DARK ENCHANTMENT

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Better late than never…

A selection of photos from my Vogue Scrapbook layout, as exhibited in the post below. By no means do I consider myself a photographer… The proof is in the pudding. However I did get an A for this assignment so I thought I’d share the fruit of my labour. The model is Maddy, follow her instagram here.

HEAD PIECEHandmade
DRESS |  Topshop
JEWELLERY/BELT | H&M
TIGHTS | Wolford
BOOTS | Dunlop

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VOGUE SCRAPBOOK

Uni has been absolutely mind-bogglingly crazy these past few weeks and the next few weeks look just as insane. One of my assignments was to create a shopping page in the style of Vogue Scrapbook. I decided to go for the theme of a “dark fairytale” as seen on the catwalks of Valentino and Dolce & Gabbana for Autumn/Winter 2014.

We were then assigned to produce an accompanying photoshoot with the shopping piece and the result is below… I will do another blog post with the full range of photos included, but for now it’s just the one I submitted with my work.

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Text:
DARK enchantment
Ethereal illusions captivate the heart, mind and soul of those willing to be cast under its spell…

Once upon a time in a far away land where denim is all but forbidden, exists a wonderland of all charming dimensions where child’s play is not limited to those in infancy. Dolce and Gabbana led this season’s enchanted offering with Little Red Riding Hood capes all the better to be seen in, along with splendidly embellished creations evoking only the most magical notions. Forest greens, deep-hued ruby reds, blood-curdling blacks and a trickle of gold were all seen on the autumn/winter 14 catwalks by way of Valentino, Erdem and Alice & Olivia who all captivated the enigmatic motif of the classic dark fairytale.

Nature-themed garments decorated with appliquéd butterflies, birds and roses at Valentino nod to Cinderella getting ready for her grand ball, whilst over at Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton provides the darker edge to the fairytale matter with lurid evocations of past lands of make-believe. Fierce feathers provide the evasive charm to an otherworldly selection of garments of a luxurious couture-like quality. Gold accents are presented in all manner of accessories from filigree clutch bags adorned with jewels and chains; to gem-encrusted twinkly shoes by Dsquared² that will no doubt get Prince Charming’s heart racing as you skip off into the sunset. Pair your twinkly toes with equally twinkly fingernails with this season’s offering of ravishing nail lacquers from Dior.

The look comes into its own this winter with the release of Disney’s latest blockbuster Into the Woods starring the glorious Meryl Streep. Seemingly innocent, stemming from a Disney film, the undercurrents of style are of a feral innocence; this look is not for the faint-hearted. Snow White need not apply.

Follow the heart of your inner dark princess this winter party season and you’ll be in for a treat. From head-to-toe ethereal empress, to sparkly eyelids and a smattering of jewels with your LBD, however you don it you will no doubt be alluring; And with a tap of a wand you shall go to the ball, for you are the fairest of them all.

 

P.S. This was my first time using photoshop so please don’t judge me too harshly. I do enough of that to myself!

WHAT IS “HIGHBROW” ANYWAY?

In a culture obsessed with celebrities, those of prolific talent as well as those with a penchant for sex tapes and twerking, the lines between high and lowbrow are blurring. The words “style icon” are coined very loosely around figures in the media deemed to be notoriously “lowbrow” such as the likes of Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus. But with the levels of fame and popularity rising amongst such “clans” of celebrities, is the nature of what is “highbrow” actually changing? And what even is the meaning of “highbrow” nowadays anyway?

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I personlly hate the terms high and lowbrow and the notion that it is already decided for me what is intellectually stimulating and what isn’t. We live in a world where virtually anyone can be famous, for anything. With the rise of YouTube stars such as Zoella and Tanya Burr; those making a name for themselves on Vine such as “King Bach” and Brittany Furlan; even up to the endless amount of bloggers that make themselves “popular” on the various social media platforms available for them to do so. So with all these rising stars and their followings, how do we decipher who is a celebrity and who is not? Is there a universal definition or is it a subjective outlook? Does having a massive following make you “highbrow”? That seems to be the way our society is changing. “Highbrow” used to mean something that is intellectual, cultured and serious. It is questionable as to whether the meaning remains the same, or at least the label of “highbrow” being used too loosely.

The rise of such tabloid figures has also participated in such blurred lines of high/lowbrow in fashion. The “celebrities” that are famous for what some would say “nothing”, are becoming ever more popular, which in turn makes them ever more richer which enables such “stars” to buy into “highbrow” fashion. This simple ability to shop has led certain media outlets to label these “stars” as “fashion icons”. All because they used their money to choose something to wear from a pre-styled mannequin.

