So I am finally back from Australia and my South East Asia travels! My two week’s since being back has involved of catching up with friends and family, copious amounts of job interviews and preparing presentations, a little bit of chilling out and now time to car hunt and apartment hunt! Busy busy… which explains the lack of posting lately, but hopefully all will be back on track from now onwards.
My post today is focusing on a brand which is Manchester based, which I thought was apparent seeing as I am back in my home city! Lavish Alice is an online retailer, with a strong focus on cutting edge fashion and catwalk led trends. If you like to own the hottest styles and constantly shop fast fashion, you’ll find them an uber-cool retailer as they have such an extensive, affordable collection of clothes. Take this Powder Blue Cropped Mini Dress, £45… I recently received this pretty dress and was amazed at how thick the material is, with strong lining and a feel of real quality.
I teamed the dress up with some wedge ankle boots and threw over a smart black jacket for a day out in Hale with a group of friends. I will also definitely be wearing this for a night out, or any special occasions coming up, therefore it’s a bit of an all-rounder! The model on the website wears it with some gorgeous chunky white shoes, so this is a slight inspiration for me when I decide to ‘dress’ this up a bit!
I had another little browse on the website earlier today, trawling the New In category to see if there was any inspiration for some of the up-coming birthdays and weddings I have. Had to say, I LOVE the monochrome version of the powder blue dress, and also the simple yet chic jumpsuit below that has been seen on Samantha Faiers. Some lovely items available at the moment!
I have to share this uber-cool launch from Nescafe that I found browsing trendwatching.com this morning… basically the jist of it is that whilst you have the lonely task of reading the paper during your commute, you can now have a mug of coffee with a friend that ‘pops up’. Have a read below!
“Ahh, the morning paper. You’ve just settled into your seat on the train, or perhaps a park bench, to enjoy the morning light and digest the news of the day. But there are two things missing: your cup of morning joe, and another person to enjoy this peaceful moment of solitude with you.
Yes, the folks at Nescafé France have deemed reading a newspaper to be “a rather lonely moment.” As a cure for this intolerable isolation, they’ve invented branded newspaper wrappers that come with pop-up paper mugs, apparently with coffee powder in them. If you happen to be near some hot water, well you’re in luck! Instant coffee!
There are two mugs: one for you, and one for the person you are now sharing your Metro newspaper with!
See the video below as actors convincingly use these paper advertisements as actual mugs, filling them with scalding liquid. And note the relief on their faces as they once again avoid another moment of being totally and inescapably alone.
I know that everyone seems to love British model Cara Delevingne, however, I do claim I love her more- and anyone who tries to argue that can feel free to battle it out with me! So I was rather to happy to hear that her next big move is to launch a capsule clothing collection with fashion label DKNY. The New York-based fashion house confirmed the 15 piece sporty range will be available from November 2014 and will featured sweats, a pantsuit, vest tops, bombers and parka.
Everyone is fighting for this girl! Soon it will be a case of who hasn’t she modeled and collaborated with, rather than who she can sign up with next. However it seems DKNY have got in there first in terms of designing an actual collection.
Fashion United published this news earlier this week, stating that Cara claimed: “I can’t believe that some random, rough ideas have finally turned into my own collection…designs with my own name on them and in collaboration with the iconic DKNY brand.” If the collection is any reflection on Delevingnes own style, then I am straight there for the launch!
The pieces are expected have a unisex appeal and will retail from 70 dollars for accessories to 735 dollars for a leather biker jacket (so for my English readers, that’s £35 upwards). Hopefully when I get to see the collection preview, I’ll feature it on here…
(NB: images are from the DKNY ad campaign Cara modeled for – not the new collection)
I have always had a keen eye for illustration, and I love nothing more than when a designer leeks out their personal designs and incorporates them into a season campaign. For SS14, this is what designer Jessica Choay has done – she has focused on sensual, mysterious ‘revenge’ dressing to embrace the power of the sexual woman, allowing her designs to stand out in a faded illustartion background. Capturing fierce revenge, passion and love, these illustrations are breath-takingly beautiful for Sunday morning viewing…
I thought I had seen some really affordable, value online retailers that offer some of the lowest priced clothing I have ever seen lately, but then I was recently contacted by the blogger team at fashion e-tailer SammyDress.com, introducing me to their website, and this one takes value to another level! SammyDress.com specialises in affordable fast fashion for women, men and children, as well as retailing a range of home, beauty and wedding attire. The shopping experience kind of has a ‘wholesale’ feel – for example, I firstly checked out the ‘dresses’ shop category, to be greeted with rows and rows of dresses in all different styles and a range of different photography. Some of the models showcasing the outfits look like ‘real girls’ or blogger style images, so the whole shopping feel is quite laid back and casual, which is quite nice for a value e-tailer…
One thing I really liked whilst browsing this site is that there are so many options to chose from. Daywear, eveningwear, casual, work, Summer…. there is so much choice! However the sizes available are quite limited, which I think is why there are hundreds of styles available, as you will find the majority of clothing comes under ‘one size’. This isn’t always ideal for me as I have a really petite frame, so when the SammyDress team asked me to pick an item, I opted for an accessory instead. And a girl can never have too many bags…
This gold studded bag retails at $12! Amazingly cheap!
