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Monday, 22 September 2014

London Fashion Week Day 3 Outfit - Black Satin Skirt, (Faux) Mink Stole & Pointed Bow Heels

Click to item or similar; Mink Faux Fur Stole: c/o Dorothy Perkins. Top: River Island. Skirt: Coast. Sunglasses: Prada. Shoes: Russell & Bromley. Earrings & Bag: Chanel. 

Hello all!

Arabella is wearing a midi skirt. Stop the press. Alert the media. 

With this outfit, I wanted to mix various textures; jersey, satin, patent leather and faux fur. I set myself a little challenge to mix what I consider to be a very informal, casual piece; the bardot style striped jersey top, with something undeniably dressy; the voluminous satin skirt. I'm hoping I succeeded in my personal challenge. In fact, when several people photographed me and then asked 'it's all Chanel, right?' in regards to what I was wearing, when I then corrected them that it was all high street besides the bag and earrings, they were all agog! (Sigh, a girl can dream.)

The fur stole (faux, of course) - the ultimate transitional piece for autumn/winter. Whether it's a breezy but sunny September day, or a frosty December morning - a fur stole (or 10) is always an absolute necessity in my wardrobe around this time of year and in the months to come. They're perfectly versatile in the fact that they can be added and removed to a huge selection of outfits, and taken on and off throughout the day depending on the temperature. A fur stole is the cherry-on-the-cake on a new winter coat. I personally have a mildly shameful number of fur stoles, this mink style one being a new favourite. The neutral colour means that it'll compliment and work with almost any outfit; casual or formal. Of course, I have to mention the most boring element of style, practicality. It's undeniable that a fur stole, or in fact any kind of scarf can make all the difference come the colder months due to the fact that our necks seem to feel the cold more than anywhere else! 

Here's what I'm wearing (or similar!)

Friday, 19 September 2014

London Fashion Week Day 2 Outfit - Waistcoat & Printed Culottes

Click to items still in stock; Culottes: Topshop. Waistcoat: Topshop. Shoes: c/o Dorothy Perkins. Bag: c/o Dorothy Perkins. Shirt: Zara. Sunglasses: Miu Miu. Earrings: J.Crew c/o ASAP.

Hello all!
My penchant for midi skirts and all things ladylike is no secret online (and in that thing we internet people refer to as 'the real life' too) and because of this, I sometimes feel I can be a bit predictable. So, as London Fashion Week is THE place of all places to experiment with something that's perhaps a little out of your comfort zone. When dressing myself (as opposed to when.. others dress me? lol) I try to always ask myself the same question, especially if I'm feeling a little doubtful about my choices; 'if you saw someone else wearing this, would you think they looked good?' I feel it's quite an insightful question to ask, as we're always more critical of ourselves than we are of others. It's a way to try and see yourself from someone else's perspective.

 I asked myself that same question when styling this outfit for day 2. It's true, shirts, waistcoats and tailored things are very what I'd call 'me', and if this was teamed with a pair of leather trousers I'd be happy as a clam. However, it was just the culottes that I was apprehensive about. But, I asked myself again and again, would I think someone else looked good if I saw them in this? Not to blow my own trumpet, but yes, yes I would. So I did it, I took the plunge and felt good about it. Culottes are certainly something different for me - but since wearing this outfit I've worn them again with a white ruffled bralet on an exceedingly warm day and felt perfectly happy!

Also, you know that rule that says you can't wear blue and black? Well, bugger that rule. The culottes are dark grey/almost black and the shoes and bag are navy. I'm a mad, mad woman. A rule breaking beast who cannot be tamed. I wanted to try and incorporate the cute little satchel and intricately detailed shoes (which I received many compliments on!) somewhere into my outfit choices for the week, so I did. And you know what? I'm delighted with the outcome.

(& Thanks to Holly McGlynn for some of the photographs!)

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

London Fashion Week Day 1 Outfit - Monochrome Florals

Top: c/o Missguided - similar here. Skirt: Coast. Bag: c/o Dorothy Perkins Shoes: c/o Dorothy Perkins - similar here (in the sale!). Necklace: Zara.

Hello all, and happy fashion week!

It's that time again. The time to expect an extreme influx of instagram posts and excessive use of the hashtag #lfw. I've been in London since Thursday, clip-clopping around the cobbles and pretending to be cool and aloof when photographers asked to take my photo; 'yeah sure whatever' when actually inside I'm like 'tehehehehe'. I was there days 1, 2, 3 and 4 and a Premier Inn right around the corner very generously put Becca and myself up for the week, so I didn't have to hobble back and forth every day.

