15/09/2014

EDELINE LEE SS15

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Stepping into Edeline Lee's world for SS15 was like stepping into a paintbox, albeit a very grown-up one, with a delicately pretty concoction of colours. Every season, Edeline comes up with something completely different & refreshingly original, & this season was no disappointment. Inspired by the process of restoring her own Victorian house in East London, the designer brought together the 3-pronged relationship between art, interiors & fashion, & assimilated her colour palette, architectural structure, & the cut of the dress into a collection of very feminine, empowering pieces. Each look worked around a basic tone, adding a triangle of white here, a stripe there. The set was beautiful, with models captured in their own boxes, their own worlds, the viewer voyeuristically peering into a living room, or a kitchen. Within each room played a digital loop of the collection's video campaign on a small television set, essentially a replica of the presentation itself, as models smaller & smaller explored sets teenier and tinier. The touches of magical realism extended to a ceiling suffocating with pink roses, a prettiness bursting to escape. The colourful intensity & childlike containment reminded me of Alice having fallen down the rabbit hole, a world within a world within a world, enticing, bewitching & naively intoxicating.

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{all photos & edits by me}

24/08/2014

BIG SKIRTS AND CROPPED KNITS


Wore this skirt for the first time yesterday; it was only when I got home that I realised the tag was still attached! *d'oh!*

The full shape & structure of the skirt reminded me of the big skirts at Dior this season, & I really wanted to clash the pretty pastel colours with a 1970s orange knit. I've pretty much found my (literal) comfort zone in flats & pumps recently, these grey pumps from Primark fitting the bill on so many days. I'm also tempted to take my first foray into the Allstar market, maybe a pair of red or neutral cream ones to wear with dresses into the Autumn...

We tried out the Providores & Tapa Room for brunch beforehand: Turkish eggs with yoghurt & chilli served with soda bread, & eggs on chorizo were recommended, as was the bloody mary...

Happy Bank Holiday Weekend!



sweater & skirt - topshop
top (just seen) - h&m
pumps - primark
bag - zara
sunglasses - dior
watch - michael kors
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{all portraits by Sophie, edits by me}

05/07/2014

ORLA KIELY / BRITISH SUMMERTIME


There's this hidden corner of Clapham that Sophie & I head to when the sun's out & we feel like dancing around in new outfits & getting a bit snap-happy, & of course there's nothing more suitable for this than an Orla Kiely dress & matching shoes! I originally wore this dress to London Fashion Week last season, so when it came up in a 50% flash-sale I couldn't resist! Huge thanks to Clarks too, who are producing the Orla Kiely footwear range & rather wonderfully sent me this gorgeous Marianne pair...


Afterwards, Sophie & I headed to the new No.32 in Clapham (used to be the Frog), & whilst they had a few teething problems (smoke alarm for starters!), the food was certainly worth waiting for!



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{all portraits by Sophie, edits by me}

15/06/2014

ETHNIC CHIC : CAPSULE UNITED COLOURS OF BENETTON COLLECTION


Having only just got back from a Moroccan adventure myself, it seemed like the perfect breakfast meeting ever, an invitation to take a sneak peek at United Colours of Benetton's Ethnic Chic capsule collection for Spring/Summer 14, whisking me back to hot summer days, bustling souks, & colourful scarves.

A pretty fabulous platter was laid out by Momo Restaurant: cinnamon buns, donuts, Moroccan pastries, breads & jam sandwiches, topped off with sweet mint tea & fresh fruit juices every which way we turned!

I loved the t-shirts with jewelled decoration, they'd work great in making an everyday outfit a bit prettier, or matched with a stripy skirt or loose flowing trousers for summer. One of my favourite pieces was the sequinned scarf pictured below - so delicate but still subtle, I would wear it to a summer wedding, or just with jeans & t-shirt alike!

Keep an eye out for the collection to hit the shops!




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{all photos & edits by me}

14/06/2014

THE WELL: FARRINGDON GASTROPUB


The Well in Farringdon is one of those gastropubs that truly commit to the art of drinking & dining well (sorry!) in an atmosphere & surroundings worthy of the traditional British pub. On one of the finest days of the year so far, we paid a visit to this institution on Saint John Street, nestled in amongst offices & tower blocks, its front & side walls opened up to allow tables & patrons to spill out onto the pavement. 

We arrived 10 minutes before the end of happy hour, immediately encouraging us to make a snap decision on cocktails, deciding upon a Strawberry Passion (Zubrowka vodka, passion fruit, strawberries & black pepper) and a Berry Swizzle (Prosecco, Chambord, raspberry vodka, & strawberry puree). The latter seemed a bit tangy for my tastes, but the former was deliciously light & frothy, served in a martini glass & garnished with a fresh strawberry. For my starter I chose one of the specials, a soft-boiled black gulls egg served with herbed mayonnaise, crushed black pepper, & flavoured salt. The egg was marvellously runny & red-yolked, although it would have been all the more perfect served with some buttered granary soldiers! The Well seems to specialise in produce from the sea, so I chose a main of mussels in white wine, cream & garlic sauce, which was nicely complimented with the addition of sliced fennel, celery & onion. Hand-cut chips were an obvious accompaniment, & were just the right amount of crispy salty goodness. Minted veg also appeared on the scene, a hint of mint & a generous helping of butter creating the perfect side.

