Photos by myself & some with thanks to Voucher Codes
Two weeks ago Voucher Codes held another of their awesome Swap Shop events, where everyone brings 5 items of clothing they no longer wear & exchanges them for stamps to shop the rails full of pieces from the other guests, plus some brand new items donated by brands too. You may remember that last time I had so much fun & was keeping my fingers crossed for another soon, so I was full of excitement when I got the email from Fleur saying they were holding another!
I headed down with Emma, Sarah & Sara and took one of my best friends Nat along with me too. Last time I spent ages picking pieces up, checking the size & fabric before deciding whether to take it off the rail, I only ended up with 2 pieces & though they were really great items, I knew I probably missed out on some good stuff as I was too slow. This time I decided to just pick up anything black that looked remotely like it’d fit me & I waddled off to the changing area with a whole mountain of black!
It paid off & I was super pleased with what I bagged, a Stella McCartney wool jacket, an ASOS maxi dress (which I almost didn’t bother to try on, but it turned out to be my favourite piece!), an AllSaints dress I nearly brought myself a couple of years ago & a skeleton print Topshop dress that Nat picked up for me, I can’t wait to do some outfit posts with them! Nat took home a draped black jacket & Whistles dress that I picked up but that looked much better on her, a kimono, two pairs of shoes and a Banana Republic cashmere jumper. We also both had a few stamps left over so we put them together & picked Nat’s mum up two brand new Linea lace dresses that House of Fraser had donated. It was nice to see that everyone had brought along so much great stuff, there were lots of real gems here & I love that people were happy to let go of these things & bring them along to swap. It’s true though, what’s the point in having a beautiful, expensive dress hanging in your wardrobe if you never wear it? I’m sure everyone went home with at least a few pieces they really loved.
After the madness of rummaging through the rails, we sat down with a few cocktails & yummy spicy mac ‘n’ cheese from Anna Mae’s whilst looking over what we’d scored & catching up with everyone else. Like last time the atmosphere was super fun & friendly, everyone was drinking, chatting & having a great time, the changing area was buzzing with girls giving each other advice & telling each other how great pieces looked, people were swapping items that didn’t suit with others who wanted them & picking things up they knew would be perfect for someone else to pass on to them too. We had the best time & I am already looking forward to the next, it’s easily become one of my favourite annual events!
Noctex Squared Hem Tank / Anu Tera Iron Cage Bracelet / Hogan McLaughlin Gauntlet Shirt /
Hunter Gatherer Whipsnake Wrap + Wear My Flesh Cuff (x Lykanthea) + Santorini Rings / Nuit Vortex Leggings
Lykanthea is Lakshmi Ramgopal, a solo ambient musician based in Rome, Italy via Chicago. Drawing on a decade of Carnatic training, she alchemizes spectral vocals and synths to form transient, enveloping worlds. In July she released her solo debut ‘Migration’ & followed on from this in October with the haunting video for ‘Telos’.
Over the course of 5 songs she draws inspiration from the 4,000-year-old Sumerian tale of the goddess Inanna & the challenges she faces during a transformative journey to and back from the underworld. Exploring the concept of rebirth in and across lifetimes, the result is a heavily atmospheric & expansive sound that envelopes you in it’s hushed, ethereal vocals & draws you completely into it’s world. Ghostly & delicate, but with a dark, primal soul lurking just beneath, it’s subtle complexity grows with each listen.
The video for ‘Telos’ shot by E. Aaron Ross & styled by Laura Prieto-Velasco of Hunter Gatherer is just as dark & dreamy as the music, and features some of my favourite independent designers. I’ve put together a mini wishlist of items which feature in the video, and I urge you to go check out each & every one of these wonderful independents. The Noctex & Hogan McLaughlin pieces in the video were from Spring collections & are sadly now sold out, but I’ve included some of their new season pieces instead, which are just as beautiful. Particular favourites are the heavy iron cuff from Anu Tera, Hogan McLaughlin’s mesh ‘Gauntlet’ shirt, Leah Ball‘s ‘Conduit’ cuff (as seen in the 2nd image) & the collaborative pieces from Hunter Gatherer x Lykanthea, inspired by & hand stamped with lyrics from the EP.
Watch the video for Telos below, then listen to the rest of the Migration EP & download it for free here.
