The wonderings, ponderings and other 'ings' of me. Lifestyle, review, news and opinion posts. Chic with a hint of sarcasm... hopefully!

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Gratitude


Bloggers can get a bad rap. Some believe all we do is swan around events, drinking prosecco, eating canapes and being given preferential treatment...

So onto my blog post topic, last week I got to go to two events, Hygge at Origins and the John Lewis beauty evening where we got to swan around, drinking prosecco, eating canapes and being given preferential treatment.

Hmmmm... so it does look like the 'some' I mentioned before have a point. But while I'll admit this is an aspect of blogging, its not the whole deal.  We spend countless hours researching topics, writing, photographing and contacting the brands we all voluntarily blog about.  And while its a choice and a privilege, its also bloody hard work.  I do believe however it is important to let brands know when they've got it right and these two definitely have! 

Origins on Rose Crescent have long been aware that bloggers, and customers, are key to a happy corporation and healthy sales.  Every time I pop in I'm greeted by interested and engaging staff who are excited about their latest product or ingredient.  The Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah*) event was no different, the scent of relaxation and blissful self-indulgence filled this pretty little shop.  We were handed a drink and chatted a while before the staff introduced the concept to us.  Hygge, in case you've been living under a rock for the past 6 months, is 'the danish ritual of enjoying life's simple pleasures'.  Incidentally I heard there was a little more to it than this but that's for another blog post, another time.


Origins products have been reviewed here before and I'm happy to report their goods are just as delectable as ever.  We were offered hand and arm (as well as Indian head) massages, and after a wonderfully relaxing massage with Origins ginger scrub and moisturiser I floated off in a happy hygge bubble. 



Straight into a completely different vibe.  The excitement outside John Lewis was palpable, as it would be when those that are interested in make up and beauty are faced with a couple of non-interrupted hours of playing with make up and beauty!  Live music, canapes (enough so that you actually get some!) and yet more fizz was available to us. I spoke with Urban Decay, a favourite brand of mine - their eye-shadow is amazing for both young and not so young eyelids**.  Apparently there is a skin care range hitting the shelves in the middle of April so watch this space! 



John Lewis know how to put on an event with style and had reached out to local bloggers deliberately, it seems, to give us a sneak peak at their exclusive And/Or range with denim specialists Joie Rucker and Caroline Calvin.  



The collection is jean heavy but the pieces that really stood out to me were the slightly edgier accessories and clothing.  Their slogan tops and reasonably priced bags are definitely worth a look-in, there's a fairly good chance I'll be heading back to check out the cropped jeans as well (especially if this weather keeps up***)



Both John Lewis and Origins seem to be clued up on how helpful we bloggers can be and did a bang up job of making us feel welcome at these events.  Its not just about sucking up to a bunch of beauty/fashion obsessed writers looking for freebies, its understanding the power of the micro-influencer and the community we have created. And you know what? It wouldn't work half as well if they weren't already doing all the right things for customers as well. 

So this is a thank you to those brands that appreciate us.  We definitely appreciate you too! 

*I know its odd!
**Not as easy as you'd think!
***Crosses fingers and pleads with invisible deity
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Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Favourite Fashion Designer, A Fantasy post

I’ve been an Alexander McQueen fan since I first discovered that not everyone has to buy their clothes from the high street. I've read his biographies - Blood Beneath the Skin being my favourite -  and my first piece of designer clothing was one of his scarves*.  I’ve worked my way up to owning a few more items (yet more scarves, boots and a bag) and almost wept at the wonderfully curatored Savage Beauty when it came to the V&A.

But recently, I’ve found some of McQueens' offerings a little lacklustre and dare as say it bland?  Obviously with Sarah Barton at the helm things were bound to change but unfortunately not to my liking, something I'm sure she's oh-so-cut-up about. It seems I’m in the market for a new fantasy favourite designer**

Not sure where to look I googled 'who is my favourite new designer'.  As luck would have it I stumbled across this quiz on Who What Wear and decided to see what they thought.  Just a few short questions later (Daphne Guinness is my style icon, yes I do hate Birkenstocks and yes I can picture myself saying ‘I don’t think there is ever a wrong time for a polka-dot’***) and volia! I was assigned... Tom Ford.
Now obviously I know of Tom.  He has burn your retina beauty...


although is a 'tad' gay.


but to be honest I hadn’t spent much time studying his designs all that much, so off I popped to Net-a-porter for a quick introduction and the first thing I saw was this:
A one-shoulder cashmere and silk-blend sweater! Why it's the exact top I had been searching for since last winter… and at £1,120 it's only a mere £1000 out of my price range...


Oh well! 

Tom’s style seems, to me, to be edgier than Victoria Beckham, less in your face than Jean Paul Gaultier and more chic than…. any/everyone else.  

After the epic Selfridges trip I took with my style soul sister (which you may well hear more of in the coming months) the shopping beast inside has well and trying awoken.  Looks like me and my bank balance are in serious trouble!

