London Fashion Week Festival

lfwfI must admit it has been quite a long time since I last posted anything on here, but I am back after the summer with this new post, all about London Fashion Week Festival! I first learned about this event early this year, but unfortunately missed out on attending in February. However, upon realising that there was another coming up in September I jumped at the opportunity, and even better got 25% off my tickets!

So, what is London Fashion Week Festival?

It is a four day event that follows the official London Fashion Week, which doesn’t allow public entry. It gives you the opportunity to shop a curated range of designer products at industry insider prices, and as well as this there are opportunities to view catwalk shows and attend talks by important people within the industry. Hosted at The Store Studios, it is a way for the public to obtain a closer look at the inner workings of the fashion industry. I chose to purchase Silver tickets, but others were available: bronze, gold and luxe. In addition to gaining entry into the event, my ticket also got me a free tote bag designed by Mother of Pearl and entry to a catwalk show. I also purchased a ticket that ensured I got to sit front row! This in itself was a really amazing experience, and a perfect way to spend time at my first ever fashion show. You could either choose to watch a show by a designer (for example Bora Asku and Fyodor Golan) or one exploring the trends for autumn/winter 2017, and so I chose the trend show.

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The show was divided into three sections, each pertaining to a certain trend: That Seventies Show, Suiting and Dazzle. I was really excited when I first heard about them because they are trends that I am really liking this year, and the looks did not disappoint! Styled by Julia Brenard, who has worked for major clients such as British Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and celebs such as Poppy Delevinge and Suki Waterhouse, it was also presented by TV host and creative director Darren Kennedy. The atmosphere was utterly electric, and I definitely got plenty of style inspiration!

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Now on to the important part: shopping! The event was filled with hundreds of stalls, many of which belonged to smaller high-end brands that otherwise you might not be aware of. There were several familiar faces, such as Rosie Fortescue and Millie Mackintosh from Made in Chelsea, and as well as the vast selection of discounted designer wares there were also more familiar brands on sale. Accessorize had a stall showing their new vintage jewellery range, which was absolutely stunning! The pieces looked as if they were straight out of a thrift shop, not dissimilar to the chunky, ornate rings that can be seen in many of the Gucci runway shows with a celestial twist. River Island also had a pop up celebrating their latest unisex fashion collaboration with Ashish. If I had the money to do so I definitely would have splurged on a lot of things, but I settled on buying myself a pale blue lambswool scarf from Burberry, perfect for the colder months ahead. I got it for £69, an incredible discount from its recommended retail price. There were also plenty of freebies along the way, such as the Mother of Pearl tote bag that I mentioned earlier, exclusive postcards from River Island/Ashish and a free copy of the latest issue of ELLE magazine. The one thing I wish I had done was attend one of the talks on offer, but when the tickets only allow you a narrow slot to shop and watch the show it would have been quite difficult for me to fit one in.

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Overall, I would definitely say that attending LFWF was a worthwhile experience, and everyone was incredibly friendly and the atmosphere was amazing. The runway show was definitely a highlight for me, and sitting front row was absolutely worth the extra money when it makes you feel so special. I can’t recommend the event enough, and you should definitely take a look if you’re interested in an insider’s look at the fashion industry.

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Thanks for reading!

jodie

 

 

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Hidden Gems: Where to get those brilliant vintage finds!

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Slow fashion is a movement that is steadily growing in momentum in an era where fast fashion is the norm and planned obsolescence is a trademark of high-street brands. I have always been intrigued by this idea, as well as infuriated by how clothes from brands like Primark fall apart, and as a fan of vintage stores and unique pieces, I certainly agree that it’s the way forward. However, aside from online stores and quaint vintage boutiques, there are also many other routes to making more ethical fashion choices; in fact, seeking out new clothes elsewhere may prove to be far cheaper.

