Sunday, 28 June 2015

SUMMER 2015

Afternoon all,

It's been nigh on four months since I last posted, so apologies for that.

It's not that I haven't been drawing, it's just that fashion really isn't interesting me anymore. The runway shows are rarely showing pieces that render me speechless, with the exception of the D&G menswear collection. The majority of Award Shows seem to lack inspiration & the current 90s trend just repulses me. Any attempt at individuality of the high-street tends to be emulated by the 15 other 'fashionistas' strutting down the road behind them.

I've also moved on from blogs to a certain degree. There are still a few I read religiously due to beautiful imagery (Sea of Shoes),and a great sense of personal style (Vintage Vixen) to name a few. Though these two bloggers have very different styles & lifestyles, what I love about both of them is their ability to write eloquently, informatively & passionately about a topic. Anyone who follows me on Twitter (@MmlWilkinson) knows that I can't stand that the social generation has forgotten simple grammar, punctuation & spelling, something which is, sadly, all too clear on blogs. Your photography may be beautiful, but if you can't spell or there are too many you're/your confusions I can't read any further. Of course there will be occasional mistakes, we all make them, but when it's a flagrant disregard it ruins the whole experience.

For those reasons I tend to move to Instagram now which is where you are far more likely to find me these days. Check out my feed here.

I'll still occasionally post here when I can gather enough illustrations on a theme, hence the title.

So here are some of my favourite outfits I've worn or seen in the last few weeks.


 I bought these Whistles shorts a few months back at my local Oxfam (£3 when they still had the £80 tag on...) High-waisted and a silk-linen mix, they are perfect for dressing up or down in this weather. Worn with my trusty silk Hawaiian shirt & Topshop wedges.


 I saw this girl walking down Long Acre last week. It was a really simple look, but what I loved about her skirt was that the pleats were finished with small metal plates, giving a simple silhouette a tougher finish.

 This is actually an outfit inspired by someone from work. I loved the vibrant red of her linen skirt, especially as it had pockets, which are always important. The t-shirt is one of Jake Boys'- a YouTuber we manage at work- I love the simplicity of the design.

This dress was bought during a family trip to Burghley House last summer. It's a heavy linen shift dress with massive pockets on the front. It's perfect for summer in London as it won't fly up on the Tube, doesn't show sweat, and is conservative enough that I can wear it to work.

Both of these items are beautiful in their own right, but together look divine, The duck-egg blue silk shirt is originally from Country Casuals of all places, but I managed to get it new from a local charity shop for £2. It's practically sheer which makes the underwear choice tricky, but it's just so stunning & feminine. The silk Ralph Lauran shorts were bought last week from TK Maxx. They are so baggy they almost look like a skirt, and are mulberry-silk-lined crepe-de-chine.

Finally able to enjoy the galleries of London, I've been making use of my Art Fund card to see as many of the amazing exhibitions that I can. Maggi Hambling, Marlene Dumas and the Summer Exhibition have been my favourites so far.


This has to be one of the most spectacular pieces I've ever seen- Tim Shaw's Erebus. It's a larger than life sculpture of a man on fire running- as you can properly gather. But, unlike so many appallingly curated exhibitions that I've been to (the Magna Carta at the British Museum for one) it was perfectly positioned. Instead of running out of a corner, the figure forces the viewer to get up close and see the terror and strain of the limbs and face. It's worth going to the Summer Exhibition purely to see it.


Apologies for the text-heavy post, & hopefully see you next time.


MMM
x

Sunday, 1 March 2015

OSCARS2015

I promised I would do a post on the Oscars, and I've finally got round to it. My picture quality is pretty shoddy at the moment as I don't have access to a scanner, I'm rarely in my house during daylight hours and my shitty Nokia doesn't have a flash.

I chose my favourites as the vast majority of the dresses were so uninspiring that there really seemed no point wasting paper on them.

Cate Blanchett in Maison Margiela.
As Cate Blanchett won the Best Actress award last year she presented the Best Actor this year. She is the epitome of elegance in my eyes, an absolute ageless beauty. This sketch really does not get across just how black this dress is, which stands in stark contrast to her brilliant turquoise necklace and pale skin. 


Scarlett Johansson in Versace
Scarlett got a lot of stick for this outfit as the addition of the necklace was deemed too much considering the neckline of the dress. I personally think that the turquoise jewellery elevated the entire outfit. Equally the triangle accents of the dress are a beautiful addition. 

