Sunday, 29 June 2014

Sunday review

As is plain to see,I have once again been slacking on the blog front. I am, however, keen to actually commit to the new format, so here is my very first Sunday review. I am currently back up in the North to celebrate my Dads' 50th birthday. I took a few extra days off work so that I could make it an extra long weekend,a much needed break from the hustle and bustle of London which I can hopefully use to get back on top of some blogging. 

In my new format, I said Sunday would be a day to review my week and look at the week coming up. I also said that I would write a review of a gallery/exhibition/event I have been to during the week. As I have been at home this week I haven't really had chance to do anything review-able so I'm going to have to skip that part for now.

For me this week has been quite hectic,hence the lack of online presence. I'm quite an impulsive person at times and hate feeling like my life isn't advancing in some way, whether that be in my career or in my home life. As I have no power over career advancements at the moment,I made the somewhat drastic decision to move out- I decided this on Monday and moved out on Wednesday!Although I am extremely sad to leave the creative, bohemian atmosphere of the warehouse, I needed a change. I will be sharing a room with one of my closest(and oldest) friends for 2 months which, although cramped, will be a great way to save some money for whatever the next step in my life might be.

Other than the move, I have spent this week finishing off a few commissions and creating my dads' birthday pigeon. is my week in photos...

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

#Tuesdaytrend Moroccan tile print trend for S/S 2015

#Tuesdaytrend time

As per usual by the time I get around to posting this it is likely to be Wednesday morning not Tuesday, I really need to start getting into the habit of working on blog posts a day in advance as opposed to cram typing post work, but one hurdle at a time- it's enough of a struggle to get into a routine of posting daily.

Anyway today's Tuesday trend is a print trend for Sprint/Summer 2015 which I anticipate will become extremely popular with both the high end and the high street designers.  

The intricacy of Islamic geometry has been a constant source of inspiration for print designers, satisfying our western obsession of things we deem 'exotic' and 'exciting'. In the recent Autumn/Winter 2014 catwalks designers such as KTZ, Mara Hoffman, Temperley and Preen by Thornton Bregazzi(among others) introduced Islamic tile designs into the prints in their collections. By reducing the colour palettes to basic one colour prints, mono printing being a particular favourite, the designers adapted the tile designs to fit in with the Autumnal colour palettes.

Autumn/Winter 2014 Moroccan tile print trend.

Despite its debut on the Autumn/Winter catwalks, this print trend is perfect for the Spring/Summer season. With it's fresh turquoise/blue tones against burnt oranges,sunshine yellows and it's trademark blue and red colour combining, this trend whisks us away to warmer climates. Although the Cruise/Resort collections for 2015 are still in progress, we can already see indications that this trend might be one to watch out for when the Spring/Summer 2015 collections are revealed in September. With global fashion institutions like Chanel championing this trend, there is no doubt about it gaining popularity. 

Cruise/ Resort 2015 Moroccan print trend.

To find the best designs you can search any of the following words on google/pinterest: Moroccan tiles, Islamic geometry, Alhambra designs, Marrakech mosaics, mosque interior architecture, mosque tiles,Islamic floral design. 

Alternatively you cant follow my Moroccan tiles board on pinterest where all the visual imagery is there ready for you to use :) Here's the link:

Monday, 9 June 2014

#Makeaneffortmonday- Choices

When I started writing this post it was, in fact, Monday-so in my head it still counts! Anyway as stated in my new blog format ( today is #makeaneffortmonday where I not only make an effort with what I wear to work, but also make an effort to write a substantial blog post.

Anyway, here is my outfit choice for #makeaneffortmonday- gold, black,white and borderline tacky but I just love it....

Festival hairstyle: Pinterest, Gold bag £26.00 (Littlebylitte at ASOS Marketplace), Fringed crochet top £65.00 (Topshop), Gladiator sandals£38.00(River Island), White Joni jeans £36.00 (Topshop).

