A colourful fashion blog supporting independents & sustainable fashion in Bristol and beyond

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

My naked journey - Promoting self love and body positivity with Mermaid in England

I met Mermaid in England founder and body positivity promoter Antonia Furlong after I wrote a fashion article on her for Bristol 24/7, promoting her inspiring swimwear fashion shoots.

The important thing you need to know about Antonia is that she only uses real models for her photo shoots. Y'know, people like you and me! People with lumps and bumps and scars, people with disbilities, real people who have not been airbrushed, - just real women, photographed in some swimwear, looking bloody fabulous!

A year ago, you would not have seen an image of me wearing swimwear on anything close to how naked I feel in these photographs. I have no real explanation why I wouldn't show off my body, hell, I do it at the beach and really couldn't care less, but for some reason, for me, to take a photo of my body and share it with the world, was a step too far! 


No Debutante wearing the Wild Side Halter neck top string bikini by Mermaid In England for the Majorca photo shoot



One reason, I guess, would be that my body is the body of a 42 year old woman, who has had three kids. I am not the Victoria Secret model you were expecting, I have a normal body not an instagrammable body and I am not even young anymore!

I am unhappy because, I don't have enough curves or my legs aren't skinny enough or my belly is no longer flat or I have dimples in my legs, I don't have a thin model body but I am not meeting the criteria to be a plus model either. I'm just in the middle, just normal. So, why am I making such a fuss? 



Well, another reason is that, despite taking photos of myself all the time in my fashion selfies and sharing them on my blog and social media, I , now stay with me here, think that if I share a photo of myself, in lingerie or swimwear, I am showing off! 

Honestly, how messed up is that? I think it may be a generation thing but to flaunt yourself, when I was a teenager, was showing off. We were made to feel bad about exposing our bodies, unless you were a super model, of course! 

Hell, my body looked bloody fab in my early twenties (ahem..the whole of my twenties) I even did some lingerie and swimwear modelling when I was at Uni, but I only shared that with the Uni and the hundreds of people that saw me at the fashion shows and in the photographs! There was no instagram to share my amazing body with. It was like a dirty little secret, that I had photos taken half naked! Yes, me!

With the kids getting ready to throw water over the Mermaid in England colour changing bikini which turns from pink to leopard print when wet. A-MAZE!

An unoffical photo from the Mermaid in England photo shoot

So, how did I manage to conquer my fears and get my kit off again after all these years?

After chatting with Antonia about her inspiring photo shoots, taken by the lovely and now very pregnant, Viktoria Kuti, I got caught up in a wave of female empowerment to start really promoting body positivity. Previous to the Mermaid In England article I had already seen so many amazing female motivational artists and instagrammers promoting self love and their fabulous bodies of all shapes and sizes. Getting themselves out there and saying it's Ok to not be, what society see's as perfect!

It is so important for women, young girls, my daughter, my sons, in fact everyone, to just love themselves and to be kind and positive to others too! I see all these positive role modes and just thought, what the hell am I worried about here? What can I do?

Loving this group shot of all the Mermaids from the September shoot.

Antonia kindly, gave me this fabulous pink bikini to take on my holidays so I decided to take the ball by the horns and do a fun-filled No Debutante 'how I wore' photo shoot to help promote Mermaid In England as a brand and their body positive ethos. 

Then, Antonia took it a step further and asked me to join the next body positivity photo shoot! This was way out of my comfort zone, it's all well and good taking photos of yourself, on your private holiday, where nobody except your family (they are used to this sort of thing going on) can see you but being in a room, with lots of other people you don't know including a photographer seemed to be taking things a bit too far. 

How can I promote body positivity if I am not body positive myself? I said 'yes' straight away as I have a problem with agreeing to things without thinking them through but after doing my own No Debutante X Mermaid in England bikini photo shoot the nerves started to kick in. 


Inspiring women on the shoot

Less than a week after I had returned back to the UK from my, much needed, holiday in Majorca, I found myself sat in a room with loads of women I hadn't met before, we were all strangers and we were about to take part in a bikini fashion shoot together. This already sounds very surreal. 

