Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Outfit post: Pursuing Pretty

I was never a girly girl. Growing up with one brother and two step-brothers meant that my childhood was spent climbing trees rather than having afternoon tea with my dolls. My tomboy traits continued into my teenage years; I rarely wore skirts or dresses and my jeans were practically surgically attached to me. I didn't even get into makeup til I was at uni. I remember one of my flatmates was in disbelief and took me to MAC in Selfridges during my first year to buy my first ever foundation and concealer. It was a big moment! 

Looking back, I'm thankful that my parents didn't pressure me to conform to any gender stereotypes. I was happiest covered in bruises and scrapes from my adventures and so my parents encouraged me to go on more. I still love going on adventures but I've swapped forests and woods for countries like Cambodia and Kenya. I don't think any of you would describe me as a tomboy, but my style tends to have a little bit of a tougher edge rather than being ~pretty~. I'll always pair a dress with some fierce heels or a vintage military jacket to make it a little more "me". 

The one exception is weddings. Earlier this year, a very dear friend of mine got married to her wonderful husband in a beautiful English countryside setting. I'm a stickler for a dress code so I scoured the entire internet at least thrice for the perfect dress. And my goodness, I found a beauty. Pastel colour palette, florals, ruffles for days and even a little lace thrown in for good measure. My favourite detail about this dress is the lace up back, it's just the slight hint of the "real me", beneath the facade of being pretty. Roll on wedding season next year...

Dress - Y.A.S
Heels - River Island
Bag - Chloe

Photography by Adorn Girl


Monday, 4 September 2017

Outfit Post: Go 'head Switch The Style Up

As someone who works in the fashion industry as well as being a 'Blogging Elder', I've seen a lot of change in the way style and trends are consumed. Back when I started my blog in 2008, the industry worked pretty much as it has done for the last few decades with two seasonal shows for editors, buyers and VIP customers. Trends were dictated by fashion publications which then trickled to the high street and consciousness of your average consumer. Vogue was king; we listened to whatever the editors decreed whether consciously or unconsciously. 

The internet, or web 2.0 as we called it back then, changed everything. The birth of social media has had a profound effect on the fashion industry. Suddenly, editors and stylists like Taylor Tomasi-Hill and Katie Shillingford were rising to prominence for giving a direct and real insight into their world as well being lauded on street style blogs. Fashion shows also became immediately accessible to the public and bloggers were sitting alongside editors and buyers. Social media ushered in the democratisation of fashion. 

Fast forward nine years and fashion is even more accessible than ever. The industry has evolved; brands are combining menswear and womenswear, showing off-season, operating see-now-buy-now show formats and even doing away with shows altogether. At the other end of the spectrum, it's never been easier for new brands to take off too. I wrote about the rise of the Instagram brands a couple of months ago but even brands like Manu Atelier have risen to prominence seemingly overnight, mostly due to the impact of influencers. 

Fashion isn't dictated to the masses anymore. As Coco Chanel herself stated several decades ago, "Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street. Fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening". I'm more inspired by what I see on Instagram or the street than I am by the pages of Vogue...in fact, I can't remember the last time I picked up a copy. It's an interesting time of self-expression, style has become a melting pot of influences from art or the shows to the street.

Over the last few years, my style has been fairly refined and pared back with the odd statement piece for a bit of drama - usually my heels. You might have noticed a little change in the last few months though; more sneakers and the odd streetwear brand making an appearance.

Six months ago I got an exciting new job which saw me swapping a storied luxury department store with a Shoreditch-based start up. Being in a new area of London and working in a new sector of the industry has given me a renewed joie de vivre when it comes to dressing...and a lot of diverse inspiration to boot. Saint Laurent and Chanel have been replaced by Supreme, Off White and Heron Preston to name but a few of the new brands in my brand rotation.

Being inspired by new influences is super exciting but rather than adopting a whole new aesthetic, I've simply peppered these elements into my look. Whether I'm throwing on a Palace tee with some shorts and Nicholas Kirkwood heels or belting an oversized Supreme tee and slipping on a pair of Jimmy Choos (like in this look), being true to my own style is the most important thing to me. No matter what influences you, authenticity is the most important thing to convey. How you dress tells a story to the world, wouldn't you want your story to be about you? 

