19 February 2018

Discovering the charm of vintage pieces with Rokit Vintage

This post is in collaboration with Rokit Vintage.

We have a masterpost to share with you all today! We collaborated with Rokit to style some wonderful vintage pieces from their London stores. 

H: Over the past year Summer & I have been sharing our thoughts on fast-fashion and the impact this industry has on people and our planet. The more we learn the more passionate we become and the more thought we put into where we put our money. One of our main goals of 2018 is to buy less and buy well, so this collaboration couldn't have come at a better time.
Thrift stores come with their pros and cons. On the one hand you're minimizing your carbon footprint and crafting your own personal style with unique secondhand pieces, on the other you may spend hours looking through the racks with no success. That being said, once you find something it is utterly unique and brings so much value to your personal style. It's always worth the effort!
The great thing about Rokit is on top of having 4 stores around London, they also have a great online shop. It was super easy to filter through all the pieces and explore different styles from the comfort of our own home.

Rokit Vintage blouse (similar here /here) - & Other Stories belt
Zara skirt + lace up shoes + oversize trench coat

H: I really couldn't make up my mind about this bold 80's blouse. I find blouses problematic in general (you know when the boobs just ruin the button fastening? Yeah, that) so I tend to avoid buying them all together, especially blouses with such bold colours. That being said the structure of this one won me over, I completely fell in love with the rich blue colour and the old-fashioned neck-line. It reminds me of the late 19th early 20th century London dresses you might see on Penny Dreadful's Vanessa Ives. The bold blue colour is broken up by lighter thin vertical stripes making it quite a versatile piece. It would work just as well in the work wardrobe as it would for a smart/casual evening out. It would go nicely with Summer's cropped flares (featured below) but I really wanted to wear something high-waisted with it as I find the cinched waist look super flattering on my body shape. I opted for my black skirt as I don't like to clash colours too much and the shade of blue is so beautiful I think it would be a shame to draw the attention away from it with an equally bold piece.

Vintage Ralph Lauren blazer (other / other) - & Other Stories jeans 
& Other Stories cotton tee - Marks & Spencers bag - Zara lace up heels

S: This vintage Ralph Lauren blazer caught my eye instantly, with it's defined shoulder pads and stitching detail. It isn't a piece I would usually go for, I tend to feel more comfortable in long-line blazers - but the sleeves and colour won me over and I couldn't be happier with it. I did struggle trying to style it initially, I wanted it to remain the statement piece but give it a modern feel too. I went for a simple all black look, with a plain cotton tee and cropped flares, borrowing these lace up heels from Holly to complete the look. I was afraid of the outfit looking a little too dull and dark, which I why I incorporated my burgundy bucket bag to give it a splash of colour. A little accessorising would have gone nicely here too, like layering some gold necklaces as a finishing touch. It's 100% wool and fits really well - so although it may be a little tricky wearing it over a knit, it's very warm and suitable for spring!

Giorgio Armani vintage blazer (similar) - Topshop polka dot culottes 
 & Other Stories belt - Zara boots

H: We both wanted to expand our outerwear collection after we gave away/sold most of our coats and jackets last year. I tend to choose outerwear based on my already existing wardrobe- I'd rather buy a coat which goes with everything! Unfortunately that means that most of the time I end up buying a plain black coat. I decided to break that habit and invest in an eye-catching blazer, a choice which will challenge me to be more creative with my outfits in the future.
We were able to filter out the items on the Rokit website by choosing our desired size and the decade we were interested in. I've always admired super structured jackets as I find they really bring out a feeling of power and confidence when you wear them: it's one of those pieces which is designed to turn heads and bring about that kind of energy in you.
This beige vintage Giorgio Armani 80's blazer has a three button fastening complete with thick shoulder pads for a sharp and professional look. The shoulder pad detail sets the blazer as a statement piece but the the intricate zig-zag design is soft on the eye which balances it all out quite nicely. It's eye-catching but not loud. It's definitely meant to be worn as a transitional spring/summer piece as there is no room for layering.
I opted for a monochrome look with a plain black high neck; I wanted the focus to be on the lines of the blazer as opposed to the design of the top underneath so my goal was to keep the outfit as minimalist as possible. 

Rokit Vintage blazer (similar) - & Other Stories cotton tee + cropped jeans 
Zara bag + heeled boots

S: This fitted Herringbone blazer is mostly polyester & acrylic, with a lovely collar & three button fastening. The Herringbone is a classic and timeless print that I know I will reach for time and time again, making it the perfect investment piece & a wardrobe must-have. This is more of a office-wear inspired outfit, very suitable for work yet can easily be dressed up or down. Both of the blazers I'm wearing are very well fitted and leave little room for layering underneath, however they are statement pieces that look great beneath my over-size trench coat.  Once again, I stuck to a fail safe simple cotton tee & cropped jeans combination. I've seen a lot of people styling blazers with dresses and midi skirt, creating bold & beautiful looks - with Spring around the corner I look forward to styling this piece in a different and more interesting way.

