Archives for posts with tag: photography

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This has never happened to me before- I tried to take an in-motion picture of myself, and it actually turned out ok!

(Ok, one of them did. In the rest I look like an enthusiastic llama in a dress….)

This was genuinely such a big cause of celebration for me, I can’t even tell you 😀

These pictures are actually from when I was in Cyprus on holiday last summer. I never got around to posting the photos from that trip but now that it’s almost summer again (although, here in London, that means thunderstorms all week apparently!), I thought I’d revisit them.

The dress is from ASOS.

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I’m going to New York on holiday in a couple of weeks and I’m thinking of taking this dress with me, so any suggestions on how to make it more ‘city’ and less ’38 degree beach holiday’ would be welcome!

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I bought the pineapple clutch at an overpriced boutique in Athens. The label says that it’s by House of Pasiphae.

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We went to a restaurant called Karatello, which we liked so much we went again the next day.

The saganaki en flambĂ© may have had something to do with it….

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And maybe the complimentary loukoumades for dessert as well….

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Summer is nearly here, I can feel it! 😀

Have a great weekend!

Love,

The Styletterie

I went with my sister and boyfriend to the Vogue 100 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery a couple of weeks ago. I was ridiculously proud of myself as I always intend to go to galleries and exhibits but somehow never get around to it. I think living in London all my life has ruined me, in the sense that there’s always so much cool stuff to go to that I never go to it, because I’m so secure in the knowledge that there will always be more cool stuff to come! Which makes no sense, but there we go.

Anyway, I really enjoyed it, despite not enjoying Vogue as a magazine all that much (too many ads, it just annoys me). The images are so creative and iconic though that it was really interesting to see so many of them in one place.

This was my favourite photograph…

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It was taken by Helmut Newton (in 1974 I think, it took me ages to find it online, and my research skills are somewhat hampered by my inherent laziness!), and I just love it. I’m not sure why this one tickled my fancy over all the others but something about it just appealed to me. Maybe because the dresses seem like something I could actually wear and look good in (as opposed to 99.9% of all clothes featured in Vogue ever), or maybe because it reminded me of sneaking out of parties (albeit slightly less glamorous ones!) to escape the mingling, and gossip with my sisters. 🙂

As always, however, the best part was the gift shop. :-p

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Hope everyone is having a good week!

Love,

The Styletterie

 

 

BDAY6It’s that time of year again- the time when the lure of presents and my horror of becoming a grown up wage war against each other, leaving me a conflicted and confused bystander.

So far however, the presents are winning! 😀

BDAYYes, it’s my birthday today and my adorable nieces, who share my affinity for all things colourful and sparkly, gave me this box of jewels hand picked by themselves from Claire’s Accessories. (Not entirely by themselves, I hope. Being 5 and 3 years old, I’ll assume my sister was there with them. And that she paid.)

Anyway, how spoilt am I?! 😀 I decided to wear the most blingalicious one today, in honour of my agedness.

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I also wore my tiara  (so sue me, I wear tiaras on my birthday! And on Oscar night. And my nameday. And whenever I wear a robe because that makes me feel crazy glamourous. And sometimes just when I’m feeling blue.) for breakfast but took it off before leaving for work. 😩 Now that I’m old, I have to conform to society’s interpretation of what makes a person seem “normal” and “sane”.

Harrumph.

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I painted my nails for NYE, in CiatĂ©’s Raspberry Collins with a layer of Rom-Com Rouge red glitter over the top. It’s not the most mature, but I like it!

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I’m at work today (grr) but going out for dinner tonight (yay). I’ll probably change into what I wore last Valentine’s Day for that, as it’s funky and I can wear my most stretchy trousers with it. Steak and cheesecake here I come!

Happy New Year everyone! Here’s hoping 2016 is the best yet!

Love,

The Styletterie

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Sorry for the selfie overload – I hardly ever wear lipstick or blowdry my hair so I got overexcited!

