Okay. So this year’s Halloween is more trick than treat, frankly. I wanted to have a plan, a costume and pumpkin spice in my blood this year. Sadly, thanks to depression and that whole world-wide-virus-thing, it’s not quite going to happen. However! Not all is lost — Lockdown Halloween ideas are here! Even in tier two and three lockdown, you can have a little spooky Halloween fun!Continue Reading…
Hey friends — hope you’re doing well!
Today I’m going to share with you some of my thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement. As well as how I’m going to continue working hard on becoming an ally. And lastly share with you posts and resources to educate and understand the movement.Continue Reading…
Happy Saturday! Hope your week has gone well. I’ve actually been off on ‘holiday’ all week. And for the first time in a long, long time — I’ve done basically nothing at all. It’s been wonderful for my mind, for my body and for my skin. I even managed to surprise my mum with a visit on her birthday, which was awesome. So I’m making up for the fact I have nothing new to post about by showing off some Snapshots of Osaka!
So as I mentioned in my last post, I was away for two weeks in two parts of Japan. The first, as in the first post, was Fukuoka and the little British Fair there. The second half was Osaka — and boy, it was an upgrade!
Of course, I spent mostly all my time inside the department stall on our stand, basically getting to look pretty and smile at people. But I’m not exactly pissed — the Umeda Hankyu store was gorgeous! And the set dressing of the British Fair in particular was insanely good!
Yes, I had to take a cutesy photo of me in front of it! This face was brought to you by a nasty cold and
Now as you know, I love ancient Japanese history and architecture. I adore the old parts of Japan, even more so than the new parts. Sadly I didn’t see as much of old Osaka as I did in Fukuoka, but I didn’t miss out on glimpses of it around the city. It ended up that I only saw one shrine whilst I was there, which is pretty low in my shrine-visits.
Snapshots of Osaka
However, I did get to see the Osaka Castle! I remember seeing pictures of it growing up and thinking it was one of the most beautiful buildings I’d ever seen. It certainly was a gorgeous building, and although I didn’t go inside (frankly, the line was too long and I was too hungover to wait in the rain), I enjoyed seeing it with my own eyes.
But don’t get me wrong, there’s also the newer parts that I loved! As soon as I got an evening free, I went downtown to Dotonbori to see all the insane lights and great signages on the restaurants and shops down there.
It’s pretty busy, being the main tourist attraction of the city (so many white people). But it was still nice to see — even if the Don Quixote gave me anxiety.
And of course — Osaka’s famous Glico man. When I was younger, I used to read JRock musician’s blogs, and whenever there was a tour date in Osaka, they did the Glico Man pose. Soooo I had to get that out of the way, right? Weirdly, a bucket list item ticked off there.
I really loved Osaka, and I’m so sad that I didn’t get as much time to spend exploring all the amazing restaurants and sights. Although, to be fair, I saw a fair few bars there in the evenings after work!
Have you ever been to Osaka? Let me know in the comments!
Long time no see, friends! I’m baaaack!
How the devil are you guys? It’s been a few weeks since my last post, and if you follow me on Instagram, you’d know it was because I was in Japan! I spent a week in Fukuoka and a week in Osaka doing a fair for Vendula London, so it’s only right that I show you some Snapshots of Fukuoka to start, right?
So for those of you that don’t know, I work for Vendula London (I mean, it’s in the Disclaimer so you should know). I manage their London stores, and also act as a Brand Ambassador for them in Asia. Usually my trips to Japan are to feature on the Shop Channel in Tokyo, co-hosting a live TV show. This time, however, I was representing the brand at a prestigious department store called Hankyu, where there was a British Fair. But there will be more on that in another post!
Fukuoka is on the island of Kyushu, which is the southern-most island in Japan. We were in Hakata, the main area of Fukuoka, since the JR station had a Hankyu store situated inside. Comparing straight to Tokyo, it’s a much calmer area — still metropolitan, but quieter and with a hell of a lot less people. I actually really loved it there, the people were so kind!
Our stay in Fukuoka was mainly filled with working at the British Fair, honestly. But I managed to steal a few hours in the mornings and evenings to see the area. I adore shrines and ancient Japanese architecture, which Hakata had a lot of. The shrines were even lumped together so you can see about 10 within an hour!
