Road Trip Part 3, Our Home Movie…

FOLLOWING on from road trip part 1 and 2 my final feature on this amazing escapade is a home movie. Those who read my previous posts will know this road trip was to celebrate blogging for 5 years and trying to make my blog interesting along the way. Over those 5 years we’ve visited a derelict lido, an abandoned asylum, a defunct hospital and an abandoned theme park to name a few purely selfish jaunts, feeding my obsession with post apocalyptic wonderlands. These incredible places don’t stick around for long in this country, any excuse to cram in the new builds and these faded beauties are raised to the ground.

We filmed this home movie as we explored the abandoned theme park, skated around on a longboard, downed shots for dutch courage and generally had a great time. (We took loads of photos so make sure you check them out too). The movie is set to an amazing track called “Show Me The Money” by Lux Lisbon – such a great song! You can download “Show Me The Money” and their 11 track EP “Get Some Scars” for free.

Now time for the movie! I even chucked in some bloopers at the end…

On the road trip I wore: tie dye cropped AC/DC t-shirt from CID – Completely Independent Distribution, denim cut-off shorts are Tommy Hilfiger, checked shirt from Jack Spade, trainers from Gola, longboard from Skate Warehouse, friendship bracelets made by Jess, leather cuff & silver bracelet are vintage, skull ring from The Great Frog, aviators by Ray Ban. Leigh wore: customised Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat t-shirt (we changed it to rock) from CID – Completely Independent Distribution, shorts models own, high tops by Converse, friendship bracelets made by Jess, cuff from New Rock, aviators by Ray Ban, Budweiser camera is vintage. Jess wore: graphic t-shirt by Rum Knuckles, ripped skinny jeans & white pumps from Primark, friendship bracelets made by Jess, cuff from New Rock, aviators are vintage.

Lux Lisbon

Download this 11 track EP Get Some Scars by Lux Lisbon for free, you can also follow them on Twitter @LuxLisbonMusic and Facebook luxlisbonmusic

Road Trip Part 2, The Abandoned Theme Park…

THIS month on Helen’s Wardrobe to celebrate 5 years of blogging we went on a road trip, Road Trip Part 1 was all about the journey and next week I’ll be publishing the little film we made, along with some great music from Lux Lisbon. This week the blow out continues with the dream, an abandoned theme park. We packed up the car and drove to this post apocalyptic wonderland before it disappears forever under the foundations of a housing estate – an ominously significant sign of the times, anything of “dispensable beauty” will no doubt end up the same way. An obsession and one of my favourite places, day by day my strange utopia is demolished, so our road trip turned out to be not only a celebration it also became the final farewell to this faded beauty…
Abandoned theme parkAbandoned theme park

Abandoned theme park

Abandoned theme park

Abandoned theme park

Abandoned theme park

Abandoned theme park

Helen's Wardrobe

Helen's WardrobeAbandoned theme parkHelen StanleyHelen's WardrobeAbandoned theme parkHelen's Wardrobe

Helen's Wardrobe

With the fickle world of fashion becoming more and more cartoon like, I predict stripped down simplicity will take the lead very soon, the current attention seeking aesthetic seems to be at boiling point. Our road trip was a vision of unbrushed hair, tans and tomboy style, opting for minimal make-up, music and longboards over anything too complicated. With that look comes a natural confidence, being comfortable in your threads is surely the most important element of style. Even the “alternative” brands are inflicting strict rules on what constitutes being alternative now, a movement apparently against conformity dictating a uniform, oh dear this has gone wrong. Five years of blogging and many years working in the fashion industry has taught me that I can’t be arsed anymore, my representation through Helen’s Wardrobe and in my everyday look is purely selfish. Band tees, biker tees, skulls, pirates, rock ‘n’ roll, car dirt, the smell of beer, sea salt and coconut oil. That’ll do me. So here’s to the next five years, thank you for reading and feel free to stick around… ♠︎

I wore: tie dye cropped AC/DC t-shirt from CID – Completely Independent Distribution, denim cut-off shorts are Tommy Hilfiger, checked shirt from Jack Spade, trainers from Gola, longboard from Skate Warehouse, friendship bracelets made by Jess, leather cuff & silver bracelet are vintage, skull ring from The Great Frog, aviators by Ray Ban.

Leigh wore: customised Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat t-shirt (we changed it to rock) from CID – Completely Independent Distribution, shorts models own, high tops by Converse, friendship bracelets made by Jess, cuff from New Rock, aviators by Ray Ban, Budweiser camera is vintage.

Jess wore: graphic t-shirt by Rum Knuckles, ripped skinny jeans & white pumps from Primark, friendship bracelets made by Jess, cuff from New Rock, aviators are vintage.

