Monday, 26 December 2011

A Very Merry Boxing Day

Good times hanging out with my family and friends over the past few days, plus of course opening a handful of Christmas presents and drinking a pint or two. Or ten.

Today was a harsh snap back to reality working Boxing Day in House of Fraser, plus there have been some odd goings-on where I live in Manchester. After the comforts of my parents' house it's all rather jarring but normality will indubitably ensue presently. These three pictures - which were the start of an oufit diary whilst at home that clearly ran out of steam after day two - should suffice until I get a better grip on reality and can share some of the wonderful goodies that Santa Claus brought. Here I'm wearing a H&M men's shirt, Topshop palazzos, and Miista boots, and a French Connection jumpsuit with a H&M kimono and Acne shoes.

I hope you all had a happy Christmas, and enjoyed spending quality time with your loved ones!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Into the Lights

Grazia are so amazingly on-point with their editorials, I just want to live in them.

I loved this gorgeous page from their Christmas issue so much I decided to hold a mini-shoot in my bedroom using our Christmas tree lights. Sadly no Mulberry Tillie boots for me, so I substituted my KG for Kurt Geiger Mary Janes my boyfriend gifted me with last Christmas, plus a French Connection dress & Oasis tights.

No idea why these turned out like this (I really ought to learn how to use my camera), but I like them best of all:

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Indulge Yourself

"Manchester has everything except a beach", Ian Brown once famously said. Well, since Castlefield solved that problem with a beach on the edge of the Bridgewater last summer, what does that leave? A trade show, perhaps..? With Pure in London and Moda in Birmingham, it's one event our wonderful city is sorely lacking.

Step in Vanessa Mambu. Originally from a merchandising background - working in London for Lambert Howarth, John Lewis and Radley - a run of bad luck brought Vanessa back home to Manchester. A fresh start was needed, and realising the gap in the market for a trade show in Manchester (further to that an occasionwear show) Vanessa set her brain to work; thus the Indulgent Show was born.

I had the pleasure of chatting to Vanessa (pictured with the Indulgent Show's choreographer, Sam) at a recent networking event hosted by the trade show. She has a real love for fashion having decided she would work in the industry aged eight, and progressed to study fashion design at De Montfort University. As many will agree, her passion lies in beholding the inspiration for a product, seeing it through to actualisation, and finally getting a glimpse of it being worn by the consumer on the street. This is a process that clearly rings true with the trade show, too, with Ms Mambu working her socks off to prepare the show for its January 23rd launch. In a dream world, Vanessa would love Jenny Packham and Temperley London to exhibit at her show (so if you're reading, Ms Packham, you know what to do..) and wishes for Anna Wintour, Franca Sozzani and Katie Grand to browse the exhibition stands for fashion shoot ideas.

Also busy networking were some pretty superb outfits; and their owners, of course..

Indulgent Show marketer Lauren need not ask "who stole my Litas?" - they're firmly attached to her feet.

Fashion design student Roberta is super chic, and looks like Mariacarla Boscono here, don't you think?

Fashion marketing student Katie makes these potentially wacky floral trousers look chic with the addition of a casual grey marl sweater and nude clutch.

I am so utterly crazy about this jacket; Textiles student Susanna reuses and recycles a vintage puffa.

Finally Rynae wows in a mixture of neon lace, florals, and leopard. These Manchester Metropolitan University students sure like to mix their prints!

The Indulgent Show, scheduled for the 23rd January at Manchester Conference Centre, is free to register and is aimed primarily at buyers, but all fashion professionals are welcome including designers, stylists, journalists, students, and bloggers. Register at, alternatively if you're an occasionwear designer or supplier interesting in exhibiting contact

Monday, 12 December 2011

Emporio Armani Live

Finally, I have now handed in all of this term's university work! Due to my brain being thoroughly immersed in assignments recently I've missed some exciting Manchester events, one of which was Emporio Armani Live on the 24th November.

