Monday, 21 November 2016

Monday's Must Have's

My Monday's Must Have series is back, and I've compiled all the "Must buy"'s I've got my eye on at the minute, with Black Friday approaching here's to hoping this little lot goes in to the sale! There's a nice mix of the extremely needed puffa jacket, my love for knitwear in cashmere deep V's and long sleeves are GO! Leopard print is back so I'll be adding these spots to my wardrobe, black accessories with minimal silver hardware detailing and frills in all the right places!


Wednesday, 2 November 2016

London's Instagrammable location's | Palm Vaults

For a while now I've been wanting to document those picturesque locations we have on our 'must visit' lists or stumble upon around London that make for the perfect insta-worthy photo op. So in my new blog series titled "London's Instagrammable location's", I will do just that, whilst drinking all the coffee and eating all the foods!

First stop, and one of the more recent openings is "Palm Vaults" in East London's Hackney. Even noted by the Metro as "one of London's most Instagrammable cafes". Think pink, palm trees, blush velvet, hanging planters and rainbow coloured coffee and you've arrived in Instagram paradise. Malibu Barbie would be at home in this joint, and frankly so am I in my Missguided satin ensemble!

The staff are friendly, the music is up-beat tempo that you would expect from a cool Hackney residence, and the coffee comes how I like it, with options AND even an array of colours if you so fancy. They have all the hipster vegan food options that update weekly depending on local produce. Just some on the menu - granola, chia pudding and everyone's favourite avocado on toast. I can vouch for the avo which comes with feta cheese, on a pink plate so I mean, already I'm sold!

Photography: Lydia Collins
411 Mare Street
Hackney Central
London E8 1HY

Opening Times:
Monday – Closed*
Tuesday - Sunday 8am-5:30pm



Thursday, 27 October 2016

Boohoo Dress of the Month?

If you know me personally / read my bio anywhere or my previous post on Becoming a Fashion Stylist, you'll know I'm a Stylist, or I was.. if you can ever just drop the title and suddenly go to not being able to style some body?! Either way, when Boohoo contacted me as a "Blogger" to style their 'Dress of the month' the stylist in me dusted off her safety pins and went to work!
The concept is what caught my attention, each blogger is given the same dress (in a choice of three colour ways) to style the way that suits them best. Now, I'm not a fan of wearing things I wouldn't necessarily purchase myself so I was apprehensive knowing the dress would be a surprise however being a stylist has taught me to break boundaries, get out of your boring comfort zone and try something new! Often you'll be amazed at the results, and if not, you haven't lost anything. I'm a true believer that fashion should be fun, experimental and sometimes we just need to break the damn rules!
So with that in mind, when the dress arrived I knew I was going to style it any way but in it's dress form.

The shirt dress in it's true form, is on trend in a khaki green satin finish however is a little more formal than I would usually wear everyday, especially in length. Therefore I took to my trusty denim to casualize the look, layering a black cami underneath for a flash of lace beneath the wrap front. Thanks to the silky finish the length easily tucked into my jeans and I clenched it at the waist with a belt. Finishing the outfit off with my favourite ankle boots from last AW in another, once again key trend for this season, burgundy!

*Disclaimer, I was having a no makeup day and ain't nobody ready to see that face in 1000px

How would you style yours?


Friday, 14 October 2016

All Black Everything.

Hat - Primark
Top - Paige*
Jeans - Paige*
Heels - 4th & Reckless*

For those days when you wake up late / don't want to wake up at all; many of us opt for a head to toe black ensemble (minus these pretty pink mules!). If you see me in all black you'll know I haven't had time to pre-plan an outfit the night before and the only thing on my mind come morning is 1) comfort and 2) blend-in (i.e don't look at my no-makeup face) hence the fedora too for that third day hair saviour!
But black doesn't have to mean boring.. I've updated my skinny jeans for this cropped kick flare style that's so new season worn with a lattice detail body for all the support I'll need today, and silver hardware to accessorise. Simple has saved the day! Now someone please fetch the coffee.


Thursday, 13 October 2016

Coffee Run with AWP.

