Monday 22 December 2014

The Burbs -How to DIY a Burberry Prorsum Hand Painted Cropped Jacket

Heritage meets hand-painting for the ultimate luxury winter staple.

You will need

A suede jacket (faux suede might work - I jammily inherited a vintage sheepskin number so I wouldn't know!)

  • Pink.
  • Dark green.
  • Brown.
  • Lime green.



Depending on the design you use and your fabric painting skills (I'd rate the design I did as moderate but if you were to simplify it, the painting itself is very straightforward).


1-2 hours per side.

Paint your swag on

I was going to illustrate the stages in gif form but, since my computer appears to be getting a little bit too much into the holiday spirit - that is to say well into 'can't be arsed' mode - I've decided to illustrate my various painting stages in video mode. Nevertheless, enjoy!

Sunday 14 December 2014

Re-Tweed - Another way to customise trainers in the style of Chanel

So good, I plagiarised them twice!

Sneaker (see more tweed shoes)

'Tis the season for sentimental retrospectives as we pore over the pop cultural profferings that set 2014 apart. In a year that gave tomboyish comfort items wardrobe staple status, there was arguably not one so distinctive as the artistic trainer trend - a must for she who shoots her street style snaps on a bicycle and gets a kick out of colourful customisation. I might have tried it before but I had to go back for one more try.

You will need...


Not pictured

Neon yellow and green acrylic paint.

Clear lacquer or a similar fixative.


Very easy

The main reason why I revisited this trend in DIY form was to find a method that was easier (still) than my last attempt and I'd definitely say that this project met that criterion.


1-2 hours.

Get your tweed on

Paint the soles in neon yellow and green and fix with clear lacquer once the paint has dried. 

Use craft mount to attach your tweed fabric. I used mine to cover the cushioned areas. If you find that the edges are a bit loose, you can tidy them up with a glue gun.
Paint the remaining panels in gold and silver.

Simple as

Monday 8 December 2014

Hippie hippie chic - How to DIY a Creatures of the Wind fringed necklace

Next spring is set to take fashion deeper into the 70s from cut and colour palette pastiche to the earthy, bohemian whimsy of hippie paradigms, from fringing to tie-dye and folk-inspired patchwork. It definitely captures the kaleidoscopic haze of the 'me decade' with its characteristic nod to crafty detailing and ethereally chaotic mix-and-match styling, so of course it would have me beavering away at my desk with any trims, fabrics and quirky embellishments I could find - it'd be rude of me not to!

You will need

I used faux leather in red, yellow, two shades of grey (no more needed, thank you), teal, light blue, white and black. I'd recommend sniffing around eBay or your local market for inexpensive samples.

Not pictured

Needle and black thread

Sewing machine with a leather needle - alternatively, if you don't have one or aren't too confident in the company of such an item, you can just as easily use a stapler.


Quite easy

It is fiddly, it does take a bit of care, technique and love but categorically I can't find anything too challenging here.


Now for the bad news. Against my earlier expectations, this one turned out to be a 6-hour project.

You wanna be a hippie?

Cut a piece of black leather that's 8x20cm. Fold it over by 1cm at the top and  either glue it in place with craft mount or sew it along the edge if you're using a machine to fix it in place.

Cut a piece of grey leather measuring 6x20cm and stick it in place across the bottom using craft mount.

Sew or staple the fringing to the back of the faux leather. Don't worry about staples or stitches showing, as we'll soon be covering these up with fringing.

Starting at the bottom cut some coloured faux leather pieces and attach them where you would like them to go. I'd recommend cutting them in a trapezium shape that flares outwards at the bottom.

Cut the pieces into fringing, making the strips as fine as you can - no more than 5mm in width. If you're cutting trapezium shapes like I suggested, cut them so that they flare diagonally outwards. Add more colours as you move up the grey base and try messing some pieces about by tousling them with your fingers.

Once you have made your fringing design, cut two equal lengths of ribbon that fit around your neck and can be easily tied in a bow. Attach them and hand stitch some black gems onto them.

Thursday 4 December 2014

#TBT - Lace and lashes

Only catwalk models need appliqué?

My search for festive styling inspiration left me bitten by the millennium bug of Lancome's Instinct fragrance campaign from way back in 2000 (yes, I'm aware that through those few words I've just shown my age, but hopefully I've done so gracefully).

Devilishly dramatic was the order of this upcoming festive season, so far as I was concerned. You might have noticed from certain other recent posts that I'm all for a little experimenting with fabric appliqué on makeup and when it's so easy with eyelash glue, why not?

