Floral Prints and Sewing Chat


 NO.1 True DecadenceXJohn Lewis/Tropical Shift Dress £37 £12
NO.2 MinkPinkXUrban Outfitters/Moonflower MaxiSkirt £60 £27.99
NO.3 Dorothy Perkins/Collared Floral Dress £32 £11.80 

SO… I’ve been bad.

Between all the final year assignments, essays and job applications, I confess I’ve been doing a liiiittle too much online shopping.

The good news is, however, I have sated my autumn obsession with floral prints, and a got myself a couple of sewing projects for (my guilty pleasure…) Monday Made in Chelsea nights.



There’s a bit of a floral theme going on with my October online-shopping spree. I think I’m finally getting in touch with my inner girly side. I’ve had a morbid fear of a) PRINTS and b) COLOUR all my life (idk), but it looks like my monochrome wardrobe is getting a flowery kick in the ass.

As per, my shopping bag this month is filled with classy bargain bin buys. In this month’s spree I’ve made two exceptions to my only-perfect-fit, and I’m hoping a cheeky needle and thread job will fix. Or 50/50 chance ruin.

I get a bit ambitious with a needle and thread.


NO. 1

This shop, I’ve been slowly altering the fab Tropical Print Shift Dress from John Lewis. The statement collar: big, bold, sharp – is just totally not for me, so I’m altering into a slight less obtrusive high-necked white band.

I’ve snipped off the collar, folded back the thick material of the remaining white neckline, and am taking a doubled thread round the inside edge with a blanket stitch. Easy-peasey!

Pre boozy Cosy Club debut.

Pre drinks debiut


I absolutely LOVE a sweet Peter-Pan collar, case and point the Dorothy Perkins purchase above with the cutest little rounded collar. There’s a lot to be said for a just about the knees skirt that’s long enough to be demure but wonderfully flattering.


Is my next project: the beautiful, dreamy MinkPink x Urban Outfitters maxi skirt. The hefty £3 shipping price made me loath to click ‘confirm’, but I absolutely adore the huge moon-like flowers against the black. What you can’t see in the very sneaky UO shot is that there are two front slits. Weird and Angelina Jolie meme-esque…

Thank God a straight line of stitching even I can handle.


Charlotte xx

Here Comes the Cold: AW Campaign Inspiration


Puff Winter Parka Illustration

I’ve been in Shanghai for three weeks while late September blisters in the low thirties, but from Wujiaochang to Xiantiandi malls there’s a worrying trend decking the shelves, rails and mannequins: winter warms.

I’m talking tweed, heavy woollen jumpers and puffy parkas fit for the arctic – that promise to do nothing for my chubby cheeks. It’s hard to believe that the city who’s pavements were literally searing meat in high summer are about to plunge into the single digits and below, but the locals seems to think so, and I’m going by the old saying that it’s better to be prepared than look like an ice Popsicle… Or something along those lines.

We can thank the clever people in the design world for always being two seasons ahead of the rest of the world. In light of their forward thinking, I’m taking a quick nip around this years AW campaigns that were released this Spring to jog the old noodle for some parka palettes and insulating inspiration for the coming cold.



Photographers: Inez Van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin 
Hind Sahli & Marina Nery; Adrianna Lima, Anne Verhert



So the shiny polyester-look puff coats may look daunting for any regularly sized person to pull off, but it’s also one of the biggest trends I’ve seen in the shops here in Shanghai. True, I’ve never spent a winter here, and have yet to see if these luminously painted items ever grace the streets (and if the ladies here have the chutzpah to do so), still – don’t knock what you don’t know! Certainly there’s a lot here in Miu Miu that’s prevalent across 2013’s AW campaigns: the below the knee hemline, long winter coats over short jackets, and the tendency towards traditional shapes and 1950s retro styles.

I adore the arts-scene background to this campaign, the girls high-ankle boots, chinched waist coats and neck-scarves are like the indulgent piece on a stage. Bringing back tights, and rich dark colours in one fell swoop.



