Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Styled by Helen: Sale

I'm so easily swayed by a sale. I try not to be but I find it very hard to resist a bargain. I'm note one to buy strategically and tend to just go for anything I like the look of that has a decent price reduction. Usually these things are heavily patterned and go with very little else in my wardrobe. Case in point: this Monki dress. It's blue (a colour I don't often wear), it's long (a strange length that's slightly longer than the midi I'm used to wearing), it's heavily patterned (making it difficult to coordinate with other items) and it's not the most flattering of shapes. But, sometimes, the sale purchase that steps out of the usual comfort-zone is just what's needed.

Dress | Monki
Boots | Primark
Belt | H&M
Pin | hello SUNSHINE for Caboodle Magazine
Glasses | c/o CrossEyes

That's what happened here. I bought this dress on a total whim. I liked the pattern and it looked super cute in peoples #monkistyle pics on Instagram. I ordered it online and tried it on pretty much straight away when it arrived. Looking in the mirror I thought 'oh no! This isn't right'. I wasn't sure about it all - the length and general shape (or lack of) really bothered me. Queue a very sad face from me and lots of huffing and puffing about having to send it back.

But then I put it on again. I added the boots and the belt and suddenly felt so much better about it. Not just better, I felt pretty damn fabulous! The pattern is fun and colourful and instantly lifted my mood. AND the fabric is super stretchy, making it VERY comfy to wear.

Being so bold and busy it makes it look like I've made an effort, while being a dream to wear and lounge about in. Ta da - sale buying regret was transformed into garment love with the addition of some basic accessories. Goes to show that you shouldn't judge a piece of clothing on it's own. It's going to be worn with other things and the right footwear and accessories can make such a difference! For me, they totally helped me fall in love with this dress and, in turn, this dress helped me get out of my red, black and white outfit rut. Don't get me wrong, I still adore that colour combination but it's nice to mix things up every now and again.

I've already worn this dress a couple of times since I bought it and I can definitely see me wearing it a whole lot more when spring arrives. So, while thinking consciously before buying sale items (and all items) is very important, sometimes that thoughtless purchase can turn into a wardrobe favourite.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

January Wishlist

1.) Eye Tshirt | Risotto Studio
I've been wanting this tee for so long it's really surprising I don't own it already. The problem is that I keep forgetting that I want. It sounds strange but it's true. Then it will pop up on one of my social media feeds and the whole cycle starts again. Hopefully putting it here will help keep it in my mind once payday comes around.

2.) The Giving Spoon | Manifesto
I love this small but perfectly formed Etsy shop and always enjoy it when a Manifesto pic pops up on my Instagram feed. There are small decorative cats, some amazing new earrings (featuring dreamy colour combos) and these fabulous spoons. Basically I want it all!

3.) Alien Girl | FFembroidery
FFembroidery's pieces are equal parts amazing and terrifying. Luckily that's a combination I can totally get on board with. I love the detail and the colours of this one as well as that angry alien girl mouth!

4.) Monochrome Dangle Earrings | Baked by Lou
I just got my ears re-pierced after stupidly letting them close up and now I can't stop thinking about all the new earrings I want. Baked by Lou certainly have a number of them but I'm a particularly big fan of these monochrome ones with their terrazzo effect.

5.) Psychedelic Eye Cushion | Knit and Destroy
Surprise, surprise, another eye themed item on my wishlist. I can't help myself, ok! I love the colours of this knitted cushion and just can't help imaging how good it would be to have two of them. It would be like my sofa was watching me!

1.) Jungle Print Jumpsuit | McIndoe Design
McIndoe is a brand that I've been following on instagram for quite some time. I'm a fan of fun holiday prints and their fried egg print was a dream but sadly the cut isn't one for me. The summer collection is currently 50% as pre-sale. Seriously tempting...

2.) Illusion Earrings | Wolf and Moon
My Christmas wishlist had "any earrings from Wolf and Moon" written on it and that still stands! I love the Deco shapes and soft colours that would match any mid-century modern home. I think they are made of wood and brass, so I'm a little concerned that the huge doorknockers (which I love) would be too heavy but these are still a pretty statement.

3.) Monster Crunch Crisp Necklace | You Make Me
I already have the sweety earrings from You Make Me but this Monster 'Crunch' ;) necklace has been on my radar for some time. I'm also a big fan of the cushions, although I've been banned from buying any more cushions for my home.

