Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Chanel Haute Couture SS '17...

Hello lovelies!

Fashion month is upon us again and to be honest, I can't wait for the London portion (Burberry anyone?!) but until then, I've been trying to get caught up with what I missed of the Haute Couture shows a few weeks ago, namely Chanel.


Of course everyone was talking about the amazing finalé look modelled by Lily-Rose Depp.  But what I love most about Chanel Haute Couture is the immense tailoring and the finer details that you simply wouldn't get from a normal runway collection.  I've handpicked my favourite looks (and I've even illustrated one of them) from the show and will discuss them in more detail-but if you get a spare moment, you can watch the full film of the collection here SPOILER ALERT-it's a beauty!!

Look 1

From the off, Look 1 was simple yet striking.  The detail here is in the tailoring of the bouclé, and I loved the pussybow collar, very Karl, very Parisienne!  J'adore!

Look 6

Look 6 was my favourite of the 'suiting' looks.  I love the length of the coat, and the combination of this with a lighter more fluid flowing dress.  The hat is the perfect finishing detail of the ensemble.  I loved it so much I had to sketch it....

...thoughts? Expect more illustrations on my blog over the coming weeks!

Look 40

Look 40 is exceptional elegance at its best.  I absolutely love the finer detail on the jacket and on the trim of the dress; a perfect look for a summer ball or wedding (if only I could afford the hefty pricetag!).

Look 52

Again, it was the elegant embellishments that caught my eye with Look 52 but I also love the shape; perfectly flattering for a small waist.  Absolutely stunning!

Look 65

The final few looks of the show were showstoppers, perfect cocktail party dresses with inspiration from a variety of eras and Look 65 was my favourite of them all!  I love the fluidity of it and the flowing feathers after the slim slip-dress style structure.  Perfect for any red carpet-amazing!

Which looks were your favourites?

Happy fashion month!

Kay xxx

(All images (except illustration) credited to Chanel.com, I do not own these images)





Thursday, 9 February 2017

Dining at the Bowes...




The Bowes Museum is celebrating it's 125th anniversary this year, and what better way to celebrate a birthday than with cake!  Yes, last Wednesday I decided to visit the museum to try out afternoon tea at Café Bowes; my Mam and I love afternoon tea and it's a perfect way to spend a day off!  I love visiting the museum when I have some spare time, and I couldn't wait to see what afternoon tea there (my other favourite pastime!) had to offer!


It must've been wonderful to dine with the Bowes family just over 125 years ago.  John and Josephine were avid collectors, hence the building of the museum in the first place, and if you get chance to visit the museum now, it's worth visiting the 'Dining with the Bowes' display; for a glimpse into the finery of dining with the Bowes family.

 Lady Josephine Bowes, pictured with her dog, loved to collect

Some of the pottery, porcelain and silverware displayed, gives the viewer a glimpse of the crockery that the family would have used in their everyday lives as well as those pieces reserved for finer dining.  





I was really impressed with the silverware on display, (some bearing the Bowes' family coat of arms) and was interested to learn that a lot of it was bought by John Bowes' great grandfather, who spent a whopping £1090 on silverware before his second marriage.  It's clear to see John's love of collecting certainly ran in the family!

Exploring the museum certainly helped to work up an appetite, and after drooling over all of the sweets and treats on offer in the museum shop, we were certainly more than ready for our afternoon tea.  I love Café Bowes; you always get the warmest welcome, the atmosphere is great and the food is absolutely delicious!  I was so glad I booked a table in advance and was given a window seat; my favourite place to sit is one where I can admire the beautiful gardens below.  We were a little early so ordered coffee when we arrived but thankfully, the chef had been informed that we'd arrived so we didn't have to wait long for our food...


...and it looked so beautiful, we couldn't wait to delve into the goodies (my Bertie Burberry bear wanted a piece of the action too!!).

Choice of sandwiches was cheese savoury, ham and pease pudding and salmon and cream cheese on  brown granary bread.  The sandwiches were delicious and there were more than enough; there certainly wasn't any skimping on the portion size!  The small fruit scone was perfect (and still warm!); sometimes a larger scone is too filling with an afternoon tea, so this one was just right.


Last, but by no means least, the cake layer was absolutely outstanding.  The mini Victoria sponge with fresh strawberries was so moist, the chocolate straw melted in my mouth and the mini macaron was absolutely delicious!  The layered Tiramisu cake was tasty too, but a little too rich for my palette (nevertheless I managed to demolish it!!).

