Friday, 24 December 2010

I got myself a decent camera!

I finally bit the bullet recently and got myself a digital SLR camera!

It's a Sony Alpha A390 with a 'super-zoom' lens. It cost me a pretty penny but I'm pleased with it to say the least.

Shooting at a very grubby mirror wasn't all that effective
I didn't just get the camera for my blogging however; I've found that in my journalistic endeavours, lots of publications prefer you to take your own pictures, and these of course need to be of print quality- which my little Nikon (which I've lost anyway!) just wasn't fulfilling.

I also got this gorgeous vintage camera case from ebay.




Funnily enough, I actually bought this before I got the actual camera! I was having a browse at camera prices on ebay and typed in 'SLR camera' and this beauty popped up first in the listings with less than 5 minutes left.

I tend to get a bit impulsive on ebay and bought it regardless of not yet owning a camera for it to house! It was only around £5 and I'm so pleased I got it.

I haven't had that much opportunity to mess around with it yet, but here are a few pictures I took in the snow now I'm back in Yorkshire.

The view of Pen-y-ghent (one of the 3 peaks) from my house
My super-cute dog, who hates going out in the cold!
These are unedited as I haven't had the chance (or the effort) to install photoshop yet.

If you'd like to see the others I took, feel free to check out my Flickr photostream here.

Expect higher quality images on my blog from now on! (I've had a bash at altering the width to accommodate bigger pictures- did you notice?)

P.S

If you haven't already, and you're a female aged 18-30, please please please would you do me a massive favour and complete this short survey about fashion magazines? I promise that it doesn't take longer than 5 minutes and you'd be helping out a very grateful student :) T'is the season to be jolly and all!

Hope everyone has a fab Christmas-day tomorrow!

Foxy
x
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Thursday, 23 December 2010

The Clothes Show Live: what I bought

So as I mentioned in the previous post, I was delighted to spot the fantastic Blue Rinse at the Clothes Show.

The thing that caught my eye first was a rack of re-worked vintage playsuits in amazing patterns and colours. I'd like to say that I was really drawn to this one:


But to tell the truth I could've bought about 10! Most of the ones I liked were navy blue so I picked this one as it was one of the few black ones, and black goes with most things I own.

I absolutely love the print and it fits great, despite none of them being sized; swiftly trying it on in the toliets over my shirt and leggings was all I had to go off!

The waist is elasticated, as is the top- finally, a playsuit which isn't too much hassle to get on and off during toilet trips on a drunken night out!



It was a little pricey for me at £25, but what can I say, I fell in love!

I'll try and post a picture of me wearing it at some point.

The 'Manhattan Vintage Jewellery' stall was one of my favourites too (I did have a picture, but my laptop blowing up on me again means I can't really access it!)

For me, it really stood out from the other jewellery stalls, which were mostly vintage-style jewellery. These stalls were fairly samey and I'm always reluctant to fork out £12 for a plain necklace with a charm on the end- I know how easy these are to make (indulged in a little jewellery making myself for awhile)

This 'K' necklace caught my eye immediately- I'm a bit obsessed with name necklaces! I also picked up something for a present too.


And... that was pretty much all I bought because I'm fairly brassic en ce moment! (okay, and Company magazine and some Tigi hair products)

I also forgot to mention something else of interest- the Clothes Show's new 'Sknitch' zone! I may do another post on this. I had some pictures but as I mentioned, they're on my laptop which has decided to fail on me one too many times!

Foxy x
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Sunday, 19 December 2010

The Clothes Show Live: what I thought

Wow, I've been neglecting my blog a little recently- sorry! To be truthful, I've had a lot on recently, mostly end of term deadlines and such like. And further apologies if this happens again sporadically throughout the coming year. I'm a third year university student now don'tcha know, and I've got a dissertation to write, a project to create as well as exams and all the trimmings; though I'll do my best to keep up with this little area of the world wide web!

Anyway, I managed to wangle myself a press pass to the opening day of the national Clothes Show Live, held at Birmingham's NEC earlier this month.

I have to say, I wasn't all that impressed. The clothes in the retail section were much the same as previous years; though there were less stalls and the dubious market stall-esque section seemed to have grown a bit; too many diamantes for my liking.

The main bulk of the vintage offerings were to be found at 'Anita's Vintage Fair', which I recall was there last year. This section was great and the prices weren't too bad either.

