Monthly Archives

April 2012

London Style

Brighten up on the underground

April 24, 2012
All of us carry them. Most of us regularly lose them. Only this morning I had an absolute nightmare arriving at Parsons Green tube on my way to work to discover I had left mine at home…
Oyster cards. That little blue piece of plastic that gets you from home to Selfridges and back again, or transports you from drinks in Spitalfields to dinner in Notting Hill in less than an hour. Although us Londoners love to have a good old moan about ‘the tube’, we know we’d be lost without it.
Considering how vital our pass to the underground is to our daily lives, it seems only right we should keep it (stylishly) safe. If your wardrobe is full of handbags and you have enough purses to open a small store (just me?), it’s time to branch out and take a look at these gorgeous card holders. 
Never will you leave home without it again:
Clockwise, from top left:
Mulberry Travel Card Holder in Oak leather – £80
Marc by Marc Jacobs Beige Classic Card Holder – £85
Aspinal ID & Travel Card Case in Purple Croc – £33
Aspinal ID & Travel Card Case in Turquoise Lizard – £33
KG Kurt Geiger Pink Snake Card Holder – £12
Underground Map Travel Card Holder by TFL – £4.99

Em xx


Tangerine Cream

April 23, 2012
It’s very rare that I find a shade of lipstick that doesn’t make me look either like I’m playing dress up, or a doll. I’m a massive lip gloss fan and tend to stick to pale shades or a clear gloss, finding it far easier to maintain during the day.

So I was pleasantly surprised when I came across Loud Lips – part of the new range from Look Beauty. Available in selected Superdrug stores for around £7, they’re reasonably priced and there’s a nice range of colours to choose from.

If, like me, you can’t really pull off a red lip, there’s some great alternative shades on the menu – check out Rock Candy, a gorgeous deep pink. My favourite though is Tangerine Cream (pictured above). A lover of anything peach, I made a beeline for this shade. Warm and creamy, the tangerine hue is the right side of orange, i.e doesn’t turn your teeth an off-white as so many similar shades do. Very flattering against a golden tan (mine being applied that morning, of course) and would offset a brown/bronze palette brilliantly.

Tip: looks great layered under a clear lip gloss. I recommend Dior Maximiser.



April 18, 2012

When anyone mentions Brick Lane nowadays it conjurs up memories of long, lazy afternoons spent in pub gardens, hobbling along the cobbled streets in savage heels after a night out, and entire Sundays spent blissfully wandering around various markets and pop-up shops.

I lived in and around Brick Lane for over 2 years, before recently making the move to West London (I know – traitor). There’s no where quite like it in London, and despite moving to the other side of the city, I still make the trip along the entire district line whenever I can to see what I’m missing.

From curry festivals to vegan buses, record stores to vintage treasure troves, you can easily spend a few hours getting lost in it all. So here’s my guide to the best of Brick Lane, from someone who has spent far too much of the past 2 years stumbling on it’s cobbles:

There’s a huge array of vintage stores lining the main road and side streets, and plenty of market stalls on Sunday offering some great little bargains. Take a walk down Cheshire Street and you’ll find some of the best vintage stores the East has to offer. Some of the smaller ones have great peices at reasonable prices, much cheaper than you may find in the bigger outlets.

And then there’s Beyond Retro. Situated right at the end of Cheshire Street and quite unremarkable from the outside, this place is stacked full of absolute gems. Yes, the prices can be slightly higher than in smaller, less commercial stores, but if you’re looking for variety and something unique, this is the spot for you. I picked up an amazing sequinned shirt here, along with an all-time favourite summer bag and numerous sweatshirts. 

Spitalfields market a few minutes walk away is also worth a visit, and make sure to check out Rokit on the way. For those into their vinyl, Rough Trade East is hard to beat.

Bagels. You can’t write a post about Brick Lane without mentioning the famous 3am bagels. Any time of day or night, they’re open and ready to serve. Check out the revellers spilling out of clubs at closing time and making a beeline for them.

Curry. There are far too many curry houses to name, but I can recommend Mango – most places will do you an amazing deal and drinks on the house. The curry festival that takes place along Brick Lane Sunday 8th-15th May is also well worth a visit!

Where to start? The street is literally brimming with quirky bars and cafes, from cocktails and shisha to fishbowls and pitchers of pints. A personal favourite of mine for blow-your-mind cocktails is Casa Blue, located just off of Bethnal Green road. A tiny bar full of mis-matched furniture and walls covered in postcards and photographs, these guys serve a mean mojito in a really cool, laid back setting. If you’re out with a group of friends make sure you try the fishbowls – lethal.

