September 4, 2015

Crips, Bloods and Thomas Hardy


Trying to smuggle TuPac onto a fashion blog is a real struggle. We can't really grant him style icon status when he was most often seen swanning around shirtless. However, the presence of bandannas in the shops means that his day, and ours, has come, as we are moved to consider a square of fabric.

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August 17, 2015

What Would Birkin Do?

With the 70s trend in full force for this summer and undoubtedly bleeding over into our fall wardrobes, I've decided to ground myself with the phrase "What would Birkin do?" No, I'm not twerking for that overpriced bag -- 60s and 70s fashion icon, Jane Birkin has been my style muse as of late. When I'm lacking in inspiration in the mornings, I do a quick search for Jane B. on Pinterest and all is well. A lover of mini-dresses and understated accessories, adopting the Fashion Tao of Birkin is perfect the hot-hot-heat that has engulfed the Bay Area. 
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August 3, 2015

The One Piece Dime Piece

It's summer! That may sound like a delayed reaction to most of you, but the characteristically-belated Bay Area summer has finally come. And while I am a lover of sun, sand and water, I must admit this impending summer left me feeling cold when thinking about going to the beach.

The reason? Right at the end of June this year, I had abdominal laparoscopic surgery and my belly has a handful scars and healing new navel. Accordingly, My surgeon told me that I am forbidden from exposing my tummy to the sun for a full year. A summer without a bikini?! I have to admit I felt depressed about the situation even though I am very grateful for a successful surgery.

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July 27, 2015

A whiter shade of pale


Siobhan and I are spillers. This is our confession. I know, it's a lot less juicy than Usher's.
The thing is, in spite of the fact that I am actually quite painfully self aware, especially when it comes to knowing that if it was socially acceptable, I really ought to wear a bib, for some reason, while Siobhan has been looking positively resplendent in stain proof shades of steel, I love being dressed in all white.
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July 21, 2015

BBHMM - Support Your Local Girl Gang

There are few things that we RF girls value as highly as girl gangs, so Rihanna's Bitch Better Have My Money video is basically crack to us.  With henchwomen as amazing as she, Rihanna has assembled what is undoubtedly the fiercest gang imaginable. All three girls are running around, giving zero fucks, without one outshining the other and we imagine it's fairly hard to keep any spotlight at all when Riri is in the room. We're both lucky enough to have prides of girls to roam SF and London with, as we seem to friend only the coolest, strongest women. They might have slightly less homicidal tendancies - for the most part -  but they are savage non the less.
In terms of the styling in the video, we love how brash and raucous it is. Forget that Coco Chanel said, "Always remove on the thing before you leave the house. Less is more", these girls have scarf on top of scarf, chains, chokers, fur, sunglasses - everything is piled on top of each other and it's awesome. 
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June 29, 2015

Beyoncé as a cure for Britishness


Being British is great (geddit), there are a ton of countries we can visit without a visa and (at the time of writing) we have a world renowned NHS. We also get to drink countless cups of tea without anyone batting an eyelid. However, in some ways we are cursed. The stiff upper lip and the need to constantly apologise are exhausting, how much easier must it be to be able to scream and shout? How must energy must one save by not keeping a lid on it.
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June 21, 2015

June 18, 2015

Bell of the Ball


Have I been fully indoctrinated into the 70s trend for SS15? The answer appears to be heck yes! I should have known I would be susceptible to the allure of the 70s trend, considering Stevie Nicks is one of my favorite people. In fact, I know understand why she was so prone to twirling on stage  -- it's practically irresistible with arms in a bell sleeve. But while I do have an admiration for certain aspects of flower-child wear, I do think every trendy piece must be balanced with some old favorites. In this case, I went with my favorite man-repelling pointy flats and ripped skinnies to modernize this blouse. While it may be tempting to put on your tawny, suede skirt with this kind of top, you will inevitably veer into Halloween costume territory. Time and a place for everything, ladies and gents.

Have you dared to take on the 70s trend this season? Is it in the form of tight-fitting ringer tees, rusty hues, or laced-up dresses? Let us know in the comments what you find the most alluring!

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June 16, 2015

Female Matters: A Girl Gang

A little over week ago, the London based half of RF attended the one-night-only exhibition! Female Matters was held in aid of The Dahlia Project, which works to help survivors of the, quite frankly, mind boggling practice of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation).

