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Cashmere: The App

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I’ve always been a huge fan of luxury fashion houses. Partly for the beautiful things they create and partly for the heritage. I love the stories, traditions and passion that goes into the designs and craftsmanship. Of course, with all of these romantic ideas comes a price-tag, which can be out of reach for many of us. If, like me, you are also a believer in putting a little something aside each week to save for something special, you’ll be excited to find out about this new app soon to be launching which will help you do just that.

Cashmere is the app that all of us fashion-fiends have been waiting for. It encourages you to save just a little of your money in order to make the purchase of that special something. And I couldn’t think of anything better, I try to save as much as possible, but usually end up spending it on holidays and other fun things putting my dream handbag last on the list. Now I’ll have a bit more encouragement to remember to save a few pennies for the shoes I’ve been craving… I’m actually an ambassador for the app and they recently interviewed me as one of the Cashmere fashionistas – read more below if you fancy!

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CASHMERE APP: IN CONVERSATION WITH VICTORIA METAXAS

Tell us a bit about yourself

I’m half-English, half-Greek and grew up in Dubai, so I have a pretty international background.  After University, I embarked on a career in digital media, but knew my true passion lay in photography and fashion.  I decided to take part in a Fashion Photography course in Milan and spent some of the best six months there, learning Italian and discovering the beautiful country.  Following the course, I returned to London to work at the Net-A-Porter Studio.  Now if that wasn’t a jump right into the heart of the fashion world, I don’t know what is!  I remember the first day I started there, it felt like I was on set of ”The Devil Wears Prada”!  Last September, I decided to take the plunge and go full-time as a fashion and travel photographer, working with some of the biggest fashion bloggers in London.  And the rest is history!  I can say that the last six months have been the most exciting and interesting for me both as a photographer and blogger.  I can only imagine what the next six months will bring…

What got you into setting up your Fashion& Travel blog Aurora Stories and who are your biggest inspirations? 

I started a photography blog back in 2013 when I needed a space to showcase my work.  Over time this hobby turned into a real passion and following the fashion photography course I completed, I knew I wanted to take it further.  Last year, I decided my blog needed more of an identity and Aurora Stories was born.  I chose Aurora for its meaning of sunrise/light in the sky, so ultimately my blog is about stories of capturing the natural light around us.  There are a number of different people and things that inspire me.  I’m a big fan of the work created by bloggers Gary Pepper Girl and Margo & Me; I believe the stories and content they share go beyond just a photo.  It’s about all the planning, details and passion that you can see come through their work.  I hope my work evokes that same passion.

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How would you describe your style?

I would describe my style as classic and feminine. I’m all about warm tones and pastels, such as creams, camels, baby pinks, and so on.  I love putting together simple outfits with real statement pieces such as an interesting pair of shoes or a hat, for example.  I’m not a maximalist and not a fan of bright colours; it’s all about a classic look with an interesting little twist.

Where do you shop for accessories and clothes on a normal basis?

That’s a difficult question as I’m not one to stick to a specific store.  For basics, I love Zara; I think their elegant, simple designs are perfect for keeping your look sophisticated.  I have actually found myself shopping in Mango for a lot of accessories as well.  For shoes, I’m a huge fan of Aquazurra and LK Bennett. I love the feminine style that Kate Spade designs have.  For bags, Kate Spade create some beautiful pieces and of course, if you really want to splurge, you can’t go wrong with a cheeky purchase from Chloé or Prada.

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What’s the go-to fashion item in your closet that never fails to complete an outfit?

To really complete an outfit, I have to say I love a great hat. I think it takes your look one notch up and gives you that little sparkle to stand out of the crowd.

If you were given £1m to spend on clothes/accessories, what luxury stores would you splurge that cash in?

I would buy my dresses from Dolce & Gabbana, their Sicilian-inspired prints are to die for.  I’d splurge on bags from Saint Laurent and Prada.  Shoes would come from Aquazzura, Gianvito Rossi and Gucci.  Hats from Borsalino and Lock & Co Hatters.  I’d have to of course grab a trench from Burberry and a beautiful tailored blazer from Balmain.  My jewels would come from Cartier and luggage from Louis Vuitton.  I think by that point, none of the £1 million would be left!!

