Saturday, 31 March 2012

Swan by Clements Ribeiro for Evans: Online Today!

Models Tara Lynn & Robyn Lawley for the Evans Swan Collaboration.

Hey Lovelies! Just a quick reminder that the latest Designer Collaboration by Evans releases online TODAY. The Collection is called SWAN and is an Evans Collaboration with designers Clements Ribeiro. The items are expected to be pretty darn popular - so think about getting in quick if something catches your eye!

Myself and a couple of the other HOT London bloggers (including Lauren of Pocket Rocket) will hit Evans on Monday morning when the Collection releases in store (although please note that much like the Beth Ditto release - only a few Evans shops will have the items for sale in-store). We'll look at the collection, take pictures and I'm pretty sure each of us will do a totally HOT change room post so you can see the items on non model bodies. As I say though, the items will likely be popular - so if you wait for our change room posts - just makes sure you keep an eye online over the weekend, so you don't miss out. I am pretty sure the Black Broderie Anglaise ‘BETTY' Dress (below) will be one of the most popular items.


Tuesday, 27 March 2012

I loved this...

Last week over on the City Chic Blog I wrote a love letter to the City Chic Lace Dancer Dress. I couldn't resist sharing a few of the photos here too. This is an amazing, beautifully crafted dress.

I wore this out for a date with Mr. Darcy. We went through a local Market and ended up down by the water near Putney Bridge - holding hands and being whimsical. Dinner was pasta and it was DELICIOUS.

This dress is quite dreamy and I felt just so pretty when I put it on. I wore it with Black Boots (hello, my love of adding a wee bit of EDGE), a vintage handbag and gold buckled belt. So simple.

I'm still on holiday, but I couldn't resist a little post!

Smooch. x.

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Anna Scholz SS12 Series: HOT as Fire.

This is my final post in the current Anna Scholz Series. I have LOVED sharing these dresses with you. Have any really caught your eye? I'm undecided about which ones I love the most - that's the great thing about these clothes - they are ALL just SO stunning.

Print Georgette Maxi Dress in Hydrangea
Cornelli Shrug - £189.00

I will update the links soon, but the Maxi isn't available to buy yet! Sneaky Peak!

Boombands Em in Anna Scholz Spring Summer Collection 2012 (SS12).

This Maxi is like the epitome in Spring/Summer Girlish femininity. Seriously. The Hydrangea print is one of my favourite of the season and the dress is adorned with the most beautiful little frilled features around the hem and on the arm strap. Because I was wearing the shrug, I didn't think to get a  really good "shoulder strap shot" but I DO have one with some details!

And this next shot, while very candid (as I rearrange coat hangar ribbon), does give you a more of a glimpse of the shape of the dress as well as some more details! I apologise it's not quite the USUAL style I post, but really? I love this shot. I'm leaning my hip to the left as I rearrange myself and you can see how well this dress holds shape, but, also balances beautifully from my waist line, along my hip. 

Boombands Em in Anna Scholz Spring Summer Collection 2012 (SS12).

This dress has a gorgeous shape which seems to FLOAT on curves. It's not clingy at all, rather roomy and breathable. Nothing about this feels tight, instead, I felt like it was gliding on my body. The top half has a slight pleating over the cleavage for great breast shape/definition and then nips in at the waist with a wee bit of elastic. The dress comes with a whimsical, gentle, fabric tie for your waist also, which you can see - I've used around my head. This dress felt a little boho hippy - so I embraced that.

Boombands Em in Anna Scholz Spring Summer Collection 2012 (SS12).
When I put this on, I liked the little bit of weight in the drape and fabrics (lining and outer layer) which made me feel like I had a great, flowy shape. This dress made me feel really confident and quite graceful!

This particular Maxi is quite long so girls who might be shorter than me, may want to try this print in the Frill Tunic. I am 5'5" and wearing a 20.

I really like this one - if I bought it, I would need to wear a baby heel. Hmm. Can I see myself in this dress with heeled sandals, a large tote and some bracelets for Summer?


Now. Paired with the Maxi, I have on the Cornelli Shrug. What AMAZING, GORGEOUS detailing:

Boombands Em in Anna Scholz Spring Summer Collection 2012 (SS12).

This is lovely and light. The shrug has  wide arm sleeves, sits well across my breasts and is very easy to wear. A note on the shape - I didn't have to keep moving this shrug - it just held itself in place at the front. I find some boleros/crop cardis aren't great at holding their own shape - but this one? Why, it's divine!

