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Monday, April 27, 2015

Want to work in fashion? Take it from Luella Bartley, the 'face of persistence': if you fail, try, try and try again

Top image credit: Popsugar.com

I remember looking at pictures of Luella Bartley's line ‘Luella’ in Elle Collections back in my teenage years and loving her designs with literally all I had. Which is why I was so surprised when her fashion brand went bust and had to close down. She had gone from a fledgling designer showing her collection at LFW on numerous occasions, and winning Britain's Young Designer of the Year award after her very first collection, to having her line fail. I remember thinking how unfair it made the fashion industry seem: you have someone super talented, hard-working and creative, and yet they cannot sustain their role in the industry. Which sounds about right. This industry CAN be bloody tough- but more on that later.

After her beautiful, punk-inspired, edgy and fun line went bust in 2009 (during the untimely recession of the period) Luella Bartley took some time out from fashion. In 2013, her long-awaited return to the industry came in the form of Marc by Marc Jacobs. Hired alongside Katie Hillier, Bartley was hired to take on the role of women’s ready-to-wear design director. After several successful seasons at the popular diffusion line, the designer once again found herself out of a job: Marc by Marc was folding, it was announced. As before, this defeat was by no means through her own fault; her talent and creative eye had overseen the design and conception of some beautiful clothes and accessories which captured fashion editors and celebrity’s eyes alike. It was, devastatingly, the cruel hand of the fashion industry that had dealt this latest blow once again. Funding, as before, was presumably the overriding reason for the closure, alongside Jacobs’ claims that he wanted to diffuse the line into his mainline, Marc Jacobs, in order to focus more on its message as his priority.

Despite the closure only being announced last month (March 2015), Bartley once more picked herself up and decided to take a third shot at the industry with the announcement that alongside Hillier, she would launch Hillier Bartley, a new luxury fashion brand. They will showcase their first collection later this year with a range of bags, accessories and ready-to-wear.

What struck me most about this recent turn of events was the utter bravery and boldness that Luella Bartley had once again shown. After having her back turned on by the industry not once, but twice, Bartley was courageous enough to try one more time and make her inclusion in the fashion world a hattrick. Imagine how deep she had to dig in order to be able to come back once more and throw her hat in the ring for a third time. Money and backings aside, it takes a pretty daring woman to have the nerve to do that. She really has proven how determined she is to have her voice heard. 

So I guess the real message we can learn from Luella Bartley is to never give up in this tough old son-of-a-bitch we call the fashion industry. As much as we adore it, we can all admit it is not the easiest industry to break into. As an aspiring fashion and beauty journalist, I can’t count the amount of times I have felt like giving up, largely due to a lack of funds or opportunity. I’ve been turned away at interviews and had a couple of tough intern experiences (along with some really really great and valuable ones), and trust me when I tell you that it can make even the strongest young woman want to run to the toilets and burst into tears. But like Luella has bravely shown, persistence is the only thing that will separate you from the rest of the herd. Give it that, along with everything else you’ve got, and you will hopefully reap the rewards. At least, that’s what you have to believe in order to continue, and what I am telling myself. At the end of the day, I still don't know where I will find myself in 10 years time or what I will be doing, but I know I will have given the fashion industry my very best shot. 

If all else fails, I always try to remember this: ‘“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default.” Thanks J.K. Rowling, you are one seriously deep babe-ette.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

All about Monki

Sleeveless coat: Monki
Top: H&M (old)
Jeans: Topshop
Shoes: Topshop (old)
Bag: Topshop
Sunglasses: c/o Boohoo

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to the relaunch of the Monki flagship store on Carnaby Street. I sashayed down with the lovely Chemmie from The Debrief, and saw some familiar faces such as the absolute babe that is Shope from Sassy Black, and met some new ones, including her twinny Shore, and the lovely Holly from Company

The new store is really fantastic, and the event was a total success. Monki has such a youthful and fun vibe to its clothing, and this is really reflected in the brand's new look store. My favourite part had to be the amazing multi-coloured staircase, which was just about the most instagrammable feature of a store I had ever seen! We had some yummy snacks and drinks and browsed the new pieces and braid bar upstairs in the store. All in all it was a really lovely event and the new store is well worth a visit. 

Whilst there, I just had to pick up this fantastic waistcoat/sleeveless jacket hybrid piece, which I got a nifty 20% off from due to the opening. I have wanted a piece like this for ages and love how versatile it is, looking great over anything from jeans and tees to cute dresses, open or closed. Long live Monki! 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Those Jeans

Top: Zara (old)
Jeans: ASOS
Jacket: Mango 
Scarf: Hermès
Slides: River Island (old)

These jeans were totally inspired by the babes at The Debrief, most of whom own some variation of them and style them out expertly. As a lanky beanpole I was of the mind these would look pretty damn atrocious on me and when I first took them out of their packaging I couldn't be more convinced I was right. But these are the type of jean that couldn't look more different on than off the hanger. They're actually super flattering with their high waist, ankle-skimming length and ripped hems. Along with a breton top and square neck scarf they offer up perfect day-time cool. So thanks Debrief gals, you are all ACE. 

