drifting through the halls with the sunrise

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Last week ended up being nicely busy; after a gentle beginning with lots of art, banana and peanut butter smoothies and catching up with journalling I went to two days of British Summer Time festival in Hyde Park, and saw The Strokes, Metronomy and Blur, before meeting up with Antonio and Sophie on Sunday (who also inspired the title of this post, as I thought they might appreciate the Florence reference). As I have a shorter summer this year, these two days were my only festivals, which is sad but means I will have more than enough time to forget the true horror of travelling home from Reading festival last year before I attempt to go to another long weekender next summer. I bought a disposable to use - I opted for a cheaper Boots own brand to my usual Kodak, and actually really liked the hazy effect although the flash isn't really needed as much as it usually is on a disposable, and so a few of the photos are quite over-exposed but still, at least I have some (I thought I'd broken the camera the other night and had a mild panic at the thought of losing so many memories via the photos I had taken on it).

Luckily they did all develop, so a major disaster was averted. Above is the general outfit I wore for Blur on Saturday, although I did end up swapping the shirt for a rain jacket at the last minute. The trousers and top are Beyond Retro, the shirt from HFW Vintage in Margate, the bumbag is from Mi-Pac, and was perfectly spacious and held my camera, phone charger and water easily on both days. The socks are Topshop and the shoes are my trusty wooden platforms from Office, which are wonderful as they are easy to walk in and comfortable but help make me normal height.

These photos are mostly from Thursday, when we saw The Strokes. It was so hot and sunny, we wore different coloured fishnets, patterned trousers and hawaiian shirts, ate free popcorn bars and somehow didn't get too separated in the crazily packed crowd (possibly the most squashed I've been at a concert except Peace in February). The band were amazing though, so you didn't really notice being buffeted around that much. The stage was beautiful - framed with big fake trees, it looked amazing against the pink dusk sky. The last few here are from seeing Blur on Saturday - I got stuck in traffic on my way there from work, so had to run in platforms halfway across Hyde Park, and dart through the huge crowd to try and find my friends who were really close to the front. The rain was nothing short of a blessing after my over-exertion, and in fact I was actually pleased I came so close to missing out on getting there or seeing my friends at all as it really made me enjoy myself once I was there - seeing Metronomy for the third time was great, and of course Blur were incredible. The crowd was amazing, with a great atmosphere but none of Thursday's constant pushing, shoving and fighting to keep your balance. I didn't stop dancing the whole time though and so woke up the next day fully unable to move my legs for a good fifteen minutes. Both days were so good - it was so nice to be able to get into the festival spirit, but not have to sleep on the floor in a cold tent once it was over, and instead come home to a huge mug of almond milk tea and cosy pyjamas (I am such a grandma it's ridiculous).

Anyway, on Sunday I met up with Antonio again and finally got to meet Sophie! They had spent the morning exploring the Tate Britain and had just seen the Alexander McQueen exhibition when I met them, so after getting overly emotional about how amazing it is (even though I saw it a while ago, thinking about the amazing clothes and creations on display is like re-opening a wound, resulting in a fresh flood of feelings...if you have been you will understand how deeply inspiring and simultaneously melancholy his work is). We wandered around the V&A museum for a while then wandered over to Hyde Park, where we danced to a group playing bongo drums and listened to the faint sound of a concert coming from over the other side of the park. We hadn't really planned to take photos but I had a disposable to use up, and Sophie had her camera so we ended up climbing trees and taking pictures all afternoon, strolling through the park and through central London. It seemed quite apt that we had our dreamy, teen-ish afternoon/summer evening on the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year - once again, I find myself reminded of the idea that teen years seem both endless and ridiculously finite at the same time. Also it was so nice to actually meet Sophie after almost two years of reading each other's internet goings-on...I can now say she is just as interesting and knowledgable as she appears on Pretty Passions, and if she isn't the editor of Vogue or something one day then I don't know what I'll do.

Whilst sitting in a tree Antonio noticed two huge nests of weird insect larvae that all three of us would have been sitting or standing near at one point or another - how we hadn't accidentally kicked it (and released the maggot-y contents on ourselves) I have no idea - all I can say is I doubt any of us have ever jumped out of a tree so fast. Tree-climbing is really cathartic though - there's something nice about being so high up yet so comfortable at the same time? Also they are great places to people watch from.

Notice the height difference (also note that I was wearing platforms and Sophie normal shoes). I am so tiny in real life it's unreal. My dress is from Motel Vintage, shirt is my mum's, shoes from Asos and socks from Topshop.
To add to the whole dreamy teen vibe we ended up having a dance along to the group playing bongo drums, which resulted in photos reminiscent of the Moonrise Kingdom beach scene but with darker undertones and a more city feel.

