OOTD: More Than Basic

ootd-finch-norwich-wood-wood-topshop-7Wood Wood T-shirt: Finch Norwich | A-line Suede Skirt: Topshop* | Scarf: Ffion Griffith

My friend and I love the phrase “basic bitch” at this time of year. It sums up all of our silly little pleasures; top down shots of our morning flat white, the Starbucks pumpkin spice latte, Autumn…I could go on and on. Joking aside, recently I got thinking about the term “basic”. People love to use it as a dereogetory term, meaning boring or unimaginative. However in recent years basics have taken the fashion world by storm.

Only last year my wardrobe was full of clashing patterns and prints. Whereas I still love a good print, I have found a new confidence and clarity in my style since I introduced basics. Recently I made the decision to switch to timeless, high quality items that I can easily interchange with other pieces in my closet. It’s safe to say I haven’t looked back. Items like the Wood Wood cotton t-shirts I bought from Finch Norwich a few months ago have become staples. A plain t-shirt may seem boring, but I feel anything but when I pair it with a high waisted a-line skirt and scarf.

So I suppose what I’m trying to say is, even the most basic of items can become something special when they’re paired with the right person.

Thank you to V.A who took the photos of me.

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A London Life… at London Fashion Week

london-fashion-week-the-apartment-1The Apartment | London Fashion Week SS16

London Fashion Week. Yes, only two weeks ago it was that time of year again. The time when the “fashionistas” dust off their extravagant hats, pop on their wildest outfits and head to the HQ of fashion. Brewer Street car park. Wait, what?! It very well may have been controversial to move from Somerset House to Brewer Street car park, but alas move it did. This season, London saw hives of fashion lovers descend upon Soho. Models, designers and bloggers alike took the area by storm. And it was a little crowded to say the least.

What did I get up to? Well actually I got up to a lot over the weekend. So much so that I plan to do another post on my shenanigans. To sum it up? There was… relaxing; at The Apartment. Which included… pampering; courtesy of Jurlique, and food/cocktails; courtesy of Aubaine, Krispy Kreme and Aperol Spritz. And those are just the brands featured in this post! Yes, we were spoilt rotten. Don’t worry though I worked off most of the sugar glaze and alcohol by running around doing photoshoots and attending shows such as Sadie Clayton‘s (love THAT bomber jacket).

Thank you to The Apartment & Dina Tsesarsky for the photos of me & V.A.

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OOTD: London Fashion Week SS16

ootd-london-fashion-week-zara-bucket-bag-6Sleeveless Duster: Topshop | Draped Top: Zara | Chelsea Boots: ASOS | Bucket Bag: Zara

How do you stay fashionable and comfortable during London Fashion Week? Honestly I thought it was impossible. I spent a good 30 minutes trying on outfit combo after outfit combo on Saturday morning. I was feeling bloated – thanks for visiting at such a great time Mother Nature – and wanted something I didn’t feel rubbish in. For me that solution was layers, and lots of them!

I’m currently in the middle of having another love affair with Zara. I’d gone off the brand for a while. But now they’re back on form, and bringing out products that are better than ever. This draped top is equal parts fashion and function. Paired with a waterfall sleeveless duster I almost look like I’m trying. Then there’s the bag. THIS BAG! Oh my god. I fell in love at first sight (thanks to V.A for pointing it out). Yes it does look like THAT designer, but I think Zara have actually one upped the original. Funny anecdote, I happened to be walking next to someone with the original, during LFW. People actually thought mine was the original, and commented on how much nicer it was. I managed to fit my DSLR, phone and purse in here, with plenty of room to spare. This bucket bag is magical. It just goes to show you that designer does not always trump high street.

Thank you to V.A who took the photos of me.

