An Afternoon At Ascot

Sunday, 25 October 2015

An Afternoon At Ascot Ladbrokes

If you would ask me what I feel is typical ‘British’, I will most certainly name you all the clichés: meeting the queen at least once in your life, enjoy fancy afternoon tea with cakes and sandwiches or a visit to the famous horse races. 

Thanks to Ladbrokes, I can now cross out two of these very ‘typical British things to do’ from my list. Alongside a handful of bloggers, I was invited to the QIPCO Champions Day*, the grand finale of horse racing at Ascot Racecourse. We were treated to a four-course meal followed by afternoon tea and in between enjoyed a taste of horse race gambling.

Champions Day at Ascot

I arrived at 10am on Saturday morning and I wore a dress which I bought very last minute from ASOS. I also invested in a headpiece (fascinator) which I always wanted to wear and finally was given the chance to do so. When I arrived at Royal Ascot, however, no one seemed to be wearing hats or fascinators. I saw people dressed in riding clothes or simply in everyday wear, so my initial confidence was knocked down a bit.

After a while, though I thought ‘Nah come on! When will you ever get the chance to come back to Ascot?’ and then I pulled myself together and brought my fascinator out. So glad I did, as the other blogging ladies arrived in equally stunning headpieces and outfits.

What to wear to Ascot fashion ootd
My outfit for Ascot. Dress: ASOS (£55), Fascinator: Debenhams (£49), Heels: New Look (£19.99), Watch: Daniel Wellington (£159)

When everyone arrived, we made our way to the Royal Pavilion were two tables were booked for us. Perfectly set tables with fresh flower bouquets welcomed us and it was exciting to see posh people arrive, who dressed up smartly too and had a good chat with the other blogging ladies. It didn’t take long for the starter to be served: a pea parfait (vegetarian version) and salmon parfait with crispy bread.

Pavilion at Ascot
Table at Ascot Champions Day

After the first course, our party went outside to the racing grounds to see the first race of the day. I have to confess that I paid little attention to the gambling bit and who was rated the favourite, as I was overwhelmed by the entire atmosphere and I enjoyed every minute of it. 

Ascot is a unique experience which I’ve only known from pictures in my school textbooks, so to be actually in the middle of racing excitement felt surreal and thrilling at the same time.

Racecourse at Ascot
Please click on the picture to enhance the panorama.
Champions Day Horse racing at Ascot

Back at the pavilion, we enjoyed our mains; tender pieces of chicken with potatoes, gravy and vegetables. Will and Victoria, the two representatives from Ladbrokes, handed out gifts to everyone, which came as a big surprise! 

They thought instead of giving us goody bags, we should have a little memorabilia from our shared afternoon, so we all received a personal teacup with matching saucer. I love to have this beautiful piece for my new place in London and I found the gesture extremely thoughtful. I’m still very touched by the generosity and that my name is spelt correctly (which doesn’t happen very often!).

The afternoon brought more racing spectacle and we got to watch the winners parading in a separate ring. Olivia and I shared the photo booth and Khrissie got very close to the queen! Back at the pavilion, dessert in the form of a fluffy chocolate tiramisu waited for us and after that, we enjoyed a full afternoon tea including a cheese plater, scones (yum!), macarons and sandwiches.

Horse racing at Royal Ascot
Horse parading at Ascot
Ascot in Autumn

The day went by quickly, but that’s always the case when you’re in a charming company and enjoy delicious food. Paloma Faith was announced to be playing her DJ set at the afterparty at around 4pm but most of us preferred to finish the last piece of cake and make a move homeward bound.

An Afternoon At Ascot

The races at Ascot reflect a long tradition and are to me a quintessential part of British lifestyle. 

Thanks for reading, 

Till next time, 

*I was kindly invited to join the Ladbrokes team for an afternoon at Ascot.

Life Lately In London 4

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Louis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition London

After a week of severe eye-straining and permanent headaches, my body forced me to slow down my busy schedule and I had to 'relax' and 'stay away' from the screen for a few days. I still feel massively tired and burnt out a little so this weekend will be spent in the Forest of Dean and hopefully, I can refuel on my energies. But before I go into a social media and blogging free weekend, I'd like to give you a quick update on what's been happening this week in London.

