Sunday, 29 August 2010

I'm No Model

As you all know I am not exactly photogenic but I love fashion and the reason I started blogging a year and a half ago was to show my ability to write, however I feel the fashion blogging world is an altogether different story. To be a successful blogger of fashion it seems you need to be photogenic, have amazing photo locations, preferably some designer clothes and a frame that would make most models jealous. I have none of these attributes but yet I still call myself a part-time blogger of fashion. Am I right to do so?
Do not get me wrong the reason I love most fashion blogs is because of all the glamourous things I mentioned but I just want to show that just because you do not have the 'look' it does not mean any fashion knowledge you have is irrelevant....
In other words I am trying to say it is okay to have off days most of the time and still feel fabulous and worthy of being called a fashionista! And I encourage all those people sitting on the fashion blogging fence to definitely give it a go, you'll be pleasantly surprised at what you learn...
Picture: Me in an unflattering pose as well as my head being cut of, wearing my new vintage find - a gorgeous long-sleeved DL Barron dress. Oh and if you are wondering why I look a lot shorter it is because I am without my treasured heels.

Friday, 27 August 2010

It May Not Be Fashion.....but it's still Fashionable

I was recently staying at my Grandmother's house and I just had to take a photo of this pretty biscuit barrel that belonged to her Mother. I know it is not exactly fashion or body image related but I thought it was too nice not to share.
Though a barrel like this is too magnificent not to use so maybe if we all tried to pick up pretty barrels like this for our homes we wouldn't need to justify having the chocolate biscuits in the house? Only a thought....
Photo: Great-grandmother's biscuit barrel.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Tell the World

The main purpose of starting educating vintage was to show fashion and image are not just confide to a certain stereotypical person. They do in fact creep into nearly every one's life in some shape or form, whether conscious or sub-consciously. I also believe it is very strong in certain creative individuals which is why I have now chosen to do a regular feature which focuses and interviews people who I feel have that passionate edge.
And the first person I have chosen to interview is the very talented Andrew Twigden (pictured above), the songwriter and bassist of new and up and coming London-based band State Of the Union....

Name: Andy Twigden
Age: 30
Occupation: Musician
What are your main passions in life?
Music, Football,Clothes, TV/Film
When did you first get involved with music?
Well I learned the guitar when I was 17 but when I first moved to London I would say. I moved to London to join the band Louie. We were signed to universal and got to play and tour with Kasabian, The Fratellis, The Prodigy and also Leeds and Reading Fest. My new band State Of The Union is much more me and we are an amazing live band
How would you describe your sound?
Were all the best bands rolled into one. I think you can tell our influences but I wouldn't say we sound like any one band y'know.
Would you say you are interested in fashion and why?
I guess so. Clothes are important and being in a band, I guess there is a need to be conscious of
Do you have a particular style?
….if so how would you describe it?
I guess its my own, cliche I know!
Do you think your music influences how you dress?
I think it does in a sense. I mean if I was dressed like gaga and started doing Beatles covers, it would be a bit mental wouldn't it!
Any tips for readers on style or music?
Music; listen to Modest Mouse and just do something that's real to you, I think there are too many people out there trying to do the same thing for a slice of fame, but music is about just that, music. Not trying to be something just to be on TV! Style; just believe in what your wearing and what you are and go with it!
And finally, What is the future for State of the Union?
Well we have only been a band 6 weeks, but we are already booked in for a TV performance for sky TV, and have loads of gigs booked up, and of course, finally get some guitar music back into peoples heads!
To find out more about Andrew Twigdsen and State of the Union check out there myspace page at

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Letting Your Accessorises ROAR!

