Festival Jewellery By Touchstone

Friday, 29 May 2015

Touchstone Select fashion accessories

Hi ladies, Radio One's Big Weekend on the bank holiday officially opened the festival season and it is time to get our cute floral headbands and 70's inspired fringe accessories out. With regards to jewellery, Aztec remains a must-have for me and in today's post, I'd like to show you some of my picks that I'll be taking with me to the upcoming Glastonbury Festival.

I was recently contacted by Touchstone, a company that supplies High Street retailers such as Select, New Look or Debenhams with fashion jewellery. My special package contained some super sparkly treats such as gold bangles and geometric necklaces which I'm going to show you now in more detail.

1. Five Row Gold Hoops, £3 at Select And Red Bead Stretch Bracelet Pack, £5 at Select*

Gold Hoops Select fashion

Gold is a massive trend colour this summer and these bangles are super sparkly. They fit nicely around my wrist and they are adjustable, so they can also be worn by people with smaller wrists. The red bead stretch bracelet pack on the right are fun, too as you can play around with the stack and create various combinations on how to wear them. Teamed up with a white shirt and blue jeans shorts, these make great arm candy.

2. Cut Out Drop Hoops, £3 at Select*

Cut out bangles Select fashion accessories

These oversized Aztec earrings scream festival all over. Made of light-weight metal with a gold finish there's a fantastic eye-catching effect when they get hit by sunlight. They are statement earrings and quite loud, so not necessarily suitable for everyday use, but teamed up with a black summer tunic a true festival stunner.

3. Red Triangle Collar, £7 at Select*

Statement triangle necklace from Select

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you would have seen my addiction to jewellery and I posted a few reviews of new brands such as Karma review and some amazing statement pieces by Orelia and Rara De Barr jewellery recently. To me, the statement jewellery trend can stay as long as it wants to, as I love pieces that speak for themselves and glam up effortlessly basic outfits in an instant. This geometric necklace features a gold finish with plastic 3D tetrahedrons which create an eye-catching effect when hit by sunlight. The bright colour reminds me of summer and having a good time so it'll come with me to Glastonbury. 

4. Beaten Ethnic Statement Necklace, £6 at Select*

Aztec inspired statement necklace

I got really excited when I found this golden Aztec inspired statement piece in my package. The gold look is so shiny and the necklace is of great material given the fact this is only metal. I love the entire design and style of it and used it for my Glastonbury Day 2 Outfit, as it works super well with green shirt dresses. 

Are you going to any festivals this year? If so which ones and which jewellery pieces do you take on your trip? What is your all-time festival piece?

Thanks so much for reading and till next time,

Three Things I'm Looking Forward To This Weekend

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Weekend celebrations

We're blessed with another bank holiday this month. Yeah! I'm so excited for this long weekend. Hope you are too? What are your plans? Well, here are mine.

1. I'm going to use the holiday to get some writing work done. I'm currently working on an application that requires me to hand in a feature, opinion piece and a news snippet by Monday midnight. So far I have my topic 'Identification and Immigration in the UK' all set up and researched. A first draft has been created for the feature but I need some ideas for the opinion piece. The news snippet will be fairly easy as it will only require 2-3 sentences answering the 4-w and 1-h question. This task will keep me busy and creative all weekend long.

2. Tonight is Eurovision! I'm such a nerdy fan, but only since I've moved out from home (OMG it comes to 11 years this year!). As a kid my parents always made me watch it and I hated it. And what have I done ever since I left their nest? I watched it. EVERY year and I love it. Seriously when the show starts and the presenters welcome the audience with the magical words 'Good Evening Europe' it always gives me a massive chill. It's such a wow moment of the year, I can't wait to see the show later. I have to confess though that I'm not very well prepared. Usually, I watch the songs and try to learn them so I can sing along during the show. I haven't even got a clue what our song sounds like. All I know is that our German entry is not the first choice as the winner of our selection show (yes, we Germans take any competition bloody serious) dropped out publicly when they've announced him as a winner. So the runner up went instead. Good luck and fingers crossed. 

