AFTER suffering with bad skin for more years than I care to mention I finally have it sorted out, so it’s time to tackle the next issue, ageing. In my opinion prevention is better than cure when it comes to ageing, so when I heard about ReFirme™ Skin Tightening at Cranwell House I thought this was the ideal treatment to start my anti-ageing mission.
Cranwell House is a private clinic and medispa specialising in skin and medical aesthetics as well as health, beauty and lifestyle therapies. It was founded by leading skincare aesthetician, Charlotte Nial in October 2008 and sits in the picturesque village of Ingatestone, Essex. As well as ReFirme™ Skin Tightening, Cranwell House also offers skin peels, microdermabrasion, CACI non surgical face lifting, LED Light Therapy and beauty treatments, Hydrafacial serum based skin resurfacing and Derma Roller mircroneedling skin rejuvenation treatments – as used by Angelina Jolie and the Soprano XL Laser, which is the world’s only painless laser hair removal system.
ReFirme™ is skin tightening through wrinkle reduction, it’s advised to book a course of six treatments and after that two treatments per year to maintain the effects. So how does it work? “The combined bi-polar radio frequency and light energies of elõs technology precisely heat the dermal tissue within the target treatment area. This stimulates collagen production and produces a firming effect in lax skin. Wrinkles are reduced, noticeable lifting can be observed and the texture of your skin becomes smoother, more luminous and toned.”
After the therapist had treated one side of my face with ReFirme™ she showed me the difference, I could actually see the results in comparison to the untreated side and my skin felt firmer. The whole experience was relaxing and over the weekend I received several (unprompted) comments about the freshness of my appearance, which I don’t think I’ve ever had before! I would highly recommend this treatment as well as Cranwell House, I’ll definitely be returning and I hope to complete the course of ReFirme™ because as I mentioned results were obvious after just one session. I also love the atmosphere at Cranwell House, it’s extremely welcoming, the team are very knowledgeable, friendly and it’s in a lovely location – plus they make great tea! Check out the full range of treatments offered at Cranwell House and how to contact them for advice and information about their services.
Photographs & illustration by Helen S Stanley.
GUEST post written by my dear friend Joanna Collins…I vividly recall my first encounter with the red soled wonders: it occurred whilst perusing an article in VOGUE, as I skimmed the words, I was particularly drawn to a photo showcasing the most remarkable patent noir ankle boots I had ever seen. The attraction was immediate, I was hooked and I could understand instantly why others craved his designs, how Danielle Steele could own 6,000 pairs! Since that memorable day I have longed for those exquisite creations to adorn my feet, damning the reality that I was not blessed with petite pieds délicats.
Born 7th of January, 1953 in Paris, Christian Louboutin spent his teens ignoring his academic studies and began sketching shoes. He claims his fascination with shoes began in 1976 when he visited the Musee National des Arts d’Afrique et d’Oceanie. It was there that he saw a sign that forebode women to wear sharp stilettos for fear it would damage the wooden floors. This image stayed in his mind and he later used this idea in his designs. “I wanted to create something that broke the rules and made women feel confident and empowered.” (Louboutin) He opened a shoe salon in Paris in 1991, and Princess Caroline of Monaco was his first customer. His professed goal has always been to “…make a woman look sexy, beautiful, to make her legs look as long as they can.”
Despite being synonymous with celebrities, Christian Louboutin rarely gives his shoes away, instead offering discounts to his high-profile fans. He believes to do this would be unimaginative. He does of course value his customers and adoring devotees: once he was contacted by a lady desperate to possess a pair of his shoes, but she had size 13 ½ feet, nevertheless he designed and made some shoes for her, no doubt resulting in endless happiness and joy.
Back to the sole, the concept that differentiates the Louboutin from its competitors. The actual soul of the designs (sorry, it had to be done), the red colour is of such significance that it is a registered Pantone, 18-1663 TPX to be exact. It is a statement, a signature and a status. Even though I have been cursed with feet unsuitable for such delicate beauties, I can still admire from afar and appreciate the true artistry that is the red soled Louboutin.
Written by Joanna Collins, illustration by Helen S Stanley.
NEW YEAR, new you – it’s what most of us warble on about in January and who am I to argue with these false promises?! That said it is achievable, by taking a leaf out of my book and mixing high street, designer and vintage with alternative clothing whilst maintaining your core style, you can create an aesthetic balance of fashion, style and personality. (The same applies to your surroundings). It’s been a little while since I’ve blogged using my ‘style plan’ approach so I thought it was about time for some fashion talk, outfit builds, decor and bargains. Hopefully you’ll be inspired by rock ‘n’ roll Gatsby or intrigued by rock chic chique either way let’s get dressed up!..
Rock ‘n’ Roll Meets Flapper Style: Way before everyone jumped on the Gatsby bandwagon the 1920’s was and still is my favourite era for fashion and lifestyle. The androgynous silhouettes, clean lines and pure glamour are classic, classy and timeless. However I am certainly not a fan of that ‘vintage fancy dress’ look, it’s overdone and tacky, instead I like to inject 1920’s style with modern pieces, mixing the best of old and new and therefore staying true to my existing style. This is a great example of my aforementioned advice all neatly illustrated here as rock ‘n’ roll meets flapper style…
1) FLAPPER INSPIRED OUTFIT: Fringed dress by Jay Ahr at Net-A-Porter was £1’410 now £423, cropped vintage biker jacket by Jean Paul Gaultier from Farfetch £890, clutch bag by Roland Mouret at Selfridges £450, Mary Jane pumps with embellished heel by Dolce & Gabbana at My Theresa were £660 now £462, head chain from New Look £7.99, starburst crystal ring £99 & wide crystal cuff £369 both by Swarovski. WHERE WITH: Matte black lipstick and black leather effect nail polish like this beaut by Nails Inc from Debenhams was £12 now £8.
FLAPPER INSPIRED DECOR: Art Deco style overmantel mirror from John Lewis £200, black skull candle by D.L. & CO from Selfridges £79.95, chrome lobby phone by Wild and Wolf from Bloomsbury £59.95, framed 20’s reproduction car poster from Easy Art £57.43, starburst mirror by Joanna Wood £235, wall clock by Newgate Clocks £105, art deco inspired tea cup & saucer from Fishers Catering Supplies £13.44.
2) ROCK CHIC OUTFIT: Classic lips t-shirt by Vivienne Westwood £55, Faux fur jacket from Zara was £79.99 now £49.99, boyfriend jeans from H&M £29.99, Elvis heeled shoes by Irregular Choice were £160 now £112, Bell Air frame sunglasses by Wildfox £196, cassette tape clutch bag from Accessorize was £25 now £12.50, vintage gold charm bracelet £450 from Antiques Avenue. WHERE WITH: Matte red lipstick & red nail polish £2.99 from Barry M.
ROCK CHIC DECOR: Crosley turntable from Urban Outfitters £100, red desk lamp from John Lewis £25, I woke up like this mug £9 from Urban Outfitters, magic 8 ball from Amazon £10.99, Keith Richards poster from Sour Puss Clothing $7, Union Jack cushion by Jane Hornsby £94, vinyl clock from Urban Outfitters £30.
All prices correct at time of publication.
AFTER a great year of blogging I wanted to wish all my gorgeous readers a Happy New Year! I hope you all have a wonderful evening full of fun and frolics, and I wish you the best for 2015.
Obviously I couldn’t say goodbye to 2014 without some shameless self promotion by way of a New Year’s Eve personal style post. So here’s my NYE outfit, full of sparkle and rock ‘n’ roll, combining an ombre sequin midi skirt with a muscle car graphic t-shirt, my faithful biker jacket and my favourite spiked shoes. I’d love to see how you style up your bad selves for the last night of 2014 so send me some selfies of you rocking your New Year’s Eve outfit to @HelensWardrobe on Twitter…
MY NYE OUTFIT: Sequin midi skirt from Miss Selfridge, muscle car graphic t-shirt from Dead Legacy, leather biker jacket previous season from Top Shop Boutique, spiked metallic heels previous season from Kurt Geiger, silver skull ring from The Great Frog, black crystal ring from Swarovski.
Photography & styling by Helen S Stanley.
A LOVER of parkas and a hater of the cold, I’ve spent many years with inappropriately insulated coats which may have looked the part but didn’t quite cut the mustard. After getting soaked through and very cold on too many occasions it really is about time I embraced technical fabrics and practical design. The problem with this approach though, is waterproof and warm jackets aren’t exactly my style aesthetically, it’s just not very rock ‘n’ roll being swaddled in oversized feather down with straps and toggles sticking out everywhere. I don’t do quilting and I really despise anything belted, shiny or cheap looking, all I really want is a practical parka.
Voila, Musto answered my prayers with the Arctic Parka. I used to wear Musto back in my Pony Club days but it’s come a long way since then and their collections contain some great pieces which can easily be styled to suit anyone’s look. Back to my epic parka, it was inspired by explorers seeking the Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, with an MPX GORE-TEX® shell fabric it’s breathable and waterproof. The lightweight PrimaLoft® insulation retains up to 95% of body heat and importantly from a visual perspective the parka isn’t too bulky. The only aspect I would change are the reflector strips on the sleeve, I would make them removable because for me the silhouette looks slightly too technical with them. So if you’re in need of a warm, dry jacket that looks the part and can be styled easily look no further than this, the parka to end all parkas…
I wore my Arctic Parka with high-waisted skinny jeans from Levi’s, leather biker boots by Harley Davidson, a cropped fluffy jumper from New Look, union jack scarf by Vivienne Westwood, aviator sunglasses from Ray Ban, silver skull ring from The Great Frog, gold anchor necklace from Lulu Winter and cobweb Coin Keeper necklace from Emozioni.
Photographs by Helen S Stanley.
CHRISTMAS is a wonderful time of year but it can be quite stressful trying to find the right gifts for everyone. It’s important to remember that a token is enough and thoughtful gifts are more impactful than just spending loads of money. I’ve put together a little Christmas gift guide for her, him and the dog – hopefully this will help and inspire with your Christmas shopping…
GIFTS FOR HER, Picture One: Pow! Clutch Bag £4 from Primark because this Winter it’s all about colour, Pink Instax Mini 8 Camera from £75 by Fujifilm to capture instant snaps throughout the party season, skull shot glasses around £30 from Crystal Head Vodka, these don’t need an explanation, they are pure rock ‘n’ roll. Picture Two: Magnitone Lucid Daily Cleansing & Exfoliation Brush Ltd Edition by Pixie Lott £69.99 – this little beauty is a great gift, with Active Electromagnetic Technology Magnitone promise softer, clearer and brighter skin in 7 days. I’ve been using mine for two weeks and I’ve definitely seen a difference; the set includes a travel charger and headband with the waterproof brush, which has two cleansing modes. Easy to fit into your daily skin care routine and it looks the part! Picture Three: Absolutely Fabulous DVDs, get the whole lot in a box set for classic 90’s humour from £22.40, Why Hello t-shirt £29.99 from Dead Legacy because you can never have too many graphic tees, Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Conegliano Prosecco £7.50 tastes crisp and fresh and it’s a lot nicer than champagne in my book, Now That’s What I Call The 90’s compilation CD £11 from Amazon because there is only so much Christmas music one person can take. The Winter Forest Matte Palette £4 from MUA is a gorgeous selection of winter tones for the eyes and another great gift idea is the Emozioni Coin Necklace which is interchangeable, there are lots of gorgeous coins, coin keepers and chains to choose from, coins start at £24.95.
