Wednesday, 28 December 2011

retrospect: 2011

So I didn't really do the whole yayayay its Christmas thing did I? I am not all that keen on New Year either, if I'm honest. Yes, I am a total scrooge. No, this post hopes to dispel that misconception.

The celebrations might be a disappointment but I totally buy into the let's look back on months previous deal. I would like to think of this as a snapshot into the behind the scenes life of ayduodd. It's as good excuse as any to bring the nostalgia.

What did I do in 2011?

I practically got married. I dressed up. I dressed down. I saw Usher (I know right). I graduated. I moved a lot from York ---> countryside ---> London. I made a loyal friend named Gordon. Hendrick's on super special occasions. I LFW'd - backstage and FROW (ok, SCROW). I Notion'd. I went short. I press day debuted. I turned 22. I wore a collar with everything. I bet, and won. I discovered people queued for the library?? I got a bowler, and never took it off. I moved to London. I threw a friggan time capsule into a lake. Most of all, I had a ball with the best friends.

Here's the proof:

See, I'm not a total party pooper.

What are your NYE plans? I am back in the big smoke with not the foggiest idea of what to do. 

Shoot your suggestions this way. 

Less resolution making and more ruckussssing. I'll drink to that.


Monday, 26 December 2011

so this is christmas.

Seasons greetings, all the best, bla de bla de bla. Hope you all had a lovely day etc.
What to do now? What even is boxing day? One of life's many mysteries. I know fo sho I ain't stepping an inch near a shop.

ANYWAY, this is what I got up to (ate, drank and wore) yesterday.

So much food, not enough of an elasticated waistband. Not gonna lie will probs spend today chomping on cheesecake and cupcakes washed down with copious amounts of tea and Moët  daahaling.


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Charlie May SS12

In the throes of Christmas present panic (still not one purchased, I'm chilling) and the accompanying colder climes, it's absurd to think we're longing for barely there spring / summer collections while we hug onto our flat whites and nuzzle into our faux furs, cashmeres and angoras. That's fashion for you, dah-ling.

Forget the ghosts of fashion week past, said designers have had their air time. I want new and not heard of and I want it now. Thus, I give you Charlie May - more than just a street style pin-up.

I have religiously followed Charlie's rise to fashion fame. She was one of the first blogs I formally followed, I poignantly remember a comment she left on (one of many) intern discussions. It read: "if you can't find a job in the industry make one for yourself." Kudos to her, she has made the dream a reality. Her glittery pins continue to stride from the cobbles of Somerset House to exclusive, invite-only press days. I have anticipated Charlie's début collection for as long as I can remember. The SS12 lookbook has been floating around the fashion stratosphere since early October, but it is only recently that she has officially cut the ribbon to her virtual shop.

Slick, audacious proportions? Check. Studded pony skin? Check. Eerie, derelict hospital? Check.

Seasons greetings, etc etc.


Saturday, 17 December 2011

the not-so secret diary of a fashion intern: RANT

*At risk of sounding like I am condemning all internships, I thought I'd point out before you read this and get all anonymous, nasty comment that I am not. What I am against is working full-time, unpaid to not gain anything from it. I want to be a journalist; returning mountains of samples will not make me a better writer. Nor, do I expect to have waltzed out of university and into the fashion director's shoes. Internships should be valuable experience and a step up the career ladder. Now form your educated opinions.

I debated subtly titling this piece but decided fuck it, I need to rant and so I shall. Psych yourself for a rant. A cohesive and valid one at that.

As the HMRC released their discovery (interns exist did you know!? No shit Sherlock) last week that interns across the media and fashion sectors (amongst others) are masquerading as full time, unpaid workers, my eyes have been opened and my jaw has not left the floor.

I understand the definition of an intern to be a role that is: 1. temporary and 2. additional. Interns, by dictionary definition do not run the press agency, publication etc. They're merely an extra pair of hands in times of encroaching deadlines. They should not be a fundamental part to the daily runnings of their chosen intern host. It surfaces that the reality paints a contradictory picture.

