Style Swoon! Goth Chic with Amy the Make-Up Artist!

It’s no huge secret at all that I am in love with Illamasqua make-up, and on my last mission there for eyeshadow and lipstick, I spied one of the amazing make-up artists who worked there sporting a perfectly chic, gothic inspired outfit!

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Amy explained that the belt was one of her favourite items. She wears it with trousers and skirts and I can see it being a great piece to have in the wardrobe to put the final touches on both smart and casual ensembles!

I adore her top too.. the metal zip-like detail is a great touch and makes a nice change from the usual girly, frilly stuff on the high street.

This is a really wonderful high end gothic look, very fashion forward yet still maintaining that ‘alternative’ vibe! 

This is one stylish lady who really knows how to put an outfit together! 

Amy’s make-up is spot on too! (well, she is a make-up artist!)… I only wish I could do my make-up so perfectly! I love the use of lipstick in ‘Kontrol’ (I think!) as an alternative to a more obvious option of black for an edgy gothic lip colour!

Thanks for posing for I Get Dressed In The Morning, Amy!

Kate x

PS: I cannot stress how highly I recommend the girls at Illamasqua Leeds for all your make-up needs. They are always happy to help with tips and quick demonstrations to help you get the most out of your make-up and learn new things!

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Etsy Cute 16/11/12 – Gift Ideas

Since Christmas is going to be upon us sooner than we think, I’m going to focus today’s Etsy Cute around incorporating kawaii into other peoples Christmas gifts! Because cute is meant to be shared!

(Click pictures for links to Etsy stores!)

 

For Baby:

You can’t really justify spending a fortune on kids until they are old enough to appreciate it properly/ not grow out of everything within a week! So baby gifts have to have longevity and take them through to toddlerhood or be very reasonably priced if they will only be used for a few months. Oh, and if you’re me… they have to be CUTE!

I found the solution!

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Is there ANYTHING cuter than baby dino feet?

These awesome knitted booties are perfect for any little monster at Christmas! Adorable and toasty warm! They are available from the wonderful ‘Lemonade and Magnolia‘ run by Kylie Mustapic. I have been lucky enough to see more of Kylie’s work than is available on her Etsy as she is a Leeds based children’s wear designer. She does craft fairs and maintains a sale space in Bird’s Yard in Leeds. This talented miss also creates hairclips, homewares and grown-up’s accessories! 

 

For Grandma:

It could be fairly difficult to explain the concept of Kawaii to granny.. so why not just show her by giving her an awesome handmade gift this Christmas?

Here you go..

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50’s Chic for Grandma on Christmas Day!

Now, I am well aware that not all Grandmas enjoy baking, cooking, knitting and coffee mornings, but this is MY Etsy Cute post and I am imagining MY Grandma. She very much loves all of the aforementioned things. Last Christmas I made my Grandma a half apron, as she wears one most of the time around the house. If I was short on time however, I would have bought a handmade apron instead and supported a small business. Let’s just stop to admire this one from ‘Boojiboo‘ shall we?

There are many, many, many apron sellers on Etsy.. And since my favourite (Dot’s Diner) have ceased trading, Boojiboo have quickly taken the ‘adorable apron’ space in my heart. JUST LOOK AT IT!! It brings a chic 50’s skirt vibe to Grannies look whilst still being super practical AND adorable! It’s subtle enough to be classy and still fun. A+ for Boojiboo I think!

 

For Workmates:

I bet you guys did a secret santa huh? And now you might be going ‘Aaargghhhhh, what do I get this person? They are into everything I am not! How do I please them HHHEEEELP!’ no? Just me then…

Incorporating cute and still keeping it mysterious as to who have supplied said gift to the bulging pile at the Christmas do may be pretty hard but oh well, everyone figures out who got who anyway!

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Guys, thats a cat hiding in a mug..

I obviously don’t know what your budget is… at my work, it’s ridiculously low….this makes for funny gifts from the pound shop and some great giggles. If you work in a more conservative office environment, or take your Secret Santa more seriously then these mugs by Spademan Pottery are so perfect!

They do SO MANY different ones and finding out someones favourite animal isn’t hard at all! You can order these mugs plain on the outside so the little critter is a true surprise, or have the animal paw prints on the outside, if you know your colleague wants to show off their adoration! The items from Spademan Pottery are such good value for money.. remember.. you are buying HANDMADE! for under £20!

 

For Best Friends:

Honestly, you really should know what to buy your best friend.. but okaaaaayy, i’ll do some of the work for you!

Chances are if YOU like cute things, your best friend does too.. so you can go all out on the sugar sweet factor here! 

How about this:

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Pens at the ready! Make your best friend your PENPAL! cute factor? 100!

Me and my best friend write letters to each other! She lives in a different city, talking and texting is fine, but just seeing her handwriting, drawings and little posted gifts makes me do a little cry from pure joy! You should try it with your bestie even if you live next door to each other!

