Or should that be genes!
While visiting Queen Michelle a couple of weeks ago, we discussed the curious fact that it is your genes that partly determine how you look in your jeans!
Short legs or long legs, thin legs or thick legs, shapely or straight , whatever your legs look like, although your lifestyle and diet can affect them, nothing will be more impactful than genetics.
My niece Princess Laura is already taller than me and with the longest legs, Luckily for her she is blessed with legs like her Mother, endless and slim, being spared the tree trunks that we have on our side of the family. But it does mean that finding jeans that flatter and fit is far from easy!
So I was intrigued when an email popped into The Kingdom from the lovely Sebastien at Jeanuine - an amazing site where you can deisgn every last detail of jeans that are totally bespoke. I mean every tiny detail from the colour of the denim to the stitching,the rivets, the shape of the pocket. The whole process is simplicity iteself and in the space of about 10 minutes you have designed your own dream jeans...
When they arrived they were perfect in every detail. Super soft denim, with every single thing exactly as we had designed them on the site...
To show how comfortartable they were, I got her to clamber around ...
You can see the production process below...
Thank you Sebastien and everyone at Jeanuine, for making a long legged Princess very happy.
Well this is my last post of 2014! Queen Marie will be writing the final KoS post for this year then we are taking a much needed break and will return on 5th January. As you read this, I am up North visiting the Duchess and doubtless drinking tea and eating home baked rock cakes.
So for my own final post, I decided to end on an outfit one.
In my box of Danseuse samples from Dust, there was also a few items of Dusturbance in there just for me. There are quite a few pieces, which I'll be showing you upon my return but in the meantime I give you one of the favourite things she included in the package - a pair of baggy culottes.
ASOS White Top & Bag
Bernstock Spiers Hat
Nike Airforce 1 Trainers
The trousers seems to change colour in certain light. In some light they are most definitely green tinged, whilst in other light they appear grey. I think this ASOS White top helps bring out the green hue hidden within them though. If only the damn thing was so infuriatingly itchy!
Anyway, I'd like to finish by taking the opprtunity to wish all our readers the most happy of holidays and merriest of Christmases. See you in 2015!
But boy is it big!
Reading about a place and actually being there are always a mile apart.
While Oor Frances was looking forward to the Christmas markets, what I was longing to see were the buildings. They were everything I hoped for...
It made me laugh walking down "Fashion Avenue" to come across C&A. It made me feel quite nostalgic.
The best place to see the entire city is from the top of The Citadel, where you can see both Buda and Pest laid out beneath you
After a day spent in the clouds , at night we headed onto the water to see the lights of the city by night.
The scale of The Palace and The Parliment buildings are simply staggering. The lights were so bright, the cameras could barely cope!
At night sailing into the freezing ice cold wind, I thought my face would fall off. I was shivering so hard I almost fell off the seat. Talk about the face that could sink a thousand ships..
I've still to show you my very favourite places but I shall save them until Monday. I need to run now and go and get some Crimbo shopping done...
I'm beginning to think that maybe I'm slowly getting back into colour and print again, or at least it's on the horizon.
I haven't been excited by my usual bright shades and colour prints for about 6 or 7 months now but I think in part it's because I'm just so fed up with everything that's in my wardrobe and also because I'm focusing all my excitement and energy into Danseuse. I've gotten rid of a ton of clothes to various charity shops in recent week and, whilst there are no visible gaps in my still heaving clothes rails, I do feel I got rid much of my unworn, too small pieces and stuff I generally don't wear but was hanging on to.
There is still room for further purging though, so after I come back from visiting the Duchess over the holidays I'm setting about the rails with ruthless intent and halving the amount of clothes currently hanging there. Why? So I can introduce some fresh new pieces of course.
In terms what new things to buy, I think I might begin with something from the wonderful Boo Pala.
A/W 2014 collection, entitled Bauhaus Moves & Trojan Groves, is functional, sporty and influenced by Berlin and the diverse architecture and culture and the artwork contained within the Bauhaus Museum.
I am a fan of the Bauhaus art movement due to my love of all things 20's and 30's and Boo has perfectly interpreted the shapes and colours prevalent in art that came out of the influential school.
