marble stones sinking in the sand

Friday, 27 February 2015

Ever since I can remember I've always gone away to the seaside with my family during the half-term holidays, and this year was no exception. It was a perfect excuse to get out of London for a few days, let the dog have a run on the beach and do some art without any distractions. We spontaneously decided on Margate as I'd been hearing lots about the Turner Contemporary Gallery as well as it's vintage and antique shops, so it sounded like it would be a nice spot to visit (like Hastings was last year).

As usual I couldn't help but wear as many patterns as possible. I think I've passed the stage of trying to match patterns and prints, and instead now just throw together individual pieces I like, regardless of whether they really go together or not. I wore a Beyond Retro top and jacket with my old velvet trousers, Topshop bag (that I bought in a sale about 5 years ago..!) and The Whitepepper mustard shoes I got for Christmas. I'm completely obsessed with their colour and how comfy they are.

We arrived in Margate around lunchtime, and so trawled through the small selection of vintage and antique shops before stopping in a cute café to get something to eat. The shops are all located in the old town and pretty much all in one street, which makes finding them easy and browsing between them much nicer than if they were miles apart. Prices were also so much cheaper than London - the high price tag associated with vintage here seems to have bypassed Margate, leaving most shops selling clothes at what they are worth, instead of slapping on a huge value simply because it looks slightly retro. I bought a few bits and bobs, including a new little film camera to play around with! There were loads of cameras for less than £20, so I couldn't help getting myself a Olympus Pen as I've never had an Olympus before, and it is so much lighter and more compact than my Zenit (which I love but is so heavy).

Lunch was from The Cupcake Café, a beauty of a place that served the chunkiest sandwiches and amazing hazelnut lattes. I spent the rest of the day strolling through the shops before hanging around on the beach watching the sunset with one of my best friends who was coincidentally holiday-ing in Margate at the same time.

On the second day we managed to visit The Shell Grotto, an amazing underground labyrinth of shell-lined walls, that no one knows the origins of. It is possibly the most amazing thing I have ever seen in my entire life - such ornate designs that must have taken years to construct on top of the years spent collecting the shells that make them. I wore my new jacket I bought the day before with a jumper from Polo & Mocha on Etsy, a Beyond Retro skirt and Topshop bag.

I visited the soon-to-reopen Dreamland arcade and a huge charity bookshop (I bought several £1 art books) and completely reaffirmed my love for quaint seaside towns. I stayed for two more days which I will post pictures from soon (probably along with the film photos from the weekend which are currently being developed).
In other news, I just got back from a week long geography field trip today, which was beautiful and crazy fun despite being incredibly tiring and cold. I can't wait to get those photos developed either, but in the meantime here are a few little coastal pictures to summarise:

I plan to get myself organised this weekend so I can post my last LFW and Margate have a lovely weekend and I'll see you on the other side!

London Fashion Week: Day 1 & 2

Saturday, 21 February 2015

And so it's here again...the one week that everyone and anyone in fashion puts on their wildest outfits and heads down to Somerset House, flooding it's cobbled courtyard with colour, pattern and style. This season was a particularly meaningful one for me as it is my third season, and exactly a year from my very first time attending. A lot has changed - my decision to go last year was made the day before, leaving me with mere hours to hunt down some eye-catching pieces to wear from my local charity shops. I was pretty much alone too - I barely knew a soul, but somehow managed to have the best three days, befriending bloggers and photographers who I still meet up with a year later. This season has not disappointed me, and once again I have been coming away thinking how lovely it is that there are so many interesting and just plain nice people that are involved in the industry.

On Friday morning I got up early, and decided to go for a very 70's look for the first day. I wore a shirt and coat from Beyond Retro, with a Beyond Retro Label skirt. I have had my heart set on finding a perfect suede panel skirt for years, but they are actually really hard to find in good condition or in a good size. Beyond Retro seem to have noticed this and have solved my problem: handmade panel skirts, made using recycled suede workwear. They come in a variety of colours and sizes, and as they are all handmade from vintage materials they manage to maintain that one-off, unique edge. I wore my mustard shoes from The Whitepepper, and jewellery from Hirst Antiques.

 Once again the street style was incredible. There was a clear 70s feel in the air, with suede being worn across the board and flares being a popular choice. Thanks to Swatch's pet theme, there were also plenty of cute dogs wandering around too, which provided everyone with more than enough entertainment in between shows.
I bumped into the lovely ladies from Beyond Retro, and got to hang out with the amazing Lexi who I've been meaning to meet for ages but have never had the chance, as well as finding Maddy again; her impeccable style has left me completely associating her with fashion week in my head, and once again she looked like she should be walking down the catwalk herself. I also met Hannah for the first time, and she was so lovely and managed to get me into the Eudon Choi show with her. We ended up sitting front row, which was such an experience, especially as the show was incredible.

This collection by Eudon Choi really did show the designer at his best; signature dark florals combined perfectly with his strong, structured geometric shapes, while seventies flares and his winning outerwear sealed his self-declared return to "the old him." (pictures: Vogue)

The Shrimps collection was another of my favourites from the day. After watching Hannah Weiland's funky faux-fur creations climb to international success last year, I was left with the nagging doubt that it was possible to continue to work with (what I assumed) was a narrow range of materials. How many things could you really do with fur? Once you've dyed it a few times, is there really enough give to inspire collection after collection? In fact, there is. So much. Bold, block artificial colours gave the pieces the signature Shrimps look, with the model's simple toned-down make up and red lips adding to the very vintage, 70s movie aesthetic. Stripes, scarves, and clutches added new twists to her ensembles, while the addition of checks and kilts perfectly updated the looks for the upcoming autumn and winter seasons. In short, Shrimps totally pulled it off, and reaffirmed their place as real design talent. (pictures: Vogue)

Today (day two) started almost as early. I wore a gold embroidered jacket and high-waisted gingham check trousers from Beyond Retro, with Asos shoes and earrings from Hirst Antiques. I've always had a thing for the colour red, and can't help wearing at least one red outfit over the fashion week season.

Once again the street style was amazing - Maddy's two piece with Chanel accessories was a winner for me, although we met so many fascinating people with such individual styles that it's almost impossible to pick a favourite.

Show-wise, Mother of Pearl epitomised every aesthetic I love at the moment. They won my heart with last season's pastel florals and three-dimensional embellishment, and reaffirmed it this season with an earthy, seventies colour palette, perfect floral co-ordinates and socks with loafers. I could not be more in love with a collection. (pictures: Vogue)
Anyway, tomorrow is my last day of this season as I have a geography trip away to Wales, so I'm looking forward to making the most of it before it all calms down for another six months. Hope you are all having a good weekend!