Spending a morning wandering around the shrines was one of my favourite parts of the trip. The fair was busy and slightly surreal, and evenings were spend checking out local bars and food spots until early hours. So the peace of the temples were so welcome. I also made friends with a lot of old ladies that wanted to touch my hair. It was a good time!
I also managed to do something I’ve always wanted to do — get a decent photo of me at an extending Torii gate. Because I’m a goddamn tourist and I’m not ashamed! It’s really difficult when you’re a lone traveller to get good photos of yourself at things. I rely on my tripod and remote, or if I’m lucky, a kind fellow tourist. The former is anxiety-inducing, because people stare at you a lot more than usual.
Snapshots of Fukuoka
It was a banging photo, though! Welcome to my new profile photo. I was even lucky enough that no one stared at me or used me as a tourist opportunity. Fukuoka, I love you.
There was also a shrine with cats. That let you pet them. I may or may not have cried when the little black kitty sat on my lap. He nearly came home with me, no lie.
There was so much personality in Hakata. People were friendly wherever you went, and there was pockets of charm and joy all over. I really enjoyed my time there, and would love to go back and experience more of the area. I didn’t get to head to the beach and see the Ohori Park, so that’s on the list for next time!
Have you guys ever been to Fukuoka?
If not, just let me know how you’ve been doing in the comments! I’ve missed you guys!
Hi guys! I’m back from my adventure in China this week! There’s no style this weekend for that exact reason – I wasn’t up for shooting the day after I landed, sadly! However, one thing that was clear from feedback on one of my Instagram posts, is that you’d like to hear my experiences with travelling to Asia. So today, we’re talking about plus size travel!
First things first; FAT is not a bad word.
Throughout this post I’ll use the word ‘fat’. I wanted to make sure you all know that I do not find the word to be derogatory. I am fat, my body is fat, and it’s okay. I’m sorry if it makes you personally uncomfortable, but I do believe that using the word is very important. I will not call others fat for this fact, but in relation to myself I’ll happily use the word fat.
I’d also like to mention that I’m not well-travelled in Asia. I’ve literally been to Shanghai in China and Tokyo in Japan. Rural areas in both these countries will be very different from the cities, but hopefully this will help someone else in their plus size travels!
Flying ends up being the most nerve-wracking part of travelling for a lot of people. For plus size people there’s plenty of horror stories around of other making fun of them, plane staff being rude and the dreaded tiny-seat issue.
One of the most important things for plus women especially to gain in life is their self confidence, and a sense of humour. You need to be able to fight for your right to exist, but also be able to laugh at yourself when things get a bit stressful.
My biggest tip is to get an aisle seat if you’re larger. Most airlines will allow you to request these seats when you check in. Some cheaper ones you may have to pay. But it makes the difference, I promise you. Not having to awkwardly climb in and out of the middle or window seat really reduces embarrassment and self consciousness. And having spent a 12 hour flight smushed in between two arseholes who made a fuss about being sat next to a fat woman whilst your hips are squished from all angles – you’ll take anything you can.
The Dreaded Seatbelt Extender
Over the years I’ve been travelling for work, I’ve been terrified of being “too fat” for the standard seatbelts. This trip, after a bit of weight gain, I realised I was too big for the seatbelt finally. And you know what? It’s not terrifying at all. In fact, it was so much more comfortable to not squish myself into that restricting belt in order to feel like I wasn’t “too fat”. What a bullshit thought to have, really.
I’m happy to say that requesting a seatbelt extender wasn’t an issue at all. Both Air France and China Eastern dealt with the request with grace and kindness. There was no laughing, no looks exchanged between the crew and no fuss at all. And I realised I’d been missing out all these years — with an extender I could turn in my seat and still be fastened in. Safety first, comfort second, of course, but on a long flight that comfort makes all the difference. Don’t be afraid to ask!
Public transport in both Shanghai and Tokyo is similar to most cities, just SO much busier. Half the time you don’t have to worry about the width of seats. Because you’re never going to sit on them, haha! In the last week in Shanghai, I used the metro roughly eight times. I never sat down.
