Friday, 27 January 2012

Hair: A Not So Modern Love Affair

Hair: A Not So Modern Love Affair
When you're having a bad hair day, the last thing you need is someone telling you 'it's only hair'. Yes, it might only be hair but it is a defining point in our identity. Our love affair with our hair has reached an all time high. A plethora of extensions, products and tools have saturated the market. They not only enable you to recreate any hairstyle but also change your natural hair to anything that you desire. You Tube tutorials take it a step further and now we can all have Kim Kardashian curls or learn how to cut our own layers. However, this fascination with hair has always been the case. This timeline shows the  hair tricks and trends of the past, and what women used before our beloved hair straighteners came onto the scene.

18th Century
In this time of extravagance and opulence, wigs were favoured to create the magnificent hairstyles, if natural hair wouldn't suffice. Wigs were at first worn by men, then spread to women around 1770 who were them very high and in a range of pastel colours. Hairstyles became a sign of social status, as the wealthy could afford to hire expensive wigmakers. The wigs were often powdered with starch and the wearer used a thick cone to protect their face from the clouds of powder. The wigs were primarily made from human hair, but horse and goat hair was also used. Hairstyles were so tall and heavy that doors would have to be lengthened, and women suffered great pain due to inflammation of their temples.  

19th Century
Women favoured curls on their forehead and above their ears, for the first part of the century. The hair was held in place with a chignon at the nape of the neck. Women tended to wear bonnets or hats at this time, especially when they were in public. Macassar oil was very popular and was a mix of ylang-ylang, coconut oil and palm oil, and was cited as a hair growth aid and strengthener. The pompadour was also a popular hairstyle towards the end of the century. Hair was placed high on the head, with curls at the side to frame the face. The Gibson Girl look was also worn, women collected their hair from their hairbrushes and kept it in a container. They used this hair to create hairpieces to add to the front of their hair. 

20th Century 
Permanent marcel waving became popular around 1906- 1907. Marcel Grateau invented a curling iron but it was only suitable for long hair. As shorter styles became more popular, Karl Nessler created a waving system. It involved treating the hair with sodium hydroxide then rolling the hair in heated rollers that were attached to a heavy duty electronic device. The process took around 6 hours. Towards the second decade hairstyles became flatter and more simple and coiled or braided towards back of the head. By 1918, hair became more tightly waved and bobs became fashionable with younger women. The first handheld blow-dryer came into use at this time, but came with a high risk of electrocution. During the twenties hair was styled into a bob with a side-parting, and those with long hair put their hair into a bun to imitate a bob. The eton crop also became fashionable and women started going to male barbers. By 1927, false hair pieces were used to add length as the short hair trend died out. For those growing out their hair towards the 30's women used small slides to keep the ends in place. In the late thirties hair was pulled back to show the neck and curls, waves and chignons were favoured. Due to the onset of World War Two, women began to do war work. Some of this included manual labour in factories or on the land. Women began to tie their hair up in scarves, or turbans and in victory rolls. Victory rolls involved curling the hair with pins and securing them in large rolls. Alice bands were the accessory of choice in the 1950s, and women started to brush out their hair to wear it wavy as opposed to curly. In the late part of the decade backcombing and hairpieces were used and built up over wire frames.

Photos: Auguste Racinet: Le Costume Historique, Belle Coeur, Aubrey London

Monday, 23 January 2012

Snacks, Snacks, Snacks... but, healthy.

Snacks, Snacks, Snacks
The downfall of many a diet/healthy eating plan comes from snacks. When you're out and about and feel a bit peckish, the apple in your bag is always dismissed in favour of something more delicious. Also, watching a film without popcorn or crisps really isn't the same. I'm always on the hunt for healthy snacks. So, I have two delightful recipes below, one sweet and one savoury as well as my top 5 snacks. Enjoy...

Caramel Chickpea 'Nuts'
These are heavenly, they taste pretty much the same as honey roasted nuts, but with more goodness and no nut. I love chickpeas, and roasting them for this long makes them very crunchy. They will get a bit sticky and caramel-like and it really does taste divine. A serving is around 85 calories, and you can make these savoury by seasoning with salt and spices instead. Chickpeas are packed with protein, also. 

200g Cooked Chickpeas
1 1/2 tbsp Agave Nectar
1 tbsp Brown Sugar 
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1. I bought the dried chickpeas, soaked them overnight and boiled them. I usually put them in the freezer to use at anytime. You can also just buy canned chickpeas and drain them. Dry the chickpeas on a tea towel or kitchen towel for around 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C
2. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and spread the chickpeas in a single layer onto it. Lightly spray them with a small amount of oil.
3. Place in the oven and roast for 30-35 minutes, until crunchy. Meanwhile, mix the agave nectar with the vanilla extract in one bowl and the sugar and cinnamon in another bowl. 
4. Remove the chickpeas from the oven and coat in the syrup mixture first then coat in the sugar and cinnamon mix. Then put the chickpeas back in the oven for 5-10 minutes. Watch over them to ensure that they don't burn.
5. Leave to cool and then munch away.

