Vivienne Westwood Special Edition Summer LookBook by Garment Quarter

 

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I really like the spring / summer lookbook Garment Quarter produced this season featuring Vivienne Westwood with a smatter of Victoria Beckham, KTZ and Sibling for good measure! Here are my favourite images from the shoot. If you haven’t heard of Garment Quarter they are a luxury boutique in ┬áBristol and also have the Vivienne Westwood store in Cardiff. If you aren’t local to either store you can check out all the amazing designers on Garment Quarter.com.┬áI first visited the Bristol store whilst I was working down there and was really blown away with the customer service, something I am always delighted with when I mail order from them too. They are a super friendly bunch so do pay a visit.

Melissa

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Tips: Getting Ready for Holidays

Holidays in the Sun: Top Tips for Packing Light

More and more travellers are becoming tempted by travelling light nowadays, with airlines charging for luggage by the kilo and baggage restrictions becoming more and more strict. The problem is, when youÔÇÖre heading abroad for some well-deserved time in the sun, travelling light can be easier said than done. After all, you need enough dresses and outfits to last you and you have to account for daytime and evening activities too; not to mention the toiletries and added extras that youÔÇÖre reluctant to leave home without!

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If youÔÇÖd like to try and keep the weight of your case down this year though, here are some super tips and advice that can help you.

ÔÇó If youÔÇÖre travelling with your other half, try and narrow down your items so that you can both share a suitcase. ItÔÇÖs entirely doable and means you will only have to check in one suitcase, rather than two.
ÔÇó Make a list and stick to it. Be ruthless, you probably wonÔÇÖt need half of your wardrobe if youÔÇÖre savvy about your outfit choices!
ÔÇó Stick to a colour scheme, so that you can mix and match the items that you take, and reduce the number of chunkier items such as shoes to the ones that go with all the outfits.
ÔÇó Opt for clothing that can double up as daytime and eveningwear. Take a look at the George dresses for example, and pack a few accessories so that the day dresses you take can also be glammed up for the evenings.
ÔÇó Think about what you use at home. Chances are, if you donÔÇÖt use it at home, you wonÔÇÖt use it abroad, so donÔÇÖt bother taking it!
ÔÇó Consider buying items there. If youÔÇÖre a bit of a shopaholic, chances are youÔÇÖll pick up a few bits when youÔÇÖre in the resort, so you donÔÇÖt have to worry about overpacking.
ÔÇó Take miniature toiletries. Do you really need a full-size tube of toothpaste, or your clunky hairdryer? Probably not. Check whether the hotel youÔÇÖre staying in has a hairdryer in the room already, and use travel-size toiletries to save on space.
ÔÇó If youÔÇÖre going away for a while, and you know you will have access to a vacuum cleaner when youÔÇÖre there, you could use vacuum packs so that the clothes you take occupy very little space. Obviously, this wouldnÔÇÖt be very helpful if you canÔÇÖt access a vacuum cleaner for the return journey!
ÔÇó Rolling up your items can take up less space than otherwise, depending on the clothes you are taking.
ÔÇó Take laundry detergent (or better still, buy some there!) and hand wash your clothes rather than taking too many outfits. If youÔÇÖre travelling to a hot climate, they will dry in no time and thereÔÇÖs no reason why you canÔÇÖt re-use items rather than wearing something completely different seven days in a row.
ÔÇó Think about what youÔÇÖre going to be doing with your time. If your plans revolve around lazy days on the beach, youÔÇÖre not going to need daytime outfits for every single day and, luckily, swimwear takes up very little space!

Travelling light doesnÔÇÖt mean leaving essential bits and pieces at home; it just requires a little extra thought. If youÔÇÖre super-savvy, youÔÇÖd be able to get it all into your carry-on luggage ÔÇô one step at a time though, eh! For even more packing tips check out the Queen of packing Style at Every Age blog.