1. I visited the LV Series 3 Exhibition

I spotted an advertisement for the Louis Vuitton Series 3 exhibition whilst on the tube and the opportunity to go and see it came up when Alex had an appointment in Covent Garden. Whilst he went there, I would visit the exhibition on The Strand. The venue for the exhibition was only a few meters away from the iconic Somerset House and easy to find. 

Entrance to the exhibition is free but upon arrival, you'll have to 'sing in' and leave your personal details with them. The exhibition itself started with a few rooms of artistic installations which would stir your imagination and you would feel where the designers got their creative vibes and inspiration from. 

I would describe the installations as futuristic and modern, as they would use different sounds, lightning effects and various screens to create the atmosphere. Like the Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibition, the Series 3 was organised and run highly professional showcasing and worshipping fashion as art rather than everyday wear.

LV Series 3 London fashion exhibition
LV Series 3 London fashion exhibition
Louis Vuitton Series 3 exhibition London

I made it to the first two rooms and then I got a bit lost, to be honest. There wasn't much of a guide where to continue the tour and in the dark, I couldn't see the entrance to the next room, so I ended up approaching the exhibition from the other end. However, for this post, I arranged the pictures according to the route you are meant to follow.

After the room dominated by the screen (pic 1 above), you would enter a room with screens displaying the runway show (pic 3 above). This was brilliantly made as visitors had the chance to sit down and fully appreciate the different designs. The contrast of movement from the models on screen and the static environment of the room worked extremely well and yet again highlighted LV's latest collection as a piece of art. 

Handbag maker Louis Vuitton
Louis Vuitton handmade bag
LV Series 3 Louis Vuitton fashion exhibition

The next room would have some physical pieces of the collection. The main focus of the room was to highlight the making of LV handbags, having two designers and their workstations on display. I spoke to the lady briefly and she told me that one handbag takes up to 30h in the making. Everything is selected by hand and carefully crafted. It was amazing and interesting to see a professional at work and how precise and accurate every little detail came together.

From a rather dark room, you would walk into the other extreme: a bright white showroom of the most iconic handbags you've ever seen. I'm not particularly fond of the original brown LV style, but these were absolutely gorgeous. 

From the way they were displayed to the rich and elaborate details of every piece, I would hear myself screaming 'MUST-HAVE' in my head all the time. Absolutely pretty and amazing. I can't find the words to describe it, you really have to see it yourself.

One of the last rooms was designed as a big walk-in wardrobe with mirrors all around you. You would walk on thick, fluffy carpet and view dresses, shoes, handbags, suits and glittery two-piece combos displayed in a glass wardrobe. 

I loved that the pieces were displayed openly. Not a single sign of a thick windowpane would keep you away from the items which made it easy to get as close as possible and fully appreciate them. 

Fashion showroom London LV
Louis Vuitton Fashion exhibition London
LV Series 3 Handbag collection Fashion

The exhibition finished with a room full of sketches, storyboards and pictures from the collection. You would be given free posters and stickers to take home, which I found gave the entire exhibition an individual touch. It was impressive to see how a fashion brand would advertise and showcase its latest collection. The idea to present the range as an art exhibition just underlined the exclusivity of LV as a luxury brand and also as art rather than fashion (hope that made sense).

Have you seen the exhibition, too? Or are you planning on going? The exhibition runs for another week and will close officially on 18th October. Entrance by free admission and bring some time with you. I rushed a bit through the rooms as Alex's appointment finished after 35minutes. In total, I think I could have spent easily an hour or so at LV Series 3.

2. I went To Three More Interviews (For The Same Job)

A few weeks ago I was invited by a big digital marketing performance agency in London to interview for a role. My task was to prepare a presentation which I absolutely loved. I used to give 90minute talks and lead academic discussions at uni so I was completely in my element when I worked on my talks' structure, designed a ppt and studied my actual speech. 

