What's your favourite fashion accessory?
I do own a lot of jewellery.
But I think my favourite accessory has to be shoes. I think my favourite fairy tales as a child were Cinderella, the Red Shoes and The Shoemaker and the Elves. When I asked my boyfriend for help with these questions he told me "just answer shoes to all of them". He actually christened me Veshoevius and not without good reason!
I love picking up shoes with interesting details. Sequins, ribbon ties, shearling cuffs, gemstones, decorative buckles, suede braiding, studs, interesting materials and finishes... I could go on and on about shoes but I'll just show you some instead. My collection includes some 1920's flapper shoes and Moroccan slippers picked up in the souk in Fez.
Even my interests involve shoes. I studied ballet for years and still have all my old pointe shoes. I now own of fifteen pairs of professional flamenco shoes in various states of wear. I actually moonlight as a professional flamenco dancer. Strange but true. I’m sure I got into it for the shoes. I keep some of my dancing shoes for sentimental value as they feel like old friends who’ve accompanied me through part of my life. The soles of some of my older flamenco shoes have been autographed by some famous flamenco dancers.
Who's your fashion role model?
I don't profess to be original. I like looking at style icons to pick up tips. I’ve always loved Kate Moss, (especially for the way she mixes in vintage clothing into her outfits), Carrie Bradshaw and Sarah Jessica Parker because they all manage to somehow make eclectic mixes work. I love Rachel Zoe for her commitment to glamour. I love those European fashion magazine editors like Carine Roitfeld, Anna Dello Russo and Emmanuelle Alt for their fashion forwardness despite age and/or motherhood. I also love how Olivia Palermo uses accessories and how she always looks polished even in head to toe Topshop.
What do you always carry with you?
A huge bag! I need a bag I can stash half my life in for easy access on the go. I’ll always carry my purse, keys, mascara and lipstick/lipgloss, a spare layer of knitwear and a scarf (even in summer) in case I feel cold and a very often a pair of high heeled shoes. I always wear flats to my destination and change into heels once I’m there. It always amazes me how women in London manage the underground in heels.
How would you describe your style?
A bit all over the place and not particularly consistent.
For years I've had a strange lifestyle in which I've juggled a conservative office job and a sideline in the performing arts. Some days after leaving the office I often needed to change from a straight laced suit into something a bit more rock and roll to turn up to perform in a trendy London venue.
|London gig gear: Christopher Kane for Topshop dress|
In any one year I’ll spend a significant time abroad in the sunny climes of Spain and Australia and then return to cold dark England. I may have to travel from cold weather to hot weather and dress, pack and change what I’m wearing appropriately. Add a love of clothes to all these conflicting requirements and you get a million excuses to amass an expansive wardrobe!
I have a definite split between my summer and winter wardrobe. Spring and Summer are all about dresses. I’m all pretty, girly, feminine meets hippy bohemian gypsy. When I'm not in strapless or halterneck dresses, floral dresses, tea dresses or maxi dresses I'll be wearing little tops, shorts, skirts, floaty layers, all with lots of pretty details. I wear a lot of denim, colour, especially prints, a lot of summer whites and lots of hippy jewellery! I love long necklaces, armloads of bracelets and dangly earrings.
I don’t know what happens in winter – its like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde! But I love the drama of winter dressing. I must be a bit of a closet goth because I love it when designers come out with dark vampy collections and I own and wear a lot of black. Winter is when I actually get stuck into whatever trends are going around as I tend to enjoy the Autumn Winter collections more. Leopard and polka dots, leather shorts, harems, tailoring, playing with structure and proportion - I'm likely to give it all a shot during Autumn/Winter.
I love anything with a bit of drama and adore period style clothing which takes inspiration from anything from the Edwardian and Victorian eras, the twenties and thirties through to the seventies. I'll only buy a vintage piece if I can get wear out of it. Some of my favourite pieces are a Victorian riding jacket with a lace overlay, a thirties lame jacket with a gold filigree clasp, a thirties lurex scalloped edged capelet, a sixties lame embroidered tunic and a thirties heavily embroidered crepe bolero.
I love and own lots of lace, feathers, fur, sequins, gem embellished pieces, beading, and leather. If I get the chance to dress up I do go to town and glam it up. And I am always the guest that takes the fancy dress theme on the invitation seriously!
