Thursday, 30 May 2013

What's in my suitcase

If you follow me on Twitter then you might have noticed that my most recent tweet is that I am off to Italy very soon, for my long overdue honeymoon (well I have had to wait 2 months), so I thought I would give you a sneaky peak as to what outfits have made the cut.

Wedding Dresses on the High Street

I recently got married so I am only too aware of the large pot of cash that is needed, and that as soon as you put the word wedding in front of anything the prices increases four fold.  If like me you don't have parents that have limitless plastic and you aren't on mega bucks, finding the money to pay for this can be a little bit stressful to say the least; I still have the bags under my eyes to prove it.  This is why I have decided to do a 3 part high street wedding special for Bridal Wear, Bridesmaid dresses, and Mother of the Bride.

True to my word I wanted to find you the what is in the shops in Newcastle so I spent Saturday afternoon window shopping for wedding dresses.

Monsoon now have an amazing occasion range which is situated upstairs in the Eldon Square store, and some of their dresses made me very envious that I hadn't been made aware of these earlier, as my bank balance would be looking a lot healthier.  Here are my favourites.

Petruska Dress
Rosella Bridal Dress
Kora Embellished Bridal Dress
Rosetta Bridal Dress

It is amazing that all of these dresses are priced under £400; a mere quarter of the average price that you would be expecting to pay in a boutique.  My favourite has to the Grecian Kora Embellished Dress, very Helen of Troy, followed in a close second Rosella Bridal Dress; there is something very Austen-esque about this dress with the laced caped sleeves, inner bodice with sequin floral embroidery and pearl beading.

If the typical wedding dress is not what you are looking for and you would prefer a more low key dress then look no further than Monsoon's day wear, Next and Miss Selfridge.


The crochet dress from Monsoon would be perfect for a garden wedding.  Next's lace dress may be a bit of  a daring length for a bride but for a 60's inspired wedding this would look amazing.  If you dream of escaping to a white sandy beach (trust me I considered it) I think this maxi dress would be perfect; simple and stunning with bare feet and a single lily in your hair.

Miss Selfridge have again surprised me with their Designed By collection.  The white maxi mesh panelled dress is very hippy chic; perfect for the oh-so trendy wedding in your local farmers field, and their cream frill maxi dress with floral embroidery is beautiful, and if you want to add a splash of colour to your wedding this is ideal with the peach under dress.

Lace Insert Dress

Embroidered Frill Maxi Dress
So as you can see if your budget will not stretch to the boutiques prices there are still plenty of gorgeous dresses to choose from, no matter what type of bride you are; with what is on the high street you are guaranteed to be stylish one.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Cannes 2013 Best Dressed Celebs

Cannes Film Festival 2013 has come to an end.  Take a look at my top 5  best dressed celebs.

Jennifer Lawrence in Christian Dior, and shocking pink Manolo Blanik Stilettos

Our Chezza, dazzles in Zuhair Murad

A long way from Home and Away; Ilsa Fisher in Oscar De La Renta

Simply yet effective, Carey Mulligan in Christian Dior

Cara Delevnigne flying the British fashion flag in this Burberry lace gown

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Lauren Pope interview - Newcastle Fashion Week 2013

Well what a week it has been! My baby NE_StyleSmart is barely a week old, and I have received the VIP treatment at Fashion Front Row, goody bags galore, endless catwalk shows, and an interview with Essex’s finest, Lauren Pope.  Lauren is the face of Nikki Lissoni UK, a new jewellery range that I absolutely love, and she was brave enough to visit the North twice for Newcastle Fashion week 2013, not even letting Saturday’s torrential downpour stop her.

How have you found Newcastle?
I haven’t really got to see much of it, but I was here for Newcastle fashion week last week.

How did you find that? Was there anything that particularly stood out, and how did it compare to Essex fashion week?
I really enjoyed it; Newcastle seems to be a lot more fashion forward, whereas Essex fashion week was a lot more Essex glam.   There were a few vintage stalls that I really liked [in Newcastle].

Who is your Style icon?
I’ve got a few.
Blake Lively
Kate Bosworth
Olivia Palermo, she always looks amazing, but as if she’s just thrown it together.  Do you think she has help?  She must have a little bit of help.

Since I am such a fan of structured reality TV it was no surprise that Lauren and I started chatting about The City and The Hills.  It seems that being in a The Only Way is Essex has not stopped her interest in other reality shows as she talked to me about Heidi Pratt’s friendship’s on The Hills, and her marriage to Spencer. 

LP “Didn’t Audrina come out as saying that she was an actress paid to be Heidi’s friend”

CT “I think Heidi might need to pay people to be her friend”

LP “She doesn’t need friends, she’s got Spencer”,

CT “on their own little Island together”

Kate Bosworth

Blake Lively

What item of clothing could you not live without?
Ooh only one? That’s hard.
I would have to say skinny jeans and a blazer, as you can always dress them up and dress them down, also a really nice fitting white t-shirt.  I’ve got a one from Zara and it’s got a hole in it and I’m gutted.

