East vs West

30 March 2012

westfield future fashion

One of the perks of being a 'blogger' apart from the obvious community aspect and fact that I can waffle on about trivial items such as nail polish and the perfect shade of yellow, is some of the amazing events I get to attend and the unique insight it offers me.  I must admit that I do the majority of my shopping online (most things I'm after are pinned here) and love to mull things over for a couple of days before I purchase.  However, there's nothing that can replace the physical feeling of seeing something you love hanging on a rail, trying it on and if it fits nicely, handing over your cold hard cash (or battered debit/credit card in my case) before skipping out of the shop with a lovely bag.  With the Westfield shopping centres in London being so new and connected with all things digital, they've created a series of 'Future Fashion'  events that run until the 9th of April, fusing all of the online curation aspects we love (such as creating polyvore style mood boards) in 'real life.'  I was invited on Monday evening to try out some of the technology and listen to a presentation about East vs West London style by Grazia's fashion editor Melanie Rickey.

westfield london future fashion mood board westfield london future fashion london style Melanie Rickey Fashion Editor at Large Grazia

I've never really attributed my style to an area of London (I think the South-East gets overlooked in this case booooo), but I guess I can relate to certain relaxed elements of style seen in East London.  Melanie Rickey gave us an exclusive look at the presentation she puts together once all the fashion weeks are done and dusted plus some of her thoughts on how the style differs at opposite ends of the capital.  She mentioned that fashion designers tend to be based in East London, whereas fashion business and brands tend to hail from the West which could be responsible for the slightly slicker feel that can be seen at all the various Head Offices.  Meadham Kirchhoff are seen as a brand that represents East London fusing traditional couture techniques with eccentric styling (remember my post from SS12 here) and presenting their extreme version of femininity, in contrast to Louis Vuitton's slightly softer and polished West London offering.  Of course it's easy to generalise the two areas and the Internet does create a blur between city cultures allowing us to pick and choose the elements we love wherever we live.  Have you noticed a difference in style depending on which area you're in? It definitely is an exciting time for fashion in the capital and there is a definite move towards a more individual output, focusing on creating a longer lasting style rather than flash in the pan trends.

westfield london future fashion
Note my expression of extreme concentration.  You might have guessed this was not my photo either.

Of course I had to have a go at creating a moodboard on one of the 103" LCD screens, which you can see on the Westfield Facebook page here (click on the bloggers tab).  Even though I'm a Photoshop devotee, it took a bit of time for me to get to grips with the touch-screen technology (hence the bizarre placement of images) but I feel that it reflects some of the things I want to wear this Summer *cough polka dots cough*.  Are you planning to try out some of the technology?  The event is on in Westfield London until Sunday and lands in Westfield Stratford from Wednesday 4th April until Monday 9th.  I'm sure the areas will be busy but let me know if you manage to catch any of the action!

Remember to enter my giveaway here!

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Win £50 to spend at Boux Avenue!

28 March 2012

boux avenue blog competition
boux avenue madeline bra boux avenue gift card

The sun is shining, the winter clothes have been banished and the layers are starting to get thinner.  Although I'm typically an Autumn/Winter girl, I'm determined to be a lot braver this summer and not freak out too much about showing off the bod, what with all the cut-outs and crop tops that are on trend.  I'm sure I'm not the only one who's thinking about making what lies beneath a little more interesting and handily Boux Avenue have sent me a £50 giftcard to give away to a lucky reader.  There's a great selection of vintage-inspired lingerie on the site, as well as some cute printed swimwear (I'm partial to this set myself) and good old pjs for real-life pyjama dressing.

The rules:
Leave a comment on this post telling me the SS12 trend you are braving this season and a method of contact.
Follow my blog on either GFC, Facebook or Bloglovin to keep the ramblings a coming.
You must be a U.K resident (apologies to all my international readers but rest assured I will be sorting a giveaway for everyone as soon as I can).
The competition ends on Friday 6th April (a.k.a Good Friday) and the winner will be announced shortly afterwards (or when I've devoured a few Easter Eggs).

Good luck!

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A Series of Recent Events

25 March 2012

lauduree covent garden

Hello again!  This post is slightly later than expected (the post schedule that exists in my head has only recently been transferred to paper, look at me getting all organised), but hopefully normal service can resume this week and the blog 'engineering works' will be over for a while. The press days are starting up again in London and I've been aiming to get to grips with a few more brands this season and generally make you want to buy even more in the months ahead. There are so many international brands, which are now setting up shop in the UK taking us one step further to a truly global shopping experience.  No longer will we have to resort to desperate measures to obtain the brands we love, risking customs fees and general disappointment in the process.

dried flowers lauduree covent garden lauduree covent garden roses melvita lauduree macroons lauduree covent garden

The Covent Garden branch of Laduree would have to be the ideal location for a press day, since I'd been meaning to visit for a while but never managed to get around to it.  Luckily Melvita read my mind and provided the perfect mix of macaroons, rose petals and some of the nicest smells known to man.  The French brand boasts a great range of products for the summer season and the fact that they're organic is a bonus if you're that way inclined.  This quick visit has definitely made me determined to splash out on a meal at Laduree one day, overlooking the Covent Garden piazza and all of the street performers.  Here's hoping the weather will cooperate and this week's balmy temperatures will continue throughout the Summer.

