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Lancôme x Alber Elbaz

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Fashionary x Swash journal

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Colour palette – Pink

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HypnôseHypnôse StarHypnôse Doll Eyes

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Lancome x Alber Elbaz mono palette

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Turtleneck crop-top – American Apparel. Flared skirt – Zara (similar). Shoes – DIY satin ribbon on Whistles with help from Kit. Lip bag – DVF (similar in gold). Encrusted chain bracelet – Topshop. Tiger bracelet – Kenzo (similar in Silver). Mock-pearl earring – Topshop

We all know it doesn’t take very much to excite the hamster inside my head, but pretty packaging is definitely one of those things. That and pizza. Sometimes one thing comes in another (i.e funky Domino’s pizzabox design) and that’s when it gets wild up there. There’s a chest under my stairs full to the brim with old food packaging, jewellery boxes and gift wraps – yess, I’m one of those annoying people that take forever opening presents because hello, the paper needs to be archived and stored. Is this also considered hoarding? My significant other routinely brings home fifteen cans of tuna ‘because honey, they were on sale‘ and yes if zombies take over then we’d survive for about three days on tuna and peanuts, but I’m not sure what my stash of beautiful packaging would benefit us other than to paper-cut myself to death refusing to eat another tuna can. Sometimes I go full Sheldon Cooper on the packaging – especially for beauty products – and keep the products too in mint-condition, which was my intent for these beauties from the Lancôme x Alber Elbaz collaboration before this damn blog thing said no.

No, I had so much fun shooting this – all loosely inspired by the Lancôme Hypnôse video, where Alber Elbaz puts on a show dressing four iconic Lancôme mascaras. I fell right in love with the illustrations of the ultra-chic frow with heels + bows, and while I did manage to mimic the bows with an impromptu DIY, the ‘chic’ was promptly crushed after being kicked out of the V&A for jumping in the Music Room. I kid, but I am wearing a wig, so there, #ChicToAbsolutelyNoLev.

Photos with help from the lovely Johanna Lees, Editing Park & Cube; Collaborative post with Lancôme.

What you’ll need: A sewing kit, Snap pins, coloured hair pieces, straightener and a simple comb

Brush and neaten the hair piece

Sew the piece onto the snap pin so that the teeth face downward.

Straighten your hair

Secure hairpiece just over your ears under a bulk of hair to cover the pin, then French-braid

Coat – Anywho x Brics, Dress – H&M, Leather trousers - ASOS, Booties – Sam Edelman, Clutch – Kurt Geiger, Boyfriend Watch – ASOS, Bracelets - Boticca.com

Wo, look at me chuck out posts like a hen with a Tesco egg delivery deadline, have you ever seen me this diligent?… …that’s a no then. Now if only I could sling this spurt of energy at something constructive…  I think I’ll go install Sims 3, the dishes and laundry can do themselves – we’re in the 21st Century afterall, no? I’ve been keeping these hair pieces since April 2010 after wanting to imitate this particular Ashish show and back then I had the right sort of hair, long and loose. They kept travelling with me to press trips in a plastic bag waiting for that window of DIY opportunity to open, but as we all know it opened facing a wall and then painted shut for at least a year. So again it travelled with me to Florence, which after so long it had braided itself into a French weave (see, 21st Century indeed) and now that I’ve untangled it I need to wait for my hair to grow back.

A few tips: 1) You can get these hair pieces anywhere where they sell wigs and Afro hair products, they’re quite inexpensive (these were about £4 a pack) 2) Get  a little more than what you see in the above photo if you want the Ashish effect and clip in multiple places before braiding. 3) Clip it low near the back of the head (aka Occipital bone ish area if you speak Wikipedia) and let it hang longer than your natural hair. 4) Colours like turquoise or blue looks better on dark hair whereas pastel colours look great on light-coloured hair. Damn you blondes. 4a) I know that second to last pic kinda make it look like Rogue from X-men, but the pink does shows and I now have X-ray vision! 4b) Red panties, for me?

DIY Knitted Snood

What you’ll need: 10mm straight needles, 2 Skeins Rowan 100% Merino ‘Big wool‘ (100g, 87 yds per skein) or any similar alternative, Knitter’s needle or tapestry needle.

Cast On 24 stitches

Ribbing Stitch: Knit, yarn over, purl, knit, yarn over, purl… continue. Turn over and repeat.

Cast off and stitch ends together

Coat – Anywho x BRICS, Shirt – Zara, Skirt – Vintage, Shoes – Topshop, Bag – Market in Vilnius, Snood – DIY

Ugh, I had a video for this – scratch that, I had several, illustrating in colourful detail how I stop at traffic lights and successfully knit a snood while balancing on the China Woman and sipping lukewarm latte that sits in the helmet with the yarn balls. It was Cirque du Soleil of DIY tutorial videos, fireworks and hoolahoops, you’ll just have to believe me. I’m going to have another go at the videos, but in the meantime just search for 1-by-1 Ribbing Stitch (or separately Cast On, Knit, Purl, Yarn Over, Cast Off to learn from scratch) on Youtube and that should get you going. When you’re on a roll it should take about 4-5 hours tops. Quick tip, if you’re getting the Rowan wool, the length is actually perfect if you stop at about 1.5 skeins or go on to knit 3 yarnballs. And yearh, I know what you’re thinking, that thing looks like a neck brace… but if that cycle-knit story isn’t a recipe for neck injury disaster, I don’t know what is.

Thank you darrrhling for the shots.

Cardigan – Massimo Dutti, Shirt as skirt – Uniqlo Men, Socks – Happy Socks via Tobi, Shoes – Office, Canvas bag – Press gift from Robinson Pfeffer, Top – Uniqlo, Necklace – DIY

I don’t know if it was the Nachos I had for dinner or the fistful of popcorn I had for breakfast that made my face bloat but I felt like osmosis central today.

Thank you Kit for for shots!

Fact: My sewing machine is from the Czech Republic so I had to teach myself from scratch using the Czech manual book. Who knows if I’m doing anything right…

What you’ll need:
Two identical cardigans in different colours, seam ripper, sewing machine, fabric marking chalk or pencil, dressmaking pins, thread, ruler.

Fold the first cardigan backwards into half.

Measure an inch away from the fold for seam allowance and mark along the entire length of cardigan.

Do the same with other cardigan.

Cut along marked line

Using a seam ripper, remove tags that might get in the way of sewing. Pin the two cardigans good sides (outer sides) facing, along the entire length of the cardigan.

Sew a zigzag stitch, and leave seam allowance fabric uncut in case of fray. If you have an overlock machine or a serger, you’re one lucky bugger.
Victim cardigans – Uniqlo, Striped dress as top – Topshop, Pants – Gmarket, Necklace – NastyGal, Nail Polish – Castle Dew ‘Tint Mint matte’ (Korean)

Best thing about sale season is that DIY victims are also discounted – how else could one justify cutting up two perfectly fine cardigans from Uniqlo that originally cost £19.99 each? Also had no idea if the fabric would up and unravel into a yarnball when cut so it was a bit of a gamble, but if that be the case I guess I could’ve just shipped off the yarnballs to BP for them to shove ‘em down their broken oilpipes. Bunch of geniuses, those oil mongers.

This piece from Karla Spetic’s AW10 collection was the primary inspiration, although everything seems to come in two-colour nowadays – leggings, tights, shoes… Anyway, it’s a quick & easy DIY – you could even hand-stitch instead of using a machine but then again it might be Christmas by the time you look up.