Boombands Em in Anna Scholz Spring Summer Collection 2012 (SS12).

Boombands Em in Anna Scholz Spring Summer Collection 2012 (SS12).

I first saw this dress on The Ginger Pear at Plus London and when she wore it, I was like - ZOUNDS!

I feel like a complete babe in this dress. HOT. LIKE. FIRE.

I don't have to say, "this looks amazing" - because you have eyes - you can see! I do want to say though that this would look amazing on MANY types of figures. The central gathered pleating under the breast at the front, is replicated on the back - giving this dress an immensely sexy, effortless shape. This is not a constricting garment; the dress is made from Anna's supple jersey, so it has stretch in it, meaning it will work with your curves. You can see, the fabric doesn't cling to me, but rather skims from my breast and down my hip in a sexy natural fall. My hips as I walked in this? WHOA.

For me, this is one of THOSE dresses. The kind you put on that makes your heart leap. For me - this is a YES dress. The cap sleeves, v-neck, slightly fluttered hem and devine foxy print all just add to the magic shape, delicious fabric and stunning print. Just. So. Hot.

Thank you all for your lovely comments and thoughts on this latest series. I adore the opportunity to try these clothes and really love when you give me feedback on how it helps you get a bigger picture. One of the reasons I blog these days is so I can share fashion with all you wonderful women who drop by, I value all of you and your opinions. For me - dressing up in these clothes reminds me of being a little girl and getting into my mum's lovely, big closest - it makes me giddy and joyous. I'm so pleased so many of you have written and told me how much you enjoy it too. Thank you.

Now, don't forget lovelies - the discount code: ANMAR8 will work on the Anna Scholz site until the 31st March, giving you 8% off.

I am on holidays next week! YAY! I may check in with one post - but until then, I hope you all great and stay well.

Big Smooches - Em. x.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Anna Scholz SS12 Series: Revisiting Style!

Boombands Em in Anna Scholz Spring Summer Collection 2012 (SS12).
Everyone has been asking! I recently changed brands and now use Bare Minerals Makeup.  LOVE.

So. You know I love fashion. You know that I'm very lucky and these last few seasons, Anna Scholz has sent me items to try, review and photograph... I love the clothes and LOVE sharing them! I also think it is amazing to be invited by a designer to showcase their brand on my size 20 body. Not enough brands think like this. It's fantastic.

But let's regroup for a second. This all happened because of one fateful day, two years ago... I snuck into the (now defunct) Harrods Plus Section, grabbed some Anna Scholz, dashed Darcy and myself to a change room - and tried clothes on like a giggling school girl. I tried one of Anna's Wrap Dresses for the first time and it was like magic. I blogged it...

For this series, and for the first time since that day two years ago - I have just tried Anna's Wrap again for the second time. This was my reaction:

I don't know if you can tell - but the pure JOY of putting this dress on gave me a very emotional response and almost had me in tears. 

Boombands Em in Anna Scholz Spring Summer Collection 2012 (SS12).

Two years ago, I described Anna's Wrap Style as a WOW dress. IT. STILL. IS. 
It's as simple as that. 

Boombands Em in Anna Scholz Spring Summer Collection 2012 (SS12).

As I put this on, it was so exciting. With the wrap aspect of this garment, you actually get to see your body be enclosed in the shape, as you slowly pull tighter on the waist band and do up the dress. The shape on this dress is divine. As I say, it made me emotional!

Boombands Em in Anna Scholz Spring Summer Collection 2012 (SS12).
This new version of Anna's Wrap Dress is made from a subtle, soft, jersey fabric, it doesn't cling to your curves - but rather skims them - lightly. You can see the sleeves are a little bit gathered and don't quite hit the wrist - they feel light and airy for summer. The drape on this garment is amazing - the top half sees pleats from the shoulders which seem to work with the bust, while the bottom half falls from the high waist beautifully. I love the slight flutter of fabric at the bottom of the hem too - it feels feminine and subtle.

The print is pretty amazing and I love the way it is slightly curved with the body which helps to create some of that "fantastic shape" effect. I couldn't love this dress more.

It is that simple. Amazing.

My next dress? Why hello gorgeous, you're a COLOUR SENSATION!

Boombands Em in Anna Scholz Spring Summer Collection 2012 (SS12).

While snapping my photos - I sent a picture of myself in this dress to twitter and facebook and MANY of you responded positively and with such excitement! This is SUCH an amazing dress. Last season, when I reviewed Anna's Shirt Dress in Scarab (blogged here), I thought for ages about whether I should buy it or not - I didn't and since then, it's been "the one that got away".

