Saturday, 8 August 2015

The joys of shopping & the River Island Style Studio

A few days ago I had the pleasure of being invited to spend a couple of hours at River Island's Style Studio in the Oxford Street store. 
The concept of the style studio is basically a personal styling session. Appointments are available by booking, and sessions range from half an hour, (a quick fix appointment to find the perfect outfit for a certain occasion,) or up to two hours, say if you are revamping your autumn/winter wardrobe. 
So. Think of all the worst things about shopping. Shopping is one of my favourite pastimes, but there are a few things that almost spoil it. I almost always end up with a bad back carrying round my handbag, and then armfuls of clothes to try on, especially heavier Autumnal pieces. Then having to stand and wait in a long fitting room queue, only to be told I have too many items and have to leave some out to swap afterwards. I always seem to be stood in this queue FAR too long, thanks to that selfish girl in there trying on twenty items. Oh wait, that's about to be me... Never mind. Then getting all hot and bothered in a too small changing room with not enough room to even think, and by the time I've got the dress on I'm so red and sweaty I can't decide whether I like it or not because I look so hideous I'd look awful in anything!  
So by the time I've decided what I want to buy, and tried and failed at a few changing room selfies due to lack of room and decent lighting (SUPER!) it's time to gather up all my stuff, awkwardly sort out what to give back to the shop assistant, then experience the sheer thrill and DELIGHT of standing in a further queue of ten customers waiting on ONE cashier to serve them. Is it just me, or is there NEVER an acceptable cashier to customer ratio!? I am waiting in a line, hot and bored with a painful achy back, to give you money. Really, hurry the *&%$ up!
I've often thought to myself, if I were a celebrity I wouldn't have to suffer this TORTURE. And if I could, wouldn't I pay for the privilege not to have to endure it? 
Anyyyyyyyway. I arrive at River Island on Oxford Street, and make my way upstair to the style studio. I walk through the glass doors and am greeted by a lovely girl who takes my bag and jacket from me, and offers me a refreshment. I mean, you stick a diet coke in my hand and I am automatically feeling happy. She then briefly shows me round the store, highlighting the new arrivals etc, and I'm free to wander off and choose what I like. Ten minutes later, she finds me again, only to take everything I have chosen so far up to my fitting room. She continues to do this in ten minute intervals until I'm finished looking. No sweat, no bad back, it's all good, and my choices are waiting for me on a rail in a huge, air conditioned, beautifully lit private dressing room. PERFECT selfie lighting, and mirrors in every corner so you can inspect yourself at every angle. Then, once I'm in my favourite outfit, I step outside to pose for my own personal instagram photographer (thank you to Giles at the style studio for my pics!) so I know I won't be walking way without some good snaps for my social media! (Because that's what it's slightly about, isn't it hehe!). Then, all that's left to do is waltz up to the private till in the studio, no horrid queue in sight, and pay for your purchases. 
So, you will be wondering how much it costs to have all your shopping experience wishes granted. I was genuinely shocked to learn that this service is completely FREE. And there is absolutely no obligation to purchase anything after, not like having your makeup done at the Benefit counter ;). It's honestly almost too good to be true, especially as the service includes a personal professional stylist to help you put outfits together and pick the pieces that will suit you and your body type the best. It's the perfect activity if you are planning a shopping trip to London with friends, especially if you have a look at the website beforehand and make sure that there's some items you know you like. It honestly made the whole shopping experience SO much nicer and I would one hundred percent visit again. 

I took home two beautiful outfits, and I'm so happy with them! The first is this gorgeous pastel pink (surprise surprise) ensemble. The neutral pinky nude high neck top goes perfectly with the white Molly jeggings to create a really soft, simplistic, yet very on trend look, transitioning perfectly from the light, bright hues of summer wear, to the slightly more subdued style of Autumn. Paired with the beautiful pink tassel loafers, which are real suede and look incredible, and the pale blue satchel, it really is a beautifully chic, feminine, sophisticated look without having looked like you've "tried" too hard.


