Tulle is the most feminine of all the materials in the world. A man can looked heavenly in a pair of white brushed cotton trousers during summertime, or iconic in a silk lined tux. But stick a man in tulle and he looks like Frankenfurter. My blog title is rather girly, so, since my blog has almost reached its one year birthday, I am honouring its namesake. Tulle has been used heavily in fashion since the 50s, with voluminous ballgowns, then had a revival in the 1980s with power puffball skirts. You can hardly step anywhere on the high street, what with the current 80s revival, without seeing a good bit of nylon tulle poking out from the railings. But just how accessible is it to preppy cardigan girls like me?
Topshop have lots of lingerie inspired dresses which could either work as a...em, winter warmers?...or would look super with a long line granddad cardigan, thick black tights and shoe boots. Maybe with a black slip under, although probably not if your name is Jordan.
USC has only wisely bought in Love Milly stock for Christmas. This tulle-applique vest top is my kind of thing. It adds a little something to a denim skirt and biker boots (I bought myself these awesome boots from Dune in charcoal - so comfy!), and according to Gok Wan (my boyfriend got me a signed book for my birthday - eek!), drawing attention to your shoulders is perfect for pear-shapes like me since it balances out big hips.
Thanks to Urban Outfitters FINALLY opening in Edinburgh, I'm planning a massive post-Christmas sales blowout. I really fancy this cute ballerina style skirt to go with aforementioned biker boots and a big grey cashmere sweater my Mum noticed in Tesco's sale (£25!!). Pale pink and charcoal are, together, the new black. Spread the word.
"Tulle is a lightweight, very fine netting, which is often starched. It can be made of various fibres, including silk, nylon, and rayon. Tulle is most commonly used for veils, gowns (particularly wedding gowns), and ballet tutus. Tulle comes in a wide array of colors and it can also easily be dyed to suit the needs of the consumer. It is readily available from most fabric stores and through special order...The majority of tulle is actually bobbinet, invented in Britain in the early 1800s. Bobbinet is made by wrapping the weft thread around the warp thread, creating a strong hexagonal design which tends not to twist or fall out of shape, because the wrapped threads maintain a state of tension. The result is tulle netting which is lightweight and surprisingly strong and durable for its weight."
I was inspired by a visit to my favourite Indian restaurant, Kalpna, last night to give my first of what I hope to be many Taste posts, aiming to give you lovely people a few good recipes. Hey, you might even want to invite me along for dinner one night and cook one. I'm just suggesting.
Kalpna recently underwent a huge renovation, converting it from a trendy student curry house into a place of fine dining and soft lighting (is it just me that appreciates understated lighting in eateries?). Plus, it's all vegetarian/vegan so it demands experimental cooking (there are only so many ways one can curry a carrot). The South Indian dishes, I'm told, are particularly excellent, however disappointingly unsuitable for me and my fellow mushroom-allergy sufferers. Still, there are plenty more dishes to choose from. I will present to you my new favourite; Bhindi Masala (aka Spicy Okra).
Serves: 4 hungry people
Time: 30 minutes
Okra (Bhindi) ---- 500g
Tomatoes ---- 3 big juicy ones
Onions ---- 2
Green chillis ---- 2
Cinammon ---- 1 stick
Cloves ---- 2
Bay leaf ---- 1
Garlic cloves ---- 3
1 heaped tsp grated ginger
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp dry mango powder (or squeeze of lemon juice)
1 tsp Garam Masala powder
Pinch of salt
Parsley for a fancy wee garnish, if you want
1 - Cut the okra (remove stalk and make sure it is completely dry), tomatoes, garlic cloves, onions & green chillies.
2 - Heat the oil then well-fry the okra
3 - Remove the okra, place on paper towel and let the excess oil be absorbed.
4 - With a clean pan and more oil, now fry the cloves, cinnamon and bayleaf for 30 seconds, then add the onion and green chillis and fry until the onion has started to lightly brown.
5 - Add the garlic and grated ginger. Fry for another minute.
6 - Add tomatoes, chilli powder and salt. Simmer until the tomatoes are soft, then add the garam masala powder and dry mango powder. Simmer for another 5/6 minutes
7 - Add the fried okra and stir gently for two minutes, then serve.
French haute couture continues to be the highlight of each new season - timeless and ever so well tailored to fit the feminine shape. I have loved the trend for big skirted hips and teeny wasp waists that have penetrated recent trends. However, high street messiah, Topshop, now display 80s themed colour exhibitions with less emphasis on cut and shape. Take home message? The reason the above dresses are still *fabulous* to look at is that they are the epitome of feminine style, one that never wanes. I like!