Ossie Clark wannabe

Ossie Clark (maybe)
photos by me

In The X Factor Magazine, Gok Wan states: ‘commit to your look. Whatever you’re doing do it properly, the shoes, the bag, the hair, the make-up.‘ Unfortunately, I’m no Gokette here because if I really was going to commit to this fabulous 1970s maxi dress, I’d also be wearing a floppy wide-brimmed hat and cork wedges. My wardrobe doesn’t contain either, so instead the dress is the main event.And what a beautiful dress it is. My grainy photos don’t do it justice, but if you want to admire the pleating that falls from the shoulders you’ll either have to buy me a new camera, or take me out for a pint of cider. This dress of fabulousness belongs to my mother, and the only label in it says ‘dry clean only‘. So I like to think it was designed by Ossie Clark – it’s got the slim waist, bold Celia Birtwell-style print and delicate tailoring. Can we just say it’s Ossie Clark? Yeah, let’s do that. Also, my mother has a good sense of style, wouldn’t you agree? I’ve previously worn some of her clothes here. And here. Lucky me.

Most of the snow has gone, and frozen into lethally slippy ice. It’s too cold for me to cycle, but that makes a nice change because I can wear longer skirts.

Snowy car park

Ossie Clark again

Icy pavement

Ossie Clark detail

The Clothes Show Live

Oxfam DIY stall
Over the weekend, I worked at The Clothes Show Live for Oxfam DIY. Oxfam are a charity I’ve volunteered with on and off for over five years now, but this was my first venture to The Clothes Show. My role was to teach people simple DIY projects to upcycle garments, like making a mobile phone holder from an old tie or a headband from a cashmere jumper.
The Clothes Show itself is mind-boggling huge, with hundreds and hundreds of stalls, fashion shows and make up filling exhibition halls in the NEC, Birmingham. Being a fan of vintage clothing, it’s not really my thing. But I’m not a teenage girl with a wallet-full of tenners to drop on sparkly eyeliner and a fast fashion frock for a Christmas party. I did see a celebrity, though. Austin Drage. You know? Austin Drage. He was on The X Factor a few years ago. Brown hair? No? Oh well.

A dress I customised for a customer. She asked me to make it look like the dress Emma Watson wore to the Harry Potter premiere recently, so I added chiffon at the bottom. Do you like it?

Here’s Michaela, a fellow volunteer. She has a wicked sense of style, and here she’s wearing a vintage romper she bought from Oxfam.

Customised dress
This is Cy, who works for Oxfam in Huddersfield. His sense of style is equally wicked. Those trousers? I love ’em.

Victorian portrait

northwest is best anatomy projects
If you say to me ‘exhibition’, I will reply ‘when and where?’ Being an autodidactic type, I love poking around museums and galleries, absorbing information on anything and everything.
Last week, after some Twitter chatter from my friend Paul, I went to see the Anatomy Projects exhibition at the Holden Gallery, Manchester Metropolitan University. Since 2005, photographers Gavin Parry and David Penny have been documenting the staff of the university by taking portraits with a restored 19th century camera. The resulting pictures have a really beautiful and poignant quality to them which, as a photographer novice, I struggle to explain.
I took the opportunity to sit for a portrait and see a 120-year studio camera with my own eyes. The Victorian technology requires a lot of cranking, slotting and coaxing, and I could imagine what an exotic and slightly intimidating experience it would have been over a century ago.
Thanks to Gavin and Dave for letting me participate in the project, even though I’m not connected to Manchester Metropolitan University (well, some of my best friends studied there…)
If you’re a camera fan, Paul put some pictures up on his blog.

Snow day

Snow day

The snow came. First in delicate, sparkling drifts. Then in heavy clumps, filling the air. My driving test was cancelled, but I still have my bike. With some air let out of my tyres, cycling was lovely. Peaceful, even, with not much traffic and just passers-by grinning to themselves at this new, magical world.
I layered up with a thermal top, dress, two jumpers, two pairs of tights, thick socks, cosy boots, two scarves, fleece-lined bobble hat and two pairs of gloves. Might have over dressed. Continue reading “Snow day”