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!

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)

Fashion Trainers?!

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 I’m still not entirely convinced about trainers as a fashion item. The gym yes, but that’s my general limit. So it came as a shock to myself when instead of doing the flats to heels shuffle on the first day of London Fashion Week I found myself saying sod it and kept the trainers on. With a suit. Do I think this looks better than with heels? Nope, but I don’t think it looks bad either. Besides it was utterly horrendous weather and trying to work in the rain and cold is quite enough drama let alone throwing the whole heels-and-cobbles-debacle into the mix. I chose the Nike Free Run for the spangly bronze laces, I think the metallics dress them up a bit more. Not sure if these will ever find a place in my wardrobe besides being commuting shoes, we shall see!

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Outfit: What’s Pearl Been Wearing to Work?

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Wanted: One hulk to come carry a 7ft mirror home for me? Any takers??

I am getting settled into my new job and apartment however I have one major complain, total lack of full length mirrors at home and at work! I found the most amazing mirrors in TK Maxx but they don’t deliver so looks like I need to put some thought into the procurement of a mirror or work out a timer/tripod option. I haven’t quite got to the stage where I can release my crazy onto my new colleagues and get them to take outfit snaps for me. Hopefully I can get the mirror issue sorted ASAP and get back to blogging properly, until then here are some Instagrams taken at odd angles but you get the jist, right? Since the weather has been seriously dreadful there isn’t much excitement to show, heels, the wet and hills do not make a good match. There’s been tartan, tartan and more tartan. A new addition are these black velvet trousers, I got them on sale at Yoox.com and they are amazing if slightly high maintenance – no sitting cross legged as it leaves a mark, no getting even one rain drop on you as it leaves a mark… le sigh, but they look fabulous which is the main thing.

Currently gearing up for LFW which will be short and intense this season, I am just doing the weekend so packing a lot into that time, but looking forward to it as ever!

Shoes for Running in

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Trainers are in fashion. Ok well trainers have always been in fashion to numerous different people at any one time, however trainers are now in Vogue kinda fashion. There are Pinterest boards worldwide dedicated to them, preferably worn with a perfect cropped trouser to show off that lithe ankle and something from Celine. Regardless of all this trendy stuff going on I was more than happy with my muddy old trainers for the occasional gym visit but mostly being dragged around the park with a dog. I had zero interest in trainers, in fact any form of flat shoe. Then I find myself having to hike up yet another hill which I swear was at a 90 degree angle! Everyday I have to do this now working in Sheffield and so I caved in, I went and got myself a pair of trainers, but of course they had to be fashion trainers, right. The fashion bloggers have spoken and it seems the Nike Free trainers have been deemed the trainer of choice, not knowing much about trainers in general I went with the general consensus and opted for a pair. I chose these Nike Free 3.0 V5 from Spartoo as I liked the black mottled design and the ultraviolet highlights. But I really liked the turquoise and the pink Internationalist too, it was a tough choice. What I was even more overjoyed with was the retro bright red shoe box they came in, taking me back to my youth in the 90s and my Nike Pegasus, sigh. They feel very peculiar at first, unlike a regular trainer the Free is more like a wet-suit sock which can be tricky to wriggle your foot into, but once on they are super comfy. I’ve been wearing mine all day and no rubbing as they hug your foot. The soles are unusual too, they are cross-hatched so that your foot can flex in more ways, making for a great feeling when your feet pound the pavements. One note on the sizing, the 38 equivalent is actually a UK4.5 so consider half sizing up if you don’t like your trainers to fit super tight. I thought I was ordering a UK5, as such they 4.5 fit just fine but I couldn’t get a thick pair of socks on with them. Will I be wearing trainers as a fashion item? No, I kick them off and back on with the heels as soon as I get to the office, but for running up hills they are just the ticket.

