Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Unlikely Horror Icon: Pennywise

Rereatin the IT film poster with a yellow Lighthouse jacket and red ballon
Easy Pennywise IT costume
Yellow rain jacket and clown makeup for an easy look inspired by horror movie IT
DIY faux leather clutch bag made to look like paper boat SS Georgie in horror film IT
Creepy clown outfit inspired by Pennywise the dancing clown from IT

From Gerald's Game and The Mist on Netflix to the release of The Dark Tower, adapting a Stephen King book for the screen is so hot right now (even if some of the results ain't so great). Of course, his work has always been popular source material. His Dollar Baby deal allows students and aspiring filmmakers the rights to some of his work for only $1 and with so many of his books being bestsellers there's already an eager fan base for studios and directors to tap into. But with the recent remake of IT becoming the biggest selling horror movie of all time, there certainly seems to be a Stephen King moment happening right now. And what kind of bloggers would we be if we didn't jump on that moment, especially with Halloween just around the corner!

Kim posted her Annie Wilkes look earlier this week so now it's my turn. Getting straight on the bandwagon, I decided to go for Pennywise the Dancing Clown from IT.  When I spotted this amazing graffiti art by CGull on Instagram and realised it wasn't that far from me, I knew it was meant to be. I'm a big fan of Tim Curry and think he makes an amazingly creepy clown, but decided to base my look (loosely) on the new version played by Bill Skarsgard. Specifically, I went for the moment where Pennywise pretends to be Bill's missing brother, Georgie. The yellow jacket and red balloon combo from the poster is just so striking, plus it gave me the excuse to buy this jacket that'd I'd been eyeing up for a while. It's pretty much the most sensible thing I own. Almost too sensible in fact - I was boiling taking these photos! I'm looking forward to terrible winter weather so I can actually wear it out and about.

Easy Pennywise outfit for Halloween
Sugar & Vice acrylic necklace inspired by IT, the perfect finishin touch for a Pennywise costume
Easy Pennywise Halloween costume with red ballon

Jacket | Lighthouse
Shirt | Monki
Trousers | New Look
Wellies | Primark
Necklace | Sugar & Vice
Clutch | DIY

The outfit is pretty simple, just some check trousers and a white shirt. I amped up the costume factor by adding pom-poms to my buttons, going big on the make up and giving my hair a good old backcomb. For the perfect finishing touches I rustled up a DIY faux leather paper boat clutch bag (try saying that three times fast!) and treated myself to this awesome Sugar & Vice necklace. While the bag may not be that useful (the space inside is pretty tiny), I will certainly be wearing this necklace again and again. I love how it subtly shows off my horror film fandom.

Wardrobe Conversations easy Pennywise clown costume for Halloween

While I really enjoyed the new version of IT, it's not quite made it into my top 5 Stephen King adaptations - which goes a little like this...

5.) Thinner
I remember watching this late at night on the small black and white television I had in my bedroom. I don't remember much about what happens in it, just that it absolutely terrified me. It doesn't really have the best reviews but it certainly made an impression on young me! I wonder if I'd be quite as scared watching it again now?

4.) Misery
Definitely my favourite King book that I've read and the film certainly does it justice. Plus it has Kathy Bates and she does horror rather brilliantly.

3.) The Shining
While I don't enjoy Shelley Duvall's performance, I do love Jack Nicholson's. Watching Nicholson play crazy is so much fun. And then there's the iconic set design and those terrifying sisters that have influenced many a blog photo.

2.) The Mist
I'm talking about the film, not the new TV series (which is only ok). The visual effects may not hold up too well but that ending gets me every time. I recently saw it in black and white (as the director intended it) at Dundead and it's one of my favourite cinema experiences.

1.) Carrie
I do have a bit of a problem with the shower scene at the start but the rest of the film is pretty much perfect.

What's top of your list?

Scottish blogger Helen from Wardrobe Conversations shares her favourite Stephen Kin adaptations

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Unlikely Horror Icon: Annie Wilkes

UK blogger Wardrobe Conversations wears an outfit inspired by Annie Wilkes from Stephen King's Misery UK blogger Wardrobe Conversations wears an outfit inspired by Annie Wilkes from Stephen King's Misery, holding books by her own favourite author Margaret Atwood Hand holding copies of Margaret Atwood novels in the woods
We couldn't do an Unlikely Horror Icon in 2017 without a homage to Stephen King. It's a no-brainer for any horror fan!

