Maxi Ha Ha

Hurrah, an outfit post! After many many changes of top I finally found an outfit with my maxi-dress cum maxi-skirt that I was happy with. I think a v-neck long-sleeved white t-shirt is in order. Along with some moccasins. But this willl do for now. So I had some fun with it. 

This headdress is amazing. I bought it in Topshop about two years ago because I knew it would come in handy one day. Mostly I just put it on to cheer myself up. 

The earring, also from Topshop, is similarly ancient. I love how Navajo has come back round. The earrings are cheap and need to be re-strung but they have so much beading to play with I thought they'd be great to convert into a necklace if I never converted them into non-pierced earrings.       
Then there's this owl ring, from Accesorize. Again, quite old; I bought him when my fingers were thinner but now that it's summer (that's my excuse for fat fingers) I can wear him, again. With my new turquoise nail polish, Pure Turquoise from Barry M. It is exactly the shade of turquoise. Aces.

I went to see Robin Hood again and I want to go riding through fields with my bow and dancing merrily around a fire drinking mead even more than I did the last time I saw it. 
Oh, and I am actually running off (to London) until Wednesday so no post tomorrow either. Sorry all! I will be less lazy when I return.


The Final Portion - Z is for...Zero + Maria Cornejo

Apologies for the lack of post yesterday blog fans. I was up at 7am (which is a toughie for me) and had a full day of running around at my place of work/school's speech day, helping clean up and applauding intermittedly. Came home, watched Philadelphia (which I'd never seen before and am now more thoroughly affirmed in my belief that Tom Hanks is the greatest actor in the world) and went to bed. 
Plus was slightly disheartened to post my outfit after some fellow fashionistas on the highly addictive sight Lookville said they didn't like my trousers. They are the Topshop ones I wore in the 'Ramona in Pyjamas' post. They are good for big hipped people as they are floaty yet substantial, dark and straight up and down, plus with big pockets set on the front of the leg as opposed to the sides. But no. I've got a long way to go before I go pro. 
Never mind, it can all be fixed with some better clothes in the future. Today I have little intention of wearing anything exciting as it's Sunday and my daily chores include a bikeride on the hunt for Ocean Spray Cranberry Squash. But I do have some soup for those of you desperate for fashion sustenance. 
With some of the letters, I had a designer in mind. Z, however, was tricky, as there aren't that many designers beginning with Z anyway, and my trusty Style.com only had two. I passed over Zac Posen as his AW10 collection is both messy and uninspiring. But the other collection was much better. Here's a little something from Zero + Maria Cornejo, the label of Chilean designer Maria Cornejo, who began her career in 1998 with a Nolita-based store called 'Zero'. Not knowing very much about how she learned her craft or the typical style of dressing among Chilean designers, my immediate go-to was the style of the Japanese, with the architectural drapery and muted palate. 'Unpretentious', her work has been called. Each outfit seems to be a game of two halves, as with designers like Yamamoto; beautiful yet edgy, simple yet complex. A duality perfectly represented by the footwear from her SS10 collection. 
I also love how she makes beanie hats seem like the most suitable accessory for an evening dress.


Three good reasons to love this woman

1) She looks like Peter Pan crossed with Adam Ant. 
2) She's totally working double denim. 
3) She was the picture I took to the hairdressers' for my latest haircut. So I am trying to be her. 
Stay tuned for double denim....jokes. I could never look like that in double denim. 
Been a busy day and wore a very boring outfit, so will not be doing my usual outfit post. But tomorrow is the start of Half Term, ie long long week of many outfit possibilities. I'M excited.


Don't give up...that's just the way it is

Whenever I have a down day, I listen to some Peter Gabriel to wallow, then perk it up with, today....no not effing Tu-Pac, some Phil Collins. Don't knock Phil. Personal life aside, the man is a musical god.
It was a cold, windy day and very quiet at work, so perfect for feeling lonely and doing some deep thinking, and stressing about the autumn and careers. Argh life is a knackering stressful business, especially when you aren't really living it.
That's my emo self on the left, trying to hide in plain sight from real life and progression, and my positive self giving a disapproving look. My positive self is Kate Bush to my negative emo self's Peter Gabriel. It's easy to wallow, but there's very little point. If you spend your whole life wallowing, you're just a hippo. Which is fine. If you actually are a hippo. But I am not. I am a beluga whale. I am RedHead. I AM FASHIONISTA, HEAR ME ROAR. 
Here's to empowerment, progression and drawing strength from your friends, motivation, knowledge and ass-kicking shoes. 
Here's also to style. Regardless of circumstance, as I demonstrated yesterday in my rambling post about Astrid Magnussen, style can become a reflection of circumstance, but should always be a reflection of the best that you can be, and the best that you want to be. Fully commit to your style, your persona, be honest and true to yourself, and believe. And believe me, this is hard for me too. 

