OOTD: My Beyond Retro Dream Vintage Dress

ootd-beyond-retro-my-dream-vintage-dressDress: Beyond Retro* | Backpack: ASOS | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban*

My dream dress is fitting, yet comfortable. It makes me look taller than my actual 5’3. It accentuates my curves, but isn’t overtly sexy. It’s casual, but can be dressed up easily. Hmm I don’t want much, right? Well I’m beginning to think that my style demands are not actually that obscene. As it would appear that I have found my dream dress. Well, my dream vintage dress at least.

When the lovely Plum from Beyond Retro invited me to their Dalston store I was eager to return to my old neighbourhood. Not only for nostalgia sake, but because she had promised to help me find my perfect vintage dress. Now usually when I buy items from vintage stores I never end up wearing them. Why? Well because I like to treat vintage items like pieces of art. Some are so beautiful I just have to own them, if only to look at them. This time though I was determined to find a dress I would get wear out of. I knew that if anyone could do it, it would be Plum. I mean after all, she did find me my ideal Christmas jumper. After trying on around 20 dresses – I kid you not – I was giving up hope. Until I found it. The perfect LBD (little black dress). No, my dream vintage dress.

Fancy winning a vintage wardrobe full of YOUR dream dresses? Beyond Retro are giving one lucky winner £250 to spend in one of their London stores, and an overnight stay at The Hoxton Hotel (with a friend). Enter at Beyond Retro.

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

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OOTD: Cool Chic

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T-shirt: Zara | Culottes: Warehouse* | Bag: Marc by Marc Jacobs | Sandals: Fit Flop*

As a Brit, I do love to complain about the weather. Summertime is no different. Each year, at the beginning of Summer I find myself staring sadly into my wardrobe. What do you wear when it feels like you’re going to melt as soon as your step outside? It can be quite the challenge trying to look good, and feel comfortable. So when I find a Summer staple, I stick with it.

You may remember my current fashion motto: quality over quantity. That means I’ve changed my buying habits. Now I buy one high quality item, instead of several cheaper items. This new motto has transformed my wardrobe, and the way I style outfits. Not surprisingly it has also made it easier for me to find my Summer staples this year. Like these culottes. These are ridiculously comfortable, and perfect for Summer. Apart from being comfortable, they’re easy to dress up or down (these are perfect for the weekend, work, or an evening dinner). My current favourite is pairing them with a breton stripe top. I feel as though I could easily fit in on the streets of Paris in this outfit. In fact, if I squint hard enough, the streets of London can look a little Parisian.

I styled this outfit as part of a project run by think money.

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

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OOTD: The Caped Crusader

ootd-topshop-cos-clarks-london-fashion-5Sleeveless Duster: Topshop | T-shirt: COS | Jeans: Topshop | Heels: Clarks*

It’s safe to say I’m not a heels kinda gal. My feet ache just thinking about them. To think I wore them religiously whilst living in Japan – I don’t know how I did it. Despite my dislike for wearing heels, I love how they look…and how they make my legs look. This leaves me in a very awkward position. That position is usually staring at beautiful heels online, but never adding them to my basket. However when I spotted these beauties on Shoetique I decided to finally go for it. After all, Clarks are well known for quality, comfortable shoes.

Naturally I chose a pair of black and white heels, and I think they look damn good. I’ve become a bit of a monochrome master, if I do say so myself. I’ve even managed to match my outfits to my location. Did you spot that? Ok so I didn’t really do it on purpose, but I did actually scout the location beforehand. I’d seen a few photos of the new Crossrail Place Bridge, and I wanted to join in too. So me and V.A headed there last weekend for a photography afternoon. The whole area is shiny and new, and surprisingly quiet. We were able to shoot pretty easily, and get THAT shot of the bridge. For something that looks like it’s made of corrugated iron, it’s eerily beautiful.

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

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A London Life… at The Basics Store Pop-up

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Finding a brand that encompasses your personal style is not easy. Why would it be when there are stores aplenty? I personally prefer to stick to shopping in a few quality stores though (coucou Sandro & Claudie Pierlot). Maybe my time in Japan influenced me, but once I fall for a brand I stay loyal. So being able to find a store with a concept that suits me is a miracle.

Enter The Basics Store.

The Basics Store is a curated concept store for everyday essentials, with a focus on craftsmanship and luxury. Brands include: Marina London, Danielle Foster, Dear Frances, Blake LDN, Clarice Price Thomas and Jessie Harris. I knew of all of the brands before visiting the store, which is certainly a good sign. Blake LDN and Marina offer up beautifully crafted garments, whilst Danielle Foster, Clarice and Jessie provide exceptional accessories. The Avery Perfume Gallery has also taken up residency, to keep you smelling as good as you look. Honestly I hadn’t heard of any of the perfume brands, however I instantly fell for ROADS fragrances (in particular Cloud 9). In a nutshell, it’s easy to see that The Basics Store has chosen a handful of high quality brands and designers. Expertly curated, this is one store I dare anyone not to love.

The shop is open for one month, from 13th June – 13th July. Located in the heart of Shoreditch at 30a Redchurch Street, the pop-up will be offering free talks and workshops throughout the month including ear-piercing, live music, style consultancy and juicing demonstrations.

