Vintage Photoshoot: Four retro, floral, fashion looks

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My dream of having a vintage-style photoshoot has finally been fulfilled! Okay, in part, but this has come very close.

One of my closest friends, Emma, is doing a fashion journalism portfolio for university, and asked me to be her model for the day—to which, of course, I said ‘yes’!

We took the pictures in and around her house since her interior designing skills are kind of goals.

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Look 1: Breakfast At Tiffany’s

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Check out that floral wallpaper! Though we haven’t really had proper spring weather here, it’s getting a bit warmer now.

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I feel like this look leans a bit towards Breakfast At Tiffany’s; what do you think? The evening gloves, the cat on the bed…(that’s Emma’s cat, Bob—he’s nearly one year old—and he’s a pretty good model!).

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OUTFIT: DressZara / ShoesTopshop / BagArkwright’s Emporium / GlovesVintage / RingNew Look / Necklace – gift / EarringsMiss Selfridge

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LOOK 2: Riviera Reverie

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This look makes me think of summer on the French Riviera—or something I’d wear on a cruise in the forties or fifties. Also, that belt is actually from the strap of a handbag! You do what you’ve got to do, right?

I want to mention: this is my first time with cat-eye liner in six five years, and now I wish I did it more often!

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OUTFIT: DressBaklash / ShoesTopshop / HatH&M / (Photo 1) EarringsMiss Selfridge / (Photo 2) Earringsgift / NecklaceClaire’s Accessories

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LOOK 3: Dressed For Dinner

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Going glam for this look, with the demure black and flashy white and gold. And I am so in love with those chandelier earrings from New Look!

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Vintage queen, Audrey Hepburn, being my inspiration, today and everyday. Obviously.

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OUTFIT: DressDorothy Perkins / BoleroAmisu x New Yorker / ShoesTopshop / BagVintage / MaskMolly Limpet’s / EarringsNew Look / BraceletPrimark

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LOOK 4: Girl About Town

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Channeling Faye Dunaway in ‘Bonnie and Clyde‘ and Suzy Bishop in Wes Anderson’s ‘Moonrise Kingdom‘ for this part of the photoshoot. Also, I wish I wore a beret more often.

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OUTFIT: DressForever 21 / ShoesTopshop / BeretRed Herring x Debenhams / ChokerExtravagance 

1 LBD, 3 Ways: simple style formula with a black dress

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Hello again! I haven’t put up an outfit post on here in so long!

I know I said I was going to post a bit about my time in Dubai the other week, but I actually had to take books and notes to write essays for my university coursework. Yeah, working on my holiday. Sounds like heaven, huh?

Not really.

So, between being a tourist and staying up until 2 and 3am to make sure I don’t fail, I had no time to plan blog posts. But check out my Instagram page @thevirgoviolet because I at least posted some pictures there (I promise I’m not that flippant about my love for fashion and travel!)

Today’s post is a classic fashion blogger template and the simplest style formula: one dress, worn three different ways! Keep scrolling for how to make this dress work, evening, and weekend-ready!

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My dress is a black, cotton, skater-skirt style from Dorothy Perkins. Since I got it a couple of years ago, here are a few similar ones:

H&M, £24.99 (here)

H&M, £12.99 (here)

Dorothy Perkins, £20 (here)

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DAY: Workin’ 9 to 5

First up is workwear. When you wake up early to get ready for the long work day ahead of you, sometimes it can be really difficult to know what to wear. I know the feeling: a wardrobe full of stuff, but nothing feels right! What you need is this black dress. It’s comfy, durable, and the accessory possibilities are endless!

OUTFIT: ShirtTopshop / FlatsNew Look / Bag + Necklacevintage / BeltDorothy Perkins

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NIGHT: After-Work Drinks

It’s Friday night, and the clock’s just hit 5pm. Instead of going straight home, you’ve decided to meet a couple of friends for drinks. What you need is an outfit that is work-appropriate, but with a few tweaks, it can be bar-ready!

OUTFIT: Cardigan – vintage / ClutchPeacocks / HeelsNew Look

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WEEKEND: Casual ‘n’ Comfy

Last but not least, for a dress to be totally versatile, it needs to work in both a dressy and casual context. Here, I made the look as comfortable and stress-free as possible; you can go shopping in it, to the park, for a casual Sunday brunch…the possibilities are endless!

