Elvaston Castle

Gothic Hall Elvaston Castle- 1633

When I was a kid I hated anything to do with history & I took it for granted how much history we have as a country. I was born in Nottingham & we lived very close to an amazing place called Elvaston Castle, which is a massive estate with a supposedly haunted house, not your average 3 up 2 down house, I mean mansion style house. I have memories of running around the gardens as a kid; they had a maze made out of hedges! Back in the day you could even go in the house. Unfortunately the up keep of a house and grounds this size was immense and they closed the doors of the house in 2001 to the public. In 2008 it was classed as a building at risk, after bids by hoteliers and Golf courses to “lease” the house & grounds from the council, for a 150 years!!!, have finally once and for all been rejected. Derbyshire City Council have renovated the Gothic Hall back to what it would have looked like when the house was first built, which was in the 1633!

Gothic Hall Elvaston Castle

As you can see they haven’t done a bad job =D. The room will be open to the public a few times over the year, dates to be confirmed, but I can assure you I will be there with bells on! For more information on how the community are trying to save Elvaston Castle, check out


Does Packaging Make A Difference?

Levi’s Vintage Packaging

Ok so I want you to imagine that you have just got paid and you feel like treating yourself to something new, you have been saving hard recently and working hard so you feel like you deserve it. Would you be more swayed into buying an item be it clothing, food, cosmetics or anything really if the packing was nicer? Does packaging really make that much difference? Or if you had purchased something online & it came wrapped in any old piece of plastic would you feel a bit ripped off disappointed?

Liz Earl Packaging

Personally I think it does count, maybe not subconsciously would I pick on item over the other, especially if I was buying online I wouldn’t be able to, but it does count. Recently I bought some Liz Earl Cleanse & Polish the limited Prince’s Trust edition, where £2 per purchase will go to helping The Prince’s Trust. Liz Earl’s Packaging is beautiful- simple but beautiful & it ties in with the company ethos- Natural, Green & giving back to the community. It’s not the cheapest cleanser but I love it & I think it is one of the best.
Liz Earl Packaging
Another company I love is Lush; again they are a Green, Natural cosmetic company who are devoted to protecting animals and the planet. So far so good in my eyes, they are also say on all of their products if they are suitable for Vegan’s all of their products are Veggie friendly. I you don’t eat your Shampoo but some people like to know and a lot of people are really strict Vegans and don’t want to use animal bi products in anyway. I have been a Veggie for 11 years and I wouldn’t want a bit of meat in my shower gel so I can understand. They have also started to use Popcorn, yep Popcorn, instead of environmentally damaging polystyrene chips to protect their delicate items in the post! So fun and quirky!

Lush Popcorn Packaging

Here are some more cool packaging designs.

Nike Clot Air Force

So what do you think? Does the packaging matter to you?

Trend Update- MENSWEAR

I said to tune in today for the Menswear Update and here it is.
Key Trends:

90s Fashion
Modern Military
Modern Military

John Richmond A/W 2012
From camo prints to backpacks, it is all about practicality and functionality. Products to look out for are outerwear- camo, bomber and parka jackets, worker style shirts and backpacks.

Key Words:

Bomber jacket
Surplus Shirt
Army Surplus

DSquared A/W 2012
Plain and simple, with this no brainer trend. Go classic with raw blue denim or add some 90’s flavour with an Acid wash pair of denims. 
Key words:

Re-worked denim
Vintage denim
Acid Wash denim
Raw denim

‘90s Revival

Martine Rose A/W 2012
ith the late ‘80s and early ‘90s revival in full swing, abstract prints dressed down with jeans and a snapback cap is an essential look. Look to screen printed, graphic and slogan sweatshirts for a more casual take on the trend.

Key words:

Screen printed
Flat panel cap
Snapback cap
5 panel cap


Burberry A/W 2012

Traditional tweeds, Fair Isle patterns and checks will be the look this season – it’s all about referring back to British classics! Think country gent.