And now!!! Just look at this new release version! What colour!

Boombands Em in Anna Scholz Spring Summer Collection 2012 (SS12).

I'm in my usual size 20 and thanks to great tailoring, there is no pull across the bust or strain on the buttons. The three quater sleeves are comfortable and roomy, while the neckline is a nice gentle v-neck that helps create a great shape for my bust. The front of this dress has a couple of lovely pockets and the length falls to just on my knee. I love the shape on this dress - apart from the buttons, there is a lovely wide belt to help cinch the dress in and create a more defined waist.

Boombands Em in Anna Scholz Spring Summer Collection 2012 (SS12).The crepe fabric is light. In fact the fabric is - light, summery, fresh and gentle! Just LOVELY really and it feels beautiful on my skin. I love how vibrant the blues are in this dress; what an AMAZING, playful print for a warm day. When I put the dress on I felt really excited for summer; I love the colour and freshness of the warmer seasons - and THIS dress inspired a real desire for sunshine, the outdoors and warmth.

I've mentioned on the blog previously that I never really thought Shirt Dresses were for me. After my previous experience with Anna's Shirt Dress, I had to try again to see if the garment was just as amazing as I remembered. I was not disappointed. If you're a bit like me and have been stuck thinking a style isn't for you - this dress is a great example (for me) of how wrong I could be. I have no issues saying I feel amazing and think I LOOK AMAZING in this dress.

This has been a great post for me. With BOTH the Wrap Dress and the Shirt Dress I had high hopes for what I was trying on, having had such GREAT experiences last time. I don't own either of these styles and I think it's because they floored me when I tried them; I've felt shy to revisit the styles, in case my initial elation was false. But it isn't false! YEAH! In life, there genuinely are clothes we can put on that give us such joy. When preparing this post - BOTH of these dresses gave me such an emotional response when I wore them - I felt great and beautiful and confident and sexy.

I don't know quite how to finish this post because I want to say so much. So let me just say this: BOTH these dresses take my breath away and I feel grateful I got to try them again!

Smooch. x.

PS - My affiliate discount code is still running until the end of March, it gets you 8% off! Use: ANMAR8 at checkout on the Anna Scholz website. x.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Anna Scholz SS12 Series: Enter the Labyrinth!

Boombands Em in Anna Scholz Spring Summer Collection 2012 (SS12).

This is an amazing, fun dress. Anna is not shy when it comes to loving her vintage prints and this one is a complete throwback to the 1970s. I love a little Boho, so had to try this!

Boombands Em in Anna Scholz Spring Summer Collection 2012 (SS12).

Boombands Em in Anna Scholz Spring Summer Collection 2012 (SS12).
The dress is a pretty, straight down-the-line Maxi, which comes with a nice thick belt, to cinch you in and define shape. The V-neck Collar shows off the shirt based nature of the dress and I like the three quater sleeves. The fabric has a little weight to it, but is also light and breathable for summer. I could see this being worn on the hottest of days very easily, but also on those lovely, mild Spring days when there's a light cool breeze in the air.

This is a nice long Maxi, and it doesn't touch the ground for me - even with my 5'5" frame. I am (as ever, thanks yo Anna's perfect tailoring), wearing a size 20.

What a gorgeous, flowy, beautiful Maxi Shirt Dress.

Boombands Em in Anna Scholz Spring Summer Collection 2012 (SS12).

Everything about this works. What an AMAZING shape and STUNNING print.

Boombands Em in Anna Scholz Spring Summer Collection 2012 (SS12).

This Deep Pleat Dress is so sexy, so summery, completely vibrant and delightfully feminine. It takes my breath away.

Boombands Em in Anna Scholz Spring Summer Collection 2012 (SS12).This dress EFFORTLESSLY creates the most amazing shape, thanks to curve loving tailoring. 

Look at the gorgeous V-neck, wide empire waist and the pleating across my bust - all of which add to the amazing shape. The skirt is wonderful, skimming nicely over my hips and thighs. I like the front pleats which again add to the delightful shape. The sleeves are also fantastic, with plenty of room and slight ruching, making them have a little, sexy scrunched feel. The sleeves were actually one of my favourite details of the dress.

Another amazing detail is kind of hidden. Along the inside seams across the bust, the hemming is hidden by a ribbon along the seam. This feels lovely on the skin and is a really cool, hidden detail - it's also an obvious sign the garment has been lovingly created by a fashion DESIGNER.

