Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Coco Love

It's funny how many people consider Coco Chanel a personal role model. Yeah, fine, she was the founder of Chanel, the brand that brought me the wonders of Chanel Vita Lumiére (the only make-up that can deal with my complexion), Chanel Number 5 and Red Dragon lipstick (sadly not available anymore), but she also came up with quotes as inspiring as these:

"I don't understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little - if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that's the day she has a date with destiny. And it's best to be as pretty as possible for destiny."

Apparently she was arrested for war crimes after the Second World War, owing to her relationship with a German spy, but never went to trial because the British Royal Family intervened just in time. There's a very interesting article on the subject in The Times Online.

Not exactly a feminist icon, hmm?

What did you get for Christmas

Ok, ok, I promise I'll be putting photos up very soon, as soon as my darling brother gives me my memory card back! Suffice to say Christmas was very generous with me, bringing me loads of books, cute little bits and bobs from the great socking-filler-expert that is my mother, some great new running shoes, a fantastic outfit for New Years Eve and even a bit of sunshine amidst the torrential rain we've been having. Oh, yes, and a bottle of Disaronno (lethally sweet and delicious) that hasn't lasted very long. Without forgetting my great computer, of course, so it's been quite a mentionable Christmas!

For now I'll just have to post photos taken with my awful mobile phone camera. This one is from yesterday morning, walking on the seafront with the most spectacular sunrise I've seen in a while:

Been to my jewellery shop yet? I'm also on Etsy and Dawanda!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Gay marriage has just become legal in Mexico. So I could marry Salma Hayek, you know, if she wanted to.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dear Father Christmas

Funny how globalised this whole Christmas thing is, I'd actually forgotten that Santa was not always Santa for me, when I was a teeny little girly girl I used to call him Father Christmas, in my very proper British accent. He's Papá Noel in Spanish, but that doesn't matter 'cause Spaniards aren't really into Santa, they've got their own celebration on the 6th of January (the Three Kings, in memory of the Three Wise Men who supposedly visited Jesus some days after his birth). I'm not a religious person (being an adamant atheist ever since I left my very Catholic school), but I've always loved Christmas. Decorations, presents, food (specially my grandfather's, a master chef who sadly passed away a few years ago, who made the most amazing turkey dinners ever). Some of you Brits out there might have even tried it, he was Head Chef for the popular Basil Hotel in London for many, many years (also now sadly defunct). My mom is now the official dinner-maker, and she does a pretty awesome job.

So here's my Christmas wishlist. I already had my Christmas present this year, a top of the range monster computer I inherited from my techie pc-obsessed brother. Mine's not bad, but you should have a look at his getup:

So here goes my list of stuff I would buy myself for Christmas. I'm sure I'm gonna come up with 30 items more as soon as this goes public, but that's just Sod's Law:

1. A 100 dollar gift certificate for Catherinette's Steampunk Collection. Believe me, their creations are absolutely amazing:

2. Of course! A Bibian Blue corset. Thank you, Alex, for the day you introduced me to Bibian Blue and ruined my life, creating a whole bunch of needs and wants I never knew I had. They've even got an outfit with my name (well, pseudonym) on it!

3. A good night's sleep

I'm feeling so tired right now (and have felt this way for the last three or four months) that I'd really love to get a decent sleep and wake up feeling refreshed instead of exhausted. Of course I'd only go to bed completely happy if I got my hands on something by Bordelle. Yeah, I know, this item can't be bought, but I also want a cloned cat out of the ashes of my beloved departed Golfo. Wonder if that could be arranged.

In any case I have to stop now. I'd also add loads of books and quirky shelfs to put them on, but I'm literally falling asleep at three thirty in the afternoon, so I promise I will get back to that. For now it's back to work.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Bit by bit

I finally managed to get something done on the new Miss Cristal site, you can have a sneak peek at my work in progress in: http://www.misscristal.com/prueba

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I've always been one for corsets, ever since I started buying my own clothes. Internet has made all types of clothing accesible, but back in the days I remember how I used to hunt through lingerie sales to find frilly bodys, basques and similar undergarments to use as part of my weekend ensemble (since I wore a uniform at school, Saturdays were my great dressing-up days). I used to spend my holidays in London rummaging through charity shops and M&S underwear sections looking for something even remotely similar to my fairytale dreams. I was the first girl I knew to wear suspenders, and the local expert on fishnets.

