by Felicity Hall

FASH at is the fashion and lifestyle blog of Felicity Hall, a politics student and aspiring media, marketing & PR guru, from the cultural goldmine that is Manchester, UK.

Saturday, 31 March 2012

To Buy Soon

Strategic wardrobe planning is only necessary. Next month, with a new loan payment and money from both Easter and my 20th birthday, I intend to buy:

  • An edgy pair of black daytime shoes
    During the day, I wear nude ballet pumps religiously. However recently, my daytime wardrobe had expanded from jeans and shirts, to skirts, jumpers, jackets with more chiffon and leather. My favourite pair of daytime shoes - a black studded gladiator sandal from Urban Outfitters - are too summery for our mild climate. An equally studded pair of flats/boots with a closed toe are exactly what I'm looking for.

  • Jersey maxi skirts
    I am a lover of floor length dresses and am eager to try a similar daytime style. In hot weather, a racerback vest and long, floaty skirt would keep me cool and looking stylish. In fact, I wonder why maxi skirts do not yet exist in my wardrobe - I'm obsessed with this look!

  • An alternative leather biker jacket
    I already have a black leather bomber, but am really into the biker style in different colours for summer months. So far I have seen a Miss Selfridge jacket, in a nude blush shade, but am keeping an eye out for something that makes me go wow.

Miss Selfridge Silver Hook Ear Tunnels

Why? I think body modifications are beautiful. In an ideal world, I'd have pierced most things by now and be able to adorn my body with jewels like an Indian god. However, I live in a world where appearances affect employment, and so ear stretching is something I know I would regret eventually, no matter how good it looks. Problem solved by Miss Selfridge and illusion jewellery to fit my five standard piercings.

Miss Selfridge Red Crystal and Cord Bracelet

Why? Jewellery that combines metal elements with other textures, like my cross necklaces, is a great love of mine. Perfect for daytime, I have found myself wearing lots of textured and coloured pieces that spruce up otherwise plan looks.

Miss Selfridge Feather Multipack Earrings

Why? Because with five holes and a penchant for odd earrings, these are shapes I have nothing similar to.

Miss Selfridge Green Tube and Gummy Necklace

Why? Because I enjoy a good statement necklace, and this combines both my love of gold jewellery with this seasons' pastel trend.

Miss Selfridge Silver Wrinkled Band Ring

Why? I really enjoy costume jewellery and particularly large rings, but am not really a fan of traditional glitzy cocktail styles. This ring is simple, distressed and will match a number of my other items.


New hole through my skin.
Wholeness? It’s been a while.
Cold, hard and deep. Fixed.

Romeo and Juliet by Beetroot Design

Every 'Romeo' is connected to every 'Juliet' forming a crimson star-crossed web. Beautiful.

Alex Day at HMV Manchester

On Tuesday 3rd April, the love of my Youtube life, Alex Day will be signing copies of his latest single, 'Lady Godiva' in Manchester.

Alex Day, known as nerimon to the Youtube literate amongst us, is a 20-something bloke from Essex who makes his living on the internet. To those who are unfamiliar with professional vlogging, my excitement at meeting Alex seems a little bit creepy. However, to a dedicated subscriber like me, Alex is something of a demigod.

Famed for his dry humour, Alex Day has captured many hearts through the computer screen, including that of Stephen Fry, who calls Lady Godiva 'a pop song with a great hook as pleasing as a Bach chorale.'

Alex, I am very much looking forward to Tuesday and hope I pull off the cool-not-crazed-fangirl act convincingly. I have standards and cynicism to uphold, you understand.

Thursday, 29 March 2012


Very excited to be fulfilling a lifelong dream by visiting this June, with one of the people I love the most.

Formal Fashion Feature: Halfway Hall 2012

Easily my favourite ball dress this far, mostly because it is so different to anything else I have worn.

The Halfway Hall is a second year event to celebrate the exact night that marks the halfway point in your three year degree - scary stuff. The night, newly invented this academic year by close friend Charlotte Parks-Taylor, consisted of a champagne reception, gourmet meal in the Great Hall, followed by ballet, music, casinos and cocktails.

I wore an interesting mullet-style black dress, with lace overlaid on the bust, sleeves and a long skirt. Reminiscent of Ladies' Night, I wore my hair pinned up, only with more curl and donned my usual dramatic smoky eye. Dark brown-red false nails, my faithful black platforms and an ear-to-ear smile finished off my outfit and made this night memorable.

A lesson learned from this look? Have the confidence to choose something that you usually wouldn't - it may provide the drama that your wardrobe has been lacking.

Formal Fashion Feature: Ladies' Night 2011

My second Ladies' Night at Castle was a sour event for me, in that as a second year who scored lowly on the ticket ballot, I did not gain entrance to the event. Never fear, many of my friends were also turned away, and we transformed what could have been disappointment into a lovely evening of fine dining, cocktails and sneaking into the event in full black tie anyway.

