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Fashion: London Fashion Weekend 2012

Can you believe I won TWO competitions in the space of a week?! The first was tickets to a show at London Fashion Week, the second was tickets to the shopping event of the year: London Fashion Weekend!

Myself and fellow blogger Pink Julep descended onto Somerset House to find some bargains and hunt out some style inspiration. The event was spread through a huge marquee in the centre of the main quadrant as well as taking over the inside of the beautiful building. The array of shops was vast and ranged from designer labels like Twenty8Twelve and DKNY at knockdown prices, to independent boutiques and vintage shops.

I even got a surprise when I realised the vintage lime green leopard print Ashish tank I was drooling over was being sold by the brilliant and beautiful VV Brown! Wasn't quite expecting to bump into one of my fashion idols (seriously, when I first saw her perform I was completely besotted with her whole look!), but it turns out she has her own store, VV Vintage!

But it wasn't just shopping, London Fashion Weekend was about experiencing fashion and discovering style. There was pop-up shops from Benefit, Compeed, Veet and Elizabeth Arden for us to get our beauty fix, and a styling station sponsored by Shop Style UK and featuring top celebrity stylist Rebekah Roy. Both PJ and I found pieces we loved here both of which you can see in the photo below. Pink Julep is wearing a very cute hat, and I replaced my plain black blazer with this amazing patterned and textured jacket from Blank.

And of course, to finish off our day of fashion fabulousness we showed the celebs how it was done and had a well deserved glass of champagne.

Check out the London Fashion Weekend's site to sign up for updates on their next event for next fashion week.

Fashion: My 1st London Fashion Week Experience

As much as I love reading the glossies and perusing fashion blogs, I never imagined that I'd get to experience a real catwalk show. Thanks to the miracles of Twitter I somehow won a competition to see a show at the Vauxhall Fashion Scout event. So Saturday evening, myself and Ms O went to the Covent Garden venue and thanks to Vita Coco and the fabulous website What I Wore Today, we were sat on the front row!

The designer we were there to see was Carlotta Actis Barone. The collection was a beautiful mix of silk coats, dresses with amazing petticoats and gravity defying hairstyles. The colour palette was deep purples, ice blues, blacks and nude pieces with the words 'Work Liberates' on them. Here are some pics I managed to snap (the misty quality is down to the smoke machine):

The atmosphere of the dramatic music, the flashbulbs going and the models staring dead ahead gave me goosebumps. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience and I'm even more jealous of the celebs that get to go to all the massive shows every Fashion Week!

And because we were FROWers for the evening, that meant we also got a fab goody bag each, the contents of which included a scarf by the designer and a great haul of make-up from The Body Shop (including a bronzer to replace the one I ran out of today - perfect!)

And of course, as I won the tickets through the website What I Wore Today, here is the obligatory 'what I wore' pic. 

For details of what is from where, have a look at my WIWT profile here.

Shopping: Hooray for eBay!

I can't even remember what happened, it's such a blur, it all just happened and afterwards the inevitable guilt kicked in. I'd fallen off the eBay wagon once again.

It's been a while since I bought anything on eBay. To be honest, I had to wean myself off it; the bargains are sometimes so good that rather than saving money, I ended up spending a ridiculous amount more! Instead I started selling things on there which is always my fall back option if I'm skint. But you don't want to know that, you want to what I bought right?!


Those would be suede Henry Holland boots that (with postage included) only cost me £16.54. Sixteen pounds and fifty four pence. I mean, for goodness sake that's so cheap!

So yes, I slipped up. But the guilt has faded and I'm just left with so pretty pretty boots. Hooray for eBay!

Food: Pitt Cue Co, London

I think I've found my new favourite place to eat. No, scrap that. I've DEFINITELY found my new favourite place to eat. Following a steady build of praise and acclaim over many blogs, newspapers and websites, Pitt Cue Co started to ingrain itself into my subconscious. I heard rumours of BBQ meat that melts in your mouth and queues that wind around the block from the moment the doors open.

But my beautiful friend Ms G and I braved the cold and made to quiet Newburgh St at the back of Carnaby St to Pitt Cue Co's tiny little corner premises where miraculously (we were told by the waitress) there wasn't a queue! We were sat upstairs on leather bar stools, which I personally think was nicer than the tables downstairs (which doesn't have any windows and is quite squished), and listened to blues rock music which fitted in perfectly with the BBQ and whiskey theme.

But let's not beat around the bush. We were here for the food. The menu was simple and short which included the staples of pulled pork and beef brisket. We couldn't decide which ones to go for so I went for the pork and Ms G went for the beef and we swapped half and half so neither of us missed out! And here it is:

So what is in my charming little tin tray up there? On the right is the melt in the mouth beef brisket and simply amazing pulled pork. In the middle, pickled gherkins, onions and red cabbage - which wouldn't normally be my thing but I completely polished it all off! On the right, fresh toasted sourdough bread, and in the jar is cheesy mash topped with the burnt end of beef brisket. Is your mouth watering yet? If I hadn't of gone for lunch, I would definitely stayed for dessert, but as it was I was totally and utterly full. 

Don't underestimate this place. You may have to queue but my god it's worth it! The kitchen's open until 10pm so there's really no excuse.

Shopping: Urban Outfitters Jewellery (again!)

