Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lipstick traces: Velvet Goldmine filming locations

"The secret of becoming a star is knowing how to behave like one."
I may or may not have expressed my undying love for Todd Haynes' Velvet Goldmine in this blog before. I saw it in the cinema back when it was first released in 1998, when I was 14 - and I'm not even kidding when I say that it pretty much changed my life. Now, in 2011, I have seen it tens and tens of times and I'm still as in love with it as I was back in the day. It is one of those films that I can watch countless of times and never tire of it. Instead, I always find something new and interesting. And, most of all, for me Velvet Goldmine equals two hours of pure, unadulterated entertainment.

So when my darling friend, soulmate and fellow Velvet Goldmine devotee Mycah visited me in London this fall, we spent a day visiting locations related to our favourite movie. We first hopped on the train to Chiswick and headed over to the gorgeous Chiswick House and Gardens, where the photoshoot montage featuring Brian and Mandy Slade and his band was filmed. We were so giddy to be there and discover that very little has changed about the location since the filming of the movie. Needless to say, we could not resist re-enacting the scenes much to the horror and/or delight of the onlookers. As they once wrote, camp isn't just a row of tents. Next we returned back to central London and went to Lambeth Bridge, where parts of the opening credits featuring glam rock fans were were filmed. Lastly, we visited the location depicted as the birthplace of Oscar Wilde, set in Dublin 1854, which was filmed just off Brick Lane.

It was an amazing day and made our geek hearts very, very happy indeed. Here's a collage that Mycah put together of our Velvet Goldmine day.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hats and coats and leaves, oh my!

I am not a big fan of fall and I, quite frankly, dread winter. And I especially dislike dressing for the aforementioned seasons. Some people love layering up and look good whilst doing so - but for some reason I always look end up looking more like a homeless person. This year, however, I decided to prepare myself for the cold well in advance. Now that the temperatures dropped quickly and fall is in full swing here in London, I'm so glad that I did too.

I have been hunting for the perfect princess coat all year around but, unfortunately, they're very rare to come by in my size and price range. However, I did manage to find this 1940s Bon Marche labelled wool coat, which I really like. It is warm and endlessly more elegant than the large majority of modern coats that I look at. I just love the strong silhouette of an early 40s coat. I recently also got this beret style navy wool felt hat with rhinestone and bugle bead leaf detail, also from the 40s, which has quickly become one of my favourites. I completed the look with my grey Poetic License Blacklash shoes with blue ribbon laces.

With a jazzy new wardrobe, perhaps fall and winter won't be as bad after all.

Coat - 1940s vintage (via alpamal4349 on Ebay)
Hat - 1940s vintage (via dead-rare-records on Ebay)
Dress - 1940s vintage (via TwilaJeanVintage on Etsy)
Handbag - Vintage (thrifted)
Shoes - Poetic License Blacklash

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Being Black Dahlia

Happy belated All Hallows' Eve! I hope you all had a deliciously spooktastic extended weekend.

I'm happy to report that I finally had my Halloween dream come true this year.

Mind you, it is not really that big of a deal in Finland and I've just never gotten around to dressing up, proper costume style, for Halloween before. Many of my friends were on the same boat as me so we decided to put some effort into it this year. At first I wanted to do something entirely different from my everyday self (i.e. not wear vintage) but I just couldn't get the idea of going as the Black Dahlia out of my head. I suppose because I've been fascinated by the Elizabeth Short case for years. I'm just a little morbid like that.

I had the perfect 1940s dress in my closet just waiting to be taken out! It is a sheer black crepe number with a bow on bodice and flaps at front of skirt, which make it the perfect dress for dancing. I bought it from TwilaJeanVintage via Etsy in 2009. Love the dress but I wear it very rarely, simply because I don't feel at home in black. But for this occasion it was truly perfect. A black wig, black dahlia hair flower, black stockings, and black 40s pumps completed the look. And, of course, the scars.

I've never done special fx make-up before so I practised for a couple of days and, in the end, I'm fairly happy with how it turned out on the day itself. I used Grimas scar wax as a base for the scars and filled them with face paint and fake blood. And, miraculously, the scars stayed on my face all night.

A vampire, a zombie sailor and Twilight's Jacob Black rounded up our posse as we spent the night parading and dancing around London Town. It was a super fun evening and I can't wait to do it again next year!