Meet the Models

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Androgynous/Tomboy Style

William Shakespeare once wrote, "Clothes make the man." I don't know about that, but they surely do tell you a lot about the man... or the woman, or the girl, or the boy. When people see your clothes, do they think you're a girly-girl? Do they think you're a real classic, or maybe goth? Some of my friends understand really well that some kinds of clothes just don't fit with who they are. For my favourite photographer, Tegan, it's dresses that just don't work for her. Her style is what's called 'androgynous' -- that means she likes to wear clothes that can work just as well for boys as for girls. In fact, while most of my friends borrow clothes from each other, Tegan tends to borrow clothes from Elijah rather than the girls. She has a really clear sense of the clothes she likes to wear, and she rocks them!

One thing Tegan knows about herself is that she prefers a looser cut of jeans than skinnies. As a photographer and an artist, she spends a lot of time bending, squatting, and generally hunkering down to look at things, and skinny jeans just don't let her move comfortably. These medium-wash jeans are the perfect fit for her.

Tegan also loves hats. You might think she'd want to make sure everybody sees as much of her awesome blue hair as possible, but in reality, you almost never see her without a hat on. This gorgeous sueded bowler was a Christmas gift from our friend Rachel, who has a great eye for what kinds of clothes and accessories suit her friends.

Tegan does an amazing job of balancing a very casual style with a very put-together appearance. In this outfit she's wearing comfy jeans, but they're freshly laundered and not faded or torn. Her shirt is untucked and open at the throat, but it's crisp as a fresh apple, impeccably white, and ironed. Her waistcoat is colourful, but the pattern is neat and small. Her rainbow-beaded pride necklace is subtle, tucked inside her collar because she wears it all the time (that's the nice thing about rainbows; they go with everything!). Everything she's wearing fits her perfectly -- it's neither too big (which looks sloppy) nor too tight (which looks ill-fitting).

Because the orange of her waistcoat is perfectly complementary on the colour wheel to Tegan's blue hair and blue jeans, it works as a great accent rather than a jarring visual contrast.

Finally, just because you're rockin' an androgynous style doesn't mean you can't love an amazing pair of shoes. The awesome pattern on these picks up the colours in the rest of Tegan's outfit.

Tegan will tell you all day long that she has no interest in fashion, but I can honestly say I had nothing to do with pulling together this outfit -- this is all her. She knows exactly who she is, and she knows how to make sure her clothes fit her personality. It all comes together perfectly!

Outfit details:
White button-down shirt: Maddie's Girls
Vest and shoes: QTπ Doll Clothing
Jeans: Pippy LaJade Jean Co.
Hat: Village Hat Shop, San Diego, California

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lá Fhéile Pádraig! (Happy St. Patrick's Day!)

Dia duit! That's pronounced DJEE-ah DITCH, and it's Irish for 'hello.' It's the 17th of March, and that can only mean one thing... it's time to get our Irish on, because it's St. Patrick's Day! Even though I'm not the least little bit Irish, I love this day. Everybody is all about having a good time, there's lots of singing and dancing, parades... what's not to love?

So of course I had to ask one of my Irish friends to model today's outfit. It's the perfect day to introduce you to my newest friend, Reilly Wren Mullen. Reilly Wren is from a town called Athenry in County Galway, Ireland. There's a very famous Irish ballad about the potato famine called 'The Fields of Athenry':

It's very appropriate that Reilly Wren should come from a place made famous in Irish music, because she is a singer -- and specifically, she's a sean-nós singer: someone who sings traditional Irish music, often in the Irish language, a cappella. She also plays the fiddle and the bodhrán, which is a kind of Irish drum. ...Yeah, she's pretty musical! I asked her to pick some clothes that she would wear if she were going to be singing at a céilí (pronounced KAY-lee, it's an Irish party that is all about music and dancing and having fun). Here's the gorgeous dress that Reilly Wren picked:

I really expected Reilly would pick something green, so I was quite surprised when she brought this dove-grey crushed velvet dress. She laughed at that and said that Irish people don't usually wear green on St. Patrick's Day. In fact, in a lot of more rural parts of Ireland, Paddy's Day isn't nearly as big a deal as it is in Dublin or England or America. The lines of this dress made me think of some of the dresses I've seen my friend Felicity wear for Irish dancing, so I wanted to find something that could be a focal point for a special occasion, like the embroidery designs on the bodices of Irish dance dresses.