Last month I had the pleasure of collaborating with two talented individuals and the duo behind A Weathered Penny, a contemporary, minimalistic jewellery brand that has just launched in Topshop. The British born brand founded by Kayleigh, sells simple yet stunning pieces in both gold and silver finishes. Joe, the man behind the lens and Creative Director got in touch with me to work on an interview article for their blog Beneath AWP. It's a great creative concept of a "Coffee run" featuring bloggers styling their favourite pieces from the AWP collection. So naturally I selected multiple rings to stack alongside a geometric lariat necklace that made a strong impact against my cool-tone grey, basic sweatshirt. I added some movement with a lace midi skirt and pointed ankle boots, for a perfect mid-season outfit.

The shoot took place at the Barbican Centre; a location I've wanted to shoot at for quite some time, and we couldn't have been more fortunate with the weather! The theme for the shoot was grey-toned and minimal, and I would say the results are very Bauhaus!
I'm really pleased to finally be able to share these images with you, especially after balancing mid-air, 50 feet up, in 6 inch heels to get "the shot!" - totally worth it!

Be sure to check out my interview on Beaneath AWP where I share my tips for newbie bloggers and how I intend on staying ahead of the game..

Photographer: Joseph Alexander Carter

Sweatshirt - Brandy Melville. // Skirt - Zara. // Boots - Zara. // Hat - hm. // Jewellery - A Weathered Penny.

Get the look:

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

The Pleated Midi Skirt, your Autumn essential.

Today I bring you a two-in-one trend that ticks both the pleated midi skirt and metallic box, perfect for Autumn.
The midi skirt is your ideal transitional piece for those days when you leave the house in low temperatures, going granny-chic with an oversized knit. For the sun to then show it's devious face around lunch time when you can strip off to reveal a more airy ensemble.
Pleats are the style being rocked by all the go-to's for inspo and when I came across this metallic (not to mention pink!) number on the Misspap website, it had to be mine!
Metallic's are a major trend for AW16; go subtle with shoes and accessories or all out in a slinky metallic slip dress or skirt like I have that you can style from day to night.

Get this look:

I've linked more of my favourite pleated skirts for this season:

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Key Season Satin feat. Missy Empire

The Bomber Jacket craze just won't quit. We've seen 90's replica comebacks, luxe finishes like embroidery and velvet and now satin floods the highstreet in an array of colour. So naturally, I added this Missy Empire quilted grey bomber to my unnecessarily, necessary collection. Layered with more muted tones and offset with this burnt rose; (*I just made that up but I like it!) skirt.

*You can get 20% off at Missy Empire with my discount code: VICTORIALAUREN20

, n


Monday, 26 September 2016

Day to Night Denim with French Connection.

If ever I'm in an outfit rut the first thing I'll gravitate towards is my trusty denim. Whether I'm grabbing coffee or cocktails, I can always rely on denim to (high) rise to the occasion. And I'm not just talking jeans. Denim jackets, skirts, shirts.. dungarees; I've built up quite the collection. We could be here all day if I went into the variations in colour and wash.
French Connection is one brand revolutionising the way we wear denim as the modern day uniform. With our fast-paced lives becoming so limitless , so should our outfits. We need piece's that can transition with us and require very little to update from off-duty to off-to-work staple.

Day.. night.

Photographer: Lydia Collins

Monday, 19 September 2016

10 Tips On Becoming A Fashion Stylist.

Now I wouldn’t call myself an expert when it comes to giving tips on becoming a fashion stylist, I’m no Erin Walsh. I’ve had my fair share of knock backs and months wondering when my next pay cheque will come in, because if I’m honest folks, freelancing ain’t easy! However that being said, some of the best advice often comes from those who have learn’t the hard way as that helps you grow as a stylist, into one hard faced, coffee fuelled, pack horse!

So if you’re coming to the end of your sentence at College/University or about to embark on your final year and have decided styling is your destiny then read on for my “10 tips before becoming a fashion stylist”.

1) You don’t need a University Degree to become a stylist.

