STYLE // London Fashion Week A/W 16

Monday, 7 March 2016

Who? Simone Rocha
What? Playing with hyper femininity through a contrast of textures and detailing - Ruffles, floral chiffon and lace galore.
Key item? The collared floaty floral embellished poppy red dress with matching red shoes and socks is all I want to wear right now.

Who? Topshop Unique
What? Painterly woodland scene prints, floaty lace-up dresses, pointed sock boots and fur outerwear in a neutral colour palette.
Key item? The black velvet lace-up detail dress, complete with matching choker - For unleashing your inner Stevie Nicks!

Who? Ashish (Ashish Gupta)
What? A rainbow of monotone looks dripping in head to toe sequins and beading, complete with matching pointed court heels
Key item? I just want to take that white dress out dancing, but the whole of the lilac look is to die for too.

Who? Toga (Yasuko Furuta)
What? Matisse style cut out accessories, studded lederhosen detailing, fur accessories, statement applique knits, art school cool.
Key item? The long navy lederhosen-like jumpsuit with silver studded details makes for a folksy twist on utility style.

WISHLIST // "Feline Fabulous"

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

(Clockwise to from left hand corner to centre)

Alexa Chung Eye Do Liquid Eyeliner // £15 // Eyeko
I actually already own this, but have decided to feature it anyway since no cat inspired wishlist post would be complete without a gorgeous flick of jet black liner. Besides, I will be needing a new one very soon, since I have used it so much! Its nib is an absolutely perfect size and very easy to use. Also includes packaging designed by Alexa Chung - Ultimate British style icon and my Queen. This pen liner is truly the best in show.

Wasabi Cats Zip Pocket // £5 // Monki
My life can be summed up pretty well with the term "organised chaos". Because of this I love having a good zip pouch to carry all of those bits and pieces that would usually be rolling around in the depths of my handbag when I'm trying to find them, eg. Lipstick, earphones, keys, travel card. If you're a mess like me, I suggest investing in something similar. This one even has adorable little sushi cats to cheer you on as you attempt get your shit together somewhat.

Jacquard Animal A-Line Mini Skirt// £36 // Topshop
This A-line style mini skirt is an absolutely purrfect day-to-night garment (See what I did there?). Leopard print can be as statement as it is neutral. Team this versatile mini with a black turtleneck and a flick of the aforementioned Eyeko Alexa Chung Eye Do liner for a feminine 60s vibe. As for shoes, go with pointed flats or stylish high heeled sock boots.

Goldendaze acetate tortoiseshell cat eye sunglasses // £45 // Urban Outfitters
1970s style skinny scarves are super on-trend right now. This one in particular is very Diamond Dogs era Bowie, sort of like the one he wears in this clip of him performing 'Rebel Rebel'. It's definitely one of my favourite looks of his! Take note and pair your scarf with a blouse layered under a jumpsuit for a serious seventies vibe (maybe skip the eyepatch - none of us are that cool!). For more inspiration on how to rock this accessory, check out the Chloe's AW15 and Rodarte's SS16 collections.

Mid Century Kitty Flats // £395 // Charlotte Olympia
Any David Bowie inspired wishlist post wouldn't be complete without at least one fabulous jumpsuit. He was truly a pioneer of androgynous fashion in mainstream pop culture, by rocking things like make-up, long hair, kimonos, and a lot of jumpsuits. While this one from Topshop doesn't include one leg and shoulder pads, it does boast a double whammy of zebra print and micro pleats.

STYLE // New York Fashion Week A/W 16

Monday, 22 February 2016

Who? Adam Selman
What? Paisley pyjama print, textured sequins, lace chokers, slip dresses, off the shoulder, velvet, liquid metallics.
Key item? That delicious metallic red slip dress with double lace straps. A true throw-on statement piece - What's not to love?

Who? Kim Shui for VFiles
What? Bold maximalism, python, coloured fur panelling, metallic sock boots, pops of colour, clashing lace and tartan.
Key item? The glossy black leather coat with contrast python trim and statement red fur collar - My predicted must-have for AW16!

Who? Rodarte (Sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavey)
What? Shaggy patchwork furs, clashing Autumnal floral brocade and lace, ruffles, dishevelled look, maximalist femininity.
Key item? Obviously one of those absolutely mental coats. Expect to see lots of statement faux fur in stores next Autumn.

Who? 3.1 Phillip Lim
What? Varying scales of dogtooth check, kimono detailing dresses and outerwear, bright pops of mustard and orange.
Key item? The effortlessly stylish velvet kimono dress (worn with those sock boots - An absolute dream of an outfit!)

PROFILE // 10 fun facts about me

Sunday, 14 February 2016

I'm secretly a wannabe foodie. People never expect this of me, since they'll often see me eating small portions on an normal every day basis. However, in the right time, place, and situation I am just absolutely obsessed with food. Brunch would always be my favourite meal of the day. My dream job would be something that allows me to live in London, and dine out there all the time.

