8 of the Best: Pagoda Umbrellas

If you haven’t heard of these yet, then I think that you will be as delighted as I was! The pagoda umbrella is as cheap and practical as a regular one but with a much more unusual and delightful aesthetic, and much more acceptable to double as a parasol (or sunbrella :D). I think they are super cute and bound to brighten up your rainy days. I’m gonna order one and maybe I won’t mind the weather so much then.

CheerfulBargainsLtd Umbrella (Ebay), Guy de Jean Umbrella, Fulton Umbrella,
Guy de Jean Parasol, Bella Umbrella Vintage Parasol, Chrysalin Umbrella,
ShopingLady62 Umbrella (Ebay), MySchirm Umbrella, Guy de Jean Umbrella

Review: The Pre-Raphaelite – Victorian Avant Garde Exhibition at Tate Britain

This exhibition is on until January, and we managed to get tickets on the day although we had to wait a few hours and it was still very, very busy. Tickets are £14.

Ideally you would walk around this exhibition by yourself, listening to King Charles songs and wearing something floaty. Of course, that wasn’t my reality. Nonetheless, I’m really glad I went. At first I felt a little ripped off, since the really great stuff was paintings that you could see downstairs for free most of the year. But by the end I had seen in the flesh for the first time some amazing pieces of art, sculpture and textiles, and came away with a nuanced understanding of  the PRB’s influences and influential effect on their world.

The exhibition is arranged into seven rooms simply by subject matter (nature, beauty, salvation, etc) and also loosely by chronological progression. It includes work by artists outside of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, including William Morris’ incredible fabrics and tapestries, and Julia Margaret Cameron’s photographs. Comparing her work to paintings was especially interesting – the PRB’s women are so idealized, striking, and larger than life that you assume them to be fantasies, yet her photographs capture the same beauty, same attention to strong facial structures, and same haunting luminosity.

Also of particular interest was the sub-narrative of the PRB’s lovers, wives and models – an ever-present theme when their work is shown collectively, but particularly emphasized by this exhibition – and those women’s contributions to and collaborative effects on the paintings.

Too often the role of muse is cast as an empty, passive, and powerless one, but these women are at the heart of the PRB’s work and were often responsible for much of the composition, including choosing costumes and even poses. I know these paintings so well that watching the transformation of Elizabeth Siddal through the PRB’s work, culminating in Rossetti’s ‘Beata Beatrix’ painted a year after she died (probably from suicide) is always an emotional experience, and that particular painting for all its apparent simplicity feels crowded with his guilt and sorrow, and some

other, more complicated emotions – his idolization of her beauty, his place in a long tradition of art that saw women primarily as embodying abstract concepts. It, like all of their work, is best appreciated for the careful and poignant construction of a narrative through the details of the painting – the white poppy representing the laudanum that killed her, the derivation fromDante’s poem of love from first sight to death – this is one of the reasons why I keep coming back to their work. They hark back to medieval or greek mythology (as well as biblical, Shakespearean, and other stories) but in a similar way to WB Yeats use of Fenian mythology to express his country’s contemporary plight, their use of these narratives only proves their timelessness. Their women, for better or worse, really were Lillith, Proserpine, and Mary to them.

I think the arrangement of this exhibition, for all its overwhelming profusion of sensuous light and colour, flesh and nature, releases the PRB once and for all from the accusations of ‘beauty for beauty’s sake’. Because of the ‘avant-garde’ nature of their work, and their ancient subject matters, it is often hard to reconcile them with our other imaginings of Victorian Britain. But if you visit this exhibition for one reason, let it be the explanation it puts forth of their interconnected place in our artistic history.

