Thursday, 30 January 2014

Never Enough Layers

Despite how the photos may appear at first glance, these photos were taken on an extremely rainy and cold day. With a few gusts of wind thrown in at inopportune times (in the photos below you can see parts of my shirt blown into weird angles). It's not that obvious in the picture, but speckles of water can be seen on my skirt and the falling rain is very faint, but visible in certain places, like in front of my tights.

Derry is notorious for having unpredictable weather. But I would be lying if I said that I was unaware that the city would be subject to such unruly weather on the day I planned to take style photos. The day before these photos were taken I told my mum of my plan to do a style photo at the Peace Bridge and she automatically warned me that constant rain was forecast for the next day. However, I was under the impression that shooting in diabolical weather would quench my thirst for a challenge. And, so here I am posting these pictures. My fingers nearly froze over but I managed to get some photos that I'm happy with! Would I take photos in unrelenting rain again? I would, but it's definitely easier to look carefree and stylish when you're not being drenched!

The image on the right was a little Photoshop experiment. I'm unsure if I like it or not.

Another reason why I was so keen to brace the elements for this style photo is because I wanted to enter into a competition which closed the next day. It's Canon's style competition - the lucky winner gets an all expenses paid trip to see Henry Holland's show at London Fashion Week. Amazing! The competition looks for what you want to inspire the AW14 looks. Seeing as I found out about the competition in such short notice, and half of my wardrobe was four hours away in Dublin (one of the pains of living in two places), I couldn't research and impliment the trends for AW14 too much. But, I suppose my ignorance is a good thing because it did ask for what you want to see on the catwalk. And what do I want to see? Layers! Skirts over dresses (à la this outfit), shirts under jumpers over dresses, socks over tights.... Layering is my favourite trend of all time. And it's oh-so practical for the wintery months... Well it would be if you factor in some sort of raincoat, which I didn't for this look. It was definitely style over comfort for this shoot.

Shirt: Topshop // Beads: Vintage // Dress: Exhibit // Skirt: Topshop // Rings: Topshop // Shoes: Primark

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

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Paris: What I Wore at the Eiffel Tower

I promised style photos from Paris, and here they are! This is what I wore on our trek up the Eiffel Tower, so I was thankful that I chose comfy boots rather fancy but awkward footwear. Besides, I love my boots!

The satchel is another item which was chosen for its practicality. The fact that it's pretty as well as useful is an added bonus, of course. I needed a sizable bag to bring all my essentials, which included my bulky camera.

Unfortunately, you can't see my carousel necklace very well in this photo, but I wanted to mention it because I think it is a nice little touch. When I was in school I went to Paris on a school trip and the place where I got the prettiest pictures were on a cute carousel, so the accessory is quite apt.

Cardigan: H&M // Dress: Topshop // Skirt: Topshop // Ring: Dorothy Perkins // Necklace: New Look // Boots: New Look // Glasses: Juicy Couture // Coat: H! By Henry Holland // Satchel: From a local boutique

As for the cardigan, I purchased this from H&M that day. Although I was on a tight budget in Paris, I couldn't resist buying it, as it was on sale and it went so well with what I was already wearing. Plus, the extra layer was welcomed as it was damn chilly!

So, this was my outfit, which I wore at the Eiffel Tower and around Paris this week! You can read more about my gallivant around The City of Love, here.

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

Friday, 24 January 2014

Paris: Style Spotting and Gallery Hopping

A flight from Dublin, the Chanel haute couture fashion show and the Eiffel Tower were all happily added this week's schedule. My friends and I hit Paris for two days and in this short amount of time we got to hang out with our good friend Sorcha and do a heap of touristy things, as well as immersing ourselves like locals, if only for a little while. Here's a little post about my trip, with a few iPhone photos too. Because I have so many photos, and so much to say about my trip, I thought it would be best to split the Paris posts, so expect another post full of pretty photos from my DSLR to go live over the weekend.

Myself and Caoimhe outside the Notre Dame. Also on my instagram.

First on the agenda was style spotting outside the Chanel haute couture show, which was the highlight of the whole trip, as it was such a unique and exciting experience. We congregated with the Parisian fashionistas and celebrity spotters to watch the guests arrive with their sparkly Chanel invitation in hand. Although the guests who arrived at the entry we were manning weren't major celebrities (Lily Allen and the likes must have entered somewhere else) it was enough to be there for the buzz and to see what the guests were wearing. Plus I spotted Susie from Style Bubble, so that was exciting!