The presentation was picked up very well and though I missed the topic slightly, the interview panel was impressed and asked me if I'd like to present myself to another team of their company. So I did and they invited me back for three more interviews. I haven't heard back from them just yet but please keep your fingers crossed. 

3. The BareMinerals Christmas Range Event

On Thursday night I was lucky to get an invite by BareMinerals and had a little sneak at their new Christmas range. The products were beautifully displayed but sadly, the venue was rather small. At some point, moving was no longer possible, but this wasn't necessary, as the event brought together a little Bloggers Festival reunion. 

I saw many familiar faces and chatted literally the night away. I was glad I arrived early at the venue to take some pictures before all the networking. I'm really sorry about the poor quality of the pictures but the venue was dark and the lighting predominately red, which made taking pictures not that easy. 

I can tell you though that the BareMinerals Christmas range is inspired by the theme 'Enchantment' and features gorgeous glittery and nude shades. The packaging is festive and very pretty which makes any lip gloss, eyeliner or eyeshadow palette a wonderful gift for beloved ones. 

BareMinerals Whimsical Wonders Christmas Range
BareMinerals Christmas Range eyeliner
BareMinerals Christmas range lipstick Enchanted
BareMinerals Christmas Range Enchanted

4. I Spent Half A Day Watching Films At Cineworld

I made good use of my unlimited card and watched The Martian, The Walk, The Intern and Macbeth. I found The Martian very easy to watch with great acting performances by Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain. The plot now and again felt a bit too smooth, in the sense of that the main character barely faced any problems or if he did, his plans to solve the issue always worked. Alex also felt that the film went a bit too flawless and we both agreed that the 3D effect was well worked out.

However, the 3D effect in The Walk was magnificent. We watched the film on a super screen and I had sweaty hands all the time. It was a nerve-wracking and absolutely gripping movie, loved it. The story starts a bit slow and needs a bit of time to accelerate and Joseph Gorden-Levitt as an external storyteller might be a bit unusual and cringe but a) it's a PG film and b) I felt this was needed to explain the character's motivation and ambitions. The Walk is based on high wire artist Phillipe Petite's story and I've never heard of him before, but I had to research him after the film to find out more. His story is so inspiring if you ask me with the empowering message of never losing sight of your dreams and do what it takes to make them come true - with the help of true friends who will always support you.

The Intern, on the other hand, was less inspiring. It was very cliche and underwhelming, to be honest. Easy to watch, but far too much sugar and predictable. A plotline as thin as the wire in The Walk, a super charming Anne Hathaway and situations beyond reality couldn't make it over my 5/10 mark. It's a film you can enjoy after a long hard working day or on a rainy Sunday afternoon, but not necessarily for £10 per ticket at the cinema.

Same applies to Macbeth. The movie was so atmospheric and the cast and acting were brilliant. However, I'm not sure if Shakespeare works on screen. Whether it was Romeo and Julia or Hamlet, I don't think Shakespeare plays adapt well for the cinema. The medium of film is highly based on visuals whereas Shakespeare relies on the language. You really need to pay attention to the prose as all of the dialogues carry the plot and action. If anything distracts you, you miss out on details (we all know how complex and rich in detail Shakespeare is) and get totally lost. It's hard to focus on two very strong competing elements (visuals of the film and language of the play) and if you're not familiar with the play, then it gets even trickier.

So, now you've got a little update on what's been happening lately. What have you been up to? I'd also like to make a little announcement in terms of my blogging schedule. For the rest of the year, I'd like to take a step back from blogging. As I've mentioned at the beginning of this post, I had some health problems in the last couple of weeks and I think I should still keep busy, but maybe slow down a bit. That's why I'm going to publish a bit less than normal until the end of the year.

Also, in the year and a half that I've been blogging, I got struck by writer's block. Lately, I feel uninspired and demotivated. To be honest with you, I'm not very happy with my latest posts and I feel I can do so much better, but my mojo is low. This frustrates me a lot. The promotion (setting up tweets, work on Instagram) and picture editing have been far too dominant and I lose more and more my passion for writing. I love writing but it has been pushed back tremendously into the background by all these other blogging related tasks. In having a break I hope to get my mojo back and also focus more on my text production, rather than shooting the 'perfect Pinterest-worthy picture'.

