Monday, 29 November 2010

My first blog award...I promised I wouldn't cry...

I was awarded 'The Stylish Blogger' award by the gorgeous and chic Kathleen from Inspirafashion, and am currently feeling rather humbled/ecstatic/grateful. Here are the stylish rules:

1.) Thank the person who gave you this award - THANK YOU KC!!
2.) Relate 7 facts about yourself - here they are:

1. I literally cannot refuse a red velvet cupcake if offered one. They are my favourite thing in the entire multiverse.

2. I've represented my country in a sporting World Championships.

3. My mother was a beauty queen.

4. I'm applying to Harvard, and if I get in, I'll be the first person in my family to attend a conventional university/college before my 20s.

5. I studied Philosophy for the past two years and secretly enjoyed reading Plato's Republic.

6. I was once bullied to the extent that my arm was broken, and I'm proud of myself that I've moved on and grown into the person I am today.

7. To date, I've only been involved in one relationship and one (steamy!) hookup, both with guys of different nationalities to myself, and I'm totally OK with it. I've chosen and committed to dedicate my energy to my career-minded pursuits, for now at least.

And the last rule...
3.) Pay the award forward to 7 bloggers you adore and contact them to let them know they've been chosen.

1. A La Femme
2. Between Margins
3. Big City Little Shoes
4. fashionhash
5. Fashion Cappuccino
6. Vogue Gone Rogue
7. pagesixxx

Saturday, 27 November 2010

The Topshop Black Friday

Put simply, I'm not good with crowds. I like to protect my coveted 12 inches (of personal space, people! What were you thinking?), and I like to think that even when I'm browsing, I do cruise at a slightly faster pace than an electric wheelchair. Luckily for me, my body measurements seem to conform perfectly to many online size charts, so this Black Friday I simply sat back, sipped some green tea, and felt all warm inside (probably from smugness rather than holiday cheer. That, or the tea) while getting my share of holiday savings online.

My favourite online store of all time has to be Not only do my measurements exactly match their size chart (meaning that everything I order fits perfectly), but their products are always high quality, high fashion, and high impact. Topshop is currently celebrating the Thanksgiving shopping period by awarding a 20% discount to certain items. Above, my pick of the crop.

From top:
SCHOLAR Camel Patent Platform Loafers
Premium Lemon Sequin Flower Embossed Shift Dress
Cream Waterfall Ruffle Asymmetric One Shoulder Dress

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Inspiration is a slippery fish, but I've got a catch.

Some things inspiring me currently. From top:

1) A mashup of model Coco Rocha's apartment
2) (Click on this image for a larger version.) Beautiful outfits, sourced from and Inspirafashion.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Body Image and Bloggers

I’m not going to bullshit you - the fashion industry demands thinness. That’s just the way it is, it seems. We’ve all witnessed the scarily thin models, the size zero ‘bans’ on the runway, the countless magazine articles backing healthy curves, and the spreads of said magazines flaunting size zero models - oh, I’m sorry, size two. Well guess what people? That still makes you too-effing-skinny, which is only one step up from anorexic.

None of us are shocked to see a model with collarbones sharper than Perez Hilton’s pen. But with a new niche in the fashion industry - that of bloggers - there’s a new debate to be had: should bloggers be thin too, if they want to make it in the industry?

Although there are, without a doubt, successful ‘plus size’ (read: normal) models and bloggers, it seems as if they are only successful because they are considered plus size, because they are calling for the attention that ‘plus size’ industry insiders deserve; it seems as if they are only given such attention because the industry is trying to be ‘politically correct’. And, regrettably, there are far many more thin interests as there are politically correct ones.

Why is this? Why are bloggers seemingly only able to make it big - or at least have a leg up on making it big - if they are thin, able to produce photos worthy of a Vogue editorial spread, rather than based on the strength of their writing, critical eye, or sense of style, all things totally independent of superficial appearance? Well, there is the view that fashion bloggers, just like models, are essentially selling fashion, selling clothes. And we all know that the body is not supposed to have any curves capable of throwing a curveball in the way the clothes ‘hang’.

Excuse me? ‘Hang’? Human beings are not clothes hangers. Fashion is not supposed to adorn mannequins, clothes are meant to dress people. That is their entire purpose. And the fact is that people come in all different shapes and sizes - and predominantly, I must say, NOT size zeros - and fashion should cater to that. People should not have to cater to their clothes, which is frankly the message that seems to have been broadcasted recently with the ‘thin-is-in’ current standard of beauty adopted by magazines and culture at large.

My view on all of this? Frankly, nobody should have to ‘be’ anything. Bloggers, models, or anybody else for that matter, should not have to be fat, thin, or anything else that someone other than yourself demands. The only responsibility you have in regards to your appearance is to yourself - you have a responsibility to keep yourself healthy, and that is all.

Personally, I truly believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and thus that there is no ‘standard of beauty’. There are many different kinds of beauty, and as long as you are healthy, that is all that matters. If you are a healthy size zero, that is totally fine; if you are a healthy size 12 or more, that’s fine too.

