Thursday, 31 January 2013

Fashion Intern: Are you an all-rounder or master of one?


'Is it okay to be an all-rounder when in pursuit for a career in fashion?'



Am I the only one that’s asked myself this question? I’m pretty sure I’m not. That’s why I am writing this blog post, to hopefully help you reflect on what your good at, and that having a wide-range of skills isn’t a bad thing...

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Wednesday Wake-up: StreetStyle Pervert

Wednesday is mid week and probably the day we're in most need of some inspiration to spur us on! Everyday I am lucky enough to be surrounded by constant style inspiration. All the way from the trains and the tube platforms, to the ASOS offices and the packed streets of London, my brain and eyes NEVER stop when it comes to eyeballing any well dressed specimen within 50 yards of me.

So here's my first in my StreetStyle Pervert series. Armed with my phone and interesting techniques to catching these streetstyle images just at the right moment I risk life and limb (okay I just look like a weirdo) to share some of London's best/most interestingly dressed with you.

Let me know what outfits you're perving on the most; will it be the fur coat hotties or darn right cool men?


FAUX FUR DAY TIME


I loved this girls casual style, but she completely made it her own with the fur coat. A glam piece mixed with staple casual pieces = ultimate daytime style!




LEOPARD PRINT Vs. SNAKESKIN


You can imagine my face when these two sat next to eachother on the tube! I was so excited, my favourite shot of them all! Which pair would you go for?!


HERE COME THE BOYS


A heavenly vintage combination!



Camo bomber? Black Skinny Jeans? Mens Chelsea's? Snapback? I didn't know it was possible to hit that many current trends in one! And this guy rocks it so effortlessly!



This guy really looked like he didn't give a Sh*t about life (in a cool way of course...) he probably just threw this on to run round to sainbury's, yet his style is spot on effortless it's not fair. More guys in heavy knits and leoprint please!

What's your verdict of my first Street Style Pervert post? Am I a weirdo that needs to get over how amazingly chic everyone I see is, or would you want to enjoy more my fix with me?
Let me know!

Holly x

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Blog URL and Name Change!

Hi guys,

some of you may have noticed I have changed the name of my blog and URL.
Instead of holsdols.blogspot.co.uk you will now find my blog at hcfashioninsider.blogspot.co.uk.
holsdols (my nick name) has been with this blog since the start, but it was time for a change.
I needed a blog name that would sum up who I am and what I want to share with you guys. Since writing my 'About This Blog' page and editing my content, I have decided pretty much what direction I want my blog to go in.
Not only do I want to share my personal style/lifestyle posts with you but also I love sharing my fashion industry knowledge and advice, so HC Fashion Insider seemed appropriate as you will see inside the industry and my life!
So heres to the future, I hope you continue to follow my little blog on the huge space we call the internet. Let me know what you think!

Holly xx

Tuesday's Tip: Easy to Style Hair

Now I don't know about you guys, but the easier my hair is to handle and style, the easier/less stressful my mornings are. Most days I end up just leaving my limp hair sitting around my face, as it's just so darn hard to style. ESPECIALLY when it's freshly washed hair. I myself, have rather thin hair and this with the combination of fresh shampooed and conditioned locks, leaves me with lifeless, flat, hard to style head of hair.

My Tuesday beauty tip for making hair fuller and easier to style?

Wash it with conditioner first, then shampoo!

When I first heard this tip I thought to myself 'won't the shampoo just wash the conditioner out?'. I've tried and tested this technique now a couple of times and it doesn't!
I naturally have thin, straight hair so have to do A LOT to get it to do anything. But using this technique of conditioning first, still leaves your hair tangle free, but without that 'sliky' feel (which personally am not a fan of for daytime looks). So for all of you rough head Olsen/Alexa lovers out there, you definitely need to try this! All of you Aniston/Scherzinger silky hair goddesses do not threat; You can still get silky locks with your straighteners, but conditioning then shampooing makes hair easier to handle.