It was my friend’s birthday a couple of weeks ago and we all went out to celebrate. Dinner at Vapiano (literally the stupidest system I have ever encountered, we basically queued separately, ate separately and then left) followed by clubbing at G.A.Y. which was awesome! We showed our age by dancing manically to 5ive and S Club, before traipsing all the way to Heaven, where we showed our age further by dancing manically to 5ive and S Club (unlike us, that never gets old)! Hailee Steinfeld performed her debut show in the UK and was fantastic.

I wore:

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Black mesh top, by The Ragged Priest. I got it in Ad Hoc, this really cool shop that I passed on my Made in Chelsea walking tour (yes, I am THAT cool. Also it was a gift from a friend) last month.

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I wanted so. much. stuff.

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The sunglasses were ÂŁ15 each and I wanted them ALL:

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I really nearly bought the cat’s eye ones (from the black and white picture) but I always buy novelty sunnies and then don’t wear them because they actually never look as good as normal ones. I did manage to find a replacement pair for the (more subtle) cat eye sunnies that I broke on holiday though so that was good. And I got a discount on the top as one of the patches was coming off a bit. 🙂

I wore it with black treggings and booties (both from M&S) and my super old leather jacket (Warehouse) because you can’t really go wrong with a classic.

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A few coats of Revlon Black Cherry lipstick and I was ready to go!

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I was running late so ended up taking a black cab there, and couldn’t resist trying to take a taxi selfie. I would have taken one on the night bus home as a compare and contrast exercise but it was crowded and I was embarrassed!

Random funky sweet shop we walked past:

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Hailee Steinfeld at Heaven:

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Wasn’t convinced by her outfit to be honest….

But, like I said, she was brilliant!

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Balloons!

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These were released at the end, causing my friend to flail so hard that my phone (I was trying to film) was thrown out of my hands into the crowd, so I ended my night scrambling around on the floor trying to find it before someone crushed it!

Which I did! 😀

Thanks for reading, have a great weekend!

Love,

The Styletterie

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So, this year, rather than buy tickets with the plebs ( :-p ) for Ascot (as I did last year) I was invited by a friend’s family to go to the Royal Enclosure with them. Obviously I enjoyed the opportunity to posh it up but the thing I didn’t realise is that the Royal Enclosure dress code and hat rules are different from the standard rules. So, I needed to find a dress than covered my shoulders and knees and a hat that covered at least 4 inches of my head…..

Clearly last year’s butterfly veil wasn’t going to cut it.

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I did some research, and found this hat designer called Bundle MacLaren, and promptly fell in love with every single hat on her website:

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Unfortunately I could not justify spending close to ÂŁ200 on a hat I’d wear once, although I shall dream of all those hats forevermore.

I then tried on this hat/hairband thing from Topshop, with a view to adding some material somehow to make it hattier, but I looked like a cross between a horse and an ugly stepsister.

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I also saw this hat, by Awon Golding Millinery, and thought it was adorable (also too expensive, considering that I wear hats precisely never.)

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So, inspired by this hat, I decided to see if I could DIY something similar, without breaking the bank. (Spoiler: did not break bank. Did break 5 nails and my spirit.) I didn’t want to just copy it and write Bonjour so I figured I’d theme it to the event and quote Eliza Doolittle’s famous Ascot faux pas in My Fair Lady.

I bought this fascinator from Accessorize:

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This was my amazing sketch of what I planned to do with it:

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An artistic career beckons, clearly.

Now, fascinators are looked down upon in the Royal Encloshaaah but are permitted (for the first time this year), provided that the base is more than 10cm in diameter. (These rules are so ridiculous.) I was pretty confident that the hat complied with the rules but just to be on the safe side, I started by covering the headband bit with black ribbon to make it less obvious that it was in fact a *shock horror* fascinator.

This also had the added bonus of making it a bit less bridal.

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It was easier than I expected actually, I just wound some ribbon round and then haphazardly sewed through it, attaching it to the material of the hairband as much as I could. I also added some leather scraps at the bottom to make it comfier. It was pretty messy but didn’t show, so who cares?!

