Do or DIY

A PUN! Hooray. And also, sorry.

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In my last post, I talked about a general restlessness that had descended on me, and how taking a break had been what I needed to refocus a bit. While away, I decided to have a bit of a life clear-out, so this week I’ve been cleaning out my outrageously messy room. I’m generally pretty houseproud, but a lack of storage space and abundance of freebies from my fashion/beauty editing work (I’m not complaining!) left me Confucius-like, yelling at a tide of clothes to stay back.

Clothes to the left of me, clothes to the right of me, and hours later I found myself standing shell-shocked with a variety of huge bags around me. Some were destined for the charity shop, others for the textiles bin, others were tucked away until next Winter, which is probably a good two weeks away, based on my reckoning. I was left with one pile. I called it the ‘adapt or die’ pile. So, look here. I’m bored of most of my clothes, but I’m also poor. The solution? To get sewing, painting, and gluing.

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I started with two small projects last weekend, just to ease myself back into it. There’s a danger with DIY that you’ll go too far, customise a bit too enthusiastically, and end up looking like you covered yourself in E6000 glue and rolled around in a habadashery, then Claire’s Accessories, THEN ransacked the wardrobe of that ghastly Kirstie Allsopp. Tread carefully, is what I’m trying to say.

My two projects, then. I picked up a lovely cornflower blue man’s shirt from a charity shop for ¬£3.30, and some non-roll elastic (AMAZING STUFF), and was inspired by Geneva Vanderzeil’s book to create a mini skirt from it. Seriously easy stuff, and perfect for first time sewers. I don’t want to write up the full instructions here, as I don’t think it’s fair to Geneva and her hard work, but I’d encourage you to grab her gorgeous book..Initially I tried the shirt as a dress, as you can see below – something I might explore another time, but it was VERY short. Sorry about the rubbish quality of pics in the post, was without my usual camera.

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The second project I can tell you exactly how to do, and it’s the easiest update for jewellery ever. I dug deep into my jewellery box and found a pair of very boring rhinestone earrings. Beyond boring, they looked cheap. A clear crystal rhinestone tends to look dull at night and strange during the day, so here’s what I did: I grabbed some nail varnish. And I painted over the crystals. I used jade and lavender for a colour blocked effect. I did three coats to get a decent coverage, and left them to dry overnight. Easiest thing ever. Bonus tip: my favourite leather jacket had zips that were starting to discolour, so I painted them over with a metallic nail varnish, and it looked brand new. SIMPLE.

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What I’m wearing to London Fashion Week SS13

A post that does what it says on the tin.

LFW now officially starts the day after tomorrow, and unlike every other time I’ve been, I’ve tried my best to be organised. It’s not an event you can approach halfheartedly – I’ve found that in my previous jaunts along, I’ve always wished I could have prepared myself a little more. The whole thing is a ridiculous; I expect military campaigns have been exercised with less forward-planning.

I thought the most difficult part was applying for my press pass and show tickets. That alone was a process that took days; drafting ticket request emails, printing the mail merge doc of the press contacts, painstakingly emailing each one and ticking them off the list…I thought I was done! But no. Tickets have come in, I’ve had to lay them on the floor and divide them up into days, then devise a schedule to make sure no shows clashed, then choose which to RSVP to, THEN look at my schedule and see if I needed to stay in London at all, and if so, which nights, and with which kind friends. And if I’m staying at so and so’s on that particular night, should I take my Mac so I can do write ups? And if I do that, I’ll have to go back to theirs before I go home to pick my stuff up and….AAAARGH.

Outfit planning was another big part. I know it sounds horribly vacuous, and I’ve found LFW actually delightfully laid back in terms of what you can wear. That said, because I’m trying to plan ahead, I need to know exactly what I’m wearing for each day, down to the tiniest earring. I’ve never been good about this kind of stuff. I even found it difficult to get ready for school in the mornings, and I had a uniform, for christ’s sake. I’ve gradually been accumulating things in piles in my room, and today I decided to pull them out and start forming some outfits. They may not be particularly crazy, but I’m afraid to say I was more keen to make them comfy. The whole thing is a nightmare of strategic dressing – finding something that you can wear from show to a meeting over coffee to an after party, and shoes that will look dressy enough but also allow you to walk from, say, Somerset House to Vauxhall Fashion Scout.

I’ve just read that back, and wow – let’s break out the tiny violins. You know what? I can’t wait for the whole experience. I feel so lucky to be able to go, and to get the opportunity. But being this organised is totally alien to me!! So without further ado, here are a few of the outfits I’m going for…Scuse the face, by the way. I couldn’t be bothered to put any makeup on, so went for the ol’ ‘giant sunnies/hair in face’ look.

Pantiles Fashion Festival

First post in absolutely ages. I’m sure any bloggers will know the ghastly, niggling feeling when you suddenly lose your blogging impulse. I just lost the will to blog for ages, and when that happens I usually opt to leave it alone as opposed to cluttering up the site with half-hearted posts that I’ve dashed off in an afternoon. I’ve got ideas for a few posts yet to come, lying half written on my computer. By the way, I’m now the proud owner of a Mac, and I couldn’t be happier!

I’ve got some exciting ‘news’ to share hopefully in the next few weeks, but in the meantime this is a little post about what I got up to at the weekend. Rachel Montague-Ebbs, my editor over at Lady M Presents, has organised a weekend-long fashion festival on The Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells for the past two years now. I walked¬†in it last year and had an absolute ball, so was delighted to get involved again.

One of the designers involved was Latvian-born Anita Anna Benko, who had created extraordinary dresses that felt incredible to wear. Some of the things we wore were high street clothes, but it was very exciting to wear something a little different, a little elevated, and very striking. The weather was a little dodge, but luckily Tunbridge Wells came out in force to support us (and lots of women came down to see the rugby boys modelling!) I had a quick browse of the stalls and spotted an amazing jewellery collection called Rosewreck. Great prices for beautiful pieces, definitely worth a check out.

Anyway, thought you’d like to know a little about what I’ve been up to, and I promise to write more! Usually once I break the freeze, I’m good at catching up. Lots of love!