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Where To Go for Cocktails During LFW

New York Fashion Week is over, and we're all sitting here at the eve of London Fashion Week. Models can be spotted darting across town for their final fittings, PR's are going crazy because they are missing shipment of low-fat popcorn and beauty drinks (what on earth will the show guests do for refreshments now?!) and everyone is still praying that their coveted Burberry show invite simply got lost in the post (don't harass the postman, it's not his fault) 

But what about when the shows are over? For some of the best cocktails in town, head south of the river to London's creative Southbank area for some relaxation at CitizenM's Bankside hotel

The hotel chain is surprisingly un-chainy. The bottom floor is made up of what they call a Living Room. Rather than a cold, overpriced bar with hard chairs and fake plants, this lounge has large ultra modern bookcases with white faux stags heads, cream bauble lighting, animal hide seats, and comfy leather sofas.. The living room is a balance between a 70s palette of tans, reds, heavy burgundies and whites, but the decor is kept ultra modern giving a nod to its European roots (the first hotel was set up in Amsterdam, with others in New York and Paris.) There's also a feel of a bachelor pad, with the red and black leather sofas, but it still hits the perfect balance of homelyness and inner city cool. With free wifi across the whole of the hotel, you can regenerate and write up all of the latest show reports and street style posts too!

The bar encourages a host of the local artsy professionals. CitizenM's lounge is not just a hotel bar, it's a bar in itself that attracts customers all by itself.  Curling up with an espresso martini (the best espresso martini- might I add), I felt totally welcome and at home, exactly what you want to feel after a day out and about watching shows all day


Behind The Scenes: Elia B Shoot

If you hadn't already wondered this for yourself, then let me tell you: there's several reasons why I'm not a model. Firstly, I'm too short. Girls at 5ft 3 look somewhat dwarfish in comparison to the Amazonian Goddesses of the catwalk. Secondly: HBB. That's hips, boobs, and bum. All rather large. Too large, some might say... In fashion, cute and curvy doesn't quite cut it next to long and thin. Lastly, I don't exactly have the most photogenic face. Sure, I'll post a few pretty outfit snaps on here, but what you don't see is that for every 1 photo used, there's probably about 80 near identical snaps where one eye decided to close half way into an evil looking squint, or a double chin had appeared out of nowhere. 

Despite this, Elia B, the super-cool footwear brand that has been spotted on the wonderfully fashionable feet of Alexa Chung, asked me to come along to shoot some of their AW 14 collection. It wasn't all acrobatic poses and wind machines (thank god- I'm not particularly flexible and my eyes would water at just a hint of a breeze), it was a super chilled out blogger shoot. Bring some outfits and show everyone how you style up 6 pairs of shoes in the studio and out on the streets of north London. 

A spread of grapes, cornflake cakes, mini millionaire's shortbread and posh crisps awaited my arrival (as if I needed any reason for indulging in bad things,) along with six pairs of shoes from the Autumn Winter collection. A cute pair of black ballet pumps, some mock-croc patent loafers, a navy shoe with buckles, luxe leopard print pumps, super soft shearling lined wedge-boots, and some black and zebra striped shoes, all to style up with my favourite AW14 purchases so far. 
We started off shooting in the studio. Gorgeous wooden floors and a cute, retro 70's style sofa formed the backdrop for my first outfit. Cue a FANTASTIC playlist, courtesy of Louisa, including serious ballads from Wicked (Defying Gravity- naturally) and 90s superstars Britney and All Saints, and the shoot was underway.

Warm September sun shone down as we took to the streets of North London to finish the rest of the shoot. The gorgeous vintage blue decor of Ruby Violet's ice cream parlour was the perfect backdrop for my blue checked ASOS dress and navy Elia B Chip Monk shoes. High quality leather shoes always seem to destroy my feet (I'm not sure what Marilyn Monroe was talking about, but blister plasters are definitely a girls best friends, not diamonds...) But after prancing around all day shooting not once did any of these shoes hurt. It's a miracle! 

Surprisingly, the shoot was over rather quickly (maybe I am skilled as a model after all??) and we even had time to shoot a little Made in Chelsea-esque sequence of me walking around the pretty streets and buying an ice cream (no bumping into any awkward exes randomly on the street though- sorry guys.)

A huge thank you to Louisa and Sophie from Elia B who looked after me throughout the day! I'll be writing a separate post about my outfits including final images at a later date.
Lastly, huge apologies for the lack of posting lately, my photographer is on a two week holiday and I've moved to an incredible new flat in Clapham which is still currently internetless, so I've been spending all of my time in Costa around the corner surviving on a diet of way too many ham and cheese toasties and croissants (seriously Costa- up your salad game!) 

Excuse me whilst I decide whether to have a chicken salad sandwich or a bacon and brie panini...


