Sunday, 12 May 2019

FIERCE FASHION WISHLIST





Nine fresh new pieces that will instantly revive your spring to summer wardrobe this year. 1\ Satin Slinky Dresses are vastly becoming a new fashion obsession of late. As last weekend I wore this one at a family wedding, honestly leaving me feeling fabulous throughout the entire day that I now want one in every single colour. A design that creates such a beautiful romantic female silhouette, yet so simple. This particular golden yellow shade can look magical against the shimmering sunlight. 2\ Denim Cut Off Shorts are practically your best bet if the London weather predictions are correct (today I can confirm is sweating hottttt). And classic Levi's shorts will forever be a great S/S timelesss wardrobe staple (just need to remember to prep me old legs first). 3\ Snake Skin Sandals - After seeing Solange (goddess) all snake skinned out at the Met Gala this week in a beautiful one piece (inc thigh high boots), these little straps beauties really do need to be mine. You can see the style vision of the snake skin detail looking all fierce against vintage light denim (for a day summer look) or with a gorgeous evening summery dress. Making your night look extra special (I badly fiercely need these). 4\ Adidas Gazelle 1991 updated originals. When a shoe can be created in the 90's but feel so new and fresh now....then that's.....Fashion Everything!! I tried this exact style on recently but opted for a classic converse hi top black pair instead...BUT I'm 99.9% sure I'm going back for these. 5\ Clear Perspex Shoes are highly trendy at the moment (I think Kim K started the love for them a few years ago), and I personally love how futuristic and minimal the designs can appear. If your after - cool - understated - with a hint of detail? Then these are for you (minus perspex sticking to your skin). The block heel is also giving off plenty of 70's vibes n all! 6\ U Ring Orange Bikini Top - Perfect for the sandy beach or laying besides the holiday sunny pool. I'd style the bright bikini top with the cut off shorts, add a vintage kimono and some easy slip on thong flip flops - and you're ready to go (briefs are also available to complete the set). 7/ Perspex Hand Bag - So the futuristic perspex look can also be formed in to a ladies quirky handbag. I really like the faux croc leather effect detail on this particular piece (that keeps appearing all over my insta feed), and the inner bag is ultra versatile as it's detachable too. Also how fierce is that striking strong square bag handle (yassss!). 8/ Veja Trainers are designed with the combination of natural rubber, leather and mesh made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Veja is an ethical eco friendly brand, which is growing super super popular at the moment. The Duchess Megan Markle has been seen wearing them and a whole host of other inspirational women (props for how low key Meg's style is). I'm yet to try them on and heard that they're actually quite hard to get hold of with a lot of places selling out. So if you do find these in London....Keep me posted. Lastly - 9/ Tortoise Square Frames - So I know smaller frames are the eyewear thang at the mo, but I still have the bigger the better style mentality when it comes to summer shades. I'm not sure if the granny in me just likes the face to be super over protected from the uv rays. Or the 70's dramatic diva in me likes to feel as seventies as style possible. I basically love the look and no other sunglasses shape will ever do! I actually broke my pair of vintage round tortoise shades recently so these can replace them beautifully. If you like dramatic eye wear (like moi) these will truly look perfection on you. 

Happy Shopping 

x

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Sunday, 28 April 2019

HOW TO STYLE SUMMER VINTAGE PINK

Trousers/Rokit(Similar/Zara)
Boots/Office
Sunglasses/Brooklyn/NYC
Bag/Vintage(Similar/Etsy)
Photography/Zoe Griffin

Walking along London oxford street or looking at your fashionista inspo insta feed, pink styling is absolutely everywhere this spring season. In fact colourful styling has been a fashion thang for a wee while, as the right s/s shade can go with more colours than you may think. And I for one of course am a huge gigantic fan of all things PiNK. I just adore adding a few new striking pieces into my every day looks this time of year.

Talking of THE LOOK how amazing is this vintage Naomi 90's print (I have a big love for her btw), pairing the bold block pink with a simple white top keeps the look understated and more interesting. The pure fresh white blue tinted retro 70's inspired shades and vintage 60's bag add a flare of sophistication and retro personality. Lastly the sharp leather pointy booties keep the overall mood of the look ultra modern and cool. 

STYLE TIP 1  - Get the hue of your pink (or 70's yellow, blue, orange) absolutely right. Think a lighter softer colour and along the lines of a salmon like pink, or a warm dusty rose. The more charming the shade, the more effortless your entire colourful look will appear (magenta is lovely but way too rich for this particular look).

