Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Vintage Style: Christmas Jumpers

Just a quick post before Christmas and I’ll be back in the New Year.

After a brief resurgence of the Fair Isle jumper last winter it seems that the British Public have truly embraced the jumper this year!

From vintage hand knitted wonders to Primark Fair Isle replicas they come in all shapes and sizes. Even I have one! Although at the time of writing this post I don’t have access to a photo of it :(

Here’s a picture of me with some Fair Isle earmuffs on the Eiffel Tower last December (it was very very cold!):

Initially booming in the late 80s and early 90s the heavily patterned jumper always had an element of the ‘geek chic’ about it. I remember having jumpers as a kid with faces of cartoon characters, snowmen and even the odd reindeer on them but the current resurgence is not just for kids and Noel Edmonds!

Not a Christmas jumper, but close enough...
Several Brighton shops have championed the patterned jumper such as Ju-Ju and student favourite Dirty Harry.

With this ease of availability the young hipster kids in their vintage jumpers have helped to bring the Christmas Jumper back as a fashion staple this year, but the current economic status, the increase in hand-me-downs and the boom of vintage have all contributed to the rise of the patterned jumper.

Hipsters! Image source
They have been in the media for many years though, possibly most famously in the movie 'Bridget Jones' Diary' where Mr. Darcy is seen for the first time wearing a reindeer jumper.

Even the BBC have caught the trend with their latest Christmas ident displaying a knitted reindeer and their Christmas feature advert showing their biggest stars this year all wearing Christmas jumpers and singing in a festive house.

BBC cast form their 2011 christmas advert: Christmas Jumpers!
Even current Doctor Who Matt Smith gets in on the action... with a Cyberman:

I even managed to catch a glimpse of Marge Simpson wearing a Christmas jumper in this festive edition of the Simpsons!

Ironically the one person not wearing a Christmas jumper this year is Noel, who seems to have opted for the safe suit in his latest Christmas specials- it would seem he is just destined to be out of style :(

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Vintage Events: A Collectif Party

After an exhausting day packaging my brother onto a train back home for Christmas I decided to stop by the new Collectif London opening party at Old Spitalfields Market. A perfect location for the 50s style shop with its frequent vintage fairs and proximity to the thrift shops of Brick lane.

Spitalfields market
I have been a fan of Collectif ever since I stumbled upon their shop in Camden market a few years ago.

I’m not sure the clothing can be considered vintage reproduction as the measurements and sizes are not vintage (like say Vivien f Holloway) so when you try on a size 12, it really is a size 12. But the styles are certainly rockabilly and vintage 1950s inspired even if the colours and styles are somewhat exaggerated. But I really do love the over the top style!

I particularly like their doll dresses as they give you a great swing and they have a longer length to maintain your dignity even while doing an American Spin.
(A small word of caution when ordering online, their sizes are very variable so make sure you check their measurements!)

The party at the market was a fun event with music playing, pinup clientele and a sip of Sailor Jerry’s.

Folks in the party mood
Rails of the lovely dresses
There was also a pop up pin-up photo booth and make up service provided by Rockabetty Studios. They were able to provide ladies with the vintage look in no time and their photographer was downstairs to take photos in the lovely dresses.

Creating the vintage look...
...then capturing it on film
I have had my eye on the Tammy dress in navy for some time, however they only had the red available for me to try on.

Tammy dress in red
Although it was very nice, I do have several similar red dresses like this, so I will probably be ordering the navy version from their online store.

Collectif have also recently branched out in to winter dresses made of velvet, like the Trina. Although I am not typically a fan of this look, the shape of this dress is just so flattering! Sadly they didn’t have the dress in my size either… but at least I can order online!

Trina dress in sky... and a size too small :(
All in all it was a fun event, I wish I had arrived a little earlier so there wasn’t such a big queue for a photo session. Who knows, maybe I will have my own done some time?

P.S. I'd also like to mention the Lego Christmas tree in St. Pancras station. It was pretty cool!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Cosplay Costumes: A Purr-Fect Catwoman Costume?

As you may have previously read I attended the London MCM Expo over the Halloween weekend this year. Although I have already reported on one of my costumes here and I thought it was time to tell you about the other.
As it was Halloween weekend I thought something slightly themely was in order, and as I am apparently on a secret mission to see just how many times I can adapt and modify the same catsuit, Catwoman seemed like an inspired choice. After all, I am certainly not the first, nor will I be the last person to dress as a black cat on Halloween.

Miranda and Carrie from Sex and the City

As Miranda from Sex and the City says:
'The only two choices for women; witch and sexy kitten.'

It was at this point that the really tough decision had to be made: which catwoman?

The timely appearance of photographs of Anne Hathaway from the set of The Dark Knight Rises and their striking resemblance to the 60s catwoman portrayal by Julie Newmar that made this decision easier for me (I even wrote about it here). Well that and the fact I didn’t feel I would suit the pixi crop as seen in the Catwoman comics...

Can anyone else feel the retro vibe here?
As I already had most of the costume,  I begain by buying the ears. They were a little larger than the typical cat ears, but I wanted big hair as befitting of a 60s legend so the size of the ears would have to compensate for the size of the hair.

The waves were achieved by rolling my hair under the black canary wig the day before and then brushing them out in the morning, I then parted the hair so I could have a small beehive at the back, but could still pull the front sections over the headband to make the ears look more ‘natural’.
For once the make up was straightforward, I used a basic tinted moisturiser base with a small amount of blush, then simple 60s lined eyes and pale lips.

Here is the final look:

I felt the look was fairly successful, but perhaps not as much as Black Canary the day before. I saw several other Catwomen on the day, but none were 60s style so I was pleased with that!

Overall the day was great, I felt much happier being part of the fancy dress crowd than when I had visited the expo in May (read about that here)- perhaps I’m just getting a little more daring about these things :D

There were a few exciting panels, in particular a session with Gail Simone who told us about how she got into writing comics, some of her projects, old and new, and answered some really tough fan questions about the DCnU!

I was also lucky enough to try Mario 3DS and Luigis mansion 2 at the Nintendo unleashed stand. From what I managed to play, I’d say both come highly recommended!
The folks at Nintendo unleashed were also giving away a little special something in honour of the release and success of Ocarina of time on 3ds- A real working ocarina! And believe me I have been playing mine almost every day since I opened the packet.

What was the first thing I played? Well… after warming up with a little row row row your boat, I launched straight into the Stargate SG1 theme tune :D

All I can say is do I feel a little bit of Lady Link cosplay coming on?

I’ve had a few ideas for further costumes I’d like to have a go at, but sadly the comic cons are over for me until the new year. I am hoping to attend one in February though, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

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