Such a simple style with gold detailing and studs, with one side having a more velvet-type material touch. Looks great carried as a grip bag, or if you attach the detachable strap, a stylish shoulder bag!
I have been meaning to produce a travel related blog post on here for quite some time now, but due to my busy Sydney life it has been proving to be a little difficult! Anyway, I have finally got round to posting about a fantastic travel trip that is a must-do when visiting Australia, and that is to visit the Blue Mountains.
As much as I love the great outdoors – I’ll happily walk anywhere and in terms of fitness, I like a good run and work out regularly- my first impressions of a weekend at the Blue Mountains did disturb me a little with thoughts that involved hiking up huge mountains, hiking boots in place, grabbing onto rocks and being freezing cold at the top of the highest peaks (it is Winter in Australia!). However, I couldn’t have been more wrong. There are so many pretty attractions in terms of national parks, waterfalls, historical points of attraction, mountain views and breath taking look-out points that the actual trip to the Blue Mountains however long you stay is one big chilled out trip. That’s how we found it anyway…
There are so many planned trips to the Blue Mountains, which i’m sure are really good and it depends what you are into, but for us personally we hired a car and did the tour ourselves which we found so much better. It allows you to park up at various National Parks and take on the different walking routes past various views. Some of the walks take an hour, some 20 mins, some much longer at 3 hours. It really depends what you are here to see and the time you have. Our first stop was a place called Glenbrook Gorge, which took us through national park up unto a pretty little lake. If you are driving to the Blue Mountains from Sydney City, it’s the first tourist route you come across as you approach. If you have time on your side, make this your first stop off to ease you into the walking and introduce yourself to the incredible views.
The next place we visited was the Katoomba falls and more of the enormous National Parks of the Blue Mountains. We took on a view long, windy walks around the mountain tops which led us to secret waterfalls and hidden away beauty spots that all toured around the magnificent Katoomba Falls waterfalls. Whilst travelling around the area of Katoomba, there are so many beautiful look out points that we made time to stop off at them all, so if you have the time, do you research and plan where they all are around Katoomba and stop off at each one. I reckon we visited approximately 10 look out points in total, each one delivering views out of this world!
When driving through Katoomba, one of the main tourist points and attractions you have to see is The Three Sisters – a remaining formation of rock shaped in three ‘sister’ like figures peeking out of the skyline through the mountains. At night, the landmark gets floodlit, and looks amazing set amongst the greenery, cliffs, mountain tops and clouds, so ideally visiting The Three Sisters in the evening is a must. To get to The Three Sisters, you drive through a lovely little village calleD Leura, which is home to the cutest tea shops, cakes shops, cafes and eateries. There is a famous, must-visit tearoom called Bygone Beautys Tearoom which is meant to be the best place to stop at for tea and cake. We didn’t manage to go here as we were trying to fit in all the lookout points before sunset, and then venture to The Three Sisters, but this was something recommended to us before we went.
The following day, after visiting another set of look-out points in the morning, we went to visit Scenic World, which captures the stunning views of the Blue Mountains via cable car and the world’s steepest incline railway train! The cable cars and train take you deep into Jamison Valley, which is a beautiful Jurassic rainforest where you get really in-touch with nature, birdlife, and bushwalking. Not only is walking across the boardwalks of Jamison Valley a stunning scenic walk, there is also lots of unusual and unique pieces of art lining the boardwalks, making it a real viewing pleasure for the arty types like myself!