The first thing I was asked was if I had done anything like this before. I realised that I was telling a stranger about my student lingerie modelling days and that yes, I had done something similar but made excuses that I don't have the same body as I had then and I'm too old to do that now! As soon as I said it, I felt silly for feeling bad about it and putting it down. 

Why would I hide that I used to be very happy with my body, of course my body has changed, I've got older and have had three children! I USED TO MODEL LINGERIE! 




I have never met such a group of courageous, honest and fabulous women, the more I spoke to them and the more stories I heard, the more I felt happy with myself, as a woman. We were all beginning to feel happy with ourselves. 

There were burns victims confidently flouncing around, girls who thought they were fat (they weren't), larger women embracing their curves, Mum's with 4 kids, a mother and daughter model team, just so many amazing women. 

I have to admit that I did not feel, at any point, uncomfortable with showing off my body, to me it seemed that none of us did in the end! We were all in it together.

I am really looking forward (half dreading) seeing the photographs taken by Viktoria for the Mermaid in England, real models shoot, just so you know, all of these photos shown today are my own, I will share the official shoot photographs once they have been launched by Mermaid in England!



Growing up in the nineties had made me very self-conscious about my body. Despite loving modelling as a uni student. I would buy fashion magazines, I loved fashion (obvs) but all the models were as skinny as hell. The influential look was waif and even worse Heroin Chic (Fucking Heroin Chic? Really?) with role models like Kate Moss and Jodie Kidd, plastered over everything, making you feel fat and giving you a borderline eating disorder to try and get super thin.

At the same time, boys at school would call me a footballer, saying I had footballers legs, which used to upset me so much as I really wanted skinny legs, like the girls in the fashion mags and I was already aware that my legs were a bit bigger than the (what I saw as normal) skinny girls! 

One moment of self realisation for me, was that those boys, whether it was maliciously or not, they were saying I was fit! I had a strong and athletic body. I WAS SUPER FIT! If anything, it's a massive compliment and I'm gonna take it!   


The real question is, am I happy with these photo shoot images of me prancing about in a bikini? Well actually, yes, I am. My body is now half toned and half curvy, I have a few dimples and lumps and I do wish I had Shari Knowles, the make-up artist from the Mermaid in England shoot for my holiday shoot, but yeah, my body is alright......OK, I'll say it, it's bloody amazing! 

I have (quite literally) bared all today, shared some stuff I am not entirely happy with sharing, but I am on the right path for my journey for self love and body positivity and I urge you all to do the same. Join a Mermaid in England photo shoot, love your body, be kind to others, accept yourself and remember how bloody amazing you are! 




Find out more about Mermaid in England and their body positivity photo shoots

Read the original Bristol 24/7 article A Little Mermaid with big ideas 





If you are having a fashion event or a have a new collection you would like No Debutante to promote please get in touch!

Check out my work with Bristol 24/7 magazine under my name 
Emma Gorton-Ellicott

If you are interested in collaborating with No Debutante or getting featured on the No Debutante blog please contact me nodebutanteblog@gmail.com

Keep up with No Debutantes OOTD posts, collabs and current fashion obsessions posted daily on all of the following. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr,  Pinterest all under the #nodebutante name.

Thanks for checking in Fashionistas.   
ND xx


Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Pinterest obsessions - Modern Art Muses

This post was originally going to be fashion based inspired by my latest musings on pinterest but when I checked out the current pins on the No Debutante pinterest boards I realised I have been subconsciously collecting a lot of art.

I like art. I went to art college. Art was my favourite subject at school and as a kid if I wasn't outside climbing trees and riding my bike I was inside, drawing.   





I never saw myself having a career in art, to be honest, I certainly didn't see myself having a career as a fashion journalist so it's funny how things turn out! Creating garments and prints for a fashion label was as close as I got to becoming an artist. I just adored fashion and in the end that's the avenue I took. 

