Monthly Archives: August 2015

My discovery of Mirabelle jewellery started with a gift I received for completing some voluntary work recently. On receipt of a gold, chain bracelet, I quickly took to google to find out more about the brand it was from, as I had never heard of them before. From learning about their popularity (think Vogue covers and royal customers) and after a quick scan of their most recent collections, I was very quickly lusting after and rather optimistically adding a number of their pieces to my basket. Although I can’t say their price range is student friendly, jewellery is the kind of purchase you make after saving up or if you have an excuse to treat yourself. Obviously jewellery makes a great gift and I think that buying a unique piece from a brand that someone may not have heard of before suggests added thought and is slightly more exciting. Unfortunately my favourite finds are going to have to stay in my virtual basket for rather a while but until then, they are just too beautiful not to share!

I found the best way to look through their website was to use the ‘collections’ option as they have quite an eclectic range of styles. From the list, I was drawn to both the ‘crystal cave’ and ‘chains’ collections, although there were also a number of lovely items I spotted in the ‘recycled glass’ and ‘animals’ sections. In other words, the whole website is worth a look!

My picks from the ‘Chains’ Collection

My picks from the ‘Crystal Cave’ Collection
Herkimer Diamond Ring (Potentially the nicest ring I ever did see!) | Kunzite CrystalJasper Pendent

Madeline

As I mentioned in previous posts, I have spent A LOT of my time at home over the summer in the kitchen. I have grown my passion for baking and cooking and this has resulted in lots of experimenting with new foods and trying out of new recipes. I love researching and curating recipes, which most of the time come from food blogs, although I also enjoying looking through recipes books (both new and old). Alongside my desire to make more of my meals from scratch and learn to use healthier ingredients, my addiction to photographing food has resulted in a mini library of what I’ve made in the kitchen lately.
Cauliflower Base Pizza 
The fact that these pizzas are gluten free and low-carb may be the reason they’re all over Instagram but you really need to try one for yourself before you dismiss them as another health trend. I promise you, they taste pretty darn good! I used a recipe from The Londoner (see here) but the good thing about this type of dish is that, when you have found a base recipe that works for you, the toppings can be changed each time to create all different kinds of end results. As suggested in The Londoner’s recipe, I made my own tomato sauce to cover the base (very easy- just simmer tinned tomatoes with fried onions, garlic and a bit of rosemary) and then topped with mozzarella, mushrooms and oregano. The recipe was pretty easy and didn’t take too long to make, although I would suggest making a larger quantity of  the dough and freezing it for extra speediness next time.
A Very Easy Guacamole
My love for being in the kitchen is as strong as my new-found love for avocado. If I could, I’d have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner (avocado and scrambled eggs? Yes please!) but in an attempt to explore slightly more adventurous uses, I recently tried out an easy guacamole recipe. Based on this one by Deliciously Ella, I made my own guacamole in a matter of minutes. I scaled done the quantities quite a bit and still came out with a very generous portion. It tasted great on it’s own with crisps but I’d also recommend it as a nachos topping or a fajita filling, although I can’t vouch for it’s aesthetic appeal!
Blueberry & Banana Pancakes
If there’s one recipes I’ve mastered over the summer, it’s this. The Love and Lemons blueberry and banana pancakes recipe (see here) is both vegan and gluten- free (although I did use regular milk instead of almond milk so mine weren’t actually vegan). I have made these many-a times just because they taste so amazing and we always seem to have the ingredients at home. I chose to omit the maple syrup the first time I made them and instead added extra blueberries to the mix for their juice. It seemed to work just fine and I haven’t ever added maple syrup since, so the recipe remains ‘healthy’.
What have you been trying out in your kitchen lately?

Madeline

Hidden somewhere on Netflix between the latest OITNB series, a decades worth of Grey’s Anatomy and a few hundred Gossip Girl episodes is a strong collection of highly-acclaimed Fashion documentaries. Having only watched Dior & I and The September Issue in the last couple of weeks, I’m pretty late to the party but with the recent addition of The True Cost, I can now suggest that you add all three to your watch list whether you are a fashion enthusiast or not.

