Not another Instagram post...

29 April 2012

iphone 4s fashion blog

'Oh dear' you might cry, 'Kristabel's joined the iPhone herd and saddled us with another one of those Instagram posts'.  A true blogosphere meme if there ever was one, which I'm finally getting a chance to partake in.  I'm never a person with the most up-to-date phone; I got my first brick when everyone was onto their customisable Nokia 5110s (gotta love the noughties), then got my Nokia 3310 when most were onto their first cameraphones.  Gradually, I was starting to get those same feelings of 15-year-old envy with my previous Blackberry model and winced every time I saw another one of those sepia tinted photos pop up in my twitterfeed.  I've been using Apple laptops for quite a few years now, but the mobile version had so far eluded me, due to inconvenient contracts and a previous lack of funds.  A few weeks ago I finally took the plunge and decided to abandon my ageing phone for a brand new 4s, complete with numerous apps and time-wasting abilities (hello Draw Something).  Now I see how easy it is to be addicted to being constantly contactable and having the world at your fingertips easily.  Who's with me?

iconemesis feathers iphone case
iconemesis feathers iphone case

I was sent this handy feathers case from Iconemesis to ease my initiation into customisable phone attire.  I know that back in the day those Nokia phones had this feature and I often used to jazz mine up with the odd glittery nail polish, but there's something distinctly slick about today's versions.  The amount of choice out there is overwhelming and I'm sure I'll grow into changing my cases as often as my underwear one day (this one is next on the list), but until then I'm happy with the calming feather design.  Luckily I haven't had to deal with my battery running out in an awkward situations yet but I know it's inevitable with the amount of blog-reading that I like to do on various modes of public transport.  This portable charger that was sent by Mobile Fun is a godsend and will be useful for combating the utter moment of confusion when your phone suddenly switches off when it was all going so swimmingly.

instagram blog post

Exploring Shoreditch on a Saturday - A quick snap of blossom before my commute - Quirky wrapping paper at Joy - 
A typewriter at Lucy and Carrie's house - Gem and I in Company magazine - 
Interiors at the Urban Outfitters press day - Treats in jars - A surprise Glossybox 
 These Jana Reinhardt necklaces reminded me of the twitter icon - Beaded collar spotted at Darling
Thought about making jelly sandals happen- Also considered a hipflask - 
Was gutted to have to send my tiny Me and Zena ring back - Gorgeous undies seen at the Boux Avenue Westfield opening - More wooden sandal love, this time the culprit being Medwinds - Things to make your home pretty

food drink coffee instagram blog post

Starting the day with smoked salmon and cream cheese bagels - Yummy Victoria sponges amongst other things - 
The perfect smoothie - I know that photos of coffee are ubiquitous on these things but I couldn't resist - 
Paella was the perfect unexpected dinner - Pancakes, ham and scrambled eggs at The Breakfast Club
Cheese-fest at Vapiano - Chocolate for Sunday dinner (I jest)

shopping instagram fashion blog post

Wearing inappropriate shoes for puddles - A crazy few hours shopping after work and almost having a COS breakdown - New nail art - Finally bought this Asos elephant-print shirt, I blame 25% off - All dolled up complete with collar - 
Wearing the same floral trousers and denim combo as Amy - I can't believe I'm dressing for Autumn weather in April - Drenched satchel, I hate this weather!

I am loving the ability to capture random day-to-day elements in my life, that previously weren't documented due to leaving my DSLR at home or getting annoyed with the Blackberry quality.  Now I can see my life through various retro filters and my photos taken on the move have their own designated space and can be treasured rather than forgotten.  Expect a lot of food, sneaky shop pictures and flowers if my current form is anything to go by.  There are a couple of clichés that I'm probably going to be guilty of, which this twitter account sums up perfectly (the Pinterest version is a good read too).  We might all be scratching our heads in ten years time as to why taking random filtered photos was so popular (or even sooner depending on what Facebook does), but I'm happy capturing nonetheless.  If you're able to, follow me @fashionknitsta to see what I'm up to and let me know if you're similarly addicted or of any other apps that I need in my life.

