30 October 2012

Chanel Little Black Jacket

Hi all,

So yesterday I went to London to visit Central Saint Martins for the fashion design open day. I also managed to squeeze in a few more things in the day. A big highlight was going to Whole foods for lunch! Their food is soo good. They were even pumpkin carving in the shop.

The next highlight was meeting up with Sophie (imitationisthegreatestformofflattery.blogspot.co.uk) I only got to see her for a few hours which really wasn't enough, but we did a lot in those few hours. We went to the Chanel Little Black Jacket exhibition at the Saatchi gallery. It was lots of photos of different celebrities, models and people involved in the fashion industry wearing the classic little black jacket, but each one was styled to reflect their personality. There is a book which goes with the exhibition, which looks really good. Another highlight of the exhibition was the free poster you got when you left!

We also popped into Victorias Secret on Bond Street for a look. Then had hot chocolate on Regent Street.

 Here are some pictures I took from the Little Black Jacket Exhibition:

China Chow 
Anna Wintor

Kiko Mizuhara 
Elle Fanning 
Uma Thurman

Charlotte Casiraghi
Sama and Haya Abu Khadra
Julia Restoin Roitfeld 
Freja Beha
Milla Jovovich

xox Niamh xox

28 October 2012

Pumpkin Art

Hi all,

This year I am going to Ireland for Halloween, so I haven't had the opportunity to carve my own pumpkin. That doesn't mean that I can't think about what I would do if I did have a pumpkin!
Here are some amazing pumpkins I found whilst searching for inspiration.

The starry night by Van Gogh on a pumpkin. Its amazing. The surface of the pumpkin has been worked into with varying levels, and glowing from the inside gives different shades. 

This one scared me so much! Its completely transformed from a pumpkin into a weird spidery creature.

Your classic witch on a broom stick silhouette. 

Pumpkin Burger!!!

The Nightmare before Christmas, in a pumpkin!!
Do you like them? Are you carving a pumpkin this year if so what is it going to look like?

xox Niamh xox

26 October 2012

Pumpkin Nail Art

Hi all,

Halloween is just around the corner and I have been getting into the spirit of it (there was pumpkin shaped sweets at work today) I was inspired to try to create a cute pumpkin nail design which is really not a very original idea but I thought it would be fun. I just did one on my thumb, but if you did one on each finger you could give them all different characters. 

Here we go:

Base coat
Orange Nail varnish
Green Nail varnish
Black nail polish/art nail pen
(optional) White art nail pen

Step 1 - Apply a base coat to protect the nail from the orange (you don't want yellow nails!)
Paint the nail with the orange (I needed two coats)

Step 2 - Apply a blob of green nail varnish and using a tooth pick spread it to create a leafy top.

Step 3 - Here you give your pumpkin personality! Draw on a face with the black nail art pen (or black nail varnish and tooth pick) You can also do lines to give the contours of the pumpkin.

Hope you enjoyed, and will maybe give it a go for halloween!

xox Niamh xox

24 October 2012

Feather Headwear

Hi all,

So, I am sorry for the delays in between posts (I have been aiming for one every other day) but you see I filled up the memory space on my laptop, so I have been trying to shift stuff off onto an external hard drive (which takes a while)
Anyway, excuses out of the way... yesterday I went to Oxford on an art trip from college. I visited the Pitt Rivers and the Ashmolean museum, which both had some very interesting things in. I might do a few posts on what I saw as there was so much. The Pitt Rivers was particularly overwhelming as it had so many things packed into one space (including shrunken heads, swords, old musical instruments... and a witch in a bottle!)

So here is a selection of the amazing feathered headresses from the Pitt Rivers.. Hope you like them!
I love the colours of this head dress. Its a South American Chiefs head dress, made from blue and red macaw feathers, and green parrot feathers.
Chicken feathers make up this hat. 
Another South American piece, this one is made from parrot and black powis feathers. I love the layering of the different coloured and lengths of feathers. 
South America, head ornament with parrot feathers. Must be one amazing parrot! 
Macaw and hawk feathers.

A head ornament worn by boys when impersonating evil spirits (according to the label)

This is a breast ornament made from parrot beaks! I couldn't believe that it was actual parrot beaks.

Just a very small sample of what I saw yesterday.
I will try to organise some more interesting images together.

xox Niamh xox

21 October 2012

A Day in Bath

Hi all,

Hope you are all having a good sunday. I thought I would share what I have been doing. Today I went to Bath, for a little retail therapy/day out. Since I work on Saturdays its really nice to be able to get out on Sunday. So here are my photos of my day...
Beautiful old house which is covered in Ivy. This time of year the leaves have all turned red.

Dinner at Wagamamas! This is one of their new juices (apple, blueberry and ginger) it was super yummy!
I decided to try something different today. I usually go for the Yaki Soba, but today I got the Wagamama Pad Thai (with chicken and prawns) it was sooo good (quite hot though, those chilli's pack a punch!) 
Little sampler plate of the deserts (white chocolate and ginger cheese cake, chocolate fudge cake, and passion fruit cheese cake) I shared this with my parents. The white chocolate and ginger cheese cake is my absolute favourite.

A little doodle I did in Wagamamas.
My purchases of the day. I got this mannequin jewelary holder in a really cute shop called french grey. I am going to use it to make really small outfits, to test out my designs (I know it will probably be more fiddly, but I will save money on fabric!)
The book I got 'Fashion in Impressionist Paris' looks really good. I have just received the Design technology prize from my school (yay, so excited!) , which meant I had a book voucher to spend. This is the book I got with it.  

