The New Neutrals

A breath of fresh air in a world full of too-tight skinny jeans and polyester pencil skirts…

Neutrals. I’m not sure I like the term. I used to love the idea of a monochromatic wardrobe artfully arranged from white to stone to coffee tones, khakis and then greys and blacks. A capsule. Breathable. Something like this >. Where you buy one item and retire another with dignity, understanding the role you play in our over-consumed world and appreciating each purchase you make with a solemnity that Marie Kondo would be proud of.

Unfortunately for ole Marie and the world of order and tidyness, I find I’m going through a period of more is more – bright dresses and silk shirts, mixing prints and stripes, polka dots and textures. Maybe it’s because Summer has rolled around and you feel like colour is the way to go. Or maybe I’m turning into Iris Apfel (hopefully not just yet).

look9-look9.st

I feel like there will be a time in my life when I wear silk pyjamas and ornate bejewelled rings, oversized sunglasses and fur coats of many colours. And I will shop only at Liberty and buy mountains of macarons from Ladurée that I feed to my Pomeranians. But for now I’m up and down as to what I want and what my wardrobe is or wants to be, so neutrals do sometimes still exert a pull. Especially as this look has moved away from ‘Out of Africa’ connotations or ‘hessian hippy’ styling to something so chic, so breathable and so relaxed that I can’t help but love it.

It feels quite grown up but still über cool. Like a Céline woman without the severity. There is that severe masculine edge but it’s softened by the natural fabrics and the sway of a wisp of hair or a tasteful feminine bow. She knows who she is, likes to look elegant and put together but be comfortable at the same time. Items aren’t fussy but still detailed and clever. Fabrics are cool and comfortable – linen, organic cotton, stiff crochet and fine knit. There’s a hint of beading, a touch of gold, a knot here, a raffia sandal there. And bags are interesting rather than showy. As if you are carrying a functional sculpture that doesn’t need any fussy zips or statement logos.

It’s all about considered basics which – to give Marie her credit – I do believe in. We should consider what we put together as a look. There should be pride in our appearance no matter what the style. And the joy of head-to-toe neutrals is exactly that. It’s a quietly considered style. A breath of fresh air in a world full of too-tight skinny jeans and polyester pencil skirts. A world where movement is slower, more graceful. Our desks are organised and our lunch is always organic but we brought it from home. A life that doesn’t seem so chaotic. We walk with direction and appreciation. There is no rushing or missed gym sessions. There is always time for a holiday. We are just confidently present. Beautifully put together and effortlessly chic…Hmmm…maybe this is the woman we all want to be…

Get inspired…

Shop the Look…

image credits: Zara / Fashion Editorials / Pinterest / Style Du Monde / Mango / Whistles / Topshop / & Other Stories

Marie Claire makes me nostalgic with this 90’s inspired beach shoot…

Sunrise-sunset, 90’s styling, filmy shots and Helmut Newton-esque poses make this a dreamy shoot…

Every now and again you come upon a story or an image that just takes you away to another time and place. The nostalgia overwhelms you and it reminds you of something or somewhere or some time in your life that you just can’t put your finger on.

I guess that is what art does – takes you somewhere. Away from your screen or the page or the gallery wall. It evokes something so intangible in you that you can’t take your eyes off it.  You can’t explain, there’s just something in the light, the colours, the location. It transports you. Often it can be an element that is seemingly unremarkable or it usually doesn’t grab other people in the same way. And the more you try to explain it, the more it gets lost, slipping through your fingers like a forgotten dream. That struggle to recapture it usually leaves me quite sad. I struggle to vocalise what I mean and desperately want people to understand how important something feels to me but I can never quite explain it.

This shoot from Marie Claire with its 90’s inspired swimwear, off-beat sunrise/sunset lighting, filmy quality and Helmut Newton-esque poses, does exactly that. It reminds me of late summer holidays where the light is still golden, but the air is turning and soon we will have to pack up the car and go home – back to hair cuts, new school books and time indoors.

