1/31/2014

At The Hop.

Whilst I'm often seen in circle dresses, my 50s sensibilities love a good tea dress too and no one does Vintage repro quite like Vivien of Holloway.

Although they are best known for their dreamy circle dresses and wiggle shapes, it was their beautiful day dresses which got me to make my first purchase. Their Runaround Sue design made me swoon, with their black option making me feel a little Bettie Page, a little Wednesday Adams.


Dress: Runaround Sue dress from Vivien of Holloway.
Necklace: Swallow Triple Necklace from Tatty Devine.
Belt: Vintage Look Waist Belt from ASOS Curve.
Tights: Simply Be.
Shoes: Yours Clothing.
Bag: Vintage.

Mixed in with some vintage accessories, you would never know that this dress was a reproduction rather than the real deal. The dresses are made from genuine vintage patterns with proper vintage sizing, and as such a trip to their shop in Holloway is well worth a visit to get fitted properly. As a rough guide, their dresses run to a UK 20 / 22, but you can go up or down a size depending on the shape and fabric. It is also worth noting that their halter necks are made from magic as well as material as they are constructed with sartorial scaffolding ensuring even the most well endowed vintage vixen can wear their dresses without a bra.


Until next time,

Diana xx

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(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos. Please do not reproduce without written permission.)

1/29/2014

Just Dance.


Since my NYE disaster, I had been dying to wear this dress again and give it a proper outing. It's a dress very much made for dancing, and feels very 80s despite it's bodycon style. The shoulder pads give it a strong shape, and I felt like a proper riot girl rebel upon slipping into it - part Ditto, part Joan Jett but with a whole lot of wiggle.


Dress: Yours Clothing.
Roses in hair: Handmade by Bink at Pearls & Swine.
Necklace: Custom made Whiskey Kittens necklace with lightening bolt from Punky Pins.
Art Deco Ring: Tatty Devine
Lighting Bolt Ring: David Bowie Is Exhibition at the V&A.
Tights: Simply Be.
Underbust Body Shaper: Simply Be.
Black heels: Yours Clothing.

I was genuinely surprised by how comfy the dress was - the sequins are on top of a soft, stretchy fabric which pulls in without being overly clingy. The wrap design brings cleavage and curve to the forefront, so is very much a dress which will get attention. 

Although it's not my usual style, it certainly brought out my inner diva. And although I'll always feel much more like myself in my circle dresses, it was nice to dress up in something a little bit different.

Until next time,

Diana xx

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(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos. Please do not reproduce without written permission.)

1/27/2014

Day Tripper - Simply Be, Blogger Of The Month.

I had a lovely email today from Simply Be where they told me I was their blogger of the month. I did a little q&a for them, which if you fancy reading, can be found here.

(Did you also see the article I wrote for them on a modern vintage? If not, you can find it here.)

Until next time,

Diana xx

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(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos (unless stated otherwise). Please do not reproduce without written permission.)

Cherry Bomb.


Last Saturday was a real milestone for Tom and I as Whiskey Kittens turned two! With three award winning burlesque artists on the bill and bags bulging with songs we couldn't wait to play, the night was never going to be anything other than brilliant.

Mouse ears: Disney Land.
Custom designed necklace: Bete  Noire Jewellery.
Roses in hair: Handmade by Bink at Pealrs & Swine.
Dress: Dolores Doll Polka Dot Dress by Collectif.
Tights: Pretty Polly. Similar at Simply Be.
Red Heels: Vintage.

Although I didn't wear the mouse ears and changed my necklace to a black double heart Whiskey Kittens design (also made by Bete  Noire Jewellery), I felt so good DJing and dancing in this dress. It had been a Christmas present from Howard, and I had been waiting for the perfect event to give it it's first outing and the WK birthday seemed more than appropriate. I teamed it with my Collectif Jo Bluebird Cardigan as seen here.

Polaroid fun from Whiskey Kittens.
I can tell already that once the summer's here, I am pretty much going to live in this dress! The fabric is so soft and stretchy and an absolute delight to wear!

