Meet the Models

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Festival Flowers

So, do you remember how I told you guys a couple of weeks ago that Elijah, Hannah, and Honor were going to the Glastonbury music festival? Hannah modelled her Glastonbury look in that post. Well, the festival was this past week-end, and they did indeed go. They weren't able to get tickets to see Kanye West, but they got to see lots of other people. Some of the performers they saw included Hot Chip, The Libertines, The Charlatans, Parliament/Funkadelic & The Family Stone, Frank Turner, Flying Lotus, Belle & Sebastian, The Staves, and Hozier. I didn't see them on Friday, but when they got in on Saturday night, all three of them were sunburnt to a crisp but happy as larks! They agreed that the festival was muddy and incredibly hot and crowded and stinky and awesome. I had to laugh... it's not my scene, but I'm really happy they had fun!

Before they left on Friday afternoon, I got Honor to model her Glastonbury look for the blog, too. This was her first music festival, so she dressed up a little bit more than Hannah did. She really looked beautiful!

Honor built her look around this floral stretch lace high-low dress. Because it's completely sheer, she wore an aqua tube top and a pair of grey-and-white striped shorts underneath. With all the flowers and sparkly accessories, everything about this outfit says summer!

There's probably nothing that says 'summer music festival style' more than a flower crown. Honor borrowed this dogwood crown from Tamsyn (you may remember seeing Tamsyn wearing it in an earlier post!). For her jewellery, Honor chose a silver and faux pink pearl necklace and a pair of tiny aqua crystal studs. 

Honor has thick, straight, slippery hair that won't hold a curl no matter what you do to it. She was disappointed when she tried to curl a few pieces at the front and they just fell out straightaway. But she compromised by pulling the side pieces back and clipping them, along with the flower crown's band, with this scrolled silver clip with aqua and green crystals.

Honor said she thought about just wearing a swimsuit under the sheer dress, but she decided she felt too under-dressed that way. Hannah also pointed out to her that, if the dress got itchy or was catching on things too much, Honor could always take it off and just wear the shorts and tube top. I thought that was pretty smart! The sandals are simple, comfortable, and sturdy enough to stand up to a bit of Glastonbury mud.

Not even the summer sun was as radiant as Honor was at Glastonbury this weekend. Hannah, Elijah, and I all agree, she nailed her festival look!

Outfit details:
Lace dress & tube top: This set came from my lovely friend Sabine before she opened her Etsy shop, Moi Aussi Designs
Shorts: Closet 4 Chloe
Sandals: AG Julie's (original) Meet shoes
Flower crown: Fleur18 Studio (I'm so sad she's decided to stop selling her designs!)
Earrings: Claire's Boutique
Necklace: An anklet from JCPenney
Hair clip: Thrift shop

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Peaches and Cream

I love working with my friend Kinneret on posts for this blog. She's an actress, so she's not intimidated by the camera at all. But more than that, I love working with her because I always learn so much. I've mentioned before that Kinneret's style is heavily influenced by the Japanese mori style.  I really don't know much about mori style, but Kinneret is fantastic at putting together outfits that suit her. I know what looks good when I see it, and Kinneret's style always works so well for her.

The big challenge with today's outfit was to put together a look that is mori but not too hot. Mori style tends to employ a LOT of layering, and it also tends to be a fairly conservative style that covers up a lot of skin. In this weather, though, it's just too hot to drape all kinds of stuff all over yourself. What's a mori girl to do?

I picked out the cotton floral sundress -- mainly because I am in love with those pintucks -- and asked Kinneret if she thought she could build a look around it. The answer to the layering dilemma turns out to be lace. Kinneret reminded me that you can layer all kinds of lace, and it's rarely hot, because it's more air than fabric. The knotted-rope sandals continue the natural colour and are made from natural materials.

What you're seeing under the sundress here is a nearly-sheer pleated peach skirt. It looks like a slip, but it's a skirt. The interesting thing is, when Kinneret pulled it out of her closet, I immediately pictured a very Mad Men-era outfit, with a fitted short-sleeve white angora sweater and a mint green silk scarf tied around the neck. I would never in a million years have imagined using it as an under-layer for a sundress. And Kinneret didn't stop there -- under the skirt she added a pair of cream silky knee-length shorts. Everything comes together in a flowy, feminine way, thanks to the pastel colors and all the lace. Speaking of the lace....