Why is it that I never seem to have a well balanced ratio of gold and silver jewellery? It always seems to be masses of one or the other. At the moment it's pretty much all gold, but I just find it so much easier to find decent gold jewellery than silver, I think silver can sometimes end up looking tacky if it's costume (which is mostly what I wear).

Good old Urban Outfitters came to the rescue once again on a lunchtime ramble last week. This one was only £8 in the sale and looks simple because of its length but is busy without being fussy further down.

And this second one I've seen a few times on various blogs but wasn't sure where it was from so when I saw it I actually got quite excited and couldn't resist passing it up. 

I love the trend at the moment of having shirts done up right up with a necklace round the collar, and I'm going to do exactly that with this and a denim shirt. Cowboy geek chic for £14 - woo!

Fashion: Take Your Slippers Outside

I've never been a fan of Uggs, always proclaiming that it's essentially wearing your slippers outside and I can't STAND to see girls shuffling around on their ankles once they cave in. But there's a new trend, and it is actually the slipper shoe. However, discard thoughts of fur lined insides and dragging your feet, these are actually a cute take on the ballet pump and they come in every colour and texture throughout the high street at the moment. Cinderella isn't the only one who can wear slippers to the ball!

I bought this exciting sparkly pair from ASOS in their seasonal sale:

And ASOS definitely have the best selection at the moment. I pretty much want them all so I need to organise them in priority order!

But like I said there are loads of varieties on the high street. These are some that have caught my eye while I've been trying not to spend money:

Top left: Missguided £16.99
Top right: Topshop £30
Bottom left: Topshop £30
Bottom right: ASOS £28

And the best, the ultimate, the 'one day I will own these' brilliantly brilliant slipper shoes. Presenting Jeffrey Campbell Elegant St slippers:

Theatre: Legally Blonde the Musical - The Savoy Theatre, 31/01/12

I'm happy to admit that I have a soft spot for chick flicks. Of course there are some God awful ones out there (The Holiday is literally the worst experience I've ever had in my life and I'm sure must give childbirth a run for its money), but even a straight male can't deny that there are some that are hilarious, well scripted and worthy of your DVD collection. Amongst Dirty Dancing, Clueless, Romy & Michele and Bridget Jones the other film in my Top 5 is Legally Blonde. And it's had an inevitable transformation onto the stage, but as a musical. I was sceptical at first but when my cousin got a great Groupon deal for us to go and see it at The Savoy Theatre I couldn't resist.

The musical has been so naturally adapted that it you could easily be forgiven for thinking it had been produced on stage first. What's important to know about the film is that it is very very funny and is fully aware of the stereotypes it puts on blondes, sororities and American culture. If you are associated with any of those things and you can take a joke then you'll get it. It's the same type of satire that 'Shit Girls Say' has made a cult from on YouTube, after all, stereotypes have to come from somewhere to begin with, right?

This version of Legally Blonde is the most faithful to its original predecessor of any adaptation that I've ever seen, and although it is a musical, it doesn't drift from the plot and even (to my absolute delight) uses some of the best quotes from the film ("She does exercise, exercise releases endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and happy people just don't kill their husbands!"). There is even a real chihuahua playing Bruiser who elicited exclamations of delight from the audience every time he came on stage.

The cast were fantastic, from the suitably sleazy Warren (whose self-obsessed character is brilliant musical fodder) to the Delta Nu girls who were a preppy version of Whoopi Goldberg in Sister Act and absolutely hilarious. I was a little disappointed by Natalie Casey as Paulette - although her actual performance and singing voice were superb, her accent was the dodgiest thing since Dick van Dyke's Cockney in Mary Poppins. Was it Texan, New York, Yorkshire, or a weird hybrid of all three?! The stand out performances for me were Tamara Wall who was perfect as workout queen on trial Brooke Windham and of course, the leading lady Carley Stenson as Elle Woods. I hope the professional critics were as wowed with her as I was, as after being in Hollyoaks there are bound to be some people who doubt her abilities. But this is a musical, and they wouldn't be on that stage if they couldn't belt out a tune. 

And oh my word, the tunes! The songs are absolutely inspired and are just as funny as the script. They blend seamlessly into the performance and add so much character to the actual scenes. My personal favourite? Gay or European - catchy and ridiculously fun. 

So, don't be put off by the overtly female pretence of this; look beyond the pink and the references to shopping and just enjoy a brilliantly scripted, jaw achingly funny and thoroughly enjoyable piece of musical theatre. Let me know what you think!

Book tickets here.
All photos from Legally Blonde the Musical website.

Shopping: My 1st Purchase from Missguided

Missguided are an online retailer that's been on my radar for quite a long time now, and even though I'm a frequent browser and signed up to their mailing list, I've never bought anything from them until now.

I have my set ways when I'm browsing and online store: I start with the Sale section, then go to the New Arrivals area. Unless I'm looking for something specific these are always my first points of call. So off I trotted to New Arrivals, carelessly flicking through the photos when BAM! I feasted my eyes on this:

I wore my exciting Christmas bargain Urban Outfitters wedges too. Comfy, smart/casual outfit win. And the best bit is, if you 'like' Missguided on Facebook, you get 10% off your 1st order. Oh we DO like a bargain!
As of 20th November 2014, any products marked with an asterisk (*) have been provided as a sample for unbiased review