Meet the Models

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Meet Rowan!

Hi again, everyone! Everyone's returning to school this week for the start of the autumn term. That means it's time to make new friends, because there are new girls at school. Can you believe we have three new girls this term? Headmistress must have been busy recruiting new students this summer! The new girls are Rachel, Kinneret, and Rowan, and wow, are they ever a diverse bunch. Rachel is from Cork, Ireland, Kinneret is from Ashkelon, Israel, and Rowan is from Napier, New Zealand. The Bruton School has become so international!

You'll get to meet Rachel and Kinneret in upcoming posts, I promise. But I just had to start the new school year by introducing you to Rowan, because the very first time I met her, I could guess just what she would be like, just by what she was wearing. Now, Rowan insists that she is absolutely bored to pieces by fashion. But that doesn't really matter -- she knows who she is, and she shows it in the clothes she wears. That's fashion, whether she's interested in it or not! Here is what Rowan was wearing the day that I met her:

Can't you just look at her and tell that this is a girl who is just looking for the next adventure? Her outfit is comfortable and casual, but also incredibly stylish. Those tribal-print leggings! I know I'm going to be shamelessly begging to borrow them. ;) Rowan's a self-described daredevil. She likes to do anything that will get her outside and give her an adrenaline rush. She's even gone bungy jumping off the Karawau Bridge in Queenstown! Definitely too scary for my taste.

The bright sunflower on her tank is cheerful and attention-getting, just like Rowan. Look up at the first picture -- notice how the shape of the sunflower graphic is echoed in the sunburst shape on the leggings? I could plan for an hour and not have hit on that idea, but Rowan paired them up instinctively. I'll turn her into a fashionista yet! The lightweight, short-sleeve cardi is a concession to our cooler English weather; Rowan says late summer on Hawke's Bay, where she lives, is super-hot, and she wouldn't wear anything over the tank there. (She also says it's really weird that it's summer here in August, because back home, it's winter!) The simple necklace is just the right amount of jewellery for this sporty look.

I think we need to just take a minute to celebrate Rowan's hair. I'm so excited to have another girl around who has natural hair and crazy curls! Just look at all the tones of colour in it. Rowan is multiracial -- her dad is Māori, and her mum's ancestry is both white (Australian) and black (Kenyan). She says her hair is like a party on her head, and how the party goes depends on how much effort she puts into planning it. I love that analogy!

I have a feeling things around here are going to be a lot more interesting now that Rowan's arrived. She's definitely the kind of girl who finds adventure around every corner.

Outfit details:
Leggings and sunflower tank: LoriLiz Girls & Dolls
Cardigan: Vintage (purchased from a friend)
Sandals: QTπ Doll Clothing
Necklace: Suzy M Studio

Sunday, August 17, 2014

I Wish They All Could Be California Girls

Hi, everyone! Summer break continues, but not for much longer... soon school will be back in session. So I want to enjoy summer as much as possible. :) Tegan, our principle blog photographer, had already left for her summer hols when we did this photo shoot, so we have a guest photographer today: Elijah! Well, he's not really a guest photographer... he just does it less often than Tegan.

Anyway, I'm really excited to have Elijah behind the camera, for a bunch of reasons. First, our lovely model today is Elijah's sister, Hannah. Both of them are from Los Angeles, California, and come on... is there anywhere that says 'eternal summer' more than L.A.? I don't think so! Second, it's always fun to see what new tricks a different artist has up his sleeve. Turns out that up Elijah's sleeve is a totally different kind of camera from Tegan's! He decided to bring along one of his old analogue (that pretty much means 'not digital') cameras, called a Lomographic camera. Lomography gives you photos that are a little bit blurry and really colourful, with colours that are sort of both hot and cool at the same time. They're perfect at capturing the feel of those hazy, warm summer memories.

