Wednesday, 26 February 2014

What I Wore: Brian Griffin

Brian Griffin from Family Guy dress

Sewing and dressmaking used to be something I was very passionate about. I studied it up to A-Level, and for a while thought I may continue it to university with ideas of eventually working in costuming. Unfortunately my interest fizzled out and never really came back, but it's still something I like to dabble in now and then when I have the patience. What I always enjoyed most about dressmaking was being able to design my own wardrobe, making something up in my head and being able to construct it instead of being limited to what's available on the rails of my local shops.

At the beginning of last year I noticed a lot of items for sale featuring a repeat pattern of Bart Simpson. I didn't like the style of the items (nor The Simpsons), but I'm always a fan of incorporating the things you love into your wardrobe in a way that's more imaginative than a t-shirt and felt inspired. I'm a huge fan of Seth MacFarlane and something Family Guy felt like an appropriate alternative to Bart, so I designed a fabric in Photoshop and took it to Spoonflower.

Brian Griffin from Family Guy dress

Brian Griffin from Family Guy dress

Brian Griffin from Family Guy dress

Brian Griffin from Family Guy dress
Outfit Details
Dress - handmade
Cardigan - River Island (no longer for sale)
Shoes - 1960s vintage
Handbag - 1960s vintage
Necklace - Gift from my mother

This dress is almost a year old now, and it's so much fun to wear. I love the contrast of quite a formal style dress with a novelty print, and the fact that it's such a popular television character really catches people off guard.

I have two more sewing projects currently in the pipe line, and I can't wait to share the results with you once they're completed!

Sunday, 23 February 2014

A Day In The Life: 18th February

As you may (or may not) remember, one of my goals for this year was to take a photo an hour once a month. I don't plan on posting every month to my blog, but I thought the odd one here and there might be fun. I don't promise anything riveting, just an honest little peak at my general day-to-day.

9am: First thing I do every morning - put my face on.

10am: Travelling to the shop I mentioned before a few towns away in the hopes of picking up a dress that's lingered in my mind since my previous visit.

11am: Wandering around the many floors.

12pm: Still wandering. As I'd travelled I figured I may as well take a proper look.

(I skipped an hour here because I was driving and there's only so much you can photograph inside your car!)

2pm: Bob Dylan goes round and round whilst I noodle about on the Internet.
(Also I feel here is a good place to mention: I've recently changed Tumblr accounts, so you can now find me here instead of my old one. I hope to be on the site more frequently now I've gotten my new account sorted!)

3pm: Getting to work tracing out a pattern.

4pm: Cracking on with my illustration projects.

5pm: Still drawing.

6pm: The rest of my evening was spent dying my hair and watching a movie.

And that was basically my day! I cannot wait for some warmer weather so I can spend more time outside, I'm really starting to have the winter blues.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Film Favourites: The Penalty

Lon Chaney in silent movie The Penalty

Lon Chaney is one of my all time favourite actors, and unfortunately people usually look at me blankly whenever I mention him. He's most well known for his horror roles such as The Phantom of the Opera (1925) and London After Midnight (1927), but he did an awful lot more besides and to write him off as merely a horror actor is a crime. He was inevitably one of the first names I came across when I began to delve into the world of silent cinema all those moons ago and I've held him very dear to my heart ever since, so expect a couple of his movies to pop up throughout this feature. This time however, I want to talk about The Penalty (which can be viewed in it's entirety on YouTube here if you're inspired to watch it).

Lon Chaney in silent movie The Penalty
Lon Chaney in silent movie The Penalty

Lon Chaney stars as Blizzard, a man who had his legs mistakenly amputated as a child. This knowledge, coupled with the social pressures faced by being disabled have driven Blizzard insane, and he devises a plan for the doctor who originally performed his operation to sew another man's legs onto his stumps.

One reviewer stated of The Penalty: "Here is a picture that is about as cheerful as a hanging", which is very true but it's a marvellous film just the same with some wonderful character acting by Lon Chaney. To portray Blizzard's deformity Chaney spent most of filming with his legs bend up behind him in harnesses and walked about on his kneecaps: this level of discomfort meant he could only film for a few minutes at a time and lead to him suffering permanent damage in his leg muscles, but it rightfully caused him much acclaim and lead to him becoming a household name.

Lon Chaney in silent movie The Penalty
Lon Chaney in silent movie The Penalty
Lon Chaney in silent movie The Penalty

The Penalty is largely considered to be one of Lon Chaney's best performances, and if you've ever been put off of watching silent movies for fear of them being over acted drivel, I urge you to give it a watch and see if you can't be swayed. Whilst it does occasionally fall into the typical melodrama, it's overall a very strong film that is at times heartbreaking, watching Blizzard deal with what has happened to him and his fight for respect as a disabled person in the 1920s.

Lon Chaney in silent movie The Penalty
Lon Chaney in silent movie The Penalty
Lon Chaney in silent movie The Penalty
(Screencaps were taken myself from my DVD. I apologise some of them aren't terribly clear but the movie is 94 years old!)
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