Thursday, 14 December 2017

YOUTUBE | GERMAN COMIC CON & MEETING FINN WOLFHARD (VLOG)


A weekend away in Dortmund, Germany.


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Wednesday, 6 December 2017

ADVENTURES OF AN ANGLOPHILE IN RESTROSPECT


Recently I've hit a bit of a blogging conundrum. Naturally in the lead up to Christmas, life has gotten a lot busier. Last minute work has flooded in whilst I'm still behind on the Christmas shopping, an influx of friends and family have been over at the house (does anyone else feel guilty working whilst hosting people even though both parties have agreed it's ok?) and there are holiday trips to be planned. On top of this, I've been trying to maintain (more like juggle) a nice balance between writing/shooting blog posts and filming YouTube videos, something I still haven't quite mastered as the process of the latter seems to take me infinitely longer than anything else. But the real problem lies with the fact that I'm truly not sure which direction I want to go with this blog in the new year. I've been blogging for about five years now and though I'm quite confident that my writing, photography and content have most definitely improved from my earlier days, I can't help but feel the pressure to constantly up my game in a community that has become inarguably saturated. I've noticed that a lot of "fashion bloggers" now write lengthy, essay-like think pieces to accompany their outfit shots (which usually have nothing to do with one another). Before you shoot me down, I have nothing against this, I occasionally enjoy reading them in fact... when the time allows, which leads into a whole nother topic about whether people really still read blogs in this day and age. The truth is I follow fashion blogs for inspiration and I personally don't have the time and energy to read through five paragraphs of wisdom and advice every other day. Kudos to you if you're churning them out because there really are some incredible writers amongst there bloggers at the moment. Unfortunately I find myself skimming through the text most of the time. Which leads me to ponder, what have I enjoyed reading about lately? 


Two blogs that I don't think I've missed a single post from and have been following for years are WishWishWish and What Olivia Did. On top of their flawless photography, their content is constantly engaging and to the point, with the perfect amount of lifestyle and beauty breaking up their style posts. Their blogs are what I aspire Adventures of an Anglophile to be like one day. I don't want to complain about lack of time because I truly believe if I put my mind to it, I'm able to put out creative content without being a full time blogger. Also a newer addition to my reading list yet a fast favourite is Shot From The Street. I love how honest Lizzy is about everything and I feel like her personality plus her passion for fashion really shines through from her writing. Although her style is very different to mine, I thoroughly enjoy her posts and am also inspired to talk shamelessly about clothes and shoes and handbags, basically to be true to myself and write about what I really want. Which brings to light another one of my dilemmas...


Bella Freud x Fred Perry jumper / ASOS skirt / Brixton baker boy hat via ASOS / Gucci belt / Chloe boots / Louis Vuitton bag


wrote previously about how I always felt out of place in the fashion blogging community because of the huge part of me that is super invested in pop culture, films and fandoms. For a long time I wasn't quite sure how to mesh both fashion and fangirling into one cohesive blog image. I look at fandom bloggers like Dee who creates such interesting videos because she is so passionate about it all and to my good friends' Summer and Holly, who are possibly the only other girls I know who write about both fashion and film and do it impeccably well (if you know of any other bloggers or if you blog like this could you please point me in the direction). Anyhow, at this moment in time I'm finding it quite nice to continue posting my outfits here whilst vlogging my pop culture endeavors on my YouTube, I think it's working quite well and you guys seem to be enjoying both aspects. That's another thing that has been rather disheartening lately, I don't know if it's just with my blog but I've been experiencing a severe decline in blog comments which makes me wonder if readers aren't continuing to enjoy my content as much anymore or if we're just moving into an even busier age where people don't have the time (as views don't seem to be suffering the same dip)? The lack of feedback just makes me even more uncertain to be honest so if you guys have any input or constructive criticism whatsoever, please let me know. Am I just reading too much into it? Should I stop overthinking and continue doing my own thing? Or should I change the direction of Adventures of an Anglophile? Sorry if I rambled, I'm not even sure what the point of this post was, just some thoughts I've had about blogging recently I guess. Anyway, to top of what has really been a random couple of days (probably what caused this state of mind in the first place), this week: I've been retweeted by my favourite director, reunited with Felicity Jones, Mum came to London, I saw Gorillaz live for the first time in 8 years, my housemate caught Scarlett Fever, I'm going to the ballet, and then I'm off to Germany this weekend for Comic Con! I'll vlog of course, catch you on the flipside!

