For Love & London

As a little treat for being two weeks behind in blog posts here’s my newest project | For Love & London


            For Love & London is an architectural exploration of iconic buildings in the capital of England. Created from a tourists’ perspective, it plays on the idea of the familiar becoming the unfamiliar. Those who are accustomed to their own city sometimes forget to pay attention to the things around them. More specifically, they never look up. These images are taken from ground level with a main focus on the tops of each structure. I wanted people, even those native to the country, to observe these well known buildings in a new light. By chopping off the bottom of every photograph it makes these places peculiar, almost foreign. And by omitting the sky, it tells the viewer exactly what they should be paying attention to whenever they leave their flat in the morning. We should appreciate these walls that have been built up around us. After all, this is how I see London. This is how I fell in love.


 

 

All images are 7.3 x 7.3 inches mounted on 5mm Foamex

13/52

“If you keep believing the dream that you wish will come true.”  ― Cinderella

The semester is quickly coming to an end and with it goes anything exciting. That and my long blog posts (well, just for a little). As sad as it is the only entertaining thing I did this week was go to The Cinderella Exhibition presented by Swarovski in Leicester Square. But I have yet to see the actual film.

And as poor as I feel in London I couldn’t stop from falling in love with a gorgeous black dress that I found at Topshop. It now sits comfortably in my closest waiting for a night out on the town.

Love Always,
xo Melissa

12/52

“Out here it’s like I’m someone else, I thought that maybe I could find myself.” ― Miranda Lambert (The House That Built Me)

Last week I found myself having to deal with two problems. One being that I didn’t have one piece of green clothing in my closest and St. Patrick’s day was quickly approaching, and the second was that I didn’t want to spend £25 on the ‘I’m not Irish but kiss me anyway’ shirt I’m in love with at Pink (which I ended up doing because the need overpowered my will to stop spending money). In the end the urge won. It always does.

We spent the night partying at Waxy O’ Connor’s, an Irish Pub, where we, of course, drank Guinness (even though I think it’s gross). But you have to. It’s basically a right of passage.

I also attended the red (actually it was blue) carpet premiere for Cinderella. As most people know I have an obsession with Disney, specifically princesses because I am one. I am, however, very excited to see this film.

Last but not least I had an amazing night on the town with two of my closest friends over here in London. We originally attempted to find a bar that we read about online but that didn’t work out too well.. shit happens.

Love Always,
xo Melissa

 

11/52

“If you’re curious, London’s an amazing place.” ― David Bailey

Once in a while I have an uneventful week. As much as I try to avoid this, I can’t. The grey skies make my head spin and my bed becomes the comfiest thing in existence. But this isn’t a complaint; cloudy days are my favourite for photography. I despise shadows unless they’re being used for artistic reasons.

The beginning of the week was rather beautiful, the sun was out in full force and you could walk around in short sleeves. I wandered through St. James park where I fell in love with a black swan that I wish I could have kept.

I was excited to attend the Insurgent world premiere only to find it a bit of a let down. The only guests in attendance were Veronica Roth, Shailene Woodley and Theo James whom I have previously met in Toronto. For a world premiere, not simply the UK premiere it was a shame that no one else felt the need to show up. This was the first time I wish I hadn’t waited in line all day just to be given a shitty spot around the red carpet.

All things aside, iced milk tea is delicious.

Love Always,
xo Melissa

10/52

“When a (wo)man is tired of London, (s)he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” ― Samuel Johnson

Happy International Women’s Day! (Just imagine I posted this on Sunday like I should’ve)

This past week has been one of the most fun-filled since arriving in London. I came across a little piece of home in the heart of the city at Maple Leaf bar, drank a flat white from the famous Monmouth Coffee Company and found myself Slytherin off to Hogwarts at Platform 9 3/4.

It started with exploring Covent Gardens at BB Bakery and having the best afternoon tea experience I have had thus far. Everything from the little British sandwiches, to the decor was phenomenal. Tea has easily become my favourite delicacy since moving here. If it didn’t cost money I would be at a new salon each day until I’ve tried them all.

As Spring begins I have begun to see flowers blooming and birds chirping. This week I took a stroll through Hyde Park where I can’t wait to sit and read once it gets even nicer outside. The weather has been absolutely beautiful lately. I’d say I’m so glad winter’s over but I really have nothing to complain about compared to my friends and family back home.

