Wednesday, 28 June 2017

MUSIC | SWET SHOP BOYS AT SCALA

It's definitely been a hot minute since I did a music post here. I don't have a legitimate excuse as music is still and will always be the biggest part of my life. It may be due to the fact that I've started vlogging for my YouTube channel more and any exciting event tends to get covered in that format. The Swet Shop Boys gig happened almost a month ago now as I hadn't initially planned on writing a blog post on it. I had contemplated vlogging it but scrapped that idea on the day due to nerves. I'm still not 100% comfortable with filming and talking to myself in public so adding that extra factor to a potentially eventful day is just an open invitation for anxiety unfortunately. So the show I'd been waiting months for came and went, and I was left with some pretty decent photos that I thought would be a shame not to share them. So here I am typing up some words to accompany them.

In case you were unaware, Swet Shop Boys are a hip-hop group, one member of which I'm sure you will already know of: rapper Riz MC whose real name is Riz Ahmed and who also acts as part of his day job. Then consists of another rapper named Heems (formerly of Das Racist) and the band is rounded up with their producer and live DJ, Redinho. I must admit I originally got into their music from being a fan of Riz's acting but I've always prided myself in not having a biased bone in my body where it counts. Their album Cashmere has personally been on high rotation this year, that is until their latest EP Sufi La came out in April and in my opinion, it surpassed Cashmere in terms of catchiness which I thought was a mighty feat indeed. I'd been counting down the days till I'd get to see the boys perform, to hear their songs live as well as witness how Riz commanded a stage musically as opposed to dramatically. 

It was absolutely sweltering the day of the show and my friends and I decided to head to the venue earlier to hopefully get front row or at least a decent spot. I'd never been to Scala before but two of my friends saw The Pretty Reckless (Taylor Momsen's band) perform there last time and they informed me the capacity of the venue isn't that large. In hindsight I could've just turned up in the evening because strangely enough no one showed up until about 6.30pm anyway (doors were at 7pm), it would've saved me from getting sunburnt shoulders (note to self: bardot tops aren't the wisest choice of gig attire) but the plus side was that we saw Riz and Redinho arrive! Pretty sure Riz wasn't surprised to see me there and first in line, after all this makes it the 8th time I've met him. I wasn't expecting him to rock up in a football jersey to be honest but realised further into the night that it was in tribute to the victims of the Manchester attack and then of course it all made sense because he's always so thoughtful. I should've asked him the brand of his sunglasses too (does anyone know?) because they were awesome and just so extra. 

Totally unrelated to the gig itself but I really want to commend the security at Scala for doing the most thorough bag and body searches before we were allowed in, they totally upended my friend's jacket and even threw out the Lemsip and Panadol pills from my bag. If you're gonna get searched, it might as well be done correctly. I have such a peeve with staff who go to the trouble of stopping you only to take a quick glance at the surface contents of your bag, what's that meant to accomplish? Anyway, rant aside, as soon as we were admitted in, my friends and I made a mad dash up the stairs whilst moaning about how unfit we were, only to rejoice when we all managed to get front row and middle in front of the stage. Admittedly it felt like forever before Swet Shop Boys took to the stage at 9:45pm (yes that's right, remember that doors opened at 7pm) and though we were treated to two opening acts (The Last Skeptik & HVAD), the audience's attention span and leg strength were starting to dwindle. When the boys finally entered it was to raucous applause and they immediately launched into Zayn Malik which is one of my personal favourite tracks off Cashmere. If Riz and Heems were fasting during Ramadan, it certainly didn't affect their energy levels as the two bounced rhymes off one another against Redinho's beats. It was almost blink and you miss him as Riz was jumping around from one side of the stage to the other at a speed to match his quickfire spitting whilst Heems' movements were more attuned to his laid-back flow. As well as performing most of their album, the boys did a short medley of the songs off Sufi La. The crowd burst into song and dance as soon as the opening notes of their hit Aaja started but then soon turned quiet (you could literally hear a pin drop) when everyone cleared the stage except for Riz and he performed Sour Times from his older solo rap work, which spoke volumes and was unfortunately more relevant than ever. At some point towards the end of the concert, Heems even came out with bananas for the audience as some people hadn't been able to break their fast before they had to enter the venue. There was no encore but they closed the show with T5 and even performed it through twice, I think that was one downside to their show—it was very short (and from hearing other's experiences, an SSB gig always is). I'm not sure why they didn't just run through each song off Sufi La instead of condensing them into a medley or perhaps they could play some of Riz or Heem's solo stuff? They did play Benny Lava which is my all-time favourite song of theirs and I was pleasantly surprised as it's an older song that didn't make it onto their album.

