Thursday, 24 September 2015

Many of my teenage years were spent gazing at long-haired skater boys (through bifocal specs, probably peering over a Jane Austen novel) and dreaming about wheeling along on my own board, Vans on foot and clad in Dickies. Being rather more bookish and ungainly than cool and daring (my brother's moniker for me: Safety Girl), I stuck to the confines of the library, my only concession to cool manifested via a pair of Converse All Stars. Fun fact: I once got detention after skipping P.E. to sit in the library.

This month, everything changed. OK, not much changed. I'm still bookish and have a wavering sense of balance, but I do now own a pair of hi-top Vans. And not just any hi-top Vans. Eley Kishimoto hi-top Vans. This is a re-issue of a vintage EK print, splashed across Vans' classic Sk8-Hi style. Dream collaboration, right?

Now this is a skate shoe I can get on board with - not literally though, I'd definitely break a leg.

Vans x Eley Kishimoto Sk8-Hi Trainers - ASOS (gifted)


Wednesday, 12 August 2015

My name’s Natalie and I’m a vintage-aholic. If I had a penny for every hour I’ve spent traversing Etsy, refreshing my eBay saved searches and treasure-hunting on Brick Lane, well, I’d be rich – and then spend it all on vintage, obvs. All that time trawling affords me some bragging rights, so I’ll list my favourite finds forthwith: a Chanel silk track jacket, red tweed Aquascutum coat (never spent 30 quid better), Miu Miu crystal sandals (which still elicit gasps of delight) and a non-brand denim jacket which is perfect in every way.

I’ve been going to Beyond Retro on Brick Lane for many years, its yellow flag calling me like a beacon of affordable vintage, so when they invited me and my pal Cleo to go try on dresses at the Dalston branch, we happily obliged. Their latest campaign is centre around find the perfect vintage dress – hence the hashtag #mydreamvintagedress – whether it’s a ‘50s prom frock, ‘60s shift or ‘70s midi.

Everything is ordered by decade and style, making a spree considerably less manic. Cleo and I filled no less that TWO of BR’s wheelie shopping baskets, cooing over a baby pink, crystal-embellished cheongsam and a marabous-sleeved maxi. With our yellow buckets overflowing with marabou and prints, we proceeded to the changing rooms, where a John Hughes-esque try-on montage ensued.

Cleo’s dream vintage dress materialised in white, semi-sheer lace form. ‘I never find dresses that fit perfectly on the high street’, she mused, having found a long-sleeved mini dress that could have been made for her. I, meanwhile, whittled it down to a ‘90s LBD, which, with my new bob (thank you Sassoon!) and chunky slides, seemed like something Charlotte would have worn in SATC first season – reason enough to invest, I think you’ll agree.

Only when I really, really love a purchase will I wear it out of the shop. On this sunny Friday, I shed my day’s garb and changed into the aforementioned dress, skipping down Stoke Newington Road – shiny yellow plastic bag in hand – to pose for some photos in front of Cleo’s trusty lens. ‘You might want to put the plastic bag down!’ a concerned onlooker shouted from a top floor window. ‘That’s the point – it’s an outfit post for my blog’, I replied, cringing. Oh, #fashionbloggerproblems.

Dress -  Beyond Retro (gifted)
Slides – Primark (similar here)
Name Necklace – Anna Lou of London
New Hurr - Safaa at Sassoon Covent Garden

Photography by Cleo Glover

Thank you to Beyond Retro for inviting me to choose my very own dream vintage dress at the Dalston store.


Monday, 3 August 2015

I bought Zara's ubiquitous denim skirt a few months ago. I popped it in my wardrobe and there it stayed, bearing its swing tags and remaining unworn - bar the occasional at-home dress-up session. Those Instagram girls make it look so easy, I mused, as I grimaced at the frumpy figure in my bedroom mirror.

Unless one wants to resemble a history teacher or member of the Plymouth Brethren, heels are compulsory and an untucked top an absolute no-no - realisations that dawned on me as I stood amidst the floordrobe I'd created.

First, heels. Being freelance, I tend to spend most of my days in flats (thank goodness for Adidas Superstars), but needs must, and I made an exception for these seriously comfortable mules, which elevate without the tottering. With the addition a lightweight silk blouse - tucked in, of course - and some seventies-inspired shades, I was just about ready to enter the Outside World. But not before casting aside any remote temptation to don dangly earrings (small hoops are ideal), tying up my hair and finishing with a sleekly structured bag - the Baraboux Noush is my new favourite, and the perfect partner to denim.

Blouse | Zara (similar here)
Denim Skirt | Zara (similar here)
Mules | Next (similar here)
Round Frame Sunglasses | The Row x Linda Farrow
Noush Bag | Baraboux
Hoop Earrings | Accessorize (similar here)

Photography by Zoe Gibbs
Follow her on Instagram @zoegibbsphoto

P.s. I wrote a feature on the ultra talented Charlie May over at Because Magazine. Check it out here!


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.