Monday, 31 October 2011

Casper meets Wendy

Happy Halloween! I plan to spend All Hallow's Eve carving a pumpkin and watching Casper. Just can't get enough of that friendly ghost. Lucky Wendy. What will you be up to?

Friday, 28 October 2011

Stuff it

Is anyone else strangely intrigued by taxidermy?

I’m not alone on this as taxidermy seems to have sparked a lot of interest recently. To coincide with Halloween, taxidermist Amanda Autopsie is hosting Taxidermy and Tea this weekend. What does that involve? Well the clues definitely in the name. You can sip tea, eat delicious pastries and, er, learn how to preserve dead animals. Personally I think this event sounds quite  unique but it probably isn’t everybody’s cup of tea (pun intended). 

Not everyone’s comfortable with the idea of Taxidermy you see. On Run Riot Blog, Charlie Philips recently wrote; ‘Finding a dead animal and stuffing it for the titillation of passing trade or (worse) for your own entertainment is an insult to that creature. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t kill it yourself, it’s always wrong.

I love animals and must confess to having fallen in love with the stuffed animals in the school science lab (especially the Duck Billed Platypus)and later as a student I regularly visited Manchester Museum to gawp at their fine array of all creatures great and small. I was studying Literature not Zoology. Death is always a controversial subject but I like to see my gawping at these animals as appreciation rather than insult. If I was stuffed and people admired me and found me entertaining and I knew about it then I would be happy. But that is me and not everybody shares the same opinion on death, or life, or anything actually.I would also like to point out that I'm referring to animals who were found dead and were not murdered for aesthetic satisfaction or to be used as trophies or any other reason. This behaviour's very wrong

As a point of reference for those interested in this contraversial practise there's a great Taxidermy Museum in Llangollen, Wales and lots of critters in the very odd Curios Museum in Newquay. Then there's the people who can't bear to say goodbye to their deceased pet...

Taxidermy has certainly inspired some modern interest thanks to artists/taxidermists such as David Blyth, Polly Morgan and Annette Messager and the rise in popularity of nostalgic hobbies, crafts and vintage. It obviously helps that us Brits are a nation of animal lovers too. Taxidermy can now often be seen sitting alongside old treasure in vintage store windows or market stalls in 'trendy' areas like Manchester’s Northern Quarter and those bits of East London. On Mare Street in E8 you’ll find Heads and Tails, the UK’s largest collection of taxidermy in the country, has items available for sale or hire. I’m not sure I would buy but perhaps I would consider hiring for an Alice in Wonderland Themed Party maybe? That would involve Anthropomorphic taxidermy where stuffed animals are dressed as people or displayed as if engaged in human activities. Fun or mockery?

Just in case like me you find this creepy hobby intriguing here’s a bit of background…

Taxidermy is an ancient practise to protect  the dead from decay believed to ease the transition of the spirit between this world and the afterlife. The link with the after world meant that preserved bodies were seen as symbols of strength. Creepy, eh.

Taxidermy, like all creepy and controversial subjects, seems to tempt interest and inspire creativity. Like Halloween it’s a chance to experiment with the deathly without risk of death to oneself. Or maybe it’s just horrible. Or maybe a bit of a laugh?

If you agreed with any of those statements that means you’re a little bit interested now. 
Update: Went to Broadway Market and round a few Hackney thrift shops this weekend and saw a stuffed squirrel having evening tea, two stuffed cats and a mouse party for sale. 

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Drunk on this skirt

Sometimes it’s the simpler things in life that are the most effective.

All hail the queen of fashion, Vivienne Westwood, who has continued to collaborate with iconic denim brand Lee Jeans this Autumn/Winter 2011-12 and together they’ve created the ultimate trans-seasonal wardrobe essential…theDrunk Skirt.

This skirt is such a gorgeous neutral grey colour and simple flattering shape it will go with anything and is perfect for any season or occasion. It will look tres chic layered up with thick tights, socks and jumpers through the colder month and laid bare with a simple t come spring. It can also be worn both day and night with just a few tweaks to ones accessories. The skirt also has one very important detail, the inclusion of the golden metal orb as a button. Want!

What are you doing this Halloween?

What are you plans this Halloween weekend? 

Just in case you haven't already guessed I will declare it…tricky customers LOVE Halloween! Yes it can be a little tacky, such as when it's used as an excuse for women to wear their kinkiest Ann Summers outfits outdoors, but generally it's a whole load of fun. Getting dressed up, carving a pumkin, knocking on doors, eating lots of sweets. Well, perhaps that last bit is for the under 10’s. We've already given you a few costume ideas but if you are still feeling a little bewildered about how to enjoy this spooky pagan festival we have pulled together a quick round up of some Halloween ideas and happenings this weekend...

