February 24, 2015

Street Style is Better

To me, fashion week  isn't about what's on the catwalks. I prefer browsing the street style blogs around this time of year. A lot of people seem to begrudge fashionistas for going over the top with their street style choices. It does seem like the more bizarre the outfit, the higher the chance that you'll appear on vogue.com the next day. I don't know why that's necessarily a bad thing. Fashion is a serious industry, and this is one of the most important times of the year for designers, and followers of fashion. Wearing full astronaut gear to Somerset House does seem a bit ridiculous, but it's fun. It's the time of the year to go over the top and wear something crazy. If you're going to wear that three piece cat print pant suit, there is no better place. It's all about being brave and standing out and wearing whatever you want, and why shouldn't it be. You're surrounded by models being paid to look good, so you may as well put on something funky.

I love street style photography because it's real. That's not a model walking in head to toe Chanel. That's a real person who laughs with their friends, and trips over cobble stones and gets hair stuck in her lipgloss. That man polished those trainers at 6am this morning before standing up on a train for an hours commute. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy seeing what the latest trends are, and who Kendall Jenner ISN'T walking for. But I love seeing how those braving the New York snow stay warm and fashionable pals joking about their hangry juice-cleanse tantrums. Street style is better, because it's real style. What someone wakes up and chooses to wear for the day is so much more interesting to me than any designers new season collection. 
Go grab your grandma's old curtains and tell everyone it's a cape. 

Be back soon.

February 9, 2015

Let's Pretend We're On Fashion Police: EPISODE #3 - Madonna's Bum

Although there were stand-out winners of actual Grammys (#TheSammys) no one made a massive impression on the red carpet. Apart from Madonna's bum, which, I must say, didn't even shock me. Are we unshockable? Did Gaga's egg spoil our appetite for crazy? Whatever happened, here's my run down of the best of a very bland, yet pretty, bunch. 
Rihanna's MASSIVE pink number was almost too girly. I said almost, OK. I loved the movement, I loved how outrageously massive it was, and I loved her understated hair and make-up. She's so gorgeous she could probably wear a bin bag and get away with it, but this was actually GREAT. It's the girl that makes the gown though. Anyone else in this would have made it weird. Imagine Madonna in this. 
If I was giving out a 'Best Dressed' award, (and I'm not, because this isn't a competition, ladies.) it would go to the Haim sisters. I'm obsessed with the Stella McCartney looks of Danielle and Alana (I googled that. They're the two on the right.). Este, the oldest, blonde, is rocking the red lip and a lace tassled number that probably could be worn on the beach. But they look so COMFORTABLE. They're clearly dressing for themselves, rather than the blogs - and look where that got them! Their relaxed beachy hair is their signature style and makes them look effortlessly cool. If Mama and Papa Haim are up for adopting me, I'd be game. 
Everything about Kim Kardashian is glam. On the complete other spectrum from Haim, this look screams 'It took me 6 hours to look this good'. AND THOSE SIX HOURS WERE WORTH IT. How does Kim always look photoshopped? It's not fair. Mrs.West was out there supporting her husband but stole the show in this glittery number. I still want her wardrobe but have now added her hair and make-up team to the wishlist. 
So Sia doesn't want to be seen. Now, I don't know if this is the most practical way to go about it, surely she was bumping into things all night. Maybe that's why she brought a mini-me, to hold her hand, show her where the toilets are, that sort of thing.
Speaking of toilets, how weird must the Grammy loos be. Do they queue? Are Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus taking selfies in there together? Is there a cubicle reserved just for Beyonce? I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS. 
Sia would find it difficult topping up the lippy in there with that head of hair anyway. But I'm kind of obsessed with that cape dress. You do your thing Sia.
Breaking: Kanye West and Taylor Swift Are Officially Best Friends  - ELLE.com
Taylor Swift is my last pick of the night. She looked like a PRINCESS. She even made Kanye smile. Amazing. 

What a night, eh? I don't know if I was too misleading with my title her, but MADONNA'S BUM. I think if I wanted to start talking about that, I'd need a whole blog post. She's 56. It's amazing.

Who did I leave out? Tell me who you'd nominate for my not-real 'Best Dressed' award!
Speak soon.


