Thursday, December 18, 2014

OPINION : House Of DVF and what it teaches us about being yourself.

I don't know if anyone has been watching, House of DVF.

It was suggested to me by someone and I've been hooked on it ever since. Hooked in a bad way. I know its fake and I know its car crash but I love being angry at it. The girls are, literally, the worst people I have ever seen in my life. I've never seen such a collection of utter tits in my life. I think the worst of the bad bunch has got to be, what I refer to as, the Barbie Blogger. This is what gives bloggers a really really really bad name.

Self absorbed, self indulgent and self obsessed, this is the side of blogging that makes me feel a bit ill. I have been blogging for years now and I don't feel the need to mention it every five minutes in conversation. In fact, I rarely do. I am aware of how it comes across. Every girl and her dog has a blog now and it doesn't make for great leaps into the fashion industry. I blog because I love clothes and this is a past time - it does not define me. It also doesn't mean I am qualified to do anything or mark me as different.

So yeah, back to the show. The show is about the struggle to find a brand ambassador for DVF. I have to say that DVF and her team do not come across brilliantly on this either. They seem cold, bitchy and a bit......mean. Oh and they seem to be intent on drumming the last bits of personality and personal style out of the girls which never sits well with me. I did like two of the girls - Lenore and Gia. Who are sadly no longer in the program. I would not be surprised if the entire thing is a fix and there are no brand ambassadors at the end of it.

It is staged and a bit panto at times. I am not left with a desire to be a DVF girl or own any of the clothes. I used to style using DVF in the past when I was a stylist and it just seems very.....meh. I like using the personal style of someone to enhance clothing. I think this comes from having my own style beaten out of me while working for a brand that insisted I wear a suit every bloody day. I'll leave you to guess what brand that was but I was encouraged to be, in their words, a plain jane. It meant that going out, a joy for me during my early twenties, was a sight to behold. I would get seriously attired to go to clubs. I mean all the sequins, head pieces, platforms, theatrical make up and wigs. Part of this came from having my personal style repressed. I know it can be a bit extreme at times but I find that head to toe styled from one brand as the brand demands it - is boring.

I see the same thing happening on the show. Girls being stripped of their personal style. Borrrrring. I react better to seeing girls turn it out in their own.

I don't think I've thought back to my days working for Company X in a while actually. This was extreme understyling and quite boring. I was allowed freedom working as a stylist so I would layer, add belts, wear heavier make-up but all the while, keeping in with the brand because I wanted to. Company X would monitor your hair roots (can't show too much root), your lipstick choice, your nail varnish and of course, how neat your hair was tied up. This, doesn't really fit with me. I'm scruffy, punk and my hair always has root. When I started with a new company as a stylist, I was surprised. I wasn't hired as a stylist but encouraged and promoted into the role because my personal style came through the clothes. I styled using Micheal Kors, DVF, DKNY, Valentino amongst many others. I loved it. I pinned, rushed, sweated and dressed models behind the scenes at shows. I loved it. If the hours would have been better - I would have stayed!

I noticed that during my time working as a stylist, my own clothing got better. I stopped the charade of crazy going out clothes. This I think was a reaction to Company X and their strict rules of dress. Once I wasn't restricted, I went a bit more sane. I did notice that my own day to day dressing got better. It got tidier, neater and a bit more put together. I also knew, as I was living in a smaller place, that I would totally run into a client which is a bit worrying! I turned it out because I spent a lot of time telling women how to turn it out day by day. I still have photos of my clothes from that era and you would not have thought the woman in the drag wigs from a year before that was the woman standing in a Dublin bar with neat shorts, non ripped tights and heels. It was like a different person.

I know that I am still a bit crazy. I know my outfits are more punk then normal and I don't own anything girly or pretty. My clothes have band logos on them, spikes, skulls, skeletons and I have multiple piercings. I have plugs in my ears and wear my hair with multiple colors in it. I do love bright lipstick and I ADORE bright eyeshadows. In short, I am more myself now then I ever have been and guess what, I'm more comfortable now then I have ever been.