STYLE TIP 2 -  Make sure the tailoring of the garment is on 100% point. PINK SUITS look super sharp, chic and sexy if the cut is 100% right on women. Off the hanger ready to buy pieces do have the ability to have that crispness, but you do need to try on and shop around. I went for the classic straight leg (that felt utterly flattering and fabulous once worn). 

STYLE TIP 3 - The fabric of your new pink style piece has to be of beautiful quality. I've seen a few on the high street that look absolutely lovely from a distance, but once close up a little disappointing. If your looking for a quick fix fashion throw away bargain hit, those tiny details (see through, poorly stitched, not great buttons) may not matter (and are great for a party girls holiday). But as you know the granny instilled in me (that I've no control of), longs for timeless fashion and longevity in any purchases I make (basically gaining as much wear where possible). As usual I've popped a few fabulous pink trouser options below for you....Enjoy! Let me know your favourite. X


SPRING PINK EDIT

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Friday, 19 April 2019

TALKING SPRING STYLE AND MENTAL HEALTH


Jeans/Zara
Sunglasses/Freepeople
Boots/Office
Clutch/Vintage/Etsy(Similar)
Suede jacket/Pop Boutique




STYLE 

Now that Spring has finally sprung, I wanted to kick this seasons style edit off by sharing this bold and fresh yellow blouse with you. When I first spotted this gorgeous stand out shade, hidden amongst the vintage glory on a rail in the covent garden Rokit store. I knew I had to quickly try it on and nab it. Today's look has been completely styled around the fabulous blouse with a pair of wide leg high waisted frayed comfy jeans, a pointy black leather statement boot (that I've been living in and finally found! See here for reference), banging seventies inspired super frames and mums (Flora Maria) old beautiful vintage detailed brown snakeskin clutch. Finishing the effortless look with a loose fitting suede vintage jacket, which I've had for years and is so perfect for throwing on for laying if it gets cold. You can see how everything pieced together really subtly compliments each other. And you can also get a lot of wear out of each individual piece mixed with other fabulous pieces in your wardrobe as well. Like styling the booties with a fun summer vintage dress, or pop a retro t-shirt on with the bargain jeans or piece some vintage denim shorts and white mules against the colourful blouse. Yellow is the ultimate shade for spring this year and I can't wait to style more of it.

Photography/Zoe Griffin


MENTAL HEATH 

Okay so it does seem a little odd to jump from talking about colourful style to mental health but if you've been reading my blogs from the start, you’ll know I don't really do the norm. I've been wanting to talk more on mental health with you for a while. Especially with the sudden sadden loss of Mike Thalassitis. I remember watching the show (Love Island), with Mikes entrance and thinking who the heck is this very handsome confident guy. Mike immediately grabbed the attention of viewers and made a strong mark on the series. So to hear about the news of his passing was such a huge shock. Of course I didn't know Mike and never met him but I really did feel affected by the news. Then it got me debating whether, was it only a real shock because he was in the public eye. And how so many people that are suffering from mental health go unnoticed every single day. 

Including myself in the past being one of them......Now I do want to say before I carry on with this post, that I am no way a doctor, therapist or anyone trained to address the psychological factors and thinking behind mental health. So all I can do is be honest with you and just share a snippet of my own personal experience with it. You may also be wondering why share about a topic which is so difficult to know where to start and talk about. But the main reason for this post is for you - that maybe going through difficulties with mental health yourself. For you - who wants to understand possibly for someone you care about struggling with mental health, and for you - who wants a clearer insight and understanding on a topic that is increasingly so complex and rising. 

From being someone who has felt depression derived from immediate grief (I lost my mum at 26), I would constantly receive offers of help. People I knew would say I'm here for you and your grief, and even people that I wasn't remotely close to would offer help. But in my worse state of depression I didn't want their help. In fact the thought of anyone thinking that I needed help angered and triggered my depression even more. Even though deep down I knew that what I was feeling wasn't like me and wasn't right. I didn't want help because I didn't want to help myself. I had lost the main focus of my life. A woman who I looked up to and knew would always be there no matter what, had vanished. So in my mind back then in a way my whole purpose for life had vanished too. I couldn't see the point of my existence and had nothing left to live for, and the feeling as I remember was very overwhelming and isolating. It's such a predicament to want to help someone you care about that quite obviously hasn't truly identified that they need help. But even at that lowest point I was still going to work, seeing people putting on a front and in their eyes out of closed doors ‘I was pulling through and carrying on'. So what I'm trying to say is 1. Mental health isn't always as obvious as you think, the happiest person who looks the most out there together can be suffering. And 2. Until I was ready to get help myself no one or nothing anyone said or did could help me. It was something I had to finally acknowledge and address myself. I had to tell myself that I was strong, I was kind, I was beautiful, I was caring, I was intelligent, I was wild, I was giving, I was talented, I was respectful, I was funny, I was down to earth, I was loving and I can see the positives in life. I had to build myself up again. I started to do yoga which really helped the bad thoughts trickling in my head. Exercising by running also made me physically feel fit and strong too.

