Sunday, 31 July 2011

Trailing Cats in York

Hey Dolls!

Summer has come to town. This weekend I moved out of my house in Newcastle back down south to live with my parents for the rest of the summer; cue long car journeys, endless traffic, and one to many Costa soya hot chocolates! Yum! 

I know the temperature is colder up north, but to be wearing leggings and jeans with slouch cardigans one minute, and then change to shorts, tights, and commando arms, is just simply irritating. I'm a bit of a Scrooge when the weather changes drastically, or when the clocks go back and forth.... jet black nights turning into a light sky at 10pm really makes this doll pull her hair out! *not literally*

My boyfriend and I went on a day trip to York last week. Having never been, I was struck by the picturesque buildings and the delightful cobbled roads that make up the back alleys and walkways of the Shambles. The main purpose of this day was to explore York and go on 'The Cat Trail'. As a huge cat lover, I honestly couldn't pass up the opportunity to track down eighteen cat statues dotted around the centre of York.
I spotted this white ghost kitty before we even started to locate the first feline figurines - the above cat wasn't even on the cat trail! I discovered a nineteenth puss-cat!  
This is one of my favorite cats that is positioned on a roof stalking a stone pigeon. Many of the cats were placed around York by a local architect in the late seventies - they were his artist signature to show the buildings he had designed. 
Another awesome black cat on someone's balcony. If I lived in York, I would buy a house or apartment with a cat statue situated on the property! I would also be a cat lady and own three cats XD

Below is The Cat Gallery which acts as a half way point on the cat trail. It is a quaint little shop that does what it says on the tin - sells gifts for cat lovers. Although I really wanted to, I didn't buy any cat gifts, however my parents bought me a cat statue when they were in Cornwall, so yay I win. I might start a cat trail in my room!
A cute ice cream shop that caught my eye due to the bright calligraphy. 
YUMMY STUFF near the Shambles. 
you can just see my boyfriend on the left!
'... give the dog a bone' is a cute shop with many strange and wonderful things to buy. If you got to York you have to go to this shop! They have memorabilia from Batman comics (yay) to the Moomins. Cute kitsch crockery, fashion books, handmade jewelry, posters, embroidered owl toys, nostalgic sewing bits and pieces, plus awesome nick-nacks. I think if I stayed longer in that shop I may have bought many gorgeous things. 

I did however by this book;
I actually have the second book in the Goddess collection which is called 'The Goddess Experience", so I was keen to complete the set, as well as reading all the tips and fashion info Gisele writes about and illustrates so beautifully. If you do not have this book I highly recommend, in fact it is a *Doll must*!

Each page is like discovering hidden vintage jewelry in your Grandma's attic; a joy and a guilty pleasure. I am always awed, enthralled, and inspired by the mix media illustrations that Gisele colours the pages with. I will post some picks of the illustrations tomorrow, and a sneaky thing involving illustration that I did whilst I was York hehe!

I hope you are all well my readers, and thank you all so much for the lovely comments you did on my previous post! It made me so happy, as I love to hear what you are all thinking!
Doll love xXx

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Foxy moments with Mulberry

Hello my lovelies! 

I can't believe it's been over a week since my last post :( I've mentioned in previous posts that I've been ill recently, and I guess I haven't fully recovered - it has been hard for me to concentrate or think about anything rather than sleeping. But I am getting better and I am determined to get back into my blogging, and what better way to do that than present you with another Mulberry post!!
Mulberry's Fall collection has landed; birds, British wildlife, and autumnal colours dominated the runway. Inspired by the quirky stop-motion film adaptation of Roald Dahl's "Fantastic Mr. Fox", the British label had fun by experimenting with the length and fit of quintessential outerwear coats and gave sophistication and flare to a seasonal staple. Styling each outfit with their iconic bags reminds us that Mulberry started off as a handbag company, and I love that they stick to their roots. They are also rocking the sock and heel combination trend, an aspect of styling that has been carried over to their Resort 2012 collection.