I am really interested in graphic design and typography, which came as a surprise to me as I hated it whilst I was at art college, I was all about the fine art then. I also love 1980's artists including Jean Michel Basquiat's graffiti'd fine art and I just adore Keith Haring's style, simple graphics, repeated patterns and bright, bold colours with a thick, dark outline.




New York Beat by Jean Michel Basquiat


I am always talking about the Italian Memphis art (also from the 1980's) on this blog and I was so excited when it became contemporary again with designers, like local Bristol designer & No Debutante fave Tezla, whose Memphis style graphics adorn her geometric jewellery pieces. 

Clearly, I am reminded by my youth with all of these artists and the beginnings of graffiti and street art being fresh in my mind. I like bright colours and patterns which always seem to have a fun childlike edge to them. Contemporary artists I like seem to be influenced from this era too.


I am also rather partial to Matisse's cut and paste abstract graphic style which in turn must have influenced Keith Haring in a way. 


Not forgetting a slice of Pop Art and a bit of psychedelia, the Yellow Submarine used to be a favourite film and I just loved the bizarre, abstract artwork by artists including Heinz Edelmann, who was also inspired by Art Deco and Surrealism but his interpretation included the bright colours and patterns that I crave!  





Memphis style artwork


The artwork on show today is only what has appeared in my most recent pinterest hoarding and perhaps this will become a new feature for the blog.It's safe to say that these posts will always be filled with bright colours, fun illustrations and repeating patterns and Modern Art is definitely my thing! 




Alexander Medel Calderon for Lazy Oaf


Keith Haring


Keith Haring does Henri Matisse




Jean Michel Basquiat and his art





PLAY MORE DANCE MORE by Camille Walala



Keith Haring invitation






Alexander Medel Calderon


Jordy van den Nieuwendijk



WASTED by Marco Oggian








If you are having a fashion event or a have a new collection you would like No Debutante to promote please get in touch!

Check out my work with Bristol 24/7 magazine under my name 
Emma Gorton-Ellicott

If you are interested in collaborating with No Debutante or getting featured on the No Debutante blog please contact me nodebutanteblog@gmail.com

Keep up with No Debutantes OOTD posts, collabs and current fashion obsessions posted daily on all of the following. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr,  Pinterest all under the #nodebutante name.

Thanks for checking in Fashionistas.   
ND xx

Monday, 3 September 2018

Confessions of a big holiday packer

If anything, this unusually hot UK summer had given me a head start on what to wear and pack for the annual family summer holiday trip (It was Majorca this year...again...we love Majorca).

I had noticed that in previous years I would often pack clothes that I might wear if I was on holiday in a hot country, a just incaser, but this year I've had a lot of practise in choosing summer outfits so I came to the conclusion that 'if I haven't worn it this summer, it ain't coming on holiday!' However, I am not a light packer....


A handful of garms for our family holiday wardrobes


The Guardian fashion editor Jess Cartner-Morley put it best in her 2017 article Don't pack light pack clever about holiday packing essentials, where she announced that she 'didn't trust people who pack light, they are smug gits!' Correct! If I want to take everything on my holiday with me, I am going to bloody take everything on my holiday with me!

If you are happy washing out your families pants and t-shirts whilst on your holiday then good for you! I won't be joining you. When I'm on holiday, I've got an important meeting with a sun bed, a good book and a glass of Sangria.


Obligatory plane selfie 


Whilst researching peoples compulsion to pack light, I came across the phenomena that is environmentally friendly packing cubes....Can I ask what is this obsession (especially with pinterest users) with packing cubes? WTAF? They were apparently designed to replace those plastic carrier bags you've been popping your shoes and dirty washing in, I am a big supporter of getting rid of plastics but surely by now we are all owners of canvas style bags for life and if we really need extra bags we can use one of those? It's more environmentally sound to use a bag you already own, isn't it?