Key Words:

Fair Isle
Desert Boots

Trend Update- Making your wardrobe Autumn Ready

As we head into Autumn Winter 2012, a part from the Southern hemisphere folk!, its time to take a look at the next big thing.
Ladies first the 6 main trends are;
1. Baroque
2.Retro Prints
4. Oriental
Gents don’t fret I have not forgot you, Come back tomorrow where I will show you what you should be looking out for.

The biggest trend of A/W’ 2012 will be Baroque. Leading up to Christmas everyone will be on the lookout for that stand-out dress and statement jewellery, which is what the Baroque trend is all about. Three examples of the trend are the top image from D&G’s catwalk, & the bottom image from McQueen. Baroque is all about texture, keep colours simple Black & Gold are hugely popular, and feed nicely into other trend for this season. Key words to think about when buying into this trend are Lux, Metalic, Silk, Gold, Lace, Jaquard, Brocade.

Retro Prints

This season, prints will be heavily influenced by 1970s in the form of geometric, plaid/check and dark florals. Trouser focus should be on cigarette style trousers as the trouser suit is big on the cards (think dandy style) with blouses and boxy shapes. My top affordable picks so far is this Tartan check double breasted jacket from Ada’s Attic, https://marketplace.asos.com/listing/jackets/tartan-blazer/512751

This trend is easily mixed with the Baroque trend, as seen below.
Key words are;
Geometric Pattern
Vintage Print
Dark Florals
Cigarette Trousers.

Vintage Print Baroque Scarf

For the Gothic vibe think more romantic than Marilyn Manson, so lace and length will be key. Fabrics such as velvet and mesh, along with cross/crucifix style jewellery will make this trend. Our hands down winner is this 80’s stunner, for my afordable pick 

1980′ Gothic Lace Little Black Dress
Gothic Fashion Trend A/W 2012
Oriental Fashion A/W 2012
The east is a big inspiration for A/W’ 2012, so classic oriental and floral prints are essential in lux fabrics. Make sure that shapes are modern but keep the Japanese influence through accents such as a mandarin collar.
Key Words:

Bomber Jacket

Oriental Fashion A/W 2012
Coloured leather is a big trend this season and even better in berry shades- purples & oxblood. Also, re-worked pieces in the form of camo jackets or baseball jackets with leather sleeves will be big hitters. The KEY piece is the Leather Skirt as seen above from Ada’s Attic.

Key Words:

•Coloured Leather 

Oxblood Leather
Leather Skirt (key piece)
Leather Trousers
Re-worked Leather Jacket


The focus will be on modern utility wear – surplus shirts, chunky fisherman knits, and oversized camo

Military Fashion A/W 2012

Key Words:

Surplus Shirt
Army Surplus

So now you know what to look out for. My favourite way to update my wardrobe each season is with Vintage Clothing, they are more affordable & individual that way. When you mix them in with high street buys & if your lucky enough designer wears then, in my eyes you have a perfect outfit. Happy shopping

Grace Coddington

If Wintour is the Pope . . . , Coddington is Michelangelo, trying to paint a fresh version of the Sistine Chapel twelve times a year,” Time magazine said in 2009. Grace was unexpectedly launched to fame by the hit, my favourite documentary film, The September Issue. Where us mere mortals got to see the inner workings of how an issue of Vogue is put together. After this Grace was seen as the friendly down to earth face of fashion.


For more than four decades, she first worked at Vogue in 1941, Coddington—a onetime model turned master stylist—has collaborated with the best photographers and hair and makeup artists in the business to create what amount to moving pictures on the page. One of my favourite moments in The September Issue is when she says that she see’s fashion as escapism, fantasies where you can create & tell a story. Not only are her images outstanding & inspiring she has an incredible instinct for knowing the next trends.

