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Top 10 Summer Favourites

Charmaine Leong

With summer well underway, we have put together a list of our top 10 must-haves for this summer season.

1) Everyone needs a basic white tee. A lot of us probably have more than one, and often try to justify to ourselves that they are different (when they actually aren’t). Spice up a basic white tee and know that it is actually different with this one from Darling and Gold.

  Second Female White Tee, £60 at    Darling and Gold

Second Female White Tee, £60 at Darling and Gold

2) Everyone needs a gorgeous swimsuit during the summer, and this piece from Alexandra Miro clearly meets that criterion. With sleek, clean lines and a sweet baby pink, this swimsuit is both modern and timeless. Pair it with dramatic palazzo trousers or a full skirt for the ultimate holiday vibe.

  Grace Swimsuit by Alexandra Miro, £190 at  Harvey Nichols

Grace Swimsuit by Alexandra Miro, £190 at Harvey Nichols

3) It may be summer, but it still does get chilly in the nighttime. Stay warm and funky in this varsity jacket by Denisse Montaré. Although a jacket may not be the most summery item, its bright blues, greens and reds lighten it up and bring life and energy back into the look.

  Love 1995 Varsity Jacket, £105 at   Concept Store Y

Love 1995 Varsity Jacket, £105 at Concept Store Y

4) The summer season will be full of plans and activities. Keep track of the time with this versatile watch from Flint Watches – refined enough to accompany you to formal events, and summery enough to be worn for casual day-to-day. This is also an incredibly high quality piece incorporating marble bezel from the Aravalli Mountains, goat leather and Swiss movement.

  Aravalli Marble Sandstone Watch, £180 at    Concept Store Y

Aravalli Marble Sandstone Watch, £180 at Concept Store Y

5) What better way to spice up an outfit with a pair of statement earrings? Try this dangly art décor piece with wavy lines and bright colours, plated in 24 carat gold. These earrings would go well on holiday, or even if you’re just going for a nice dinner with friends and family. Designed exclusively by Milk Tooth in collaboration with artist Maria-Ines Gul.

  Milk Tooth Cloud Earrings, £52 at    Concept Store Y

Milk Tooth Cloud Earrings, £52 at Concept Store Y

6) Get summer festival ready with this chic bumbag from Miu Miu. The perfect size to carry all your festival essentials, you’ll definitely be ready to party all day and night. This bumbag also comes in blue, green and pink, if red isn’t your thing.

  Matelassé Leather Belt Bag, £1,080 at    Miu Miu

Matelassé Leather Belt Bag, £1,080 at Miu Miu

7) Throw a modern twist onto a classic shoe with this pair of Converse trainers. Part of Converse x MadeMe’s collection, this pair One Star Converses mixes MadeMe’s cool girl style with the laidback street vibe Converse is known for. Featuring an olive green suede upper and platform sole, these trainers are definitely a pair to get your hands on.

  Converse x MadeMe One Star Platform (Green), £90 at    Dover Street Market

Converse x MadeMe One Star Platform (Green), £90 at Dover Street Market

8) Add some glimmer and shine to your summer outfits with these rings from Fotini Psarouli. A masterful jewellery maker, Psarouli experiments with metals and creates elegant jewellery by hand. Made out of 14 carat gold, these high quality hand candies will be a long-lasting staple in your wardrobe.

  Fotini Psarouli Rings starting from £325, at    Kabiri

Fotini Psarouli Rings starting from £325, at Kabiri

9) Nike has long stayed ahead of the trainer game by constantly reinventing itself. Get a pair of trainers unique to yourself by personalising your own artwork on these Nike Force shoes. Paired with a cute sundress for the summer season, you’re sure to stand out from the crowd.

  Art Nike Force, £200 at    Marr LDN

Art Nike Force, £200 at Marr LDN

10) What would any summer favourites list be without any cute swimwear? Turn heads this season with this glitter bikini set from Danish brand Becksondergaard. Whether worn at the pool, beach or at the skate park (with roller skates of course), this bikini set will keep you looking cute and fresh all summer.

  Get the Becksondergaard Orchid Bloom Bikini Top, £36,    here    and Bottom, £36,    here   , at AIDA

Get the Becksondergaard Orchid Bloom Bikini Top, £36, here and Bottom, £36, here, at AIDA

Artist Admiration: Toyin Ojih Odutola




Toyin Ojih Odutola is a Visual Artist from Nigeria, West Africa and grew up in Alabama. She studied a BA in Studio Art and Communications from the University of Alabama in Huntsville back in 2008.

She received her MFA (Masters of Fine Arts) from in 2012 from the California College of the Arts so it’s obvious to see that her Artistic and Academic credentials are impressive. 

Toyin’s Artistic style is distinctive and unique; she is best known for self – portrait drawings and has a particular aesthetic focus on her work being produced entirely, or primarily in black pen ink.

The portrait below of her Artwork entitled Lonely Chambers was produced back in 2011 and uses her Artistic flare of pen ink and marker on paper. This picture, in particular, is a signature Toyin piece of Art.


