Monday, 16 January 2017

Fashion blogging: behind the camera

I can never resist an aviator style jacket; something street, casual and easy on the eye. This camel faux shearling jacket fits that bill perfectly. Luckily the winter leaves the streets a little less crowded for fashion shoots and we managed to get these photos in fairly peaceful harmony last week. We shot here last April and a few girls turned round to look at what we were doing. One of them put their thumb up at me, smiled and said 'nice'. There I was thinking the worst when they turned round to look but I was wrong. I can't help feeling defensive when I'm out and about shooting as I've had several negative experiences. This got me thinking about all the various encounters we've had over the years, some good, some bad, and I thought I'd share some of them with you (with a firm focus on the positive, funny feels).
Unfortunately when it comes to shooting you never know what you're going to get and even though I generally get excited about shooting out and about, there's always a hint of fear and anxiety that someone's going to be nasty, there's going to be stares, remarks. It's a risk you just have to take if you want the kind of shoots I do, so I go for it no matter what. Mostly we try and minimise the risks of pests as much as we can; shooting as early as possible, choosing quiet times of day, locations that are less crowded etc, but you can't always predict an easy, successful shoot. I've definitely gotten better now, if people stare and are rude, you just have to ignore them, hard as it is. People will always look if there's a camera and clothes and you're in front of it; even though it's (gasp) 2017! A camera. OMG, say what?!
Focusing firmly on the positives, there have been some lovely people we've come across when getting blog pictures that I thought I'd talk about. When we shot this look at Mersea Island for instance, the family in the next beach hut along apologised for their little girl getting in the shot; they didn't have to do that, surely they owned it and could have felt like we were the inconvenience. My mum and I often shoot at one of my favourite ever tucked away locations, a sandy cove of bliss, and there's a little cat who's trotted over to us twice, friendly as anything, sidling up to me and wanting to pose for all he's worth. Both times it's made my day that he's run over and joined us for the shoot, he's such a babe. There have also been families on hot days that have kindly noted we're in the middle of shooting and have worked their way around us considerately, as have there been dog-walkers doing the same. Countless times there have been nice people that we've come across, and it totally changes the atmosphere.
You also get some funny 'you had to be there' moments. There was one amusing bloke who stopped his car to call out 'Aren't you cold?' - I was wearing shorts and a little crop top, and yes, it was November. Me: 'Yes! I'm freezing!' Him: 'It's too cold for that!' My reply: 'Hell no!' One builder also came over to me and my boyfriend once and asked what we were shooting. 'It's for my fashion blog,' we explained. 'Oh!' He replied. 'Not porn then?' Wtf! Dude, I'm wearing a dress and tights and a cardigan and this is a dreary grey street. You gotta laugh, right? Not to mention the group of ramblers that stood stock still, staring at us in disbelief last summer on another shoot. To be fair to them, we did have a massive inflatable palm tree with us at the time. So I'll give them that one. And of course, shooting Sweetheart, to the guy and his nasty posse that bitched about 'why are they getting so many pictures? They all look the same anyway' - this is one of my favourite sassy shoots, and hell nah do those photos look the same. Thank you for spurring me on to keep going, no way would I have looked so on fire if it weren't for your fuel, fucker. 

Coat: c/o Shein
Leggings: Asos
Pink top: Asos 

Do you go shooting for your blog in public?
Have you had any memorable experiences?
I'd love to hear your stories below! 

