Monday, 29 July 2013

We'll walk the streets for no reason maybe.

This outfit post is marginally less colourful than the last few.Despite what seemed to be an eight month Winter, I'm a lot more in tune with Winter wear. I have a lot of black garments and everyone around me will tell you that I really enjoy a good coat. As the weather gets a little bit greyer here in England, it seems my day to day outfits have followed suit.

These photos were taken on a misleadingly windy day, by which I mean I thought I was perfectly still when I took these snaps, and then, skipping merrily between the camera and the wall, I realised that I look like an extra in the tornado scene of The Wizard of Oz. So, I suppose I should say that I apologise for my slightly peeved expresson, but hell, I'm not going to apologise for my face, call it experimental motion fuelled outfit blogging. We like to break outfit posting boundaries over at Rags.
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Dress - Topshop
Boots - Asos
Bag - Handmade

I've been lusting after this Topshop dress for quite a while. Lusting might seem hyperbolic, but a lot of my love for dresses does include a fair amount of lust, which may sound slightly insane. This was in the Topshop sale, which I picked up in the St Pauls branch (easily the best Topshop in London, it always has an amazing sale section) reduced from £48 to just £20. It's suitably girly and I adore the skirt. I've been wearing a lot of these sorts of skirts recently, as they totally deter the danger of bending down and revealing just a bit too much (and if you're tall like me, that happens more than occasionally). They're apparently called Mullet skirts, which sort of makes sense!

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Beanie - H&M (very old)
For my face, I paired my wonderful beanie with some dark eyeshadow from my Sleek Au Natural Pallette and purple lipstick from my favourite makeup people, Topshop. I found this colour in the sale and it is a proper purple, wonderful for Winter, which is a shame because it's high Summer, but I've always been one to dream of Winter when it's super hot, maybe I'm the worst sort of person.
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I've been meaning to photograph this bag for a while. Shopping with my mother at my local charity shop, I found these pretty tapestries for just £2. I asked my mum whether it would be possible to make them into a bag, to which she said yes (my mum has always liked a challenge). With a bit of motherly help (probably too much) I had a brand spanking tapestry bag, something I've wanted for quite a while. I absolutely love the pattern on this one, and it helps me in serving some medieval chic realness. Because that's what English students do.
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This link bracelet was a gift from my grandad when he visited Australia. It's kind of weird to think that this came from somewhere so far away. I have to say I'm really getting into Australian culture at the moment, although this doesn't really extend past listening to the Vines, incessantly quoting Summer Heights High (probably my favourite show) and wishing I could visit Melbourne.
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And lastly, these beautiful, wonderful new boots from Asos. They're called 'Astonished' and are Asos's main stab at doing the cut out boots trend. Being notoriously stingy and cynical, I wasn't about to shell out £100 plus on a Jeffrey Campbell pair, and needless to say that the original Balenciagas worn by celebs such as Mary Kate Olsen were a very distant dream. So I was glad to find these, at a slightly more student friendly price of £50 (if like me, you're a student who's content of living off basics just to buy more clothes). I've got plenty of wear out of them recently, as the beauty of these boots is that because they're cut out, they're a lot more suitable for Summer wear, and go with my large selection of dresses like a treat.

Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x
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Thursday, 18 July 2013

Blog your dreams.

As I walked into my garden this morning, with bleary just about made up eyes and a forehead stained by pink hairchalk, I was adamant that I would be doing another outfit post today. Then I realised something, without my blogging buddy Luke here to take pictures of me awkwardly standing beside our garden wall, I was left without sufficient photographing conditions. This resulted in me getting creative with my setup, using out garden table, a few chairs and my cardboard Sylvia Plath oven from last Halloween as a rather crude makeshift tripod. I must have looked totally demented to anyone who could see into my garden (and that's a few people) but for the services of blogging, I'm not scared to make a fool of myself. Well alright, maybe I am a bit. Anyway, this is the result, and probably one of my rare moments of sustained Summer dressing...
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Dress - Henry Holland for Debenhams (old)
Shoes - Converse via Coggles
Sunglasses - Primark
Bag - Berksha (sadly sold out)
Scrunchie (next picture) - Ebay

Today has been one of the hottest days of the year, so I thought I would dress for the occasion with yet another burst of floral colouring, I've genuinely become mildly obsessed with anything floral. Alongside this I paired my Converses, which rather inevitably I literally refuse to take them off of my feet (ew) due to them being so damn comfortable and going with my large selection of tea dresses, unlike pumps, which might look pretty but can cut into my poor feet if I'm walking round a lot. They're becoming battered already with just a few weeks wear, just how they're meant to be!
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'Log your dreams' for all you budding loggers out there.

