Sunday, 26 May 2013


As a homage to the Vintage Kilo Sale I blogged yesterday I bring you a special my back garden! Yes, my 'ready-to-wear' looks normally feature outside my front door, however these pieces are anything but ordinary! I had a blast of a day yesterday rummaging through the mountains of vintage that Judy affordably brings to various different cities all over, giving myself a challenge of creating a summer look with a twist...and returning with one whole look & even a few extra garments to add to other looks! All-in-all I walked away with an amazing vintage booty consisting of...1 playsuit, 1 white shirt, 1 tie-dye t-shirt, 1 denim jacket & 1 leather jacket! The rule is one kilo of vintage clobber for £15, so in total mine came to a grand bargain of £25 for some garments I can work over & over again!

My cheeky koala [Konky!] sneaking in to the photoshoot...
no vintage look is complete without a kitch accessory!

My whole vintage outfit consisted of a broderie anglaise short-sleeve white shirt & cute blue & white button-up playsuit for day-time dressing, with my tassle & stud adorned leather jacket for that typical British summertime weather! Throw on some bowed peep-toes [unfortunately not from the fair] & a bike [not a fair bargain either!] & your ready to go!

Showcasing how my new shirt can be worn in different ways. It adds a sweet twist to my playsuit, but smartens right up when worn with my pleated midi-skirt, my bargain found at the last Vintage Kilo Fair!

Brightening up my vintage booty, I snapped up a tie-dye t-shirt & borrowed Sean's denim pick of the day to complement the main colour of my nod to the swinging sixties hippy trend. Fashion is all about fun & Judy's affordable Vintage Fair is definitely the way to do it!

Saturday, 25 May 2013


Attending the last Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair in Manchester, I am happy to announce a special post on today's Vintage Kilo Sale event! Picking up 2 kilos worth of vintage garments last time for a minimal £15 per kilo , I was eager to get stuck in to the big brimming bins once again! My last vintage booty consisted of an amazing 2 silk shirts, 2 silk tops, 1 wool jacket & 2 skirts, one of which I was sporting today! Yes, it does take some serious rummaging, but that is half the fun of a cheap new capsule wardrobe!

Proudly clutching my 'Vintage Kilo Sale' bag [already full!] & one of the many vintage leather jackets... 

Vibrant colours & vintage prints...the early bird catches the worm!

Dressed in my 50's era vintage I arrive bright & early at the sale where rails upon rails & bins upon bins of vintage garments await... At what first seems daunting due to the sheer mass & muddle of many time periods in just one space, blossoms into a challenging bubble of excitement.

I opted for an easy-to-wear vintage based outfit on which to channel the mood of the day & to get seriously stuck into shopping! Combining key vintage pieces like my denim jacket and a pleated midi-skirt with vintage inspired florals I created into a crop top, I was inspired by the 50's Grease girls. My vintage accessories bring out the colours in my chosen floral, highlighting the white to elevate the look to one of a hopeful summer.

Rummaging elbows at the ready, it was my blogger's advantage for early entrance to see if I could pick up the best of the bargains to be found. With a brief shopping list logged in my mind, I searched for a summer outfit with a twist, setting myself a personal challenge to aim for.

A magpie is spoilt for choice...this time there were accessories galore, with stalls also selling jewellery, bags & sunglasses, adding the finishing touches to your bargain vintage looks!

Never before attending a Vintage Kilo Sale, Sean *MeetYourMaker featured* joined me to the event, gauging a Male perspective on the vintage fashion selection. Being a non-checked-shirt-wearing guy, he was initially rather taken-aback about the amount of them there were to be snapped up. So unfortunately he didn't do the snapping on that rail...but instead delved into the denim for inspiration. Checked shirts are lumberjack style vintage favorites, which offer guys, as well as fashionable girls, a hint of vintage with a toughened chic. But Sean being prone to a flash of double denim just couldn't resist!

Channeling double denim in a stand-out twist, coloured denim becomes so much more acceptable in the summer, so why not embrace it?! Sean's pick of the day was a rust red vintage Levi denim jacket, winning on both the brand & the unique shade of denim. Vintage cuts can be pulled off oversized, so prevent the look from looking too 'cosy' by rolling the sleeves up & wearing the jacket with some attitude!

With leather being the key material catching my eye & an attraction to tassels & studs I just cannot resist, I secured my statement piece of my summer outfit...the cool throw on jacket, toughing up my floral dresses & bidding chilly nights farewell since 2013. Together let's make our own vintage statement!

