Wednesday, 31 March 2010
All the harem pants in the collection make me really wish it was a look I could pull off, but I just don't think they'll ever work for me. Although I really liked the collection, and there were a couple of really covetable pieces, I do wonder who will be buying it: couture or not, the price point is pretty high for a supermarket collection. I think the quality of the clothes deserves the higher price, and most is made with premium fabrics such as silk, but I think they are going to have to work really hard to shake off the cheap fast supermarket fashion perception. I think the fact they are only selling the collection online instead of instore is a good starting place.
As well as the chance to look at the new collections, Tesco had also made the most adorable cupcakes with each blog name written on them, gave us cookies with the pagoda dress on them, and set up a nail bar where WAH nails gave all the bloggers fingers a make over. I just managed to take a picture of the cookie before it started looking too temptingly eatable! Like nearly everyone else, I went for leopard print on my nails. Mine are on a stripey pastel background:
I absolutely love them! I always see women on the tube in their tracksuits with great nails and wondered why they bothered, but now I know: it makes you feel great about yourself, no matter what you're wearing! I know this because i'm sat in my PJs and keep looking at my fingers and smiling to myself!
I'm interested to know what you guys think of F&F couture: Are there any pieces you really love? Does the price point put you off or is quality more important than the label inside the dress?
Love, Tor x
PS - Don't forget to enter the competition to win a piece of Emma Hadley jewelley: only one week to go!
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
The pieces I especially love are the striped cardigan from Whistles (in the second picture) and the ruffle sleeved top from Warehouse (picture one) but it's fair to say they've come up with something for everyone from the Laura Ashley twin set (second picture) to M&S T shirts to underwear sets: I think the Superdry hoodies are a great addition to the FTBC family too, because they're a youth brand, and the younger someone is when you make them aware of breast cancer the better.
At the event last night I heard a really shocking statistic; 120 women a day are diagnosed with breast cancer in this country. I think hearing the numbers really brought how important the campaign is home. It was a really interesting event that gave me food for thought as well as the chance to look at some great clothes: every piece is really wearable and not obviously a 2010 chairty piece meaning you could still wear it again year after year. I was never really a big fan of the target T shirts - when would you wear them!?
Why not check out the pieces and do your bit whilst you're out shopping this weekend?! Oh, and if these pieces aren't to your taste then don't forget to buy your pins and bracelets (find out more about these here!) They're subtle but pretty: I have my pin on my red mac!
Love, Tor xx
Primark are really into the swing of spring with a massive selection of their summer clothes in store: they've even got their swimwear and sandals in store! Today there are only two picks from Primark, but I think they're winners. I haven't been to Primark for a while, and it was as manic as ever, but they really are good at picking up on the trends and translating them into something wearable. I am having concerns about the quality of late though: the last two floral frocks I bought shrunk to an unwearable size after just two washes (everything else in the wash was fine, so I don't think it was my machine!)
I wasn't massively impressed with the dress selection in store yesterday but I loved the peach evening dress from the Primark premium range. Yes, you read that right; Primark have started a premium range of just a small number of jackets and dresses at slightly higher than usual Primark prices: this dress comes in at £21. I don't know whether it is the cut or the fabric (which feels the same) that makes the collection premium; if you've tried it i'd love you to let me know!
I also really liked this denim parka (£19) which I think would be an easy way of trying the double denim craze, but would also look really pretty over a little floral dress. It would be a great alternative to a mac; I love macs, but get bored of seeing them at this time of year when every second person has one on!
Love, Tor xx
Monday, 29 March 2010
They are also a bargain: less than $8 US for your choice of three cupcakes: i'd go for a selection of pink and yellow ones and display them on a floral cake stand!
I left my job last Friday and am taking just over a week off before I start my new role. As well as a whole host of wonderfully fun fashiony things, I also intend to have a proper Spring clean of the whole flat, including of course the kitchen. I will be buying myself these candles as a reward when the job in complete: they're hand poured, and handmade when you order them. They are highly scented with high quality, fragrance oils and you choose your own colours and fragrances. This seems like a highly decadent cleaning reward without spending too much money!