Tshirt - Supreme
Belt - Off White
Bag - Chloe
Heels - Jimmy Choo

Photography by Adorn Girl


Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Outfit Post: Repeating Outfits & The State of Blogging

This outfit might seem a little familiar. I posted an almost identical outfit a couple of months ago with the same pretty, demure skirt and a very cropped tee. I absolutely adore the skirt and I’ve worn it dozens of times, so it seemed like a natural choice to shoot and share it again. But I have to admit that I’ve been doubting myself, debating whether I should post the outfit as it’s similar to the previous one. I’ve even shifted dates so there’s a sufficient gap between the two posts. Talk about overthinking it! I’m not Kate Middleton and it’s not going to make headlines if I repeat an outfit. Yet, the fear was there.

As an old timer in the blogging world, I’ve seen the blogosphere change a lot over the years. Back when I started, it was very personal and a little rough around the edges. It was a rebellion against the super glossy monthly magazines; an authentic and accountable voice. We wrote about what we loved rather than kowtowing to advertisers. It was genuine. But as blogging has evolved into a form of mainstream media, it’s become much more polished and professional than it used to, which had both good and bad points.

On the plus side, I have seen countless people use their blog as a platform to launch a really successful career. A blogger is essentially a one-person publishing house and as such, bloggers build up a plethora of skills from writing, shooting, art direction, branding, editing, social media management, the list goes on! The online presence bloggers build up is so invaluable to brands and it can become a full time career. I met Matthew Zorpas long before he started his blog, The Gentleman Blogger, and I couldn’t be more pleased that he has become one of the most in demand menswear bloggers in the world. The evolution of blogging has also created in-house roles as well as entire agencies to manage influencers. That is the power of the blogosphere.

I also love the democracy within blogging; anyone can use it as a platform and it’s been incredible to see so many different types of women gain a following. Women who don’t look like they just stepped out of a magazine or off a runway. As a woman of colour, it’s so heartening to see women of all shades thriving. It’s so dope that Kaushal of Kaushal Beauty is a L’oreal ambassador! It’s also brilliant to see plus-size bloggers like Nadia Aboulhosn and Danielle Vanier absolutely slaying. There’s still a long way to go for true equality but I feel like the blogosphere is more than doing its part to help give equal prominence to all minorities.

However, there can’t be positives without some negatives. I’ve been blogging for long enough to remember when it first started, it felt like a community. Most of us knew each other and we would be rooting for each other. The blogging landscape in 2017 is quite different. It feels so fractured with lots of different blogging tribes or cliques and there seems to be a Twitter brouhaha every other week now. The negativity is almost deafening.  

There are also the totally unrealistic expectations that blogging sets. The lifestyle portrayed has become such a contrived view of perfection. There has been lots of talk about bloggers photoshopping their blog and Instagram images, not just to punch up the colour but magazine-level airbrushing where the images are tweaked so much they barely resemble them. I’ve also heard of bloggers who have a separate credit card to order designer pieces to shoot and then return. There’s an immense pressure to have the latest pieces to shoot. But going to such lengths only to buy and return something while providing free publicity is ridiculous!

I feel like enough is enough. Blogging started from a good place, a genuine voice fighting against the sea of airbrushing, photoshopping and unattainability. But in an effort to evolve and refine blogging, we’ve now become what the magazines were. Pushing the envelope and striving to be better are great but I feel like we also have a responsibility to be accountable to our audiences. Things like excessive photoshopping or creating a fake lifestyle just feel deceitful.

It’s easy to call our the negative aspects but I have to admit, I also feel the pressure to create editorial-style images and have a constantly updated wardrobe. But I try to stay grounded to who I am. And if that means shooting the same skirt a couple of times then so be it. I’m a real person, I saw this skirt on ASOS, bought it and absolutely adore it.

Skirt - ASOS
Bag - Chloe

Photography: Adorn Girl.


Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Outfit Post: A Little Boho Never Hurt Nobody

It was the summer of ’04. Boho fever had struck and Sienna Miller ruled supreme as Queen Bohemia. Gorgeously undone hair, low-slung leather belts, teeny floaty dresses, grey jeans and the Balenciaga City bag were her style stables and the looks we all clamoured to copy. While her red carpet looks from the likes of Marchesa, Roberto Cavalli and pal Matthew Williamson were hard to replicate, subtler Sienna-inspired accents were all over the high street from Topshop to Zara.

