Thursday 26 March 2015

#AEODenimDiaries - Part 2

Top - Goodwill
Coat (in the sale!) - Missguided
Boots - Asos
Bag - Zara

The second and final part of my #AEODenimDiaries post is herree! After lectures we went over to Brick Lane for a spot of vintage shopping and wandering about. It turned out to be quite a successful trip, both my flatmate and I got some absolute bargains! I love the area and there's so many cute caf├ęs and independent shops, not to mention the amount of amazing street art.

To see what I purchased today in the vintage stores, check out my instagram! Whilst you're there don't forget to give American Eagle UK a follow and share your own denim diaries!

Love Ellen xx


Monday 23 March 2015

#AEODenimDiaries - Part 1

Sunglasses - LaModa
Top - Primark
Shoes - Primark
Bag - Topshop

This is my first post as part of my collaboration with American Eagle Outfitters - this first look is more masculine and casual whereas the next will be more girly, I haven't abandoned the pastels, I promise! American Eagle have just opened up three stores in the UK and they're keen to show off their great range of jeans and denims. As someone who regularly travels to the States, I know that American Eagle jeans are known for their range and quality out there, I actually own a pair of their black ripped skinnies already that I bought whilst in the US. I've always been really fussy with jeans, I pretty much exclusively buy my denim from Topshop but the fit and quality of these skinnies really rivals the big UK names. 
I wore this outfit out shopping with the girls; we wandered down to Oxford Street and pretended we were rich browsing around Selfridges and buying macaroons from Whole Foods! 

What do you think of this look? Have you tried AEO jeans before?

Love Ellen xx

Sunday 22 March 2015

Pastel Confetti Nails

I wanted to do something a bit more special with my nails this week for a shoot I had on Saturday (I can't wait to show you all the photos). I'm so happy with how these turned out! I finally perfected this gradient technique and added a new pink and blue confetti polish that I bought recently from Primark. Chuck on a pile of rings and I'm ready to go!

What do you think of this design?

Love Ellen xx

Friday 20 March 2015

If you watch anything today: The What's Underneath Project

I discovered these videos a few days ago when I was researching for a feature I'm writing on gender equality within the fashion industry and I've been hooked ever since. Each one is a different person, chosen for their unique experiences and life stories, opening up, making themselves vulnerable and telling their story on camera. As they answer questions about their life and style, the subjects gradually remove items of clothing; because it's what's underneath that counts, it's about self acceptance and realising that at the end of the day, we're all just human. Gender, race, sexuality, weight and physical differences are all irrelevant and there's no place for discrimination here; each of these people are entirely different, but they're all equally inspiring.
 It was really hard to choose just a few to share with you all, there's so many more I could have included. I hope you enjoy this slightly different content!

Mari Malek

Clementine Desseaux

Tallulah Willis

Shaun Ross

Melanie Gaydos

Have a fab weekend!

Love Ellen xx

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Sporty Spice

Top - Goodwill
Trousers - Asos White
Bag - Zara
Belt - Goodwill
Photos by Katie Grace
Hair by Charlotte Beale

Ahh another Goodwill gem, I really need to start wearing this jumper more! I just went for something quite casual/sports luxe today and asked one of my friends, Charlotte, to braid my hair for me - she's a total genius when it comes to these things!
By the looks of it, braids are set to be huuuge this summer with braid bars popping up all over the place and celebs sporting this look left, right and centre. I thought I'd start trying out some different styles and for someone who's never really been that adventurous with my locks, I'm really loving these braids! We just won't mention how desperately I need my roots doing…

Hope you've all had a fab day!

Love Ellen xx

Sunday 15 March 2015

I'm starting a styling course!

I've been keeping this to myself for a while now, but as of 28th March I will be starting a 'Fashion Stylist Portfolio Course' at the London School of Styling, run by esteemed stylist Carly Brook. I'm always looking for ways to improve my skill set, and hopefully this is just one step closer to making my dream job a reality.

I'd been thinking about doing something like this for a while, it all started when I got a comment on my Instagram that praised my talents as a stylist, something I'd never really thought of before. It's one of those things I'd just been doing without realising. Obviously I style my own outfits for my blog, but I love picking out outfits/giving advice to my friends and I absolutely love that they value my opinion when we go shopping and ask me to choose outfits for them. The number of times I've been told off by shop assistants recently for staying in the changing rooms too long, adjusting straps and inspecting fit for other girls has actually been quite ridiculous! But the absolute rocket in confidence levels you give someone when you dress them in something they end up loving is such a great feeling.

