Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Must be the Season of the Witch

I have to say that I really love Halloween, and Autumn as a whole. I could honestly talk about Halloween stuff all day, but I've had to stop myself, so much so that I've not even written a post about it until now. There's something so atmospheric about this time of year, with the slight chill in the air, the endless hot drinks and the constant desire to watch Most Haunted (I don't actually believe it, honest).
As a child I was slightly morbid. I loved ghost stories such as M.R James and I was a Tim Burton fantatic (not so much now). I think this might have inspired my current predisposition towards rather creepy, slightly unsettling things. From a young age I've always been fascinated by the mystical and supernatural, and this has translated itself in my adulthood to an almost exclusive interest in anything pretty but odd. I've always loved stories of paganism and magic, and I think there is something particularly creepy about the Englishness of it all. Think the 1973 version of the Wicker Man (Nicholas Cage's 'not the bees'! sort of ruined the magic for me) where a policeman finds himself on an island full of lusty pagans with inherently evil intent and a eerily symbolic treatment of maypoles, and you've sort of got what I mean. I channelled these interests of mine for an outfit for All Hallows Eve, which sort of resulted in a sort of 'Witchfinder General goes out on the razz' look.

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Shirt - Ebay
Bralet - Primark
Skirt - Luella
Socks - New Look
Shoes - Asos

Probably one of the most important influences on my personal style is Luella Bartley, who ran her label, Luella, until it sadly went out of business in 2009. Her collections were fun, interesting and characterful, and my undisputed favourite was her Pagan inspired 2008 collection (which, as I gathered over a fangirling twitter exchange, is her 'second favourite'). This skirt I'm wearing was a very proud purchase of mine, making the most of the bargainous prices you could get her clothes at after the label shut down. As a collection it's perfect for Halloween, although for me dressing slightly scarily is sort of a year round thing. I'm not even joking. Alongside my pride and joy in the form of the skirt I added a wide brim hat, something I had been looking for for absolutely ages. It's very Lydia Deetz, and though I must admit I haven't quite been brave enough to wear it out yet, it kind of makes the outfit.

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A little bit of Halloween inspiration for you all from Luella's collection, highlights include an actual Maypole dress, I mean, this woman is a genius, seriously. With crimped hair, oddly coloured tights and a pagan headdress you too can look creepy all year round like me.

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I hope you liked my little spin on Halloween, and I hope you all have a good day dodging evil spirits, and that you eat lots of sweets (but save some for the kids who are still trick and treating in our fun sponging society). In the next few days you will probably find me slightly hungover raiding Poundland for their leftover Halloween stock (it makes for great room decor). Part 2 (my actual Halloween costume) is forthcoming, as well as a special guest appearance from two of my favourite people! Here are some Halloweeny tracks to get you in the mood...

Donovan - Season of the Witch

Amon Dull II - Archangel Thunderbird

The Wicker Man - Willow's Song

Blood on Satan's Claw Soundtrack - Main Theme

Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x
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Saturday, 19 October 2013

Stand back

Today's outfit is surprisingly understated. I've usually been one for muted colours when Autumn rolls round, so my new venture into colour has come as something of a surprise. Many times I'll go out of the door for a lecture, realising half way up the road that I actually look a lot more ridiculous than I'd actually been intending. It's hard not to look ridiculous with purple hair and an orange fur coat y'know, but I like it nonetheless. I don't know whether my love of colour is just an attempt to constantly appear cheerful, and whether indeed that will translate itself particularly well to Autumn.
Having not done an outfit post for nearly two weeks (yes, I suck) I decided to bite the bullet today, although it wasn't worth showering for. Instead I sprayed my hair with some dry shampoo (from the new Bleach London range, hair care and dye review to come)and skipped out into the garden with my new Topshop dress on, a sales pick from my trip to Stratford yesterday.

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Jacket - New Look
Dress - Topshop (sale)
Boots - River Island
Bag - Cambridge Satchel
Watch - Born Pretty Store*

I love the print on this dress so much, and the shape of it is pretty simple and easy to wear (I had envisaged a battle in the topshop changing rooms to get it over my rather broad arms)! The back (below) is probably the feature that drew me to it the most. Alongside this I paired with my yellow satchel (which has been a little neglected of late since purchasing my purple 13" one!) and my new watch from the lovely people over at Born Pretty.

Born Pretty very kindly offered to send me a watch to review, an opportunity I snapped up immediately, and I had a selection of beauty bits to choose from (I've never been one for fake eyelashes and nails myself) as well as a huge selection of bracelets and watches. I decided to go for a simple but super lovely looking orange silica watch, which for only $6 is seriously good quality. Infact I was amazed by how good quality it was! It's a super lovely neon colour so a distinctly less boring addition to my dwindling accessories collection. They do a range of other colours too which I'll inevitably be purchasing sometime soon to go with each individual outfit.

If you fancy one of these watches or any of the others in the collection (which despite coming all the way from Asia actually came really quickly for me) then you can use the code BELPHOEBEC10 for 10% off! So don't say I never give you anything.

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Hair update: Doing pretty well but needs a serious new colour! I've really enjoyed the purple, so I think I'll be sticking with that for a while. And my neck piercing is still holding out pretty well, despite not actually being permanent piercings (yeah, I was meaning to tell you that mum).
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Thanks for reading guys! Remember to use my code, BELPHOEBEC10 for 10% off watches at Born Pretty! Okay plug over, but go buy some watches, I'm serious.

