Sunday, 25 March 2018

Event: Digital discussion @ The Black Olive, Yarm...

Hello lovelies!

Taking a sidestep away from my usual fashion chatter, I wanted to chat about a great event I attended on Thursday.  Slightly further afield from my usual stomping ground, my best blogging buddy Krissi and I headed to beautiful Yarm to swanky cocktail bar Black Olive for an evening of creative conversation (and free cocktails!).  Focusing on teaching both established and up and coming bloggers about the importance of SEO, ways to build a blog and a brand through social media and how to establish an online business, the evening was really interesting and a great insight into the importance of marketing for bloggers both old and new.

Krissi and I event ready

We heard first from James Pennington, company owner and founder of digital marketing company, Viral Effect.  Viral Effect offer a fresh take on marketing, focusing primarily on promotion through and the importance of social media to a brand or business.  Set up in 2012, Viral Effect now have thirty staff, and work with companies such as Dominos and Costa on both a local and national scale.  If you're thinking about building a brand online, they even offer social media training to ensure you are getting the most out of marketing your business.  It was really interesting and inspiring to hear James' story.

James talks shop

Next up was Jonathan Waters to tell us about his work at Eighty8 Design, a digital agency based in Middlesbrough who specialise in building creative and effective websites and packages for businesses of all shapes and sizes.  Jonathan told us about the importance of SEO and how to use it effectively, and how the manipulation of it changes depending on your platform of choice.  He also talked about keeping an eye on the changes in social media, the important differences between and and ways to stay on top of your blogging stats.  I found his talk really interesting, as I've recently acquired a job where a lot of this information is at the forefront of my consciousness (more on this in a later post, I promise!) so I'll definitely be putting a lot of what I learned into practice-thanks Jonathan!

Looking at the future of blogging and digital marketing with James

Social media with Sasha

Wrapping up the evening was Sasha Todd, who concentrated on the importance of social media to bloggers and her top tips for those bloggers who were just starting out.  From choosing the right camera and photo editing software, to understanding algorithms and facebook ads promotion for sponsored posts, Sasha's presentation was short and snappy but covered some great tips for getting that all important social media coverage just right, and we all know how important social media is for getting our posts out there!  Sasha was really friendly and approachable; we had a good giggle with her afterwards-well done girl on a great presentation!

A cocktail and a mocktail!

Finally I need to talk about the venue; Black Olive is gorgeous!  As a treat, us bloggers were treated to amazing canap├ęs and free cocktails, and even though I was driving, the mocktails were also on point!  I really enjoyed my alcohol-free Cosmopolitan and Krissi was really complementary about her Pornstar Martini.  The food was sensational too; from goat's cheese balls, to asparagus wrapped in parma ham, crab cakes and yummy pizza, everything was absolutely delicious!  The supply of food and drink was endless and the staff were so helpful-an amazing venue all round, I'd certainly recommend it!

We ended the evening with some amazing live music (and a great little goodie bag too!).  It was such a fun, inspiring event-I learnt so much!

Thank you so much to Black Olive for having us and for the hospitality and to all of the speakers for what was a great evening full of amazing content.  Thanks also to Chloe Churchill (and Krissi) for the invite-I had such a great evening!

Until next time,

Kay xxx

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Majestic Millinery: Catching up with Margaret Woodliff-Wright...

Hello lovelies!

Aside from finding an outlet for my passion for fashion, my favourite part of writing a fashion blog has to be the wonderful contacts and friendships I have made along the way.  I have so many amazingly talented friends and I love to promote their work through my blog whenever I can, so today I thought I'd feature one of my favourite ladies from the world of millinery.  That's right, today we're catching up with Margaret Woodliff-Wright and her majestic millinery!

A little bit of background...

If you're new to 'I dream of Coco' (hi! Thanks for stopping by!) you may not be familiar with Margaret; she found my little corner of the internet and in return I found a great friendship and a wonderful talent.  But if you'd like to learn a little more about her, you can check out her blog here or learn a bit more about our friendship and previous meetings here.  Today's post however will concentrate on what she's been up to, and I promise it won't disappoint!

Exhibitions and Competitions...

The Great Hat Exhibition, Kings Cross, London 

Organised by the X-Terrace Fashion platform which aims to link creatives in Europe with fast growing fashion companies in Asia, The Great Hat exhibition runs in London from March 22nd-March 28th, 2018 (tickets available here).  Featuring over three hundred hats in the exhibition and over one hundred hats for sale in the pop-up shop, this is a must for hat lovers everywhere.  The Great Hat Exhibition will feature two of Margaret's pieces this year and here is a little sneak preview:

  • 'In Celebration of The Alnwick Garden'

This piece is one of my favourites that I've ever seen from Margaret.  In stunning emerald green and finished with handmade cherry blossom, this piece was inspired by the sculptural landscaping of Alnwick Garden and the Tai-Haku cherry trees that bloom there.  Chosen as one of the exhibition's top thirty pieces, it certainly is one worth visiting for!

