UNCONDITIONAL

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My latest newstand discovery – actually, I’d been looking out for this one for a long while after discovering via Instagram, naturally, before finally spotting a copy in Wardour News. But it was worth the wait. This is possibly the best print I have ever bought and has provided endless inspiration.
‘Women, by women, for women’ is the gist, and it’s very simple and clean but powerful and feminine; filled with really striking imagery. It’s not too wordy, which is usually something I wouldn’t go for but the editorials are so gorgeous it doesn’t matter. From cover to cover, every single page is so beautiful it wouldn’t look out of place framed on the wall. I honestly don’t think I could ever bring myself to chuck it out. It’s earned a well-deserved spot on the permanent pile.

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Great print aside; my attentions lately have been firmly set on the digital sphere. Currently working on my final major project – I study Fashion Journalism at UCA for those who don’t know – I am painfully aware of the short space of time between now and deadline day. I won’t share too much now, but it is a digital project and I, hopefully, will be sharing a bit of the development alongside my usual ramblings in the coming weeks. Much Love.

OH, MANOLO

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My current penchant for “ugly” shoes has lead me into intresting territory. I’ve never been the girl pouring over Manolo’s, nor dreaming of walking the aisle in blue Hangisi pumps. However, looking past the garish satin bejewelled heels for which he is known, in my search for the perfect kitten heeled slingback my attentions have been turned to Manolo Blahnik (spurred on by Barbara Martelo’s incredible instagram feed). The enviable collection of pointy toed, kitten heeled babies in his arsenal has me gaga. And while my student purse strings might not be willing to stretch that far quite yet (graduation, hint hint…mum? dad?), that hasn’t prevented me wasting many a sleeping hour scouring Nordstrom for the perfect “one day” pair…
Image via Barbara Martelo

NYFW GOODNESS

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People are less and less surprised each season when I say New York is my personal favourite fashion week – maybe because I say it so often. In my second year of my Fashion Journalism degree I actually wrote a loooooong feature on how NYFW is overtaking Paris in terms of importance, and relevance. Personally, I feel NYFW is more inclusive than the “fashion capital of the world” (did you read that as though talking through your nose? That’s how I wrote it…) and in a generation of over-sharing we simply don’t have the patience for the closed-door policy lingering over Paris. Not that I don’t love many of the fantastic designers showing in Paris; Ellery, Celine, Balenciaga… The magic surrounding the city is undeniable, however I think NY designers are a bit more creative in terms of how they brand themselves, and perhaps have found a way to use storytelling mediums that are more relatable to us, as consumers. And that, I find very interesting.
Since a trip to NYC wasn’t on the itinerary I’ve been living vicariously through Instagram stories;  Camille Charriere, Lainy Hedaya, Courtney Trop, Elaine Welteroth and Eva Chen (duh) are awesome for this. And here are my NYFW picks…

THE ROW

The Olsen twins image has changed over the years, granted, but my desire to be one has remained unwavering since 2001. I know, I know – it’s not about the famous twins, it’s about the clothes. Except it is about the twins (for me at least). Sorry, not sorry. That’s not to say I don’t respect these ladies as designers and creative directors, though. It’s hard not to take these garments seriously. They speak for themselves. The lavish wool coats, visibly silky furs and sumptuous leathers they showcased last week couldn’t be farther from the girl-next-door look they pulled off a decade and a half ago. It’s no secret these clothes are designed for a monied women, but they will provide sartorial porn for ladies the world over – myself, included. However, beside the blatant luxury, there are small, almost unnoticeable, details that suggest The Row may be putting their two-pence into the political conversation (as did many other designers this season). Embroidered into the cuffs and hems of crisp poplin shirts were words such as ‘unity’, ‘hope’ and ‘dignity’.

BEAUFILLE

Over the last few seasons, Beaufille has successfully slipped out from under the radar and, personally, I think their consistently great lookbooks (shot by Sarah Blais) have a lot to do with that. From the incredible art direction to the perfect casting – these images really capture the essence of Beaufille. As always, the silhouette is key – Chloe and Parris Gordon have carved out a niche for strong, powerful shapes with touches of sensual sensitivity. Voluminous, flared sleeves are balanced with bare shoulders or a tiny, slither of a cut-out across one rib. The effect is stunningly beautiful, but not in an obvious or blatant way – in fact, more handsome.

