1920's Fancy Dress

clock Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 09:37AM

The 1920’s, known as the Roaring 20’s or the Jazz age, dawned a whole new age and an upheaval in social acceptability.

With the last dark remnants of the Great War fading away and Jazz coming to England from America, a new generation were letting loose and breaking all conformities as a new breed known as ‘Flappers’ were born.

Throwing out the corsets and bringing up hem lines, flappers were frowned up for their excessive use of makeup, smoking and drinking,and for treating sex in such a casual manner. Some even drove automobiles; quite simply, they were breaking every rule, discarding old social expectations and challenging traditional gender stereotypicilisations.

Entertainment was at a high, with jazz clubs springing up where youths could dance dances like the lindy hop and the Charleston, while entertainers like Charlie Chaplin graced the silver screen.

The twenties also saw rises in a Gang culture, with the likes of Al Capone, Frank Costello and Johnny Torrio at large in America. The Gangster look, with a suit, braces, tie, trilby hat and often a tommy gun, is one that’s often re-created for Fancy Dress.

There have been numerous films and movies depicting life in the 20’s, one of the most notable being The Great Gatsby, a novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald which has recently been made into a movie, directed by Baz Luhrman and staring Leonardo DiCaprio. The story is based in America in the twenties, where prohibition was in full force and all inhibitions were out the window.

 

How to dress as a flapper

The Dress

Moving away from tightly fitted, corseted gowns they had been restrained to before, flapper dresses were straight and loose, fitting to the hips rather than the waist with the hem rising to the knee.

Stockings 

Silk stockings were held up by garters and many girls applied rouge to the knees, to give the boys something to look at should he catch a glimpse as the dress rose while dancing.

Accessories

Jewelled or feathered headbands became popular among woman, along with elongated cigarette holders, long gloves and strands of pearls which could be looped numerous times.

Shoes

 High heels were coming into fashion, with heals reaching 2-3 inches high and usually sporting a strap around the ankle.

Hair

Flappers hair was primarily cut into a short bob or something like what we’d now call a pixie cut , a first for women and a bold statement. 

 


Sport Relief 2014

clock Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 03:56PM

Sport Relief 2014 - Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March

Sports Relief really do some incredible work. Every 2 years, they get the nation on their feet and active in order to raise some truly lifesaving cash to help people living both in terrible conditions, both in the UK and abroad. 

Running in alternate years to Comic Relief (Red Nose Day), this year’s Sports Relief reaches it's climax on the weekend of the 21st-23rd of March. With huge events leading up to the big weekend, last year’s they raised over fifty million pounds by the end of broadcasting night!! (£50,447,197 to be precise) 

We believe Sports Relief is a fantastic cause, which is why we’re donating one pound from the sale of every item sold in our ‘Sports Relief’ category. 

Over the years we've seen some amazing fundraisers, David Walliams swam the length of the Thames (140 miles) in 8 days and raised over£1 million, while Eddie Izzard ran a staggering 1,100 miles!! The comedian ran 43 marathons in 51 days, all in aid of Sports Relief. 

This year is no different, there are some incredible fund raisers taking place this year with some huge celebrities taking part.

 Davina McCall

Best known for presenting shows like Big Brother and Million Pound Drop, Davina McCall is well known and loved by all. And it’s no wonder!

This year she’s taking on an epic challenge, fittingly entitled ‘Beyond Breaking Point’. Davina is currently (as of 11th Feb) Cycling, Swimming and Running the 500 mile journey from Edinburgh to London. Truly admirable!

All the very best wishes Mrs McCall!!

Great Sport Relief Bake-Off

Earlier this year, a mini-series of the national success Great British Bake Off hit our screens, with stars like Bonnie Wright, Jason Gardiner, Jamelia, Michael Ball and Alistair McGowan all competing and baking their little socks to impress Mary Berry(<3) and to raise money for Sports Relief.

