“Camp” Met Exhibition Review

It wasn’t long after the Coronavirus outbreak had affected the wider population that the Metropolitan Museum of Art took action to postpone this year’s gala. As the heartbreak for the biggest event in fashion is present, I thought that I would at least share some form conversation relating to the night in which we all love to spectate. So since I already did a review of the best looks from last year, I thought why not take a deeper look into the actual exhibition behind the big night that some of you may not have seen much about when it was around. So without anymore rambling, here are a few of my “Camp: Notes on Fashion” exhibition highlights.

The Gucci Sponsorship

Now to start of this discussion I thought it would be right to focus on the main contributors towards the show coming to life (Anna Wintour can only do so much, surprisingly) and the main sponsor for last year’s theme was in fact Gucci. As the exhibition will be made up of hundreds of delicate and often one of a kind pieces that are so rare to find, they need not just a big budget but also a big helping hand in providing a lot of relevant material, literally. Gucci has always been known for having a frivolous, hyper exaggerated flare to its designs that the fashion house suited this partnership just right.

In the past decade they have made a flying comeback into high fashion, whilst other brands of a similar position have focused on creating simple and sellable runway designs, Gucci have dared to be different and introduced a wide variety of silhouettes, patterns and textures to a new audience. They’ve made fashion desirable again, recognising the upcoming generations obsession with past decades and the unique pieces that only get diluted by other houses today, only to be diluted to just tinted water by the time these trends reach the high street.

Justice for Edda Gimnes

Now I’ve already covered some of this drama in a previous blog post when the whole thing unveiled, but since the Met Gala gave upcoming independent designer Edda Gimnes the justice she deserved, why not recap on what really happened to get her global recognition.

Edda Gimnes is a young and upcoming designer, who had graduated from the London College of Fashion in 2015. She had an interview post-graduation with Moschino, a brand that could be seen to suit her over the top flare. Sadly, she did not get what she was looking for and she was turned away, however her work didn’t go unnoticed. It was the Spring 2019 RTW collection that featured bold illustrative lines, block sharpie style colours, paired with sketched tights, all resembling the work of Gimnes. What was thought to be a great come back for Moschino after a few seasons of dull and lifeless themes, was actually completely forged.

Now how does this relate to the theme of Camp you ask? Well, a common theme that is recognised as Camp is ‘pastiche’, a word defining imitation of style or work. Another commonly associated word for Camp is irony, and the act of a well established fashion house needing to draw its ideas from a ‘nobody’ is quite ironic. So the word spread from Edda herself of this injustice, and soon the world started to recognise Jeremy Scott’s loss of touch when it came to being a true designer. Edda’s work was featured in this exhibit following her exposure and recognition, on a mannequin placed high and central to the main room of the show.

Molly Goddard’s recognition

Yes I’m talking about Molly Goddard yet again, but this time it’s necessary. I’d first like to address her absolute relevance to the exhibition. To start with in a very literal sense, her heavily gathered tulle dresses and unique silhouettes are of course as camp as you can get. Wearing 30 metres of fabric to pop to the shops in is going to make you feel like you’re wrapped in bubble wrap, whilst looking like a bright pink loofah (in a good way). Not only that, but her brand as a whole breaks away from the current monochromatic unsurprising styles of today that are the result of continuous dilution of trends over the years. She’s not trying to be anyone else, and she’s not trying to reinvent a style either, she’s looked at the fashion book and torn it apart and then rewrote it from her own perspective.

The picture that blew up on Instagram, this dress was one featured in the exhibition.

I also want to talk about it wasn’t just crucial for the Metropolitan museum to include Goddard in the Camp exhibition, but it was crucial for Goddard to receive that pedestal of recognition. There’s often a strange bridge between being an upcoming designer and being a well established fashion house, and sometimes designers can find themselves struggling to break out of that ‘small business’ title. It’s quite surprising to me how ironic it is that her pieces are just so recognisable amongst pop culture now, yet she’s still so unheard of. To be the poster outfit for Killing Eve, one of the highest achieving tv shows at the minute. To dress Rihanna of all people countless times and have some of the images be the singers most adored. Within just 5 years of her brand existing she’s been recognised by so many avenues besides the fashion industry, and I feel like the Met Gala confirmed that well deserved status that she’d already been achieving unrecognised for so long. My hero.

The iconic Björk swan dress

When the theme ‘Camp’ was announced I made a mental list of pieces or designers that I wanted to be included, and this exact dress was one of them. The Björk swan dress, designed by Marjan Pejoski from Macedonia, is one of the most outrageous red carpet looks of all time. Whilst wearing the dress to the Academy awards in 2001, the singer was seen to be mimicking ‘laying an egg’ on the red carpet. When she was asked about this in the press after all the hysteria it caused, she gave the statement “it’s just a dress”.

It’s a fact that the dress itself is something of total costume, it’s a given. However the attitude to wear it to a red carpet at a time when fashion was all about making yourself appear sexy and it was all taken a bit too seriously for what it was, it’s quite possibly the most camp piece of fashion to exist. It’s hardly anything to do with the piece itself, because that dress has been ripped off and ‘reimagined’ way more times than it should have been. It’s the total disregard for dignity and image in a time where that is all that mattered. Celebrities of that time very rarely dipped into new or unrecognised styles as individuals, fashion as a whole was commercialised to do its job. Björk’s dress was not just a fun idea, it was in fact a total mockery to pop culture at its time.