The September Issue

I credit the day that 10-year old me first watched The Devil Wears Prada with the moment I fell in love with the whole idea of working in Fashion. Although the main character ultimately realises that working in fashion really isn’t that great, it must have been the dreamy Runway offices and the designer-laden wardrobes that had me sold. The September Issue can only be described as the real-life version of The Devil Wears Prada and although it has previously been said that Meryl Streep’s character was based on Anna Wintour herself, the similarities extend much further. If you have any form of aspiration to work at a fashion magazine or in the fashion press, as I know so many people do, I think this documentary would only inspire you further. As for someone who doesn’t perhaps have the same aspirations, the documentary is still a very interesting watch and I think it would educate a lot of people on the pressures and intricacies of the fashion industry. And that’s only if the rare chance to see Anna Wintour interviewed in her home and followed around in her day-to-day life isn’t intriguing enough.

Is it a coincidence that I’ve just read my first copy of Vogue in a number of months and it happens to be 2015’s September issue??

The True Cost
I heard about this documentary on Twitter before I noticed it pop-up on my recommended Netflix list as it seems that The True Cost has got a lot of people talking and hopefully for all the right reasons. The ethics of fashion has been brought to my attention many, many times as I realise that people who in a position to do so, are keen to educate those starting out in the fashion industry (i.e. university students like me) on the seriousness of this topic. So many new brands that are appearing on our radar pride themselves on an ethical design and production ethos, highlighting the likely future direction of the industry. Although sensationalised news articles have brought sweat-shops, poor working conditions and child labour to public attention on previous occasions, nothing much has changed in terms of how people choose to shop. Since learning about new, sustainable fabrics and quality of design and production, I have already recently found myself aiming to shop more intelligently and if I take one thing away from this documentary, it is a heightened dislike for buying disposable fashion items. Ideally this documentary would become a must see for everyone and not just those who feel they have to learn the ethical fashion facts on their syllabus, as I think it would teach a lot of people a very important lesson. 
For a slightly more in-depth review I recommend reading this post on Inthefrow (aptly written by one of the people who lectured me in Manchester on this and similar topics).

Dior and I
If you didn’t already have an appreciation of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes of any sort of fashion label, then why not learn through the eyes of one of the most iconic fashion houses in the world: Dior. This documentary follow Raf Simons through the journey of creation of his premiere collection at Dior in an overwhelming attempt to fill the boots of the fashion greats that have gone before him. The behind-the-scenes interviews and filming with the very traditional Dior aterliers, gives an exclusive and very interesting insight into the couture design process as well as a glimpse of just how hard it must be to work in such a fast-paced and indecisive industry. Simon’s SS12 collection is obviously beautiful to anyone looking, although after learning about the struggles, work and thought processes that went into putting each one of the garments onto the catwalk it only strengthens your appreciation for their beauty.

Next up on the watch list: Iris Apfel’s eponymous documentary.

Madeline

Any new friends you make at university go from being only across the corridor/ down some stairs for the best part of a year, to suddenly being spread out at all ends of the country as soon as term finishes. Although this means that a last minute night out or an evening film altogether is pretty much impossible, it does lend itself to opportunities for visiting and exploring new places.
Last weekend I headed to the south coast in Devon to visit a friend who had recently moved to the small seaside town of Kingswear. Having not been there before, I was impressed with the view from the moment I arrived right until I left. With a house built overlooking the sea, the views were just as impressive from inside as they were from the top of one of the many, many hills that we climbed. Our weekend was filled with relaxation at the beach, ferry trips to the next town for food and evenings spent in the hot-tub- oh it’s an easy life!

