The 3 L's

Dowager Duchess of Devonshire

Yes, I know that I have been all about London since I moved here, London, London, London, London this and London that, but today, I spotted a news article that really struck me in a way that I would not have expected; today, the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, the last Mitford sister, Deborah Cavendish, passed away.

This isn’t a grand obituary, or any such thing, it just felt right to whip up a quick post for someone who always seemed to feature somehow in my consciousness, be it a day trip to Chatsworth, a Nancy Mitford novel or a documentary on the Mitford clan. Not to mention, someone who I’ve always envied for their style. Go to Chatsworth, and you will find countless paintings and photographs of the glamorous Duchess, and, later, Dowager Duchess.

article-1248496-0827A451000005DC-124_468x362

Having spent just under four years living in Derbyshire, and before that, eighteen years just one county away in Staffordshire, Chatsworth house – the Cavendish estate – has always struck me as being the most magnificent house in the whole world. I have visted Blenheim and Versailles, and I still prefer Chatsworth. I think that preference is in part down to having spent my childhood reading and re-reading Pride and Prejudice, only to then pick up the remote and watch the BBC series (and later, Joe Wright’s beautiful 2005 version), on repeat. After all, rumour has it that Pemberley was based on Chatsworth, which was visited by Austen. I also think that it’s partly down to a consistent fascination with the famous Mitford sisters.

Deborah-Devonshire

Can you blame me for having sat up straight and taken notice of them? It’s not every day that you come across a family of sisters as varied as the Mitfords: a novelist, a duchess, a naxi, a fascist, a communist and… Pamela, the one with the quiet life. I have lost count as to how many Mitford books I have read (both those written by Nancy and the numerous biographies and autobiographies, and so it just seems obvious that I would love visiting Chatsworth even more, it being the home of one of the fascinating six sisters, a home which is also one of the most beautiful houses in the country.

b00tkyyg_640_360

Like most of us, I never met the Dowager Duchess, but I saw what she and her husband, and later, her son have done to the estate over the years; the farm shops, the twee little cafes and the produce that lines the shelves of independent shops across the county, all to stop Chatsworth from becoming another National Trust property – not to mention the constantly updated art collection that lines the old walls in a more modernly styled wing of the grand house.

And then of course, as I said before… she was just.. so glamorous!

Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – Google+ – Pinterest – Polyvore

Standard
Workaholic

KC and the Village

KC 1#

 

Derby is an interesting place. Yes, I have lived there for long enough now (if you’re counting it as my ‘official address’ since I took off across Europe), and I’m tired of this city in the same that that a wanderlusting nomad like me tires of every city, but there are a few spots which I never tire of.

One of them is Darley Abbey, a tiny village on the edge of Derby, though it is still very much within the city, like a little pocket of history buried right under our noses. Few people that I know have discovered this wonderful spot, or at least, not until I introduce them to it, and the moment I found it myself, I knew that I had to arrange a photo shoot there.

KC 2#

 

Together, my model, KC and I pieced together a wardrobe that we felt simultaneously clashed with and matched the setting perfectly, being edgier than the quaint English village, while blending our textures, patterns and colour schemes to suit the chipped paint and bare brickwork, adding a few pops of colour here and there; primarily KC’s amazing hair colour.

I’ve come to really enjoy taking on the roll of stylist, or in this case, co-stylist, as well as photographer, though of course I’m more than happy to hand over the reins to someone more knowledgeable and experienced than myself. While I think its important to collaborate with as many creative souls as possible, it’s great to flex my own creative muscles with these personal shoots, to experiment and discover new talents, and learn new skills. While I’m not about to start referring to myself as a stylist as well as a photographer, it’s great to create my vision through other – or additional – means.

KC 3#

KC 4#

KC 5#

 

KC 6#

KC 7#

KC 8#

 

Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – Google+ – Pinterest – Polyvore

 

Standard
Wanderer

Derbyshire Ramblings

It seems even my passport and post-uni freedom can’t rein in my ‘workaholic’ tendencies… apologies, I’ve been working really, really hard on something that hopefully I can share online in another week or so! Secrets, secrets, secrets 😉

So, my friend Fabby came to Derbyshire a few weeks ago, and, being the lovely friend that I am, I was host and tour guide. Of course everyone who knows that I gave her a tour of Derbyshire (which is basically anyone on my Facebook who actually pays attention to my Facebook page), is wondering… why would my lovely Mexican friend fly from Spain (where she has spent the past six months) to Derbyshire??

This is why…

location2

The Peak District.

No one can visit England, and not take a moment to see the Peak District… and the Lake District… and various parts of the South Coast… and Oxford… and Cambridge… I could go on… what I’m trying to say is, I can’t remember the last time I met someone who has ventured beyond London and maybe Manchester/Liverpool on their visit to England. That’s not including people who are studying in England or visiting family. Venture out, people!

This fairly-spontaneous visit was definitely proof that I literally have no idea where life will take me any more. We planned her stay within a fortnight, after deciding that she was coming to visit while in Seville after about ten minutes.  It started with a conversation about our mutual love for this:

which turned into a conversation about the locations featured in this:

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a bit of a P&P expert. After all…

*wink* apparently….

But anyway, my fashionable (?) geekiness means that I therefore know that Joe Wright’s version of P&P was filmed at Chatsworth and Stanage Edge (to name a few), both of which are in Derbyshire. And having read P&P, I also know that Matlock and Bakewell are mentioned and therefore had to be added to our must-see list too… basically, P&P is Fabby’s favourite film, we therefore instantly decided that she had to see Derbyshire. And so it all just arranged itself.