The thing is, I felt like I couldn't just say 'I like styling and I think I'm actually quite good at it' and get a job, just saying you can do something isn't going to cut it. So, I started to look at ways I could achieve a qualification and found The London School of Styling. My course consists of six full day classes over a period of around three months, there are two theory sessions and four fully fledged photoshoots complete with briefs and professional models, hair & make up artists, photographers and art directors. At the end of the course, I will receive a portfolio, a ton of contacts and a diploma, so I can finally call myself a qualified stylist!

I'm really looking forward to starting, I've already been reading my course textbooks (see above) and I'm just itching to get going now. I'm interested to see what my briefs will be and of course, I'll keep you all updated on social media and on my blog, posting my images whenever I can!

Love Ellen xx

Friday 13 March 2015

Lilac Speckled Nails

Models Own - Swan

I took this photo for my instagram last weekend when I was visiting my boyfriend in Leeds. We went for a walk to Kirkstall Abbey in the sunshine and it was such a cute day. We had a picnic, pretended to be in Game of Thrones around the oldey worldy ruins (I was Khaleesi, obvs) and just generally basked in the glorious weather. Spring is my favourite season, it just makes such a difference to everyone's moods when the sun starts to shine.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Love Ellen xx

Wednesday 11 March 2015

Blue Moon

Shirt - Goodwill
Jeans - Topshop
Boots - Asos 
Bag - Zara

Just thought I'd show you all what I wore to uni today, it was quite dark by the time we got back though so these photos aren't the best. I was really stuck for an outfit to post this week, I've been so busy with uni work that I've been stuck in a bit of a rut with my clothes recently. After my LFWend post, I decided to experiment more with this silk shirt, it has to be one of my favourite ever Goodwill purchases - not bad for $5!

Anyways, I have so many deadlines at the moment that posting may not be as regular as I'd hoped. I cannot wait for it to be June so I can just go back to writing, blogging and creating things every day; I'm bored of this essay business now!

Hope you've all had a fab day!

Love Ellen xx

Monday 9 March 2015

An Interview with Mika Francis

*Sidenote* This is a piece I wrote for uni, I got the grade back today and was really pleased, so I thought I would share it with you all! *

As my Facetime call progressed from ‘dialing’ to ‘connecting’ my heart began to race a little. After all, this was only meant to be a test run, so far we had only agreed a rough time for our chat by email and I was sure that technology would fail us. I rang 15 minutes early just in case and 15 seconds later, her face had filled the screen. She lit up, seemingly just as surprised as me that our online call had worked first time.

Her hair is up and of course, her head is adorned, as per usual, with a hat; a dark brown cowboy one this time. A section of hair either side of her face has been let down to showcase her “chipmunk” cheeks as she calls them (or lust worthy cheekbones to you and I). She looks warmly at the camera as we exchange pleasantries, her bright eyes framed by dark brows.

I have to admit that I was disappointed we couldn’t meet in person, but in a way an online chat seems all the more appropriate given how this girl has made her name. Mika Francis is a 19-year-old fashion blogger and Youtuber who has launched herself into the spotlight recently with her 1970s inspired boho style and infectious personality. More importantly than that though, on her Tumblr blog, she’s become both an inspiration and a mentor to over three thousand girls who are growing up under modern day social pressures. With one in ten young people now suffering from mental health issues, Mika advises them based on her own experiences with anxiety, self-harm and eating disorders.

Like many young girls who grew up idolizing the fashion industry, Mika faced issues with body confidence and eating disorders from her early teens.

“I’ve got body dysmorphic disorder,” she said, an illness that affects around 1 in 100 people in the UK and causes the sufferer severe anxiety as they see a distorted version of how they look.

“I think I’ve always been really hard on myself, especially when it comes to my appearance. When I was going through puberty, I realized that I didn’t look like any of the models online or in magazines. I developed a terrible relationship with food where I would starve myself and then binge. In the past I’ve self-harmed because of how I look, it’s just a feeling of helplessness. It was horrible.”

In 2011, Mika received some tragic news. Her Dad was admitted to hospital and after a series of tests, the diagnosis was given: the dreaded C-word. For a young girl who is already feeling vulnerable and helpless, you would think that her mental health would have spiraled out of control. But the shock of her Dad’s ill health prompted a complete lifestyle change for the whole Francis family. In their effort to fight the illness together, Mika began tackling her issues with food in a healthier way.

“We completely changed the food in the house and started doing more exercise as a family, it brought us together because we all wanted him to beat his illness. When he began recovering, I started to notice I was getting closer to the body image that I wanted, without starving myself, and I felt great, it made me feel better. I felt like I was recovering too.”