Last but not least, and my favourite part of the trip, was the Jenolan Caves and Jenolan Lake. Never before have I seen so much beauty! We just opted to do the one tour of the caves, I think there are 3 in total, but one really is enough as it lasts an hour and a half. You get a guided tour in and out of the caves which are so historic and unreal to see… even just walking around the caves and not going inside allows you to see some fantastic views of traditional caves and rocks set in there natural state. When we finished the cave tour, we finished off our trip with a walk around Jenolan Lake, which is famous for it’s tranquility and deep turquoise waters, and not forgetting the platypus that swim in the lake! We saw one pop its head up a few times, which was a lovely end to our trip. The photographs of the lake are my favourite ones from the weekend we had at the Blue Mountains… I can’t get over how gorgeous the lake water looks and how ‘tropical’ the setting is!
Only words of warning I would advise for a trip to the Blue Mountains is that staying over in Katoomba may be ideal and cheap, with some really nice, affordable hostels and hotels, but Katoomba itself isn’t a place to really ‘go out’ or have a nice evening as such. There are limited restaurants which close early and tend to get fully booked, so do your research! And set off early – this is a place a lot of people venture to during the weekend and we did find ourselves stuck in a traffic jam for over 2 hours! Other than that… this is a must-see place when visiting Sydney an Australia!
There’s usually a number of reasons why I love the month of May. It officially starts to look a little more like real ‘Summertime’, it’s the month where the races are in full swing, and more importantly, it’s mine and my twin sister’s birthdays! This May 29th, we turn 28, so it’s going to be the second to last year in our twenties we will be celebrating!
So seeing as there are a lot of upcoming events and occasions to celebrate during May (and June too) it has lead me to start drawing up a wish list of outfits suitable to fit each and every Summertime occasion I have in my not-so-distant-future calender. Special occasions require an extra special wardrobe, however with a fair few expensive weeks creeping up, I decided to focus my fashion wish list on one thing in particular – value. For occasions such as birthdays and races, I love a nice, elegant looking maxi dress which is slimming and covers the legs in case the weather is hit or miss, so I rounded up a number of styles which are more than perfect for this. With keeping ‘value’ in mind, I opted to draw up my wish list based around George clothing as ASDA, as I wanted to showcase to all you ladies out there just how much pretty dresses and skirts they have in good quality for low prices that you may not be aware of!
First up on my wish list is my love for maxi dresses in bold jewel colours. I love how simple these styles are, allowing lots of accessories to bring them to life…
And this pretty emerald green style…
However this one below has got to be my favourite, it looks so premium and luxury, which would totally fool your friends if you turned up wearing this to a Summertime party… It is actually a jumpsuit but is relaxed and lose to give a floaty dress feel.
However as much as I like to keep the legs covered incase of a bad spell of rain/wind, I have also drawn up some very smart, tailored style dresses which have a real formal look to them. These have purely made it onto this wish list as they can be ‘power dresses’ yet at the same time, worn for an evening out for a pretty, playful look too. Again, they are good quality, sophisticated and super affordable!
As much as George have currently got a really lovely selection of dresses in right now, I’ve also become a bit of a fan of mixing and matching cute tops with fitted and flared skirts for a more fun, versatile look. I had a little scout around the website and found a fab selection of skirts that could be teamed with shirts, cami tops or fitted t-shirts depending how smart/casual you wanted to be! As mentioned before, I am shocked again at how affordable the skirts can be from this retailer! Take a look below at my two favorites…
So if your like me and it’s looking like you have a busy May and June coming up, filled with Summertime occasions and want to shop pretty new clothes on a budget, then why not take a look at George! They have such a wide range of styles covering relaxed, smart, casual, occasion, work, play… and it’s guilt free shopping! What’s not to love!
Seeing as I am currently in Australia at the moment, I thought it would be nice to introduce you to my guest writer today, Carla, from Australia who has put together this blog post based on a very important topic here in Aus – taking care of your face for a day in the sun.
If you’re not accustomed to spending hours in the sunshine on the beach, you might be at a loss as to where you should start with your makeup. If you are lucky enough to be blessed with relatively flawless skin, the beach is definitely somewhere that you should embrace your natural looks and forget about the slap. Instead, find some SPF moisturizer at your local department store and make sure you slather it on at regular intervals.
If you are feeling a little on the pale side and are still waiting for your summery tan to surface, you can find tinted SPF moisturizers too, which will give you a little bit of a sun kissed look whilst evening out skin tone. Don’t blame us if this goes a little streaky after a swim, though.
For the other options in your makeup bag, be sure that everything is suitable for water exposure. For example, you really need to make sure that your mascara is waterproof: you’re going to look pretty scary after a swim with black teaming down your face! If you don’t want to chance any black smudging at all, a good tip is to use Vaseline on your eyelashes and use a curler after heating it with a hairdryer for about 30 minutes.
