Sunday, 29 October 2017

5 reasons why my Mama will always be one of my style icons...

Hello lovelies!

Recently, I've been thinking a lot about the way I style myself.  In 2017, fashion inspiration is everywhere; I mean I only have to glance at Instagram and there's at least fifty million (slight exaggeration!) products that I'm attracted to every single day.  But I've always had this thing with clothes ever since I was a little girl-so although I got it wrong most of the time as a teenager (there's LOTS of photographic evidence to prove this!), my eye for style has always been around.  I think it all came from my glamorous Mammy, and here's why...

1 She's 71 and refuses to be a blue-rinser, and there's no beige in sight...
'Blue-rinser' definition: member of the blue rinse brigade, old before their time, granny like in appearance.  I have no problem with grannies, they're endearing and lovely and have lived full and interesting lives.  My Mam, however, has no desire to be a stereotypical grandma, and I LOVE her for that.  She still shops on the high-street (Roman being her favourite shop!), she has the wackiest coloured Sketchers as opposed to more conservative 'comfortable' shoes, and when we go out, whether it's shopping or for an evening meal, she always looks amazing.  The key to a youthful existence right there, defy old age!

2 She's not afraid to be a little bit crazy...

She loves a good dress up, she'll do anything to make you giggle and if you put anything Christmassy in front of her or near her, she'll adorn it!  I blame my Mam (in the nicest possible way!) for my desire to always put a tea-cosy on my head, and to hang Christmas baubles from my ears!  Madness and laughter are something that's always been around me and I have my Mam to thank for my fun streak; which always filters into what I wear.  Dare to be brave, like my Mam always is; life (and style) is more fun that way!

 She's a (Christmas) cracker!

3 She's always admired glamorous and stylish women, and encouraged me to too!

When I was growing up, I remember my Mam always saying how much she loved Sophia Loren because she was ageing gracefully and always looked immaculate.  I don't know how I grew to love Audrey Hepburn so much, but I think it probably came from my Mam's influence.  She's always taught me that's it's okay to be an English Rose, and that it's okay to be different and I think my style icons reflect this.  So whether it's Sophia or Audrey, find an icon that's a bit more outside of the box.  They don't always have to be the same shape or colouring as you (unless you're intending on copying them garment for garment) but if you can relate to them, then go with it!  I like Audrey because she wasn't afraid to be different, but in body shape terms, we couldn't be more different!!

Sophia Loren-1959 (taken from Wikipedia By Paul A. Hesse Studios - eBay, Public Domain,

Audrey (taken from here) Copyright of The Kobal Collection

4 She's always followed fashion, but dressed to suit her style rather than dressing to suit a trend...

In the late 60s/ early 70s with my brother Chris

When I look back at old photos of my Mam, I always see style.  She loves fashion and always did and always wanted a little girl to share this love with (I've got two older brothers), so I've got her to thank for my love of all things shopping, clothes and style.  She always says to me 'always be a shepherd not a sheep'; and it's something I'll always carry with me.  We live on this Earth a painfully short amount of time, so make sure you always wear what you want and don't let anyone else tell you that's wrong-that's the real key to good dressing!

5 I'm interested in fashion exhibitions and fashion history, and she's embraced that too-now we're both learning from the greats...

My Mam will think nothing of hopping on a train to London with me to check out the latest exhibition or jumping in the car to visit The Bowes Museum or anywhere else showing fashion nearer home.  My love of high-end fashion and fashion history really started to develop in my twenties and my Mam loves to come along for the ride.  She says she would never have ever visited exhibitions without me and I feel like that's the gift I've given back to her for an education in style.  Now we get to learn together and discuss our favourite outfits and pieces, and compare exhibitions along the way, and I couldn't think of anyone better to do it with; she's amazing!

 Vogue 100 adventure!


Thank you Mam for being the best friend I could ask for and for coming on a fashion journey with me!  And for always being stylish...without you I might never have written a fashion blog!

Thanks for reading,

Until next time,

Kay xx

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Fashion Spooktacular @intu Eldon Square, Newcastle...

Hello lovelies!