I wore an outfit that I have infinite amounts of love for. I pleated bust and flowing skirt, this floor length chiffon dress is a ravishing oxblood - my colour of the moment. I pinned my hair up in a 60's style bouffant, and wore a dramatic pair of gold drop earrings. I would change nothing, this is one of my favourite ball looks and I intend to recreate it at a more formal - and hopefully less criminal - event soon. My 20th birthday perhaps?

Formal Fashion Feature: June Ball 2011

The highlight of the Castle calendar, June Ball is a 12-hour, white tie event that calls for top hats and tails for the men, and summer garden party-style full length dresses for the women. Naturally, for a 12-hour event, outfit planning was an issue. Not only was there style to be considered, but feet, make up and hair needed to go the distance and last from 6pm until 6am.

Challenge accepted.

I wore a cobalt blue chiffon gown from Coast with a pleated bodice and A-line skirt that faded from blue to black at the hem. Shoes were black beaded flat sandals, that I disliked incredibly, and my hair was backcombed into a half-up, half-down do by Saks the Hairdressers, which I didn't like very much either. My make up was typically me, with dark eyes and neutral lips, and my jewellery was gold and understated, except for a large statement necklace which actually ended up being my favourite part of the outfit.

Again, I'm afraid I played it too safe. I wish I'd done my own hair, and gone for a more dramatic dress. However, my miserable time at June Ball was down to the company I kept and not the outfit choice - an experience I am not keen to repeat. Regardless, I loved my make up and think my face looks stunning. I do actually really like the gown, and had planned to wear to another event that got cancelled, only next time I intend to style it with long flowing curls and dainty black crystal jewellery.

Formal Fashion Feature: Royal Riot 2011

In celebration of the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, University College Durham hosted 'A Royal Riot.' This was a black tie 'ent' that was part-garden party, part-sit down meal, part-champagne bar, and easily one of my favourite events during my time in college.

In honour of the bride, I wore a pleated white cocktail dress, which was actually a steal from H&M, and accessorised with the beautiful Swarovski jewellery purchased by my first boyfriend for my 18th birthday and my beloved black platform sling backs. I absolutely love this outfit and have worn the dress multiple times since, though for a while I did wear it with some rather-ugly-albeit-sentimental-at-the-time silver jewellery (which went for very little at the pawnbroker).

I thoroughly enjoyed my evening, posing alongside a cardboard cut out of Wills and Kate and waving my Union Jack flag in celebration.

Formal Fashion Feature: Ladies' Night 2010

I stayed out of anything formal during sixth form, and instead attended my post-A Level party in a mini skirt and see-through blouse, so my next formal occasion did not arise until Michaelmas Term of my first year at university.

A winter ball, themed like Monte Carlo (but in the snow, due to freezing November temperatures) called for a more conservative approach to black tie than prom did, and so I went for an old favourite Lipsy corset prom-cut party dress, with seamed tights and a fur shrug.

Whilst I still love this dress - the dress I was wearing when my high school boyfriend and I first got into a club under age - I look back on my photos now and feel the shrug was a mistake. Whilst I love fur, faux of course, I just don't think the cut was right for me. However the rest of my outfit was just fine, albeit a little dull, as LBDs often can be. I still really do like the corset dress, just styled differently nowadays.

Formal Fashion Feature: Prom 2008

Formal Balls are something that over the past 5 years in my life, have become more regular than is average for a person of my age. Gone are the days of jeans-and-a-blouse school discos in a sports hall: since leaving secondary school, black or even white tie is something that I have become accustomed to doing. Yes, many students can anticipate the odd formal occasion where men don Topman suits and girls frock up to celebrate the end of an academic year, but you will struggle to find a university, nay, a college in the North of England that embraces the ball with the same gusto as University College, Durham.
So, with a lot of practice under my hat, I have decided to talk you through my formal dress choices, starting with my secondary school leaver's prom.

I wanted to do prom properly - traditional floor-length gown, rather than floaty maxi dress. Aged 15, my gown was sparkly, youthful, fun and expensive. What was most remarkable is that this dress was the first I picked from the rail and the only one I ever tried on. Whilst I would never choose it now, it is the kind of dress that holds sentimental value, despite knowing I will never wear it again.

I wore a Mori Lee purple fit and flair prom gown with a ruched bodice, beaded underbust and spaghetti straps that linked the dress to a 'spiderweb' design across my back. I accessorized with silver drop earrings, a mass of chocolate brown curls and lilac make up. People stood on the train all night, but the alterations (I had to have a size six taken in!) meant that it fit like a glove and even to this day, I look at the above photograph and feel beautiful.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Topshop Ariya Skirt by Goldie

Why? I have been looking for a skirt like this for a good few months now, but had hoped I could find a cheaper alternative to Topshop. After hours of shopping and a black size 8 nowhere in affordable sight, a fit of rage found me at the till with this baby. And I'm glad.