Salted Kale Chips
They are called Kale Chips practically everywhere, I guess over here we would call them crisps. But, whatever, chips sounds better... more international that way. These would work a lot better in a dehydrator but I don't have one and I don't know many people who do. But, they still work a treat in the oven. They taste a bit like crispy seaweed from Chinese restaurants, most of them use kale also. 

100g Fresh Kale
Large Pinch of Sea Salt

1. Preheat the oven to 180C and wash and dry the kale on a tea towel or paper towel for 15 minutes. 
2. Place on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper and drizzle with olive oil and salt. You can also add grated parmesan or a vegan cheese at this point, if you like. 
3. Leave for 10-15 minutes until crispy and leave to cool before serving. 

Top 5 Guilt-Free Snacks
1. Dried Mango
These are gorgeous, look out for the organic ones and make sure that they don't have any additional sugar added to them. These are sweet and chewy, and I always have some in my bag. 

2. Frozen Grapes
These are like mini sorbets, I prefer them much more to fresh grapes now. I always put a bunch in the freezer, so when the snackpang comes, they are ready for consumption. 

3. Air Popped Popcorn
Popcorn minus the sugar, butter, oil is also a good one. Some health food stores have them, but I bought a popcorn machine, because I seriously love popcorn. The machine just uses air to pop the corn. You can add your own flavourings, I usually just sprinkle a little salt or cinnamon on mine. 

4. Dark Chocolate Rice Cakes
I don't care what anyone says, I think rice cakes are seriously yummy. There are a few varieties that are dipped in dark chocolate such as the ones from Itsu. You could just buy your own good quality chocolate and dip yourself. The cakes are around 85 calories a slice. So, I usually have one slice with some frozen grapes at a time. 

5. Edamame Beans
You can get these in their pods frozen in a few supermarkets now, if not try Whole Foods or Asian supermarkets. They take around 2 minutes in the microwave and just need to sprinkled with a little salt. A 50g serving is 87 calories, I always forget they are vegetables as the pod popping factor makes it much more fun than any old bean. Plus, you can pretend you're at Yo Sushi! et al in your own home. 

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Healthy Vegan Coconut-Banana Pancakes with Vanilla Berry Coulis

Healthy Vegan Coconut-Banana Pancakes with Vanilla Berry Coulis 
I've been a vegetarian for about 8 years now and seeing as it's 2012 and all, I am taking baby steps into a vegan lifestyle. So far, I have cut out cow's milk and dramatically reduced by cheese consumption. I have added more supplements and nutrients to my diet, stopped eating refined sugar and started to use weird, wonderful and delicious ingredients. I have been desperately trying to find healthy and vegan dessert recipes, and I experimented a bit today, and came up with this yummy treat. It has no added sugar, cow's milk or eggs and is divine, the perfect January dessert with no guilt added either. These are also great for a nutritious breakfast. P.S I used cup measurements as I couldn't find the bowl to my scale, but feel free to message/comment if you need conversions.

1/2 cup Kara Coconut Milk (see tip below)
1/2 cup Fresh coconut water
1 cup Wholemeal, Spelt or Kamut flour
2tsp Baking Powder
Pinch of salt
1 banana
1/2 cup Fresh finely grated coconut

Handful of frozen or fresh mixed berries
1tsp Vanilla Extract
Agave Nectar, to taste

1. Mash the banana into a large mixing bowl and add all of the other pancake ingredients.
2. Heap a couple of spoonfuls of the batter into a lightly oiled/sprayed frying pan, leave to brown for a few minutes and then flip onto the other side. Repeat until the batter is finished and you can use your discretion on how thick/wide you want the pancakes to be.
3. For the coulis, blend the berries, vanilla and agave until you have a thick sauce. Then heat the mixture either in the microwave or in a saucepan for a few minutes.
Then serve!

Lipstick & Marzipan *TIPS*: Kara Coconut Milk is available at Holland & Barrett, Waitrose and Tesco. It is dairy, lactose, cholesterol and soya free, and also enriched with calcium. This is different to the other types of coconut milk that you find in the supermarket, as they usually have a much higher fat content, and a thicker consistency due to the use of thickening agents. So, try to get this one if you can or any other non-dairy milk will work just as well, such as almond, rice, oat and soya. Agave Nectar is a healthier alternative to refined sugar and alternative sweeteners as it has a low glycemic index and comes from the agave plant, usually found in Mexico. The low GI means that you won't get the sugar high/rush but you still get a yummy sweet taste. This is available at nearly all supermarkets now. You can find spelt and kamut flour at Whole Foods Market for an extra health boost, but wholemeal is also good.