Throughout the years I've built up quite a collection of bustiers and a few decent corsets, even though I've never been able to afford the real made-to-measure wonders. I would waist-train if I had the money. Most of them I hardly wear anymore, being either too small or worn out to use anymore, but a few are still my all-time favourites. Recently my darling Mamen exerted her Sugar Mommy privileges (long story) and bought me a new one, which I am presently devoted to. The photos are crap but I think you can get an idea of my current relationship d'amour:

Which is all very well until I eventually get to the point of going mad and splashing out on something by Maya Hansen or Bibian Blue (might happen someday):

I'm not a huge fan of Victoria Francés as an illustrator but she is fantastic as a model and style icon in general. Her collaboration with Maya Hansen was great, as well as her vinculation with Bibian Blue. Here's a picture of Bibian's steampunk designs (Victoria is the model on the left):


I'm also a huge admirer of the very talented Muriel dal Bo, who has her own personal brand: Sublime. Muriel makes anything from goth gear to Versalles ballgowns, and also happens to be a delightful lady I have the honour of having met in person:

I think I'm just about ready for that guillotine...

Editing: I've been going through Maya Hansen's promos and website and though her corsets are brilliant I do NOT like her size zero models, clothes seem to fall off them. Pin up is always prettier with some flesh to match, methinks. Bibian's models are also petite but seem a bit chunkier, or have better fitted garments. One of the things I love about burlesque is the return of the heavier ladies, and Maya's stuff looks a lot livelier on Ivy Page then on other skeletal bodies:

Things that people give away

This morning was a bad morning. Just one of those mornings where other people seem determined to upset you, piss you off and other similar and less-safe-for-work verbs. The moral is, as usual, that mostly you get what you pay for, so working with a different printer just because they're cheaper isn't necessarily a good idea, especially when they end up driving you up the wall and spinning unheard of hidden costs on you with no regret or sense of decency whatsoever. I'm also annoyed in general 'cause the newspaper never called me back (I'd expect them to say something, even if it were just "sorry, you didn't get the job"; just an email would have sufficed).

But fortunately, sometimes you don't get what you pay for. This morning I walked into my local charity shop and came across a beautiful long black woollen coat. Ah, it also happened to include a black label reading "Lanvin". So I got myself a Lanvin coat for 4 euros. A stunning piece of art that someone donated just like that, a stunning piece of art that someone tagged at 4 euros and that nobody noticed until I came along this morning.

The coat is much too big for me, but I don't really care, it still makes me feel like a princess. Even if it were a fake the quality is superb, I would have paid the 4 euros for the buttons alone; the design is slightly 60s but the label design is definitely post-90s. I'll be posting photos as soon as I can, to see if anyone can help me figure out where it's coming from. Considering my financial situation my first thought was to sell it, but I might end up looking under the sofa for change to get it altered...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Kids have all the fun

I always feel pangs of jealousy when I walk through kiddies clothes sections, it seems like they get all the great colours and extravagant designs. Really now, do I have to stop wearing pink and glitter when I reach 14? Is it compulsory that I give up on sparkly headbands, plastic heels and yellow faux-fur coats? I resisted for as long as I could, making the most of my very slender frame until I hit 17, discovered the wonders of eating out and alcohol, put on 10 kilos and weighed my way away from kiddy hangers and glamour. Not that I'm complaining (much), since I discovered that fat has a few benefits, such as tits and a bum (one word: corsets!), but I admit I do miss the fun in clothes that seems so abundant (and cheap) in children's stores. M&S has always been the best for me when it comes to sequins, ruffles and all things girly:

 And it's not just about clothes. I mean, can't I take this Beijing bookshop home and set it up as my own personal library? Goodbye Ikea, hello Kid's Republic! Not that I've got anything against Ikea. An hour of wondering around their huge store in Malaga, discovering that agoraphobia and claustrophobia are closer than people suspect, helping my brother to find a decent sized desk for his scary four-screen computer set-up (which they didn't have), was made up for thanks to their delicious soft ice-cream, reminiscent of my personal favourites: British 99s.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Crossed fingers

So much for me whining and moaning. The newspaper people just called me to ask me for a formal interview (I'd already done a translation test), which means I'm not a useless translator after all!

Pay is low, but I really need some sort of steady income right now. I love my publishing job and having my own brand, being my own boss, etc., but recession is abound and I'm in debt. Translating is not my favourite thing in the world but it sure beats teaching, admin stuff and making tea, a few of my other past jobs.

