Wednesday, 29 July 2015

A catch up with My Little Box...

Hello lovelies!

Today's post is a little catch up with what I've received in my last three editions of 'My Little Box'.  I'm sure that anyone who's anyone in the blogging world now will already know about 'My Little Box' and will have probably also received and posted about these very boxes that I'm going to discuss.  Nevertheless I thought that they were worth sharing, particularly as all three have gotten me very excited about my forthcoming holiday...it's almost like they were made specifically for me!!

So without further ado...

My Little Provence Box...



My favourite editions of 'My Little Box' are those that are French themed, so I was really excited when this one landed on my doormat a couple of months ago.  Provence is not a place I know a lot about, however when I visited Dublin, there were pictures all over the plane advertising flights there and I have to say it looks so beautiful and relaxing...it's definitely on my list of French hotspots to visit.  The feel of this box was summer chill out, and all of the products included were amazing.  First of all, I received four...yes four...L'Occitane products; a soap, shower gel, body lotion and a rose hand cream (I've already used the hand cream...so it's not in the photo!!).  I love L'Occitane, although unless I really need something from there I do tend to find it a little on the pricey side, so it's always nice to receive some free goodies!  From 'My Little Beauty', I got a gorgeous bronze eye crayon and it's my perfect shade, so I was so happy with the beauty choices.  I really loved the idea of the Do It Yourself Cuff; you can thread cotton through the gold bracelet to coordinate it with your outfit and the dress-up doll magnet reminded me of when I was a little girl and used to play with the paper ones; so cute!!!  I've saved the mini beauty to things to take away on holiday which moves me swiftly on to the second box...

My Little French Riviera Box...



Yes, literally days after my Mister and I booked our holiday to Cannes (20 days to go!!), this little beauty arrived in the post...talk about fate!  After being so excited about booking my holiday, this box couldn't have been timed better.  This box was designed by up and coming interior designer Sarah Lavoine and she is responsible for the addition of the cool sunglasses and gorgeous nail polish that I can't wait to try out.  I also received those cute little planters (which I think may be used for make-up and brushes instead!) and a gorgeous 'My Little Beauty' body scrub and Kerastase hair tamer for unruly hair.  Perfect!

My Little Road Trip Box...



Okay, so twenty days to go...I should be pretty organised by now for my holiday right?  Er...we'll see!  At least my documents will be order with my cool travel organiser, perfect for storing my passport and travel documents.  The little bottle of micellar water will be travelling to Cannes with me, along with the sweet smelling after sun cream.  I wasn't that keen on the gold tattoo transfers (I rarely say this but I believe I'm about 20 years too old for them and nowhere near cool enough to pull them off!) but I loved the shade of the Essie nail polish...summer in a bottle.  The cute Kanako designed postcards are too pretty to use but I'm sure I'll find somewhere to put them.  I promise to 'Never Stop Exploring' and can't wait to use my new goodies in Cannes...eek!

You can subscribe to 'My Little Box' here.  It's such good value for money, I'd really recommend it.  You can also read about some previous boxes here and here, if you still need convincing!

xxx


Monday, 27 July 2015

My office and I...A collaborative post with WeWork

Hello lovelies!

I feel as if I've been away from my blog for an eternity; I hope you've all been keeping well and have had an amazing weekend.

Today's post is all about working from home or more to the point, my little office and its interior.  You see, when I'm not rambling about fashion on my blog, my 'proper' job as a Vocal Coach requires somewhere in my home where I can plan and prepare for my lessons and store all of my teaching materials.  I think it's super important when you're self-employed to have a little space that you can call your own, that motivates you and inspires you. When I started blogging, the office space also doubled up as a creative haven for doing that too.  Then my creativity took over and now it has taken on a fashionable life of its own.  I give you the 'Audrey Room'...



Audrey Hepburn is a massive inspiration to me.  I think she is an icon; she was a strong and confident woman who carried herself with grace and wasn't afraid to be different.  If I can live my life being half of the woman Audrey was, then I'll consider it a triumph.  So in my search for revamping my office, I discovered the wallpaper for my Audrey feature wall, and everything else sort of fell into place from there.  I'm also massively motivated by fashion (in case you didn't guess from my blog!) so I wanted my space to also reflect that and to be somewhere where I could house my ever-growing collection of Vogue magazines (another post for another day I think!!) and my collection of fashion literature.  Fashion drives me and inspires me, so having it all around me inspires me to work hard so I can earn the money to pursue my love, be it to travel to London to see the latest exhibition or to simply save to buy an iconic designer piece.