OUTFIT: JacketZara / ShoesJennyfer / BagNathalie AndersenScarf – (old) / 

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And there you have it! One dress, three different ways. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

The Scorpio Cupcake: Dark chocolate raspberry recipe with chocolate buttercream frosting

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Lucky number 6 with today’s zodiac-themed cupcake post! Today, I’m going to talk to you about Scorpio.

Scorpios are born between October 23rd and November 22nd and their greatest strength is their sensitivity. Though they tend to hide from the intensity of their emotions (Water signs are led by their heart) and can be stubborn with whatever stand they take, they always find a way to forgive. Scorpios are also quite passionate and dynamic.

 

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Distrusting and suspicious, people under this zodiac appreciate honesty.

But hurt a Scorpio at your peril, because as much as they’re known for being a good friend, they’re determined and seriously into getting revenge, and their emotions can prove destructive to themselves and others. They won’t be so quick to forgive you again.

 

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For these reasons, I’ve chosen to do a dark and sultry combination of dark chocolate and raspberry. The colours are beautiful together, for one thing, but dark chocolate has always been underrated and underestimated—it’s unique, that’s for sure. Raspberry brings out a soft sweetness, and I feel like these two ingredients represent the two sides to a Scorpio: the good, sensitive friend, and the scorned lover.

 

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I used this delicious chocolate cake recipe by Martha Stewart and added crushed raspberries (equal to 2 handfuls of whole ones) to the batter.

For the dark chocolate buttercream:

160g icing sugar

80g unsalted butter, room temperature

20-30g cocoa powder

Drizzle of chocolate syrup

And top the cupcake with a raspberry—enjoy!

 

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The Libra Cupcake: Banana recipe with chai buttercream frosting

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I’m writing this post from my hotel room in sunny Dubai, so expect some day-by-day posts of what I’m getting up to!

Keeping on with my zodiac-themed cupcake posts, today it’s Libra.

 

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Libras (September 23-October 22) are known to be fair, balanced, and diplomatic—which makes the most simple sense since its symbol is the scales. This goes hand-in-hand with the fact that they’re quite people-oriented, whether that’s with their partner or family and friends, and like to keep everything in harmony and peace. They can’t tolerate injustice and root for equality and fairness in all they care about, and this mentality makes them the idea partner.

 

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They’re flirtatious by nature, which comes as no surprise since this sign is ruled by the planet Venus—also known as the Roman goddess of love. Along with Aquarius and Gemini, Libra’s element is Air. People ruled by this element tend to be quite social and communicative.

But, as with all good qualities come the not-so-good and Libras can be indecisive and even gullible; they’re good at helping other people, but they’re not as headstrong as when it comes to themselves.

 

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For these reasons, I wanted a flavour that was balanced—something sugar and spice (and everything nice), so I chose CHAI. Also, I love banana, and cinnamon (which is one of the make-ups of chai) pairs so well with it.

For the banana cupcakes, I used this beauty of a recipe by the domestic goddess herself, Martha Stewart.

For the chai frosting, I used:

160g icing sugar

80g unsalted butter, room temperature

Splash of coconut milk

1-2 teaspoons of Drink Me Chai

Sift the icing sugar into a bowl so it doesn’t go lumpy, then add the butter. I went for 2 teaspoons of chai powder, but add to taste. And enjoy!

The Cancer Cupcake: vanilla marshmallow recipe with coconut buttercream frosting

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It’s a sunny Sunday here and I spent all afternoon walking around the city, having iced coffee and ginger beer, and counting down the days ’til we leave for Dubai (three!)

But it’s that time again: new post, new zodiac-inspired cupcake! Today I’ve got Cancer going on. My sun sign’s Virgo (check out that cupcake!) and my moon sign’s Cancer, so this is another one I’ve especially enjoyed doing.

 

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Cancerians are born between June 20 and July 22 and, as their element is water, they’re known to be emotional, responsive, and sympathetic. They’re really good at giving advice because of this sensitivity and deep-rooted ability to empathise and to tap into other people’s emotions. Their heart rules their thinking. This also makes them loyal and dependable; a Cancerian’s a great friend to have.

