Nice Knowing You 2012!

31 December 2012

what i wore 2012 ootd

Well, I've now accepted that due to becoming an adult, years are set to fly past at an alarming rate and I will be 30 before you know it.  Sheesh.  2013 sounds alarming enough but imagine 2014, 15, 16 and beyond.  It's almost beyond comprehension; I still think that films from 2007 are not that ancient and crave a 90s R&B night with a few Aayliah tunes.  Anyways, back to the recap.  At the end of every year I like to provide a handy compendium of the posts I've written and the outfits I've worn.  I've combed my Flickr archives, iPhoto and depths of my brain to give you this visual rundown on how 2012 was for me.  It's not brief by any means, maybe a tad indulgent but definitely accurate so have a few clicks if you're looking for something to read this New Year's Eve or in a potential hungover state tomorrow.  Happy New Year in advance!

year in outfits 2012 what i wore ootd
A special shout-out to all of the people who took these photos; Lucy, Olivia, Claire, Camilla, Stella, Jen, Jazmine and my little sister!  Here's to more varied expressions and less pigeon toe for 2013!

When I first started blogging and one of my early commenters asked me to show how my Angel's sale purchases looked on, I didn't think much of it.  I took a few dodgy pictures (click to see how far I've come) that seem miles away from what you see on here, all whilst wearing purple tights.  I only really started to document my style properly two years ago and it's since become an accurate record of what I wear on a daily basis. I've documented the first time I wore a playsuit, tried a denim shirt and discovered Dr Martens, all of which have become staple items in my wardrobe.  I think that this year I've really indulged my girly side, with Swedish Hasbeens, plenty of pastels and even more denim combinations.  I've invested in a Mulberry bag, COS trench coat and even my first suit.  For 2013, I want to continue to introduce more androgynous elements into what I wear and work out my own way of effortless style with a dash of the unexpected.  I hope to save for more investment pieces, perfect my sale stalking methods and control my High Street spending (COS and Topshop are exempt of course).

travel & places I went to in 2012

One of my first posts from this year also involved the V&A, when I went to see the Postmodernism exhibition with Jazmine, so I like to think I've come full circle after my most recent visit.  I've occupied my days off wisely with a few familiar outings, I saw Berlin from a local's perspective, found some bargains at Battersea Boot Fair and popped to Brighton on two occasionsI rediscovered Portobello market, finally went to Blitz vintage, took a day trip to Birmingham and ventured further up the Kings Road to see what I could find.  One of my resolutions was to attempt some far flung travel, I didn't make it to New York but I did visit Fiona in Copenhagen before returning for some Olympic fun.  Music became a new priority after discovering some new songs to download at Bestival and the joys of Kindness at Festival Number 6My cottage stay confirmed that the only way is glamping.  I also anticipated the festive season with a trip to Borough Market, dodging the Santas to make our way along the Southbank.

blogger events I went to in 2012

I love having days where I know I have something exciting planned for after work and I've been spoilt for choice with events this year.  Bread and Butter in January got me planning my Autumn wardrobe from the off, I discovered the delightful dresses of Darling and celebrated the launch of Wish magazine with at least five different kinds of cake.  Please make another one!  I had my tea leaves read at a namesake event, fell in love with some heeled Dr Martens and got to meet the woman behind Me & Zena in their colourful studio.  Animal-themed accessories suddenly became all the rage, firstly with Rob Pruitt's pandas for Jimmy Choo and then courtesy of the Hello Kitty and Zatchels collaboration.  Which did you prefer?  Finally after years of hoping, I finally got to see Chloë Sevigny in the flesh at the Opening Ceremony book signing and added approximately 85% of the store to my wishlist.  Tatty Devine invited me to make one of their trademark dinosaur necklaces with them and I'm eagerly awaiting its return from Tatty Hospital as I somehow managed to undo all of my newly found jewellery-making skills!
exhibitions i saw in 2012

