An interview with Mademoiselle Robot... and 10% reduction for you.

29.5.09

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Just a quick one to let you know I am featured on the Stolen Thunder fan site this week, after they contacted me a while ago to do a little interview with them. You can click on the image below to go to the interview, and use the 10% discount code they are giving my readers.

M.R
M.R
M.R

Here are two of my favourite pieces from their collection. Despite not being a Festival kind of person, these two bracelets are from their "Festival" range. They also make cute laser cut wooden charm necklaces. Have a peek!

ps - If you are interested in video games, you can also read my first review for Bitchbuzz of the EA Sports Active thingie for the Wii. Not actually a game though.

Modepass Contest - And the winner is...

28.5.09

Do you remember a few weeks ago I wrote a post announcing a contest with Modepass? Well today is the day I announce the winner... First, I would like to remind you that the lucky boy or girl who won today get €100 to spend at Eple and Melk, Valentine Gauthier or Denim Gallery Biarritz. Pretty sweet isn't it?

It is a bit difficult to create suspense in a blog post, so I won't digress anymore.

One last thing though before I announce the winner: I really am thrilled that one of you is getting a chance to win €100 by reading my blog and following me on Modepass. It is a good way to say "thank you" to everyone who has been following me through all the redesigns, various angles etc.

The winner is...

xoxonicole

Congratulations Nicole, you won €100!!!

To all of you who participated, sorry you didn't get to win, but make sure to keep checking my blog, as I have many giveaways and competitions coming up and you will end up winning something else!

You can add Nicole and myself on Modepass if you want!





Innerspace - A vintage interior (redux)

Photo Nathalie Pecht for The Independent


To share with you my obsession with vintage and unusual interiors, I am going to visit a few interesting houses in the next few weeks. Some of them are my friends' houses, some of them belong to artists, the only thing they have in common is that I absolutely love them. I will be going to their flats and poking around, taking photos and bugging them to know where they found everything.

To introduce this new feature, I thought I would re-post an article I wrote giving decoration tips to turn your house or flat into a vintage paradise.

Choose a theme

It is much easier to decorate a room once you have a theme in mind. Be it a colour scheme, film or music inspiration or a specific era, it will facilitate your job & search. Here are the themes I chose for my house: enchanted forest (living room), 50s diner (kitchen, how original), museum (hallway).

Make a list

Once you have your theme, the best thing is to make a very precise list of what you want. For my living room for example, I wanted china animals from the 50s & 60s, ideally a plush deer head, hunting decoys etc. For the hallway, I am after various old paintings of Lynch amongst others. Write everything down, and when you next head to a jumble sale, take your list with you. It will help you scan the mess for the hidden gems. To make lists, I like to go on Listography.

Find good places

With a list burning your pocket, you have to find good places to go get your junk. I have a confession for you... I never EVER go to car boot sales. I know a lot of people who swear by them and find amazing stuff all the time. All I see when I think about them is getting up early and looking at endless piles of tatty tee-shirts & broken playstations. I prefer charity shops (they also have tatty tee-shirts and broken playstations, but at least they open all day) or small antiques shop. I used to look on eBay a lot, but nowadays everything on there is too expensive.

Do your research

Get some books about the eras of design you like. Read them, take notes. I am really nerdy about decoration (and everything in general), so I like to know what I am talking about. This is also a good way to know a bargain when you see one. I have an Ercol table & an Arkana tulip table. They each cost me £1. Because I knew how to identify them straight away. Knowing your designers, in vintage decoration and in vintage fashion can save you a lot of time and effort.

Make it work

Throwing together a bunch of vintage items doesn't necessarily make a stylish home. It can also look like a bric à brac. The important thing is to manage to mix the old and the new and keep people guessing. If all the furniture and trinkets blend together, then it should be hard to tell the vintage from the new.

Don't be afraid of change

Sometimes, finding the perfect look for a room comes straight away, but most of the time, it takes a while and some living in. My friends generally laugh at me because each time they come over something has moved in the flat. It is because I am constantly looking for the perfect place for everything. I used to avoid being in my living room because I found it a bit cold, once the furniture was swapped around a bit, it became a lovely room to hang out in.

Paint

If you find that you have all the right furniture but your flat still doesn't feel vintage enough, do some period research and look into paint colours & textures. There are some very good books about this, but the best would be to find an original decoration book from the era you are going for.


