Wanderer

Why my perspective towards RTW packing changed overnight…

I have 9 days left in England, and so I’m already well into the throws of packing, storing and selling my possessions. The memories of my aching back from last summer convinced me to buy a lovely little 1.6KG 55x40x20 suitcase to replace my quaint little 46x32x15 canvas pinstriped backpack. The only reason I upgraded in size was because I can stuff so much more into a backpack than a suitcase – do you find the same? I began by buying a suitcase that was almost identical in measurements as the backpack thinking, ‘ok, same size, just on wheels. Lovely.’ This suitcase, in fact.

Well the suitcase was almost fine, it easily fit my laptop (case and charger), my camera (lenses, cases and charger), about three outfits… and not much else.

So I went and bought the larger (but still suitable for a Ryanair flight) suitcase, and said to myself that it doesn’t matter if the case is bigger, I’ll still pack exactly what I packed last summer; as little as possible.

That was a week ago. Things have changed a little since then; I’ve realised a few things. I’ve always been a big believer that if you are travelling for three weeks, three months or three years, there is very little difference in how much you need to pack. I’ve never understood people who say ‘well I’m travelling for a whole summer, so I need 200 outfits. But then I started packing… and I realised, as much as I love backpacking, and I’ve always loved having just a tiny backpack (except for the backache) to carry all I need for a few months, I don’t want to do that for longer than a summer. I want to live out of a suitcase.

This realisation started with a skirt. This skirt, actually:

Image from here.

This is my absolute favourite skirt, bought at H&M about a year and a half ago. Every time I travel, it gets left behind simply because it’s made of 10000 layers and would take up half of my backpack. I can deal with that, it’s only a skirt, it just means I wear it as much as possibly for a few months when I come back to England to make up for it. Except that this time, it managed to sneak into my suitcase… closely followed by a pair of black kitten heels. I bought them back in March, broke my foot in April, and so I’ve never worn them besides a few times to break them in around my apartment. And they are just too beautiful to be a waste of £20. And besides, I plan to stop and teach English when I start to run out of money.. I need a suitable outfit for work.

I do need to watch myself though; it’s easy to get carried away and start finding any excuse to justify everything in my wardrobe. A New Look LBD is trying to sneak it’s way in under the same excuse as the kitten heels; work clothes, but so far I’ve been stern and said no; a LBD can be bought anywhere if necessary.

I think my suitcase wardrobe is fairly finalised.

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  1. Pink Midi Dress. H&M A/W 2011. £20
  2. Green Skater Dress. Primark. £10
  3. A trusty black tank top (with lace trim)
  4. Satin cream 3/4 blouse. New Look. £16.99
  5. Nautical Striped top (mine is 3/4 and backless)
  6. Roll sleeved dusky blue t-shirt. New Look. £4.99 (I’ve ripped up the back of mine)
  7. Baggy waterfall pink thin jumper. Vera Moda. £18
  8. White 3/4 Cardigan. H&M £6.99
  9. Black floral bralet.
  10. Brown tweed shorts.
  11. Black suede kitten heels. New Look. £6
  12. Cream/black pointed flats.
  13. Black brogues.
  14. Black waist belt.
  15. Pink scarf. New Look. £7.99

It’s all a bit more chic than my usual backpacking wardrobe, which consists of summer tea-dresses, gladiator sandals and short shorts. But then again, I’m not backpacking this time, I’ve living out of a suitcase, and so why can’t I bring one or two luxuries?

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Alfred Hitchcock. Undoubtedly one of my favourite directors, quavering on the top-spot with the equally amazing visual genius, Joe Wright. I feel its safe to say that Hitchcock bags the top spot for himself through reputation alone. If ever a Hitchcock appears on the TV schedule, you will find me, sat inches from the screen in a child-like awe, sucked into the colours, the shadows, the beautifully dense suspense that only he could master so well. My mind, you can guarantee, will be racing, nails digging into the carpet as I pick apart his use of each colour; the symbolism of the green light in Vertigo, the alternating red and green in Rope, the fireworks illuminating the darkened room in To Catch a Thief. I am aware of the general ‘Hitchcock colour theories’, but I can’t help but conjure up my own, as if its a code that only I can crack. I pick apart his lighting set ups, absorb every item that builds the carefully crafted sets, drool over the beautiful designs of Edith Head, envious of Grace Kelly or the various other Hitchcock blondes. Let’s face it, it’s generally Grace who ruffles my envious feathers more than anyone.

Frankly, if there’s a Hitchcock on TV, leave me be. (Rhyme not intended).

I am as enraptured as Hitchcock always intended for his audience to be, and before I know it, the notebook is in my lap, a pen in hand. Every creative needs a moleskine whenever they watch a Hitchcock, in my opinion. Regardless as to whether you’re a photographer, writer, graphic designer, stylist, artist… that man is gold, a portly ball of imagination-inducing energy. Caffeine is my usual go-to stimulant when I’m in my daily ‘idea development’ session, but Hitchcock is much more effective. Even if my ideas do need to at times wander a little further from the standard ‘blonde model’, ‘dramatic lighting’, ‘bold colours’ trio. Duly noted.