Another reason I love Mulberry is because of their eye catching campaigns and the story telling behind each collection. Along with their lookbook and catwalk show, Mulberry also produced a short film to promote their A/W 2011 collection. The film consists of Tim Walker's photography and interesting organic stop-motion backdrops, along with scale defying British wildlife, that leave the viewer feeling like they've fallen down a rabbit hole into an autumn Wonderland.
The video is so charming and really captures the Mulberry concept. The little snippet of Mike Snow's song "Animal" that plays during the film is such an interesting song choice that makes me think of Mulberry every time I hear it. The song is also used for their catwalk track - I like that Mulberry have shared an element of their catwalk production with us fashionistas who aren't part of the exclusive fashion world that gets to watch their runway show. An addition of birds chirping and animal rustlings to the original song maintains the illusion of a fantasy autumn land that Mulberry has created. 

I can't wait for autumn now! I love kicking the crispy fallen leaves that seem to suddenly mask the roads and pavements. 

The other night I heard a tawny old hooting in a nearby forest, so I decided to hoot back and I had a five minute hooting conversation with it! Wildlife can be so magical, an aspect that Mulberry captures entirely. Also, yesterday I was at my boyfriends Grandma's house and saw her cat digging and eating something in a nearby field - a cat digging? I had never seen the like. So I rushed through the field grass and discovered the cat eating baby harvest mice!!! I managed to save two out of seven!

These animal encounters made me realise that autumn is upon us! I have always loved animals, especially British wildlife; I think that's why I identify with Mulberry as a lifestyle brand. Below are three of their campaign posters that I simply adore!
The last poster is my favorite - the mixture of auburn reds is reminiscent of tree leaf colour evolution that occurs in early October. Autumn and Winter can be quite boring when it comes to clothes, especially up North where it's so cold that I end up just not caring and throwing on any old jumper. My shopping goal is to buy a Burberry style brown trench coat - but style it like Mulberry!

The colour palette for this collection is simply divine, and not the usual drab dull colours that can dominate the catwalk. Mulberry have been creative and really studied their inspiration for colour, something that some designers tend to neglect. I love the colour names as well: birds nest, deer brown, conker, pumpkin, mole grey, foxglove pink, oak, bright cabbage and waders green - they set my creative writing mind running.
Above are my four favorite looks from the Mulberry A/W Ready-to-Wear 2011 collection. Chosen because of colour, styling, print, and garment combinations, I feel these images best portray the Britishness that is at the heart of the Mulberry brand.

Hope you loved this post!

What's your favorite season and why?
Doll love xXx

Sunday, 17 July 2011

The Nature of Fashion

Evening guys and dolls!
Just a quick image post of some more fashion findings from the Resort 2012 collections. 

Nature seems to be a big theme with the designers, in particular feathers. Feathers hold such beauty in their flawless design, holding pattern and colour unique to the bird or species. Dark libraries home to mystical books, and old parchment with ink splats comforting a lone quill, are what springs to my mind when I see a single feather. I want to caress it, collect it, try and get a sense of the bird who left it. 

Designer brand A.L.C was created by stylist Andrea Lieberman. Her collection features wearable, functional clothing that are subtle in design but still wonderful garments. The styling is minimalistic apart from a solitary thin gold cuff on the model's right forearm; understated to keep focus on the sophisticated workmanship of each garment. My favorite pieces included the leather bodycon dress below, and a blue blazer teamed with matching shorts that can be seen in A.L.C 's complete collection on 
A.L.C also includes these two silk pajama separates, above, that feature a wispy feather print falling down the model's body; the print isn't bold but still draws this Doll's eye, due to the beauty and subtleness of colour.