Autumn is fast approaching, and if you don't feel like you're on top of your autumn/winter wardrobe just yet, then have I got the event for you.  Running all this week is intu Eldon Square's Fashion Spooktacular, an opportunity for you to meet up with personal stylist Emma who will be giving style advice on things such as helping you choose the perfect seasonal winter coat to creating an amazing capsule wardrobe, analysing trends and your top ten winter seasonal must haves!  Also for those Hallowe'en lovers out there, there'll be classy costume ideas and creepy crawly homeware to create that perfect Hallowe'en party setting!  You can find the pop up Hallowe'en Spooktacular just outside of New Look  @intu Eldon Square, Newcastle where Emma will be on hand to deliver the following workshops (for more details you can also check here):

25th, 27th, 29th October:

1130am: Creepy Crawly Homeware
-perfect party attire for your home (only the chicest homeware will do!)

130pm: How to pick a wicked winter coat
-looking at body shapes and trends, Emma will give you tips to find the perfect coat to suit your shape and style and be the envy of everyone!

330pm: Autumn/Winter Wardrobe Wizardry
-put some important staple pieces together made up from this seasons key trends that will help you make your capsule wardrobe fabulous and Instagram ready!

Miss K looking fabulous in a fedora 

24th, 26th, 28th October:

1130am: How to pick a wicked winter coat (see above)

130pm: Top ten A/W must haves 
-wear everywhere dresses, slogan tees and slouch boots are just some of the trends that have filtered down from Fashion month, learn more about this season's trends and how to work them into your wardrobe!

330pm: Scarily good Hallowe'en Costume Ideas
-not a bin bag or zombie school girl in sight, learn how to accessorise your autumn pieces to make them feel Hallowe'en chic

 I could wear these everyday!
 Saint Laurent style dress from Topshop, paired with a mask make a great alternative Hallowe'en look!

Skeleton-effect chic from New Look

If you're nearby be sure to visit-it's everything you'll need for that perfect autumn/winter wardrobe!

I was kindly invited along to preview the Spooktacular last night, and it was so much fun!  I'm not a massive Hallowe'en enthusiast, but I loved the way that Emma styled out some autumn/winter looks with some cute accessories to make them perfect for both Hallowe'en and Christmas parties.  I also enjoyed learning about all of the different up and coming workshops too and came away with some great style tips (and a shopping list as long as my arm!).

 This River Island jacket could be dressed up or down...
and there were more daring Hallowe'en looks from Ann Summers!

After exploring the capsule wardrobe and being treated to some yummy food from Tapas Revolution, we were each sent to a different store in Eldon Square to be set a Hallowe'en themed challenge.  My store was Lush and the lovely Miss K and I were tasked with making Sunnyside Bubble Bars!  Almost like baking cakes, there are lots of lovely ingredients that go into a Sunnyside, but I think we'll all agree that glitter is the most exciting!  After covering ourselves, the staff and half the store in glitter, we left with three bars each-they were so much fun to make and I can't wait to use one at home!

As well as this lovely treat, we were also introduced to lots of new Lush products on offer for the Hallowe'en and Christmas period.  One of the most exciting things for Lush and their ethical image is that they are now creating Naked shower gels, shampoos and body conditioners to dramatically reduce plastic waste caused from plastic bottles.  I think the naked products are amazing and even better than the liquid versions (I'm a notorious over-squeezer so waste loads of shower gel!); I'll certainly get my money's worth out of them-they last forever!

 Snow fairy naked shower gel...
...and many more to choose from!

We covered so much ground at Lush, that I'm going to write a separate post about their latest products and what they have available for the festive season, but I'll share my favourite now as a taster...

All we want for Christmas is our two front teeth!

After wrapping things up at the Spooktacular, we were sent to the Alchemist to try out some of their cocktails.  The nature of alchemy and cocktail mixology, makes the Alchemist the BEST place for spooky Hallowe'en cocktails.  We tried out Mad Hatter's Tea Party, Zombie Apocalypse and my personal favourite, Russian Spring punch.  Dry ice, bubble bubble toil and trouble; you can't help but feel like you're drinking some bewitching elixir!  I was overwhelmed by the presentation of each in turn-a real drinking experience to end an amazing night!

 Mad hatter's tea party
 Zombie apocalypse 
 Russian Spring Punch...just add prosecco!

I had a wonderful night at the Fashion Spooktacular; thanks so much to the staff at intu Eldon Square, Lush and The Alchemist for being so welcoming and accommodating.  Thanks also for our wonderful goodie bag and beautiful flowers from Katherine's florists.

Remember that you can visit intu Eldon Square's Spooktacular until October 29th, so what are you waiting for?! 

Until next time,

Kay xx

All images are my own (apart from the last one!).  I was invited by intuEldon Square to take part in this event but all options are my own; it was an amazing evening!


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

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