Meet the Models

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Dreaming of the Seaside

Hi, everybody! I've mentioned my friend Tegan here several times -- she's the principle photographer for this blog. She very much prefers to be behind the camera than to be in front of it, but this weekend I've decided it's high time you all met her in person.

Perhaps the most important thing you need to know about Tegan is that she LOVES the sea. When she's not at school, she lives on the coast of Cornwall, in a village by the sea. When she's at home, she spends time on the beach nearly every single day. Before he died a few years ago, her dad was a fisherman, so she knows all the other fishermen in the village, and -- obviously -- they know her. Tegan likes to sail, surf, swim, fish, and anything else you can do in or near the ocean. Springtime is always a good time for her, because the end of winter means it's finally beginning to be warm enough again to do more than just sit or walk in the sand. So I decided to put together an outfit for her that would be perfect for kicking along the edge of the surf on a warm spring day.

Three further notes: 1) Tegan insisted that I make an official note that she would not ordinarily wear such a 'girly' outfit. ('Girly'?! There's nothing 'girly' about this outfit!!!) 2) Since photographer Tegan has become model Tegan, our friend Elijah served as guest photographer for this post. Thank you, Elijah! 3) I picked out the perfect pair of sandals for Tegan to wear with this outfit, but she declared that she only ever goes barefoot by the sea. I suspect she didn't like that the sandals have a tiny bit of a heel!


 (This is a perfectly gratuitous photo of Tegan's hair, because it's so incredibly beautiful.)

Outfit details:
Butterfly-stitch cardigan: Royal Doll Boutique
Eyelet bodysuit: AG GOTY Nicki's meet outfit
Cuffed capri skinny jeans: AG Weekend Fun Outfit
Hairband: Janie Jumps
Necklace: Suzy M Studio
Sandals that Tegan wouldn't wear: OG Floral Dress outfit

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Nothing Says "Spring" Quite Like a New Hat

Let's talk about online shopping for a minute, okay? That is dangerous stuff, my friends. The internet is full of wonderful clothes and accessories that I want to have, either because I want to wear them, or because I look at them and think, 'That would be perfect for (fill in friend's name here).' I have a strict allowance, and it takes forever to save up for things. But this week I saw something that almost jumped out of my laptop screen and shrieked in my face, 'TAMSYN NEEDS ME.'

It was a hat. More specifically, it was one of my blogger-buddy Clarisse Wells's beautiful wool hats -- look for the link below to her boutique on Etsy. Now, you've perhaps not met Tamsyn yet (though you're about to!). She is my classiest and most classic friend. Seriously, it's as if she doesn't quite live in the same century with the rest of us. Her personal style is heavily influenced by English and French fashions of the 1920s, '30s, and '40s. So when I saw this gorgeous coral cloche with cream tatted-lace trim, I literally ran screaming down the hall to Tamsyn's room and dragged her back to the computer with me to see it. You guys, her eyes actually filled with tears! She thought it was the loveliest hat ever. And fortunately, she never spends her allowance, so she had enough to buy it!

When it arrived with yesterday's post, we had just time enough for me to pull together the look I wanted, and then get out with photographer Tegan into the green-gold late afternoon sunlight for photos. Now, for this look, I didn't want it to look like Tamsyn had just stepped off the Downton Abbey set! So I wanted to balance the very retro style of the hat with pieces that were still classic, but a bit more modern. So I chose an extremely tailored, rather Western-style double-pocket blouse with rolled and tabbed cuffs. The subtle aqua/cream/black print brings out the color of Tamsyn's eyes, and it's a perfect contrast color for the sherbet-colored hat. The black buttons led me to choose a pair of straight-leg jeans in an off-black shade of charcoal. You know, skinny jeans have been trendy for so long now, but not everyone likes that look. Tamsyn doesn't. So these jeans are very nearly a trouser-style jean -- much more appropriate to her style. We finished off the look with a pair of simple black Toms-style shoes.

Outfit details:
Hat: Clarisse's Closet 
Blouse: Janie Jumps 
Jeans: 123 Mulberry Street 
Shoes: Doll Up My Doll

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Wearin' o' the Green

I nearly missed St. Patrick's Day, everyone! On my blog, that is. Well, almost at school, too, actually. With both my Irish friends, Fionn and Lucy Dare, and my Irish-American friend Felicity all studying abroad right now, the only kind of Irish person on campus right now is my bestest friend Charlie. (She and Felicity are sisters, you know... or maybe you didn't, but now you do!) So Charlie went a bit over the top -- she wore green from head to toe. At some point I even saw her wearing a headband with glittery shamrock antennae. I had nightmares about it, honestly. I'm all for Irish pride, but must we commit such fashion horrors in the name of it?

