Monday, 31 March 2014

Dreaming in Purple

Dress: Topshop // Top: New Look // Shoes: Clarks // Bag: Dorothy Perkins // Bracelet: Vintage // Ring: New Look

Over the weekend I helped Nicola with her photography project on Parkour, and ended up in a cool part of town because of it. My outfit had to be practical, as there would be a lot of moving about to help Nicola get the best photos possible of the Parkour peeps doing their thing - hence my trusty boots. I wanted the rest of my outfit to be cute though, as next on my agenda was a date.

I love how the graffiti behind me was also channeling the purple and stripy vibes.

The cool part of town that I speak of is this quirky art-space in an abandoned warehouse. It's called Mabos and it's filled with quirky creations, like the TV screen which looks like a retro GameBoy. And of course, art on the walls, like the two I got a snap of below. This is where the Parkour guys hang out and practice sometimes. The venue also hosts other activities, pop-up-yoga for instance, so Nicola and I are thinking of checking it out sometime soon.

Just a little heads up: If I end up posting a little infrequently over April, know that it's because I have a load of final year college work. It's not because I don't love you guys! Haha! And regardless of college work... I'll still be checking in with the blogging community and I have a few posts down the pipeline... You can't get rid of me that easily!

*Thanks to Nicola for helping me take the photos.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

A Scenic Drive in Donegal

Over the weekend I was back home in Donegal and my mum and I, somewhat impulsively, decided to go on a road trip! Said road trip came about because for my photography project I am taking photos of people's 'happy places', and my dad's favourite scenic spot is Fanad Head, an area which happens to have a lovely scenic route to it.

So my mum and I put on a few extra layers, picked up a map and headed out the door for our little adventure! It was a Saturday afternoon, so BBC R1's Danny Howard was blaring, providing some much appreciated dance tunes, a perfect soundtrack for a drive. The weather was atrocious, as you can see by looking at my wind-swept self below, but it didn't matter, we were in a great mood.

Besides, the rotten weather ensured that there were dramatic clouds in the sky, which added interest to my photographs. The one time when the strong winds was a problem, though, was after taking a picture of the lighthouse at Fanad Head. When getting back into the car, we opened both front doors at the time, and a gush of wind rushed through. In its force it whipped a €50 note, which had been sitting by the gear stick, up into the air and out of the car. High in the air, it was heading straight for the sea. I dashed out to grab it and, although it made it over a barbed-wire fence, I was just about able to throw my leg over the fence and stop the note with my foot when it paused on the ground for a second. I wasn't going to let €50 fly out the door - in student terms that equates to two nights out and a take-away!

Despite the drama with a runaway €50 note, I managed to get a pretty pic of Fanad Head's lighthouse. It wasn't hard though, the area is just so beautiful. I love how my family home sits in a county with some of the most beautiful landscapes in Ireland. Seriously, if you ever visit the country, or if you live in Ireland already, it's well worth renting a car and checking out the West of Donegal. These sights can be found on the Fanad Scenic Drive. Happy exploring, fellow adventurers!

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Dress & Impress: Tips for Interview Attire

Dress: Dorothy Perkins // Bag: Dorothy Perkins // Shoes: Dorothy Perkins // Camisole: Dunnes Stores // Tights: Dunnes Stores // Glasses: Juicy Couture

This week I attended an assessment centre and interview, in the hopes of bagging an amazing graduate position with a company I admire. As this was such an important step, one which could determine the post-college path I take, my outfit had to be carefully chosen. Above is what I wore. Most of the outfit is made up from items from Dorothy Perkins, which is quite a good spot for finding clothes for work or interviews, thanks to its selection of formal, yet fashionable, clothing. Anyway, since I thought so much about what I would be wearing, I thought I'd share a few thoughts on dressing for interviews.

My 3 Tips for Interview Attire:

- Go for Comfort:
You're probably going to be a little nervous when going for your interview, so why wear itchy/revealing/small outfit? You'll have enough to worry about, you don't want to be fretting about your uncomfortable attire too. If you're opting for a dress or skirt make sure it's not so short that you have to tug at it every few minutes. If you're wearing heels make sure you are able to walk in them! Wobbling about on sky-high stilettos isn't going to win you the job!

- Work the Monochrome Look:
You can't go wrong with a classic outfit in black and white. This colour scheme suits everyone, and it is ever-stylish. It doesn't have to be boring, either (see: my stripy bag below). If you are going for this look, then you might want to steer clear from thick black tights, as this may look a touch too dark. The tights I wore are in the shade 'barely black' and choosing these over the darker options ensured that my tights, shoes and bottom half of the dress didn't merge into one black blob.

- Test-Drive your Outfit:
A few days before your interview, put your outfit on and check yourself out in a mirror. Make sure you look presentable and that all the items you need (CV, portfolio, phone, identification, ...) fit neatly into your bag. Also check that any see-through parts of your outfit are accounted for (wear a camisole under your top, like I did, if you're worried about your bra being on show). Also, it sounds silly, but practice sitting down, especially if you are wearing a skirt or dress, and if it's difficult to move comfortably then the outfit is probably a tad too small. Doing all this well in advance means you will have a few days to pop to the shops if there's a problem with your outfit.

So those are my 3 simple tips, which should help you when choosing an interview outfit. Once you've got that sorted out, it's only a matter of chatting to the interviewer and making sure they know how fabulous you are! Good luck!

