I’ve been making the most of the surprisingly sunny British summer but had a moment to experience some proper heat on a weekend trip to Barcelona celebrating a wedding and generally getting out and about. Barcelona is one of my favourite cities due to amazing architecture, beautiful pristine clean streets and a rich artistic heritage. Barcelona also has some half decent beaches in the centre, making it a dreamy location, plus some more impressive ones on the outskirts, Castelldefels and Sitges. The wedding took me to a quaint suburb, Sarria where I was hosted in a stunning farmhouse and ate the best Spanish and European food til I couldn’t move! I had an action packed weekend and came back needing another holiday but it was all worth it!
Selfie from the amazing balcony at Hotel Zenit
Selfies in Sitges
Sitges town and the Church of Sant Bartomeu & Santa Tecla, & Castelldefels
Ended my day in Sitges admiring a chilled out cat and eating Octopus with Fried Spinach balls
Park Guell and Gaudi’s House
Stunning church in Sarria and wedding of the year!
Wedding outfit and new Rosa Pietsch jewellery coming soon to Realm of Treasure
African print pre wedding party and vintage day on the beach outfits
I’ve been blessed to have been to some beautiful places this year in the UK and abroad and Corfu was definitely one of the best I’ve visited so far. The stunning landscape lived up to what I’d heard about the amazing scenery of the Greek Islands. My mum , who is usually busy with her charity work in St Lucia; http://thevieuxfortchildrenssociety.weebly.com, and I stayed in a small resort in a part called Kanoni which is in the same area that the Queens hubby, Prince Philip was born (amused by the fact the our Royals are Greek and German). Our hotel, Corfu Holiday Palace, was situated opposite the famous Mouse Island where Austrian Empress Sisi used to sit and chill. I can see why she chose the cute island which is one of the most peaceful places on earth with its monastery and now an additional pet dog and peacock to add a bit of excitement. One of the nicest parts of the trip which unfortunately can not be captured in pictures was the warmth of the lovely native people who made us feel so welcome and sad to leave. Everything else can be seen here;
Monastery adorned with Peacock on Mouse Island
Shuttle boat from hotel to Mouse Island
A sea front cafe in Kassiopi with views of the Albanian coast
Picture perfect landscape and monastery (with peacocks) of Paleokastritsa
Monastery and Mouse Island opposite hotel
Spotting cool outfits is one of my main highlights of London fashion week as London fashionistas have such a unique and diverse sense of style. Its impressive how the people I snapped were able to mix designer, high street and vintage to create bold looks that stood out without being ridiculous. So here’s my little tribute so London Fashion Week streetstyle. I wanted to take more as there were so may great outfits but it was too rainy and I didn’t want my new SLR to get wet. I’m inspired to start doing streetstyle posts more often as I always see extremely well dressed Londoners on a daily basis and would like to show the world how stylish we are in our day to day lives (excluding myself as I get dressed half asleep most days sadly).
Some of my fashion week looks which were mainly cute dresses paired with jewellery from Realm of Treasure, the e-boutique that I am about to launch! The black dress is from day one and I had a great start after bumping in to fellow blogger Marshal Campbell, of Style of a London Tall Girl and one of my favourite singer/ song writers; the talented and beautiful Lianne La Havas. The blue lace dress is from an antiques /vintage market at Clingancourt, north of Paris. I wore it on the penultimate day of London Fashion Week, when I also attended a charity dinner organised Tottenham hotspurs footballer Jermaine Defoe’s foundation which is raising funds for a Children’s Home in St Lucia (blog post coming soon!).
Mulan Itoje from Britain and Irelands Next top model season 9, blogger desiree , girls from Lulu Liu and another stylish blogger.
The first fashionista is a designers assistant who’s outfit was made by her friend. In yellow the gorgeous fashion student lucky enough to be studying in Florence bought this dress from a vintage shop in the region. Melissa from Melissa’s Wardrobe has nailed the monochrome look and super blogger Susie bubble is rocking vintage and is colourful as always.
Designer Liora Lasalle does casual but funky very well and the following fashionistas had completely different but equally fabulous styles.
Italian denim brand Diesel took an interesting turn and joined forces Edun, an ethical luxury brand pioneered by Bono’s wife, Ali Hewson. Edun has a focus on encouraging trade and development in Africa; it works with and uses the the cotton from cotton farmers in North Uganda and also manufactures some collections in factories in Africa. Diesel has always prided itself on providing high quality and durable clothing with a large proportion of it being manufactured in Italy. So whilst the collaboration didn’t seem obvious at first it does make sense. Anyways am glad it happened partly due to the fact that I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the Diesel Village experience, a pop up store on Regent st with live music, complimentary food = happy times!