I know, I know, I'm obsessed with navy blue this summer. But you guys, it's everywhere. That nautical vibe is so perfect for these hot days. Hannah's dressed for a day on the boardwalk in this chevron-striped maxi dress. (Yes, I'm also obsessed with maxi dresses!) Another thing I like about this dress is the way the chevrons move in opposite directions -- a V on the bodice, inverted on the skirt. That shape fools the eye, giving Hannah the illusion of a very hourglass shape.

She's accessorising with an oversized white cotton satchel, which has this awesome glittery scarf threaded through the belt loops. And can you see the amazing detail on the shoulder straps of this dress? Not only are they braided, but they're braided through a really fine silver chain. So cool! The strap detail and the sparkle in her bag is all the bling Hannah needs to shine on a summer day.

I love the cool blue and white with Hannah's strawberry hair. She's keeping it pulled back with a simple white cotton dotted Swiss hairband.

Her feeties hit the boardwalk in a pair of navy cotton pumps. When you're sticking to a really limited colour palette -- just navy, white, and silver -- you can really jazz things up by playing with patterns. So here I've mixed chevron stripes with polka dots. The dots on Hannah's shoes are the easiest dots to spot in her outfit, but they're not the only ones... can you see all the others? They echo the white-on-white dots of her headband, the pointillist sparkles on the bag's scarf, and the circular chain rings on her straps! The wee bows on the shoes are a playful touch.

Hannah's such a Cali girl in her perfect summer outfit. All through this shoot, she and Elijah were telling me about the boardwalk at Venice Beach, near where they used to live... now I'm dreaming about visiting! Have you ever been to California?

Outfit details:
Maxi dress: Royal Doll Boutique
Shoes: Starabella Doll Design
Bag with scarf: My Girl Clothing Co.
Headband: Janie Jumps

Thursday, August 7, 2014


Have you ever wondered why it's so often true that people who live in hot places eat spicy food? India, Cuba, Morocco, Jamaica, Mexico... all hot countries, all famous for their spicy foods. I got to thinking about this one day back in June, because we had what my friend Charlie calls a 'potluck' dinner at school. Do you know what that is? It's when everyone who comes to dinner brings a dish with them, to share. (At the Bruton School, the students can use the school kitchens as long as we make arrangements with the kitchen staff first. Isn't that neat?) My friends at school come from all over the world, so our potluck was a real culinary adventure. Hannah and Elijah brought tacos, Arpana brought curry, Honor made hotteok, Charlie made barbecue, Amy Jinn brought boboti... I can't even remember what everyone brought! I took fried plantains. Mmmmm, everything was so good!

Anyway, I started Googling the thing about spicy foods in hot countries. Apparently there are a lot of theories. This article suggests that spicy foods keep you from getting sick after eating meat that has maybe not been totally refrigerated, because spices are antimicrobial. Julian, who is my science-iest friend, says she doesn't really buy that, but anyway, it's a theory. And this other article says maybe it's because eating spicy food makes you all hot inside, so your inside temperature matches your outside temperature, and then your body does things like sweat and stuff, and those things cool you down. I don't know if that's right either. But whatever the right answer is, there is some kind of connection between hot temperatures and spicy food.

So I thought, hey, if eating something spicy works well when it's hot, maybe WEARING something spicy will work the same way! (I know, I know... it was a long walk to get to this plot twist. Admit it, though: you're thinking about spicy food now.) Back at Christmastime, a dress shop in town had a special giant sale of prototype dresses by the designer Melody Valerie. Ordinarily I just admire MV dresses from afar, but this sale was amazing. Honor was with me, and she ended up buying this beautiful dress. She's been waiting to wear it in warm weather, and boy, is the weather warm now.

Doesn't she just take your breath away? The papaya-colored part of the dress is made of raw silk, which has this wonderful nubbly texture. The combination of red and orange is one of my personal favourites, and I think this twist on it -- an almost-pastel shade of orange with a really hot, true red -- is stunning.

The buckle of the faux belt is mother-of-pearl. Because the dress itself is the star of this outfit, we kept the accessories to the barest minimum: just a classic pair of pearl studs in Honor's ears. I just adore her striking black hair with these spicy colors. I kept it natural, in just a casual, pulled-back style, so you can see her earrings.