I wanted something quirky but kept to a single fabric and a limited colour palette, to avoid detraction from the outfit in question, or onlookers uttering words to the effect of "Yes, Black Swan was a great film but Halloween was over a month ago!" Fabric makeup appliqué made a brief appearance in the intervening 14 years since my inspiration, in Chanel's spring 2013 shows, again, with a monochrome colour scheme and delicate application of mesh.


Very easy


About 20 minutes.

I started with a cheeky lick of eyeliner along the eyelids and some generously-applied mascara. I then covered my eyelids and inside of my eye sockets with a frame of black eye shadow. I used a brush to smudge the eye shadow slightly in the outside corners. Finally, I added a thin sliver of silver eye shadow to my eyelids to add definition (mind screw of a sentence, notwithstanding) and made the brave step of applying the lace along my eyebrows with eyelash glue. Incidentally, if you're wondering how such a thing is removed without an unintentionally botched eyebrow wax, I'd definitely recommend using cleanser or an equivalent for dissolving the glue first.

Use the darkest dark purple lip liner you can find for the outline and slick some pink liner along the inside of your lower lip, then, add a deep berry or plum and cover your lips with clear gloss. You can also use liquid eye liner to add the beauty spot if it's the real McCoy you're going for. Dust the underside of your cheekbones with a rose blusher.

Monday 1 December 2014

Cyber Monday chic

For those of you who were expecting some kind of merchandise sale or giveaway for when this inevitably pops up on my various social media pages, begging your pardons I remain. It just seemed fitting - and perchance fate - that on a day when I decided to debut yesterday's space age-style iridescent top with my saucer-like leather peter pan collar and geometric black appliqué jeans (not pictured) it turned out to be on a day they call Cyber Monday. By 'they' I don't just mean our dear friends from across the pond but a great number of us, albeit in aid of a sequence of events we borrowed from there. I speak, of course, of Thanksgiving and the infamous Black Friday. Regarding the former, if I were to steal any event from another country, it would probably be the Vietnamese Moon Festival, especially if it's adopted in the usual superficial aesthetic and culinary style we're known to love - it's pretty! As for the latter, forgive the lack of imagination but it's Black Friday, with its hypocritical premise and obscene savagery of jostling for clearance-standard goods  that should have stayed well and truly put, whatever its commercial or (perish the thought) cultural potential here.

Cyber Monday makes substantially more sense. Accomplishing as much shopping - particularly gift shopping - as is humanly possible in the Zen calm of your lounge or bedroom is infinitely more advisable for your sanity and mental wellbeing. You get a full ten square feet to yourself, it's quiet, it's clean (well, you know what I mean), you're not actively tussling with anyone for the item you've set your heart on and the biggest stress you're likely to encounter is remembering usernames and passwords. It contrasts brilliantly with the claustrophobic pressure cooker presented by its real-world equivalent. Streets and shopping centres are like mosh pits but without the live music, and with frazzled throngs in place of enthusiastic fan camaraderie. It's the antiquated strain (NB: operative word) of shopping where you race against the clock in a collision course of pavement parkour around slow-moving pavement blockers and toddlers who insist, to the chagrin of their exasperated mothers, on straddling footpaths twice their size, eyes too transfixed by the window displays to notice the snarl-up of raging pedestrians in their wake.

Yes, I know Black Friday sales can take place online but, just to clear up any discrepancies in my observation to all pedants, the pleasure of Cyber Monday sales is hinted in the title. So, please, seek bargains in a distraction-free room, through a medium where you can read spec in full and scan for rip-off potential before buying.

Just to wrap this up and salvage it from the diaristic, off-topic rant that it has become, my love of all things cyber has been expressed and I fancy I have dressed aptly for the occasion. Hopefully, you'd agree.

Sunday 30 November 2014

Iri-decent - how to DIY a basic holographic panelled top

Holographics got a whole lot more graphic.

I could have sworn that the iridescent trend that we knew so well last year is having not so much a revival but a reincarnation in accent pieces and aquatic hues. Vogue maintain that it's manifesting itself in "gasoline rainbow" form with sequins and graduating glitter. Perhaps this extra colour dimension, in itself, came to me as a vision of our next stop in the ever-directional journey of fashion. Either way, I thought I'd spend a leisurely Sunday afternoon on an adaptable, easy-to-make interpretation of the trend, like the panelled Milly jumper in the picture.

You will need...

* I used Cosmic Shimmer Film Autumn Bronze by Creative Expressions, which I bought on eBay. I would also recommend Peacock Blue Shimmer Film for a similar tone and effect.

Not pictured

Metallic lamé fabric (I used gold)


Paper scissors

Fabric scissors

Sewing machine (optional - this is a quick, no-sew tutorial)


Very easy

I genuinely can't think of anything remotely taxing about this tutorial, save for a reasonable eye for detail - specifically symmetry, although even then you could use a ruler or setsquare.