Eventually, boho reached saturation and 13 years later, it still hasn’t managed to cycle back. Aside from Chloe, but Chloe girls are always boho babes. I for one really miss the carefree boho days. Nothing says summer like like a pretty floaty dress, fuss-free locks, a stack of gold jewellery and soft tan accessories. Happy-go-lucky, easy and breezy.

This is exactly why I’m making a case for luxe boho to return. I spied this dress while hunting down some pearl-embellished jeans in Zara and it just reminded me of those chilled summers wafting around Covent Garden and Carnaby Street like a free-spirit. I just had to have it. I paired my dress with a blush pink Chloe bag and Seventies-inspired strappy platforms from Medwinds. The only thing missing was a studded leather belt picked up at the souk in Marrakesh. Oh and my favourite upside to channeling boho? The relaxed, floaty silhouettes are perfect for over indulging in gelato on a hot summer’s day. What more could you want?

Dress – Zara
Bag – Chloe
Heels - Medwinds

Photography by Adorn Girl

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Outfit Post: Spring Fling

After spending last week in sunny Hamburg and even sunnier Porto, I am well and truly in the mood for spring. Proper spring, not just swapping a heavy coat for a lighter one. I want to shrug off the knits, push the opaque tights to the back of my wardrobe and just lighten up a little. Spring always feels like a such a happy, positive season when nature and life in general is in bloom. And there’s nothing more perfect for capturing the mood of the season than Millennial Pink.

Millennial Pink has been a phenomenon in the making for quite some time. I remember seeing Paul Smith’s LA boutique years ago, painted a very pretty if unapologetic shade of pink. And of course Acne’s pink bags have become a signature. Since then, everyone from Emily Weiss of Glossier and ubiquitous London restaurant Sketch to Drake have been harnessing the power of pink. No one has been a bigger supporter of the shade, which sits somewhere between baby pink and blush, than Rihanna. Whether it’s a strapless, oversized Giambattista Valli gown or a head-to-toe trouser suit rom Pascal Millet, Rihanna owns this shade, so much so there are calls to rename it Rihanna Pink.

The way Rihanna wears pink completely captures its new mood. Previously confined by gender stereotypes – pink is for girls – Millennial Pink breaks free of those shackles. Pink is for everyone and pink has attitude. Whether it’s a huge oversize pink puffer shrugged over a statement tshirt or a head-to-toe pink Dior look accessories with tattoos and attitude, pink is packing a punch.

I first spied this ASOS skirt on Instagram, which seems to be the only place I get my inspiration these days! It immediately made me think of Rihanna – can we please rename the shade Rihanna Pink already?! Much like Riri, I wanted to toughen up the overall look and avoid looking saccharine sweet.

This cropped tee from one of my favourite lingerie brands was the perfect antidote to balance the pretty pink skirt. I wrote about Reckless Wolf back in 2014, after meeting Creative Director Jade Little. The brand’s vibe is very fierce and unapologetic, you get an inkling for this attitude with the extreme crop and bold typography of this tshirt. I accessorised it with these gorgeous silver block heeled courts from River Island and my Chloe Elsie bag, which I’ve recently fallen back in love with. The pretty pink shades are offset with flashes of metallic, midriff and one of my tattoos. What do you think of my take on Millennial Pink?

Tshirt – Reckless Wolf
Skirt – ASOS
Heels – River Island
Bag – Chloe

Friday, 10 March 2017

Paris Fashion Week AW17

Phew! We've finally made it to Paris, what an intense Fashion Month it's been. Here are my favourite shows from Paris Fashion Week: 

Jacquemus AW17

Simon Porte Jacquemus described this season’s girl as “(A) Parisian girl who wears couture who falls in love with a gypsy in the south of France. She tries to be like a gypsy, but she cannot – she is too couture!”. The resulting collection tells the story of an impossible love story and two separate aesthetics juxtaposed beautifully. Incredible sculptured details, from cosy shawl collars, high-waisted matador pants, huge raglan shoulders and corseted waists created art on the runway, both super conceptual but equally commercial. It takes a very special designer to successfully walk the line between fantasy and fashion, and for this reason Jacquemus is currently one of my favourite designers.

Johanna Ortiz AW17

When I think of Johanna Ortiz, I think of three things: sensual bare shouldered eveningwear, the most covetable and feminine shirting and endless ripples of ruffles. Her aesthetic is strong, sexy and sensual, so it’s no surprise that her label is such a commercial success. I was happy to see all three signatures going strong in the AW17 collection, in a soft colour palette of muted mint green and smooth lilac and mauve, pepped up with bold red poppies. Puff sleeves and bows were peppered through the collection, which I would sum up as restrained drama. 