  • 'An English Country Garden'

Her second submission is this delicate floral piece aptly named 'An English Country Garden'.  Inspired by the flowers in her summer Northumberland Garden, this piece was originally made for a competition arranged by Margie Trembley, a milliner based in Springwood, Nebraska, who sent a blind selection of materials to nine milliners for an exhibition she was arranging, challenging them to make a piece each from the materials she had provided.  Whilst the exhibition was being arranged, Margaret also submitted this piece to last year's Melbourne International Millinery competition.  'An English Country Garden' went on to win Margie Trembley's competition in Nebraska, and came second in the worldwide Facebook vote for the Melbourne International Millinery Competition.


Another competition that Margaret recently took part in was "Influence", organised by the lead suppliers of millinery materials in the UK, Parkin Fabrics.  Margaret's piece named "Aureole" (above) was inspired by the work of Austrian milliner Adele List and German textile designer Ulf Moritz (since each piece had to be influenced by something, hence the competition's title).  For this competition, each participant had to buy a pack of basic materials and had to make a piece from what they received.  "Aureole" was ranked third out of seventy entries by judge Rachel Trevor Morgan (who is famously known for making hats for the Queen!)-an amazing accolade I'm sure you'll agree!

Rebranding and a Northumberland Collection...

Margaret's new logo, surrounded by some fabulous pieces from her Northumberland collection

In amongst entering pieces into competitions, Margaret has also managed to rebrand her logo and packaging (I'm not sure how she finds the time to fit everything in!!).  To tie in brilliantly with her 'The Northumberland Milliner' label, she has created a beautiful Northumberland collection using luxurious fabrics including the Northumberland tartan, black and white tweed, raw silk and tooled leather and carefully selected feathers.  The colours of this padded crown headband style, shown in Northumberland tartan finished with pheasant and guinea fowl feathers evoke feelings of autumn and the English countryside.

The corsages pictured above complete the Northumberland Collection.  These smaller pieces are perfect for clipping onto clothing or to be worn in the hair and come lovingly packaged and sealed with a Northumberland tartan-style ribbon.  I was lucky enough to receive one of these as a birthday present from Margaret and it is absolutely stunning (I promise I'll share this via Instagram so be sure to follow me here!)

I am completely in love with Margaret's headbands; particularly this tartan piece (below) which I'm sure you'll agree, is absolutely breathtaking!

All Ready for Summer, at The Bowes Museum...

After admiring Margaret's amazing work for a long time (whilst enjoying her updates!), I decided to book a place onto her workshop at the Bowes Museum (March 25th, 1-4.45pm book here!) for myself and my lovely Mama L!  The pieces pictured above, modelled by the lovely Esther and Gina, are what we are going to be making and I'm so excited to take part.  The afternoon is to be rounded off with a delicious cream tea, quite possibly my favourite thing ever!  I'll be doing a full blog post of the day after the event, but as it's set to be a great one, be sure to book your place now to avoid disappointment!

I hope you've enjoyed seeing Margaret's latest pieces and hearing all about her latest events, as much as I have enjoyed writing about them!  To keep up to date, be sure to check out her website here.

Until next time,

Kayleigh x

All images are © Jim Gibson of GIS photographic


Thursday, 1 March 2018

OOTD: How I'm styling my new H'n'M jacket...

Hello lovelies!

I have been slightly off the radar of late as I've had quite a lot going on, but today I find myself on a snow day, that's right, a snow day...IN MARCH!  So I thought I'd take the time and the opportunity to catch up with you lovely people with a little OOTD post.

Never tiring of the nautical look (I'm a girl that loves primary colours), I bought myself the coolest striped blazer from H'n'M recently, after falling in love with it on a trip to intuMetrocentre with my lovely friend Krissi.

So I have a confession to make here...I love a blazer.  In fact, I love jackets!  I'd say about ninety percent of my wardrobe consists of outerwear...oops!  The last thing I needed was another blazer, but alas, I couldn't resist!  So, the next thing to do was style this little here's how I've been wearing it...

I wore this outfit to go car hunting (my car recently gave up on life so it was time to send her to the scrapyard in the sky!).  Although my car hunt was initially unsuccessful, I was really happy with my outfit choice.  Teamed with an old Primark t-shirt and dressed down with jeans and Converse, I let the jacket be the statement piece and added a bumblebee brooch and my gorgeous Gucci necklace to finish off the look.  Equally, I would pair this jacket with an all black combo and heels or boots, to give it more of an evening feel.  It is quite a loud piece, so my advice to anyone thinking of investing in it would be to let it do the talking; too many frills or ruffles on a blouse would clash, so remember to keep it simple.

My jacket is sold out online, but you can find a similar one here (at time of posting!) and I'm sure there'll still be some available in certain stores; it's always worth a look!

Let me know how you style yours!

Until next time,

Kay xxx

© I Dream of Coco.... All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates made by pipdig