Sliders are apaz making a comeback this summer too, which is great news for these River Island ugly wonders, bought last year under the assumption that they would fulfil a very short-lived seasonal trend. And this Hermès square neck scarf...WELL...! Passed down from Mumma bear (as a gift from an ex-boyfriend of hers- lolz) it's stayed glued to my neck this past season. Despite looking a little 'air-hostess-chic', the scarf adds a new dimension to any outfit and, as an extra advantage, keeps your neck nice and toasty. WIN WIN. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

5 of the best 'alternative' lipstick shades

Bored of your nudes and your reds? Don't worry, I (or rather my frankly out of hand lipstick collection) has got you covered...

1. The pinky purpley one: Ultimately the lipstick which encouraged me to write this post, NARS audacious lipstick in 'Dominique' has a beautiful purpley hue which looks pretty terrifying at first but is one of the most unique colours I've ever seen. The lipstick is exclusive to Selfridges so don't run over like a desperate mess to Liberty's like I did! It's become my go to lipstick and I can't think of any other lip product on the market that gives the same enviably gorg smackers. 

2. The super dark one: Do not be afraid my friends, this one isn't as scary as it looks. Darker than a berry shade but lighter than an 'oh em gee I look like a goth' hue, this option from Lipstick Queen's Bette Noir collection is super good. This specific shade, Possessed Intense, is the darkest of the three in the collection, which also offers a metallic or a sheer option. Reserve this one for the evening and remember to keep reapplying!

3. The peachy pink one: Firmly within the sphere of my comfort zone, a peachy pink lipstick is a little more colourful than a nude without being too vibrant or bold. One of my favourites is this YSL Rouge Volupte lipstick in Peach Passion. It's a lovely spring colour and the finish is a lovely combination of matte AND sheeny (just how DO those YSL geniuses do it?!)

4. The hot hot pink one: Wondering whether my repetition of the word 'hot' was a typo? Well, it totally wasn't. Because although a 'hot pink' lipstick is exciting, a 'hot hot pink' lipstick is off the charts on the coolness scale. One of my favourite lipsticks of all time is Mac's Show Orchid [not available in UK, only US], which is literally the most bold shade you could possibly go for. With a touch of shimmer and a Barbie pink colour, it's the ultimate girly girl's dream. 

5. The warm berry one: If you're too much of a wimp to try out number 2 (and let's be honest, it does look pretty menacing) what about giving the humble dark purpley-toned berry red a shot? Much more diverse than the bright red lipstick in my eyes, the Rimmel Kate Moss 107 is a firm fave of vloggers such as Zoella. Perfect for warm autumnal looks and full-on night time glam, I'd say it's a bit of a winner all round. 

Saturday, April 04, 2015

The return of the one-piece swimsuit


Top picture: 
Both swimsuits c/o the lovely babes at BATOKO.COM

Collage from left:
Multicoloured snake suit: Jaded London
Black plunge suit: ASOS
Red and white stars suit: Wildfox
Pink Barbie suit: Wildfox
Black Miami suit: Beach Riot
Tropical cut-out suit: River Island

Let me use this post to spread an all-important message: I hereby declare that one-pieces (of the swimwear variety) are BACK. What authority do I have to make this wide-sweeping statement? Well, how about the babes at Batoko sent me some effing awesome pieces and I decided this must mean the comeback of the swimsuit. 

Aside from making a statement on a beach full of boring bikini-clad women, a one-piece allows you to cover those areas you're perhaps not so ok with. Unless you're a Victoria's Secret model or a gym freak,  showing off your entire stomach in the summertime can come to be somewhat of an ordeal. I say avoid that altogether and throw on a one-piece. 

SO, we've established that swimsuits are no longer just for children under the age of 12, but what are the rules for donning them? Here are a few of mine:

1. All words that incinuate the one-piece is only fit for the elderly are BANNED: Swimming Costume and all its derivatives (including the dreaded 'cossie'-bleugh) should especially be shunned. 

2. Make it bold: Avoid ditsy floral prints which again, may add to the popular notion that one-pieces are  just for your nan. Bold colours and fun prints are definitely favourable. 

3. Add a little boob: If you prefer to stick to a more classic suit (see the beaut black ASOS eg above) make sure you go for a plunging neckline, or at least one that shows off a little bit of boob. If, like me, you have the cleavage of an 11 year old boy, still follow this rule, but accept that you will have to spend much of your time on the beach pushing them up or squeezing them together. 

4. Cut it out: Another way of adding a little sass to your suit is by picking up a cut-out version, such as the River Island tropical delight above. This one's seriously great if you're not yet ready to fully embrace the onesie, as it's practically a bikini from the back. 

So all that's left to do now is book your holiday and throw out your two-pieces. Long live the swimsuit! 


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