Keep your eyes awake for my next MeetYourMaker post in which I will be styling my new vintage finds into my summer wardrobe looks!

Wednesday, 22 May 2013


Occasion: Interview at Ted Baker
Situation: Dressing in a professional way for a fun loving brand

My Outfit Recipe [Let's take it from the top & break it down]...
  • Black studded leather jacket *current key transitional piece*
  • White Shirt *customised by me*
  • Black & white checked midi-skirt [Vintage Jaeger]

Accessorize my Life...
  • Two-strand pearl necklace *just seen under collar frame*
  • Black & gold patent handbag [Deep vintage]
  • Patent black loafers

Ted Baker prides itself on quality, attention to detail and a touch of humour in its brand. I was aiming for a look that summed up these features, appearing to be the perfect candidate for the job in once glance. I customised a typical men’s white shirt by fitting the oversized shirt to my proportions, cutting off the long sleeves and framing the sleeveless look with a flash of pink binding. This shows my fun side through the playful colour, but also smart side by wearing a crisp button-up shirt. A peek at my pearl necklace surrounding my collar can just be seen, highlighting my attention to detail and interest in quality touches. When paired with a black & white checked midi-skirt, it shows that I have seasonal trend knowledge through the desired length yet professionalism through the monochrome tones. Topped off with sleek accessories, the look is brought together in a complementary style that represents the ‘not an ordinary designer label’ branding of Ted Baker. Wear the look…don’t let it wear you!


Occasion: Levis Interview
Situation: Dressing smart enough for an interview yet casual to fit the Levis branding

Featured: The Mancorialist -

My Outfit Recipe [Let's take it from the top & break it down]...
  • Studded black leather jacket *investment piece* [Topshop]
  • Black silk opaque shirt *luxury piece* [Topshop boutique]
  • Vintage Levis A-line skirt
Accessorize my Life...
  • Silver eagle necklace *20th birthday present*
  • Black leather rucksack *21st birthday present*
  • Black socks with white frill *made by me*
  • Black platform ankle boots [Office]
Interview dressing is always a tricky one. They tend to be formal situatio in which you however also need to relate to the brand & dress so that they can picture you as a sales representative in their store. I decided to show a flash of vintage denim, to tie in with the brand's ethos, however I didn't want to go too denim crazy that I looked like a walking billboard! I broke up the high-waisted denim by layering a silk chiffon shirt over it, wearing the look oversized yet controlled through the sleek black tones. By leather accessories stepped my look up a fashion notch, while my cute socks still send out approachable signals. Time will tell if they look went down well with Levi. But at least I know it did with the public...with The Mancorialist, Manchester's answer to renowned The Sartorialist blog snapped my street style while I was relaxing in sun graced Exchange Square. Keep smiling...

Monday, 20 May 2013


Occasion: Filling up the first days of summer
Situation: Using left over materials to create a useful piece

Inspired by the current sporty trends seen around every corner, teasing us to join our perfect summer wardrobe, this 'made-by-me' bag is an easy by effective creation to satisfy those needs...Scroll through the instructions to see the final piece!

What will I need you ask?...
  • Left over materials [make sure they are big enough cuttings to your fulfill your bag size desire & that the materials are sturdy enough to be able to hold. I chose a corrugated plastic knit that hints at sporty through its opaque layering & a blush leather for details]
  • Scissors [good enough to cut through your chosen material. I opted for shears due to my leather detailing]
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Sewing thread [can match or contrast the colour. I chose a marl grey that complements both my materials, yet adds another aspect to my creation. Thicker overstitch thread would work well as a design feature, as the sewn lines would appear more visible. 

Begin by laying out your base fabric [that you are using for the face sides of your bag]. I used a A4 magazine to measure the size I wanted, to unsure it was a tote big enough to hold books etc]. Before I cut my real fabric I traced my measurements out onto a pattern, so I can always replicate the same bag shape again...

Some pieces are 'cut 2', so take note of the labeling. Each pattern piece can be altered to fit your needs, But ensure that the other pieces are altered to fit with it! For example, if you want a boxier bag, increase the width of the sides & therefore the width of the base to match.

Above: Ensuring that my pattern piece has left enough seam allowance around the A4 size to allow for sewing seams & for fitting magazines in with ease.

I have decided to give my bag sides & therefore a base to make it more 3D & able to hold more objects. I am playing on this feature by using the hard-wearing leather on the base of my bag, adding a contrasting colour & re-enforcing its sturdiness. I have also reflected this in my bag's straps.

