Spring greens with the Style Not Age Collective

Hello and welcome to another challenge from the Style Not Age Collective! Jacqui has opted for the theme of Spring Greens this time which does seem to have had the desired effect by fast forwarding us into some lovely springtime weather. Hurrah for that and let's see how Jacqui has tackled the challenge herself ...

It does indeed look like spring has taken hold where she lives too. Her dress is from Next and just in case you hadn't noticed, Jacqui's new eating regime means that she's fading away before our very eyes, helping her to drop a size. What a great excuse to have a new wardrobe Jacqui! Do pop over to see her post on Mummabstylish.

Hilda is showcasing this fab green coat from Zara with faux leather jeans in her springtime setting. She's waxing lyrical about the delights of spring on her blog Over The Hilda so do swing by to find her inspiration.

Another green coat this time from Laura Ashley for Emma of Style Splash. Her yellow courts and that cute daffodil brooch are both perfect tie-in's for the spring theme too.

I must admit that I had to rummage around in my wardrobe to find some green of any sort. I soon discovered that even though I like the colour, I don't actually  own many green pieces - note to self to remedy that at the soonest possible opportunity! This skirt is one I bought from eBay a few years ago. I haven't worn it much due to the fact that the lining around the bottom edge seemed to be too tight and to pucker the line of the skirt. I expect that's why it ended up on eBay. After a couple of attempts at repairing it I finally resorted to separating the lining and skirt completely and et viola, it worked!

It was easy to pull the rest of the look together once I'd fixed the skirt. The spring theme was echoed perfectly in both the M&S blouse and my floral Primark boots. I picked out the blue from the boots to choose tights and all that was left was to find a jacket. This yellow tweed Chanel type jacket was a charity shop find. If there are any of you readers who've been with me from the start, you'll have seen this jacket and skirt paired up four years ago in this post here. I'm pleased to see that I still have a love for this combination some years on. 

The rings are both pre-loved and seen regularly on the blog - I do like these large gobstopper kind of rings for adding a bit of extra colour to an outfit.

These sock boots are sooooo comfortable, a dream to wear all day long. 

The backdrop for this shoot was chosen by Sasha - perfect spring greens don't you think?

My old faithful sunglasses are by Quay Australia, as usual. 

So that just about winds it all up for another month. Did you enjoy the challenge? Does it inspire you to search out your own version of Spring Greens? I do hope so. Please take a moment to visit the other ladies on their blogs to read their back stories.  I'll be back later on this week with ...? Goodness knows what! I'm sure I'll find something to share with you. Thanks for joining us again this month and I hope you'll be back soon.

                                                                                          Anna x


Trip of a lifetime - part five

Day two of the JD Williams film shoot in Cape Town took place over two locations, here at the Dairy Shed and at an outdoor studio which I'll show you later. This was the base for hair, make-up and wardrobe as well as the site for photos and film plus interviews, so it was pretty much the hub. The day had started out being dull and wet, but by the time the first lot of filming was taking place it was seriously hot. When I dodged outside to take some photos I was advised to wear a hat so that I wouldn't get sun burnt. The landscape looked just like the lush green of the UK, but there again, perhaps that was the whole point - to recreate a lovely spring day in the middle of January!

This sight was just like home from home for me. Both the Agapanthus flowers and the Eucalyptus trees are to be found on the island where I live. 

And this was Operation Central. The Dairy Shed was a wonderful cool sanctuary no matter how hot it got outside. There was wardrobe, hair and make-up stations and a restaurant where all the crew convened for lunch from both venues. We had a lot of extras on this day for one of the film scenes so we had quite a crowd assembled by mid-day. 

Louise is one of JD Williams permanent models who has worked for them long term too. She is the archetypal English Rose of a model and as such, was in front of the cameras almost all day - how she didn't wilt in the sunshine I just don't know! This was the typical flurry of activity needed to prep her ready for her change of wardrobe for her next scene.

The word flawless, comes to mind.

This is Sian Moss, who was my make-up artist over this shoot. I use the term artist specifically to describe the skillful way she applies the make-up. Sian spends almost as much time sitting back and observing as she does painting on her chosen colours. There's no chit-chat with her as Sian gives her full concentration to the task in hand. There's a real pleasure in handing yourself over to her, knowing that she is out to create the very best version of oneself. The face, to her, is a blank canvas, one that she can visualise as she works away, painting on the right shades and tones to compliment hair and features.

Sian has played up my eyes and helped to restore a fresh look to my skin all through the power of make-up. In due course I hope to feature Sian on my blog so that I can pick her brains for some beauty tips.

