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New York Fashion Week: Day 3#

You know the routine by now. I spend an evening drooling over the runway live feed, getting far too excited over the beautiful pastel shades, the pops of royal blue, coral, emerald and mustard, spending a month’s earnings on lottery tickets in the hopes that I can stock up my wardrobe with AW15 beauties. Today was no different. From the Japanese print-esque fabrics of Tibi to the linear details of Ralph Rucci… I fall in love all over again.

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Dion Lee

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Jill Stuart

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Prabal Gurung

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Rebecca Taylor

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Ostwald Helgason

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Mara Hoffman

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Ralph Rucci

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Herve Leger

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Tibi

Tibi’s accessories were certainly interesting… while I adore the collection, focusing in particular on their skirts and dresses, I have to say.. please, I beg you, lose the hats… awful, awful, awful.

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Altuzarra

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Parson’s MFA

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Christian Siriano

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Alexander Wang

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If Only: Outfit of the Day 24#

It started with a swimsuit… as a keen swimmer, I’m always looking for that perfect swim suit, and this one is my perfect swimsuit; cut out, florals, flattering cut.. it’s the whole package for me, if I’m honest. I’d wear it as a bodysuit as well as a swimsuit, and the best part is, it’s less than £100… teamed with aztec prints, ruby shades, a statement necklace and a few designer pieces, and I’m all set for a stroll through Hampstead Heath on a lazy sunday afternoon for a swim in the lakes… let’s not mention the required post-swim top and just focus on the swimsuit, shall we?

3-sep

1. Insight Tin Rose Cut-Out Swimsuit. £75. Available here.

2.  ASOS Pleat Front Bonded Midi Skirt. £40 £30. Available here.

3. Modcloth Somebody That I Houston Know Cardigan $59.99. Available here.

4. Chloé Marcie Medium Shoulder Bag. £1,235. Available here.

5. Valentino Garavani Rockstud Ballerina in Red. £595. Available here.

6. Zara Rhinestone Necklace £19.99. Available here.

7. Topshop Hinged Bracelet. £10. Available here.

8. Topshop Red Enamel Circle Ring Pack. £14.50. Available here.

9. Boohoo Laura Lace Socks. £4. Available here.

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If Only: Outfit of the Day 19#

For all of my styling experiments, this outfit, here, is my ultimate style; this is when I am at my most comfortable, and my most confident, when the clothes I’m wearing become less of a statement and more simply, like a second skin. I’m all for monochrome and neutrals, modern twists on classic silhouettes, vintage influences and elegant simplicity. Yes, it is very modern Audrey Hepburn, isn’t it? I blame all of those old Hollywood movies over the years…

29-Aug

1. Preen by Thornton Bregazzi Everly Pleated Stretch-Crepe Skirt. £670. Available here.

2. ISSA Esther Off-The-Shoulder Bandage Top. £250. Available here.

3. CLU Silk and Lace-Trimmed Wool and Cashmere-Blend Cardigan. £430. Available here.

4. Jimmy Choo Walton Suede D’Orsay Point-Toe Flats. £395. Available here.

5. Marni Leather Tote. £1050. Available here.

6. Burberry Prorsum Printed Cashmere Scarf. £695. Available here.

7. Aurelie Bidermann Organic Feathers Gold Necklace. £920. Available here.

8. The Row Cat Eye Leather-Trimmed Acetate Sunglasses. £295. Available here.

9. Valentino Wool-Blend Felt Cape. £1915. Available here.

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Emmys 2014

Let’s face it, who doesn’t love to watch to see who’s wearing who and who looks great and who looks… not so great, at each red carpet event? There are certain big star events that will always be top of the list, such as the Oscars and the BAFTAS, but when it comes to TV, it’s the Emmys. As ever, I found myself caring more about the beautiful dresses than the wins. Not that I was entirely oblivious – I just don’t watch all that much TV. I was especially chuffed (is that not the most English word ever?) to hear about Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman, and Jim Parsons’ wins (though as for the latter, how many consecutive years has he won an Emmy for best comedy actor now? Six? It’s a wonder they bother going through the nominations at all anymore!)

But anyway, I’m here to talk about the fashion, you’re here to see the fashion… here are a few (slight under-exaggeration) favourites from last night.

