Archive | February 2014

red punk rock skirt and random necklaces

I have decided to take a break from bloging about London Edge, partly cuz I’ve actually made stuff, and partly because I’m currently working on something really complicated, so I’m going to need stuff to post next week. 🙂

Anyway, I finally finished the skirt I’ve been working on for pretty much the best part of a month. But life and random colds and stuff got in the way. Its here now though….

red houndstooth skirt

 

Now this doesn’t instantly look very punk rock, but I was suffering from a massive neither-of-us-can-be-arsed-to-do-the-ironing crisis on Sunday when we took the pictures, and as Jon is away pretty much all week, there was no real other opportunity to take photos for several days. I did however wear it to a gig on Friday night and it went down a treat.

Close ups of the shape and the fabric will show what I mean…..

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It’s houndstooth! No attempt at pattern matching was made as I had less than a meter and a half of the fabric so was squeezing the pattern in any way I could manage. It is however slightly longer than I would naturally wear with a skirt of this style, because it is made out of stretchy wool and lined and designed to be worn in the middle of winter basically.

I did alright on the inside.

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Nice ribbon round the waist band so that it doesn’t itch and my little label thingy so that it does anyway thing going on.

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Also a double layer of venice lace round the bottom of the underskirt . Partly to use it up as it was cheap and crappy and there are not many things it goes with, partly because I had to slightly shorten the underskirt as the lace dangled out from under the skirt a little, so I stuck the second layer on to hide the tuck where I shortened it. The second layer also goes for a bit of a walk up the underskirt at one point, but as its an underskirt you can’t really see that. My perennial issue of trying to sew when I’m feeling tired and ill though.

Anyway I am really pleased with it, so have another picture of me wearing it….

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Also in the last couple of weeks I mended some necklaces, one of which I made a couple of years ago, one of which I made a few months ago, but I haven’t ever really blogged about my jewellery making attempts, so I thought I’d post them here….

First up…

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A steampunk necklace I made a while back. The beads are grey pearls and garnets, all the charms and findings are antique brass off etsy, and the cabochons have closeup images of fungi inside them.

With this one it needed a new clasp as the clasp decided to break.

Here it is worn….

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The other necklace was a lot more recent, and I was most annoyed as it caught on something in my toilet bag and the plastic thread snapped, so I had to restring it entirely….

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The big beads I was told was jasper, but looking on the internet it looks nothing like, they are really strange though, they have this crackled leather or coal effect on top, and when they warm up the paler ones go sort of transparent and really warm. The small beads are onyx.

Anyway, this is it on….

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Its kind of my default black necklace at the moment.

 

Anyway, no more sewing stuff for a bit as I am working on quite a big project, so need to make mock-ups and stuff. However hopefully it won’t take me too long, and other stuff in the meantime. 🙂

London Edge: cool stuff I saw on stalls part 2

This was the section of the show where I got to the big boys.

First up, Iron Fist. Now this one is a classic case of the parts of the collection that shops pick to sell, not necessarily being the bit Laura would actually wear. The first picture below, of the beautiful but scarily high heel is what I would have counted most representative of what Iron Fist actually sold, that and tiny skimpy dresses there would be no chance of me fitting into. However in the show collection was loads of gorgeous sensible flat shoes and a bit larger clothing items and several (which sadly I have to wait till august for) I massively have my eye on.

The sort of shoes one usually associates with Iron Fist….

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But actually they do a wide range of more sensible shoes as well….

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Including these……omg My Little Pony trainers! 🙂 WANTS!

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Also massively liking, 80’s style unicorn top and Garbage Pail Kids Hoody!!! I had forgotten about the Garbage Pail Kids, they were like the even freaky version of Cabbage Patch Kids. I used to have trading cards when I was a little girl. Long overdue a comeback! 🙂

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Other cute stuff to keep a look out for….

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Next up was Dark Star. Now they are a brand I own several things by and am very fond of browsing through when I go up Camden and  to places like The Black Rose. Again I was really surprised at the difference between the collections I see in the shops and what was on the stall. I am a massive fan of their Victoriana and Goth stuff, but I had no idea they also had a major tie dye and hippy thing going on as well!