Whilst we're on the topic of domestication and my kitchen, I realised I was getting old this weekend, when I asked for a new dinner service for my birthday, instead of the usual clothes/shoes.
I saw it about a month ago and fell in love. Three more trips to see it, and I knew it had to be mine. I think the blurb on the site will describe it better than I can: "Patterned bone china dinnerware and serveware designed by Concetta Gallo for Habitat. This distinctively beautiful yet odd aesthetic is all about contrast and juxtaposition. Photographs are mixed with original drawings, smooth graphic lines with grainy textures, flowing liquid colour with block line and intricate detail, and precious gold finish with a floating, surreal sense of scale." So beautiful and unusual: although possibly too pretty to let anyone eat from them!
Love, Tor xx
Saturday, 27 March 2010
The actual launch party was loads of fun: I'm not normally impressed by celebrities (they're just ordinary people going about their business) but even I couldn't stop staring at Kelly Osbourne (who sadly I took a terrible picture of - see below) who is incredibly beautiful and very petite in the flesh. Her fiance isn't much of a looker though!
As well as the obligatory celebrities there were loads of lovely bloggers at the event and I spent my evening taking advantage of the Tequilla bar with Jenny of the Style PA and Fiona of Save our Shoes. The entertainment of the evening was Alice Dellal's band, Thrush Metal, who wore old man face masks, so although I took a pic of one of the masked folks, I didn't actually see the lady herself.
If you're in the Whiteleys area (it's off Queensway) then I would recommend popping in to check out the pop ups: the attention to detail with the store layouts is worth a look (the Frost French store has lines of tiny pot plants in the windows and under each rail of clothing) as is the Disney Couture store: I could look at that jewellery all day!
Love, Tor xx
Friday, 26 March 2010
- Meeting the boyfriend's parents for the first time
- Job interview
- Night out with the girls
Here's what I came up with:
For meeting the parents I wanted something pretty but casual: fashionable but well put together. In these situations I don't think it's wise to look too overdone, but it could be taken as a slight to look too underdone as well (balancing act or what!?) My mum always says the first thing people notice about you is your shoes, which is why i've balanced this outfit with a nice pair of courts, and a matching bag for good measure!
For the job interview I knew I would have to make the outfit look much smarter, which was hard to do with a pretty ruffled dress. But I gave it a go! I went for a shoe that meant business (I always feel more confident in any situation if i'm wearing heels) and a very smart pin striped jacket. Accessories-wise I kept it simple with a neck scarf and a big watch
For the night out with the girls I went for high heels and military-glam. I also toughened the dress up with lots of black and rock chick accessories: this is the way I would be most likely to wear the look.
How would you wear this dress?
Love, Tor xx
Thursday, 25 March 2010
This year the campaign is called "wear your support" and its all about showing your support for FTBC by wearing a special design for the charity from one of your favourite UK brands: M&S, Topshop, River Island, Coast, Warehouse, Laura Ashley, Superdry,Whistles, Melissa Odabash and my-wardrobe.com are all getting involved. I love it when you can go shopping and feel like you're doing something to help people at the same time, and given the brands involved i'm hoping the FTBC designs will be pretty wearable too.
As well as the big money items (lingerie from M&S and a dress from Coast for example) there will also be pins (£1) and bracelets (£2) which you can buy from River Island, Topshop and Superdry and travel card wallets from M&S. I know these have been out there for years but I think they're such a good idea: not only do they show your support they also remind other people of the charity and hopefully they will want to get involved too!
Love, Tor xx
PS - I'm sure you don't need me to tell you this but please make sure you all stay healthy and have a good fondle of your boobs every now and again! Wow, I hope that didn't sound too Trinny and Susannah! :)
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
Before we talk about how to win the prize though, lets find out some more about Emma. I also thought it would be nice to see the lovely lady at work, so these are the images dotted through the post:
-How long have you been designing jewellery?
I started designing seriously a year ago when I learnt the technique of Precious Metal Clay to make pure silver peices, although I've always had images in my head of my ideal jewellery I would make if I could.
