Princesses At The V&A

Exciting so so can’t wait – the limited edition Disney dolls are coming out in October !!!!  I don’t care if i’ve got an early at work that day, i’m staying up online to buy this Eric and Ariel dolls the moment it turns midnight on the 15th.

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I collect the Disney princess dolls because of their costume.  Think about it, the princesses and princes are dressed to represent the culture and fashion era they are attributed to, and to nail the era, how character are dressed is key to showing the styles of men and women of the place and time period.

To see and understand further the fashion evolution for all eras, many people go to the renowned pride of Britain masterpiece – The Victoria and Albert Museum (the V and A to us on trend folk and citizens).  A centrepiece of art and design trophies, including real princesses dresses including examples from Princess Diana’s ‘Elvis Dress’ by Catherine Walker, to HRH Princess Margret’s blue cocktail dress by one of her favorite Parisian designers Jean Desses.

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I purchased two magnificent decadent V&A books this week -‘The V&A Gallery of Fashion’ and ‘V&A Ball Gowns’.  Each are full of beautiful and exquisite pieces of clothing from distinguished places and designers.  I knew I wanted these books from the moment I saw the trademark symbol of the The Victoria and Albert Museum, defining the quality and craftsmanship of the information and products featured. I opened the V&A Ball Gowns book and fell in love with the Erdem dress 2008 and Stella McCartney dress 2011.  

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Erdem dress 2008 

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Stella McCartney dress 2011

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Bellville Sassoon 1964

Vibrant colour, sophistication with a touch of chic and delicate pastel with avante garde beading, just three dresses that represent the different ballgown looks, with patterns and cuts of the fabric and haberdashery touches that the ballgowns book discusses. 

Please either request this book form your nearest Waterstones or borrow it from your local library, where you can photocopy all the images and words and decorate your wall (within copyright laws of course!).  This book is the encyclopedia of fashion full of historical and contemporary garments with engaging information making you want to go to the actual Victoria and Albert Museum instantly.  Of course, I have many many favourite sections in this book.  One is the tennis dress by Hepburne Scott (1926) that I think easily can be a summer evening stroll dress as well as it being a competitive uniform from it’s day.

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Hepburne Scott 1926 

Each chapter has a brief introduction of culture and society of the period the following garments and accessories are from.  Many of the V&A pieces are over 100 years old (personally, i’d hate to see that dry cleaning bill for care of each piece!).  This image below is a true fairytale piece.  If I won the lottery, i’d pay to have a photo shoot in it, though no one should buy this dress, the V&A is it’s permanent fairytale castle. 

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Mantua gown 1753 – 55, silk brocaded with gilded silver thread. 

My best parts have to be the modern and contemporary fashion now chapters, where designers are scientists, experimenting with their fabric, pattern, cut formulas, color and design.  A new spectrum of creative formulas are evolving.  The renowned Gareth Pugh created a piece combining two elements – leather and metal – now historically, yes, you may think done before, leather shoes metal buckle.  No, a material combination of two elements formulating a new fabric for the world. 

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Silvered leather dress 2011.

In the same year, Prada went scientific, taking the highly popular material plastic and thought – forget packaging, we’re going to use it for a component to form a shoe!  Below shows their vibrant magical result, I adore the heel, the best part. 

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The front cover image is this beautiful evening coat.

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Elsa Schiaparelli 1937.

From the front, tailored Savile Row approved, but from the back, artisan magic arrives.  Elsa was a creative magician, and all her pieces were exquisite in cut and design.  Simply makes you pick up this encyclopedia of fashion perfectly.  

Lucy xxx

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Cut-Out Swimsuits And Other Yucky Things

Yesterday, I had a conversation with two Twitter peoples – @ArtisanGaynor and @SuggestDigest about horrid fashion. Lucy joined in at the point were shoes were brought up, too. It started with wet – look leggings (YUCK) and ended with the defence of jelly shoes with this pair as the example –

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Westwood, photo copyright Idris - George

But later, I came across this article –
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2359491/Cut-swimsuits-slammed-biggest-summer-holiday-fashion-crime-yes-WORSE-socks-sandals.html

A survey carried out by Sunshine.co.uk showed what the British public think are the top summer fashion yuckies – and I have opinions on all of them. I shall comment as I go.

1. Cut out swimsuits –
This was voted as the WORST by over 50 percent of respondents. Men AND women. I hate this current trend of missing fabric from clothes. Especially on the Midlands, where ‘the look’ is scraggy hair, hoops, clothes a size too tight and muffin toppage. No please.