Call it blatant ignorance or genuine naivety but fortunately for me, I have never, in all of my countless placements from nationals to locals had the misfortune of being exploited just because I was a mere intern. I obviously didn't write the cover feature and there's the standard intern / editor hierarchy but I ain't had to sack off my out-of-work life in order to get through a mountain of returns, long into the night, to this day. I don't plan to make that a reality either. This week, I met girls who for that is a weekly event. And its not even thought of as a big deal, its compulsory, part of the pay packet. Except there's no pay-packet or even a whisper of a job after months of living on next-to-nothing, so called expenses.

What gets me the most is the fact that these CEOs are most likely rolling in it, in their made to order, silk, Versace suits, no less. If you're throwing lavish events, ordering Dom Perignon on tap, you can afford to pay struggling graduates who graft their arses day in, day out, for you. Frankly, its disgusting and I refuse to be caught up in that trap.

I have reached the point now whereby I started my twelfth, (as if) internship, on Monday and got the standard, introductory Q&A. "So do you do fashion?". It makes me think, did you even read my fucking CV? In my actual response, there are two facts that leave the fashion assistant of each intern host stunned. One is that I am old enough to have a degree (I have been assumed to be school leaver, more than once). And two, it is an English degree from one of the top twenty universities in the country. You would've known this had you read my CV. The dialogue that follows usually questions why I am there in the first place.

I have began to ask myself this very question and have reached the brutally honest conclusion: I am too good to be a returns bitch. There I said it. Fair, if I wanted to be a stylist or fashion assistant I'd happily lug suitcases up and down stairs. But no ta, I do enough of that in my actual life. Once, you've done one return, you've mastered the art. It's not rocket science. And if that's all you're 'gaining' and 'learning' then what is the point? I have served my time in fashion cupboards - some sweet, some not so great and can't help but feel that I'm overqualified and under paid to be a glorified skivvy. So, I shall return to the drawing board once the festive period is done with.

Back to the initial point. It infuriates me how this whole minimum wage debate is being publicised as a new discovery. Interns have kept the fashion industry ticking over for as long as fashion week has existed but its only now that they're threatening to do something about it. Something that will actually never be enforced, as as long as there is a queue of over-keen, wannabes the fashion world and others will continue to exploit the free labour. The words catch 22 spring to mind; can't get a job with an internship, can't get one without.

Who run the fashion world? Interns do. They at least deserve minimum wage or failing that, a whisper of a job promise after a mammoth six month stint. AT LEAST. Some credit wouldn't go a miss either.


Thoughts? My nosy nature revels in hearing other's stories - horror and fairytale.


Thursday, 15 December 2011

birthday presents... to myself.

Since I ain't doing the whole growing old gracefully thing any justice, I have decided that I shall grow old stylishly instead.

With my precious, three hours of freedom yesterday I braved Westfield Stratford. I lived to tell the tale and brought home some premature birthday gifts, to myself. I dare you to do the same, it wasn't as manic as I had anticipated BUT I would say be prepared. I did want to punch everyone in the back of the head ten minutes in. I heard Oxford street was worse so I won that one.
Forever21 and New Look

Oh so very relevant to the big 2+2 this week. Oh, to be forever 21 for real.

Isn't that cardi the most beautiful thing you ever did see?

Feel free to send presents in the post.

Btw, LONDON IS GOOD. More on that soon soon.


Thursday, 1 December 2011

pastures new.

Photo: my own

My life as a travelling gypsy comes to a welcomed stop tomorrow. Can I get a rapturous woop woop? After months of yo-yo-ing, to and from London for fashion-y related happenings, I am finally turning over that shiny new leaf. How, you ask:


The first part is certain. The latter, well let's just say it ain't as easy as that. I have no set plan bar whispers of that and promises of this but I leave with the intention of putting my finger in every sweet-tasting pie.

My fan girl obsession for the capital will likely to develop into an unadulterated passion for the place. I can hear screams of anguish echoing from and throughout my various friendship groups. I promise not to subscribe to selling out.

I hope to bring you few horror stories of the fashion intern curse and an abundance of free bar, fashion frolics.

I just gotta get through moving from one end of the country to the other via a three hour, probably packed train with my worldly goods, namely, my wardrobe, squeezed into a mini suitcase.

Here's to starts fresh. Wish me luck.


Monday, 28 November 2011

christmas for want all i.

