Meet the Models

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

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Break Out of Your Comfort Zone

Happy Wednesday, everybody! I hope you're all having a lovely week so far. :)

Today's post is all about trying new things. Some people love to try new things. I do. In fact, I kinda get bored when I do the same thing twice, lol. Other people prefer doing familiar things. Routines make them feel comfortable or safe instead of bored. One way isn't better that the other; there are good things about both ways of being!

My friend Julian is a routine person. She knows what she likes and doesn't see much reason to do things she might not end up liking. This is definitely true in her wardrobe -- Julian's a jeans-and-shirt girl most of the time. But a couple of weeks ago I convinced her to try on something that's outside her usual tastes. Since Julian loves science, I told her she should think of it as an experiment, and if she hated it, we wouldn't take any pictures. But WOW, this experiment was a huge success! Take a look:

This stretchy navy-and-cream wrap dress looks amazing on Julian, doesn't it?! She looks so grown-up and stylish! Wrap dresses complement all kinds of figures, because they skim over your body in all the right ways, and you can adjust them to fit you just the way you want them to.

The tribal print of this dress keeps your eyes moving. The narrower band of print falls right at Julian's waist, with wider bands above and below. Julian's only 14, so she's not as curvalicious as she'll be when she's older, but these bands of print give her the illusion of an hourglass figure. Because the print is complex, I kept the jewelry really basic -- just a very simple gold beaded necklace.

 I think these studded leather gladiator sandals are so cool!

Julian even looks gorgeous from the back. :)

This outfit is perfect for a cool spring day. Next time it's Julian's turn to teach me about why doing the same things more than once isn't really boring... but I think she had a pretty good time trying something new this time!

Outfit details:
Wrap dress and gladiator sandals: LoriLiz Girls and Dolls
Necklace: Bracelet from a local shop

Sunday, June 1, 2014

I'm Back at Last!

Hello, friends! I hope you can forgive my REALLY long absence. The first half of the summer term was just brutal this year, and I didn't have time to keep up with my blog at all. This is the last day of half-term hols, and I've just returned to school from a week at home. I do have a couple of outfits to share with you that we photographed during the school term but I didn't have a chance to post. So I hope you'll check back here! I'm going to do my best to post twice a week or so during the second half of summer term.

But before I share those outfits, I have to share what I'm wearing right now, because it's SO SO SO SPECIAL. You know both my mum's and my Mama's families come from Ghana, right? It's a beautiful country in Africa. I've been to visit it once, but it's been several years ago. I want to go back so much! School keeps me too busy to do much travelling overseas. But my granny doesn't have that problem... she spent nearly the whole month of May in Ghana! She got to visit her two sisters, and their children and grandchildren, who are my cousins. I think they're my cousins once removed, or my second cousins, or something, I'm not sure (I can never keep that straight!), but all that really matters is they're my cousins. Granny brought lots of photos back to England with her this week-end while I was home. And she brought me the most wonderful present EVER: a brand-new dress. But it's not just any dress. It's made from the most beautiful batik fabric, hand-dyed by Ghanaian women:

The women attend a special vocational school, where they learn many kinds of life skills, including batik design. Some of the women used to be slaves, and the school is teaching them skills that they can use to support themselves. I think that's so extremely wonderful. My granny bought some of the batik fabric, and she and one of my aunties made this dress for me. I'm really proud to wear the beautiful handiwork of all these amazing Ghanaian women!!!

This dress makes me think of cool water lapping on a lake shore as the evening shadows gather. It makes me feel mysterious and beautiful. :) I added the flower in my hair for contrast.


The hand-dyed batik is so precious that every scrap is used. Here you can see the pretty bead-and-fabric bracelet that one of my cousins made. My bright lilac-purple sandals add another bright pop and highlight the purple in the sea of blue.

I love my new dress so much! I hope you won't think it's silly of me to say that it makes me feel like I have a piece of home with me. I hope I never outgrow it. But if I do, it will just mean that I need to go back to Ghana as soon as possible, so that I can meet the lovely women who make such beautiful fabric, and visit my family again.

(You might be wondering where my glasses are... I just took them off because Tegan said the sun was making a glare on them!)

Outfit details:
Maxi dress and bracelet: LakeMeadow Boutique (You can buy some of their beautiful batik creations and support the vocational school in the Adidome region of Ghana!)
Shoes: AG Weekend Fun Outfit
Barrette: OG Deluxe Floral Dress Outfit

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