Tag Archives: fashion

Lo-Fi Gothic: The Orphan’s Arms

I’m really feeling The Orphan’s Arms right now.

But who wants to pay £80 for a sweater? NOPE, NEITHER DO I, so praise be that there’s an outlet store! It’s way better than their official site, anyway.

They say:

RENOWNED FOR ITS ICONIC GRAPHICS, THE ORPHAN’S ARMS IS UNDERPINNED BY ITS SENSE OF PLACE, SEEKING THROUGH POIGNANT AND REACTIONARY MOTIFS TO CAPTURE A LITTLE OF THE ENGLISH SPIRIT THAT IT FEELS IS SUCCUMBING TO A GLOBAL CULTURE OF BLANKET HOMOGENEITY.

Yawn. Or: “Melancholic, wryly casual threads in statement prints for the thinking misanthrope in your life”. They should get a new copywriter and it should be me.

Anyway.

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit

As a documented rabbit enthusiast I’m big into the “Follow” print they do, now available in two versions:

FollowNew_FollowAww yissss.

The pros:

  • A complete steal at £18. I’ve already got one in grey and I want more in black (so the White Rabbit can actually be white, you see).
  • Real talk, it’s a wonderful soft-touch, cosy quilted material with a bossly-flattering scoop-neck.
  • Get the more detailed design in a lighter shade, and the White Rabbit transforms into the BLACK RABBIT OF INLE, offsetting the delicate pastel hue with subtly morbid bunny vibes and gothic script.

The cons:

  • For now you can only get black pullovers in size S. I’m still waiting for the black ones to come in in size M or L because a) I am never a size S; b) when you are a hyperbuxom style monarch you want your prints to not get lost under the majestic shadow of your boobshelf; and c) COME ON, I LIKE TO LAYER IN WINTER. The nice people at the warehouse say I have to just keep checking back. I really hope there’ll be more soon. 😦
  • There are no other cons. This is the perfect statement sweater.

Moving on!

Girl Mysterious

I also recently nabbed this drop-shoulder raw-edge pullover featuring a massive and unsettling print of a Victorian girl being held up high by ghostly hands:

Mystere_drop

The pros:

  • Holy shit this print is a definite statement. It’s huge. Never a subtle creature, I’m OK with that.

I’m teaming it with flared jeans when I’m feeling lazy and a big ruffled skirt when I’m feeling effortful.

The cons:

  • One Size is a foul lie and we all know it. Shoppers of distinction, and ‘alternative culture’ types in particular, are fucking bored of it. Fuck One Size in the bin. The body of this top fits me fine, but the arms are very clingy, so the whole “drop shoulder” effect isn’t really going on for me. I still like the top, but the shape is totally different to how I visualised it – and this is the sort of shit that’s a total gamble with this brand, because they use very few model-photos, and those they do use are all wearing size S. (I’m a curvy lady, but my arms are not especially wide, either.)
  • The print on this line is rough and not as nice as it is on the ‘Follow’ quilted sweater. This is probably because they’ve got different techniques for white-on-black, but it’s noticably not as lovely.
  • Raw edges: I am on the fence about raw edges. When they roll up and need a bunch of ironing, they’re really annoying. So we’ll see how this garment ages, because as a matter of necessity I’m far too busy being fabulous to iron shit.

T-shirts, though. Let’s TALK about T-SHIRTS.

Hogwarts Schmogwarts

Let’s talk about the fabulous “London School of Sorcery” print!

Sorcery_black

The pros:

  • Longline, but fitted on the arms even in size L! Bum-covering and loose, but not a sack! Love it.
  • Soffffffft, oh so soft

The cons:

  • No real cons. Maybe they could state how longline this is, though. Some people are gonna be after something else.

ANYWAY SO HERE ARE THE RULES FOR SHOPPING ORPHAN’S ARMS

  1. Screw the main site; it’s all about Outlet.
  2. Get in quick or it’ll all sell out.
  3. Remember Outlet = Some Experimental Variation Going On.
  4. Be careful you don’t end up bankrupt. I own four things from these people already.
  5. Team these predominantly loose garments with stretch pencil skirts and an understated pair of boots. I recommend Triumph 1914s or something with a witchy chunky heel, as usual.

One last image before I close: the Tea For Two design, with unsettling backprint.

Tea-black (1)

“It wasn’t until after
I had poured the second cup
That I realised
I was alone.”

I like to think that’s because the tea companion was a ghost.

In T.O.A. gear, you actually look like you rule the night, on a practical basis. You know, getting shit done while you rule the night. Having a wry literary joke while you get on with the business of night-ruling. That’s the look here. These pieces need minimal accessor-effort, because the prints really do do most of the talking.

