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If Only: Outfit of the Day 20#

With the hat, the wide-leg trousers, the heels, I guess today’s look has some strong 70s vibes. With a murky colour pallet ad that pop of blue, it’s a very autumnal look, simple, understated, but edgy all the same.

30-Aug

1. AllSaints Myrthe Top in Black/Mustard. £148. Available here.

2. Roland Mouret Lucanus Wool-Crepe Wide-Leg Trousers. £595. Available here.

3. Valentino Cult Embellished Suede Pumps. £525. Available here.

4. The Cambridge Satchel Company. The Classic in Black 13″. £108. Available here.

5. French Connection Ombre Box Chain Necklace. £40. Available here.

6. Oasis Brown Strap Multi Dials Watch. £45. Available here.

7. Alighieri Pier Della Vigna Ring. £140. Available here.

8. Ray-Ban 4105 Folding Wayfarer Sunglasses. £117. Available here.

9. Eugenia Kim Blake Hat. £244.20. Available here.

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AW14: How to wear… Folk Fairy Chic

You don’t have to look hard at this season’s runways to the heavily layered influences of folk and fairy tales. From romantically dark, Grimms brother-esque graphics to sheer, floating florals, woodland decals and Germanic prints, all __ atop a deep pallet of emeralds, navy’s, rubies and deep golds. This trend compliments the overruling trend of statement coats, capes and ponchos perfectly, combining to create a romantic, whimsical look which will send us all harking back to those childhood days of playing make-believe as our favourite fairy tale characters.

Alberta Ferretti

Alberta Ferretti

D&G

Dolce & Gabbana

Emilio Pucci

Emilio Pucci

etro

Etro

Mary Katrantzou

Mary Katrantzou

Temperley London

Temperley London

valentino 1

Valentino

valentino 2

Valentino

Get the look…

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1. Traffic People. £100 £58. Available here. 2. Topshop. £55. Available here. 3. Topshop. £55. Available here. 4. Free People. £58. Available here. 5. ASOS. £38 £15. Available here.

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1. Mata Traders. $79.99 $55.99. Available here. 2. ModCloth. $59.99. Available here. 3. American Apparel. £12. Available here. 4. Mantaray. £29. Available here. 5. ASOS. £60 £30. Available here. 6. Topshop. £14.50. Available here. 7. My Flash Trash. £22.50. Available here. 8. River Island. £8. Available here. 9. River Island. £3. Available here.

To recreate this look this winter, opt for keeping warm with thick tights, rather than packing away your dresses and skirts; have you ever seen a fairy tale princess in trousers, after all? As the air chills, swap light, floating fabrics for thicker fabrics like velvet, wool or flannel; brocade, embroidery and gemstone shades are all in. Team with leather accessories, and keep yourself snug in a thigh-skimming cape. If you find one with a hood, even better, but if not, pinning a fur collar will complete the look.

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If you’re a fashion minimalist and so not a fan of the woodland-animal themed motifs and extravagant florals that have flocked to the runway, you can still inject some folk influences into your look. Stick with block colours as your base; such as this dress or this skirt and top combination, teamed with folk tale themed jewellery such as this or this and a laser-cut leather handbag, such as here or here. Keep yourself with a blanket cardigan such as this or this coat, while this scarf would look great tied in a bow around the handle of a leather tote. A cute pair of leather boots, and of course, don’t forget those thick winter tights (or socks, if you’re feel you can brave the icy winds), and your look is complete.

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January Wish List

 Because even during those lucky months in the up-and-down of self-employment, even though I’m just kind of floating around with my camera and my passport, with no need to pay rent or bills as I was this time last year, there’s always about one-thousand more things on my shopping wish list than I can possibly afford. Even if I were to sell my kidney, it just wouldn’t be enough. Sigh.

 

 

