Friday, 28 February 2014

Street Style Shots at London Fashion Week

During bi-annual fashion weeks, the Industry's eyes lock on to street style for the latest in styling, trends, and colours. Which subcultures are bubbling through? Which era is having a spot in the limelight? Fifties? Nineties? From articles in newspapers to street style photographers and fashion bloggers, we can't get enough of street style but is it as innocent and glamourous as it seems?

I'd like to begin by stating that I think street style is fascinating. I interned as a street style reporter for fashion forecasting company Stylesight capturing the chic, quirky and absurd at festivals, in fashionable neighbourhoods and at LFW itself. I loved it, but after taking a back seat for a couple of seasons now, I've noticed a phenomena building that I was blind to; I'm going to call it as Peacocking, although I don't think that's quite the correct word, it doesn't hold the entire meaning of what I am referring to. Suzy Menkes refers to the same concept as a 'circus' in a recent article, which you can read here, although I feel that might be a little harsh. The following quote from said article certainly got me thinking:

"There is a genuine difference between the stylish and the showoffs — and that is the current dilemma. If fashion is for everyone, is it fashion?"

The Stylish and the Show Offs. Menkes describes what I've seen outside every show I've been to (I was a photographer's runner for a few seasons, so was outside all of the big shows. Frightfully glamourous, it was not. It was cold, very cold.). The juxtaposition of a clutch of sultry chic women, dressed in monochrome speaking in low voices on their phones against a gaggle of flamboyantly dressed men and women strutting past the groups of photographers willing to be stopped and asked for a photograph.

Street Style Shots at London Fashion Week

In my humble opinion, regardless of the event people should always dress for themselves. Something timeless, stylish, something well loved or dressing around an unusual piece that makes the wearer feel inspired. Those of us dressing for others, or with the intention of being 'papped' end up walking around all day looking and feeling uncomfortable and being gawped at by the general public. This is because it all appears fake, and outfits end up looking anything but effortless.

Fashion lovers are all to much being force fed images of eccentrically dress folk, who they are led to believe are the elite of the Industry. There seems to be an unwritten rule that once papped in something, it is impossible be seen in it again. A huge waste of money and resources. What's worse if that through street style many are trying to recreate these environmentally unfriendly looks, and spreading this waste farther, not to mention breeding an attitude of throwaway fashion.

Street Style Shots at London Fashion Week

The Industry is making mannequins of these men and women by 'gifting' or 'lending' them outrageous items with the hope that the item will be worn to a show and thus being photograph repeatedly. Nothing wrong with that, if everyone was aware of who at fashion week has become a walking advert. It is vital to remember that businesses pay a lot of money to get advertising space in Vogue, for instance, but getting high price point products into an issue or on the website via street style in fashion week is free and so carries priceless promotional value. I don't think it is fair to promote this glamourous lifestyle to the masses when a vast majority of it is fake. Bloggers and Vloggers have disclaimers about sponsorship and gifting on their websites and profiles but this is never made clear via street style shots. Sadly it impossible to keep track of with the speed of it all.

Being aware of the commercial value of street style is important for the general public and fashion community. However, I also want to point out that street style does have a time and place. There are hundreds of beautiful images shot at fashion week giving a great insight into global trends, as well as similarities and differences across the fashion capitals of the world. It's definitely an art form and as a result many love putting these kinds of fashion relevant images onto blogs, tumblrs and moodboards for inspiration. No doubt this will continue for the foreseeable future because so many of these images truly are inspiring. 

What do you think, is fashion week becoming a circus or is this type of dressing true to a modern fashion society? Are you on the stylish side of the street or hoping not to be rejected by the photographers with the fashionistas?

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Birthday Cake on Halloween in London

We have come to the beginning of winter. Its pitch black at 5.30, and the cold morning air is really starting to bite! I love the summer, but I also love getting cosy and layering up for the winter. Luckily this odd transitional time is made easier by the fact that Halloween is also my birthday. I am a big birthday celebration person, and tend to get over excited about getting to do fun thing with my friends and family. However, this can also be stressful as I spend my time worrying if people are enjoying themselves or not.

This year I took a back seat with preparations and just asked my friends what they thought would be fun to do. I always seem to have more fun at other people's birthdays than my own, so thought I'd hand the reigns over to the people who throw these! Please excuse the grainy pictures, I only had my phone on me and it wasn't on form that day!

It totally worked out in my favour...we started the day at The Cafe At Bluebird on the Kings Road, after a little window shop filled walk from Sloane Sq. Before we left for South Ken I couldn't resist a look around The Shop at Bluebird, a beautifully merchandised unisex store. Think of a more chic Urban outfitters, with more expensive product, and you're on the right lines. I didn't buy anything this time, but it was the kind of place I could spend ages looking around. I'd love to have my own boutique like that one day, so it gave me a little boost to carry on working on my own business ideas.

Earl Grey Tea at The Cafe at Bluebird, Kings Road, London

We spent the afternoon in my favourite creperie in South Kensington. This was a back up plan as I had forgotten that half-term meant an overflowing Natural History Museum, which is usually one of my favourite places in London. I decided to pass on the queues, and just watched enviously as children left with stegosaurus and triceratops stuff toys tucked under their arms.

Once suitably full of lemon, sugar and pancakes we went to meet some friends at Madison. I'd never been but my friends had planned this in as a treat to end the evening. We sat on the sixth floor, looking out over St Paul's in the open air but were sure to snuggle under the blankets by the heaters. 

Madison Restaurant and Tapas Bar, St Pauls, London

The view is absolutely amazing, the food less so. There is only one option for vegans and limited vegetarian options, and they wouldn't offer a plain salad even though we phoned ahead to ask about their vegan options! I wouldn't recommend the tapas bar, the restaurant might be better but it doesn't get the open air view.The cocktail menu was perfect for me though! I tried two different drinks, Secret Garden, which was gin based with cucumber and rosemary, and an M. M was prosecco based with a Blood Orange liquor. I love Blood Orange juice, so for me this was perfect, but also quite strong!