x

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Sunday, 3 December 2017

COSPLAY | ELISA (THE SHAPE OF WATER)


I'm back with another cosplay, one I feel like I've been teasing for a while because I've been working on this one for some time. I'm sure most of you will know how much I have fallen in love with Guillermo del Toro's latest film: The Shape of Water. Since I saw it at London Film Festival in October, my feelings for it seem to have developed from appreciation to downright obsession. Of course Sally Hawkins' brilliant portrayal of the mute janitor Elisa Esposito had a lot to do with that, if you're familiar with me at all then you'll know my penchant for quiet yet strong female characters. I thought it would be awesome if I could be the first to cosplay her but alas during Halloween I saw a girl on twitter beat me to the punch (unfortunately I can't remember her handle but the official The Shape of Water twitter retweeted her so you'll find her if you scroll down long enough). Her costume was awesome to say the least, a perfect recreation of Elisa's janitor outfit from top to toe, she most likely handmade it so all kudos to her. Because of this I changed my mind from planning on doing the cosplay on her janitor outfit to the red outfit she wears in the film poster. Having seen the film, I love the particular significance and meaning behind this outfit so I'm glad about my decision. Only thing is, there aren't any clear shots of this look in any of the trailers nor promotional photos and I cursed myself for not making more of a mental note when I was watching the movie. I remembered the matching red coat, headband and shoes for sure but couldn't recall any other details like what she was wearing underneath. In a stroke of luck it seems the actual costume of this look has wound up being displayed in a cinema in the US and I found a photo of it floating around on twitter. From there I could see the grey dress and jumper and realised that she also wore a butterfly pin on her lapel.


It was relatively easy sourcing items of clothing that looked quite similar on the highstreet. The coat is from Warehouse, the shirt (collar peaking underneath) from Uniqlo, the jumper from Mango, the skirt from Zara, and the pumps from ASOS. The red headband I found on Etsy along with this wig, which took the longest to arrive and is the reason why I couldn't put this cosplay together until now. Looking back, it's still too long compared to Elisa's bob in the film. I thought curling the ends in would shorten it and I didn't have time to trim it but I definitely want to before this cosplay's next outing. The final touch was the butterfly pin which I made using a butterfly patch from Primark which I sliced in half, painted and stuck wire antennas on to make it film accurate. And that's all it took for Elisa's look! However I somehow wanted to incorporate the Asset/creature/fishman because I think it's an integral part of turning this look from vintage lady to something recognisably Elisa (not that I was assuming everyone would know it as the film isn't even properly out yet). Unfortunately I failed to bribe any of my friends (here's when a boyfriend would come in handy) to don a full body fish suit so I thought the next best thing would be a little doll. I don't know if they're planning on releasing any TSOW merch but as I couldn't find anything online yet, I opted for this plushie from The Creature From The Black Lagoon from eBay that I proceeded to dye blue. If I were more confident in my painting abilities I would've attempted to put yellow details on his little body and eyes but I was  too scared to ruin it. Perhaps next time.


Despite how simple this was, it's one of my favourite cosplays I've ever done. Furthermore, when I posted it on social media and thought nobody would recognise it, The Shape of Water official twitter account, Fox Searchlight, Doug Jones (who plays the Amphibian Man in the film) all liked it and then director Guillermo del Toro proceeded to retweet it! I'm still so overwhelmed to think that they've all seen my cosplay. Anyway, I've heard the film is being released in the US this week so I urge all my American friends to see this beautiful fairytale, it's already cemented itself as one of my favourite films of all time already. Apparently UK friends will have to wait till February but it will be totally worth it, trust me!