I seem to be falling in love with print at the moment! Again, the word subtle seems to be my favorite to describe the type of print I like - prints that mirror illustration techniques like pencil and ink splats. I found the below garment at the Northumbria University 'Reveal' show, which showcases recent graduate work from across their design subjects. The skirt, top and scarf were made by final year student Damika Walker, a very talented girl whose garment I adore!
Copyright Image: Me, concept and design: Daminka Walker
This dress reminds me of a Rorschach or ink blot test that psychologists use to examine the personality characteristics of their patients. If you look really closely at the left image, you can see what looks like an owl face at the top of the skirt - spooky and enchanting!

Here are some more feather accessorized collections: 
(Top Right & Left: Alexis Mabille Couture Fall 2011
Bottom Left: Azzedine Alaia Couture Fall 2011
Bottom Right: Chanel Couture Fall 2011)

Here is a preview of Monday's post, also bird themed:
Hope you enjoyed this post!
Doll love xXx

p.s. did I say this was a quick post at the beginning? Oops!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

" hold me, wrap me up, unfold me.......... "

Hey guys and dolls!

Recently I have been trying to upgrade my wardrobe by purchasing accessories that will enhance my look. Like every fashionista, I have way to many clothes than I realise and continuously buy without considering what is actually hidden away in my draws - the bane of being a fashion student haha!

As I have quite a large amount of jewelry, I have been focusing on buying accessories that have print and colour to spice up my monochrome clothing persona. Thus, the invention of silk scarves have caught my eye! Obviously not real silk because this Doll is unfortunately a typically poor student. But I have found some awesome buys and inspirations that I want to share with you all.
image copyright to Me
design and concept copyright to Helen Fiona 
The above headscarf display is an image I took at the Northumbria University 'Reveal' Exhibition 2011. This designer is a final year Fashion Marketing student, Helen Fiona, and has produced an A/W2012 collection for her new brand "Motifs of Joy", which makes bespoke hats and beautiful hand made silk scarves. Her headwear pieces ooze old Hollywood glamour, and I defy anyone who would not find her collection just breathtaking. I was struck instantly by the variety of gorgeous prints and delicate colours; her collection truly inspires me to focus more on the print side of my degree, as I love to illustrate and am a bit of a whiz on the computer side of fashion. 
copyright as before
The prints, as you can see, range from geometric shapes to etherial illustrations and are inspired by the Surrealist art movement.
Simply stunning! Be sure to visit her website to view her divine luxury hats and accessories. 

On to this Doll's fashion finds!
So far I have three accessory scarfs and I plan to buy two more from ASOS in the coming weeks - where else?!? Below are three picks of my scarfs :) The first scarf is deep navy blue with a white base, and brown/gold chain and rope prints, which is reminiscent of Ascot and equine like in design.

My rich brown scarf is vintage and was my first ever scarf buy! It has a beautiful burnt orange print of decaying roses and leaves. I call it my "Beauty and the Beast" scarf, due to the rose print connection to the rose the Beast keeps, as well as the brown hues mirroring Belle's hair.

The last scarf is made of a chiffon like polyester fabric and is in a jungle print. I don't usually buy jungle inspired prints because I'm not a fan of the way animal prints can look trashy and cheap, however this Giraffe print spoke to me. I think the addition of the fringing that runs along the longest outer seam, really makes this scarf stand out and more fashion forward than other animal print accessories. 
Blue scarf: £4 from Internacionale
Brown scarf: Vintage from London Camden Market
Giraffe fringe scarf: Lipsy sale £7ish
Below are my fashion inspirations for scarf accessory wear and styling. These two images are taken from  designer Cynthia Rowley and her Resort 2012 collection. I love the simplicity of the styling of the right image; the scarf adds tone to the shorts by harmonizing the two blue hues, whilst picking up the creamy tones of the underneath shirt with the scarfs subtle white print. 
In terms of styling a scarf, as much as I would love to wear headscarfs like the spectacular ones Helen Fiona has made, my head and hair just isn't made to wear anything! Every hair band or clip or hat I try to wear just falls off or makes me look like a five year old. So here is a *Doll tip* if you have an annoying head like me - take inspiration from Cynthia Rowley and tie your scarf into a slack pussy bow e.g. left image. This will add texture and shape to a basic tee or dress, and it can also work well for jazzing up office-wear if the scarf is placed underneath the collar of a crisp white shirt.  