Jewellery at Anita's Vintage Fair




Alongside Anita's Vintage Fair was Urban Village of Birmingham (who I've just noticed have a snazzy new website)- always nice to see familiar faces, and I was very very pleased to spot the Blue Rinse stand.

Blue Rinse is one of my all-time favourite shops and originates from Leeds, so I've always had a bit of a soft spot for it.

I bought something from their re-worked range, but I'll talk about that another time.

The beauty zone was the same old thing too, but there were some good offers to be had. Brands like Barry M, Model's Own, Eyeko and Bourjois had some great deals.

I didn't really know what to make of the show itself. It was good, but definitely no better than those of the previous years. Perhaps I'm used to their little gimmicks; the male models in their pants, "everyone scream to win a goody bag", an unheard of band singing their debut single- the next big thing apparently? It was all too familiar.

These little things grated on me a bit during the show. I've heard the stories about the ripped-beyond-belief models being completely up their own arses and reluctant to talk to anyone backstage; and I now wince at the women who enthusiastically jump out of their seat, run around the arena screaming and practically stripping off to grab ...'s (insert 'best' celebrity available on the Clothes Show's budget- in this case Gok Wan, which wasn't bad, admittedly) attention so that they might just grab themselves a 'goody bag'- wow.

A bit of impromptu entertainment arose when the power went out around 10 minutes into the show; it was certainly amusing to watch the show's lackeys running around like headless chickens, shouting away into their walkie talkies. Eventually Gok was wheeled out, who sounded like an introverted mouse to the massive audience as his microphone wasn't working; after a while, the male model cartel bundled onto the stage, half naked and wielding, yes, more goody bags- it kept the majority of the audience happy for awhile anyway.

Bear in mind too that this was only the second show of the whole event!

The fashion aspect of the show was pretty good, some good outfits (though I'm not convinced that they were as high fashion as last year) and a bit of dancing was thrown in for good measure. The theme was 'night at the movies' and some of the backdrops were a bit sorry-looking if I'm honest.

Horror- one of the more impressive scenes


Finale
All in all, a good day- for free. I also heard a little rumour that the show's days at Birmingham are numbered and that the plan is to shift it to London permanently. I can't say I'll be sorry to see it go, as I'll probably be leaving Birmingham, my second home, after finishing my course in the new year. Sniff.

Oh and as I mentioned above, I'll do a post soon on the few things I bought at the show, plus another very exciting purchase I made recently!

Foxy
x
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Thursday, 2 December 2010

"This is the modern world"

On Sunday, mummy and daddy Fox came to visit Birmingham- handily corresponding with the day I needed a lift back down from North Yorkshire.

My mum is always drawn in by the shopping that Birmingham has to offer (a stark contrast to the single village shop of the area I'm from).

My Dad however, had different ideas and had planned to go to a scooter parts fair in Kings Heath. He was a mod in the 70s at the time of the revival and has firmly got back into scooters since buying another Lambretta a year or so ago.

I love the mod subculture and find anything associated with it immediately interesting. It goes without saying that I'd rather have accompanied him to the parts fair, however boring that may sound to most people, than have yet another day shopping in Birmingham.

So off we went to the Cocks Moors Woods leisure centre on Alcester road. Firstly can I say, what an amazing leisure centre! It looked like Disney Land compared to the council one I used to go to the gym at in Perry Barr! That's Perry Barr for you I guess.

I couldn't believe that it cost £4 each to get into the fair; though it was bigger than I expected.

I'd so love my own scooter. Shame I can't even afford a new car.

Think I should get myself an old army parka to cover in these

A bit of clothing on sale at the fair

Some mod-style shirts for sale
I was pleased to find a bit of clothing for sale at the fair. A few stalls held some small rails of secondhand clothing for me to root through- so I wasn't short of something to do whilst my dad looked at exhausts and rusty whatnots.

I found old Ben Sherman, Fred Perry, Levi's and more. There were a few pairs of vintage shoes too; though pretty much all of the clothes and stuff were mens'.

Luckily, I'm not adverse to a bit of masculine dressing and came away with this great old Ben Sherman shirt for a mere £5.

(Bear in mind that hair, makeup and general appearance were seriously lacking at the point these were taken!)


Suddenly aware of a big spot on my chin and decided I wouldn't risk smashing the camera lens
The shirt is almost denim-like; it's thick, pale blue cotton. I love!

Looks quite an old one going off the label.


