Firstly, I apologise for the lack of blog posts in the last month. My 21st birthday, uni deadlines and the days rounding up to Christmas have taken my time. (Not to mention preparing to fly to New Zealand, which is where I am now).
Being back home on the other side of the world has rekindled my love for many things: kiwi television programmes, shops, bars, friends, food, family - but one muse sticks out in particular; Catherine Campbell. She isn't actually a kiwi, but I found out about her when I first moved to New Zealand and opened my first copy of Frankie Magazine (where her work is often found and loved). Campbell is an illustrator from Melbourne, Australia. I adore her drawings for her attention to detail and wild imagination. Her pieces of art are mostly of women and creatures; if you're anything like me you'll find yourself staring at them for hours, wanting to know more about the girl inside the painting. In the past, her work has inspired me to draw and I once painted a giant canvas of a woman, which still sits in my parents house today.
Explore Catherine Campbell's work for yourself, hopefully you too will feel inspired to get out your sketch pad and start drawing.
Ever stumbled across The Other Side[TOS] on your commute to work? If no, then change your ways, as this London based magazine is one to look out for.
The forward thinking publication not only prints their magazines, but puts their work online in what you would call a 'blogzine', allowing their readers to contribute and share with each other their opinions, news and other exciting things. Pretty smart if you ask me.
To start your TOS obsession with a bang, help celebrate their next issue arrival at their Christmas party. Pop along to The Macbeth in Shoreditch on 15th December - eat mince pies, wear the jumper your Grandma knitted you for Christmas last year and mingle with the fabulous.
There will also be live performances from up and coming music artists Chad Valley, Trophy Wife and Othello Woolf.
For more information visit their facebook page, where you can also buy your ticket for a mere £4.
From looking through my wardrobe, I have a unhealthy amount of black and navy blue clothing. I love wearing black just as much as the next person, it's slimming, classic and a great fall back if you can't find anything to wear - but it's so boring! Some people relate clothes to your personality, which is why I want to start changing the way I dress.
This season, earthy colours have really become popular: olive, grey, chocolate and my ultimate favourite, camel. (Which has been a big influence in the fashion scene this season.) From designers like Chloe, to the highstreet stores such as Topshop, Urban Outfitters and H&M; you can find it anywhere.
If worst comes to worst and I still find black sneaking back into my wardrobe - at least it goes nicely with camel - just look at Stella McCartney's recent collection. Yummy.
I thought I would share with you some more iconic kiwi designs. The fashion scene is massive in New Zealand, just look at these gorgeous photos. The clothes are by twenty seven names founders Anjali Stewart and Rachel Easting. Their new collection is amazing, so simple, well cut and effortlessly cool (which I why I love them.)
And then there's the jewellery - d_luxe - a brand well-known and loved on the other side of the world. Their new collection (featured above) is called Costumes & Crystal. I adore the chunky pieces and how easily you can layer them up. Probably one of my favourite jewellery collections that I have seen in a while - I want it all.
This means only one thing - Pulp are back. I am excited beyond words; they are one of my favourite bands and I've never ever seen them play live (seeing as their last gig was in 1996, I was six and a half). They will always remind me of driving around France and America with my family, all of us singing our hearts out and having fun. I'm counting down the days until next summer already - see you soon Jarvis.
So that's it; the end of an era. The final mainline collection of Kate Moss, Topshop, launched today and my, oh my, did she go out with a bang.
Last night, two hundred lucky and over-excited Topshop fans flocked into the flagship store on Oxford Street, to watch as Kate Moss revealed her 130 piece collection.
Some of the pieces included an over-sized hooded cardigan, a (dare I say it) bizarre fur trim cape dress and a 1/50 antique sequin maxi dress; being sold for the astonishing price of £400.00.
Don't get me wrong, I do like the Kate Moss collections - all 14 of them - but I feel as though they are very similar to Topshop's actual designs, but with a heftier price tag.
However, one thing I do like about her finale collection, are the limited addition jewellery pieces. They scream vintage and look delicate and expensive. If you fancy buying me a birthday present, a cheeky ring or necklace would go down a treat...
SPARKLE FLOWER RING - £30
16" STAR CIRCLE NECKLACE - £35
16 " SILVER STARS CHAIN - £15
And finally... To celebrate the launch of her AW10 collection Kate and a few of her friends made a promotional video, in the Personal Shopping Suite of Topshop. Featured are London it-girls -Adwoa Aboa, Cara Delevingne, Genvieve Garner, Rosalyn Holman and Jessica Horton. Enjoy.
The epitome of New Zealand fashion, Stolen Girlfriends Club, are now selling their beautiful designs on ASOS. How I have only just found this out, I don't know, but they have had an appearance on the well-known and loved website for a while now.
I first found out about Stolen Girlfriends Club (SGC) when I was living in New Zealand and I stumbled upon this piece of heavy metal:
photography from stolengirlfriendsclub.com
I would visit the little boutique shop in my town (almost) on a daily basis until I, finally, bought the dream that is, the SGC necklace. I want their whole jewellery collection; it's so chunky and masculine. Unfortunately, I don't have that kind of budget, otherwise I would buy their clothes too. SGC design some amazing threads, their attention to detail and their use of fabrics are amazing. Here are a couple of my favourite outfits, don't forget to check out stolengirlfriendsclub.com and asos.com to get your own Stolen Girlfriends Club fix.
