February 2016

Freddie Harrel - EDIT Smock dress - NYC Street Style - Photo by Travis Chambers

MY INNER DAY-TO-DAY MESS?

You need to sit down and appreciate the beauty of the Internets – as my mother would refer to it (them?), so let’s do that first shall we? I put the word out on Instagram that I was going to NYC and was looking for a photographer to take cool shots while I’m there and someone tagged the oh so lovely Travis Chambers. We had a lot of fun, and he made me feel so comfortable despite the freezing cold and my bare arms. He showed me around West Village, we chatted about his family, his work, Travis is an all-round gem! If you’re in NYC and need nice photos, hit him up!

I’ve been blogging for 2 and a half years now and I’ve met amazing people through social media, people I now call friends, very uplifting and inspiring people. Once you sort out who’s really genuine, once you manage to be genuine and authentic yourself (that part is very difficult for most of us, isn’t it?), it’s just a beautiful journey, forever proving that the world is packed with human gems and that we should all step out of our comfort zone more, and connect with each other. Because after all, it’s as daunting for you as it is for the next person!

Now onto the dress! I still remember this Victoria Beckham smock gem, I’ve been dreaming about owning my very own ever since but it never happened. What happened though, is that I found an even better version (VB’s didn’t have any side-boob on display…uptight much?) and boy I’ve been doing some twirling!

I love how long and big it is, and as much as it’s not flattering, it’s a show stopper, and a very comfy one! Because it’s so bold, you don’t need to overthink the shoe part. You know how I love clashing my dresses with mansy shoes or trainers, I just feel like it allows me to channel the mess I am. When things are too sleek, too matchy-matchy, I feel like I have to be too and this is enough to induce a panic attack when you’re one of the Freddies.

All in all, clashing gives me a chance to spring on the unexpected and to remain cool with it. On those days when I wake up slightly bonkers (most days), I say the most random things at all time, I have another 100 ideas on how I should live my life (what if I actually belonged in New Orleans? Oh wait, I’ve never been!) but from someone rocking an evening dress with a pair of rubber boots and mismatched socks, it makes the whole inconsistency absolutely fine, if anything, it makes it expected and therefore welcomed.

So how should call this Freddie? “My inner day-to-day mess” seems to fit. Do you have her in you too? What’s she like? What does she wear? What’s the best thing about her??

Take me through your characters on Instagram too, with the hashtag #MyCharactersUnleashed / can’t wait to check them out!

And remember, being a mess is totally fine, you were never meant to make sense…

Lots of love,

Freddie x

Outfit details:

– Dress: Edit
– Boots: London Rebel (similar)

Freddie Harrel - EDIT Smock dress - NYC Street Style - Photo by Travis ChambersFreddie Harrel - EDIT Smock dress - NYC Street Style - Photo by Travis ChambersFreddie Harrel - EDIT Smock dress - NYC Street Style - Photo by Travis Chambers

BAD EYEBROWS, LIFE UPDATE & BOSS BABES

Well hello there !

Long time no speak on the blog ! I’ve literally been all over the place, you know when you bite off more than you can chew? Story of my life! And when I feel like things are too much, I just freeze – does that happen to you too? Please share! As a result, I’ve been quiet on Instagram, on Youtube and on here! Everywhere!

When it comes to YouTube, it’s not that I completely gave up but a part of me was starting to think, this is not what people are after on YouTube. They want real everyday life vlogs and make-up tutorials, both I can’t deliver (one feels too cringe and rather unnecessary, and I don’t have the skills for the other one – I mean, have you seen the state of my eyebrows lately?? The photo is here to illustrate LOL! I recently fixed them, after months of a Tundra style set of brows, very sorry brows ). I want to do laid-back style videos, confidence kick and most of all interview other women about their characters and their confidence. But I must admit, it’s fucking daunting. It takes me ages, not to shoot or edit, but it takes me days to have the courage to stand in front of the camera. And it takes me another string of days before I can edit because the idea of going through my clips makes me sick to my stomach. Unleashed much? Baaaah I’m as leashed as a string of onions (Pardon my Frenchness ha!) when it comes to shooting videos, and I have a lot of admiration for those who post weekly videos. I’m not looking for a vote of confidence here, but do you guys enjoy these videos? Is it worth for me to keep on doing them?
And this says it all, doesn’t it? I’m totally aware that I come across as being very comfortable on camera, chucking jokes here and there, but filming is not natural for me at all. It’s cringe. So don’t look at people online thinking they all have their shit together, no one has. But I do get to fully be myself and I love it. I feel like on Instagram I’m just that smiley girl in cool outfits, but erm, I have shit to say. You know?