Your Fashion Foundations with Ann Summers

I'm a lingerie addict. At the sight of eyelash lace, a multitude of straps, or mesh detailing I'm willing to drop any sense of comfort, practicality and functionality in a second. Truthfully, I just think I've forgotten what it feels like to wear a decent functioning bra in favour of the "Oooh so pretty!" bras.
Let's face it, no matter how many times Kate Upton appears on the front cover of Vogue in a bikini, we all know big boobs aren't seen as the most fashionable thing. I always find myself putting on the flimsiest bra and making do with it, forgetting that my boobs actually exist.  
Ann Summers collection of everyday lingerie focusing on comfort, style and practicality. The simple, lacey range is all about choosing the right bra for the right outfit. 
Balconette, T-Shirt, Unlined and Plunge bras combine the best of pretty and practical, and actually make you remember that your boobs exist by bring them back into the fashion equation!

Top Left: T Shirt Bra / Top Right: Underwired Bra / Bottom Left: Plunge Bra / Bottom Right: Balconette Bra 
All Courtesy of Ann Summers
The T-Shirt Bra
What better to wear with a T-shirt bra than a T-shirt? My white tee collection is endless and for lack of a white bra, I'm forever sinning by wearing black bras with them. Well not any more! The white T-shirt bra has perfectly moulded cups and careful, graduated padding to add a cup size. Totally seamless under clothes, it gives a super sexy rounded shape. I felt like I was hiding melons under my top... 

The Balconette Bra

Balconette Bras are all about the lift and are perfect for wide, squarer necklines. So it seemed only natural to pair it with my old favourite Tea Dress by Topshop. The super wide, low cut neckline makes the most of the style of the balconette. Think a boob-aesthetic similar to wearing a corset, without the breathing issues. Or imagine resting your boobs on a shelf- it's all about the uplifting effect. 

The Underwired Bra

A black lace unlined bra peeking through a semi sheer oversized shirt oozes laid-back sex appeal. The shirt's manly proportions stop the outfit from being too revealing or sexy. Worn with skinny jeans or leather trousers, this is one of my favourite go-to outfits. The bra has a super natural uplift and despite being unlined, it is underwired so it still holds everything in place.

The Plunge Bra

Seriously, enhanced, cleavage - that's what plunge bras are all about. For those daring necklines and low cut tops when you want to make the best of your assets, you know exactly what you need. I threw on a simple crop top from Topshop with my New Look high-waisted skinny jeans. Worn with an open duster coat and Birkenstocks is the perfect combination of sexy-cool. 


Dorothy Perkins Style Essentials

The perfect capsule wardrobe is something many women have strived towards creating since Gok Wan started throwing the concept in our faces a few years back on How To Look Good Naked. Although I'm sure any fashion-obsessive on this earth still yearns for the walk in wardrobe, wall full of shoes, and closets full of designer gear, there's something still so refined and refreshing about having that perfect handful armful of clothes that are interchangeable and build the foundation of our wardrobes. 

Cue Dorothy Perkins Style Essentials. Ten of our favourite wardrobe staples, from rolled up skinny jeans to the classic parka jacket. It covers all fashion bases. 

Wearing the rolled up skinny with my beloved striped tee (there's actually a small hole in it now I've worn it so often...) I updated the look with a long black, sleeveless jacket. 

For my second style essentials look I wanted something more classic with an emphasis on tailoring. Soft, ivory knitted textures are paired with sleek black culottes for a look inspired by all of the elegance of 40's tailoring. 

Will you be investing in some style essentials this season?

Remember voting closes for the Cosmo Blog Awards in 5 days so make sure you vote for Fashion Slave as Best New Fashion Blog here


Sunglasses Wardrobe *

The seasons may be starting to change but that doesn't mean we're no longer in need of beautiful sunglasses to shield our eyes from the rays on sunnier days and hide our faces when we've partied a little bit too hard the night before... 
As a huge sunglasses obsessive (you can never really have too many) I've worked with Glasses on Spec to bring a Sunglasses wardrobe of some of my favourite styles from Lulu Guinness and Ray-Ban. Here's how I would style my favourites up!

Aviators and khaki seem a completely natural pairing with their subtle military influences. The outfit is kept more girly with loosely tailored silhouettes and with the addition of heels and an oversized handbag. And yeah, I am still lusting after a super cool Moschino slogan tee. It's my birthday in a couple of weeks... *hint hint*

If you follow my instagram then you'll have seen that I have a slight obsession with this coat. I'd keep the rest of the outfit completely simple and let the subtly printed Ray Bans do the talking. The sandy, natural colours of camel and tortoishell shades were simply made for each other.

I'm still dreaming of summers in the South of France or Ibiza wearing this poolside ensemble. Completely monochrome with oversized Lulu Guinness sunglasses gives a laid-back twist on poolside glamour. 

The muted tones of grey and black always look classic and chic, but the hint of red from behind the arms of these Ray Ban sunglasses gives this outfit a fiery flash. Definitely to be worn with bright, poppy-red lipstick.

Which are your favourites?