*Thanks to my mum for helping me take the photos.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

My Photograpy Project: Stories of Societies

It's been a while since I've updated you all on my academic work, so here's a little post on just that! My Photography and Imaging module, which I love, is my only practical module, and so I always try extra hard to do well in these assignments. This particular assignment asked the photographer to 'Tell a Story' through photography.

I decided to tell the stories of the society Chairpersons at DCU, my university. I did this by creating several diptychs. A diptych is simply two photographs displayed side-by-side. In this project a portrait of the society Chairperson is presented next to a still life of the quirky items that are associated with the society. Unfortunately, due to the dimensions of my blog, I have to show the photographs individually. Have a look at my Flickr to see the photos displayed as intended. Above is a self-portrait as I am the Fotosoc Chairperson, and below is the bits and bobs that are associated with Fotosoc.

Next up is Craig from Tea Soc, AKA the SociTEA. Yup, that's an entire, university-funded, society dedicated to the consumption of tea! To be fair, they host great meetups where you can relax with a cuppa and have a chat with new friends. These chilled out events ensure that it's a valuable and well-loved society on campus.

Finally, here's Freya from the Style Society. Which reminds me, the new issue of the Style Society's magazine The Look out now. I am the layout designer for this magazine, so expect a blog post on this soon!

In case you're wondering, I got my results back recently and I was given a high 2.1 for this project. According to my lecturer, it would have been a 1st if I had changed a few simple behind-the-scenes things on Photoshop to fit the brief. I'm annoyed that I forgot to follow the brief exactly (such a rookie mistake) but I'm glad that the photos themselves were given the nod of approval!

Anyway, that's a little glimpse into my academic life at the moment, the fun side of it anyway! Enjoy St. Paddy's Day (tomorrow!) and I'll see you on the other side with a new outfit post!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Park Life

Shirt: Topshop // Dress: Vintage // Collar Pin: New Look // Shoes: Penneys // Ring: Topshop

This is the outfit I wore to the student bar the other day, but it's casual enough that I can wear it with boots (instead of heels) and it'll work as a daytime outfit. One tiny problem with the dress is that it's on the shorter side... Which wasn't ideal when I wore this as the wind was gushing. Alan and I took about 30 photos, and the full-length one above is the pretty much the only one where my hair wasn't attacking my face due to the unruly weather.

Anyway, with this ensemble, I've worn my favourite accessory trend of recent years, the collar pin. I love how this simple accessory can transform a look and taking a plain, potentially boring shirt and making it pretty and unique.

*Thanks to my friend Alan for helping me take the photos.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Lovely Day for a Guinness... And a Tartan Skirt

Seeing as these are potentially the last few months that I'll be living in Dublin (I'll be finishing up university and I'm not sure where I'll be next!) I've decided that this semester I've got to don my tourist-hat and explore the sights of the city. First on my must-see list: Guinness Storehouse. Even though I do not like the taste of Guinness one bit, this place has to be visited when sight-seeing in Dublin. The drink is an Irish icon and besides, the Gravity Bar, where you receive your free Guinness, has the best 360 degree view of the city.

Jumper: George // Skirt: George // Shoes: Clarks

Apologies if I appear a little awkward in the photo, there were about a billion tourists walking by and, classic Ireland, the rain was pouring. Anyway, I love this little tartan skirt that I snapped up from ASDA, especially the decorative zips.

Ring: Topshop

Sláinte! (That's 'cheers' in Irish!)

*Thanks to my friend Nicola for helping me take the style photos.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Unashamed Cheapskate

As a cheapskate student I love to root around sale rails and I take pride in the gems that I find in my frugality! So, I'm excited to share this little post dedicated to my recent bargains. I'm sure these items will be featured in outfit posts eventually, but for now, here's a few snapshots of my finds!

These electric blue flat shoes are from Penneys. They only cost me €5 (about £4). I'll admit, they feel quite flimsy under my feet... These shoes aren't in it for the long haul, in fact, I have a suspicion that they'll end up disintegrating at the most inopportune time imaginable. But as they are such a vibrant and pretty colour I think it was a good find, despite the potential false economy of the purchase.

Also on my Instagram.

I bagged this lovely little velvet skirt at Topshop for £15. This one has already made an appearance on this blog as mt highlight of my outfit I wore to the Eiffel Tower. I must admit that when velvet first came (back) into fashion, I was frightened of it - I had no idea how to wear it and I mostly saw garish velvet dresses on the high street! However, this skirt is so easy to pair with a number of different outfits. Also, having a skirt (rather than a dress) in this fabric enables me to wear the velvet trend during the day!

This is a detail shot of a scarf I got in Urban Outfitters' January sale. There's two things you need to know about this scarf: 1. It's extremely long. 2. It's extremely neon. And that is pretty much why I love it.

Also on my Instagram.

Well, I saved the best 'til last... This summery, floor-length dress is from River Island, and in case you didn't notice - it was only £15. What. A. Bargain. I didn't bother looking for any other sale items on this particular shopping trip, as I knew nothing could top this for me. Not sure where I'm going to wear it yet, but with a few college balls on the horizon it's definitely going to get the night out it deserves.

Well, those pretty little items are my recent bargains. Make sure to keep an eye on my blog as some of them may pop up in future outfit posts! As always, thanks for reading! x