Homage to Iris, our Style Not Age challenge for March

Earlier this month the designer, decorator and style icon, Iris Apfel died at the age of 102, leaving behind a wealth of imagery to inspire the fashion lovers amongst us. Her viewpoint that "colour can raise the dead" sums up her dedication to powerful dressing. Iris enjoyed finding a bargain and never paid full price for her clothes or jewellery, trawling shops, flea markets and bazaars for unique pieces to add to her immense collection. To quote the Guardian Obituary, "She is the most decorative sight in each shot, her ensembles put together with complex cadenzas atop an underlying, tailored, structure - they are like jazz - not a statement, but a conversation."

A chestful of jewellery was her most favoured look and one that I've taken to heart for this month's challenge. I felt I simply had to choose Iris as our theme this month for all the right reasons. She stated that money couldn't buy personal style - according to her all that mattered is "attitude, attitude, attitude". Curating her clothes and improvising an outfit was her daily ritual, a joy, resulting in a 'zingy pzazz' unlike any other. 

I love Hilda's interpretation of this month's theme - I'm sure Iris would have approved too! The colourful shirt is fabulous adorned with bangles, beads and baubles in excess. See more from Hilda on her blog here. 

Another splash of colour in these citrus brights comes from Gail in her sporty homage to Iris. Catch up with all the latest from Gail on her blog Is This Mutton? 

Jacqui has taken a monochrome twist for her homage to Iris. Beads and bangles inject that signature pzazz to her dress and boots combo. See Mummabstylish for Jacqui's latest news.

Emma is sporting her Iris Apfel suit from the H&M collaboration (which I too proudly own) plus matching slippers topped with a fabulous jacket and Iris earrings. What a fitting homage to the Queen of Style! Emma carries the look off with true panache. See more on her blog The Style Splash. 

I bought this new suit with today's feature in mind as the colours and pattern are as bold as you get. Purchased on Vinted for the bargain basement price of £10 I thought it tied in with Iris's shopping philosophy too. 

The leather boots were also Vinted bargains at only £6 leaving me feel rather pleased with myself. I only managed to wear them for a few hours, but I felt they were essential to finish off the outfit.

Dressing fancy and fancy dress could so easily be confused, but hopefully I don't cross that line with my outfit of the day. I wore this to work last week to our first Timeshare drinks party and it did garner me some compliments rather than raised eyebrows.

I'm currently waiting for my copy of the book Rare Bird of Fashion: The Irreverant Iris Apfel and can't wait to feast my eyes on her exuberantly idiosyncratic style. 
 I was a latecomer to her fan club, but she epitomised all that I aspire to be - bold, bright with I-couldn't-care-less-what-you-think-of-me style where age is totally irrelavant to how one ought to dress. Every photo of her spoke of her joy in dressing up for the day, the pleasure to be had in mixing colours, fabrics and textures, no matter from what era or corner of the globe. I admired her strength, her self-knowledge and complete disregard to the self limiting rules of dressing. She truly was an inspiration and an icon. 

                                                                        Anna x


Hurrah for the sunshine!

Wow, what a difference a little bit of sunshine makes! I honestly can't begin to explain how much the sunny weather on Sunday made to my mood. Not only that, but I took myself off to the beach on Saturday morning to swim on the high tide despite the fact that it was tipping down with rain. The sea was glorious - chilly, yes - but the isolation that the sea offers; the sense of escape and ultimately the watery meditation that the big blue provides is the best therapy ever. I returned to Green Porth on Sunday morning and repeated the whole process with even more delight as I didn't have to struggle to get dressed in the downpour as on Saturday.

I sometimes forget the importance of pushing myself to make time to swim, forgetting that the payback is immediate and also long lasting. From day to day all I need to do is succumb to the restorative powers of the ocean to feel 100% me again. Without this daily regime I do indeed go downhill mentally and wonder if that's similar to an drug addict craving their next hit. Whatever, if you hear me complain about feeling low, please remind me to get to the sea!