This medallion couldn't have been more perfect. It has Celtic knotwork in the silver part, and the green stone in the center is a piece of marble from Connemara in Ireland. Reilly Wren thought it was kind of huge, but I pointed out that it's a special-occasion piece, not something she'd wear every time she wears the dress. 

And I pointed out that she can take the medallion off when she plays the fiddle, since it would get in her way. So then Reilly decided she liked it. :-) (She still wasn't quite sure about the Dublin sign I picked for the photo shoot, though, since she's from the west of Ireland... but the sign belongs to my friend Rachel, who DID live in Dublin!)

It's still quite chilly, so even though in a week or two Reilly Wren might wear the dress with a cute pair of flats, this week I chose some opaque white tights and grey felt ankle boots. Reilly liked them because she said they make a nice sound on hard flooring, so she can keep time by tapping her foot, even if she's not playing her drum.

We kept her hair simple, just pulling it back out of her eyes with a couple of mother-of-pearl clips.

At the end of the photo shoot today, Reilly Wren asked Tegan and me, 'Where's the craic for Paddy's Day around here?' Fortunately, Rachel has taught me before that when an Irish person asks ' where's the craic' (crack), it means 'where's the fun stuff'? She was disappointed when I told her we didn't have any good plans in Bruton, because students aren't allowed to go to the pub. Reilly Wren talked to Rachel about it, and the two of them decided to make their own Irish fun. They enlisted help from Rachel's best friend Kinneret, and before you could say Jack Robinson, they'd put together a céilí for tonight at our local coffee shop! Reilly's going to sing and play, and Rachel's going to recite some Irish poetry. I know Autumn will do some Scottish dancing for us, and Tegan will play her guitar. I might even do a bit of singing myself, who knows? It should be a grand time. Are you celebrating St. Patrick's Day where you live?

Lá Fhéile Pádraig (LAW ay-leh PAW-drig -- that means 'Happy St. Patrick's Day' in Irish!) from me, Reilly Wren, and all of us at the Bruton School!

Outfit details:
Velvet dress: Closet 4 Chloe
Tights: AG, but I don't remember which outfit!
Ankle boots: AG Grace's meet boots
Medallion: Brooch that I got on a visit to Connemara, Ireland
Dublin sign: Amazon
Irish flag: Mine is from Scotland House, Ltd., in Williamsburg, Virginia, but you can find them easily on eBay

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

C'est Chic

My wish from last week has come true -- in the last few days, spring has definitely sprung around here. Today is warm and rainy, all our snow has melted away, and our clocks have leapt an hour forward so the evening stays lighter longer. This is one of my favourite times of the year, because the whole world is soon to be full of colours and flowers. Spring is also great for fashion -- no more bundling up against the cold or hiding outfits behind bulky coats! It's time to bring out your best style. Today I want to showcase a really stylish transitional look that the beautiful Amy Jinn will be modelling.

Plaid has been so fashionable this year. This checked dress isn't exactly plaid, but it evokes it, and the lighter, simpler pattern makes me think of the lightness of spring. Since it's still a bit cool, this layered look is plenty warm. But the shorter sleeves and lighter colours definitely look forward to warmer days ahead.