With this strong tie to their emotions, they can also be moody, oversensitive, and self-pitying.

 

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The flavour I’ve chosen is vanilla and marshmallow! Sweet, just like Cancerians, and with all the fluff that emotions bring.

The cupcake recipe is from ‘Lemon Sugar’ which you can find here. When they’d cooled from the oven, I cut out some of the middle, filled it with marshmallow creme, and replaced the top.

 

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Frosting recipe:

80g unsalted butter, room temperature

160g icing (confectioners’) sugar

Splash of coconut milk

Handful of desiccated coconut

2-3 tbsp blue food colouring

Mix all the ingredients together—make sure to sift in the icing sugar so it doesn’t get lumpy.

 

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And that’s it! Check out my other zodiac-inspired cupcakes: Leo / Gemini

LIBRA will be up tomorrow!

The Virgo Cupcake: Simple lemon rosemary recipe with lemon glaze

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Happy Hump Day! I’ve already done two zodiac-themed cupcake posts (Gemini and Leo) and today is all about Virgo, which is also my star sign! Also, another tribute to my blog’s name, The Virgo Violet!

I find Virgos to be maybe the most understood of the 12 signs—we’ve certainly got the worst rep in terms of being nit-picky and overly black-and-white on how things should be done.

 

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For sure, Virgos are the ultimate perfectionist. Not necessarily ‘anal’, but just that presentation and the way things are say a lot about a person. Personally, when I bake or cook anything, the whole process has to go perfectly, and it has to look great, simply because the end result is the only thing everyone’s going to see.

 

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Virgos are also known to be analytical and skeptical; they are great problem spotters and solvers because they see the detail. If you’ve got a problem, go to a Virgo for advice because they’re helpful and good at finding a solution. Unfortunately, this also means they can be critical of both themselves and others when they see the bad since it doesn’t fit into the bigger picture. They mean well, though, no matter how inflexible and interfering they come across!

 

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With all this, they can be introverted—definitely not the kind that like being centre of attention! That’s why I decided on a herb/citrus infusion, and landed on lemon and rosemary! Definitely delicious—I used this recipe from Kitchen Aid. The glaze—which uses both lemon juice and zest–is by Martha Stewart, which you can find here!

 

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The flavours are so subtle and fragrant, kind of like Virgo’s tendency to appear reserved—nothing special—but underneath are a bundle of misunderstood emotions and warmth. And, no, I’m not jut tooting my own horn as a Virgo!

Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts—Libra’s next!

 

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1970s-Inspired Look: Keep it classic with fringe, gilet, and a-line skirt

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— Scroll down to the bottom of the post for outfit details —

Happy Monday! Today needs to be easy and low maintenance; it needs to be something to ease you into the first day of a long week, but it can’t be unstylish. My style, before it became classic, colourful, and quite feminine, it used to be 100% bohemian. Think fringe, flared jeans, patterns, and layered jewellery. Then, it changed as I got older, and I did away with most of my boho pieces—something I actually deeply regret. Sometimes you’re just in that flower child, Woodstock hippie vibe, right?

Thankfully, I didn’t get rid of all of them. I kept the pieces I knew could give a look a little something-something, but not hurl it under the ‘boho’ category.

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This shirt from Reiss, for example, has the cool, graphic pattern, but still the classic, silken structure of a more put-together look. With just the skirt and shoes, you could wear it to the office. Add the fringe bag and the gilet, and it makes a pretty cool, semi-relaxed Sunday look.

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These necklaces are two of my favourites, I’ve got to say. The beaded one is slightly lower-sitting than your average choker, but it still sits comfortable under the choker umbrella, which keeps it way on trend. The necklace (it’s gold, by the way, but the grey sky sucks any and all colour out of pictures!) my parents got custom-made for my 21st from a jewellery store in my dad’s hometown in Lebanon. It’s my name in Arabic, and keeps a little of my heritage with me even when I’m feeling the full weight of my mum’s English side.

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OUTFIT: ShirtReiss / Skirt + GiletDorothy Perkins / ShoesClarks / BagStradivarius / Beaded necklacevintage / Gold necklacecustom-made

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