All of a sudden…Tulle Everywhere!

Is it just me or is the Tutu making a comeback? Every media outlet I turn to is crunching out all shapes, sizes and colours of beautifully ruffled tulle skirts……AND I LOVE IT!

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I first starting seeing these skirts showing up on Pinterest when I was gathering ideas on what style to make for my graduation dress. (Yeah…that didn’t happen..) But ever since, I can’t stop looking at them, they’re just so dreamy. And I’m not the only girl who immediate thinks of Miss Bradshaw when I hear the word tutu either..

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And why the hell not? Okay you don’t have to go full Tutu…you can get them in all different subtle lengths and colours too! It’s definitely been added to my list of garments to roll out over the next few months. Just so pretty!

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xx Amz

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Lola’s Vintage Kilo Sale

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Well as some of you may know, a friend came to me a few months ago wanting to know if I would be interested in helping to start a new venture in Belfast. The concept was simple…selling vintage clothing by the kilo at a reasonable price. So we joined forces and in a few weeks had gathered a head-spinning amount of clothes. We were in heaven.. literally. We spent the first few days saying “Oh WOW ..look at this“, “Oh my God…” or “I LOVE THIS!” ..as you can expect..not alot got done.

However, on going though the clothes we decided that there were some pieces that could be altered to become more sellable items. One item in particular was a very colourful midi tea dress that I separated and tailored to fit Orla. I threw in an elasticated waistband and turned up the finish on the top to give her a bit of Mid-riff on show. We were so pleased with the outcome that she decided she was going to wear it on the day of the sale. (See picture at the end!)

Alongside day dresses, we gathered a lot of branded denim (shorts, jeans, shirts, jackets), skirts(midi, maxi, pencil), shirts(flannel, cord, striped, gingham), blouses, t-shirts and accessories. Throughout all the clothes gathering we thought long and hard about a suitable venue. We wanted to create an event, not just a pop-up vintage shop. We wanted music and drinks and somewhere that people felt relaxed and chilled.. a genuinely great shopping experience. Then it came to us one day… The Black Box. It was perfect. A great space, equipment to provide music and a bar and entertainment license. What more could you ask for?

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Over the next few days we got a meeting with the events manager, went down and had a look around and knew it was perfect. So that was another box ticked on our huge To-Do list. From here on in it was a case of getting the word out to ever interested soul in Belfast. With the audience we were targeting, we knew social media was key so we got a Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram account and started running a Tumblr feed. We thought it was really important to keep people interested throughout the whole run-up to the event, so we shared as much information as we could with our followers about what we were doing. Making them feel like they were involved with it too!

So as it came closer to the big day we organised what was going to go where and decided that we were going to set aside a good chunk of the stock to put out later in the afternoon, as there were a lot of people coming around after work on that day. Tensions were high and we were up to all hours getting organised and pulling it all together.

So it finally came to the big day…we were up from the crack of dawn and down to the black box, props and all, to unload everything and jazz up the venue. We had friends and family (without them we couldn’t have pulled it all off) running around finding hangers, setting up tables etc. It. Was. Chaos. Finally, we opened the doors a little after 10 and there was a swarm of people. It was great! The music was on, we were chatting away to customers, every one was really happy with what they were seeing. We had changing room facilities too which helped immensely and it gave us a better experience with the customers, being able to chat to them about their own style and what they were thinking about the whole event.

Hours flew by and we had a really overwhelming amount of people turning up and showing their support. It got to the point where we had to start putting out our bags of clothes that we had set aside to put out later in the afternoon. Great for us that we were flying through so much stock, slightly unfortunate for the people coming later in the afternoon. Although, having chatted to the later arrivers they seemed very happy with what they got in the end!

Throughout the day we got a lot of feedback from people on Facebook and Twitter expressing how great the event was and when the next one is going to be.

So folks, were back in the office, preparing what new items to bring to you and when the next one will be. It’s all very exciting and I can’t thank my wonderful friend Orla enough for asking me to be a part of something so exciting and fun. I hope there will be many many more to come in the future.

See you all at the next sale!

Thanks, Amz x

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Liberty just did it..

Liberty seem to be on the ball with their collaborations these days. Not only have they been in cahoots with levi to produce some summery denim pieces..

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…they’ve gone and done it with Nike too.

Behold what will be the most lusted after trainers of the summer.

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They definitely have their finger on the pulse as Nike’s Blazer trainer is fast becoming the new footwear of choice these days. It’s perfect! And just in time for the sun starting to come out more.

Get yours now! http://www.liberty.co.uk/fcp/categorylist/designer/nike

for more updates on collaborations visit their twitter (twitter.com/LibertyLondon) or on Pinterest (pinterest.com/libertylondon/)

Amz x

Forever Balmain..