Gifts For Him, Picture One: Dolce & Gabbana reactive sunglasses (these are previous season) similar are available from Sunglasses Hut, Antaeus Pour Homme Eau de Toilette by Chanel from £47.50 at Boots because it smells delicious, beer flavoured Jelly Belly Beans £6.99 from Firebox for the perfect stocking filler. Vintage Playboy is a superb gift idea, you can buy them directly from Playboy, it’s a nice idea to get the issue from when your fella was born, these are so fun to look through, (prices vary). Picture Two: Star Wars mugs available in store at Sainsbury’s, Bulldog Gin £22.84 from Master of Malt, Cards Against Humanity £20 and Book of Skulls from £7.96 then Guardians of The Galaxy (which is absolutely hilarious) on DVD for £9.99 all from Amazon.
Gifts For The Dog: This is only half of Molly’s Christmas hoard, I’ve just selected a few bits to talk about. Doggy Chocolate Drops by Good Boy are part of a selection box which is £5, snowman toy £7, squeaky ball £1, chicken rolls by Pepper’s £4 and Snowman jumper £10 all from Pets at Home in store.
All prices correct at time of publication. Photos by Helen S Stanley.
AT this time of year it’s very easy to succumb to the glitz and glam of the festive season and it is possible to do ‘glamour’ without going all out drag queen. Try channeling the AW14 Gucci look, faux fur and jeans, team this with a statement graphic t-shirt and heels to achieve a great balance of casual glamour. Adding colour and texture to your winter wardrobe also makes it all more interesting without going over the top…
As well as dabbling in sparkles in the wardrobe department it’s also great to inject some festivity into your make-up bag, I’ve been using The Crystal Mirror (£35) by Joan Collins Timeless Beauty which is utterly fabulous as well as useful, with a normal and magnified mirror for make-up on the go.
My Look: I used the Brow & Eye Definition Kit by Joan Collins Timeless Beauty to create a defined brow as well as Contra Time Super Lift Eye Serum (£35) which I’ve been using for a few weeks now, perfect for a bit of a pick me up around the peepers, it’s important to prepare for all the holiday partying!
Styling: Cropped faux fur jacket £30 from Primark, statement LiveLoveLearn t-shirt £29.99 from Dead Legacy, skinny jeans from £80 by Levi’s Curve ID, spiked heels previous season from Kurt Geiger, studded white belt previous season from H&M, silver skull ring from £160 and silver swallow necklace £165 by The Great Frog.
Prices correct at time of publication, photography & styling by Helen S Stanley.
I AM the self confessed queen of mood boards and I haven’t created any in a while so I thought I’d knock up some Christmas numbers for you. (I also have a mood board page in case you’d like to see my previous creations). Generally when making mood boards I choose two or three main colours, then include tone variation and lots of texture to create inspiring visuals. Christmas is the perfect excuse for mood boards, it’s too easy to go down the tacky route, tasteful Christmas style is the way forward. You really can’t beat the overall look that considered styling achieves and hopefully these Christmas mood boards will help.
I created this one using similar tones, black highlights, the ever present skulls and lots of texture…Turquoise is one of my favourite colours and although it’s quite summery it works equally well for Christmas mixed with white and silver/gold (and skulls)…
Navy, gold and white work really well especially when you use lots of light and texture to bring the colours together. Combining this with strong shapes (and even more skulls) creates a rich Christmas look…
I was invited to The Snug Bar in Hertford this week to taste their new bar nibbles, treats from their Christmas menu and help make some Christmas themed cocktails. So to start we tried bar nibbles from The Snug Bar’s exclusive new menu, which are perfect for after work or when you’re having drinks with friends. These small dishes are freshly made and include: Honey and Mustard Glazed Sausages, Rosemary Garlic Roast Potatoes, Sausage and Tomato Roll, Fish Goujons and Chips, BBQ Pork Belly Squares, Pitta and Houmous and Homemade Scotch Egg. Then we tried their new Christmas burger, a homemade 7oz British Beef Burger topped with turkey, Cheddar cheese, smoked back bacon, bourbon and cherry sauce and pickles, served with a side of pulled pork in BBQ sauce and skinny fries – everything we tried was so delicious, I’m wondering how soon it’s appropriate to go back and eat it all over again!
We had a quick break from food, which we needed after all that, and made some Christmassy cocktails. The Snug Bar has a fantastic cocktail menu and they serve The Kraken Rum and Hendricks so that’s me won over already! My favourite of the Christmas cocktails was The Mince Pie Martini:
Shake all ingredients and double strain into a Martini glass. Top with foamed milk and sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg then garnish with a cinnamon stick and serve with a mince pie!
Back to the food, deserts this time. We had Eggnog Cheesecake which had a ginger biscuit base, with an indulgent cream cheese, crème fraiche, Advocaat, cinnamon and nutmeg topping. Then The Snug Trifle which had delicious layers of Jaffa Cake, fresh strawberries and raspberries, strawberry coulis, custard and whipped cream, topped with a cherry. Finally a Terry’s Chocolate Orange Sundae with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, layered with crushed chocolate orange pieces and topped with whipped cream. Amazing.
It’s so nice to do something local and experience new things where you live, I had a great time at The Snug Bar, the food and drinks were delicious. The atmosphere was warm, friendly and fun, there was good music and I liked the decor. So all in all it was a great evening and I’ll definitely be back! Make sure you check out The Snug Bar’s website and Twitter to keep up to date with their menus and cocktails.
I recently worked with Wayfair to choose some interior items from their website. Wayfair is the online destination for all things home, with something for everyone and every budget, so I was absolutely spoiled for choice! Take a look at my key pieces and hopefully they’ll inspire you to add a twist of colour to your home…
THIS week I was invited to a photography walk in London with a big group of other bloggers hosted by giffgaff, Best LDN Walks and Joe Blogs Blogger Network. Charlotte Kennedy from Best LDN Walks was our spiffing tour guide as we began our night at Waterloo, walked on to Southbank, Westminster then ended at the centre of London in Trafalgar Square. Half-way through the walk there was a chance to see the Banksy Tunnel (on Leake Street), snap everyone’s colourful work and even try graffiti for ourselves. We also had a professional photographer on the walk, Phil Hibberd from Photography Made Simple, to teach us how to take better pictures with our camera phones.
The great thing about this walk was taking in the sites, I lived in London prior to relocating to the Shires and you tend to miss things, when rushing to work or meetings or events it’s so easy to pass by wonderful places. The other great thing about this event was using our camera phones, I’m so used to using my selection of Nikons for blog posts, so it was nice to utilise another device. I have a great camera on my Nokia Lumia 1520, it takes lovely wide-screen shots and after adjusting the ISO settings I was able to capture some interesting views.
I try to go for the less obvious angles, capturing colour, light, and movement, I was pleased with the snaps I achieved and flooded Instagram with my results on the night. You can check out everyone’s work by searching #giffgaffsnaps on Instagram and make sure you have a gander on the Best LDN Walks website, they offer some really unique experiences. So here are my results, I haven’t added any effects, these are exactly how the photos turned out on the night. Thank you giffgaff for a wonderful evening!…
Images in order: Purple lights highlighting the architecture, skate park, The London Eye & Carousel horses as part of the Christmas market, strings of lights and the fairy light walk (light painting) all along the Southbank. Creative colour, graffiti and street art on Leake Street, plus the obligatory selfie all in Banksy’s Tunnel. The lion on Westminster Bridge, Big Ben and a London Bus both taken with a slower shutter speed to show movement through light.
Photographs by Helen S Stanley.
AFTER attending the fabulous Mink Pink sleepover at the Electric Cinema on Portobello Road where we were treated to hot chocolate, sweets, popcorn, cakes, white chocolate milkshakes, a screening of Clueless AND the amazing Mink Pink sleepwear I was inspired to create my own blog sleepover. This time of year is perfect to cosy up with all things fluffy, warm and tasty whilst watching your favourite flicks. That said, I am a firm believer in keeping the comfies stylish, we want to maintain a cute meets rock ‘n’ roll type vibe, not a frumpy, lazy look. So let’s all have a Helen’s Wardrobe sleepover and get ready for the pillow fight…
SLEEPOVER STYLE: I won’t even pretend I prance around the house before bedtime in tiny shorts and vest tops in the winter, living in a period townhouse with original sash windows dictates layers and I’m not going to argue with that. So the reality, as it should be when it’s cold, is the Mink Pink Panda-Monium Robe. Teaming this simply with black jersey leggings from H&M, a black vest and wooly bed socks from Bedroom Athletics. HOT CHOCOLATE WITH RUM: As well as sweet treats for those cold nights, the best way to keep warm whilst pleasing your inner pirate is to make some hot chocolate with The Kraken Rum. This recipe serves 4, or one person 4 times depending on how you look at it! This is what you’ll need:
Place the milk, dark chocolate and The Kraken Rum into a saucepan and heat gently, stirring until the chocolate has melted. Give it a quick whisk to blend it all together, then pour the mixture into four mugs and top with marshmallows, you can also dust with cocoa powder if you like. Simple.FLICKS: Everyone has different tastes when it comes to movies and it really does depend on the day you’ve had and the amount of idiots you’ve had to deal with. Sometimes I want to watch girly things, sometimes I want pirates, but I always want funny. Here are my recommendations for the perfect sleepover flicks:
Girl, Interrupted – Beautiful. Angelina Jolie steels the show in this one. A film everyone must watch, a real cinematic treasure.Photography & styling Helen S Stanley, guest appearance from Molly the Chorkie.
Remember to drink responsibly and all that jazz.
THE great thing about winter style is the opportunity to add more texture. I love mixing textures together to create looks with depth; it’s easy to fall into the habit of wearing dark colours, long layers and unflattering silhouettes just because it’s cold. Today I’m illustrating how to be warm and keep your outfit fun, don’t shrink into the background just because the weather commands wooly tights!
This metallic gold shift dress combined with a faux fur shrug and holographic creepers work together to create a fun winter look with a hint of the 90’s. Purple ombre hair, a purple satchel bag and simple thick black tights tie this all in together for an outfit fit for day or night. Muted tones are all well and good but texture and colour insure your style isn’t drowned out by the rain…
Metallic Gold Shift Dress £29.95 from Chiara Fashion, faux fur black shrug £24.99 from Keep It Real Rave Wear, hollographic creepers £25 by Truffle at F&F, purple leather satchel bag sale price £67.50 full price £90 by Brit-Stitch at Nigel O’Hara, ombre wig sale price £14.99 full price £24.99 from Wonderland Wigs.