A view like this from bed makes for a good start to the day

Waiting for the ferry and sea views from up high
Looking across the river to Dartmouth
Views from the beachfront
Madeline

My use of Pinterest has steadily increased over the last few weeks and it’s fair to say that much of what I’ve been doing lately is inspired by my discoveries on this site. I’ve tried out new recipes, starting buying and styling different clothes as well as educating myself on random life and design hacks. 

If there’s one thing Pinterest is absolutely great for it’s street-style inspiration. Photos fresh from the best of the fashion blogging world are collated straight into carefully picked and themed Pinterest boards, ready for hours of scrolling and saving. The ‘Preppy’ trend is a very common theme for Pinterest boards and and inspired by that (along with my renewed Gossip Girl obsession), I have put together some outfits plans from the high-end and high-street’s current offerings.

High-end
Firstly is high end, styled around a tartan wool Ralph Lauren skirt that definitely has a place in my dream wardrobe. Paired with patent Hudson loafers, the Daniel Wellington Sheffield Ladies watch (which must be the most Intragrammed watch ever) and frilly ankle socks, it completes a classic look that Blair Waldorf would be proud of. 


High-street

From the high-street, I have taken three wardrobe staples- a blazer, an oxford shirt and blue skinny jeans and added some girly accessories. The shirt from Zara has a raw hem around the base and the sleeves, which I think is a really unique yet attractive and on-trend touch. Also, the Topshop necklace is slightly different to your standard long pendant necklace as the chain merges into a single line at the bottom to create another unique detail. 


Ted Baker Loop Bow Belt (not technically high-street but I did find it on ASOS)
Madeline

L-R: Mac ‘Modesty’ | Collection ‘Prohibition’ | L’oreal ‘Cheryl’s Nude’ | Revlon ‘Macaroon’
As much as I love make-up and enjoy buying excessive quantities of it, lipsticks aren’t really my thing. I have quite a few in my collection however I do rarely choose to put them on. When I do decide to add one to my make-up look, it will definitely be one of these lovely four because the colours cover all occasions and the formulas are up to my (fairly low) lipstick standards.
MAC ‘Modesty’- an everyday shade
Thanks to both the quality of MAC lipsticks and the subtle colour of this one in particular, if I wanted a lipstick to complete any sort of everyday look, this would be my first choice. 
Collection ‘Prohibition’- the night-out option
A deep pink with a vampy undertone, a perfect alternative to a classic red and my choice for a night out.
L’Oreal ‘Cheryl’s Nude’- a must-have nude
I think it’s always a good idea to have a subtle, nude colour in your collection and this is mine. The product has a lovely finish and I would point anyone looking for their own everyday pink in the direction of L’Oreal. 
Revlon ‘Macaroon’- an easy option
This Revlon ‘lip butter’ feels like a lip balm when you put it on yet it still has the colour of a lipstick. It’s easy to put on and requires minimal maintenance- my kinda make up. 
Madeline

A small glimpse of some brands at Scoop | Lulu Guiness bags on the left and Marchesa dresses right
After discovering so many amazing new brands whilst working at Scoop last week (read post here), I realised that the only thing I could possibly do now in order to satisfy my suddenly extended wish list is to perhaps win the lottery and unfortunately for me, that’s looking pretty unlikely.
These brands are well established and I was surprised I hadn’t heard of lots of them before but after meeting many of the designer’s behind the name and from doing my research, I can tell you about my new discoveries.