Usually when you hear the words ‘charity shop’, images are conjured of a musty little shop filled with moth-eaten clothes that nobody would dare lay a finger on, but this stigma is far from accurate- in fact, I would advise you ignore the snobbery and not let it deter you. Yes, there are plenty of grandma-worthy pieces, but with a little patience you can find something that it not only an absolute bargain but also unique too. As well as the financial benefit (in my local Barnardos all products are £2.99 and below), you can often find hidden treasures as well as benefiting a worthy cause.

One tip I have is to take a piece out of context- remember to envisage the look as a whole, as well as trying it on; something that may look lacklustre on a hanger may fit perfectly, or coordinate with pieces already in your wardrobe. Just think- is it something that you would buy if you saw a perfectly styled photograph of it on ASOS or in a ‘proper’ vintage store, or if it was worn by your favourite blogger? Of course none of us are perfect when it comes to making more ethical or sustainable choices, and we are all guilty of buying clothes that we’ve only worn on a handful of occasions, but we can all take small steps, as well as encouraging the brands we know and love to take a more socially responsible approach. Alternatively, if you’re not compelled to find something to wear from a thrift store or charity shop, donate!

Another piece of advice is to check back regularly. I know from personal experience the frustration of scouring the rails at a vintage store and not being able to find anything, but you would be surprised just how regularly the stock in charity shops is replaced and put on to the shop floor. It is sometimes a matter of patience and more often luck, but if you are persistent the searching is definitely worth it. Now, for those of you who may find yourselves in Northampton, here are my recommendations for the best places to shop:

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Most Marvellous Emporium

Situated on the Kettering Road not far from Northampton’s town centre, Most Marvellous is without a doubt my favourite place to search for vintage or pre-loved finds. Filled with vintage clothes from sellers such as Nutshell Vintage, as well as hundreds upon hundreds of other thrifty finds from clothing to crockery, I always visit as often as I can. One of my past finds was a gorgeous vintage camera, and I really recommend you take a visit and have a root around!

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The Vintage Retreat Northampton

I’ve yet to pay a visit to the Vintage Retreat, but I am definitely eager to do so! This store also isn’t far from the town centre and is just off St. Andrew’s Road, and it’s really a hidden treasure. They sell a real eclectic mix of products, from antiques and trinkets to clothing and gifts, and there’s also a tea-room to visit while you’re looking. They also hold a lot of events, such as the Midsummer Vintage Fair coming up on the 8th of July from 10am.

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Barnardo’s

I’ve just recently started volunteering as a retail assistant at the Weston Favell Barnardo’s store, and that has admittedly served as the inspiration for writing this post- really going to absolutely any charity shop is an ideal opportunity to score some cheap and surprisingly beautiful pieces, as well as benefiting a worthy cause. You could even consider volunteering yourself, or making a donation.

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Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy yourself searching for those hidden gems!

jodie

 

 

Get The Look: 70’s Vibes

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It’s not uncommon for styles from previous eras to face a resurgence, and the 70’s are no different. From the slightly more cringe-worthy, paisley-adorned creations to classics like high-waisted denim, the catwalks and the high street are reflecting this- albeit in a slightly less kitschy way- and it can even be seen in the music industry too (take the video for Bad Liar by Selena Gomez). Gucci’s Alessandro Michele is one of the designers brave enough to take on the trend, incorporating seventies inspired sunglasses, vintage prints and wide-shouldered silhouettes, but there are ways that you can feel those 70’s vibes without going over the top.

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Thanks for reading!

jodie

 

My Favourite Things This Week: Floral Biker Jackets, Ballet and More

It’s admittedly been quite a while since I’ve posted anything (perfectly understandable when uni has been so chaotic!), but I thought I’d ease back into all of this with a short post about some of the things that have been inspiring me recently. Enjoy!

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I’ve been a fan of Kimberley Gordon (visit her website) for quite some time. She was co-founder and creative director at WildFox, and since leaving has continued to produce incredibly dreamy photo shoots and editorials. I’m an avid follower of everything she does, and it’s really refreshing to see someone in the fashion industry who actively hires a diverse range of models.