red swedish hasbeens bag won hundred AW12 swedish hasbeens AW12 dagmar knitted dress and jumper Hide leather skater skirt swedish hasbeens AW12

Varg is a company after my own heart, boasting many of the Scandinavian brands I love and a few more that I'm starting to obsess over.  I already knew that I'd love much of the Swedish Hasbeens collection and it's great to see that they're producing their lovely sandals and clogs all year around, as well as some directional loafer-wedge creations for later this year in rich, autumnal shades.  Spotting some red clutch bags emblazoned with the logo also filled me with excitement for seasons to come.  In other news, I spent a while admiring this knitted dress from Dagmar, which mixed gritty hardware with arty stitch combinations to illustrate the original inspiration of ground-breaking Swedish women.  I'm really excited by the lookbook images (see the rest of the catwalk collection here) and hope to be able to save up for something from the range one day.  Are you a fan of Swedish brands as much as me?  I'm tempted to learn the language so I can understand some of the blogs I read and Elin Kling's magazine!

commes des garcons 2 perfume

This wasn't really an event per se, but the arrival of the Comme des Garcons 2 perfume that I happened to win on Mat's blog was an exciting one.  I am not usually the lucky type when it comes to competitions (though I'm hoping this will change when I start playing the Euromillions) so this was a welcome addition to my scent collection, population 2. I always forget to put perfume on, so I'm hoping that leaving the quirky bottle out will remind me on a daily basis to 'spritz the pits' and not just smell of soap and water.  Have you spotted anything you like in this post?  There will definitely be more to come as I have to make like a superhero and trek to multiple press days in rush hour this week, so wish me luck!

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Denim & Dim Sum

18 March 2012

dim sum beef ho fun spring rolls

Another attempt to recreate the amazingness that is one of Winnie's food posts.  She's definitely had a hand in getting me obsessed with all things dim sum related and I couldn't wait to pay another visit to Jade Garden to sample even more dishes and prove that I had perfect ordering skills.  As human dustbins go, I pretty much eat anything in sight and have no qualms about most textures of food, making me the ideal person to try out new cuisines with.  I hope any food bloggers reading this take the hint!  The area of choice for this outing was Covent Garden, somewhere I'm always passing through but never have the time to properly visit.  I spent a few hours there with Abi last weekend, admiring some items in the shops and resisting the urge to buy this green jumper.

dim sum pork siu mai dim sum jade garden chinatown monki denim shirt red zatchel sixtyseven tuva buckle sandals marc by marc jacobs skull necklaces nail wraps monki ring sixtyseven tuva buckle sandals
 Denim Shirt, ring - Monki
Skirt - Vintage
Tights - Topshop
Sandals - SixtySeven c/o Brandosa
Skull necklace - Marc by Marc Jacobs
Bag - c/o Zatchels

The most annoying thing about the Spring/Summer season, is the confusion the weather brings.  It rarely seems to reach the unquestionable New York highs, which made getting dressed easier.  Here I question every decision, such as whether to wear tights or not (the answer is always yes until at least May) or if I will I look ridiculous wearing sunglasses when it isn't fashion week.  I was almost tempted to wear my new shoes from Brandosa with bare legs on such a sunny day, but I chickened out at the last minute and resorted to my plum 120 deniers.  The sandals are the perfect schoolgirl style, which I'm drawn to at the moment mainly for the twee factor and the fact that they're not black.  I had resisted the allure of another blocked denim shirt for a while, but lo and behold, this style from Monki managed to convince me.  It's the perfect slim fit style and is ripe for potential 'double denim' combinations that B*Witched never quite managed to master.  I have rightly banned myself from any future denim shirt/jacket purchases, no matter how tempted I am because quite frankly, my wardrobe situation is getting ridiculous!  I'm definitely going to try and donate some things that I haven't worn for a while and try and lay off the fast fashion for a bit.

faberge egg covent garden

I've been seeing these eggs everywhere in London and it took me a few days to work out what was going on, but it seems that there's a city-wide egg-hunt going on.  I wish I'd made a bit more effort in trying to find them instead of stumbling upon them by accident as it seems there's some great designs from several of my favourite artists in the mix.  Have you come across any yet?  Random activities like this need to happen in London more often and I hope to get my little sister involved in finding some!

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Past & Present

16 March 2012

Universal Greek Fashion Designers Hellenic Centre london

It may seem like exhibition central on here at the moment (I've been to three in about as many weeks, go me), but some things are just too exciting to keep to yourself.  Earlier this week I was invited to the opening of the Universal Greek Fashion Designers exhibit at the Hellenic Centre.  They've combined past and present, featuring contemporary greats such as Mary Katrantzou, Sophia Kokosalaki and Marios Schwab with six greats who have helped to revolutionise fashion design in Greece.  It's rather easy to forget past collections when we're always focused on what's coming next and I definitely welcomed revisiting the lampshade skirt from Katrantzou's SS11 collection and realising just how far her aesthetic has moved on in little over a year.  Ever the dutiful daughter, I brought my Mum along, who'd conveniently stolen my Newgen t-shirt to wear (the evidence is here).

