Tuesday, 31 January 2012

"Self-styled gangsta Nancy Sinatra" Lana Del Rey.

  Lizzie Grant a.k.a. Lana Del Rey. Her three track EP, released in October of 2008 titled Kill Kill seemed to near tracelessly submerge into the charts, failing to break the somewhat lucrative internet-music industry. Two years later, she released her album Lana Del Rey a.k.a. Lizzy Grant, and this was made available to purchase on iTunes. Despite this, after a short period of time, the album was withdrawn and rights bought back from the record label, 5 Points.
 The TV-series Ringer, featured her debut single Video Games in an episode in September 2011, creating a huge demand for her and her music.  Late 2011 saw the release of  Video Games and Lana was awarded with the Q award for "Next Big Thing" in October 2011. 

  Born To Die, her second single, was released in December 2011. The music video is a reckless portrayal of social issues associated with the 'youth' so to say, of today's society. Drugs and sex contribute to a rather substantial portion of the song and accompanying music video, with explicit images of cannabis use and sexual positions and actions. The idea of 'walking on the wild side' and criminality is very much an underpinning ideology of this video, with madness, rebellion and death as other themes- after all, the song is entitled Born To Die...! 

  The tattoo-clad male in this video, the 'wild' badboy, seems to represent the idea of criminality and recklessness. At various points throughout, he is seen to be actioning threatening gestures, suggesting homocide- a theme which seems to feel at home within this video and the lyrics of the song. 
  There is a contrast between the somewhat exquisite elegance of the part which Lana plays in the majority of this video, with the alter-ego she plays; the girl who was 'born to die' with her male counterpart. Perhaps this is a suggestion as to the transformation she has made in the reinvention of herself as a music artist? 

  Whatever the motives were behind the lyrics to this song, and the consequent somewhat mildly shocking music video, it cannot be denied that Lana has a voice which we want to hear more of. Her image as a "self-styled gangsta Nancy Sinatra", (The Guardian, 2011) is one which catches the eye, reminiscent of 60's pin-up girls; sporting classy curls, bold smokey eyes and a matte red lip. 

What do you think to Lana? Let me know coz I think she's awesome!!!
Make sure to check out all the other songs off the new album Born To Die at www.lanadelrey.com.

Bea xo 

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Pretty in Paisley

  Paisley. Originating from India and Persia, the tear-drop shaped motif is making a very prominent return this spring, with paisley popping up everywhere worth seeing- Marie ClaireVOGUE and The Guardian to name but a few! 
  Making it's way into England through the East India Company, and become popular between 1700 and 1800; believed and used as a charm to ward off evil demons with the bright colours and patterns. More recently, however, the pattern is associated with psychedelic styles and the interest in Indian culture which stemmed from The Beatles, in 1968 when they made a pilgrimage to India. 
  The staple piece from the seventies is making a breakthrough on catwalks, with designs from names such as Stella McCartney and JW Anderson. This Indian-inspired pattern isn't, however, restricted to chiffon pyjama looking pieces. This spring, the catwalk is presenting us with a huge variation of styles we can indulge ourselves in. 

from Marie Claire
from Marie Claire
Emilio Pucci 

  Personally, I'm not too sure about paisley print for myself, however I very much believe on the right person, and with the right styling, it can be worn very very well! For a more casual look, a paisley shirt with high waisted skirt (perhaps paperbag waistband?) with loafers and long socks would look good, but just make sure that you get the colours in order. Paisley is already pretty busy as a standalone design, so maybe think about that being the key feature, and go for blocked colours elsewhere in your outfit? 

  If you do rock paisley, please let me know! I wanna believe I could wear it and it look good!! :) 

Bea xo 

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Oh Vintage?... Well, is it really?

 Vintage. Everything remotely second-hand or out of trend is now labelled 'vintage'. I, myself, am guilty of getting overexcited about a slightly old jumper from a charity shop, and bragging about my 'vintage buy'. But is it really vintage? Well, I suppose that all depends on everyone's own perception of vintage...