Co-curated by Ione Gamble from Polyester Zine and designer Clio Peppiatt, the exhibition showcased the abundance of female talent from the art and fashion worlds, with the artwork on display  exploring ideas of female sexuality and identity. Spread over three floors of an old town house, was a collection of just very cool girls and a smattering of equally great boys, celebrating being female while raising awareness of FGM. Gamble and Pepiatt managed to create an event, which every bit as fun as it was feminist. One of our favourite humans, the preposterously beautiful, Felicity Hayward, contributed both her paintings and her DJ skills - think M People meets Wiley -  ensuring that the dance floor was constantly filled with flailing limbs and rotating hips.
Portraits of F.G.M survivors by Felicity Hayward
One pair in a series of pants, from a group installation of customised knickers.  
One in a series of prints by Delilah Holiday
Part of a series "Body Is A Cake" by Melissa Eakin

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June 14, 2015

June 9, 2015

Nap Time, All The Time



Here at RFHQ we've been reading a lot about sleep. Beginning with Ariana Huffington's TED talk, it has spiraled a bit out of control and we will devour any article that we can get our grubby little mitts on, so long as it supports the idea that we need eight hour of shut eye, at the very least. Well we would do, if we weren't too busy napping. Which brings us onto the dreaminess that is the shirt dress - light, loose and oh so comfortable.

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June 5, 2015

Woman of Steel


Photography by Erika Pham

Can dressing in your favorite colors give you super powers? Well, I certainly think so. My fashion modus operandi is grey and whenever I don a steely-hued item I feel an instant confidence boost. I adore all shades from silver to charcoal (as seen here!) and it is a great relief to know that grey is my neutral. Some ladies are visions in black, white, camel, cream or navy but as Skepta/Jme would say: "That's not me.

I began to wonder what my preference for grey meant psychologically and rather predictably, it denotes a preference for caution and compromise with workaholic tendencies. At first, I thought, "No way!" but truthfully that is part of my personality. Then again, I do find myself inexplicably drawn toward holographic/iridescent shades of mermaid green, so I can only hope there is a diplomatic, raver mermaid madly swimming around in my psyche.  
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June 3, 2015

Wåven Pop-Up

Until popping along to their pop-up, I was certain that London based Wåven (pronounced woh -vun) was a Scandi brand. This was partly based on the unfussy, sleek denim but largely the accent above the A. And I'm sure that this accented A is as considered as every other aspect of the design. Perhaps it's due to the two generations of denim masters, which creative director and founder, Anika Islam, comes from, but Wåven feels much more established than you would expect from a brand, just two seasons old. Clean, minimal and with an emphasis on good quality denim, surprisingly nothing in either the men's or women's collection is over £70.
Available at ASOS and Urban Outfitters, these denim delights are currently housed in 3 D'Arblay Street, Soho, where there is also to be found a customisation workshop, which will run until 10th June. With patches of denim, stripes and plaid between £4 -10 you can be as crazy or tame as taste will allow. 
got mildly over-excited (standard) and went a little patchwork crazy on a pair of Mom jeans.
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May 19, 2015

Lake Tahoe & The Hat


Miriam and I love a good head accessory. In the distant past, we endured the strain of studded headbands pressing against our temples. And of course when temperatures drop, you will be hard pressed to pull our slouchy beanies from our small but curiously strong hands. However, there was a wide-brimmed hole in my heart for quite some time, as I had been longing for the perfect warm-weather hat. But ta-da! Just in time for a recent mini-vacation at Lake Tahoe, I found this beauty!   Yes, do expect this dome to  be well-shaded this summer. 
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May 12, 2015

Samantha Cameron: The Clear Election Winner

Now that the dust has settled on what was undoubtedly a surprise election result and we've all had the chance to either toast to victory, or drink ourselves into an oblivion, which will hopefully last for the next five years, we can now reflect. Labour will look to how they can reconnect with the electorate, while the Lib Dems are probably all struggling with severe cases of P.T.S.D. But here at R.F, the only thing that we care to reflect upon, is the election highlight that was Samantha Cameron's wardrobe.
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May 7, 2015

Double Denim and a Really Nice Wall

Canadians, your time has come. For too long you have been the butt of Americans' jokes, the way you say "aboot", your position as America's hat and of course, your unyielding love for double denim. But this season the catwalks have been awash with denim and now it's a case of how much can one cram into a single outfit. Here at RF, due to haunting memories of the 2000s, we're still a little afraid of denim accessories, so have kept our magpie thing going, while embracing denim shirts as though we are ready to saddle on up, just like Calamity Jane on speed.
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May 4, 2015

Bathsheba Everdene: Steal Her Style

Bathsheba Everdene, fiercely independent, hardworking and untamable, was there ever a more perfect heroine? In cinemas this weekend, Far from the Madding Crowd, is far and away one of the best films that will be released this year. Fact. 
How is it that Thomas Hardy, in 1874, perfectly understood the conflicts that a woman faces when confronted with the very idea of marriage? Bathsheba's stand out quote being the brilliantly put, "I shouldn't mind being a bride at a wedding, if I could be one without having a husband. But since a woman can’t show off in that way by herself, I shan't marry - at least yet”. 
Yet it's not just the story which feels strangely relevant, but the wardrobe too. No wait, let us explain, 19th Century feminist farmer, or Bathchicba, if clunky portmanteaus are your thing, seems to be having a bit of a style moment. The silhouettes, perhaps not, but look, bandanna print - check, heavy indigo cottons - surely just denim by another name, gingham - yup, all that plus dainty gold hoops. Truly she is a modern heroine with a wardrobe to match. Oh and put your hairbrush down, because while there are many lessons that we can learn from Bathsheba, the most important has to be that scruffy hair wins.


