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If Only: Outfit of the Day 28#

While I think there are certain limits between men and women sharing wardrobes – walking in to find any boyfriend of mine wearing my bra, for example, will never be taken lightly by me – I think there are a few staple pieces that every woman should pinch from her man’s wardrobe. Men’s shirts being the big must-have. They just look so sexy and chic with anything, be it tucked into an old pair of baggy chinos on a lazy day, dressed up with a midi-skirt an a waist belt, or tied at the waist with a pair of leather hotpants, we wear them better than any man, and we have so much more freedom to experiment! I feel for guys, I really do, their fashion trends are so much more restrictive than ours..

7-sep

1. Burton Black Shirt with Tipping. £22 £10. Available here.

2. NastyGal Fleur Bustier in Black. £23.29. Available here.

3. ASOS Premium Full Midi Skirt in Bonded Crepe. £75 £52. Available here.

4. Michael Michael Kors Selma Leather Tote. £315. Available here.

5. River Island Black Lace Up Chunky Heel Platform Shoes. £35 £20. Available here.

6. Rachel Entwistle Large Gold Cross Pendant. £165. Available here.

7. Misselfridge Burgundy Sock with Black Lace. £3.50. Available here.

8. My Flash Trash Double Pearl Ring. £20 £14.50. Available here.

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If Only: Outfit of the Day 10#

When I was at school, I used to worry about how depressing it must be to wear office attire – a limited variation between black, navy or grey, pinstriped or plain, suit trousers or pencil skirt. I was convinced that, if I ever found myself working in an office rather than living the dream as my own boss (*touch wood and hope that it’s a dream that I can continue forever*), how would I be able to find a reason to keep a smile on myself if I could not experiment? Yes, these were the sorts of things which concerned sixteen-year-old me, and yes, I got over it, partly because I learnt the joy of experimenting with business attire and finding ways to express myself through my wardrobe, while not looking inappropriate during meetings. Today I shall be speaking with stylists, designers, MUAs and hair stylists, brainstorming with them and we put together the first of my personal Sleeping Maidens project, and therefore while it’s not a serious work-related meeting, it will hopefully lead to some amazing opportunities, and so if I could raid any shop in the world, taking what I choose free-of-charge, I would choose something playful; a colourful bow tie and a bright, floral skirt.

20-Aug

1. Warehouse Floral Brushstroke Pencil Skirt. £30. Available here.

2. Nasty Gal Cut Class Top. £28.70. Available here.

3. Charlotte Olympia Kitty Embroidered Velvet Slippers. £365. Available here.

4. Zara Two-Tone Leather Tote in Yellow. £99.99. Available here.

5. American Apparel Sheer Patterned Socks.$12. Available here.

6. American Apparel Unisex Silk Bow Tie in ‘Gregory’. $36. Available here.

7. ASOS Fine Multi-Row Bead Necklace. £8. Available here.

8. Whistles Necter Pyramid Cord Bracelet. £20. Available here.

9. ASOS V Stacked Rings. £8. Available here.

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The 3 L's

Motivation from my Idols

I’ve always been a bit of a ‘collector’ of inspirational quotes and idols, people to admire and look up to, and, in any way possible, learn from. Too many people choose the wrong sort of idols now days, celebrities who have too much of a tendency to get caught with drugs, stumbling around drunk, crashing their expensive cars and generally setting a bad example.

Most of my idols are, and have always been, entrepreneurs, and yet while so many people have heard of their companies, so few can name a single founder’s name, besides a few of the ‘A list’ entrepreneurs, such as Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. I’ve always been someone who wants to be a ‘business polymath’, rather than purely focusing on photography, or design, or writing. There are so many things I wish to do, notebooks full of business ideas. I’m a big dreamer, but I know my strengths and my weaknesses – I’m creative. My creativity completely engulfs the rest of my personality, in fact. However, I’m having to work heard to learn about the business side of things. I’m not sure that I believe that some people are born with the instinctive knowledge required for building a business empire, but if such a person exists, I most certainly am not one of them. That said, I’m intelligent, I’m hard working, and I make the most of my library card, my kindle, I’m always contacting the right people with the right knowledge, picking their brains, and slowly, I’m improving.

Here are a few of my favourite quotes from a few of my entrepreneurial idols. Hopefully someone will be blogging about my business(es) one day.

simone

To be free is not to have the power to do anything you like; it is to be able to surpass the given toward an open future.

-Simone de Beauvoir. Writer, philosopher, political activist.

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Abandon anything about your life and habits that might be holding you back. Learn to create your own opportunities. Know that there is no finish line; fortune favors action. Race balls-out toward the extraordinary life that you’ve always dreamed of, or still haven’t had time to dream up.

-Sophia Amoruso. Founder of Nasty Gal.

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I think you can be a jack-of-all-trades and a mistress-of-all-trades. If you study it, and you put reasonable intelligence and reasonable energy, reasonable electricity to it, you can do that.

-Maya Angelou. Author, dancer, actress, singer.

JK-Rowling

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might has well not have lived at all, in which case you have failed by default.
-JK Rowling. Author.

Anita-Roddick

Nobody talks about entrepreneurship as a survival, but that’s exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking. Running that first shop taught me business is not financial science; it’s about trading: buying and selling.

-Anita Roddick. Founder of The Body Shop, human rights and environmental activist.

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The more you trust your intuition, the more empowered you become, the stronger you become, and the happier you become.
-Gisele Bundchen. Model, actress, producer, entrepreneur.

Olsen-Wallpaper-mary-kate-and-ashley-olsen-25138367-1024-768

The thing about us, is we think big. Huge.

-Mary Kate Olsen. Fashion designer, entrepreneur.

I will never stop working. I want to have something to do. When you work, you’re taking part in life.

-Ashley Olsen. Fashion designer, entrepreneur.

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The lesson that I have learned in life is that we should try and try and try again – but never give up.

-Richard Branson. Founder of the Virgin brand, entrepreneur.

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Don’t worry about being successful but work towards being significant and the success will naturally follow.

-Oprah. TV host, producer, entrepreneur.

coco_chanel

How many cares one loses when one decides not to be something but to be someone.

-Coco Chanel. Fashion designer, Founder of the Chanel brand.

EileenFisherWelcome

Life-fulfilling work is never about the money – when you feel true passion for something, you instinctively find ways to nurture it.

-Eileen Fisher. Fashion designer.

winston_churchill

Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.

-Winston Churchill, former British Prime Minister, author, historian, artist.

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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.

wishlist-may

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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