I guess this is inspired by the show (this post) and I am also inspired by a recent comment on my appearance made by a genuine nut job of a person who took my piercings to be a representation of my bad ass personality. I don't really care what others think of me. I know I am healthy, happy, loved and a nice person. Don't ever let anyone tell you any differently of yourself. I think some of the scariest looking people I have ever met have been the nicest people I have ever met.

Vogue Paris make Barbies for their January issue

Vogue Paris always have interesting shoots! This time, they have outdone themselves. I love it. They put models in boxes and created, couture Barbies! Fashion is definately having a moment with Barbie. Between this and the Moschino collection, it is definatly Vogue.
Have a rough guess which one I love?

People are not happy with Wintour again.....

People are not happy with Anna Wintour.

There were plenty of grumbles about Kanye West and Kim Kardashian being handed a cover of Vogue in April this year. People complained that it just wasn't fashion, it was tacky and it wasn't Vogue. I can see their point. An online call for people to support her firing got just 512 people riled enough to sign it however.....

But there is more complaining again!

Wintour's decision to put Sienna Miller on the cover of the magazine has pissed people off once more. Apparently the public are sick of generic blonde women in hats, Mario Testino shoots and aren't really sure who Miller is.

They have a point with the last one. I know who Miller is but, when did she last have a movie out?

Although good on Miller for getting her teeth out. If you saw the September Issue documentary about Vogue, Wintour blasted Miller's cover as being 'too toothy' at the time. I have to say though, I would not be inspired to buy this at all. Given that the main interview with Miller is described as being predominately about her gushing about motherhood.


Dov Charney is finally fired from American Apparel

Good times.

There is a big change happening at American Apparel. Dov Charney has finally been fired. Officially. The company suspended him before rehiring him earlier this year but reports are in that he has finally been let go for good and replaced by a woman.

There are more reports that the company has once again entered into financial difficulties and its a tense time. What will the new CEO bring? Hopefully an end to the overly sexual advertising and employee terrorizing.

Charney has been fired amid allegations that he used company funds to pay off allegations of sexual assault in the past. Not to mention the seriously bad press that the assaults have generated towards the company. It seemed a positive step forward for the company to suspend him in the past but then they seemed to have a change of heart and let him back in.

Once I see the changes in the company and the effects of the new CEO kicking in, I will still be withholding my money. I don't know how much difference hiring a female(Paula Schneider) will make unless, its a complete overhaul of how AA do business.

Either way, with the company floundering and not making huge profits, it will be worth watching. It's effective from January 5th.

Monday, December 15, 2014

The day I met one of my idols.

 I am so lucky. My partner, otherwise known as 'The Boy' on this site, was recently in Nottingham. The many joys of a long distance relationship means we commute to see each other. Nottingham to Ireland isn't bad as it used to be Nottingham to New York until August, but it is still further away then I prefer him to be.  But yes, my partner recently bought me a book for Christmas. I have wanted a copy of Viv Albertine's 'Clothes, clothes, clothes, music, music, music, boys, boys,boys' for some time now. I hope I got the name in the right order there! Due to being in college and having to order college books first - I was so touched that while visiting Rough Trade in Nottingham, he bought it for me.
 The lucky thing about this was that Viv Albertine herself was actually signing copies and doing a reading that night! I was so excited and got to meet her afterwards. Granted we had been in the pub since two that afternoon (Nottingham had run out of tourist things to do at that stage and we were tired of being in the house) I was beyond excited. I was delighted to hear a feminist speak, talk so openly about personal experience and swear. I do love swearing women. I am one, so naturally I say this!  She was completely lovely as well. I did meet Patti Smith a few years ago (another one of my punk idols) and she was awfully rude. I didn't really care though because that is how much I love her. But Viv Albertine is really lovely.
 I really enjoyed the book. I devoured it. I managed it in three days as I'm a speed reader. This was slow for me because the boy was here and I had to put it down occasionally. I really enjoyed the tales of punk dressing, Westwood, the 70s, clothes and of course, SEX. Sex the shop I mean! I have written fashion history stories on this blog before about the punk era and about the style of it all. I was delighted to see stories of Jordan who worked at SEX too as we did posts on her here as well. I am STILL looking for photos of this woman! It's proving impossible! I am nerdy about history and social history as well. I focus a lot of my work in uni on subcultures and self expressionism (the subculture being hip hop and graffiti however) so this fascinates me. I do also describe myself as punk and goth as well quite openly. I don't really fit normality very well! So this part of the book was the bit I identified with and really enjoyed the most. I would advise anyone to pick it up.

