Sunday, 24 September 2017

Outfit Post: The Blue Tulle Dress


Whether I go to the shows or sit them out, I always find Fashion Month the most inspiring time of the year. I pour over images from the shows (RIP to the original style.com) as well as street style images and candid snaps on Instagram. I'm like a sponge, I take it all in and in one way or another, what I see ends up inspiring how I dress. For that reason, my style from February-March and September-October tends to be a little more expressive and fun than other times of the year. I rediscover the joy in dressing; beauty and frivolity comes back to the fore. Rather than dressing for life, I dress for enjoyment. 

Clothes are so transformative, both physically and mentally. Each morning, there's a little metamorphosis in front of the mirror as I change out of my dressing gown and into my outfit for the day. Sometimes, it's a subtle shift into boyfriend jeans and sneakers. Low key. Sometimes it's a little more dramatic, with mirror shiny heels, slinky satin OTK boots or a dramatic dress. The physical transformation is easy to see, but what I love about fashion and clothes and getting dressed is how it makes you feel. For me, one of the simplest joys is getting dressed into a great outfit, smiling and skipping out of the house. The confidence I get from putting together an amazing outfit stays with me all day. 



Happiness and confidence are exactly what I felt as I slipped into this cornflower blue tulle dress. I actually spied it on ASOS last month but with all the decadence and beauty of the shows in Milan, it just felt right to wear it now. Voluminous with layers and layers of tulle; this frothy dress is such a joy to wear. It actually bounces as you walk. For me, it epitomises the fun and frivolity of the shows which I love at this time of year.




Dress - ASOS
Bag - Miu Miu 

Photography by Adorn Girl

SHARE:

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Outfit Post: That's Shoe Business


It's not often we get a chance to pause and reflect on how far we've come. Life, particularly in cities like London, has us hurtling forward at 180mph barely able to catch our breath let alone take stock of our achievements. The key to surviving seems to be an elaborate juggling act between obligations and trying to hold onto some semblance of a "normal" life. But if we don't stop to smell the roses, what's the point? By this, I mean really appreciating how far we've come and how hard we've fought for it, rather than the odd 'treat yoself' splurge. 

Last week, I found myself running early for a friend's birthday drinks so instead of my usual speed walk/canter to the event, I slowed to a stroll, took in my surroundings and let my mind wander. This year marks a decade since I graduated from university. I had to count it on my fingers to make sure I got it right. I couldn't believe that it had been that long but at the same time, it seems like I've lived several lifetimes since then. It's weird how time can be so subjective. 


I've loved shoes way before I even started university - I blame my mother for that little habit - and it seemed like kismet that I spent my final year working for a shoe designer. Managing the Primrose Hill store for British designer Beatrix Ong was fun, I played with beautiful shoes all day and sat in on buying appointments from time to time. It's where I started to learn about the shoe trade. 


At the time, Beatrix collaborated with artist Natasha Law (yes, Jude's sister) on some beautiful shoe boxes featuring her delicate prints along with a Lao Tzu quote; "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step". That quote stuck with me and it's ironic that now, 10 years later, I'm still in the shoe business albeit in a much senior role for a much more exciting business. I guess my weekend job might have been the single step towards where I am now. 



I don't really talk about my day job on the blog or social media, but I'm blessed to be doing a job I really love. I manage marketing and PR for a start-up shoe brand. Working for a start-up after working for one of the biggest luxury retailers was a huge step change but it's been more rewarding than I can put into words. In a single day, I can be doing anything from engaging influencers, naming our newest shoe style, signing off PR strategy or working with a huge US retailer on a campaign. Or I could be flying out to Porto for a factory visit. 

I walked into work yesterday without a hint of weekend blues and despite only getting 5 hours of sleep I was raring to go. I work for a company I'm passionate about, I have an amazing yet challenging marketing role and I really respect my boss and colleagues. I'm blessed. 


I would say I lucked out, but luck has very little to do with where I am now. It's taken hard work, determination, blood, sweat and tears to get to where I am now. I haven't had any handouts and no one has given me a leg up. I've endured enough horrible jobs and worse bosses to last a lifetime. I had a job so awful, I would cry as soon as I got home. I've worked with a colleague so horrific I couldn't bear to speak to her. Looking back, I can barely believe how unhappy I used to be. Having survived the worst and fought for better really makes me appreciate where I am in life. 