My favourite book is Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. So much so that I've read it every single Summer since I turned 17. I'm a really terrible reader, often reading multiple non-fiction books at once. I've convinced myself I'll never find something to read that's as good as this book.

I've never needed to be told to eat my greens. Most children, at the supermarket, will cry for comics and sweets. But what did I used to cry for? Broccoli. If you think I'm joking, ask my parents. I was a fussy eater as a young child, mostly with things like meat, but I have always been a fan of vegetables - Particularly green ones! I was a vegetarian for a year as an experiment to see if it would make me feel good inside. It definitely worked and although I do eat meat again now occasionally, the majority of the time I will opt for fish or vegetarian food instead.

I'm a fashion designer, and I've shown my work on the catwalk in London. Well, I did Fashion Design as my degree at University and showed my Graduate collection at the Old Truman Brewery for Graduate Fashion Week. It sounds much less impressive when I put it like that, but this is still one of my greatest achievements (that and graduating with First class honours!)

I love music and collect vinyl. As a teenager, music was always my biggest passion. I spent all my pocket money on CDs and gig tickets for my favourite bands. I've always been a firm believer of buying physical copies of my music and going to live concerts, supporting the artists and enabling them to carry on doing what they love as a career. I've since moved onto the more expensive habit of vinyl shopping, since I feel that it adds more value to the whole experience of listening to music. Some of my favourite artists include Patrick Wolf, Honeyblood, Wolf Alice, The Strokes, The Duke Spirit, Superfood and Au Revoir Simone to name just a handful. I also listen to a lot of the same bands my parents loved when they were my age. However, my favourite band of all time is We Are Scientists - I've seen them perform live a total of 9 times.

London is my favourite place in the world. While I haven't travelled many places or even been out of Europe, I still love London more than anywhere I've ever been. I've learned to love this place and also how to navigate around it with ease. I don't know if I'll ever be able to stop exploring this city, which is one of the things I absolutely adore about it.

My star sign is Gemini (a very typical one, I'm told) I'm quite interested in astrology and definitely see how people's personality traits can be linked to their particular signs. Mine is all about duality and communication. There's this great little twitter feed (@ispeakgemini) which constantly posts so many things I can really relate to as a Gemini.

Going to the bar? I'll have a Gin & Tonic. It's my absolute favourite drink in the world and I've managed to convince myself that the botanicals mean it's healthy too. I like a lot of different gins, but my go-to is a double Hendricks garnished with cucumber (Not lime!). I also once lived around the corner from a gin palace which was pretty fantastic.

I have very, very, very long eyelashes. If I had a pound for every time someone asked me if my eyelashes were real, then I might be able to pay off some of my student loan. Yes - They're real and completely natural. I don't get extensions, wear false lashes or do anything special to them to get this length. Sometimes I think it doesn't even make a huge amount of difference if I use an expensive mascara or not - But just incase you were curious, I am currently using Urban Decay Perversion mascara, which I think is really nice and not too heavy.

Children think I'm Elsa from Frozen. I've had bleached white blonde hair for a while now and ever since the film Frozen was released, I've had a number of children staring at me before asking if I'm Queen Elsa (much to the embarrassment of their parents). I think it's absolutely adorable, though it's happened a few times now that my Mum reckons I should start charging for appearances at children's birthday parties as my graduate job.

WISHLIST // "Babe With The Power"

Thursday, 21 January 2016

(Clockwise to from centre to left hand corner)

Love Heart Sweet Message Earrings // £25 // Jennifer Loiselle
Thanks to independent jewellery designer Jennifer Loiselle, you can now wear one of your favourite David Bowie songs hanging from your ears. While I'm not certain that the inspiration behind these was actually the 1983 hit of the same name (other pieces in the same collection seem to reference Swizzels Matlow's popular 'Love Hearts' sweet) you can certainly "put on your red shoes and dance the blues" and pretend they are.

Sparkle & Stars Face Tattoo // £8 // Orelia
"Keep your 'lectric eye on me, babe": This great little pack of gold and silver metallic temporary face tattoos comes with a range of sizes from teeny tiny delicate shooting stars to a intricate sparkling designs for the eyelids. For something that's a little more subtle than painting a golden circle on your forehead, these are perfect accessory for unleashing your glam rock party alterego.

David Bowie Make-up Bag // £21.69 // Kayci Wheatley
This cotton canvas make-up bag created by Etsy user Kayci Wheatley features David Bowie's iconic Aladdin Sane album cover. I know, guys: A practical zip-up make-up pouch adorned with an army of little Bowie faces is that exact thing you've been looking for, for what feels like your entire life (but probably didn't realise it until now). Its also available in blue. You're absolutely welcome.

