Primark Haul (London): June 2017

Martin (my boyfriend) and I went out for a spontaneous day trip to London the other week and I picked up a few bits from the Primark in Oxford Street so thought I’d do a little mini haul of what I got because some of it is super cute if I do say so myself.

As always, I’m going to attach some links about the ethics and sustainability of Primark. I found this page that had all the pros and cons of shopping at Primark in terms of sustainability and ethics useful, especially as they had links for all the information they provided. Personally, I think because of the amount of attacks that Primark has faced, they actually have become more aware and careful with their practices.

I personally go for Primark not only because they are cheap but because they have a lot of good Disney and Harry Potter merchandise that I love, which is why I wanted to visit the Oxford Street Primark.

Either way as I’ve mentioned before I include this information not to guilt trip anyone (as I’d be guilt tripping myself too) but just so everyone stays aware and has the information available if they need it. Also, I personally am trying to pay more attention to what I buy and where it comes from (especially in regards to makeup).

Anyway, onto the haul. As I’ve mentioned all of what I purchased was from the Oxford Street Primark though I am sure a lot if not most of what I purchased is available in other Primark’s across the country.

Ravenclaw T-shirt

Price: £6.00

So recently I’ve been going through a little bit of internal crisis with what Hogwarts house I am in. Before now, I’ve always identified as Ravenclaw and have a well loved Hogwarts scarf to prove it.

Convent GardenImage credit: Holly Campbell (my scarf is from the films later in the series)

However, I recently took the Pottermore quiz again to see if maybe that had changed. And I got Ravenclaw. Since this was in the middle of a pretty heavy deadline period for me I thought that might have triggered it. But low and behold I did the quiz again and once again received Ravenclaw. So slowly and surely I’ve started identifying as a Ravenclaw more and more. I think I will always be stuck between a Gryffindor and a Ravenclaw, as it literally depends how brave I’m feeling on the day. Also, Hermione Granger is my spirit animal so that probably explains why I’m torn between the two.

Either way I have to admit that the Ravenclaw colours are beautiful and out of all the colour schemes probably suit me the most so I least I have that as a plus.

Internal self crisis aside the top itself from Primark is so comfy and soft. I also think the designs they did for each house looked amazing, and they have a slight faded effect, which added so much to the design in my opinion. Basically, if you’re into Harry Potter and want to show your allegiance I think these tops are a great option for doing so without full on dressing up like you’re going to Hogwarts (not that there is anything wrong with that).

I also think it’d be interesting to see what the Illvermorny house t-shirts would like look like (do they sell them in the US?), as according to the google there are Primark stores in the US, which is something I didn’t know (I thought Primark was a Europe/ UK phenonemon). I’ve not really seen a lot of merchandise for the Illvermorny houses but then again I live in the UK but I’d be interested in seeing more. I need to do the quiz for my Illvermorny house actually on my Pottermore, as well all the other quizzes since I’ve only done the Hogwarts House quiz (maybe I’ll do a blog post with all my results if anyone is interested).

Ravenclaw

The shirt is currently in the wash so I couldn’t get a photograph of it just lying flat but I found a Ebay listing of the shirt if you want a better look though I wouldn’t recommend buying it there as it’s more expensive on the listing than in store.

Princess Peach Make Up Bag 

Price: £5.00

I’ve been on the hunt for some bigger makeup/ toiletry bags, as since I’ve started to get into makeup a lot more, my collection is getting bigger. I also didn’t have anything that was particularly big in the first place so always struggled a little when going anywhere as I tend to like to pack everything I own!

This Princess Peach bag has plenty of room, a zip pocket on the inside, which I’m very fond of as a feature of bags (I usually like to put sanitary towels in there, before that was to keep them hidden, now I just think it’s a good idea to put them in any zip pouch you have to make sure you always have one available). I also love that the little zipper has a mini Princess Peach on it.