It was actually really hard to find shoes to go with this dress. Now, if Honor were going out somewhere for the evening, I'm sure I would've chosen red patent leather! But Honor didn't want her dress to be just a special-occasion piece, so together we decided to dress it down a little bit with these brown sandals. They really work for daywear.

Honor's spicy dress is perfectly suited to look cool on a hot summer day!

Outfit details:
Dress: Prototype/working version of Melody Valerie's 'Best Foot Forward' dress
Sandals: Quest4Craft
Earrings: Claire's Boutique at the mall

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Summer Breeze Makes Me Feel Fine

The last few of days have been unusually cool, especially since we'd usually be in the dog days of summer right about now. It's been rainy for a couple of days now, but when last we had some sun, Tamsyn came out with me to model one of this summer's hottest looks: the jersey maxi dress.

Nothing could possibly be more comfortable than this, am I right? It's like being allowed to wear pajamas in public! Tamsyn's favourite colour is coral, so I knew it was perfect for her. I love the way it looks as if an artist has painted the dress like a canvas.

A chain of silver and pearls with the faintest creamy-pink tinge looks delicate and natural with this feminine outfit.

The sage striped cardigan is super-lightweight, just the ticket for a cool summer evening.

Finally, these strappy silver sandals go with the silver necklace, and add a bit more sparkle to the outfit:

This weather's a beautiful preview of autumn, which is just over the horizon. The hot weather will be back in no time, I'm sure, but in the meantime...... :) I hope you enjoy Tamsyn's beautiful outfit. Until next time!

Outfit details:
Maxi dress and sandals: Emily's Doll Closet
Cardigan: Everyday Dollwear
Necklace: Vintage (a bracelet on clearance at a local department store)

Monday, July 28, 2014

Can Navy Be Goth?

That's the question I was asking myself when I was putting this outfit together, because I had my friend Tabitha in mind to model it. You guys have met her before -- she's my friend who likes to wear spooky stuff a lot. Navy blue is definitely this summer's colour, and I wanted to see if I could help Tabitha broaden her colour horizons beyond black and red and purple. Did I succeed? Well... see what you think!

What I tried to do with this outfit was to keep many of the style elements that Tabitha likes -- cropped shirt, crystals, skater skirt, and sandals that... uh... really grab your attention :) ... but just alter the color scheme.

I think Tabitha looks great -- very stylish and summery, but still edgy. Tabitha liked it too, except she felt the skirt was too out of character for her. I love this skirt, though. It belongs to Tamsyn, so, no surprise, it's a timeless classic, because that's her style. I think those Delft-blue roses are gorgeous!

Here's another look at those bum-kicking gladiator sandals. They actually do belong to Tabitha, so she definitely likes them. (Tegan called these 'dominatrix sandals'. I've been laughing at that all day!)

The necklace is a clear crystal and a small silver medallion. It's mine, but Tabitha borrows it so much I think I'm just going to give it to her. Doesn't the simple sleeveless cropped shirt look amazing on her?

I had to laugh when Tabitha insisted we stay in the shade for this photo shoot. I love the sun and summer heat, but this girl is as pale as English girls get, and that's REALLY pale!

Outfit details:
Cropped shirt and skater skirt: Closet4Chloe
Sandals: LoriLiz Girls & Dolls
Necklace: Bella and Hoot

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Whooooooo Are You? Who, Who? Who, Who?

With a title like that, I feel like this post should involve owls somehow.... It doesn't, but OH MY GOSH, everybody, I'm SO excited to bring you this post! I'm literally bouncing in my chair over here!

Fashion is like any other art form -- music, movies, art, whatever: everybody has her own taste. But one reason why I love fashion so much is because, unlike a lot of other art forms where most of us are usually receiving the art (you know, being the audience?), fashion is inherently an art that all of us actually perform when we get dressed every day. What you wear says something about who you are, what you're like, and what's important to you. I know it's important to remember never to judge a book by its cover, but really, think about it... the clothes you wear are the first impression that someone receives of you when they meet you. When you're wearing clothes that suit your taste, your body, and most of all your personality, you feel more like yourself, right? And truly, people can tell that right off when they see you! Sometimes it can be hard to figure out how to translate who you are into what you wear, though.

