Down At The Pavilion

20 July 2014

fashion blogger in brighton

Ah Brighton!  Somehow I managed to make another trip down to the coast last weekend even though I was pretty much fresh off the plane from Berlin.  Ever since my backpacking stint last year, I've become a master of the short trip, packing just enough combinations so that I have enough to play with and meticulously combing the hotel room before I have to leave.  I'm even more convinced that I need to make my seaside visits more regular now, there's a few bloggers down there who know all of the places off the beaten track plus I'd love to venture a little further afield to Hove and the Marina.  This town is ripe with locations so I decided to revisit the Pavilion wearing something far more summery than the last time I was there.  It seems like such an otherworldly place in amongst the bunting and pastel houses but it's this eclectic mix that makes Brighton one of my favourite destinations outside of London.  For some reason a seaside property still seems within reach in my head but who am I kidding, one of the beach huts is probably more realistic!

Visiting Brighton Royal Pavilion and gardens
Versace for H&M skirt with a stripy top
Tatty Devine necklace
Versace for H&M skirt with a stripy top
Jeffrey Campbell Argo caged white platform sandal
Versace for H&M skirt with a stripy top
Visiting Brighton Royal Pavilion and gardens
uk fashion bloggers

Skirt - Versace for H&M
Necklace - Tatty Devine
Jeffrey Campbell shoes - c/o Sarenza
Bag - Modalu

Don't you just love it when your skirt blends in with your surroundings?  I haven't worn this Versace for H&M number in a while but now I've edited my wardrobe down a bit, it seems almost new again.  If you're ever in doubt about wearing prints then my go-to combination is to pair them with a stripy top.  Breton on the top, party on the bottom as I like to call it.  These are my first pair of Jeffrey Campbells since the start of my obsession over four years ago.  Some of the styles in the meantime have been a little too extreme even for me but these are the perfect sort of weird sandal hybrid I like.  Not too high and just the right amount of ugly, although I am starting discover some other styles at the moment that are veering towards the more ladylike side of the spectrum.  Watch this space.

places to visit in Brighton
seagull on Brighton beach
colourful beach huts in Brighton
Meat Liquor in Brighton
Meat Liquor in Brighton

Brighton Pier at Night

So the main reason for my Brighton visit?  On The Beach had organised a little get-together for a few bloggers and they'd seriously thought of everything.  An Alan Partridge film on the beach (complete with the man himself), buffalo wings from Meat Liquor, even personalised bathrobes before a spot of pampering back in the hotel.  I've managed to gather up even more exciting and unexpected things for my upcoming city guide but I may have to return to sample even more food.  Funny that...


11 Ways That Blogging Changed Me For The Better!

17 July 2014

how has blogging changed my life
Every time I'm asked how long I've been blogging for, I reply with 'five and a half years' pretty nonchalantly.  It's become such a part of my life now, it's hard to imagine what I'd be spending my evenings, weekends (let's face it, it's mornings and afternoons too) doing. I've been a part of this world for almost as long as school and it's the thing I've been the most dedicated to during my twenties. Sometimes I think about what I was like when I started.  I was in the second year of university, wanted to design but had no connections and was trying to recreate Alexa Chung's style on a shoestring budget.  Having a blog has helped me to cement my style and refine certain elements of my personality.  I'm more comfortable within myself, willing to accept criticism and best of all, I know my angles!

making an effort with clothing and make up
11 Ways That Blogging Changed Me For The Better!
making an effort with clothing and make up

1. Confidence

When you pose for pictures on street corners (that sounds all kinds of wrong), it takes a certain sort of mindset not to flinch when someone stares at you or makes a remark.  When I was younger and went through my grunge phase, I felt fine rebelling but only as part of a group.  Now I'm pretty secure in my style and am not fussed about being 'on trend' per se, if it looks good on me, I'll wear it.  I've also accepted my appearance, I never grew up thinking I was much of a looker (glasses and braces will do that to you) and it's taken me until fairly recently to realise that I can scrub up alright.  I love to express myself in the pictures I take (don't worry, there are still some duds) and marvel at some of the scenarios I manage to create.

2. Making more of an effort

Heading out with a full face of make-up, accessories galore and a coordinated outfit for most of the week may seem strange for some, but I relish it.  I'm definitely willing to experiment more with my style and show off the bits I like about my figure.  The way I see it, life's too short to save items for 'best' or special occasions. I try to find a way to dress down more formal items and work them into everyday life.  I use my body as a canvas and what I wear sums up how I'm feeling at a particular point in time, plus I know it'll be amazing to look back on when I'm 80!

3. Commitment & dedication

Seeing the NEBT ballet performance recently made me think back to when my Mum made me take up lessons at age 8.  I didn't really take it seriously (changements always sounded like a kind of cheese) and gave it up as soon as I could.  It was amazing to see the dancers who'd chosen it as their path and fully committed to it.  Reading, writing and drawing have always been my thing.  Before t'internet, I would sit in my room thinking up stories with fully-formed characters and illustrations without ever finishing them.  Blogging allows me to create an online hub of sorts and channel the fleeting ideas I get.  It can be as simple as just posting a picture and jotting down some musings or invisioning a fully formed series.  I don't want to let it slip as I have so many ideas in my head that I know I can finally express in the right way.

teaching myself photography

4. I can learn a new skill

It doesn't all go downhill when you become an adult, hurrah!  I've figured out all things DSLR and Photoshop (within reason), basic HTML, used more forms of social media than I can count and tried to work out how to build a brand of sorts.  A disorganised one at that but still a personal brand.  I'm attempting to put together my first true photography post that will help bloggers like me who don't know their F stop from their ISO. Now if only I could apply this dedication to learning a language!

