Archive | 2012

An eager attempt at baking

We are so happy to have our new 'Food' section up and running that we've decided to try and test as many recipe's as possible and share with you our successes and misfortunes.  Here is my (not so impressive) attempt at baking a fantastic recipe: Spiced Oatmeal Cookies, captured by me and my trusted companion.. iPhone.


First step, cream shortening and brown sugar in a bowl.  (For the shortening, you can use half a cup of butter and half a cup of margarine)

Then, add the eggs & milk and mix well.

Next combine the flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a separate bowl.

This is where I went slightly wrong and decided to add a large amount of dried coconut flakes - why not be adventurous I thought..

Add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture.

Fold over until it looks something like this:


Finally, use a spoon to drop small balls of the mixture on to a greased baking tray, keeping them approximately 2 inches apart from each other.


Bake at 350° for 12-15 minutes or until done. 

You should end up with a couple dozen cookies depending on how large or small you'd like them.  They should look like this!


The extra coconut that I added made the cookies a little bit dry, so the lesson of the moment is to follow the recipe exactly!  Other than that they were great cookies - the batter tastes pretty awesome as well.. just saying.

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Epic photos of the week


kids on a horse


kissing lion

amazing horse

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Must have: Cambridge Satchel

An old classic turned into a modern phenomenon!  It's not just the satchels that we're obsessing over, it's the branding and the whole story behind this company.  If you haven't had a chance to hear about how The Cambridge Satchel Company came about then have a look at the video below and see Julie's journey.  She makes it look so easy!

These Cambridge Satchel's are the perfect mix of a usable classic handbag mixed with cool colours and great craftsmanship.  We're very excited about the fact that bright coloured handbags are around and about.. we're suckers for bright coloured accessories and what an awesome way to brighten up a dull winters day!

Loved by bloggers and fashionistas all over the world, Julie's humble idea has exploded in the fashion industry and is pouring all over our social media pages.  And we say all the more power to you!  We're inspired and hope to achieve half the success that Julie has.

Love The Cambridge Satchel company?  Let us know which colour you're saving for 🙂

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I love Jamie Oliver

It's official, Jamie Oliver is a genius for the reason that he has actually made me a good cook!  Granted I have step by step instructions in front of me detailing how to concoct such awesome meals, but alas that has never stopped me from ruining a fair few dinner times.  I was recently given a recipe book as a gift (possibly a hint to improve my cuisine skills) that has changed my life, that book was Jamie's 15 minute meals.  I believe Jamie has also made other books such as Jamie's 30 minute meals, however none have been as appealing as the 15 minute miracles.  This is probably because his 15 minute recipes generally take me at least an hour so any longer recipes and I'd surely be in the kitchen for days.. not so appealing.

These are a few that have been a success:

My personal favourite so far has probably got to be the aptly named "Sticky Kicking Chicken":

Let us know if you have a go at any recipes, we'd love to hear of your successes and mishaps!

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A Magical Parade

In November 2012, the streets of Knightsbridge witnessed a truly spectacular event.  The collaboration of Disney and Harrods was highly anticipated in the months approaching the event.  Londonites and visitors alike lined the streets outside of Harrods, poised and ready to witness the unveiling of the Christmas windows.  Here's a little preview:

Quivering in the cold, we grabbed some meatball soup and warmed our bellies while we waited for the show to start.  And woe, was it a show.  All of a sudden, Disney music started blaring out all around the streets and then, despite all of the traffic on Brompton road, a glowing Cinderella carriage appeared being pulled by six beautiful white horses.

(Alas, I wasn't in the best position for photo taking)

From the carriage emerged a very real Cinderella and the Fairy God Mother.  Their looks and mannerisms were un-canny.

After the show, I realised that my cheeks were hurting because I was grinning so much throughout.  I guess I still have a soft spot for Disney...  Who doesn't right!?

The night ended with a bang...

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Capturing December: Our Photos

We have accepted the challenge and have leapt into it with full force!  Here's a gallery that we'll be updating with our daily December photos.

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Capturing December

Upon a daily peruse of fun things on the ever eternal world of the internet, I stumbled upon this Photo-a-day challenge put together by A Content Housewife.  The idea is to follow some key words each day and blog, Instagram, Pinterest or Tweet it on the net with the hashtag #ACHdecember.  Being a huge artsy photo enthusiast, it took less than a second for me to fall in love with the idea.  Are you up for the challenge?  Join us in capturing the month of December.