I was dressed to keep cool and this outfit worked fine. The skirt was a charity shop find, as was the turquoise top. The embroidered top is from H&M, but again was pre-loved. And my sandals were bought from Primark a couple of summer's ago.

Rose petals had been brought in freshly picked that morning for the big film shoot that afternoon. 

Lights, soundtrack, action and all that jazz!

My photo shoot and interviews took place at the Dairy Shed towards the end of the day and I must admit most of the time I was thinking about this amazing backdrop, Studio 26, where the film crew were based for the majority of the day. We had whizzed past the outdoor studio in the early morning, but I myself wasn't part of the cast who was filmed there. Later on I managed to blag a trip up there when the crew were relocating for the last shoot of the day. I forgot to mention my lovely Cape Town beach bag which I bought at the top of Table Mountain - happy memories for me every time I spend a day at the beach with this!

We arrived at dusk just as one shoot was finishing. Louise had been strutting up and down those stairs like a good un! Richie was my guide on the set, showing me behind the scenes and keeping me out of trouble. Once the sun dropped there was a quick reshuffle to another corner of the studio for the final shoot.

The stylist Aldene and her assistant Nicky were trying to keep the model warm as the temperatures dropped rapidly once the sun had set. A coat was found to bundle her up as the lighting and set was tweaked. I had no idea how complex and time consuming this could be until I was involved. Filming seems to take forever!

It was coming up to about 10 o'clock by this time when a few of us were offered a lift back to the hotel. My need to spend time in the pink paradise was well and truly fulfilled by then so I jumped at the chance. There was a wrap party arranged in a bar in Cape Town which Louise and I were both in a quandary about as to whether we would go or not. As it happened, the rest of the cast were waiting for us at the hotel, so we had a quick change and off we went!

It was at the wrap party where I met up with Beccy who works for the production company in Cape Town. I told her of my plan to swim at Camps Bay the next morning. Beccy gave me lots of good advice, particularly on the safety aspect of my plan. Eventually we agreed that it might be a great idea if she were to meet me there and show me where it's safe. 

So this is Camp's Bay. Beccy's told me that despite looking quite safe, the beach is only safe to swim on when the flags are up and there are Lifeguards on the look out. Today, no flags, no Lifeguards, therefore no swimming. But all was not lost. Beccy took me just around the corner to show me a tidal pool that has a sea wall to protect the bathers. 

When I had told Beccy about wanting to swim here she told me it was far too cold, freezing in fact and that's what the Concierge at the hotel had also said too. This was me testing the temperature to show her that I wouldn't expire from the shock.

My best beach babe shot, hahaha!

Beccy was dashing off to work and I was due to meet up with the rest of the cast for one final breakfast so we said our goodbyes. How fortunate for me that Beccy's children are training to be Lifeguards which is why she knows about the heavy undertow and currents on Camp's Bay beach. I know there can be huge risks swimming from a beach that's new to you. Cheers, Beccy for keeping me safe!

Breakfast entailed a series of Ab Fab goodbyes (see part four) and Nicky from wardrobe was party to this one. I do think that he probably lives his life in the Ab Fab lane most of the time dahling!

After breakfast we had time for a final tour around the V&A Waterfront to buy some last minute souvenirs.

I would have loved to buy this large bowl, and yes they offered to ship it, but my ongoing dejunking at home reined me in. 

Paulina and I were flying back to the UK at 6pm that evening and had time for a few last minute photos. We finished our stay with afternoon tea.

We drank in the view for one last time. The holiday had been an amazing one, a real once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The venue, the 5 star luxury, the filming and photo shoots in such a beautiful country and the warm welcome of the people made this a totally memorable experience. JD Williams had really pushed the boat out for this campaign. I always have in the forefront of my mind how important it is to savour these moments. I treat every little escapade as the last one, knowing full well how fickle the modelling world can be. The English Rose, and the strong Afro hairstyle are defined looks, great looks in fact and as such there's always going to be a call for them. I know I'm flying by the seat of my pants. I also come home after every trip believing it's my last. Call it self protection, call it a reality check. Whatever. I'm very grateful for having had this opportunity and if it's my last whirl around the block with JDW, well, it's been grand!


and more planes

and one final little plane.

Goodbye Cornwall, goodbye to the mainland...

... and hello, Isles of Scilly!

The boat homeward was bittersweet. I was sad that my adventure was over, but also so happy to be going back to family, friends and home. The day job was waiting and I was ready!

                                                                                           Anna x

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