In summary, I fucking loved this exhibition. I say this with a biased opinion as the identification of the theme had made me realise how many parallels I have with it in my own style, so this theme will always have a special place in my heart. Yet, I thought that some of these highlights from the exhibition were some of the greatest overall in terms of reflecting on fashion in today’s society, so I hope that you enjoyed this or found out something new.

If you didn’t get a chance to see the exhibition whilst it was on, and you’d like to see a bit more from it, here’s a link to the page which features a virtual tour of the exhibiton. You can also find my review of last year’s gala looks here.

I’ll be back soon with more fashion chit chat.

Love,

Sophie

A week of style prompts with Lucy Harbron

Hello hello, I’m back with a new post and this time it’s a collab! A dear internet friend of mine, Lucy Harbron, proposed the idea of us recreating a series from Man Repeller, in which we give each other not-so-typical styling prompts for each day of the week. Each of these themes were peculiar enough for us to think outside of the box for what to wear for the day, yet because we’d proposed these ideas for each other it was quite personal and fun to do. I’d highly recommend having a look into Man Repeller’s posts on this if you’re looking for a different approach to getting dressed in the morning!

Friday: Shuffle Lana Del Rey and wear something inspired by the song it lands on

Starting off on the right foot, I was so happy about the subject for day one. Lucy and I both share a great admiration for Lana Del Rey, if it wasn’t already obvious. I was quite thankful that when I pressed shuffle on the singer’s Spotify that the song “High By The Beach” from Honeymoon came on (especially since it’s one of my favourite albums too).

My Shrimps X Warehouse dress seemed like an obvious choice that I simply couldn’t resist. Not just in it’s whimsical sea bed print, but also in its tie back feature and it’s ruffled hem that finishes just above the ankle, which takes me back to walking around in Alicante last summer. I wore it on top of this oatmeal coloured puffed sleeve top that I simply can’t fault. It gave me a bit of extra warmth whilst also making the summertime feeling dress seem a bit more staying at home appropriate (sadly). I feel like the song itself presents a feeling of frustration and finally picking up and leaving, which I feel like the combination of these muted colours also reflects on.

Saturday: Dress like a rich, bratty toddler

When I looked at the theme for this day I got very very excited and it’s a bit embarrassing. I’m all for cheesy and over the top pieces, especially those that don’t follow the shape of a woman’s body. For me this top is the embodiment of a childish character that gets dressed in pieces that contradict how careless that child is. This taffeta style top from Topshop was the perfect option for day two, along with my trusty gingham trousers also from the same shop.

Sunday: Style up your pyjamas or something that feels like nightwear

To be honest I found it quite difficult to work with this theme, not necessarily for the theme itself, but just simply because my pyjama section does not contain a single item without some form of damage done to it. However, lockdown did have me invest in two pairs of joggers (which is the first time I’ve worn a pair in probably 6 years) and so this pink pair from Topshop were the perfect candidate.

My most favourite way of styling up these joggers is with this little pink wrap top, you guessed it, also from Topshop. I’m a huge fan of monochrome styling in a colour format, and these two shades really compliment each other very well. I also admire the ballerina off duty vibe that they give off, which is a mood that I’m always aspiring towards yet I’m nowhere near flexible enough to actually live it out.

Monday: Clash as dramatically as you can

Ah yes some print clashing, nothing new to my style but something I never get bored of. So when I was thinking of what type of print I’d like to feature that would make quite a statement, there was simply nothing more dramatic than this pleated monkey skirt from H&M a few years back, and yes they are in fact wearing crowns. As for the top I went with this ruffled oversized Peter Pan collared shirt from Primark. These two pieces were very much opposites alone, but combined in their neutral tones they fused together quite well.

Tuesday: Dress as your alter ego

I was in a right pickle over this theme for a few days, which also led to me realising how 2D of a person I actually am. I couldn’t quite think of an alter ego for myself that I didn’t already share so publicly anyway, so I decided to go for my fashion alter ego, a Chanel girl. It might come as a surprise from this Molly Goddard tulle Shrimps beaded bag loving gal, but I do have a bit of a soft spot for the minimalist and formal outfits of the Chanel and Dior models. Not so much for the trendy things featured in recent seasons, but more of the nautical/wartime/New Look of the decades past.

Wednesday: Let your 16 year old self dress you

Wednesday’s theme was quite ironic because although it’s obvious that I take elements from youthful styles, I actually had nothing in my wardrobe that represented my 16 year old style that well. Sophie four years younger was mad over skinny jeans and off the shoulder tops, both of which are almost extinct in my wardrobe today.

However, younger Sophie also really appreciated a pinafore and shirt combo from time to time, which she would go on to appreciate more and more as time went on. There’s one burgundy corduroy pinafore that I do still have from this period, as it holds fond memories of me begging my mam for this one quite pricey pinafore from topshop for months before she finally caved in and got me it. However, I went for this more pinky toned cord pinafore from Primark to suit with the shirt a bit more, which I got from Miss Selfridge a while back.

Thursday: Wear something inspired by a Monet painting

I was SO excited to wear this dress that I’d recently purchased from Zara, and this prompt gave me the perfect reason to wear it. It’s taffeta like texture makes it drape beautifully and it gives the sleeves even more puff than usual. The beautiful shade of pink in the flowers brought to mind the similar imagery used in Claude Monet’s work, especially when surrounded by earthy shades of yellow and green.

