I can still remember the first time that I shopped at Topshop on Oxford Street in London – I was just twelve years old. The five story location was overwhelming and mesmerizing. There was nothing like it in the States, especially back in Boston where I grew up, and I couldn’t wait to share the beautiful fashions that I had found with my friends. From then on, every trip to London included an afternoon at Topshop where we would get lost in the endless racks of cutting edge fashions.
Topshop eventually started shipping to the states, so I would occasionally purchase things online. I remember being so envious of New Yorkers when they got their first store in Times Square a few years ago. When I heard of the LA store opening, I was thrilled and couldn’t believe that it would only be a short drive away (without traffic). So this past weekend I finally made it up to the Grove to check it out! I have to say, it’s definitely NOT Oxford Circus, or anything close to it, but it still did the trick. I was concerned that the store would be packed and picked over, but that wasn’t the case. The racks were well stocked and there was no elbowing our way through crowds. I spent some time sifting through different sections and came across their special edition dresses that run from $200-$300+, which seemed a little high considering the quality. I wasn’t blown away by the accessory section, and I have a hard time paying $90+ for faux leather shoes. I was really hoping to find some Maternity pieces to bring home, but the small section left little to choose from, so I’ll be sticking with online shopping.
Overall, I was slightly disappointed with my first experience at the LA store, but it’s hard when comparing to the flagship store in London. Fast fashion has really changed the industry and made trend items accessible to the masses without paying huge retail prices. It will be interesting to see how Topshop grows in the states while competing with the likes of Forever21, H&M, and Zara – all of which offer on-trend styles at lower prices than Topshop. Here’s hoping that the Summer/Fall seasons will bring new and exciting fashions to Los Angeles.
Last week, I was invited to join one of Tim’s co-workers on an aerial photography shoot! Tim casually told me about Jeff’s hobby/side business and that I would be welcome to tag along any time… so I jumped at the opportunity. I was a little nervous for the week leading up to the shoot, knowing that I would be in a small plane or helicopter, but as soon as I arrived at the airport my nerves were gone (the adrenaline took over).
After mapping out a route of jobs to shoot, in addition to sites that we wanted to see, we were off on a tiny 4 seater plane! Taking off was the most fun; the small plane felt like it had so much power and energy. I felt pretty good for most of the flight, but won’t deny that a little bit of motion sickness started kicking in. Once the actual jobs were shot we landed at a small airport and I got to sit in front to take my own photos. We headed towards downtown LA and at 3000+ft we opened the windows and started taking pictures. It was pretty crazy being up so high, in a tiny plane, with the windows open….taking pictures!
We made a few circles around LA and the Hollywood sign before it was time to head back to the airport. The windows were closed and the kind pilot turned to me and asked “are you ready to fly it now?” I looked at him dumbfounded and agreed to give it a try (I can barely see past the end of my nose). With a few simple instructions, I WAS FLYING A PLANE, and sweating about it! James Bond makes flying look so easy, and cool… but I couldn’t believe how much goes into it. Flying the plane, watching the controls, listening to the radio, and watching the sky ahead of you is completely overwhelming. I have SO much respect for pilots!
Unfortunately, I’m an inexperienced photographer; my settings were off and most of the photos came back over-exposed. However, I still managed to get a few good ones despite my amateur ability and hazy weather conditions. Best part of it all, Mrs. Magoo got to fly a plane!
Disneyland (Shot through a window)
This day was an experience that I will never forget. Thank you Jeff, for letting me tag along and bug you with a million questions!