Saturday 29 October - London

The Haggerston - She’ll Hurt You in the End
The Book Club – The Hideous…BIG TEN INCH Halloween Horror Show
The Macbeth -Whoopi Golberg’s Halloween Frat Party
Bethnal GreenWorking Men’s Club - BGWMC's Haunted House Party!

…and tomorrow in Manchester (Friday 28 October 2011)…
Star and Garter – Burlesque: Halloween Special

This list is far from comprehensive as sadly we can’t list all the stuff happening everywhere in the country or the world – will leave that endeavour to the chaps at Time Out. These are just a selection that have taken our fancy. Feel free to tell us about other events and we’d love to hear about what you’re up to this weekend???

Other Halloween stuff to do includes…

DIY ideas...Halloween house parties are the bees knees so why not try to wangle an invite or better still throw one your self. If you fancy a more subdued affair why not host a Halloween Film Night where you can munch on Halloween treats and pumpkin pie. 

There are also lots of spooky Halloween film screenings around the country. Back to back horror in a church anyone?

If you have small people around, whether yours or some else’s (ask permission though) then you have the perfect excuse to go trick or treating, unless you live in a dubious area that is. Halloween may be about getting scared but safety is still important folks.

Failing being able to do any of the aforementioned you could just dress your cat up and watch a spooky film together.

Now, you have no excuse for not celebrating Halloween. Carve that pumpkin, have fun and don’t get too scared!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

60's Style Service

The cover of the fantastic Self Service magazine made me do an uber swoon today. I mean look at it!

The look in this stunning editorial's obviously very 60’s with the beehive, eyeliner, polo neck, androgynous coat... but super talented stylist Suzanne Koller gas given it a really modern age with the disheveled hair, heavy eyebrows and natural skin. This blend of old and new, the suburban location and youthful models gives this editorial a very current and particularly British feel. It’s grunge meets mod meets the noughties and oh how I love it! 

Halloween Inspiration

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Go Home Roger!

Sister sister, Party of Five, California Dreams, Boy Meets World, Round the Twist, Saved by the Bell, Sweet Valley High, Clarissa, Eerie Indiana, Are You Afraid of the Dark, Blossom, Fresh Prince...I could go on...

90's youth tv was amazing wasn't it?! Clarissa's huge earrings, the California Dreams theme song, Tia and Tamara's one liners. Those were the days. Who wasn't in love with the young Matthew Fox as big bro Charlie in Party of Five or the smoldering Drazik from Heart Break High, swoon. 

Why can't they just put it all on a channel now? Oh yeah, because some of us twenty somethings would possibly stop going out and would just sit around in a tie dye t, dungarees, hoops and DMs...good times! 

Whilst on the subject of 90's clothing has anyone else noticed that 90's fashions is having a bit of a resurgence at the moment? I know, you can't miss it really. It seems to have kicked off with the return of the mighty Doc Martins and it's not surprising. Who doesn't love the classic 90's grunge look of dungarees and plaid shirts, Courtney Love inspired baby doll mesh dresses with smudged red lips and now the slightly more controversial late 90's look being championed by the likes of Pixie Geldoff and friends - net tops and Buffalo boots anyone? It's all perfect festival wear, as the key to 90's fashion is looking undone and a little bit grubby after all, but the layering also makes it great trans seasonal wear. Pass me the velour for winter please. Velvet scrunchies line the counter in Brick Lane Rokit stores, hair is being bleached and dyed an array of colours (remember hair mascara?) and play suits are again a high street staple. I'm not sure I'd go as far as a pair of pedal pushers but who doesn't enjoy throwing on a denim jacket and indulging in a little teen rebellion from time to time?!

What was your favourite 90's teen show or fashion?

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


DSC00056 by KAF86
DSC00056, a photo by KAF86 on Flickr.
Well hello there! Nice to meet you and welcome to tricky customers. We're awfully glad you found us! We don't want to be lonely over here so please don't leave us hanging....come hang out! What is this place you find yourself in? This is a place for sharing all the good stuff that's knocking about out there…you the world. When you visit you will find talk of lots of lovely and interesting things from little known travel destinations to swedish tea to Colombo to pretty shoes…excited?! Right, now the introductions are over, chill, have a look around and enjoy the party! Oh, and don't forget to schedule us into your diary or RSS feed as we'd love to see you gain. Let's be friends!