Brighton: Babes, Boys and Birthdays

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This weekend, I went away to Brighton for my friends birthday. Josh is now the grand old age of 24 and we celebrated in style, with wine on the beach, trips to The Lanes and some of the best falafel I have ever had.

I had only ever been to Brighton in the rain before. It’s such an ‘English thing’ to be so dependent on the weather, but the sun really did make such a difference to our trip. I had never even seen The Lanes before this weekend, only the back – ends of the shopping centre and the beach when I was around ten, and got frustrated with the stones not making the perfect castle with my bucket and spade.

If like me and Josh, you are a fan of vintage clothing and one – off finds (that my parents often mistake for ‘garbage’), then you will love Snoopers Paradise in the centre of the North Laines, ideal for finding old magazines, furniture and clothing. Brighton Flea Market is also good – located down Upper Saint Jame’s street, nearby to trendy jazz bars, cafes and a short walk away from the pier.

Our weekend went far too quickly and I know that there is far more of Brighton I want to see/ sea (!) – this sunny weather has certainly given me a new – found love for the city, and I can’t wait to hop back on the train and flock there again. This time though, I will bring my sun cream. All that sitting on the beach did nothing for my Albino – esque complexion.

In Celebration of 100 Years of Vogue

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The thing I love most about ‘now’ is that anything and everything goes. Magazines are being published by school kids through social media – a virtual boat that the 14 year old me missed by a decade, while the nineties comeback has meant my staple dungarees, scrunchies and pinafore dresses are actually considered ‘cool’ once more.

I lived and breathed fashion as a teenager. I went to a school where being ‘cool’ meant spitting in the street, wearing a tracksuit and dropping syllabus when speaking, so wearing experimental wellies as replacement shoes, customising my own clothes and making my own magazine – Dollybirdz (more on that another day) was a way of reminding myself that there was a life outside of my tiny school.

This time last year I was lucky enough to meet Jean Paul Gaultier – and let me tell you, he was as friendly as he looks in this photo – one of the rare occasions I swallowed my pride and asked for a photo – I am sure you would too though, right?! The experience made me feel as if I had gone full circle and finally achieved a small part of my teenage – selves dream. I even got papped on the way out of the venue – so Ab Fab, darrliing!

 

Why Art Is So Important

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I’ve recently been drawing again. A few years ago, I did art and got an A at A levels, got called stupid for not doing a fashion related degree by my teachers and instead went and did what I thought was a sensible, stable three years in Journalism. Although I had a great time and am equally as passionate about words, puns and font types, my heart has always been silently mourning the fact I didn’t pursue my main passion. Because when I went to university, I stopped drawing. I didn’t see the point of doing it if it wasn’t going to get me a job. I was silly.

I have realised recently that since picking up a pencil and scribbling a little each day on paper, that I have regained a part of my soul.

If you are passionate about something, never give it up. Even temporarily. Passions are so important and give you something to strive towards and focus on, as well as something to enjoy other than watching television and stalking people on social media. Technology has kind of killed a little bit of everyones passion I feel. But it shouldn’t be the case.

New York Diary: The Rooftop, AKA My New Home For The Month

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Yesterday I said goodbye to my first months home in Harlem and got on the M line to Hewes Street, Wiliamsburg. I am now living in a converted factory with a rooftop at the top which I plan to spend far more time in than my room. It’s the small things.

My friend Josh has come from England for the week to visit New York (and me, of course..!) and I guess we got carried away with a photo shoot war on the roof last night.

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Photographers Read On, Come Contribute To My New Magazine

22 (1)I have previously made a blog post about my new adventure and was overwhelmed by the number of wonderful people who got in touch. If you are reading this, I will be contacting you this week with a plan for the first issue. I am still looking for more photographers, especially anyone that is interested in travel, fashion or lifestyle. I like to think I am fine at taking photos, but Instagram filters sure help edit anything I have into an amateur piece of art. Seeing as visual appeal is what captures our eyes before we read on, I therefore hope to have this magazine illustrated with pure artistic brilliance.