Focus on one room at a time

If you progress one room at a time, you will give yourself time to think and identify exactly what you need in each room. And add to your list. For example a G-Plan sideboard in the bedroom, an Eames rocker in the living room, a modernist desk in the study etc. You don't want to end up with all the nice stuff in one room and all IKEA in the rest of the house.

If you think your house is a decoration gem and you would like me to come and poke around, please email me or leave a comment below, I would love to see what you've done with the place.

Beauty / Revlon Nails giveaway!

26.5.09

revlonALL

I hope you all had a great weekend / bank holiday weekend (even better) for those of you in the UK. I had a good surprise in the post this morning, I received a box full of Revlon goodies for YOU. I have 8 sets of fake nails for you to win. They are from the Naturally Chic, Runway, Perfect Pedicure and Color Allure collections.

I have tried them on myself, and they stick for a long time. I bite my nails, so these are actually useful when you need to look super polished.

Four of you will win 2 sets of nails each, here are the combinations available:

1
Naturally Chic (Amélie) + Perfect Pedicure

revlon1

2
Runway (Sateen) + Color Allure (Enrapture)

revlon2

3
Color Allure (Enrapture) + Naturally Chic (Sophie)

revlon3

4
Perfect Pedicure + Runway (Sateen)

revlon4

You don't need to climb a mountain to win, just leave a comment below telling me which sets you would like (just the number, 1, 2, 3 or 4) & then subscribe to my RSS feed. The winner will be picked using a comment randomiser.

Closing date for the competition to win these prizes is June 2nd, I will announce the winners then.

Good luck!

Style Tips / Shopping for Vintage

22.5.09



Bryna Howes, owner of Rolling Stone Vintage Clothing, started collecting vintage clothes when she was in her teens.

After travelling for four years, she returned to her home country of Australia with the drive to do something new with her life.

She started Rolling Stone Vintage Clothing in 2008 and in early 2009, she moved to America, where she relaunched the store.

Here is her advice on how to find the best vintage gems.







Finding Vintage


❤ The sharpest vintage bargain hunters know that to find a vintage gem, you have to be patient. Sometimes you will have to ransack every bargain bin in the store before you find that perfect item. Be calm and patient and it will pay off. I once had to untangle a massive pile of scarves before I found that perfect vintage silk scarf that I just knew I had to have.

❤ Whenever possible, you need to try your finds on, even if that means trying them on over your outfit. Vintage sizes tend to run a lot smaller than modern sizes, so a vintage item tagged "Small" may actually be a lot smaller than you think. This is a good thing! It means when you find that incredible military coat and the tag says "Extra Large", that maybe the coat is not so large after all! Wear leggings and a tank top to make it easier to try clothes on when there are no changing rooms.

❤ Again, when it comes to size, it pays to know your measurements. That way, if you absolutely cannot try the item on, you can give it a quick detail by using a tape measure. The important measurements to know are your shoulders, bust, hips and waist. Remember to always add a little room for yourself!

❤ If you find something that has a deep yellow stain or a funky smell, chances are, you won't get rid of it. Unless you already have a magic recipe for stain removal that you know you can trust, avoid the piece. There is a silver lining though.. if the stain is on the hem or the sleeve, you may be able to do some alterations! Freshen the piece up by making it shorter or sleeveless and you've got a hip piece of modern vintage that is stain-free!

❤ Check the item for wear and tear. Check the lining to see if there are any rips and especially under the armpits. Any tears that are not along the seams will be hard to mend. Keep an eye out for small moth holes too. These are especially hard to see on florals and prints.

❤ Make sure all the buttons are still in place. Vintage buttons are near impossible to replace!

❤ Try to see all your vintage finds with an "open eye". This means, if you see that saggy, baggy vintage dress that looks like it should be on a grandma, but it has an incredible floral print, think about ways you might be able to alter it, shorten it, tuck it in, belt it, etc.

❤ Whether you're shopping in a bricks-and-mortar vintage store, or you are trawling the web for great vintage clothes online, ask questions. Chances are that anyone who has put the time, money and effort into building a vintage clothing store, is more than obsessed with vintage clothing. If they don't have the answers to your questions, they will know where to find them.

❤ Want to start collecting? Some amazing vintage finds to be on the lookout for: anything Chanel, Hermés or Pucci scarves, glomesh bags, YSL & Versace, Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dresses, etc.

