Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Let's talk Glasgow Wedding Collective

I've never been a wedding person. Okay, that's a lie. I love weddings, or more speciically my friends weddings. I genuinely think there is something really beautiful about coming together with the people you love the most and celebrating something just so brilliant and positive and lovely. Weddings (and funerals) are the two great social unifiers and I know for sure what I'd rather attend.

When it comes down to it though, I've never really liked the idea of a "wedding." You know the ones. A checking of boxes that is served with a side of chicken balmoral and a slightly dry over iced cake. The ones that say absolutely nothing about the couple getting married.  I'm super lucky with my friends going or weddings by the seaside and with pet cemetaries. They've never really done anything by the book and their days were as special as the couples themselves.

Thankfully we're moving away from the trend of the by the book wedding and in to a whole new era entirely. While I may gauge my eyes out if I see another barn wedding or mason jar (sorry guys) I love that couples are adding more of their own flair to their day. It doesn't need to be timeless, but more of a capturing of a moment. Who you and your partner are.  For some that means unicorn pinatas, others an old cabaret hall.  For the Glasgow Wedding Collective, this celebration of individuality and tailoring a day that feels like its yours.

GWC bring together the best wedding suppliers going - from vintage wedding dresses, bespoke jewelers and offbeat bakeries.  Now while I can easily get in to the nitty gritties of food and music (Three Sisters Bake and their coriander coleslaw is reason enough to get married) but the actual styling?  That seems like a nightmare waiting to happen. So naturally I (and some of my fellow blogging babes) were given a short window to pick our wedding look, hair, beauty, shoes - the whole shabam and present out wedding looks in front of everyone. High school presentations all over again. The pressure was pretty intense.

Can we remember I'm not bridey bridey?  With the exception of one dress, I was presented with rails and rails of ivory, creams and whites. I had no idea what to do. So I picked the shoes and decided on my make up and worked the rest from their. Maybe not the most conventional bridal dressing right?

I was dressing the gorgeous Evelyn who other than being the biggest babe ever, was a super good sport as I squeezed her in to size 5 white booties that reminded me of Sophia Webster. If I couldn't do colour or a two piece I was 100% not going for a peep toe. Her hair was already set for vintage curls which I protested (slightly) against, and the amazing hair and make up team softened it right down or me to make sure she looked less done. Considering I was wanting to give my girl a yellow eyeliner with red and orange lip, well, it's safe to say I wasn't going for classically polished.

Everyone really does make a big focus on the dress, but really or me it was just the piece of a larger puzzle. I loved the textured vintage number, and with a big old flash of colour to go with the eyeliner in the underskirt? I was golden. The whole thing was tied together with a 20's style headpiece (you can tell I'm not precious about mixing decades) a big ole bunch of wild flowers and a smile.

While it may not exactly but what I'd pick (part of me still thinks if I ever do get married I'll pull a Detrich and show up in tops and tails) but it still felt fresh and fun and yeah, I think I pretty much created a bride I'd want to hang out with.

Naturally the fine folk at CineMate were there to capture the whole thing on film and yeah, pretty sure they have me fantasising about a wedding videographer. Sorry P. 

Glasgow Wedding Collective Style A/W 2014 from CineMate Films on Vimeo
The Glasgow Wedding Collective host a range of fairs filled with the best in handpicked wedding suppliers at the Lighthouse with their next event slotted in for the 29th of September. A must visit for brides to be, or anyone with an interest in party planning. For now though? I'm still trying to figure out how I can get that Scissor Kick Design backdrop back tae mine.

Friday, 5 September 2014

Day to Night for under £100 - well go on then.

I'm pretty guilty of impulse purchases. The problem with living in the city centre is that it is just too easy to "just have a look" and walk out with a ton of shopping bags and a noticeably smaller bank balance. It's not entirely practical especially when you're on a budget.  My beautiful Betty and I are were challenged by St Enoch Centre to pull a quick day to night look for under £100. Natch my choices were about dance optimisation and hangover care.

Glasses - Alain Mikli c/o Pretavoir
Necklace - Primark
Jumper - H by Henry Holland for Debenhams*
T-shirt - Pulp*
Skirt - Dorothy Perkins*
Socks - Dorothy Perkins*
Shoes - H by Henry Holland for Debenhams *
Bag - Lulu Guinness

Basically it's about shopping smart, and for me that meant employing the rule of thumb of "will it go with at least 3 things in my wardrobe."  It's hardly the most exciting way to shop but if you're proper skint, it's a good way to make sure you're getting your best price by wear.

The big purchase for me was my boots eating up nearly half the budget (luckily there was a cheeky 20% off) but I've already worn them a ton. They are total witchy ankle boots and perfect for dancing and Glasgow weather.  I managed to play about with the rest of my outfit by snapping up a wee sale purchase from Dorothy Perkins and a quirky printed tee from Pulp. Shopping outside of my usual shops helped me find some right wee beauts (seriously, how amazing are those little zombie hands?) and give my wardrobe a much needed refresh.  It was also kind of nice to find everything under one roof rather than trawling about the city.

