music

New Music Discoveries

This is something different to my usual set up, but I thought it would be fun to share my new musical discoveries of the last few months or so. I think there is a running theme with a few of the artists, they give off a similar vibe to them, but I want to know your opinion!

  • Troye Sivan

If I’m completely honest, I thought that his music would be mediocre. With so many young YouTube fans nowadays, I felt like I couldn’t rely on them for music opinions and assumed that Troye would have the typical “boy band for 12 year olds” style that I really don’t like. However, his music is much more raw and meaningful and has a dark but catchy vibe to it. I love his new album “Wild” not just because of the artwork (which is partly why I was exited for the release) but the teasers for the songs were so well edited and sounded melancholic and beautiful. I also admire the way he utilizes his status on YouTube to advertise his music in a subtle way. Not “You should all buy my new album” more like “Here’s a snippet of a new song…what do you guys think?” The promotions for the album included the audience and showed the hard work and effort that Troye has put into the music.

  • The 1975

I heard about the 1975 first from someone in my Textiles who is a big fan of them but I didn’t look into their music much. I think I did once but it didn’t click. Then a few days ago I overheard a conversation on the bus about a concert and “what songs would play first” and the people started listing names like “Chocolate, Menswear and Sex” the song names were so strange that I searched them online and discovered they were from the 1975. Needless to say that their grunge, counter-society image was a big hit and apparently they colour co-ordinate their twitters with their new album covers? That is dedication.

  • FKA Twigs

FKA Twigs is another artist who’s music videos are edited so well and with such unique concepts. Take “Water Me” for an example. Block colour background, minimal animation, and yet it is amazing! It’s a very artsy and aesthetic style video, like something which you would find on tumblr so it has a mixed opinion for what I’ve seen in the comments. Her voice is also unique, the high pitches she hits in her songs are ones I have never heard in songs before. It may be that I don’t remember hearing them or her tone of voice that changes the sound of the pitch but its a small element which changes the song to make it sound personal to her and the listener.

  • Ivy Levan

I discovered Ivy Levan through listening to Halsey and Aurora and she is amazing! I listen to The Overtones sometimes as they remind me of a day out me and my friends has ages ago and her music is similar in terms of inspiration. Ivy has a more modern and edgy take on the old school style of music, think 50s style with an edge. “Money” is a song that I listen to a lot as I like the music video theme as well as the song. It’s really up beat and I think that the ending screen on her videos is really cute. There is a strong old-school vibe to a lot of her songs

  • Halsey

Halsey was hyped up so much on tumblr and I think for a good reason. She’s another person who, from what I’ve seen, uses her platform to advertise her work in a creative way. I don’t know much about her, but I do know that there was a controversy regarding “Ghosts” and how it was allegedly sexual, more so than one of her other videos. Mainly because another girl took the place of what people wanted to be a male role. Personally I didn’t find it sexual, I think some parts could be considered as hinting at a sexual act but there was nothing compared to other more ‘provocative’ music videos. As it wasn’t disclosed as being sexual or having sexual connotations in terms of the plot line I wouldn’t count it. But again, I don’t have much background to the topic so I wouldn’t like to say. I do remember her saying that the reason she made the video the way it is because she knew that people would say that it was more sexual than her other video when it clearly wasn’t. From what I’ve seen, she seems very honest in voicing what she stands for and her music is haunting, in a good way of course!

  • Aurora

Aurora makes songs which remind me of Sia. Her songs are very dynamic and her videos almost look like they’re cut from a movie. Her voice is very versatile and has a style that is melancholic, like your on the bridge of a major revolution or something similar. “Running with the wolves” is an amazing song which starts off calm and builds as you reach the chorus and “Under Stars” is a light and beautiful track which I love.

These are the new artists I’ve discovered this year, who have you found? Let me know in the comments below, especially if you have any recommendations. Also, I’m not sure this will be a regular blog post, as I found it a bit difficult to express why I like their music, but if you guys liked it I might try to post this every so often!

On Sunday I’ll be posting the next collection in my “Inspired By…” Series where I create a small collection of clothes inspired by a music video.  If you have any recommendations of songs to do a collection of fashion illustrations from, leave them on the previous blog post!

Previous Post: “Inspired by…Red Velvet’s Dumb Dumb.”