So give it a go girls, and let me know if it works for you!
That's my Tuesday Hair Tip!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Outfit Inspiration: Ashley Olsen


Ashley Olsen is probably one of the most watched celebrities when it comes to style. My previous post Get Their Style: The Olsen Twins proved to be quite popular, so I thought I'd do a post where I recreate on Olsen outfit.

Known for their laidback & simple chic grunge style, the Olsen's outfits are actually quite easy to re-create at home, as they use wardrobe basics with individual twists. I've chosen to re-create this day look by A-Olsen featuring a check shirt and ripped jeans. This look is perfect for pre S/S as it incorporates one of the hottest emerging trends '90's Style' and is so wearable!

My shirt is an old one I pulled from the bottom of my wardrobe, Topshop S/S 12 collection. My Jeans are Topshop black leigh jeans that have faded. A little while a go I thought I'd rip the knee and cut the bottom of them to give them a more 'worn' feel. So here you have it - My Ashley Olsen Inspired Outfit!











Check Shirt, Topshop (old) // Leigh Jeans (customised), Topshop // Oversized Bag, Topshop // Boots, Aldo (sale) // Lipstick, Natural Collection, in Crimson

So what do you think of my re-created style? Do you love the Olsens, or think they're overrated?
Would love to know what you think!
I have a Mary-Kate Olsen inspired outfit coming soon so keep a look out!

Holly

Sunday, 27 January 2013

OOTN - Outfit of the Night

So last night I went out for the first time in 2013 (Sad I know!) I've been concentrating on working so hard literally from 9am-2am some days so a night out is exactly what I needed!


So here it is my outfit - I got this spiked body for christmas and haven't had the chance to wear it yet. All night I had people coming up to me touching my shoulders and pretending to poke their eye out on them... It definitely was a talking point! I wore it with one of my favourite wardrobe staples - my Leather skater skirt from last year, and to make my look my own I paired my platforms with a pair of ankle socks. The look is quite 'hard' so make it more feminine I wore falsies and curved the end of my hair to soften up my look.






Spiked Body, ASOS // Leather Skirt (S/S 12) & Ankle Socks, H&M // Shoes, Forever 21





Saturday, 26 January 2013

My freelance work: KRUSH

So I thought I'd share with you guys some of the work I do for online clothes store KRUSH. A very new website, still building it's customer base and product range, it's a very exciting project to be involved with.
At the moment I create content for the 'trends' section of the site, as well as writing there style guides, and styling some shoots. I research trends and products on their website that relate to these trends. Then I create simple blog posts that bring together the trends and products. KRUSH is a brilliant site for affordable clothing, with some really great product.
I can't reveal it yet, but I'm currently working on the S/S 13 Trend Boards, that will help the buyers with choosing more product for the coming season.
So take a look and let me know what you think, whilst your at it, check out the KRUSH website here


I take events/places a KRUSH girl would go and put together outfits that I think would appeal to her. (Amazing prices right?!)

Monday, 21 January 2013

Creative Industry Advice #2 - 'Ace that Interview, Get That Job!'


So you’ve applied early, written a personal letter to the potential employer, checked they received your cover letter, CV and Portfolio and spoken to them about arranging an interview date. So what now? Panic sets in; Sweaty palms, nervous thoughts? Just me? Thought not!
We all get nervous (even you confident ones!) but all you have to do is be prepared and to be positive. You’ve got this far – so you’re doing something right!

I’m especially excited to share this post with you, because like all of you reading this, I applied for A LOT of jobs/internships once I left university. Of which I got 6 interviews. Of these 6 interviews I got 6 jobs/internships. I’ll let you do the math... I’m not suggesting I’m the perfect interviewee, or that I have the perfect formula for the interview process, but I do make sure I take the following steps to improve my chances of getting that job… And here I am letting you in on some of my interview tips. So ace that interview and get that job!


1.     Be Prepared – Make sure you do the research into the company/person your interview is with. No one expects you to learn the history of the company off by heart, but know your basics.
       Tip: Focus on the aspects of the business you truly find interesting, therefore when you talk about these areas you will sound authentic, and you are more likely to remember information you find interesting!
       Example: When going to an internship interview with a stylist, before hand I will chose a key editorial shoot and brand they had styled, that I really liked. Therefore, I would be able to talk about the work in the interview with true knowledge and interest.