Sorry in advance for a massive Twitter spamming later, but I'll be tweeting loads during the show.

3. Tomorrow is the official release of Kingsman - The Secret Service in Digital HD* (please read my Kingsman review). To celebrate the premiere you can download the film from iTunes and there will be a Twitter party at 6 pm. By then hundreds of people across the UK will press play and watch the film simultaneously and chat via Social Media. If you like to join the film party then simply follow @KingsmanUK tweeting along with the movie with the hashtag #KingsmanDigitalHD. You can also win prizes such as a BluRay copy of the film. Sooo excited for this. 

Kingsmen Film review

What are you up to this weekend? Who is your secret favourite for ESC? What do you think of the film twitter party? Let me know your plans in the comment section below. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Thanks so much for reading and till next time,

* I was kindly asked to spread the news about the release.

Baker Days Cakes And Giveaway

Friday, 22 May 2015

Baker Days cake

Hi ladies, Style Lingua's birthday is a month ago. I can't believe how fast time has gone by since I left my old blog Lunch Break Adventures behind and rebranded as Style Lingua. I hope you've enjoyed the posts and new layout so far. I'm still learning and working on improving this blog, especially the photography is a major point I'd like to enhance in the next couple of weeks. Anyway, as today marks the first month of Style Lingua I'd like to celebrate with you and of course, where there's a birthday, there's cake involved :) 

To celebrate my first month of Style Lingua and the start into a new bright blogging future, Baker Days kindly sent me one of their letterbox cakes*. From a wide collection of different designs for various occasions, I decided for the Little Birdie cake with the customised message Wishing you all the best for a wonderful future as I found the classy design would best match the purpose of my re-branding.   

Little Birdie cake Baker Days
Blog Birthday

On Baker Day's website, you can chose the celebration occasion (e.g. birthday, wedding, anniversary) and select from a diverse range of designs or create your own. 

Next, you'll choose the dough. Baker Days offer their cakes with a vanilla sponge or chocolate chip sponge with Belgian chocolate. There's also the option to go for a fruit cake or have it gluten wheat or dairy-free. I decided for the vanilla sponge as I love a soft fluffy cake with a hint of sweet vanilla. 

My letterbox cake arrived whilst I've been to London. I worried it wouldn't be fresh anymore upon my arrival back home but thanks to an airtight packaging and a beautiful tin box, the cake tasted as fresh as if it was just made.

The 5inch (12cm x 2.5cm) letterbox cake offered around 8 perfectly proportioned slices. The icing was perfectly thin and balanced well the ratio of cake. The icing is something I need to acquire a taste for, as it is fairly new to me and often I find it a bit too sweet. In combination with the vanilla sponge, it worked perfectly and I enjoyed it very much. The sponge had a beautiful golden colour and was wonderfully soft and fluffy. It goes without saying the cake didn't last very long :)

Letterbox cake by Baker Days
Baker Days letterbox cake
Cake for blog birthday

Little Birdie Letterbox cake* - Baker Days £14.99

Now over to you! This wouldn't be a birthday post if I wouldn't share the cake with you. So I'm very delighted to team up with Baker Days for a giveaway and offer you the chance to win a letterbox cake. Simply take part through the Rafflecopter widget and I'll choose a winner next Friday, 29th May. Good luck and fingers crossed. 

Letterbox cake and case

Competition T&C

- All mandatory entries must be completed.
- There will be one winner.
- The giveaway is open to UK residents only and will run from 22/05/2015 till 29/05/2015 12 am.
- Multiple accounts, as well as accounts I feel, have been created on purpose for this competition will be disqualified.
- Once the giveaway is over, Rafflecopter will choose one winner which I will then announce via Twitter. The winner will be contacted via email.
- An email is sent to the winner who will then have 48 hours to reply before a new winner is chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks so much for reading and till next time,

*PR sample

Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty Exhibition In London

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty Exhibition

Hi ladies, I went to London for a few days earlier this month and the big highlight of my stay was a trip over to the Victoria & Albert Museum to visit the iconic and much talked about fashion exhibition Savage Beauty by Alexander McQueen. The exhibition showcases masterpieces of the designer who sadly passed away in 2010.

