Fashion is everywhere

Clones N Clowns by Aimee Wood

Avenue 32

Yesterday I attended an event organised by Avenue 32. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t know anybody there so I spent a lot of my time hiding behind my camera – I’m shy like that ! I did feel like you were with me though, as weird as that may sound. I saw how the other fashion bloggers grouped together, took photos of each other, almost held back from eating the delicious breaky provided, ooohed and ahhhhed over the clothes on show… Oh and, bloggers tend to have the hugest cameras ! I had a small lense on mine yesterday so I had to remind myself that “size doesn’t count” ^^ Generally speaking, all the bloggers looked very stylish, many with a typical London modern-yet-retro look, and as for the items on the rail… Just : WOW. I am so inspired by Avenue 32’s whole concept : the website stocks emerging designers as well as better known designers, sharing the credibility and promoting newcomers with talent. I love that idea. Promoting designers is something I’d love to get involved in and I think it’s a new dimension I’d like to introduce to this blog. Although I’m a total DIY freak, I do genuinely believe supporting talented designers is a good thing. It’s one of the reasons I’d rather DIY a project inspired by a trend rather than attempt to reproduce a designer’s actual piece of clothing or accessory. Well, OK, I did recreate the Moschino paper boat clutch – it was irresistible ! But as a general rule I try to do my own thing and if I love another person’s creation, I will also try and buy it or not have it at all. Personal rule. The prices on Avenue 32 are what you might call “affordable luxury”. I mean, you’re not going to fill your basket without having to deal with triple digits, but new designers tend to charge more understandable prices for their work. It’s not so much about the hype and branding, it’s a lot more to do with quality, materials, work and talent. I think I’m going to start saving up to buy less high street and a little more “luxe”. My dream style would definitely be a bit of homemade, a bit of cheap ‘n’ cheerful high street and a beautiful designer piece to top it off. When’s payday already ? Uh oh, today… So I’ve been thinking. How can I (and you) boost my wardrobe without failing to pay the rent ? Well, there are so many sites out there with second hand designer, and then there’s ebay, and also sales and “private” sales… There’s actually a lot of alternatives out there if you’re looking to buy designer at a lower price. So what I’ll do sometime soon is take the time to dig out some online luxe bargains and post you a top ten selection – what do you think ? Something like “OK I’ve found these, they’re amazing, one of you grab ’em nooooooowwww”. A cheaper way to upgrade your wardrobe. Come on, let’s get designer clever 😉 xx Aimee

Avenue 32

This is me !

 Yesterday on Instagram, a reader asked me if I ever sleep… Haha. The answer is I SLEEP A LOT ! But I get where she was coming from, I have been creating non-stop recently. The truth is, a few months ago, that wasn’t quite the case. I have had so much going on in my head recently, there have been times my creativity has been crushed by stress. Creativity VS Stress – I’ve written about it before and I’d still love to hear your opinion, too. Today, I feel much more relaxed. As I have been saying over the past few days, things are going well. I’m really looking forward to moving into my new office next week (ahhhh, next weeeeek!!!) and generally speaking I’m enjoying life on a daily basis. On my blog in fact, I’m suddenly feeling more “me”… To all of you fellow bloggers out there, have you ever felt it’s so very difficult to be yourself online ? Not that you’re trying to be someone else exactly, but it is such a challenge to convert your personality into a page on the Internet… Often times I have found my mood changes and I no longer feel the way I did when I posted my latest article, or I have seen a style that inspires me and I move on from my most recent inspiration to the next… It seems like the Internet stands still, however fast it’s moving, and so I have found it very difficult making that still image look just like me… If you get my drift. But recently, something has changed. Things seem to be becoming more spontaneous and I feel like I have finally built my own little nest. Right here 🙂 Skirt – H&M Tee-Shirt – H&M Vans – DIY Bag – Primark Necklace – DIY I’m not saying I don’t still have a long list of things I want to do, try, launch and achieve, but you know what ? That’s me too. I’m never going to stop being ambitious… The main thing is I’m inspired. So inspired that I have been making things every evening for the past few weeks. Now, that’s something I hadn’t done in a long time. And yet, all of a sudden, I can’t stop threading beads, painting bits, doodling and dreaming… I have so many things I want to spend my time doing and I’m so grateful I am going to be able to spend the next few weeks on all of these fantastic projects. So in today’s outfit, I feel just right. I feel me. I love the casual yet girly look and I enjoy the fact I’m wearing not one but two DIYed items. The shoes and the necklace. I have posted so many projects on Clones N Clowns over the past couple of years and however proud I am, somehow they don’t all feel “me”. But I now only ever want to do “me” projects. Oh how self-absorbed this all sounds… But by being myself I give the best I’ve got. You can’t be everything to everyone. That’s a fact although it may be an easily forgotten one. But from now on I want to love everything I do, I want to do my very best and enjoy it and I want you to feel that love too. And I definitely love this necklace and these shoes – so that’s a good start ! See you soon for the shoes and necklace DIYs ! xx from London Aimee PS – Don’t forget to send in your funny faces for my FCUK competition ! I have been getting the giggles seeing some of your photos, thanks for taking part peeps ! MWATCH.

