About Charley Helfet

I'm the sole writer of Chic Cheat - and, I like to think, a creative soul at that - comfortably fulfilling the job of fashion writer and creative problem solver in one outing. I'll attempt to recreate anything I fancy that comes my way, and it's that sense of empowerment that definitely makes the DIY fashion lark worthwhile. Alongside working full time, replicating high fashion items in my spare time and general executive functioning that typically gets one through the day, I like rock music, cycling, playing computer games, overdoing things at my local gym and dressing up at any justifiable opportunity (and some not-so-justifiable)...well, a girl's got to put her craft to good use, hasn't she?

Supra Duper – How to DIY Supra’s painterly look on high top trainers

High tops are the perfect ‘blank canvas’ for painterly effects!

Inspiration

Supra Cuttler SneakerImage: Revolveclothing.com
You will need…
fabric paint and high top trainers
 * I used both but you can use one or the other. I know fabric paints are expensive and you don’t need to use anywhere near as many as I did – I’d recommend four colours, tops, with a mixture of runny silk paints and thick fabric paints.
Difficulty
difficulty01

Very easy

While an element of technique is required to pull off the messy painted look, it can be achieved by taking your time and really taking care. This is one of the easiest projects I think I’ve ever done and very therapeutic – flicking paint always is (cleaning up, not so much!).

 

Time

As long or as short as you like, depending on how detailed and messy you want your project to be but I think you’re hard-pushed to take more than an hour (unless, like me, you’re extremely easily distracted!).

 

Get your splodge on!

The silk paint methodMethod1

Squirt drips of silk paint along the tops of the trainers and the laces, alternating colours as you go and varying the distance between each drop, so that some paints run into each other and some stay as they are – a straightforward way to get the most out of few colours. Method2

The fabric paint methodMethod3

Yes, that says ‘flick paint,’ gutter brain! The trick here is to keep your brush as dry as possible; put it straight into the fabric paint and use a generous amount. Flick your brush in a short, fast upward movement so that the paint tapers off and leaves brush-like streaks.method4

DIY paint high top trainers

Finally, get a generous splodge of fabric paint on the bristles and flick them at the shoes, causing the paint to splatter.DIY paint trainersA quick drip, flick and drizzle with fabric paint is all you need to make a powerful print statement!

The Trends on Thursday – Bucket A-List

The bucket hat’s no flop this time!
Bucket A-list
Fashion is a fickle mistress, in too many and too obvious a set of ways to mention. So many of my nearest and dearest cite at least one article they just can’t wear, either because their body shapes are too elusive for the formulaic proportions of high street clothing or they just don’t suit them. Whether they’re trousers, short skirts or wrap dresses, these garments very soon reach the point of sartorial anathema – a nemesis the wearer can’t even imagine themselves in. The subject isn’t even up for discussion. My mum, for instance, ‘isn’t a hat person.’ Just think, what chance would such an unabashedly functional, ugly accessory as the bucket hat have of capturing the imagination of the fashion industry?
Timing is at the heart of this. The bucket hat, as a trend, is nothing new in menswear circles, nor has it been for the past two years. Pharrell’s head gear has made fashion waves among both sexes but the bucket hat’s relevance was cemented by Rihanna in her Instagrams from the World Cup final. Of late, she’s been seen cannily teaming bucket hats with elegant feminine paradigms, including scarlet lipstick, leggy hotpants and satin twinsets. Given the current women-led zeitgeist of tomboyish comfort and a 90s revival under way, when better to take a bucket hat and make it your own?
Bucket hats originated in Ireland and are part of the nation’s traditional folk costume. They were also famously worn by  Beppe Wolgers, a Swedish author and artist, in the 1970s; in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; by Alan “Reni” Wren from the Stone Roses; by  rappers in the 90s and among urban black youth in South Africa, as a sign of streetwise edge. Within a fashion context, a bucket hat over your hair – a quintessentially girlie paradigm – represents a subversive, hard-partying look, that’s cool in a devil-may-care kind of a way. It’s the next logical juncture from beanies, not to mention infinitely more comfortable in the sultry summer heat! It’s such a good look, in fact, that I was moved to dig one out and capture the moment myself – in my selfies.That point I made about uncool being the new cool? …I’ll get my coat!

 

 

That’s the way I spike it – How to DIY an Eddie Borgo cone gemstone bracelet

Owing to the epic challenge of moving, things have been quiet at Chic Cheat HQ, but since I’m back, I thought I’d make my returning presence known with a bit of colour.