I'm already planning what I want to play at the next Whiskey Kittens a month from now, and can hardly wait to get behind the decks again!

Until next time,

Diana xx

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(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos (unless stated otherwise). Please do not reproduce without written permission.)

1/26/2014

Parka Life.

Since November, I've been borderline hibernating inside a coat which Howard has affectionately named my "bear coat". Fleece lined, faux-fur trimmed and a size too big, it is quite simply, the ugliest parka in the world. However it is also the single most cosy thing I've ever owned in my entire life, and I feels as if I'm wearing a sleeping bag whenever I put it on to battle the outside elements. I love it and hate it in equal measures; it's so practical and effective, but I feel like a cranky oversized toddler whilst zipped into it!

Now seeing as I'm not always the most practical of people, as soon as there is even a hint of sunshine and the rain has been shooed away, out comes my cape. It's a stunning vintageitem in a lovely bottle green, and despite it's slight woolly warmth, is still immensely annoying to wear. I can't wear a bag over my shoulder, I'm forever flapping my arms to move it back to where it needs to be and waiting for a tube train to zoom past makes me feel like a superhero.


It's a bit annoying, but it's oh, so pretty. And I always feel amazing whenever I wear it. Slightly frazzled, but amazing.

Red turban: Nan's Knitwear
Green cape: vintage.
Kelly Bag: vintage.
Tights: Simply Be.
Black heels: Yours Clothing.


It's the perfect item to wear around Autumn and Spring, and I am counting down until I can pack my parka away for a good few months. Hopefully then, I can feel a little more me, a little less schoolchild.

Until next time,

Diana xx

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(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos (unless stated otherwise). Please do not reproduce without written permission.)

1/24/2014

Lucky Ladybird.


There's no denying that having spent a lot of time on Hampstead Heath of late, I am very much ready for Spring to arrive. Autumn and Spring are without a doubt my favourite times of year, with cool sunny days fading out into balmy breeze filled nights.

Sadly my wardrobe had taken on more of a winter filled turn, with layers of black thrown over more layers of black. It kept me warm whilst shooting and editing, but also left me feeling rather drab and uninspired. As such, it was time to pull out the big guns. The lovely Bink from Pealrs & Swine had made me this beautiful veiled fascinator just before Christmas, and I had been itching to put on my dancing shoes and shows it off. I almost always have some Pealrs & Swine roses in my hair, but the black birdcage veil and adorable ladybirds make this feel extra special.


Nothing says Spring like a picnic, and nothing quite says picnic like a gingham print. The red and white check on this Collectif number made me instantly swoon when I first saw it, but it was the details such as the heart buttons and lace trim which meant I just had to have it.


Ladybird Fascinator: Handmade by Bink at Pearls & Swine.
Necklace: Halcyon Skies Necklace from the Tatty Devine SS11 collection.
Red Cardigan: Jo Bluebird Cardigan by Collectif.
Dress: Gretel Gingham Swing Dress by Collectif.
Tights: Pretty Polly. Similar at Simply Be.
Red Heels: Vintage.

I was shocked by how much dressing up lifted my mood, and I am sure part of it is wearing strong, bright colours. Whilst it still feels a little too cold to be dressing like this all the time, Spring very much feels like it's just around the corner. *puts fingers in ears about snow.*

Until next time,

Diana xx

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(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos (unless stated otherwise). Please do not reproduce without written permission.)

1/21/2014

Modern Love: Modern Vintage, a guest blog for Simply Be.

Towards the end of last year, the lovely people at Simply Be saved my sartorial skin when I was on the hunt for a flapper style dress to suit my non-flapper shape. Hips and breasts are not a friend of the usual 1920s styles, so it was with great relief that I unpacked the above stunning dress for an art-deco event I was DJing at.

