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

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

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

THE WRITER

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Writing, writing, writing. And when I’m not writing, I’m reading. Or sleeping.
Not that I dislike writing, I am a journalism student, but writing my dissertation and reading ‘academic’ texts from the confines of my four office walls is making me a bit on edge. Firstly, academic texts, regardless of the topic, make literally the dullest reading material. Secondly, cabin fever.
Deadlines, for Carrie seemed to be nothing but an excuse to avoid awkward social situations, for me seem to be punctuating time in place of weekends and holidays. Deadlines and coffee breaks, that is. That bitch seriously set us all up. Never mind; gazing out the window of my rent controlled nyc apartment and pondering life’s least important philosophical questions is not on the itinerary. All I can say, is how grateful I am for the eternally chic black roll-neck. Saving me from looking as frazzled as I feel while dashing in and out of the university library for even more academic books, and during snack runs.
Also grateful for the next few month of layering weather, allowing me to cover and (fingers-crossed) lose the muffin top and bingo wings I’m growing; courtesy of aforementioned snack runs and procrastibaking.
I do hope your Friday night is more exciting than mine is set to be. Love.

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Primark Roll-neck | H&M necklace | Vintage bracelet | Topshop Mom Jeans
Ph: Self-portraits by yours truly.

LOOK MA

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If anything were to sum up 2016, sartorially speaking, it would be sleeves. Bell sleeves, off the shoulder sleeves, Ellery sleeves (swoon) and now, super duper looooong sleeves. Whether it’s the slinky, ribbed knits over elongating the already lean, lithe ballerina arms at Dion Lee, the sizable marble furs at Rodarte or the oh-so-dreamy delicate knitwear at Ryan Roche; letting the cuffs slip haphazardly past the fingertips feels like a shout out to adolescence. Mine, specifically.

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In my first year at secondary school my mum would pack me off each morning with the biggest puffer coat. “You’ll get cold on the bus,” she’d insist. Wide eyed in horror, I mean the lining was an acid orange yellow and it came past my knees, I’d make my way to the end of our street until I was safely out of sight where I’d stuff the gigantic thing into my satchel. Then, hustling my bulging school bag, I’d shiver my way to the bus stop, and as gloves too were a infantile fashion faux pas, with the sleeves of my too-big school jumper stretched over my hands and clutched into a ball in my palm. One day I missed the bus and walked back home coatless in the rain, I was drenched and my mum was furious. I’ve been battling bouts of the same cold ever since.
Now I’m not claiming I single-handedly inspired the look; but perhaps young girls everywhere; from the boisterious in massive sweaters, tucked into their cutoffs and stomp-around-boots, to the shy, chewing on their too long sleeves, heads tucked into a book, to the cold and too ‘cool’ for a coat girl. No longer too cool for a coat, especially the coat, but still embracing the sleeve tug. Part style trick, part solution to lost/forgotten gloves.
And while I’m no longer adverse to wearing gloves, specifically of the buttery soft leather variety, my attitude towards the puffer jacket remains unchanging.
Sorry, Demna
Asos Coat | Missguided Knit | Mango Jeans | Dune Boots
Ph: Andre Bernal

KNITTED CULOTTES

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On paper they made so much sense. That paper being the glossy pages of Porter Magazine, worn, no doubt, by a flawless waif silhouette with perfectly mussed hair and zero boobage to worry about.
img_7970Last year, when I first received this lovely pair of knitted culottes I fell in love instantly. However, like so many purchases; though my mind whirred with outfit ideas while it was on the rack, or in this case on the website, in the harsh reality that is coffee-in-hand, tugging-hairbrush-through-head, you-have fifteen-minutes-to-put-a-look-together, brush-your-teeth-and-grab-something-to-eat; I couldn’t quite figure them out. Oversized is constantly being pushed by pushy women’s magazines claiming layers conceal all the lumps and bumps we don’t want the world to see, but that’s not entirely true. And it is all the more prevalent while panic dressing, 8am on a Monday.
Panic dressing is always a problem. Having tried every roll-neck, t-shirt and button-down in my reach then discarded each and every one into the pile that became half my wardrobe spilled on to the floor, I gave up. I grabbed my boring – ‘non-fashion’ – skinny jeans and an almond croissant then spent the rest of the day feeling like a bit of a failure. Dramatic? Maybe, but the culottes found their way into the deepest depths of my wardrobe where they sat gathering dust, until very recently.
Upon rediscovery these badboys slid seamlessly into my fall wardrobe. Ironically, the way I’m wearing them here is pretty much exactly how I had envisioned them this time last year. What’s different? I’m not sure.
I guess the lesson here is that just because they aren’t right today, doesn’t mean they aren’t right tomorrow.
Or maybe it’s to stop hitting snooze. And cut back on the almond croissants, maybe.

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Matalan Jumper | Zelle Studio Culottes | Mango Boots
Ph: Andre Bernal

THE ONE

lala14As far as I am concerned, the coat is the most important piece you’ll buy over the colder months. Your winter cover-up forms the foundations of your wardrobe, and can dictate what kind of woman you’ll ‘play’ this season.
I found my perfect partner in this long, green wool tie-up number…
More and more khaki pieces have weaselled their way into my wardrobe over the last few months. The catalyst was when I was packing for a weekend at my parents back in august and I realised my overnighter was packed with grey, blue and black and it looked very cold. I made a bid to warm up my palette a fraction, just to improve my instagram feed if nothing else. Khaki is fast becoming a new neutral within the bounds of my closet. But it was the long length that sealed the deal for me. This ankle skimming wool covers a multitude of sins; like my dog eared pyjamas while I dash out to Tescos for milk early on Sunday morning. It also exudes (my)s(t)erious Olsen vibes, which is something I’m always on the look out for.
Asos Coat | Missguided Knitted Dress | Dune Boots
Ph: Andre Bernal