Hurrah, I’ve finally got my laptop back after nearly two weeks, I can’t believe how much I actually rely on it. Sad but true. Basically all my photos were on there, including all the ones I shot around Christmas, then on top of that my camera has now broke, it has just been one thing after another this year, not a great start! On top of that there’s a wrong tax bill to deal with, endless chasing of unpaid invoices, some as far back as October, moving costs and now today even more stress with trying to move out, they really don’t make it easy when you’re self employed it’s so unfair, especially when there’s no way of us getting a guarantor. I’ve really tried to be positive but honestly it is just one thing after another after another, I’m getting a little fed up now. Fingers crossed this bad luck ends soon.

But I always think to myself, it could be worse, it could always be worse and I’m lucky in so many other ways, and it will get better. But i just wanted to share everything that’s gone on because not only is it nice to have a little moan sometimes, I know with this whole ‘make everything look perfect on instagram’ culture, sometimes it’s ok not to be ok, that’s totally fine. And it’s only January, I always seem to have bad starts to the year and then it ends up being great so I’m looking at this as a good omen.

These were shot a couple of months back but juggling everything last year got pretty hectic,I posted a photo on instagram but then this post got pushed back, and of course I was due to post it right before my laptop gave up on me. But here they are now, these incredible Chloe sunglasses in all their glory, kindly sent to me from Sunglasses shop along with this peachy dream from Hazel and Folk. (currently on sale FYI!) Sometimes I find it better to look at shoot a little later as I’m much less critical than straight away. I’m my own worst enemy sometimes I know, too much of a perfectionist. And don’t get me started on how long it takes me t choose a photo for instagram.

Anyway I do absolutely love the retro seventies feel of these oversized sunglasses (if you don’t know by now that is my favourite decade). They just elevate any of my outfits to the next level. I never got onto that tiny sunglasses trend, definitely not for me, give me an oversized pair any day, preferably Chloe. And they have such great selection over on Sunglasses shop.

I also wear sunglasses all year round of course. It’s maybe a little too cold to wear this top now, not that that will stop me either, I don’t even wear tights in winter. I just hate the feel of them, and of course I always ladder them within five minutes too. Sigh. I’m genuinely for for once excited about getting into blogging this year, we all know instagram is getting more and more frustrating, so I’m definitely looking forward to developing the blog more, and posted what I want on instagram rather than what I think people will like. Basically getting creative again, which I think all agree instagram is killing. So here’s to things getting better (and more creative) this year!

Photography by: Fifi Newbery

Outfit Details:

Top: Hazel and Folk (gifted)

Jeans: Vintage Levi’s from Waiste Vintage

Bag: Gucci

Sunglasses: Chloe ‘Carolina’ sunglasses via the Sunglasses Shop (gifted)

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I’m really not a ‘let’s get all dressed up in heels and a fancy dress’ to go out kind of girl, however this party season I’ve suddenly become just a little bit fond of a sequin midi skirt. I always feel like the trick with sequins for me is to dress them down a bit, to avoid looking a bit full on. I love a good jumper/ sequin skirt combination. 

I’ve been loving wearing this Zara skirt more than most things in my wardrobe this festive period, pairing it with an oversized Stories jumper and throwing my leather jacket over it by day, and a patterned Rixo blouse in the evening. It also looks great with a brown/beige/black t-shirt.

Another tip to note is sequins look a lot more expensive when in a shape such as a midi skirt, rather than a mini, so I’ve rounded up my favourites below for you. I’m also partial to a matte sequin.

Photography by Ailera Stone

I’m wearing:

Skirt: ZARA (sold out but similar here, and I also love this one

Jumper: And Other Stories

Boots: Jonak

Bag: Gucci (sold out but I love the round version)

Leather Jacket: All Saints (I got this from Bicester village but similar here)

 

SHOP SEQUIN MIDI SKIRTS:

 

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If you haven’t heard of the Netflix hit series The Crown, I suggest you get in a binge watching session now. For the British nation obsessed with the Monarchy, The Crown doesn’t disappoint. The series first began with an ‘inside look’ at the early reign of the Queen, who ascended the throne at age 25 after the death of her father, King George VI. As the decades go on, personal intrigues, romances, and political rivalries are revealed all of which played a big role in events that shaped the later years of the 20th century. The second delivered an another amazing triumph in historical storytelling, it blends the private and public events of the Royals so well through it’s dramatic episodes. One of the big features of the series is of course the costumes, which had to be as much historically accurate as they were creative.

