Sunday, 30 December 2012

Friday, 28 December 2012

FLASH FILE//MONO TRAITS



Pictures belong to their respective owners.
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STYLESPIRATION: NATALIJA MENCEJ


Yesterday, I discovered the pictures of Central St Martins graduate Natalija Mencej's final collection from 2011. The icy pastels, relaxed silhouettes and hip hop influences have got me pining to dress like a rapper at a Christmas panto. As if the bedazzled high tops and rolled up joggers weren't enough to send me reeling, the models carried pugs on the runway. PUGS!

I'm officially in love. Now, excuse me while I dribble over her pastel bombers and watch gratuitous videos of puppies on the internet.

In the meantime, you can read a bit about her development process here.

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Thursday, 27 December 2012

THE UNDERGRADUATE FORUM: 6 THINGS EVERY FASHION STUDENT SHOULD KNOW ABOUT FINDING A WORK PLACEMENT

I'm no veteran in the fashion industry but over the past year, I've managed to squeeze a few placements under my belt - two of which saw me working at London Fashion Week. If you've tried before, you'll know that finding a placement can be the most gut-wrenching, jaw-clenching, heart-benching (yes, that is a figure of speech referring to the feeling that your heart is being benched up and down, up and down by an extremely hench, insensitive juice head) experience of your life. Ever. 

But not to fear. It gets easier with time and even less stressful if you follow the 6 cardinal rules:

1. Get on a plan, Stan: Yes, it's hard to get a placement. Yes, beggars can't be choosers. No, you shouldn't take a placement as a machinist in your sister's friend's neighbour's factory just because it's convenient. If you want to be a buyer, then seek out buying internships. If you want to work in PR, then start ringing up agencies. Your placement should be reflective of your future plans and should be beneficial to your career in the grand scheme of things. There's no point working at McDonalds if you're dream is to chargrill next to Heston Blumenthal. You get me?

2. Be resilient: There are hundreds - I repeat, hundreds - of people dying to knock you out of the race. You know, a dog eat dog world and all of that malarky. Now, I'm not suggesting full on evil mode like Emily Blunt in The Devil Wears Prada but what I am encouraging is an unshakable sense of tenacity. You'll never be the only one going for a position nor is it likely that you'll even be one in ten. If you're going for a position, you need to be ready to do whatever it takes (bar compromising your dignity) to prove that you are the only possible candidate to appropriately fill it. 
Send out your CV and follow up 5-10 days later with a phone call - it's likely that at least 25% of the applications never even get seen to. Do your research - follow them on all of their social media sites, find out the company history and prepare questions for the interview. They'll never snub you for being a keen bean.

3. Increase your chances: It's hard when you've set your sights on a specific brand or firm to send out high standard applications to more than one place. Nonetheless, it's a must. Applying to a number of companies can only set you up for more successes and who doesn't want a handful of excuses to drink a celebratory cocktail?

4. Pimp out your CV: Does anyone else remember Pimp My Ride on MTV? New spinners, a candy apple paint job and some hydraulics thrown in just for good measure. It doesn't only apply to cars. Not feeling this metaphor? What about Milkshake by Kelis? You want your CV to bring all the HR heads to the yard. I'm not talking ostentatious borders, Clip Art or Facebook style head shots but a little colour never hurt. Choosing an accent colour - for example, I've chosen lavender and pink - to create a theme can be both charming and eye-catching. Here's an example of mine:


5. Don't get down-hearted: This sounds like the easiest rule of them all but, unfortunately, it's probably the hardest. Rejection is a bitter pill to swallow and can leave you feeling like Voldemort at the end of the Harry Potter series - shrivelled, defeated and, well, dead. I can't stress to you how imperative it is not to let these feelings get on top of you. Take a day or two to grieve - especially if it was your first choice. Eat copious amounts of chocolates, drink a whole litre bottle of Tango in a hour and watch Four Christmases even if it's the middle of June. Then, pick yourself up. The more time spent wallowing in self-pity, the more time wasted. The more time wasted, the less chance of success in finding a placement. If you let rejection kick start a domino effect, you'll be kicking yourself later for all the opportunities missed. If at first you don't succeed...

6. Take a look into your little black book: If you don't have a little black book of contacts then find, borrow or make one. Whatever industry you're in, networking is key. Have you ever heard the saying 'it's not what you know but who you know'? Collect as many emails, numbers, Linked-In profiles as you possibly can even if they seem slightly irrelevant at the time. You never know when you might need some help getting your foot in the door and, as the pushy door to door reps know: once your foot's in the door, it's much easier to force your way in.