On to the outfit. I really see fashion week as an opportunity to be a bit more flamboyant and extravagant than usual - it's a place where I actually don't feel overdressed, which is is a rare occurrence. I feel completely comfortable wearing things that I might not necessarily deem 'day appropriate' on a normal basis, such as my favourite style of skirt, Coast's 'Rita' which I'm wearing here in yet another colour variation. With it, I teamed a black and gold portfolio clutch and pointy heels with rose gold detailing, both from Dorothy Perkins. Looking at the photos now, I think the accessories complimented my outfit beautifully. In fact - I kept being asked if the bag was designer, much to my delight! 

How have you been enjoying the coverage so far? 

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Striped, Structured Mini Dress

Dress: ASOS. Shoes: M&S. Sunglasses: Prada. Bag: H&M. Earrings: Chanel.

Hello all!

A short (quite literally?) outfit post for you this evening in the form of this striped, structured mini dress. These photos were snapped by my blonde barbie-but-better pal Charlotte Fisher on a recent day of events - the highlight being the launch of Fearne Cotton's new clothing line at The Groucho Club in London. 

I went for a rather simplistic, monochrome look for that day - whilst adding my favourite M&S cobalt blue, pointy shoes as a splash of colour.

This is actually the dress I did my ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in, so if you want to see me in this outfit having a bucket of ice and freezing cold water thrown over me, head over to my instagram to take a look.  I decided that doing it in some form of swimwear/'slobby' clothes would be a cop-out - hence my usually dressed up appearance! Having done that, I was able to test out the 'washability' of the dress. Thankfully, it washed and dried beautifully. No distortion of the structure and no dulling of the colours - it's a winner!

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Dupe Duel; Dior Vs. Sleek

  Diorskin Rosy Glow in '001 Petal': c/o Debenhams & Sleek Blush in '936 Pixie Pink'.

The images above are in order, so the image of me wearing the blush is below the image of the blush itself. 

Hello all!

A beauty post has emerged.. well well well, and about time too!

As a very fair skinned person who naturally looks quite deathly, blush is one of the most important steps in my make-uped face creating routine. I just invented a word; make-uped. So much so, that I have to apply blush when leaving the gym after a ferocious work-out, and many a time I'd be walking around the grounds at school and a teacher would place a caring hand on my shoulder and say 'Arabella, are you ok? You look like you're about to faint!' - I was never about to faint, that's just my face. I suspect (hope) I may just be a vampire and don't have any blood.

Because blush is so imperative to me, I decided a while ago that I wanted to do a post on one of my favourite blushes. However, I fully appreciate that the blush I'm talking about, DiorSkin Rosy Glow at £30.50, is generally not something to pick up on a whim - so, I sought out what I've learned is referred to as a 'dupe'. I found that dupe at a Sleek counter, a drugstore brand I'd never tried before. As this is my first real beauty post, I should give you a bit of a background on my make up history. I'll be honest with you, I don't frequent the drugstore makeup stands all too often, and I'm not saying that in a la-dee-dah 'I only like the best' kind of way. Ever since I started experimenting with makeup around the age of 13 and arrived home from school with a face full of my friend's 5-shades-too-dark Maybelline Matte Mousse, it became clear the next morning when my face morphed into a surface drier than the desert, that I have very sensitive skin. Ever since, my mother has encouraged me to invest in high end products - and so, I've always owned a comparatively small collection of high end products, rather than drawers full of drugstore products that wouldn't do my skin any favours. 

DiorSkin Rosy Glow: At £30.50, it's touted as a blush that 'reacts with the moisture in each skin type, developing into a tailor made rosy blush to suit each individual complexion' I expected a lot. I'll be honest with you, I'm not sure if I believe that. It's a beautiful blush but I can't say I've noticed it 'reacting' or 'adapting'.  To begin, I have to mention the beautiful packaging which is typical of Dior. It's minimalistic, sophisticated and practical with it's large compact mirror and mini brush. The colour, I admit, does look a bit frightening at first glance. However, on the (or should I say my) skin it's actually a really wearable 'pretty pink' - which are always my favourite colours to wear. In terms of lasting power, whenever I wear it it's always in place at the end of the day - which is a big plus. (You can purchase the Dior blush here!)

Sleek Blush: I can't fault the colour, but I would say I found the Dior blush easier to blend. But, when the blush is on, it's almost identical to the DiorSkin Rosy Glow. Its lasting power isn't incredible despite being referred to on the Sleek website as 'long lasting' but at £4.49 I didn't expect incredible results. Saying that, I was surprised and impressed by the pigmentation, and it still looks great on! A downside is that in my opinion, the packaging isn't dressing-table worthy, but it still has it's own compact mirror for on the go touch ups. (You can buy the Sleek blush here!)

Conclusion: So, as I mentioned, with the Dior blush you get the benefit of impressive lasting power and of course the beautiful packaging, which when buying a 'luxury' product, is partly what you're paying for. However, if lasting power isn't particularly important to you and you're happy to have to occasionally reapply the product - honestly, I'd go for the Sleek option. It's almost the exact same colour as the Dior product and quite literally, a fraction of the price.