We also visited three galleries in two days, which wasn't bad going at all! My favourite by far was the Centre Pompidou, it houses some amazing modern art, and I definitely have some new artists to research after seeing some incredible pieces. Plus, we spent some time in the Musée d'Orsay, I especially enjoyed its selection of pointillist paintings. Finally the Lourve is one of those must-see spots of Paris, so, with Paris newbies in the group, we couldn't leave it out. However, as I had already been there, and the art it showcases is mostly too classical for my taste, it was my least favourite out of the three. Regardless, each of the galleries that we visited were host to works of art which I found inspiring, and as a result I took an obscene amount of photos on my iPhone for future reference.

Next to an art installation by Yaacov Agam, at the Centre Pompidou. Also on my instagram.

Of course, as tourists, the Eiffel Tower could not be missed, even though the weather was not ideal and the top floor was not open. We walked up countless stairs to reach the first and second floor. Yes, we walked up the Eiffel Tower. I am pretty unfit, so by the time we reached the second viewing point I was ready to collapse! The view was worth it, though!

Sorcha, myself and Caoimhe on the Eiffel Tower.

On our last night we treated ourselves with a late night snack at a local crêperie. A nutella crêpe in Paris has got to be the best midnight snack imaginable. That night I also got a macaroon and three different flavours of ice-cream and sorbet. It's safe to assume that I didn't go hungry on my trip.

Mango sorbet, dark chocolate ice-cream and raspberry sorbet with a raspberry macaroon. Divine.

Between all the eating, gallery hopping and sightseeing, I got a chance to take a few style photos, of both myself and my friends. I'll be uploading some of the photos over the weekend so keep an eye on this blog! In the meantime, there's nothing more to say except "au revoir"!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Having a Gander at the Creative Expo

I had the pleasure of visiting Showcase, Ireland's Creative Expo, at the RDS with a friend and fellow blogger, Raychel. According to our name-badges we were there as 'Buyers', but really we were just there for a gander! The expo is filled to the brim with Irish designers who create beautiful fashion pieces, homeware and crafts. It's the perfect hub for inspiration so have a little browse through the photos that I took today...

Such a cool little display by Ireland's Eye. I think it's just for display but I love that knitted sofa!

These top hats by Claire Hurley caught my eye immediately - they are just so intricate and unique.

As well as the stalls there were mini-events which run throughout the day, including a fashion show and industry talks. There were some interesting looks at the fashion show and I definitely got a few style ideas from it. Also, I love that little, white knitted cape in the photo above!

We only had time to attend one talk, which was the Social Media seminar. I wanted to catch that one in case I decided to go down this route career-wise... Yes, you can become a paid Social Networker and it's something I'm looking into! While the tips given were a bit basic, it was a talk for beginners after all, I'm still glad I got to see it because the speaker was the owner of an adorable shop and Facebook page called Moss Cottage. The Facebook page is full of home decor inspiration and I recommend liking it this instant!

So those were my highlights from the expo! It was great to have a wander round and see what the creative-types of Ireland are up to these days. I'm so lucky to have got the opportunity to do it too, so thanks so much Raychel for sorting me out with a ticket!

Tomorrow I'm hopping on over to Paris for a short stint with Sorcha. So there may be a few days of silence but I'll be back next weekend, hopefully with a collection of gorgeous photos from my trip!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Black Velvet

I'm so excited to be sharing this post, as the outfit is completely different to my usual style! Alan actually styled me - he's looking for styling experience and I was looking for a fun makeover. I wouldn't normally wear so much black as I'm a sucker for bright colours but I'm glad I embraced it. And the velvet! Velvet shoes AND a velvet dress! I used to be such a velvet non-believer but I must admit I've been converted - it can be a gorgeous material if it's used correctly, and this dress definitely rocks it.

I had such a great night out in this ensemble for Alan's birthday in our hometown. Now I'm back in Dublin and I can't wait to wear it down here!

