Friday, 29 April 2011

McQueen For The (future) Queen

While I wasn't overly excited about today's Royal nuptials (I was working but did manage to catch the 'I Do's') I was hoping for McQueen for the wedding dress. Sarah Burton did not disappoint with a gown featuring a strapless, Victorian style corset, narrowed at the waist and padded at the hips - a signature of the late Alexander McQueen's designs - underneath a high-necked, sculpted bodice in hand-made lace with long, medieval-style sleeves and train on the pleated ivory and white satin skirt.

Very reminiscent of the wedding dress of Grace Kelly but still with a modern feel that was altogether appropriate for a Royal wedding.
The 'halo' tiara is Cartier, borrowed from the Queen who received it as an 18th birthday gift from the Queen Mother who originally received it from King George VI in 1936.
And the cake!

It took cake maker Fiona Cairns and her team 5 WEEKS to complete the traditional fruit cake. Architectural features of Buckingham Palace's Picture Gallery where echoed in the design - roses, acorns, ivy leaves, apple blossom and bridal rose - as well as for their symbolism (including marriage, strength, endurance and innocence) with 900 sugar paste flowers adorning the eight tiers. Seventeen different blooms and foliage have also been used for their symbolism. The four flowers of the home nations - English rose, Scottish thistle, Welsh daffodil and Irish shamrock - also featured on the penultimate tier.
Prince William also requested a special treat from his childhood - a chocolate biscuit cake - which was prepared by McVities from a Royal Family recipe.

Still got Royal Wedding fever? Here's the recipe for the no-bake chocolate biscuit cake from 'Eating Royally'  by Darren McGrady:

Serves 8

1/2 teaspoon soft butter
8 ounces McVities rich tea biscuits
4 ounces soft butter
1/2 cup sugar
4 ounces dark chocolate
1 egg, beaten
8 ounces dark chocolate for icing
1 ounce white chocolate for decoration

1. Line the base of a spring form pan with silicone paper, and butter the sides. Break the biscuits into almond-sized pieces and set aside.

2. Cream the sugar and butter in a bowl. Melt 4 ounces dark chocolate and mix with butter, add the beaten egg and mix well. Add biscuits and coat well.

3. Pour into the pan, making sure the bottom is well covered as this will be the top of the cake when it is un-moulded. Let set in a fridge for three hours. Let partially warm outside of the fridge while 8 ounces dark chocolate and white chocolate are melted. Flip cake and drizzle chocolate on top.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Viva La Difference

Name any simple household object - a chair, lamp or candlestick perhaps - and Designs by Viva will transform it (if they haven't already!)

Using cotton fabric the Viva team focus on unusual prints, vibrant colours and off-beat patterns to change taken for granted pieces and make them into usable pieces of art.

You can buy direct from Viva's website or contact them for a bespoke piece.

Monday, 25 April 2011

World Fashion


Pictoral highlights from new favourite book 'Style Diaries'.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Danielle Scutt for Freedom at Topshop

In times of economic crisis, the two ‘luxury’ items which flourish in the womens sector are lipstick and jewellery. With that in mind, the collection I created plays with themes of luxury, feminism and Surrealism  Danielle Scutt

Danielle Scutt, Central St Martins alumni and previous Topshop collaborator, has teamed up with high street jewellery brand Freedom to bring the high street a small collection of extraordinary pieces inspired by her most recent show.

The premium 'Show Collection' consists of limited edition statement pieces and is only available online at Topshop. Come May 1st the mainline collaboration will be available from key stores.
Inspired by luxury, feminism and surrealism the collection is undeniably sophisticated but with that quirky, offbeat edge that Scutt does so well - glossy red lipstick charms, shiny silver teapots, golden vines, matt fruit, oriental fans and enamelled hands are intertwined to create dramatic brooches, earrings, necklaces and belts. Danielle was also influenced by the jewellery worn by artist Frida Kahlo and artist created pieces commissioned by seminal arts world figure Peggy Guggenheim.