Left: a feather bolero for a black tie wedding
Centre: top hat (not seen), tails, sequins and fishnets for a Victorian Circus themed evening
Right: flamenco frills, florals and fringing for Feria in Spain (with Mr Veshoevius just seen)
Most of the time though, when I'm off duty, I actually dress pretty casually and my uniform tends to be a bit rock/biker chic with lots of layering a lot to ward off the cold - distressed or skinny denim jeans or leggings, layers of jersey and knitwear and my favourite cover up, the biker jacket. I love biker jackets and own several!
What's your favourite? Jeans, sunglasses or heels?
I don’t own a single fashionable pair of sunglasses. I need to fix this. Although I live in denim jeans I have to say my favourite is heels. I love heels with interesting details like zips, embroidery, exposed wood or contrasting materials. Even my flamenco shoes have interesting heels. There is the potential to say so much with a heel.
What inspired you to blog about fashion?
I love writing. I promised myself this year I would write more and I needed something to write about. My wardrobe gave me lots of um... material! I had realised just how much was in there when, after watching a season of Gok Wan’s Fashion Fix, I decided to count it all.
The blog was supposed to act like a photo journal/personal catalogue and to distract me from buying any more! I thought it would also inspire me to wear more of the clothes I own as I got very slack in the last year and was relying on a few things on constant repeat.
What is your favourite fashion store?
I just love shopping so picking a favourite is almost impossible! I do love the British high street. If I have to choose on the basis of the bulk that it contributes to my wardrobe I have to admit that I am a total Topshop tart and Mango minx. Though this year I've been shopping more at Cos.
I used to love vintage shopping as a student but stopped having the time when I started working. These days I do most of my clothes shopping online. If I am feeling extravagant my first call is My-Wardrobe.
What is your favourite fabric in clothing?
For summer it is silk, especially in colourful feminine prints. For winter I like all things bestial – feathers, suede, leather, and fur. I do have shearling and shaggy Mongolian coats and gilets but apart from that my furs are fake.
|My Big Bird collection|
|My Mr Snuffleupagus collection|
Who are your favourite designers?
Alexander McQueen was my favourite designer of all time. It was like the guy jumped into my head and created everything I ever fantasised about wearing.
I also love the work of John Galliano, Ricardo Tisci, Vivienne Westwood and Preen. Christopher Bailey’s last couple of collections have also blown me away and I'm so excited he’s bringing the biker back in every form imaginable for Spring Summer 2011!
Who or what inspires your style?
I’ve been into fashion since I was thirteen and I find inspiration everywhere. My sister and our friends used to borrow Vogue magazines from the library, get together, spread them out all over the floor and then try to recreate the looks with what we collectively had in our closets.
I love period costume dramas which gave me an undying affection for vintage clothing.
I also take inspiration from my aforementioned fashion role models, reading fashion magazines (I especially love the British ones), reading fashion blogs, being in London, travelling, my past as a ballet dancer (I own some Carrie style tutus), flamenco (I’m always wondering if something could double up as a costume), consulting style guides (even if I decide I’ll agree to disagree with some of them).
|Am I obsessed?|
Would you choose to buy something high quality or make it yourself if you could?
I am actually a very accomplished seamstress as I studied dressmaking at high school under a brilliant teacher. Also my mum could sew and made clothes for me and my sister including all our amazing high school ball dresses. So I had great mentors!
I was always broke when I was young so I learnt to sew so I could wear nice clothes. I would come home with material and a pattern and have a new piece by the time I had to go out later that evening. I would sneak into the change rooms of clothing shops to take vital measurements of clothes I liked to reproduce them at home. I once even toiled for three days without stopping to make my mother an Emanuel Ungaro dress from a pattern in time for a wedding we were attending.
Although it is satisfying to make your own clothes it is time consuming and hard work. It’s not that I wouldn’t do it again but I just don’t have the time anymore. My sewing experience has made me acutely aware of what is quality workmanship and I am able to recognise good design and construction in a garment. I will be the one in the shop turning a garment inside out to examine the seams and finishes and analysing the care label for information on the fabric. I will often choose to buy something if it is of high quality.
Phew. I think I am all posted out for the rest of week and now its my turn to tag ten other bloggers. So if you feel like answering these questions and you're on the list below its your turn!
Thanks also to my dear boyfriend for putting up with my shoes all over the flat while I took photos!