The Setlist

Zayn Malik
Shottin
Shoes Off
Tiger Hologram
Phone Tap
Halk Moghul Half Mowgli
Anthem
Sufi La
Need Moor
Aaja
That's My Girl
Sour Times
Benny Lava
Batalvi
T5

Regardless of the running time, I had such a blast (those of you that follow me on snapchat or instagram might have seen that moment when Riz climbed off the stage and started erm, dancing right in front of my face... yeah that pretty much made my life aha) and it's a night that I still recall and replay over and over. If you've never heard of Swet Shop Boys and are in need of some new jams, I'd highly recommend checking them out for some memorable tunes. Definitely try to catch them live too, I guarantee an epic time if the prospect of spotting me at their next show is not enough teehee. Last but not least, on the off-chance that Riz himself stumbles upon this (you might be surprised at how many of my idols have admitted to reading this humble blog ahhhhh), I just wanted to say a huge thank you again, for always being the nicest and most down-to-earth person and taking the time for my friends and I. I couldn't be prouder to be your fan.

All photographs were taken by me. Please credit and link back to this blog if you use them.

Share:

Sunday, 25 June 2017

YOUTUBE | MY SUNGLASSES COLLECTION



Share:

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

OUTFIT | BIG BIRD

 
This is the final of the Japan outfit I shot, a look where I re-wore all the pieces from previous days except for this gorgeous yellow shirt which I think is the feature piece of this ensemble and reminds me slightly of Sesame Street's Big Bird crossed with a flamenco dancer. Which can only be a good combination in my opinion. I'm actually struggling to think of what to write here because it's currently 32 degrees in London which apparently is the exact melting point of my brain. I even went to the cinema to try and escape the heat and ended up seeing Pirates 5 which I had no intention of ever watching previously. I totally felt the film was lacklustre and deffinitely not my favourite of the franchise but gosh the ending had me all teary-eyed in the best possible way... let's just say my 15 year old self is at peace.

Monki shirt / ASOS jeans / ASOS earrings / Gucci trainers

x

Share:

Sunday, 18 June 2017

TRAVEL | JAPAN PHOTO DIARY

I hadn't planned on doing a blog post on my Japan holiday as I vlogged it for my YouTube channel but I was left with so many photos that I thought it would be a shame if I didn't share them. Remembering that I did photo diaries for my last two trips to Belfast and Budapest, I've also decided to curate my favourite shots that I took in Japan here and once again, let the photos do the talking. If you want to see exactly what I got up to over there, you can watch my vlog.

Share:

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

TIGER HOLOGRAM + HOLIDAY PACKING TIPS

My least favourite thing about going on holidays is definitely the packing part. I've always been guilty of overpacking but I'm slowly but surely getting savvier at saving space and minimising my travel wardrobe. Here are some packing tips that have really helped me out:

ROLL YOUR CLOTHES INSTEAD OF FOLDING THEM
Like spring rolls, said my Korean friend whom I learnt this technique from. You can then place each roll side my side in your suitcase and you'd be surprised by how much more you can actually fit in!

 MIX AND MATCH SEPARATES
You all know how much I love dresses but I've found packing tops and bottoms to be much more efficient. You can rework pieces with others and come up with more looks using less items.

PLAN EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO WEAR EACH DAY
I always lay out whole outfits on my bed or even try them on and then write up for each day I'm going away, listing each piece of clothing, shoes and accessories that go into that look so I don't forget any key items as well as making sure I pack exactly what I need and not more.

RESEARCH THE WEATHER BEFOREHAND
A bit of a no brainer really but you definitely don't want to be packing bulky coats that you won't end up wearing because it's too warm or ruin your favourite pair of flats in the rain.

TRAVEL-SIZE EVERYTHING
If you're anything like me and have less than lenient beauty regime (hotel shampoo isn't going to keep my hair colour from fading), pour products into small bottles, squeezey tubes or spray bottles so you don't have to bring the whole thing. I find a lot of the weight in my luggage comes from the likes of liquids.

