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If Only: Outfit of the Day 25#

I think today’s styled outfit is inspired by London’s art galleries, many of which I have today frequented on a grand artistic tour of idea fuel. From the colours, the painterly skirt and the vintage-print blossom top, I’ve mellowed the mass of patterns and brights with Burberry’s beige trench cape; a modern twist on their classic, reliable beige trench that works so well to balance a busy outfit. The boots and crochet are probably considered an unusual choice with the skirt and top, but I think it would work really well.

4-sep

1. MSGM Printed Satin Midi Skirt. £325. Available here.

2. Warehouse Blossom Print Tee. £15 £10. Available here.

3. Jigsaw Soho Leather Lace Up Boots in Cream. £169. Available here.

4. Chloé Medium Marcie Cross Body Bag in Blue. £789.63. Available here.

5. Burberry Gabardine Trench Cape. £795. Available here.

6. Reiss Belluci Hammered Metal Belt. £69. Available here.

7. Oasis Crochet Trim Sock in Grey. £3. Available here.

8. Ben-a-Mun Gold-Tone Bead and Tassel Necklace. £122.50. Available here.

9. Zalando House of Harlow Bracelet. £44. Available here.

10. Astley Clarke Halcyon Days Bracelet Stack. £525. Available here.

11. Maison Martin Margiela Four Finger Cuff Rings. £280. Available here.

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London

Art and Afternoon Walks

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No matter how busy my schedule, I always find the time to take a long walk around London, see an exhibition or two, perhaps visit the theatre, anything that can get me out and about, drinking in as much culture and inspiration as possible, and of course, my camera has to come along with me (but for theatre trips). I’m always trying to make sure that I avoid a creative rut, and before moving to London, I did feel like my whole life was in a rut, a routine, even if, by travelling, it wasn’t a typical one. One of the promises that I made myself when I made my move here, was to get back into the habit of regularly stepping out of my comfort zone.

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For me, street photography is definitely out of my comfort zone. Oh, I can’t and have been known to snap away as I make my way around an unfamiliar place – abroad. It’s a much easier thing to do when there are language barriers, and I’m so clearly not a local. But here, in London, where people can potentially confront me over what I’m doing, knowing that I’d probably not be a good enough actress to pull of pretending to be a tourist.. its a scary thought to an introvert like myself. However, I was determined, and as you can see… I didn’t come away empty handed.

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Kudos have to go to my old college professor (hi Steve), who had a habit of shooting candid street photography discreetly from waist/chest height. At the time, I thought he was crazy he is, of course, completely crazy, but I found it to be such a great way for me to break through that shell of shyness, the paranoid part of me that was too busy fretting about whether people would notice if I take a shot of them, whether they’d confront me, but equally, being too shy to approach people and ask for their photograph (after all, yesterday it took me five minutes to pluck up the courage to ask to the wonderfully dressed woman on Brick Lane, hurried only by noticing that she was about to leave, only to be told, frankly, to bugger off).

So that’s how I began, with a few tentative clicks of the shutter from waist-height, timed to match a noisy rush of traffic. No one noticed. I came to a quiet street, with no noise to cover Canon’s irritably loud shutter. Second photo, and again, no one batted an eye lid. And that was it, boom, fear obliterated. I spent the rest of the afternoon brazenly hopping about, camera pressed to my eye, photographing anyone and anything that caught my eye. It now seems like such a stupid thing to have begun my afternoon worrying about, as after all, I have been carrying around a camera for as long as I can remember, and if ever I leave the country, I have no qualms about photographing whatever takes my fancy, so why does that suddenly change in London?

Well, not anymore.

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Everything I love about London is here for all to see; the madness, the vast, eccentric mix of culture, the mass of public art and entertainment for us all to enjoy, the laughter and how easy it is for everyone to enjoy the city together, but equally the unspoken rules of London: no eye contact, do not speak with strangers, especially on the tube. Big no, no, which as a person who enjoys a good book when travelling by tube, is more than happy with this arrangement. There’s this energy about London and I feel like I’m absorbing it whenever I leave my home; I return each evening smiling, inspired, motivated to knuckle down and work, network, create. Not that I specifically need London for any of that, but to be in a city that amplifies my creative energies tenfold, is such a wonderful, incredible feeling.

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I walked about a dozen miles… from Islington to St Paul’s Cathedral, walking south to Tate Modern (I then stepped inside for a browse, as it’s been far too long since my last visit!), along Southbank, past Big Ben, through Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus, followed by what must have been 1000 miles walking around the mega Waterstones alone (I can never resist), back along Fleet Street, and back towards Angel, back home.

Yes, I guess you could say that my feet now hurt, as do my legs and shoulders. Of course, I could have been sensible, I could have taken the tube, or the bus, but then I would never have found half of these photographs if I had done that. The aches and pains are worth it… and tomorrow morning when it’s even worse, I’ll read this back and look back through these photographs and remind myself of that fact. No, that won’t be necessary. I’ll still be buzzing from my day.

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  tim walker 5#

So yesterday me and a few uni friends drove down to London with one of our lecturers to take a peek at a few exhibitions. I especially loved Tim Walker’s Somerset House exhibition! Unfortunately after the first two weeks, Walker asked for photography to be banned, and so I’ve had to steal images from other blogs to show just how amazing it was ♥

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I love seeing inside Tim Walker’s head whenever possible, I’ve read so many interviews, I recently bought his ‘Pictures’ book and have spent weeks pouring over over word, every drawing and every photograph, and so this exhibition was my idea of heaven. He juts has a really interesting way of seeing the world and of describing his thoughts that always draws me in, and of course he has that effect on everyone, and that is why he is so famous and so loved and admired!

Also at Somerset House, is the current Cartier-Bresson exhibition. That surprised us all in being rather different than we thought; only about a quarter of the images, if that, had been shot by Cartier-Bresson. I admit I read nothing about the exhibition before arriving so only presumed, so when I arrived I was surprised to see so many pop-art colourful, modern images by various other artists. Basically it is laid out as a debate between the emotional power behind colour and black and white photography, steming from Cartier-Bresson’s comment: ‘Colour photography is not up to the mark – prove me wrong!’ And so many photographers, including Saul Leiter, Carolyn Drake and Joel Meyerowitz, took him up on that challenge.

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Both Tim Walker: Storyteller and Cartier-Bresson: A Question of Colour are currently free to view at Somerset House. Both exhibitions end on 27th January, so I’d hurry up and go to see it if I were you!

I myself plan to head back soon – I still have the Valentino exhibition to see there!

We also headed to the National Portrait Gallery to see this year’s Taylor Wessing exhibition. I won’t say too much about this exhibition, my opinions may not please everyone to hear… but go and check it out. It’s running until 17th February in the National Portrait Gallery. We also took a peek at the Duchess of Cambridge’s first official royal portrait… can’t say that we were impressed… Paul Emsley managed to portray Kate as dull, exhausted, in need of a good wash, and what on earth was going on with her hair colour?! Bizarre.

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As for London itself… I so wish we hadn’t always been in such a hurry to see everything, as the snow rather slowed us down in getting there! The lighting was amazing, the mist beautiful (though unfortunately, deadly, RIP Peter Barnes and Matthew Wood, who lost their lives in the horrific helicopter crash yesterday morning), and I just wanted to sit around with my camera, and a big mug of coffee to keep warm, photographing London.

I’ll be back there soon 😀 it’s the Adventure Travel Show next weekend, and, geek that I am, I’m of course going! I do have my own BIG adventure in the works, after all….. 😀

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The 3 L's

Tim Walker: London Exhibition

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