come with me while the moon is on the sea (Hastings day 2)

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Sunday was our second day in Hastings, and was a somewhat calmer day than Saturday (which was a manic must do everything now kind of day). I woke up early of course, and was a little surprised to find our 'bed and breakfast' didn't actually serve any breakfast, and so really I suppose was more of just a bed. It was lovely though, and actually it worked out for the best as it got me out and into the Old Town before the shops were opening on the hunt for something to eat. It also gave me the opportunity to find more cute cafes, which is a favourite pastime of mine, especially in seaside towns.

I wore my new tights and shirt from Pop Boutique in Covent Garden, with shorts and shoes from Rokit, belt from Beyond Retro, socks from Topshop, satchel from The London Satchel Company and glasses from Camden Market. They were originally cheap sunglasses, but I popped the lenses out so I could just wear the frames...I think I might get my actual prescription lenses put in them eventually though. My jumper was £5 and from a dusty old shop I found on Saturday. It's so big and cosy and reminds me of a typical fisherman's jumper, which I felt was quite apt considering Hastings is a fishing town.

I'm really into my glasses at the moment. I didn't have them over the LFW period as they were getting new lenses put in, but my pink ones are finally home...and I seem to have developed an insatiable thirst for bigger, crazier pairs. I oh-so-nearly bought the most amazing pair of bright red cat-eyes from my opticians...the arms were shaped like legs with high-heels on and everything. Unfortunately they may or may not have been over £300, so I had to go without. I still dream about them. (sighs).

The slight lacking of breakfast from our bed and breakfast hotel definitely paid off, as I was able to stumble across the gorgeous cafe 'Petit Fi', just as it was opening up for the day. I'm very fussy with breakfast usually...I'm a strictly oats kind of person, preferring plain weetabix, shredded wheat or porridge to anything else. However, upon finding this gem of a cafe and not wanting to go elsewhere, I opted for their scrambled eggs on sourdough toast with chilli tomato sauce. At first glance, I thought the menu was a little limited, only really offering eggs...however when they turned up, I realised that quality definitely wins over quantity...and when a place serves eggs this good, why would you ever want or need anything else? The chilli tomato sauce was a lovely replacement for ketchup, and complimented the creamy eggs and toast perfectly. Even the salad was delicious. The cafe itself was lovely too...the waitress was really friendly, and the bright and airy decor felt very 40s. I loved the mismatched china and cute teacups.

We ended up walking to the tops of the cliffs on either side of Hastings. The views were amazing, and it was fascinating how gaining just that little bit of height completely cut out the noise of the busy seafront and arcades, leaving you in the complete peace of nature. It was so relaxing, and the perfect way to get away from London and work before going back to school again.

We may or may not have gone back to our favourite 'Hanushka Coffee House' for lunch, and I may or may not have had the exact same thing (how could I not?!)

The rest of the day passed in a sunny, dreamy haze. I got to work my way back through all of the gorgeous shops, finding treasures like Anne Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall for £1 in one shop, and finding a copy of Dickens' Bleak House from 1948 for £2 in another.
I then ended up noticing this group of ladies and men, all dressed completely head to toe in 40s clothes. The men wore shirts, waistcoats, jackets and overcoats, carried briefcases, and one even had round tortoiseshell glasses perched on the end of his nose. The women wore fur and skirt suits with jackets and long coats, midi heels and tan tights, cat-eye sunglasses, hats and red lipstick. Their hair was glossy and pinned perfectly in place, and watching them I genuinely thought that I had fallen through some kind of time portal. (Picture above of two members of the party outside an antique store). I overheard them speaking with a shop owner, who asked them if they were dressed up for a vintage event. The man with the glasses said that they were in fact just dressed up for fun - it was a hobby of theirs, and they met up in their outfits to go antique shopping every once in a while. This fascinated me, and I absolutely love the idea that people can express themselves so freely as a hobby, and that they were almost like human of art, if you will. I also wondered what they did for a living...did they have ordinary jobs? Did anyone else know about their 40s alter ego?
After thinking about this as I strolled through the pretty seaside streets, I watched a fishing boat be unpacked from the pier, walked up and down the coastline several times, nosed in the windows of a few houses (I thought they were shops...the poor people sitting inside didn't seem too amused) and then settled down in the car looking out to sea with the most delicious fish and chips. You have to have fish and chips by the sea, it's like an unspoken rule or something.
Writing this, I wish I was still by the sea. hugs,

ellie xo

Never make me fret Claudette (Hastings day 1)

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Hello again. It feels like absolutely ages since my last post, especially as I've had a particularly busy half term and feel as if we have a lot to catch up on. London Fashion Week passed by in an exciting blur, and left me feeling a little dazed and out-of-place for the next few days. After being so caught up in the hype of it all, it felt odd having to go straight back to normal and get on with schoolwork again. It's been exciting waiting to see where my picture pops up - so far my outfits from Fashion Week have been featured on Beyond Retro's blog,, Grazia Russia,, and LFW Daily. It's crazy how much exposure you can get by going to one event, and shows just how worthwhile nipping down to Somerset House can be!
In other news, I felt it was absolutely necessary to get away from London for a little while and have a break before having to go back to school on Monday. The recent floods have meant that a lot of places were off limits, but we decided on taking a little trip down to Hastings, as we'd heard there were some lovely antique shops and cutesy English-seaside places to poke around.

