because everything that you said rings true

Saturday, 30 August 2014

At the start of the summer I met up with the wonderful Kitty Gallannaugh to do a little shoot in Hyde Park. I'd seen her work previously and loved her dreamy, vintage style, something I find quite hard to achieve myself with my own photography. It was a lovely experience as I was very free to style the shoot myself and wear my own clothes and do my own makeup, making the photos look as natural as they felt to take. I often feel I need a lot of direction in front of the camera as I never know how to pose, but Kitty's gentle suggestions and cute little props like milkshakes and cameras made it seem so much easier than usual. Being out and about in Hyde Park was fun enough in itself, and is definitely somewhere I would shoot again (so many flowers ah).

The first outfit I wore was a shirt from Beyond Retro and shorts from To Be Worn Again in Brighton, with socks and shoes from Topshop. The patterns were a little crazy together but I quite liked the way they stood out from the backdrops we chose.

I also discovered that I must secretly speak goose or something as whilst trying to take the above picture I thought I would try and coax a few more geese into the shot...and then ended up with almost every goose possible swimming towards me because they must have thought I had food or something. I do like geese but that many coming towards you is a little daunting. 

The second outfit was my pink Beyond Retro dungarees and cute Motel Rocks gypsy crop top. I love wearing small cropped tops under dungarees as you still feel quite feminine and less hot in the sun but much more comfortable than you do with your whole stomach on show all day. 

This feels like the perfect time to post these as they kind of personify all of the aesthetics I've been feeling recently. For example it is still summer, or is supposed to be, but the hot weather has started to fade away now and the structure and routine of sixth form is beginning to loom over me like it always does when September rolls around. The dreamy, almost nostalgic feel of the shoot makes me think about this summer and all of the freedom I am going to miss when I start back at school...travelling back and forth on the underground, reading on the roof in the sun, staying up all night with friends and then hanging out with them again the next day as if we haven't seen each other in weeks. This summer has been so long even though it seemed to go by so fast, but I enjoyed almost every second of it so I can't really be too upset now that it is nearly over. 

I had such a lovely day with Kitty - she is such a sweet person to work with and is of course incredibly talented when it comes to photography. It was so nice to meet someone similarly crazy who doesn't judge my love of dancing about in flowers (which I do way too often). Hopefully we will be working together again soon...and I hope you liked these photos! 
Check out Kitty's website, blog and post about this shoot!

Jewellery & Interview with Susan Caplan

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

(Left: Source Right: Source)
As I am sure you know, I have recently become much more interested in jewellery than I ever have been before. I have always known how big a role it plays in fashion, but only now have I started to realise just how important the right accessories can be to making an outfit feel 'finished.' Since starting to work some Saturdays in my favourite Hirst Antiques I have really begun to notice how much small details like earrings or a brooch can make to an outfit, and how they can really contribute to making a look as realistically vintage as possible.
Jewellery is of course still just as big in modern fashion as it is in vintage, but I have a feeling that with the start of a 60s resurgence becoming increasingly more apparent (cough Gucci A/W14, Prada A/W14, Miu Miu A/W14 amongst others) classic shapes and styles will start to pop back up on the market again. This is of course fabulous for us vintage fans, as it means the beautiful one off pieces we like to find in costume jewellery stores and antique markets will actually be coveted in the high fashion world too, and hopefully make us all the epitome of on-trend (we can only dream). With that in mind, it seemed perfectly coincidental that I was able to do an interview for the lovely Susan Caplan, who sells her wonderfully selected vintage and antique costume jewellery in places such as Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Fortnum and Mason, and of course in similar stores around the world.

 The Susan Caplan website is full of amazing vintage finds, but also organised into seperate sections so you can easily search by designer or by era, making finding the perfect piece a lot less of a hunt.
At the moment, I think the 60's pieces (pictured above) and pearls are the ones to watch, as both have been seen everywhere during last fashion week (and I'm sure will make an appearance at the next one too). Chanel even combined the two, adding bulky pearls to a very 1960's esque skirt suit at their latest show (pictured left: source). They are actually surprisingly versatile to wear too, as their neutral colour means they go with pretty much anything. The colour itself is definitely a good enough substitute too, so if you aren't up for wearing a typical string of pearls you could easily opt for jewellery made from mother-of-pearl, which has the same shimmer and shine but comes in a wider variety of shapes and is often easy to find in antique and vintage jewellery stores.
Below: Pearl drop necklace, Susan Caplan

1. What started your love of jewellery, and led you to creating Susan Caplan? 

"My sister and I were brought up to appreciate art and design. My father made a lot of the furniture in our house by hand (some of which I still have today) and my mother encouraged my passion for collecting. A year travelling the world on the QEII as a beauty therapist made it possible for me to nurture my hobby and I started to pick up trinkets and treasures from wherever the ship was sailing to that day. I read every book on antiques and vintage jewellery that I could and started an antiques business (when I didn't have room anymore at home for my purchases.) I realised that there was a real gap in the market for a quality edit of vintage jewellery and the brand, Susan Caplan, was born out of that."

2. Do you feel that Vintage is making a resurgence recently? Or is is always going to be something that is fairly in demand?

"The popularity of vintage has absolutely increased recently and I think it is something that will be part of the fashion arena permanently. Originally the demand for vintage was most notable among collectors but I believe that the understanding behind the quality of vintage pieces has allowed its popularity to transcend the collector market and move towards a more mainstream audience."

