Balmain Barmy

Having been promoted by worldwide fashion elites from as early as May this year, it came as no surprise that the H&M x Balmain collaboration was going to be the most popular one to date. The collection not only put fashion lovers in a spin for months on end hoping to bag a Balmain bargain, but also those that wanted the chance to feel part of the exclusive ‘Balmain Army’ living life as “#squadgoals.” There is no doubt that many shoppers took inspiration from Kim Kardashian West, who is an avid wearer of the brand, and good friend of designer, Olivier Rousteing. Along with advertisement from the rest of the Kardashian/Jenner clan, as well as a music video and various catwalk shows, the build-up contributed to it being the fastest selling HM designer collaboration, selling out online and in-store (to many people’s dismay) within a couple of hours.

The intricate women’s collection featured 69 unique pieces, consisting of an array of heavily embellished dresses, faux fur leather jackets, beaded blouses and blazers, velvet trousers, and gold costume jewellery. Using the distinguishable Balmain black and gold colour scheme, Rousteing also sleeked up the collection with monochrome, hints of red, navy and dark green. A few products also slightly mirrored colours that were used in the 2013 Versace x H&M collaboration, including the pink beaded dress and silk blouse, as well as the neon green sequin dress. Despite minor criticism over stock volumes and technical difficulties online, Olivier deserved every success with this extraordinary, incredibly detailed women’s collection, and in the opinion of many fashion writers, has exceeded former designer partnerships by miles.


hm x balmain

In previous years, I haven’t been totally invested in the H&M collaborations. I can appreciate the designs, and hard work that must have gone into creating such a thing, but nothing got my bones rattling unlike this batch of Balmain. So in preparation the night before the big release, I set my alarm in anticipation for 8am, giving myself plenty of time to be up, ready and raring to log on to the H&M website. My subconscious must have been working overtime as I woke up immediately at 5 in the morning, anxiously eager to get a head start, and sign on to the website early. I was able to access the page and became almost certain I’d be able to bag the black blazer and devoré scarf that I had been dreaming about for so long. But at 15 minutes to 9, the worst happened, and I was redirected to the ‘try again’ page for no reason at all, which according to various Twitter posts was happening to many customers. From there on, it started my long and extremely agonising wait to try and get back in (much to my neighbours annoyance, there was a lot of screaming). I ended up with four tabs open on my laptop, one on my home computer, and the H&M app on my phone. It is safe to say that if I had earned a penny for every click I made on ‘try again’, I could’ve purchased the whole collection. After an hour solid of refreshing, I accepted that there would be none left for me, so I decided to move on with my life, and went to watch the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, dreaming of the day where I could afford official Balmain.

At around 11am, I thought I would try my luck one last time, this time around checking the H&M website on my phone. Through nothing other than sheer luck, I was directed straight through to the Balmain page. I had excitement in the pit of my stomach like a child searching the Argos catalogue at Christmas, especially when I saw the products I wanted were still available! Unfortunately, by the time I got through to the checkout my blazer and scarf had sold out, which is no surprise considering their great value, but at this point I had accepted it was unlikely on getting the blazer. Nevertheless, I was lucky enough to purchase my other favourites, consisting of the black and white ribbed skirt, black velvet T-shirt, and bottle green suede clutch.



Fast-forward to this week and my products arrived, and I couldn’t have opened the box quick enough! The skirt is insanely gorgeous; any dream of getting a Kimmy K hourglass shape and booty has become a reality. It fits me like a glove, pulling in at the waist and ending at a flattering length just on the knee. The fabric is high quality, and in all, is of great value at £39.99. The clutch, priced at £24.99, is exceptionally reasonable for real leather/suede. It is a lot smaller than I anticipated, but I guess it would be the perfect size for Christmas parties, with more than enough space to fit money and makeup in. The top is also a great purchase, and again, very reasonable at £24.99. From what I could tell by the website, this product and the white T-shirt were extremely popular and sold like wildfire, especially to those that didn’t want to spend too much on the colab, but wanted a piece of the collection. It’s simple with just the brand embossed across the front in velvet, but it can easily be dressed up or down, depending on how you feel. I love love love them!