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Have you got anything specific you'd like to see on The Undergraduate Forum? Maybe you just want to let me know what you thought of this article. Leave a comment in the box below, tweet me here or drop me an email at lipstickandloudmouths@hotmail.com!

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Wednesday, 26 December 2012

WHITE T-SHIRT. BLACK JEANS: PARIS HILTON NATURAL BEAUTY LASHES


Now Playing: I'll Bring You Flowers - Sweet Female Attitude

Boxing Day: The day after Christmas. Recovering from the turkey comatose and the excess glasses of wine. Sleeping in 'til an ungodly hour and never wanting to look at another Quality Street again. Ever.

Statement fashion is almost out of the question - at least for me. My food baby never allows for it anyway and my aching feet seek solace in the embrace of furry slippers after the statuesque heels of the day before. It's a wonder I ever even make it out of the onesie and into the shower!

Thus, today it's a jeans an t-shirt combo. Black jeans. White t-shirt. Tassel belt. A bright green scarf and quirky sunglasses - perhaps to convince myself that I am in fact doing my part for fashion even if in the lowliest of doses.




Once again, I've gone for a vintage 1950s beauty look today except, this time, it's a much more parred down/casual version. I decided to use the Paris Hilton Natural Beauty lashes (courtesy of Santa) to create a girly, cat-eye look.



The packaging is super cute and feminine - enough to make any girl feel like a pin-up in a powder room - but, to tell you the truth, before taking them out of the box I found the eyelashes to be slightly ominous looking. They seemed really long and a really strange shape - there was something of a drag queen vibe about them. Nonetheless, once they were out of the package, they had a lovely soft texture to them and - unlike a lot of cheap boxed eyelashes - they didn't have that tell tale synthetic shine to them.

As a beginner and someone who begs my friends to put my eyelashes on for me before a night out, I often have trouble putting eyelashes on when they're fresh out of the packet. I find that the band on a lot of boxed lashes is too straight and doesn't follow the natural curve of the eye - an absolute nightmare when glueing down the corners (I had this problem with the Blinx falsies from yesterday's look). On the contrary, the Paris Hilton lashes went on so easily that I was shocked that it was me applying them! I broke my cardinal rule and used the box glue just to see what the quality was like and it's one of the best I have used so far. I had to layer it quite heavily as it's not as thick as the professional glue I'm used to, however, once tacky, it stuck almost as well as my DUO adhesive and I'm yet to see any corners curling.

I would recommend using eyelash curlers once the lashes are in place as, unfortunately, they are unnaturally straight but their shape - which looked so strange in the box - creates a really fun and flirty look. If you're going for a barely there, I'm-actually-wearing-makeup-but-it's-supposed-to-look-like-I'm-not vibe, then I suggest you steer well clear of these. I personally think they'd be best for a date night or cocktails with the girls. And, like I always say, any excuse for cocktails is a good excuse!




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Monday, 24 December 2012

FLASH FILE: IN THE RED

I keep something called the 'Flash File' saved on my desktop. It is quite simply what it says on the tin. A file full of images that serve the purpose of giving me a flash of inspiration when needed. So, as I couldn't possibly bare to think of my readers in an inspiration-less rut, I'll be sharing my favourites with you as my collection grows. Lucky buggars. 

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Thursday, 29 November 2012

DAILY DISTRACTIONS: STYLESPIRATION

What more could a girl aspire to be than a cherry-cheeked, coquettish pin up girl? Well, easily, you could aspire to be the cat that's doing the pose that makes them look like the pin up girl. Lost? Me too. Just read the website.



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Tuesday, 20 November 2012

LANA DEL REY OBSSESED

I'm currently obsessed with Lana Del Rey. Her music, her mojo, her aura. Just to look at, she's an aesthetically pleasing product - like an enigmatic, post impressionist painting that you're not sure you get but really want anyway. The high price tag only making it more desirable.

