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Who’s that girl?

April 1, 2011

Are you experiencing a flashing moment of deja-vu? Is it Marilyn Monroe? Maybe it’s Marilyn Manson? No, it’s Eliska Murray. Another stylish face walking down the halls at Harrow Campus of University of Westminster. This 20 year old Mixed Media Fine Art student does 50s and 60s look and makes her own signature statement by keeping her hair bleach blonde.

Eliska goes shopping to Greenwich market, but not just for rare outfits and garments, she says you can find lots of good furniture and antiques too! The girl keeps her cool wardrobe well stocked as she works at Beehive (a vintage shop in London). She makes a pin-up statement by keeping her hair tied up and excentuating  her eyes with black eye-liner. Just like Twiggy! But don’t underestimate Eliska, she revealed she does her haunting for outfits on Ebay too. Just like everyone else!

Eliska’s outfit: shoes and jacket from charity, polo neck top from a friend, earrings from vintage market, skirt by Japanese fashion designer Mitsuhiro Matsuda.

O’ Vintage Fair, how I love thee

April 1, 2011

Nearest tube station: Russell Square

Bloomsbury Lanes near Tavistock Hotel. Bedford Way. Here’s the treasure map.

3rd April, this Sunday.

Opens at 12pm to 5pm (GET THERE EARLY ENOUGH) £1 admission fee. Men & Women clothing for sale (yay!)

According to BBC weather forecast, Sunday will have sunny intervals with temperatures topping 15 degrees. But like always there might be a chance of rain on the horizon. Doesn’t matter anyway because you can spend this Sunday shopping without a care in the world about pesky precipitation. This Sunday is the return of the Vintage Fair.

The best thing about The Vintage Fair is that you can haggle! Are you a haggling monster/master? Try your hand at the Vintage Fair. This is why I love the Vintage Fair so much. It’s like I’m back in the Hong Kong markets where haggling is a sport, the poker game of the Hong Kong streets. Don’t be discouraged if you find something that you love but its a bit damaged. Use this to your advantage and ask for a lower price! You could always fix that little rip with some good ol’ fashioned thread and a needle.

The Vintage Fair has become one of my rituals since coming over to London last September, every first Sunday of every month you might find me there rummaging through the bargain treasure chests and the rows upon rows of clothing. The atmosphere is very 1950s with Louis Armstrong, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald and swing dancing tunes as your ambience.

Hosted in a quaint setting of the Bloomsbury Lanes the Vintage Fair  have absolutely everything. From quirky belts to full on frocks, loved handbags to silk scarves, pimpin’ hats to divine shoes it is without a doubt that you won’t be leaving  empty-handed, I sure didn’t. This is where I buy my beloved watch necklaces (although I have yet to find a compass necklace there) mainly from Mad Elizabeth, a Leeds based vintage jewellery and clothing merchant.

The fair is usually quiet which I adore because there is less of a chance of someone else grabbing that dress you spotted. A little bit of advice. If you spot something that you like do not hesitate to grab it and ask the person in charge of the stall if you can try it on so you can decide . Trust me on this, I have lost many a garment due to indecisive moments… sob.

If you’re a fan of the military attire (like me) the fair holds many authentic and fashionable uniforms, restored and beautiful. If you’re a fan of Doc Martins this is the place to go. There is a wide selection of the Airwairs for sale and there is usually a whole table devoted to the iconic shoes in the basement. You can also get your hair styled a-la-Betty Page, Veronica Lake, Marilyn Monroe etc. in the hair boutique downstairs.

There is food available at the bowling alleys on the top level at the bar, I have to say that their nachos are delicious. Need a sugar hit? Cupcakes are for sale at the fair too!

Tempting?

If you’ve never been to Vintage Fair before I strongly urge you to go.  I could literally stay in the Vintage Fair all day if there wasn’t a closing time. This is not an April Fools joke…

Lots of shopping luck to you all! Va Va Voo

Even in sneakers, Alexa is a style icon!

March 31, 2011

With a unique ability to stay ahead of the trends, Alexa Chung has one of the world’s most enviable wardrobes, acquiring a deserved icon status tag to her name. She even has a Mulberry bag named in her honour. Being the fashion house’s bestseller, the ‘Alexa’ bag is an impressive fashion credential. But that is not the only thing that Alexa has to her name.  Her crowning of 2010’s Best British Style has made Chung’s fashion reputation renowned around the world.