I styled it with my well loved white floral lace tights from Topshop, as not only does the floral theme continue, but the white lace texture is also reminiscent of the washed out white skies he would commonly feature. I also teamed this look with my beautiful floral tapestry slingbacks from Primark that I need to get more wear out of. It’s also came to my attention that this is the only outfit from this post that features shoes, so I’m a bit fearful of the post lockdown period where every shoe I own feels brand new and it’s blisters central over here. I’ll make the most of my pain free feet whilst I can.

Friday: Power dress to the max

Last but not least we’ve got the Friday power dressing extravaganza. I was actually not feeling to well this day, so I wanted something that still felt ultra put together, yet wasn’t too restraining in any of the wrong places. The combo of pink polo neck and my beautiful Saturday jumper is one that I’ve been looking forward to for quite some time, so I thought that the white cord skirt would act as a nice compliment to the pink heavy upper half. Finished with a Topshop blazer that I recently purchased from depop, as well as my ride or die Shrimps bag, I certainly felt a lot more put together than I had been for a few times during lockdown.

So that’s it from me for mine and Lucy’s week in outfits posts, now is your chance to take a look at Lucy’s post to see what prompts I gave her! Hope you enjoyed reading this and I’ll be back sooner than you think.

Love,

Sophie

Sewing basics: everything you’d need to start sewing

Hello hello, I know its been quite some time. If you didn’t know, I’ve been working on a new venture over on youtube where I’ve been sharing some of my fashion design projects, which I’m glad to hear that you’ve been loving! Along with your kind words theres also been a few questions surrounding resources, where I find fabric, what patterns I use etc, so I thought that I’d create a collective guide to if you’re wanting to start out with making you’re own pieces whilst answering a few recurring questions.

Machines

Choosing a sewing machine is a lot like choosing a car, it needs to do the job whilst being reliable for many years to come, and it can get costly. Now thankfully you don’t need to take out a loan for a sewing machine, but the general price point for your everyday domestic machine is still in the £100-£200 mark. Most machine companies have been household names for decades which your older family members might be familiar with, but Id say the two most reliable for beginners are Brother and Singer.

I myself started out with a brother as my first proper machine that lasted me a good 3 years of intense fashion student based labour which it definitely was not built for, but for everyday fabrics it works wonders. I currently have a heavy duty singer which was around £250, which is built to tackle even the more difficult fabrics like denim and leather. Although this type of machine is more expensive, and it won’t provide much of a difference in performance with household fabrics than a machine for £100 less, it is worth the investment if this is something you’re looking into making more of a dedicated hobby.

Recommended Machine: https://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/janome-hc1200-sewing-machine/638245-1000

My Singer Heavy Duty machine: https://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/singer-4423-heavy-duty-sewing-machine/598937-1000

Patterns

Patterns are the building blocks to that garment that you’ll use as a sort of stencil when cutting out your fabric. When you have an exact idea in your head of what type of item you’d like to make, it can be quite tricky to find the right search terms or even just to find a place to start looking. A lot of pattern brands haven’t really advanced much in the last 10 years and so you’ll easily find that many of them feature silhouettes that aren’t very suited to today’s preferred styles, but the brand Mccall’s has began to tailor more of their newer patterns towards a younger audience. their prices are usually around £10 each and every pattern booklet will contain 3 variations of designs to suit whatever you’re wanting to make down to an exact style.

Best website for patterns: https://www.sewessential.co.uk

You can also try and find some vintage patterns through eBay or Etsy (and charity shops when they open back up), if you’re wanting something a bit more detailed or of a certain time. I’ve only used vintage patterns until I got to uni, since they’re super affordable and practical when you’d want to be spending your money on a nicer fabric. The only thing I’d note when looking through vintage patterns is that the sizing on them might suggest that a 10/12 is the smallest size, when in fact depending on the time of release this could be the equivalent of a size 6 today, due to a change in the sizing system a few decades ago. Also be aware that the pattern that you’re buying does in fact have your size in it, as many of them that have been used previously by and individual may have been cut out in their exact size that might not be yours.

Fabric sourcing

Now this is a topic that I’ve definitely had the most questions around, and that is where I get my fabrics from. Of course prior to lockdown I had my few favourite fabric shops (and good old boys for when you’re really on a budget), but adapting to working from home has meant that I’ve discovered a few online shops that are worth taking a look into. My current two favourites for the price point and variety are:

Fabricland

https://www.myfabrics.co.uk/

When buying fabric online it’s of course very difficult to see for yourself how the texture will look, how it feels, etc. However many websites will note if a fabric has any stretch in it and what type of garments its best suited for. Most household pieces can be made best with cotton, polyester, or poplin, and 2.5/3 metres of such will provide you with enough to suit nearly every type of project (of course varying depending on lengths of garments, if theres any gatherings or smaller details, things like that). These types of fabrics are usually around the £5 a metre price point, but some go for as cheap as just over pound a metre if you’re lucky. If you’re just starting out then id also recommend avoiding any stretch fabrics, or projects that would require stretchy materials for that matter, as stretch fabrics are super fiddly to work with and if you’re paying good money for fabric then you would want your project to go as smoothly as possible.

