Monday, 29 June 2015

Blogtacular

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I think everyone who attended the Blogtacular conference in London earlier this month has needed some time to decompress, and we completely understand why. There was so much to take in and it was such a joyous occasion- so here's what we got out of it!

Starting at the start: Helen and I have been intending to go to London together for years. Years and years. We never quite got round to booking anything. Then last summer I had a really difficult period in my personal life and I really needed a boost. Helen came up with this brilliant excuse to force us to finally take a trip, just the two of us, and she bought us tickets to Blogtacular. I was vaguely aware of the Blogtacular conference happening at that time but it wasn't until we started putting together our London itinerary that it started to figure as a major event for me. There were SO many good speakers to hear from that we'd have to strategically split up. The topic range covered things we've barely touched upon. There was a pre-dinner and a #Pintacular event afterwards, not to mention the morning Photowalk. We would really have to put our socialising hats on! At first this was daunting but as we started to see the online community build up for the event, we became more aware that we wanted to get everything we could out of this experience. And, boy did we!

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The talks I attended were... Grace Bonney's amazing Opening Keynote on embracing fear- a brilliant start to the day to get us in the mindset for taking on the day. I went along to Francesca Stone's take on giving it a go full-time with blogging (not something we're looking at but it was interesting to see the next stage), and then the Grow Your Audience panel, which included one of my favourite bloggers Kristabal Plummer and other impressive panelists like Buzzfeed UK's Managing Editor, Cate Sevilla. I also got a lesson in styling from Betty magazine's Charlotte and Charlotte before they judged our attempts at still lifes (eek!). Anthony Peters rounded off brilliantly with his Closing Keynote.

Like blogger magnets, even outside the events we kept bumping into girls we'd befriended on instagram or chatted to on twitter or just other guests- a quick point and "Bloggers?"- and the whole day was a whirl of laughter and tip swapping. Girls would slide over to the table and into a conversation as if we'd known each other for ages. It was like Freshers Week of University. There was just something so energising about so many women (and men, sorry but there weren't many of you!) getting together so easily to bond over our shared online ramblings. It helped that it wasn't a specific topic, as there were craft bloggers, interior bloggers, parenting bloggers, lifestyle bloggers and us wee group of fashion bloggers.

Whilst I was busy chatting the ears off anyone I could find, Helen was hanging out at the crafts (obviously!). She played with chalk paints by Annie Sloan and got stuck into the crafts set up by colourful blogging duo Seeds and Stitches. Here are details of all the makes they had going on.
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After a quick change (into even brighter outfits) and some much needed caffeine we head to the beautiful interior shop Westelm for the #Pintacular. A much more chilled out social space, we ate seafood quesadillas and lounged on fabulous furniture while we enjoyed hands-on activities. Although we were all flagging by that point, Helen and I did manage to run up some adorable biscuit print plant pot holders with Nikki McWilliams- who also provided the amazing amazing totes for our goodie bags. A huge congratulations to her on winning a Mollie Makes Handmade Award that week too! How does she do it all?

Finally, we made a decent attempt at a bit of cross stitch with the hilarious Mr X Stitch, who kept our energies up until the end of the evening. Thanks to all the amazing people and sponsors involved at Blogtacular 2015- we cannot recommend the conference enough. Do it all again next year, yeah?

We are still processing all the information we received from speakers, sponsors and other attendees but we're kickstarting our forward planning with a fun new pinterest account that you can follow here. It's being filled with bright hair, unlikely style icons, independent designers and the best of Edinburgh and Dundee so be sure to check it out!
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 photo kimberleySignature_zpsf529626b.jpg

Friday, 26 June 2015

What Kimberley Wore: Savage Beauty at the V&A

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London wasn't just about Blogtacular. It was about me. It was about my turning *cough*twentynine*cough* which I found hard to come to terms with. So we had to cheer me up with something fabulous- the Alexander McQueen exhibition at the V&A.

I was expecting it to be good. Like, really really good. I followed his career since school and have longed to see those infamous SS 2010 reptile prints in the flesh. McQueen's creative flair and grasp of sensuality is underpinned by impeccable tailoring, even from the very beginning of his career, so every piece is just perfection. So I went in and it started off great, and I thought I was in fashion heaven. We wove round rooms, leading us through his development, his understanding of garment construction, his playing with silhouettes and pushing the boundaries. The final room (I thought) with the wall-to-wall explosion of moving outfits and accessories was astonishing... and then there was more... and then there was MORE.

AND MORE!

Each room could have been the dazzling finale. Signature headdresses. Primative beating rhythms. Glorious fabrics. We were enthralled, and really quite dizzy by the time the futuristic reptilian alien mannequins in hooved shoes and snakeskins was finally, finally revealed. What a show!
As well as demonstrating the true artist that Alexander McQueen was, and the tailoring skills he possessed, the exhibition gives the audience a little snippet of what it was to see his catwalk shows. He was all about the drama and the staging was theatrical. Kate Moss floating as an ethereal spirit? It gives you goose pimples, it's hard to bear in mind that you are seeing something so contemporary rather than of historical importance. Perhaps that will be the mark of him.