January 23, 2015

The Doors of Dublin

Way back in September I briefly mentioned my side Instagram account. I can't remember when exactly I started The Doors of Dublin, but it was ages ago, definitely over a year! I had been following Ashlina's Doors of New York page for  while. The images she posted were stunning. I love New York, and I've been there a few times now, but what surprised me about her photographs were how insignificant they were. I could very easily have walked past any of these beautiful facades staring skyward at The Empire State Building. Doors are pretty basic really, they have a simple function and we use them daily without a second thought. At university I studied architecture and the incredible designs and purpose in buildings never failed to astound me. The doors Ashlina snapped ranged from regular styles you or I wouldn't look at twice, to intricate, glittering works of art, like that Versace-esque gold detail below. 
Images from @thedoorsofnewyork on Instagram
I think I must have been half-joking, half-bored when I set up The Doors of Dublin. I don't really remember making the decision. I just remember suddenly walking about my city looking at all these grand (and not-so-grand) entrances and thinking about how they came to be and what lay behind them. Ireland's capital is small, as cities go, and a lot of Dublin's centre is taken up by Georgian Terraces reminiscent of our rather British-centred past.
You can buy postcards, posters, and even cushions covered in Dublin's colourful Georgian doors. And they're bright and no matter how similar they might look, there's something different about each one, even it's just chipping paint. I love Georgian Dublin and these doors but I also like everything else about Dublin. Other doors need postcards too! I started capturing some of the best doors I walked past, and didn't think much of it, I liked doing it. I enjoyed appreciating little details of buildings, and the account slowly gained a few followers.
images taken by me for @thedoorsofdublin
In September, someone linked me to a Buzzfeed article Ailbhe Malone wrote entitled '16 Instagram Accounts That Will Make You Dream of Ireland'. Low and behold, look who's at number 9?! The Doors of Dublin. I was pretty delighted, not going to lie! This was a hobby (maybe not even that) of mine. I was just happy someone else liked the account!
That week I reached over 1000 followers! Amazing! Over 1000 people liked Dublin's Doors! 
Today, the account officially hit 4000 followers! I can't even picture what a crowd 4000 people would look like, the number doesn't really mean much. But just imagine ten strangers standing on a cold, wet street in Dublin admiring a door together. Yes, that would be quite weird. But also, cool. I like that people like this. I like that other Dubliners, and non-dubliners are tagging me and hashtagging their doors and I get to share their photos. It's this strange, unexpected chain. I love seeing other people's pictures and seeing people tag their friends in the comments of mine. 
I don't really know what else to do with the account apart from just continuing to do as I've been doing. It's become one of my favourite things, and I don't care if that's sad. The connection with other people feel's very cool. I want to walk past someone on the street photographing a door and then seeing that in my tags! Life is funny and people are interesting.  That's it, I guess. 
If you live in Dublin, or visit Dublin take photos of doors for me. I check the hashtags regularly enough so get busy! 

#thedoorsofdublin #doorsodoorsfdublin #dublindoors

If you're a dork who likes doors too - follow the account, why not?! And do some searching for doors in your own city! Set up your own 'Doors Of' Instagram! Do it! I want to see them all! 

I'll be back soon. I'm thinking about writing a post about the internship I've started but undecided still. Hmmm. Hope you're all well. x

January 18, 2015

Cuba: Havana good time

GREAT pun in the title, way too many photos, and a sneaky Domino's pizza beside me - I am ready.
My Mum has wanted to bring me and my siblings to Cuba for years now. There's no particular reason why, she has been herself once before. After last year didn't work in our favor due to my sisters college work and my own dissertation woes we finally settled on two weeks this winter to jet off together. When we were younger we used to go on family holidays every year and it was nice to do it again after so long! And I managed to avoid the January Sales and spend New Years in the Cuban sun. Perfect!
After a long flight and one night in Havana we headed out to Viñales, a small town situated in the stunning, leafy, Valley countryside. We spent a couple of days here staying in a lovely but basic 'Casa' and exploring the caves, tobacco farms and seeing the Mural de la Prehistoria. It was humbling to see how beautifully simple the people's lives here were. I'm glad we got to see a bit of real Cuban life before heading back to the capital. 
Havana was just as stunning as Viñales, but in totally different ways. Obviously it was more tourist-oriented but it was still shockingly under developed. A lot of the buildings are in need of reconstruction and a lot of the people seemed more desperate here to make money off of the tourists (understandably, of course.) It was humbling to see. And beautiful. The buildings, despite some of their decrepit facades, were brightly painted and decorated with washing hung out the windows and families sitting on stoops. I felt like I had gone back in time, surrounded by all the old, classic, cars. We walked around the city for hours, watching life go by, enjoying the heat and appreciating the fascinating enviornment that is this crazy city.
New Years in Havana was uneventful - I didn't go out and get pissed with my family, no.
We were in Havana for 5 days, and spent half our days exploring, seeing the fine arts museum, the revolution museum, the old town, the markets and walking along the Prado and ending up on our hotels rooftop pool before dinner. That's the kind of life I want forever, so if anyone can figure out how to make that happen, hit me up!
From Havana we took a guided tour down South, through Santa Clara, Cienfuegos, and ending up in Trinidad - one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been in. If you're going to Cuba any time soon, don't spend all your time in Havana. Trinidad was my favorite stop off! It's very small, and attracting more and more tourists but I loved wandering the streets which are uneven and cobbled and framed by tiny rainbow-coloured buildings. We drove back North after a few days, stopping to see Che Guevara Mausoleum which was fascinating. I only wish I knew more about Cuban history - someone remind me to watch the 'Che' movies. The last few days of our trip were spent lying out on a white sandy beach in Varadero. I got a little bit sun burnt, read A LOT and enjoyed the last of the thirty degree weather before our ten hour flight back via Amsterdam.
When I finished finals in May I went straight back into working retail and I've spent the last few months doing shift work and questioning my entire four years at university. I needed this time away from Dublin to recuperate and relax. I stress myself out very easily and I get overwhelmed at some very underwhelming situations. Travelling makes me love life again and this Cuba trip came at the most perfect time. I'm so delighted to have had the opportunity to go to this incredible country. I think it will be a very different place in a few years and I'm so happy to have seen it in it's authentic state, full of vigor. My Mum has worked her ass off for so long and I hope she enjoyed herself. I know that I don't appreciate her enough so, THANKS MUM, I love you.

I haven't spoken about it on here yet but I'm actually starting an Internship tomorrow in a Women's magazine with the Beauty Editor!!! I'm very very nervous but also excited. The butterflies are building. As it's unpaid (ah, graduate life) I have to keep on my other job parttime as well so I'll be flat out working 7 days a week. I'm trying not to think about that part of it all! If you want updates on my life and how I'm getting on in the REAL WORKING WORLD, make sure to follow me on Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter. I might do a post on it all after a while, but YAY. Moving forward.

Talk soon.