In keeping with my new 'study mode' attire (meaning today a massive vintage Betty Barclay Mondrian inspired jumper and black jodhpurs), I thought it only appropriate to post a more 'dressed down' ensemble. Occasionally, certain sets of photos are styled, taken and chosen - only to languish for several months on my computer's hardrive, waiting to see the metaphorical light of the internet. This is one such outfit, which only makes the posting all the more satisfying.
This look was made up of ripped skinny jeans I have had for several years (they magically still fit - I have no idea how), second hand Topshop shoes, my mum's woollen top and a Charlotte Taylor jacket. The leather bag and belt are both charity shopped, and the vintage gloves were my great-grandma's - along with the silk scarf in my hair. The locket was given to me by my paternal grandma.
Now, let's go back to the mention of Charlotte Taylor. What's that? Is it a reference to one of my all time favourite up-and-coming designers? The same Charlotte Taylor whose autumn/ winter collection is her best yet?
I was given this jacket after modelling for Charlotte's s/s11 collection. Although you can't tell from Claire Pepper's skilful photography, I was in the last stages of scoliosis when I went down to London - meaning my body was more than a little twisted out of shape. However, the whole team was incredibly gracious, and it is the perfect memory to have of my last modelling stint before surgery. These were two of my favourite lookbook images:
However, what I would really like to talk about is Charlotte's latest a/w11 collection - described as being inspired by "snippets of African, English Heritage and Hungarian Gypsy". Anything that involves the phrase 'English Heritage' immediately grabs my attention. What I particularly love is the way she has built on the idea of her trademark prints - this time with the addition of ants, elephants and lobsters. Having one of her scarves myself (styled here and here), I can testify to the way it makes me feel happy every time I don the mad yellow penguins on a blue background. Below are a couple of headshots from the Autumn/ Winter lookbook - so pleased to see the re-emergence of the penguin. However, it is the red ant print that gets me itching to see and feel the collection up close.
There is something quite special about prints - whether it is jolly robots marching over the Charlotte Taylor silk playsuit (pictured on me above), or the sixties geometric shapes on one of my own vintage dresses. Some people are interested in colours. Others appreciate shape and structure. And then there are those fascinated by print. Although I tend to mix all three, I was particularly struck by the idea of prints when I took a trip with my mum to one of my favourite vintage shops last weekend. My eye was drawn to an impeccably chosen line of forties and fifties garments - all with varying patterns. Whether it was a see through blue dress covered in delicate white leaves, or the linen fifties housecoat peppered with sprawling hot pink flowers, I wanted to buy them all and stuff them into my already overflowing wardrobe.
I have some very well loved patterned pieces already, including: a vintage silver dress with a pagoda and blossom trees print, a full length vintage sleeveless evening coat covered in metallic zig-zags and second hand blue skirt with ambling clouds and seagulls. But if we are playing the 'dare to dream' game, then I would jump at the chance to get my hands on one of the absolutely incredible Mary Katrantzou ss11 designs, that were printed with images of rooms and impeccable interiors. Maybe I should just get a big, lacy lampshade and use it as a skirt to emulate her ideas...
Do you have a particular favourite print - vintage or otherwise? I'd be interested in hearing some descriptions of well loved patterns.
Also, blogger seems to have deleted some comments on the previous post. I have no idea if they will reappear, but I would just like to say that I read and appreciated them all. Oh, the woes of technology...