Monday, 27 January 2014

Gone is the monochrome, now for a rainbow week!

As I did a week in monochrome last week,well 5 days anyway which is a fairly good effort for me, I have decided to balance my blog out a little by doing a week in colour. I'm going to do the post layout a little bit different too so that it fits into my
Daily routine more easily with a style post in the morning(pre- work) and an artist/designer review in the evening(post-work)!Hopefully, by doing this, I will have a better chance of actually achieving 7 days worth of posts!

Instead of doing 7 days of multicoloured style posts I have decided to have a rainbow week with one colour per day. Today, as can be predicted, is my red day...

I love the red and blue combination of this outfit! The red silk shirt is from a seller I came across on Asos marketplace and it has a faint geometric pattern on it. I chose a long turquoise and red bead necklace from Topshop to go with this shirt and continued the red/blue colour combination with the painted canvas bag which I stumbled across on To avoid over complicating this outfit I would wear it with some plain black leggings, I chose American apparel because they are really good quality and have a lot more longevity than other brands! For the shoes I opted for some plain black leather peep toe heeled boots, practical because they have a chunky heel but without comprising the aesthetics. The final addition to this outfit is the velvet flower headband I found in topshop, I love floral hair accessories and the velvet material of those one caught my eye!

So there's the first colour post of this week, hope you all liked it and I'll post again this evening by which point I will hopefully managed to find an artist who specialises in pieces with a red colour scheme! Wish me luck...x

Thursday, 23 January 2014

My week in monochrome...Day 5 "What I would wear today if I could" +Artist review featuring Russ Mills!

After my pitiful blogging efforts yesterday I feel like I have to somehow try and redeem myself with this post, so here goes...

Top £38.00(Topshop), Skirt £9.99(Zara), Necklace £66.12(SaraAmrhein on, Chunky patent boots £92.00(Topshop), Fringed bag £45.00(ASOS).
My week in monochrome is almost over with only two more monochromatic posts to go- thank goodness!!How people manage to wear shades of black and grey every day, without it affecting their mood, truly baffles me!

For my last workwear monochrome post I have chosen a clean, white-based outfit which responds brilliantly to the recently popular marble print trend. This skirt is a perfect high street interpretation of this trend, using polished granite as the print, it is an absolute steal in the Zara sale at only £9.99!!!Thrown together with a sheer panelled white top, some chunky patent boots and a fringed bag, this outfit manages to ooze femininity while retaining a tough attitude. 

The necklace is probably my favourite item in this outfit(que sorpesa!) It is only recently that I became fascinated by polymer clay jewellery and as the majority of polymer clay jewellery seems to be necklaces my initial fascination is quickly becoming an obsession and will no doubt end up a little out of control!I'm just amazed by how polymer clay enables jewellery designers/artists to get more creative with accessories!Etsy has a great range of unique polymer clay accessories, some of which are shown below. 

Artist review: Russ Mills

So today I am introducing you to the striking paintings of Russ Mills, an artist who rarely uses colour, sometimes sneaking it in subtly" and therefore fitting into the theme of this weeks blog perfectly. 

Mills focuses on the human form and seems to specialize in abstract portraiture. The loose but deliberate brushstrokes in his paintings evoke a sense of movement in the painted characters and I just love how raw and spontaneous the paintings feel.

Amongst more contemporary influences, Mills seeks inspiration from the past.Artists such as Jackson Pollock; Picasso and Basquiat, are an obvious source of inspiration for Russ Mills, particularly Pollock. The combination of seemingly uncontrolled abstract  brushstrokes and contrasting well painted faces, seems to have worked amazingly here.

In the FAQ section of his website, Mills gives some advice to aspiring artists/designers. Advice I think we should all live by:

"Patience. Perseverance. Discipline. Commitment. 

DRAW ALL THE TIME, sketch or doodle as much as possible or at the very least write down ideas. Carry an A5 black book always. 

Be aware of what others are doing, seek out the best of the best and learn from their approaches. 

Never be satisfied with what you achieve. "

To see more of his work/ find out more about Russ Mills, visit:

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

My week in monochrome...Day 4!

Thursday lull....lacking in blogging motivation today so this entry will be short and sweet and artist review-less...I'll make up for it at the weekend I promise!

Trousers £42.00(Topshop), Camisole top £42.00(Topshop Boutique), Shoes £45.00(ASOS), Necklace £6.00(ASOS), Oversized bag £60.00(Topshop).