For weeks I had been told that I had to have breakfast at Cereal Killer Cafe in Shoreditch where they have a wide selection of cereals (well, obviously). I decided to indulge myself with one of their cocktails, The Lion King which consisted of Lion, Coco Caramel Shreddies, Mars Mix and Caramel Milk. I have a slight Disney obsession so the choice was a no brainer. It was DELICIOUS! Don’t even get me started. If you come to London you must go, but give yourself some time because there will definitely be a line out the door that can easily take 30+ minutes.

This past weekend Cahoots, a 1940s-themed bar opened in Soho and I, along with a friend, went Saturday night. The disused Kingly Court underground station fills your ears with wonderful jazz and swing music. It’s a wonderful atmosphere and its workers stick to a character.

Love Always,
xo Melissa

9/52

“I think it’s cool that London Fashion Week is about young designers trying wacky things.” ― Alexa Chung

Originally this was going to be combined with 10/52 (this week’s blog post) because of its small quantity but I enjoy the look of the separate posts much more.

I’m aware that everyone likes to make jokes about how I don’t seem to have class… ever, but this entire week consisted of me writing an essay on how the time-space distanciation is a key feature of late modernity. Sounds exciting, right?

Tuesday my professor took us to see the work of Guy Bourdin: Image Maker at the Somerset House. Bourdin, an amazing and influential fashion photographer has created hundreds of gorgeous pieces. His images are compelling and do so without exoticism.

Once I was finally finished, I had the opportunity to experience the beauty and brilliance of London Fashion Week. I attended a catwalk show which featured four different trends including Hyper Florals, Shimmer & Shine, Make It Monochrome and That Seventies Show. Everything I’ve previously learned about catwalks has come from watching the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on television; seeing one in person was thrilling (although these models weren’t having as much fun as the angels do).

I, along with 3 other girls, have planned an 11 day trip through Dublin, Barcelona, Venice and Florence at the beginning of April. We’ve already begun discussing what we’ll be doing each day of our travels and I am so so so so so excited for this! I’m not going to give anything away as there will be a post all about it when the time finally comes. But until then…

Love Always,
xo Melissa

8/52

“In spite of everything, I still believe people are really good at heart.” ― Anne Frank

Travelling to Amsterdam was more than just a cultural experience, it was a reminder of our past.

Walking through the Anne Frank Huis is incredibly moving, thought-provoking and most of all, overwhelming. Although it’s only the remnants of an event in time, the pain lays fresh. No one wants to think something like the Holocaust could happen again but it could. That is the reality we live in; the unknown.

When I was younger, probably around the fifth grade, I read The Diary of a Young Girl. This was followed by a sea of other stories including Gabi’s Dresser and Hanna’s Suitcase―but what about all of the others? Six million Jews (and five million non-Jews) were murdered by Hitler, yet not all of their stories are being told. The Diary of Anne Frank is just one story out of millions that should never be forgotten. For those unaware, Anne’s diary was written while she and 7 others hid in ‘The Secret Annex’ during the Nazi occupation in the Netherlands. After an anonymous tip was given to the German police, officers stormed the building arresting all of its occupants. Unfortunately Anne never made it back home; she died of typhus in Bergen-Belsen, a concentration camp, a few weeks before it was liberated. Her father, Otto Frank, the only one of the group who survived, had her diary published in 1947. For a more in-depth telling, please go here.

There are so many words that have consumed my mind, if only they could find a way to my fingers.

We also took time to visit Hollandsche Schouwburg, the National Holocaust Memorial and Joods Historisch Museum, the Jewish Historical Museum.

Aside from the more serious aspects of the trip, there were many moments full of free spirit. I had my first experience of a coffee shop in the Netherlands. And yes, I’m still giggling about it…

All our food experiences were to die for; I have absolutely no complaints. Amsterdam vlaamse frites are available from little take-away stores all around the city and are so good. They are french fries served in paper cones, covered in the condiments of your choice. I chose special ketchup which was a mix of ketchup and mayonnaise. We were also told that about the world famous pancakes from The Pancake Bakery. Now I generally don’t like breakfast-type foods, but it was phenomenal. I ordered the Brazilian, a pancake with walnut ice cream, mocha sauce, Amaretto, almonds and whipped cream. I know you’re dreaming about it right now.

Of course we did some of the basic tourist attractions including a canal cruise and taking pictures with the I amsterdam letters. I do have to admit that we didn’t rent any bikes but I am seriously surprised with how many people truly ride around the city. I mean, I’m too lazy to walk around the block.

I am thankful for the opportunity to travel to such a beautiful location that I had only dreamed of in the past. Every day the sun was shining, leading us on an adventure that will never be forgotten.

Love Always,
xo Melissa