Bakewell

_MG_9694-edit

My camera pretty much stayed in my bag while we explored Bakewell, except for one lovely (and not at all touristy) photo of me. Besides that, Fabby was very much the photographer that day, while I was very much the tour guide, introducing her to the wonders of Bakewell tarts (oh dear, that sounds horrendously suggestive – sorry Fabby! Haha!) and quaint English villages. Matlock was another stop that my camera did not see that day.

Chatsworth House

 _MG_9903-edit  IMG_9891-edit

_MG_9871-edit

And Here’s Fabby!

_MG_9805-edit

This isn’t feigned child-like excitement for the sake of the camera, we really were both running around the grounds like little kids. I’ve been to Chatsworth 1000 times and I still always act this way when I go there, and so to combine my usual Chatsworth excitement with Fabby’s ‘oh my god I’m at Pemberley, a location from my all-time favourite film in a beautiful part of the world that I have never seen before’ excitement.. at that moment, I loved it there so much that had I won the lottery, despite my plans for Italy, I’d have snapped up one of the many little cottages in the 1000 acre grounds of Chatsworth in a heartbeat. Then again, hopefully if I were lucky enough to win the lottery, I could afford a house in rural Derbyshire and Italy… and Paris… and London… 😉

_MG_9821-edit
IMG_9781-edit _MG_9773-edit _MG_9759-edit_MG_9763-edit
 _MG_9742-edit _MG_9722-edit
_MG_9718-edit

So Fabby has now seen the setting of this:

this

and this:

and we saw this…

IMG_9758-edit

(we especially loved the ‘Please do not Kiss’ sticker, though I think Fabby was somewhat disappointed)

kiss

Stanage Edge

The next day we walked from Hathersage village to Stanage edge, the setting for this scene:

IMG_9959-edit IMG_9943-edit2 IMG_9941-edit _MG_9921-edit _MG_9911-edit

It was insanely windy. Even though the wind was luckily blowing North-East, I still felt like it was suddenly about to turn South-West and therefore send me straight off the edge of the rocks as I posed for snaps, just for the fun of it. It really was sweep-you-off-your-feet-windy. The sort of wind that would thoroughly enjoy blowing unsuspecting visitors off Stanage Edge and onto the jagged rocks below.

Also, to everyone *cough* Dad *cough* who claims that you need hiking boots and those scary hiking trousers with zip-off legs (shudder) to go rambling around the peaks, I found, yet again, that skinny jeans and £3 Primark lace up tennis pumps do just nicely, thank you very much. I shall never give in!

_MG_9930-edit IMG_9953-edit

It’s been quite some time since I last explored Hathersage Moor, and I loved it so much, I returned a week or so later for a fashion shoot, the results of which are being published in Prototype magazine, and so I’ll be keeping to myself for now. However, I do have a lovely BTS picture of me on Hathersage moor.

1174773_10151567696041466_712893969_n-edit

Beautiful.

P.S please do not put me down as one of those crazy ‘Janeite’ fans who read attempts to finish her uncompleted novels and Austen sequels and prequels like this:

and own a collection of gowns ready to attend balls and events like this:

*I mentioned balls ironically, but on searching for a mocking image, I found that such a thing actually exists!!!*

And will go to see films like this 1000 times and have long discussions at the end of their Jane Austen book club about how much they hope such a place will one day exist.

Worst of all, on googling for the above poster, I found this

What the…

Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – Google+ – Pinterest – Polyvore

Standard

_MG_4115 _MG_4117-edit

Snow! I can’t decide if I love or hate snow.. I think I love it, as long as I don’t have any plans, which means I can rush out with my camera, snap snap snap, and then rush back inside again and snuggle up with a lovellllyyyy hot chocolate – with little marshmellows, of course! However, the snow has rather ruined a few plans not just for myself, but for my lovely friends too, such as the lovely Jade’s 21st birthday party! But I can’t blame the snow for that, I mean, if Japan can cope with 60FT of snow, (I mean seriously, look at this), we should be able to cope with less than a foot without our public transport systems shutting down and messing up our plans!

_MG_4122 _MG_4126 _MG_4129 _MG_4142 _MG_4144 _MG_4151

Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – Google+ – Pinterest – Polyvore

The 3 L's

Snow Day: Taking a Walk

Gallery
Workaholic

Regal Fashion

Anita 1#

For this photo shoot, I collaborated with a great fashion stylist, Eliza May, who managed to persuade several designers to hand over their beautiful garments for our photo shoot, which took place at Elvaston Castle in Derbyshire. Our model travelled from Manchester to work with us, the gorgeous and talented Anita. It was a chaotic morning (in the best sense), full of creative souls dashing around, our model sitting patiently while our talented hair stylist and makeup artist worked their magic. Eliza did a great job of organising the delivery, collection and arrangement of several outfits, which were displayed prominently in my apartment while we prepped Anita’s first look. It’s always great to work with so many talented individuals on a single shoot.

The sun shined all day, despite the ominous forcast for rain, and so our backup plan went forgotten. All in all, it was a great day for a photo shoot.

Anita 2# Anita 3# Anita 4#Anita 5# Anita 6# Anita 7# Anita 8# Anita 9# Anita 10# Anita 11# Anita 12# Anita 13#Anita 14# Anita 15#Anita 16#  Anita 18#

Designers:

Jennifer Prendergast

Lucy E

Rhea Clements

Kee Boutique

MUA: Adele Coxon

Hair: Neil Farley

Stylist: Eliza May

Assistant: Joanne

Facebook – Twitter – Instagram – Google+ – Pinterest – Polyvore

Standard