Princess Peach Makeup Bag Front(Front of the bag) 

Princess Peach Makeup Back(Back of the bag) 

Zip Pocket(Zip pocket) 

Mini Princess Peach(Mini Princess Peach on the zip) 

Rugrats Angelica Large Make Up Holder 

Price: £6.00

I also picked up an even larger makeup/ toiletries bag because I really love the inside, which allows you to separate what you have. I thought this would be particularly good for travelling as you could have makeup one side and then toiletries the other side. The fact that this is Rugrats themed is just an added bonus.

Rugrats Makeup Case(Front) 

Rugrats Back of the Case(Back) 

Rugrats Inside the Case(Inside- as you can see you seal it with velcro) 

Imitation Vans Shoes

Price: £8.00

So I’ve managed to wear through a lot of my shoes recently so was in desperate need of some new shoes. When I saw these in Primark and noticed that they were only £8, I was like why not? Generally, I don’t like to buy imitations of things, as I feel bad when a company has gone to a lot of effort in creating their own unique design but I don’t have the money for the real thing. Also, when I bought them I was not that big a fan of the design to warrant spending a lot of money on them. However, since buying them I have become more and more fond of them and find myself wearing them everywhere. Definitely my favourite purchase of my shop!

If you are interested in buying the original version of this design you can buy them here. On the original version the line on the side goes up on the middle, which does not appear on the Primark design (it just remains one smooth curve).

Primark Vans

Disney Mickey Mouse ‘Oh Boy!’ Necklace 

Price: £2.00

Anyone who knows me knows that I am more than a little Disney mad so couldn’t help but fall in love with this Mickey Mouse themed necklace. I’m personally a fan of more delicate jewellery (with silver being my preference) so this was exactly my style and I loved the little Mickey Mouse ears detail. It would also look perfect with a Minnie Mouse Disneybound I am planning (for those who don’t know a Disneybound is an outfit inspired by a Disney character rather than a direct cosplay of that character).

Disney Necklace

Marie T-shirt 

Price: £6.00

I actually bought two Marie t-shirts  but I’m only able to show you one of them because the other one is in the wash, and is more of a bedtime oversized t-shirt anyway. However, if you’re interested this is that t-shirt and it was £5.00 in store.

The other t-shirt I got has a cute little Marie pocking up above the pocket and on the pocket there is her famous quote, ‘Because I’m a Lady! That’s Why.’ I’m not the world biggest fan of the quote but I love anything Marie. I also bought this t-shirt as I’m trying to get as much Marie stuff as possible in order to build up loads of options for my Marie Disneybound (for a trip I’m planning). This particular top I think would look so adorable with some pink dungaree shorts.

I’ve took a picture of it with my Disney x Lazy Oaf Marie jacket so you also get a feel of what the two would look like together if I decide to just go full on Marie with my Disneybound.

Marie Top 2

Marie Disneybound(Apologises for the towel in the background of this photograph- I promise once my Disneybound is complete I’ll get some nice, better photographs!)

So that’s my small Primark haul! Let me know if you enjoy this type of post and I will do more in the future though I do have some more exciting haul content (though not Primark) coming soon!

 

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Disney Character Inspired Mugs are now for sale at the Disney Store UK

Image aprilisthecruellestmonth (Martin (my boyfriend) and I at Disneyland Paris for my birthday last year). 

So I don’t know who else occasionally peruses the Disney Store website but for those of you in the UK I noticed the other day that they’ve started selling some merchandise that is available at the parks. I’m not sure however if the products are available in store too , as it’s been a while since I’ve been to a Disney Store. If you know please let me know!

One such product that caught my eye are these amazing character themed mugs, which I want the entire collection of. One, because I like completed sets of things. Two, because I’m too Disney obsessed. And three, simply because of the aesthetics.

Image: via the Disney Store on aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

Speaking of aesthetics, I have to say the Ariel (The Little Mermaid) mug is my favourite. It doesn’t help that Ariel’s hair colour is the same colour as mine at the moment. The colour scheme is also just so pretty.

Image: via the Disney Store on aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

April Wilson ImageImage: aprilisthecruellestmonth (showing off my Ariel hair). 