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Winter style with Romwe

My wardrobe isn't very winter wonderland, as most of you guys can probably guess. Rainbow crop tops, snazzy sunglasses, off the shoulder dresses, glittery mermaid jeans and little strappy sandals may be a fashion blogger's best friend, but they ain't exactly favourable with Jack Frost. When Romwe kindly got in touch and asked me to choose a piece from their collection, I decided to go for something stylish yet practical for sub-zero skylines, opting for this V Neck Lattice Ribbed T-Shirt. It's cosy and casual, and just the thing I'd rock for a Starbucks date or a Saturday shopping spree. I paired it with my favourite pink and purple checked scarf, which I picked up in Primark last year and my Topshop gingham jeans.
My intention was to take a bit of a break from blogging in December but it seems I skipped the whole damn month and now look, it's January. I've missed blogging so much but the time just hasn't been right to post and to be honest, it's been nice not having to stress over everything I do stress about when it comes to blogging (long list). Most of you will know I had a nasty chest infection that I couldn't shift for weeks; I've never felt worse, they really do suck. My festive season was spent feeling rubbish and these past few weeks I've been focusing on (finally, finally) getting on with my book, spending January editing the second part of the novel, which I'm still in the midst of. My goal is to have my first book written by summer 2017, and ready to send off shortly after. On a quick sidenote, I'm also selling a few items over on my eBay, so go check it out if you're after some fab pieces at decent prices. The asos jewel tone top up for sale was used in my shoot here, if you want to get a better idea of how it looks on in person. 
I'm so done with not being able to shoot decent summery pictures for the blog; can anyone else relate? I hate not being able to get as creative as I want to when the lighting and general forecast is frazzled. I feel so powerless without being able to really have the freedom to shoot, and it's been killing me lately! I know there's a brighter season coming up, and Spring will be blooming through it before we know it. Graham and I are also going to be doing a blog shoot that I'm really excited about and am keeping everything crossed it works out. We've postponed it several times because I was too ill back over New Year and let's just say the outfit is pretty unsociable for this season, so I need to be 100% before we shoot in the thaw. We've struck lucky several times with the weather tho, and I've got several style shoots I'm super excited to share with you guys in the meanwhile. Clue: one is full of glittery, mermaidy vibes.... 

 V neck Lattice Ribbed T-shirt: c/o Rowe
Hydrogen purple heeled sandals: Asos 

How do you feel about shooting in the winter?
Has anyone got any tropical holidays booked? 

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Motel, Hotel, Cactus Crush Inn

So Palm Springs, when can I move in? I know the house I'd choose (along with every other blogger babe in this millennium), it's the one with the chocolate box pink door, say no more. I'd wear this outfit for my moving in moment, simply for sizzle and sass factor. As always Motel Rocks are kicking ass with their cactus cool vibe; this Kimmy high waisted skirt matches my cactus crop top, worn in this previous ootd post. The suede sand top had my heart hot, if you're into sandy shores like I then it's worth snatching up this Pitchu fringe crop top, also from Motel, for yo' self. As you know I often talk about escape, of sunnier climates. I'm guessing most fashion bloggers would agree this outfit was made for sunshine and good fun. Just you wait Palm Springs, one day you and me need a hot date! The contrast hat was a sure fire scoop from Missguided way back when. I wore it with this UFO dress and I think it's cool for cacti. 

As I explained earlier this week on Instagram, I'm definitely a free spirited soul. When I was 11 I had visions and notions of living somewhere much like a desert, all hot floors and sand dunes. White washed walls, aqua seas and tropical towns. Only now, I can see the dreams and manifestations of way back then seem to be crystal clear; all those never-ending stories in my head have formed into one: my first book. The daydreams of far out ideas and escapades now serve my fashion blog. And finally, those notions of tropical towns, aqua seas and palm trees: another dream yet to fulfil. 

Graham and I saw Pulp Fiction for the first time at a special screening this week. One of those films I've always wanted to see but never have done. I thought it was pretty good, although Tim Roth- not enough airtime, is it just me or do Pumpkin and Honey Bunny need their own sitcom? John Travolta - too much airtime, same for you, Uma Thurman. Graham and I often argue over who's more badass, he says Samuel L Jackson and I say Wesley Snipes, but I've got to give it up for SLJ being pretty damn funny in that movie. And of course, the bad motherfucker wallet thing kinda goes against my argument.... damn. 