The best dessert we tried was the sticky toffee pudding served with butterscotch ice-cream & toffee sauce. Surprisingly light, with a thick, syrupy sauce, a great endnote to the meal. Throughout the meal we enjoyed one of the nicest Roses I've had in quite a while, a Cotes de Provence Melopee de Gavoty, of the lightest pink & most delicate flavour. Dessert was another matter, as unable to decide upon a dessert wine, our waitress advised us of an off-menu sherry, a lovely velvety, dark, sweet wine that was so fabulous, I forgot to read the label & remember the name! I did, however, hastily order a 2nd glass even after dessert was over - only slightly less enthusiastic than my companion who suggested ordering a bottle. Too much for a thursday night? Never!

Mains average on the pricier side towards £20, but if you have a gourmet card (we did), you'll get 50% off food.




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{all photos & edits by me}

08/06/2014

WEDDING DRESSES AFTERNOON TEA @ PARK LANE SHERATON


Afternoon tea at the Park Lane Hotel is pretty special at the moment: in conjunction with the rather glamorous Wedding Dresses 1775 - 2014 exhibition currently hosted by the V&A, the Art Deco Palm Court invites you to a seriously stylish tea of champagne, scones, pastries & chocolates!

With a harp playing delicate melodies in the corner, the lounge offers a complete respite from the frantic business of Picadilly & tourist-London. Greeted with a glass of Moet & 2 tuxedoed chocolate-dipped strawberries, we sank into the huge sofas & prepared ourselves for a variety of treats. For the teas, I chose a sweet rosebud blend, whilst my companion chose a black vanilla. Cumin-scented cheese straws were the centre piece of the first plate, surrounded by a shot of cucumber vichyssoise dusted with gold leaf, smoked salmon & cream cheese on granary, San Danielli ham & asparagus brioche, poached chicken, tarragon mustard & lemon creme fraiche rolls. 

Second course was filled with the cutest heart-shaped scones, some classic, some apple & raisin. Raspberry & strawberry jams accompanied them, alongside clotted cream - what else? - & a lovely tangy lemon curd.

Finally, what you've all been waiting for - the cake! Something old - a vintage inspired pear & vanilla cake - something new - a golden ring of passion fruit with gold leaf on a biscuit base - something borrowed - a lemon & pistachio polenta cake decorated with a "borrowed" brooch - & something blue, a blueberry almond mousse with a luxurious chocolate cream - almost too rich to finish, but not quite!

This afternoon tea isn't just for couples or old-marrieds: celebrate friendships, old relationships, new couples - hey, tea & cake brings people together! I loved the little touches, scones moulded into the shape of a heart, the dress-inspired round of cakes, & the glamour that epitomises weddings & the V&A. We left with a final favour, white chocolate & espresso fudge gifted in a paper bag pinned with paper hearts <3

This particular afternoon tea is only running until the end of June, so make sure to check it out if you can! More details here.



{all photos & edits by me}

07/06/2014

REVIEW: HEADMASTERS SOHO


Earlier this week I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to get my hair cut & styled at Headmasters Soho by one of the Artistic Team Directors. Claire looked after me, explaining every stage & treatment, & making sure I was comfortable with every bit of hair that was snipped off!

The Cut

Having not had a cut for a good few months, I decided to go for a decent chop, a good 4-5 inches. Claire was great at figuring out what sort of look we wanted to go for, & as soon as she referenced Alexa Chung, I knew I was sold! After opting for the "midi" length, I then decided to get some Chung-esque light layers feathered in at an angle. These were so subtle, but added just the right amount of bounce and movement. As for the fringe, this was also slightly layered, as Claire separated the top layers & then feathered into those below, delicately angling at the sides & leaving a fringe which isn't too top-heavy at the sides, and balances out at the centre. Awesome!

The Treatment

Since being a redhead several years ago (remember this?), my hair hasn't been in the greatest condition, & most recently become prone to knots and tangles. Claire suggested that instead of washing my hair twice a week, I add in another wash, but with a milder shampoo. We used a Kerastase exfoliating shampoo which was great at invigorating my dry scalp. Another tip was to shampoo twice, once to rid the hair of the dust & pollution of London life, & then another to really cleanse the hair & wash it clean. To finish, we used a leave-in conditioning treatment to really soften & nourish the hair & bring it back to life after several years of colour treatments.

The Blowdry

I'm not really one for intricate blowdries myself, so at first was unsure of whether to stick to the Alexa plan, or go for something a bit more classic! I opted for some volume & movement, not too funky, & fairly maintainable. After a light application of mousse which would encourage the hair to plump up, we began blowdrying my hair with a large curling brush, twisting & pinning sections as we went - Claire explained that after being heated, the time in which the hair begins to cool down again is when it's most vulnerable to styling. Pinning my hair in loose knots meant that at the end of the process, I would leave with natural, bouncy waves. (Another way to aid this is with the use of velcro rollers, which she also recommended). Once the hair was dry, we unpinned each section & then loosely shook out the curls, & ended with a quick spritz of Headrush by Tigi.

I can't thank Claire & the team at Headmasters enough, I'm so happy with the results!

Find out more about Headmasters here.





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{all photos & edits by me}
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