Sunday, 17 June 2018

BLUEBELLS


A short but sweet outfit post today because I have truly struggled to find the time to sit down and let the creative juices flow to write this week. Nevertheless, I rediscovered this Topshop dress whilst I was doing my annual spring clean and realised that I'd never photographed it before, a status which would surely have to be amended seeing how much of a beauty it is. I am trying not to be such a hoarder though so regardless of how much it pains me to part with it, it will most likely be going up on my Depop sooner than later. 

Part of the reason I've had so little free time is because my family are currently here for Eid. Eid Mubarak to all of you who are celebrating this weekend! We cooked up a traditional Indonesian feast on the Friday though we didn't have the skills to make the woven leaf pouches for ketupat so our rice dumplings basically resembled lontong instead, haha. Also this weekend (might as well have a little catch up while we're at it) I went to a 25th anniversary screening of The Piano. It's one of my all time favourite films but I never had the chance to see it on a big screen as it came out before I was born. Safe to say nothing really beats a cinema experience. I cried during scenes I never usually tear up at, the cinematography and music were all encompassing. It was definitely an experience I'm grateful to have had. And then today is Father's Day of course! It's the first time my dad's in London on the date so we're going to go out for a special lunch at one of his favourite Japanese restaurants. Wishing you all a fantastic Eid and Father's Day celebrations and I'll talk to you in my next post (hopefully on a much more riveting topic)!

Topshop dress (old) / ASOS brogues / Clutch (gift from a friend)

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Sunday, 10 June 2018

HOW TO CLASH PRINTS LIKE A PRO


Ahh, the art of print clashing. It undoubtedly makes a big fashion statement and is also a great way to transform outdated solo pieces into new, refreshing ensembles. I'm by no means a self-confessed master but seeing as I do enjoy a good print clash, I thought I'd dish out some of my tips to those of you who might feel a little intimidated by mixing prints.


1. Clash with stripes
This has got to be my favourite way to clash. It's completely failsafe as stripes are the ultimate clashing tie-together. The simple hard lines mute and draw the eye away from the other feature pattern, regardless of how attention seeking it is. This gives the combination the perfect balance. Stripes on their own can be a fairly plain look. By clashing with a print, the ol' stripes suddenly gain new flavour and becomes the hero of the ensemble.

2. Keep the clash in the same theme
A blizzard on a desert island would melt quickly, so unless you're absolutely fashion fearless, don't go trying to match snowflakes with palm trees. Keep the prints from the same inspiration. Florals of different varieties (super inspired by Bex Robb's look here), a mash up of tribal prints and block colours are all good options. Best to be cautious with clashing different animal prints though, lest you end up in 'crazy cat lady' territory.


3. Use complimentary colours
Look at the colour wheel, match up opposite shades and use them to draw inspiration from clashes that are harmonious in their colour palette. Very aesthetically pleasing. Similarly, pairing a coloured print with a black and white print also does the job.

4. Separate the clash with a strong belt
A strong belt will act as a border between your clashing prints, so they can each have their moment without stepping on the other's toes. 


Daisy Street jumper / Topshop jeans / Gucci bag / Lazy Oaf x Dr Martens boots


5. Own it
If you're uncertain the clash works but you like what you see in the mirror, just go for it! Trust your eye and your creativity. The aim of clashing is to garner attention anyway and assert the bold side to your style. So go big or go home.

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Sunday, 3 June 2018

THE GINGHAM JUMPSUIT


No, I did not need another gingham and bardot number in my possession but when I tried on this jumpsuit from Topshop, it was pretty much love at first sight and there was just no way that it wasn't coming home with me. The cheesecloth material is so light and pleasant for these humid days we've been having and I love the cut of it throughout the body, it's super flattering without being tight and restrictive if you know what I mean. I was still on wisteria hunt when we shot this outfit but unfortunately arrived at this location a little too late and all the purple had given way to fresh green foliage (which still looks extremely pretty in my opinion). Kynance Mews is one of my favourite locations to take photos at as its surroundings change with the seasons. It's especially stunning in the autumn, when all the leaves turn red. I've not forgotten about my earlier idea to put together a blog post all about my favourite London locations to photograph, but I want to make it as complete as possible so whilst it's taking a little more time, rest assured it is coming.

Speaking of ideas, I have fallen into an unfortunate rut where it comes to my blog and YouTube channel. I think it's a combination of the muggy weather we've been having (I know most people love the heat but I really do struggle to get through a regular day when I'm sweating buckets and getting migraines) and the fact that work has been quite busy so I feel like during the fleeting moments I do have time to write or shoot, I don't have enough headspace for it. Anyway I'm not going to apologise since I still consider this to be a hobby more than a job but it just feels a bit strange when I've usually been so consistent with posting content. The other thing is that since the blogging world has continued to develop, I've been putting in a lot more effort into my photos, writing and social media (I've really been working hard on my instagram especially) which in turn takes up a lot more of my time so I'm still trying to balance that with my personal life. Anyway I'm trying not to put too much pressure on myself because most importantly I want to enjoy doing this, whilst only posting content that I'm absolutely proud of. I'm sure I'll be rid of this creative block soon, it does tend to come and go.