Victoria and Albert Museum in London

To be honest with you, I knew very little about the British designer who committed suicide in 2010. Before my visit to the exhibition, I have to confess I ignorantly expected to see clothes presented in a museum but I couldn't have been more wrong.

Savage Beauty is in the first place an art exhibition dedicated to the incredible work and contribution to fashion by the artist McQueen. You won’t see ‘mere clothes’ exhibited but expect 10 lavish rooms with instalments to reflect McQueen’s genius heritage.   

The pieces showcased at Savage Beauty are on a high and different level of fashion to any other clothes that I've seen before. The 'clothes' are no longer ordinary tailored fabrics for everyday use, but they are specifically used to stir the imagination and to open up an entirely new world to delve in. Textiles and natural materials including clams and even human hair have been used by McQueen to create disturbing, yet stunning and energetic designs. It becomes very clear how sophisticated he made use of everything that went through his hands (and mind). Like a carver uses wood for his sculptures or a painter different colours for his paintings, McQueen created artwork which could only come to life if you'd actually put life, in this case, a model, in it.

Entrance to Savage Beauty exhibition in London

The Exhibition

Please note: Photography and recording are not permitted at the exhibition. All of the following pictures of Savage Beauty are press pictures provided by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. The artist is Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty at the V&A, 2015.

Installation view of London gallery Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty at the VA c Victoria and Albert Museum London

Savage Beauty Alexander McQueen

The first three instalments cover shows and collections of the late '90s introducing the artist's morbid style. The moment you enter the exhibition you are completely consumed by its exclusive sinister atmosphere created through melancholy music and gloomy light. There's an air machine somewhere that sends over a breeze that will give you a chill now and again. A runway show on display in the background contributes to the instalment and in front of you are mannequins with Hannibal Lecter masks silently waiting for you to examine them. Cold and strong do they look down on you and you feel the destructive energy and powerful aura that surrounds them. You can get quite close, obviously, you can't touch, but you can feel and breathe in the inspiration that went into the designs.

It is that exceptional interplay of music, artwork and display that creates this overwhelming atmosphere and will only give you a glimpse of how magnificent the collection must have been in an actual show.

Installation view of Romantic Gothic gallery Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty at the Victoria and Albert Museum London.

Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty London

Under the name 'Romantic Gothic' the third instalment stages Givenchy's second show. It focuses on the morbid theme women were taken into laboratories for animal crossbred experiments. The disturbing outfits were designed for Bird Women which actually freaked me out a bit. Again, the atmosphere is enormous, sinister and destructive and I examined each piece with great fascination. I haven't got a picture of the piece, but it was overall made of black feathers which made me feel uncomfortable because the thought of it worn by a model felt really creepy. 

Installation view of Romantic Primitivism gallery Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty at the VA c Victoria and Albert Museum London

Alexander McQueen fashion installation Savage Beauty

Installation view of Cabinet of Curiosities gallery Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty at the VA c Victoria and Albert Museum London

The room of curiosities Savage Beauty

After the Scottish tartan inspired 'The Widows of Culloden' and 'The Girl Who Lived In The Tree' collection, you'll find yourself in the 'Room of Curiosities'. This box-shaped room hosts numerous outfits and individual accessories, such as the famous butterfly headdress, shoes and props from McQueen's shows. In the middle, there's a seating area to find a moment to take in all of these random pieces and to fully appreciate them. Some of them will rotate in their box and no matter where you'll look you can always spot something new.

Installation view of Romantic Exoticism gallery Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty at the Victoria and Albert Museum London

Installation view of Romantic Exoticism gallery Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty at the Victoria and Albert Museum London

Installation view of Voss Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty at the Victoria and Albert Museum London

Installation view of Voss Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty at the Victoria and Albert Museum London

With The Voss collection, McQueen's designs become less aggressive and morbid, though they are still energetic and extravagant. Elements of his love for the baroque period are woven into his work, such as patterns and materials. The Voss show was presented in a double-sided mirrored box, so the models couldn't see the audience but walked towards a mirror instead. This exterior element adds an additional artistic touch to McQueen's show and again highlights his sophisticated approach to using fashion as an expressive art form.

