Tuesday, 29 July 2014

It's all over now, Baby Blue


I can't believe it's already Tuesday. June seemed to go by so slowly...I had weeks of summer to spend however I liked; I could go swimming in the ponds with friends, have spontaneous sleepovers, explore London on day-long shopping trips, get the train back and forth and generally do whatever popped into my head. Then all of a sudden it was July, and now it's almost August; my two-week holiday in France is getting ever closer and the days are slipping through my fingers like sand, leaving me slightly panicked and desperate to fit in as much as I can before I go.
I started this sort of last-minute rush on Saturday by seeing the Matisse and Malevich exhibitions at the Tate Gallery. I had been meaning to go for ages, especially as Matisse's work not only influenced a lot of my childhood experiments (many failed attempts to reproduce The Snail) but is beginning to influence me again - I like his bold use of shape and colour, and would like to channel some of his creations physically with clothes, as well as taking inspiration for my own artwork. Also, I adored the photoshoot by Eleanor Hardwick and Maria Inés Gul for Rookie which was inspired by the exhibition (and features the perfect Rachel from Toby Knows).
I didn't know much about Malevich, although the name was familiar, but the tickets worked out to be only £2 more to see both, so I was introduced to his work as well. It was accidentally perfect really, as he was influenced by Matisse and so seeing his exhibition after Matisse's worked really well. Basically it was definitely worth the trip, and is worth a look (even if you aren't a desperate future art student like me).





I had been shopping the day before for my holiday and had gone a little overboard in my new favourite place ever: 'Pop Boutique' in Covent Garden. It's a tiny little shop but is full of so much vintage treasure and I can't wait to wear everything I bought. The shirt is one of these new pieces, and although it's not visible under the dungaree dress (from Beyond Retro but embellished by me with some antique fair ribbon) has the sweetest elasticated bottom that then frills out a little like the puff sleeves. The bag is from Camden Passage in Islington, the socks are from Topshop and the shoes from Clothes Show Live.




I wore my Mum's old parrot brooch with my locket, which has become something of a jewellery staple for me recently. I think that might have something to do with the little picture of David Bowie I put inside it, though. My sunglasses are from Camden Market.




(Images from here and here)
After the most amazing hazelnut iced coffee (I don't even like coffee so it must have been good) we went along to the Tate and luckily managed to get tickets straight away, which is sometimes hard for popular exhibitions like the ones we wanted to see. I was definitely surprised by just how much was on display - I had no idea about just how much work Matisse had produced over his lifetime, and how amazingly stylised and personal it was. From a distance it looks simplistic, but I'm sure it would be difficult for any one of us to just sit and be able to put together such effective compositions as his; it is clear he had an exceptional eye for colour and pattern that not many other people have. I loved being so surrounded by his huge collages and prints...it makes you really reconsider just opting for a simple canvas when you could be using a whole wall instead. I sat on the floor and drew for a while, as is my custom in art galleries, and spent a long time wandering and trying to commit my favourite pieces to memory. 
The Malevich exhibition was amazing too - unlike Matisse, his style changed and fluctuated seemingly as his environmental influences changed. He also had produced an immense body of work that was fascinating to be able to see all in one place, and it was perfect to see his work just after seeing Matisse's. 






I love the bright and vibrant colours of Matisse's work - I tend to avoid it in my own as previously I've always been a little tentative and cautious with paint, but I'm trying to bring about a more carefree feel to my style. I think with a little more practice my own work will match up to my expectations a little more. I intend to spend a lot of my holiday painting so you never know, some kind of creative gene might come to light in me yet.




Unfinished sketch from the exhibition, postcards and leaflets. I always buy some postcards of my favourite pieces after I see an art show, and of course I was over the moon when they had Red Interior: Still Life on a Blue Table, which I am holding along with a Blue Nude in the photo below. For some reason I absolutely love it. I think it's the fact that it is so unrealistic; I've grown tired of things being typically 'good'. Art is expression -  it doesn't have to be perfect, as that goes against the whole point of 'expression' as it's unusual that the thing you are trying to express or get across is actually perfect itself. It's hard to explain but I much prefer impressionistic pieces at the moment...I think they capture emotion better.



Anyway, I hope you are all having a good week...please come down to Great Portland Street this Thursday to bag yourself some super cute vintage goodies from Motel, I'll be helping out! It's going to be a great event so I really hope you can make it!


Thursday, 24 July 2014

now she's stupid in the street and she can't socialise


Sunday was a peaceful day - I spent the morning at Columbia Road flower market, the afternoon eating pineapple and watching documentaries for psychology, and the evening looking at holiday photos and barbecue-ing with family.  It's strange how into psychology work I've been. At first the idea of summer homework seemed like hell on earth, but the subject actually seems to be really interesting and has made me realise just how much I don't know about my own brain. My particular favourites have been the idea of attachment, and after watching the study of Curtiss and Genie I am fascinated by the whole idea that even things like chewing food, making eye contact, walking upright and talking are not things we inherit naturally and are born being able to do. I also loved the idea of 'Savants', people with incredible memory and intelligence (such as Kim Peek who inspired the film Rainman). To think that a tiny difference in our brains can give a person such an amazing skill and almost power is incredible. I've also started my art at last, and although I am still struggling for ideas (observation drawings based on the word 'good', anybody?) I have at least got a few pieces done. Who knows, this could be the first year I manage to do all my summer work on time...
(Also, I apologise for the awful photo spacing...for some reason it won't let me change it ugh)