Photographer: Mikael Jansson
Model: Cara Delevigne

DKNY Cara Delevigne AW 2013DKNY Cara Delevigne AW 2013


Who hasn’t seen the face of the goddess that is Cara Delevigne this year? Even those purposefully shunning the fashion world in some cave must have seen the dozens of campaigns this twenty year old wonder booked this year, not to mention the runways she’s been gracing of Fashion Weeks worldwide. Sigh…

It’s sepia warms for DKNY’s AW campaign. They’ve taken to the street trend and championed it full force for the winter, sticking to hipster chic (and big names) and stomping all over Urban Outfitters with the sheer expensiveness of what they can produce. From layered knits to concealed heel kickers, the practicality of the pieces get a big thumbs up here while I’m looking for winter inspiration. Thinking the dark olive and grey palletes are so versatile (I LOVE GREY), while chunky wool and leggings? What’s not to love?

The skateboard in this campaign does make me laugh though, I can only imagine someone seriously thinking: what’s more hipster than a skateboard in a fashion campaign? … I’m thinking maybe they should have tried a short board.



Photographer: Mario Testino

Roberto Cavalli AW 2013


Roberto Cavalli’s AW campaign is so sharp it looks dangerous. From mixed sheen of leather and thick tweed, to the slick sweep of eyeliner their AW style is seriously cool. I’m thinking tweed has already made a huge come-back but it’s the jagged patterns, long coats and boy-cut lapels that are shaping up this winter. I love the ankle stopped trousers and boyish suits in Cavalli’s collection. Think the pleather is going to have to make an outing too…

There’s something I’ll always love about the blatantness of asian, african and white girls modelling together. Of course, I love seeing Asian girls modelling anything for big brands, considering how unrepresentented they are in the Fashion world. They sure are on the up.



Photographer: Domenico Dolce
Models: Bianca Balti, Monica Bellucci, Kate King and Andreea Diaconu

Dolce and Gabbana AW 2013Dolce and Gabbana AW 2013



What is it about this campaign that makes it so beautiful?

There’s rich colours, laced and intricate patterns and the smart Oxford-meets-Spain style to the collection simply feels wonderful. There’s retro here, but it’s in a period-piece kind of feel, and true to form it’s reflected in the location of the shoot – not to mention the trimmed stubble male accessories in these shots.

The long winter length makes a re-appearance here, as well as a wider, high-scooped neck. It’s just shimmering with class, from the elegance of the updos, to the deep red lip. Tweed, of course makes it’s appearance, but I feel like a classy coat might take precedence over puff parka after this…



Photographers: Mert & Marcus
Carine Roitfeld and Julia Restoin Roitfeld; Amanda Seyfried

Givenchy AW 2013


Ow. The prints in the Givenchy AW campaign are just off hurting my eyes, but it’s so that I can’t look away. The Roitfield family’s mother/daughter combo of multi-clashing print is a little agonizing for the print-shy, but it’ certainly as beautiful as it is confusing.

By absolute contrast, Amanda Seyfried is looking a slouchy kind of hot (and yes, that’s totally possible) in a very clean interpretation of a London-esque grunge. From the baggy sweater to the plush frills and rose vs. bambi cartoon print, it’s a girl power trip that benefits from a striking dark lip and the blessing of black and white. It’s another move into a slightly androgynous, loose fitting look that seems to be echoed in the boy-cut long coats around these campaigns. And while you’re going to have hard work convincing this stubborn twenty something into any print, Givency, Amanda has me sold on some pretty grunge.



Photographer: Tim Walker
Cara Delevingne


There’s so much to love about Tim Walker’s work with Mulberry; it’s put the designer on the map for me like nothing else possibly could have this year. I mean, Cara, owls and a little pretend tree? Who thinks up this kind of magic?!

