Thursday, 23 June 2011

Do The Twist.

As fashion followers The Sartorialist is a style bible that regularly occurs on our computer screens and it is certainly saved as a FAVOURITE on my own laptop. Scott Shuman, born in New York is the genius behind this creation, who over the years has built up a strong reputation within the fashion industry, to make this unique blog a success.

For those who are not yet familiar with this prestigious site, Schuman’s career consists of wandering the streets of the world, discovering new styles and telling the story of fashion through the people that know it best… REAL people with a REAL and achievable image.  Sounds like the perfect job to me!

Sometimes we forget where our main source of style inspiration comes from and that it is in fact all around us! That’s right – we all play a part in dictating trends and fads, without even realising it. For many years, fashion was controlled by the catwalk queens, who spat out gorgeous, yet TOTALLY unobtainable couture garments; that not only cost a small fortune but also pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable and in any way achievable to the average high street woman. Obviously, with the extreme nature of the industry, this is still ongoing today, giving fashion that sense of magic and sparkle however; over the last few years a new source of inspiration has pushed its way to front of house.

                                      …The High street. The likes of me and you.

That’s right, designers are now sourcing new trends directly from us normal people and so they should! With the recession and in general, NOT living in the dream world of being able to afford the likes of Chanel and Dior; we are being forced to put together outfits that combine trends from this season, last season and even garments from your mums’ wardrobe. This clash of mixing old and new gives a personal and more grounded image, representing a new face of fashion that is beginning to affect the way we think in terms of style. For once the catwalks aren’t completely controlling the nation, but we are beginning to dictate a true sense of unique style to them.

Street style is a growing trend in itself that has stemmed directly from The sartorialist craze, which without a doubt will continue to grow and shape our impression of fashion in the future, check it out for yourself at

P.S the REAL reason why I started writing this post BEFORE I started getting carried away, was to introduce you to the fun world of The Sartorialtwist. It does exactly what it says on the tin, giving us a slightly different twist on Schuman’s original photography. It is truly BRILLIANT and again pushes the boundaries of fashion and personal style. It is WELL worth a look…enjoy <3

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Love The Skin You Are In

“Watching you lie there in hospital, comatosed in your own little world, unaware of your family peering over you anxiously, has left me heartbroken and destroyed. Hundreds of tangled tubes and drips surrounded your frail body, caught up in a war against yourself. Your body battered and swollen, hundreds of bruises clinging to your skin like a constant reminder of your battle to survive. Victoria Beckham and Nicole Richie saluting your slimming success from the front cover of the “Heat” magazine on your bedside table, ignorant to the fact that you are a casualty of the ongoing size zero war. I brought Annabelle to see you, thought you could do with the company...not that you were aware of her being there. Seeing you two reunited again after what seems like forever highlighted your similarities; it was like staring at two dolls lined up in a toy shop, both sharing that same dazed expression, disappearing waistline and flawless fresh faced skin. It was as if you had morphed in to a life size version of Annabelle. Somehow it didn’t feel like old times, like I imagined it to be, I felt lonely, outnumbered... it was me, Annabelle and you – my own china doll.” (Extract from a written piece “When We Were Younger” by Amy Kirk)

Body Image is a touchy subject for most, both women AND men and I myself am extremely insecure when it comes to my appearance. I would love to have a smaller nose, bigger boobs and ditch the child bearing hips but, I am slowly learning that you can’t always get what you wish for; that everyone else has their own insecurities and body parts they hate or wish were different and that we have to learn to embrace what God gave us. After all, the parts we hate are often the parts others love about us!

Issues surrounding image and weight have been front of the news as of late, with all of us suckers pining over the latest celebs dainty figures, scrounging articles for the best and most successful diet rituals. Go back a year or so and the size zero debate was rife, with the leading desire for most women to be a waif of their previous self. This prospect still sickens me and luckily the world is starting to pick themselves up off the floor and embrace a more NATURAL, curvy figure – which not only looks better, but provides an image of health.

Nicole Richie sporting the size zero trend
Beyonce looking healthy AND fabulous
Despite the viscous circle of the fashion industry, FINALLY coming round to a healthier mentality, it doesn’t stop us all from wanting the perfect bikini body this summer and with the help of omega, exercise and a healthy diet that ACTUALLY contains food, it is more than definitely within our reach. Exercise doesn’t always have to be boring…personal favourites of mine include swimming, dancing, jogging and now thanks to my “pro – cyclist” boyfriend (well... pro compared to me, who struggles with a lap around the park) I’m getting back on the old push bike.

