Friday, 30 September 2011

How to spot a fashion butterfly and other animals

(Warning: this blog post may contain dangerous shoes)

Which Fashion Animal are You?
How to spot a fashion butterfly:

She flits from trend to trend like a butterfly exploring a summer's garden. As fun loving fashionistas butterflies just can't let a fashion fad flutter by. Brothel creepers? Gold lamé leggings? High waisted skinny jeans? Neon lycra? Been there, done that.

Her wardrobe looks as though a rainbow has landed there. 'The brighter the better' is her motto, and she is not adverse to the odd smattering of bling. More is more.
Autumn / winter trends for a fashion butterfly:

Tartan is big news this autumn and you can be sure that fashion butterflies will have read the headlines. Which means that many a butterfly will be swarming to old school uniform shops to snap up a kilt. The most adventurous of animals, butterflies may even be seen attempting Triple Tartan (tartan skirt and tartan twinset).

Fashion butterflies love nothing better than a bit of extravagance, so this autumn's raciest trend is one for them. Fetish-wear has now been deemed high fashion by the likes of Marc Jacobs and Giles Deacon, so expect to spot fashion butterflies whipping out the PVC (if not the whips).
A word of warning to a fashion butterfly:
Yes, these studded rainbow shoes from River Island do look made for you. Just don't try boarding any planes whilst wearing them as they may be classed as an offensive weapon.

How to spot a Dalmatian:

They live their lives in black and white and Coco Chanel is their idol. A Dalmatian will never be seen without her pearl collar or a pedicure. Although seemingly elegant and chic, dalmatians are (of course) a tad dotty.

Autumn / winter trends for a Dalmatian:

For Dalmatians spots may never go out of style, but this autumn polka dots are more fashionable than ever. To distinguish a Dalmatian from any other dotted fashionista, look for the head to toe spots (polka dot heels, polka dot pencil skirt, polka dot shirt and polka dot pill box hat). Marc Jacobs and Stella McCartney are her new favourites.

Dalmatians are sticklers for sophistication, so expect to see them sporting this season's forties trend by way of elbow length gloves.

A word of warning to a Dalmatian:

Do not be offended if strangers in the street ask you whether it's contagious.

How to spot a leopard:

She is the princess of the urban jungle and can be spotted prowling in prints. Classy, sexy and with a certain feline beauty, a leopard is a stylish city girl with a love for labels.
Autumn / winter trends for a leopard:

This autumn she will be wrapping up in fur and feathers as well as her beloved leopard print coat. Red is set to be this season's new favourite colour so leopards will accessorise with scarlet for a touch of sex appeal.
A word of warning for a leopard:

If you do opt for this season's trend for feathers, stay away from open flames.

How to spot a robin:

Robins are true Brits who are as classic as snowy Christmas cards. They can often be found toting leather satchels and wearing British wool jumpers whilst hovering around libraries and old book shops. They are reserved creatures who stick to tailoring and smart details. A robin knows what she likes and takes pride in her flawless style.
Autumn / winter trends for a robin:

Robins love to remind themselves of their heritage, so this season they will be wearing sixties British classics that they saw reinvented on the catwalk. Peter pan collars and tartan prints will give them the bookish charm they aim for. They will fall for the deep greens and berry shades popular this season, because they remind them of leather bound books and wood panelled libraries.

Meanwhile they will continue to steal from their man's wardrobe for the tailoring they so love.
A word of warning for a robin:

Avoid fashion butterflies.
How to spot a (snuggle) Bunny:

If you see someone wrapped up in a kitsch, snuggly jumper, ear warmers and mittens, then you have found yourself a classic bunny. Bunnies are easy to spot for their love of all things cute and fluffy: heart print t-shirts, flowery socks poking out of their shoes, soft woolen cardigans and spotty scarves are bunny trademarks.
Autumn / winter trends for a bunny:

Bunnies are lovers of kitsch so this season's animal prints will have them hot under the collar. Expect to see them wearing a mismatch of different pretty prints; they will love them all so much that it will be just too hard to decide.

Bunnies love to snuggle so they will be hopping into the trend for cocoon coats that will keep them warm.
A word of warning for a bunny:

Overt sex appeal will never be your forté.

(All photos taken at Westfield's Car Bootique event. Pop down to Sheperd's Bush tomorrow to catch the last day of this event. Make the most of discounts, prizes and fashion shows to find out which fashion animal you are and how to make your wardrobe match your fashion personality.


Monday, 19 September 2011

It may still be a work in progress, but is up and running! I decided that it was about time I made myself an online CV of sorts, so here it is.

: )


Sunday, 11 September 2011

How to make friends with fashion

Sometimes I have the feeling that the fashion industry hates women.

Fashion is supposed to be a woman's friend. As a fashion journalism student perhaps I shouldn't be admitting this, but fashion can be very unfriendly.