All prices correct at time of publication. Styling & photography Helen S Stanley.
ALONG with a small team, no budget and very basic equipment we decided to make a little film. Using vintage clothing sourced from antique fairs, online auctions and secondhand stores together with statement shoes designed by Julian Hakes a distinctive look was created. Make-up and hair was carefully designed to have a fairytale look, combining all this with props and simple effects produced an ethereal narrative.
Beau Ideal Until The End is the story of a girl who dreams about the end of the world. Unsure if this was just a dream or a vision of things to come, she decides to live that day as if it were her last. In true style. The girl appears on her own throughout the film, looking good for no one else other than herself and experiencing her world, in her own way, on what could be her very last day.
“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” Coco Chanel.
HALLOWEEN is by far my favourite holiday, I’ve created lots of style posts in the past to help with costume ideas but this year as I’ve branched out into lifestyle I wanted to create a style special looking at costumes, jewellery, decorations, events, food, drink and even a little poochie styling too…
HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS: This year I teamed a pumpkin lantern with recycled jars and munchkin pumpkins, I filled the jars with candy eye balls, retro sweets, plastic spiders and plastic skulls all from Sainsbury’s. This sits in the middle of the dining table on top of a black and white striped place mat from Ikea. I also hung a sparkly ‘Happy Halloween’ garland from the window (from Tesco), to go with this I’ve placed a silver skull also from Tesco with an antique apothecary bottle, more recycled jars filled with chocolate eye-balls, blood-red candles (both Sainsbury’s) and a sparkly skeleton which is my own. I’ve also placed some homemade bat silhouettes (skilfully drawn by my boyfriend) on one of the walls, it’s a good idea to mix old with new and DIY when it comes to holiday decor, it creates a nice balance.
LE FREAK C’EST CHIC: I’ve styled two extremes for Halloween, full blown scary fancy dress and a bit of a vampy nod to All Hallows’ Eve.
Look One: Inspired by Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride I have created my own version of Emily. I made this costume quite a few years ago, the mint corset was from eBay which I distressed with black fabric paint on a dry brush and added the exposed rib detail, I then sewed small roses along the top. The skirt was made from some thin turquoise cotton mix fabric which I over-dyed with watered down black Dylon. I left all the edges raw to create a more distressed look. The spiked shoes are from Kurt Geiger and the flower crown is made from white pom poms and foam roses. My make-up was created using white body paint on my face, arms and legs, the shading and detail was added with an Urban Decay Book of Shadows palette and black kohl eyeliner. I made my hair look more white by spraying it with dry shampoo. My ring as usual is from The Great Frog.
Look Two: If you don’t want to wear loads of make-up you could just theme your outfit so it simply has a spooky feel. I’ve combined a skull print maxi skirt from Miss Rebel UK with a handmade corset top over a sheer black shirt from Matalan. (I made the corset by sewing scraps of vintage black fabric to a black basque). I’ve then added some shoe boots with block heels from Primark and black cropped leather gloves from AllSaints.
HALLOWEEN TREATS: My boyfriend will willingly testify that I am next to useless in the kitchen, the ability to cook or even function like a normal person in the kitchen evades me. So when it comes to creating treats for Halloween I’m afraid I cheat. This year as well as jars of retro sweets I’ve chosen toffee apples, you can make your own but as previously explained I can’t possibly, so I bought mine. (After taking the wrappers off) I tied black paper ribbon around the stick for a simple Halloween look. Then I decorated some plain fairy cakes with chocolate fudge icing, white chocolate buttons for eyes (pupils were added with a black icing pen), I also popped on some jelly teeth and green sugar pearls to create little halloween monster cakes. Finally I made black jelly by adding some black food colouring to blackcurrant jelly, this was set in recycled jars and simply decorated with black paper ribbon around the top (all from Sainsbury’s). Easy, tasty, Halloween treats…
HALLOWEEN TIPPLE: With all the complications of trying to arrange food I’m keeping the drinks simple, vodka. Crystal Head Vodka to be precise. Not only is this vodka pure and untainted the bottle is the essence of rock ‘n’ roll. So why mess with something so good? For Halloween we’ll be drinking shots from the incredibly cool Crystal Head shot glasses as well as on the rocks with a little lime. For added Halloween styling I’ve made ice cube with fangs. Fangtastic…
POOCHIE STYLE: Molly, my pride and joy is a scruffy little yorkie x chihuhaua and I obviously want to include her in Halloween, but she doesn’t like being dressed up. So along with her everyday skull and crossbones collar I added a pirate neckerchief from The Mutz Nutz in Nottinghill (she’s actually had this for a while, but it’s fitting for Halloween). Then for something a little more spooky I customised a Kreepsville 666 hair accessory, so she’ll always be watching…
SPOOKY JEWELLERY: If for some bizarre reason you’re not dressing up for Halloween you can easily add a bit of spookiness with the right jewellery and if you are dressing up then throw in some extra Halloween style with these… Picture one, the skull statement necklace & bracelet are from Loulebelle, the ring and earrings are from Grimoire and the skull bangle is from Siren London. Picture two, the silver skull pendant is from The Great Frog, the cobweb coin necklace is from Emozioni and the skull bead and crystal bracelet is from Shebee. Picture three, all three rings and the skull earrings are from The Great Frog, the spider earrings are from Zoe & Morgan.
HALLOWEEN GIFTS: Of course there should be gifts for Halloween, why wouldn’t there be?! This year as TBP Approved Blogger I was sent a swag bag filled with amazing Halloween goodies, some of which I’ve used in this post…
Skull maxi skirt (as above) from Miss Rebel UK, black ring and star earrings from Grimoire, skull bangle from Siren London. There were also some great sweets, novelty halloween decorations (I used the cobwebs in my Corpse Bride photos) a zombie apocolypse t-shirt, Flashmob lipstick and a House of Wonderland badge. Amazing Halloween swag!!
HALLOWEEN FUN: There are loads of things you could do on Halloween, so here are three really different ideas to ensure everyone has fun…
HOME MOVIES, for those who like a night in why not invest in some popcorn and DVDs? I’m not a fan of scary movies but there are some perfect atmospheric rather than frightening flicks for those scaredy cats like myself:
THORPE PARK FRIGHT NIGHTS, I’ve been to Thorpe Park on Halloween on two occasions and had loads of fun. The Halloween maizes are an absolute scream (excuse the pun), this year they’re based around iconic horror films including The Blair Witch Project, My Bloody Valentine, The Cabin in The Woods and SAW. Plus going on the rides in the dark is so much fun! I would advise getting the fast track tickets or booking a VIP package because it gets super busy. If you’e like me you’ll be doing loads of things for Halloween and so I highly recommend including a Fright Night with your friends along with your other plans.
Have a House Party, with all my style inspiration from this post why not have a party? Dress up, create a playlist, stay away from the public, perfect! Ideal if you’re as anti-social as me, if not check out the internet for Halloween nights in your area. Happy haunting people!
All photography & styling by Helen S Stanley.
HERE’S the second of my shoe dominated posts for this week, today I’m looking at customizing an existing pair of heels with Shoe Licks. An easy way to transform your high street heels using stickers, there are loads of patterns and prints you can choose from and even have you’re own designs made, which I love the idea of, I think photographic images would work especially well.
Shoe Licks are simple to apply and easy to remove when you want a change, I picked Flamboyant Flamingos from the Party Animal Collection, but there are so many other great choices too. I applied these to a pair of plain black leather Chelsea boots which were in desperate need of a pick-me-up and viola! Pimped heels! Check out their website and give Shoe Licks a follow on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for regular news and updates, plus just for being awesome and reading Helen’s Wardrobe you can get a pair of Shoe Licks for just £2 with this promo code: pimpmyheelsagain Happy pimping people!
Shoe stickers from Shoe Licks, woven clutch bag from Primark, glitter flamingo by Plastic Bat, fur stole is vintage, turquoise bag from Aspinal, animal print leggings from Loulebelle.
Photography & styling by Helen S Stanley.
MY LOVE of trainers has been rekindled in the last year or so, I used to wear them religiously in the Brit Pop years of my early teens but shelved them in exchange for heels in my twenties. Now I’m embracing them again and revamping many an outfit with the addition of a cheeky pair of trainers. A great example are my new Gola Classics, with just the right amount of retro and a great silhouette these are fast becoming my favourite pair.
Gola are a British brand who started life in 1905, well-known for the iconic Gola Harrier and worn by the likes of Paul Weller, they moved from army boots to sports and fashion. So these kicks deserve an interesting mix when it comes to styling: it would be easy to throw them on with a pair of skinny jeans and a t-shirt (I will be doing that too of course) but today I’m combining femininity with comfort, texture and simplicity. Against the backdrop of my favourite place in the house, I give my new trainers some real spirit Helen’s Wardrobe style…
Navy & Ecru Women’s Spirit Trainers by Gola £50, tulle skirts (layered) are from Japan, cropped jumper £12 from Primark, silver skull ring £160 from The Great Frog, Rouge Allure lipstick in Fatale by Chanel £26.
Prices correct at time of publication.
Styling & Photography by Helen S Stanley.
I was lucky enough to be shortlisted again this year for Best Established Fashion Blog at the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards, unfortunately I didn’t win, but to get through 43k other entries is pretty damn incredible! Plus I know my blog rocks and the feedback I get from my readers is amazing, so thank you very much to everyone who did vote and for all of you who continue to visit Helen’s Wardrobe.
Up until the day before I had no idea what I was going to wear, mostly because the weather was changeable but also because I didn’t have time to think about it! So I went for a black jumpsuit from In Love With Fashion with wide legs and big side slits so I could get the pins out. I teamed this with a studded waist-cincher belt from H&M, my spiked metallic heels from Kurt Geiger, union jack clutch from Aspinal, trademark skull ring from The Great Frog and the rest of my jewellery was from Loulebelle.
I had my hair vamped by Butchers Salon (check out my previous review on them, they are fantastically talented) and to create volume I added Volumizing Styling Powder by Got 2 Be Schwarzkopf. My make-up was a combination of classic Chanel red lips, black liquid eyeliner and tons of Lash Architect Mascara by L’Oréal and my nails were a adorned with posh polish in silver foil and posh polish in topaz over the top to create a nickel colour, both by Beauty UK.
I didn’t take any of my super cameras because they didn’t fit in my clutch bag but I was armed with my giant tablet phone and so I managed to get some snaps in between the cocktails. The great thing about going to these awards is meeting new bloggers and catching up with existing blogger friends as seen below: Louise O’Reilly from Style Me Curvy, Andini Ria from Adventures of an Anglophile, June Olsen from Nostalgiecat, Lucy Meek from Decorenvy. Thank you Cosmopolitan UK for a great night, hopefully see you again next year!..