After the Ariel mug my next favourite is the Rapunzel inspired mug. Not only does Rapunzel have my favourite Disney princess hair (one day, I will COSPLAY her) but I love the corset style detail they use to represent Rapunzel on the mug.

Image: via the Disney Store on aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

After the Rapunzel mug I love, love, love the Jasmine themed mug. I don’t even know how to put into words how pretty it is. Also, it’s a bit of a bizarre thing to say but the style of Jasmine’s hair really suits the handle detail.

Image: via the Disney Store on aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

The Belle mug is also suitably beautiful and out of them feels the most decadent. I was so excited when I realised how much it really does give me the same vibe of the colour scheme of the film. Though as much I love the colour scheme, it also feels just a bit too much at the same time.

Image: via the Disney Store on aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

Although, I’m not a big fan of Aurora as a princess; this is one of my favourite of the mugs design wise. As for why I don’t really like Aurora, it’s probably because they didn’t even really try to give her much of a personality. After all, she only spoke 18 lines of dialogue throughout the whole film. However, I have to say that I love the Aurora mug, especially how they included her tiara on the handle. I also am ridiculously excited that one half of the mug is pink, and if you turn it over the other half is blue, so it mirrors the famous fight over dress colour at the end of the film.

Image: via the Disney Store on aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

Image: via the Disney Store on aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

Like the Aurora mug, although Cinderella has never been my go to princess; I can definitely see myself with this mug, as the colours on it are gorgeous. And even though I’m not a Cinderella fan; I love the glass slipper imagery surrounding the film.

Image: via the Disney Store on aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

The Snow White mug is a bit ‘meh’ for me (though I do like the bejewelled apple). Just like how Snow White has always been a bit ‘meh’ for me. I was always a lot more interested in the seven dwarfs in the film to be honest. I also think it’s because like Aurora she belongs to the generation of Disney princesses that they didn’t even try to give an personality too.

Image: via the Disney Store on aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

I was however pleased to see that there is a Mary Poppins inspired mug in the collection, which is designed to look like her parasol. This one is definitely the most high class out of all the designs but it’s just lacking a little bit of the whimsy of Mary Poppins for me.

Image: via the Disney Store on aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

Now to the villains…

There’s only two villains unfortunately that are represented by the mugs and that is Ursula the Sea Witch and the Queen of Hearts.  Both of which are mugs I love and would have in my collection over some of the princess themed ones any day.

Image: via the Disney Store on aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

Image: via the Disney Store on aprilisthecruellestmonth/ Pinterest 

The mugs are priced at £17.99 each (apart from the Mary Poppins mug, which is £12.99)  so are on the expensive side (I don’t drink tea so generally don’t spend a lot on mugs, as they are mainly hot chocolate receptacles for me) but they are definitely a collectors item alongside their practical purpose.

If only there was  a Tiana, Mulan, Merida, and Moana mug to complete the set. Maybe this is something they sell at the parks, if so someone let me know! As let’s face it they’d be ridiculously pretty. I’d especially love to see what they’d do with the Mulan and Moana mug! Some more Disney villain mugs as well (such, as Maleficent- though of course not a villain if we’re talking about live action Maleficent) would be much appreciated.

Either way I just want to buy all of them and only ever drink from them again!

 

 

Beauty and the Beast: Film Review

Image: Beauty and the Beast/ Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 

I went in absolutely psyched for Beauty and the Beast. Everything I had seen in interviews had gotten me excited that I was going to see a feminist film littered with beautiful costumes (because you know they don’t have to be mutually exclusive), as well as the tying up of loose plot holes from the original film. To a certain extent that is what I got.

To start with the costumes were spectacular. Although, Belle’s dance sequence dress did not initially excite me, as the perils of being in love with cosplay meant that I have seen some truly beautiful original creations (see my previous article for an example), often which replaced the original yellow with gold. All these cosplays had led me to become kind of mutinous and wanting the dress to be in gold instead of the original yellow. With time though the dress grew on me, especially the beautiful gold embroidery details (though the bodice still annoys me, despite that I can see why they changed from the original-there is just something missing about it for me). The dress though does move beautifully, and is undoubtedly beautiful work from the designer Jacqueline Durran (famous for her work in Atonement and Pride and Prejudice), who worked with Emma, to make the dress feel like a cloud: “We wanted the dress to feel like it could float”.