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Thursday, 30 November 2017

5 REASONS TO BUY A REAL CHRISTMAS TREE THIS YEAR


It's only been in the past 3 years I've lived in London that I've decided to invest in a real Christmas tree for the festive season. It's just not so much of a thing growing up in Australia because our Christmas falls in the summer and most families resort to putting up plastic trees for ease and comfort. It's a lot harder to keep a plant alive in 40 degree heat, and you would generally have to get the tree very close to Christmas time and then it would only last about a week. I have quite fond memories of going to my school friend Sophia's house though as her family was the only one I knew that had a real Christmas tree every year. I remember smelling the fresh aroma as soon as I stepped through her front entrance and I was always fixated by it's towering presence in their living room. Then I moved to London and I had no real reason not to try picking a Nordmann Fir for my own place, and since then I've never looked back.

Here are 5 reasons to buy a natural Christmas tree as opposed to a fake one:

1. Scent 
Real trees emit a gorgeous pine aroma that will immediately put everyone in a festive mood as well as act as a natural air freshener.

2. No storage
Living places in London aren't very spacious so if you're anything like me and constantly struggling with your junk to room ratio then you'll welcome the fact that you won't need somewhere to store it once you put it away for the year.

3. Special occasion 
The fun isn't all in the final product, I find the process very enjoyable. Choosing the right tree for your family/house is a fab day out in itself.

4. Carbon-neutral
If the tree is locally grown and then mulched or composted after it is disposed then no carbon dioxide will be produced. Even if it does end up going to landfill it's still going to be a better scenario for the environment than plastic trees.

5. Looks real
Well because it is real. If you're a fan of a traditional looking tree than no amount of man-made craft and mastery will be able to replicate nature.


This year I have picked my Christmas tree from Fantastic Services*. They offer a choice of Nordmann Firs from 4-8 feet and each tree includes delivery, installation, and a stand that also doubles as a water dish. Further they have more customisable options such as decorating the tree and also collection and recycling afterwards. This was my first time ordering from them but the delivery man came punctually on the exact time we decided on and offered to install the tree though I declined as I wanted to keep it wrapped up until I found a suitable location for it (the house is a bit of a mess at the moment to be honest). When it came to it I just unwrapped the standard netting around the tree and the stand is already fixed to the bottom of the trunk so it will stay upright without problem. I poured a bit of water into the stand as well to keep it fresh for Christmas. This is probably the earliest I've ever gotten my tree up but I'm glad it's all sorted as when my parents come over for the holidays there won't be any further hassle and I can focus on hosting them. Now all that's left to do is decorate it! I'll be sure to post photos when I'm all done with that.

You can get £10 off your first booking with the code andiniria10 at Fantastic Services!

x

*Complimentary tree and delivery courtesy of Fantastic Services but as always all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Sunday, 26 November 2017

YOUTUBE | M&S BEAUTY ADVENT CALENDAR UNBOXING (AD)


Opening the Marks & Spencer Beauty Advent Calendar 2017* to see what goodies lie inside!



Buy it here | Gingerbread house blog post

*This product was gifted to me free of charge and I have received monetary compensation to do this unboxing however all opinions are strictly my own.
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Wednesday, 22 November 2017