Before Coddington became “Fashion Editor. Grace entered a competition in Vogue to become a model, she lived in a Nunnery on Isle of Anglesey, Wales where you couldn’t buy Vogue, or any fashion magazine, in the shops she had to order it in & by the time she got it, it was a couple of months out of date. After She won the Vogue competition she became one of the most-photographed faces of sixties Swinging London. She modelled minis for Mary Quant and cutting-edge hairstyles for Vidal Sassoon, who gave her a radical geometric bob that catapulted them both to fame.

There was no such thing as a stylist when Coddington got her start: The girls all carried their own wigs, makeup, and jewellery, transforming themselves to suit the job. Grace seemed to have a particular knack for this, always pulling just the right piece out of her bag. As the decade came to a close she was involved in a car accident which damaged one side of her face, so she turned that talent into a career as a fashion editor. At British Vogue, she began making the fantasy travelogues that would become her signature. She went to great lengths to get the shot. For her mentor, the photographer Norman Parkinson, she climbed a Grecian column to set off smoke bombs at the feet of her model, Apollonia van Ravenstein. For the exacting Guy Bourdin she tipped vats of cerulean-blue dye into the ocean to achieve the brilliant shade he demanded. Once, she hatched a scheme with the seventies übermodel Jerry Hall to smuggle exposed rolls of film from a Norman Parkinson shoot out of the USSR in Hall’s makeup bag. All “in pursuit of fashion glory,” Coddington wrote in the 2002 chronicle of her work, Grace: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue.

Since 1988, she has been Vogue’s creative leader, encouraging the team to push beyond the frame. “I like to give the photographer a starting point and then let him or her go as far as possible,” she told the magazine in 1993. Wrote Wintour, in the preface to Grace: “She inspires and challenges them like no one else.”

As you can tell I love Grace & her work, the way she tells a story in each shoot, the goose bumps I get from looking at the images she has created & how from looking at her work she inspires me to aim for the same level. To never give up.

Brrrr Winter Style Guide.. Part 1


Well well well what a weekend hey, on Friday I was still wearing my cropped black leather jacket still feeling smug & warm. On Saturday it was warmer out than it was in, & I took delight in warming up in the Sun- Still in my cropped leather jacket. On Saturday night I had to get my faux fur on & get my ass out of the door, much to my disappointment I wasn’t too hot wearing it, much winter coat of last year! Yesterday I was cold & wet most of the day and really felt like having a duvet day.
All this activity has confirmed in my mind that, sorry for saying it, winter is on its way. So put your cute little sandals, crop tops and rainbow dresses away. Some of the biggest trends for Autumn Winter 2012, are the oversized silhouette, Berry shades- Burgundies, Purples & Reds, Masculine styling/tailoring, and Black on Black- think fashion Goth =)


The fashion Goth look was seen on the Gucci Runway for Autumn Winter 2012, I love the combination of different materials to create depth & interest. This is a key element of doing the Black on Black trend, two black will never be exactly the same so why try to match them?!
Here is my “Wish List” for the Black on Black Trend from http://www.cruisefashion.co.uk/, and boutique that sell in shops all through the country and online.
1st on there is this STUNNING!!! Alexander McQueen Victorian Black Lace Jacquard Pencil Dress. I reckon you would feel like a million dollars wearing this. It is sexy yet feminine at the same time; I love the high neckline & the mix of different lace.

Another knock out from Alexander McQueen with this classic Sculpted Black Wool Crepe Coat, this has just been reduced as well! Check it out at http://www.cruisefashion.co.uk/womens-2/coats-jackets-103/alexander-mcqueen-sculpted-182902.htm
I would these brilliant YSL Tribute Black Patent Leather High Heel Patent Sandals. The Peep Toe Sandal is massive for Autumn Winter & is a classic design that will always look great. These would look great with jeans, dresses skirts, leggings or worn with socks! Amazing!
To complete the look I would finish with this Gucci stirrup brocade Black Leather Clutch Bag. I love everything about it! Stunning
So what do you think? Will you be trying the Black on Black trend this Autumn Winter?