It's easy to see where someone is in a current moment and not appreciate their journey and hard work. Especially with social media, which is little more than a highlights reel showing select high points and none of the lows. It's easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of projecting a perfect life but it's so, so important to stay down to Earth. I'm fortunate that my hard work has paid off, I have lovely things and travel to incredible places but I'm also very grateful for every experience. There's a brilliant Oprah quote that I try to live by; "I still have my feet on the ground, I just wear better shoes.". 




Tshirt - Miss Selfridge
Jeans - Topshop
Shoes - Topshop

Photography by Adorn Girl. 


SHARE:

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.

SHARE:

Friday, 26 September 2014

Five must-haves from Miss Selfridge's AW14 collection

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up uncharacteristically early to head over to Oxford Street to have breakfast with the lovely Miss Selfridge PR team. And peruse the AW14 collection, obviously. I'm sure I've mentioned before but I have a soft spot for Miss S. I know everyone from London to LA loves Topshop but Topshop is a little cool for me at times. I much prefer Miss Selfridges' fun and feminine aesthetic. The spring/summer collections are always spot on for lazy summer days and festivals while the autumn/winter collections are full of beautifully beaded evening dresses. The flapper dresses in the AW13 collection were so almost too good to be high street.

So what do Miss Selfridge have in store for us this season? A lot. I wanted everything, from basic 90s crop tops to an incredible selection of midis. The collection is more trend-led and directional than I've seen before at Miss a Selfridge but still incredibly easy to wear - I tried on a ton of crop tops which I usually steer clear of and my first pair of culottes since I left the Brownies. I'm now obsessed with culottes!

Here are my favourite outfits that I tried on. I was obviously in a midi state of mind, I fell in love with both the soft gold and the patterned Aztec print ones. I dressed the gold for day in a cropped white shirt with a jewelled collar and a cropped pleather top for night. The Aztec midi was one half of a super cute co-ord set so of course I tried them both on. What's your favourite look?



Here are my top picks from the AW14 collection:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
SHARE:

Thursday, 11 August 2011

The Holy Grail Parka

Everyone has the one elusive Holy Grail fashion item that they’ve been searching for forever. Five minutes of asking about it on Twitter and I’m inundated: from vintage Missoni cardigans and a clear mac to a classic trench coat, it seems that everybody is looking for that perfect addition to their wardrobe. Stylist Frankie Murray is after black platform heels which aren’t too high with a thick heel, Sara from Daily Polish is after some specific Louboutins and has been searching since 2007 and Lyndsey from Be Gorgeous is, like many of us, searching for the perfect pair of skinny jeans.

I have my own fashion unicorn – the perfect parka. I have been searching for years, I’m not even kidding! Though they always come in and out of ‘fashion’, I think they are an incredibly versatile wardrobe addition. They are spot on for dressing down a little dress on a night out, toughening up a girly outfit or just throwing on over a casual, dressed down outfit. I’m not after anything special, just a long length parka with a dipped hem in khaki green with an oversize fur-lined hood...oh and it must be fairly warm. I did come close to the perfect parka once; it was by Theory at House of Fraser. It ticked all of the boxes but it was just too oversize, the smallest size absolutely swamped me. Here are some of the parkas I’ve found which are close…but not close enough.





If you see anything you think may be the parka, do let me know. I’d also love to hear what your Holy Grail items are. Maybe we can set up a support group?!
SHARE:

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Obnoxious Sunday

This outfit was pretty spot on for a lazy Sunday brunch - tapered harem pants in a subdued midnight blue paired with a slouchy cotton top with moody purples, violets and blue florals bleeding into each other. Simple, nonchalent - just what I aimed for. I finished it with my parent pinky red wedges which demand attention with their cut out detail to give it a little pop of colour. However, when I shrugged on my signature winter coat and the obligatory 'It's Sunday and far too early to be leaving the house' sunglasses, my perfect laidback outfit went from effortless to LA starlet obnoxious before I knew it. I kind of like the look but even I have to admit that this was a tad OTT. I heeded Coco Chanel's advice on accessories - 'Take one accessory off before you leave the house' and took my obnoxiousity down by a notch. It was Sunday after all!




