Fan earrings- Mum's
Mesh socks- Ebay- £1.99
Sandals (Erika Three Strap)- La Moda- £22
After the poppy field, the second stop of the day was Buildwas Abbey. Although I really enjoyed the experience, I feel compelled to point out that modelling isn't always as glamorous as one may expect. Not only did the photoshoot coincide with a Crucial Crew course, which are safety lessons for schoolchildren covering everything from drug abuse to first aid (I have memories of my classmates and I being handed out mints during a pretend rave scenario), I also changed into this oriental-inspired outfit in a nearby portaloo.
This is the outfit I recently wore to my graduation ball at Blackpool Tower. Forever living in fear that someone will be sporting an identical outfit to me, I was searching for something a bit different to the average evening gown. Until I found a cheongsam (tight-fitting Chinese dress) on Ebay, nothing was standing out to me. It was too late to bid for the dress, which is how I stumbled upon Oriental Fashion. Don't be alarmed by the slightly garish graphics and the not-so-perfect grammar; this website sells some stunning Chinese clothes for affordable prices (most dresses have 30% off the original price).
I chose a traditional Mandarin dress with flattering high slits, halter neck, and half-bared back. The brightly coloured brocade fabric, featuring dragon and phoenix patterned embroidery, made it particularly stand out.
Accessorising the outfit turned out to be a simple and inexpensive task. When my mum was my age, there was a Chinese shop in my hometown of Shrewsbury, which she'd visit most weeks- and these Chinese fan earrings, which can be opened and closed, and feature a stork on one side and a dragon on the other, were kindly lent to me for the occasion. (Whether I've yet to return them is neither here nor there). Instead of buying chopsticks designed specifically for hair, I just used the regular kind, and pinned my hair bun securely to keep them in place.
To complete the look on the night, I added some sparkle in the form of hair glitter (£5 from Claire's) and gold eye glitter in the inner corners of my peepers (£4.50, also from Claire's).
Photography by Dan Betton.