Of course, if you’re disabled in any way your treatment might be different, but for the most part the metro systems are a free-for-all and you just need to push in and push off. Don’t worry about politeness in these places, please and sorry don’t exist on the metros. If you’re wondering, though, there’s no armrests on the metro in either Shanghai or Tokyo, so there’s no need to worry about fitting.
Buses are rarely used in either of these cities by foreigners, because the metros are easy to use and super quick. And cheap, too. Most journeys are between 50p and £3.
It’s also worth noting that both cities’ will have full English on their metros.
Walking in the Cities
Here’s something no one tells you; THERE ARE SO MANY FUCKING STAIRS IN TOKYO. Shanghai has a lot less, but the walks between metro lines can be long and tiring in both cities. I actively avoid stairs if possible, being a fat smoker — it saves me the embarrassment of being out of breath in public. But sometimes it’s impossible to do that. This is where your sense of humour comes in, if you can have a giggle about it, you won’t get so embarrassed. Don’t count on lifts and escalators in Tokyo, but there’s many more in Shanghai.
Tokyo, however, is densely populated. There’s a lot of people getting around a very small area at all times. You may need to walk sideways in shops. My favourite store, Don Quixote, have the tiniest aisles I’ve ever seen, and both my arse and my stomach drag things off displays as I navigate the shelves. That’s quite amusing for the most part! But can easily get on your nerves. Sometimes when I get frustrated by this, I’ll pay and leave for a bit before returning to finish my shopping.
The Infamous Chinese Honesty
So since I just got back from China, I think it’s worth mentioning here that the Chinese are incredibly blunt in the way they speak. They want to call you fat, they’ll call you fat. They want to ask how much you weigh, they’ll ask. The first time I stayed on the outskirts of Shanghai, my Chinese-speaking boss was bombarded with questions about what I eat, how much I weigh, what my size is — and also what bra size I wear. Remember that sense of humour? If you don’t laugh, you cry.
Not that these people really mean harm by it. In this particular incident, it was honest curiosity. A lot of these people had never seen a white person, let alone a fat white woman that is as pale as I am. With curly red hair and a crazy dress, too. In my recent trip, at the trade show I was asked in English by a Chinese guy if my stomach was real. I’m asked a lot if my hair is real, too, but that’s a comment I get even in London.
These could just be odd experiences I alone have gotten, you might not experience them yourselves. But the Chinese are known to be an honest bunch, so don’t be too disheartened.
Dressing Unconventionally and Dealing With Photos
I don’t dress any differently in Asia. Often, I’m actually more dressed up as I’m there for work, so I’m an extension of my brand, Vendula London. For the most part, the reaction to the way I dress is with a lot of fascination. I spend a lot of my time in China taking photos with people, honestly. The first time it really went to my head, this recent time it got on my nerves and caused me a lot of anxiety.
Here’s some photo-taking experiences from China;
In Disneyland if I stood still for a second, I’d get end up posing for photos with people’s kids.
At the trade shows I go to, for hours I’m staring into camera phones and trying to not notice how much my jaw hurts from smiling.
A woman once physically pulled me up by the shoulders whilst I was taking a photo of Paige at the Pearl Tower. Just to take a photo with me.
I was bothered whilst in multiple business conversations by people wanting to take photos. Whilst talking to a potential client, a girl got angry that I’d said no because I was busy. Luckily the potential client found it amusing, because I was livid.
When trying to network at the recent trade show I was physically pushed onto a stage whilst people queued up to take photos with me.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s times I love this attention! It feels great that people love the way I look as much as I do. I wouldn’t dress this way if I wasn’t comfortable doing so, would I? But it gets tiring quickly when you’re trying to do something important.
Tokyo isn’t quite the same — the Japanese are much more reserved, and don’t often ask for photos. When they do, it’s always incredibly polite and mostly always when they’re also dressed up, like the photo above. I find that there’s so many of them that they don’t care! I love that the most.
… And Dealing With Laughter
This one isn’t so easy to deal with. And mostly, I don’t notice. In fact, I’ve never noticed anyone in Tokyo laughing at me! I know in London I’ll experience it, though, so I’m sure it does happen.
