Saturday, 8 March 2014

Master Kirrin.

If you weren't already aware, Master Kirrin, is infact a girl by the name of Georgina. Strong and courageous, she is an avid explorer and adventurer. She is brave and shows no fear for whatever is round the corner, always seeking out answers for mysteries that have unfolded. Everything and more that I could ever have dreamt of as a little girl, she is one of my idol's. Be it, a fictional idol. Most people may know her better as George or as one of Enid Blyton's Famous Five.
I wholeheartedly believe you are never too old or too young to read a Famous Five book and I still enjoy them today as much as I did when I was a wee lass. I'd firmly list Five Go To Smuggler's Top among my top 5 favourite books to take with me to a desert island. Doesn't everybody have lists like this or is it just me? Alongside, The Sun Also Rises (Ernest Hemingway), To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee) & Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows (JK Rowling), it would comfortably sit. The 5th choice is open for any future newcomers, unless that is, I get washed up ashore before I decide.

Having been bed ridden with flu for the past week, I was pained to discover my laptop had failed me, along with my body and thus, I turned to reading. Probably my favourite thing to do but ashamedly, in this modern age, technology often takes ahold of me and places me under a spell. Due to this mystical occult that I have no control over, I quite often suffer from a state of reader's block. However, I had been longing to get back between some pages for quite some time and was presented with the perfect opportunity. I can now say, I am quite highly addicted to my book already (The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton) and have immersed myself back into a world of all things literature. This led me to thinking about stories and on Thursday (World Book Day) I entered into a Penguin competition over on Twitter (that unexplained sorcery again) where I had to choose a book I wish was real. Obviously, I stated any of the Famous Five novels, quite predictably, which made me think about life if they did exist. Ignoring the fact that they would actually now be pent up in some elderly home somewhere, I like to assume they would still be small children. What would George dress like today, I pondered.

...and pondering led on to researching and then moodboard building and VOILA! I was Dr Frankenstein in the making and my monster was coming to life. George, however, is far from a monster and just infact really really tomboyish. Therefore, I basically selected the entirety of APC, Margaret Howell & Steven Alan for her wardrobe. I can't imagine she would ever care too much for clothes in a materialistic sense but rather in the way of utility. Easy comfort for climbing trees and rocks, trusty shoes that would never fail you and bags with enough space and pockets to hide a torch, a rope and other necessities (including treats for Timmy) as well as any clues collected on the way.

This being said, when I get washed up on that lonely remote island, perhaps I will need a wardrobe of such sorts? My new mantra for life is 'WWGD?' but then again, what would the Swallows & Amazon's do? Robinson Crusoe or the Swiss Family Robinson? There are too many questions that evolve in my mind that perhaps, it could be said, I have already been swept away by a literary surf?

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Sailors, Shores & Stripes.

A couple of years back, I had an urge to learn to sail. A boat was my new fetish, envisioning scenes where my salt sprayed locks whirled in the winds and beating waves laved against her wooden, tired body. Barefoot on the decks, filled with a sense of liberation that came with being able to explore beyond land, with a buoyant wardrobe laden with stripes. Breton stripes, if I am going to be pernickety.

I've always been a firm believer that you can never go wrong with stripes. People think stripes make you look larger in size but if you've ever watched QI you would know that Sir Stephen says this is false, unless they are vertical. Not horizontal, as people always seem to presume.
Originally introduced during the mid 19th Century as a part of the French Navy's uniform in Brittany, there were a strict 21 stripes to each top. Each stripe representing a victory for Napoleon.
Manufactured in Bretagne (explaining it's infamous moniker), it eventually became popular amongst general workers due to it's comfort, ease and practicality, especially those working at sea. Whether they were seafarers & sailors, undoubtedly bad weather and most possibly drunkenness, led to many an overboard mariner. Thankfully their striate ensemble made it easier for those who successfully stayed aboard, to spot lost crew amongst the waves.

