Thursday, 24 October 2013

My Kinky Hair lookbook shoot

I recently came out of styling retirement to style a lookbook for my friend Louise's new hair extensions brand, My Kinky Hair.  It was a great sunny Sunday shoot with a lovely talented team, so I thought I'd share the results with you.

Louise wanted a fun and funky look to reflect her super-glam and sexy hair, so I went for a real London style - colourful and playful with a '90s urban twist.  Clothes wise this meant light-washed denim, tropical prints, heaps of gold jewellery, throwback footwear...and a little cameo from The Fresh Prince!

Here are some of my favourite images from the shoot (with a little explanation of my thoughts behind them) - would love to know what you all think!

Anyone who spent their youth watching MTV in the 90s will recognise this look.  High-waisted, stone-washed 'mom' jeans, crop top and Timms is classic Aaliyah/ Janet Jackson.

Top - Primark
Jeans - Topshop
Boots - Timberland
Belt - Stylist's own

I couldn't resist this Fresh Prince T-shirt when I saw it on the rack in Primark (Yes! Primark!).  In fact, I liked it so much I kept it for myself!  I liked the idea or pairing it with an over-sized chunky chain and clashing red (belt) and pink (skirt) - a colour combo/ accessory you could imagine The Fresh Prince wearing himself.

T-shirt - Primark
Necklace - Stylist's own
Belt - H&M
Skirt - H&M

When I saw this awesome black and white graffitied wall I knew I wanted to put together a graphic monochrome look to shoot against it.  I LOVE these palladium style boots, they took me right back to my childhood.

Dress - ASOS
Sunglasses - TOMS
Bangle - Primark
Floral socks - Pamela Mann
Boots - Primark

I can never resist a tropical print and love how the little gold buttons on this cute ditsy floral top give it a bit of an urban edge.  I'm a bit obsessed with round sunglasses too, and this pair were my ultimate shades of 2013 - round, bold and graphic - real attention seekers.

Sunglasses - H&M
Top - Topshop

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Levi’s X Liberty: A collaboration made in festival fashion heaven

Fashion collaborations are ten a penny, but every now and there's a collaboration that stops you in your tracks (or in this case, makes you want to write a blog post) - and this one did just that to me.  I don't need to tell you that Levi's and Liberty are both clearly defined, well established heritage brands in their own right - we all know who they are and what they stand for.  So you'd think they wouldn't have to bother with exciting new projects like this, but boy am I happy they did.

Denim and floral prints go together, they go together pretty bloody well.  There's just something incredibly pleasing about their yin-yang contrast; the coarseness of the denim against the prettiness of the flowers.  It just works.  

Whether you wear yours on their own, together, matching or clashing, floral prints and denim are both staples of the summertime festival wardrobe, and although there are loads of cheaper incarnations of this pairing on the high street, this *genius* Levi’s X Liberty collaboration looks and feels like the real deal.

There are 13 pieces in the collection, ranging from full-on floral dresses to discreetly laser-printed jeans.  It's all pretty great to be honest, but here are my top picks...

Stockists: /

Monday, 22 April 2013

Lunch at you do!

So today I went for lunch at you do.  Sadly (obviously?) I wasn't there to receive any great honour; no, I was just there for a bite to eat and a good old gossip.  You see my friend Grace works there, and at some point casually mentioned that you could have guests for lunch; Emily and I have been nagging her mad to invite us down ever since.

Tourist shot!
*Note to fellow cape wearers: Carrying your bag under your cape is not fantastically you can see.

As well as a delicious (and generously subsidised) lunch on the terrace over looking the river (enough to make me want to ditch journalism and move into politics), Grace gave us a whirlwind tour of the grounds...

Incredible stone work including some very impressive gargoyles. I do love a good gargoyle.

Westminster Hall: Built in 1027 it's the oldest part of Parliament, and the only surviving part of the original Palace of Westminster

Its awe-inspiring wooden ceiling is especially important as historians didn't previously think that carpenters were able to build self-supporting roofs until much later (13th or 14th century)

Em and I posing with some rather fantastic (in a Liberace kinda way) stone Deer. 

After Westminster Hall Grace took us through to the main building (where sadly I wasn't allowed to take pics).  We walked through St Stephen's Hall (which was home to the first Common's chamber), into the central lobby (a large hexagonal space with the House of Commons chamber to one side and House of Lords chamber to the other), and best of all into the actual House of Commons chamber itself - the highlight of the whole trip.  Being inside the chamber was insanely exciting and a little surreal.  It's much smaller than you'd think/ it looks on't telly.

I even came home with a souvenir in the form of a rather grand bottle or House of Commons sparkling water!  Who says politics isn't glamorous?

Anyway I just thought I'd share this as it really was one of the most exciting days out I've had in ages.  And don't worry if you don't have a friend with a jazzy job, Parliament is open (well bits of it) to everyone.  You can find out more about visiting, or even do a virtual tour here.