-What made you want to be a jewellery designer?
Now I'm doing it I don't know why I didn't start earlier it seems so natural to me! designing and making is definitely in my blood, my mother is an artist and I grew up being very creative; making clothes and crafty things. I've come from an exciting and challenging career as a Fashion Buyer but I knew one day I'd like to start my own business and create a brand of my own. The opportunity to explore this came when I was made redundant at the height of the recent recession, not wanting to sit around waiting for the high st to recover I enrolled in a jewellery course at the London Jewellery school. Designing and making jewellery suits my character, I love the delicacy and attention to detail, and I've always been like a magpie drawn to beautiful shiny things.
-If you could only wear once piece of jewellery for the rest of your life what piece would you pick?
Only one :( well it would have to be my Bee Blossom necklace, I think it has a timelessness that i'll never get bored of, and it goes with everything, dressed up and dressed down.
-Which other jewellery designers do you admire?
I like Jacey Withers completely original and ethereal style, and I also like NYC duo Dannijo, their style is completely different to mine but there's a full on modern glamour that looks fab.
-Where does your inspiration come from?
A big influence is from nature, I'm definitely a city girl with a country heart, I was born in Cumbria and my introduction to the Lake District at a young age has never really left me. The overriding factor in all my designs is the need to make each piece become something more than just functional jewellery, I like my designs to tell a story and to mean something personal and special to the wearer. The people close to me are a big influence in this.
And now for the fashion!
-Where do you buy your clothes?
These days I buy as little as possible (the down side to starting your own business). It means being imaginative by refreshing my old clothes with select add ons from the High St - Topshop, H&M, Zara etc. I used to have the luxury of shopping in NYC and Paris as a Buyer and some of the finds from shops like Anthropologie, Big Drop, Scoop and Barney's, whether new or vintage, have great longevity.
-Who is your favourite designer, and why?
It has to be Alber Elbaz, no one dresses women as beautifully as him!
-Finally, if someone gave you £10,000 and an hour in Selfridges to spend it, what would you buy?
This is a nice little daydream! There would definitely be some Mulberry and Chloe handbags for me and my sisters, a stop at Balmain, Temperly, Paul & Jo and Anglomania. Citizens of Humanity and Paige jeans. Maybe a Bulgari watch, and the rest my husband can spend on himself.
And now for the competition. To get your hands on a piece of Emma's handcrafted jewellery (pictured above) all you have to do is sign up to her mailing list here, and leave a comment on this post. The competition will close on the 7th April when Emma will pick someone who signed up for the mailing list at random: Easy peasy (lemon squeezy!)
This prize is a gorgeous piece called the Stellar charm - A pure fine silver STELLAR tag with a Swarovski crystal AB star, on a split ring ready to be added to bracelets and necklaces. I wish I could enter myself! If you can't wait to get your hands on a piece of the Emma Hadley collection you can buy direct from her website.
Big thanks to Emma for her generosity and for answering all of my questions!
Love, Tor xx
KAO brands (who I hadn't actually heard of until today!) own Jergens and John Frieda, amongst loads of others. (Curél, Bioré, Ban, Guhl) These are the two of their brands I have actually used though - where would any of us be without frizz ease?! They have set up a new microsite called Temptation is Beautiful. Basically, all you have to do is visit the site and enter your email address for a chance to win a weekend of temptation in Las Vegas with three friends. Plus, you'll be automatically entered for a chance to win today's daily beauty basket prize. (I think it's probably more realistic to think you will win one of these, but you never know!)
For a corporate micro-site the website is pretty cool (believe me, i've seen a lot of awful ones!) As well as the competition, there is a temptation quiz where you can decide your temptation level. I know it's childish, but I love stupid quizzes, and I get really excited when I get a good score. Plus when else do I get told i'm hot, hot, hot:
It's a bit ad-heavy for my tastes but I find that on a lot of American websites. And the quiz masters accent drove me crazy but maybe that's just because i'm not used to it! So why don't you give it a go? You might win a prize or at the very least you can tell me how hot (or not!) you are. Or that you despised the computerized sex kittens accent too!