The silk fabric. WOW. Really - so light and gentle. I love that there's a wee bit of elastane in the composition too - which means the dress will skim your curves as well as afford a little stretch. Magic.

Oh yeah, it's also available in Snake Print!

Anna is doing free shipping this weekend on all orders over £100... Hella Yeah.

Psst - Also, I have a Boombands exclusive code that you can use to get 8% off from now until the end of March... Just use: ANMAR8

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Anna Scholz SS12 Review Series Starts NOW!

Boombands Em in Anna Scholz Spring Summer Collection 2012 (SS12).

It's always an exciting time here at Oh The Places You'll Go when I get the chance to try items from the latest Anna Scholz Collection. As a woman who's 5'5", and a size 20 - I think I can offer a good insight into how the garment sits on someone a little curvier and certainly SHORTER(!!) than your average model. I also get to act like a child and play dress-up in some of fashion's sexiest clothes!


Boombands Em in Anna Scholz Spring Summer Collection 2012 (SS12).

Before I'd even thought about my Anna Scholz Series for this Spring/Summer Collection, I'd looked at the brochures and website and fallen in love with the above print... CRAYON! When it came time for me to request the items to try, the Digital Jersey Frill Sleeve Tie Dress in Crayon Print was an absolute MUST.

Boombands Em in Anna Scholz Spring Summer Collection 2012 (SS12).

This is an effortless dress. The kind you put on - that gives you easy definition, feels deliciously soft on the skin and makes you feel - READY for a day or night out. I have to say, one of the things I love about Anna's fashions is the versatility it affords. She creates dresses which you can wear all day but also rock all night. 

Boombands Em in Anna Scholz Spring Summer Collection 2012 (SS12).
When I first got this dress on, the first thing I noticed was the great shape that's created by the wide-band empire line waist and self-tie back. The V-neckline is deep - without being revealing and the sleeves are delicate, tiered and roomy.

The material? LUSH! I wear a lot of jersey and the feel of the material that Anna's chosen for her Summer Jersey is really light and gentle - it feels supple on the skin. There is a slight stretch in the fabric too which lets the dress glide on the skin and FIT your body. Totally breathable and lightweight for warmer months too.

I really like this dress, I think the shape is great and the print is vibrant and warm for the Spring/Summer months.  I feel gorgeous in this one. Lovely, really!

Boombands Em in Anna Scholz Spring Summer Collection 2012 (SS12).Oh my gosh. It's been a while, since I've put on a dress and felt like a fairy princess again - but believe it or not, Anna's Crepe de Chine Frill Pocket Dress in Kaleidoscope had THAT effect on me. I felt like a little girl when I put this on - looking at myself in wonder and thinking - THIS IS SO PRETTY!

I better elaborate... I wear clothing with high empire lines - but never really with the cut and shape of the Frill Pocket Dress. Something clicked inside me as I put this on; the shape is amazing (the empire line is nipped with elastic) and there's an inherent and delightful girliness to this dress. It isn't overt - but I can say - I put this on and felt giddy. This dress feels really ready for warmth and sunshiny love. I was transplanted back to Australia and the beaches, with sand on my toes and salt in the air - I can't quite describe why - but this dress made me feel SUCH JOY.

In earnest and without being shallow, I LOVE clothing that makes me feel something. One of the things I always like to push on this blog is how great CLOTHING can and should make you feel. Clothing can inspire confidence, make you feel sexy/flirty/feminine and also help you feel great about yourself. Like a million bucks. LOVE IT.

Boombands Em in Anna Scholz Spring Summer Collection 2012 (SS12).

The material of this dress is a light, airy silk. I found that once on, the dress carries very little weight - but keeps shape due to great tailoring. The pockets on this dress were a real treat - they are subtle and kind of hidden by design, but are deep and would be useful for an easy Summer's day out.

The frilled neck and little cap sleeves on this dress, give the garment a feminine, whimsical feel... This is a little bit different to the dresses I normally go for - but I loved it and as I said, felt really joyous in this one!

Another thing - the pattern is beautiful. One of you specifically requested I try this pattern and I hope my photos really show you how rich the blues are on this one - because it is stunning in real life.

Boombands Em in Anna Scholz Spring Summer Collection 2012 (SS12).

All through the next week I will be sharing different designs from Anna's latest White Label and Black Label Collections for SS12. Don't forget - that earlier this year at Plus London many girls had the chance to check out Anna's latest range and the images of lots of different girls in Anna's clothes are amazing. These clothes are made with curves in mind.

