Sunday, 26 April 2015

BT2

BT2, like its parent store, Brown Thomas, has now entered the world of online shopping. Which is awesome because you can now have a wee goo at what's in store without having to leave your bed/desk/sunny park bench.

Launched today, the younger sibling of that Irish stalwart of style presents itself in a very similar way but with a little bit of a tweak. The pure monochrome of the Brown Thomas site is brightened up with pops of accent colours and is already bedecked with info on events, labels stocked, recent and up-coming launches and a shoot set in New York that showcases some of their brands from that great city.

The site offers quick delivery of designer goodies and make-up within Ireland which means you don't have to wait in agonised expectation of a Net-a-Porter or Feel Unique order if you live on the Emerald Isle. And, for those outside the country and planning a visit, it gives you a sense of the shopping trip that awaits you with brands such as Acne, Bare Minerals, DKNY, J Brand, Mih Jeans, Philip Lim 3.1 and more available instore and online.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll get back to creeping on their site x

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Thursday, 23 April 2015

The Summer K-Pop Playlist

There's something about K-Pop that makes it perfect summer music.

The other day, I was talking to a friend and mentioned that I had gotten back into K-Pop in a major way. I'm listening to it on the bus, bopping away to it as I work and craving it when my internet connection drops. I told her that I couldn't remember the last time I'd listened to it and didn't know why I'd gone so long without it. It's perfect for good moods and motivation.

She laughed and told me to look out the window.

Of course, it's the sun. K-Pop seems to be the perfect thing to listen to the moment the weather gets better. Perhaps because it tends to have beats that make you dance in your chair. Perhaps it's the crazy-good choreography that mesmerises you. Perhaps it's the insane production value.

Either way, it gets me smiling and moving and maybe it'll do the same for you. So, I thought I'd share my chair/car-danciest picks in playlist form. Because it's been a while since I popped a playlist up here.




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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Vans x & Other Stories

In my misspent youth, I was a Converse and Doc Martens kind of girl. When I say that, I don't mean I wore them. Of course, I did wear them but it was more than that. I was devotedto them with the unquestioning, unwavering passionate loyalty only teenagers can muster. Vans, therefore, I saw as a diversion. Ridiculous, I'm aware but I felt about Vans and Converse they way some people feel about Pop and Punk or Marvel and D.C. You had to choose one altar to pray at, you couldn't dip a toe into each shoe.

Now, I have a battered old pair of Vans that are one of my default pairs of shoes. I have many, many pairs of high-top Cons, in various colours and patterns, and the trusty old Docs I crack out for gigs and festivals but both varieties of shoe require effort and time to wedge them on your feet. I've become far too lazy, and not nearly devoted enough, for things you can't slip on your feet on a regular basis.

So, you could say I'm a convert.

When I saw that Vans and (wonderful, wonderful) & Other Stories were collaborating, it was kind of magic.

It was this iconic brand, somewhat synonymous with being teenaged, getting a lesson in how to be elegant and grown up. And the results? Just charming - restrained but still fun.

The collaboration has produced three pairs of shoes, purchasable from the & Other Stories site. Two are in a pretty blushy nude leather and the other is a monochrome spotted number that's very 101 Dalmations. You can get slip-ons in the nude and spotted print and the lace-up shoe is only available in the nude.

But, really, it's the campaign images that are slaying me. I mean, trop dreamy, or what?


& Other Stories | A Co-Lab with Vans

& Other Stories | Inspiration

& Other Stories | Inspiration

& Other Stories | Inspiration

& Other Stories | Inspiration

& Other Stories | Inspiration

& Other Stories | Inspiration

& Other Stories | Inspiration

& Other Stories | On the dot

& Other Stories | Inspiration

& Other Stories | Inspiration

& Other Stories | Inspiration



What do you guys think of the collab?


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Saturday, 18 April 2015

March + April Favourites

I do believe I promised monthly Favourite posts on a more regularly basis...like, on a monthly basis...obviously. Well...heh...heh...that didn't happen. I blame procrastination. I've been making lists in my head each month like, "Oh, yeah. Damn, this needs to go in my Favourites." And then I get busy and have other posts or just get lazy. So, I'm like "I'll do the Favourites post next week." Then next week happens and the one after. Suddenly, it's the next month. And I've left it too late.