RYAN ROCHE

This season, alongside the neutrals; white, ecru, latte, for which she is known, Ryan complimented her palette with a splash of Bordeaux. There has been a lot of red so far this season. While retaining the gorgeous, long, lithe silhouette of seasons past, Roche is toughening up her lady just a touch for Fall 2017 with darker hues and a few sets of sharp shoulders – on dresses with deep v-necks and butter-soft suede blazers (with matching pants, of course). Still sickeningly sweet (in a good way, don’t get me wrong), but no ballerina business this time round.

PROTAGONIST

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As per, there are no real surprises at Protagonist – though the *serious* quality speaks for itself. What I’d give for a perfectly unforgiving cream satin sheath dress, or the pristine tailored pitch-black suit. Georgia Lazzaro creates clothes with desire and sensuality -and a closet filled with Protagonist, while relevant today, would last you a lifetime. No gimmicks here.

VICTORIA BECKHAM

If the world of pop-culture salutes Queen Bey, the fashion community heralds VB (or at least I do). That is, as the sovereign of polished, not-too-done (nor undone, by any means) chic. The combination of flowing ‘midaxi’ (lol) skirts, oversized knits and slouchy boots is a look I’m seriously rooting for. 

RAG & BONE

Instead of a traditional runway show, Marcus Wainwright opted for an exhibition of images in which several Rag & Bone muses (and himself) wore the collection. While ditching the conventional show or presentation seems forward-thinking, and it is, it also felt somewhat nostalgic. Images of another New York City rise to mind – one I experienced via screen and, probably, you did too – of late night gallery openings, cocktails and supermodels. This nostalgia reflected also in the gritty flash photography and cool, casual styling, but stepped past the stereotyped 90s throwback train. A broad collection of denim, shearling jackets, suiting, tailored wool coats, fur-lined camo parkas, leathers, silk slips and camisoles, tweed twinsets and even a poncho-scarf. These are clothes to be lived in, and for those much cooler than you or I.
All images via Vogue Runway

FATHER TED

 

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After much searching, I finally found the perfect shearling coat. Seriously though, I feel like I’ve been loking for this jacket forever – like, since the moment of my conception. Okay, it’s been at least two years. I’ve tried on so many that weren’t quite right over the last few years, so you can only imagine my excitement when I found this baby –  and in the sale too! I’ve barely taken it off over the last fortnight, and it goes wonderfully with my current look; stressed and exhausted.
The reality that graduation is only a stone’s throw away is hitting home lately, and I’m dreading the so called ‘real world’ (have you heard of it? is it as bad as they say?). While finishing my dissertation, I started thinking seriously hard about exactly where I want to take my career post-graduation and , influenced by my disso (“How modern beauty brand, Glossier, targets the Millennial consumer through non-branding marketing techniques”, FYI), I started thinking about the possibility of working in the PR and marketing sector. I began scouring fashion workie for internships, hoping to gain a little experience in the area, to find out if this could geniunely something I take forward. I applied for a few, and hours later I had an email asking me in for an interview the next day. Feeling pretty scattered already, I replied, “of course!” and the next day I headed into central London on the train.
The train is where everything went a bit tits up, actually – firstly, my contact lense seemed to do some kind of flip in my eye leaving me in tears. It was pretty painful, but the fact that my eyes were streaming and mascara was running down my face was the real problem. I put in some (lense friendly) eye drops and hoped the pain would subside. The next thing I knew the train was being held at a red signal…by this time I decided removing my lenses was the only plausable action, and I emailed the interviewer to let them know I might be a few minutes late. I took out my lenses, please bear in mind I am practically blind without them, and chucked them away on my way off the train. Luckily I know the tube well enough to find my way to Oxford St sans contacts, so I ran through the gates and hopped on the tube, dashed through Regent St and tried not to get hit by any cars en route. Finally, I arrived at the address of the PR company – or at least the general area – then literally had to hug the wall in order to spot the right door number (oh, the shame) until a nice man took pity on me and asked where I was going and directed me to the right door. By the time I actually got inside, I felt like I was going to have a heartattack. The interview itself went terribly, unfortunately the interviewers sat so far across the table that I couldn’t actually see their faces and I was trying so very hard to keep eye contact – while not being able to see squat – that my mind went completely blank. Safe to say I was unsurprised when I didn’t hear back from them.
The only consolidation was this coat getting delivered momentarily after my arriving home, which at least stopped my cruppling in tears on the floor. On to the next…
Warehouse Coat | Missguided Crew Neck | Missguided Jeans

