Goodbye Nottingham

25 June 2011

nottingham canal

Carrying on in the reflective vein of the last post, I've been saying goodbye to my adopted Uni home. As a self-confessed Londonite, it may have seemed like a surprising decision to choose to head 'oop North' for University.  My logic all of those years ago was that I could live an independent lifestyle with all the necessities within walking distance.  As much as I love London, getting around involves various forms of public transport and I can now see that a five-minute powerwalk down a hill beats a one-hour tram/train/tube commute hands down.  My hypothetical London student life might have somehow involved trips home via Topshop Oxford Circus or Brick Lane, making my overdraft even more dismal than it is now.  That being said, Nottingham is a town with many distractions but I somehow managed to resist during the busy final months.  Luckily, I managed to pop by a few of my favourite places before I left and even find some new ones, so here's a few of my recommendations.

vintage warehouse nottingham

vintage warehouse interior

vintage shoes

I normally pop into the Vintage Warehouse as it's conveniently located near my hairdresser, but unfortunately I haven't had much luck on my recent visits.  Maybe I'm just a bit too fussy when looking through vintage stores these days, expecting bargainous 'fill a bag' prices.  Despite my lack of success, I'm certain there are gems to be found here but I'm quite content just looking at the cluttered space, reminding me of the concept behind my collection

lee rosys tea


lee rosys carrot cake

Lee Rosys Tea was a favoured hang out during the first few years in Nottingham but unfortunately I didn't make as many trips here as I would have liked in the final year.   Surprisingly, I have never actually drank tea there preferring to stick to the delicious carrot cake and smoothie combination, but I bet Winnie would find some great green tea variations to try.

sew and save bag

the tokenhouse crockery

keep calm and carry on

british bits and bobs

the tokenhouse mugs

When Lucy came up to visit me, I knew she'd love The Tokenhouse due to it's quaint range of stock but unfortunately I didn't have enough time to take her there.  As per usual, I'm drawn to the store's cluttered nature, with every nook and cranny filled with amazingly quirky homeware, stationery and gifts.  If I ever manage to move out you can guarantee I'll be trading in my battered student plates for some of the bird patterned stuff, but for now I've settled with one of the Union Jack printed tins to fill photos with.

oxfam originals

I also popped by the Oxfam Originals shop and found a gorgeous silk shirt that seemed very Weekday, unfortunately I needed legs of modelesque proportions to make it suit.  It's probably just as well, I already have three thrifted silk shirts that I need to wear more often!


aubrey's creperie

savoury feta crepe

serving utensils

apple crepe

The last stop was a new one for me, Aubrey's Traditional Creperie situated in a discreet arcade a stones throw away from the Market Square.  I loved the setting almost as much as the food itself and got a few strange looks for my excessive photo taking of anything imaginable.  Being a bit of a foodie, I had to try a sweet and savoury version and managed to decide after much menu deliberation (I can be a bit indecisive in restaurants).  I guess this wouldn't be too difficult to make for myself at home but I'll definitely miss the vintage crockery and perfect presentation.

Have any of you ever visited Nottingham?  Some of my friends have discussed having mini-reunions there as it's too good a place never to visit again.  I also need to make an effort to see more UK cities as I love the individual shops and cafes they have to offer, maybe Manchester will be next?

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Behind the Scenes

19 June 2011

jumbled Archive Assembly

I'm really really thrilled by the response to my graduate collection and that so many of you like it!  It really is a bit surreal to be working on something for so long before finally unleashing it to the world, free for people to form their own associations and opinions.  It's already been referred to as 'tribal' yet also 'cosy', which wasn't really in the back of my mind when I was making it, but still interesting to read nonetheless.  I thought I'd share a few photos of my inspiration and the process of making some of the pieces.  Whenever I tell people that I'm busy knitting, they assume that I'm sat in a rocking chair complete with needles and a cat but I can assure you that the reality is completely different.