Clockwise from Top
Gingham blouse: Zara
Bandanna: ASOS
Hoop pack: Topshop
Linen shirt dress:Whistles
Gingham skirt: Richard Nicholl
Bandanna print jacket: Topshop
Gingham dress: No. 21
Indigo culottes: Topshop
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May 3, 2015

Belt Up


When playing a word association game, the image that would follow, "Belt", would be either Zelda (Siobhan) or The Rock (Miriam). Well, thanks to Elliot Rhodes, our associations can go back to chilling out in the '90s, preferably on some lime green inflatable furniture. 

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May 1, 2015

Fjallraven Kanken Classic Bag Review


Photography by Erika Pham

If you know anything about us RF girls, you know that we love a good backpack. Being the slightly clumsy ladies we are, we truly need to have both arms free for balance and a large compartment for storing a densely-packed makeup bag for when we realize that our eyeliner flicks were not as even as we thought.

However, I thought there had to be fashion sacrifices made in exchange for a backpack's functionality and comfort -- and then, the Fjallraven Kanken bag snuck into my tundra of conundrum, like the arctic fox it is named after.


Materials: Kanken is made of waterproof fabric which makes it a great city or outdoor bag. I use mine primarily as a work bag and it has protected my belongings against light rain. The outer shell feels very sturdy and resistant to holes or rips, but don't be surprised if your bag looks wrinkly when it first arrives. Once I filled it up, the creases came out but as you can see in the photos, the bag always has a crinkled texture.

I also found that the outer shell's fabric attracts surface stains frequently. Many times after my commute, I've looked down to see my bag has some mystery marks. (Don't ever change, public trans!) I was pretty disappointed by this, but fortunately the surface stains do not penetrate easily, and stains can be rubbed off with your hands or a dry towel. I've spotted some Kanken's in the wilds of San Francisco and seen that lighter shades show the most stains, so keep in that mind when selecting your color.

Comfort: For such a no-frills bag, is it amazing how comfortable it is! The Kanken is incredibly lightweight even with all it's sturdiness. I thought the simple non-padded straps would cause shoulder pain but I've found it more comfortable then some more cushier straps. What's also great is that you can carry the bag briefcase style with the two upper straps, if you need to give your back a break. There also a removable padded insert for added comfort, but I was surprised that it was just a slab of squishy plastic foam. I almost threw it away thinking it was included in my package to keep its shape! But hey, the thing works.

Design: Absolutely minimalist, I must admit it was the Kanken's looks that initially drew me in. There are 36 color variations and I went with 'Graphite' after at least 3 days of rumination. (I don't do well with too much choice.) The runners up were 'Frost Green,' 'Sky Blue,' and 'Fog.' The bold branding is absolutely adorable and the logo is reflective in the dark!

The sizing is perfect for the urban commute -- it fits my 13 inch Macbook Air (be sure to use a laptop sleeve for extra protection though), water bottle, mini-umbrella, makeup bag, wallet, and notebook with room to spare. The front pocket is great for stashing a metro pass for quick access. The not-too-big, not-too-small sizing of the Kanken Classic is lovely, because you can securely bring your essentials to work without being the dick on the train whose bag smacks fellow passengers at every stop.
 
Overall, I have to say I'm in love with my Kanken Classic Daypack and I will certainly be a customer for different sizes/colors in the future!

Grey Crop Tee - Madewell
Fjallraven - Kanken Classic Daypack
Cropped Dress Trousers - ASOS
Air Force Ones - Nike
Simple Silver Necklace - & Other Stories
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April 28, 2015

Skate Shoes Without The Skating

Now, as previously confessed, one half of RF - not saying which - has a slightly  disturbing fascination with Bart Simpson, a fascination that has taken root in her wardrobe. However, it has been brought to our attention that for both of us, skate shoes have become a very important part of our wardrobes and therefore lives. Recently, there are few outfits on our insta feed, which do not have a pair of Vans at the end. Suffice to say, neither of us should be allowed anywhere near a skateboard, so this is all about the way they look, well and feel, because what's comfier?! Somehow, shoes that were once the preserve of teenage boys with an attitude problem, have replaced the once ubiquitous ballet pump as the lazy girls everyday shoe of choice and so it seemed only right that we pick the ones without laces. Skate On
Clockwise from top:
Shark shoes: Markus Lupfer
Snakeskin print: Vans
Camo: Vans
Leopard Print: ASOS
Pebble Print: Vans

 Siobhan wears Vans
 Miriam's confectionery covered Diemmes 
 Vans covered in cats are the ultimate man repelling shoes. Fact.

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