Thursday, 30 July 2009

MAD HATTERS TEA PARTY

Le Freak, C'est chic teamed up with Kooki Two Bit to bring you a feature celebrating British eccentricity, tea parties, lace hold-ups and pretty pretty dresses.
(Just click on the images to see the full sizes!)


Ello wears: Floral and lace crop-top - Kooki Two Bit, high waisted trousers - her own, boots - New Look.

Lala wears: teapot print playsuit - Kooki Two Bit, hat - charity shop, shoes - Primark, pocket watch - vintage.

Space Cadet Zoe wears: Cardigan - Camden Market, hair bow - Claire's Accessories, pearls - vintage, hold-ups and heels - Primark.


Rhian Force wears: Lace dress - Kooki Two Bit, fascinator - Julian McDonald for Debenhams.

Ello wears: Lace dress - @Fab, bowler hat - vintage, necklace and earrings - Primark, brogues - New Look.


Lala wears: Blue vintage prom dress - Kooki Two Bit, Marie Antoinette shoes - Kooki Two Bit, bracelets - her own.Space Cadet Zoe wears: Blue blouse - Kooki Two Bit, black high-waisted skirt - Hobo's, hold ups and heels - Primark, assorted jewellery - vintage.
Rhian Force wears: Pink dress and belt - Kooki Two Bit, floral brooch (just seen) - Night of the Living Thread (featured previously on the Eva Tomassi blog!), brogues - New Look, hairband - Primark.


Major thanks to Anthony Vaughan and Elliott Percival for their photographic skillz, Ello, Lala, SCZoe and Rhian Force for looking beautiful, Pica pica for lending us the venue and Kooki Two Bit for trusting us with their lovely clothes!

© Space Cadet Betti 2009. All photo's © ADVaughan photography.


Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Can't Stop Dancin'!

It's been a good month since I featured a designer on this page. Not because I have no interest in the matter, you understand. Far from it. My hesitancy to write about up-and-coming designers is due to the fact that I only want to bring you, dear reader, the brightest, most original independent designers I can find. Designers who go against the grain. Designers who have something to say (aside from 'I'd like to stick my penis in Henry Hollands ear'). As you can probably imagine, discovering such designers is like pulling a solid gold needle out of a moldy haystack.
So its with a kick of my heels and a dandy grin that I bring you an interview Christopher George, the wunderkind behind the teeny-tiny Sally Can't Dance 'label'. Some of you may recognise him from his saturday stalls at Camden Market, where he sells slogan tee's for the thinking man and woman, as well as a handful of accessories, all sold with a good serving of irony. I personally discovered Sally Can't Dance a year ago as I perused Camdens stalls in the hot june sun, slightly drunk, ice cream in hand. A simple canvas bag with the statement 'Dear NME, we need bands not fads' screamed out at me and in a second I was converted to the SCD gospel. I've been a fan ever since.
But enough from me, I won't try and convince you any more. Lets hear from the man himself....


"I'm based in Hackney, where I've lived all my life. I won't say "I was living in Hackney before it was cool" because that'd make me sound like a wanker. I was though.
I've always been interested in art and design and, although my output over the years has been patchy, at the moment I can't stop doodling.

I've had no formal training with Photoshop or screen printing which are central to the operation. When I first started making T-shirts I was cutting stencils out of card and acetate and using fabric paints. I had some designs up my sleeve that wouldn't have been possible with this method so I talked to a friend of mine who was a dab hand with screen-printing and he helped me out. Since then I've been mostly self-taught (with bits of advice here and there from others). I've made some pretty big fuck-ups but I like getting to grips with the process like this. It feels more natural and it's nice to have "Eureka!" moments when you find a solution to an obstacle that's been bugging you.

I first started making my own T-shirts about seven hundred years ago. I was really bored of seeing the same old designs and slogans all over the place and I'd thought of a couple of slogans I'd like to make for myself. I came up with quite a few and friends of mine asked me to make them ones too and eventually encouraged me to try and sell them. I'm awfully suggestible.

My collection started off with slogans accompanied with appropriate images ( "I only listen to unsigned bands” was written on the white label of a “7 record, for example) but as things have gone on, I've moved more towards illustrations, usually with speech bubbles (sometimes I think I should've done a webcomic). The designs still have a similar, occasionally dark sense of humour to the original line-up but I'd like to think they're a bit more sophisticated. I'm currently phasing out those original designs, moving towards the future with my fingers crossed for flying cars and robot butlers.

