Sunday, 13 July 2014

Work // Back to Black

You may mistake me for being a witch but it really isn't the case.
For the past 2 years of my working life I haven't been confined to a strict dress code and therefore have been able to express myself in which ever way I see fit from day to day. To many this is heaven, especially for those I work alongside who are bound to the wonderful tones and variations of the colour black. However, I have recently been presented with an opportunity to start a new chapter in life, open a new door and walk down a new path.
I've seen myself grow in more ways than I thought possible within the past two years, learning new skills and positive characteristics about myself I never thought I would possess. I feel ready to accept new challenges, confident I am in a position to do so successfully.

This new door, however, entails I join my ebony-sporting colleagues in attire fit for a Richard Curtis prequel, Four funerals and a wedding. I've had laughter and confusion from some on how my life could possibly persevere with such restrictions. It must seem outrageous that somebody whose life is led by the clothes on their back, could survive in such a bleak oppressed world. Yet, somehow, I am beyond excited. People seem to forget, clothing and fashion goes beyond colour. Yes, colour is extremely important but what about shape and style? People believe dressing in all black is a restriction but I disagree, it has nothing to do with colour but more to do with the individuals restricted outlook.

Personally, for me, none of the below connote a sense of boredom in terms of the person's style. Expressed across all photograph's, is something classic, flattering, timeless and smart.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

From Day to Night: Making Skincare a Routine.

I didn't even begin to wear mascara until I was 16. 
I have recollections of standing around in the bathroom's at school, waiting for my friends to finishing touching up their make-up during our lunch break. I personally was never too phased and haven't ever really been so, since.
That is, until now. I'd like to thank/blame YouTube for that. YouTube has opened my eyes up to a whole world of Pixiwoo, Viviannadoesmakeup, Zoella and Lily Pebbles, among others. In turn, they leave me feeling as if it is essential I own the entire content's of their haul. They are either incredibly persuasive or I am just too much of a sucker for it all. 

One thing positive to come from my little beauty sugar-filled dreams though, is how important it is to care for you skin. It obviously keeps you looking younger and healthy as the days roll in but it also is where a flawless base for your cosmetics begins. I suffer horribly with dry skin down the centre of my face and there is nothing more frustrating than watching your skin morph into that of a lizard's, after applying all your pretty products.
It wasn't long before those darn vloggers had be seriously considering a skincare routine. Thankfully, I wasn't so easily manipulated in shelling out half of my wages on fancier moisturisers...yet. I know I am a fad girl, I go through phases with regards to what takes up my time and decided as much as I'd like to work on a routine, I could be too lazy one day to cooperate with my moisturiser and slowly I'd watch it all come crashing down from there. Economically, I realised I should start out with the cheaper products along the spectrum, until I have faith in myself that I will be consistent and productive in keeping up a routine. Perhaps, then I would consider investing in higher end bits which potentially give my skin a better experience with life. 
So, as you can see from the photo, the products I picked up are all from drugstores (bar the Laura Mercier Body Souffle). Especially with the emphasis on dewy, hydrated looking skin currently on trend, I picked myself up a Brightening Radiance Balm from Superdrug's Naturally Radiant range. It isn't as hydrated as I expected it to be and I find I get a lot more glow and moisture from my basic Cold cream. After a couple of days of using my new skin care products, I realised I was tragically allergic to one of the products when my face became consumed by a horrible rash. After a few days of testing, I whittled it down to the Boots' Botanics Cleansing Toner. The packaging is deceiving in making the product appear very natural and organic but really is packed full of acid's.
For £3.99, the YesTo Cucumber Facial Wipes really work a treat. I highly recommend these, with Lily Pebbles & Anna from Viviannadoesmakeup mentioning them in one of their video's I gave them a go. They don't feel harsh against my skin and can remove make-up in a few easy strokes.

Finally, once the day is through and night draws in, I have taken to applying B. Enriched Restorative Facial Oil before I catch some Z's. Now, this is a huge step for me because I have had a lifetime distain and fear of oil on my skin but if I need to overcome my phobia's in pursuit of healthier skin, than so be it. In reality, I found it sank in to my skin quickly whilst still feeling like it was enriched enough with the product to have an effect. It also felt really quite luxurious in the process. The results in the morning were pure heavenly, not only was my skin left feeling hydrated, smooth and silky but I had a lovely even skin tone to work as a base for my make-up. This in turn left me needing to put a light coverage of foundation on, giving me my desired natural finish. 