An hour, or possibly an hour-and-a-half if you're sewing (which I actually did but I'm very easily distracted when it comes to timekeeping.

Holo-glam it up

Use some paper to make a pattern piece for the area you want to cover with holographic material, ensuring you fit it properly along the edge of the neck.

Cut the shape out in bondaweb and pin the film to the matte-textured side (not the paper-covered one).

Then, place the paper pattern piece on top of the film, so that it is protected from the metal plating of the iron. Iron the three layers on a medium heat.

Peel the paper backing off the bondaweb, place the film on the lamé and cover the film with paper for protection. Iron it down on a medium heat, as before.
Cut the film-covered shape out of lamé and attach bondaweb to the back of the fabric, as before, with the non-paper-covered side facing the material. Peel away the paper and iron it onto the black top. You can stitch around the edges with a sewing machine to help it stick better but this part is optional. That said, I would recommend doing it, as this would mmake it more hard-wearing, especially when it gets washed.

The top

Wednesday 26 November 2014

The Trends on Wednesday - leather heads

My animalistic urges to emulate Fendi fashion have taken me from cuddly monster fur to leather, in this instance, adding a rebellious edge to the delicate beauty of the hibiscus flower. Flowers have always been worn to denote a quintessentially feminine elegance and sensitivity. Their sweet scent, individual beauty and fragility made slipping them into hair a form of wearing one's heart on one's sleeve, denoting different moods through the paradigms of different flowers (for instance, jasmine for sensuality and a spider flower to say "run away with me!"). Also, in Hawaii and the south Pacific, the positioning of the hibiscus flower is used to denote relationship status ('taken' when worn on the left and single when worn on the right. Instagram pictures always come out in reverse and I'm saying nothing).

My Cleopatra-eyed take on Fendi's leather eyelid strips, coupled with the Hawaiian side-flower styling with my DIY hair slide was, in part down to the fact that my hair's too short to wear in a loose ponytail but more so to do with associations. The vibrant colours of the corsage reminded me of the exoticism of Paul Gauguin's Tahitian paintings, while the drama of the leather streaks, which are dead easy to apply with a generous slathering of eyelash glue, harked back to the tour-de-force make-up artistry of Pat McGrath, especially at John Galliano's shows. Adding drama with fabric and glue is a surprisingly easy trick and a must for standing out in any crowd.

Flowers are always on trend yet always in flux in terms of interpretations, whether they're dark oversized or acid bright. I suppose I'd be expected to make some sort of profound and witty observation about the juxtaposition of 'girly' flowers in hair conveyed in a typically 'tough fabric: leather. To be honest, it's a bit late at night for that so I'm going to be simple in my interpretation and see it as striking a balance of feminine elegance in strong leather fabric, packing an equally dramatic punch  - or maybe just a fun-loving personality - in the vibrant colour scheme. Think of it: beautiful and feminine, but not timid or fragile; strong and bold, without brashness or aggression. How very feminist - how very now.

Sunday 23 November 2014

Corsage of Action - how to DIY a Fendi giant flower corsage hair clip

It's so bloomin' easy!

It was the Fendi oversized corsage hair grip in the picture (well, I think it's a hair grip, or certainly an accessory with hair-restraining properties) that inspired this DIY tutorial. I was planning to fix any giant corsages I made to a large hair slide, as it would double up conveniently as an attachment for blazers. Moving on from practical to emotional considerations, I chose the cut out one in the photo because it was a bit different and more colourful than most of the others I had seen. It made the perfect transition between acid brights and quirky rave-inspired colour schemes, so it appeared that I had to make this home-cooked vision a reality.

You will need


Quite easy

As a project, it's technique-led and has its fiddly moments but it's not the most taxing I've taken on, by any means.


An evening: 2-3 hours. It might take less time if you print out the template of the design I used.

Fabricating flowers

Print out a template of the above design. The flower I used was about 15x15cm, just as a guide. You might want to print it out multiple times so that you can cut out the outlines for each colour.
Cut out each piece in all the different colours and trace around them on the corresponding material. Your pieces should look something like these:

Following the design on the template, glue the pieces of the flower in place. Glue the two pieces at the centre of the flower one on top of the other, with the wider part at the top. Then, with the glue still tacky, fold the side bits back on themselves to create a wrap effect. Stitch it in place at the top.

Layer the tasselled pieces (I made three but two would do) and stitch them together at the top.
Stitch the tassels, the centre of the flower and the orange feathered part together at the top.
Cut two slits on the centre of the flower with the scalpel and slot the hair slide through them, across the middle.

Stitch the flower to the other pieces.