Final throws of summer

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PORTRAITS : TOM FLATHERS

Embracing the British summer

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Summer in Britain, not exactly known for its days of blazing hot sunshine and wonderful warm evenings. It more often tends to be 5 random days in mid June reaching over 25 degrees (which obviously happen on days that you are stuck inside) which are then followed by weeks on end of on and off rain with the occasional bit of hail thrown in for good measure. Not exactly the best weather for cracking out the shorts and the T shirts really. Now shorts aren’t exactly a best friend of mine with my tree trunk legs preferring to be in their happy place being wrapped up in 3 pairs of tights.  However when if I see a beautiful  summer dress then it will tend to weasel its way into my bag and somehow end up back home with me. This ‘summer’ has been no different with long, short, patterned and plain ones all being added to the collection. So even when the weather is looking no better than truly pants I just try to embrace the breeze, throw on my favourite floral dress and remember there must be at least 1 place in the world right now which is 30 degrees and sunny. 

 

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This gorgeous cherry print dress from Topshop pretty much ticks all the boxes for me. With its collared shirt detail down the front, to its pretty blue and red print, to the fact that is manages to have no funny cut out sections and actually have with fully functioning sleeves! Actually managing to find a dress with sleeves that isn’t ridiculously short or low at the front has seemed to be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Last year urban outfitters came up trumps and this year it has seemed to be Topshop’s turn. From this i’ve learnt 60’s is the way to go with it’s slim fitting shift dress/shirt dress shape and pretty cherry pint print nicely bringing a touch of vintage to a modern outfit. Despite my yaking on about it being a gorgeous summery daytime piece I definitely think that this piece will stand the test of time being able to take you from day to night and summer to winter. Whack on a good thick tight and a chunky knit jumper and your good to go for a wonderful wintery look. 

 

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PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS 

Last days of summer

Last days of summer

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With summer now unfortunately coming to a close with the days of lounging around catching a few rays soon to be exchanged for wrapping up in a warm blanket in front of the fire, for many it would seem the time to pack up all the floral dresses in exchange for chunky knits. But part of me is still definitely not ready to pack away all the summer dresses quite yet.  Having gone back to uni and Strictly being back on the telly, its practically already Christmas but with far too much forward planning your going to have to put up with a couple of summery posts for a little bit longer!

For this summer was very much the year of the vintage dress. With my collection continuing to grow in all cuts and colours the black shirt dresses were finally given a bit of a rest in exchange for a couple of colourful numbers. This dress definitely encapsulates the 70’s trend with the button down front and neckline frill detail. Frills tend to be something that I keep rather at arms length with not feeling they are particularly flattering for me however, with the addition of the grungy elements and the leather jacket over the top (how could I possibly leave that out) the whole look becomes a lot more ‘me’.

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Photos by the ever wonderful Tom Flathers

So many stripes

So many stripes

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Me and stripes have had a good old life long bond. Though thick and thin (literally), in the world of fashion i’ve found a decent striped print is something that can be very much be relied upon year on year.  This statement skirt from Topshop, one which I spoke rather adoringly about here, is definitely one of my more bolder choices being a stripy double wammy in the vertical and horizontal verities (and it leaps out the the realms of just black, white and blue.) Now you may be thinking I would be mad to pair this with yet more stripes but that I did with but with this thinly striped blue and white Zara number.

On this lovely day back in April I seemed to cash in all my lucky stars in the bluebell variety with some of the most beautiful scenery I think Scotland has to offer. Just have to pretend that I totally planned to wear blue on this day to match this and totally wasn’t a fluke.

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Obviously an outfit post nowadays could not be complete without the old leather jacket.

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ALL LINKS

Brilliant photos as ever by Tom Flathers

 

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Kentchurch Court Gardens

Kentchurch Court Gardens

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With this countries mini July heatwave coming to an end and with me now finally being able to function once more, and all of us now realising we shouldn’t have complained that much about it being too hot with it now raining, it seemed only right to reminis on the beautiful weather with a post all about my trip to the beautiful Kentchurch Court Gardens. 

This summer in particular I think I have had a real draw (just like a bee) to beautiful gardens and flowers. Sunny skies and pretty flowers, whats not to like? Maybe its me getting older (should I take out a national trust membership card already?) but Kentchurch Court Gardens has really tickled my appetite for all things floral and summery. With living the big city life nowadays its lovely and refreshing to come back to visits such beautiful  placed hidden away in the depths of the countryside.(totally haven’t been there 3 times in the past couple of weeks :/) 

Not only have I been hanging out with the flowers I have also rather unusually for me started wearing them too. With my new discovery of a fab little vintage shop in my home town packed full with more vintage dresses than you can shake a stick at, It has definitely made shopping trips in little old Hereford a lot interesting (and less purse friendly too.)   

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Brilliant photos as ever by Tom Flathers

 

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Flower Power!

Flower Power!

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Welcome to probably the longest outfit of the day post I have ever done, with the blossoms looked so pretty under the gorgeous sunlight, I think we got a little bit carried away with the camera. And why not when it looks so blooming pretty! (pun alert)

Now with a title like flower power you may be thinking I was going to go all 60/70’s on you with bold floral prints, flared trousers and knee length pvc boots.

Despite a surprising amount of those things coming back into fashion over the past few seasons (can’t say I was the first to see the floral flare coming back) I haven’t had the craving to adorn my legs with PVC quite yet, god help me if I do, but I have come with smidge of a floral pattern and a little bit of colour with this lovely teal flowered tea dress from Urban Outfitters. With the pussy bow neck tie, vintage style floral fabric and fitted A line mini shape, there is a some what of a wiff of the 1960’s about it.

