Friday, 31 October 2014
With the next few weeks boasting a few globe trotting trips for yours truly, a recent packing inspired post I did for Boden couldn't have been more appropriate. I'm the worst person at taking my own advice, and over-packing is certainly a trait of mine that I can securely brag to be true (not that I would, of course- nobody ever needs to discover how heavy my suitcase can get after ten extra pairs of pyjamas and three coats have been packed)- so making note of the sartorial essentials when travelling certainly got me thinking...
Not only did I list the ultimate weekend away essentials (which I'd like to think cater for everything from a relaxed spa break (hotel slippers not necessary), busy laptop-fuelled work trip or a bit of city exploring) but I styled up some of my favourite new season pieces to hopefully shed a little inspiration for any of you slightly lacking as the cooler months come in, and to cater for any overseas climates you may be venturing to- enjoy (and send me a postcard)!
Thursday, 30 October 2014
This month I've definitely fallen back in love with the art of a good book. A book you can't possibly put down, and have to simply 'read a couple of pages' while completing mundane house tasks- this is exactly how I felt reading 'You're the one that I want' by Giovanna Fletcher. I've also picked up the Sali Hughes book which I can't wait to get stuck in (it's packed with essays about beauty) as well as the 'Tired of London, Tired of life' book- filled with lots of beautiful hidden gems in the capital. I've also been taking style and vintage kudos from a certain Mrs O'Porter, who I caught up with on my blog earlier this week...
Working with Burt's Bees closely on content over the last few months has meant I've fallen a little head over heels with some of their more make up directed products. Known for their sweet scented lotions and potions- all skin softening and completely delicious- this month I succumbed to the Lip Collection Collection- all totally natural, without lacking in the pigment or treatment of other beauty brands either, yup, you heard right. This means that not only can you layer the products (a vibrant lip shimmer paired with a rich lippy like Evening Glow is perfect for Autumn), but you can create so many different looks with a handful of products, and experimenting is half of the fun! With a dewy gloss, shimmer stick, lip shine and conditioning balm all part of the collection- there's something for every occasion (I religiously use the balms before bed, no chapped lips here) and I'm still aiming to try all 12 shades (spoilt? us?) With a colour video and tip library to help out any new Burts' novices, there's no excuses to resist the buzzin' lippy.
Some finishing touches...
Until this collaboration, I'd never heard of Rude before, but the uber talented illustration and design team have recently paired with Urban Outfitters to create a collection of beautifully bright home wares (with everything from cosy bed bits to eclectic make up and shoe inspired prints) that have been adding a spot of life to my more neutral bedroom. Plus, the collection has just hit the sale, so you can get colourful for a whole lot less!
Tuesday, 28 October 2014
It’s no secret that I’m a bit of a Dawn O’Porter fan girl. When you meet someone who not only loves and knows vintage, Game of Thrones and Sunday morning pancakes you know you’ve found a ruddy good egg. Having loved her documentaries and writing since the word go, read Paper Aeroplanes in a record few hours on holiday (so much so that I couldn’t put it down that it came in the pool with me) and admired her style (and so-glossy-how-can-I-get-that bob) from afar for longer than I can remember; you can only imagine my excitement when an email dropped into my inbox announcing her new collection, BOB by DOP, and the chance to catch up with the lady herself and talk the new collection, not having a stylist (yup, girl can dress herself- bloody well) and only the best flea markets…
How did the process all begin, was it always something you had mapped out?
I’ve been buying vintage for about five years, with no business- picking pieces and perhaps thinking ‘oh this doesn’t work on me’ but just kind of hoarding them. I’ve always wanted to design dresses, I just didn’t know enough about it, so I really swotted up and educated myself about how dresses used to be made and why they used to be more charming than they are now. After filming the series (This Old Thing) I thought ‘Ok. Now I know what works on other women now’, and in the whole thing I learnt so much about how a dress should be made, so as soon as I’d finished the process of filming and the show was up, I was like ‘I know now that this is the right time and I feel educated enough to start this’.
It’s nice that is has that background behind it, and it’s not just you saying ‘I want to make some clothes!’…
It definitely wasn’t. I could have done this five years ago, but I didn’t know enough and they wouldn’t have been the quality that they are, or the standard; so it’s absolutely the right time, and it’s all come from me as well, so what’s been really good is that I’ve been able to totally steer the ship.
It’s so important though, and definitely gives the collection a real sense of authenticity- with everything from the fabric content to the way it’s made too. Which is your favourite piece in the collection?
Every time I pick one up I say ‘this is my favourite!’ but at the moment I love The Lou that’s the dress you’ll be wearing for 25 years and it’s never going to go out of fashion, the fact that it’s kind of prommy, but not too prommy makes it the perfect cut dress. It’s the one that I can’t wait to get in to! But then again I love them all, and would definitely wear all of them- that’s the worrying thing; you make dresses that you want to wear, but then wonder whether other people will want to wear them too! I’d like to think that there is something for everyone.
