Sunday, 23 February 2014

Pastel power: Day 1

White leather biker jacket – Miss Selfridge

Pink sequin skirt – Topshop Unique
Snakeskin boots – Zara
Grey T-shirt – Miss Selfridge
Oversize clutch – Martin Margelia for H&M


My first attempt.
I’m a sucker for a sequin and this skirt ticked all my boxes.

 Oversize, pale pink Paillettes on a pencil skirt (blimey!! Try saying that when you’re drunk...not that I ever am….) in my favourite mid calf length
 …and how much you say??....In the sale??.. reduced from £250 to….What?? £40??... I’ll take it, it fact I’ll take two!! (ed: Stop now.)

I felt a bit like a mermaid – albeit one with a fashion focus, and seeing as it was my first attempt and at an early stage in the proceedings, I allowed myself a comfort blanket.
  I teamed the skirt with one of my favourite things in the whole world – no, not Michael Fassbender or George Clooney – just a simple grey T shirt. You can never have too many of those babies, as my collection is beginning to demonstrate.

And finally – A way to wear a white leather biker jacket without looking like an extra from a Miami Vice party scene.
 Thought it added a bit of edge to an outfit which could quickly have become sickly sweet.


Some print for texture.
My favourite snakeskin boots make a reappearance .

I had fun with the accessory choice, and seeing as I felt like I had just fallen out of a sweet shop, what better way to carry about all my gubbins’ than in a giant sweetie wrapper?
Oohh, the irony…

All in all, I didn’t find this too strange.

In fact, I quite enjoyed it.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not adverse to a bit of colour, but neon's are usually my drug of choice.

Pastels have never really been on my radar. They always felt slightly insipid and a little draining. Colours that couldn’t quite make up their mind what they were…

-‘Am I pink, or am I white?’ - you know??

Neon's seem more committed somehow. They go in hard…and then they take the ball home…

But yes, my pastel pink pencil skirt has wooed me into considering the lighter shade of colour

It is a girlie option, but I can make it my own.
Yes, they could be my friend.
All photographs by John Lawrence

Pastel Power

                                                  The shenanigans continue....
Anyone who knows me knows I am not a girly girl.
Yes – I like to look like a lady every now and then, but I've always favoured a biker boot over a ballet slipper any day of the week.
So it didn’t escape my notice around the end of last year, when the new-fangled saying ‘winter pastels’ started to be whispered on the fashion wind, quickly gaining momentum through the winter and quite frankly slapping me in the face with the onset of spring.

I’ve never been one to shy away from a fashion challenge, as I think my ’30 days of feminine’ shows.
'I'll 'ave a bit of that' said my creative personality, revelling in the possibility of yet another styling challenge...
'Hmmm, but the question is...' argued my more subdued self...'Can you cope with looking like you've been set upon by a packet of Refreshers on the run from the newsagents?'....
Is it possible to be pastel pink and still punk?...
Could I still be bitchin’ in baby blue??...
I was going to have fun finding out...


Tuesday, 22 January 2013

30 days of finding feminine: The End of the Line

 The End Of The Line
  So, its all over, and ladies and gentlemen, here are some of the things I’ve discovered…..

There are some things I won’t wear (namely anything chenille).
 Some things I can’t wear (namely hot pants)....
...but after this, I still think that there's nothing that I shouldn't wear because it may or may not make me look more or less attractive/approachable/sexy or all of the above.

  My fashion partner in crime may feel that her relationship may have had an effect on her quirky dressing, but could this not have been exactly what caught her young mans eye in the first place? or else just a natural evolution of her style?

Lord knows, I'm not wearing the same stuff I did 10 years ago (Well...actually...)

It doesn’t matter what vibe a piece of clothing starts with, as soon as it’s on my back, its infected with my personality and it changes. And that, I’ve learnt, isn’t a bad thing…its me. Its my personality ….I’m not going to f**k with that…I shouldn’t have to. 


And that, my friends is why I will never look like one of the Middleton sisters or one of Girls Aloud – no matter what I  wear (although I wouldn’t mind looking like a member of En Vogue. Remember them? They were hot!)