Miu Miu AW17

Art Deco decked in lavender fake fur made for the most interesting set for Miu Miu’s AW17 show. Celebrating the madness of glamour, the collection featured fur everything, from baker-boy hats to coats and skirts alongside psychedelic 70s print tunic and flares and exaggerated shoulders. Shiny paillettes were sprinkled throughout the collection, on wisp-thin slips to sassy little dresses. The message was loud and clear – fashion and beauty are here to be celebrated. 

Saint Laurent AW17

Anthony Vaccarello did it again. He created one of the standout moments of Paris Fashion Week with a single shoe. Last season, it was the YSL-heeled shoes and this season, the stunning slouchy rhinestone-encrusted boots. I think they sum up Vaccarello’s high octane approach to designing for Saint Laurent. He has a knack for creating super luxury versions of clothing that you dream to have in your wardrobe, the black leather version of the boots are covetable enough but add the rhinestones and they become something else. 

The collection actually centred around an archive haute couture dress from the early 80s, eveningwear is clearly a focus for Vaccarello but the daywear is equally strong. Luxe details included denim jackets with mink or shearling detailing and pleated cocktail skirts and ivory mohair sweaters. The final lap stole the show, models clad in dramatic, sculptural after-dark looks, all short hemlines, exaggerated sleeves and those slouchy boots. Perfection. 

Chloe AW17

This was Clare Waight Keller’s swansong, her final collection as Creative Director at Chloe, a brand she has helped shape for the last six years. At the helm of the brand, Waight Keller has developed an intrinsic personality behind the brand – the Chloe girl. Bohemian and free-spirited, globe trotting, festival-loving and carefree, the Chloe girl became who we all wanted to be. Dressed in signature floaty frocks which were toughened up with leathers and Baja shirts, her life seemed as dreamy as her wardrobe. Her final collection was full of her greatest hits, as well as a sharper focus on tailoring, with strong shoulders and pleated trousers taking centre stage. An undeniably strong collection from a designer who will be missed. 


Thursday, 3 March 2011

The skinny on wide leg trousers

I remember the dawn of the skinny era, there was one prevalent emotion - fear. The shape was a huge departure from the previous trouser shape du jour, the flattering bootcut. Skinnys were radical and it took a little coaxing for people to warm up to them. For me, the skinny hallelujah moment came when I spied a pair of Sass & Bide's iconic frayed misfits in their store in Sydney. After shimmying into them, I felt like a newer, sexier, more kick ass version of myself. What's not to love about that?! Fast forward a couple of years and skinny trousers, jeans and even the dreaded jeggings are a wardrobe staple. For the record, please note that I'd rather go out without any trousers on at all than wear the latter.

For a couple of seasons now, the easy, breezy flares/wide legs/palazzo pants have tried to topple the skinny style crown, to no avail. But this season the tide is turning. The SS11 catwalks were full of an assortment of wide leg shapes flattering enough to tempt even the most devoted skinny lover.

Aren't they beautiful? This season is about channeling the laidback 70s silhouette, the new trouser shape is so effortless, long and languid. Unfortunately, the high-street hasn't quite caught up and it was a bit of a struggle to find nice wide leg trousers. Asos and Zara were definite winners though. I can't wait to wear palazzo pants with platforms and a blouse!


Thursday, 30 December 2010

Spring/Summer 2011 campaigns part I

With all of the shops clearing out all of the old AW10 stock and moving in transitional pieces already, it seems like a good time to look forward to the gorgeous campaigns which will grace our magazines in the coming months. The campaigns are very different, don't you think? Givenchy is my favourite, the image is so striking and powerful. What's your favourite?

Givenchy Spring/Summer 2011 - Daphne Groeneveld, Stephen Thompson, Iris Strubegger and Mariacarla Boscono shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott. 

Moschino S/S 2011 - Yasmin Le Bon shot by Juergen Teller

Chloe Spring/Summer 2011 - Iselin Steiro & Malgosia Bela shot by David Sims

Balenciaga S/S 11 - Gisele Bundchen & Yuri Pleskun shot by Steven Meisel

Dolce & Gabbana S/S 11 - Izabel Goulart & Alessandra Ambrosio shot by Steven Klein

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