We're a little late so we'll be catching up in due time.  Keep a look out!  We'll be posting our photos on Twitter @LittleWingMag & Instagram @LittleWingMag

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The Lipstick

Sitting on the edge of the bed, I feel the warmth of the early morning sun. Its subtle heat cocoons me making it difficult to stay awake. My eyelids are heavy; my skin tingles and every inch of my body wants to cave in. But I quickly remember why I got out of bed at 6 am sharp in the first place and fight the urge to curl up and let my body sink into the covers and my mind sink into unconsciousness.

This is where I feel the safest. This is the only place where I can slow down. My brain is used to going a hundred miles an hour; worrying, analysing, over analysing whatever’s already been analysed. But not here. I can forget here.

Coffee is brewing downstairs. I can hear the faint bubbling noise the water makes as it boils in the machine, followed by a drip-drip beat, and then a sudden burst of the sweet smell of Arabica beans invades every corner of every room, so inviting and familiar. The house comes alive as everyone follows their daily routine. Heels clicking hurriedly on the wooden floor landing; hairdryers buzzing in the bathrooms; softly spoken chit chat at the breakfast table; one by one departing until the big iron door is slammed shut for the last time leaving the two of us alone.

I sit patiently on the edge of the bed feeling a little anxious from the events of the past year, wondering what took me so long to come back. Ninety-two seconds pass as I stare at the neon green alarm clock on the bedside table. It looks absurd and out of place in the one room of the house that has managed to escape the claws of modernity and change. Finally, she comes in. Following her trajectory from the door to the dressing table with total undivided attention, it strikes me how this frail woman’s every movement is still so graceful and elegant. That trait definitely skipped a generation or two, I muse.

There’s this discernible stillness that she commands when entering a space. Apart from the tiny particles of dust dancing around the sunrays that penetrate the window, it seems like the world stops revolving and I feel forced to hold my breath as if the smallest of movements would interfere with this ritual. She sits in front of the mirror reaching for the iron clad key that opens the top drawer of her ageing wooden dressing table that holds all of her most prized possessions. She takes out a tortoise shell case that holds pressed powder, a round brittle hair brush that she’s used for 20 years and a red Revlon lipstick. Humming Blue Danube by Johann Strauss, the first song she taught me to play on her grand piano, she places each item lovingly and carefully in front of her, glancing intermittently at a picture of her husband that was taken the year before he died.

Her cotton white hair with silver streaks, that to the touch is just like silk, catches the sunlight and gleams, almost sparkles, creating an aura around her that makes her look angelic. She gently brushes back her bob with the round brittle brush and not a single strand is out of place. She inspects it in the mirror meticulously, turning her head from side to side and when she’s satisfied she places down the round brittle brush exactly where she picked it up from and opens the tortoise shell case. Her fingers are long and bony; her joints slightly swollen from sewing crochet doilies, the top of her hands sprinkled with little brown spots that give away her age. Inside the case is a thin round sponge which she pats onto the pressed powder and then strokes her cheeks, then her nose, then her forehead. Her face fascinates me; it tells a story of pain and joy, of struggle and achievement. It’s enigmatic. She has almost lived a century and yet her skin is still plump, full of colour, and apart from the trademark family wrinkle – a deep crevice on either cheek stretching from each arch of the nose down to the chin – she barely has any. Her eyes are full of life, concern and love for the things and people around her, yet there’s an emptiness that will never be filled again. She carries her past with a remarkable lightness of being and even though she has experienced so much, she somehow defies the passing of time.

Still humming the work of Strauss, she places the tortoise shell case exactly where she picked it up from and reaches for the red Revlon lipstick. The final touch. The grand finale. The first time I ever bought a lipstick, I bought the same one. The same make, the same shade. I remember standing in front of my bathroom mirror trying to emulate her precise method, but ended up with it all over my teeth as I awkwardly stretched my mouth for precision. She puckers her thin lips and does the bottom and the top in two swift movements with astounding accuracy. She presses them together to make the texture smooth and even, the cupid's bow emphasized by the rouge tint. Looking at me through the mirror she winks slyly, a little crease forming at each end of her mouth. Still in her dressing gown, she looks more glamorous than I’ve ever seen a woman look.