I often find that boredom is a tremendous catalyst for creativity. My current best-seller was, for the most part, the product of a long, hungover train ride and my second best was born on a very quiet, rainy day at Camden Lock Market. They have their roots in anything from caricatured memories of my childhood, video games, music, movies, art. There's something horrendously satisfying about starting a drawing with only the slightest idea about what you're doing and coming out with a fully-formed design that people are prepared to give you money for.

I first got a stall in Camden Lock Market in 46 A.D. T-shirts had been invented the previous spring and I saw a gap in the market for T-shirts bearing comic slogans, so that summer I went to the market and I was put on a stall in between a chap selling amphorae and some woman selling leeches and fertility idols carved from mammoth tusks. I still am actually.
For all its faults as a market (all markets have their short-comings), Camden Lock is in many ways a good place to start: it’s not too difficult to get a stall as they allocate stalls for casual on the day, so you don’t need to book in advance and if you make your own stuff, they give you first choice of stalls.

Joe Public’s reactions to my designs never cease to amaze me – some people want to marry me (no, seriously), others want to punch me. My old “Smoking makes you cool” design ruffled many a feather, as some people perceived it as a call to arms rather than a tongue-in-cheek gag (http://sallycantdance.wordpress.com/2009/05/26/in-defense-of-smoking); “Leave me alone! I don’t like broccoli!” has resulted in lots of people giving me recipes for broccoli, most of which involve drowning out its taste; “Hang the DJ” elicits the occasional murmur of sympathy for disc jockeys... If a gaggle of creationists burns down my stall for “Oi, Noah! Wait for me!” I won’t be altogether surprised.

In autumn 2008 I decided to try out Brick Lane’s Backyard Market on Saturdays, instead of Camden Lock Market, and actually received hate mail (http://sallycantdance.wordpress.com/2009/07/28/bring-on-the-brick-lane-backlash-redux). That was interesting.

I also sell my T-shirts at UpMarket in the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, where I've been trading for just over a year. When I first went to trade there, I was accused of going there so I could hit on East London hipsters. Lies and slander, I swear it. It's a good market: a nice array of very individual products, for the most part made and/or designed by the people working the stalls, there's some great food stalls and a relatively low level of mass-produced tat imported from Chinese sweatshops.

I’ve also got an Etsy shop (http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5699143) which I update once in a blue moon.

When I first started, it was more for a laugh than anything else. I was going to do it for two months and then go back to pursuing a career in journalism but things got a bit out of hand. In retrospect it was probably a bit naive to think that one could pour so much care and energy into a project like this and walk away from it easily. It would be nice to wholesale my wares, which wasn’t realistic when I was painting the T-shirts, but now I’m solely printing them I’m offering a higher quality product, so we’ll see.

I think catwalk fashion holds very little relevance for today’s youth. Whilst it is a bone fide art form, very few elements find their way into the lives and wardrobes of most people and if it doesn’t truly influence much outside its own world, can that really be said to hold genuine relevance? I’d say that street fashion is what holds real relevance for the majority as it instantly projects our near-tribal affiliations: it may take the occasional cue from the catwalk but personally I’d say it has more to do with the music scene.

Music and fashion go pretty much hand-in-hand and are defining factors of any generation. Thanks to music blogs, Spotify, MySpace, YouTube, etc. there’s almost no excuse not to be in the loop about what the next big thing’s going to be. The same goes for fashion: the proliferation of fashion magazines/supplements and dedicated blogs, plus shops like H&M, Topshop and so on (not to mention the upsurge in popularity second-hand and vintage shops have had over the last decade) all combine to make “cutting edge” street fashion more attainable than it’s ever been. I get punters barely in their teens at my stall who are really, really well-dressed and are superbly clued in on the latest, most exciting acts. It’s almost disconcerting."

Christopher George has a Sally Can't Dance facebook group which you should probably all join. I should also state for my own decorum that I wholeheartedly agree with the statement on the bag I bought all those months ago. Every single copy of NME should be rounded up and thrown on a bonfire, doused with petrol and set alight, along with Chantelle Houghtons hair extentions and Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong.

Coco Loco

Whilst writing this article, I can’t help but mope. Its not because Im unhappy with life, its because Im unhappy with my financial situation. And writing about this subject is not going to help since I could never afford any of the things listed. Bah!

