Friday, 30 September 2011

Kalandra Jane Designs on Alt Fashion!

Following on from my earlier post about the Manchester Burlesque & Fetish Weekender, my business Kalandra Jane Designs has been featured on Alt Fashion's website! I'm not sure if the event review will be published in the paper version of the magazine, hopefully it will be and I'm sure there'll be promotion in it for the December event at which I will also be trading.

My stall is the main picture in the article! The fabulous Dolly Cool accessories also gets a well-deserved mention, along with Violaceous Latex who have some enviable designs.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Mid-century Geisha lamp restoration!

Back in February I bought a fabulous lamp which I blogged about here, including how I had to repaint part of her eye where the paint had chipped off the chalkware. A bigger problem was the fact that she was missing a hand, which I finally got round to rectifying a few weeks ago!

Here she is with her missing hand, you can also see a chip to her sleeve which has been painted over black - I may remodel this at some point with some sort of filler and gold paint, but for now it's not noticeable.

To make a replacement hand I used plain white Fimo (polymer clay), painted with acrylics and covered in an antique effect varnish. I'm capable of sculpting a much finer hand, but obviously it had to match the existing one on the lamp which isn't that well modelled.

Here it is in place! It just slots into the hole in her wrist and twists slightly to hold it firmly in place.

I also picked up two 1950s spun fibreglass lampshades from a vintage rummage sale (£3 for the pair), and have added one to cover her bare bulb. I think she looks great!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Bath trip part two: Roman baths and outfit

After visiting the Marilyn Monroe exhibition, we headed into the centre of Bath, to visit the Roman baths - after all, it'd be rude not to. The city is named for it and I have no doubt that many people were worked half to death to build it. There was way more to see than is depicted in these photos, some of my favourites being the ancient curses scratched into lead sheets and thrown into the waters, asking the gods for retribution against bathing suit thieves! Built to the godess Sulis Minerva, the baths are a world heritage site and one of the finest Roman historical sites outside Italy.

The first part of the Roman baths were built over 2000 years ago on the site of a natural hot spring (the water exits the ground at 46C (115F) at a rate of 15,624 gallons (18,764 US gallons) per day), with the ground level being built in the latter part of the first century AD. In the picture above you can see the bases of the pillars of the original Roman roof, which collapsed around the fourth century AD when the spread of Christianity forced ancient Pagan places of worship to fall into disrepair.

Here is the terrace around the great bath, built by the Victorians who added to the centuries-old Roman architecture to meet demand for access to the waters by those seeking to relax or soothe their ailments.

Statues of the great Roman emperors were added between 1894-97. Here I am touching Julius Caesar's bottom, like a naughty wee scamp. The Japanese tourists did not approve.

The Gorgon's head, entrance archway to the original Roman temple whose pieces were retrieved from the bottom of the hot spring.

This is what happens when you aren't meant to go into the water but also fail to equip your curators with one of those pool-scoops for fishing out leaves, sticking plasters, floating turds etc. not that any of those things are present in the baths, but this piece of paper was giving the man great cause for concern and he stood there willing it to come nearer to him for at least fifteen minutes. I thought he might explode from the concentration.

Little ceramic dog effigy found in the baths, it looks just like my dog, Scamp! Apart from the enormous cock, that is. Actually...

Manmade waterfall inside the baths building, channeling hot water from the source pool to the rest of the baths.

Outfit post! Fruit hat by me at Kalandra Jane Designs, sweater - TK Maxx, Skirt - made by me, one of my pieces for my Autumn wardrobe project, Bag - Lux De Ville at Rockers. I was also wearing brown low-heeled T-bar shoes from Peacocks.

Finally we ate before heading home. We had planned to go to Bath's only vegetarian restaurant, Demuth's, but found ourselves turned away. They advertise an 'earlybird special' starting at 5pm, we arrived a little after that only to be told that we could not be accommodated despite there being four people in the whole place, because they were holding all the tables for a large group coming in later. Don't offer a god damn earlybird special if you can't be bothered to honour it! Also, I don't particularly think £15.90 per person for two courses is good value, in Manchester two of you could eat for that price. In the end we went to The Real Italian Pizza Co., where I had a delectable pepper, artichoke and olive cheeseless pizza and Paul devoured an enormous pancetta salad bowl.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Bath trip part one: Marilyn Monroe and the American Museum

This week we made the 400-mile round trip to Bath to see the Marilyn Monroe exhibition at The American Museum in Britain, and it was fantastic. There were amazing costumes from her films, the highlights for me being the Red sequinned gown from 'Gentlemen Prefer Blondes', the highly embellished pink and white show costume from 'There's No Business Like Show Business' and the risqué sheer black beaded dress she wears whilst singing on the piano in 'Some Like it Hot'.

