Spontaneous in Somerset

31 August 2011

mirror shot
The first of many mirror shots!

I'm always up for a bit of UK discovery and broadening my horizons, so I decided to spend part of my Bank Holiday weekend in Somerset.  This might seem random at first glance but it is also the home of Carrie and I'm forever envious of her trips to the Mulberry factory shop, so decided to pop West bound along with Lucy.  It was also a chance for me to test out my brand new camera, a birthday present to myself to soften the blow of turning 24 (an age signalling the beginning of the end of things like 16-25 railcards and general cheapness) and to increase my understanding of photography.  I didn't get off to the best start as my DSLR was first hijacked by my sister and I spent a few hours trying to rectify her  bodge-job attempts at setting it up.  I also was blissfully unaware that I was shooting in 'movie' mode, until Carrie kindly pointed it out, but soon enough I was back in business and busy snapping away. I think I now need a bigger laptop to store the crazy amounts of photos I'm bound to be taking!

vintage trunks

piles of clothes

much cheapness here

vintage cutlery

red stuff

busy crowds

vintage buttons

needlecraft guide

vintage mirrors

beano and dandy comics


carrie wish wish wish

vintage signs

Our first stop was a rainy one and we ventured towards the Bath and West Showground for a leisurely look around the flea market.  Luckily they had a large indoor section, so we were able to shelter and have a gander at the immense amount of antiques and random knick knacks you know I love to look at.  I wish I had my own house, as I know I could come back from this sort of place with such an eclectic selection of furniture and it was sheer determination that stopped me from buying random chairs that would have been a nightmare to get home.  We must have been quite a sight wandering around with our cameras, asking for permission to photograph things such as wartime medals and ornaments (Lucy even managed to get a refusal) but it was worth it to capture a few more images of collections.  It may seem like every other post on here is about some sort of market, but I like to think of this as an ongoing project, even though the degree is over and done with.

topshop leather jacket weekday tee dress monster shorts

betty london shoes
Jacket - Topshop
Stripy Tee - Weekday
Shorts - Dress Monster
Shoes - c/o Spartoo
Tights - Henry Holland
Promise I'll take the sunnies off soon!  
Thanks to Carrie for taking the photos.

The August weather was as confusing as ever, so I donned tights with the ubiquitous stripy tee and  frill shorts combination (yes, another Asos sale buy that gets crushed up very easily, promise I really did iron them).   My  choice of footwear wasn't quite suitable for the muddy grounds, so my new Betty London shoes got pretty mucky for their third wear but I think it adds to their character.  They combine my love of brogues and loafers perfectly though I've noticed that I do seem to have an unhealthy addiction to lace up shoes that needs to be managed carefully.

knitting needles


exit sign

What are your thoughts on my first forays into DSLR photography?  I've bookmarked a few tutorials and I have a 50mm lens next on my list, but I'd be greatful for any tips you might have as I'm determined to master manual mode...eventually.

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Flora and Fauna

22 August 2011

kew gardens tickets

As much as I love to champion London, there are still some corners of the capital I rarely go to and only know of due to having the final destinations of various Tube lines in the back of my mind.  Kew Gardens is one of those places; I hadn't visited since I was a child and it's now very rare that I visit any green space without a landmark or shopping area in close proximity.  I was recently contacted by Frida who asked if I would like two tickets to see what one of the world's leading Botanic Gardens had to offer and dutifully brought my Mum and sister along for a family day out.

plant pots


pink and yellow flowers

south wing 1898

mum in sunglasses
Mum's designer sunglasses were a £2 bargain bought the previous day

kew gardens

kew palace

We all did an awful lot of walking around the grounds due to arriving at the slightly less grand Lion Gate but soon enough we were amongst the tropical plants in one of the palatial greenhouses.  It was nice to pretend for a moment that we were having a 'real' summer as opposed to this indecisive one  and to climb the grand spiral staircases inside to observe everything from above.  Due to running out of time, I could only admire just the exterior of Kew Palace from outside as we were too late for entry.  I would have loved to have seen the Georgian features and get snap happy inside, but alas it wasn't meant to be and I will have to make do with the website instead

kew gardens bag


pink flowers

vintage dress leather satchel

close up gold ring

Dress - Angels Sale
Hat - Yard Sale
Satchel - Tom Brown
Sandals - c/o Next
Ring - Forever 21

This was one of those temperamental weather days but luckily no rain was in sight.  In keeping with the floral theme, I decided to wear a vintage dress I bought at the Angels Sale, which I dodgily managed to shorten.  It's falling apart slightly since I wore it so I will have to figure out some sort of a repair as I'm not ready to part with it.  I have been practically living my Next schoolteacher-style sandals all summer after seeing them featured here.  It's not long until I'll have to retire them due to Autumn's imminent arrival but that doesn't stop me wishing for similar strappy styles.

twig scupture

Have you ever been to Kew Gardens?  It was nice to spend the day in a more peaceful corner of London and hopefully I won't leave it so long until the next time I visit.