I was flicking through the typical gossip magazines, and realised something fantastic. The film based on the life of the legendary Coco Chanel is out soon. I’ve been anticipating this film since it was first rumoured. Not only because I’ve had a womanly love for Audrey Tautou since ‘AmeliĆ©’, but because Chanel’s fashions have been integral to everything stylish for freaking decades. And for that reason, I await the clothes-fest with anticipation.

Now I know that everyone and their Nan’s are going to be writing pieces on Chanel. But sod it, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Instead of gabbing on and on about the life and times of Coco Chanel, I’ve just chosen enough pictures to fill a wheelbarrow of my favourite Chanel inspired pieces, including some stills from the up and coming film.


Nautical Naughtiness? Yes Please.
It’s a pain free easy look to pull off at any shape or size. All you need are stripes, navy/black, white and red. And lets face it, everyone has something like this in their wardrobe already. All you have to do is jazz it up a little with big glasses, the possibility of a hat and a fat-ass quilted bag. Oh yeah baby.
I know I harp on about it all the time, but black can be the essence of practical elegance!!! And it makes you look posh an’ shit init. If you chuck it with some pearls, bruv.

Dress like a man, don’t look like one. Mix waistcoats, shirts and tailoring with pencil skirts, waist belts and bows. it’s the best way to power dress without looking like you’re trying to join Bros. (although that would be fun).
Quilted detail, monochrome, tweed box jackets, Audrey Hepburn round sunglasses, Cameos, Pearls, leather gloves….Oh god, I think I just wet myself a little…..

Coco Before Chanel is released on July 31st. I urge you to come and see it. Join in the masses of drooling.
SpaceCadet Zoe.







Top'n'tails

Every man should own an Unconditional Ghost zip-up hoodie. Fact.


www.oaknyc.com

Monday, 27 July 2009

Style update: In which I try to forget about the epic airoplane fail...


Shiny new fringe time!
I made a long-overdue trip to town (I haven't been to Cardiff centre in bloody ages as I am hugely skint, and window shopping would just depress me). But today I ventured to Queen Street and decided to pop into Vidal for a bit of a trim. I have missed the block fringe. Statement hair is the way forward. As you can probably see in the picture thought, my colour streaks need topping up. I'm in danger of looking like I'm going grey...

I seem to have been caught in somewhat of a fashion slump of late. I'm sure everyone knows how that feels? You search and search,but still your wardrobe leaves you feeling totally uninspired. It may have something to do with the fact that I'm having a bit of trouble fitting in my jeans at present. Don't get me wrong, I love being in a relationship, but I'm not enjoying the catastrophic effect its having on my waistline. Regular takeaways are not conducive to being able to slip into a pair of size 10 skinnies.
So to jerk myself out of my sartorial black spot, this morning I perused some of Cardiffs premier vintage emporiums and picked up a couple of bargains, namely a beautiful pillar-box red petticoat that cost a mere £5 at Curios, and a fab Vivienne Westwood-esque flamboyant, frilled blouse that, as my friend George kindly informed me, makes me look a bit like a pirate.
I've been looking for an excuse to wear the royal blue gogo boots that Rhi gave me last week, and found this the perfect opportunity. I found a great matching belt at Primark of all places, chucked on a pair of leopard print tights and a matching red and royal blue bag, and was good to go =)

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Epic Fail



PROPAH LOLCAKES.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Dreamers Come True...


Realising that this blog was hugely female-oriented, I've decided to expand my horizons and include some insights from influential males from the music world. First up is Alex Morris of the kickass South Wales electro duo Dreamer. Fresh from recording a selection of new tracks, Alex kindly took a few minutes to answer my now-standard questions on his take on the sartorial world...


1) Hello there! Hows things, and whats new in the world of Dreamer?
Things are good! We're producing at the moment and putting out our new stuff, pictures songs etc the response has been great so far.


2) What are the bands plans for the next few months?

In the next few months as well as the releases and the usual gigs,
we're showcasing in London, we're looking to do a free gig and getting in the industry to see us!

3) How would you describe your style?
We're going for the parisian electro look, vintage sport and 8-bit 80s gaming mixed in with the current trend of kooky tight jeans and leather jackets.

4) In terms of fashion, who and what are yr influences?
We're influenced a lot by the styles coming out of europe and the electro bands from there, particularly Justice. Bright neon colours and retrowear!

5) If you could trade wardrobes with one person, who would it be and why?
Matt Bellamy's wardrobe would be interesting! He's had some nice stuff in the past, he's a bit short though...

