Good Mornin' USA

29 December 2009

If you watch American Dad, then you know how the rest goes; this is the view from my bedroom window

After what seems like an eternity due to much-needed extra security checks and a crazy line for immigration, I have finally reached New York!

Random fact: My immigration officer was called Perez, I refrained from making the obvious jokes.

I arrived on Sunday evening, slightly delirious after a journey spanning around 14 hours and many paranoid moments, yet I soon got stuck into things once I'd reached my accomodation.  It's amazing that shops are open 24/7 even on Sundays, so I randomly bought some cotton wool, a massive burger and watched the bizarre Jersey Shore before trying to get some much needed sleep (before waking up at precisely 5am the next day).  Today I feel a bit more settled; I've been busy sorting out bank accounts, phones and catching up with Uni mates that are here with me.  Being the control freak I am, I like to know where I'm going, but the seemingly simple grid system for the streets are still confusing me.  Hopefully today I can explore a bit more and get more of a feel for this city.  The above (really smiley) photo was taken in Times Square, a rather busy place with a lot going on.  The weather is certainly chilly, but I'm going to experiment with multiple layers of tights and thermals today to see how I get on.

I love this shoe box and will be finding a way to take it back on the plane

Jeffrey Campbell 99 Zip Wedge aka my new BFFs

Anyways, I've saved the best bit until last; meet my new shoes.  I've been doing my American research for a very long time (there are bookmarks folders and everything) and once I saw these part Acne, part Emma Cook creations by Jeffrey Campbell on the Revolve clothing site back in November, I knew I had to own them.  Luckily a kind friend took delivery of the parcel (which apparently took ages to arrive, but that's another story) and I was united with them yesterday.  The size is practically spot on (I now have size US 10 feet, happy days) but I may pop an insole inside for the perfect fit.  On first impressions, they feel really comfortable as they have a wedge heel that appears higher than it actually is and I'm having visions of myself walking for miles and miles in them and not feeling any pain.  I'll let you know the reality.

Hoping to check out some real life shops today to see what's out there before my placement starts next week.  I was probably a bit silly and packed a bit too much (not for two weeks as advised, but perhaps enough for two weeks on Mars) so I'm expecting some excess baggage on the way back.  Let's not think about that now; I'm going to get to grips with language barriers (I can't find blu-tack), eat some interesting food and hopefully meet some cool people.  I'm going to try and put random, non fashion-bloggy photos on my Facebook page, so make sure you join!

Hope everyone had a great Christmas and has a great New Years Eve!


Wrapping things up...

25 December 2009

There really should have been a picture of presents here, but I forgot and they're all open now.  Luckily everyone liked their choices;  I got some money as I'm boring like that...

Is it too late to say, Merry Christmas? This time of the year always catches me by surprise, moreso this year due to my impending move.  I've been too busy sorting out clothes, currency and various other things to get excited about Christmas, heck I didn't even do a blog wishlist like last year.  Trying to get your head around moving away during the craziest time of year is tricky, as everyone's focus is elsewhere. It's rather strange to watch people stressing out about buying the right gift voucher for their offspring while I'm worrying about not seeing family and friends for seven months and being pushed out of the comfort zone of South East London.

 Too many shoes?

The streamlined collection includes lace, floral and polka dots.  Not sure about whether to bring the Map of France tights, yay or nay?

Of course I had to write about the packing; I typically never travel light wherever I go but this journey must be an exception.  I am basically trying to narrow down All The Things I Want To Take, into a more manageable amount, considering that I'll be buying new bits as soon as I touch American soil (I may have started already, but we'll discuss that next week). I guess I'm starting to regret buying so many tights in the past few months, since having to narrow down my vast collection to around 16 pairs is heartbreaking.  Despite this, I'm looking forward to moving to NYC as all of the prices I see in dollars on blogs will finally become relevant and be able to put my dodgy American geography to the test. The last time I went, I was 15 and in the grunge/skater phase, so brought little back in the way of decent clothing as my style wasn't yet defined.  It was also during a pretty sheltered school trip so I had no idea where I was going or the extent of what there is to see and do, so I'm looking forward to discovering new places and getting to know the city as well as London.  I'm also trying out a Topshop ban while I am there, as I resent the higher prices (and lack of staff/uniform discount) so will try and supplement the Topshop loving for Urban Outfitters

It finally feels real that I'm going...

