October 28, 2011

Hallowe'en 2011 - Sexy Unicorn Costume (But Not How I Envisioned It!)

Ah, even the best laid plans can run afoul of reality! Due to a lack of cash and the necessary tools, I had to make some major changes to my plans for being a unicorn. I love dressing up for Hallowe'en, and I love making costumes. I DON'T love being too poor to realize my vision! So I had to get creative.

October 23, 2011

Fashion For Real - 10/23/11

All the research I've been doing for my next DIY Distraction post has me all spangle-eyed! I couldn't help but wear the most sparkly top in my collection to work last night :D I really wish the lighting in the bathroom was less yellow, but being the cheapskate I am, I'll stick with lightbulbs from the Dollarama.

Handmade sequined/beaded top - vintage (unknown provenance) - $15 @ Northern Bargains in KL
Calvin Klein Jeans - thrifted (~1999)
Black leather Chuck Taylor style non-slip shoes - Shoes For Crews - $55 (2010)

Single brass hoop earring - found on a sidewalk in Sudbury
Chinese brass bangle - $5 at a shop in Sudbury
Black hinged watch - Louis Arden - 2/$10 deal at Ardene in Kirkland Lake

Avon True Color monoshadow in both citrine and turquoise
Avon In a Blink Liner Shadow Pencil in onyx
Sephora colorful mono eyeshadow in aspen summit no. 23

October 22, 2011

Fashion For Real - 10/22/2001

I love my job! I dance around like an idiot all weekend and ply people with drinks! Plus, I have an excuse to pretty myself up. My nails are looking so nice lately, don't you think?

Hot pink keyhole-back dolman-sleeve tunic - Seduction - $25 @ Sirens (~2007)
Silver Jeans "Kyle" - ~$70 @ Pantorama in Sudbury (~2007)
Black leather Chuck Taylor style non-slip shoes - Shoes For Crews - $55 (2010)

Black/pink/purple stretch bracelet - vintage 80s - $2 @ Salvation Army in Kirkland Lake
Black hinged watch - Louis Arden - 2/$10 deal at Ardene in Kirkland Lake
Silver hinged bangle (minus the matching watch) - 2/$10 deal at Ardene in Sudbury (~2006)
Black wood circle earring (one of two) - 5/$10 deal at Ardene in Sudbury (~2006)
Black metal drop earring (one of two) - vintage 80s - $2 at Value Village in Sudbury (~2006)

Ardene eyeshadow pallette in pastel metallics
Avon In a Blink Liner Shadow Pencil in onyx
Sephora colorful mono eyeshadow in aspen summit no. 23

October 20, 2011


Vintage Sequin Collection - Plenty of Colour

Ooooh, I'm such a magpie! I love all things shiny, sparkly, metallic! Which is why I'm LOVING one of this coming year's big trends: sequins! Sequin embellishment has fallen in and out of fashion-favour since... Well, since sequins were invented. I learned in an anthropology class that many aboriginal peoples in North America used sturgeon and pike scales to decorate their clothing and possessions, and this usage was likely common around the world. There are a few fashion-fabricators that still use fish scales as sequins. Just look how pretty this trout is! Yes, yes, trout don't have proper scales, but they're amazingly iridescent and clearly illustrate the potential beauty of sequins.

Trout caught by my boyfriend's father last winter. It was stuffed with lemon-pepper rice and baked.
So why are sequins so awesome for FW'11 into SS'12? Well, for one, Dolce & Gabbana are among my heroes:

October 18, 2011

Fashion For Real - 10/18/11

I had a job interview today! And if there's one thing you'll hear from job search advisers over and over, it's that you should always err on the side of OVER-dressing, rather than under-dressing. Sure, the job opening is for a sales rep at Hart (a discount department store), but still, I wanted to look like I was serious. Forgive my messed up hair, as I ran a bunch of errands afterwards.

Cotton crop-sleeve blazer - Cartise Sport - $80 at a boutique in Sudbury (~2003)
Cotton eyelet blouse - George - thrifted by Mom
Calvin Klein Jeans - thrifted (~1999)
Comfy running shoes for walking across town - Asics - $200 at SportCheck in Sudbury (~2004)
Seiko self-winding watch - vintage (inherited from maternal grandfather)
Mexican 950 silver and onyx fan-style necklace - vintage (inherited from paternal grandmother)

Sephora mascara lash plumper
Avon Healthy Makeup Lipstick SPF15 in Pink Light

October 13, 2011

Meta-Fashion: Black Zebra Victorian Top

Want to see what I've been working on? It's Victorian-inspired, involves lace, zebra print, and it's nice and stretchy! Here's my latest long-sleeve top in my workroom:

I LOVE this zebra fabric! This version is grey with black zebra print. The shoulder-to-shoulder yoke is made of black and silver floral lace fabric with a black lace trim. The full length sleeves are puffed at the shoulders with little pleats. All the hems are double-stitched. Size medium, to give a body-skimming fit for 34 to 36 inch bust. I'm almost done a short-sleeve version in the same size. Both will soon be available on Binary Catfish Meta-Fashion!

DIY Distraction: Sheer & Mesh & Lace, Oh My!

If there's one thing I love about the sheer/mesh/lace trend, it's when these materials are used as accents. Even better when you can see through to the luscious skin beneath! A sewing machine goes a long way towards facilitating all your DIY dreams, but as long as you own scissors and can hand-sew,  your dreams are within reach!

Laia of GeometricSleep doesn't know who owns this photo, but  it's a great example!

October 11, 2011

Fashion For Real - 10/11/11

I went out with my hunny to run some errands and decided to spiffy up! No time to apply make-up or do my hair, so I just threw it in a chignon and wrapped a faux-hair scrunchie around it. Thanks for the photos, love!

