Thursday, 28 February 2013

Stripes, 3D Flowers & The Possibilities of 3D Printing

Alright. I know I say this a lot (but I always mean it!). So here goes. This is my new favourite dress. It features super eye-catching stripes and is, in general, spectacular. I love items of clothing with an element of novelty and this one did not fail to deliver - I was surprised when I opened the package containing the dress, and noticed that many of the flowers are actually three-dimensional!

dress - c/o Romwe
sweater - Vintage & DIY (cropped)
tights - Yoshida (Japan)
collar clips - c/o Merrin & Gussy
shoes - Body Line
belt - Vintage
hairband - Claire's (Japan)
Speaking of three-dimensional, I was just reminded that 3D printers exist and I've never even talked about them on the blog before! They've got to be one of the coolest inventions and sciencey things ever, I think.

But first, if you haven't really heard of 3D printing before, then this is what it's all about:
Think of a normal two-dimensional paper-and-ink printer. You send a file to it from your computer, and it prints out ink onto a sheet of paper.
3D printers, instead of using ink, use various materials (like plastics) and layer by layer, using cross-sections of a 3D file that you send to it via your computer, the printer creates your three-dimensional object in real life. For example, this is a citrus juicer that you can download and then print out at home from Thingyverse:
But it isn't all plastic homewares. Just recently, scientists from the University of Edinburgh have created a cell printer that can print living tissue. We are getting to the stage where printing out organs from your own cells, that will fit you perfectly and remove the worry of transplant rejection if you are ever in need of an organ transplant, is a feasible technology.

And there are some other applications of 3D printing which - while not as revolutionary as that - are still pretty awesome. If you're serious about chocolate, you can order a 3D printer designed specifically for chocolate making, for around $4000. Layer by delicious, chocolatey layer, the printers can make intricate shapes like faces and letters using chocolate as its material.

If you're in love with your minecraft creations, it may make you happy to know that you can have your whole little world printed out for you at Mine Craft Print.

And I've been happy to see that the fashion industry has also gotten onto the 3D printing bandwagon (images from 3D Printing Industry).
You're even able to create your own fashion items, and upload them for people to print out at home at places like Cubify and Thingyverse! (Although personally, I think 3D fashion may be in need of a serious overhaul by some slightly more stylish folk...)

So maybe in a few years time, you'll see a blog post from me saying "Oh hey guys, I designed and uploaded this dress last night and you can download it and print it out at home via this link here". And then you'll all switch on your 3D printers, print out the dress I uploaded, and be wearing it that same day. How freaking cool would that be? With the advances we've seen in 3D printing in the last 5 years, surely more comfortable dress fabrics aren't too far away! Are you guys starting to understand why I get so excited about science???

A whole lotta love to you all,

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

31 Days of Dressing Up: March 2013

I hope you guys like this post, because I'm not going to lie - taking 31 outfit shots in one day is a lot of work!

I am creating this series with the hope that it'll help inspire you all to get inventive with putting together outfits! I want to show that it doesn't matter if you don't have a gigantic wardrobe - you can squeeze a whole month of outfits out of just 12 items (plus a few accessories here and there).

Which combinations are your favourite? Can you think of any combinations I missed that would look awesome? And do I now get the next month off from doing outfit posts? (Only kidding).

p.s. If you own a clothing store and want your items featured in next month's post, then shoot me an email at annikavictoria[at]gmail[dot]com.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Japan-France in Umeda / Living on Mars

Remember my post about the Japan-France aesthetic? Well, we found another place where they really go for that look. Oh boy, did they go for that look here. I decided to pose out the front of a fancy restaurant called "Le Petit Jordin" because of its quintessential Japan-France d├ęcor.
blouse - c/o Efoxcity
shorts - present from my Mum
suspenders - Vintage from Kilostore (Osaka)
socks - Vintage
shoes - Rubi shoes
necklace - Claire's (Osaka)
headband - Thank You Mart

Who wants to go to Mars with me? We leave in 10 years, so you'd better get started on training. Oh, one more thing, we can't come back to Earth, so we have to live on Mars forever. Is that cool?

So has anybody else heard of the Mars One project? Its aim is a little bit ambitious: to set up the first permanent human colony on Mars. In 2023, it wants to send four astronauts on a one-way trip to live in these portaloo-like-structures:
image from here
Starting this year, Mars One plans to find the most suitable astronauts possible. Anyone can apply if they meet basic requirements. A rigorous selection process and reality TV show (yeah. seriously.) will select the final teams of astronauts. They will be trained for 8 years before heading off to Mars in April, 2023. Supplies will be sent out to Mars first, and robots will build the settlement, before any humans arrive on the surface of the planet.

