Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Madeleine Issing Jewellery.



I recently came across a stunning minimalist Instagram with the name madeleine_issing and was so excited to realise that the pieces featured were of Issing's own design. Madeleine is a German Jewellery designer with a very distinctive look. It is obvious from the second you see her Instagram that this woman has an eye for creativity and romantic minimal jewellery. Each piece truly tells a story and brings with it a sense of romanticism, lust and nostalgia. It is easy to tell that the environment around her inspires her work with images of the ocean and clouds filling the squares of her Instagram. There's something eerily calm and beautiful about the energy that fills her creative space and the content she posts and I love it. The minimal design of her pieces is what initially drew me in, with the sheer quality and beauty of them as they rest on my skin being what has made me a true loyal customer. These pieces are truly beautiful and timeless, a gift to be handed down to my own daughter (if I ever have one) or to someone special one day, whoever that lucky person may be.



You can purchase Madeleine Issing's Jewellery from her website here. 
You can also check out her Instagram.
SHARE:

Monday, 28 September 2015

To Here Knows When.


Recently I received a wonderful package of goodies from Ark in the UK and was super excited when I opened the parcel to see this glorious grid dress. The great thing about this dress is that it can be dressed up or dressed down easily, so it can easily take you from a day at work to a night out. I like cinching it in at the waist with a thin belt and pairing it with a nice coat with lapels. However, spring has now certainly sprung in Sydney so a rolled sleeve and bare legs with a pair of cute Mona Lisa socks was all I needed today.

Shop Ark Kennedy Grid Dress 

View Ark Instagram

SHARE:

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Monday Funday // Personal Update.



I also met this adorably shy dog on the street today and we shared a little pat. If there's one thing that has grown over the past couple of years, it is my desire to desperately own a dog. My eyes are always on dog-scan. If there's a dog in the general vicinity - you know i'll see it. Dog watching is by far one of the best things to do around where I live and it's a past time I will never cease to enjoy. Especially over the ones that look like mashed potato. 


If anyone knows me, they know I love food. I get excited over breakfast as I tuck myself into bed at night. I think about my next meal as i'm having the last bite of the one before. Food is always on my mind. Cooking is also something I really love doing and i've been really enjoying learning new healthy meals to make that not only taste amazing but are surprisingly good for you. Though some days you just want to get out of the house and have someone do the dirty work for you and when that happens I usually find myself down at this cafe. The walls and the decor are pleasantly instagram-able (which in my eyes is a total winner and very important. Okay not that important, but still, they're nice to look at) and the food is... phwoar. I think you just need to look at the photo above to know what i'm saying. I've been on the search for somewhere in Sydney that does a killer all-day breakfast that doesn't make me look at my wallet and weep and i've finally found it (if you're jealous and also want to eat this then go to Fernside Coffee Shoppe in Surry Hills, thank me later). Not only that but the owner always wears fantastic tshirts and is a lovely person. I don't know about you, but going to a cafe where you can built a rapport with the owner matters to me. Food, and most importantly breakfast, is serious business! 

SHARE:

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Hanas Designs // Jewellery.



Recently I discovered Hanas Designs Jewellery through Instagram and was blown away by the sheer number of products that I found myself wanting to put in my cart. There are a lot of homemade jewellers out there online these days so it's easy to get overwhelmed and not know where to start. If you're looking for minimal, stylish and affordable pieces then this store is perfect. Scrolling through the pages of items available was exciting and refreshing. The prices were good, the pieces were of nice quality, the photography of the pieces was well done and the range was exceptional.

I interviewed Hana about her jewellery and inspirations. 

What inspires you and your designs?

 I am very inspired my bohemian trends, including use of feathers, crystals and spiritual symbols. I am also a big animal lover so I have included lots of animals in my products such as elephant and turtles. Studying Fashion at uni I learnt the importance of portraying your own personality and loves into your own brand, but still following current fashion trends.

How would you describe the aesthetic of Hana Designs? 

I would describe myself as a black and white hippie. Everything on HanasDesigns is basically jewellery I wanted to wear myself. I think everything is very wearable and I encourage my customers to mix and match items to make their own personal collection. I have many items designed to wear at festivals or travelling which many of my customers have embraced.



SHARE:

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Leather and Lace.