Furthermore, I've got a few personal related goals that I'd like to achieve by the end of the year, which will require all of my attention. I will still be active on Twitter and hope to attend the one or other event to feature on my blog, but really I need to slow down a bit as I don't fancy starting 2016 with burn-out-syndrome. 

Thanks so much for reading, 

Till next time, 

Best Of Autumn Looks

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Autumn Fashion Looks

London and life have been super busy lately. With this in mind and 90% of my wardrobe back in Germany, I haven’t had much time to work on a new ootd post. In addition, writer's block has struck me for the very first time in over a year and half of blogging which doesn’t make my writing life much easier. 

To get my motivation and style inspiration back, I scrolled through my archive and came across last year’s autumn posts. Some of them cover my favs looks and luckily the fashion hasn’t changed much this season. Fair to say it’s time to re-share my best autumn outfits. 

The Blanket Wrap

The Blanket Wrap

Blanket wraps are still on trend this AW and I love how uncomplicated they are to style. Effortlessly they transform any basic outfit in an instant. Plus everyone loves to snuggle up and keep warm so technically you can take your blanket out into the real-life and still look fashionable. This year, capes and ponchos are on the same must-have level. 

Capes: sleeveless coats, Blanket Wraps: a tailored blanket, Poncho: a flattering piece of blanket that is only worn through the neckline, Oversized Scarfs: an alternative to blanket wraps but less tailored.

My blanket wrap is from New Look and I bought it for £20 in 2014. New Look has again a wonderful range of blanket wraps predominately with checked patterns. Stradivarius is also worth a look if you're after darker colourways and more sophisticated cuts. The easiest way to style a blanket wrap is to combine it with basic pieces, such as a white blouse (contrast) and skinny jeans. A belt accessory always works whether it be for tailoring the outfit, or to keep the blanket in place or simply to function as an eye-catching detail. 

Oversized knittwear Stradivarius

Let's be honest autumn is the season to keep warm and an excuse to look casual. I'm not talking about slouchy jumpers but oversized knitwear that is cosy and casual. One of these pieces is my Stradivarius jumper. 

Do you know how hard it is to find a decent oversized jumper? Most of the time the materials used are too stiff which makes the jumpers far too heavy. This one, however, has a light fabric which is also super soft. The jumper is long enough to be worn over a pair of leggings and has a flattering fit through soft fabrics. 

I teamed it up with Aztec printed leggings from New Look which are thicker than the usual ones for summer. Boots in tan work as an eye-catcher and I kept accessories to a minimum with a colourfully beaded bangle.

What do you reckon of this casual look? I prefer uncomplicated styles and this one was easy to put together. Leggings, boots and an oversized jumper ticks all the boxes for me when I look for a comfy, stylish and cosy autumn outfit. 

Summer vs Winter: Cardigan Meets Playsuit

Summer clothes worn in autumn

If I could have control over the seasons, summer would certainly never end! My polka dot playsuit is a wonderful light and airy fashion piece from those hot days at the beach but who says I can't wear it in autumn as well? To make the outfit suitable for the chilly weather, I combined the playsuit with a thick, woolly cardigan from River Island. It's very rare that I find pieces in River Island so when this stunner fell into my hands last season it was an instant buy for me. The cardigan has a lovely waterfall neckline and I love the zipper details on both sides. The material is a bit stiff and scratchy, but worn looks so, so cool and sassy. The clash of light and heavy materials works for me and I adore the style. 

What about you? Do you keep your summer clothes and wear them in autumn/winter? 

Shades of Brown autumn look

Every autumn sees the return of burgundy and berry shades but my go-to colour is definitely brown/tan. As in my previous outfit, I tried to make my Miss Selfridge Playsuit wearable for the colder days. In this case, I teamed it up with a poncho from Stradivarius. All my accessories pick up brown and complement each other: brown boots, leopard printed scarf, leather handbag. I know the shades vary slightly but I think the tone in tone would have been too boring. The combination of different levels of brown make my outfit interesting, don't you think? Furthermore, I added some vintage gold jewellery to the look which gives the autumn touch the perfect finish.