As it was such lovely weather at the weekend I seem to have made a transition into a summery festival-y mood and this is reflected in today's outfit choice. I also have a huge love for mono outfits at the moment so this selection is an ode to the mono trend. Joni jeans(my new favourite!) in a stark white colour, balanced out by a hefty amount of black in this outfit. I am absolutely in love with this fringed crochet top from Topshop and would love to get my hands on one. I've created balance in this outfit by adding a pair on chunky black gladiator sandals with gold buckles (I actually own these)and a gold pouch bag. To go along with the festival vibes I am feeling at the moment I've added this gorgeous braided hairstyle to my outfit choice, channeling game of thrones, the loose braids make the outfit more relaxed and less try hard.

For my main #makeaneffortmonday post I want to discuss choices and how we are part of a generation overwhelmed by surplus options that make the decision making process impossible, and the outcome unsatisfactory. 

Last Friday marked the long awaited payday, the 5 week month had really taken it's toll on my footwear and every pair of shoes is my possession seemed to make the simultaneous(somewhat inconvenient)decision to fall apart. I honestly think I need to re-master the art of walking as I'm obviously doing something wrong here.....

So on Saturay I ventured to the absolute nightmare that is London's Oxford St. Manic crowds of people sauntering from window to window at a speed which is only comparable to a snail and stores full of beautiful items of clothing which I cannot I said ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE! I am quite a directional shopper and I already had an idea in my head of the replacement footwear I needed to purchase: A pair of trainers and two pairs of chunky sandals- one in black and one in white. I congratulated myself on my organisational skills an the preparations I had made. What I wasn't prepared for was the overwhelming amount of choice I was presented with. Every retailer had their own version of a chunky black/white sandal, tweaked to make it ever so slightly unique. Feeling baffled and confused, I started reflecting on the situation and came to the conclusion that, although choosing new footwear is an extremely menial decision the surplus options we are presented with are representational of what we have to face in our daily lives.We are offered so much choice that the decision making process is prolonged and we find it impossible to reach an outcome we are 100% happy with. 

Top left to right: River Island(£40.00), River Island (£38.00), Office (£80.00)
Middle left to right: Urban Outfitters (£62.00), New Look (£27.99), New Look (£29.99)
Bottom left to right: ASOS(£50.00), New Look (24.99), Urban Outfitters (£62.00).

Dating, for example, is comparable to the aforementioned shoe dilemma. A few decades ago, before the explosion of technological advancement kicked in, people married their childhood sweethearts/a local lad that was a friend of the family. Now, however, we have options. The advent of the internet brought a world of new possibilities, possibilities including online dating. Our society now has a plethora of potential partners across the globe. New phone apps, such as Tinder, have extended our dating pools to the extent that we need only swipe left or right to make a decision regarding potential future partners. So much choice, so many options. All of which leave us feeling increasingly confused and depressed when we realise that, after endless hours "tindering", we are still single. 

Why is it that decision making seems to cause us so much stress and, when it comes to dating decisions, depression? Recently I read an article in 'Psychology Today' magazine which speculated that "maybe a world of possibilities is also a world of missed opportunities." The superfluous options we have and the unnecessary amount of decisions we have to make on a daily basis have a direct correlation with our satisfaction levels. 

What happens when you overwhelm an entire generation with too much choice? Nothing is decided and little progression is made. Perhaps this is one of many reasons why the unemployment rate for 16-25 yr olds in the UK is on the rise. Coincidentally the unemployment rate for 16-24yr olds is highest in London(, arguably the area of the UK with the most choice. That's not to say this is the reason unemployment is so high, obviously there are many other contributing factors. 

Pressurised to make decisions at the age of 14/15(GCSE's) that will map the course of our lives, we choose school subjects that limit our futures. As we go further up in the UK education system, our options become broader, have increasing importance, but are also more limiting. The ultimate paradox where too much choice, instead of expanding our future, limits it.

