I was once a young girl who would rush out to buy Vogue each month and examine in detail every page. I was once a young student who was so desperate to be part of the fashion industry I set up this blog to share my love of fashion. I am now not so young, I have worked in the fashion industry and I understand how it works all too well. I am now not so young myself but am privilidged to teach those who will be the next generation of fashion. It has been a long time since I felt the need to update this blog, my time now taken up by academic persuits and freelance writing, however I wanted to share with you an article I was asked to write for The Conversation ‘Vogues Attack on Style Bloggers‘. I write this not as a young girl full of hopes and dreams, but as someone who is now charged with helping those who are and I have to say it is with extreme disapointment that a monolith such as Vogue would treat those with hopes and aspirations in disrespect. It is a sad day for fashion.
The Best Afternoon Teas in the UK
Afternoon tea is fast becoming one of the most popular ways to while away an afternoon with your partner or friends. Years ago everyone was doing it, albeit on a somewhat smaller and probably less glamorous scale, but it’s seen a bit of a revival of late and it’s so much more than just a slice of cake and a cup of tea. So treat yourself to a new outfit, a pretty tea dress or maybe a nice new top and midi skirt (you’re guaranteed to find a lovely George shift dress or George midi skirt) and make a date of it with a friend to have afternoon tea at one of these fantastic places:
The Goring Hotel, London
The afternoon tea here is so good, the hotel has even won an award from the UK Tea Guild for the Best Afternoon Tea in London 2013. So what makes afternoon tea here so special? You’ll take your afternoon tea on the terrace overlooking the beautiful hotel gardens and enjoy the hotel’s very own blend of tea. You can choose from a variety of fine teas, finger sandwiches, scones and a selection of pastries made in house. If you want to make it even more special, why not try the Bollinger Afternoon Tea, which sees the addition of a glass of champagne and strawberries and cream.
The Lowry, Manchester
This stunning modern hotel, situated on the banks of the River Irwell in Manchester, offers a five star experience from start to finish. Enjoy your afternoon tea in the River Bar and Grill overlooking the city and choose from a wide variety of teas, finger sandwiches filled with cream cheese and cucumber, Emmenthal cheese and tomato chutney, ham and red onion marmalade and smoked salmon and cr├¿me fraiche. Follow that with a selection of pastries including simnel cake, chocolate orange mousse, lemon meringue pie, carrot cake and scones. Or perhaps enjoy the champagne afternoon tea, which not only includes champagne but savoury tartlets and chocolate truffles too.
Great Fosters, Surrey
Enjoy afternoon tea in a stunning listed building dating from 1550, which was built as a royal hunting lodge. You have a choice of venues here for your afternoon tea and can select either the cocktail bar, Anne Boleyn room or the Main Hall. There are several options for afternoon tea here including the ‘Full Afternoon Tea’, which includes a selection of teas, finger sandwiches, scones and patisseries, the Pimms Afternoon Tea, which includes a glass of Pimms along with the usual selection of sandwiches, scones and pastries and either a Champagne Afternoon Tea or a Bollinger Rose Afternoon Tea. Great Fosters is a truly romantic venue at which to enjoy an afternoon tea, why not make it even more special and stay the night with your partner? There are some amazing historic rooms in which to stay, along with more modern rooms too.
If you’re a lover of afternoon tea, or even just a lover of cake, you really have to visit one of these amazing venues and experience afternoon tea at its best. Just donÔÇÖt forget to wear your most ladylike outfit!Guest Post
This is part of an exciting project I am working on and I am so excited to be able to share this opportunity, please spread the word to anyone else you think would be interested –
Shoe Galleries, Northampton Museum & Art Gallery :
Cinderella Syndrome Focus Group Volunteer Invitation
We are looking for volunteers to participate in our focus groups experience
At Northampton Museum & Gallery we are always asking questions about how shoes are displayed – not just in our own museum, but also everywhere around us. The Cinderella Syndrome is a major exhibition and research project, created by NMAG and taking place at the National TrustÔÇÖs Canons Ashby near Daventry, at Westfield shopping centre and at the Royal Exchange, London. WeÔÇÖre researching the challenges of displaying shoes in an engaging and exciting way and reactions to the stories shoes tell about the people who wore them.
Could you contribute to our research and be part of this innovative project? We are hosting a day of discussions about the shoes on display at the museum and we would like to have your views. To thank you for your time we are offering volunteers a private tour of the shoe stores, which is open only on selected occasions and for which there is usually a charge. We hope that tea and cake may also entice you to join us for a couple of hours
When: ┬á21 Aug 2013: either morning or afternoon session (please state if you have a preference)
What: Hour long session including a tour of the Shoe Galleries at NMAG, followed by a round table discussion with other volunteers. You will be allocated either the morning or afternoon session.
