It's September! And I've spent this Sunday indulging in AW16 and street style from Phil Oh at vogue.com. Before each season begins, I'll look back at the latest fashion weeks' attendees and take inspiration for the season to come. Here are those I've stashed, featuring mixed prints, utility, oversized or cropped fits and fuzzy fun. Bring it on!
Last Saturday I attended a day of pop up fashion at New Square! I took my vlogging camera to showcase the shows across the day, with models dancing and performing in latest collections from New Square stores including Outfit Fashion (aka Topshop, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge), JD, Next and more.
I haven't vlogged in a little while so I was set with my camera in hand to capture all of the day's activities, plus get some tips from the on-hand stylist Jill on what I should be stocking up on. She also had bagfuls of vouchers to hand out to the unsuspecting audience and it was like Christmas had come again!
My favourite outfits were the CUTE denim pinafore and tee from Dorothy Perkins and a bronze Topshop bomber that I've eyed up in store many a time. Take a peek below!
Hey all! Last year I had a fabulous time at New Square Shopping Centre in West Bromwich, which you saw in my vlog below. It was awesome to hang out with style guru Emily-Jayne and rush around the shops in a fashion frenzy to choose an entire outfit under £150, and it was featured in the local paper; so many people at work randomly saw my face in there!
It was around that time that I really got my fashion mojo back and started to dive into trends again - something which I'd paired back as minimal, chic dressing had it's flash in the pan.
And now it's all change again! There are SO MANY trends up my street this season, especially chokers, off shoulder cuts, a-line skirts, applique denim - the list goes on! Put 11th June in your diary as New Square are hosting a Pop up Fashion Show with this season's trends being modelled and plenty of prizes to share out - oh yes! I'll be stopping by with my vlogging camera to see the stylists and check out the showcase myself too.
Luckily I have a prize right now of a massive £100 gift voucher to give away to a lucky gal or guy to spend at ANY store! That's Topshop, River Island, Primark... the list goes on. Simply enter below for a chance to win before 12:00AM 11/06/16 .
See you at the show!
Last weekend I had the upmost pleasure of taking my mother out for the day! I was tempted to Bullring to check out this season's style event and took my favourite +1 as my mom is all about style and trying new trends. In fact she just bought a pair from the Clarks x Orla Kiely offering! Now isn't Spring the most inspiring fashion season? Some years it seems to take absolutely ages to come around but the sunshine has arrived already and I'm so set to burst my summer wardrobe out. It's a shame I don't work in fashion any more so can't wear whatever I like during the week, but I'm planning a few holidays and festivals otherwise. Beauty is something I've took a back seat in recently as my aim was to home in on my signature look before buying anything new. I've had my lighter hair for around a year now and I really need to explore some new shades though.
It's so common to feel like you're flipping your wardrobe 180 degrees when a new term comes so it's rather handy that every season Bullring hosts a one-on-one session space to offer treats and workshops from different brands. Shoppers can stop off and sample their 'fix' of new season offerings, and this year's Spring event had a beauty focus with a select few hot brands stationed near the mecca that is the Selfridges beauty hall. My mom and I hit the Beauty Amnesty first, which offered a £10 Bullring voucher in exchange of old makeup items - amazing! I even told loads of people at work about this and was sure to bring a few gloopy lip glosses and dry eye liners with me that had been languishing in my make up draws.
We did a circuit of the stands and stopped by Ole Henriksen first, who I recently found out is all organic and that really intrigues me. I find applying cheap products to my skin just feels strange as your body is actually absorbing these solutions and potions, whether good or bad. Surely natural is the way to go? We tested a few zesty gels in zingy orange pots and I made a mental addition to 'the perfect eye cream' list I am currently collating. My mom had a luxurious hand and arm treatment at the Clarins pop-up stand, and I almost booked another facial at the Clarin's Spa as all of the lovely memories of my last two came flooding back. I'm saving for an upcoming holiday though so I refrained!
I had a photoshoot with stylist Emily Jayne a few weeks ago (more on that when the photos are printed!) and was so happy to introduce this genius to my mom for a colour consultation at the event. I haven't shopped the same way since my consultation last year, and my mom has since bought a pair of '70s style flares with popping colours, just like Emily Jayne advised for her complexion! Learning the colours that suit and lift your face really transforms the way you look at the clothes you buy forever!