For the full run down of the challenge you can deek Betty & I's article for Scotcampus and video on our retail adventures. What do you think? Could you do better?

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

The New Classic

I don't think I'm quite ready for the monochrome trend to go away just yet. Black on black has been my calling card for years, and I am totally in to the whole all white thing, so it just makes sense that I'm all up in this stripped back minimalism sticking around. Shapes, textures and cuts have always been more interesting to me than colour, and when it comes down to it, it's the stripped back basics that I constantly find myself returning back to time and time again.

monochrome style
black pilmsoles
blue hair
monochrome style
clutch bag
Glasses- Alain Mikli at Pretavoir
Dress - H&M
Waistcoat - Zara
Nails - Swoon
Jewellery - Primark (Yes, my bracelet says what you think it does.)
 Clutch - New Look
 Shoes - New Look

I've had this H&M dress for ages. It was an impulse purchase that's become a no brainer piece for me. It's taken me to London Men's Collections, days in the office to holidays and no doubt will come down to LFW with me this season. It's all about how it's accented. I can't even begin to think of how long I've wanted a long waistcoat (I kind of love the 90s art teacher vibe it gives up) and it's been worn nearly every day since I picked up this beauty. To pull it all together it's about some simple accessorise including this graphic portfolio clutch from New Look (perfect for fitting my ipad and the rest of the hot mess I lug about on a day to day basis) and some weaved plimsoles. It's easy to wear classics that never really go out of style.  Of course I still want to have a bit of fun - so I've pretty much put on all the rings in the world (I especially love the little twig thumb number) and a slogan bracelet. Yes it says what you think it does. I love the fact I've got different letters to play with (28) so I can subtlety tell the world to "Fuck Off" if need be.  I don't really think I need much colour. I've got blue hair and nails to match, so I think the fresh palette helps make it stand out.

I love playing with my clothes as much as the next gal, but there's something nice about returning to your stapes. What classic pieces can't you live without?

Monday, 25 August 2014

Holly Fulton X Radley returns for another collection

I completely lost it when Radley first launched their collaboration with Holly Fulton last November. Flat out lost it. When I found out Radley were taking Ms Fulton for another spin it was all I could do to stop my brain from flat out melting out my ears.

Never before has a collaboration given me a full on transformative view of a brand. Last year it was all reds, blacks and whites, taking in to account Fulton's trademark graphic signatories. This year they've moved away from clutches, going for more practical bags (I love an optional long strap me) while keeping everything that made the last collection so great. Oh and don't worry, they've kept the scottie dog.

radley x holly fulton
radley x holly fulton
radley x holly fulton
radley x holly fulton

Inspired by Fulton's love of pop art, the collection introduces new shapes (including the shopper and my personal favourite, the canteen) in bright fresh colours in navy and bright blue. Of course I'm going to love this. It's ticking infinite boxes for me. Continually Radley are challenging me to think that they don't just make bags for mum's but also something even the most discerning fashionista would love.

The collection launches September with prices ranging from £129 - £279. So you sold on Radley yet?

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Black & Blue

I've never really got my head round office dressing, probably cause I've never really had to "do" office dressing. I know smart casual is the standard rule of thumb but it seems to change it's meaning place to place. Given the first opportunity I'd gladly wear pajamas to the office. While it's maybe not the most practical, I opted for the next best thing. God bless the luxe jogger.

sports luxe
statement necklace
blue hair
checked flooralain mikli glasses

Top - Obscure Couture
Luxe jogger - Debenhams
Shoes - &other stories via TK Maxx
Necklace - Zara
Glasses - Alain Mikli via Pretavoir

I know, I know. Even after all this time it feels like a hard sell. "But Claire, jogging bottoms are for the gym" (say my imaginery nay-sayers) but if sliders get to be a thing, I'm getting to wear my comfy trousers as office wear. It seems like a fair trade.  I paired it with an old school Obscure Couture tee (worn backwards as I love the higher neckline and print detail), a chunky necklace and my new flats. Totally in to the fact I can see my toes through them. And the gold detailing. Kind of smartens everything up a spot.

 I don't know about you but I'm all about casual dressing. I'm just not built for heels every day (who is?) though I don't know if I'm quite ready to invest in a wardrobe entirely of joggers. Who am I kidding, I'm already half way there.

How do you get around office dressing?