Sadly in my recent trip to Shanghai I dealt with a lot of laughter. In a shop I went to, the whole staff burst into hysterical laughter when I walked in. Sanitary workers on the metro laughed and took photos. Maybe I was more receptive to it this trip, since I spent a lot of time on my own. This is where the self confidence comes in, although it will test that more than it’s been tested in a long time. My honest suggestion is to make use of noise cancelling headphones and plug the fuck out of the world. Also get to some wifi stat so you can cry on FaceTime to someone at home who will make you feel better.
So. Is It Worth It?
Absolutely. As I mentioned, I’ve only experienced two cities in two countries. I’ve had good experiences and bad experiences. Would I relive them to travel again? Without a doubt, yes.
I will say, this is probably not the same experience that everyone will have. Some might get some stares, some might be ignored completely. But your size should never ever stop you from living your best life. Let alone allowing your size to dictate where you will or will not travel to.
One week until Halloween, how’s your spooky month going?
I’ve actually not done as much Halloween-based adventures as I’d of liked! But I thought I’d show you something in keeping with the season – the eery delights of the Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities!
I’ll be honest with you right now – these photos were taken back in May. Me and my housemate had been talking about coming here for ages, and on my birthday we finally decided to take the trip up to Hackney. Did I bother to write up about it? No. Do I remember everything I saw five months on? Ohh yes I do!
Viktor Wynd is one hell of an eccentric bloke, to be honest. He describes himself as a ‘pataphysicist, writer, curator, collector, dealer, dilettante, naturalist and antiquarian’. And now he shows his extensive collection below The Last Tuesday Society. A cocktail bar in keeping with the eccentric gallery feel based in Shoreditch, East London.
The Weird and the Wonderful
Since there’s so few curiosity museums in the UK, if at all, I had no idea what to expect. There was so many… things there. And every item in there made me curious, a little grossed out and completely enthralled.
It’s a small space, but that does not mean it’s not completely worth a visit. It is packed to the rafters with taxidermy, skulls, skeletons and shells of all kinds and every weird thing you can think of. Items of note are the mini-gallery of erotic Japanese wood block prints tucked at the back, a tarot-reading lion… oh, and a jar of Amy Winehouse’s shit.
Some of my favourite parts included miniature fairy skeletons that were scattered amongst the displays, as seen above. I also enjoyed the mummified ‘mermaid’ towards the back of the museum — and even the jar of Amy Winehouse’s shit I stared up at with morbid curiosity.
We easily spent up to an hour looking at displays two or three times each, reading every wonderful story accompanying items — how they were found, or given to Viktor Wynd himself. It was thoroughly enjoyable and memorable, considering that five months later I remember every piece!
Entry to the Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities is a measly £6. With the cocktail bar above, it’s the ideal place to spend a spooky evening with friends. The Last Tuesday Society also hold a plethora of events, including life drawing and taxidermy classes. I wholeheartedly recommend coming here for an afternoon, at least!
Have you been to a curiosity museum? Maybe you’ve been to Viktor Wynd yourself? Let me know in the comments!
Hey guys! How are you doing today? I’m currently prepping for a trip to China next week, and boooy am I stressed out whilst getting ready! Doesn’t help that my half-prepared posts aren’t quiiiite so done yet! Oopsie! But today for Snapshots of London, I wanted to share with you a great little vintage fair I went to a few weeks ago!
Hotties Vintage Village at Earl Haig Memorial.
You might remember from back in the summer I was at the Enfield Pageant and the vintage fair there, Hotties Vintage Village. Well – all through the year, Hotties Vintage hosts fairs throughout North London, Hertford and Essex as well as the Enfield Pageant!
At the end of September, I went along to Hotties Vintage Village at their new North London spot – The Earl Haig in Couch End! The venue is perfect for a vintage fair, being such a quaint old pub with adjacent community hall. It’s shabby chic at its best – and the original features provide a great backdrop for vintage clothing and trinkets to buy!
What I love about Hotties Vintage Village is that there is a nice mixture of vintage and reproduction traders. And I always know I can find something that fits me since Hotties Vintage is all about plus sized vintage style!
There was vintage accessories, reproduction jewellery, vintage spanning the 50’s-80’s, homewares and so much more. It’s always a great rummage there!
And then there’s the Earl Haig itself!
Of course, there’s not just the hall to Earl Haig – there’s also a pub adjacent to it!
