Archives for posts with tag: City Life

Weekends are back and from now onwards, they are true to their definition. With no more awkward and unsociable shifts, the working week ends and two days of lazy mornings, self-indulgence and impromptu eventualities begin.

With a late start, we leisurely strolled around Alexandra Park, slightly bemused by the juxtaposing crunching leaves and 20 degree heat.
Cliché, I know, but the temperamental British weather brings great difficulty to our transitional wardrobes. For those well past summer trends, the mild autumnal sunshine leaves us sweating in our woollen coats but reluctantly avoiding the lurking winter shade when removed.
A conundrum one may think, but I have a solution, in the form of a lightweight duster coat.
Even better, a vintage Ralph Lauren, lightweight duster coat.
Frittering in the mirror of the vintage shop, toying over whether the coat would see much day light in the up coming winter months, I decided to purchase this classic piece anyway.

And a good decision it was. Nearly the hottest first weekend of November since records began, the coat and I (oh and the boyfriend) enjoyed the mild temperatures.

Our parkland walk led us to the Broadway, where we spent the rest of the day, mostly mooching and munching…
We stopped at the Crocodile Cafe to indulge in their hearty cakes and archaic Victorian books they had stacked upon the book shelves.
I am also very pleased to have discovered two vintage shops in Avenue Mews- Can’t Buy Me Love and Cha Cha Cha, in which I will be returning to, on the hunt for a winter coat!

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Moving out, especially to a big city such as London, can feel like a daunting prospect. But in this cosy suburb of North London, Muswell Hill is kind to the amateur Londoner, with its orderly middle class atmosphere and village feel Broadway.
Notoriously one of the most sought after areas in London, my budget and I fought over a cosy room (and by cosy I mean small) in a large house share.
After a week of finding my feet, I am beginning to settle in by marking my territory, that is the kitchen cupboard, and by adding personal touches to my room, regardless of whether it’s starting to resemble a jumble sale.
I am gradually learning to master the art of multi-purposing furniture and obscuring ‘stuff’; my current masterpiece being the wardrobe. Under it, on top of it, behind it, on the doors- each piece has been suitably placed. I have even contemplated making use of the walls, their bareness could most definitely be utilised.
Getting up at winters dawn results in loud bangs and bruises and my morning yoga could pass as a form of robotic dance, but I suppose the cooped up chicken feeling will surpass and minimalism will feel too cold and empty.
And if it doesn’t, then the mass of greenery in Alexandra Park will do the trick. It is a runners paradise, with bouncy joggers sprouting from beyond the leafy trees and effortlessly gallivanting their way up the menacing hills, as I huff and puff my way to the top. But the reward does not disappoint. Panoramic views of London stare back and the air is surprisingly cleaner than the thick smog that projects over the rest of the London’s skyline.
The grand Alexandra Palace and I overlook the parkland and cityscape beyond, as I play tourist in my new local area. In the last of autumnal sunshine, I subtly bask in its rays as I make my way downhill towards the Sunday famers market. A long stretch of food stalls and a gathering of Muswell Hillians casually lunching on handmade pies and cold pressed juices, makes for quite the social event. With so many choices for all food palates, my sweet tooth caved in and I purchased a slice of the dark chocolate banana loaf from Nyborg’s Kitchen. This moistly dense, sweetly spiced slice of gluten-free heaven went down perfectly with my vanilla chai tea!

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A symbolism to feminism, the culottes have rebelled against social convention throughout history. That revolutionary split in the skirt meant the straddle could be achieved, whether on horseback or a bicycle, the practicality gave women freedom and empowerment in times of male dominance.
The styles we wear today reinforce the feminist values of our ancestral women- we are dynamic, practical and unbound by fitted styles that benefit the male gaze. Free from straight jacket dresses, mummy wrapped midis and don’t bend over mini skirts. You can breathe out now, skip the fake tan and revel in the fact that you didn’t shave your legs because, the culottes are functional and free-spirited, yet so elegantly feminine.

Making these culottes was such a pleasure. By pattern manipulation, I invigoratingly flared out the leg, lowered the crotch and loosened the hips. Using a polyester suiting fabric meant the trouser leg draped well, yet kept their flared silhouette. A days work, with neatly finished seams, a concealed zip and an ethereal fit that flatters my shape; these culottes have become an enshrinement in my wardrobe. With the changing of seasons, shirts and crops can be replaced with slouchy knits to pair.
So with the last few days of autumnal sunshine I present my culottes… In daytime casual, I pair them with a striped knit and pointed flats, whilst emulating Parisian chic after mon petite déjeuner on the Champs-Elysees (or the Streets of Manchester, close enough right?). And for twilight cocktails, the pointed heels are strapped on and the checked shirt buttoned up, I feel sophisticated and grown up.. after all I am 22 years old now, its about time.

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The long bittersweet weekend I spent up North has come to an end, and although we say are farewells, our memories shared are sweet.
My birthday celebrations took us to Manchester, a metropolis brimming with favourable delights of culture, arts and history. The Northern hub is stimulating to the eye and promises a photogenic walk around its streets. Comparable to London with its mix of urban hipster and historic surroundings, Manchester is not so overcrowded and has a friendly northern vibe.

The approaching hum and rattle of the tram followed us around as we rambled the city, discovering endless shops, galleries and street food markets. The Manchester Art Gallery held the Cotton Couture exhibition, which featured a short film explaining the history of cotton manufacture in Manchester. On display were rows of elegant 1950’s gowns made by British and French designers in unconventional cotton fabrics. The gallery also hosts an exquisite permanent collection, featuring some of my favourite artists- Turner, Alma-Tadema and John William Godward.

Upon trailing back to the hotel after a long day touristing, we were captured by the stunning grandeur of Manchester Central Library in St Peters Square. We nestled ourselves into a cosy corner of the neoclassic rotunda, quiescently absorbed into the library’s publications.

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