What's so Awkward about "Awkward Length" Trousers?

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Missguided Jacket* | Forever 21 Top* (similar here)| ASOS Jeans | Zara Mules | Forever 21 Bag* 

Online retailers have a great way at selling things to us. They like to use pretty words to describe things and make us want to buy their stuff, like floaty, tailored, easy-to-wear, fit and flare, but awkward? That's just a bit, well, awkward, isn't it? It hardly seems the best selling point for a largely commercial online retailer. Yet after just a quick search on ASOS gives you at least 8 results of awkward length trousers. 

So what actually classifies as being an awkward length? Basically, it's a trouser length that's pretty difficult to wear in terms of other traditional trousers and jeans. It falls somewhere between your classic, easy-to-wear ankle length trousers (see what I did there?) and one of the style hero pieces for 2015: the culotte. 

I'll admit that wearing these out and about did cause a bit of confusion. The facial expressions that met my face read a little bit like "Are you wearing cropped trousers that are too long for you? No, you're wearing trousers that are too short for you! But wait, you're pretty short, so that can't be possible, can it? I don't know. Your jeans are making my brain hurt." Then they would carry on into the day thinking that they might have to make a trip to Specsavers to clear up any concerns they might have about their vision.

If anything, culottes and midi-skirts are the most awkward length you're going to get (unless you regularly don underwear-skimming mini skirts or enjoy flared trousers that are so long they collect street waste as you walk). They cut off at the most awkward point of our lower leg: right at the widest part of our calves, completely accentuating it. I'd rather not bring attention to the largest part of any of my limbs, thank you. These *awkward* jeans, on the other hand, hit you just above the ankles and have a far more slimming and leg lengthening effect. Plus there's bonus fashion points for nailing the denim trend with the deep indigo hue and frayed edges.  

So perhaps we should go about rebranding these length trousers as "surprisingly flattering trousers" instead. 


The 70s Spring/Summer Wish Lyst

It's hard to imagine 70's fashion without thinking about the summer. Maybe it's from the sepia toned photographs that caught the decade: they somehow instantly manage to look like you're gazing into the past through a pair of tortoiseshell sunglasses. All of this sunshine we've been having has me dreaming of an overload of denim, light chiffon blouses, and floaty boho dresses, so I compiled a wish lyst of my favourite 70s trend pieces. For those of you who haven't heard of Lyst, it's one of those amazing tools to create wish lists, gift lists, shopping lists, of all of your favourite items across a huge range of online retailers and designers. I've already been working vintage suede patchwork dresses and wide leg-trousers in spiced pumpkin colours, so I can't wait to play with the 70s trend more in the form of clog sandals and pussy bow blouses. And yes, of course there's a pair of flares on the wish lyst! 

Top Row left to right: Topshop Dress, Mango Jacket, Stella McCartney Jeans, Michael Kors Blouse

Bottom Row left to right: Zara Skirt, Zara Dress, River Island Hat, Topshop Shoes

Antonio Berardi: Italian Glamour meets London Tailoring

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It's always fascinating when people do 180 degree turns. Rejecting a career in medicine for a life as a fashion designer might just be the epitome of pulling a total 180. But that is exactly what Antonio Berardi did. The UK born, Scicilian bred designer combines his roots to create designs that have the ultra feminine essence of Italian design, yet tailored with that unclipped British attitude that can only be nurtured in London. 

For SS15 Antonio Berardi brought the sharp precision cuts from his previous collection forward by twisting them with more ethereal notes. The collection was laden with the designers speciality: dresses. There were plunging V-necks, gowns with thigh-high slashes, and origami-style skirts with razor sharp pleating. Everything crafted by Berardi is always red-carpet ready, so it's no surprise that his celebrity fan-base includes Gwyneth PaltrowJennifer Lawrence and Jennifer Anniston to name just a small few (and if you have a spare ££'s you can even buy Jen's red carpet dress here!)

The inspiration for all of the glamour that infuses every collection? His family, surprisingly. Berardi's mother's style was always impeccably ladylike in the way a stereotypical Italian woman's might be. For this reason, his designs have always celebrated the female form by enhancing natural curves.  Considering Berardi grew up in a  fashion conscious environment with family that often hand-stitched and embroidered their own clothes, his life 180 degree turn may not seem quite such a surprise after all. 