Wish me luck!

Update: The interview went pretty well and it's down to four candidates now. Here's hoping.

There's just something about reconverted warehouses...

Design is mine recently featured an amazing loft she'd found on Loftlife. Quite an extraordinary place, an ideal combination of open and intimate spaces make this old sugar warehouse in Amsterdam any designer's dream working space. And Uxus Design got it just right, making the most of the warm wooden interiors and using chocolatey and pastel fabrics and colours that make you want to just close the door and forget the outside world even exists. I mean, why bother? You could have everything right here:


Do you think it'd be a bit much to put on my Santa wishlist?

Pastels for a blonde

Alas the photoshoot was not to be, nor did that newspaper ever call me back for an interview. I admit I'm disappointed, at the rain on Sunday that of course fell on my beach-photographing plans, at a week full of disasters, at myself for whining and crying and being a big baby about everything instead of buckling up and grabbing life by the horns as I should do (as I sometimes do). So after spending these week days shivering and moaning at home (Winter has suddenly arrived, out of bloody nowhere), working odd hours and cursing my unpaying customers, a migraine here and extreme self-pity and laziness there, I am presently pulling on my walking shoes and walking gear and braving the cold (well, it's not THAT cold) to try and get my life back into gear. I haven't got any new photos but my lovely Mamen was nice enough to send me a shot of herself wearing the necklace I made for her recent birthday. Mamen and I shared a flat for a few years while we were studying at uni, and have been very close ever since, which is why it sucks that we're far away from eachother and hardly ever get to have tea or wine in our favourite Granada places. She always sends me the best presents and has a great memory for birthdays and such, while I absolutely suck at it. Good thing I wasn't too late for hers this year.

Light blue and cream glass goodness for a girl with unique style. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Just read a wonderful piece on Diane Von Furstenberg and wanted to share it. I've always been an admirer of her creations but never knew of the amazing life she's lead.


Friday, November 27, 2009

Living in a bubble

Sorry I haven't been around for some time, things have been pretty stressful at work which of course means I've been on a necklace-making spur. When I get anxious I feel the need to disconnect my mind and start doing things with my hands. This results in a shitload of jewellery (honestly, I haven't bought any accesories for the last two or three years) and no photographs to start moving it around nor energy to take samples to shops. A few retailers have asked me for necklaces and earrings but at the low prices they're expecting I don't know if I could be bothered. Since there's so much cheap and nasty stuff available they can't seem to see the difference between imported plastic stock and handcrafted labour-of-love type creations. So I got back to redesigning my jewellery site, which I hope to show you very soon.

Lately I've been working on handpainted pieces. I reuse pieces I like from broken or spoilt jewellery, paint and varnish them and try to turn them into something lovable; this is a new fad, as I get bored pretty quickly, so I've gone from pearls and gemstones to acrylic and wood. I'm presently wearing this one, which matches my weekly love for everything green:

Let's see if next week I can get some friends together and go for a photo shoot. All my friends are pretty unique-looking and fantastic for shoots, I'm just lucky like that. Also, one of them's a professional hairdresser and make-up artist, and she owes me one (or more) after repeatedly waking me up at unearthly hours to go and model for her make-up classes.

On another note, lots of stuff is going on. I had an interview and a test for a job in a local newspaper yesterday. Pay is crap (as journalism normally goes), and it's more of a translating post than a reporting one, but it would be nice to get some use out of my postgraduate degree, and I loved the place. Wish me luck! It would be great to get a job, at least 'till recession is over and I can get a decent income out of publishing, so I could just stop whining over money and having the usual panic attacks when paying-the-printer time comes.

Recently I've been hooked on Stylebubble. Susie Bubble is turning into my all-time heroine. The way she can effortlessly wear absolutely anything she wants (no matter how quirky or awful) and get away with it, apart from being strikingly attractive (sorry, I always had a thing for Chinese/English girls) and be an all round sweet person is kind of mind-blowing.