Another day another dollar so the saying goes... After hitting snooze a grand total of 5 times this morning I finally managed to peel myself out of bed, scrape some make up onto my face and assemble my hair to look less tangled earth child and more purposeful beach hair.  I always feel like, if I had my ideal wardrobe, I would feel so much more ready for the day. In actual fact I probably wouldn't, I would be most likely to start complaining about my lack of wardrobe space. Which is why this virtual wardrobe I have created through my blog is so useful. Today for example, I would love to wear the above outfit in keeping with my monochrome trend for this week. This outfit is so easy to wear!Loose comfortable trousers; a slinky camisole top; an oversized black bag(an absolute staple for a print designer- this would fit my sketchbook and paints in) and some metallic shoes to add some pzazzzz to the ensemble.

That's all I have time,and energy, for today. I promise that tomorrow's efforts will be better!


My week in monochrome..."What I would wear today if I could..."

I am experiencing a severe case of mid-week blues so this style post, sticking to the monochrome theme, is centered around one of Dirty London's amazing printed tees. The slogan on this one is perfect for my mood today- "Fall down five times, get up six!"

On the Dirty London website( they have a sentence describing each t-shirt print. For the tee I have chosen for this style post it says:


Definitely a message we all need to hear on a Wednesday morning, even more so on a Wednesday morning where you have run out of coffee!!!

Kimono £68.00(Topshop), Top £25.00(, Leather skirt £14.99(H&M), Oversized bag £80.00(American Apparel), Necklace £18.50(Topshop), Chunky boots £92.00(Topshop).
I love this outfit- so easy to wear and the perfect combination of hard/edgy and feminine!

Artist review: Raphael Vicenzi

Raphael Vicenzi is the talented Belgian based illustrator behind As you will see through the artists I am featuring this week, I tend to gravitate towards a certain style of work- exquisite portraits in pencil/ink over a watercolour wash base. 

One of the things I particularly love about Vicenzi's work, which I feel helps to differentiate him from other artists with similar styles, is his usage of typography in his prints. There is so much depth added to his illustrations by adding words, and it is this that I like about his work.

Monday, 20 January 2014

My week in monochrome day 2... "What I would wear today if I could..." featuring Gabriel Moreno!

Day two of my week in monochrome...Despite the colourless theme of my style posts for this week, my mood has actually improved and I'm feeling fairly upbeat. So here is my 2nd post...

Shift dress £24.99(, Statement necklace £15.00(Topshop), Chunky boots £42.00(River Island), Glittery tights £12.00(Urban Outfitters), Bag £14.99(H&M).
Abstract crackle prints were all over the SS14 catwalks,featuring in the collections of Issey Miyake, Balenciaga and Marni(see image below). I love this textured crackle effect and found a really affordable interpretation of this trend on Daisystreet. I teemed this easy shift dress with an oversized statement necklace from Topshop which is made up of irregular shaped pieces of plastic which seem to echo the shapes created by the cracked dress print.With this dress I would wear, glittery sheer tights, my standard chunky boots and an oversized black bag.

Issey Miyake, Balenciaga and Marni. All taken from SS14 runway collections.

Artist Review: Gabriel Moreno

Madrid based illustrator/painter Gabriel Moreno is my artist of choice for today- his work fits perfectly into the monochrome theme I have set for this week. 

I came across his work while doing some research into artists to use as inspiration for my own work(see my work here: I really love the photo-realistic style of the faces and bodies of the figures in his illustrations and the contract this has with the very linear effect he has used in the hair. By looking over my blog you can tell instantly that I have an obsession with linear sketches, the fine lines in the hair that encircles Moreno's figures amaze me as I always seem to struggle with completely the hair of the characters in my sketches. Even now as I sit here typing I have 3 sketches on my wall of hairless heads where the faces are complete but the hair is non-existent.

Another aspect of Moreno's work that I love, one that seems to be a consistent feature in all of my favourite artists, is a monochromatic feel to the artwork with a small injection of bold colour. Gabriel Moreno injects colour into his work through tattoos, fabric and coffee stained backgrounds. Maybe this is where I am going wrong in my own work?Starting on a blank white page seems to psychologically trick you into being incapable of adding colour to the artwork. Starting on an inky/coffee base, however, breaks up the white areas and makes the page far less daunting!

You really get a sense of the character and personality of this figure. Love how the hair flows our behind her- looks similar to long hair when underwater.

The 2 women and peacocks'(far right) is probably my favourite of Moreno's illustrations. I love the blue and red colour contrast alongside the monochrome illustration.I think this piece really shown his talent as a fine artist as well as an llustrator!Just look at the hand of the woman in the painting- exquisite!

Sunday, 19 January 2014

My week in monochrome... "What I would wear today if I could..."