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  1. Fendi. Striped Sherling and Calf Hair Tote. £2770. Available here. A girl can always use a new handbag, and this one, frankly, is stunning. I’ve always ‘played it safe’ with my handbags, sticking to blacks or browns or, if I’m feeling daring, a deep red leather. Perhaps it is about time that I move into patterned territory, and I think this striped Fendi bag would be a good place to start. Let’ just brush over the £2770 price tag, shall we? A girl can dream…
  2. Becksondergaard. He Loves Me Scarf. £45. Available here. While I tend to walk around in what is apparently becoming my ‘trademark’ over sized gold scarf from Switzerland, I am a big fan of collecting scarves, particularly if they are either vintage, or vintage in style. This Becksondergaard is adorable in both name and look, the He Loves Me Scarf. How many of us spent our childhood playfully picking apart flowers to see if *insert name here* ‘loved’ us? If only life was as simple as our love lives being decided by whether a flower has an odd or even number of petals!
  3. Smythson. Mara Textured-Leather Jewellery Box. £555. Available here. I’ve always had rather eclectic tastes, and Smythson for me is a brand which oozes class and sophistication. I’ve always adored everything that they produce in the same gleeful was as I do every Chanel or Chloé collection, and I’m especially excited now that Smythson has moved into the realm of beautiful leather cases for our technology. They always produce to the highest quality, making the £555 price tag well worth it.
  4. Kiki de Montparnasse.  Amour Sleeveless Silk-Satin Robe. £320. Available here. I’m a woman who feels most at ease with herself when lounging in bed with a good book. I take great pride in choosing what I will wear for such lazy Sundays; I’m not someone who throws on a pair of tracksuit bottoms and an old t-shirt. Therefore, its no wonder that this beautiful, navy blue silk-satin robe caught my eye. Let’s face it, I’m someone who considers owning a boudoir dressing area as fairly high on my lifelong wish list. Priorities, clearly.
  5. Bella Freud. Signature Incense, Wood & Oud Scented Candle. £38. Available here. Like most of us, I think, my candle scent tastes change from spring/summer to autumn/winter. While in the summer, I prefer floral, clean, beachy scents, in winter I prefer to stock up on two types of candles; Christmas scents (spiced apple being my all time favourite) and woody, earthy scents. It’s as if lighting a scented candle makes me feel instantaneously better with the current temperature; I find summer heat more bearable with a beachy candle burning, and equally I feel instantly warmer the moment I light a woody candle (and no, I believe its for more than just the obvious reason of there being a naked flame present). It’s no surprise then that at this time of year, this Bella Freud candle was bound to catch my eye.
  6. The Estate Yard. Deer Fine Bone China Mug. £12. Available here. I’m yet to meet someone who doesn’t collect mugs. Most of us don’t realise that we do, until one day, we reach into the cupboard with our latest china purchase, and find that we have no option but to balance the new mug precariously on top of all the rest.  I know that its not just me – being an avid coffee drinker, I’ve seen inside the mug cupboards of so many people over the years, I know that its a national ‘problem’. Nevertheless, its not one that I plan to change anytime soon, and so here you go, I’m throwing in a mug, perfect for winter cocoa, soup, and of course, my much needed fuel: coffee.
  7. Mod Cloth. Streak of Success Skirt. $59.99. Available here. It may be bitterly cold outside, but throw on a thick pair of tights (or several) and I’d still be happy to head out in a skirt. This navy skirt from Mod Cloth is perfect year-round, in keeping with the midi-skirt trend that has been around for so long now (which I will never tire of). I especially love the simplicity of the white band detail. So simple, so versatile and perfect.
  8. Jimmy Choo. Attila Embossed Patent-Leather Point-Toe Flats. £375. Available here. Black flats are my staple shoe. I walk my way through about 5 pairs a year. Generally I choose suede, rotating between a contrasting toe-style or an over sized bow. Sometimes, however, I do something crazy and choose patent leather… you know, in case I ever leave my mirror at home and I need to check my reflection.
  9. Sweaty Betty. Double Time Run Tank. £60. Available here. It’s January, a time of fitness-related new year resolutions that only about 3% of us will stick at until next year. Mine is to take up pilates again. It would be a much easier resolution to stick to if I lived in London, land of the free yoga/pilates classes in every park, any day, any time, you can guarantee you’ll find a yoga mad group flexing on the grass. Try that in Derby, and people stare. It seems to be acceptable in Paris as long as your French, and you’ll be considered laughing stock if you try it in Italy or super-relaxed Spain. Nevertheless, I am determined to try, wherever I may find myself. First things first, I need the perfect pilates wardrobe, and Sweaty Betty has proven to be a great place to start.
  10. Sweaty Betty. Easy Run Capris. £55. Available here.
  11. Bare Minerals. Bare Skin Perfecting Face Brush. $28. Available here. Choosing the right makeup brush can be as important as choosing the right makeup in achieving that flawless, au naturel look. Choose the wrong brush, and you could be left looking blotchy, patchy, with brush strokes as visible as the Mona Lisa. I’ve heard great things about this brush from Bare Minerals for creating a flawless look, and I hope to soon be able to try it out for myself.
  12. Nip+Fab. Bee Sting Fix Eye Night. £14.95. Available here. It’s the latest crazy to sweep the celebrity world; the use of bee venom to ‘plump’ up the face and reduce and prevent wrinkles. I may be only twenty-two, but I’ve always believed that anti-aging skin care starts early – its much easier to prevent wrinkles from appearing than it is to remove them once they’re there, after all. While there are plenty of much pricier bee venom creams, potions and lotions to choose from, I would prefer to start with Nip+Fab’s budget-friendly version. Who knows, perhaps its the secret to maintaining my youth that I’ve been searching for?
  13. Clothbound Classics. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens. £11.29. Available here. Being a bookworm, I could not compile a wishlist without including a book or two. I’m a big fan of the classics, and Dickens is no exception. Being the artistic sort, it only makes sense that I would yearn for this beautiful clothbound version of my favourite of his novels: Great Expectations, don’t you think? A range of classics have been given the same classy treatment, and are available here.
  14. MAC. Punk Couture Eyeshadow. $40. Available here in Spring 2014. This one is not yet available for another few months, but I already have my eye fixed, waiting impatiently. I know what I like and what I don’t when it comes to my makeup, I’m not one for experimenting for bold eye shadows (unless a camera is involved), preferring neutral shades, venturing only as far as deep blacks, plums and navys for a night out smokey eye. This pallet is teetering on the edge of my comfort zone, consisting of both pale pinks and smoky navy, but its not quite anything like I’ve ever used before, and so I am excited to experiment, ever so slightly.
  15. Missoni Home Husky Throw. £248. Available here. Patterned blankets go hand-in-hand with chilly English winters, don’t you think? There’s nothing I love more than snuggling up beneath a stack of blankets, with my scented candles burning, a good book in my hand, and a mug of steaming cocoa at my side, cosy in my beautiful dressing gown, while the snow is falling outside. Wintery perfection.

