Years are a funny thing. You would think that after 24 of them, I might have an inkling as to what might happen at the start of each new one but all I can remember was that 2011 filled me with fear. It was going to be the most stressful part of my four-year knitwear degree after three relatively tame years after which I would be flung into the big bad world as a graduate. In this economy? Madness! With hindsight I can now see that 2011 was filled with some pretty amazing moments, some expected and others completely out of the blue. As I'd hoped last year, I finally upgraded my camera and hoped to capture as much as possible, so here's the fruits of my labour and how the last year has panned out for me.
After a fun and fruitful festive season spent wandering around the V&A, it was time to knuckle down to some dissertation concentration back in Nottingham and complete around 7,000 words about the personal brands created by bloggers. Major distractions included a trip down to Leicester to visit Next HQ, admiring all of my post-Christmas shopping and a trip back down to London to get inspired whilst taking ridiculous amounts of photobooth pictures at the Vouchercodes party. I somehow managed to keep dressing up, buying books and take a brief trip down to London Fashion Week to admire all of the fantastic personal style and the exhibition. We don't really talk about that extremely random visit to Ohio anymore, but on the plus side I did pick up some Mac products at Stateside prices and gave a lecture on fashion blogging once I returned. In between knitting and debating my preference for spots and stripes, I managed to catch a blogging masterclass in my local Topshop featuring none other than Susie Bubble and Stevie. Despite feeling a new lease of blogging life, it was time to stop procrastinating and sort out where my graduate collection was going (after yet another quick visit down south to see the Yohji Yamamoto exhibition).
During the most difficult quarter of the year, it was hard to stay focused (especially with the temptation of SS11 lookbooks) and I had to spend much of Easter and The Royal Wedding covered in yarn and getting myself organised. Posts may have been thin on the ground but they were all somehow related to the work I was doing, such as when I interviewed Jazmine about her Vogue collection and perused styling ideas spotted on Tumblr. Somehow I still managed a little bit of shopping (and received some lovely sunglasses) but the main highlight of May was finishing all of my outfits in the nick of time and watching them go down the catwalk at our degree show. On real life moving models! There was no one more shocked than me when I found out that I would be seeing my collection again at Graduate Fashion Week (let's all relive that happy time) and I thought I'd show you how all of my ideas came about. I was briefly reunited with London for a few press events, before getting all of my work done and saying goodbye to Nottingham. Finally, five years of higher education was over and I had to figure out what to do next (meeting Colin McDowell in Liverpool along with the Fashion Fringe finalists might have helped me stay in the fashion mindset somewhat).
Finally, I was back in London for good and went to a rather civilised garden party in Covent Garden before escaping to Berlin for Bread and Butter and rummaging in the charity shops. I officially became a graduate, made another trip to the Jacques Townhouse and renewed my obsession with all things Japanese at Hyper Japan. After the depressing riots, I continued to find the good in London by visiting Broadway Market for the first time and getting back to nature in Kew Gardens. I also attempted to see more of the U.K by visiting Somerset with Carrie and Lucy, whilst figuring out the workings of my new camera. Nothing about the various knobs and dials really made sense to me but undeterred, I kept snapping away at some exciting events, spending time bonding with my new satchel and yet again processing everything at London Fashion Week. Personal highlights were the candy colours and seaside references at the Mulberry show, seeing the outcome of the Fashion Fringe judging and the unexpected performance at Meadham Kirchhoff. Could we fast-forward to SS12 already please?
The last three months of the year flew past in quick succession and I started contemplating Christmas earlier than usual at the Anthropologie preview. I had a busy week admiring some Lulu Guinness bags and attempting to find something worthwhile in the American Apparel warehouse sale whilst wondering what to wear in the unseasonably warm October weather. A surprise Cosmopolitan Blog Award nomination saw me get glammed up with my fellow blogging buds and enjoy a few days off in London eating everything from pancakes to ramen noodles. I got to know SS12 even better with a day trip to Paris to see the La Redoute collections (whilst discovering new places to visit) and multiple evenings spent admiring offerings from TBA, Urban Outfitters and Bertie. It was also a month for experiencing fashion first hand after watching the Peter Jensen Fashion In Motion show from the press pit and meeting Mary Katrantzou at the My Daily event. I also put my knitwear skills to good use and designed an Innocent smoothie hat (which my sister now looks after). You probably all know how December went but as a reminder, I met the lovely Dita Von Teese, shared my love of Pinterest, attempted some extremely late Christmas shopping and was featured in a Japanese magazine. Phew!
A few of my favourite 2011 outfits where I increased my love of burgundy/maroon/berry red (and shoes mainly thanks to Spartoo). I'm also making some style resolutions for next year which I will share with you soon!
So there you have it, another round up of another eventful year! If you're new to reading IWYTK it's a pretty comprehensive guide to all the positive things that have happened and all of the shoes I have worn. I must also thank all of the readers and followers of IWYTK who put up with my random ramblings and the insane amount of pictures I put in my posts! Since finishing my degree, I've enjoyed getting back into regular blogging and using the medium as a way of documenting everything creative within my life so hopefully I can just continue to do this and push myself to keep researching and finding inspiration everyday. I know a few things that could make 2012 even better but I don't want to jinx anything, so you'll just have to wait until the next annual round-up to see if my wishes have come true!
Happy New Year everyone! For once I'm staying in and eating Malteasers with the family!