It’s so funny how things happen sometimes. I took part in the amazing #IRLpanel yesterday, hosted by boss babes Emma Gannon and Laura-Jane Williams, and a lovely woman walked up to me and asked me when I would publish more videos… Erm, never?
And she went “YOU HAVE TO FREDDIE”. She picked me up where I had let myself down. This is the beauty of women, and why I love working with them so much, the reason why we had such a blast last night, all plotting about “permission” and owning the fucking right to feel amazing and strong! If you missed it, bear with us, we’re coming back! And watch out for the next SHE Unleashed workshop!

And I guess, the other reason why I’ve been quiet is because my head is currently boiling with another business venture I’m obsessed with at the moment. And it’s all I can EAT, BREATHE, POO AND FART (just joking, I never poo, or fart for that matter). I’ve been harassing Tom and my friends with the makings of it, I have such a strong feeling about it, I can’t wait to reveal it to you! You know when something is eating you up inside??? But the good kind of munchies! And I guess this is how much SHE Unleashed works its magic on me: I am not only one person. I don’t need to be just a fashion blogger (and to be honest I’m trying to steer away from this label), I want SHE Unleashed to grow and become a community, I want to bring it into schools, bespoke events, companies, everywhere! I also want to be a businesswoman, an entrepreneur, I was doing my daily visualization (if I lost you there, it means that you definitely have to join the next workshop!) and it hit me! From the likes of Amanda Woodward (who remembers Melrose Place? Amanda was my person man!) to Oprah (they say aim for the stars right?) I’ve always been a massive sucker for a badass entrepreneur. Well I have her in me, I’ve just identified her (yes, identified! Get a ticket to the workshop honestly) and I’m bringing her out. You don’t need to be just one person, to fill just one role. You are such a broad canvas of distinctive women, they’re here to provide you with the rich and fulfilling life you deserve. Own it! What are they about? Dig deep!!! Who are these women who make you? What embodies them? For each one of them, what are their strengths? Weaknesses? The best thing about them? Ladies, it’s time to get INFORMATION!

On another note, I’ve just spent a week in NYC and I had never been to the US before! I was telling you about my friend Contessa (she married us!!), well she lives there. I was really starting to burn out, I had also just found out we were moving country (more on this later), I just needed to disappear for a while, and be around someone WHO GETS ME 100%. Do yourself a favour: surround yourself with people WHO GET YOU! Not 1%, not 10%, 100%! All my besties do, don’t settle for anything less than that. You are too much of a gem to go about life misunderstood. ANYWAY, I booked a flight at the very last minute (they were £300!!!) and crossed the Atlantic! This trip opened my eyes to… MY BLACKNESS! And I’ve come back much more proud of my skin, my hair, my roots, and I am much more uncensored. I’ll write about it in a dedicated post but you know, I’ve been saying for a while now that I wanted to exist beyond my gender and my race, the latter being justified by the fact that white people do, so why couldn’t I? Well, it’s a big chunk of bullshit. I’m no role model and will never try to be, but I’ve also come to realise how I can actually help few black girls/women out there and boy that’s what I’m about to do. I’m done apologizing for the beauty of my skin, I’m done catering for other people’s feelings (I’m not loud, you think I am because I’m black. Really I whisper, cut your crap) and I’m calling out people on their bullshit in 2016. But this will come in another post 🙂

Overall, I feel that I don’t speak ENOUGH. And I want to do more of it, so if you guys tell me you like this post, I will post these updates weekly or fortnightly. Taking you through the inner workings (makings?) of my new inner business woman, the blooming of my unapologetic blackness, the musings of my (on and off) unleashed self and more. So, you game?

Yeah because I try my best at Snapchat when it comes to updates, but it’s another load of crap (I don’t do candlelit pilates, I’m mostly seen in sweatpants on my food-stained red sofa, and I’m too shy to film myself, especially in public places.)

Please leave comments, let’s chat here or on Instagram!

Lots of love,

Freddie x

PHOTO CREDIT: Travis Chambers

Freddie Harrel - Wedding - boho wedding / south of France

WELL HELLO MRS H !

[I’ve been thinking a lot about this post, it was actually quite difficult to write because I’m not really the PDA type, I don’t get publicly romantic. So despite the topic, don’t expect anything romantic here ahah!]

Take it from a very very (and I could stress it even more) stressed person: stressful is what you throw stress at! I can find 99 reasons to stress but the wedding ain’t one. I’ve never dreamt of my wedding day, I’ve never had any interest in wedding dresses and I don’t eat cake (so we went for a cheese cake – not a cheesecake – because sod frosting!). Which is probably why I ranted after my proposal. I’ve always wanted a beautiful, deep and uplifting marriage, and both Tom and I couldn’t have set up a better team for the task (we’re the bollocks, just like that) but I’ve never been the ‘Say yes to the dress’ type and I lack attention to detail so badly that it would be a waste of my sanity to even begin to worry about throwing the perfect day. I don’t have it in me. And I guess that’s also why we had such a short engagement (7 months), just so it wouldn’t turn into an obsession but remain what it was always meant to be: making an important commitment with the support and blessing of our friends and family.

