31 May 2012

Fashion Illustration : George Wolfe Plank

Hi again,

I have always found that fashion illustration really captures the era that the clothes are from, and the style of the illustrators help to shape the trends in fashion. George Wolfe Plank (1883-1965) was an American artist illustrator, with his work appearing in Vogue in the form of multiple covers in an Art Deco style related to that of Helen Dryden and influenced, by among others, Edmund Dulac.
Here are a few of my favorites...

Even in illustration those big sleeves are amazing. They do look a little like balloons though :)
I love the colours in this one, and the textures.
Where else would you see a woman in a floor length dress riding a white peacock?
1927 in fur and flowers

xox Niamh xox

30 May 2012

Orchid Painting

Hi all,

So, apart from sewing I also love painting. My favourite thing to paint is definitely flowers, their colours and shapes are always so inspiring to me. For my AS course work in art I decided to focus on painting flowers, working primarily in acrylics. It all culminated in my final piece which was this orchid. I had wanted to do it across three separate canvases, but instead I used one huge one (4 foot by 5 foot aprox.), and divided it up with the use of three block background colours, which fade downwards. I found the orchid particularly interesting to paint, as the central part of the flower kind of looks like a mouth. (I also found lilies really good to paint!) My paintings never have any hidden meanings or dark deep messages, they are simply what you see is what you get. And I hope you enjoy seeing them :) 

xox Niamh xox

29 May 2012

Style me Vintage : Little Navy Dress

Hi all,

Another vintage post, this dress is one in the collection of vintage items that I have. Its a knee length quite simple navy dress. It has boning in the bodice, which help it fit with a nice shape. I have to admit that the straps on it are quite far apart, and do have a tendency to fall off my shoulders when I wear it. It comes with a little lace jacket thing, to go over the top (I think that it is supposed to fasten at the back) Its got little shiny swarovski style crystals on it, which make it appropriate for evening wear.
Overall I really like this dress/outfit. I think it is quite cute and timeless.

xox Niamh xox

28 May 2012

A-Morir Sunglasses

 Hi all,

I am on the hunt for a new pair of sunglasses, I am very tempted by the Ray Ban Wayfarer, but I wanted to see what other styles are out there. Whilst searching I found A-Morir sunglasses. These are way out of my price range, by so unique and interesting looking that I had to look into them more. I have picked out a few of my favorites. Here they are...

I love this pair, the pastel colours of the flowers are so on trend, and are generally really cute. 
Very dramatic. They kind of remind me of something dame Edna might wear 
Definitely feeling the peace signs, blinged out!
Just like dream catchers!

Yay, another floral one, I think I prefer the other one, as it is slightly more subtle, but I think these ones are gorgeous!

Breakfast at Tiffanys?
For more check out their website: Click here

xox Niamh xox

27 May 2012

London Haul :)

Hi all,

Here is my haul from London. I don't normally splurge like this, but I have an excuse! I needed to refresh my wardrobe with some pieces for summer (as up till this week I have been living in jeans and boots) Everything I got will probably be worn to death, as I don't throw things out till they are falling to pieces. Here is what I got...

Toms! These natural colour crochet toms are so cute, really summery and amazingly comfortable. They are the first pair of Toms that I have ever got, and I have a feeling that they will not be the last (I am already eyeing up a pair of nautical stripe navy ones!) To start they fit quite snug, and when I took them off I had the imprint of the pattern :)

 Next (after a bit of searching) we found the Jack Wills shop in Covent Garden. They have loads of really nice things in Jack Wills right now, and its a miracle I didn't get more than I did.
These culottes are really cute. They look so much like a skirt on, without the danger of a Marilyn Monroe moment. I really love the fabric used, with the raised surface textures. And for me navy is such a practical colour, because it goes with a lot of things that I already own. 
This top is a silk and cotton blend, and the fabric feels amazing against the skin. Its so lightweight and floaty, perfect for the hot summer weather we will hopefully be getting. The back of this is really pretty, its got a little open slit with a little bow at the top of it.
A variation on the plain white t-shirt. I love the crochet open work style at the top of the t-shirt. I think it gives it a bit more interest. 100% cotton.
Here is the shirt that I got from Ralph Lauren Rugby. It makes me really happy to wear it :) Its 100% Viscose which is so soft! I absolutely love the frill of the front, which is quite understated in comparison to other shirts they sell. I also love the sleeves on this shirt, quite poofy and gathered.
The tucks on the front (which I think are more like pintucks) are also on the upper back of the shirt, giving the back an interesting look, as well as the front.
This dress is from Urban Outfitters, its 100% viscose, very floaty and lightweight. I think the floral print is very pretty, and I can see it going well with lots of other colours. Its got quite a high neckline (conservative) and its zipped up the back. The back also has elastic through around the waist to help cinch it in a bit (I think I might wear it with a skinny belt, or without)
Another dress from Urban Outfitters, this one is technically my mums, but we are going to share it. She plans on wearing it over white linen trousers, kind of tunic style, whereas I am just going to wear it on its own, paired with some gladiator sandals. Again 100% viscose (really soft!)
Thats everything I got. I haven't seen my bank statement yet (and I don't really want to!)
Hope you enjoyed :)