This jacket. This jacket is MINE.

This coat is gorgeous.

I wasn't really aware of Bershka before. I knew they existed. However, they were (at the time) only available on the top floor of the Jervis Street Shopping center in Dublin which, from my apartment on Baggot Street, was a trek. If I made it that far - the Topshop there was good stuff - then I never ventured further then that.

So one of the girls at work had this incredible furry jacket. I LOVE these jackets. I still haven't forgotten the pure white version that Topshop had back in 2006 which retailed for 99 euro. I haven't forgotten it because I bought it, panicked about the 99 yoyos then returned it after I put it on in a hotel room I was staying in and decided the pure white color was too 1976 for me. I still lust after it.  I did try to fill the gap with a bright neon pink one at one stage but that was a little crazy......even for me. It almost burnt your eyes it was that bright.

This, is only £38. I KNOW. The bad news is, that Bershka do free shipping over £40 which means I will find a way to order another thing too. I am also hoping that they can wait out with it until after payday as I am broke as hell right now! I need this in my life. I don't know when I will wear it but I want it.

I must ask, if you want to look then look....please don't buy it. I need this to be here on the 31st of Jan. You can find it here

The wayne goss brushes have one HECK of a waiting list

Described as the 'Birkin bag of the beauty world', the Wayne Goss make-up brushes are currently holding a waiting list of 10,000 people! DAMN!

I've never been one for a waiting list....or waiting in general....

The brushes are retailing (or will be) for $85 with handmade cruelty free natural fibers in Japan.

I cannot believe it has been three years already!!!!

This year I celebrated my third year anniversary with MAC.

It's hard to believe I joined the company so long ago but, I am full fledged, card carrying hardcore MAC girl. I do love my job. I always wanted to work for MAC. I used to go to the counter in Limerick as a student and the girls seemed so beautiful and like works of art. Their make-up was always perfect. I was convinced that I could do it. I spent years trying to get a job with them. I finally got a job on counter in Galway and I have been with them ever since.

MAC have also celebrated a birthday. It's their 30th this year and in celebration, they have released a book. Miles of MAC is available on Amazon, Urban Outfitters and book stores. I got my copy this week. As I flicked through all the pages which have all the campaigns from limited edition collections, I realised I could name almost all of them! I also realised that the names of artists involved in the shoots have started to become like family members to me. Family members that you haven't met but really hear a lot about!!!

I'm proud to be with MAC. I've never had a job where I feel so accepted in my own weird brand of self expression. The company have never minded my piercings, tattoos or stick on face jewels. They haven't minded my collection of weird hats or neither have they minded my interest in black lipstick. In fact, they have often produced the lipstick. I am also fiercely proud of being involved with a company with such strong community ties and also, Viva Glam. Viva Glam is a fund (that results from the sale of certain lipsticks and glosses) that provides financial support to charities dealing with HIV/AIDS. My background is in HIV/AIDS fundraising and as someone with friends diagnosed with this, it means an awful lot to give back and support. There are few companies with strong ethics like this and it really means a lot to me.