On the whole, the afternoon tea was up there with one of the best I've ever had.  With our coffees and pot of tea included in the price, it was £25 for two people; a real bargain as most afternoon teas of this calibre start at around £15 per person.  I also got a ten percent discount for being a Friend of the museum!  I'd certainly recommend it-it was outstanding and my Mam and I had a wonderful afternoon!



With full tummies, it was time for us to make our way home, but I'm sure we'll be back again soon for another adventure!

Until next time,

Kay xx

Afternoon tea at The Bowes Museum is £25 for two people.  To reserve your table you can contact Café Bowes by emailing cafe@bowesmuseum.org.uk or by calling 01833 694605.  For more information on visiting the museum, check out their website here.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Inside Vogue: A Review and my tribute to Alexandra Shulman...

Image taken from 2736.jpg (I do not own this image. Credit: Getty)

Hello lovelies,

Last week saw news break that after twenty-five years, Alexandra Shulman is to step down as Editor-In-Chief of British Vogue.  After reading 'Inside Vogue: A Diary of my 100th year', I was planning on writing a simple review about how much I loved the book, but on hearing the news I was glad I hadn't already posted it.  Now, with a heavy heart, I can take the time to write Alexandra the tribute she truly deserves.

 Inside Vogue

Vogue has been a part of my life for so many years.  I'm an avid collector and I realised that in my Vogue-reading lifetime (I'm 31), Ms Shulman has been my constant (I wasn't so stylish that I was reading the magazine when I was four, although that would've been a great story!).  The editor is the person you take for granted; unless you work in journalism or publishing, it doesn't really enter your head that it takes one incredibly strong, decisive and forward-thinking person to make a magazine like Vogue sell and tick.  Alexandra Shulman was that person, and I'm so thankful to her for making the magazine great, for it's fashion and its hard-hitting and well thought our journalism in equal measure.  Not only did she boost massively boost sales of the magazine during her tenure, she was also the brainchild behind the super successful Vogue Festival; that's not to be sniffed at.

After watching  'Absolutely Fashion: Inside British Vogue' documenting the magazine's centenary year and the opening of the absolutely brilliant 'Vogue 100' exhibition, I was keen to read Alexandra's book on the same subject.  I was interested to read her take on the year, away from the cameras, and I'd definitely recommend the book to all Vogue lovers, or for those that simply admire Ms Shulman's work.  She is brutally honest; but what could've been a career ending year for her had it all gone wrong, proved to be her most successful.  Reading her memoir, you can feel the stress pouring out of the pages; the difficulty of keeping the Centenary issue cover a secret, organising the Vogue 100 dinner seating plan whilst juggling speakers for the festival, having to deal with last minute cancellations and additions, organising the exhibition, alongside dealing with her fear of flying and dealing with the day-to-day workings of the magazine!  It would be enough to tip any person over the edge, and yet Alexandra pulled it all off seamlessly.  She constantly credits her amazing team, but it takes a very strong and organised leader to pull something like that off; hats off to her!  What I loved most about the book too, was how much she seemed to crave a simpler life.  Whilst many women would claim a job at Vogue as their dream, hers is to tend to her garden and spend more time enjoying art and time with her family; her honesty is humbling and her wit endearing.  I enjoyed it all.

The elusive centenary cover

I know she has said publicly that she isn't a fan of bloggers, but Alexandra if you ever read this (not that I think you ever will!) I just want you to know that you were one of my inspirations when I started mine, so for that I thank you.  I'll never have the opportunity to work for Vogue, but when I write about fashion and my love for it, know that every word comes from a girl who spent many years pouring over its pages; thank you for being my fashion education. 

Until next time,

Kay x

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Drops of Light and Youth, The Bodyshop @ The Bridges, Sunderland...

Hello you lovely people!

Hope you're all well and that your 2017 is awesome so far!

I promised to blog more this year...so far I've lacked a little in the posting department, but I'm trying!!  


Today's post is a little different to my normal subject matter; I'm talking about skincare.  I was kindly invited along to The Bodyshop this weekend to sample two of their recently launched products, but I didn't expect to come away with a whole new skincare regime...mind blown!!


