Fresh Laces Event. Sneaker Madness in Manchester

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Fresh Laces Sneaker event Manchester

Fresh Laces, the London-based sneaker blog for stylish urban sneakers hosted one of their very exclusive pop-up events at Harvey Nichols in Manchester yesterday. The second floor of the department store in New Cathedral Street was turned into a sneaker fair, bringing together hundreds of trainer fans, Manchester bloggers and lovers of limited-edition kicks. It was Fresh Laces' debut in Manchester, aiming to give small, but cool sneaker retailers and brands a platform to promote their products.

Dimension London, From Virginia, Sultan East, Trainerholic, Tapis Rouge UK, Benjart, Kicks on the Moon, King of Trainers, I want your Sole or Mr. Sneaker were amongst the retailers and brands to showcase their special footwear and apparel. I even spotted a pair designed by the luxury designer brand Balenciaga and a handbag, which I absolutely loved.

Balenciaga Sneakers Fashion
Balenciaga bag Fashion

Not only could you get your hands on unique footwear and street style apparel, visual artist Davo Howarth displayed his amazing artwork of sneaker-inspired paintings. He uses traditional oil-based acrylic paint and teams it up with plastic accessories to apply a creative 3D touch to his artwork.

Davo Howarth sneaker painting
Davo Howarth sneaker painting at Manchester

I think his work is so full of energy and creativity, which reflects perfectly well the eclectic and quirky design of the shoes presented at the event yesterday.

Fresh Laces Harvey Nichols Manchester Fashion Event
Fashionable sneakers
Fashion event in Manchester
Elisha Francis jewellery

I've also met Nathan, director of Fresh Laces and his talented events manager Elisha. Elisha showed me some pieces of her jewellery collection, which can be best described as a mixture of high-end fashion and sneaker inspiration. She also introduced me to her drummer friend Nathstar, who performed live at the event.

Elisha and me at the Fresh Laces event in Manchester

I had a fantastic time and received a small goody bag, which contained a white fresh lace, which will remind me of that day for a long time. Did you go to the event too? Let me know and feel free to comment below!

Fresh Laces goody bag

I hope you'll be joining me on my next adventure, soon. Did you go to the event? Are you a sneakers fan? Have you heard of Fresh laces before?

Thanks so much for reading and till next time,

DIY Projects. TV vs. Reality

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Fill Your House For Free DIY Bath Tub Seat

Unlike the interior design show ‘Hollywood Me’, Channel 4’s ‘Kirstie’s Fill Your House For Free’ is more vintage style orientated and contains a lot of DIY work. Kirstie Allsopp and her team show the nation how easy and simple it can be to make stylish and highly individual furniture yourself without paying any money.

In the show, the material for unusual free pieces lies practically on your doorstep, is hidden in sheds or can be found in house clearances, on waste disposal sites and the Internet. Unwanted furniture are polished, recycled and designed....there are literally no boundaries to your creativity and imagination. Kirstie and her team do not only refurbish desperate couple's flats, but they also collect the best items and showcase them in a pop-up shop in Miller Street in Glasgow, where anyone can come in and take away furniture for free. Awesome! Some of the most interesting ideas from the show are listed below:

- If you have refurbished your old bathroom recently, then lucky you! Don't throw away your bathtub, because you can reuse it and turn it into stylish reading chairs. Designer Max McMurdo simply divided the tub into halves, smoothed the edges, repainted and attached some quirky feet to give the chair the 'special extra' touch.

- Several little tables have been divided into halves, painted white to apply the on-trend shabby chic style, then attached to the wall. Voila, here you go with new sideboards for your lounge.

- An old heater has been reused as a coffee table. The heater was repainted and welded pipes function as the stand. To finish the unique design, apply a glass plate to the top.

Fill Your House For Free Heater as Coffee Table DIY

- An old door was used as the headpiece of a new self-made bed and painted with a wonderful Japanese garden-inspired motive. The inspiration and creativity have no limits.

Those pieces are great, very individual and hard to find somewhere else. Their value has gone up in price and there's a market out there for pieces as unique as these. Plus, you don't need to worry if you screw up your DIY projects in the refurbishing process, as the materials were free.

However, I had a go at the bathtub and heater idea and what looks so easy on the TV is hard in practice and requires the help of experts with welding and building skills. I gave it a try and glammed up an old chest of drawers with some white paint, new drawer knobs and some adhesive foil. 

Did you ever DIY furniture or do you know where to get great pieces? Feel free to comment. Kirstie's Fill Your House For Free is back for a second series this summer and airs every Tuesday at 8 pm on C4.

Thanks so much for reading,
Till next time.

Designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard Glams Up British Homes

Hollywood Me Interior TV Show

Channel 4 broadcasted a make-over show called ‚Hollywood Me‘ last summer. The program was perfect for me because it combined interior design with fashion, presented by the fabulous and oh so charming Martyn Lawrence Bullard. Have you seen the show? 

In every episode, presenter, and top Hollywood designer, Martyn Lawrence Bullard sent the candidate to L.A. for a week full of glamour and glitz. Accompanied by one of Martyn’s celebrity friends (f. ex. Sharon Osbourne, Billy Zane), the candidate would go on a shopping spree or enjoy luxurious beauty and spa treatments....just what a normal celeb would do in L.A. In the meantime, Martyn would bring some Hollywood extravaganza into the candidate’s home, transforming boring lounges, bedrooms and hallways into exquisite living spaces.

I really liked the lounge in the last episode of the show, which featured wallpaper with feathers and keys and a beautiful round mirror. After a night of research, I found out where to get those items from. The mirror from Next, called Chime Wall Mirror with Roman numeral clock face, was unfortunately sold out (winter season 2012/2013, price £125).