2. Socks and sandals –
I have a friend who did this once. He got mocked. He never did it again. Lesson – learnt.

3. Speedos –
If you’re an Olympic swimmer, go ahead. If you’re my Dad, please, wear some shorts. You can’t carry it off.

4. Ill fitting bikinis –
Try before you buy, yeah? Changing rooms exist. I don’t need to see your boobies falling out.

5. Hawaiian Shirts –
Ok, I kinda like these. Sometimes.

6. Patriotic clothing (e.g. England shirt or Union Jack clothes –
Events, festivals, sports and celebrations. Not an advert saying ‘I AM BRITISH AND HERE TO GET PISSED’.

7. Sun visors –
They still make these?

8. Maxi dresses –
I’m too short for these. There’s an extra foot of fabric trailing behind me. I’d love to, but i’m bitter. Suits people with darker skin more. White people, beware.

9. Oversized hats –
HEY! I have one of those!

10. Wedges –
These are the only heels I can walk in 😦 kind of walk on 😥 OK I can’t walk in heels. Shush.

George

My Summer List

Now that summer is embracing us, I thought i’d share with you my list i’m determined to do over the summer period.

1.) To be a reclusive reader more often and indulge again in my vast book collection.  For instance, The Perfume Lover by Denyse Beaulieu is one that I enormously recommend.  I promised myself I would re – read all my Helen Dunmore books like Morning Ruby, and I have already broken that promise twice over the last couple of months.  Maybe read my mum’s books that are that bricks of literature, thick and hard, full of emotion, I am especially caught by her Phillipa Gregory literary entourage and Elizabeth Chadwick posse.
2.) Draw more, more, and further more, either in the mornings before I set off on the pale pavement to work or afterwards for a few hours.  It’s the most therapeutic activity (second after cross-stitching) that emphasises my creative formula, bringing together odd and radical objects.  To just sketch and see where it leads me, or go to Shrewsbury library to get inspiration from the non – fiction section on subjects such as mechanics to famous places and statues.
3.) To get my vast number of favorite shoes reheeled!!!!!  MUST DO!!!  I hate when an adored fave pair gets scratched, or the tap (yes, tap, not tip – the tip is the TOP!) of the heel is turning diagonal.  I must go to the different shoe cobblers in Shrewsbury and get quotes on how much it will cost.  I hereby promise myself to have my gorgeous shoes reheeled by end of summer.  Furthermore, I will give them a spring clean with cleaning wipes or similar to make them glisten once more.
4.) Go out more, and not let being in work the next day put me off!  I wanna party, and party with a cocktail in each hand wearing a dynamite dress.
5.) Empty out my money pot of change each month for my ISA.
6.) Stay on top of my avante – garde chic style, on my days off wear a outfit that makes me stand out for individual style, showcase each of my dresses each day.
7.) Invest in evening bags, I realised I have not many compared to my vast day collection.
8.) Walk up Lyth Hill more – man its a work out, trust me!
Lucy xxx

Eau De Telford

I stepped foot into Telford’s Primark on a Saturday at half eleven.  I survived, and I lived to get the dress.

I got the dress George showed me last week in Birmingham, and the only one left was my size.  Could it be a sign?  Good timing?  Someone had mixed it up with the tops in the mens department where I spotted it.  Either way I got a new very pretty dress to twirl around Shrewsbury in and do cross stitch.

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Observing my new dress I instantly knew I needed some matching shoes.  I’ve never been keen on Primarni shoes, so went to a trustworthy fave of mine – Dorothy Perkins, where I spotted THE SHOES in the window and nearly knocked over a faux model or two to reach them.  I had to have them because they tap into the everlasting print trend which I adore and have a cut out on one side – a homage to modern tailored.

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New shoes – tick.  New dress – tick.

Conundrum.

My perfume is still full and i’m still in awe of my River Island bag I got the other month.  In other words – no bags took my liking.  So I headed to Waterstones and while mooching at books in the classic section, and spying some Linda la Plante I spotted the word – perfume.

Part of me thought wow make your own perfume – grown up George’s Marvellous Medicine, but perfume perhaps, you never know!  It wasn’t sadly, but it is an intriguing account from a Parisian fragrance writer.  I’m hooked already even though im putting down for Eurovision – Come on Bonnie Tyler!!!!!!

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Now to label my new threads before Eurovision…

Lucy xxx