And take that from somebody that has one. I don’t regret my time at University because it furthered my skills. I learn’t a lot about fashion as a whole, it taught me what I did and didn’t want to do whilst allowing me to build knowledge in areas I could fall back on if styling didn’t work out, and it nurtured me as a young person when I wasn’t yet ready to go it alone in the industry at eighteen. However there are other options, such as styling short-courses and The Fashion Retail Academy that will give you a creative insight in to areas of the industry. Alternatively you can begin from my next point if you’re prepared to start from the bottom and work your way up.

2) Experience is EVERYTHING.

When I was trying to gain work experience it was a lot easier to email stylists and ask to shadow them as they were just happy for a spare set of free hands (FREE being the prime word here, don’t expect any kind of payment when you start out in this industry, you’re lucky if you get paid when you finally book your first job). A good time is surrounding Fashion Week as it’s of course the busiest and can also gain you experience supporting catwalks and get you mentally prepared for when things get seriously cray-cray.
I also did a lot of test shoots which you will have no shortage of finding other creatives; photographers, MUAs, models wanting to work together on either Uni/college projects or just to build their portfolios. Google search or better yet, thanks to twitter you can now #testshoot and follow accounts that promote these too.
Every job you apply for now, even internships want previous experience (I know, puzzling right?) but this doesn’t always have to mean experience in the area you are applying for. Any skills that can demonstrate your capabilities and how you can adapt them to the role alongside a willingness to learn will benefit you. Someone once told me putting on my CV “knows how to make a good cup of tea” goes down well with stylists, and in my book anyone and everyone.

3) Deciding what type of stylist you want to become.

I knew early on I wanted to be a stylist, I just didn’t know there was more than one type. Elle was my favourite magazine from a pre-teen and I idolised the editorials styled by Natalie Wansbrough-Jones who is now Senior Fashion Editor. I only ever wanted to work at Elle and that confirmed my decision to enrol on a Fashion Course at University, thinking I would go on to work at a magazine. Fast forward a few years, after a couple of internships shoulder-deep in returns from the fashion cupboards of two top selling glossy mags and it’s safe to say it’s no longer for me. Those experiences taught me what I didn’t want to do and went on to help me get experience in what I did want to do, so it’s all relevant.
You might start off, like me, wanting to work on editorials and decide that actually commercial styling is more for you. You may gain contacts through commercials and end up as a wardrobe stylist for TV/Theatre. You could grow your contacts from those commercials and become a personal stylist for a whole clientele of people. And through word of mouth, growing your portfolio and knowing the right people you could end up a celebrity stylist to the stars. A lot of stylists will tell you they’re each very different, that you should specialise in one area but thanks to my University course I’ve tried my hand at a few and the possibilities are endless, (so is the pay packet) so networking is KEY! Which moves me nicely on to my next point.

4) It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

You’ll hear this a lot in life, but even more so within the fashion industry. Which can be frustrating because often it doesn’t just come down to all the effort you’ve put in to get to where you are. Everyone you’ve met up until this point is a possible contact, I’ve booked more jobs from unusual circumstances than I have from seeking out work alone; A friend of a friend, an old university acquaintance, a former colleague who is in new employment, even a Facebook tag landed me a paid shoot. So always come prepared with business cards and if there’s an opportunity to network make the most of it. Attend press events, visit trade shows, gate crash an awards ceremony if you have to!

5) How to get work as a stylist, if you don’t know anybody..

Not everybody has the time or funding to wait around for that friend Bob who knows somebody, who knows somebody else that lands you that game changing X Factor work. It’s time to start seeking out work for yourself. There are a number of agencies that can do the hard work for you, and put you on their books for any potential projects that comes up however they of course take quite a cut of your pay and you need to have built a decent portfolio already to be able to sign up. So what I did was use freelancer sites that post paid and unpaid work opportunities (again great for experience) that you can apply for, the more jobs you get through these increases your likelihood of being contacted directly for other shoots and of course if those clients enjoy working with you they’ll be back in touch again and they may even recommend you to their contacts. (See how this whole process can come 360, you then know people in places!). If freelance isn’t for you, there is also the option to apply to work solely for one brand, so many these days are recruiting stylists and shoot assistants to strengthen their visuals.