Where: Northampton Museum & Art Gallery, 4-6 Guildhall Rd, Northampton NN1 1DP
Who: We are interested in your views regardless of your age, gender, education, a regular visitor to NMAG, a frequent one or first time attender. We want you to be a key part of our project
WhatÔÇÖs in it for me? A chance to be a part of this a ground breaking project, meet other people and museum staff, a private tour of the shoe stores*, plus tea and cake ÔÇô a jolly good day out we think.
How: Interested? Email Shaun Carrington at email@example.com ┬áor phone 01604 838111 with your name, address, email, telephone and register your interest. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. You are welcome to bring a friend but please include also their contact details, as you will need to be counted individually.
Please note: we apologise but this event does not cater for children and babies. Volunteers must be over the age of 12 years. If 12-16 years parental / guardian consent must be provided.
┬á *NB, please note there is limited disabled access in the shoe store, (5 mins walk from museum plus 13 stairs with no lift), please enquire for full details and to discuss any concerns you might have and we will do our best to accommodate.
Northampton museum is a short 10 minute walk from Northampton train station, the train journey is approximately 45 mins from London Euston and 2 hours from Manchester Piccadilly.
The winners of the Queens Award for Enterprise, an honour given to British companies who have proven they are ÔÇ£outstanding in their fieldÔÇØ, have been announced recently with several hugely popular British companies gaining much-deserved recognition.
This has been a great moment for British fashion, among other categories of recipients, as it not only recognises the hard work and talent of those influencing British fashion today, but recognises the huge influence Britain has on the international fashion.
The Cambridge Satchel Company has been recognised within the category of International Trade thanks to their contribution towards exports. This hugely popular company began on the founderÔÇÖs kitchen table in 2008 and has since grown into a huge international force to be reckoned with. It has graced the shoulders of celebrities like Zooey Deschanel, Fearne Cotton and Elle Fanning, and itÔÇÖs even been on the Christine Baranski┬áshoulders on the TV set of The Good Wife.
Tiffany Rose was also honoured within the International Trade accolade. The maternity label has experienced a massive growth in over sea sales over the past three years, in parts thanks to its celebrity fans.
Stars including Holly Willoughby, Emma Bunton and Myleene Klass have appeared on television and within magazines wearing the stunning clothing offered by Tiffany Rose, meaning international interest has soared.
Finally, Nails Inc was given the QueenÔÇÖs Award for Enterprise due to the international success of the brands. Established in 1999, the nail polish label creates and sells not only products for use at home, but has nail bars world-wide for customers to use and enjoy ÔÇô and the best thing about all these brands you ask, theyÔÇÖre all created on home soil!
See here for the list of the queens award recipients.
I already mentioned Vivienne Westwood’s Climate Revolution back in November when I got chatting to her. I am really pleased to hear that so many people are supporting her campaign. You don’t have to tie yourself to any trees (unless you want to that is), even small things such as having your heating on a few degrees less and recycling as much as you can will help. Three easy things you can do which the campaign promotes are:
|SHOP LESS KISS MORE – self explanatory, pucker up!|
|BUTTON UP – wear another jumper before cranking the heating up|
|TRAVEL LIGHT – think about taking a holiday at home rather than jetting off|
┬áOne big supporter of the campaign is Lush, who will be hosting sign up desks in store this week (until 14th Jan). If you drop in you can add your name to the email list to be kept up to date with the campaign, find out more info and pick up a free badge designed by Vivienne which you can wear to show your support. You can see me wearing mine here.
You can also pick up some Lush bargains as they have their Xmas stock reduced to half price. I picked up a fab hat box full of goodies which will last me all year – very economical! Even better all the packaging is not just recyclable but the boxes are perfect for keeping stuff in. I’ve had my last hat box for a few years now and use it to store freebie samples so I always have a stock of mini’s for traveling. I will share some product reviews once I’ve dipped in, the only think I’ve tried so far is the Bubblegum lip scrub, which is amazing. Hmm what was that about all the kissing again?
Join the Climate Revolution
Amnesty International UK have just finished producing a video with Vivienne Westwood. Every winter, they ask people to send letters to those imprisoned unfairly, targeted for speaking out or seeking justice against all odds. A simple letter can bring hope, comfort and support to those suffering such human rights abuses. But it also shows those in authority that we will not stand by as they try to oppress such individuals or communities.
This year, Vivienne Westwood has come on board to support the campaign. Together they have made a film highlighting the injustice and abuse experienced by Egyptian woman Azza Suleiman, who was beaten unconscious simply for trying to help another protester. No one has been held accountable for the assault.
In the video, Vivienne talks about how it was a sense of injustice that first got her involved in punk.