I am very thankful not to have any friends quite like the fashion industry. I admit that throughout our friendship some of my friends have done some crazy things, but none of them have ever jumped out at me whilst I am reading a magazine or watching TV to tell me that I'm fat. No friend has ever recommended the Dukan diet to me, or told me to put lemon juice on my face to get rid of my freckles (actually, I lie, one friend did once. We are no longer in contact). My friends have never made me feel embarrassed about the fact that my answer to the question: 'What Does YOUR Parting / Toothpaste Brand of Preference / Cuticle Care Regime Say About You?' is 'not a lot'. My friends never make me wear brothel creepers, or lamé leggings, or geek glasses; in fact (fancy dress aside), I can safely say that the people I love would never do anything to make me look any uglier than I already am.

My friends are my friends because I love them and love being with them, but also because they love me and they make me feel great about myself. My friends know me and I know them, and whatever our faults may be, I wouldn't change theirs and they wouldn't change mine.

I have decided to apply a similar approach to fashion. I think that I have quite a strong sense of my own style, but studying at a fashion university can be overwhelming and can shake even those who have their feet well planted in the ground. When everyone else is bang on trend there can be moments when it does make you begin to wonder whether fluorescent yellow and pleather microshorts might actually be a really good idea. It is a slippery slope.

In a few weeks time I will be moving back to London and starting my second year at university, and what I hope will be a new stage of my life. I am viewing it as a new start. So my wardrobe needs to be up to the challenge.

This is how I plan to make (and stay) friends with fashion...

1) A trend that makes you want to change something about yourself, like a flaky friend, frankly isn't worth the effort.

2) Following Step 1, I vow never to wear skinny jeans again. It's all in the name.

3) Throw away the enemies (the huddle of dresses that are just that little bit too tight, or too short, or too see-through, or too... lilac). You may think you will wear them again / lose weight / gain weight / gain a different complexion that makes lilac your colour. But you won't.

4) Don't buy / keep shoes that are too painful to walk in. You will just end up breaking your feet and your heart.

5) You feel comfortable with your best friends because they know everything about you. Feeling comfortable and confident in your clothes is about knowing yourself.

6) Once you have worked out who / what you are, accept it. If you are anything like me, it may mean accepting the sad truth that you are never going to be 6 foot and / or 8 stone. But think positive. At least you will never hit your head on low ceilings.

7) Find an icon who makes you proud of your body shape. Ok, I may never actually look anything like Joan from Mad Men, but her fabulous figure makes me proud to have curves. Her confidence, her clothes and her magnificent rear end (that is worthy of a standing salute from her male colleagues) have inspired my wardrobe and made my hips happy. Goodbye 'saddlebags', hello 'sexy'.

(Other hourglass icons include Marilyn Monroe and, of course, Betty Boop.)

8) It's what's on the inside that counts. Yes, that means that personality and confidence helps. But so does great underwear.

9) Find what clothes work for you. (Which clothes get you the most compliments? What do you feel happiest in? Why? What colour and shape are they?)

10) Stick to them.

When I go back to university I am only bringing with me the outfits I really love and that are the kind of clothes the person I want to be would wear. For me, that means colourful, curvy and confident. Mad Men inspired, and something like the things below (because now that my wardrobe is looking a lot emptier, it won't hurt to make a dream shopping list...).
£69.99, Fever London, because every girl needs a red dress. Or two. Check out the three-quarter length sleeved Salzburg dress (also from Fever, £74.99) that looks straight out of Joan's wardrobe.
I bought a red version of this dress (£89) from a gorgeous lingerie and dress shop in Spitafields and it is the favourite thing in my wardrobe. When I wear it I walk taller and smile more broadly. The right outfit really can have a huge impact on the way you feel about yourself, and this dress makes me feel like anything is possible. I just found out that this dress comes in different colours and patterns (like the blue floral print above). I am seriously consider buying several and spending my life wearing nothing but this dress. Because as Joan (AKA firey Christina Hendricks in Mad Men) proves, when it comes to your wardrobe if nothing else, less is more.


Monday, 5 September 2011

Pom Pom Factory

The Pom Pom Princess

I am the Pom Pom Princess
And I live in Butterscotch Grove,
My hair is made of candyfloss
And my fingernails are mauve.

I am the Pom Pom Princess,
And I make daydreams come to life,
Dream a dream of Johnny Depp
And I’ll turn you into his wife.

I am the Pom Pom Princess,
Make a wish and close your eyes,
A better world that’s fair for all,
Or cash and smaller thighs?

I am the Pom Pom Princess,
And I’m as magical as can be,
Just say ‘Pom Pom’ and it is done,
Who needs Botox when you’ve got me?


A little poem inspired by the quirky company Pom Pom Factory. Have a look at their website: where I found these magical photos

Goodbye Summer

The summer is drawing to an end and I have been drinking in the last dregs of it whilst at home in Dorset. I am now looking forward to getting back to London, but in the meantime I am enjoying the last snatches of summer breeze before autumn takes over.


My (not so) Glamourous Life

Flat hunt, part 2, as told to Libby Page by Miss Fashionista

Reaching the house was stressful enough. The sound of a motorway welcomed me to the neighbourhood as I stepped onto the empty platform.