I visited the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet in Ashford this week to snap up some denim essentials for my denim diary. I chose two items which I have styled five ways to celebrate the classic wardrobe staple, denim and coincide with McArthurGlen’s launch of New Denim Icons this October. The New Icons, made up of talent from across the globe including actress Ashley Madekwe, International male model Sebastian Suave, influencer Shini Park and Parisian it girl Jeanne Damas, have been shot and filmed for the campaign, letting us into their world of denim and style. You can find out more about this fantastic campaign by visiting a McArthurGlen outlet, check out their site and follow #DenimTheIcons for offers, news and inspirational denim style.
I’m a Levis girl so my essential denim pieces had to come from there, I opted for some black, skinny, high-waisted jeans from the Curve ID range in slight curve, then I chose a denim shirt covered in stars. I’ve styled these in five completely different ways to show the versatility of denim and key part it plays in all our looks…
One: My favourite look is very classic, simply jeans and a white vest. You can’t go wrong with a classic, simple denim look. The jeans are as before, the vest is Levis, the leather biker jacket is TopShop Boutique. The head scarf is from Be Bop A Hairdbands and the necklace is as before. The shoes are Kurt Geiger.
Two: Simple, rock ‘n’ roll and very me. The t-shirt is a reworked Skull & Pistons Garage tee, the jeans are Levis high-waisted Curve ID in slight curve, glasses are Dolce & Gabbana and the spike shoes are Kurt Geiger.
Three: A little big grungy, the jeans are as before, the denim shirt and logo tee are both Levis, the trainers are Converse and the hat is Accessorize.
Four: A little bit 80’s with Disney platform trainers from H&M, a stripe tee from Next tied up to make it cropped, the jeans are as before and this time I’ve styled them with a skinny studded belt also from H&M. The clutch is from Aspinal and the hat is Vans.
Five: I’ve styled the denim shirt really simply, buttoned up with a swallow necklace from The Great Frog, the block heels are from Primark and the clutch is LOS.
Photography & styling by Helen S Stanley.
After happening upon Vagabond Tattoo Studio whilst walking down Hackney Road in East London last year I made a mental note to ﬁnd out more about it. I had been looking for a new tattooist and I wanted to ﬁnd somewhere comfortable and inspiring with a strong artistic team who I could come back to. Vagabond Tattoo Studio is the result of two different artists coming together to form a tenacious partnership, Paul Hill is an accomplished tattoo artist and Rebecca Morris a masterly graphic designer. Andrew Hulbert is another tattoo artist working at Vagabond and predominantly uses the hand-poked technique, tattooing without the use of electricity, two very distinct styles from Paul and Andrew equal instant recognition through their artwork which is very positive thing in such a growing industry. The result of this teamwork is the creation of an atmospheric space and a successful aesthetic union producing strong tattoos and a well-earned reputation.
My ﬁrst visit was for a small skull on my forefinger to add to my growing collection, I figured this was a good place to start a new tattoo relationship and scope out the place. Rebecca and Paul were so friendly and accommodating, I felt at home straight away and proceeded to drink a very well made cup of tea whilst getting my new tattoo. With the expansion of Helen’s Wardrobe from fashion blog to fashion and lifestyle blog I wanted to draw attention to awesome creative types and therefore thought it was time to return to Vagabond for some more ink and a chat with Rebecca and Paul about their history, thoughts on the industry and their demiurgic future. So as I endure more exquisite pain in the name of all things splendid let’s chat to this cordial duo.
HW: At the risk of humming an all too familiar tune and for those who haven’t heard of Vagabond, what do you think sets you aside from other tattoo studios?
V: Our approach is to ensure that everyone feels welcome into our studio. We designed the space to be light airy and open with hygiene at the forefront of our image. We pride ourselves on great service and work together with a customer on a design allowing them to view the custom artwork prior to the tattoo appointment.
V: I started off as an air-brush artist working with cars and motorcycles, the skill-set is quite similar so it felt like a natural progression. I’d been interested in tattooing from a young age and would hang out in my local studios a lot. I ended up being pretty heavily tattooed, the more I was around tattoos and tattooists the more I wanted to do it myself.
HW: Rebecca do you think your graphic style has changed since you started working in the tattoo industry?
V: Previous to starting up the business with Paul, the only graphic design I was doing was computer based. It has been really refreshing to go back to pen and paper and hand-draw some of our smaller more illustrative pieces. The technique used to transfer an image into something tattooable requires good clean line work, so I’ve learnt how to adapt my drawing style from sketchy to solid.
HW: What made you combine your talents?
V: Combining the skills we’d learnt felt like a really natural thing to do. Paul’s experience of working in a busy tattoo studio meant he knew the process and already had a good style established it was just a case of packaging it right and using an approach that would help us stand from other studios.
HW: How did you meet Andrew and when did he join the team?
V: Paul met Andy through mutual friends, he was working in another studio and then apprenticed with us for just over a year and now works as our second artist.
HW: Are you surprised at the rise in popularity and acceptance of tattoos in recent years?
V: Tattooing tends to have boom times and we’re definitely in one now. It has certainly been popularised by celebrities and fashion icons more recently.
HW: That said, do you still encounter preconceptions because of your appearance and career choice?
V: Most people are generally quite inquisitive and interested to find out more, the only negativity we’ve ever encountered is from much older generations who perhaps still hold some old preconceptions.
HW: What is the biggest obstacle facing tattoo artists?
V: Competition and originality.
HW: Do you have an industry pet hate?
V: Scratchers, illegal tattooing.
V: Lots of people enquire about cover-ups and we really enjoy doing them. They are a challenge but it is satisfying to turn something a person has fallen out of love with back into something they are proud to show off.
HW: Where do you see the future going for Vagabond Tattoo Studio?
V: We have some exciting collaborations coming up and with this who knows what doors it may open. We’re hoping to expand our team this year and welcome some great guest artists. As well as this we hope to keep attracting other creative businesses to the area helping to make Hackney Road a real destination for art and fashion.
Paul, Rebecca and Andy are very happy to discuss designs by phone or by email. Better still, pop in and have a chat with one of the team who will aim to give you some creative guidance with your tattoo idea. Vagabond is open Mon-Thurs 11am-7pm, Friday 11am-5.30pm and Saturday 12pm-5pm. Vagabond work on an appointment basis for most pieces, however they often have availability for small walk-in slots too. ♠
Please contact the studio for more details:
Vagabond Tattoo Studio, 471 Hackney Road, London, E2 9ED.
Article & photography by Stephen Turner & Helen S Stanley.
IT’S October which means it’s Halloween for the entire month because that’s my favourite holiday. So the themed posts will be a plenty folks and I’m kicking things off with candy toned treats and autumnal metallics for your nails. I do love a bit of nail polish despite breaking two nails fighting with a motorbike on the back of the Land Rover the other day (long story). These beauties are all from Beauty UK, a brand I’ve blogged about loads in the past, especially for nail polish because it lasts really well.
This time I’ve chosen Moonstone, Amethyst, Elfstone and Topaz, these jewel shades work really well to carry colour through to fall. Then Sunstone, Olympic Bronze, Sirmaril and Olympic Gold metallics which work equally as well for fall evenings. So here’s a little visual eye candy which will hopefully inspire you to treat your talons…
Photography by Helen S Stanley.
THIS week I was invited to Butchers Salon on Hackney Road to meet the team, see the new salon and have my locks pimped. I love East London especially Hackney Road and as it happened I was in desperate need of a new colourist so this was a very welcome invitation.
The salon is a really light space with a salutary atmosphere created with a combination of concrete, wood, vegetation, huge windows and high ceilings: it’s the kind of place you could easily spend all day in. Butchers Salon has only been open a few months and the great thing about the space is, not only is it full of epic talent it can also be hired out, there is even a pop-up space available within the salon itself. This is definitely one to keep your eye on for upcoming events as well as super savvy hair styling. The owners, Katie and Susannah, have really thought about every detail even down to the eco-friendly towels they use which are biodegradable and the products which are organic and free of nasty chemicals. The team is super welcoming too, I instantly felt at home and this was definitely helped by the fact that Katie is a 90’s fan. We talked for hours about music, TV shows and fashion from the 90’s while she worked her magic on my hair.
My hair, where do I start? I’ve always struggled to get the right blonde and it had become a mixture of yellow and green tones which looked horrible. Katie totally got what I was after and the result was even better than I hoped: it was THE blonde! The one I’ve been after for about two years and no one could achieve, the unicorn of blondes! Needless to say I absolutely love the results, I’m so pleased that Katie listened, understood and went way beyond my expectations to achieve blonde awesomeness. Overall my experience at Butchers Salon was more than positive, I’ll definitely be going back and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. To find out more about the space and the services available visit their site and check out their social media for updates and news (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook), even better get down to the salon and say hi!…
Here’s a closer look at my new grungy blonde hair courtesy of Katie at Butchers Salon… ♥
In these snaps I’m wearing a polka dot shirt from H&M, red lipstick by Chanel and necklace from Loulebelle.
Photography by Helen S Stanley.
IRON FIST is one of my favourite brands so when I was invited to the AW’14 Iron Fist Launch Party hosted by Megan Massacre obviously I was there! I knew a fair few people from attending London Edge and there were some awesome DJ sets from the bands Turbonegro, Skindred, The Blackout and acclaimed DJ’s Last Resort and Shorebitch.
I cannot wait for the latest Iron Fist collection, I’m a massive fan of their prints in particular, the pieces work so well with my styling: mixing high street, vintage and designer with alternative clothing, definitely great brands to mix up your look. With that said let’s a have a look at the celebrating we did to mark the launch of their latest collection and the cool people we got to meet…
From the top: Stephen and myself from Skull & Pistons with the gorgeous super talented tattoo artist Megan Massacre, some stylish folk from the party (didn’t get their names or maybe we did but were too drunk to remember), Stephen with Shaun Hodson from Loki Films, my vintage Harley Davidson tee & Iron Fist nails, me with drunk snood guy (legend) and finally Stephen with alt model Jun Vahe Simon Khanbekian ♠
I like to cover beauty as well as fashion on Helen’s Wardrobe, but it’s even better to combine the two. So when I decided to create a piece on nail polish (one of my favourite areas of beauty) I thought I’d include some styling too. I have been trying out three different shades of nail polish by Spell Polish and styled some outfits alongside each one to create three different looks to compliment them.
Spell Polish is handmade nail polish created with care in small batches, with glitters, micas and pigments to form amazing finishes and captivating tones. Spell Polish is also cruelty free and free of toxins: no Toluene, no Formaldehyde,no Camphor, no Formaldehyde Resin and no DBP (Dibutyl Phthalate).
Here are the three looks I created around my different shades of Spell Polish…
Look One: Spell Polish in Get Into The Groove $17 with silver studded trainers £5 from Everything 5 Pounds, sculpt training leggings £70 from Nike, skeleton hand vest was £15 now £9 from L.O.S, black Yankees rapper cap was $34.99 now $24.99 from New Era, skull bracelet £10 from Loulebelle, Las Vegas purse was a gift from Vegas!
