Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hey Mr. Johnny

Why the title? Well on the way to the city I was cranking up Miss A's (Korean pop band) latest album A Class in the car, and the incredibly infectious track "Mr. Johnny" succeeded in monopolising my brain for the bulk of the day. Since I don't understand Korean, the only lines making rounds in my head were "hey Mr Johnny Johnny hey Mr Johnny Johnny" over and over and over again....

Anyway uni has just started this week for me so I won't be able to blog very often :( I've heard that the second semester for fourth year in my course is the toughest, because of the combined difficulty of the subjects- Real property, equity, evidence law and commercial law. It's only been the first week and I already know that commercial law will be the one to lead to my ultimate demise, from my inability to extract any useful or remotely riveting information from the first few classes. Compounding upon this is a rather austere timetable which forces me to spring out of bed at 6am and trudge home at 8pm. And then do a monsterload of readings to be prepared for the next class!

Plus the fact that I'm sick makes me fall behind in study even further, so I have even less time to blog and engage in other insipid, trivial activities on the interwebs (which is a good thing I suppose, hehe).

So it was probably convenient that I wore sunnies to cover up my bloodshot eyes throughout the shoot :P Despite my sickness it was a gorgeous day! Sydney's been getting warmer now as we approach the end of winter, hurrah.

Sunglasses- Rayban
Top- Cotton On
Jacket- Sportsgirl
Leggings- Yesstyle
Shoes- b + ab (bought in Shanghai)
Jewellery- all from Colette Accessories

Click on the link below for more!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The cold won't keep the romance away

Sydney has been non-stop pouring this past week which almost ruined our photoshoot plans. It was still raining in the morning but as soon as a window of opportunity emerged (aka the elusive sun) we seized the chance to shoot. The umbrella was therefore not only to serve as a pretty prop, but also as a close-at-hand weapon prepped for defense from impending downpour havoc.

Kind of a cute story with the umbrella actually! It was pouring buckets on Enrolment day at university (I was fresh out of highschool! So keen for the much-anticipated Wild Uni Life and so unaware that "Wild" really meant late nights staying up poring over law textbooks!), and my dad and I were confronted with the uninviting task of trekking it from the train station to the campus umbrella-less. We made it halfway and then my dad popped into a newsagency to purchase one- it was a large, bright red umbrella adorned with white hearts, lined with frills at the bottom. He said he chose it because it matched the top I was wearing that day, a cap-sleeve red top with white hearts. LOL I felt like such a dork carrying it around (like some crazy, hypnotising red-and-white-swirly girl who just had way too much love to give) but at the same time I thought it was so ridiculously cute, that my dad was so conscious of his daughter's desire to look fashionable that he chose an umbrella that was colour-coordinated with my top (maybe a little too perfectly).

Hat: Forever New
Dress: Zipia
Jacket: Bardot
Stockings: Yesstyle
Shoes: Pulp
Necklace: Dotti
Rings: House of Harlow, Diva

More after the jump (click the link below)! Don't want to lag everyone's computers.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Baby doll

Somewhat (by somewhat I mean faintly) inspired by Emily Browning's character (called Baby Doll) from Sucker Punch (here) but a little less "ero" from the "ero kawaii" and more "kawaii"- so the cropped top is replaced by a cream coloured blouse, short skirt replaced by dusty pink shorts, and heart-decorated stockings instead of over the knee black socks.

Top: Zipia
Key necklace: House of Harlow
Scalloped shorts: Zipia
Stockings: Forever New
Heels: Pinet
Bow: Diva

It's probably hard to tell but I had a silk bow in my hair that matched the bows on my heels lol :( 
I love this pussy bow blouse! It's so versatile- I've worn it to semi-formal events and interviews when paired with a black knee-length skirt and black kitten heels. I bought it before blouses had become all the rage so it was just part of the sensible OL range on Zipia for people looking for sensible work attire, thus it wasn't grossly overpriced like what happens with any item that suddenly becomes trendy.

I bought these scalloped shorts from Zipia in a size S and they are very, very uber tight.I struggled for some time trying to pull the zip up all the way so I could wear them high-waisted style but in the end they looked uncomfortable anyway! Size M would have been better (the largest size usually available on the site). Silly Zipia, looking at their growing international customer base you'd think they'd be considering how much more profit they could be making with a more generous (and reasonable) size range!

one of my favourites:

The pink knit cardigan I had been wearing earlier before it got hot!

original concept for the outfit:

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Loving wine reds + shopping haul where I finally found a tolerable perfume + Harry Potter

Scarf: Glassons
Jacket: Bardot
Dress: some boutique store
Wedges: Therapy
Rings: House of Harlow, Tree of Life

To be frank I don't usually like red, but I am so in love with this deep wine red colour of my scarf! It's very easy to use it as a pop of colour to my winter wardrobe when I'm feeling lazy with outfit ideas, without being so off the season colour wheel.

original concept for the outfit:

also did a little shopping:

Colette: bag for $40, cuff for $15, cheap-ass stud earrings that I will probably never wear, for free,  ring for $6, iPad case for $10.