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What is one item of clothing you won’t be caught dead wearing?

I think more of a look than a piece. I really am not a fan of the oversized Scandi look that hit the streets last winter.  It was all about huge baggy tops, trousers and oversized coats, finished off with a pair of Stan Smiths.  I just felt the look wasn’t elegant in any way and was the total opposite of feminine.

Where do you look for style inspiration?

Shooting fashion bloggers for a living means I’m constantly aware of the latest trends.  I get a lot of inspiration from the girls I photograph, as well as other fashion blogs I follow, and of course Instagram.  You also can’t go wrong with checking out lookbooks of your favourite shops to get an idea of what’s hot this season.

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If you had to own one person’s wardrobe, whose would it be and why?

I think it would be Olivia Palermo. I think she dresses with such sophistication and effortless style.  Her outfits always perfectly compliment where she is, whether in Paris, New York, on holiday, at an event… her looks are always bang on!  I would love to have her wardrobe for the day!

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What luxury item are you currently lusting over right now?

I would love a pair of these fringe Gucci loafers – perfect height for walking around the city, but also keeping your look chic.  I also love these Aquazurra sandals – so gorgeous for your summer wardrobe!  Dolce & Gabbana have to be one of my all-time favourite brands.  I love the history and inspirations behind all their pieces.  This Sicilian-inspired dress is just the most amazing piece.  I also love this over-sized boater hat from Lock & Co Hatters

Once the Cashmere app is launched, what luxury items will you be saving for? 

Probably those pretty pink Gucci loafers. They will be the perfect accessory for this coming autumn.

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For fashion/travel inspiration, check out Victoria’s blog!

Follow Victoria on…
Instagram – @victoriametaxas
Twitter – @VictoriaMetaxas

 

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Let’s get away…

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It’s almost that time of year again. The time when the leaves start to turn, the days become shorter and cosying up by the fire becomes all the more enticing. I always try to plan a little autumn getaway some time before Christmas, to discover somewhere new while the temperature is still bearable, usually a place with a bit of festive romance. This year however, I’m challenging myself to do a little more discovering of beautiful England. There truly are so many wonderful parts of the country to visit, so I thought I’d share my list of some of the best romantic getaway spots, in collaboration with Classic British Hotels, to inspire both myself and you lovely readers this coming season.

The first romantic getaway spot would of course be the Cotswolds. It’s an obvious place but I myself only visited for the first time last year. Having only a weekend to visit we did try to see as much of the area as possible, but with all the sweet villages to see, we will definitely have to return. The best way to do the Cotswolds is to book a couple of nights in a beautiful cottage-inspired hotel and rent a car so you can visit all the quaint little towns that make up the area. While there you can also make a quick trip to Oxford, a fantastic city full of history and character, and of course, Blenheim Palace, another incredible stately home not to be missed…If you fancy a short trip there with the chance to stay in a traditional manor on a 50-acre estate, the Wyck Hill House & Spa would be an wonderful option.

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Second on the list is more of a city trip, which would have to be Edinburgh. Visiting for the first time last year on the final weekend of the Edinburgh Fringe, I fell in love with the place. It’s bursting with character, art and architecture and, of course, lots of bagpipes and kilts. We climbed Arthur’s Seat, the hill outside of the city which gives you stunning views of the entire area. Whilst up there we were lucky enough to experience bagpipe players singing out tunes across the city, it was magical. If I were to return, I would book a beautiful hotel just outside Edinburgh to also have the chance to discover the stunning Scottish landscapes… After research, the Melville Castle Hotel seems to be quite my cup of tea!

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Third on the list would be Cornwall, I’ve never been myself but it has been on my mind to visit for a while. For Cornwall I believe you need at least 3 days as it’s quite a journey from London, but totally worth it. If you crave the seaside and love a bit of surfing, it seems that Cornwall is one of the best places in England to go. It’s packed with sweet little seaside villages and rustic beach huts…..I love the look of the Langstone Cliff Hotel set right by the beach with fabulous facilities!