Recently I received this beautiful white lace spaghetti strap dress from Pylo in the USA. I've been wanting one of these dresses for a long time now to team with my pointed chelsea boots and leather jacket and this piece hasn't disappointed. I love the combination of feminine, soft fabrics with edgier leather and silver hardware. I almost always wear pointed chelsea boots, and this new pair from Nine West have got me far too excited. I love the quality of the leather and the distinct pointed toe.



Wearing:
Jacket // Blackbirds (available on The Iconic)
Dress // PYLO
Necklace // Hanas Designs
Boots // Nine West (available on the Iconic)


You can pick this piece up at PYLO or check out their instagram.

SHARE:

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

How To: How I Edit My Instagram Pictures.

One of the most common topics I get asked about is Instagram, especially about how I edit my Instagram pictures. So today I thought i'd give you all an in-depth talk through of the entire process from original photo to submitted Instagram post! 

Before Editing

For starters, I use the Iphone 5s' camera or for my blog posts a Digital SLR camera. Before Instagram enabled portrait photography I always shot my photographs in the square crop, however now I find myself shooting in the original size. Occasionally I shoot in the Fade filter which is found through the Iphone Camera. I almost always shoot my images in natural lighting. If there's one thing that is important when it comes to taking nice images it's good lighting. I usually photograph my pictures inside with all the windows open before lunchtime or outside in the morning or late afternoon. I like to use light, white and airy backdrops for my photographs. When shooting flat-lays I recommend using either a white sheet, white cardboard or a clean desk. I like to keep the interiors and the background minimal and the colours consistent to the aesthetic of my feed.

Time To Edit

Okay now to edit! I start off by using VSCO-Cam. VSCO-Cam is a free-to-use photo editing app that I cannot get enough of. If I could only use one editing app it would be this one. Firstly I tap Import and pick the image want to edit.


For this post i've chosen one of the images I took for my Marble Tray post just to open up the apps. If you'd like to see some before and afters please let me know. Perhaps i'll do a Before and Afters post for you all. VSCO-Cam is fantastic at storing images and also allows you to view your collection in squares, so as to mimic your Instagram feed so you can decide what fits and what doesn't.


Now for filters. VSCO-Cam provides you with a great selection of free filters and affordable filters to choose from. The filter I use in almost all of my posts is SE3. I tend to use this around the 5-8 mark depending on how contrasted I want my image to be.

 I then click onto the editing tools and select Saturation. As you can probably tell, a lot of my photos are de-saturated to a point. I tend to use the -2 level.


That's all for VSCO-Cam! Now onto Afterlight.


 I always play around with the brightness of my photo first in Afterlight. I tend to brighten the image up quite a lot as I like having airy, bright images. The best thing about Afterlight's Brightness function is that you can swipe left to right and change the brightness with extreme detail. Though I use VSCO-Cam's Exposure function at times, I find that Afterlight's Brightness function is much more subtle if needed.


Onto contrast. I tend to up the contrast just a little, say 20% or so.


When it comes to images like this, I usually up the highlights and lower the shadows ever so much. It's always fun to play around and see what works best.


And with that, i'm finished and the photograph is submitted to Instagram!
SHARE:

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Painted Red.




I recently received this glamorous dress from Pop Cherry and knew I had to share it with you all ASAP. Obviously you'll need to invest in Hollywood Tape (which I haven't done yet) but will get to quickly as I can't wait to wear this out to a special dinner or event. The fabric is smooth and light, making it perfect for a summer evening. The back is able to be tied in numerous different ways which was a sell-point for me, however does take practise. This dress reminds me of Marilyn Monroe and makes me feel just as glamorous. If you're looking for an affordable, chic and elegant dress then this is a winner. Team it with a deep red lipstick and you're set.




You can purchase this dress at Popcherry.
SHARE:

Friday, 11 September 2015

Marble Tray.

As we all know, marble is everywhere right now. And I want it everywhere near me. Especially in my bedroom. So a short introduction; bedroom, marble, marble, bedroom. I know you'll be the best of friends. 



I've been eyeing off marble trays for quite a few months now and came across this gem at Style Code Interiors. It's stylish, classy, durable and excitingly affordable. You can pick up one of these Marble Trays for only $30. I know, right? Dreamy. These trays are perfect for keeping your perfumes on, your jewellery, makeup, watches or even on its own as purely a decorative piece. I'm sure i'm going to be moving it around a lot to feature in my flat lays, so be prepared Instagram. 