Shopping for Vintage shoes

❤ Shopping for vintage shoes can be just as tricky as shopping for vintage clothing. When it comes to size, vintage shoe sizes are usually fairly similar to modern sizes. For example, a lady with a modern shoe size of 8.5 could be a vintage size 8 or a vintage size 9. However, vintage shoes tend to be a lot narrower than modern shoes.

❤ The most important thing to look for when shopping for vintage shoes is condition. Even if a shoe looks to be in perfect condition, it may have been made of components like glue, which can lose its adhesiveness with age. The good news is that most experienced cobblers will be able to come up with a fix, if your vintage shoes start to fall apart.

❤ Still not sure? Avoid wear and tear such as cracked or brittle leather, shoes that have already been obviously repaired, any fabric (such as vinyl) that is peeling, and any wear to the insoles/inners of the shoe.

Storing Vintage

❤ Now that you have acquired some beautiful vintage items, it is important to store them properly. Always use unscented, padded hangers when you are hanging vintage clothing. Anything that is particularly heavy, such as beaded flapper dresses, should be stored flat to avoid tearing. When storing vintage clothing in drawers, line them with washed cotton. Finally, avoid exposing your vintage clothing to light, animal hair and smoke.


Bryna is giving my readers a little 5% discount on all of her shop till the end of the month, so if you find something you like there, enter the code "robot" at checkout. She also offers free shipping in the US, as I know many of you are in America.

Beauty / Easy everyday make up tutorial

21.5.09

A lot of you have asked about my make up habits, so I thought I'd make a little video showing it to you step by step. It is a really easy everyday natural look.



If there is anything you would like me to show you, just let me know by email, or in a comment!


What I am wearing / Luella love

20.5.09

Detail

I have been desperately waiting for the weather to get warmer to wear my new Luella shorts, but it didn't happen, so today I decided to just wear them anyway. And to show my undying love of all things Luella, I went in for the kill with coral, lilac and yellow all mushed together in a big colour orgy. THEXTHY.

Luella Love

Luella Love

Shoes

Cardigan - H&M
Shorts - Luella
Shoes - Moska Cieka
Belt - H&M


Now I am officially running late for lunch, so if you see someone looking like a beach ball running around London, it will probably be me.

A little Monday music

18.5.09

Today, there will be no fashion, no vintage, no style tips, I just want to leave you with my current favourite song. It's from Phoenix's forthcoming album "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix".



And as a special bonus, here's an acoustic version of it...




I am sure most of you have heard it already, but it put a little sunshine in an otherwise dull as f*** Monday morning.

Beauty / A classic Hollywood makeover in 8 Steps

14.5.09

I have decided a while ago to start a Beauty feature on this blog, as I felt it really needed one to be more complete. To do it, I wanted to invite specialists to give you their best tips for skin care, make up and anything beauty related.

My first guest is the lovely
Alexandra Collins. She has been working as a hair and make-up artist for two years and mostly enjoys clean, natural looks that enhance women's natural beauty.

Her favourite products are: the whole Dermalogica line, Eight Hour Skin Protectant, Tweezerman tweezers, eyelash curlers, mascara, Make Up For Ever Face & Body Foundation, 187 brush from MAC, Benefit lip glosses and bright pink blushers!


On her blog What the Pros Do she gives "Tips, advice, and reviews from her journey to become a make-up artist" to quote Alex directly. Today she gives us tips to achieve a Classic Hollywood look.


The glamorous makeup looks of classic Hollywood stars have recently made a come back and are a real hit on the red carpet. When I was asked to write a guest post for Mademoiselle Robot I thought it was the perfect opportunity to share with you some of my tips for recreating this versatile vintage makeup look favoured by stars such as January Jones, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Kate Winslet. Read on to find out how you can make this classic look work for the next event or night out you have planned.

The key to this look is a flawless base so before you start with the makeup cleanse and moisturise well so you have the perfect canvas to work on.

❤ Applying your foundation of choice with a brush and blending well will help you achieve a beautiful base. For this look I used a little foundation on the eyelids to even out the colour and lightly powdered to set.

Tip: I love to buff foundation into the skin using the dual fibre brush such as the 187 Brush for a flawless finish.

❤ Apply concealer where needed. The areas that usually require attention are under the eyes and around the corners of the nose. If you have a blemish, apply a dot of concealer on the blemish and lightly pat with a finger to blend in.

