guest post: harajuku girls!

Back in December, I hosted an all-out glitter extravaganza for my fifteenth birthday, where a number of my girlfriends (including yours truly, Veena McCoole) attended. Ask anyone who loves me; I get very anal with party planning. I wanted one more costume party before my sweet SIXteenth. It was held in my house on the third floor; where I had set up makeshift-photo booths, a candy buffet, lanterns, candles and these weird star spangled tentacles that I had draped on the whirring, overhead fans.

The thing I was most worried about was what my friends were going to wear. It’s hard to explain Harajuku- this wonderful, unique style of Lolita Renaissance mixed with Goth punk, as well as drops of Bubblegum Powaah. Thankfully, my friends did not fail to satisfy my dress code. They arrived in the best Harajuku outfits they could achieve with limited knowledge. The variety in style was huge – reminiscent of St. Trinians and anime characters to candy dolls and bling-ed out divas.

One can imagine what it must have felt like, a total girl-bonanza of candles and candy couture packed onto one balcony.  The term I used to describe my birthday as a ‘glitter-fest’ came true in the end when on that night, a Lunar Eclipse appeared. We spotted it first from the balcony, and all this estrogen overtook us and we ran downstairs with a massive bucket of glitter, shrieking and laughing.

It was such a memorable and unique experience. I remember at that time thinking really hard to myself – you’re never going to have another memory like this, and I felt so at peace with myself, which is a very blessed thing to feel when you’re a teenager and you can’t get enough of those confusing, conflicting feelings. To all Seven Inch Stilettos readers in search of a little magic, I speak from experience when I say that there's no better way to do it than to throw a Harajuku party with the girls closest to your heart. ∆
-Written by Camilla Siazon ; Official Best Friend.

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my current wishlist!

With various commitments and exam revision occupying my every waking hour, as well as pieces of homework being hurled at me in every direction, life is tough for a blogger in freshman year (cue twice as many complaints next year when the real exams come around!). School makes it extremely difficult for me to blog consistently, and sadly it's all downhill from here; school doesn't exactly get easier! I've got my internal exams in a month's time, so I shall most probably be on either a hiatus, or posting very sporadically. Guest posts will definitely be up to bridge the gap of my absence, so keep checking back for new stuff! If you're interested in guest posting for Seven Inch Stilettos, email me here.
Anyway, amidst my record-breaking levels of stress, I've managed to do very little other than schoolwork, except drool over all sorts of delights that I would kill to call my own. I've compiled a short wishlist of things that I've had my eye on for a while now; it's good for a girl to dream!
1. Mary Katrantzou x Topshop
 Cue the choirs of angels, this iridescent, paint-splattered confection of a collection has descended upon us from heaven, delicately designed by the one and only Mary Katrantzou. (Gosh, her name is as intricate and complex as her mind-boggling designs). With sharp silhouettes and designs that could pass for optical illusions, these artisanal seperates are not for the faint-hearted. This gorgeous collection just landed in Topshop stores in Singapore; I think you can guess who'll be running there as soon as possible, armed with all her life savings to spend.

 2. MAC Makeup Brushes
I'm slowly falling into the addictive trap of quality makeup, and it's taking a huge chunk out of my wallet. I've started acquiring more and more high end Sephora-esque products as opposed to drugstore deals, and surely quality makeup deserves to be applied with quality brushes?! I've had my eyes set on MAC's elegant collection of stunning brushes for a while now, but the downside is that they're seriously pricey! Quality? definitely. Style? Yep. Value for money? Not so much.

3. Jeffrey Campbells
In all honesty, I haven't done my research on these babies just yet. However, they caught my eye as soon as everyone (I mean EVERYONE when I say everyone) began wearing them, and they seem to possess the same iconic flair as Doc Martens, which appeals very much to me. I really hope I get a pair of these beauties at some stage!

I bought my first pair for my birthday, a classic navy blue pair. They're comfy as hell, and although they're relatively expensive for what they actually are (a base and a piece of fabric), you're technically paying not only for shoes for yourself, but also for a poor person in Africa. TOMS has an ethical ONE for ONE policy, so when you buy a pair, someone in Africa gets a pair too. Although these disintegrate relatively quickly and start to STINK after they've been wet the first time, I wouldn't mind another pair (or two, or ten). 

5. Composition Books
This sounds so unbelievably lame, but I'm such a sucker for timeless pleasures such as the humble composition notebook (unfortunately, these are exclusively available in only America, from what I can remember). It sounds silly, but I'm a stationery-whore and these notebooks are just the cutest in every way possible. The black printed cover is so iconic, it's the type of thing you see in movies throughout the years. I have two blank ones left, and I plan to savor every page!