 Vintage Lacoste polo shirt (similar) - Zara faux leather jacket + lace up shoes + bag 
& Other Stories cropped flare jeans 

S: I own very few white / cream pieces in my wardrobe. It can be a risky and difficult colour to pull off, but it's a challenge I'm willing to undertake more in the future. This vintage Lacoste polo shirt is slightly cropped, stopping just past my belly button - however the S size I got just about fits me, I should have ordered a size up. Although I'm quite comfortable in my own skin, I felt a little exposed in such a tight-fitting piece: I very rarely wear such fitted tops so I couldn't help but cross my arms and feel a little apprehensive when wearing it. However I loved how it looked with my faux leather jacket and a pair of straight jeans: an easy, casual, every-day look. I was really impressed with the quality too, the material itself is quite thick yet doesn't feel uncomfortable at all.
My personal style has always been a balance between occasional new fashion pieces and my wardrobe staples. My goal is to spend more time in second hand & vintage stores (not to mention websites like Rokit & Depop) and less time in fast-fashion ones on the high street. Although I may not give up fast-fashion altogether, investing in more second-hand pieces is definitely a step in the right direction. Every little helps and there is no such thing as the perfect consumer, but nothing is stopping us from making small changes that will have a big, positive impact on our environment.

H: We hope you enjoyed reading this post! It's been so nice to have a break with the travel content. It's amazing how nearly 3 months on we still have videos to share from our backpacking trip. Now that spring is well on it's way we can look forward to shooting some more content in the charming cobbled streets of rural France before the next adventure (whatever that may be) begins.

Holly & Summer x


15 February 2018

One Moment in Time - Part VI

This film photograph reflects just how much this trip impacted my mind and my body. After 5 weeks of backpacking my legs and stomach were as hard as steel, my clothes were crinkled and a little dirty, I was physically and emotionally knackered but I was enjoying every single minute of the challenging routine.

The three weeks which made up Franz Josef, Wanaka and Queenstown were the best weeks of the whole trip. It truly felt as though we were on a journey and as cringey as it sounds I still feel so grateful to have experienced it. For some reason our arrival in Queenstown marked the beginning of the end of this backpacking adventure: we suddenly found ourselves counting down the days we had left.

It was a sunny day in late October. I remember that I really needed to wash my hair this day but for the life of me I simply could not face the hostel showers. We walked around Queenstown Park and settled by the edge of the water; I clearly remember thinking how lucky I was to be there, to have made it to this part of world.
We spent an hour or so in this spot, admiring the view and building stone towers with the small flat pebbles scattered around us.

Just as we were climbing over the large boulders back to the path I turned around and looked once more at this astonishing landscape. I asked Summer to quickly snap a picture of me on the film camera (it had to be the film camera) as I just felt I needed to capture this specific moment.

The result is more than I could have hoped for. I can't tell you all how happy I was when I first held this newly developed photograph in my hands. The mountains appear just as mysterious as they did in person: they look so sharp and almost harsh against the blue sky. It triggers the same feeling of awe I felt when I first saw them. I wish I had more time to explore Queenstown but I will always look back on this picture and remember just how much I loved it there.

Je tiens beaucoup à cette photo argentique : ellreflète les changements que j’ai subis lors de mon voyage, physiquement et mentalement. Après 5 semaines de backpacking, mes jambes et mon ventre étaient aussi durs que le fer, mes vêtements étaient sales, et qu’est-ce que j’étais fatiguée! 
Je me sentais à l’aise avec cette nouvelle routine, et malgré les difficultés qui l’accompagnaient j’ai aimé chaque seconde. Lors de notre arrivée à Queenstown je me suis rendu compte du peu de temps qu’il nous restait au Nouvelle-Zélande. Il nous restait 4 destinations à visiter : seulement 2 semaines de liberté avant la fin de cette aventure.

C’était un jour ensoleillé d’Octobre, et je me rappelle que j’ai évité de me laver les cheveux ce jour-là tellement que j’avais la flemme. On s’est promenée dans Queenstown Park avant de se poser tranquillement au bord de l’eau, et à ce moment-là je me disais quelle chance j’avais de pouvoir admirer ce petit coin du monde. 
On a passé une heure à admirer ce paysage : assises au soleil sur des blocs de roches en discutant et en jouant avec des petites pierres et cailloux.
Lorsqu’on se dirigeait vers le chemin, je me suis retournée encore une fois pour regarder ces montagnes magnifiques – j’ai vite appelé Summer et lui ai demandé de prendre une photo de moi sur l’appareil argentique. Je voulais absolument capturer ce moment.