So what was I sampling I hear you cry?  Quite possibly two of the most amazing products ever, Drops of Light: Pure Resurfacing Liquid Peel and Drops of Youth: Youth Liquid Peel.  The difference?  Each product offers different benefits for your skin.  The outcome; be gone horrible winter dry-skin!  Perfect remedies for my battered winter running face, I couldn't wait to try them.  Before I say anymore, I just want to point out how amazing and friendly the staff at Sunderland's Bodyshop store are, and how knowledgeable and helpful the lovely Leanne was, who was dealing with my dry, wintry, old lady hands!

First up is the Drops of Light Peel...



Okay, before we did anything, Leanne checked the moisture levels of my skin by doing a test with their resident moisture machine on the back of my hand.  I knew the results wouldn't be great.  I'm often out battling the elements with my dog, or running miles in icy winds, so winter is never kind to my skin.


As you can see from the reference chart, before any treatment from the products, I should have been looking at anything over 40% for normal levels of moisture in my skin.  My left hand was a shocking 10.5%...my poor, dehydrated lefty!!  

Fear not left hand, it was Drops of Light to the rescue!  This peel contains red algae harvested from the North Atlantic, perfectly rich in Vitamin C and known for it's skin brightening qualities.  And I have to say, my skin was visibly brighter in seconds!!  Leanne put a tiny dollop (probably just over one pump's worth) of the peel onto my hand and rubbed it in.  Within seconds, you could see the flakes of dry skin and impurities rolling away from my hand (ew...I know!) leaving my skin fresher and glowing.  She rinsed off the gel and dried, and then rubbed some Vitamin E moisture cream into my hand and when we redid the moisture test, I nearly fell off my chair...




I was up to 61.8%...take that winter!!!!

So how about Drops of Youth...?


So my equally dry righty was about to get the Drops of Youth treatment.  Promising 'fresh, smoother and more luminous youthful looking skin', this peel (applied in the same way) contains three plant cells, edelweiss from the Italian Alps and sea holly and criste marine from the Brittany Coast, which remove impurities to leave skin feeling cleansed from the day's pollution.  Continued use is said to make skin look more youthful and luminous, which is never a bad thing, is it?  After undergoing the same treatment, this time my righty was up to 56.1%, slightly less than the lefty, but still a phenomenal improvement!!


Wowsers! My skin felt amazing too!  I was offered a full size product to take away with me and initially plumped for Drops of Light, but as there was low stock in store, I took a Drops of Youth instead and I'm so glad that I did.  The Drops of Light started to sting my skin a little which Leanne pointed out could be a result of the Vitamin C, as it can be quite strong on more sensitive skin types; but this can be expected from any skin product which is why I would always recommend trying stuff out for yourself.  At The Bodyshop, the staff are super helpful and will gladly assist you in choosing the right products for your skin-so don't hesitate to ask.  I'm so glad I did, as Leanne also pointed me in the direction of their Hemp Hard-Working Hand Protector for the sore and broken, weather-beaten skin between my fingers.  I left with a full-size tube on offer for £6 instead of the usual £12-it's absolutely amazing and by far the best hand cream that I've ever owned!!




So what's this I hear about a skincare regime...?

Okay, I'm notoriously bad at looking after my skin.  My skincare regime is usually soap and water followed by some cleansing water to remove the makeup.  I rarely (like probably about ten times a year) moisturise and I ALWAYS use the excuse of not having enough time.  However, let me introduce you to my new skincare regime...


Yep and I already had these products at home (minus the Hemp as discussed!).  Just as I was about to leave, I got chatting to another helpful assistant (whose name I didn't catch but she was lovely!) who asked about my skincare regime.  I always think it's massively daunting when I go to a makeup counter to talk about skincare and they recommend about 3654725 different products to put on my face, but at The Bodyshop there's none of that.  She recommended that I wash my face and cleanse (maybe with a face wash though rather than a bar of soap!!!) as I have been, then just apply my Vitamin E eye cream, followed by slathering on lots of my Vitamin E moisture cream; she said my skin was beautiful, just dry.  She even recommended that I put everything next to the shower, so I just do it without thinking, ha!  Well, I've been a good girl and I've stuck to it; my skin is glowing and with the addition of the skin peel twice a week, I'm safe in the knowledge that I'm getting rid of all of those nasties that get caught up on my face throughout the day too!  I couldn't have asked for a better preview!