 Emma Stone in Elie Saab
I love this dress. The chartreuse colour is so intriguing and the fit was perfect. It's the ultimate high-end granny chic with all-over lace and a high neck, But the backless style and sheer sleeves made it very modern Hollywood.

 Hannah Bagshawe in Alexander McQueen
As some of you may know Hannah Bagshawe is married to the delectable Eddie Redmayne who won the Best Actor award. This dress is gorgeous and, in my eyes, is classic McQueen. Though looking initially understated, the bodice is heavily pleated and the 'pouches' on her hips were like feathered saddle bags. I thought she looked wonderful, and was definitely one of the best dressed there.

 Marion Cotillard in Dior
Marion Cotillard always looks unfailingly French. I feel this style just wouldn't work on most people, but she is so darn chic. The simple black strip just made the entire dress.

Rosamund Pike in Givenchy
Like Cate Blanchett, Rosamund Pike is one of those eternally elegant women. The neckline of this dress is stunning and I love that she kept the jewellery simple enough to let the details on the dress really shine through.


I hope you've all had a good weekend. The rugby was disappointing, but the weather was gorgeous. Hope you all have a great week ahead. I'm just looking forward to going home on Friday.


MMM
x

Saturday, 21 February 2015

2015

I started this blog three years ago which seems like madness. So thanks to the people who actually read it and nudge me to put a post up. For Lent this year I'm planning on doing something every evening whether it's training, going to exhibitions, or just painting. I'm training for Tough Mudder at the moment which, to anyone who knows me personally, is hilarious. But, equally, I've massively neglected my blog and painting in general so I'm going to be updating more... hopefully...

I was going to post on the Baftas and the Grammys but quite literally nothing grabbed my attention at all. Equally with LFW at the moment, but I'll hit on that at the end.

 I'm loving stripes at the moment, to the extent that most days I am wearing something striped be it a dress, a jumper. a top or socks. I've had this dress for the longest time. It's from Hobbs, but naturally I picked it up from one of the local charity shops. It's long-sleeved, high-necked and reaches mid-calf, yet the slit is mid-thigh which makes it a little risque...

 My mum bought these jeans for me when I was 16, yet I grew out of them within two years. Lucky for me my mum kept hold of them and I can fit back into them again. They are just a simple straight cut that I have been living in for the past month. I'm currently loving them with a white shirt and Doc Martens.

 I picked this striped number up from the local charity shop down the road which always seems to have an amazing collection... I love this Massimo Dutti silk-cotton top because it buttons in the back.

 This is a cheeky print mixing number and another quality item I kept with the hope I'd lose weight. It's a vintage grey Jaeger wool skirt with velvet polka dots. It's almost ankle length on me and there is so much fabric. I love wearing it with a striped angora jumper I've stolen from my younger sister while she's away Down Under.

Despite working in Central London it's amazing how rarely I see an outfit that I actually love.  Especially when London Fashion Week is happening 200m away...
 Walking round Somerset House yesterday evening after work we were surrounded by badly dressed celebrities, ridiculous outfits and a lot of trash, however this one girl stood out from the crowd. I was recently told that the craze for full-length coats is due to Kim Kardashian, I just don't like letting my backside get cold... I loved this outfit because it's a very sophisticated version of my own personal uniform. A white shirt, cashmere jumper, black skinnies, brogues and a long coat. Except she was about 5'2" and really petite. She just looked 1000% times better than everyone else there, yet no one wanted her photo.

 I loved this outfit because she just knew how to layer so well. A khaki long coat, a tweed jacket, a silk shirt and a yellow silk scarf... It was perfect.

After a day of searching through LFW photos this was the only outfit I actually wanted to draw... It's Jasper Conran, and I may just like it because I feel that a black polo-neck will make my wardrobe yet I can't seem to find one below £20...  The whole collection was inspired by Japanese paintings and this black kimono-like jacket is a perfect example of how he translated that. I love the 60s vibe given by the polo neck and the great silhouette it creates.


So there's a small collection of looks I'm loving. I'm patiently waiting for it to heat up a bit, but for now I'm definitely going to be wearing tweeds under my coats...

If you fancy commenting below, please do. I'm trying to work out whether to just upload what I feel like or if there are particular things, celebrities, or styles that spark your interest...

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!