I'm just being silly. St. Pat's is great fun, even though Charlie tells me we don't do nearly as much to celebrate it here in the UK as a lot of Americans do. I think that's pretty funny, but also nice. It's good to remember where your roots are. I myself don't have any Irish roots that I know of. My moms are both English, but their families are both originally from Ghana. (I think I remember my mama telling me once that my biological father's background is Jamaican, but I'm not sure.) But Charlie assures me that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day. So, in that spirit, I asked my friend Arpana to model some green-inspired fashion for me today. She isn't Irish either; her family is from Bangladesh! But with her hazel-green eyes, she looks so lovely in green, don't you think?

All of a sudden I'm totally ready for spring, so I picked out a really springy outfit. A riot of green flowers are abloom on the slightly empire-waist dress, and the sheer green ruffle at the hem adds just the right touch of interest. A lilac-colored shrug with ruched sleeves adds a touch of contrast as well as just a bit of warmth. Gauzy sandals, a simple sparkly necklace, and some leprechaun's gold in Arpana's hair finishes off my homage to Ireland's patron saint (and I hope he'll convince God it's time we had some warmer weather!).

In such a pretty, light outfit, Arpana couldn't help but dance across the floor like a warm spring breeze. :) Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone... a day late!

Outfit details
Dress: Stassy Dodge
Necklace: JOY Originals
Hair tie: Local beauty supply store 

Liebster Award Fun!

Oh, my goodness, what a week it's been, friends! Do you ever have weeks where real life catches hold of you and won't let go? We've been writing exams this week at school, and I've not even had a moment to check in with all of you. I've missed all of you!

While I was away, two of my lovely friends, Among the Dolls and Super Inky, nominated my blog for the Prestigious Liebster Award. I was so excited that I was jumping up and down and yelling, and my friend Tamsyn who lives in the room next door had to come and check on me to make sure I wasn't having some kind of fit. Thank you so much, friends! It makes me so happy to know that you're reading and enjoying this blog. :)

Okay, so apparently the way this works is, friends who nominate you have a list of 11 questions for you to answer. Then you tag 11 more friends (and let them know you tagged them), and give them 11 questions to answer as well. So here goes! These are the questions that Among the Dolls asked. I had to ask the headmistress at my school (we just call her Professor!) to help me with these questions, so the answers in red are hers. I added my answers on #6-11, too.

1. How long have you collected AG dolls? 
I got my first AG doll 15 years ago, when I was 23. For a long time I just collected things for her, and she was an only doll. But about five years ago I got two more dolls in one year, and I've been pretty crazy about them ever since.
2. Who was your first AG doll?
My first AG doll was Julian, who is a PM #14. You can see her picture on the "Meet the Models" page of this blog.
3. How many AG dolls do you have?
I have 21 dolls now.
4. Do you have any customs? How many?
I really like customs; 11 of my dolls have been customized. Some of them are only a little bit customized (like Esra'a, who is a Josefina with texturized hair), while others (like Elijah, who was once a Nellie) have been heavily customized.
5. Who's your next doll?
I'm not really sure! I'm hoping that AG will release the rumored not!Saige, #61, as well as a not!Kanani (Jess mold with medium skin). But I'd also like to have a #26. Since she actually currently exists, I'll go ahead and say that she'll probably be the next one.
6. What's your favorite song?
This is hard, because I'm a huge music geek. It's probably "I Still Haven't Found (What I'm Looking For)", by U2.
'Summertime' from Porgy and Bess, Audra McDonald's version. (I got my name from her!)
7. What's your favorite book?
Lord of the Rings, by J. R. R. Tolkien.
My favorite book for years and years has been The BFG by Roald Dahl.
8. What's your favorite t.v. show?
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report. I can't pick between them.
I think my moms might not completely love that I watch it at school, but I just love Luther. Idris Elba is the handsomest person in the universe. 
9. What's your favorite movie?
I'm repeating myself, but again, it's the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Best movies EVER.
I like really old-fashioned movies. I think my favorite is Singin' in the Rain.
10. What's your favorite food?
Bread. Pretty much any kind of bread, as long as it doesn't have cheese in it. Love bread.
Fish and chips, especially when the chips are sweet potato.
11. What's your favorite color?
Orange and green are tied for me.
Red, orange, yellow, and turquoise. :)