Beaumont Organic
Beaumont Organic design the perfect collections for the ethically-concious consumer as their company’s ethos is centered around sustainability and ethical sourcing. Matched with their environmentally friendly production processes is their selection of eco fabrics, which are always of a high quality. I would describe their ranges as minimalistic, transitional and suitable primarily for day-wear, although the classic nature of the cut and colours means that they could probably be styled to suit any occasion. My favourite picks definitely come from their range of dresses, most of which are t-shirt/ tunic shaped, although I spotted a glitzy silver midi skirt in their SS16 range that is one to look out for. 
John & Pearl 
From the bright pops of turquoise and pink featured throughout their designs to the chunky nature of their pieces, which lend themselves to retro styling, the best way to describe John & Pearl jewellery is ‘fun’. I spotted their SS16 collection from quite a distance, mainly because I was attracted to the colours but on closer inspection the detail and quality of their designs is also very appealing. An item to look out for in their next collection is their unique ‘trainer bands’, which I am eagerly waiting to get my hands on. 
Sara C
I got my first viewing of Sara’s SS16 collection whilst I was helping to steam some of her pieces before they were put on display. Although I was focused on my task of careful crease-removal, it was difficult not to be distracted by the eye-catching digital prints on her range of kimonos, jumpsuits and dresses. The brightly coloured designs reminded me of natural and exotic inspirations and a SS16 print to look out for is a bold, abstract blue and orange design which I spotted on a number of the garments. 

Sollilas
I spent a lot of my time at Scoop stood next to a stand of Sollilas sandals and it took me the majority of that time to realise that I recognised their trade-mark design from seeing their ranges in Office and Urban Outfitters. After hearing more about the values of their brand, including their Menorcan production and Balaeric design inspirations, I was sold. The simple shape of their shoes is repeated throughout the collection although the variations in the colours of the leather creates an eclectic range. From their SS16 luxe collection, my top picks were the white soled designs and the nude sandals with added ankle ties. 
Birch & Brook
A slightly different discovery of mine were Birch & Brook candles, which were dotted throughout the Scoop show and left me repeatedly answering the question from visitors of ‘What smells so good?’. From the ‘dressing room’ candle in the entrance to the ‘library’ candle in the toilet, they just smelled so great! I loved the simplistic design of the candle jars as well as their English heritage philosophy, including the fact that the candles are handcrafted in the UK using sustainable materials. All I need now is an excuse to pick one up for myself- a new uni room counts, right?

Madeline

Finally a weekend of nice weather in London (yay!).
Saturday saw us take a walk along the river to the next town, which was unsurprisingly very busy for a sunny Saturday afternoon. We had a quick brunch and coffee break in a cafe on Richmond Hill and then went into a couple of shops so I could pick up an order and also get some things in Wholefoods that I hadn’t been able to find in supermarkets nearer to me. After wandering through the farmer’s market and taking a riverside ice-cream stop, we walked back along the river again and headed home. When London reaches 26 degrees and it’s the weekend, there’s no better place to be than outside in the sun (with ice-cream, of course). 
Madeline

 
1. Avocado and egg on toast
2. Greek yoghurt with strawberries and granola
3. Scrambled egg on toast with asparagus, mushrooms and tomatoes
4. Gluten free banana pancakes

(more…)


Over the last three days, the prestigious Saatchi Gallery played host to international fashion tradeshow ‘Scoop’. Running for its fourth year, Scoop is a premium event exhibiting both womenswear and accessories from unique, industry-leading designers. For the first time this year, I was working at the event and I was therefore fortunate enough to gain a fantastic insight into the amazing SS16 collections on display, as well as meet many of the talented designers exhibiting at the show. Despite spending most of my time monotonously scanning tickets and handing out bags/ fans/ guides, the glamorous surroundings and constant opportunity to people watch industry creatives (so much outfit-spotting) made the time pass that bit faster. Along with the others working at the show, I was dressed each day by an exhibiting designer. Our outfits included dresses, sandals and floral trousers from Indi & Cold as well as classic breton striped tops from Amor Lux.
I managed to take a small selection of photos from the show although the stand-out collections are only memorable in my head. Scoop was the perfect place to experience a fashion trade show and as well as allowing me the opportunity to discover so many new designers, it has given me a taste of the amazing SS16 collections to come later this year. See you in September Scoop!
In the alcove with Piccione Piccione | Pink Carpet Entrance

Bag packing behind the scenes | Scoop London Fans
All kinds of beautiful at Notte by Marchesa | Statement bomber jackets at De’Hart
Sandals by Sollilas Luxe and distant Pitusa Kaftans | Uniform by Indi & Cold

Madeline