Miscellaneous equipment

Some other basic equipment that you might not have lying around the house or you may not realise you need until you need it (I’ve had plenty of those moments in this lockdown alone), are generic things like fabric scissors, measuring tape, a ruler, sewing pins, the usual. There isn’t necessarily a particular brand id recommend for each of these as anything will do the job really. However one thing that isn’t necessary but I definitely can’t live without are fabric clips. these are great for holding together whatever pieces of fabric you’re wanting to sew together, and they’re less than a fiver for about 50 so they’re totally recommended from me. Other than that, Id say thats all you’d need. Things like a mannequin, pattern paper, or a pattern master (the fancy ruler to make curves too) are totally optional but would be highly beneficial if this is something that you’re aspiring to do more as a practice, so ill link the ones that I got below.

fabric clips: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01N49BBDM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

mannequin: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07Y6L136F/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

pattern paper: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sewing-Pattern-Marking-Designs-Dressmaking/dp/B00XNNJSGI/ref=sr_1_2?crid=PI16C65JZ0IY&dchild=1&keywords=pattern+paper+for+dressmaking&qid=1587577235&sprefix=pattern+paper+%2Caps%2C163&sr=8-2

pattern master: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00B90F3R0/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

So that pretty much everything Id recommend when it comes to starting out with sewing. I hope that you might have found this post useful and also Id be super happy to see whether you decide to make something! I’ll be back on this space very soon.

Love,

Sophie

Are you dressing up or dressing down?

Hello once again lovely people, I really hope that things are going somewhat smoothly for you at this point in time. I try to maintain this space to work as a form of escapism for some of you, so I thought I’d tackle a subject that I’ve seen circling around the fashion side of social media recently, which I had also been thinking about too. One of the less serious yet still relevant questions that came into my head once I started to think about self isolating (from a fashion design student / fashion blogger’s perspective) was what am I going to wear for the next few months?

At first I thought it sounded ridiculous and childish to be thinking of more frivolous things in such a climate that we’re in right now. Yet like I’ve said multiple times, fashion for me, and many others for that matter, is what we use as a way of expression and feeling good about ourselves. The same thing goes for doing your makeup, hair, whatever it may be that you enjoy. If we have nowhere to go and nothing to do that’s suitable for dressing up, then should we just dress in joggers and hoodies for three months?

My short answer: it’s all up to how you want to treat this ‘break’. If you’re using it to concentrate on any kinds of hobbies or side pleasures that you don’t always get to flourish in, then you might want some kind of routine to your days in order to feel productive and in control of your situation. It sounds cliche but minor tasks like getting dressed, making your bed, or cooking a proper breakfast can completely change your attitude for the day, and so those minor tasks may cause which side of the bed you get out of in the morning (quite literally too).

Even if it just means that you wear a t-shirt dress instead of a nightie or a loose fitting shirt instead of a pyjama shirt, it’s a small adjustment to feel a bit more ready for the day. What’s stopping you there? If you’ve got a silky smooth slip dress that makes you feel more put together whilst not making you uncomfortable, then why not pair that with a little white t-shirt underneath? That way you still feel ‘office appropriate’ but in the comfort of your own home.

I think that the key thing is to find what suits your change in lifestyle as time goes on, and how long we’re in this position for. I’d say if you want to get off on the right foot then dress for how YOU would want to dress if you were in the right career or you had the ability to wear a particular outfit in your everyday job, because now is your chance. You can wear whatever you want and get on with your career from your living room without the pressure of dress codes or feeling out of place in an office.

I hope that this piece has maybe assured or encouraged at least one or two of you to dress how you want to in this strange time off. It’s little things like this that help us take control of our days when we may feel like we don’t have much freedom at all. So, whether you’re wearing full gowns or joggers and a t-shirt, I hope that you’re comfortable and spending this time as best as you possibly can.

Love,

Sophie x

A little blog update as things change

Hello once again you lovely people, I wish I was writing to you on better terms. As we have all not stopped hearing over the past few weeks, this virus is gradually taking over pretty much every part of our society and many of you might be feeling a bit curious as to what to do with so much time alone.

A lot of the typical leisure activities we all enjoy from time to time are being cut off from our regular routine, whether it be shopping, eating out, going to the cinema maybe. Not only those more everyday things, but also large scale events like holidays and festivals are at risk too. This also means that in a fashion context, big events like the met gala and many runway shows are also dropping like flies.

Now although this doesn’t sound like the end of the world particularly, (in the grand scheme of things it most definitely isn’t), but obviously to us people it’s what we enjoy and what we look forward to each year, so it’s totally okay to be a bit upset about things that you’re passionate about not being able to exist at this current moment in time.

Now I wanted to come onto here to have a fully open conversation about my thoughts on how this blog will be for the foreseeable future. Of course the industry is a domino affect and if there’s no runway shows, there’s nothing to review. If there’s no big events such as the met gala, there’s nothing to discuss. Even just my everyday styling posts and pieces that I write in relation to a certain holiday or a time of the year, it would be quite insensitive and rather a bit pointless to suggest any day drinking styling tips if nobody can leave the house.

So this is where I could do with a bit of consideration and also some suggestions. I’m going to try my best to write as much as possible whilst I actually have the time off to do so, but of course I want it to be relevant and worth the read, yet I’d also want it to potentially be a source of escapism from these quite challenging times. I’ve heard from a fair few of you that have said you’re not fully aware of current fashion or that you don’t even care for it, but it’s just something fun to read at the end of a long day, so I want to keep providing that in some way for those who would benefit.