Please do get in touch either by messaging below or emailing me at hanna2212@hotmail.co.uk. I am rather addicted to wifi, so I will answer soon after, that’s a promise!

Because it is in the early stages, I don’t want to write too much about it on here until it is complete, so as not to set it on a pedestal nor for anyone else to steal the idea. I can promise it will be excellent though, especially with the help of like minded creatives. Becoming involved will be great for your resume, a bit of fun and hopefully will lead to greater things in the future too.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Art Attack – Emoji Style

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Have I ever admitted that I am a bit of a Ab Fab fan? Well, if not the above picture of Patsy at the park will confirm this fact. For all of you that are far younger than me (and for that alone I am very envious), use Google or YouTube to find Absolutely Fabulous – it really says it all in the name.

Anyway, back to the point of my blog post. I got a bit carried away on Instagram the other day and wanted something fun to do in my vast amount of spare time this Bank Holiday weekend. Don’t worry – I do have a life too…! It dawned on me that there was a lot of fun to be had with adding emojis onto photographs. Well, I think so anyway. Does anybody remember fussy felts? Those boards you could buy and add felt shapes on them to create a picture. Well this is just what it felt like, except doing it as a 23 year old on my iPhone is something the 4 year old me wouldn’t have dreamt of in her wildest, most crazy Snow White filled dreams. Snow White was one of the only Disney films I saw as a child, but that’s a story for another day!

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Hanging with my emoji friends in France. Jeez, if my friends in France did see this I might well just have emoji friends as company!

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There is far more life in the South Kensington lake than you realise… take my word!

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My vodka should have come in a martini glass – even though it would have been double the price. Never fear though, you would never guess I used an emoji to replace it, would you?

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You can walk on the sky in this park. And I also just wanted an excuse to use one of my most overused emojis. I wonder what that says about me…!

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Even if the royal baby ends up being named Alice, my sister is the original copy. Princess Alice – hanging in her room.

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The best till last. Combining My Idol with emojis to make one crazy piece of art. Ps. My Idol is really flattering and I would like to be a cartoon in my next life.

Alexander Mcqueen Exhibition, V & A – Savage Beauty

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Last Friday, I felt like I was holding a golden ticket. It was indeed a sought after piece of paper, although it was an e – ticket rather than a gold incrusted piece of cardboard – something that would have been far more worthy of what it represented.

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With the ticket, I was able to see the Alexander Mcqueen Savage Beauty exhibition at the V & A museum, a collection showcasing some of his most momentous masterpieces, including his Central Saint Martin’s graduate creations that were bought by Isabella Blow.

You descend into darkness as soon as you enter through the exhibition doors. The people in front of me in the queue, who just seconds before had been nattering away, stopped mid conversation and looked up in awe.

So it was just possibly (obviously certain) a fraction as dramatic as his shows, but the dark room managed to captivate all.

One of the first things you see is his graduate collection, Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims, where human hair had been stitched into the lining of the garments. A voice over plays on repeat  from the documentary, Mcqueen and I,  where 20 – something year old McQueen says “London’s where I was brought up. It’s where my heart is and where I get my inspiration”. It had a powerful poignant effect. Well, for me it did, and was clearly supposed to, as it was also staring back at me on the wall – just incase I had failed to hear the audio.

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There are 5 rooms in total, showcasing some of his most notorious pieces, including one of my favourites – his S/S ’07 dress made from fresh flowers. More hauntingly were pieces from his A/W ’10 collection that he was in the process of making before he died. This included a gold feather dress, that I had to stare at for a good few minutes.

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My favourite room was the  ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’. On display were over 100 accessories and garments, some unfinished. I overheard one lady describe how  “it feels like we are all sitting here in his tomb, buried with all that represents him – his clothes”. The adjectives “amazing” “wow” and “incredible” were also on repeat among the other museum goers, as if nobody could string a full sentence together – lost in the moment and the realisation of just how incredible Alexander McQueen was. He wasn’t just a designer, but an artist.