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A Darling Discovery

25 April 2012

strawberry victoria sponge cake

When it comes to getting dressed, I have two sides to my personality.  The first side of me likes to embrace my femininity with a nipped in waist, wooden soled shoe and polka dot pattern somewhere in the mix.  My second side longs for the effortless style of certain Scandinavian bloggers and intriguing construction and detailing found in labels such as Acne, COS and Weekday.  The result is a bit of a fight between the two sides, polka dot tights with an asymmetric dress because I refuse simply to stick to one look and love to experiment (I hope I never grow out of it despite seeing articles that state this is necessary).  I guess that when it comes to style, I like to have my cake and eat it so when I recently went to the Darling showroom to take a look at some of their collections I took the chance to live out my theory.  It's always nice when a brand makes their collection come to life with strong visuals and relevant edible props (I couldn't stop eating), so instead of being stuck in the rain I decided to indulge the sweeter side of my personality.

antique mirror
darling rail of clothes
blue flowers
prosecco in a teacup
photo frames

As a result of the near-perfect setting, I ended up taking so many photos of the evening and popped as many as I could here so that you could get a sense of it all.  The Darling headquarters also serves as a design studio and must provide the perfect inspiration what with all the various bits and bobs that adorned the room.  Even though I'm used to seeing collections far in advance now, it was nice to have a reminder of Summer and admire some of the pastel dresses with a contrast lace overlay as well as thinking ahead for how I might want to transition into Autumn.  There are plenty of catwalk references to the more Gothic and heritage inspired collections at a typical High Street price point (the brand can be found downstairs in Topshop Oxford Circus, plus at Asos and like-minded independent boutiques) and plenty of variety whether you're into collars, quirky prints or a bit of tweed.  I'm not sure if I would style the dresses in a completely ladylike manner as a nod to my other side (hello Dr Martens) but I'm excited for the potential.

teapot and floral napkins
darling clothes ss12 lace dress floral skirt
pastel macaroons
strawberry tarts
darling clothes aw12 lace dress floral skirt

What do you think of Darling; does the brand fit in with any of your multiple fashion personalities?  I think I'd like to model my bedroom on their studio, complete with the endless supply of cakes!

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Escaping the Rain

22 April 2012

Whoever came up with the phrase 'April showers' is probably cackling with glee right now; Spring in England has definitely taken a turn for the worse.  It's rained pretty much all week with a few deceptive hours of sunshine sandwiched in between, making getting dressed strictly a transitional affair.  I'm determined not to wear my Winter coat until at least November and am trying to add a sunshine flair to my outfits despite what the weatherman says.  I've got plenty of summery outfits planned, which I'm just itching to sport once I get the metaphorical go-ahead but until then, it looks like I'll be covered up for a little while longer.

urban outfitters parka st james top mint tights red zatchel
tatty devine necklace st james top
urban outfitters parka saint james breton top mint tights
Parka - c/o Urban Outfitters
Breton top - Saint James
Skirt - Vintage
Mint tights - Topshop
Shoes - Betty London
Necklace - c/o Tatty Devine

I've wanted a proper Saint James Breton top for a good few years and finally managed to pick one up from the authentic sailing setting of Arthur Beale on Shaftesbury Avenue.  I know that every High Street store has their take on the ubiquitous striped tee (I may or may not have some of them already) but for once I wanted the real deal with the tricky boat neckline.  They only have this colourway in stock but I think it's the cheapest place you'll find a Saint James top in London (unless you're particularly lucky in charity shops).  Lucy managed to take these pictures of me after an event this week; it's so hard getting pictures in the morning especially with the downpours and my general lack of organisation but I definitely want to try and capture more day-to-day outfits that are put together in a bit of a rush.

topshop jumper cheap monday denim dress

Jumper - Topshop
Boots - Vagabond

This outfit probably wasn't the most flattering to photograph and most of the discarded hands-in-pockets photos made me look like a sort of weird compound shape.  It's not even as if I had a remote to hide!  I decided to branch out from my typical girly dress shape when I chose this denim number from Love Clothing and I'm still on the fence as to whether it suits me in its un-layered form.  Shirt-dresses are pretty much avoided by me at all costs, but I've admired their chic ease from afar and hope that it will rub off on me when I manage to brave it with bare legs and a belt.  The balloon dog necklace is still a firm favourite in my jewellery collection and is a great conversation starter.  I'm starting to notice that there's a clear style of jewellery I like to wear, thoughtful but not too fussy with the right amount of quirkiness.  Would you be interested in a post about my jewellery collection?  I still haven't found the perfect storage method so would be grateful for any suggestions as my current holder keeps toppling over!

apc top pastel blue skirt
dr martens polka dot tights
pineapple necklace monki ring
Leather jacket - Topshop
Top - A.P.C
Skirt - Battersea Boot Fair (actually American Apparel)!
Polka dot tights - M&S
Dr Martens - c/o Spartoo
Necklace - Joy
Ring - Monki