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Yauatcha x Charlie May | London Fashion Week

yauatcha-charlie-may-collaboration-london-fashion-week-0Yauatcha x Charlie May London Fashion Week Collaboration*

Food and fashion – in my opinion – don’t mix enough. But then of course I would say that about two of my life passions. So when the two do eventually come together, I am very gleeful indeed. Luckily for me, one of my recent faves Yauatcha, have done just that. To celebrate London Fashion Week’s move to Soho, Yauatcha have collaborated with fashion designer Charlie May. The collaboration includes 4 brand new macarons, and a petit gateau (based on Charlie’s fabrics).

Macarons:
Cinnamon and raisin – cinnamon ganache with a pedro ximenez raisin compote and cinnamon crumble.
Black sesame – black sesame ganache with toasted black sesame seeds.
Blackcurrant cheesecake – cheesecake cream with a blackcurrant pate du fruit.
Smoked salt caramel – smoked salted ganache with a salted caramel centre.

Petit Gateau:
Gianduja lemon petit gateau – Gianduja mousse, layered with hazelnut and almond daquoise and centred with lemon crème.

During the rush of London Fashion Week, these were a life saver; V.A and I were running in-between photoshoots and shows, trying to keep our energy up. So we grabbed some macarons and a petit gateau from Yauatcha, before heading round the corner to The Apartment (where I shot these photos). The cake is spectacular in looks and taste – the light, crisp outer shell encompasses a slightly tart lemon centre. A smooth and sophisticated dessert. Let’s be realistic though, you all want to know how the macarons were. I’ve come to love Yauatcha’s macarons, and I personally think they’re the best in London (for taste, and price). Their latest offering is very unique, featuring smokey flavours and dark aesthetics, among others. The Cinnamon and Raisin Macaron was my favourite by far, but then I am a big fan of spices in puddings. However I appreciated the diverse use of ingredients. I honestly can’t say I’ve tried anything like these before.

Walking in to The Apartment with my Yauatcha bag, everyone asked “Is that the Charlie May collaboration!?” It seems as though I’m not the only one who enjoys a good mash-up between fashion and food. Whilst me and V.A enjoyed our macarons and cake with a coffee, I realised that we are two very lucky ladies. Being able to do (and eat) the things I love makes me very happy, especially when it’s in the company of good friends. Yo ho, a blogger’s life for me!

The Yauatcha x Charlie May collaboration is available now, until 27th September.
Macarons are priced at £1.80 each, and the Petit Gateau is £5.90 (£8.80 a la carte).

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OOTD: Soul Mates

ootd-soul-mates-helmut-lang-marble-jacket-5Bomber Jacket: Helmut Lang | Top: Topshop | Culottes: Warehouse* | Watch: Swatch

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they find that one item of clothing they were meant to be with. Yes, it is true. I have found my soul mate, and it comes in the form of a marble jacket by Helmut Lang. I happened to spot this piece whilst walking around Liberty one evening several months ago. It was love at first sight, but I knew it was something I would need to think about. I’m an awkward shopper, and I prefer to take my time. That sometimes means thinking about a piece for a few days. A week or so later I just so happened to pop into TK Maxx, and guess what I spotted? Yes, the exact same jacket, with a hefty discount. Still, it was a lot of money so I needed to think about it. And think about it I did. I couldn’t get the damn thing out of my head for days! I kept trying to convince myself I didn’t need it, but like a moth to the flame, I succumbed to my instincts. And guess what? I haven’t looked back! This bomber jacket has become a staple in my wardrobe. It’s ridiculously cool and comfortably casual. The best part? Since I own mostly “basics”, I can pair it with pretty much anything.

I can see this love affair lasting for quite some time.

Thank you to V.A who took the photos of me.

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Amsterdam Travel Diary | Cotton Cake

cotton-cake-amsterdam-travel-diary-foodCotton Cake | 1e van der Helststraat 76-hs 1072NZ, Amsterdam | Website

If you hadn’t noticed, lifestyle stores are my new “thing”. I can’t get enough of a store that encompasses my personal style and ethics. First there was The Basics Store – the Shoreditch pop-up hosted by Marina London – which lead me on an Instagram following spree. Which in turn is where I discovered Amsterdam-based brand Cotton Cake. Thankfully it just so happened that I was planning a trip to the Dutch capital. I immediately told my travel buddies exactly where we would be going for brunch the morning after our arrival.