So many exhibitions this year appealed to me, primarily because there was a focus on subject matter featuring eclectic pattern and plenty of colour contrasts.  In February I got to meet crochet expert Olek who lived in a gallery and created a piece of art around it, literally.  Print was next on the list, with polka dot perfection courtesy of Yayoi Kusama, digital inventions with Mary Katrantzou and some cleaner Post War British Textiles after hours.  In sharp contrast to my usual attire, glamour became the focus with Ballgowns at the V&A and the Valentino exhibition at Somerset House.  I made the most of my Copenhagen trip with a visit to the breathtaking Louisiana Modern Art Museum, situated by the sea with views of Sweden.  Tim Walker's Somerset House takeover was much appreciated by my inquisitive side, as I wondered how long the giant doll would have taken to fully construct.  Although I wasn't around during Biba's heyday, I was transported there through the exhibition at the Brighton museum and became attached to anything with a collar.  I also discovered the numerous ways a Chanel jacket could be worn, with jeans, as a cape or combined with numerous other designer items as Daphne Guinness demonstrated.  Now how to obtain one of my own...

fashion shows I saw in 2012

Fashion is probably best enjoyed as a moving 3D extravaganza and most of my pictures came courtesy of London Fashion Week.  Earlier this year I was in scallop heaven at Spijkers en Spijkers and attended a perfectly orchestrated Orla Kiely tea party.  I discovered my favourite place to watch a show (on my knees crouched down by the side of the stage, of course) and got some great detail shots during the Holly Fulton and PPQ showsGraduate Fashion Week made me realise how quickly time had gone by since my own show and how my portfolio is in urgent need of an update.  The Craig Lawrence Fashion In Motion retrospective was a brilliant record of how his collections have progressed within a short space of time.  I only spent a day at fashion week back in September but still managed to pack a lot in, with the Ashish and Tata Naka shows being personal highlights.  I still have a few pictures I haven't shared yet so hopefully they will find their way on here before the madness starts again in February!

food i ate restaurants I visited in 2012

This has been the year of the meal out with trips to Meat Liquor, Burger & Lobster and Jade Garden becoming some of my favourite places for a decent meal.  Next on the list is Wishbone, Duck & Waffle and return visits to tasty Pitt Cue and Mama Lan.  It's been far too long.

press features wishlists books 2012

Sometimes I like to post a little something unexpected every so often and use blogging as a way to empty out my brain.  I shared a few street-style stars I'm obsessed with, highlighted a few inventive ways to wear prints and started the search for the perfect pair of baggy jeans.  This year I've become obsessed with blogs that fit more into the lifestyle category, creating highly Pin-able content and sharing the beauty in the everyday.  My own attempt at this kind of sharing included a peek into my jewellery collection, my favourite bits of the Diana Vreeland book and my long-awaited discovery of hair extensions.  My five months of saving paid off with the perfectly coloured Mulberry bag and I potentially cancelled out all of that self control with my picks of the J.W Anderson for Topshop collaboration.  Notable mentions included becoming a street style hunter for the day with Grazia and sharing a few of my favourite things with H&M Life.  Phew!

One of my secret 2012 resolutions was to post more often and I've actually achieved that with 113 being the magic number in this case.  Bravo!  I also tried to become more organised in relation to my blogging life, so behind the scenes I have spreadsheets, complex folder systems and various spider diagrams, all to make sure things keep ticking over.  I tend to prefer odd-numbered years, so I'm hoping that 2013 is a time for decisive action and that I can put off any grown-up eventualities for a little longer.

Thanks for reading and I'll see you on the other side!

Red, White & Black

30 December 2012

street in kensington white posh houses

This is probably what I should have worn on Christmas Day, but alas the Santa onesie seemed much more appropriate.  Only joking!  That being said, it was nice to spruce myself up once more after a few too many days of lounging around and reacquainting myself with the Sims 3.  I'd almost forgotten what it was like to put concealer on.  I'm not the kind of girl who dresses up for a dinner indoors with immediate family, I like to keep my home as a place where I can look like the ultimate hobo if I want.  Who's with me?  Even though I was very tempted by these party dresses in the Orla Kiely sale, I can't see my home habits changing anytime soon, unless we end up relocating to a country pile in 2013.  