In some instances, Boo has digitally printed artwork onto jacquard fabric and the combination of art and fashion here is a pleasing nod to Walter Gropius' original vision for Bauhaus which was the unification of the arts through craft.
I particularly love the the matching skirt and top in the first image and the printed biker jacket.
Until I manage to get the shots off of my camera and phone, my Budapest post will have to wait until Saturday I'm afraid
So instead, today I shall talk about painted ladies...
( Reflections on Beauty)
My mother and I are planning to paint her hall over the festive period, so the other night I looked out her paintbrushes. Yikes! there was not a useable brush amongst them. I think my darling Father just left them all in a jar to dry out with the paint still on them. I don't know if I can salvage them but I shall try.
I wish I was even half as talented and imaginative as San Franciso based artist Rebecca Szeto who gives new life to sad old paintbrushes by creating the most wonderful paintbrush portraits...
In a poetic twist of fate, end-of-life paintbrushes are whittled down and sculpted into artwork . Tools that were once used to create artwork, now bear the face of female portraits largely inspired by women of the Renaissance period and other female figures of art history.
Szeto, who previously worked as a faux finisher, uses her skill and background to create playful objects that question our notions of beauty and value; trash and treasure. “The slow and repetitive nature of whittling becomes a meditative activity,” says Szeto. For her the build-up of paint layers helps define their ultimate form as she reflects “on the idiosyncrasies of each individual brush.”
Explained her work, Rebecca says - "These works play with notions of re-forming beauty and value, offering a critique on consumerism, women's work, and a curious entanglement of class dynamics in Leisure & Labor - Trash & Treasure.
I love them all but think my favourite has to be (2B )below which reminds me of a Klimt portrait.
Maybe instead of trying to save my mums poor old brushes I should just send them to Rebecca instead...
In the past 3 or 4 months I have bought 4 Yumiko leotards, 2 of which I've had to sell on eBay because they were just horrible on a normal body like mine. Too many ballet brands are simply not inclusive.
I adore Yumiko leotards but their size medium is clearly a size small for normal people, it just took me several, costly, purchases to realise this. When you have to shop online due to lack of choice in local shops it doesn't help when brands have such confusing sizing policies. Ballet brands are the worst for making everything ridiculously small, which does nothing at all for the confidence.
The latest leotard which arrived for me was the Laura. I was excited for this one but good grief it was not good on me at all! The front was cut very narrow so my boobs spilled out of the sides. It was side boob taken to a whole new, horrifying level. I tested it by doing a cambre (back bend) and when I came back up again, my boobs were actually completely out at the sides! It was utter carnage.
It's precisely experiences like this that made me want to start Danseuse.
I was, and still am, fed up being made to feel like an oaf whenever I buy functional balletwear. It's like body-shaming every time I shop in a ballet shop. Whilst Dust and I are not making leotards (yet) we are addressing the sizing issues and making our sizes fair and more reflective of normal bodies. The Danseuse medium fits me perfectly and leaves me with no bulging areas, no bits spilling out in places bits should not spill out of, lengths are pleasingly modest and cuts generously loose.
I wore my curved hem Wendy shorts to class on Monday night and felt better than I've felt in ballet clothes for a long time. It left me free to focus on dancing rather than having to constantly check for escaping butt cheeks or boobs.
Danseuse Wendy Shorts
Even better, one of the other girls bought a pair of trousers and wrap tops from the samples I had and wore them to class and looked absolutely wonderful. I was so excited, not only to see our first customer wearing Danseuse, but also because she is a normal-sized women (who's also 46) looking gorgeous in ballet clothes. Women like her, and me, are the reasons for Danseuse being born.
But back to Yumiko. I appreciate that the brand is primarily designed for pre-professional and professional dancers, who do have those very lithe bodies, but it would still be nice for us recreational dancers to be included too. I have placed another order but this time in a large, so fingers crossed this one won't give me the dreaded mono-boob or boob spillage.
I will, of course, moan about it report back.
That's me just back from beautiful Budapest.
Such a stunning city and so much to share but I am absolutely shattered today. So for my first post back, I shall keep it simple and share my discovery of Hungarian label NUBU.
Oh my my my, what wonderful clothes. Contemporary perfect simplicity with a twist. Thank you Reka for pointing me in the direction of Mono Fashion.