On my way home from Somerset House on Monday, I'd stopped by Pop Boutique in Covent Garden and picked up these amazing 60s/70s-esque shorts. The shop is so gorgeous and has a great selection of well-priced records as well as amazing clothes. I wore them to Hastings with a pair of white tights and dotty socks from Topshop, shoes from Rokit, bag from The London Satchel Company and shirt and cardigan from Beyond Retro. I've been hugely into white tights ever since I wore them to LFW, and am looking forward to wearing them more in the future. I think white and skin-tone tights are going to be seen a lot more frequently in the high fashion world too after lighter tones made an appearance in Vivienne Westwood's A/W14 Red Label show.

Hastings was absolutely gorgeous, and although the best part (the Old Town) is very small, there are so many gems hidden in the few old and tudor streets that make visiting worthwhile. Shops are old and crumbly, and probably quite definitely a health and safety hazard - but they contain such a vast mish-mash of antiques that they border on being like museums. Books are available in abundance, along with lots of furniture and collectable items such as victorian dolls and toys, chinaware, artwork and even a few old skeletons (that I really hope were plastic). Prices are is so refreshing to be able to buy books for twenty pence each, and not be ridiculously overcharged as you are in London. Shop owners are lovely to, each seeming so into their can tell selling their treasures is their life and passion, and not just a way of getting money (as you sometimes get the feeling in London). If you like rummaging and searching through dusty old shelves and crazy old buildings, Hastings is literally Heaven. I could have stayed in some of the shops for hours.

For lunch, I stumbled across the most gorgeous cafe, called the 'Hanushka Coffee House', that seemed to double as an almost library, with books lining the walls from ceiling to floor and piled on chairs and tables. It was so cosy and kitsch, and served the most incredible food (and homemade iced tea that was to die for). I love finding independent cafes and restaurants, as they are so much more exciting than the usual chain coffee shops. The Old Town has a few lovely places to eat breakfast or lunch, however this one was definitely my favourite.

As usual, I decided it was necessary to try and do absolutely everything all in one day - which I somehow managed. After poking my way around the old town (and finding the cutest yellow jumper for £5) I walked along the seafront to Rock-a-Nore, and visited the Jerwood art gallery, the aquarium and the Fisherman's Museum.

Like Hollie said in her post, I've been falling a little bit in love with England recently. The seaside has a particular place in my heart as, like most of us, visits to the seaside have been part of my life ever since I could walk. The English have loved the seaside ever since trains and other transport made it accessible to everyone, and it's lovely to be back there and see that it is still as important to us as it's ever been. I kind of wish I could spend forever by the sea.

ellie xo

she'll feel those needles and pins (London Fashion Week Day 4)

Monday, 17 February 2014

Hello again. It's so nice to be able to post every day...when I'm at school, I don't have enough time to take pictures to put up more than twice or three times a week, so to have enough content to update daily is a whole new thing to me (and I kind of love it). Today was my third (and unfortunately final) day at London Fashion Week. My outfits for the first two days had been pretty much sorted in my head, however this morning proved a challenge as I ended up faced with an entire wardrobe full of clothes and yet absolutely nothing to wear. I opted for a sort of wartime-meets-60s-meets-grandma kind of look, and wore my coat from River Island with a shirt from Blitz, cardigan from Clothes Show, skirt from a vintage market in France and clutch, belt and cute shoes from Beyond Retro

I found these beauties in Beyond Retro a few months ago, but haven't actually had the chance to wear them until today. They make me think of during and post war women's fashion, and make the most fabulous noise as you walk. You could almost mistake me for being sophisticated.

Today was definitely the quietest day...I did my usual stroll around, and bumped into a few familiar faces, before finding out that my outfit from yesterday had made it's way into the LFW Daily newspaper. I also hung around at the entrance with some really lovely photographers, who were so chatty and reminded me how lovely everyone has been this past weekend. The fashion industry has a bit of a reputation for being quite competitive and exclusive, but from what I've seen it's actually a really nice community of quite like-minded, artistic people.
I then made my way into Covent Garden, and had a lovely stroll through Neal's Yard (mm pret soup) before catching the bus home, and befriending a lady who decided to tell me her life story. I love talking to new people - I am fascinated by the idea that two people can meet only briefly, and yet impact each other in some way. I have a habit of talking to people in queues and on buses, it seems.

Anyway, I have to go into school for the next two days to finish my textiles project, and so unfortunately I won't be able to go to the last day of LFW. I feel as if I've really done it though...I've been up at 7am every day, been windswept, rained on, blinded by the sun and frozen all in the space of three days, lost and found my voice, blistered both feet, and loved absolutely every second of it. Bring on next year.

ellie xo