For lips, stick to an SPF lip balm, tinted if you fancy a little big of color – but avoid anything really bright and bold like red lipstick, unless you don’t plan on going in the sea or pool. Really, it’s something to be avoided in such a place anyway, as it may look at little over the top and showy. Best to stick to neutral shades that suit your skin color, over vamping it up. Save the sexy reds and purple lipsticks until you’re sipping cocktails in the evening. You’ll thank me.
After your day at the beach, be sure to wash off your makeup properly, as the sweat from the heat will have already allowed your makeup to seep into your skin more than it would normally. This way, you are far more prone to break outs, which will bring an end to the ease of just being able to wear a moisturizer at the beach – as you’ll feel like you need to reach for the concealer all the time. You need to be focusing on having an awesome time and perfecting your tan!
Finally, the most important thing when you are dealing with beauty on the beach is to remember your best friend: sun cream. Without this, you are going to end up a scary lobster, with a blood red complexion – not exactly the best of looks. Depending upon your skin tone, opt for at least SPF 10, moving up to heights of SPF 50-60 if you are particularly pale. There is little more important than skin safety in the sunshine – you won’t retain your good looks if you let the sun consistently frazzle you over a prolonged period of time!
Born and bred in Newcastle, Australia, Carla has lived at the beach all her life and loves blogging about it. Check out Carla’s favourite tips and style secrets at https://www.facebook.com/CarlaSwimwear
I love this news today about an international fashion search engine launching in the UK! Ever wanted to find an easy-to-use ’fashion finder’ website which searches all products from your favourite fashion brands? This is where Fashiola will come in handy!
Whether you are a designer dresser or a high-street lover, Fashiola is set to become the prime new online fashion destination for both women and men, where shoppers are able to browse their favourite brands effortlessly. These include: Topshop, H&M, Michael Kors, Stella McCartney, GUESS, Oasis, Ted Baker, Zara, Ugg Australia, Alexander McQueen, Burberry, New Look, Ralph Lauren and French Connection to name a few.
By offering convenient filters such as brand, size, material, price and themes, Fashiola makes online shopping easy and effortless. Additionally, users can set product ‘sale alerts’ and be notified on price reductions instantly. Shoppers can also save products in their account and receive alerts when the size and style is back in stock, which is great as the website will do the work for you whilst you wait! With numerous years’ experience in the fashion industry, Fashiola expands into the UK with a great understanding of what fashion and online shopping is all about.
Internationally, Fashiola already offer over 3 million products from 500 shops to help fashion lovers with all budgets find the items they want with ease. In the Netherlands and Germany, Fashiola enjoys two million search queries each month, and 700,000 unique visitors. However, Fashiola isn’t just about shopping – the brand inspires users by publishing their own fashion themed blogs written by their fashion experts every day for their readers and customers – all are published on their popular social media platforms which combined have over 25,000 fans. The online fashion industry in general is all going a lot more ‘lifestyle’ , therefore the blogging aspects really adds to this as well as visitors being encouraged to be creative by putting together personal style books, and sharing it with friends, contacts and fellow shoppers. A fun element to your online shopping experience!
Visit www.fashiola.co.uk (twitter @fashiola_uk) to find out more about Fashiola, The Fashion Finder and join the online shopping elite.
For those of you who know I’m currently in Australia and having the time of my life here, you will also be interested in knowing that there is one thing that isn’t as amazing as you would expect – no one tells you Australia has a cold Winter! 10 degree’s might not sound like Arctic conditions, but when the houses have no central heating and offices have air conditioning on 24/7 no matter what the season, trust me, Winter is not cool.
I’m hoping by the time I return back to the UK I’ll have chance to catch the last of the rays of the British Summer, although I don’t hold too much hope for a hot Manchester Summer either. We won’t know until I arrive, but to keep my spirits up high, I thought I’d check out some Summer fashion inspiration from a store I haven’t been able to shop in as it doesn’t exist over is Oz. Good old Forever 21!
I do miss this value retailer, even know I could only visit the Manchester Trafford store once every blue moon. I especially love the brand for holiday shopping – they have so many little cami’s and vest tops, printed shorts and swing skirts, and every now and again a really ‘wow’ dress will hit the rails. The prices are so affordable, and what I also love the most is that no one ever knows where you have shopped when you are wearing Forever 21. I love High Street favorites such as Topshop and Miss Selfridge, but I never feel unique or special when I purchase from them, and I am sure you can relate when I say I am always waiting for that disastrous fashion clash moment on a night out. Always happens with Topshop! So here is a round up of some of my Summer time fave’s from Forever 21 this Summer. Enjoy browsing…