Doe-Eyed Cuties

I am feeling the love for these ladies...
Charlotte Kemp Muhl...
Krysten Ritter...
...and Coco Rocha.

Growing up in Style - Astrid Magnussen

Those of you who read my short Q&A in The Times will have seen me admit to my 'geeky' childhood and how my style evolved somewhat at university, as I grew up. Those who know me well (and I guess that's not that many) will know of my love for the film White Oleander, about a young girl forced into a series of foster homes as a result of her mother's inprisonment. Allison Lohman, probably best known for Drag Me To Hell, plays the heroine, Astrid, and Michelle Pfeiffer plays her charismatic, destructive mother Ingrid. Throughout the film, despite moments close to genuine happiness, Ingrid's influence holds sway over Astrid in such a way that her life is continuously disrupted by her mother's influence, her life and the lives of those who take her in degenerating to such an extent that Astrid finally cuts her mother off to achieve happiness and, crucially, her own life. 
Subtle it may not be, but Astrid's evolution can be perfectly mapped through her style changes. Like most of us, her style evolves as she grows, and like all of us, reflects the situation she is in and the people who are influencing her life. 
At the start of the film, we meet her and her mother, a successful artist. Virtually identical, they both sport long blonde hair and flawless pale complexions, and a passion for art.

Before long, Ingrid has killed her lover when she discovers him cheating, and is taken from her house. Astrid is, subsequently, sent to her first foster home, with Starr, played by Robin Wright-Penn. Starr belongs in True Blood - a devout Evangelical, she is also known to trot around in short, tight skirts and tops, and have a relationship with a married man. 

But she is loving and welcoming to Astrid, having her baptised into her church and altering her dress to that more fitting of a pretty young teenager. Starr is aiming for childish sweetness, but she ends up re-styling Astrid as a Lolita-type figure, not helped by Astrid's close relationship with Starr's boyfriend, 'Uncle' Ray. Before long, Astrid has entered into a sexual relationship with Ray, forcing Starr to drink, Starr's daughter to leave the home as a result and the other foster children to suffer neglect. It is only when Starr, in a fit of rage, shoots Astrid, that the family totally combusts, with Starr and Ray fleeing and leaving Astrid and the other two foster children to the state. 
After this, Astrid is moved to McKinney Hall, somewhere between orphanage and centre for delinquents; she gets into a fight within minutes of the storyline's shift, as another girl expresses jealousy of Astrid's ability to turn male heads. Astrid responds by cutting off all her hair to make herself 'ugly'. When questioned about this by fellow resident Paul, she says 'looks don't interest me', to which he responds 'that's easy for you to say, you've never been ugly'.

Having recovered from her gunshot wound, Astrid goes to live with a young couple, including the flighty actress Claire (Renee Zellweger). Claire's husband is away a lot and Astrid becomes something between daughter and best friend, and, as her mother later observes, carer. Nevertheless, stability seems to return to Astrid's life. She abandon the aggressive persona that she adopted at McKinney Hall, and styles herself like Claire in pastel shades and a softer haircut.
While Astrid is staying with Claire, both women go to visit Ingrid in prison, and Ingrid's ensuing talk with Claire prompts another breakdown; Claire's husband leaves, and Claire commits suicide. Ingrid insists that it wasn't her fault, that she merely helped Claire in the means by which to do something she'd already wanted to do.
Following Claire's suicide, Astrid, having informed Ingrid that she will never visit her again, returns to McKinney Hall. Though not for long; she selects her next foster mother herself; the bohemian Russian Rena. Astrid styles herself on Rena and her freer lifestyle, moving from the soft look of her youth to a harder, grungier edge.

While living with Rena, Astrid is approached by her mother's lawyer; Ingrid is appealing against her conviction and needs Astrid to testify that her lover was abusive and violent. Astrid goes to meet her mother, but dyes her hair dark brown and wears darker clothes, in total contrast to Ingrid's love of washed-out denim and pale hair. She describes Astrid as looking like a hooker. Astrid, smoking all the while, tells Ingrid that she may not like what she sees in Astrid but Ingrid's influence has destroyed her and made her rebel this way. Astrid offers her an ultimatum; if she wants her daughter back the way she was, Ingrid must drop the appeal and do time for what she did. 