I may not be a horror film fan like Helen (due to my dislike of viewing simulated torture) but I have always loved horror books, and I remember the day I got my mum to sign a special library slip to allow me to graduate from age appropriate Goosebumps to Stephen King books at age 10 or 11. I had a YA horror book club subscription in primary school and an unhealthy preoccupation with ghosts. Don't assume I skipped the Point Horror stage, of course, as Helen and I swapped these books even in high school. (In fact, these books were so formative for me that if you name any title and I could describe the 90s cover even today. And those early L.J. Smith books...? *dreamy sigh*)

Stephen King is a whole other level though, and a stand-alone author for me in that I didn't read any of his contemporaries. It was all Stephen King. My favourite book was Misery, with the antagonist Annie Wilkes in it. In short summary (no real spoilers), the book is about an author named Paul Sheldon who has a serious car crash and is rescued by his self-proclaimed "number one fan", Annie Wilkes. She nurses him back to health to hear about his character's next escapade but becomes incensed when she discovers that the latest instalment (on his person at the time) actually kills off the main character, Misery. Annie injures Paul to keep him with her so that he can write Misery back into the story and he then makes multiple attempts to escape. I won't ruin the end.
UK blogger Wardrobe Conversations wears an outfit inspired by Annie Wilkes from Stephen King's Misery UK blogger Wardrobe Conversations wears an outfit inspired by Annie Wilkes from Stephen King's Misery
This book (and film) spoke to me for a few reasons but mostly it was Annie. She's a super fan, and demonstrates, in an extreme way, how fictional characters can become very real to people. She's na├»ve and innocent in some ways, and is devastated by Misery's fictional death. But she is also incredibly dangerous and unpredictable, and can turn in an instant. The film adaptation led to Kathy Bates winning an Oscar for her portrayal as Annie Wilkes. She's superb.

Annie has a very distinctive outfit, which is actually youthful, demure clothing but looks frumpy on her. It's not too out there, though. I'd say it's definitely an Unlikely Horror Icon, rather than costume, as I realised I've actually worn a different version of this outfit on the blog before. For this one, I changed it up to be a little frumpier than my Dr Martins spin. A dark green and grey colour palette, high collar and a pinafore are all a must to nail this look. I skipped the large crucifix necklace she wears because I don't wear crosses but I added in my favourite Karen Smith key earrings (because she locks him in, geddit?) The neat, childlike under-turned bob with hair slides complete the look. Oh, and creepy overly enthusiastic expression.

I didn't say it was an attractive look.
Kimberley from Wardrobe Conversations blog in green turtle neck top and grey pinafore as worn by Annie Wilkes in Misery UK blogger Wardrobe Conversations wears an outfit inspired by Annie Wilkes from Stephen King's Misery
Top | Warehouse
Pinafore | Oasis (very old)
Shoes | Clarks
Earrings | c/o Karen Smith

My final accessory was, of course, some books by one of my favourite authors, Margaret Atwood. She can be assured that I would not give her the Annie Wilkes treatment if we were to meet... honest.
Kimberley from Wardrobe Conversations dressed as Annie Wilkes from Stephen King's Misery novel, holding a kitchen knife and looking menacing

Thursday, 19 October 2017

One Dress, Two Witches: The Love Witch

The Love Witch film poster with blogger Kimberley from Wardrobe Conversations as Elaine Blogger Kimberly from Wardrobe Conversations dressed in witch Halloween costume as The Love Witch with layered jewellery Blogger Wardrobe Conversations demonstrating easy costumes made with a black dress as The Love Witch Blogger Kimberley from Wardrobe Conversations dressed in witch Halloween costume with only a black dress, a wig and some jewellery Kimberley from Wardrobe Conversations show off easy Halloween makeup for her The Love Witch costume with 1960s eyeshadow and lipstick
It's the spookiest time of year and we are sharing our popular Halloween ideas! You can see our past looks here but this week we are sharing a great way to create two witch costumes out of one black dress! Don't we all have a LBD to dress up? Yes, witch is the basic bitch of all Halloween costumes, but we're giving it an individual spin. First Helen did Nancy from The Craft, and now you may call me The Love Witch.