What are you up to this weekend?
I hope you're having a BLAST! XO


Friday, 18 November 2016

Christmas Wish list: Paperchase Paradise

One of my biggest Christmas festive fantasies has always been to stay in a lustful log-cabin and escape, fleeing the frost for fair aisle and hot chocolate, watching snowflakes sugar the windows and get cosy by a roaring, triumphant fireside. For now Pinterest is certainly forming that fantasy. Until then, Paperchase's amazingly alternate take on Christmas decor has made me very happy and heart-eyed indeed - pink flamingos in jolly hats? Dazzling unicorns and all the cactus cute any blogger could dream up? Christmas can often be cliche, so these  trendy twists on decorations have pleased me times a trill. Plus, following babes like sprinkles and sandwiches over on Instagram has made me realise that the holiday can be all the crush-worthy, all the pink pretty, all the unique and wondrous that we want it to be! Bring on the babin'! Therefore, I made this Christmas wish list for all my colourful cuties, here's to a sassier, jazzier holiday season! 

That FLAMINGO tho! Gotta get it girl (so I did). I also had to invest in the pretty Sugarplum Christmas tree, purely the perfect jazzy backdrop for any kind of festive fun. To top off their outrageously hawt holiday collection, Paperchase have also included the likes of unicorns; this flying unicorn money box is a sure fire way to get your other piggy banks shook and stunned. Not forgetting the flamingo theme, these babes would bring sugary sweetness into any home for the holidays. 
Beautiful bold baubles seem to (thankfully) be a thing this year, and this Neon star bauble Christmas Wreath is certainly helping that hotness no end. How bright and babin'? Can imagine it bringing some good vibes to any dull, drizzled street throughout December and beyond. Paperchase have got a variety of eclectic Christmas trees and this Piñata one has to be one of my favourites. I really can't imagine any other high street store radiating so much magic. If you're still after hotter hues, this Pom Pom heart Christmas Wreath and Sequin Piñata hanging decoration make for the most perfect pairing.
Summer souls rejoice, for babes that dream of all things green, Paperchase are also hollering hard towards the cactus and cocktail end of the spectrum. I was totally mesmerised when I saw these glass cactus decorations in the shop display the other week and I love, love, love how they're as far from the usual decor you can expect this time of year. Keeping it traditional, this Christmas desk set still has an uptempo vibe to it. Same goes for this zesty sequin margarita tree decoration (if only it was a mojito and real, but still, pretty close). The straw Sombrero makes for a nice twist away from the usual (done to death) Santa hat. 
Hope you enjoyed this wish list, do let me know if you fancy seeing more of this kinda thing over on soinspo! I definitely had a blast putting this together, my bank balance? Not so bloody much.... 

 Are you a fan of these Paperchase pretties? 
What kind of decorations are you buying this year? 

Ho, Ho, Hollering back to my nearest branch......

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Kuccia sequin unicorn mom jeans

Unicorn jeans? Hell yes PLEASE. I seem to be accelerating up an addiction for Topshop jeans, you saw these glittery mermaid jeans in my previous ootd post. Safe to say unicorns are ubiquitous with not only bloggers but this very blog, check out my Unicorn Magic post. I was crushing on a rainbow pair but they sold out (sob) but these unicorn dream jeans appeared and it was l-o-v-e. This pair are from Kuccia; a funky, fun, up my street store rocking all the colour crush. The rainbow blast of forecast is via Motel Rocks. After deliberating for a good few months over the halter crop I bit the bullet and bought it when it came back in stock. If you follow me on Instagram then you'll know I've been crushing on these candyland shades from Rad + Refined all summertime long and the transition is most deff seasonal. Unfortunately being a summer chick isn't much fun when the temperatures hit sub-zero, but freezing my ass off for a tropical fashion forecast is something I'm getting used to sacrificing. 
Graham and I had a lovely get-away to the seaside this week. The climate was choppy and there was a cutting chill in the air but we enjoyed being by the sea and found the sweetest little beach huts. How cute are all the orange hues? A sure fire reminder that there is tropical weather blasting out elsewhere in the world. Things haven't seemed too sunny lately, and because of stresses I've been suffering from lots of tension headaches and bouts of SAD which isn't 100%. I'm finding my attitude and outlook is getting better, instead of wondering what to do and feeling hopeless, I'm trying to find solutions, not setbacks. There's a lot to feel lucky for and it's about looking to the bright rays of light. 

p.s: I was recently featured in an interview with Blog Socks, a blog designed to discover bloggers and share the love, so feel free to check it out if you want to find out a little more about me! 