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Allison Williams in Giambattista Valli Couture

My love affair with the colour yellow continues, it seems. For such a dramatic dress, it’s really so simple; the yellow sash is the final touch that brings it all together and ups the drama by about 1000000000x. Very elegant but fun… I can’t help but see it as a modern take on a Grace Kelly design? Does anyone else see that?

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Betsy Brandt in Olivia & Alice

This dress should be too much, but it works so well. The blue/purple shoes are also a great choice – it can be tricky deciding on a shoe to go with such a canvas of colour as this, and I think most would have made the mistake of black or white… or red. I have such a clear image in mind as to how I would wear this dress; I’d wear it with a simple, fitted black jumper, a white bead collar necklace, and black suede kitten heels (yes, I know that I just stated that Brandt teaming black pumps with this dress would have been a mistake but just go with it…). It would look amazing.

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Camila Alves in Zuhair Murad

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Kate Walsh in Stephane Rolland

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Claire Danes in Givenchy

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Heidi Klum in Zac Posen

 Even though I doubt I could really pull off this colour, this is probably the dress from last night that I would love to see in my wardrobe most! In fact, no, forget it being in my wardrobe! This is the dress that I would most love to see on me… but you know, in pretty much any other colour but this one. It just wouldn’t work. On Heidi, however… wow.

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January Jones in Prabal Gurung

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Keke Palmer in Rubin Singer

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Teyonah Parris

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Lizzy Caplan in Donna Karan Atelier

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Lucy Liu in Zac Posen

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Michelle Dockery in Rosie Assoulin

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Natalie Dormer in J. Mendel

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Sarah Hyland in Christian Siriano

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Zooey Deschanel, channeling Marilyn-meets Audrey in Oscar de la Renta. I know it’s not the first time, but I still can’t get over just how different she looks without her fringe/bangs. She looks beautiful, but… ordinary, and then suddenly, the bangs are back and it’s such a ‘wow’ look in comparison. I’ve never seen so much power held in one fringe before.

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And the ones that missed a beat for me:

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Kelly Osbourne in Honor

Very few people can pull of this hair colour as well as Kelly Osbourne, and I love that she frequently incorporates similar violet-grey tones in her wardrobe, while the rest of us are still thinking about what works with our hair. Red heads should avoid pink (though I think The Little Mermaid proved that rule to be completely unnecessary), and stick with blues and greens, brunettes look great in any colour, and no one works pinks and reds better than blonds, etc etc. However, here, there’s too much lace. When your hairstyle is so out there, you should tone down the embellishments to an absolute minimum. Perhaps this would work on the right celebrity… but even then, I think a bodice would look much better, rather than this high necked, 3/4 sleeved top.

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Sarah Paulson in Armani Privé

The 1980s were a well known disaster, and it scares me how revived it has become in recent months on our runways. The spotted, tulle prom dresses were among the worst, and to see that one has managed to reemerge like this… do people never learn?

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Julianna Margulies in Narciso Rodriguez

I’ve seen dresses like this hanging in numerous charity shops; ill fitting, cheap fabrics, causing general confusion among staff and customers as to whether it ought to be displayed in the dress section, or the nightwear section. As for the visible bra straps at the back, it just makes the whole look tacky.

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Lena Dunham in Giambattista Valli

There are no words. I get that Lena Dunham is a big deal, especially in America, I get that everyone adores her for challenging celebrity stereotypes, especially regarding the ideal female figure, and good for her – so she should… there are too many dieting sheep in Hollywood, all conforming to the same rules, all fighting to look just the same as each other. She’s talented, she’s gorgeous, she’s humble and intelligent. However… far too often she just gets it so, so wrong, and this one is a doozy. The hair and eyebrow contrast, The weird grown-out bowl cut, the tattoo, and not to mention, that dress… which, by the way, looks amazing on the runway. Here, however, it’s frumpy, ill-fitting, unflattering, contrasts horrendously with that over-bleached ‘do, and basically gives her the appearance of someone who’s attending a halloween party dressed as an animated Pixar character… the story of a workaholic bird of prey, or something. I’m getting a bit bored of seeing her frumpy red carpet fashion again and again, if I’m honest. I’m just going to focus instead on her talents: acting, screenwriting, directing, producing… please, can someone take over her wardrobe, because Lena Dunham does not have a talent for fashion.