Installation view of Romantic Naturalism gallery Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty at the Victoria and Albert Museum London

Installation view of Romantic Naturalism gallery Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty at the Victoria and Albert Museum London

After The Voss and a mesmerising hologram of Kate Moss, there's the Romantic Naturalism collection which features flowers, clamshell dresses and antler veils. I found the designs very pleasing to look at and they take you on a journey into a natural fairy tale world.  

Installation view of Plato's Atlantis Gallery Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty at the Victoria and Albert Museum London

Installation view of Platos Atlantis gallery Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty at the Victoria and Albert Museum London

The last installation featured one of the last collections of McQueen which consisted of futuristic, alien-like outfits and styles. The room accompanied by loud music and a film created especially for the show, made it feel as if the audience became a part of the fashion show. It was an amazing experience to feel the vibe of the show and to once again enjoy and appreciate McQueen's work as close as it could get to the original show. 

Overall I spent more than an hour in the exhibition and I didn't regret the ticket price of £20 in a single moment. Not only is the exhibition worth seeing because of McQueen's stunning work but also for the extraordinary work of the team at the V&A. The installations were fantastic and the exhibits were chosen so carefully and showcased in the way that each individual piece spoke for itself and more than any description would have done. Music, air machine, video display, display designs and arrangement of exhibits engaged me at all times and made me deal with McQueen's personality, thoughts and ideas in every moment of my visit. 

The free spirit and passionate art lover that I am, I found myself constantly analysing every detail. As I've said at the beginning of the post, I didn't know much about Alexander McQueen but just by spending some time at this exhibition I feel like I understand a lot more of his art and personality now. If you've been to the exhibition, please let me know your thoughts in the comment section or leave me a link to your post if you've written one. For anybody else, I can just highly recommend to book their tickets and to go and see it. Savage Beauty runs until August and there's a limited ticket contingent per day with some months already completely sold out.

Have you visited the exhibition or are you planning to see it? Do you have a designer you admire? Do you like fashion-related exhibitions? If you've enjoyed reading about Alexander McQueen's fashion exhibition, I've also covered The Henry Moore Burberry Exhibition and visited the Undressed Underwear Exhibition at the V&A. 

Thanks so much for reading and till next time,

*Press pictures provided by Victoria & Albert Museum London.

Stradivarius Head To Toe OODT. Part 2

Monday, 18 May 2015

Stradivarius Blazer Fashion outfit

How is everyone? My first Stradivarius head to toe fashion post is a while back, but I've been in their Stratford store again and hauled it. You can literally go in there and come out with an entirely new outfit, without the hourly long search for matching items. Don't you think today's outfit of the day has a little bit of a French touch? Hope you'll enjoy today's post. Have fun!

Casual everyday styling
Casual Stradivarius Fashion outfit
Stradivarius Fashion Outfit Post

Stradivarius is the boho casual little sister brand of Zara with super romantic styles and laid back outfits. I only wanted to buy a new pair of jeans but they are at the beginning of the shop and the fitting rooms are at the end. So on the way there, I picked up the shirt and the blazer (I didn't need a blazer, but I checked the price tag and I couldn't resist). That's why I love Stradivarius so much. You pick up stuff that's nice and actually looks nice on you and they are affordable and just wow you completely over. The last time I had this 'hauling' fever was back in 2009/2010, my so-called 'Primark-Prime-Years', but I've outgrown it. Now every time I go into Stradivarius I come out with two massive shopping bags and a broken bank account. But it was totally worth it :)

French Chic Blazer Stradivarius Fashion

 Here's What I'm Wearing:

Jeans: Stradivarius (current SS15 season, £25,99)
Blazer: Stradivarius (current SS15 season, £29.99)
T-Shirt: Stradivarius (current SS15 season, £7.99)
Beach Bag: Primark (season 2009, £6)
Bow Ballerina: Primark (season 2011, £4)
Sunnies: Warehouse (sale SS13, £15)

Have you seen my messy fishtail braid? I try to make more effort with my hair in the style post :) Is French chic your style, too? When was the last time you went on a shopping spree? Let me know what you got!