Balmain T Shirt

One thing that should be mentioned is how truly disgusting it is that many were able to purchase products, only to get them straight onto eBay within minutes, and selling for triple the price. Those kinds of people are awful, greedy human beings, and it is so unfair for those than genuinely wanted something from the collection. I really do not understand how some sellers managed to get an array of products, and in each and every size going – it should be against the law of fashion! For those that didn’t get their hands on any, my heart goes out to you, #firstworldproblems right? I will thoroughly enjoy my items, and can confirm I will not be wasting them by putting them up for sale on eBay. They are classic pieces that I can keep and enjoy for a long time.

It’ll be extremely interesting to see what designer will be in the line up for next year’s partnership with H&M. So far rumours are flying around that it could potentially be Moschino, Saint Laurent, Chloé or Marc Jacobs. My money would be on a Jeremy Scott takeover, but it would be amazing to see a Saint Laurent stint in stores, we will just have to wait and see once the hype of this has died down. But for now a round of applause, and huge congratulations to Olivier Rousteing for such an amazing, and beautifully designed collection. Here’s looking forward to next year’s collaboration!

A triumph in the bra stakes!

A couple of weeks back I was emailed by the Triumph Lingerie’s Press Office inviting me to the launch of their new Magic Wire bra in Bournemouth. They offered me an opportunity that I could not possibly turn down. It consisted of a personal bra fitting with a lingerie expert, followed by sending me a free sample of the new bra.

Triumph Lingerie Magic Wire

For a girl with a large bust, to be asked this is a dream come true. I am a 32F so it is definitely hard to find a bra that fits me well without breaking the bank. Long gone are the days where I can wonder into Primark and pick up a £5 bra – my lingerie shopping trips now consist of travelling far and wide just to spend £25 on one single bra that just doesn’t even fit that well anyway. So I am definitely grateful to Triumph for both bringing my attention to the brand and for treating me with a truly amazing bra.

About the Magic Wire Bra

Triumph describes the bra as ‘providing women with the utmost comfort and support that is designed to feel like a second skin’. They believe that after extensive research, they have finally resolved the problem of uncomfortable bras, as the Magic Wire creates the ultimate fit due to integrated silicone strips fitted into the moulded cup, which contours the bust perfectly without causing discomfort like a normal wire bra.

My experience

I had heard of Triumph lingerie prior to this, however; I never actually knew that there was a concession so close to home in Beales, Bournemouth – despite me working there for nearly a year!

So one Friday, I headed down to Beales to have my fitting. Unfortunately they did not have my size in store, and had sold out online, so I had to wait in anticipation for a few weeks awaiting my new wonder. All I can say is that the wait was 100%, most definitely worth it.

When I received the bra through the post, it was packaged nicely, came with a lovely personal handwritten note, and to my surprise, three little lingerie pillows to make my drawers smell nice! These little touches are what I love and definitely add to the whole consumer experience.

Note Lingerie Parcels

It’s normally assumed that women with big boobs have to wear ugly bras, but Triumph sent me the Contouring Sensation bra in black and beige, and this completely diminishes my opinion on this. There are little lacy panels along the bust line, and a decorative bow at the front, and the simplicity of the design is perfect to wear under anything. It can be worn anytime, day or night, and is the perfect T-shirt bra. Also due to the plunge it is great for wearing low cut tops – there is nothing worse than seeing bras peeping through!

When I first put on the bra it felt like it had been specifically made for my boobs, unlike any other bra I’ve had before. The straps weren’t painful; the cups fitted snug and the bust line sat perfectly around my chest. The silicone strips literally made me feel that someone was just holding my boobs up, yet I could not feel a thing at the same time.

The best way I can describe it is say goodbye to the days where you come home and immediately want to take off your bra, adios to wires stabbing into your chest and ciao to just wanting to give up and never wear a bra again in your life. Some may think I’m over-exaggerating, but the bra is simply magic in every shape and form.