Okay, I'm getting quite emotional just writing about it.. so here's an anticlimax. My outfit. Definitely not McQueen-worthy but I chose something easy to wear on the most humid day of the year! At the time, I absolutely loved the shape of this dress. So much so that I bought it in 3 colours/patterns. Now that I'm seeing it in the photographs I'm wondering how much caffeine I'd had that day.

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Dress | H&M
Shoes | Primark
Flower Crown | Claire's Accessories
Necklace | handmade by Helen
Earrings | Naomi Murrell via Hannah Zakari
Tote Bag | c/o Abandon Ship Apparel

For those summer vibes, I wore this surprisingly cheap flower crown from Claire's. I've been looking for one for my massive head for ages and just happened upon this one while shopping for my 10 year old cousin. Not somewhere I'd normally shop, this was a lucky find rather than a sign that Claire's should be my go-to accessories stop. But this one is nicely packed with different flowers that look quite realistic against my pink hair. Win!
The necklace is one that Helen made for me some time ago in a jewellery making class she took. It was kind of a guilt gift, to apologise for taking her boyfriend to London that year instead of me but I absolutely love it. I thought it apt to wear this on our eventual London holiday. It's the London skyline! Cute, huh?
And a huge shout out to my babe Vicky Viola for buying me these amazing Naomi Murrell droplet earrings for my birthday from Edinburgh stockist, Hannah Zakari. So much love for them!
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Anyway, we had a great time at both the exhibition and wandering around the V&A. I wish I could go see it again, it was so magnificent. Have any of you seen it yet? What did you think??
 photo kimberleySignature_zpsf529626b.jpg

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

What Helen Wore: Savage Beauty at the V&A

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What Helen Wore, Scottish Blogger, red head, ginger, pink hair, leopard print glasses, vintage cowgirl jacket, Hayley Scanlan polka dot dress, flat red shoes from Dorothy Perkins, DIY googly eye bag, London, Victoria and Albert Museum, V&A, Alexander McQueen echibition, Savage Beauty What Helen Wore, Scottish Blogger, red head, ginger, pink hair, leopard print glasses, vintage cowgirl jacket, Hayley Scanlan polka dot dress, flat red shoes from Dorothy Perkins, DIY googly eye bag, London, Victoria and Albert Museum, V&A, Alexander McQueen echibition, Savage Beauty

Jacket | Neuk Vintage
Top | Hayley Scanlan
Skirt | borrowed from my sister
 Bag | DIY
Shoes | Dorothy Perkins
Glasses | Spex Pistols

Our trip down to London was primarily to attend Blogtacular but one other thing that was right up there on my agenda was visiting the Alexander McQueen exhibition - Savage Beauty. He was my designer of choice for an art project in secondary school and I have loved his macabre designs ever since.

The exhibition spans McQueen's short but full career, from his MA graduate work, right up to his unfinished A/W 2010 collection. It's an extremely comprehensive and in depth look of the evolution of the designer across his collections. The curation was amazing, with each room more atmospheric than the last. Music, mannequins and decor added to the pieces on show without ever over shadowing them and each set up felt like a showstopper. I could have spent all day in the Cabinet of Curiosities, watching the fashion shows and catching each garment and accessory from as many different angles as possible. I would have said it was my favourite room until I reached the final section of the show. A stark white space with a giant screen and futuristic silver mannequins showing pieces from Plato’s Atlantis. This collection seemed to be the culmination of a silhouette and idea that McQueen had been playing with throughout his previous collections, beautifully realised in a formidable look at future fashion. The fact that such a creative talent is no longer with us gave the whole thing a poignant edge. Who knew a fashion exhibition had the power to get me teary!

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My outfit wasn't nearly as spectacular as the pieces displayed in the exhibition but that was never going to happen. I did try my best, creating my own particular silhouette that I like to call - cowgirl ballerina. I have been wearing this cowgirl jacket A LOT since I bought it but it seems to have escaped the photographic lens until now. It's a great way to make a casual outfit more fun. Who doesn't love a bit of fringing! I had to rep some Dundee design down in London town and this Hayley Scanlan top/ dress is a favourite of mine. The light fabric really helped against the London heat. This day was hot! Hence my hair up, skirt on approach in an attempt to keep cool. This Scottish lass isn't used to such temperatures!

My new Spex Pistols glasses also made an appearance. They seem to be becoming my special occasion specs as I'm yet to wear them to work. A part of me wants to only wear them on fun days. Also, I still love my faithful Ray-Bans so they still spend quite a bit of time on my face. Maybe a different pair for every day of the week would help me even out my glasses wearing. 