I had such a lovely day - days spent exploring London in the evening's summer sunlight will always be some of my favourites; I really need to spend more time finding my way around and discovering new places. If you don't already read Sophie's blog, you can find it here (you really should - not many others can combine such strong looks with such interesting musings) and Antonio's portfolio is here, and blog is here (as I have explained previously his work is incredible). Have a lovely week!

I shake my head to say everything's just great

Friday, 19 June 2015

I finished school at about 11.30am today, which was nothing short of heavenly due to my extreme case of sleepiness after last night's The Strokes concert in Hyde Park (which was so so so amazing even though being about 5'2 in a huge crowd is sometimes not the best). Even copious mugs of coffee couldn't quite mask my lack of sleep, so having a few less lessons was definitely a good thing. Anyway, this is once again a post I wrote a few days ago, but didn't have time to post until now, so here is what I wrote on Sunday:
Today was my first sort-of 'working' sunday - as I work at Hirst Antiques on a saturday, sunday is my only day to get pieces done for this blog, my extended project for school (which I will explain more about soon!) or get schoolwork done. This sunday was one of the first I've really felt productive - I started at about 9.45am ish in Hyde Park with Ailera for another shoot - we worked together almost a year ago for Miss Robin magazine (you can see the pictures here, here & here) and so it was so lovely to shoot together again. We spent the morning wandering through the Rose Garden, taking polaroids, finding padlocks hanging up with The Cure lyrics ("you're just like a dreamfrom "Just Like Heaven"). I then had a quick lunch stop before driving over to Hackney for the East London Vintage Fair which I had been asked to write about, before running out again to catch the travel shops before they closed (I still haven't got everything I need for my school trip even though we leave in less than a month...)
I actually really enjoyed running around and being busy - it's the kind of lifestyle I could totally get used to (although I do also enjoy lazy pyjama days watching netflix and drawing).

One of the outfits I wore involved my Beyond Retro Label suede panel skirt and a few vintage shirts I had hanging around, however by the evening it got kind of cold so I decided to trying out a jumper I had just bought at the vintage fair for £5. The shoes are Rokit, and I found the silver animal bracelet and ring at the fair today as well.

The benefit of taking lots of polaroids as well as film and digital this morning with Ailera was that I could take some photos of them myself to keep as a little preview of what is to come! I had such a lovely morning wandering around in the flowers - Ailera has such a skill with composition and finding ways to create beautiful images just by working with the backgrounds and locations around her. We spent the time discussing the idea of culture and whether there is such thing as an 'English' culture (I always complain that England does not have a very rich culture compared to some other countries - I am hoping to be proved wrong someday though!) It was such a dreamy morning and was so lovely working together again.

The East London Vintage Fair was really brilliant - larger and more decorative than most smaller fairs I have been to, each stall so carefully arranged with such attention to detail I could have spent hours exploring each one. The pieces for sale were wonderfully curated as well - there was no rummaging through second-hand tshirts and regular things you could find in a charity shop, instead each item a beautiful vintage piece that you couldn't help but admire. There was also jewellery and accessories for sale, meaning it took a lot of self-restraint not to blow all of my wages on one day and in one go!

There were some really lovely stalls - some of my favourites included Kiriko The Gang, which sold amazing unique vintage pieces (I found an amazing floral shirt and a dress that matches the interior of the Tate Britain - I'm sure a photo of me blending in with the wall there will happen at some point soon), the Vintage Magazine Company, selling amazing vintage magazines at really affordable prices (and they are opening a shop in July 2015 in Hackney!), Sanderson Sweeting Antiques, Frida Larsen's vintage and Albany Harp vintage. Apologies for so many links - I just like to have all the links in one place so I can find the shops myself in the future!

I couldn't help buying a few things - the prices were really good, so it was almost inevitable that I would leave with at least a few new additions to my wardrobe. I'm particularly excited about the 1950s white and blue suit, Mondrian-esque dress (identical to the walls in the Tate Britain gallery?!) an amazing bright green and blue 1960s shift dress (kindly gifted from the wonderful Rabbit Moon Vintage) and a half-sun gold plated brooch. And they say retail therapy isn't a thing.

I've been taking loads of phone photos recently for my art project (documenting daily things to see if you can investigate identity through what you do each day) and thought I may as well add a few to this post. from the top left: noodle duty at work / wearing all Askew jewellery at work / and again / white fishnets and hazelnut iced coffee.

After the fair and shopping for Indonesia my parents treated me to dinner out...also I found a huge moth on our wall at home.

Friday walks home after ice cream at the park with pals...it's easy to not really notice how pretty your surroundings are...only after taking these did I notice how pretty my little running route / quick way to the park is. Also dungarees are not always the best idea in over 24'c heat. Anyway, have a lovely weekend! Check out Ailera's work here and see her blog here and more about the next Vintage Fair here, and check out their Facebook page for more updates here.