Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Black Pearl

It often seems to me like I'm usually the last guy to jump on a fashion bandwagon, although sometimes I think I take so long to pick up on a 'trend' that I end up being the only person doing it and somehow it becomes cool again... Well, I'm hoping this is the case for dark/goth nails!  Only last week I discovered Chanel produced this gorgeous colour for their Spring/Summer beauty collection called Black Pearl (seriously hoping this has no connection to a crappy movie of the same name) - it's not so much black as it is greeny/steely grey with a shimmering metallic finish.  It is the perfect colour to go with my shredded Cheap Monday sweater as well as, of course, my sea of black outfits.  I just knew from the moment I saw it I'd be one step closer to joining Willow's little gang of high-school wiccas if I could just get my hands on it (I'd only have to change my surname!).  Alas, the Chanel PR informed me that it was out of stock, being produced as it was only in a small batch for Spring, but - praise be to the great Owl in the sky - I found a solitary bottle sitting all alone in Birmingham airport over the weekend!  Some WAG-bitch wanted it too but Anastasia eventually wrenched it out of her cold, dead hands. 

I've never really painted my nails before except for a light coating of OPI nail strengthener, so after a quick Youtube tutorial I set to work cutting, filing, buffing and painting.  It's quite a thin varnish so I used two coats to get an opaque look and finished with a slick of a clear MAC topcoat to help it last longer.  It was certainly a good distraction from the horror that is Made In Chelsea.  Today's my first day wearing this look out, not quite sure how the Oxford locals are going to take it!  Fingers crossed it will go down better tomorrow at the RCA graduate show :-)

Chanel Black Pearl worn with Hannah Warner skull ring, ASOS bone and leather bracelet and Backlash leather bag as backdrop.


Monday, 30 May 2011

Witchy witchy

Taking inspiration from Fashematics, Meadham Kirchhoff is my current AW obsession because it combines my loves of camp cuteness, witchcraft and comedy Alpine costumes.  The witch-silhouette sweater was the first piece to make it onto my AW wishlist, I just need to find somewhere in the UK stocking it after the summer :-S  Maybe if I twitch my nose hard enough the Meadham Kirchhoff boys will send me it in time for Hallowe'en!  And then I can sit back and relax with a cooling glass of Almdudler...

Runway photography from Style.com

Friday, 27 May 2011

World Traveller

I didn't go on a GAP year after school (mainly because I'm not a *cough* twat) so I didn't have the opportunity to tour all those God-forsaken countries people tend to visit, teaching English to kids who'll only ever use it to talk to the next wave of European teenagers we send over there, getting drunk on 5p bags of 'beer' and collecting ethnic trinkets to forever rub in the faces of those who didn't lead such a laid-back lifestyle.  No, instead I went straight to university - and not just for the experience!  Of course I do actually travel a lot, but mainly to places like Santa Barbara or Düsseldorf to do physics research, or Munich to learn German.  This weekend I'll be travelling once again - to Glasgow, to visit my family :)  

I'm too paranoid to be bohemian, but that doesn't mean my dress sense has to be governed by the strict rules I plan my life by.  You know I love to experiment with clothes, and recently I've been trying out a range of bracelets, sometimes worn on their own, other times all piled on top of one another like some kind of wristwear snake orgy.  I'm not convinced this will delude people into believing I'm an easy-going world traveller (I have a pre-vetted list of places I'm willing to visit), but it is rather fun!  I'm particularly keen on my nude leather bracelet by Dana Levy, bought to replace the red kabbalah-style one I managed to misplace... The hamsa on it is meant to bring good luck and protect against the evil eye.  I discovered the brightly-coloured friendship bracelet last week in my order from The LN-CC - apparently they slip them into their packages as a free gift with purchase!  The bone and leather beads are cheap finds on ASOS which I use to bulk up the whole look.       

Bracelets by Dana Levy, LN-CC and ASOS worn with an Eva London leather cuff and a t-shirt by Jonathan Saunders.  

See you when I return (i.e. Monday),


Thursday, 26 May 2011

ACOFI hits Oxford

It's rare that anything happens in sleepy Oxford which drags me out of my riverside flat or the Modelling Laboratory (less fun than its name suggests) but last night Amelia Gregory of Amelia's Magazine fame dropped by as part of her Amelia's Compendium of Fashion Illustration book tour to talk about her life and her latest publication.  The event was hosted at the Comma Shop, in a part of Oxford I have admittedly never visited before, so I took this as an opportunity to give my new Club Monaco shirt an airing through the sunny streets of town and walked the ~40 minutes there.  The small but clearly engaged crowd got to enjoy some G&D's ice-cream (I didn't - not only am I dairy-free, I wasn't eating solid foods yesterday either...) and Juiceology drinks (of these I did partake) before Amelia began her talk.  She covered everything from her eclectic and somewhat haphazard-sounding life including the original print magazine, the shift to online, her two books, her interests in environmental issues and renewable energy, eco-fashion and how young designers/brands need to be able to market themselves through social media (apparently I need to get on Pinterest).  It was really quite inspiring and I picked up a few interesting tidbits - I had no idea Christopher Raeburn and Romina Karamanea are eco-fashion designers (note to self: must buy a plastic mac to rival Anna's)! 

It turns out the Comma Shop is actually a fun experiment from the people at To Dry For, a designer tea-towel company.  It stocks all kinds of cutesy design-led knick-knacks (as well, of course, as Amelia's books, postcards and illustrated birthday cards), plus several owl pieces that somehow slipped into my shopping bag...  An Anastasia stuffed with lavender seeds? Who could resist??