Look Two: Spell Polish in All She Wants To Do Is Dance $17, inflatable neon yellow shopper bag £10 from Cyber Dog, glitter heart necklace was £6 now £3 from Plastic Bat, skinny jeans from £80 at Levi’s, worn in long sleeve shirt – belongs to my boyfriend (I like to borrow his garage clothes!), white trainers previous season from Fred Perry, neon cuff £10 from Cyber Dog.
Look Three: Spell Polish in Invisible Forces $17, leopard print leggings from Iron Fist, Union Jack clutch previous season from Aspinal, patent leather heels previous season from Kurt Geiger, bracelets and jumper from Loulebelle and silver swallow necklace £165 from The Great Frog.
All prices correct at time of publication. Styling & photography by Helen S Stanley.
I refuse to let the summer end and so I’ve created a feature inspired by this gorgeous Indian Summer we’re having in the UK. So I’m hoping this outfit will please the sun Gods and stretch this warm weather out for as long as possible!
I love to mix vintage with high street and designer, I also like to throw in a bit of alternative fashion where I can too, this kind of combination creates a unique balanced look. So I took a vintage Japanese Kimono, combined it with a statement satchel bag, a few studs, some 90’s accessories and the result is something comfortable, original and summery. I love this look, it could easily work from day to night and if you want to make it slightly more transitional simply add some black skinny jeans or leggings. I added some glitz to my nails and some volume to my hair and voilà, endless summer style!..
FASHION: Silk Japanese Kimono is vintage, black jersey dress £3 from Primark, purple leather handbag sale price £67.50 full price £90 by Brit-Stitch at Nigel O’Hara, plastic tattoo choker necklace £3 from Extreme Largeness, silver skull ring £160 by The Great Frog, wide studded waist belt previous season from H&M, studded silver shoes previous season from Kurt Geiger, silver chains stylists own.
BEAUTY: To create something different on my nails I used Beauty UK Under the Heather £2.99 as a subtle base coat, then two top coats of Spell Polish Invisible Forces $17 – this stuff is incredible! (I’ll be doing a full review on Spell Polish next week). To add even more interest to my mitts I used the silver diamond shapes from Beauty Sparks Cleopatra by Face Lace £4.95. Then for my mug, I chose a gorgeous purple bindi from a set by Extreme Largeness to add a little something something to this look. Done!
Photography & Styling by Helen S Stanley.
AFTER a mad dash down south we ended up at Goodwood Revival and had an absolute blast. Full of the most incredible cars, fashion, food and drink, all dressed up and thrown back in time. People come from all over the word to visit Revival, the atmosphere is dynamic, it’s the ultimate weekend.
As well as a blogger I’m the co-owner of Skull & Pistons Garage along with my partner Stephen, so it was fitting to dress as a mechanic complete with one of our new garage t-shirts – everyone dresses up for Revival, people who don’t tend to look a bit odd. So all dressed up we enjoyed Gasoline Alley with everyone jiving to the live bands on the airstream stage, we also loved the Evanta Motor Co stand with the most incredible British sports cars handmade in Britain by Ant Anstead and his talented team – they unveiled their new model the Barchetta at Goodwood. We had loads of fun at the Doom Bar, on the vintage fairground rides and looking round many many amazing stalls as well as watching incredible races; we were surrounded by thousands of dream cars.
We’ll definitely be back next year and we’ll be showing off some of our own custom classics next time. For now though here are some snaps from our super fun time at Goodwood Revival…
I wore: Head scarf by Be Bop Hairbands, Garage T-shirt from Skull & Pistons Garage, overalls, leather belt, leather bag and boots are all vintage. Stephen wore: Shirt is vintage, jeans Capital E by Levi’s, braces from Levi’s, boots from Trickers, sunnies from Ray Ban and cap from Shetland.
Photographs by Stephen Turner & Helen S Stanley.
A long time fan of Cleo B’s statement footwear I continue to covet her growing and evolving collections. Combining aesthetics with wearability Cleo puts incredible experience and passion into each piece she designs, combining luxurious fabrics, leather, suede and fur with captivating detail. As Cleo B amplifies her talents into accessories, what better time to share her with you? I’d love to keep her talents to myself, but that would be far too selfish, so what better way to share the love than a little chat with the sensation herself, let’s get up close with designer Cleo B…
HW: I love the way each design is a statement, creating a real individual touch to the wearers look. Do you reflect this ideal in the way you style your own wardrobe?
CLEO: Yes, definitely! I am always on the hunt for unique pieces to covet. My own wardrobe is super colourful… purple, pink and turquoise play the biggest parts! I am on a mission to convince people to stop wearing so much black and grey and embrace colour!
HW: Each collection is so iconic, where do you continuously find inspiration for your new designs and how do you capture this inspiration?
CLEO: Anywhere and everywhere. Music, people I meet, countries I visit! My collections have been inspired from everything from New York Art Deco architecture to 80’s Hip Hop! My SS14 Sea of Monsters collection was inspired by the 1968 Beatles animation Yellow Submarine.
HW: As well as beautiful footwear you design fantastic accessories from shoe clips to pooch accessories and purses, do you think you will expand the accessory side of your empire?
CLEO: Yes, this is definitely my plan. I want to expand more and more into accessories and develop CLEO B as a fully fledged lifestyle brand. For AW14 I have introduced the London bag that I am very excited about… This is just the start though I have many potential ideas bubbling around, all with a special CLEO B twist!
HW: Do you see any apparel in your future design plans? Or any collaborations with apparel designers?
CLEO: Apparel is not the direction I see CLEO B going at the moment. I am currently concentrating on accessories and lifestyle products however I am always up for collaborations and if the right project came along it might be hard to say no!
HW: What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of the design process?
CLEO: Coming up with the initial ideas I do not find difficult, what is hard is transforming these ideas into a commercial product.
HW: This industry can be tough, what do you find to be the most difficult facet of the fashion industry as a whole and how do you overcome this?
CLEO: The industry is very fast paced and you constantly need to be thinking about the next season. Designers are pressured to create more and more collections per year now which means if you’re not super organized and always thinking ahead it is very easy to get left behind!
HW: It’s very exciting to see Cleo B as part of London Fashion Week, what else can we expect from Cleo B in the future with regards to events and product placement?
CLEO: LFW is a really exciting event for us being a British brand based in London! This year we have lots of events planned. In particular we want to expand on the customer events we currently run and give more people the chance to experience the world of CLEO B up close! ♥
I attended London Edge back in February so when they invited me to come back and join them for a blogger meet-up I was like, hell yeah clear my schedule! London Edge is the original and best international trade show for men’s and women’s alternative clothing, footwear, street wear and accessories and this year they’re celebrating their 30th show. Not only was it a great opportunity to talk to the brands it was also amazing to meet like-minded bloggers, drink some bubbles and scoff some tremendous cupcakes by Tattooed Bakers. We were also treated to epic goody bags, which I’ll be putting to superb use in some upcoming London Edge inspired features illustrating how I style alternative pieces. I want to show my readers that alternative clothing doesn’t have to mean head-to-toe crazy, you can take key pieces and use them to add a twist to your existing look. I love alternative clothing, mixing the awesomeness with my usual high street, designer and vintage creates a really unique aesthetic.
The show is on until 9th September at their new venue: Business Design Centre, London, N1 0QH, so get your asses over there: here are my snaps from London Edge looking at incredible alternative collections for Spring 2014, if these don’t convince you I’ll be darned if I know what will…
Loving the hot girlies and of course the valiant SS’15 collection from Kill Star (top). Iron Fist have once again been reaching inside my style mind and created an entire collection just for me, dreamy, I love everything (below).
Immense alt style from Beo Bop, Sullen Art Collective, perspex awesomeness by Extreme Largeness, speed inspired cool from Lethal Threat, hella good homeware by Sourpuss Clothing, Dead Lovers, Twisted Apparel being adored by Amanda from Honey Pop Kisses, High Spirit bags and Inox Jewelry.
I would like to draw your attention to the incredible editorial talent of the Things & Ink team and colour explosions from Cyberdog. With incredible prints, fabrics and silhouettes as modelled by the lovely Monica from Moth Loves and intense hues courtesy of Stagazer and Manic Panic.
Photos (without me in) by Helen S Stanley, big thanks to the London Edge team.
I like to change my hair a lot and a great way to do that is with extensions. I’ve never worn hair extensions before but this is the perfect platform to give it a try and tell you what I think.
KoKo Couture offer some great styles for wigs and extensions with lots of shades to match to your hair, I went for a 3/4 half head wig and straight extensions. I used both of these together along with a handmade flower and pom pom crown to create a natural, tousled look. To add a touch of festival (I am hanging onto summer for as long as possible) I wore Face Lace and some metallic nail varnish, some vintage flares, a loose white shirt and vintage tan leather bag. A mixture of vintage jewellery and tan leather belt completes the mermaid, boho style.
This is very different to how I would normally style or dress and I think the flexibility of the hair extensions and wig allowed the look to be so different, I’m looking forward to exploring further looks with these hair pieces over the next few months…
LET’S talk about some gorgeous handmade fine jewellery. Ethically sourced jewellery designed and crafted with love by Lo And Cicero. Grace is the aesthetic marvel behind Lo And Cicero and along with the support of her wonderful doggies she creates unique pieces with fair-trade and recycled Sterling Silver, Rough Diamonds and Semi Precious Stones. Grace is from Cambridge and named her brand after her French Bulldog and Pug, you have to check out their Instagram, so cute! Let’s find out more…
HW: What is your background and how did it lead you to the world of jewellery design?
GRACE: I was always doing something creative when I was little, more often than not it was a barbie makeover (complete with multicoloured hair and tattoos) or making a potion of rose petals and mud in the garden! After school I did a Foundation Degree in Art and Design and decided that fashion was the way forward for me.
I went to the London College of Fashion and studied Fashion Make-Up and Design. I worked in the fashion industry for a while as a make-up artist, which I loved and it allowed me to work with some brilliant people and companies, but I found that it wasn’t creative enough.
I was always most interested in the accessories on fashion shoots, so I did a jewellery course at Central St. Martins and I loved it! I still do make up for weddings, but most of my time is spent designing and making jewellery.
HW: What people/places/things do you look to for inspiration?
GRACE: I would say that nature is my biggest inspiration at the moment, the beautiful detail on a dragonfly wing, the angular shapes in crystal formations and the smooth curves on bones are all massive sources of ideas for me. I recently went to Turkey and I love all the traditional Turkish and Lycian jewellery, it’s so intricate and I think all the filigree and goldwork is beautiful. I am hoping to do some pieces influenced by my travels soon! I want to make pieces that are delicate and pretty but still very modern and unique.
HW: I love your doggies on Instagram, do they have any influence on your work?
GRACE: Lola and Cicero are my little fur babies. My fiancé and I got them at a difficult time in our lives and we realised that there was no point in putting off something that you want to do because you are waiting for the ‘right time’! If you want it, do it! And that is why I set up Lo and Cicero Jewellery. I have made a few pieces directly influenced by the dogs, for example I made a pendant that was cast from one of Lola’s baby teeth and a little pug face pendant. Lola is also the face of Lo and Cicero, every piece of jewellery is packed in a box with a wax seal of Lola’s portrait!
