All hail WareShrimps

Just when I thought I would never be able to get my hands on anything from Hannah Weiland’s extraordinary Shrimps brand (let’s face it, it’s too expenny for me), they went and did a collab with Warehouse – and it’s everything I could ever have hoped for.

My sartorial dreams are now a reality in the form of a delightfully retro summer collection, featuring dainty floral embroidery, quirky prints, and a splattering of lovely pastel colours. I’d love to say I bought every single piece and will be modelling them allll summer long (it’s not often I’m bowled over by an entire range – usually it’s just one or two things) but my bank account would never have forgiven me, so I settled for my favourite option.

It’s no secret that I’m massively into green clothing at the moment (maybe it’s a subconscious side-effect of my efforts to be more eco-friendly?) and I won’t bore you with another rant about why I adore it. But I will admit that this incredible dress was the obvious choice for me if my recent outfits are anything to go by!

Anticipating that this release would be a sell-out (mostly correct but I think there are a few bits and bobs left on Warehouse for anyone that missed it) I furiously scrolled through the site’s pre-sale as soon as it went live. The second I spotted this gingham number I hurried to checkout. There were a few nail-biting moments as I passed through the underground (trying to quickly buy things while commuting is not ideal) but it landed safe and sound on my doorstep a few days later (well, not really, but that’s a story for another time).

I appreciate this is majorly dramatic and after some research you can actually still shop the dress on sites like Zalando but I was just so desperate to bag this one it made my palms literally sweat.

High street shopping is a rare luxury for me now (in fact, I rarely shop at all and try to instead rediscover my hidden gems with new ensembles) and while I’m learning to shun fast fashion, I also believe there’s nothing wrong with buying in moderation. And when something as gorgeous as this comes along the temptation is too much to ignore.

I mean… it speaks for itself really. Those juicy bows, the ruffled hem, the bold lime colour. If I could be a dress I think I’d wanna be this one. It’s so unusual and has multiple intricate dimensions to it (much like myself). The boxy straps and neckline contribute to the easygoing and carefree spring/summer vibe (unlike wrap dresses where I find myself checking that everything is in place every few seconds to avoid an unfortunate nip slip).

The material is unlike anything I’ve worn before – I’m unsure how to describe it but it’s basically like a very pretty towel. Ideal for situations such as: 1) when you’re in a proper rush and you don’t have time to dry yourself before stepping into your clothes for the day; 2) when you’ve finally worn it to death or spilt something irremovable down it (whichever of the inevitable happens first in my case) you can cut it up and make some truly great tea-towels; or 3) as one lady suggested, if you’re getting a little sweaty on a hot day you can use it to blot that out!

This is now the only thing I want to wear on repeat until the end of August (especially due to reason number 3, thank me later for the tip) because it fulfils everything I envision the ultimate summer’s dress to be.

I can just picture myself running barefoot and blissfully happy through the fields of gold (insert Eva Cassidy song here, or Theresa May if she’s your wheat field frolicking hero), picnicking, swanning around barbecues waiting impatiently for my veggie burgers to cook; and if I was lucky enough to have a friend getting married this year (someone take one for the team pls), floating around the reception half-cut and not worrying about my Prosecco leaving a mark on my dress because the spongy material will just magically soak it up.

So with all these dreamy activities in mind, what better place to have its debut than my first trip to Columbia Road Flower Market?! I’m trying to live like a Londoner while I can and gain all the experiences that only the capital can offer (I understand this is quite a tourist move but anyway), and this one has been on my bucket list since moving.

We picked THE worst time of day to go at around 1pm, and afterwards were awarded a few pearls of wisdom which I will be following religiously next time. Either get there super early when it opens at 8am and pay slightly more while the stall owners are setting up, or go when it closes around 4pm and grab some leftover stock for way cheaper because it all needs to go.

It was bloody packed when we arrived and took us about half an hour to walk the length of the street (which would probably normally take about 30 seconds). I went for daisies, Baby’s-breath, and I think the leafy one is eucalyptus foliage but don’t quote me on that! And it only came to a tenner. Now they’re looking fine and lovingly arranged on my bedside table courtesy of me and help from my Nan – it’s inspiring how a floral arrangement can brighten up a space so simply.

On the topic of flowers I attended a fabulous event at Anthropologie’s Regent Street store on Thursday evening with my soul mate and blogger friend Emma (I’ve fangirled over her podcast on here already and you can check out her blog here, she’s brill). The evening was hosted by Charlotte Jacklin to celebrate the launch of florist Rowan Blossom’s first book, Living with Flowers, and was blooming with tips and advice, beautiful floral displays and free Prosecco (I’ll give you one chance to guess the part I loved the most).

Jokes aside, I learned a lot about blooms and it has really influenced me to start introducing them into my home more frequently. I’m living with my Nan at the moment and her attitude towards flowers is really encouraging. She always buys herself a beautiful bouquet of whatever is in season and it livens up the house!

Flowers are something I wasn’t particularly fussed on in the past – but I think that’s because I’ve never bought any for myself before (and only twice received a bouquet). It’s a totally different and compelling experience choosing and arranging your own flowers, and this has sparked an interest in me that I hope can blossom into a budding hobby.

DRESS Shrimps x Warehouse (still available here) | ESPADRILLES Boden (gifted) | BAG Boden (gifted)

I’m wearing the Boden espadrilles again here because I love how the straw enhances that playful country look. My rainbow Boden basket bag came out to play too, and I’m thrilled with it. Obviously it’s going to be a winner at the beach because it’s HUGE and that fills me with unreal amounts of joy being the over-packer that I am.

Intricate detailing and bold colours helped me bring this look full circle, as the outfit’s striking character paved way for a hue explosion from the punchy, sassy bag.

It worked brilliantly to store my flowers in until I got home, although it was maybe a bit too on the bulky side for vintage shopping, which we attempted after the market. No successful finds for me that day unfortunately but I’ll be returning to Shoreditch soon sans giant bag.

The irony of shooting this outfit was that the weather was actually shit and I had my huge Mountain Warehouse puffa on top for the majority of the day – luckily the rain held off until we wrapped the shoot (yes I looked ridiculous).

And just like that the next long weekend is upon is! I hope you enjoy it whatever your plans may be.

Lily x

ph. Abi Thomas

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