Mon Dieu, Dior! An Impulsive Pop to Paris

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So, Paris is always a good idea, so the saying goes, and I kinda think it’s true, as I discovered when I impulsively popped to the very pretty city. Paris played host to what I can now confirm to have been a dreeeeam exhibition of Dior, and since it opened in July 2017 I had been properly pining to go. I wrote it off as too indulgent and costly, but, when I realised I had no plans for New Years Eve, and that the exhibition ended in early January of 2018, well, the pangs for Dior proved to pull me towards booking a solo trip. A treat for myself after a very tough year. ‘Couturier De Reve’ (dressmaker of dreams) was an exhibition I just couldn’t miss. I imagined being an old lady and saying ‘I nearly went to Paris to see that amazing Dior exhibition, but didn’t go in the end’, and that thought made me sad, so I booked a seat on Eurostar, and went.

Pop! Paris was calling.

It did cost me money, and it did feel feel indulgent, but it did make me very happy and I’m so bloody glad I went. Dior did not disappoint, not one teeny bit. Paris itself was wonderful, an exciting and elegant city, and travelling alone was just what I needed, (more on the city and travelling solo in my next posts) but Dior, damn, it was divine. Celebrating 70 years since The House of Dior was created, it was an exhibition of epic proportions. I’d arrived late one afternoon so wandered down to The Musee Des Arts Decoratifs so that I knew where I’d have to get to the next morning, and what the queuing set up was like. Getting there from my hotel was straightforward as the Metro was real easy to navigate, and even though the museum was due to close in an hour the queue was still wiggling a long way down the street. Gah, I’d have to pitch up real early in the morning to ensure I got in on my only full day in Paris. So I got there bright and breezy with a croissant in my tummy on the morning of New Years eve, and the queue was pretty short. Phewf! I stood and chatted in line with a lady from Stockholm and we got in as soon as the doors opened. I kinda knew I’d be flabbergasted by it all, my tummy was all of a fizz with excitement. It totally blew me away. Like a combination of all the best bits of any fashion exhibitions I’ve seen in my life, this was simply spectacular. I’m a girl in love with dresses, and this Dior show was dress paradise. It was insightful, educational, expertly curated and so, so beautiful. There were loads of rooms, each completely different to the next, and it covered Dior himself and his design beginnings and went on to showcase the work of all the designers at the helm of this house up until now. It was an absolute heck load of lovely. And, as a vintage dealer who has often referenced his iconic New Look outfit -which defined a decade of dressing- to see that in up close was pretty fluppin’ brilliant. It was busy, but calm, all of us in awe of what our eyeballs were seeing. The final room of course had been instagrammed to the heavens and I was most excited to get in there for real. It was like a fashion finale with everyone in there like, literally gasping at the utterly magical feeling it created. Sparkling lights like stars moving around the high painted ceilings of this grand space, music kissing our ears, and dresses, showstopping dresses which I’ve only ever seen in fashion history books, right there in front of my own face. I don’t think I’ve ever been this immersed or amazed by an exhibition before, absolute perfection. Dior sure made my dreams come true in Paris that day.

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Better Ways To Cope With Your Passion For Fashion

We’ve all gotta bit of a passion for fashion in some way, right? It’s a form of art, and it’s a way to express yourself, pretty much like a musician, painter, or writer would. You shouldn’t be suppressing that appreciation for something beautiful, but, um, hey, you also shouldn’t let it run away with you. A musician doesn’t break their bank account by buying every nice guitar they see (or they shouldn’t), and you shouldn’t break your bank account by buying every nice piece of clothing or quirky fashion accessory you come across! Restraint is a powerful but difficult thing to master, trust me, I know that! Our minds tell us that we’re denying ourselves something or missing out when we restrain our urges, but the truth is the complete opposite. You’ll appreciate things like fashion far more when you don’t splurge to the point of forgetting why you loved all these gorgeous pieces of clothing in the first place. When you treat yourself to the occasional stunning fashion piece, you appreciate it far more. Here are some ideas as to better ways in which you could cope with your passion for fashion!