Little Mix

2014’s Official Sport Relief single is a cover of the classic, Word Up! Originally released by Cameo and famously covered by Korn, all proceeds from the single go straight to Sport Relief. #MixersInMotion

How can you get involved?

Sports Relief would be no-where without public support, and with no donation to small, there’s something everyone can do.

 Sainsburys Sport Relief Games at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Follow in the footsteps of your favourite Olympian and get your chance to compete at the Olympic Stadiums. Chris Hoy, Ellie Simmonds and Jessica Ennis are all joining Sport Relief this year, see below to find out how you can too.

The Mile

With 3 routes mapped, you can either choose to run(paha), walk(more like it), or dance(Deal!) your way around a 1 mile, 3 mile or 6 mile course through the Olympic park on March 23rd. Not near London? Don’t worry. There are runs planned throughout the country, just check here to find your nearest mile.

 The Swimathon

 From 21st-23rd March the Olympic Aquatics Centre will be open for people to swim 1.5km, 3.5km or 5km, or just for a relaxed swim(or doggy paddle in my case). Book your place ahead of time, we’re pretty sure I’ll get busy!

The Cycle

There are cycles planned in London, Manchester and Glasgow on Sunday 23rd of March, again, with a family friends 3 mile cycle, or more challenging 25 or 50 mile routes. Cycling in full fancy dress is bound to get you more sponsorship! Just saying…

 

Fundraising ideas

Waxing – Get your friends and colleagues to sponsor you to wax a particularly hairy part of your body. Feeling brave? Let them wax you themselves for a fee! £1 a strip!

Office Servent – Become the office slave for the day, fetching coffee, answering phones, doing the lunch run. A shoulder massage wouldnt go amiss

Sponsored Silence – Shut your cake hole! One whole day of silence. Peace at last

Bake sale – Make some baked good to sell at a tuck table at work or school (or buy cakes if needs be. No-one wants egg shell in their fairy cake)

Sports Day – Throw a sports day at work! Raise money by either getting people to bet for the winning teams, or paying to take part. Three legged races down the corridor, tug of war in the car park...

Pub Quiz – Charge an entrance fee, winner take home the prize! Simples.

Console tournament – Gather your friends for a fight to the death! The online kind. No actual blood should be spilt. 

 

 Whatever you do. Good luck and happy fundraising!! 


Roald Dahl quotes

clock Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 12:21PM

10 wonderfully magical, and sometimes very funny, Roald Dahl Quotes 

 

“I’d rather be fried alive and eaten by Mexicans.”

– James and the Giant Peach – Straight, to the point, and utterly bazaar!

 

“…watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it”

 

“ I understand what you’re saying, and your comments are valuable, but I’m going to ignore your advice”

– Fantastic Mr Fox

 

“It doesn't matter who you are or what you look like, so long as somebody loves you.” 

- from The Witches

 

“Two rights don’t make a left”

– The BFG

 

“ Don’t gobblefunk around with words”

– The BFG

 

“It is most unlikely. But - here comes the big 'but' - not impossible."

 - From The Witches

 

"You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts it will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely."

—from The Twits

 

Fiona has the same glacial beauty of an iceburg, but unlike the iceburg she has absolutely nothing below the surface.” 

- From Matilda (We all know a Fiona)

 

★★A little magic can take you a long way.” ★★


How to host an 80's party

clock Monday, February 10, 2014 at 04:03PM

How to throw a totally Rad 80’s Party

There’s no denying it. The 80’s were wicked to the max! (yep, we went there) With wonders like Olivia Newton Johns Let’s Get Physical music video, Shoulder Pads and the Mullet, is it any surprise we love to reminisce about the good old days? What better way to do so than to throw an 80’s theme party?

Keep reading for righteous ideas on what to wear to an 80’s do, or for the 411 on how to throw your own.

What to Wear

Under the influence of the likes of Madonna and George Michael, the eighties saw a whole plethora of bold and dramatic trends.

