Tuesday 30 July 2013

Ocean Scene

Dress- & Other Stories

Excuse the bad quality pictures I accidentally deleted my entire Iphoto library :( 

Sunday 28 July 2013

Generation Single

There is a worrying trend that I have been observing in our capital, a trend that is not rooted in fashion at all. Indeed London is filled with a whole generation of people in their mid to late twenties, highly educated, the tastemakers of today in fact and with that well schooled in the latest joint to eat their bespoke burgers at, the best rooftop to sip Negronis on whilst overlooking the city and the ‘as of yet not infiltrated by Essex’ clubs to party the night away on a Friday night. They are highly career driven, ambitious and satisfied only with the best in their lives. However most of these people, on paper unarguably great potential boyfriends and girlfriends, are single.  Out of my whole friendship group for example only one girl is in a happy long term relationship with a considerably older man that perhaps was lucky enough to forgo this generation’s problem. What has emerged instead and what I have also been unable to escape is a continuous vicious dating cycle of going out at weekends, drinking away our social anxieties and then getting with a generically well presented boy or girl, ticking the boxes of our mentally asserted type (mine tends to be bearded and with brown hair), sometimes resulting in subsequent dates and sometimes not but ultimately not working out  because of commitment issues, differing expectations, clashing schedules or at times legitimate insanity of one or more parties involved. At the end of this cycle almost always awaits an at least temporary existentialist crisis, questioning ones chance of ever finding a suitable partner and creating future scenarios of owning cats to fill the emotional hole left behind or considering the scary move towards online dating. Usually this phase is rather brief and filled with a mix of enthusiasm and anxiety that will only ever eventually restart the same process all over again until the next dating letdown, after all no one wants to be a failure or social recluse these days. But how has it come to this? Clearly no one has stopped looking for that one partner as the incredible rise of the aforementioned online dating world has shown. 

Of course there is the element of abundance of choice, London offers the hedonistic lifestyle of little commitment and a lot of fun. Everything is instant and doesn’t last long, a pop up mentality that extends from weekend activities to friendships and relationships in general. Why make something work when we seem to be on a constant look out for the next upgrade. It is this very 21st century syndrome of trying to find a perfect match that for me lies at the core of this generation single. It’s no longer simply about looks and personality or god forbid simple chemistry, no, its about obscure considerations such as university degree ( red brick?  Ex-Polytech?), future aims (what area in London to eventually buy in and how many bedrooms), wage and dress sense. In today’s world if we want to find a limited edition, exclusive and sold out bag or dress we can find it on ebay, if we want to eat the best Italian food in town we will, without batting an eyelash, wait 2 hours in a queue- to cut it short we have gotten so used to getting exactly what we want when we want it that we are willing to abandon anything and in this case particularly human beings with their flaws and peculiarities that doesn’t fit this, prepared to go on a seemingly never ending search  rather than making a slight compromise.

Even online dating goes on the assumption of match making people together based on endless surveys and personality classification rather than the things that ultimately make a long-term relationship work. Indeed the great romances in history were not based on total compatibility; they were based on compromise and a genuine connection that is not forged through common interests on Linkdin. The opportunities that our times have given us in terms of our working and medial life may be great but some of the simplicity of days gone by when it comes to finding love may have to be rediscovered if we don’t want to end up forcibly settling when middle age panic sets in, having perhaps rejected that one a great love for retrospectively minor reasons. Will I give up looking? Of course not but I will try and scale back the high expectations and sense of competition that inevitably emerge with living in London when it comes to meeting potential dates. As one of my favourite German sayings goes ‘every saucepan has its lid’ and that lid may not be the perfect fit but it is one that ultimately with sacrifice and a little work on both sides can give a lot more satisfaction than dating someone that is a carbon copy of ourselves and our ideals and may help us stop acting like emotionally volatile teenagers even when way into our twenties and thirties. 

Thursday 25 July 2013

Competition Time!

