Already trying to plan what to do in June 2011 when I hopefully graduate, my dream would be to work in New York. You have to make your dreams come true, luck is only for things you have no power over and nowadays you can work hard to achieve anything yourself!
I just realised that I never posted about when I visited my friend in Paris! How did this happen?! It was just before my internships so I didn't get a chance and then the weeks without internet went so quickly. I usually do mammoth posts about visiting places but I went there for five days so this post would be seriously long! So I picked out a few snaps to illustrate the crazy trip. It was lucky it even happened because it was during the ash cloud of doom and my flights were one of the very few that weren't cancelled; the airport was deserted! On the flight there, there were about six people on the plane and we had to all sit apart to balance out the weight. That scared me a lot! I also did the stupidest thing as had it in my mind that the flight was at 4pm, but the flight was actually getting in at 4 and the one on Monday was at 4, so I had to pack so quickly!
My friend Sophia is on Erasmus too but she spent the first term living with her Granddad in Spain going to uni there and is spending this term in Paris working! If that wasn't the coolest thing ever, I laughed the whole entire weekend as she is so funny and she was an amazing tour guide. I think we went to ever single sight imaginable! She lives in an apartment with those tall, slim windows and wooden floors and it's so amazing! The Eiffel Tower is ten minutes walk so when we finally met up at a metro station (I am greeeeat with directions, except that one time I got lost while finding Grazia and I think my internship people were just about to send a search party!), we hit the town! The weather was insanely hot and I saw about three clouds the whole weekend! We passed the Rue des Mauvais Garcons (the street of bad boys!) and went to the amazing L'as Du Fallafel in the Marais where you attack these huge pitas jam packed with so much good stuff, no wonder it's famous! I could so eat one right now omg.
I came on the Thursday so while Sophia worked on the Friday, I had a wander! First we met for lunch from a street stand that probably served better things than every cafe I know combined, and ate in a park with horny pigeons. I stole these photos but maybe I'll ask Sophia what camera she has because the photos show my actual hair colour for once!
My first macaroon, ah nice memories! Even McDonalds sells them there.
And here is my beautiful friend Sophia herself, she is half Spanish, half amazingly fabulousss!
After lunch I had a nosey in Bon Marche, which was designer heaven in a really classic way. Selfridges et al try to be a bit more contemporary but here was all plush pillars and powder rooms.
This dress was made of broken records? Very sneaky photo taking in here I promise!
I also stumbled across Sephora and visited the French pharmacies; I made a youtube haul video of what I bought that I'll link at the end of the post! That evening we tried to point our fingers on the top of the Louvre but totally failed, and got a picnic tea of kids biscuits, crisps, chocolate, and some seriously dirt cheap demi sec stuff, fabulous! We hit the Sacre Coeur and sat with hundreds of people admiring the scenery and watching some loony robot dancing men. The highlight of the show was an old man who kept trying to join in by doing randomly timed high kicks.
We stayed there the whole night, buying beers from the sellers when it got dark and listening to an impromptu reggae concert. Men are really weird in France and will stare and come onto you like never before, and while we were brushing off lerky men, we were helped by a group of other Erasmus students all from different countries. They're everywhere! Next year we are going to positively abduct all the erasmus student coming Manchester.
On Saturday we did a major sight seeing tour and had a picnic by the Eiffel Tower. We started off with these humongous ice creams that were sooo good for about half an hour but then were sooo bad as it became ice cream overload!
Some boys came and tried to charm us but ate all our picnic, and we weirdly bumped into the Erasmus people we'd met the night before but it was quite awkward as we may have looked like stalkers! We spent a lot of time trying to find the perfect person to approach to take our photo who didn't look like they might nick the camera, but some random nice men took this for us. I did take a photo of them but hey, may not be so appropriate!
That night we got all dresses up and while both in strapless dresses, we went on Skype to our friend in Manchester and started bobbing around on webcam as with just our faces and shoulders showing, it looked like we were having a nudie party hahaha. All fun and games until she screen dumped and put it all over Facebook, thanks Ellie!!!! We didn't get out until about midnight and had a lovely convo with the French police before jumping metro barriers and going to a very random club called Lollypop that played some serious tunes!? We made friends with some people having a water fight in the bathrooms and stole some drinks off a supposed footballer who was about five foot tall. By 5am though my shoes hurt so much and I was like Sophia, taxi now!!! That's probably why we spent a lot of Sunday in bed and then watching way too much BBC world news and French Supernanny, before having another McDo (we are shameful) and hitting more sights.