Inspiration 

Seeing Rainbows: Multicolor Summer Fashion From Rosie Assoulin, Edie...
DIY 
DIY Eddie Borgo cone bracelet
DIY Eddie Borgo cone bracelet
I’ll fill you in on the method soon, but just to give you the edited highlights, in amongst a seemingly neverending onslaught of packing boxes, lugging them and unpacking everything once again, I managed to fit in an hour or so of creating an homage to Eddie Borgo’s gemstone cone bracelet by deliberately mixing colours in polymer clay and gouache, rolling them into cones, adding the odd lick of pearlescent nail polish and topcoat and gluing them to a chain. It was generally easy but fiddly, and now I’m exhausted. So now you know.

Unleash your marbles – How to DIY a Jean striped rainbow clutch by Edie Parker

Cook up a stylish storm with a deceptively simple upcycle!

Edie Parker Jean Striped In Rainbow
Image: Modaoperandi.com
Of late, I’ve fallen in love with Edie Parker’s marble-effect clutch bags. This designer’s clutch motifs range from stripe patterns to quirky fruits and flowers and even bespoke name designs in a handwritten signature typeface. But above all, my eye was caught and my imagination captured by the rainbow clutch design, worn recently by country singer, Kacey Musgraves at the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards.

Image: redcarpet-fashionawards.com

Image: redcarpet-fashionawards.com

You will need…

DIY tools* Amendment (added 21/07/2014): Use metallic paper, not tissue paper.*

DIY marble clutch

 

I would also recommend using a paintbrush for the nail polish, in the interest of speed (just go with this one). You can also use it to create marble-like swirls in the nail polish, but it’s technically optional.

Time

An hour, tops.

Difficulty

difficulty02

Pretty easy

It’s reasonably straightforward, if messy. It’s a quick project, yet easier if you take your time – I mean that in the ‘more haste less speed’ sense, rather than the ‘add a painstaking extra hour’ you’ll be pleased to know!

Add some stripes

Method1

As you can see in the picture, I’ve already done one side so, turning our attention to the clear side, you start by cutting the paper into strips of a similar width. The width you cut should depend on how wide the plastic box is. Mine were 2cm wide. You might need to make the first and last stripes slightly wider if the width isn’t easily divisible by the number of stripes. Also, remember to measure with the curve of the surface if it isn’t flat.  Pour a generous blob of nail polish over a small area.Method2

Spread the nail polish in a messy ‘marbly’ way using a paintbrush or the brush inside the bottle. Be careful not to waste the whole bottle in one gush – nail polish dries quickly and, when it comes to coverage, a little goes a long way.Method3

Place each strip across the inside of the box. I recommend using metallic paper, so you should place them with the coloured side facing downwards. Method3.5Cut away the excess paper, close the box and you should be left with something like this:

DIY Edie Parker Jean Striped In Rainbow

Amended DIYDIY Jean striped rainbow clutch by Edie Parker

The Trends on Wednesday: That’s a wrap – a bow to Diane Von Furstenberg

That's a wrap - and ode to Diane Von Furstenberg

This week has seen the 40th anniversary of Diane Von Furstenberg’s iconic wrap dress. It was in 1974 that the famously flattering design was evolved from a wrap top into a legend-making frock. Among the things she is best known for was an interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which she confessed that she  ”didn’t know what (she) wanted to do, but (she) knew the kind of woman (she) wanted to be – an independent woman, who drives her own cars and pays her own bills.” This quote, noted in Winfrey’s memoirs, was perfectly reflective of the feminine empowerment and elegant confidence that the wrap silhouette pioneered. When Diane Von Furstenberg designed it, her vision was to liberate women from the unfeminine constraints of hippie garb, bell-bottoms and pantsuits. And so, just as Madeleine Vionnet’s bias-cut gowns divested fashion of it’s binding corsetry and skimmed the curves of the body like fluid sculpture, the wrap dress took the slinky comfort of a jersey dress to form a perfect hourglass shape with a zigzagging line that guided the eye along the contours of the torso. Incidentally, fashion scholars have drawn comparisons between the wrap dress and the sportswear of Claire McCardell – the first designer to design a garment intentionally cut on the bias. No wonder the wrap dress remains timeless and so aptly immortalised in the Costume Institute collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Can Google Glass do the same?

Jelly treats – how to DIY a pair of Sophia Webster Violetta colour block jelly sandals

After the springtime showers comes a rainbow!

Image: harveynichols.com

Image: harveynichols.com

You will need…

jelly sandals nail polish

 

NB: The clear nail polish I used was a basecoat, topcoat and nail hardener  all-in-one gloss by Barry M. The fact that it’s multi-purpose and built for strength makes it a good fixative as well as a blending base.