COS mock shirt white scallop edge collar
american apparel red cable jumper leather shorts
Mark Fast Faster Piano tights white office Canvas boy toy heels black alphabet bag
how to wear the colour red
Festive Christmas nail art initial phone case by alphabet bags

Leather shorts - Very
Ring - V&A shop

Did anyone else accidentally buy presents for themselves whilst Christmas shopping?  I went into COS with the best of intentions but somehow became distracted after finally seeing this collar in the flesh (you might remember it from my wishlist).  I'm a fully paid up member of the shirt-under-jumper club but this can be a combination too warm for my office, resulting in much discomfort for the sake of fashion.  Unlike the typical collar accessory, this has part of a shirt underneath and doesn't look like something you've just plonked on (not that I have anything against plonking, mind) to a vastly different neckline.  It's also a far more economical way of achieving the Petit Bateau x Carven look I was after.  Hopefully you'll be seeing a lot more of it in 2013.  When I first saw the Fast tights range by Mark Fast, I must admit I did a little happy dance inside.  I've been waiting for an affordable and flattering way of wearing his intricate designs for a while, so was pleased when Tights Please (geddit) got in touch.  Unfortunately I've created a few holes in these already due to their delicate construction, but that won't stop me wearing them until they fall apart.  They either make my legs look longer or like I've had a random encounter with a tyre, depending on how your mind works.

Entrance to the Victoria & Albert V&A museum
V&A Christmas tree decorations presents
Quirky Cards in the V&A shop
V&A Victoria and Albert Museum Hollywood Costume exhibition review Dorothy
V&a hollywood costume Dorothy's dress exhibit from Wizard of Oz Ruby Slippers

So I'm back at the V&A again!  I treated my Mum to a membership for her Christmas present and I'm sure she had a sneaky suspicion that I'd be borrowing it as well.  Instead of battling the sales in person (online is where it's at) we decided to escape the house for a bit of culture and to finally see the Hollywood Costume exhibition.  Thing is, a lot of people had the same idea as well, so it was somewhat frustrating to move around and attempt to read some of the captions.  Luckily we can pop back again before it finishes on the 27th January.  Typically I don't tend to watch videos at exhibitions, but of course this had to be a major part of the layout due to the subject matter.  There are plenty of interviews that you are encouraged to watch and gain a greater understanding of the effect a successful costume has.  You'll also start to consider how much work goes into something that is barely seen on screen for a second.

red telephone box in London

Surprisingly, this isn't my last post of the year, as I have one of those handy reflective recaps coming 'atcha tomorrow.  It's going to be a corker, I promise!

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December Details

28 December 2012

As if it's the 28th of December!  I'm now at that point in the festive season where I've lost all track of what day it is and think that having a cheese platter after every dinner is perfectly sensible.  I don't want it to end!  After months of deliberating, I finally got myself an iPhone this year and another technology addiction.  I now roam the streets ready to capture life's picturesque moments and apply the perfect filter, hopefully achieving the balance between experiencing things and pure documentation.  This post sums my feelings up well. It's been interesting to follow some of my favourite bloggers and brands and see snapshots into their daily lives, but tricky to not wonder whether life is greener on the other side.  2013 is going to be about creating these moments for myself and not worrying too much if there isn't a photo to match.  This is a Marshmallow-tinted view of how my December looked.

shopping  fashion blog instagram post

It's always interesting to observe catwalk looks in real life - The pieces chosen for the Valentino exhibition are exquisite in every way - Stocking up on reduced tights
I love the Carven section in Liberty - Blingy Zara brogues - Finally found the perfect tartan scarf
I should have bought the paisley brooch from this Camden Passage stall - More Carven!  This time a Petit Bateau collaboration

outfits fashion blog instagram post

Layering up with double tights - Festive nails - Jumped on the Christmas jumper bandwagon a little late
My new suit - Heeled Dr Martens are the perfect solution for dodgy weather

London  fashion blog instagram post

The view from the Giant Wheel at Winter Wonderland - This colourful door by the Southbank definitely helped me get into the festive spirit - I wish this V&A Christmas tree were mine
Surprise performance by The Kills at the new Zara flagship opposite Selfridges - Started a new circle scarf, post to follow soon!
Loop in Islington has the most adorable yarn displays - How Anthropologie does Christmas - Bright lights on Oxford Street
A surprise present from Jimmy Choo - Penhaligon's certainly know how to make a display enticing - Sneaky snaps in the V&A Hollywood Costume exhibition

food fashion blog instagram post

Milkshakes in Issy's Milky Way - Finally made the journey to Chicken Shop, this is about the furthest North I go!
Healthy platter in Liz Earle - Somehow I kept forgetting to eat my advent calendar chocolates - Turkey time!

six of the best fashion instagram feeds to follow

Six new feeds to follow and aid further procrastination

If you want to see more of my Instagram posts from this year

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Walking in a Winter Wonderland