The Spinningfields store is one of my favourites in the city, and on more than occasion I've excitedly exclaimed "I love this retail space!!" to a bewildered sales assistant. Browsing the achingly chic, beautifully merchandised glass-walled space brings calm when I'm agitated, and inspires when I'm feeling prosaic. Imagine my surprise when I heard this place was due to host a musical event - surely all the divine stock would not just be shoved to the side?

Thankfully, the pictures play out a rather more elegant story. The space suits being a stage, and the clothing rails and mannequins become an innovative, alluring backdrop to enhance the musicians' acts.

Egyptian Hip Hop, Josh Bray and Polarsets all look extremely dapper in their Emporio Armani threads, plus Slow Club and JP Cooper played on the night, too.

Next time you're in the Spinningfields area, slink into the store and absorb some of the opulence it oozes. Let's hope this becomes a regular affair for Emporio Armani!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Happy Birthday to Mother Dotty!

Another weekend at home, another trip to an antiques emporium. Does anyone else have these in their home town? I seem to have a plethora around me. This time it was Blakemere Craft Centre for my mum's birthday; we don't have the most imaginative of day trips, but we like what we like. On Saturday night we had a meal out in picturesque Knutsford town where Chris and I turned up to meet my parents to find my mum and I were both wearing leopard print, smart coats, opaque tights and ankle boots. Like mother, like daughter.

A gratuitous picture of our Christmas tree at the flat; does anyone know of any tacky Christmas tree competitions? I'm sure we'd be in the running. The single shoe is a lone Miu Miu, placed in the hope that Santa will bring me the other one. Or another pair of Miu Mius. I'm not that fussed, really.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Wearing Resort 2012 Trends

Over the past couple of days the weather has changed drastically in Manchester; there's been sleet, snow, hail, and, of course, buckets of rain. Stuck inside in my dressing gown with the heating on, my mind wandered to warmer, balmier climes, ones where I don't have to wear ten layers just to leave the house.

Just as well, then, the Resort collections have hit the shops this week, most notably at net-a-porter. Resort (or Cruise) collections used to be only for the wealthy who needed summery clothing for their January-long jaunts in the Carribbean. No longer just the "bit inbetween", in recent years Resort has taken on an importance of its own - helped, I'm sure, by the rise of social media, blogging, and the ridiculous pace the fashion industry now moves at.

A whopping 200 designers created Resort collections this year, including newbies-but-goodies Prabal Gurung, Erdem, Preen, and Proenza Schouler.

I like to try a couple of these trends out to ease myself into the new season, so I picked out a few of my favourite Resort 2012 trends and styled them as winter-ready daywear.

Tailored pale yellow was shown at Thakoon, Stella McCartney, and Pucci as strong tailoring mixed with white shirts and neutral accessories. For winter just wear one yellow element and team with black or neutrals for a striking look.

All-over prints were at 3.1 Philip Lim, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci. These pyjama-like looks are styled very simply, the print being the focus of the outfit. Wear in this winter's colours and prints.

White lace was popular with Alexander McQueen, Lanvin and Alberta Ferretti. These houses all showed frothy, maxi-length confections, which would be impossible to wear in rainy Manchester. Style it out with a shorter-length tunic with warm leather trousers.

These looks were all styled with items from my existing wardrobe. The one trend that evades me is the boxy waistcoat, shown here at Balenciaga (I'm missing the visor too, but I'll pick one of those up on my next visit to Blackpool beach).

If I were to add any piece to my wardrobe to style this trend, it would definitely be the Barneys Vintage asymmetric vintage gilet from; the perfect cover-up for Resort and beyond.

It's also a Vogue's Online Fashion Week pick; check the coverage for this online event here to find out about special offers and competitions. You can even win a Lanvin bag, just by tweeting your #todayimwearing!

If you're in need of more of a fashion fix, the pre-Fall collections are being shown this week. Lap it up, you trend-hungry fashionistas!

All runway images from

Friday, 2 December 2011

Howdy, stranger!

Big thanks to the BBC for the greatest Christmas present they could possibly give me.


I'll be watching on Christmas Day, inevitably half cut and surrounded by Ferrero Rocher wrappers.

My mate Henry and I

This evening I met Henry Holland. And pretty much forced my business card onto him. Shy man gets nowt, right?