I'm not really having a blogging break, but I may need a bit of time to sort myself out and get my bearings when I arrive.  I'll be twittering bits of my airport journey as I'm flying solo, so hopefully all goes well and by the next time I post, I'll be in New York!

Merry Christmas to you all!  Hope you had a great day and ate lots of yummy stuff!


Cupcakes and Carnaby

22 December 2009

It may seem like every other post on here involves some kind of blogger event, organised by various PR companies with lashings of free hospitality and fun, but sometimes it's nice to take control and organise something yourself.  After reading Hannah's post, I was inspired; it'd be great to host an event giving enough notice for far flung bloggers to attend, since we mainly seem to exist in a virtual world.  We communicate with each other, understanding each other's fashion thoughts and opinions, yet rarely meet due to geographical constraints. This had to change; we set a date for our scaled down meet-up but unfortunately Hannah wasn't able to make it due to illness, so I was left to represent the organisation team.

Cookies and Cream in cupcake form

Myself Selina and Winnie; photo taken on Winnie's camera

The plan was to meet at the Primrose Bakery during a snowy Wednesday afternoon and I was slightly scared as I hadn't taken any phone numbers and was fearing a long wait in the cold.  Luckily I saw the familiar (and friendly) faces of Winnie and Selina and ran in to greet them; due to the extent of our comments and Twitter messages, it was like meeting with old friends.  Cupcake in hand, we sat and excitedly discussed life and blogging for over two hours!  We mused about how long the trend would continue and how we felt about leaving a permanent mark on the internet for future generations to see. I still have things that I forgot to add but will have to save that for another time...

I wish I lived vaguely near this place, imagine having breakfast here everyday...

Some more photos of the Primrose Bakery, I loved the retro kitchen accessories and of course the array of delicious cupcakes.  Very tempted to buy a recipe book to attempt my own creations...

I wanted to take an insane amount of pictures but feared strange looks and perhaps being thrown out by security

After much discussion, our first shop visit would be to Anthropologie and after an interesting walk through Soho, we eventually arrived.  I'd heard that the store had the whole lifestyle/concept niche covered and I was fascinated by the attention to detail in the store.  The cosy, crafty aesthetic shown in the clothing (lots of embroidery, patchwork and ruffles) is reflected in the surroundings and I was particularly fond of the knitting theme around the store (I think I might have made an excitable sound when I saw the display pictured above).  The store was part museum, part adventure and the staircase reminded me of something out of Alice in Wonderland.

The clothes weren't necessarily always my thing, but I loved the literature

Remind me to knit a blanket like this...

The following shopping escapades were unfortunately not documented photographically, but they included some mutual tights admiration in Kingly Court, shoe envy at Irregular Choice and the Steve Madden pop-up shop and confusion (eventually turning to disgust) at the Bolongaro Trevor taxidermy display.  Later we met up with Fiona in Carnaby Street to try out the numerous make-up testers in Liberty (a surprisingly fun way to spend an afternoon) and chatted further over a quick snack in Vapiano (you watch them cook your food, it's brilliant).  I think one of the conversations may have gone something like this 'I'd love to get a new camera, perhaps a DSLR/DSL/DSi?'

Winnie, Fiona, myself and Selina.  I think I look particularly dishevelled in this photo, but hey, that's what the British weather does to you

Five months ago, I hadn't really met any bloggers but now I've met a fair few and I feel like I've made some great new friends.  I guess all of the internet discussions provide a starting point for real-life conversation and you rarely feel like you have nothing to say.  I'm sure there'll be lots of exciting events happening and more meet ups and I'll be sad to miss out on them, but I'll look forward to reading about whatever happens next.  My next aim is to find some New York bloggers to have similar cupcake adventures with, but failing that I'll probably have them by myself.  Every day. 

The competition winner is Rachel!  Well done, some Alphabetights will be making their way to you soon!


