Beauty & Fashion

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


The lost habit of wearing dressing gowns

Every morning, when I prepare the breakfast, cuddle the cat, check my emails, I do all this in a very old fashioned manner: I’m wearing a dressing gown. And only when it’s time to get dressed and leave the house, I feel the need to take it off. Wearing it for simply being quickly covered, to avoid getting cold, or because it’s faster than picking the clothes for the day, is not the only reason I enjoy robes so much. It’s a lost habit. Gone with the newly discovered way of putting on an oversized T-shirt or- and that’s my worst case scenario- jeans, right after getting up.
A robe hugs you. It is the comfort blanket that gives you a feeling of being up, but not yet in the cold harsh reality of the day. It is the consoling fabric that relaxes you on a rainy afternoon; or an entire Sunday, that you’ve decided to be a lazy break from engaging with the world.
But how we view this piece of clothing has changed over the decades. In Alfred Hitchcock’s movie “Marnie” (1964),  Tippi Hedren floated around in a cream colored robe de chambre that could nowadays easily be mistaken as a formal gown, worn to the opera. If people would dress formal for the opera today, which they usually don’t do either.
Back in earlier decades, like the 1940s and the thirties, ladies presented themselves on the big screen as if just jumped out of a musical, rather than out of bed. The hair in perfect waves and with flawless makeup, waving the busy husband goodbye at the door, while he jumps into his car, armed with a suitcase, a hat and the morning paper.  
Although I cannot say that I have in any way the need to wear that kind of makeup in the morning- let alone already when waking up, nor my hair in flawless layers- I do miss the normality of being a little more ’lady’ in one’s one home. It seems utterly uncommon to shop for pretty bathrobes, or getting exited when size and length are just right.

Other things excite us now. A pretty cell phone case… a chic new flat screen that to me looks exactly    as dull and cold as any other black surface. Or the occasional high heels that look cool on a shelf with umpteen other high heels, that one isn’t capable of wearing for more than three hours.
Nifty things to excite ourselves while just “being”, seem to be obsolete. A thing of the past, when women and men all over the world enjoyed their morning coffee in appropriate attire. In case the milk man rang at the door, or you quickly had to chat with the nosy neighbour while picking up the morning paper. 
A man in a robe is these days, is rare as a horse in ballerina shoes, since we believe it’s a thing of certain magazine editors, surrounded by busty blondes. And although picturing that must be at least a little motivation for some man, to try the whole-robe thing, it seems rather odd and fallen out of time.
And as a man usually decides to wear anything else but a robe, it would be nice to bring back the old habit of a lady wearing not the exact same thing as her lover. It can be cute to run around in your partner’s button up shirt, or a t-shirt in the size of a tent. But then again, a little dressing up that only takes two seconds and instantly makes you look neat and put together, could make you feel twice as good!
Shopping for dressing gowns on the other hand, can be a rather tricky undertaking. Not only do I find myself often in a too short version of something that seems oddly asymmetric. I also look like a beefed up version of a polar bear, in a terrycloth bathrobe. So if there will ever be another trend or movement towards the lost habit of wearing beautiful robes at home, I will smile in my dressing gown in which I write this piece, in this very moment. Thinking: These are the hours at home that comfort me most. The time of celebrating my sanctuary and the freedom this clothing gives me, before facing a world full of jeans and t-shirts.

 Monday, July 31, 2017

Happy Color Grey

It didn’t require a movie, to let me know there are more that a few shades of grey to find pleasure in. Even more, the fashion point of view gets me far more exited here. As a vintage style enthusiast, grey is part of the retro-colors that catches my interest, every time I want to create a silhouette à la Hitchcock heroines. A grey costume or other combination might not immediately be associated with a fresh, modern note. But fortunately, the cut and fabric can make the difference. So you might not feel glamorous in a 1990s- style mousy office suit, but feel like a movie star in a pencil skirt and matching top. Grey adds the ideal color here: It is sophisticated and low-key, which adds the perfect contrast to the details of the ensemble.
Little do people often think of the diversity that come with the color grey. It’s the stepchild of colors that always tries to get attention by fitting in and being neat, but no one seems to appreciate it.
Its broad-raging undertones though, are a variety of shades that express everything but dullness.
If you are a cooler skin type, you will likely find happiness in a stone cold, bluish grey, or even anthracite combination. While a warm type will come to life in a beigy, or sandy variables.