2.     Stand Out – By this I don’t mean wearing neon yellow to the interview (although this may work for some), but do things to make sure they remember you. Even if they don’t tell you to, make sure you take your portfolio and examples of your work, whether photographic work or even print outs of your favourite blog posts. Take your business cards, an extra copy of your CV to give to them. Leaving something behind means they’re more likely to remember you.
Tip: With each interview I go for, if relevant, I produce a piece of work for that person. This shows that you bring something new to the table and will be a valuable asset to the company. After all, they will hire you if they see that you will help with company progression, no matter how small your input. Doing extra things and putting in extra work to get noticed really does make the difference.

3.     Be confident – I know this sounds obvious, but no one wants to hire a quivering wreck. This doesn’t mean you have to be loud and really bubbly, just think about each question and stick to what you say and believe (but don’t be arrogant of course).
Companies want to work with professional individuals who have established confidence, expertise and valuable ideas and opinions. They look for potential employees who can project confidence into their work strategy, which translates into sales, therefore benefitting their company.
Example: I was asked which social media platforms I feel are most affective for advertising blogs. The interviewer didn’t quite agree with my answer, but I stuck to my guns and explained exactly why I felt the particular site worked for what I do, but explained honestly how I felt the platform they preferred worked for they’re particular brand (because I did my research).
Tip: If they offer a drink, take a tap water – it doesn’t cost them any money, and taking a sip after they ask you a difficult question gives you more time to think about what you’re going to say.

4.     Be yourself – This again, is so clich√© to interview advice, but it’s true. Don’t put on this really confident front and use a highbrow vocabulary if that isn’t you. At the end of the day you’ve got this far to get the interview, you want to be hired because that person likes the real you.
Example: This is a controversial point – and a lot of people might not agree: If you wouldn’t wear a full suit to work, don’t wear one to your interview. Yes, you want to look presentable, so do make the effort in what you wear but at the end of the day you’re selling yourself, if a full on suit isn’t who you truly are, then what’s the point in wearing one right? I know this is a little different if you’re going for a job with a bank, but in the creative industries you have a little more room to show your personality through your clothing (and since working in the creative industries, I’ve not seen one person in a suit at work!)

5.     Ask Questions – This is another bit of advice your parents also give to you before you leave, and we all go ‘yes alright!’ and run out of the door. But it’s so important to ask questions! It shows you have an interest in the company/person that is interviewing you. It also shows that you want and are willing to learn. I make sure to do this, but take a slightly different direction:
Example: If appropriate I ask the person interviewing me, how they’ve got to where they are today. And if appropriate a question that’s relevant to them; i.e. if they’re a photographer/stylist, who they’re inspiration is. The person interviewing you could be a future colleague/employer, so it’s good to know about them and who they are and to start building bridges early on. And plus everyone does love to talk about themselves – it’s human nature!
Tip: Come up with your own unique question. The more unusual/thought provoking the better! Back to the same point - they're more likely to remember you!


So there you have it, how I approach my interviews. It may not work for all of you; you may have your own techniques, but whenever/whoever your interview is with – Good Luck!

Remember if you’re unsuccessful, it’s no reflection on your personality if you’re polite and make the effort in the interview. It just means that someone else was more fitted to the role. You WILL get that dream job eventually you just need to keep at it.
And I just want to say that gaining an interview isn’t ‘luck’. Getting the job isn’t ‘luck’. If you work hard, keep applying and make the effort in your interviews, it isn’t luck that got you there, it’s your own hard work and determination.

Let me know if this is helpful, if there are any techniques that you think other people would find helpful for interviews, comment below and let us know!

My ‘Creative Industry Advice – How to be the perfect intern’ (Sounds obvious? Trust me, I’ve heard some stories and seen some interesting approaches to being an intern…) is the third post of this series – Keep checking back as this will be up on my blog soon!