Swishy times

18 December 2009

If you're anything like me, you probably have a lot of clothes you seem to keep (perhaps for sentimental value), but never wear.  I can pretty much remember the circumstances in which I acquired most items in my wardrobe, which perhaps makes me less likely to get rid, but eventually you just have to let go.  The Tampax Pearl Swishing party held last week at Punk was the perfect oppurtunity to do just that; bring five items to swap and hopefully leave with another five belonging to various other people (outsmarting Mother Nature in the process).  After all, surely one man's trash is another man's treasure?

  The location of the swishing event, Punk has previously hosted celebs such as Agyness Deyn, Kate Moss and the Gossip.  Just setting the scene for you

The room was filled with bloggers, cupcakes, and items such waiting to be 'swished'; everyone had a raffle ticket to exchange for the items of their choice

I'm not sure if I was trying to barter here, or bore some unsuspecting person about the origin of my items.  Can you spot Reena and Hannah?

Carrie, Me, Kavita and Hannah do some extreme posing

Upstaged by the drag queen, what a bad day to run out of eyeliner; Nicola goes wild with Amy; We were given badges by the organisers for some shameless self promotion, Carrie débuts hers; Mother Nature with her monthly 'gift' certainly caused an outrage as she was later defaced by marker pens

After the swishing (and fits of jealousy) we were treated to a club night, where a random drag queen worked the room and chatted to everyone about their new purchases.  A lot of girly anthems were played, a lot of dancing was done (in a big circle, where occasionally others would randomly sashay into the middle) and I ended up staying slightly longer than planned (partly due to the free bar).  So what did I manage to 'swish'?  Well, as I'd arrived late and didn't get a proper chance to take a look around before the madness started, I probably missed out on some amazing finds (I saw someone with two faux fur items and the lovely Kavita got a vintage lace blazer).  My favourite item I managed to find was this polka dot dress and although it needs some serious alterations, I saw some potential. 

Crappy photo I know, but there are such cute bows on the pockets.  I would hem this to the hilt.

I guess that swishing can be lumped with the many Extreme Fashion Events, such as the Angels Sale or first day of Jimmy Choo for H&M; you have to adopt a certain mentality to get what you want.  The exact same mentality used to get a seat on the tube; niceties just don't cut it here and there's no point in pausing for thought.  Swishing is definitely a great idea and I'd love to try and attempt it again when I'm feeling a bit more alert, as depending on the others involved, you can walk away with some great stuff for free. I was also surprised that four of my items I'd brought with me went quite quickly (I was convinced that they'd be the lone dregs left on the rack) so I'm glad I was able to make someone happy with some of my old stuff.   I guess this event has inspired me to have more frequent wardrobe clearouts; I now have a 'stuff-I-don't-wear-as-much-as-I-should-but-still-want-to-keep' drawer which is definitely an improvment to an overstuffed wardrobe.  Hopefully in a few months I can bear to get rid of more items and control the chaos that is my clothing collection.  How are your wardrobes doing?

Just a reminder that I'm moving away next week, so if anyone wants anything from the shop, you'd better place your orders soon!

I will also be drawing the competition winner this weekend!  Thanks to everyone who entered; Twitter decided to delete a lot of the hashtags, but as long as you mentioned me, it should be fine. Also, 96 followers!  Happy days!  Can I make it 100 before 2010...


Sock it to me

15 December 2009

So the time has come again, for me to embrace yet another trend into my stream of consciousness.  A lot of people have been working this trend for aeons now, but I've only just become convinced that knee-high socks are the way forward.  I shall hereby present the evidence...

You know where this is from, but I'll tell you anyways, Style Bubble.  Still searching for this perfect shade of purple...

Stolen from What is Reality Anyway?  Loving the 90s stylin.

The first picture of Susie Bubble picture made me first rethink the trend and realise that knee-high socks do not a schoolgirl make.  In fact these sultry hold-ups contrast nicely with the barely seen opaque tights and the proportion is very flattering, almost like a knee or thigh high boot illusion (but on the cheap). You all know I have a lot of tights, but instead of buying more I could try and make them look a little different with some crazy footwear over the top, making my previously unseen socks a new feature.  This also reeks of practicality due to the plummeting temperatures and perhaps having shoes a little too big for me...