 My charity shop experience is a bit hit and miss nowadays... You see, I can go into the Salvation Army and usually find something of excitement. And usually at a price I'm happy to agree to. But I can't believe how much the price of these have gone up. Now, I'm not sure that charity shops across the countries have been keeping up-to-date with current vintage fashion trends and deciding to increase the prices due to higher demand. It may simply be the state of the current economic climate and they, like most others, have had to up their prices. 
 However, it is VERY evident (and I'm sure it's not just me) that the prices and demand for decent vintage pieces has literally soared, with the apparent need to be so different from the crowd... Unfortunately, in thinking this, these people do, in fact, become part of a crowd themselves. And this is difficult to avoid. 
 I, personally, wear what I want. And sometimes it's things that are in fashion, and sometimes it isn't. Regardless, I like wearing what I want. And I LOVE a good charity shop buy. And car boots, phew, don't get me started; they're even better!! But is this 'vintage' look something that's becoming the antithesis of what it actually strives to be? The 'indie' look becoming an oxymoron- the mainstream individual? 

New Vintage Fashion Shop in Chester City Centre, Bridge Street

 Jo-Ann Fortune, blogger for The Guardian, shares this view, and raises many interesting points about the rise of 'vintage' to the top of our agendas. (Have a look at her  'Is vintage clothing passé?' article!! Check out some of the links too!) 
 I think it's safe to say that 'vintage' means a lot of different things to us all- whether it's 90's pieces we all remember, or the odd 60's tea dress. And how we choose to interpret these looks and express ourselves through fashion will always be down to that individual. But one thing I know is that I'm willing to battle through the bargain hunters at those car boots to get a bargain. No more will I be fooled by the ebay description  of 'vintage', where some cheeky so and so is trying to fob me off with some old New Look dress. So, just be warned, keep vintage actual vintage. 

Bea xo

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Heavy Metal

 In this months edition of VOGUE, we see the new trend of, what they call, 'Heavy Metal' eyes- metallic, bold eyes showing up in all the SS12 shows. 
MAC, although part of last years collection, created a Wonderwoman collection of cosmetics, and they have some fantastic metallics in their eyeshadow palettes (one of which I got for Christmas, and LOVE it!) 

(photo from vampyvarnish.com)

 Here are some of the photos, featured in VOGUE...

Linda Cantello created an underwater-inspired beauty look at Giorgio Armani 

The festival-inspired beauty look Charlotte Tilbury for MAC created for the DSquared2 show 

At Gucci, the panda-like ringed eyes were created by Pat McGrath

Peter Philips created for the Fendi show

Francelle Daly for NARS kept make-up simple at 3.1 Phillip Lim

Georgina Graham for MAC created pink glittery eyes at Ashish, using Vaseline to keep the look in place. 

Mink-brown smoky eyes were finished with a glossy sheen at Lanvin, where Pat McGrath headed up the beauty team.

James Kaliardos for NARS complemented the Van Gogh-inspired clothing at Rodarte with this style 

Lisa Butler for MAC created smudged smoky eyes at Emilio Pucci

Hannah Murray for MAC created this look at the Just Cavalli show

 This trend can work well for both the seemingly opposing trends for this SS12 of grunge and pastels. On the highstreet, Topshop has many pieces in for both these trends, alongside River Island, New Look and H&M. Darker shades and tones smudged with thick black liner in a winner for any grunge wannabe, whereas lighter shades, perhaps teamed with gold liner, makes for a delicate pastel spring look. 

 Keep an eye out on those make-up counters, where I bet Barry M and MAC will be loving on these styles! 

Bea xo

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Swan Lake on ASOS

 So I'm bumbling through ASOS Marketplace (which is awesome btw) for a new sweater for the boyfriend, when I stumble across this beautiful idea - http://fashionfinder.asos.com/. It allows you to make and design fantastic ensembles for whatever occasion, however you want! 

