Monday, 29 September 2014

Bohemian Bondi Sunset

Every weekend, I make an effort to head down to the beach and experience the wonderful coastline thats on my doorstep. I am so grateful to have found the perfect Bondi house within days of landing in Sydney six months ago. I work in the industrial part of the city, so it’s really important to remind myself the reason I moved here. Beautiful beaches and inspired creativity. As you all know, Andrea from Leather and Lattes blog is one of my closest friends here, and we collaborate almost every weekend. I am so happy she is back from her round the world trip and we’ve already been planning fun locations and shoots for the coming months. I’m also hoping to be posting on my blog twice a week from next month which will test my time management holding down a full time job and passion to write. I’m feeling positive that I can do both with determination and the beautiful sunshine that pushes me! This is also my first post with a change in hair colour! Last weekend I braved a Balyage at Inch Hair Salon in Bondi. I’m hoping to go lighter again in the next month. Believe it or not, my natural hair colour is blonde, so looking forward to getting back to my natural colour again. I’m sure I’ll fit into the Australian way of life very soon!

I can’t believe that in six months I’ve never done an outfit post down at the beach! It’s the most perfect time as the crowds diminish and all that’s left is the pastel skies and seagulls squawking. Culottes and off the shoulder tops are staples this spring, and Boohoo never fail to surprise me with their on trend pieces. I’m still finding it hard to pull away from black, but this bohemian top stole my heart! Boohoo is a British website, so now is the time to order your summer pieces if you are in Australia. Almost all of my favourite pieces are on sale at the moment, so make the most of the contrast in seasons. Wide legged pants, cute bohemian dresses and cropped tops are some of my favourite items, so get your bargains while you can!

I’m currently writing this post sick in bed, but my weekend catch up with good friends and sunshine make it somewhat seem not so bad. Hopefully I’ll feel better in the next few days as have some exciting events on the calendar. Keep up to date on all the happenings on Instagram and say hello! Have a great week ladies!

Shop the look:

Top: Boohoo
Culottes: Boohoo
Slides: Zara UK (similar here)
Bracelet: Opa Designs

Photo credit to Andrea Hetherington from Leather and Lattes blog.

Helen-Jayne x

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Introducing Third Form

Last Saturday I got to meet the lovely Merryn Kelly, owner and founder of fashion label Third Form. She was one of the first people I reached out to in Australia, and although she was living in Melbourne, she was still trying to help a Brit find work and her feet in Sydney! I’m happy that after five months we finally met and was excited to see her new minimal collection which will be released next February. I feel so lucky to have first pick! The range will be a mix of black and white basics, with a structured theme running throughout. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed when you see it!

i phone weather never seems to be very accurate in Sydney, and we were so looking forward to our shoot at the Opera House with blue skies and sunshine. What I woke up to were grey skies, rain and wind, but didn’t want to pass up on the meeting we have waited for. An hour long of drinking coffee watching the sky clear was all we needed! The white clouds were perfect for the aesthetic Third Form is representing, and we were lucky to not have crowds of people walking the Opera House steps!

As of late, I’ve been really into planning the locations for these posts down to a tee. Some of my favourite blogs (Kayture and Gary Pepper Girl) stand out because their pages don’t consist of just your average style posts. You get lost in the photography and lifestyle. Each location is probably planned in advance, with the sun setting at a certain time etc. I have been admiring London based brand House Of Sunny’s campaign and Instagram shots for a while, and pulled inspiration from their website for today’s shoot. My lens (17-70mm) arrived from Hong Kong last week so wanted to try and capture full length shots from above and wide angled. I love my 50mm lens for details, but found for the full length I just wanted more.

Hope you like the different kind of shots from today’s post, and can’t wait to share some of the projects I have planned with Andrea from Leather and Lattes blog. Now the sunshine is gracing the shorelines, there are plenty of new places that we want to share with you in the coming weeks. Happy weekend!

Shop the look:

Dress: Third Form (available next month from str8up threads)
Jacket: Third Form (available next month)
Shoes: Senso

Photo credit to Third Form owner, Merryn Kelly.

Helen-Jayne x

Monday, 15 September 2014

White Jeans

When I lived in New York, it was unheard of to wear white after September Labour Day. Thankfully, that rule doesn't exist in Australia! Thank you southern hemisphere! Is anyone else as excited as me for the arrival of spring? This weekend was glorious and it makes me excited for summer days at the beach, picnics with friends and trying my luck again at paddle boarding. I’ve already been planning some cool trips with friends, which incorporates fun blog shoots and exploring more of what Australia has to offer. It’s crazy to think that I’ve been in Australia nearly six months without a trip out of Sydney! I’m itching to see new beaches and dying to go on weekends away road tripping now the weather is co-operating! 

This post is the second part of my collaboration with Backstage By Jo and Camille from Frilly Skirts Blog. I must say, we were greeted with some unpleasant weather at the start of the day but we grin and beared it all in the name of fashion. I love these kind of shoots. It’s the best way to be introduced to brands that I’ve never heard of and fun times with the girls. As we are all bloggers, we know what each other is looking for aesthetically, so try and get the best shots for each other. We probably take about 70-80 shots per look, and then select the best ones for the blogpost. I really enjoy being behind the camera and it’s good practice to always have the brands in mind when taking the pictures. There’s nothing better than to see your shots on their websites and social media pages. Since being in Sydney, it’s been really important to stay true to my style and build professional relationships with these brands. Part of the fun is to build connections and have the owners appreciate the work of bloggers. 