As the tortoise shell case, the round brittle hair brush and the red Revlon lipstick go back in the top drawer where she keeps her most prized possessions, I sit on the edge of the bed still watching her with total undivided attention. She locks the drawer with the iron clad key, gets up and walks to the window and I snap out of that beautiful, dream-like condition. I no longer feel anxious. I feel free and I feel light. It’s strange how such small, seemingly mundane moments can be so cathartic, but I understand why. We need moments that make time feel inconsequential, moments that are so pure and so dear to you and are so embedded within you that it only takes a second to transport yourself and escape.

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An Enchanted Forest

To celebrate our new look - here is a little video treat featuring the beautiful Melissa Benkendorf!  
Makeup & Hair: Julia Whiteway. 
Music: Explosions in the Sky - First breath after comma.

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Q&A: Daniela Sach

Here at Little Wing, we love nothing more than evocative art. Whatever the medium, expression through art is invaluable for our existence – forms of creativity that allow the artist and the viewer to explore the complexities of humanity or simply look at various aspects of life through different perspectives. Daniela Sach is someone who truly understands this, and her love of art is deeply rooted. Her innate talent for drawing, painting and music was apparent from a young age. Her old doodles, sketches and scrap books tell tales of her dreams and fears. Her songs are poems of love and heart break. Her current work is visually arresting, beautiful yet dark, the kind of images that reach deep into your soul and stay embedded in your mind.

Growing up in Colombia isn’t always easy for artists – it’s a country where unemployment is high and financial struggle is commonplace, so coming out of school and opting for a career in the arts is risky business. But Daniela went against the grain and catapulted herself onto a path she had always wanted to explore. In doing so, she moved to Germany and is now living in Berlin studying German and prepping her portfolio to enrol in a photography course, which she hopes will lead her to become a director of photography...perhaps the next Sofia Coppola?

Daniela Sach

Hi Dani! So tell us a bit about your art background? Where are you from? How did you end up in Berlin?

Hello, hello! I come from Bogota, Colombia… Yep far, far away! I think my background is really experimental, not in an alternative way but I say this because I’ve always liked every way of art and I went from one to another. I danced ballet and jazz, painted, drew a lot, took loads of photographs, played music, sang and wrote songs pretty much my whole life. The fact that I always lived a creative life brought me to Berlin, where the artistic vibe is the strongest I’ve ever felt.

What are you doing in Berlin at the moment?

I’m currently studying German, and I think I will do that for quite long since it’s impossible to really get it perfect, you know what they say…life is too short to learn German! And at the same time I’m preparing my portfolio to start my studies at ‘’Neue Schule für fotografie’’ [a photography course in Berlin].

The whale

What’s Berlin like in comparison to Colombia? I’ve been to Berlin once before and I completely fell in love with it. What’s it like to live there?

Well Germany and Colombia are worlds apart, but I find Berlin quite similar to Bogota. People party very hard in both, and they’re equally crazy. But for me living away from home definitely has had an impact and makes Berlin much more adventurous. Bogota is my mom’s hotel, a comfy nest…and Berlin is the opposite of that, it’s where I need to be instinctive and that makes it all the way more magical. We connect very well!

Obviously, Berlin is a great hub for artistic talent. What’s it like for a young emerging artist? Do you feel there are more opportunities and paths to explore there rather than back home?

Yes there are definitely more opportunities here. It’s sad to say it because there is a huge amount of talent in Colombia, but here people actually decide to look at your work, even if it is based on a different perspective than what they expected – in fact that makes it more attractive for them. It is starting to change back home, and it makes me happy! But we do need people to open their minds a little more, and pay attention to real growing talents instead of following the usual! About paths to explore, I would say it resides in each individual. If you’re away from home you learn about the world, and within time you start bringing your roots out and all the things that makes you part of the place where you were born. That ‘mix’ between where you come from and where you actually live is very interesting.

Memory pain

Do you come from an artistic family? Have you always had a knack for drawing/painting?

Funny question about my family. I would say it’s half and half. My mom paints and is an art lover, and my Dad likes numbers. I hate numbers and love art. I have two brothers; one is a designer and the other one is an administrator, a business mind. So, 3 – 2 ! Art wins. One of my favorite activities was to bother my mom during her painting sessions and after dealing with me for a while, she would end up giving me something to paint with and I would follow her. So yes, I’ve always had a thing for drawing and painting.