The Love Witch is one of the weirdest films I've ever watched but aesthetically it is utter perfection. No plot spoilers here but I urge you to watch it for the kitschy interiors and fashion, as well as the feminist horror. I'm very surprised it isn't topping the costume charts for this Halloween (unless everyone looks as un-Love Witch-y as I do in this get up. She's a hard act to follow.)

Although it was only produced last year, everything about The Love Witch has a late 60s/early 70s vibe. Almost. The colours, the hairstyles, makeup and (most of) the cars are a pastiche of Hitchcock and B list horror films in their level of detail. There's a sumptuous victorian tea room in soft layers of pastel pink and her intricately adorned, jewel-coloured apartment is a treat for the eyes. Then, up pops random artifacts of modern living. Things that aren't even necessary to the plot. At first I couldn't work out if this was due to the budget of the film- that they couldn't control the whole set so they just didn't try to- or if it was to add to the tongue-in-cheek humour that underlies the entire thing. Definitely the latter. The film is incredibly self aware and served plenty of parody, which makes it a little stilted at times, but overall I think it's a very clever reflection on feminism and sexual transactions. These tiny reminders help bridge the gap for the viewer. This continues to happen to women now.

Wardrobe Conversations wears a Halloween costume you'll want to wear again, with a simple black dress and accessories Lots of rings and a DIY necklace inspired by The Love Witch film Blogger Kimberley from Wardrobe Conversations dressed in witch Halloween makeup as The Love Witch
I really need to watch it again because I did it in a rush for this brilliant and easy Halloween costume.

I have totally the wrong face shape and colouring for this look, I know, (actually I think Helen's would work well). I look more like Trish playing dress up in Elaine's apartment.
 but most of the work is in the hair and makeup. Elaine, the self-proclaimed Love Witch, wears really bold eyeshadows throughout teh film. My favourite is a turquoise that covers most of the lid, with a solid eyeliner all the way round. Bigger is better, and I felt a bit clownish at this level but now I wish I'd gone all out and had spidery false lashes too. Elaine always uses a pink blush on the apples of her cheeks and a pinky-gold lipstick. Actually, the combo of pinky lipstick and pillarbox red nails in the film irritated me, but each is great separately. It's a punchy, if jarring, combo.

This super cheap wig felt.... well, super cheap. I quite liked having long, dark hair for a fun change, though. In a way, a wig is quite fitting as Elaine herself wears a hair piece to bump up her already long black locks. (Again, this is how the film points directly to the theme of artifice in female guile.) Helen dressed the rest of me in her trench coat and lots and lots of jewels.

I didn't realise until the day that I'd misplaced my old jewellery box with all my big ol' moon stones (from that obligatory wiccan period in my life) so we just piled up what we had and Helen got all crafty and made a necklace out of my earring. If we had more time I'm sure we could whip up the dazzling rainbow jacket lining detail that Elaine claims she adds to all her clothes.
She's a stylist MacGyver.
We're a set design A Team.

Blogger Wardrobe Conversations shows a beautiful make up look inspired by Elaine from The Love Witch film
My tips for making this work are quite simple- more is more on the bold makeup and pile on the jewellery. That's all you need!

Monday, 16 October 2017

One Dress, Two Witches: The Craft

Halloween outfit inspired by Nancy from The Craft featuring Lindsay Lowe Ouija Sunglasses
Halloween costume inspiration using a simple black dress
We Are The Weirdos, Mister The Craft inspired pin by Punky Pins
Creepy goth Halloween costume inspired by Nancy Downs from The Craft

We're over half way through October and my excitement for Halloween is growing and growing. I put up some spooky decorations at the weekend and I've been watching so many horror films - it really is my favourite time of year! So it's about time we stepped up the creepy factor on the blog!

