Sunday, 29 August 2010

A Lifetime of Obsession

When I was very young, about five maybe, I saw the Wizard Of Oz for the first time. And while I was not only entranced by Oz itself, and the way Dorothy's life changed from black and white to colour, I was also drawn to The Ruby Slippers. For my birthday that year, my grandmother gave me a pair of (gold) glittering shoes that I adored and wore and wore until all the glitter fell off. 
Dorothy was so many years ahead of current trends - she paired heels and ankle socks together years ago.
Over the years, I've lusted after many a pair of red heels, but never bought a pair. I gear up to get them, gather my funds, try them on several times, to make sure that they are the perfect fit, but I never commit.I always make some excuse at the last minute and back out.
I think now though, I may have found my perfect pair. Although I have yet to try them on, these (supposedly "burgundy") heels from Office.
They are suede (my favourite fabric for shoes), with a good, solid, but not-ridiculously-high heel. They don't look as harsh as some other red shoes do and they are not as tough as some of the shoes of previous seasons. I could see myself wearing them with a pair chinos or tailored trousers. 
The shoes are a good red - not too bright, but not too purple either - the suede makes the colour look classy, which I don't think it would work if the shoes was patent, or matte leather (I am rather picky about my reds as I had to wear a post-box-red jumper every day for seven years at primary school).
I think I may have to make the investment.
Flo x

Inspiration, or a lack of it.

Over the past two years, I have been quite lucky to have a income that I could spend on whatever I wanted - going places with my friends, clothes, magazines, DVDs, trips to the cinema, shoes. However,  in the last few months, I have needed to use my wages for my "responsibilities" - driving lessons, insurance, holidays, travel for work, saving for university. As a result, I have been spending a lot of time at home, and I am feeling very uninspired. 
The last item of clothing I bought was my beautiful jacket from Pinko, and although I love it, the weather is not quite right for it yet, and I mooch around my village in the same dress-or-jeans-and-jacket-combo, which I have grown very tired of.
What did excite and inspire me though, was a photo shoot I did with my mother, in the gardens of a beautiful local stately home, so that she had an entry for a sewing competition; the entry being the the dress she made for me.  It felt wonderful to put on something that fits me so well and is so gloriously extravagant and unlike anything I wear normally. I even enjoyed wearing my Office heels again as well - despite the fact that they hurt me so much I want to take them off after less than an hour.

This look is also on Lookbook (see above). Sorry for the long and wordy post.
Flo x

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Holiday Reading

I'm starting university in a few weeks to study English Literature, so I've been reading a lot this summer. While on holiday in Italy, I read these six books:
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - I've never read anything quite like this book before - the story line and the world the author created seemed innovative and quite unique to me. There was a sense of mystery that prevailed throughout the book - like the handmaiden, the reader can never be quite sure of everything that it going on, especially as the handmaiden never reveals her real name. 
We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver - I was a bit dubious about starting this book; it is told in the form of letters from a mother, whose son has been on a murder spree in his school, to her husband. My mum, who read the book and loved it a few years ago, encouraged me to continue reading the book and overcome my reluctance. I'm so glad I did, I've never read anything quite like this book before. By the end, reading became compulsive and I skipped what I am assured was a delicious lunch to finish it. The book is quite unsettling and I didn't sleep the night after I finished it, because my head was buzzing because I was thinking about it so much. 
Harry Potter 1, 2, 3 by J.K. Rowling - I have obviously read these books before, but after the drama and intensity of We Need To Talk About Kevin, I needed something a little lighthearted that I didn't need to think about too much. I have to say, it was nice to read them again.
Perfume by Patrick Suskind - I've wanted to read the book for quite a while, and I was rather disappointed in it. I liked the writing style - it reminded me a little of Bret Easton Ellis', but the plot was a bit bland, with the end easily predicted, and the reader didn't feel empathy or sympathy for the main character. 
Flo x

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Happy Birthday Hattie

One of my best and oldest friends, Hattie, turned 18 last week. We celebrated by going out to Fabric in London. 
The birthday girl.
Hattie and I got MAC make-overs before we went out. I hadn't had one before, and I wasn't sure what to expect. My only vague direction was "a sort-of dramatic smoky eye", and now I wish I had been a little more specific - I felt it was more than a little over the top. I did get a nice lipstick though. 
In Fabric with Fiona and Sean. 
Hattie wore a black dress from Topshop, and I wore an American Apparel leotard and ASOS skirt.