 

 

The everyday battle we face with with beauty/body image

It's often said that we are our own harshest critic. The new Dove France campaign highlights exactly how brutal our inner critic can be. By now I'm sure you've heard of their #OneBeautifulThought campaign. If you haven't, here's the round up: in the ad, some women are asked to write down all of the crappy things they think about themselves on a daily basis, then they were then invited back to a coffee shop where they 'accidentally overheard' two women (who were actually actresses) having a conversation where they said to each other some of the horrible things these women had written down about themselves. Unsurprisingly, the women who overheard this were horrified to see these two actresses saying such bitchy things to each other so in such a blase manner over coffee. The advert ends by asking: “When was the last beautiful thought you had about yourself?”

Naturally, as a bit of a cynic, I find myself feeling slightly sceptical about this advert seeing as the women in the ad are so naturally beautiful in their individual ways. I can't help but think that Dove France might have taken a slightly patronising route once again in their advertising. But then perhaps another point this advert highlights is that no matter how beautiful we might see someone as, all women have insecurities and worry about their perceived imperfections? This new Dove campaign got me thinking about my own love/hate relationship with beauty and body image, so since waking up this morning I decided to write down every shitty thought I had about myself today and share it here on the internet with you guys. As a comparative balance, I also wrote down any "beautiful thought" that I had about myself today. 

So here goes.

"You look fat today"

"Your feet are so small they look like pigs trotters"

"I swear you've gained weight on your armpits. Didn't even know that was possible"

"You're so fat"

"Your forehead is so big it's like a tombstone. Think how pretty you'd look if it was smaller"

"Your hairline looks like a balding 50 year old man's"

"Your thighs are like big fleshy chicken drumsticks from KFC"

"When did your face get so fat around your mouth?"

"You're too ugly to do vlogs. Nobody would want to watch you"

"You'd be more successful if you were 10lbs lighter"

"You're not naturally pretty"

"Your head is the shape of a giant round egg"

"Your eyes are really set back in your head"

"One of your eyes is so much smaller than the other like it's been stuck mid-wink"

"Your wide arse looks like a squashed loaf of bread on the reduced aisle in Tesco"

Plus I thought "You're so fat/ugly" about four more times.

And here's the positive:

"Your boobs look good today"

"Your stomach looks flatter today"

"You have nice cheekbones"

"Good job on the eye makeup"

Ouch. So apparently today I wasn't feeling too great. There's definitely an imbalance here. 

Just like the women in the advert, when reading these personal insults back out loud I laughed in shock. Am I really that bad? It almost seems laughable that my brain criticises myself so strongly and frequently everyday. Would I actually expect anyone to say these things to me IRL? No. Would I ever say these things to anybody else? Never, because I'd never want to hurt someone with such cruel words. So why are we saying these things to ourselves on a daily basis? 

The truth is, we don't see the good in ourselves that others might. But when I'm with my friends I only ever focus on the things about them that I find beautiful, because they are the only things I can see. Their flaws are invisible to me (unless they are seriously hungover with last night's makeup on and kebab debris around their mouths). What's so shocking is how much we mentally bully ourselves over our appearances and that it's become so ingrained within our daily routine of doing our makeup, looking in the mirror, walking down the street that it's difficult to escape. Our perception of beauty is so warped by magazines and instagram and everything else that's around us that we are constantly internally criticising ourselves for not being perfect. 

Next time you mentally berate yourself, just think about what you're really saying. Remember that we all have these thoughts, but it's probably only you that sees such a deep level of imperfection. Cynicism aside, one of the last questions the Dove campaign poses is something you really should ask yourself next time you're mind is screaming "You're so fat!" at your reflection: “If it’s not acceptable to say to someone else, why say it to ourselves?”



Act Casual

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As fun as it is getting dressed up and feeling as chic as Carrie Bradshaw walking down 5th Av., I always get some enjoyment from completely pared-back casual dressing. Maybe it's because I'm a little bit lazy? Nobody wants to make the effort all of the time. My off-duty uniform always involves black skinnies and an oversized shirt or t-shirt with loose bed-hair waves. 

These shots were taken over in a dance studio in Woolwich by the wonderfully talented photographer Ella H. One of the things I find about being a fashion blogger is the importance in working with photographers that you have chemistry with and that make you feel comfortable. What I've learnt the hard way is that if you feel uncomfortable or like a dick whilst posing for someone then you're more than likely going to look like a dick in the pictures! Believe me, when I first started shooting my outfits I definitely had a severe case of Awks Face. Luckily I'd worked with Ella before, and although I'm clearly no model, I've posed in front of a camera so many times before now that I no longer feel like a complete self-obsessed wanker. Hope you enjoy these shots! 

Get my casual look here