Friday, 22 August 2014

Get Happy with Clinique #HappyHour

August can only mean one for us Scots. Okay, well other than the end of Summer (already??) it's officially Fringe season, transforming the capital in to the festival city once more. I've got a love/hate relationship with the Fringe from years of living in a Glasgow/Edinburgh limbo. I love all the shows that come in to town, how vibrant the city feels. I'm not so in to the fact that I can count on my bank balance taking a major hit.  What better way to celebrate festival season than a house party hosted by Gemma Cairney, the fine folks from Clinique and easily my favourite Fringe act of all time?

Prosecco punch, crisps and popcorn and more orange than you could shake a stick at, the scene was officially set for Clinique's #HappyHour. Packing the flat filled with the best of the Fringe, musicians, dancers, actors and all sorts, Clinique invited us to make ourselves at home. Eating millions and drinking prosecco al fresco? Consider it done!

Other than setting up an amazing instagram booth with their signature chubby sticks (I tried ALL of them) they had some cracking music and performers in to keep us entertained. Frisky and Mannish are notorious, and easily one of the best acts of the Fringe going. Subversive, quick and insanely talented, I've had the suffragette song from Mary Poppins stuck in my head ever since.

I can't believe the Fringe is coming to an end this year already, I feel like I haven't had a chance to see anything. I've got a list as long as my arm of acts I'd love to see and fingers crossed they'll be coming on tour once more.  Have you ever been to the Fringe? Who's been your top picks?

Thursday, 21 August 2014

The Top 5 Unisex Fragrances I can't get enough of

Few things are more personal than perfume. Finding "the one" is an ongoing battle of flitting between dusky florals, bright citrus pops and dark musks. For me though I've always leaned towards something a bit more traditionally masculine, and apparently I'm not alone. 33% of male cologne purchases are made by women to wear for themselves. Less common but still prone to happen, we're seeing men play with some of the darker scents that would be seen traditionally for women (Guerlain, Tom Ford) and pinching them for the bathroom cabinet. The death of "women's" fragrance is long overdue, so here's my round up of the Top 5 Unisex Scents out there right now.

1. Jo Malone - Wood Sage & Sea Salt

I don't think I've ever fallen in love with a scent so quickly as Jo Malone's newest cologne - Wood Sage & Sea Salt. Inspired by the British Seaside, Wood Sage & Sea Salt is simply put, gorgeous. A real musky fragrance with some grapefruit and the the definite smell of salt. The dry down is gorgeous, with this really fresh and salty sea air finish. It's understated and sexy and I don't think the 4th of September can really arrive fast enough. 

2. Tom Ford - Black Orchid

You can take your pick of Tom Ford's perfumes, but Black Orchid has become one of my firm favourites over the years (second only to Tabacco Vanille.) It's dark, heavy and just hits all the right notes for me. It's a really spicy scent with just a hint of sweetness (notes of chocolate and course some sweet florals in for good measure.) 

3. Chanel - Pour Monsieur

My boys signature. Considering he's not really a big citrus fan, this one turned out to be a bit of a curve ball. That said, Pour Monsieur is a classic since it's launch in 1955. For me the main hit I get from it is lemon and basil, though there is just enough spice brought in to it to give it some nice depth with ginger being a pretty key player. I love pinching this when I can't find my TF (or I just fancy something with a bit more zest.) As you might have guessed I tend to lean more towards muskier scents so sometimes it's nice to change things up with something a little fresher. 

4. Penhaligons - Sartorial

Inspired by the tailors of Saville Row, Sartorial is a crisp, clean masculine scent. It's got a ton of my fave notes - black pepper, leather and a nice metallic edge to round it all off.  The lavender dry down is gorgeous.  This was the fragrance that got me in to Penhaligon's and I've never really looked back.

5. Serge Lutens - Un Bois Vanille

This is the one the boy steals from me,and is probably the sweetest perfume I own. I don't tend to go towards sweeter perfumes as I tend to find them really sickly and they never feel right on my skin.  This woody vanilla is the perfect gourmand with just a hint of coconut and black licorice. It's a totally delicious perfume and lasts for AGES. If have a sweeter tooth when it comes to your perfume, this ones for you.

Just missing out: Penhaligon's - Iris Prima, Tom Ford - Sahara Noir, Kiehl's Forest Rain, Guerlain - Shalimair.

There's a real trend to what I tend to go for. Licorice, leather and spice, and for the most part I tend to steer away from traditionally sweeter florals.  I would say, with the exception of Jo Malone, most of these fragrances are better for the evening. I'm prone to layering on a bit of Black Orchid in the morning so consider that rule thrown straight out the window. For me though, I find that fragrances that market themselves traditionally towards men tend to work better as unisex scents. I feel they tend to have a bit more depth and steer away from overly simple and saccharine finishes. As a general rule though I'd ignore the advertising and go entirely by your nose. Perfume should be something you love wearing and feels like you. For me, some Tom Ford and a red lipstick are all I need to feel prepared to face the day. It's an armor of sorts.

What do you think? Unisex fragrances? You in or out?