I’d like to say a special thank you to Jack, our abandoned theme park friend, may we all meet again…

Helen's Wardrobe

Photography by Helen Stanley, Jessica Speller & Leigh Rees-Reynolds – Jack took the top one :)

Road Trip Part 1, The Journey…

I’VE been blogging for 5 years this month! It all started when I was a visual merchandiser and worked for a brand specialising in menswear, I wanted an outlet for women’s style so I started a fashion blog – Helen’s Wardrobe. 5 years down the line I’m a freelance blogger and the co-owner of Skull & Pistons Garage, I’ve worked with brands and designers from all over the world, shot some really memorable features and met some awesome people.

So what better way to celebrate my blog anniversary than a road trip with my amazing friends Jessica and Leigh?! We couldn’t possibly honour 5 years of poetic license in a more appropriate setting than that of an abandoned theme park, one of my favourite places and because we got so many great shots and footage I’ll be publishing the road trip in three features. They say the journey is just as important as the destination so this week’s feature is all about that, next week it’s all about the dream. So armed with an epic soundtrack, cameras, a longboard, pic ‘n’ mix and cheese burgers we set off on our road trip…
Road TripPic 'n' mixRoad TriplongboardRoad TripRoad TripRoad Trip

Jessica wears: customised t-shirt from Mambo, vintage sunglasses, handmade friendship bracelets, cuff from New Rock & denim shorts.

Leigh wears: Brian Ferry Kate Moss t-shirt from CID – Completely Independent Distribution, handmade friendship bracelets, cuff from New Rock & denim shorts.

I wore: customised t-shirt from Mambo, Ray Ban aviators, handmade friendship bracelets (thanks Jess!), vintage leather cuff, vintage silver bracelet, anchor necklace by Muru, silver skull ring from The Great Frog, skinny Levi’s, trainers from Gola, Voltage pintail longboard from The Skate Warehouse, Coca-Cola walkman is vintage circa 1980’s.

Photography by Helen Stanley & Jessica Speller, styling Helen Stanley. 

Tomboy Style…

I’VE never been a girly girl, I don’t like pink and it’s a mystery to me why everyone keeps going on about mermaids: I love cars, beer and music. Of course I love fashion but I love style more and I think tomboy comes under the latter. Back in the day I used to work in a surf and skate shop which is where I began visual merchandising, that was a big influence on my style. Hanging around with skaters and surfers tends to rub off on you. We used to skate round the store on longboards to pass the time and if I ever had to work weekends the store manager was required to bribe me with peanut M&Ms. Good times. Way before that I used to holiday in Newquay with my friends and spent ages in the surf shops – so it’s always been a draw. As I’m celebrating blogging for 5 years I’m also celebrating style and the tomboy aesthetic is my style.

The urban dictionary defines a tomboy as: A girl who dresses and sometimes behaves the way boys are expected to, often into more masculine things like “stronger” sports, computers, or cars. Stereotypically wears jeans, baseball caps, and denim vests/jackets. Often brought up with a lot of brothers or a child of a single father. I suppose that’s about right, visually to me it means a t-shirt, well-worn in jeans/shorts, sunglasses, messy hair (because I can’t be bothered to brush it), biker boots or trainers, tattoos and chunky silver rings. I have previously tried to be more feminine in my appearance but it never quite looked right, I’d usually end up putting biker boots with a dress to make it more me and I suppose that’s how individual style evolves. That’s not to say us tomboys don’t know how to dress up when it’s absolutely necessary, it just tends to look a bit more androgynous.Tomboy styleTomboy styleTomboy styleTomboy styleTomboy styleTomboy styleAs times goes on your visual representation tends to give way to life, for some that means too many baggy things and a general lack of interest in your appearance (big mistake) for others it actually means your true style comes through or comes back. You naturally grab whatever you feel comfortable in, your hair does whatever you have time for it to do and the same goes for make-up. The result for me is a tomboy rock chick type of thing. That’s where I started and that’s where I’ve ended up, I can’t say I’m happy with some of the visual nightmares I’ve worn in between but I’m happy with the end result. To conclude, that’s really what my blogiversary month is all about – celebrating style. Whether I’m super casual in trainers or I’ve made a tad more of an effort and thrown a dress my style remains individual and comfortable.
tomboy styletomboy styletomboy styletomboy style1st Outfit: Grey t-shirt H&M, denim shorts Tommy Hilfiger, Harrier suede trainers by Gola, skull ring & skull necklace from The Great Frog, anchor necklace by Muru, aviators by Ray Ban, crystal necklace by Maison Scotch, choker necklace by Dior, cuff from New Rock & silver bracelet is vintage.

2nd Outfit: Asymmetric printed dress by Prey of London, white studded belt from H&M, studded boots from New Look, jewellery and sunglasses as before.

Photography & styling Helen S Stanley. 

