First Style by Portobello Box

Friday, 29 May 2015

Happy Friday!! It's been another week since I finished my exams and I have seriously enjoyed not having revision to do. I've been able to go to art galleries again, see family, hang out with friends, wander around Brick Lane, go out for breakfast...I really have been able to appreciate how worthwhile getting work done is, as the more you put in the more you enjoy the freedom afterwards. Anyway, today I have the first installment of my work with Style by Portobello, a brilliant new subscription service that offers monthly boxes filled with vintage surprises hand-picked from the shops and market stalls of Portobello road. The fact that the boxes are so personalised, and from one of my favourite places in London, makes them so ideal for me and anyone who likes vintage accessories.

I received my first box really quickly (I do love speedy deliveries) and was shocked at just how perfect the pieces were - not only was the box beautiful, the silk scarf, chain necklace and BOW TIE (!!!) were gorgeous, in perfect condition and exactly what I would have chosen myself! To top it all off, a little handwritten note sealed Style by Portobello as one of my favourite up-and-coming businesses, and I can only predict great things for them in the months to come. A subscription is not only a lovely monthly surprise for the busy every day person who may not be able to pop down to Portobello to shop as much as they might like to, but it would also make a fantastic present - imagine being able to give someone a gift that will go on for months on end?!

This was an outfit I wore to work last Saturday, with my silk scarf and chain necklace from my Style by Portobello box finishing it off. The skirt is from Beyond Retro, the jacket from a kilo sale (real Diesel for £10! I love sales) and the top from Urban Outfitters. I adore the scarf - I keep thinking of different ways to wear it, and am working on learning how to use it to tie up in my hair, 1950s style. The chain is so versatile - everyone needs a gold chain in their life and now I have this one, I don't know what I did without it before.

Thank you Style by Portobello for the amazing box - I am looking forward to styling the bow tie next! I really recommend them for anyone who loves a bit of vintage and a nice surprise each month. Have a lovely weekend,

but you are an artist and your mind don't work the way you want it to

Monday, 25 May 2015

 Happy Bank holiday! I know it is practically over now but better late than never right? Anyway, yesterday I spent the day in Margate (as has become customary every few weeks) to see Grayson Perry's new exhibition 'Provincial Punk' at the Turner Contemporary gallery. I am slightly obsessed with his work and couldn't miss the opportunity to go and see it as soon as I could (I am also planning on seeing it again with my art pals if I can tempt them to come down to the seaside for a day).

 I wore my mum's old favourite shirt from when she was younger (originally from Jigsaw) with a pair of £12 striped trousers I bought from Rokit. The shoes are Primark and the bag also from Rokit. I spent the day incredibly happy at the amount of patterns I was wearing, and enjoyed wearing purple lipstick for the first time since my first trip to Brighton (here). The last photo has a nice little story - I never smile in blog photos, but at the point the picture was taken a man in the shop opposite banged on the window and mouthed 'smile!' at me before flashing me a huge grin, giving me a wink and running off around the corner, hence the strange smile produced in the finished photo. I love strangers sometimes.

The exhibition was amazing - I have always loved Perry's work, but only when seeing it up close do you really appreciate the true beauty and craftsmanship in what he makes. His famous clay pots filled one room, with a a little leaflet to explain the meaning behind each one, while photographs, film and of course his giant tapestries made up the rest. Contrasts are a major theme in his work - pots featured the contrast between good and evil in the form of pornographic images juxtaposed with 80's shopping catalogue photos, while idealistic drawings of a perfect Victorian village contrasted the photo transfers of Perry's own photos from around his own home town. The pots are contrasts in themselves; in a time where pots, and pottery, was mostly functional and simplistic, Perry created these incredibly elaborate and decorative pieces, contrasting the pieces he made with the others produced at the same time. It was also amazing to be able to see a time-lapse video of Perry making one of the pots from scratch on camera - to see how long it takes to make one piece really helps you realise just how much skill goes into his work, and adds to the meaning of each one. The tapestries were on a completely new level - stretching from wall to wall (in a huge room) you couldn't help but be overwhelmed by the images presented, shocked by the bright colours, and be rendered to the small part you are in the grand scheme of things. Hand drawn by Perry using an iPad, and printed using a digitally-controlled loom, each tapestry is absolutely huge, and features ironic, often sarcastic imagery, raising questions about class and culture and contrasting with the William Morris prints and famous ancient tapestries Perry used as inspiration. It's hard to truly explain how moved and inspired I was by the exhibition - it really was an insight into Perry as a person, as well as an insight into his work as an artist. Also, it is completely free to visit - so there is no excuse not to go! And no excuse for me not to go back as many times as I can before it closes.

Once again we had lunch in the Cupcake Cafe - it's one of those things, when you find somewhere nice it's so hard to ever go elsewhere! I am always content when huge sandwiches, peach iced tea and mismatched floral china crockery are involved. We then spent the rest of the afternoon strolling through the shops, buying little bits and bobs and discovering places like HFW Vintage, a gorgeous store that is an absolute must-visit...they are also on Asos Marketplace here and featured me on their instagram after taking the photo below.

On the way home we stopped off in Whitstable, a gorgeous little coastal town I have always heard of but never spent long in (apart from as a teeny child). Everything was so pretty - from coloured shops and painted beach huts, it was the ideal place to wander around and spend time by the sea. Unfortunately everything was closed when we got there as we were quite late, but I am so ready to go back and think it may have to be the place for my next weekend getaway.

One of the main reasons I absolutely have to go back is this amazing record/cd/dvd shop I stumbled across, which sealed it's place in my heart thanks to a poster of David Bowie I spotted on the wall. I couldn't help taking some photos to capture how pretty it was (and to remind myself why I need to get myself back to Whitstable soon). I had put on my coat by this point, and so was feeling great as for some bizarre reason any ankle length coat immediately makes me think of JD from Heathers. I know it's the wrong colour but it just has that swish and air of mystery, you know?

~ Heathers photos from tumblr ~
If you have no clue who JD is, you must watch Heathers! It's an amazing film with Winona Ryder, and is everything you could ever want in a slightly twisted teen movie kind of way. I adore it, although the end is not exactly my favourite, but the impeccable clothes throughout make up for it.

I had a lovely little day out and reminded myself just how much you can get done in a day if you put your mind to it (I also had an hour long nosebleed before we left so it shows even more what determination can do!) I hope you all had a lovely weekend and a good bank holiday!!