6) Document and promote your work/services.

To apply for most paid work you will need to have examples of your previous styling. When that comes to personal and wardrobe stylists they go on testimonials, recommendations and mentions in publications. You can display your work with an online portfolio, website, blog or the various platforms to promote yourself through social media. You want to sell the best of your styling skills, separate in to genres if you have experience in more than one area and show clearly your contact details; embed the link into the footer of your emails.
As well as a portfolio, I started a personal style blog ( I use this platform to share my own style to an audience with similar taste and now receive emails from followers wanting a personal stylist. So not only does this show my skills through another avenue it’s also proved I’m passionate about what I do outside of my day to day, and fortunately has enabled me to build contacts with brands and PR agencies that has in turn aided me in securing jobs and also pulling samples for shoots.

7) What are the hours like for a stylist.

Every job can be different, and no two days are the same when it comes to styling, working hours can be unsociable so you’ll need to be flexible with your time and expect that evenings and weekends may sometimes be off the cards for your personal life. Sometimes I would go a week or two with no work, then book a 3 day shoot one after the other and have a shopping appointment booked in at the weekend which meant I was exhausted by the time it came to seeing my friends and family. Shoots can over-run or be rescheduled last minute and you’ll spend most of those long hours loaded up like a pack horse with returns. However with the inconvenience comes the flexibility which is great if you can plan shoots around your life too. You may have a call time for 6am, but you could also end up finishing early and avoid all that #commuterproblems everyone moans about. Instead of the 9-5 routine, your five day week could be just two days and those could even be spent jetting off to the Bahamas to call that your office for the next few days (Keep me in mind if you need any assistance with that!).

8) Stylist rates

No one likes to talk about money, but you deserve to know if those long, unsociable hours are ever going to pay off. And to put it bluntly, you will need to work a lot of those for very little pay before you can cover the mortgage. However once you get a consistent amount of work you’ll be laughing, knocking back the champers and reminiscing on that time you scrapped together your last coppers to be able to afford a coffee. Depending on your chosen forte, stylists can earn anything between a day rate of £200 - hundreds of thousands.

9) Think outside the box

If you have an eye for styling you’ll know it goes way beyond knowing trends or what “looks nice”. You’ll probably already have a knack for finding a rare bargain, getting creative and make the most of your contacts. I say this because it doesn’t matter if you’re an editorial stylist in need of that one of a kind prop for a photoshoot that you bought from a charity shop and spray painted, or a wardrobe stylist that needs to dress an entire cast with very little budget, or a celebrity stylist who’s client can’t be seen dead on the “who wore it best” page. Vintage shops, markets, charity shops, boutiques, independent designers, start up brands and even eBay will become your best friends. The same goes for sourcing new locations for shoots. Being able to provide something others can’t is why people will hire you and pay what you’re worth. I keep a little note book of any inspiration, stores or places I’ve come across that might be useful to me in the future.

10) A Stylist is only as good as their tools

Last but not least, and probably one of the most beneficial things I learn’t from my time assisting on photoshoots was that I needed a stylist kit bag and what I needed in it. Again it doesn’t matter what genre of stylist you are I guarantee at some point in your career you’re going to need a good pair of chicken fillets and a needle and thread.
Below I’ve bullet pointed your styling kit necessities (minus the kitchen sink):

- Sewing kit
- Chicken Fillets (aka boobies)
- Tit tape and nipple covers
- Scissors
- Safety pins
- Masking tape / thick tape (covers the soles of shoes)
- Measuring tape
- Clips / Clothes pegs /
- Wet wipes
- Lint roller
- inner soles / party feet / shoe horn
- stain remover
- Anti- static spray
- Hairspray
- nude underwear, strapless bra, thong / Spanx / tights
- wire ties (to shorten necklaces/belts)
- make up hood (to protect clothing during outfit changes)
- Extras : shaving foam, razor, toothbrush, tampons, sunscreen, plug convertor, heat pads

Shop the look all from Pretty Little Thing:

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