Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Technicolour Tea Party

My favourite shots from a shoot I modelled for Miss Hannah Barraclough final year Fashion Promotions student at UClan. Inspired by the kitsch-tastic jewellery by Tatty Devine (tattydevine.com).
It was wonderful to be able to model doing something more fun and creating and working with a whole team. It was an effort at times not to switch into stylist mode and just to leave Hannah to strut her stuff... though several of my wardrobe items may have sneaked into a shot or two. I absolutely adored the tea sets that Hannah made and feel the whole thing was really creative and successful - fingers and toes for her getting a great mark for it.

Photography: Si Miller
Styling: Hannah Barraclough
Make-Up: Stephanie Pearson
Assistant to Stylist: Sarah Taylor.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Watch Out Nigella

So my ever irritating and ever random wheat intolerance appears to have resurfaced it's ugly head. Obviously means I have to cut a huge amount of things out of my diet and generally it's rather pooh on (gluten free) toast.

As a result I've been rather preoccupied by food today and I got to thinking about Come Dine with Me ( possibly the most masterful creation of daytime television ever produced - I know not of anyone who dislikes it - it's pure genius) and how I feel they should do a one off "Student Special".

Staying within the realities of student living - there will a budget of £20 for a 3 course meal for 4 people. Now of course there has to be rules within this - things do have to be created - no Pot Noodles allowed (Supernoodles are fine), the menu cannot consist solely of alcoholic beverages or cocktails, mouldy items shall be deemed not fit for sharing (stuff scavenged out of the supermarket reduced bit is fine so long as it's not too far passed the sell by date) and deliveries from the local pizza place are off limits.

As a student myself I will hold my hand up and admit that £2.70 will always go on a pint of cider before it would on 2 days worth of food shopping from B&M Bargains. As a result I have at times been reduced at times to concocting some very interesting combinations of things at the end of the month when money is tight in order not to starve. So rather than let them go to waste, I felt that I would use these delightful discoveries in my own Student Special Come Dine with Me menu. Now sadly I can't eat pretty much of any of this at the moment with previously mentioned wheat intolerance but I felt I shouldn't be stingy and share my talents with you my dah-ling readers.

Feast your eyes on this:

Canapes: Selection of Hors D'oeuvres
Packets of crisps arranged nicely into bowls (Iceland do variety packs for £1) and Strongbow - though only one can each to not outstretch the budget.

Starter: Exotic Medley Soup
Be as creative as you like with this one. Make a nice stock from cup-a-soups, find any kind of edible left overs in the fridge (last nights take-away remains make an especially tasty addition - just not pizza because that's beyond wrong) and chuck it in a big pan, add cheap tinned chopped tomatoes, half a pint of water and instant mash potato powder to thicken. Mix it all up and ask to borrow a blender from someone - whaz it up (Jamie Oliver stylee) until smooth and lumpless - put back in pan to heat - season with soy sauce sachets left from Pot Noodles if last nights take away was Chinese - if not a hefty amount of Subway salt sachets will suffice.

Main: Sea Food Surprise
Add two tins of tuna to a jar of value pasta sauce, pour over cooked pasta tubes in a lasagna dish, sprinkle over bread (that's past it's best and no good for much else) into crumbs over the top and if you're feeling flash grate some (on offer) strong cheddar. Bake until the crumbs toast and cheese melts.

Dessert: Ginger Zest & Oat Crumble with Creamy Iced Vanilla.
Porridge oats made up with a small amount of boiling water, add packets of (stolen from cafes) brown sugar, crush Tesco Value ginger nut biscuits into tiny crumbs and stir mixture until fully and evenly mixed. If the mixture is quite runny whap it in the microwave until it has more of a chewy looking consistency and reheat again before serving with one scoop of cheap ass ice cream. Sprinkle more brown sugar for decoration.

I'm going to pitch it to Channel 4...

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Fashion Bitch

It's true to say that of late I have become somewhat of a reverse clothes snob - ditching the high street in favour of charity shops, vintage and swapping pieces with friends and fellow stylists.
I've become so uninspired by the repeated styles in each and every store - there's little difference between the lines in Topshop as there are in H&M, Miss Selfridge, New Look etc aside from the prices and slight variations on emphasis on certain "this season" looks. Everything looks like a bad rip off (and sometimes blantent fake copy of) stuff that was on the pret-a-porter catwalks the previous season. I get frustrated knowing I did nudes and lace all over the winter (yes purposely out of character) and then suddenly BOOM it's in my face everywhere when I trek through a mall. Now that's not to say I don't get a slight gloating satisfaction that I can sense trends pretty well but as every real fashionista knows - it's not about being fashionable - one doesn't want to fit in and do what everyone else is doing - we want to be unique - make trends not follow them!

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Line Your Eyes With This:

In an ideal world - artists and creatives alike would get paid based on their talent, get recognition for their abilities and have it matched financially. However as we all know this isn't the case - making it in the biz as it were is an incredibly difficult slog. One is required not only to be artistically gifted but also to be a businessman (/woman if you wish to be pedantic about things) and often a nice healthy lashing of luck. In this day and age it's often just as much (in fact if not more so) who you know not what you know - and networking like Bambi on acid.

That said I wanted to use my minuscule bit of webspace to promote and introduce those of you who haven't come across her before to the amazing talents of my very dearly loved friend and make-up marvel extraordinaire - Sonara Parker.

sonaraparker.com (go mooch - I'm on there - go hunt me out :P).

I was very blessed to meet Sonara on my first proper shoot modelling and incidentally it was one of her very first shoots as a professional make up artist and we've stayed creatives (lunatics) in crime ever since. She's surpassed me hugely since this point with a portfolio that beggars belief for the amount of time she's been in the game. I've worked with several other MUA's since that first shoot both as a model and a stylist and without even a single sliver of bias she is by by far the best - a relentless perfectionist and eternal professional - with a tea addiction. And not just a whiz with the pallets and brushes she's a pretty damn hot milliner and prop maker too.

Those of you on Facebook are encouraged to become a fan - not only for her incredible work but because she's just a beautiful person in and out and I encourage and appreciate hugely any support for broadening her career and dream.
Sonara Parker MUA Facebook Fan Page.