Topshop jumpsuit / Shrimps bag / Miu Miu flats

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Sunday, 27 May 2018

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF LEMONS & MY FAVOURITE PRINT


"A thousand years ago, she had known a girl who loved lemon cakes." - A Dance With Dragons

A lot of people assume my love for lemon print stems from the fact that my favourite female literary character Sansa Stark has an affinity for lemon cakes. They're not entirely wrong but actually the main reason behind my lemony obsession is my mum. Truthfully, I'm not the biggest fan of the flavour or smell of the fruit but my mum being quite the health enthusiast that she is, swears by drinking a warm mug of lemon water every morning to naturally aid your digestion for the rest of the day. She's practically been doing this since before I was born and when I grew up she encouraged me to do the same. Admittedly I'm not yet as disciplined as her (she's never skipped a morning and even has to have lemons stocked in her hotel room when travelling) but everything about the yellow citrus (including the fragrance) reminds me of her. It's become such an intrinsic part of my mum that most of her friends and family either have her listed as "Lemons" or "Auntie Lemons" on their mobile devices, haha. 

These two factors have developed the safe and happy feeling I get whenever I wear anything with a lemon on it, and thankfully this print is still going strong after it's major appearance in Dolce & Gabbana's Summer 2016 Orange County collection. I feel like it's such a fresh (no pun intended) vibe for the warmer weather and each year I find a new lemon item of clothing squeezes (ok stop it Andini) its way into my over-packed wardrobe. This summer it comes in the form of this cute and comfy bardot dress that ASOS now stock in a myriad of different prints (for just £18 each) if lemons aren't really your thing. 

ASOS dress / Cult Gaia bag / Miu Miu shoes

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Sunday, 20 May 2018

I'M A FEMINIST & I ENJOY LOLITA, SO WHAT?


I often receive questions regarding my love for texts such as Lolita, or perhaps another popular inquisition topic about something more recent: why I'm so invested in the relationship between Sansa Stark and Littlefinger in Game of Thrones. I talk more in depth about the latter here but today I want to clarify my stance as a feminist and why I think there's nothing wrong with enjoying literature and art that focuses on particular tropes found in these fictional relationships. Understandably the appearance of the #MeToo movement after the Weinstein scandal has brought these issues in the real world to the forefront and I couldn't be more grateful that we have been given the voice and safe place we truly should've had all along and will endeavour to keep progressing this movement as there's still so much we can do. However in saying this, I also believe there is a very clear line between fact and fiction, and that I shouldn't have my personal interests dictated to me.


Since we're here, let's take Vladimir Nabokov's novel Lolita for example. I adore this text, I find the story intriguing and the language beautiful. It deals with a lot of tropes that I gravitate towards in fictional relationships: innocence versus experience, enemies to lovers etc. The most important thing that people tend to forget is that Lolita is not a love story though many might perceive it to be on surface level of a quick read. It contains dark themes that I in no way condone, I've always been drawn to art that is disturbing in some ways which means it is possible to enjoy and doesn't make me any less of a feminist. The key is not to romanticise Lolita. Which admittedly might be difficult with the way the protagonist Humbert weaves his words into amorous and passionate prose but bear in mind that he's not a reliable narrator. From all points of view except his own, he's a pedophile and what he subjects Dolores Haze to is mental, physical, and sexual abuse. 


As I said, appreciating Nabokov's writing does not mean I excuse Humbert's behaviour. In fact, Lolita is an all too relevant reminder that monsters do lurk amongst us. However if you look past all of Humbert's misogyny and at young Dolores' journey, you'll see her story as a survivor. She escapes her captor in the end and it is his world that crumbles down around him. Furthermore, the fact that the novel at the time it was written, recognises female sexual development alone provides a tiny flame of feminism. I premise that ultimately it's this empowering notion that the female comes out on top through it all, that draws me hook, line and sinker into any work of fiction. And that's all there is to it, it is essentially a work of fiction and I reckon some people just need to take a step back to fully realise this. Art is always going to be subjective and thus inevitably divide people. I think that this is what's truly beautiful about it though, and with that it would only be fair to let everyone walk the path of their own choosing. And as you have the right to disagree with someone's opinion, they also have the right to explain themselves. Which I hope I have done sufficiently here. 

Meanwhile I'm going to continue incorporating one of my favourite stories into my outfits because it's a further form of self expression through fashion that I adore. I recently added this white t-shirt into my pretty much non-existent basics collection, complete with a dainty embroidered detail that adds the perfect amount of interest and signature without going full blown slogan tee on you. I also own a super cool Lolita crossbody in the shape of a book that my friend gifted me and it's one of my most worn bags. Coincidentally these Le Specs sunglasses style are called the Last Lolita, even though I got them from an urge to channel Bella Hadid more than anything else. Anyway I'd always associate heart shaped shades to Lo thanks to the Stanley Kubrick film but evidently Lolita has had a huge impact on the fashion industry and continues to do so.


