Published in Vogue Paris

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If you read Vogue Paris you will have seen the wonderful Vivienne Westwood feature in their August issue celebrating London. I am thrilled to tell you my photograph of a pair of old Pirate boots was chosen for the spread. Even if you don’t read French the issue is a great one to pick up as the editorials are wonderful.

Merci Vogue, quel honneur.

Bikini’s at the Ready

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┬áI am currently on hyper excitement mode for my up coming holiday, even though I’m not going until September I can’t help be really excited. Having already mentally packed most of my outfits the one huge hurdle yet to tackle is beachwear. Now it’s only July and most people I know tend to go away in July / August, yet can I find a bikini on the High Street? No. I really think retailers need to wise up to how people shop and stop trying to push us to buy out of season. Do I take any pleasure in rummaging for matching top and bottoms in River Islands sale mess? I do not. I turned to shopping online, which was better plenty of places still had stock and clicking away at the mouse was a lot less stressful.

In the midst of all this I was asked if I wanted to review the new Panache swimwear collection. I won’t like I literally squealed at this news. I already really like the brand, their molded t-shirt bras have been my go to for years so I knew I would be getting quality and most importantly properly fitted bikini tops. Nothing worse for us big busted girls than the meager offerings of a tiny triangle of fabric. I’ve been there done that with a boob flashing at the pool incident, yes I was mortified. Even more so because my parents found it hilarious and teased me about it the entire week. Ah teen angst! So to avoid more mental scarring I have never been all that adventurous in the swimwear department. I have one black cossie which I pull out should the chance of myself and a pool coming in contact ever crop up. Not really representing my fashion obsessed self I know. I’ve not been on a holiday for what feels like forever so this year I was determined to have a wow bikini.

Panach didn’t disappoint, they have a gorgeous range which included mix and match bikini tops and bottoms as well as swimsuits. The choice was so good I had trouble choosing and I am already planning going back to buy another. In the end I chose the Savannah Moulded Balconnet Bikini top and Savannah Folded pant.

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I thought it had a real pin-up style to it, with the wide straps and bow. The colours are nice and vibrant too. But of course the fit is what is most important. I can happily say I find the bikini top has the same fit as my other Panache bra which is great when shopping online. It is fully supporting and I will feel confidant swimming in this as well as lounging around by the pool. The bikini bottoms I would say fit on the small size, Im not sure if I should have gone a size up as they don’t quite sit right on me. I usually go for a high waist brief so it could just be the wrong style for me. Any way even if I just wear the top with shorts I will be more than happy as it is such a great fit. The do have a gorgeous high waist bikini in the Tallulah range which I am going to see if I can buy online, you can see the full range on the Panache website.

Savannah Moulded Balconnet Bikini Top and Folded Pant - Gypsy Print

┬áBecause they are all kinds of awesome I was also sent an amazing O.P.I Euro Central nail varnish set and some nail decal transfers from YRNails.com so I can create nail art to match my bikini, how cute is that! I didn’t want to open the nail varnishes, I wanted to save them for when I go away – yes I am THAT girl. But I did try out two of the decals, mainly because I wasn’t quite sure how they worked. Turns out they are super easy to use, my only tip would be to cut out as close as you can to the design as the backing is quite thick. I tried out the Palm tree and Butterfly designs on top of the mani-pedi I already had which is Chanel Frenzy and Azure. I think they are just perfect for the beach (and basically any other occasion), the Palm tree is my personal favourite. I also got Anchors and Bikinis which will be so much fun to try out.

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What do you think, have you tried out Panache?

Outfit: Stelllllllllllla

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I wore this Stella McCartney all-in-one to a conference last week, I bought it earlier in the year and couldn’t wait to wear it. Cinched in with Fendi B belt, polka dot tights and patent Dior heels. These are one of my oldest pairs of designer shoes and they have really lasted me, they need a reheel now but other than that remain looking new. I couldn’t resist the little bow with the C and D initial charms. Every time I wear anything Stella I it reminds me of this:

Outfit: Tartan Corset

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Wearing: All Vivienne Westwood – Anglomania gypsy dress, Red Label Waspie tartan corset, Gold Label Animal Toe Courts; Agent Provocateur Snakes & Ladders stockings; Wendy Brandes Little Woolf necklace; Nicole Farhi sunglasses.