And these are the questions from Inky:
1. What is your favorite animated movie or TV show?
Definitely Brave. I like Merida.
2. What is your favorite animal?
This is a very hard question! I love most animals. Well, my favorite individual animal is my bulldog, Meatloaf. But my favorite species is probably the dolphin.
3. Which animal are you most like?
I think I'm probably most like a puppy -- too much energy, like everybody, love to play, good at sleeping. :)
4. If you had the chance, would you go into space?
Oh, jeepers, yes! How cool would that be?
5. Would you rather go on a boat trip to Alaska or the Caribbean? 
Hmmm. Both would be fun. But I like warm weather and I like fruit drinks with umbrellas in them, so I think I'd pick the Caribbean.
6. What is your favorite holiday?
My birthday! :)
7. Do you speak any other languages? Which ones?
Not really. Well, I can stumble through a bit of very simple French, because I've been reading it at school for a couple of years now. I speak a few words in Twi Asante, which is a language (dialect, really) spoken in Ghana. My Nana is from Ghana, and my mum has spent a lot of time there, but I've never been. Nana taught me a few words, though.
8. Do you collect anything? If so, what do you collect?
Clothes! :)
9. What is your favorite candy? 
Cadbury Flake bars. Mmmmm, chocolate!
10. What do you like to drink when you are especially thirsty? 
I'm really a water person, for the most part. But I'll tell you, sometimes there's nothing better than an orange squash on a hot day.
11. What is your favorite outfit? 
 Haha! This is like asking me which of my teeth is my favorite. :) It really totally depends on how I'm feeling that day, what the weather is like, what I'll be doing... all kinds of things. I don't think I could ever pick just one favorite!

Here are the friends that I'm nominating, in inverse alphabetical order, because that seems like fun:

1. Super Inky
2. Snister's Flock
3. Lissie and Lilly
4. From Echo With Love
5. Clarisse's Closet
6. Bienvenue Chez les Ch'tis
7. Among the Dolls
8. A Peek Into the Pantry
9. um... gosh...
10. I'd really love to see anybody who's interested participate!
11. I'm very, very bad at tagging people!

I know I'm really late on this, and most of you have already been nominated and answered questions. So if you would rather not answer these, I totally understand. But I would love to read your answers if you feel like it! And here are the questions for you:

1. If you could visit any country that you've never visited before, which one would it be?
2. What is one thing that you're afraid of?
3. Who are your top 3 favorite musicians right now?
4. How would you feel about wearing an outfit that was made up of really bright colors and patterns, that would make people turn and look at you?
5. What is your favorite kind of clothing to wear?
6. What is (or was) your favorite school subject?
7. What are your feelings about broccoli? Pick 3 words you'd use to describe your feelings.
8. Would you rather spend an afternoon at a museum, at an ice-skating rink, at the seaside, or in your room with a book?
9. What is your favorite place that you've ever visited?
10. If you had a time machine, when and where would you go?
11. Who is your best friend and how would you describe her/him?

I promise to post a new fashion entry later today, too. Yesterday was St. Patrick's Day, and I've too many Irish friends to let it go without some green style on my blog. Thanks for reading, everyone!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

London Calling

Guess where I went this weekend?! London! My school offered a field trip, and my parents said I could go! We left early (oh, dear, so very early) on Saturday morning, and we arrived in the city around 9:00AM. We went to the British Museum in the morning, where we saw all kinds of amazing things from Egypt and Greece and Rome and the Vikings:

Then, after lunch, we were allowed to do some shopping as long as we went with two friends. So Charlie and Amy Jinn and I wandered about. Mostly we looked in shop windows at the displays of beautiful outfits for spring. We didn't buy much because things are so expensive, but it was such fun to look! Then we splurged on a fancy cream tea at The Wolseley, which was the most grown-up thing EVER. The Wolseley is a cafe in Piccadilly Street, Mayfair. It's huge and grand:

(That's not my picture; it belongs to the people who designed the cafe's decor, PBH Shopfitters. They did a splendid job!) We had bacon butties (those are sandwiches with butter, brown sauce, and lots of BACON!!!), cranberry scones with jam and cream, and a lovely pot of tea, and we pretended we were grown-up ladies. :)

On Saturday evening we all went to see the musical version of Matilda in the West End. We didn't get back to Bruton until after 1:30 in the morning, can you imagine it?! Oh, but it was the best day ever. We had such fun in the city! I love London!