I'd like to end this post with a film recommendation if you happen to find Lolita as thought provoking  and memorable as I do. It's called Una (it's based on the play Blackbird), and it folds out almost as a modern day version of Nabokov's story. It deals with similar themes in the corruption of a minor but instead examines the aftermath of the incident 15 years later, complete with the  return of  the manipulative older man to fuel their toxic chemistry and who also has the ability to sweet-talk his way into blurring the lines of the audience's morals. I find both texts disgustingly brilliant for lack of a better adjective.

Double Trouble Gang t-shirt / ASOS skirt / Mango basket / Stan Smiths / Le Specs sunglasses

If you made it here to the end, I'd love to know your thoughts on this topic. On the other hand if you don't feel like leaving a comment, I totally understand as well because let's face it, we've all got more important things to do.
Thanks for reading!
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Wednesday, 16 May 2018

WARREN MEWS & WIG TALK


Is there anything more effortlessly 60s it-girl than a puff sleeved polka dot top and blue mom jeans because I think I missed a call from Lana Del Rey and she probably wants her outfit back. I've been experimenting with different silhouettes lately plus a more minimalistic style and coming across this structured Topshop crop immediately had me envisaging this retro look, pink hi-tops included. If only the matching pink bicycle was actually mine, I would've rode off the the nearest icecream parlour to complete the aesthetic. Also a sleek beehive would have been the perfect hairdo for this look but alas I have not been blessed with the hair god's talents and the only styles I can do are pretty much straight, curly, or simple braids. Furthermore, I've found it a little harder to style a wig than my own hair. Yes this pink is a wig. I'm surprised that a lot of you actually thought it was my real hair seeing as I mentioned it when I first started wearing wigs back in December but I understand not everyone would have read that post and it's only a testament to this wig (and I'd like to think my application skills but let's not toot my own horn). Seeing as I've worn wigs regularly (not counting my cosplay ones) for a good few months now, I thought I'd finally talk more about them today: which ones I use, how I apply them, and just how my experience with them has been in general.


The pink and silver wigs I have worn the most are from Mood Hair Inc. They're real human hair with a full lace edge around the circumference meaning you could wear your hair up if you wanted to. I've had quite a lot of practice applying wigs for my cosplays but the main difference in this instance is that they're not part of a costume, meaning I wanted them to look like it was my actual hair and as realistic as possible. I've personally found human hair to suit me better than synthetic hair as it's texture is a lot fluffier and coarser, much more akin to what my real hair looks like. That's not saying that synthetic hair won't look real though, I've seen so many amazing wigs and if you shake a little bit of mattifying or texturising powder onto one, it will definitely help mask the plasticky shine. Also I think a lot of people have silky, healthy hair (unlike me) in real life so a synthetic wig would probably not look far off from your own! Anyway, I really rate the Mood Hair Inc wigs because they have a full lace all around and it really does a good job and impersonating a real hair line. You really won't be able to notice the wig edge unless you go right up to someone's face and scrutinise their hair line which let's face it, no one's gonna do in a day to day environment. So far in real life, no one has clocked that I'm wearing a wig and instead I've gotten countless compliments on my hair, so I don't think there's any need to worry (though I'm the type of person who really doesn't care if people know I'm wearing a wig, I'm just saying it's highly undetectable). The two "Moods" I own also sit really comfortably on the head with a stretchy inside cap thing (I don't know the technical term) so I've found that they stay in place well with just the combs and I don't have to glue the lace down. However, if you're planning on moving around loads ie. dancing/whipping your hair back and forth, I'd recommend sticking down the lace with some gel or wig glue. As these are made from real human hair, you can style them with heat tools as you would treat your real hair, I've tried straightening and curling them as usual but haven't really mastered braiding as much seeing as the wig hair is much silkier than my own hair, it tends to slip out of style really easily and I don't really want to be overloading it with too much hairspray.


Wearing wigs for a couple of months has been liberating to say the least. I no longer had to worry about scheduling social outings with hair wash days and I could pre-style my "hair" the night before to save time and wake up a little later the next day. All the while, my roots were growing out long and healthy underneath, especially since I didn't use any form heat on my hair for all those months. I initially got started into wearing them for the reason to give my hair a break from too many bleach touch ups, I'd noticed that my already naturally coarse hair was starting to feel too dry and straw-like. Now my natural hair has grown out to the point where I feel confident enough to put it through some more bleach and with the aid of Olaplex, I can report that it feels a lot softer and healthier than my ends. Unfortunately re-dyeing my hair means that I broke one of my goals for 2018 already but it truly is difficult to step away once you've gotten into the habit of having colourful hair. I just don't feel quite like myself without a bright mop, though I will compromise and not be so gung-ho when it comes to tackling regrowth to leave more time for my hair to grow healthily.

Topshop top / ASOS jeans / Converse trainers

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