MMM
x

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

NPG

So I've been decidedly reclusive again. Whenever art feels like a chore I tend to avoid it, because that's exactly what it shouldn't be. Last week I went to the National Portrait Gallery with my mate Stella. Every Friday at 630 they do an open drawing class. They supply all the materials and, though they do give you a task, you can draw whatever you want. The theme of the week was Grayson Perry. Sitting in the Early Stuart room we had to design a pot, either of our own self (portrait or otherwise), or of one of the characters in the room. I get strangely bored of my own self-portrait sometimes so decided to choose a delightful Dutch aristo and the Earl of Arundel.



This was the torso of the aforementioned Dutch aristo. I loved how the drapery practically melted off his shoulders.

Now for a few fashion sketches. I'm clearly out of practice...

I picked up this jerkin for £3 from a rather expensive Oxfam in Covent Garden. It's 100% Danish wool and is the perfect layering piece.

In an attempt to shake up the usual frontal poses I went for a different style in drawing my classic wool trench. It was the first item of clothing I bought when I got a summer job at 16 and it still fits a dream. The boots are from TK Maxx. I find it impossible to find shoes to fit my feet so I was willing to splash out £35 on these suede boots

I've recently had really good luck at my local charity shop, Octavia Foundation, in Tooting Broadway. A camelhair vest top, merino wool jumpers and this silk t-shirt, all for £5 or under each. I very very rarely wear red so the cropped style is perfect for pairing with high-waisted trousers.

Another item I've splashed out on is this black drill cotton dress from Gap. Supposedly a size 10 (vanity sizing...?) it fits perfectly and is so versatile.


Just a quick post there. When I finally get a break over Christmas I'm going to try to sketch a bit more, and I'll definitely be heading back to the NPG.

I hope you're all enjoying the festive period, I can't wait to head home tomorrow!

MMM
x


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

WEDDINGTONWAY.COM

A few weeks back I got asked if I wanted to contribute to Weddington Way's 'November Style Challenge.' I'm usually quite wary about these kind of posts as far too often people are surprised when I come out with an illustration instead of a photo, or indeed change my illustration for their own misrepresenting image.

Anyway the 'November Style Challenge' involved choosing a dress from Weddington Way's vast selection of dresses and creating a weekend style.

Of course there were challenges. Firstly, I don't really go out on weekends, and would much rather be curled by with Sex and the City in my pyjamas than putting on a floor length dress. Secondly, I am insanely picky about textiles. So after spending a good 20 minutes searching through the 1000+ dresses, I decided to choose the cotton textile option and came up with the Watters Daffodil in a navy cotton voile. Perfect, not too shiny and in my standard navy.


I liked the slight ruffle on the bust as it complements the swishing movement of the skirt wonderfully. I decided to team it with a blue patent leather, studded waist-belt, my navy Doc Martens and a vintage fur coat. The shocking pink lip contrasts the relatively neutral hue and the brown clutch carries your make-up for touch-ups. With the ruffles on the neckline, a high bun keeps the chest area uncomplicated.

So hey, there you go. It was quite fun, and definitely a challenge. There are some seriously gorgeous dresses on the site and some of the shorter styles are really versatile. They currently have a gorgeous green number on the first page...

I hope you're all having a wonderful week. I'm looking forwards to heading home this weekend and cuddling my dogs...

MMM
x

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

HELLO.

Once again I've taken a short hiatus from blogging. I haven't had internet for the last month and my weekends have been taken up with korfball games, farewells and visits. However I decided I would start blogging again because I do miss it, and no one at work wants to hear about my cashmere musings.

The following are all new-to-me purchases as I've been raiding the charity shops around London to help boost my much-diminished wardrobe.

 Both these dresses have been perfect for when I need to dress up a bit but just don't fancy a pencil skirt. The 1st is a dark grey with a pink check by People Tree. It is 100% fair trade cotton and its shape is beyond flattering- high neckline, elbow length sleeves and a nipped in waist. The 2nd is a silk number from Jigsaw in a subtle monochrome floral print. 

 I'm enjoying playing with shape and print at the moment and this outfit is an example of that. Striped pencil skirt with a striped lightweight merino wool jumper.

These trousers have featured before as a £1 steal from Ipswich and I'm living in them at the moment as the perfect alternative to jeans. The t-shirt is a wool and silk mix picked up in Tooting for a steal. 

This dress was an absolute bargain at £4 as every other dress in the shop was at least £15. It's a silk skater dress and fits a dream. One of the best things about losing weight is being able to find a whole variety of things that fit instead of just settling what you can squeeze into.


