Friday, 30 January 2015

He(art) on your sleeve

Art doesn't always have to just be on your wall. Christopher Bailey swapped Burberry‘s traditional plaid for boho flower motifs for his A/W 2014 collection. The Shearling jackets, trench coats and handbags really stood out to me. Each piece was drawn upon, free hand, with sketchy, smudgy flowers and leaves. The floral artwork was inspired by the influential group of writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists who lived in the Bloomsbury quarter of London during the first half of the 20th century. I love the idea that each coat is a complete one-off and painted by hand. The style and 
colours were just beautiful. 

Images found here here and here
The painted sheepskin jackets reminded me a little of the amazing vintage fur coat that Carrie wore in Sex and the City. It was a a full-length fur coat, with flapper girls painted on the back, customised by Selina Francis-Bryden aka 'Franny B'.

This has really got me inspired to create my own piece of wearable art! I've got a vintage sheepskin coat knocking about in the back of my wardrobe that doesn't really get the wear that it deserves, and a draw full of paints and paintbrushes that are begging to be used. All I need to do is combine the two with a little art inspiration of my own. I can't wait to get started with this project and share it with you!
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Wednesday, 28 January 2015

DIY Gentle Almond Face Scrub

This Almond scrub is super quick to whip up and will give your skin a fresh winter glow. Almond meal (ground almonds here in the UK) makes a great base for a facial scrub, or mask, as it exfoliates surface dry skin gently. What could be better than a natural beauty product that does the job, cost far less and is kind to both you and the planet (no harmful microbeads here). This recipe only calls for 2 ingredients and can be adapted to suit your own skin type. If you have oily skin use water, for normal skin use milk and for dry skin use cream. This scrub is gentle enough to use daily but you can also just whip some up as needed. Because of the ingredients used, it's best to make some up fresh, as needed, rather than store up a big batch.
In a small bowl combine 2 teaspoons of Almond Meal with enough water, milk or cream to form a smooth, spreadable paste.
 Using your fingertips, massage into moistened skin for a minute or so.
Rinse thoroughly and pat skin dry. Follow up with your favourite moisturiser.
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Monday, 26 January 2015

Conscious Consumer // ASOS Africa

I recently wrote a piece about ASOS Green Room and showed you some of my favourite pieces from the reclaimed vintage section. ASOS Africa also features within the green room but to avoid making my last post overly long, and to give this line the full attention it deserves, I decided to dedicate a whole post to it. Now in it's 10th season, ASOS Africa is the Green Rooms flagship brand. The collection is designed in-house and is then cut and manufactured by SOKO, the Kenyan clothing workshop which provides fair and safe employment and training for some of the country’s poorest communities.

Over the last 4 years, SOKO has grown from just 4 employees to 45. Employees who work for SOKO receive hot meals and refreshments each day as well as health care cover. They also benefit from the facilities at Wildlife Works, where SOKO’s new eco-factory is based, including a crèche, kitchen and washing facilities. Many of the working mothers at SOKO have few opportunities within their society to earn an income and gain financial stability, so this is particularly beneficial to themASOS say that 'We provide ongoing support to help develop the SOKO brand and the team. We recently sponsored leadership and communications training programmes attended by all SOKO employees'.
"ASOS Africa plays with scales and splices prints to create twin sets and statement layers. Autumnal African florals and scenic animal Kanga prints are reworked onto scubas and textured crepes, while shell tops and pephem skirts are checked in with jacquard. "
There are currently 30 pieces making up the ASOS Africa collection, all under £40, making it really affordable. There are large scale floral prints mixed with a splattering of monochrome and pastel shades. There are lots of 2-pieces on offer giving you the opportunity to mix and match or double-up for a statement look. There are a few things that really caught my eye:
ASOS AFRICA Contrast Print T-Shirt Dress £24
I love the contrast between the two prints, both the scale and the colours. The t-shirt style ribbed neckline is a great detail too.
ASOS AFRICA Contrast Print Cami Dress with Sheer Insert £22
Where this dress is simple in silhouette it makes up fro it with print. Featuring the same idea of 'blocking' as before, this slip style dress also features a contrasting sheer panel to break it up a bit too. I would also wear this dress in winter with a polo neck underneath.
ASOS AFRICA Printed Jumpsuit £24
Firstly, I can't get enough of jumpsuits at the moment, I just think they are so comfortable and look effortlessly cool and/or chic, depending on the look you're going for. Secondly, this jumpsuit has pockets! Yes! I love pockets in dresses, skirts, playsuits, jumpsuits...anything really. For no other reason other than to shove things in them, namely my hands, pockets are just 'comfy'. The print on this jumpsuit is so lovely and is a great option if you're not up for wearing a very bold print. This would also be a versatile item that could be worn during the colder months too by layering a long sleeved top or jumper underneath.
ASOS Africa Floral Printed Shorts with Sheer Layer £14
The shorts are super cute. I love the bright yellow printed fabric peeping through from under the semi-sheer fabric that lays on top of it. The shorts are high waisted too making the appeal to my search for comfy clothing...oh and, pockets too!
ASOS AFRICA Printed Kimono £26
If you're a regular reader you will know of my love for Kimonos by now, so one or two more couldn't hurt. I love the length of these Kimonos and the print on that yellow one is beautiful. It's kind of a soft shade of yellow, although I'm still not sure I would be brave enough to wear it here in the UK. I don't often stray away from my black and grey tones but there's just something about this lovely yellow colour.


