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.
Cook up a stylish storm with a deceptively simple upcycle!
You will need…
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.
An hour, tops.
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
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.
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.
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. Cut away the excess paper, close the box and you should be left with something like this:
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?
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!
The 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.
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?
I thought I’d spend my Throwback Thursday with an Instagram-fest of fond photographic memories from a trip to Bordeaux that I made in September 2012. Bordeaux, a place best known for its wine, is the capital of the Aquitaine region and boasts a 362-monument-strong historic area on the UNESCO World Heritage List, as well as botanical gardens and a host of museums, including the Musée des Beaux Arts. Still, enough about the bumf a cursory Wikipedia session could tell you – anyone could take, share and research pictures from classic landmarks! I chose to be slightly more maverick in the bits I chose to capture: the bits which, in turn, captured my imagination as an artiste of sorts. France is a beautiful country. There, I said it! I’m British, but god dammit I said it! It’s beautiful country that has been rich in culture and art for centuries and that appreciation, that soul, that attention to the most minute, intricate detail is everywhere! Well, in beautiful, historical cities, at least. Actually, that might not be true across the board but my point is that quirky, creative and classical photo ops were in some of the places you least expected them and that is the sort of character worth capturing. That’s what justifies carrying out actions associated with two of the groups most subject to ridicule – hipsters and tourists. So, there you have it: Throwback Thursday with a touch of ‘ooh la la.’ Oops, a cliché. How horribly mainstream!
With summer making its entrance in the form of a freak heatwave, it could be taken as a sign to do away with our British quirks – at least the infamous one about bemoaning the weather. Yes, there’s been rain and the odd chilly-yet-muggy day here and there but mustn’t grumble, for another sign of the summer is fashion’s unabashed foray into graphic tropical prints with a vibrant acid palette. The look is set to carry on into the autumn. Meanwhile, carrying on the exotic theme, fashion’s having a spot of fun with fruit motifs, from lime and banana prints to strawberry and watermelon-shaped shoes – think Carmen Miranda.
This fruity, fabulous levity inspired me to try my hands at nail art and share my juicy watermelon and palm tree designs.
During the recent and truly welcome long weekend away at my parents’ house, I found a few ‘ladies’ hidden treasures’ lurking on the dressing table of my old bedroom – a collection of five miniature vintage perfumes bequeathed to me by my parents when I was a young child and played with Barbie dolls, or some such. Honestly, I don’t recall exactly what their uses were but I do remember being fascinated by them, to the point of fighting over them with my sister copious times, which is really as much of a coup as small childhood novelties can achieve!
I decided to take a closer look at the trinkets I fawned over whilst playing ‘shops’ and a session of cursory internet research told me all I needed to know – it was a veritable vintage tour de force!
Scents of place
Created by: Jacques Jantzen
Top: citrus, black currant,green notes
Heart: iris, jasmine, ylang-ylang, clove, tincture of rose and lily
Base: Vetiver, sandalwood, patchouli, oakmoss and Virginia cedar.
Think: The wit, sophistication and shady past of an icy Hitchcockian heroine.
Emilio Pucci Vivara
Designed by: Pochet and Courval
Mood: We have another chypre here – specifically classic chypre – with a dense, dusty, powerful scent, like many from the decade.
Notes: cypress, iris, peppers and labdanum.
Created by: Bernard Chant
Mood: Just to give you an idea, ‘cabochard’ is French for ‘headstrong’ or ‘stubborn,’ so while you can expect no whiff of a wilting, shrinking violet from this one, there’s no compromise on feminine elegance. This one’s also a chypre (you might be starting to see a pattern emerging!) so, although bold by nature, the demure sophistication still remains intact.
Top: Aldehydes, citrus, fruit and spice accents
Heart: Jasmine, rose, geranium, ylang-ylang, orris
Base: Patchouli, amber, vetiver, castoreum, moss, musk
Think: A ‘lady of the night’ with sweet floral notes beneath a demure smoky veil.
Pierre Cardin Paradoxe
Designed by: Serge Mansau
Mood: As the name suggests, it’s a contrast of sweet and sour scents against a castoreum-rich animalic-leather base with lush florals in between. Funnily enough, it’s another chypre. ‘Sultry’ is definitely the word for this one.
Top: Aldehydes, bergamot, green note, spicy note, gardenia.
Heart: Jasmine, orris, rose, carnation, tuberose, ylang-ylang.
Base: Leather, sandalwood, moss, patchouli, cistus, castoreum, civet, musk.
Think: Charlotte Rampling.
Mood: Bold, green and comforting with a dangerous streak – it must be the cinnamon!
Top: Aldehydes, clary sage, galbanum, bergamot.
Heart: Gardenia, jasmine, ylang-ylang, rose.
Base: Cinnamon, tonka bean, vetiver.
Think: The name translates as ‘my claw’ so a touch of surprise and sting in the tail, as well as a devil-may-care abandon.
Imagine what collectables you might have hidden away in the deep forgotten recesses of your home, and what you might just find out about them. In my case, it was thanks to these rather awesome perfume blogs that I was able to look back at mementoes of my childhood from a while new angle.
With the graphic clout of art prints and sartorial politics of normcore currently shouting the loudest, it’s not hard to overlook a trend set to make an appearance on the fashion radar this winter. Okay, it might seem far in the distance and frankly the last thing anyone wants to think about while enjoying the sultry summer weather, but if my time served on this earth has taught me one thing, it’s that you can never plan too far ahead – I’ve already got my in-style insulation sorted!
Fashion will be getting into the swing of the sixties later this year, with statement pieces by Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Christopher Kane, Carven, Tory Burch and DSquared2 reworking the tailored scuba silhouette made famous by Pierre Cardin. This is not set to be a flash in the pan either – Louis Vuitton’s Resort collection could carry the trend into 2015 with a pastel colour palette setting the mood, alongside shocks of PVC, jazzy patterns, suede and quirky oversized eyelets. Florals, meanwhile, will take on evocative tessellating tile patterns of the decade – also, think Orla Kiely. Fine fashion examples include Louis Vuitton, Valentino and Delpozo.
The 60s seem to be a decade of distinctive style, that captures the interest of fashionistas and endlessly renewing generations to this day. So, how to set 2014′s incarnation apart? A finish of cool chelsea boots or comfortable zipped flats is the recommended course of action to keep astride of the fashion pack. So, there you have it – take a step back to look forward!