Holly x

Friday, 18 January 2013

OOTD

This is what I wore to work on thursday. I was really apprehensive about wearing black tights with a spilt hem skirt - but it seemed to look alright! I can not wait for it to get lighter and warmer again, so I can take more pictures outside!

I got a lot of great and positive feed back about my Creative Industry Advise, be sure to checkback as my next post will be up this weekend - How to Ace the interview!
Happy Friday Everyone!

Holly x





Layered Up




Split side maxi skirt, Zara £16 // Black Jersey, Boohoo.com £12 // Angora Cardigan, H&M £50 // Wedge Desert Boots, Newlook £20 // Watch, Marc by Marc Jacobs // Cross Earrings, Topshop £8 // Fur Scarf, H&M // Cross Belt, DIY

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Spotted Trends: The ASOS Offices

So today I was officially put on the ASOS books. I am now working for ASOS.com! Today is a good day! I've had such a brilliant time there over the past two months, learnt some amazing skills and got to take part and help produce some really innovative stuff for the magazine and website. ASOS really is a million miles ahead of its competitors (I'm not just saying this because I now work for them now) just look at the competitions websites!

But who are the men/majority women that are behind one of the biggest online brands that pretty much most of the UK have brought a garment from? Everyday is like a fashion show for me. I'm constantly gaining styling inspiration from the women in the ASOS offices. And I thought i'd share the trends i've spotted within the huge offices with you - my lovely readers.

This is the first trend I will be featuring on my blog from the ASOS offices, it also being one I LOVE to sport myself. So here we are; Leather & Chunky Knits.





My picks for this trend:












Leather & Knits

1. ASOS Chunky Knit Jumper with Stepped Hem, £35 // Find it here - Spring Colours
2. NELLY.com Nowhere/Ray Dress, £ 36.95 // Find it here - ASOS Office style tip: Layer with a crisp shirt
3. Vero Moda Salt & Pepper Chunky Textured Knit Jumper, £13.50 // Find it here - Amazing Price!
4. BASTYAN Sophie Sportswear Trouser, £55 // Find them here - Emerging Future Trend
5.Vero Moda Leather Look Cut Out Top, £32.00 // Find it here - Versatile Piece
6. Reiss Chunky Rib Fisherman Jumper, £110 // Find it here - You get what you pay for: Quality
7. H&M knitted jumper, £24.99 // Find it here - Great Value, right on trend!

8. Boutique by Topshop Leather Shorts, £90 // Find them here - Perfect for S/S'13

9. ASOS Pleated Skirt in Leather Look, £40 // Find it here - Perfect for S/S'13


So what do you think of this trend? How would you wear it? Honestly none of the ASOS women can get enough of leather - and neither will 2013 as it's set to stay. So get buying those leather shorts and skirts, but dont get used to layering them up, because we'll be wearing them in spring with our knits and sandals!

Holly x

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Winter Layers // Work Outfit

So today I had my first paid freelance day at ASOS, with the design team. I had to design layouts for the ASOS Fashion App 'Fashion Up' (which is brilliant BTW - go and download it now!)

Anyway here's what I wore today. Along with yesterday's post where I spoke about getting that interview, I thought i'd share a work outfit with you. I'd NEVER wear a suit, and I'm lucky I don't have to wear one, but it's always good to look presentable when starting a job.

We all love to show off our nicest clothes and most recent buys, but today i'm going to show you a basic work outfit, which is my kind of smart (don't let that scare you away!) but still in clothes I love.
I would really love to see more of what people wear to work or just chilling with friends, because let's face it, there is a point when we aren't strutting around in your highest heels (although we all know, myself included, how much nicer they make an outfit look!).










How I layered this look

The weather here in England at the moment is also awfully cold, and as I'm now working at ASOS, where they often do a 'Layer Player' feature on layering clothes, I'm also going to show you how I layered up this outfit for this cold weather (being warm doesn't have to mean ugly clothes!)























