Thursday, 24 May 2012

From Blah to Glamour + An Anna Scholz Code!

Boombands Em in the Anna Scholz SS12 Feather Print Shirt Dress. WHICH I LOVE...!

Some of you may have seen my Facebook Status last week stating I was about to have a "Blah" day, and so - I put on a new dress, did my hair and makeup and went out into the world wearing a little glamour as armour.

Boombands Em in the Anna Scholz SS12 Feather Print Shirt Dress. WHICH I LOVE...!

The glamour came thanks to a dress you've seen in a preview post before - but this dress - the one on my GLAMOUR DAY was mine all mine! Yup. I raved about this dress when I reviewed it and many of you told me to get it... It's the Anna Scholz Blue and White Feather Print Dress.

There's nothing quite like the feeling of glamour. I KNEW my day was going to be ordinary so I countered it with a look, that I knew, would keep me feeling confident and pretty.

Glamour, without needing to be overt, can go a long way! 

When I wore this outfit last week, there was a chill in the air and the sky was grey, so I wore the dress with tights and boots. Thanks to the vibrant print and elegant style - I felt bright and pretty and ready to tackle anything. 

Boombands Em in the Anna Scholz SS12 Feather Print Shirt Dress. WHICH I LOVE...!

I adore this dress and it's really one that I couldn't let pass me by! I still feel the sting of not buying the Scarab Print Shirt Dress when I had the chance. The Scarab Print was released over winter last year and is now sold out... I STILL regret not purchasing it! Don't you hate that feeling!

To compliment this post and in perfect timing, I'm lucky to have a Anna Scholz code for you. Type in: ASMAY10 when you're buying online to get 10% off all full price items at the Anna Scholz website until the end of May. Lovely.

Meanwhile - I'm loving the delicious UK sunshine right now... My desire to be online at the moment is quite low - but I AM out taking photos and thinking of you all lots. I hope you are all really well.

Loves. x.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Psst. Have you seen...

Boombands Em rocking jeans, blazer and glitter gold cami for City Chic.

My latest post over at Inside Chic yet? 
I kind of love it - it's a very different outfit for me.

Also - From what I've heard, enjoy these codes...
Use Code WEEKEND20 for 20% off at AX Paris Curve from the 18th - 20th May
Use Code SUMMER20 at New Look on the 23rd May (only) for 20% off.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Review: AX Paris Curve Zip Front Bird Dress

Boombands Em in the Bird Print Zip Front Dress by AX Paris Curve

AX Paris Curve is a bit of a newcomer to our world of Plus Fashion and as they launched their collection recently - Twitter went wild. It was an amazing night, with many girls really excited by what was on offer. My only frustration? No size chart! Well - after chatting with AX Paris, I've been assured a size breakdown is on it's way and when I was offered a piece to review - I turned to blogs for an indication of required sizing. I was told by one trusty source (Pocket Rocket), that I should look at the clothes I wear at Yours and go from there... At Yours, I average about a size 22. Mind you, thanks to Hanna doing a "change room run" on the exact garment I wanted to review, I knew that the Zip Front Bird Dress had very little fabric stretch through the breast - so I sized up to a 24... GOOD CHOICE.

Boombands Em in the Bird Print Zip Front Dress by AX Paris Curve

That's something to note Ladies... Sizing, ultimately, is just a number. If you need to size up or size down to find the right fit - it doesn't matter, the outfit just needs to look banging. I know from other blog reviews - that had this dress contained jersey or elastane - the 22 would have done me fine. Don't let sizing define you - just do your best to look fab and feel confident - because ultimately - THAT goes a long way.

A side on profile of myself in the Bird Print Zip Front Dress by AX Paris Curve
So, clearly - the shape on this garment is really great. This fits me snug through my breasts, but with room for me to move and feel comfortable. The zip-front is nice and indeed, a slightly alluring feature. The drape through the skirt is amazing and has a real tulip look and feel to it. This dress has a nice amount of room through the waist which makes it a light, airy choice for the warmer months. That being said - the front hem is ruched slightly higher between the legs - so for me, this will probably always be worn with tights or leggings. This dress has pockets, a smooth texture (it's 100% Polyester) and a lovely shape that's inherent in the pleated tailoring. This dress has been really nicely made - it is soft, but highly structured and it gives me an effortless shape that looks beautiful and natural.

