Thursday, 14 October 2010

Favourite item of clothing?

What is your favourite item of clothing in your wardrobe?

I have many things in my wardrobe that I have worn again and again. Other things I have barely worn and others, I shamefully admit, still with their price tags on.

There are dresses that I can put on and instantly feel glamorous and there are others I put on and instantly feel cool and casual. I also have dresses that, no matter how I style them, I just regret buying. The pale blue lace tea dress from Primark - it just doesn't go with anything.

I have a little black dress I bought from New Look six years ago. A simple black dress in a fitting style with two spaghetti straps and two more crossing from the middle of the straight neckline meeting the other two spaghetti straps. It is one hell of a sexy neckline.

The dress is sexy, classic and can be updated easily, according to the current trend. Last year I teamed it with a sequinned cape, the year before that I wore it with a beret, lace gloves and pearls (I think I wanted to be Madonna that winter). This year I have teamed it with my pale pink lace cardigan with a vintage brass brooch and ankle boots.

My favourite accessory is a gold shawl from the 1970's, which I bought from a vintage website. The triangular shape means I can wear it thrown over my shoulders or tied round my neck, letting the tassles dangle across my dress or top. It just doesn't go out of style and goes with absolutely everything. It can make a daytime outfit turn into an night time outfit. Whenever I wear it I receive compliments from girls in the pub toilet queue and even guys are intrigued!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Winter is coming...

So, the nights are getting darker and the orange tinged leaves are on the ground. It can only mean one thing, time to get the winter wardrobe out and wrap up warm!

I love winter wear. As I was living in Portugal last winter, I'm really appreciating this autumn so far. I do miss being able to sit outside to eat my lunch in the middle of December, yes, but I remember finding myself pining for a roaring fire and a chunky knit.

There is nothing like walking my dog through the leaves in knee high boots and a long chunky cardigans.

Having done the autumn and winter 2010 fashion section for The Student Guide all the way back in May, I have been yearning to pull out my favourite coat and knee high's since spring! After trawling through images of the high street collections, choosing what to put into the fashion pages, I think I am pretty well informed on what's hot and what's not!

This season it is all about the outerwear. The great thing about winter is that getting away with adding tights and boots to a dress from spring. Jeans layered with fine knits or one big chunky knit. The important part of your outfit is what pulls it all together - the coat (or cape!)

Yes, capes. They are big this season. I know images of Sherlock Holmes may come to mind but bear with me. Capes are in all shapes, sizes, colours, styles and textures this season on the high street. With fur being the must-have material (fake, of course), fur trimmed capes are the most on trend piece to invest in and perfect to wear for evenings out in the winter months.

Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins have come up trumps with their collection of fur- trimmed capes. This is my absolutely favourite from Miss Selfridge:

Expensive, but it will last a lifetime. If you always ponder what to put on over your dress on a night out in winter, and don't want to swamp your outfit with a coat, then this cape is the answer to your problems.

For the more fashion forward girl, a military cape is stylish for the daytime. Combining two key trends, the military cape would be perfect worn over over jeans or with a pencil skirt to the office.

This is my favourite military cape, from Dorothy Perkins:

If a cape really isn't for you and you like your coats to have somewhere to put your arms, then it is time to invest in some fur... fake fur. Fur trimmed, double breasted coats are a key look. Fur trimmed parka's for a more casual, daytime style are also awash over the high street.

Full-on fur coats are also everywhere, I have three... two are vintage finds on the internet, one being knee length brown fur and the other a trashy 1980s style leopard print, which came in handy at Glastonbury! The other is a cropped fluffy white fur coat from New Look, which I have mainly worn for fancy dress...

Fur coats are more versatile than you think. In the daytime they look 1970's cool teamed with jeans and a blouse or even denim shorts worn over tights. In the evening they will enhance any outfit for some all out glamour - just leave the long evening gloves and pearls at home or you may be mistaken for an extra from Downton Abbey.

I have just invested in this coat from and it is an absolutely stunning fit. Nipped in at the waist, the perfect fake fur trim - all I need is a slick of red lipstick and my beret and I will feel like Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca.

For those indian summer days and when you don't want to wear a full-on coat, the aviator jacket is on the top of wish-lists for fashionistas the world over. Warm yet stylish, the aviator jacket will go with everything in your wardrobe. The little black dress, the high-waisted trouser, the pencil skirt... the trend for shearling is look set to remain with us into the new year.

This is a great aviator jacket from Matalan. Not an overly offensive price but well-cut and good quality.


I have always wanted to visit Marrakech. Before going, I had dreamt of the bustling souks, exotic flavours in the air and the awe-inspiring architecture. I was not disappointed.

My obsession with Marrakech started after watching Hideous Kinky - a small, independent film Kate Winslet starred in after Titanic. It's based on the novel by Emma Freud and is about a single mother and her two daughters escaping the rat race of London and instead are living within the craziness that is Marrakech, back in the 1970's. The film shows the beauty of Marrakech but also the downsides of making a living there and bringing up two young girls, on your own. The mother wants adventure for her daughters, whilst the daughters battle for a 'normal' life.

My obsession of wanting to visit Marrakech grew even more after watching the hilarious episode of Absolutely Fabulous, where the two friends stay in a Riad and end up selling Saffy at the market!

I love the hustle and bustle of cities, I find it addictive and I end up wanting to see as much as possible. I wasn't disappointed in Marrakech, we got on the coach and started our journey through the city towards the hotel.