So I finally made it to Joy this week for an 18 and East party that they were throwing and hoped to try on some of the items featured in my wishlist.  I guess the danger of these online moodboards is that items don't quite translate into real life and I ended up deviating from my original plan, buying a flamingo-covered dress and this pineapple necklace.  It's always the way, isn't it?  I wore this outfit expecting it to rain and fearing the worst for my new hair-do, but luckily the heavens didn't open too much.  I'm wearing my skirt that I bought from Battersea Boot Fair, which is actually American Apparel with a £41.50 saving!  I love it when things like that happen.  The pastel blue colour is really what sold it to me and although it's a squeeze, I can't wait to team it with something equally as sugary sweet.

How have you been surviving the rainy weather? 

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Perfect Spring Updates

15 April 2012

Urban Outfitters Vaudeville & Burlesque Fit And Flare Paisley Dress

Surprise surprise, I want to go shopping again.  I blame the influx of magazines in my life (including the revamped Company Magazine in which my face appears on page 88) and general blog reading.  Truthfully speaking, my wardrobe already has a lot going on already but I just feel that I need a few more pieces to act as the glue that holds everything together.  I'm trying to be sensible and choose the items that represent what this summer is about but also have the potential to be worn for longer.

Urban Outfitters Vaudeville & Burlesque Fit And Flare Paisley Dress

I was contacted recently by Idealo about taking part in a Spring dress challenge and jumped at the chance to receive this Urban Outfitters dress that I'd had my eye on.  Paisley had never seemed to appeal to me until the powers of fashion got to work, making the prints at Stella McCartney and J.W Anderson seem extremely desirable.  I've worn this dress several times since the arrival date roughly a month ago in typical transitional fashion with tights and boots, but I'm longing to wear it with bare legs and cute sandals as it was most likely intended.  Of course I've been too disorganised to get photographic evidence of me wearing it but rest assured it's one of my new favourite dresses and gives me a break from the polka dots!

spring updates wishlist blog

So as a result of my usual web surfing this week, I've come to the above shopping conclusions; I definitely want a few more pretty dresses in my life.  I seem to have found a few from some American websites, which I'm tempted by despite the hefty customs charge potential and dodgy exchange rates.  I've popped all of my faves from the British High Street into the mood-board that I can realistically afford; I've rediscovered Joy and found some lovely dresses and skirts that are just sitting in my basket, waiting for me to crack.  Topshop has once again got me hook line and sinker with an illuminous green jumper to help me channel some of the street-style images I've been pinning and a non-scary pyjama style shirt that has unfortunately sold out (please come back).  The Galibardy tape measure ring is a no-brainer due to the fashion connotations, the Massimo Dutti jumper is made from yarns that get my seal of approval and the River Island flatforms look comfy enough to get me out of my black shoe rut.  Which pieces are you looking to update your wardrobe with this April?  Hopefully the fact that I've done a bit of prior research will work in my favour and I won't end up with something completely random that doesn't fit my criteria of being versatile.

Changing the subject slightly, I'm also now on Instagram which is a whole different kettle of fish to what I'm used to!  I hope to have a proper introduction post when I've actually used it out and about some more, so follow me @fashionknitsta in the meantime to see what I'm up to.  I seem to have followed quite a few people who are at Coachella and it's made me extremely jealous, does anyone fancy a blogger trip there next year?

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A Day in the Life

11 April 2012

battersea car boot sale

Do some of these pictures look slightly familiar?  A little while ago I made a long-awaited trip back to Battersea Boot Fair, which holds a special place in my heart due to the fact that it inspired my graduate collection.  Even though my journey there took longer than usual (never take a bus anywhere in South London), I still managed to pick up three skirts for the bargain price for £6 within 15 minutes of looking around.  I never know what to expect when I turn up and luckily I'm rarely disappointed.  Do you have much luck at car boot sales?  It's my favourite purely because it starts at midday and only really starts to get busy after 1pm, which is perfect for my lazy Sunday routine!

battersea car boot sale
battersea car boot sale
battersea car boot sale
coffeee and cake
three vintage battersea car boot skirts
vintage vogue magazines
jane shilton bag clarks henderson shoes

Afterwards, I couldn't resist hijacking Jazmine's room and taking a few photos in the picture-perfect setting she's created.  I don't want to spoil things and hopefully she'll do a bedroom post soon, as the décor suits her personality well with it's variously arranged knick-knacks and vintage furniture.  I do love a good nosey at other peoples living spaces and it was great to see all of her Vogue magazines and thoughtfully curated wardrobe.  I hope that I can be as organised one day!

