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Sunday, December 28, 2014

The ASOS Sale Edit

ASOS sale edit

Starting bottom left going clockwise:

Monki Furia Faux Fur Cross Body Bag- Was £25, now £15 
French Connection Chlo Cross Body Bag- Was £100, now £60
Monki Tailored Jumpsuit- Was £45, now £32
Monki Balloon Sleeved Jumper- Was £30, now £21
Monki Rhonda Print Bra- Was £15, now £9
ASOS White Structured Blazer- Was £75, now £33
Monki Metallic Waisted Dress- Was £35, now £26
The Whitepepper Unicorn Clutch- Was £40, now £24
ASOS Reclaimed Vintage Smock Dress in Ditsy Floral Print- Was £40, now £28
ASOS Faux Fur Coat with Funnel Neck- Was £70, now £49
Dr Martens Core 1461 Tahan White 3-Eye Flat Shoes- Was £100, now £70
ASOS WHITE Textured Skirt with Split- Was £70, now £35
ASOS Patch it up Platforms- Was £50, now £35
Adidas Gazelle Maroon Trainers- Was £75, now £52 
Herschel Classic Backpack in Cobalt Polka Dot- Was £45, now £27

We all know the score: the minute boxing day comes around every year, it's time to scout out the best of the sale deals (online- I literally will never be bothered to hack actual sale shopping). This year I have already spotted some bits I plan on buying, including this cracking half-price Agent Provocateur underwear set (still a whopping £95...a snip, right?!) and a bright banana yellow blazer from Zara- who also have some really great faux fur jackets at total barg prices. 

But for me, it's all about ASOS when it comes to sales, or, well, just about anything fash-related. I've trawled through dozens of pages to share with you my top picks (admittedly, many of them were just in my saved items basket and have now gone down in price but ssssh). As a huge Monki fan, there's lots from there in my selection, but also a couple of ASOS white/reclaimed vintage buys, and some stuff from the ASOS main line and other brands. Enjoy! (You can thank me later) 

Sunday, December 21, 2014


Tshirt: Topshop (sold out)
Suit: Asos- here & here
Shoes: Dune (old)
Bag: Topshop 

2nd outfit:
Suit: As above
Shoes & cami: Topshop (old)

I don't actually remember the last time I put an outfit post up-that's how bloody long it's been. When I received this totally LUSCIOUS suit in the post however, I knew I had to share it with you, my fellow bloggers and stylish readers alike. If you remember, a couple of months ago, I put together a little wish list for the winter months, adamant that I was going to stick to the six items which made the list, and those six items alone (as IF). A two-piece suit has been the last item I've picked up, and boyyy was it worth the wait. 

Oxblood has a special place in my heart, which makes this twosie all the more glorious to me. AND it's from ASOS. Oh, AND, it only set me back £75 collectively. These details mean it has all the makings of a truly special suit. It fits me like a glove, and what I really adore about it is its versatility. Here I have paired it with a cheeky slogan tee and leopard brogues, but when I was thinking about styling it in my head, the choices were endless. A plain high-neck black tee/black polo and black converse for an even more casual twist? Yep. A black silk cami and feathery black heels for a night out? Yep, yep, double yep (see my blurry iphone photos for how I styled it just like this for a London night out). I can see me wearing this for years- and dressing it up or down whatever the occasion- interview, party, brunch & shopping trip- this baby's got me covered. 

In other news, I am love love loving my job at SHOP magazine and am working with some of the most lovely people I have ever met (especially in fashion!). As well as general internship duties, I have had the opportunity to write several pieces for the print editions of the magazine, and am looking forward to seeing my name on the masthead! I have enjoyed being in London and spending time with some of my closest friends all over the city, and am already scouting out some potential areas to move to in the new year...exciting times! As if it's nearly Christmas though...I have found it so difficult to get into the festive spirit this year- hopefully a cruise around central to see all the lights tomorrow will help get me there. If I don't blog before- Merry Christmas! 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The love/hate relationship: Why the Victoria's Secret show appals me (but fascinates me in equal measure)

(Image from Eonline: http://uk.eonline.com/news/532049/victoria-s-secret-fashion-show-heads-to-london-adriana-lima-invites-prince-harry-to-sit-front-row )

I love glamour, catwalk shows and that extra-special sprinkle of extravagance as much as the next blogging babe, but (as much as I don’t want to be an utter kill-joy), I have to admit there are elements to the Victoria’s Secret shows that I have serious problems with. With the 2014 show being held this past Tuesday in the city I work and hope to live in, London, I felt this was an appropriate time to air these opinions. I'm aware that I definitely am not the first to comment on the following issues, and I’m sure I won’t be the last. I also know some may not agree with my thoughts, but I wanted to scribble them down anyway!