People often forget there are some amazing sellers on Etsy who specialise in expertly picked vintage items, and not just handmade. I am a lover of all things vintage.. my favourite eras being the 50’s and 60’s (and some cute 70’s too!). ‘Tinsel and Trinkets‘ sell paper ephemera, plastic trinkets and retro holiday decorations. My favourite item in their store is this pack of wonderful letter writing paper! Obviously giving writing paper means you may eventually receive it yourself with a lovingly written message on it! But I would encourage my bestie to use these in her scrapbook and enjoy them every day! 

(Hint to bestie: I didn’t get you this.. that would be ruining the surprise! I got you something just as cute though!)

 

Just the four for today! I tried to pick gift idea for people who aren’t ‘mum, dad, brother, sister’ etc. Something a bit different! Hope you enjoy browsing Etsy! 

Kate xx

 

 

 

 

Harajuku Shopping Guide – 2. Beyond The Main Street

So… let’s continue our Harajuku shopping guide shall we? Last time, I told you all about Takeshita Dori and the many awesome shops that line the busy main street. Today i’ll take you across Meiji Dori and down the street signposted ‘Harajuku St’.

When you got to the bottom of Takeshita Dori last time, I forgot to mention the shop ‘Bowl O Rama’. This is pretty much right next to you on the right hand side at the bottom of the street. It sells all kinds of vintage and reproduction vintage items, the guys stuff consists of levi jeans, retro bowling shirts and work boots and the girls stuff includes cute bandana inspired print dresses, cat shaped handbags and accessories galore!

Now you need to cross the street that cuts off Takeshita Dori (it’s called Meiji Dori) and head towards the narrow street directly opposite called ‘Harajuku St’. Just before you start to go down this street you will notice that there is a kind of side street immediately to your right. There are some awesome shops down here, you could check them out now before heading down Harajuku St or later, once you retrace your steps!

As you walk down Harajuku St you will already notice that the atmosphere is different to that of Takeshita Dori.. none of your tacky tourist junk here! Instead, this street is lined with more niche shops, there’s an ethical clothing store, a couple of really good vintage shops, and loads more! Look up and just a little way down the street you will see a shop called ‘G2?’. This place is a really good vintage shop if you are looking for a mixture of specialist and everyday items.. They have awesome blouses and t-shirts snuggled up next to full 50’s ballgowns! If super rare handbags from the 40’s,50’s and 60’s are your thing, they have a whole room for them!!

I *think* down this street there should also be a shop with a carousel horse lamp in the window.. now the lamp is, unfortunately, not for sale.. but the store is pretty cool. I always forget what it’s called though. They sell those crazy platform converse, printed tights, weird almost 90’s looking clothes and kitschy jewellery.. It’s SO worth a look!

Eventually, if you keep going down Harajuku St, you will get to a poochie fashion shop. Now, i’m not a fan of dogs myself.. but I LOVE that this place exists! On a Saturday you will usually see rich housewives with their Chihuahuas in baskets buying gilt collars or velvet doggie beds. It’s definitely fascinating to someone like me.. I am always interested in the lengths people go to to feed obsession!

The dog shop is on a corner, and the road that creates the corner with Harajuku St is a pretty good one to veer off and explore too! If you imagine you are standing facing away from Meiji Dori on Harajuku St you want to go down this new street by turning left. Going right is good too, but maybe explore that later! As you head down this new street you wil see shops dedicated to selling Alice in Wonderland themed Gothic Lolita clothing, new designers opening pop-up shops, more vintage clothing stores, a shop selling nothing but hawaiian goods, super swanky menswear shops and a little boutique selling re-worked clothing (i’m talking Rainbow Brite bedsheets turned into dresses, you guys!) Heck, if you walk even further down this street you will find a huge toy store selling everything from Marvel action figures to super rare and collectible film props! Oh, and if coffee is your thing, just a tiny bit further down you will find a minuscule three story corrugated iron structure which houses a coffee shop specialising in latte art! (Top tip: buy your coffee at ground level then head up to the top floor for a super cosy break from shopping!).

The good stuff on this street kinda ends at the coffee shop, so you want to turn around and walk back to where the doggie shop is. Once you get back there, continue walking down Harajuku St, away from Meiji Dori. It will feel like you are walking into a residential area, the road sort of ramps up, towards a wall, but then curves round. If you followed the road you should see a building with steps at the side of it that lead up to the 1st floor. All the ground floor shops are accessible from the front of the building, you will be looking at the side from this angle. For all you designer toy and streetwear geeks, this is where Bounty Hunter is! At street level and closest to the road. Go in here for a glimpse of the mega successful designer toy company… they now mainly seem to do streetwear and accessories, but there should be a few cabinets with vinyl toys too!