The dress, as you can see here, is a nice thick wool. It's lined inside so it won't be itchy. Did you know that colour has different aspects -- hue, saturation, and lightness? I bet you did if you have a mobile phone with a camera. 'Hue' is what we usually think of as colour -- it has to do with the wavelength of light that your eyeballs are perceiving as colour. The 'saturation' is how intense or pure that hue is: a pure hue has no grey in it. Hues of various saturations are often mixed with white to make them lighter, or with black to make them darker -- that's 'lightness', obviously.  I've paired Amy Jinn's dress with magenta tights. These colours work together because they're the same hue; it's just that the dress has a tiny touch of grey (that is, it's slightly less saturated than the tights) and lot of white that make it pink, whereas the tights are dark.

I chose to accessorise the outfit with black and grey because I was thinking about hue, saturation, and lightness. To balance out the dark tights, I topped the dress with this black faux-leather cropped jacket. I love the simplicity of this piece: no collar, no closures, lots of straight lines. It really balances the pattern of checks nicely, and the straight-edged lapels continue and elongate the box pleats that give the front of this dress some architectural detail. Putting the black jacket in the centre of the outfit meant I needed to balance it above and below so it wouldn't look too harsh. So the knit hat continues the lightening motif...

...while the medium grey boots balance the look on the bottom. The dress is by Our Generation -- wow, they've really been stepping up their fashion game lately! I love them!

Such a clean-lined outfit inspired me to pull back Amy Jinn's lush curls so they wouldn't be too overwhelming. But I wanted to keep her hair soft, too, so the overall look wouldn't be severe. We just pulled her hair into the loosest possible Elsa-style braid, and didn't even secure it. The whole point is to be messy-neat.

This is really a go-anywhere outfit -- school, the shops, work, the cinema, anywhere. What do you think?

Outfit details:
Dress and hat: Our Generation "Check This Out" outfit
Jacket: Izzadorabelle
Tights: AG Bitty Baby Sweet Snowflake outfit
Boots: Lorelie Creations

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Too Cool for School

As I type up this post, sleet is ticking on my dorm room window... it looks like winter may keep us out of school again tomorrow. Is it ever going to be spring?! The thing I miss about spring and summer isn't so much the weather as it is the colour. I really want to see the bright colours again; everything in winter is so stark and bare. So in today's post I'm going to try and bring you some bright, cheerful colour in the middle of winter.

This outfit is a great example of how shopping in your friends' closets can be even better than shopping in your own. The only thing I'm wearing here that belongs to me is the blue flower barrette (well, and my undies, lol; definitely can't borrow those!).

This bright green shirt belongs to Tamsyn. I love the little sequined butterfly and bow on the collar -- just the teensiest touch of sparkle makes this shirt something special. Peter Pan collars like this were particularly popular for girls in the 1920s, and Tamsyn's style often harks back to that era. But it's continued to be popular for many years since, so it works well for my style, too, even though I often prefer clothes with a '60s or '70s vibe.

Next are these completely awesome tie-dye corduroy trousers that belong to Tegan. She loves them because they're funky and all the colours of the ocean -- blue, purple, teal, green. I love them because they're so bright, and because tie-dye was all the rage in the late '60s. 

The hiking boots belong to Arpana. They're sturdy enough to keep my feet warm and dry in this cold, wet weather. Hey, a girl has to be practical sometimes, right?

I topped everything off with a real showstopper of a coat -- Kinneret's leather trench, which she was SUPER-generous about letting me borrow. I love this thing! It takes me right back to the '70s. Have you ever heard of a movie called Shaft? I haven't seen the original one from 1971, but a new Shaft movie came out in 2000, and I watched it with some friends on telly a few months ago (even though I'm too young, shhhh!) It's about a really tough New York police officer called John Shaft who hunts down drug dealers and murderers. Anyway, Samuel L. Jackson, who is almost the coolest actor in the universe (Idris Elba, of course, is the coolest... I plan to marry him), plays John Shaft, and he wears a coat like this. I feel cool and tough and brave in this coat. Isn't it funny how much your clothing can affect your mood?

I'm pretty sure Shaft's leather coat doesn't have this amazing Disney cartoon lining, though. If I get bored, I can just read the inside of my jacket!