 And finally, I leave you with these phenomenal scarfs by Coco, who is a French designer and graphic artist. The intricacy in design and print, inspired by Alice in Wonderland, leaves me jealous, amazed, and wanting more scarfs!!!
I hope you've enjoyed this post!

What do you think of scarfs? 
Would you wear them as an accessory?
Doll love xXx

p.s. the title of this blog is a song by Sia 'Breathe Me', check it out.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The fast times of Edinburgh high....street.

Hey all!

As promised here is more about my Edinburgh trip with my boyfriend we took last weekend. This trip wasn't all about fun and games or the most important thing, shopping! Homework was on my mind.

 I got my University results and passed first year, yay, with one mark off a First! Very happy. However, we have been set homework to be completed over the summer, in preparation for second year. The brief; take pictures of street style, with a focus on denim. Edinburgh was an opportunity to go out with my new DSLR and take picks!!
My breakfast: Costa Soya Milk Hot Chocolate! Yum yum yummy!
One of Princes' street parks that we spent part of our day in. 
The day had two goals: find Urban Outfitters to buy a book, and photograph people who I thought were fashionable and on trend. The homework plan didn't get off to a good start as the first three people I asked, who had amazing outfits, all said no :( - I thought it best for this homework assignment to go up to people and ask if I could take their photograph, otherwise I wouldn't be able to get a good enough picture with people walking around. 

Luckily, after a spot of Pizza Hut lunch, my confidence came back and I photographed eleven people - progress in my summer homework has been made!
A group of posh friends enjoying the sunshine eating strawberries and cream.
Now, on to shopping!

We finally found Urban Outfitters after a tremendously epic walk - I didn't realise how long Princes' street is. I adore UO and I would love to work there or one day be part of their design team. UO is one of those 'lifestyle' brands that I really have a connection with and feel that my fashion style is like. If only we had an Urban Outfitters in Newcastle, and if only I had money, because I would shop there as much as ASOS!!! And that's saying something since I am known as the 'ASOS girl' to all my friends.
I bought a fantastic book called 'Style Diaries' which I thought would lend itself well to my summer homework research, as well as making a nice addition to my bookcase. I am a book nut! I can't stop buying books; I love to own them, I am never satisfied with borrowing from the library. 

This book includes a lot of famous fashion bloggers who are all trendsetters and muses in their own right. Bloggers like Susie Bubble from Style Bubble, Nancy Zhang, and some of my new favs, Tahti Syrjala, Cosette Munch at Crack Cosette, and Sunshine Hurlburt from Blog Full of Jelly. A good read, and a definite Doll *Must* for all fashion lovers and new bloggers... like me :D
My final shopping find just put the icing on the cake of an awesome day - I stumbled, literally, upon Edinburgh's Mulberry store! I was awe at the bags. So many lush beautiful bags that I would give my soul to own. I also saw a scarf in the sale and thought 'oooo I can buy this'... not for £100 :(
At the moment, Mulberry are celebrating their 40th Anniversary and have released their own book about the brand and its history, full of gorgeous pictures from photo shoots and behind the scenes action from their shows. In the store they were promoting the book, giving away the above pack of postcard sized pictures (images from their book) as well as golden Mulberry badges! I had the biggest smile on my face and still do!!!
The book is £55, and yes, I will be buying it! This is one book which I do not mind spending a lot of money on. Mulberry is my favorite brand and designer; this book is my personal Holy Grail. 

Have you had any fun adventures in Edinburgh?
What is the one place you want to visit in the whole world?
Doll love xXx

p.s. I would love to go to Venice in Italy!