Wednesday, 27 January 2016

I was recently invited to The National Theatre to watch Damon Albarn, Rufus Norris and Moira Buffini's . Luckily I was in London for work so was able to watch it last Friday evening after work. I love the National Theatre so it was a delight to be able to visit. 

Initially I wasn't sure how I felt about a re-working of Alice in Wonderland, I love the book and I really hate to see things trashed so I approached the evening with a little trepidation. Having seen the production I'm still not entirely sure it needed to be done. The plot at times was a little wishy washy, and I found some of the script a little obvious in it's projection of teenage life and dialect. However, that's not to say I didn't enjoy it. Visually the show was spectacular, from the digital Cheshire cat, to the stage sets and dazzling costumes. The intensity of the visuals meant that you very much got sucked into the production, it was engrossing in the same way scrolling through Instagram can be. It really was like falling down the rabbit hole, I was left feeling bamboozled and heady which I suppose is what one would want from going through the looking glass.

The attention to detail in the foyer and shop area pleased me greatly. The interactive displays they had outside in the foyer, were particularly great. It was so much fun bopping the cakes on this interactive table and listening to the funny noises they made.

All in all it was glitzy and fun, exactly what a musical should be. is not going to break any boundaries but then I'm not sure musicals need to, sometimes being entertaining is enough.

Inspired by my trip to I dressed up as Alice and wandered into my own wonderland. There I met my favourite critter Gremlina, and we stopped for a cup of tea and a chatter. 

She was mostly well-behaved apart from slurping her tea a little loudly. 

Wonderland is a fun place to visit but there comes a time when reality calls and the washing up, hoovering, and dusting must be done.

See you all soon.

Outfit Details

1950s cotton floral frock - car boot sale
Velvet thigh boots - H&M
Alice in Wonderland earrings - a gift from my mum several years ago


Monday, 11 January 2016

Life on Mars

 I'm sure I don't need to introduce this post really. This morning the world awoke to the news that David Bowie had passed into another realm. Of course like pretty much everybody else this news was a shock to me. David Bowie was a figure I think most people thought was eternal. His other-wordily quality rendered him ageless, timeless and ever contemporaneous. He was the master of re-invention, a true chameleon and for that I salute him. There truly is no other pop star out there like him, past or present, and I doubt there ever will be in the future either. He, over the years, has had a huge influence on me, particularly his work from the 70s/early 80s. I was very lucky to visit the V&A retrospective of Bowie in 2013. It was a strange, multi-sensory experience (what else would one expect), that at the time I'm not sure I enjoyed as I felt it was too much.  However, it was such a treat to see the costumes and artwork from 4 decades of service in the flesh, and reflecting on it now I'm so glad that I was able to go! It now seems so incredibly timely that they put it on.

To mark the end of his time on Earth (I really hope he is on Mars now) I donned my most psychedelic suit and new platform boots from the H&M sale and grooved around the living room to Hunky Dory.  It's very hard to pick a favourite song so here are my top three: Dance - the first song I heard aged 14, changes which I used as blog inspiration last year and Space oddity - because it's such a wonderful song! RIP DB.

See you in space.

Outfit Details

Blue paisley suit - Zara
Navy velvet thigh high boots - H&M
Turtleneck - Orla Kiely X Uniqlo
Felt hat - charity shop


Friday, 8 January 2016

Folk Tales

So far January has been very very rainy, today there was a little glimpse of beautiful wintery light and I grabbed it to snap some pictures. This sort of light always seem to lend itself to Folk inspired outfits, it's my favourite of any weather. The crisp, clean freshness is so refreshing after the seemingly endless damp days! 

These pictures are inspired by a multitude of things that have been dancing around my mind lately. Firstly Russian, Hungarian, Bulgarian and Romanian wedding and funeral ensembles. I saw Hungarian and Bulgarian wedding and funeral costumes in the Ethnographic Museum in Budapest and they have been playing on my mind ever since. I love the delicacy of the colours and the intricate layers of embroidery, beading and ribbonwork; truly exquisite!

Ethnographic Museum, Budapest
Ethnographic Museum, Budapest

Ethnographic Museum, Budapest

Ethnographic Museum, Budapest

I wanted to try and re-create something of them in my ensemble - the layers, trinkets and colours in particular. My own folk story if you like, a little love, a little loss and of course a chicken because of course what Eastern European folk tale is complete without a chicken? This one is named Percy (short for Persephone). It was a gift from my mum a few years ago, I walked passed it in a shop in Bath and fell in love - so fluffy and much tidier than a real chicken. You can purchase one too (if you care to) direct from Hansa or via Amazon.

  Whilst thinking about these things my mum posted on Facebook some paintings she has been working on for Galway Early Music Festival and it seemed so in tune with everything I had been whirring over in my mind. Hands clasping hearts are perhaps one of my all time favourite symbols.

Second Claddagh Triptych, Penny MacBeth, 2016

The Claddagh ring, featuring two hands clasping a crowned heart is a symbol firmly embedded in the cultural history of Galway however, hands clasping hearts crop up everywhere including in Hungary, it being a universal symbol for love or betrothal. They often appear, like the Claddagh, in rings known as 'fede' - meaning fidelity. However, in Hungary we also saw hearts crop up on doors and brooches:

Brooch, Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest

Lace is something else which I've been thinking about lately, mainly after listening to my friend Elena talk about it having traveled around Europe studying it. It is such a beautiful, and I feel under appreciated, art form! I've owned this 1980s does 1920s machine lace dress for a few years now. It's wonderfully versatile; sometimes I wear it belted, other times loose, sometimes over a underskirt or tucked into leggings. I recently found the same dress in a charity shop but in black, at first I was excited but it was badly dyed and sections of it had taken on a slightly odd faded look. It's of course nowhere near as intricate as proper handmade lace but it's pretty good machine version. 

And of course my headdress, this is another that I bought in Budapest but have yet to wear on this blog. It's not quite as well made as the other one (which was hand-stitched by the ladies who sold it to me!) but it's still such a wonderful colour and shape. Headdresses for weddings and funerals are definitely an item I feel is missing from English occasions: 

Wedding Headdresses
Source: 1

Norwegian wedding headdresses
Source: 2 

I hope you are all well and enjoying the small glimmer of winter sunshine, it is definitely to be relished whilst it lasts. Remember to wrap up and stay warm in this chilly air. On another note - what did everyone think of the BBC's first episode ofWar and Peace? I was left a little underwhelmed! 

Outfit Details

1980s lace dress - charity shop
1970s cotton lace print skirt - charity shop
Red velvet and lace headdress - Central Market, Budapest
Pink lace gloves - H&M
Crochet, lace and felt choker - Penny MacBeth
Malachite ring - Miranda Hope Jewellery
Sequinned ribbon belt - Istanbul