In this outfit that I pulled together from my friends' closets, I'm ready for anything. Now I just need to find an adventure!

Outfit details:
Shirt: AG School Days outfit
Trousers: Addi Jane Clothing (Sadly, this Etsy shop is no longer open.)
Faux-leather Le Marais coat: Lia's Doll Boutique
Hiking boots: Mj's Doll Boutique 18T
Barrette: Vintage

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Short(s) Winter

Even though I've mentioned snow a couple of times on my blog this winter, we really have fairly gentle winters here at the Bruton School. It's only really cold for about a month... and, wow, this is that month! Some of my friends love the cold (looking at you, Charlie, Honor, Eve, Rebecca, and Vesper!), but I'm looking forward to the warm weather's return. So this week I'm featuring an outfit I put together for my very first photo shoot with my new friend, Natalie Hadley-Braithwaite -- an outfit that includes SHORTS in the winter!

Natalie is new to our school this semester. One of her favourite things to do is help her dad in his garage, where he repairs and rebuilds classic cars. But Natalie is also a really 'girly' girl -- she loves dresses and make-up and romantic colours and being stylish. She's from a town called Whitby, on the northern coast of Yorkshire, and it gets really cold on the Yorkshire coast in the winter. Natalie's been complaining about how warm the month of January was here. So I decided to go with a really trendy look for her that involves lots of layers, so she can decide how much warmth she wants to layer on.

First, these shorts. You guys, I love these so much. They're pretty much a cabled sweater turned into a pair of shorts. The ribbing at the leg opening keeps them from sagging and losing their shape, the way knits sometimes do. The few sequins give the shorts just a bit of sparkle. I love the winter-white shade.

The leggings layered under the shorts are the same colour as the shorts, and they add a nice layer of warmth. The black boots are simple and clean-lined, without a lot of fancy details. They work together with Natalie's simple black shirt to ensure that the shorts are the star of the outfit.

But you know I can't resist having a pop of colour in this otherwise neutral outfit! So over the black knit shirt I've layered a very lightweight knit vest in a rich plum purple. As we learned in my recent post featuring Autumn in her cardigan and kilt, purple is the go-to colour for green-eyed people. Natalie has really unusual light green-blue eyes, and you can really see how the purple vest brings them out. Also, do you remember the heart necklace I wore on Valentine's Day, that I said belonged to Natalie? Here's the proof that I returned it to her. ;-)

This is a slightly out-of-the-ordinary outfit that you might not be able to wear every day, but if it's not too cold and you're feeling adventurous, it's a really cool look. I hope you think so, too!

Outfit details:
Shorts and leggings: AG Winter White outfit
T-shirt: LynnieJo's
Vest: Our Generation Boho Beauty outfit
Boots: AG Fashion Boots
Necklace: Vintage

Friday, February 20, 2015

Explore in Style

Yikes, I'm really late with this week's post! We got a bunch of snow on Monday night, and it doesn't snow here very often, so everything's been in a bit of a tizzy all week. I did get some great pictures of some of my friends in the snow, but it turns out temperatures way below freezing aren't so great for fashion photo shoots, lol. Instead, I'm going to post a shoot that Tegan and I did with Rowan a few weeks ago. Hope you enjoy! :)

Rowan is practically never inside. She always wants to be outside, looking for new and challenging experiences. So her style tends to be extremely sporty, and many of her clothes are made more for comfort and convenience than they are for style. So my challenge with this outfit was to put together a look that Rowan could wear... maybe not when she's mountain-climbing or bungee jumping, but at least when she's simply out hiking around on a nice day. I started with a gorgeous pair of dark-washed, high-waisted jeans. These are so trendy right now! The fit is perfect for Rowan -- slim, but not so skinny that she can't stretch and move in them.

This bright coral-and-cream striped blouse was my focal point. It's a real attention-getter, especially because the fringed tie at the neck. The colours look amazing with Rowan's creamy skin, warm hair, and amber eyes.