Advertisements
fashion · Reviews

Red Valentino- S/S 2016 PRE

You can never go wrong with monochrome. Especially when it’s Valentino.

For the Spring/Summer 2016 collection, block colours and prints are featured again, with subtle pastels and rainbow patterns thrown into the mix, balancing out the harsh theme.

Valentino has gone with a 60s vibe for this collection, featuring shift dresses with bold prints, and abstract patterns. Masculine features have been woven into the garments, with a feminine twist, combining bow ties with sheer fabrics, and ties with short dresses, creating a modern age vision for next year.

I love the scalloped edge on the dress, it adds detail without going over the top. Simplicity is key in this collection, shown through the use of clean cut shapes and colours. The matching collar and tie, combined with the scalloped hem in black too really bring the shift dress together, rather than focusing on one center feature, showcasing the garment as a whole.

The pattern looks great reversed too and I particularly like how the hem has been raised and the waist cinched to create some definition and individuality between this and the first dress.  This design is much more softer, but still carries the boyish undertones through from the first design, shown through the tie and the Charleston shoes. This is contrasted with the rounded sleeves and tulip shirt.

The same pattern is carried through the collection, but with some minor and some major changes. For this design, a more ‘feminine’ approach has been taken, with the skirt adorn with ruffles and a  preppy appearance. The garment is much lighter and airy, with the use of pastels and brighter trims, and the sheer shoulder and neckline transform the pattern into a new creation, one with a softer edge.

The sheer fabric is also a reoccurring theme, this time used to soften a masculine style trouser and shirt combo. The subtle waved bow tie which is wider than usual adds a feminine touch, and the ruffled pattern on the shirt contribute to this. There is a nod to Victorian style shirts with the decorated fronts and high cuffs, with a modern twist, using a more revealing fabric.

I also love the suits featured. I’m a big fan of high waisted shorts and jacket combination, made in the same fabric to create a new style of formal suits. The print is abstract, much like the decor style in the 50/60s and the shine gives a professional image to the modern look, conveyed through the shorts and 3/4 length sleeves on the blazer.

Overall, this is a great collection, although an odd style for spring/summer which usually features brighter colours. Never the less, I always love Valentino and the directors are doing a fine job in carrying on the image that Garavani created.

What do you think? Leave a comment about your favourite piece from the collection which you can view here.

Check out my other posts from the series;

Barbra Bui 

Giambatissta Valli

Christian Siriano

Creatures of the wind 

Or check out my previous post -> Wind; Haruki Murakami- Book review

Thank you for reading, and sorry for being MIA for so long, I’m back to college now and back on timetable, so posts should be regular now. 

Literature · Reviews

Wind; Haruki Murakami- Book Review

I went shopping a few times during the holidays and one of the things that I picked up (well, actually my Mum did)  was a book by the author Haruki Murakami. It is actually two of his books in one; Pinball being the second book, and also features a third and final book in the series.


I was attracted to the book first by it’s minimal cover, created by Suzanne Dean. The book has two covers which I found out when I flipped it over to read the blurb (there isn’t one.) and found another cover in place, this one credited to the V&A and Steve Banks.

The cover for Wind is very abstract, with a cut squares and leaves which hint to the book’s setting and writer’s heritage from Japan, and makes a lovely change from the complicated covers which are usually found on book shelves.  I am a fan of more simple covers,  vintage hardback books being my favourite, so I opened the book to find out more.

Inside is more decoration, with the front pages designed to match their respective covers in a repeating pattern. Wind featured an abstract pattern, much like something you would find in a museum. Points to me for the worst description ever, but have some photos to see what I mean;


The order of the books is Wind, followed by Pinball and lastly A Wild Sheep Chase. I didn’t know there was a third until I finished wind and read the inner sleeve of the book and proceeded to internally scream. What happens to the rat? Who knows when I’ll find out because I haven’t finished Pinball yet and have no idea when I’ll get my hands onto the third.

The blurb follows the minimal tone of the novel, explaining what happens and nothing more. It tells the bare minimum and entices you becauase of this- no cliffhangers or ‘What will happen?’ It almost sounds…ordinary, like an everyday documentation which draws you into read more.