Rather than aiming to look like a model in an editorial spread, aim to eat well, and provide your body with healthy, low-fat foods. Rather than striving to be a certain size, strive to get a healthy amount of exercise each week (30 minutes three times a week is great), in a way that works for you (personally, I’m a big fan of the elliptical workout: it’s low-impact and adjustable to your needs. Check out for a source of great elliptical machines - I have one in my bedroom!). Rather than trying to live up to anyone else’s standard of beauty, try to celebrate your own individual assets, and know that no matter what you look like or what label your clothes bear, you are beautiful.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Lanvin hearts H&M

It would be incredibly remiss of me not to mention the Lanvin collection that hits H&M at selected stores today, especially when the fashion world has been going gaga over it. And when it means you can snag a devastating Lanvin party dress that closely resembles a Barneys $3,000 number...for $200. I mean, that's, like, the opposite of daylight robbery. Midnight philanthropy!

Anyway, here are the pieces I won't be leaving the store without.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Culture Vulture: New magazine 'The Printed Blog' pushes all the right buttons

In an age where technology takes precedence over face-to-face communication, and where you can seemingly right the world's wrongs (and change your Facebook status too!) via your phone or iWhatever, there is one commodity that refuses to become a relic and continues to gain popularity: the print magazine. Not an iPad app, or an online newsletter, but a proper, tangible magazine. Whether you are a follower of the religion of current events or fashion, it's likely your Good Book, whether The New York Times or Vogue, belongs to this category.

Magazines are an enduring source of information, education and enjoyment - all things that the Internet has made more accessible. The two seemingly competitive deities balance precariously atop Mount Olympus, and now Earth (more specifically Chicago) has it's very own Hercules: The Printed Blog.

Dedicated to providing it's readers with the very best republished blog articles in multiple arenas, from fashion to food, as well as excellent photography and other miscellaneous, The Printed Blog is bridging the gap between the dedicated, newspaper-in-hand daily commuter and the computer addict. And it's doing it in style too, with an aesthetic primarily overseen by provocative photographer Tyler Shields that is basically the love child (yes, I'm meaning for you to picture that innuendo) of Vanity Fair and a bordering-softcore-porn Diesel advertisement.

Now, if you're wondering 'Why bother with a magazine dedicated to re- printing blog articles that I can easily find on the web?' you're missing the beauty of The Printed Blog. The Internet is a vast place, and it's easy even for excellent blogs to get lost in cyber space, especially if they're just starting out. The Printed Blog specializes in bringing such blogs to the printed page, giving them the spotlight necessary to attract new readers and gain the recognition they deserve. As a reader of The Printed Blog, you can be sure that you'll find some awesome new blogs that you'll want to visit on the web again and again, and that you probably wouldn't have discovered otherwise.

Furthermore, you can always be sure that what you're reading is the most current, cutting-edge, and fresh opinion to be had. The Internet is, as I said, vast, and the competition to be published in The Printed Blog is cutthroat, so you can be sure you're reading the best of the best. Especially when the only way to get into The Printed Blog is through word-of-mouth and reader suggestion/popularity, or if you are deemed worthy by one of the esteemed editors, including Matt Dallas (of Kyle XY), Brittany Snow (Gossip Girl, Nip/Tuck and Hairspray), and Sara Paxton (Aquamarine, The Last House on the Left, Sydney White, CSI).

Interested? I bet. You can find out more about The Printed Blog, or subscribe, at their website (, or keep up with all the latest happenings at The Printed Blog HQ at either of their social media outlets on Twitter ( or Facebook (search: The Printed Blog). Note: fellow bloggers would do especially well to check out the Facebook page for more info on potentially being published in The Printed Blog. All others, support creativity by subscribing! When The Printed Blog hits 3,000 subscribers, contributors will be able to be paid for their contributions. Long live The Printed Blog, and long may you reign.

P.S. As an aside, I would just like to note that I have been extremely honoured to have been given the opportunity to collaborate with The Printed Blog as a guest fashion editor. My blog will also be featured in the launch Fashion Issue. Excited!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Marc Jacobs Giveaway! CLOSED

Apologies for the uncharacteristic hiatus - last week my computer gave me what is known very technically among laptop specialists as 'the blue screen of death', and has been in the repair shop ever since.

To make it up to you, I have something awesome up for grabs. I don't know about you, but my favourite part of the festive season is receiving gifts. (Oh come on, don't look so shocked. You can tell me that buying matching Martha Stewart teacloths for all your cousins that you hardly know makes you all warm inside, but I know the truth.) And if you're anything like me, you're going to love this blog: I have a couple of great giveaways coming up, so keep watching this space!

To start us off, I have a Marc by Marc Jacobs red and gold enamel bracelet up for grabs. Want it? Here's all you have to do:
1.) Follow me on Google Friend Connect.
2.) Follow me on bloglovin.
3.) Leave me a comment on this post telling me that you have done steps 1 and 2 and would like to be entered into this giveaway. Make sure you leave me your email address or blog link too.

