A lighter look for spring

It’s no secret that I love winter fashion. Coats, scarves, boots and accessories are all elements I love featuring in my looks!

Now the weather has started to get a little bit warmer, it’s time to ditch some of the layers in favour of more streamlined looks.

Although I will miss my more complete outfits, I admit it’s refreshing to be able to step out with just a jacket on.

The focus of the outfit shifts from outerwear to the base garments and accessories become lighter and more decorative.

Aesthetic contradiction Manchester blogger all saints balfern jacket

A few days ago it was my birthday and I had a day out with my family to celebrate. It was a beautiful sunny day but also slightly windy so I opted for my trusty All Saints “Balfern” jacket. This jacket has become a staple in my wardrobe because of its versatility and style. It looks great styled with both casual and slightly smarter outfits and is the perfect weight for spring.

Spring fashion look navy jumpsuit leather jacket

For this blog post, I was lucky enough to partner with fashionworld.co.uk who provided the main part of my outfit. They allowed me to select a couple of items from their range that I would love to create an outfit with and I chose a gorgeous navy jumpsuit and a pair of cute and comfortable heels from Monsoon.

Navy Monsoon jumpsuit and guitar bag strap

I think jumpsuits are a great choice for a day out. They are practical and stylish and you can just put one on and be ready to go, without having to spend any time coordinating an outfit. This one was perfect for the occasion as the fabric is comfortable but not too thin. I also love the adjustable wrap over detail. It creates a beautiful silhouette by cinching the garment in at the waist but mostly hugs the upper part of the body and can easily be loosened after a large meal, if necessary.

Aesthetic contradiction spring look

Navy monsoon jumpsuit Rebecca Minkoff bag

I decided to pair the jumpsuit with a metallic gold mini mac bag from Rebecca Minkoff. I recently got this embroidered guitar style strap for it and I love the way that it looks. These straps are available in a variety of designs and can be attached to any bag with removable straps.

Rebecca Minkoff mini mac bag

Another element of this outfit I was pleasantly surprised by are the shoes. The heel is just the right height to look stylish but still be comfortable to walk around in. The suede is soft and comfortable and the ankle strap helps keep the foot in place. I think these will be my go-to shoes for summer weddings and parties where there is dancing involved. Although I love the look of tall heels, they aren’t always practical for events.

Aesthetic contradiction edgy fashion blogger

This year I have decided to change things up a bit by adding gold jewellery to my collection. I’ve noticed that certain outfits are complemented by the warmer tones and I wanted the chance to experiment with something different.

grey monsoon courts

Overall I had a great birthday and I was very happy with my outfit. How have you been enjoying spring so far?

edgy spring style

 

OUTFIT:

Jacket: All Saints

Jumpsuit: Monsoon

Heels: Monsoon

Bag: Rebecca Minkoff

Bag strap: Rebecca Minkoff

Earrings: Dixi

Sunglasses: Specsavers

How to stay cool and look “edgy” at the same time.

dark fashion blogger, Aesthetcicontradiction

This year’s heat-wave has gifted uncharacteristically-warm summers to many places around the world, our normally rainy Manchester among them. It got me looking back on past times I had experienced warm weather and how I struggled to stay true to my style and comfortable at the same time.

Dark style blogger from Manchester, UK

I think my problem in the past was that I relied too heavily on “signature items” and thought I needed to wear them all year round to be “me”. There was also an element of feeling like I was “selling out” if I gave up an item that defined my style, in favour of something more weather appropriate. I remember there was a year when I went to the beach in leather army boots because they were the only type of footwear I considered acceptable at the time.

Grown up goth, summer style

I now feel confident enough in my style to change things up a bit. I can find a version of every type of clothing or footwear that can be made to fit my style so I no longer have items I “don’t wear”. Also, I’ve evolved beyond that and can now also wear items that don’t fit my style as such, without feeling like I’m losing my identity.

Alternative style for adults

On this occasion, we were heading to a friend’s birthday party. I didn’t have long to get ready and I wanted to spend most of that time on my makeup so I needed a really simple outfit that I could just throw on. I decided on this embellished leotard from Zara (I try not to buy much from the high street, but occasionally I find a piece I love) and paired it with a fitted, black jersey skirt with a slit up one side and roucheing across the hips. The cut and fabrics of both items were perfect for the warm weather and I really enjoyed the walk in the evening sun.

