It’s been four years since the sold-out Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition. This year the V&A, named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, has curated another majestic exhibition about the talented Christian Dior: Designer of dreams. And it is just as magical as you would think.

The day had been a long one coming. I had been waiting since February last year when I found out there would be a Christian Dior exhibition. I was so prepared for it that I purchased a student museum membership just to guarantee access to what was likely to be a sold-out exhibition. It was only £30 and I get access to all the exhibitions for free and I can go as many times as I please. Bargain! When the day finally came, I realised it was International Women’s day. A coincidence as the exhibition is about a man who celebrated the female body; “Dedicated to the beauty of the female body.” 

What I love most about exhibitions like these, based on couture, is that you can gain a real insight into the brand and an appreciation for the craftsmanship that goes into all the pieces. All the time people think of fashion as what’s on the rails in their local high street store but fashion is also the limited couture pieces. They've been made to fit and created individually by a whole team of seamstresses. That’s true art.

The first room of the exhibition is filled with pictures of a young Christian Dior that tell the story of how he came to be one of the worlds most famous designers. As you moved through, each room capsulated a part of the Fashion house. From the OG silhouettes and pieces such as the famous dress worn by Princess Anne for her birthday. To special rooms dedicated to the designs inspired by the 18th century, flowers and ball gowns. 

The most beautiful room was The Garden Room. On the ceiling was the most intricate piece of art I had ever seen, thousands if not millions of paper garlands had been shaped to look like flowers. I later found out it was by Wanda Barcelona called Les Invasions paper garden. On a platform which went around the room stood dresses inspired by Dior’s love of flowers; “After women, flowers are the most divine of creations.” 

There was a mix of dresses through the ages and it was cool to see how each designer had used flowers as inspiration to create something unique. One of my favourite dresses was covered in individually painted feathers. From a distance, it looked like dried flowers you might find in a meadow, but on closer inspection were thousands of painted small feathers. It was probably my favourite dress because you could see the beauty up close, the cleverness of the design, and incredible craftsmanship.

Since Christian Dior’s sudden passing in 1957, there have been 8 creative directors since. Including Yves Saint Laurent who later went on to design for his own label, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri to name a few. As you walk through one of the large rooms you can see some of the designs that each creative director has done and contributed to the fashion label. 

The last room of the exhibition was black. As you walked through it, on the left-hand side was a platform surrounded by floor to ceiling mirrors. In the centre of that platform, with a white backlight, was the most beautiful dress I had ever seen. Layers and layers of pleated delicate tulle flowed to the ground. The mirrors around the platform allowed you to see the stunning ruffled train which defied gravity at the top as it trailed down the back. The dress was designed by the first and current female creative director Marie Grazia Chiuri and had been presented in Shanghai at the Spring/Summer 2018 haute couture collection. She had been inspired by a 1950’s promotional fan for the house of Dior and the skirt is embroidered with same Dior signature. All I can say is that I wish I could wear a dress like that. 

Just when I started to lose hope in the fashion world and at how disposable it has become, an exhibition like this has brought my belief back that there is more than just the throwaway culture. There is a whole legacy that has been left behind by the great fashion leaders and continues to be nurtured by designers. Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams is a stunning exhibition showcasing amazing the most amazing pieces. 100% recommended to anyone who is able to appreciate.

As expected the Christian Dior exhibition is sold out indefinitely, and due to the immense popularity, they’ve decided to extend the closing date till September. Yay! 

Love, Aoife xo

It was International Women's Day yesterday and I wanted to dedicate this post to all the amazing women out there. Today's post features a book that I really connected with over Christmas break and celebrates everything female and everything gender equality too. It's written by an amazing spread of women but read the post and I'll tell you more. Aoife x

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Feminism; a word, that sadly, has the power to start wars but also, to unite people. What does feminism mean to you? To me, it’s about having equal rights. For someone to look at both a male and a female and acknowledge they have the capability to achieve the same things; for them to actually look at us and see value; to be treated the same way.

Feminists Don’t Wear Pink And Other Lies (curated by Scarlett Curtis) is a book made up of essays written by a variety of influential women from film stars to influencers to activists and many more. Each essay shares the writers' relationship they have with the F word. Some of them are quite funny and others are more on the emotional side. One thing that’s clear is everyone has a different relationship with the word. And fundamentally the same principle -of achieving equal rights- forms the basis of all their meanings. That’s my most favourite thing about the book; it accepts that everyone is going to see things differently and celebrates that fact.