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Mayim Bialik in Oliver Tolentino

Mayim Bialik wrote for her official blog over at Kveller.com that she hoped that this year’s Emmy dress balances between ‘hot and holy’… while it’s not a bad dress, and I admire her for her strict rules on modesty in a world so set on showing as much skin as possible to gain attention, it just doesn’t… quite work. I feel like there’s too much lace (I’m sensing a pattern among the fashion police victims this year), which makes the whole thing too fussy, and tied in with that neckline, it’s all just too much.. way too much. The colour looks amazing on her though. Had she opted for satin, or something sleek, then I think it would have worked. I’d also love to see her with a sheer bateau neckline and sleeves, but would that be sticking with her modesty rule? Or is sheer fabric out?

(*Update, having just found this dress, I can confirm that she looks great with sheer sleeves and a wider neckline. She. Looks. Amazing.)

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Katherine Heigl

 I don’t know who Heigl is wearing here, and I have very little to say, except that it’s just too.. old.. too motherly.. too matronly. Much better things could have been made from this fabric.

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5 Things That Ought To Come Free With Clothing…

Clothes are complicated. More specifically, wearing clothes is complicated, and the dressier, the more complicated getting dressed becomes. How often do we spend a day searching high and low for that perfect night-out dress and matching shoes, only to get home and realise… ah, actually, in order to wear this outfit I’ll need boob tape, nipple flowers, a whole new strap to alter my bra, plasters for the inevitable blisters, gel pads to protect my feet as much as possible, and lots of sellotape to remove every. single. speck. of. lint. Of course, then there’s always something missing from your secret ‘getting dressed fixer-upper’ box, and so back you go to the shops. Repeat as necessary for each additional look-perfecting item you remember to purchase. Some shops are considerate (and sneaky) enough to place these magical products near either the garments for which they will be required, or near the checkout area as a tempting last minute purchase. Wouldn’t it be easier though, if clothes came with the items that perfect them? It makes sense, I think; most other products follow this general rule. My camera came with a (pretty useless) cleaning kit. My flat pack office furniture came with a (very utterly useless) toolkit. Why don’t we sell clothes with those additional items? I’m not saying that models should start parading down the runway with a plastic sandwich bag of clothing-maintenance supplies tagged to their bums, but hear me out, you know that shopping for a night out would be much simpler if shops offered a freebie essential with certain items of clothing… for example:

1. Shoes & Plasters

I can think of a list of things that ought to be sold along with shoes… sandpaper, gel pads, wet wipes, those little scuff-removing, shoe-polishing kits that they sell in pound shops and on the end of supermarket aisles… the ones that probably don’t work. However, if there is one thing that really should come free with all shoes, it’s a big, fat box of plasters (or band aids, for my lovely American readers).

1

Shoes: Nicholas Kirkwood. £395. Available here. Plasters: Available here.

2. Handbags & mini-vacuum

Like those tiny little desk hoovers that are usually shaped like a mini Henry Hetty. I’m tired of having to empty out my bag every week and turning it upside down to bang out the mass of biscuit crumbs that have accumulated on my tube journeys, most often also losing the spare change/USB sticks/spare house keys/favourite lipstick that were also hiding in the one nook/cranny of my bag that I did not check – or I realise (on turning my bag upside down over a bin, that one of the inner pockets was not zipped up).

2

Marni. £1,050. Available here. Mini Hetty Hoover. Available here.

3. Fur/wool/feathery/fluffy garments and a lint roller

There are certain high street shops, such as H&M, who have long had the clever idea to place a cart of lint rollers strategically close to the checkout, and more than once they’re doing so has reminded me, just as I reach the front of the queue, that yes, I do actually need a lint roller if I’m going to wear this fur coat this winter. I think they should take it one step further, however, and start selling pocket-sized rollers with the garments, tagged to them alongside those little plastic pouches with spare buttons that get lost almost immediately on removal. Call me crazy, but it has to be done, because I always buy a lint roller… and then after a quick swipe of my outfit in the morning, I’ll leave it at home… and then by mid-afternoon, I look like I’ve been trampled by a thousand malting cats.

Then again, I now see a flaw in my idea – like the spare buttons, I’d just remove the lint roller, use it, and leave it at home… huh.

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Bottega Veneta. £6,690. Available here. Lint roller. Available here.