This is me !

It takes 10 minutes and 46 seconds to make a skirt

Don’t we all go shopping and think “hang on a minute, even I could make that !” ?! Prices can be exasperating when you know that pretty little skirt would take you next to no time to make at home… So what’s stopping you ?! When looking through the skirts on Topshop’s website the other day, I thought exactly that. In fact, I was even more pretentious and thought “I could make four of those for that price and in under an hour….!” Well, the next thing I knew was CHALLENGE ACCEPTED 😉 This skirt may not quite be as elaborate as the ones I saw on Topshop, but it’s cute, fashionable and I love it – and that’s all I ask. I was so pleased to dig out this hologram fabric, it’s ideal ! I had just over 3m so I could cut out a 3m x 50cm no problem. I also had a piece of elastic waiting to be used so all in all I didn’t even have to leave the comfort of my living room.As you can see below, I timed the whole skirt-making session, from the second I got up off my chair to rummage for fabric to the second I had my new skirt on my hips. All together, the supplies to make this skirt cost me £3 (the fabric was cheap and on sale) and it took me 10 minutes and 46 seconds. I was pleased I didn’t take a 45 minute trip to Topshop on Oxford Street !It just goes to show that the biggest challenge in doing it yourself is actually getting on and doing “it” ! Here’ the quick instructions for making an elasticated skirt at home in case you don’t know how : YOU WILL NEED : – 3m x 50cm of fabric. The lighter the fabric, the more fluid and less bulky the skirt. – A piece of elastic for your waistband, you want it to be the size of your waist. – A safety pin to make things easier. – A sewing machine, a pair of scissors, pins and anything else you need to get sewing ! Step 1 : Fold 5cm along the longest side of your fabric, towards the inside. Sew along the fold leaving space for the waistband. Step 2 : Put your safety pin on the end of the waistband and push it through the tunnel you just made (I know, calling it a tunnel is not very professional, but I’m trying to make it as clear as possible without photos !) Step 3 : Join the ends of the elastic, making sure it is flat all around the skirt. Cross them over and sew them together. If you can sew an X in a square you’ll be sure the waistband won’t come apart. If not, just make sure you go over a few times horizontally and vertically. Step 4 : By now, you should have a skirt open at one side. So we need to “close” it. Lie your skirt down flat with the inside of the fabric showing. Put one side over the other, lining up the edges, and sew from the elastic down to the bottom of your skirt. Your elastic will be folded in half and sewn to the fabric which is fine. You can wear this seam at the side or back of your skirt. Step 5 : Depending on the fabric you have used, you’ll probably want to hem the bottom of your skirt. Put your skirt on and figure out the right length for you. Pin in place and sew along that line, removing the pins carefully as you go (don’t try sewing over pins unless you’re experienced, it can be very dangerous !). And we’re done ! Just over 10 minutes later ! Of course this is the most easy way to make a skirt, but it should definitely encourage some of you to get started ! It really is as easy as two seams and a waistband. I am now going to step up to some slightly more sophisticated designs like a woman’s circle skirt and a slightly longer, asymmetrical style too. I particularly want to make a tartan skirt for the upcoming season. I’ll show you tutorials when I get started ! Stay tuned ! xx from London Aimee