Have you got any nice November plans?
I hope you all have a fab weekend!


Saturday, 29 October 2016

Spin off story: Heartbreak Helium

I suppose it started? Around August 1997. Blood smeared the phone, it had a cord and a proper dialling system. The only place I ever dialled was denial. Shame rinsed my mouth. I felt deadened from the waist down and scorch rattled through my system but I was bounded by the glass etched in my wrists and the shattered shards of prickled perfume. Rope Alcohol Pills Escape. Rape. He'd left me to survey the massacre he'd made. Pure poison drenched over me like a darkness awash with deadened destruction. I sunk the bottle of whiskey under the sink. The taste was like fuel to fire but I'd readily have gulped down a bottle of bleach, if that's what it took to stop guzzling blood and calm the crashing symphony of my heart. I swallowed back some pills and barely winced as they lodged in my throat. It was a bloodied bath rinsing off regret and shame and sin. It took a while before the fantasy floored through the rising froth. 

The bubbles glistened and the sunken moon magnetised me from the gap in the grotty windows. I stared at the foam until my eyes became psychedelic swirls of stun. "And I wonder, what it means, what it means. To find your dreams come true". Illusion and delusion; the lesser of two evils cloaked in escape. The froth gathered along the betraying bathroom could be Chicago's dazzling skyline, the septic stains and bloodied body in the bath could be the result of red wine and a good time. Imagination was all I had. "This is my song. And no one can take that away." The rim of rock bottom had smashed open. "It's been so long since someone could make me cry." I could pretend. I didn't have to be tied to torture anymore. But I believed him, my boyfriend. He told me if I ever left him he'd slit his throat in front of me, and then I'd have two coffins on my conscience. Other times he'd come back throwing flowers in my face, the insult to injury already blazed along my body; bruised butterflies and scarred sin. I used to stare at the ceiling until it morphed into a black mass of static stars and wonder how the hell I'd ever make my escape. 

Run Away Please Emergency. Stupid. To blame. Your Fault! You make me fucking sick! You deserved it! You made me do it! His abuse became like alchemy to the brain. Acidic Anamnesis. The same anamnesis that had seen ambulances as ice cream vans and a plane crash through a house overlooking our home. They wonder why I hate London. If they ever saw it through my eyes they'd be harassed by hatred too. Once you've suffered a blow, the next one and the next and the next. You become... numb? Paralysed? Glass beads shed at my skull. A mirror shattered against my jawline. What would I tell my twenty five year old self if I could go back? Through the hell there will always be hope. Faith is fractured but it is not broken. I should have covered my tracks. 

Rollercoasters hurtled over rust-ridden tracks. The lights and blasts of bonfire screamed against my system. Salt and vinegar were in the air, all the excited emotions ubiquitous to a fairground fantasy. For so long it was black and white, now colour threatened to explode into the atmosphere. Jed said: 'You'll be safe here. I promise. Safe with... me.' He had a Northern accent and he said the word look like Luke. I felt angry at the security. I'd sworn off men for life and now, look. Him! Stars blurred and kaleidoscopes whirred. People were throwing sparklers around and I kept catching flashes of burn and spit. Paranoia bled through me like bile. I was so frightened, forever fearing over my shoulder and seeing empty stares and blank looks. 'Shea....?' I said my surname was to do with the seasons. I swiped a hand across my face and he thought I was motioning at a hot summer's day. 'Shea Summers?' I didn't want to confess the Wintery rawness. I became Shea Summers for a while. Perhaps if he hadn't taken my sense away I would've legalised a change of namesake and a new identity. But hooked on the helium of heartbreak, I remained the same. 