It's also fair to say that I am impressed with the level of training the company has provided me. My artistry has gone from fair to good in three years. I can confidently produce a smokey eye, a bright lip, a graphic liner - in minutes. There is little that worries me about make-up now. I remember three years ago where the thought of a smokey eye would break me out in a sweat as I panicked about how to produce it without a mistake. Now, I get stuck in! I also get to play all day with the best colors, best textures and newest products - who wouldn't want that!

So I guess congratulations to me and MAC on reaching three years and indeed to MAC for reaching thirty years of the company and also, twenty years of Viva Glam! Here is to the next, three years!

Friday, December 12, 2014


 It is hard to believe that the books are out for Spring Summer already.  I haven't even done Christmas yet! I am excited for a change in the seasons. I want some new things! I am really enjoying the Primark look book this season. It's all about the print.....

 So I am seeing, prints, crop tops, culottes, white, mirrored sunglasses, round 90s sunglasses and gladiator sandals. Done and done! I'm excited for a chance to dig out my gladiator sandals....any excuse!

Monday, December 1, 2014

THE DREADFUL DIARIES : Christmas is stressful and I hate it.

It's been an exhausting time here. I've been running around trying to get everything set up for the arrival of my partner on Thursday as there is washing to be done, clothes to be cleaned and floors to be hoovered. Lest they think I live in some form of hovel.
While I am looking forward to it, I am wondering what sort of state I am going to be in after so much drinking for a week and staying up late. I am now approaching 30 and I don't drink like I used to! Case in point - three ciders in Beeston this week left me in an awful state the next morning.
After that, my staff party, my parents arrive! Although they are only here for one day so that is slightly crap. We are going for Christmas dinner..... in  Marrakesh in Nottingham which does wonderful food. Not traditional turkey but, I really hate all that jazz.
I am planning what I am referring to as 'the Foreigners Christmas'. There are four of us (and we all work in retail and can't get home for Christmas) from Poland, Ireland and Canada who are celebrating together this year by cooking a meal and just getting drunk. Fuck it. We all earned it. I am seemingly off this CHristmas Eve as well so that is going to mean getting drunk then and not Christmas day because I am back in the following day! Joys. I do hate the stress of trying to organise food for everyone involved and trying to save money to pay for food. It sucks.
So yeah, it has been manic and will be manic. On top of this, both supervisors are leaning on me to have work completed and ready and I am in college every spare second that I have. Which isn't fun. I am starting to regret my PhD a little. I think every person in uni goes through this when the fun of first year has worn off and you settle into second year and you think, I could be spending my money on fun, going out more and generally enjoying life instead of here. Certainly when I woke up this morning that flashed through my mind. Screw it. I decided to give my degree until this time next year and if I still feel this way then I will leave. Until then, I am just going to accept that I'm feeling stressed and a bit under the weather!!!!

Thank god Black Friday and the weekend is over!

So Black Friday happened.

I wish I could get on board with it but I find it a disgusting display of lost dignity, cheap tatt and exhaustion. Oh and greed.

I see it from the other side. I see it from the retail side and it's not a pretty picture. Those who decide to hold BF sales are not the ones that you see getting hurt, exhausted, trampled on while trying to serve people in stores. No. Those people are counting your pounds in their nicely heated offices and watching the videos of you nearly killing yourself online trying to get to the goods.

Instead, thousands of normally people serve you who are also exhausted. Most of these people have three days of this ahead of them as the last pay weekend before THE BIG DAY hits. It's awful.

All I ask is that people are nice and respectful.

So for everyone who worked this weekend in retail - have a drink, a lie in, a fry up, because, you have earned it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sweater dress from River Island

I don't know what it is about this sweater dress that I like.....but I really like it. It's a bit pricey at £40 from River Island but still.....I like it....I like the idea of leather leggings with a black beanie and this.