No doubt I'll be back on the leftovers in front of my laptop at the kitchen table for lunch tomorrow...

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Cath Kidston's 20th anniversary: A night of crafts and cocktails!

Quaint, comforting, homely and slightly eccentric, Cath Kidston is instantly recognisable, and one of those brands who feel like they've been around forever.  So I was more than a little surprised when I was invited to a party to celebrate their 20th birthday (only 20? Gosh that makes me feel old!).  

True to brand this wasn't just any old beers in a bar kinda shindig; instead we (myself and a gaggle of other fashiony web types) were given the chance to indulge our inner Domestic Goddesses with candle making and cake decorating (led by East London's very own Queen of Cakes Lily Vanilli)…all helped (or in my case hindered) along by some utterly delicious, dangerously potent cocktails!  

So here are some pics from the night.  Make sure you check out the animated Cath Kidston story at the bottom, it's utterly charming and uplifting, and is guaranteed to put a smile on your face!  

Nothing makes me happier than coordinating my cocktail with my outfit!

My limited edition 'Coming up Roses' mug ready to be transformed into a candle

Phoebe repping for xoJane UK!  

Carefully pouring my birthday cake scented wax (yes, it smells as good as it sounds!)

Our cake decorating goodies
Lily of Lily Vanilli (yes, I was a little bit starstruck!)
My less than perfect icing rose (I blame the heat/ melting icing!)
Ada with her very professional looking rose (jealous? Me? Never!)

Me looking smug...and tipsy (smipsy?) with my first cake
My quartet of cakes. Yes, I was going for 'rustic'

The #CK20 crew: Ada, Phoebe, Moi et Celeste from Exposure PR

The Cath Kidston story....


For more information on how you can get involved in Cath Kidston's 20th birthday celebrations and their limited edition 'Coming up Roses' birthday range (everything from crockery and handbags to the 'Coming up Roses' book - the inspiring story of how Cath developed her business - Sheryl Sandberg move over!) head to the Cath Kidston website....

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Louise Gray for Topshop for my 30th

Anyone who knows me, or follows my xoJane ramblings, will know that I recently (at first reluctantly but then rather enthusiastically), celebrated my 30th birthday.  It was obviously a momentous occasion, and required an equally momentous outfit.  My first thought was to wear one of the many mental vintage creations I’ve (secretly) bought over the years, yet never worn (as in all honesty there are really very few occasions in my life which call for a scene-stealing vintage ensemble).  But then, one night, when there was bugger all on’t telly, I found myself shopping the Topshop sale, and there, in all it’s glistening glory was what was to become my super-duper special 30th birthday dress.  Nothing shouts LOOK AT ME, IT’S MY BIRTHDAY, WHERE’S MY MOFO CAKE AT? quite like a sequinned dress.  But on top of all of that this dress also screeched, I’M 30, AND WHAT? BEST BELIEVE I STILL GOT IT…because it was by Louise Gray.  Ok, Louise Gray for Topshop, but Louise Gray nonetheless, and as close to Louise Gray as I’m gonna get on my meagre freelance salary.

I’m a massive Louise Gray fan (had you noticed?).  I love her unashamed brashness, her courageous use of colour, her fearless combinations of (what should be) clashing prints, her statement accessories, and most of all, the fact her whole aesthetic is just so utterly perfectly quintessentially London.  Right now.

So, in celebration of Louise Gray (for Topshop), and my fabulous 30th birthday dress I made a lil’ gallery of some of my fave Louise Gray looks from the past four seasons.*

* You might need to put your sunnies on.  

Monday, 18 February 2013

My new theme choooon...

Could this song BE any more awesome?  Not since Afroman has a novelty record touched me so deeply.  In general I'm hopelessly disillusioned with contemporary music (yes, I just said contemporary like I'm 800, and what?); Chris Brow, Ne-yo (urgh, even the spelling of his name is idiotic), Taylor Swift and all their cronies  just leave me cold. Not a talented toe between them.  But this - this is inspired.  Funny, observant, witty - if you can't be truly talented at least try and have a sense of humour!  So, big up my charity shop crew - keep doing your thing, hunting out the bargains, rocking your thrify looks and making the world jealous.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Kitten heels for xoJane

Meow! How'd you like my badass new photoshop skillz?  As you can probably tell I'm rather chuffed with them!  Anyway, last week I wrote a feature for xoJane about my love of kitten heels.  In recent years I've become increasingly fed-up with the rising height of high heels (and with it my rising inability to go an entire night in a pair).  It got to the stage where I had to admit defeat and bow out gracefully, and so for the past couple of years I've been wearing lots of flats.  Sometimes you just need an extra little bit of lift and elegance though, and that my friends is where the kitten heel comes in.  Anyway, don't let me ruin the feature for you; to read my top 5 reasons for loving kitten heels and see my pick of this season's crop click through to xoJane here.