Side pocket label
I also aquired this black mohair cardigan over the weekend. My mum was going to throw it out, can you imagine!

You can't see it very well here but it's really chunky and warm- just what I've been looking for.

It's old Next. Again, the label on it looks pretty old.


You may notice some black mohair threads on the pictures of the above shirt- that's what they are, not cathair as you may think!

I'll leave you with a picture of my dad's Lambretta...


and his old one from back in the day too.


Foxy
x
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Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Yet another dress

On Saturday I managed to get the right weekend to go back home for my friend's birthday party.

Having arrived at Lancaster train station with a bit of time to kill before the event, I decided to call in at a vintage place I'd heard about.

- For anyone who knows Lancaster, the place concerned is just down the road from the train station and near the Waterstones. It's held in the Assembly Rooms on King Street if you know the roads well.

I wasn't particularly happy with the dress I'd bought in blind panic (it wasn't very me), so I was kind of hoping to find something perfect at the last minute- and I did.

I was honestly really impressed with the Assembly Rooms market. I often moan about a lack of vintage shops and events in my area (my original area that is) and this was so good I can't believe I was unaware of it up until a few weeks ago.

(picture quality isn't great on these, still missing my camera. Pink Nikon- send it my way if you see it!)


The market is like a mini vintage flea. Upon walking in, I was hit by its eccentricity and unorganisedness; everything is cluttered together like an overcrowded jumble sale. I thought the prices might reflect this somewhat but it seemed not. The prices were reasonable on the whole, just not bargain basement as I'd hoped.

I found a gorgeous black velvet mini dress, tinged with blue (I promise it was nicer than it sounds!) at the stall above, though sadly it was too tight.

Whilst moseying off to the toilets to try the depressingly small frock on, I found another room around the corner.



This room is like an Aladdin's cave of vintage. I can't begin to tell you how rammed this little area was with racks of cloths; not to mention all those adorning every inch of the walls (and possibly the ceiling- didn't think to look up!).

The room has one downfall though- its owner. The person I was faced with was possibly the most eccentric (not in a good way either) oddball I've come across in some time.

I wish I'd got a picture; though I think your imagination might work just as well. He was wearing a brown Crocodile Dundee-esque hat, a red woolly sweater vest and had very few yellow teeth.

I spotted a great dress in his bizarre boutique- a short green velvet number with black lace sleeves and back panel with awesome peaked shoulders; unfortunately this was too tight too (nb: News Year's diet on the cards?!).

I went to try this dress on in the toilets with the other I had, though he kept insisting that I should try it on in the corner and use his makeshift curtain (apparently he likes to see the outfits on so that he can use his fashion expertise to suggest other items- he wasn't convincing me with that ensemble he had on himself). I was apprehensive to say the least due to extensive experience with impromptu changing rooms swiftly erected with cardboard and stallholder's backs at vintage fairs.

On my return from the toilets I dug out another dress from a huge pile of evening dresses. This was a great find: a black velvet cocktail dress with a lace top. What's more, I knew it would fit too as looking at the label told me that it was most probably 80s Twilight by Monsoon- the very same as the first dress I bought from ebay which was too small; though this one was a size bigger.

I asked the price before trying and the guy said that as the one I'd brought in from the other stall was only £15, he would lower the price to around £20-25.

I eventually agreed to try it on in the unappealing corner and stepped out to have it zipped up by my mum, who was tagging along. I was having a good look in the mirror when she said that she thought she could smell burning. The man suddenly rushed into the cordoned off area to bring out my black faux fur coat, smelling like BBQ'd hair.

Seems I'd chucked it onto an old fan heater on the floor in there hidden amongst the masses of clothes! The damage had been done and I'd singed a big line in the back of the coat. "It's ruined!" I exclaimed. Truth be told, I wasn't too fussed. The coat had only cost £3 and the mark was barely noticeable anyway with the coat being black.

After my mum near enough said that she should get health and safety down there (nothing like my mum for overreacting) he agreed to give me the dress for a tenner- result!

The dress is really gorgeous. The whole thing's velvet with the lace covering the top part.

You can see the bustier part underneath
Attention is drawn to the waist with the ruched velvet band underneath the lace.


Quick one of the label
Thought I'd best post one of me in the dress on Saturday night. It's definately more me; I think I'm most comfortable in black.

This was taken by my mum before I left. My face looks a bit strange for some reason so forgive that. I also took the fascinator off just after this because I thought it looked a bit like funeral attire!