I have to go back instore and exchange the ring- "one size" my ass! It has a stretchy band at the back (so it can adjust to your finger size) but even when it's not being stretched at all, it falls off my thumb! The silver cuff is also already dirty with fingerprints and actually hurts like a mofo if you don't place it on your arm with extra extra care, because it will pinch your skin, and in theory you think you could get around this by placing it further down your arm to make it looser but no, that only makes it fall down and whack your wristbone so either way you get some sort of affliction unless you place the cuff on that perfect equilibrium point on your forearm.

Forever New: shorts for $50, stockings for $7.

I love the colour of these scalloped shorts, but I'm a bit bummed that they didn't have my size. This one is a 6 (size 0 US) and it just fits. I can still walk and breathe in them, but I feel like the shorts in this size come attached with a warning notice that strongly forbids consumption of food and/or drinks.

Benefit- eaue de toilette- so hooked on Carmella $60

Last but definitely not least! Since the beginning of our almost-two year relationship, my boyfriend has been hounding me relentlessly to wear a perfume since he has a really keen sense of smell and wants a lasting memory of me to treasure when I'm away or something like that. I'm the opposite, my nose is pretty insensitive and I'm usually that person who says with a rather baffled look "what smell?" when others notice someone's pungent BO when they walk past- pretty lucky right?

Besides my rather dysfunctional nose I also tend to find nearly all perfumes too "artificial" and nauseating, and not something I'd like to immerse myself in since it would probably give me a headache. I've also never understood why women have to smell like something lovely- of course I'm not advocating bad hygiene and any associated unpleasant odours, but why can't the subtle scent of the shampoo in our hair or bodywash suffice? Or why can't we just smell like nothing, isn't it just enough that we smell clean? I've met very few females who share my point of view, probably because everybody loves pleasant scents, but what's wrong with simply smelling neutral? When I expressed these opinions to the middle-aged Asian saleswoman she exclaimed "but we are lady!" with such a flabbergasted expression that suddenly made me feel like a hairy-pitted lesbian cavewoman.

Anyway so my armpits must not be that hairy because I actually really, really love this perfume. 

top notes: lemon, grapefruit, rhubarb
middle notes: cyclamen, peony, tiare flower
bottom notes: vanilla, sandalwood, amber

Since I will dislike any artificial smells I made the mental note of looking for something fruity- so the "lemon" and "grapefruit" bits looked promising. However the most dominant element I found was vanilla, which I also love! This is really the perfect scent for me- it's light, floral and super duper sweet. It's very redolent of lollipops and candy and other sweet edible goodies but not so overwhelmingly saccharine that your teeth hurt just from catching a whiff of it, because the vanilla and other subtle notes of sandalwood balance it out.

For someone who rarely wears perfume and sees absolutely no purpose for it, to fall in love with this and have the irresistible urge to wear this everyday, I think that really says a lot about how incredible this fragrance is. It was around $60 for this incy wincy little bottle but looking at all the thick wads of reject perfume test strips stuffed in my boyfriend's pockets everytime we go perfume shopping I could probably say that the steep markup is somewhat justified.

I also watched the last Harry Potter installment today with my sister! Epic, of course. On the note of Harry Potter, I also found this very interesting article! Highlighted in bold is what I thought was especially compelling.

Harry Potter: the anti-geek
by Amanda Marcotte

With all the excitement over the last Harry Potter movie coming out, I thought it would be a fun time to float a thought I've had about the book that often seems to surprise people when I mention it.  Even recently I was talking with some folks who were plowing through the books and enjoying them, and when one of them characterized Harry as "nerdy", I had to take issue. 

"Harry isn't a nerd," I said, "Harry is a jock."  I mean, Harry has an existential crisis that gives him some depth, but social outcast and/or geek he's not.  The opposite, in fact. 