With the sun having finally broken through the clouds it was a gorgeous day to grab out this dress and even get the old pins out despite how white and pasty they looked.

Get the look..

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ALL LINKS 

Brilliant photos as ever by Tom Flathers

 

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Red dress in Rotherwas

Red dress in Rotherwas

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PRODUCT LINKS: 

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Brilliant photos as ever by Tom Flathers

 

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Isle of Arran | Part 4

Isle of Arran | Part 4

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On our second morning in Arran after spending far too long deciding on which part of the Island to go to, we decided to go right back to the same parts as the day before. Despite being a tad unadventurous, it turned out to have been a really good decision with managing to get some really cool shots with such a dramatic landscape. 

I kept the look simple with this simple marron body con dress which ended up complementing the green and beige tones of the landscape really well. As someone who tends to run and hide under a massive jumper at the very mention of the word bodycon, I was pleasantly surprised how this little number from H and M nicely skims my curves without being too clingy.  (Looks like the massive meal of venison sausages I had the night before didn’t do my waist too much harm.) 

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Brilliant photos as ever by Tom Flathers

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Isle of Arran | Dramatic Portrait Shoot

Isle of Arran | Dramatic Portrait Shoot

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Before you say anything, don’t worry, I’m acting, well, being in freezing cold water on a Scottish island in the middle of February in a thin floaty dress I suppose there wasn’t much acting needed really. 

Continuing onto part 3 of my Isle of Arran blog series as you can tell this is a little bit of a different shoot from my usual with not graffitied walls or pretty doors in sight. The one of the main reasons for going to Arran, other than having a little explore, was to try and find the right sort of landscape to be able to do this type of dramatic photoshoot, beaches and bog lands don’t just appear next to the Hereford industrial estate unfortunately.

The whole sort of concept for the shoot was that I was a “victim” running away from an “attacker” with the whole True Detective season 1 vibes (unfortunately Matthew Mcconaughey couldn’t make it.) 

From my acting background it was a nice little opportunity to flex that old muscle again, well thats what Tom said when trying to convince me to do it ;) 

As you can imagine it was really rather cold and how I was convinced to do this again for another shoot recently I will never know. 

So sit back and have look at me pulling some delightfully awful faces. 

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Pool photoshoot 

Brilliant photos as ever by Tom Flathers

 

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Swimming pool Photoshoot

Swimming pool Photoshoot

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Its not everyday that you wake up at 5am to go to your local swimming pool to put on a red dress and do a photoshoot. Now this isn’t particularly  unusual for me with some of the photoshoots and short films we’ve done in the past, getting up at the crack of dawn to get the perfect sunrise in the middle of a forest. Least this time it was in a nice and warm building, even with the addition of water. 

But this time I did feel a bit of my depth (literally, 3.8m of diving pool depth), with having not stepped foot in a swimming pool since my school days, trying to swim and stay afloat while clothed was a bit of a task. Put it this way, I had to learn to tread water pretty quickly.  

I was rather impresses by Mac Ruby Woo surviving at the mersey of the pool, cant quite say the same for the eyeliner as it dribbles down my face.  

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My partner in crime for this shoot was the brilliant Arthur Godden, who managed to haul himself around in the pool in near full suit not just a small dress (I have a feeling that would have looked odd). He managed some rather impressive flash and photography umbrella holding while treading water, somehow that didn’t get photographed.  

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Definitely braver than I was when it came to swimming underwater (I need googles :P )

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WHAT I WAS WEARING 

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Brilliant photos as ever by TOM FLATHERS 

MA LINKS 

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Spotlight on – Birmingham Grand Central

Spotlight on – Birmingham Grand Central

With christmas very close on the horizon and uni coming to an end for the year as Chris Rea famously sang its time for driving (or for many of us taking a long train journey) home for christmas, with my train station destination being Birmingham New street.  

With it having only opened in September of this year I was very lucky to get the chance to take some photos around the brand new Birmingham’s Grand Central shopping centre. When I first visited it a couple of weeks ago I knew with it being such a large open space with great lighting that it would look great for the blog, and low and behold a couple of days ago I ended up there doing exactly that.  

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Having made many trips to Birmingham New Street over the years and seeing half the station boarded up with this new building being built, it is so nice to finally see the brilliant result. I think its a great addition to Birmingham with the great restaurants and shops it has to offer. 

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The look for this shoot I kept very simple styling one of my favourite new pieces being this floral teal blue dress from Urban Outfitters.  Within the winter months my wardrobe generally takes the turn into mostly dresses, thick tights and jumpers with finding this way of layering being the best way to keep warm and comfy. This one is a great addition for me this year with the lovely deep teal colour and small brown floral print. With the high neck line, bow collar and front pleat, this dress has a rather 60’s vibe about it with being a great way at getting a vintage inspired look. 

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Urban outfitters never fail to stock some lovely pretty floral dresses and various cuts and colours within their eclectic mix of stock. This one I was lucky to manage to pick in the black Friday sales so made it a lot more reasonably priced for Urban Outfitters. 

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Along with a simple pair of opaque black tights I completed the look with these patent Doc Marten shoes, adding a masculine twist to the look. 

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Thank you very much to Grand Central for the opportunity to use their facilities and I look forward to seeing it again. 

Grand Central station Birmingham 

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Blue dress – Urban Outfitters 

Shoes – Doc Martens

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Photos taken by Tom Flathers

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