2012 recap!

When I look back on 2012, it has mostly been a year of trying to keep everything going and further establishing my business. I’m grateful to all the amazing people who have shared parts of my journey with me and worked on my various projects.

Photoshoot highlights 2012.

shoots 2012

Faces of 2012

faces2012

Inspirational images 2012

inspiration 2012I’m excited about 2013 and hope it will be the start of bigger, better things for me and Eustratia. I’ve never really been a fan of new year’s resolutions but I’ve decided to make a list of goals I hope to achieve this year so can look back on it and see how I’ve done. I think I’m always a bit optimistic when I write lists as most of my projects require more work than I originally realise but I’d rather aim high than low so I’m going to write the full list and see how I do.

  1. Learn to drive.
  2. Launch my first latex lingerie range.
  3. Do at least 5 fashion shows.
  4. Release my first non-latex items (at least 6).
  5. Get t-shirts and tote bags printed.
  6. Design and produce a new jewellery range.
  7. Find at least 2 stockists for Eustratia.
  8. Write at least 3 blog posts a month (this doesn’t sound like a lot but with my schedule it can be hard sometimes).
  9. Post at least 5 tutorials.
  10. Find cool bloggers to send items to.
  11. Collaborate with at least 12 amazing models.
  12. Be involved in at least 5 large scale photoshoots with great themes.
  13. Get at least 2 magazine covers.
  14. Find and enjoyable form of exercise that fits in with my schedule and can be done regularly.
  15. Find and keep a studio that works for my business.
  16. Visit 2 other countries.
  17. Do a fashion show out side the UK.
  18. Dress a celebrity in my pieces
  19. Increase my social media followers to a number I am happy with. (I have a lot of profiles and this varies for each but having over 10k on the Eustratia facebook page would be a start)
  20. Do something cool for the Eustratia 2nd birthday in a couple of months!

If I can achieve all of these to the standard I have in mind I dare say it will be a successful year. I’d love to hear from others who have big plans for the year! What do you guys do to stay on track? I’m going to put up a big notice board and stick notes sketches and inspirational images on it in hope that it will help to keep me focused.

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Opulence Collection

Those who follow my work will already be familiar with the Opulence collection that has been showcased that the Manchester Alternative and burlesque fair as well as London fetish weekend as part of the Avalonia fashion show. There is also a wonderful set of photobooth images by Tigz Rice featuring the outfits which can be viewed here.

The official Opulence look book images were shot by the talented Katelizabeth photography who did a great job of realising my vision and adding her own touch without upsetting the balance of the overall feel.

Models Sevensin & Biomechanina

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I’m really pleased with how it all turned out. I was originally worried the weather might ruin it for us and I must admit it was a rather muddy, and at times cold, experience but luckily this doesn’t show in the pictures. I had a great team that made every effort to get the best possible results and if any one of them didn’t believe in the project it wouldn’t have been possible.

I’d like to add a special thanks to Charlotte who isn’t credited as part of the creative team but really played a big part by assisting with pretty much everything and assuring the models’ safe passage to and from the set. She also took some behind the scenes footage which I hope to be able to include in a future post.

An insight into this collection and the influences behind it were published in the last issue of Rebelicious magazine which you can view online here and is also available for free download.

rebelicious opulenceImage: Sevensin by Toria Brightside who also edited together this write up from my interview.

To shop items from this collection please visit www.eustratia.co.uk

The chainmail collar was provided by www.richardayres.co.uk

Images from my second collaboration with Katelizabeth photography are due to be released in a couple of days so keep your eyes peeled! A preview images can be view on the front page of my site!

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Marie antoinette inspired hair

I have always found Marie Antoinette inspiring but I must say that Sophia Coppola’s interpretation has helped me understand how her style can be modernised and become more appropriate to wear today.

I tried a hairstyle inspired by ones in the 2007 film for my party last weekend and was asked to do a tutorial so here it is!

First of all, as most of you know I have thin, bleached hair so it is probably more malleable than most hair. If you have thick hair you might need more product to achieve this look. It also might help if you leave your hair unwashed for a couple of days.

You will need:

  • A comb (suitable for backcombing)
  • a bottle of hairspray (the brand or type is irrelevant but strong is probably good)
  • hair pins
  • curling tongues
  • 2 mirrors

Start with you hair down and your comb in your hand. I know some people use lice combs for backcombing, I think just a standard plastic fine toothed comb is the best. Also please forgive the lack of eyebrows, I draw them on so I actually look a bit like an alien in the morning.

Start on the crown of your head a basically backcomb a large section in the middle of your head, giving as much volume as possible. I advise spraying with hairspray both before and after. If you have soft hair spraying before hand with help you backcomb more effectively and help the section stick together.