According to an article in The Telegraph, "when you have too much choice, you become obsessed about what your decision will say about you." In a social atmosphere where our personality/character is assessed within a few seconds of interaction, routine decisions have increasing importance. Snap judgements are rife, particularly in overcrowded cities like London. First impressions are made quickly and so decisions like "what tie should I wear to work?", "What shoes work best with my outfit?"and "should I quickly re-paint my chipped nails before getting on the tube?" become of paramount importance.  

We are so focussed on these menial decisions that seem to absorb all of our brain capacity that we find it impossible to make decisions on the more important aspects in life. What would we be capable of doing if we found a way to sieve through the surplus options and focus on the important decisions in our lives?

I'm not advocating that we have controlled/limited freedom of choice, just nostalgically stating that things seemed to be easier when there were less options. Gone are the days when one milkman brought each house one pint of standard milk directly from the dairy. Now we even have to implement an entire decision making process just to buy a pint of milk, whether it be full fat; semi-skimmed; skimmed; 0% fat; goats milk or soya milk. 

Is this much choice really necessary!!!It's Milk for goodness sake!!!
The current social atmosphere is one of confusion,depression, anxiety and self consciousness. If we all made a united, decisive movement towards downplaying minor,unnecessary decisions I'm sure our society would find that the more important decisions regarding our futures, would be easier to make.

Friday, 6 June 2014

Just a quick Friday feature: Jill Gallenstein

It's finally Friday!!!Struggling to contain my excitement that the weekend is here!So under my new blog format Friday means I have to feature another artist/designer so here we go....

Todays' Friday feature is on Jill Gallenstein, an Ohio based artist whose detailed pen and ink illustrations leave me in awe. There is a huge part of me that wants to believe that if I was able to work part time/freelance I would find the time to create intricate works of art similar to mine, but it takes quite a lot of motivation and that is something I seem to struggle with on a regular basis. is a link to her website if you want to take a look at the other amazing pieces she has created:

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Belated Tuesday trend post- Sports Luxe!

In light of my new format, I feel like it's time to start blogging again, despite it being mid week!Unfortunately I was unable to do a trend post on Tuesday as I was at Graduate Fashion week(which you will hear all about in my Sunday review), so instead I'll do the trend post I had written for Tuesday as well as a #thursdaythrowback. The trend I'm choosing this week is sports-luxe as this seems to be what I gravitated towards in Tuesdays' outfit choice. As I recently (over) indulged myself with a post payday shopping trip, I can show you the outfit I'm actually wearing as opposed to the outfit I wish I could be wearing, which is quite refreshing change!

Bomber jacket: Monki (£25.00), Midi rings: Topshop (£12.50), Cami top: River Island (£14.00), Trainers: Monki (£30.00), Joni Jeans: Topshop (£36.00).
I became temporarily obsessed with Monki on my Saturday spree and purchased this scratchy paint effect bomber for only £25.00,which fits in perfectly with the sports-luxe trend and the current artsy/painterly textures trend.They also have a high neck bodycon maxi dress in this exact same print which I am just dying to get my hands on, if it's still there next month I will definitely be purchasing it! I also bought myself my first pair of trainers!A ridiculously colourful set combining blue leopard print with neon coral strips and a lime green base, these trainers are definitely a little "too much" which is absolutely perfect for me!Ironically I bought the trainers with every intention of joining the gym....alas I became so carried away with feeding my shopping habit that I can now no longer afford to join said gym this month...ironic n'est-ce pas!?
I also absolutely have to mention my new jeans!!!Jeans shopping is normally an activity I do when I'm not in a good mood as it generally deflates whatever positive feelings I might have. That was until I found these Joni jeans in Topshop. Yes, I am aware that this sounds like a shameless advertising plug but seriously these jeans are AMAZING!!!Not only do they do them in petite lengths so shorties like me can wear them without having to roll them up 5 times/cut half of the leg off,they also have so much stretch in them that they can fit around my bum without being baggy on the waist. What more could a girl want in a pair of jeans!To finish off this look I added a selection of colourful midi rings and some white nail varnish- because you can never look too 90's....although I did hold back on wearing my lime green scrunchie!