At one end of the spectrum, bright, neon colours and bold shapes, with logo t-shirts like ‘Frankie says relax’ and ‘Choose Life’, fingerless gloves, tutus and legwarmers were all the rage, While at the others, punk rock took over, with an influx of black, leather, tartan and radical bleached or coloured hair.

For her

Chanel your inner punk with any of these looks, from the anarchist with tartan skirt, union jack top, torn fishnets, big bright hair and studded jewellery, to full on Kiss, with a complete black jumpsuit, spiked black hair and dramatic makeup.

Become the one and only Madonna, with a choice of looks from the Wild Child days, complete with leopard print cropped jacket, lacy top, tutu, lace gloves, cropped leggings and the big hair with a bow, to ‘Like a virgin’, Again, with the big hair and bow to match the wedding dress style outfit. Either way, take a holiday from the everyday, lets dress you up. You are a material girl, the spotlight is on you so Express yourself, and have all the guys causing a commotion and asking who’s that girl, who’s that angel?! If you find the right one that’s just crazy for you, cherish him, open your heart and thank your lucky star you chose Madonna! (12 songs in 1 sentence(ish)! *takes a bow*)

Alternatively, go for some every day 80’s attire. With an oversized, off the shoulder top and either a miniskirt, a tutu or some stirrup leggings, paired with some neon leg warmers. Accessories with a big hair bow, some fingerless gloves and some neon jewellery! Makeup wise: Blue Eye shadow for that instant 80s effect.

Hair

Rock a side ponytail, held in place with a scrunchy of course.

PERM! Relatively tight curls gently combed out will give you the perfect Madonna/Julia Roberts look.

Crimp it. If you don’t have access to a crimper, the look can be achieved by tying your hair into small braids while its damp, then either sleep with them and let it dry overnight, or take your straighteners to the braid.

Make it big. Back comb your roots, adding generous lashings of hair spray to hold it up.

For him

You can’t touch this! Go as the super dope homeboy from the Oak town *cringe* and become MC Hammer for the night, with his infamous metallic parachute pants. Warning: side effect may include irrepressible urge to do the ‘running man’. 

Ridicule is nothing to be scared of, especially if you opt for an Adam Ant style fancy dress. This Prince Charming embraces the New Romantic (come pirate, come highwayman) look, with the milita

ry-esque jacket and iconic white stripe.

The pinnacle of 80s fashion was bought to you by the one and only Wham, With George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley introducing us to the much loved Slogan t-shirt in their Wake Me Up Before You Go Go video. Grab your ‘Choose life’ T-shirt (preferably one size too big), roll up the sleeves and tuck it in to some white trousers (also with the cuff rolled up to show a little mankle) for the simple but effective Wham look.

Who could forget the Shell Suit?  Garish, noisy and guaranteed to give an electric shock at everydoor handle, the tracksuit was a sure

favourite in the 80’s.

Hair

I have one word for you: Mullet.

Business in the front, party in the back, it’s the look of the 80’s.

Or if you’re not feeling it, you could always go for the infamous Flock of Seagulls look…

Other 80’s fancy dress

Marty McFly (Michael J Fox in Back to the Future) – Acid wash jeans and a faded red bomber jacket make for a simple but effective movie icon.

Ghost Busters – Put on your overalls and grab your proton pack to save the city from the likes of the Stay Puff marshmallow man!

Robocop – Part man, Part Machine, All cop! Become the future of law enforcement.

Top Gun - I feel the need, the need for speed. Enter the danger zone and become a to gun fighter pilot for the night.

Dirty Dancing – Perfect for couples, bring back Johnny and Baby.

Indiana Jones – Whip and fedora at the ready!

Flash Dance – What a feeling! Dance the night away in a long off the shoulder top over a leotard (or swimming costume would do). Accessorise with legwarmers and big hair.

Starwars – A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… Take your pick of Starwars characters from Anakin and Leia, to Yoda or Darth Vader.