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And now on to my hair (possibly the most ubiquitous internet phrase ever). I've put my poor hair through a lot in the past few months, finally deciding to throw caution quite spectacularly to the wind and bleach the holy life out of it. I became pretty sick of having brown hair, even with a slight purple tint, and decided to test run the rumours as to whether blondes have more fun. Of course, my hair didn't bleach completely blonde on the first go, so I was led to decipher whether orangey browney pinks do indeed have more fun than anyone else. Despite this, it gave me the first opportunity I've had to try the Kevin Murphy Colourbug hairchalk, the mother of all hairchalks (if indeed they have a mother) on my fringe. It actually worked really well, despite staining everything it touches, and faded to a lighter pink as the day went on, which worked well for me.

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And of course, the bag is the main centrepiece of this outfit. I fell in love with it after seeing it posted on tumblr and found that it was just £10 on Berksha sale, naturally I snapped it up and it now takes pride of place opposite my bed (i.e my main blogging space). Though I blog myself, I like the idea of blogging your dreams, as this is very much a creative outlet for me. Alongside this, I'm tentatively embracing neon, something I would NOT have seen myself doing three or so years ago, with my penchant for Peter pan collars, pink and black and my Claire's Accessories Nirvana wristband (which I hid from my mum for fear that she would realise my intense rebellious streak). I'm wearing Barry M's gelly collection nail varnish here, which is a lovely colour and stays around for a surprisingly long time.

So this was my outfit! I'm now off to see Devendra Banhart, who I'm hoping will appreciate my colourful get up and take me away with him. Seems mildly unlikely, but hey, I can dream.

Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x
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Friday, 5 July 2013

Flowers as Accessories, or 'Hayfever chic'

If people were to describe my character in 3 words, I would guess that 'happy' 'optimistic' and 'colourful' would not be three words that would be used. Now I'm not a complete Debbie Downer, but I'm hardly children's tv presenter material either.  I know this, and I've come to accept it. Yet recently, I've really embraced colour into my wardrobe, from pastel to shades of neon (queue audible gasps from the audience), not something I would have ever considered before. I've looked at some of my style icons, such as Gwen Stefani in her Harajuku phase to the dear departed Anna Piaggi, and learnt that clashing and block colours really are the way to go. Seeing as we now appear to be in the Summer months (it's been a tentative reintroduction but I can occasionally see the sun peeking coyly from behind a cloud) I've gone overboard on colour, namely that of florals. Before we all start remembering the wonderful line from The Devil Wears Prada ('Florals, for Spring? Groundbreaking.') floral print can actually come in many different guises, such as watercolour, digital, or the kind of faded floral print more commonly found on granny skirts which Shoreditch girls can fight tooth and nail to own. Believe me, I would know.

A trend and fashion statement I've always rather loved is that of carrying flowers around as an accessory. Ever since I saw Morrissey (perhaps not someone to be emulated in all respects, but certainly for his style choices) whirling a rather withered collection of flowers around in a 80's TOTP performance of 'This Charming Man' I've always wanted to carry around my own flowers on a casual, day to day basis, though barriers of hayfever and looking like a bit of a prat held me back from this. But since my discovery of fake flowers, easily accessible in your local Poundland or haberdashery, my wish has been able to come real. Start wearing flowers, stuffing into the side of your bag, putting them in your hair, or the back of your jeans, I realise I sound like a new age hippy, but it surely might brighten your life up a little bit. Or at worst, attract all manner of summertime bugs.

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Dress - Charity Shop
Shoes - Converse via Coggles

In my quest for a floral epiphany I picked up this dress in one of the charity shops in Oxfordshire. I absolutely fell in love with it and feel relieved that I bought it (I nearly didn't, shocker!)  I wore it for a barbecue/tea party the other day as it's very light and easy to wear, and I'm not likely to show more than I'd wish to every time I bend down. Though having said that, it is buttoned all the way up the front, so many a time when I've been walking  I've realised that I'm unknowingly working the new trend of the crotch high dress. The things I do for fashion.
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These photos were some of the inspiration for my floral outfit post. Bjork was clearly partial to a sunflower, and being as she is a little 'weird' the art of carrying flowers surely comes naturally to her. I love the idea of carrying a floral bouquet in your bag as an enhanced fashion accessory, and it would look especially good, as it does here in the right picture, if it was a leather bag, or one made of tough material, because you all know how much I love a good contrast when it comes to fashion. I'm a walking oxymoron, or its alternative name, pretentious idiot.
Of course, no floral fashion post would be complete without the wonderful Morrissey. Championing the unconventional, alternative man, he surely questioned quite a few preconceptions with this outfit. Though whenever he went to sit down, surely the floral dream would be at risk of being over. A good fashion tip kids, wear your floral enhancements in practical places...
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Incase any male readers need convincing (Sean, Luke, Dan and Bradley I'm looking at you, well, actually less Sean) the fantastically talented JW Anderson centred much of his F/W 2010 men's collection around floral accessorising. I would love to be able to make these floral combat boots myself, as they bring a wonderfully romantic element to a shoe more typically associated with bikers and long arduous treks across mountains. I'm definitely going to be collecting floral adornments and decorating my accessories with them this Summer, that's for sure.