Then we split up and while my mom tried out the new Lancome L'Absolu Rouge Lipstick, I had a contouring session with Shu Uemura using the Lightbulb Oleo Compact Foundation, and ever since I've been taking my bronzer up much higher on my cheeks. My bedroom has quite dull lighting that somehow also exposes every flaw and line, so I'm always quite careful when applying my makeup nowadays and don't always feel too happy with the finish. I haven't had a makeover in a while so it was so useful to try something new and refresh my technique. I'm so ready to switch up my skincare as the sun's rays return, and I want to try a new foundation since MAC Pro-Longwear is setting too dry for me at the moment. For the past few months I plodded along but now I feel so inspired. It's by far my favourite fashion season in a long time and I've got so many looks and outfits buzzing in my mind, I just need the days to wear them!
I had an extra voucher to spend at the beauty hall and I gave it to my mom to repeat purchase her favourite Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua foundation. It's certainly a milestone when you go out with a parent and you pay for lunch too!
Hey sweet peas! Ahh putting together these photos made me feel really happy as I had such a good time at Clothes Show Live this year! To fill you in if you are thinking 'woah, what now - a show about clothes!?', the Clothes Show is a shopping event held at a huge exhibition centre with hundreds of brands selling beauty, fashion, hair, and a whole host of fun things. There's also lots of celebrity meet-n-greets, live catwalk shows, model scouting, and a 45 minute arena show with dancers, and most importantly, those topless male models. A teenage dream basically! It's a rite of passage for many Textiles GCSE courses and Birmingham gals alike.
I attended a fantastic Merumaya event last Thursday (more on that tomorrow) and met some of the most fabulous bloggers; especially Hannah of A New Addition, who I have met a few times before. We linked up at the Clothes Show after both planning to get there really early but ending up arriving around midday on Saturday!
As hoards of girls dressed up to the nines stomp through the many walkways of the NEC, the noise of the crowd gets louder and soon enough you start spying many shopping bags and see the heaving halls. I caught a few glimpses of the stands before collecting my snazzy freebie blogger pass and refueling in the press area with Hannah.
We just missed Millie Mackintosh walking in as we set off for the stands. Last year felt much busier and tiring, yet this year's show felt easily browsable but still absolutely full of energy, despite it being the Saturday event. The vibes are very much the feeling you get in a shopping mall but cranked up by a thousand as you get drawn into each stand flaunting new brands or flashing favourite products. As you move around, you see most brands sells bundle offers at highly discounted prices, and funnily enough almost all were £10! It's not hard to grab an offer, but I came away with some magazines with lots of freebies thrown in and a sweet Secret Santa present for a lucky someone in the office. I was tempted by the Rimmel and Models Own goody bags, but I knew I have a bunch of stuff in my makeup collection that I like already of course!
New features to keep your attention high across the entire day were some vlogger and blogger interviews alongside the celeb slots! I'm loving Fleur De Force's vlogs at the moment so would have really liked to see her talk, but Alfie Deyes was interviewed on the Saturday, and Hannah and I marvelled at the teenage audience all thrusting their phones in the air to get a blurry shot of the millionaire heart throb. We bumped into lovely blogger Karina too!
We then topped up our rainbow hair with HairFX and came away with a rainbow selection of colours! Why I didn't use these when I dyed my ends blue a few weeks ago I do not know as they are still so green. Disaster!
Soon enough it was time to hit the fashion arena and we got to troop to some seats at the very front, which made for perfect six pack viewing! After Rick Edwards pumped up the crowd and Jetta blasting out a tune, the show kicked off with a mixture of high octane hits, serious dance moves, catwalk strutting, and those half naked men coming very close to us at the end of the catwalk, hallelujah! The 45 minute show absolutely flew by as you were caught up by every back flip, sashay, and embellished outfit. I felt really ready to hit the town that evening as it was such fun to watch!
I did vlog the weekend below so do check out the show section and I hope you enjoy watching!
I would never normally share shopping offers or deals but holey moley I have something beaut for you! I joined Buyapowa a while ago, which offered beauty products from high end brands and the more people bought each item, the lower the price would go. Now they are only working exclusively with brands to double your money and at the moment it's Debenhams with #ShareToWear. For the next few days only they have 300 £30 vouchers for £15 each...! Last time I joined and bought two of the vouchers and I just purchased £60 of MAC makeup for £30!! And the deal is BACK today!
The offer last week was dubbed the AW clothing offer, but the voucher you receive is for the whole of Debenhams, and you are sent the voucher via email so you can use it online... AND claim your Beauty Club card points... AND at the moment they are offering a free beauty goody bag with a £50+ spend... AND there is free delivery to stores!
The deal is back for the next few days and at the moment the voucher costs £15 and automatically turns into £20, but like last time, it is due to sell out rapidly and sure to hit the £30 mark. Already 50 vouchers have sold. You do not need to use the vouchers until March 2015 so if you know you will be buying Christmas presents in Debenhams, sign up for a few vouchers today and you are basically doubling your money later in the year. There is not a MAC counter at Debenhams in Bullring so I ordered my MAC items online (which were mostly repurchases I knew I need soon!) and there is also Urban Decay, Benefit, Bobbi Brows, Estee Lauder.... the list goes on! And there is skincare and perfume - what's not to love!
