Meet the Models

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Be Yourself!

Last week I introduced you all to my lovely new friend Rachel. This week I'll introduce you to another of my new friends, who is also Rachel's best friend. Her name is Kinneret Caspi. You say her first name kee-NEHR-et. It's Hebrew, and it means 'lyre'. What is a lyre, you ask? It's a musical instrument, a kind of harp:

Kinneret is from Israel. Like Rachel, she's a theatre person; she loves to act and direct. Kinneret also has really unique fashion sense, and she's not afraid to be herself and look different from other people. I really admire that in her!

Kinneret's taste in clothing is strongly influenced by a Japanese fashion and lifestyle called mori. A mori girl is usually someone who tries to live a very simple life, wears a lot of neutrals and layers, and sort of models herself on earthy forest spirits (mori means 'forest'). Kinneret doesn't adhere much to the mori lifestyle, but she does love the layered clothes, and she always incorporates plenty of neutral, earthy elements in her outfits. She likes to mix them with colours, though, as you can see!

This outfit incorporates neutrals especially in the clean, simple, topstitched linen jumper that Kinneret wears almost like an apron, over her skirt and shirt but under the cardigan. The flower-sprinkled knit Henley shirt adds a natural and feminine element to the outfit. The dark plum colour of the boyfriend-style cardigan really works beautifully with Kinneret's pink-blonde hair.

Mori style is all about long, flowing, loose-fitting, comfortable clothes. Kinneret's meadow-green knit maxi skirt definitely fits that description. Her blue-grey ankle boots draw your eye back up toward the blue of her shirt, so they pull things together.

Again in keeping with mori style, Kinneret isn't much for sparkly jewellery and tons of accessories. So she keeps things very simple with a pair of gold hoop earrings and her brown Wayfarer-style glasses.

Her hair is pulled back in an intentionally (!) messy sort of partial braid, tied off with a plain brown elastic, and with a few curls left long to frame her face. When you have hair that is an unusual colour but a pretty low-key personality like Kinneret (and Tegan, Rachel, and Tabitha too!), I think it's often good to keep the style of your hair simple and let the colour speak for itself. Of course, if you have an edgier style or personality, you should rock that green mohawk or shocking-pink spiked hair!

The thing I love best about Kinneret's style is that she takes cues from mori fashion, but she isn't a slave to it. She puts her own twists on it and makes it all her own. You know from the moment you look at her that Kinneret knows who she is and isn't going to let anyone else tell her she should be someone different. I'm glad about that, because I think she's awesome just the way she is!

Outfit details:

Topstitched jumper: Hazel Ann Designs
Henley shirt: AG Weekend Fun outfit (currently on sale!)
Knit maxi skirt: Hazel Ann Designs
Boyfriend cardigan: QTπ Doll Clothing
Ankle boots: AG Everyday Play outfit (retired)
Glasses: Maplelea Brown Glasses
Earrings: 2SistersSewCrafty

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Making New Friends

This school year has seen the arrival of several new girls at the Bruton School. You've already met Rowan and Vesper, who are wonderful, and I'm so happy they're here! But I have four other new friends who haven't yet appeared on the blog, even though some of them have been here since last Hilary term. (*facepalm* I should have introduced them so much sooner!) My new friends are Rachel Gleeson, Kinneret Caspi, Eve Meyrick, and Autumn MacGillivray.

Today I'd like you to meet Rachel. She is from Ireland, waaaay down south in Cork City. This means she has a really distinctive accent that makes me smile. I have to listen hard to understand her sometimes when she's talking fast, but I love the way Rachel talks. She's used to people asking her to repeat things, though, because she lived in Dublin for a couple of years before she came to school here, and she says even Irish people have a hard time understanding a Cork accent sometimes.

Rachel works in theatre a lot. She grew up taking drama classes with her younger brother Jack, and that's where she learned to love costume design. So Rachel knows a lot about how to put together an outfit, and what will look good on someone. This outfit is entirely her doing. You can see how she opted for a neutral dark grey palette, because it works so well with her white-blonde hair. (For those of you wondering, Rachel says it's okay to tell you, yes, it's dyed! But it was this colour naturally when she was very small.)

It was a wintry day when we took these pictures, so Rachel bundled up in a tweedy-looking jersey knit cardigan and a big cosy flecked cowl.

She paired these with black corduroy skinnies and some lovely, faux-fur-topped grey boots. No need for a heavy coat with all these warm pieces.

I just love the way the grey outfit highlights Rachel's unique silver-grey eyes. I think her hair and eyes make her look like a beautiful Elf straight out of Tolkien. Rachel tells me her Granda (that's 'grandfather', if you need a translation!) says she and her brother, who has the same colouring, must be part sidhe -- that is, the faery folk of Irish lore.

Her hairpin is ornately scrolled and sparkly, but not at all weighty, so it doesn't contrast too dramatically with her hair.

For all her love of costume and fashion, Rachel is an academic at heart. Her passion is studying philosophy and theology, because she always wants to know the 'why's of the world. Still, I'm hoping she'll want to be involved with this blog as much as time allows, because she's got amazing style!