I really thought it was going to be overwhelming, having three different lace patterns (with the lace scarf worn as a sash) so close together. But the patterns and scales of them are SO different from each other that, when I saw the overall look, I didn't feel like they competed with each other at all.

For this look we pinned Kinneret's hair up in a very loose messy bun. It may seem like a cream and peach outfit is an odd choice for a girl who has pink hair... after all, pink and peach don't match at all! But somehow... and I can't even explain it... it all comes together into a unified soft, dreamy look.

Finally, I want to acknowledge that yes, Kinneret's earring is crooked in the first picture and the one above. GRRRR. Neither Tegan, Kinneret, nor I noticed that it was crooked the whole time we were shooting, until the very last picture! So, just to show that we did actually fix it for one shot, here is the last photo of the shoot:

Outfit details:
Floral sundress: Maddie's Girls (still available as of this posting!)
Pleated skirt & lace scarf: Peltra's Closet (scarf still available as of this posting!)
Knee-length shorts: Doll Tag Clothing
Sandals: Hannah's Dress Up (still available as of this posting!)
Earrings: 2 Sisters Sew Crafty (still available as of this posting!)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

It. Is. Wilting.

Oh my gosh, you guys, it's hotter than the surface of the sun outside. Is it hot where you live? We are dying around here. The air is heavy with humidity and it is just boiling. They cancelled classes on Monday, it was so hot! We're all just draped over the furniture in the common room, trying to get as close to the fan as possible, but at the same time trying to make sure we don't actually touch each other, because nobody wants anybody else's body heat near them. So..... hot......

This week the beautiful Rebecca is modelling for us. She is the perfect model for this weather, because she is one of those people who manages to look cool and put together no matter how dreadful the weather.

While the rest of us have hair frizzed out like massive dandelion clouds on our heads, Rebecca's curls are (mostly) smooth. While everyone else is wearing crop tops and shorts, or throwing style completely to the wind and simply wearing nothing but a swimming costume around the dorm (*cough*CHARLIE*cough*), Rebecca is wearing a crisp, flawlessly-tailored linen dress, and looking smashing in it.

I love the way the colour-blocking on this dress creates the illusion of slender curviness. Rebecca is very slim anyway, but this dress would be slenderising on anyone -- notice how the dark teal blocks draw your eye to the center of the body and in an up-and-down line? And they're narrowest at the natural waist. It's really clever. And I adore the Peter Pan collar! It's another detail that makes this dress so much more than just another sleeveless dress.

Linen is the perfect fabric for hot weather. Just ask the Egyptians -- they've been wearing it since literally the dawn of time. (If my Egyptian friend Esra'a were in town, I'd get her to give us a bit a history lesson on Egyptian linen....) See how open the weave is, and how the fabric looks crisp rather than saggy? The simple, super-thin belt creates some more shape to the overall look, but it doesn't dominate the look. Rather, it and the matching buttons just accent the contrast between the colour blocks.

These sandals are the perfect accompaniment to this dress, if we're going for a casual look. The leather straps are exactly the same colour and nearly the same size as the belt, while the jute trim on the soles echoes the colour and texture of the natural linen in the dress.

When it's this hot, it's definitely best to keep it as simple and cool as possible, and this dress doesn't require much in the way of accessories. I suggested a bracelet, but Rebecca doesn't like them because she says they get in her way when she's scribbling in the reporter's notebook she carries everywhere. So we opted for no accessories at all.

What are your favourite ways to keep cool in the midsummer heat? Do you have favourite outfits to wear when it's really steamy out?

Outfit details:
Dress & belt: Clarisse's Closet
Sandals: Quest4Craft on Etsy, which has very unfortunately gone out of business (I loved them!)

Friday, June 12, 2015

Sailing... Take Me Away...

We've come to my friend Tegan's favourite time of the year: late spring, early summer. Why is it her favourite time of year? Because Tegan loves the sea -- so much that I believe she is secretly a mer-person who can interchange her tail for legs. Home for her is a beautiful fishing village in Cornwall called Mevagissey. Here is a picture of Tegan's hometown:

Even though there aren't waves crashing onto the shore, that water is the sea -- Mevagissey Harbour. You can imagine that anyone who lives in a place like Mevagissey loves all kinds of ocean-related activities, and these warm, sunny days are perfect for being on the water. 