Before packing cubes were invented were people going out of their way to purchase plastic bags for their holiday packing? I think not. If pinterest is anything to go by these cubes were designed for the packing obsessive, a person who has far too much time on their hands, a person who is happy individually packing little bundles of garments and gubbins into separate packing cubes, just to make their case look nice and neat. Stand aside saddo's I've got a handful of socks that need wedging down the sides of my already heavily packed case! 


It's late but we arrive at the most beautiful Majorcan Finka


I have three kids (four if you include my husband who seriously packs more beach toys than the kids do! He even managed to ram his skateboard in the case this year!) so yeah, we have a lot of stuff. One good thing we do for the environment is we reuse our inflatables and don't dump and buy like so many seem to do on each trip. So that's four kids, Me and lots of clothes, we usually go for around ten days, maybe we'll go out at night, will we need two outfits on some days? How much stuff do we take?


Family beach selfie with the kids and my Mum! 


I find we double up and reuse t-shirts and shorts (that don't get ice cream all over them) and the kids practically live in swimwear so that's ten outfits for ten days, that covers any trips out and ice-cream spillages, no need for extra garms and certainly no need to spend my holidays washing clothes!

I've not worn heels for about two years, it's all about the comfort right here, so I only need to take sliders and a couple of pairs of trainers, that's practically all I've worn all summer anyway. We are not a family who glams up to go out, we dress comfortably, it's not about how pressed and brand new we look. You can tell when a family has bought  a whole new wardrobe for their holidays, it makes me nauseous, I imagine the waste and the big bag of garms sent to the charity shop as the winter approaches.


One of the few moments we weren't wearing swimwear! This Duvet Days co-ord was just perfect for hot summer nights!


So, how did we cram our whole lives into these five cases, yes five! My husband Phil even got us extra carry-ons this year, even I thought that was a bit extreme! Although I will never consider a carry on case each unless we were going for a shorter holiday, I do take one swimwear item, toothbrush, minimal make up and any meds, as well as the usual travel stuff passports etc, in my carry on bag. Ever had your luggage go missing when you reach your holiday destination? We have, and guess what was in the missing case?! Never again!




In conclusion, now we have returned from our amazing summer holiday, in all seriousness how successful was this years holiday pack?

I have to confess to bringing home a case with many unworn clothes inside! This year Majorca was very, very hot, this combined with it being a different kind of holiday for us, less resort holiday and more laid back hanging out at our beautiful Finka in the Majorcan countryside, we literally spent the whole day in swimwear, unless we ventured out in the car to the beach or to a restaurant. We did use all of the inflatables, towels and beach paraphernalia that contributed to a large part of our holiday packing so it's never over-packing to take these items. 


My morning view


Personally, I had a few pairs of trackies and loose trousers I didn't wear due to the heat, Phil wore less short sleeve shirts/ t-shirts as we didn't go out every night and the same with the kids. Sylvie had two super cute hareem jumpsuits that she refused to wear as she was too hot. 

We totally lucked out on the weather so I don't mind lugging back the unworn clothes and I am still standing by packing what you want! As a Brit we always say 'Be prepared for every weather eventuality' and yes, I did pack an umbrella and it did rain.....once (umbrella unused). 





Why shouldn't I pack lots of garms? I am a fashion blogger and a fashion editor, I need to look good and have a variety of outfits to choose from, I took a wardrobe of swimwear garms alone and I am happy with that! Capsule wardrobes just don't seem to work for me, I change my mind too much and don't like to be restricted in fashion! 

I think it's amazing how we managed to fit our whole life into five cases for ten days, my gosh you should see how much we take for a weekend camping!

Hope you had a great summer!









If you are having a fashion event or a have a new collection you would like No Debutante to promote on the blog, social media platforms or on the YouTube Channel please get in touch!

Check out my work with Bristol 24/7 magazine under my name 
Emma Gorton-Ellicott

If you are interested in collaborating with No Debutante or getting featured on the No Debutante blog please contact me nodebutanteblog@gmail.com

Keep up with No Debutantes OOTD posts, collabs and current fashion obsessions posted daily on all of the following. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest all under the #nodebutante name.

