The importance of fellowship

Here I am, on a Liverpool train back to London, using my time wisely and writing as many blog posts I can squeeze out of my tired little brain.

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As I was thinking of topics to write about, my mind wandered around the same complex subjects I tend to babble on here most of the time. Then, it just hit me: fellowship. It is easy to develop this subject as my inspiration comes from the person behind the camera in these pictures.

Sometimes you will find the most important people in your life where you least expect. People who will be by your side and understand when you are going through a rough patch.

This kind of fellowship is different than the normal comradeliness a colleague might give you, it comes from finding friendship amongst the horsecrap (aka work).

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Through our job, I met this amazing woman and it was love at first sight! We both are very assertive, strong-minded Leos which destiny put together for a reason. There was no denial that we would be close, up to this day it still scares me how much in common we have!

There were times that one of us would be in distress, the other one would always be there, ready to help and never judging. You may say, “oh well, that’s friendship for ya”. I am here to say that yes, but also more than that! Friends and family will always support and help us, but a fellow is the one who will understand your struggles better than anyone else.

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Finding a friend at work creates this special bond that should last for a long time. You both have been through thick and thin together and are basically like an old married couple. This fellowship is what makes a dull job bearable, is the first person you tell about a new project, the person you hope will listen to your personal insecurities and affirm your greatness when necessary.

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Thanks to this fellowship, I have someone to hold me accountable for with my personal projects, someone that supports me or, in this case, takes pictures of my outfit in a parking lot.

Camilla
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Blouse: H&M x William Morris | Trousers: Zara (Similar) | Bag: Staud (Similar) | Boots: Miista (Similar|Similar)

Welcoming autumn

There is no denial, autumn has finally arrived. After a few qualms with the fact that shorter days are on the horizon as the new season starts, I finally succumbed to mother nature and let my woollies free out of the plastic tub under the bed. In the past, I have never seen myself as a ‘summer’ person and truth be told, I dreaded hot days until I moved to England seven years ago.

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Please allow me to expand on this thought; growing up in a reasonably warm country, foggy, wintery and cool days were rare and considerably below average when comparing to what occurs on the northern hemisphere. I love A/W fashion – thick fabrics, structured cuts, trousers, boots – you name it, I’m into it. I do realise that the main corporate to my taste for winter clothes come from my style inspiration, which is very reminiscent of the 1960s and 1970s British and European fashion. When I still lived in my hometown, the look I desired was very hard to obtain as we were lucky to get a 10ºC weather on a winter day.

Funnily enough, things completely changed once I moved to London, experienced a couple of cold winters and fully integrated myself into the culture and British habits. The first year living in the UK, I was hit with a feeling that I have never sensed before. At the time I thought it could be that I just felt a little lost, still adapting into living alone in a foreign country. Later on, I’ve learned of ‘SAD’ (Seasonal Affected Disorder) and I am pretty sure that was what had swayed me.

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Coming from a place where the days are pretty much the same length, no matter the season, it was a shock to my system to see how short they were here in the UK. Granted, I wasn’t neither working or studying on the first winter I spent in London and that meant I was sleeping late and waking up late. I had 4-ish hours of daylight and it would be dark again. Not having time to enjoy the sun made me depressed, which meant I didn’t leave my bed, leading to sleeping until late and therefore, not seeing the sun yet again. It was a horrible vicious cycle, to say the least.

Forwarding years, I can happily report that my life is so far from that reality that I can’t even believe that we were the same person. I managed to get to university, have a weekend job, graduate, have placements, have a full-time job, travel, see family, go through hardships, build amazing memories and so on. My life got busy and although I was overwhelmed at times, it didn’t give me the opportunity to really sink in with the weather and the deemed sunlight from the winter.

Last year things were slightly different. We suffered a big loss in our family and our spirits were shaken, my heart still fragile. As winter approached, I could see a glimpse of desperation in my eye, my actions were flustered and my irritability was up to the roof. The turning point of events was in November when my husband and I went for a day trip to Brighton.