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I’m not much of a dancer, but I’ve always been a huge fan of costume design (to the extent that I almost wanted to do it myself) but recently I’ve been really inspired by the costumes used for ballet performances- particularly fairy tale ones like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. The richness of the colours, fabrics and embellishments are just beautiful!

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One trend that I’ve been particularly inspired by as of late is painted leather jackets. From Alexander McQueen to Elie Saab to Gucci, I’ve seen them everywhere and I love them. I’ve considered making my own in fact, although for now I plan to continue admiring all the designer versions that have been present on the runways these past few seasons. This trend is just as prevalent on the high street too, so take  a  look and see for yourself if you want a piece of it yourself. And, if leather isn’t your thing, there are also a variety of denim jackets that are just as pretty!

jodie

New York, New York (So Good They Named it Twice)

I think it’s safe to say that my trip to New York perhaps wasn’t what I expected, at least to start with. I arrived in the city that never sleeps feeling nauseous and jet-lagged, to the extent that I was almost prepared to go straight back home again after a tedious seven-hour flight across the Atlantic. Thankfully, a few days later, I was truly able to enjoy the experience. I’ve seen a quote floating about on Pinterest before that was supposedly from Carrie Bradshaw: “When I first moved to New York I bought Vogue instead of dinner. I just felt it fed me more.” That was partly true for me- mostly because I felt like I couldn’t eat for two days straight, and was determined to get my hands on an issue of American Vogue as a souvenir. But, traumatic travel experiences aside, the trip was truly wonderful. Here is a very brief account of my little American adventure:

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After a relaxed evening spent in the hotel on Saturday night, on Sunday morning the sightseeing began. We started off by visiting the Museum of Natural History, a place which I was thrilled to visit, not only because of it being so recognisable from the ‘Night at the Museum’ movies, but also because I used to adore dinosaurs when I was little (and that excitement clearly hasn’t gone away in the slightest!). It was a beautiful day, and seeing Central Park for the first time was utterly amazing.

Our next stop was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Before the trip, I very quickly decided that visiting it was a must, especially when it came to seeing the Masterworks: Unpacking Fashion exhibition at the Anna Wintour Costume Centre. The pieces on display were absolutely beautiful, and I particularly loved the Viktor and Rolf ballgown from their Spring/Summer 2010 collection, especially when I fell in love with their slightly more recent Spring 2017 couture collection when it was shown a few weeks ago. It was also amazing to see pieces by legends such as Worth, Chanel and Schiaparelli in person after reading about them for my course, and the mixture of garments both historical and contemporary made the exhibition incredibly interesting to see.

After wandering around the museums, we went in search of the Alice in Wonderland statue elsewhere in Central Park. Understandably it is a highly sought after opportunity for a photo or two, and you can clamber right up on to the mushrooms to sit beside Alice and the Mad Hatter. We then took a walk through the park, and with evening falling the city looked absolutely stunning.

On Monday and Tuesday, our trip was taken up by study tours (we were there because of university, after all!). They were all absolutely invaluable experiences, and we got to hear from industry experts at companies such as WGSN, Cone Denim and Rent the Runway (which, in short, is absolute heaven for anyone who loves fashion), as well as many others.

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A standout visit was our trip to M&S Schmalberg on Tuesday, a company that makes custom fabric flowers from (literally) every fabric imaginable. They have been in the industry for over 100 years, and their flowers have been featured in magazines and on runways for designers such as Chanel and Marchesa.  You can even design your own flower crown there, but for myself I bought a beautiful pale blue rose for $10, which is featured in the image below:

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The following day, we were up bright and early ready to visit the Top of the Rock. This was something I was really looking forward to, especially when the uppermost floors offer a completely unobstructed view of the entire city, from Central Park to the Empire State Building.