If you want to get your hands on one of these trays or take a look at what else they have to offer then check out Style Code Interiors or their Instagram.

SHARE:

Thursday, 10 September 2015

10/09/15




I received this fantastic black and grey glitter speckled top from the UK's We Are Cow this week and have fallen in love once more. I've never worn anything like this and now i'm questioning why I haven't. The boxy and cropped cut perfectly suits a pair of high waisted tight skinny jeans and I can see it being worn from day to night with ease. We Are Cow sells some incredible pieces of great quality and originality and i'll definitely be shopping there again. 
 



SHARE:

Monday, 7 September 2015

How To: Turn Your Blog Into A Brand.


When I first started documenting my outfits for the internet it was about nine years ago, I was fourteen years old. I loved styling things, photographing the outfits and creating a distinctive look. It's funny to think that my hobby back then would one day turn into my passion and my job. For quite a few years I believed it was photography that I wanted to work in, so much so that I studied it at university for three years. Soon after that my interest in styling took over and I considered becoming a stylist. Throughout this process I began to really become involved in posting my outfits online and writing, something that not only interested me but drove my motivation to get up in the morning. It became apparent that I could combine all of these passions into a career in not only blogging, but marketing and social media managing. The relief I felt to actually have my nine year 'hobby' finally have a job title was immense and with that, here I am today, blogging away and completing my masters.

Enough about me. I want to talk about how to turn your blog (or your instagram) into a brand. 

1. Most importantly (and incredibly cheesy I know) be true to yourself.

When I first started collaborating with companies and brands I promised myself I would never accept a collaboration for a product I would never buy for myself with my own money. Each and every item I have ever been gifted by a company has been chosen out by me as though I was trawling through Asos on a rainy night looking for the next best thing in my wardrobe. I don't want to endorse something I do not like and I don't want to lie to not only my audience but myself. Sure it may be exciting to have brands email you all the time offering you a pr package of items, but you should not be accepting them all. I turn down now around 70-90% of the collaborations that are offered to me. I know exactly what my style is, what I would buy with my own money and also what I want to endorse on my blog. Do not get excited by the idea of 'free things' and simply accept all collaborations, you are now a business and you have to make the smart decision to only accept what truly works for your brand on both an aesthetic and ethical level. 

2. Invest both time and money into your brand.

View your brand as a company and put money towards the things that make you money. This means you should invest in a good quality camera, a tripod, reflectors and a good working space. I also think it's important to spend the money and time investing in a good designated indoor photo area for rainy days or shoots you may want to do inside. When it comes to having a successful blog you need to spend time, and a lot of it, researching, communicating with companies, networking, planning your posts ahead of time and just being on the internet (a lot). I can spend upwards of six or seven hours a day on my days off researching, communicating with brands and planning posts.

3. Network, network, network.

One of the best ways to get your blog off the ground is to create strong relationships with the brands and companies who sell what you are featuring on your blog. I've spoken to some incredibly inspiring people about their visions, their inspirations and how they work. I've discovered so many beautiful pieces and designs that get me so excited to post about. Communicate with the companies and the designers of the pieces that you are passionate about. Whenever I find a company that really draws in my eye, I often send them an email telling them what I do and how much I appreciate what their company is all about. A lot of the time it ends in a collaboration and a connection made. These connections are vital to you widening your audience and creating new connections. Years ago I despised the idea of networking until I became a blogger who spent a lot of time communicating back and forth with companies and brands. It's exciting and thrilling to uncover what other people are creating, how you could in some way become a part of it and how you can both work off each other. Creating strong bonds with companies I admire has been one of the biggest and best things i've done for my brand.

4. Know what you're selling and who you're selling to.


This is really important when it comes to having a successful brand. Just like any other company you need to decide exactly what your selling, what your branding looks like, what you are wanting to achieve and who you are selling to. Do you have a certain kind of aesthetic that can be easily summed up into one sentence? If you can't do this then maybe it's time for a revisit to what you are hoping to achieve with your brand. Think of some key words and this might help you. When I think of my own brand I think of minimalism, monochromatic, pale, clean, chic and gothic. I know exactly how I want to present my images, my writing and who I am talking to. My main audience is women between the ages of 15-30. Knowing who you are communicating with is vital as it allows you to properly visualize who you are talking to and how to talk to them.


 But most of all have fun, stay passionate and always be true to yourself.

SHARE:

Sunday, 6 September 2015

How To: Style colour when you're a black and white girl.