This is the first sponsored post I have ever written, and I opted to try it because there was a prize for you guys involved (and a promise is a promise!) If you don't like sponsored posts please let me know, as it will help me make a decision about whether or not to write another.
Love, Tor xx
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
To accompany this the event will also be hosting clothing alterations workshops where you are able to learn everything you need to know about basic clothing alteration, sewing and customisation: This would be the part of the event I would be most excited about. It's amazing how much longer your clothes last if you can learn to do basic things like changing a button or fixing a hem.
Image from here.
There will also be a 6 piece band, a tea party filled with scrummy cakes, sandwiches, a haberdashery and alteration service if that tickles your fancy. This is a free event, so if you're in the area there's no excuse not to check it out! And if you do pop down let me know what you thought - I think this event sounds fab and I would love to know if i'm right!
When: Friday 2nd April 11-5pm and Saturday 3rd April 9am-6pm
Where: Triangle Shopping Centre, Exchange Square, Manchester, M4 3RT.
You can find out more about the event here.
Love, Tor xx
Monday, 22 March 2010
So last week I was lucky enough to go to a couple of great events that really bolstered my wardrobe. The ASOS access all areas event was a great night out and a chance to view their spring collections. I was also lucky enough to be given a gift card to spend on those collections too! The Skinny Cow Swap Shop was a super fun swishing event where I traded some of my (still very lovely!) old clothes I no longer wear for yummy things I can't wait to put on. Here's what I got from each event:
ASOS Access All Areas
Wedges- £45, Bed jacket - £35, Little White Lie tee - £16, Pony necklace - £6.
I mentioned in an earlier post that I had been looking for the perfect summer wedges, and these are them! They look great, chunky but not at all masculine, and they were comfy from the first time I put them on (I'm on my third wear with no problems!) The bed jacket is my take on the underwear as outerwear trend: i'm too heavy busted to put a bra over a tshirt! I love this and think it will be the perfect light coverup over vests and tees on balmy summer nights.
Skinny Cow Swap Shop
The sequinned dress is from Sophie Hulme, the lovely big cardigan is from Selected Femme,and the sequinned top is from Reiss.
I'm like a magpie, and I went straight for the sparkles! It's very unusual for me not to have gotten more black but my desire for sequins seemed to overwhelm my need for darkness. I love the Sophie Hulme dress: it was the first thing I saw when I entered the swap and I was so lucky to pick it up - I beelined straight to it! It looks a bit funnyand pulled in the picture because I have my hand in my pocket, but it's really love in "real life"! The cardigan is also a hidden gem: it looks wonderful on and will be a perfect between-season throw-on. It's so soft!
Whilst i'm talking about my great finds I want to say that I do know how lucky I am to be invited to these events, and don't want you guys to ever think I take it for granted. I hate it when you read other bloggers complaining about being sent press releases or free samples: yes, sometimes the products aren't to your taste but in that instance i'd rather write nothing at all. I'm very aware that I am an outsider to the fashion industry and am very lucky that certain companies want to reach out to you guys through me. Having said that I want you to know I only write about thing I think you'll be interested in, and all my reviews are honest: I always cover the good and the bad bits!
The good bits of course include lovely free and/or traded clothes! It's been my best shopping weekend for a long time and it didn't cost me a penny!
Love, Tor xx
This dress is made of cotton, and is cut in a 60's shift style. On the front panel there are three stuffed applique birds flying from the bottom to the top. The neck, shoulders, arm holes, and hemline are also stuffed to add structure to the dress. I know it's a little wintery but I just adore this dress: it's exactly to my taste and the wide sleeves and mini length would flatter my figure perfectly too.