Can't call meself a real fashion blogger without a token, festive wish list. By no means, comprehensive. Don't even get me started on make-up and other life essentials.
All: TOPSHOP -the multi glitter clutch which is UO.

Shiny, pretty things rule my world. Even more so, those curated by Mr. Green's designer elves.

A few other things that I'd quite like:
- Longer hair
- A blog branding designer
- A proper fashion job

If you can help with any of the above, do get in touch.

Excuse the lack of fashion, darling, as of late. I have can't remember the last garment / accessory I even bought; a champagne lifestyle on the lemonade budget of an aspiring fashion journo doesn't seem to be possible.
Anyone wanna send me a prezzie? Feel free.

Am off to catch up on the BFAs and reminisce sweet sweet memories of last year's fashion-fuelled frolics.


Friday, 25 November 2011

ghd air.

ghd have only gone and premiered a hair dryer. If their profilic, god-send straighteners are anything to go by then I need one of these in my life. Pronto.

At the forefront of revolutionising hair care in its ten year lifespan, ghd air claims to blow you away. Literally, by the sounds of the product name.

As a shorty (hair-wise but arguably in height too) there is little versatility. A decent blow dry maketh the mane and for this you need a decent hair dryer. ghd hair straighteners are every girl's go-to gadget, it's difficult to remember life pre-ghd and for that I can only think why they haven't done this earlier.

I won't bore you with the technical specs but it's promise is to provide salon standard blow drying, in the comfort of your own home. It is the brainchild of many a hair styling expert and you ain't gonna get better than that.

It's ghd. 'Nuff said.

ghd air is available for purchase on the ghd website and at the top-end salons now.

Another addition to the never ending birthday / Christmas list.


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

music to my ears: talk that talk

In an attempt to diversify my portfolio beyond frivolous fashion finds and, or a big fat wave to all you totes amaze magazines out there who'd love to have me on your team: "LOOK I CAN WRITE ABOUT MUSIC TOO."
Barbadian beaut's sixth studio album is on general release now.

What better place to start than Rihanna. As a self-confessed fangirl, while she tours the country, her new album suffices to satisfy my longings to see her live, for now. Is it any good?

Recently released 'You da One' (thought it sounded familliar) opens the eleven strong track-listing, setting the scene for mid-tempo, Caribbean cruising with dubstep influences making themselves known half way through. By the time the second track, entitled 'Where Have You Been' has a chance to unfold, its clear that Talk That Talk fancies itself as an all singing, all dancing, clubbers compilation, complete with mandatory ai ai aiiis. The lyrics of 'Where Have You Been' serenade over a generic electro beat with a heavier-than-we're-used-to-for-Rihanna's-standards bass line defining the penultimate quarter, fading out to remind us of her stripped back, soulful self.

Which paves the way for the lead single 'We Found Love'. If there's anyone to pull you out of your somber song habits- Calvin Harris be that man (or David Guetta but she's been there, done that). What can only be described as disco-ecstasy, 'We Found Love' is an instantaneous pick me up, begging for your dancing shoes to be danced in. I defy you to not so much as to tap your feet. Granted impossible. The accompanying visuals of 80's tearaways in denim and dms were enough, in themselves, to get my vote on this one.

Track by track, the album's premise becomes more obvious. If you haven't guessed yet, Talk That Talk, is Rihanna's two fingers up to tormented lovers previous. The disguised innuendos of 'Cockiness (Love it)' (the initial piano strokes are deceiving) are juxtapositioned next to Jay-Z's cameo appearance on title track, 'Talk That Talk' which transports Rihanna back to her roots; signature wailing over token, reggae drums coupled with affirmative, ghetto 'yeahs'.

'Birthday Cake' ain't quite up to the "go shortee, it's ya birthday" a la 50 Cent standard that I was genuinely expecting but on hearing the opening, guitar riffs of 'We All Want Love', 'Birthday Cake' is a welcome interlude, especially, after being told to "suck my cockiness, lick my persuasion" in 'Cockiness (Love it)'. Rihanna rectifies this temporary, rude boi return on reverting to her penchant for softer, acoustic tones and roaring sing-alongs in the form of 'We All Want Love'. 'Drunk On Love' confirms that aforementioned demons from a particular, previous relationship have been everlastingly, ousted. I couldn't be happier for her.

