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.