Five Places to Create Beautiful Content

I love a good flatlay as much as the next person but the most phenomenal content is usually created showcasing beautiful locations. Me and my little figaro have travelled far and wide in search of locations to bring you lot content but sometimes, timings aren't right and that content never goes anywhere or so that posts aren't overwhelming, I only use a few images out of hundreds.

These are my top five locations where I've produced content over the past year or so:

Soho Farmhouse

I don't want to give away too much with the images of Farmhouse because that'd spoil the magic. Farmhouse is a home away from home and contains some of the most picturesque scenes you could ever want and need for beautiful content creation.

Mayfield Lavender Farm

I shot the Mayfield Lavender set with Toni last year and even though the location was amazing, I was going through a tough couple of weeks with my feelings towards my body, as we all do every now and again, I didn't like any of the photos we took at the time so, they got forgotten about.

Mayfield Lavender field is just outside of London; it's a mere 40 minute drive from me in East Dulwich. Getting the shots wasn't easy; we were surrounded by wasps and bees. There was a point where I lay down in it which was terrifying but got to get that #content, yeah.

Hastings Pier

I used to go to Hastings as a kid occasionally on the weekend. However, it looked nothing like this back then. Last summer the pier was given a phenomenal makeover. Add blue skies to that and I challenge you to find me a more beautiful location.

Alexandra and Ainsworth Estate

I'm currently racking my brains to think of the most north I've ever been in London and travelling to this estate was probably it. I never go north. I'm more Peckham Rye than Primrose Hill.

This estate has seen many big names and faces grace it for shoots and I hopped on the bandwagon mid last year because if you can't beat them, join them. Right?

 The Tate Modern

I saved the best until last.

The Tate Modern consists of slabs of grey concrete far and wide. It's an urban paradise; a blank slate where you can create whatever you wish against its minimal backdrop and vast, vacant spaces. The staircase stands alone in an empty hall and is magnificent with its slight curve.

There really is no other place like it.

J. Crew x New Balance in Bicester

J. Crew x New Balance sweater* & workout leggings* | New Balance sports bra* & trainers* | Ray Ban sunglasses* | Calvin Klein rucksack (similar here)

Gone are the days where I make a big song and dance about going to the gym; working out is habitual and now, rather than long, leisurely sessions with a friend, I slot it in when and wherever I can - be that in-between meetings or post-cocktail event during which I've stuck to water. I've even gone to an 8pm class before quickly showering and heading to DJ a set in Shoreditch.

Like so many of you, exercising is a vital part of my existence; it helps me looks after my mental wellbeing, it keeps my eating in check, it gives me an hour to myself and, more importantly, an hour offline almost every day.

I'm sure you've heard the term athleisure wear by now. Fashion brands have dipped their toes into sportswear and activewear for a long time. Sportswear brands have lapped up designers to collab with them and some, such as Stella McCartney for adidas, have even gone onto seasonal offerings.

Highstreet fashion have all slowly but surely dived in to grab a piece of the athleisurewear pie too; Topshop got Beyonce on board to create Ivy Park and everyone from H&M to Missguided to Primark now have regular activewear drops enabling everyone access to exercise gear, whatever their budget.

I've often found that style has trumped performance with these pieces. I've long been searching for kit that lives up to the performance level I need from my kit in the gym but also wouldn't be embarrassed to head to a meeting in first. I'm sick and tired of lugging two pairs of trainers around everyday because sportswear designers don't design for the gym and activewear designers don't design for the street.

And that's where J. Crew x New Balance comes in. It's got high-tech performance, as tried as tested yesterday in my hiit class, and I'd be more than obliged to wear it pretty much everywhere. The colours are perfectly muted, the fit is impeccable (i.e. they do not budge while mid burpee) and I even found trainers to match.

What's more mind blowing is that I picked up all of the pieces, which are still available to buy full price online, with up to half price off in New Balance's Bicester Village store, which opened recently.

Last Thursday, New Balance took a few of us out of London for a day to explore Bicester Village, which has been on my hundred-ways-to-blow-my-bank-balance bucket list for sometime. Luckily, the NB team kindly gave us some ££ to spend and promised that the store was full of their most premium pieces but at a friendlier budget.

I can't pretend to understand how I picked up the J. Crew x New Balance cut out sweater for only £27.50 but I'm 100% happy to go with it, no questions asked.

Alongside the heavily discounted J. Crew pieces, I also added a couple more pairs of trainers to my collection. I could hear a sigh of disapproval from my flatmates at the idea of more trainers kicking about the house all the way from from Bicester but honestly, who could pass up a pair of navy Fresh Foams for £36? And in all honesty, I don't think I've worn anything but since.

shop my New Balance trainer wish list:

How do you describe your *style*?

Photographs by Lydia Collins

How do you describe your personal style?

As someone who writes a blog that often lends itself to my personal *style*, this simple question is one I get asked a lot.

In the five years I've been blogging, my reply is yet to change and goes something along the lines of, "It's pretty minimal. I wear a lot of neutral/muted colours but to completely contradict myself, I'm also obsessed with brash branding and glitter."

They say less is more and tbh, if sophistication is what you're after, they're probably right. There's a certain something about being understated.

I, however, am not one of those people. As much as I long to be able to drop a couple of hundred quid on a plain Acne t-shirt, if I had to pick between a plain white Acne t-shirt or one that carried a very large 'ACNE', branded for all to see across the front, I'm programmed to choose the latter.

It only makes sense that I got sucked into the Gucci t-shirt trend and I'm not even a tiny bit ashamed.

Could I afford it? Probably not.

Did I still buy it anyway? Absolutely.

The first night I wore it out, I bumped into someone in a corridor.  The other person involved chuckled and said, "Outta the way, Gucci' and I LOVED it.

Digging a little deeper, because everyone knows personal style is a reflection of one's personality etc, spending £280 on a t-shirt is both tragic and utterly wonderful. Tragic because validating yourself with an expensive slogan is nothing but that and it's also wonderful because who cares if that's what makes you feel good and gives you more confidence.

When Topshop first introduced their Unique and Boutique ranges, which are significantly more expensive than their main high street line, I remember laughing at the idea of paying just under a grand for a coat from Topshop. Seven seasons on and Topshop have created an independent high-end line that is at least desirable, if not accessible, to their customer and, I imagine, that sort of rebrand of Topshop, as a store where someone would be willing to spend more for the same name, takes a significant amount of bloody hard work.

Brand identity and everything that comes with it is why Gucci, and any other hyped brand, can get away with charging such an absurd amount of money for a t-shirt.

With the t-shirt photographed, I bought the men's XS, firstly because the women's had sold out everywhere and secondly, because I saved myself a solid £60.

If someone could reach out to Gucci to get the DL on why women are asked to spend more on the EXACT SAME t-shirt, that'd be great, cheers.


A Gucci wishlist because one can dream:


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