Fancy or what? If you can find a better way to eat McDonalds, then please share it with the rest of us because I don't know about you, but i'd rather a Burberry burger than a McChicken burger, any day. This is the definition of upper class fast-food.
Created strictly for high-end events around the world - such as Fashion Week - this sophisticated store offers first class service, for second class food, the highly desirable packaging brings an elegance to McDonalds to which I never thought was possible.
I'm already looking forward to London Fashion week next year, where I can find the restaurant that is, McFancy, and experience the silver service for myself.
Last week, I treated my friends to a dose of my special apple crumble and custard - it was dreamy (even if I do say so myself) and warmed us up a treat. I'm making it again next week for some Uni friends, something to inspire us to work, I hope. If you're not going to be one of the lucky people popping round, here is the recipe for you to try out yourself:
- 300g/10½oz plain flour, sieved pinch of salt
- 175g/6oz unrefined brown sugar
- 200g/7oz unsalted butter, cubed at room temperature
- 450g/1lb apples, peeled, cored and cut (is any shape you wish)
- 50g/2oz unrefined brown sugar
- 1 pinch of ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tspn crushed cloves
Simmer the apples in a saucepan with a splash of water, the sugar and spices, until the apples are soft and crumbly. Put them in a bottom of an oven-proof dish. For the crumble, mix the butter with the flour, then add the sugar and sprinkle on top of the apples.
Place in the oven for 30-40mins at 180ºc and enjoy!
An indulgent night in, for me, is sitting on my bed, nibbling at some chocolate at delving into the world that is 'lookbook'. If you've never heard of it, it's a place for like-minded fashionistas to show off their favourite ensembles.
People who are members (you need to be invited, or ask to join, which I think is a little shallow...) upload their photo and add where they bought their outfit pieces from. You can then 'hype' the looks you like, which puts them on the leader board.
Men and women all over the world upload pictures onto lookbook; it's a great place to find inspiration for any upcoming event like a date, a day trip in the city or even for popping over to your corner shop. Here are some of my favourite looks:
Check out the website for yourself: www.lookbook.nu
In less than two weeks Lanvin are to become the next designer collaboration with H&M. On November 2nd, the Lanvin collection will debut and be ‘full of wonderful surprises’, says Margareta van den Bosch, the creative advisor at H&M.
The collection will go on sale just over a month before Christmas, on November 23rd, across 200 H&M stores around the world. The fashion line will include men’s and womenswear; featuringLanvin's signature trademarks balanced with H&M’s affordable price tag.
Lanvin is a French label, based in Paris and established in 1889 by Jeanne Lanvin. It is a luxurious brand, which combines traditional French style with a modern twist. Alber Elbaz has been the artistic director for the label since 2001 and has transformed the line with the use of his talent, raw energy and creativity.
Many designers have collaborated with H&M in the past, such as Stella McCartney, Karl Lagerfeld and Sonia Rykiel, all of which have been extremely successful.
If you can’t make it down to your local H&M store (and check out the ‘H&M for Lanvin’ collection in the flesh) get online at www.hm.com to watch the special film about the collection, from 2nd November.
This is the video to Hurts - Wonderful Life, it screams sophistication and style (and is very Tom Ford).
I recently went to see them at Shepherds Bush Empire for a friend's 21st, and they were amazing live - I really hope they play at Glastonbury next year so I can get some more Hurts action.
Last year, a kiwi friend of mine introduced me to 'The Cool Hunter' website - I am now an addict. Unfortunately, they don't update it as much as I would have liked, but you can still spend hours trawling through the cool fashion, art, music, architecture, design, travel, lifestyle, gadgets, ads, kids, stores, events, bars, food, house and transportation - they pretty much cover every base you can think of.
'The Cool Hunter' is a website based in the UK, which searches the globe for essentially, anything 'cool' and different. It's great if you're going traveling, you will be able to find some amazing places to visit. Here are a few of my favourites:
Finger In The Nose
A clothing range for children, situated in France. The mini models are oh, so cute.
Victor Churchill Butcher
Opened since 1876, this Sydney butchers is definitely one of a kind. Do you think they'll open one in Epsom?
Crosby Street Hotel
A gorgeous hotel room in New York, need I say anymore?
I'm sure i'll blog about things I find this site many more times in the future, but if you would like to check it out for yourself, the website is: www.thecoolhunter.co.uk - enjoy.
Sitting at home on my laptop, I type in 'luella.com', not an unfrequent website choice, to find a very upsetting message:
'The Luella website has now ceased trading.'
Yes, that's right, the brand Luella Bartley is the lastest fashion victim of recession - sob sob sob.
She once described her line as 'the kind of clothes you can get drunk and fall over in' unfortunately, her clothes aren't getting back up again.
Bartley launched 'Luella' in 1999, it was a very successful line and won Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards in 2008. Many celebrities wore her designs, such as Alexa Chung and Lily Allen.
Before becoming a designer, Bartley worked as a journalist for Vogue and the Evening Standard, who knows, we might be seeing her around sooner than we thought...