Unlike that dude in the frilly shirt with flocked bats all over it who hasn’t yet gotten over the cultural death of LiveJournal. His screenname is probably Hades1977 or something, but in gear like this? You’re the real Persephone.

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A-England: Chivalric Nail Polish

In the internet age it’s never been more possible to try out a truly global collection of clothes, accessories, and cosmetics. Thanks to concepts like Etsy.com, it’s even the case that you don’t need to be in contact with megamonolithic corporations to buy what’s being innovated overseas – I recently bought a beautiful bracelet from a small vendor in Ankara thanks to the magic of the internet, and have barely taken it off since it arrived – leaving the fashion-conscious shopper with a wider range of choices than we’ve ever had before.

And perhaps it’s because of that that I really enjoy finding and supporting local fashion industries. Now, living in London I have no shortage of options: this city is overflowing with creative and interesting people making beautiful things and getting their brands to local and global attention, from the stall-holders in various markets to London-domiciled fashion houses of small, medium, and vast size.

One of my favourites is a-england.  Based in Wandsworth, this nail polish company currently only ships to the UK, but if you’re abroad and able to get someone to ship on to your location I’d definitely encourage you to take the risk, as their products are beautiful.

With collections themed around romantic ideals of English mythology , “Gothic Beauties” (both in the modern and in the literary sense), the works of one of my favourite artists, and quotations by famous Romantic and Arts & Crafts poets  the polishes themselves are thick, glossy, and bestowed with a real depth of colour that I’ve rarely seen in other brands.

Beauty Never Fails
Beauty Never Fails
Holy Grail
Holy Grail

I own Beauty Never Fails and Holy Grail, which in addition to having rich depths (Beauty Never Fails for example looks rather like a sepia photographic of a clear view of the Milky Way) are excellent partners for each other. a-england also sell their magnificent polishes in pairs and in three-part harmonies, meaning that if you’re not quite sure what to wear with what, you’re in good hands already.

Bolongar-No Trevor Stop Doing This.

A new season of wallet-taunting, evil accessories from the architects of my financial downfall:

Clicking on this will take you to the website and empty your bank account.

A military bages scarf, in case the t-shirt was too small for you. Thanks, BT, that’s not helpful.

A faux-fur-edged cashmere shawl which also comes in black.

Being Satan’s own minions, I have no doubt that when I stop needing warm, blanket-like things which are soft and comfortable and lovely colours, this demonic fashion house will find spring dresses to upset me with instead. I will keep you all posted.

 

Mucha this, mucha that.

Who needs an Alphonse Mucha silk kimono in their life?

Everyone with £175 to spare on one, of course!

She Vamps, a London-based Etsy seller, has a serious collection of these beautiful, classic Art Noveau kimonos and a selection of other high-end accessories guaranteed to appeal to the decadent and comfortably-off.

Thoroughly recommended if you’re staggering under the weight of excess Christmas money and just want something beautiful and unique to shine out in at New Year.

 

 

Spring Swing in the depths of winter

The middle of the darkest patch of the Northern Hemisphere year is obviously the correct time to think about spring wardrobes and to purchase thin cotton dresses, and why not start where I did, with this lovely wrap dress from Look for the Stars, via Amazon:

Sizes go from a UK8 to a UK22, and the site advises that you buy larger than your size: however, I am on the borders of a UK24, and the size UK22 I bought fits snugly but well (and does terrifying and wonderful things to my cleavage). It is 100% cotton, thin, and rather more vibrant than it appears in the publicity images: comes in other colours if for some mad reason you don’t like leaf green, and Look for the Stars is, according to their publicity material, a small family-owned business trading out of Yorkshire. I’m a big fan of supporting small businesses, and at £33.99 this is a pretty good deal.

 

The life aquatic

So it all started with:

Jellyfish socks!
Jellyfiiiiish

Jellyfish socks, £8 from The Fox In Socks.

Then someone pointed out this t-shirt, which I was naturally charmed by:

Anglerfiiish!
Anglerfiiish!

$15 from topatoco.com, who have many other cute t-shirts, all of which will be mine.

Then when I was looking for winter socks, I found:

Octopiiii!
Octopiiii!

Octopus socks, $12 from Sourpuss.

Suddenly it’s looking all too easy to become a walking aquarium!

Winter Warmer (for the wealthy)

Once again Bolongaro Trevor provide longing for the impoverished and slightly-too-rotund, but if you’re richer than me and have a chest measurement under 46″ you may like to wear this on my behalf:

Great Wool Coat (Green)

On closer inspection I can’t say I’m personally thrilled by the buttons, being a great lover of shiny brass military ones, but I have to say that these demure and understated black two-hole ones have their place.

Familiarity with the standard of BT’s other creations suggests that this will be comfortable and wear well, and for the listed price of £295 it bloody well ought to. Maybe wait for the January sales!