Events: Home Sense Opening Manchester

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This morning amidst a rather long queue of eager shoppers, I went down to see the opening of the brand new Home Sense store in the Manchester Arndale. The store is right next to sister brand TK Maxx and true to the company ethos packed full of gorgeous things with reasonable price tags. The loveable Coronation Street star Anthony Cotton was there to cut the ribbon and declare the store open. No need for me to ramble on, I took plenty of photo’s so you can see for yourselves. I am sure there is something for everyone from lust worthy glass wear, cheerful garden ornaments, rugs, sculptures and even doggie shampoo!

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Trends: Cap it Off!

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Look 1:┬á all Vivienne Westwood – Worlds End cap, Gold Label ‘Gaia’ dress, I heart crap beaded clutch, Accessories Cossack boots; All Saints sunglasses from TK Maxx.

Look 2: Leather cap from ebay, Alexander Wang t-shirt and waistcoat, Vivienne Westwood Anglomania skirt, Vivienne Westwood bag, Y3 shoes from TK Maxx, Matalan clutch, vintage jewellery.

One of the most unexpected trends this season has been the baseball cap. Anything from vintage trucker caps to lux leather and embellished styles go. Leaders in the perfect way to wear caps are Rhianna and Rita Or. Riri goes for urban clothing with a grungy style, whilst Rita plays up the hippy girl with floral embellishments and peace emblems. I am a real fan of caps myself, the perfect disguise for messy hair and keeping the sun off your face in a nonchalant way.

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Rhianna images Just Jared, Rita images Telegraph online, all hats 10 Deep at Capology.co.uk

Outfit: Vivienne Westwood Leopard Dress from ShopStyle + Review

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Wearing: all Vivienne Westwood – Red Label leopard print dress c/o ShopStyle, Melissa Lady Dragon shoes, Accessories lilac bag & gold orb belt.

Today’s outfit post is a little different that usual as I used the shopping site ShopStyle.co.uk to find and purchase this summer outfit. I have been playing around with the site for a while now, so when I was asked to trial the site for review I jumped at the chance. Lets have a look at some outfit snaps, then I will get onto the review, scrolly, scrolly…

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My aim for this outfit was a to find a dress that would see me through summer, one I could dress up or down. Ok so electric blue leopard print might not be everyone’s idea of versatile, but I can wear this for day with bright accessories like I have here, or add black stockings and stilettos with a little clutch for evening.

This actually wasn’t the first dress I ordered, first I had ordered an Anglomania dress and Melissa shoes, there was a big mix up drama but that wasn’t ShopStyle’s fault it was the vendor site Vestiaire Collective, I bought through. I will leave that for another post as I really want to focus on my positive experience with ShopStyle, what it is and how it works. Basically Shop Style is an online shopping service, it scours the interwebs for items on your behalf, basically allowing you to shop multiple sites at once. All you do is enter your search criteria or select from the bar on the right (See below). I typed in ‘Vivienne Westwood’ then clicked ‘dresses’ and limited my budget to ┬ú100 and under. ShopStyle then showed me a selection of dresses matching my criteria. I would usually look at about ten sites individually which I knew stocked the designer, this meant I just had to look at one site. I was really pleased with the search results, it threw up sites I would usually check Yoox, TheOutNet, ASOS etc and also included some I didn’t even know about. It also allows you to shop by ‘sale’ so you can find things which have been reduced, guarantying a bargain. Once you see an item you like ShopStyle redirects you to the site where the item is for sale so that you can view full details and make a purchase. ShopStyle only directs you through to sites, it is then down to the individual website to deal with your purchase.

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It is a social site, so you can ‘heart’ things you like, read trend based articles and browse look books – making the experience even more fun. The only negative I found was that sometimes the items you click on were not available anymore, so I think they need to keep things update more frequently. I got a bit annoyed at one point where everything I seemed to click took me to non existent pages. Other than that it worked really well and saved me a lot of time. I will be using ShopStyle again, they also allow you sign up for tailored sale alerts, so I will get an email when things from my selected searches go on sale. All in all, I think it is a really useful tool. It can also be helpful when you know you want something, but aren’t sure what. You can search ‘Statement necklace’ for example and it will give you a wide range of ideas for inspiration.