Chunky Cardigan with Faux Suede Patches / Panelled Faux Suede & Jersey Dress / Faux Leather & Shearling Jacket /
Pebbled Leather Effect Jeans / Leather Shoulder Bag / Spike Bracelet / Snake Print Jeans
Jeans are one of those pieces of clothing that I couldn’t live without, they are some of my favourite items that I own & I have always practically lived in my skinnies. Unfortunately though they are also one of the items that I most hate shopping for, often leaving empty handed & disappointed, or trawling through endless pairs before I finally, miraculously come across one that actually fits properly. I’ve been known to stick to my tried & true brands, and this takes a little of the frustration out of the whole experience but even that is no fail safe with constantly changing fits & styles. This may be why I’ve been known to nostalgically hold on to pairs even after they’re falling apart & completely unwearable!
NYDJ are a brand I’ve had recommended to me a lot in my quest for great fitting denim, they are the original slimming jeans for women & each pair is made with their patented ‘Lift Tuck Technology’ for a slimming, smoothed out silhouette. They also stick to their signature fit for each & every pair, which is the same through the hips & thighs for all styles & cuts, so you know once you’ve found the one, every future pair will be that same flattering fit. I’ve been told by friends who are big fans that thanks to this hidden technology they will give even my boyish, non-curvy frame an enviable butt, which is basically my jean holy grail!
My favourite cut is obviously the Alina leggings, super skinny all the way down & in lots of great finishes too. Particular favourites are the snake printed pair (I can’t get enough of this print on denim lately, you may have noticed!) & the pebbled faux leather trouser jeans, which would be a great option for someone like me who can’t stand the sweaty, uncomfortable feel of real leather leggings, no matter how nice they look.
Yumi Ribbed Jumper * / River Island Asymmetric Skirt / Phoebe Jewellery Bat Necklace * /
Jord ‘Fieldcrest’ Wooden Watch * / Kurt Geiger Wedge Boots / Balenciaga City
The dark afternoons are sneaking up on me, not even 4pm & it was already getting dim & grey, thankfully we quickly managed to shoot this outfit before it got too dark for the camera. I love this time of the year, but it sucks to be a fashion blogger during it, too dark in the mornings, too dark in the evenings & often too busy to shoot during the afternoons when it’s actually light!
I picked this jumper up along with the oxblood ombre cape (which is now finally online here!) when I went to check out Yumi‘s revamped Notting Hill store, and I’ve been wearing it non stop. I love to find nice dark grey pieces to add to my wardrobe, especially when it’s knitwear & I was instantly drawn to the beautifully textured rib knit of this one. It’s a cotton knit, so it’s soft & smooth, with this great heaviness about it making it slouch perfectly with a really nice hang. It’s the perfect thing for days like this when it’s a little chilly & you just want to be comfy and casual whilst running a few errands.
I don’t wear watches often, but when Jord got in touch about their wooden watches I was super intrigued. Wood is definitely not a material that springs to mind when you think of a watch, and I love the idea of using unconventional, organic materials for items like this. It has a great natural grain & colour, it’s light & comfortable to wear, and the whole piece is beautifully made too. Ollie already has his eye on this one & I think they would make for an unusual & quirky gift for those people like him who are hard to buy for.
Catarzi Fedora / Todd Lynn x Topshop Jacket / H&M Shirt Dress / Phoebe Jewellery Bat Necklace * /
Phoebe Jewellery Moonstone Moon Necklace * / Skin by Finsk Laced Wedges / Balenciaga City
Another day, another outfit with slight witchy vibes, but I just can’t help myself! I’m growing a real fondness for full swishy skirts like this, they’re just so much fun to wear & though I initially dismissed them as too girly (and maybe a bit schoolgirl) for me, I now own quite the collection of them! Shirt dresses are another thing I own a huge amount of, so put the two together & I obviously couldn’t resist this H&M dress. It’s a nice crisp 100% cotton, and there’s a lot of fabric pleated into the skirt too for a beautiful full shape. When I brought it I thought the price was too good for such a nice quality little dress, but it’s now gone down in the sale even further, if you can deal with their ridiculously long delivery times.
You saw a few of the beautiful rings from Phoebe Jewellery in my last outfit post, the double moon & star ring was a particular favourite & I couldn’t wait to show you it’s matching crescent necklace. Phoebe is based in Lewes, East Sussex & makes each piece by hand in her little studio. Drawing inspiration from stories she loved as a child, wildlife and natural objects she sees while out walking with her dogs, her collections have a strong sense of narrative running throughout & each piece has such a wonderful charm & playfulness. The Moonlight collection which all these pieces are a part of features one of my favourite little creatures, the bat & 10% of all profits from sales of the collection are donated to The Bat Conservation Trust. Bats are sadly in huge decline here in the UK & I think this is such a lovely little gesture – Beautiful, unique jewellery & helping support our wildlife all in one little package, what’s not to love?