Recently I have had the 'back to work' January blues;early mornings, failed attempts at
dieting and financial despair have led to me feeling lethargic, apathetic and unmotivated- not the most productive combination!

As depressing as all that sounds, I have made the decision not to let this get me down and will be doing a series of blog posts this week entitled "My week in monochrome". I am a firm believer of dressing to suit your mood and, as my mood is not particularly upbeat at the moment, I intend to embrace this in a week of colourless style posts. 

Not only does a black and white theme reflect my current temperament, this colour scheme has also been a popular colour trend on the runway for the past 3 seasons and is increasingly popular in high street stores. Alongside these style posts I will aim to do introduce an monochromatic inspired artist/designer each day.

So for my first day of "My week in monochrome..."

Top £16.00(Boohoo), Disco pants £14.99 (, White cut-out boots £45.00(River Island), Polka dot socks £8.00 (Urban Outfitters), Necklace £19.48(BellaJewlry4u at, Black bag £12.99 (H&M).
As it is a Monday, I thought I would introduce this theme with a playful black and white spot print t-shirt. I love how this boohoo top combines different scales of spot as well as flipping the colour arrangement of the spots, and at only £16.00 it's a huge bargain! I also love these white cutout boots from river Island, since Jeffrey Campbell first introduced this shoe style it seems the high street stores simply can't get enough of them. With every British retailer doing a version of the cutout boot, the options for this style are endless- I am thinking abut requesting some of these for my birthday present as they are so versatile and can carry you through to summer. To finish this graphic black and white outfit off I have added some sheer spotted pop socks from Urban Outfitters, a black bag and a 60's look black and white floral necklace.

Artist review: Annita Maslov

As my monochrome style post for today has a strong polka dot theme, I thought I would take this as an opportunity to introduce an artist/illustrator who creates amazing pieces made up entirely from tiny dots. Influenced by 19th century pointillism (championed by Seurat and Signac), Australian illustrator Annita Maslov designs original prints and tattoos made up from minuscule dots.

As artworks, these illustrations have great compositions and the fact that they are created from specks of ink amazes me and adds an extra edge/hand-crafted element to the work.

I think it's so important in the art/design industry to boost each other up and forge online connections with other artists/designers. In the spirirt of this I encourage you all to take a look at
Annita' work at: 

Monday, 13 January 2014

'What I would wear if I could..' Celestial trend!

When asked at work what I thought the key trends for the coming year would be, in particular for Autumn/Winter 14, I was adamant that Celestial imagery would be one of them. Stars, planets, suns&moons, signs of the zodiac, weather imagery...everything related to the sky. Kenzo has introduced lightening bolts to his collection and Chanel's Pre-fall 14 collection is laced with stars, hopefully my celestial trend predictions pan out to be true.

With this in mind, today I would love to wear this outfit...

Blue crackle effect nail varnish £3.99 (BarryM), Yellow nail varnish £2.99 (BarryM), Turquoise liquid eyeliner£4.79 (BarryM), Black disco pants, Lightening bolt bag £23.00 (, Chunky boots £40.00 (River Island), Double knot leather headband £10.00 (Topshop), Statement necklace £40.00 (River Island), Floral burnout tee £15.00 (River Island sale- sold out). 
One thing I love about being from a really small town is that, generally, the high street clothes I like are a bit too crazy for the people who live in my hometown so they tend to always go in the sale. This was the case with this gorgeous river island tee, I had been trying to decide whether or not to buy it for about a month and a half (nice to know I don't always impulse shop!) when it went in the sale for half it's original price. The colour is amazing and it's long enough to cover my bum- always an essential whenever I buy a tee. 

I love this necklace as well, also from River Island. I've noticed recently that there seems to be a lot more choice for statement necklaces on the high street. Whereas before, there was only really Topshop to go to for this, now Zara, River Island, New Look and even Primark are stocking some great statement jewellery. 

I realise that I don't normally blog about beauty products and that this kind of looks a bit like a BarryM advertisement, but I genuinely love how vibrant their nail collection is and have chosen two colours that would compliment this outfit perfectly.

I think my favourite piece in this outfit is the Kenzo inspired lightening strike slough bag from So much cheaper than I inititally thought it would be! is quickly becoming my 'go-to' website for High-end trends at affordable prices.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

'What I would wear if I could...' - Winter florals style post!

This week I really want to get back into doing regular style posts. I feel a resolution coming on....As my New Years blogging resolution I will try and do at least 5 'What I would wear if I could afford to' posts each week and 1 chunkier more thought out entry. I feel like this year I need to get more organised with more of a routine to my life, maybe this will help...If I can manage to stick to it!

