Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Rip off Britain - J Crew opens in London

Unless you've been under a rock, you've probably heard that US mail order and retail shop, J. Crew is opening 3 flagship stores in London and one on Regent Street a few weeks ago.

I had read about J. Crew's arrival in the UK in several of the usual glossy mags. Anticipation was high.

Apparently, J. Crew is best known as Michelle Obama's favourite shop. Of course, I haven't lived in the US for 8 years, so to me, I still remember J. Crew as a preppy brand that was great for the basics - jumpers and staples of the wardrobe (well, if you were middle class and need a rainbow of cashmere in your closet). I had noticed over the years that the prices seemed to go up and up and I was only ever picking up items in the sales, if at all. Oh, and I also did like their online selection of swimsuits, even if they were a bit pricey - $80 for a bikini is expensive, isn't it?

Anyway, I had mixed feelings hearing that J. Crew was coming to the UK. Would it be good news? Or would it invariably suck?

I was kinda assuming it would suck. Looking at other US companies when they come to the UK, such as Banana Republic or Abercrombie and Fitch, we've seen that the UK prices are usually a total rip off. Often, there are generally less items available in the UK branches (when you look at the UK versus US websites) or the UK just gets the old US stock. (Actually, maybe that sounds harsh, I actually really like BR in the UK... however I haven't bought anything from A&F in the UK in years and don't think I will again).

And guess, what? Yep, apparently the UK prices for J Crew are almost double the US prices. What a load of crap! It's already completely overpriced in the US, but seriously trying to sell it at double in the UK? What do you take us for? Ugh.

It's rare I agree with the Daily Mail, but they posted a story on how the new London shop (and website) were a major rip off.

From the Daily Mail: Shoppers shocked as Michelle Obama's favourite brand J Crew lands in UK... at double the price!
No thanks, J. Crew, no thanks!

But, my dissatisfaction with J. Crew in the UK isn't limited to their prices.

They posted me a catalogue to announce they were coming to the UK. It was one of the mags that tries to target both men and women in one book, by having one of those flip it over and read it the other way (sorry, that's the worst explanation for that from someone who works in publishing. I cringe at myself).

Honestly, I wasn't too impressed. It reeked of 'trying too hard' and 'misreading your audience' or maybe they're after an audience that isn't me. Funny, I used to be their audience.

Firstly, the men's shop has a private men's entrance. Seriously? What is this the 1920s? I also found it vaguely insulting how much of the men's half was devoted to suits and what is clearly serious work wear, while the woman's side featuring girls looking, well, kinda flightly and frivolous. Where were the business women dressed smart in J Crew's quality clothing? Oh wait, that's right, the suits and serious stuff is for the men, you girls can have some cute colourful outfits to suit your silly personality. Hmmm..

Overall, I'm not impressed.

How about you?

Monday, 28 October 2013

Pantone Colour of the Year: Emerald Winter Wear

It suddenly feels like winter (at least here in the Northern hemisphere!) and I thought I'd share a few winter wear pieces in this year's colour of year: emerald green.

pea coat from JCrew

scarf from Jigsaw

raincoat from Yumi

beanie hat from American Apparel


long wool coat from JCrew

faux fur jacket by Ted Baker

Will you be sporting emerald green this winter?

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Where to draw the line...

I was watching a special episode of a TV show called Monomane Star Tanjou or ものまねスター誕生 (which roughly translates to 'birth of impression star' erm, or star who can do impression/imitation may be a better way of expressing that!), which is a show where people who can do some type of impersonation or imitation perform. They usually can sing in a style like a certain pop star, or can do voices like famous actors, or even imitate every day objects.

Seriously, there was a guy who did an imitation of a face cloth hanging out to dry.

Random doesn't even touch the surface!

Anyway, I really like this 'mane' type of show. Particularly for singing. Probably because I love karaoke so much, but back to the point.

There was a group of 5 young girls who were impersonating a Korean pop group that have had some success in Japan called Kara. In fact, they did a medley of Kara's songs and danced to it.

At first, I thought, 'ugh, Kara, but that's sweet that they have these girls who were ages 10-12 years old on the show'. Yeah, they were wearing typical pop star outfits, which I didn't find odd, but I did find part of their performance... well... inappropriate.

If you know anything about Kara, then you probably know their hit 'Mister', if you don't, well, here's a link to a video, but basically they do this dance which can only be described as the 'butt dance'. The girls just shake their bums in the camera. When I saw Kara doing this I was surprised, but I was kinda disturbed to see young girls imitating it. Sorry no pic of this, on purpose!

But then, the show's presenters came out and made it worse. So much worse.

Yep, he told the girls that it was sexy!


Telling 10-12 year old girls it was sexy!


Seriously gross and made me feel so horrible.

Caption: Wasn't it sexy!
This really made me sad. I know that sometimes things can get 'lost in translation', but I've never heard 'sexy' used in Japanese in any other sense than well, kinda, how we mean it in English. I get that the girls innocently imitate their favourite pop group, but to put it on TV and then call it sexy. That's just too far. Call it adorable, but just not sexy, ok? *sigh* Even better if the camera could have cut away and not shown them shaking their bottoms... but maybe that's just me? >_<

What do you think? Am I being too sensitive?