Emily Ryan is an independent designer located in Portland, Oregon. She has been designing custom and retail pieces since 2001, and hs participated in many fashion shows over the years. Currently, She loves modern sculptural designs that explore texture and shape, as well as artistic, comfortable, and cozy designs and is continually inspired by 1920's couture, science fiction, and Japanese fashions
All the pieces are handmade to order, meaning you would be getting your hands on something really rather special: this dress is from the 2010 Winter Solstice Collection and I am completely in love with every single piece. I can't emphasis enough how wonderful I think this collection is, I covet it all. The piece above is called the butterfly coat: It's made of heavy weight cotton, which lends itself to structure and form. It is gathered at the sides, nicely showing the waistline and giving a lovely butterfly wing effect. It is gathered across the back, the bottom center front, and also has an oversized gathered neck. I think it's beautiful: I got so fed up of my coat this winter, but I know if I had one like this i'd never be bored!
I often find myself raving about my new discoveries (I guess I must be over-excitable) but I think Emily Ryan is a very talented designer. If I could have it made without the polo neck - not good on my bust- then that dress would be making its way to my wardrobe right now!
Lots of love, Tor xx
Sunday, 21 March 2010
On the website there are 87 items in the £10 or under section, including some basic cotton tops, lovely denim skirts, and a massive selection of belts, scarves, and jewellery. I always worry with mid-season sales that you'll only be wasting your money on clothes that it will quickly get too warm to wear, however there are some really versitile pieces that could carry you all the way through to Spring/Summer.
I can't wait to hit the highstreet and try some stuff on, but in the meantime here are my picks of the sale from the website:
Everything pictured comes in at under £30. I love the pleat fronted city shorts (which also come in black) they would be great with tights for now and with sandals for in the summer. I love the belt which on the surface is very simple but which reminds me of an aeroplane belt: utility cool. The jewellery is pretty cool too (and each piece is reduced to £4 - bargainalicious!)
Are there any other mid-season sales you guys have been checking out? Whilst i've been rushed off my feet and neglecting the shops (sob!) what have I been missing?!
Love, Tor xx
This comes in tan or black, but it's the tan one i'm interested in! At £69 it's a little overbudget, but given it is 100% leather, I think the price is really reasonable. I'm hitting the carboot sales over the bank holiday weekend, and if I don't find a yummy battered second hand rucksack there, then I will be coming home and making this baby mine! (I got my favourite leather mini satchel from a carboot sale for £1, so there is hope!)
What are your plans for the Easter weekend? Or is it too early to think about it? I already can't wait and keep looking out for the weather forecast - I hope it stays sunny!
Love, Tor xx
Saturday, 20 March 2010
I love swishing: where else can you swap something you don't wear anymore for something you will wear, without it costing you a penny? But the Skinny Cow swap shop, which I attended today, was a cut above any other swishing event i've been to before. As well as the swaps brought by the attendees there were also donations from Kelly Brooke and the other celebrities involved in the event. I saw one lucky lady get her hands on a pair of Christian Louboutins donated by Kelly! Before the event began we had time to relax and gossip with the other attendees over a mug of Skinny Cow hot chocolate (I opted for the mint one) and the excitement in the room was palpable, then the doors were opened and it was time to shop!
I couldn't be more pleased with the things I took home: I got a grey and fuschia Sophie Hulme dress (on the rail above), a nude sequinned Reiss top, and an unusual Selected Femme black cardigan which drapes beautifully.
Swishing is such a fun and exhilarating thing to do: You enter the swishing room not knowing what you're going to find and then you get to scour the rails looking for something fabulous. When you find something you like it's an even better feeling than bagging an amazing bargain in the sales! As an aside, I loved the way they'd themed the room and all the strokeable cow print everywhere too: such a nice touch.
The event was really friendly (no snatching or elbowing!) and everyone was chatting to each other, trying to work out who was taking their clothes home. I was involved in more of a swap than I thought, as it turned out the gorgeous lady pictured above went home with my topshop jacket, and I left with her Reiss top: she obviously has impeccable taste in jackets and tops!
If you're ever looking for a fun way to kill an afternoon then I can heartily recommend giving swishing a go- and if you find a good event let me know, I think i'm newly addicted!
Hope you're all having a great weekend so far!
Love, Tor xx
PS - Gotta love my sister. Whilst I was taking pictures she jumped in to have a gossip with Kelly Brooke: another celebrity to go on my list of those who look even more beautiful in real life than they do on TV.