One of the things which came out of the swap was an article wrote about modern day vintage styles. I absolutely love shopping for vintage clothing, but the reality is large breasts often make for slim pickings, and it can be frustrating rummaging through rails to come away with nothing but disappointment. Although you'd have to drag me kicking and screaming for my favourite vintage haunts, I do love that there is has been a turn towards "heritage chic" on the catwalks, with a range of vintage inspired styles sailing down the catwalks and into shops. It was really encouraging to see that I could find a dress from every decade from the 20s to the 70s when pulling the article together, and you can read the whole story here on the Simply Be Blog.

It was really nice to be writing about fashion again, especially about vintage influences which is something very close to my heart.

Until next time,

Diana xx

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(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos (unless stated otherwise). Please do not reproduce without written permission.)

1/19/2014

Runaway.

It's all been a little quiet around here for the last week, but that's mostly because I've either been in my running kit or pyjamas - not a glamorous moment or outfit in sight! That said, it's also been a week of getting stuff done, and I'm winning the war against my editing pile AND have eased myself into my 5K training.

I'm not a sporty person by nature, but in a bid to fight against my PCOS, I decided to attempt to run 5K at the end of the month. To me, exercise does not equate to a good time but I'm trying to do it in as a fun a manner as possible. Firstly, I'm running it with some of my best friends and The Electric Run is effectively a giant rave with a 5k thrown into the middle of it. With lots of DJs, UV lights and glow stick fun dotted around the course, I'm hoping it isn't going to feel as arduous as my current sunrise runs are! Still, they are keeping me focused and it's nice to have a goal which is to do with fitness, and nothing else.

One of my annoying traits is that I have a habit of throwing myself head-first into things, so a plan of two days on and one day off has run into five days straight and my calves giving out earlier today around the 20 minute mark. The trudge back home was pretty horrific, but a long soak in the bath with a cup of tea has seemed to appease it. I'm debating whether to re-attempt tomorrow as I know I can't run on Tuesday - I guess I'm still trying to push myself and work out what is too much or too little. I'm sure a few more weeks and I'll be working with a better routine!

However I am getting quite bored of pyjamas and running clothes, and desperately need to inject some fun and glamour back into my life! Hopefully next week will see a few outfit and beauty posts as I'm shooting quite a lot and therefore will need to attempt to look human!

I'm also in desperate need of a good sports bra any recommendations. If anyone has any advice, all will all be welcomed!

Until next time,

Diana xx

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(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos (unless stated otherwise). Please do not reproduce without written permission.)

1/10/2014

Paint It Black.


I'm not going to lie, it's been a bit of a weird start to the new year. I had intended to run straight into 2014 filled with hope, excitement and enthusiasm, but all of that fizzled out thanks to a dreaded throat infection and an incredibly difficult and unhappy relationship with penicillin.

Today I left the house for the first time since my medical mission on New Years Day. I hadn't quite realised until today, but that was nine straight days without leaving home. Nine days wearing nothing but pyjamas and the clothes normally reserved for runs across the Heath. I was feeling so low and lethargic, but put it all down to a mixture of lurgy and antibiotics. Whilst the feeling ill was incredibly real, there was no doubt that I was going stir crazy too as I holed up in my editing cave wearing a penguin fleece with a graphics tablet and pot of tea for company. I'm lucky that I live with my boyfriend and have great flatmates so I wasn't completely isolated. There's no doubt though that I got myself into a strange working routine, one which I'm glad was broken today by needing to shoot some headshots and interiors for one of my corporate clients.

I had made a point of getting up earlier and earlier this week to so that when my alarm went off at 6.30am, it wouldn't be a big deal. I didn't get up on the first sound of the alarm, but had built in enough time to wake myself up slowly and ease myself back into the life of a normal person. I had genuinely expected that putting on make-up and dressing up with my camera in hand would jolt me back to being me, but it was with a slight tinge of apathy that I fought my way onto the Northern Line to commute to my shoot's destination.