I love that the blog provides me with even more opportunities to dress up and this year we decided to challenge ourselves to style up one dress in two witchy ways. A little black dress is a great wardrobe staple and also a great starting point for so many Halloween costumes. Cat, bat, Wednesday get the idea. It's also a great base for any withy get-up. We decided to be a bit more specific and channel a couple of our favourite on screen witches using a simple H&M dress.

My witch of choice is Nancy Downs from 90s classic The Craft. I've bee a fan of actress Fairuza Balk since she starred as Dorothy in Return to Oz and her expressive face is perfect from the character of Nancy. That manic grin is just perfection so good! I was a little behind my peers in actually watching The Craft, only seeing it for the first time in my late teens, but it's been a favourite ever since. It's a great film to enjoy with friends at this time of year, accompanied by plenty of Halloween themed snacks of course!

Glow in the dark Head Ghoul pin from Lucky Dip ClubThe Craft enamel pin and ouija board sunglasses - accessories for a Nancy Downs inspired Halloween costume

Glasses | c/o Lindsay Lowe
Jacket | H&M
Dress | H&M
Tights | New Look
Boots | c/o Ted & Muffy
Choker | New Look
Craft pin  | Punky Pins
Head Ghoul pin | Lucky Dip Club
Crown ring | Bloody Mary Metal
Other rings | Made by me

Instead of going for a straight copy of what Nancy wears in the film I thought I'd just try to capture her style. There's a whole lot of black going on to reflect her gothic look. I added some fishnet tights, a faux leather choker and sunglasses, because fishnets, chokers and sunglasses equal bad, right?! These sunglasses are pretty damn perfect for this time of year (if you ignore the fact we're in Scotland and there's no sun). I featured them in last year's September wishlist and love them even more IRL. I'd also been after Punky Pins 'We are the weirdos, mister' pin for a while now so this post was a great excuse to finally make it mine. Rest assured that I will be wearing it throughout the year. It's a pin for life, not just for Halloween. I finished off the look with some creepy makeup and slicked back hair, inspired by one of Nancy's many great hair looks from the film. I'm not sure I quite managed the Nancy grin but I tried my best!

Scottish blogger Helen from Wardrobe Conversations dresses up as Nancy from 90s film The Craft for Halloween
EasyNancy inspired Halloween costume worn by Scottish Blogger Helen from Wardrobe Conversations

There you have it, a super easy witchy outfit that consists of lots of stuff I already own and a few additions that I will definitely be wearing again. Keep your eyes peeled for Kimberley's witch themed look later this week. Do share who your favourite on screen witch is and, more importantly, what (or who) you'll be dressing as this Halloween? 

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Blogger Crushes 32

Kimberley's crushin' on... Cattitude & Co.

Photography by Fordtography

This crush is actually a sort of ode to Cattitude & Co. This feminist blog has been lined up to be a blog crush for a while but Tara has recently decided not to continue with the blog and re-focus on her social media services. Which is a crying shame, by the way, because as well as being very cool, flame-haired Tara offers well being advice, a real account of periods and a reasoned response to the many issues that arise in blogging. Her Contraception Chronicles series was promising and her menstrual cup tutorial gave me the push to try them after a decade of consideration.

You can still catch her over on Twitter.

Helen's crushin' on.... Midnight & Lace

It's October, so of course I wanted to pick a blogger crush with a spooky vibe. Robyn of Midnight & Lace is a self-confessed lover of all things horror and Halloween and I love how she incorporates that into her blog. From her glorious goth outfits and Halloween lookbooks to tips to get you in a creepy mood, she has plenty in her Halloween back catalogue. She's takin part in Blogoween again this year and I'm excited to follow her posts throughout October. She's already kicked things off fantastically with the first of her Burton Babe: Coraline.

You can also find Robyn over on Twitter and Instagram.