“Cross the bridge,” read the instructions.

I couldn’t see a bridge.

I hate feeling lost. Not knowing where I am or which direction to take is one of life’s biggest frustrations, one which usually leaves me fighting back tears. Sadly I have not been blessed with a natural sense of direction. I get lost in my hometown. I have lived there for 10 years and it has a population of around 10,000. I have lived in London for less than a year. It has a population of around 8 million.

I decided (although I am not quite sure why) to follow the mysterious person who had just appeared on the empty platform. I followed them to a footbridge that carried me high above the motorway. As I crossed I looked down at the grey conveyor belt churning out row after row of cars and lorries.

“At the end of the footbridge, cross over the railway track.”

An overgrown path twisted to the left, leading to some stone steps and rusted iron railings that climbed up to the railway line. To my right a pile of mattresses lay abandoned amongst glass confetti.

I had not dressed for clambering over a railway line. Brambles were in strong competition with the path and one particularly prickly branch bit a hole in my tights. I tried to imagine this journey at night. I thought it was best not to even contemplate the prospect of lugging heavy suitcases along this route.


Was that a train I heard as I stepped tentatively onto the track, or the busy motorway below? The railway curved around the corner and out of sight so it was difficult to tell. I didn’t leave time to find out.
On the other side another set of steps brought me to an overgrown path that cut through a row of terraced houses and their back gardens.

“Once on the other side, go through the tunnel and you will find our street.”

Following the path I came to a narrow tunnel and followed the window of light on the other side until I was out and standing on the side of a main road.

“On the other side of the road, directly in front of you, you will see the house.”

Number 201.

The landlady opened the door. She was a small old lady with a clipped English accent who brought me into the house whilst asking me over and over, “where did you go to sc-YULE?”.

As I answered again and again (I don’t think the name of my local state comprehensive rang any bells), she brought me into the kitchen.

It was a serene white room that glistened with new work surfaces. Sunlight smiled in through the large window that looked out onto a neat postage stamp of lawn. On the low coffee table in the adjoining sitting room glossy magazines were fanned out neatly.

The kitchen was like a happy sigh at the end of my somewhat eventful journey.

“Let me just get the key,” said the landlady, “And I’ll take you across the road to your house.”

Because sadly, 202 was the house I had come to see.

“I haven’t been here for two months,” she said as she put the key in the lock of 202, “so I don’t know what it will be like…”

I sometimes wish it were socially acceptable to just tell the truth. As she showed me around the house, it was the struggle to stop myself from telling the truth that was the hardest.

“Well… it’s a good sized kitchen…”. I tried to ignore the fact that the ceiling was falling down.

“And there’s a garden… that’s great.”

Sadly it was impossible to get into said garden because it was so overgrown that the backdoor wouldn’t open. When I did try to open it, it nearly fell off its hinges.

“Oh well, I don’t really use garden space that much anyway… Shall we look upstairs?”

Leaking bath, mouldy shower curtain. “So, there’s a bathroom…”

We moved into a bedroom that faced onto the road.
“And would this be my room?”

“Excuse me?” replied the landlady.

Another lorry rumbled past the house.


“Yes, yes,” she said, disappearing into the other bedrooms, apparently to inspect their state of disrepair.

“Well, it’s a good size…” I lied out loud to myself.

When the landlady returned she had a broken lamp in her hand and decided that now would be a good time to make sure that her potential new tenant wasn’t a psycho. What did I do? Where did I study?
Where had I gone to school?…

“And how old are you?”

I told her.

“19! 19! Do you burn saucepans?”

I assured her that no, I did not burn saucepans (although it was a natural question because of course I am not technically entitled to my saucepan user licence until I’m at least 21), and that in any case I had my own supply of cookware if I did want to do any saucepan burning.

“Hmm,” she nodded.

For a moment we were both quiet.

“Well, thank you for showing me around. I have a few more places to view, but I’ll be in…”

“You don’t want to live here, do you?” she interrupted.

I looked at her.

“It’s really very scruffy, isn’t it?”

We were in the front hall and I could just see the kitchen ceiling sagging behind her head.

“I wouldn’t want to live here,” she said.

Well that was settled then. Even the landlady didn’t want to live in her own house. Yet somehow even then I couldn’t quite bring myself to tell her the truth: “Yes, you’re right, your house is truly horrible and you are absolutely mad if you think that I honestly want to live here.”

“No it’s not that,” I said, “it’s just that I’m really looking for a social bunch of people to share with, so the fact that I couldn’t meet the tenants is a bit of a problem for me. But thank you very much for showing me around anyway.”

So, I waved a happy goodbye to number 202 and climbed back over the railway to continue the search for that most elusive of things, a London flat to call home that doesn’t make me want to cry.

The search continues…


Sunday, 4 September 2011

I miss you Alex

I miss my sister. A few weeks ago she left on a one way ticket to Australia. She is planning to spend six months to a year in the land down under. It seems I'm not the only one missing Alex...