It turns out that I had chosen a good day to turn up to work looking like an absolute Hipster, as I was given a free ticket to go to the Graduate Fashion week 2014 awards ceremony and catwalk show at the Truman Brewery in East London. Stuart Peters gives a Visionary Knitwear award to one creative graduate each year and, as the Junior Print designer of their knitwear department I was fortunate enough to get to see the show. It felt very strange to return to Graduate Fashion week as the last time I went I had attended as a new graduate trying to secure a job. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that I would be working for the knitwear company which sponsors Graduate Fashion week. It's a running joke in my family that knitting(along with baking, cooking and cleaning) is not my forte- in fact every scarf I have ever attempted to knit has ended up taking on a triangular form, goodness knows how I pick up so many extra stitches. 

Left: Me and my 'sponsor' ticket for the Awards show, Right: A close up of the "prompt"(lies!) show start time.

Anyway, enough about my lack of knitting skills and onto the graduate who was actually awarded the Stuart Peters Visionary knitwear award- Rebecca Swann from Nottingham Trent University. Swanns' monochromatic chunky knitwear collection wowed the judges and I can't wait to see the collection she comes up with for ASDA, I anticipate that it will be full of cosy chunky knits to snuggle up in!

Rebecca Swanns' collection. This photo does not do her work justice at all but I will track down some better photographs and include them in my Sunday review.
The reason I am briefly mentioning Graduate fashion week here and not waiting until my Sunday review is due to the popularity of the sports-luxe trend amongst the graduate collections! Below I have made a quick collage of images from the catwalk collections at the awards ceremony. Sheer bomber jackets, performance fabric, neon colour schemes and foil like garments all added to the sports-luxe feel of the collections. I will of course include a proper review of the Graduate collections in Sundays post, when I have pulled together some better photographs!

Left to right: Naomi Valentine, Keziah Newlove, Holly Jayne Smith, Stephanie Chesworth, Camilla Grimes, Veronica Peduzzi-Davis.

The sports-luxe trend has been increasing in popularity for several seasons. Championed by Prada and DKNY in their S/S 14 collections, the trend now appears to have a mass following. Not that I'm complaining, I have been loving the fresh white backdrops, the neon pops of colour and the graphic prints. As long as we don't return to minimalism, I'm happy!

S/S 14 collections, left to right: Prada, Tommy Hilfiger, Phillip Lim, DKNY.

The appearance of sports brands like Lacoste and Tommy Hilfiger on the catwalks has increased our love for the sports-luxe trend. Recent collaborations between renowned sportswear brands and designers/retailers have brought sportswear to the forefront of British fashion. 

In the past year we saw collaborations between Stella McCartney and Adidas and another Nike and Liberty trainer collection(The first began in 2011) . We also saw high street giant Topshop rocket the appeal of sportswear through their collaborative collection with Adidas. There are also rumours regarding  a collaborative project between Mary Katrantzou and the company(Adidas), set to be released to the public in November of this year. It looks like this prestigious sportswear powerhouse is set to blur the boundaries between fashion and sports attire. 

Back on the catwalk the Sports-luxe trend continued to pick up pace throughout the A/W 14 collections. Consistent throughout all 4 main Fashion weeks(New York, London, Milan and Paris), this trend was adopted by the like of GILES, Miu Miu, Marc Jacobs, Ashish and Kenzo.

A/W 2014 collections, left to right: Iceberg, Miu Miu, BCBG Max Azria, Jil Sander, Ashish, Opening Ceremony, KTZ, Christian Wijnants, Phillip Lim, Kenzo, Giles, House of Holland, DKNY and Stella McCartney.