Monday, 21 April 2014

Club Tropicana.

It amuses me when I pull all my wishes and my cravings together, how often they create a seamless link between one another. I didn't plan to produce this colour pattern or this tropical theme of exoticness (if that is infact a word) and yet I have ended up with an array of turquoise and watermelon pinks, alongside beaded pineapples and flamingos.  
Taking a step away from my school uniformed/grandpa-esque attire, I'm reaching out to distant shores of a warmer climate. The recent trend with pastel tones seems to have evolved into fruitier, more fluorescent shades as Summer swiftly approaches. Comfort and ease is the way I plan to work with this colour palette, the vibrancy speaks for itself, especially so when patterns are involved too. I have no plans to step foot on any distant shores this year unfortunately but that doesn't mean I can't embrace the suitable wardrobe for a Caribbean trip within the walls of my own home. If I want to drink a Pina Colada, wear sunglasses and bathe in the tub in my swimming costume, I will do so. 

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Master Kirrin.

If you weren't already aware, Master Kirrin, is infact a girl by the name of Georgina. Strong and courageous, she is an avid explorer and adventurer. She is brave and shows no fear for whatever is round the corner, always seeking out answers for mysteries that have unfolded. Everything and more that I could ever have dreamt of as a little girl, she is one of my idol's. Be it, a fictional idol. Most people may know her better as George or as one of Enid Blyton's Famous Five.
I wholeheartedly believe you are never too old or too young to read a Famous Five book and I still enjoy them today as much as I did when I was a wee lass. I'd firmly list Five Go To Smuggler's Top among my top 5 favourite books to take with me to a desert island. Doesn't everybody have lists like this or is it just me? Alongside, The Sun Also Rises (Ernest Hemingway), To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee) & Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows (JK Rowling), it would comfortably sit. The 5th choice is open for any future newcomers, unless that is, I get washed up ashore before I decide.

Having been bed ridden with flu for the past week, I was pained to discover my laptop had failed me, along with my body and thus, I turned to reading. Probably my favourite thing to do but ashamedly, in this modern age, technology often takes ahold of me and places me under a spell. Due to this mystical occult that I have no control over, I quite often suffer from a state of reader's block. However, I had been longing to get back between some pages for quite some time and was presented with the perfect opportunity. I can now say, I am quite highly addicted to my book already (The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton) and have immersed myself back into a world of all things literature. This led me to thinking about stories and on Thursday (World Book Day) I entered into a Penguin competition over on Twitter (that unexplained sorcery again) where I had to choose a book I wish was real. Obviously, I stated any of the Famous Five novels, quite predictably, which made me think about life if they did exist. Ignoring the fact that they would actually now be pent up in some elderly home somewhere, I like to assume they would still be small children. What would George dress like today, I pondered.

...and pondering led on to researching and then moodboard building and VOILA! I was Dr Frankenstein in the making and my monster was coming to life. George, however, is far from a monster and just infact really really tomboyish. Therefore, I basically selected the entirety of APC, Margaret Howell & Steven Alan for her wardrobe. I can't imagine she would ever care too much for clothes in a materialistic sense but rather in the way of utility. Easy comfort for climbing trees and rocks, trusty shoes that would never fail you and bags with enough space and pockets to hide a torch, a rope and other necessities (including treats for Timmy) as well as any clues collected on the way.

This being said, when I get washed up on that lonely remote island, perhaps I will need a wardrobe of such sorts? My new mantra for life is 'WWGD?' but then again, what would the Swallows & Amazon's do? Robinson Crusoe or the Swiss Family Robinson? There are too many questions that evolve in my mind that perhaps, it could be said, I have already been swept away by a literary surf?

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Sailors, Shores & Stripes.

A couple of years back, I had an urge to learn to sail. A boat was my new fetish, envisioning scenes where my salt sprayed locks whirled in the winds and beating waves laved against her wooden, tired body. Barefoot on the decks, filled with a sense of liberation that came with being able to explore beyond land, with a buoyant wardrobe laden with stripes. Breton stripes, if I am going to be pernickety.

