All About the Shoes

A weekend in Cardiff was all I needed to reaffirm my shoe obsession. A single bag of weekend clothes, to be perfected by the SHOE. 
Spring Summer 2013's shoe of the moment is undoutedly  the single sole pump. (I didn't have a clue what it was when I first heard of it either.) Delicate, feminine, and colourful, we have feet mavens Nicholas Kirkwood, Manolo Blahnik and Sophia Webster to thank for this. Painful, yes. But oh so chic. 



Here it is ladies. What I have promised for the past month: My first ever personal style post. I chose this mainly because it was easy, comfortable, and I was mildly hungover (A friend's 22nd nonetheless). 
I love a leather skirt. In fact, I love leather full stop. Somehow, no matter how dull you feel, a leather skirt appears daring and funky. This tan beauty has been a staple since Autumn 2011. Slightly worn out and losing its shape, I paired it with an oversize argan Knit from Zara - very winter chic.

And as for the hat? A hat makes everything look cooler. A trick I will be using regularly on my Big Adventure!

Hat (Topshop), Jumper (Zara), Skirt (H&M), Boots (Office), Bag (Vintage), Coat (Next)


Beanie Baby

Until this year, Beanie hats were a thing of childhoods and 90's rappers. They were for Apres Ski and the occasional snowstorm. My faithful burnt ombre bobble hat from Asos has been lonely, sitting on a shelf waiting for my cold ears to call for it's cuddles - until now. My Hat has found a home. A home on my head. And the Beanie hats (logos, ears, fur and couture) have found a home in the blogosphere. Or more notably: New York Fashion Week. 



RAINBOW CAKE courtesy of Tor Goodhew's Housemates 

Show me a girl that doesn't like cake. 
This beauty is the Hummingbird bakery Gluten Free Red Velvet Cake. 
I thought considering the name of this blog, this was highly appropriate.
So I thank Mummy and Daddy Goodhew for this cake - we greatly enjoyed it. 
And as they say...Gluten Free - Guilt Free.

Happy Birthday Tor!


So what does 'Fashion' really mean?

I have never questioned that intense allure of fashion week season. It is striking, if not a little disturbing, to see those prudish British boundaries are destroyed by what I would call ‘Extreme’ fashion. That may be a gown made of steak or perhaps a face covered entirely in green diamonds. Whatever we are shown, I have come to question what the essence of fashion really is. Because I cannot simply accept these absurdities as innovations of style. I also cannot, as many before me have, underestimate fashion as simply about the clothes. The industry has become ingrained in 21st century society; surely fashion has more to it than this?
When taking a moment to read Vogue and digest the latest nuances in style, I came to wonder what is the fascination? Every day we come across something style catches our attentions, whether we recognise it as fashion or not. Perhaps the fashion-pedestal is so inviting that we fight for a taste. Perhaps it is our materialistic, celebrity generation. Or perhaps we have simply retained an affinity for the clothing. It is clear however, that fashion serves a purpose, whatever that may mean to the individual that enjoys it.
Fashion is ‘really about sensuality – how a woman feels on the inside. In the eighties women used suits with exaggerated shoulders and waists to make a strong impression. Women are now more comfortable with themselves and their bodies – they no longer feel the need to hide behind their clothes.’  - Donna Karan


Uptown Downtown - Clash of the Titans

Back in November Balenciaga announced that Downtown New York Style designer Alexander Wang would be taking over the reigns at the Parisian couture house. Fashionistas across the globe took in a sharp breath and have held it ever since - until yesterday. How would grunge translate into the beaded architecture that Nicholas Gesquiere has so finely perfected over the years?

We have a few weeks left to see what the final result is, but after months of sifting through the Balenciaga Archives it is clear that the couturier has impacted on Wang's latest collection. Think oversized cocoon shapes, leather, draping, shoulder length gloves and fur fur fur. Fittingly, the first model stomped out to Rocky's 'Eye Of The Tiger' - Bring it on Fashion people, Wang is saying, I'll show you what I've got. And he did.

A step away from the sleek cut outs and sheer panels of spring, the coats looked cosy with drop waists and mild grey tones. Onto the masculine tailoring he went, all keeping in with his theme - boxing. Are those boxing gloves I see? The slicked back hair and pony hair detailing all went into the tough-girl attitude of A/W13 for Wang.

Now it's just a waiting game till Paris...Good Luck Wang - we are watching you.

Images from Style.com

Beauty Blitz - Classic Chic at Marc by Marc Jacobs

Images from WWD

The Big Lindt Egg Hunt

As a female, particularly one that loves all things fashion-y, arts-y, and chocolat-y, I was very excited to learn about the Big Lindt Egg Hunt that is taking place in London this week. One of my bestie-bloggers Rebecca of Articulate London is volunteering, a generous act that I for one applaud her for. This evening she posted the first of her daily posts about the big event, and I found the cutest egg picture that I simply had to share - followers, meet Peter Rabbit.

If you're in/around the covent garden area this week, check it out - its all for a great cause, and there is chocolate involved. Seriously, who can say no?! If not, have a look at Bickers blog (Articulate London) - she also has some novel V-day presents there too!