Shop cheaply – Unless you’re in complete debt, eeek, which I’ll mention later, you don’t have to give up on fashion. You shouldn’t give up on the things you love, but you should know how to approach your passion for something when it’s costing you a fortune. Every time you need to update your wardrobe (and that means your clothes are too small, old, or torn rather than you simply wanting more), you should consider the cheaper options. You should try thrift shopping because the clothes are not only far less expensive than the big brands change in their stores but they’re also just as nice as clothes in the big shops. As a vintage loving gal myself, I’d say that vintage clothing is far cooler and unique than the mass produced, mainstream things you’ll find on the high street. Better yet, you’ll be shopping ethically when you head into thrift shops, charity shops, or even just swapping with friends; going for the second-hand option may not be as glamorous as buying a brand new skirt, but the sweatshop industry which creates those clothes sure isn’t glamorous either. At least you won’t be funding more hardship for those workers. You could do a little research into other ways to save money when shopping if you’re worried that you might be wasting cash on your clothes (whether you’re prone to splurging or not). So many big stores trick you into thinking you’re getting a great deal when you’re really spending far more than you should be. Do a little research, and hunt stores which offer ethical clothes which are beautiful and come at a fraction of the price you’d see in other stores.

Try the ‘1 month’ technique – This is a clever lil’ technique if you can be strict with yourself. Next time you walk past a shop on the high street and see a stunning dress or top in the window, make a note of it on your phone or a piece of paper. Wait a month, and see how you feel. This is the ultimate way to determine whether you really want a piece of clothing or you just felt the pull of your insatiable urge to shop. If you still want the dress or whatever fashion item you saw in the window one month after first seeing it then you can go ahead and treat yourself to it. If you find that the urge has passed then don’t buy the piece of clothing or the fashion accessory because you probably never really wanted it anyway. You were simply enticed in the moment, and that’s the entire purpose of display windows in shops.

Make a budget – If you really want to curb your excessive spending then you need to start keeping track of it. Take control of the situation, and make a budget. To do this, you need to first look at the money you make each month (if you’re self-employed then note down the average amount of money you make). Once you have a rough figure, note down all the necessities you need to purchase each month; your rent, the average amount you spend on utility bills, and the average amount you spend on food. The figure you end up with should give you an idea of how much money you need to add to your budget for necessities. Make it a little larger than the amount you spent in order to allow for variation. Stick to this figure. It’s pretty darn vital that you always have money set aside for necessities. You should be left with a rough figure concerning the amount of disposable income you usually have for each month. Set aside some, but not all, of this money for shopping; that’s your new monthly budget for “luxuries”, and you can’t exceed. A way to stop yourself exceeding it is to keep only one credit card for emergencies but to never take that card out with you. This is the key to avoiding debt; never spend more money than you make, and you’ll never need to borrow money for anything unnecessary. If you are in debt, whether it’s for something important like a house or excessive borrowing and spending in the past, then suspend all luxury purchases and pool all your disposable income for that month into paying off your debt. Don’t borrow any more money until your debt is gone; ideally, you shouldn’t borrow money for anything other than big purchases such as houses or cars. When you do, of course, paying off the debt quickly is essential to maintain a good credit score which to me, has always been important.

Don’t go to a mall or the high street to kill time – Only hit the shops when you need to buy something vital for your home or your children, perhaps. Don’t stroll into a mall just because you had some free time because that’s when you’re shopping for the sake of improving your mood and not because you actually need (or even really want) any of the things you’re buying. Treating yourself to luxuries is fine every now and then because we all do it, but when you’re more bothered about the momentary rush it gives you to buy something rather than the thing you’re buying then that’s when you need to stop. Your passion for fashion should solely be focused on the fashion itself, and you shouldn’t be hitting the shops if you’re not even sure why you’re doing so. When you do need to shop for necessities such as food then you should try to head for your local grocery store or smaller, local shops in order to avoid the tempting sight of big clothes brands in the center of your town or city. You want to resist temptation as much as possible so that shopping can get back to being a fun past-time for you; you want to buy clothes because you love the actual clothes and not the feeling of swiping your credit card on the register.

Always bring a shopping list – You likely bring a shopping list with you when you go to buy groceries so that you don’t miss anything important or buy something you don’t need, and that’s why you need to apply that logic to shopping for clothing too. As mentioned in the budgeting point earlier, it’s very important that you bring a set amount of cash with you so that you’re not tempted to splurge on your credit card. That way, you can enjoy the luxuries you buy in the knowledge that you won’t have spent more than you can afford. Perhaps more importantly, you’ll only have a limited amount of cash, and that means you’ll buy clothes that you feel truly passionate about in terms of fashion because you won’t be able to afford everything you see.