This should give you a large backcombed section that looks kind of like this with straight hair all around the outside.

Next, take the remaining hair, a section at a time and backcomb and spray it. In some cases it might be helpful to curl each section first. I did this on my first attempt at this style but then realised it wasn’t necessary for my hair.

The objective is to get your hair to easily form a little curl which you can then pin to the backcombed body of hair.

They should look something like this to start with. If you curl them them might be a bit more wavy.

After you’ve done a few it should look something like this.

To do the back, I moved into the bathroom where I could use two mirrors to see what I was doing properly.

I started sectioning, spraying, curling and pinning the back of my hair.

Take care to pin lightly so the hairstyle still looks light and puffy.

At the end I left two small sections to  curl into ringlets.

Side view

Top view

Back view.

On one side I have a shaved patch so I just put a curl over it.

And this is what it looks like from the front.

I’m particularly pleased with this style because it does resemble hairstyles worn by Marie Antoinette without requiring a hair piece, extensions of a wig. I’ve seen loads of people buy Marie Antoinette inspired wigs that look terrible as soon as you get them home and this is a cheap and more effective alternative.

If you have dark coloured hair it might be a good idea to use some white hairspray for this style. I liked the colour of my hair as it is for this one but I use white hair spray quite a lot. I love the dusty effect it leaves on the hair, which is in fact quite reminiscent of the powdered look of 18th century wigs.

I know my pictures aren’t fantastic but hopefully they still show the process accurately and clearly. If in doubt, use more hair spray and I’d love to see pics if anyone else tries this.

I’ll try and do it for a shoot and get some better pics at some point!

Unicorn shoot

I previously posted an inspiration board for my unicorn shoot with Jennifer Byron photography featuring a mask my Tom Banwell so I thought I should probably post the outcome as well.

I ended up shooting 3 outfit variations. Part of my original outfit had been lost at VAU VAU the week before and I hadn’t had time to replace it so I had to improvise.

Outfits by Eustratia.

Shopping style boards

It has been a while since I last had time for a shopping post. I always save images of products I find interesting but at busy times I have to focus on orders. While I’m disappointed I didn’t get to post about some of my finds, however, I think this is a great time for a clothes post as everyone has updated their ranges for spring.

I have complied 3 boards of my favorite spring styles.

A. Tough girl

1. Bordelle belt strap garters £130+VAT www.bordelle.co.uk I love these but would never be able to afford that much on garters so am considering making a similar pair.

2. sleeveless stripe shirt £30 Topshop

3. leg harness £16.50 Topshop

4. Infragante leather bodice £120+VAT Bordelle

5. mesh panel leggings £22 Miss selfridge

6. skull jouy vest £35 All saints

7. Studded Lita boot, Jefferey Campbell

8. stud detail bralette £20 Topshop

9. leather biker jacket £165 by boutique at topshop. This isn’t the most amazing leather jacket but I’m struggling to find a nice one that will fit me for a reasonable price and at least this one would be easily customisable.

B. Mystical girl

1. bodycon dress £42 miss selfridge (I may have actually bought the last one of these as I had to go to a pretty obscure branch to find it).

2. lattice bra top £18 miss selfridge

3. vero moda lace biker jacket www.usc.co.uk

4. cross front longline cami £22 topshop

5. heelless platform by Jeffery Campbell, I’ve wanted a pair of these for so long!

6. silver cross stretch armcuff £9.37 miss selfridge

7. multi chain vest necklace £50 topshop

8. obsidian tomb ring $260 blood milk

9. sheer split maxi skirt £37 miss selfridge

10. reformed coquette tie die dress £30 urban outfitters

11. rune divination cuff $275 blood milk. I love rune jewellery and have had my rune rings from past times (which has now closed down) for about 10 years!

C. Pastel girl

1. Dior eyeshadow £39.24

2. printed sleeveless shirt with metal tipped collar £32 miss selfridge

3. pastel harness £18 asos

4. Mashmallow bust harness praline (yes that is actually what its called) about £104 www. misencage.com

5. lilac glitter belt £12 topshop

6. fleur cropped jumper £20 Topshop

7. illamasqua nail varnish £13.50

8. turquoise glitter plugs $13.98 hot topic

9. lilac leggings £18 topshop

10. side strap top £18 miss selfridge

11. pastel tie die tights £10 topshop

12. Spikey shoes, Jeffery Campbell

I have bought a few of these things and hope to have a bit more spare cash soon. Having to spend all my money on my business gets depressing some times but with a new casual range coming out soon I have high hopes for the future.