We had a little marvel at the LV moving window displays.
Oh woah Sephora is heaven! I've never been in a shop before that made you want to buy so much. I managed to snag some stuff, watch the video to see! We met a gorgeous man at MAC who danced to Spice Girls and had amazing eyebrows.
We carried on sightseeing and then the next day I went home, boo! I haven't included all photos but we were proper tourists. I'm looking forward to the last year at Manchester in September and we're all set to work hard, play hard!!
p.s. the sound on this video is poor but I've fixed it in my newest videos!xx
I'm so addicted to Tumblrs. So addicted! I have them in my google reader so as I'm going through all my new blog posts (usually at the '1000+' count), cool pictures will randomly pop up. I don't see much fun in going through pages and pages of inspiring pictures, but when they pop up as breaks in between text posts, they're much more interesting! And google reader only features the picture and any text, so you're not crowded or distracted by the page layouts or fonts of the original site. Sometimes there are little debates under photos when they're reposted from a few different tumblrs.
I just did a quick scan and have approximately 2000 inspiration pictures saved on my computer and half of them are from tumblrs. They're really useful when you can't decide what to wear or are feeling a bit bored with your wardrobe; you can just click through a few and instantly find a few ideas. There are jokes that tumblrs consist of mostly the same thing. If you're not familiar, they're just blog posts of photos, sometimes credited, mostly just random. The most popular ones are mainly full of skinny American girls in tiny denim shorts, and they all make you hanker after coloured nail polish, excessive rings, rainbow hair, tattooed boyfriends, and really sugary food. Some though are a bit more selective and have actual themes, so they're a great collective of something you particularly like. So here are my favourites. If there are any you love, I'd love to see!
DLSW continuously exceeds the daily posting limit and is basically the best collection of all the classic tumblr pictures, from style to nails to food to quotes to blog photos. The owner sometimes posts personal snippets of what she's doing that day and sometimes her own outfit photos. If you only subscribe to one, sub to this tumblr! There's loads of followers and a fair bit of controversy around the blog because the pictures aren't always credited and there was even a Dirty Little Style Store!
Zoe Claudia is like DLSW put has a sweeter filter and posts cuter images. It also posts loads and everything is good quality, and there's more TV snaps.
This might be a bit self indulgent but having red hair isn't always great and I'd compare it to always having to wear a red/brown scarf every day with every outfit. But seeing pages of lovely red head pics, from natural to totally bright fire engine red, is inspiring and a confidence boost.
FYG is pretty much the same but I couldn't pick between the two!
There's a Fuck Yeah for every need but Fuck Yeah Hair means you will never have a bad hair day or fall into a hair rut ever! All the gorgeous girls on tumblr may make you feel a bit inferior but it's all lighting and camera work; use it as a chance to get loads of inspiration and tips!
Self explanatory, lots of rings! Most pictures don't have rings as the focus, they just happen to have a cool ring in there somewhere, so it's a nice collection of photos. I'm partial to this picture though because I have the ring on the right and get compliments all the time! It's from Topshop.
FYPN is huge now, and it's more like looking at art in my opinion! I could never create nails so amazing as these, but they're fantastic to look at. You can submit photos too and often you see the same talented girl or pair of hands posting their weekly nails.
This is just for fun as going through blogs can welcome a random laugh sometimes! This blog cracks me up so much. Crazy cat or angry bunny!?
When I was in London...
...I couldn't resist!
OK so for a teeny, minuscule second you might have thought I'd paid £500+ for those insanely good Miu Miu jewelled swallow platforms but £500+ I do not have, and if I did I'd probably do my fashion maths and work out that's a whole new winter wardrobe from the average high street store, or at least five amazing pairs of shoes. But while doing a major catch up of every blog post since the beginning of May, I was having a Twitter break and spotted a tweet from Claire of Young Shields (whose blog is very indulgent I feel, like one flick through and I come away with weeks of inspiration, so good!) saying that River Island had ripped off Miu Miu. I'd been waiting for this moment for months, finally a high street rip!