We're also loving:
  • Getting a peek at the Scottish Opera costume department with the lovely Claire from Bee Waits.
  • We may be a bit old for picture books but this one tells the story of artist Yayoi Kusama and we want it so bad!
  • Leopard Print Elephant's post about Dating a Tory is a great read - honest, insightful and funny.
  • Jillian Elizabeth's Instagram feed is giving us all kinds of Halloween make up inspiration.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

September Round Up

Blogger round up of September 2017 featuring Mother!, Northern Ireland, a Beth Lamont brooch and a yellow Hilary Grant scarf Watching: One of the films I talked about most last month was been Mother! It seems to have well and truly divided people but I have to say I definitely fall into the 'for' category. While I thought the first half was a little on the slow side, it more than made up for it in the second half. Some people have been surprised when I say I enjoyed it but I just really loved how nuts it got.
Another film I enjoyed was It. Though not super scary, I thought there were plenty of fun creepy elements. I also enjoyed how funny it was and how great the young cast were. Looking forward to the second instalment already!

Doing: I feel like I've managed to fit rather a lot into September, and that's with a couple of lazy weekends under my belt! At the start of the month I ventured across to Northern Ireland to visit my friend Ashley. I didn't get much sight seeing done but I did eat a lot of great food, drink a lot of gin and just have a generally wonderful time. After I returned I took part in a bunting making Craft Sunday at DCA with East End Press. I screen printed my own neon bright donut bunting and had a rather fabulous time doing so. There was also Kirsten Manzi's new collection launch, visiting the Louise Bourgeois exhibition in Perth, Abandon Ship's shop launch and a make a mug session with Steph Liddle. Phew!

Buying: I may have treated myself a few times last month. It all started just after I got paid and I bought myself one of Syrah Jay's new necklaces from DCA Shop. Working in DCA has definitely put me in dangerous proximity to lots of lovely craft items, as demonstrated when I then treated myself to a Hilary Grant scarf a couple of weeks later. Being away from work didn't help either as I also ventured to Tayberry Gallery in Perth  (which is lovely) and a Beth Lamont brooch came home with me. I really am too good to myself!

Clicking: Speaking of Hilary Grant, I was very excited to see her new collection popping up online. It is full of some beautiful knitwear! While I only just treated myself to one of her past season scarfs, that doesn't stop me dreaming of this gorgeous yellow one from the new collection.
I've also been spending a lot of time online searching for Halloween inspiration. I'm doing #31daysofhorror again (that's one horror film each day for the month of October) so I did a bit of research to put my list of films together. This list has been super helpful. I've also started a Halloween board over on Pinterest so be prepared to see that fill up as we head towards All Hallows Eve.

Watching: I've been trying out the new Star Trek Discovery series, which has just started on Netflix. I grew up with Star Trek (and a dorky Star Trek nickname of 'Captain' at uni due to my surname) but quite honestly I haven't watched it in the last decade unless visiting my dad. The series is only 3 episodes in and has a very slick, modern feel with plenty of special effects. I'm not sure how Star Trek-y it is though (or maybe I mean how 90s soap opera in space).

Doing: I had a snoop around historical buildings during Edinburgh Open Days, run by The Cockburn Association. I've lived in Edinburgh for a decade (good grief, I'm old) but there's always a wee hidden corner you've not heard about. This year I joined a tour of the New Calton Burial Grounds, which are undergoing a bit of a revival. I also ended up at a poetry recital at the Burns Monument by accident. When pulling looks for our Edinburgh Cocktail Weekend outfits, I also caught the AW fashion event at House of Fraser, which gave me some good style inspiration (and a huge wishlist!).

Buying: I have been looking for a smart backpack for work that is sturdy but won't break the bank. A friend swears by Fiorelli, which I'd overlooked in the past, but after seeing hers I couldn't stop thinking about it. It has a padded insert for your ipad, as well as a pocket on the underside(back?) near the strap so you can keep your phone or keys safe and retrieve them without taking it off. The only catch was that my favourite design was past season. I finally found it for a steal on Depop! Yes!

Clicking: If you follow me on Twitter, all I moan about lately is my gluten free diet. Since my coeliac diagnosis, my google searches have largely been "is X gluten free?" My dietitian recommended the Coeliac UK subscription and it comes with an app. The app has info and a food/venue check list to  help you tell which foods you can and can't eat. It's alright but there are a lot of gaps. I have found that I just have to phone restaurants in advance to see if they can cater for me. One that was brilliant lately was The Sun Inn. I've been a couple of times before but they've expanded recently. I was concerned that this has affected the quality of the food but it was actually extremely delicious and they worked around my needs. Yum!