Sunday at Africa village included live performances such as the fierce rapper, Zaiio (Amazing jacket by KATAYOON), Ghanaian food, plus live radio by Dazed Digital spitting out some quality afrobeats! Plus like many of the events I’ve been to one of the best parts was the relaxed vibe- strangers talking like old friends and all enjoying the creative surroundings – us Londoners are not as cold as people think!
I love the way Diesel tried to recreate a village feel but in a modern way presenting the collections in these cute little huts- the Fufu and goat one even seems authentic but have yet to go to sub subsaran Africa so am not really the best judge. Me and a new dancer friend struck a pose outside on of the more modern huts- this one had more on a Scandi look (I’ve been there so am not making wild assumptions.)
Sunday was hosted by fellow blogger, designer, artist and general creative Fred Butler. This inspirational lady took time out of her busy schedule collaborating with Swatch and designing accessories to help put on a great evening.
As always one of the highlights for me was the food! I went back to Diesel’s Africa village tonight for a pop up restaurant by Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen and an out of this world performance on the drums of some hip hop classics by MckNastyMusic– I almost forgot I wasn’t in a club!
I’m wearing a second hand Liz Clairborne jumpsuit from the Scope charity shop opposite my flat with matching bag from the RSPCA charity shop down the road plus moc croc loafers that I convinced my grandad to give me! I’m the outfit in the www.style-is.co.uk competition fingers crossed!
Finally I struck a pose outside another hut- no countries to compare this one to.
Diesel Village will be having events open to all throughout April. Just sign up here or simply turn up at the regent st store. I cant wait to go back. The collection is also stunning and available to purchase.
I’ve just returned to the snow from the beautiful Island of Jamaica and yes its definitely a shock to the system but I feel OK. Am happy to be back to London after having a much needed break and am definitely feeling refreshed after stuffing my face with local delicacies (see me at one of my happiest moments with my Jerk chicken cooked the proper way on a wooden grill), and chilling on the beach and at my grandparents quaint bungalow.
One of the numerous traditional family meals above; Ackee and Saltfish (the Jamaican national dish), Calaloo, steamed fish and potatoes- probably the lightest dinner in the two week period.
I tried to ensure I still looked healthy despite scoffing copious amounts of fried food;eg plantain, fried dumplings, fruit punches and sugary milk drinks (craving peanut punch right now), by using the natural wonders of my grandparents garden. Its full of fruit and vegetable trees, cacti, herbs and flowers that can cure all ailments and are good for you inside out. And since they don’t use pesticides its all organic. My fave concoction was lime leaves from the tree mixed with leaves from the decent sized mint bush- twas my daily medicine before I gave up trying to be healthy and succumbed to rum punch! However I mitigated the effects on my skin using Aloe Vera from the garden on my skin at night. I even did a hair rinse with Aloe Vera and another cactus – Tuna pronounced Toona – don’t know the English name but it left my hair so soft!
Jamaica is a place full of natural beauty and jaw dropping landscapes. I loved driving around taking in the vast amounts of open green spaces, hills and mountains. I think I’m a hippy deep down so tried to connect with nature as much as I could. I used sand on the beach to exfoliate, gargled with sea water when I had a sore throat and cold- it really does work and the sea is big enough for it not to be gross. Plus even swam in a river with alligators (under professional supervision!).
Alligator at Black River Safari doing what I did for most of my trip- digesting food!
Jamaica is also full of other types of wildlife like lizards and birds. I’m very much an amateur photographer and have mainly photographed fashion so was well chuffed with my snap of this bird that was flying above the river- no idea what it is though. Was gutted when I didn’t have my camera to hand when I spotted a black and luminous green humming bird in my grandparents garden (Jamaica’s national bird) but this snap of the random bird makes up for it!
Not quite wild animals but too cute (cousins ‘guard dogs’)
We had a few days of ‘bad weather’ where there were some clouds, a strong breeze and the sea was quite rough- too bad for me to swim in and I consider myself a fairly strong swimmer. This didn’t stop the super human divers at the famous Rick’s Cafe who made diving into giant waves perilously crashing on onto huge jagged rocks look easy!
Jamaica undoubtedly has some f the worlds best beaches and I tried my best to make the most of them before returning to the cold. I visited the world renowned 7 mile strip in Negril but thought the much smaller beaches in Montego Bay were just as amazing!
Sipping on a Daiquiri in Negril.
A quieter paradise in Montego Bay.
The vastness of the sea made me feel how tiny and vulnerable us mere mortals are!
Despite the awes and wonders of the landscape and ridiculously tasty food one of my main highlights was receiving some vintage shirts from my grandad to be shared between me and my sister plus these dapper brogues. Grandad was baffled at me wanting mens clothes and asked my nan if me and my sister are ok in the head (he also said I looked like a ghost in my nans oversized black 80’s style dress)- in jest – but kindly agreed to part with his gear- which I will treasure for life! I was also honoured to donate a decent amount of clothes including blue poker dot dress pictured to my Mums charity shop raising funds for a children’s home in my other mother land St Lucia- God willing ill be there and blogging about it next year! Check out the Vieux Fort Childrens Society!