The style of Wind is personal and calm. The narrator is very matter-of-fact and blunt. No fancy words. He tells you how he feels, what he thinks and gives a real incite into his brain.

The chapters are short overall, with varying lengths throughout which I found odd at first, but I actually began to enjoy this style, especially the cute star divisions when a new chapter isn’t needed, but the events don’t flow into one another. Wind also has illustrations tying into the story.


As for plot, I have yet to figure one out. I mean, the events happen chronologically, and they make sense and have meaning…but the meaning isn’t to the reader- it’s to the narrator. This is what makes the book so special to me. It’s almost as if the narrator has invited us into his life, and we are observing his daily happenings. Nothing elaborate or fancy. Just his life. There is a real sense of ‘average is fine’ which I got from the book, a comforting thing if your like me and in the middle of essentially deciding your future.(yay uni applications)

The characters in the book are also interesting to say the least. The narrator is never named, his friend is only known as “the rat” and there’s a girl with only 9 fingers. Odd, right? This adds to the vague nature of the novel and also spurs me to re-read it again to see if I can piece together more coherently what is happening and what it means. If it means anything. Maybe it is just an interesting story about a person with no deeper meaning. After all, not everything needs to teach you something about life.


The Rat is a prominent character in the book, perhaps more so in Wind as he seems to be struggling, although he rarely shares why. Despite being from a rich family- he hates the rich and is a mysterious character who disappears and reappears through the chapters.

Many of the characters in Wind have little revealed about them- perhaps it reflects how people you meet share things with you, but never everything. It leaves a lot of questions which lead you on until you finish and realize…you have even more questions.

In short, it’s difficult to review the book without revealing what happens within the book and spoiling it. But it is a strange style of writing which is really fun to read and also challenging at times.

Overall, I loved this story, it is much different from the standard motivation-problem-solution or a how-to-life story, and I actually thought it was an autobiography at first. Actually, that’s how I would describe it- A fictional Autobiography.

I’ll review the next story; Pinball in the next post one I have finished reading it. I’ll also review the third book although I have no idea when that will be. What did you guys think? I’m not sure I reviewed the book very well, so tips would be appreciated! I’m curious to see if anyone else has read this too, I’d love to hear your opinions! Thanks for reading!

fashion · Reviews

Christian Siriano- Pre S/S 2016

Sorry for the late blog post, I usually post weekly but I’m trying to get all my revision and summer work finished before we go back! I should have my timetable soon, so then I can fit in a definite slot for my posts.

Onto the actual topic, the next collection I’m going to review is Christian Siriano’s Pre collection. This collection features a lot of peach tones, contrasted with black and navy among the pastel hues. Siriano’s collection is elegant and refined, with long, big skirts and modern necklines. Crew-neck and boater style necklines are a reccuring feature. Overall this collection screams young, modern and chic.

The first piece that caught my eye was this peach evening gown. I love the material used, it reminds me of tissue paper that is used to wrap jewellery in! I also like the unique neckline combined with the pleats, which gives a minimal and effortless elegance to the dress. The fact there is hardly any embellishment to the dress draws more attention to the small details which are executed perfectly. Even the hemline adds an edge to the gown.

Next is this floral print which is used throughout the collection. I love how in each ensemble, Siriano picks a key colour from the print and uses it in a block print to contrast. In this, he has selected a beautiful lavender shade for the top of this model and has used his skill in pleating and frills to create a pattern, rather than printing onto the fabric. Again, the simplistic style draws the eye towards the technique, showcasing his skills as a designer. As for the skirt, the same applies, this time with the wide gathers which gives a more mature undertone to the style.

Lastly, I love the 70s vibe that this over-sized shirt and skirt give in this design. The long sleeves and how the shirt is haphazardly fastened give a ‘day at the beach’ feel to the ensemble, and the geometric print adds to the retro vibe. A touch of modern style is injected into the design with the A line skirt which would look great with a crisp white shirt for the office. The heels and bow tie the garments together with the all matching print trend conveyed by Siriano.

What do you think? Check out the rest of the collection here and leave a comment on your favourite piece!

Or if you’re new, check out my other reviews so far;

Giambattista A/W 2015/16

Barbra Bui Pre S/S 2016

Creatures of the Wind S/S 2016

fashion

Creatures of the Wind- S/S 2016

COTW have gone with a slightly nautical colour pallet for next year’s summer trend, with navy blues, whites and a hint of yellow, creating a fresh and clean collection.