Edgy fashion blogger, AestheticContradiction

As an extra step to stay cool and to add more detail to my relatively simple outfit, I decided on this braids and pun hairstyle. It’s a variation on two hairstyles I do a lot, but instead of a top knot, I opted for a fanned bun, paired with a Dutch braid down each side.

You may also notice that I’m wearing sandals here, I found a pair I really liked about 5 years ago and they are still going strong!

Edgy summer style

 

OUTFIT:

Embellished bodysuit: Zara

Jersey skirt: eBay

Sandals and bra: Topshop

Sunglasses: H&M

Earrings: Dixi

 

Photography by Richard Ayres

Sunkissed Field

Aesthetic contradiction dark fashion blogger

 I love it when well-known brands reach out to work with smaller bloggers,
particularly when they launch projects that celebrate style diversity.
On this occasion, I was approached by River Island , to be part of their “shape my style” campaigne,
in which bloggers with different styles, choose their favourite item
from the current dresses collection and style it to fit their individual look.

River Island style project

 

 

 

 

  The current collection includes dresses for every occasion and to suit any body type, but one really stood out to me as a piece I could wear for many different occasions,

styled in different ways and would have longevity in my wardrobe.

I try to make each addition into my wardrobe considered and don’t tend to go for things that are “too” trend led, unless I consider them a staple.

River Island black midi dress

The dress that I chose is this black long-sleeved midi dress with shirring and tie details to the neck, wrists and waist (also available in other colours!).

I have recently noticed I have a preference for midi dresses over shorter styles, I find them much more elegant and flattering.

The top half  of the dress features a wrap stye front, with a tie closure that can be worn open or tied in a bow to show varying degrees of skin. Features like this make this dress extremely versatile, which is one of the things I really loved about it.

River island dress details

I like the floaty, feminine style of this dress but I wanted to add a bit of edge to my outfit so I paired it with some of my signature accessories with silver hardware and a harness bra with a choker detail.

I love the brightness the flashes of silver bring to this all black look.

Aestheticcontradiction edgy style blogger

The rouched waist makes this dress very flattering, but also forgiving and helps it remain comfortable, even after a long night of dinner and drinks.

The fabric feels good quality but is also easy to wash so it’s not a dress you would have to worry about on a day out with the family.

River Island blogger style project

I wore this dress on quite a warm summer’s evening and it was the perfect weight

but it could definitely also be worn in colder months with tights and boots and a jacket.

I will definitely be featuring it on here again, styled up for winter.

Dark fashion blogger Aestheticcontradiction in black River Island dress

We have been enjoying some gorgeous weather here in the UK this summer so I took the opportunity to shoot this look

at golden hour,in one of the sun kissed fields by the golf course. They are always filled with long grasses and wild flowers

at this time of year but look particularly impressive after two months of solid sun!

dancing in the sun

Dress: River Island

Necklaces: Dixi

Earrings: H&M

Belt: Asos

Bag: Givenchy

Shoes: Miista

 

 

Photography by Richard Ayres

dark fashion blogger in field

Birthday shopping in black Acne dress

Black leather jacket, acne maxi dress

Today is my birthday and I celebrated by going for a bit of shopping and lovely lunch with my mum and grandma. The weather was very spring-like indeed and gave me the opportunity to test-run my new Acne dress, which I musta say, I’m a bit in love with! I often try these long, draped garments, imagining I will like them and end up returning them after feeling like I’ve been swallowed up by a creased rubbish bag… This however, is different; it has a boned Basque in the inside, that keeps the dress in place and also makes sure all the folds fall beautifully. The leather straps around the neck also add a unique touch.

dark fashion look acne dress chainmail necklace

I paired it with my usual mix of accessories. I love the silver chainmail against all the black and I also decided to take my Givenchy pumpkin bag with silver hardware to match. The leather tassels mirror the leather cord on the dress and its shape compliments the folds of the fabric.