Next up came the writing. This stressed me out big time. I spent ages trying to figure out how to do it, trying to write on the hat in pencil first (invisible), dithering about stencils and whether I should pin it all down before sewing etc. Eventually I lost patience and just started freehanding it, sewing in my John Lewis ribbon as if I was writing. Which worked fine. It was insanely slow going though!

Not to mention the fact that I am rubbish at thinking ahead and have huge handwriting so ran out of space halfway through! I also realised that in my original “drawing” (if you can call it that) I hadn’t taken the headband into account and so I had to re-figure where I’d put the writing. I also decided to eschew the pearl idea, partly because I liked the simplicity of it as it was but mostly because I ran out of time. I also gave up on my brilliant idea of sticking a toy horse (spray painted gold or black) on the hat, after my family told me I looked like a Lloyd’s TSB advert.

Not before I bought a 10 pack of plastic horses though.

Any-tangent, the writing-

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I picked and unpicked various bits, redoing the D to make it curlier etc. and my thread broke all the time but finally, after several days in which my hat was all I could think or talk about, I was finished!!

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I also bought this little hair comb from Asos, primarily because it reminded me of an old hat of my grandmother’s that I love but that is too big for my small head and un-bouffant hair…

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My grandmother’s hat:

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I attached the comb (again very messily) to the band so that even more of my head was covered, and to make it a more exciting look.

(N.B. All the bees at Ascot agreed that this made the look more exciting. :-/ )

Despite all the effort, I was glad to have a hat that I knew no one else would have. Still though, if I ever get invited back, I might just buy a hat and stick an extra flower on it!

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The dress I decided on (purely because it was the only dress I had that covered all the necessary areas), was this Asos mullet hem neon yellow number (seen here):

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I added an old stretchy belt, to give it more shape, and wore it with old wedge heels from Athens (with removable daisies), my daisy necklace that I bought at the Brooklyn Flea market a while back, and my new Skinny Dip London ice cream bag. (I am seriously obsessed with Skinny Dip at the moment!)

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Blurry pictures are my favourite… 🙂

Ah, the picture of elegance. Trying to showcase the hat-

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The day itself was a lot of fun! The weather was pretty miserable, which was a shame, not least because it ruined my hair, but I still enjoyed watching the horses, admiring the hats and quaffing champagne. (And not necessarily in that order.)

We picnicked by the car which made me laugh. Only in England could you have this hugely fancy event, (the Queen attends every day, membership is invitation only etc.), and have to bring your own food and eat it in a field behind your car in the rain.

It was fun though!

The Queen arriving:

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The Queen- a tangerine dream ❀

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I actually won some money too, which was very exciting! 🙂 And I learned a valuable lesson, because I would have won a lot more if I had listened to my first instinct instead of changing my mind!

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I kept my Zara scarf on most of the day, as it was quite nippy at times.

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All in all a fabulous, super-British, super-pretentious, super-fun day!

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Have a great weekend all!

Love,

The Styletterie

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Our final day in Istanbul began the way all our days had begun….

…with the epic butter mountain at breakfast! 🙂

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After we had eaten and done the obligatory mad rush to pack and leave the room, we stashed our suitcases at the hotel, and headed out to Dolmabahce Palace. This was recommended to me by a cousin who had visited Istanbul, as an example of insane uber-grandness, and it certainly lived up to that!

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There was a long queue for tickets when we got there, which was annoying but at least the view was great.

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There was also a long wait to get in as they only let a few people in at a time. When we got to the front we also realised that you have to go as part of a guided tour, which was annoying as I really don’t like guided tours! I know they are way more informative and everything, I just hate being told what to look at and for how long when I’m on holiday!

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It got more irritating when, after putting our little blue shoe covers on, we were told that there were no photos allowed inside!

Had it not been for this blog, I probably would have been quite zen about it but it turns out that “no photos” is the worst thing you can say to a blogger, and I was miffed!

I also totally flouted the rule and tried to take as many pictures as I could without being noticed.