The transition of a micro trend to a macro trend revolves, in my opinion, solely on timing and the social atmosphere. As a generation we seem to be obsessed with celeb culture and so once a brand has a celebrity on board, the mass appeal for the brand increases tenfold! For A/W 14 Marc Jacobs made the controversial decision to announce Miley Cyrus as the face of his brand, which conveniently was extremely sportswear orientated. DKNY featured Rita Ora in their runway show, also a sports themed collection. The press at Miu Miu made a huge deal about Rihanna(who also fronted the SS14 Balmain campaign) choosing to sit on the FROW of their runway show-ever a fan of hot pants and a string vest Rihanna is renowned for championing sportswear with a sexy edge. With all of these clever designers sending us subliminal messages that if we buy from their collection and jump on the sports-luxe bandwagon we too can have the same style as Rihanna, Rita and Miley. The subliminal messages obviously worked as the fashion conscious society have all become seemingly obsessed with this trend.

Top left: Marc Jacobs ad campaign featuring Miley Cyrus, DKNY advertisement including Rita Ora and an ad campaign with Rihanna for Balmain. 

As the new cruise/resort collections for 2015 are being revealed, we are seeing that the sports trend is continuing and, if anything,become stronger. Bomber jackets, foil dresses and trainers seem to be taking over both on, and off, the runway. 

Cruise/Resort 2015 collections, left to right: Christian Dior, Veronica Beard, Emporio Armani, Reed Krakoff, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, MM6 by Maison Martin Margiela, Just Cavalli, Max Mara, DKNY and Missoni.

Although I love the freshness of this trend, I'm going to have to really increase the intensity of my excercise routine and decrease my calorie intake to ever be able to wear Lycra hot pants and a crop top outside of the house!

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Blog spring clean

I seem to be becoming increasingly bad at blogging, this seems to have a direct correlation with becoming increasingly bad at maintaining any kind of routine in my life. Definitely time for this to change!

I have decided to have a blogging spring clean.I have improved the design of my blog title with a bolder, neater header(courtesy of Adobe Illustrators' live paint tool) and have updated the background with a new patterned pineapple and spot combo in keeping with the Spring/Summer 14 tropical theme. As part of this spring clean I have also decided to reformat the way I post on my blog, I need to start having some consistency in my posts and so will follow the below format:

Monday: Make an effort Monday #makeaneffortmonday
This is pretty self explanatory- every Monday I'm going to make an effort to dress nicer at work and try and align my "What I would wear if I could" posts with what I'm actually wearing. As part of this new "Make an effort Monday" I will also spend a bit more time putting together a post of substance..

Tuesday- Tuesday trends #tuesdaytrend
This will be a brief post about anything that seems to be trending in the fashion world each week. From nail varnish and accessories to street style and high street best sellers.

Wednesday- Wednesday wishlist. #wednesdaywishlist #wardrobewishlist I don't want to bite off more than I can chew by committing to a written post every day, so this post will basically be a screenshot of things I've tagged in my wardrobe wishlist board on Pinterest.

Thursday- Throwback thursday #throwbackthursday gonna jump on the throwback Thursday hashtag but with a TextileCandy twist. Each week I'm gonna take a look at an aspect of historical fashion and relate it back to current trends, hows that for a throwback!

Friday- Fridayfeature #fridayfeature 
Ever Friday I will write a feature on an Artist/Designer I have recently come across with links to their work.

Saturday- Saturday Selfie/Selfish Saturday...this will be my day off from actual blogging but I will upload a Saturday selfie showing anything interesting I am doing.

Sunday- The Sunday review #sundayreview 
An overview of my week, what's coming up in the next week and a review of something I have seen, visited etc.

I'm also very aware that I really need to up my game when it comes to social media too so henceforth I will be #hashtagging EVERYTHING!(As you may have noticed in the overenthusiastic hashtagging throughout the above post!)