A diamond ring glittered against the orbs, silver pinpricks in a black canvas of night. Johnny held it against the light. Was it stupid? His mum said he could have a Cartier round his cock and Shea still wouldn't take him back, let alone marry him for fuck's sake! The hospital was horrible, but weren't they all? He'd gotten thrown out, kicked out for kicking off. He hadn't expected Another Bloke to be there. Talking to the doctors like he was so damn well important. Straight in from New York, apparently. Johnny had felt tense and threatened, wondering who this snazzy American might be, until he'd caught his accent and realised he was from around here. Johnny told everyone he was Shea's husband but they'd laughed in his face, all of them, and told him to bugger off. Bad enough the other one that had caused this hell was hooked up to monitors and machines. He'd considered pulling the plug, until Mike had pulled him away and given him a rollicking. Shame. The truth would be terminal but it was coming out. And once it was out, there'd be no going back. Only forward, forever. And he could make it right. They could be so happy. Hell would be forsaken for happy. If only. 


Lyrics taken from "My Song" by Labi Siffre 
Chicago segment inspired from "I Wonder" by Kanye West 

For Graham & Yasmin & everyone who has supported me, I love you all!
Read Part I & II of Shea's stories here and here.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Topshop MOTO sequin Hayden jeans

Purple lips, blue mermaid tips and glittery hips. I'm a mermaid mom jean addict. This pair are MOTO sequin Hayden jeans from Topshop and I have to say Topshop seem to be killing it with their denim game right now. So many jazzy, patchy, sassy pairs of jeans and jackets that are all the bewitching, especially as Halloween is approaching. This Liquor n Poker pair triggered off all the transfixing within me and ever since I've been hooked on all the glimmering denim out there. It's nice to see brands being even more open-minded and out there when it comes to styles and choices, us fashion bloggers need that bit of glimmering shimmer in our lives, right? 
When I came down the stairs wearing this for my shoot, Graham's first words were "Spice Girls make a comeback!" 90s hues were definitely in my mind when I put this mermaid combo together and as loyal readers will recognise, Motel Rocks are one of my favourite brands. When I was in search of a stunning spaghetti strappy top, this Fonda crop top in metallic lilac struck perfect purple haze for me and with the glimmering jeans they make a nice little dream team. The Hydrogen heels set off the finishing touch with a jumpstart of jewel. They're from asos (surprise, surprise!) The purple lips? Bluewater finally got a NYX stand in their branch of Boots and I went hella crazy for all the poppin' pretty hues, scooping up all the blue and purple lipsticks as if they were going outta business. 
If you're off to the movies anytime soon I whole-heartedly recommend seeing The Girl on the Train. Emily Blunt isn't one of my favourite actresses but I've definitely got a new found respect for her. She gives a powerhouse performance which is totally chilling and touching. You really root for her character in the film and it's haunting and frightening in equal measures. I haven't read the novel but I'm glad the movie made the pitch to America as it seemed to fit better than I'm guessing it would have done had it been set in London. Or go see Bridget Jones's Baby, if you're feeling more upbeat and humorous. Has anyone else missed Bridget as much as me? It feels like we've all waited an eternity for this movie, am I right? It's not quite the same this time round without Hugh Grant, but obviously it's still bloody hilarious and plagued with laughs. Ironic bearded hipsters! Ed Sheeran AKA the guy who works at Starbucks, Balham! Erection Section! Etc. Etc. Etc. 

Okay, I know I always say this but I want to try and post more regularly on the blog. I'm writing my book as you know which is taking precedence but blog wise I'm dying to switch up the fashion posts (even though they'll forever by my fave) with a little somethin' somethin' else. Expect more variety soon (ass in gear). There'll be another short story coming to soinspo between Halloween and firework season too, finally another shattered segment of Shea's story revealed.... 

Fonda crop top in metallic lilac: Motel
Hydrogen purple heeled sandals: asos 

Are you a fan of mermaid jeans?
What kind of denim is your dream?