I always have a bunch of flowers on my desk; it's something I've just started to do and I think on a dull day it definitely helps to bring a bit of summer into the office and helps to lift my mood!


There are a few little bits and pieces on my desk, but I try to keep it relatively clutter free.  I had to share my macaron diary though; my life is in that book and it reminds me of some of my favourite things such as Paris, Laduree and sweet treats!!


I love this picture of my VBF (very best friend!) Natalie and I.  We only recently had it made into a mock Vogue cover so I framed it and added it to my desk.  Apart from my mister and my Mam, Natalie is my favourite person in the world.  She is my best friend and is like a sister to me!  We took this selfie for a giggle and every time I see it, it makes me smile!  Natalie comes on all of my fashion adventures with me.  She's such a wonderful, inspiring person and our friendship means the world to me, so what better place to have it than right under my nose for those days when I'm feeling unmotivated to work!

My office space is far from finished; I plan to replace the desk with a chic and modern white one, the Vogues and fashion books are going to be loving displayed on a white bookcase and I could do with some more storage for my vocal coaching materials.  Storage is something that our house lacks as a whole, so having some more would definitely prevent the office from looking so untidy!!

Storage perhaps...?

I love my little corner of the house and I can't wait to see it when it's totally finished.  I was inspired to write this post by WeWork, an American company who specialise in providing inspiring shared office space worldwide for entrepreneurs and those who would benefit from having co-workers to engage with and motivate them.  They hire out both office and desk space making the format applicable to most small businesses.  I think WeWork is a great concept and an amazing idea and definitely removes the solitude of being a sole trader for those who would benefit from it.  I'm not sure any co-workers would ever appreciate my Vogue collection though...!

Thank you WeWork for inspiring me to share my office space!

xxx


Thursday, 16 July 2015

Chanel Haute Couture AW'15...

Chanel.  Some of the greatest fashion shows that have ever been brought to the table have carried that famous 'CC' logo.  But it is without a doubt the Haute Couture show which is always the greatest spectacle to behold.  Not only is the presentation always sensational, the clothes are always the most amazing that you could ever possibly imagine.  The Haute Couture show is what dreams are made of, regardless of the fashion house that is presenting.

Haute Couture quite often is the collection that designers make the least about of profit from, but it is also the one that thrusts them into the limelight and keeps them current worldwide.  The hours of intricate work put into the the collection by the ateliers make the pieces stand out for their beauty and uniqueness.  I've probably said this before in a previous post, but what I love about Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel is that he is futuristic and forward thinking in his designs but they are always in keeping with what is truly and traditionally Chanel.  When reading about this current collection, I was surprised to learn that even the boucle of the Chanel jackets was hand embroidered from scratch, nothing is bought in in that respect.  I could wax lyrical for hours about why I love Chanel, but I'll spare you my fan-girling in favour of discussing the show, and my preferred looks from this collection.

Image taken from styleblazer.com

Let's start with the setting.  Obviously it has to be the Grand Palais, one of my favourite buildings on Earth!  This time however it wasn't instantly recognisable from the inside; a casino had been built from scratch and erected in its centre.  'CC's' monogrammed the cards, chips and slot machines, surely the most glamorous casino in the world.  To top it off, think of some of the most famous people from the world of showbiz, Julianne Moore, Lily Rose Depp, Rita Ora, Kristin Stewart...they were all dressed by Karl, draped with Chanel jewellery and positioned at the roulette tables, being left to play as the models paraded around.  The audience were treated to a show within a show.

Image taken from dreaminlace.com

Now to the looks.  The piece most talked about was always going to be the masculine bride look modelled by show closer, Kendall Jenner.  Whilst I did like the idea (Mr Lagerfeld quite often spins the idea of wedding attire on its head-sometimes quite controversially) and I loved the addition of the Camelia Roses, the looks wasn't my favourite because there were so many other beautiful pieces.