Seriously, this dress makes me excited to try more from AX Paris Curve.

Boombands Em in the Bird Print Zip Front Dress by AX Paris Curve

There are lots of nice items over at AX Paris Ladies, and it's exciting to think that another brand is buying into the Curve market. To be honest - this is what we need to happen. The brands who do these initial buy-ins of plus-size clothing will stock more and extend their sizing range so long as they make sales and hit targets. I plan to help them do it!

Boombands Em in the Bird Print Zip Front Dress by AX Paris Curve
I love this dress and feel lucky to share it with you. I already know this one's gonna be a wardrobe front-runner for me - a veritable "go to" dress for work, socialising and generally looking awesome. 

I kept my look simple with this garment. The dress is Navy with a Fawn Bird Print and Dirty Gold Central Zip, I paired it with a Vintage Handbag, Black Leggings, Baby Bolero, Simple Jewelery and Knee High Boots.

O.H. Y.E.A.H.

Smooch. x.

PS - From May 18th until MIDNIGHT on Sunday May 20th you can get 20% off all AX Paris stock - including CURVE, with the code: WEEKEND20

Saturday, 12 May 2012

A Casual Work Look.

I got a message from a lovely reader asking me if I dress up for work or indeed, what I wear during the day when I'm not blogging? I'm totally lucky because in my line of work, I can get away with a pretty chilled out wardrobe. Some days I'll dress up - but others - I rock about with a casual edge. I always try and feel confident when heading out, so usually put some thought into how I'm looking. I like to leave my house feeling like a million bucks. That doesn't mean I wear makeup or put together outfits every day, but really, I like to walk out of my house knowing I'm looking and feeling okay in myself. That's important.

I snapped some candids with my Blackberry to show you my one of my usual "work day" looks...

My outfit for this post was taken last week while I was freelancing at the BBC. Black tights, Shorts, Shrug, Leggings, Leather Jacket and a flash of colour with my grey and pink "sparkle" top. This whole outfit is pretty much "previous season" City Chic, except the jacket which is my trusty Evans Biker Jacket.


Also - quickly - a few of you knew I was getting my haircut last week. I was apprehensive as I've been growing it, but I needed to get something done to help keep me motivated to keep it growing. After months of no style (just growing, growing, growing), I've had it layered. An inch had to come off the ends as it was dry and GRIM - but really - the layering has helped my hair curl up and gain volume. Previously, my hair had become quite limp and the weight of it meant it didn't curl. I took the grainy shot below, right after I got home from the haircut - I LOVE it and feel I have a new lease on this hair growing malarky.

And so it continues. 

Smooch. x.

PS. I'm loving that some of you, who've been reading for ages, have just started commenting. I feel flattered and really appreciate it. xxx.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

The Swan "Betty" Dress in Black Broderie Anglaise.

Getting my Lydia Deetz on for the Carolyn Draper Charity Fashion show in a Swan Betty Dress by Clements Ribeiro for Evans.

Heading out last week to the Carolyn De La Drapiere Charity Fashion Show, I decided to wear my Swan "Betty" Dress in Black by Clements Ribeiro for Evans (that's a mouthful!). I knew it would be quite a cold night out in Richmond, so wanted the sleeves, high neck and length of the "Betty". I'm wearing it in a 22.

I kind of rushed to get ready and forgot under-eye makeup, but luckily for me - one of my best friends Nic was on hand and she had eyeliner and a steady hand for our train journey... HOT:

Me looking pale with a smash of lipstick. Hot.
My colours are a bit off due to train light, but I either look really saucy OR like a vampire about to eat you!