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Consequently, all my pictures are slightly blurry, and frequently involve the underside of someone’s chin, but still! I’m a rebel without a cause! I’m a donkey on the edge! I AM BLOGGER HEAR ME ROAR!

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It was incredibly grand and extravagant. Apparently, building it actually contributed to the bankruptcy of the country! It was much more European than the heavily Ottoman influenced Topkapi, having been built much later on (in the 1800s) when the “refined”, luxurious European style was much more in fashion.

The chandeliers were amazing…

Dolmabahce chandeliers

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The library was lovely…

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The grounds were fabulous…

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More ‘Christmas tree’ railings! They were everywhere!:

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I would say that at least 50% of all the young girls I saw were wearing these flower crowns, and they were selling them everywhere!

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We passed these vibrant rainbow steps on the tram and I made my boyfriend get off so we could take pictures on them. Unfortunately, everyone else had the same idea so there was a queue of vain baffoons like myself waiting for the steps to empty. In the end, the people before us took so long, and other, less polite people didn’t bother to wait so they never emptied and there are loads of random people in all my photos…

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And cats! So many cats!

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I was wearing:

Pink M&S trench, which looked pretty cool against the steps, though I say so myself.

M&S flamingo shirt

M&S treggings (Ugh I’ve done it again, I do wear other brands sometimes!)

Office booties.

Sublime necklace.

River Island sunglasses.

Love bracelet from M&S (dammit!)

I was dressing solely for comfort here as I was heading straight to the airport. I always rely on colour and bling to make my comfy travel outfits a bit more exciting than a tracksuit.

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I never realised that I walked funny until these photos… Why are my legs always sideways?……. On the plus side, I appear to have done something weird to the photo on the right which makes me look really tall and leggy! Score 🙂

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Apparently, they have rainbow steps like these all over Istanbul, (see here for the story).

I adored them, they are just so darn cheerful!

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After the obligatory million pictures with cats (and truth be told, cats make me nervous! I am definitely more of a goldfish person), we headed back to Sultanahmet for our last supper. We went to a restaurant called Khorasani, which was, by far, the best meal we ate there! Had we eaten there first, I doubt we’d have gone anywhere else. It was so good! Plus, it was pretty, and the service was great. I would definitely recommend it to anyone going to Istanbul!

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Then we rushed back to our lovely hotel to get our bags and off we went. Back home. To the land of gloomy weather and sup-par lamb shish. 😩

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It was an amazing trip though! So glad I finally went! 🙂

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Thanks for reading!

Love,

The Styletterie

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On our last full day in Istanbul, we headed to Topkapi Palace after breakfast.

I wore: Rachel Roy for Macy’s Tigers t-shirt, that I bought in New York last time I went. I love the fit of this top, and the fact that I don’t have to pick a necklace to go with it. 🙂 Of course I forgot to take any pictures of it so here are a couple of me wearing it in New York, and one in Istanbul, with my pink M&S trench that I wore the whole time. (It’s actually excellent for sightseeing as I was always easy to find in a crowd!)

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We walked through Gulhane Park, which was gorgeous, and had this cool water feature welcoming visitors.

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The daffodils look like cartoon flowers! They were so perfect and bright:

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We had to queue for about half an hour for tickets, and as it was very crowded, we moved slowly through the whole thing, which was annoying but can’t be helped when you’re a tourist in a popular city I guess!

It was so beautiful, everything was so ornate and fancy!

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There were lots of different buildings outside the main palace area, including a weapons room and a clocks room.

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The most incredible part was the tiles though. All the walls were tiled in so many different vibrant colours and patterns. It was the epitome of what you’d imagine an Ottoman Palace to be. One can only imagine how much time and effort went into it.

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I adored this patchwork effect, which my eloquent boyfriend described as “a bit Cath Kidston-y”

*sigh*

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The Sultan’s breakfast canopy:

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I will now never be happy until I have a breakfast canopy of my own, and can call it that with a straight face.

They had a running water system in the harem, which was pretty impressive considering it was built in the 1400s. It was actually pretty luxurious:

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The Sultan’s bedroom in the harem.