These are just a few of things on offer, head over to the website to see more. I hope that ASOS Africa goes from strength to strength and that a new collection will be launched soon, I know that I for one will checking it out.



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Friday, 23 January 2015

DIY Exfoliating Lip Buff

Sometimes no amount of lip-balm applying can repair chapped and weather-beaten lips. I always suffer from dry and rough lips during the winter months, despite protecting them from the cold weather whenever I go out. This simple Lip buff will help to loosen flaky dead skin, leaving your lips smoother and softer. Baking Soda has skin-soothing and softening properties so is the perfect base to buff your lips. Using a clean, moistened toothbrush to brush the mixture onto the lips will also help to stimulate circulation, leaving your lips looking plump an pouty.
Dip the damp toothbrush bristles into the baking soda and apply to pre-moistened lips. Gently brush back and forth for for 20-30 seconds then rinse and pat dry. Apply your favourite soothing lip balm. 
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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Conscious Consumer // ASOS Green Room 'Eco Edit'

ASOS was founded in June 2000 and has since become a global online fashion and beauty retailer, selling over 65,000 branded and own-label products to 240 countries. According to their own website, they are the second most visited fashion website on the planet. So with great power comes great responsibility right? Right. In 2010 The Green Room was launched, a section of the ASOS website dedicated to sustainable fashion and beauty. Within The Green Room, ASOS promotes products that are made by manufacturers who use sustainable business practices.

As taken from the ASOS website hereAll the items sold in the Green Room satisfy the principles of at least one of the following areas of sustainable fashion:


PEOPLE                                                                    

  • Building communities
  • Developing fair trade and alleviating poverty
  • Preserving craftsmanship and artisan skills

THE ENVIRONMENT

  • Addressing climate change challenges
  • Preserving natural resources
  • Removing waste
  • Advancing animal welfare
All of the products sold in The Green Room are also available under their product categories on the asos.com website. We highlight them within The Green Room as well, to give these products twice the exposure. We believe that by promoting these products and brands we’ll encourage others to explore better means of production, so ultimately we can provide our customers with an even bigger range of truly sustainable fashion.
ASOS have also created, what they call, 'signposts'. These are situated next to every single sustainable item they feature, providing details on a products environmental or ethical credentials, or both in some instances. The ‘Signposts’ were designed to help customers learn more about the sustainable product ranges available and to enable them to make informed choices about the clothes they choose to buy, also helping to guide those consumers who are passionate about buying fashion with integrity. The signposts to look out for are 'Fairtrade Cotton, 'Made under Fairtrade principles', 'Organic', 'Made in Africa', 'Made in the UK', 'Made in the USA', 'Made in Sri Lanka', 'Handmade', 'Future Fabrics', 'Upcycled', 'Recycled', 'Vintage', 'Natural Ingredients' and 'Carbon Neutral'. You can read about each signpost in a bit more depth here.

The Edit features beauty brands such as Dr Bronner, Yes To and Ren, with People Tree, Made and Tatty Devine representing Fashion, among others. They also have a selection of 'reclaimed vintage' pieces that are made from vintage fabrics and up-cycled original vintage pieces. The team behind the collection trawl markets and warehouses to uncover one-off pieces, then keep it local by giving them a new lease of life in Hackney and Dalston’s East London factories.

It's so good to see such a powerful online fashion retailer promoting sustainable fashion and offering it to a younger audience.. Whereas a lot of ethical and sustainable brands out there often come with a hefty price tag, ASOS appeals to your more budget-conscious consumer, which is great news for those who are eco-conscious too. There are a lot of pieces which are affordable yet stylish too, so you can look good whilst feeling good. 

Here are some of the gorgeous ASOS Reclaimed Vintage pieces that are available and that I can't get enough of:
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Monday, 19 January 2015

Copper Crushing


Images via Anthropologie

Images via House Doctor

Images via Vivaterra

Images via Nkuku

Images via H&M

Images via Not On The Highstreet 

Images via Oliver Bonas

 I just can't seem to get enough of copper at the moment. Silver has always been  my go to metallic tone for most things, but I'm loving the idea of having accents of copper dotted around the home. It can really add warmth to a room and has a striking quality yet not feel to over-powering. Stay tuned for some potential copper-related DIY's on the blog!
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