Thanks for checking in Fashionistas.   
ND xx





Wednesday, 15 August 2018

The YouTube interviews - Rare Beauty

There's a new vlog up on my Youtube channel which started out as an interview for Bristol 24/7 with natural beauty platform Rare Beauty and turned into a full on beauty vlog about natural beauty products, female empowerment and starting up your own business!



Please SUBSCRIBE to my channel
Don't forget to like, comment and share too. 
Thank-you xx






To find out more please read the Bristol 24/7 fashion article A rare beauty and check out the Rare Beauty platform






If you are having a fashion event or a have a new collection you would like No Debutante to promote on the blog, social media platforms or on the YouTube Channel please get in touch!

Check out my work with Bristol 24/7 magazine under my name 
Emma Gorton-Ellicott

If you are interested in collaborating with No Debutante or getting featured on the No Debutante blog please contact me nodebutanteblog@gmail.com

Keep up with No Debutantes OOTD posts, collabs and current fashion obsessions posted daily on all of the following. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr,  Pinterest all under the #nodebutante name.

Thanks for checking in Fashionistas.   
ND xx




Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Duvet Days every day

No Debutante's current new obsession is Bristol fashion designer and upcycling extraordinaire Duvet Days

Every time I see these sassy and sustainable gems, made from upcycled duvets and retro fabrics, I want to own them all! From the fun trousers to the cutest little summer co-ords with their cropped tops and shorts and more recently, the very on trend, Bardot style ruffle top and shorts co-ord. 

No Debutante lounging in her bespoke Duvet Days polka dot two piece worn with Tezla earrings and Reeboks.

Print clashing it up with a Duvet Days polka-dot crop top and retro print trousers


As soon as I clapped my eyes on the Bardot, (spotted on Duvet Days instagram) I was straight on the blower to designer Emma White requesting her latest fabrics to choose my next Duvet Day garms! 

Yes, you can actually choose your fave styles and from a selection of the latest Duvet Days collected vintage fabrics you can create your own bespoke garms, made for you in a matter of weeks (days even)! 

No Debutante wearing her striped trousers and 90s printed trousers by Duvet Days
Getting ready to DJ at Bang wearing the Bardot style co-ord by Duvet Days

My first Duvet Days purchase was off the peg from the That Thing Festival launch party, (you can also buy ready made Duvet Day garms at That Thing in Bristol) a pair of  super comfy vertical striped trousers that are a flattering yet, baggy fit, that nips in at the high waist. Emma then kindly made me a matching top, that was reversible  with stripes and spots! 

These garms have become staples for me over this hot summer so I just had to get me more Duvet Days! The trousers are so comfy that I needed another pair asap! I choose a 90's inspired print in blues, greens and coral pink shapes for the trousers and just had to get a Bardot short set made up for my summer hols, for this combo I choose a yellow fabric with pink polka dots. 

This co-ord is the cutest outfit and perfect for summer!
The reversible Duvet Days crop top worn with retro print trousers (left) and polka dot Monki trousers (right).


I just love all my Duvets Days garms and the bonus is, if you are a print clash lover like me, you can mix and match these lovely garms as seperates! The possibilities are endless! I think I feel another post coming on! 

Alongside the unisex trousers and cute short sets Duvet Days also creating colourful shirts, dresses, sweatshirts halter tops plus the cutest range of kidswear featuring  cute lil' skirts and baby bibs aswell as the Duvet Days staples. Prices start from £7 for kidswear up to approx £60 for adults garms and don't forget you can get bespoke items made too! 


Get your reversible crop top at Duvet Days and mix and match with your wardrobe! 

If you want something unique, support independent designers and sustainable fashion get yourselves over to Duvet Days now for the most colourful, comfortable and fun garms ever, all made lovingly by hand in Bristol.

Find out more about Duvet Days 





If you are having a fashion event, a new collection or fun event you would like No Debutante to promote please get in touch!

No Debutante promotes fashion independents, new designers & sustainable fashion. 