Jacket - vintage, top - Miss Selfridge, harems - Topshop, shoes - New Look, sunglasses - Rayban courtesy of Brand Alley, bag - Marc Jacobs
SHARE:

Friday, 22 October 2010

Backstage at BNTM live

Today was the big day, the first day of Britain's Next Top Model live at the Excel. As you may know, I was asked to help style a fashion show with five other super bloggers - Jenny, Frankie, Natasha, Alize and Matthew. Again, huge thanks to the guys at Motorola for this exciting opportunity. So being the big day, I was a bag of nerves. Not only was I one half of the high-street styling duo, I also had to go on stage to talk through geek chic fashion. Thankfully, the hubbub backstage kept me occupied. It was so hectic: briefing hair and make up, making sure our models were looked after, dressing and styling them up. 


Matthew playing hide & seek!



Here is my gorgeous model Paige ready to rock and roll. Doesn't she look like the epitome of geek chic? 



Cardigan - River Island, blouse - Zara, skirt - Topshop, socks and satchel - Miss Selfridge and shoes - New Look


For my outfit, I wanted to take key Autumn/Winter trends and give them a geek chic twist. Although flat brogues are synonymous with geek chic, I went for these New Look heeled loafers to be different. The colour is absolutely delish and the platform keeps them on trend. The camel skirt from Topshop was absolutely irresistible, the a-line shape and pocket details won me over. I paired the camel skirt with a silky slate blouse from Zara, the big bow adds a girly and feminine touch to my geek chic outfit. I've layered a patterned knit cardigan from River Island over the blouse, patterned knit is typical geek chic and I just needed this cardi in the outfit. I also had a lovely leopard print satchel which can be seen in the pictures below. 


How amazing do the high-street, high end and vintage models look?! Totally working the geek chic look. 



SHARE:

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

What I wore to London Fashion Week

One of the reasons I love London Fashion Week is I actually get to wear some of the impractical things I can't help but buy. Things like ostrich feather skirts, fluffy furry jackets and vintage fur hats. These are things I couldn't possibly live without but they don't really have a place in everyday life. Here's what I wore:


Day one






Jacket - Zara, floral top - River Island, velvet maxi skirt - New Look, wedge brogues - Bertie, Jewellery - Links of London, YSL, Roberto Cavalli, thrifted, holiday buys, H&M. Randomly decided to put on a mood ring I bought when I was about 15, can't remember what the colours meant but it was fun guessing!


Day two


Photo courtesy of Emerging Fervour, as I didn't take any apart from in the photobooth! I can't remember what we were doing or where we were going but I was hanging out with Kit from Style Slicker and Shini from Park & Cube. Yes, I had wardrobe envy. 








Fluffy cardigan - Monsoon, pearl top - New Look, laser cut silk skirt - Rare, Tights - Henry Holland, denim buckle wedges - Asos. The rosary is from River Island men's department, I've had it for years and love it even though a lot of the silver has rubbed off. 


Day three





Fur hat - vintage, fluffy jacket - Zara, silk playsuit - Topshop, patent cut out wedges - New Look. No idea about the tights I'm afraid! 


Day four


The ostrich skirt. I love this, wore it last season too. It's not even my size it's slightly big but I-just-had-to-have-it!








Cobweb knit cardigan - H&M, black lace top - New Look, ostrich feather skirt - Topshop, killer embellished heels - Miss Selfridge. 
SHARE:

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Aviator alternatives

Since February, one AW 10 trend has been a dead cert - the aviator jacket. British heritage super-brand Burberry is the reason for this, their luxe, pure sheepskin, leather version instantly topped every fashionista's lust list. With the buzz building and growing, smart retailers took note and everywhere from Reiss to Topshop to Primark has aviators in. Which has quite frankly turned me off them, with aviators so readily available everyone and their mother will be wearing them. Who wants to be a fashion sheep?!


L-R : Burberry, Topshop, Miss Selfridge, Oasis
It's such a shame, as they are terribly practical, I certainly could have done with a cosy sheepskin coat during the heavy snowfall last winter. But there are plenty, plenty of options for those who want an alternative to aviators. Here are my top picks.  I am loving Navajo jackets, parkas and duffle details at the moment. You certainly can't beat a classic belted trench. I have a gorgeous black cape from last year which I will be resurrecting but there are so many lovely ones out at the moment.  Will you be buying into the aviator trend or going for something different?


L-R: Zara, Miss Selfridge, ASOS, Clothing at Tesco, Zara
SHARE:
© Fashion Daydreams: UK Fashion and Lifestyle Blog by Reena Rai. All rights reserved.
Blogger templates by pipdig