PPS - Apologies for the quality of the images in this post: my camera was playing up, and I had to sit down and fiddle with the settings when I got home! Once again, normal service should resume now!
The lipgloss is a pillar box red, so perfect for a night out. It's thick and looks great with just one quick coat but isn't sticky at all. It also smells like candy: i'm not sure if this is a good or a bad thing because on the one hand it's yummy but on the other it doesn't taste that way when you try to lick it! I've had it on all afternoon and only had to reapply it once (not to add colour, just to add gloss) so i'm really impressed. The blurb about the brand on the side of the box gives the brand a real sense of drama: Conceived amid the dark drama of 1920s Berlin, developed by professional make-up artists, embraced by alternative cultures, made by a unique British brand. Worn by those who refuse to be everybody.
Friday, 19 March 2010
There were hair stylists and make up artists from Illamasqua (a brand I have to try again, the make up lasts and lasts) and then, once we were all dressed up we were ready to strike a pose first for the photographer, and then on the catwalk. Strutting on the famous ASOS catwalk was a must, although it was one of the most embarrassing things i've ever done: it's a good job I wasn't built like a beanpole, as i'm far too shy to be a model! And it gives you a new respect for the ASOS models I watch walking up and down it every lunchtime: it's not easy!
Star of the show however was Butters, the fashion dog, who had everybody cooing and clucking like mother hens. She is adorable, and a better walker than most of the bloggers too! Here she is posing with gorgeous bloggers Scarlett and Emily in her ASOS paisley scarf.
The range of clothes to try was excellent and I was especially impressed with the accessories (hence why I took so many photos of them!) The buttery soft mustard leather bag below was a favourite: I couldn't stop stroking it!
Every trend you could fancy for spring/summer was covered including some lovely nude and lace tops and some bold tribal prints. There were also some great dresses with structural details including a really special black bodycon dress with caged shoulders. I tried on two gorgeous evening dresses perfect for balmy summer nights: pictures of those to follow. There was an incredible grey marl sweater with a sheer peachy chiffon panelled back which I fell in love with but didn't take a photo of (it's on the site here) I would love to experiment with this over floral patterned body con dresses. And we all know i'm a shoe addict so this is predictable but: sigh! There were stack heels, platforms, wedges. And some peep toe summer booties in tan or black that I loved: peep toe booties (summer boots, if you will) are the next item on my "must have" list.
All in all I found myself longing for the weather to perk up and looking for an excuse to spend some time online shopping for my new summer wardrobe: It was a fantastic night.
Love, Tor x
PS - In the spirit of disclosure, we were also given a wonderful goodie bag containing a Illamasqua lipgloss, gorgeous necklace (I'm wearing mine now) and a gift voucher, which I just spent: can't wait to show you what I chose!
They are really trying to push the store as a place where fashion can meet music, and I think they have the balance exactly right. Entering the newly redecorated Oxford Street store feels like entering a trendy nightclub, right down to the oversized speakers on the walls. And the clothes are the kind of clothes you can imagine being worn to gigs and festivals.
I suppose because the target audience is quite young (and so not generally cash-rich) the price point is really reasonable: tops for £14.99, jeans for £19.99. I was checking out some very cute pastel belts (my nod to the trend without abandoning black perhaps) that came in at just £6.99.
The images dotted throughout this post are previews of the high summer collection: one of the brand focuses is denim, so there are lots of cute denim rompers and cropped jeans. The pastel trend is also continuing with light polka dot denim and pastel tees. And of course florals are showing no signs of dying yet. I actually really liked the cropped raspberry coloured pleather jacket for myself. I loved the look of the zip up black wedges and they felt very light, but I like my wedges to have a little bit of weight to them, so my search for summer sandals still continues. The jeans have a little too much going on for my tastes but hey, i'm not seventeen any more, so what do I know!?
I can imagine this store will only grow in popularity with teens, especially as the link between the store and music grows. The collection is very young, but also very on trend and wearable at a great price point. I can see all the pieces slipping in really nicely with an existing summer wardrobe of basics. Sadly (and it makes me feel old saying this outloud) it's just a little too young for me!
Love, Tor xx