Wednesday, 18 October 2017

#MyAspinal: Aspinal of London at House of Fraser...

Aspinal of London was founded in the year 2000 by chairman Iain Burton.  The brand initially started out producing small leather bound books and accessories and launched their first handbag in 2008.  Since being established almost seventeen years ago, Aspinal now offers handbags, leather travel goods, men's and ladies' wallets and office and business accessories.  Luxurious and quintessentially British, you'll recognise an Aspinal piece by it's quality.  Creative director Mariya Dykalo has an eye for style and Aspinal handbags certainly reflect this.  I was invited along to preview the AW17/18 collection at the Aspinal concession store at House of Fraser, intuMetrocentre and I couldn't wait to learn more about the brand and view some beautiful handbags up close and personal!

Aspinal of London was a brand that I knew very little about before attending the event.  If you've not  visited the concessions store at House of Fraser before, you'll be in good hands when you do!  Manager Steven Broadfoot is so knowledgable about the brand (and all of the handbags and accessories too!).  Super approachable, if you want to know anything about any of the pieces, he'll be on hand to give you all of the information!

Two things really surprised me when viewing the Aspinal collection; the first was the vast array of goods on offer and the second was the affordability of the pieces.  When holding/wearing an Aspinal bag, you become instantly aware of the quality.  Don't get me wrong, the pieces are pricey, but when compared to some high-end brands such as Mulberry or Louis Vuitton for example; Aspinal is more affordable without skimping on quality.  As for the variety, whether you're looking for a smaller leather gift or scarf to give to a loved one, or you're splashing out on a handbag for yourself, there really is something on offer for everyone.

I'm a massive fan of quirky, individual handbags, so I was really pleased to discover that Aspinal also cater for customers just like me.  I fell instantly in love with their trunk bags and would have loved to have been walking away with their Union Jack offering...

...but if you're not as outrageous as me, the trunk comes in a variety of plain colours too, to help you make a different kind of statement.  I also loved the Pegasus trunk in it's mesmerising fantasy colours...

And the London Trunk is pretty special too!

After only just returning from my summer holiday, sadly my finances wouldn't stretch to a beautiful Aspinal Bag, however my lovely friend Krissi bagged herself (pardon the pun!) an absolute beauty, a beautiful black Lottie bag!

As you can see, she also had it personalised, another service offered by the Aspinal store.  Steven gave us a demonstration and it's amazing how quickly you can have your bag personalised!  

Mongramming in action!

I had a great time learning about all of Aspinal's gorgeous accessories, next time you're at House of Fraser, intuMetrocentre, be sure to pop by.  There might even be something there you'll want to add to your Christmas list...if I can't have a Trunk bag, I wouldn't say no to this one...

...a girl can dream!

Thanks to Steven and the Aspinal team for having us, I had a great time!

Until next time,

Kay x


Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Belle Bridal: Northern Wedding Jam and a reluctant bride...

Hello lovelies!

Being newly engaged, I find myself frequently being asked about my wedding plans.  The fact of the matter is, I have no clue where or when my Mister and I will eventually tie the knot-but I definitely know the things I don't want from a wedding, that's for sure!  With this in mind, I went to my first wedding fair recently to see what all the fuss was about, and whilst I discovered that wedding fairs aren't really built for people like me (set on eloping in a party of two!) I did have a fun time all the same.  So for all of you soon to be brides out there (and for those of you that just love a good wedding!), this one's for you!

Belle Bridal's Northern Wedding Jam was set to be more of an alternative wedding fair, for those wanting a quirkier affair.  It took place at The Baltic in Gateshead, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in September (before the torrential rain came and I got drenched, but that's not important ha!).  My friend Chloe got married last year and loves any excuse to talk about all things bridal; she was invited  by Belle Bridal to blog about the event and kindly invited me along to pop my wedding fair cherry so to speak...

On arrival we were given our goodie bags (I loved that it said 'Totes Engaged' on the front-how cute!) and guided in the direction of the action.  I loved these Coco Luminare lights that greeted us; more and more people seem to be having light installations as part of their wedding and wedding photography and the choice here was spectacular-we were off to a great start!

If you're planning a big wedding or wedding reception, wedding fairs are really where it's at.  Everything you need is there under one roof at your disposal, from what to wear, to cake, music, flowers, favours and balloons; the options and possibilities are endless.  Forgive me for not catching the names of every business that was exhibiting; I went purely with my wedding in mind and took so many photos that I thought it would be rude not to share them.

 Master Debonair (based in East Boldon) had suiting covered...

 ...and there were beautiful flowers, invitations and favours everywhere I turned.

I may not know weddings, but I know cake, so I was really excited to see two delicious looking cake stalls side by side.  The first, Proper Patisserie, had the most amazing macarons in lots of different colours and flavours.  A quick visit to their website will have you drooling onto your computer/phone/tablet screen (and the freebie macarons in our goodie bags were sensational!).

The second was the Sticky Sponge Cake stall, who create a more bespoke cake for a variety of occasions.  I was so in love with their Alice in Wonderland cake, I'm almost tempted to have a big wedding just so I can have one!

There were also wedding dress, hair, makeup and beauty stalls to suit all different styles and tastes, but I have to confess I was too scared to go near for fear of being pulled in to chat about my wedding!  There were also a number of amazing photographers, with work to suit all styles of wedding, from fun photography to the more traditional-literally everything you could ever want for your wedding!

The day was wrapped up with a runway bridal show, featuring bridal dresses from a whole host of designers, men's suiting, bridesmaid dresses and slightly more alternative gowns.  I love a runway show and was really surprised to see such a diversity of styles available.

So, to the verdict...Belle Bridal are great at putting on a wedding fair!  It was fun and quirky and I absolutely loved the fashion show!  If you're a bride that wants all the bells and whistles for your wedding, a wedding fair is definitely for you.  Bravo to Belle Bridal for pulling out all of the stops; it was such an interesting day!  

If you're like me however, and a big wedding isn't what you're looking for, be prepared to be massively overwhelmed by a wedding fair, much like you would be if you had a big wedding I guess!  For this chapter of my story, I'm not after a big dress or a fancy cake, or place settings.  Carrie Bradshaw called it best when she said, 'Me and you, just us two.'

If you're looking for a wedding fair to go to, Belle Bridal's up and coming events can be found here .  

Thanks for reading,

Until next time,

Kay xxx

PS-if you're looking for an alternative wedding dress, check out my post here!

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