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Not pretty but interesting, and I can live with that

There’ll be oats in the water, there’ll be birds on the ground…

… There’ll be things you never asked her, how they tear at you now.

Chris and I had fun with this one! He’s been working on a Lake Series for some time, so it was only fair I helped him out given all the work he puts into our shoots… Besides, as cold as I was, it was fun watching him leaving the relative warmth of the shore to edge further and further into the water for the sake of the shot. Teehee!

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Such poise, such finesse… damn right I’m talking about Chris! We were pretty fortunate to have Sonesh Joshi there to capture all the behind the scenes shenanigans.

Dress: I adore this dress, it’s one of my wardrobe staples throughout spring and summer. It’s actually a vintage nightdress but who cares! It looks great with denim by day and dresses up for the evening with a splash of jewellery and heels.

Stole: Vintage stole I picked up for a  nifty $20 in Search and Destroy in NYC.

Accessories: The beautiful rings adorning my digits are created by Tessa Metcalfe and were loaned to me by Boticca – now part of Wolf & Badger.

Shoes: Nabbed these sandals a while back from La Moda.

Wig: Ebay.

Photography by the wonderful Chris Murray.

 

Art Endeavour: Leather crafting with Melissa Tofton and Tamzin Lillywhite

A few months ago, after splitting with my boyfriend of the past year I attended a leather crafting workshop. I’d been single for a week and didn’t want to mope. I saw a designer I admired advertising a place on the course via her instagram and thought, why the fuck not? A chance to meet new people and learn new skills? Lets go! Read the rest of this entry »

Musing: Life online, lessons learned

I can remember when a TV and landline were as good as it got and my first CD player in 90’s caused me to be a figure of envy among my friends. While my parents started with nothing and can now at times find tech at worst intense and overwhelming and at best, frustrating.  I – at 28 – have grown alongside technology and feel my generation – while not technically ‘digital natives’ – was one of the first to integrate it into daily life.

And just what has come to pervade every piece of tech we own, from TV’s to mobile phones? Why of course, the net.

I’ve become something of an advocate for the internet and all the good I believe it can do via crowd sourcing, crowd funding and connecting people – personally- the whole world over. However, it is clear to me, you only get back what you put in. I wrote these general tips a while ago for work… here they are updated and expanded upon. I hope you find them helpful ❤

  1. Be yourself
    Many people like to lurk online, sheathing themselves in anonymity and striking out at others but I’m choosing to assume dear readers, that you’re rather nice folks. So my first point is to be yourself. Be open, be honest, don’t try and be something you’re not; it’s exhausting and will not benefit you. If you’re projecting an image then the network you attract will be based on this projection and when it wavers so will your networks faith in you. If you want to make valuable connections with people, be straight up from the outset. Obviously there is a difference between being using an alias for privacy and security’s sake and falsifying a persona. Whichever name you’re creating under make sure that the voice behind it is sincere.
  2. Don’t be shy
    People, whoever they may be, however much you respect and admire them are still just people. The internet makes your heroes and their work so much more accessible and offers up many opportunities. Just be sincere and direct in your approach and you’ll be surprised at what might happen. I’ve shopped with a comic artist I admire, became twitter pals with Sean Von Gorman (The Secret Adventures of Houdini) who is a great source of encouragement (he kicks my ass when I start slacking), modelled for Lou Pimentel (twice!), had Neil Gaiman reduce me to tears of joy and Amanda Palmer show my art on stage. These encounters are a continual source of encouragement. Newfound confidence propelled me to approach others like JRyu and Simon Sinek who are lovely, friendly people happy to chatter. So, because you never know until you try, go say hello to those who inspire you and see what happens.
  3. Don’t delay
    I mean it, go say hello to them, right now! You’ve heard it before but there really is no time like the present; why put off until tomorrow what can be done today? Don’t dither, dally and do not delay – if you do you might miss out on something exciting.
  4. Talk to people
    No-one knows absolutely everything nor can they be expected to. Everything that makes up ‘you’ as an individual allows you a unique perspective often very different from those around you. It is this diversity of passions and skills that means when people work together there is very little they can’t overcome. Plus people are nice to talk to; having the odd chat can help breed happiness and contentment especially when people are comfortable expressing when they’re not feeling so good. No-one should bear burdens alone =]
  5. Be generous with your time/spend it wisely
    Some say ‘Time is Money’ but it is FAR more important than that and thus, when you take a moment to spend time with someone you’re doing something special. Whether you’re having a natter with a stranger whilst queuing for coffee or helping your best friend work through a difficult period. Being generous with your time is rewarding. It helps you get to know people, builds trust and can result in some truly inspiring ideas. As an added bonus it also means – more often are not – these people are more likely to help you in your time of need.