5.  An immense insight into the fashion and pr industry

I'm forever fascinated by things behind the scenes, how and why things are made. Through blogging I reckon I've been to over a hundred events, press days and fashion shows, seeing product way before it hits the stores and recognising items when they pop up in magazines.  I can't imagine not knowing how a certain shoe came to be in Vogue after spotting it at a press day.  It's taken time though, I remember getting press releases that would ask me whether I wanted samples and not really knowing what they meant.  People still ask me whether I need images and I try not to take it to heart, lots of editors need them for features but I prefer to take my own as it's my unique perspective.

6. I can take criticism

Fortunately I've never had a negative comment on the blog but when I put myself forward for Fashion Bomb Daily, I was pretty shocked by the response.  If I'm honest it did make me feel a bit paranoid about certain things (I'm still figuring out my hair, so apologies if it's not always 'on point') but most things simply didn't make sense.  Kitten heels are a case of 'been there, done that'.  I have to stand by everything I do so even if I've worn something a little unusual, it's all part of a massive learning curve and helps me to become the person I am today.  The way I see it, I am my biggest critic, I already know my faults so if you tell me, it's just old news.

7.  I accept what I can’t change and play to my strengths

I can't lie, sometimes when I look back at my photos, I despair at my lack of waist and permanent gurn.  I used to wish that I could do that perfect pout but instead I tend to smile, laugh and jump because it's what comes naturally to me.  Although there are a lot of bloggers with seemingly perfect figures, the way I see it, if everything looked amazing on me then it would be harder to appreciate certain items.  I may have to try on hundreds of dresses and possibly break down in the changing room but when I find something that works, the feeling is unbeatable.

making friends through blogging

8. Mixing with different people

It becomes pretty hard to meet people outside of your main friendship groups once you get to a certain age. Social media and everything around it has allowed me to connect with people from all walks of life easily and get a different perspective on some of life's issues.  I joke that the age gap between Olivia and I is akin to Harry Styles and Nick Grimshaw but in reality, age is rarely an issue.  I can find common ground with anyone that gets my personality and learn so much from a fresher or experienced outlook.

9. I network in my own way

I've realised that I'm not really a 'networker'.  I've been surrounded by some amazing journalists, designers and creatives but wouldn't dare to make the first move.  Some people seem uber-schmoozy, picking up work left right and centre just by striking up a conversation. I tend to let things happen organically, I've been able to meet journalists and stylists just by being thrown into certain situations and bonding that way. 

10. I know that not everyone will like me

I have a photographic memory, if i’ve met someone before then I rarely forget them and if they’re rude then it’s ingrained in my brain.  I've met people who seem pretty standoffish the first second and third time before eventually building a friendship and some where that never happens.  People are different and some take a while to warm to others or may just be in it for themselves. I've become pretty perceptive over the years and although I don't hold it against people if they were a bit standoffish at first.  We all respond to people differently and it's up to me to not take things to heart.

11. A sense of perspective

When things get less likes or comments, I don't immediately denounce them as rubbish.  I'm not put off and try not to take it to heart, I just accept that some things I write connect with others more than others.  I'll still write about the odd fashion show or exhibition as it's important to me and I want this blog to reflect anything creative I get up to.  

How has blogging helped you to evolve as a person?  Apologies for the odd soppy moment in this post!

Mixed Metallics

13 July 2014

Topshop Lurex Metallic Pleat Skirt

It seems that July is going to be taking a bit of a surreal turn and I'll be making a few short trips over the next few weeks, thanks to this here corner of the internet.  If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed my whistlestop visit to Berlin, a city that is always a joy to visit thanks to its streets full of character and amazing food options.  The reason for the trip was to attend Berlin Fashion Week on behalf of the sponsors Tamaris along with Vicki and Jen.  Our first day was mainly spent settling in and exploring the surroundings, I'd never stayed in such a central location before so I made the most of seeing what was on my doorstep and having the river nearby for photos.  It's tradition for me to make a Weekday purchase each time I go (why oh why are they not in the U.K yet), so it was fate when I realised the hotel was opposite the store.  Can't wait to show you what I bought!

when to visit Berlin
How to wear a rose gold metallic skirt
O.P.I gwen stefani Push & Shove Metallic chrome nail polish
Graffiti on the river spree in berlin
visiting Berlin in Summer
Tamaris white and gold flatform sandals
Topshop Lurex Metallic Pleat Skirt

T-shirt - Weekday
Sandals - c/o Tamaris
Bag - Urban Outfitters
Necklace - & Other Stories

Although I've pretty much weaned myself off Topshop, I had to buy this skirt in the sale after spotting it at a shoot.  I'm really drawn to unusual fabrics at the moment (this one is also on the list) and it was the perfect component for my outfit full of subtle metallics.  My sandals had a flash of gold and I've even found a nail polish that appears to be chrome, so if that's not keen bean then I don't know whatb is.  This grey Weekday t-shirt was bought on a Berlin trip three years ago and is still going strong as one of my favourite basics to wear with more decorated pieces.  I wish I'd bought it in a few other colours at the time and tried to hunt down something similar to no avail.  It's never ideal when you check the weather and have no idea what to pack (27 degrees and raining is not the best combination).  I just had to put on what felt right at the time and accept that there's only so much you can prepare for.  Leaping over puddles with the others was a pretty funny moment!

River Spree in Berlin
Schnitzel in Berlin
Graffiti in Berlin
Bode Museum in Berlin
Graffiti on the river spree in berlin
Uk fashion bloggers The Magpie Girl and A Little Bird Told Me

More on the sights of Berlin Fashion Week later, there's definitely a few elements that London should adopt!