Thanks to the staff at The Bodyshop, The Bridges, Sunderland for having me along to try out your new products (and for pointing me in the direction of other amazing ones too!).  Thanks also to Sam at The Bridges for inviting me to this event.  I was given a full size Drops of Youth Liquid Peel (worth £15) in exchange for this review, but all opinions are my own; I love the product and will definitely be re-purchasing!

Thanks for reading,

xxx








Monday, 2 January 2017

Some fashionable Christmas gifts (and happy new year!)...

Hello lovelies!

Happy new year and all the best for 2017!  It's been a great Christmas break, where I've been giving my blog a lot of thought-and I promise to bring you more posts and more fashion more often in 2017.  I don't really do New Year's resolutions, but my promise to myself is to use this space more as a creative outlet as it's what I love to do, so I'm hoping I'll have more to share with you this coming year! Thank you so much for being part of my journey so far!

I thought I'd start 2017 with a summary post of the fashionable bits and pieces I got for Christmas (and my birthday...which is also Christmas Day!).  I was overwhelmed at the gifts, cards and well wishes I received this year and I have to say, for someone who is thirty-one years young, I was well and truly spoilt rotten!!  So thank you to everyone that was kind enough to make my birthmas that little bit more special!  I'm concentrating purely on my fashion gifts here, but everything I got was amazing!

Beauty and perfume...

I don't know about you, but usually come Christmas time I am on the absolute dregs of my perfume collection.  Like literally down to the last drops.  After trying to be savvy on the run up to Christmas, I've been swimming in 'Rosie' from M & S (which I do love by the way!), but my heart belongs to 'My Burberry'...ahhhh I could bathe in it (it would be a really expensive bath!!!).  Lucky for me I got two bottles of the amazing scent for Christmas, a smaller 30 ml bottle in the Eau de Parfum from my lovely sister-in-laws (which I'm saving for best-thanks ladies!) and a larger 50ml in the Eau de Toilette from my lovely Mama L, which I'm wearing every day.  If you haven't tried this perfume yet-I urge you to go and sniff; and if you know me, you'll smell me before you see me ;).

NB-you can also get My Burberry: Black, inspired by the black trench coat, but I'm not a fan-it's a bit spicier than the original, but worth a sniff if you like that sort of scent.


The other thing I was desperately low on before Christmas was makeup.  My favourite foundation is Star by Dior (in Porcelain, shade 12 because I'm one shade away from a ghost!) which I stocked up on a week before Christmas; but was over the moon when my lovely nieces bought me this mascara and eyeshadow palette set.  Dior mascara is my favourite; its the only one I've ever had that I find really opens out my eyes.  The little cute palette is perfect for travelling and comes in bronze shades that I love-it'll definitely be coming with me on my London trip in January.


Fashion illustration...

I love fashion illustration!  It's my favourite thing ever (and something which regular readers will have read about on my blog before!).  I've had a couple of classes, and am in no way claiming to be amazing at it, but it's something I really, really enjoy and I hope to incorporate it more in my blog during 2017.  Because of this, I got some amazing fashion illustration gifts this year, starting with this...


...an amazing technique book which my friend June bought me.  It's just what I've been looking for, and compares mediums as well as teaching some amazing techniques!

I also got a great sketchbook from my friend Jen for my birthday with pre-printed outlines of figures to apply illustration to, which also came with some amazing drawing hints and tips.  I paint freehand usually in a larger sketchbook, so I'm going to save this one for some watercolour pencil work.  Thanks lady!


My dad bought me a table top easel too, perfect for storing all of my art bits and pieces and good at protecting the table from unruly Indian ink (or should I say an unruly Kayleigh!!).  The easel actually came from Lidl UK at the bargain price of £20-if you're into drawing I'd say check out your local Lidl before they all go-so worth the money.  I managed to try it out over the break...

My latest go at fashion illustration-Dior girl in Indian ink on my new easel.

For the love of designer...

Now for the really good bit!  I'm very lucky that my Mister is always very kind at Christmastime, as I try to be to him with my present giving.  We don't really buy each other a lot through the year, just for the special occasions and I always do really well.  Last year for my 30th, I was overwhelmed (I think I cried!) when he gave me a MacBook for my birthday so that I could blog outside of the office (we share our Mac computer in the office, but really it belongs to him!), it was so nice to have something purely for my passion and a year on I still love it so much.  Because of that, I never dreamed that I'd receive the gifts from him that I got this year-I was gobsmacked; the perfect gifts for a fashion enthusiast like me!  So here goes...