Coat: H! By Henry Holland // Dress: Topshop // Necklace: Topshop // Shoes: Office

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

Monday, 13 January 2014

ABC is for Alan's Birthday Cupcakes

Seeing as, among friends, I am famously a bit of a disaster in the kitchen, I best not pretend that these cupcakes were made from some special recipe which I customised myself. Nope, I just followed along with a plain old recipe which I found by bugging my Mum for a simple chocolate cupcake mix. It's a bit risky making cupcakes for Alan who is damn good baker himself, but oh well, I gave it a go anyway.

I'm a bit more happy with the cute letters which I made! To make them I cut letters out of red felt, stuck gold glitter onto it and stuck the felt onto little paper frames which I found by snooping in my Mum's scrapbooking kits. This was taped to a toothpick so that I could proudly display the letters on my cupcakes. You can see a bit of the glue around the edges of the glitter and the letters aren't exactly in proportion but I think that the imperfections add a little homemade quality to them. Or, maybe I'm just saying that to let myself off. Either way, here they are.

Anyway, that's all for now. Outfit post to follow soon!

Friday, 3 January 2014

Magazine Junkie

I have always been a sucker for pretty magazines. When I lived in New Zealand I would buy Girlfriend, which was a league above Sugar and Bliss, the teen magazines that I had to settle for when I returned to Europe. My love affair with magazines began when I was obsessed with all things 'self-help' orientated, and I would snip out the pages which told me how to get organised, get better grades or get fitter. Oh and DIY anything, though I rarely got around to actually make the projects I collected. Nowadays I purchase magazines more for the design and the gorgeous fashion or lifestyle photography. I've been known to purchase Elle Decor without the faintest redecorating intention. I think this life long love for print helped me when I was designing the The Look.

And I mustn't forget my obsession the idea of creating a zine when I was in my teens. The older I got, the more obsolete zines got (and they were pretty damn rare in the first place) with e-zines becoming the outlet of choice for angst-filled teens who grew up in the cut-and-paste era but could now get their pen-marked paws on a computer with a dial-up connection. I never got around to creating my zine (not yet anyway!), but I do continue to keep many a scrapbook with cute clippings of magazine articles and photographs which inspired me.

Seeing as certain magazines are a huge source of inspiration for me, I thought I'd share the magazines I buy anytime I can get my mitts on them, as well as a few that I'll pick up every now and then when I'm scanning the magazine stand for inspiration. So, first up...

Okay, so it's not exactly an underground choice, but Company deserves a mention for being the one UK-based woman's magazine which have nailed the cute, scrapbook feel lusted after by so many 20-something wannabe-globe trotting fashionistas and bloggers. The composition of some of the pages are perfection, and some have inspired my own designs in The Look. Company was the first magazine which convinced me that white on black writing can work.

Plus, in the age of the internet, touch, more than ever, is an important part of magazine design, and the matte pages of Company are oh-so much sweeter to touch than the majority of its woman-magazine buddies which share the news stand. And, although I openly admit that I buy my magazines more for the pretty pictures than the articles, there's a lot to say for the content, especially Company's love for bloggers and it's social media obsession. Hardly a page goes by without a slightly unnecessary, yet undeniably hip, hashtag or a insta-inspired pic, and this, combined with it's music, fashion and beauty articles, makes for a must-have magazine.

Frankie is an Australian magazine which has perfected its vintage-inspired and adorable look. When I first discovered this magazine, an effortlessly beautiful 'Frankie girl' graced the cover, but nowadays, a too-cute-to-handle illustration sits on the front cover. The quaint front-cover image combined with the minimal cover design made it hard to resist. The minimal theme is adhered to throughout, with whole pages dedicated solely to titles and subtitles, and an abundance of negative space which allows the images to take all the reader's attention.

The Frankie team always seem to include the best photo-collections too, rarely a page is turned without me having some serious photographer's envy. As one of my favourite magazines, I automatically knew I would channel its style when we were asked to create a series of documentary photographs, for print in a magazine of our choice, for my Imaging project. The photographs which I took for this project can be found on my Flickr, and my Frankie style magazine cover is here:

My version of the Frankie cover

Noteable mentions:
Tabitha - a free magazine, only available in Ireland as far as I know but it can be found on Issuu
Revs - okay, I admit I've only bought this once, I found it two days ago in fact! But it's absolutely filled to the brim with fashion photography, I'll definitely be looking out for it in the future

Well, there it is. My love affair with magazines rages on. If I find any other gems I'll keep you posted. I promise.