Quand j’ai tenu cette photo dans mes mains pour la première fois, j’étais tellement épanoui par le résultat. J’ai ressenti les mêmes émotions que j’ai sentis la première fois que j’ai vu ce paysage onirique. J’aurai tellement aimé passer plus de temps à Queenstown, mais quand je regarderai cette photo dans le futur je me souviendrai toujours de tous les bons moments que nous avons vécus là-bas. 

Holly x


12 February 2018

The Vintage Blazer

This post is in collaboration with Rokit London,

One of the many things I miss from London is the endless vintage & second hand shops. I very rarely find the perfect vintage piece, I usually spending ages flicking through the rack without any luck. You really have to dedicate a fair amount of time but it's so rewarding once you find that piece. I found this gem of a blazer on Rokit London's website and was amazed to find that it fit perfectly, a true rarity for me. They have lots of herringbone pattern blazers and coats available too, from longline, oversize and with shoulder pads. I fell in love with the collar and three button fastening with this one, a very smart and structured piece I'm glad to finally have in my wardrobe.

Last year I made the decision to be a more conscious consumer. Luckily Holly and I have always shared each other's clothes, so I buy a lot less than some might think, however I have yet to crack the second hand shopping. I always donate & recycle all of my old pieces, yet I always struggle when it comes to the buying part. I think this is partly due to the lack of vintage shops in rural France, but it's something I'm determined to dedicate more time to. 

Ce que j’aime vraiment à Londres c’est le nombre interminable de magasins vintage et ‘thrift shops’ – une chose auquel je n’ai pas accès ici à la campagne française.  Je trouve très rarement la pièce vintage parfaite, je peux passer des heures à fouiller dans les racks sans rien trouver. Il nécessite beaucoup de temps et de détermination pour trouver quelque chose, mais une fois trouvé c’est très gratifiant.  J'ai découvert ce très joli blazer sur Rokit Vintage, et j'ai été surpris de constater qu’il m’allait parfaitement – d’habitude j’ai beaucoup de mal à trouver la bonne taille pour les blazers (surtout si c’est vintage). L'année dernière, j'ai vraiment fait un effort afin d'être un consommateur plus conscient et eco-friendly. Heureusement, Holly et moi avons toujours partagé nos vêtements, et donc contrairement à ce que certains pourraient penser, j’achète très peu de nouveaux vêtements chaque mois. Je donne et recycle toutes les pièces que je ne porte plus, pourtant j’ai encore beaucoup de mal à acheter d’occasion, une chose auquel j’aimerai consacrer plus d’effort.  

 I've always loved blazers, it's the one piece of clothing that dominates my Style & Beauty Pinterest board - they can be incredibly versatile if you're brave enough. I love how they can look with dresses & midi skirts - often adding a bit of structure to a bold look. I have yet to style one with something other than black jeans! This tweed wool one is very structured and fits perfectly, the first non-longline one I have ever purchased. Although you can't wear a jumper underneath, I found it really warm and took these pictures in low temperatures without any discomfort. I fell in love with the buttons and the classic herringbone print, undoubtedly a new essential item in my wardrobe. 

10 February 2018

Rotorua in 35mm film - Backpacking vlog #6

Hello everyone. I feel like it's been a while since I sat down and typed a post in one go. Maybe it's because I shared so many film posts in a row and my mind felt a little overwhelmed by them all. I assure you some fashion content is on it's way very soon! So today this post may be a little chatty. In these film posts we tend to discuss the story behind the pictures, but I figured some of you may want a little break from travel talk! I also feel like I need to engage with our audience a little more, I miss talking to people via comments - I heard that a lot of bloggers have seen a drastic dip in blog comments throughout 2017, despite having pageviews. I'm trying to engage with more people on Instagram as the blogging community is something that I don't want to lose touch with.

We experienced a cold snap a few days ago here in France, with the first proper snowfall we've had in several years! I woke one morning and glimpsed the snowflakes drifting towards the already blanketed ground. Like a child, I jumped out of bed and ran downstairs to grab a warm coat, eager to go outside. As much as I love snow, the cold that has accompanied it has been quite impressive this year. Twice a day I venture outside to bring some wood down from the fire, yet it's not enough to keep the chill at bay so I've had to resort to wearing multiple pairs of socks and chunky jumpers around the house. 