I'm not sure what I wanted to achieve by sharing a perspective with you, but I do know I don't want to hear that the rate of suicide is rising, especially in men. I do also think that accountability has to be spoken more about and addressed. I can't truly place all blame onto social media but I do believe it can play a part. We as instagrammers, bloggers, readers, writers and social media phone lovers have to be mindful of what we portray. I've always been honest that I'm literally a 30's something fabulous hot mess. But try and pick and delete who you follow if you have to, take time away from social media and the intensity of your phone by giving yourself little phone breaks. I like inspiring people whether that’s through style or the acting projects I do. But I'll always be and stay 100% true X


(For support and help on mental health issues raised please do contact the wonderful charity Mind. I want to continue to talk about mental health because I would of loved to of read a blog like this to help me through some tougher times. Mental health doesn't have to be and shouldn't be shoved under the carpet and not a discussed 'thing' if we don't want it to. Thanks for reading xXx)














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Wednesday, 26 December 2018

LOVE, DEATH AND CHRISTMAS




As the year is quickly coming to an end (late Christmas Eve as I write this) and the official holiday time has approached us. I feel like it's that time of the year where you can truly reflect on the year you’ve just had. You work out and summarise if you've had a sh** year or not. And for some that can lead to this festive period, feeling like a real emotional time. Christmas is about love, joy, cheer, merriment, pulling crackers, celebrations, sprouts, long walks, mulled wine, family and everything in between.....So why on earth am I about to talk to you about Death.

This year has been incredible work wise. I toured a no.1 hit show, working with the no.1 theatre company in the world. Travelled across America, lived in New York and worked with the most talented, hard working bunch of people that I have ever had the pleasure to work with (epic but true). I also got to celebrate my best friend getting married (with an epic hen in Las Vegas), travelled to the south of France with an amazing group of friends to watch a magical open air amphitheater performance of Jamiroquai (With my friend Sola Akinbola drumming). I also got cast in a TV bbc drama 'Gold Digger', playing a younger Nikki Amuka Bird (inspired me for years), which will be on your screens next year. Also recorded an gripping political radio play for bbc, filmed a commercial, performed and worked on a new musical with a stella cast. But what I never ever shared with you is that I lost one of my closest friends to cancer earlier in the year. 

I was in NY at the time and Vikki deteriorated quite suddenly. I literally got a call and she was passing the next day. I was up searching for flights to come back on the Sunday to see her to say goodbye, but it was too late. At the time I was told she had gone, I acted like everything was normal. I got on the subway, travelled to work and then completely broke down. There were discussions of me not going on (to perform in King Lear at Bam Theatre, Brooklyn) but I somehow thought of Vikki and managed it. I had a convo with her in March, she was having chemo again and wasn’t feeling fit enough to watch my show which was at the Hackney Empire, London at the time. She kept apologising, and I just thought she was poorly from the chemo (unaware that that would be the last conversation I'd have with her). Even being at her funeral I didn’t actually fully register that she was gone (felt surreal). It’s only really this last week that I think I've felt ready to open up and accept that she’s no longer with us. I’ve had time to think about her husband Mike's first Christmas without her. I want her to text me to let me know when to drop off the boys gifts (she has two adorable sons), I want her to call me to tell me how her treatments are going.....And I want her to reflect the question back to me (as she always did) and ask how I’m doing. When Dag (Vikki who I've written about before here) first told me she had breast cancer in late 2015, I knew the angels would need her but I didn’t realise she’d be needed so quickly. As my mum had cancer I always felt like Dag could be really frank and honest with her illness with me. I would ask the questions that needed asking and she knew that I didn't need to hear only the good. In New York I wanted her selfishly not to pass whilst my mind and body was so wrapped up and distracted in acting work. All of my friends at the time rallied around her bedside in Queens hospital, Essex and were with her till the utter end....apart from me.