Star Skinny Scarf // £12 // Topshop
1970s style skinny scarves are super on-trend right now. This one in particular is very Diamond Dogs era Bowie, sort of like the one he wears in this clip of him performing 'Rebel Rebel'. It's definitely one of my favourite looks of his! Take note and pair your scarf with a blouse layered under a jumpsuit for a serious seventies vibe (maybe skip the eyepatch - none of us are that cool!). For more inspiration on how to rock this accessory, check out the Chloe's AW15 and Rodarte's SS16 collections.

Zebra Print Pleat Jumpsuit // £38 // Topshop
Any David Bowie inspired wishlist post wouldn't be complete without at least one fabulous jumpsuit. He was truly a pioneer of androgynous fashion in mainstream pop culture, by rocking things like make-up, long hair, kimonos, and a lot of jumpsuits. While this one from Topshop doesn't include one leg and shoulder pads, it does boast a double whammy of zebra print and micro pleats.

RIP David Bowie. May you continue to inspire generations to come.

FOLLOW // 5 Instagram accounts to ruin your diet

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Disclaimer: Follow these beautiful foodie feeds at your own risk. I can't be held responsible for ruining anyone's 2016 resolutions.

@vickysdonuts arguably make the most Instagram-worthy donuts in East London. Their feed is a pastel coloured, lucky charms coated, edible flower adorned, pretzel topped dream (with extra sprinkles). I probably shouldn't be telling you this, but you can find them on Chatsworth Road Market on Sundays from 11-4pm or even email them to make your own bespoke donut fantasy a reality.

@vickiee_yo is a baker from Melbourne who posts some of the most adorable confectionery creations. She calls herself an ameteur, which is probably the most modest statement I've ever heard. Check out those Pusheen the cat and Totoro doughnuts and perfectly iced Star Wars sugar cookies - Yes, she's even made the Death Star look cute! The good news is, they're so pretty that you probably wouldn't want to eat them anyway. But I'll let you take a look for yourself first before answering that question...

@crosstowndougnuts are a super cool coffee & doughnut place in Soho, London. Their feed boasts some of the most photogenic looking sourdough doughnuts which, I'm sorry to say, you definitely would want to eat in an instant. Flavours include coffee custard scroll, matcha tea glazed and (the ultimate life-ruiner) peanut butter & berry compote. Your tastebuds will thank me so much for telling you about Crosstown, but your diet most definitely will not. Sorry about that.

@eatnlondon is genuinely one of the greatest things I've ever discovered on Instagram. Duyku is eating her way around London, photographing the evidence, and sharing the exact location of all the beautiful food she eats. Her feed is a visually stunning guide of places to eat in London, written by a real foodie. Browsing through her images generally results in the creation of a "list of things to track down and eat". At least if your diet is ruined, it's not going to be entirely my fault.

@crumbsanddoilies have a gorgeous little cafe in Soho's Kingly Court, which I posted about back in October. They make bloody good cakes and regularly post some of the most ridiculously mouthwatering images of them. Four layer salted caramel pretzel cake anyone? Thankfully they do teeny tiny cupcakes too, for those of you with the incredible self-control to not want to try everything. Whatever you do, don't follow them on Twitter by clicking here, because they post a list of which freshly baked flavours available in store daily - You really don't want to torture yourself like that, do you?

MAKE // Tatty Devine Necklace Workshop

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Back in November, I was lucky enough to win a place for myself and a friend at one of Tatty Devine's jewellery making workshops in an online competition! The Jingle Bells necklace workshop was a festive new addition to the brand's range of fun jewellery making experiences at their Brick Lane store in London. I've had this post sitting in my drafts for a while, and had been meaning to blog this while it was still Christmassy. Since life got in the way and it's now January, I was considering ditching it all together. Then I remembered how much fun I had at this workshop and also how badly I wanted to blog about it afterwards. Better late than never, right?

I've made jewellery before, but it was in some Center Parcs clubhouse when I was 7 years old, and a grown up had to do all the fiddly bits for me. As someone who loves crafting I found it simple to grasp, but it was also challenging enough to be entertaining and worth the money (if I were to ever do one again). Don't let that put you off though - There are people to help you out as much or as little as you need, and they'll even check at the end to make sure your necklace is absolutely perfect.

As for the actual making process, we were each given a really clear full scale flat drawing showing how the necklace was constructed, along with a pair of pliers, jump rings, and pots of different coloured mirrored perspex jingle bell pieces. We could choose which colours we wanted to use from red, gold or pink. I decided to mix mine up a bit using all three, with more red pieces since it's one of my favourite colours. Once the parts were assembled, we were given a chain to cut to our desired length and attach to complete the product.