As it stands I have a fair few ideas on certain topics or themes that I’d like to explore on here, but it’s just a matter of what response I get that will determine what I’ll prioritise. So far I’m edging towards discussing styles or runway shows from previous years or decades as I know some of you have mentioned things like this in the past. I also would love to delve into my work surrounding my degree and any home projects I might be working on, as again I’ve had a few of you in the past ask me in more detail about my work if I share it on my instagram page. As well as that, I know that a fair few of you have asked for advice on fashion degrees and what to look out for, so those discussions are coming soon.

As always, I’m always appreciative of any kind of input or suggestion from you, and especially at more challenging times like this it’ll definitely go a long way. I want to stay motivated and creative in this prolonged period of isolation, so I want to start working on these talks as soon as possible. So please, do give me a message with any ideas you might have!

Thanks for reading this little update, I thought it would be more personal to actually write down my thoughts through this space rather than just on an insta story. So yes please do get in touch with any suggestions and I’ll speak to you soon.

Love,

Sophie

Sustainable brands you need to know of

Considering how much we are warned of global warming, pollution, and many other worldwide issues on a daily basis, it’s quite surprising how little sustainable brands are vastly heard of (baring the few that have managed to break this system such as Reformation or Sezane of course). Even whilst I was creating this blog post, I was shocked at how hard it was to find fully sustainable or even ethical clothing brands that didn’t have such an unimaginable price tag. Now of course sustainability is all about investing in good quality pieces and you’re paying for what you get, but not all of us can afford the luxury life. Despite the vast searching and messaging to each individual company, here are some beautiful, ethical brands that really deserve the recognition and your pay check (not all of it thankfully).

House of Sunny

https://www.houseofsunny.co.uk

Do you ever see those really unique looking pieces that float around Instagram and you just have to pause and admire the stand out qualities of them that you rarely see on the high street? Yeah, they’re from House of Sunny. Although this brand is small as a team and is still in its youth as an established company, they’re certainly taking the world by storm, one limited collection at a time.

Instagram: @houseofsunny

House of Sunny focuses on creating superb quality garments that will truly not be found anywhere else besides in house itself, and so they’re not afraid to experiment with new design features and modern styles that can be made wearable for the everyday by those who aren’t afraid to stand out a little. They focus on creating small and limited runs of each collection to keep any waste to a minimum, and any sample pieces or items with minor defects that can’t be sold at full price can be found on their depop at a discount.

By Megan Crosby

https://bymegancrosby.com

Megan Crosby is a young designer from Portsmouth, who’s brand focuses on mid level fashion that is of high quality and at an affordable price point. Megan launched her brand after graduating from the Arts University Bournemouth, creating a debut capsule collection that serves both the satisfaction of beautiful fashionable pieces, whilst offering a guilt-free experience due to the consciousness of the environment.

Instagram: @bymegancrosby

Her brand is centred around bright colours and fun prints, in silhouettes that are super flattering and wearable for either everyday wear or as a little something special for every now and then. She also offers a fully customisable experience, meaning that you can provide your exact measurements or preferences in finer details like zips and closures, to really make that piece just right.

Olivia Rose The Label

http://www.oliviarosethelabel.com

Olivia Rose Havelock is an independent designer that created her ethereal clothing label back in January 2017. A textile design graduate from the Chelsea College of Art and Design, she now hand makes her designs in her Edinburgh studio, with every step of the process being ethically sourced and produced by herself.

Instagram: @oliviarosethelabel

Her romanticised sleeves and silky fabrics are truly gorgeous and are definitely the kinds of pieces that will make you look luxurious and feel luxurious. Each hand crafted garment is made with considerable amounts of care and patience, meaning that these stunning dresses will last you for plenty of events to come.

LackLustre Embroidery

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/lacklustreembroidery

Sick of going into H&M to find cheesy or badly done embroidered slogan t-shirts? Then I’ve got the solution for you. LackLustre Embroidery is a one woman sustainable embroidery business, focusing on t-shirts and patches. Her designs are fun and sometimes cheeky, whilst still making them wearable.

Instagram: @lacklustreembroidery

These t-shirts are the perfect boxy everyday fit, and they’re also made out of 100% cotton, meaning you might end up falling asleep in them later on in the day because they’re just as good as being in pyjamas. Many of her pieces also come in a range of colours, so whether you’re a fan of colour or not, there’s definitely something for you.

Veronica Velveteen

https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/VeronicaVelveteen?ref=simple-shop-header-name&listing_id=687414340

Veronica Velveteen is a lil independent fashion brand based down in Portsmouth that creates vintage style pieces with actual vintage fabric (doesn’t get much better than that). The brand features plenty of wearable yet exciting pieces that are also super affordable, yet when you think that brands like ASOS or Topshop would charge the same amount for pieces that haven’t been well made, won’t fit right etc, you’d be mad not to check out this stuff.

Instagram: @veronicavelveteen

P.S. wanna be sustainable but don’t really fancy buying someone else’s second hand underwear? Veronica Velveteen creates stunning handmade pieces in luxurious fabrics to make you feel 10/10 whilst also not costing an arm and a leg! That means you could stock up on 3-4 pairs of these gorgeous things for the same price as one ‘fancy’ pair from Victoria’s Secret that you know you are too uncomfortable to wear anyway.