6) Where are your favourite places to shop?
Topman is always good for basic stuff, asos and h&m, but the best things are always found in vintage stores on ebay or in the cities, paris is good. Then modify them to fit or turn them into something else!

7) What items in yr wardbrobe hold particular sentimental value to you?

My custom nike dunks! Everywhere I go I get asked about them and I wear them to every gig!

8) What significance do you think fashion holds to todays youth?
I think the youth of today wear their colours quite literally, you'd have to go a long way to find someone young or otherwise who doesn't make some effort to dress in a way they perceive to be cool or at least socially acceptable. It's good that you can still outrage people though!

9) What are your biggest ever fashion mistakes?

Coming from Port Talbot I think everything I wore was a fashion
mistake up until a few years ago! My biggest mistake was probably something skater orientated, layers and layers of random shirtage going on mixed in with ridiculously expensive and samey surfwear!

10) What are your three golden style rules?

I think the three most important things to get right are hair, a
good interesting top and a remarkable pair of something on your feet!

(http://myspace.com/dreamermusic)


"A FASHION IS NOTHING BUT AN INDUCED EPIDEMIC"

An epidemic which I quite enjoy being part of. However, like the creator of this blog, Miss Spacecadet Betti, I try to avoid the fashions that come under the heading of Pandemic.
This means that instead of following trends religiously and obsessing over labels and prices, I wear whatever the hell I feel like wearing when I wake up in the morning.

This week I've been feeling very Old, Old Fashioned and I've gone back a century or so to celebrate modern Victoriana Gothic. It all started when I saw this ring for £4 in a major high street retail outlet named after a bird. Because I didn't have anything else gold as I’m a notorious fan of the silver, obviously I had to get the earrings and the necklace to match. Before I knew it I was draped in Pearls, Cameos and antique look gold. In true Blue Peter style, here’s one I made earlier (a collage example anyway).



So you’ve got the Classic Bling, you’ve slicked on the eyeliner and smoked your eye shadow more than a bacon rasher. What next? You may ask. Well I’ll tell you, more ruddy accessories.

Now I admit that I may look a little odd dressed in black in the should-be-sunny month of July. But the weather was crap and my outfits reflected the mourning of the summer. That's my excuse anyway.
One bonus of this look is that you get to work monochrome to the max. Even if you are replacing white with a more faded cream to give it a bit more authenticity. It also looks epic with more nude and peachy tones.
The main key, to sum it up, is contrast. teaming floaty fabrics and light airy colours...with BLACK. Black all the way, baby. Lace, detailing and chiffon are all a big fat giant must to make Queen Victoria proud.

The hair can be worn sleek, with twists and knots held in place with pretty grips if the hair is long enough. This will accentuate any other hair piece that you wear. Especially if you’re feeling brave and you want to don a funeral classic fascinator, giant bows or a mini hat on a hair band (I saw one and wanted it, but wasn’t sure if I had the balls to pull it off without looking like I was in fancy dress.) I think the key is to be brave with the style, but keep to the easier to wear colours so they can suit all occasions and outfits.

The look as a whole is demonstrated perfectly in another sneak peak of our Mad Hatters Tea party Photo shoot modelled by the lovely Rhian (far left).

Black? Check. White/Cream? Check. Lace? Check. Headpiece? Double check. It’s been brought up to date with modern lines and simple statement clothing. On the whole, this really works and if done properly, you won’t look like you’ve modelled your look on the bastard offspring of Ozzy Osbourne and Jane Austen.

A blog by Space Cadet Zoe, the new recruit!


In which I meet my Nemesis...

It's been another busy busy weekend as Space Cadet towers, hence the lack of updates once again. I'm not just lazy, honest!
It's mainly down to the fact that I've got a new job in a pretty little cafe that serves afternoon tea with Royal Albert china and fondant fancies, in addition to the job I already have at Pica Pica, Cardiffs premier cocktail bar and nuthouse. Lovely =)
It's also because I went to the amazing Alton Towers on Sunday. God, it was a blast. Air was definitely the highlight - the hype is right, it really does feel like you're flying. Nemesis was tamer than I expected, and Hex was a pile of bollocks. Srsly, don't bother.
I mention all this because I thought it fitting to do a little filler blog on the do's and don'ts of what exactly to wear to a theme park. Y'see, I'm ashamed to admit that I got it terribly, terribly wrong, and as such ended up getting the four hour coach back to sunny Cardiff absolutely soaked, more than a little grumpy and looking like Stig of the Dump. So here we go...


