November Memories

30 November 2012

Another month bites the dust, bring on December!  I am so ready for the festive break and to start figuring out my hopes for 2013.  Don't worry, I'm not going to start getting all reflective just yet (I'll leave that for the 31st). As expected here are a few of the outings, sights and outfits I've captured in the past month.

exhibitions events instagram blogger post

Monday mornings are made better by views of Hyde Park - Maison Martin Margiela for H&M craziness - Another visit to the Tim Walker exhibition with my sister
Discovering a new Brazilian bar thanks to Motel - Hanging out with Lucy & Fiona - The amazingness of Marina & the Diamonds at Baroque
This train feels a bit retro - Emma Cook windows at Topshop - Trying to make a Pinterest style shelf in my room
Plates at Urban Outfitters for SS13 - I don't normally see Somerset House from this angle 
A loo with a lot of reading material - I want these baubles - St Christopher's place is all dolled up

eating food cake teacups instagram blogger post

I miss this Pho - The amazing muffins at Laura Ashley HQ 
Foxcroft & Ginger is a new coffee shop discovery of mine - How I've missed Tayyabs - Eating this feels so wrong after seeing the John lewis advert!
Attempting to choose some dim sum from a trolley - Coronation chicken in a teacup - A Vietnamese feast and a catch-up

shoes bags dresses instagram blogger post

Colourful French Sole ballet flats - My beautifully packaged Alphabet Bags order - Gorgeous ladybird print shirt from the Boutique range at Jaeger
Denim pinafore love at Urban Outfitters - The cutest bag ever - My shoes of choice by Vagabond
Laura Ashley iPhone cases - More predictable shoe choices by Shellys - A Cath Kidston bike print dress
K is for Kenzo - I want this Stefanel outfit

outfits nail jewellery instagram blogger post

Getting political with my sweatshirt choices - Channelling Yayoi Kusama through my nail art - My new Tatty Devine dinosaur necklace
I'm on a wall of polaroids - Dressing up with Tara Starlet - Managed a sneaky photo in The Box
Candy stripe nails and a Smith Grey ring - The best Secret Santa pressie for me is more polish!

six 6 of the best fashion blog instagram feeds

Six feeds to follow, featuring numerous photos I wish could have taken

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New Tricks

26 November 2012

Levi's Made and Crafted chambray denim shirt peter pan rounded collar

It's just been one of those weeks.  Sometimes blogging and attending events whilst holding down a 'proper' job gets the better of me and although I've been wearing some nice things, there just isn't the time nor the means to capture them properly.  I remember that last year I'd brave the cold and fit in an outfit photo before work and subsequently miss my train.  No such luck this year, it's harder to separate my body from my bed and I leave getting ready until the last possible moment before throwing on as many random elements as possible.  There's not even much hope of a candid Instagram shot, as my mirror is extremely narrow and clearly shows the amount of washing I need to do in the background.  Woe is me.  As a contrast, I thought I'd share a few things I've bought recently to get myself through the chilly season.  I've always been a bit of a bargain hunter, aiming to get the best quality I can for the smallest amount of money and now I've fallen into the 'investment pieces' category when I shop.  I try and make a conscious effort to buy items that transcend trends and can work with the enless gloomy season we seem to have. 

Levi's Made and Crafted chambray denim shirt with rainbow thread
Levi's Made and Crafted chambray denim shirt with multi-coloured thread

I really love this Levi's Made and Crafted shirt and when I say really, I mean I'm obsessed. It looked unassuming enough online with a rounded collar and simple pocket but little did I know that it also had rainbow coloured flecks and stitching throughout. Yes rainbow! This slight detail would probably be lost within a typical outfit post and it really has to be seen up close to be appreciated.  I got this for around 60% off due to reductions and an extra code I found floating on the Atterley Road site.  It'll be perfect for dressing down patterned skirts and trousers, plus useful for teaming with jumpers for that trademark collared look.

Warehouse leather skater full pleat skirt
Warehouse leather skater skirt

I often compile wishlists such as this one from October as a starting point for a new season, but it's extremely unlikely that I will end up buying everything.  Things get tried on, my mind changes and sometimes I realise that things weren't meant to be.  This Warehouse leather skirt was not one of these items, I debated about buying it for ages until finally a Grazia code appeared and the skirt went in my basket for a less scary amount. 