Peg Leg Trousers, £24.99 // Sheer Panel Top, £24.99 // Fluffy Angora Cardigan, £50 All H&M // Flatform Pumps, £16, Garage Shoes (Bluewater) // Wool Coat, Vintage // Watch, Marc by Marc Jacobs



So what kind of outfit would you wear to an interview, or your first week at work, so you stay 'smart'? Do you find it a challenge to keep to your own style whilst dressing for work and in the cold weather, or really do you just love a suit and wrapping up warm? Let me and the other readers know!

Holly x

Monday, 14 January 2013

Creative Industry Advice #1 - How to get that Interview


This is my first post in a 3 part series of advice when it comes to applying for jobs in the creative industries. The advice your parents and tutors give you is great (they've been through it themselves), but the advice was always different when it came to hearing it from other young people, going through exactly the same experiences as myself.

Everyone approches applying for jobs differently, but I thought i'd share with you my advice and tips to firstly, gaining that interview, with more posts about the actual interview to come. I would have loved to see what kind of techniques other girls used in applying for jobs/internships, their cover letters etc - so here I am sharing mine! I was a bit apprehensive about posting advice, after all I've just got a job myself freelancing as fashion assistant for Selfridges and ASOS.com, so if my advise helps just one of you lovely readers get they're dream job - then my mission is complete (trust me - I know first hand how hard/disheartening it can be!).

When I started applying for internships and interviews, I was applying for at least 10 a day – if I could find 10 a day! Eventually I discovered that I was getting replies from employers if I applied these techniques to my applications. So here they are:


1.     Check EVERYDAY as often as you can 

       This is a big commitment, and you may not have the freedom to check every hour, but do so as often as you can. I got up first thing in the morning to see any new job posts, and checked in my lunch hour and when I got home.

Tip: I found that if a job was more than a day old I wasn’t likely to get a reply. This is because of the sheer volume of applications an employer gets. One photographer that interviewed me said he’d got 200 in the first day! This is why it’s so important to keep checking and try to apply as soon as possible, to improve the chances of your CV being seen. If it is older than a day old? Apply anyway. Contradiction? I know, but you might as well improve your chances.


2.     Be keen, but not annoying  

       There is a fine line between being keen for a placement, and being annoying. Give a potential employer an email and attach your work. Do not write in your e-mail ‘if you’re interested e-mail me back and I will send over my work’. No employer has time to e-mail you back, so make sure that you attach a reasonable sized file of your work, along with a cover letter the first time you email them.
A couple of days to a week later just send a follow up e-mail to ask if they got your CV. If you can, give them a call and arrange a date and time you can discuss your work (you can also do this is your follow up e-mail).

Tip: If you can, hand deliver your CV and cover letter with examples of your work to the company HQ. If you can, make a copy for each person in the team you want to work for. This will get them discussing your work around the office. They will also see that there are no stamps on the letter. No stamps = Hand Delivered. Hand Delivered = More Effort Made. You get where I'm going...


3.     In your Cover Letter

-    State exactly why you're perfect for the job, with the skills/experience you have to back this up.
-    Keep it short and sweet – try not to ramble on. Try not to write more than 100 words.
-    Leave all of your contact details
-    Get someone else to read your Cover letter, check for spelling and to make sure you sound sincere.
-    Yes it's a lot of effort but write a cover letter for each employer - don't send out the same one for every company, they will know.
-    Don't repeat what's in your CV, no employer wants to waste time reading the same paragraphs/information.


4.     Your CV

The creative industries are well, all about being creative. So don't stop when it comes to your CV. Don't just type out a word document. The amount of CVs that are just a word document... It's crazy. Make it attractive, use colour! Let's just say my CV isn't in the standard format and I didn't use word - but I don't want to give away all of my secrets now do I!

I had an interview with Mr Terry Mansfield (Former CEO of Hearst Corporations, they own ELLE Magazine etc) and he said the most important thing is to stand out. He gave myself and Nia (the lovely human I worked on duende magazine with) some advice that said 'if you are good at sewing, sew your CV onto a t-shirt. If you are good at graphics create your CV into a poster' - Basically show off your skills and be innovative! Even if the person you're sending it too doesn't agree with a CV being anything but 'paper based with no colour', I can guarantee it'll get them talking about you, and more likely to get that email/phone call for an interview!