So, there’s my range of sustainable yet affordable brands that I have to share with you today. Please do give each of them a looking into as you definitely won’t be disappointed!

Love,

Sophie x

Not your everyday fashion bloggers

Greetings friends hope you’re all well. I got asked recently if I had any Instagram fashion ‘influencers’ or bloggers that I admire and that they I feel inspired by from time to time, and it got me thinking about the fact that many of the people that we see on fashion brand’s instas all follow a very similar style. That doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing, or that their style isn’t personal to themselves, but it can become a bit repetitive. So, here are a few of my own personal favourite Instagram fashion bloggers that don’t all follow that recurring style.

@mariejedig

Marie is the type of person that you look at and can’t quite put your finger on which aspect of her style you admire the most. Is it the colourful monochromatic styling? Is it her romanticised play with textures and cosy knits? Or is the combination of calming colours and cuddly cardigans just the perfect combination of C’s for an attractive insta feed?

Not only that, but her collaborative work features many new and upcoming brands, fresh from Scandinavia in more specifically. Many of which are ethically driven towards creating sustainable and eco-friendly garments, in which Marie uses her platform to style in fresh and contemporary ways.

Overall, her fun and flamboyant outfits are super refreshing in a world of all black and occasional neon green. Besides that, her not-so-serious styling is also a good influence to have on an audience, as fashion should be fun and enjoyable, without any feelings of pressure to dress in a particular way in order to be ‘stylish’.

@maria_bernad

Maria definitely gives me that cliche ‘cool girl in school that didn’t speak to anyone but nobody messed with her’ vibe that you see in all the American teen movies. She can clash as many prints as possible but still look effortless and put together, but in a cool way.

She finds a way to make everything and anything work together, no matter how tacky or outrageous the outfit may be. Purple sparkly flared trousers with a complimentary pink t-shirt? Who wouldn’t do that. You never know what type of day she’s dressing for or what she’s doing, but she looks prepared for anything, and that’s hot.

She can go from one extreme to the other, from an 80’s party go-er to a 90’s schoolgirl who spends her time between the library and skateboarding to school and back. The versatility in her styling is something so refreshing and exciting to see and I’d really recommend you gave her a follow, even if she’s not to your particular taste it’s just fun to see.

@Frollein_herr

Karoline Herr is a German fashion and interiors enthusiast that dedicates her instagram towards combining these two elements into one strong and visually pleasing feed. She’s a fan of soft and neutral tones in both of these areas, and she enjoys a more architectural play on shapes and proportions.

Her style is super feminine without necessarily being ‘girly’. It’s mature in a way that makes her look polished and flawless, but it doesn’t age her or look too dated.

Her images make a welcoming appearance, as they’re not too bombarding of brands or labels, just simply good style. In a world of instagram it’s hard to avoid materialism and caring too much about the status of items, but it’s easy to tell that Karoline looks to items for their beauty and inspiring qualities rather than the opposing ideas. Overall, she’s a pretty good person to be following.

@Karenbritchick

Ah Karen, you legend. Karen has been an all time favourite fashion admirer of mine since I properly got invested in the fashion world. A Brit now living in New York, she takes inspiration from both places within her wardrobe, and you can also find her documenting the street style of New York over on her YouTube channel (under the same username).

One thing that initially drawn me to Karen’s style was her heavy inclusion of vintage and second hand pieces. She speaks a lot of sustainable fashion and shopping ethically, and so her outfits reflect that same idea of timeless pieces: never outdated fashion.

She’s also a big fashion of jewel tones, fun textures, and vintage cuts. Wide or flared leg trousers are a common appearance, as well as a good turtleneck and chunky boots. By the way, she’s also super excited about clothes, and when I say excited, I MEAN excited, go to her YouTube to see exactly what I mean).

@jennymustard

Last but certainly not least, we have the wonderful Jenny Mustard. She’s originally from Sweden, but her and her boyfriend David have moved from capital to capital for many years now, and are currently residing in London! Her Scandinavian background plays a great influence on her wardrobe and her minimalist lifestyle, and she’s also a great enthusiast for veganism and social change as she discusses on her weekly podcast.

Jenny’s instagram features a very faff-free consistency, showcasing her chic and contemporary styling in her toned surroundings. She’s a lover of sustainability and she uses her platform to showcase some of Scandinavia’s best organic and ethical brands, whilst also going a step further on her YouTube channel to provide a variety of styling videos to help make the most out of your wardrobe.

Her style is never too much of anything, never too boyish or girly, never too put together or too laid back, it’s just right. She’s always one for outfit repeating (as we all should do) yet her ability to switch up an outfit to make it feel all brand new again is a great influence to have on your feed. 10/10 in my books if you ask me.

So that’s a few of my most favourite fashion bloggers, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and maybe even discovered a new account that you’re on your way to follow! Anyway, I’ll be back soon with anyone fun post.

Love,

Sophie x

The truth about designer purchases

Hello again! As I’m getting back into the swing of blogging and I’m currently feeling inspired, I thought I’d speak my mind on a particular topic that I’ve had a lot of thoughts on. Truth being told, it’s a bit of a marmite topic to say the least as everyone is either all for it or they see no point in it, and that topic my friends is luxury clothing.