Banana Man – Raid 29 Acacia Road and borrow Eric’s Bananaman outfit for the evening.

Baywatch – Slow motion run across the dance floor in your unmistakable red swimsuit or trunks, Float in hand.

Rubix cube – The most frustrating factor of the 80’s, Rubix cubes are annoying thousands even to this day.

 

What to Drink

The main component of any good 80’s cocktail? Decorations, and lots of them! Whatever you’re serving, make sure the glass if filled with miniature umbrellas, sparklers, stirrers and straws with little 3D paper fruits on them!


With a taste for a sexily names cocktails in particular, check out a few of the most popular cocktails of the 80’s.

 

Sex on the Beach

1 ½ oz. Vodka

½ oz. Peach Schnapps

2oz. Cranberry Juice

2oz. Orange juice

Pour Schnapps and vodka over ice, add cranberry juice and orange juice. If you’re looking for a fading gradient effect from red to orange, pour  gently and don’t stir.

Pina Colada

1 ½ oz. light rum

2oz. cream of coconut

2oz. pineapple juice

1 cup of crushed ice

Blend all ingredients in a mixer and serve topped with pineapple if desired.

Slippery Nipple (shot)

½ oz. Butterscotch Schnapps½ oz. Bailey’s Irish cream

Pour schnapps first, then top with Baileys.

Long island iced tea

1 part vodka

1 part tequila

1 part rum

1 part gin

1 part triple sec

Top up with cola

Simply mix all spirits and stir, then top off with Cola.

What to eat

To feed your guests, think finger food.

With Sausage Rolls, Cocktail sausages on sticks, vol au vents and those cheese and pineapple hedgehogs!

And for desert, why not try a sweets table, with old favourites like flying saucers, sherbet fountains, dip dabs and space dust for a mega sugar rush.

Decorations

Make your guests feel as if they’ve stepped back in time. Lavish your venue with posters of 80’s stars and slogans like “Frankie Says Relax”, “Choose Life” and “I Love the 80’s”.

You can go wrong with an abundance of glow sticks scattered around the room, and inflatable guitars will encourage people to grace the dance floor with their air guitar skills!

Whatever decorations you use, aim to be bold and bright with your colours or print. Neon colours against black background have a great effect.

You could even try your hand at making a Rubix cube style table top using some coloured paper cut into squares and some black tape.

A games corner with a twister mat could be fun as the night goes on too!

Good luck dude and we hope you and your guests all have a totally awesome time!!


Valentines Day 2014

clock Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 12:38PM

Towards the end of January, you’ll have started to notice flourishes of love hearts begin to appear

Flowers seem more prominently displayed and an abundance of boxed chocolates fill the shelves at your local supermarket, all leading up to one day. February 14th, Valentine’s Day!.

It’s the time of year where florists and chocolatiers are at their best, with red roses, balloons, teddys and heart shaped boxes of chocolates in high demand as the day quickly approaches.

You’ve got 10 days! Get prepared now to avoid the limp flowers and reject battered boxes of chocolates of panic shoppers. Not mentioning any names, ahem. Chop chop lads.

So after the chocolates have been eaten, the dozen red roses displayed and the chick flick dvd has finished, light the candles, slip into your new outfit and end the night with a little something special…

Every girl (and some guys!) loves a man in uniform. So why not treat her? Put on that captains hat and be her Maverick, watch her swoon as you serenade her a la Top Gun.

Girls, drive him crazy! Whether he wants a Wonder Woman to sweep him off his feet, or a Nurse to take care of him, you know what to do.

Alternatively, Hit the town in one of these sexy numbers, in search of a special someone. Pub or Club, you’re sure to impress and attract the eye, maybe with a little help from Cupid.

Whatever you do, do it in style. 

His

Phwoore!

It is scientifically proven* that every woman loves a guy in uniform.

What better way to sweep her off her feet than to slip into any one of these numbers?