My first issue with the shows, and indeed the brand as a whole, is the fact that they set impossible standards of beauty which I believe have the potential to be severely damaging and dangerous to women, especially those of the younger generation. While numerous other brands and key voices in fashion have been campaigning in recent years for the inclusion of 'real women' in the modelling industry, it seems VS is determined to keep the existence of the 'unreal woman' alive, and very much in view. Because the angels are not just naturally 'a little svelte' or a 'a little pretty'; they are a physical representation of unnattainable beauty; highlighted in their flaw-free, immaculate faces and figures. This makes them unreal and difficult to relate to in a sense; they are not like you or me, they are some form of 'other'. The angel is not the women you see walking down the street. Abs, impossibly long legs, perfectly formed facial features, and not to mention, a pretty fantastic rack: combined, these features make up a woman who represents about 1% of our population.

My point here is that these impossible standards of beauty set by the brand have great potential to inflict worrying thoughts amongst some women. We begin to wonder why we don’t look like them, why we don’t have the seemingly alien combination of rock-hard, flat abs and huge tits...and let’s not even start on the beloved thigh jiggle most mere mortals have. As if we aren’t burdened enough by bodily insecurities of the 21st century, the VS shows multiply our confidence issues ten-fold. Upon watching the yearly shows, even me, a girl who (shamefully) hates exercise and (proudly) champions the phrase 'long live the doughnut,' begins to wonder if perhaps I could (and should) look like an angel with a little work. I'm 22. Just imagine what an even younger, more impressionable girl watching must think. The idea that the show’s appeal may have expanded in recent years to younger and younger girls increases this threat. And with the bright colours, glamorous appeal and performances of popular singers that youngsters idolize (not to mention the brand’s ‘Pink’ collection,  which is targeted at younger women), this is bound to happen. 

As younger and younger girls are tuning in, there is no question that they may pick up on the aforementioned bodily message. A viewer of this age may not understand that to achieve these bodies, the angels don’t just undergo ‘a little work’; they undergo full on bootcamp purgatory (which they, apparently, all seem to enjoy). Without this knowledge, adolescents therefore see the models as being born as goddesses in having perfect, inherently 'right' bodies, and believe they were born with inherently 'wrong' physiques (despite being entirely normal). What's even more concerning is the consideration that men may begin to think this is what we should look like-as if teenagers and young 20-something women don't have enough bodily issues to deal with, now we have to worry that men will be disappointed when we undress in front of them for the first time. In truth, I'm convinced this kind of outcome is more allusion than truth as most decent men don’t share these impeccably high standards (let's face it- to them a naked woman is a naked woman) but many young, impressionable women might not know this growing up. They are catapulted into a world where success is measured by beauty, not personality, education or work ethic.

The angels also represent a world most young women are not a part of, or never will be and so, create an atmosphere of exclusion and hierarchy. Let’s be frank for a second- the models aren’t really selling lingerie when they sashay down the catwalk- they are selling their awesomely unachievable physiques, ridiculously extravagant lifestyles and equally fantastical partners or husbands. It’s a lifestyle- and one we are clearly not a part of. It is indeed so easy to become a part of the VS hype on the surface- walk into a store, put on a silk robe brandished with the ‘angel’ slogan and you become one. Except you don’t. The joke's on us because try as you might, the chances are you can buy the underwear, the gym clothes and the accessories, but you will never have what they have- you will never have their bodies, their lifestyles, their relationships. Because you are not a Victoria’s Secret Angel, you're just a Victoria’s Secret customer. From this rises a sincere sense of exclusion (and mockery); one that may make younger women feel even more inadequate.