 

I was lucky enough to be invited along to an exclusive QandA at Heals in Tottenham Court Road London,with Jane Petrie , costume designer for the second season of the Crown, to celebrate it’s release on DVD. Jane worked closely with the actors to collaborate on the design process to create costumes that felt authentic to the essence of the character. For the first time in the UK, costumes from the second season of the acclaimed series, The Crown, are now on display exclusively at Heal’s Tottenham Court Road.

 

Of course I was eager to find out just how much of it is vintage and how much is handmade, and where they source such incredible pieces from. Costume design played a vital part in the storytelling of Season 2 and it gave costume designer, Jane Petrie, the opportunity to explore and reflect a transitional time in Queen Elizabeth’s life and marriage. The series plays out throughout the early 60s, a time when fashion and social attitudes were widely changing and the ‘out-of-touch’ monarchy had to adapt. Season 2 of The Crown definitely brought some iconic fashion moments into focus with some of the era’s most stylish women taking centre stage – Wallis Simpson (Lia Williams) makes a return, and we get the first visit from Jacqueline Kennedy (Jodi Balfour) as well as inside look into Princess Margaret’s (Vanessa Kirby) royal wedding. These are included in the costumes featured in the window display.

 

The costumes featured in the display at Heals were:

Wallis, Duchess of Windsor

Metallic silver dress with statement necklace, worn by Lia Williams in episode 6. Necklace is from Janes personal collection.

Jane on the costume: ‘The necklace was from my own personal collection, previously used in an early Black Mirror episode, it just felt right-it’s actually not period at all!’

Edward, Duke of Windsor

Dark green velvet smoking jacket silk bow tie and velvet shoes, worn by Alex Jennings in episode 6, focusing on the Duke of Windsors search for a new purpose in life.

Queen Elizabeth II

Pale blue lace and silk organza dress with matching bolero jacket, from episode 7, this was a close copy of Norman Hartnell’s original design for the Queen’s outfit for her sister Margarets wedding at Westminster Abbey in May 1960.

Jane on the blue dress: ‘When do you copy and when do not? You can’t have Margaret wear a copy of her wedding dress and the people around her not. I was really pleased with the colour of that, it came out beautifully’.

Princess Margaret

Matching skirt and jacket with black silk blouse and suede gloves worn by Vanessa Kirby in episode 7. The fabric was sourced from London.

Jackie Kennedy

Black cotton and yellow silk evening dress with black gloves worn by Jodi Balfour in epsiode 8. Jackies costume is a close copy of the black and silk satin yellow evening dress designed by Chez Ninon that Jackie wore to a White House state dinner in 1961.  She actually wore white gloves, but Jane decided to give her black ones in The Crown as it added more drama and looked better for the story they were trying to tell.

Me with the costumes in the Heals window.

‘The best thing about getting the Emmy was it was a team award.  There’s so many people that work so hard to pull it off. We all work incredibly hard and I was so well supported.’

I sat down with Jane for a one to one interview before the QandA to ask a few questions about the costumes.

How much of it is vintage and how much is hand made?

‘All of the costumes are tailor made to the characters and we used vintage accessories, hats bags, gloves to add that authentic touch. We sourced these from all over from Etsy to Portabello market.’

How long does it take to work on a series of The Crown?

It takes around 7-8 months to film with a full team of costume designer/makers with two cutters and six makers. They source fabric from London, textile workshops and even get printed in house patterns to be as authentic as possible. I had about 20 weeks of preparation before filming started to study the script and get prepared.’

How do you plan for a series as historically important as the Crown?

‘Start from the world, really research how you want to tell the story and the mood of what you want it to be. Rules about colour, get to know your world really well and the passage of time in that world’

So what happens to the costumes afterwards?

‘A lot of the archive is currently on tour, in places such as Heals, and as far as Philidelphia and LA. It’s also featured in museums all over the world, and a lot of crowd costumes get sold to different productions.’

Jane with the costumes in Heals.

The pieces will be on display in Heals Tottenham Court Road London until 21st December.

The Crown: Season 2 is out now on DVD and Blu-ray.

