Sunday, 26 July 2015

If you're a blogger, you'll know that an outfit post isn't always as spontaneous as an insouciantly-seeming plaid-shirt-around-the-waist might suggest. Don't get me wrong, I have been known to wear wildly inappropriate garms in many scenarios, not limited to but including: non-ironic caffs (a notable ensemble involved three items made of sequins), McDonalds (faux fur and Louboutins) and even a meeting with my accountant (I thought a pink tweed short suit seems like the fitting choice - it wasn't).

Sometimes, hark, aforementioned photographs are staged. No longer will a self-timer and yellow Ikea lightbulbs do, I told myself, on a balmy day in late June. And so, I enlisted the help of my friend and photographer Zoe Gibbs, creator of the above snaps. There were indeed pre-picked outfits carefully laid out on my bed when I trotted off to meet Zoe at the station, but we ended up first photographing this outfit, into which had gone zero thought. Happily then, with a little spontaneity to thank, we ended up shooting not one but five of my wardrobe essentials - some old, some new - that I turn to when I have to roll out of bed and into the city, after I've snoozed Six Music 12 times (my poor boyfriend). They are as follows:

1. Denim jacket | Vintage (similar here)
Like leather jackets, their denim sibling subtly morphs through the seasons. Slight the sartorial evolution may seem, but when 2015 arrives, that nipped-in-at-the-waist, stone-bleached version that seemed so right in 2003, just won't do.  And so, despite owning four denim jackets, it turned out I didn't have the right one. I searched. Hell, did I search. My hunt resulted in the purchase and return of a Topshop number (I just couldn't abide the rips), a brief internet crush on H&M's seventies-inspired jacket (the cut is too long for my less-than-lithe frame), and finally, finally TRU LUV in the form of this vintage fella, via ASOS Marketplace. If I'd had the funds, I would have bought mine from Reformation; if I'd had the inclination, I would have vintage hauled an old Levis one. But this one'll do just fine.

2. Round Frame Sunglasses | The Row x Linda Farrow
There's something about aviators that give me a melancholic expression, while Lennon-style frames lend a slug-like quality to my big brows. These sunglasses by The Row are a happy crossbreed, neither inducing slug brows nor sad face. Yay! I've been trying to shake the habit of shoving my shades directly into the scratchy abyss of my bag - these babies are cradled into their leather papoose with the utmost care every time I wear them, which is daily.

3. Classic Sheffield Watch | Daniel Wellington
While my love for yellow gold will never wane, I'd been hankering after a silver watch - feels fresher for the new season, somehow. If you needed proof that Creative Visualisation works, the peeps over at Daniel Wellington materialised my dream watch (just in the nick of time - sorry, couldn't help it). The model in question is the Classic Sheffield in silver and it hasn't left my wrist. What's more, Daniel Wellington is offering 15% off any watch for Canned Fashion readers. Just type in the code CANNEDFASHION at checkout - it expires 31/08/15, so hurry!

4. Izzy Backpack | Opening Ceremony
I have a black bag problem predilection. I have accumulated a vast collection of the things and rarely deviate. When summer comes around and with it, an unearthed collection of hibernating summer frocks, my kohl-hued handbags seem too heavy or wintry, and I end up stuffing cards and phone and lipstick into pockets (and inevitably needing those sweeteners/hand cream/tampon that I've left behind). Not this year. I invested in Opening Ceremony's Izzy backpack - it's on sale at Moda Operandi, go go go! - and haven't looked back (unless I need to admire my backpack, ho ho ho). It's just peachy. Literally.

5. Glitter Boots | Zara (similar here)
If it were socially acceptable, I'd happily go about my daily business swathed in glitter. Alas, it is not, so I simply dip a toe in, or rather a whole foot. These Zara boots enable me to be ankle deep in the stuff on a daily basis and I love them for that. I found them sparkling in a lonely corner of the Zara sale, bearing curious similarity to those Saint Laurent magpie-satisfying beauties and no price tag. I squealed when the shop assistant scanned them and revealed the non-Saint Laurent price of £15. £15! Moments like that make braving the Jumanji-like Zara sale worthwhile.

Denim jacket | Vintage (similar here)
Round Frame Sunglasses | The Row x Linda Farrow
Classic Sheffield Watch | Daniel Wellington (15% off with the code CANNEDFASHION)
Izzy Backpack | Opening Ceremony
Glitter Boots | Zara (similar here)
Striped T-Shirt | Primark (similar here)
Denim Skirt | Topshop (similar here)

Photography by Zoe Gibbs
Follow her on Instagram @zoegibbsphoto

P.s. This week, I shared my new season picks over at Very Exclusive - check them out here!