HW: If there were no limits what would be your dream design project?
GRACE: My dream project would probably be making something extravagant and opulent using precious stones and metals! For example a ring with droplets of gold holding ethically sourced diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and morganite. It would still be very organic looking, soft round bubbles with geometric crystals poking through. Or maybe a gold skull buried in a ring of free form gold and stones. Excessive but natural!
HW: Do you see any other products in your future or will you be concentrating on jewellery?
GRACE: At the moment I will be focusing mainly on Lo and Cicero jewellery. I would love to explore other creative projects in the future though, I love sewing and embroidery, so maybe something that involves that. I love fashion, especially fashion for kids. Is that weird for someone who isn’t a parent?! There’s nothing better than a stylish baby, apart from maybe a stylish doggy!
HW: What are your plans for the next few years with regards to Lo And Cicero?
GRACE: In the next few years I would love to establish Lo and Cicero as a company known for beautiful, modern and ethical jewellery. At the moment I use recycled silver and ethically sourced diamonds. I would like to expand on this and use only materials that are completely cruelty free. I also use a synthetic silk thread, which is not only stronger than natural silk but nothing was killed in the process of making it! I would love to have my jewellery in boutiques like Kabiri, a London based store that features contemporary jewellery designers. Gorgeous shop!
HW: Who would your ideal collaboration be with?
GRACE: If I could choose anyone it would probably have been Alexander McQueen. I loved his dark beautiful designs, he seemed to draw a lot of influence from nature and the world around him. I also love Nick Knight, a photographer who has won multiple awards for his stunning and experimental work. He plays with colour, shape, pattern and movement in his work and the results are always gorgeous.
HW: What do you like to do for fun, when you’re not designing?
GRACE: When I’m not designing and making jewellery I’m usually doing something that involves the dogs. Either stealing cuddles, going for walks or taking an obscene amount of photos of them! I also love traveling, dying my hair, wasting time on Pinterest, drinking cocktails with friends and baking vegan treats for my fiancé (everyone loves cake!). A lot of my spare time at the moment is spent planning our wedding, which has inspired me to create some jewellery pieces for bridesmaids and the bridal party. And yes, Lola and Cicero will be at the wedding, dressed appropriately! ♠
Interview by Helen S Stanley, photographs courtesy of Lo & Cicero.
THERE’S no denying that Angelina Jolie can draw anyone in with a smirk and wink. She can raise one of her eyebrows and clench her jaw in a way that makes you wonder if she’s about to jump your bones or scold you. But her real talent is that even with her strong features, she’s able to manipulate her entire appearance and vibe with nothing more than a quick costume change.
Jolie first came on the scene using her bold looks for harsher characters, such as Gia Carangi in the biopic of the model’s rise to fame and drug issues. She also played the conniving Gloria McNeary in Hell’s Kitchen, and the manipulative sociopath Lisa in Girl, Interrupted. Loose tanks and men’s button ups usually completed her disheveled appearance, all specifically designed to give a physical representation of her inner turmoil.
And of course, she’s played dozens of variations of the strong female cop/agent that can wield a gun just as impressively as she can rock a skin-tight leather ensemble like in Tomb Raider. As strong as her presence is on the screen, it’s only magnified by her is physical stature. Roles in films such as Mr. & Mrs. Smith, The Bone Collector, Taking Lives, and Wanted all featured Jolie as a strong, crime-fighting authority figure with a more masculine dress.
But she’s also capable of pulling off looks that are the total opposite of her gritty roles. She can just as flawlessly don the softer look of a Southern belle and debutant (True Women) or a bubbly blonde news anchor (Life, or Something Like It). While her character was deceitful in The Tourist, her intended look as a warm, engaging, and feminine character is emphasized with her clothing. Her gorgeous high-fashion style resembles the classic look of Sophia Loren with a modern twist of inspiration from sophisticated beauty Kate Middleton.
The most feminine, and gentle character she’s played however was likely the role of Christine Collins, the mother of a toddler in Changeling. Set in 1920s Los Angeles, the film and Jolie’s performance have received well-deserved accolades. It’s described on Picturebox Films as “the definitive role of her entire career” in their teaser page for the film. And in terms of how she looked, Clothes On Film said that throughout the film, Jolie suited the time period perfectly. They make particular mention of “the unstructured dresses and cloche hats seem made to accentuate her striking, oh-so photographic features.” They added, “In just about every possible way Changeling is a costume tour de force.”
They also discussed the importance of her dress for the setting of the film. Jolie had to represent a working women after the Great War, which had allowed women the opportunity to take on positions of employment that were traditionally reserved for men. Subsequently, the wardrobe of the time reflected the social change, as women began wearing their hair shorter and downplaying their curves. Jolie’s character had a few high-class pieces such as her fur coat, and she wore it frequently as a struggling single mom of the time would have done. Most of her other pieces were matched the everyday style of a working single mother of the ’20s. She kept her hair short and wore loose-fitting, mostly neutral dresses that hid her figure.
While it might surprise some to see her with softer attire, it still isn’t her most shocking look, that came when she starred in Salt. She once again played a badass agent with dozens of fun wigs and costumes. However, the one that left the most lasting impression is when her character went undercover as a male naval officer, complete with facial prosthetics and a clean military cut wig. The actress’ fan page on Facebook says that look was so convincing that her son didn’t recognize her. Apparently Brad Pitt refused to kiss her because she looked so unlike herself.
“Brad wouldn’t kiss me,” she told www.dailymail.co.uk. “He wouldn’t go there.”
DRESSES are one of my favourite things to wear because they’re so easy! It’s just one piece, no messing, simple to style up or down. I have two really gorgeous shirt dresses, both very different in style but similar in tone. The first is a shirt dress is by LEVI’S from Sojeans. I love the colour and the overall look is laid back, all I did was chuck on some ballet flats and teamed it with a nude skull clutch from Loulebelle. I added a vintage gold bangle, a collection of gold and silver necklaces and my trademark silver skull ring. I also wore some Beauty Sparks Cleopatina by Face Lace to give the look a little something extra.
This second printed shirt dress was designed by Fearne Cotton for very.co.uk, I saw this beauty at the #veryFearne event earlier this month and fell in love. I styled it with big heels, a skull necklace and a leather clutch, but it could just as easily be styled with flats and a big bag for a more pared down look.
Styling & Photography by Helen S Stanley.
A MASSIVE fan of Cosmopolitan – even more so because I’m shortlisted again for Best Established Fashion Blog at the Cosmo Blog Awards, vote here! (I had to get that in) – so when I heard about #FashFest I couldn’t wait to find out more and tell you all about it. Cosmopolitan #FashFest is a new brand extension for Cosmopolitan following the successful launch of Cosmopolitan FASHION – Cosmopolitan’s standalone fashion magazine. Taking place week commencing 15th September, #FashFest consists of five live fashion events in five days – offering consumers the ultimate fashion experience. Events include:
♥ A fashion master class from the industry’s top celebrity insiders including Pixie Lott, Victoria Adcock (stylist to Cheryl Cole and Victoria Beckham) and Ben Cooke (Nicole Scherzinger’s hairdresser),
♥ The ultimate fashion night in – an online shopping extravaganza with fantastic discounts, offers and treats from some of the UK’s biggest fashion brands,
♥A live catwalk show, which will showcase the best and most affordable A/W14 collections from our favourite retailers, all styled by the Cosmopolitan fashion team. Consumers will be able to directly shop the looks from the show the next morning via http://www.cosmofashfest.co.uk,
♥ The ultimate fashion wrap party where readers and fashion brands can network and celebrate a unique five days of fashion-dedicated events.
Cosmopolitan will combine the power of live events with digital scale in order to showcase the key trends for Autumn/Winter 2014 and how to wear them. A bespoke content hub, www.cosmofashfest.co.uk, will also host all the #FashFest dedicated content for the week and will include live Google+ Hangouts, user-generated content, exclusive flash sales, behind the scenes, talking heads and fashion and beauty videos.
Not only is all this awesomeness going on, there are loads of great brands involved too, including Accessorize, ASOS, Brand Alley, BooHoo.com, Dorothy Perkins, Florence and Fred, Miss Selfridge, Next, Oasis, Primark, River Island, Schuh, Yumi and Very.co.uk
If you’d like to find out more about this incredible event check out the website http://www.cosmofashfest.co.uk/ and if you would like to buy tickets for the fashion show you can get them here. This is definitely a fashion event not to be missed so make sure to check out the chat with fellow Cosmo lovers by using #FashFest on Twitter and Instagram. I don’t have time to go to many events but even I’m clearing my schedule for this one, see you there!
Information and imagery courtesy of Cosmopolitan UK.
“They were smart and sophisticated, with an air of independence about them, and so casual about their looks and clothes and manners as to be almost slapdash. I don’t know if I realised as soon as I began seeing them that they represented the wave of the future, but I do know I was drawn to them. I shared their restlessness, understood their determination…”- Colleen Moore
INFLUENCED by fabulous flapper style, heavy on the Gatsby with a touch of rock ‘n’ roll, I combine vintage, high street & designer to achieve something beautiful and unique. A long time fan of 1920’s style and attitude way before it’s latest revival, I decided it was time to do it my way. So, revel in this vision and immerse yourselves in the influence of the 1920’s, you’ll be a modern-day flapper before you know it…
OUTFIT ONE: Vintage fur coat, diamante flower ring & statement necklace from Loulebelle, vintage lingerie set by Janet Reger, headscarf as before, shoes by Kurt Geiger, ombre purple wig from Wonderland Wigs. OUTFIT TWO: Vintage green printed kimono jacket by Frank Usher, stepped cream top from Loulebelle, cream knee-high socks from John Lewis, shoes by Kurt Geiger, ombre purple wig from Wonderland Wigs, earrings from Loulebelle, hair accessory stylists own. OUTFIT THREE: Paid to Play cropped vest top by Red Lace District, wide leg trousers from Primark, purple beret vintage, photographic print clutch bag from Dorothy Perkins, brogue style shoes (just seen) Boot Co from Timberland, jet bead necklace vintage, silver skull ring from The Great Frog, diamante bracelet from Loulebelle, shoes by Kurt Geiger, ombre purple wig from Wonderland Wigs. OUTFIT FOUR: Vintage silk kimono dress & vintage headscarf from Seek & Revive, shoes by Kurt Geiger, ombre purple wig from Wonderland Wigs, faux pearl necklaces from Primark, skull & glitter pendant from Anna Lou of London, diamante bracelet & flower statement ring from Loulebelle. OUTFIT FIVE: Cashmere jumper from Johnstons of Elgin Cashmere (past season), vintage satin & lace lingerie by Janet Reger, disco glitter clutch bag from Accessorize, necklaces as before, headscarf & bracelet from Loulebelle, silver skull ring as before, shoes by Kurt Geiger, ombre purple wig from Wonderland Wigs.
