- March 9 2013 | - Read More →
Last year I put my sewing skills to use on my homemade Princess Beatrice costume. This year, I was a lot less prepared as I didn’t have time to shop for supplies, and didn’t even have an idea for a costume. I was getting dangerously close to having no costume on Halloween for the first time in my life.
I had originally wanted to go as Bane from Batman: The Dark Knight Rises - an idea I thought of several weeks ago - but my endless searches for a good shearling coat over the past few months had been fruitless, so I’d given up on the idea.
Then last night, desperate for ideas, I suddenly had a brainwave. Within a couple of hours, I’d put together an impressively last-minute Bane costume from just a few things around the house: an old leather jacket, some belts, a mini top hat, and my bedroom rug.
Here’s the final result:
For the basics of the outfit, I wore army green combat trousers, black lace up boots and a grey muscle tee. On top of the tee, I wore a black cross-back sports top backwards to create a harness look, and then strapped two belts across my chest. Finally, I made a pair of ‘suspenders’ from some skinny belts
For the mask, I used the mini top hat I bought from Claire’s Accessories last year for my New Year’s Eve outfit, removed the mesh and feather embellishment, and secured it to my face with a black fabric belt.
The most complex part of the outfit was also probably the most iconic element of Bane’s costume. I realised that the oval shaped rug next to my bed had fabric which is quite akin to shearling. It was there when I moved in, so I’m not particularly attached to it. I squared it off and used the curved parts for the collar, then halved the remaining part of the rug and lined each side of the body’s interior. I just used pins to roughly keep the rug in place, since tacking it with a needle would have been too difficult, and I only wanted it temporarily anyway.
Since I didn’t have time to get a bald cap, I just used a flesh-coloured ankle stocking over my hair. It worked pretty well, but after a whole day of wearing it, it became quite uncomfortable, as did the face mask. But hey, no pain no gain!
Overall, even though it wasn’t the most perfect or the most accurate Bane costume (and there are some amazingly detailed ones out there), I was pretty happy with what I managed to come with, and I definitely turned a few heads at work!
Did you dress up for Halloween?
I just got back from a long weekend in Barcelona, and while wandering around the many boutiques of the Gracia/Fontana neighbourhood, I saw this quirky sweater:
Photo courtesy of sheinside.com
Unfortunately they didn’t have it in my size, but I love the concept! This would be perfect for a laid back Halloween costume, paired with black skinny jeans, buckled boots and hoop earrings.
It is unforgivable to do what one doesn’t love, especially if one succeeds” - Christian Dior
I recently enrolled for evening classes in Fashion Design at the Dublin Institute of Design. 3 hours, twice a week, for 10 weeks. It’s pretty intense but it means that by Christmas I’ll (hopefully) hold an Associate’s Certificate in Fashion Design!
Last night was the first class, and after a short history of fashion, we did 4 drawing exercises involving violets which our lecturer, Rebecca, brought in for us (and which we got to keep!)
The first exercise was a blind drawing. We had to sit with our backs turned to our sketchpads, holding the flowers in our other hand. The purpose of this was so that we focus on observing the shapes and lines of the subject rather than obsessing over what’s on the paper.
We then sat back facing our sketchpads and did a line drawing of the flower. Rebecca was quite impressed with the class’s drawing abilities, even though most of us had never studied art past high school! I have to say I had missed doing this kind of thing.
We then did another more basic line drawing and sectioned off shapes within the outline by identifying areas of light, midtones and dark. It looks sort of like a paint by numbers!
Finally, we made a paper viewfinder and focused on one small square area of the flower. The aim here was to really zone in on the different tones of each colour. As you can see I didn’t quite finish this one!
Before I knew it, the 3 hours was up and it was time to pack up. I really enjoyed the first lesson and was already looking forward to doing my assignment. We were asked to write 1000 words about a certain period of fashion history, from a choice of eras that were covered during the presentation. The next lesson is tonight, so I had to cram college-style last night to get my essay done! I chose to write about Japanese influences during the 1980s, with a particular focus on Yohji Yamamoto. If it’s not prohibited by the course, I’ll post up my essay at some point!
In addition to all the great vintage shops in Dublin’s Temple Bar district, there are a few new design gems hidden away. I recently stumbled upon Public Beware on Essex Street and was intrigued by their edgy, minimalist look. Originally a British brand, Public Beware set up an Irish branch last year, and boasts two floors of contemporary urban design.
The store itself is very cool, like a New York loft apartment or something. The clothes were mostly limited to a monochrome and neutral palette - just how I like it - and the collection featured sleek dresses and tops as well as very cosy-looking pieces in wool and flannel.
Last weekend, I found myself caught in the rain in Dublin’s Cow Lane district. Seeking shelter and warmth, I dashed into the nearest shop, which just so happened to be the Cow’s Lane Designer Studio. Chock full of Irish-made jewellery, homewares, art and clothing, it was a welcome respite from the horrors of the “summer” weather outside.
While discovering the store’s many treasures, I wandered over to the far corner, which housed an entire wall of beautiful hats.
These ladylike cloche hats are available in a range of styles for year-round elegance.
Or why not a classic Panama for a more masculine touch?
I love the idea of hats, but I’ve never really been a hat person for a bunch of reasons; I always feel rude wearing them indoors and my ears stick out from beneath them, but mostly I’ve never found a hat that I really thought suited me.
After a few minutes, I was approached by a man who introduced himself as the owner. John Shevlin’s father started the family hat-making business in the 1960s, and John has been following in his footsteps ever since. A charming fellow, he began styling an assortment of different hats on me, trying each one for the right fit, while commenting on the range of colours and styles available. But which one is the perfect hat?
This leopard print trilby definitely appealed to my animal side. Man, I feel like a woman!
I have to say, I really liked this simple but elegant black cloche. Even if it won’t save me from the rain!
My friend Julie could have done with this regal hat for our joint Halloween costume last year!
Check out the Shevlin Millinery Facebook Page for more styles and hat advice!
Are you a hat fan? Share a photo of you in your favourite style!
Yesterday, I visited Dublin’s Gallery of Photography and took a peek at some of their great photography books. I opened one at a random page, and here’s what I saw. This photo by Alexandra Boulat was taken at Saint Laurent’s home the day before his final couture show in 2002. A historic moment for the legendary couturier, captured beautifully.
One moves more slowly in heels. Walking fast is neither sexy nor engaging. Nobody notices the people who race around. If you’re walking in heels, you’ve got time. It’s much more attractive.
Story of my life. Whenever people tell me I shouldn’t wear heels because I’m “already tall”, I respond with “Well you’re the short one, maybe you should wear heels?”. Hey if you touch the fire, you gon’ get burned.
this is a blog about style. i prefer the term style because i don't necessarily follow "fashion" or "trends". i appreciate those things, but i prefer to explore real-world style, what people wear in their daily lives (hence the tagline "keepin' it real"), where they shop, but also, from time to time, what's going on in the world of high fashion, and other aspects of fashion design.
i'll also be trying to cover more menswear, as well as hair and makeup, once i learn more about it!
check out the streatstyle facebook page for polls, mini-updates and more!