Blood and Ink

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I didn’t take a break from blogging, however as you know I have slowed things down this year after starting a new full time job and relocating it was hard to find the time and energy to create a photoshoot. On top of that working in sustainable fashion has put something of, not quite a guilt trip, but something of a more concious state of mind in play. I started to question my own shopping habits and in return what I was blogging about. I haven’t gone cold turkey on fashion but I have certainly changed, I will write a full post on this as its pretty interesting. What I wanted to talk about here is something else which is a big part of my life. For those of you on Instagram (@SuperElevated) this will come as nothing new, whilst I have forgone the fashion addiction (somewhat) I have been investing in another area. My body and body art. I had my first tattoo aged 16, I followed that up with five more over the next few years the last I think I was around 20, as an undergrad at university, was to remain unfinished for the next 12 years. I can’t tell you why it took that long, the most recent years having a tattoo was impossible due to the immuno-suppressant medication I had to take. I guess it was just something out of mind if not always out of sight. My first tattoo on my wrist I have now lived with just as long with, as without. When something is so much a part of you it isn’t a concious thing, not for me anyway. Its like remembering you have a left knee everyday, you just don’t.

A lot changed for me this year, another thing was finally coming off my medication, not cured but lets say on hold, how long for it isn’t known, a day, a month, ten years? But I feel mostly ok and that’s good enough for me, without the steroids I’ve been getting fit again and I think that was the first stage in deciding to get the unfinished tattoo on my thing sorted out. After putting a lot of thought into it, myself and my artist decided that a cover up would be the best option but due to the heavy black outlines a few sessions of laser removal first would give the best result. Everything I am mentioning here I will write about separately in more detail, gory photos too if you like. But this is the first time in a while I’ve really felt I had something to say without visuals to speak for me. Tomorrow is something of a big day for me, it doesn’t really feel like it is yet but I guess it must do in a way for me to be typing out the waffles like this. As of tomorrow I will go from being someone with a few tattoos to the first stage of the process in becoming what some would class as heavily tattooed. Its not a decision I’ve taken lightly or rushed into, obviously as I am well aware of the impact your appearance has on your life. But sometimes there are just some things you need to do, this is one of them. So whilst I am not changing the nature of the blog from fashion to tattoos, it will of course change in some ways as I do. I’ve never had a set agenda for the blog, its just rolled with me over the years and hopefully will continue to do so for many more. Lets say then its something of a new chapter.

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Why the Converse photos? I got this new pair not even two weeks ago and they are already covered in blood and ink, custom body, custom shoes. I got these from Spartoo where these All Stars and some other styles are on sale. I hadn’t worn Cons for years and have been living in these, so comfy. Although I’m not sure cream was the wisest colour choice for me!

Tom Binns Crush

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 I’ve had a real crush on Tom Binns jewellery for so long but I can never quite manage to save up for something so here is a post dedicated to stunning necklaces (all images and necklaces from Avenue 32)! Binns combines classic, elegant traditional jewellery such as diamanties and pearls but adds a characteristically modern edge. From neon paint splatters to safety pins, delicate to bold, this is jewellery made to stand out! Binns can list countless celebrities as fans, even Princess Diana. Yet it was creating jewellery shaped like rubber penis’ for Vivienne Westwood and Malcom McLaren’s 1983 Punkature collection that gave him a jolt into fame. Since then he has honed a signature style, I think opulence is indeed the best word to use. That said these aren’t just pieces for the red carpet. Stunning with ball gowns of course, but the perfect thing to dress up any outfit from jeans and a tee to pretty summer dresses. Well a girl can dream.