xox Niamh xox

26 May 2012

London Calling

Hi all,

On thursday 24th I went to London for the day. There was an underlying purpose to the trip, I had got a ticket for the Westminster Uni fashion show, which was on in the evening. My mum came with me and we did a little 'retail therapy'. I actually thought that I wasn't going to buy anything, but once I started I ended up getting a few things. (Upcoming blog post with my London haul!)
Here are a few pics giving a run through of the day: 

Homemade raspberry lemonade in Covent Garden. We hit Regent Street first, and I came up with no bags! Anthropology did tempt me with a really gorgeous orange dress, but it wasn't a perfect fit.
Covent Garden market. I swear I have never seen so many union jacks in my life!
Awkward pose! It was so hot in London, I actually felt like I was melting. Outfit: Cream tank from A&F, Grey cardigan from Hollister, Burgundy floral skirt from A&F, Brogues from Topshop, Bag from Nica, and Sunnies from Topshop 
Ralph Lauren Rugby!!!, This is the second time I have been there. The first time I went I practically died when I went in, and I declared that I wanted to die there. The clothes are amazing (particularly some of the shirts with frills) I almost died when I saw the prices (quite expensive!) But they do have a sale section, with good mark downs. I saw a really pretty dark indigo plaid shirt which had been marked down, the first time I went there, and on thursday I decided to buy it, and I love it!
 Now for the Westminster fashion show. I managed to get a really good seat. The front two rows are taken by people from the industry (I saw seating places for people from aquascutum, Matthew Williamson, and 1883 magazine to name a few!) I managed to get a seat on the third row, roughy halfway along the catwalk. I took a couple of pictures, but I only had my little digital camera with me, so they weren't up to much. I decided instead to just sit back and enjoy the experience. As my first 'real' fashion show it was amazing. There are some big names about to come out of Westminster! A couple of my favourites were Poppy Totman, Charlotte Righton, Ciara Ip and Hannah Duckworth. (well the list goes on, because they were all amazing!) I am pretty sure that Pixie Geldof was modelling, failing that someone that looks incredibly like her. One of the students had the first model in the part walk carrying a 3 week old puppy (it was sooo cute, but it kind of distracted me from the clothes!) I am also pretty sure that one of the models also walking for one of the students collections was Daphne Self. For more info on the graduates check out the Wesminster Uni website (they should be putting up the video of the show, and pictures soon!) Click here
First out, Hannah Duckworth (with some very large pointy hats!)
The final walk by the models to conclude the show.
After the show we wandered over to Piccadilly, and grabbed something to eat at the new Whole Foods store. I have never been to a Whole Foods before, so I was blown away by the selection of really tasty looking food. I decided to stick with a salad (as I had a lot of bread earlier in Covent Garden) I picked out loads of different salads from the cold bar (which you can kind of see in the picture, although the lettuce is covering most of them.) The best ones were the potato and chorizo salad, and the green beans (edamame, sugar snap...) I had some mango iced tea with it, which was amazing. This is seriously one of the best iced teas I have ever had. I also got a pot of pineapple and mixed berries, but I was so full after the salad that I couldn't manage it, so I ate it on the train home.

Hope you enjoyed (haul is yet to come!)

xox Niamh xox

25 May 2012

Pattern of the Week no. 6

Hi all,

Here we go again with another pattern of the week. This time it is.... Givenchy. This dress has quite an understated and simplistic front, with an almost drop waist skirt, and the back is quite interesting, with the gap and the two bows. If I were to make this dress I think that I would only use one bow, and maybe shorten the sleeve to make it more my style. The back is definitely my favourite part of the design.
Here it is...

Hope you enjoyed, do you like this one? What would you change about this design?  :)

xox Niamh xox

Denny Wirawan

Hi all,

Whilst flipping through the book 'Culture to Catwalk: How World Cultures Influence Fashion' by Kristen Knox, (a really great book looking at lots of different cultures, their fashion, and how their traditions have influenced and inspired other designers work) I came across a designer from Jakarta called Denny Wirawan. I was instantly captured by his designs, as they contain very strong dramatic historical links to fashions from previous decades. The large sleeves, bows, and quite british tailoring had me hooked. The collection I was looking at is the one show as part of the Dewi Fashion Knights collection, Jakarta fashion week 2009. There is something very Vivienne Westwood meets Ralph Lauren about them (with a little bit of Galliano thrown in) . The dramatic preppy look I guess. Anyway, I will definitely be hunting down more of his designs because I love them! 