Middle parting here is so chic, and the straight-lacedness of it all definitely fits the gorgeous coats in this feature. From the wonder open button and lapelled camel (which I have something shockingly similar of from Primark – £30 hush hush), to the off the shoulders black and clinical white pockets – there’s a classical palette of coats for every occasion. Button up collars, high necks and granddad collar, there’s an emphasis on layers and covering up here, and it comes across super slick as well as practical. There’s no cheeky short-skirt and wool tights+tall boots this winter…



Photographer: Craig McDean

Models: Jacquelyn Jablonsky, Ruby Aldridge and Esther Heesc

Emporio Armani Jacquelyn Jablonski, Ruby Aldridge and Esther Heesch AW 2013Emporio Armani Jacquelyn Jablonski, Ruby Aldridge and Esther Heesch AW 2013Emporio Armani Jacquelyn Jablonski, Ruby Aldridge and Esther Heesch AW 2013


There’s a reason there are three shots of Armani’s campaign to this post, and it’s 100% because there is just so much fashion inspiration, creation and beauty to appreciate for the coming season. From the period look, to the high class, and the elements of the totally steal-it-off-the-model-and-wear-right-now – I think these shots are absolutely to die for. As if this shoot wasn’t sensual enough, did you ever think it could be done with NO hair, ONLY hats, and MINIMAL skin?

I adore the pantaloon-esue billowing trousers which look oh so comfy, the lightness of the pale and pretty sweaters, the length to the trousers, skirts, and coats, the shimmer of brogues, and the deep, detailed prints. The work here is so classic, and high-fashion that it makes me shiver with how wearable and alive these 1930s reminiscent pieces are. If only I looked so good in a hat like that. Let alone a drop waist.


I’m thinking of these things: long coats in above the knee with period-costume-esque loose but clean cut, thick knits, ankle-length skirts and trousers, printed grunge sweaters and fuffy jumpers, rich colours and pastels, (p)leather, concealed heels sneakers, messy updos and some drop earrings.

Hopefully you find some winter inspiration amongst this AW campaign round up! I know I’ve got some shopping ideas in mind…

Happy Shopping!



Charlotte xx

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She Interns: Snap-shot Round-Up!

Elevator shot and shoes!

Dress: H&M
Shoes: Clarks
Jacket: As before, Zara
Bag: As before Urban Outfitters


It’s been a great week of being an office working girl; I’m sad to leave my little routine of secret power snacks, lovely lunch spots, and extra-efficient commuting times. But importantly, the lovely people, the gorgeous  office, the variety of work and the cheeky perks have built a picture of the real life ins-and-outs of the PR office world. Where I work and who with are now pretty high up on my dream job requirements. I suppose affirming my preference for writing tasks has been is pretty predictable, but learning new web systems, researching fashion trends  and today’s work of company information about brand ownership (L’Oreal, Estee Lauder and PPR = mind-blowing) and compiling art critic bloggers, have been right up there in educating my commercial and audience awareness.

So, as my intern experience comes to an end I thought I’d share some of my non-work time photos – to thank CMPR not only for the week of work, PR and office experience, but for introducing me to the Belfast working scene!



I was so sad to leave this week, as it’s been filling my pre-departure days with Belfast delight and I’ll have fond memories of my home town to remember as I jet off to my Year Abroad in China this Monday.

Thanks a million and I’m sure we’ll see each other again!




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She Interns: The Office Perks

Style #4

Top: Urban Outfitters
Skirt: Urban Outfitters
Jacket: As Before,  Zara
Clutch Bag: fcuk
Shoes: Shilin Night Market, Taipei


Now thoroughly in the routine of my morning commute and office life, I , rather predictably, nearly miss the train to work. Typical that I was thinking only the  night before how natural this early morning routine was feeling. Well, after that debacle  I gather myself together to my usual, only slightly less ridiculous self to work.

The CMPR Office is one real perk to this week’s work experience. I’m slightly obsessed with colour co-ordination, and entering through the offices heavy cream door,  what it beheld can only be described as my kind of paradise. Those who know me, know that my live colour-scheme is pink and green; from the pastel green wall in my bedroom with matching mini-polka pink green curtains to my two favourite pink and green mechanical pencils it’s a sickeningly cute combination-obsession that’s depths I try to hide from the public eye.  Well, I have finally found an environment in which I can bathe in pink and green glory: the CMPR Office.