Your drawings are very evocative and some are quite dark. Where do you get your inspiration from? What’s your creative process like?

I think my drawings show a dark side or destructive element of my personality and that’s the reason why they come up like that, quite morbid but at the same time very sweet…it’s confusing for me at times. My wide imagination and fears stand behind all of that. It’s like if a dog barks it’s then talking to a ghost and I’m out of there!

They were together, for once

My inspiration comes from books, films and music…mostly film stills I would say. So my creative process is to look around and everything that reminds me of a book, a song, a character or a film is what I take and start from there. There are times when I feel like doing something, but I see nothing around me that will be inspiring, so I just go through my ‘’things I like’’ file…and some idea will come up. I love the aesthetic managed by Sofia Coppola, Jane Campion, Jean Pierre Jeunet and Lars von Trier…they have a very strong visual identity, and that’s what I aim for. For me, it’s all about having your view of things printed on a photo or recreated by a drawing… so then it becomes something truthful and unique; that’s what transforms something normal into something overwhelming… I hope that within time I will get better at that…

A cat

I know that you dabble in photography as well, so what is your favourite medium and why?

Difficult question... you got me thinking here.  I enjoy them in different ways because they show different things. I would think that with photography I subconsciously express a very romantic and nostalgic side of myself, so at the moment this one would be my favorite.  The fact that I worry so much about ‘real life’ makes me forget about how idealist I really am and photography brings me back to that. Perhaps when life calms down a bit, I’ll go back to drawing as well.

Are you looking to get a career in the arts? Where do you see yourself going with it?

Yes! I am definitely looking to get a career in the arts. My all-time dream is to be director of photography. It goes step by step because it is a big dream and a high-ranking position in the hierarchy of film production, so I will start by studying photography and then we will see what comes next. Fingers crossed!

Have you got any plans for major projects? Is there anything in the pipeline that you’re working on?

Well it is not a major project but I’m currently working on cd/vinyl covers. It’s not necessarily for a specific band because the idea actually came up after some people that were looking at my portfolio were immediately reminded of bands like Pink Floyd, Morrissey, Cranberries, Bat for Lashes and some others. I thought it was an interesting thing, since the art behind music covers should be attractive to the eye, but definitely not obvious. So since then, I transformed a drawing into the 1:1 format (squared format) and I completely fell in love with it. It became something personal but it would be lovely to see them at record stores someday.

To see more of Daniela's work,visit her Tumblr blog here

Written by: Nicole McLennan

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Aquamarina Adonopolou & an artistic political expression

This time last year, we had already witnessed two popular uprisings in Tunisia and Algeria, swiftly followed by an Egyptian revolution and further demands for democracy in the Arab world. European countries began to crumble to an inch of economic collapse. In the midst of peaceful protests, violent repressions and a global financial crisis, we eagerly anticipated the royal wedding of the decade – a fairy tale microcosm far from a harsh reality. To say that 2011 was an eventful year seems like somewhat of an understatement and even in retrospect it’s difficult to digest the profound ways in which the political, social and economic landscape of our world has changed in such a short period of time. The intensity of such developments have highlighted the needs of many communities around the world, but one of the things that resonated the most was how involved young people were, and still are, in this remarkable collective desire for change. Little Wing caught up with Aquamarina Adonopolou, an art curator in Dubai who has closely followed the uprisings. Through her experiences, she makes sense of it all and tells us why she thinks art plays a major role in alleviating hardships and giving people a voice.

Aquamarina Adonopolou

Aquamarina was born in Greece but when she was four her parents were expatriated to Zambia. In the thick of her teen years, she returned to Thessaloniki in her homeland and finished high school only to make yet another move to the UK to begin her bachelors in Cultural Studies and Philosophy at Kent University. She decided to take a two year sabbatical after finishing her degree during which she travelled, took a few art classes along the way and interned in prestigious art galleries for experience. It’s easy to tell that she’s a free spirit, somewhat riding the wave as it comes and yet keenly intuitive to opportunities that will open doors for her and allow her to learn more about herself and her passion for art. About her move to Dubai, she says it was purely by chance and the result of a rather impulsive decision. “A friend had just moved here and found out there was a position for an internship at Green Art Gallery where I now work. I packed my bags and 3 days later I was here!” She tells us it's a really exciting time for art in Dubai because it's a culture that is growing exponentially and artists from the region are starting to be critically accepted.