This was kind of an interesting look for me as I don't wear high necks very often. I admit, I was a little self conscious of the neck at first, but after pairing it with my hot Mimco necklace, I felt really great about the whole look... I actually felt like I was channelling Lydia Deetz from Beatlejuice. Gosh I loved that character!

Lydia Deetz. She. Is. Alone. And a GREAT film character.

As for the fashions on show that night - there were LOTS of great models and sexy looks down the catwalk. My position on the catwalk wasn't ideal for snaps due to the lighting, but I will let you know a link when more "official" shots come online. Here is a sneak peek thanks to Facebook!

Kate Blackett rocking one of Carolyn Draper's gorgeous Summer Looks.

Totally hot. 

Psst. Haircut Tomorrow!

PS. Thank you so much for all your amazing comments on my last post. I read every single comment and feel really touched that so many of you shared your stories with me. I also feel really proud of us as a group of women, for our ability to feel united and together and give each other such strength. Thank you Ladies. x.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

My Emotional Size...

*Little Potential Trigger Warning as regards Growing Up and Self Acceptance*

I feel emotional today.
But let me start with this: for the record, I am 32. 

This week has been quite a great week for me in the blogging world. I attended two great events - the Eveden AW Lingerie Launch as well as a Charity Fashion Show put on by Carolyn De La Drapiere. I connected with the Curve side of AXParis and have an item in hand to review for you. I posted my interview with Harriet Coleman, as well as secured another couple of interviews with totally HOT Plus Models. I met up with some fellow bloggers and we talked about how we feel in our little fashion world and I also went out with a girl I met because she READS this blog.

All really good things. 

Last night, while I was at the Fashion Show, I tweeted: 

All I can say is THANK GOODNESS for blogs. 

Thank goodness for the internet and the ability of like minded women to pull together and chat about fashion and shapes and bodies. I was watching last night and all I could think was that I WISHED there were more teenagers and young women and girls in attendance. The models on show were stunners across a variety of ages, heights, shapes and sizes. All of them were beautiful and unique. All I could think was - I needed this when I was in my teens. 

Little me and my little sister.

Now truthfully ladies? I am lucky with my upbringing. I come from a big family in which we were taught never to pick on each other's physicality. We were taught not to be mean. We were all different, with different issues and certainly, I was the chubby one. I think I got called "Thunder Thighs" at least once, but to be honest, we almost never picked on each other's aesthetics. What I'm trying to say is that at home, I was never really made to feel bad about myself for being overweight (one of my best friends gave me a diet book when I was 15 for my birthday - but that's a whole other story). Inherently, in my upbringing we were taught that we were all "okay". On top of that, we were taught about health and being aware of ourselves and our bodies - but ALWAYS, right at the root of that, was that we were "okay". Beautiful, even. That doesn't mean I didn't have massive body issues or struggle with my image or size - I certainly did and I've written about some of that before... What it did mean though, is that I had a really good grounding with which to tackle my body issues, because at my core, my mum and dad taught me: I was okay. Not everyone is that lucky. I am well aware of that.

Models at the Plus Size Charity Fashion Show.

For me last night, even with my current day confidences, I still looked at those models and felt really emotional WISHING I had seen them when I was 14. We are all self critical in our own ways. As females, most of us grew up with images of very slender women surrounding us (in magazines and the like) and those images were sold and published as what we should be aspiring to... Thank goodness for the recent explosion of designers and bloggers and models and magazines aimed at focusing on a range of bodies and differences. 
This week, out with fellow bloggers - Claire, Bets and Lauren, it was refreshing to talk so candidly about what we're seeing in Plus Fashion. At the Lingerie Launch we attended, there were three different models. All of them tall (and totally sexy), but there was one model, Alex, who was there specifically to showcase bras and pants for heavier curves. There were also curvier mannequins, wearing the lingerie that I'd buy. I wasn't told to look at a slim model or mannequin and then imagine the lingerie on my figure - I was given a curvy mannequin and a curvy model to boot. That actually moved me and was a really great showing by Elomi. To be honest, the Eveden group NAILED that Launch and I will post more on it soon.