Difficulty 

difficulty01Very easy

Can you sing a rainbow? Then you can easily do this DIY ;)

 

Time

About two hours.

 

Trailing the colour

Method1

 

Apply nail polish thinly to the sandals and blend the topcoat while it is still wet, making it as transparent as possible but with the colour still visible.
Method2

After you’ve painted the sandals, cover them with at least two layers of clear lacquer, leaving drying time between coats…

DIY Sophia Webster Violetta Colorblock Translucent Jelly Sandals…and that’s about it!

DIY Sophia Webster Violetta Colorblock Translucent Jelly Sandals

 

DIY Sophia Webster Violetta Colorblock Translucent Jelly Sandals

DIY Sophia Webster Violetta Colorblock Translucent Jelly Sandals

 

DIY Sophia Webster Violetta Colorblock Translucent Jelly Sandals

 

DIY Sophia Webster Violetta Colorblock Translucent Jelly Sandals

 

 

The Trends on Wednesday Earring you out

This hot accessory trend is a little ‘studdy’ in making a summer statement.

Since the sultry weather has made itself at home, what better way to welcome it than by packing a tropical punch with a palette of acid tones and quirky fruit motifs? Just make sure you keep it less Club Tropicana and more contemporary and bypass garish hoops for small statement stud earrings. There’s an exotic array to choose from and work so effortlessly with your hair elegantly tied back, from parrots to abstract geometric designs and from luxe gold to vibrant neons. A word in your ear: statement studs!

Amore for A-Morir – How to DIY ceramic flower sunglasses

Summery florals looking chic in ceramic.
Image: Kirnazabete.com

Image: Kirnazabete.com

I chose these summery floral sunglasses from the fabulous, celebrity-endorsed label, A-Morir to demonstrate how to get authentic ceramic effect; it would work equally well on jewellery.

Difficulty

difficulty03
Quite easy
This one’s simple but slightly technique-led. For a more specific explanation, keep it here!
Time
About an hour, including clay drying time.
Coming up…roses! DIY A-morir Ceramic Flowers Sunglasses“That’s all well and good” you’re surely thinking, “but where or how do you achieve the rose shape in polymer clay?” With the soft clay I used (Sculpey III range), it’s quite easy to do in stages, using a scalpel, as demonstrated in this brief gif tutorial.
Clay rose gif
If gifs don’t agree with your computer, the process entails rolling clay into a small ball; digging the scalpel around the edge and peeling away some ‘petals’ and carving a wavy spiral shape in the middle.
Repeat the process until you have enough roses to cover the frames above the lenses, then add paintwork.
DIY A-Morir Ceramic flower sunglasses

#TBT – Luciano DiConcetto and other artists

Luciano DiConcetto art workThe second in my series of Instagram-related throwbackery takes you to the French commune of Honfleur to marvel at the wondrous oeuvres of French Artist, Luciano DiConcetto, an artist who likes to experiment with techniques to push the boundaries between peace and intensity, by contrasting bold block colour and impromptu sketching of overlayed lines.With talent like that, it’s no wonder he got some attention from Marie Claire’s website a while ago. On a more serious note, this juxtaposition  of themes and contrast is intended to take us on a dreamlike trip through a rich, elaborate dimension to freely express our feelings. I expressed my feelings of cheapskate admiration in the sparing, surreptitious snaps I caught of the Normandy branch of the Bartoux Gallery through my meagre phone camera. It was most definitely worth the effort.

 

  Richard Orlinski, Arman,

Images: Richard Orlinski, Arman.

Now that I know where I’m going to shop the day I win the lottery, I remain tempted not to wait until such good fortune were to come to pass until I go for a long weekend or three in a quaint French town, where art and beauty are everywhere. Just to give you a brief idea of what I mean, here’s a snap from a restaurant nearby that makes a (brush)stroke of artistic genius more than palatable!

How better to sit down to a nice, ‘arty’ meal?

How to upcycle a t-shirt with a no-sew pentagram design

A ‘star-making-role’ for upcycling a t-shirt.

DIY no sew pentagram t-shirtLonging to give a forgotten – perchance forsaken – t-shirt a new lease of life, but only have minutes to spare and not the faintest clue how to use a sewing machine? Then methinks this is the project for you!

You will need…

T-shirt

Fabric scissors

Needle and thread

Difficulty

difficulty01

Very easy

It entails hand-stitching fabric together and plaiting – that’s about it!

Time

About 20-30 minutes, depending on your speed and confidence when it comes to cutting and splicing t-shirts.