Her more recent work has evolved to incorporate the use of pastels, pencils and charcoal – offering a different aesthetic feel and tone to her Art. Although, it took some time before Toyin began to use colour in her work, due to her former reluctant approach to the idea.

A big part of her Artistic objective was to get viewers to see the layers and fine lines that compose a character – and through colour, this helped Toyin achieve this beautifully. Toyin’s portrait below entitled Hold It In Your Mouth A Little Longer is currently at the Jack Shainman Gallery in New York, USA.



Some of Toyin’s artistic creative inspiration comes from world – famous animated films such as The Lion King, Mulan and Vampire Hunter D. Her work has a recognisable mark-making form (a term used to describe different lines and patterns in Art), and reads as somewhat of a unique language of its own.

She has even be quoted as saying: “ I like the idea of reading a work as a code, the way one might read a letter or novella”. This is telling of Toyin’s approach to Art – not only do literal meanings matter in Art, but subliminal, symbolic and thematic components matter too.



Her engagement with polychromatic patterns in her Artwork is evident in the piece below. The left portrait entitled: “ A Misunderstanding with the Mistress” (2016) and the right portrait entitled “ First Night at a Boarding School” (2017).

Notice how that with multiple uses of colour, Toyin’s mark-making style is more visible and striking to viewers, and ultimately enhances the finer, more detailed embellishments in her work.




Toyin’s Artwork has featured on the front cover of George S. Schuyler fiction book Black No More (2018), illustrating that her work has crossed over from Artistic worlds into the realm of Fiction and Literature seamlessly.




Toyin’s portraits often illustrate the image of skin in unique and beautiful ways. Her mark-making style is distinctive on the skin of her portraits – highlighting her interest in the representation of Skin as a visual, in Art.




In reference to the topic, she has been quoted as saying: “ The style I employ for the skin is riddled with tensions inherent in the mark making, and I always like to tease those intentions”.




Toyin’s brothers have appeared in her portraits and unlike her early work, this one in particular shows off her polychromatic palette in an interesting and beautiful way. It shows her ability to take risks with the palette and how her use of colour became a skill that she wanted to include in the language of skin as well as the environment and surroundings in her work.




Category: Art

Tags: designer, Jewellery, independent, shopping, hackney, knuckledusters, fashion, statement 

Best Independent Boutiques in Amsterdam

Charmaine Leong

From bohemian areas of East London and Hackney, we now bring you to highly creative and innovative Amsterdam. With an equally bohemian spirit, the Dutch capital boasts a dynamic shopping scene. Many unique fashion boutiques exist alongside global brands in areas like Waterlooplein and Nine Streets, catering for every taste.

Here is our list of the top 5 independent boutiques in Amsterdam:

1) X Bank

x bank.png

Located in W Hotel Amsterdam, this hip concept store, which claims to be the ‘epicentre of Dutch design’, is more than a fashion boutique: it is a destination for the artistically minded. Featuring all types of objet d’art ranging from fashion, jewellery to artwork from local Dutch designers and artists, X Bank also hosts an art gallery and workshop space. Up-and-coming Dutch designers that are stocked at X Bank include Roderick Vos, Lola & Lou and Ink Inklusive Denim.

2) OU Boutique Stories


Curated specially by owners Val and Rose Adam, OU (French for where or where did you get that) brings all manner of texture, prints and sparkles into clothing, bags and jewellery. As the OU woman is bright, cheerful and feminine, but not afraid wear statement prints and colours, the boutique adopts tongue-in-cheek approach to make classic fashion too pretty and hard to resist.

Check out their Instagram here: OU Boutique Stories.

3) Hutspot


What makes Hutspot unique in the Amsterdam boutique scene is its lifestyle offering for young sustainable creatives. Brands sold at this boutique emphasise the use of sustainable materials and practices to ensure dignified treatment of the workers that produce their garments. After a long day of shopping and browsing, Hutspot also offers you the opportunity to kick back and relax and have a cup of coffee. Who wouldn’t like that?

4) T.I.T.S


Based in West Amsterdam, T.I.T.S stands for ‘This is the s***!’ and its name definitely lives up to the shopping experience. In here, you’ll be able to find funky and unique fashion pieces ranging Brixton Hats to stylish knuckledusters at affordable prices. Brands carried include indie label Mannish and Frisur and well-known Stussy and Lazy Oaf. Also, in mandatory Amsterdam fashion, coffee is served at the back of the store if you ever need a caffeine pick-me-up.

5) Cottoncake


A posterchild of Tumblr’s sleek, minimalistic and white interiors, Cottoncake feels very open and spacious despite being shaped like a pijpela (a long and narrow pipe drawer). Run by owners Tessa and Jorinde, the store only stocks items that they really love and pick up during their travels. Labels you could expect to see are Storm & Marie, Samoe & Samoe, and jewellery brands Mimi et Toi and Monocraft. Things are constantly changing however, as the owners bring in new upcoming designers, so don’t forget to pop in and check it out!