Recipe & Photography: My own 

Sunday, 27 November 2011

1960's Fashion: From Pan Am to Jackie O

From Pan Am to Jackie O 
The delightfulness of the colder seasons, not only brings Starbucks red cups, fur stoles and checked blankets. It is also offers a wondrous selection of television offerings. It is hard work, to tell you the truth, what with Gossip Girl, Boardwalk Empire, Frozen Planet, The Young Apprentice and Masterchef... and believe me the list most definitely goes on. My Sky+ planner is heaving under the strain of it all, plus it doesn't help that you can't record 4 shows at once. 
 I like BBC2, in particular the foodie shows and documentaries. They don't seem to get enough publicity though, so I was very excited for the season premiere of Pan Am. In a nutshell, it is a series based in 1960's America and focuses on the lives of the employees of Pan American World Airways. If you like Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire, you should immediately add this to the list. Also, if you're craving a bit of Mad Men induced fever, I promise you will enjoy this. It has a good plot, including work dramas, lust and good old espionage, but of course I'm going to talk about the fashion. 
For 20th Century fashion, I tend to stick to the 20s, 40s and 50s as my decades of choice. But, the beginning of the 1960's still had many of the looks from the 50s and focused on a ladylike, elegant and glamourous mood, emphasised by Hollywood films. The late 60s gave rise to the mod movement in London, and designs catered for a younger generation that wanted to break free from their parents. Pan Am is set in the early 60s and this is reflected in the clothes, that are influenced by the femininity of the pieces in the 50s. 
Pan Am primarily shows the glamorous cast including Christina Ricci, Kelli Garner and Margot Robbie, in their signature blue uniform. This uniform alone is gorgeous with the jaunty haunt, and perfectly fitted skirt suit. But, the fun really begins when they are off duty, which just so happens to be in in fabulous and often exotic locations. The flip hairstyle and the beehive are very prevalent, especially when worn with dresses with flared dresses, pencil skirts, elegant florals and stunning pearls. Ane Crabtree, the costume designer has done a great job in showcasing the glamour of travel and the jet age through the use of fashion.  
The series also includes momentous changes in society and culture at the time, including the presidency of John F. Kennedy. His wife Jacqueline Kennedy or commonly known now as Jackie O, was a style icon at the time and for the first time fashion was a subject for debate in the presidential elections between the wives of the candidates. During her time as First Lady, she favoured pillbox hats, shift dresses, pea coats and round necklines. You can see her influence in the choices of the Pan Am character's wardrobes. Even after her time as First Lady, she still maintained icon status by her effortless ability to look polished and refined.
Quite often 1960s fashion is often remembered for Yves Saint Laurent's Mondrian dress, Mary Quant miniskirts and Biba. Prada's collection for Autumn/Winter 2011 also emphasised the drop waist, geometric dresses favoured at the time. Pan Am serves as a lovely reminder that youth and mod culture was not the only look to come out of decade, especially for those of us who crave a little American glamour from time to time. 

Photos: Courtesy of ABC (Pan Am) & Harpers Bazaar (Jackie Kennedy)

Friday, 21 October 2011

Pain d'Epi: Bread Recipe

Pain d'Epi
I can't think of anything better than the smell of freshly baked bread. Well, apart from eating a chunk with butter when it is straight out of the oven. This is an easy bread recipe with impressive results. 

275g Strong white flour
1 tbsp Olive oil
175ml Warm water
1 sachet Yeast
1 tsp Salt

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Mix the flour, olive oil, water, yeast and salt together. When adding the salt do not put directly over the yeast, put to the side of the bowl as salt can stop the effectiveness of the yeast. You may need to add some water if the consistency isn't soft enough. 
2. Dust the worktop with flour and knead the dough for 10 minutes until it is a soft dough. 
3. Make the dough into a ball, ensuring that you fold in all of the edges and shape in your hand. Roll into a long and even sausage shape. 
4. Then cover with oiled cling film on a baking sheet and leave to rise in a warm place, until it has doubled in size, roughly around 35 minutes. 
5. Then using scissors create a wheat stalk effect by cutting the dough from one end at a 45 degree angle but not cutting straight through. Angle the first cut to the left and the next cut to the right and continue.
6. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt then flour. 
7. Spray the inside of the oven with water, to help the bread to rise then bake for 20-25 minutes. 