You might remember a post a few months ago about how far a store should be 'inspired' by a designer trend and I decided that creating an identical version is just cheeky (the white floral print dress with the heart cut-out is even in supermarkets) but putting your own spin on a design is OK. It only took one glance at the River Island site to spot the navy and pink pairs of bling. One quick fire enter of Mom's card details and they were slowly making their way to me. I haven't worn them yet because I was planning on taking them for a night out in Warwick (well, Leamington Spa with the lovely Warwick girlies I met in Sweden) but their '3 working days, 7am-7pm' delivery ended up being 4 days (going from Monday, when I even ordered on Sunday) and delivering at 6.55pm, which by that time I was on my way on the train blasting the Glee soundtrack.
After closer inspection, River Island have been quite clever. There's not actually that many similarities. Yes they're pink satin, have a black print, and a hefty amount of bling, but if they don't have a solid platform or straight, block heel, they're open toed, the whole structure of the front is different (if a little curved like some of the other Miu Miu shoes), there's a strap around the ankle, and the gems aren't a protruding shape; they're scattered. You could mention that the print is cherries, which make them more pin up rather than fashion forward and I'd much rather the bird print, and maybe give them credit for not copying the swallow print as some retailers have.
They're insanely high as your foot is totally diagonal and there's no support at the ankle, but they are so pretty and I will find a place to wear them, even if 99% of places are ruled out. One wrong step and you'll be scooping up gems off the floor!
p.s. The Miu Miu box above is from my only Miu Miu shoes from ages ago where a part has broke of twice and they're insanely painful, so you don't always get it all when you spend mega bucks, even if mine were heavily reduced!xx
I think the collection everyone was truthfully checking out the Arcadia press day for was Topshop, even though I'm not the fan I used to be. Before, I'd check their new items daily on the site and knew exactly what was selling well, but now TS just isn't a place I long to shop at. The things don't often fit me well and the quality means that after the first wear, items just never look as good. When I met up with a Taiwanese friend from Sweden in London recently, I took her to Topshop and couldn't resist a maxi dress. I had a major debate with myself in the changing room as it was more expensive than some you can get on the high street and I knew the quality would deteriorate. True to form, after a few wears it's stretched and baggier, and where I have my bag on my shoulder the fabric has bobbled. Not unexpected but a bit disappointing. Still, their designs and huge range is what attracts people and they seem to set fashion trends all of their own. Years ago I'd look to their trend reports to see what was in fashion. Before you read on, at least in the showroom, there were no prints or retro things. The heart print jeans and bow back dresses were all pushed away and there won't be anything to tempt your cute radar.
Topshop was right at the end of the route around the showrooms and it was a huge room with one wall covered in leaves and foliage with a light up sign. Not sure what it was meant to convey as the green was more springy than wintery, but it was lovely and again transported you right into Topshop, so it didn't associate with the collections just a room away. This was also where all the canapes were coming from; even teeny bowls of pasta! I was told here that I couldn't take photos but a Japanese team nearby were pulling out and photographing every single thing so I carried on, I hope they're OK to be here!
It started quite nicely with nude and chiffon pieces that could be part of current collections, but everything had a bit more of a twist. For example this sheer dress was so delicate and unique, I was told everything is going into production but I can imagine this being a stand out piece!
All boots are fur lined, will you be adding fur to yours from last year? I'll definitely consider it for mine! I find these nude and sand colours quite hard to wear as the basis of my wardrobe is solid black, but I'm trying not to buy anything totally black any time soon to allow for some variety in winter.
Clog boots? The embellished pair in the glass cover were so high, I hope they come in other colours!
I'm keen to wear leather but not so much if it's real, so I hope there's some synthetic pieces out there. I wear leather shoes but if you are wearing something that you're constantly touching and it used to be the skin of an animal, that's a bit creepy! I love the skirt though, definitely looks like something that would stay the same shape after a few wears.
The leather continued with this insane hat. Wearing this down the street would be my worst nightmare! But maybe someone else's wildest dream?
I've never had a substantial cardigan, mine are all mini and cropped. Maybe before you start wearing coats, a huuuge cardigan would be really cosy. Never had a cape either, interesting! Not sure what I think as you only need one major coat so I wouldn't get a cape on top of that, and I'd probably never buy a cape alone.
The only printed thing I found was this over-sized duck print top which literally channels the heritage, earthy vibes. A cheap way to channel the trend would be to sew elbow patches on old things like this jumper.