This is what I wore yesterday on what must have been the hottest day so far, needless to say I was roasting in a corset but hey you gotta do what you gotta do. I really like how floaty and romantic this dress is but the material is actually quite heavy and they dress doesn’t have much shape so needs a belt at the very least. I resuced this dress from TK Maxx’s reject rail, god know what happened to it but it looked like someone had tried chewing the underside of one sleeve, then colouring on it with a red marker! You can’t see the damage once it’s on and I figured nobody was going to be inspecting my armpit so I took it home. It was reduced to something silly like ┬ú20, I couldn’t leave it there could I.

Five Hair Essentials Every Woman Needs

This is a guest post from beauty & hair fanatic Abby:

Five Hair Essentials Every Woman Needs

When it comes to hair, we’re all in different boats. Yours it thick; mine is thin. Yours is naturally straight; mine is wavy. Yours is blond; mine is brown. But while everyone’s hair is different, there are some essentials that every girl needs. There are five key hair aids that will help any kind of hair look great no matter what. You can’t fit em all in a mini-emergency hair kit that you can take everywhere, but they are good enough to dedicate a drawer to. Check em out after the jump and let us know if you agree.

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Curling Wand:┬á Seriously, it’s God’s gift to women. Drop your curling iron of the past, that’s so 1995. Curling wands create better curls in half the amount of time and stay for 4x as long. Curling irons have never worked for me. They don’t hold and I always burn myself. A curling wand, while a smidge bit more unsafe, will curl ANYONE’s hair. It’s amazing and lasts for 2 to 3 days as long as I don’t work out or sweat excessively. Get a 1/2-1 inch barrel if your hair is a little bit past your shoulders or shorter. Get a 1 – 1 1/2 if your hair is longer than that. Get one that comes with a glove and consistently use it until you are comfortable with the wand. Watch this tutorial so you know how to use it correctly.

Sea Salt Spray: I live by this stuff, especially in the summer. This spray is great for creating that “just left the beach” look. Just jump out of the shower, towel dry your hair and scrunch it in. The trick is to not brush your hair. It’s also amazing for amplifying flat, straight hair and for adding texture and grip when doing updos and braids in thin/fine hair. I like to use it when I wake up with messy hair. It automatically transforms it into something sexy. I also like to add it to my curling wand curls to give them less of a structured look. Pick some up or make your own.

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Hair Elastics without Metal: I recently made the mistake of using a hair tie with metal in it when I ran out of my favorite non-metal ones. It instantly got stuck in my hair and I had to have my friend cut it out, while I drank a glass of wine and pretended that it wasn’t happening. It seems like a silly thing to harp on, but really stop buying the ones with the metal connector piece or you may end up just like me.

Deep Conditioner:┬á This stuff is magic. You know when you leave salon and your hair feels amazingly smooth, shiny and healthy? That’s what this stuff can do for you. I asked Rush hairdressers what we can use to get our hair to feel so great on a regular basis and they said: a deep conditioner. I instantly got some and have been thrilled ever since. Be sure to get a quality bottle that can serve more as a mask though and only use it at most once a week. This stuff is great for injecting your hair with moisture, flattening your hair cuticle and helping damaged hair look healthy again.

A Quality Straightener: There are a lot of hair straighteners out there that come at all different price points. But the truth is, the only kind that are worth purchasing and putting in your hair are the ceramic ones and unfortunately those can cost a decent amount. However, non-ceramic straighteners can actually damage and fry your hair, leaving your ends looking ratty. Spring for a nice one and you’ll find that your hair looks better, lays flatter and has to be straightened less.

Do you have any hair must-haves?

(Images via haircoloursideas.com; b2bhairstyling.com)

Joy & Trauma of Sales Shoe Deliveries

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I picked up two pairs of shoes in the Spartoo shoes summer sale, they have some pairs at 70% off so amazing prices. The first pair are by Michael Perry and I have had my eye on them for some time. They have a really cute cherry design on the front, a nautical striped back and a red heel. I think they have a vintage vibe about them and they will look lovely with my vintage summer dresses. They fit perfectly and are very soft leather so will break in nicely.