I’m not the only photographer who finds themselves constantly inspired by the great director, of course. I can spot a Hitchcock-esque editorial a mile away. They’re becoming something of a must-have for most young fashion photographers, a transition point between the mimicking and the inspired. However, just because Hitchcock’s lighting styles, dramatic shadows, bold colours and trademark locations (think motels, showers and trains), are so on-trend, doesn’t mean that I can’t have a go too, right?

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Model: Jessica Bailey

MUA & Hair: Emma Grant

Styling: Emma Styles

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Workaholic

Hitchcock Blonde

My mind, you can guarantee, will be racing, nails digging into the carpet as I pick apart his use of each colour; the symbolism of the green light in Vertigo, the alternating red and green in Rope, the fireworks illuminating the darkened room in To Catch a Thief. I am aware of the general 'Hitchcock colour theories', but I can't help but conjure up my own, as if its a code that only I can crack. I pick apart his lighting set ups, absorb every item that builds the carefully crafted sets, drool over the beautiful designs of Edith Head, envious of Grace Kelly or the various other Hitchcock blondes.

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Wanderer

Quirky Corners: Pop Up Cinema!

Image from here

I need to visit this place one day! In fact… it’s in London. I’ll be in London in a few weeks; I’ll try and find the time to head there and watch a film! Jeez, why have I never heard of this place before?!

The Cineroleum is a derelict petrol station-cum-cinema. Transformed by a team of young architects in 2010, the cinema features everything you would expect at your local Odeon or Showcase: flip down seats, printed tickets, popcorn. The works. I especially love the beautiful draped curtain that envelopes you as you.

Image from here.

And with tickets starting at just £5, it’s cheaper than your local Odeon too! This lovely quaint cinema can be found in London on Clerkenwell Road, and the nearest tube station is Farringdon, so its easy to reach.

 

Image from here.

Damn… just checked the website. The chances of me being able to see a film here before I go travelling are pretty slim after all.. everything is sold out already!

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Workaholic

Bob & Lucia

A few weeks ago I was asked to step in as photography at the wedding party of a lovely couple, Bob and Lucia. Their actual wedding had taken place in Vegas with a very small number of guests, and so this was a party for everyone who had not attended the big day itself. It was such a lovely, relaxed evening, revolved around family and friends, dancing and music and wine. There was nothing formal about it, or even remotely ‘wedding-ish’ in the traditional sense; there was no schedule to keep, it was simple a chance for everyone to get together for a good time, and to celebrate Bob and Lucia’s relationship. That was exactly how they requested for the images to look too: candid, natural, almost documentary to replace the traditional ‘formal wedding shots’ of most weddings. This was therefore easily the easiest wedding reception that I have ever shot. The amount of pressure that is instantly lifted from such a wonderfully relaxed couple who simply wanted someone to capture their evening quietly, having a laugh and a joke with their guests.
I just wanted to share a selection of images from the evening with you. With permission from Bob and Lucy, of course.
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Wanderer

My Favourite Jazz bar in Paris

Firstly, I’m sorry for a quiet few weeks, I’ve been cut off from the internet since May, and I haven’t been able to easily get out of the house to seek internet until this week because my foot has been in a cast! But its fine now, internet is back, my foot is free, I can walk (well, limp) again!

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Image from here

Anyway… I’ve been to many Jazz bars in Paris, I love them, I’d much rather go and dance in a jazz bar with a glass of wine than go out clubbing! Lame as that may make me, its true. There is one bar that I only discovered a few months ago when I spent a few weeks in France with a friend, and I think I honestly fell in love.

Caveau de la Hutchette. Just south of Notre Dame and so very central in Paris, its tucked away down a quiet cobble street lined with dozens of equally quaint-looking bars of various sorts, each crying out to be explored (one day!) It was the history that caught my attention; tucked away in 500-year-old cellars, the bar was once a prison, a make-shift courthouse, an execution chamber, and a secret meeting place for the Templars and the Rosicrucians, It’s been a drinking house since 1789. You walk in and the whole place just reeks of history!

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Image from here.

Live jazz bands play every night, and there is plenty of room to get a jiggle on (and trust me, if you’re a woman/group of women alone, you will not be allowed to merely sit and enjoy the music, you will be coerced into dancing!)

I’ve never danced in my life, but I can honestly say this was one of the best nights of my life.

Now for the boring stuff: money. Entry is €12 Sunday-Thursday, €14 Friday & Saturday, and €10 for students. Drinks start at $5, if you want champagne, you’re looking at splashing out $90, but its so worth it! If you’re travelling on a budget, its easy enough to just pay entry fee and nothing more for the rest of the night; you don’t really get much chance to sit and drink anyway and I found that my glass of red pretty much went to waste! It was delicious, but the moment I sat down, I was up dancing moments later!

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