Check out my work with Bristol 24/7 magazine under my name Emma Gorton-Ellicott

If you are interested in collaborating with No Debutante or getting featured on the No Debutante blog please contact me nodebutanteblog@gmail.com

Keep up with No Debutantes OOTD posts, collabs and current fashion obsessions posted daily on all of the following. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest all under the #nodebutante name. 


Thanks for checking in Fashionistas
ND xx

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Bristol's finest Insta fashionistas July 2018

Here at No Debutante I am totally obsessed with Instagram! The amazing imagery shared, and the stories people tell, are just so vibrant and unique, well, the people I seem to follow are! A daily snippet into peoples lives, inspirations and captured moments, albeit a slightly staged view on many occasions, ahem! 

I am no innocent in this beautiful instagram charade and if I want to believe everyone is wondering about wearing beautiful garms with their beautiful friends and families then let it happen. Instagram isn't about disrespect and being down on people, it's about supporting and influencing each other and aiming to be the best you can be and being HAPPY!!! And what's wrong with that eh? Instagram gives me the feel good factor from people liking my posts to getting inspired by you beautiful lot!

This is the second installment of a feature I did back in April where I shared a few of my fave instagrammers who were also local independent fashion designers too. Well, since Bristol is so full of fabulous fashion I just had to share a few more of them with you today. 

Here's a peek at the last lot in case you missed it Bristol's Finest Insta Fashionistas



Zedhead Headwear


The fabulous and hilarious Zoe Thompson from Zedhead Headwear creates the most amazing head-wear from outrageous carnival crazy feathered headdresses to more quirky pieces with My Little Ponies and dolls attached, from headdress crowns, pom-pom earrings to super-fly visors, Zedhead has all your festivals, Hen parties and summer holiday's covered. Boom!


Emotional Waterfall Art


Colourful and creative Jemma Bursnell of Emotional Waterfall is a living piece of art from her brightly coloured and printed personal style to her amazing illustrative hand drawn prints that carry an abstract, free hand Memphis style that Jemma has made her own. From T-shirts to earrings, plant pots, furniture and even bigger art displays including a residency at Upfest in Bristol, I think Jemma is slowly painting the whole of Bristol bit by bit.



Dulcie's Feathers


Dulcie Horn is a fellow blogger and fashion designer who recently launched a range of beautiful garms made entirely from vintage sari's, she went all the way to India to get them made and then got all her lovely friends to model them for her. The Dulcie's Feathers range includes jumpsuits, shorts co-ords, kimonos, playsuits and two piece hareem sets and are just perfect for the beach and as loungewear. 


Kokomo


Super sexy, perspex queen....It's Kokomo
These amazing dare to bear garms are made entirely from perspex discs lovingly pieced together by designer Jess whose amazing perspex garms mix festival showgirls with 60's spaceage glam.
You have got to love the Kokomo necklaces too with words like Disco and Yes, what could be more positive and fun?


Kuccia


Not technically a Bristol brand, but I feel we have adopted them and No Debutante has been in love with Kuccia for what seems like forever! The cuts, the prints the sparkles, the Lookbooks! What's not to like here? I finally got to meet the designers this year at Loves Saves The Day festival and they were just the most loveliest people ever! Get your sequin dreams and festival fashion fabulousness here.....as Kuccia say 'want some?'




All images courtesy of the instagram accounts of Zedhead Headwear Emotional Waterfall Art, Dulcie's Feathers, Kokomo Kuccia







If you are having a fashion event, a new collection or fun event you would like No Debutante to promote please get in touch!

No Debutante promotes fashion independents, new designers & sustainable fashion. 

Check out my work with Bristol 24/7 magazine under my name 
Emma Gorton-Ellicott

If you are interested in collaborating with No Debutante or getting featured on the No Debutante blog please contact me nodebutanteblog@gmail.com

Keep up with No Debutantes OOTD posts, collabs and current fashion obsessions posted daily on all of the following. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest all under the #nodebutante name. 


Thanks for checking in Fashionistas
ND xx
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