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.


Seeing Rainbows: Multicolor Summer Fashion From Rosie Assoulin, Edie...
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
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.



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.


An hour, tops.



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


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?

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!

#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?

#TBT – Bordeaux Lines

Bordeaux Instagram

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!

Bordeaux Instagram


The Trends on Wednesday: Fruit Looks

Hot tropic is the way that we roll this season!Fruit looks

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.

watermelon nail art


Palm tree nail art


10358214_315879328578026_1182870619_n 10413108_802532249759298_68927329_n



Chic in the attic



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!perfume1

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


Balenciaga Cialenga

Year: 1973

Created by: Jacques Jantzen

Mood: Aloof, witty and sophisticated. It’s from the chypre family and sports a  distinctive balance of green, spice and wood with a dry, acrid sophistication.


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

Year: 1967

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.



Gres Cabochard

Year: 1959

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

Year: 1983

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.

10362151_391213447683550_260107211_nChanel Ma Griffe

Year: 1946

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.


The Trends on Wednesday – Retro Spectacle


Retro-spectacle by chiccheat featuring yellow aviator glasses

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!