Sally from ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ Halloween Costume Makeup/Facepaint Tutorial Video

This is my first attempt at a tutorial video so I hope it is easy to follow. I made up my Sally costume and then made-up my face. Normally I would paint it, but this time I used mostly makeup for a more durable look and for those of you out there who don’t necessarily have a face painting kit lying around (in which case I ask you, really, what have you been doing with your life?) Here is the video;

Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas Makeup Facepaint Tutorial


Hope you like it 😀

Fashion on a pumpkin

I love, love, love Disney villainesses – the eyebrows, the lipstick, the dramatic collars, the insane headgear, the gothic pets… what’s not to love? So this year I attempted Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty on my pumpkin. Not my most impressive result, but one of my favourite topics:

All Hallows Eve: The Revelation – Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas

Here it is, a secret no longer! Inspired by my favourite director and one of my favourite films, this quirky, creepy character was the perfect choice for this years costume. I started with an old strapless tube dress and some colourful rags and added a wig, blue tights, makeup + face paint (tutorial to follow). So, without further ado, my 2012 halloween costume;

This is part of the project from IFB.

6 of the Best; Affordable Art Deco Ear Candy

So the remake of The Great Gatsby is coming out next year and whether or not it’s a terrible film, I’m pretty sure that it’s going to be pretty pretty to look at. If, like me, you adore that twenties style but suit the flat-chested, drop-waisted shapes about as well as a hippo suits a shift dress, you can still indulge your inner flapper with these gorgeous pieces. The answer, as always, is accessorize, accessorize, accessorize!

Jackie Kennedy Collection Earrings, Baublebar Earrings, Baublebar Earrings,
Baublebar Earrings, Alexandra May Earrings, QT Silver Earrings (Ebay)

Lions and Tigers and Leopards, Oh My! 8 of the Best; Big Cat Jewellery

It isn’t really a new idea, but it is a good one. I’m a sucker for blingy animal jewellery, and these babies are high up on my list! Animal jewellery seems to be trending again with Anna Del Russo’s fabulous (and completely unavailable) collection for H&M, with crocodiles and snakes galore, and Butler and Wilson’s really great leopard jewellery. Here are eight other fun and flashy pieces:Xiyan Necklace, Baublebar Necklace, Xiyan Earrings, Baublebar Bracelet,
Baublebar Earrings, Xiyan Ring, Baublebar Bracelet, Beauty Delivery Earrings

What to Wear on the 31st October, 2012: Halloween Costume Ideas

As you already know, my favourite day of the year is coming up and I can’t wait. The drama! The campness! the fabulosity! The high gothic aesthetic! So I’ve been thinking and planning and planning and thinking. Some years I have floods of ideas, and other years my imagination is dry as a bone, silent as a grave, in this crucial month (no pun etc).

In case you are having this trouble, here are my top six halloween ideas for this year, feel free to steal them! Unfortunately, it is only one night a year, but here are costumes I’d dearly like to make this year; the white queen from Alice in Wonderland, Frida Kahlo, Nicki Minaj, Harley Quinn from Batman, a beheaded french aristocrat (because I’ve already been a clean Marie: see right), a venetian mask (but your real face, just painted)

Ah well, maybe next year. What will you be 🙂 ?

9 of the Best: Oxblood accessories a/w 2012

I really love this colour, and I know it has been everywhere, but I foresee it wearing well through christmas and into spring. Burgundy, bordeaux, berry … whatever you want to call it, deep, rich, velvety shades of dark red will put the perfect touch on your chilly outfits. Here are the best (affordable) accessories around;
Biba Clutch, Baublebar Earrings, Dune Heels,
Dune Maryjanes, Newlook Necklace, O.co Earrings,
Covergirl Bordeaux Lipstick, Asos Satchel, Baublebar Earrings

Halloween Outfits

So I LOVE halloween. It is not just my favourite night, but my favourite time of year. I love everything about it, and now that we are in October its officially okay for me to start planning. I’ve started obsessing about my costume, so I took a glance back at recent costumes. From left to right, row by row;
old man tramp, white swan, Columbia from Rocky Horror, Cavewoman
Poison Ivy, Columbia, Clown
Queen of Hearts, Schoolgirl, Thing 1 from Dr. Seuss, Ginger Spice, Carnival
Check out my Pinterest for my moodboard of Halloween crafts and ideas, and stay posted for my next Halloween update, same time next week 😀

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