I'm ashamed to say my knowledge of Hungarian fashion is sadly lacking but I shall aim to change that over the next couple of weeks for sure!
So first up, lets talk about NUBU
“NUBU embodies the inner harmony of the sophisticated urban woman, combining comfort and function, minimalistic cuts, graceful femininity and ethereal elegance. The brand balances between the women’s self assured personality and charming demeanor.”
Founded in 2007 by Judit Garam and her brother Peter, the ultimate vision was to create a minimalist label characterized by clean cuts, soft colors and excellent quality. Judit has been in the fashion business for about 20 years, learnt the trade secrets of fashion on her own and simply by doing it, however she had been interested in dresses and textile from the very young age of ten. The design team expanded in 2011 when Adél Kovács and Anette Hajdú – Central St. Martin graduates – joined the brand.
NUBU creations are sold in limited quantities – only a few pieces per design – and are made by hand, typically only one person works on a piece of garment. The label does not design for a specific target group, and its creations resonate with clients from very different backgrounds.
I tried on this black coat below, from the Pre Fall 14 Collection and now I can't stop thinking about it ( it reminded me of my old favourite Helmut Lang coat). I'm going to email them this week and find out if I can buy it online.
I'm kicking myself hard now, I can't believe I didn't buy it on the spot. I think all the walking around the city, had broken my brain as well as my feet!
I will post about the city itself on Thursday, once I have uploaded my shots .
ps - Sorry Adrienn I had no wifi access and forgot to take a note of your email/facebook with me. I shall be sure to remember next time. I'll be back in Budapest next year for sure, hopefully in time for Fashion Week!
Well, it's been a crazy week. As you can see, I'm back on my leg and this time I don't have crutches on stand by. A painful hour spent in physiotherapy has worked wonders and I have probably a good 60% of my mobility back. The other 40% will come by the end of the month, I'm assured. As is always the way, as soon as one ailment leaves you another arrives to take it's place, in this case my yearly cold.
In order to cheer myself up I treated myself to a pair of delightful blue velvet shoes from Topshop. As usual, I swapped their own laces for some pretty ribbons. I have already worn these lots of times and are more than worth the £34 I paid for them in the sale.
They also prompted me to dig deep into the wardrobe and rediscover this stunning lace dress I found in a charity shop years ago. It began life pretty long, until I cut round all the lace detail to give it an assymetric edge. It's definitely Goth Michelle and I love it with the velvet Mary-Janes. It also still fits me reasonably well.
I've been trying to photograph this outfit, well any damn outfit, for nearly 2 weeks now but the shity Glasgow weather keeps throwing a spanner in works. I've not even been able to play with my new camera. Finally got a shot though. Patience is a virtue. Or some shit.
For anyone thinking about taking an adult ballet class, then you should first understand that class is an almighty leveller. Everyone is equal in ballet class. Even in professional ballet companies the prima ballerinas take daily class alongside the members of the corps.
On the ocassions an ex-dancer takes class and pirouettes the shit out of everyone, I bet you any money she still has hang-ups that make her every bit as self-conscious as the other women in class. There are none of us without a little bit of self-consciousness.
We have one girl who attends barre & stretch who is heavier and working very hard to lose weight and change her life. She is doing brilliantly. She comes every week and never complains when she can't do things but instead tries her best, and each week she just gets better and better. I can already see she is losing weight and her confidence grows with every class. This is the kind of positivity and change ballet class can bring.
On Wednesday I took class dressed in our soon-to-be-launched ballet label, Danseuse, however it was somewhat wasted as I had to sit out 60% of the stuff in each class. I sat there, in all my pretty clothes, watching whilst others did. I was certainly levelled as I remembered that my muscles are 41 years old and not indestructable. I watched the others girls dance and learn new steps and combinations and I must admit I felt sad and left out. I wanted to be part of it, especially as we have a new teacher.
I realise the healing process is slow, and I am simply impatient, but it was a tease being back in class but not able to actually do any of it. My Danseuse Misty skirt did not see much action.
However, with a few weeks off for the holidays my leg is sure to heal completely and in January I'll be battling with those pirouettes once more.
Roll on January....