It was so stupid, looking back to that day, but my shoes were hurting me, I didn’t find anything I liked at the shops and all the cafes were too busy to sit on. We had barely made a dent to our itinerary and it already started to get dark – boom, I broke down. I cried, I felt horrible and worthless, I cursed the weather, my shoes, and my poor husband. As we sat down for tea in one of our favourite restaurants in Brighton, I apologised to him, I didn’t know what was going on with me at that moment. We talked over our tofu and lo and behold, I came to recognise that I wasn’t ok, but that was actually, ok.

SAD can really eat you up, but only if you let it do it. Once I identified the cause of my distress, I soon changed the outlook I was giving my life. Words are easier said than done, obviously, and I didn’t magically felt better or started to sing jolly Christmas songs like Elf. I did though, understood that small things shouldn’t be leading me to feel so bad, so defeated. We can’t change the way the world is, days will be shorter and the wind will bite your cheeks, that is inexorable.

What we can change is the way it affects us. People don’t suddenly feel depressed just because the weather is gloomy, there are underlying factors that make them exteriorise their emotions through SAD. Having the strength to reflect that in myself is something I am still learning, but I know that every year I am getting better at it.

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Therefore, I am welcoming autumn in my life this year. I am embracing the shorter days, the freezing cold mornings and grey skies. I will make the most of it and I will look forward to dressing up with my favourite pieces. Let me shed my worries the same way the trees will shed their leaves, one by one, slowly, but surely.

Camilla
XX


Top, Culottes, Handbag: Vintage | Boots: Miista | Barrette: Accessorize

Keeping up with the ‘Grams

I started this blog because I felt compelled to do something creative in my spare time and because I love the idea of being able to share my thoughts and inspiration around fashion and personal endeavours. It all started in a very nonchalant way, but I saw myself drawn to a rabbit hole of comparison that I initially thought I would be exempt from. In a matter of weeks, not only I tried to act a certain way when presenting my identity online, but I also spent money on frivolous items I would normally stray away from.

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A few days ago I listened to the latest episode of The Fringe of It podcast discussing influencers, their words really resonated with me. I went ahead and read the articles mentioned, which were “I Don’t Want to Convey Perfection Online, But Must I Bare My Soul?” by Pandora Sykes, “As The Government Cracks Down, We Go Inside The Murky World Of Influencer Marketing” by Vicky Spratt and Brittany Bathgate’s blog post “For The Love of Clothes”. I also added a few posts by Alice Catherine to the list, as I find her writing remarkably insightful and honest.

Reading Grazia magazine’s article, I agree that sometimes we can feel caught up by influencer marketing at its best, making us want to consume in an almost frantic manner. Alice has dabbled about the topic here, where she talks about emerging fashion trends on Instagram and how they can affect our purchase decisions. This is one part of the ‘grey area’ of Social Media that affected me considerably, as I felt alluded to a consumerist mindset that I don’t want belong to.

The pressure to ‘keep up with the Johnsons’ (a.k.a. Instagram) made me distance myself from my original identity and values. I constantly compared myself to others: from physical appearances to the content I was able to produce. I have mentioned before how insufferably perfectionist I can be and I recognise how much that affects the way I show myself to the world.

I am not happy with my ‘wobbly bits’ and am extremely self-aware every time I post something online. I needed a break so I could step away from that toxic environment I created and that is precisely what I’ve done.

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The other section of said ‘grey area’ discussed in the podcast and articles is regarding the ongoing demand for influencers to constantly show their vulnerability. Brittany expressed her feelings brilliantly in her blog post and I feel exactly the same about it: sometimes people are just not sharers in a deep personal fashion all the time, and that’s ok.