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Now since my grandparents are from Derbyshire, I have spent a lot of time in the Peak District, which is one of my favourite parts of the country. Following its name, the Peak District, you can guess it’s a part of the UK full of infinite country roads and idyllic hills of purple heather. Time will pause while you get lost in the towns and villages in the district. I personally love visiting Bakewell, famous for its Bakewell tarts, and Chatsworth house, a stunning country manor home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. If you’re looking for a quaint spot to stay with a stone’s throw away from the area, try the Whiteley Hall Country House Hotel.

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The last place on my list which I am yet to visit would have to be in Snowdonia, Wales. The landscape looks like something out of a fairytale, and I can imagine spending the most romantic weekend road-tripping along the endless windy roads, stopping for cosy cups of tea and exploring a little bit more of what Wales has to offer. The weather might not always be on your side in the UK, but with a warm fireplace and a touch of frost you can’t go wrong. The Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa looks unbelievably picturesque and with 23,000 acres of landscape to discover, I’m sure you can find a pretty corner that suits you perfectly!

I hope I’ve given you a little inspiration on romantic getaways for this coming season. I can’t wait to begin planning where I’m going to keep my toes warm and get away from it all…

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**This post was in collaboration with www.ClassicBritishHotels.com**

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Jewel Romance

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Femininity, elegance and history are the three words for this recent shoot with fashion blogger Maya Williams. We worked together on this Nawaghem magazine feature in collaboration with fine jewellery brand, Plukka, to capture six styled looks in the beautiful grounds of Hampstead.

There is something magical about shoots when everything comes together. The location, the styling, the makeup, and of course, the subject. This is one of my favourite pieces that I’ve photographed recently, partly because I loved the looks and partly because it challenged me to work on my narrative and create a story. We spent an entire afternoon in the incredible grounds of the Hampstead Pergola, which I couldn’t get enough of. The infinite columns, romantic rose bushes, it was like a maze I never wanted to find my way out of.

The piece was featured in Nawaghem, one of the biggest online magazines in the Middle East, which was a real achievement on my part. It’s such a great feeling to have my work seen by people all over the world, it gives me all the more reason to keep bringing my creativity to life and fulfil all those photography dreams I’ve always had.

Follow my blog on Bloglovin’

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Birthday Girl

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Today is my birthday! I’ve hit 27 with a smile, so I thought a yellow dress and gold balloon would be the perfect compliments to my day. It’s crazy to think where this year has gone and all the adventures I’ve been on. Reminiscing is one of the best things to do on your special day as well as look forward to the new year ahead. Speaking of looking forward, what I’m now looking forward to is some much needed tea and cake in true London style. But before I tiptoe away, I just want to say a big thank you to those who follow and support my blog and photography. I wouldn’t be so inspired to keep working harder and growing as photographer if it was for the positivity from all my followers, so huge thank you to each and every one of you.

Now, back to the cake…. (if you fancy checking out where I have afternoon tea, you can follow me on Insta Stories here!)

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Summer Whites

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White, for me, means summer. It’s the time your skin becomes kissed by the sun and you can slip into a crisp white dress and feel fabulous. It’s the colour that gives you an ethereal glow and reminds you that perfect weather is here to stay. Inspired by my recent day out at Eltham Palace with The White Company, I’ve teamed up with them to create a “Summer Whites” story, photographing my favourite accessories from their current collection (big thanks to Danielle who modelled for me!).

I thought about how I live my life in London as a photographer, how I want to look and feel elegant but be comfortable at the same time. I often find myself carrying extra shoes or accessories if I have to head straight to an event in the evening, which adds to the equipment I have to carry around. So, with elegance and comfort in mind, I wanted to give you all a little summer wardrobe inspiration with The White Company in the three looks I selected.

From beautiful ballet flats, to hats and backpacks, my photo story shows a girl getting lost in the beauty of her own city, discovering pretty corners and enjoying long picnics. We shot these pieces in East London, if you can believe, on a bright day in London. I always thought I had to travel to the most obvious places to find the best locations, but I’ve realised that if you just look a little further, get a little lost, you find the best spots… A bit like the girl in the story…Really hope you like the pictures and get inspired to add some beautiful white touches to your looks this season!

Looks in order of appearance from below:

Look 1: Shoes // Bag

Look 2: Hat //  Backpack // Jacket // Shoes // Bracelet

Look 3: Shoes // Duffle bag // Napkins // Candles

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