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Outfit: What Have I Been Wearing Lately

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┬áHere are a few Instagram snaps of what I’ve been wearing to work, mostly suit co-ordinates or skirt and jacket combos. Have to say I looking forwards to being able to shed the winter coats.

1. all Vivienne Westwood, Anglomania coat, suit and shirt, Gold Label Mary-Jane shoes

2. vintage velvet jacket, Whistles skirt, Markus Lupfer tshirt, Rupert Sanderson Bessie shoes

3. all Vivienne Westwood, Red label Harris Tweed Love suit and heart jumper

Virgin Start Up – Help Setting up Small Businesses

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It’s never been easy to take the plunge and set up your own business, even with the best ideas and sound business knowledge the biggest hurdle for most is the financial side of it. With so many struggling to even get on the property ladder, saving up to kick start a new business idea can seem far from your grasp. For budding designers creating a startup is a whole lot of hard work, even when you make a name for yourself it is no guarantee your business will thrive without a sound business plan. Virgin Startup is a not for profit organisation set up to help over 18s in England not only with funding but with resources and advice in setting up their own businesses.

For many years I have campaigned for more focus on small business and start ups as the way to get growth in the economy and to create more jobs. This needs to be backed by more bank lending and start up loans for entrepreneurs Sir Richard Branson

As someone who has had a few business ventures over the years I cannot tell you how valuable the service Virgin Startup is offering would have been to me back then. Its not all about getting the funds but knowing what to do once you have them. Whiles the scheme offers help applying for funding there is also help in developing your business plan, help with marketing and how to create financial projections. The help doesn’t stop there, if funding is granted for a startup loan support is continued with training, workshops, master classes, peer-to-peer networking and one-to-one mentoring. The mentoring really appealed to me as not everyone has someone to turn to for advise, as much as friends can provide support having someone independent and expert in the field is priceless in giving you the hard truth as well as rallying along those fabulous ideas. There is even help on tax and insurance, yes the boring side but absolutely necessary in a financial plan. How about business and staffing laws? Nope not a topic I know much about either but the easy to use online Toolkit has introductions on all the aspects you will need to consider. If you want to find out more there are also some around the country ‘Houthouse’ tours which you can book onto, a great place to take those first steps.

Check out the video to see the bright sparks Virgin Startup is already helping including stylists and designers – could this be you?

What to Wear on a First Date, with the Help of Vogue

 

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Lindsay Wixon ‘The doll house’ Vogue Italia

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Kate Moss ‘Couture’ Vogue US

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┬á‘In the mode’ Vogue Australia

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‘The sweetest thing’ Vogue Australia

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‘Brief encounter’ Vogue UK

I always enjoy getting emails from readers, getting to chat with you all and helping where I can. Sometimes however I admit I am a bit mystified by some requests, but never wanting to let anyone down I give all questions my best shot. Tracking down vintage Chanel check, authenticating Westwood boots check, offering tips on dressing for petites check. Giving advise on what to wear for dates, um fail! I hold my hands up I really have no idea, I would say my own dress sense is well on the man-repelling side so I am not sure I’m qualified to answer this one. Never a quitter I turned to the two places that never let me down, Vogue and the internet! These are a selection of Vogue editorials which I think offer up a pretty nice selection of ┬ádate worthy outfits, pretty pastel, frills and florals with a little bit of quirky thrown in. Now you see the bit of quirky is where you might be going wrong date-wize but well I did say I couldn’t be trusted with these matters, however I think big clompy glitter Miu Miu boots are the perfect accompaniment to a candy cotton dress. After consulting the interwebs apparetnly there is a simple formula for finding your perfect first date, oh alright its a bit tongue in cheek but fun all the same. I discovered that my ideal date would like to eat fish and chips whilst bowling, works for me and with all that going on I’m sure I can get away with a crazy outfit, right?! Okay, okay if you came here looking for some sensible tips then you can’t go wrong with these five rules – keeping comfy and being yourself sounds good to me. Now smooch proof lipstick, that is something I do know about…