Alas for Tegan, we're still in school for another couple of weeks, and she's stuck here in sea-less Somerset. It doesn't stop her from dreaming of being back on the water, though... and that's what her outfit today is all about! 

Tegan prefers a very simple style most of the time -- she's really a jeans-and-shirt person at heart. When I spotted this sailboat-print skinny trousers in her closet, I was really surprised, because they're not the style I usually associate with Tegan. When I asked about them, Tegan said, "They just made me smile as soon as I saw them. And they're cotton, so I can wear them when it's hot and not roast."

 With the trousers being the obvious focal point here, I knew the shirt needed to be an uncomplicated one. This super-soft T-shirt fit the bill perfectly. Stripes carry through the nautical theme, but the light grey and white doesn't distract from the trousers. Tegan's hemp pride necklace is one she always wears. The nice thing about the pride rainbow is that it matches everything. :)

I learned my lesson last year when I tried to get Tegan to wear fancy white sandals with a bit of heel... she would have none of them! This time I reached for white sandals again, but I went with some chunky ones with a squishy sole. You could definitely walk on the beach in these sandals, and I suspect that's Tegan's main criterion for choosing shoes.

That faraway look in Tegan's eyes tells me she's counting the days until she can be back home again, sitting with her feet dangling over the seawall or climbing around the bluffs and cliffs that loom over her beloved harbour. Do you love the beach too? Are you going to one on vacation this summer?

Outfit details:
Trousers: Closet4Chloe 
T-shirt: The Beach Shack
Sandals: Mjs Doll Boutique 18T (they were part of an outfit... not sure their original source)
Necklace: High On Hemp (bracelet)

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Be Twee

I think it's the most fun to style your closest friends, because they trust you enough to let you try a lot of fun things, and because you know them well enough to create a look that's really perfect for them. Case in point: our model for this week is my best friend. I love when Charlie models for the blog. She doesn't really like to have her picture taken, so I can't talk her into it very often, but I love to style her.  Charlie is a bit of a hipster, and she loves owls and foxes. So when I found the cutest owl-themed skirt EVER in a vintage shop, I knew it was perfect for her.

 The look Charlie's rocking here can best be described as 'twee'. What is twee? Well, Zoe Deschanel's style is twee. Wes Anderson movies are twee. Twee is basically anything that's sweet, kind of innocent, nostalgic, cutesy, not overly complicated, and maybe just the tiniest bit ironic. A lot of hipster style tends to be a bit twee.

Charlie's skirt is the foundation for the whole look. How unbelievably cute is this fat little patchwork owl on his one-leafed branch? The mix of fabric scraps that make up the decoration involves so many fun colours and textures. He really pops on the simple blue chambray skirt. The delicate crocheted trim on the skirt adds another element of sweetness.

The ruffles on Charlie's candy-pink cami continue the sweet, feminine theme of this outfit. I added the cropped shrug just because I wanted a little something else on the top of this look, but if it were super-hot outside, the outfit would really be just as cute without it. Because the ruffles on the shirt don't really require a necklace, the only accessories I added are a pair of owl earrings... because, really, can you have too many owls? I think not.

This outfit would look great with a pair of simple ballet flats, maybe in green. But twee was very popular back in the '90s, too, so I decided to bring a bit of '90s flavour to the outfit with a pair of Birkenstock-style sandals.

I'll finish up with what might be my favourite picture of Charlie ever. Tegan really captured her spirit in this photo. My best friend is the sweetest, nicest person I know!