Balmain is one of those brands that bubbles a little under the radar but every now and again, a celebrity pops up wearing something truly beautiful and were reminded just how wonderful this brand is!

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I am of course talking about Kate Bosworth rocking up to the Met Gala 2013 sporting their Pink embellished ‘Top’ from their Fall 2013 collection. Superbly teamed with a gold belt and simple Salvatore Ferragamo black stilettos, the stunning Top/Dress did all the talking. And this is the case with most of Balmain’s collections.

Looking back over the years, their collections boast Big shoulders, awesome embellishment and just outright Shouty colours and fabrics! They just know exactly how to make an outfit stand out.

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Although this design house is french their 2013 collections have been quite asian inspired, with wrap over jackets and embellished tunics. The great thing about it is you need little accessorising with these power players. Minimal jewellery and a soft hued heel is all that is required to look truly beautiful.

Zoe Saldana is clearly a big fan of Olivier Rousteing’s work as she has been seen at countless red carpet events wearing his designs and working them fabulously.

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However, they aren’t all about the ‘in your face’ bold and bright… they know a thing or two about tailoring and masculine edge.

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Here’s a few outfits I’ve come across over the years that have always stuck with me.

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(Embellished Dress – Autumn/Winter 12/13)

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(Embellished Knit Dress – Autumn/Winter 11/12)

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(Sequin Dress – Autumn/Winter 10/11)

e8a438fea9b2205d325abdc3195842da(Embellished dress – Spring/Summer 13)

twitter.com/Balmain

facebook.com/balmainparis

instagram : Balmainparis

ALSO:

If your a big fan of embellished dresses and daring prints you should look up Scottish Designer Hayley Scanlan. Her designs focus on Swarovski studded prints and accessories that make a lasting impression.

Here

fb : facebook.com/hayley.scanlan.studio

twitter.com/HayleyScanlan

H&M’s new baby… & Other Stories..

Recently, I’ve had to bury my head in a mountain of books and papers, and knuckle down to complete an exam. We all know that this simply not true…endless days were spent procrastinating online and in magazines. One good thing that came out of it was my ever growing love for the new brand launched under the H&M group – & Other Stories.

Primarily based in Europe…(well they have a store in London..) they have created a brand that’s slightly more expensive than H&M, but provides exquisite shapes and colours that will suit just about everyone.

They have a great range of products from shirts, shoes and bags to underwear, makeup and swimwear. I love that they have stuck to their european style with a lot of delicate materials in subdued tones but have also created a lot of timeless bold prints and key pieces. They’re definitely a brand to dable in to keep your look fresh and perfect for the subtle on-trend accessory. They are going to be a brand that I will be investing in…Here are a few pieces i adore!

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(this is the picture that stole my heart…I’ve always been a great fan of the printed pants and blazer and when I seen this in Grazia it was genuinely inspiring..)

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(I’m going through a bit of an Emerald green obsession at the minute so when I saw this I immediately knew this brand was the one..)

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(These are ticking those metallic box and two-tone boxes whilst encouraging my need to stray away from the ballet pump rut and stick to brogues and more structured shoes…)

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(There’s no better way to brighten up your outfit than a good colour pop with your handbag, be it a clutch or a good daytime tote… I love the neon trimming!)

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(I love the simplicity of their underwear too….I’m a sucker for a good matching set and when I seen the price for these beauties I was so happy! )

Have a look at their Tumblr and give them a like on Facebook…they’re great for uploading pictures of what they’re getting up to!

http://and-other-stories.tumblr.com

https://www.facebook.com/andotherstories

https://twitter.com/andotherstories

Enjoy! Amz x

The Power of the Crisp White Shirt…

There are some things that you put on, look at yourself and think…. “I can do anything!” For me it is 100% having a clean, crisp, fitted white shirt. Not a blouse, sheer top or smock…..a cotton shirt with starched collar and cuffs. 

It’s something that anyone can pull off too. It’s not for people who have a certain style, its an alternative that looks smart, sophisticated and elegant. It’s also bang on trend with this monochrome movement thats gracing all our magazines and favourite fashion websites. I’ve been coming across a lot of great white shirts by Valentino and Carolina Herrera.

But if, like me, your budget isn’t quite up there then here are some great shirts I’ve come across on the high street. I believe that this is an item that you will really appreciate and should invest in because it is timeless..

 

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Zara £19.99

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Abercrombie £58

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Urban Outfitters, BDG £38.00

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Asos Pintuck Winged Collar Shirt £25.00

 

X Amz

Deliciously Moisturising…

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I have been around the block and back when it comes to all over body moisturisers, but I have come to the conclusion that it is something that you have to invest in. Although it doesn’t have to be at a very costly price.. (Okay if you have the money you should go and get yourself into the Dr.Hauschka programme…but anyway.) I am a bit tight sometimes in a sense that I hate having to spend a fortune in boots, so I’ll always choose the ‘Buy one get one free’ option or ‘2 for £3’ but it all came crashing down when I decided against buying my regular moisturiser for a cheaper alternative.