It's gonna be a good week!


Em. x.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

My THANK YOU to you.

I wanted to say a massive thank you for the immense response to my "Fat Em" post.

For the last couple of days, I've had women responding through comments on the post, as well as writing to me on Facebook and on Twitter to discuss their experiences and situations. For some reason, my blog doesn't have comment "replies" enabled which makes it hard for me to respond directly to everyone, but I did want to let you all know: I read EVERYTHING on this blog that comes through from you to me. I've been overwhelmed by the respect and support you have shown me, but also by the experiences YOU have shared with me. Many of you - have made me quite tearful as you've shared your stories.

I love that people found the story in my post quite kindred to their own - I genuinely believe there is strength in being together and discussing experiences. I also love that many of you have told me you've found hope in my post as regards your life and what you might be looking for. It makes me emotional (in the good way).

I took a few days to write that post and then a couple more to decide if I would actually post it. I even asked Darcy to proof it for me, because I felt good about what I'd written - but self conscious too.

When I started my blog, I never expected to connect with people so much - and I just wanted to say THANK YOU for helping me and letting me do that.

I appreciate all of you who read the blog, so much.

Fashion Wise - Well, this last week - I only did one lovely fashion post, and that was over at Inside Chic. I actually LOVE the photos, which we took out and about in London last weekend...

Blacks & Reds. In London. In City Chic.

ALSO - There is a GIANT week ahead! I've tried some of the latest pieces from Anna Scholz's Spring Summer Season - so those posts are coming. All I can say is FIERCE!

Thank you again, my loves. After the overwhelming response earlier this year when I posted on Plus Brides, I didn't think I could feel such emotions because of my blog again (or, at least - not for a long time). Thank you, thank you!


Giveaway Winner!

Prize courtesy of Hips & Curves!

There were 25 eligible comments on the blog post advertising my OUTRAGEOUSLY Sexy Giveaway (excusing one double post and one anonymous post) and then 49 eligible "Likes" for the Facebook page that came in before the competition close...  That's 74 eligible entries in total.

You have all been loaded into a deliciously boring excel spreadsheet and I've made my way to - 
Making Melanie Rubenesque the winner!

Melanie, if you'd like to email me we can then send your information on to Hips & Curves who will send you out your prize!

Thank you to everyone who entered and a massive thank you to Hips & Curves for the prize! x.

Friday, 9 March 2012

"Fat Em"

This post is not (at all) about fashion. This is a post about one of my experiences as a single, fat girl, so if you've had some crappy experiences with dating and don't fancy reading one of mine, please feel free to skip this post. Ultimately, there is light in this post. His name is Mr. Darcy and he is wonderful... But, if you like, skip this one and come back in a couple days when fashion will abound. I've already taken the photos and they are AMAZING. xxx.

I read a really interesting blog in these last two weeks about Plus Size dating over at Confused Brit... I thought I might post one on my experiences and thoughts.

I think lots of people - fat or thin - can have similar experiences with dating. It can be wonderful and fun, as well as daunting and uncertain - no matter what your size. For myself, I've never really believed in being "in" or "out" of anyone's league, and for me, as a plus size girl, I never really saw my size as something that stopped my ability to meet someone. I did sometimes wonder "Will he like a fat girl?", but I never really let my being overweight stop me from having a bash at dating. Mind you, I seemed to spend most of my twenties perpetually single, with only a few boyfriends dotted here and there. Only one of them was great. The one I've ended up with.

I think self-esteem and self-worth are the keys to good dating. I really, really do. That seems such a simple thing to write, but as I never really realised - and, therefore, never really IMPLEMENTED - this until I was about 27, I know it just ain't that simple. I always had confidence to say hello or chat to people. I went on dates, too - some lovely, some horrendous. I never really connected with anyone the way I wanted to, though, so, through my twenties, I sometimes felt a little bit lonely. I had super-fantastic friends, and in many ways embraced my single self with a great (sometimes outrageous!) gusto. But I DID want someone special. I DID want to be someone's princess. My early twenties were good, but certainly there were times that were a bit grim. You see, I tolerated far too much. (Picture, left, from 1999).

Now, rather than go on a painful diatribe about my dating experiences circa 2000 - 2007, I might just discuss one particular incident. Not a great incident, but one SOME of you may relate to. An incident that all of you will read and likely think "Why did she tolerate that?". Well, confidence and self-esteem are not the same thing. To me, these days, I would rather be vulnerable and a little uncertain with PILES of self-esteem. For me - in dating - self-esteem and self-worth made all the difference.