And a little blast from the past, taken on another birthday:
Flo x


Life has been crazy for the past two weeks. I've been working, getting my A Level results and preparing for university and seeing friends and family before I leave in a few weeks.
Hannah and I getting our results from school.
Celebrating later that night. 
I hope everyone is having a good summer (although the weather has already turned autumnal).
Flo x

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Holiday Purchases

A few things I picked up on my travels:
1. A hair cream by J.F. Lazartigue. 
When I went to Paris a few years ago, I had a "hair consultation" at the concession J.F. Lazartigue in Printemps and the woman there recommended I used this product. The cream weighs my hair down and stops it from frizzing and going dry, but it doesn't make it look greasy or pull out the curls. I've never been able to find it in the UK, so when we were there I had to pick some up. 
2. A birthday present for someone very special.
3. Delicious macaroons from Laduree. 
4. Foaming face wash by Caudalie. 
Until recently, the only place Caudalie was available in the UK was Space N.K, who charged quite a lot for it. Recently, Boots have been stocking it, but the price has been a little high for my meagre budget, especially now that I have to buy my own skincare products. However, in France, you can pick Caudalie up at any pharmacy. I've used the Facial Foaming Mousse for several years now - it's very gentle for sensitive skin like mine, but it is pretty effective for use against spots. 
5. Chocolate for the Lindt shop (a whole shop, devoted to chocolate - my idea of heaven).

I bought this gorgeous jacket from Pinko. The sleeves are rather long but it's a beautiful cut and it fits like a dream. I bought it from a designer outlet in Tuscany, far superior to the ones in England (it had a Prada store), reduced from 275€ to 75€.
Flo x

What I Wore: On Holiday

Taken after a day in the car, where we had driven from France, through Switzerland (where this picture was taken) to Italy. 
I'm wearing an ASOS tee, Zara shorts and belt with my trusty Converse. 
We spent a night in a hotel that sat in the mountains above Lake Como. This photo was taken at 8:30am and it was already a good 25 degrees.
The dress and jacket I'm wearing are from Topshop, the belt is from Zara and the flip-flops are Havaianas.
My brother is wearing Ray Bans, a free t-shirt, H&M shorts and Vans.
We visited Volterra and it was a little cooler, so I was able to cover up a little (I really didn't want to get any sun burn). The shirt I'm wearing used to belong to my mother and comes from Jaeger, and the shorts are Zara. 
To brighten up the outfit I wore my favourite sandals from Office. 
My brother wore his Vans with Lyle and Scott shorts and t-shirt, and a very touristy looking camera.
In Pomerance, the Lyle and Scott devotee wore a polo and chinos with his Vans (you would think he didn't bring any other shoes away with him) and I wore a Dorothy Perkins dress with my Office sandals.
The swimsuit I'm wearing is from Speedo and I bought it a couple of years ago when I was still part of a swimming club. However, the head instructor told me that it was "inappropriate" because it was a "fashion swimsuit". It's from Speedo. Honestly. So now, I don't wear it unless I'm on holiday.
I wore the black Dorothy Perkins dress (with my espadrilles and vintage bag) again in Paris because it's cool, comfortable and rather chic. 
 Flo x

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Holiday: Paris

I can say without a doubt that Paris is my favourite city in the world. This visit with the family is the third time that I've been to the French capital - before I went for a long weekend as a treat with Mum, and then for a day trip with my school (when I still studied art).
We walked to the Eiffel Tower, to show my siblings the city, as they haven't been before.  
We decided to go in the evening because the tower lights up and it's rather pretty.
To take this photo, my brother had to sit on the floor and I had to stand on tip-toes because the tower is so tall. 

The next day we walked through St Germain and went to Printemps. Before we left, we went to Les Deux Magots, a cafe on the Boulevard St. Germain, just down from the Cafe de Flore. 
My brother and I actually looking alike in a photo for once. 
Flo x


For our holiday this year, we drove (as a family) to a house we were renting in Tuscany. In a beautiful, very picturesque and rural part of the mountains, it was surprisingly hot, so we were grateful for the pool. We were lucky to have sun for every day except one, when we holed up in the local restaurant and ate copious amounts of pizza, pasta and gnocchi. 
I try to avoid being photographed in my glasses, but I was so absorbed in my book (more about that in another post) that I didn't notice this photo being taken. 
We were very near to Volterra (this will be significant to anyone who, like my sister, my mother and I, has read/seen the Twilight Saga) so we felt it was worth paying it a visit, on a day when the temperature cooled a little and leaving the pool became bearable. 
The town nearest to our house was called Pomerance. They had a street party there one night, across the whole town, where the streets were pedestrianized, shops set up stalls and restaurants put all their tables outside.
 One stall was selling some delicious mojitos: 
One cafe had piles of back issues of Grazia - from the sixties and seventies - on a table outside for people to read while they relaxed on the sofas that had been put out in the square. All the celebrities in them seemed a lot more glamourous than they are today, but the fashion editorials were appalling - the models were worse than the early contestants on Britain's Next Top Model. I was suddenly thankful for those Italian courses my mother made me take when I was twelve so that I could vaguely stumble over some of the less complex articles.
On a trip to the supermarket, I saw these octopi (I think that's the plural of octopus). You wouldn't get these in Tesco.
The view from my bedroom window. 
I had such a wonderful time, but it really is good to be home. 
Flo x
P.S. We also went to Paris, but I'm making that a separate post. 
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