23 December 2012

Winter Wonderland Hyde Park London

There are just some things you have to experience over Christmas in London.  Sure, they may be somewhat overpriced and full of slow-moving crowds, but sometimes you just have to forget the sensible mindset you have all year round and absorb the spirit of the season.  I had never been to Winter Wonderland in previous years, put off after hearing that you had to pay to get in and things were still ridiculously expensive on top but luckily that's not the case.  You can still partake in the atmosphere without spending a huge amount of money, maybe have a cup of mulled wine here and there before finding something more substantial to eat further afield (I recommend Meat Liquor of course).  A German-style market in the capital is never going to be quite the same as experiencing one in Berlin or Frankfurt no matter how hard it tries, but there's something about the bright lights and kitsch rides that never fails to excite me and my trusty camera.  I've been there twice in the past few weeks, first with friends for an after-work drink on the revolving carousel (strangely relaxing) and yesterday with my Mum and sister for a whistlestop tour before dark.

russian dolls Winter Wonderland Hyde Park London
marzipan Winter Wonderland Hyde Park London
sweets Winter Wonderland Hyde Park London
Father Christmas
London fridge magnets
wooden decorations Winter Wonderland Hyde Park London
Winter Wonderland Hyde Park London
Merry go Round Carousel Winter Wonderland Hyde Park London
signs Winter Wonderland Hyde Park London
plush soft toys to win Winter Wonderland Hyde Park London
helter skelter Winter Wonderland Hyde Park London

For some reason I hadn't been to Hyde Park since all of the sunny Olympic festivities and it was somewhat surreal to see it transformed again into a wannabe Christmas theme park.  The weather was damp and dreary in comparison so luckily our choice to go on the Giant Wheel was a sensible one and a novel way to get away from the crowds.  Since the park is so spacious, it's easy to forget that you're in the centre of London and the view was a helpful reminder of what the city has to offer.

sweets candy lollies candy canes at Winter Wonderland Hyde Park London
Mulled Wine Winter Wonderland Hyde Park London
heart-shaped cookies Winter Wonderland Hyde Park London
day out in Winter Wondeland
View from Giant Observation Wheel Hyde Park
View from Giant Observation Wheel Hyde Park
Thanks to Sherin at Greenlight (congrats on the new job) and BGO for the Giant Wheel tickets. They were much appreciated by us all and I'm now humming Christmas songs on repeat.

So firstly, I'd like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas!  I've taken the plunge and booked two whole weeks holiday, which is scarily the longest amount of time I've had off since July 2011.  Oh the joys of work!  I'm hoping to sort out some things behind the scenes, watch some cheesy films the whole way through (Elf is in this category) and eat ridiculous amounts of the delicious stuffing my Mum makes.  Once a year is not enough!  What are your plans for the festive season?

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Not Another Christmas Gift Guide

19 December 2012

How do we all feel about gift guides people?  Love them?  Indifferent?  You want to throw the laptop out of the nearest window whenever you see one pop up in your feed?  Don't worry, because I'm sure you are not alone whatever your thoughts may be.  I myself, take a more diplomatic view.  I can understand that they might be useful for some people who are clueless about what to get for Aunt Mabel (a Cath Kidston sewing kit should suffice) but also leave others dumbfounded. Who can afford a £170 candle after all?  Instead as is customary on here, I've provided a selfish insight into what I might like for Christmas this time around.  Some of the links might help you and be the missing puzzle piece for your present conundrums.  Others could be added to your own personal lists to be bought once the hullabaloo is over.  I know that six days before Christmas isn't the best time to be posting this and that some of these things may not be waiting under the tree for me, but that's okay.  Christmas isn't necessarily the excitable morning it once was and I'm just as happy witnessing the split second when my sister opens her presents and eating intense amounts of stuffing.  Hopefully I'll receive a small donation towards some of these items or something entirely unexpected but until then, let's dream about what might have been, if I were a more organised so and so.