As Mika and her family changed, so did the fashion industry, with the rise of fashion bloggers. Now more than ever, normal women and girls can showcase their style, without having to battle with any of the beauty constraints placed on high fashion models. Some of these young women attract millions of followers and as a result, girl power has a newfound prominence in society.

“In the last few years alone I’ve seen so much more on Twitter and Tumblr about feminism and breaking down the idea of conventional female beauty. When I was growing up, the one thing I noticed was that all the popular girls had a thigh gap, so it was engrained in me that that’s how I should look.”

So does she think the industry so infamous for its poor representation of women is improving and sending out a better message to vulnerable teens?

“If you look at all the ‘famous’ bloggers now, they’re not models, they’re not perfect and I think that’s what girls like. There are so many different ethnicities and body shapes; everyone’s being represented because anybody can blog. It’s not a selective industry.”

Mika herself has been blogging since 2011; something that she says has helped both boost and distract her during some of her lowest moments. She not only receives messages from girls seeking advice, but also countless comments thanking her for being such an inspirational force in their lives.

“Blogging definitely gives me a confidence boost. People send me the most amazing messages on Tumblr and I still can’t get over the fact that people do that, I read them in the morning and that’s my motivation.” She smiles, before glancing down and pausing for a second. “My insecurities will always be there, it’s just engrained in my brain, but I’m attacking it in a more positive way now.”

The way she talks about her recovery process is fascinating, and inspiring to the thousands of girls who flock to her site for guidance – be it about fashion choices, like what to wear to a festival, or more serious topics like self-harm or anxiety.

“I will always try and give my best advice, but I always suggest self motivational strategies. Whenever I get really low and I’m crying I’ll go and sit in front of the mirror and I’ll be like: ‘Listen, you!’ and I’ll talk to myself as an outsider, for me it works.”

From an outsider’s perspective, looking in, it’s hard to see any shred of this self-doubt that often resurfaces from its dark and murky depths to pull her back in. She appears nothing less than a captivating, confident and charismatic young woman. But that’s exactly why we’re conducting this interview, and that’s exactly why thousands of young girls follow her online. Although she may seem entirely extraordinary, Mika Francis epitomizes the modern day teen, and there are a lot more of these vulnerable girls in your life than you may know.

See Mika's tumblr here and new blog Wild Daze here.

Love Ellen xx

Friday 6 March 2015

LFWend OOTD - Silk

Shirt - Goodwill
Trousers - Asos White
Boots - Asos
Bag - LaModa
Rings (l-r) - Lumafina, Spitalfields, ℅ Wanderdusk, Portobello, (midi) Accessorize, vintage

This was a 'shop my closet' kind of outfit. I hadn't planned anything to wear to LFWend and didn't see the point in buying a whole new outfit, but wanted something that would stand out in the crowds of people (see my twitter to play 'spot the Ellen' at the fashion show). I decided to throw on all the pastel silky things I owned and I actually really love the result! I got so many girls coming up to me on the day telling me they loved my outfit, so I thought I would share it with you all. 

I'll post about London Fashion Weekend one day next week, I'm thinking of doing a mini review on whether or not I'd recommend buying tickets, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Love Ellen xx

Wednesday 4 March 2015

Get in my wardrobe #26 - Cute Gymwear

I've been really motivated recently to be healthier, eat a lot cleaner and workout more. It just makes me feel a lot better in myself and so much more confident when I'm more toned up, knowing I'm in the best shape I can be.
Although I love the feeling afterwards, I have to admit, I'm ridiculously unfit and hate working out whilst I'm actually doing it. It just buuurrrnnns sooo baaaaad.
So, I've been lusting after some cute sportswear to actually get me excited to hit those squats. I think we all have that ideal in our heads of buying new sportswear and turning heads in our new, sexy gym-bunny outfits (even if the reality is a whole lot less glamourous and waaayy more sweaty), so I'd love to get a couple of these pieces. I've been lusting after these trainers anyway, ever since I saw Shope's post and to be honest, this would just be a good excuse to buy them!

Love Ellen xx


Sunday 1 March 2015

Blogger Love: February

Just a few looks this time, I feel like I was so busy this month that my bloglovin' feed always had a backlog of hundreds of posts on it. I fell head over heals for Shope's outfit with those blue Adidas trainers though, I think I need that look in my life! As well as these chicas, I also loved this post featuring street photography from Berlin on Rae's blog and this post on FKA Twigs by Hannah.

Who have your favourite bloggers been this month? As always, leave links below!

Love Ellen xx

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