And in reality, feminists can wear pink. I call myself a feminist and half my wardrobe is a dusty shade of pink. Feminists can also wear pads and tampons. They can wear baggy clothes, tight clothes, loads of clothes or hardly any clothes at all; and still, be a feminist.

One of my favourite essays in the book is Evanna Lynch's Cat Women. She wrote a piece on how she thought period pants made you more of a feminist. The idea buying tampons and pads were a patriarchal communist strategy, and a real feminist wouldn’t give in to that. In the end, she realised that period pants weren’t for her, and she’d be a tampon wearing feminist. It was written in a comical way but also expressed underlying self-doubt. The idea that I’m less of a feminist than her because I don’t do this. And the truth is, you’re a feminist regardless.

Instead of me talking about the book, here are three reasons why you should open this book and give it a read:
  1. Our versions of what a 'feminist' is are all different. This book features a wide range of women’s opinions, and collectively, they’re all related in some way. You’ll find yourself somewhere in the pages while reading it.
  2. It’s enlightening. Feminism is not just a black-and-white type of word; it’s a multi-faceted, multi-coloured word. Usually, when it comes to books on such topics, it’s written by one person who shares a one-sided view. More often than not, they’re white. This book contains more than one view and from more than one race. It’s not written by one white feminist but rather by women of all cultures, representing a larger group of feminists.
  3. It’s not just a bunch of essays. 'Essay' is such a boring word *yawn*. Although they use the word, it’s not your typical boring introduction, argument, argument, argument, conclusion. They’re creative writing pieces. Some people have gone for the simple mini stories while others have gone for poetry or actual essays. Each piece is someone’s account of something they feel contributes to our understanding of feminism.

I understand that a book on feminism isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, it's not really mine. And I get that there’s a stigma around openly showcasing that you’re a feminist. At uni, I told my Flatmate’s I’d joined the feminist society, and got eye rolls thrown at me. “Oh, she’s one of them.” The truth is, you have to own that identity. If you admit to yourself that you’re a feminist, and other people have a problem with that, are you really the one at fault? No, hun.

Read the book, give it a try. There’s nothing to lose from it. I loved this book. It’s not really an educational book (although, there’s a bit at the end which is) it’s a book about understanding and sharing each other's stories. I’m going to write a blog post soon on what my relationship with feminism is, so keep your eyes out for that.

Have you read it yet or will you be giving it a go?

Love, Aoife xo 

Jumper - H&M
Bra - Calvin Klein
Jeans - Stradivarius
Shoes - White Converse, Chuck Taylors

I have always struggled with being able to look good in a jumper. I had pretty much sworn off any kind of jumper until last February (2018). During a much-needed shopping trip, I found the perfect jumper. It wasn’t too big or frumpy and worked perfectly with my petite chest. Since then, I’ve managed to conquer the jumper picking up a few tips and tricks along the way.

In the words of Patricia Bright, who I absolutely adore, “If you don’t have cleavage, you always have clavicle”. And you can apply this theory -yes, that is what we’re calling it- to everything and anything. Especially jumpers. Jumpers most of the time rely on cleavage to stop you looking frumpy but if you don’t have that, use your clavicle! Everyone has one. Find jumpers that highlight your clavicle, also known as your collarbone, the bone that runs across from shoulder to shoulder. Go for ones with lower necklines, round or V-necks. I’m currently crushing on this v-neck jumper from H&M. It’s so warm and it shows off just the right amount of skin. 

On top of that, tuck the front of the jumper into a pair of high waisted jeans to give it a little edge and to break it up. It stops the jumper from looking baggy and helps it to fall in a flattering way.

Love, Aoife x

When was the last time you did something touristy in your city? Like actually PAY for one of the tourist attractions? Can’t remember? Well neither can I. I’ve gone to touristy areas in London, taken touristy pictures, but the last time I paid for an attraction in London was about five years ago.

My brother and I were in town (well, the city) the other day to have lunch with our Mum. It was fun to see where she worked. We then headed towards Tower Bridge to go on the Tower Bridge experience. This is where you can learn about how the iconic bridge works and get to look out at the view from the top of the towers.

It was cheaper than I thought it would be considering the prices of some London attractions. It was £9.80 for an adult (£4.20 for a child & £6.80 for a student). We went in for free as I used my time credits, something I was given for volunteering at a city of London library. They have a bunch of other cool stuff you can use them for, so I'll definitely be checking that out.