Fireman are butch and rugged (just like you, right?), heat things up a bit with a sexy fire fighter outfit.

Or, indulge a childhood dream. Try out the Top Gun aviator costume. You get to be a Fighter Pilot (not just any fighter pilot, a Top Gun) and she gets her man in uniform! A sure win/win situation.

*may not actually be scientifically proven. But we’re fairly certain it must be true.

Ideas for Mens costumes include:

·         Pilot

·         Captain

·         Aviator

·         Police Man

·         Fireman

 

Hers

Some men like a Wonder Woman to make him feel like Super Man,

Others like a Police Office to put him in his place,

Whatever your man’s preference, one things sure,

You look gorgeous!

Ideas for Women include:

·         Sexy nurse

·         French maid

·         Air hostess

·         Wonder woman

·         School Girl

 

Happy Valentines to all!

Especially you Wink


World Book Day 2014: Ariel - The Little Mermaid

clock Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 04:56PM

Ariel

Part of your world


Story: The Little Mermaid

Villain: Ursula

Sidekicks: Flounder, Sebastian, Scuttle

Hero: Prince Eric

Outfit: Human – Long sleeved pink ball gown

          Mermaid – Green tail, purple seashell bra and long red hair

 

First published in 1837, the story of The Little Mermaid comes from the famous Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale that goes by the same name. As with many other fairy tales, the story has been adapted many times into animated films, musicals and ballets around the world.

The Little Mermaid tells the story of a young mermaid who sacrifices everything she knows, he life under the sea, her family and even her voice to gain a human soul and legs, all for the love of a human prince. As is often the case, the fairy tale version is much darker than more recent adaptations like the Disney version. It originally tells of how, when she finally does get legs, it felt as if she was constantly walking on knives, leaving her feet to bleed. A detail skipped when Disney created their version. The fairy tale also states that unless she can get true loves first kiss and marry the prince, she will die of a broken heart and turn to sea foam. 

There is a statue in tribute to The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen Harbour (Denmark, Hans Christian Andersen’s home). A small statue of a girl sitting on a rock was commissioned in 1909 by Carl Jacobsen - whose father founded Carlsberg - after he had been entranced by a ballet about the fairy tale.

 

As of 2013, there is a section dedicated to Ariel, The Little Mermaid, in Disney World Florida,. Here you can meet the princess in her underwater grotto.


World Book Day 2014: Belle - Beauty and the Beast

clock Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 03:12PM

Belle

Tale as old as time

 

Story: Beauty and the Beast

Villain: Gaston

Sidekicks: Cogsworth, Lumiere, Mrs Potts, Chip

Hero: Beast

Dress: Golden ball gown

Adapted from ‘Beauty and the Beast and Other Classic French Fairy Tales’ by author Jeanne Marie Leprince de Beaumont, Beauty and the Beast has not only become a classic in the Disney movie collection, but has produced numerous video games, TV shows and a highly successful musical stage show. The musical has played for 5461 performances across thirteen countries, earning itself the title of Broadway's eighth longest running production and winning a Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical, featuring stars like Donny Osmond, who played Gaston in 2006 and the final Broadway show, and Nick Jonas who starred as Chip back in 2002 when he was just ten years old.

It is a story of inner beauty and sacrifice. A selfish prince is cursed by a witch when he turns her away for appearing to be an old hag. He is doomed to remain a beast for all time unless he can find true love before the last petal of an enchanted rose falls. Taken prisoner in his castle, Belle gradually learns to see beyond his beastly exterior and love him for who he truly is.

A huge success, Beauty and the Beast won two Academy Awards for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures; Original Score and Original Song, three Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture, Best Original Score and Best Original Song, and Grammy Awards for Best Album for Children, Best Pop Performance by a Group or Duo, Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture, Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture, and Best Pop Instrumental performance.


