Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Make-up Look 1: The Tranny Queen of Hearts

It is all too easy to get stuck in a boring old make-up rut, feeling safe in the knowledge that a slick of liquid eyeliner is fine for everyday. If you have a bit more time, however, it is always great fun to experiment with make-up and to remember what is possible with a little effort. In these sections I will be building on tried and tested methods to create some exciting new beauty ideas.

Recently my housemates and I had a housewarming party and fixed the theme as ‘Las Vegas’. The first thing that sprung to mind was the Queen of Hearts. This seemed a bit ‘done’ though so I decided to go as the transvestite version! Lots of transvestites blank out their eyebrows as changing these (surprisingly crucial) facial features is one of the fastest ways to alter the appearance of your face. Illusionists who use ‘quick-change’ in their acts are also very much aware of this (If you are interested in illusion and quick-change then crime author Jeffery Deaver has a brilliant novel called ‘The Vanished Man’).

I searched high and low for products to hide my brows, experimenting with ultra-coverage concealer and thick face paint to no avail. Eventually I found what I was looking for in the Screenface store in Covent Garden (see http://www.screenface.com/ for locations etc.) I was advised to buy Kryolan’s ‘Eye-Brow Plastic’ which is basically a tube of hard wax. You will also need a sealer and Kryolan do one of those too (pictured on the left). I won’t bore you with the particulars of application because I found this link which does the job admirably:


It is important to persevere with this technique and vital that you whack on enough concealer to sink a large battleship. Use loads of powder afterwards too. For a great concealer, make-up shop Charles Fox (
http://www.charlesfox.co.uk/) stock Dermablend which make-up artists use to cover tattoos and scars (I use it on monstrous spots and dire eye-bags!) Any old face powder will do as long as it’s the right colour.

Once you have the basics down, it’s time for the creativity to commence! I tried a glittery brow which seemed to work quite well-it gives a really ethereal feel. I vamped up with bold red lipstick (Maxfactor’s Lipfinity in ‘Hot’ is a great pillar box shade and lasts forever). Some false lashes and a bit of bold red blusher (use your lipstick on the cheeks for a perfect match) finish the look.

I’m sure you will agree that these looks are not exactly ideal for everyday but they can look sensational for special events!

The original blanked-out brow

The blank brow covered with brown kohl liner and gold glitter

The Queen of Hearts look with gold glitter brows and a red lip

With some fresh-faced Vegas brides!

Monday, 29 September 2008

Playing at Art

As you know, I believe in keeping every area of life as stylish as possible and this reaches to my home. Being a girl who is fond of clutter, my idea of hell is a blank wall.

Inspired by ideas of the unconscious, luck, celebrity and fate, I have started to rework playing cards into varying scale pieces. I use ‘Sharpie” pens to get a bright, arresting pigment and to enhance the na├»ve style.

What I like most about creating collections like this is the fact that I can tailor them to the audience they are aimed at through the changing subject matter. For example my father has a chilli obsession which I have depicted in the picture for him on the right. I aim to create art that will bring joy and a personal connection to the person or people it is intended for.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

How the Mighty Fall

Oh call me cruel if you want but today I had a cheap and evil chuckle at the expense at those two fallen Prada models in Milan. I know the shoes were ridiculous and everything (I defy anyone not to struggle in these snakeskin stilts!) but in the words of Liz Hurley on Project Catwalk: "fashion has no mercy" and I find something sickly comforting that these creatures of fresh youth and beauty can take a tumble just like the rest of us. I think it's time for my nose wart treatment...

Glasvegas, Scala King's Cross Tuesday 23rd September

To say that I saw Glasvegas play would perhaps be a poor choice of verb. I certainly heard them though. The best Scot band of the moment played a short but very impressive set at the Scala in London’s Kings Cross. Dazzling noise with ear-splitting guitars is their thing and the boys drummed up a raucous response. I recognised hit songs Geraldine and Daddy’s Gone and couldn’t help but get caught up in the atmosphere. Obviously there are no pictures as I don’t think the closely shaven head inches from my nose would have been of that much interest to you.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Closing Fashion Week Party, Beach Blanket Babylon, Friday 19th September

For the final party (thank goodness!) of fashion week, I went along to Beach Blanket Babylon in Shoreditch for some more queueing action. I was not disappointed. After getting through the door (in the actually record time of fifteen minutes), I was pleased to see that Skin was DJing and doing a very good job of it too. We boogied away to Kings of Leon's 'Sex on Fire' before buying (yes, for the first time in the week the drinks weren't free!) some drinks and dancing some more. Lots of great people and good music but unfortunately I was so tired I feared for my mental health and headed home after just a couple of hours. Until next time LFW, it has been a great ride!