The outfit of the day all comes from Vinted. Second hand satisfies my desire to reduce landfill and Vinted is also helping me reduce my own dejunking efforts too - it's a win/win. The top is by Adidas, leggings are by Stronger and the green boots have no brand or labels on them but are brand spanking new.

I love the soft green colour of these and they are super soft and very comfy. I've thrown this look together without too much notice as to if all the colours work together - it's a fun outfit, a weekend play look and I love it!

The rings are old, pre-loved too and the sunglasses are by Radley London. I played on the ramparts of the Old Blockhouse castle, enjoying the space on this brilliant sunny afternoon. What a joy!

The rest of my weekend comprised of batch cooking for the freezer, cleaning, defrosting the freezer and the Sunday roast dinner. Two swims and a lovely walk in the sunshine far outweighed the weekend chores which is surely a sign of me getting the balance right. Many thanks for swinging by again.

Have a super week!

Anna x


Thank you for coming!

Hello and thank you so much for coming. Today's post has been delayed for no other reason than that I'm struggling with too much to do and not enough time to do it in. Frankly, I'm exhausted. BUT, I owe it to you, my lovely reader, to say thank you for keeping coming back to check if I'm around. I'm writing this during my lunchtime as by the evening I seem to be too tired to think. The run-up to the new season on the island seems to have drained all my reserves. I'm too tired to swim despite the fact that it generates energy in me. Mentally I can't face anything beyond the essentials in life. I'm so sorry to start in such a downbeat tone, but I want to be honest with you. 

The photos are from Sunday, Mother's Day, which was an absolute joy! I spent some time in the morning sewing the hems of these new jeans. They're by Next, via Vinted, and had those ragged unfinished hems, so I decided to add some bias binding tape to finish them off. You'll see that in the photo below.

I'm pretty sure a professional seamstress would have chosen a yellow tape to blend in but my stock is very sparse, hence it had to be orange. I'm not unhappy with the result to be fair. It's probably what you'd expect from me given that it's my favourite colour.

We went for pre-lunch drinks (with complimentary bunch of daffs for the mums) with the extended family at the New Inn and then went on, the four of us, to have lunch at the Ruin Beach Cafe. The outfit comprises of a jacket that Steve gave me for my birthday, an orange vest top (old) and these jeans with Amazon sparkly belt, plus fab new leather boots from Vinted.

The cute yellow handbag is by Dune, purchased from TK Maxx quite a while ago, but this is its first outing. I love the pretty beaded handle and the size is very cute too. I must love you and leave you now as it's time to go back to work. Thank you so much for coming - it means a lot to me!

                                                                               Anna x


We're open for business again!

Yes, here we go again with another season! On Friday 1st March the Gallery re-opened for business and this was my outfit of the day. No points for guessing where I found this fabulous jumpsuit - Vinted, of course! I've been selling consistently as part of my ongoing clear out and that's given me a bit of a healthy piggy bank with Vinted which helps when I find something as lovely as this.

Sasha introduced me to not only the joys of Vinted over a year ago, but also the Lucy & Yak brand. I'm very grateful to her. My jewellery is all old, the necklace was from Topshop and the rings are charity shopped. The orange stretch belt was from Amazon last summer.

The mustard jacket was a charity shop find from a couple of years ago, the brand is Boohoo. The whole look is very autumnal I know, but these colours do work for me. 

The orange ankle boots are rather fabulous and were from ASOS. I've broken them in over the past year and they're now all-day long wearable, hurrah! I do wonder if this penchant of mine for orange will eventually take over my entire wardrobe and I'll be dressing like a member of Hare Krishna by the time I'm an old dear.

And that pretty much winds things up for this week. I'm busy having training in the workplace as we update our computer systems. The challenge has been made even more, well challenging, given that my trainer is my daughter. Having the tables turned after a lifetime of thinking I can give her the benefit of my knowledge is a very odd situation to find myself in. She's a very bright cookie, as sharp as a knife and a great educator, but golly I'm finding it hard not to feel stressed out by it all. Jointly we're struggling with time pressures amongst everything else, but hopefully by the time I come to report back to you next week I'll be feeling a bit more confident in my skills.

Wishing you a lovely week!

Anna x

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