Oh yes, I decided to give Garnier Intensive 7 Day body lotion a go.. (Oh how I wish I didn’t) It was a few pounds cheaper than my usual so I thought, ‘Hey, moisturiser is moisturiser’ ….No Amy….far from it. If anything this product made my skin even dryer…(Which I think is their ploy so you put more of their product on…crafty sneaks!)

So today was the day, I bit the bullet and spent the guts of £5 on moisturiser (ha yeah I told you I was tight ) and bought my lovely, trustworthy Vaseline Essential Moisture (With pure Cocoa Butter extract). I was a committed user of Body Shop Body Butter for a very long time, but once Vaseline launched this range, Ive been hooked. I do suffer from dry skin in general and I’m not one for hanging about for ages after a shower with a big routine. I like a cream that gives long lasting moisture and that I can apply quickly (..and it smells awesome too!)

So do your skin a favour and give it a go, I will never go back to a cheaper alternative again..I’ve learn’t my lesson. x Amz

Will he?….Won’t he?……Should I?

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I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while now, but I’ve been up to my eyeballs with working. (I should have made time if I feel so strongly about it…yes I know) But here we are..

As per my usual weekly ritual, i bought Grazia magazine and got sitting down to read it through and through. I came across this article by writer Sophie Culinane.. and frankly I was utterly perplexed for days.

The jist of the article said that women have accepted this new “Hook-Up” culture and more so, that they want it. She highlighted that women have become so aspirational in their careers (which is great!) that they’re happy to compartmentalise their lives into the following; Work for fulfilment and stability, friends for emotional support and hook-up guys for flirting, sex and fun. 

I totally agree with her that this has become the norm but am I the only one who disagrees and wants it to change before it goes too far and romance and dating disappears? It got me thinking though, why is it that it’s become so popular? I remember a time when there was a name for girls who entered into this kind of arrangement and it wasn’t a desirable one at all. 

Im part of a generation where the thought of a guy wanting to take you out for dinner or drinks has rendered us completely bewildered. We smother ourselves with reasons not to because we don’t know how to deal with the situation as its probably rarely, or never, happened to us before. (I’ve talked to girls, in their mid-twenties, about this and some of them told me that they have never EVER been on an actual date.) I think another aspect to this becoming a more regular occurrence is because women have decided that the risk of rejection and heartbreak if it was to go tits up isn’t something they wish to expose themselves to, and if they accept an arrangement of ‘no strings attached hook-ups’ , they save their hearts, becoming an emotionless shell. But we weren’t made to behave this way. We are hardwired to be irrational and emotionally unbalanced women…thats just the way it is. 

On the other hand, poor men. Finally building up the courage to ask a girl out and she may or may not accept because she doesn’t know what way to act about it. This is, I think, the reason why dating has fizzled out. Men just got to the point where they also get a fear of rejection and its pushed them to the point of not having the courage to approach a girl at all. So that created the culture of them now going out, getting absolutely sloshed and kissing a girl in the corner of some seedy club and hoping that it will end in sex ( and MAYBE a phone number.) I’m not going to put all the blame on men because that’s not the point at all. It doesn’t help that girls are constantly being exposed to attractive, buff and aspiring men on the internet and that can sometimes plant expectations in our minds. I think girls have started a mental check list in their heads before they even give a guy the time of day (I’m of course adding myself to the bunch..I could rhyme off the first 3 things that needed to be present in a guy before I gave him a second glance!

It’s a combination of the two really, men need to get over the fear of rejection and grow some balls and ask a girl out (or at least ask for their phone number..) and women need to drop their superficial guards and giving guys a chance. (Or else the next generation are totally screwed!)

So I’m saying ladies, don’t let this become the norm. Bring back romance and dating and all the exciting fun elements. Because I’d rather replace the thrill and shame of a one night stand for the excitement, enjoyment and the actual feelings that come with actually getting to know someone new and seeing where it goes..

x Amz

 

Can’t live without it these days..

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Working two jobs at the minute is beginning to take its toll on my poor face. (I’m literally posting this from job no.2) I’m blessed in that I never suffered from acne or anything but I do get the odd spot and dark circles when I’m run down…

So I decided I needed to take my beauty regime seriously after my colleague Elaine shouted at me ( i confessed to not being arsed to take my makeup off when I’ve been out… I always want my bed so badly)….. ANYWAY.