There were also original film posters, clothing and jewellery from her private collection, and personal effects from her childhood and film career, most of which were very interesting but some of which were a little upsetting, such as her prescription pill bottles.

Photography was not allowed in the exhibition, so Paul tried to sneak a picture for me on his phone, but as you can see the focus did not work at all! Considering we took some great pictures on the day with the same camera, it's a shame this one didn't come out.

I would highly recommend a visit to this exhibition for any Marilyn fan. It runs until the 30th October, after which all the items will return to Jersey where they reside in a private collection. I loved seeing the costumes in person, examining the details of their construction and getting to see a glimpse of Marilyn's personal life.

The rest of the American Museum is well worth a look too, with exhibits on early US folk art, Native American artefacts and beautifully recreated period rooms from various eras of American history.

Native American beaded waistcoat, showing clear influence of French and British design style.

The display of traditional patchwork quilts was lovely, many of them came with stories attached such as the rather sad one above. This was my favourite quilt of all the designs, the fans were made from such luxurious fabrics - a contrast from some of the cotton designs or Amish quilts in the museum's collection.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Heresy 'n' Heelz - Manchester Burlesque & Fetish Weekend

The weekend before last was the Manchester Burlesque & Fetish weekend, run by the lovely people from Heresy 'n' Heelz, who put on some top-notch burlesque events up and down the country.

I had a stall on both days, at the Friday night burlesque event then on Saturday at the Alternative, burlesque and fetish market at Soundcontrol off Oxford Road. Unfortunately I didn't get to see any of the performers on Friday as my stall was in the bar area downstairs from the stage, but I got to hear the Graveyard Johnnys who are always great!

The market on Saturday was hugely successful, really well attended and I sold lots of hats! There were free goodie bags, a mix of stalls selling corsetry, latexwear, fully fashioned stockings, jewellery and accessories, cupcakes, fetish items and of course me with the Kalandra Jane Designs stall. The lovely Clare was there selling her cool Kustom accessories, and the day was broken up with hourly burlesque performances.

Glitter Explosion! Burlesque diva Marnie Scarlet.

My stall!

Pictures copyright 2011 Heresy 'n' Heelz, all taken by Kate Appleby, fabulous event photographer - you should hire her for yours because she is lovely and talented!

The organisers are planning another event in Manchester on the 10th of December, this time combining a fetish/alternative market in the basement with a burlesque themed boutique space upstairs featuring fabulous performances and glamourous vendors such as myself!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

The negligent blogger's Autumn colour picks.

It seems I have missed blogging for most of Summer. This is because aerospace boyfriend has been at mine most of the time while he was on his Summer break, so we have mainly been pottering about doing things at home and haven't really had much to report, though I do have a few interesting bits to catch up on.

I've really noticed Autumn closing in this week. I'm not fond of it... we're led to believe it's all apple pies, crunchy leaves and toasty mittens but for those of us living in cities the usual Autumnal experiences entail slipping over into a slurry of brake dust and decomposed vegetation, sweating because it's not quite cold enough for the coat we've put on, and being buffeted by various degrees of pollution-saturated rain and grit-carrying wind.

To distract myself from this depressing prospect, I've decided to delve into the world of fashion and colour. This week is New York Fashion Week, and every year Pantone consult leading designers to determine the colours of the season from their collections. These were their picks for Autumn/Winter 2011.

I can't profess to be too keen on their chosen palette - the last four on the chart are particularly insipid, reminding me of dreary Autumn skies. I much prefer the first section of bright jewel tones and warm, dark colours to fend off the encroaching chill of Winter. Here are my picks for my own wardrobe this season!

I think it's much more sensible to stick to a narrower palette for dressing on a budget, and I've chosen these colours because I've already started to edge towards them in my wardrobe. Here's a sneak preview!

As you can see I'm also favouring tartans at the moment... the yellow stuff is something I've actually already made, but then stupidly ripped, so I'll show you a proper picture as soon as I've redone the seam.

I promise to resume regular blogging now! The next post will be more interesting and less awkwardly written, obviously breaks are not good for me. Love to you all, my faithful readers. xxx