The second outfit also uses the white Molly leggings. I honestly usually hate white jeans on myself, I always think they look like I'm wearing maternity jeans! But these fit really nicely, and are really flattering and comfortable. The mid rise fit make them comfier and safer from "muffin top" than low rise jeans, but not as bold and statement as high waisted.
The star piece of this outfit is obviously the gilet. This could be styled in so many ways, from a really relaxed "hippie" look, to a smarter more sophisticated "Chelsea" look which is what I've gone for here. The faux fur collar and lining is so soft and luxury looking, and it is the perfect jacket to transition between the seasons, and sparkle up a dull outfit (like a top and jeans.) 
Underneath the gilet I am wearing a gorgeous cream bardot jumper. It's soooo soft and the bardot style looks so relaxed yet super stylish. And the shoes... Now I really love these! They are a really pretty shade of grey, real leather pair of peep toe, sling back sandals with a wooden block heel. At a modest three inches, they are the perfect heel height for someone like me who is on the taller side of life and doesn't like wearing HUGE heels and feeling giant, but doesn't exactly want to be walking round like a frump in kitten heels either. They are a perfect day to night shoe, and will look as good in Autumn as they do now in Summer. Really comfortable, they make a great every day shoe, but are also versatile enough to pull off in a dressier outfit, and the neutral grey colour will go with everything, not to mention they are incredibly stylish, smart and very current. These are a must have! 

And finally I wanted to show you this beautiful nude sparkly body con dress I also picked up, whilst showing you the lovely inside of the style studios fitting room. Simple yet stunning, figure hugging and glittery. What's not to love?

I hope you enjoyed reading this post- you can shop all the items from my outfits, and some other of my favourite bits from their AW15 collection I've picked out, down below! 
Happy shopping and don't forget to tweet/instatag me and show me your outfits!

Lotsa love,



Thursday, 6 August 2015

Let me introduce myself...

Firstly, let me say hello and thank you for clicking onto my new blog!

Secondly, (I'm adding this in after) let me apologise for the essay length of this post! I couldn't stop writing and felt everything needed to be said. I want you all to know everything I think you need to know about me and my background, as it's what makes me ME. But I promise my future posts will be more succinct, less about me and more about fun things! ;)

Most of you will probably know me from my youtube channel, "Freddy My Love". If you are a subscriber, let me take this opportunity to say the sincerest thank you. I tend not to talk about this in videos because I feel I'm at risk of being cringey and I like to keep everything light hearted and non emotional. But I truly am deeply, deeply grateful for those of you who have chosen to support me on this new journey. I started this venture at Christmas, and in the last six months my life has completely changed. I am the happiest I've been for years and am finally starting to love life again, be positive, and look forward to the start of every day. And none of this would have happened if it weren't for the people like you giving me the chance. By watching my videos, subscribing and commenting, you've opened so many doors for me and honestly changed my whole life and I couldn't be more grateful. So from the bottom of my heart, I thank you so much. 

If you are new here, then you will have no idea what I'm talking about, so let me explain! (Warning: slight life story coming up!) My name is Freddy, I am twenty and from London. I started a fashion, beauty and lifestyle channel on youtube in December last year, for many reasons. 

My whole life, I wanted to be an actress. Ever since I can remember. I wanted to sing and dance on stage and absolutely nothing else. When I was ten, I started a prestigious theatre school in London, called the Sylvia Young Theatre School. I'm a modest person and not one for self-praising, but to this day I am still so proud of my younger self for gaining a place at that school. Thousands of children applied to go and I was one of only thirteen to be successful. We used to do our "normal", academic studies like Maths, English and Science on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Then for the rest of the week we had our, what was called, Vocational studies (singing, dancing and acting.) Obviously for a child/teenager who loves performing this was an absolute dream for six years. The school also had an agency, where we were sent out regularly for auditions for West End shows, TV and film roles, and adverts etc. For a little girl who's biggest dream was to be in Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Les Miserables, this was just so exciting.

The problem with child acting, or at least it was a problem for me, is directors like to cast children that look a lot younger than they actually are. Think, why would you use a seven year old actor when you can use a ten year old who is more intelligent with more experience who LOOKS seven. Towering over my school friends and looking like a young teenager rather than a little girl, I quickly learned I wasn't going to be a successful child actor. I'll never forget one day when I was fourteen, my entire class went to audition for the Sound of Music in the West End and I was the only one who couldn't go because I was too tall. Don't get me wrong, I worked a little. I did a few adverts, performed at various events, even sang live on the radio, and got to be an extra on Harry Potter. But never anything really "dream fulfilling". 