I recently moved into my own flat so I can finally decorate how I want. And so I have taken to drawing on the walls...

This rabbit is by the front door.

This pair are above the sofa in the living room (you can see the sofa for size.) It is a copy of Ramon Casas' mural at Els Quatre Gats. Ever since studying it in class two years ago I've wanted it in my house and I'm so pleased with how it turned out.




Hope you're all having a good week and I apologise for my long silence.

MMM
x

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

#NIFTYTHRIFTY

I have no excuses for my month long absence. I wish I could say that I've been working hard, or travelling the world, or simply learning a new hobby. As it stands I have been at home most days, sorting through a collection of magazines stockpiled since 2005 and enjoying doing literally nothing, while baking in the crazy heat wave we saw in the last month. Bizarrely I have lost all desire to paint, draw or play the piano so haven't posted because I have just lost interest. I blame the hot weather and, through inadvertent weight-loss, none of my clothes fit as they used to. I have spent the last month avoiding all situations that will involve more layers than shorts and a vest top and therefore have had nothing interesting to show you.

In two weeks I'll be packing my bags and moving to London for the foreseeable future to start an internship, which is a little terrifying, but hopefully I'll be able to keep the blog going, probably with a more corporate theme...

Anyway the title of this post relates to the YouTube tag #NiftyThrifty which is used to describe your best thrifting experiences through a series of headings. I love watching Thrift Hauls (check out Salamanda, Veronica Anne and Thrift Thick) so I thought I'd transfer the tag across from YouTube to Blogspot... (For UK readers, thrifting is the equivalent of charity shops.)

The most expensive item bought from a charity shop.
I bought these DAKS camel wool trousers several years ago for £30 which is a ridiculous amount to spend on an item that I hadn't even tried on. They are a very soft wool and in pristine condition. Luckily I now fit into them so they'll be perfect for my working winter wardrobe.

Least expensive/best deal

The least expensive item I've picked up from a charity shop is this string of jet beads for 20p. Apparently the shop keeper thought they were plastic. I have several strings of jet beads so I appreciated the addition to my collection. The jacket is a recent purchase and I'm considering it one for the best deals I've found. It's a 100% cashmere blazer that was discounted to £2 for unknown reasons. It fits a dream and is the perfect lightweight blazer for my new life in London.

Favourite Item
 The best thing I've ever found is this 1970s cashmere coat in mint condition. To justify the £20, I originally bought it for my sister who (sadly) was too small for it. Several years ago it got covered by a biro explosion and was confined to the back of my wardrobe. That was until my wonderful mother managed to remove the stains. Six years later it still fits me perfectly.

Most regretted
I don't actually have an image of the most regretted item I ever bought because I genuinely can't think of one. I rarely spend over £5 on an item unless I think it's really special, so it's hard to regret something that only cost me a couple of pounds max.

Favourite Charity Shop
No one from Stowmarket reads this blog, however my favourite charity shop is Elizabeth Hospice in Stowmarket. I rarely come out without something as the prices are incredible. Unlike most charity shops where prices are often dearer than the high street, you will be hard-pressed to find something above £5. Just last week I found a pair of leather loafers for £2, you can't really complain about that.

Weirdest item
Once again I have no picture, but there was definitely a time when I bought a PG tips tea cosy and then proceeded to wear it round town...

Most worn
The most worn item I own is, without a doubt, the massive camel jumper I bought for £1 a few years ago. I've worn it so much that it has lost all elasticity, yet it maintains the perfect slouchy fit. 

Longest owned item
The navy M&S coat was the first item I ever bought with my own money while out shopping with my mother. Which may sound like a strange memory, but I always think of it when I wear this coat. I like to wear it with a brown leather belt taken from The Mother's collection.

The final theme is your favourite thrifted trend. For me, can it be anything other than heritage? It's a trend that returns year on year and that rarely looks dated and allows for incredible quality at a low price. As you can see from reading my blog I often pick up silk shirts, cashmere jumpers and tweed jackets for minimal cost to suit my own personal style. I'm currently planning a blog on thrifting the trend if anyone is interested...


I know this blog post is a bit of a movement from the norm, I just need to get back into my groove. I also need to stop buying camel pieces apparently...

I hope you are all having a wonderful week and are enjoying the final few weeks of summer.

MMM
x