Meet the Models

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
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

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!