Accept when your problem has become too serious – Whilst a lot of the advice in this article was aimed towards people with a penchant for fashion, there are different levels when it comes to overspending on the high street. Some people buy the odd expensive thing that they probably should have avoided, but some people are in serious debt because of an uncontrollable shopping addiction. You need to figure out if you’re on that spectrum and how much help you may need if so.

If you treat yourself to the odd luxury then you don’t have a problem; if you treat yourself to silly things then you may need to try budgeting and other tips in this article; if you’ve borrowed money just to buy even more things then you have a serious problem and you need to seek help. It might be time to look into counseling if you can’t control your own urges. If budgeting, cutting up your credit cards, or any other method isn’t enough to stop you then you could also attend meetings with other people who have shopping addictions. Solidarity always helps. Shopping will always be there to temps us, the stores want us to buy things we don’t need, that’s your hard earned money they want so take time before handing it over…do you REALLY need that extra dress? Shop well, my friends. x

Get The 1920’s Look – Live By Night

Live By Night is a very cool, stylish and captivating movie. Written, directed, co produced by, and starring Ben Affleck, (crikey, he’s been busy!) and with Leonardo DiCaprio taking on the shared role of Producer too, you know you’re in for an exciting watch. Set in 1926, it focuses on a Boston bred mob of gangsters who set up shop in balmy Florida during this prohibition era, facing off against their competition. You’ve got everything to make your heart beat and your eyes go heart shaped; beautiful vintage sets and fashion, money, molls, love, sex and speakeasies. It’s a dang thrill for sure. This ace film is already available as a digital download, but from Monday 22nd May we can get our hands on the DVD or Blu-ray here in the UK, hoooray! So, with it’s release being imminent, I wanna help you get the perfect roaring 20’s look, for day or night, because, trust me, after gettin’ your peepers on this flick you’re gonna wanna get some of that vintage lushness in your life!

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With the talented gals that are Elle Fanning, Zoe Saldana and the utterly captivating Sienna Miller all in this film, the fashion reigns supreme for me, gah, the beauty of it all! You get all the looks in this flick, casual daytime looks and the faultless flapper look that every girl loves, right, We ALL love a flapper dress? When it comes to this era of fashion you need to be thinking; femininity, pretty florals, dreamy pastel shades, cottons, silks, and beads. If you wanna wear a daytime look from the 20’s, think delicate cottons, slim flattering cuts, cloche hats (or a Fedora or Newsboy Cap for a more relaxed look too), neat leather bags, and Mary-Jane or T-bar low heeled shoes. A delicate sophistication, a simple and effortless elegance. The women of this era dressed with poise and politeness. But then in the evening, they turned into dazzling and sparkling coquettish glamour girls, with piles of pearls hanging from their neck, tassels, beading, dainty bags, cool cigarette cases; it’s a gorgeous fanciful and frolicsome look, I LOVE it!! Embroidered silk shawls, stockings and red lips make this a really sexy look that you can either add elements of to a modern look or go the whole way and re-create the look to perfection. With authentic vintage items from this era, well, we’re talking about pieces that are nearly 100 years old and so not only can they be rare to find, as many have been lost to time, but also, it can get expensive. But, if you do wanna spend on an original 20’s dress in good condition, hey, it really is worth every penny as it’s an investment and a gorgeous piece of history to keep. If you just wanna add a 20’s touch to a modern outfit you could source a little beaded bag, or a beaded collar necklace to add to a new dress, to hint at the style. Below are some pieces I think are just wonderful, the pink beaded dress is a modern version of an old flapper dress, so you get one in new condition that is less fragile and is generally more affordable than an original 20’s flapper dress, this one is just adorable for a party or wedding! The dress with the bow on the back is (absolutely DREAMY) and is an original dress found on Pinterest, just as inspiration. The original 20’s peach cotton day dress is for sale in my online shop and is a perfect example to team with Mary-Jane’s and a cloche hat. The minty beaded one is also in my shop and is an 80’s dress which clearly has 20’s vibes, finding an 80’s beaded dress is often a cheaper way of getting the look too! All other items I have shown here are on Etsy, get looking on their pages to find gorgeousness galore, and you may just find your dream dress or the perfect accessory to create the look. Hey, a cute idea is to get some 20’s style going on and spend time with friends watching Live By Night; that sounds like a sweet treat of an evening to me!