Once I have cut out my pattern pieces from my final material [use pins to secure the paper pattern down & cut around] I lay them out to plan my construction process. 

I turn the pieces right side down as I will be sewing it that way, ensuring that the seams are on the inside.

I sew the base first, attaching all linking edges. I am using a basic domestic machine, but have replaced the needle with a thicker one, just to ensure it can handle the heaviness of the leather. You can see the 3D construction beginning to take shape. However I realize that the seam is open and would wear away through inside use of the bag, despite it not looking appealing to the eye! So a binding job it is...

I choose a waterproof dark grey material to cover the seams with. It will reinforce the strength and will complement my coloured thread. I cut four strips [for each inside corner] about a rulers width [1 inch roughly, but it will depend on your seam allowance] and sew them folded around the long seams on each corner...

The bag is still inside-out at this stage, so I can ensure the sewing is up to scratch & that the bag will therefore be strong enough to hold. I also want it to look as smooth on the inside as it will on the out! Notice now much neater the binding on the top seams above makes them look than the lower ones!

After hemming the top edge opening, I turn my bag the right side out to attach my straps. I decide to make them a design feature by securing them on the outside face on the bag, with cross-over contrast stitching.

And tah-da! My sporty tote bag is ready for action!

The 3D sides I have given my bag give it a more rounded shape, appearing like a bucket bag, but that will square out over time through use. I am going to style my new accessory with crisp whites and clean shapes. Look out for it in my up-and-coming looks!

Friday, 17 May 2013

MeetMyInspiration - DKNY

Reflecting on my most recent university project for DKNY

I have always viewed DKNY as a sophisticated multi-layered brand which optimizes the true essence of New York and its style. Through thorough research, I have come to view the city in two inspiring lights...from the smart business front and the artistically creative sporty side. These may appear to contrast, but they can also complement. This is the conceptual combination I wanted to represent in my overall look.

I focused on street art to begin my primary research. This view of the sidewalks initially summed-up the city for me...creativity is all around, walking from work to the game, the customer can be whoever they want to be. 

This unleashed a hidden identity for my character muse. She is successful, smart, yet creative and fun-loving, jumping seamlessly from business to after-work activities. Reflecting this through my design development I started to focus of transitional, transforming garments which could ensure one outfit that could fit many situations in one busy day. 

My vintage garment I selected had a contrasting colour detachable collar, which transformed the look instantly, so I looked at techniques and fastenings to ensure smooth transitions. Fitting the Autumn/Winter brief, detachable linings became a key feature as well as removable sleeves and oversized pockets.

By analysing the architectural outlines of the city and the uniformity of Wall Street figures, I picked out a structural collar shape in which I carried through my design development, playing with proportions and locations on the body. This became my main design feature alongside the functional features. 

Through group research we decided to focus on a ‘couples’ style collection, with 6 Womenswear looks paired with 6 Menswear looks, reflecting our combined view of New York City. This way we could also carry key features, which were prominent in both of our research, through the couples, reflected in my Annie Hall inspired androgynous Womenswear to simplistic functional Menswear.

We are the couple that live life fashionably.
From day to night, autumn to winter, we transform our looks from smart to sporty, constantly changing, just like the ballgame.
We like to slam-dunk our ideas around the workplace, bounce them around the walls, observing how they respond.
Shouts from the onlookers, we are experiencing the live game, living in the moment, dreaming for the future.
The rush, the win, the weekend...this is what we live for.
This is our style.

Working with the colour palette, neutral tones with bright flashes were already running through my research, so the concept was worked on by sourcing fabrics and sampling them with flashes of neon pink binding or topstitch, hinting back to my street art origins. 

I sourced a selection of smart fabrics including shirting, cotton satin and felted wool, to combine with sportier feels such as sweatshirt jersey, waterproofing and micro fleece. By using sporty stretch fabrics on traditionally tailored Wall Street inspired garments added a versatile edge, taking my customer smoothly from the boardroom to the basketball court. I designed heavier weight smart outerwear fabrics to be used on simplistic sporty shapes to give them some definition in the city and therefore further the transitional feel.

Thursday, 16 May 2013


Occasion: Interview at L.K Bennett
Situation: Dressing for a formal Womenswear brand in a stylish way

My Outfit Recipe [Let's take it from the top & break it down]...