Lipstick & Marzipan *Tip*: Cutting the bread into the shape sounds tricky, but it really isn't, feel free to message/comment and I will guide you through it : ) 

Recipe: Lorraine Pascale 
Home Cooking Made Easy

Monday, 17 October 2011

Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada: On Fashion - The Exhibition

Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada: On Fashion
The Metropolitan Museum of Art - Costume Institute, New York

The Met have recently confirmed that designers Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada will be the focus of an exhibition in Spring 2012. After the museum's phenomenal success of Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, this is exciting news indeed. What makes it even more exciting, apart from the fact that they are two of my favourite designers of all time, is the combination of both of their work together. Fashion exhibitions usually focus on the sole work of a designer, or usually themed on a decade, trend or other similarity. It is very refreshing to have an exhibition whereby the designers have similarities such as their use of Surrealism in the work and their Italian heritage, but differ in terms of points in history as well. This juxtaposition of their work, will be very interesting especially for the audience to see how their work correlate with one another and if Prada was inspired by Schiaparelli's pieces and how they were interpreted. 

The exhibition will show fictitious conversations between the two women on a range of topics such as politics, art, women and fashion which will be intertwined with pieces from the two designers. There will be approximately 80 designs by Schiaparelli from the late 1920s to the early 1950s and Prada from the late 1980s to present. It will also be great to see the different ways in which the designers are portrayed, as Miuccia is alive and still working, so it will be fascinating to see her input in this project and her representation in the exhibition. 

Elsa Schiaparelli was an inspiring and fascinating designer. She was closely linked and inspired by the Surrealist art movement, that was forming in the mid 20s. Surrealism focused on a fantasy and dreamlike world and contrasted this with bourgeois capitalism. Graphic and abstract detailing were featured and key artists in the movement included Salvador Dali and Joan Miro. Schiaparelli was not only influenced by these artists but also commissioned them, and she worked with Dali, Cocteau and Berard. Some of her most famous designs are the 'Lobster Dress', 'Tears Dress' and 'Shoe Hat.'

Miuccia Prada inherited her Grandfather's luggage company and transformed it by using innovative fabrics. She has successfully evolved her collection form black nylon backpacks to a range of leather goods and a RTW collection. Her designs are always timely and are always praised on being exactly what women want to wear at the right time. Her collections always set trends, and her use of prints and fabrics showcase her philosophy and passions. She continues to push boundaries in fashion by experimenting and provoking insightful viewpoints on Postmodernism. 

I can't wait to see this exhibition, I think it will draw in a large crowd and the Met Ball of course, will be just fabulous... as always <3.

The exhibition opens on the10th May 2012 and closes on the 19th August 2012. 
Anna Wintour, Carey Mulligan and Miuccia Prada will act as the co-chairs at the Met Ball on the 7th May. Baz Luhrmann will serve as the exhibition's creative consultant and Nathan Crowley as the Production Designer. A book by Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton will coincide with the exhibition.

For more information visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art Website.

Photos: The Prada Group, Life In Italy

Monday, 10 October 2011

Autumnal Apple Crumble

Apple Crumble
Crisp leaves in a comforting rust colour, a breezy chill in the air, cozy knits and warming soups. Autumn is finally here. I was very dismayed at the heat outburst we had recently. Autumn is my favourite season, plus there's a time limit for how long you can wear your summer wardrobe. I am so ready for tights and oversized jumpers. I want to ditch sandals for ankle boots, salads for soups, sunglasses for fur stoles and iced drinks for hot chocolate. I've been craving apple crumble and custard since July, but it wasn't seasonally appropriate...until now. 

360g Cooking Apples
30g Ground Almonds
60g Plain Flour
2tbsp Water
100g Demerara Sugar
1/2tsp Mixed Spice
1/2tsp Cinnamon
30g Butter, chilled
A Few Cloves
Sprinkling of Flaked Almonds
Makes two individual dishes, or one larger dish

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/400F/Gas 6. Slice and core the apples, then place into a saucepan with the water, half of the sugar, mixed spice, cinnamon and cloves. Leave to simmer gently until the apples are soft but haven't started to break down.
2. Rub the butter and flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then combine with the sugar and ground almonds. Rub the mixture using your fingertips only. 
3.  Put the apple mixture into your desired dish and top with the crumble, then place into the oven for 30 minutes.
4. After 15 minutes take out the crumble and scatter with the flaked almonds, before putting it back in the oven for another 15 minutes. 
5. Remove from the oven and serve warm with custard, ice-cream or greek yoghurt 

Also, check out my Tumblr Page: Flying With Feathers for inspiring and positive quotes and a few things that I love.

Recipe & Photography: My own

My Zimbio