4.) With Love from Half Pint Bag | Brit Stitch
Another great sale item that I've had my eye on for a while is this sweet mini satchel bag from Brit Stitch.

5.) Eye and Mountain Art Print | Depeapa
It was quite tough to choose one of the brightly coloured Depeapa prints- they have done a number of versions of this eye and mountain motif. They are so striking and I find the composition really appealing.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

2018 is going to be a Dreamland

We're huge fans of Dundee based designer Ruby and her super colourful brand Dreamland. We love wearing her Saved by the Bell inspired designs and always enjoy visiting her fun studio, we even featured a tour of it on the blog. That was way back in 2016 (!) so we thought it would be nice to have a catch up and see what exciting 2018 plans are in store for Dreamland Clothing and Dreamland Vintage...

1.) 2018 has started and we're excited to see what Dreamland will be getting up to this year, but first how was 2017 for you?
2017 was a rollercoaster! It was the year where I released my biggest collection yet ‘Mad Real’ - my favourite ever print! I also expanded with our branded garments and continued to grow the sister label ‘Dreamland Vintage’. A good year for the Dreamland but in a sense it felt almost on a go-slow as I had a big year personally. 2017 was really about ironing out some personal goals, struggles and things I felt were sort of in the way of progress. I was working 14 hour days between my (sucky) part time job, running both the labels and ultimately running myself into the ground at times.

I have big goals for the label but I also have big goals for myself too and that’s really where my focus lay last year. First up was to get rid of the worst business choice I ever made – the big white van! After another breakdown, followed by a meltdown followed by (another) failed MOT it was time to call it quits. I finally invested in the most divine little jade green dream machine and I’m so proud of it as it's complete asset to the business – and it totally matches the brands colours.

The big goal for me last year was to own my own home – hence the sucky part time job! But I did that, hustled hard and I bought my first little place with my partner by the water in Tayport. It feel like the biggest achievement yet for me. Plus, as soon as I got the keys I got to walk into my old job like a bad ass with my notice and red nylon top, slam (lightly place) them on the table and walk out with my Dreamland jacket on.

I know that might be a little off subject but I think its so important to share that it ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. All of that was for the greater good of the label and allows me to flourish and invest in the business now that I've smashed some personal achievements.

Saying that I did also take Dreamland on tour to Dreamland Theme Park, shot with amazing bloggers, shot our Summer look book at PITCH Stratford, Brighton. Plus, we had a local stockist for Dreamland Vintage, held so many amazing pop up shops and met so many amazing people.

So yeah, last year was a mix of the label focus being dimmed slightly to focus on some
personal goals - all making 2018 the BIGGIE for Dreamland…

2.) Have you made any New Year's resolutions?
Yes I have! I’m on a bit of a health kick (gym and all) as I really over indulged over the Christmas holidays with so much pizza, prosecco and anything that gave me a sugar rush! So yeah I'm trying to get a bit of balance back with lots of good healthy food, juices and exercise. Also, to develop a better sleep pattern as I am the worlds worst night owl – mixed with early starts and such a busy brain, it was leaving me fried! Oh and keeping a better beauty regime with lots of hair and face masks, moisturisng and taking good care of myself. The Self Care Club.

For the business, I didn’t make resolutions as such but I did make some A2 mood boards for the new year (Vision/Goals/Creative Timelines) which make me feel so happy and organised. I've also put a routine in place on the days I work at the studio– Tuesday to Saturday. With each day having a bit of a general purpose as opposed to doing everything everyday. So I have an admin and outreach day, design day, sales, growth and orders day, social media day, and sewing and sampling day. Obviously each day intertwines a lot of these but its nice to have a good head set for each aspect of the working week.

Oh and I’m trying hard to worry less about things outwith my control (still mastering this!) and live in the moment a bit more! Last year threw a few curve balls my way, and no amount of worrying could have helped them! It's such a powerful feeling to be calm and make the choice to stay cool, ride it out and ultimately overcome it! There’s so many amazing things that happen (that definitely out weigh the bad) so it's much more productive to focus on channelling the good things. Yeah so I guess just to have fun, let go of what I can’t control and just enjoy the ride, right?!

3.) What can we look forward to seeing from Dreamland this year?
2018 will see the release of 4 collections this year – compared to my usual one release! Which is so exciting but also terrifying in terms of work load - but I'm ready!

It's also a little scary as my design work and collections will really expand, showing so
many ideas I’ve wanted to do for a while now. The digital print will always be my solid base, but 2018 will see a whole new side to Dreamland. I'll be creating garments that really highlight my sole focus of the 1980’s, without just being about the print. There will be a lot more shape in the cuts and silhouettes of the garments and two of the collections will be Limited Edition.