Yes that’s right, Cotton Cake has a cafe inside it’s small store. Not only can you adorn yourself with beautiful things, you can also treat your body with a variety of healthy dishes. It doesn’t get much better than that. When we arrived we were greeted by a spacious, minimalistic store. The clothing and lifestyle products are on the ground floor, whilst a petite set of stairs at the back lead you to the “cafe” (a small area of 5 tables).  I had already decided on the Spelt-Buckwheat Waffles, so all I had to do was sit back and relax. But how could I when there were clothes to admire? And what beautiful clothes they were. Each collection has been carefully curated, resulting in a selection of high-quality pieces. Delicate lace shorts by Samøe line the racks alongside cosy knits by Sita Murt, and several other worthy European brands. Our food soon arrived, and after several Instagram snaps, we dug in. My waffles were of the Dutch variety, which are much lighter than their American counterparts. I actually prefer this style, especially when paired with fresh blueberries (probably bought at one of the nearby market stalls), yoghurt and a tart compote. Eating delicious food in such a fresh, open space was the perfect way to start my holiday in Amsterdam.

Cotton Cake feels more like you’re visiting a friend’s home; chatting over food & coffee, before raiding their wardrobe. The staff are relaxed and incredibly friendly, and more than happy to help. I could have easily spent all of my euros, but I resisted and left with a single gorgeous earring from by1oak. I will definitely be visiting Cotton Cake again, and I suggest that you all do too.

Don’t forget to follow the rest of my Amsterdam Travel Diaries.

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A Date with the Style Doctor

westfield-style-doctors-review-2Westfield Style Doctors Lounge

According to my parents I have been trying to dress myself since I could grasp the concept. It’s true, I’ve always been very opinionated and expressive when it comes to my personal style. Therefore you can imagine that I’ve never really been one to consider a personal stylist. Sure I’ve wished that somehow my clothes would magically be laid out for me every morning, but that’s about it. However recently my wardrobe philosophy (yes that’s a thing) has changed. Late last year I decided to start purchasing fewer pieces of higher quality – I was left with a wardrobe that I used only about 1/3 of. So when I was contacted by the Westfield Style Doctors about meeting with one of their personal stylists, part of me was curious to see if they could help me with my new outlook.

When I arrived for my appointment, I was greeted by Kellie – one of the newer members of the team. She automatically made me feel at ease as we chatted about my personal style, and what I would like to achieve from our meeting. We both agreed on adding some colour to my monochrome wardrobe. Kellie had already hunted down around 10 items that she had in mind for me. Her research was based on my style and body shape, something which I covered in the questionnaire I had to fill out before my session. As we walked around Westfield we chatted about style, food, our jobs…it felt like I was shopping with a friend! The time flew by, however we still managed to visit Topshop, Mango, Warehouse, COS and Oasis.

Now I don’t want to bore you with a run-down of everything I tried on. Instead I want to summarise my experience, and tell you what I came away with. As I tried on the items Kellie had chosen, she explained why each one would work for me; how to accentuate my body shape, and compliment my skin and hair tones. Now I’ve always believed that you should wear what you want, regardless of whether someone thinks it suits you. But the Style Doctors think this too! At the end of the day I realised that Kellie just wanted me to go away with an outfit I was happy in. It’s her job to offer the best advice she can, and honestly she was pretty spot on (apart from maybe one outfit that I felt was “too mature”). I went away with five items, and a better understanding of the shapes and colours that compliment me. I love that I now know how to emphasise my waist and make myself look taller. It doesn’t mean I won’t still buy something if it doesn’t do this. But it does mean that I feel more confident and comfortable in my choices.

The Westfield Style Doctors are a team of experienced personal stylists. They offer appointments to anyone through their booking system. Sessions start at just £50 and can be held at either Westfield Stratford City, or Westfield White City. Find booking details here.

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