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May Wish List

This month’s wish list clearly reflects just how many old black and white movies I’ve been watching lately… Hitchcock, Curtiz, Wilder and Huston, I’ve been locked well and truly in a film noir binge for several weeks now. That of course means that I’ve been spending far too much time day dreaming about my dream boudoir bedroom, complete with a glamorous peignoir to sweep about the room in, a la Gilda.

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1. Latte Design. Dream Big Art Print. £9.16. Available here. If I’m dreaming of hollywood glam boudoirs with luxury wardrobes, then I’m clearly dreaming big. I would have this centre stage in the middle of a wall of art, as the ultimate motivation.

2. Steve Madden. Cori Cut-Out Oxfords. £60. Available here. I always have a pair of brogues or oxfords in my wardrobe, wearing them until they’re tatty and torn. Never before have I seen cut-out oxfords, however… they’re beautiful! Not great for rainy English days, however. Great for my favourite summer past time of reading books in quiet Parisian cafes, quietly people watching over the page. Library chic.

3. Yang Li. Full Length Cotton & Silk Skirt. £1375. Available here. This dress is expensive, dramatic, and oh so glamorous. I’d style it with a cream silk camisole with the thinnest straps and a low cut back for Paris, a low backed fitted top for Milan, a plaid shirt tied at the waist into a crop top for New York, and with an oversized, fashionably torn slogan t-shirt for London. So versatile but daring.

(Update* See how I have styled this skirt for NYC, Milan, Paris and London here.)

4. Laura Mercier. Creme Brulee Honey Bath. $45. Available here. Everyone has their signature scents, and mine have for a long time now been honey and vanilla, from my hair potions, skin lotions and perfumes (but for the occasional spritz of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle thrown in there in all its floral glory on special occasions).  If it contains either of my beloved favourite two ingredients, I want it. I don’t know why, but I especially love the little honey dipper that comes with it. I’m a sucker for good packaging, I guess.

5. Stella McCartney Balcony Bra. £96 £67. Available here.

6. Stella McCartney Underwear. £52 £36. Available here.

I make it no secret that I adore beautiful lingerie, and cobalt blue is my ‘colour of the month’. Stella McCartney has never let me down, and so I of course adore this beautiful lace and silk blue lingerie set.  So pretty, so sexy.

7. Very Home. Wood Frame Etolies a Marrakech Diffuser. £53. Available here. Living on the very edge of a city, surrounded by fields and farms, it’s fair to say that things smell strange here, and so I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with covering those ‘country smells’ of pigs, cows and horses with a range of candles and diffusers. I can’t believe I went years before finally buying a diffuser set for myself – they are amazing! Their scent is stronger than a candle, you don’t have to worry about your house burning down if you fall asleep in front of the Eastenders omnibus (I caught a few minutes of it just last week, and I can tell you that it’s a very real threat!) and they don’t make that irritating little hissing puff sound that plug-in or battery powered air fresheners do either periodically or – worse – whenever you dare to move! Definitely my new favourite way to stop those wandering farm smells from invading my house.

8. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner. £18. Available here. I’ve never actually tried gel eyeliner, but I have always heard good things about it, and I think that when I do finally get around to that make up bag purchase,  Bobbi Brown would be a good place to start. Has anyone tried it? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

9. Fornasetti. Silenzio Candles. £109 each. Available here. Nevertheless, there will always be a place for candles in my heart home, and this (rather expensive) Fornasetti candle set would look amazing, side by side on a white coffee table.

10. Lush. Vanillary Gorilla Fragrance. Prices from £28. Available here. Some vanilla to go with my honey bath… stuff (what do I call it exactly? Bath cream? Bath gel? Bubble bath? We speak a language that for each word in the English dictionary, has 100+ alternate words that share the same meaning, and yet we refer to anything that we add to our bathwater as either bubble bath, or, if you’re a grown adult, ‘bath’? Where’s the sense?) I’ve long trusted Lush and their products, and I’ve often used their solid perfumes while travelling, especially Vanillary, a tried-and-trusted favourite that everyone always compliments.

11. Montegrappa. The Brain Gold Fountain Pen. £29,580. Available here. I had to include this one just for the ridiculous extravagance of it. Almost £30K for a fountain pen? I may be one of the only members of the Y generation who still puts pen to paper, but is it really such a spectacular design that it would be worth the kidneys, eggs, pints of blood and miles of hair that I would have to sell to be able to afford it? Doubtful.