Tatty Devine's jewellery making workshops have a really nice atmosphere. Even though you could just buy one of their necklaces ready-made and save the effort, there's definitely something really rewarding about wearing a piece of jewellery you've made yourself. It's was fun and therapeutic (and they also gave us wine!) I'd definitely recommend their necklace workshops as a fun activity to beat any of those post-Christmas winter blues you may have. The kinds of necklaces you can make there will vary seasonally, so it's worth checking the website here to see what's on.

Have you made your own jewellery before? Would you try one of these cool workshops? Comment below.

TREND // Monochromatic Maximalism

Monday, 18 January 2016

I quite enjoyed studying Sociology at A-level, but was even more interested when I found out, during my degree, that there are people who actually write theories about fashion. One theory which seems pretty applicable to a lot of thing is that something can only get so extreme until it tips over and swings into the opposite. I have no idea who even first suggested that, but it's bloody good!

Minimalism and normcore are trends which have dominated the past couple of years. We've seen #AllBlackEverything followed by #AllWhiteEverything. But earlier today when Hari Nef made her Milan Fashion Week catwalk debut at Gucci in a striking "All Red Everything" look, I couldn't help but feel that extreme minimalism is evolving into maximalism.

We're seeing more and more bold outfits that feature this excess of colour on colour. One of the slightly more subtle ways to work this trend (than wearing head to toe red!) is by layering beige or camel tones in different shades, like the looks shown at Acne Studios pre-fall 2016 presentation. These colours can give off something of a muted, utility vibe and also looks really strong paired with python accessories. While the looks are still derived from minimalism, you're achieving a maximalist feel through this extreme concentration of colour - It's chic and effortless whilst being somewhat meticulously considered at the exact same time!

Back when I was at university studying womenswear design, I tried to really focus a lot on developing my skills when it came to use of colour - The bright fashion photography of Miles Aldridge and Guy Bourdin was a huge inspiration for that. I've also been creating pinterest boards dedicated to colours I really like. You can check those out by clicking here.

What do you think of this trend? Would you ever wear colours like this? Comment your opinions below

LIFE // The Yellow Boilersuit Saga

Friday, 15 January 2016

Wow - It's certainly been a while! How have you all been? I realise haven't posted anything on my blog in over two months, but read on and I'll tell you all about what's happened to me...

As you may already know from this post, I sometimes lend pieces from my graduate catwalk collection to stylists for to use in editorial photoshoots and other really cool stuff. Thanks to opportunities like this, I'm able to see my designs reinterpreted by other creatives. It's so refreshing when such talented people breathe new life into these creations of mine that I'd almost become sick of looking at.

Sadly, it's not all been the hugely positive experience I've just described to you: Back in August last year, I loaned a full look from my collection to a stylist who, at the time, I had no idea was seriously unprofessional. When I emailed her about returning it, she told me it had been pushed back a few weeks. So I waited a little before getting back to her on social media about finally sending it back to me. I was being fed the same tired excuses as to why she hadn't returned my work and, after trying persistently until mid-December, I was ultimately blocked from contacting her on Instagram.

What could've possibly happened that this person was refusing to send my work back? Was it lost, or damaged beyond repair? Either way, I was heartbroken and just wanting to know the truth. The collection I'd spent a year of my life labouring over would from now on be incomplete.

My creativity hit a wall, I'd stopped responding to requests from other stylists to borrow my work, and I didn't feel like writing or blogging anymore either. I'd almost given up hope, until one day when I realised and thought to myself: "Actually, no - This isn't fair. Why should anyone be allowed to get away with something like this?" The work of a stylist can be quite dependent on the reputation they build. If I wasn't an unknown independent designer, but instead a real company who she'd failed to return pieces to, it definitely wouldn't have been ok. She'd get a bad name and probably never be allowed to borrow garments from them again. My pieces aren't just PR samples that can be replaced, they're unique one-offs, made with my own hands, time, money, blood, sweat and tears - It's not like I owned twenty of these yellow transparent PVC boilersuits! Whether or not you're a big deal or virtual nobody, it shouldn't make a difference to the amount of respect someone gives to your work which you've been kind enough to lend them in the first place. I couldn't help but wonder how many other fashion graduates out there were having their trust abused and taken for granted.

In a somewhat messy last ditch attempt to get my work back, I took to Twitter. Many of my friends who'd caught wind of the situation did the same and, finally, after five whole months of me trying, the boilersuit miraculously arrived on my doorstep completely intact with no note whatsoever. I'm not sure what happened, since it came from her studio address, yet the name of the sender on the envelope seemed to suggest she wasn't the one who'd actually returned it. Needless to say, I didn't thank that stylist. As for the shoot, it never happened.

It's such a huge relief to finally have my work back after such a long time. I'm finally starting to get back to myself as a creative again - Hopefully I'll be able to update this blog much more regularly now too!