  What I'm actually most pleased about is that I've made friends with my face.
In the past, we've had a bit of a love/hate relationship, but when I had nowhere else to hide - no bells, no whistles and no diversion tactics -  we had some quality time together, and I realised we're a winning combination...

...and I don’t need to hide behind my hair.
     To be fair to my hair, it’s not the only thing I’ve taken to hiding behind. Jewellery, accessories, crazy prints and clashing colours –  you name ‘em.

It’s true that you sometimes have to strip everything back to find out who you are, and I think I’ve done that. And who I am is a woman who is quite happy to please  noone but herself when considering what to wear.

 Although I’ve had some fun over 30 days pretending I'm not….

So will I be shaving my head anytime soon? Probably not. 

But I realise now that my canvas doesn’t always need to be so……Heavily embellished.


I don’t need all the razzle dazzle, but I like a bit of hardwear every once and a while. After all, it’s my party, and I’ll rock if I want to!


‘I’ll never look a thing like she does’….That’s not mine, I stole it from the Noisettes.

In my case, never a truer word was said.

Every day during this experiment someone would ask me ‘so what's happened?? Are you dating? Engaged? Married???
To be fair, this whole thing began because I wanted to see if me ‘finding feminine’ and changing my style would result in a more 'male friendly' version of me, and monitoring how this radical (well – it was for me) change affected me day to day.

In truth, I took on all the pearls of wisdom that my male friends gifted to me as part of my research and there was a distinct increase in the frequency of declarations of interest. However, I’m not sure if this was simply because I was on the lookout for it… (intentionise, intentionise)...
 My antennae were highly attuned.

It wasn’t until I was back in my civvies and 'unadulterated St. Louis,'  complete with a gold metal collar from the V and A museum, (The shop. It wasn’t a smash and grab by a woman driven mental by fashion gubbins deprivation) 50s style quiff, black studded stilettos, a black dress and the reddest, glossiest lipstick I could get my hands on that I got chatted up by the hottest, funniest, most direct, most honest and possibly the bravest bloke who’d tried his luck with me for a long time.

O.k, I'll admit, it was a foxy dress. It was short, with quite a low front. But it wasn’t an ‘easy’ one.
It wasn’t a ‘feminine’ one.

 Half tuxedo jacket, half jersey body con, asymmetric shouldered with lapels and accessorised with a gold metal neck piece and cuffs.

I looked like Boudicca at a black tie dinner.

Was it a coincidence that this happened just as the experiment had finished, when I’d taken all the lessons I’d learnt, binned what I didn’t agree with and was actually in a really happy contented place about who I was, how I looked and most importantly confident??
...Only the karma police will be able to give you a comprehensive answer to that, but I tell you something….

...I think not.

 So in conclusion, here are my words of wisdom in the style of Jerry Springer....
If you dress like a duck, walk like a duck and quack like a duck. You’ll attract a duck.
       I am not a duck.

 All photographs by John Lawrence

Friday, 21 December 2012

30 days of finding feminine: Day 30

Day 30

Black Margiela jacket

Light grey T-shirt
Grey cargos
Black stilettos

Cinema and a bite to eat with John in the newly gentrified Brixton village.

If I’m dressing for the occasion, obviously a pussy bow blouse and a pencil skirt ain’t gonna work so I try that messy Sunday, ‘can’t really be bothered…but look how I've just thrown this together oh so stylishly' charade -  Which seems to be the uniform round these parts....

Should fit right in amongst the coldharbour ciabattia chomping crowd.


There is a real effort not to make an effort which suits me just fine.
All this perching on stilettos is really starting to knacker me out…..

 John offers me a pair of furry leopard print gloves in an effort to enhance my feminine status.... I agree wholeheartedly. Any excuse to get my hands on more accessories.
Hmmmm. Methinks they make my hands look more like paws rather than ladies fingers!!!

All Photographs by John Lawrence

Sunday, 16 December 2012

30 days of finding feminine: Day 29

Day 29

Mid-calf pencil skirt with thigh high split

Black lace crop top

Black stilettos

Pop to the vintage press day breakfast to take some piccies for my records.