They opted for a no-fuss silhouette, straight cut and simple, with a few pleats here and there, leaving the chosen patterns to do the talking. The patterns in question are a mixture of stripes, floral motifs and a pattern which I can only describe as an striped weave. As in the fabric technique, not the hair kind.

I like the versatility of the skirt for this outfit, it can easily be toned down for a casual look, or used for a more professional presentation if paired with a white shirt. The shirt used in this photo (courtesy of Vogue might I add, as are all the photos used on this series) reminds me of an underwater scene, as it has a wet-look finish to it. This again, could be worn as a party statement or casual shirt, depending on how you style it.

THIS! This was the striped weave pattern I was (trying) to describe. It has the light and dark coffee tones going horizontal and withing that tiny square patterns making it look like a basket weave. The effortless gathers and tiny details- such as the uneven waistband- express the designer’s skill in making a garment which doesn’t need thousands of techniques and patterns to succeed. Simplicity is key, you might say. They also manage to get away with layering patterns (cheeky!) which is normally a taboo in the fashion world. However, the patterns contrast, with a light stripe on top, light both in colour and size, and a darker, heavier pattern on the bottom. And to unify both, a metallic scarf to add an eye catching feature to the ensemble, in a complementary shade to the skirt.

If you live anywhere with temperamental weather, you’ll relate to me when I say that it will probably rain a fair few times during the summer, even though it’s not supposed to. If your a fan of trench coats to combat this, then look no further. I personally love how the detailing is on the inside rather than the outside, as you can be fashionable without having the problem of matching your coat to your outfit. Flowers don’t match everything, unfortunately. The silver buttons employ a military edge to the coat, matching with the wet-look of fabric. From what is revealed, I’m guessing that the dress follows with the theme of ‘less is more’ with an abstract gather at the front as the main focus of the A-line dress. This time, wider stripes have been used to add more detail, and alternating colours also match with the nautical style.

I haven’t heard of this design er until now, but I look forward to seeing more collections as they have shown that they can do a lot with little extravagance, which can sometimes be overpowering. I also love the name of the brand, it reminds me of a Ghibli movie!

What do you think of the collection? Take a look at all the garments here and let me know in the comments.  If you have any recommendations for new collections that I should review, leave them down in the comments too!  

education · Reviews · Stationery

Zebra Pastel Mildliners review

My new highlighters have arrived! I’ve been so exited for them to arrive so I can use them for my revision and now they’re here I can make cute notes! I thought in tie with my studyblr post I would review them in case any budding studyblr bloggers were interested in buying them!

  
I purchased my highlighters from Amazon, and bought the pastel version of the product. So far I’ve seen two different versions of the pack, with different colours which are linked below the product page. But as I am a pastel nerd, I obviously chose the pastel ones.

  
They are a Japanese brand, and come with 5 different colours; yellow, pink, green, blue and orange, and they have a slight neon tone to them, which is nice because I don’t like really bright colours but it still allows important information to stand out.

  
They also have TWO ENDS! I didn’t know this when I bought the highlighters, I just thought that it would be a slightly thinner version of a highlighter but it’s so much more! There’s a wide slanted end for all your highlighting purposes and on the other end…

  
A pen version! It has a pointed tip so you can write in colour without having to use the wide highlighter which makes everything untidy and ruins your notes causing you to go into a never ending pit of regret and sadness. (Totally haven’t tried to write a title in highlighter before…nope…*insert crying*)

Anyway, the product was sent on the 16th July, and I received them on the 1st August, so two weeks is amazing considering they had to make a world trip from Japan all the way to England. They were in great condition and also came with a note to say thanks for buying the product, thanks Dai Dai!

  
Overall;

Price; 9/10  (I paid £3.6)

Shipping; 10/10 (so fast!)

Packaging; 10/10

Quality; 10/10

Communication; 10/10 (I received regular e-mails notifying me that that they had been dispatched and delivered)

Overall; 10/10

I thoroughly recommend this product if your going back to school in September, and if you do get them, you should tweet or instagram me your notes!