I attended the Aspire Fashion Event and whilst I can't really comment on the event - I left after finding out the question and answer session had been cancelled, plus I have a big uni day tomorrow - I did have a nice little chat with Mr Holland about how much we both liked the House of Holland pre Spring/Summer 2012 video, made by Mariano Vivanco. It's been posted around blogland for a while now, but check it out here - it is pretty awesome!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Stylish Nights in Manchester

The article above (click to enlarge) is the result of an evening's running round town chatting to and taking pictures of fashionable strangers for Stylist magazine, which, in my opinion, is the best women's weekly currently available. I tried to prove that my city is just as stylish (I say even more so, but I'm biased) as London; I think we nailed it, Manchester.. don't you?!

Also click on the image below for my write-up of shops and bars to visit in the Northern Quarter, which is the area I concentrated on in my search for style, and a natty little video of me saying "lovely" and "awesome" a lot in a very camp way. A very accurate representation of me, even if I do say so myself!

Note to self: brush hair more often

For each shot, the new Canon's new IXUS 220 was used. It's a snazzy little camera, not much larger than a coin purse, but still great at shooting in dark places, like bars and clubs. In fact, Stylist are giving you an opportunity to win one - upload your best night-time outfit here to be in with a chance of snapping your way around the bars of the Northern Quarter.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Tuesday Shoesday

Now, I'm going to let you into a little secret that not many people know about me:

I like shoes. Like, I really, really like shoes. I'm obsessed; the wackier, the more limited edition, the better.

A fraction of my collection, including my Miistas, Terry de Havilland sandals, the New Look/London College of Fashion wedges, and about four different pairs of H&M samples (I'm exactly sample shoe size - hoorah!)

What - you knew that already? And I thought I was hiding my addiction so well.

What I love more than wacky shoes is cheap shoes. I don't mean Primark cheap, although I do own a couple of pairs for "knocking about in" as my mum would say - I mean a real designer bargain. I was pretty pleased with my Surface To Air score the other week, but I think today's buy is the new winner..

Weird, boat-like, with a discrete nod to ankle braces, I'm in LOVE. These Acne shoes are my new Best Buy coming in at a measly £35 from Elite Dress Agency on King Street. I want to move into this lovely little store; currently in the window are Nicholas Kirkwood x Rodarte shoes (if you follow me on Twitter you will have heard me rant about these many a time - I'm just devastated they're size 3) plus inside is a current season CĂ©line wool and leather tunic. Well worth a visit if you're in town, just be prepared to rummage and you're guaranteed a designer steal.

I've been ridiculously busy with university work so far this week, though that isn't a complaint - it's great to get stuck in, finally. I'll be posting whenever I get a breather from writing essays and presentations, but in the meantime make sure you pick up a copy of Stylist tomorrow (if you're not in a distribution area, check You may find yourself ogling a very familiar face..!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Manchester Bloggers' Meet

L-R Leanne of Little Babble, Sarah of Sequin This, Lizzy of Lizzy's Lips, Rebecca of Vintage Romance, Emma of Miss Pond, and Stacey of Style Speaks Louder Than Words. Also in attendance were Sara of Sara Luxe, Natalie of The U In Cute and Jen of Let's All Do Colouring In.

Today I had the pleasure of meeting up with a bevvy of fashion, beauty and lifestyle bloggers at the Manchester Bloggers' Meet.

We hit the Christmas markets..

.. I got myself a shoe stalker.. (but it's okay, I'm more than obsessed with Sara's super cool "SARA LUXE" tights!)

.. and after tasty pizza at Croma, we won some fab prizes from Clippy.

How tiki-tastic is Jen's flamingo-print dress?

I won (tied!) first prize in the quiz and got this large wash bag, which I'll actually be using as a clutch.

We chatted about blogging platforms, Search Engine Optimisation, and sponsored posts; as well as more important things like shoes, dresses, and pic 'n' mix.

If you were unable to attend this meeting keep an eye on Sarah's blog and the Twitter hashtag for details of a meet-up early next year.