*sighs wistfully*

Now this was a room! This was where he stayed when he wanted to be with his various women.

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Apparently it wasn’t quite as fun as it sounds however- the balcony along the wall was where his mother sat and watched, and told him which girls she would like him to procreate with.

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Still an amazing room though.

Another interesting one:

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My boyfriend and I were reading this sign together and both got to the end of the line “The walls are covered with the rare specimens of” and recoiled in horror, before realising that it was only Ottoman tiles!

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I want my room to look like this…

Whilst walking back from Topkapi, I could see a rooftop restaurant that looked really nice. On our way to try and find it though, we lost sight of it. At which point, a maĂźtre d’ came up to us on the street and asked if we were interested in eating at his hotel’s rooftop restaurant. Which turned out to be the very same one (Seven Hills). I love it when a plan comes together!

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The view was breathtaking!

We were seated in the middle but pounced the instant a table freed up along the edge. I had Hagia Sophia in front of me, the Blue Mosque behind me, all of Istanbul to my left and the Bosphorus on my right. And the sun was shining. It was one of those rare perfect moments, when you feel that exact holiday blend of awe and serenity.

Amazingly it got better, because at some point during our lunch, the call to prayer started ringing out. I’ve mentioned before how lovely it is to hear but sitting on a rooftop hearing it booming out from the Blue Mosque and then being repeated back from Hagia Sophia (which, whilst not a Mosque, has speakers on it for this purpose), almost as an echo,  was just awe-inspiring.The whole restaurant went silent, just to listen. Truly stunning.

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Check me out being all arty with my photos! :-p Leaves and errthang…

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I could not get enough of this view! They had to drag me out of there.

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Back to the hotel, via some shops….

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(I wanted the earrings in the above picture so much but they were really expensive!)

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Railings with little Christmas tree-like decorations seem to be very popular here, we saw a lot of them. This one even has snow!

We went back to the hotel to pack our suitcases for the next day and change (weirdly I can’t remember what I was wearing, and I have no photographic evidence of it either- this is very unlike me!) and then went out to dinner at a nearby restaurant called Neyzade, that was probably the fanciest place we had been to on our trip. It was empty, except for one English family who reminded me why I’m embarrassed to be English when I’m abroad. Amongst their myriad complaints, we actually heard them demand an English speaking waiter. Seriously. I have no patience for people who travel abroad and then moan about the lack of English speakers. Either stay home or learn fluent Turkish before your trip, if you can’t handle not being understood perfectly. Or you could, you know, GET A GRIP!

Food was good though. 🙂

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I got quite used to the glowing Sultan’s daughter while I slept… I felt a bit bereft when I got home and had to make do with a bog-standard lamp.

And that concluded our final full day, only half a day to go…

Thanks for reading!

Happy Hump Day!

Love,

The Styletterie

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The next day of our trip and the lovely weather deserted us in favour of thunderstorms and hair-destroying humidity. Seemed as good a day as any to go shopping!

The Grand Bazaar is a covered market, with over 5000 stalls. Last year, it was actually the most visited tourist attraction in the world. So, obviously a bit of a tourist trap but I was still excited as shopping abroad is basically my favourite thing. I love being able to say “oh this, yeah, just a little something I picked up in Istanbul…(BECAUSE I AM WELL CULCHURED THANK YOU FOR NOTICING!)” 😉

I wore my sister’s big bow hairclip from the 80s that I recently found. I love that from certain angles from the front I look like I’m wearing little cat ears. My cat ear sunglasses from River Island were therefore also necessary, despite the lack of sun.

The peacock earrings were a gift, the mini-pearl necklace (that I also have the big Zara version of) is from Next, and the chilli pepper pendant was a freebie from a shop in Siena.

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I also wore: H&M cardi, and my M&S pink trench.

I had to pose in front of the below shop as I have recently started watching the Dawson’s Creek box-set, having completely missed it when I was actually the target audience for it, and am obsessed. It makes me so happy, it’s ridiculous!