  • Black oversized blazer [Next]
  • Black silk chiffon shirt [Topshop Boutique]
  • Burgundy silk trousers [H&M] 

Accessorize my Life...
  • Gold hoop necklace *made by me* [beads from India]
  • Patent black & gold handbag 
  • Blue & gold scarf *tied around bag strap for added texture* [vintage]
  • Black patent brogues
L.K Bennett is a luxury formal leading Womenswear is also the smartest one I have ever interviewed for. I was aiming for a smart but sleek look, with select impact pieces without them being overpowering, to therefore appeal to the brand's style, yet reflect my personal fashion choices. I kept my outfit cool with separates that hint at an androgynous style, however then lifted the look to luxury through the fabric combinations. To avoid the look from becoming too two-toned [with black on my top half and my trousers matching my hair!] I added a contrast vintage printed scarf around the strap of my bag [always a handy piece for customisation on the go...scarf, headscarf, bracelet, the possibilities are endless!] with the gold pattern complementing my statement necklace. Whether my look complemented the brand enough is a different story, but I believe it remains important to dress for you, to reflect yourself [with selective hints of the brand] as when you are asked what you can bring to the's you!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013


Occasion: Fashion research walk
Situation: To carry research, while keeping up the cool

Sean's Outfit Recipe [Let's take it from the top & break it down]...
  • Light-wash denim shirt
  • Blue skinny jeans

Accessorize My Man's Life...
  • Panama *quickly becoming Sean's current key accessory*
  • Black leather strap briefcase *handmade in India*
  • Textured brogues

Double denim has already made it's come-back & has fought hard to keep it's place in the fashion stakes. But of course it comes with rules. This goes for the girls as well as the guys...Keep the denim well-fitting [but obviously not too tight that it is revealing!] and tonal by mixing up the colours to achieve a layered look. Add smart accessories to avoid looking too Wild Wild West & more Westwood [obviously Vivienne, not Tim! Although that would be an interesting look to conquer...] If your a brave soul, top off this look with a denim jacket. Maybe that will be Sean's next fashion challenge...

Thursday, 9 May 2013


Occasion: Preparing for university presentation
Situation: Dressing for humid yet wet & windy weather

My Outfit Recipe [Let's take it from the top & break it down]...

Accessorize my Life...
  • Blue & gold head scarf [vintage]
  • Gold rays necklace *let the sun shine all around* [India]
  • Black patent & gold handbag [Deep vintage...]
  • Black patent loafers 

Yes today might have been a rainy one, however there is always a plus side. Dressing like a mermaid of course! Well not literally, but reflecting on my photographs my skirt creation reminded me of the such. Unintentionally inspired by seaside fantasies, I paired the crepe pleated skirt length with a simple silk shirt tied at the waist & sleek oversized blazed to keep the look in proportion & stop the tail from taking over! Tying a necklace shorter than its original length to meet your collar makes your accessorizing more eye-catching & adds another texture to the overall look. Adding a head scarf in complementary colours ensured I wasn't sporting the windswept look, bringing the fantasy look successfully together.


Occasion: University
Situation: Dressing for a working day that evolves into an evening garden barbeque

My Outfit Recipe [Let's take it from the top & break it down]...
  • Red & navy tweed cropped jacket [vintage]
  • Black & white Marilyn Monroe printed t-shirt
  • Mid-shade indigo denim jeans

Accessorize my Life...

  • Dark tan leather rucksack *handmade in Greece*
  • Burgundy converse

Sean's Outfit Recipe [Let's take it from the top & break it down]...
  • Army shirt [vintage]
  • Libertines tshirt *present from me!*
  • Black skinny jeans

Accessorize My Man's Life...

  • Hook umbrella *a gentleman's key accessory*
  • 60s style trainers [same as before]

Accessories can always make & break an outfit. While I previously praised the weather for its beautiful rays, I had to eat my words when the barbeque was struggling to stay alight through the wind & random drizzle. Welcome to the real British summertime!
Sean luckily had his trusty umbrella on hand, which proved a valuable accessory, whilst also adding a Gentlemanly vibe to his casual military/rockers inspired look.
A bag is key for a lady and when university is in full swing, a fair amount of luggage is needed. When wearing indigo jeans & navy tones, stick to brown rather than balck accessories to bring the vibrancy of the colours out. Handmade accessories add that extra edge, and while I usually prefer to create my own, I couldn't resist this dark tone of tanned leather which I spotted while spending a summer on a Greek island. I just wish I was there right now!...