LIMIT FOOTWEAR
Aside from heaviness, I find that shoes are the bulkiest and take up the most space. I try to only bring three pairs, even on longer holidays: 1 pair of trainers, 1 pair of boots, and 1 prettier pair (flats or heels). Make sure they're not too 'statement-y' so they'll be able to go with everything.
 

Swet Shop Boys t-shirt / American Apparel skirt (similar) / ASOS earrings / Gucci trainers

So yeah, I'm quite pleased with the packing outcome of my Japan trip, I think I managed to pull some interesting looks whilst still keeping my luggage under the weight limit (say whaaaat). This is what I wore on my second day there. I've always been a fan of a good ol' t-shirt and maxi skirt combo and I hadn't busted out this particular pleated number in absolute ages (probably the last time I wore it was in this blog post two years ago whoa). Can say I'll be keeping this skirt as a memento of the now non-existent American Apparel. I'm normally not the biggest fan of orange (I guess I was two years ago though), but I just decided to go all out and play up this colour. When in Tokyo? I even wore matching orange lipstick. Mum was impressed.

BLOGLOVIN' | INSTAGRAM | SNAPCHAT | TWITTER | YOUTUBE | FACEBOOK | TUMBLR

GET THE LOOK



Share:

Sunday, 11 June 2017

OUTFIT | ROGUE RAINBOW

Finally, the first of my Japan outfits! I was feeling a really colourful outfit for my first day in Tokyo to go with the busy, foreign environment. Does anyone else feel like they take more risks with their style when they're on holiday abroad? Something about the fact that no one you know is going to judge you and that you're probably never going to see any of these passing strangers again. I'd really like to apply this mindset to my style all the time though, even when I'm home, so I never feel any need to check myself and basically learn to feel 100% comfortable wearing whatever the hell I want. I found this rainbow stripe top at a Beyond Retro outlet sale just before I left for Japan. They were selling all items at specific prices: tops and bottoms for £5, jackets for £8, and coats for £12. Such great deals and I also picked up a gorgeous Victorian style tapestry jacket that I haven't been able to wear yet due to the heat. Anyway, I love the huge bamboo buttons on this top and I wore it as a 'shacket' over my most colourful Rogue One tee (I have quite a collection now). This jeans were also new in from ASOS before my holiday but since then they have become my favourite pair of jeans ever because they fit over my waist perfectly without needing a belt (though I did wear one to accessorise here), which almost never happens to me. I actually wore this exact same outfit last week to the first day of MCM Comic Con too where I met Donnie Yen!

Vintage shirt / Rogue One tee / ASOS jeans / Vintage belt / Acne shoes
x

Share:

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

COSPLAY | ROGUE ONE

Ahhh these have got to be some of my favourite shots ever as this is definitely my favourite cosplay I've ever done! It's my first group cosplay attempt (though I've done a partner cosplay before) and it was definitely a challenge to organise more than one outfit like I'm used to but as my Rogue One team was made up of my best friends, it was also super fun team work. I became interested in doing a Rogue One cosplay as soon as I saw the film, I'm sure a lot of you know how much I loved it and the characters in it. My friends and I agreed that it would be awesome if we could be the first to cosplay the R1 gang but being early birds also meant that there were no ready made costumes available and certainly nothing for K-2SO, not even a single template to follow. 

I started off with my Jyn Erso outfit. Out of all the characters from the film, it was only for Jyn that I was able to find some replica clothing online so my cosplay ended up being the quickest and easiest to put together. I managed to source her jacket, vest, and undershirt on Ebay. I then altered a pair of trousers to resemble hers and picked up a similar looking scarf in the ASOS sale (score). Her boots, which are exactly the same style as Cassian's, were a completely different matter. I couldn't find any replicas or similar looking ones anywhere online and was just debating on doing some DIY (only I had no clue where to start) when I saw these brown buckle boots in Primark. They're not an exact copy from the film but super close if I do say so myself. The finishing touches were a brown wig that Yunita cut a long fringe into, a magnetic badge to go on her vest (found it on Etsy), a gun holster that I pieced together with a Primark belt to make it more screen accurate, and some gloves.