Thanks so much for reading and till next time,

The Stationery Show In London 2015

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Stationery Show London

Hi ladies, today's post is a quick round-up of my trip to the Stationery Show in London. You may remember that in late April, Britain celebrated National Stationery Week and I included a review of Sheaffers Sagaris pen on Style Lingua. On the 28/29 April, the Business Design Centre in Islington hosted a fair - the Stationery Show and the highlight of #NatStatWeek. I'm an addict when it comes to stylish journals and shiny writing instruments so I made my way over to London and checked out the latest stationery trends. 

Business Design Center Islington London

The two day fair was held at the Business Design Centre which is a short walk from the tube station Angel. I arrived at around 11am and after I picked up my press badge, I found myself among stationery lovers and brands waiting for me to get discovered. The show was in the first place for trade only, so I felt that brand representatives shied a bit away when I outed myself as a blogger covering the event. At first, it disheartened me a bit, as networking didn't run as smoothly as usual, but after a while and speaking to more and more brands I regained my confidence and I was prepared for reactions and questions about blogging. In the picture above, you see one part of the massive exhibition hall that hosted the show. 

Stationery diaries
Stationery Show London

You may have already guessed that my main focus for the SS London 2015 had been journals and diaries. Seriously I'm such a hoarder and I currently have FIVE unused journals at home. I can't use them, simply because they are so pretty and gorgeous to look at. Does that sound familiar? On top of my list is, of course, Paperblanks but at the fair, I came across The Art of Fine Gifts, a brand that makes equally stunning diaries. 

The Art of Fine Gifts Diary

When I saw a Mucha Art Nouveau diary all I could think of was MUST-HAVE (!!!!). Frances Bodiam, the Managing Director of the brand, kindly explained to me that the journals are covered in a special foil to work out structures perfectly to create a unique effect. When I touched the journal I could feel so many details and it felt like an actual painting! So much texture and enriched was amazing. The brand has wonderful designs and soon I held a Josephine Wall Mermaid inspired diary and Peacock design in my hands, struggling to decide which one of them all I liked the most. 

My friend Karen got me a super cute notebook from The Art File and I was pleased to see the Nottingham-based brand at the fair showcasing their beautiful vintage designed stationery. 

The Art File stationery

I was particularly looking for journals and writing instruments for disabled and left-handed people because my post on handwriting received a lot of comments from readers asking if the Sheaffer Sagaris pen would be suitable for their needs. Whilst the Sheaffer tool is designed for right-handed people, I promised my readers to have a look as I remember watching a documentary once. The documentary focused on brands that had specialised in pens for people with no arms and who wrote with their feet instead so the pen had to be designed accustomed to their circumstances. I was hoping to find something similar unique at the show or at least a range designed for left-handed use.

Did you know that 10 to 30% of the population is left-handed and there is little variety with regards to writing tools on the market? I've seen Stabilo has a left-handed range but the designs are all very colourful and aim at children rather than at adults. Unfortunately, the market has not yet discovered the gap and demand as all the pens and writing instruments showcased at the SS London were aimed at right-handed folks. 

Pens and writing instruments
Parker writing instrument

I used the opportunity and wrote with this Parker writing instrument which combines the technology of a rollerball and a normal fountain pen. Have a guess how much this luxury tool would have cost in store!

Stationery Show London
Stationery Show London
Bombata stationery show

A product that caught my eye came from Italian brand Bombata which I discovered towards the end of my 2h stay. It is no surprise really because I LOVE handbags so thanks to their eye-catching styles I went over to their stand and found out about their unusual concept. The handbags are a modern blend of a briefcase (but looking stylish and fashionable) and a laptop case. Available in a variety of eye-popping bright colours and with a silicone handle I can see these hybrids conquering the world by storm. 

