In Uncategorized on June 25, 2011 at 2:06 am
I had a few hours to kill by myself in London and discovered for the first time Kingly Court of Carnaby Street. This may be old news to some of you, but I was so excited by the quirkiness of this discreet mall, tucked away in a cute corner of Westminster. Instead of indulging in the standard stores that one thinks to visit when in one of the coolest capitals in the world ( although I had shamelessly wandered around Abercrombie earlier this day and visited physically Liam Gallagher’s store The Pretty Green) I took time to explore the unique boutiques of Kingly Court, of which a few in particular really took my fancy. It is for this diversity and creativity that I truly love London! A couple of hours by oneself without an awful lot of money to splash about could be considered boring, but to me it was extremely exciting…
This extremely cool stairway up to Converse on Carnaby reads: ” First it played basketball and then rock and roll and then everything else. It went along with athletes and artists and experimenters, rebels, visionaries, and now even after everything it has been, it remains anything you want” Even the high-street chains are presented beautifully and artistically in London…how could anybody ever run out of things to appreciate here and this is even before you start sight-seeing as we traditionally know it.
Best name for a boutique award, goes to this shop right here, in the photo below: Fur Coat No Knickers. Tongue in cheek, but oh so chic…this place displayed some gorgeous couture, heavily lace and silk based, decadent, intricate and classy, well worth a visit for wedding pieces, or if you are daring enough you could find a one-off piece to add to your wardrobe…
Marshmallow Mountain, so gloriously tacky on first glance, however there was some real treasures in this cute shop, including authentic leather satchels, decorative one-of- a-kind silk scarfs and pretty rings, of which I purchased two for friends, amongst other lovely finds…
Perhaps my favourite feature of Kingly Court was the glamorous and gothic, yet tasteful Black Pearl boutique, which sells vintage jewellery, accessories, lingerie and clothing… right up my street, will definitely be returning! I particularly enjoyed their necklace time pieces…
Kingly Court provides such a great selection of fashion possibilities all in one cosy little court-yard that is surprisingly quiet and secretive, despite the fabulous array of boutiques that it boasts and the hustle and bustle of the high street, directly outside. It is definitely not a shopping experience for the faint hearted, but extremely original and for those who enjoy bold self-expression. My biggest regret was not purchasing the paisley print cupcake cases that I came across in a shop called Bird Cage , thus must go back asap, who wants to join me? This is why I LOVE LONDON.
In Uncategorized on June 25, 2011 at 2:03 am
I hope everyone has had a wonderful christmas full with festive over -indulgence, like I have! Even though the christmas season is nearly over, there is an area that I believe one should never stop themselves over-indulging in…. sparkle. Yes sparkle is mostly associated with the tinsel on the christmas tree, but much more importantly stones that sparkle on your hands are more powerful and more timeless than any other fashion piece, with the ability to say so much, regardless of the size. Beautiful rings can transform an outfit, a mood and your style in a truly effortless manner. Bigger isn’t always better in my opinion, however a bold statement ring can provide joy like no other fashion piece. My favourite variety of knuckle duster are the ones that consist of dark, gothic undertones and whose colour is subtle, showing in the light, but almost black at first glance. Rings with a historical, classic feel about them are gorgeous and add depth and sophistication to the simplest of outfits, (even if it is your pyjamas!) and will continue to do so as issues of Vogue go to press throughout the years and even decades! It feels fabulous to wear a ring that sums up your personality and shares with others discreetly, how it is you would like to perceived. A ring that compromises all of these features is one that I received from my group of best friends for my 21st birthday. It is quietly emerald, but almost blackest black at first glance and it has an antique looking frame around the rectangle stone. The overall look is deliciously dark and represents my personal favourite fashion traits well. I hardly ever remove this ring from pride of place on my hand. This is when you know you have found the piece that truly belongs to you. I have a few other pieces that on rare occasions join my emerald beauty, depending on the occasion and I believe posses the same qualities as above. I have also seen one or two featured in fashion edits lately that I see have great potential to be a statement ring. So regardless of the fact that the sparkly decorations will soon be put away until next christmas, there is nothing wrong with sparkling on throughout the year. This is an image that never dates. New years resolution: do invest in timeless jewels, the more vintage in appearance the better the investment, no matter what the cost is. The ambiguity and understated nature of gothic jewellery does all the talking, consistently remaining in high-end fashion discussion, so the more you head in this direction the better in my opinion. However, simple silver and diamond can complement this movement towards adding sparkle to your life in just as fabulous a way. Why not combine the two, as seen on ASOS.com last month? In addition to my own favourite collection of rings, Italian Vogue’s accessory supplement of autumn/winter 2010 provides great inspiration for finding your perfect hand piece. Get hunting!!!