Earl Haig started life as a British Legion social club, known lovingly to British people as Workermen’s Clubs. Basically, it’s where old men used to drink, and few of them really exist nowadays. The interior is dated, but purposely to keep its history alive!
I fell in love as soon as I saw it, it reminded me of a Workermen’s Club around the corner from my mum’s house. It’s nostalgic of Saturday nights having a dance, Sunday roasts. And of course — family, Easter and Christmas parties through my childhood.
Hotties Vintage Village will next be at Earl Haig in the new year on 3rd February. With free entry, and a cosy atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to spend a Sunday afternoon vintage shopping. And the best part? Earl Haig do a damn good Sunday Roast – I can’t think of anything better than a roast, a pint and a peruse of vintage, personally!
But before then, Hotties Vintage Village are at Cecil Sharp House in Camden. The Christmas Vintage Village is on 2nd December , and its set to be a good one — keep an eye out on their Facebook page for upcoming trader announcements!
Hi friends! If you didn’t notice from my Instastories from the other week – I went to Goodwood Revival!
Have you heard of The Goodwood Revival before? Basically, it’s a racecourse that celebrated the heyday of racing there – between 1948-1966. Everyone spends the weekend dressing in their retro finest and celebrates a bygone era with racing, fashion and shopping.
I was invited to Goodwood Revival as part of MasterCard’s Revival Fashion as an influencer. Yes guys, I’m going up in the world! But for today, I’ll mostly be showing you some of the amazing things around the Goodwood Revival site.
The racecourse is made to mimic the three eras the heyday spans. There’s wartime-styled areas decked out with old Police cars, re-enactors and even shoeshine stalls for the 40’s. For the 50’s it had a designated Americana area – complete with hot rods and a diner!
Of course, this is a motoring event at it’s very core. I’m not a massive petrolhead, but I really appreciate cars and bikes from the past. Aside from the paddocks (which we were lucky to access with our press passes), there was sets all throughout the site with cars and bikes to view. This Motul garage that was done up from the late 40’s/early 50’s was one of my favourites!
Talking of the paddocks, this was probably the most exciting part of the festival site for me. Since we were press, we got to wander about the paddock cars are they were coming in and out to the racetrack.
And bikes! I’m not knowledgeable about bikes either, but after my forays to the Isle of Man a while back, I understand pre-1960s bikes a hell of a lot more! I was excited to see a 1953 Norton Manx, which we found out later was ridden by Guy Martin earlier in the day.
Back to the fashion side of things!
Goodwood Revival is very much a motoring festival – but there’s no denying that fashion rules here! On site there’s not just one, but two hair salons – this one being the biggest and frankly the best looking! How cute is that 60’s styled exterior?
Not too far from the entrance, and next to the MasterCard Goodwood Revival fashion show was the High Street. Including heritage brand Penhaligons, vintage’s sweetheart Revival Retro (pictured) and Space.NK’s vintage makeover! Space.NK’s little stall was adorable and 40’s styled – and I got my makeup done AND a free lipstick, which was pretty great.
Have you been to Goodwood Revival? What are you thoughts?
There’s just so much to see, this post was never going to capture everything! I’m already planning on going next year!
Hey friends! Happy Humpday – hope you’re all doing well?
I’m tired but for good reasons – I’ve been doing so many cool things recently! With Goodwood Revival this weekend and London Edge the week before, plus an upcoming trip to my mum’s, there’s a lot going on. Hooray for being busy! But today I wanted to bring to you a little review of London Edge, a trade show for alternative brands.
You may of heard of London Edge before, since the brands we all love exhibit their future ranges there, plus it’s used as a meet up for a lot of alternative and pin up people. I can’t say I 100% understand why it’s popular as a meet up point – I go to trade shows as an exhibitor for work, and it’s not the most exciting event.
This year was my first time at London Edge as a blogger – before I’d always have to miss it whilst being at another trade show for work. My main reasoning for going was purely to see what the representation for plus sizes was in brand’s upcoming collections.
The short answer to this; There was none.
It was saddening to see that there was no plus size bodies around. Even in brands I love and support, there was no representation.
I went to the show with Tricia from Hotties Vintage, who specialises in stocking plus-size, vintage style clothing. The first thing we noticed is that there was next-to-no sizing indicated in the programme. Only three brands added it into their short descriptive paragraph. As someone looking for sizes above a UK16 only, this was disappointing. It makes it harder as a potential buyer when you’re looking at 170 brands under one roof but you have to ask each trader their size range.