I realized then that the "band of misfits" theme has so much power over the American imagination (maybe not the British, which could explain Rowling's choices) that people just sort of shove Harry and his friends into that mold, and then rely on a handful of rationalizations for it---Harry wears glasses, Hermione is a bookworm, Ron is a redhead---in order for that theory to make sense.  We're used to the X-Men or Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Scooby Gang, so much so that we don't see that Harry's trajectory is the inverse of Buffy's.  Buffy is a former cheerleader whose magic powers actually make her a geek and an outcast.  Harry is a nobody-special who finds out that he's special, and becomes not just the star athlete and hero of his school, but an actual celebrity.  Sure, there's ups and downs, but his trajectory is away from being the outcast and towards being the homecoming king.  Which may not be as emotionally satisfying as "my greatness makes me an outcast", but is probably more realistic.  In his world, being a badass is appreciated and he's realistically rewarded in his society for it.  

I'd argue that not only is Harry a jock character, but his friends also do not fit the traditional "band of misfits" mode.  Let's look at the evidence:

*Harry is the star of his Quidditch team, and basically is the equivalent in English football to a star striker, and in American football to the quarterback. 

*Harry's girlfriend is not only a star athlete as well, but is clearly the most popular and beautiful girl in school, with all the boys fawning over her.  It's a feminist touch that Rowling didn't make her the wizarding version of a cheerleader, but that's what makes the books so perfect for the modern era.  Rowling gets that girls can be popular in their high schools without being merely support for the boys.

*Which brings me to Hermione.  Hermione is the best piece of evidence for the "band of misfits" theory, but she still doesn't rise to the level of a true geek character.  Oh sure, she gets taunted for being Muggle-born and is the smart girl who annoys the other kids.  But while I'd say she's a tad nerdy at the beginning of the books, she evolves into one of the popular kids at Hogwarts.  She becomes very beautiful, is good friends with the most famous young man in their world, and she dates a famous Quidditch player.  Seriously, at one point she's basically a high school kid dating the equivalent of a young Cristiano Ronaldo.  I think it's cool that Rowling is acknowledging that the culture is making room for girls that are both accomplished and still popular.  And that's what Hermione is; no true outcast character would actually date one of the most famous athletes in the world. 

*Harry and Ron, on the other hand, are more stereotypical privileged young men who only put forward a C effort in school because they know they can coast into adulthood on their families' reputation.

*By the way, Harry's parents are wealthy, handsome people.  If anything, Harry's father is more of a cocky son of a bitch who coasts on charm and privilege.  Harry's mom is the homecoming queen who is nice to the geeks, a type that isn't as familiar in pop culture as the "mean girl" type, but is still a type.  Harry is portrayed as a chip off the block. 

*The most genuinely nerdy character is Severus Snape, which becomes even more clear in the flashbacks where Snape hates James Potter for his easy charm with the ladies, especially Lily, who Snape loves.  Snape is shown as being tortured by the popular kids when he's young.  As an adult, he and Harry don't like each other, and it's a continuation of the nerd-jock animus that both of them feel. 
*Let's face it; if "The Social Network" took place at Hogwarts, Mark Zuckerberg would be in Slytherin and the Winklevoss twins would be in Gryffindor.  Case closed. 

It's worth pondering if Harry Potter is so much more popular than many other series that have similar settings and themes because the books avoid the "band of misfits" structure.  "Band of misfits" is a trope that has great appeal to the traditionally geeky fantasy audiences, but Harry is accessible to people who have no relationship to that trope or what it feels like to be a misfit. 


Monday, July 11, 2011

something sweet :)

I was going to do a Nordic design on the sweater dress but I didn't realise just how time-consuming it was to do so much intricate detail, so simple snowflakes prevailed lol.

I'm So Hard

Rihanna-inspired today:

From the music clip for Hard- if that's not a hectic outfit then I don't know what is.

Didn't go for a dress because it looked too feminine to me (especially the hourglass bottom), which I thought would clash with the top part of the outfit. Hmm maybe if I can be bothered later I might add the gun prop :3

Friday, July 8, 2011

iPad drawing attempt #2

I attempted to do something different today, something that's a bit futuristic and almost fantasy-like. However there's still a large number of things I'm unhappy with. 
For example, I hate the computer-generated look that tends to be created on the iPad, as opposed to real-life. I'm struggling to make the hair look more natural but one big drawback with this style of drawing, is the inability to blend nicely. 

However I'm at the point where I just can't be bothered to fix it. I've spent an inordinate amount of time on this today and I have a headache. 
Still making a post for this so maybe later when I'm not so tired I can come back and try to fix those things up!

edited version:
The Golden One

my headache is still here but I just had to come back and try to fix it. Still not happy, but screw it I just want to go to bed lol!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My experience with iPad drawing!

Found out last night about the Brushes app on the iPad! For only $9.99 from the App store you can pretty much  use the iPad as a tablet, which I thought was crazy amazing.

So how was using the iPad as a canvas?