(Three images above: All rights belong to Vogue Accessory Italy)
( Image above from ASOS.com)
In Uncategorized on June 25, 2011 at 1:57 am
Today, after having a festive Starbucks with a good friend of mine I decided to purchase a copy of The Big Issue, which I think is quite honestly one of the most underrated publications in the magazine sector presently. Firstly, I love the whole ethos of The Big Issue and the way that it allows the homeless to earn themselves a future. Homlessness is totally heart-breaking, which I think even more so when the country is hit with the bitter temperatures we have been this christmas. It was about one month ago that I was walking through my local park on my way from work when a young man, maybe a few years older than myself stopped and asked me if I could spare some small change so he could get a bite to eat, as he was homeless and in the midst of an accomodation hunt. Of course I was wary at first, as it is so easy to judge right from the outset in today’s society. When I looked at him though I could see the desperation in his face and his small plastic bags of belongings and it put everything into perspective. He noticed my blatant reservations and even pulled some paper work from his pocket to prove that he was searching for a better life. This just hit me so hard and made me realise how lucky I am to have a job and a home. I gave him some change and wished him well and I sincerely meant it. It is so hard to start from nothing, I couldn’t even imagine how I would cope. I just wish I could do more, but atleast supporting the cause is a start I suppose and I urge everyone lucky enough to have a roof over their heads to do the same. The Big Issue, as well as contributing to the rehabilitation of those without the security and comfort of a stable life is also an extremely worthwhile read. This brings me onto the next point that secondly, I love the topics that The Big Issue covers and brings my attention to. This is not the first edition of the magazine that I have bought, as I do find the content included highly relevant to the public sphere in which I belong. A feature in the magazine that I regard as pure genius, is the Letter To My Younger Self page. This is where the publication calls upon a well-know person to reveal to the reading population of The Big Issue the advice that they would give to their younger former selves if they could. What an ingenious idea. This December 20th issue focused the feature on Lembit Opik, former MP and television figure and his letter to his younger self was majorly inspiring. He speaks of how he would encourage himself as a young boy to wholeheartedly support his political beliefs rather than shying away from them. It is important to stand up for what you believe is right and unfortunately you do have to contrast other people’s opinions in doing so, but this is what community is about and should remain to be about. If I could, I would teach myself as a young girl to be more confident in my thoughts and follow them passionately, as I always worried of displeasing anybody and still am to this day, no matter how they have treated me in the past. Opik says in his article that the wisdom he would share with his younger self is to not ” appease people who have not got your best interests at heart” and this I believe to be so true. That sums up my biggest weakness really. It was the closing paragraph that I felt was most powerful:
“happiness is an outlook, while joy is temporary…suffering is inevitable but misery is a choice. Never forget that”
Happiness is absolutely the outlook, which strongly themes my new years resolution for 2011. I think looking back and thinking about the advice you would have wanted when you were younger is a crucial exercise to understand the ways in which you can change and better your own lifestyle at this moment in time. Supporting others with a less fortunate lifestyle is definitely a starting point to highly consider and it’s what I intend to work on. It is so funny to imagine how different things could have turned out, had you have know what you know about your life now. Life happens so quickly, you just have to make the most of it and live for the present. This is my method to existence and the one I like to share with my lovely little brothers. Growing up with two younger siblings is actually a massive help, as it makes you take on a self-reflexive point of view and realise how you should adjust your approach to what you do, because you want to lead by example. It also reminds you to stay young and cheerful. However, I still believe that a lot of what happens is and should be left to fate, afterall it is what makes life exciting. So, what wisdom would you impart on the younger you?