Whilst I will be the first to admit my obsession with the Kardashians, my love for “reality” TV knows no bounds when it comes to The Real Housewives and I personally thought Miley’s twerking and tongue waggling incidents of 2013 were pure PR genius, I still feel nostalgic for a time when the Daily Mail weren’t constantly updating the world on who is dating who on TOWIE, or which Z-list “celebrity”, who everyone forgot about eight years ago, is pregnant again. Do we, the consuming public, actually care? Is this what stimulates us, what we consider to be “highbrow”? If not, what are we aiming for? Why don’t we, as intelligent consumers, solely focus on what we deem to REALLY be “highbrow”?

Why? Because we’re too busy discussing the likes of how fat Kim got whilst pregnant.

RACHEL ROY A/W14

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First of all I’d just like to say that royal/electric blue is my favourite colour at the moment. This therefore means that you must be warned that I will love anything in those hues. Having said that, I don’t think my judgement is clouded when it comes to Rachel Roy’s latest collection for Fall. Yes, she has used my favourite colour (can we just spare a moment to fawn over those gloves?!!) but I am absolutely loving the lace inserts and paneling in this collection. Roy has somehow managed to make tweed and lace edgy by pairing them with metallic leathers and unfinished trims.

photo credit: style.com

LONDON FASHION WEEKEND

So yesterday I attended London Fashion Week with some friends from my Fashion Journalism course at uni, and we had such a good time. We arrived at Somerset House for our dedicated 1pm-4pm slot and started off with a bit of shopping….. By bit I mean a lot. I bought myself two Balmain t-shirts, two Wishlist London necklaces and a Tasha Metcalfe necklace crafted from a real pigeon’s foot!

 

Balmain t-shirt.

Balmain t-shirt.

Balmain safety-pin t-shirt.

Balmain safety-pin t-shirt.

Evil eye necklace and silver ring necklace by Wishlist London.

Evil eye necklace and silver ring necklace by Wishlist London.

 

 

 

Necklace crafted from a real pigeon's foot. Grasping a pearl which turns endlessly in in the claw.

Necklace crafted from a real pigeon’s foot. Grasping a pearl which turns endlessly in in the claw.

 

Necklace by Tessa Metcalfe.

Necklace by Tessa Metcalfe.


We also watched the London Fashion Weekend trend fashion show presented by Vodafone, which we were front row for. All the photos from it are on my Instagram @_hannahstocking but here’s a couple of my favourites:

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I really enjoyed myself yesterday, even if my bank balance is crying out for help! Being a student isn’t easy. Taking after Carrie Bradshaw, I’d rather buy Vogue than dinner.

BLOG OVERHAUL REVEALED!

So my blog has undergone a makeover by my talented brother, Callum. After much begging (and probably nagging) on my part, he finally agreed to help me “re-do” my blog (with the promise of me buying him some new jeans…). As much as I liked the old theme, Chunk, I was getting a little tired of the font and wanted something a little more girly and not as clean cut as the previous look. I decided on the theme “Pachyderm”, with my brother completely recreating the aestetic with my own Vogue-style header and uber-sophisticated veiny leaves.

Let me know what you think of my new theme, do you like it?

JULY BLOGGER COLLABORATION WITH EJM FASHION: FAVOURITE SHOPS.

If you’re active on my Twitter you may know that I have teamed up with Enya Morrisroe at EJMfashion for a collaborative project in conjunction with our respective blogs. To view last month’s post on our top five favourite fragrances, click here!

Due to my holiday and other prior commitments on both mine and Enya’s parts, this month’s blog post is up a little later than anticipated, but hey, we’re all human right? In future, these posts with hopefully be up on the 1st of every month, alternating on our respective blogs, so stay tuned!

This month however is a collaboration of mine and Enya’s top four favourite places to shop! As you know I am an avid fan of shopping, if you can even call it something to be a fan of, as is Enya and together we came up with shopping to be our next topic! We certainly have a lot to talk about so I’ll stop rambling on and let you read what Enya had to say first!

EJM FASHION’S TOP FOUR FAVOURITE SHOPS:

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JACK WILLS HALIFAX
Jack Wills Halifax has been at the centre stage on my shopping list ever since last summer when they opened a new store within Dean Clough, Halifax Business Park. Ever since opening they offer all the seasonal lines and campaigns you’ll find in the original Jack Wills shop however, their prices are at an outlet price (for instance I bought one of their sweaters for £30 whereas in store it’s £69). Yet you’re still getting all the original Jack Wills stock you would normally see in any store.