I also grabbed myself a back issue of Amelia's Magazine because I discovered, of all things, some amazing photos of dip-dyed hair which will definitely be going onto my mood board :-)  Talk about fate.

And, mustn't forget, thanks for all the awesome Dr Hauschka samples! I've been smearing my face with serum and Melissa face-cream already today...


Wednesday, 25 May 2011


You might have noticed my hair is getting longer and longer and longer... I have now surpassed the length which almost got me banned from my own school prize-giving when I was 18, and the growing process is starting to get tiresome even though I haven't quite reached my wavy, surfer dude goal.  However, now that summer's here, I'm starting to think it's time to move onto Stage II of my hair reinvention - getting a dip-dye!  Obviously I'm a massive fan of Bleach London's tumblr and spend a good few hours a week perving on the cool kids with multi-coloured tips coming out of said Dalston wundersalon - soon it will be time to book my appointment.  Actually, very soon, because Anna wants to get something done too and there's always safety in numbers.  Now the only choice I have left is the colour! I have an idea of going blond at the ends, giving it a grown-out summer sunshine kind of look (very beachy, very casssual), which would probably go down better in the office.  BUT deep-down I really want to do something crazy like bright red, green or blue.  Not quite sure what the other scientists will think of that one, but you're only young once, right? And I may not have this kind of sartorial flexibility when I finally decide on a career path. 



Monday, 23 May 2011

Disnery Roller Girl for Club Monaco for Browns

One of my favourite stores in London, Browns, has recently become the only UK stockist of Canadian brand Club Monaco (now run as part of Ralph Lauren).  It's a bit like a high-end version of Banana Republic or J Crew - that kind of classic, summery American look but with a relaxed, Mediterranean je ne sais quoi.  I've never actually been into one of their own shops in the US/Canada but I've seen several people with their grey marl sweatshirts and now iconic Club Monaco stamp.  To celebrate the launch, Browns has devoted one of their store fronts to the brand and invited different bloggers to come host styling sessions with the customers (complete with champagne).  They've already had Liberty London Girl, and next week it's Susie Bubble, but this weekend I went in to catch up with Navaz aka Disney Roller Girl, who styled me up and plied me with a tray of bubbly... (check out her own blog post here)   

The womenswear is on the ground floor and in the basement, but upstairs and next door there is a small rail of menswear goodies.  Being surprisingly affordable, I ended up leaving with some pieces of my own - a white shirt made in a heavy cotton somewhat like bleached denim, and some grey chinos.  I've been hunting for good quality trousers now that my waistline is pleasingly slimmer (binge, purge, repeat...), and the shirt is the perfect blank canvas to show off my Jil Sander floral scarf!

Is it weird that I've started wearing my rings on my wedding finger?

White shirt and grey chinos by Club Monaco for Browns
Black trousers by Marni
Blue sweatshirt by Hope
Floral scarf by Jil Sander
Screw ring by Giles and Brother
Crucifix necklace by Maria Francesa Pepe


Friday, 20 May 2011

Smells good

I'm such a sucker for what people tell me in magazines.  I was reading 10Men (buy it!) this weekend on the plane going to Düsseldorf and somebody writing there told me to buy Prada's Amber perfume.  Now I'm not so easily swayed as that usually, but I do find it incredibly difficult to drag myself away from duty-free shops, so whilst waiting for my return flight I duly dragged myself round the perfume aisle sampling a little bit of this and a little bit of that, and somehow a bottle of Amber ended up in my basket.  And I am most pleased with my purchase :) It's quite a traditional scent compared to others I normally go for, packed with citrus, saffron and naturally a lot of amber - it kind of smells like summer evenings in Italian coastal towns.  I spritz it on and picture myself strolling along the Riviera with an ice-cream in my hand, deciding which fabulous restaurant to go to for dinner.  

Anyway, I thought this would be a good time to list my other top perfumes, the scents that I just keep coming back to...

1. Wode (Paint) by Boudicca [musky, long-lasting, smells like man-sex, blue]
2. Noir de noir by Tom Ford [sweet, honeysuckle scented, refined]
3. Allure Homme Edition Blanche by Chanel [fresh, sporty, citrus, soap]
4. 11 - La Force by D&G [floral, sweet, young, swimming pools]
5. (untitled) by Maison Martin Margiela [dry, musky, dark, artificial]
6. Choisya by Diptyque [strong, tribal, organic, alcoholic]
7. Incense: Avignon by Comme des Garcons [intense, incense, musk, orthodox]
8. J'ADR by Anna dello Russo [sweet, vanilla, spiced, feminine]

They're all pretty different and I definitely don't have a 'signature scent'; I like to match my smell to my outfit and my mood each day. 


Thursday, 19 May 2011


I was watching a behind-the-scenes video on Attitude magazine's Youtube channel (can't find the original link now...) and I wondered why the makeup artist spent so long painting the models' faces in all sorts of garish colours when they were going to be shot in black and white.  Turns out the colours created all sorts of cool shading on the guys, restructuring their faces and making them look much better after the photo had actually been taken.  I don't think my own make-up skills are up to planning black and white shoots quite yet, but I did want to see how some of my printed clothes would be transformed by fiddling with the settings on my camera.  Also, I really wanted to take some photos with my hair wavy like Jesus...

Leopard print poncho by If Six Was Nine
Skull ring by Hannah Warner
Wooden ring by Cooperative Designs

Soft wavy hair achieved by conditioning with Kiehl's Superbly Smoothing Argan Hair Pak (picked this up at Heathrow last weekend and it is amazing, will definitely be adding this to my regular haircare routine), and then leaving to dry naturally with a little Redken Extreme Anti-Snap combed through.