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Diverse sizes of mannequins = good

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Terrifying child mannequins with goatees = not quite as good

The Grand Bazaar was constructed over 500 years ago. It was leaking in several places, and looking a little worse for wear all over. All of which only added to its charm.

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Sooo, I promised my boyfriend that if I saw something I liked I would either buy it or forget about it, and I absolutely would not make him wander around for hours trying to navigate back to the first stall we saw to get something I had already decided against. And then I decided, after a million further twists and turns through the seemingly senseless labyrinth that is the Grand Bazaar, that I wanted the front lamp in the above picture at one of the first stalls we had passed and we spent about an hour trying to retrace our steps (the millions of photos I had taken actually really helped with this!) so that I could um and ahh for a further half hour about whether or not it would fit into my suitcase.

I bought it, and it did, just FYI 🙂

I have to say though, that for all the sheer overwhelming size and quantity of the place and the things there, I was actually pretty underwhelmed by what was available. Usually, if you set me loose in a market like this, I spend all my money and leave with my body weight in tat. However, there was just so much choice, and so many stalls selling similar things that it became impossible for me to actually choose anything.

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I love the high-security closing up system…

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I was obsessed with all the lamps. I would have bought so many if I hadn’t had to get them back home somehow! (Although, a couple of the vendors told me that they can courier abroad.)

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There is an antiques section in the middle which was gorgeous, and I wanted everything. However, being antiques, they were unfortunately not your standard market prices. I enquired after a bracelet that turned out to cost US$6,000. *sigh* I would have taken more pictures but they kept shooing me away and telling me off!

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There was one passageway near here that we turned to go down only to find that it was completely blocked by dozens of men praying, in response to the call to prayer. (Which rang out several times a day and was so stunning every time.) It was really interesting to see, as I had been wondering about how the system worked – if people tended to congregate to pray or just stop where they are etc. Never having lived in or visited a predominantly Muslim country, I had only ever seen people praying individually before.

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In the end I left with only my lovely lamp, which cost about 380 Turkish Lira (approx. ÂŁ90), and these 3 bracelets, which came to about ÂŁ22 altogether. But, while I didn’t buy much, it was fascinating and definitely a place worth visiting!

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(N.B. Everyone tells you you’re supposed to haggle so, even though I hate haggling with a passion, I did. They did lower the prices a bit but not so much that it made a real difference… Maybe that’s just because I’m so rubbish at it though!)

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Lunch. 40% of what I ate in Istanbul was bread and cheese, 50% was lamb and rice, and the last 10% was ice cream. As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t get any better than that! 😀

Unfortunately the above meal was too large for the plate it was on, causing the waiter to drop a piece of the cheesy bread right in my crotch. He was so flustered, I felt really bad for him!

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I’m not sure the shop names below would go down as well in England…

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After we had exhausted the Grand Bazaar (and my boyfriend), we wandered through the Spice Market, which is right next door. However, again we were a bit underwhelmed, and didn’t buy anything. It was obvious that it was heavily geared towards tourists, not locals, and my bf (who has clearly not understood the point of travelling!) said that there was nothing you couldn’t buy at the Turkish Food Centre in Stoke Newington anyway.

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Not entirely convinced that “Hakuna Matata” is an authentic Turkish spice…

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Designer dummies!

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Um…..but…it’s a bunny?

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My bf bought some horizontal kebabs (cag) from Sehzade Cag on the way back to the hotel. He tried to buy 4 skewers but ended up with 4 entire dishes, complete with bread and salad. In the unlikely event that he starts a rap career, he shall be known as “4 Kebabs”.

2 Chains will be so jealous.

While he was amassing enough food (which was delicious by the way) to feed a small army, I was buying enough scarves to keep them warm while they digest.

I bought several of each of the colours below (they were only about ÂŁ4 each!) to give out to my friends and family (and myself) as souvenirs.