4. Blue jeans and dye fixatives

I have a pair of dark blue jeans, which I bought, oh… two years ago now. I know the drill. Always wash out the excessive amounts of dye before wearing new jeans, unless I’m going for the smurf look. However, they have been through the wash what must by now have been a few hundred times, and they have been washed with dye fixative a dozen times, and yet, you can guarantee that I will have to spend a week after wear scrubbing my legs each night with as many exfoliating products and mitts as I can lay my hands on, and having to awkwardly reassure anyone who sees me in a skirt that no, I do not have a circulation problem… they’re just stained blue. I’ll be stuck in a constant loop of scrubbing my legs until they look red, rather than blue, and therefore convincing myself under the overly-flattering lighting of my bathroom, that the stains have been buffed away. Only the following morning, as I step out confidently in a mini-skirt do I realise that actually, no, still smurf.

5

Frame Denim. £235. Available here. Retayne.

5. Coats or Suit trousers from Primark and scissors

I promised myself when I graduated university that never again would never again purchase any clothing from Primark. The only Primark products that are allowed are those ‘tips and tricks’ items like boob tape, gel inserts for my shoes and BOGOF wet wipes that are all so much cheaper than at Boots. I’m not a student anymore, it was time for a high street upgrade. And I’ve stuck to that plan, but this one still deserves a spot on this list, because it always drove me crazy while I was at university. I don’t care if its done as ‘tailoring’ to create a neater silhouette, if I buy an item of clothing with pockets, I expect to be able to use those pockets. I don’t enjoy having to awkwardly pick away the stitches when I get home. Why would they bother with making lined pockets if they’re then just going to sew them up? If they’re going to insist on such madness, we ought to be given the scissors to free our pockets, because you can guarantee that mine have always gone missing.

4

Primark Trousers £16 (not available online). Scissors.

This may seem like madness, but I swear it’s the direction that our high street shops should take… then again, it is also 1 o’clock in the morning…

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If Only: Outfit of the Day 1#

Like most girls, I have for years enjoyed wasting hours of precious time on various Fashion blogs, or perusing Lookbook.nu, perusing with green-eyed envy the carefully styled outfits of the globe’s most glamorous bloggers, photographers, models, students, graduates, interns and general ‘average Joe-anne’s; those in the same boat, it seems on the surface, as myself, (recent graduate, recently moved to London, pushing, like everyone else, for that big career break), and yet they are magically able to somehow afford what constantly appears to be immaculately designed, sweeping white-walled apartments and bottomless Narnia wardrobes.

I know that bloggers carefully design their public persona. Some may spend a week completely redesigning their entire work area simple for a quick ‘what’s on my desk’ post, while others swap and borrow from a long list of friend and family members’ wardrobes in order to constantly appear to have been on the shopping spree of the century. The more well-known bloggers may get sent free stuff, or take home goodie-bags from a range of events that their magical spot of the internet grants them access to.

These past few months, I’ve fallen in love with blogging, in the same way that I love my photography. It’s become very much a part of who I want to be, professionally… though I’m still figuring out the logistics of that. However, I do not have an immaculately designed, sweeping white-walled apartments, nor do I have bottomless Narnia wardrobes. I moved here to London in June, with one 10KG, carry-on sized suitcase… partly because I did not realise at the time that I would actually be moving to London, rather than simply passing through on my travels… that decision rather hit me like a ton of bricks. Therefore, 90% of my wardrobe remains locked away in my Dad’s spare bedroom in Derbyshire, waiting for my return. Not to mention that last summer, I decided in a stubborn fit of nomadic wanderlust that I would be living indefinitely out of that same suitcase, and so I had the clear out to end all clear outs. Yes, yes, I know. Silly, silly me. My wardrobe is calling to be built back up to its former glory of all colours, all fabrics, all designers.

Hard to do when you find that you’ve suddenly (a madly, willingly) gone from the luxury of nomadic travel, in all of its rent-free, bill-free, other-‘settler’-related-bills-and-taxes-free glory, to… rent, bills, other-‘settler’-related-bills-and-taxes. I find myself constantly asking where my money has disappeared to, checking my bank statements in a panic, convinced that I’ve been robbed, only to realise, ah, of course… it was rent day yesterday.

It’s been a shock to the system, to say the least. The past twelve months have spoiled me. However, from this came the ‘If Only’ series; an insight into my personal fantasy land, where I can live a-la-Sabrina-the-teenage-witch (you remember? She wore a completely fresh outfit everyday with a zap of her finger, because she could), and wear whatever I want; a completely fresh outfit everyday. Go on, indulge me. It will be so much more interesting than anything in my actual wardrobe.