We wanted something romantic and laid-back. A place where you could end up bare feet and start off in a maxi cotton floral dress and a hay crown on your head, without anyone questioning your upbringing for that matter. We wanted sun, but not too much of it, its orange and Indian tone. We wanted insane food but nothing stuffy, we wanted traditions but with our own spin on it and we wanted everyone to wake up with sore feet (and a sore head) – and boy we got everything we asked for!
It was such luck, but also thanks to my amazing sisters who crafted most of the decorations.

If you ever get married in south of France, I couldn’t recommend Roland Paix enough! The best caterer ever! We only expected them to look after the food but instead they handled the decoration, the ceremony, my bouquet (I realised at the last minute I didn’t have any. Oh, and that I left my shoes back in London…yep!) and were an incredible support throughout the 2-day celebration!

We did the registry in London back in August (our African wedding!) so we only needed a blessing for the big wedding, and instead of going for a random officer, we picked one of our best friend: our Cali born foul mouthed Contessa! And lots of other friends jumped in during what was an incredibly beautiful ceremony, reading poems and vows in both French and English, singing songs as the southern wind weeped through the trees, making us all sob a little (or rather a lot).

Most people came back on the Sunday, we had a pizza truck (still the Rolan Paix guys), bottomless rosé wine and a jump in the swimming pool!

I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful this whole month has been! The week before the wedding we hired a villa in Cassis with all our best friends, we drank and laughed every single evening up until the day before the wedding, Tom left to stay with his parents, I stayed with my amazing bridesmaids and we had a little drink up and dance-off by the pool just before heading to the wedding villa! Right after the wedding, Tom flew me to Bali as a surprise honeymoon, then Paris and then back home in London. A surreal experience! Not as surreal as this new one, marriage I’m so so so ready to grab you by both ends!

Now onto details because you need to know about the amazing people who got involved!

The dress!!!!
I started to look for my dress a couple of months before the wedding! I can’t describe to you the face that the lady made at the first bridal shop I hit. I think I unconsciously left it to the last minute so I wouldn’t have the time to go for a white classic dress. The dress was the part I dreaded the most – I couldn’t picture it, had no idea of what I wanted! Until the day I found it on… Instagram ahah! It was on StyledByAfrica’s page that I discovered Weiz, my dress designer! I saw that beautiful dress and left a comment asking if he could make it longer for a bride (you can still find the comment ahah) then we emailed and did the measuring on Skype! He guided me through the process, I know it sounds bonkers, the dress arrived a month before the wedding but like I said, there are things that don’t need to be overthought even if everyone else tells you otherwise. I can’t recommend Weiz Dhurm Franklyn more, he whatsapped me almost every other day asking me how things were going with the wedding plan, with the dress, etc. He was so involved, so adorable, and the dress… Well you saw it for yourself! He’s magical!

– My bridesmaids: Jarlo London! Here again, this choice is a no-brainer! The dresses are divine, and they’re not these sort of ball gown you wear once “27 dresses” style! They’re easy, they’re uber cool and you can wear them again, and can I say, they’re super cheap too! Like I said, don’t overthink things! I’m actually gutted I don’t own one of these dresses!

– Tom: all Paul Smith (who I would have married had he proposed a few years ago, he was in the shop when we bought the suit and I was tempted to swap fiancés ahah)

– Make-up: Black-Up Paris (supporting France innit)

– Caterer: The great, the amazing, the lifesaver Roland Paix ( and I didn’t even have 1p off, this is genuine!)

– Venue: Bastide de Puget (to be honest, the venue is breathtaking but the owner is quite difficult and she barely replies to emails or questions. So go with this venue if you’re the laid-back type because she can drive you nuts

– Wedding programs: my beloved Yagazie

– Photographer: the sweetest Remi Dupac

– Videographer: He gave us the giggles all day and delivered the best wedding video ever! Nicolas Raffi

– My registry outfit: Isn’t that co-ord masterpiece? Courtesy of the amazing Natacha Baco

 

 

Freddie Harrel - Wedding - boho wedding / south of France

Freddie Harrel - Wedding - boho wedding / south of France

Freddie Harrel - Wedding - boho wedding / south of France

Freddie Harrel - Wedding - boho wedding / south of France

Freddie Harrel - Wedding - boho wedding / south of France

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