You can find more information on Azza Suleiman here: http://action.amnesty.org.uk/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1194&ea.campaign.id=17021 where you can find details on how you can help, be it signing the petition to the Egyptian president or sending a card of support to Azza.
Those of you who know me already know of my connections with Egypt so this is a cause close to my heart in many ways. I think it is wonderful that someone like Vivienne will lend not only their support but their celebrity to highlight cases of injustice.
If you are in London any time this week I recommend you go down to Convent Garden to check out the Sneaking into Fashion exhibition. Curated by Tory Turk this exhibition delves into the role of the trainer in pop-culture. Featuring many famous designs from Adidas to Vivienne Westwood, a must see.
I will be going down next week and I can let you in on a secret – there will be vintage Vivienne Westwood shoes. You might recognise the Westwood Tracey trainers above? Yep they are mine which I have loaned for the exhibition, so go say hi.
Neet = Not in Education, Employment or Training
You don’t need me to tell you about the huge number of young people who through no fault of their own (*Side eyes Just Call Me Dave*) have found themselves having left school with no job or no chance of further eduction. It’s tough and it’s getting tougher. United Colours of Benetton have launched their UNHate campaign with the aims to help support unemployed young people (18-30 year olds) with a project they have created that will be beneficial to their community. In essence challenging the stereotype often put upon young people who are out of work. They aren’t lazy, they just need to be given a chance. You can find out more on the Unemployee of the Year contest 2012 webpage.
This morning I was invited to the Manchester launch of US store Forever 21. I first visited F21 when I was in the States, there seemed to be one in every mall and it was the go to place for a reasonably priced fashion hit. What I liked about it was that even though the prices were low the products were good, no direct runway rip just cool, trend led designs. I was also really impressed with the boutique feel of the store which I was pleased to see brought over to the UK, checker board tile floors and ornate tables stacked with jars of bright coloured accessories.
It seems I wasn’t the only one keen to check out the new store, as people camped out over night to be first in line, with a chance for the first 300 customers to receive a free surprise gift card – ┬ú10-┬ú200 up for grabs. By midday the check out queue snaked all around the store, proof that everyone was impressed with what they found. My top picks were the faux-leather and denim bustiers – perfect over shirts, a printed pair of orange and blue chunky heels and the stacks of costume jewellery, spiked bracelets and statement collars. I didn’t have time to joint the crazy queue but I will be returning soon to pick up a few pieces.
Have you been to Forever 21?
H&M announces an exclusive collaboration with Maison Martin Margiela for autumn/winter 2012 on November 15th, for both men and women to launch online and in 230 stores Worldwide.
This I admit did shock me, I mean MMM who are at the forefront of conceptual design how will that translate into cheap clothes? Perhaps we will see the basics of the design philosophy, with oversized white shirts and angular blazers. I wonder if a Tabi boot hybrid will be included? I hope not. I have to say I am very skeptical about this collection, MMM always seemed so pure and untainted by the fast fashion and commercial band wagon. The designer himself choosing to say in the shadows, something of a recluse, even his clothing labels with their numbered sequence are somewhat anonymous.
When the brand was bought out by Diesel in 2002 there where whispers that Martin was not happy and wanted to leave due to creative differences, or perhaps more simply he wanted to retire. The head designer’s job was reportedly offered to Raf Simons in 2008 and later Haider Ackermann who both declined. It wasn’t until 2009 when it was officially announced that Martin had not been working for the house for sometime, it was also announced that no one designer would take the helm, but the label would be designed by a small team. Many true MMM fans have stated their disappointment with the brand since Martin left, perhaps the H&M collaboration is being done in attempts to bring a fresh audience to the brand which must be suffering since Martin took leave.
ÔÇ£MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA is one of the most important and influential fashion houses of the past three decades. I am so excited by this collaboration which will give fashion lovers around the world the chance to wear special pieces by MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA. This collaboration will be a great and memorable fashion momentÔÇ£, says Margareta van den Bosch, creative advisor at H&M.
ÔÇ£We are very happy to present MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA pieces with H&M, offering a new interpretation of our vision. The democracy of our fashion has always been at the centre of our creativity, and the collaboration with H&M allows us to push this instinct further. We will bring together the contrasting universes of the two houses in ways that will surprise all.ÔÇØ MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA
ABOUT MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA
MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA is a French fashion house which has always followed its own path, often outside the conventional fashion framework. The Maison believes in the absolute importance of the collaborative nature of its team rather than the individual, where its ideals are founded in the desire for concept and creativity. Constantly questioning the norms of fashion and presenting its pieces through the technique of deconstruction and transformation, the collections reinvent volumes, modify shapes, change the original use and movement of garments and derail classic notions of fashion.
For more information about MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA: www.maisonmartinmargiela.com