Pop yourself in a room full of women, tea and/or cocktails in hand, and bring up the topic of Lana Del Rey's surgeon. *Controversial crickets* Yes, I know she denies any help from Dr 90210 but we weren't born yesterday. If there's anything Samantha for SATC taught us (apart from how to bag a man, how to use a man, how to ditch a man and how to display general and advanced level fabulousness), it's that no one looks that sensational without a little nip and tuck. I am talking to you progressively growing, bee stung lips. I digress. Pop yourself in a room, personality drinks in hand, and I defy you to find one woman who wouldn't just love to swipe their boyfriend's/husband's/random man from the bar's plastic and request 'The Lana'. If not that, it'd be a full head of hair extensions to recreate that gravity defying barnet that, as a friend described it, "stretches into next week". That, followed by a set of stiletto point acrylic nails and some smoky kohl eyeliner. Done. Lanafied. And absolutely fabulous. 

Confederate Couture - Lana Del Rey
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Thursday, 25 October 2012

GIVENCHY AW12: MOCK PHOTO SHOOT

For the past month or two, I've been completely consumed by my Visual Studies project at university. The brief? To create a mood board, research booklet and AW12 campaign image for any chosen brand. I chose to do Givenchy menswear after being completely enchanted and beguiled by the gothic romantic collection - appealing to my inner menace to find some leather and a dark room stat. Now that the shoot's finished, there's an unfortunately large stress-shaped hole in my life - a girl's got to have something to whine about, you know - so I thought I'd reminisce by sharing some of the photos with you.


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Tuesday, 23 October 2012

TIM WALKER, SOMERSET HOUSE

If you haven't yet heard of the British born fashion photographer, you're either a hermit, some form of media averse recluse or in need of some serious help. Nonetheless, you would recognise his work, which has appeared in almost every edition of Vogue for over a decade. Still lost? Well, he's the genius behind Mulberry's most recent ad campaign for one - inspired by the fantastical Where the Wild Things Are children's books - and the cutesy Dior Addict commercial that used none other than B. Bardot as it's muse.

In short, he's a photographic genius. Go and see his exhibition. See it or regret it (and, when I say regret, I mean a date with a box of Kleenex and your best friends Ben and Jerry). Enough said.

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Saturday, 29 September 2012

INTERIOR TURNAROUND

It's been a hectic 2 weeks, what with me making my move from London to Birmingham to begin life as a Fashion Business & Promotions student at BIAD. From the torturous affliction of having to narrow down my shoe wardrobe to the exasperating struggle of finding the perfect outfit for the first day, I've been swept off of my feet in the commotion of turning over a new page in life. Nonetheless, that was never going to stop me turning the institutional, empty shell that was my accommodation into a haute hub I could call home. 



Starting with the desk, the attention was all in the detail. Adding familiar touches such as a framed picture, a souvenir from this summer's trip to Thailand and magazines. I couldn't resist putting my gravity defying high heels on display either - naturally, just so I can gloat over the fact that I've actually managed to walk in them.




Throughout the room, fashionable details - like a sequin cat mask I picked up in Monsoon and a bedazzled jewellery box - warm up the room.




Then comes my favourite part: the bed. A lilac damask duvet cover from Argos offers just the right degree of lightness and femininity. On the other hand, a floral quilt - woven by my Great Aunt Margaret - adds a bavarian feel and toughens up it's girly counterpart.

Lastly, a tablecloth bought at a Thai market makes a great cover for an otherwise boring desk chair.



So, what do you think? Will you be revamping your university rooms this year? Leave your comments in the box below or tweet me with your pictures.
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Saturday, 8 September 2012

#FNO

So, you may have noticed the lack of a post yesterday. Today, there won't be much fancy writing in this one. Put down your torches and pitchforks, I'm a very busy lady you see. Today is the day that I'm uprooting myself from London - my birthplace and home for many years - and moving up to Birmingham. Of course, I'll still be commuting down on a regular basis, what with friends, family and fashion beckoning, but the next 3 years of my life will be based mainly in the UK's second largest city.  By Monday, I'll officially be a Fashion student at Birmingham City University - mega yay! Thus, I'm flitting about like a headless chicken, crying over my restricted wardrobe of shoes, trying (but failing) to drag my 1,000 ton suitcases down the stairs and into the car and desperately hoping I haven't forgotten anything (is it bad that the first thing I thought to chuck into the car was my magazines?).

Nevertheless, there's nothing a good, old picture book can't solve - if it's good enough for a hyperactive toddler - so here are some snaps of my very first Fashion's Night Out in London on Thursday, which I attended with fashion photographer and blogger Andrea Coper.

Leather Jacket - H&M
Dress - Topshop (sale)
Handbag (just seen) - The Night Bazaar, Chiang Mai, Thailand















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