12. #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso. £. Available here from 8th May. I’ve been looking forward to this ever since it was first announced, and I will be sure to snap it up from the nearest bookshop next week. I have long enjoyed reading the biographies and business advice books of various entrepreneurs, picking their brains, trying to understand how their businesses boomed as they have. Sophia Amoruso is yet another idol of mine, the founder of Nasty Gal, which began as a humble Ebay shop. I can’t wait to see what she has to say.

13. Eicholtz. Royal Master Sealight Lamp. £1539. Available here. Again, I’d blame my love of old Hollywood movies and, of course, photography, but if ever I spot an extravagant, industrial-style lamp such as this one, it stops me in my tracks. Yes, the price is a little steep (how many donated eggs would that cost? Two? Three?) but I love it.

14. Ted Baker Opulent Bloom Black Cabin Luggage. £199. Available here. My choice of luggage matters just as much to me as what I pack inside it, and I’ve lately seen a range of beautiful, floral Ted Baker suitcases lining shop windows, tempting me. One day I’ll succumb and replace the ultra light, red IT suitcase with something albeit chunkier and heavier, but so, so much more beautiful.

15. Heaven Tanudiredja. Baven for Death Princess Necklace. £869. Available here. I rarely wear jewellery, but when I do, I go big. I’m all about statement necklaces to bring together, and how great would this necklace look teamed with the Yang Li skirt and a white silk camisole? Or for a more casual day look, a simple yellow tea dress…

16. Kikkerland. Sharp Image Pencil Sharpener. $19.99. Available here. Of course, as a photographer, my eye will be drawn to a camera-shaped pencil sharpener, even though it has been done a thousand times before. Cute, quirky and so typical, I’m amazed that I haven’t found one in a Secret Santa stocking before!

17. Too Faced. Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in Melted Peony-Dusty Rose. £21. Available here. Last but now least, we have a liquified lipstick (or a thicker, gooier lipgloss, if you prefer). I’ve always been quite traditional about my lipsticks, but dried out, chapped lips caked in flakey clumps of colour have always been a problem for me, while lipgloss simply gets on my nerves, with its need for reapplication every five minutes, so perhaps it’s about time that I experiment with this go-between solution.

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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.

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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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Oscars Behind the Scenes

After the fashion, I love seeing the BTS antics of the Oscars. Celebs and their camera phones never fail to amuse me, but mostly I’m just really drawn to candid photography.

Firstly, there’s the Oscar selfie that has been all over twitter, because of course, with Ellen Degeneres as host, the night was going to consist of about 75% Ellen antics. Such as group selfies, ordering pizza, and dressing as Glinda the good witch.

Best selfie ever? Ellen DeGeneres took a moment out from hosting duties to grab this selfie with some of her favourite celebrities

Making them jealous: Ireland will be the envy of her friends after being smooched by hunk Pharrell Williams

The really Wilde show: She seemed to have a great time posing up with Olivia and her fiance Jason Sudeikis

How is Olivia Wilde so beautiful as to look great even when awkwardly posing is such a shoulder-jerking, bump-squashing, heel-teetering way?

Starting Rumers: Willis made sure she gave her fans a thrill by posting this 'sneak peek' pic of her dress

Exit stage right: Emma Roberts and Joseph Gordon Levitt did not have far to run if they had a panic attack backstage

At least she won't get slated: Her Fashion Police star daughter Kelly would know better than to poke fun at Sharon Osbourne's outfit

I am in love with Sharon Osbourne’s Oscar outfit.

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Kelly Osbourne

In the dark: Jamie Foxx stood backstage before presenting the Oscar for best original score

Speaking of teen idols: Zac Efron looked handsome as ever in his black suit as he waited to present backstage

Winner all around: Jennifer, Cate, Matthew and Daniel got together backstage

Photo bomb: Benedict Cumberbatch jumped high and pulled a face as U2 posed for a photo op on the red carpet ahead of their touching Oscars performance of Ordinary Love

I laughed way too much at Mr Cumberbatch’s photobomb, I must admit. So much, it hurts. Am I supposed to refer to it as a Cumberstitch? I don’t know, I’ve just noticed that it’s common when talking about Mr C to add literally any and every relevant word of the conversation to ‘Cumber’.

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March Wish List

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1. Valentino Blue Scarf. £250. Available here.