World Book Day 2014: Cinderella

clock Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 03:04PM

Cinderella

A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes

 

Story: Cinderella

Villain: Evil Step-Mother (Lady Tremaine) & Step Sisters

Sidekick: Gus and Jaq (mice)

Hero: Prince Charming

Dress: Pale Blue glittering ball gown and glass slippers

 

From the French fairy tale by Charles Perrault known as The Little Glass Slipper, Cinderella is Disney’s most well-known princess, with her castle standing feature point at Disney World in Florida.

After her father’s death, Cinderella is left with her step-mother and two step-sisters and forced into being their slave. One day, a letter is delivered to the house inviting all young girls to a ball at the palace where the prince will pick his bride. Forced to stay behind, Cinderella is visited by her Fairy God Mother. With a flick of her wand and a Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo she transforms Cinderella’s dress into a magnificent ball gown, making a carriage out of a pumpkin and 2 grand white horses of Cinderella’s mice, before sending her on her way with the warning that the spell would only last until midnight. Arriving at the palace, Cinderella dances the night away with the prince, losing all track of time, then when the clock strikes midnight, is forced to flee or risk the prince seeing who she truly was. Having fallen in love with Cinderella that night, the prince immediately sets out to search for her, taking the glass slipper she had left behind to every home in the kingdom, testing it on every foot, all in search of his princess. On reaching Cinderella's home, the glass slipper is broken in an attempt to keep Cinderella away from the prince; however when Cinderella produces the 2nd of the pair, the prince knows he has found his love. The two marry and live happily ever after.

 

Not only adapted by Disney, Cinderella has been used as the bases for many Opera and Ballet performances, as well as annually being used for pantomimes (the first of which debuted on stage at the Drury Lane Theatre, London in 1904. In panto the step-sisters are usually cast as men in drag, even Rodgers and Hammerstein produced a version of the story which stared Julie Andrews as the title role.


World Book Day 2014: Snow White

clock Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 02:51PM


Snow White

Who is the fairest of them all?

 

Story: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Villain: The Evil Queen (Snow White's step-mother)

Sidekicks: The seven dwarves (Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Sneezy, Bashful and Dopey)

Hero: The Prince

Dress: Long dress with yellow skirt, blue top and small red/blue puff sleeves.

Based on the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, Snow White was the first animated feature film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios back in 1937. A novelisation of Disney’s take on the story was written by Suzanna Weyn and release on the films 50th anniversary in 1987.

Forced to flee her kingdom by her evil step mother (the queen), Snow White befriends 7 dwarfs living in a small cottage in the woods. However, she can’t escape that easily. Told by her magic mirror that Snow White was still alive, the Evil Queen disguises herself as an old woman, sets out into the forest and tricks Snow White into biting into a poisonous red apple. Falling into a deep, cursed sleep, Snow White is preserved and watched over by the seven mourning dwarfs, that is until - entranced by her beauty - a handsome prince gives the sleeping princess true loves kiss, awakening her from the spell. Riding off on his noble steed, Snow White and the prince live happily ever after.

Disney’s is a much brighter ending than the one originally written by the Brothers Grimm, in which Snow White and the Prince seek revenge on the queen on their wedding day. Forced into red-hot iron shoes, the queen is made to dance until she drops dead.

Since first released, the film has been re-released 8 times. Originally put back in cinemas in 1944 to raise money for the studios during World War 2. It has since been a tradition to re-release Disney animations every seven to ten years. To date it has been back in the theatres in 1952, 1958, 1967, 1975, 1983, 1987 and 1993.


World Book Day 2014: Which Disney Princess will you be?

clock Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 09:56AM

Ever since Snow White first hit the cinemas in 1937, every young girl has dreamed of being a princess. There has since been 12 more Disney Princesses, all with their own unique stories and personalities, and spreading from China with Mulan to New Orleans with Tiana.

All Disney Princesses are based on old legends and fairy tales such as those by the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen, so are perfectly acceptable as Book day fancy dress. 

With such a variety of princesses, everyone has a favourite, but which one would you choose?