Do...bring a change of clothes
This is by far and away the most important point, even if you're expecting sub-Saharan conditions (don't forget that you're more than likely to come off the log flume looking like a drowned rat). Sods law dictates that the day you plan to go to your theme park of choice is the day that will see the heaviest rainfall since records began. I made the mistake of taking and wearing the bare minimum of clothes and consequently ended up looking like I'd fallen into one of the feature fountains. The best way to go about it is to pack a plastic carrier bag with a fresh pair of socks or tights, a warm hoodie, and a pair of shorts - simple but effective. If possible store the bag in one of the lockers just to make sure it keeps dry, if not tie a knot in the bag to make sure it's absolutely watertight and carry it with you. I cannot stress this enough - TAKE A CHANGE OF CLOTHES. It will make the journey home a zillion times more bearable, trust me.

Don't...wear jeans.
Everyone knows theres nothing worse than being stuck in a pair of post-torrential-downpour skinny jeans. Wet denim is possibly the most uncomfortable thing you can wear and takes hours to dry off, so it's a definite theme park no-no. Your best bet would be a pair of tights - easy dry for when you're walking around the park after a ride on Congo River Rapids, easy off when you're getting in the car on the way home.

Do...choose lightweight.
Heavy clothes will just weigh you down if/when they get wet. Wear a load of lightweight layers to ensure you a) look stylish (layering is still chic - just ask Mary Kate) and b) can whip them off as and when you need to, and then stuff them in your bag without looking like you're off on a camping holiday. A cute anorak is a good idea - no, not one of those awful hiking ones your dad picks up in the Millets sale. I'm thinking more along the lines of a sweet little number like the one below...


Don't...wear jewellery.
You're going on rollercoasters, not on the London Fashion Week catwalk. Yes, you may feel your outfit is slightly lacking in pizazz but trust me, you'll regret it when your favourite necklace is whipped off whilst going round the loop the loop, which is what happened to Space Cadet Zoe when she went on Speed (the ride, not the drug) last time she went to Oakwood. Unless you want to potentially cause a fatality, leave the jewellery at home.

Do...spend a little time on a nice up-do.
Picture the scene...you've spent an hour ironing your hair poker straight. You look fantastic, right? Until you get whipped around a triple corkscrew in the pouring rain, leaving you with matted strands of hair in your eyes and stuck to your Benefit lipgloss. Not a good look, I'm sure you'll agree. A neat and preppy ponytail, girly french braids, whatever. You'll still look killer, and you'll be able to retain your dignity throughout the day too. Bonus.

Don't...try too hard.
By all means, don't throw style to the winds and head off in a pair of scraggy joggers and your boyfriends oldest tshirt. But save your favourite dress for a night out, and stick to uncomplicated basics. A cute oversized t-shirt, long leggings, daps and a cardigan will work just fine. For instance, at Alton Towers I saw a woman in a faux-fur leopard print jacket, Balmain jeans and skyscraper heels. It was pissing down with rain and she was clutching onto her boyfriends arm for dear life for fear of falling over, mascara halfway down her face and foundation stains on her collar. Hot stuff. Do yourself a favour - keep it simple, or else risk looking like Barbara Windsor caught in the middle of Hurricane Katrina.

With these simple tips in mind, happy holidays!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Style Byte: Audrey Kitching


Don't get me wrong, my general opinion of the whole Scene Queen phenomenon is that it is an abhorrent mess of anorexic attention seekers all aspiring to be nothing more than Madina Lake groupies. But I can't help but admire Audrey Kitching, who by all accounts is the original Scene Queen, and the one who inspired the millions of half-assed wannabe's such as Kiki Kannibal, Dakota Rose etc, not to mention Lady Gaga. Why do I admire Audrey over these other oxygen wasters? Simple. Audrey has talent. Not only has she forged a look that is completely her own (part 90's club-kid outrageousness, part New York socialite, part hardcore rock groupie, with a little bit of burlesque and a smidgen of irony thrown into the mix), but she's also designed her own range for American chain store Hot Topic, presents on Buzznet and creates funny inspiring videos that are a joy to watch. Plus she looks great, and I have a total style crush on her at the moment. She may be the total antithesis of the whole gamine thing I'm embracing right now, but her kitsch, colourful wardrobe and stylized hair and make-up in those oh-so-scene posed photos just make me smile, mmkay?





The Real Audrey...
The Real Audrey... by spacecadetbetti on Polyvore.com

All photos courtesy of myspace.com/audreykitching