I can’t give too much away but I will give you 4 clues for the 4 collections:
1. Colour Block.
2. A print flashback from the past.
3. Spots + Stripes.
4. To infinity + beyond.

4.) And what collection/project/design are you most excited to share?
I would definitely have to say the last collection which will be my first ever Autumn/Winter release as I have never produced a Winter collection with the mainline design label. I’ve released so many A/W Dreamland Vintage collections of sparkle, deep jewel tones, big silhouettes and metallic notes which has been great inspiration. I’m very excited to encapsulate these vibes into my digital print work. I’m currently working on the print, and I hope capture the spirit of the concept (which is SO good) in all of the fierceness and depth I have in mind for it.

5.) Do you have any advice for those who'd like to get into fashion, run their own business
or just be more creative in 2018?
My advice always seems so contradictory – because on the one hand I’m like ‘Go for it, take chances, have fun and enjoy the experience’ then on the other I’m like ‘Hustle, grind, work hard, don’t take no for an answer, never take your eyes off the prize’. It’s somewhere in amongst those two statements!

What I would say is you have to be exuberant and bold enough to go after your goals – especially in the Scottish Creative/Fashion industry because well, it ain’t London). But ultimately, you have to be willing to work very hard. I'm going to bullet point some of the things that spring to mind:
  •  Practice your skills, over and over.
  •  Make mistakes and learn. Make some more, learn.
  •  Save and invest.
  •  Set goals and targets.
  •  Don’t let someone tell you ‘your dream is stupid’ or that ‘it can’t be done’. It can.
  •  Network.
  •  Intern.
  •  Don’t take No for an answer.
  •  Build a tribe.
  •  Be nice

Thanks Ruby (and Mr Pickles)! It's safe to say we're super excited for what's coming up for Dreamland in 2018. It's got us dreaming about summer, while at the same time counting down to autumn - we can't wait to see what an Autumn/Winter Dreamland collection looks like!

Keep up with all the Dreamland happenings on Instagram (@dreamlandclothing & @dreamlandvintageclothing). We'd love to do more studio visits and features in 2018 - if you're an independent designer based in Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow (or thereabouts) hit us up on wardrobeconversations@gmail.com.

Thursday, 11 January 2018

2017 Outfit Round Up: Kimberley

Helen here to round up Kimberley's 2017 looks. She's already rounded up her favourites of mine so now it's my turn to enjoy a trip down memory lane trough the medium of Kim's wardrobe choices. We haven't been the best bloggers over the last year but we still managed to take some photos and write up some posts during 2017. 'Be a better blogger' is definitely one of my new year's resolutions and, now that Kim and I have matching blogger notebooks, you should expect to hear a lot more from us during the next 12 months! Not sure if that's a promise or a threat.

Anyway on to the subject at hand - picking my favourite Kimberley looks! 2015 was a contrast of casual and sequins, 2016 was all about vintage glam and trying some laid back new looks, but in 2017 more was MORE!

Theme one: perfect patterns
From polka dots to florals, Kim got right on board with piling on the patterns:
Candy Colours
Patterns have always featured heavily in Kim's wardrobe and I love how she mixes together two of them here in the form of dots and ditzy florals. With the earrings, glasses and bag there's a lot going on here but the candy colour palette brings it all together for one sweet look.

What Kimberley Wore: Sun Jellies Afternoon Tea
A slightly simpler outfit but still with a strong floral pattern in the form of this awesome jacket. Biker is certainly not a style I'd normally associate with Kim but the print is so very her. I love the addition of the faux fur, both around her neck and on her handbag, that perfectly softens up this cool girl look.

What to Wear to Edinburgh Cocktail Weekend - Sunday style
My favourite of all Kimberley's patterned looks is this amazing jumpsuit, it's such a stunner! It looks super cool worn in this casual style but it would also look awesome styled up to the max. Sadly it was just borrowed for the shoot but I think Kim definitely needs to make it hers.

Theme two: be BOLD
I love bright pops of colour and bold graphics so I really enjoyed seeing Kimberley incorporating both of these into her outfits and totally nailing it:

What Kimberley Wore: Brighton
While I was all about the midi skirt in 2017, Kimberley was rocking the pencil look and doing it in RED! An unusual colour to see Kim in but I absolutely love how she wears this red, white and black ensemble. Simple but super striking.

