Friday, 30 July 2010

my pop-up boutique

This week I've opened my very own pop-up boutique. As an undeniable shopaholic, I always end up donating far too many wardrobe gems to the chazza's (Charity shops) and so this year I thought why not just use our coach house (a glorified shed) to set up my own boutique and see what I could make.  I'm still donating 10% of proceeds to Charity, do not fear. The boutique offers new, secondhand and vintage clothes from a variety of different destinations and owners as well as a selection of books, bags and accessories. So far I have made £192 and have had a very broad mix of shoppers...perhaps more grannies than I've catered for but oh well!

With some great textures and quite unusual items, I've had good fun snapping away at the 'stock' when business wasn't booming. Have a browse...

For those of you who haven't seen it, here is the flyer I made (with Stefan's help) and put up in shops, on notice boards and canvased through doors in the village. Same setup for September too.

 I've never worked in a shop but gosh there is a lot your could learn from all the different characters that come in! Within the first 5 seconds it's important to suss out what kind of customer you have and how you're going to play along. Do not underestimate this. I know from my own experience, the way you're treated in a shop can really affect how you feel and how long you spend in the shop...AND of course whether you splash some cash. There are many things I've learnt about people and their customs - a bit anthropology-esque i know, but here are just a few...

1) Working in a shop, sitting there for hours on end, is painfully dull and not something I'll repeat.

2) Many women have firmly decided they are a size - a set number, and are wrong but will not budge.

3) Shoppers seem to panic if they've entered a small room and can't immediately see something that's 'them'. At this point do not look at them nor try to engage in conversation, they may bolt.

4) The impulsive shopper does not stop at one the closing minutes of a sale you can lumber them with anything and everything.

5) It is important to immediately decipher if the customer is a) the talkative shopper or b) the silent shopper, and therefore act accordingly.

6) My small talk skills are now at an all time best.

I've really enjoyed following through with this idea and I think I've had quite a receptive response so I'm hoping to raid some more wardrobes/chests/attics and open up again for the first week of September - just in time for the first week of School....yummy posh-o mummies and needy teenagers galore. chaaaa chingggggg.

PS: Make sure you check out all the stock in my new online shopping blog:

Saturday, 24 July 2010

the graduation wardrobe

This week has been "grad week" at my uni (University of Sheffield) and I went along to Stefan's ceremony to celebrate his 2.1 and the week long festivities whilst pretending it was my year to finish (one more still to go!). For those graduating, the enormous draping capes and the ever-bizarre mortar board created some awkward wardrobe dilemmas. However as a guest it was even trickier. Obviously it wasn't my big day (and I think I was just invited as a bit of arm candy) so the 'what-to-wear' issue seemed more taxing than usual. I don't own many daytime, smart,wedding-goer dresses and most of mine I've realised are indecently short for a family do! So this, coupled with the English temperamental weather, left me with my summer staple blue shift dress (a Spanish number at a splendid €8 sales price), an old white Zara jacket and some sensible black heels.

Me trying out the mortar board

Stefan all kitted up and ready to go in

Celebrations in the sun at the Dam House

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Warwickshire Art Exhibition 2010

Whilst my boyfriend Stefan was off in Newquay for a rugby 7's tournament this weekend, I had the pleasure of a day trip to Royal Leamington Spa to rate some of the local artists and view the Warwickshire Art Exhibition. And go on then, throw in a ladies lunch and some summer sale shopping as well!

The various exhibitions we viewed were compiled by local artists and art foundation students in galleries, art studios and even homes scattered across Leamington and the surrounding area. Having done Textiles GSCE and IB Visual Art a good four years ago it seems a world away from the previous 3 years of law...and god i miss it! The textiles displays and the mixed media creations really were exciting to discover and brought back so many memories of the stressing, tweaking and frenzied excitement over your 'final piece' creation. I hope I can find the time to get creating something soon!

The whimsical use of machine embroidery and subtle, soft use of material is so delicate and something I'm always a sucker for. I love the bird cage with real bird feathers and gold-leafed bird bones as it makes something so sinister suddenly rather beautiful.

The mixed media also took a somewhat 'reusable' angle with some simple but effective jewellery pieces such as these which are rings made from recycled books. Additionally books pages were used as a texture for a charcoal drawing that added another dimension to viewing the image as well as perhaps an imaginative link to the inspiration of the image.

Having just purchased my first SLR Camera (the Nikon D3000), I was impressed with some of the photography pieces and hope to take some pictures to blow up and frame soon myself. The trio of the underwater model are very striking as the display stood approximately 6 foot tall and vivid blue in colour. Similarly the trio of rust is equally as impressive and shows the beauty in the hundreds of shades present. A framed set of three photographs that tell a tale, evolve and interchange really is so effective.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

calvin klein 2010 + iphone = exclusive raunchy ad

The signature steamy Calvin Klein ad campaigns are always a treat for lads and ladies alike. However, this season CK has sneakily hidden their 40-second commercial behind a red and white pixel icon that requires a particular Iphone App in order to view. (The iphone must be held up to it from street level). The billboards are currently up in LA and NYC and feature Dutch model Lara Stone as well as four other "uncensored" male models. I've just got my mitts on the lastest iphone so let's hope for a poster to hit London soon!

Lara Stone (Comedian David Walliams' wife)

Eva Mendes, spring-summer 2010 CK campaign.

Monday, 12 July 2010


Tyra vs Elle. American vs British (kinda). I want us brits to win this but I'm afraid to say after viewing the first episode of Britain's Next Top Model I was fairly disappointed.
Elle looks sensational, the typical one-gone-a-week format is always a winner and the fashion/art/drama is to taste but something just doesn't feel quite right.

I didn't rate any of the latest model 'discoveries', the judging panel is just as lack-lustre and I don't know if I'm being overcritical but the filming just didn't seem as glossy, brash, sleek and how should I say! (shudder). Maybe it's a grower but for now I'll just watch it to follow Elle (and hear her talk for the first time following Jonathan Ross). Let's hope for the usual fix of up and coming fashion designers, the hidden city treasures and the creative photography; throw in some girl drama for good measure.

Back from Brittany

I've just returned from a week long holiday to Brest, Brittany (Northern France) with my boyfriend and his family. We stayed within the grounds of a stunning old Manor House, amidst picturesque countryside with some spectacular beaches just around the corner. It was incredible weather for the entire week (much like it was here in England I think) and it honestly felt like we'd taken some exotic holiday thousands of miles away.

I sampled my first batch of oysters, attempted to surf, spoke a spanglish/pigeon french and topped up on my tan. It really is incredible what stunning landscapes are so close to England and yet I've only just come to appreciate them.