Here is an additional link to the supplier’s websites;

http://www.daidai.biz

http://www.sukiyaki.co

What do you want me to write about next? Comment below!

beauty · Reviews

MUA Lipstick review

I’ve recently added to my makeup collection three new lipsticks from MUA, or Makeup Academy, and thought I’d share my thoughts with you on the product!

 

The first colour I bought was a peachy shade called Juicy, pictured at the top in the photos above. It is very bright when you layer up the product, so if you like a bold lip, then this is for you! I personally like to wear less and have a slight tint to my lip, but maybe one day I’ll try going bold! I also love the pot of extra product at the bottom, which is perfect for applying with a brush.

The second colour is Tulip, the last swatch on the right, which is a nice subtle pink. I haven’t worn this one for a whole day yet but from testing it out, the colour is so pretty! I’ve found that using BB cream on my lips makes the colour more true to the lipstick itself but that could be due to my natural lip colour which is a slightly dark pink shade. It can be a bit dry to use alone, but if you use a bit of lipgloss beforehand, I’ve found that the application is smoother and brighter.

.

The last colour I bought was a bit different from my usual shades. It was a lovely mix of brown and purple with a gold sheen in the shade number 9. I love this one and the shade is great if you want to look good but not too dressed up, e.g- college or just going out shopping with friends.

I haven’t worn this one out either, but I tried it on quickly and it has a smooth application and a nice colour with and without using BB cream underneath. I think that the matte ones don’t work as well on my lips as the lipsticks with a shine, they’re a bit more dry than the normal versions, but all three are nice colours and for their price, just £1 each, totally worth the buy.

As for the packaging, the sleek black and silver style with the transparent product pot at the bottom is the best lipstick packaging I’ve seen so far. It makes it easy to find the colour your looking for and is a nice touch to set it apart from competitors.

Overall;

Price- 10/10 (for £1, they are much cheaper than most and for the price, great quality)

Quality- 6/10 (fading and transparency are a slight issue, but only slightly)

Colour- 8/10 (the shades are so beautiful and mostly true to colour when applied)

Lasting- 6/10 (they fade through the day, but if you don’t mind re-applying it isn’t much of an issue)

What do you want me to write about next? Comment below and thanks for reading!

fashion · Reviews

LA MODA Shoe haul and review!

sandals and boots

I came across Lamoda when browsing for some shoes because I was in dire need of new heels. First, I was shocked at their awesome range of styles, then I read the names (I want to meet whoever has the creativity for the products names!) THEN….Then I saw the sale.

If your like me, and hate spending money but love buying new things, then the sale is the first part you go to, and let me be the first to say, Lamoda doesn’t disappoint. My first pair of shoes; Like Paradise White(left of the cover photo) were only £8.99 and the boots, named Cry Me A River, were £9.99. Of course, there were delivery fees but for the standard 3-5 working day delivery, it cost around £2.99, which is so cheap! If you want them quicker, then you can choose how fast you want them to arrive, either on the next working day or as a Saturday delivery. Overall, the prices range from £2.99- £7.99.

Processed with Moldiv

Onto delivery, I received 2 e-mails in total; one to confirm my order and the second notifying me that my order had been dispatched. These both arrived in my inbox the day after I ordered my shoes and, by Thursday, they had arrived! It took 3 days, to get here and we almost directed the postman to our neighbors,thinking it was their parcel, we were so surprised!

The shoes came in a standard plastic bag, but inside each box was in a cute lavender drawstring bag, with the boxes inside. The shoes were wrapped in another soft plastic bag and tissue paper, along with tissue inside to keep the shape.

The shoes themselves are true to size, comfortable to walk in (at least indoors!) and there are no marks on them whatsoever! There was one tiny mark on the white pair, but that’s expected as they are a light colour and anything is noticeable on them. I can’t wait to wear them out!

Processed with Moldiv

Overview;

Packaging; 10/10

Price; 10/10 (so cheap!)

Delivery; 9/10 (the order was actually sent to the billing address, but that may have been a fault on my behalf)

Communication; 9/10

Product; 10/10 (perfect condition, so cute and comfy!)