It takes 10 minutes and 46 seconds to make a skirt

Relax

We’ve only been back from our holiday in France for a couple of weeks and yet it only took us a second to make our minds up to go away this bank holiday weekend… Friday night, 5PM, I felt an urge to get away… So we rushed to the nearest train station, jumped on a train going North and when we got as far as we could go we got off and hired a car to go the last few miles to my parents’ country house in Derbyshire. We arrived in Hartington around half past twelve and the silent night was peaceful. I’ll have to show you how beautiful it is up there one day, but this time I didn’t take my camera – I was having time OFF. As wonderful as it is working freelance, I have to admit it’s more than a full time job. Although I went away to France a few weeks ago and had a fantastic time with family and friends, I still worked every single morning. Taking time off isn’t as easy when you’re working on your own and whilst I build up my business I’m making sure I keep an eye on things at all times… Hopefully I will get to take more and more “real” time off as the months and years go by, my job will become more flexible as I become more established. Meanwhile, as I was saying, I make the most of small opportunities like bank holidays and we spent the weekend walking across the fields, watched 5 films in two days and were even lucky enough to celebrate the launch of the local sausage… Small thrills are the best, don’t you agree ? Dress bought in a charity shop for just a few pounds – Asos Bag – Pepe Jeans Necklaces – Vintage (large beads) + Claires Accessories (small plastic pearls) Bracelet – Bought in a thrift shop Wedge sneakers – Primark Love from a happy place in London, Aimee

Relax

Best parks to visit in London for summer

London is famous for its vast number of parks, but with so many to choose from, where should you head to when the sun shines? This list is here to help you out, so once you’ve stocked up on chic ladies handbags big enough to fit sun cream, a picnic blanket, and a great holiday read, you’ll be all set to enjoy a perfect day in the great outdoors. Hyde Park Hyde Park is probably the most well-known park in London, and there’s certainly something for everyone here. Whether you’re wanting to get some exercise in along the designated cycling, skating and skateboarding paths or relax in the meadows under the shady trees, you’ll find it in Hyde Park. Cool off at the Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain or take a dip in the Serpentine Lido, open 7 days a week from the beginning of June to September 12th. The Regent’s Park The Regent’s Park was once a hunting ground for Henry VIII, but now boasts the largest outdoor sports area in the whole of London, with facilities for playing football, softball, rugby and cricket. There’s also a large boating lake and the world-famous London Zoo, but you won’t want to miss the spectacular Open Air Theatre, which hosts Shakespearean plays, comedies, dramas and musicals every summer. Victoria Park The East End’s best known park, Victoria Park is particularly popular with families. There’s always a programme of summer activities for children, as well as a play area and a paddling pool. Cricket is played every evening here during the summer, and there are also football pitches, a rugby pitch, a bowling green and tennis courts. Victoria Park also plays host to Lovebox Festival, one of the most creative music festivals which incorporates elaborately-decorated stages and themed bars. Hampstead Heath Rumour has it that C.S. Lewis drew his inspiration for the snow-covered landscape of his famous ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ series from winter days spent on Hampstead Heath, and it’s not difficult to see why. The woodland, grassy mounds and beautiful lakes on the Heath will almost make you forget you’re in Britain’s biggest city, and when you’ve had enough of the heat you can cool off in the lido or swimming lakes. Clamber up Parliament Hill to watch the sun set over spectacular views of London. Enjoy your bank holiday weekend ! Love from Derbyshire, Aimee

Best parks to visit in London for summer

DIY Cut-Out boots (Inspiration of the day)

Hi everyone ! OK so you all know how inspired I am by the 2013 Autumn Winter trends coming up and cut-out boots are just one of the exciting projects I intend to undertake. I mean, they’re so easy to do – it’s like cutting out a tee-shirt but on a shoe ! Here are a few pairs of boots from Newlook to inspire you and I’ll make sure I get a tutorial up pretty soon. I just need to find the right knife, it needs to be sharp but small to slash that leather with perfection. I already have two pairs of boots at the ready, one of them is a pair of chelsea boots and I’m going to cut out the elastic on either side. The other is a regular pair of heeled boots and has had masking tape lining out the bits I want to cut out for weeks ! That’s how ready I am to nail these Winter trends… I can just imagine a pair of these with my leather patch jeans I made the other day… I’m loving this rebel style, I’ve always been the “naughty but nice” type 😉 Watch that space ! See you later for a project that takes 10 minutes and 46 seconds. xx Aimee

DIY Cut-Out boots (Inspiration of the day)