On the day of the trial, Astrid arrives with her friend Paul, with black hair and clothes and heavy makeup, rebellious yet prepared to testify. When she arrives at the courthouse, she finds it emptying and when she asks her mother's lawyer what happened, she learns that Ingrid told the lawyer to leave her be, and has let her go. As a result, Astrid, though free of her mother's destructive influence, can finally revert to loving the mother she idolises. The final shows her in her apartment, making artworks - suitcases to symbolise each stage of her life after the murder. She has dyed her hair back to blonde, wears it long and with pale clothes. She has reverted to the style her mother put her in, but she has evolved naturally into it, as opposed to being forced to wear the same style all her life.
I love watching Astrid's transformation on-screen because it shows perfectly how your environment influences your appearance and look. Astrid's style is a reflection of her situation, like with all of us, but she is an artist, and her representation is always artistic. Thankfully, by the end, despite trying out so many other peoples' styles, she finds hers, on her own terms.

PS Sorry for those of you who haven't read the book or seen the film, to you this is just rambling! Hope it made for an interesting read, though.


Two for Joy

As you might have noticed, today was a good day in the world of RedHead - achieving celebrity status in the world of reader style. Here's hoping something comes of it. 
Several people have complemented me on my photogenic....ness and wondered if this would be the start of a modelling career. Ha. Fat chance. But a nice thought. 
But I felt the need to dress the part of photo-ready fashionista. 
Topshop finally got their 'drapey top with bird print' formula right - their first attempt, featuring short sleeves, blackbirds and roses, is great if you're 15/a dancer/not that big on eating, but this second attempt, featuring fitted sleeves from the elbow down and magpies, is much better and flatters every shape. I think. I like magpies and it's a great theatric top. As you can see. I had fun playing with lighting.

RedHead in The Times

Does what it says on the tin. For those of you not keen on clicking on the link below, here I am,  made up, styled and photographed by pros. Didn't they do a good job?
Photograph by David Newby. Click here for the full article and further credits, plus info about my outfit. I want those shoes.
Thanks to Alice Olins, Claire Bucknell and Helen Asher for making it happen and making me look pretty.


Here I am, styled by The Times!
Sooooooo much excitement. Tell all your friends!


The monsters are crazy

A little musical entertainment....I have spent many a summer evening being driven home from a cricket match that my dad played in with Annie Lennox on the car stereo. She's one of a shortlist of defining artists that I grew up with and her music, and incredible voice, is beautiful and timeless.
Awww look! Dear little Winona. She gets abuse, but she's so flawless. 
But Annie's own videos are extra-special - theatric, mad and very Marie Antoinette. Head here for a video for 'No More 'I Love You's' (would embed but it's been disabled, lame. I wanted to see the theatrical awesomeness of this video lighting up my blog.)
There. That's better. And no, she's not appearing in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert any time soon. Though that would be amazing. 
So today, the hot spell we've been having broke a bit and it was cooler and cloudy. But that didn't stop me. I turned a few heads, for probably the wrong reasons. I'd seen a fab outfit that Carrie wears in the upcoming Sex and the City 2 and I wanted to do my own version. 
Here's Carrie, in Grazia....and here's me.
 I really liked the two hemlines, think it really slims the body down as you don't have your waist defined, which can cut you in half and only emphasise the difference between your waist and hip widths. It's a classic Gok Wan trick, and I hate it. Just one of Gok's tricks that I hate....
But yes, the contrasting hemlines. I love Carrie's top; sleeveless works well here as the sleeves on mine stop the eye from travelling naturally down the body. Maybe I'll buy another one of these and cut off the sleeves. 
The sandals are ollllld but this is the first time I've worn them. Elastic straps, tiny heel thus v comfy. Office saw fit to re-release them this season too. Smart move. May get them in black. 
And yes, the legs turned heads. I felt a bit self-conscious. On a sunny day this would have been fine. To be fair, they look way better here than they did when I left the house; the only pair of sheer tights I had were practically orange so I had to make a quick pit-stop from some normal-coloured ones. Phew. 
PS Look out for me in The Times tomorrow!

An Education in Style

I am still harbouring my HUGE, RAGING CRUSH on Carey Mulligan. She gets slammed by the foolish members of the media who still think Megan Fox is cutting edge. She doesn't smile a lot. She has a cute bob that some people don't understand. She doesn't wear conventional red carpet dresses, and defies Anna Wintour's advice on what to wear to award ceremonies.
In short, she's totally original, sure of herself and downright cool.
Here are some completely gratuitous shots of her many fashion triumphs. She likes classic shapes, bold statements and Bottega Venata.

I <3 you Carey. Just please don't play Lisbeth Salander.