Next I added a rugged canvas hooded vest. The purple lining is an unexpected subtle contrast with the blouse. The vest has pockets for carrying stuff Rowan might need on a hike -- a protein bar, a compass, her keys. The hood is useful if it's a soft day. 

I topped things off with these epic combat boots. Check out the wee pocket on the side -- it's a real pocket, not just for looks! Rowan can tuck a five-pound note in there... you know, just in case she gets tired of walking and needs to hire a cab to bring her home. ;) 

A final picture of Rowan's hair, because I am simply in love with it. Those curls are delicious! I think Rowan looks just gorgeous in this outfit. It's practical and stylish at the same time, proving that you don't have to sacrifice fashion just because you're an athlete!

Outfit details:
High-waist jeans: Maddie's Girls
Striped blouse: Our Generation "Beyond Cozy" outfit
Hooded vest: Vintage (I'm pretty sure it's OG, but Tegan's had it for so long that it she can't remember where it came from, and it doesn't have any tags!)
Boots: Val's Unique Boutique

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

P. S. I Love You

Guess what? Valentine's Day came early for me! On Friday, the postman brought me a whole pile of wonderful valentines from family and friends. So I decided this weekend to put together a Valentine's Day outfit and show you some of the wonderful, thoughtful valentines I received. Hang on to your hats, kids; this post is pic heavy!

I love bright colours, so when I opened the package from my grandma and found this bright pink skirt, I was so excited to build an outfit around it. Rather than reaching for a really romantic top to go with the tutu-style skirt, I decided to try for a more retro look. I'm most drawn to styles from the '60s and '70s, so I opted for a simple '70s-style turtleneck. It was unusually warm this weekend, but if it had been colder, I would have added some plain pale-pink tights. Instead, I just chose pink T-strap mary janes. I topped off my outfit with a pink bow for my hair, a necklace I borrowed from my friend Natalie (you'll meet her soon!), and a purse that was a gift from my lovely Mama.

The tulle skirt, which is made by one of my favourite designers, Janie Jumps, has tone-on-tone polka dots. It's lined underneath with pink cotton. It's so bright and cheerful; I love it. Doesn't my grandma have great taste? I think it's going to be very popular among my friends... I hope they still let me wear it sometimes!

Here is the necklace that I borrowed from Natalie. Perfect for Valentine's Day!

 My sweet Mum sent this awesome balloon. I love balloons! When it starts to deflate, I'll open it up, suck out the helium, and make myself talk funny. :-) Have you ever done that?

Mum's gift also included this cute pillow for my bed. It made me laugh, because I already AM hers, lol! Mum and Mama adopted me when I was only three days old, so I've been Mum's and Mama's daughter all my life. (As an aside, I love this picture Tegan took. The focus and colours are so fun.)

Here's a better picture of the lovely purse my Mama sent. I love that it will match almost anything. Mama tucked a present inside her present: a bunch of tickets to the cinema! Charlie and I can watch movies for months!

Last, but most definitely NOT least, I received the most wonderful surprise: a valentine from my beautiful friend Inky, who lives in the States! Isn't it the cleverest valentine you've ever seen? Can you see how there are two slits cut into the picture where Inky's hand is, and there's a real lollipop stuck through them so it looks just as if Inky's holding it? How cool is that?! She thoughtfully put it in this nifty faux-bois bag, with an "A" for Audra, in case the lolly fell out. I'm going to put the picture of Inky on my bedroom wall. The lolly I'm saving to eat on Valentine's Day. Thank you so, so much, Inky!!! <3

I hope YOU have a wonderful Valentine's Day! Be sure to tell your friends and family how much you love them, and I hope they shower you with love also. And I love you too!

Outfit details:
Skirt: Janie Jumps
Necklace: I'm embarrassed to say I don't remember! It was a gift with a purchase, but I don't remember who so generously gave it. :( 
Balloon: Dollar Tree
Pillow: McDonald's Happy Meal toy