To be honest it’s just like another Jack Wills shop with its great British house décor from the pictures on the walls to the pink and navy blue painted walls amongst the Union Jack flag. Yet you’re not breaking the bank and you’re getting more for your money when shopping the brand.
To top it all off the store is celebrating their 1st year of opening on the weekend of 3rd to 4th August 2013 with a birthday party. I’ll be attending since I’ve worked closely with the store regarding their brand awareness however, for the meantime until I do a post regarding the birthday party you can contact via their twitter handle: @JWHalifaxOutlet or Shop Directly in store.

THEN AND NOW BANNER

THEN AND NOW
Having first came across this luxury online retailer only a couple of years through a dear friend of mine. I’ve find it is a place to enjoy luxury and yet celebrate our emerging talent of brands and designers whilst shopping their goods available on site. Really the whole family is stored when it comes to shopping on thenandnowshop.com because the website caters for Womenswear to Childrenswear. The website of the store includes a great tool which is called ‘ Fashionista Fairies’ which is used when you’re stuck for something to buy  for an occasion regarding, whether or not it’s for you or a friend etc. It will help you decide whether or not the goods you’re wanting to buy is suitable or not. I’ve used it and it simply works.
It’s the only place online I shop when I’m in the mood however I don’t really shop online because I like to see the clothes and I believe that we should keep our high street and retail alive.
Tweet: @thenandnowshop Click and Shop: www.thenandnowshop.com

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TED BAKER
Ted Baker came to me through my ages of being 10-13 years of age because; Debenhams do Baker Girl by Ted Baker which is a fabulous clothing collection for children. From owning a range of their tops which were bought as a treat, Christmas, and birthday to getting my hands on the brands beauty products that’s when my love for Ted came into place. Even now I have the top draw from its beauty range which is filled with some of the brands products and my own beauty products from other brands. Yet the brands clothing is still my love because they are original and cannot be found anywhere else but within the house of Ted. Owning two of their handbags and travel kits to their perfect pumps and tees it’s still on my cards to the perfect indulgent when it comes to shopping. Tweet: @tedbaker Shop directly www.tedbaker.com

AND FINALLY..

Department Stores and High Street

Out shopping is what I like to do wherever I am!
I like our great department stores especially when I’m back in London because they open up all department and clothing which you won’t see up here in Yorkshire. Since we’ve got the Trafford Centre, Victoria Quarter, to shops on the streets a lot of department stores are a main feature within any town. This is a helping hand because I know that Debenhams to John Lewis will cater for my love for our London designers from the likes of Alice Temperley’s Somerset to Jasper Conran.
Yet at the same time I can buy my perfumes to branded make up etc. all in the same place.
As always I do shop our great British high street however I do have my guidelines because, I like to go with things which are a staple in the closet and have great quality. From River Island to Zara I find my feet when I’m out shopping with anyone.  I’m not a big fan of Primark however do own a pair of PJ’s and dress which was carefully picked out however I’m more a Topshop, Miss Selfridge, River Island kind of girl. Although I do like an indulge moment now and then.

 

AND MY FAVOURITE PLACES TO SHOP ARE…

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ALLSAINTS

I’ve always, always, ALWAYS had a huge love affair with AllSaints, so huge in fact it would give Romeo and Juliet a run for their money. AllSaints is always a “stand out” brand for me because they’re not afraid to push style boundaries and make everything their own. Nothing in the store is similar to anything else on the high street or even on the runways and still every piece is special, feels unique and ‘one off’. With many fellow high street brands trying (and failing) to imitate the signature cut of AllSaints items, the chain still comes out on top, showing those impostors who’s boss. With their price points aimed at the higher end of high street, the brand is definitely aimed at the more established shopper, both in life and in their style which makes their clothes even more covetable, appreciated and therefore loved. I love AllSaints, always have and always will. To check out AllSaints (which I sincerely suggest you do if you know what’s good for you) click on the above photo or click here.

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SAMMY DRESS

On the complete opposite end of the shopping spectrum, I also love Sammy Dress; an exclusively online retailer based in China. Sammydress offers a huuuuge range of clothing, literally thousands of items at excellent prices including shipping! I’ve ordered many many items of clothing from there as I’ve previously blogged about, and I’m extremely happy with the service I’ve received. I love how you can sit at your laptop, dream up an item of clothing you want and about 98% of the time, it’ll be on Sammydress! Catering to all sizes, styles and tastes, the site has so much to offer to everyone and I would thoroughly recommend a visit! I will warn you though that you probably won’t be able to leave the site without making a purchase! So click here if you want to check Sammydress out!