Also whilst being in New York I was told that my grandad was really ill and in hospital again. At 87, I’ve slowly seen him get frail and more poorly over the years. Then on a what’s app family group by my aunt (oddly not on my grandads side), I was casually informed that he had passed. My aunt thought everyone on the whats app group knew and was passing on her condolences (I didn't know because of the US time difference). My dad wanted to tell me at the right time. I immediately phoned my dad once reading the whats app message, and he said he was planning to tell me once back, as he didn't want me to worry (But I was worried, worried about how he was feeling after just losing his dad)

So after Vikki and my grandads funeral, which I didn’t attend because my dad said there’s no point flying back from NYC as grandad wouldn’t want that. He wanted to see you in Eastenders! (grandad would literally always ask me 'when am I going to see you in eastenders'. Every single time I saw him). I didn’t go to my grandads funeral as my family assured me that in grandad's heart, he’d would rather watch me on stage, doing what I know he loved, that he knew I only dreamed of doing (it just made sense to us).

But what I was also not sharing with you recently on instagram (because this definitely isn’t living 'the best life' content) or here. Is that seven weeks ago and five days after her 91st birthday, I lost my gran Claris Anastasia.....Now this is very hard to write....I just wasn’t prepared for that to happen. Gran lived a long story telling life (I loved hearing her stories) and still is such a remarkable women who I don’t think they make like her anymore. She had time and love for absolutely everyone and anyone. She didn’t care who you were, because she would invite you into her home. Gran didn’t have any old fashioned stale values (even at 91). Her heart was enormous and probably why she had over 400 people attend her funeral. I also don’t know how she was able to have such a giving relationship with her eight children (one including my mum) and many grand and great gran children (over 30 of us on her side of my family). Claris was strong and fierce. Fought through a lot invited here to the UK, coming over from the caribbean in the 1960's. Highly religious but never in a preachy over bearing judgemental way. She was just so special and loyal to so many people. Gave the best advice and was always someone you knew you could immediately turn to. Seeing her deteriorate over the last few months, and hearing her trying to mouth
I love you back at me a day before she passed still breaks my heart.

And just the notion of watching her and other people you love suffer is what pains the most at this sensitive time of year. So with Christmas slap bang in your face and with no chance of escaping it (unless you find a sunny beach somewhere).....It’s okay to say you want to give Christmas a nice big
punch in the face this year. We have to stop this way of never ever talking about grief. It's okay to say you're hurting, that you feel a huge measure of saddened pain. 

You can hopefully see that after the year I've had that writing about fashion just didn't feel right. But I still have the time to smile and you can too. We would not grieve if we did not love, so remember there isn't a set guide on how you're supposed to feel and deal with death. I've been in shock for a while but writing this honest post has therapeutically already helped mentally. Hopefully in time you'll feel open to continue to love and see how beautiful this thing called life is (If writing can help you, do jot down your daily thoughts). And what really helps me is knowing that Vikki, Grandad and Gran would never ever want to see their friends and family cry or upset. They'd all be saying get out there love! dance and shine! Spend every day grateful for what you have and make every single moment count.......If you’re alone or feeling lonely this year, you're not alone because I’m sending you all my love and warm wishes  xxx Wishing you a Glorious Holiday Season and A Happy New Year xxx

(You also maybe reading this having never had an illness such as cancer immediately effect you or never felt the loss of missing a love one. So I really do thank you for clicking this post and reading a topic that I know is highly sensitive to discuss. But by putting into words hopefully you have a clearer understanding (as you may have someone you care about suffering from a loss). If you or anyone you love is effected please try not to deal with your difficulties alone. Macmillan is an amazing charity that are here for you to talk, especially during this festive season)
. X

*All vintage prints available to purchase framed and selected by Free Mile Style.


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Monday, 8 October 2018

NEW YORK GUIDE: TOP PLACES TO EAT

Dekalb Markethall Brooklyn
Clinton Hall NY Downtown

Travelling and living in NYC was a third time visit for me this year. And after having done the real tourist places of pizza, bagels, doughnuts, cupcakes and famous cheesecakes previously. I thought I'd share with you a few non-tourist places that probably do go under the Manhattan/Brooklyn beaming travel guide radar. Places that are fairly discreet and only real new yorkers living in the big city eat at. So if you're planning a little trip to the big apple soon, adore your secret gems like me, these places will hopefully be right up your street.......Ps. Can you please take me with you?! 

More Places
Petees Pie - Best apple pie I've tasted that I couldn't not eat to take a picture of. Open til late. You must check out their insta
National - A cast lunch between show favourite two minutes from Bam Theatre. Authentic Thai with a Brooklyn vibe. Honestly absolutely delicious food. 
Steve's Pizza - The cast and I came here most nights after the show, traveling from Brooklyn as they do the best slices of pizza and cream cheese bagels. I badly miss this little place.  
The Press Lounge - For sensational views and gorgeous cocktails. We went at night and forgot my flash to take snaps (Take a flash camera and fabulous outfit!).  

x

All images taken on the Olympus Pen 8.

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