 So, as expected, I got incredibly excited, and had all these ideas rush to my head. So I thought I'd just go with it, and see what I made... And what I was left with was a very glam ballerina-esque style, suitable for all smart and formal occasions. 

 This site is very easy to use, and becomes quite addictive... Don't be surprised to see a lot more of these on here... So have a go, I promise you'll love it! 

 Here's mine, looking all proper... The items you choose are listed on the right hand side, so when you inspire people and they're dying to buy some of the pieces, they can click away and be taken straight to the product details page! 


Bea xo

Let's Mess Around


 The messy bun. The ultimate in CBA chic.. I, personally, love this, because it means I don't actually have to make much of an effort...but it still looks good. (NB: looks very impressive when you're hanging and you've woken up with your hair a worse version of what it looked like when you got in at five this morning!)

 I've always tried to get the art of this just right...and often failing. But the trick, I feel, is to rush when you're doing it. OK, maybe not actually rush, but just don't be too careful. Because the point is it looks messy... not perfectly pinned and pristine.

 cupcakes and cashmere gives a thorough 'how-to' guide to a messy kinda ponytail. I would recommend that for a bun, you wrap the hair around the base of the ponytail to create the bun you want. It's very important that you don't try and make this perfect... practice will give you the technique you need!

Jessica Alba at
 I'm not sure about the length of my own hair at the moment, and I have quite wavy hair, so brushing it just creates a puffy, frizzy look, so this is perfect for when I don't have much time/CBA/hanging/whatevs.
Here are some examples that you can try...


Jennifer Love-Hewitt at

So, just have a comb, hairspray and a lot of hairpins to hand, and get practising!!

Bea xo

Friday, 20 January 2012

Boho Glam can Work for YOU.

Marie Claire is currently sporting a Bohemian trend they name Yesterday's Girl. Leather, lace and waist-cinching belts, combined with fluid material and a contrast of black and more neutral shades, this trend is one not to be missed. 
Name dropping some iconic lovers of this include Bianca Jagger and Marianne Faithfull, this glam look is back with 'thigh-high grazing boots' and a hint of 'black magic'... 

Bianca Jagger.... so glamorous.

Here are what Marie Claire see this trend as... 

 Despite this being a fave new trend, bound to start filtering through into spring, I'm still unsure as to the feasibility of some of the features. For example, the thigh-high boots. I, personally, know I would not be able to pull those off.. However I am sure some of us would be able to. I'm just not sure they're a fashion staple that I could rock walking down the high street. In Coventry. 

 There are, however, some major pieces which can be translated into more of a highstreet style. For example, my favourite vintage bargain, the midi skirt. 
I have three of these midi skirts, which I am deffs loving, and always on the look out for more at vintage fairs and in charity shops. These are quite a granny style, so charity shops are always filled with these! My fave items to wear them with is a knit sweater/jumper/top and some boots, with socks. I think they look very shape defining, but can be totally casual at the same time. They're perfect for this weird in-betweeny time between Winter and Spring... 

Another feature of this trend is liquid silhouettes, which I understand to be chiffony materials, mainly in the form of shirts. These can work well with the midi-skirt outfit, but also with a multitude of other pieces, such as body-con skirts, maxi skirts or even denim shorts with boots and knee-socks. Topshop have a wide range of blouses in at the moment, so I recommend a look!!

 COMPANY is loving on the skinny belts trend with this look also, with their ability to clinch baggy jumpers and shirt in at the waist to create curves and shapes, whilst retaining some of the fluidity created by the material. Skinny belts have always been present, but some of the best places I find these are Topshop, Primark and New Look, which are pretty high street, with some pretty good prices to match. 

