Practical Princess

It has been a running joke in my family for years that everyone calls me a ‘Princess’. Yes on my 21st birthday my mum made me a Cinderella birthday cake and for my 18th I had a Barbie Princess cake. So when I told my gran I had managed to get my dream job working in the fashion industry for a company called ‘Practical Princess’, she definitely thought that fate had come my way!

Practical Princess is a company that ‘brings the complete luxury of wardrobe organisation to your life’. We go into homes and transform their lives through their wardrobes.

Wardrobes

However, it is not just wardrobe organisation. My boss and the founder of Practical Princess, Elika Gibbs, is a stylist who has a unique eye for fashion and style that is completely different for each and every person she dresses depending on their lifestyle. Elika personal shops for client’s day-to-day life’s but also for events they have coming up. As well as buying new season pieces, it is essential to make sure that the wardrobe is working well as a whole. Therefore, we will go in and help the client edit their wardrobe, reselling or giving to charity pieces that they are no longer wearing. We also advise that in Spring/Summer only Spring/Summer clothes are in the wardrobe and vice versa with Autumn/Winter. Practical Princess owns a large warehouse where we store client’s off-season clothes for them and at the beginning of the seasons we will undergo their season changeovers! The warehouse is also home to clients ‘archive’ pieces – clothes that you no longer wear but don’t want to part with!

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Another part of the business, which I find genius, is creating individual look books for clients. This process will involve Elika and I visiting the client’s house to create looks – mixing the new current season pieces with their existing wardrobes. This helps to make sure that the full potential of the wardrobe is being used whilst helping put together looks that they would not of thought of. One of the reasons I absolutely love my job is because my opinion matters. There is not one outfit that goes past without Elika asking my opinion too. I must say though, 99% she normally gets it pretty spot on!

I will then photograph every look on a mannequin, edit the photos, and write in specific details so there is no confusion on whether the heels in the photo are Gianvito Rossi or the very similar Jimmy Choo pair. Then the lookbook will be printed and sent off!

When I think I have written everything that Practical Princess does I realise that there is even more! This is why when anybody asks me what I do for a living I ask: “how long do you have?” We also catalogue people’s wardrobes, thus being an online catalogue to keep tracking of everything they own from house to house or a beautiful book.

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Elika has also produced an amazing book that will help you to change your wardrobe into a perfectly functioning dream wardrobe yourself! There is also an online store selling everything from hangers to shoe boxes to drawer dividers that will give you the full Practical Princess makeover!

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Lastly, I must apologise that I have abandoned my blog for a couple of months but they have been a very busy couple of months indeed (working with Kate Moss was definitely a highlight!). I have learnt more from Elika in the last 5 months than I have in the last five years – now that I have finally found my feet expect a lot more from me!

Saint Laurent or Kurt Geiger?

What can I say; I am always looking for the best deals.

I have a slight addiction to boots with heels. However, walking around London for hours everyday leaves me with the most painful feet but I have managed to find the perfect pair of flat boots!

I have had my eye of these Saint Laurent beauties for a long time but somehow I can’t manage to cough up £695 for them. I think its something to do with the fact that I would prefer to invest in something that I will have for the rest of my life and its safe to say I am not the best at looking after shoes.

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Luck was on my side and I managed to find these Kurt Geiger boots that are nearly identical for £140 (Harrods had 10% off today and managed to get them for £126, bonus!)

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I absolutely love them and they will definitely be saving my little feet!

H&M or Marc Jacobs Resort 2014?

I would like to say I have kept to my New Year’s resolution of shopping less, but lets be honest was that really going to happen?

I was just having a little browse on the H&M website as a friend recommended them for an affordable cashmere jumper. However, I came across this little beauty.

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It is a mohair blend, knitted, stripy jumper that very similarly resembles a rabbit fur jacket from the Marc Jacobs 2014 resort collection. It has been seen on fashion icons such as Kate Moss and an Olsen and has also been on my wish list from the first day I remember seeing it.

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Unfortunately, it was never in my budget at £2,410 but this H&M number will just about curb my craving for it and comes in at a much more affordable price of £34.99 and is available here.

 

New York, New York

New York is one of the most interesting cities in the world and it’s not just because of the shopping, I promise! My mum, sister and I took a little 4-night trip in between Boxing Day and New Years Eve to spend our Christmas money. If there is one place you have to visit when you’re in New York it is Chelsea Market in the Meatpacking District.

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We made the mistake of eating breakfast before we went – DO NOT DO THIS! There is the most amazing selection of little restaurants and cafés serving everything for organic produce to lobster and sushi. However, the reason we went was because of the ‘Artists and Fleas Design and Vintage Market’ and sample sales. We found a little stall selling the most beautiful necklaces with letters on them or your star sign. My sister and I got them as friendship necklaces! I also managed to pick up a Torn by Ronny Kobo dress for $60, bargain!

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For dinner at Chelsea Market you have to book the Buddakan! It is an Asian fusion restaurant in the most incredible of surroundings. If you go you have to try the edamame dumplings and glazed lobster, they were absolute perfection.

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My mum was extremely organised before we went and booked all the restaurants she wanted to try in advance and on the list was the ABC Kitchen. However, be careful when trying to find it. It is at the back of the ABC furniture shop and it took us two taxis and a very long confused walk to work this out. When we did find it we were not disappointed. We got the $36 three-course lunch and also shared a lovely bottle of Pinot Blanc. I had the tuna sashimi in a mint, chili and garlic dressing, followed by a salmon quinoa salad with lemon vinaigrette. Then a trio of desserts consisted of a cake pop, a warm melted chocolate cookie and a pecan biscuit (I managed to finish the majority of my mums as well). All made with the freshest, organic, locally produced ingredients. Please bring one to London soon!!

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On our last day we went to see the 9/11 memorial. I was humbled thinking of all of the people who lost their lives and felt privileged that I could pay my respects to them.

“New York is not a city, It’s a world”

STREET STYLE

Today we learnt the art of street fashion photography. Bill Cunningham led the way in his documentary. He is truly inspiring. I almost felt like crying when watching it due to his caring nature, although the most beautiful part was his passion for something that he truly loves, the money incentive never taking part.

This is definitely worth watching!

The afternoon then consisted of taking to the streets of Soho and trying out street photography for ourselves. Here are a few images that I managed to capture:

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It was a lot harder than you would expect and asking strangers to take their photo was a rather daunting task. I take my hat off to the likes of Bill Cunningham and Scott Schuman for their fantastic photography in sometimes difficult situations.

Below are a list of some great fashion street style blogs (kindly given to students by our great lecturer Katie Friedlander-Boss):

Hel Looks

The Sartorialist

Street Peeper

Fashion Beans

Face Hunter

Carolines Mode

Style Arena