Winter Blues
Another super cool pencil skirt, this time in a flattering stripe print. The tight fitting skirt contrasts perfectly with the loose knit and I love the mix of textures. It's also great to see Kim showing off her collection of independent designers with this Thrifty Little bag, Yellow Bubble top and Mica Peet earrings - I want to steal them all!

Styled by Kimberley: Charcot for MS Awareness Week
I feel like this outfit is deceptively simple. Wearing all black might seem like a safe option but it's not something you see Kimberley in too often. Then there's the addition of neon Charcot accessories which adds just the right colour pop. Plus I love these mules on her.

And my favourite Kimberley look of 2017..... Napoleon Dynamite

We normally stay away Unlikely Style Icon looks for these round up posts but I'm starting 2018 off by breaking the rules. Kimberley introduced me to (and made me truly appreciate) the hilarity of Napoleon Dynamite and for that I will be forever grateful. Aside from the character, I just love this look. It's super simple, infinitely wearable and it features a great message, plus it's always nice to someone else wearing something I've made. And, if all that wasn't enough, the post features some amazing moves.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

2017 Outfit Round Up: Helen

Hello, it's Kimberley! Each year, Helen and I round up our favourite outfits throughout the year- but for the each other! It's a really great snapshot of the brands we've loved and the memories we've shared. I really enjoy creating these posts and it also avoids the narcissism of picking my own...

I wrote in my 2016 Helen outfit round up post that the year was a transformation in colour. It built on the 2015 outfit round up, showing a real growth in confidence and accessorizing. In 2017 we admittedly did far fewer outfit posts but there are 2 looks Helen has consistently gone for.

Theme one: the midi skirt with tucked in top
A classic look that will never date, the midi skirt (circle or plisse) has been a big trend and is something sure to carry on. Here are Helen's best examples:

Cat Lady (again)
I couldn't round up Helen's looks without featuring some cats. She loves 'em. And I love this jumper. It's more like something I'd wear, with it's pink and pastels, and it's 80s-esque motifs. It's probably the only cat accessory I'd be willing to be seen in. I'm liking the level of detail in this outfit, down to the matching nail colour, which I've noticed across this year's posts.

What Helen Wore: Candy Colours
Maybe I should be calling 2018 the year of pink for Helen, because she has slipped a lot of it in! I'm clearly working my evil on her. This candy pink skirt looks good enough to twirl in and I like the way Helen has pushed it away from Grease to modern styling by pairing it with a simple logo t shirt and denim jacket.

What Helen Wore in Dubai
This pick is a bit of a cheat, because the post rounds up a tonne of really great looks. The Breton stripe and skirt is my favourite, as it's relatively simple but looks instantly put-together. The matching skirt and shoes is a great segue into my second theme for Helen 2017...

Theme two: matchy-matchy colour blocking
Another huge trend this year, which has been a must-have of bloggers at any fashion week. Make a huge statement in an all over colour, and be as bold or muted as you like, as long as it blends. Here are Helen's best looks:

Styled by Helen: Crosseyes
I noticed that in the second half of the year, Helen has become very fond of piling on block colours to create a bold look- normally in orange! These gold boots seem to be her favourites, appearing in many photographs this year. We are all about the #30wears here.

Styled by Helen: Winter Blues
Helen has a more macabre style than mine, with her love of horror and a fixation on body parts. I adore the skeleton top against the black back drop of the rest of this outfit, softening the look to remind me of Funnybones (the classic children's book series).

Wearing Charcot for MS Awareness Week
Another orange outfit, this one was nearly my top favourite. The colour blocking is incredible, with the matching accessories. It isn't one I would wear myself but I love it! It also contrasted really well on the day with the black and neon base of my own outfit.

And, now for the drumroll.....Helen's best look of 2017 is...
Sunjellies Afternoon
This look is my winner because it ties together strong colour blocking and print. And I'm infinitely jealous of Helen having this shirt dress. I want it! She wore it for a fun day out in Glasgow, where we ate cake with Sun Jellies and lots of lovely Glasgow bloggers, before getting a vintage makeover. It reminds me of this brilliant day together. Of course, I remember admiring this outfit at the time and thinking how effortless it was.

As we haven't posted on the blog much this year (due to other commitments), I know that Helen has a bunch of new looks in the bag, ready to share. In fact, one of my favourite of her Autumn looks is missing so I hope it will appear in my next annual round up for her. You are in for a treat in 2018