Wednesday, 10 June 2015

At the risk of sounding trite, I'm starting this blog post with a quote from Coco Chanel: 'A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life'. At least that was the mantra with which I went armed to George Northwood's esteemed eponymous salon on Wells Street. Like many other lobbers before me, I'd just emerged from a break-up with someone who grimaced at any mention of cutting my waist-length hair. Chopping off six inches seemed like the perfect rebellion, a hirsute symbol of a new beginning. And besides, if it's good enough for Rosie...

I presented my catalogue of Pinterest-sourced snaps to Lotte - George's right-hand woman - who remained patient even while viewing the 45th inspiration photo and listening to me spew contradictory adjectives: 'blunt and shaggy', 'short but medium-length', etc. etc. She even counselled me through a moment of hair cutting crisis, offering me the option of one of her signature braids rather than a dramatic chop. After confirming that I did in fact want to shed my mermaid-like locks and talking me through exactly what the cut would entail, she started work on my Break Up Lob.

The key to this cut - a George Northwood signature - is that it's slightly longer at the front (though crucially, not asymmetric by Posh Spice proportions) and features invisible layering at the ends. That's the secret to Rosie Huntington's swish and Alexa Chung's shag, and what happily unleashed new life into my old 'do. Lotte finished with an artful twirling of tongs - the GHD Curve to be exact - something I've been attempting to recreate ever since.

Call it hair karma, but the dawning of my lob has coincided with some positive life changes (not least of all the fact I spend considerably less time with my hair dryer each morning). Coco was right.

Thanks George Northwood and lovely Lotte for the new 'do!

Visit George Northwood at 24 Wells Street, London W1T 3PH; call +44(0)20 7580 8195 or book online at

Top | H&M (similar here)
Neckace | Accessorize (similar here)
Hair Tongs | GHD Curve
Lipstick | MAC Ruby Woo (mixed with Vaseline)

*Hair cut courtesy of George Northwood.


Tuesday, 2 June 2015

A lot has happened in my year-long blogging hiatus, which I suppose accounts for my being M.I.A. (apart from updates on Instagram and Pinterest). I've moved house, had my hair chopped off (thank you Lotte at George Northwood) and, as you can see from the above photo, acquired a plastic flamingo and one too many succulents. Well, I'm back blogging! And in the next few months you can expect some cool new stuff here at Canned Fashion - more on that soon...

So, what have you missed? I just celebrated my third anniversary of being freelance (if you didn't know, I write stuff, run a small social media consultancy and illustrate, too). These days, unless I'm with a client, I spend most of my working days at home. That's why, in December, I decided to move house and relocate my cramped bedroom office elsewhere. This brings me to my 'I'm back' blog post, a collaboration with the lovely folks at HP, which is dedicated to my shiny new workspace and rather space-age Sprout computer. 

Fenella the flamingo is always popping up. Rather disconcerting, really. Anyway, back to the subject at hand...

What's so cool about HP's new Sprout desktop is that it's super intuitive and built for creatives. In fact, they've collaborated with a number of creative types (including me!) to showcase how the computer lends itself for designing and creating. It has a touch screen, touch mat, and - this is the best part - the functionality to scan 2D or 3D objects, which you can play with and illustrate using the mat and stylus, no mouse needed. If you're an illustrator, blogger or designer, this is pretty dreamy. I've always felt a disconnect between drawing stuff using ink and then manipulating it on screen. This combines the two. 

I've been using my Sprout to create blog posts (lots coming your way in the next few weeks)  illustrations, and work on the very exciting Canned Fashion relaunch, but the project I've documented here is the creation of my writing portfolio header. I wanted to put my writing work online for potential editors to see, but was keen to give it a personal touch.

I started off picking relevant objects to scan in - pens, pencils, post-its, that sort of thing. I went a bit crazy and started scanning in my collection of Japanese toys but one of my good friends (who's a serious journalist) said that editors had no interest in seeing my favourite Domo-Kun figurine. I decided she was right. 

Scanning stuff is pretty sci-fi - a light beams down from the projector and captures the object on the screen and touch mat. (Guaranteed to impress your dinner guests.) Having scanned in each object, I used the mat to resize and position them in a collage.

Et voila! It's as easy as that. My portfolio is complete. You can see the finished product over at if you wanna.Thank you to HP for kindly sponsoring this post and for including me as one of the Sprout Creators! All opinions are mine and mine alone.