Another interesting fact is, that we nowadays rarely to never combine grey outfits with brown accessories. And yet, this makes the entire creation even more exiting due to a fusion of air and earth, going hand in hand as an ultra elegant pair.
Jewelry adds a further drop of chic on top. Try even a warm gold piece of junk with an icy fifties costume, and you get a million dollar look.
For the makeup, any grey ensemble provides the basis as a canvas for the painter. At any age, dipping into a few soft tones to add some freshness, or choosing a frisky red for the lips, can be the perfect finish for your grey fashion statement.
Happy grey days to you!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Unconventionally retro


… movie-inspired style


“Have no fear, Miss Meadows is here!” A line of a rather unconventional black indie comedy, I’ve absorbed as edgy, fine-tuned and a little uncomfortable, but fun to watch. Katie Holmes plays an elementary school teacher with an old-fashioned, unpredictable, yet kind attitude. Which obviously annoys the adult world around her, but soothes the spirits of her first-graders with love, devotion and understanding. Aside from displaying an odd mix of style patterns, including tap shoes with a girly, retro(ish) touch, she insists on minding good manners in every situation. She even holds on to her social graces, while pulling out a gun of her cute little purse, to shoot the characters who threaten either herself, or the “good people” around her. Freezing cold. Determined to create a safer and more beautiful environment, by whacking the villains out of the way. She falls in love with the sheriff, of all people (James Badge Dale), who sees the fragile beauty in her, in spite of becoming more and more suspicious.
Considering the complexity of the main character, Miss Meadows could have been even more thrilling, if brought to further heights. The plots’ potential was, in my opinion, not fully realized, but watching it was certainly no waste of time. Holmes did a fabulous job, mirroring the layers of the protagonists' nature. Even more the scenery and costumes of this movie, made me want to try a vintage version of a homicidal Mary Poppins- look myself.

The offbeat retro style was a first for me to try, and I must admit that I enjoyed every minute of it.
Combining a skirt, blouse and a little less matching cardigan with gloves and white socks, made me feel surprisingly comfortable. Instead of tap shoes, I wore regular black ones, which fortunately held me back from even trying a tap dance under the eyes of strangers in the street.
Was I embarrassed, walking through a small town with my hands covered with gloves, holding a book and my head up high? Hell no!
I expected my little style experiment to be so out of line, that I’d wish a crack would emerge in the pavement in which I could disappear. But the fact that some people looked at me either astonished or with the uttermost disapproval, didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would.

And I wondered: When has it become so common to accept the norm without questioning, even when it too often means bad taste, sometimes appalling uniformity, and instinctively degrading the different to an oddball? What the heck does NORMAL even mean?
For some people, it means a totally different way of life than for others. “Normal is an illusion. What’s normal for the spider, is chaos for the fly”. Another movie line- of The Adams Family- that crossed my mind while walking around in my comfy outfit. I wouldn't have thought that socks in shoes, worn like this, could be so very snugly!

When I felt that my smile froze here and there, being confronted with too much staring, I used to yell at the person in my mind: “YES, I am different! YES, I like it!… YES, my purse is gun-free” and
“I wouldn’t stare at you for wearing an ensemble that seems hideous in my eyes!”
And I truly wouldn’t! Because I accept that we are all different in some way and need to express ourselves exactly the way we please. Even though some people apparently work for a secret style police, that sends its troops out to invade our personal space with looks and stares. But these folks don’t aim at certain celebrities that walk around as if they dressed themselves without any light in the room- or not at all.
No, the style police is looking for you and me! Concealing their own insecurities by pointing their fingers at the one person around, that had the nerve to cross the line of a societies’ self-imposed dress code, that oozes the charm of a grey wallpaper. And although I’m going back to my usual, more adult style, I will keep this experiment in the back of my mind. As an inspirational twist I may want go give a future outfit now and then.

What's Miss Meadows hiding in her purse?

Very little to almost no makeup, but bold lashes and a slightly messy but neat hairstyle, complete the appearance.

