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Sunday, 30 October 2011

They did the Monster Mash

Halloween is always a fun time of year for me. I think it's my inner 16-year old goth girl screaming to get out. As the years go on, more and more people start to embrace all the spooky festivities and Halloween gets increasingly popular. I noticed some stores in Glasgow starting to stock their Halloween wares as early as the end of July this year. Decorations, costumes, sweets and yes, even greeting cards - it seems Halloween is big business.

Like Christmas and New Year, Halloween weekend is now cause to go out  - with several themed club nights and events advertised every year. Last night seen Ashton Lane's Creatures of the Night, a full after-hours street party with each pub/ restaurant in Ashton Lane taking on a Halloween persona, proving that Halloween's popularity is not lost on Glasgow's party-goers.

Despite the choice on offer - with the above event in particular being right on my doorstep - I have my own tradition for this wicked weekend and it would need to take something pretty incredible to change that. Halloween movie night in our flat has been how I prefer to spend Halloween weekend for the last few years. Call me boring, but I look forward to it every time and this year has been no exception. With friends,  junk food galore (candy coma, anyone?) and the horror genre's good, bad & ugly on DVD (and if we're feeling flush, blu-ray), I always have a great time. This year we watched Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, which was a bit like Saved By the Bell but with lots of people getting stabbed. There was also a pumpkin that accidentally ended looking like John Waters after we carved it and of course, the endless supply of sweets:

As well as watching films  and eating enough rubbish to horrify my dentist, Halloween also gives me an excuse to wear my more eerie ensembles (I did say I was a goth kid at heart) and enjoy the themed pieces that come out. I've always been a fan of Tatty Devine's Ghost necklace (£27) - simple and very cute, it's remained a classic and makes me smile. I also really like this Werewolf Tee by Urban Outfitters, with it's comic-book style print and hole detailing:

Werewolf Tee, £30 at Urban Outfitters

The other day the Boy pointed out these Rosario shoes by Pretty Ballerinas - in perfect Halloween colours featuring pumpkin and witches hat detailing. Good eye! Although at over a hundred quid they may need to be admired from afar.

A couple of years back I won a dress from the totally awesome and now defunct Lady Luck Rules OK website as part of a Halloween contest. The dress has everything you'd expect from a Halloween print - vampires, skeletons, gravestones and pumpkins. I love wearing it and make sure it gets trotted out at this time of year:

One of my favourite dresses ever - thanks LLROK! 

Finally, a quick word on decorating - it's been a total joy to dress up our new flat for Halloween this year. I really think we outdid ourselves and struck a good balance. I just wish I'd seen this cute Halloween bunting (I love bunting!) by John Lewis sooner:

Ghost & Bat bunting, £4 at John Lewis

Ah well, there's always next year.

Happy Halloween everyone! What's YOUR Halloween style?

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Creepy Crawly

I hate to sound like an 'I was doing that way before it was in fashion' type, but when I seen that brothel creepers were becoming fashionable - thanks in part to Prada's much sought-after crepe-soled brogues - I couldn't help but think along those lines. I don't make this kind of claim often, so when I do I really mean it. I remember buying my first pair of Underground creepers when I was still in secondary school, on my first trip to Camden Market - which at the time seemed like the coolest place in the world. I loved my creepers so much that I managed to persuade my mum to let me get two pairs - a black pair for school and a pink spiky pair for the weekend. Many a Glasgow boy and girl have been rocking creepers for years, they are a wardrobe staple for dedicated attendees of rockabilly club nights and concerts. Creepers became popular as fashion footwear in the late 1950's, so lovers of all things retro are also bound to be familiar with them (and probably own a pair or two).

These ladies and gents show us all how it's done

A selection of Prada's creeper-style shoes, around £510 

From reading reactions to this new footwear trend, it seems to be that creepers divide opinion quite a bit. It's considered a 'tricky' trend and many fashion writers aren't convinced by the wonder of the brothel creeper. True, they aren't for everyone (that was always part of their original allure, all those years ago) but seeing them stocked in Topshop means that creepers have definitely come a long way. Creepers have appeared on the catwalks and inevitably on the pages of fashion magazines as part of an overall trend of androgyny - tipped to be huge for this Autumn/ Winter. It is clear that creepers certainly have a masculine feel - as the song goes, a man with 'rolled up jeans and creepers on' is 'a mighty fine sight to look upon' (I couldn't agree more) - but with so many variations available, I think it's high time the ladies got in on the action.

Creepers are flat, yet chunky, and their stacked sole can help give a bit of height. The thick and sturdy soles mean that they are notoriously difficult to break in - but the effort is worth it and a good pair of creepers will last you for years. Luckily, with creepers being in fashion there are many styles ranging from high stacked soles for those looking to get an authentic teddy boy (or girl!) look, to pairs with thinner soles for those looking for a less exteme style. Topshop really do offer a great range and their Mobee Double Buckle brothel creeper is a lighter take on the look with a flash of leopard print for only £34. 

For a hardwearing pair of creepers, London brand Underground really are the original and best. They have been keeping all manner of rockers in creepers for decades and have an extensive selection - including double and triple soled shoes, which begs the question: how high are you willing to go?

Black Suede Triple-sole Creepers, £109 by Underground

I decided to take advantage of the vast availability of creepers on the high street and give my shoe collection an update with this patent pair from good old H&M - with pointed toes and bows on the front, these bad boys have more of a feminine, dressy feel (or as much as you are going to get with a pair of creepers):

Patent Creepers, £39.99 by H&M

Will you be creeping into this Autumn/ Winter?

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Spot the Trend

I'm really pleased to see that polka dots are back again this season, they are flirty, fifties-retro and totally fun. Once favoured by cartoon cuties Minnie Mouse and Betty Boop (who definitely know how to work the spots), polka dots are popping up everywhere from high end designers such as Marc Jacobs and Dolce & Gabbana, to high street favourites like Topshop and Zara.

It's true that serveral prints are in fashion just now and it can take some guts to pull some of them off, but polka dots are ideal for all fashionistas, shy or brave. As far as prints go, polka dots (like stripes) are clean, simple and un-complicated compared to some of the others (that's right aztec prints, I'm looking at you...) in the shops just now and I would encourage anyone to give them a go. Here are a few of my current favourites...

As far as designers go, Marc Jacobs wins the gold star for his take on the polka dot trend. He offers an extensive collection this season with polka dots on clothes and accessories, in fabrics ranging from fleece to rubber! Check this lady out, modelling Mr Jacobs' A/W 2011 collection - quite literally top to toe in dots:

Marc Jacobs A/W 2011 show

As well as being my dream polka dot ensemble, this outfit also shows that for the style-shy, polka dots don't need to be in contrasting colours. In the same vein, this gorgeous ALICE by Temperley frock is subtly covered in spots:

Dress, £425, ALICE by Temperley

Meanwhile, on the high street I have, er, spotted  a few nice little polka dot numbers too. I really liked this long-sleeved green and black dress at Topshop, cleverly showcasing green dots on a black background and vice versa on the same garment:

Dress, £60, Topshop

Also, Topshop have a great range of polka dot accessories on offer. I seen spotty motifs on everything from tights to purses but in particular these bendy ribbons caught my eye. They'll set you back a fiver and could be worn tied round your wrist or in your hair:

Wire wraps (right), £5, Topshop

Online, ASOS are a one-stop shop for polka dot pieces, with a range of brands to suit all budgets. (and a lot of really nice and affordable pieces by their own brand too). With pages and pages to choose from, and prices starting from a more than reasonable £2, they will leave spot-seeking girls (and guys) spoilt for choice. 

Will you be rocking polka dots this season?