As most of you probably know, I am very much a black and white girl. My wardrobe is full of black clothing with lots of white shirts and grey pieces thrown in. Every now and then I like to chuck a bit of colour into the mix. You know, to be wild. So today i'm wearing this salmon/apricot coloured pinafore dress by Dahlia teamed with a Mink Pink button up, a little black ribbon I bought from a fabric store and my black high heeled boots. At first it took a while to adjust to wearing not only a colour, but a colour I have actively avoided my whole life but I soon fell in love with the outfit. Once I put on the black ribbon and the black socks and boots, the outfit fell into place. 

If you're like me and scared of wearing colour, start small and work your way up. It could be something like a bag or even something as small as red lipstick and watch your love for throwing bits and pieces of colour into your wardrobe flourish. Will I always be a monochromatic girl? Probably. But adding a block of colour here and there definitely changes things up a bit and lets me have just that short little walk down colour lane, even if it's just for a day.




You can shop this gorgeous pinafore from Dahlia at www.dahlia.com 
SHARE:

Thursday, 3 September 2015

How To: Take Good Instagram Photos



I often get asked about my Instagram, how I take my photographs and what apps I use, so I thought today i'd let you all in on my secrets. Instagram is by far my favourite social media. I love the combination of photography, styling, curating and networking. There's something very enjoyable about getting a little peek into someone else's life. Instagram has definitely transformed from being simply a social app where you share photos of yourself and your friends to something where people can share their work, their photography, their fashion styling, their interior design, their cooking... the list goes on. The bottom line is, I love it. So without blabbing on anymore, here are my top 5 tips to having an Instagram account that will always keep others coming back for more.



 1. Decide what your niche is.

This is really important. When I take a look at all of the Instagrams that I follow it is very obvious what their niche or passion is. Whether it be nature photography, cooking/recipes, fashion styling, minimal living, Scandinavian homewares or makeup, they all have a common theme. Having a consistent theme means other Instagrammers who enjoy the same thing will often find your account and follow you back. This develops a network of people who appreciate the same kinds of posts and thus creates an increasing following of people who love what you love. This is also just really nice for making friends who have things in common with you! 

2. Be Social! 

I think communicating on other people's Instagrams when you like their posts or enjoy what they do is really important. Just like reality, people cannot mind read so it's important to let people know when you like something they do or you appreciate them. I myself am guilty of not being able to reply to everyone who comments on my posts on Instagram however if someone asks me a question I almost always reply within 6 hours. This is really important. People want to feel like they are following someone who isn't just a robot.


3. Find your aesthetic. 

I tend to follow people who have a consistent aesthetic to their photos. This can be anything from foggy nature photography, black and white minimal styling, incredibly colourful food photography taken on a black table etc. Not only does your Instagram feed look really beautiful when you do this but it helps your followers know what to expect. I like to shoot my photos mainly with a minimal style theme with low saturation and black and white styling. Sometimes I have pieces of colour in my shots but overall the aesthetic is consistently the same. 

4. Make use of apps like VSCO Cam and Afterlight. 

These two photo editing apps are my favourite and used in almost all of my photos. VSCO Cam is by far my favourite photo editing app and probably always will be. Their filters are beautiful, the photo editing tools are really great for cropping, exposure and saturation. I also like to use Afterlight. Afterlight is fantastic when it comes to changing exposure, colour balances and contrast. I love taking photos only to play around with them on these two apps, it's almost like a hobby for me. I could do it for hours.


5. Be real, don't overuse hashtags and just have fun.


One of the most important tips I have is to just be real and have fun. Instagram is such a great tool for playing around with your creativity and making new connections. I love going on Instagram for drawing inspiration and finding new companies i'd like to work with or buy from. Don't try too hard to have people follow you or notice your posts. Hash-tagging more than four or so tags is just excessive and really annoying. Keep your hashtags down to things that are relevant to the photo you've posted and don't overdo it. 

Also remember to show your personality. People want to learn more about you and why you post the things you do. Don't be scared to show your more vulnerable side but also make sure to keep it hopeful. We sometimes forget that Instagram only shows people's highlight reels so communicating with your followers and being 'real' makes you a lot more appealing. I personally love following people who communicate with their followers, who aren't afraid to say they are working on something or are challenged by something at the moment and who maintain a hopeful attitude. 
SHARE:
© Coated Noir | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Created by pipdig