All in all, ShopStyle is a great search tool, saving you time and helping you find exactly what you want at the best price.

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My frock on the mannequin, image from Yoox.com

Have you used Shop Style? Does this kind of website appeal to you?

Outfit: Squiggle Pirate Scarf

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Wearing: Vivienne Westwood – Worlds End Squiggle Sash, Composite Jersey Square t-shirt (Personally I think that’s a lame name so I’ve been referring to it as the New Propaganda Tee), Anglomania Skirt, Gold Orb belt, Accessories Label Brocade Squiggle 3-Strap court shoes; Agent Provocateur socks.

Finally a proper outfit post, I know, I know. I just don’t think I have been wearing anything of particular interest lately with the rotten weather. I mean how many photos of my coat do people really want to see! It has been a lovely, bright Bank Holiday weekend so I took the chance to snap some photos. The tee and scarf are new it at Worlds End, I had chance to pay an ultra quick visit whilst working in London last week. This is the yellow and red sash / scarf, they also do duck egg blue with gold squiggle (scroll on down for a piccie). The square t-shirt has one of the best prints I have ever seen, it is a composite of many popular Westwood prints which have appeared over the years including Blow Me Up and Liberty. They are all different depending on where the cloth was cut. I don’t think either of these items will be around for long so I would get Worlds End on the blower ASAP if you are interested. I have more photo’s of both items over on my Instagram @SuperElevated.

I am feeling pretty bummed about this skirt, it’s been my ‘go-to’ easy item for the past few years, but now its gotten a bit stretched out and last time I wore it the hem totally fell down. In a rush I used iron on bonding web to stick it back up, as you can see it was a bit of a botch job. So I am now on the look out for a replacement. I do have a fab Iceberg one but it is very tight and calf length, making it a true wiggle skirt and a bit difficult to walk in, but it looks damn good with heels!

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Sneaky peek at Worlds End

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David Bowie Is… Exhibition

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┬áI was lucky enough to get to see the David Bowie Is exhibition at the V&A. As I couldn’t make the press preview event, they very nicely let me go along the next time I was in London, as it happened I had a meeting at the V&A so I jumped at the chance to go. Like many of you I have grown up with David Bowie’s presence, my mum would play his records when I was a kid and as a child of the 80’s Labyrinth is always going to be my favourite film – I could recite the entire scrip by heart!

“The V&A has been given unprecedented access to the David Bowie Archive to curate the first international retrospective of the extraordinary career of David Bowie. David Bowie is features over 300 objects including handwritten lyrics, original costumes, fashion, photography, film, music videos, set designs, BowieÔÇÖs own instruments and album artwork.

On display will be more than 300 objects brought together for the very first time Ziggy Stardust bodysuits (1972) designed by Freddie Burretti, photography by Brian Duffy; album sleeve artwork by Guy Peellaert and Jonathan Barnbrook; visual excerpts from films and live performances including The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976), music videos such as Ashes to Ashes (1980) and set designs created for the Diamond Dogs tour (1974). Alongside these will be more personal items such as never-before-seen storyboards, handwritten set lists and lyrics as well as some of BowieÔÇÖs own sketches, musical scores and diary entries, revealing the evolution of his creative ideas.”

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I am finding writing about the exhibition difficult, because there is just so much I want to say about it. There are already many reviews and critiques of the exhibit, so instead I will tell you how I experienced it, as a Bowie fan (and not someone who works with museums, although it can be hard to separate the two).

Before I entered the exhibit, I was given a pair of headphones, this had me intruded, would it be audio commentary? I rounded the corner to me met with the famous Kansai Yamamoto wide leg jumpsuit, by this time I am just about ready to burst with excitement! The headphones spring to life and I delved head first into the early years of David Robert Jones’ musical career.