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Sponsored post

Sponsored Video: Benefit Criminal Eyes

Post sponsored by Benefit, all views are my own 

As you all know I am a sucker for eye-liner, I’ve pretty much tried them all from solids to pencils but will always go for a liner pen to create the perfect cat-eye flick. I have also been a big fan of Benefit since discovering the brand when I was at uni, bye-bye student loan and I still have all the original pin-up girl make up cases which I adore. I have seen many of their products come and go, wearing BadGal chubby eye-liner pencil for years, perfect for a smudgy eye. But these days I much prefer a perfect flick of liner which needs a precision pen so I was really excited to hear Benefit had created one. My current staple liner pen is Bobbi Brown which I can’t fault so Benefit have some tough competition, but I am more than happy to give it a try. Anther thing I have always liked about Benefit are the friendly girls on their counters who are happy to doll you up so you can test out the products before you commit to buying. So what does the new eye liner promise, besides a get out of jail free card? It claims to the be the first ever lash-hugging gel liner in a pen – which should mean no running or smudging. One problem I always have is getting transfer from liner onto my lids before it dries so this is something I want to test. It also claims to be smudge and budge free, with no drying out so it shouldn’t move an millimetre all day. It certainly packs a punch in the video, those are some killer wings! Will keep you posted when I go to try it out!

“It’s the FIRST EVER lash-hugging gel liner in a pen! This matte black gel formula won’t smudge, budge or dry out, and the innovative soft AccuFlex™ Tip hugs your lashline from corner to corner. The closer the line, the bigger the eye!

• 91% said it was longwearing*
• 81% said it was waterproof*
• 88% said it hugged the lashline*
• 84% said eyes looked visibly larger*

*Results observed in a consumer panel survey on 32 women after 2 weeks”

Outfit:Some Current Favourties 50s Style

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First outfit: Vivienne Westwood Anglomaina dress, Gold Label Animal toe courts; Second outfit: Vivienne Westwood Gold Label jacket and shoes as before, Philip Lim top, Iceberg skirt. 

I’ve had it pointed out to me a few times recently that my style has changed recently. I think changing my hair and well pretty much my entire life style has had on impact on that. Subconsciously I have started to lean towards a 1950s style, I’ve not bought anything new just changed the way I have put together what I already have. What I do feel I am missing are some nice big jewels, fake or otherwise I do like a bit of bling. My ultimate eye-candy site is Pragnell for antique jewellery, I could spend all day looking at their jewels. In reality I am more likely to pick something cheap and cheerful from eBay but a girl can dream. I’m hunting for a statement necklace with pearls and rubies, vintage would be nice but do let me know if you spot anything. I know I’ve been most disappointing to you all lately as I’ve not bought anything, I’ve not bought one thing in the Westwood sale! There’s a few reasons for this I guess, firstly working in sustainable fashion has made me even more aware of what I have and what we are doing to the planet so that has certainly had impact. Then moving and now having my wardrobes stretched out over two house made me realise what a bloody great big hoarder I am so I’ve been rediscovering old things and having a clear out too. Now this will come as the real shocker, the last items I actually bought have been from River Island. Yep me buying High Street I know, I know. I picked up two of these Bardot tops, the black and the striped. No they aren’t very well made, especially noticeable on the striped where they haven’t even lined up the fabric, yes I would have much preferred to pay more to have something of better quality but they were exactly what I have been looking for to update my skirts and shorts. There’s a pic of the black on my Instagram (@SuperElevated) but will share on the blog soon enough. Another shocker I have for you is that my downtime uniform has ended up being denim shorts and Converse – yep I confess I really am going through some style changes.

Summery Treat Days Out

The Best Afternoon Teas in the UK

Afternoon tea is fast becoming one of the most popular ways to while away an afternoon with your partner or friends. Years ago everyone was doing it, albeit on a somewhat smaller and probably less glamorous scale, but it’s seen a bit of a revival of late and it’s so much more than just a slice of cake and a cup of tea. So treat yourself to a new outfit, a pretty tea dress or maybe a nice new top and midi skirt (you’re guaranteed to find a lovely George shift dress or George midi skirt) and make a date of it with a friend to have afternoon tea at one of these fantastic places:

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The Goring Hotel, London

The afternoon tea here is so good, the hotel has even won an award from the UK Tea Guild for the Best Afternoon Tea in London 2013. So what makes afternoon tea here so special? You’ll take your afternoon tea on the terrace overlooking the beautiful hotel gardens and enjoy the hotel’s very own blend of tea. You can choose from a variety of fine teas, finger sandwiches, scones and a selection of pastries made in house. If you want to make it even more special, why not try the Bollinger Afternoon Tea, which sees the addition of a glass of champagne and strawberries and cream.

