool full skirt||Extreme weather boots||Small burgundy handbag|
|Blue liberty print dress||Black pencil skirt||Wellies||Black leather pouch/clutch|
|Black gingham dress||Black & white tweed midi skirt||Knee high boots||Baggu gym bag|
|Black everyday dress||Short wool kilt||Black ballet pumps||Black leather duffel bag|
|Navy everyday dress||Russian full skirt||Navy ballet pumps||Navy canvas messenger|
|Black party dress||Olive pattern full skirt||Smart work pumps||Charcoal Le Pliage|
|Charcoal cord pencil skirt||Party pumps||Light grey cashmere scarf|
|Taffeta full midi skirt||Party heels||Plum check wool scarf|
|Black sneakers||Mohair knit scarf|
(Writing this list was like therapy! Also, putting anything in tables makes it feel scientific, is there a formula for the perfect wardrobe?)
Things I like about my current wardrobe:
- I don't need to own a lot of things traditionally considered as 'office wear' because my job doesn't call for it. Nobody can see me when I'm writing code or editing an article, and - although I do dress smartly for meetings - the creative industry generally has a relaxed style. Jeans and a jumper is my go-to work wear, which is a massive relief.
- My clothes are practical and weather appropriate. I can't believe I was ever stupid enough to go out in the snow wearing converse or ballet pumps, but hey, we were all teenagers once. Over the last few years I've invested in a great pair of extreme weather boots, corduroy trousers and warm knitwear. I'm really happy I did.
- I own a few great pieces which make me feel nice every time I put them on; a black wool coat, a grey wool dress, a pair of velvet jeans, some big stompy boots.
- I don't seem to have as many 'I've got nothing to wear' episodes as I used to. They still happen (will they ever disappear completely?) but they're less frequent and less stressful.
- When I find an item I like, I often buy it in several colours if available (see the amount of cords in my trouser section!) I know it may seem a little dull but this kind of dressing works really well for me and I will continue to nurture the habit.
- I've either put on weight or started to favour much looser styles (probably a bit of both). I lost quite a lot of weight about five years ago (going from a size 12 to a size 6/8) and bought a lot of very fitted clothing to show off my new figure. I no longer feel comfortable in most of those things.
- I can no longer afford to shop very often, so a lot of my basics like t-shirts, knitwear and jeans look shabby and need replacing.
- I own almost nothing that could be considered 'party wear'. I've never been a big party-goer to be honest, but I struggle every time somebody does invite me out and I really need to address this. I've got a wedding to go to in February and I'd like something pretty to wear.
- I need to get into the habit of taking things to be dry cleaned. I used to avoid buying dry clean only items, but I've come to realise that it's better to invest £20 every three months to get a handful of items professionally cleaned, than it is to buy cheaper items which need replacing often.
- Looking to buy in the next couple of months: charcoal and/or burgundy cords, grey cashmere scarf, small black leather handbag, charcoal Le Pliage bag, watch, party pumps, short wool kilt, black wool crew neck, navy wool crew neck.
- Looking to buy in the January sales: black party dress, patterned party trousers, black leather riding boots, grey cashmere cardigan.
So, do you do big wardrobe sort outs? If so, how often? Do you enjoy them as much as I do or is it just another chore?
P.S. I used this website to make the html tables for this post (just copy & paste data from a word or excel document), thought it might be useful for anyone who wants to do something similar.
Thursday, October 31, 2013
My skin doesn't know I'm nearly 24. It thinks I'm 13. I have worse spots/blemishes/dryness/eczema now than I ever did in my formative years. This means I've developed an interest in all of the skincare and cosmetics products I happily ignored as a teen.
I liked JooMo from the moment I spotted their products online. Their face wash is 100% natural (a claim they eagerly back up by proudly displaying a full list of ingredients on their website), they don't test on animals, and they're a co-operative. I contacted them to express my interest and they were kind enough to send me a sample. I've been using it for a month, and am just so ridiculously impressed and excited to tell you about it. It's the perfect product for Autumn. The delicate smell of cloves, orange and cinnamon is refreshing and comforting (and pleasantly unlike anything else I've used). The consistency is more like an oil than a wash, and leaves skin feeling soft, clean and super fresh. It moisturises as well as cleanses, and boasts many amazing qualities, as outlined on the JooMo website:
- Prevents: acne, spots, blackheads, rashes, soreness, allergies, cold sores, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis
- All Skin Types: sensitive, oily & blemish-prone, rough, flaky-dry, combination, normal, sore, shaving rash & cuts, and all skin colours
- Protects: anti-Inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, hypoallergenic (ie. non-allergy producing)
- Repairs: damage caused by soap and other synthetic chemicals such as foamers, detergents, preservatives (inc. parabens), perfumes, solvents etc.
- Makes the skin: smoother, silkier, healthier.
P.S. JooMo were just awarded 'Best Natural Skincare Launch' in the Pure Beauty Awards 2013 - congratulations guys! :)
Fen Frances: feminist, sartorial blogger & fanfiction addict.
I like rabbits, Mills & Boon novels, lavender, coffee, Sherlock, Harry Potter, pyjamas, ambient music, James Bond, brunch, breton stripes, documentaries, Radio 4 & house plants.
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