The only piece for Cassian Andor's costume we were able to get online was his jacket and then we jazzed it up with a magnetic badge like mine. His undershirt was made out of one of Danielle's old bleach t-shirts which was already a perfect colour match, she then just cut a square out of the back of the tee and sewed it onto the front to imitate the collar flap. For months I'd been trying to get my hands on a toy nerf gun that was an exact replica of Cassian's blaster but to no avail. It was sold out in all the toy stores in London and I really didn't want to pay for one to be shipped from the US. I had resorted to just painting any old toy gun when I spotted said nerf gun in a random store on an unplanned trip to Westfield Statford City (it was actually a stressful one to sort out our home internet at the Sky store there so what a blessing in disguise that turned out to be). The gun was initially neon orange but Danielle just painted over it using the same black and silver acrylics we used for Kaytoo over it and I think the end result looks pretty similar to the one in the film. The cargo pants were the last piece for the ensemble and a bit of a nightmare to find to be honest. Who knew that only a decade later they would become so totally out of fashion that we couldn't locate a pair for ages until this one popped up in the mens section of H&M. The wig was cut by our resident hairdresser Yunita (Bodhi) again and then styled with some wax to give it a much er, greasier look. I used a sponge and some face paint to imitate Cassian and Bodhi's beards on Danielle and Yunita respectively, though I can only commend Danielle on her own makeup skills, thus pretty much turning her face into Diego Luna's. She contoured around her nose and inner parts of the eye specifically and wore dark brown contacts to mask her natural baby blues.
Almost Bodhi's entire outfit was from an army surplus store. We found a black boiler suit and vest there and ironed the Imperial patches on the shoulders. The one thing that didn't really go according to plan was bleaching the suit to the faded grey/blue Bodhi has in the movie. After several rounds of bleaching and soaking, we only managed to get it down to this dark navy/grey colour that we had to make do with as we were fast running out of time. We couldn't find clear circular goggles either but these white steampunk ones from Ebay were close enough. The data cylinders in his left sleeve were from Etsy and his sand shoes were from Primark. I've always thought that we were lucky that Yunita already looks like a female version of Riz Ahmed and with her eyebrows filled in and a beard drawn on, the resemblance is uncanny. Plus she's the only one that can get away with not wearing a wig!

Now onto beloved Kaytoo, the one cosplay that had us the most baffled at the beginning. How would we build a full scale robot costume and where would we start? None of us really have any engineering background except for my brief stint in an Architecture course during university (which I quit because all that model-making was just not for me). Turns out, a bit of creativity and perseverance can go a long way and I was quite surprised that in the end we managed to build something that actually resembled K-2SO! I actually started off by downloading a template for a Boba Fett helmet (the secret's out now) and using cardboard from boxes lying around at home, we constructed the base of the head, altering it bit by bit to make it resemble Kaytoo's head rather than Boba's. The skull was constructed by slicing the cardboard into wedges (much like an orange if you can imagine) and then filled the gaps with Polyfilla before sanding down the surface to smooth it out. Bits of craft foam was used to shape the face and two buttons we found that were so perfect for his eyes. The main bulk of the body was also built with cardboard and craft foam, the shoulders using shoe boxes and paper plates, each component glued then reinforced with electrical tape. For the neck we used a (drum roll please)... toilet roll! The one thing we had trouble with was making sure that toilet roll could hold up the head and after a couple of tries and times it rolled off, we decided to thread wire inside the neck to make it much stronger and that did the trick. So Emily's head actually went under K-2SO's shoulders and she taped makeshift handles inside the body so she could hold it and her elbows in as well as control it. She wore black clothing and then we stuck more cardboard above her hips to imitate his pelvis section. The look was rounded off with some cardboard discs sewn onto her pants to make Kaytoo's joints.
It wasn't until the morning of MCM Comic Con when we all came together dressed and ready, assembled K-2SO on Emily and went to the park to take these photos (even though we'd already done a couple of makeup trials and dress rehearsals before), did I realise that we actually did a pretty decent job. When the first person at the con came up to us and asked for a photo, it boosted my confidence even further until more and more people were stopping us and then some even said it was the best cosplay they'd ever seen! Wow, as a group we were walking on cloud nine the entire day and just had so much fun being the Rogue One squad. Thank you so much to everyone who said hello! If you haven't watched the vlog and want to see more of what we actually got up to at MCM, click here.
Now it's time to plan my next cosplay!


Share:
Blogger Template Created by pipdig