Thank you to Eva who took the photos of me.

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If you liked this, check out the rest of my A London Life series.

5 Japanese Fashion Instagram Accounts You Should Be Following

You may remember my ‘5 Japanese Fashion Instagram Accounts You Should Be Following‘ post from 2013. Well it just so happens to be my number one post on the blog, so I thought it was about time to do a new updated version. Here I have picked out 5 new Japanese fashion Instagram accounts, each of which I personally follow and take inspiration from.

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Who? @wakatsukichinatsu (Designer)
Why? I had to start this post with a legend. Chinatsu Wakatsuki is a former gravure idol, who went on to produce the popular brand WC, and become a gyaru icon. After leaving the brand (and some annoying legal troubles), she brought back WC’s lovable oddball Kumatan. She continues to post updates on the brand and her life, alongside personal style photos.

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Who? @_mitake_ (Model)
Why? Mitake’s photos are colourful, eccentric and sometimes risqué (i.e NSFW). This may not be surprising to some, as Mitake is actually a former AV (adult video) actress. It would seem that she is now pursuing a career in modelling, but she certainly hasn’t lost her cheeky side. If you’re after a slightly alternative view of Tokyo, Mitake is your woman.

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Who? @izu_stagram (Model)
Why? I first started following Izu (aka Izuoka Misaki) when she won Popteen’s (a sweet gyaru magazine) model grand prix. I loved her youthfulness. She later went on to model for JELLY magazine and released several pop singles. Her personal style has funnily enough evolved with my own tastes, and she now has a more minimal approach to fashion. I love her chic, clean photos, which offer an insight into her career as a model.

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Who? @rina__sakurai (Model)
Why? I remember avidly reading Rina Sakurai’s – better known as Sakurina – blogs around 5 years ago, and it’s safe to say that she hasn’t changed one bit. She still models for Ageha (which is now back after a short hiatus), which she often refers to in her photos. Her Instagram is an explosion of pink, diamonds and everything agejo.

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Who? @seee_official (Editor/Model)
Why? Former Seventeen model Emi Suzuki is surely known by all fans of Japanese fashion. She has since gone on to become Editor in Chief of S’eee magazine, as well as a devoted mother. Her daughter often features on her Instagram, alongside minimalist prints and outfit posts.

Do you have some favourite Instagram users?
Let me know in the comments!

Source: Please see the individual Instagram accounts listed above.

OOTD: Layers for Days

ootd-outfit-of-the-day-london-fashion-style-bloomzy-3 ootd-outfit-of-the-day-london-fashion-style-bloomzy-1 ootd-outfit-of-the-day-london-fashion-architecture-bloomzy-3 ootd-outfit-of-the-day-london-fashion-style-bloomzy-2Cardigan: COS | T-shirt: Repertoire Fashion* | Skirt: Pull & Bear | Purse: Wonderound

Fashion bloggers will know the utter joy felt when you discover the perfect location for your next ootd. Actually this was an unexpected find, as I hurriedly took some snaps before meeting friends for dinner. The grey and white outer was the cold backdrop I had been looking for. I wanted to emphasise the lines and layers in my outfit, and this air con unit (?) just happened to be the perfect place to do so.

But why the layers when the weather has been so warm? Well firstly, I know full and well not to trust British weather. One minute it’s boiling hot, the next it’s like being in a wind tunnel. I prefer to layer up, so I can always strip down if need be. Also, have you seen how pale I am!? Even though the weather is gorgeous I have to do my utmost to cover up. Not even factor 50 sunscreen can protect this pasty complexion. That doesn’t mean I don’t get to enjoy Summer though. It just means I have to be more inventive with my outfit choices. White is a must of course, and I like to pair it with black, especially in the evening. This outfit was perfect for a casual dinner date…and I even managed to avoid spilling food down my perfectly white top.

 

Photos of me by V.A (chopstickpanorama)

OOTD: Sakura Dream

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Blazer: Missguided* | Top: Cheap Monday | Skirt: Helmut Lang | Boots: Glamorous*

Isn’t cherry blossom just dreamy? You could put anything beside it and people would ooohhh and aaahhh. Luckily for me I spotted some beautiful (albeit fake) cherry blossom at my recent visit to Sake no Hana. My all black outfit contrasted well against the pink of the tree. I’m so envious of people who can layer black on black – I’m looking at you Alice. It’s almost an art form. It would seem I unconciously had this in mind when I wore this outfit. I didn’t really think of layering black items. Actually I just wanted to wear my new Cheap Monday top and Helmut Lang skirt. Still I left the house feeling content with my foray into the world of black ensembles.

Luckily for me there is a ton of inspiration in the London street style scene. Shoreditch is perfect for this. Tailored, minimalism is in, and it’s not going anywhere.  Just yesterday I saw a man wearing an all black outfit that made me stare. Clean, straight lines were accompanied by the simplest of accessories: a black briefcase. It may sound a bit odd, but he inspired me so much. Unfortunately I was too shy to ask him for a photograph. Why a photograph? Because whenever I see someone whose style inspires me, I constantly begin working on a street style photo series in my head. Who knows, perhaps fate will bring us together again and I can start that series. And maybe, just maybe, he will impart his wisdom upon me.

Photos of me by V.A (chopstickpanorama)