Win ! French Connection #Funnyfaces Competition

When was the last time you won something for pulling a funny face ? Like, ever ? I have NEVER won anything for pulling a silly face and believe me having a blog would be sooooo much easier if I could stick my tongue out on every shot ! When French Connection invited me to take part in their #Funnyfaces campaign, naturally, I was thrilled and sent off 6 pictures instead of 3 for this magical gif. Ha ! Not so long ago, I went to see the launch of the latest French Connection collection called Sketch To Store. The event was really fun and they had a super cool band on stage – I left feeling my life was over when I found out those hot rock chicks were only 16 years old ! The pics in the background were black and white gifs of nude models having clothes sketched on as the video played. You might have seen some of the monochrome campaign posters currently hanging in the French Connection shop windows ? I thought it was an excellent idea to show the train of thought and production process in such a creative way and because the models were acting smily and spontaneous instead of sporting the usual grumpy pout, the campaign was almost as refreshing as the prosecco. Now, because I know you like pulling faces too (who doesn’t ?), I thought you might like to know that French Connection are currently holding a competition for the prettiest funniest faces ! All you have to do is take a picture of you pulling a funny face and enter the competition before August 31st. Submitting your entry couldn’t be easier : By email : Send it to me on clonesnclowns@gmail.com On Instagram : Post your pic on Instagram and make sure to tag me and FCUK in (@clonesnclownsblog and @FCUK) as well as use the hashtags #funnyfaces and #sketchtostore. On Twitter : Post your pic on Twitter and make sure to tag me and FCUK in (@clonesnclowns and @FCUK) as well as use the hashtags #funnyfaces and #sketchtostore. The winner will receive a super cool gift from the brand, as well as funny face worldwide recognition 😉 I’m looking forward to seeing your photos – show me the worst you can do ! Love from London, xx Aimee PS – If you can’t think of anything to pull a face about, here are three things that should make you cringe : 1 – It’s raining in London as if it were the 22nd of December today. GOODBYE SUMMER. 2 – When I leave my flat the house STINKS of cold cigarette because of my neighbours daily routine. GROSS. 3 – Currently nesting on your eyelashes are loads of tiny weeny black insects with 6 legs. Right now. On your eyelashes.  

Win ! French Connection #Funnyfaces Competition

DIY tutorial : How to make leather patch pants

Bonjour you ! My goodness, I have so many ideas for this blog my head is running wild and I can’t get enough sleep… I have been listing all night, hoping that spilling the inspiration will allow me to fall back asleep again. Luckily I have been sleeping and juicing a lot recently, which also probably explains my bursting energy. Anyway, it’s all so exciting, I hope I have enough time to do everything I’m planning to do – this new season is going to be tons of fun ! To kick the new DIY fashion season off, here’s a tutorial I kind of promised when I showed you my inspiration for leather patched jeans. They’re such a trend for Winter 2013 and I mean come on, who can resist leather patches any season anyway ? I know I’m a sucker for anything with leather so I couldn’t wait another day to try this one out. But I had to make the experience an experiment… So I tried leather glue instead of sewing – and it works ! YOU WILL NEED :  – Old jeans – Leather glue – Soft leather – Sharp scissors – White paper or better a piece of tracing paper or baking paper – A marker pen – A paint brush (optional) – Chalk Leather glue might not be the kind of glue you can find in your local craft shop, but it’s definitely worth seeking out or buying online. Order it now and in a few days you’ll be ready to go ! That’ll give you time to source your leather too, because I would definitely recommend buying it in store so you can have a feel before you buy. As suggested in the supplies list, you want a piece of leather that’s nice and soft, so that you can walk around in your biker wear 😉 Gluing leather patches to your jeans might seem like a funny option – why not sew ?! Well, sewing leather can be tricky and I also wanted to test this leather glue out to see what it’s worth. I knew it would be an easier option if only it is reliable enough and guess what : it is ! I waited a few days before posting this to make sure the leather patches wouldn’t fall off. I wore my leather patch jeans for two days and nothing came off except for a tiny corner I think I must have missed from the start. On the maintenance side, I can’t guarantee the glue won’t be damaged in the wash but it’s a bad idea to put leather in the washing machine anyway so I would suggest caring for your customised jeans in the same way as you would a bought pair – hand wash them or better still have them dry cleaned. It’s worth it if you’re using nice leather. Here’s the step by step tutorial :Step 1 : Take your paper and place it on your flat out jeans. Trace a pattern for your leather patch. I placed the paper on the knee of my jeans, went up both sides and joined them diagonally at the top and straight across at the bottom. Of course you can chose a design and size of your own.Step 2 : Cut out your pattern and check it suits you by placing it back on the knee. Step 3 : When you’re satisfied with the size and shape of your patch pattern, place it on the back of the leather (suede side) and trace around it with a piece of chalk. WARNING : You’ll need to flip the pattern vertically so that you have the right side of the leather when you cut out your patch. Have a think before you act because leather is expensive so going wrong is a real pain on this occasion.Step 4 : Do the same again for the other leg. Of course you can use the pattern you used for the first leg, just make sure you use it the right way around, remembering you want to mirror the shape on the first leg and also want to have the leather the correct way around. That all sounds very complicated but really, in my case, it just came down to using the pattern the way it was drawn. Step 5 : Cover the back of each patch in glue and stick them in place. BE CAREFUL : make sure you place your leather carefully, the glue is difficult to remove if you make a mistake. Also, make sure you lay it down flat and match the edges neatly. Finally, check the level of your patches, you don’t want one at your hip and the other at your ankle !Step 6 : When your leather patches are in place, press down on them and leave them to dry. You can even put a pile of magazines on them for the first couple of hours to make sure they dry nice and flat. You can also go around the edges with the tube of glue and / or a paintbrush, dabbing extra glue where needed for a neat finish.What do you think ? Are you inspired ?! Tell me ! And don’t miss any of my future DIYs – FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER ! Love from London and see you tomorrow <3 Aimee PS – Would you like to see a video tutorial sometime ? Where […]