Today’s look is definitely one for a day without rain! I have always looked for the best white jeans. They always look killer with a bit of tan midriff showing and a relaxed tee. Perfect for a chilled weekend. It’s tough finding the right style, as skinny jeans in the lighter colours can sometimes do no justice for your booty! So I opted for this boyfriend fit and rolled them up. Rips are a must this season. I styled with this knitted Talulah top which has the most flattering sleeves. The jumper is a little boxy, which I think will also look trendy with denim or leather shorts and Birks for a relaxed brunch. The rose gold jewellery matched the metallic stitching in the top, which Camille did an excellent job at capturing. Rule of thumb - When in doubt of a jacket, opt for a leather! 

Us three girls had a great weekend and there are lots of collaborations to follow with some new bloggers I have met this month. Can’t wait to share these pictures with you.

Have a great week!

Shop the look:

Top: Talullah
Jeans: Dricoper
Jewellery: Opa Designs
Shoes: Senso (similar here)
Jacket: H&M (similar here)

Photo credit to Camille Sioco from Frilly Skirts blog

Dricoper are offering all my readers 15% off their order with the promotional code “bohonlt” until the 5th October. 

Helen-Jayne x

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Fake It Till You Make It: The Buying Follower Trend

This year, it’s not about how red is going to dominate wardrobes, or how SS15 neutrals are making waves at NYFW. The trend seems to be buying followers. It’s a matter that has been bothering me for a while and here’s the reason why. I’m a social media strategist by day, fashion blogger come night. My job is to get the brand I work for noticed. It’s also my job to source bloggers to wear our pieces. Immersing myself in Instagram the majority of the day, it’s becoming more apparent that fashion blogging has changed a lot over the last six months.

Here’s the thing, when your follower count goes up, brands become interested in placing product on you in return for a blogpost. It’s every girls dream accepting free clothing and gifts. The brand gets exposure and the blogger gets great items to add to their wardrobe. Win win. But unfortunately, bloggers are becoming aware of this pattern and there are a large chunk of Instagram accounts that purchase fake followers and likes (for very little money) to boost their numbers. Brands are unaware of this, and when they see a profile has a substantial number of followers they flock to them, even though their real audience is more than likely to be non influential. 

I’ve come across a staggering amount of accounts through my work with this unrealistic following. Thankfully I can see the warning signs, so only work with the bloggers that have worked their butts off to get their audiences. And the scary thing is, some of the talent agents here in Sydney charge over a $1000 for product placement to brands that are unaware of this disturbing trend. It’s a real shame that the genuine bloggers get pushed to the bottom of the pile, even though their real engaged audience is probably larger. And it’s sad to see small start up brands are being ripped off due to a lack of social media knowledge, and not enough education behind spotting the warning signs. 

Fashion blogging is a way to educate and show girls what we’ll all be wearing next season. It’s important to set a good example to style savvy teens and remember that blogging isn’t about getting free items. It’s about loving the blogger meet ups, picture snapping and editing and the feeling that you could inspire a girls next outfit option. Yes, some bloggers want to make a small business out of it, but it takes time and effort. Bloggers need to be patient and learn the market. Understand what your readers want to see and know your niche. It’s very much the same pattern as the Tour De France and the blood doping cases. Cyclists that cheat ruin it for others, and it encourages the true athletes to partake out of desperation, to still be in with a chance of success.

I moved to Sydney from the UK five months ago to pursue my blog. With a passion for photography and style it seemed like the right move, even if it meant leaving my life behind in the UK. I’ve always believed if you want something enough, you work day and night to make it happen. This blog takes up a lot of my time, and I enjoy every minute of it, but the content wouldn’t be where it is today without support from my blogging friends here in Sydney. Especially Andrea and Alisha who regularly help take my pictures and vice versa. We have an insane amount of passion for what we do and always meet up to discuss new ideas and how we can mix things up a little for our posts. We actually have an exciting project coming up in the next 2 months, so keep your eyes peeled. We can’t wait to share it with you.

Now that I’ve expressed how I feel, onto my outfit! When it rains on shooting day, head to Carriageworks! It’s one of my favourite places that has industrial iron cladding to shelter from the downpours. My H&M trench is perfect for this kind of weather and stops the chill. Mesh detailing is still on high rotation in my wardrobe and will be sticking around for summer in Australia. Thankfully, August Street has the slickest range of awesome peek a boo pieces this season. Whether it be sheer camisoles or sports luxe structure, they’ll sort you out. Senso boots are a necessity after my haul at the recent warehouse sale in Sydney. Shoes for life literally! Even though the rain clouds were bearing over us, fellow blogger Alisha and I made it a fun day. Finished off with coffee and a hearty meal in Newtown. A great Saturday! 

Shop the look:

Top: August Street via Eclectic Edition(similar here)
Skirt: August Street via Eclectic Edition (similar here)
Trench Coat: H&M (similar here)
Boots: Senso

Photo Credit to Alisha Thornley from Alishayi blog

Helen-Jayne x
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