Seriously, how DOES she do it? I hate that body and that dress, but she manages to make them look like something wearable and fun. However, look what happens when she dress up for a wedding:

I adored the fact that such a beautiful dress was the result of a dry-cleaning disaster. Am I in love much? Methinks maybe. And talking about love, you just have to admire a pattern named after the wickedest man in the world, Mr. Aleister Crowley:

Great wallpaper by Katie Deedy featured on Interior Design. Also available in other colours, such as... wait for it... green!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hello Steampunk

Steampunk, what's not to love? Tim Powers, Robert Rankin, victorian corsets, hobnailed boots and weird clockwork-driven contraptions. Personally, I adore it. There's so much revival going on, so much "let's go back to the 80's", it seems we're endlessly recycling the same stuff, so it's refreshing to find a fashion and design trend that respects true inventive and originality (and looks great in the process). Gianfranco Ferré created these fabulous heels inspired by steampunk brass and buckles:

Steampunk fashion is diverse, entwined in popular goth, punk and even lolita culture. It's all about mixing and experimenting: goggles, neckerchiefs, pirate inspired trousers, coils and cables, neovictorian headdresses, the only limit is your imagination:


More great photography by Kat Bret at her website.

Paul K. Stolen is a great scenic and costume designer who creates astounding sets and garments really worth a look. More at his website.

And since everything is better with bluetooth, why not adapt steampunk to modern technology? I found this on Geekologie:

And just when I thought "oh, it's about time someone created a steampunk house", I discovered Sara Carlstead Brumfield's blog, http://thesteampunkhome.blogspot.com, with a few spectacular pics. Whoever thought you could make a coffee table out of old Samsonite luggage?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Guilty pleasure

As I've always said, nothing like extremely high heels to make you feel stupid and glamorous at the same time:

Most things designed by Cristian Louboutin have a very special luxurious edge. These fantastic button booties could do with something chic to match. How about this? Just a little something from H&M's autumn-winter collection:

You could even have the complete outfit and go for a sexy Juicy Couture handbag:

But then, of course, you'd need the perfect place to lounge around wearing your perfect ensemble. You'd need something unique, maybe the inside of a Toyota Innova?

Not too keen on the exterior but, then again, nothing is ever totally perfect.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I love glass

Probably my favourite media, glass has fascinated me since I was a child. I have a slight memory of being in a glass-blowing workshop many years ago, where my parents bought a beautiful glass figurine that has since disappeared from our home, probably broken during one of my brother's or my clumsy racket around the place. Tinted glass is definitely my obsession, though foil and cracked creations hold their own charm. Since I've been making my own jewellery for the last few years, I've spent hours of longing and lust on the internet, hunting down the most beautiful czech, japanese and indian beads (though the real treasures are lampwork figures you can find on Ebay):



Since I'm obsessed with practicality, glass that can be used as part of a necklace will always strike a chord with me. However, the wonderful thing about glass is that its beauty is impressive even it is serves no function whatsoever, such as artist Graham Caldwell proves with his sculptures:

Caldwell has a certain biological quality to his work that reminds me of cyberpunk anime: metal and glass tentacles and spikes, what's not to love?

Perfume bottles are also interesting glass creations. Kela's has an interesting and modern selection:

Though I still prefer old-style granny bottles, that look ready for anything: from Chanel 5 to stiff liqueur:

And, of course, having lived for many years in arab-influenced Granada in Southern Spain, I have a penchant for Moroccan style perfume bottles. You can find them online for a decent price here:

What's your favourite glass ornament?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Red and white

I live in a tiny apartment, where my living room is actually my kitchen and study. Therefore, saving space is a priority. I own a huge run-down sofa-bed which I'd willingly exchange for something slightly more... presentable. Maybe something like the Lonneberga, a great stackable sofa-slash-bed that looks great even if you don't own a dog (which I don't, but I bet my white half-siamese kitty would enjoy lounging on it anyhow).

But if you're really gonna do it properly, you need gear to match. However, I don't think Nina Invorm would approve if I stole her red shoe collection, fantastic as it is:

I'll just have to stick to my old and ragged flower print sofa, and be faithful to my less than glamourous wardrobe (well, maybe a teensy bit glamourous).

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Luxury villa in Morocco

Fancy doing your home up Marrakesh-style? You might be inspired by this ultra-luxurious building near Riad. All rooms face towards the indoor pool, decorated with a beautiful Alhambra-style Fountain. Plenty of cushions, carpets and sumptuous fabrics, lighting and wooden ceilings. Not much room for my books or clothes, though.


In case you're wandering where you can buy or rent similar luxury accomodations, there's plenty to choose from here, however this particular building was featured on Embellezzia, a Spanish website.