Meanwhile, whilst all this was going on, I was constantly getting scouted by modelling agents. I was super tall for my age and at the age of twelve I started getting approached by scouts and agencies. But I was at stage school and so my family just disregarded it. But after a few years of not really doing any acting work, my parents thought it would be a good idea to look into it. So I visited a few agencies and finally chose my favourite. Sylvia, our principle, wouldn't let me start straight away (I was fifteen), as I was about to start GCSE's, and as we only had three days a week to study anyway where other schools had five, and we regularly missed school for auditions and shows etc, I couldn't take any more time off. But I started modelling when I left school at sixteen. 

Leaving school was difficult. I'd been in a perfect bubble for six years, attending an incredibly special school where everyone was like minded and respected and loved each other. I was desperate to further my musical theatre training at a college, but my parents insisted I furthered my academic education and went to an A Level college. Obviously, they have always been one hundred percent supportive of what I wanted for a career, but wanted me to have a back up of academic qualifications, just in case. Which I knew was the total right idea, but never the less it devastated me. I had always been really clever, but never cared for academics, especially after being at a school where singing and dancing was just as, if not MORE, important. My school was high pressure and strict, and extremely difficult and challenging at times, but it was SAFE. It was home, and we were all a family. The reality of going somewhere new, especially to study something I had no interest in was daunting and depressing.

I ended up going to a college in South Kensington, Chelsea. It didn't go so well. I hated the girls there, and they didn't care too much for me either. I had never come across such rude, entitled, stuck up, horrible people in my life. They treated the teachers with such disrespect, like they were "beneath" them, and it made me so uncomfortable. I used to absolutely dread walking through that door. I went to sleep at night feeling sick, and woke up in the morning feeling even worse. I used to be sat on the toilet for hours on a Sunday night, (gross) sick with nerves, crying, begging my mum not to make me go. Life had always been so bright and bubbly and brilliant, and suddenly a dark cloud was passing over me. Everything was horrible. I missed my friends, my teachers, my HOME. And the worst part was knowing I would never get it back.

I lasted a term before my parents decided enough was enough. The day before college after Christmas, I sobbed so hard they didn't have the heart to send me back. So, at seventeen, it was time to start work. I had a good acting agent, and a modelling agent, everything would be FINE! I decided to get a part time job as well, and I started working at Hollister. I was so nervous to start. My college experience had convinced me that there was something wrong with me, like I had no social skills or something. But I made so, so many amazing friends at Hollister and there was never a dull moment, and I loved it. Everyone was so lovely and we all got on so well and had so much fun. Although after three years of working there I grew to hate it, and quit, but I think that's pretty natural after a long period of time in that type of job.

My acting career never, (clearly!) never really took off. I did some amazing work and had some fantastic experiences, such as a Disney pilot, (google "tv pilot" if you don't know what I mean) various short films, guest roles in TV shows, and a lot of music videos and adverts. But I never got my "big break". 

Modelling wasn't what I expected either. Yes, I worked pretty regularly, which was good for me financially. I did a LOT of shoots for magazines and adverts etc, and hated every minute of it. Since I was sixteen my whole life has been walking into a room full of people, all eyes on me looking me up and down, judging what I look like. You are not a person, you are a product. Your teeth aren't white enough, your hair isn't long enough, your hips are too wide. I was either not pretty enough, or TOO pretty, as apposed to the "quirky/different/striking" model which is trendy. A thousand castings, ONE job. Rejection multiple times a day. Walking into a waiting room full of stick thin girls and feeling like an elephant, holding back tears. So many girls want to be a model, but if you asked most of the girls who actually do it, they would advise you otherwise. I used to love having my photo taken, and I never used to be insecure. Obviously as a teenager you feel self conscious and there are always things you want to change about yourself, but modelling made me hate myself as I grew into an adult.

One day, I was filming a tv fashion commercial. There were about ten models, and some bloggers/youtubers had been invited along to take part in the commercial. I remember being totally shocked at how differently we were treated. That's when I knew I just didn't want to do it anymore. 