If you’re looking for a livelier setting, 93 Feet East serves up a cool mix of indie, electro and everything in-between, with a grungy, underground feel. Just opposite, Fuel is worth a look in, if not only for the amazing beer garden, and a few yards away Cafe 1001 combines comfy sofas with a back room that transforms into a club later on in the evening.

If that’s not enough to tempt you, you could sit and people watch here for literally hours with the kind of crowd this street attracts. The graffiti is photo-worthy, the atmosphere is electric, and the vintage stores are second to none.

Think I’ve missed somewhere worth mentioning? Where’s your favourite place on Brick Lane?

Em xx

Life Style

Rainbow blazers

April 16, 2012

My wardrobe staple? A well fitted blazer. They see me through every season – layered under a huge fur coat (for most of the year thanks to the British weather) and over a baggy tee and cut-offs during the summer months.

Blazers have taken somewhat of a turn in the past few years. Previously confined to dull shades of grey for the office and nautical hues worn by fans of Ralph Lauren, they’re now available everywhere. From sorbet shades of pink and yellow to bold block colours in turquoise and green, there’s a colour to suit any outfit.
A simple ‘blazer and skinnies’ combination is my failsafe when I wake up with 10 minutes to leave the house – which happens far more often than I care to admit. The structure of a well fitted blazer can change the feel of an outfit in seconds, from boring to bold in one layer.
The high street have produced some great versions over the past few seasons, everything from boyfriend to cropped, structured, or double breasted (my favourite). There are some great variations on texture and material too – linen and jersey being two of my preferred alternate fabrics.
The great thing about the mix of colours and fabrics means that even if reaching for a blazer becomes habit, you can create a fresh look simply by mixing textures – pairing a jersey blazer with converse or a smart linen version with drainpipe jeans will create two totally different looks.
Colour also plays a huge part this season – pastels are in in a big way and the choice of colours on the high street at the moment is fantastic. Zara in particular have a great range of shades (check out the pastel pinks and animal prints) and as ever Topshop impress with their offering (I MUST get my hands on the lemon structured jacket). 
For an updated take on the blazer, why not pair with smart shorts and create a set? Topshop again do some very cute versions, best worn with a loose fitting plain tee. Add brogues to complete the look, or switch to heels (a la Mollie King) and take the outfit from day to night.
Having personally lived in blazers for the past few years I’ve acquired quite a collection, as you can see above. And the best part? Most of the long lasting pieces have come from high street stores such as Topshop, Zara, New Look and Primark – ranging from £15 to £70. 
Do you have an item you live in?
Em x

Pastels & Pistachio

April 9, 2012

Pastels. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock since Christmas you’ll have seen them everywhere for SS12. You’ve probably also come across an article for the ice-cream shades in every fashion magazine, on every blog, and in every store brochure you’ve read for the past few months…

They’re set for big things this year, from the sweet as candy Louis Vuitton collection to the pastel shirts lining Primark’s windows, you can’t really miss them. If, like me, you’re itching to start wearing your skinny pistachio jeans but are finding the weather somewhat uncooperative, fear not. An injection of colour from your nails to your handbag can put the spring in your step without making you look over-eager to step out in your summer gear.

First stop: nails. I came across this brand whilst in Superdrug on Oxford Street (biggest collection of nail polishes I’ve ever seen). New York Color have some great shades for Spring, including these little beauties I picked up on offer. The mint green shade managed to last almost a week without chipping, which on my nails is nothing short of a miracle.

Accessories are another easy way to incorporate pretty pastels into your every day look without looking too ‘girly’. If you can’t quite imagine yourself in a powder pink dress, Topshop, Zara, and even New Look have some great bags nodding towards the summer trends. Having a bit of a psychic moment, I picked up this pastel pink Miu Miu number last year. Pair it with a neutral tee and the obligatory black skinnies and hey presto, you’re halfway to summer already.

Whilst snow might still be in the air and the thought of long days spent in the sun seem out of reach, now is the perfect time to pick up some great Summer bargains. We all know the drill – the first sign of a hint of sun and us Brits are out in force stocking up on sun cream, burgers for the BBQ, and panic buying shorts, dresses and sandals en mass. So it makes sense that some of the best Summer stock might be more accessible in the months leading up to Spring. I’ve managed to pick up a few pieces I know I’ll be living in once the temperature starts to rise. This floral Forever21 dress was a mere £22.75 and is definitely one of my favourite finds. With pastels, florals, a pleated skirt and a cut-out back, it ticks all the trends.

So although for now I’ll be sticking to a combination of pastel skinnies, black ankle boots and the occasional set of lavender nails, at least I know I’m set for when (if) the sun decides to shine.

What are your thoughts on this season’s trends? Will you be embracing the sorbet shades or saying no to everything girly?

Em xx