That's why I'm so excited! This week I had what might be the greatest fashion-related experiences of my life: I got to help a friend find find her fashion identity! My friend Arpana is beautiful, inside and out. She's very smart and super-observant, and she's a wonderful listener, and she's good at seeing sides to things that other people don't notice straightaway. She's also very quiet and not someone who talks about herself a lot, though, so sometimes people find it hard to get to know her. And because she didn't know what her style was, she couldn't really express herself well through the clothes she wore, either. BUT! THEN!

I had this skirt in my closet that I found at a second-hand shop. I love the colors, but whereas my style tends to be quite retro and mod, the skirt's more bohemian. But Arpana loved it, so we built an outfit around it!

 These comfy charcoal-grey sandals were the perfect match to the washed off-black in the skirt:

With such a statement skirt, the top needed to be simple and clean-lined. This sleeveless linen peplum  top was also perfect. The lace band at the waist gives it just the right amount of character, and the bright white lets Arpana's amazing hair really stand out:

Finally we layered a couple of necklaces. Arpana felt like the turquoise one was enough, but I think the gold Indian coin necklace gives an otherwise pretty simple boho outfit a really exotic edge:

Finally, one more picture. This one was an accident -- Tegan accidentally dropped the camera as she was taking the picture, so the angle was different. But even though it's a bit out of focus, it's my favourite picture of all. Doesn't Arpana look stunning and confident? I really think this captures the way the outfit and the way she feels while she's wearing it bring her personality shining forth!

Outfit details:
Boho skirt: Zellawear
Peplum top: Janie Jumps
Sandals: Quest4Craft
Turquoise necklace: Everyday Dollwear
Gold necklace: Anklet from a local Indian festival

Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer Breeze

Well, all my best intentions to post regularly during the second summer half-term were for naught, my friends. I... erm... well, there's a small possibility that someone ACCIDENTALLY spilled some Coke on my laptop. And the laptop may have... uh... well, died a bit, sort of. In the sense that it won't ever work again. Er... right. :-( I got in sooooooo much trouble with my mums...!!! I can't buy any new clothes until I've paid them back 60% of the price of this new one out of my allowance.

So that means I've had to go raiding all my friends' closets and putting together outfits from their things! Which is not a bad thing, really. We've all been having a good time mixing and matching things. Oh, and we've learned that two new girls in my year will be starting here when Michaelmas term begins -- one from Ireland and one from Israel -- and they're BOTH involved in theater. In fact, one of them wants to be a costume designer!!! I know we're all going to be great friends. I can't wait to meet them!

Right, then, back to the task at hand, yes? Today I want to show you an outfit that Amy Jinn and I put together out of her closet. I think it's just the perfect outfit for a hot day.

Amy Jinn bought this lovely sundress secondhand, way back in the winter, from one of our very stylish friends, Sabine Bouchard (there's a link to her blog below). Trading clothes with friends, or buying and selling them secondhand, is an excellent way to stretch your wardrobe pounds and pence!

The wee blue roses are so delicate against the crisp cream-coloured cotton, and I just LOVE the crocheted lace at the hem. So understated and elegant!

Straightaway we knew this cornflower blue necklace and bracelet set would be perfect. 

We decided to keep things as cool as possible by layering shades of blue, so we topped off the dress (which has spaghetti straps) with a navy vest.

The vest and bright blue textured Dollistocks sandals keep the outfit casual, although it would be super-easy to dress it up with a nice cardigan and ballet flats instead.

No matter if the sun blares down; Amy looks like a cool summer breeze!

Outfit details:
Floral sundress: Vintage, from Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'tis (originally made by Royal Doll Boutique)
Dollistocks sandals: QTπ Doll Clothing
Necklace and bracelet set: Purely Splendid