Universal Greek Fashion Designers Hellenic Centre london Marios Schwab Universal Greek Fashion Designers Hellenic Centre london Mary Katrantzou Universal Greek Fashion Designers Hellenic Centre london Galianos Universal Greek Fashion Designers Hellenic Centre london Universal Greek Fashion Designers Hellenic Centre london Mary Katrantzou Universal Greek Fashion Designers Hellenic Centre london Universal Greek Fashion Designers Hellenic Centre london Universal Greek Fashion Designers Hellenic Centre london Mary Katrantzou lampshade skirt

This exhibition is free and is only on until March 22nd, so make sure you visit if you're in the area to admire some of these creations up close.  The centre is a short walk from Selfridges, so don't blame me for any inspired purchases!

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Saturday Southbank

14 March 2012

starbucks coffee cup exhibition ticket

It's fun to be a tourist in your own city sometimes.  We spend so much time rushing from place to place that there's never really a chance to take in our surroundings. I guess that these sort of exploration posts I like to do really started when I lived in New York for six months back in 2010 and I really made the effort to discover something new every weekend.  Since I've graduated, I've been trying to replicate this idea in between all of the errand running and social-media checking and it's also allowed me to revisit places from my past that I'm now able to see the brilliance of with fresh and slightly more grown-up eyes.  I don't think I've visited the Tate Modern for several years and after spending a few hours there last Saturday, I'm slightly confused as to why.  The V&A had tended to be my museum of choice due to the obvious fashion connection, but there's definitely a lot of worthwhile inspiration to be found slightly further along the river.  Even though I've lost my student status, I still want to keep the creative juices flowing and reverting to my 15-year-old, GCSE Art obsessed self with her quick sketches and postcard hoarding.

southbank london tate modern yayoi kusama tate modern dots spots yayoi kusama exhibition tate modern dots spots yayoi kusama exhibition tate modern dots spots yayoi kusama exhibition tate modern dots spots yayoi kusama exhibition tate modern dots spots yayoi kusama exhibition tate modern dots spots yayoi kusama tate modern dots spots Infinity Mirrored Room
Although photography wasn't allowed, luckily the guards were pretty lenient in the mirrored room at the end of the exhibition and I could go back to my sneaky photography roots!

The best thing about seeing exhibitions long before the end date, is the less than frantic atmosphere. Sure, the gallery was still busy as I'm sure that most have the numerous articles about the Yayoi Kusama show all over the place, but luckily the crowds didn't stress me out, commuter style. I can't believe that I'd previously been unaware of her work until seeing something on a blog a little while ago, but at least the magic of the internet prevailed and I was able to learn a little bit more about the Japanese artist's life and inspiration.  As you all know that all things dotted and abstract are right up my street and I loved the repetitive element present in most of her works, making the ordinary seem abstract when reflected en masse.  It's somewhat fascinating to follow artists who put so much of themselves into their work and leave no stone unturned and towards the end you can become a part of the work yourself with the various installations.  I would definitely make sure you catch this if you're in the area before the beginning of June and I'm intrigued to see if any designers pick up on the nature of her patterns for their SS13 collections. 

southbank london tate modern fresh orange juice borough market fresh tomatoes borough market borough market sign london bridge whistles blazer apc top vintage skirt vagabond boots little nell penny necklace apc top vintage skirt nail wraps
Blazer - Whistles 
Sweatshirt - A.P.C 
Skirt - Vintage 
Ankle Boots - Vagabond c/o Spartoo shoes 
Necklace - Little Nell 

How nice has the weather been in London recently?!  I'm so used to winter-ising most of my outfits with the hidden thermals/thick tights combination and it seems strange that Spring has come around so quickly after making the personal resolution to embrace it more.  Looks like it might soon be time to try out the printed trouser trend.  Until then, I'm trying to get more wear out of my Whistles blazer, which gives most outfits a collegiate flair plus my wedge ankle boots, which were comfortable for the majority of my wandering.  The necklace was a recent find from Little Nell jewellery and the purchase of the A.P.C top a few months ago made me twinsies with Daniela.  Before my little cultural trip with my friend Claire, we grabbed a quick bite to eat in nearby foodie Borough market, which boasted crowds that make me extremely scared for the Olympics! Undeterred, I ventured into the throng and found a tasty pork sarnie to eat.

fruit and veg borough market

How have you been spending the recent Spring weekends? It was nice to revisit a few areas that I hadn't seen in a while and I certainly won't be leaving it as long before my next visit to the Tate Modern.  I swear that I'm not being paid by Boris Johnson, but it's a really great time to be around the capital at the moment and there's always something going on in the various museums and shopping areas.  It seems I'm filled with similar feelings that I had after each successful weekend I spent in New York, when things really started to click.

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