Taking in the view at Madison Restaurant and Tapas Bar, St Pauls, London

I had the most fun I've had on my birthday in all the birthday's that I can remember, so it was perfect! I'm so grateful for my friends chipping in with ideas and being there on the day, as well as all the lovely messages I received that day from other friends. Is anyone else celebrating at this time of year? What do you like doing for your birthday?

Monday, 30 September 2013

90's Kid throwback image of me aged 3 / Wedding Breakfast / Travelling to Liverpool looking at the pixar style clouds /  Leaving rainy England
Athens airport / Santorini Villa pool / Handsome the basett hound / Babysitting Handsome
The longest dog ears ever / Santorini villa 2.0 / Sun bleached balayage / Ripples in the pool
Watching the Santorini sunset - my last day / Throwback Thursday - the first dress I designed as a child and my mum made for me / Pay Day Smashed Up Rolla's with my team

I have seen this across a few blog and I really like the idea of documenting time passing via this blog. I have decided to go by month rather than week for now at least.

This month I went to my Uncle's wedding in Liverpool and then went on holiday to Santorini, a Greek island. There I met the gorgeous Handsome, the basett hound and did a lot of reading and sunbathing. Needless to say it's been a good month with lots of rest and relaxation after a stressful August! 

What have you been up to this September?

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Korres Beauty Haul - Natural Fragrance, Lip Butter, Soap & Shower Gels
Looking after my health, like most people is very important to me. I am a big believer in the mantra "what you get out what you put in" meaning I like to know exactly what is going in and on my body so I get the best out of it. I read labels in supermarkets so I know what I'm eating and this also means I take care in looking at what has been put into cosmetics.

Saying that I'm not your stereotypical naturalist but I do prefer natural products when I know they do a good job. This leads me on to Korres, a greek cosmetic brand which originated from a homeopathic pharmacy. Their aim: "The brand’s simple philosophy is rooted in the use of natural and / or certified organic ingredients of the highest quality; skin- and environmentally-friendly products with clinically tested efficacy; and products that are affordable for everyday use yet of interesting aesthetics that can ‘inspire & make us happy."

So on my recent holiday to Santorini I made sure to pick up a few old favourite natural products, as well as some new Korres to try out. I am a big fan of the fragrances, and own the Pepper, Jasmine & Gaiac Wood, as well as Paeonia, Vanilla & Amber Pear. The first is probably more of a masculine scent, however I tend to prefer warm, spicy notes. In contrast the Paeonia one is light and fresh but not too sickly sweet which appeals to me too. The bottles are always dark glass, but they each have a slightly different tint, in this case dark green and purple. Korres as a whole has a really sense of brand identity through the graphics they use which also appeals to my inner designer.

I particularly like the description each fragrance or set of ingredients are given throughout the brand. Here's how the Paeonia frangrance is described: "Peony blossoms were believed to be the Olympian gods’ gift to Healers and were adored by mortals as a panacea. The concise aura of the peony scent unveils a yet to be tamed character, reminiscent of the high mountains where this beautiful flower grows" - How whimsical is that!?
Korres Shower Gels in Jasmine, Mint tea, Mango & Iris, Lil of the Valley & Cotton.
The first items I headed for in the Korres boutique were showergels. They always smell exactly how they are described so it is easy to identify ones that you know you'll like. I for instance don't like citrus smells so I avoid Citrus. However one anomaly to this rule is Vanilla / Cinnamon which I used to love, however it smells really synthetic to me now and gives me an instant headache. My Mum loves it though so don't be put off by other people's preferences instore in in reviews as she is a bit advocate of natural smells! 

I purchased Mint Tea, Jasmine, Mango & the slightly more expensive shower gel version of the Iris, Lily of the Valley & Cotton perfume. For me this is a great way of figuring out whether I like the fragrance or not before investing in a bottle of the eau de toilette. I have also done this with the below soap in Saffron, Amber & Cardamom, as soaps are cheaper than fragrance too...especially if you buy them duty free in the airport (Athens for all you travel bugs) as I did.

Korres Tonka Brown Fragrance, Safrron, Amber & Cardamom Soap
The fragrance I did decide to purchase was a limited edition men's fragrance Tonka Brown which has notes of sandalwood, white cedar, orange, cardamom, pepper, rose, lemon, tonka bean. It is spicy and woody and is definitely a love/hate fragrance. I love it but I could see why other women might find it too heavy or masculine smelling. There is also Tonka Purple available which is aimed more at women.

Tonka beans are said "to bring luck in matters of love and making dreams a reality. In ancient times Tonka Beans 'starred' in rituals and spells... love, luck, wealth, courage was the goal. Dropping seven beans in a river or in other way just whispering a wish while holding the beans in your palm, was enough to make it come true. Beans 'dissolved' in brew of herbs can cure the soul, remove depression and confusion, and drive negative thoughts away."

I'm not sure how much of this I believe, but I do think it is a nice touch having this all printed on the inner sleeve of the perfume box, and if it does what it says on the tin, then bonus! I think we call all do with negative thoughts being draw away!

Korres Mango Lip Butter
My final purchase was the Mango Lip Butter, which has a slight orange tint. I think orange looks great on olive toned skin, especially with a tan which is why I bought this on the way home from the sunshine, wishing to keep a bit of the exotic with me at work that week. Needless to say, every time I open this up the colour cheers me up and reminds me of the heat! It smells heavenly too!

Have you ever tried Korres? What are your favourite natural products? I'd love to try some new natural brands you can recommend.
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