SCANDI STARS

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HOUSE OF DAGMAR FALL 2017

The first look, a sumptuous cashmere ecru knit paired with a gorgeous silk floor-legnth skirt, set the tone for the rest of the collection. Cosy, but so slick. The Dagmar girl portrays the coveted ‘just rolled out of bed’ look, without needing worry she actually looks like she just rolled out of bed. Polished enough, but never too done.
I’ve been seriously into House of Dagmar for many seasons past, it seems they can do no wrong and this collection was no exception. This Danish house has luxe casual layering down to a tee, and their palette is synonymous with my own wardrobe. I love the splashes of deep, dark red this season, the velvet boots feel like a more refined version of the garish, pillar-box ankle boots I’m spotting all over my instagram feed lately. The big, slouchy leather clutches tucked under the arms of each model look like the perfect fall partner, too. Dreamy.
Ph: runway shots via Vogue Runway, collage by yours truly.

I’M DONE

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You don’t try to get out of a chair, you either sit or you stand.
Something Kelly Cutrone said, in an interview from like 2010 – internet k-hole – I saw recently. It kept coming back to me as I sat at my desk trying to finish my dissertation. As I kept repeating it over and over to myself I vowed to stop ‘trying’ and to just damn well do it. Well, I took a bath (Lush’s Shark Infested Custard bath melt, heavenly) and went to bed, then I woke up and I did it.
Okay, that’s not entirely true. I woke up, then spent an agonising 16+hrs getting it finished, while simultaneously eating body weight in chocolate hobnobs/microwave popcorn/anything with zero nutritional value; went to bed at 2am, woke up at 5am – just to do one last read over before submitting it. Phew.
I can’t tell you how happy I am to be finished – and just in time, too, as (per usual) I’ve been struck down with a sore throat and stiff neck. Probably the result of late nights bent over my laptop and binge eating the aformentioned salty popcorn. Determined to stay on track though, too many content ideas buzzing around the brain to stop for  second. More often than not it’s mind over matter, and though we mustn’t underestimate the power of our minds we must remember we are in control of them.
RAYBAN AVIATORSZARA BLAZER | MANGO JEANS | SUPERGA TRAINERS

ABOVE WATER

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In true Kea fashion, this ‘new year, new me’ instalment is coming to you almost a month too late. I’ll spare you the faux soul-searching excuse and just say I’ve been slammed with uni work, and wish you all the health and happiness for 2017 (and beyond).  Hopefully, while I was up to my elbows in dissertation (still am), you were at the gym, drinking green juices and generally bettering yourself in whatever shape or form your resolutions came. Personally, my only resolution for 2017 is to keep my head above water. With graduation only five months away, I’m not sure whether I should be more panicked about the time leading up to then, and all that needs to be done, or the months following, which are an abyss of uncertainty. Safe to say I’m shitting myself. But I’m sure I’ll be fine. I will. I will, I will, I will. Won’t I?
And a note on fashion, since this is a ‘fashion blog’ after all… This is my ‘trying to stay chic while freezing my balls off’ look. Seriously though, post-christmas the morning frost has kind of lost it’s charm. Honestly, dressing oneself for outdoors is a marathon that I’d happily trade in for hours cocooned in Meg Ryan marathons, with feet strategically placed over the radiator (just me?), and an endless stream of baths. Baths are the only thing keeping me going right now.

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ZARA Blazer | MISSGUIDED Jumper | MISSGUIDED Jeans | PUBLIC DESIRE Boots