DIY tutorial : How to make leather patch pants

DIY navajo bead bracelets (Inspi of the day)

Sometimes inspiration comes so quickly.. What am I saying ?! Inspiration always comes quickly ! I can’t get away from it these days ! Like this afternoon when I was happily looking through my Instagram notifications and clicked on a follwer’s profile : @parlonsvernis_blog. All it took was a follow back and a quick browse of her cute blog and my heart stopped : there before me, in one of Charlotte’s most recent posts, was a couple of navajo style beaded bracelets TO DIE FOR. I just had to share them on here and will be getting a DIY together ASAP ! I just need to find the right beeds and design a pattern and it’ll be up on the blog – watch that space, can’t wait to get started ! Thanks for sharing the inspiration, Charlotte ! Love from London, Aimee PS – If you like navajo style, check out Elsa’s adorable bikini DIY, the tute’s in French but you’ll get the gist and the photos are too cute !

DIY navajo bead bracelets (Inspi of the day)

Wearing an infinity scarf as a dress : Would You ? #6

Good morning ! I promised you I’d try wearing an infinity scarf as a dress after posting about how flexible circle scarves can be. A French reader told me she wasn’t sure and that these scarves look way too much like a baby-sling to her… That made me laugh. I suppose they do. But I try not to think of it because I actually really love these accessories – they’re ideal as a light cover-up on Summer nights but also do a good job keeping you snug in the Winter. Wearing one as a dress however, is a whole different story. Since the creation of my “Would You?” category, it’s safe to say I’ve shown you things that I definitely would wear. Although curiosity makes me give these fashion crazes a whirl, I guess I definitely choose to try the ones I’m likely to like best. But today, I think we have an exception. Which means my answer to the question “Would you wear an infinity scarf as a dress?” would probably be no. And this is where the Would You category gets interesting 😉 Infinity scarves actually grabbed my attention a long time ago. From a marketing point of view, I think the product is fab. One giant piece of cheap fabric + one single seam even a newborn could sew if he/she tried = one million ways to wear a scarf. Huh. Clever. If you have no idea what I’m on about, check out this Amerian Apparel pic on my Do It Yourself Pinterest board. Before posting these photos, I’ll admit there was a lot of playing around. I really wanted to try and find the chicest way to wear this scarf as a dress. I like a good fashion challenge ! I posted a pic on Instagram showing you how I wore this very scarf in a beachwear fashion – but that just wasn’t good enough. I finally decided this was the design I wanted to show you : the scarf is passed under my arms, knotted at the back and also gathered and knotted at the side for extra texture. I think the end result is cute and to be honest I think you could go out like this without people asking you if you are wearing your shower curtain. But I do still have a few reservations… I think the main thing that would put me off wearing this infinity scarf as a dress is the material. It doesn’t exactly let you off… Although these pics show a very gathered front, the back was much tighter and clingy – I wouldn’t even put pics on my blog, it’s way too revealing. I wasn’t exactly walking around London with my knickers on show but let’s just say nothing was left to the imagination either. Not a look I would usually go for ! To avoid such transparency, the idea is to get gathering. Like I did here are the front. It works quite well but because the material is cuddly and warm, it’s also quite heavy. This means that however good you’ve been at dieting all Summer, your bikini-worthy tum will have a few pounds piled on in this “dress”. Your boobs will suddenly grow too, but I wouldn’t say that’s so much the problem ^^ So there you have it, my attempt at really wearing the infinity scarf as a dress. I wouldn’t do it again anywhere other than at the beach. But maybe you have some ideas ? If you give it a try, email me a pic (clonesnclowns@gmail.com) or instagram me (@clonesnclownsblog) – I’d love to see how you pull it off ! Love from London, Aimee

Wearing an infinity scarf as a dress : Would You ? #6