Dazzle ‘Em

Camouflage can be a funny old thing, generally it will allow you to blend seamlessly in to your surroundings, i.e. for a woman in 2014 London, jeans, knee boots, dark coat. But sometimes on those very special occasions there is that rare and shocking phenomenon – dazzling camouflage. Dazzle camouflage is exemplified by Eddie Izzard’s ‘first battalion transvestite division’, blinding the opposition with their sheer glamour and well-put-togethery-ness. Well a common world view was clearly shared dear Eddie and Norman Wilkinson. ‘Who he?’ you say. He was a Lieutenant with the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve and in 1917 had the cunning planning to paint British merchant ships with contrasting abstract patterns in order to confuse the enemy. It was thought that it would be difficult to determine the direction, turning and speed of the vessels because the common lines of the boat would be broken up and concealed by the pattern.

In homage to his frankly genius idea, which by the way seems to have been very effective, the Imperial War Museum has teamed up with Patternity to create a range of products inspired by the bold designs of Mr. Wilkinson, known as the Fleet of Dazzle.

I really like a black and white design scheme a the beI think. I particularly like the mug and tote bag, and a think a nice bold tea-towel can really brighten up a kitchen. Like a good rug in a living room, it really ties the room together man.
I’m already well under way with planning Christmas shopping ideas (I bought my first present the other day), and I can think of several people who may appreciate this range. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, you can’t beat a good museum gift shop for original present ideas.

Right, I’m off to find my own dazzle camouflage now because I’m going out for dinner tonight at my favourite London restaurant, the Wolseley, and frankly blending in is boring.

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Eye Spy

I’m a bit rubbish with sunglasses. I tend to either forget to being them out of the house with me, or completely underestimate a prolonged spell of sunshine and instead just keep telling myself ‘it will go cloudy any second’ rather than actually putting the glasses on my face. I don’t really spend much on them either. The only pair of expensive sunglasses I have ever purchased where some DKNY lovelies that I picked up in duty free on my way to New Zealand some years go and then promptly watched bob down a mountainside about two weeks later when I fell in a glacial stream. Never again, I muttered to myself as a wrung out my sodden jeans. Those soggy sentiments have remained pretty true for much of the last decade. I am currently sporting a very nice pair of 70s tortoiseshell frames that I found at my Grandma’s house after she passed away. I’m not sure if they were hers, my grandfathers or even my mother’s from her youth, but they are terribly flattering and go with everything.

I’m also guilty of associating sunglasses only with summer and forgetting those bright autumn and winter days when the sun glares from snow covered fields.
Well not this year. This year I’m embracing my sunnies year round and I see no reason not to do a post about fabulous sunglasses in the middle of October! Also, maybe it’s time I risked buying an investment pair of sunglasses, I mean it was a long time ago and there aren’t many mountain streams in London. Let it go Chloe, let it go.

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Now, I know Dita’s exclusive eyewear line for Dita Eyewear launched a little while back but in amongst dissertation realness, I couldn’t give it the attention it deserved. Which has actually worked out rather nicely because I can’t think of a better collection of lenses for the coming vampy October days, walking your black cat through the crispy leaves, seeking out the dark forces and joining their hellish crusade (name that quote pop-pickers).

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In the marketing blurb for this range Dita is quoted as saying that she avoids true vintage sunglasses as the proportions tend to be wrong for modern faces and can look ‘grandmotherly’. Well I’m sure we all have some opinions on that statement but you can’t deny that this range is a beautiful marrying of the glamourous and ghoulish B-movie aesthetic with luxe modern design. In Ms von Teese’s own words, “the way to capture the elegance and spirit of vintage style is to understand that it must be done with a contemporary twist to make it current and sexy. This is what this collection is about: sexy, wearable eyewear that conveys high-glamour and elegance.” I have to say that I agree. I’ve written in the past about what I’ve termed artistic vs authentic vintage and I will always be a fan of mixing and matching the pieces of the past that resonate with me to create my own identity. It may vary and fluctuate, but it will always be mine and not brass a rubbing of a woman who had her own beauty and voice.

There are 10 designs in the collection in varying colour ways. Below I’ve selected my favourite six, perhaps unsurprisingly all in their black incarnations. I do think classic black sunglasses can’t be beaten, also at this time of year the white or brighter designs would seem out of place. So, here are my top picks for this season.

Dita SunnglassesWhich ones would you buy?

xxx

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In the Mood for… October!

It’s October! It’s October! *Runs around waving hands in the air and smashes through the patio windows*. Yes dear reader, it’s here – the best month of the year, fat like a pumpkin with orange leaves, spiced lattes and spooky films. It’s better than Christmas, my birthday and Eurovision combined, and they are three events I definitely put my face on for.
So to kick off this month long spooktacular I’ve complied a few of my favourite October web picks to gets us all in the mood.

Happy October

Kitti Quay Sunglasses $40

Tatty Devine Bat Necklace $44

Vintage Spider Jumper £9.49

Jeffrey Campbell Bat Back Heels – $180

1960s Orange and Black Miniskirt – £28.48

1960s Pumpkin Princess Coat - £93.67

Scream Tote - £10

Black Cat Blouse – £10.76

Pumpkin Spiced Latte (it’ the law)

Happy October everyone!

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