Alexa Chung was one Brit who got in and out of the fashion game at a young age. Modeling for the teen mags ELLE Girl and Cosmo Girl, fashion was clearly rooted into her teen spirit as she pioneered her ‘It Girl’ status. Although she gave up modeling after six years, she never really lost her touch with fashion. Her signature style is quirky but put together with an effortless ‘I really didn’t bother’ vibe. This laid-back and sassy British model turned TV personality, dresses for comfort and style. She trades in the outlandish fabrics from the catwalks for her biker boy denim shorts.

You could probably describe her fashion sensibilities as modern bohemian. Capturing languid, masculine, distinctive, pretty, cool girl… anyone can get on the Chung bandwagon. Whether she’s sporting lumberjack chic with a flannel top and skinny jeans or pulling a blazer out of her boyfriend’s wardrobe and paired it with a mini, she carves out her own style whilst being synonymous with British style. Chung is the obvious contender for influential icons of our time. We all want a bit of Alexa!

Our favourite English rose has labels gagging to sign her up as their style muse from Madewell and J Crew to the face of Lacoste and New Look. Her latest label of choice is cult Italian footwear brand Superga. Using her fashion know-how Alexa assisted with the styling on the shoot for Superga, working a pair of denim cut-offs with a stripy beany, adorable vintage-style frocks, delightfully floaty blouses and creating those casual yet quirky looks that have become her signature style.

High Street Honey to Charity Shop Chic

March 30, 2011

Take a second to think and ask yourself if you have ever noticed the charity shops in your local high street two years ago? Would you just walk past or could you successfully be tempted and directed to the nearest British Heart Foundation? I can safely say, regardless of my poor sense of direction, before charity shops gained their rising prestige amongst us young, before growing recognition, before acceptance as a fashion outlet, this lost wanderer would have most likely ventured into a fish and chip shop, nota second-hand goods shop.

Like the clothes that are inside, these shops have been around for some time. They may be overshadowed on the high street by the big brands like Topshop, New look and H&M. But lengthen your walking distance, maybe turn a couple of corners, and keep peering your eyes from left to right. Because if you really look you can see that there are many charity shops around you. For my weekly charity shopping spree I headed to the hunting grounds in Harrow, but today I had a greater agenda; to turn a high street honey into a charity shop chic.

Top from H&M. Jeans from Topshop. Shoes from Conrad. Coat from United Colours of Benetton.

The Subject: Aggie Paul, 19.

The Mission: Transform her look from high street to charity shop.

Firstly, let’s introduce you to the row of charity shops that Harrow hosts.

TRAID

TRAID is the biggest of the charity shops in Harrow. It is always well stocked and has caught onto the vintage trend, dedicating all of the shop to hand-picked original vintage brand names. It is the best charity shop that accommodates for the younger market Each item you buy from TRAID, helps them fund projects to fight global poverty.

Scope

The clothing in here tends to be hit and miss, not the most stylish, yet still worth taking a look especially for jewellery. Scope is a charity that supports disabled people and their families.

PDSA

PDSA has the widest range of donated goods, selling clothes, books, shoes and bric-a-brac items. This is the place for quirky one-off pieces. Without a doubt, you will be swayed to buy at least one item which should make you feel good as it contributes to raising money for pets in need of veterinary care.

We took the challenge to PDSA…

Outfit No.1

Outfit No.2

Outfit No.3

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

That Charity Style

March 29, 2011

Step into a typical charity shop and the first thing you will notice is an indescribable but very distinctive smell. personally I would compare it to the smell of mouldy old wardrobes and I’m sure your descriptions would be similar. Nevertheless, providing that you can overcome this and the initial what some may refer to as ‘embarrassing’ footsteps inside. Let down your guard and truly immerse yourself into the old, worn and sometimes ugly because along the way your eyes will catch the glimpse of some special one-off pieces tucked away.