battersea boot fair
Remember my visit to Battersea Boot Fair back in January?  I used colours from these photos to influence my yarn choices and as the infamous Topshop pleated skirt was in the picture, it ended up in my colour palette and used for styling in the show.  How it's come full circle!

the selby scan

comfort station book display

I decided to make the concept somewhat personal and expand on the nature of collections and the obsessive nature of amassing a large amount of items.  It's no secret that I'm a bit of a magpie, holding on to things for years and buying additional items that may appear similar on the surface. My concept also relates to the experiences I've gone through during my blogging lifetime, collecting images, taking them from their original context and sharing them on the Web.  I used a lot of my own photos as research and managed to whittle everything down to looking at bookcases and their linear nature.  I found the fact that people collect images of bookcases online fascinating in itself as they are objects which can contain such a range of literature in one organised space.  The stylised way a collection looks almost as important as the items themselves, if this Tumblr is anything to go by.  I wanted each garment to be like an assortment of items joined together, but also being part of a wider collection, united by colour, shape and technique.

jumper dress

The knitting machine in action with a panel that ends up being part of this dress

trying on toile
The only outfit post I did within this time - wearing my dodgy toile

knitting my skirt
You can see me knitting the skirt in this video here - excuse the hair and telephone voice

My theme basically developed into a process of joining disparate fabrics together, to create a new whole.  The knit room became a bit of a second home whilst I resolved all of the issues, such as one panel mysteriously falling off the machine six times!

knitting at home

I much prefer knitting at home, due to the obligatory pyjama and scruffy hair uniform, so turned my living room into a bit of a makeshift studio from March onwards.  Yarn was a constant fixture around the house and somehow managed to get everywhere, the strangest sightings being in the bath and a cup of coffee.  You can also spot the Asos creeper style brogues I used for styling; now I can finally wear the grey pair I've kept!

Woven Labels

So my four year degree has now finished and I'm back in London to figure out my next step.  It's such a strange feeling and perhaps hasn't quite sunk in yet that my friends will now be scattered all around the country and I don't have the 'comfort blanket' of University for much longer.  I've been in a reflective sort of mood for the past few days and it's amazing to think of how much you change living the student lifestyle (and in my case the fashion student lifestyle is a completely different experience altogether).  How did you feel when departing University?  I now face the prospect of finding a job and trying to fit all of my junk into my tiny room back home; I spy some eBaying on the horizon! 

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Vintage Mission: The Antique Lace Dress

16 June 2011

antique lace dresses

I know I haven't been one to keep up with regular features (whatever happened to Show Me Your Collections) but I thought I'd plough on with another regardless. There are a few purchases in life that somehow seem to have escaped me and a pre-1900s style dress is one of them.  There's something about the delicate and worn nature of them that appeals to me and is dying to be juxtaposed by my trusted Doc Martens and leather jacket.  I know the High Street occasionally does their own versions (hello £175 Topshop example) but I think the best way to head in this situation is vintage.  I love clothes that have a bit of history and although I'll never know the origin, it's nice to know that your dress is most probably a one-off.  Inevitably, I know that when looking for something so specific, hopes are likely to be dashed but I recently found a success story in a blogger who has managed to stumble across two, so I'm sure it can be done.  Which items are part of your Vintage Mission, that you are unable to find on the High Street?  I think everyone knows someone who is particularly lucky when coming across such things, namely Jazmine and Kylie.

I'll let you know if I ever manage to find my dress.