I'd been watching makeup and hair tutorials on youtube for years. I used to sit in bed on sick days and weekends and just watch loads of them consecutively without even trying to copy. I never imagined myself ever uploading similar kind of videos, until I saw how big youtube was getting. I have always had a massive passion for beauty and fashion, and I suddenly had a massive urge to jump on the exciting youtube train! It took me a few months to have the courage to even film a video. I'm a very camera confident person, after years of acting and modelling, but this was different to anything I'd ever done before! "Putting yourself out there" is often seen as embarrassing and uncool. God knows why, that's absolutely something that needs to change and thankfully I think it is starting to. But I eventually got the courage to film my first video. 

I was really lucky. I had an amazing, helpful, supportive boyfriend, who sadly I am not with anymore. We parted as best friends, after being together for four and a half years we both decided it was time to try and live life without each other. But I will always love him, and will never forget how he was always there for me and none of this would ever have been possible without him. Forever indebted to him. 

He had a brilliant camera and editing software, and he helped me film my first few videos and get set up. A few months later my channel had absolutely snowballed, and to this day I have no idea how or why. I didn't tell any of my friends of family. I promoted it on my "depop" account where I think I got my first few hundred subscribers. It took me a couple of months to reach ten thousand and after that it completely blew up. A couple of months later I was approached by Gleam Futures, the managers of Zoella, Alfie Deyes etc, and signed to them. The day I signed that contract my life changed. I quit Hollister, and stopped both modelling and acting, which was a hard thing to let go of, but I know it was the right decision and acting is still my long term goal, and I like to think of youtube as a platform to help me get there one day. 

I've read a lot of comments here and there, some quite hateful, and although I would never respond directly to hate as it only encourages it, and to be honest I don't want to give those awful people the time of day, I do want to clear a few things up. I never BOUGHT subscribers. Lots of people find it hard to believe I grew so "big" in such a short time. Believe me, or don't, but I can tell you honestly that I didn't even know you COULD buy subscribers. It sounds laughable, and it offends me that anyone would think I was that desperate. Some people believe I was "scouted" by Gleam from modelling agency to start youtube. Also, obviously untrue. Dom Smales from Gleam saw potential in my channel that he wanted to grow and explore. Simple. There's speculation that Alfie Deyes helped me grow my channel. Alfie is my best friend's cousin but I had never met or really spoke to him until very recently, after I signed with Gleam. I hate having to say all of this but it hurts me to read things like that, and I feel like I have to defend myself. However, I refuse to defend myself against the terrible things people have said about me and my personality, as I, and anyone who has ever and will ever meet me, will know that they are not true, and I have COMPLETE faith in that. My channel blew up unexpectedly. Yes, I got lucky. Some people do, some people don't. And believe me I had 3 years of not having any luck, so it also hurts when people begrudge me for the positive things that are happening for me now. Especially when I work SO hard filming and editing my videos to make sure they are a good standard. I take so much time and effort into this because I love it, and when it's undermined in that way it infuriates me. I will never understand why people feel the need to conspire against somebody, and think of a million reasons why their success isn't genuine or deserved. Why do people feel the need to pick holes in you and highlight all your flaws, and make up lies about you when they can't think of anything else horrible to say. I would never write something hateful about anybody, and it upsets and confuses me as to why anyone would. 

When I read something spiteful or mean about me, my heart drops to my stomach. Yesterday I felt so down after finding a certain gossip forum website where people were being so, so nasty, and saying so many things about me that weren't true. Honestly, not a SINGLE thing they said was true and it made me want to scream. But then I read through your tweets and comments on my video and it truly warmed my heart so much and some of them brought me to tears. (Happy tears!) The kindness of people continues to amaze and humble me. The fact any of you take a minute out of your day to write something sweet and kind on my video, or instagram picture, fills me with such joy I can't explain it. It's so easy to hide behind a keyboard and hurt someone's feelings, and the way you all go out of your way to make me feel so good and special is overwhelming and magical. Teenage girls have a bad reputation for being catty and bitchy, and whilst I know there are PLENTY of those around, I have been so pleasantly surprised by those of you who couldn't be further from that. I call you all angels because that's what you sometimes are to me. I know I sound over the top but it truly means so much. So thank you to all of you ANGELS who support me, I'm forever grateful. 

So! I'm sorry this was so long, and if you have made it this far, thank you! There was a lot I wanted to say and get off my chest and hopefully now you have got to know and understand me a little more, and all of those horrible things can be cleared up. I'm loving this journey so much, and so excited to expand into writing aswell- as you can PROBABLY tell I really enjoy writing too! ;)

SO much love for you all. My angels! 


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