Marie-Claire-May-2018-Mariana-Pardinho-Luanna-Pinheiro-Carlijn-Jacobs-6

Marie-Claire-May-2018-Mariana-Pardinho-Luanna-Pinheiro-Carlijn-Jacobs-2

Marie-Claire-May-2018-Mariana-Pardinho-Luanna-Pinheiro-Carlijn-Jacobs-1

Marie-Claire-May-2018-Mariana-Pardinho-Luanna-Pinheiro-Carlijn-Jacobs-10

Marie-Claire-May-2018-Mariana-Pardinho-Luanna-Pinheiro-Carlijn-Jacobs-5

Marie-Claire-May-2018-Mariana-Pardinho-Luanna-Pinheiro-Carlijn-Jacobs-4

Marie-Claire-May-2018-Mariana-Pardinho-Luanna-Pinheiro-Carlijn-Jacobs-7

Marie-Claire-May-2018-Mariana-Pardinho-Luanna-Pinheiro-Carlijn-Jacobs-12

 

Marie-Claire-May-2018-Mariana-Pardinho-Luanna-Pinheiro-Carlijn-Jacobs-11

image credit: Marie Claire May 2018 Shoot by: Carlijn Jacobs. Styling: Imruh Asha. Hair: Hester Wernert. Makeup: Kathinka Hastert. Models: Mariana Pardinho & Luanna

source: Fashion Editorials

Mid Week Motivation

Mid Week Motivation – gadgets, bloggers and Ikigai (the new Hygge but not). Get your fix…

02-geek-love-march-2016-vogue-kendall-jener-gigi-hadid

We’ve had a bank holiday here in the UK (otherwise known as a public holiday to the rest of the world) so technically this isn’t really ‘midweek’, but I’m pretty excited about some of these finds so this post really can’t wait. Enjoy x

The Gadget: 

Fridja-Handheld-Travel-Clothes-Steamer

I’ve decided I hate ironing. You might say this is not a difficult decision to make, BUT having made this decision I also create a problem. And the solution to this problem (apart from my husband kindly ironing all my shirts for me for the rest of his life) is this very neat little gem. The Fridja f10. They are calling it the Rolls Royce of hand held steamers. I’ve just ordered mine so I can’t actually claim that it works brilliantly but if reviews are anything to go by Fridja is set to change our lives. And I’m talking reviews from fashion people who would ACTUALLY need to use it – like Vogue and In The Frow. Not QVC salespeople who continuously smile while talking (never trust a person who can hold a full teeth-baring smile while trying to sell you something, its not natural – they are hiding something, probably gas but still).

The major feature to call out on the little Fridja is the fact that you don’t need to travel with the water container. You simply use the water adapter to click in any suitable water bottle and steam like its nobody’s business. I also love that its called the Fridja. Sounds like a little Swedish gnome or magic elf. And while it won’t magically steam all your clothes for you without your help it does look set to make the job much easier. Oh and it comes in three delightful colours and a whole host of accessories like a foldable hanger. Pretty nifty if you ask me…

Purchase here > 

The Documentary:

Now if you haven’t heard anything about the new Alexander McQueen documentary you have been living under a very large, sound proof rock in the middle of the Gobi desert. The news of this is EVERYWHERE. If you knew his work and loved the enfant terrible of fashion go forth and drool as this is set to be the fashion documentary of the year. Or if you are a tween who thinks the house is just famous for designing Kate Middleton’s wedding dress then PLEASE go educate yourself. The man was a genius and must be honoured.

 

The Blogger:

IMG_3005-2

I haven’t found a good fashion blogger in a while. Obviously there is the holy grail of the blogging fashion world (some of my favs’ include: Garance Doré, Man Repeller, Song of Style and  Oracle Fox)

But my absolute favourite bloggers are the ones who mix high and low fashion (read £1million designer dress paired with £29 Zara Bag) and produce lovely content that covers travel, fashion and lifestyle in a concise, easy-to-read way. I need the beautiful pics but also want someone with a brain and a real sense of the fact that we don’t all earn never ending amounts of money. Monikh is one such blog. Yes she has the most insta-worthy life, yes she is beautiful, yes you will be annoyed and über jealous, but you will also find many beautiful and affordable things. I recently bought these cute little hair clips from Accessorize when I spotted them on her Instagram. I salute you Monikh, yours is a blog to envy.

Check out Monikh’s blog here >

The new, new Mindfulness…

fashionography

So we’ve had feng shui, yoga, mindfulness, meditation, sleeping apps, colouring-in books, knitting, bee keeping and hygge. Maybe if we change language, find a new word and create a whole other host of associated products and apps we will eventually find inner peace? Yes that must be the answer! So this week we look to Japan to solve all our first world problems.