Magazines and the media are ALL OVER body image this month and in particular ELLE have included numerous articles within their July 2011 edition, teaching us the tricks of the trade when it comes to aiding the appearance of our figure… WITHOUT dieting or surgery (sounds perfect to me - HELLO CHOCOLATE).

Advice I am certainly following is putting a highlighter cream or powder around the chest area, to give the illusion of bigger boobs…and for once I can actually see that it works! A personal favourite of mine is Benefit's "High Beam" coming in at a reasonable £18.50.

High Beam - £18.50, Benefit
So ladies, that beach bod is more than achievable and we don’t even have to work too hard for it! This year I am going to try and embrace what I was given and flaunt it with confidence, you should do the same…and love the skin you are in <3

Friday, 17 June 2011

Hats, Hats And More Hats.

Once again it’s the well renowned week of Ascot where visitors dust off their suit jackets and sport their fancy frocks for the horse bonanza of the year. As we all know this event has turned in to a high fashion occasion, with people going out of their way to find the CRAZIEST hat inventions ever to be seen and no other day is better for style spotting than Ladies Day, which was held yesterday and certainly didn’t disappoint.

Ladies day is probably one of the few occasions that if you don’t go all out with the dress code, you will stand out for all the wrong reasons, causing a massive fashion faux pas…the bigger, brighter and bolder the better.

Incorporating headwear in to our outfits is slowly becoming more and more popular within the fashion industry, whether it be a simple hair clip, a floral headband, a fabulous fascinator or a classic hat; the head is where it's at.

Philip Treacy, a name hot on the lips of anyone in the fashion know-how, has become a recognised figure for his talented skills as a milliner and extravagant design work. As a graduate from the Royal College of Art, Treacy was launched in to a highflying career of style and celebrities, joining forces with the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Isabella Blow and even MY HERO Alexander McQueen; as well as winning The British Designer of the Year Award on numerous occasions. It’s fair to say that his hats are second to none and are regularly, proudly paraded at such prestigious events as Ascot.

I personally would jump at the chance to wear such outrageous pieces on my bonnet without batting an eyelid, but as a student with very little money and nowhere fancy and formal enough to go to, I will have to wait my turn for my first Ascot appearance…I don’t think that the streets of Southampton are quite ready yet to embrace me in an extravagant hat. However, here are some of my fashion favourites from this years selection of lucky ladies (I think the milk carton is a clear winner for me).

I say hats off to the gutsy girls…looking forward to next year’s glamorous creations already!!!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Paint a Pretty Picture...

Just a quick entry, but I couldn’t, not share the recently discovered Pakayla Biehn with you all.

I first heard her name mentioned on the good old Topshop website and after further research I immediately fell in love with the breathtaking imagery and her truly stunning artwork. Her current portfolio that is being showcased throughout the country is entitled “You Should Take Care” and uses beautiful double exposed images, to create a magical outcome that certainly stands out from the crowd.

As a recent graduate, Pakayla Biehnis new to the art scene but has already made a name for herself, seeking inspiration from her own photography, playing with different levels of exposure and capturing moments of natural beauty through the help of her friends as models.

The images use gorgeous colours that reflect the romantic feel of the summer season and at first glance look like awe-inspiring photographic images but; at closer inspection you realise they are ACTUALLY paintings of outstanding creativity and splendour.

Here are just a few of my favourites, but check out her website to keep up to date with up and coming collections . 


Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Holiday Happy

So, it’s coming to that time of year again where everyone starts going crazy for a good holiday and most people will do ANYTHING for a golden complexion and all over natural tan…I too am one of those fanatics and for me personally, I cannot think of anything better than discovering new places and seeing the wonders of the world– after all it’s a big place right? It would be silly not to go out and explore it.

Sadly, thanks to dull financial ties, this year I am facing up to my first staycation in years, I can’t say I’m overly thrilled with the concept but who says camping can’t be fun? AND England has some stunning spots that often get overlooked. This however, doesn’t make the fashion countdown to summer and those itsy bitsy bikini's any easier for me; I may not be jet setting around the world, but this doesn’t mean I can’t rock the holiday look with pride…all be it with traditionally English, pale skin.

As previously mentioned bold colours are EVERYWHERE this season and combined with these new fruity prints that I have fallen in love with, I feel they make for the perfect summer outfit. (Stockists: River Island and Topshop)

These exotic patterns would look fantastic whether you are walking down the beach in Barbados or strolling along the coast in Bournemouth; just because I am swapping hot and exotic for quintessential and English, doesn’t mean I have to forfeit my style…and neither do you.