So, yeah...sorry about that.

But here I am with one again for a combination of two months. And, boy is it chuck full of good stuff as a result. Hold on to your butts, here we go.


Television.

I've been super-into a lot of shows the past two months - some new releases, some old favourites. But they've definitely overshadowed movies. I feel like I had a slump with cinema for a while there but programming has been knocking my socks right off.


Wonderfalls

Goddamn short-lived, wonderful shows.

Wonderfalls is a 13 episode long, 2004 show about a young woman named Jaye who is in her twenties and has no idea what she's doing with her life....I wonder why I related to it so much? In the show, inanimate objects start to speak to her and alter the path of her life and those of everyone around her, causing Jaye to rethink everything she thought she knew about the world. The cast is perfectly chosen, it's funny, there's some amazing/dodgy early noughties fashion and Lee Pace is in it. 'nough said, amirite?

Seriously though, it's something I remember seeing on television when it first came out but I was too young to get. Now, I see that it's kind of the less obnoxious, more charming alternative to Girls. It deals with the same themes of figuring out what you want and where you're going, love, friendship, dealing with being an adult and the changes to family dynamics that come with that. The characters are flawed and imperfect but so much more likeable, IMO.



Pushing Daisies

More noughties goodness, more Lee Pace, more of a show that should have gone on for longer.

This show is just the epitome of charming. Like, really. It follows the adventures of Ned, a pie-maker who can raise the dead (with limitations) with a touch, Chuck, his childhood sweetheart who he brought back to life, and their friends. The romance between Ned and Chuck is just...perfect, for lack of a better word. It's very sweet and the way they look at each other is beyond enviable. The whole show is quirky, dreamlike but sardonic enough to avoid being twee. I can't recommend it enough.



iZombie

Launched just this year, iZombie came to me when Gerard Way tweeted about it. It's based on a comic book and, though zombies seem like tired territory, this is a different take. It's more self-aware and less about the living dead and more about living. Again, we're talking people in their twenties figuring shit out. The main character, Liv Moore (lol), is a medical student with a nice fiancĂ© who becomes a zombie and has her whole universe turned upside down. She appears normal but has to eat brains to live and, when she does so, takes on the memories and personality of those she consumes. In her new role as a medical examiner, she begins to work with a detective to use those memories to solve murder cases. 

Basically, though, all you need to know that Rob Thomas is involved. If you liked Veronica Mars, this is probably going to make you happy.



Daredevil

I'm still not sure how I feel about Netflix's Daredevil adaptation. It's better than what we've gotten out of the character before but I'm still not sure if I'm 100% convinced...All the same, I binged on it. And Charlie Cox, who plays Daredevil, is damn easy to look at. He's always been one of the coolest of Marvel's characters in my mind - I mean, a blind superhero, come on - so I'm glad he's getting his own show. Plus, the whole thing connects in with the wider Marvel cinematic world which is rad. 

For sure, worth a watch.




Music.

The Cure

I've been binging on The Cure a lot lately. I love a lot of their less obvious songs, ones from ancient albums that are quiet and sad and so beautiful they make me ache. Anything that makes me imagine Poe scenes on cliffsides, really.




Marina and the Diamonds

The new album, Froot, is the shit. Seriously. I'm talking days and days of listening to nothing else. Or belting out the lyrics until you notice someone else has popped into the room...which is always awkward. Especially if you do it at work.





Daniela Andrade

This Youtube musician does a lot of AMAZING covers. Stick anything she has done on when you need to relax because everything she touches is beyond lovely and sweet.






Books.