Styling & Photography by Helen S Stanley, Model Leigh Rees-Reynolds, Creative Assistance Jessica Speller.
MY interior style has definitely changed over the years, even more so since my partner and I have been together. His style is so incredible it’s hard not to be influenced by it, mine is probably a little more on the odd side so between the two of us we create a good aesthetic balance. I haven’t featured much in the way of interior style on Helen’s Wardrobe so I thought now was as good a time as any to share a few snaps from our home.
We live in a late Victorian townhouse, an older section of which forms part of an 16th century Coach House, so we’re lucky to have the high ceilings, picture rails and fireplaces of the late Victorian era as well as beams and unusual features from the coach house. We’re in the middle of redecorating and renovating as well as running our own custom car business (which means decorating isn’t finished yet!) so I couldn’t include the rooms which aren’t complete, but there are lots to get an idea of our interior style…
Our sitting room is dominated by a large book wall which was built by my Dad and my partner Stephen. It houses our growing collection of car and music books, as well as my Douglas Coupland collection, Shakespeare, numerous tattoo and pirate books, novels, biographies, interior and fashion publications and many many Hot Wheels. That said, we’ve still got a fair way to go to fill it, only half of it is shown above!
We’ve collected a lot of photography and art between us with a lovely mixture of limited edition pieces, film posters and iconic Getty Images of motor sport and musicians. We both love cars and music and this is reflected in our interior – especially my office which I couldn’t photograph due to its large collection of car parts for Skull & Pistons Garage!
Our kitchen is a hub for music and socializing especially as it leads out to the garden. It’s also really bright and has enough space for a bar woo hoo! Stephen also has a record player in here which gets a lot of use. We’ve mixed design classics with old found pieces and the Instax wall is great for displaying my obsession with instant photography.
The main bedroom is dominated by our wardrobes (built by Stephen) and fireplace all of which are painted dark slate grey and finished off with a cow skull. There’s a huge vintage Union Jack flag above our bed, creepy Alice in Wonderland prints above my dressing table and Mick Jagger photographs on one of the walls. The second bedroom is very light, it reminds me of an old-fashioned hospital with the light grey walls and metal bed frame which is why I like it so much. There are antique skulls and antlers scattered around the house and random vintage Playboys which I got for one of Stephen’s birthdays. The one featured above is from his year and month of birth, I got it direct from Playboy in the States and it just happened to be a special edition.
The guest bathroom is in attic of the oldest part of the house and has loads of beams as well as a giant bath tub. Obviously there are skulls in here too, Vogue to read in the bath and we couldn’t be without Soveral products because we love Alex and her creations!
Photographs by Helen S Stanley.
HELEN’S Wardrobe is celebrating four years of blogging this month and what better way to celebrate style, culture, aesthetics and general candy for the soul than to talk about art. Curated by local Dutch collective, Mountain Dew® and The Green Label Gallery feature up and coming European street artists…
Celebrating street art and urban culture, Mountain Dew® and Dutch art foursome, Chaotic Bastards, will curate an innovative, crowd-sourced gallery unveiled in one of Europe’s most creative capitals – Amsterdam. The Green Label Gallery will culminate in Amsterdam alongside the first-ever European Dew Tour Am Series – an action-packed, daylong amateur action sports competition slated for August 31st at the iconic Museumplein. The Green Label Gallery exhibition begins with a stark white space and a gallery-quality printer – the HP Designjet Z3200 Photo Printer – as its canvas. Over the course of three days, the space will be transformed into vibrant, inspired artwork representing a badge of originality as the curated pieces are printed and hung in real-time, alongside live art demonstrations by Chaotic Bastards.
“Mountain Dew is a cultural instigator, deeply connected with our target group. We’ve been successful with action sports and continue to broaden into art, music and other creative expressions because Dew consumers are multifaceted and have many passions,” said Kurt Frenier, Vice President, Global Brand Development, Beverages, PepsiCo. “With Green Label Gallery, we’re showcasing one of these creative passions, urban art, building a unique and authentic Dew experience around art culture.”
Beginning August 4th and continuing through August 30th, 2014 artists from around Europe can submit their digital street artwork by posting on Instagram with #GreenLabelGallery. From art in digital form and photos of executed street art, to imaginative sketches of artwork-to-come from amateur and professional artists alike, selected pieces will be featured for exhibition at the contemporary Walls Art Gallery in Amsterdam, as well as on http://www.green-label.com/gallery for truly global art appreciation.
“Together with other artists, we’ll unleash an artistic harmony on to the Green Label Gallery walls,” said Chaotic Bastards. “When many artists work together magic happens – we can’t wait to be inspired and see the art come to life!”
The exhibit will be open to the public as the Green Label Gallery is created Thursday, August 28th through Saturday, August 30th at Walls Art Gallery Amsterdam, with the complete exhibition viewable Sunday, August 31st.
Information & imagery courtesy of PepsiCo.
HELEN’S Wardrobe is four years old this month and to celebrate this milestone as well as being shortlisted again for Best Established Fashion Blog at the Cosmopolitan Awards I am creating some special blog features.
Regular HW readers and social media followers will know I am a lover of pirates, rock music and fashion, (as well as cars, tattoos and my dog Molly) so I’ve created a feature inspired by this love. Channeling my inner pirate with a combination of vintage and designer style, treasures and beauty products, a little bit of everything. I would dress like a pirate everyday if I could and actually I think this might be a good look to enable me to get away with it!
My beautiful vintage Ossie Clark dress was kindly given to me by my dear friend Jessica, it belonged to her mother Lesley who was a model and she danced with Elton John in this dress, just after he stared in the film Tommy in 1975. Never have the lyrics to my favourite Elton John song been so fitting:
“…Blue jean baby, L.A. lady, seamstress for the band,
Pretty eyed, pirate smile, you’ll marry a music man,
Ballerina, you must have seen her dancing in the sand,
And now she’s in me, always with me, tiny dancer in my hand…”
I styled my vintage Ossie Clark dress with classic Vivienne Westwood Pirate boots £370, a handmade scarf from a market in Paros, silk Louis Vuitton scarf tied around my hand £95 (previous season), skull & crossbones pendant £80 and skull ring £160 from The Great Frog, bangles and bead necklace are vintage and a true treasure in the form of an Emozioni coin necklace.
I wore the 33mm Time Traveller coin £39.95 with the 18″ silver & rose gold plated belcher chain £49.95 and 33mm Capri silver coin keeper £89.95. I also have the 33mm Art Deco dawn silver & rose gold plated coin £49.95 and the 33mm Consistenza web rose gold plated coin £49.95, I can mix and match the coins depending on my outfit and collect more coins and chains to style even more looks, each working beautifully to create anything from glamour to rock ‘n’ roll. Perfect for my pirate style. I’m also wearing a black wig by Wonderland Wigs.
You can’t be a pirate without grog and so in this beautiful bottle is Crystal Head Vodka, and the pirate glow is courtesy of a Shimmer Box in bronze £4.99 from Beauty UK. My tamed brows are thanks to an Eyebrow kit £3.99 also from Beauty UK. Jewellery and scarf as before. ♠
Photography & styling by Helen S Stanley. All prices correct at time of publication.
CERTAINLY not the girliest of girls (a car nut and pirate enthusiast actually) but I do like a bit of pink. So I decided to collect all my lovely pink blogger mail together and show it all off in one stylish mini feature…
Pink bag previous season by Jump From Paper, Puma Trinomic Trainers, pink leather organiser from Filofax, pink lip gloss from Beauty UK, pink nail varnish by Bio Sculpture Gel, bespoke statement flamingo necklace by Plastic Bat, pink instant camera by Instax, bubblegum hand wash & strawberry hand gel by Carex.
Photos by Helen S Stanley.
SO last night I ventured into London town with Jess to see Fearne Cotton’s new collection for Very.co.uk. We were invited to The Groucho Club in Soho to mix cocktails, see the gorgeous collection and hang out with Fearne. Good times.
‘The collection is all about having fun with your clothes – dressing in a way that makes you feel empowered and at your best. I like to be spontaneous and wear whatever feels right on the day so there’s bold prints, versatile pieces you can mix for day or night as well as pieces to dress up in.’ Fearne Cotton.
The collection is very strong, I would be happy to wear anyone of the pieces and I really like the fact that the silhouettes, fabrics, colours and patterns lend themselves to any style. Each piece is indeed versatile making it super simple to choose a look, rock it up, glam it up or dress it down. The prices are really reasonable and the garments are good quality, Fearne’s style is pretty epic and you can see this reflected in her collection for Very.
You must just be sitting on the edge of your seat pondering my outfit selection so here it is, it was hot, we were in London, the only option was floaty. So I chucked on a vintage silk kimono dress, slung a studded belt around it and adorned myself in jewellery, adding a bit of designer with my trusty Aspinal bag. Bosh. Done.
So overall, I’m really impressed with Fearne’s collection, it’s different, stylish and wearable and that makes for a successful AW14 wardrobe if you ask me. Love it. So here are a few snaps of Jess and I checking out the collection and the cocktails, thank you Very.co.uk…
We found the booth…
I don’t really care for traditional weddings or the sort of people who turn their weddings into a self obsessed circus. The trouble with traditional weddings is, they’re not traditional anymore. The grooms generally get their attire and styling completely wrong, and the women, well fake tan and crystals does not a bride make. (And let’s be honest, most are kidding themselves wearing white aren’t they?)
The other irritating aspect of weddings is the nerve of people with regards to their wedding list. First of all, traditionally, gifts were given to couples who didn’t live together before their nuptials, to help them make a home together after their wedding. These days most people are already living together and sprogged up by the time they get hitched so why on earth should we spend our hard-earned cash on a flat screen TV for someone else? No to mention the fact that is costs us enough to attend these weddings in the first place. Some even have the cheek to ask guests to pay towards their honeymoon, I don’t think so, why should we pay for someone else to lounge about in the sunshine? Pay for it yourselves, we need our own holiday – why do you think we’re drinking so much at your reception?!
So how do you do it? Well, are you religious? No? Then don’t get married in a Church (unless it’s an abandoned one). Find an unusual location, (not a mansion, because unless it’s your mansion these are just delusions of grandeur) a farm, your own house, ruins, a wood… and if you can’t be doing with all that then Vegas is the answer.
When it comes to planning, if you have a personality use it to plan your wedding, if you don’t have loads of money then call in favours and keep it simple, it’s about your marriage as a whole, not about your wedding day anyway. Use your music taste, your loves, your memories and experiences to build something great and for goodness sake don’t say the word “Wedding”, it’ll add 50% on the price of everything. Just say it’s a party, because that’s what it should be. Make mood boards if you need to, or if you’re creatively inept then ask a style savvy friend to help you put one together. Avoid white fluff, go to a dress-maker or buy a dress from a designer, buy something you’ll want to wear again: this approach will help you decipher what is you, rather than a desperate wedding obsessed loon. If your wedding planning is stressful then it’s no fun and you’re doing it all wrong, you’ll end up spending way too much money, resenting the whole thing and start off your married life looking harassed.