It's no secret that Coco Chanel is an idol to women across the globe. Many dream of getting their mitts on a 2.55 whilst I just admire her fearless perseverance to introduce men's clothes into the wardrobe's of their female counterpart's. Shamelessly cantering atop horses in traditionally masculine riding attire, shunning the sidesaddle, Gabrielle blurred the lines of gender specific clothing. Considering she challenged this around 100 years ago, I still find it a bit strange when people find it curiously interesting that I often dress up as a man.
After a trip to the coast, Chanel became enamoured with the Breton stripes worn by the seaman, incorporating it into her 1917 collection. To this day, I still think this simple pattern, as well as being symbolically nautical, is also synonymous with Coco Chanel and the classic Parisian look. Lost in a Riviera reverie, the striped top is a look of ease. The women at the time must have let out a huge sigh of relief, away from their structured corsetry norm.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Mirror image.

A cluster of recent ensembles that have veiled my form since my return to the blogosphere. 
Childlike charm in pinafores that provide ample pocket space, male-orientated magic incorporating my ever growing array of ties & dickie bows and new coats alongside my lust for the Nineties. Matching combo suit's that look like they've been designed by William Morris in the midst of an acid trip and a constant tête-à-tête battle between Mary-Janes and loafers.

Man shoes.

I'm obsessed with clompy shoes. Proportionally they look perfect with dainty dresses or mini skirts, paired with socks. Adding a tomboyish charm to an otherwise feminine ensemble. 
It's one of the things I've always admired about Marni and the way Conseulo Castiglioni is an advocate of this look. It creates an effortless approach to something which may look a little too dressed or gentle. Almost as if you have just risen from within the layers of your bed and slung on the dress from the evening before and without a second thought, popped on your boyfriend's shoes. It's being the Cinderella, who wasn't too fussed about getting her glass slipper back. 

If I really consider the array of evening/party dresses I have hung up in my wardrobe, I know I could never really get away with wearing them out during the day. Be it to work or just for a browse round the shops. I would feel too elaborate, overdressed. 
However, if I re-imagine the contents of my closet, knowing I was planning to pair it with the footwear the lady above is embracing, I'm pretty sure I would have no qualms about stepping foot outside my door at 9am in the morning. 

Dr Martens would be the easiest way to fulfil these dreams but I know they are on the extreme end of clompy and therefore, be a bit daunting. They do make a lot of their designs in T-bar and Mary Jane styles now though, meaning a little bit more foot is on show, so you can rest assured that people won't mistake you for a victim of the Mafia with cement blocks for shoes. Loafers are also an excellent substitute and are pretty much my dream shoe. I would pick a loafer with a higher front, not the kind you get evil beings have created for women. These loafers have a lower front with the tongue ending just past your toes and therefore, are hard to pair successfully with socks.

Thankfully, male fashion often plays on the classics. They work with what they know and trust when it comes to design. Men tend to not like perusing the shops for hours on end, they want to be in to get what they need and then straight out. This means that their items are quite often timeless pieces, not all men want to hang around long enough to experiment with new looks (I'm not speaking of all men, as I know, in recent years, men's interest in fashion has risen). Due to this, they are then just reworked, or adapted from season to season, whilst keeping their original structure. 
All of this is important as well as wonderful for those of us who enjoy incorporating typically masculine elements into our lives as they are good investments. They pass the test of time and they are more comfortable and hardwearing meaning they can be worn over and over again. 

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Commanders, Clouseau & Casablanca

When are you too grown up to consider, what you want to be when you grow up? A Destiny's Child would be my first choice but when people say, 'dreams can come true', I've always felt it implies that they may not always. Following that, I want to be a detective. Hidden beneath a trench coat, collar up, I would make like a chameleon and evade the eyes of my prey.

There's something truly British about a trench coat that I feel should be celebrated. It's not merely a protective piece of outerwear on a rainy day but a symbol of heroic feats established a centenary ago, this year. Be it Burberry or Aquascutum who truly were the creator of such an iconic item, I am unsure if many people are aware that the trench was created as a lighter alternative to the heavy serge overcoats officers wore. Easily modified during World War I to cater for insignia & medals as well as gun straps and other weaponry (modifications that are still used today but now purely for ornamental reasons), it continued over into the Second World War. Eventually being pushed aside for shorter jackets that gave practical mobility for snipers and paratroopers, among others.
Even after the 8th of May 1945, it's design lived on and soldiers returned home with them, popping them over their blue flannel suits as they set off for their mundane, unfulfilling new careers at the office. A lot had changed for the men but the regimented and professional respectability that had been associated with the army officer's uniform meant that they could continue to wear their pride & bravery after the war, just from slipping on their coats.