Vagabond grace black patent heeled loafers office boy toy white canvas shoes

I probably don't need any more shoes for the next few years though somehow I couldn't let these patent Vagabond loafers go.  You probably won't remember them from my Bread and Butter post earlier this year and I didn't until I looked through my photos and realised why I must have been subconsciously drawn to them in the shop.  They're not my most comfortable Vagabond pair (note the lack of laces) and I do fear an awkward shoe-flying-off-my-foot moment during my daily commute, but as per usual I cannot resist a chunky heel.  They're like the school shoes I never had because my feet grew too large and will be perfect for jazzing up any festive outfits with their patent finish.  After seeing these white Office canvas heels on Lucy, then seeing the price drop to a mere tenner, I knew I had to channel Niotillfem and try these out.  These are probably my version of the smart/casual wedge trainers trend and again look like something I might have worn (if heels were allowed, or even practical) for the much dreaded school P.E lessons from back in the day.  Any bets on how long they'll stay pristine for?

Topshop high neck lace little black party dress

I'm not your typical party dress person.  I much prefer buying casual daytime clothes and adapting them for the evening with jewellery, sheer tights and a smile.  This dress probably shouldn't work on me, with its high neck and puritan styling but my trick for buying shapes that technically shouldn't suit is to just buy them in black.  The white version reminds me slightly of a dress Carrie has and I'm looking forward to eventually wearing it in summer with some Hasbeens and sunglasses.

Alphabet bags letter K, Maison Martin Margiela for H&M black upside down bag

Being a blogger, I probably didn't need any more tote bags but I'm a sucker for anything with my initial on.  Like the Kardashians, I too am fond of the humble 'K' and currently have earrings, an iPhone case, a necklace and bracelet sporting my favourite letter.  I've always loved the reverse colourway of the Alphabet Bags design and decided to treat myself to one along with a phone case after finding a discount code on A Beautiful Mess (it's expired now, sorry).  The Maison Martin Margiela for H&M purchase wasn't really a result of all the hype and more because of a fondness and curiosity for the design.  It's very cheeky that a lot of the stuff is now half price in stores and I'm glad I didn't buy bagfuls of the stuff like some people I sawThe collaboration was probably one of the most controversial, purely because Margiela himself was very secretive when he was at the helm of his company and probably wouldn't have taken kindly to people misinterpreting his designs when juxtaposed with £7.99 jumpers and the like.  Although I'm not averse to buying into brands in this way, in a way I'm glad that most of the clothes selected weren't quite for me and hope to come across one of his pieces by other means.  Autumn 2009 will do nicely, thank you very much.

Nails inc Models Own nail polishes, nail dotting tools, Bourjois Magic Nail polish remover

Enough of all the black in this post, I love to express myself through my nails and have finally given in and invested in some neon shades.  I went to a Nails Inc event last week to preview all of the SS13 colours and chose this coral 'Portobello' shade (as well as a few others I will be giving away very soon) to complete my existing brights collection.  Although the humble hairgrip has served me well, I invested in these dotting tools to make creating my default pattern even easier and to attempt the Yayoi Kusama design.  I'm probably the last person in the world to buy the Bourjois Magic nail polish remover, but I thought I'd finally give it a try after hearing rave reviews.  Despite the fact it doesn't take one second to take off my typical three coats of polish, it still saves on my cotton wool consumption and is a lot less fiddly.  I plan to keep topping it up with my rejected bottle of remover and hoping for the best.  The ring I've shoehorned into this image is from Monki, it's the only thing I've found that suits me recently, which is probably for my own good!

What's the best thing you've bought this season? 
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Lulu Lovelies

22 November 2012

Lulu Guinness Bags Cruise SS13 legs Too Many Shoes bag

Sometimes, I like a really clear direction.  I love a motif or pattern that I can recognise applied to something I wouldn't expect in an impressive way.  Lulu Guinness is the perfect example of such a brand and always creates concise collections I can never fail to be charmed by.  Thanks to my memory card, I have enough photos to give you a whistlestop tour of Spring/Summer 2013.  I've had some of these pictures on my computer since July (bad blogger) but always knew that I wanted to post them closer to the Cruise season (incidentally October) when they are available to buy or pop onto any Christmas lists.

Lulu Guinness Bags Cruise SS13
Lulu Guinness Cruise SS13
Lulu Guinness Cruise SS13 dominoes
Lulu Guinness Cruise SS13 envelope cases
Lulu Guinness Cruise SS13 keyrings
Lulu Guinness Cruise SS13
Lulu Guinness Cruise SS13
Lulu Guinness Cruise SS13 fruit
Lulu Guinness Cruise SS13 cat coin purse

This time, Lulu's love of vintage shoes provided perfect inspiration and even allowed her to create an ingenious shoebox bag complete with a barcode.  The decor and fruit platter in the penthouse suite (there's something I don't say often) managed to complement the colours of the collection perfectly, picking up on the neon accents and vivid pinks that were present.