Bag: Shrimps

Now this will most definitely be a very personal and very taboo conversation surrounding money, and I don’t want to pass off any kind of bragging or materialistic vibe within this piece, it’s just something that I feel like we need to be more open and honest about in order to make money less of a touchy subject and instead make it okay to say you’re struggling and need a bit of help.

Speaking from an honest and personal perspective, I’ve came from a family that has often at times struggled financially and thus growing up I’ve never been showered with expensive presents. Although my family is now in a stable and comfortable financial situation, I know that that’s not the case for a lot of people and the idea of spending money on things that aren’t necessities is just frivolous and a big mistake.

Coat: Shrimps, top: Alexa Chung, skirt: H&M, shoes: Depop (Dr Martens)

That being said, this is the first time in my life that I’ve ever had any kind of security. I now have savings and I’m budgeting my student loan, and I’m also working from time to time whenever I’m back home. Yet given this understanding of ‘I am fine for money’, I still have that guilt and caution about spending money and getting back to a past experience, as if it’s ingrained into my head. Yes in a way it’s a good thing, but it’s also such a negative thought process that has stopped me from doing what I want to do in the past and caused me to miss out on some great opportunities.

Now as to where designer items come into this story, as we all know the Christmas and January sales have been in everyone’s face recently. In that past I’d never even cared for looking at the discounts on websites like Selfridges or Net a Porter, as I couldn’t afford it so what was the point? Yes of course there were things that I’d be lusting over but I wasn’t actually considering buying them, it was just too extortionate. Yet after recently organising my savings and realising that I am financially stable, I realised that I could in fact buy these pieces that I’d been looking at for years. So I did.

Coat: Shrimps, top: vintage (Pop Boutique), jeans: Topshop, bag: gift

In my opinion, luxury pieces shouldn’t be bought because of their expensive look and the misinterpretation that they give off. When designer items become a trend and people buy into them even though they realistically wouldn’t have even considered buying that item 5 years ago, that’s when it’s a bad decision. Wanting an expensive item just simply because it fits your own personal style and you can imagine yourself wearing it in 10 years time, that’s what’s worth it.

I think that part of the stigma around designer purchases at a young age from other young people is heavily down to each persons background and what their lifestyle is now. Some people work full time jobs and get a steady income that they can easily afford to treat themselves whilst also setting themselves up for the future, whilst others are in education living on student loans whilst trying to get themselves in their dream career in the years to come. Some people live with their parents and don’t have many financial responsibilities whereas others can be the main provider for their household. To some people they wouldn’t even consider spending above a certain amount on clothing, whereas to others they’d have no reason not to.

Clothing is also seen as a pointless thing to spend all of your money on, because yes you can buy a handbag for £10 on the high street. But that same mentality can be applied to anything luxurious makeup, haircuts, tattoos, home decor, cars etc. There’s usually a price difference in these things due to the quality of the item and the care put into them, and especially how long they will last you for. Luxury clothing can be beautiful and practical and will save you a lot of money in the long run if it’s the right type of investment piece, so it’s not always about the flashiness of the new bag either.

It’s not a heavy topic in itself but the circumstances around it can often be similar or different to what you may have experienced, but it’s just a case of leaving people to do what they want with their money. Also money is just paper, yes it establishes things like a roof over your head and food on the table but if you’ve got that then you don’t need to rely on money for happiness. As long as you are okay financially and you can buy that coat or buy those shoes without it having a huge impact on your wellbeing, then fucking do it.

Apologises for the preachy tone but I just wanted to emphasise on how treating yourself does not need to have a guilty connotations along with it. This goes for luxury pieces or even little things like just buying a face mask because you want it. Again, if you’ll be okay without that money in your bank, you may as well buy it.

Lots of love,

Sophie x

Visuals No.3

My favourite second hand finds of 2019

Hi stranger, long time no see! I know it’s been ages since I’ve been active on the blog, but I’ve tried to focus on enjoying the festive period as much as possible whilst I was back home from uni. Now that I’m back in Leeds and getting into the swing of things again, I thought I’d kick start the new year in the best way with a bit of sustainability.

Now if you know me, you know that I’m a massive second hand shopping addict. Whether it be through depop, charity shops, vintage shops, I just can’t get enough of it. Not only that, but after years of skimming and scrolling, I’ve also developed a secret gift for spotting the best finds out there at an impressive bargain too.

Often I’ll share with my friends what I’ve found or what deal I’ve found, to which they always reply with encouragement for me to share some of them, which is what I thought I’d do today! So if this is your type of thing, then I hope it encourages you to shop second hand and be a bit more friendly to the environment (and to your bank account too!).

1. Miu Miu bag

Now this list doesn’t necessarily go in any particular order, but this bag I’m about to confess my love to you about is definitely up there as one of my most favourite second hand finds of all time. I do love a bit of Prada and their collections are usually very strong, but their sister brand Miu Miu just hits the nail on the head for me. Anyway, I’m on Depop one day and I see this beautifully made baby pink Miu Miu handbag that looks to be genuine and in great condition. I check the price, £45.

I was hesitant at first due to the ridiculously low starting price, so I messaged the girl about it. She said she had bought it on Depop herself but there’s no proof of authenticity. She also said that she’s pretty certain herself due to the quality and the finer details on the hardware that it’s genuine, and that she’s only selling it due to her lack of usage of the bag.