What eras did you take inspiration from, there’s obviously some nods to the sixties…
It’s sixties, seventies and a bit of eighties. The block dress is a bit more eighties; but those are the eras that I think are the most wearable and that I love the most. I want my first collection to be pieces that I’m known for wearing, and that people understand the way I’d done it- but in the future I’d love to bring in some twenties, and fourties- which I love too.
It’s nice that you’ve added in the eighties, as usually that’s the era people dismiss in terms of style!
I love the eighties! I think there’s a way of doing it that can make it very wearable. Also, my thing with the eighties is that I feel incredibly nostalgic about it. It’s what my mum and aunties looked like, it’s what I thought I would look like when I was a grown up lady- so actually I don’t think it’s that hideous, and I love eighties day dresses!
Do you have any style icons, or anyone you look to for inspiration?
More than people, I do look at images from fashion shoots from the sixties and seventies. I love Peggy Moffitt- I could just stare at her all day. I love looking at all of the old fashioned videos, so it’s more that kind of thing for me than actual icons. In terms of modern icons, I think Tilda Swinton always smashes it, fashion is art to her. I think even if you make mistakes, there’s a duty to be the forefront of inspiration in fashion when you’re standing on the red carpet. Take some risks and express yourself. I feel it can all be a bit obvious sometimes.
So, when did you first fall in love with vintage- has it always been in your blood?
I think it has! My aunty and uncle raised me, and my aunty used to dress windows on Oxford Street in the sixties and my uncle had a furrier business and did bespoke furs for all sorts of people. All through my teenage years they would talk about how the sixties were in swinging London because they were there- and that must be where it comes from. Clothes weren’t talked about as disposable or throw away, it was instilled in me that quality and charm was what fashion was meant to be; so I think it was always there. When I moved to London and started to make my own money in my mid twenties, I started really venturing in to vintage and stopped trying to follow the herd, and stop bothering with trying to keep up with fashion, as it just wasn’t ‘me’. I must have been about twenty-five when I went in to a vintage shop in Parsons Green, and there were all these bazaar fifties and sixties dresses and I put them on and I was like ‘this is it!’- One of the dresses I wore out that night, and I still wear it now- that would have been ten years ago. It was a seventies wrap around sundress!
Is that your favourite ever vintage piece?
No- but definitely one of my most important. My favorite would be, my biggest investment ever, which was a mid-sixties Courrèges haute couture holiday budget dress.
What I’d give to go in to your wardrobe!
Oh there’s some good stuff! Although I have got rid of a lot of it to put on BOB, I had to clear some space, and be a bit brutal- I don’t give away or sell anything that’s remotely valuable or important!
So, let us in to a secret- which are your favourite places to hunt down vintage?
Favourite places would be the Rose Bowl in California; which is a massive flea market with the most unthinkable buys, they have the most amazing vintage designer dealers there and you can pick up £10 dresses too. I go every month and it’s my favorite place on earth. I also live a 5-minute walk from another flea market that’s on every Sunday. It’s nice to get a relationship with all of the dealers, so they hold stuff aside for me and wait. I also bid for a lot of the designer stuff on eBay. Because we travel so much, wherever I am, I love going to all of the markets; there was a great vintage fair in Bristol last Saturday, I bought an amazing sundress for £8 and I’m still not over how good that feels! I might make my investments with a big piece of Courrèges, but it’s such a thrill finding a piece like that.
Do you find the vintage is different from the U.S as it is in the UK?
There’s more of it; I do think the UK is really, really good for vintage shopping, I think some of the boutique shops are so good, they are really well selected and I think it’s really impressive here, but the vastness of what you find in the US is quite something- I feel like in LA I don’t ever have enough arm space.
Do you have any hidden gems in London?
The shop in Parsons Green was the first one I loved, it’s a real jimble jumble. If I do red carpet I’ll go to William Vintage- he’s just an amazing buyer. There’s also a really good one on Endell Street, and I love Bang Bang. The thing is, with so many vintage shops- it doesn’t matter whether it’s good or bad, if you find one good dress than you’ve done well, and you never know what’s going to be in each of them.
And finally, what does a normal Sunday look in the O’Porter household?
Probably getting up about 9- Chris makes pancakes on a Sunday, and then we’ll have a dog walk and I’ll make a roast about 3 or 4 o’clock, followed by movies or Game of Thrones. I always put something really fun on on a Sunday, like a big seventies stupid floaty gown, Chris said the best thing ever the other day, he said: ‘when we’re not together I just think of you walking into the back garden in a big floaty seventies chiffon number with a Margarita’ I was like, ‘the fact you’ve picked up on that, and that you think of me that way is exactly how I want people to think of me!’ I don’t know how often it happens, but it must have happened a few times!