The Lowry, Manchester

This stunning modern hotel, situated on the banks of the River Irwell in Manchester, offers a five star experience from start to finish. Enjoy your afternoon tea in the River Bar and Grill overlooking the city and choose from a wide variety of teas, finger sandwiches filled with cream cheese and cucumber, Emmenthal cheese and tomato chutney, ham and red onion marmalade and smoked salmon and crème fraiche. Follow that with a selection of pastries including simnel cake, chocolate orange mousse, lemon meringue pie, carrot cake and scones. Or perhaps enjoy the champagne afternoon tea, which not only includes champagne but savoury tartlets and chocolate truffles too.

Great Fosters, Surrey

Enjoy afternoon tea in a stunning listed building dating from 1550, which was built as a royal hunting lodge. You have a choice of venues here for your afternoon tea and can select either the cocktail bar, Anne Boleyn room or the Main Hall. There are several options for afternoon tea here including the ‘Full Afternoon Tea’, which includes a selection of teas, finger sandwiches, scones and patisseries, the Pimms Afternoon Tea, which includes a glass of Pimms along with the usual selection of sandwiches, scones and pastries and either a Champagne Afternoon Tea or a Bollinger Rose Afternoon Tea. Great Fosters is a truly romantic venue at which to enjoy an afternoon tea, why not make it even more special and stay the night with your partner? There are some amazing historic rooms in which to stay, along with more modern rooms too.

If you’re a lover of afternoon tea, or even just a lover of cake, you really have to visit one of these amazing venues and experience afternoon tea at its best. Just don’t forget to wear your most ladylike outfit!

Guest Post

Outfit:Savages Summer

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I’ve been meaning to post this for a while now, as always things get in the way, but I do like to get the chance to share older pieces from my wardrobe. The top and culottes are from the 1982 Savages collection by Vivienne Westwood & Malcolm McLaren. The fabric might be reminiscent to those of you old enough to remember the 80s as the cheesecloth which pot-towels used to be made of. You can wear it and dry off the dishes on it at the same time, practical!

 Ben managed to find a great video of the collection on the runway which you can see on the Worlds End blog DSC_2161mDSC_2175m DSC_2180m DSC_2192m

 

 Here is Vivienne wearing the same outfit in Worlds End and some of the other characteristic Savages prints. It only just occurred to me having the photos side by side we also have the same colour hair here!

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Last time I wore my Savages jumper was at London Fashion Week last year – or was it the year before? Either way its one of my favourite collections and I love seeing pieces of it crop up here and there. You can still get the Apache print Pirate tops at Worlds End, as for the rest of it well you would have to hit up the vintage auctions!

 

 

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Pool Side Fashion

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Its that time of year again, dreaded for so many of us, yep no more hiding under winter layers here comes summer! If you are anything like me the thought of wearing a bikini leaves me cold, but if you learn how to dress for your size and shape there is no reason why you can’t be confidant and chic on the beach. There are several body shape categories we’re all said to fall into. Finding out which shape you are and dressing for that shape is key especially when it comes to finding the most flattering beachwear.

Apple Shapes

Apple shapes carry most of their weight around their middle and tend to have slimmer legs. Since the main issue with the shape is the illusion of having no waist, your main aim is to really emphasis and define your waist. Belts are fabulous for doing this and draw the eye to the smallest part of your waist.