In the spirit of this, here is the first of many style posts!

Socks £5.00( ASOS), Bag £35.00 (Rokit vintage), Tights £2.99 (New Look), Chunky boots £95.00(Topshop), Tunic dress £70.00(Topshop), Knitted turban £12.00 (Topshop),Tarnished silver necklace £12.99 (Zara).
It seems that this week England has finally realised that it is actually winter and this means it needs to get colder. Ideally it needs to get cold enough to snow in time for my birthday. This means that it's time to crack out the boho knitted turbans and the tights and socks combo. Dark winter florals have been a huge trend this Autumn/Winter and I particularly love this Topshop boutique print with its rich orange and red tones. This garment is actually meant to be a tee, but one of the very few perks of being 5 ft absolutely 0 inches is that I can wear tee's as dresses.

I lvoe this outfit and would happily buy each and every item in a heartbeat if I had the funds. As a confessed jewellery hoarder I particularly love this Zara necklace, and at only £12.99 it's a steal- hopefully it will still be in the shops when my payday FINALLY arrives.

Figurative art trend SS14!

This is a delayed reaction to the Spring/Summer 2014 runway collections, but a day of visiting art galleries provoked me into re-evaluating the SS14 trends. 

With an outburst of colour, designers united for the coming season by using their garments as a canvas for abstract, deliberate, oversized brushstrokes in bold primary colours. Even Chanel, known for sticking to it's traditional look, branched out with carefully positioned multi-coloured painterly stripes.

Top row left to right: Roberto Musso, Yigal Azrouel, Cedric Charlier, Daniela Gregis
Bottom row left to right: Kenzo,Celine , Celine, Chanel.
Where digital prints have dominated the runway in recent years, the catwalk designers seem to have brought about a revival of the expressive art movements of the 1900's; cubism, surrealism and fauvism.

Left to right: Picasso(Cubism), Andre Derain(Fauvism) and Salvador Dali(Surrealism).

These painterly brush strokes have enabled a new style of prints to emerge-loose expressive figurative designs, all oversized in scale. An ode to surrealist and cubist paintings, these abstract portraits stretch the boundaries of printed fashion. Where, normally, print designers are restricted as to how experimental they can be with designs, the materialization of this print trend enables us to combine fine art with fashion. It also provides print designers with the opportunity to stylize their drawings, as abstract art doesn't need to be at all representational. 

Top row left to right: Ground Zero, Prada, Tata Naka, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Antonio Marras.
Bottom row left to right: Miu Miu, Claire Barrow, Giles, MSGM,  Jean- Charles de Castelbajac.
As a lover of art history, the emergence of this trend led me back to my art books and I thought it would be interesting to show the artist references for the prints we are seeing on the runway. 

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac's childlike illustrations take obvious inspiration from Matisse's bold, fluid outlines and the cubist nature of Picasso's portraits with disjointed and disproportionate facial features.

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac's Spring/Summer 2014 collection.
Pablo Picasso(1881-1973).
Henry Matisse(1869-1954).

 Marras, on the other hand,seems to make discreet references to the long, painted faces of Modigliani. Large almond shaped eyes, lengthened noses and slender necks being the 3 main characteristics of a Modigliani portrait are all found in the SS14 Marras collection.

Antonio Marras's Spring/Summer 2014 collection.
Amedeo Modigliani(1884-1920).

Egon Schiele is another 20th century painter who could have been used as inspiration for this trend. His scribble like portraits exude movement and character.

Egon Schiele(1890-1918).
Another unexpected print I came across in the SS14 catwalks was part of the Miu Miu collection. Tactful surrealism through a portrait made up of simple images including the outline of a bird and leaves. 

Reminiscient of the Surrealist movement of the 1920's and the food portraits of Giuseppe Arcimboldo(1526-1593). I love how the Miu Miu collection introduces surrealism and the idea that an image isn't what it seems in such a diluted way that it could be commercially viable.

Aside from the runway collections, surrealism also seems to have been making an appearance in fashion photography. The idea of having drawn on facial features covering the models own features, creates a very surreal feel to the photographs. As well as being aesthetically disturbing in an appealing way, this photographic trend seems to have quite profound undertones, hinting at how society seems to mask reality with counterfeit.

Despite being extremely effective, all I can think of when looking at this new playful style of fashion photography, is the Pale monster from Pan's Labyrinth with eyes in his hands.

In the spirit of the figurative art them to this blog post, next week I intend to create a range of portraits using what seems to be becoming my trademark OTT pattern style. I will write another entry towards the end of the week showing the sketches...if there are any! x