Another amazing thing about this project, I think, is that everyone isn't even calling it a totally far-fetched, crazy idea. Privatised space-exploration seems to be the go for the next few decades at least, and people have a lot of hope for it after the success of SpaceX (who is owned by the guy who created Paypal). And it really does seem like they have the technology to pull it off. I've got my fingers crossed that this will actually happen, because it's really, really very exciting!

And I don't know about you guys, but I feel like I'm living in sci-fi future world looking at the SpaceX and Mars One websites O_o

So would you guys go on a one-way trip to Mars?

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Floral Overalls, Free People and Fairy Floss

You know what's seriously super lovely? These floral, stripy overalls sent to me by Free People. They're a little pricey, but well worth it if you are happy to pay the price. I kept wanting to buy cute vintage overalls that I saw basically in every shop in Japan but stopped myself every time (well, except for once), because I knew that I had these amazing things waiting for me when I got home. I've got a big huge clothing crush on overalls, jean shorts and rompers right now, as well as anything with suspenders.
And I don't know if you've noticed, but I also happen to be a sucker for anything with a face on it. So my little fox bag is making an appearance once again in this outfit.
overalls - c/o Free People
necklace - Claire's (Namba)
blouse - c/o Oasap
bag - Ebay
socks - Tutuanna
shoes - A shop in Tokyo

Because of my fairy floss hair, I thought I'd write a little bit about the science of fairy floss (which I also learnt, although this is the original name for it, it is only called this in Australia. Everywhere else you might know it as cotton candy or candy floss). In 1897, fairy floss was invented by a team consisting of a candy maker and dentist (and I'm totally starting a conspiracy theory that the dentist was only part of this so that he'd get more patients, after everyone ate masses of cotton candy and made their teeth bad, heheh). Basically, all it involves is sugar (sucrose), and a device which can both melt sugar and then spin it around.
First, the sugar is made into a liquid by exposing it to high temperatures. Then, using centrifugal force, it is spun around really fast and the sugar molecules are flung through tiny holes. When the sugar goes through the holes, it cools down so rapidly that it can't crystallise back to the normal sucrose form, undergoing a process called Vitrification instead and forming a glass-like substance, appearing as long, thin threads. The threads of sugar are spooled onto a stick, and you've got fairy floss!
I hope you're all mighty fine!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

I wanna model for Zipper / The Science of Hairdye

So I got my little brother to take these shots (his first time ever using an SLR - didn't he do a good job?! He's a natural!) the afternoon that I got home from my overnight, overseas flight, and I am pretty surprised that I don't look entirely exhausted - Japanese concealer/foundation does WONDERS. I spent the afternoon in bed reading the many Zipper magazines I bought, blubbering over the fact that I wasn't still in Japan, so for my own sanity I had to dress up in a Zipper-inspired outfit and pretend I was back there.
I actually think I was scratching my nose in this shot but it also looks like I'm crying so let's pretend this is me being distraught about no longer being in Japan, haha.

A fantasy plan that I've concocted over the last few days is that I'm going to go back and live there for a year, in a few years time, and model for Zipper magazine as my job. It's totally  do-able!(...)
sweater - c/o Romwe
skirt - ICE
mint green tights - Tutuanna
climbing man tights - Ebay
socks - Tutuanna
shoes - Bodyline
necklace - Claire's

Remember when I had real pastel pink hair? I realised that I never learnt exactly how bleaching and dying changes your hair colour. Today I came across a cool experiment for kids that teaches you how hair dye and bleaching works, and I decided to do a little research ;)

Firstly, important in hair dying are two types of (dead) cells in the hair: cortical cells and cuticle cells.

When you bleach your hair, you're permanently changing the melanin in the cortical cells. Melanin is a protein in the cortical cells that exists in two types - Eumelanin in darker hair and Pheomelanin in lighter hair. Melanins vary in the ability to reflect or absorb light, which affects the colour you see when you look at someone's hair. Bleach (H202) oxidises melanin - which doesn't remove it from the hair, but makes it colourless. That annoying, lingering yellow-tinge when you bleach your hair is due to the keratin (structural proteins) in the cortical cells, which are yellow in colour.

Semi-permanent hair colour tends to just coat the outer layers of the hair with acidic dyes, rather than going inside the hair to the cortical cells. However when you dye your hair permanently, the hair dye first "opens up" the cuticle cells (often by using ammonia, a basic solution). In permanent dyes, bleach is often used to remove colour from natural melanin, before dyes (there are various numbers of these, made in various ways, depending on the colour that you want) are deposited. The dyes bond with the cortical cells.

Conditioners are acidic, and you use it after bleaching or dying to replace the lipids that you destroyed opening up the cuticle cells. This also "seals in" the deposited dyes.

And that's a quick crash-course in how hair colour works. Now I want to experiment on my own hair again, which I know is probably most likely a very bad idea... but... for science! Right?

Much love!