Top - Chinti & Parker
Necklace - Bill Skinner
Skirt - Topshop
Bag - Prada

It’s competition time on the blog! I shot this week’s outfit with the new Windows Phone Nokia Lumia 925 which I was lucky enough to get the chance to play around with it and test its  brilliant camera abilities! However now it is your turn to show me your best outfit to be in with the chance to win a Nokia Lumia 925 for yourself, a £200 Topshop voucher and a personal shopping session with me to spend it during! Simply send me a full length outfit shot of your summer look that expresses your personal style and you are in with a chance to be picked by me as winner! Competition ends 8th August!

All entries to stellalexandra@aol.com

Good luck and here is a little video to show off what the Lumia 925 can do!

Monday 22 July 2013

The Little White Dress

Dress - Topshop Unique
Shoes- Asos 

Thursday 18 July 2013

In Bloom

Dress - Marimekko for H&M
Hairband - Topshop
Shoes - Topshop 

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Modern Pantry

On my ongoing hunt for the best brunch in London last weekend I was pleasantly suprised by a visit to the Modern Pantry. Rather ironically located almost exactly opposite my usual brunch venue of choice Workshop Coffee and inside a beautifully converted Victorian townhouse,  Kiwi chef Anna Hansen has been cooking up experimental fusion dishes with a fine eye for unusual flavour combinations for a few years now. I had been to the Modern Pantry once before and left rather underwhelmed but after some convincing and realising that it has that rarity in London of outside seating, which in this current best wave is far to rare to find,  I was finally ready to give the brunch menu another chance. 

Sitting in the blazing sunshine their iced coffee was an obvious choice and struck that perfect balance of refreshing drink with good quality caffeine kick. Staff was extremely attentive without being overly in your face and helped us navigate the menu which offered more than one dish where even I as regular restaurant diner struggled to identify ingredients  ( tamarillo  anyone?). The menu offers a good mix of sweet and savoury options and with a clear  antipodean vibe showed some parallels to the Workshop menu. Even though all options sounded truly amazing, I shall definitely revisit to try the Sweetcorn, feta,green chilli & curry leaf waffles, my dining companion and I couldn't help but order the pancakes. Indeed the Raspberry pancakes with creme fraiche and berry compote that arrived after 20 minutes , the menu pointing out this wait to ensure the fluffiness of the batter, did not disappoint. Light as a cloud, filled with juicy raspberries and topped with just the right amount of  creme fraiche and tangy compote they were one of the best pancakes I have sampled in my time. Modern Pantry may be a little bit more pricey than other brunch venues ( the pancakes came in at £9) but the attention to detail, flavour and service plus the great outside space make it an ideal place to enjoy a summer brunch and shock horror may see me make the journey across the road more often!

Tuesday 16 July 2013

Red & White

Hat - Topshop 
Earrings - ASOS
Dress - ASOS
Shoes - Zara 

Thursday 11 July 2013


T-shirt- Urban Outfitters
Skirt- ASOS
Shoes- Mango

Wednesday 10 July 2013

Ridley Road Market Bar

It may not look very promising walking down Ridley Road in the middle of Dalston at night, boarded up market stalls and a distinct smell of meat still in the air from the butchers shifting their goods during the day, but keep on going and you will find this little gem and with it one of the best places to spend a night out in London. Imagine a suburban town hall circa 1973 throwing a Hawaiian themed party and you get a pretty accurate impression of the slightly off the wall but very fun interior at Ridley Road. Drinks are incredibly good value for money and very very good for that with bartenders that know their stuff. Famous for their Ginger Mojitos and Pina Coladas ( £5 a pop) and with a dance-floor in the back where you can enjoy changing DJ sets most nights, playing anything from Hip Hop to French Pop, you are most likely to see me here at least once a week. A true London gem that I am glad to have found.

Monday 8 July 2013

Flower Clash

Hairband- Topshop
Dress- Topshop
Earrings- Ottoman Hands
Shoes- Mango
Bag- Sophie Hulme

Wednesday 3 July 2013

A Team

T-shirt- Urban Outfitters
Skirt- Topshop
Shoes- Bertie

Monday 1 July 2013

Prom Queen

Hat- Topshop
Earrings- ASOS
Jacket- ASOS
Dress- Topshop Petite