Her profession coupled with having had the opportunity to experience different cultures and peoples has without a doubt made her a hugely perceptive individual and she exudes an incredible sensibility. Reminiscing, she tells about her university years in the UK. “The greatest thing I found about England was the tolerance to be whoever you want to be, people really don’t care and there’s an amazing sense of freedom.” Nevertheless, she says that Greece was the best place to be. “It’s great for young people because you can have so much fun, but at the same time there isn’t the drinking culture that you find in England; it’s a lot more laid back.” But is it the same after the mounting economic turmoil that the country has been facing for some time now?

The situation in Greece began to deteriorate in May 2010 when the government proposed severe austerity measures, including an increase in taxes and cuts in public spending in exchange for a £91 billion bail-out scheme. There were protest and strikes throughout the country, initiated by the Direct Democracy Now! movement, which were generally peaceful to begin with. However, as it escalated and Parliament voted in favour of the European Union bail-out measures, violent clashes between demonstrators and riot police began taking place. Accusations of police brutality were widespread and a deep resentment, social unrest and anti-government sentiment were embedded into the collective consciousness. Young people played a pivotal role in these protests. Aquamarina explains why, “I think initially the protests were more of an outburst rather than anything specific; it was aimed at everything. Young people who literally went out on the streets and spoke out against what we ultimately inherited from our parents’ generation. You’re basically coming out into the adult world already in debt and to top it off with no job to repay the debt that isn’t even yours in the first place. It’s bizarre.”

The news coverage of the 2011 civil unrest was mainly negative, but to be fair, the situation was at a critical point. There was such a prevalent general unhappiness and concern for short-term survival, there was no such thing as the foreseeable future. Violence was beginning to take its toll on an already exasperated community. “Slowly, however, what was wonderful was that this rage started becoming a lot more constructive and creative. Young people were coming up with solutions of their own, and actually doing something on any level that was attainable to them.”In a time of desperation, displacement and uncertainty, people decided to take matters into their own hands and help each other out. “Youth groups started popping up all over the cities organizing food and clothing for the increasing number of homeless people, free plays and concerts in the park, and promoting an alternative form of living.” And indeed, initiatives such as S-Initiative:Katalysis started taking shape in response to difficult times. The creators of Katalysis – a mixture of Greeks from all different ages and backgrounds – wanted to come together to “tap our collective resources - our energy, heritage, family and land-based wisdom, innovative ideas, modern technologies and ancient myths” to create a new future. Seeing the current system disintegrating led them to generate and host gatherings and spaces to move away from paralysis through art-based, conversational marketplaces. Their aims were to connect with, inspire and learn from each other’s artistic, literary and enterprise skills.

“[I think people] found that when money was actually taken out of the equation the possibilities and things you could do were endless,” says Aquamarina, which is why she believes art plays a key role in helping people express and discuss their views, especially in such tense political climates. For her, it seems that people are too used to receiving information through traditional media sources which are selective and often unrepresentative. “How can you completely encapsulate circumstance, war, famine, conflict, even ‘a people’ in such black and white terms? Yet that’s what happens. Art can depict the broader spectrum of things, it can offer its viewers the opportunity to actually have to stop and think for themselves for a change.” She goes on to add, “To come face to face with the possibility of your own prejudices, misconceptions and even limitations” is instrumental.

Aquamarina in Dubai

This is also something she sees at work every day. Currently Aquamarina is working with a young Palestinian artist, Shadi Habib Allah, whose practice is at the crossroads of installation, video art and recently kinetic sculpture. She talks fondly about him, making an interesting observation, “A lot of Palestinian artists get pigeonholed into certain categories because the circumstances through which their works emerge are so controversial. Through the Palestine- Israeli conflict, which has been discussed in the media almost constantly, the public is used to relating to them in purely political terms. "A young Palestinian artist once told me,  'I could be pushing a white block, in a white gallery space and that would be interpreted as me making a political statement about Palestine.' ” But Shadi tries to emancipate himself and his work from this; like she tells us, art is supposed to be a tool to look at things from a broader scope, one without limitations.