And to play us out, with one of my favourite female vocal performance in a song ever, Stevie Nicks...

Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x
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Sunday, 6 October 2013

If I could change your mind, I would hit the ground running.

There was this really common tip in a pre teen magazine from when I was younger that I've always remembered: Never show your chest, midriff or legs off at the same time, it's just not 'classy.' At the time I nodded wisely, as if I'd been let in on this wonderful secret of 'how to be sexy AND classy' or, in hindsight, it's actual meaning: 'how not to be seen as a slut'. I think about that now, and it irritates me how much I, and pretty much every other teenager, was conditioned into thinking of people who dress revealingly as sluts, something that may seem like a relatively harmless thing to think at the time, but what can have inherently awful consequences. I say this, because my outfit here, kind of breaks that rule. A crop top and a high slit might make me a devil woman, but it's surprisingly comfortable, although it's been slightly amended to cope with the cold weather. By which I mean some thick tights and my new Commando hat. But I would encourage anyone to be willfully inappropriate with their clothing choices without freezing to death. I think that's somehow a better tip than: 'don't show off your body as you've got no damn right to.'
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Top - Primark
Skirt - Primark
Shoes - River Island
Bag - Zatchels
Beanie - Commando

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Seriously trying to cinch my stomach in in these photos! A bodycon high slit skirt doesn't lie.

We decided to take these photos on Brick Lane, but as it's incredibly crowded at weekends I felt a bit self conscious snapping outfit photos in the swarms of people. So I decided to shoot them on the comparatively quieter Princelet Street, which I'd actually learnt about last year on my London historical literature course. It's a truly beautiful street with some amazing 18th century houses, which if you peek into seem to be owned by fantastically rich people or artists who use them as their studios. Yes,if you live on Princelet Street, that was me with my nose pressed against your window. I want to live there more than anything! Anyway, this was part of a day out with Luke, Maire and myself where we ate at an amazing French restaurant that Luke gives a great little review for on Cook Chat Smile.. After this we went for cocktails at Montys, after Maire made the entirely correct observation that 'if it's past 5pm, it's time for a drink.'

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As with the clothes, the bulk of the outfit is Primark. I'm always totally blown away by how fashion forward Primark is, and how good they are for basic stuff. I'm always in this grey shirt and the leopard skirt was an impulse buy, though having a huge slit on your skirt has its issues, the amount of times I have to hoik it round so my butt doesn't show is frankly unreal. I'm the epitome of class. Alongside this I paired it with my Zatchel, which I love beyond words and which has saved me when it comes to carrying books and coursepacks to lectures. A new addition is this beanie, by Commando, who I heard about when reading Look Magazine back in July. It's run by a group of entrepreneurs who are either in school or barely out of it, and they've been worn by David Beckham of all people, who quite obviously is a constant style inspiration to me. Anyway, I'm pretty jealous of their enterprise, but if you can't beat them, wear their branded hats.

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Thanks so much to Luke for taking these photos and to Maire for waiting patiently whilst I indulged my vanity!

Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x
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Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Art print

I realise there's a been a bit of a delay with the new post on here, though I'm not entirely sure that 'sorry' is the right thing to say, as I doubt you're all waiting at your laptops baying for my blood, but even so, certain stress fuelled events have hindered me from seeing anything I post on here in an anyway positive or rational light, but now I'm back with my usual hard hitting fashun journalism.
Out of all the trends in the last few seasons, I think that the artistic and classical print is probably one of my favourites. Perhaps a bit disrespectful to the artists who slaved away on them, but aesthetically interesting none the less. Who is going to want to refuse being able to look like a piece of art? Not only that, it's a pretty easy look to replicate on a minimal budget, no spending your student loans on Versace here. I've found that Asian megastores like Romwe and Sheinside are particularly good at um, 'copying' designer looks for all us lowly fashion conscious peasants. I've infact been lusting after this skirt and for a while, and so I was thrilled when it came back in in my size (Online stores like this tend to be Asian sized, so any typical 'mediums' might find some of the clothes a little snug, remember to measure!) and snapped it up. I pre empted (I do that) that it might be quite a difficult skirt to style, probably only lending itself quite well to basic tops. I guess this look kind of veers towards 'A day at the museums' although I imagine arriving at a museum wearing a piece of art that you're not entirely sure of the name of might bring about some scorn. But my tip would be not to let on.
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Top - Olive
Skirt - Romwe
Shoes - River Island

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Bag - Cambridge Satchel Company

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Just a little hair update for anyone who is inter...well read it anyway. I've put my hair through a lot of trauma in the past month or so, which may be the reason it's not exactly been cooperating with me recently. I'm trying desperately to grow it out (a difficult task when you've essentially fried your hair) so I can do one of my favourite hairstyles - milkmaid braids. I can't get the plaits quite across my head, so they're a little clumsy but they're getting there. I was interested to see how it would work with my undercut too, and I kind of like the mixture of femininity and the tough look of the undercut. I'm going to be doing a longer post about what I've learnt from my hair dye experiences soon, so stay turned if you want to know what happens when someone clueless attempts to take their hair for a ride.
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Thanks for reading! Belphoebe x
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