Bonjour à tous. J'ai l'impression que ça fait un moment que j’ai fais une séance d’écriture. C’est surement parce-que j'ai partagé tant d’articles sur les photographes argentiques à la suite, je commençais à manquer d’inspiration. Je vous assure qu’on a des articles sur la mode qui vont bientôt arriver ! Dans ces genres d’articles, nous avons tendance à partager l'histoire derrière les photos, mais je me suis dit que certains d'entre vous souhaiteraient peut-être quelque chose diffèrent, et une petite pause dans les discussions de voyage serait sans doute le bienvenu. Je cherche aussi à m’engager davantage avec nos lecteurs : j’ai remarqué qu’en 2017 beaucoup de blogueurs ont vécu une baisse de commentaires, même si le nombre de pageviews restait constant. J'essaye de m'impliquer avec plus de gens sur Instagram, car le blogging community est quelque chose que je ne veux pas perdre de vue.  Nous avons connu une vague de froid il y a quelques jours ici en France, avec les premières chutes de neige importantes depuis plusieurs années. Je me suis réveillée un matin, et après avoir vu les flocons à travers la fenêtre j’ai vite sauté du lit pour prendre mon manteau et sortir dehors. Même si je prends plaisir à voir la neige, le froid qui l'accompagne a été assez impressionnant cette année. Je m'aventure dehors pour ramener du bois deux fois par jour, mais notre cheminée seule n'est pas suffisante pour garder le froid à l’écart. Je me résous alors à porter plusieurs paires de chaussettes et des gros pulls bien chauds autour de la maison. 

Just to put this following vlog into context, at the end of our last vlog we were at Hobbiton, and we were going to spend the night at the Tamaki Maori Village before staying at a hostel in Rotorua for 2 days. Sadly we've been having a little trouble with our Tamaki Maori Village vlog, whenever I export the video the last 3-4 minutes refuse to play - so after several days trying to fix it, I decided to finish the Rotorua one instead and share the other once I've found a solution.

En ce qui concerne le vlog suivant, la fin de notre dernier vlog #5, nous étions à Hobbiton, et nous allions passer la nuit au Tamaki Maori Village avant de passer 2 jours dans une auberge à Rotorua. Malheureusement, nous avons rencontré pas mal de problèmes avec notre vlog sur le Tamaki Maori Village, chaque fois que j'exporte la vidéo les 3-4 dernières minutes refusent de jouer - donc après plusieurs jours essayant de le réparer, j'ai décidé de finir le vlog suivant sur Rotorua et de partager l'autre une fois que j'aurai trouvé une solution.

Back to these pictures. I should probably talk about them a little, although I don't think words could possibly convey the beauty of such places. They were taken at the Geo-thermal pools and the Redwoods Forest in Rotorua, on NZ's North Island. 

The thermal pools are impressive to gaze upon, with the vapour incessantly rising from the clear water, dancing & swirling in the wind. The vapour can be thick enough to conceal the path before you, often reminiscent of fantasy landscapes. The smell of sulphur can be overwhelming at times too, definitely not something that I miss!

Retour à ces images. Je devrais en discuter un peu, même si je pense que les mots ne réussiront pas à traduire la beauté de ces milieux. Ces photographes argentiques ont été prises auprès des étangs géothermiques et la forêt ‘Redwoods’ à Rotorua, sur l’ile du nord de la Nouvelle-Zélande. Les étangs thermaux sont très impressionnants à voir, avec la vapeur qui danse dans le vent et dissimule le chemin devant nous, évoquant des paysages fantastiques. 

Whakarewarewa Forest is a truly stunning place, and a joy to capture on film. We were met by tall, majestic trees that stretched to the horizon. Despite their size, the forest floor was spacious and welcoming, with glistening sunlight pouring through the canopy and embracing us in its warm golden glow. The earthy scent in the air cleared my thoughts, extinguishing all worries from my mind, as I gazed at the harmony of colours before me. Maroon, mahogany & a touch of crimson painted the landscape, intertwined with olive, forest & fern. Trees have always held a special place in my heart. They radiate magic & awe, like ancient guardians who protect our precious environment. A clear, turquoise stream ran through the forest, adding to this surreal beauty. Once again I'm reminded of the heavenly beauty and charm of New Zealand's landscape.

C’était une vraie joie de capturer ces photographes à l’argentique. Whakarewarewa est un foret vraiment magnifique. Nous avons été accueillis par de grands arbres majestueux qui s’étendaient jusqu’à l’horizon. En dépit de leur taille, le sol de la forêt était spacieux et chaleureux, avec les rayons de soleil qui scintillaient à travers la canopée, nous embrassant dans sa chaude lumière dorée. Une odeur de terre a permis l‘éclaircissement de mes pensées, effacent tous les soucis de mon esprit. J’admirais l’harmonie de couleurs devant moi, des nuances de marron et verts qui s’entrelaçaient, créant une peinture presque divine.  Les arbres ont toujours tenu une place spéciale dans mon cœur, ils rayonnent un air de magie et de respect, comme s’ils étaient des anciens gardiens qui protégeaient notre environnement précieux. Un ruisseau clair et turquoise traversait la forêt, renforçant cette beauté surréaliste. Une fois de plus, je me souviens de la beauté divine et charmante du paysage Nouvel-Zélandais. 

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