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The second pair were Rupert Sanderson Jean pumps, bright red with a black bow detail on the toe, a real pair of heart breakers. I especially liked the beautifully curved down toe. Alas more bad lucky with this brand for me, I got the wrong size again so I have asked for the size down to be sent, fingers crossed they fit as I am utterly smitten with these shoes. They are just so gorgeous and will looks fab with ankle socks and 80s frock for summer, then with thick tights and knitted dresses in winter.

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Outfit: Shoes with a View!

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I’ve been making the most of this summer weather wearing my poofy dresses with bare arms. I do find heels quite uncomfortable in the heat as your feet swell so have been living in my Vivienne Westwood Roman 3-Strap sandals. They are really comfy, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I really need more than one pair of flat sandals in my life. Seriously, flat shoes aren’t my thing but I’m getting a bit bored of wearing the same shoes every single day. I haven’t seen a specific other pair I’ve decided on yet, but may as well make the most of the summer sales, Missoni┬á have some really good options really colourful and these Sonia Rykiel Cherry sandals are really cute, hmm decisions, decisions. Have you bought any cute sandals recently?

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Outfit: Harlequin

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Another one of my summer dresses which got to finally see the light of day this week! The harlequin print is one of my favourites, so bright and colourful. It is from the Vivienne Westwood Red Label collection SS 2007 collection- 6 years ago, wow how time flies! I also have the gold Squiggle print Vivienne Westwood shoes you can see below in the look book but they are skyscrapers so choose the lower heel of the Sunny court shoes. I think gold shoes are so great for summer, they work well with all colours. Then of course in winter they are the perfect party shoes, what more can you ask for in a shoe!

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Outfit: Rasberry

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Feeling super summery in this raspberry Anglomania drape dress cinched in with Gold Label AR belt and rose patterned Gold Label Mary-Jane shoes, all Vivienne Westwood. I really can’t get enough of delicate floral prints right now, they are cropping up in the least expected places what with the Nike Liberty print and floral print converse trainers and even Gola gym bags. Such a cute way to pretty up your workout. The sunglasses are Nicole Farhi from TK Maxx and this summers favourite pair. I’ve been beach scrunching my hair due to lack of electricity whilst my house was having a rewire, I just twist it up into a bun whilst damp, sleep in it and then spritz with salt spray the next day. I can almost pretend I’m on holiday, almost, I said almost.

Mini-Snaps: Prints & Patterns

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1. Vivienne Westwood dresses and belts; 2. Rupert Sanderson shoes; 3. Stella McCartney blouse; 4. Vivienne Westwood Men’s jacket; 4. Little Chanel outfit; 6. vintage Chanel Fantasy tweed jacket.

These are actually from the week before the builders came, noway I was getting pastel pink Chanel out with the house covered in dust. First up are a selection of dresses I had picked out, nice summery ones which I rarely get the chance to wear. With the house being a building site I though it would be best to choose a few outfits and keep them somewhere easy to get so as not to risk things getting ruined. On the first day of the renovations we forgot to pull up the rugs in my bedroom and lounge and they are totally destroyed, lesson learned – cover everything imaginable as plaster dust is a sneaky thing. Ah yes the beautiful Rupert Sanderson Lintie shoes, as you can probably see they are far too big for me, I got sent the wrong size by mistake and they didn’t have my correct size so sadly they had to go back. Boo, hoo. I have asked for the super sexy Jean pumps to be sent as a replacement lets hope they fit.

This is a close up of the print on a Stella McCartney blouse I found at TK Maxx earlier in the year, it is beautiful and lists all the old ship routes. Educational and fashionable. The second print close up is the Vivienne Westwood Tea Garden print, they have used the print from SS13 women’s Gold Label for pre-collection Men’s in this stunning bomber jacket.┬á Quite fancy it myself.

Finally a partial outfit shot, got my Chanel on. This vintage jacket is one of my most treasured possessions. From the 80s but you will still find similar in the store today. Also a little peep at my new flats. One thing I always treat myself to are Chanel flats, I’ve tried other brands but nothing compares to the sheer quality, comfort and longevity of Chanel. They are expensive but last for years, well worth the investment. Will show you more of these soon, I went for something a bit different to my usual ballerina.

Hope you are all enjoying this sunshine.