Stationery Show London
Stationery Show London

On reflection, I have mixed feelings regarding my time at the show and for now, I'm not so sure if I'm going to return next year. It was fascinating to discover new brands and to learn about their products but I felt that the overall atmosphere wasn't suitable for me as a blogger. The atmosphere was generally awkward and frustrating as I've said before, most brands shied away and wouldn't talk to me when they found out that I was only just 'a blogger' and not a retailer which I can understand as the show wasn't open to the public. I was told off by brands a couple of times for taking pictures though I've asked for permission, carried a visibly valid press pass around my neck and was further encouraged by the press team from National Stationery Week to take as many pictures as possible.

I do understand the purpose and interests at a trade show are completely different as to a blogging event. The reactions of some brand representatives left me uncomfy and most of the time highly confused as I was invited by National Stationery Week to cover the event as a blogger/press representative and I assumed people would have been more understanding and supporting. After all, it is their loss if they don't want a free piece of coverage :) 

Have you been to a stationery show or fair before? How did you celebrate National Stationery week and most importantly what are your favourite stationery brands?

Thanks so much for reading and till next time,

My OOTD For The Blogger Thing Blogging Event With Jarvis

Monday, 11 May 2015

What to wear to a blogging event

Earlier this month I was invited to The Blogger Thing, an event organised by my amazing blogging friend Ting. She organised a fantastic beauty and photography workshop for us bloggers and I had the pleasure to meet some amazing blogging ladies from Birmingham. Here's my outfit that I wore to the event. 

Peacocks Blouse and Mango Skirt
Kate Spade Handbag
Kate Spade cream handbag
Outfit close ups

I'm very excited to show you my latest bargain handbag from Bicester. It is a Kate Spade (again!) but they had a 20% off before Easter so I couldn't resist getting my hands on this beauty. It has a strap on the inside which folds the ends nicely so it looks similar to an MK Selma handbag. At the moment I haven't put the strap on inside so you can appreciate it in its original glory :) 

Fashion post
Blogging event outfit
Outfit details

As you know I like to keep my outfits classy and not too over the top. So I teamed up my purple Peacocks viscose blouse with my all-time favourite tulip skirt from Mango. My figure is not the most flattering when wearing skirts so I have to be careful when choosing skirts. The tulip shape is very flattering and on reflection, I got a lot of wear out of it for the two years of time I had had it for. 

Olivia Burton watch
Olivia Burton leather strap watch
Buckley London heart shaped pendant necklace

Ah, you may be already tired of seeing my Olivia Burton watch, but it is such a timeless and sophisticated piece. It goes with so many of my outfits and tbh I only have three watches so you won't see much diversity on here I'm afraid. 

I was also kindly sent a Heart Pendant Necklace* from Buckley London through Blogger's Love Hub Twitter Party in April. The necklace has a stylish rose-coloured finish and though it is dainty, it is not as finely as the Orelia jewellery which I've shown you in my statement and dainty jewellery post. It feels great around your neck and the little clear Austrian crystals apply a lovely sparkle to it so there will be a touch of shimmer that others will notice when you move your neck. Buckley London has a wonderful collection of similar sparkly styles and I've got my eyes set on one of their delicate Poppy brooches.

Here's What I'm Wearing:

Lennon Ankle Boots: Jones Bootmaker (season 2013, £99)
Skirt: Mango (season 2012, via ASOS £35)
Blouse: Peacocks (current season 14/15, £14)
Miniature Heart Pendant Necklace*: Buckley London (current season 14/15, £35)
Handbag: Kate Spade (via Bicester, current 2015 season, £160)

What would you wear to a blogging event? Have you ever been to an event and felt under/over dressed? If you like my outfit for the blogging event, I've got a similar post showing my Black Chic for Bloggers Love Fashion Week Outfit

Thanks so much for reading and till next time,
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