11-Aug

1. Kate Moss for Topshop Jumpsuit. £90 £50. Available here.

2. Valentino Embellished Suede Cape. £10,440 £6264 . Available here.

3. Guiseppe Zanotti Fish Embellished Sandals. £640. Available here.

4. Reed Krakoff ‘Mini’ Atlantique Tote. Available here.

5. Love Moi Black Gold Triangle Statement Necklace. £17. Available here.

6. Links of London Diamond-cut chain necklace. £110. Available here.

7. Assad Mounser Swarovski Crystal Chain Necklace. £400. Available here.

8. Venna Crystal Pendant Spike Chain Necklace. £485. Available here.

9. Venna Crystal Spike Pearl Necklace. £435. Available here.

(7, 8 and 9 twisted, twined, quite possible taken apart entirely and worn, reassembled, as bracelets)

10. My Flash Trash Bronze Six Grill Ring. £48. Available here.

11. Saint Laurent D-Frame Acetate Mirror Sunglasses. £195. Available here.

12. Alexander McQueen Resin Skull-Handle Collapsible Umbrella. £330. Available here.

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Not the best wardrobe for backpacking…

When it comes to fashion, I think the 1950s were the best time for travelling. How on earth they managed to so perfectly pack those huge Grace Kelly skirts without completely ruining them, I’ll never know… how they managed to find the space to pack anything other than those space-hogging petticoats and skirts, I have no idea. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve tried in the past to be ‘sensible’ in what I pack for my travels. Jeans were banned (in the summer, anyway), my love for big midi-skirts was ignored, and I’d stick to a boho, mix and match, Free People-esque capsule wardrobe; lightweight, fold-resistant fabrics that take up minimal suitcase space . You’re mocked if you’re a girl with a big suitcase (especially one like these), full of the latest trends, which is definitely flared or pencil midi skirts right now. People – guys especially – roll their eyes out if they catch you applying lippy, or straightening your hair (though that last ‘backpacking offence, I am entirely innocent of, despite the cowlicks). You’re supposed to wander around with a grubby backpack (been there) – something ‘serious‘ (aka, ugly), or if you’re fashion conscience, vintage and canvas, which therefore feels like a bag of bricks hanging from your shoulder blades (done that).

I prefer to step off every plane, train and bus like this:

Minus the pin-perfect curls. I really don’t care that certain people who I meet on my travels openly presume that I am a) rich b) spoilt c) a bimbo and/or d) ignorant to the reality of backpacking. I’m not about to climb mountains in a pair of stilettos! Especially as I can barely walk down a perfectly flat and even pavement in stilettos without falling flat on my face… needless to say, while stilettos are pretty to look at, I never take anything higher than kittens abroad.

Fashion and travel don’t always work well together, of course… take the second Sex and The City movie. There were some great outfits in that film – I love the Dior tshirt-and-big-skirt combo. But equally, sometimes it was like a car crash headfirst into the wardrobe department. For example:

Personally, I think people have become lazy when it comes to fashion when travelling. I get that when travelling, people don’t want to spend hours and hours getting ready each morning. It takes me half an hour. Bam.

I think this is an expansion on my RSS… my fashion style is definitely ‘settled and working in the big city’, while my passion is to keep on moving, moving, moving. I’m molding the two tough, into something that works well for me.

Now days, besides making sure that I have one or two practical outfits for things like rock climbing, long, long, long walks or anything else that can’t be done in ballet pumps and kitten heels, I pack whatever I want, and just keep my fingers crossed that it will all fall naturally into a perfect capsule wardrobe. I seem to repeat the same go-to fashion habits again and again when it comes to colours and patterns, so generally, my entire wardrobe works well together. I guess in a way, I’m not particularly imaginative.

Dior

Bottega Vetena

Rochas

Fashion week still fresh in my mind, I’ve been thinking about my packing wardrobe of the season… Yes, the skirts are staying, along with tuxedo jackets – buttoned and bra-less… or maybe a cute lace bustier…hmm…), big petticoats beneath midi-skirts, patterned pencil skirts and amazing shoes.

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Look One: BlazerPetticoatSkirt. Shoes. Bag.

Look Two: BustierTrouser. Bag. Shoes. Belt. Necklace.

Look Three: Top. Skirt. Shoes. Bag.

Look Four: TopSkirt. Shoes. Bag.

Basically, I travel Audrey and Grace style.

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