Lulu Guinness SS13 bags with eyes
Lulu Guinness SS13 pink chain bags
Lulu Guinness SS13 telephone bag
Lulu Guinness SS13 Palm Tree bag
Lulu Guinness SS13 retro Cadillac keyring
Lulu Guinness SS13
Lulu Guinness SS13 flamingoes and cadillac

It's always slightly surreal viewing SS13 collections with such gruesome weather outside.  I do tend to find myself cheered up upon arrival, transporting my mind to one of those rare perfect Summer days where plans just seem to fit together and a pretty dress is all you need to wear.  Miami was the point of reference for the main collection, with just the right amount of understated kitsch to make even the most hardened fashionista smile.  The pastel colours and retro details conjured up a bygone era that I would have loved to have witnessed myself, but somehow had to imagine with the intricate embroidery of the 'Hotel Edith' tote replicated on a nearby wall.

Lulu Guinness SS13 lipstick bag

Which bag is your favourite?  It's easy to see how her designs become keepsake items and I'm crossing my fingers that I can make one of these my own.

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How To Make a Dinosaur

18 November 2012

Tatty Devine Brick Lane Store

Remember my jewellery making phase of 2010?  I'd become fascinated by the creations of a few New York designers, obsessed with a certain shop selling every manner of chain and determined to become an accessory whizz within the space of a few weeks.  I made one necklace and returned to England, never to pick up my pliers again but always wanting to get back into this sort of crafting eventually.  Since then my jewellery collection has definitely evolved from just loving mixed chains and ranges from unusual charms to a few perspex creations.  When I was invited to make one of Tatty Devine's trademark dinosaur necklaces, I could hardly refuse and thought it was the perfect oppurtunity to learn more about the creation of their products.  As one of my favourite independent brands, you can't fail to be inspired by their story and reaching international success by staying true to their 'Made in the UK' values. 

Tatty Devine christmas crackers
Tatty Devine tiger necklace
Tatty Devine Brick Lane Store
Tatty Devine Brick Lane store
Tatty Devine boxes
Tatty Devine paisley necklaces

For some crazy reason I'd never been to the Brick Lane store before and managed to fit in a quick visit before the class.  Opened in 2001, it holds a lot of history for the brand and it is the perfect home for everything they sell, including their first book and even Christmas crackers!  You might have guessed that the paisley collection would be a firm favourite of mine and I'm frantically working out a way to splash out on one of the necklaces before the year is over.

Tatty Devine East London workshop
Tatty Devine stickers
Tatty Devine perspex £10 sign
Tatty Devine past collections
Tatty Devine East London workshop perspex
Tatty Devine East London workshop Rob Ryan
Tatty Devine East London workshop cut out perspex

I love creative working spaces and was spoilt for choice in terms of photo material; there was plenty of inspiration everywhere complete with tools to realise it.  Pretty much everyone in the business is able to make jewellery and can help pitch in at a moment's notice.  After snapping away and exploring every nook and cranny of the studio, I suddenly realised that I was there to make something and felt a bit anxious about creating something so intricate.  Luckily I needn't have worried.  The class lasts for four hours and everyone is able to work at their own pace (in my case it may have been a snail's), ask questions and take a biscuit break if needed.  There are no hard feelings if you mess up (I had to unthread a few parts as I realised number 12 was on the wrong way) and you get to chat to a guaranteed interesting mix of people and share stories.  I now definitely want to incorporate a stint of travelling into my twenties and am planning my next visit to the Tate Modern.

How to make a Tatty Devine dinosaur necklace
Tatty Devine East London workshop jars
Tatty Devine Dinosaur workshop pieces
Tatty Devine dinosaur biscuits
How to make a Tatty Devine dinosaur necklace
How to make a Tatty Devine dinosaur necklace
How to make a Tatty Devine dinosaur necklace
How to make a Tatty Devine dinosaur necklace
Tatty Devine Dinosaur necklace workshop finished

Eventually I managed to finish, thanks to plenty of coffee, willpower and dinosaur shaped biscuits.  Only then could I appreciate all of the effort that went into designing and making each of the pieces in the shop.  Somehow each design that comes from Rosie Wolfenden's head is made into reality by Harriet Vine's technical know-how.  The most skilled Tatty worker can produce the 51-piece dinosaur in about an hour and some of their more complex styles need an array of time consuming techniques, seemingly all made worth it by the end result.

If you're not quite ready for creating a dinosaur, Tatty Devine run a few variations of these workshops every month.  At the moment you can make an Ice Skate brooch at Somerset House and I'm hoping to make it to the next bunting necklace workshop after hearing about an ombre style someone had created at the last one.  Everything you create is fully customisable and a collaboration of sorts, plus I can now proudly tell everyone that I'm wearing a necklace I made myself and the story behind it.

Are you tempted by the T-Rex?

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