Contouring Sensation Magic Wire Bra £36

Contouring Sensation Magic Wire Bra £36

I do have big boobs. Sometimes I really do not like how large they are, I feel uncomfortable getting them out as some may know. But my goodness, never in any other bra has my boobs looked so amazing. And many people would pay a lot of money for boobs my size, so I have been blessed and should be grateful (cheers Nanna).

I would love to get the Contouring Sensation Highwaist pants to match the bra, so hopefully I can save up some money and get them soon.

For girls with big boobies: this bra makes them look better, girls with small boobs: it will give you boobs, and for girls that are fed up with having crappy old bras, just join in on the fun and grab yourselves one of these bad boys.

They are totally worth every penny – just think of it as a long term investment, none of us want tata’s down at our knees by the time were 30, so look after your lady lumps and get yourself a good bra!

Check out the whole Magic Wire collection here.

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Twitter: @TriumphUK Facebook: Triumph

Greek Sandals Trend

Greek Sandals Trend

The good, the bad, and the golden

As dawn approached in England this morning, pictures started to emerge of the red carpet fashion from this years Golden Globe awards. I was awake all night as I kept dreaming about buying furniture after a day of hell at IKEA, so I decided to use my time wisely and have a long look at some amazing and not so amazing dresses. No, I may not have an extensive knowledge about the fashion world, and I don’t really have any place in saying what isn’t great, but I have devised my top five favourite and top five least favourite looks from the night. Unfortunately, due to copyright issues I am unable to publish pictures alongside, but if you are unaware of who I am talking about, then give it a quick Google and you will soon see.

1) To begin with, despite what most people seem to be thinking, my absolute favourite outfit of the night was Emma Watson strutting her stuff in Christian Dior. I think she looked totally incredible, and I loved the quirkiness of the outfit with the backless bright red gown, the black trousers and navy heel. By the sounds of it, Emma seems to have hit the bottom of the best-dressed list over in the States, whilst fashion worshippers over the pond love her unique style, and I agree. This would be a prime example of an outfit that I’d personally want to wear if I was to ever hit the red carpet, although I would never look half as good!

2) My second favourite outfit was the stunning Sofia Vergara in an equally stunning Zac Posen floor length, black ball gown. It accentuated all her best features, including some ridiculously toned arms! Despite changing for a GG after-party, (I don’t know why she did, if I ever wore that dress I’d never take it off… ever), Sofia looked just as amazing in a revealing Zuhair Murad metallic fishtail dress.

3) In third place is the gorgeous Maria Menounos in Max Azria Atelier. Opposite to Emma Watson, it seems that the reaction to Maria’s dress over here is not as great as it is in America, however; I completely beg to differ with us Brits. The cheeky cutouts on this beautifully shaped dress creates the perfect ratio of daring to darling in this look. The colour suits her so well and the simple ponytail does not take anything away from the dress, keeping the whole look elegant. I just think she looks completely gorgeous and I need this dress in my life.

4) Zoe Saldana takes forth place in my ranks out of last night’s looks. With everything going on, this fitted Prabal Gurung dress should technically be wrong, but it is so incredibly right. The highly detailed embellishments, the contrasting pink off-the-shoulder silk straps, and the transparent skirt all add to the uniqueness of the outfit, which has been paired with Louboutin heels and Lorraine Schwartz jewels. For some strange reason, I could just imagine Carrie Bradshaw/Sarah-Jessica Parker wearing this dress in an episode of Sex and the City.

5) My final favourite look was from 12 Years a Slave star, Lupita Nyong’o, wearing a totally unique caped, red Ralph Lauren dress. Personally, I would never wear this dress because I wouldn’t have the gonads to do so, and it is made for Lupita so perfectly; but I appreciate how extremely well designed this dress is. (I know Ralph Lauren would be so pleased to have my approval). Matched with her short hair and simple gold jewellery, this girl looks so effortlessly beautiful.

Now for the bad bit – my not so favourite looks. I hate to say negative things about the outfits because I’d never even be able to afford one of these dresses – but I’m speaking as if I had to go to a red carpet event, and these would not be any of the dresses I’d wear. Sorry!