xox Niamh xox

23 May 2012

Stitch by Stitch : Jacket

Hi all,

Another stitch by stitch here. This is the jacket that I made for my textiles A2 course. We really had the freedom to do anything we wanted, but we all opted for jacket (following a kind of tradition for A2) Other people on my class took a more classical approach, looking at riding jackets, jackets with fur, and country style blazers. Me on the other hand, well I decided to do a 'couture inspired' jacket. That basically meant I was going to try to make it as unique as I could (price and time restricting!) I looked at the work of John Galliano at Dior (no surprise there), and I loved the structured peplum style jackets that he had designed. I also kind of fell in love with fashion from the 1800's, particularly the later of the century. I loved some of the afternoon jackets, that were quite long in the body, fitted and had interesting beading and embroidery to enhance their dramatic shaping. So from the research I began to design (one of my favourite parts!) I have a tendency when I design to put down all of my ideas at once, into one garment, and I then have to pull them back in so its not too overwhelming on the eye.

Once I had my design sorted, and toile made next was fabric. I hunted around where I live to see if I could find any interesting wool fabrics and came up empty handed, so when in London to get the fabric for my prom dress I also got the wool fabric for the jacket, in the Berwick Street Cloth Shop. I loved this shop so much, piles of fabric everywhere, and the people serving were very helpful. My eye was drawn to a wool with a slightly brown warp, and green weft. It was so pretty that thought instantly THAT'S THE ONE! I got the darker green/brown fabric for the panels, cuffs and covered buttons.
So then I made it (sounds so easy in 4 words!) Not easy at all. My jacket was the hardest to construct out of the four in my class, and it involved some sewing when it didn't even look like a jacket! But it came out looking fine.

We always have to evaluate the project and the garment we have created, and overall I love what I made, but if I were to change it I would change the collar. It caused some problems, because I wasn't sure how big I wanted it. If I were to do it again I might make it slightly more geometric at the front, and a bit smaller.

Anyhow, if you are still with me after that long build up..Here it is....

Next doors cat photo bombed!
Back view, you can kind of see the embroidery along the edge of the contrast panel (also on the cuff edge)
Big poofy sleeve, pulled in at the cuff, with a row of buttons and rouleau loops.

Hope you enjoyed :)

xox Niamh xox

22 May 2012

Versatile Blogger Award. YAY

Hi all,

Today I got nominated for Versatile Blogger by Tania aka taniareveals.blogspot.co.uk. I am so grateful for being nominated, and that people are taking time out of their day to look at my little blog.

So following the rules of the nomination I now have to say 7 random facts about myself, and also nominate 15 bloggers. Here goes...

7 Random Facts:

- I am an only child
- I used to want to be an archeologist and a circus performer when I was younger
- I have never broken a bone in my body (touch wood)
- I only eat jelly when I am ill
- I am OCD organized!
- I love traveling
- I 'acidentally' set of the fire alarm in my school when I was in year 7

Bloggers I nominate:


I haven't been blogging for long, so I couldn't come up with 15. These are ones that I have been following, and loving. If you have any suggestions for blogs for me to check out please leave them in the comments.

Thanks again to Tania for nominating me for this award. I am very happy about it :)

xox Niamh xox

Periodic Table Cake

Hi all,

In celebration of my last ever chemistry lesson, I made a cake. Not just any cake, this was a periodic table of the elements cake (or an abstract take on it) I made a carrot cake using a recipe from Avoca (any cooks or bakers out there, check these books out.. they are amazing) I iced it with a cream cheese frosting, but the fun part was the little squares of icing which I made, coloured to pink, green, blue and purple with black icing to pipe the letters. I stuck them to the cake so they were in a nice colour arrangement (the initial idea of putting the entire periodic table on a cake didn't happen, because I don't have a big enough cake tin, and there are only three people in my chemistry class.)
I iced the cake the night before, and when I saw it in the morning I found that the little squares had bled their colour a little, which was fine (okay it did bug me a bit, cause I am a perfectionist!)
Anyway it tasted really good, and the rest of the science department had devoured it by lunch, here it is...

xox Niamh xox

21 May 2012

Chanel Pre Spring-Summer 2013 OMG

Hi all,

I was having a quick look at vogue.com when I saw the chanel cruise collection pictures had been put online. I am normally not a huge fan of the pre collections, I like it when designers stick to the 4 seasons, but this time my mind was changed. The whole collection carries with it the essential chanel feel, but combined with a slightly more laid back feel, a definite holiday vibe. I have picked out a few of my favorites...

This one is so pretty, I love the contrast between the floral detail and the more geometric shapes in the skirt.

Yes, anything with frills! LOVE the front of this, and the sleeves.

Just love the colour of this one. Sticking to the traditional Chanel fabrics.

Absolutely love these shorts, the frills exposed at the sides make them look very feminine and yet bold at the same time.
xox Niamh xox