I always forget that I’m a solid smidge older than most my uni friends! This Saturday we pre-emptively celebrated my flatmate Gemma’s birthday – she turns 21 next Saturday, but as she’s going home for the big day itself, we decided to celebrate in advance. We were at a loss as to what to do, originally, and were even super close to booking us all in at a spa. However, and to be honest I cannot remember how the idea even cropped up, we decided on male strippers. Duh.
Our next task was actually finding a strip club in London that targeted an audience that was interested in men. Harder than it sounds! After breaking through the adult locks on our 4G, we were able to find the Dreamboys, gathered the girls, and got the tickets sorted. Now, I’ve been to strip clubs, but never have I seen male strippers. We knew first up that it was going to be heavy on the hen parties, and we knew that we were going to be reduced to shameless giggles the ENTIRE time.
I am a sucker for vintage clothing, and I am even bigger sucker for reasonably priced vintage clothing. It seems like a lot of the time you slap the word “vintage” on something and suddenly there’s an extra digit added to the price tag. So, I watch where I go: markets that are not advertised as ‘fairs’, markets that don’t specialise in clothing or are attempting to be edgy, charity shops that are run by old dears, and shops that advertise themselves as vintage stores but have large sections dedicated to discounted items/sales/special offers. Examples? Broadway market (a food and craft market, with one seller of vintage material), East End Vintage Clothing in E3 (massive market under the railway arches, constantly doing specials like £1 knits or all-you-can-fit-in-this-bag for £10), Camden (but look for deals, and get off the highstreet: head for the stables).
On with this post! Why do I love culottes?
Like a skirt, but different
Can sit with spread legs! And climb about!
Oddly flattering – high trimmed waist, is like a skirt over the thighs
Easy to style: sliders or heels? basic tee or plunging crop?
Mostly it’s the sitting with spread legs that gets me. I’m constantly splayed about, or have my chin resting on my knee, so these are pretty good for me. It’s funny how culottes have come back in, especially as I still clearly remember having them as part of my old school uniform and just “what are these?! a skirt? shorts? make up your mind!” – but now I’m definitely a little more appreciative. I love that at first glance you might think I’m wearing a maxi skirt, I love how they flow and how light they are. So, here are my two pairs. Vintage from Broadway Market, and got them for two for £20 – thanks to the very lovely man who wanted to close up and go home for the day.
Above, pale blue and white floral culottes. Zip down the front, fake pockets.
Outfit can be seen in detail here, sub coat. Make up details are in the same post, though I smudged my eyes here for a grungier look. Nothing like a mini shoot by the water tanks and falling-down shed! (Credit to me mam for being sah patient.)
Faux fur coat – M&S
Choker – Topshop
Top – Primark
Trousers – River Island
Funnily enough, I actually did quite a bit of research before starting on this one – I was super set on doing Twiggy’s classic eyes, but needed to confirm that I was thinking of the right decade! Twiggy’s rise to fame was in the late 60s and, thankfully, her look continued into the early 70s. Therefore, fun eyes were a-go. Less fortunately though, they kind of turned out a little more difficult than expected, especially as I either have an even more asymmetrical face than I previously though, or I’m just rubbish at drawing lines. Probably a bit of both! I had a lot of fun with this, and having found some incred 70s make up looks (yay for digitalisation and being able to access editorials and magazine covers online), I might have another go and create a different 70s look tomorrow.
Special thanks go out to my lovely aunty (whose home I’m currently living in, too, she’s an angel), who is constant fashion inspiration. I went on a little bit about her here, when I was trying on her late 60s crochet dresses. Knowing that this post was incoming, I demanded that she get some of her polaroids out so I could take pictures of them to show off what an absolute babe she was, and to be honest, still is.
Literally my dream haircut, too. Apparently she used to sleep with her sideburn-y bits taped down, so they’d stay in shape! She was over six foot by 15, and all legs. Some of her dresses in the photo albums, oh my days. Anyway. One day I’ll find the photos of my dad in his platforms and flares. One day.
One of my favourite things about being in my aunt and uncle’s house, is getting to spend the majority of the visit down memory lane. And not always my memories, either. My aunt is like me: keen to hold onto things, finding importance in mementos, and appreciating the history and stories of certain objects. We love photos, and will often spend time looking through albums. We know our family tree right the way back.
I’ve been here only a few days, and already have tried on rings (my granny’s, great grandma’s and my aunty’s old engagement ring), laughed about the things my mum used to wear (she was very, very out there and folk-y), and tried on the handmade crochet dresses that my great grandmother had made for my aunty! These dresses are from the late 60s, and my aunt must’ve been in her 20s. There were three: a gold, sleeveless shift (not pictured — too small for me!), a bronze shift, and a lavender and silver shift of the same design. The two dresses pictured also had matching purses to go with them!
Both dresses were completely unlined, and definitely on the small side in my opinion! I’d tried them on once before, when I was 12, and they fit then, so I suppose I should be glad that I’ve grown since then haha! My aunt was an absolute rail, and had actually been spotted and asked to model, but she’d declined.
And that’s a yes from me. A big fat gorgeous yes to these killer vibes! (Sorry, I mean vibezzzzz**)
Top — vintage find from What Goes Around Comes Around, Camden
Jeans — Topshop (here, but I don’t recommend them now, as they’ve changed the design and quality has apparently really gone downhill. If you find secondhand ones from ’13-’14, go for it, I wear mine everyday and have had them over a year!)
Boots — Doc Martens (here, though mine are very secondhand)
No make up: armed only with last night’s mascara. And, accessories novice that I am, no jewelry or even bag, oops ..but a really cool tshirt to make up for it!
Congratulations, you’ve made to the end of the dorkiest damn photos.
Super casual outfit. Docs and high waisted black jeans are easy staples, and tend to be on my body for the vast, vast majority of my day. I’ve never really gone for a polo before, but was surprised to really enjoy wearing it. I felt like I needed a matching sweatband, or like I was going to spontaneously burst onto a tennis court with high socks. I’m into that. This outfit just radiated fun vibes, and I couldn’t not smile whilst prancing around in it.
The Royal Academy of Arts, London, has hosted a summer exhibition for the last 247 years. Pretty phenomenal. I’m very big on art galleries, and as this was my first summer as a London resident, I was keen to do as much as possible. My interest in the Summer Exhibition, in particular, was sparked by a documentary on iPlayer that followed the build up to the event by spotlighting several artists who’d submitted work (the exhibition, unlike many, is open to submissions from anyone — artists and non-artists alike) and the curators of the exhibition, too.
Artist Michael Craig-Martin (mentor once to none other than Damien Hirst) co-ordinated this year’s showcase — which gave me yet more reason to pay it a visit, as I was (a little ironically) interested in him and his work. My first trip to the Tate Modern, I must’ve been about 10, was incredibly memorable: an artist had collected junk for three months and then built it into a mound; someone had put tyres all over the floor; and, the most bizarre, was a half full glass of water on a glass shelf, entitled the Oak Tree. I discovered, through the iPlayer documentary, that Craig-Martin was the artist behind it. I had to see what he’s come up with for this exhibition — if that man could imagine a great tree from a bathroom shelf, I was certain the exhibition he curated would be just as wild. I was not disappointed. Continue reading →