Atonement Keira Knightley Green DressImage: Atonement/ Universal Studios/ Focus Features/ Studio Canal 

Belle Dancing gownImage: Beauty and the Beast/ Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 

Float it definitely did, and Emma Watson also definitely pulled off the dancing sequence, which was a complete shot by shot recreation of the original scene that was extremely satisfying if slightly a little bit of a weird nostalgia trip. In fact, the whole film felt like a bit of nostalgia trip, albeit with updated, more period emphasised costumes.

Belle’s costumes also came with a new practicality aspect. Much has been said on how she ditched the ballet slippers for boots, but her blue dress also had handy storage properties in the film (and again made we wish that more dresses would have pockets). Although, Belle does enjoy dressing up for the infamous dance sequence, she is also quick to discard the beautiful yellow dress when the action starts because lets face it a ball gown is not the most practical of items.

Belle leaving her houseImage: Beauty and the Beast/ Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 

Belle Beast Library Image: Beauty and the Beast/ Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 

Like her wardrobe choices, Emma Watson’s Belle starts the film very active, though a little bit dismissive of her entire village (who however do generally mock her and won’t let her teacher a young girl to read) because she seeks, “adventure in the great wide somewhere”. She does get an adventure, of sorts (more on that later). We also see her attempt to escape from the Beast’s castle, even before the infamous wolf sequence. We see her shout back to the Beast, and call him out for keeping her hostage (and how messed up that is). She never hides her true feelings for him, or lets him get away with anything.

In comparison, they make the Beast a little bit less active, as for example they tone down  the aggression and violence of the Beast in the West Wing from the original film (which, quite frankly terrified me as a child), and give him a mournful song to sing (‘Evermore’) when Belle goes to rescue her father (letting the lead male be the lovesick character in a refreshing twist).

The BeastImage: Beauty and the Beast/ Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 

There were still issues with the film though. I still feel like we did not have enough time actually getting to see the Beast and Belle’s romance, as although there were scenes added that were not in the original film; these focused more on telling us about Belle’s mother, and how the two connect over this (they give the Beast a backstory that sadly involves the death of his mother too). The two also seem to get on well because they are both so different from everyone else. The romantic idea of the only guy that ‘gets’ you is something that appealed to me in my teenage years I have to admit. However, now it’s kind of lost its appeal a little because of the way it isolates characters from the other people that care about them. Also, although few and far between there were people Belle connected with in her, “poor provincial town”. For example, what about the man who gives Belle the books in the local church?

Belle and the Beast’s romance was not the only possible romantic entanglement issue in the film. When I  first heard that Le Fou would be Disney’s first gay character I had a few concerns. Firstly, in the original film Le Fou is literally ‘the fool’, he is supposed to be the joke, and understandably, a lot of people, myself included, didn’t want Disney’s first gay character to be a comedic one.

Don’t get me wrong Le Fou is still a comic character in this film but it is made clear that he is ‘in’ on the joke. From the start when we first see Gaston and Le Fou interact he helps fill in the gaps of Gaston’s knowledge, making the part in the ‘Gaston’ song where he says he can’t spell Gaston’s name because he’s illiteriate still funny, if not a bit confusing considering the earlier knowledge he shows.

This Le Fou also has a moral compass. Unlike, Gaston he is not happy with what happens to Belle’s father (leaving him to die, and then convincing the whole town he is mad), and eventually turns on Gaston when abandoned by him in the battle at the Beast’s castle.

So at this point in the film I was happy with the character. There were a couple coded, and not so coded references that Le Fou is in love with Gaston and that he might prefer male to female company, for example, Gaston asking him why he isn’t married yet, and his winking at other guys during the ‘Gaston’ song, as well as the almost steamy massage he gives to Gaston. Which could have been fine if Disney made up for it in the end by very obviously stating that Le Fou is gay. Instead, we have a moment, albeit slightly longer than the Sulu Star Trek Beyond moment where we see him happy when he ends up dancing with a male partner. The same male partner who when transformed by the wardrobe expresses delight at being dressed in women’s clothing. Mind you there is nothing wrong with that. And there is nothing wrong with him and Le Fou being romantic, it just for me fulfilled too many clichés that the gay character has to be effeminate in some way shape or form.