With all the cute and feminine, practical outdoor accessories that are now available on the market, it certainly helps to make camping and English holidays more appealing and I certainly will be getting my hands on a few of these little beauties if my bank balance allows it. (all of the below from ACCESSORIZE)

So…who says that staying at home this summer has to be a bad thing? We often forget just how beautiful our country is and beautiful locations mixed with beautiful British style is a HOT combination – even if the weather doesn’t always agree. 

This summer I am taking a different approach to holidaying and am getting rather excited at the thought of swapping sunning myself by the pool, for walking and exploring. I would even like to give something slightly more adventurous a go…maybe relive my childhood love for kayaking? 

See, staycations really can prove fun AND fashionable. I am thinking the lake district...what about you?

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Awake Your Soul.


The traditional beliefs, customs, and stories of a community, passed through the generations by word of mouth

I like to believe that when it comes down to family, I have pretty strong morals and ground rules, putting relatives first; and as a family we like to obey to certain traditions that due to the ever changing fast pace of society, are becoming dated and forgotten – such as eating round the dinner table, all together and discussing each others days. Some may call this old fashioned, but I wouldn’t change it for the world (especially now with being away at uni – I would literally do ANYTHING for a good meal) therefore, this piece highlighting the importance of tradition to “folk people” was of particular interest.

When looking at the latest edition of Vogue for July 2011, I immediately fell in love with this article surrounding the topic of folklore. The images in the shoot were really inspirational and proved full of endless styling ideas that I can hopefully channel in to a project within my fashion course next year.

I particularly LOVE the use of colours, textures and patterns within the images, adding a clear element of contrast and outrageous clashing, to give this wonderful sense of “homemade” clothing, adding to the idea of family and tradition. The main concept behind the folk mentality is an idea of a joined community, and vogue really managed to capture this magic.

With SUCH a distinct look, its no wonder that the catwalk are going crazy for this trend, a stunning example of this and in my eyes perfect (McQueen can do no wrong) is the Spring/Summer 2011 collection designed by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. Things go back to basics and I love how prints of wheat and exquisite woven straw are combined to embrace this idea of “folk” life. Even the models hair is woven!
Similarly the shops are mirroring this craze on the high street and admittedly it is a pretty daring trend to pull off; so I myself am going to interpret the style in my own way, through floral maxi dresses and fringed waistcoats, just like this BEAUTIFUL tasselled number from New Look, coming in at only £19.99

Think Robin Hood, meets gypsy girl, meets village peasants, blast out your mumford and sons album and you will be rocking "folklore" in no time.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Take a Walk on The Wild Side.

Howdy Folks! Its time to dig out your cowboy boots, squeeze in to the old daisy duke shorts and polish that sheriff badge, as western style is making a come back…so much so that you will be reaching for your guns in no time. Worn denim, suede, leather and fringing combine to create a look that Broncho Billy Anderson would be proud of, in this season’s rework of the American dream.

The cowboy influenced trend has appeared on the runway year after year now, for its strong appeal and practicality within both couture and diffusion lines, as well as having been tried and tested by numerous designers. Ralph Lauren without a shadow of a doubt has won the fashion shoot out this year, with his cowgirl couture Spring/Summer 2011 collection.

With white being a major trend of the summer months, I immediately fell in LOVE with this slightly more classy take on the cowboy traditions, with the wash of colour instantly giving this “old favourite” a high fashion revival. Ralph Lauren managed to incorporate traditional elements with futuristic concepts to truly capture the best of the west.

Long, flowing dresses in dainty prairie girl prints took to the catwalk and created a welcome contrast to the tanned leather and fringed suede shorts typical of the cowboy lifestyle, collaborating to create a tasteful yet twee picture of life at the ranch.

Staple items for this hoedown showdown include crochet waistcoats, suede jackets, worn in shorts and leathers, not forgetting the vital belt…the bigger the buckle the better, all in neutral, earthy shades so as to avoid the tacky “Jessie from toy story” look, that should only be saved for fancy dress.

This trend is such an easy one to incorporate in to your own wardrobes and is an excuse to keep the well loved denim jacket out of the dust for another season, as well as the classic checked shirt that we all own ATLEAST one of. The high street is full of rodeo ready garments with a particular favourite of mine being these gorgeous suede high-waisted shorts from Topshop, at only £38.

Fringing has gone to the front of the fashion frontier, hosting a key look for this Wild West season and is without doubt one of my favourites, as it can be worn in many ways to suit all. This cute fringed vest top from ASOS is a simple, yet effective way of updating your wardrobe and proves there really is NO REASON not to squat on your spurs and embrace the revival of the cowboy.

Hold on to your hats folks, it’s time to head west. YEEHA!!!