Inbar Spector

Show 4. Inbar Spector at the Vauxhall Fashion Scout tent

Gareth Pugh-esque in style, Inbar Spector combines couture elements with modern fabrics and lots of sheer for a dramatically romantic effect. Everyone loves a cloud dress.


Show 3. Ashish 'Passing Out' at the British Fashion Council tent

Ashish's was one of my favourite shows from fashion week. I defy anyone not to love black sparkly trenchcoats, badge encrusted coats, playing card sequinned dresses and dice-laded trousers. Beaded dresses extended into tassels as if they had been shredded. Camouflage became hugely visible when every inch was a sequin. Just fabulous.

Aminaka Wilmont

Show 2. Aminaka Wilmont 'Perfect Imperfection' at the British Fashion Council Tent

Tailored jackets and pieces sculpted around Excella zip accessories made for a successful (if a little safe) second on-schedule collection for design duo Maki Aminaka Lofvander and Marcus Wilmont.

Osman Yousefzada

Yesterday was the final day of fashion week. I made it count by going to no less than four shows! Here's Osman Yousefzada

Show 1. Osman Yousefzada 'Savage Pagoda' in the pavillion at Hyde Park (actress Tamsin Egerton in far left pic)

This collection included clever layers of tailoring-layered jackets and jackets and dresses with grown-on capes. It was inspired by the costumes of Japanese Samurai Martial costumes. Crop tops with high waisted trousers and skirts, draping, sheer and trapeze lines all featured.

Erdem Party, Thursday 18th September

Brylie Fowler, editor of the brilliant Plastique Magazine


me being eaten by Travis from Gym Class Heroes!

My mates looking suspicious

Girls in Erdem

Erdem's afterparty was held in the Soho Hotel. As this is where Josh Hartnett is apparantly staying, there were perhaps more women than usual... unfortunately, if the main man was there, I didn't spot him. I did, however, see a lot of other stylish people:

More Neurotica Photos

Liz Parry, Victoria's PR wearing Neurotica SS '09. Her assistants are pictured above (also in Neurotica)

Neurotica SS '09 Launch, Thursday 18th September

Yesterday, I was excited to go to the evening launch of Neurotica’s latest collection, ‘Gently With a Chainsaw. You might remember Neurotica designer Victoria McGrane from the BBC series Dragon’s Den on which she successfully achieved the support of Dragon Peter Jones.

The launch was held at the Royal Academy of Art (as part of On/Off) and the downstairs space had been transformed with an intriguing croquet theme. There was a live band performance from Angie and Alex from Piney Gir throughout the show and their folksy, sexy music went down really well with the crowd.

Victoria’s clothes were fabulous; I loved the movement of the dresses and the way her masculine tailoring cut through the feminity of the chiffon, jersey and silk. Victoria is becoming known for her excellent prints and this collection showcased them perfectly. Depicting poison ivy, venus fly traps and geometric spider webs in a very abstract way meant that you probably wouldn’t initially notice the subject matter until later. This subtly sinister mood was echoed in the colour palette where darker tones of pastel met grey and black. Lynn Cockburn’s styling added another dimension to this considered and confident collection, with hand knitted socks and bathing suits bringing a quirky charm. Illustrated jewellery was provided by Aude Koenig.

The clothes great and were shown so well-on models who looked so good and played with their croquet poles so coquettishly I thought the man standing next to me would pass out. I can’t wait to see more from Neurotica.

Peter Jones and Neurotica's Victoria McGrane

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Acne/Liberty Party, Tuesday 17th September

The next party on the circuit was to celebrate the new Acne space in Liberty. This bash was held inside Liberty and I did feel a bit nervous swinging my cocktail about with so many gorgeous things around! I managed to get over these initial inhibitions though and, like everyone else there, had a rollicking good time of it!