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Then there was a slightly less well known brand, Lindy Bop, which was another vintage style prom dress seller. Do like the yellow one though!

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Then a gentleman called Philip Wright selling loads of really awesome hats…..

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And then back to the big boys with New Rock……

And again I was fascinated by the difference between what one can buy in Camden and their full collection, for example, New Rock have a massive range of trainers as well as the whole boot thing going on! I had no idea. but actually from the point of view of someone who frequently misses the nightbus or ends up walking back for an hour in the middle of the night from clubbing, I actually quite fancy a pair, they seem like a much more sensible way of displaying ones goth sensibilities……

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I did like some of the more conventional boots though, specially these patterned ones!

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Next came Toxico , they sold all kinds of stuff, including clothes, which weren’t really my style, but what did catch my eye was their range of crockery. We have broken a load of mugs recently so I might actually buy some of it!

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And lastly for this section, Kreepsville 666. Now I am already a firm fan of their devils horns and hair bows with eyeballs on, so it was really nice to see what I’m going to end up buying  is available next year. I forgot to take pictures, but they also have a range of t-shirts, I had only ever seen these online before, but I was actually really impressed by the quality and availability of slightly larger sizing options.

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So yeah, Part 3 (The final main part of this) won’t happen till middle of next week as I am going to be busy with stuff. Hopefully also including finishing the skirt I’ve been working on for the last forever so I actually have sewing stuff to post again! 🙂

London Edge: Cool stuff I saw on stalls part 1

Basically the logistics of splitting these photos up into categories and still knowing what I’m doing was going to be too much of a headache, specially as I’m up to the eyeballs with a cold (yay! Thank-you Prince!) so I’m keeping it simple and posting them in the order I saw them. With the bigger companies that do ‘collections’ this is all next seasons stock so even though I’m going to link to peoples websites where possible, stuff I’ve posted may not be available yet. Also some of the websites are wholesale only, you have to find a shop that actually sells the brand. There was a massive bias in me (and Gemma) taking the photos as to stuff I find interesting.

 

The Seamstress of Bloomsbury -pretty vintage, mainly 40’s, inspired stuff.

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Switchblade, …..this stall had some decent Rockabilly/Gothabilly stuff on it, but what I was super interested in was the baby and children’s clothes….aren’t they awesome!

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Lucky 13 …another gothabilly stall, but this one had some awesome prints going…

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Silly Old Sea Dog……. vintage inspired stuff with novelty prints.

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Rockabye-Baby LDN -more stuff for babies 🙂

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Cherryloco …..this was one of my favourite stalls of the entire fair, unfortunately she was not selling because it was a trade fair, but I will be buying the Raven necklace off her and probably a bat one as well, as soon as I get some money together. Basically its Tatty Devine for Goths if you can’t tell from the pictures…. I am also massively supportive of a small business that is based on Folksy (The uk based version of Etsy) being at an event like this!

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Barmetal Clothing...another tattoo images stall with cool T-shirt prints…

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The next stall after that was Iron Fist, and the uploader is being a little slow today, so that can go in the next post (as I took millions of pictures) which will appear in a day or two. 🙂

Purple (And grey freezing cold) Rain.

So as has been much hyped for the last few weeks Prince, the 80’s pop star with a thing for Purple and squiggly symbols, is in London at the moment and doing a load of “small scale gigs in iconic venues”.

(ETA It has been hypothesised by a particularly pedantic Facebook friend that my description of Prince’s career may lead to my complaint being dismissed as Not A Real Fan. Funnily enough lots of other people read my blog who are not music geeks, in the queue yesterday, the most common response on being told who we were queuing for was ‘Prince Who?’ If anyone wants a detailed run down on just how much I love obscure tracks from the mid 90’s or follow artists that did one song with him in the early 80’s,or they won’t take me seriously they are utterly missing the point!)

For the last two nights that venue has been the Electric Ballroom in Camden.