3. What is your favourite Vintage era, and what is it in particular that makes you like it?

"I'm asked this a lot and I wish I could give you a specific era but I really have an appreciation for all periods. With what I do I would find it hard to single out one era because I have seen spectacular pieces from each decade. I will say that my favourite pair of earrings are from the 1970s though."

(top left: source top right: source bottom left: Susan Caplan bottom right: source)

4. How do you source your pieces? Do you pay attention to fashion forecasts, or do you just sell what you like?

"When I buy for our collections I think about our customers - from the fashion forward to the vintage enthusiast. So yes, I'm buying some of my pieces with catwalk trends in mind but I think it's very important that our ranges are always very diverse. I'm a firm believer that we should always have something for everyone because I want to make buying vintage as accessible as possible so more people can enjoy it."

5. With London fashion week coming up, do you have any plans? Are you going to be attending any shows, or hoping to have your jewellery worn by people that are?

"I actually won't be in London during Fashion Week, so I will catch the shows from my laptop this year but there will be people wearing our brand there - see if you can spot them!"

6. On your website, you say you 'grew up in a world of style.' What would you say your style is like now?

"I would say that my style is very comfort based. I wear a lot of Cos and Zara pieces and I'm rarely seen without a pair of silver statement drop earrings (the ones I have on today are 5 inches long)"

7. What would you say is your 'pearl of wisdom?' (The one piece of advice you have learnt that you now live by and would pass on to others)

"Follow your heart and be true to yourself."

I am sorry I have had a little blogging break recently - I got back from France and had only a few days to get my GCSE results (which I am very happy with!) and then go off to Reading Festival with my friends to celebrate. I of course had the best time in the world (what could possibly go wrong when you get to wear glitter and flower crowns 24/7?!) but am pleased to finally be home...especially as I have returned with the worst cold ever. And I'm starting college next week (eep) which I really do not feel prepared for. I'm sure I'll survive though, as I've been put into a form with people who are all also taking Art so I'm sure we will have fun and all be like the art freaks in Mean Girls (which has been my ambition for years).
I hope you are all having a good week...and here is a little Reading realness for you (sorry to the people in these pictures hehe)

one day I'm gonna write a poem in a letter

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

It feels like absolutely ages since I last sat down and wrote a post for this page - it's only been about two weeks, but for some reason the lack of twice-a-week blogging has really affected me. It's been a real break being able to walk around pretty streets without feeling that it is compulsory to take outfit pictures; to get dressed without trying to wear something I haven't worn before or recently; and of course to take pictures for myself and myself only, and not just to post straight on the internet. Ironically, those pictures are exactly what I am now posting straight on to the internet - I took my Zenit film camera to France with me, and thoroughly enjoyed trying to improve my photography a little (and trying to make sure I didn't use the film up too quickly!) It used to belong to my Dad, and is surprisingly good still...or at least, it is when you focus it correctly (something that still takes me a few tries each time to perfect). I thought I may as well post them here as I quite like how most of them turned out.

We have started staying each year in a really beautiful, green area of the Dordogne region in France, which not only has lots of pretty towns and beautiful scenery, but also a fair few antique and bric-a-brac markets and shops. The markets are actually quite well-priced, and I accidentally ended up buying a shelf, two paintings of wild birds and the rose cloth in the photo above. Markets really are lethal. I also blame recently buying Apartamento magazine, which is full of amazing interior inspiration and has made me just as interested in furniture and objects as I am in clothes. 
I also love French markets just for the atmosphere - full of busy locals buying their groceries, speaking with the most wonderful and ear-pleasing accent; the smell of cakes, warm breads, olives and flowers filling your senses; stall holders offering you pieces of sweetbreads, tarts or pastries to taste. One of my favourite days was definitely market day, as I wore the red-themed outfit above (Topshop flower crown, socks and shoes, Beyond Retro skirt, charity shop top). There was a baker at the market who sells amazing cookies, breads and pastries and always wears a straw hat with big sunflowers attached to it, and we sort of silently acknowledged each other's flower adornments and he showed his approval by giving me half a chocolate croissant for free with a wink. It felt like we were in some kind of secret pro-flower-wearing society. I loved it.

Another holiday shop top, Beyond Retro shorts, gold jelly shoes from Author in Spitalfield's. I sort of gave up with my hair and started wearing it in a half-up topknot to hide my awful messy gingerness. I quite liked the way it made my hair feel bigger and fuller, compared to it's usual light, flat feel...I am definitely considering it for Reading Festival (two days oh my god).

The house we stay in is really close to Aubeterre, which is a really lovely village-y town with many of it's shops and houses built right into a cliff (so they are all basically caves). The above outfit is the same Beyond Retro shorts, same Author shoes and a top from a charity shop (it's Topshop and was £3 and I was so so so happy to find it).

I was unexplainably happy when I saw this picture had come out - I passed the brave little cat in Bergerac and couldn't help trying to capture how carefree and sleepy it was despite it's precarious position. It was just asking to be photographed really, and even closed it's eyes for the shot.

It was definitely nice to be away from everything for a while, but now I'm home I kind of can't wait to get back into everything again. I want to make more of my Etsy site too, and am going to do a discount code next week which should be good. I do miss the pool though - being able to swim all day is something I would adore to be able to do at home.

Also, I'm sure most of you know already that I was in Company Magazine's September issue! We shot the outfits a while ago and I had the most amazing day with the team, and was amazed to actually be given a double page! I am devastated they won't be in print after October, but so pleased to have been able to build up a collection of issues over the years to keep and refer back to when I miss it too much. 
I hope you all have a great week!