Look 67-Kendall Jenner as the bride

Look 66-My favourite from the show

Look 66 was my favourite.  I love the structure of the dress and the attention to detail; I'd love to wear it!

Look 03

Look 03 was my favourite of the more traditional feeling Chanel suits on offer.  I loved the added detail of the neck-piece complete with pussy-bow collar and having watched part of the suit be made online, I can't believe the skilled craftsmanship that went into it!  The rhinestones set it off beautifully.

Look 65-perfect for a ball

Many of the dresses this time had a more wearable feel to them than the usual pieces presented for Haute Couture.  This elegant black number would make an excellent piece for stage, perfect for performing!

There were so many pieces that I loved, I couldn't possibly list them all.  But don't take my word for it; you can watch the show here and choose your favourites!

Which was your favourite from the show?

xx

Images not credited are from Chanel.com-I do not own these images.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Rambling where I live...

Hello lovelies!

This is one of those posts today that doesn't really have a theme...it's not really fashion or lifestyle, it's just summer I guess!! I'm really fortunate to live in an area that's heavily green, yet is still nestled between cities with everything I need.  In summer, I like nothing better than to wander around in my little piece of countryside with my lovely Mister and my cheeky scamp Jay-Jay.  My camera isn't always the best at events and stuff but I think it shoots the outdoors really well...so I chose a random Saturday afternoon a few weeks back to really have a play with it! So, taking a step back from the fashion blogging, here's a little piece of summer.  See what you think of our great outdoors...


 We can see Penshaw monument in all of its glory!

My boys-Who's walking who though?!
 Why do you build me up, Buttercup?





 Ducks? Where? Show me!!!-silly Jay-Jay


 Hot-dog!




 My Mister's favourite viewing place-if I ever lose him I think I'll find him here <3
Bzzzzzzzzz!!

The best things in life are free after all (the second best are expensive!!).

Where do you like to walk in summer?

xxx

Monday, 13 July 2015

OOTD: What I wore for YSL, oh and an amazing afternoon tea...

Warning!! This post contains cake!!


Apologies for the amateur photography here lovelies but I thought that as I've been doing some style updates I'd add the outfit that I chose for reviewing YSL.  Whenever I visit anything fashion related, I always try to reflect the designer in one way or another with my outfit choice.  As Yves Saint Laurent quite often used a monochrome palette in his work, particularly with 'Le Smoking' and his 'Masculin/Feminin' collections, I decided to use this as my inspiration.  Also, I can never resist a pussy-bow collar and this is about the forth top I've owned with one!  My whole outfit is actually from Primark, quite a rarity for me as I usually struggle to find my size or anything that I really love.  But thanks Primark, you came up trumps this time!

Top: £6
Jeans: £7 (absolute bargain!)
Grey shoes: £5
All current Primark stock.

I was quite impressed with my choices when I got to the exhibition and saw this in Room 3...

Check out the pussy-bow collars!


Not that afternoon tea could ever be an afterthought, but I also wanted to tell you about the amazing one Natalie and I had after we visited the exhibition.  I drove back to Durham where we chose Tealicious for our afternoon tea; a cute little blue and floral tearoom at the bottom of Elvet Bridge, just opposite the Swan and Cygnet pub and the Marriott hotel.  I've visited the tearoom once before for cake with Mama L so was confident it would be a good choice!  As I'd been snapping away all morning, I only took a few photos with my phone (I left my camera in the car after YSL!!)...




I have to say, the afternoon tea was absolutely perfect!  The finger sandwiches were Wensleydale cheese (instead of smoked salmon as we don't really like it!) and ham on brown bread and cucumber and mint and egg mayonnaise on white.  The mini scones (which I always love because it leaves room for the all important top layer) were cheese and fruit (not together obviously!) with jam and clotted cream and they were all homemade and absolutely delicious.  Finally, the cakes were quirky and utterly superb.  We had mint chocolate brownie topped with an After Eight that melted in our mouths, the lightest Victoria sponge made with blueberry jam, a lime curd and pistachio sponge which was sticky and succulent and my favourite, a strawberry and cream shortbread.  Tealicious offers loads of tea choices so I had Lemon and Lime, whereas Natalie chose Strawberry Green Tea and there were no complaints from either of us!  We left feeling full but not bloated, which was a first for me with afternoon tea, but we couldn't have asked for more.  Everything was 'Tealicious' and the service was amazing; I'd definitely go back!  Afternoon tea is £16.95 per person, booking is essential and a £5 deposit per person must be paid in advance, but I can guarantee that it's worth every penny!  I've overindulged recently so I'll be back eating salad for the next few weeks, but this is definitely an afternoon tea memory that will stay with me for a while.