M&S AND BISCUITEERS BEAUTY EVENT


Last Friday Marks and Spencer invited me to a fun, festive event to celebrate the launch of their Beauty Advent Calendar. On the agenda was making our own gingerbread houses at Biscuiteers icing cafe in Notting Hill. I arrived at the shop a little earlier before the event was scheduled to start at 6pm, so had a few moments to explore the oh-so-pretty venue. Biscuiteers not only specialise in biscuits but also chocolates and cakes too, all of which are available in a creative range of designs and individually handmade and iced. It was so cool to see all the different biscuits they had to offer up close (they even do personalised dog biscuits!) and I can't help but think that they would make the most perfect and special Christmas gifts. Once all the bloggers had assembled, it was time to go downstairs where the Biscuiteers team had laid out an attractive spread of snacks (mince pies, Percy Pigs, crisps etc.) and prosecco along with the foundations of our gingerbread houses and plenty of coloured icing. The idea was to construct a house much like the Advent Calendar shape and they showed us one they had made earlier as an example, which was astonishingly detailed to say the least, with snowflakes sprinkling the walls and reindeer along the roof. We were given an hour and a half to complete our gingerbread houses from start to finish, and despite this sounding like an ample amount of time, I soon realised that icing decorations was not as easy as it looked, and soon was left feeling quite like I was on The Great British Bake Off. I approached the sides of my house first, drawing in windows, grass and speckles of snow. Controlling the flow of the icing from the tube was something that I couldn't quite master, even by the end, and I did end up with varying line thicknesses throughout. Regardless of doing a messier job than I would've liked, I was quite pleased with the design I came up with in the short space of time. I threw in a snowman, some stars, my name and finally a tiled rooftop and the final result looked pretty cute if I say so myself. I was wrong to think that the hard part was over though as once all the iced decorations had dried, it was time to put the house together. Working in sections with white icing to cement the pieces together, it was very helpful to have a friend to hold on to certain sides whilst you ice and align everything so everything dries correctly and securely. I was super stoked to finally meet one of my favourite bloggers Holly from The Kitty Luxe, not only had we been online friends for ages, it turns out she's pretty nifty at the art of building gingerbread houses. She's an engineer too so we were definitely hoping her gingerbread house wasn't going to collapse (spoiler alert: it didn't). I struggled a bit more with mine as the roof kept sliding off even though I'd already reinforced it with more icing than was probably necessary, I'm guessing either I was not patient enough to have waited for the "cement" to fully dry or I didn't line up the edges of the roof 100% correctly but boy oh boy, those pesky panels just would not stay put. In the end I held onto it for longer as the other bloggers started packing up and washing their hands and only very carefully let it go when the Biscuiteers team took it to wrap up. It was amazing looking around at everyone's finished products, all the bloggers were super creative with their designs and I couldn't believe that we'd actually made our own gingerbread houses! The general consensus was that we'd hardly touched the refreshments either as we were so deep in concentration. I feel like I totally got an arm work out with all that piping and icing! 


Along with our gingerbread houses, we were also gifted the M&S Beauty Advent Calendar which instead of chocolate, contains 25 beauty products: a mixture of skincare, cosmetics, and hair care amounting to £250 value but retailing for only £35 when you spend £35 on M&S clothing or homeware both instore or online. It's the perfect countdown to Christmas for any beauty junkie and I can't wait to open the doors, see what surprises lie for me and try out some brand new beauty bits. I think it might be cool to do a YouTube video unboxing the advent calendar too so be on the look out for that! A huge thank you to the M&S and Biscuiteers team for such a fun night, I'm now staring at my gingerbread house wondering whether to continue admiring it or start devouring it...

*This post was sponsored by Marks & Spencer but all opinions are my own.
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Sunday, 19 November 2017