Monochrome With Melissa…

EVERYONE approaches styling in a different way, I often start an outfit build with one thing – a bag, a piece of jewellery or in this case a pair of statement shoes. As I’m simplifying my style lately, this week I’ve gone all monochrome with a pair of Melissa platform boots as the starting point for my outfit. The clean design and chunky platform are perfect to pair with simple jersey basics and chunky silver jewellery. The boots are the focus of the outfit, so I’ve kept the rest simple accessorizing with a pair of aviators and a clutch bag. The white t-shirt is a burned out jersey so you can see the crop top through it, if it’s super hot or you’re feeling daring you can do away with the tee altogether and just go for the cropped look.

Melissa is THE place to go for statement footwear, collaborating with iconic designers like Vivienne Westwood, Karl Lagerfeld and Jason Wu you can buy into the designer dream without killing your credit card. This Brazilian brand have been making their statement shoes for the last 30 years, creating iconic collections which have been included amongst the Design Museum’s list of “Fifty Shoes That Changed the World”.

Monochrome is a trend that keeps coming back, whether it’s Spring/Summer or Autumn/Winter it’s a look that’s simple to style and suits pretty much everyone. Whatever your interpretation is, keep it simple, clean and classic – make a statement with one piece and make that piece count…Melissa ShoesMelissa ShoesMelissa Shoes

Melissa shoes Melissa Stellar platform boots £125, black jersey skirt was £3.99 now £3.39 from H&M, black crop top £2.50 & white t-shirt £5.00 both from Primark, small chain previous season by Dior, sparrow necklace £165, skull pendant £80 & skull ring £160 all from The Great Frog, anchor pendant £53.95 by Muru from Lulu Winter, stud pendant previous season by Ti Sento Milano, silver bracelet is vintage, aviators £125 by Ray Ban and clutch bag is vintage. Prices correct at time of publication. Styling & photography by Helen S Stanley.  

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes…

I TRY to include foodie posts on here, despite the fact I am useless at cooking, because I love food! This week I’m making ice cream cone cupcakes which are perfect if you want to do something different for a party or just because you want cake. I love cakes and deserts with lots of colour, which is quite hard to achieve in this country because someone seems to have stolen all our E-numbers (I want them back!) So I’ve done my best to create some afternoon delight in the form of ice cream cone cupcakes… ice cream cone cupcake

Whip up some chocolate chip muffins (you specifically need to make muffins to get the right size and shape for the ice cream cones), this recipe makes 12 :

  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 50g cold unsalted butter cubed
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 150g milk or plain chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs , lightly beaten
  • 225ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 200 c/400 f. Line 12 muffin cases. Mix the flour and baking powder together in a large bowl. Rub in the butter untill the mixture is like breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and the chocolate chips (replace with cherries or blueberries if you prefer). In a separate bowl mix the eggs, milk and vanilla extract together, then pour the mixture all at once into the dry ingredients and mix briefly. Spoon the batter into the muffin cases and bake for 15-20 minutes or until risen, golden and firm to touch. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes.muffinsice cream cone cupcakeice cream cone cupcake

Make sure you buy ice cream cones with flat bottoms so they stand up, then you’ll need icing, sprinkles and chocolate stars to decorate – these are all from Sainsbury’s. Before you start to decorate you will need to shape your muffins so they fit into the ice cream cones, you will also need to round the edges off to achieve an ice cream scoop shape.

Once you’ve done that pipe icing all the way round the muffin, then sprinkle! The icing might slowly start to drip but don’t worry that all adds to the ice cream effect. Enjoy…

ice cream cone cupcakeice cream cone cupcakeice cream cone cupcake

Photography by Helen S Stanley.

Celebrate National Piña Colada Day with Funkin Cocktails…

JULY 10th is officially National Piña Colada Day so obviously I’m going to be celebrating that one! Funkin Cocktails have teamed up with Malibu rum for this special day, creating the perfect partnership. All you have to do is add ice to a glass, followed by a measure or two of Malibu rum, then top up with Funkin Piña Colada mix and if you don’t drink alcohol just leave out the rum. Easy! Funkin and Malibu have even created a National Piña Colada Day kit and party packs so you can turn it into a proper celebration.

Funkin mixers are 100% natural containing only sun ripened fruit and each mixer is created in consultation with some of the world’s best bartenders. If you don’t like Piña Coladas they do lots of other flavours too and if you do then sing along! “Yes, I like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain, I’m not much into health food, I am into champagne!…” (That’s been stuck in my head for days so I’m passing it onto you…)

So how will I be celebrating? Well, I was treated to a Piña Colada mixer from Funkin which I used along with Malibu to create this awesome cocktail in my favourite Tiki glass, I added some pineapple straws, then adorned some pineapple sunnies AND flamingo and pineapple print socks! Whilst this is all going on I’ll be burning a Piña Colada candle handmade by Kiss Air Candles. Stuff is going to be getting crazy round here on July 10th, good times!

National Pina Colada day

Photography by Helen S Stanley & Stephen Turner

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