H&M Endless Nights Vest Top

Why? I would like to state that I did not buy a yellow top. The version I purchased is white with black lettering. I've been inspired by the recent sun to show more daytime skin, and with my job in the sunshine this summer, vest tops are a worthwhile purchase.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The Hunger Games

I have never been one for a bandwagon. My love of Harry Potter is an organic one, spawned from JK Rowling’s words in the morning of my life, not an after-effect of gravy-trained big screen success. It is that reason, amongst some issues with overall quality, that has steered me away from Twilight for all these years. With the Hunger Games, I assumed my reaction would be similar. The internet is full of Hunger Games fangirls, counting the days until the tributes enter the arena. The approach to reading is admirable – after all I come from a generation that before Harry Potter, has scarcely read anything longer than A Very Hungry Caterpillar – but not something that attracts me. I don’t really enjoy being swept up by a media furore, so the anticipated screen debut of the latest teen franchise has not, and still does not really, excite me.

What the Hunger Games did, that Twilight did not, it fills me with curiosity. Over the past three days I have read the Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, and my appreciation for (what appears as) an over-hyped media sensation has taken me into its ranks of fans with a similar amount of surprise that Katniss Everdeen felt, watching herself be shot on television.

The story is one that surpasses the media’s synopsis. Luckily, I discovered the story after publication and have been able to read the trilogy as one long book. It is more than a story about a battle in an arena. What that arena is, is not explained until at least the second novel (though I am having trouble distinguishing where one novel ends and another begins). The arena is a metaphor for life under authoritarianism. A social allegory for everything I study within politics, everything the world is stripped back to be and the frailty of the human condition. The Hunger Games tells a story of fallible humankind, all of which can be decimated.

The Hunger Games spoke to me like no children’s book ever has. This is not a love story, nor a dystopian fairytale. There is no good triumphing over evil. What the Hunger Games portrays, in a way I find the politics student in me comparing to recent civil war and genocide, is the stark realisation that good and evil are not two distinct enemies. The concept is a blurred one, one that all individuals cross the parameters of. The Hunger Games shows that the world, its government and its people are ruthless and that you or the ones you love are just pieces in the game of power retention. Life is cheap – as is the case in politics and international relations today. If the Hollywood directors do anything to dilute this message from the children who need to hear it, I will be most disappointed.

Saturday, 17 March 2012


Sometimes I forget how lovely my home is.

Miss Selfridge Black Zip Frill Playsuit

Why? Because on the last night of term, when you've got leftover cash and 5 completed essays in your handbag, life is too short not to self indulge in the superficial. It is so flattering, a lovely fabric and a really nice fit. Yes, I know it's black.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

I Can Draw

For those of you who don't know, I keep a sketchbook now - to promote everything artsy and pretentious that I would like myself to be. I cannot wait for the day that I'm sat on a park bench and crack out my 2b to sketch the overwhelming beauty of the shapes of the ethereal landscape in which I find myself. Yeah something like that. I think I'm kinda good.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Minibooks Jewellery

Buy Minibooks Jewellery here.

An Abundance of Katherines

An Abundance of Katherines is the second book by John Green that I have read, and whilst I enjoyed the novel, I can't help but feel that just maybe reading The Fault in Our Starts first has spoiled the John Green literary experience for me.

The Fault in Our Stars is a groundbreaking triumph of young adult writing and even now, months after its release, TFiOS is a deserving number one on the New York Times Bestseller List.

An Abundance of Katherines failed to engage me in the way that TFiOS did.

For an unlucky-in-love male protagonist, Colin Singleton is a cliché. He is harsh, cruel, single-minded, snobby, self-indulgent and remains this way for the majority of the book - his character arc resolves him far too late in the story for me, as the reader, to feel on Colin's side. Colin uses superior intelligence and superior insecurity as reasons to downright whinge about the state of his life. When reading from a perspective where personal experience has seen problems of greater significance than 'I didn't read my designated 300 pages today, and being single is a bit rubbish', I have little sympathy for Colin and therefore little impetus to read on.

Though I am glad I did. In the novel's last third, John Green deals with breaking bad romantic cycles, moving on with life, collective responsibility, the notion of community and the trivial nature of relationships during youth. Colin is redeemed, and all is well - a satisfying, if not predictable ending.

Whilst Colin Singleton is no Hazel Grace Lancaster, John Green's writing style is nearing perfection and his innovative use of footnotes in narrative adds a much needed to quirk to subsidize a lacking plot.

All in all, Katherines was enjoyable, but by no means an extraordinary read. Whilst TFiOS conveyed such raw emotion, Katherines’ moral seems diluted in comparison, but not quite bland enough to dissuade me of John Green's immeasurable talent for conveying hope through the English language.

Roll on Looking for Alaska.