Escapism- Young & Free

Today I am going to reminice about when I went traveling around Spain & Italy just after graduating Uni.
Sunset in Ibiza

I went on holiday to Ibiza with 20 of my mates, an unbelievable holiday that makes me smile just thinking about it. The live DJ set we saw were out of this world and the clubs were amazing, best night hands down was Space with Green Velvet and Carl Cox playing AMAZING! The feeling of pure excitement and enthusiasm and not a care in the world. After all I had worked hard at Uni for the past 3 years and I had got a 2.1 class degree so I was pretty happy to say the least.

After Ibiza Myself and Lizzy headed to Barcelona & Madrid. Where we experienced the familia sargidia, 40 degree heat, beaches and sleepless nights in airports. We also went to the Sonar music festival in Barcelona, which was great.

After scoring a free flight back to the UK, I decided that I would tag along with my little sisters travels and we spent a month backpacking around Italy using the Eurorail to get around. Looking back on it now the only real planing I did was buying a Lonely Planet guide- Europe on a Shoestring lol. Whilst in spain we went where ever the cheapest flight took us, something I had always wanted to do, and what I do now if I just want a cheap break. Why not hey whats the worse that can happen.


Belstaff Inspiration

Belstaff head designer took inspiration from vintage suitcases and the romanticism they evoke- that time when moving from one point to another was all about pure luxury. No budget airlines then, I love vintage suitcases and the stickers they have on them from all the places their owners have been, a little piece of history.
I have been inspired into researching travel beginning in the 1920’s to the 70’s. I love the excitement you can see in the posters and the photos. International travel was restricted to the rich though because of the high prices, travel in and around the UK was done mainly on trains as they were seen as competitive on price as well as luxurious. A bit different from now hey.
Christmas in the air 1920.
Passenger cabin 1920-1929.
Meal service 1930-1939

BOAC Air Stewardess
How glamorous is this photo! I love it.
1950’s 1959
A bit cheesy but I love it.
British Airways female uniform 1977-1985 (Designer: Baccarat Wetherall)

Part 4 Designer Inspiration

You might have noticed that there was one designer missing this season at London Fashion week- Peter Jensen. He took his inspiration a women, that’s all he said to new heights, he didn’t do a catwalk show I don’t really see the muse to be a woman that would be doing that kind of thing. The new collection is titled Barbara, my mums name, and will be along the same sort of lines as the A/W 2012 collection Titled Thelma.
Zoe Jordan
A women after my own heart, Zoe Jordan has taken inspiration from a mixture of multicultural influences, from travel including natural elements of Africa and American Varsity sportswear, for her spring/summer 2013 collection. See travel really does broaden the mind.
One of my most favourite film is the “September Issue” staring Grace Coddington- Stylist extraordinaire and of course Anna Wintor. Grace said in one scene that she was told when she was just starting out by a photographer ” Always keep your eyes open” everywhere you go keep your eyes open everywhere you go. It sounds so simple but I have been trying to do that where every I go since I have seen the film & you really can find inspiration in all places, from the sky, washing up, the stranger next to you who knows.
Where is the strangest place you have found inspiration?

Inspiration Part 3!

Daks Womenswear
 Designers took fabric inspiration & cloth construction from abstract artists expressive mark making, cross-hatched surface techniques and layered brush strokes. Using floating colour, transparency, weightlessness and fluidity to reimagine the energy created by this artistic movement.
Tata Naka
Took inspiration from photographer Slim Aarons who was originally a war photographer who changed course after seeing so much negativity. He began to photograph beautiful socialites in stunning locations wearing even more beautiful clothes, his work can also be viewed as a form of escapism form the everyday. Throw in some Motown flavour and lots of fun and you have Spring Summer the Tata Naka way. I will focus more on his work next week, stay tuned.
Daniella Issa Helayel
Ahhh Daniella took inspiration from The Garden of Eden, Noah’s Ark & vibrant underwater colours! I instantly had a massive childlike smile on my face. Throw in some passion & seduction and you have a modern, bold, grown up collection that is full of energy, excitement and fun! Amazing.