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Drawing Fashion

18 August 2011

Niki Pilkington

I came across some illustrations by Niki Pilkington recently and was so impressed, I thought I'd stick them on here.  Not only does she have a fabulously quirky and vibrant style using simple materials to create masterpieces, but her work has been widely recognised and she's got plenty of commissions under her belt.  Pilkington is a true example that you create your own path in an Art & Design related career and has designed a range of bags, cards and prints which should be available to buy soon.  Originally from Wales, she uses proverbs from the language in her work adding an other-worldly edge.  Her style lends itself easily to fashion and I love the accurate representation of human features in contrast to the felt tip colour palette.  I hope to catch one of her exhibitions soon and see her work somewhere other than my computer screen.  Who are your favourite illustrators?

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Market Discoveries

15 August 2011

broadway market

I'm a bit late on the Broadway Market front, I know.  Most East-Londonites have been frequenting there for a while now due to the obvious crowds (with a high proportion being mothers wielding pushchairs) and popular stall-owners.  The recent riots have made me determined to appreciate my city, make the most of it and not let the somewhat hasty negative perception get me down.  Although there is an unsavoury minority residing in the capital, my heart has been warmed by the stories of community and lending a helping hand and I didn't want to shy away from certain areas that had been affected.  Due to starting work recently, I'm trying to make the most of my weekends and the weather by exploring London a little more and venturing slightly further from the Overground stations. 

yummy food

bookshop window
food at broadway market

antique chairs and mirror
molly bakes cupcakes

One of the main aspects of this market is the foodie element and there's plenty of yummy sampling to be had (truffle flavoured balsamic vinegar anyone) with the numerous dips and sauces on display.  I plumped for a Vietnamese sandwich, mainly because I haven't tasted one since I was in New York last year and luckily the Bahn Mi stall near the beginning of the market didn't disappoint.  Yet again, I have no photographic evidence.  I guess that by committing to this choice so early, I was unfortunately too full to try much else on offer, such as the delicious looking Persian snacks and various curries.  I did manage to try a carrot cupcake by Molly Bakes and have a little chat with her; she has such an inspiring business story.  I really want to get into baking more but there's always so many random ingredients to buy, meaning that I'll always end up treating myself at stalls such as this one.

random clutterI'm still obsessed with taking photos of clutter, maybe it'll inspire another collection?  Gotta love the retro Nokia phones in the corner.

miss crofton undies
suitcases piled up


fiona save our shoes

I got shown the ropes by the lovely Fiona who seems to know the streets of Hackney like the back of her hand and it was a bonus to check out the small yet perfectly formed Netil market.  I was almost reminded by my days at the Brooklyn Flea with the random assortment of stalls and stylishly dressed visitors, which would overwhelm the likes of Face Hunter or The Satorialist.  I had to catch Fiona's outfit as I was in love with her vintage skirt and it's vivid pattern, which compliments her Hasbeens perfectly.
topshop top and suede skirt doc martens

Top, Skirt - Topshop
Satchel - Tom Brown
Necklace - Marc by Marc Jacobs
Socks - c/o Tabio
Dr Martens - c/o Spartoo

You knew my mug was going to turn up sooner or later.  This skirt was one of my rare and recent Topshop sale buys, 100% suede for just £10!  So what if it's prone to popping open when I sit down; it keeps me on my toes anyhow.  I'm breaking in my new Dr Martens brogues from Spartoo with the Tabio socks from my graduate show, which is somewhat painful but necessary to make them as comfortable as my other pair.

hasbeens vs doc martens

hackney sign and skittles 
Have you been to Broadway Market yet?  I thought I was always going to be a South London girl but I wouldn't mind living nearby and having all of this on my doorstep.  A girl can dream.

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High Street Mission: The Trenchcoat

5 August 2011

trench coats

It's rather un-fashion blogger for me to say this, but I'm struggling to dress in this heat.  Ever since I've moved back to my childhood room, I've been living in a bit of a chaotic state with clothes and shoes everywhere and it's hard to even locate pieces, let alone work out what goes with what.  I miss the walk in wardrobe of my student house!  A further clearout is definitely needed as it will become even more impossible to store new additions, so I'm back to focusing on the one staple item I want to own whilst getting rid of anything unnecessary. Is it crazy to say that I do not possess a trench coat?  My Mum has a couple of vintage Burberry numbers that I'm rather envious of, but I want one to call my own.  I'm a major fan of transitional dressing and this style of outerwear occupies the space between a winter coat and lightweight jacket and looks equally as great with bare legs and boots or layered heavily.  I've gathered a few inspirational images and unlike the antique lace dress I've yet to find, I've placed an order for this Asos maxi length style in the sale.  I'm not sure if it'll be a bit too long for my 5'6-ish frame but am hoping for the best until I can stumble upon another vintage Burberry number.  What are your thoughts on trench coats?  I might look completely ridiculous in the one I've ordered and nothing like Cara Delevingne but I'm hoping for the best!

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