First Day Dilemma

Courtesy of ChicChefBlog.com
Its one of those feelings that, when you get it, it takes you back to those hideous teenage years. As a pre-teen,  it was planning your back-to-school wardrobe. At University, it was finding the best way to balance lecture-clubbing attire, making an impression on your newfound housemates, and somewhat finding yourself. Then there are the first interviews - what to wear? Am I too boring? Will they remember me?  And if you are lucky to get through the interview, what the hell do you wear for the first day at work?! 

I say this on behalf of an industry where personal style is essential. Primarily, I am here to talk about fashion internships. Stylish, smart, yet also fun and quirky. Not too much, but always impressive. In reality, you are probably a nervous wreck. On my first day at NAP I had to get a train from Milton Keynes to Shepherds Bush with a suitcase that didn’t wheel along or let me put the handle down. I looked like a tool. After lugging it around the office (MASSIVE may I add), I was sweaty, gross, and hideously out of place. I rambled nervously to my colleagues and basically looked like the 21 year old novice that I was. Am. (May I add that I regret with venom my outfit - too nervous was I to actually look in the mirror. I hope to do better next time.)
This week I started at Exposure PR. I have never done a PR internship before, so was pretty much terrified. Would I be working in a smart office environment where anything above the knee is considered whoreish? It turned out to be the other end of the spectrum. As someone who is used to 4-inch heels, faux fur and leather minis this was overwhelmingly confusing. I can wear my denim and my leather leggings, but if I wear my boots (may i point out that I notoriously don’t own sensible footwear), I will likely fall flat on my face.
I have been there 4 days, and as my weekend comes to a close, I am faced with a whole new week of attempts at ‘casual’. Perhaps this will be good for me. After all, I won’t be wearing stilettos in Thailand while trekking up a mountain. But it’s damn terrifying, especially with my little legs.
God help me.

Zara Sandals
J Brand Skinny leather leggings 


Where did they hide their dignity?

Now I love a good ass. But I feel that it is my duty as a blogger, to vent my frustrations surrounding the overly-under-fabricated ‘Knicker shorts’ fad. I call it a 'fad', because I don't think there is enough of the bloody things to call them a trend. (By enough I mean sheer coverage, not the number of women I have seen wearing them).
I admit, I’m a firm believer in ‘if you’ve got I, flaunt it’ - any woman should me. But this so-called item of clothing is unflattering to all but the most toned of physiques, accenting each orange-peel cellulite  dimple and those shimmering stretch marks most of us have (though we don’t all care to admit it). Where did the allure of clothing go?
Topshop, as much as I love you you high-street monster, you have outdone yourself this time. These so-called 'shorts' leave everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, exposed to wind chill. Skimming, not the bottom, not the thigh, but the MIDDLE of your rounded ass cheek, each curve is decorated with…well…nothing. With 120 black denier tights (I mean the ones with a high high denier that are so dark they are practically leggings – though I in no way condone wearing them as such - more on that another time) then they could be ok. On someone with no leg fat…or stomach fat…or really much of a figure at all. Celebrities with their personal trainers and Photoshop can just about get away with it. Over the past couple years denim shorts have been getting shorter and shorter...and shorter.  They can be a wonderful addition to a summer-chill style, but I for one do not posses those sort of cheeks.
Gemma Aterton stars in Tamara Drew (2010), with what is undeniably, a fantastic bottom. 

It’s a well-known fact that most men enjoy the allure of an hourglass figure, encased by the glory of a tight bodycon pencil skirt and a sheer busty blouse. Originally I had written this piece back last year, but my recent blogging boost and certain inspirations have given me reason to take another look.
I mean, it’s even in the name. ‘KNICKER SHORTS’. THEY ARE BARELY UNDERWEAR. You can see that rounded curve of ass cheek each wobbly step. Kylie Minogue did it. But for the most of us, this look is about as unflattering as it gets. Don’t get me wrong: I adore hot pants. I am not a prude, but all I suggest is that women, recognise your limits. 
Despite this, I must pay homage to the single celebrity of our generation that has perfected the ass-exposing fashion: Rihanna. With her countless pairs of denim, studded, fringed, laced or frayed, she rocks it. 

Shot by mastermind photographer, Terry Richardson

After careful consideration, I have decided that these shorts, unless on the ass of a toned madam or model, or styled with black denier tights, are dangerous territory. Perhaps it is my long-limb jealousy. Maybe it is the many failiures of this style I have recently come across. I will admit, on some (lucky so-and-so’s) these can look fabulous. If you can do it – do. If you cant, accept it. And please, don’t try. 



"The fact that fashion can be expressed conceptually can explain my approach to my work, which may be a little different from other designers’ work. I don’t start out thinking about a certain woman’s lifestyle, or fashion history or what I would wear or what I would like others to wear. It starts by what I am feeling inside. This becomes a theme for each collection. This could be called Comme des Garçons style.” – Rei Kawakubo


Blog Block.