On the same day, we also found ourselves at Grand Central Station and the 9/11 memorial. I hadn’t expected Grand Central  to be such a beautiful building, and I fell in love with the turquoise ceilings that were painted with stars and constellations (I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t consider doing something similar in my bedroom!). Visiting Ground Zero was another experience entirely, and it was incredibly surreal standing at what is now such an iconic location knowing that what happened there completely changed the world.

Thursday was our final full day in the city, and we took a somewhat more relaxed approach and took a short visit to the Central Park Zoo. I had initially expected it to be far larger, but it was a quiet, beautifully sunny morning and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Although many of the animals were asleep (who could blame them), it was amazing seeing the wildlife up close.

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Although what I’ve written here doesn’t even begin to cover just how much we did and how amazing an experience it was, and there are hundreds more photos than those that I’ve featured here (follow me on Instagram for more of my photography), I hope that you have enjoyed my little glimpse into my week in New York city!

jodie

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My Favourite Things This Week: Golden Globes Style, Floral Footwear and More

golden globes.jpgWe all eagerly await awards season purely for the sake of seeing what beautiful fashion the celebrities wear on the red carpet. I found the Golden Globes particularly impressive this year, and my favourite looks were without a doubt the dreamy Zuhair Murad gown worn by Lily Collins and the Altuzarra tuxedo worn by Evan Rachel Wood, which was a choice the actress made in order to show us all that women aren’t limited to the traditional choices in formalwear at these events.

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Just about everyone can recall Miranda Priestly’s dry remark about florals for spring being ground-breaking in The Devil Wears Prada, but with the new season fast approaching something that I have been noticing (and loving) in the shops is floral footwear. I like ankle boots in particular, and these products, and those like them, can be found at stores such as Topshop, ASOS and Doc Marten.

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With their combination of a monochromatic colour scheme and masculine tailoring, juxtaposed with sheer fabrics and floral details, the Lanvin Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear collection combines many elements that I love. Stripes never seem to go out of fashion, and the slouchy, often masculine silhouettes give the collection a sense of effortlessness.

max-maraAnother collection that I’ve been loving is the Max Mara Pre-Fall 2017 collection. All the pieces are incredibly versatile, and I’d probably even wear some of them myself. I love the blue colour scheme, mostly because it’s one of my favourite colours, and many of the silhouettes with the cinched waists are incredibly flattering.

Thank you for reading!

jodie

Inside Vogue: Review

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This Christmas I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Inside Vogue: A Diary of My 100th Year by Alexandra Shulman. I was immediately interested as to what the book might contain, and after watching the documentary I assumed that it would be far more detailed, as well as a far more reliable portrayal of Vogue’s editor-in-chief and the world that she inhabits. It portrays a side to the fashion industry that not many have access to- and a far more relatable side to a woman whom many may assume to be some British iteration of Miranda Priestly, which is far from the truth. I love the little snippets of her real life, the constantly failing boiler amongst others, as well as her opinions (or sometimes lack thereof) on those controversial matters that so commonly appear via social media.

Schulman’s life is, at times, also full of exquisite fashion shows and holidays (I particularly enjoyed her account of the Dolce & Gabbana show), but the crucial thing to note is that this glamour is not all-encompassing. If anything, I was more interested in the opposite to this, all the struggles that accompany trying to put together a magazine which is completely and utterly idolised by so many, and the very understandable pressures of this. Anyone who assumes that fashion is an easy industry to work in is incredibly mistaken, and Schulman’s accounts are an obvious indicator of this. The financial side alone seems incredibly daunting; trying not to exceed budgets for shoots and managing to satisfy the needs of all the designers and celebrities, grappling with the unimaginable. But, being a lover of fashion, I can’t deny that I also enjoyed the details of the fashion on the runways, the sense of romance and escapism that so many fashion shows provide.