There was one thing which cheered me up about where I was heading - it's a part of London filled with incredible architecture and is a wonderful place to feel inspired by. Something was still missing though. I just wanted to just get on with my shoot and then crawl back into my cosy pyjamas once home. Although I could see so many beautiful images framed in front of me, taking out my real camera seemed like such a mission. As I (shamefully) snapped a few quick frames with my phone's camera, I knew I really needed to shake myself out of my mood.




Sometimes it's really difficult to break out of cycles, and you need to step outside of what you're used to in order to snap yourself out of it. The last time I felt like this, I ended up being sketched by an artist which was an incredibly scary and surreal moment in my life. It made me see myself differently though, which I think what exactly what I needed at the time. It gave me my confidence back because I'd made myself do something I didn't really want to and survived!

(C) Mac20.
I've had other experiences of a similar manner where I've been photographed - mostly by Tom Perry - and have been pleasantly surprised by the results. Despite being around cameras and photoshoots all the time, I still feel a bit useless on the other side of the lens. However I've increasingly made myself do it more and more over the last year, and is a big reason as to why I started to blog more frequently about myself rather than my work. Most recent was this one which was shot by Tom back in December on slide film.

(c) Tom Perry.
I guess since New Year, I've been feeling bored, restless and unsettled. I'd lost my focus and my mojo and needed to shake things up a little. Nothing big, nothing life changing - just something new. I have no idea what it was which made me do it, but the unrelenting need to try something new resulted in purchasing a black Barry M lipstick. My teenage goth years were pretty unremarkable - baggy tees and black jeans rather than going the way of the pretty vampettes with painted faces. Yet I wanted to try and see if I could incorporate it into something which didn't look completely ridiculous on me.

Black Lipstick by Barry M.
I felt a little silly when I opened it upon getting home. However I decided I'd see how it looked with toned down make-up with a small eye-liner flick and was pleasantly surprised. Is it something I'd wear everyday? No. However I would certainly wear it to a club or to DJ in, and would happily be photographed in it. Most importantly, I felt less dreary and dull. I felt relieved that I could just about get away with it.

Although the moral of the story here is to not get ill and then decide to avoid leaving the house until forced to by a client, I'm choosing to take the self validation as a positive touch. I'll be happy when this week is over - tomorrow sees the last four pills on my course of antibiotics, and I've got Monday in my diary to start running again. I'm reclaiming the 13th January as the new first, and am inviting everyone else to celebrate a happy mid-January with me!

Until next time,

Diana xx

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(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos (unless stated otherwise). Please do not reproduce without written permission.)

1/06/2014

I Don't Care If Monday's Blue.

Today is meant to be Blue Monday, the gloomiest day of the year - that first "proper" day back in work world where you'd rather eat the coffee creams at the bottom of the chocolate tin than leave your bed. However you CAN buck the trend. Yes, it's sad to say goodbye to all the tinsel and glitter of the festive season, but dragging yourself back into work mode is the prime moment to start making changes.

I'm lucky enough that I work for myself, but that's not without it's stresses. Chasing clients for payments and an inability to switch off ensure that self employment isn't for everyone. However with a minimum email checking rule over Christmas and New Year, I came back to my desk raring to go. It made me more focused and today has been spent editing photos and starting on an Arts Council application for a project I'm hoping to make happen in the Autumn. This (along with lots of tea) has kept me feeling happy today despite the constant wet, grey and gloom outside my window.

The winter blues are far more than just going back to work. A lack of sunshine (and therefore melatonin and serotonin production) can bring about a slump, with the urge to hibernate ever increasing. Therefore it's more important than ever that you take the time to make POSITIVE changes (not ones which start "I must not..."). Embrace changes for the good!

These changes can be simple. Whether it's starting to look at what you need to do to change careers, increase your fitness or surround yourself with better people, now is the time to start. Rather than focus on how dreary it is, and how broke you are until payday, look forward to getting beyond that. Research, reflect, move on.

Over the past few years, one of the best things I've done is to be mindful of the company I keep. As such, I have a small group of close friends who I would trust my life to, and a lot of acquaintances  who are lovely and fun. Those who came armed with knives, passive aggression or a hidden agenda are generally set to one side quickly and I feel that my life has become better for it. Things just aren't worth the drama. 

