Portraits by Tom Flathers
Yep now theres a title you weren’t expecting. Maybe just put it down to the fact I am running on very little sleep. There may not be any bejewelled wildlife in this post however I have ended up wearing something sparkly and leopard print at the same time and not on the way to a fancy dress party. How very un-me! I don’t tend to be one for a sparkle, at the risk of looking too much like the cross between a christmas tree and and my 5 year old self at a birthday party however in my new found urge to dress a big more adventurously (even if I have stayed within the realms of my beloved black)
Before christmas in the shops you couldn’t move for sparkly knits and shear tops which despite my best efforts to make it work it always lead to me feeling far to dresses up. However some small corner of my brain decided after spotting this lovely little number in & Other Stories that now is the time that finally mix up an effectively all black look with a bit of sparkle. The party season with all its glitz and glamour may be long behind us however thats no excuse for not being able to throw a touch of sparkle occasionally (seems a leopard does change its spots ;)
The fact that I’m wearing sparkles and leopard print has some how managed to distract from the fact I also wearing frayed kick flare jeans, another item that when I first saw in the shops I thought I would never be seen wearing. Denim is something that I have spent most of my life living in. From the bog standard black skinny jeans which have head my heart for many years to the classic mom jean which have become my new found love. However more recently I have been trying to be a little more adventurous within my denim choices. First seen within my Life in a Leather Jacket post last year wearing my beloved 2 tone mom jeans I’ve now followed the crowd into the realms of the kick flare. Part of me still isn’t a huge fan but after seeing these on Carrie from WishWishWish I was persuaded to give them a go and turns out, I love them! Being Asos own brand they were never going to break the bank on a piece which is probably only going to be a short term trend piece.
Well for starters Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all had a good day and are still sleeping off the food comas and hangovers that you acquired from a little bit too much of everything. I can safely say having a day reserved pretty much for eating far too much food while watching far too much tele was just what I needed.
This year christmas has been rather different for me. With being wrapped up in the crazy old world of Panto, working all the hours god sent up until christmas eve and getting back to work on boxing day, I was far more excited this year for christmas day than usual if for nothing more than a nice day of rest!
I would never usually consider myself the most christmassy of people. Don’t get me wrong I love the idea of christmas, spending the day with the people you love, eating some great food and getting a couple of nice presents along the way but somehow between childhood and growing into an adult the whole occasion somewhat lost some of its magic. Maybe it was from at the age of 13 being told by your parents Santa isn’t actually real and you no longer get a stocking or being given one to many body spray sets you seriously start to question how badly you must smell or being forces to watch the christmas day episode of Eastenders year on year (evidently I don’t have the most festive of parents!) Also with usually only letting myself vaguely entertain the idea of christmas until after my birthday is done and dusted (3rd Dec), which by this point advent calendars are all sold out and Black Friday present deals have been and gone I tend to miss the bandwagon.
But as I said this year I have been determined to make the most of christmas, enjoy my time of to relax and see family and try to forget about the last stressful term and before a probably worse one. So I decided to put together a little collection of the ways in which this year I will try and make myself enjoy the festive period. None of these are going to be ground breaking, I’m sure probably all of you do this already but these are just a couple of ways I will be spending my christmas hollibobs!
I really have been rather crap on the tele front this year. With not even getting around to watching what was once the highlight of my TV calendar, Strictly Come Dancing, christmas will be a bit of a shock to the system with actually sitting down to watch some TV on an actual tele! With christmas specials in abundance (outnumbered being this years personal highlight) and the good old classics being pumped out to fill the gaps (how can anyone not like Blackadder), its the best time of year to have a good old TV binge and enjoy watching Chicken Run for the 8th time.
Anyone like me who can be a bit of a workaholic, sometimes it is hard to completely shut down and and forget about deadlines and projects and what I should be doing next. But if there is any time of the year that this can and should all be forgotten about it is christmas. This may be somewhat hypocritical writing this now but just put dow the notepad, sit down, relax and watch that whole series of lost in 2 days with a family size pack or bourbons by your side (to share, obviously).
Anyone around me who knows me will know that I am some what of a foodie. Not in the sense of fancy Michelin star restaurants with caviar and quails eggs but in the sense of just loving a good old bit of grub! With christmas being the one time of year when you can drink and eat chocolate before lunch time and eat cake convincing yourself that its healthy because it has fruit in it, I love to crack out the cooking equipment and make a lovely batch of biscuits or muffins for either yourself or to be a lovely hand made present for a relative.
