Thursday, October 04, 2012

John Rocha at London Fashion Week

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Posing with my very stylish friend Simeon
Sorry this has taken so long to get out - it's been in my drafts for ages but in between travelling and sorting myself for uni I haven't got round to putting it up til now. A while ago now I was lucky enough to go to the John Rocha show at London Fashion Week. In light of the occasion I decided to go with something a little more directional than my usual style, dabbling in the double print trend. Prints are something that I have found myself gravitating towards more and more lately as I find they really lift a simple outfit and fit in well with my desire to wear lots of colour. Although I have owned this vintage 80s suit for ages this was the first time I had worn both halves together. I normally just wear the jacket but really liked the effect of the whole outfit and found the large print and muted tones meant it wasn't too overwhelming. I paired it with a simple back stiletto, silk vest and gold belt to give some extra polish without distracting from the main event.
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 I arrived early and had a wonder round the courtyard checking out street style although I didn't take many pictures, feeling insecure with my obviously inferior compact camera. I also spotted a few people from blogs that I read such as Stella from Stella's Wardrobe and Diane Pernet from A Shaded View in her usual veil and sunglasses. Of course I was too shy to say hello but it was still funny and a little surreal to spot people who's lives you have read about so much - it is different to a celebrity sighting.

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In the Vodaphone Lounge
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My friend had got hold of Vodaphone VIP tickets and we were finally allowed into the lounge to gorge ourselves on prosecco and nibbles before the show began. Suddenly the doors opened and we rushed out to get the best position. We were standing at the back about halfway down the catwalk but had a surprisingly good view.
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The collection was beautiful, with a big emphasis on texture and femininity. All the models were crowned with headdresses made out of organza which almost like roses and gave the show a whimsical feel. The prevailing silhouette was demure, flaring at the hips into skirts that fell to the knee or below or were layered over cigarette trousers. Although the show started ebullient with brightly coloured dresses embellished with fringing and ruffles which were layered with charming sheer jackets and coats it quickly progressed into muted pastels, yellows like old newspaper, to a second half that was much more somber and had a much more minimal feel. Some of the detailing remained but overall silhouettes were sharper and more tailored with a palette of black and white. Set against The Kill's 'Pale Blue Eyes' this gave the feeling a love affair unravelling; optimism and enthusiasm fading away into sadness and resignation.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A la Parisienne

Paris street style, simple
Simple Paris style from The Sartorialist
I had an absolutely wonderful stay in Paris last week. It was my second time visiting Paris and I was staying with friends from university so it was wonderful to be able to go beyond yseeing the tourist sites and to go off the beaten track. I have never quite comprehended the admiration that surrounds French women, or at least their clothes. Yes, they are well groomed and presented, seeming to be universally blessed with clear skin and great bone structure. They also supposedly don't get fat (although my childhood holidays in the south of france so not support this), have successful, sexy marriages and well-mannered children. But stylistically it all seems While one may appreciate the elegance of classic style and see its beauty. Provided you have the funds to buy quality it is not difficult to pull off. It is the kind of clothing I pull out in a hurry on a lazy day in order to look 'put together'.

White shirt and jeans with bright accessories, Paris street style
Edgy accessories elevate a simple white shirt and jeans
An art teacher of mine at school used to say that he could teach anyone to be a good draftsman but the sign of artistic talent is the ability to use colour. It requires a certain eye for putting things together that cannot be taught. Dark jeans + simple top + blazer or leather jacket is a great formula but, especially when in monochrome, not adventurous. This does not stop one aspiring to this effortless and simple style but for me I am much more impressed by risk taking. Be it layering, colour, accessories or print. Even a simple variation of an interesting cut or accessorising can elevate the chic to stylish cool.

Paris street style, orange jacket
Pops of colour give an outfit a wonderful lift
More on what I got up to in Paris, as well as fashion week notes, when I get back from Cornwall. And yes I'll probably be writing about that too so at this rate my writings will be turning into a travel blog!


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dropped into LFW and nipped across the channel

What a whirlwind few days, on Saturday morning I received a text from a friend asking if I wanted to go to London Fashion Week. Of course I responded "yes!" and a few hours later I was watching models stomp down the John Rocha catwalk. It was such an amazing experience and also slightly surreal, having read about this since I was at school! to suddenly be there. I will write a proper post about this and my stay in Paris which I just returned from. Another spur of the moment turn of events! I booked my Eurostar tickets on Friday after chatting to a uni friend who lives there and suggested I come over for a few days. I really want to do more of these kind of impulsive things from now on. For too long I have hesitated when opportunities come up for fear it will go wrong or that I cannot justify the expense etc, etc. I want to take life by the balls and grab all the amazing opportunities that I am fortunate enough to have come my way.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Rustic Apple Cake




Sometimes all you want from a cake is something easy and tasty that will help use up a huge glut of apples. Okay so the latter part is a little uncommon but the first two are very much true here. I first came up with this recipe a few years ago to use a bumper apple crop as I had tired of the usual tarts and pies and it rather delectable if I say myself. Moist and dense with sharp chunks of apple and polenta for an unexpected crunch it works well with a cup of tea or warm with a dollop of cream for an easy pudding. Plus the high fruit content means you can dupe yourself that it's practically one of your five a day if you have a large enough slice!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Call of the Wild

Leopard in Yala National Park Sri Lanka
A real stand out experience for me in Sri Lanka was visiting Yala National Park. It was the country's first national park, established in 1900, and is home to a large variety of birds and mammals. We were extremely lucky during our Safari as although the driver of our Jeep was young and did not seem very good at the job (he kept on driving past animals that we spotted and then by the time he reversed they had been scared away) we saw all of the main animals. For the first hour or so we seemed to be driving though lifeless scrub land but finally the sightings started with a few peacocks and water buffalo and kept on coming. The major attraction of Yala is the leopards - it has the highest concentration of the shy animals in the world. It was a real shock to be driving away from an elephant sighting and see one crossing the road to a waterhole in front of the vehicle! It stayed at the water drinking for some time, evidently thirsty from the baking hot day. When it stopped it looked up and, seeing vehicles queued up to watch it, sprinted back across the road and into the bushes.
Leopard at watering hole in Yala National Park Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan Elephant, Yala
Our first wild elephant sighting next to the beach
Sri Lankan Tusked Elephant, Yala
This sighting was a complete surprise as we came to a Jeep in front of us and a tusked elephant next to the road which then walked right close past us
Sri Lankan Tusked Elephant, Yala
It came extremely close as it walked past, reaching out its trunk to touch the Jeep
Mugger Crocodile in watering hole at Yala, Sri Lanka
It was fascinating watching the crocodiles at this watering hole, when we first arrived we could only see a couple lying motionless with their mouths open on the bank but as we sat what we had thought was some mud breaking the water moved and came out and several others emerged from the depths
Water buffalo in Yala, Sri Lanka
Water buffalo
Water buffalo and peacock at a watering hole in Yala, Sri Lanka

Deer at a watering hole in Yala, Sri Lanka
As the sun went down more animlas came out to drink at the watering holes such as these deer