My ears were filled with the beeps of the horns from the scooters being driven by men, sometimes with large crates balanced on the back or their whole family hanging on for dear life. Shocking to us, normality for them. The scooters and bikes zipped through the cars, there was no highway code.

We drove along the side of the city walls encasing the old medina, the old part of town. I caught glimpses of the markets inside, all lit up offering everything from leather goods to spices. We then ventured into the new town, plush fountains and familiar high-street stores such as Zara and Mango. No - get me as far away from them as possible, I thought.

The first day we lazed around the pool as it had been such a long journey and a late arrival. The hotel staff couldn't do enough for us, my friend Jas and I were amongst the only single girls there. Surrounded by couples we somewhat stood out, my blonde hair and her dark curls. I think the hotel staff were pleased to see us!

Moroccan men are reknowned for their obvious 'love' for women, many said they would be overtly sleazy and touchy-feely. I found them charming and flirtatious but in no way offensive and they never made us feel uncomfortable.

When we first roamed around the souks (markets) I was just awe-struck. We started our day in the main square, roaming around the market stalls offering fake Chanel and Dior scarves and bags (yes I bought a few fakes) and being beckoned in by all the keen to sell market stall holders. 'Asda price,' 'genuine fake!' and 'lovely jubbley' were regular hearings as we made our way round the souks. Young lads offering wooden snakes to purchase would run past, pushing the snakes towards my face. Snakes are my one phobia, even though I knew they weren't real I still let out a small shriek.
I was glad I took my many maxi dresses teamed with pashminas for my shoulders. I wanted to respect the culture of the country, no matter what I thought about women having to cover themselves from head to toe.

The colours of the authentic rugs, slippers, bags and pashminas were overwhelming, I think I saw every shade of red, orange, pink, green and blue. We had a go at haggling, I got a very good deal for two leather handbags and a pashmina. I found the most beautiful pashmina, red and orange with sequinned embellishment. It goes with absolutely everything and has become a real conversation starter.

The pashmina would later become very useful on our excursion through the Atlas Mountains and then on towards the start of the Sahara Desert. It was the most amazing two days, a lot of travelling in our chauffered jeep but I didn't notice the many miles we did. My eyes couldn't be taken away from the views before me. Our tour guide told us stories of how the children rode their bikes or walked for miles to get to school each day. They would leave their mud and straw houses, situated in the scattered little villages along the tracks and make their way to school.
We drove along the bumpy tracks through the mountains, the children cheerfully waving at us as we climbed up higher and higher, the air getting cleaner and the views getting more and more beautiful. Each village had it's own mosque, the beautiful islamic towers stood out.
At one point we stopped for a break from driving, a viewing point overlooking a terracotta village. A donkey was escorting it's owner through the village making it's ee-orr noises, a man was chanting the Quaran through a speaker and a small stream ran by where women were washing their clothes. I closed my eyes to let it all sink in.
We stopped off at a ruined Caspar (a castle) that was once used by the Moroccan Royal family for holiday retreats. The Caspar's interior was being restored and was adorned with intricate tile details that Morocco is known for. The views across the village below and then towards the mountains were breath taking.
We had lunch (a gorgeous lamb tagine with slices of orange dusted with cinnamon for dessert) at a famous film destination, a now unlived in village situated on a hill that was the backdrop for Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia and more recently, Prince of Persia.

Eventually, we arrived at our base for the night, a small campsite at the beginning of the Sahara. We arrived late at night so could not see the surrounding sand dunes that we would wake up to at sunrise. That night we were treated to a four course meal and bottles of wine followed by live music. Our tour guide told us we must climb the sand dune, so we ventured up the large sand dune at midnight. I was dressed appropriately - my pashmina had been turned into a turban by one of the waitors!
With a strong wind and only the stars and full moon to guide us, it was pretty tricky climbing the dune, however, it was worth it. We got to the top and sat on the sand, staring up at the stars that were shining down on us above us. No horrible orange glow guarding the stars, just a sea of darkness with clear bright lights.

I'm back

I have neglected my poor blog. My friend Suzy, a fellow fantastic writer, has inspired me to get back and start blogging again!

Since my last blog I have been a busy bee, instead of returning to Portugal for another summer I somehow got the job as Editor-in-Chief of two magazines, The Student Guide and The Festival Guide... it was an amazing experience but I was only covering the editor who went away on sabbatical.

I was there for just six months but in those six months I learnt and experience a hell of a lot! I interviewed some amazing musical talent, including Paul Oakenfold, Klaxons, Eliza Doolittle, Tinie Tempah, Ade Edmundson and Faithless.

I had to plan, write and edit two huge magazines, with just a few contributing writers. To say it was a challenge is an understatement, but I did it and I feel proud of both magazines. This is one of the big reasons why I neglected my blog so much - it is, however, no excuse!
Check out the online versions of the magazines here:

So now I am back to square one, applying for jobs and trying to get more known within the writing world. I have made the decision that I definitely want to go down the fashion route, more so now than ever. My favourite part of doing the magazines was creating the fashion section, styling the editorials and interviewing fashion stylists!

Since finishing at the magazine I have been lucky enough to go on two holidays, to my favourite place, my beloved Algarve, and to a place I have ALWAYS wanted to visit, Marrakech in Morocco... more of which later.

So that is me and my world... I am also soon to be an aunty to two babies. My sister-in-law and best friend are both about to give birth any time soon! For me, it is just another excuse to buy baby clothes!