So after all that ranting, we jumped in the Land Rover and headed over to a local abandoned church to have some fun and show you how Helen’s Wardrobe does weddings…
Wedding Look One: Leigh wears – hand-made corset top by stylist, vintage tulle skirt from Japan, black fascinator by Hats Inspired, trainers from Converse, glitter heart pendant by Plastic Bat, silver skull ring from The Great Frog, black bob wig from Wonderland Wigs. Adam wears – faux fur shaggy coat by Kate Moss for TopShop, white shirt & black skinny jeans from TopMan, black tie from Burton, cowboy boots, vintage sunnies & jewellery all models own.
Wedding Look Two: Leigh wears – vintage silk kimono, black slip by Tokyo Doll, spike silver shoes by Kurt Geiger, flower crown made by stylist, glitter heart pendant by Plastic Bat, silver skull ring from The Great Frog, black bob wig from Wonderland Wigs. Adam Wears – faux fur shaggy coat by Kate Moss for TopShop, white shirt & black skinny jeans from TopMan, black tie from Burton, cowboy boots, vintage sunnies & jewellery all models own.
Wedding Look Three: Leigh wears – white customised spinal tee by stylist, white fascinator by Hats Inspired, jeans from Cheap Monday, trainers from Converse, Welcome to Las Vegas necklace by Plastic Bat, silver skull ring from The Great Frog, black bob wig from Wonderland Wigs. Adam wears – vintage Levis denim jacket, white t-shirt & black skinny jeans from TopMan, vintage Las Vegas belt, cowboy boots, vintage sunnies & jewellery all models own.
Photography & styling by Helen S Stanley. Creative Assistance, Props, Location, Jessica Speller. Models Leigh Rees-Reynolds & Adam Speller.
A great way to introduce something new to your look is to style up your feet. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to buy new shoes, you could add socks. A great little accessory to transform your look through colour and pattern from the toe up. I’ve been messing around with Oroblu, gorgeous Italian hosiery, and trying each style with a selection of my shoes. I mixed up flats and heels with clashing colours and patterns for a unique look and had loads of fun doing it. I would definitely recommend trying this next time you head out for distinctive, happy feet!…
All socks from Oroblu’, shoes stylists own. Photography & Styling by Helen S Stanley & Stephen Turner.
HELPING out on our first Skull & Pistons Garage project I’ve had more dirt and grease on my face than make-up lately so there’s really no better time to review some much-needed beauty products from Joan Collins Timeless Beauty and Ponds.
I generally stick to two types of make-up, smokey eyes with subtle lip colour or black eye liner flicks with red lips which leads me onto some gorgeous products from Joan Collins Timeless. The Compact Duo with a neutral powder and red lipstick (in Helene) is the perfect combination for make-up on the go, ideal for a quick touch up when you’re on a night out. The red lipstick has a blue undertone which suits my skin. The Eyeshadow Quad in Misty Blacks & Silver is the ideal palette for creating a smokey eye. Easy to blend colours in a beautiful compact which suit a cooler skin tone. The Contour Eye Liner Pencil in Black is a great alternative to liquid eye liner, easy to glide across the eye and blends easily to change the look. My skin is super sensitive and this eye liner didn’t irritate at all, its natural quality ingredients make this an essential product for any make-up bag. I love the packaging too, so elegant and classic.
So after a face full of gorgeous make-up a good cleanser is essential. I’ve been using Ponds Cold Cream Cleanser everyday as part of my cleansing routine, it’s a great way to achieve a healthy complexion, combined with Eye Contour Cream, which believe me I need. This helps to soften and restore the skin under the eye, with vitamin E for improved hydration. These products felt light on my skin with a delicate fragrance, I’m super happy with the results so far and will definitely be buying them again.
Review and photography by Helen S Stanley.
AS much as I’d love to just chuck on a Harley tee and rock up somewhere looking fabulously effortless, that just doesn’t happen with me, it actually takes a lot of effort to go from unkept troll to unkept doll. My obsession with vintage Harley tees knows no bounds so I thought a feature on yet another Harley tee was due. So, with smokey eyes, a brand new leather jacket, muddy Dr Martens, a customised vintage Harley tee and purple hair I give you unkept chic…
Hooded black leather jacket was £250 now £175 from Sojeans, Harley Davidson Tee is vintage, denim shorts are vintage, studded white belt previous season from H&M, cherry red Dr Martens £100 from Dr Martens, purple wig £23.99 from Wonderland Wigs, Love/Hate beanie made by me, silver skull ring £160 from The Great Frog, eye shadow quad in misty blacks & silver £25 by Joan Collins (full review feat Joan Collins Beauty coming soon).
All prices correct at time of publication. Photography and styling by Helen S Stanley.
HELEN’S WARDROBE gets involved in lots of things and this week I’m involved in Bingo, yep you heard me right. Along with a group of other bloggers I’ve created 1 of 90 videos simulating the 90 “original” bingo calls, these videos will all go live for the next 6 weeks. My little video is 83 Time for Tea, have a gander and laugh if you like! I’ve always been obsessed with Alice in Wonderland so I themed my video accordingly. Bingo!..
LAST thursday was piña colada day and although I celebrated a little late I did at least celebrate! So with a frozen piña colada from Parrot Bay, a bit of sparkle and a well overdue excuse to unwind, I set up my own little piña colada appreciation society in the garden. After a long, hot day working on our first project at Skull & Pistons Garage I was certainly in need of a treat, especially in the form of a frozen cocktail so I also added a mojito into the mix!
I did have another reason for cracking open some frozen cocktails, Helen’s Wardrobe has once again been shortlisted for Best Established Fashion Blog at the Cosmopolitan Blog Awards, so if you love reading my ramblings please take a few minutes to vote for me, woo hoo!..
Please drink responsibly folks! Photography by Helen S Stanley.
A lover of all things bag related, especially clutch bags, it’s always good to discover something new and different. Grace Atelier Deluxe is a gorgeous line of designer bags by Fiori Zafeiropoulou, an Athens-based designer. The collections have an aesthetically unique appeal, full of quality, each design makes a statement. I do love a good statement piece, it means the rest of your outfit can be quite simple.
I’ve styled my beautiful Grace Atelier Deluxe bag with a jersey tube top, jersey harem style trousers and wedges all in neutral tones, I’ve then added a bright statement tribal style necklace for a bit more colour and to compliment the clutch bag. This outfit is perfect for hot weather and it’s super comfy and stylish in an effortless sense, because there’s not too much fuss. Now we just need to sun to come back out so I can wear it!…
I wore: Black jersey tube top £3.99 from H&M, jersey harem style trousers £15 from a market in Paros Greece, shoes previous season from Shoezone, tribal necklace £24.99 from Loulebelle, statement clutch bag from €230 by Grace Atelier Deluxe.
Prices correct at time of publication. Photographs & styling by Helen S Stanley.
MONDAY is a good day to review some beautifying products, I need the most help on a Monday so BB Cream, Body Butter and super cute accessories are ideal to perk up a very tired blogger/custom classic car garage co-owner (it was necessary to add this bit as this is a new business and needs marketing!).
I haven’t used The Body Shop products in quite a while so I was looking forward to trying out their Moringa Body Butter and All-in-One BB Cream: the body butter smells divine and was a perfect re-hydration solution for my sensitive skin and I’ve been wondering for quite a while what the hell BB Cream is and now I know, it’s awesome. This one is a colour adapting tinted cream and matched my skin tone perfectly. It also smells great and doesn’t feel heavy, I tried it in 01 and although I initially thought this might be a little light it blended right in. So, these lovely products need a home and luckily I have just the thing, a super cute Mademoiselle Make-Up Bag from Catseye London which is part of their new collection and a pink Satchel Coin Purse which would also be perfect for a lip gloss: it’s nice to add a little kitsch glamour to your beauty regime and these are just the ticket.
So, whether you’re looking for little gifts or wanting to treat your self check out these little beauties…
Photography by Helen S Stanley.
I continue to branch out into lifestyle blogging as well as fashion and this week I have a food related review for you. I try to be healthy most of the time but every now and again we all need pizza. This is one of those times so I tried out one of the Chicago Town Take Away range, the pepperoni stuffed crust. Miraculously I resisted the temptation to make a ‘kids tea’ and combine pizza with baked beans and chips and opted instead for a salad to compliment this pizza treat. I was a little dubious about frozen pizza and also about the whole idea of a stuffed crust, but I was pleasantly surprised, the crust was stuffed with tomato sauce and the pizza tasted fresh. It was actually a little big for the two of us so I would recommend getting a few of these in if you’re having friends round, chuck in a few cold beers and a good film and you have the ultimate takeaway pizza. I definitely approve, especially because I’m not the best at culinary tasks and this was so easy to prepare that even I could manage it…
Photography by Helen S Stanley.
IT’S summer, for the most part, and with the sun comes exciting style. However a lot of people don’t know how to dress for warm weather, opting for vest tops and lots of jersey which can be unflattering, a little dated and certainly lacking in imagination. A great way to achieve style and comfort in the heat is to go for a playsuit, it’s actually quite easy too because your top and bottom are sorted in one! Be careful of strapless playsuits though, I’ve seen far too many ladies with saggy fronts these last few days and I don’t really care for that, so if you go strapless don’t go braless, you can find loads of good ones out there – try Wonderbra, please.
I’ve gone for an easy, super stylish playsuit from Loulebelle and teamed it with some statement sunnies, comfy heels and gorgeous Shebee beads which compliment the blues and browns and add personality as well as sparkle to the outfit. I added some Beauty UK matt bronzer for some complimentary colour and a vintage belt for good measure. Overall this is one of my favourite ensembles for summer and a great style edit with lots of skulls of course…
Playsuit £6.99 from Loulebelle, leather belt is vintage, heels previous season from Russell & Bromley, skull bead & swarovski crystal bracelet & necklace from Shebee (prices vary), matt bronzer £3.99 from Beauty UK, sunnies £250 from Tom Ford.
Prices correct at time of publication. Styling & photography by Helen S Stanley.
I love instant photography and have been using Instax for a while now to capture atmospheric imagery. A little while ago I shot and styled a pink shoot for an online magazine with the gorgeous Leigh Rees-Reynolds. Here’s how it turned out…
OUTFIT ONE: T-shirt (cropped by stylist) by Crown Love, vintage tulle skirt from Japan, candy coloured spike necklace by Mikey from Loulebelle, daisy earrings vintage, tea-cup ring by Tom Binns for Disney Couture, silver skull ring from The Great Frog, bangle & friendship bracelets from Loulebelle, cats ears made by stylist.
OUTFIT THREE: Bell sleeve dress vintage, faux fur coat by Kate Moss for TopShop (previous season), daisy earrings vintage, statement necklace from Loulebelle, woven clutch from Primark, Molly the dog stylist’s own.
Photographs taken with the Mini 8 from Instax.
Photography & styling Helen S Stanley, creative assistance Jessica Speller, model Leigh Rees Reynolds.