So it wasn’t easy to know who was or was not dealing with plus size ranges. Only one brand had imagery of a model over a UK12 – Unique Vintage. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see a plus woman in my life.
Very few brands we saw included sizes over a UK18 as their standard sizing. Collectif go up to a UK22 as standard (Although go up to a 26 in the ModCloth ranges). And Love Ur Look (a one-woman business I’d like to add) are working on all their clothing going up to their UK22-24 sizing.
But that’s it for companies going above a UK18 as standard. Two brands out of 170.
I’d pretend I wasn’t surprised to not see my body type represented, but I’m not. Disappointed? Exasperated? Even exhausted? Of course. I’m so bored of this whole conversation, honestly. I don’t want to feel like I need to fight against the world to have clothes in my size every time.
And this is not to diminish how much I appreciate brands who are including plus size ranges, course! I loved that brands I’ve worked with before like Banned and Voodoo Vixen are adding plus sizes to their straight-sizing designs. They were incredibly helpful to also have plus-size specific sections of their stands for ease of viewing, too.
But overall? There was a lack of plus size representation in the whole of this event.
A point where this was glaringly obvious was in London Edge’s programme, which featured a ‘real people’s’ style gallery with no plus bodies. Even more so in the fashion show, which clearly featured non-alternative models in small sizes. Now I get completely that sample sizes are small to reduce costs, but when brands that do feature plus sizing usually have a sample size of 20/22, surely they could of picked just one larger model?
Oh, and don’t get me started on WOC. I think I counted three women of colour in the fashion show AND in brand’s advertising.
I did honestly enjoy my experience at London Edge, however. Being able to meet representatives of brands old and new was great – and meeting some of the friends I’ve made through blogging was also amazing.
I do, however, think that London Edge and the brands that exhibit there can do better.
Did you go to London Edge? What did you think of it? Or what do you think about plus size representation at trade shows? Is it important to you?
To end the post on a slightly higher note, though – I thought I’d pop a photo of my outfit up. I didn’t get enough to do a full style post, but since I put the effort in to wear a hat, it’s worth a tag on the end of the post!
I was a busy bee the last weekend of May! I made my yearly emo pilgrimage to Slam Dunk Festival on the Sunday for music, sunburn and strongbow. But more exciting is that on the Saturday and Monday I got to experience The Vintage Village by Hotties Vintage at the Enfield Pageant of Motoring!
I know what you’re thinking – What IS the Enfield Pageant of Motoring? Yearly, The Whitewebbs Museum of Transport runs a huge autojumble (rusty bits of metal for cars/bikes) in Enfield, just on the outskirts of London. That’s alongside a funfair, classic cars and car shows and the odd stuntman – think the sort of local events in fields your dad would take you to in the 90s. But, you know, better. There’s also two music tents, and the most exciting part – The Vintage Village by Hotties Vintage.
So you might realise that I’m not the biggest fan of cars and bikes, but Hottie’s Vintage brings a group of vintage and vintage-inspired traders to their Vintage Village, which makes this event pretty amazing! And even better than that – they have a sit-down tea room and run DJ sets and dance classes. I finally learned to jive correctly on the Saturday! Now, although I have a problem being lead, I’d like to think I ain’t too bad!
Another exciting addition to the Vintage Village was The House of Drewvid, a wonderful duo of hair wizards! They had a full marquee set up with art deco styling, which was just gorgeous. David and Andrew are wonderful stylists, as evident from the wigs above. Plus a bonus shot of Hotties Vintage Boss Lady Tricia getting her poodle of dreams, too!
There is so much going on just in The Vintage Village that I didn’t even get to see the stuntmen or peruse the classic cars, but I promise you that I had the most fun! I was even lucky enough to be a part of the daily fashion shows, compromised of items you can buy from the traders. However, most of my outfit came home with me – oops!
The next Vintage Village at Enfield Pageant won’t be until next year, but you can follow The Vintage Village by Hotties Vintage on Facebook and Instagram. However, they hold events all around London throughout the year, so you don’t have to miss out! Check out The Vintage Village in Hitchin on June 23rd!