The first nights gig was not really publicised. A lady who is Prince’s manager or tour manager or something posted on Twitter at 10pm on Tuesday night that he was there, a few fans turned up and got let in, but mostly it was a teaser for the press. Yesterdays gig however, for anyone following Prince related twitter feeds was fairly well publicised.

Doors at 7pm at the Electric Ballroom, but if you wanted tickets you had to be down there for 2pm to pick them up. The accepted wisdom was that it was two per person. Now immediately this did not bode well for the rest of the tour. Much as I miss the days of camping out overnight for David Bowie or Foo Fighters tickets, and awful though the way most of them seem to end up in the hands of touts is, being able to buy tickets online has massively democratised the whole gig scene in Britain. No longer do you need a mate without a job residing in the actual area the gig is being held at in order to be able to see a band play. However as I was feeling vaguely well yesterday and don’t actually have a job, I went down to try and get tickets for Jon and I.

I left the house at 11.30, it was not the warmest weather but dry, and I was relatively well wrapped up, black ski-jacket/market coat, red wool hat, no gloves and mary jane shoes, but at that time there was no indication the weather was in any way bad.

However by the time I got to Camden at 12.30 it was flooding down. Sheeting freezing rain with a bitter wind driving it into everyones faces and turning umbrellas inside out. This may not have been easy to tell for an American, but this was particularly nasty weather even by British standards.

So I queued, the guy next to me bought a £5 umbrella from one of the tourist tat stalls, I bought a pair of socks to keep my feet a bit warmer, as a little huddle of us we took it in turns to go for hot drinks and crepes from the stall across the road. It was actually quite good fun in a bizarre way, and it would only be an hour and a half till we got in to buy our tickets and then headed off to the pub for the rest of the afternoon.

We were about 30 back from the front of the queue when we got there at 12.30, but by about 1.15 it was 350/400 strong right round the block.

Then two o’clock came, the security guard came out of the building, everyone cheered. But suddenly complete confusion. This wasn’t a queue to buy tickets at 2, this was a queue to get into the gig at 7. And it was one entry per person not two. WTF!?

So not great, but fair enough you couldn’t get a ticket for a friend with a job, but we had been waiting for an hour and a half, the queue had been massive for an hour of that, why could they not have just told us in advance so we weren’t wasting time? And if it was one entry per person, where the hell was the harm in giving out wrist bands to everyone there, so they could go away and come back again later?

But oh look, what have we here, about 2.15 as everyone was milling around, unwilling to believe we’d actually been screwed that badly and not sure what to do, here comes members of the national press, with video cameras and microphones, being all “look at all these obsessive Prince fans, theres so many of them, and they’ve got here 5 hours before a gig in this weather” no mention at all of the fact everyone in the queue had been tricked.

Of course people left, I left, I was starting to get cold to the core, and realistically there was no way I could queue for 5 hours for anything. I’ve been told off for moaning about this, cuz Prince is already discriminating against people with jobs and who don’t live in London, but this is FULL OUT DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION. By tricking his fans into turning up early and then forcing them to wait in the bitter cold and rain, Prince is actually excluding anyone who doesn’t have the stamina to stand out for 5 hours and wait from going to his gig. I have Chronic Fatigue, if I get too cold and don’t have anywhere to sit down for several hours I get very very ill. I was in fact ill last night and am sneezing rather more than I’d appreciate the is morning.

I couldn’t just go home then come back again as I live about an hour away.

Apparently at some point in late afternoon/early evening a big corporation brought out sponsored purple umbrellas for the people who were left. Apparently Prince’s retinue provided food. Both of which were interpreted by the press and tweeters from his retinue as wonderful bountiful gestures, isn’t he being sweet to his crazy crazy fans! Fans who were only bloody there in the first place,and had only got there so early because they had been deliberately tricked!

So yeah, I hear it was a good gig, I hear that the people who actually got in really enjoyed it. However spare a thought for the at least half the queue who couldn’t cope with a 5 hour wait in the cold and had to go home, we’re not so impressed. And nor are our friends who couldn’t believe it when we told them what was happening. And it will get around. Not to mention all the people with actual jobs or who live out of London who are completely excluded from the queuing up process in the first place.