The wallpaper is from Cole and Son, model Fornasetti II collection Chiavi Segrete 97-4012 linen and gold. One role of this exclusive wallpaper retails at £140.

It was always enjoyable to watch Martyn and to listen to his visions how to transform monotonous British houses into luxurious Hollywood manors. Whilst Martyn strolled around the place with his inspiration and visions, his team usually seemed to struggle to turn the designer's impossible ideas into reality. But in the end, they managed and the results were stunning. All of Martyn's designs were amazing because they were unusual, extremely unique, luxurious and elaborate. I wouldn't mind him coming around my place sometime and transform it into a fashion boutique :) Have you watched the show? Let me know!

Thanks so much for reading,
Till next time.

Images are taken by me from the TV show 'Hollywood Me' on Channel 4, the mirror picture was taken from Ebay.

Vinted The Circle of Renewable Fashion

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Vinted Clothes Swapping Fashion

About a year ago, I discovered a network that combines the joys of socialising and style has completely taken off. The network for young, fashion-forward and gossip interested women is a clothes swapping platform which will revolutionise your wardrobe and may earn you some extra cash.

I’m registered with the German website 'Kleiderkreisel' (UK: Vinted) but I found Depop a great alternative for UK users.

Clothes swapping networks are on trend and on the rise, as more and more people realise the potential in selling unwanted possessions online and strive for sustainability in fashion. No longer do we only have eBay, there's an entirely new industry developing for selling platforms. Take Vinted and Depop for clothes, or Gumtree, Preloved, and Shpock for furniture. All these platforms operate in the same simple way: whatever it is in your wardrobe that you don’t like any more from beauty products via accessories to clothes, you simply take pictures of it, write a little blurb about its condition with a setup price, then upload the items and let it work for you. Very useful now that it is February and you might want to get rid of your quirky Christmas jumper from your granny or the latest guilty shopping trip aka your massive Primark haul from Boxing Day.

How It works

Whilst you may think, ‘Hang on this works just like eBay’, the clothes platforms only allow garments, beauty products, and accessories to be posted, which makes them highly selective and specialised in their niche. You then choose the option to exchange, give away or sell to another registered member. This is very environmentally friendly and you may make someone else's day by uploading a piece that they may have missed out on. You are not only contributing to nature’s welfare, but you can also discover some vintage pieces or must-haves for a fraction of its original price. Plus hundreds of females are registered on these platforms so it is very likely you find people with the same interests and may develop friendships.

Selling clothes isn’t the only thing you can do. Most clothes swapping websites have forums in which you can read the funniest and bizarre stories every day, circulating tonnes of gossip, news and female bashing: one girl seeks a new best mate, another has just discovered her boyfriend cheating on her and she is unsure whether she should kill him now or his fling first, and another is bored and wants to know if the outfit she’s wearing suits her. It is always highly entertaining and amusing.

Since I registered with Kleiderkreisel three years ago, I've sold more than 80 items earning a whopping £1,600 from it. I obviously didn't earn the money straight away. It took a lot of time and in most cases, people try to negotiate the price with you and there's always the hassle of packaging and posting. All of my set up prices contain P+P and I barely give price reductions. I know this has turned a few potential buyers away but in the long run, there was always another request who was willing to pay my targeted price. It takes, however, time and some days, the many cheeky reduction requests do get annoying but persistence and patience pay off in the end if you don't want to lower your price.

Kleiderkreisel has been a nice little contribution to my pocket money and I spent most of my money earned from selling old clothes on fashion again. Have you sold your clothes online yet? Did you try out any of the mentioned swapping platforms?

Thanks so much for reading,
Till next time.

Photography was taken by Conny Mirbach.

When Vintage Is Too Much

Vintage Sneakers Fashion

For a few years now, the fashion scene is obsessed with vintage style, meaning theoretically be individual by wearing clothes that apply a timeless but highly unique touch to you as a human being. But in practice, 'vintage' really means anything that’s taken out of your granny’s wardrobe and is at least 100 years old, but it is oh so ‘stylish’ and ‘en vogue’.

Wherever you go these days, everything has to be vintage, in particular, your dresses, jumpers, accessories and more recently your comfy pair of sneakers too.

A few weeks ago, journalist Rosamund Urwin spotted kicks at Barneys in New York, that has a very special look. The fashion brand defines ‘vintage’ with a radical meaning of ‘used look’. Their new collection of sneakers looks like they've just survived a very wet and muddy festival season, including holes which round up the wrecked design. I guess a distinctive smell comes all-inclusive. These shabby, slouchy kicks or ‘must-haves’ come for £750 and THERE ARE people out there, who aren't put off by the price nor the unusual style.

The question is: how come? To be honest, it doesn’t really surprise me at all that those acclaimed ‘pre-loved’ sneakers are on the rise and soon to be mass-manufactured for our high streets. I’m selling my unwanted clothes and shoes on clothes swapping websites and I’ve seen vintage shoes on there sold at ridiculous prices. Just to give you an example: a pair of Converse shoes, new from the store, costs around £60 in Germany. On that website people, set-up prices for worn Converse with holes, broken laces and rancid gluey soles far over the original price or still want at least £40 for it. Those advertised shoes get hundreds of hits and requests. Trashed shoes are not only in high demand by cute girly Bloggers chasing vintage pieces; they are also attracting shoe fetishists who would pay anything to get their hands on ‘well-worn’ sneakers. Let’s hope they’re paying the price just to sniff them!

If you ask me I would very much prefer shoes that are new and have a colourful and energetic design. Of course, shoes can still have the vintage or timeless look, giving the features of a sneaker a touch of heritage style, but without paying a horrendous price for mud, chewing gum and scraggly laces - which you can have for free at any festival. Do you agree?

Thanks so much for reading,
Till next time.
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