And...that's it! This giveaway will be running for a month, so if you win you'll get a nice little gift around Christmastime to take the edge off the stressful holiday season. On the 11th December I'll draw an email address/blog link out of the hat, so to speak, and will contact the lovely winner straight away!

Good luck!

UPDATE: the Marc Jacobs and Givenchy giveaways are now closed; the winners will be announced shortly!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Moss: Munroe, Version 2?

With the launch of Kate Moss’ final collection for Topshop on Tuesday, the woman herself has been catapulted back into the spotlight. The unusually short fashion model (at just under 5ft 8in), who has graced over 600 magazine covers and almost topped the Forbes list for global top-earning models (she came in 2nd in 2007, reportedly earning $9 million in one year), is unquestionably successful. But has she earned the much lusted-over title of ‘icon’? And perhaps more pressingly, if so, does she deserve it?

While it may seem like every plastic-faced Snooki who can deliver a good bitch-slap on national television can become an ‘icon’ these days, I would personally like to refute that idea. The notion of ‘fast fame’ most often refers to infamy (at the expense of a red-faced and hysterical slappee), not true reverence for a person’s talents or additions to the world. To be a true icon, one must be a symbol of the times, leaving behind a legacy that will be revered and celebrated for years to come.

It can hardly be argued that Moss has done just that. Known for her waifish figure, she ushered in the now predominant ‘heroin chic’ trend among models, celebrities, pretty much anyone in the fashion industry, and many ‘average’ young women. In that regard, Moss’ personal attributes have had an incredibly far-reaching effect on pop culture, and the current standards of beauty at large.

With a 2009-estimated net worth of £40 million, Moss’ career has been lucrative. She has appeared on the cover of British Vogue alone 30 times, bagged campaigns spanning the ‘who’s who’ of the fashion alphabet from Cavalli to Versace, and worked with industry greats such as Mario Testino and Juergen Teller. And as for a legacy? How’s a lifelike solid 18-carat gold statue - the “largest since ancient Egypt” - in the British Museum for you?

There can be no doubt that Moss has achieved the iconic status of those celebrated women who have gone before, including Marilyn Monroe, as Vanity Fair once claimed. The issue of whether she deserves such acclaim is a far thornier one. Forget Gossip Girl or True Blood - it must be Moss who is the object of a parent’s worse nightmare. After all, if girls want to be like her, one has to wonder if soon we’ll be surrounded by anorexic, hollow-nosed young women in fabulous, suspicious white dust-covered clothes. Moss’ famous statement, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels,” and 2005 drug rehab stint don’t really do much to ward off the aneurism.

But I think a question that we all have to ask ourselves is ‘Do personal traits have any bearing on professional accomplishments?’ The legitimacy of the rumors aside (Moss never admitted to, or was arrested for, drug use, and has repeatedly denied that she is anything but genetically thin), one’s personal shortcomings do nothing to affect or negate one’s professional successes - they are what they are. Marilyn Munroe, after all, although a deeply troubled and, eventually, suicidal individual, is still worshipped in her iconic identity today, and most likely will be for generations to come. That’s the thing about being an icon: your professional successes are so strong that they endure, no matter what. They stand the test of time, and the test of their creators.

All in all, yes, in my opinion, Kate Moss is a legitimate icon for millennium pop culture. While I do not condone or condemn her personal endeavors, I praise her professional ones. Long live Kate Moss! (Put that coke down, Kate, that won’t help.)

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

The Essence of Fall - Blogging Event

Today I am taking part in the beautiful Kristy Elena's blogging event, 'The Essence of Fall' (check out the details on her blog here I chose this photograph, which you guys may have seen before, as it really epitomizes fall for me in more ways than one.

Firstly, fashion-wise, I felt like the concept of naturally-sourced materials (faux shearling, faux fur etc.) was key to the fall season, so I featured faux fur here on my cropped aviator jacket and my Topshop rucksack. I've also really been feeling cozy knits for fall, so I included these Topshop cable knit angora leggings. Also, I tinkled with the colours and exposure of the photograph to make the colours warmer to give it an autumnal feel. Lastly, nothing says 'fall' to me like cozying up by a beautiful English Victorian fireplace.

You can vote for me by giving me bloglovin' hearts. Please also check out the other awesome blogs participating in the event!

5 More Minutes
Beyond Fabric
Brooklyn's Britches
Citizen Rosebud
Cup of Me
Curvy with a Side of Confidence
Fashion Butter
Fashion Coconuts
Green Gable
Haine Accesibile
Haute and Fierce
Indie Guest
Jorge Alexander
Little Fille
Living Doll
Manic in the City
Mannequin De Vitrine
Midwest Vogue
Ms. Fabulous
Pens and Lens
Riding Pretty
Stiletto Chic
Style Scrapbook
Tiffany's Corner
The Blog of Brunette
The Loud Mouth
Very Chic List
Vogue Gone Rogue
Vogue Inspired Fashion for the Real World
Young Dumb Love