For holiday wear choose a light floaty top and cropped pants that will show off your great legs Pretty belted summer dresses, A line skirts, contrast detailing on tops, wrap dresses and soft peplum style tops will show off your best assets while concealing a larger stomach and creating a waist. Tankini’s with a printed front and black contrast side panels will flatter, giving the illusion of a slimmer torso.

The Hour Glass

Think Marilyn Monroe, a smaller waist with large hips and bust. The hour glass can be quite hard to dress because of the contours of your body. Accentuating your waist and finding clothes to fit your bust and hips are key with this shape.

Holidaywear for the hour glass figure is anything that is form fitting, however the lower tummy can still be an issue for curvy girls. You’ll need a great bikini or swimsuit  George’s range of swimwear is fantastic as they let you mix and match tops and bottoms to suit. Add to that pretty, wrap dresses, playsuits, plus high rise trousers and pencil skirts. Avoid floaty and fussy fabrics or they’ll can make you look matronly and hide your killer figure.

Pear Shaped

If you have large hips, larger thighs, a small waist and chest, then you’re what is called a pear shape. It’s the most common of shapes around but despite that some pear shapes often find it hard to find trousers to fit their ample hips and small waists. The key with pear shapes is to balance the top and bottom halves of the body. This can easily be done by wearing lighter colours on top and darker colours below, a trick which automatically slims the bottom half.

Athletic

Athletic figures tend to be in proportion or slim all over but can lack definition around the waist, bust and hips. Wearing fun separates such as shorts with t-shirts or loose blouses will look great, using key accessories such as necklaces and statement earrings can add interest without drawing the eye to a specific body area. Athletic figures can really carry prints so go loud and proud on the beach with the hottest photographic printed swimwear.

Great holiday choices are full skirts and dresses, belts to show off your tiny waist, detailed tops and plain bottoms and dresses that are dark on the bottom and patterned or lighter coloured on top. Padded or halterneck swimwear is best for this shape, any bikini tops with details such as ruffles can balance out your figure too.

Whatever shape or size you are, if you work what you have to the best of your advantage, you’re sure to create some amazing holiday looks this summer. Giving you both confidence and style on the beach, by the pool or exploring the resort. Big is beautiful after all.

What to Wear with Nike Dunks?

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 Now I know these aren’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea but I have to say I lurrrve me some Nike Dunks. I got this pair last year (the exact style has sold out but there are plenty of alternatives) the thing is I’ve not really worn them as much as I’d like. I struggle to find anything to go with them other than gym kit and they aren’t really practical for the gym, so what to do? Here are some ‘slebs look cool and all but they seem to all go for a Dunks-jeans combo and we all know I don’t do jeans, alas the woes of being 5.2”. Will let you know if I figure these out or if they start gathering dust!

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(Images via coolspotters.com)

Summer Styling with Gray and Osbourn

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Wearing: Betty Barclay jacket, vintage t-shirt and jeans, Rupert Sanderson heels

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Ronen Chen chiffon cocoon dress, Keds sneakers

I had a lot of fun with my mum over Mothers Day, Gray and Osbourn sent over some of their summer collection for us to style up. Here are the looks I created and you can see how my mum style it soon in part 2. The key pieces we chose are the striped Betty Barclay jacket which has a Breton stripe edged in a pop of hot pink and the Ronen Chen dress which has a fabulous floaty chiffon layer in khaki shades. We felt both pieces are the perfect options for summer as you could easily dress them up or down. My mum and I both have very similar styles and have a fair few identical pieces in our wardrobes. I only wish she had saved more of her old clothes as she is forever telling me ‘I used to have one of those’. I don’t often wear jeans but the one pair I will never throw out are my mums old Wranglers, super high waist and perfect fit. Here I paired the jeans and jacket with an old tshirt and chic red heels. For the dress I went for a festival vibe and simply kicked on my ancient Keds.

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Such a shoe selection!

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The finishing touches, Lime Crime Velvetines are my new staple red lip, utterly smudge proof they last all day.