A quick outfit of the day:
Jeans - A&F
Jacket - Oasis (borrowed from my mum)
Scarf - Fat Face
Boots - Cara London

Hope you enjoyed, and that you are having a lovely weekend

xox Niamh xox

19 October 2012

Reiss Coats

Hi all,

So I have been doing a little window shopping recently (as well as a tiny bit of actual shopping), wandering through Reiss I was noticing they have some really nice coats this autumn/winter season. I love some of the designs, they are really quite interesting takes on the more classic styles.
I have selected my favourites for you all to see...

Kayleigh jacket, £225. I really like the shape of this jacket and the hip detail, it makes it a lot more interesting than just a flat fabric.

The Fenella coat, £295. The colour of this coat is amazing, I am a big sucker for maroon and deep reds (especially in autumn) Feels like an echo of the changing colours of the leaves. I can see the single button making it a little less practical, but the shaping and the double collar win me over.

The Leo coat, £295. This one has to be my favourite. I even went to the extent of trying this one on. I love the lines and shape of it. The fabric is an amazing colour.

The Laurent coat, £250. Aubergine and black, with really interesting panelling. Very geometric feeling, minimalist and modern. 
Hope you liked them.

xox Niamh xox

17 October 2012


Hi all,

I thought I would share the finished results of my ceramics weeks. They have all been fired and glazed, and I now need to decide who is going to get which one for christmas :)

The pair of mugs, intended for use (as long as they don't leak!)
A very random looking flower like bowl thing...
I really like the colour this one turned out. It is so tiny though its completely un-usable.
Could a pot get a stranger shape? I had no idea what colour this would turn out, and I was...pleasantly surprised...
I really love how these vases turned out. I hope my mum will like them :)

Well, that is my ceramic work. Hope you enjoyed

xox Niamh xox

15 October 2012

Downton Abbey

Hi all,

I am one of the biggest fans of Downton Abbey, and I get so excited particularly about the amazing costumes (along with the ever twisting story line) I noticed that Mary Crawley gets to wear a lot of gorgeous hats. Some of the felt hats she has worn I have really loved, and I noticed that the hat I got from Helen Kaminski is quite similar to one she wears in series 2. I managed to get some pictures of her in her fabulous hats.

I love this green felt hat. The pile on it looks really lovely, and the burgundy ribbon gives the perfect contrast. Oh and I love the shape of it to, quite traditional, but with a little flair.

Dramatic scenes at the train station always seem to involve a show stopper hat. This one is a really subtle burgundy brown colour, with the feathers giving it an interesting look.

Aw, Mary looks really emotional here, seeing Matthew off to war. This is the hat that I think holds the most resemblance to the hat I own. I think its because its a similar colour and of a similarish shape/style.
Me in my Helen Kaminski hat, which makes me feel like I am in Downton :) 

Hope you love her hats too!

xox Niamh xox

14 October 2012

Anne Dudley-Ward

Hi all,

Another Sunday snippit here. Another pic from 'The Historical Mode' book (by Richard Martin and Harold Koda) I find this image so beautiful. Its a suit by Anne Dudley-Ward, from the spring/summer collection 1988. The photo shows just the back of it and I love it. It has the essential feel of a bustle, with the top layers giving volume (like a peplum) then the draping of the skirt just finished it off, balancing the highly tailored bodice. Its so gorgeous... I wonder what it looks like from the front!

Hope you have all had a good weekend, and have a great week :)

xox Niamh xox

12 October 2012

Ankle Boots

Hi all,

So, as I mentioned in a previous post this year I was setting out to find a pair of chelsea boots. Well, instead of getting chelsea boots I found a really lovely pair of ankle boots from Cara London. They are lace up boots (with a zip at the side), they have a fairly good sized heel (practical, but it stops them from looking clumpy at the same time) and they are mustard/brown suede.
They actually come in two different fabrics; the suede, and then a really gorgeous burnt red/brown leather. I was so torn between the two, but I decided on the suede as I don't own any suede boots at all, and they have a slightly more casual feel to them than the leather.

I love these boots so much. They are super cosy and are perfect for autumn and winter weather. I have already worn them with a range of outfits. I think they look quite good with jeans, and also with floral dresses with white frilly socks peeping over the top :) I think the stitching is also really nice on them. They are really well made so I expect them to be living in my wardrobe for the next few years!

xox Niamh xox

10 October 2012

Textiles - Print and Embroidery

Hi all,

So here is a bit more of an update on what I have been getting up to at art college. I completed my textiles sessions (Yay) , which were for two weeks. It was really fun, what we did was split into print and stitch. We hand block printed patterns, using blocks that we developed from an item of ours. I chose to use an earring, which has a celtic swan on it. So I printed lots of fabric... :)
Then in stitch, we did free machine embroidery and hand embroidery. We also did some appliqué, again using the motif we developed. I then stitched on top of the prints.

I have got a few pictures of some of the outcomes. So read on...

Printing with the block, using threads to resist the ink transferring to the fabric. I think it looks quite good, kind of photographic.
I did most of the main stitching using the free machine stitch setting, then I embellished it with some hand stitching and ... of course... BEADING :)
Appliqué little sections in different fabrics. The really lovely fabric I used for most of it looked like it had been sublimation printed with patterns of paintings of fields. Unfortunately it kind of smelt like moth balls! Stitching onto both hand and machine.

All of the swans were printed with the thread on top to give the squiggly lines. I then linked them all together with this windy line (free machine)

This was a series of 4 prints, with waves. I joined them all together by continuing the little waves in stitch. Overlapping the print.

I made this one using a random arrow shaped block. I tried to emphasise the shapes made inside the prints with the stitching.

Hope you enjoyed seeing these :)

xox Niamh xox