Zara

ZARA

Zara is always a fashionista’s favourite store, if you’re an avid Pinterest user, you’ll know that a lot of Zara’s products have become cult classics on street style boards and blogs. That is no surprise when you consider the amazing quality of their products with the style capabilities of a high end brand! I particularly love the Trafaluc line, it always has some great seasonal pieces at brilliant price points. The Cambridge branch of Zara is particularly pleasing to shoppers because it never feels “crammed in” and crowded. The shop floor is always tidy and spacious even during the peak sales times and the staff are always (thankfully) willowing in the background rather than adopting the “attack the shopper” selling technique used by so many other shops out there today. To visit Zara’s online shop click here!

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H&M

It would be fair to say that about 80% of my clothes come from H&M. And I’m not kidding. I absolutely love this store. With it’s constant refresh of stock, great flow in the stores and no pushy sales assistants, the H&M brand is definitely a favourite (hence why I’ve listed it here, duh!). With amazig prices, great quality products and amazing key pieces, you can’t really go wrong with H&M. Perfect for basic items such as underwear, plain vests in every colour under the sun, jeans and shirts, H&M is definitely my go-to brand. Now with an H&M on practically every high street, there’s no missing their great deals; particularly the bigger branches in city centres such as London and Birmingham, who carry more stock and some of the more exclusive pieces H&M have to offer. Reason number 57685 to love H&M is their amazing array of designer collaboration, this year’s being Isabel Marant! I mean, really??? Is anyone else as excited for this as me?! To shop H&M online click here, although I would say visit in store, preferably the more inner city branches to get the full range of stock!

SHOPPING HAUL, WHAT I BOUGHT

Screw the New Year’s spending budget. I’m being cliched and living by the “YOLO” mantra. Life is too short, and my fashion brain is too eager, no apologies. Here are my latest purchases from my shopping trip yesterday!

Tees from Zara, both £5.99 (sale price)

Tees from Zara, both £5.99 (sale price)

And I finally got January American Vogue with Gwen on the cover!!

And I finally got January American Vogue with Gwen on the cover!!

Shoes from Office (£7!!!! In the sale, that matters)

Shoes from Office (£7!!!! In the sale, that matters)

Jeans from All Saints... The biggest bargain at £22.50 - reduced from £75. I'm such a compulsive bargain hunter.

Jeans from All Saints… The biggest bargain at £22.50 – reduced from £75. I’m such a compulsive bargain hunter.

Cat-eye sunglasses, £6 in a vintage shop.

Cat-eye sunglasses, £6 in a vintage shop.

Vests, both £12 in the All Saints sale, reduced from £40 each.

Vests, both £12 in the All Saints sale, reduced from £40 each.

Leggings, £22 from Topshop.

Leggings, £22 from Topshop.

Men's watch, half price at £15 in River Island.

Men’s watch, half price at £15 in River Island.

Essie nail polish in Leading Lady (left) and Forever Yummy (right)

      Essie nail polish in Leading Lady (left) and Forever Yummy (right)

 

Yoko Ono tees from Zara, both £9.99 (sale price)

Yoko Ono tees from Zara, both £9.99 (sale price)

GWEN STEFANI FOR JANUARY VOGUE…

Can we please just take a moment. Take a moment of sheer admiration, envy and lust over these photos. Well, more than a mere moment is needed but I’ll carry on for the sake of finishing this blog post before my dinner is ready.

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Ms Wintour has placed the ever-stunning and graciously cool Gwen Stefani on the cover of Vogue for the January 2013 issue, and doesn’t she look FAB?! (In my humble opinion it looks more like a December cover than a refreshing January issue, but who am I to disagree with the high priestess of fashion?) Gwen is of course wearing Saint Laurent Paris by Hedi Slimane, the designer’s first collection for the newly overhauled classic French label, and it has to be said that they look like they were made for Ms Stefani herself. Looking (as always) effortlessly cool with a dollop of chic, Stefani just epitomises the kind of woman everyone wants to be, well the woman I want to be anyway.
With all the photos shot by Annie Leibovitz you know already that the shoot is going to be special. Leibovitz also shot Stefani’s previous cover for Vogue in 2004.

The January 2013 issue of American Vogue is out on US newsstands now, with it being released here in the UK within the next couple of weeks, and you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be inspecting every shelf in every WHSmiths that I can get to until I have this beauty in my paws.