Plus, not for the faint of heart, a chunky three row matt chain necklace with 'hair' strands!

Retailing at £25-£70 it's not pocket money jewellery but is a cheaper alternative when it comes to buying in to designer pieces. Personally I'm loving the kind of creepy dolls house vibe from the 'ear, hand, teapot, lipstick' earrings but will probably hold out and see what the mainline collection will bring.

Tutti Frutti

Mouth watering mood board for upcoming TTA project:

Fawning All Over You

If it wasn't for the fact that I'm on a strictly 'no spend' to save money for LDN I'd be buying this adorable little guy from TTA fave Thrift-ola to add to my collection. At just 7 quid I hope someone snaps him up and gives him a good home.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Why Do Shiny Boxes Always Hold The Best Presents?

For some unknown reason I never blogged about these lovelies when I first received them! Momma picked up these vintage Chanel sunglasses
from a flea market in New York. I'm a very lucky girl.

I Don't Think We're In Kansas Anymore!

What better way to launch Hull Fashion Week than with a 10ft red glitter stilletto? Erm...

Friday, 22 April 2011

It's The Little Things...

...that make a big impact!

 Matching rings to nail polish

 Gobstopper pearls and rhinestones

 Watch 'bow tie'

 Scallop edged denim cut offs

 Safety pin embellishment

Matching tie and pocket square

Let Them Eat Cake

Delicious cake paintings by Paul Ferney

Thursday, 21 April 2011

All The Colours Of The Rainbow

Look at all the pretty colours. Picked these vintage deadstock haircombs up on Ebay and can't believe how fast they've arrived from America. Gonna go make some pretty shiz with 'em!

Meet Indie Cindy

Well, to be honest Cindy was a little busy stocking her new shop and making preparations for its official opening party on May Day. But her lovely friend Rowan was more than happy to give me a little more information on the new addition to Bird's Yard in Leeds.

Rowan herself has been hand making and selling jewellery under the moniker Kitschen Sink for some time now in galleries, Selfridges and in her online shop. But now she's taken the leap and opened up a real life store! I shot Rowan a few quick questions to find out more about what we can expect to get from Yorkshire's newest indie edition.

So, what made you want to set up a bricks and mortar store?

Opening a bricks and mortar has always been a daydream of mine. I've always loved customer contact and I love Leeds as a whole but never thought I'd seriously get a proper shop right in Leeds city centre's independent shopping district! I'd heard a lot about Birds Yard so I checked out their website to find them and noticed they had a room available on the first floor. I figured if I asked how much it was, it could be something I could work towards. Two weeks later I'm head over heels in love with the art deco building and Bird's Yard vibe and setting up shop with my imaginary business partner/friend Cindy!

Which independent designers are you going to be stocking?

I'm really lucky to have sold alongside some amazing talent at Selfridges, the Knitting and Stitching Show and Bust Craftacular amongst other places, so Cindy has some awesome designers like Knit and Destroy, Magasin and Littleclouds, nestled nicely between more local designers like Chickadeedee, Memo and Finest Imaginary.

What kinds of products has Cindy sourced for us?

Cindy is selling all things useful and/or decorative that are either colourful or cute, and are original designs. No beads on strings here! It's important to Cinds that the designers she picks make something that's identifiably theirs, that her shoppers will want to wear or show their purchases with pride and boast where they bought them from!

Pop to the first floor of Bird's Yard (83 Kirkgate, Leeds) to visit Indie Cindy - prices start at just £1 for postcards up to £50 for a handmade leather bag. In between you'll find fashion jewellery, prints, notebooks, pocket mirrors, badges, cushions, glasses cases, key rings, canvas totes and more!

Near Leeds on May 1st between 2pm-4pm? RSVP at the Indie Cindy blog and grab yourself a party ring and a piece of craft couture from a host of independent cult designers.