Friday, 19 June 2015

Blogtacular Photowalk Style Spotting

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Kimberley and I ventured down to London town at the weekend for our first blogger conference in the form of Blogtacular. I'm still trying to process all the inspiration, advice and tips, so thought I'd kick off our London posts (there will be more) with some style spotting. I got up super early on Saturday to go on a specially organised photowalk with the fabulous Xanthe Berkeley and Samee Lapham. It may have been a grey London day but I was surrounded by colourful bloggers. We snapped, chatted and instagrammed our way around the southbank and it was glorious! Of course I was drawn to the wealth of fabulous outfits and accessories on show, so thought I'd share a few shots of the stylish ladies.

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There was so much colour on show! From bright pops to full on patterns I loved it all. Hester's yellow coat worked beautifully against the yellow wall. She paired it perfectly with her yellow Saltwater sandals, which seemed to be the blogger shoe of choice. Melanie's bright red coat gave some full on little red riding hood/ Don't Look Now vibes. Such a simple yet sharp shape. The pretty polka dots were worn by Lauren and looked fabulous against the red tiles in the underground. Cintia was one of the first bloggers I spotted on the way to the meet up. It was the beautiful quilted bomber jacket that gave her away.

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Bags are an absolute must have for any blogger. They have to be big enough to carry all the essentials but they also need to look good. This neon yellow number was made by Ellie herself. So useful for carrying all the blogger bumf but also fabulously eyecatching, I want one! Elisa's cute blue backpack was so neat. A great way to keep hands free for all the photo taking and social media updating. And I couldn't resist this puntastic tote. It's hilarious and made me smile even wider.

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Shoes are a tricky thing to get right. With an early morning walk around London, comfort was key. These lovelies managed that with a load of style piled on top.  Geraldine was rocking the party flats,  killing the comfortable and stylish dream combo. I couldn't take the my eyes off of these spotty sandals as worn by Nina. Love a bit of animal print. Usually I'm not that into trainers but the beautiful Bryony was rocking the sports luxe look in these.

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There were some seriously good scarves on display. A scarf is so perfect for adding a pop of colour and pattern to any outfit. Being a complete scarf addict, they are usually my go to finishing touch for any get-up. Susie looked fabulous with her head scarf, making an early start look so very glamorous. Like a magnet, I was drawn to Hannah's Karen Mabon number - pigeon perfection for roaming the streets of London. More bold, bright colours were to be found draped around Elisa's neck.


And what did I wear for the occasion.....
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Dress | Dreamland
Jacket | H&M
Shoes | Carboot Sale
Bag | DIY
Glasses | Spex Pistols

I kept it as comfortable and colourful as possible in my new Dreamland dress. I picked this up at Arkive Dundee's Ladies Night after falling for the strong Saved by the Bell vibes. The jersey fabric made it super comfy and the fun pattern went down well with my fellow bloggers. The jelly shoes were a 50p carboot sale find and made for easy(ish) walking around the London streets.

And let's just take a moment to say hello to my new glasses. Found at Spex Pistols (of course), the lovely Richard made sure they were ready in time for my trip down south. The made my face feel fabulous so I was very happy to have them with me. I accessorised all of that with a giant pink balloon. It was a Blogtacular photowalk after all.

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Check out lots of pics from the West Elm Photowalk on Instagram via #WestElmLondonScenes and watch our Facebook page for more of my colourful snaps.  

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Blog Crushes 11

Helen's crushin' on ..... archer avenue.
blog crush, favourite blog, archer avenue While not the most frequent of bloggers, Emma (aka archer avenue) has a wardrobe full of items I covet so each post leaves me with something new to add to my wishlist. She has introduced me to a number of brands and has me forever wishing I'd seen her wearing Somewhere Nowhere ghost dress when it was still available. Her outfits are always fun and I love the way her nails are inspired by her clothes. Plus her mid ombre hair has got me thinking of fun ways to do something different with my do.

Catch her on instagram for more frequent peeks into her fabulous wardrobe.


Kimberley's crushin' on..... Miss Bizio Couture
Miss Bizio Couture, blogger crush, favourite blogger, micro blogger, Scottish Blogger, vintage blogger, vintage style

More of a microblogger than a 'blogger', Joanna Bizio is the owner of Bizio Couture in Stockbridge, Edinburgh and posts on social media for her business. Curating and selling her vast and beautiful vintage collection, she is quickly gaining a reputation around town for her exquisite selections. More impressive than her clothing pieces however, is her flair for fashion and humorous style. She can definitely join my style gang!

Her Flicker account is amazing for vintage homages, while I love the inventive daily posts on her Instagram and Twitter account. I'm a bit of a social media stalker for the moment but I'm hoping to pop into the shop sometime soon, You should too!


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