New Job, New City, New Shoes

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I’ve got myself a new job, yay! Its a 2.5hr door to door commute, boo! It was one of those situations that don’t come along all too often, the dream job scenario, the 10+ years of university finally paying off type scenarios. I had the interview and started my first day all within a week, to say the 1.5hr expected commute turning out to be an hour longer and getting up the wrong side of 6am has all been a bit of a shock to the system. I am still not sure if I will be moving to Sheffield, does anybody ever get used to such crazy commutes? Or perhaps I will earn a loyalty bonus at the local Travel Inn? But I have an amazing job researching sustainable fashion with two renowned universities which I couldn’t be happier about. My shoes however are protesting, Sheffield it seems is rather hilly and extremely wet at the moment. In one week I have managed to destroy two pairs of shoes and one pair of trousers – I promise I am not usually this accident prone! Luckily trainers are having a bit of a come-back so I have ordered myself a pair for trekking up those hills and no doubt by the end of another week my office bookcase will contain more shoes than books – you know that’s how I roll. I just need to find out where the local bloggers hang out and I am sure I will settle in fine, oh that and locate a full length selfie mirror, I swear not one in the building, I will have to have words. Oh one more thing, lets pray it doesn’t snow!

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A Thought on Shoe Scuffs

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I have the tendency to have one favourite pair of shoes, I wear them and wear them until they are close to falling to pieces. Here are my most recent favourites, the red ones my last victim. Sorting out shoes for a trip to the cobblers, I started thinking about all the nicks and scuffs on my shoes. Where I might have been, what I was doing when the wounds occurred. The stories they might tell. Some I remember, others unaware. My left shoe always needs reheeling before the right, as I carry my bag on that arm and it is always over stuffed and far too heavy. I think there is something so personal about shoes, the way they mould to your feet and can alter the way you walk, act, think. To end a wistful quote from a Vogue article I recently read ‘What would life have looked like had I walked in different shoes? Would I have fallen for different men?’ Rather intriguing, don’t you think.

That Perfect Inch-of-Sock-Reveal-between-the-Cuff Ratio

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This photograph pleases me immensely. Why is it so satisfying? It is a prime example of a perfect fashion ratio. Exactly enough shoe-sock-cuff in the constraints of an Instagram. The fact that it involves a turn-up is all the more appealing. I know there is a strong divide between sock lovers and haters, but I just can’t look at a naked ankle with the same fondness. It is all about the socks. Even with a peep-toe? Especially with a peep-toe, if they are sheer and show a pop of colourful nail varnish more the merrier. Always with heels, of course, I will never be a flats girl no matter how hard I try.

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I thought perhaps socks were having a moment, a little fashion rebellion as they crept in the back door, smattering the pages of Vogue in a subtle way. Alas only the exact, fashion trend correct socks are allowed. White, pastel, frilled, nod to school days socks. Most definitely not tiger striped odd socks, clashed with tartan and red shoes. Defiantly. The Christmas sock, why not? Since the once ridiculed Xmas jumper is now, so bad its good chic.

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That’s it, my week in socks. Long may they reign.

Return to Buying Fashion Magazines

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I know I had sworn off buying fashion magazines but when I saw this shoot of Cara Delevigne for ID recreating the famous Sara Stockbridge one I knew I had to get it. I also picked up Tank since it was the 15th anniversary special, yeah I know I don’t know who I am trying to kid. Thanks to Tesco clubcard points I’ve got a Grazia and Harpers Bazaar subscription for free too starting this month. It will be interesting to see if I’ve missed them. For those of you that don’t know I went from buying around ten fashion mags each month, Grazia and Look weekly. Besides the fact it was costing a small fortune, I went from gobbling up every single word to having a vacant flip through, until I got to the point where I was just bored of them all. So I went on a fast, only reading Style.etc because of course I write for them. Did I miss them? Not really, I started watching Youtube videos in my down time instead. I didn’t really think much of my magazine break until I announced it at a talk on street style a few months back, to the sharp intake of breath of the audience. A fashion blogger who doesn’t read fashion magazines! OMG! It will be interesting to read these and see what I’ve been missing. The Cara shoot is utter perfection, especially the maroon velvet crini look. I must scan the original Sara shoot for you as most of the images are never seen, if you can’t wait check out my Instagram feed @SuperElevated as I snapped them a while back.

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ID Priceless issue images courtesy Vivienne Westwood