Zara have great under £50 basics

 I am actually really loving Zara for basics at the moment. All of the clothing here is under £50 which also helps! I always forget how cheap Zara are. I know that finding clothing in there can be tricky because they do not tend to make clothes for taller women and I am a lot bulkier then they cater for. I have wide shoulders to do with my height which rules out their beautiful coats. I still really like lookig at their stuff though....

 In fact, I actually think the most expensive thing here is £35! I do have one complaint about Zara apart from sizing which is my issue not theirs, it is that their stores and their website seem very far apart. I can never find anything in store on the website and visa versa. I can spend ages on their website but never in their stores either. I do have to note that who ever does their visual merchandising in Nottingham, does a wonderful job. I stand outside their shop several times a day because its near my work and their displays are always a beautiful sight. They also make me want all the things they sell.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


So as you know, I work on URN as the presenter of THE INDIE SHOW!

I am on air tonight from 11 -1 bringing you some amazing tunes.

Listen in and support HERE

I'm switching up my skincare I am bored...

 I decided since I haven't changed some core products since the start of my start with make-up, it could be time to try some new things. I went on a bit of an over haul with the goods...... So I have written what I am changing from and then what the new product is....

I haven't really got any reason to complain about PRO make up remover from MAC because its brilliant but I wanted to try something a little more gentle. I've  been using Botanics in the break between the PRO and this arriving. I'm excited about trying something different.
 Cremewash MAC - Clinique LIQUID FACIAL SOAP - I didn't want to stop using Cremewash but the product has been discontinued. Boo! I hate when that happens. I wasn't blown away by the choice of facial soaps so I chose this one. I also need to replace my body wash as well.
 ORIGINS SPOT TREATMENT - CLINIQUE SPOT TREATMENT - I wish I hadn't done this. I see no difference between the two in terms of ingredients but Origins has the win on this one. I am waiting to see how I get on with it in the long term because there is still a tiny amount of Origins left. I also know there is a new product coming on the market which I want to try from another store.
 MAC CLEANSE OFF OIL - ORIGINS CLEAN ENERGY CLEANSING OIL - I switched because I thought Cleanse off oil was causing break outs. It turns out that it isn't - I have been using it wrong! Duh! I might switch back after this arrives! I do want to try the Tranquil version of Cleanse off. The best way of using it seems to be to mix with water and your make-up literally falls off. Oil dissolves oil. I then use a toner to clean up the skin.
ORIGINS CLAY MASK - ORIGINS OUT OF TROUBLE MASK - I have been having awful break outs lately and I thought maybe switching to this might help! I know that clay masks draw out spots from lurking in pores and i am okay with that but I would like something to treat them when they are out. This brings my total count of Origins masks to four. Which is insane.
 CLINQUE CLARIFYING LOTION - CLINQUE CLARIFYING LOTION  - No change. I love this. I might change slowly down the line as I am de-EL-ing my skincare a little bit to keep costs down at the moment. However, for now, I love this. I am interested in a good rosewater toner as well so who knows. But for now, another year with this product. That is how long the bottle lasts - a year!
ORIGINS GRAPEFRUIT SCRUB - SOAP AND GLORY BODY SCRUB/BREAKFAST SCRUB - I had the breakfast scrub before and nothing has ever come close to how much I love that scrub. I decided to go back since I wasn't in a whole lot of love with the Origins stuff. It's nice but not bothered about having it again really.

So I seem to be trying to break away from spending a fortune on skincare lately. I'm trying to high street my collection for the first time in three years. I guess I am realising that high street can be just as good. I am totally loyal to Origins though. I find it really works for my skin. Another thing that is changing is that I am going back to cheaper make-up wipes since I ran out and had to use expensive wipes on set which was awful! I am keeping my night treatment, eye cream, face oils and hair care in the same companies for now. I might be in the market for a new eye cream after Christmas because I HATE the stuff but aware at my age that I need to invest in a decent one. I am currently using Bare Minerals and not blown away by it....

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