Outfit details:
Skirt: Clarisse's Closet
Cami: Royal Doll Boutique
Shrug: Our Generation "Spring Blossom" outfit
Dollistock sandals: QTπ Doll Clothing
Earrings: Claire's Boutique (they're made for humans)

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Dressing for Glastonbury

Hi, everyone! Today's post stars Hannah, because wow, she is a trooper. We intended to shoot the photos for this post on Thursday morning. As Hannah was getting ready, she popped her contact lenses in as usual... but there must have been something on the left one, because she said it felt scratchy right away. So she took it out, rinsed it off, and put it back in... but whatever the problem was, it was still there. In no more than two minutes, her eye was all red and swollen and watery and awful-looking. She had to go to the school nurse, and then -- would you believe it? -- the nurse had to take her to the eye doctor, because she was afraid Hannah may have scratched her cornea! Fortunately, she didn't, but it took a couple of days before her eye stopped looking dreadful. I told her it was no problem to just switch her post to next week, but she insisted she was fine and wanted to keep her appointment for 'blog duty'. So this morning we knocked Tegan up (before 9 a.m. on a Saturday; she was not best pleased with me!) and headed out for pictures.

Even if you've never been to England, and never even heard of Bruton, where we live, the chances are that if you like music, you've probably heard of Glastonbury. Glastonbury Tor is an ancient hill with a church on top, and King Arthur's grave is meant to be somewhere inside the hill under the abbey ruins, because it's got some kind of association with Avalon. I dunno exactly how that association came about... but anyway, it's about 15 miles from our school. Every year there's a massive music festival at Glastonbury. Last year Jack White was the headline act; this year it's Kanye West. Sincerely, it is enormous: thousands upon thousands of people come from all over the world. Elijah and Hannah try to go every year, and this year they managed to score a ticket for Hannah's best friend Honor too. In fact, Elijah has been working, since last summer, a few hours a week in the planning offices of the festival. When I asked Hannah what kind of look she'd like to model, she said she felt like it would be a natural fit to model a festival look.

The trick with festival style is that you need to look great and be comfortable, even when it's nearly July and you're crammed into a crowd of thousands of people who haven't showered in days. (Sounds lovely, right?!)

Hannah started with her all-time favourite T-shirt, which, appropriately enough, sports a cassette tape. It looks terribly vintage and music-y, doesn't it? It's comfortably broken in, too. And it's black, so if it gets a bit of dirt on it, it won't likely show.

One of the showpieces of this outfit is obviously this amazing duster cardigan. It's soft and slubby and it's super-lightweight, so it doesn't add much warmth. The long length makes me think of superhero capes! Dusters are really on trend right now.

Here you can really see the slub-knit texture of the duster. The neutral colours are maybe a bit dark for midsummer, but really, aren't black and grey always appropriate? You can also see here the fringe and destroyed bits of Hannah's favourite cutoff jeans.

Here's a better shot of the jean shorts, along with the other showstopper of this outfit -- these wicked killer gladiator sandals. Aren't they amazing? Fortunately they zip up the back, because all those tiny buckles would be maddening if you had to do them up every time you wanted to take the shoes off or put them on.

Have you ever been to a music festival? If not, do you think you would enjoy going to one? If you did go, who would you like to see performing?

Outfit details:
Shirt: Mon Chat Dans La Lune
Jean shorts: Liberty Jane
Duster: LoriLiz Girls and Dolls
Gladiator sandals: Sophia's -- these came with an outfit, but you can find them in several eBay shops, such as this one

Saturday, May 23, 2015

A Conversation with... Eve & Quinn

Well, you guys, I made a real hash of my blogging last week. It's the first week this year that I missed making a post completely. In an effort to make up for it this week, I've decided to try something a bit different. First, I want to introduce you to a new friend here at the Bruton School, Quinn. Second, I thought I'd let a couple of my friends talk about their style in their own words. Wednesday was our friend Rachel's birthday, and to celebrate it, we all had a bit of a tea party out in the garden under the trees. It was lovely, and everyone chose something nice but not super-dressy to wear. Everyone looked grand, but I was really interested in the way Eve's style and Quinn's style were so different, but each worked so well for them. So I decided to play the fashion reporter and interview them about how they make their style choices. Hang on to your hat -- this post is pic-heavy!

First the introduction! This is our new resident, Quinn Tirandazi. She's from Glasgow in Scotland.