The lyrics of 'Roc Me Out' and 'Watch n' Learn' offer further suggestion that Rihanna is more than ready to introduce the next potential suitor to her life via clattering synths and bouncing, hip-hop melodies, respectively.

The rapturous tones of 'Farewell' offer an appropriate conclusion to all that have come before it. Reminding you of what lured you in to listen in the first place; the Barbadian beauty's, unadulterated charisma.

Admittedly, there were a few occasions where I actually forgot it was Riri I was listening to; backdrop echoes of euro-friendly thumps had her mistaken for your average Jo(lene?) female, club-song singer. It is evident that she has taken a temporary hiatus from song lyricing to focus her efforts on music making. The resultant product is Talk That Talk; a forgivably catchy, unmistakeably, toe-tap inducing, eclectic rebellion. 

The press seem to be happy that she's moved away from the darker themes that defined her previous two albums. I dare say, I prefer the former. I haven't been blown away nor disappointed. It may be a grower. 'We found Love' is a fucking good time tune though, minus Agy D. There is no doubting that. Kudos to the production team for making her happy dance once again.

There you have it. I have subscribed myself to music reviewing. Don't know about you but I quite liked it. Stick to the day job? Oh, isn't that ironic..


Friday, 18 November 2011

if i were a boy 001:
LUKE 1977

LUKE 1977

It may come as a shock to learn that I rate menswear high. I really think its appreciation and exposure is shunned under the limelight that womenswear collections consistently dominate. You just have to look at Fashion Week schedules for a synopsis of what I'm getting at. It is a shame, there's some real talent out there.

I am going to attempt to make this a regular feature; as regular as something from the opposite sex catches my eye, at least. I am on the look-out for some credible menswear blogs; if you know of any, please link me up in the comments.

The premise for these posts? If I were a boy, its what I'd be wearing. First up, LUKE 1977.

Self-titled, UK, menswear brand was founded and curated by a Central Saint Martins graduate and two life long friends. The threesome maintain their original brief in all modern collections, taking inspiration from surrounding figures to encompass all facets of the modern L.A.D: the gentleman, the working class hero and generic rogue; their product list reads like a lad's nickname book.

The trio protect the exclusivity of the brand by abiding by a strict distribution policy - stocking their collections in only select stores. And to their avail - the brand is firmly recognised up there with the top, designer dogs.

They even have their own magazine and we all know how much I love them. Here's a screen grab selection of my favourite pages:

Boys take note.

1 | 2 | 3


Thursday, 17 November 2011

who in here likes to P*A*R*T*Y?

If your response to that is a hell yeah, then aren't you in for a treat. As a my street chic, style representative of Newcastle, the glam girls over at the HQ have offered invites to their bloggers Christmas celebrations to all my doting followers, closet readers etc.

It'll be a priceless opportunity to mingle with other bloggers - beauty and fashion alike. The party also has plans to host an exclusive fashion show which will showcase the very latest lookbook from boohoo.

What? My Street Chic Bloggers Christmas Party
When? 16th December, 7-10pm
Where? Java, 9 Park Street, Bristol, BS1
How? Here
Who? Too many fashionable faces to name.

£5 (yeah, really) tickets include entrance to the party and fashion show, a complimentary drink on arrival and a goodie bag fulla fashion goodies, on departure.

Get on those dancing shoes and party dresses.


Monday, 14 November 2011

leather leopard.

This is the resultant visual to the realisation that I'm spending today doing what I have occupied the main of my post-university hours with: mapping an escape route, booking meal tickets, promising myself prosperous (party) times lie ahead with the sporadic, gin-fuelled tomfoolery thrown in for good, sociable measure.

Making like the stereotypically vain, fashion blogger that I am and releasing intern application frustration unto that dslr of mine. Might as live up to something.
Shirt: charidee / old Warehouse, Skirt and Jumper: h&m, Bowler: TOPSHOP

Leather vs. leopard is a win-win ensemble. Obsessing over the two a little much often sees me mistaking one for the other i.e. this coat I'm selling - it has a LEOPARD collar, not a leather one as I have previously tweeted.

Bare with while a formulate a realistic life plan.