Back in about 2005, I'd been seeing someone for about five months when I asked him if I could look in his phone to pick up a message I'd sent him. We were at a pub and were about to head to someone's home; I knew I'd texted him the exact address earlier in the day... with his permission, I went into the phone, opened the messages and there it was. My text. And there was my name, just as he'd saved it:

"Fat Em".

Shock. Such shock. Like a slap.

I looked at him and asked, "Do you have me saved in your phone as 'Fat Em'?" His eyes opened wide. I handed him back the phone and walked out of the pub.

Such humiliation. Even now, this recollection - which is maybe SEVEN years old - still makes me feel a little sick. I didn't answer his calls after that: I just went home, went to my room and cried and cried. My housemates gingerly approached my door, but I ignored them - I felt so humiliated and alone.

I didn't know how I could admit and tell anyone that I'd discovered how my "boyfriend" had saved me as "Fat Em" in his phone... I just didn't want to be humiliated. 

I also didn't want my friends not to like HIM. (ARGH!!!)

Hours later, he eventually came to my house and apologised. He said he'd just saved it that way when we'd met, as a joke, and it didn't mean anything. He told me that I meant something to him and he was sorry. I asked him why, after months of being together, he hadn't changed it...

There was no reason.

It hurt so much. I felt humiliated, embarrassed and betrayed by someone I trusted (trusted not just with my body, but with my heart and mind). All too quickly, I forgave him. Kind of. For some reason I desperately wanted to be with him, and so sort of let it pass. But I never really forgot it. I wonder now if I really just didn't want to feel alone.

Now, fact is, I am fat. Yes! That's fine. But for him to have me saved as "Fat Em", well, it wasn't meant in any endearing or loving way - he did it to laugh at me. And not in an inclusive "taking-the-piss-out-of-each-other" way. I wasn't in on the joke. I WAS the joke. He was laughing in a mean way. Full stop. It took me ages to accept that though; to realise he could write that and I could walk away without feeling guilty about what he'd done. I didn't need him to think I was okay in order to actually be OKAY. We were together for a little while after that... ultimately, though, it didn't last.

The first time a boy I was seeing described me negatively as "fat" was when I was about 17, the last time when I was about 27. And that was pretty much it for me. At 27, I started looking at all the things I'd forgiven in dating. I looked at what I accepted and who I'd let into my life and saw little REAL worth in any of it. Experiences? Yes. Definitely. Some wonderful moments had occurred, but so too had some really awful ones: NONE of the men were worth the inevitable upsets which were caused each time. And I decided my heart deserved more. Needed better. My self-esteem with men was pretty shattered and I had trust issues. But then... something lifted. At age 28, I decided I wouldn't spend time with anyone who didn't treat me as I should have been treated. Treated me what I was worth.

2007... Around the time I started asking myself, "What am I worth?"

After that realisation, it was a hard road. There was one night I was out, dressed up, looking really nice and a guy came up to me, told me I was beautiful and asked if he could buy me a drink. My eyes suddenly glowered viciously and I demanded, "Is this a dare?!" He retreated, terrified by my obvious vitriol. Later, after he'd left, one of his female friends came up to me and gently told me she'd seen what'd happened, and that he was a good guy. She smiled and said, "You look really beautiful and seemed really smiley and confident. He really did just want to buy you a drink".

I thought about that incident a lot afterwards. It was my self-esteem that made me worried and suspicious. I felt confident in myself as a person and thought I looked okay, but my self-esteem had taken a battering: I just didn't know how to trust someone or really believe in myself. I suddenly felt a real need to control situations and desperately tried to, but, of course, that's impossible. So, with the idea of what I was "worth" to myself, I kept on.

Apart from a couple of non-descript dates, fleeting flirtations and superficial interests, nothing much happened for a while. I liked to think something could've happened at any moment, but I didn't really want it to. I wanted something that made me feel right.

2008. Living for myself. Enjoying Life. Purple Highlights. Feeling Better.

I met Mr. Darcy in April, three months before I turned 30. I hadn't had a boyfriend in well over a year and none of my dates had led anywhere during that time. We went out a couple of times and each time my heart would leap a bit. He was a gentleman and he took me on dates and clearly wanted to know who I was. We would email a lot and talk on the phone and soon we were spending loads and loads of time together. There was no pressure. I slowly told him about my life and experiences, good and bad, and he would just listen to me. Darcy made me feel - and still makes me feel - safe. I mentioned briefly in THIS POST about letting Darcy see my "self-conscious bits", like my little belly. In those moments, my confidence would give way to vulnerability, but, that was okay as my self-esteem and my self-worth (and, indeed, my Mr. Darcy) were taking care of me.