Autumn is certainly a season to experiment with fabrics and materials. Do you agree or do you find the material mix too wild and messy?

Skirts And Scarfs

The colder seasons obviously force us to wear thick materials to keep us warm. Skirts are more a fashion item of the summer, but it doesn't have to be that way. Knitted skirts are great for winter and there are also leather skirts available in the shops at the moment (again I can highly recommend Stradivarius). 

I had my Miss Selfridge knitted Aztec skirt for a while and never really had the chance to style it with suitable pieces. This changed when I found a massive oversized loop scarf in Topshop, which had a similar pattern and colourway as my skirt. Combine those two and you have a killer outfit for autumn. The scarf can also be worn as a wrap around your shoulder.

As I said before, autumn is a season to experiment with fabrics and different styles. Just because the weather gets colder and nasty, it doesn't mean we have to wave at skirts or dresses. Wearing jeans all the time can be boring. Be experimental or do you feel more confident with a safe fashion combo of jumper and jeans?

Thanks for reading, 

Till next time, 

Introducing Jord Wood Watches

Friday, 2 October 2015

Jord Wood Watches Cora

2015 has been the moment of wood. What started slowly in AW14/15 developed into a trend during the year and now, the fashion-sphere saw the stylish and sturdy material everywhere. May it be sunglasses with a wooden frame, distinctive coat buttons, handbags or decorative iPhone cases. You simply couldn't escape wood.

With this in mind, it comes as no surprise, that the versatile and long-lasting material has also conquered the world of watches. 'Wooden watches?' I can hear you ask, but yes, they do exist and one American brand has specialised in bringing the most stylish and elegant timepieces to our wrists: Jord Wood Watches.

The company sells fashionable high-end watches for men and women. The wood used for the women designs ranges from subtle maple via striking sandalwood to warm and untamed zebrawood. All timepieces are beautifully crafted and share a love for small details, expressed through Swarovski elements and an exceptional finish. 

I was kindly sent a Jord Cora wood watch*, a sophisticated style made out of zebrawood with a modern turquoise face.  

Jord Wood Watch Box
Jord Zebrawood & Turquoise Cora Collection

The presentation is everything and all Jord watches come in a stunning, decorative wooden box for safekeeping and storage. When I opened mine, a beautiful watch embedded on a small cushion appeared. Cora is made of zebrawood, a material that has a warm effect due to its many different layers of wood, which makes it so distinctive and strong. I specifically chose this watch as it has this unique pattern which applies a very natural look. The style is sophisticated and the overall appearance conveys a statement look of independence. 

Despite the strong first impression, the feminine touch lies in the details and fine features. Behind the sapphire glass is this beautiful turquoise-coloured face. Something that is totally different from any other watch in my collection and is a wonderful feature to further highlight Cora as a special piece. The markers are made of delicate Swarovski elements and I love the small window that reveals a hint at the inner life.

The watch has several changeable links and Jord send it out already adjusted to your wrist. The remaining links come in the box just in case you need to get it adjusted again. There's a deployment buckle with a push button which makes it easy to close the watch around your wrist and allows a secure wearability. 

Jord Wood Watches Review
Zebrawood and Turquoise Watch Jord

Jord Wood Watches have a gorgeous selection of designs. I first fell in love with their Sydney watch, a combination of maple wood and a rose coloured face. However, at second sight the light colours and crystals made it look a bit too girly for my taste so all my attention went to Cora. The clash of strong wood with feminine features make this one so complex and interesting to me and maybe you like it too?!?
Cora has this statement character through natural and significant zebrawood. The turquoise colourway is in perfect contrast but harmony to it. A special timepiece that is worth its investment.

Wood Watch By Jord
Zebrawood and Turquoise Wood Watch By Jord

Thanks so much for reading, 

Till next time, 

*PR sample
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