Take the test and let me know which designer you favour?

*Yes it does count as clothing...Yes it does. Because I say so! 
** Fantasy because I’m still an administrator/trainee photographer and my monthly salary fluctuates between 'can just about afford a magazine that shows me pictures of designer shoes' to 'could maybe afford a pair of designer shoes if I don’t pay any other bills, eat nothing and sell a kidney'.
*** Although come to think of it, I was thinking of a polka dance, not a polka dot… Anyway!

Gifs from Giphy,
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Monday, 13 March 2017

Fashion Week, Norwich

Last week was a lesson in powering on through. 

After suffering from a virus that left me thinking my brain was trying to escape through my skull by bashing itself against the inside of my cranium* every time I stood up, on Thursday I limped my way to Norwich.  I had won a competition to be one of the photographers for their Fashion Week and to say I was nervous/not feeling in tip top condition would be an understatement.  However I wasn’t about to miss this opportunity to try two genres of photography I had yet to explore, Portrait and Fashion.


Greeted by the House photographer, the completely chilled not-at-all-lovey Paul John Bayfield wasted no time in making us feel comfortable and included. He lead us backstage and told us to get stuck in where we snapped away at models in various states of perfection and wearing more Charlotte Tilbury make-up than you might see available to purchase in Selfridges. 




 This was a proper butterfly in the stomach moment with the anticipation and excitement building as the models went from every day lovely to sparkly eyed vixens.  Some of the girls has exquisite faces, you know you’re in the presence of real beauty** when even the Lightroom's 'clarity' setting reveals not one wrinkle! 


Being competition winners meant we received special status and were basically allowed to run a muck in all areas and Paul was on hand to give advice and guidance throughout the process.  He even seemed a little jealous of our freedom as he encouraged us to try different angles, look for prop images and generally lark about.  I'm pretty sure we carried out his instructions beautifully. I'm an AWESOME larker!



For the ‘real’ show the music and lights became more intense and the spot we picked in photographers stand or ‘pit’ proved to be of vital importance.  Luckily I managed to get some decent images even if I do say so myself.



 

With the first show over, an eerily quiet period ensued.  The buzz of the lights and chatter of people disappeared as they foraged the Norwich streets for food or just enjoy a little downtime.  But it all revved back up again with a few extra gears for the final show of the night.  Again Paul was on hand to ensure we were OK when some of the other photographers that arrived seemed a little put out by our presence.  


I took this opportunity to try a few experimental shots and whilst the results weren’t quite as good as I hoped, I loved seeing the show from a different angle.  Like a kid watching their parent’s party from the staircase this view was special, if only to me.  To be honest, I preferred shooting the slightly more obscure shots to those of the actual show, with one possible exception...


Hard life eh?

*by that I mean I had a headache
**by that I mean youth

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Friday, 3 March 2017

Embracing International Women’s Day

Fuuuuuuck its March already!  



March means many things to me. It’s when I really start hunting for signs of Spring, decide which Easter egg I’m getting* and on the 8th day of the month celebrate International Woman’s Day.

Here’s where I admit to being a bad feminist and say I didn’t pay a great deal of attention to IWD for many years. Obviously I laughed at how hard Richard K Herring had to work at advising twittards there was an International Mans Day (November 19th) when they got all bejiggedy about how unfair it is but that's it.

However this year with the rise of Trump and the metric fuck-ton of intolerance that followed I wanted to dedicate a post to the day. Because there are incredible women everywhere, I mean take Ashima Shiraishi**, the first women to climb a mountain with the cutting edge grade of V15.  From what I can gather V15 means its particularly difficult and can take several days.  She’s also the youngest ever to achieve a climb this tricky, did I not mention that she’s only 15?

This year IWD has a campaign #BeBoldForChange highlighting five ways we can all work on equality.  Each area has several additional aims we can pledge to do, being an awkward sort I’ve decided to pick and choose from each of the five and give them all a go.  

To be honest I've no idea how I'll do but something am definitely up for is going to see Embrace at the Light Cinema on 8th March.  This documentary follows Taryn Brumfitt exploring the global issue of body loathing.  


I feel lucky to say that I honestly haven’t hated my body since I was a teenager, however with 91% of women feeling differently this is an insanely huge issue. It seems learning to love your body is quite the struggle especially as we get older and it’s no coincidence that I’m thinking more about this issue as I hit a particularly big birthday in January.

I'm of the opinion if we spent half as much time learning to accept ourselves AND our bodies as we do trying to look younger or achieve perfection we’d be a great deal happier*** and a damn sight richer!  

There are still spaces left for this event so if you want to come along we’d love to have you.

Can you relate to these issues?
What are you doing for International Women’s Day?



*may have sampled a few of those already, purely for research purposes you understand
**slight change of subject alert
***not exactly a ground breaking thought but I’m pretty sure that’s not what you come here for! 



Gifts from Gify
Embrace Trailer from YouTube

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