I actually bought another voucher this week as I know I have birthdays coming up and never usually splurge on high end. Half price baby! The vouchers are sent to you when the deal ends and I had already planned exactly what I would buy before then. Take the chance and hurry - good luck! Social shopping is the future.
If there ever was a shopping mecca that makes you want to dash around with a trolley, grabbing every glitter-coated deal around, it's Clothes Show Live! The show is right here in Birmingham so it was only a matter of using my train pass to visit the NEC, and I was excited to be invited by Echo Falls wine. Definitely a brand I know well! Pass me the Zinfandel.
As I took the trains to the venue, it was very obvious the influx of chatty, bright eyed girls along the journey were all hitting the same place. Soon I was part of the mass of crowds walking towards the registration area where I flashed my print out and soon picked up a press badge in a small room crammed with journalists and photographers crowding around plug sockets.
My task was to hit the Echo Falls Wine Bar, which was a perfect pit stop after a day of browsing/fighting through the stands. As it was situated at the far end of the exhibition space, which was the size of a few football pitches, it was the freshest, most chic space in the venue. The bar had a unique offering of live fashion panels throughout the day featuring WIWT founder Poppy Disney, fashion icon Caryn Franklin, stylist Karl Willet and MTV's Becca Dudley. I had a lovely chat with Poppy D. as I started using her WIWT app a year ago and we spoke about the rise of the site and where I work now in the chocolate industry! I was racking my brain as to how I recognised Becca and then it clicked that she presents the hourly MTV news, which I usually catch every day between my favourite, trashy background TV and happen to think the fellow male presenter Bluey is a serious hottie. Yes I did like potentially all of his Instagram photos one day, and yes I'm not afraid to admit it!
We listened to a panel about breaking into the fashion industry which I was keen to hear as I broke into it myself through internships and blogging, and soon it was time to hit the stalls. The best thing about Clothes Show Live is that brands offer one-off multi-discounts that you wouldn't get anywhere else, usually in goody bag form. I snapped up the Models Own set below at an amazing discount - I couldn't resist! I browsed with lovely blogger Maria of Frills and Spills who funnily enough I met with this exact time last year in Bristol where our team won a fashion quiz! We started our journey through the crowds with fellow bloggers Caroline of Burkatron, a beautiful blog I will definitely subscribe to and a gorgeous gal, and fashion blog queen Lucy of Lulu Trixabelle, a vision of colour and major fabulousness. We were soon separated by the deals and gaggles of girls so Maria and I embarked on a browse of all the stands hunting for unmissable deals.
Maria and I were definitely more impressed by the beauty than the clothes, and also spotted many a celebrity. From Lauren Goodger manning her own Lauren's Way stand to a huge queue of screaming girls waiting to meet Peter Andre and a few poor covers strummed on a guitar by Andy Jordan of MIC fame.
We soaked up the atmosphere and gathered our goody bags for a quick snack stop and then headed back to the Echo Falls bar to link up with the girls again. Lucy and I then headed off to the catwalk fashion show, which was an unexpected highlight of the day. The show is on throughout the day so you can visit on an assigned time during your shopping, and as we had our handy press passes, we got to jog into the arena with the photographers and find a seat on the very front row! I have been to Clothes Show Live once in the past and the show was a set of dancers in high street clobber, but this event had a performance fromcheeky Kingsland Road, appearances from Mark and Jessica Wright, and a range of catwalk stomping, flamboyant dance troupes and some very muscly dancers, all interacting with video shows and pumping music. Each time the models came down the steps and ran off into the crowd, Lucy and I were looking out for our favourite male models, most often topless!
It's definitely satisfying to go home with huge, colourful bags holding your purchases and apart from some magazines with a few freebies such as coffee and loo roll (?!), my purchase was this Models Own set, all for £10! You could pick out three polishes of your choice, which included glitters, neon and velvet polishes, and also you received a set of liners, two makeup items, a mirror, lip balm, shadow applicators, a nail file & buffer, and the Clothes Show Live official polish; a blue gloss with circular silver sequins. A very good deal I feel! Thank you to Echo Falls for having me!
Hey yall! It's been a long week for me and I am looking forward to a calm weekend which starts NOW! I've been in bed with a cup of tea and my laptop since I woke up (with no alarm, just naturally!) and I'm catching up with lots of Youtube videos and writing this wee blog post for you. On Wednesday I was in London for the Motel AW13 Press Day and we decided to not just invite bloggers but have a special evening preview where we brought in a henna artist and Colour Xtreme for crazy hair dyes!