 A further issue I have with the shows are the costings. In a world where children are starving, diseases like Ebola are rapidly spreading and countries are in national debt, is it really justified in any sense to spend $15 million on a fashion show? Or to showcase a fantasy bra which theoretically would be valued at a further $15 mill (worn by Gisele in 2000) encrusted in diamonds and other jewels? I mean, actually think about it…Fifteen million dollars...FIFTEEN MILLION DOLLARS?!!! How much good could fifteen million dollars actually do if it could be used to help people instead of showcasing a lingerie show? A hell of a lot. However, I recognize this is rather taken out of context when we consider the fact that we live in a world where football players are paid £300,000 a week to kick a ball around, whilst soldiers who are fighting for our country are receiving a pittance. So I guess a wildly expensive fashion show isn’t the worst of our worries, and it just represents the dark side of the fashion industry we all know and love. But you get my point.

Despite all of this (yes I'm about to do a bit of a 180), nobody can deny the mass strength and appeal of the show. Truthfully, as much as the whole affair enrages me, it also enamours me. As well as getting severely frustrated by the whole thing, I also love it, and get sucked in by the glamour, beauty and excitement just as much as the next twenty-something woman. And I guess that is the curse of Victoria's Secret: many hate it, but we love it potentially just as much. Perhaps it’s best not to overanalyse as I have above and just see it as a bit of fun- one we should take with a pinch of salt. Admittedly, I think it’s nearby impossible to help but be fascinated by the whole phenomenon, and, dare I say it, even envy the Angels. I mean, why wouldn’t you? Money, fame, glamour and beauty in abundance…it’s all in a day’s work for these girls. And I suppose a part of why we (especially women) are angered by the show is because we find the whole thing so damn intimidating and, to an extent, are maybe just jealous. 

I’m actually relatively new to the world of the VS ‘angel’ and their shows; only last year did I hear about it at a weekly meeting in the Impact office. The girls were talking about the show and it seemed to completely fascinate them. I wondered whether it would fascinate me, and so I went straight home and watched the past years’ shows and I did, I did feel fascinated by it. However you feel about the Victoria’s Secret’s catwalk extravaganzas, they’re undeniably a spectacle, and immensely stylish and exciting ones at that. They act as a form of escapism- instead of the tediousness woes of everyday life, we are transported to a fantastical place where everything is perfect and beautiful. The brand’s big-wigs also have to be praised for the clever way they have developed Victoria’s secret into a superbrand; having celebrity singers and glamourous adverts just enforces the brand’s role as an all-powerful company which demands, ironically, respect.

In truth I haven't seen any of the 2014 show since the angels descended on London. It won't be aired until tonight. But I can imagine it's just the same as it always was...once a circus, always a circus: ridiculous, animated, exciting, sad, fascinating, worrying, weird, but I guess in many ways, oh so wonderful. It’s just a huge bundle of paradoxes. Will I watch it? Probably. Will I enjoy it? Hell, why wouldn't I. But will I do so begrudgingly and with a pint of ice cream in tow? Absolutely. I don’t know what Victoria’s Secret is, but that’s certainly mine.

What do you think about Victoria's Secret? 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Ultimate Christmas Eyeshadow Palette

Charlotte Tilbury Fallen Angel Palette, £45

Ever since renowned makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury first launched her makeup collection not long ago, I have been eyeing up many of her lust-worthy pieces like money grows on trees. One product that really stood out to me was the Dolce Vita eyeshadow palette which bloggers and celebrities alike have been raving about. So when I got a chance to try out a very similar alternative during my work at The Times, I couldn't contain my excitement. I loved the product so much that I had to share it with you guys. 

The Fallen Angel Luxury Palette is one of the most beautiful festive palettes around in my opinion, and comes from Charlotte's 'The Supermodel Look' limited edition collection. The shades are designed around the concept of a wearable smoky eye, and are bloody beautiful. The colours range from a light Champagney golden hue to a smoky black, with two taupey/bronzey colours thrown in for good measure. This is what makes the palette so genius- it is one of those that you could throw in your bag and take on holiday as it will have you sorted in the day and night-time for casual and heavier looks. You can also use the eyeshadows either dry or with a little bit of water to make them up to three times more intense on the lid. Their quality is unrivalled in terms of pigmentation and texture (buttery and blend-able) and they last well throughout the day. I reckon this beauty would be the perfect gift for any makeup-a-holic, be it your friend, sister, mum or girlfriend. On the other hand, it might just be too gorgeous to give away (I wouldn't blame you...!) You can see how Charlotte uses it in her tutorial here