Tip: Don’t cake on concealer other wise it is more likely to crease and sit in fine lines. Start with a tiny amount of concealer on a small brush or the tip of your finger and pat on only where needed, adding product until any discolouration is concealed.

❤ Get a sexy feline flick of liner using a gel liner such as Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink with a fine liner or angle brush to help you get a crisp budge proof line. Looking down draw a thin line as close to the lash line as possible from the inner to the outer corner on the eye. Practice doing this in one quick clean sweep, as the slower you go the more wobbly the line usually turns out. Now to create a retro flick look straight into the mirror and imagine you can see the flick and make a tiny dot at the finishing point. Now join that dot to the line along the lashes so it looks like one fluid line and tweak to get the thickness you want.

Tip: To help you keep a steady hand either rest on a table or cross your other arm over your body and rest your elbow on your wrist. You should also keep a cotton bud dipped in eye makeup remover on hand to correct mistakes.

❤ For added glamour apply a set of false lashes such as Eylure Naturalites in 107 or 100. Squirt a small amount of lash glue on the back of your hand and drag the band of the lashes through the glue and wait a couple of seconds for it to go tacky. Looking down, place the lashes as close to your natural lashes as possible. Give the bottom lashes a good coat of mascara too!

Tip: You will find Duo glue in just about every single makeup artist’s kit so get your hands on a tube if you frequently wear lashes.

❤ Groomed brows are also key to this look so fill in brows using a brow powder with an angled brush and brush through some brow gel to keep in place. If you hold your brush at the corner of your nose and line up with the outer corner of your eye the brows should tail off ending when it meets this line.

Tip: Can’t find a brow powder that matches your brows? Use a matte eye shadow instead

❤ To achieve a perfect, classic red lip use a liner that matches your lipstick colour exactly. Follow your natural lip line and subtly shape the lips if needed so they look symmetrical. Fill in the lips with your lipstick, blot and reapply to get more wear out of your lip colour.

Tip: If you struggle applying dark lip colours start with a gloss which you should find easier to apply.

❤ Clean up around the lips and eyeliner with concealer and a small brush for a perfect finish.

❤ This look typically would have been very matte but for a modern twist just powder through the t-zone, under the eyes where you concealed and powder blemishes that have been covered to set.

Annette27s
Make up by Alex

It takes a little practice to get this look right but once you have mastered the flick of liner and the perfect pout, this classic look will take you everywhere. Give it ago and let us know how you get on!

Style Tips / Decluttering your wardrobe (redux)

12.5.09



springclean


Since I officially have a new closet, I thought it was time to re-post an old favourite: How to declutter your wardrobe. First, let me tell you a bit more about the beast: we used the Pax/Komplement system from Ikea, which means that you get to choose the size, fittings and finish of your closet. You can even do an online simulation before you buy it, that was really helpful. It really helps figuring out how you want to organise your stuff.

The crazy thing is that it really does make my life easier when I try to pick an outfit. Everything is here in front of me, I can see all of my clothes, so I can straight away decide what will go with what. Even down to the accessories.

The one advice I would add for 2009 is to organise the whole room before you reorganise your closet. A few weeks ago I started sorting out my desk and dresser, to make sure everything had a place and to know what would be left out and needed to be put away in the cupboard. In my case, it was mainly getting small boxes and trays to put jewellery and magazines, but some of you might want to make more drastic changes to the layout of the room beforehand.

Here's how I roll - my tips to organise your closet without losing your mind.

❤ Choose a time when you know you don't have anything else to do & you feel happy, relaxed and confident - it is important to make sure you won't discard anything too hastily.

❤ Start with what you kept last time thinking "I can use this to sleep in". The truth is, you do use it to sleep in, but how good does it make you feel to sleep in an old tatty tee-shirt? Not very good, that's how. So take all those items and put them straight in a bag. In the future, promise yourself to wear proper pyjamas / slips / chanel numero 5 to sleep. I will explain later what to do with this bag.

❤ Now let's move on to the underwear and hosiery drawers... I tend to get rid of knickers as soon as they have a hole in them / an elastic getting loose / turning gray from too many washes. This way, my knickers drawer never gets out of control. As for bras, just try them all on. Any ill fitting one, put in a bag. Same goes for tights and socks. Holes, ladders - discard. I used to keep my laddered tights to wear under trousers when it gets really cold. It never really gets that cold. If it leaves you with nothing, make a list of what you need and go shopping for essentials.