The Japanese Ikigai is the opposite of Hygge in that instead of slowing down and focusing on scented candles and cups of cocoa, you strive forward to find a purpose in life. The word comes from two Japanese characters – iki meaning life and kai meaning the result of an action. The idea is to gain a sense of ‘flow’ in your life. You need to stop and notice times in your day when you are doing something that you are good at and enjoying it at the same time. And then you – oh who am I kidding, I’m bored already. If you want to find out more this is quite a helpful article.

This weekend I chose a rather more traditional approach to finding my inner peace  – I gardened. Yip, good old fashioned hands-in-the-dirt gardening. It’s not fancy or expensive. It doesn’t require the use of apps, journals or fancy pants accessories. You can do it indoors or outdoors, in pots or acres – whatever the space you have. But the sense of satisfaction you get from pulling a giant weed out of the ground or planting and watering a defenceless little petunia is priceless. There is something so primal about it. Getting your hands dirty and doing something that requires all your attention is rare these days. You simply can’t text while sprinkling compost (I’ve tried and failed). So get out there and plant some stuff. Its a great workout and you are also doing the environment a favour. Tick, tick and tick.

 

images: Fridja / Monikh / Fashion Editorials / Pinterest / Vogue

 

Shiny Happy People

It is stifling in London. So hot that the heat seems to shimmer off the buildings and bounce back onto you.  Zero breeze. Even the pigeons have gone quiet.

Taking the train into Waterloo is an oppressive experience. As if you are slowly being sealed in one of those airtight bags you put your winter duvets in. The air being sucked out minute by minute until you hit the next stop when the doors open and a million sardines spill out, only to be replaced by newly wilted ones.

On the approach to the city the sky greets you with a smoggy haze that just doesn’t shift. I feel like I’m in New York or Paris in the Summer. When everyone is just desperate to escape to The Hamptons or the Côte d’Azur but have to finish off the last few weeks of work. The energy is of such expectation. Anything could happen, should happen. The haze sits. The world is waiting.

I hope this post takes you away…

image credits: pinterest / fashion editorials / they all hate us / fashion gone rogue

Ode to Zara

I mean I might as well set up a temple and start worshiping. In my eyes Zara nails it every, single time. Who are these people who rip off designers almost instantaneously (they have a 2 week turnaround time when other brands need 6 months),  shoot everything beautifully, have ridiculously good delivery options and their stores are generally well stocked and easy to shop (learn something here Mango!)? Oh and ps – they don’t waste money on advertising or dressing celebrities. Because, well why would you when you sit at #46 on the Forbes most valuable brand list at a casual $13 billion.

Also their owner literally looks like somebody’s sweet but slightly dilly uncle (check him out here). But don’t let those eyebrows fool you, at one point last year he was the richest man alive, beating Bill Gates’s casual $82 billion (probably because I spend so much money in there).

But lets get back to the clothes. The latest ‘Clean Lines’ story is a dream. It features the beautiful Cara Taylor, the girl who is making me want to chop all my hair off , because she rocks a bob like its nobody’s business. But I pretty much want EVERY SINGLE ITEM. There is such a good mix of nostalgic 80’s sport, Celine-inspired pieces (gotta love a bit of Celine) with the textures and lurex, plastic and and pvc that just need to find a place in your closet. Everything is perfectly paired, right down to the last mismatched earring. Go shop it now before I head into store and buy it all out…You have been warned…

 

shop the full collection here >

image credits: Zara

 

 

Mid Week Motivation

It’s about this time every week when we start losing the will to live. Take a break and enjoy my mid week motivation round up…

It’s about this time every week when we start losing the will to live. The weekend seems so far off and the gym now feels so hard to get to and those food prep lunches sooooo hard to prep. Generally we are drowning in the mid week dead zone. So I’m going to try do a weekly post to take out minds off the workload and onto fun things to do/watch/go to or generally get involved with.