Those who know me are aware that I keep my makeup simple, I’m a fan of the natural look. So here are the key essentials that I’ve tried and tested and believe to be the best at what they do..

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1. A good moisturiser for your skin is essential. I suffer from dry skin so I’m a big dan of Nivea Visage Rich Moisturising Day Cream (for dry and sensitive skin.) The almond oil keeps your skin dewy and moisturised all day.. Trust me.

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2. The perfect foundation. I’m not one for primers and bases and all that malarkey (who has the time??) I wanted something that was fast, light (so I didn’t look caked) but still provided the coverage I wanted for my dark circles and potentially blotchy skin. I was always a fan of No.7 ( mostly from the free £5 voucher that was constantly thrust at me at every boots checkout) and their BB cream, but it wasn’t cutting it anymore. So I decided to go in and tell the girl what I wanted and she suggested the Instant Radiance collection. She tested my skin for the right colour etc and I can say with absolute certainly that ill never wear another makeup again. ( ok that’s a lie because I will get that old that ill start to have to factor in the old anti ageing aspect) but for now! It’s awesome! And I’ve had so many people asking me what I’m wearing too. It just gives your skin a great glow, I’m so pleased.

31YPa5xaDcL._SL500_SS500_    3. The next key aspect ( and I’ve only got into wearing this in the past 6 months or so) is a good eyebrow pencil. Good lord I don’t know what I ever did without it. I think this is particularly beneficial if you have dark hair. But don’t be one of those people who actually draws them on. The trick is to hold it as if you were to sketch with a pencil and build up light strokes. I suggest Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil, in the appropriate colour of course. It’s always great to get an eyebrow pencil that has a little brush, great to brush your brows out and elongate them and get a good basis to fill in. Thickening your eyebrows gives great shape to your face and really brings out your eyes.

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4. I’m totally lost if I don’t have an eyeliner on me.. My absolute favourite is MAC LiquidLast Liner. This stuff is the business. I’ve been surfing with this on and not one single speck of it moved. It’s brilliant. It’s priced around £14-16 but it lasts for a good 4 months or so ( and I wear it every day!) it’s definitely worth investing in as it doesn’t leave any residue on your eyelids or under your eyes.

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5. Big bold beautiful lashes! I never have much thought to mascara years ago, thought they all did the same trick. Oh contrare! For my birthday one year, my friend Maria bought me Maybelline Colossal Volum Express Mascara. I now have my mum hooked and people are always asking if I’m wearing fake eyelashes.. No.. This stuff is just the best out there. Retailing at around £8 it’s definitely worth the investment, you’ll never go back to your old one again.

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6. To finish it all off I fire on a bit of rouge ( not that my rosy chubbs need any more) with Bourjois Paris Little Pot Blusher. To be absolutely honest, I bought it because it smells nice and also, I’ve literally had it for about a year now and there still some life left in it so its a good Economical purchase.

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7. This is just for taking my look through to the night if needs must. I love the smokey eye, so I always carry MAC Kohl Pencil with me in Black. It gives that automatic sultry look for evening events.

 

 

And of course you always need a beautiful makeup bag to put it all in (Compact enough to fire into all your bags). I got this beautiful one from Liberty at Christmas ( having had my previous one for the guts of about 6 years...)

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Well just thought I’d share that to shed some light and hopefully convert you all to some new products. X Amz

Selected?…ALL OF IT

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Working for Avoca has given me the opportunity to get to know different brands of clothing that they sell throughout their stores in Ireland. One brand that constantly delivers beautiful and on trend items is SELECTED.

Selected is a Danish family owned brand which has been running for at least 25 years. They cater for both men and women, originally starting as a menswear brand. They focus on keeping their garments current and sophisticated.

Their menswear line is created for the modern man, its all very contemporary and focuses on fitted shirts and suits. I love a well dressed man as much as the next girl so I have been spreading the word to my male friends and family.

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When all the knitwear for winter came in majority of my colleagues and myself all wanted the jumpers for ourselves let alone buy them for relatives. I have to say the mens stuff if very simple and minimal but thats what’s great about it, you can forever mix and match and now have to worry about clashes etc.

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The great thing about the womenswear side of the company is that its split into two departments; Selected Femme and Selected Femme Jeans.  Selected Femme focuses on feminine cuts and sharp tailoring in delicate colours.

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Selected Femme Jeans follows a more edgy, rock ‘n’ roll vibe! It uses more washed out and worn looks to give an urban look. It definitely uses more vibrant patterned fabrics and denim in this range and caters to the more laidback and louder customer. (ME!)

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 The only downside to this company is that they don’t deliver to Northern Ireland or Scotland.. so if you can find a retailer that stocks their stuff…snap it up! Or else use your english friends as a courier business?? Check out the collections below:

www.selected.com