motel stripe nautical dress mint tights jane shilton bag
astrid and miyu armour ring
motel stripe nautical dress mint tights jane shilton bag
jane shilton bag
motel stripe nautical dress mint tights jane shilton bag
Dress - Motel
Tights - Topshop
Clarks smart shoes - c/o Spartoo

I've had this dress for ages now and thought it was about time that it got another outing.  Although I'm often drawn to a striped dress, they can often be far from flattering if the waist isn't in the right place and I love the gentle fit and flare shape of this style.  My mint tights were the ideal update and my new Clarks shoes kept everything Spring-like on a sunny Sunday afternoon.  I've loved the cut-work detail ever since I saw the adverts which feature them (Harriet owns them too) and I'm sure that I'll be wearing them loads this summer, if not purely to incite better weather.  Now when it comes to bags, I tend to veer towards a more classic style and I jumped at the chance to receive a lovely new bag from Jane Shilton to add to my collection.  It bears similar hallmarks to some of the vintage styles I have, with plenty of handy compartments for all my junk.  Hopefully I will now be able to find everything easily instead of my typical 'Where's me keys..where's me phone?' routine!

clarks sky henderson cut out brogues

I must say that I was very impressed with how the photos turned out by Jazmine's trademark brick wall and I'm hoping to make a return visit soon!

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Best of the Accessories

8 April 2012

lulu guinness aw12 i love london

It seems that I've been a little greedy with my press day visits this season and now have the tricky task of whittling down thousands of photos so that this blog doesn't need endless scrolling.  Recently I've been questioning the idea of these sorts of 'press day posts' and whether it's more worthwhile waiting until all of the items I feature are actually in store.  These days I'm always thinking so far ahead and when I see something I like, I prefer to share it pretty soon after regardless of whether it'll be hitting the shops in a few more months.  I'm pretty sure that by the time all of the Autumn stuff is in store, my mind and camera will have moved onto the next thing with only my attire staying in the correct season.  In my attempt to break things down, I've decided to focus on some of the accessories that have caught my eye, which all retain some sort of British twist.  

lulu guinness aw12 lips clutch
lulu guinness bag
lulu guinness aw12 glasses bag
lulu guinness books bag aw12
lulu guinness aw12 lips leather bag
lulu guinness aw12
lulu guinness aw12 macaroons

It was a welcome change spending part of the morning swooning over some of Lulu Guinness' latest creations before rushing back to work and normality.  Each season the theme is watertight and for AW12 the bookworm is in style, with the eclectic bookshops of Audrey Hepburn's Funny Face providing the inspiration.  Titles have been swapped for some of Lulu's favourite sayings and the interior boasts the same functionality present in previous designs, albeit with a literary twist.  I'm even more convinced that I want to add one of her slouchy nappa tote bags to counteract some of my structured satchels and at least seeing the collection so far in advance means that I have enough time to save accordingly.

zatchels pastel bags satchels
zatchels polka dot satchels
zatchels leather
fluorescent zatchels satchel leopard print
zatchels pastel straps

Just when you thought that all of the satchel possibilities had been exhausted, Zatchels manage to come up trumps and create a way for such a classic design to be updated with a modern twist.  Although I chose a classic red style back in February, the pastel shades were definitely a second choice and I'm almost regretting my decision after seeing them in person.  Although there are a few companies specialising in the humble satchel these days, Zatchels have really pushed the range of colours, prints and styles and have become so successful in just a year and I can't wait to see what they come up with next.

tatty devine how to make necklace
tatty devine aw12 crowns
tatty devine jewellery making
tatty devine skull necklace
I loved Fiona's necklace that she wore to the Aussie event, methinks I might need to borrow it soon...

I've only recently become a Tatty Devine convert, after admiring their designs every season at London Fashion Week but never quite knowing which piece to buy first.  I get overwhelmed very easily.  You can't go wrong with something personalised, and it was pretty cool to see one of the girls in action at the MLPR press day and to have a charm necklace created for me on the spot.  It was all in aid of The Tatty Devine Charm Club, which is to be launched in July and allows you to be sent a new cute charm every month to adorn a hand-made bracelet or necklace and keep your jewellery fresh and exciting.  Expect to see my necklace in an outfit post very soon and hopefully a new name necklace once the new Selfridges store opens.

H&H holly hannah metal nail art

I hope that everyone's having a lovely Easter weekend! 

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