If you have any suggestions please do send them to me. I always feel like half the joy of finding something exciting is sharing it with other people. So bring and come! Otherwise make a cup of herbal tea (oh who am I kidding – a coffee and a doughnut) take a break and enjoy this random selection…

Running in Heels Book Club

IMG_20170804_145752-01-e1503588869362

Now honey I don’t like book clubs. I never have. The fact that they are made out to be a female only institution where a group of women sit discussing the latest chick lit (Fifty Shades- vomit), while getting drunk on cheap wine, is something I desperately want to avoid for oh so many reasons (equality, hangovers, sanity – the list goes on).

Which is why I’m intrigued by Running in Heels – the latest, lifestyle forward subscription book service. Every month they deliver a lovely modern fiction paperback masterpiece (NOTE NO CHICK LIT) to your door for £12.50 including packaging (they also deliver to North America and Europe!). Now I can hear all the millenials rolling their eyes, thinking, “But I can download kindle books for £1.” Well the answer to that my friend is that this lovely company delivers a beautiful marbled box to your door every month, containing 1x paperback AND a selection of treats that can be enjoyed alongside aforementioned masterpiece. Think mini Diptique candles (sold), organic chocolate and beauty product testers which you can enjoy in the comfort of your own home sans deadline.

And you can then cleverly log onto their site to leave reviews and comments when you’ve finished reading. So if you hate the book you will be happy to know that you have options.  You don’t have to finish it, just enjoy the added goodies and move on with life. And there’s something so self indulgent in gifting yourself with a monthly package. I’m calling it the perfect modern book club – ideal for that anti social woman who doesn’t have time to get drunk on cheap chardonnay and discuss two dimensional characters who she wished she hadn’t wasted her free Wednesday night reading about. Your are most welcome.

Check it out here >

 

Mozart in the Jungle

A1SPbqGfvqL._RI_

I was trolling through Amazon Prime recently and spotted this series which couldn’t be more random if you tried. A Spanish conductor who sees dead musicians and joins the New York Symphony Orchestra. That antics that ensue are odd and the plot line has more twists than a day on Trump’s Twitter feed, but the link to classical music is beautiful, the characters quirky and there are some thought provoking moments with brilliant one liners. Need more reasons to commit? Some of the episodes have been directed by Roman Coppola and lead actor Gabriel Garcia Berel has won a Golden Globe and rightly so, he’s brilliant.

Check it out now > 

 

That Wedding

So Megan married Harry and bells rung and the Queen wore lime and purple (seriously bold move), they had black people singing in Windsor Chapel (probably a first) and the British public will have nothing else to talk about for the next month apart from who wore what and the meaning behind that lip biting episode. The joy in events like these is the tongue-in-cheek criticism of the world’s beautiful, wealthy people. It’s jealousy disguised as hilarious sarcasm and no one does it better than Fashion Critical, a Facebook page commenting on who wore what at big celebrity studded events. The wedding commentary had me in stitches. Perfect for a Wednesday afternoon tea break.

Enjoy it here >

 

“I can’t leave the house Charlie, my mobile has run out of battery.”

blogger-image--425706872

Must leave house. Must have phone and purse. Damn, phone battery is dying. Don’t want to carry gigantic, phone charger which weighs more than an actual power plant in my bag. What to do, what to do? Enter Mighty Purse! A ridiculously named bag brand that features a range of wallets, purses and bags all housing a super useful in-built power charger (with mini adaptor for iphone). So you can now leave the house safe in the knowledge that your obsession with shooting photos of your food won’t mean that you then can’t order an Uber for the trip home. Stylish technology hack sorted.

Shop the collection here > 

 

Think Pink

Soo-Joo-Park-by-STYLEDUMONDE-Street-Style-Fashion-Photography_48A9150-700x467@2x

Enough with the minimal tones. This summer pink is the new black. It’s time to commit head-to-toe. I’m talking pink suits. It’s THE thing and Sheer Luxe has done a really good round up. It’s exciting. I’m REALLY excited! I think I might have to do a separate post on pink…can you tell I’m excited?

Sheer Luxe pink suit round up >

image credits: running in heels / amazon / pinterest / style du monde

Moody Saturdays…

I’m sick. Not enough to be trying to sleep through snot and a fever, but enough not to go to kickboxing with my friend this morning. The light is streaming in through the windows. Milky pale wintery sunshine (but still) and I feel compelled to stay indoors. It’s been a tough week so a dose of inspiration is in order. With Autumn firmly behind my London door I’m looking for warmth. The fuzzy caramel, warm highlight kind. Hope you enjoy this selection, its making me happy on this miserable morning.