I wore a slightly too-summery outfit for the slightly less-summery weather, but was typically happy as I got to wear my new American Apparel skirt and socks. The skirt was half price in the sale and is the colours I wear most, so of course I had to have it...and the fishnet socks had to happen too as I have been craving them ever since seeing an old photograph of my Aunt wearing a turquoise pair under her high-waisted, indigo denim Levi's, that matched the turquoise of her polo neck jumper. I seriously want a pair in every colour. The top is from H&M and the shoes from Office. 
Also, I finally got myself a sunhat! My crazily pale skin has finally got the better of me, and after burning my scalp (how?) I decided I really needed to just give in and protect my head a little more. I found this one in Beyond Retro and was so happy with it mainly because it's pretty big, and I've never been one for subtlety. 


Columbia Road was just as I'd remembered - bright, busy and beautiful in equal measure. The flowers smell amazing and bring such a vibrancy to the street, and the gorgeous independent shops offer perfect refuge from the crowds when they arrive. We managed to beat them this time, though, and the trick really is to get there early - you get the best pick of the flowers and no hot, compact throng of people to tackle. I bought a few more cacti and various other succulents to decorate my little workroom with, and found a cut-down vintage blue floral Laura Ashley smock dress in a £10 box in my favourite Jessie & Buddug which I just couldn't leave. I also bought one of their 'mystery packs', which contained a gorgeous vintage photo album that I can't wait to fill with cute little treasures.

Anyway, I better update you on the other bits and bobs going on in my life...I met up with the Shopcade team for dinner on Monday, and am so excited to be a part of their July Style Battle, which you can enter and find out more about here. I've also been watching Orange is the New Black obsessively, which is really unlike me as I'm not a huge series-watcher (I don't sit still for very long). Also, yesterday the lovely Amber Callender and I shot a series of cute photos in and around the Natural History Museum for Zeum Mag, and spent a very long time trying to get butterflies to land on me in the exhibition (I eventually got one, but they definitely preferred Amber's dungarees to my shoulder). 


I hope you are all having a good week...I'm planning on going on a central London crawl tomorrow to pick up the last few bits for my holiday, although it will probably result in me hiding from the sun in various shops (being pale is hard). Have a good weekend!

Monday, 21 July 2014

I'll say I can't tell you when


Once again, I seem to be posting a sort of Saturday catch-up on a Monday morning. I really do need to try and master the ability to post about things the day they happen, and not a few days later. Oh well. This outfit was from a typical trip to Oxford Street to try and pick up some last minute things for our holiday in a week or so. My family and I tend to go back to the same little house in France for two weeks every year, and to be quite honest those two weeks (filled with nothing but endless reading, sunbathing, swimming and basically enjoying having nothing to do) are the only thing that keep me sane for the rest of the year. There is something so relaxing about being somewhere that is foreign - no one knows who you are, no one knows what you are saying, you're not going to bump into old neighbours or relatives and you can sort of just live anonymously for a little while. It's so peaceful, and is going to be such a welcome break from exams and work and the panic of trying to cram everything in to the last few weeks of summer. It's also a nice way to refresh and recollect myself before starting sixth form in September...and will hopefully give me some time to carry on trying to prepare for Art A-Level (I need all the help I can get).





I wore my new floral top I found in a charity shop for about £3. There are so many where I live but only a really select few nice things in each of them, so finding anything often takes a good bit of searching. I had a field day recently though  and found this shirt, a 60s-ish Topshop shirt, a long floral skirt for France and a cute old jacket that looks like it belonged to Saffy from Absolutely Fabulous. The shorts and bag are from Rokit and the socks and shoes are from Topshop.



In other news, Dahlia Fashion sent me a really beautiful white dress and asked me to try and style it in three different ways. The colour alone was something new for me, as I don't wear much white - however I really liked it, and think I'm definitely going to be wearing it more often. The shape was so pretty and timeless, with the modern cut-away back panels that remind me of the flowy crop tops being sold in American Apparel at the moment.






For the first outfit I went for a very simple white-on-white look, and wore the dress with white tights and white lace-pattern kitten heels. I thought this was a nice, toned-down way of wearing the dress and would be perfect for both day-time garden parties or barbecues as well as evening events.




My second outfit was a more eclectic mix, and took a few more ideas from the sixties theme I had been following. I chose to wear the dress with a cropped leopard jacket from Beyond Retro, and a red bow bracelet from Hirst Antiques. I loved the way these pieces worked with the white lace, and felt the white gave them more of a classy feel than if the dress had been black or some other colour.




My last outfit was a typical odd one - for the more adventurous, I thought pairing the dress with a pair of bright patterned tights would give it that quirky, summery edge. The tights and shoes are Topshop.

Anyway, I hope you have a good week, and thank you to Dahlia for the dress.