Knowing what to write is the next obstacle i have to face. As I currently have no camera-man around (the bf went skiing, the friends live miles away, the full length mirror does not exist), I can’t start on the terrifying ‘outfit posts’ that I promised. Instead, I have sat on my bed, wrapped up in blankets watching ER for the past 48 hours. NO JOKE. I really wanted to go play in the snow but alas, I have no buddys. Billy-no-mates this week people, and its quite depressing. Not to mention Mark Greene died in ER yesterday and anyone who has watched it knows how devastating it can be.
So here I am, wallowing in the death of ER Doc Mark Green, on my own with some strawberry laces. And rambling on my blog. I really am sorry, tempted as I am to delete this entire post, I feel like I have to do Something productive today. But I do think that there is an argument to be made for the pathetic-ness of this post.
Its hard actually, I want this blog to showcase my inspirations, style and writing so that I can start to make a name for myself, a creative identity (if that isn’t too cliche), but instead I am swamped by half formed ideas that really have no destination.


High-Street hits the Runway....Again.

So this week H&M broke the news that they would be featuring their first show in over 8 years at Paris Fashion Week’s AW13 shows. I say ‘broke the news’ because while many are thrilled at the new addition to the show circuit, already anticipating what the lookbook will turn out, I feel like I should be lamenting the decline of real ‘Fashion’.
One of the reasons couture has worked for decades is because it is completely, stunningly, inaccessible. When I think of ‘fashion’, I think of the stunning drapery and embroideries seen at shows such as Chanel and Alexander McQueen. The dresses are unrealistic. They are absurd. Yet they are undeniably beautiful. The craftsmanship and the detailing is what I believe true ‘fashion’ is. What we see on the high-street, is simply a copy. There is no mystery or fantasy to the clothes – they are simply regurgitations of current trends. What we make of them, style, is what is important.

Fashion is wonderful because it is inaccessible. When we see celebrities on the red carpet wearing looks that were seen on the runway only weeks earlier – that jealousy and awe equals admiration. For the designers, stylists and fashions created. If it were a simple topshop tunic no-one would look twice, except to ask why one would wear said dress when they have a world of choice awaiting them in a samples closet.
Now I’m not saying Topshop Unique hasn’t done the brand proud. It is one of the most anticipated shows at LFW with a front row of the admired and desired. But again, it is luxury. It is often unwearable (to the daily woman) and unavailable (damn prices). What i wonder is whether brands such as H&M or River Island (collaborating with Rihanna nonetheless), can match up to what we expect from Peter Pilotto, Mary Katrantzou and Burberry.
For me fashion is fantastical. And I just bought a pair of shoes from H&M for £7. Another world away? I think not.



Hey Craig!

The Blog (Part 3)

My New Years resolution was to give up chocolate, and all other relative junk food until I leave for my travels on February 17th. By 5pm on the 2nd of January, I had failed. (Leaving party for a co-worker involved fudge cake and sour cream crisps  – who could resist?)
The next step was to forbid myself from buying said treats – if someone else gave it to me, then I would graciously accept for it would be rude not to (surely?!). This I have somewhat kept up, but so many people have brought around Kit-Kats, Twixes and Percy Pigs that I don’t feel like I have done myself any favours.
So instead I have decided to set up my third, and FINAL, blog. My first, Street Stalker, was an attempt at figuring out whether writing about fashion, lifestyle and general fun stuff was for me. It was ok, generated a lot of views etc, but it didn’t really feel like I was achieving anything. My second, A few beautiful ramblings, could have been great, but I had dissertations and a new job to distract myself, as well as a fabulous summer with some wonderful friends. So this too fell by the wayside.
Here I am in my third attempt to share a little of my thoughts. A friend once told me that blogging was irrelevant unless you had something interesting to say. 2013 is going to be a good year I have decided. I am starting the Big Adventure on February 17th for 9 weeks, backpacking around Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Obviously I wont be able to blog so much while I am away, but I will be writing and documenting with my pretty camera as I go. When I come back I will be starting the epic challenge called: ‘Finding a graduate job.’ Not only that, but I am looking to work in magazines (there are only so many and even fewer jobs – great career choice there right?). I will need to find a house, a housemate (The boy is spending all of his money on our trip so will be leaving me to fend for myself for the first time in almost 2 years), and the perfect wardrobe.
I shall soon be publishing my very own: ‘Wardrobe Bucket List’, from which I will slowly try to create my ultimate wardrobe. I will also be creating a ‘Travels’ tab, on which you can see all of my worldly adventures and how I styled myself for the journey. That is one thing I have struggled to find information on: How to be the stylish backpacker.
Personal style bloggers have always amazed me – the balls it must take to get up and take photographs of yourself on almost a daily basis, and upload them to the internet for the world to judge…those balls are well beyond my grasp. (That’s what she said.) I am going to take the plunge this year, and in an attempt to find my own style comfort zone – and then to subsequently break out of that – I will be uploading personal style images to this page. Be kind, I beg. I am only 5ft 2.5 and I have abnormally little limbs (Jeans are a bitch to find). My nickname has been ‘Stumpy-Rowe’ for as long as I can remember, and though affectionate, it has pointed out my physical challenges.
Here I am in all my glory – wish my luck on the third, and final instalment of ‘The Blog.’

60's Stunners

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