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We went for a swim at the hotel, purely because I had brought FOUR bathing suits with me (packing light? What’s packing light?) and had to wear at least one to prove that it was worth me bringing them…

Then we got changed and headed out for some more authentic Turkish cuisine – SHAKE SHACK!

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I wore my leopard print jacket (last worn on my bday), black Dorothy Perkins top, my new bracelets and earrings that I bought last summer in Monastiraki.

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We took the tram (very efficient, pretty clean) from Gulhane to Tophane and then walked up the steepest, longest hill ever to get to the main shopping street in Beyoglu. I would have liked to have had a couple more days in Istanbul to explore the more modern areas like this as well.

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The street was decorated with Christmas lights, even though it was the end of March! Not sure if this is a year round look or what…

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Shake Shack was fabulous as ever (although not as good as the one in London, which in turn is not as good as the one in New York).

I loved these random feathers, not sure if there were a sign for something or just art, but they certainly livened up the never-ending hill of doom as we retraced our steps back down!

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Thanks for reading!

Love,

The Styletterie

Hagia Sofia

After visiting the spectacular Blue Mosque, it was time to walk across the square to the other main attraction of Istanbul, Hagia Sophia. Originally the biggest Orthodox cathedral of the Byzantine era, it fell to the Ottoman empire in 1453, and was turned into a mosque. It was secularized in 1931 and made into a museum.

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I was especially excited to visit this building, as I have been raised as a Greek Orthodox and so have been in several Greek Orthodox churches, including the stunning St Sophia cathedral in London, which took a lot of inspiration from its namesake in Istanbul (or Constantinople, as it was when Hagia Sophia was a church). I was keen to experience the amalgamation of church and mosque, and my Dad, who had been to Istanbul years ago, declared this to be the most important sight there.

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I kept thinking all the signs said “Girls’ Entrance”…

In fact, it was even more of an obvious division than I expected. You can still see many of the mosaics depicting Christian figures and angels, with large wooden boards bearing writings from The Quran hung over them. (The mosaics were whitewashed over when it was converted into a mosque, and restored when it became a museum.)

I thought these lights were so beautiful:

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We walked upstairs through a long, windy and dark corridor. I had to laugh because my bf filmed all the way up this very boring walkway, expecting to emerge at a breathtaking view of the Cathedral and instead was greeted by-

-a giant wall of scaffolding!

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They didn’t make many big structural changes when it was converted into a mosque, they merely added minarets and moved the altar off centre, as it obviously had to face Mecca.

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It looks a bit weird actually, this majestically designed building with an off-centre focal point.

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View of the Blue Mosque from the Hagia Sophia window:

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It really was fascianting to see the mix of styles. Some of it was so Greek, and felt like I was just in a regular Greek church, and then you’d turn round and the Turkish, Muslim influence would completely change that. I love that they made it into a museum actually, so you can really enjoy the opposing cultures and heritage of this historic building.

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Note to self: Try and stand in front of the No Entry sign that totally kills the effect of the picture next time.

(Pink trench: M&S, black dress: Asos, sunglasses: River Island)

I loved these cards in the gift shop:

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Nothing makes me laugh more than the utter cheekiness of tourist shops selling air in a tin. Surely no one buys this?!!

Back outside, the Obelisk of Theodosius:

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We went for lunch at The Han, my first meal sitting cross-legged on the floor. I now understand why this isn’t popular all over the world. It is really not that comfy!

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Suite Blanco turquoise jewellery and H&M silver bangle.

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Ok, so I know this isn’t exactly depicting the majesty of Turkey, but still – I want my pyjamas waiting for me like this every day, dammit!

We went for a stroll along the Bosphorus in the evening. None of my pictures do justice to how pretty it was, or how the bridges have lights on them that sparkle as they sway in the wind. (The lights, not the bridges!)

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We went for dinner at a random streetside restaurant we passed, where a violinist came and played his violin (badly) on the table right next to us for half an hour, while I jumped out of my skin every time a stray cat brushed past me (which was often). Definitely not a highlight.

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We passed a massive tower of traditional sweets in a shop on the way home but, being me, I ended the evening back in my hotel room with a Cornetto.