Mid-90s rayon jacquard blazer - Michael K. & Company - thrifted on a $5-bag-day
Early- to mid-90s polyester pintucked blouse - Overnight - thrifted on a $5-bag-day
Silver Jeans "Monica Skinny" - ~$65 in 2007 from Pantorama
Fioni black pleather peeptoe shoebooties - ~$30 in 2009 from Payless Shoe Source

Yeah, I'm pretty cheap when it comes to my clothes! I tend to take reeeeeally good care of everything, though, so even mediocre quality items tend to last me a long time. I seriously prefer vintage clothing, as they've already withstood the test of time. Want to know why my 4 year old jeans still look great? I wash them on cold and hang to dry!!!!

DIY Distraction: Cut It Out!

The trick with baring skin is knowing when to stop. A glimpse of some sensual curve is a classy way to showcase your femininity. From there, you can go in a LOT of different directions! Heck, you don't even have to bare SKIN, just something underneath the outer layer, like an onion with a window in it. Effective layering (for fashion, not warmth!) relies on the ability to see the progressive layers, and cutouts are a great way to achieve this effect. Today's DIY compilation-of-inspiration:

The Shoulder Cut-Out

DIY Cutout Shoulder Shirt - A Pair and a Spare

October 10, 2011

Apocalyptic Swap: Sent!

Like usual, I "procraftinated" and did the most work during the last week of the swap! So what did I send my partner? Here's a sneak peek:

The largest item, and one of the medium items, was made from an old London Fog trench coat. This coat has a long history! It belonged to my boyfriend's favourite aunt who died of cancer many years ago. His brother adopted it and wore it until a tragic accident ripped it from hem to pocket on the front. It languished on the back side of the butler for who knows how long! When said brother finally decided to go through his old jackets, I adopted the worst damaged to take off the fasteners (buttons, zippers, etc). And now that worse-for-wear trench has a new life as TWO pieces of steampunk apparel!

As for the rest, the goodies include new and vintage lace, new and vintage buttons, a vintage zipper, wire, chain, suede leather, a feather, a rock, an acorn and a fluffy cloud of polyester yumminess.

DIY Distraction: Skull Cut-Out Tee

In an endeavor to blog daily, here's a cool and easy DIY that just takes patience and a boring old shirt!

Pleasure Principle - Laser Cut Skull - $115

October 9, 2011

Fashion For Real - 08/11/11

Let me introduce to you my first real "What I Wore" post! I chose Fashion For Real as the title because I want to show how easy it is to look chic in real life with very simple, small things.

I've been working as a shooter girl for a few weeks, and it's quite a lot of fun! I have an excuse to dress up, wear make-up and jewellery, and I dance all weekend! Here's what I wore to work today:

Generic beige v-neck shirt - $2 @ yard sale
DISH dark-wash skinny jeans - ~$65 in 2007 from Pantorama
Black and bronze running shoes - Top Tech - ~$55 in 2008 from POP Shoes

Brass Chinese bangle - $5
Vintage double-strand pearl bracelet - thrifted aaaages ago
DKNY mesh-band watch - $7 @ auction

Avon Color Dazzlers Glittering Eyeshadow in Bronze
Ardene eyeshadow in sparkly brown and gold
Avon In a Blink Liner Shadow Pencil in onyx
Sephora colorful mono eyeshadow in aspen summit no. 23

October 5, 2011

Assemblage; Statement Necklaces on the Cheap

After discovering arm parties and twisted multi-strand assemblage necklaces earlier this year, I stewed about the aesthetic for quite some time. Well, I finally did it! I've been wearing arm parties on a regular basis for almost 2 months (check out the arm parties on Bloggers Do It Better!), but here are the two (in my opinion) fabulous assemblage necklaces I've worn so far (and an arm party!), made from jewellery I already own. No tools or special jewellery-making stuff required!

Big red bead necklace (thrifted, '80s)
Black w/ red and gold paint splatter necklace (thrifted, '80s)
Chili pepper charm on twisted-link chain (thrifted, pre-'95)

Double-strand faux pearl necklace with rose-motif clasp (thrifted, '50s)
Four-strand faux pearls on "antique bronze" chain necklace (Ardene, <$5)
Sterling and ceramic Victorian-revival brooch (thrifted, provenance unknown)

Mexican brass open bangle, tourist piece (thrifted, provenance unknown)
Double-strand faux pearl open bangle (thrifted, provenance unknown)
Brass bangle made in China (<$5)

See what I meant by cheap? Each assemblage necklace cost less than $15! I was at the Hobby Shoppe downtown today and noticed that the lovely proprietress, Judy, carries strands of faux pearls! It's tempting to get some jewellery supplies (like crimp beads and clasps) and make a few proper assemblage necklaces.

I took a bunch of tutorial photos that turned out like crap, so without further ado, here's some tutorials from around the web:

Assemblage; "How to Build a Better Necklace"

The art of assemblage has seen a major resurgence over the last decade or so, particularly in the "crafty" community. If you frequent Craftster, you have surely seen some amazing multimedia work, particularly in the Papercrafts and More Art, Less Craft categories. My favourite iteration of this art style is definitely in jewellery! Specifically, necklaces. This style has been a mainstream trend since 2009, but I notice that the "affordable" versions from such vendors as Forever21 and Target are made of cheap, potentially toxic materials, and are actually pretty boring as far as assemblages go.

That's not to say that I don't own cheap, mass-produced, slightly-interesting neckwear. These cheap pieces have a place in my wardrobe, but it's so much more interesting to combine jewellery in unexpected ways! I've already shared the Monoxious tutorial for a Tom Binns style safety pin necklace, but here I'm going to focus more on how random elements put together can be chic and fresh, AND how to do a simple version on the cheap.

These are commercially available, inexpensive, and not particularly interesting iterations: