Thursday, 26 February 2015

Let's talk fashion...

Hello lovelies,

After another fabulous LFW, I thought I'd do a little round up of my favourite shows and looks for the forthcoming AW season.  But before that, I need to mention the Chanel Haute Couture show that took place in January.  I'm quite late off the mark on commenting about this one, but it was such a spectacle that I thought it was worth mentioning here!  So here we go...

Chanel Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2015

Ah Chanel.  What I love about the Haute Couture shows are that we are seeing what is on trend for the current season, rather than having to wait 6 months for the clothes to filter through.  But the Chanel shows are always such a grand feat that I can't help but talk about them.  Picture the scene; you're in a giant greenhouse (the dome of my favourite Parisian building, the Grand Palais, creating the effect with its gorgeous glass roof) surrounded by the most beautiful paper flowers...yes paper.  Then a gardener completely dressed in white brings everything to life with his watering can, and suddenly there is colour everywhere!  And the colour doesn't stop on set, it filters into the clothes too!  They are instantly recogniseable as Chanel, with the pops of colour in the boucle suits, the crop top style cut Mr Lagerfeld is currently favouring, but the devil is in the detail.  Many of the skirts and dresses are adorned with the most beautiful hand-crafted flowers making them well worthy of their enormous pricetags! I really loved most of the looks this time around, but I've listed my favourites below.  It's not wearability I've gone for this time, but more beauty and detail.  And you'll be blown away by the amazing wedding dress that closed the show; one can only think of the amount of hours that went into handcrafting that beauty.  I've picked skirts that are Carrie Bradshaw-esque, gorgeous coats, shirts with detailed collars and outrageous yet beautiful finishings.  You can watch the show here.


 Images are not my own.  All taken from Chanel.com.

Vivienne Westwood AW15

Vivienne Westwood is a designer that always divides opinion and I think that's the thing I love the most about her.  Love her or hate her, she will always be remembered for being a political activist and using her shows as a platform to mirror her beliefs.  Yes her designs are off the wall but let's face it, most catwalk fashion isn't wearable in everyday life.  Wearing Vivienne Westwood requires an eye for style and the ability to make the clothes work for you.  Her description of the current Red Label Collection is that it is the wardrobe of a lady who 'has been travelling through Tibet and Afghanistan, inspired by temples and mosques, interiors and traditional dress.  She creates a wild and exciting variety of outfits through her eclectic taste and strong sense of personal identity' (taken from www.viviennewestwood.com).  I felt the collection had quite an eighties vibe to it by the way it was put together and I adored some of the pieces.  Here are my favourites:



All images taken from www.viviennewestwood.com

Burberry AW15

Burberry Prorsum is the one show that I look forward to the most.  I love the models that walk for Burberry.  I love the influential people they have on the FROW.  I love the heavy influence of music (particularly this year as Clare Maguire was performing, someone I have been championing now for years and I have the timehop tweet to prove it!!).  Burberry is not just a runway show, it's a performance and a marriage of the arts.  My aim one day is to be dressed from head to toe in Burberry, but for now I think I'll treat myself to some of the makeup (it's all my bank balance will allow!).  Christopher Bailey has the perfect eye for what Burberry is about and his collections just keep getting better and better.  I haven't yet got over how good the Spring/Summer 15 show was with its birds and bees and pops of colour and he's managed to floor me again.  Hooray for Burberry!  The AW show was inspired this time by sixties glamour, with thigh high boots, gorgeous autumnal colours and tassels (also know as fringe!) everywhere.  There weren't many looks that I didn't like from Burberry, so narrowing down the list was difficult but if I was you I'd just watch the show (here), you won't regret it!   And if anyone wants to buy me Burberry, I love the burgundy fringe bag, and any other the trenches will be gratefully accepted!  Some of my favourite looks are listed below.  It seems lots of fringe and ponchos are the way to go for autumn!


(this bag though! <3)
  
All images taken from Burberry.com 
 
What were your highlights this fashion week?

I'd love to hear about them in the comments below!

xxx


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Sunday, 22 February 2015

Say it with Vogue...

Hello lovelies!

It was recently my lovely niece's 21st birthday and I really wanted to get her something special; a present that she would always remember and treasure forever.  When I was having a coffee with my lovely friend Dani one day, she was telling me about her obsession with magazine subscriptions and how she loves Vogue so much (you can see why we are friends!!) that her boyfriend bought her a throwback issue of Vogue from the month that she was born for one of her birthdays.  I knew then that I'd do the same for Rachel, as she too loves Vogue and has done from a very young age.  What better way to say 'Happy 21st'  than with a piece of your own fashion history!  I hope she'll read it and go on to get it framed so she'll always have it (I'd like to point out that I also took her for afternoon tea but that will feature in a different post).

Rachel's Vogue (from her instagram account)


Buying Rachel's Vogue completely sparked my curiosity about my own birthday issue.  I've had a Vogue subscription for as long as I can remember; in fact I don't think I could live without it.  I always think of that quote from Sex and the City where Carrie tells a fashion photographer that when she was poor she bought Vogue rather than food because she felt like it fed her more.  Too true!  So with that in mind, I ordered myself the issue from when I was born, December 1985.  Being a Christmas baby, I was expecting nothing less than a bumper issue and was hoping and praying for full on eighties fashion (think poodle perms and shoulder pads) and it definitely didn't disappoint!

Hello Vogue December 1985

I found my issue on Ebay.  It was £4.99 and £4.00 delivery due to the weight of the magazine (much cheaper than Rachel's issue too even though let's face it, it's practically an antique!!) but I thought that was an absolute steal!  It came in perfect condition and beautifully wrapped, with a very young Uma Thurman (waaaaay before Kill Bill) adorning the front cover.  But the bit I was most excited to see was the fashion.  Cue dodgy adverts and big hair...

Nice hair...
Shoulder pads anyone?
Many of the articles are the same, but have obviously massively moved with the times (Vogue notices etc) and it's also super unusual to see style icons of the day that we have since sadly lost; Princess Diana in the case of this issue.  Also, I came across a spotlight part of the issue that profiles local North East runner and all round nice guy Steve Cram looking particularly baby-faced and Bob Geldof long before he became a silver fox.

Baby-faced Steve Cram!!
Bob Geldof

But as always with Vogue, it's the designers that sell it, and the fashion photography in the adverts has definitely stood the test of time (the one from YSL below being my favourite).

Nobody does it better than Paris...

The beauty of print I guess is that you can always look back but it's honestly like taking a glimpse into another world!  I don't feel old at twenty-nine, but fashion has really come on in twenty-nine years, it's just fun looking back and learning all about what ladies loved in 1985 and what made them form a love affair with Vogue just like I have all those years later.

So if you love Vogue and get the opportunity, why don't you look back and try and hunt down your birth issue?  You'll be amazed at what you'll find!  I'm definitely going to frame mine after enjoying it with a cup of tea and a biscuit!  After all, it's a fashion institution!

I wonder what you'll find in your Vogue!

xxx

All photographs are my own but are taken of pages from the issue of Vogue.  I do not own the rights to the original images from the magazine-but thanks to the wonderful world of fashion photography I can at least share them with you!
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Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Oh, hey Lulu...

Hello lovelies!

With London Fashion Week drawing ever closer, I thought for the next few days it might be quite nice to run a few fashion posts on Coco, starting with an amazing collaboration.  Did you know that for this year's Comic Relief, the lovely Lulu Guinness has teamed up with Sainsbury's to produce the most amazing shopping totes?  I didn't know either!  So imagine my surprise when I noticed a post on a friend's Facebook all about them; I just had to have one.  Okay, well, I had to have all three actually, I just couldn't resist!

I headed to my local Sainsbury's last night to see what I could find and managed to pick up two of the three totes on offer.  The best part is they're only £5 each, with at least £1.50 from every sale going to Comic Relief, so not only will you look super stylish, you can also feel great for doing your bit for a great charity!


What I love most about the bags is that they are noticeably and recognisably Lulu from the outset!  If you saw someone strutting with one of these babies hanging from their shoulder you'd definitely recognise the Lulu markings!

Not wanting to give up on my quest to own all three totes (thank you Nectar points!), I managed to track down the third tote today at a different Sainsbury's store (I did a little dance as they only had one left...it was handbag fate and I knew she was meant to be mine!).


So what're you waiting for?  Get yourselves along to Sainsbury's now, before they disappear!  I can't wait to use mine!

xxx
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Monday, 16 February 2015

Cake Club does Serendipity...

 Hello lovelies!

This month's installment of Chloe's Cake Club took our slightly smaller than normal gathering to Serendipity, one of my favourite cake places for one of my favourite afternoon teas. Regular readers of Coco will know that I love Serendipity and have gone for afternoon tea there for my last three birthdays! You can read about my most recent afternoon tea visit here

I may be going over old ground, but I love Serendipity so much! It's ran by lovely couple June and Robin who have become very good friends of Mama L and I just from our frequent visits, they're like my extended family and it's definitely a home away from home!  I was so pleased when Chloe suggested we have a Cake Club there! 

There were only four of us at Cake Club this time as many of our lovely ladies had other commitments, but that didn't dampen our spirits! I brought along my lovely VBF Natalie to meet the Cake Club crew and Chloe invited Sarah, a friendly and fabulous food blogger. We were lucky enough to have the place to ourselves which meant we could take lots of lovely photos and have a good old giggle without annoying any unassuming customers with our constant camera clicking (who'd be a blogger?!).


Our table was so pretty and I loved the little tea cosy on my own little pot of decaf tea. Natalie isn't a tea drinker so she opted for Diet Coke and Chloe and Sarah were thrilled at the promise of bottomless tea, an essential requirement for the perfect afternoon tea!


Tier by tier our food was amazing. We started with ham, chicken, egg mayonnaise and tuna sandwiches...and they were super tasty! I haven't been eating bread since joining Slimming World, so I savoured every last morsel I ate!! We followed our sandwiches with a mixture of plain, fruit and cheese and herb scones. They were smaller in size than a standard afternoon tea scone  but we got loads of them which meant I had room for one of each flavour...a genius idea if you ask me! In fact I think I had four of them!!! After a short rest we then moved on to cake, the most amazing chocolate brownies, Macarons (my favourite!) and the cutest pink daisy cupcake you ever did see! Delicious!  I have to point out that I didn't eat all of this in one sitting, but what I left was boxed up and taken home for tea. It was so good!



 The world's cutest pot of jam!

Aside from the wonderful company, one of the highlights of this Cake Club meeting for me was having fun with Natalie's Selfie Stick!  Being a blogger, I'm not sure why I haven't invested in one of these for OOTD shots yet, but after seeing how good they are I think I might have to!  It was hilarious as we all tried to get into shot, but we got some really nice photographs from it and had loads of fun in the process!

 Selfie's with my favourite lady <3

 Selfie Stick fun!

We chatted about everything from makeup to how much sugar there is in potatoes and had such a lovely time, but sadly before long it was time to pack up our leftover cakes and go our separate ways.  Thanks to June for having us and being amazing as always and thanks to Chloe for organising; I love Cake Club!

Afternoon tea at Serendipity starts at £15 per person.  To pre-book call (0191) 510 0054 or contact June via the Facebook page here

xxx
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Sunday, 15 February 2015

Valentine's with a twist...

Hello lovelies!

I know I'm a day late, but I really hope that you all got the Valentine's Day that you wished for yesterday!  Last year I did a post all about enjoying Valentine's even if you are single, which you can check out here, and I cooked a meal for my Mister.  This year however he offered to do the cooking, so I thought it would be fun to take some snaps of our day!  We've been together for almost ten years so we don't really buy into the whole Valentine's thing any more, but we always make sure we do something special to mark the occasion.  So here it is, our Valentine's in iPhone shots!

Slutty Brownies *cake alert*...

One of my favourite blogs to read is 'The Londoner'  so I'm going to credit this part of my post to Rosie, the author of said blog, for this amazing idea!  When I was catching up on my blog reading this week I came across her Valentine's recipe for a 'Slutty Brownie Sundae' and as my Mister is a chocolate addict, I thought I'd give it a whirl.  I know, I know, I've already said it was his turn to cook, but what better way to say thanks than with a chocolate coma in a jar.  I won't painstakingly take you through the recipe, as you can find the method for both the brownies and the sundae on Rosie's lovely blog.  However, I will show you the process...











I thought I'd show off my apron in the photos (it's not often I sport an apron, but this beauty was a Christmas present from Chris's sister Helen and her partner Emma and I must say I love it!), domestic goddess eat your heart out!!  I used Chocolate Creme Oreos in the middle of my brownies (I want to say this was a culinary choice but I bought the wrong ones ha!) and I'm not gonna lie, they were absolutely schamazing!!  In fact there are still some brownies left in the cake tin as I type that I'm pretending aren't there, otherwise I'd eat the lot!  I was quite impressed with my brownie making skills (I licked the bowl so knew they'd be pretty good...thanks Betty Crocker!) so after a quick clean up, I decided to chill and get ready for my Mister's Valentine's meal delights!

A little bit of Lush...



Nothing quite beats a pamper session than a Lush product, and once again their Valentine's range did not fail to disappoint.  I got a mammoth amount of Lush stuff from Santa this year, but treated myself to this lovely 'Bubbleroon' for my Valentine's bath because I didn't want to miss out.  And the 'looks like a macaroon' part had me at hello!  Ooh la la it was good!


OOTD...

Even though we were staying in, I thought as I wasn't cooking I'd make the effort and dress up just like I would if I was going out for a meal.  Whilst it might seem like a lot of effort, it's nice to dress up especially when you know that you can take your heels off if your feet hurt!!  Here's what I wore...

 Valentine's OOTD (no, I don't know what I'm doing with my arm either...!):

Scarf and brooch: Vivienne Westwood 
Top: Topshop peplum style
Leather skirt: Miss Selfridge
Shoes: French Connection


Dinner is served...

My Mister chose M & S food for us, starting with a sweet potato and mixed bean soup and I was so hungry I forgot to take a photo of it!!  It was really nice though!  He followed it up with this...

Delicious beef cooked to perfection, mixed veg and garlic and parsley potatoes.  Mmmm...I ate every last bit and washed it down with a lovely glass of red.  Then all that was left to do was eat the 'Slutty Brownie Sundaes'...






Okay...so the Sundae is my Mister's but knowing I would fall into a chocolate coma before I finished, I opted for a smaller brownie with an ice cream and whipped cream topping.  But the verdict...oohhh eemmm geeee!  And I think he might have liked it too...
 

Presents...

As I said before, we don't really buy in to Valentine's gifts but we did get each other a little something.  Plus it's always nice to have a card to open because I absolutely love greeting's cards!  Here's what we got...



I love the card Chris got me of the cute bear holding the flowers.  Knowing that pralines are my favourite things in the world. EVER. he also did really well with my gift.  I bought him the little lovebug (when you squeeze it it sings 'Be My Baby'...I thought it was hilarious! Just me? Okay then ha!)  I also got him the Belgian sea shell chocolates and I LOVED his funny card (I'm not a psycho girlfriend; I promise I bought it as a joke!!).  I'd like to say we both bought the matching gift bags by complete coincidence as we are so connected and telepathic...but the real reason is that Chris is a big old copycat!  And that for Valentine's gifts, you can't beat Sainsbury's!

I loved Valentine's this year and I hope you've enjoyed a little peak at ours!
What did you get up to?

xxx
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