In other news, (and whilst I've got your attention!) this week has been one of the best I've had in a long time. Working at The Times on the fashion desk, I spent the week doing some of my favourite things involving fashion and beauty and also did some writing for online (one piece can be read here). I met some lovely lovely people, caught up with some old friends and also stayed with my friend Michelle at her fabulous flat in Canary Wharf for a few nights, which was super fun :) Another highlight of my week has to be when I met the new love of my life, Clive. No no, Clive is not my new manfriend. He is even better. He is my friend Rachel's 10 week old Frenchie, who is the most adorable little pup I ever did lay eyes on (follow me on Instagram to see a snap- beautyandtheb). I have been terrified of dogs for a long time, but this little guy and me bonded big time, and now I'm dreaming of the day I can have one (a little puggie) of my own. Dear Father Christmas...

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Leopard Print Bootie (and a little life update)

Boots: Zara

Long time no blog! Since my last post, things have been busy busy busy. I have been here there and everywhere as of late, including Lincoln and Nottingham with two of my Trek besties Nick and Helen for a cosy night in and tipsy night out, London for work and fireworks at Crystal Palace, and most excitingly, this week I returned from PARIS. It was such a beautiful thing to get away, stay in a very cool space at my friend's apartment and do some fun and naughty things. I now feel rejuvenated and ready to take on my week at The Times on the fashion desk. I have also just been offered an internship in London I interviewed for way back in September which is really awesome news :) It's time for some new beginnings people. 

So ANYWAY, about the boots. Aren't they completely IN-CRED?! I first spotted them on the feet of my favourite woman in the world (and intended spirit animal) Leandra Medine (manrepeller.com) which got me into a fluster like no other. Now if you know me at all, you will know that I love me some leopard print. In fact, I don't think there's ever been an animal print I've met and not liked. In saying this, it must be said that the quest for the perfect pair of roar-inducing boots was at times troublesome. I set my heart on a pair from Topshop (the Magnum animal print boot, no less) but it was not to be as they were sold out seemingly everywhere on the planet. In shoe addict terms, this is the worst form of unrequited boot love. 

But then I spotted these on the Zara website after first falling for them on Leandra. And guess what? They were available in all sizes and hence, loved me right back. I instantly plonked a size 6 into my basket when in Paris and just a few days later they arrived at the door. And comon'- just look at them...how effing awesome can a boot really get?! Pretty, practical, and enough to warrant a loving stare and admiring 'oooh aaaah' from every animal-print lover out there. It's fair to say these babies will be glued to my feet for the next, oh, I don't know...millennium

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Coat: Topshop 
Polo neck: c/o pop couture (old) 
Skirt: Zara (old)
Boots: Asos 
Clutch: Topshop

This outfit pretty much combines all my A/W14 loves: camel coats, faux fur accessories, polo necks and my beloved over-the-knee boots. At £50 these Asos babies were a total steal- the other pairs I had been looking at from the likes of Topshop were well over £100. I love how versatile they are too; you can wear them with skirts and dresses or pair them with jeans, a tee and blazer for casual office chic like I did today in the Style office. 

And how about this BAG?!!! It really is like carrying a teddy bear around with me everywhere- he is so cute and fluffy and delicious. Faux fur is huge this season, and investing in a cute scarf or clutch such as this one makes the trend easy and accessible. 

Last and certainly not least, there's my Topshop oversized camel coat. 4 years ago I bought a camel coat in the Topshop sale when I worked in the Reading store, and a few months ago I threw it out- it was battered and I didn't see the camel trend coming back. But to my sheer delight and utter glee it did, so it was time for an upgrade. The camel coat is so on trend and yet classic and timeless; I really believe if you buy one now it will last you years to come regardless of what is showcased on the catwalk. 

In more general news, this weekend I went to see The Phantom of the Opera with my Mumma and had a posh dinner at The Criterion. I then spent my Sunday browsing Spitalfields market and eating huge American sandwiches; it was all good. I also had my hair cut much shorter last week by the lovely Harriet at Ena Salon in Holborn. She made it look awesome and I'm really pleased with the length and shape even though having quite a bit chopped off put the fear of bejesus into me initially. Last but not least, my time at The Sunday Times Style is coming to an end which makes me really sad, but I'm definitely looking forward to working at The Times on the fashion desk in a few weeks :) 


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