I’m a sucker for scarves. They are such a good way to add something special to even a basic white top and jeans – I rarely leave the house without a scarf tied to my handbag (new and cheap scarves only – I learnt the hard way that my knot tying skills are rubbish and therefore I’ve lost a few gorgeous vintage scarves over the years).

2. Regal Rose Blue & Pink lace crown. £17, on sale here.

This is the fashion photographer in me thinking away when I look at this crown – it’s not something that I would have either the wish or the confidence to wear out and about. Just look at how pretty it is? With it’s on-trend ombre pink-blue dye and the laser cut detail… shall we plan some shoots, model friends mine?

3. Stitch a Journey Map. £17. Available here.

I’ve seen this in various little boutiques here and there, with maps of various countries and I just think it’s so cute as a gift for a wanderlust-prone free spirit… but also with a preference to plan their route rather than simply wander around as I tend to. Are they two contradictory types of traveller? I don’t know.

4. George at Asda Aristocats Pyjamas. £13. Available here.

I’ve needed some pyjamas for travelling for ages… that sounds like I sleep naked when I travel. No, I’ve just spent years wearing either fleece winter pyjamas, or, when I’m dealing with 44C heat, a pair of old sports shorts and any old tank top. I want some nice pyjamas… Disney pyjamas. Personally, I’m not a fan of the official Disney line of pyjamas, but then I saw what Asda have done with my favourite childhood movies – Bambi and Aristocats. I love them!  They’re cute without basically looking like oversized kid’s nightwear. I need a pair!

5. Alice & Olivia Dress. £515. Available here.

If only I could afford to wear a completely different outfit everyday – the Sabrina the Teenage Witch TV show springs to mind. Hmm… I think I’d need Mary Poppins’ bag to replace my suitcase too. Ah well, I can dream.

6. Fresh Honey Face Mask. $130. Available here.

Honestly, I couldn’t justify the $130 price tag on a face mask when I make my own honey face mask on a weekly basis, but I saw this in Sephora and I must say, the amazing scent alone almost convinced me that this would be better than my own au naturel recipe. It smells delicious; honey, vanilla and a strange sort of blend that reminds me of freshly cut grass. It’s basically a pot of my favourite feel-good scents, which also (I’ve been told) works wonders for moisturising dry skin. I’ve heard nothing but excellent reviews.

7. Statement ring. £23.25. Available here.

Would I ever wear this? Probably not. The few rings I ever owned were soon thrown away because I simply never wore them, but still… it’s so pretty. Isn’t that the point of a wish list? Admiring things that I know I will never own? Maybe I’ve missed the point. I just think – and maybe it’s just me – but rings seem to have become so much more interesting recently… suddenly it’s all about statement rings, weirdly stacked and chained together rings, knuckle rings, and three-in-one rings.

8. Kora Cosmetics by Miranda Kerr. £157. Available here.

Is this just a Celebrity-related hype that everyone is interested in purely because of Miranda Kerr’s involvement, or is it a genuinely excellent product? I don’t know, but I’m curious, I admit. As someone with sensitive skin, the word ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ always pricks up my ears and makes me pay attention, and looking at the ingredients page of Kora Organics website, it looks trustworthy enough and unlikely to bring my skin out in any of its usual fits of protest. But again… £157 for pre-made products or do I just stick to DIY?

9. Anywhere Travel Guide. $12.99. Available here.

It took me a few moments to quite understand what these are when I first stumbled across them. It’s a cute idea that I would put in the same category as Wreck this Journal; silly entertainment, but with no real purpose. Basically, this is a pack of 75 suggestion cards that say things like ‘ask the next person you meet where his favourite street is, and then go there’. The idea behind it is to inspire you, to shake up your life and drag you out of that rut that is routine.

10. Ted Baker Jewellery Travel Roll. £23.99. Available here.

I love the fabric pattern used for this Ted Baker jewellery roll. I love the florals, the watercolour feel, the pale blue belt clasp… I think this is something that every girl should pack in her suitcase, wherever she is jetting off to, and for however long.

11. Miu Miu Shoes. £440. Available here.

I feel like I have included these shoes somewhere in this blog before? Or perhaps I was going to but didn’t… nevertheless, I still love them. And that is all I have to say about that.

12. Globe Trotters Vanity Case. £630. Available here.

Completely unnecessary, but completely gorgeous.

13. Frozen on DVD. Available as of 31st March in the UK.

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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!

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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.

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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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