One mustn’t do much to attract the looks with a style experiment. Just the details are often enough to make others brood about it.
Perhaps, that is already the first step to make people think of how freeing it could be, to stop excluding the odd, the free spirits, or simply the Misses and Mister Meadows-types, that sure won’t do no harm to anyone in real life, but want to live in peace and diverse harmony. With a trippy smile.


Sunday, July 2, 2017

Culturally inspired makeup and style

When you can’t go on a journey to explore other countries every week, which would be my personal ideal, you may tend to find other ways to travel in mind. You can either read a book, listen to foreign music, cook a respective meal, or play with style options the world provides.
Once I started researching the diverse and colorful essentials that lead to the distinctive ethnic styles, I’ve decided to start a video-series about it. We all quickly picture certain looks when thinking of particular parts of the world. But it gets truly exciting when we turn the tables in fashion and enjoy a creative journey through the world of culturally-rooted compositions.
So far, I’ve been traveling style-wise through the Baltic, American, Irish and Latin-inspired spectrum of makeup, hair and fashion. Furthermore, a retro- touch is included in the tutorial series. Many countries in the 1940s, 1950s and 60s, shared similar fashion trends. So it’s often the little things, the details, that tell us about the differences among the style rules of cultures of past decades.

My American retro style was inspired by the Hitchcock movies of the 1950s and 1960s. Although the master himself was British, his heroines represented perfectly, the clean chic of that era.

The Baltic states inspire with a rich culture and enchanting nature too. Folkloric music as well as  garments, are take us on a journey through Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

An Irish- inspired style isn’t imaginable without the color green. As a contrast to that, I wanted to show the clean cuts of the late 1950s, that were just as much worn in Ireland as in many other parts of the world.

The Latina style is of course warm, colorful and exciting. With hair flowers and the right cuttings of skirt and top, I felt like walking through a warm, exotic country for one day. It’s not only the perfect retro summer outfit, but adds some spice to the everyday wardrobe.

More culturally inspired styles are about to be experienced, and so I am already dreaming of the next stop in another country.  My world makeup and style series on Youtube


Monday, June 19, 2017

A History of Makeup


Always fascinated with the style and looks of past decades, I often tried to emulate the girly look of the twenties, or womanly period of the nineteen fifties. Finally, I’ve decided to make a youtube video-series that shines a light on the details of the looks. Day- and evening looks from 1920 to the late 1990s are not that hard to achieve, and can mean an interesting twist in a modern days’ style.
Since it all has once been there already- if it’s the slim, or bold eyebrows, the soft or colourful looks- the past allows us to look at it as a book of styles that we can pick our very own from. Every face shape, figure and type, can be celebrated with just the right influence of all the exciting styles in history. Yet, we have the freedom to mix them with modern aspects, and go on our very individual style adventure.

 In the 1920s, everything 'girly' was considered trendy and stylish. A doll face was desired. So much, that natural shapes of lips and eyes, were sometimes drastically overdrawn. The rouge was set round and cute, just like a doll would have looked. Yet, there was a natural approach to style as well. And often, the ladies didn't use color on a daily basis, as it was still something seen rater in the theater, than the mom-and-pop-shop.

What about the 1930s for example?! A heart-shaped face was desired. The colors already more daring than in the decades before. Lean eye brows and a clear lip structure were signature featured of the look.

In the 1940s, the ladies proudly wore their 'victory red' lips, combines with with soft eye makeup and pin curled hair.

The 1950s meant new beginnings in various aspects of life. New products and- with them- trends were introduced. The skirts went wider, the hair a little shorter and the eyeliner bolder.

The sixties meant a dramatic change of style, for especially younger generations. The eye makeup got intense, with long lashes and clear contrasts. The were painted softer, often frosty- and the beehives were enthroned on heads in various highs.  

Who says the 1970s were all flared pants and chunky shoes. Here too, the glamour found it's way through all age classes. The makeup became more sparkly and a tan was more than often required, to be up to date.

The 1980s were sure the climax of glamour and exuberant, colorful styling. Yet, it wasn't all bad hairdos and overwhelming makeup. A close look into history, reveals an often down-toned and extraordinary beautiful look.

Brown, grey, nougat and coffee-tones, dominated the color palette of the 1990s. Aside from the popular grunge look, people enjoyed the "girly style", the "techno look" (which originated in the electronic music scene) as well as a often clean natural styling.


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