THE CURVY GIRL'S GUIDE TO OVERSIZED KNITWEAR


I've really been into chunky jumpers lately which is something quite new for me as previously thin, fitted knits tucked into high waisted skirts made up a significant portion of my winter outfits. I've finally embraced that it's okay for a plus sized girl to wear oversized clothing. I don't care if people think I look like a sack of potatoes, in my opinion anything I choose to wear is cute and the most important aspect of it all is that I am comfy and warm! This jumper is one of my absolute favourites from the alarming pile that I seem to have accumulated already this season and the interesting story behind it is that it was actually insanely difficult for me to get my hands on. I think I first saw it on the Zara website but it was all sold out (or hadn't come in stock yet, it's rather unclear and confusing on the site when it's greyed out and there's no email notification button). Anyway I decided I wanted it enough to venture out to my local Zara to track one down but after circling the entire store three times over, and then finally resorting to asking one of the staff about it (who said she'd never seen it in her life), I started on a wild treasure hunt for this cream chunky jumper with contrasting leather ties. I'm pretty sure I visited every single Zara store in London to no avail and even saw one on a mannequin in the shop window, only to go in and be told that they weren't allowed to sell that one and had no other stock in storage. Frankly I was baffled by this case of the "unattainable cream jumper with leather ties". If I hadn't just seen one with my own eyes I would've probably questioned it's existence by then. Anyway I didn't give up hope and loaded a tab of the jumper online, refreshing the page every morning as became my routine for a good few weeks. Until one morning, unexpectedly, there it was. Finally in stock on the Zara site. Are you happy that the story of the "finally attainable cream jumper with leather ties" has a happy ending? I definitely am. I loved it even more once I tried it on in real life, in my opinion it's the perfect amount of oversized without looking frumpy and I don't know if you can notice in these photos but the hemline is curved so it's longer at the back, effectively covering your tush and creating a more flattering silhouette. 


Zara jumper / Black Milk trousers / Zara slippers / Gucci bag / MANGO earrings


The trick to nailing the oversized jumper trend it to balance your overall silhouette with more fitted bottoms. Skinny jeans are the fail safe and look fab when contrasted with a longline chunky knit (this look will also give you the illusion of slimmer pins).  If you're wearing higher waisted bottoms you can tuck the front of your jumper in to break up the outfit (just a tiny bit as you will most definitely have more jumper material than space in the waistband of your jeans) and with this look it's only important for the waist to be tight so you can also opt for bottoms such as straight leg jeans or pleated midi skirts. Cropped jumpers that are wider across will give you the exact same look without the fuss of having to tuck anything in. If you're a bustier girl, v-neck jumpers (lots of cute varsity inspired ones on the high street at the mo) would be super flattering but avoid any rufflage on the chest a la Gucci. As I talked about in a previous outfit post, balloon sleeves are all the rage right now and they are a super flattering compromise on going full on baggy, the contrast of the larger arms will give you the illusion of a smaller waist and body in general. Similar effect with jumpers with skinnier fitting sleeve cuffs and/or a high neck. I find wearing your hair up with the latter elongates your neck, don't worry about a moon face or double chin, the high neck actually helps define your jawline. 

Here are my picks of the most flattering oversized knitwear for curvy girls on the high street




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Thursday, 16 November 2017

Friday, 10 November 2017

YOUTUBE | PADDINGTON 2 PREMIERE (VLOG)


Spontaneous decision to do the Paddington 2 premiere results in a spontaneous vlog!


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Wednesday, 8 November 2017

OUTFIT | LAST DAYS OF AUTUMN


Feeling a little folorn that autumn has come to an end for another year, and the red foliage has fallen to leave the trees bare. Autumn is my favourite season, probably this has something to do with the fact that it consists of my birth month over here, seeing as it was spring when I lived in Australia. It's also my favourite season to dress for, when it's still solely knitwear or leather jacket weather and you have the freedom to layer without hiding all your sartorial styling efforts under one huge coat or puffer jacket. So as a final send off before winter I'm going to wear one last fine knit whilst experimenting with some silhouettes I don't usually go for. Balloon sleeves have been a huge trend this season and I for one love them, especially when they're contrasted with a more fitted body, I find it balances out my proportions nicely. This style of jumper or top has been all over the high street recently, I've got my eye on one by Topshop that's in a brighter colour. Speaking of colour, a friend pointed out that this is probably the most neutral, monochromatic look I've worn in a while and I had to agree, adding that it felt pretty out of my comfort zone to dress unlike a walking rainbow for once, haha. Another new thing that I tried out was this skirt, its column shape is a lot more bodycon to the skater skirts I normally go for but I ended up absolutely loving it! There's something super chic about a pencil silhouette and the wrap style with the buttons adds a nice modern touch.


Mango knit / Zara skirt / ACNE boots


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