1) I haven’t heard of Girls until recently, but even so Lena Dunham’s bright yellow Zac Posen dress is pretty heavy on the eyes. She admitted to not exactly dieting in the run up to the big show, stating that she actually ate a thick patty of hamburger meat like a cavewoman, which probably isn’t the greatest idea before putting on a tight bodice. For someone that is supposed to be BFF-ing with Victoria Beckham at the moment, she clearly hasn’t picked up any style tips. If you want to do yellow justice, then wear a gown like Big Bang Theory’s Melissa Rauch’s dress made by Romona Keveza.

2) I really do hate to say it because it’s Dior, one of my all-time favourite designers, and also Jennifer Lawrence, one of the best actresses on the planet right now; but this really does not work in anyway whatsoever. It looks like someone attempted to kidnap her with Gaffer tape mid-wedding, but failed to do so, leaving a very unflattering wedding dress. Unfortunately, social networkers are already mocking her internationally, taking pictures of themselves in a rolled-up duvet. For someone like Jennifer with a lovely figure, it seems a shame to hide it behind a frumpy, shapeless dress, but I suppose she does like to bend the norm, so if she likes it, then kudos to her!

3) My third choice is utter bullocks, (sorry I couldn’t help myself). Sandra Bullock has done extremely well so far in the ranks of awards, and is set to win many more, but this Prabal Gurung dress is not going to win in my charts anytime soon. It’s a bit too ‘try hard’ different, so much so, that it doesn’t work in any shape or form – probably because the dress has neither. Also, the poor design and colouring of this dress looks like something that could have been made in my A-Level Textiles class, but then again that would be an insult to us. Despite this, I do love her hair and makeup, and admittedly, she looks incredible for her age.

4) Paula Patton comes forth in her white Stephane Rolland dress with ruffled draping. It’s not the worse dress in the world, but for someone with such an amazing body, she could wear so much better. The dress would look miles nicer if it didn’t have that draping down the right-hand side. Her jewellery is gorgeous and she genuinely looks stunning, however; this dress is a no.

5) In fifth place is Drew Barrymore with her Monique Lhuillier gown, which to me, alongside the baby bump, flowers and long trail, slightly resembled Kim Kardashian’s Givenchy’s dress at the Met Ball last year… no comment. But hey she’s pregnant. If I ever look that pretty whilst up the duff then I’d be extremely happy.

Overall, my views on some particular designers like Christian Dior, Zac Posen and Prabal Gurung seemed to vary. Nevertheless, there were hundreds of lovely outfits seen last night and were very few terrible outfits – even some of the dresses mentioned above aren’t hideous, but just not up there with the standards of some other gowns. This is only an opinion and I guess everyone will think differently, as everyone has their own unique style.

Let me know if you agree or disagree with anything in this post!

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Start of Fall clothes haul

Due to my lack of money and monthly-only pay cheques, I found myself extremely strapped for cash in August. I was feeling slightly down because I’m a self-confessed shopaholic and find it extremely difficult to not spend money. I get a real thrill to enter those 4 digits of my pin, even if it is for a pack of chewing gum – yes I probably do need professional help.  So when August’s pay cheque came through, and my hard work slaving away throughout summer paid off; I thought I’d treat myself to a few little purchases to cheer myself up and get my Autumn wardrobe ready. Some of them were splurges (cough, Topshop, cough), but the others were sale bargains, so I don’t feel as bad about what is left of my wages.

To begin with – my Topshop purchases. I am absolutely in love with everything in Topshop at the moment. I wasn’t keen on anything in store during Spring and Summer; but since they’ve bought in their Autumn collection, I just can’t help but be obsessed with every single thing, especially products in the ‘Margot’s World’ trend.

The first item purchased was this beautiful, yellow and white polka-dot shirt. My eyes were drawn immediately to this item due to the amazing colour. Usually, I don’t tend to wear yellow because of the fact I’m quite pale and blonde, so it doesn’t suit my skin tone, but I just couldn’t not buy this. I think it is something that can be worn by anyone, and with anything! So far, I’ve worn it on a night out with a black mini dress, a gold necklace and gold shoes; but I really do want to buy myself some pale boyfriend jeans to pair it with a little white top.