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I won’t go into too much detail as I wouldn’t want to offer spoilers to those of you who are yet to see it.┬á Amongst the song lyrics, photos, costumes and films there are surprises around every corner, tiny holes too peep through taking you to another world, beautifully timed videos which your headphones will belt out classic Bowie songs too, allowing you to loose yourself in the experience. This exhibition is huge, I would recommend 2 hours to really see it all, 3 if you want to read every little snippet. One detail I found charming was seeing the scraps of song lyrics, scribbles and alterations. How would it have been if the famous ‘Fashion, turn to the left…’ lyric had been kept as ‘Shop, shop turn to the left…’

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I am not usually one to be left gob-smacked, but entering the centre piece room of the exhibition, a huge auditorium really took my breath away. I was awe struck, at the sheer size, attention to detail and the drama of it all. If you are set to see this exhibition I would recommend you don’t look at any photos before hand as this is a surprise worth waiting for! I actually am itching to go back and spend more time there.

If you can’t make the exhibition the I can recommend picking up a copy of the book, I will have to order one online as it is massive and I couldn’t carry it all the way home. It is available on the website as is a selection of official merchandise- well it wouldn’t be a museum trip without a pencil and sharpener souvenir would it!

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Trends: Summer Watches & Wedges

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AWEAR Cut Out Peplum dress from ASOS, Casio Watch from Watch Warehouse, Charlotte Olympia Wedges from Net-a-Porter

Summer is still trying to burst through the clouds but I am sure it won’t be long now. In the mean time we can get to dreaming about balmy evenings sipping cocktails and having that extra spring in your step that feeling the sun on your face can bring to even the most mundane Monday morning. Two things which I think crop up on the summer radar are watches and wedges. The sun comes out and the sleeves come off, instantly revealing you watch which has been hidden all winter. This is the chance to really let your watch do some style talking. Either opt for a real statement piece like this retro Casio, or go for something which screams summer such as this Guess bracelet watch, both Watch Warehouse. Wedges for summer are a no-brainer, much more practical than stilettos for garden parties and BBQ’s. The hot colour for this season is baby blue, go for classic cork from Stella McCartney or walk on the wild side with Charlotte Olympia’s leopard print heels, both Net-a-Porter. To finish of your summer wardrobe up date you can’t beat a perfect dress. Florals for summer are a classic, but try a differnt twist and go for over-sized, graphic prints. If florals aren’t your thing, nod to summer with cleaver cut out details, both of these fab frocks are from ASOS.

 

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ASOS Photographic Jewel Print TShirt dress, Guess watch from Watch Warehouse, Stella McCartney Wedge Sandals from Net-a-Porter

Fancy That!

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I am please to announce I will be writing a new monthly column for STYLE.etc magazine called Fancy That!

“Introducing the new monthly column by fashion academic and writer Pearl Westwood, here we take a look at a current trend and delve into the past. Discovering that todayÔÇÖs style influences came from decades ago and worlds gone by, it will have you exclaiming ÔÇÿFancy thatÔÇÖ!”

The Latest Beauty and Fashion Apps for your Phone

Stylish women thrive on fashion and need all the latest news and gossip to keep them fashionable; Phones4U can keep you connected to all the latest apps so that looking good is effortless! All you need is a smartphone and the app store and convenient functionality will be yours. Phones 4U offer the latest smartphones and on their site, you can also compare different deals and savings on pay as you go handsets check out the new htc one here.

┬áWhatever your style interests you are always guaranteed to need a mirror at the most inconvenient time. All women know the score: blind scrambling around in your handbag grasping for a compact mirror. Finally there is an app to answer your prayers. Mirror is an ingenious app that means you don’t need to resort to a mobiles self mode camera to apply last minute essentials. Always at hand, Mirror is perfect for when you’re in a rush.

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If a whole new look is what you need then try Modiface. By using this app you can find the right shades and tones to suit you- and the best part is it requires no effort. All you have to do is upload your photo to Modiface and ‘try on’ their wide array of cosmetics. This is the easiest way to experiment with different make up without reaching for your purse.

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But don’t forget that your wardrobe needs managing too, luckily Stylebook is at hand to help. Having been dubbed the best wardrobe management app it allows you to upload photos of your clothes to coordinate your outfits, help you pack for trips and track the latest fashion trends. No fashionista should be caught without this app!