In my defence, it was a flavour that we don’t have in England.

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Strawberry Cheesecake Cornetto… 😀

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And our first full day was done! Sob.

Thanks for reading!

Love,

The Styletterie

SelfishKimK

So I ordered Kim Kardashian’s selfie book…

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Thank you Amazon 🙂

As soon as I heard of this book’s existence, I knew I wanted it. The first (of many, probably) actual selfie book.

While I wouldn’t describe myself as the world’s biggest Kim K-W fan, I do like her (sue me) and I find her kind of fascinating. (Much like Paris Hilton before her, who I was really into when I was a teenager.) There’s just something about the ability to make so much out of essentially a pretty face, a great body and a willingness to share that’s interesting, and admirable. After all, plenty of people have all those things and other gifts besides. But the rise of the Kardashians tells us so much about society and celebrity and social media and media in general, that it’s hard to not be intrigued by them. Especially because Kim herself is not actually that interesting. She’s not a wild-child. On the show, her dramas are pretty pedestrian, just better dressed versions of what we all go through (with the notable exception of her infamous 2nd marriage.) Even her relationship and marriage to Kanye West is only interesting through the pretty pictures and the fact that he, for all his faults, is an undeniably original and unusual bloke (to put it mildly).There was no drama to it at all, and all we ever hear are soundbites of their wedded bliss. By all accounts, she’s unfailingly polite, and hardly ever shares any opinions that could even come close to controversy. So, what’s the fascination?

For me, I think it stems from the sheer shamelessness of her vanity. (And I don’t mean that as a criticism.) Even the name of the book is unabashedly, unashamedly, gloriously vain.

Maybe it’s to do with having been brought up in Britain (and by old fashioned parents too),but the idea of declaring myself to be good at something, or attractive, or sexy is impossible to understand. Not that I lack self-worth or confidence, just that fishing for compliments, or ‘boasting’, is just Not Done.

Selfies and social media didn’t exist when I was a teenager (thank goodness!) but I certainly take lots now. We all want to chronicle our looks and feel attractive.  And I’ve always been concerned with my appearance, and wanted to look as nice as I could. But even now, any pictures of me on Facebook have to look attractive of course (I’m a champion de-tagger), but not like I think I’m attractive. Does that make sense? I seldom put up selfies as I (a clearly very old person! :-p) would be mortified if anyone I knew thought (ok, knew) that I had spent time taking photos of myself, with the intention of looking hot. (Also, selfies aren’t really my best angle… my face benefits from a bit more distance than my arms can manage!)The idea that I was taught was that you had to be unconsciously attractive/clever/kind etc. If you knew you were any of the good things you wanted to be, it detracted from them. Modesty was key. And so, the more modern/American view of not feeling the need for false humility and not being ashamed to be openly proud of yourself and your appearance is something I am completely mesmerised by (and a little bit jealous of)!

I really didn’t know I had this much to say on the subject…

(This is certainly more writing than can be found in the book!)

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The book itself is as you’d expect. It does exactly what it says on the tin. It is a hefty tome, stuffed with pictures of Kim pouting, Kim looking serene, Kim with other people and Kim looking sexy. There is actually a “sexy” bit in the middle, where the pages are black instead of white and she is either naked or underwear-clad.

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A lot of the photographs are ones we’ve already seen, but some are new. There are a few captions here and there, but nothing beyond the usual Instagram captions that accompany her pictures. It’s not trying to be Alexa’s “It”- it’s simply an anthology of her face and body.

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Verdict:

– This book is not going to change your life.

– It’s attractively packaged, and will look nice on a coffee table. (Although it’s smaller and thicker than most coffee table books)

– Is it vacuous? Yes, of course it is. We all knew it would be.

But so did Kim, and that’s the point…

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And then, because it just seemed rude not to, I put on a tiara and took selfies:

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😉

Have a great weekend!

Love,

The Styletterie

Ps. Read this for a much more detailed and entertaining review of the book!