Handmade croc effect shoes!
Apologies for the lack of post- I’m in a timewarp at my grandparents in Jamaica with no internet- in a cafe now but too busy with family time most days. In the meantime feel free to read some articles I did for fashion week for too of my fave publications; Schon and Amelia’s mag; Pam Hogg Interview, Carlotta Review .
Holiday post coming soon. Watvh this space!
These pieces are perfect examples of the diversity of art displayed at Shoreditch’s Curious Duke Gallery at their Young Masters exhibit this evening. They really have something to suit all tastes including art novices like moi. Love the contrast of these pieces- bold colours and swarosky crystals on glass (Danielle Hodson), more colours on what looks like the contents my brain (Richard Goold) and on a hot body (Darren McPherson) vs a simple white bird with rosary beads (Kate Knight).
Mark Powell had the beautiful idea of drawing an intricately detailed face over an ancient looking scroll. Reminds me of a project I did at school where we had to make scrolls by staining paper with tea and putting in the oven- was a lot of fun but my results were not quite exhibition worthy. Then we have Paul Dons Smiths unique take on the British stamp – I would love to see these made into real stamps.
Finally Ben Levy made some bold statements about politics and capitalism. I’ll no longer be able to go to McDonalds without one of these images in my head but I guess that’s not such a bad thing- its not really part of my new years healthy eating plan (which isn’t going to plan).
I was also massively impressed with the wide selection of art starting at very reasonable prices on the Curious Duke website; http://curiousdukegallery.com/. Look forward to their next exhibit!
I mentioned in this earlier post that I have a penchant for quirky vintage / second hand bags; https://thelaststraggler.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/la-mode-moments-2012/, and it got me thinking that I really have been blessed with quite a cool collection of bags that have not made much of a dent in my wallet. I am definitely a bag lady- its even my favourite Erykah Badu song and ironically I’ve found that the purchase of a new bag- especially a bargain can even help with emotional baggage- temporarily. I dream of having a giant room where I can display all of my favourite bags and escape from the stresses of life- I’m no psychotherapist so please don’t try this at home.
The keyhole bag was found in one of the many vintage shops on Stoke Newington Church Street. The vintage around there can be a bit pricey but this bag was such a bargain you probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you the price- it was a hidden gem on many levels! Then my other two fave retro bags are from Notting Hills very own Portabello Market. I know its become a bit commercial but I’ll always have a special bond with that place after having a stall there for a couple of summers a few years ago. There is still a lot of high quality vintage and other treasures, even on a Saturday, whilst most fashion insiders acknowledge Friday as the main day to find truly inspirational pieces.
For the grand finale my black and white beaded bag gets comments EVERYWHERE i go- ‘love the beadwork’, ‘love your bag’, ‘where did you get it’, ‘a charity shop’, ‘no way’! Yes way- this little gem comes from RSPCA Stoke Newington- so I got the funkiest bag I know and helped some animals- a win win! I love this bag so much I even bought my winter jacket to match. Plus it fits perfectly with presents from loved ones- the grey jumper from my gran aunt and chunky black and perspex necklace from Mum. I’ll end the post with that happy thought. This is so much cheaper than therapy! 😉
I could hardly contain my excitement today as I attended my first trade show of the year. Unlike the typical fashion ones that I’ve been to in the past, Spring Fair International literally houses all of a girls dreams plus some quirky extras all under one roof! I was slightly startled to walk in to a gigantic hall full of children’s toys, fancy dress stands and people in costume but apparently these are big business. I swiftly made my way through the bizarre part and landed in one of many heavenly zones.
The first section to get my imagination running was the interiors zone which led me to dream of living in a giant Victorian house with chandeliers and an art deco style vintage theme- one day! I moved on to an area full of striking artwork but was stunned beyond words by the pieces of Kerry Darlington, one of the UK’s bestselling artists. Plus there were even artists at at work creating masterpieces to an audience. I then spotted possibly the coolest deckchair on earth by Smart Deco, which had a print of Brighton Beach, where the talented painter is based.
When I moved onto the accessories section I was overwhelmed by the colours, textures and shininess of hundreds of brands and suppliers, and after walking for what felt like miles I watched the amazing accessories catwalk whilst resting my feet. There were far too many funky, quirky and cool brands to mention here but will be doing individual profiles of some of my faves soon. However a few jewelry lines that I thought I’d mention since they had some of the boldest colours and funkiest styles were the African inspired pieces of Toubab Paris, the eccentric but classic work of Samuel Coraux (includes Murano glass seen in my Venice Post), and finally the cutesy artysmarty range.
I rounded of the evening with a little magic ball show from a young Uri Geller lookalike who also made me a yummy rum cocktail that was almost as good as my nans! Can’t wait to go to the rest of the shows!