Outfit details:

Cardigan: QTπ Doll Clothing
Corduroy skinny jeans: Orange Dot Designs
Cowl: Zellawear
Grey Fur Trim Button Boots: eBay (search that phrase and you'll find them in several shops)
Hairpin: Target (I believe it's Scünci brand)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Look Smart!

Today I want to introduce you all to my beautiful friend Vesper. She came to the Bruton School from Calgary, Canada, a couple of months ago. Oh my goodness, is she ever smart! I mean that in both senses: Vesper's terribly intelligent-smart (she's a real maths whiz especially), and she always looks smart, too. Even though she's still young, like all of us, Vesper has a flair for looking professional. But she also loves -- and looks amazing in -- bright colours. So I wanted to run with those two elements in the outfit I put together for her today.

Vesper's suit is full of great details. The cherry-red jacket is, unexpectedly, soft cotton felt rather than wool. I love the button that looks like a piece of candy. The blouse she's wearing under the jacket is a simple, sheer black T-shirt, which makes a great canvas for a red beaded statement necklace.

I particularly love the tiny black ruffle that edges the flounce on Vesper's cabbage-rose print skirt. Her red tights continue the bright, warm theme. The patent leather equestrian boots are the very definition of 'smart', don't you think?

We decided to keep her long hair sleek and simply pulled back with a black ruffled hairband. One loose lock frames her lovely face. Notice how all the little ruffles -- hairband, hem of the jacket, skirt -- pull the look together?

Vesper looks ready to take on the business world, or stand at the lectern in a university maths course. She's brilliant and confident, and still full of fun.


Outfit details:
Red blazer: Adora Cool Weather outfit
Sheer T-shirt: Vintique Designs
Harajuku skirt: Closet4Chloe
Patent boots: 2004 AG Equestrian Outfit
Red tights: Vintage (truthfully, I don't remember exactly where these came from!)
Necklace: Everyday Dollwear
Hairband: Lizziebee Design

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Leaving 2014 in Style

Well, my friends, if we've learned nothing else this year, we've learned that I am terrible about keeping up with my blog posts during school terms. Is everyone this busy with school, or am I just rotten with time management?!

I did want to manage one last post for 2014, before we begin a whole new calendar year. I wanted to do this post because it features my friend Elijah. Elijah has helped me out with this blog several times, taking pictures when Tegan wasn't able to do so. Elijah's a great guy -- and, since it's important for this blog, he's also an extremely stylish guy. We girls have it pretty easy when it comes to finding great clothes: we can shop at American Girl, Target's Our Generation line, Carpatina Dolls, all kinds of wonderful artisans on Etsy, shops on eBay... so many options out there for our clothes. But it can be really hard to find great clothes if you're a guy our size. Elijah is a master at it, though, so I thought it would be great to get him in front of the camera for a change.

The outfit Elijah's wearing here is not one I put together. The whole thing was designed and made by Katherine at Katherine's Creations on Etsy. If you're an AGIG person, you can also follow her at, where you'll see Elijah's outfit pictured. Katherine posted the outfit on a thread about guy clothes at AGPT, and she was kind enough to let Elijah buy it before it even hit her Etsy shop. Elijah and I are hoping that Katherine will continue creating awesome outfits like this one for the blokes who want to look sharp. But don't miss the chance to check out the beautiful modern and historical outfits she makes for us girls, too! (She tailored a replica of this gorgeous outfit, currently on sale, for Julian this summer. I'm sure you'll see it featured here, in whole or in part, when the weather turns warm again.)

So, as you can see, Elijah rocks a pretty hipster groove. This outfit has all the right ingredients: plaid button-up, sleek fitted cardigan, skinny jeans, glasses, and cool boots. The plaid of the shirt is a great, small-scale red, white, and blue pattern. The rich shade of red is a bright pop of colour, and the blue really brings out Elijah's dark blue eyes.

Skinny jeans walk a really fine line, especially for guys: you want them to be very skinny, but not painted on. These are perfect. The medium wash is a great shade of blue with the shirt. It can also be a thing to figure out how a guy should wear skinny jeans with boots. Girls' boots usually come up higher, so we just tuck our jeans inside the boots. Elijah shows the way for guys to strike the balance: tuck the jeans into the very tops of the boots, but don't lace the boots all the way up. (He's so cool, he doesn't even tie them in a bow, lol!) I love the double hooks in place of a couple of grommets on these boots.

Elijah's glasses are classic wayfarers. Some people just wear them for looks, but Elijah really does have horrible vision, so his are prescription. The glossy black can look pretty harsh on some people (fortunately, these are available in a more neutral brown!). But a lot of it just has to do with attitude: if you want to rock a pair of nerd glasses, you can.

But the outfit really speaks for itself -- Elijah looks handsome and pulled together in this great outfit. Thank you so much for making it, Katherine!

Outfit details:
Jersey cardigan, plaid button-up shirt, and skinny jeans: Katherine's Creations
Boots: Kit's work boots (AG, retired)
Glasses: Maplelea brown glasses, painted black with enamel model paint

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