I've always been a firm believer that you can never go wrong with stripes. People think stripes make you look larger in size but if you've ever watched QI you would know that Sir Stephen says this is false, unless they are vertical. Not horizontal, as people always seem to presume.
Originally introduced during the mid 19th Century as a part of the French Navy's uniform in Brittany, there were a strict 21 stripes to each top. Each stripe representing a victory for Napoleon.
Manufactured in Bretagne (explaining it's infamous moniker), it eventually became popular amongst general workers due to it's comfort, ease and practicality, especially those working at sea. Whether they were seafarers & sailors, undoubtedly bad weather and most possibly drunkenness, led to many an overboard mariner. Thankfully their striate ensemble made it easier for those who successfully stayed aboard, to spot lost crew amongst the waves.

It's no secret that Coco Chanel is an idol to women across the globe. Many dream of getting their mitts on a 2.55 whilst I just admire her fearless perseverance to introduce men's clothes into the wardrobe's of their female counterpart's. Shamelessly cantering atop horses in traditionally masculine riding attire, shunning the sidesaddle, Gabrielle blurred the lines of gender specific clothing. Considering she challenged this around 100 years ago, I still find it a bit strange when people find it curiously interesting that I often dress up as a man.
After a trip to the coast, Chanel became enamoured with the Breton stripes worn by the seaman, incorporating it into her 1917 collection. To this day, I still think this simple pattern, as well as being symbolically nautical, is also synonymous with Coco Chanel and the classic Parisian look. Lost in a Riviera reverie, the striped top is a look of ease. The women at the time must have let out a huge sigh of relief, away from their structured corsetry norm.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Mirror image.

A cluster of recent ensembles that have veiled my form since my return to the blogosphere. 
Childlike charm in pinafores that provide ample pocket space, male-orientated magic incorporating my ever growing array of ties & dickie bows and new coats alongside my lust for the Nineties. Matching combo suit's that look like they've been designed by William Morris in the midst of an acid trip and a constant tête-à-tête battle between Mary-Janes and loafers.

Man shoes.

I'm obsessed with clompy shoes. Proportionally they look perfect with dainty dresses or mini skirts, paired with socks. Adding a tomboyish charm to an otherwise feminine ensemble. 
It's one of the things I've always admired about Marni and the way Conseulo Castiglioni is an advocate of this look. It creates an effortless approach to something which may look a little too dressed or gentle. Almost as if you have just risen from within the layers of your bed and slung on the dress from the evening before and without a second thought, popped on your boyfriend's shoes. It's being the Cinderella, who wasn't too fussed about getting her glass slipper back. 

If I really consider the array of evening/party dresses I have hung up in my wardrobe, I know I could never really get away with wearing them out during the day. Be it to work or just for a browse round the shops. I would feel too elaborate, overdressed. 
However, if I re-imagine the contents of my closet, knowing I was planning to pair it with the footwear the lady above is embracing, I'm pretty sure I would have no qualms about stepping foot outside my door at 9am in the morning. 

Dr Martens would be the easiest way to fulfil these dreams but I know they are on the extreme end of clompy and therefore, be a bit daunting. They do make a lot of their designs in T-bar and Mary Jane styles now though, meaning a little bit more foot is on show, so you can rest assured that people won't mistake you for a victim of the Mafia with cement blocks for shoes. Loafers are also an excellent substitute and are pretty much my dream shoe. I would pick a loafer with a higher front, not the kind you get evil beings have created for women. These loafers have a lower front with the tongue ending just past your toes and therefore, are hard to pair successfully with socks.

Thankfully, male fashion often plays on the classics. They work with what they know and trust when it comes to design. Men tend to not like perusing the shops for hours on end, they want to be in to get what they need and then straight out. This means that their items are quite often timeless pieces, not all men want to hang around long enough to experiment with new looks (I'm not speaking of all men, as I know, in recent years, men's interest in fashion has risen). Due to this, they are then just reworked, or adapted from season to season, whilst keeping their original structure. 
All of this is important as well as wonderful for those of us who enjoy incorporating typically masculine elements into our lives as they are good investments. They pass the test of time and they are more comfortable and hardwearing meaning they can be worn over and over again.