The Clothes Horse clashes neutrals

Not the biggest fan of the pattern, but I like the idea.  Found here.

Meet my new brogues from New Look, since my Miss Selfridge ones mysteriously became faulty.  I also got some blue glitter tight and teamed them with my Primark knee high socks. You can't go wrong with two pairs for £1.50...

So there you have it, my transition to knee-high socks is now complete and I can't wait to experiment with more colours and patterns (I shall of course be taking more in depth photos than the one above).  It remains to be seen whether my thoughts about ankle socks will change, though I'm open to suggestions.  You've probably all been wearing them for a while, but what do you think of them?  Are there any other trends that took a while to convert you?

Don't forget the House of Holland tights competition, it ends on Thursday at midnight!  Fancy pairing some knee-highs with those...


Bloggers go wild, Aussie style

13 December 2009

Another seriously delayed post, but I just had to share pictures from the final Aussie haircare event.  As you know, Aussie has been very generous to us in the past and recently treated us to a night out at the swanky club Mahiki in Mayfair, complete with endless cocktails, tasty dim sum and topless waiters.  This was not an ordinary Thursday night.

We got given these handy cases full of Aussie products on arrival, Max Factor make-up and a handy contraption designed to hang your bag off a table. This is not my box pictured; mine is currently a home to all my jewellery!

When you get to my age, you can safely say that you've had friends for over ten years.  Saya is one of those friends and I invited her to let her see the world of blogging.  We used to have blogs in our early teens, but they were rather different (think girly squabbles) and eventually fizzled out, but I hope she takes it up again.  I also invited Reena, who unfortunately had to leave early (alas no photographic evidence) but I'm sure she had a great time.

 I attempt to make a cocktail, thus realising I could never work in a bar. Also realised that it looks like I have a giraffe on my head. This is not the case.

These treasure chests cost about 100 quid each!  Moet Champers is luxuriously poured over fresh fruit and various other forms of alcohol and is brought to the table with a fanfare of sparklers to get everyone's attention.

Sammy, Hannah, Me, Saya, Yishyene, Rose; I could get used to this...

 Tor from Fabrocks was also there, along with Jenny from The Style PA; one treasure chest per table meant we were really spoilt! 

 This lovely man brought us food

It was also great to meet Hannah from London Rose properly

No proper outfit posts, but here are my new lace tights from Topshop layered over some purple Primarni

I'd like to thank Aussie and the lovely ladies (and some males I believe) at 1000 heads for throwing a great party!  The Uncover Aussie project has helped introduce me to a wider world of blogging; I vaguely knew about beauty bloggers but I never realised the impact they seem to be having at the moment.  As you know, I rarely feature make-up on this blog as it's not something I wear a lot of (plus I'm slightly scared about things going wrong and looking like a drag queen) but I'm slowly discovering new products and trying new looks partly because of the friendly and honest way they talk about products.  I've also enjoyed meeting some new fashion bloggers and I'm sure the meet-ups will continue, in fact, I should have two more blogger-filled posts this week.

For other far more superior quality pics, check out flickr

Three words: HOH Giveaway Enter!

Time for a New Look methinks

10 December 2009

So finally here we have it, the final press day of the season.  In fact the mother, father and great-grandmother of all press days, with canapés (I ended up making a slight mess with some runny egg),  smoothies and the fashion elite in attendance. New Look is a firm fixture on every high street these days, but did you know the brand is actually 40 years old? It's certainly come a long way from humble beginnings in it's 1969 Taunton store and the modern, directional Spring Summer 2010 collection  definitely proves it.  As soon as I entered the press room, I felt like I was in an exclusive boutique (albeit one with extremely reasonably priced clothes that I wanted to own immediately) and I was pretty much overwhelmed at the rails of new season delights.  Work could wait; I had to have a look at every piece in the room.  I guess I can split my favourite elements of the collection into pretty/feminine/retro and edgy/urban/sportswear.  What can I say? I have multiple fashion personality disorder.

Is it possible to be in love with a skirt?  Very much so; who's joining me in loving the architectural qualities of the one above...