Model, Alex, for Elomi at the Eveden Launch.

Georgina was at the Eveden Launch too. I'm kind of in awe of Georgina. I really like her as a person, but she's also someone I wish I could've known when I was a teenager: you know, when I was struggling with a pair of boobs BIGGER than everyone else I knew. What a role model she is. Georgina has embraced her figure and looks totally fierce while doing it. I wish I'd had a Georgina to look up to as I went through puberty - but honestly, I thank goodness I know her now! Totally inspiring. Thank goodness, to be honest, to all the bloggers (including Gabi, Hayley and Val) who inspired me to really get involved.

What an amazing time. Whether you're older than me or younger than me - if you're reading this, THANK YOU for being here. My blog has grown bigger than I ever thought it would be and I have many women from all over the world stopping by. I hope whoever you are and no matter your age, you know you're part of something that's making a huge difference. And not just to 14 year old girls. You make a difference to women and girls ALL OVER who are yet to find us online. You're also making a difference to the women and girls who are already here, but are still coming to grips with the concept of knowing, inherently, that they are "okay".




Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Model Series: Harriet Coleman.

Harriet for Evolve Magazine.

I met Harriet Coleman last year at the Curves In Couture Event... On that fantastic night, Harriet was one of those models who hit the Catwalk and immediately made me think - WOW. The spirit and energy as she walked was electric. For me, Harriet brings curves to fashion - but with an added sense of attitude which immediately intrigued me. Harriet makes me want to pay attention.

WOW. Shot by Brian Rolfe.

1. As a plus model, you bring a gorgeous dose of curves to fashion - how do you feel about what you do?

I couldn’t be more proud to be part of the plus size industry, I love my job and it means the world to me! I feel very privileged and grateful in what I do, I get to experience some amazing things, go to some great places and meet lots of lovely people! Modelling is not just my job, it’s a passion too! When I’m modelling, I’m at my happiest, and to represent the plus size industry is an absolute pleasure!

2. You got scouted by Toni and Guy! Can you tell me a little more about how that all happened?

I was 17 years old, I was getting my hair cut and I guess you could say it was being there - in the right place, at the right time! The owner was visiting the salon and he came up to me and said 'have you ever been interested in modelling, if so would you like to be the face of Toni and Guy?' I instantly said yes and a few weeks later we were shooting!! It was a surreal moment, I couldn’t believe my luck, but having that experience I knew that was the career path I wanted to go down!

3. And after they scouted you - how did you find yourself signing to an agency?

Whilst modelling for Toni and Guy I wasn't signed with a specific agency, I just had an agent who actually worked for Storm model management at the time. After having the experience of modelling for Toni and Guy, I then got signed with agencies.

Whilst modelling for Toni and Guy I was a ‘straight size’ model. Naturally, I wasn't skinny so it was a struggle for me to maintain a specific size and after modelling for them and other hair companies for a year, I then decided to apply for plus size agencies, this was a perfect decision for me to make. I'm 5'11", quite big boned and curvy, going into the plus size industry was a great idea and seemed more realistic for body! :)

Doing what she loves the most!

4. I've read that you thought about being a model, but initially studied Fashion Design, Textiles and Art before being discovered - do you find that study affects your work as a model?

I managed to fit my education in whilst modelling, I think it was important for me to have gone to college, just as a backup plan if my modelling career didn't work out. Before I got scouted, I originally wanted to be a fashion designer, but after having my first modelling experience at the age of 17, I knew that it was all I wanted to do!

Muse Promo featuring Harriet and Kailee O'Sullivan.

5. Now, you've travelled from London's Milk Agency to be "on assignment" with Muse in New York, what opportunities have opened for you in the States?

My time in New York has been truly amazing! I’ve just recently done an editorial for BUST magazine and worked with the very talented photographer Samantha West, who I have worked with before, it was an absolute pleasure to work with her again, and I'm very much looking forward to the issue coming out next month! I also have been working regularly with the client Macy's and Ideeli, its always great working with those clients too!