(JUST A NOTE - Topshop and New Look both have 20% student discount ATM, so maybe get down there to check out some of the bargains you can find! :).. )

Well, that's me on the Bohemian look... :) 

Bea xo

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Sherbert Shots and Lemon Drops

So, looking through the Culture and Style sections of The Sunday Times (which I still haven’t totally read from the weekend) I see the most magnificent piece on the Louis Vuitton SS12 show from PFW. It’s held on the last day of Paris Fashion Week “the final hurrah”!
How sik is this carousel!?
Vuitton defines the new season with a sense of young innocence and child-like femininity through the use of pale cotton candy shades. You can see these already starting to filter through to the high streets in their new SS12 trends. Topshop styles and trends have, in recent years, become more and more affiliated with the catwalk styles, recognising the appeal to highstreet shoppers of owning catwalk trends at highstreet prices. Topshops’ spring collection is very Vuitton, donning ‘pretty pastels’ complete with lace, pearls and a myriad of textures, making us feel like we’re in a sweetie shop!
So, with the pastels heading on in this spring, here are my Top 5 fave Pastel Picks right now…
  • 5. PASTEL GEO TUNIC; Topshop, £20
Total winner in my eyes. Definitely loving the design on it; kinda a cross between the Aztec prints we’ve been seeing in AW11, which proved ridiculously popular (include me as a fan!), with the new sherberty colours of SS12. LOVE IT.
I love this print, and the breezy sherbert colours work so well with the lines!
These shorts remind me of school P.E… but in a good way. The colour fits in with the trend, but exercises some sort of casual ‘I just threw these on’ kinda thing. The model here wears them with a salmon sweatshirt, which looks good, but I think these would suit any type of floral or lace in the pastel paintbox. They can be dressed up or down also, which is a bonus.
The colour just gets me, I love it!
  • 3. FLORAL LACE SHORTS; Forever21, £14.75
I know, another pair of shorts. And, tbh, I don’t wear shorts all that often, due to the huge problem I call my midriff. BUT, these are so cute, a combination of colour and texture with the lace, at a very attractive price! The colour will work well with most colours, whether sticking with the pastel colour palette, or moving onto slightly darker blues or even tans and browns!
Cute as...
  • 2. PINK ROSE PRINT SUPER SKINNIES; River Island, £40
Now, I’m not usually a jeans girl either, but I think that these can work really well, regardless of shape, they just need to be dressed right… I think these are super pretty, and have all the right type of colours with a really cute design. River Island doesnt seem to be following too much the Vuitton theme, but they do have some cutesy pastel shade accessories and one-offs, so keep an eye out!
Super pretty in all the right ways
and number one goes to…
  • 1. TEXTURED KNIT SWEAT; Forever21, £16.75
I am in love with this. The dusty pink works so well with the denim, much like a lot of the other pastels coming through at the moment, so I definitely advise perhaps investing in a denim shirt (I prefer oversized ones… I looted mine from a carboot sale for £1.. Mens old Marks and Sparks and I LOVE it!) This would look cute over a dress, with jeans, shorts or a little skirt… And the price is just lovely too so, what’s NOT to like? Well done Forever21!
My Pastel Winner!
So there it is, Bea’s top 5 pastel picks of the moment. I’m sure that there’ll be many more styles and colours making an appearance on the highstreet regarding this style, so I wouldn’t worry if you miss anything. Just follow these simple rules, and you’ll be fine…
  1. Don’t be afraid to break up pastels with a darker block coloured accessory, such as a belt, bag or statement piece of jewellery. It lets you be adventurous and add personality to your outfit.
  2. Try and shake up your outfit with textures- mix soft feathery and floaty materials i.e. a dress, with ‘rock candy’ (as Topshop call it) accessories such as patent brogues, a leather tote or wool scarf.
  3. Remember that it is still wintery-ish. And although these trends are surfacing now, be careful how and when you wear them. Introduce them maybe when it’s a slightly warmer day where they’ll look more in place, than amongst all the shoppers in fur and hats/hoodies/gloves etc.
  4. TRY THINGS. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different pieces in your wardrobe. For example, today I turned a vintage midi skirt from a vintage fair into a dress, belted it, and wore with heels brogues, cute socks and tights. Things can look an awful lot different ON than they do on the hanger :)
Happy pastel-ing.
Bea xo