In recent years with the introduction of supermarket clothing and shops such as Primark etc becoming part of many people's daily shopping fixes - the pleasure and joy of purchasing accessorises has kind of wained.
Back in the day when it was a luxury to purchase a new outfit or have it dyed to make it seem new, accessorises were all the range in tailoring an outfit to your personality. Nowadays people buy an outfit that they feel is representative of them and the accessories are simply an after thought, mainly that of 'throw-away' costume jewellery.
However I myself am a complete costume jewellery addict but even I have of late found no pleasure from the high-street stores in satisfying my addiction. I simply find no matter how much I spend on something it simply falls apart in a matter of days or weeks and really if I have spent the money and really like the piece, ideally I'd like it to at least last a year.
This is yet again where vintage shopping has its benefits especially that done at fairs; there is simply no contest between the jewellery there than that in your local shopping complex. Not only are the pieces nearly 100% unique but they are also long-lasting which is proved by their age already and personally for me they just feel a lot better on. These pieces were made to make a statement and you should feel like you are making a statement wearing them, which is really the whole point of wearing jewellery.
And finally, for those vintage virgins out there who when hearing the words 'vintage jewellery' may have some random images of pieces shown on the Antiques Roadshow, do not fear I am not talking about antiques. For really good pieces you may spend a few hundred pounds but if you are like me and cannot be so extravagant you can pick up unique pieces for sometimes even less than a tenner! They may have possible wear and tear marks but for me that makes them all the more special as it shows it has previously be worn and loved which is why I fall for jewellery in the first place; as everyone can and should appreciate something sparkly in their life....
What does everyone else think; is vintage jewellery better or is the high-street the place to get our costume jewellery fixes?
Photo: Two vintage large-cat jewellery pieces, bought at two different fairs by two different sellers. One is a medium-sized brooch with a few stones missing including one of its eyes. The other is a clasp bracelet with scoring to the side, but to me it does not matter....

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Life Is A Catwalk

This a short but sweet post to show how body image can effect us in our everyday lives.
Yesterday I was at the zoo with my family taking many photos and acting like a big kid (especially in the gift shop), when we spotted the sign for the large cats (Tigers, Lions and Cheetahs). Now not only am I a huge fan of big cats I am also a fashion enthusiast (obviously) and got very excited over the huge letters saying cat walk or catwalk as I like to think of it.
My excitement was so apparent that my mother insisted my brother took a photo of me beside it. And above is that very photo but when I now look at it I do not see the irony or the memory of that moment, instead I see the 'flaws' I see in myself. I am not going to point them out because that is not the point of this post but I do think it is important to remember photos are fundamentally there to tell a story, to capture a moment and to share. They are not to have us perfectly flawless standing in front of backgrounds where we do not even remember the moment they were captured. Photos are there to be wept with, cringed at, and laughed over, that is the joy of photography it is just a shame that we sometimes forget this. So I am taking my first step by keeping this photo up till I start remembering the memory and stop focusing on myself because life is a catwalk and we should always be strutting no matter what we look like....
Photo: The catwalk at Belfast Zoo, Northern Ireland

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Bargain Shoes

Check out my new shoes at £5 out of my local Tkmaxx and they are one of the most comfiest shoes ever. Proving you don't have to spend a fortune on good footwear to feel and look fabulous. Although like any woman I feel it would be nice one day to maybe have the luxury to do so.
If I were to give you one tip on footwear I will say this; no matter how much you spend on a pair of shoes always look after the heels and do not be afraid to go to your local shoe repairer for minor repairs. If the shoes only cost 5 pound but the repairs cost 6, never fear because if you love them enough and they are comfy the cost is irrelevant (though if they are more than double the cost of the original price I would maybe think twice).
I'd love to hear what my fellow shoe enthusiasts out there think?
Photo: My bargain sandals