Overall; 10/10

Find the boots here; http://www.lamoda.co.uk/shoes/boots/cry-me-a-river-black

Find similar sandals here; http://www.lamoda.co.uk/shoes/sandals

fashion · Reviews

Giambattista Valli- A/W 15-16

Just as I mention the man in my previous post, (see here), Giambattista’s new collection hits the Paris runways with a stunning array of dresses, complete with billowing tulle layers and bright floral prints.

Pastels were paired with clashing shades of red and orange, lattice and lace and snow-like skirts swept down the runway, creating a delicate yet powerful impression to the lucky front row.

Feathers, ruffles and high necks were the main themes of this collection, with billowing skirts echoing the form of whip o cream, pin-pointed by Vogue in their overview.

My favourite piece no doubt has to be this mini dress;

If you thought double lace was a fashion faux pas well…your right, it usually is. However, somehow, Giambattista has managed to make it look amazing using contrasting colours and separating the two sections with a open top and baby blue, sequin embellished strip. Textures upon textures have been combined to create a stunning garment which successfully aviods being too overpowering and tacky. The relaxed colour pallet is soft and compliments the fabrics to create a feminine and high-edge garment.

This next dress is femminine with a stylish impact which I wish I could wear everyday. The soft tufts of tulle which make up the skirt look so soft and I can imagine sitting down and being surrounded by the soft fabric. (I’m really tiny so I’d probably be covered by the fabric but I digress…) The monochrome pallet of the dress is a signature look on the runway and merges with the floral jacket, which gives the garment a hint of street style-gone-catwalk edge to it.

Overall, Giambattista’s collection gives a stylish, feminine feel with a subtle hints of statement fabrics and embellishments, once again, creating a youthful collection for the Autumn/Winter season for 2015/16

about me · fashion

Get to know the blogger- Top 5 Designers?

I thought that with being a new blogger and all, and not really knowing what to write about yet, I would do a Q&A style blog post linked to my interests so that you guys know a bit more about me.

So the first theme of this post is my favourite designers, the reason being that this is the drive of this blog and my life in general. My ultimate goal is to be a designer, among other things, and there are many people in the industry I admire and whose work reflects my own.

1. Valentino Garavani

Born in Italy, ’32 and introduced to me (not personally, much to my dismay) around 2010, Valentino Garavani is someone who I admire so much. He traveled the world, worked hard from a young age and gained experience all to achive his dream- something that I strive to do. I have written so many “about my idol” essays about him (one was even in French eyy) that it is embarrassing. No one tell him. Ever. I’ll probably say it accidentally if I ever meet him, which I really want to, if you haven’t guessed already. Long story short, Valentino is the sole reason why I started to consider entering the industry in a serious light, and that is why he is on number one. Not that I favour designers.

2. Mannish Arora

I used inspiration from the spring/summer 2015 collection for my textiles project in January, which is currently off for marking. Like me, Mannish Arora features pastels in many of their collections, and floral motifs as a key focus. Their designs are fun and eye-catching and offer a new spin on mainstream fashion, breaking away from the mold to create an entirely new garment style.

3.  Lucky Chouette

My kpop influence is showing now, with number 3 taken by the brand Lucky Chouette. I found these through kpop idol fashion and love their cute and edgy designs. They’re also active on their YouTube which is awesome as you can see snippets of upcoming garments-; an A+ for marketing. To add, they are popular in the kpop world, with artists such as Amber from F(x) sporting the brand.

4. Steve J and Yoni P

I also found Steve and Yoni through my love of kpop- although they have a completely different vibe to LC. They are fun, exiting and I loved their entrance onto the runway (penny boards are the way to make a statement) it was cute and funny, much like their clothing. Again, they are also popular with kpop idols and rightly so- their adorable sporty style echos the kpop themes that are popular this year.

5. Giambattista

Lastly, Giambattista also featured in my sketchbook and by now, you’ve probably spotted a pattern in my favourites….Pastel and Floral….yup. Their collections are light, airy, almost fairy like and completely adorable. The first picture gives off a paris meets candyfloss vibe, with the fluffy skirt and fascinatior. The second is so dainty it looks like the material could disappear at the slightest touch and the tiny flowers are arranged so that it looks as if they naturally grew on the fabric.

There you have it, my top 5 designers. Hopefully you found it interesting and gave you inspiration for future designs! Let me know in the comments who your favourite designers are and why, and what you want me to answer next. 🙂