Barbour jacket...

This is the present that I know he wanted me to have, but that I'd never have asked for.  I absolutely love it though! He got a Barbour jacket a while ago (actually I think he now has 3!!) and always looked at them for me when were out shopping, so I was totally blown away when I opened this beauty.  I love Barbour and the fact that they are local, made a stones throw away from where I live, so it's nice to own such a beauty (and the map of South Shields on the lining is my favourite part!).


Levi's denim jacket...



I have been lusting after this Levi's PSG jacket FOREVER!!  It was £85 when I saw it, he picked it up for £35 from the outlet...happy days!  I can't wait to wear it in the summer with my red Archive by Alexa dress and some trainers.  Everyone should own a denim jacket...I'm in love with mine!

UGG boots...


I have Uggs, but these are boot boots, rather than the normal Ugg boot shape.  They are amazing-but they're also a pain in the behind to actually get onto your feet!  The strap makes it impossible as it doesn't detach, and if you read online reviews, loads of the boots have been returned.  I was a sweaty mess trying to wear mine on Christmas Day-until I found the solution...A SHOE HORN!!! They now slide on with ease every time!! Because of the hardship of getting them on, they're in the sale now-but if you like them, just invest in a shoe horn and I swear you'll be good to go!  They're so comfortable!

Ted Baker ballerina pumps...


Just read the quote-Ted Baker you are so right!!  These little beauties are really for work.  The gold hardware detail really sets them apart from any other shoes I have, luscious!  Boy did good!!

My first little bite of Versace...



The first of two very thoughtful gifts, my Mister picked this up from Secret Sales and said he chose it because all of the images on it reminded him of the things that I like...aww!  I didn't even know these scarves existed, but I love it!  Expect it to feature in an outfit post very soon!

The ultimate...my Thomas Burberry bear...

Okay, this little handbag buddy was my favourite present of all.  I love Burberry, and every time I visit Fenwick in Newcastle or Burberry in London, I always look at these bears.  My Mister always laughed them off as a waste of money, so I never expected to have one as a present in a million years...but guess what?  He's a keeper! ;)


Attached to a story of how when he was buying it, he nearly walked away with a free Burberry handbag from a very confused sales assistant who thought it came with the bear (I WISH!!), this little man that I've named Bertie, complete with his gorgeous trench will be travelling everywhere with me, and doesn't he look cute hanging from my Louis?  (I got Louis with birthday money and savings from my 30th-it pays to work hard and save kids!).  These little babies can be bought from any Burberry store and online and, I can confirm, will make any girlfriend very happy!


Thanks so much to all of the people that made my birthday and Christmas super special this year!  Thanks for stopping by and reading...I'd love to hear what lovely things you got for Christmas, so feel free to drop me a message in the comments :)

Until next time,

Kay xx

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Merry Christmas everyone (and thanks for reading!)...

Hello lovelies!

I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish you all a very merry Christmas! I hope Santa is good to you all and that you have a truly wonderful day, whatever you are up to!  My day will consist of walking my dog, making a Christmas dinner and spending the day with two very important people...my Mister and my dog Jay-Jay.  It's also my birthday today...yay!...so I'll make sure I have a glass of fizz to celebrate too!

Thanks so much for following my fashion goings on and ramblings this year, it's always appreciated, whether you live near or far, it's always nice to know that someone is reading and makes it all worthwhile!  I thought I'd leave you with some Christmas build up snaps-think of it as my little Christmas scrapbook!

All the best to you and yours,

Kay xxx


 My Christmas tree and fireplace...

 Mam's beautiful white tree that got me covered in glitter!
 OOTD-my elfie selfie jumper!
 Christmas singalong wearing Archive By Alexa from M and S!
 Christmas at Burberry <3
A Liberty nutcracker

 Beautiful decorations and a very festive tea break with my wonderful friend Krissi at her lovely home
Vintage me again before a Christmas gig wearing Lindy Bop (and displaying my lovely Longchamp!)

 An early birthday soiree with my good friend Shelley (wearing Archive By Alexa and lipstick from Kiko)

Free Prosecco!

 More Christmas celebrations with my Mama L and my ladies...
And a Merry Christmas from my gorgeous pooch!

Happy Holidays!

xxx