As you can imagine, after all that window-shopping, I came back full of ideas for outfits. I wanted to commemorate our wonderful day with one inspired by London itself. I've asked my lovely friend Rebecca, who is from London herself, to model it. Can you see the Union flag made of words on the shirt? I like the way it peeks out under the jacket, but you still know what it is. I think sometimes it's better to hint at something than put it on grand display; what do you think?

Outfit details
Red swing jacket and sandals: Mj's Doll Boutique
London long-sleeve T-shirt: The Beach Shack
Jeans: AGP Logo Jeans

Friday, March 7, 2014

Show and DON'T Tell

My artist friend Tegan, who does the photography for this blog, tells me that I talk too much. On this blog, I mean. Well, I mean, she says I talk too much in general, but especially on this blog. She says people don't have days and days to read all my talking, and I need to learn how to tell stories with pictures instead of words. So I'm going to try out her advice, and show you the styles I create without talking about them a lot.

All I will say about today's outfit is: It's gloomy out and I needed some bright color to make me smile; everybody on earth seems to be wearing this sweater, so I wanted to try my hand at styling it; and this is Charlie and she's my bestbestBESTBESTBEST friend of all time EVER. <3

Tell me what you think, okay? Should I keep practicing not using words so much?

Outfit details
Asymmetric-hem sweater: AG Isabelle's Coral Sweater 
Cami: Vintage 
Purple irridescent jeans: The Dolly Stand (shop no longer exists) 
Necklace: Department 18 
Earrings: Claire's
Sneakers: AG Blue Jeans Basics (first edition)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

It's snowing again today! Oi, can you believe it? Isn't it supposed to be spring by now? What's even more incredible is that yesterday it was 25 degrees outside (that's 77ºF for my American readers)! This winter has been mad. Well, I can't complain... I love snow!

Before the warm weather gets here, I wanted to do a post on using a coat as a central style element in an outfit. Very often we just think of coats and jackets as things we put on over our outfit because it's cold out. But a coat can be just the thing you need to give an outfit some real style. And if you have to wear one anyway, you might as well incorporate your coat into your look, right?

Please meet my stunningly gorgeous friend Honor. Also, do you remember my other friend Hannah, from my "Leather and Tweed" post last week? Well, please meet Hannah's motorcycle jacket. I practically had to offer Hannah my firstborn as collateral before she'd let me use her jacket for this shoot, you guys. The only way I got her to agree was by promising that her BFF would be the model. (Shhh, don't tell her I'd already decided to ask Honor to model for this post!!)

Sometimes a look is so iconic that you don't want to mess with it too much. That's what's going on here. James Dean taught us all that a black leather jacket only needs a good pair of jeans, a T-shirt, and some motorcycle boots to look spectactular:

So I haven't messed around too much with Honor's look here. The trick is giving everything just the right feminine twist. So Honor's wearing a perfect pair of unembellished skinny jeans and a simple pair of harness boots, very simple silver stud earrings, and a sleek hairstyle. The jacket is classic, but it also has a couple of feminine twists -- it's fitted, stops just at the waist (the buckle emphasizes Honor's waist), and has a great asymmetric zipper. But... what's so special about this outfit? I mean... that's it?

Not quite! Under the jacket Honor's wearing a gorgeous cowl-neck grey shirt with ruched sleeves and just the most awesome sprinkling of bling ever!

Aren't the wee dots, hearts, and stars fantastic? Can you see how the silver sprinkles are irridescent? They catch the light in pink and blue and green. I just LOVE this shirt. It reminds me of Harry Potter's invisibility cloak, except it makes the wearer more noticeable, rather than less so. The silver sprinkles really show off the jacket's special details -- that asymmetric zipper and the buckle hardware. They also lead your eye to notice the beautiful grain of the jacket (this is faux leather -- no animals were harmed for the sake of fashion here!):

Honor's look is chic, tough, beautiful, sophisticated, and iconic, all at the same time... even when she takes the jacket off:

Outfit details:
Motorcycle jacket: The Surfin Monkey
Cowl-neck shirt: The Etsy shop this came from has sadly gone out of business!
Skinny jeans: Janie Jumps
Harness boots: I forget where I bought these, but same boots available here
Earrings: Claire's

P.S. -- If I'm going to use the band's name for my title, I've got to include one of my favorite songs by BRMC!