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Friday 30 October 2015

Red Suede and Victoriana Blouse - Two Trends in One

Coat: Vintage - alternative here. | Skirt: Zara - sold out - alternative here.  | Pearl Ring: c/o Gemporia. | Blouse - here. | Earrings: | Dior - alternative here.

In this outfit, I'm attempting to check off two of the season's biggest trends in one single item, in the form of this suede, button down skirt. The first, suede. Obviously, suede has been pretty huge this A/W; suede jackets, suede skirts, suede boots - all suede everything/everythang (definitely not cool enough to get away with saying everythang). The second, the button down skirt - with poppers specifically, not actual buttons as the name would suggest. Suddenly tearing off your own skirt has never been more easy or hilariously dramatic. Both of these items have infiltrated the high street in huge numbers, which means two things - sure, a lot of people are also wearing them, but more positively - the fact that so many stores are creating their own versions means it's even more likely you'll find a version that you like/suits you. 

Below I've put together a little collection of my favourite button-down skirts.

You can probably also tell from the photos that I'm overwhelmed with happiness - this is because black tights weather is finally upon us. I do love summer, but I yearn for the days when I can wear a mini-skirt without feeling almost entirely inappropriately dressed. There's just something about black tights that makes everything look and feel more safe and snug. No accidental flashing here. 

Tuesday 27 October 2015

Candy Floss Coat and a Very Special Umbrella

Coat: here. | Blouse: here. | Skirt: here. | Shoes: here. Umbrella: c/o Laurence Groux.

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Recently, feeling trapped in a seemingly never-ending monochrome spiral, I was torn between how much I objectively loved the colour of this coat, and whether I'd actually wear it in reality. So many persisting questions: How much does pink actually go with? How practical is it? Would I look like Elle from Legally Blonde? (Although don't get me wrong - she is undeniably fab.)

 Evidently, I decided to stop hovering over the 'confirm purchase' button and go for it, and all because of this beautiful Laurence Groux umbrella. The minute I unboxed it, I knew that this coat would perfectly pick out the flashes of pink, purple and gold in the pattern of the umbrella. Mine is the Audrey Umbrella, with a glossy, sculpted maple wood handle which I chose myself.

I recently posted a photo of it on Instagram, and although it received a whole lotta love, it also received a slightly pointed but perfectly fair question; '$359 for an umbrella?' So, I wanted to address that in this post. Of course, I fully appreciate that $359 is a lot of money to a lot of people (myself included) but I cannot stress enough that these umbrellas are true works of art in themselves. They are incredible pieces of handmade, traditional craftsmanship, and to me - this isn't something you'd buy on a whim (unless you're in a financial position to of course!) it's a special occasion gift and a once in a lifetime purchase. 

I know it sounds like I'm being rather dramatic about an umbrella, but there's definitely something particularly special in actually seeing and feeling the quality of one of these pieces in real life, so I've tried my best to capture this for you. The pattern that spans the umbrella is detailed and intricate, and the handles (which you can choose and customise yourself) are hand sculpted, Italian wood. I think an umbrella like this is really something to last a lifetime. When they arrived (This is 1/2 - I have one more pattern to show you!) myself, my mother and my grandmother were all in awe - I think that's a rare achievement; to create something that appeals to 3 generations. 

Basically, Mary Poppins would've legit had one of these. 

So I'd love to know, what do you think of them? Would you love to receive something like this as a gift? 

I'd also like to express that Laurence Groux are not paying me for this review. Laurence generously offered to send me two umbrellas with a view to featuring them in an outfit post if I liked them. I have chosen to feature the umbrella of entirely my own accord, because I am so so impressed with them. 

Monday 19 October 2015

Mosaic Print Dress in Mykonos Town

Dress: here. Earrings: Dior (alternative here). Sunglasses: here.

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I have an embarrassingly late and super quick little outfit post to share today. These photos are from my trip to Greece last month (taken in the grounds of the lovely Semeli Hotel) and having got a bit swept away in photographing as many autumnal outfits for the season as I could as soon as I got home, I forgot I even had these prepared! 

This dress, if you can believe it, is from Abercrombie & Fitch. I played what was probably a very annoying  'guess where this dress is from' game with everyone who commented on it and not one person guessed the brand correctly. I personally associate Abercrombie & Fitch with jeans, preppy shirts and t-shirts, so when I saw this pretty little dress on ASOS, and for such a reasonable price too - I thought it would be a perfect little summery addition. It'll also have a second wind when I'm in Singapore over Christmas and New Year so I'm extremely happy with this inexpensive and surprising little purchase!

Big thanks to Jenny (@JennyGrovess) for taking these photos!

Tuesday 13 October 2015

Where to Stay in Mykonos (Part 2): Semeli Hotel

Hello everyone! 

I thought today I'd do a little informal but structured review, part 2/2 of my 'Where to Stay in Mykonos' miniseries. I've tried to keep things brief and to the point, so I really hope this'll prove to be at least mildly helpful if you're thinking of visiting Mykonos, or simply just want to have a little nose! 

The Hotel
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Semeli Hotel is located right in the heart of Mykonos Town (or 'chora' as it's known by locals - chora = town in Greek). With a 5 stars to it's name, Semeli Hotel did not disappoint. It's location is second to none; the iconic whitewashed buildings and blue shutters are just around the corner, and the famous windmills of Mykonos are only a 5 minute walk away - and if you want to see them, sunset is the prime time! The bus stop, which regularly ferries tourists to and from the various local towns and beaches, is just 100m away, making Semeli Hotel a perfect base for a holiday full of varied activities. Transport to and from the airport can be arranged free of charge by Semeli, which was certainly a pleasant surprise.