It’s full of fashion editors and bloggers extrordinaire. The clashing prints, the embellished dresses, the hardware…Oh My!

I see super stylish senior fashion editor Natalie Hartley rockin’ the most ridiculously fabulous pair of biker boots I’ve seen in years. They’re part Blade Runner, part Bess NYC, part BOY LONDON…


….and there I stand in my black pencil skirt and black stilettos….

...How original.

 All photographs by John Lawrence

Monday, 10 December 2012

30 Days of Finding Feminine: Day 28

Day 28

So today I get thrown a proper curve ball which is a real bugger when I’m so close to the finishing line.

It comes courtesy of a general man about town – a talented and creative one – which makes all the difference in terms of a perspective which will hold water with me.
Anyway, we’re having a chat about my blog and it’s concept blah, blah, blah.

‘How’s it going?’ he asks. ‘Last time I saw it, it was day 5 or something…Got any results yet?’

'Err, Well firstly, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do’ I chastise,
 ‘and secondly yes – the results are not yet conclusive, but definitely notable…’
‘Nice work St. Louis’ he says ‘but there’s one thing that I really don’t agree with….This no leggings business. Where did you get that from??
‘From the boys’. I reply.
‘The ones I asked said they considered it lazy dressing…and that’s putting it kindly. Let’s just say that they felt strongly that there were other more flattering items of clothing that ladies could and should wear.’

‘Well,' he says. 'They’re either lying or have had bad experiences with them, but let me tell you this. Me and my mates often marvel at the wonder that is the legging and think that whoever invented them is a bloody genius.’...
...Well stone the crows...

Are you telling me that I could have been wearing my leather leggings all this time?!
I was led to believe that having my legs trussed up in leather or lycra was tantamount to committing one of the 7 deadly sins as far as boys were concerned.

Now I discover that it might be considered one of the 7 wonders of the world!!
I’m confused...
With this revelation, I dip another toe into the water.
‘So what about animal prints then? I ask. Do they offend you?

‘Nah, I don’t mind a bit of leopard print’ he says. I know girls like it too’.

Well, well. What do you know??

This is almost as revolutionary as the husband that told me he likes his wife to wear the poncho and military jacket he bought for her (although I presume not at the same time.)

Later that day, he hits me with another one.
‘So I’ve got this mate who’s going out with this girl at the moment…He’s been seeing her for a couple of months now and I asked him how it was going and he was like…yeah it’s alright – but not too enthusiastic. He said that the problem was that she wears really boring clothes. She’s beautiful and she could be making so much more of herself.’...
'But surely if she’s beautiful, then he should be laughing…’ I ask confused.
‘It’s about the whole package though. You want your girlfriend to look sexy, smart and interesting.

You don’t want your heart to sink every time she shows up to meet you because you don’t think you’re not gonna like what she’s wearing….but at the same time, I reckon it’s one of the cruellest things in the world to tell a girlfriend that you don’t like how she dresses….That’s just mean....’

I have to admire his sensitivity, but frankly I am surprised.
It seems that I haven't considered that there is a danger of going completely too far the other way…and disappearing behind a veil of the mediocre.
Maybe it's not good to be unnoticable, or is he saying that you should be noticed for the right reasons? and if so, what are they??...

Do I care?

When I get dressed in the morning, I commit whole heartedly to whoever or whatever it is that I want to be that day.
I go hard, or go home.
Is there a danger that on this journey to find feminine, I might actually loose myself??...
Later I get another update… I have the thumbs up for days 9, 10, and 16 among others but apparently, I need to watch my footwear.

‘Got some good oufits at the beginning, but the trainers take the sexiness out of it.’
(a bit harsh methinks…but fair. That was my first day…I couldn’t handle going cold turkey!)
He admits to a slight obsession with shoes…not mine…shoes in general – mens and womens, he thinks they’re ‘massively’ important.
...'Massively' is a big word...
So, maybe my lazy three pairs of heels on rotation just ain’t good enough St. Louis.
 Noted. Must try harder.


…Also randomly warns me against any LV bags… I tell him there’s no danger of that as I haven’t got one anymore…

Maybe it’s a good job that someone knicked my satchel…

All Photographs by John Lawrence