Topshop blouse

Secondly, I bought myself the black and white ‘Mesh T-Shirt all-in-one’ jumpsuit. Again, jumpsuits aren’t something I normally wear but I find that this item is really flattering for my hourglass shape as it is ruched in at the waist and then has a bit more extra fabric around the thigh area. The fabric is 95% viscose and 5% elastane, so it is so comfortable, and barely creases at all. Also, I am an absolute lover of anything monochrome, so this item – to me – is perfect. Another thing that I love about this jumpsuit is that it can either be dressed up for a night out, for example, with a pair of white heels, or in the daytime with a pair of Converse. It’s so forgiving and draws attention to all the right places. Definitely 5 stars for this item!

topshop jumpsuit

The next item I bought was this Accessorize necklace. I may be a tad bias because I do work for Accessorize, and it’s probably the reason I have no money because of my amazing 70% discount(!), but as soon as I saw this on the shop floor I had to buy it – I have worn it so much since and there are no regrets! Originally it was £25 but because of my discount I paid £7.50. It goes perfectly with pretty much anything and just adds a bit more glamour to an outfit. Accessorize really does have some fabulous jewellery and bags in at the moment, and I can’t wait to see our shop filled with more as Christmas arrives.

accz neck

My final purchase was this gorgeous Chanel inspired zip jacket. I have been searching high and low for something like this for ages, so that I could wear it for Autumn/Winter with a pair of jeans and boots as it looks so expensive and chic. I managed to grab this in Miss Selfridge for only £18. It was the only one there and in my size, so it was literally meant to be. I think it could also look cute over a little dress either for daytime or night time. It’s a real classic and essential piece for anyone’s wardrobe. Maybe one day if I manage to actually save some money I could buy myself a real Chanel jacket. …..Dream on!

chanel inspired jacket

I definitely won’t be splurging any more money on clothes anytime soon, but it was good to finally get my autumn wardrobe going considering how cold its got! I’ve added links onto the pictures where possible.

House of Halos

This Tuesday brought the Bloggers Love event for the upcoming, innovative accessory brand, House of Halos. Located eight floors up at the Penthouse London in the centre of Leicester Square, it was the perfect opportunity to display various – and very stunning – jewellery and accessory designs, created by couture hair accessory art designer, and owner of House of Halos, Arlene Barclay.

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View from The Penthouse London

Having 24 years expertise within this market, it was clearly an overwhelming situation for Arlene seeing so many beauty and fashion bloggers and people from the fashion industry supporting the event and the products. “I was unbelievably nervous and at the end when everyone was taking all the photos I was shaking like mad with fear and trying to hold back the tears, very, very grateful to everyone. What an emotional and special moment”.

At the young age of fourteen, Arlene’s love of accessories emerged and she started crafting her own jewellery, however; her passion was heightened at 23, when she initiated her first company, “Angel’s Halos”, after being disappointed by the lack of formal hairpieces on the market whilst trying to find her own bridal accessories. With great success and numerous bridal designs being featured in all major Scottish Wedding Publications and various Northern England exhibitions & catwalks, Arlene decided in 2012 to end Angel’s Halos on a high, and start a new chapter in her life – House of Halo’s, which brings us to the current day.

The latest designs from House of Halo’s sees a variation between couture; such as the eccentric feather head piece seen in picture four, and classic; including the chic pearl necklace worn in picture two. Despite the quirky designs, there are definitely some vintage inspired pieces that could be worn on a day to day basis, or on special occasions, including the pearl and crystal encrusted headband and bracelet seen in the Ocean collection (see below).

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Photos taken by me @ Bloggers Love event

Past the intricate designs, however; Arlene wants to use these designs as a platform to help make a difference in the world – you could say she wears a halo of her own. “Why should the younger youth inherit such a mess? It’s time for a change“, which is an extremely refreshing mindset from a designer.