This is another example of something I could never pull off in a million years. A holey jumper? Even grey jersey would look odd on me.
Miu Miu-esque crystals are always good in my book! Wouldn't you love to put this on day after day? If they crystals didn't fall off that is! I just bought the MOST AMAZING crystallized things, will stare tomorrow.............
These totally appeal to my magpie side, gems and nudes are lovely. It's all about investing your money in things you're excited to continuously wear, and you couldn't tire of something shiny!
Gold chain mail... woah!
Metal bra... woah!
God, these shorts are gorgeous. They look so buttery!
Topshop sometimes annoys me a bit when they always have lingerie inspired stuff. Like I know it's popular and people love it but when I see another slip skirt or bra top I'm just thinking same old, same old.
Haha imagine if I came home with this one day?!
Topshop always do a great feather pieces and this is the ultimate. Unless you were super fierce you might be verging on costume territory but I bet it feels amazing to stroke.
This is just about as far into the whole studs area that I would venture, and that's if I buy anymore flats. I'm so fed up with flats, they're so unsupportive and unethical and just plain rubbish, so annoying that they all stretch and break. I'm fed up of constantly buying pairs.
And you thought you'd seen it all?! Good Lord this could have your eye out. Imagine if you accidentally put it on inside out haha!
I've never had a leather jacket either, just don't like the feeling of real leather.
Now this is lush, denim and caramel and camel and orange. I'm trying to build up my non existent camel wardrobe with non existent funds. Oh.
Hello leather tee. Synthetic? Hell yeah, come to me!
They speak for themselves right? The Unique things at the moment are quite minimal so it's interesting to have different colours and textures along the way. I've got my eye on the maxi dress above!
I had a sneak peek at Topshop makeup too but I'm sure you've seen it by now! I've heard great things about the cream blushers but when I bought an expensive £8 lipstick, it looked orange in store but matte red outside so I'm a bit disheartened to try any more!
Home for the summer wooooooooo!! I've been storing these photos for far too long though, and is it just me or has all this hot weather brought on Autumn thinking? I'm not planning on buying any more summery things because I've already got loads and I'm not lucky enough to have any holidays abroad booked. It also feels like the countdown to going back up to Manchester for my final year which judging by all the news from my friends completing their degrees, it's just about the worst year ever! But what with the growth of blogs and general competition in the fashion and retail industry, next year needs to be super focused and fashionable. Time to start planning!
So when I hit the Arcadia AW10 press day, I didn't pass up the Evans area; of course I had a mooch everywhere and I wasn't just there to look for myself but to share. And it definitely exceeded every expectation I had. I'm signed up to every store newsletter including Evans so I knew they create some on-trend stuff and I bloody love Crystal Renn, but I wasn't expecting so many great things one after the other, making for a seriously strong collection.
I've never been the biggest maxi dress fan before and now I've got three; I'm sure maxis are insanely good this year. All the Arcadia brands had winter maxis and I'll be wearing mine this autumn I hope. They look the best with jackets rather than coats and Evans had an amazing shearling jacket that you can see poking out in this photo, but the single photo didn't turn out. The head designer told me they modeled it on an air fighter pilot jacket found at a flea market in America, which is pretty cool for a plus-size retailer.
They had a load of lingerie but I'm just not much of a lingerie buyer? I don't need to invest in expensive bras and prefer cute stuff anyway so lace and satin makes me glaze over. However I did like the little tee that was almost like secret lounging around, slob wear but hot!
I have no idea how the first collection went down in terms of sales but they've officially got Beth Ditto back on board to design another collection.
These are examples of key things that I didn't think Evans were quite fashion forward enough to stock, but considering they're the sister of Topshop, Miss Selfridges and Dorothy Perkins, it's no wonder.
I really liked the boots, especially the knee high pair. Some I got in Sweden are almost the same but the laces are at the back.
This coat was very inviting as it was dusty purple, especially soft, and the fur was even twirled into roses. Every time I see these pics it gets more and more attractive, and if this was stocked in Topshop you'd probably think twice. Come winter I might take a closer look at a small size.
The coat on the left is actually a rich navy blue with bright red buttons, and you can just see the sleeve in the bottom corner in the true colours. Loved it!
Was also eyeing up the duffel coat in plaid as there's so many woodstock and hippy vibes all around. I need to invest in some hair tongs for some huge waves pronto!