EVERYONE NEEDS - Weapons of mass distraction
I recently went on a date (twit twoo). The night before, I decided to dye my hair, and didn't realise that the dark brown dye had dripped the whole way down the side of my face and on to my neck, creating a very feminine (and thankfully semi-permanent) 5 o'clock shadow. I scrubbed it and tried a whole manner of cleansers (and nail varnish remover) but it wouldn't budge and, at best, resembled a chelsea smile gone wrong. So, I reached for my weapons of mass distraction, a pair of bright spotty shoes and enough rose gold in my ears to make standing up feel like a dead lift. Tadaaa, the accessories worked and he didn't notice (or he just thought I was a bearded lady and didn't really mind).
I've always loved accessories. I've lived and travelled overseas a fair amount, often with a limited wardrobe, and now consider myself a bit of an expert at packing key pieces that can transform an outfit (rather than including every dress I own 'just incase'). It means a lighter bag on the outbound flight and so room for an extra sketchbook or to buy something new whilst I'm away. Jetlagged, and no concealer will touch the boxer-inspired eye bags? I'll add huge earrings. Hair bathed in the humidity and resembling candy floss whipped up in a tumble drier? I'll grab a statement bag or some sparkly flats.
For my recent shoot I borrowed these beautiful tassel earrings from Clare Hynes Jewellery, after seeing Erica Davies wearing a similar pair on Instagram. There are simpler and cheaper tassels on the High Street at the moment, but I just loved the intricacy of these as well as the ethos of Clare's business. Clare carries out workshops with women in the Phillipines to teach them how to produce her designs, so that they are able to earn an income that helps to improve their quality of life. The Martha earrings that I am wearing in the photo below are made with hand-woven gold plated brass chain, gold plated crystal earrings posts, dyed jade briolette beads, gold plated nugget beads and red tassels. They are £65 and available here in a range of colours.
This circular box bag from Edit 58 is just as special. I contacted Lisa, who owns and runs Edit 58 to ask if I could borrow one for my shoot as I just love it. It reminds me of a beautiful old sewing kit, it has such a retro feel, and as it's neutral it goes with just about everything. In the photos below I'm wearing it with full skirts but it's great with jeans too. Grazia recently named it their bag of the summer and so since then it's been sold out on the site, but you can pre-order one here for £78, there's a new shipment due in from Bali soon. A very special thank you to Lisa for allowing me to keep this as a gift, I'll honestly treasure it forever.
And lastly, these Lois Slingback Heels from Boden are a winner. I recently wore them with a pair of skinny jeans and a white top and I felt a million dollars. When I was painting them for the above illustration I really noticed details that I'd missed beforehand. By the buckle there's a tiny piece of elastic, which means they are super comfy and don't dig in, the spotty lining is a nice touch and I love the coral piping too. Thanks Boden for sending these, a gift that is much appreciated! If you love the spots but aren't a slingback fan then do head to the website as the same pattern appears as flats, ballerinas, courts and even in ankle boots for Autumn (I predict these will sell out fast, so be quick!).