Lounge by the pool and visit the hotel spa? Check. 
Top up your tan on the beach? Check. 
Walk around the town taking an excessive number of blue-shutter instagram photos? Check.
 Walk 5 minutes down the road, rent a quad bike and explore the island? Check. 
High speed wifi in case you feel like sitting around staring at Facebook? (Each to their own!) Check.

The hotel has a modern feel; luxurious but with the typical minimalist, Mykonian aesthetic. Everything is very unfussy and pared down. The hotel is full of pretty al-fresco corridors and stand-alone buildings, almost like a little village. The reception and dining areas are located in the main building, with the rooms sitting just past the pool (of which there are two of different sizes!) in a whitewashed maze of stairs and balconies adorned with climbing flowers and vibrant greenery. 

I also have to mention that the staff were completely lovely, extremely helpful and so welcoming. Whenever we called room service for snacks or with a query, someone arrived at the room immediately - and with a smile too! I definitely think a hotel's staff can make an overall experience, and they certainly did. So, thank you to Semeli for having me, and thank you for being so welcoming!

The Room
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The room itself was one of Semeli's multi-storey suites. With balcony doors looking out over the pool and breakfast area, it was perfectly located to nip in and out (and shuffle over to breakfast at 8am in no makeup and very dark sunglasses). The suite was spread out over two storeys; you enter into the main bedroom, with ensuite bathroom and work/vanity area, then descend the stairs into the lounge and patio. Turning around and peering down a smaller staircase, you're greeted with your very own in-room jacuzzi and further bedroom and bathroom. Of course, all the usual room amenities were included; room and maid service, internet access, laundry and porter service. 

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As well as being a few minutes walk from Mykonos Town centre and Little Venice - a hotspot for great dining, Semeli also has it's very own a la carte restaurant, Thioni, signed by celebrated local Chef Stefanos Tatas. It's famed amongst Mykonian restaurants for it's modern take on traditional Mediterranean cuisine. One one night, we indulged in a three course feast which was absolutely top notch. I had a mozzarella, fig and parma ham salad, tomato spaghetti and an incredible chocolate creation (which I literally ate without photographing - I could not restrain myself and I feel that speaks more than a photo ever could.)

Breakfast, which I never usually eat at home but look forward to immensely whilst on holiday, featured a huge selection; fresh fruit, pastries, cereal, cooked breakfast and omelettes  toasties or crepes cooked on the spot. I had chocolate cake for breakfast on one occasion. Living the dream.

I really hope that you enjoyed this post and that it proves to be mildly helpful if you're looking to visit Mykonos. Have you ever visited Greece? If not, is it on your list? I'd love to know! As always, thank you for reading. 
Please note: Accommodation was generously provided free of charge by Semeli Hotel.

Thursday 8 October 2015

Reiss Tailored Jacket and Frilly Collar - Mixing Old and New Pieces.

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Jacket: Reiss. | Trousers: Topshop (old - alternative here). | Blouse: M&S (currently sold out - alternative here).  | Shoes: M&S (old - alternative here). Ring: c/o Denise Manning. | Earrings: Dior - alternative here. | Bag: Chanel.
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Why hello!

When it comes to style and dressing myself, I don't place a huge amount of importance on having new things. I don't believe that in order to look good or 'current' every component of an outfit must be new, because honestly I don't think that's a sustainable way to live or a particularly healthy thing to promote. I don't really care if something is last season or 2 years old - if I still like it, I'll wear it. 

So with this post, I'm presenting a perfect example of how I love to mix old clothes with new ones, similarly to how I enjoy mixing 'designer' accessories with high-street pieces. I wore this outfit to the final day of London Fashion Week a couple of weeks ago but never got around to photographing it on the day. The jacket and blouse, from Reiss and M&S respectively, I picked up in the last few weeks. However, the shoes are about 2 years old and I've featured them numerous times. They're perfectly comfortable and add some vibrancy to an otherwise monochrome outfit. Now, the trousers are at least 3 years old. You wouldn't know, but the shoes have a stain on the inward-facing exterior from where I dropped a frappe latte on my feet, and the trousers have grazed knees from when I slipped over on some ice walking down a hill from university about 2 years ago. 

Of course, like most people, I definitely get a buzz out of picking up a few new things here and there - but I always try to mix those new things in with my pre-existing wardrobe. Sometimes I feel a little pressurised to only feature new items on my blog, because if they're not current it means that if you see me wearing something you like, you can't easily go out and buy it - which makes me feel rather like I'm taunting you; 'Ohhh look at this beautiful jacket I love it so much... btw it's 3 years old so you'll never get it, soz guys' but I also feel like I should at least try and be a 'good example' (bit cringe) and not constantly wear head to toe new-in. It's not necessarily about being a good example,  but about being honest. I always want to give an honest representation of my life, and this is it. Yes, I love getting my hands on new pieces when I can, but I also wear stained shoes and ripped leather trousers.

I think there's quite a strong pressure to continuously wear new items and to not be an outfit repeater (if you got this Lizzie McGuire Movie reference award yourself 10 points) but there's really nothing wrong with recycling old pieces and wearing things again and again in different ways, and if you want to be an outfit repeater, you do it - I know I am!