Shop Curiously

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If I didn’t follow up on my curiosity trails, I think I might go to the graves with about a gazillion question and it seems in online fashion, those trails are growing by the day.  Are the sites down or up?  Are they live?  What is this weird holding page that I’m on?  It’s all very ‘Ta-da!’ when whatever site is finallyu unveiled.  So the big ‘ta-da’ came for Shop Curious which I wondered about a while ago and whilst I’m not blown away or yanking out my credit card, it does healthily contribute to what Shop Curious call the shopping equivalent of ‘slow food’.  As in carefully saving up for beautiful things as a backlash against the fast-paced consumer frenzy.  The selection of vintage clothes and accessories and some contemporary items isn’t exactly entirely to my taste but still, these items jump out at me. 

Perhaps as I grow up a bit, I will slowly advance into being able to digest this ‘slow food’.  Right now my mindset is such that I feel like I can get similar items for a lot less, not to take away anything from Shop Curious’ ethos which is a postive one.  Their shop blog is also a well-written one that isn’t purely about product placement but seems to want to bring out intelligent discussion too.

Shopcurious

They are also feeding my feather obsession with their belts, hats and headbands which are a little more affordable…

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Clippety Clip Clip Low

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Clips1 Some things are just not meant for doing the dishes in and this slinky dress, which I bought in a charity shop as part of my self imposed ‘Under-a-tenner’ outfit rule, is it.  As nice the silky pleats are, the loose shape does make the thing I grab when I’m lounging at home.  But then it gets in the way of domestic goddess-ing work…aka the washing up.  It’s just too goddamn slinky.  So I took some funny hair clips which have never actually been in my hair to clip up the sleeves and lo and behold, a cheap trick of shifting the dress about is born…. 

Oh dear lord, did I just write a paragraph about washing-up and fastening sleeves up with hair clips?  I’m feeling myself sinking into a real Carrie Bradshaw ‘sock drawer’ article low (nope, haven’t seen the bloody film yet… but I am praying to make PR’s STOP emailing me pointless SATC movie related products/trends….).    

Clips

Get cutting…

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Zampetti22

Let’s just suspend the ‘Oh but can we wear this’ question and just get stuck right into the wave of fashion graduate shows that are now underway.  At the Central St. Martins BA show, Alithia-Spuri Zampetti won the first prize of the L’Or√©al Professionnel Award 2008 and though I don’t usually agree with the first prize winners, I have to say that Zampetti’s laser-cut out pieces have blown me away into a land where precision and detailing trumps all. 

The cut-outs could so easily look superfluous and used merely to demonstrate technical skill as opposed to collection cohesion.  However, with the sheer shirts and simple black pencil skirts, together they balance each other out and places these fantastically precise illustrated, cut-out oversized collars and sleeves in a context that befits them.  I’m not sure what materials the cut-outs are made out of, though it would be even more supremely impressive if she used a robust fabric, instead of the more predictable fash-student-y cardboard/paper (though I’m about to embark on a paper garment project so maybe I shouldn’t be nay-saying so soon…) .

Hmm…salty…

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Etrosaltshirt

The few times that I have dabbled with vegetable/natural dyes have had varying degrees of success.  I find that mild mannered ingredients like tea seem to get the best results.  Tea also erases the possibility of strange odours so in the past i have done many a PG Tip experimentation.  I also plan on delving into Tea Pigs range of teabags to see what different palettes can be achieved through tea dyeing.

But the natural dye thing has evolved and thrown up another suggestion which is salt baking garments.  Kean Etro got me thinking with his AW08-9 menwear Harvest Style collection that featured techniques such as coffee dyeing, blueberry baking and salt baking…

Looking at the instructions below, it does seem like a chicken or a duck could benefit from salt baking (delish…) but apparently putting some white cotton in gets you some burnt effects that I used to see in the likes of Robert Cary Williams’ clothes…

Still, looking like the least messiest (aka the least likely to fuck up…) out of the three Etro ‘au natural’ techniques means that I’ve got to get me some white cotton dresses, tops and skirts to see what sort of results I yield…

Ingredients: 1 white 100% cotton Etro shirt (or just any other cotton shirt…), 6 kg. coarse cooking salt.

Preparation: Pour coarse cooking salt into an ovenproof baking dish to form a 1 cm. thick layer. Fold the white shirt as you normally do (to put it away in a drawer) and place it on top of the salt layer in the baking dish.

Completely cover the shirt with coarse cooking salt. Bake in the oven at a temperature of 180° C (approx. 350° F) for about 40 minutes. Afterwards, remove the baking dish from the oven. Remove all the salt from the shirt and carefully hang the shirt on a hanger to let it cool.

Et voila…. a burnt sort of effect on the shirt that will supposedly look cool or something to that effect…