In Uncategorized on June 25, 2011 at 1:55 am
I have always been a firm believer in big hair. When I say big, I mean huge…as massive and as dramatic, as it can possibly be. With dark colours and voluptuous textures taking over in the winter month’s party and day time looks, it is the perfect opportunity to show off those fairytale boufants. When looking at celebrities, past and present donning breath-taking hair do’s, there is instantly copius amounts of envy that hits you and then the disappointment dawns on you as you assume that you shouldn’t, couldn’t or wouldn’t even dare to attempt such complexed looking styles that seem very out of reach… literally… height is key for big hair. From the days of beautiful pin-up Bardot and pretty and petit Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, right through to Amy Winehouse and Cheryl Cole with her bouncy locks, bigger has never been better… the right now is all about thick and full hair looks to bring sexiness and sophistication to the simplest of outfits, or ooze glamour of an evening. Guess adverts I have always admired for the way they wholeheartedly support the big hair phenomenon; one of the easiest fashion statements to make and yet in my eyes the most underrated. Bip Ling a mulit-talented young lady who has recently hit the scene big time for her involvement in the art and music industry, has one of the best heads of hair i’ve ever set my green eyes upon. It is thick, long and lucious and so naturally that way too. Nevertheless, as much as we all would love to have perfect hair, achieved just by waking up in the morning, this is not reality. Unfortunately the phrase ‘bed hair’ is quite misleading, as creating a bonnet with attitude does require a wee bit of effort. This months ASOS magazine included a feature on volumous hair styles for the current season, with some beautiful photography of some grand creations. I was inspired to play hairdressers like I was seven again, but instead of using one of those creepy dolls I called in my lovely cousin Sophia to be my model for the day…. hairspray and kirbys galore!!! Have a look and witness what we discovered can be done easily on an every day basis and still look pretty damn classy if I do say so myself… each style only took ten minutes and some serious backcombing action. See! You can have big and beautiful catwalk hair in minutes if you really will it...
(Magazine clipping at top of article extracted from ASOS magazine. Photographs Alana Leigh’s.)
In Uncategorized on June 11, 2011 at 9:51 pm
I believe tattooing is the most personal and powerful art form, whereby self-expression and defining of an individual’s personality can be achieved extraordinarily in diverse and creative ways. Tattoos have served as a highly significant form of art throughout the generations, dating back to the times of ancient Egypt, which witnessed dynasties of ritualistic practice in tattoo art, found on mummified remains years later. Tattoo art unites every individual with the autonomy to modify their bodies with exclusive pieces.
A unique feature of a tattoo is the gratification that it can provide for an individual. Whether a tattoo is purely a fashion statement, or representation of sentiment, it can hold meaning for a person in a most potent way, part of the major appeal for many. To commit to a tattoo, is a fascinating idea to consider and an experience that many find inspirational and often highly addictive. The urge to have a piece of art permanently on you, is a thrill indescribable to those whom have never experienced the natural passion for it. The beauty of the tattoo world is that one can appreciate it, be confused by it, fascinated by it, devoted to it, practice it, be intimidated by it, yet regardless it always has an undoubtedly powerful effect on people.
When watching L A Ink today, I was, as always in awe of Kat Von D and her amazing talent and dedication to tattoo art, in which she is covered head to toe. Being a huge girl crush of mine, every time I see her I also want to be covered head to toe in tattoos, but obviously this is not realistic for me personally. I was once encouraged to be interested in tattooing, but now I can’t get enough, even without this influence. It is really an admirable industry and people who take it for granted and are ignorant to its beauty seriously lessen its worth.I loved getting my tattoo done, whilst at university. It is a really theraputic feeling. I love looking at other people’s tattoos and get really drawn to people with exquisite body art work. I am not saying they are for everyone, but I do appreciate those who are at least open-minded about it, as it really is an intriguing and rich culture. L A ink and Miami Ink always make me so shamelessly emotional and not just because I find Ami James so annoyingly attractive nor because of the green eyed monster;envy of the super hot and majorly talented Kat, but because there is so much more to tattoos than one can ever realise. Going to get another one soon.
(Photograph of Kat Von D extracted from internet @ buzzfocus.com)