You can find Tealicious here!

I hope you had an amazing Sunday!

xxx

Sunday, 12 July 2015

YSL: Style is Eternal: A review and photographs of an amazingcollection...

I am constantly excited by fashion.  I open the pages of Vogue every month in anticipation of what is to come in its ever-changing world.  Sometimes however, in order to look forward we must learn to look back at the work of some of the amazing designers that have lived, worked and existed in order for us to wear what we choose today.  Today was one of those days where looking back was a real honour, as I was kindly invited along to the Bowes Museum to review 'YSL: Style is Eternal', the UK's first retrospective of Yves Saint Laurent's work.



After yesterday's sell-out opening day, I arrived early for the first viewing with my best friend in tow eager to see and photograph the work that I have read so much about.  It's so exciting to have such an important collection come to the North of England from such an influential designer (read my last blog post here about the links between YSL and the Bowes Museum).

On entering the first room of the exhibition, I was blown away by the use of lighting as a back drop to YSL's original sketches and quotes from the man himself; it really helps to set the scene for what is to come as you travel through the rooms.  The sketches on show throughout were one of my favourite parts of the exhibit.  I sat and watched part of the documentary in Room 2, which showed Yves drawing a sketch and explaining that he never planned what he drew, it just flowed from the pen.  The sketches around all three of the rooms are exceptional; to witness him drawing like that, allows the viewer to enter into the creative mind of the designer and his exceptional talent.


 Room 1 is dark, but the sketches hang elegantly around the room..

 Sketches from throughout the rooms...
 Sketches of 'Le Smoking'



Another point of interest were the paper dolls that Saint Laurent used to create collections when he was in his teens (he created models from the pages of his Mother's Vogue magazines then made clothes from sketches to dress them).  This reminded me of the dressing up dolls from my childhood and it was amazing to see his collection so beautifully presented.




From the exhibition catalogue

There were some amazing pieces in all of the rooms but my favourite area was Room 3.  I particularly loved the colours and the arrangement of the Pop Art dresses.  This area is awash with colour and is such a great contrast from YSL's Masculine/Feminine work.


 The famous Mondrian dress...


 This piece is my favourite of all-from SS '88, in homage to George Braque.  I love the Lesage embroidery and the amazing and intricate detailing.

It was also an honour to see YSL's work from his collections at Dior, including THAT dress, the beautifully restored 'Zepherine' from AW '58.

 'Zepherine'


Natalie's favourite piece was this beautiful asymmetric evening gown from SS '86

With every exhibition I go to I always become a little bit snap happy so to speak, so in closing I thought it would be nice to share with you the pieces that really stood out because of their detail alone.  Sometimes in fashion it's the finishing touches that really make a difference after all.

 Embroidered evening jacket in homage to Vincent Van Gogh...
 Embroidered evening jacket
 Theatre costume's from Room 3.  I loved the pink ostrich feathers to the left!
 The devil is in the detail..


 Wedding dress, homage to William Shakespeare AW '80 Haute Couture
Evening gown, 2001

The collection spanning just over five decades proves that throughout Saint Laurent's career, he never lost his relevance.  Whether dressing woman elegantly in gowns or as powerhouses in tailored suits, he managed to preserve their femininity whilst remaining true to the female form.  Saint Laurent understood women and because of this kept on creating amazing pieces that they wanted to wear.  He was living proof that style never goes out of fashion.

YSL: Style is Eternal is open at the Bowes Museum until October 25th, 2015.  You can buy tickets here.  The exhibition is truly amazing, I urge you all to visit!  I was invited to review the collection and therefore granted complimentary admission however all opinions are my own, and I'll definitely be visiting again before it closes!  

I'd love to hear what you think of the collection too!

xxx

PS-make sure you visit the gift shop too for some amazing YSL memorabilia, I can't wait to browse the exhibition catalogue!




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