Pretty prints and embellishment are here to stay and I picked out a few whimsical faves reminiscent of my beloved Monki.  I also loved the string-like Idol top, perhaps a distant relative of a Iris van Herpen creation and perfect for some beach layering.  These clothes might just be making me book a 'proper' summer holiday next year.

I also have a few exclusive lookbook images to share.  Being a 50s/80s dress fanatic, I'm loving these Luella-like offerings, which are perhaps not quite saving the brand but keeping it alive nonetheless.  We should all try and recreate the SS10 collection, using whatever the high street has to offer. 

The kids aren't left out of all this fashion malarkey; I'd love my 8-year-old sister to channel something like this, though she's more interested in channeling her Nintendo DS.  One day...

What more can I say?  The new collection is amazing, varied and very easy on the purse strings. I'm rather annoyed I'll be out of the country when most of this hits but hopefully my Mum will be happy to provide some kind of postage service if/when I get the New Look cravings.

Don't forget to enter the House of Holland tights competition, if you have never commented before, now is the time!


I see Paris, I see France

8 December 2009

I've been invited to take part in a competition by Le Noveau Paris, summing up my dream weekend in Paris with €1000 to spend.  Paris is a city I've only visited once before, but I'd love to experience it with 10 times the amount I had back in March, so here is what my dream trip would entail.

After a quick champagne breakfast at the St Pancras Grand, I hop onto the Eurostar with my chosen companion.  I'd probably be knitting something to keep my hands occupied during the journey (perhaps a new scarf) and we would discuss movies and tv shows where the  heroine has a showdown in Paris (Sex and The City and the Devil wears Prada spring to mind).  Having €1000 spending money to spare, my usual wardrobe would of course be fabulous, so my imaginary travel outfit would consist of the following.

 Details here

As soon as I step onto the Platform at Gare du Nord, my GCSE French miraculously comes back to me, and I am able to successfully navigate ourselves to our chosen destination: The House of Chanel, the result of an invitation by Karl Lagerfeld himself.

See more here.

Being within the space Chanel lived in would be a surreal experience, almost as if she had never left. with many of her posessions scattered around.  While looking at where she sat, sketched, ate and even slept, I am filled with a mixture of inspiration and awe at her legacy.

A quick stop to the Chanel boutique is needed to inspect the current collection up close.

Then it's off to the vintage markets of St Ouen to check out some vintage versions of the legendary bags.  I would love a bag with a story (and a bargain).  There's some haggling to be done...

 Own images 1, 3, 8; rest Yvan Rodic

On the way back to the hotel, I'm inspired by everything, signs, architecture and especially people.  There's some awesome and unexpected street style. 

Back to the modern hotel Mama Shelter to check a few e-mails and tweets (Susie Bubble recommends, so it's a bloggers dream), before getting ready for dinner at the Ritz, the epitome of fine dining.

Details here.

The vintage Chanel bag bought at the market completes the outfit perfectly.

After a tasty meal, a quick walk along the river leads us to a late night party on the Batofar boat.  There'd be some kind of random electro music playing that I wouldn't quite understand, but still have fun dancing to.

Details here

Somehow we wake at a decent hour (with miraculously clear heads) and make our way to the Madeleine Vionnet exhibition at Les Arts Decoratifs.  I sketch wildly, filling much of my notebook and my head with ideas.  I stock up on postcards to adorn my walls at home.

A quick look in Colette, for some fashionable Christmas presents.  I'd buy this Lanvin snowball for someone else, but secretly want to keep it for myself, plus some vouchers for my Mum.

Found here.

We grab a quick crepe before a quick look in some of the Marais boutiques.  I spend a few more Euros on some vintage knits and dresses.

Image here

Then we watch the sun set by the Notre Dame Cathedral; I might take a few photos as inspiration for a future collection.

 Found here

Quick!  Not long until the train back to London leaves, but I remember to grab a copy of French Vogue before I board.  

What would you do during your dream trip?

Update: I didn't win the dream trip, but I do get a return ticket to Paris!  I'm giving it to me Mum as I'm not able to take it myself, so expect a guest post from her soon!?
Don't forget to enter my blog competition here!