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Charity Shopping

For most the words 'charity shop' probably sends images running around in your head of a group of older women spending their pension-pennies on a second-hand Marks & Spencer jumper.
However for vintage virgins out there who have not got much cash to splash around, the charity shop is the perfect place to start.
You might not exactly find a Chanel jacket for £12.00 (though there has been reports of stranger things happening) but the charity shop is the place to find out exactly what are your fashion likes and dislikes as there are no quibbles over prices.
I would recommend starting with the well known charity shops first such as Oxfam or Cancer Research as I realise entering a second-hand clothes shop can be daunting for the first time especially if you have 'wrongly' been told in the past that they are somehow uncool (whatever that word means). Here you will find everything organised similar to a 'normal' shopping environment with everything clearly labelled and organised by size not taking you far away from your usual shopping habits.
After you have gotten used to this I would strongly recommend trailing the lesser known and independent charity shops because this is usually where you find the real hidden gems. However you must be prepared to spend a reasonable length of time hunting through the rails and shelves to find those real bargains.
Then if you have developed a love of finding the unique (which I am sure you will have) your next stop should be your local vintage and craft fairs which are not hard to find as you usually find them advertised in your local paper, and flyer's about town. Plus many have their own websites so if you have yet to see anything you should google 'vintage' and your nearest town or city and I guarantee there is something happening near-by to you.
If this is all still a bit much to take in why not do some online research first and check out the following websites to give you more of an idea:
Frock Me Vintage Fairs:
Frock Around The Clock Vintage Fairs:
Oxfam online store:
Stardust Online's Vintage Accessorises:
Rokit - London based Vintage store:

Photo: Recent charity shop find for a reasonable £6.50

Designer Plus-Size

Check out New York stylist Annabel Tollman's article for the Telegraph on designers now catering for the larger woman (finally).
Though it would be great to eventually see a designer vintage collection walk down the runway sometime soon.

What are your thoughts?

Sunday, 8 August 2010

The Trouble With Labels...

Do not get me wrong I dream of the day that I will one day have ( at least) one pair of designer shoes sitting in my wardrobe but I think society's obession with labelling of late both designer and personal is a real problem today.
Vintage followers and baragain shoppers will know you do not have to spend a lot to feel fabulous but what happens when what you wear portrays you in a certain light?
Being 5ft 3in and pear-shaped, from the age of about 13 onwards I have always felt better in heels whether it is a night out or a trip to the shops, you will usually find me in at least 3inch heels. I just feel more comfortable this way plus I tend to be distracted by the pretty colours and sparkles of these wonderful creations.
However of late I have noticed that there are certain connotations associated with being a high-heel wearer, for some women it looks like a cry for attention and for some men it means you are a certain kind of woman. Which is neither true for me. My background is pretty boring - I neither drink, nor smoke and believe you should never kiss a guy until you have met his mother (not really but this has always been the case for me). However despite this some guys I have met over the last year of being single have somehow assumed I am a very different kind of woman because of my heel height and keenness in fashion. So much so that I have even considered ditching the heels altogether for a life of pumps and trainers but I just cannot do it.
My reason? Well it would not be me. At university I opted for a near complete life of flats (except weekends) to try and blend into the crowd but I did not feel myself and as a result the friends I met at Uni have a complete different view on me, which is my own fault.
I admit sometimes in the past I have worn heels to impress a guy but when I am wearing heels in a chemist queuing up with 'time of the month' things and a chocolate bar I am far from trying to get the cute guy behind the counter's attention!
It has struck me just how much people give up or change because of the certain labels that are put on things and why this is. I went to a keep fit pole dancing class for a few months which I loved and would still be doing if I could financially afford it but I still feel weird saying the name to people in fear of being judged. Which is completely ridiculous because if you saw what I wore to the class and how many bruises I came back with you would hardly think anything sexual at all.
The truth is half the time the judging is in our own head and it is here were we need to learn to let go off the labels and start enjoying being ourselves. So if you find yourself in the morning putting those bright pink trousers away in fear of silly remarks just look at yourself in the mirror count to 5, tell yourself you look gorgeous and walk out that door........because you know you probably do look fabulous...
Photo: In my bargain J for Jasper Conran shoes and one of the jackets that no longer has a size label.