You can shop BOB by DOP here
Sunday, 26 October 2014
Although Leicester Square isn't the first place I think of when I think of ways to spend a day in London (I'm always a little intimidated by the vastness and chocolatey smell of M&M world and the clubs around there), it's always somewhere I've associated with the magic of films, and premiers. Okay, so when I can, I'll definitely favour the not-so-secret Prince Charles cinema over any of the pricey giants (they do sing alongs you guys)- but whenever I walk through the area there is a little sense of sparkle, and the thought of all of the special nights that have happened there is quite something.
I always think of my dad telling me about when he managed to go to a premiere there way back when, and when I managed to head to the Love, Rosie premiere earlier this month it did feel pretty exciting. Not only have I been waiting to catch the film since August when I first caught the trailer (I am a big chic lit fan if you hadn't already realised) but it was even better than I'd expected (I laughed, and cried three times)- so I'd definitely recommend you all paying a cinema visit, it's a must see for sure and Lily Collins is certainly my new girl crush...
Thursday, 23 October 2014
I'll admit it, I'm turning in to a bit of an Autumn convert. Although the temperature has significantly dropped (Joe cleverly reminded me that this was because we are, in fact, getting closer to winter) and squally showers have become more frequent than 'highs of 20 degrees'- I'm actually getting to used to feeling a little festive. Celebrating with a Halloween party this week (where I outdid myself and went as a... ahem... cat), bringing out the cosiest winter coats that I've had shut away for 6 months (and will indefinitely have out for the next 7), investing in a pretty luxurious Sainsburys purchase- and of course, puddle charging with this little madam...
I'm also trying to make the most of London at this time of year- like Spring and the cherry blossoms (which typically last about a week, and that I nearly always miss) I'm trying to see everything London has to offer in this orange-tinted leafy filter it's currently wearing- before everything becomes a little bare for the winter. To celebrate other Autumnal perks, Havaianas are also allowing you to enjoy puddles as much as yours truly (absolutely nothing wrong with that)- by giving away 5 pairs of their wellies weekly, from now until the 17th November. All you have to do is upload a snap on Instagram of how you'll be embracing the season with the hash tag #sambaintherain and enjoying Autumn, whatever the weather!
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
When I'm working from home, the first lunch remedy I usually turn to is something big and bready- mhmm. Be it a bagel packed with avocado (which I'll definitely have to mention in another blog post) or a baguette- I'm not exactly one for being the most healthy come midday. Recently however, I've been making a little more effort to be a little more sensible, turning to Ryvita with lots of fun toppings- and after flicking through Lorraine Pascale's new 'How to be a better cook' book- I felt inspired to give these little Carribean inspired toastie cups a whirl- and let me tell you, they took no time at all and they didn't disappoint!
You will need (for about 6):
- 6 x Mini Pittas
- 1 red pepper chopped in to small chunks
- 1 avocado, cut into small chunks
- 1 mango/ready cut mango (if you cheated like me)!
- Red kidney beans - 2 spring onions
- 1 red chilli, deseeded- or a few chilli flakes
- Juice of 1 lime
- Fresh mint leaves
- Olive oil/Salt and pepper to season
- A cupcake/muffin tray
1. Preheat the over to 200 degrees, and spray/grease the cupcake trays with a little oil ready for popping in the oven!
2. Stack the wraps on top of one another and cut them into quarters. Push one quarter into each hole of the cupcake trays, pressing it in to fit- and continue to do so until each case has about three quarters in and is covered to make a cup.
3. Pop the wraps into the oven and bake for about 5 minutes until the cups are crisp and a little brown. Whilst they are in the oven, mix the pepper, avocado, mango, kidney beans, spring onion, chilli, lime and mint together in a bowl and season if necessary.
4. Once the cups are cooked, remove them from the oven and fill them will the mixture- enjoy for the perfect light lunch!
Tuesday, 21 October 2014
If there's one thing I try to do on a totally rare free day, it's discover somewhere new in London. Living in a city as big as this, you forget there are so many nooks and crannies yet to be discovered, hiding little gems on bustling high streets and not-so-secret wonders on the cusp of each zone. After spotting Lion Records popping up on Instagram (thanks to following it's uber cool curator Mairead Nash), I was set on popping by, grabbing a cuppa and perhaps parting with some pounds on some records I'd yet to hear- and I wasn't disappointed.
On top of that, it seemed the perfect occasion to don my latest Levi's get-up, easily a go to- and all in celebration of their pretty cool new campaign #LiveInLevis. It's pretty self explanatory as to why their denim makes up such an integral part of my lazy day/every day uniform, and their new collection focusses on how real people- including you lovely readers, style their pieces in their day to day musings- be it vintage 501's at Glastonbury, trucker jackets at the Roundhouse or Revels at the newest coffee shop- ahem. You can get more style inspiration from the hashtag, and let people know how you style your staple denim. After all, you can't go wrong with a good pair of jeans...