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There were also large screens in each corner of the room playing clips from his most theatrical fashion shows, and showcased in the centre was that dress, from S/S ’99. Pictured below.

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Oh and the other (extra) remarkable bit – Kate Moss made an appearance. Casually.

Albeit it was in the form of a hologram, a miniature version of his Widows of Culloden A/W ’06 show. I watched it quite a few times and realised just how much I love the fashion world. 

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Finding Designer Bargains In Charity Shops For Under £10

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One thing I enjoy doing more than anything else is hunting for new clothes in charity shops. If you check out my 19 year old self  on my old blog, you will see it was something I loved to take snaps of. Through searching through old musty BHS tracksuits and creased Primark t-shirts that cost double the amount they would have cost in the shop, I have found everything from type writers to suitcases.

Although I have been lucky enough to find exciting handbags and jewel incrusted jackets in thrift stores around the world in cities like New York, Tallinn and Amsterdam, I tend to find the best clothes are found a lot closer to home, in The Princess Alice Hospice – Chertsey, Surrey. I am aware that I have just given away a huge secret to any other bargain hunters out there, but it is a risk I will take as it truly deserves the shout out.

So, let me start with the least aesthetically pleasing, the black skirt. What is so special about it you ask? Well, not only have I been after a plain black skirt for a while, but this one was from Jigsaw. At a bargain price of £5, I held onto it as tightly as my Lulu Guiness handbag.

Next, I found this cute little bag, pictured below. It was £2, velvet, vintage looking and quilted. I’m not quite sure how practical it will be on a daily basis, especially for someone like me who feels the need to bring most of my bedroom out on every trip I take, but it was too cheap to leave on the shelf.

Finally, the jacket. I saw it in the window, teamed with a dowdy old jumper and very nearly overlooked it. However, something made me look at it again, take it to the mirror and try it on. It fitted like a glove and I really love the pattern. I am a huge fan of wearing black from head to toe, but as spring is around the corner, I realised that a bit of colour in my life once and a while is not a bad thing. The jacket was £5 too and surprisingly from New Look.

I love the pattern, the colour and the black edging. The black panels on the sleeves are also pretty cool.

So here we have it, a successful day at The Princess Alice Hospice, with all money going to a worthy cause. Win, win.

Beauty Tips I Would Give My Teenage Self

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Above is me as a teenager, thinking I was rocking those Claire’s accessories beads and side fringe like the next big thing. 

Last Saturday I was celebrating the 23rd birthday of an old friend. We sat, feeling positively ancient, complaining about our increasingly worse hangovers, early signs of wrinkles and the general ailments that come with that transition from teen to twenty something. As we got ready, said friend and I were talking about things we would have done differently to prevent further troubles in our present years and thus, here is a list I give to you, compiled of tips and tricks for our teenage selves. If you are lucky enough to still be in your teens, I hope you get some use from our wisdom (although I still don’t have my wisdom teeth – something else to look forward too).

Please note, all these tips are just things that we have taught ourselves through our own mistakes, we are in no means trying to be experts in the beauty field. However Mac and Benefit, if you are reading this, we take both cash and cheques.

1. Leave your eyebrows alone. Just seriously, stop right now with the tweezers. Nobody wants a mono brow, but stop at that. Luckily in 2015 Cara Delevingne has made it cool to have big eyebrows. When this trend stops, keep following it anyway. As a result of the invisible eyebrow trend of 2009, both me and friend have problems with over enthusiastic, misshapen brows to reckon with.

2. Always get ready by a window. The natural light will not lie to you, the kind dim lighting in the bathroom will. I cringe to think of what I must have looked like with non blended concealer lines, poorly drawn eyebrows and smudged lipstick – things you notice only after you step outside the house to face the world.