I've never used a tablet before, so to be honest it was quite difficult, making the transition from pen and paper to finger drawing and functions-pressing. Some effects you can create when manipulating a pencil or a brush dipped in watercolour paint, cannot be achieved when all you're doing is using your finger to drag across a computer-generated single block of line, which has no variance in itself.

Nonetheless the app does have some convenient nifty features- when you choose a colour from the colour wheel, you can also select a different saturation of the same colour, which is very useful when you're trying to add shadows and light. 
There's even LAYERS- so if you're really paranoid you can set up different aspects on separate layers so you can work on something without ruining the previous layer. Or if you're into fashion illustration, you can draw a figure template and take down its opacity, to use it as a guideline for drawing clothes on top. The app also allows you to set the opacity for brushstrokes but I think that's pretty stock standard stuff.

The biggest hurdle for me was probably the fact that I was only using my fingers and not a stylus pen. I don't own one and I only ordered it (plus a case with a hole to fit the pen in!) last night. Because it was just my fingers it was much more difficult trying to achieve precision. I had to do a lot of zooming in and out, which is a little cumbersome, because when you zoom in you lose sight of the bigger picture. 
What is also a little inconvenient is the time lag in choosing a brush size and setting its opacity, for which you have to (well for me at least) keep drawing test lines and then erasing them, to choose the right one. In real life it's easy to manipulate the tip of the paintbrush to get the thickness you want (and for watercolours, the opacity as well!)

This is the most I could do today on my iPad without owning a stylus pen. Not happy with the amount of time I took, but maybe I can be quicker if I had that damn stylus (or so I keep telling myself!) >_< 
However I think only using my fingers was good practice for the App- it's good to start with the harder things sometimes.

The iPad is actually starting to look pretty useful lol. I got it last week so I could use it for uni starting in the next few weeks since my netbook crashes so often (and the battery life is pathetic). Until this morning all I had been doing with it is playing Magic Piano LOL and my sisters have been downloading ebooks from the App store. What's great about the ebooks is that you can download free samples, where you're given the first couple of chapters, which is pretty generous to me. However the store's selection is actually pretty limited (it seems dominated by sappy sap romance and sci-fi not my cup of tea). 
I'm very, very glad that I'm  now starting to find some pretty nifty uses for the iPad!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Couture face

Took much longer than needed, I really need to find some way to be more time-efficient *tears hair out*

Started off being Karlie Kloss-inspired but being a huge Catherine McNeil fan I'm somehow seeing her in this.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

In the fields

A pretty warm day for the middle of winter! I had been planning to wear this dress for a while but thought I would need to wait another few months or so, since I get cold easily (as the goosebumps on my arms will readily attest). Still needed to power walk through the fields though to get hot enough to bare the cold air in only a flimsy layer of chiffon.

Dress: Wholesale 7
Ring: Diva
Belt: Temt
Shoes: Gmarket
Stockings: ?? is another Asian wholesale fashion website, selling no-brand clothing items at dirt cheap prices. "Dirt cheap" is for a reason. This dress was around $10 including shipping, and is of pretty decent quality. From experience chiffon has been MAJORFAIL from these types of websites, and another dress I bought from Wholesale7 in the same batch was just a big blue mess- material stitched in the right places but otherwise it was poorly made and not practically wearable. I put it on, took a single step, and it fell off. So I guess I can only wear it in situations where I'm not required to move. Posing as a street pole, maybe? =/

Isn't the background reminiscent of the Windows desktop background? I can just imagine myself trekking across people's computer screens...

Didn't really like the look of the bag in the shots so removed it in most of them. It's a vintage find from Ebay!

Candid of me applying lip balm lol...

This was one of my favourites :3

I also has an icecream necklace. =D=D
I'm gutted that it's been washed out by my dress and doesn't show up clearly in the pictures.  It was a steal for $10 from Chinatown, and what I love most about it is how perfectly heavy it is. Gives it a touch of realism? It doesn't feel like some little cheap plastic pendant, but almost like a real, solid icecream dangling off my neck ... ;D

I added a little clutch because I felt like the figure was missing one :(

Friday, July 1, 2011

Les feuilles mortes

Shot at another park. Winter had caught up by now so the trees look bare and spidery and not as lovely had it still been autumn with vibrant reds and oranges in the background. Veery quick shoot because we were starving for some Japanese, yum oh YUM.

Jacket: Gmarket
Dress: Gmarket
Stockings: Zipia
Heels: Nine West

Some shots were cut out because the fit of the jacket made my torso look bulky in some awkward and unflattering angles. Everything else about the jacket however is love, very very warm and snug for winter!

Also did a little sketch of my outfit (an altered version) that day, I wish I had played around with some more playful poses! 



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