And to play us out...

Morrissey photos lovingly stolen from We Need a New Man, All other photos from Tumblr.

Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x
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Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Being Belphoebe.

Prouidence heauenly passeth liuing thought,
And doth for wretched mens reliefe make way;
For loe great grace or fortune thither brought
Comfort to him, that comfortlesse now lay.
In those same woods, ye well remember may,
How that a noble hunteresse did wonne,
She, that base Braggadochio did affray,
And made him fast out of the forrest runne;
Belphoebe was her name, as faire as Phoebus sunne.

I realise the title of this post might sound dreadfully narcissistic, or like the particularly unoriginal beginning of my upcoming autobiography (on the various intricacies and tradgedies of being a full time blogger) but for me it represents playing myself, something I'm sure a lot of people don't get the opportunity to do. Not many people I know have a name which is so clearly conjoined with a character, unless it is a biblical or some other classical name. My name derives from an immensely long poem by an Elizabethean poet called Edmund Spenser, called The Faerie Queene, which explores magic, love and the pastoral. The literal meaning of my name has a few different interpretations, but 'Beautiful Diana' is what Spencer intended, according to Wiki. I've always known that the name I was given when I popped out of my mum was something a bit different. And that's not always been something I've like, often being lambasted as 'posh' or 'poncy' or just plain 'stupid'. But I've learnt to love it and embrace it in recent years,and so when it came round to our flat's Midsummer party, I decided to have a stab at creating this The Faerie Queene character, for the purposes of literary dressing, which is something I'd like to make quite a substantial part of this blog (I realise I sound like the most pretentious fool in the world, but hopefully if I'm aware of it that makes it okay?)

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As a relatively minor character in the Faerie Queene, Belphoebe isn't depicted in art a whole lot. This is a moodboard of some of the imagery I found related to her and the Faerie Queene as a whole. Generally she is depicted as a vunerable, yet powerful woman, something I can wholly admire. She was inspired by Queen Elizabeth the First, the Virgin Queen, infact the character was said to have been written for her, explaining why her main characteristics are as a chaste, yet relentlessly strong woman. The bottom left picture is of Amoret, who is a seperate character in the Faerie Queene, but I love this painting and wanted to use it to think about what I was going to wear for my costume.

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Under dress - Primark
Over dress - Vintage
Headband - Primark
Bow and Arrow - Luke's dad

In my 'quest' to recreate Belphoebe's look and bring it up to date with my current style, I decided to go for something ethereal as well as conventionally pure. This involved a white dress and a flower garland, something which I hardly struggled with when looking in my wardrobe. I love this Primark flower garland, evidently one for Summer festivals, although its ubiquity became clear when it turned out three of us at the party were wearing the same one. This happens a lot when you buy from Primark I've found.
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I've been itching to wear this overlaying slip/dress for ages. It was a great find in one of the East End Thrift store's Fill a Bag sales as I remember, and it went really well with this Primark dress underneath, another steal at only £7. I certainly felt very whimsical and ethereal in it, a bit like Florence Welch probably does when she's whirling around onstage, and with both our uniquely coloured hair, I'm sure we could be mistaken for twins (okay, not that sure.)
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In the main picture I've seen of the character of Belphoebe, she has arrows in a pouch on her back, and as a virgin huntress,you can be damn sure that be jumping over the woodland glades with a bow and arrow in hand, fending off unwanted admirers (which funnily enough, describes a typical day for Belphoebe New). Unfortunately as the party drew nearer I struggled to locate a bow and arrow that wasn't simply a toy one, but as usual, my flatmate Luke and his family came spectacularly to the rescue. Luke's wonderful dad made me this, and it's pretty amazing as it genuinely looks like something Robin Hood would have rocked.  photo 137_zpsfbc7c049.jpg
For my Midsummer make up look, I used quite earthy tones, such as Urban Decay's Mildew and Smog. Alongside this I used Topshop's Sunshower Gold Crayon as a highlighter on the insides of my eyes (the best way to make your eyes look bigger)! I also used ELF highlighter around my cheekbones to give me that 'woodland elf' look that we've all been dying for. Or so I've heard. On my lips I used my Lime Crime Lipstick in Red Velvet, which I absolutely adore, it stays on for an absolute age!
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Though I imagine the original Belphoebe of the woods wouldn't be sporting bright purple locks, there's nothing nicer than the first day of your newly dyed hair. Since I've started bleaching my hair (I know, I know, it's bad for it, but my hair just looks so boring otherwise) I've tried a few different dying brands, including Directions and Schwarzkopf Live XXL. For this colour I used Schwarzkopf Live Colour XXL in Purple Punk, a semi permanent colour. It came out great on my pre lightened hair and was probably one of the first hair dyes I've used that actually completely washed out after rinsing. Although, as you can see, some of it decided to hang around on my ear. Sigh.
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Hope you enjoyed this post! Please let me know below down in the comments if you did as I could continue to make more style posts about literary characters or movements.

Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x
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