fashion blog christmas gift guide wishlist

  1. A Marc by Marc Jacobs watch would be ideal, since I'm now in more grown up territory.
  2. The Grace Coddington memoir will hopefully spur me on towards greater things.
  3. I'm obsessed with the Valentina frangrance after dousing myself with it at the Somerset House exhibition.
  4. This Orla Kiely dress needs to be mine.
  5. My iPhone will soon have more cases than I've had hot dinners; this Dannijo one fits the bill perfectly.
  6. Carven with a Petit Bateau twist, for channelling Alexa.
  7. How do I not own anything by Lazy Oaf?  This ring would be perfect for my collection.
  8. I think it's time to get rid of the childhood posters in my room; this Garance Doré illustration would be a worthy replacement.
  9. A Westfield gift card is perfect for picking up any bargains in the inevitable sales.  Do you prefer East or West?
  10. This Tatty Devine paisley necklace needs to get in my life.
  11. After learning more about his work, I'm hoping for the Tim Walker book for further inspiration and insight.
  12. I've had my eye on these Topshop boots for a while, which proves they're a keeper.
  13. I'm so glad that a new Biba book is outThe exhibition left me with so many unanswered questions.
  14. Niotillfem has this COS shirt collar, such an ingenious idea.
  15. You can never have too much nail polish
  16. I think it's time to learn how to put make-up properly, I need a lesson!
  17. This 3.1 Phillip Lim bag is next on my bag list, out of stock but not out of mind.
  18. Time to update the Oyster card holder.
  19. I've finally decided on a new lens thanks to this blogger's recommendation, hopefully it's the answer to all my 50mm grumbles.
  20. You can never have too many things with your initial on, I think a jumper is the final frontier!
How are you feeling about gifts this Christmas? 

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Festive Anticipation

16 December 2012

Portuguese custard cakes at Borough Market

Brrrrrrr!  I must admit that I've been guilty of a few weather moans this week, wishing Winter away and yearning for the non-existent summers that London has.  A friend kindly pointed out that a few months before I'd been complaining about the heat and how I missed wearing the jumpers and tights that were part of my style.  Typical.  Still, I've been making the most of the busy atmosphere before Christmas and revisiting a few places that I haven't seen in a while.  Complete with Olivia, Carrie and Lucy, we covered a lot of ground in the capital yesterday whilst stumbling across a few Santas along the way.  Maybe I'll join in next year?

What Olivia Did and Wish Wish Wish
Meringues at Borough Market
Cakes and pastries at Borough Market
Oysters at Borough Market
River Thames in London
Santa Con London people dressed as Santa

Borough Market was packed as expected but luckily had even more food places to choose from compared to my last visit, which prompted a minor dilemma in my head.  Whether to choose fresh pasta or a Parma ham ciabatta, Bratwurst or a falafel wrap (I went with the latter, which soon ended up making a mess on my clothes), it's a great place to satisfy every appetite at a reasonable lunchtime price.  After looking back at these pictures, I now wish that I hadn't so sensibly avoided any sweet treats. 

how to wear white tights
Dr Martens Amory
H&M coat black lace dress Mulberry Bayswater black forest soft matte
Charlie May leather studded cuff
Topshop High Neck Lace Dress Black
Me & Zena Saatchi Gallery paint heart necklace
uk fashion blog
Coat - H&M
Dress, tights - Topshop

This is the first online outing of my Topshop lace dress, mentioned in my epic shopping post from a little while ago and quickly becoming a firm favourite in the 'chuck-on-dress' category  Of course the Victorian-style buttons are a tad fiddly and depending on my mood I can either look decent or slightly dishevelled from the back if I'm not too careful.  Paula from Pinkbow also owns this in two colours, something I couldn't quite bring myself to do although if a slightly more scooped neck version came out in white, I'm sure I'd be tempted.  My smart shoes are another one of those considered purchases, first seen at the Dr Martens press day a little while ago.  I already know how comfortable these shoes can eventually be and the heel is a nice bonus, perfect for long days wandering across anything from cobbles to grass.

antique china in camden passage islington
Issy's Milky Way Camden Passage Islington 50s Milkshake parlour
Issy's Milk bar islington retro 50s
Some sneaky pictures taken in Milky Way, it was too cute a place not to Instagram!

A short bus ride away from the Southbank brought us to another part of town I hadn't seen in a while, Camden Passage.  It's a slightly scaled down version of the typical quirky areas you'll find in London, with just the right amount of crowds to not put you off visiting again.  I'm now regretting not picking up a vintage paisley brooch I spied at one of the stalls and hope to deck out my future home with any of the various collectibles you can buy in the many lifestyle stores.  A more dedicated visit here is definitely on the cards.

How are you spending the exciting time before Christmas?  As per usual I haven't started any shopping yet, relying on the Internet and a few after-work shopping trips.  Hopefully this last week will pan out nice and quickly!

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