5.     Don’t be afraid to ask 

When I first started looking for jobs, and when I came across people with contacts to the industry I was always scared to ask to pass on my details, incase I came across as ‘annoying’. This is just silly. You’re making a career for yourself, the worst thing the contact can do is say no, so you might as well give it a try! You’ll find that if you show you’re passionate about the potential job, the contact will be more than willing to pass on your details.     



Do you have any techniques/advice you think would help out your fellow creatives? Any tricks that will get you that interview? I hope you found this post helpful, keep checking back for my next blog post on how to ace that interview!


Holly x

Sunday, 13 January 2013

HC Interior Ideas: Fashion Mag Jewellery Holders


Today I thought i'd share a slightly different post with you. As I am currently finishing the long process of decorating my room after our extension, I've been looking of new ways to make the most of my space, and how to display all of my prized belongings.
I'm guessing like many of you, over the years I have collected hundreds of fashion magazines, but don't like to throw them away as they are a brilliant source of inspiration and reference. However they are starting to clog up my room!
Whilst on tumblr a couple of weeks ago, I came across and image of a magazine with hairbands wrapped around it, and thought 'I could do this with my jewellery'. So here's the result: My Fashion Mag Jewellery Holders! (Bit of a mouth full I know!)



They keep your dresser neat and tidy, whilst showing off your jewellery AND no ugly granny jewellery box! Plus if your taste changes, the magazine can change too!




Just choose your favourite fashion magazine, roll it up, secure with a paper clip - and there you have it! Your fashion magazine jewellery holder!
Tip: Choose a magazine that colour coordinates with your jewellery for a minimalist look, or completely clash for a maximalist vibe.


So what do you think? Would you use your magazines as a jewellery holder? Let me know!

Holly x


Saturday, 12 January 2013

Trend Love: Overalls

Some of you may have seen in my previous instagram post I have recently brought some overalls from Topshop. Not available online, mine are twill/tweed style and I cannot stop wearing them!

So will the overalls make a come back for S/S 2013? They featured on some of fashion's most influential catwalks, from edgy 3.1 Phillip Lim (one of my favourite designers!) to the feminine collections of Jason Wu.


Not only have they been making a come back amongst the high end fashion elite, 2012 saw them being sported on the street, and they continue to do so. Celebrities such as British Style Awards 2012 winner Alexa Chung have always made the overall a signature wardrobe piece, both of the day and evening. 




Originally when people mentioned the word 'overall' or 'dunagrees' my mind imagined one of the following: Saved by the Bell, A hillbilly or a Builder. But now they scream easy style, a hot piece for 2013 and a wardrobe staple. Here are my favourite picks from the highstreet:

1. Free People Cross Over Distressed Dungarees, £98 // Buy them here
2. Nasty Gal Acid Wash and Mesh Overalls, £105 // Buy them here
3. Topshop Tailored Dungaree by Boutque, £100 // Buy them here
4. Danielle Scutt Dungarees in Black Denim, ASOS, £67.50 // Buy them here
5. ASOS Leather Look Dungarees with Buckle Detail, £55 // Buy the here


So versatile and easy to wear, both from day through to the evening, smart and casual, this is how I style my Topshop Overalls.





Overalls & Crop Top, Both Topshop // Converse, Office

Smarten it up... DIY Studded Jacket, Old Miss Selfridge Collection // Bag, Cambridge Satchal Company, ASOS £139

...And just add heels // Heels, River Island Sale // Necklace, H&M 



Wearing them assisting on a shoot at Selfridges

Last Day at ASOS // Incorporating 3.1 Phillip Lim's Hot Pink with my Beanie, H&M, £7.99


So what do you think of the Overalls? A blast from the past that sould have stayed there? Or a piece you might invest in this Pre Spring Season? I'd love to know how you'd style these Topshop Tweed Overalls!

Holly x