The press day showcases our future collection to stylists and editors as often they need to create all of the outfits for their autumn projects this early in advance. This is also how soon our designers will create collections and usually they will produce just one real life version of each item they have designed, which are the 'samples' above. Then our merchandisers and buyers decide which will sell the best and order different amounts of each style, and our factories get to work printing and sewing them, maybe with a few tweaks like a new button or bigger zip. Then our photography team will find a bunch of beach babes in Bali for our lookbook and at my office we decide how best to show you all the new trends and prints we have coming up. By now the editors and stylists who saw the items on our press day will be publishing their magazines featuring the items, just in time for them to be delivered to our warehouse so you can buy them from MotelRocks.com! That's when I come in and share our new things on social media and to bloggers across the world. Phew!
So that is why we have a press day, but also it's a lot of FUN! This season we definitely celebrated the brand as Motel was born in the '90s and our latest collections are heavily influenced by the cult decade. Enter our total time warp with a '90s bedroom set-up complete with a rainbow bed, blow up chair, lava lamp and television set with Spice World: The Movie on repeat! I went slightly retro with the floral Catalina Dress in the new Flower Buzz Print and a silver gem on my face, and dialed a few boys on Dream Phone, which my sister and I loved to play way-back-when! It's like Guess Who but you need to find out which boy fancies you by ringing some up and using the clues they tell you. Each boy comes with a photo and their hairstyles are hilarious!
There were also Rainbow Drops, pic-n-mix and flying saucers (holla!), and I was a bit young back then to appreciate Hooch but I did end the day with a slush puppy!
As for the clothes, I have to be very careful with Motel as if I like anything, I usually buy it. If I went shopping on the high-street and bought everything I simply liked, I'd be bankrupt! So I need to have the same attitude to Motel and not buy all the things that catch my eye, just going for the favourites only. Things I'm liking are a flash of ethnic prints like the paisley and mandala patterns, in rich colours for autumn time like plum and turquoise.
I wasn't sure I would have time for henna but the lady was super speedy and I got a full hand on the left, with Motel girl Megan's pretty hand on the right. I love it! It could be something you could try yourself as the pattern doesn't have to be perfect, although if you mess up then your hand will be stained so you have to be accurate. The henna artist told me to put Vic's over it at night as it heats up and makes the colour darker so I may do that to prolong the tattoo!
It has been a week since fashion week and it was probably my most favourite yet! I went down with the fab Motel girls as always and the sun was most definitely shining, making for a really cheerful atmosphere! I love spotting the celebs and saw so many reality stars; my favourite moment being metres away from Mollie King of The Saturdays at a show! I love The Sats so I felt like a super fangirl!
I wasn't too sure what to wear so I fitted in with what the other Motel girls wore by not choosing the same, and settled on my new Serena skirt. It doesn't seem to photograph so well unless you smooth it out, but it's a really cute little bodycon skirt with an almighty, ruffled peplum! This sparked a new peplum obsession so watch this space. I wore it with a new cropped sweater that isn't out yet but there are a few items in the print online, and I think I'll wear the Jolene dress to see Girls Aloud this week! I also wore my small Zara heels, shunning the traditional mega heels. Most bloggers always wear sunglasses like Ray Bans too which might make it easier to pose! It is very hard to do that natural street style pose so I was just smiling for every photo as it was genuinely such a fun fashion week!
I had a busy week last week and for once was struck down with a terrible cold! I have a suspicion it was freshers flu somehow, which is quite ironic as the memory of being a student is fading fast!
I sometimes head to London to visit the Motel Showroom if we have events or meetings, and last week we were filming for a special video *eeeek* and also it was the Motel Bloggers Night Out! We wanted to treat a few bloggers as the season changes and so we had a pamper session at the showroom with nails and hair, and then we were whisked away to Mahiki for cocktails and a karaoke sesh' in their aptly named No-Tell Motel! It was a miniature vintage faux hotel room with screens everywhere so you could sing in the shower and jump on the bed - it was like stepping into a museum set! You can read a little more about it here but thank you to bloggers Kim, Michelle, Fritha, Aisling, Rosie and Sammi for making it such a fun night! It was a true test for me as I was feeling so ill but I am a grafter and just got on with it; I love doing events!
H&M hat, Motel Rocks Jude Dress, Jeffrey Campbell Taupe Litas, Forever 21 stud double finger ring
I wore my Litas of course and borrowed the sample of the Jude Dress last minute! I love wearing blue now my hair is more of a deeper red and it really pops under the inky black lace of this dress, which we have in a few other styles too. I wore a dark berry lip but it would be fab with a Hollywood red pout I think! Psst we have free next day shipping and 25% off for students too this week at Motel so now is the time to place your order!