dark fashion blogger black acne maxi dress Givenchy bag

I decided to go for comfort with my black, wedge high-tops, although I think this dress would also look great with boots or sandals, both heeled and flat.

edgy fashion look chainmail necklace Givenchy pumpkin bag

My trusty H&M sunglasses finish off the look. I think they are probably the last ones standing now and I need to add a new pair to my collection!

edgy style blogger long black acne dress

 

dark fashion blogger

I think the images of the back of the dress really show how the internal barque really helps the dress stay in place and affects the way the garment hangs.

dark fashion blogger

edgy fashion blogger in acne dress

I’m looking forward to wearing this again in Berlin next month for my best friend’s hen do!

edgy fashion blogger aesthetic contradiction

OUTFIT:

Dress: Acne

Bag: Givenchy

Jewellery: Richard Ayres

Trainers: Nike

Sunglasses: H&M

Surreal home

Over the bank holiday weekend, I got the chance to shoot some new latex pieces for the Eustratia Core Collection. The core collection is all about flattering fit, versatility and options. It is based around 10 key silhouettes and aims to cover all latex basics, while maintaining a unique look.Eustratia latex lingerie

I shot this set in my living room, as with the 3 previous ones, but I wanted the images to have a slightly different look so we opted for slightly more moody images and busier compositions.

Eustratia latex lingerie high waist high leg briefs, latex lace suspender belt, bra, stockings

The first outfit is a lingerie ensemble, like many of the previous looks. None of the items in this outfit are new, it was just an opportunity to showcase some more of the pieces in black, as it is the most popular latex colour.

latex lingerie, stockings, fringe shoulder pads

We shot this in the chesterfield armchair in the “Jungle corner”. I really enjoy the look of the latex next to all the plants but I’d love to hear what others think about it too.

Outfit:

Fringe shoulder pads

Curvy cup bra

High waisted high leg briefs

O-ring latex lace suspender belt

Thick latex lace suspender belt

Banded latex stockings 

Australia latex bondage strap dress

The bondage strap dress is my most recent design for Eustratia  and I’m very happy with the way it turned out. I wanted to reintroduce a strappy design to the range (I discontinued all my previous collections at the beginning of last year) but also wanted it to be something that felt fresh. I tried a few different ideas before finally settling on this one and I think I made the right choice, I think it looks striking in the images and it was comfortable to move around. I also think this design would look goof on a variety of body types, which isn’t true for all latex dresses.Eustratia latex bondage strap dress and fingerless opera gloves with Valentino rocketed heels

I decided to shoot this look against the white side of the room, as it was a bit black-heavy and I thought the contrast would help. I also paired it with my nude Valentino Rockstuds to keep the emphasis on the dress.

Eustratia latex bondage collar dress side view

This side view is one of my favourite images from the set. It feels quite witchy, with the hair moving back but also provides a great view of the side strap which would normally be hard to photograph.

eustratia latex bondage dress back

I was initially planning to add a zip to the back of this dress but I actually really like it as it is and the back is low enough to get it on without too much trouble. I’d love to hear your feedback on this, do you prefer dresses with or without zips?

Outfit:

Bondage strap dress

Fingerless opera gloves

Eustratia latex dress and latex lace waist belt

The final outfit comprises of some of the most popular core collection designs, the high neck cup top, high waisted mini skirt and latex-lace waist belt. I’m wearing the top and skirt as separates here, but I have also listed this item as a dress. Separates are more versatile and can be split up to create more combinations (such as this outfit here , which is one of my favourites) but a dress can be a more streamline and easy option to throw on before an event. The core collection is about options and creating the ideal garment for you so I wanted to make both available. All skirts and dresses are also available in custom lengths (3 to choose from as standard, or you can send a measurement) and can also be made to measure at no extra cost!

Eustratia latex dress witchy candle gallery wall

I have been making these latex-lace waist belts for 7 years but I recently changed the lace to a thicker and more detailed one.

Eustratia sitting at table in latex editorial

For the final shot, we decided to get creative, I have wanted to create an artistic and slightly surreal dining room image for a while and Rik, helped me achieve just that. See more of his work on his Facebook page, Richard Ayres photography.

For more from Eustratia, check out their instagram!