If you come out of Bounty Hunter and head towards the building opposite (it looks like someones house!) You will find an awesome antiques shop. You usually have to squeeze yourself between the wall and the owners car (I swear it’s just his house!) and you’re in! They sell all sorts… metal printing press letters, antique bridles, clothing, lace handkerchiefs, vintage signage.. pretty much EVERYTHING!

Back over the road and up the stairs of the first building here and you will find my two all time favourite shops in Harajuku.. Erostika and Secret Base. Erostika is the Harajuku based store of the insanely talented, totally cool ‘Rockin’ Jellybean’. RJB is a mysterious lowbrow artist who creates eye popping illustrations and prints which he then puts on T-Shirts, underwear, stickers, badges, phone cases and more! He famously never shows his face and wears wrestling masks to oscure his identity! You can buy high quality hand screenprinted editions of his works to put on your wall (me and boyfriend have four now), Vinyl toy representations of the characters he created (we have one, signed!), merchandise such as lighters, ashtrays and other bits and bobs and records he has done the artwork for (including the 5,6,7,8’s).

The second time I went to Tokyo, I had the fortune of visiting when RJB would be signing stuff in Erostika. I went with boyfriend, our friend who was holidaying with us and my Japanese friend Toy (she runs BAPSjapon). RJB was such a nice guy, spoke to us in English quite well and was happy to pose and sign things for us! Just in case you were thinking this is a long and wordy post… here’s a picture Toy took of the event in question. You can see how awesome the shop is!

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All Credit for the image goes to Toy of BAPS JAPON, RJB and EROSTIKA

Boyfriend, me and RJB!

It’s worth having a chat to the guy who works at the Erostika store. His name is Wild Ox and his English is really good. He can usually point out some good gigs to go to, or events that might be on while you’re around. He is always happy to help with sizing too so if you can’t see a T-Shirt in your size he will look for you!

If you come out of Erostika (I know, it’s hard) and go to the metal door across the corridor directly opposite you will find Secret Base. Secret Base is probably my favourite designer toy company I have encountered. The inside of their store houses little works of vinyl art behind metal bars and on high shelves. It feels a little like a secret club, and can be somewhat overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re looking at. SB create new collections and editions of toys quite regularly, I bought boyfriend a fat Ronald McDonald they created in cahoots with Ron English, based on his paintings.

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Secret Base McHumberger X-Ray Version Toy

As well as all the awesome toys, Secret Base sell T-Shirts and other collectibles too, including toys from other distributors they collaborate with. If you see something in here you like, I would say buy it. Chances are it won’t be here for long as SB toys are sought after.

Well, thats about it for this entry. I know it was a lot of words and not much to look at, maybe i should find some of my Tokyo photos and give you a visual feast next time!

In Part 3 I will tell you all about LaForet and Tokyu Plaza malls!

Kate xx

If I Owned It…. Gerlan Nightwalker Slime Tee

Here is my first ‘If I Owned It’ post. In these posts I will show you an item I am lusting after, then use the magic of Polyvore collages to share with you how I would wear that item if it ever belonged to me.. It’s kind of a way for me to justify why it’s perfectly acceptable for me to spend my money on these unnecessary things, I could prove to boyfriend that I have thought seriously about at least one way I could wear said item.

My first choice is this Tee from Gerlan Jeans S/S2012 collection ‘Mall Witch’, which has a kind of 90’s ‘Goosebumps’ vibe.

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Gerlan Jeans S/S 2012

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Gerlan Jeans S/S 2012

 

I first discovered Gerlan as a brand whilst on my most recent visit to Tokyo. I was shopping in Laforet mall (which I will tell you all about in tomorrows Harajuku shopping guide!) when I headed on up to a particular store specialising in crazy brands at super high prices. I saw a skirt by Gerlan in the same ‘Slime’ print as this tee and fell in love with it, but at the equivalent of £300 it was totally out of my price range! 

I searched high and low for that same skirt to include in todays post, but stumbled upon this tee instead which, to be honest, I would wear more. Some days there’s nothing like a huge baggy tee for pure comfort! 

Gerlan are an NYC based streetwear brand using bright, eye-catching patterns and influences ranging from Disney to patchwork quilts. Wearing Gerlan wouldn’t be for the faint hearted but given the chance I would rock it EVERYDAY!!

Here’s my Polyvore collage showing how I would wear the Nightwalker tee, god I love Polyvore…

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Also in this collage: Bone Necklace by Bloody Mary Metal, All makeup by Illamasqua, Bow by Starry Eyed, plain black leggings available any old place, Socks by Monomania and trainers by Converse of course!

 

I am totally blown away by Gerlans newest collection, so I will be writing a blog post about that in a week or so, when I have had time to compile my favourites and dream about it all a bit more!

Check back tomorrow for part 2 of my Harajuku Shopping Guide!!

Sleep Tight!

Kate x