So what does this insightful young woman think of the future, of what lies ahead for her country and for the world in general? For her, it’s been amazing watching how the revolutions have unravelled in a global way, “from Egypt to Wall street. It just goes to show that the system that’s been in place really isn’t working.” But she reckons everything that has happened thus far isn’t even the tip of the iceberg. “Revolutions may happen with the purest of intentions but in the end we have to see if the things these people are fighting for are implemented and to what extent.” Aquamarina knows that the dust is yet to settle, and that we must patiently wait to see what has actually changed. For the time being, she will keep on championing art as not only a means of expression, but also as a means to educate and in many ways a saviour in times of need.

Written by: Nicole McLennan and Hana Difrawy

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Burberry: ‘Art of the Trench’

Last weekend saw Burberry bring together all lovers of the iconic Trench Coat! Burberry hosted a very exciting event in India to celebrate the ‘Art of the Trench’. Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey curated an interactive exhibition that featured photographs of people wearing iconic Burberry Trench Coats throughout Delhi and Mumbai. "I am incredibly excited about our Art of the Trench India project that we’ve been working on. We have this incredible portfolio of portraits taken by Manou, the Indian streetstyle photographer, throughout Delhi and Mumbai of people wearing their iconic trench coats which we are thrilled to be showcasing both physically and digitally.”

At the event, there were LED screens placed strategically around the room all displaying street-style portraits, some were taken by Indian photographer Manou and others by the public. Burberry now invites all of us all around the world to take candid photos of each other sporting a trench and upload them to the ‘Art of the Trench’ website. The website is fully integrated with Social Networking; it works to celebrate the iconic Burberry trench coat and the people who wear it.  The trench is an iconic piece of British apparel, one that certainly deserves a celebration to this standard!

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A Dissociative Identity

Model - Egija Zviedre
Photographer - Chris Edwards
Hair & Makeup - Bobbie Ross
Directors & Stylists - Nicole McLennan, Hana Difrawy

Little Wing's first editorial fashion photo shoot has gone swimmingly well thanks to a few people mentioned above and to two fabulous shops lending us their clothes: 'That Vintage Shop' and 'Rock & Robes'.  We hope you all enjoy the shoot, look out for more to come in the near future! 

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That Vintage Shop

There’s no denying that vintage fashion has become hugely popular in the last ten years. Perhaps it is because we are enamoured with past decades and we urge for some 1920’s flapper glamour, or the romance of the 50’s, the psychedelic allure of the 70’s, or the structured big shoulders reminiscent of the 80’s. Maybe it’s because some of us have found the benefit of being thrifty, both to save some money and in the interest of being green. Regardless, vintage is where it’s at – a salute to the past as we incorporate it with the modern.

It’s difficult to find truly great vintage shops where the collections are nicely edited and picked with care for a true vintage customer. Many times you’re faced with a warehouse packed to the brim with second hand clothing and while you can really find some gems in places like that, you have to have the patience of a saint and the eye of an eagle. Luckily, That Vintage Shop in Kingston-upon-Thames is like the light at the end of the vintage shop tunnel. Here at Little Wing we had the pleasure of featuring a few of their pieces in our first fashion editorial. Located on Old London Road, it is a beautiful store filled with many treasures. It’s run by Katie, a young entrepreneur with fashion hardwired into her DNA – her grandmother was a designer and Katie followed in her footsteps at university, after which she decided to open up shop.

The result is a beautiful, comprehensive collection of vintage pieces that are relevant to our times. From a railing with stunning embellished oversized jumpers in a range of bright, bold hues such as scarlet red or royal blue, to the prettiest girly dresses in super sweet pastels, to reformed Levi’s cut-offs with leather inserts, choices are plentiful. The shop itself is perfect in terms of the merchandise layout, as it’s not overwhelming but rather really accessible. It’s got flare and personality; it’s got that certain je ne sais quoi that makes you want to take your time and stick around because you know you’re about to find something precious.

Not much is left to say except that you should go and check it out for yourselves! Definitely worth the visit. If you’re sceptical, ask the hundreds of vintage fashion lovers that frequent the shop from local towns and even those that come all the way from South West London.