3. When you find a decent foundation, stay with it like a loyal friend. It will not let you down. I made the mistake of experimenting with new brands, colours (including a bright white powder, that didn’t match my tanned summer skin) and formulas. If you have sensitive skin like moi, so many cause break outs, rashes and many just look like you have thrown your face in a cake. When you find one that doesn’t do any of the above, it is gold dust.

4. Less is more. I am in love with the expression ‘I’m just painting on my face’, yet in reality, too much make up really does make you look like you’ve just stepped out of a circus. If you have a spot, just dab a spot of concealer over it and a bit of powder to your face. A full face of foundation makes it far more obvious your hiding it.  If you want big eye brows, don’t then wear heavy eyeliner and lipstick.

5. Think carefully before getting a fringe (bangs). They come and go in and out of fashion as frequent as the latest iPhone, yet for me personally, they just never work well enough to last. While they are fun and can give you an instant new look, fringes either make your face look rounder, cause spots on your forehead, cover your eyes and take forever to grow out. If you do get a fringe, please make sure it is done in a country where you can speak the language fluently. I made the mistake of going to France asking for a fringe, and ended up with a spaghetti strand of hair left on my face. I have only just recovered now.

6. Stay away from home hair dye. Ok, so if you have brown hair and you want a darker shade, go for it! But if you are blonde, thinking black will look good, or have dark brown hair you hope will turn blonde – a £12 bottle from boots won’t do that for you! Save up and go to the hairdressers, and you will then look at your teenage pictures in years to come without cringing.

7. Make the most of your fast metabolism. Those 10 pizza slices you just ate, followed by two Mars bars – well enjoy the fact you can’t tell you ate them. And whatever you do, don’t diet. It’s boring (unless you have been told to by a Doctor of course, then do as they say). In years to come, the proof stays after the pudding (unless you are super lucky – in which I am slightly jelous of you).

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Me and my wise friend Saskia, on her 17th birthday, and below on my 23rd.

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When I Went To London Fashion Week (Flashback Post)

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Before I begin this post, let me just point out the difference of the 2012 S/S use of stick thin models, in the days before Cara, Kendall and Instagram.  These photos are stolen from Hello magazine as a result of my insufficient subtleness in taking photos when I was at the show. But the ticket is proof I was there, opposite Hilary Alexander who was tweeting the whole way through the show. Oh, if only I was a fashion intern right now.

I realise I haven’t written anything fabulous and fashionable on here. I guess I haven’t been around it everyday of late. When I was living abroad in France last year, I have to admit that although Parisian residents are walking descendants of Coco Chanel and pure chicness, I was disappointed in the everyday wear in my small town of Divonne. Being on the border of Switzerland, it impossible to afford anything other than a bobby pin from the majority of the boutiques, meaning the over priced H and M was the only possible place to buy clothes. I spent the year living in plain t shirts and leggins and realised I resembled (as did everyone else around me) the people in my GCSE french book from 2002. Whilst I assumed it was an old book, I realise now it was indeed representing the locals in small French towns.

Anyway, rant over – and back to present day. Now I’m back in London, not only have I remembered what patterns look like and felt it socially acceptable to clash them occasionally, but I am getting overly envious of every single FROWer – past and future, who will attending London Fashion Week. Tonights  Gareth Pugh show followed by Vivienne Westwood tomorrow would make a nice addition to my weekend. Unfortunately, my current status means I will have to watch the live Twitter  feed rather than the show itself. Maybe next year?

Back in 2011, I was lucky enough to go to London Fashion week and see two shows. One was for Jena Theo, posted above, the other – Jayne Pierson’s The Mobius Strip.

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Here were my 19 year old views back then, taken from my old blog (click on the link to view it) 

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The Mobius Strip.

Welsh designer Jayne Pierson opted for a very different approach to her LFW performance with a literal, performance style runway show.

Dancing was as natural as walking, with ballerinas replacing models.

Costume-esque atire was worn. Maxi skirts. Fishtail dresses. Oranges,grey, tan, champagne.  Layering. An articulate mix of volumptious fabrics, such as wool created interest and added to the unique ambience of the entire event.

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