When I was due to meet Darcy's parents, I asked him (kind of in passing, but still seriously) if he'd told them I was fat. He looked confused and told me that he'd told them I was lovely. Even now, when I very occasionally say, "Do I look really fat today?", he'll smile at me and tell me I look really gorgeous. He knows about my past experiences - and he lets me have these vulnerable moments. Vulnerable moments are okay.

Darcy and I now live together and will be at our three year mark next month.

For me, finding Darcy wasn't about confidence so much as it was about my self-esteem and self-worth. I am in love with him and I know he loves me back.

Now, clearly, my man and I like each other and are attracted to each other. But, ultimately, in finding Darcy and navigating away from bad choices and dates, I had waited for him. I had waited to meet a man who treated me what I was worth. It was THEN that I also made sure I liked him and loved him.

In being with Darcy, my confidence and self-esteem have absolutely grown.

He was worth waiting for.

Finally... a photo, after all this time I've been blogging! My Mr. Darcy and I!

If you're in the dating world, just know that one day it will suddenly be really, really easy... maybe even a little bit scary as you realise what you have and how much you want to hold on to it. When you experience something like that, that's probably when it's about right. You should feel like a princess.

It is worth it.

(Oh yeah, Darcy also takes pretty much EVERY photo on this blog for me. This whole blog couldn't exist without him. He is AMAZING).

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Model Series: Sophie Sheppard.

I met Sophie Sheppard last year at the wonderful Curves In Couture Event... I went up, said hello, asked for a photo and then she exclaimed at me - "Oh my gosh, are you Australian?"... YES.

Both of us are. What an easy way to bond!

Sophie moved from Perth to London pretty recently and is signed as a Model at Milk Management. With blonde hair and blue eyes, Sophie is a total stunner. She stands at 5'9", wears a UK 16/18 and, quite apart from being completely gorgeous, she is also - accessible and friendly.

I adore all of our Plus Models. I look at models, can relate to them, like the clothes they sell and feel passionate that they're a really positive way for curves to impact fashion. When I asked Sophie to answer some questions, she said yes without hesitation, I think her most striking answer for me, is where she gets a call to go and work for Vogue, while working the day shift at a Pub here in London.

You gotta want it right?

Hella yeah...

1. You've quite recently become a full time model. You picked up your life, moved to the UK and I wonder, have you looked back?

I definitely haven't looked back since moving to London - it has by far been one of the best things I've ever done making the big move and taking a chance and I've just been lucky enough that it's kinda worked out well!

2. What was it like, "being discovered"?

I was actually shopping with my Mum in Perth when a sales girl came up and asked if I'd ever thought of doing modelling. People had suggested it before, but I'd never even considered doing modelling seen as I wasn't a size 6! While I was getting changed she called her agency - Scene - and told them about me and I had to go in that afternoon and meet the head agent/manager Anthony. It was all a real surreal experience and I was signed on the spot and it's all gone from there! 

3. Why did you choose to live in London?

I finished my degree studying broadcast journalism (radio and tv) and had 6 months at home taking the time to figure out my next move - and thought I'd go travelling through Europe before I settled down to a 'proper' job. I got my UK woking visa just incase I wanted to stay a bit extra and work in a pub - which I did for 6 months! - and then got signed to Anna at Milk!

4. London is a long way from Perth - what have you found to be the main challenges since you arrived both with work and with lifestyle changes?

The hardest thing by far has been leaving my family and friends. London is a looong way from Perth so it's always hard to leave them and be across the other side of the world. I started off in London knowing nobody - which is always so daunting - but it's turned out to be the best thing I've done. Also the weather haha its very hard seeing my friends summer photos when I'm in the snow!

5. You walked in the amazing UK Curves in Couture Event last year, how did you get involved?

To be honest I don't really know how I got involved - I just got the call from my agent telling me I was in it  - but I was so happy to be apart of such an amazing event run by such a great group of people who support curves in the fashion industry.

Harriet Coleman, Robyn Lawley, Sophie Sheppard.

6. How did you feel when you hit the Catwalk?

I was so nervous before the show as anybody would tell you - but once I was out there and saw how supportive the crowd was I really got into it and had alot of fun!