Whilst parts of this book may be disheartening to those with a more fantastical view of the fashion industry, who might assume that it’s all glamour and luxury, to a fashion marketing student like myself it’s an eye-opening account of the day-to-day expectations in one of the most rapidly evolving industries in the world.

Thank you for reading!

Jodie

2016: What a year!

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Looking back on 2016, I really think most of us aren’t happy with a lot of the outcomes- it seemed as if there was always a bad news story, the odds never quite in our favour. But, seeing as I want to try and start taking a positive outlook for 2017, here are some of my favourite parts of this year:

In June I took a trip to London with Mum, Rob and my cousin Grace. It was by far one of my favourite trips when we were able to explore London for the day, visiting the Peggy Porschen bakery, finding secret little parks and pretty doorways around Belgravia, taking photos outside Liberty and (my absolute favourite) getting to visit the Kate Spade shop on Regent Street! My birthday money was definitely well spent on a new bag, of course.

We took our usual holiday to Skegness, and whilst it certainly wasn’t as much of an adventure as our week in Dorset in 2015, sometimes what you need is a weekend away with your family. Staying in a caravan was certainly an…interesting experience, and after rounds of mini golf and visiting the aquarium we found ourselves trapped indoors for an entire evening in one of the worst storms we’ve ever seen. Fortunately, the weather did clear up enough for us to visit Mablethorpe, another favourite of mine.

I think the most significant part of this year was definitely starting university. It’s certainly been a whirlwind experience thus far, and not always an enjoyable one. During the first week I felt completely isolated due to living at home and missing out on Freshers Week, and was on the verge of wanting to drop out because of how anxious I was. It’s gotten better since, getting an A+ on my first exam wasn’t terrible, and whilst I still feel like I’m easing into it, I can’t wait for the opportunities that 2017 will bring (I’m both excited and terrified about my upcoming week in New York!)

The latest occurrence this year has been Mum and Rob’s wedding. We were frantically planning for just under a year, and then the day itself passed far too quickly. It was stressful at times, finding outfits and designing invitations, table plans and personalised CD covers, but it was all worth it in the end. I was part wedding planner part photographer for most of the experience, and I’ve lost count of how many photos I took on the day, but it was a beautiful October afternoon and now we can proudly call ourselves a proper family.

All I can say is bring on 2017! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this coming year will be even better than the last. Happy New Year, everyone!

Jodie

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Although we decorated our tree on the 1st of December (a family tradition), with Christmas only being 6 days away I thought I’d give a look at our decorations this year as a bit of last minute inspiration.

This wreath was made by Mum, inspired by this  wreath that we found on Pinterest. She brought a plain wreath, and then decorated it with battery-powered fairy lights, a miniature baking tin, cupcake baubles, cookie cutters and tartan ribbon. It was relatively simple to do, and you could personalise a wreath with absolutely anything to suit your interests.

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Decorating the tree is our absolute favourite part of the Christmas preparations, and this year it was difficult to wait until December! It was made slightly more difficult by a certain Border Terrier puppy trying to eat decorations (and since we put up the tree she has decapitated a polar bear and destroyed some pom poms), but it’s a real family tradition. This year we planned a white and red colour-scheme, with just a hint of tartan, the pop of red partly inspired by the bus and telephone box at Mum and Rob’s wedding. Since we are an incredibly Christmassy household, we also have another tree- but that is decorated more simply with some fairy-lights.

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This was one of the new additions to the tree, and every year we have a tradition of buying a new decoration (although it was more like six new decorations this year). We always love adding a personal touch to the tree, and this car decoration (from Tesco, surprisingly!) was one of our favourites.

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 We also combine our new decorations with older ones, and we brought this beautiful vintage pocket watch from John Lewis last year. In amongst our boxes of decorations we also have many far older ones, combining ones from when I was young with ones that we’ve brought as a family this year. We even have a miniature glitter frame with one of the wedding pictures as a more recent addition.

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Thanks for reading!

Jodie