Long gone is the worn out ideal of being an ashamed charity shopper. In my early teens, I would check left, right and centre, twice, no, three times before I allowed my mum to drag me into one. But now I am the one who is doing the dragging, alongside the many other students dominating the bulk of customers-rummaging for that unique item from way back when. Say hello to the new acceptable to shop in, charity shops of the 21st century.

Nowadays, swinging an Oxfam bag down the High Street almost carries more cachet than parading a Dolce and Gabbana carrier. It’s about time people overcame their fashion snobbery! Charity shops do not just home the outdated clothing of dubious quality, many designer names can be found hidden on these rails from Dior to Prada.

Westfield London shopping centre is opening its door to a one-week only pop-up charity shop. Naomi Campbell will feature items owned by her and by other celebrities for her ‘Fashion for Relief ’ campaign. Including labels such as Stella McCartney, Christopher Kane and Tom Ford all going for sale, and for cheap! What’s more, shoppers will be served by familiar celebrity faces from the world of glamour and fashion.

DON’T MISS OUT!!! TUESDAY 5TH APRIL – WEDNESDAY 13TH APRIL.

Hello, hello Portobello

March 29, 2011

PORTOBELLO MARKET

Alamy

 

Nearest tube station: Notting Hill: 5 minute walk (Circle, Hammersmith & City)

On Saturdays near the iconic Notting Hill area a street market renowned across the world erupts in chaos and antiquary. Portobello Road is a hotspot for tourists with its Victorian house fronts and row after row of antique shops. Hopping out of the Notting Hill station just follow the ebb and flow of the tourist and avid shoppers driving toward the market, on a Saturday it is certain that there will be a crowd.

Alamy

In recent years fashion markets have popped up along the iconic colour block road. But be warned, there are not always located beside each other so keep your eyes out when you start your journey. This is a literal fashion hunt. So for a better chance of finding that oh so wonderful piece of clothing don’t just stay in the main fashion market. You will be surprised at what you will find.

Due to its antique background Portobello Market is the place to go for one thing; vintage, vintage, vintage. In the market there are chances of finding adorable aged and loved handbags, jewellery and garments. A treasure trove for lovers of the past.

Alamy

 

Feel a bit peckish? Portobello Road is not famed for just its market. Along the road are many quaint pubs and restaurants for diving into when the London sun morphs into rainclouds. Another tip: do check the weather forecast for the day. Although Portobello is an amazing Saturday well spent, nothing dampens the shopping spirit quite like English rainy weather.

What would Jameela Jamil wear…

March 29, 2011

British T4 presenter Jameela Jamil is a style inspiration for many, being voted as one of the ‘style icons to watch’ in 2010. This model/presenter has appeared in most fashion magazines, she has even featured in a recent edition of Vogue. This brown eyed beauty’s look is so easy to imitate. So read on to see how to get that urban cool look.

Picture: Rachel Gibson

 

To get this look make sure you combine more than one trend. Jameela’s style is a mixture of girly, glam and retro, she blends frilly dresses with edgy accessories and mixes up designer with high street. That is why she’s my style icon! Jameela jamil admits she loves high street “I love the high street! My favourite shops are Topshop, Urban Outfitters, H&M and All Saints.”

Picture: Glamour Magazine

 

The dress being modelled by the fashion savvy presenter has been designed exclusively to celebrate 10 years of Glamour magazine. You can get it in Warehouse NOW! This canary yellow silk dress has been toughened up with an edgy studded belt perfect for a spring/summer night out. A feminine look with a tough twist.

The presenter/model attended the shockwaves NME awards in Brixton and looked picture perfect in this cute mini dress. One shoulder is a very flattering look and even better it’s the ‘in’ thing this year! I’ve found a version of this dress available at Dorothy Perkins for £27.

With Jameela being such a high street fan I set myself a challenge. I wanted to see whether or not it was easy to find a high street shopper who could pull off one of the best-dressed celebrities signature style. I was successful in doing so Kate, 21 from Norfolk is wearing something I think Jameela herself would wear and the best thing is it’s all from the high street! The dress is from Topshop, the biker leather jacket from Zara, the boots [that give this outfit edge] are from Topshop and the accessories are from H&M. This outfit is affordable, adorable and ‘soooo Jameela Jamil.’

Yasmin AKA High Street Hunny =)