Her dad is from Iran, which makes Quinn both Scottish and Persian. She loves cinema more than anything -- watching films, definitely, but also making them herself. I've already seen her around school grounds with camera. As you might imagine, this means she, Elijah, Kinneret, and Rachel, our resident actors and stage/film types, have been having a lot of fun conversations! Quinn hopes to be a professional filmmaker someday and premiere a film that she created at Cannes. She practices a religion called Zoroastrianism, which is very ancient and interesting, and which was a big influence on Christianity in its early days. She loves Game of Thrones, especially Melisandre, because her religion in the series is based a lot on Zoroastrianism.

Now on to the interview! First, here's what Quinn might call an 'establishing shot' of Eve and Quinn together, wearing the outfits they chose for Rachel's birthday tea.

Both girls chose floral prints, knee-length skirts, and sandals, but that's really where the similarities end. Eve's style is quite classic and tailored, while Quinn's is more relaxed and casual. I asked both of them about their styles.

Me: Eve, how would you describe your fashion style?
Eve: I suppose I would say my style is a bit preppy but very colourful. I'm not too concerned with what styles are trendy. Some people might think the style of clothes I like tends to be a bit stuffy, but that's why I like bright colours so much. They're so cheerful!

Me: What are the most important factors you look for in the clothes you choose?
Eve: Fit is the most important thing to me. I like for my clothes to fit perfectly -- not too tight, not too loose. I also like for my things to mix and match easily. Between school and baking for Hello Darkness [the coffee shop/bakery that Hannah, Kinneret, Vesper, and Eve run on the Bruton School campus], I'm very busy; I don't have time to fuss over whether or not things exactly match. Like today, my belt and my shoes aren't the same colour, but they're not far apart either, and some would say that's a fashion no-no. But both colours show up in the blouse, so I feel like it works because the blouse pulls everything together. And a khaki skirt goes with everything under the sun! Basically I want to look professional and put-together, but not fussy.

Me: I've noticed you often wear your hair up. Why is that?
Eve: When you're in the kitchen, pulling your hair back is a necessity. You can't be having long hairs showing up in people's scones. So it's second nature to me to pull my hair up in a bun or a braid... I'm not used to seeing myself with my hair down! If I need to dress it up a bit, like today, I just pop in a sparkly clip or something.

Me: Quinn, how would you describe your fashion style?
Quinn: Do I have a style? I'm not sure if I do or not. I wear what I like, but I don't think of it in terms of being a unified style. It's just Quinn-style!

Me: What are the most important factors in the clothes you choose?
Quinn: Comfort. I do not suffer for fashion. Ideally, whatever I'm wearing would be something I could sleep comfortably in. Now that you've got me thinking about it... I would say that I probably choose a lot of the clothes that I buy because of their texture, even more than how they look. I'm drawn to things that feel interesting on my skin. With this dress I'm wearing, I like the way the lace at the top makes it feel breezy, and even though the cotton isn't stretchy, it fits loosely and doesn't bind anywhere.

Quinn (con't.): And I did think, this morning when I put it on, about how I like the way the straw hat feels in my fingers. So maybe I chose it partly because of that, and not just because it would keep the sun from burning my nose! I also love the contrast of the soft velvet band with the prickly straw. I'd wear velvet the year 'round if it weren't so damn hot in the summer. But then, I'd wear linen the year 'round too, if I didn't like to freeze to death in it come the winter.

Me: Your shoes have a very nautical feel, especially with the blue of your dress. Was this something you were going for when you chose them?
Quinn: Nautical? No, not at all. I'm rubbish on a boat -- seasick the minute my feet leave the land.
Eve: Oh no! That means you can't come visit me in Wales and ride my dad's ferry over to Dublin to see Rachel and Reilly this summer!
Quinn: Is that a thing we're doing? Well, now, just because I may spend three hours with my head hung over the rail, doesn't mean I'm going to let a bit of water keep me from visiting Ireland, am I?

I hope you enjoyed the interview-style post, and it helped you feel like you got to know Eve and Quinn a little better!

Outfit details:
Eve's outfit
Blouse: Sparrow and Wren Mercantile (when it was still Janie Jumps)
Skirt: QTπ Doll Clothing
Belt: AG Sparkly Camp outfit
Shoes: Our Generation In a Flutter outfit, which is still not online anywhere
Hair clip: Vintage

Quinn's outfit
Dress: QTπ Doll Clothing
Hat: AG Julie's Birthday outfit
Shoes: Hannah's Dress Up