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Excitement of a review well received

Okay, erm, yeah that's not my best post title to date, but I'll go with it.

I was shopping online the other day (yeah, I know, when am I not?!) and I noticed that one of my customer reviews was quoted on the Banana Republic website!

How exciting!

Ok, yeah, I know that, like, that's the point of having the reviews on the site, but I still thought it was cool to see part of my review appear on the main page.

Plus, I have empathy for the employee who read through reviews and picks out key snippets for the site to highlight. It can be thankless work, but I appreciate it. 

For those of you curious, I was raving about the Ashley ballet flats, which are amazing! I actually just got another pair - on sale for only £19.99 from the BR at Westfield in White City. Wonderful :)

Anyway, it was a nice surprise and put a smile on my face!

On that subject, I really do like how a lot of online retailers allow the customers to give feedback on the products. I really like to see what other people had to say about something before I buy it. Also, what better place to have that info than right there where you're already looking. The only downside I find, is that for some shops, where stock sells out quickly, you don't really get the chance to benefit from any reviews. By the time people buy and review the product, they've already sold out, so you can read about how wonderful something which isn't available in your size is. That's kinda frustrating.

What do you think? 

Sunday, 9 June 2013

Sailor Moon MAKEUP!

Yes, you read that right - Sailor Moon makeup! Actual Sailor Moon makeup to be released! You can read about it here in Japanese.

Bandai is teaming up with Creer Beaute to bring us this special powder compact as part of the celebration of Sailor Moon's 20th Anniversary.

Those who have brought us The Rose of Versaille and Lum-chan makeup, now present the Sailor Moon Miracle Romance Shining Moon Powder.

Moon Crystal Power! Make up! indeed! :)

The brand is inspired by Sailor Moon - the princess of the Moon who is also a sailor solider (or bishoujo senshi) who fights to protect the happy times and the people she holds dear. This broach is for the girls who've grown into women to continue to look cute and sparkly while they fight for these ideals in our modern society.

Or something like that. :P

The compact or broach is designed in the style of Sailor Moon's crystal star broach which she uses to transform in the 2nd series of the anime, Sailor Moon R.

Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon R - Miracle Romance Shining Room Powder is available for pre-order from the 12th June 2013 and will be released in November 2013 (tentative) for 3,980 yen.

Will you be ordering one? I'm so tempted, although I'm so broke at the moment, and I need more makeup like a hole in the head, but, but, but, it's Sailor Moon!

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Modern twist on traditional clothing: Angermaier

Today I want to blog about this amazing line of clothing that I found on my travels in Munich a few years ago. I was reminded of them as I was tidying (aren't I always?) and came across a catalogue from Angermaier.

They make modern trachtenmoden, or traditional Bavarian clothing, such as dirndls and lederhosen. Trachtenmoden can still be worn for special occasions and most notably, at Oktoberfest.

I love Angermaier's updated take on this traditional look. They have some funkier pieces that include leopard print, neon colours, and even skull prints, as well as the more traditional gingham print patterns.

The website is in German, but it's not too difficult to navigate. Hint, if you want to see the women's collection - that's under Kollektionen - then Damen-Kollektion, or visit the Online Shop!

Here is just a small sampling of some of the ladies' dirndls they have to offer:

They have everything from the sexy and funky to the sweet and girly. I'm totally in love with this brand.

I did have the pleasure of visiting one of their stores while I was in Munich and I have to say I was so tempted by quite a few dirndls.  From what I saw, all their pieces were of the utmost high quality and were very well made. I guess that helps to explain the price tags for these pieces, which run from €100 up to €1,000!

Oh yes, I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention they also sell lederhosen for the ladies as well as for the lads. Respect to any ladies who can pull this look off, but for me, the Bavarian summer hear in leather shorts is not my cup of tea! I'll keep to the loose fitting skirts to hide my big bottom, thanks! :)

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Feeling the sunshine with Lunasol's Summer 2013 release

Lunasol have a summer release out from the 17th May just in time for summer with some bright and lovely limited editions.

Eyeshadow (Vivid Clear Eyes ヴィヴィッドクリアアイズ)

Two limited edition eyeshadow quad palettes: EX01 Bronze Brown Collection and EX02 Colorful Collection.

Lipgloss (Full Glamour Gloss  フルグラマーグロスa)

New gloss colours includes 3 regular additions: 01 Shining Pink, 02 Soft Pink, and 03 Soft Coral and two limited editions: EX01 Shiny Beige and EX02 Shiny Pink.

Blush (Modelling Cheeks モデリングチークス)

A limited edition EX05 Coral Beige blusher.

Nail polish (Nail Finish N ネイルフィニッシュN)

Two limited edition sparkle nail polishes in EX14 Shining Orange and EX15 Shining Silver.