These ideas are so simple but you’ll be surprised how many people complicate their life online. I hope you can reap the benefits of my experience thus far and in the future, teach me something new. If you’ve got anything to add, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Much love x

Collaboration: Creativity is my Weapon – Knife Party – Kenta Matsui

 

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Photography: Kenta Matsui
Styling: Kenta Matsui
HMUA: average-eye-con
Model: average-eye-con

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you likely know that Kenta and I were a couple – over 6000 miles apart – for just over a year. The distance won out a few months ago and we’ve since gone our separate ways, probably a bit happier for it. Long distance is stressful!

Kenta is an extremely cool, passionate  and creative person. While working as a photographer by day, he draws, paints, designs clothes (and has made them, including stunning leather jackets) and takes yet more photos for his private works. During my last trip, we shot through the night to bring this collaboration together.

He really wanted to do a shoot where he not only took the photos but was also in complete control of the styling, I supplied hair and make-up – oh – and my face! This shoot was a lot of fun and although we’re no longer an item I’ll always respect his creativity and the works he produces – I do hope this won’t be our final collaboration.

Please enjoy the first in the series: Knife Party – Creativity is my Weapon.

Read the rest of this entry »

Art Endeavour: SHAMELESS

Shameless‘ is a project I’m undertaking on expired gesso-primed polaroid film. It is a collection of selfie-based portraits.

Each individual chosen inspires me personally. Whether it’s a talent or personality trait that marks them apart, I find them fascinating. I’m using selfies because we’re so much more than our appearance. I see these awesome, talented people being commented on as if they’re just a pretty face… I find it simultaneously hilarious and depressing. As Amanda Palmer puts it we are ‘so much bigger on the inside’.

I initially started the series because I was fed up of seeing people trashing each other on instagram – body shaming or belittling individuals life choices – it made me so angry. Why do people feel this need to attack others? Urgh to senseless hatred.

Later, Katherine Jane Wood (of the quite delightful project) passed on to me the following wisdom which cemented my feelings on this project: “the only should in feminism is that women should be equal to men”.

And that’s it.

That is where is ends. Have a career, raise a family, be stoic, express emotions… Freedom of choice and the freedom to not be penalised (or worse, persecuted) for those choices for men and women alike. Equality please. Freedom to just fucking be.

I’ve been working inconsistently on this project for a while now but have really buckled down the last couple of weeks so it’s grown from where it first started. Although I’m yet to start painting, I’m really happy with how it’s progressing and wanted to share it with you. Not all of these images are likely to make the final cut, in fact, some have already been painted over and reworked. I’m documenting each one regardless and I’ll update as I continue. Eventually I’ll write about each individual and why I chose them/how they inspire me.

When they’re finished, I would like to exhibit them but that’s just a dream for now. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed working on them.

Read the rest of this entry »

Styling Collaboration: Petra Martonova

I worked with Petra last year and not only did we get on really well, we were both pleased with the outcome of the collaboration. This year, she gave me a shout and asked if I could deliver layered looks for a couple of models, drawing inspiration from a mood board that featured a lot of textures and mixed prints. This is what I pulled together, shot on a blustery day in Richmond Park.

models: Sharon (Select Model Management) & Roberto (Le Clique Models)
MUA: Yosuke Nakajima
styling: average-eye-con
photo: Petra Martonova

We can do some wrecking here …

… ’til a little colour, comes into your face.
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Hey guys, so I’ve been sitting on this post for forever. To begin with, I was just struggling to pick shots from all the awesome ones Chris snapped >.< but after a while I just started to avoid blogging. I kept thinking ‘oh I must finish that post’ but it became a point of self inflicted pressure. The more I thought I must the more I steered clear. I’m probably going to write about these thinking habits and dealing with Depression at another point, for now, let me tend to this autumnal/chilly spring ensemble =] Oh and apologies for the huge number of photos, struggled to whittle them down. Chris really is too good.

Dress: I picked this dress up in H&M what seems like an age ago. I liked the simplicity of the design and the contrast in fabrics that sassed it up a little. It can be layered for contrast, but looks equally good on its lonesome. My only gripe is that is occasionally reveals my bra but it’s no biggie.

Top: Fun W.I.A Collections crop I picked up on sale in Candy|Fake Tokyo.

Shoes: YRU qozmos.

Jacket: Gifted to me by my friends, when they launched ANTI Original.

Photography by Chris Murray

Styling Collaboration: Petra Martonova

Undertook this creative collaboration with photographer Petra Martonova last year. Pleased to share the images with you now, as we’re working together next month on an online editorial!