The Crown is produced by Left Bank Pictures, in association with Sony Pictures Television, for Netflix.

 

 

 

 

 

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Ugh, well this week has been a washout, LITERALLY. Honestly if you tell me you like winter then I don’t think we can be friends, there is absolutely nothing to like about freezing cold winds, approximately 5 hours of daylight a day, constant grey skies and being dark when you wake up. I know this time of year I always find myself seriously demotivated, just wanting to hide under the covers with Netflix and a Deliveroo. I’m going to admit this now, and will probably need to delete the app , but I ordered Deliveroo three times in a day the other day, I was hungover and it was raining, please don’t judge me.

However it was after that erm, incident, that I thought I should pull myself together and stop feeling sorry for myself, I can’t change winter, but I can change my attitude. (God how ‘self help book’ does that sound? Sorry I couldn’t resist) So I thought not only would I teach myself some new tricks and tips on how to stay inspired this winter, I thought I’d share these tips with you too. Sounds good?

Ok let’s go, in no particular order here they are… underneath a few pictures of me…go on get scrolling.

Stop scrolling aimlessly on social media:

Seriously, looking at Sandras holiday posts from the Bahamas isn’t going to motivate you, it’s going to make you feel worse. Step away from comparing yourself to others and start focusing on yourself.

Use Pinterest as inspiration when you’re feeling stuck/in a rut:

I LOVE PINTEREST. There I said it. Mine is here. Maybe you’ve treated yourself to a new coat or something and you don’t know how to style it, pinterest is the one. If I’m ever struggling with outfit ideas I always find inspiration on here.

Pamper yourself:

Sometimes it really is something as simple as getting my nails/hair done makes me feel better and more inspired, go on,  have a BUBBLE BATH.

Change of Scenery:

Work from home? Go to a cafe. Work from an office? Do a work from home day. mix it up because there’s nothing worse than getting stuck in a rut, especially with your surroundings.

Have a Clear Out:

If you’re stuck in a style rut come winter, (I  know I always end up living in jumpers), go through your closet, donate or sell anything you don’t wear anymore (be ruthless) then instead of just buying more stuff, use pinterest and come up with other ways to style pieces you already have. Challenge yourself to style an item up in a few different ways.

Make a Feel Good Playlist:

Omg this honestly works wonders. If I’m feeling fed up, I literally find the cheesiest most upbeat music I can find, and put it on loud, guaranteed to make you feel good.

Take a social media break:

Bit obvious this one but still needs to be said. Get out of the house, go for a walk, meet your friends, spend some quality time with your boyfriend , take your dog for a walk, etc etc you know the drill, TURN YOUR PHONE OFF, it’ll do wonders I promise.

Talk about it:

I know (most) people feel the same about winter, especially bloggers with the light/shooting etc, sometimes nothing else is as good as a good old RANT.

Tidy up:

There’s nothing worse than feeling sorry for yourself  when working from home (with the light on at 2pm in your flat in winter obvs) and you’re looking around and it’s a right mess. Clean it up! Change your bedsheets, do that pile of washing up in the sink, hang those clothes up and you’ll feel more productive then ever I promise.

Photography: Bekky Lonsdale 

What I’m wearing: Boots: Dress c/o: And Other Stories,  Jeffrey Campbell (old) , Jacket: All Saints (similar here) bag: Chloe (similar here)

Shop the Look:

 

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Well, if you’ve not seen the massive satin midi skirt trend around recently, where have you been? Maybe on holiday…jealous. Anyways the current leader of the trend Topshop’s satin midi skirts are selling out as soon as they hit the website, butttt they just released lots of new styles, I just can’t stop buying them, I feel like they’re so flattering for everyone, and I LOVE a satin. Pretty glad I didn’t splash out on any expensive ones though as I managed to spill coffee all over my cream ASOS one on the first day I wore it. (Sorry that one is sold out now or i’d link it for you) The trick to making these skirts look a little more expensive is to opt for a more matte satin.

What to style with: I’ve been loving wearing mine with oversized knits and keeping it tonal. They look great with suede or leather too.

Photos by: Bekky Lonsdale

I’m wearing: Boots c/o Jonak, Bag and Jacket: Vintage, Skirt: Topshop, Jumper: And Other Stories (similar here)

My Favourite Satin Skirts:

 

 

 

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