PS – the sun has now gone only to be replaced with an Autumn shower.

PPS -sorry for the radio silence, my life decided to grow a life of its own and I have had no time for pretty pictures or blogging moments sadly. Here’s to trying to pick that up again…

 

image credits: they all hate us / pinterest / fashion editorials / style du monde /

Work Work Work Work Work Work…

It’s high summer – everyone’s talking summer holidays and train disruptions (a hazard of European living). But I am have just started a new job and so my head is firmly in the working world and the wardrobe that goes with it.

I often feel quite sorry for a lot of my friends who work in very corporate environments and are therefore limited to exceptionally conservative, corporate pencil skirts and shift dresses. At this point I would just like to state for the record that there is nothing worse than a square neck pencil dress – nothing, not even harem pants and songs by Fifth Harmony.

The joy of working in a creative industry is that you get to embrace that creativity in what you wear everyday. Some people take it to the extreme (I really don’t want to be calling a meeting for you, me and your belly button thank you very much) and most are quite casual about it (that levis jeans+button down shirt uniform looks chic and does the job). But some – and we’ll call these the birds of paradise of the working world – just BRING IT. Every day is about a mood. An effort has clearly been made and I appreciate that. I love it! I yearn to replicate it and sometimes I succeed and sometimes a topknot and a bomber jacket will just have to do because I do not have the time or brain space to think of anything else. But for the moment all I can think of is taking work, and therefore by extension my wardrobe, by the horns and committing to it. Wearing clothes that will instil in me a feeling of power and success and an inner strength that hopefully will translate into the work I do. It’s a nod of understanding to the 80’s. I’m thinking pinstripes and oversized shapes, men’s trousers and white shirts, neutral colours but interesting silhouettes. It’s all about power dressing in a smart and feel good way. I know we’re all floral dresses and basket bags at the moment, but this look is worth dreaming about. It’s a woman owning it in a man’s world. So while you are enjoying your bikinis or festival frolicks, think of me, dreaming away in an office somewhere…

image credits: Style Du Monde / Who What Wear / Sylvie Mus / Badlands / Oracle Fox / Vogue

Beam Me Up Gucci

Gucci is the gift that just keeps on giving. One minute you think you are completely over their overpriced bee motif trainers  and ridiculous fur lined loafers, the next they pop up with something completely innovative and smile inducing and you’re back to being inexplicably hooked. It’s so annoying! They are a powerhouse, a squad, a clique. They are the cool kids of the playground who started wearing those tattoo necklaces before anyone else did (and stopped when everyone else started wearing them). And try as you might to resist it, deep down you know that you just want – no NEED – to be a part of it. It’s like Taylor Swift and her squad. On the surface everyone eyerolls her 4th of July parties and squad escapades but deep down they all wished they had thought of matching swimsuits and waterslides.

But I digress. My point is that Gucci is always ahead of the game. I thought they had re-established this with their Pre Fall disco video (see here) but actually they have just gone up a whole other level of out of this world cool.  Taking references from Star Wars, Creature from the Black Lagoon and Forbidden Planet the latest campaign is tongue in cheek while still beautifully shot with that expensively gorgeous, over-the-top styling that only Gucci can do. I mean for goodness sake how do you make aliens look stylish? Damnit they are cool!  Damnit I hate them! Damnit I want it all…

 

 

image and video credits: Dazed

A Vision

I love it when a vision comes together visually (that sounds rather pseudo-profound doesn’t it?). What I mean is, when you can see that a photographer, model, stylist and concept all come together and produce something clever or interesting or – and I hesitate to use this word – beautiful. The reason I hesitate with the word ‘ beautiful’ is because beauty is terribly subjective. As are the other terms I’ve used, but beauty strikes me as so superficial. A 2 dimensional concept when featured in the same breath as striking or mesmerising for example. Case and point – the latest cover story from Harper’s Bazaar Spain. Featuring Daphne Groeneveld, who might not be everyone’s cup of tea, she has been exaggerated to the point of full fabulosity and you can’t help but be captivated by the images. The blanked out eyebrows, props, styling, its just magical….

 

check out the full shoot here > 

image credit: fashion editorials