Although I had doubts in my head, I still ordered it. When it arrived I was truly shocked and agreed on her previous statement, everything was perfect, the Miu Miu embossing was perfect even down to the finer details on smaller hardware inside the bag. Basically, someone must have went to a ridiculous and expensive level of effort to rip off this bag. These bags usually retail for around £800, so you can imagine my shock when I realise that this definitely doesn’t seem like a fake.

As for the bag itself, I haven’t been able to stop wearing it. The shape and size is perfect, the shade of pink just works with everything, and the quality of the leather is incredible and has shown no signs of wear in the two or so months that I’ve had it. This is definitely an item that I’m going to treasure for a life time and even if I have kids, they’re not getting their hands on it.

2. Miu Miu velvet coat

Following on with my second and last Miu Miu item, this piece is one of my current favourites that I just can’t resist wearing, and which I also find is very well complimented by random strangers too, particularly on its stunning shade of dark green velvet. This Miu Miu military style coat was something that I’d spotted about two months ago, and the stunning shape and detailed embroidered patches really stood out to me. It was originally listed at £95 (which is already an incredible bargain) due to the previous owner wanting a quick sale.

Sometimes I will put an offer down that’s a little lower than what I’d be willing to pay, that way the seller is more inclined to meet in the middle to what you’d want. So I put an offer of £60 aiming to meet for around £80, to which the seller was a bit hesitant and didn’t accept straight away. As time went on, she progressively lowered her offers down until she got to £65, to which I happily accepted. And the rest was history.

This piece I’ve worn a fair few times already in the month that I’ve had it, and the velvet texture is surprisingly really durable. The military style is something that I feel like compliments my wardrobe that is slightly more on the feminine side than the average person, as I feel like it contrasts well with this, without making it clash too much. Thankfully I got it right in the middle of winter, so you’ll be seeing a lot more of this coat on my Instagram!

3. Matching Plaid jacket

This piece might seem like quite a random choice in comparison to the past two items, but the story behind it is quite surprising. So I never usually order from websites like Pretty Little Thing or Boohoo, but Missguided had a Barbie collab that featured this sweet little plaid skirt that I’ve worn so much over the past year or so. Now since I’ve moved to Leeds there’s some charity shops in my area that have a great selection from time to time, and as I was popping over to the shops to get some food, I thought I’d nip into this particular charity shop a few doors down.

I spent no longer than 10 minutes browsing around, a few things had caught my eye but nothing too exciting, then as I was about to leave I’d spotted this this nice plaid jacket. However, it was only when I’d picked it up that u realised that it was in fact the matching jacket to my skirt (which I didn’t know even existed) and it was in my exact size too. Of course I had to get it, especially due to the fact that I’d thought maybe once or twice about how nice the skirt would look as a co-ord set. These types of ‘what are the chances’ situations happen quite frequently when I’m shopping second hand, so majority of the time I never turn them down.

4. Alexa Chung Hardcore T-shirt

Something you may or may not know about me is that I collect a few things within my wardrobe, mainly for my own satisfaction but also for the chance that if I were to need a great deal of cash in a random scenario then I’m sorted. One area that is more for my own fulfilment is Alexa Chung t-shirts. I’m fond of her design process and I feel like graphic tees are so hard to get just right, without being too boring or too cheesy. So, the ones I look out for the most are the ones from her first few seasons. These t-shirts she designed are what I imagine to be her years worth of ideas for the perfect everyday slogan t-shirts that she would have kept in her mind until she started her brand, unleashing them to the public.

I already had quite a handful of her tees to start with, but there was one that I was wanting to get my hands on since it was first debuted a few years ago, this was the Hard Core t-shirt. A humorous but subtle play on words, with a timeless old English font in a block red shade, it just seemed like a great everyday piece. Now these t-shirts are very hard to come across on depop or eBay these days, so you can imagine my satisfaction when I come across one selling for £20 inc shipping (these t-shirts usually retail for about £75), in great condition and in my size. This piece has now became one of my favourites overall within my wardrobe and I get excited every time I get to wear it again.

5. Mary Jane Doc Martens

Last but certainly not least, and also my most recent addition, are my beautiful little Mary Jane docs. These babies I’d been admiring for years, from the early tumblr days to right now at the ripe old age of 20, the love never seemed to fade. I do actually have two other pairs of docs, both in a different shape and one of which was also a great depop find, but I was wanting just a classic plain black pair that would go with everything and would just simply do the job.

This exact pair I’d manage to find through a lovely seller on depop listing them at a humble £25. Considering I’d gotten so close to paying full price for these shoes, I’m so glad this opportunity arose. They came in brilliant condition with very minimal sights of actual wear and they fit just like a glove. As beautiful as they are there is of course the painful inevitably of the wearing in stage. So far this pair have been okay but as of yesterday I’ve began to get very small blisters, so I’m going to let them heal for a little while before I get back into the swing of pairing them with every outfit I wear.

So there we have some of my favourite second hand finds for 2019! It’s been quite a year to say the least but I’m content with these special finds that I’d picked up along the way, now for 2020 to bring even more gorgeous clothes and I hope that you all manage to stumble across your next obsession! I’ll be back on here soon now that I’m all prepped for the new year.

Lots of love,

Sophie x