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Live by Night is out on Digital Download now and available on Blu-ray and DVD from Monday 22nd May 

What To Do If You Don’t Consider Yourself ‘Fashionable’

So, you don’t consider yourself fashion. There are no rules out there really as to what ‘fashionable is’. You might look at somebody wearing a plain t-shirt and jeans and think they’re fashionable, while somebody else might look at the eccentric outfits of Carrie Bradshaw for inspiration. If you don’t consider yourself fashionable but you’d quite like to be, here’s what you can do:

Overcome Any Self Image Issues – Maybe you don’t consider yourself fashionable because you have self image issues. Everybody has these to some extent, so don’t beat yourself up. The key is to make sure you try to work past them. Where have your self image issues come from? What do you believe about yourself that might not be quite true? By making sure you’re consistent and work on your self image issues each day, in no time your thinking might just begin to change. Your mindset is everything! One thing many people like to do is listen to subliminal messages as they sleep. You could also try reading many self help books on the subject.

Work Out What Clothes You Really Like – Make sure you figure out what clothes you really like. Maybe you don’t really like that shirt and jeans you wear all the time; you just like them because they hide your figure, which you’re conscious of. You need to get over things like this if you’re going to start enjoying the clothes you wear. Here are some tips for figuring out what you like:

  • Decide which clothes you like the look of on your body best. What shapes and styles suit you?
  • Decide on your own personal color scheme. What makes your look radiant?
  • Which clothes make you feel unstoppable when you wear them?

Take A Look At The Celebs – There’s probably a tiny percentage of celebrities out there who actually dress themselves. They pretty much all have personal stylists, so take a look and see who’s style you like best. You can find them in trending stories on the internet and on the news. Buy a few magazines and make a collage. Doing this will help you to figure out the kind of styles you love the most, and it’ll be a big indicator of what you should be wearing. Don’t feel envious of other styles, wear them!

Don’t Compare Yourself To Others – Stop comparing yourself to others. Finding fashionistas that inspire you is a great thing to do, but comparing yourself will only get you down.

Take Pride In Your Uniqueness – Start taking pride in your uniqueness. Love your unique look and body shape. Your unique personality. There’s only one of you in the world. Emulate this with your clothes and see how you feel!

Experiment – Experimenting could help you to improve your confidence a little and get used to wearing new styles. Sometimes all it takes is trying out something new for your eyes to be opened.

Try these things and you might just start considering yourself to be fashionable sooner than you think!

Five Cheap Ways To Update Your Wardrobe

One of the best things about welcoming a new season is getting to see the new fashions and maybe indulging in a new outfit or two. But, as much as we want it, we can’t all afford to buy an entirely new wardrobe every time the season changes, *sad face*. Fortunately, there are several ways to update your look without paying designer prices.

Thrift Shopping – It’s all very well setting yourself a fashion budget and promising you’ll stick to it, but you can’t always ignore the call of that tempting summer dress that would be just perfect for that upcoming event you’re attending next week. Luckily, you can give in to temptation for a bargain if you shop exclusively in thrift shops. If you want something of a higher quality, go to shops in upscale neighbourhoods and get something absolutely stunning for a fraction of its high street cost. If you’ve found an item you love, but it’s too big for you, buy a matching belt to take it in a bit, or work your own magic on it if you’re handy with a needle. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t find anything in the first shop you visit. Sometimes you have to dig deep to find buried treasure.

Clothes Swap – Of course, why spend money at all if you have friends who are about the same dress size as you. Chances are you’re not the only one who can’t afford to spend money on new clothes this season, so the best solution is to get a group of friends together and organise a clothes swap. Perhaps there’s a shirt or dress of theirs that you’ve always admired that they don’t want anymore. Maybe you have something that no longer fits you that would suit them perfectly. The more friends you invite, the more options you’ll have. It’s also a fun way to spend a day together.

Invest In The Basics – Some high street stores have a ‘basic’ line, which includes shirts, skirts, and trousers that have no enhanced designs or patterns. These are cheaper than items with patterns or creative designs, but the upside is that these are often updated along with the rest of their seasonal lines. With the right combination of shoes, bag and belt, even the most basic outfit can be transformed into a fashion statement.

Get Creative – If you’re good at sewing and you have a creative flair, you can just update your existing wardrobe by customising it. If you have items of clothing that you still love, but are a bit worn out, simply repair the holes and wear them again with pride. However, if you have perfectly good items that just don’t match your tastes anymore, you can use your sewing skills to transform the item into something you’d be proud to wear again.

Check The Back Of The Wardrobe –Buried deep in the back of your closet are incredible items that you love but you haven’t worn in years. Get looking, you’ll be amazed at what you had forgotten about!