7. When I was in New York, my friend and I went to the Russian Tea Room for dinner and another evening got really tipsy and sang "New York, New York" outside of the Flat Iron Building - what is your favourite "tourist" moment in New York so far?

I've had many great moments whilst living in New York, I don't think I can decide on a favourite one!! St Patricks day and superbowl was pretty interesting...the New Yorkers most certainly know how to through a good party!!

8. You've done some stunning editorial and fashion work - quite recently for Vogue Italia, Anna Scholz, Macys - when you think about all that work - how does it make you feel?

I can’t quite believe it, since being with Milk and Muse management my career has really rocketed, I have two amazing agents, Anna Shillinglaw and Becca Thorpe – (both former plus size models) who generally care about and believe in all of their models! I’m in my element when it comes to doing editorial, I love trying different things, and thinking outside of the box!

Harriet for Anna Scholz Black Label.

Being the face of and working with the designer Anna Scholz for the Black Label campaign was an amazing experience, it was an absolute dream to collaborate with her, she has a heart of gold! Being featured on Vogue Italia several times is over whelming, I’m currently on there now for the Muse model management plus board promo!

9. Your mother and grandmother (right) were also models - it must feel pretty amazing to be continuing that line?

It sure does! My grandmother and mother never pressurised me into perusing a modelling career, but they always said that I had the potential and left me to figure out when I wanted to become a model! They have both been hugely inspiring and very supportive, and have stood right behind me! I guess I have no option to escape modelling as it’s in my blood! But it’s what I love doing the most! ☺

10. Now, One of my favourite things I found is that you have your own tumblr page and sometimes pop up little snapshots of your life! Do you use your tumblr to be a little creative? Keep people informed? What's the inspiration behind that?

I just decided to make a blog for friends, family and followers to catch up on what I’m up to. It’s a really quick, convenient and easy way to update people! Especially being far away from home sometimes, it’s a great way to let people know what I’m up to! ;)

Harriet and her fellow Milk Girls!

11. How do you look after your skin?

I have super sensitive skin, and personally for my skin I get on well with very natural products, nothing too strong, so at the moment I'm using Neal's Yard remedies power berry face wash, rose water as a toner and then I moisturise with Dr Hauschka rose light day cream - all of those products I use are non tested on animals too, which is a bonus!

Shot by Elliot Morgan.

12. What is your personal fashion style?

I like to mix and match, sometimes I wear dark colours, prints and patterns. Or I like to wear something a bit more colourful and edgy! Depends on how I’m feeling that day, I believe that clothes and style is a way of expressing how you feel!

13. What is your fashion advice for any girls reading?

Literally every body, shape and size is different. I think dress according to what shape you are and what ever makes you feel most comfortable, show off your assets and curves! For me it would probably be my legs so I’m a big fan of skinny jeans and then a nice floaty top and my favourite leather jacket.

14. What self indulgences (fashion or beauty) do you allow yourself?

Time to time I will treat myself to a nice facial, being a model we have to look after our skin, and having to wear heavy make-up on a regular basis I think there’s no harm in investing in a nice treat now and again!

A sneaky peak. Shot by Samantha West for BUST Magazine. 

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?

I would love to be given the opportunity to do a high fashion campaign, it would be amazing to work for Tom Ford, I love all his ads that he does, they’re very sexy but classy! I have a slight obsession with the actor Adrian Brody, so it would be very nice to model beside him! ;)

Harriet, I mocked this up for you. TOTALLY HOT.

Harriet is signed to Milk in the UK and Muse in New York. She stands at 5'10", wears a UK 14 and is just gorgeous. I feel lucky to have had the chance to interview her - and feel so excited to share this piece on my blog.

Thank you Harriet!


Photo Credits include: Evolve Magazine, Brian Rolfe, Natalia Illina, Ashlee Grey, Elliot Morgan, Sam West