❤ Are you warmed up already? Then it is time to look at tee-shirts and jumpers. I keep my tee-shirts and jumpers on a shelf, folded. Take out your pile of tees and quickly assess which ones you wear (make a pile), which ones you don't wear because they are destroyed (start a bag) and which ones you don't wear because you just don't (make a pile). Put back in your closet the ones you wear. The destroyed ones, you can't even give to charity shops, so either use the fabric to make stuff (pillowcases, toys etc) or simply discard them. I am not a big fan of throwing clothing away, but sometimes, that's the only thing left to do. You are left with the tees you don't wear just because... These are tricky ones. Put aside the ones you could give to friends (only if you are sure your friends will like them - they are your friends, not your bin) and make sure you don't wait for ages before you actually give them away. What's left can be divided in two piles: charity shop and eBay.
You can do the same for jumpers.

❤ Finally, on to the hanging things. This is what is most time consuming for me as I own many dresses and jackets. Get everything out of the closet and off the hangers. Check that all your hangers are wooden (not to spoil the clothes) and that they are not broken. Then do what you did with the tee- shirts and jumpers. When you hang your dresses and jackets back, make sure you button them up, so they don't lose their shape. If you have very valuable items, put them in special hanging bags.

❤ To make my closet organisation efficient, I try to keep everything sorted by colour. My clothes are fairly colour coordinated anyway, so it is easy. If you have a lot of prints, try and sort your clothes by types of prints and then by colour.

What about all those bags? Well...

❤ Anything very old and tatty can either be thrown away or used to make things (I tend to opt for this one). If you are going to keep old clothes to make things, then rip them apart straight away and turn them into fabric as it is very easy for them to find their way back into your closet!

❤ Anything good that would make a friend happy, wash, iron & wrap in silk paper then send to your friend.

❤ Anything designer or vintage you don't wear anymore, sell on eBay.

❤ Anything high street you don't wear anymore, bring to your local charity shop.

❤ Anything that needs altering, go and have it altered, don't delay it or they will quickly become clutter again!

When was the last time you decluttered that wardrobe? What did you do with the things you didn't want anymore?

Original photo from Piggy Forever, altered.

What I am wearing / Acid Wash

8.5.09

Bracelet/top

I seem to have abandoned dresses a while ago and to now prefer separates. From where I am I can see all of my pretty dresses sitting quietly in the closet (still no doors!), but all I want to wear is skirts and tops. I think I grew tired of being lazy. Dresses seem like an easy option, I slip a dress on, a pair of tights and some shoes, and poof! I am ready. I want to live my life on the edge and risk a fashion faux pas. I need the thrill of the skirt and tee-shirt combo. Also, to be perfectly honest, I have lost quite a bit of remaining baby weight and I can finally fit in my old skirts! In fact, I even had to take some in.

Man, that must have been a thrilling paragraph to read. I am just waking up, my brain is a bit mushy.

outfit

top

I really love the ruffles on this top. Wearing it makes me feel like some kind of super hero insect, I want to run around everywhere going "BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!". It also makes me feel a little bit like a gothic Carmen Miranda. Question of the day: do you think a gothic Carmen Miranda would wear a bunch of rotting fruits on her head? Answers on a postcard!

Mademoiselle Robot: New collaborations...

5.5.09

Hello!

I hope you all had a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend (if you are in the UK). I spent it mainly rearranging our new wardrobe. Oh the glamour of my life, I bet you are all jealous! I even managed to create a tuxedo style bruise on my leg by dropping 100 kg of flat packed wood on it. Sexy sexy I tell thee.
The great news is that my wardrobe is now very organised, which means less time spent agonising in front of it trying to find outfits in the morning, but also more time to work on the various new collaborations I am going to tell you about.

I have written for Sandra before, but now I will be writing for her site once a month. I am her official London spy, so expect a lot of "local" tips, addresses and info. My first post for Debutante Clothing "London's Vintage Geography Guide" is online now!


When Isabelle asked me if I would contribute to CQ, I said "YES!" even before she had time to finish her question. I will be writing a post a week for them (online every Thursday), bringing a vintage touch to the (internet) Queen.


I will be starting a video games feature for Bitch Buzz very soon, which means that I can finally go back to writing about games as well as fashion! If you are a chic geek like me, stay tuned for more updates on this.

I have two more projects I am dying to tell you about, but I can't reveal anything about them yet...

What have you been up to this weekend?




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