At the top of the tower is a high-level walkway which has a glass floor where you can see the road below. It didn’t scare me as much as I thought it would. After all, it would have to be quite strong to have a lot of people walking over it all day. We took lots of pictures including the classic shoe selfie.

The day was really fun and it gave me a new love for the city. When you live in a city, you tend to stay away from the attractions. You tend to visit them once when you're young and not again. It's like a 'been there, done that' type of thing. 

It made a nice change to join the queue of tourists you always walk past.

Love, Aoife xo

*- This post is not sponsored or affiliated. All views are my own.
We're currently 13 days into the new year and guess who's still reminiscing about the past? I know I'm a little behind but I really wanted to do this post before we got too far into the new year. I saw InTheFrow do this and a couple of other bloggers do something similar and I felt it was the perfect way to share some of my highlights from the previous year without going on a long warbly post.

January: Life & Death @ Kew Gardens

February: Chancellor's Dinner, LFW Mulberry event
& LWFW (London Fashion Week Festival)

March: Filmed a Beauty Blogger Video & Found my voice

April: 36 Hours in Bath

May: Finished decorating my room & Shooting in Notting Hill 

June: Traveling along the Cote d'Azur & a Spainish holiday

July: Marc Jacobs Daisy event at Somerset House, Weekend in Liverpool & Notion Summer Party

August: Azzedine Alaia exhibition + going it alone

September: Moved house for the first time, Crazy Rich Asians VIP screening & Back to Uni

October + November: Jorja Smith concert & Became a Radio Presenter 

December: Christmas in the new house!

Thank you to everyone who made my 2018 special. I didn't realise just how much I had accomplished last year. I loved looking through all the pictures and it's definitely given me some blog post ideas. So, thank you to all my friends, you are the best support network. Thank you to my Mum, Dad and brother. Thank you for all the love on my blog too. 2019 is the year of content.

Love, Aoife x

Happy new year!! I started writing this post sharing all the lessons I had learnt in 2018 and turning them into new year's resolutions. I had it all typed out and everything. But then I thought to myself, why am I doing this? I don't know what I’ll be like in March or what my headspace will be like in August.

The truth is, I find New Year resolutions a bit of a waste of time. They just don't work for me. I find it easier to keep personal short-term goals rather than build long-term goals. I like setting myself monthly goals as a way to keep a perspective on things. So here is my first set of monthly goals for 2019!

ONE // Go to the gym at least once a week.

I joined the gym back in November and I found it mentally liberating. For however long I was in the gym for; I came out relaxed, energised and focused. I was in the same mindset that I would have after taking a holiday. This month, I’m going to try and go to the gym twice a week. If I can't then I’ll happily settle for one visit. 

TWO // Let it go. 

There is so much out there to be stressed and worried about than the shitty comment your friend made or petty house drama. I’m in my second year at university and it’s an important year, so this month I’m going to focus on what’s important to me and let the other stuff go. Find my inner Zen and channel that for a while. I might even start meditating.

THREE // Find my end goal again.

Somewhere between September and December, I lost sight of my end goal. The place I wanted to end up. This was something I spoke confidently about only a few months before. Around that time, I started to doubt myself and let others scepticism sink in. This month, I want to work on aligning my end goal and start working on getting there again. At the end of the day, the only person stopping you from reaching that goal is yourself. So get out of the way!

FOUR // Go Dairy free! 

Well, as close as I can get to dairy free. I have been dancing around this idea for the last year and a half. Back in 2016, I decided to swap normal cow’s milk to almond milk. I also swapped normal ice cream for a dairy-free alternative which is incredibly hard when you see the new McFlurry flavours. I decided to reduce my dairy intake in the hope it would improve my skin and reduce the number of spots I get. I still get spots but the swap has definitely helped. I now feel more alert and less sluggish. I think my biggest challenge is going to be overcoming the urge to eat chocolate and having to eat a vegan cheese substitute, which stinks! 

FIVE // Post more. 

When I post more, I feel more productive and I love that feeling. I love working on projects and the motivation it gives you to succeed. I have a ton of draft posts that are waiting to be published and for some reason, I can’t seem to press ‘Publish’. This month, I want to focus on posting more; on my blog and on social media. Ultimately, I want to be less afraid of people's judgement and to stop comparing myself to others.

Have you got any January goals or New Year's resolutions?

Love, Aoife x

P.S- Thank you Saskia for the images xx