(Images via Trendhunter.com, thegroundmag.com, uptowntwirl.com)

Where I Realise How Boring I’m Becoming

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Okay, okay I know promise this is the last snoozeberg post about homeware! Well at least for a while. If TK Maxx would deliver ten paces across the street I would be the proud owner of a huge green flocked mirror, alas I had to get one off eBay from the Mirror Outlet (highly recommended) because nowhere delivers any more. As it turns out I should have gone to eBay in the first place as there were tons of great options. In the end I decided a 6ftx6ft mirror was excessive even for selfie queen like me and got this one 5.8ft x2.3ft which fits nicely in my hallway. On the plus side I can now get back to outfit blogging even if it is only iPhone snaps (that whole tripod and trigger set up might happen one day). One last homeware hit, kitsch tea set up. Is that not the coolest milk jug you ever did see?

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Discover eBay Collections- Sponsored article

As you all know I am a huge fan of eBay, I’m obsessed with it! I have some searches which I have to check every single day for updates, those long lost designer shoes, that never forgotten vintage jacket, kitsch paraphernalia you name it. So us eBay obsessives can share this crazy behaviour with you all, they created ‘eBay collections’ which is a bit like Pinterest but on eBay. You can create boards with all of your favourite things on the site, themed in any way you like by colour, by size, by object… absolutely anything.

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This is a screen shot of some of  my Fashion Pearls of Wisdom blog eBay collections

Things I am hunting out and watching for spring / summer. I adore colourful vintage handbags, the quirkier the better and if it can feature a nice bit of parrot embroidery well then its a winner. My staple for this spring is a gorgeous pastel coat in candy pink, blue, mint and lemon. They are all over the high street but can be pricey so I have been prowling eBay for a cheaper option. Something I am always looking for is a new piece of jewellery, currently vintage brooches and strands of pearls are my favourite. That’s one of my other eBay-loves, the fact you can easily hunt vintage without having to trawl the shops, you can just search directly for what you want be it 50s dress or striped t-shirts. You can also find high end designer pieces at bargain prices on eBay so I use it to keep track of my favourite designers, half my wardrobe must have come from the site I am sure.

The collections are easy to use, all you have to do is sign up to eBay, if you don’t already have an account then start creating by clicking the ‘add to collections’ button on an item page you wish to add. This can be found just below the ‘watch item’ button. You then get the option to choose a title for the collection and you can describe a little about it, why you are ┬áinspired by it, what you are collecting etc. You can also add a description to each item. It is super fun, especially for those of us with ‘Watched’ lists longer than our arms!

It’s also fun to share the hunt with others, you can follow friends and like minded people’s collections too. I am enjoying finding fellow vintage fans. I would love to follow all your collections so do send me your links either in the comments below, via Twitter or Facebook, can’t wait to see what you all create!

eBay have got many famous faces such as Dannii Minogue and Kelly Hoppen to create collections too, explore and see who you can find sharing your obsessions. 

Sponsored Post: In partnership with eBay

Some Fuzzy Pics of my New Place

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I promise to take some fabulous professional photos once I have settled in but here are some iPhone snaps of my new pad. Feels like I have been here a lot longer than 6 weeks, but the fact I seem to have only bought cushions with regards to furniture tells another tale. As does the sorry sight of the bedroom which looks like a carboot sale, sure I will get round to sorting it out eventually (possibly, maybe). I finally found a full length mirror which will be delivered soon so we can back to the business of fashion!

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How Many Cushions is too Many?

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There seems to be a reoccurring theme here! Cushions are starting to take over my apartment, but really can you ever have too many cushions? Will do a proper tour soon, settling in well and enjoying Sheffield. Although living a stones throw from TK Maxx and John Lewis is proving dangerous. Cushions a mix from Ikea – first photo, Home Sense, TK Maxx – all the green, pink, purples, Dunelm – sheepskin and shoe print and the skull came all the way from Mexico.