Le Fou Image: Beauty and the Beast/ Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 

When speaking of Le Fou you have to mention Gaston, and it was actually Luke Evan’s Gaston who unashamedly carried the film. He was for one my favourite male singing voice in the film, or as my boyfriend put it: “He’s got pipes”. Gaston’s costume was also beautifully designed (and made me want my boyfriend to cosplay as him, even though he bares more a resemblance to Prince Adam, who is literally the only Disney prince he looks remotely like).

April and MartinPlease ignore the fuzziness (it’s one of the few decent picture of us together). Also, you can’t see it in the photograph but he has long dark blonde hair like Prince Adam. Image: April Wilson

At first I did almost feel a little bit sorry for Gaston (I think Luke Evans has too sympathetic a face), but he quickly turned that round as its slowly revealed how horrible Gaston is and basically stole the show.

GastonImage: Beauty and the Beast/ Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 

While, Le Fou may not have been the landmark gay character we hoped for in Disney, it was lovely (if not long overdue) to see Disney’s first interracial kiss between Lumieré (Ewan McGregor) and Plumette (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), showing that Beauty and the Beast got some of its romantic elements spot on.

Speaking of romance let’s go back to the central romance between Belle and the Beast, and the discussions of Stockholm Syndrome that plague it. I actually wrote an article about this before seeing the film regarding Emma Watson’s reactions, and I would say most of what she said is true (though like I mentioned there needed to be more of a build up to their romance). I think also the one thing people miss in these discussions is that yes the Beast starts off being morally suspect but he grows and changes because of Belle (in the end I would say he is not the villain). After all, he lets her go, though I hope Belle would have escaped either way to help her father. If he stayed a ‘Beast’, which the film in the final scenes with Gaston makes it very clear he does not that would be different, but we are supposed to believe the Beast has changed. Though, like I wrote in the article I linked to I am not saying we should dismiss the Stockholm Syndrome question completely, though I feel like the discussion could have been further helped with the ending not being what it was. Ending in the castle made it feel like what she wanted was not to escape where she was because of the people but to be somewhere more opulent and classy. It makes it seem like she cared more about being ‘poor’ rather than being trapped in a patriarchal society. Though you could argue the changing attitudes of the town’s people could be the main factor why the scene is shown to be happy, as her reason for wanting to be free is mostly shown to be her need to escape close minded attitudes (attitudes that in the ending have become more open).

Something there Belle BeastImage: Beauty and the Beast/ Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures 

However, I feel my main issue with the film could have been resolved if instead of ending with what I am assuming was the wedding between the two (I mean there was a lot of white for it not to be a wedding); if the film ended still showing the wedding but then showed Belle and Adam then leave to go travelling, or maybe seeing them in Paris. Otherwise, it feels like Belle escaped marrying Gaston, only to end up being someone else’s wife, though admittedly someone who wouldn’t (anymore) leave her father to die in the cold.

Despite this criticism I did walk out the film bewitched with elements of the film, especially the stunning visuals, as well as the way in which the film depicted the petals falling off the rose, and the way in which this affected everyone enchanted by the curse. I loved the detail of showing that they were slowly becoming less and less human, like the beast (making the artistic choice for the Beast to sound more and more human throughout the song ‘Evermore’ even more compelling), and that more sympathy was given to the characters trapped by the curse with the Beast. Though, I was a little sad when I realised that they cut the ‘Human Again’ song from the film.

Beauty and the Beast is overall a step in the right direction for Disney but I am at the point now when baby steps are not good enough, especially when films like Moana and Brave exist, which show there can be more to Disney women than just romance. I’m not saying we can’t have romance though (I love a good love story as much as the next person), but if we are going to have romance, can we not just #GiveElsaaGirlfriend already?