Special thanks to Boticca.com for supplying the wonderful accessories.

model: Michał Szpak
MUA: Simona Gz
styling: average-eye-con
photo: Petra Martonova

 

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You know you’re a cute little heartbreaker…

…Foxy.
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So I thought I’d been really clever and scheduled this post to go out while I was away, but apparently not. Hah. Oh well, perhaps this look is even more fitting having just returned from Tokyo. Autumn there is largely sunny and bright, just like this outfit! This was something of a personal challenge – a friend of mine always teases me for wearing black so I tried to go a whole outfit without it… almost. I think I can get away with just that teeny strap right? Plus that’s a banging bag! Seeing these photos really makes me miss my rainbow hair, but at least I can still pull off that twin buns style ^^

Dress: Amica Fox – The reason for the title of this post, I can’t help but feel like a foxy lady in this stunning body con number. This ‘green kaleidoscope’ print is just beautiful, there are so many incredible colours that you can draw on for co-ordinates. I chose to focus on the burnt orange, for maximum contrast. The fabric is amazing, not too dissimilar to Black Milk but somehow it feels thicker or stronger. It doesn’t pull me in awkwardly or make me bulge but really accentuates and flatters my curves. I notice it rides up a little when walking, but I’m fairly proud of my pins, so this wasn’t really a problem, hah!

If you’d like to pick up this, or any of their other unique designs, you can use the code: VIXEN  for £5 off your order!

Jacket: Beautiful vintage Haori from Etsy. From a distance it looks fairly standard but up close, you not only spot the shimmer of gold thread but the rich texture of the fabric… I have to admit I’ve a blossoming obsession for haori jackets. Every time I go back to Tokyo I scour stores like Chicago for cheap vintage finds and when I’m home, Etsy is the next best thing.

Bag: This Leather Satchel by Danielle Foster (via Boticca) is the perfect balance of style and practicality: the leather is strong, structured and reassuringly weighty. As beautiful as it is you just know it’s hard wearing and with its eye catching colour and detachable strap, it offers up a variety of styling options.

Accessories: Earrings are a vintage find on Ebay and the necklace is from a local charity shop. The sunnies are from Hi-Tek London – I love the futuristic arms and the pop of colour on the lenses… I can’t help but feel they single-handedly make up for the black strap of the bag in my ‘no-black-challenge’.

Shoes: I originally found this style on La Moda, but sadly they didn’t have any of the white in stock when I went to buy, so these were the closest I could find on Ebay.

Photography by Alex over at The Photo Lounge. Alex’s work is characterised by deep saturated tones and analogue style edits, lending his work a cinematic quality. Dedicated and hardworking, he really puts his all into the images he creates and that can clearly be seen in the end result.

I wasn’t born of a whistle or milked from a thistle at twilight…

… No, I was all horns and thorns, sprung out fully formed, knock-kneed and upright.

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Back on form, here’s an outfit I shot a little while ago. I adore the simplicity and strength of this look. The dress is sublime but on it’s own, more delicate and feminine than I’m used to. Pairing it with my trusty tough boots and this statement necklace immediately gave it a little edge. As the weather is getting colder, I’m definitely going to be chucking my leather jacket on top. I think the inspiration for this one sprang from checking out loads of photos & videos of Chelsea Wolfe… God damn I love that woman.

Necklace: This spectacular E.A.Burns necklace is crafted from a number of leather panels, that hang like plate armour. It’s just incredible. The moment I saw it, I fell in love and was ecstatic when the wonderful people at Boticca offered to loan it to me for shooting. I’ve only discovered Boticca recently but it’s so far up my street it’s unreal. It’s not about fashion, it’s not about style, it’s about stories. It’s about each, hand picked designer and their inspirations. It’s about looking into their studios and understanding the inner workings of their craft. It appeals to my (not-so-inner) art geek, as well as my love for beautiful things.. Oh Boticca. You’re going to be so bad for my bank balance and I’m not sorry.

As for the designer. I can’t help but feel a stirring of pride that EABurns is London based and not only that, also studied at an esteemed local art college. The designs are bold, sharp and dripping with punk-esque elegance… often made from reclaimed and recycled materials. Just. Perfect. ❤

Dress: In keeping with the theme of unique stories. This 1970’s vintage Frank Usher maxi that I picked up in Glasgow’s infamous Mr Ben has one of it’s own… According to the lovely lady in store, it was worn by Glasgow’s own Lorraine McIntosh of Deacon Blue for a photoshoot. I’ve not been able to track down any photos sadly, but if I do, I’ll be sure to post them. Feel free to send them my way if you spot any… I’m really glad I bought this. Although the lace is delicate, the dress is actually pretty weighty, so hangs really beautifully. If I’m entirely honest, it’s probably a teeny bit large for me, so for regular wear, I’m best off teaming it with a belt of some sort to maximise my ass-ets.

Shoes: Wonderfully worn in Vagabond booties.

Wig: I was getting bored of my hair and was considering growing out my fringe but first I needed a trial run… and if I was getting a wig, then I was going all out. Hah – I’ve been trying to grow my hair this long for the last 10 years T^T I despair of ever making it. I picked up this on Ebay for under a tenner and it didn’t take nearly as long to arrive as anticipated. It’s also pretty decent quality, the only thing I would say, is the hair at the very front, is likely meant to be trimmed to a fringe of your desired length. It doesn’t feature a parting right at the front, and so – you’ll probably note-  hangs slightly awkwardly… still as cheap as it was, I’m not really complaining.

Photography by Chris Murray