ALMOND TOES

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With something of a vendetta against toes that don’t point sharply ahead, a serious distaste for mary-janes, and no real cravings for velvet, no matter how plush, – nobody was more surprised than I at how hard and fast I fell for these almond-toed babies. Like black and navy, or ice-cream and fries, it shouldn’t work but given just the right circumstances they hit the nail right on the head.
Enter, my perfect seasonal shoe.
It feels like the longest time since I’ve had a chance to throw you an update. Looming uni deadlines made it near impossible to Instagram, let alone string a few words together or shoot an outfit. In fact, my ‘ootd’ arsenal consisted of workout clothes, leggings and unflatteringly huge jumpers until the end of last week, when I finally handed in the project that has been taking up so much of my time. So Instagram, and this website, surely benefited my absence.
Tomorrow I’m boarding the coach back to Bristol, where I’m spending a whole week with my family. I’m ridiculously excited to spend some time doing nothing, and I finally ignite my festive spirit. I haven’t got a tree, or any Christmas paraphernalia bar a few glittery candle holders, in the flat so I can’t wait to see the tree at home and feel a bit ‘hygge’. Hygge, like quinoa, is a word I say right out loud but always read it differently in my head (prounounced hoo-gah, in my head high-gh). Also, too excited to see my dogs – always in need of some puppy loving, and it’s the only way to do downtime.

 

Missguided Chunky Cold Shoulder Jumper | Mango Flared Trumpet Jeans | New Look Black Ankle Strap Block Heels

LANOLIPS

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A serious life (okay, lip) saver.
Australia is the new, more-beachy less-snobby, Paris. If only in my mind. From Phoebe Tonkin to Kym Ellery, Dion Lee to Sara Donaldson, Margaret Zhang to Ilona Hammer; Aussies do it best. No need to mention their skin. Lanolips, the latest Aussie miracle treatment gaining traction this side of the hemisphere, and my current go-to balm.
I was first introduced to Lanolips during a case of seriously chapped lips a month or so ago; nothing was helping to heal them and so I picked up a tube of the 101 ointment as a last resort. Literally overnight my lips were almost completely healed. After tossing countless pots and tubes of lip balms, scrubs and ointments, I was so happy to finally find one that works. I knew I’d be sticking with this one.
A sucker for a good brand story (so millennial, *eye roll*)  and a nice bit of skincare science – I have a weird fascination with dermatology – the tale behind this brand only makes me more loyal. The whole lanolips range is based on the sole ingredient being Lanolin, which is essentially the wax found in sheeps wool. It is a cruelty-free by-product of the wool industry and it holds up to 400% it’s weight in moisture. Also, it’s molecular structure mimics that of human skin lipids so it is used in surgery to encourage the healing of open wounds. Kirsten Carriol, daughter of a DNA scientist, grand-daughter of a farmer, thought up the idea whilst lamenting her dry, chapped lips on a flight. She remembered the times spent on her grandfather’s farm and her father telling her that the lanolin on the sheep’s wool was ‘the secret to skin moisturisation’. With that knowledge she built her brand.
Flicking through Porter a few weeks back I came across a subscription deal offering a year of the magazine (6 issues) at a reduced price and a set of Lanolips products. I’d been meaning to set up a subscription with Porter for some time now, and I was eager to add a few more Lanolips products to my arsenal. It really was a no brainer…

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Lanolips 101 Ointment Multipurpose Superbalm | The ultimate lip balm. I’ve also used this around my nose after a pretty nasty cold (gross, I know) and massaged it into my cuticles too.
Lanolips Banana Balm Lip Sheen 3-in-1 | Another great one for dry lips, but with a little sheen too so it’s nice for the evening. Smells amazing – though only if you like bananas, obviously.
Lano All-Over Everywhere Multi-Cream | Lanolin with a milk blend. This is a good moisturiser; it’s quite thick and heavy but without feeling greasy. Like all the other products it has multiple uses; body cream, day cream, night cream, eye cream. It’s gentle enough for babies, and you can mix it with foundation for a hydrating tinted moisturiser.
Lano Hands Rose Hand Cream | I’m a real hand cream advocate, especially at this time of year. Rose isn’t my favourite scent, at all – my mum always told me roses smell like cat pee so I think that’s just stuck in my head. This is a good hand cream though, just not the first one I’d grab for, because of the scent and because it leaves a sticky layer on the hands which bugs me a bit when I’m trying to get shit done. If I had super dry hands though, I know this one would work a treat.
Lano All-Over Golden Dry Skin Salve | Definitely my favourite out of the bunch. It’s lanolin blended with manuka honey, it’s smells like the golden barrel out of the box of roses. It’s texture, to be expected, is really sticky and balmy. You have to warm it up between your fingers or on the back of your hand, and it can be used anywhere really. Dry hands, elbows, knees, heels. I’ve been using it as another, super luxurious, lip balm.