What I am trying to portray in this flow of thoughts is, in the end, quite straightforward. I want to connect with people and reach an audience while being true to myself and everyone else on the way. I want to share those ‘wobbly bits’ without being judged by strangers and especially by me. I guess that what I am saying is basically that from now onward, I will try to utilise this space with a more honest approach, being it deeply rooted or not. Liv Purvis has started a new project that inspired me to let go and showcase my vulnerabilities, The Insecure Girls’ Club is like a safety net for us who look for a place of acceptance.

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I am also pledging myself to stop condoning to too many superfluous consumerist practices, which means that most things you will see here from now on will be either vintage or second-hand, but I hope that will inspire you to do the same!

 

Camilla

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Blazer: Vintage (Similar|Similar)| Top: Vintage (Similar|Similar) | Trousers: & Other Stories

On Confidence

Confidence is a rather contradicting feeling in my life. If in one end of the spectrum I have no fear of ridiculing myself for being unapologetically me – with no issues in appearing in public without make-up and unbrushed hair – on the other end, I’m extremely self-aware and compare myself to everyone, their mum and their dog.

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Putting myself here for the world to see triggers the latter and this is the reason why: when trying to built an online presence,

there is a lot of competition in this saturated market, which is still very new with no settled fool-proof formula.

This means that once faced by a plethora of content creators doing outstanding creative work, I feel that my little corner in the World Wide Web can look rather grotty or insignificant. Rash words, I know, but this is just one example of how comparison can easily over rule self-confidence.

It’s safe to say that even the most confident and positive person may also have those creeping self-detriment thoughts flashing in their brains from time to time, but the main difference is how these people react to them.

It isn’t possible to erase all the negativity out of your mind, but we can learn how to subside and use them as a fuel for strength instead of despair.

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I have a choice – I can either loathe for not being able to be where I want to be (regarding blogging or general life), or I can let go of those thoughts and be content with what I can reach right at this moment in my life.

Confidence comes from the serenity of knowing that you are who you are and instead of trying to change it, embrace it! No one is to say that you are good or not good enough for whatever you aim your goals; others shouldn’t have the power to decide this in the grand scheme of things.

 

A month ago I started a little experiment: I decided to act as I if my self-esteem was extremely positive and whenever I were put in a social situation I would go through this exercise of self-affirmation (basically saying “you are confident so ACT confident”) in my mind and lo and behold, people treated me differently, friends complimented my appearance, but also my presence. Confidence is a funny thing; it definitely shows when you wear it, just like an accessory for you outfit.

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Camilla

XX


Jumpsuit: Mango (Similar)| Handbag: Vintage (Similar) | Boots: Zara (Similar) | Earrings: H&M (Similar)

New In – April

I feel now that Spring has finally sprung, there is no turning back. Even if the weather turns gloomy again, a day or two of sunshine is enough to give us high hopes and retire our heavy coats until next winder. 

The sun is shining and it means that many of us were itching for a good Spring clean – and I was ready to look at my wardrobe with a critical eye.

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Having let go of a hefty amount of items in the beginning of the year – and a few more in the last couple of weeks, I had a clearer view of the items I wanted to update my wardrobe.

I’ve been feeling really inspired by people I follow, also by what brands have to offer for this upcoming season and my wishlist seems to be ever expanding.

After a few weeks of deliberation and thought, I  decided to invest in two pieces for my SS18 wardrobe: The Superga X Alexa Chung trainers and the Staud Bisset bucket bag.

Both pieces, although very current, are also very classic. Being a Converse girl through and through, I opted for the high top canvas in ecru from Chung’s collection and was pleasantly surprised that these trainers are extremely comfortable with no ‘break in’ necessary.

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It took me a couple of weeks to finally wear those shoes outside as the weather didn’t cooperate with my spring choices – I definitely didn’t want them to be rained on!

Staud is a brand that I have been following and admiring for a while now – I love all of their bag designs and their clothes, so I was excited to finally acquire something from them! I am still wishing to purchase their velvet handbag, but this navy croc effect bucket bag made my heart sing and was on the top of my list of investment pieces.