So how am I combating the gloom? I'm putting the framework in place for good things later in the year - a new website, a new exhibition and a polished version of me. I'm not dieting, but I'm changing how I eat to manage my PCOS. And once I've finished my course of antibiotics, I'm looking forward to throwing myself back into an exercise regime which always makes me feel more focused.

Also don't underestimate the power of a nice cup of tea and a slice of good cake. (Wine and pizza are also acceptable substitutes!) Just remember we're one day closer to the weekend! 

Until next time,

Diana xx

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(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos. Please do not reproduce without written permission.)

1/02/2014

One Day Next Year - My NYE Disaster!

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Happy new year to everyone out there! I hope that your evening antics as we said goodbye to 2013 were a lot more fun than mine!

Now to start at the beginning, I had very exciting plans with people I adore so was very happy. I was planning on wearing my brand new sequin dress from Yours Clothing and couldn't wait to get my dancing shoes on. In theory, everything was good. My work was up to date(ish), my out of office reply was still live and technically I was still on holiday despite having been back in London for a few days.

However since arriving back in London, I'd felt a lump starting to take residence at the back of my throat. It was annoying, but I just put it down to the beginnings of a cold and since I'd managed to avoid one for the entire winter period to date, couldn't grumble too much. A few days later, it was getting worse, but I kept telling myself that I'd be fine. Rum in hot ribena, pain killers, throat sprays - they would fix everything. I was completely ignoring the fact that at this point it hurt to drink water and I was barely eating or sleeping due to the pain.

Still, nothing like a bit of denial to carry you through! New Years Eve arrived and despite barely eating or sleeping for five days, I was still convinced I was fine to go out. I wanted to stay home, but stupidly was worried about letting people down so as the evening arrived, I started to get ready, I had hoped that a glass of bubbles would help, but I actually couldn't drink it - it was too painful - and it sat sadly on my desk for the whole evening as I sipped on water.

Stage one: make-up.

Stage two: Un-pin pin-curls.
Looking back at these photos, I can see how unhappy I look. No matter what the smile is doing, the eyes totally give it away. Yet I persisted. I brushed my hair out, got into my dress and heels and was ready to go...

...and was back home by 10!

Dress: Yours Clothing.
Necklace, Cat Bracelet and Art Deco Ring: Tatty Devine
Tights: Simply Be.
Underbust Body Shaper: Simply Be.

After an hour or so, my wonderful boyfriend and flatmate bundled me into a cab, and the three of us came home leaving the rest of our group at the venue. Luckily we were in Camden so not too far away from where we live. I immediately changed into my pyjamas and a dressing gown and we saw the night in with boardgames and watched the fireworks at midnight from our balcony. Howard's sister and her lovely boyfriend even popped in for a midnight hug as they were passing through, and although it wasn't the NYE I'd imagined or looked forward to, there was something still quite sweet about it.




I woke up the following morning hoping that some sort of New Year miracle might have taken place, but could barely move. I eventually gave up, got dressed and dragged myself to a walk in clinic where I was immediately packed off with what felt like a lifetimes worth of penicillin. I have to take eight tablets for ten days, and am hoping that by tomorrow I'll start to feel the benefits of it. 

One thing I will say is that things like this make me realise how lucky I am to have the people I do around me. My darling boyfriend has made sure there's always been a supply of hot Ribena and and ice lollies whilst one of my best friends, Bettie Wishes, turned up by surprise armed with the trifle of my dreams - something which I'd been craving ever since my throat had started to act up.


So despite currently resembling a husky voiced zombie, I'm trying to be feel grateful for all the good things and not go down the "woe is me" route. I feel a little miserable, but am sure I'll bounce back really quickly. 

Happy new year! 


Until next time,

Diana xx

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(All photos (c) Diana Thompson / Fashion Loves Photos. Please do not reproduce without written permission.)

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