Now I know this is kind of the obvious thing for people to do over the christmas break but having been away for the whole term without a reading week and working full time over christmas, getting to go home and see some family on christmas day is a rather exciting prospect.
With living in London there is so much going on over the christmas period that it would be stupid to miss them all. So on the small time that I have of I am determined to hit up the christmas markets even if just for the smell of mulled wine and gingerbread, visit Winter Wonderland to see what all the fuss is about and plainly have a nice wonder around the city to see all the beautiful christmas lights.
We all have one of those pieces in our wardrobe, the thing when the rest of your clothes are lying unloved and rejected on the floor after a manic “I have nothing to wear” session that we reach for time and time again. Be this in the form of a massive fluffy jumper, an old pair of Levis which have probably seen a few world wars in their time or a classic little black dress, we all have them tucked away somewhere.
Despite all of these being very much on my panic dressing hit list the one item which has reigned above all since its purchase has been this lovely vintage black velvet dress. It may be cheesy to say it but with it being black, a shirt dress and vintage its pretty much me in velvety goodness dress form. The £9 price tag also makes it all that bit sweeter with the cost per wear probably now being less than a tin of beans (and I don’t even mean fancy old Heinz).
With any completely black outfit I always try and throw in a splash of colour somewhere and this beautiful suede bag did just the trick. All my thrifting powers were put to good use with this look with managing to pic this bag up for a couple of pounds in a charity ship. With its angular hexagon shape (seems I learnt something in GCSE Maths) it adds a geometric edge to a pretty piece and adds another spot of interest.
PICTURES | TOM FLATHERS
You know those days as a girl (sorry boys) when you actually manage to end up wearing an exactly matching set of underwear and you actually feel like you are winning at life and could take on the world? Now I wish I could say this was one of those days but without giving too much away, with my rather undesirable underware collection, mostly consisting of massive granny knickers (Bridget would be proud!) leave these days rather few and far between. However how could anyone not miss the opportunity to match their lipstick colour with their outfit?
Now I know this will come as a massive shock to all and at the risk of repeating myself for the 100th time but shirt dresses and bright lipsticks are near enough the only 2 things I ever wear. This maroon one was a new addition for me this summer. Its near enough a carbon copy of a black one which I have had and worn to death over the past few years so what better way to introduce some more colour to my wardrobe. The ultimate matching lipstick was the lovely Love Liberty from Charlotte Tilbury. I spoke more in-depth about this lipstick in my review of it linked here. I may have had a some what love hate relationship with this lipstick in the past but you can not deny how perfectly it works for this look.
Pics as ever by Tom Flathers
During a less than 24 hours stay in London, with seeming to spend more time traveling there and back than rather in the place its self, (7 hour train journeys feel like just nipping down to the shop for me now) I eventually got round to seeing the VOGUE 100: A Century of Style exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery.
In celebration of Vogues centenary year, the National Portrait Gallery worked in collaboration with British Vogue to put together a fabulous collection of over 280 prints of its best and most famous photographs from the 100 years it has been in print. Despite my best intentions with seeming to miss it on all other occasions when entering the capital this time I finally got down to seeing it.
For any fashion and/or photography lovers this is defiantly a must see exhibition. I am going to have to hold my hands up and say that I have not been a long time reader of Vogue myself, I never fancied wading through a magazine basically full of adverts for a few feature at the back but having become more interested fashion and photography recently, I am rather partial to a little flick through.
The exhibition includes many classic photos of stars such as Naomi Campbell, Alexander McQueen, Keira Knightly and Kate Moss (making many regular appearances, having seemed not to have aged a bit in her whole career might I add). It was also a lot bigger than I expected with each era (1930, 1940, etc) having their own dedicated room, each full of images from the worlds highest acclaimed models, actors and photographers at the top of their game. It was amazing to see the magazine from its small illustrative beginnings to the high gloss of its content today and truly see how it has changed and developed over the years.
The exhibition is running until the 22nd of April so if your ever in London get in there while it is still on!
To find out more information or to book tickets visit their website at http://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/vogue/exhibition.php
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