Today after finishing two written information bubble, the work-load took a side-step from PR management, to the realities of running the firm – and that meant getting to grips with the office ebay account (!!). I was pretty surprised to find out about it – what on earth would a PR company use ebay for? How is that going to reach clients and customers? Well, turns out that it’s a fabulous idea, and here’s why: the company perks. As it turns out, being a small office of highly specialised PR staff in a city like Belfast is as good as being a celebrity. MD Cathy lands Q&A radio segments – one of which I was tensed in the office for, as it churned the staff into a research frenzy for the 30min warning we got before airing – magazine interviews, fashion event invites, screening invites, beauty products and much more in return for being Belfast’s first port of call for all needs editorial or runway related.  So where does ebay come into this? Well, such a small office can only need so many lovely (and expensive) products and any duplicates can be sold online. Personally I’ve never quite got to grips with buying on the site, although I’ve been on the wishful cusp of learning to sell on it many a time, so this was a timely intoduction! This week we were selling lots of Cathy’s daughters clothes, BNWT (brand new with tags to those not in on ebay acronyms).

I think I’m a long way off having children yet, but I nearly keeled over with how TINY AND CUTE the clothes were.


And speaking of perks, you may have wondered with the mysterious white bag was in my Style #3 Photo  (or not, but I’ll let it slide…): on Wednesday I was given a bag of perks for little me!

I. Nearly. Spontaneously. Combusted.

I mean, seriously struggled to contain my excitement and gracefully express my gratefulness.

I did not know this happened in real life.

So my lil’ bag of goodies contained:

The Body Shop Morning Mist
Aveda Pure Abundance Hair Style Prep
Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Colour in
Nuxe Moisturising Lip Stick
Smashbox Girls on Film Blusher
Dior 3 Colours Ready-to-Wear Smoky Eyes Palette
Jason Shankey Heat-Proof Straightner Carrier

All I can say is a massive THANK YOU CMPR for my lovely gift!




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Beijing, TUESC: Fashion Show!


In a slightly less important note this week, although entirely mortifying on my part as this post reminds me, Annie and I took part in the Fashion Competition at camp – and yours truly won the Camp T-Shirt Customising Competition in the Volunteers section for Blue G!

I definitely don’t have the same pizazz as the Blue G Boy Band (who received many paper origami flowers from their female classmates, I didn’t fail to notice), and without Annie twirling me down the make-shift catwalk I certainly wouldn’t have looked quite as graceful. But the early morning rushed sewing (of course, I don’t travel anywhere without a kit) paid off with improvised polystyrene and cardboard flowers with a braided hem going to show you don’t need much to make something cute, if not dubiously weather-proof.

Just don’t look too close at the quality of the stitching.




Personally I like Annie’s decoration better, but as many of the volunteers have noted in our travels around Beijing, Chinese fashion has something against showing the shoulders, let alone the chest area.

I’m not particularly keen on showing skin myself, and part of me (literally) reckons it’s the Asian in me, if not the Asian mother upbringing.

Rather unnervingly, another volunteer commented that Chinese girls wear clothes like… “Charlotte,” pointing at my loose T-shirt and short combo. Sans cleavage (not that there’s much to show), shoulders covered, and typical cute design logo. Sigh…

Unlike my Western volunteer counterparts, I’m too conscious of the hubbub of curious looks and comments to want to make more ripples than a group of 老外 (lǎowài) already do; it’s hard not to feel influenced by my surroundings, especially when I can understand them. The style here for women definitely has an emphasis on femininity displayed as “girly” and delicate, rather than as accentuated sensuality. And the results of the Camp fashion show seems to act as a demonstration of this hypothesis anyway…

On the other hand, there’s no problem with short shorts, although by comparison to the Taiwanese style I’m used to, these barely count as short at all. Certainly high-heels are worn all round. We’ve even seen high-heels, bizarrely, on mountain trails where we foreigners are decked in hiking gear…

Though, I don’t think that’s something I’m about to be influenced by.



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