When the weather gets better, I start to devour books. Usually, My activity levels stagnate in January and February and I choose more passive modes of entertainment. But, once I come out of that last period of cocooning after winter, I want to read again, to engage my brain a bit more. I grab books and start to venture out into the world again. YA fiction and old favourites, comforting things, nostalgic things, easy things, begin the process. So, I've been reading a lot of old Meg Cabot classics that I loved as a teen and still adore. I also read some YA that was new to me and which I really enjoyed, including the Abandon Series by Cabot which follows Pierce, a teen who had a near-death experience and John, king of the Underworld. It basically retells the Persephone myth in a contemporary setting. Two other YA books intrigued me recently; Holly Bourne's Soulmates, which suggests the subject-matter in the title. and Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, which takes an interesting twist on werewolf lore. Other than these books, I've also been dipping in and out of Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist, a collection of essays about being a feminist, a woman and a woman and feminist. I've really been loving it, especially as the essay format gives me time to think and work out my own feelings on the topics without being overwhelmed.



Beauty & Fashion.


Make-up


I have two major make-up loves these past two months. The first is Collection's Lasting Perfection Concealer which has been stripped of the writing on the packaging. My make-up tends to look pristine as I use it so infrequently so this is a sure sign of how much I've been using it. It's so lightweight but has great coverage for my nasty, nasty breakouts! Also, it's amazingly reasonably priced - just over a fiver!

I've also been LOVING Inglot's Freedom System Blush in the shade 125 which is peachy, pretty perfection.


Skincare and Haircare

Things I've been reaching for to keep my face and hair in check pretty much on the daily for the past two months are: Aveda's Volumizing Tonic (just a spritz at my roots to stop my hair from being too flat), Elizabeth Arden's 8 Hour Lip Balm (to keep the chapped lips at bay), Trilogy's Blemish Control Gel (to banish spots), Botanics' All Bright Hydrating Day Cream with SPF15 (for moisture and SPF in the morning at a great price point) and Mio's Boob Tube (for intense moisture and plumpness to the skin and an AMAZING scent).

Also, I'm just crazy for everything and anything made by Neom Organics - the best smelling products in the world? Perhaps.

Screenshot 2015-04-19 00.17.01


Fashion

Denim, denim, denim.

Oh, and my new selection of sunglasses from Boohoo. YES.

Denim

Screenshot 2015-04-19 00.31.30



Miscellaneous.


Cherry Blossoms

One of my favourite things. Ever. Ugh, so beautiful.

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The Hobbit Production Videos

I finally got around to watching the last Hobbit movie in March. And then I watched all the Youtube behind the scenes content I could find. Peter Jackson put up production vlogs that are fantastic and perfect before bed viewing.




Well, that's a lot that I've just thrown at you...Sorry this turned into such a monster but hopefully you'll have found it interesting/found something you like/both.

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Thursday, 16 April 2015

COS AW15

COS' AW15 collection is highly conceptual - as their collections are wont to be. Two main design threads run through; Outdoor Creativity and Mono-ha.

The former is inspired by the outdoors, as the name would suggest, and ties together the few prints present for the up-coming season, inspired by camo and bark, with pieces inspired by performance-wear. The clothes are in muted tones and woodland hues but the silhouettes are dramatic, challenging. Not for the faint of heart.

The latter jumps from a starting point in a twentieth century art movement from Japan of the same name. This section takes up more of the collection and tames the wild organic shapes of Outdoor Creativity. It combines natural and man-made fibres, steely greys and salmon and peachy tones. It is pared back, raw, minimal. It is balanced, elegant, makes a statement without needing to shout. Wools and felt abound and, in an Irish setting, one can't help but see parallels with our own traditions in knitwear and outerwear. Though the palette may be unusually light, the fabrics are completely what one would expect for AW. They are dense, durable, very much investment pieces that will serve you well for years to come.

There is both drama and calm in this collection. There are many of my favourite colours to wear. There are highly challenging pieces.

And this is why I love COS.

Their collections are like being back at fashion week. They're inspired and inspiring. They respect the high street consumer by refusing to talk down to us, by reinventing and by giving us the tools to access style normally relegated merely to the highest end.  Particularly in the case of menswear. There's a lot that is wearable. There are classics but there are also pieces that have proportions that are off, textures that are unruly.

But even while all that is going on there's room in the clothes, room to put your own stamp on it, to make it yours.

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