Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A Beginner's Guide to Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a city I have always wanted to visit, but being around 400 miles away from me, and with sky rocketing train prices, it didn't seem like it was going to happen any time soon. But a week or so ago my chance came to visit this incredible city, and honestly, it's one of the prettiest places I've ever seen, though I am rather lacking air miles. I managed to document some of the wonderful places I visited on my trip, to give a very rough guide of some of the must see places on a first visit to Edinburgh. Since I'm from and now live in two huge tourist cities, I very much enjoyed being able to be the typical tourist alongside Maire, Onj and our host (or unofficial unpaid tour guide) Anna.

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Anna, Onj and Maire!

One of the places we went to on our action packed first day was Calton Hill, in the centre of Edinburgh. This is the place to go to see incredible views of the entire city, and its actually not that much of a trek!

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A running theme throughout our trip was frequent excursions to Armstrongs, a chain of vintage shops in the city centre. I was so incredibly impressed by the amazing decor of the shops, as well as the reasonable pricing and actual good quality of the clothes, no 'vintage' with Primark labels in here! This is a definite place for any clothes fan to go, as well as the huge amount of charity shops around the city. We all treated ourselves to something, my pick was an Aberdeen boys school blazer. Onj picked up a brilliant Avril Lavigne concert t-shirt for a fiver whilst Maire picked up the incredible hat you can see her wearing below from there!

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One of the main parts of our trip was eating. As it usually is. Anna directed us to a wonderful Steampunk cafe called Lovecrumbs. Run by a team of self confessed Edinburgh Lady Bakers, the interior is super lovely, and the food and drink on offer even more so. Despite it still being effectively brunch time and coupled with a rather delicate hangover, I decided I had to go with the chocolate chilli cheesecake, which when it arrived turned out to be bigger than my face. And I've got a pretty large face by most people's standards.
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The interior of Lovecrumbs

For lunch that day we went to Hula, at the bottom of Grassmarket, on an absolutely beautiful street in the centre. Hula had really colourful decor and the people in there were lovely and friendly, and the food was reasonably priced, it warmed us up after a long day walking around!
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Overall, I fell absolutely in love with Edinburgh and had an incredible time, there was hardly a moment where you couldn't see something beautiful, whether it was the castles, turrets, lovely cafes and boutiques. I have to admit I was rather sad to get the (6am!) bus back to London.

Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x
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Sunday, 17 February 2013

What to do at LFW if you don't have a pass.

One of my life long dreams has been to go to London Fashion Week. As I've had a love affair with London which started years before my permanent move here, I see London fashion as easily the most exciting and fashion forward of the lot. Yet despite living in London for nearly a year and a half now, I've shied away from Fashion Week, assuming it was entirely exclusive, and weedy Primark types such as myself would not be welcome. Plus, I wasn't about to get press accreditation any time soon. But this coming season's exhibits inspired me to finally walk the cobbles, alongside my entirely more confident and exuberant friend Sean, press ticket or no press ticket. And I am glad to report that Fashion week can still be a wonderful experience even if you haven't been formally invited, as long as you like gawping at other people's fashion choices and spotting celebrities, which I definitely do. Also, Somerset House is so good for outfit posts that it was as if it had been lit up by everyone's Instagrams (yes, I'm a poet.) photo 159_zpsf3514406.jpg
After deciding on a whim that I would be attending Fashion week this season, dahling, I had a massive panic over my outfit of choice. Standard stuff I know. It was literally a case of 'I have so many clothes but nothing to wear!' Not being an outlandish dresser by heart, I decided to go for something that I truly felt comfortable in (apart from those damn wedges) which mixed my usual bargain choices with my absolute favourite British designer, Luella Bartley.
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Headband - Topshop
Dress (worn as Top) - Primark
Skirt - Luella
Shoes - Charity Shop
Bag - Charity Shop (originally Lulu Guinness.)

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Rings - Jordan Catalano ring from Flamingo Cupcake, Space Alien ring as part of a set from Topman.

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Atmosphere wise, I was pleasantly surprised to find that people weren't shouting 'FAKER' at me from across the cobbles, which my anxiety ridden mind had forced me to believe they would. Somerset House is open to all, and is full of the most stylish people, casually posing BUT DEFINITELY NOT POSING for the barrage of street style photographers sniffing around. It's probably the only place in London where it's actually acceptable to take a photograph of someone without asking. And everyone adores it. I actually got some positive comments on my look, whilst Sean and I were seen in some ways as a Gothic twin pairing (I think it might have been the matching lippie).
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Sean wore
Hat - H&M (lent from me)
Coat - Topshop
Bag - Etsy, (Lent from me)
Trousers - Charity Shop (again, mine.)
Shoes - Doc Martens

Sean's outfit came from his modest desire to dress as ridiculously as possible. Whilst I agonised for hours over whether to go for conventional black or equally-conventional-by-fashion-week-terms Pastel hues, Sean rifled through my wardrobe spotting the best fashion week potentials that he could borrow from me.
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Sean's makeup inspiration came to him after watching Bjork's video for 'Venus as a Boy' and he's been getting some very strange looks after wearing it to his lectures ever since.The Lipstick, carefully applied as a last minute street style spotting aid, is Black Cherry by Revlon.

Other details and outfits I spotted:
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The world's most adorable street style pairing.
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The trusty (and frankly awesome) Cambridge Satchel.

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The most well dressed man I have ever seen in my life.

Overall, what I learned from my taste of Fashion Week was that it was more like a playground for the insanely stylish rather than an exclusive event founded on fashion snobbery. Or maybe it's both, I'm not sure. Either way, there are some people out there that put my own clothing efforts to shame. I had better up my game.

Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x
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Sunday, 3 February 2013

Fashion in Literature Lookbook: The Gothic

So the project I have been deliberating recently for this blog mixes my interests in Literature (or more generally culture) and Fashion. I'm going to be doing a series of Lookbooks based around the idea of periods and stages in Literature. My first go at this has been Gothic Literature. This meant, as one might expect, a hell (pardon the pun) of a lot of black and lace, which made it very easy to comply some looks from my rather depressing wardrobe. I'd like to point out that this is probably rather a simplistic way at looking at Gothic style, and probably seeks more to be wearable day to day rather than to scare people.

A few more notes about the inspirations for these looks, from clockwise:

1. This is my favourite look. I've been looking for a Lydia Deetz esque hat for quite a while now, and though this isn't quite as extreme as hers it's a lot more practical. The bodycon skeletal dress was a sales find, I imagine inspired in some vein by the film Donnie Darko.
2. This look is inspired primarily by Luella Bartley, my all time favourite designer. Unfortunately due to inadequate lighting the skirt is quite difficult to show you in the best possible representation, but it is from her Autumn/Winter 2008 collection, my all time favourite catwalk show, hands down. I paired it with my Bat Jumper and a Beanie to make it more suitable to wear in the day.

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You can find where I bought these clothes in the above video.

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3. I like to call this look 'Summer Goth.' If you're not a colour fan then I can imagine this would be a great choice. It's also got elements of 'Shoreditch Goth' in it, with the tightly done up hair and the despondent expression (all my own, I promise).
4. This is probably my second favourite look. This is schoolgirl Goth, and I was inspired by Paganism with my flower Garland and my cape.

For makeup, I'm wearing OCC Lip Tar in Belladonna on my lips (a very appropriate name.)

Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x
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