Initially, I wanted the brown version of this bag, but being sold out I opted for the navy colour. I find it unusual – it provides a nice detail to any outfit. I like that at night time it looks black, but in day light is bright blue.

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By no means my SS18 wishlist is yet fulfilled, but I am happy that I was able to acquire two key pieces for my wardrobe and I see myself wearing them for many years.

Have you got any ‘biggish’ purchase plans  for this SS18?

Camilla

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Blouse: & Other Stories Old (Similar) | Jeans: Whistles (Old) | Bag: Staud | Shoes: Superga

How to use vintage clothes in a current way

Judging by my previous blog posts you may notice that I wear a lot of vintage and second hand. I have been shopping at vintage stores, charity shops and eBay since my early teens and for one point in my life I wore vintage items from the 1960s and 1970s exclusively.

I find this an interesting fact, as I feel that this period of my life really shaped my personal style.  Even when I wear an outfit consisting entirely of modern pieces I can still see the influence both decades have upon me.

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There is something magical and whimsical in wearing a vintage piece that makes you feel transported to a bygone era a là ‘Somewhere in Time’. It can give you an extra notch of confidence or just make you feel special to be wearing an one-of-a-kind garment.

Having some sort of fashion history background, or just a general interest can be an asset when trying to translate vintage pieces to a modern wardrobe. Trends are no more than one big ol’ loop – things come and go and nowadays you should be able to find a second hand or vintage ‘dupe’ to anything that is currently trendy.

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Taking this handbag as an example; I have bought it recently after taking inspiration from the new Mansur Gavriel collection. Plaits and checks are a big print for SS18, but they are far from being something new. The bamboo closure reminds me of Gucci’s new bamboo handles, which are reminiscent of bags from the late 1950s and early 1960s.

This little bag embodies two key Spring/Summer trends and it could easily be sold on high street shops today. The secret when using vintage but keeping it updated is by paying attention to what designers are creating –  then go straight to the original source.

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The best suggestion I can give you is: find something you like and research about it. It’s almost certain that you will find something similar that was made thirty or forty years ago. Do give it a try and I hope this has been helpful to you in some way!

Camilla

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Blouse: H&M | Trousers: Paloma Wool (Similar | Similar) | Shoes: Asos (Similar) Bag: Vintage (Similar)

All the spring clichés

Last week we went to Portugal for 6 days and our first stop was Lisbon, where we stayed for two nights. Normally it’s expected to have spring in full bloom by March, but this very unusual winter gave us a rather cold and wet Portugal instead.

Frankly, I had booked this holiday expecting some sun and vitamin D, but I am really grateful that the weather allowed me to experience a more unexplored Lisbon. Even the main touristic spots weren’t overly hectic. The temperature was around 13C and I was happy to wear my cord jacket and not freeze as I have been in the UK!

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This being our first time in Portugal, I have gone a little bit over excited with my wardrobe and brought all my loud, azulejo inspired clothes. (Who doesn’t want to make use of the most perfect instagram backdrop ever?)

Safe to say I have barely worn them as it was either too cold or too wet. This can only mean that we must book another trip for summer, as I think Portugal will literally shine!

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As we all know, pastels are back with the spring and is embodied in the shape of these lemon corduroy trousers from Zara, which fit like a glove! Wish they have done this cut in an array of different colours, I would have bought them all.

Polka dots return for yet another year and I’m happy with the prospects of wearing this shirt without anyone calling me ‘Austin Powers’ for the foreseeable future. (fingers crossed!)

I apologise for the ever frowning expression on my face – sun ALWAYS seems to shine the minute I decide to take pictures! Note to self: bring sunglasses out.

 

Camilla

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Shirt: Vintage via Pop Boutique (Similar 1, 2) | Trousers: Zara | Shoes: & Other Stories | Bag: Vintage (Similar)