Prince may think its a cool romantic idea to put on impromptu small gigs in London with bizarre and exploitative means of getting tickets, but given he is a major international act who hasn’t visited Britain properly in 7 years, this is not the way to win fans. Its not the way to treat existing fans. In fact for anyone who isn’t Prince or doesn’t have the stamina to stand in the freezing rain on one of the coldest days of the year for 5 hours, its a complete shambles!

London Edge Part 1……overview of the trade fair.

So yesterday Gemma and I went to London Edge, an Alternative clothing trade fair held at Olympia in London.

laura and gemma outside Olympia

The obligatory selfie before the day began.

I’ve been intrigued about London Edge ever since I found out about it a year ago when a Facebook friend of mine and a blogger I follow ended up working there, and with an interest in Alternative fashion I was absolutely desperate to have a look, so I was so happy when I was given permission to blog from there this year.

I brought Gemma with me to help with the photography, and also as I am prone to getting ill at inconvenient moments so it really helps to have someone there who could take over if I was feeling flakey.

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When we arrived we signed in at the desk and collected our press passes and then were shown to the press stand where we were given a really cool big shopper bag each with some pamphlets and magazines in. We started going round the show at the back of the room because that was where the loos were, and thats where this photo was taken….

me in the hall

To be honest the show was not exactly what I expected. I have been to two trade fairs in the past, a home decoration one with my mum when I was younger and a pub one, also with Gemma, a few years ago. I expected it to be a bit more like the pub one, although the primary focus of the show is trade, they would be selling samples and there would be a lot of promotion going on. Actually, although everyone was dressed up and there was cool music playing, so there was a really good atmosphere, nothing at all was for sale and it was all very professional and business like. I felt like a complete idiot for not having a business card, I had considered getting one, but I only found out I was going about a week ago and wasn’t in a position to get one done in time. Everyone was very nice to us though and although we missed taking proper photos of a stall we really liked the look of because the staff were all occupied and we couldn’t ask permission, which was a shame, everyone else we spoke to was really happy for us to take loads of photos of their merchandise.

So we wandered up and down, annoying the stall holders, stopping to have a free shot of something or other (mine was cranberry flavoured, Gemma’s was apple)  at this awesome bar shaped like a coffin (behind us in the photo below) with a gorgeous chair with skulls on it which was sadly not for sale….

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We had lunch in Pizza Express at the corner of the hall and then watched a fashion show with clothes from  (in this order) New Rock, Bettie Page, Kreepsville 666, Phaze, One Direction – Jawbreaker and Voodoo Vixen, and Queen of Darkness.  Gemma took all these pictures…..

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Then we finished wandering round and went for a pint and a sit down before going home. In the evening we were invited to this….

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The Iron Fist launch party! I was meant to leave the house at 7pm to get there for 8 and meet Gemma there. I woke up at 7.10 having fallen asleep as soon as I got in, with Gemma texting me saying ‘Why haven’t I heard from you?’ but it took me till about 8.15 to come round properly. So Gemma ended up going on her own. 😦 I would be gutted, only I was so tired after walking round all day and a my head was a little overloaded so missing it was probably a good thing.

ANYWAY……

the bit everyone actually wants to see…..the photos we took of all next years stock from the brands…..

I was planning to do this as a couple of posts, cherry picking the best items and stuff I was most interested in into a couple of different categories (prom/wedding guest dresses, baby clothes, shoes, stuff I am intending to buy etc) however having looked at the photos. I am tempted to just do two or three big posts with all 150 or so of them, divided by brand, because 90% of them have come out brilliantly, and although I have my favourite brands and stuff, other stuff may be of interest to other people than it is to me. So what does people think? What do you actually want to see?

postscript: Massive thanks to Gemma Collins for all her help yesterday. Massive apologies for my awful awful roots, I was so busy last week and Jons working hours were a little weird so I didn’t have a day to myself to sort them out. 😦