Hopefully some better pictures will start appearing on good old Facebook soon; I'll try and get hold of some pics of my fave vintage outfits posted too.

Much love,

Foxy
x
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Friday, 26 November 2010

Beautiful readers! Please help!

This post is a bit of a cheeky appeal for you guys to help with my very exciting third year uni project- you wouldn't want me to fail would you?!

I am basically planning to produce a national contemporary ‘craft’ magazine focussed mainly around fashion. The magazine will uphold the values of money saving, recycling, creativity and individuality. I will call the publication, 'Trashion'.

What I'd like you, my marvelous readers, to do is to help by completing a very short survey as part of my research.


The survey is for females aged 18-30, but don't be too disheartened if this does not include you. This is just my target audience for the magazine and does not in anyway mean that I would not value your opinion.

To reiterate this point, I read many blogs by writers outside of this age range and regard them as just as fashionable, interesting and inspirational as the next.


I'd love for everyone to enjoy my final product, which may be, but I must have a target audience in mind when creating my project and unfortuately, that targeted group cannot be too broad.


If you are a female aged 18-30 and interested in fashion in any way (that may be high/designer, high street, vintage, secondhand, thrift etc.) or crafting (sewing, knitting, customising, making things...) or both! Then please consider helping out a poor student and complete this quick survey.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.
I've attempted to embed it above, but it may be a bit annoying as you have to scroll across to view its entire width. If in doubt, here's a link.

I'd love your feedback on the magazine- the concept, the name- anything!

If you'd like to know more about it then feel free to contact me on the magazine's official email address: trashionmag@gmail.com

Thanks in advance my loves.

Foxy
x
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Monday, 22 November 2010

I'd forget my head if it wasn't attached to my neck...

As I've been talking about for a while, I was going to party over the weekend- or so I thought.

Yes, the bash I was so looking forward to wasn't on; why? Horrific weather? A tragic accident? Nope, I'd got the bloody date wrong.

Turns out it's happening this coming Saturday; not sure how I missed that after reading the invitation at least five times.

Luckily, it seems an angel from work has agreed to save my life and cover my shift this week, so my little mistake should be rectified.

Seeing as I had advance train tickets that couldn't be refunded I thought I may as well have a nice little weekend in Yorkshire.

There wasn't much going on (just for a change), but a quick look at the local rag revealed that there was some music fair on at the nearby town we'd planned on visiting.

So off me and the boyf popped to Skipton.

We wandered into the town hall aimlessly, strolling past the admissions desk without paying (sorry, genuinely didn't see it). I enjoyed the fact that there was a 'student' price for admission, even though there's probably no more than ten in the area.

There was a lot of vinyl at great prices. There were boxfulls of records for just 50p!



I picked up these two Blondie 7" singles for just £1 each.




Backs of the singles. This one has 'Die Young Stay Pretty' as the B side- one of my faves!



Shamefully, I don't have a record player (not in use anyway) but I bought them mainly for the sleeves- and of course the fact that I love Blondie!

I thought they might be nice to frame; though I wasn't very impressed that the Atomic single had been written on!


I of course found the time to have a quick nosey in a charity shop, just after my cinnamon latte at the new Costa ( a bit of a sore point with some locals!).

I was lucky enough to pick up this amazing gold picture frame from the St. Martin's Children's hospice shop for a mere £2!

It came with this embroidered, rather grand looking French chap, who I initally thought was old Willy Shakespeare before my fella quickly dismissed my suggestion- shows what I know!

I don't know how I'm going to get him out though, as the frame is held together with nails! Which I didn't notice in the shop.

Wholly bargainous though, as peeling back the price sticker revealed that the frame was initially on sale there for £10. The frame is really great quality too- the label on the back shows that it originally came from a bygone local picture framing shop.


I plan on framing my new (but old) French fashion magazine. Though the frame's a little big for it.

I might do what I did with this other charity-shopped frame which was too big for its intended photo.


I think it really adds character to this otherwise dull picture of me and the fella in formal attire! I used some gorgeous textured wrapping paper from Paperchase, which was expensive at £2 a sheet, but I had some left over.

Chris, who hates charity shopping with me, was chuffed to pick up a working 1998 Nintendo Gameboy Colour with a game for £5 in the St. Martin's Childrens' Hospice shop too; it certainly kept him quiet on the train for a bit!

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