Base or Primer (Control base コントロールベース)

A limited edition base or primer perfect for summer in EX01 Light

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Fashion Inspiration: Zoey Deschanel

I know I'm not the only one to have a massive girl crush on Zoey Deschanel, but I'm also really into her wardrobe. Like seriously.

Here some shots of her for inspiration, and yes, quite a few are from New Girl. I love that show, don't you?

I love how Zoey dresses really feminine and girly. It's a style that I definitely go for when I get dressed. I only wish I had access to some of her clothes and budget! :)

I love this dress! I have many similar, but none exactly, lol, and I still really want it!

To get this look yourself, pair a smart or frilly top with a feminine and girly bottom. I'd recommend a puffed out skirt with a bow-tie blouse, or better yet, a one-piece dress made for an hour glass (puffy or pleated full skirt with a fitted waist and top) paired with a colour-popping cardigan. Lovely!

Monday, 20 May 2013

SewScarlett opens today

One of my dear and talented friends is opening her own store today. SewScarlett sells dice bags, handbags, and other things all lovingly sewn by Scarlett herself. I can't wait to check it out.

Sunday, 19 May 2013


So this weekend the Eurovision Song Final was on. Sadly, I missed watching it live, so caught up thanks to modern technology. I love love love Eurovision. As a non-Euro native myself, I think it's awesome to compete nationally with cheesy pop songs. I can only dream of a world-wide-vision song contest one day...

Anyway, I thought I'd share my thoughts on some of the songs this year. They are of course only my opinions, and I'd love to hear what you think too! Did you watch this year?

In catching-up I have to say I didn't watch the entire show. So I missed out on the little snipets from Sweden between acts. These are usually pretty entertaining and I'm gutted I missed out on these. But catching up also meant I missed out on whatever hilarious voice over comments they aired in the UK. I don't even know if it was Graham Norton again this year, but as long as it wasn't Terry Wogan, I'd be fine with it. I know that most people loved Terry's commentary, but I found it kind of insulting and rude. Yeah, I know it's just a laugh, but I kinda would rather hear the songs and save the commentary for after the song. Just me, maybe :P

If you missed out on the songs, you can catch-up quickly with all the songs here on YouTube.

First the ones worth commenting on, then the pretty good (all lumped together), and then the wtf category.
(In alphabetical order)
Oh, nice one. Not a winner I think, but I'd listen to this.
Really kinda weird, but I strangely like it. Not sure why, but it kinda gives me a Bollywood vibe... think it might be the pitch of the woman's voice.
This one won this year, and I think it was a pretty good song. I really like it, but I don't think I'm in love with it or anything. Congrats!
OMG, this is hilarious! I loved this. Shame it didn't do better.
Cascada! Woo hoo! I love her... erm or I used to. This kinda sounds like every other song she's done. Not surprised this didn't do so well.
Amazing! Upbeat and fun sounding. Not sure about the only English I heard 'Alcohol is free' (also the song title), but hey!
This actually placed last! Dead last! Talk about playing favourites, guys. I liked this a lot. I'd dance to this in a club.
This didn't even make it to the finals, it looks like. I thought it was awesome! A weird mix of rap and pop power. Respect for trying something very different.
Dina Garipova was such an improvement on last year's Babushki group. I know they were kooky, but I just couldn't get behind it.
I shouldn't admit to liking this, but I honestly do. >_<
Another great dance song. Would love to hear this in a club.
Ah, I wanted to hate this song, but I can't. I love it. Amazing. (I wanted to hate it because Spain and I have issues with each other :P)
The Netherlands
I'm not sure how I feel. I wanted to love this, but I just thought it was okay.
Loved this. Another great dance song. Not really a surprise tho, I expect to see a babe singing a pop song for Ukraine.
Other entries that I liked, but have nothing especially to say: Austria, Azerbaijan, Cyprus, Estonia, Iceland, and Norway. 
And lastly, a couple of WTF's go out to:
FYROM (Macedonia)
Conflicted on this one... maybe a WTF is too harsh. Just ... well weird.
What?!? O_o
United Kingdom
Bonnie Tyler? Sorry, but who? Don't think you're really trying. I mean, last year's bombing with Engelbert Humperdinck wasn't enough? Who thought it'd be a good idea to drag these old celebs out of the closet. By 'old celebs' I mean people no one under 30 has heard of and most people over 30 are embarrassed to admit they know who they are. Serious cringe. >_<
Anyway, that's my 2 cents. Did you watch? What did you think?

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Pantone Colour of the Year: Emerald Swimwear

It's summer! Or at least it is for most of the world. To me, summer usually means swimsuits, BBQs, ice lollies, and sunshine. So, today's post is featuring swimwear in lovely shades of Emerald, Pantone's colour of 2013.

Retro one piece (For Luna)


Bikini (O'Neill)
Polka dot one piece (Next)
Another polka dot one piece (Dickens & Jones)
Bandeau bikini (Very)
Triangle bikini (Insight/Asos)
Wrap one piece (Land's End/Debenhams)
Zigzag textured bandeau one piece (Jasper Conran/Debenhams)

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