6. Abercrombie & Fitch Sweatpants
A HUGE Abercrombie & Fitch outlet just opened in Singapore recently, and unfortunately they've got me under their musky-cologne spell already. The super-soft fabrics that A&F sweats are made of are to die for, and the huge variety of cuts, colors and prints make them virtually impossible to resist. With a flattering fit, an iconic logo and a huge confidence (and butt!) boost, there isn't a reason why any girl SHOULDN'T have at least a pair.

& - My new favourite beauty product ever, which was once on my wishlist but now sits in my makeup pouch: MAC's Mineralize Blush in "Warm Soul." It's versatile, long lasting, and provides the most beautiful pigmentation which is both subtle and alluring.
What's on your wishlist this spring?
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picnic at hanging rock.

When three head schoolgirls and a teacher from the prestigious Appleyard College mysteriously disappear during a day trip to the geological marvel, 'the Hanging Rock,' they leave the whole of Australia in fits of uncontrollable curiosity. With even the wealthiest of high-society foreigners getting their hands dirty in this hugely outrageous occurrence, seemingly everyone is involved in this dark tragedy in one way or another. With the media raving over the disappearances and badmouthing the expensive college, the stiff snobbiness of the college slowly disintegrates into a mess of haunting hysteria and dazed mystery. The play is all a huge mystery that is never solved, and the play itself leaves room for ambiguity, imagination and possibility. There is no conclusion or denouement in the book by Joan Lindsay, and this is reflected in the staging of the play. 
"Much happens, but little is resolved. Life is often like that."
   "Picnic at Hanging Rock" was performed as a school production, and I was lucky enough to be a part of such a spectacular, high-quality execution of a remarkable tale. The play was an enthralling juxtaposition of ethereal blonde schoolgirls in pristine white dresses and deranged, intoxicated murderers, (literally) drenched in blood. The play was staged on three different platforms (as shown below) each obscured by a "scrim;" a type of gauze fabric that allows the audience to see through it when light is shone from behind it, yet is able to conceal everything behind it and instead have images projected onto it. The three huge scrims added a dreamlike haziness to the staging of the play, reinforcing the misty illusion and lack of clarity of the retelling of events at the Rock. 

 The three platforms, obscured by scrims. The scene changes were designed to be extremely nimble; as the lights faded on one platform, they illuminated another, on which lay a completely different location.

The entire set was painted a rich shade of creamy white, and our costumes all followed suit besides a few "coloured accents" including bow ties and neckties for the men, and parasols and ribbons for the ladies. Delicate sun hats and lacy gloves adorned the school girls during the picnic scenes, and "Mademoiselle" (above) had a beautiful veiled hat and an embroidered dress. 

The delicate purity of the costumes reflected the precise trends of the 1900's; tight-fitting corsets, lavish fabrics with high, empire waists and elaborate embroidery. With corsets, fake eyelashes, pantyhose, tightly curled hair, bows, bloomers and far too much blush, the schoolgirls were dressed up like little porcelain dolls decked out in their finest whites. The puffy sleeves and the voluminous skirts did make for some sweaty bodies, but the juvenile excitement of all the cast members when we put on our costumes made me want to rewind time and live in the 1900's, where people really did dress like that everyday. 
 The men were decked out in double-breasted blazers and slick, colourful silk ties which screamed for attention against the neutral colour-scheme. One or two of the posher, richer men even had walking canes and top hats! As for the lower class men, neck scarves, simple canvas hats and ragged button-down shirts and waistcoats sufficed. It was lovely to have everyone looking smashing in proper costumes that were especially tailor-made to fit us, styled to fit the trends of 1900.

One of the cast members said something I'll never forget, because it was so relevant to how we were all feeling at the end of this incredible journey;
"It's times like these when you realize how lucky you are to have been part of something so special." 
Our beloved director also said something very important, because it made me treasure my fascination and passion for the arts instead of brushing it off like I usually do. Her words made me infinitely thankful for being a part of something that will forever be a huge part of me, a learning experience, an opportunity I can proudly say I seized with both hands.
 "There is a reason why I've spent the past 20 years of my life working with young people and directing productions of all kinds. The reason is because the theatre is memorable. When you grow up and look back on your life, you're not going to remember the endless math lessons or the exams you took. You're going to look back with a smile on your face and tell your kids about the time you were in the school play, and you had the time of your life."

I had the time of my life during the making and execution of "Picnic At Hanging Rock," and I learnt more than I would ever learn in school. I learnt about teamwork, about taking a risk and trying something completely new. I learnt about consequences and commitment, and as we all reluctantly walk away from this experience, we take with us the lessons, the new friends and the infinite memories we made together as a cast during these magical past few months. To be a part of a production of such a tertiary calibre is truly an honour, and I wouldn't trade my priceless experiences for the world. As for my naive, depressed and vulnerable character role, Sara Waybourne, I know that she'll always have a place in my heart. 

Some pictures of me:

Have you ever been in a play/production? How did you feel about it?

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photograph credits to cui-lyn and karin (click through for their flickrs!)