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Although you’ve finally updated and organised your style you still need to pamper your body to finish the look and enhance your beauty. SpaFinder is the perfect solution and completely hassle free; with one swipe you can locate nearby spas and immediately book an appointment. So download SpaFinder today and take advantage of your free time.

With so many useful apps at your disposal grab yourself a bargain from Phones4U and start downloading. There really is no reason not to invest in the latest fashion apps and become the go to girl for all your friends’ fashion and beauty needs.

Beauty: Easy Ombre Nail Art DIY featuring Illamasqua Speckled Varnishes

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You guys will probably say I am being all obsessive again, but when I find a brand I really love I get a bit carried away with it! I always say I’m not a huge beauty product buyer, but now my dressing table is fighting for space I think its time to admit, I have become a beauty junky. My main loves are always going to be Chanel for their nail colours and lipsticks, Benefit for their innovative products and Bobbi Brown for their sheer natural perfection and long wear products. But I have been getting into nail art lately, I blame Sharon1 nails taking me behind the scenes at London Fashion Week and getting into YouTube (a post on my fav channels to come). I think its the summer (well the thought of it), which really has me in the mood for some fun, bright and creative make up. I still love my classic red lips and slick of eye liner but it’s nice to try something different.

Yesterday afternoon @Illamasqua reached 50,000 Twitter followers and to celebrate they offered 50% off all products for a few hours! I really couldn’t believe it, so generous! Having only just discovered the brand there were a few products I had earmarked to go and check out next time I was at the counter, but I didn’t think I would ever get chance for such a high discount again so I snapped up a few things. Fighting the clock and the frustraitingly slow website, due to the amount of people on it, I had to check out before I added everything I wanted. I wanted to make sure I at least got soemthings. Then Illamasqua announced they would run the offer again at midnight for just one hour for those who missed out. This time I was prepared, I added items to my basket so that when the clock struck 12 I could just check out. There may have been a few extra items that crept into my basket!

How to Create Ombre Tips

Whilst I was waiting up for the sale to start I had a play around with the two new nail colours I got from Illamasqua earlier in the week. Speckle (Lilac) and Mottle (Mint Green) from the Speckled Egg inspired collection. This is such an easy manicure to do but it looks really striking, you can easily do this with any nail varnish too.

1. Apply Base Coat

2. Apply two coats of your first colour all over the nail

3. For you accent colour at the tips, make sure you wipe most of the varnish from the brush on the side of the bottle. Very little varnish is needed for this stage. Carefully, using tiny strokes, apply the varnish to the very tips of your nails. In fast strokes, keeping pressure light dab on the varnish to the tips, extending as far down as desired.

4. As the varnish dries it will blend together, I didn’t use a Topcoat as I like the matt textured effect of the varnish I used but you can choose to use Top Coat if you wish. Just be sure the bottom layers are dry first to avoid smudging.

You can play around with this effect, have cascading levels of colour or have them all the same length, try using three colours to build up the Ombre effect and so on.

TIP: If you are struggling to get the Ombre effect try using a sponge to apply the accent colour. You can lightly sponge the varnish onto the tips which will give you a softer application and be easier to blend.

 

 

 

Combating Counterfeits: Fake Anglomania Dresses on Ebay

PicMonkey Collage2In the past few weeks an influx of Vivienne Westwood Anglomania counterfeits have appeared on auction site Ebay. It is well known that the site is awash with fake jewellery and handbags, even some clothes such as the classic t-shirts and jumpers, however this is the first time I have seen them trying to fake more high profile pieces. The majority are dresses but also jackets and coats have been spotted. These sales are very difficult to detect as being counterfeit from the listings, the sellers are really devious. I have no doubt that the people bidding on them believe they are the real deal, especially considering some of them are selling for hundreds of pounds. They clothes look like the real deal to the untrained eye, especially when you can’t see it in real life. I hate to see people being ripped off, especially as I champion ebay as a great place to pick up Westwood on a budget so I have made this guide in the hopes of helping. There a a few easy things you can look out for to detect the fakes, its a lengthy post with images so click for more:

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