Written By: Nicole McLennan

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Q&A: Egija Zviedre

Little Wing had the pleasure of working with model and actress Egija Zviedre in our first fashion editorial. Her professionalism, flexibility and commitment stem from her undeniable passion for her job which is utterly infectious.  She is as fascinating as she is interesting.  In between hair and makeup and snapping shots, we got the chance to delve a little deeper into her life.

Egija Zviedre. Photograph: Chris Edwards

Tell us about growing up in Latvia. What was your childhood like? What is it like compared to London?

Latvia is a very special place. Sometimes I think of as a little dreamy island somewhere far away in the North... Where people live like it's a good 20 years back in the past. Some might argue differently, but that’s what it feels like for me. I do a lot of vintage shoots in London- when I go back to Latvia- that’s real vintage right there! It’s amazing! It’s like going back in time. Culturally it’s very rich and beautiful, very innocent and unspoilt at places. My childhood was pretty interesting! I spent lots of time by myself in my imaginary world. Where everything was exactly how I wanted! And I was really quiet. As the oldest child, I had to take responsibility for my younger sister -Londa. Since a young age I wanted to be very independent, wanted to do my own thing. London is so different from back home, but that’s why I loved it so much at first.

What made you get into modelling and acting? Did you always want to do it?

Well, everything always happens because of a vision. And sometimes you just have a certain vision of something combined with the desire. I have always been very artistic. Both of my parents were very creative people- they used to draw, paint, write poetry. I used to sing professionally, dance and paint myself. I think that was part of it. However, when I was a kid I used to read lots of adventure books, I used to steal them from my uncles little library and a lot of them were about the film industry. I found it very fascinating.

I got into modelling by accident really- a photographer stopped me on the streets of Old Riga when I was walking in a long, white dress. I was 15. He took a couple of pictures and I instantly saw that vision that I mentioned earlier. I joined an agency in Latvia and from then on it just became addictive, going to castings and all that. I started doing modelling for catalogues and billboards.

Why did you decide to move to London?

I decided to move to London, because simply there wasn't enough space for me in Riga anymore. It is a small country with limited possibilities. And I am an explorer. I wanted to see the world from a different angle, wanted to see what was beyond the horizon. When I came to London I was dazzled. I was so taken in and inspired by this big, buzzing city. I felt it. I’ve been here for two years now.

What has been your favourite job (either in modelling or acting) so far?

EZ: My favourite job would definitely be in acting. I think it was the short film that I worked on called “Meeting Mr Manners.” I was playing an art student who finds her father. This part has been emotionally the closest to me. The musical short film “Beethoven Burst” by Ankit Love was also one of my favourites, in which I was playing a cosmic mermaid as a female lead.

What do you prefer, modelling or acting? And…why?

I love modelling because I love great photography- when I see a photograph that I like- I can almost taste it with my eyes... And I really do like to be part of it as a model, because I know I can make it look great. But I prefer acting because I like the journey that it involves. I want to live the life of a character. I like to work on scripts and figure things out like why the character acts in a particular way, what her needs are, and so on. I like the psychological side of it and getting deep into the human nature. Doing independent feature films has really raised my appetite for acting.

Has it been difficult living far away from your family?

It has been very difficult. There isn’t a single day when I don’t think about them, my grandmothers especially. They are old and really want me to spend more time with them.

Who has been your biggest inspiration when the going gets tough?


Is there anyone in your life that inspires you?

Loads of people. My biggest inspiration is my acting coaches. Giles and Michael are my mentors and they keep me going. Also many people that I have met along the way.

Is there anyone in particular that you would want to work with? Like any specific actors/directors/photographers?

Of course! I would want to work with Martin Scorseze, Guilaume Canet, Pedro Almodovar, Darren Aronofsky, and Woody Allen. I’d also like to work with Mickey Rourke, John Malkovich, Ralph Fiennes, Ethan Hawke, Joaquin Phoenix, Brad Pitt, Leonardo Di Caprio... And many more!

Can you tell us about any future projects that you have? We want to keep our eye on you!

Soon I will start work on my next feature film called “The Ex-Factor” which is a romantic drama where I will play the part of Eva - a young, struggling, romantic Slovenian waitress that meets an English producer who  asks her to be part of his TV documentary.(Nothing to do with the actual x-factor).

What advice would you give struggling actresses/models?

To never forget the initial reason why one started acting or modelling. That energy and drive always needs to be within.

Written By: Nicole McLennan

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