It was a focus of mine to zone in on the history of an iconic piece of clothing after a brief conversation on Harris Tweed, with an elderly chap whilst I was at work. Iconic clothing has history and quite often originally was invented for a practical purpose. Nowadays, the straps, fasteners or even the fabric an item is made from, may seem as though it is just merely there for show.
This year on the 28th of July, it will have been exactly a hundred years since WWI began. Yet, there are items that surround us, after all this time, that are reminders of the lives sacrificed. People see clothes as being a materialistic desire but with an understanding of their origins I think it can be viewed as a sign of respect, in the same way we wear poppies. With all the people who died preceding the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, it may seem quite insignificant to hone in on something so tenuous as a coat but it is 2014, a 100 years on and it is still here. It lives on and with it, so does it's genesis.
It may seem a relatively far cry from how this connects me to wanting to be a sleuth but without the importance of it's past, it wouldn't have existed and what would Peter Sellers have worn then? Not to mention, Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca would have found his clothes needed an awfully long time to dry when it rained.

Christopher Bailey over at Burberry, has proven he can continuously reinvent the wheel and show there's life in the old overcoat yet, as season by season it is still a sought after item, a staple item for any wardrobe, wanted by both men and women.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Ostriches & Flamingos

The new year has meant getting finances in order. I think at the tender age of 24, it's time I start being more sensible with money, instead of being an ostrich and burying my head in the sand. I normally transfigure into the feathered flightless creatures around the middle of the month. Without making excuses for myself, I put this down to my anxiety and fear of relapsing into depression and not just being irresponsible with money. I have found within the last year, I have hardly treated myself to many delights so it's not like I go on a pay day spending spree at the end of each month. 
However, February 2014 has been the start of this new economical me. Much to my delight I have treated myself on quite a few occasions, paid all my bills and debts whilst leaving myself with quite a healthy sum. 
This being said, I plan to be particularly frugal during this last week and not spend anymore but rather wait until pay day where I can reward myself sufficiently with some more treats.
I use my Pinterest each month to collate all that I desire so I know there is always a comforting place I can go to admire that, which is not mine. However, now I can admire them and look forward to purchasing them with my own hard earned money without fearing the black dog bringing me down. 
Babbling aside, below are some of the items I have been ogling in preparation for the end of this month.

Fixated with bags disguised as objects which aren't bags, this past month I have ordered a Olympia Le Tan-esque milk carton and am currently coveting the Lulu Guinness eye so I can become a perpetual cyclops for the rest of my days. Alongside this, see's the popcorn box which, you guessed it, is also actually a bag. I don't think an item I like passes me by without me envisioning a character or scenario I see myself in, if I were to own it. Predictably, I would like to vanquish the cinema-going drought my illness dragged me into and hit the screens (my loathing for popcorn aside) with this flung over my arm.
Beyond that, there is just a sea of flamingos, periwinkle blues, knitted polo's and shoes that make it seem as if a young gentleman has been frolicking beneath a cherry blossom tree. 

As If!

It feels as though the world is blanketed in Nineties-esque tartan and plaid lately, not that I'm complaining. In fact, it led me to spend time with an old cinematic flame. The other evening, I sat and watched Clueless and lusted over Cher's wardrobe and when I say wardrobe, I quite literally mean her wardrobe. It's the film's twentieth anniversary next year, so why aren't computer compatible wardrobes a thing yet?
Regardless of my vexation for the lack in computer-aided closet technology in our modern society, I'm pretty obsessed with the idea of matching check suits, teeny handbags and fluffy backpacks. The latter, of which, would be a mere accessory and not large enough to function properly as a bag, leading me to cradle my belongings in my arms. 
One notable article of clothing I must admit to enjoying as I revisited this film though, is Cher's long see-through shirts that she wears between layers. Carven's SS14 runway show last year, exhibited pastel Cher-like outfits, including transparent candy floss cardigans that would be right up Cher's street. Can I find this kind of item within shops though? Na-uh. It appears, the high-street is a little bit tardy on the uptake.