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Graduate Fashion Week 2011

11 June 2011


george graduate fashion week

graduate fashion week

Just a quick one; my photos from Graduate Fashion Week are now up on Catwalking!  A few months  before I started this degree, I remember going to watch the Trent show at Graduate Fashion Week thinking 'Wow.'  I loved everything about the show, the stunning knitwear was an obvious one, but also the atmosphere, the music and even the goody bag my Mum managed to somehow snag (I still have the Paul Smith toothbrush to this day, which was fortunately never used).  The day was a long one, with a 4am start getting myself ready and on the coach to London, plus the usual model fittings, confusing shoes sizes and sneaky sandwich thievery from backstage.  It was amazing to see my designs on the catwalk in London and I'm excited to figure out what happens next, but for now, I need to do a crazy amount of work before my hand in on Tuesday!  Hopefully you're not too bored with all this collection stuff by now, as I've posted a shaky vid of the catwalk show here and am looking forward to showing you my inspiration and how the pieces were made in a future post.  (Edit: I managed to find a better video here, shot from the front and without my Mum's commentary).

kristabel plummer graduate fashion week

kristabel plummer graduate fashion week

graduate fashion week tickets
Memories of the day, photo collage idea inspired by Helena Rees

Hope you have a good weekend!  Mine will be spent writing technical notes for pieces I made up as I was going along...

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Bloggy Bits and Bobs

5 June 2011

very aw11 press day

Just a brief respite from the inevitable deluge of knitting posts that will end up on this blog in the next week or so.  As per, I still have lots of things to sort out before Graduate Fashion Week and the final hand in, so there's no rest for the wicked.  Luckily I managed to escape to some kind of normality in the days following the fashion show (thanks for all the comments by the way) before it was back to the pile of work. After not being in London for almost 2 months, I finally managed to make a trip down to attend some events (thanks to Ellie at Next who helped with travel) and show my face in blogger society once more.  As crazy as it may seem with the decent weather we seem to be having, the AW11 press days are in full force and are now confusing me with furry coats, cosy layers and lace up boots.

very aw11 press day

very aw11 press day

very aw11 press day

very aw11 press day

very press day aw11

I managed to meet up with Winnie for some Japan Centre action before heading to the Very press day situated in the heart of Covent Garden.  As much as celebrity designed ranges annoy me somewhat (doing a four-year degree gives you a certain outlook on these sorts of things), I couldn't help but like some of the Fearne Cotton pieces.  I guess the key is just to forget the 'personality' involved and look at the clothes for what they are, quirky with a retro twist with pretty prints that will make it onto many a blogger outfit post later this year. 

next aw11 press day

next aw11 press day

next aw11 press day

next aw11 press day

next aw11 press day

Faux Fur Jacket - Next (briefly worn for the purposes of this photo)
Top - Asos
Skirt belt - Vintage
Socks - c/o Tabio
Brogues - Office

Next was the Next press day (awful pun alert) where my camera seemed to fail me at taking pictures of most of the clothes.  Instead, you'll have to make do with snaps of all the shoes I was drawn to and the vague description of a polka dot dress I need to get my hands on.  I was given a challenge to find the perfect Winter coat and ended up choosing this faux fur number, which I was filmed talking about (somehow my words ended up a bit jumbled and hopefully the vid will never see the light of day).  Luckiy the trends for next season still involve Peter Pan collars, brogue mutations and midi skirts so there's not too much more I need to shell out for,  though this probably won't stop me from buying a few more multiples.  This seems like the perfect point to ask an AW11 trend related question but it seems far too soon seeing as it's barely June, instead I wonder how you feel about buying clothes out of sequence?  I think that the fur coat will be going into stores next month but it seems crazy to buy such a thing so early.  Also remember to vote for Jazmine as she's entered the model competition they're hosting and it'd be great to see her win!
ghd glamour

I was also very fortunate to receive a new pair of GHD New Wave Straighteners to review (the full range of GHD straighteners can be found on good old Asos) .  I haven't used them yet as I don't like to straighten my hair too often, but hopefully miracles will happen when I do as I always have trouble doing my own hair and attempting to replicate what the salon does.  Part of me wants a change to mark the end of my student life but am loathe to depart from my beloved full fringe, so maybe all will be figured out at the next Aussie party in a few weeks!

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