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As I confessed last time,  my new self portrait is not one pure, single-image self portrait… it’s four. My scarf and legs are from test shot one, my arm is from test shot three, my face came from test shot four,  and a few extra folds and details of my scarf were taken from test shot two in order to smooth out the final image. There were only four test shots though, and I used them all to merge into one final image. It’s just a shame that I didn’t use any of the actual bootless shots instead, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. Sometimes our test shots surprise us.

Actually, test shots have never surprised me before, because that’s all they are; they’re the shots taken to make sure everything is in focus, I’m in the correct place, the lighting and settings are all good to go, etc, etc, etc. I keep complaining about how cold it was to stand with almost bare feet in the four-inch snow, but really, I ought to stop – it definitely made life easier, knowing exactly where to stand. Much more effective than the faint chalk mark left when location managers simply won’t allow a cross of tape.

I’m not really one for excessive use of Photoshop. I prefer to go au naturel as much as possible, attempting to perfect the lighting, colours and overall look of the image in camera, so that that final Photoshop Curve/Level tweak is there purely to manipulate my colours a touch. I like my shadows with a hint of blue.

Therefore, cutting and merging so many images in this way was quite a rare thing for me, but I am definitely pleased with the final result, after about three hours of carefully pasting image upon image, blending limbs with limbs and hiding third arms with feathered brushes. Finally, a quick curve layer gave my colours a slight ‘pop’, and voila. I hope you like the final result, which can be seen here, as much as I do.

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Workaholic

Snowy Self Portrait: BTS & Editing

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I spend twenty minutes in the ankle-deep snow, my feet covered with just a pair of tights, dressed in a summer skirt, tank top, and a very thin cardigan, hoping I don’t lose any of my precious toes to frost bite for the sake of a self portrait… I make the short, numb walk home, my tights sodden and unpleasant in the rubber boots, and after preparing a much-needed bowl of hot water to help thaw out my feet, I look through the images that I have just minutes earlier created. And what do I decide? That my favourite snap is this one – one of my test shots taken while I was still wearing boots and a cardigan… it’s typical, isn’t it?

Actually, that sentence is not entirely accurate; what i ought to say is that the cluster of images that were merged to create this final piece all happened to be test shots. I’ve posted a BTS editing post here. None of the ‘real deal’, boot-less images worked for me, and so instead, here we have it. I did for a while begin to slowly edit-out the wellington boots, cutting in legs from yet another image, thinking that if I had just risked the lost of several tootsies for the sake of a self portrait, at least you were going to see it. I gave in soon enough, however, and honestly, I’m happy with the final result.

This is a spot where I have shot many times now, being just a thirty-second walk from my apartment. It’s a quiet, peaceful old Victorian cemetery that no longer creeps me out – honestly – and inspires me. I’d never go there without a model, creative team, or in this case, a tripod, however. I’m not someone who can wander cemeteries simple for the solitude of it, nor would you ever find me perched atop a tomb with my ideas moleskine in hand, but when I’ve gathered a creative team and selected a model (even if that model is myself), I find a great source of inspirational energy, and everything always just comes together.

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Workaholic

Snowy Self Portrait

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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!

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The 3 L's

Snow Day: Taking a Walk

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