7. One of the most exciting things I've seen to date, are your features (picture and video) in Italian Vogue (and on Vogue Curvy). Tell me all about that? 

Vogue was such a huge whirlwind of excitement! I had found out a few weeks prior that I would be doing a video interview for - and got a call on Thursday night while I was on shift at the pub saying I was shooting Vogue - potentially on Monday. At first I thought they mean't the interview but was quickly told it would be for a spread, but it wasn't confirmed yet but to sit tight - easier said than done!! When I got confirmation, I actually cried a bit!

I think doing Vogue is every girls dream, model or otherwise, and to be shooting for Italian Vogue in a spread was just something I never ever thought I would be doing - especially only a few months after been signed! I flew out to Milan, got in really early morning and the day was just a complete blur of fabulous outfits and very talented people. I'm really lucky to have done something that amazing so early in my career. I was in and out of Milan in less than 24 hours and the day actually ended with the makeup artist speeding around Milan in his smart-car to get me to the airport on time! 

8. And how did you feel when you saw it?

It was completely surreal, but so amazing to see myself in such a publication, and so featured on the Vogue site. I can't really describe when I saw the actual magazine and the spread - I was just so happy ha ha!

9. I think it is quite a global thing that "Plus-size" models feel relatively accessible. Plus models become very well known and loved very quickly. How do you find the attention you get because of what you do and the type of model you are?

I actually signed my first few autographs today while in Perth, Australia for a few women who saw me in the Myer Emproium magazine haha. I don't really get that much attention for being a model to be honest. I don't get stopped in the street or anything like that haha but it's always so flattering when people email or come up and speak to me about seeing my work or following what I'm doing. I'm really proud that women can relate to what kind of work plus-size models do because at the end of the day we are just normal, healthy girls and I'm so happy that people see that and can relate.

10. You were in Germany for castings recently, right?… Tell me - what's in the pipeline?

I was actually in Germany working for a new client for the spring 2012 catalogue. It was FREEZING but I worked with a really great group and hopefully more comes from that! In the pipeline - who knows! Thats the thing with my job - you never really know what is around the corner! So stay tuned :)

(As an aside, dear readers, Sophie is currently one of the models on the Anna Scholz site (like in the photo on the left)... Anna Scholz has featured a number of different models this year, and all of them - including Sophie - look STUNNING).

A few quickies 

11. How do you look after your skin?
I'm so lucky that I don't have to stick to a hugely complicated skin routine. I just always make sure I take my make up off before bed - no matter what the circumstances! And I moisterise before I go to bed and every morning with organic rose hip moisterizer. I got put onto it by a makeup artist on a job and my skin has never felt so great!

12. What's your personal fashion style?
Ummmmm. I think my personal fashion style is just sophisticated but girly. I love wearing colourful pieces - especially in summer and I like to muck around with makeup . I'm always testing a new bright lip colour, and especially in London I think I try to push my fashion boundaries a bit more than I would in Perth!

13. What's your fashion advice for any girls reading?
The sexiest thing a woman can do is to dress for themselves and their shape and be comfortable in their own skin. Rock the look your going for - don't second guess! Accentuate parts of your body that you love which distracts from the areas your not so happy with!

14. What self indulgences (fashion or beauty) do you allow yourself?
I love to get my nails done - getting a quick mani/pedi every few weeks makes is something that always makes me perk up!

AND FINALLY - If you could be in a modelling campaign with any international celebrity (model, actor, writer, director etc.). Who would you choose and what would the campaign look like and be about? 

Such a good but hard question!! My dream job would be a beauty campaign with a big company such as Dior or Chanel. So I guess if it had to be alongside a celeb it'd have to be Kate Winslet (I think she is absolutely stunning) . Orrrrr a hot perfume advert with Ryan Reynolds/Ryan Gosling (my future husbands) HAHA!


Apart from Milk, Sophie is also signed to Bella Model Management in Australia and Okay Models in Germany.

Sophie, I totally mocked the image, above, up for you... I know - I've done a terrible job and it's not got any perfume symbols on it. This is his advert for MARKS AND SPENCER afterall. He's got his arm around you. LOVELY.

For me, writing out these questions is such a pleasure and I know it takes time for people to sit and respond - especially when they have such busy lives. I am so happy and lucky that Sophie has been so forthcoming... And grateful - apart from modelling shots, I have been given a couple of personal photos to share.

Thank you so much, Sophie.

Meanwhile, my lovelies - I am also really excited that I have more from this Model Series lined up for you, that I'll post in the forthcoming weeks.

Yay. x.