What is incredible and highly unique is that the majority of the lines in the brand have their own name in regards to what the proceeds will go towards; for example, the ‘Peace’ design, which is going to help support charities like War Child, the ‘Ice’ designs – which will help with the results of global warming in the Arctic and Antarctica, and also the ‘Ocean’ line which will support marine life issues.

peace

Peace Designs – Picture from Twitter @HouseofHalos

These three jewellery pieces have a definite goth/Victorian inspired twist on an otherwise, fashionable look; especially the choker necklace, which has been seen exclusively on number one selling artist – Emili Sandé.

Ice designs ICE DES

The Ice Designs – photo’s taken by me @ Bloggers Love event.

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Ocean Design – Picture from Twitter @HouseofHalos

Arlene maintain’s the slogan “a genuine desire to exceed client expectations“, which she has always been determined to exceed. This could definitely be achieved, as the first design she wants to release is the Peace collection. These pieces could definitely be added to any outfit to add an edge.“I think this will be a good initial design because it is on trend and a timeless fashion design, but also the fact of personal satisfaction in knowing by making their purchase they could be helping children less fortunate in this world. Things have to change and I’d be honoured if I could start a change just by a little necklace or bracelet.”

After 15 years at a professional level, Arlene has set herself high ambitions of making House of Halos a global success and the current aspiration is to see her products stocked in Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. However; in order for this to happen, Arlene needs an investor who will help, along with her passion and fortitude, to create a brand that is world-wide established. Therefore, it is highly important that everyone passes the word around about this company!

So with certain motives of not only creating stunning pieces that would fill a huge gap in the market, but wanting to help make positive changes within the world, it’s only fair that this kind, and incredibly creative lady gets an investor on board so we could see these products in our stores as soon as possible.

Please do take a look at her website to check out the portfolios and photo galleries, and make sure you show your support by following her on twitter!

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@HouseofHalos

Facebook: House of Halos

Models in these photographs are seen wearing dresses designed by Kevin Freeman of Renaissance Couture, and Isabelle Randall.

Kardashian Kollection part 3

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Photo taken from Dorothy Perkins

I’ve got to admit I am a huge kardash-aholic – from the show to the clothes, I am always keen to keep up with them (excuse the pun). So when the first Kardashian Kollection line came out last August, I was down my local Dot Perkins as k-wick as possible. And here were are now, three trends down, and I’m still doing the same.

I have to say that yes, I was initially drawn to the clothes at first because of the name, but after trying on the clothes and feeling the fit, I feel that this is more than just a line of clothing made by some celebrities. This is because I find it extremely difficult to shop for my size. I’m 5ft 10ins tall, with a prominent hourglass shape. I have a large bust and booty (proud of it!) but a very tiny waist, which makes it really difficult to find clothes that fit me properly. Both dresses and skirts are too short, and tops will be too tight around the bust but then way too baggy around my waist.

However, the Kardashian brand is famous because of the Kim Kardashian kurves (yes I am going to use a ‘K’ wherever necessary!!), so they are designed to accentuate an hourglass figure. And since, I haven’t yet found clothes that fit me so well, whilst looking so fashionable like theirs do. They are also made really well and the fabrics used are extremely comfortable.

This Spring/Summer 2013 collection includes some fabulous pieces which you can see have all been designed specifically by the girls to match their tastes, such as the cream metallic high-waisted shorts and matching jacket that are advertised by Kourtney.

The seasons colour palette sees summery whites, marble-printed effect greys, essential black pieces and subtle pinks; including the gorgeous pink and grey ombre blazer.

So far (I say this lightly as I’m pretty sure in an hours’ time I’d have persuaded myself to buy the white bodycon dress) I have ordered the metallic high-waisted shorts mentioned above, the black PU panel leggings, and the pink blush sleeveless blouse. I think these pieces are essential for summer, and better yet I can match the blouse with both the shorts and leggings. What’s great as well is that I received a few Arcadia gift vouchers for my birthday so I used one to help pay for my order, but also you receive 15% for student discount on the Dorothy Perkins website.

I am able to pick up these lovely pieces tomorrow from my local store, and I can’t wait to try them on and see how they look – I’m hoping good! I will add another blog tomorrow to show you what I think.

In the meantime, if you’re interested at looking at some of the other beautiful pieces from their collection, and some amazing accessories, then head over to the Dorothy Perkins website now.

Enjoy!

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