What is your favourite accessory?
Nikki Lissoni Jewellery, and I do love a chunky watch, and a statement necklace.

Lauren is clearly up on the fashion rules as she joked “the bigger the watch, the skinnier the wrist”

Do you think that London is the best city for fashion?
For cool fashion, maybe the Shoreditch look I would definitely say London, but when it comes to chicness you can’t beat Paris.  There are a million Olivia Palermo in Paris; they are on a whole other level.

Olivia Palermo

How would you describe your style?
I would say in the last year my style has changed a lot, and being on the show we get sent more stuff so you can experiment, and there are more reasons to dress up.  It depends what mood I’m in.  Sometimes I like to be laid back, and others I like a pair of chunky biker boots.  I always have like a glam element to it, so I’m not a total grunger.

What are you wearing today?
Skirt and boots Zara, jumper H&M, Nikki Lissoni necklace, Holler Watch, and my own hair extensions

To say I was a bit apprehensive is an understatement as this was my first time interviewing a celebrity, but I need not have worried.  Lauren was lovely, far more down to earth than I had imagined and it seems that Lauren Pope is a high street girl at heart, as a running joke amongst her friends is “where did you get that from? Zara? [In unison].  Lauren instantly put me at ease, and what was supposed to be an interview felt as though I was chatting with one of the girls.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

High Street Fashion at Newcastle Fashion Week 2013

Friday saw the last of the catwalk shows in Eldon Square in association with Hello magazine, and the half day holiday that I took from my day job was totally worth it.  The opportunity of knowing that the high street Spring/Summer trends that were showcased on the catwalk were ready to be purchased in the nearby stores was too good to miss, and Newcastle you are in for a treat.
First down the catwalk was Debenhams with a cute little stonewash playsuit, which I am a huge fan of, and this will be great for the upcoming summer bank holidays, or your next eagerly awaited summer holiday.

If you have any weddings then look no further than Coast.  Already one of the big hitters in the matrimony department, their mint maxi dress and bold floral designs will have you standing out from the crowd, and will be great for any guest, whether you are mother of the bride, bridesmaid, or a friend.  If only these designs had been available for my recent wedding, the arduous task of clothes shopping with my fashion novice Mam or four bridesmaids with very different styles would have been a lot easier.

One of the main show stoppers on the catwalk was a navy sequin strapless mini dress by Guess.  Perfect for cocktails with the girls, but do be wary of how you get in and out of the taxi and going up the stairs, as this dress leaves very little to the imagination, but it does look amazing.

If you prefer something with a more demure feel to it then Republic’s full bodied skirt and matching sleeveless cropped shirt was out of this world.  I really loved the skull detailing on such feminine clothing, giving an edgy element to this outfit.

Jumpsuits look like they are going to a summer staple again, which I am very happy about, as I have a vast selection in my wardrobe; one of which I wore to the Fashion Front Show last Wednesday.  Guess have a coral linen jumpsuit that is going to fly off the hangers.

I have to admit that it was Miss Selfridge that stole the show which I was quite surprised at, as I usually struggle to find anything for me, although that might be my age as I have started a new love affair with Next.  But the clothes by Miss Selfridge were simply stunning, with a coral front ruffle body con dress, the cream lace knicker maxi dress (perfect for my upcoming honeymoon), Great Gatsby inspired cropped embellished tee, with a very daring pair of coral hotpants. I was blown away so much so that I may have to rethink my allegiance to Next.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Newcastle Fashion Week So Far.....

Well what a week it is turning out to be!!! Busy busy busy doesn't even cover it, but I am having so much fun.
So many shows, with great designers and great people, all supporting fashion in the North East, and rightly so, as we are far too often forgotten about. I can safely say that from what I have seen so far of Fashion Week 2013 the Toon is firmly on the fashion map, and there are still more fantastic events to come.

Last night was the much awaited Fashion Front Row hosted by As You Like It in Jesmond. Showcasing local designers, alongside the very talented Francesca Air, I was lucky enough to have the pleasure of meeting the lovely Sandra Tang who organised the marvelous event that is Newcastle Fashion Week. Tonight saw the launch party for a local boutique and stylist Kota Boutique who gave an amazing styling presentation and catwalk show of their spring/summer collection.  

Tomorrow I will be off to one of the last catwalk shows at Eldon Square in association with Hello magazine to check out the lastest high street fashion.  I really can't wait for this show, as this is what my blog really is all about, bringing catwalk looks to the North East from stores in the North East.

Saturday I will be found at the Planet Watch-A-Palooza warm up for Newcastle Fashion Week's closing party.  Come and check out the amazing Holler-Soul watches, find them on-line at

For my fashion week pics, and updates follow me on twitter

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

So here goes....

Newcastle Fashion Weekender.

Newcastle fashion week has finally arrived, and it has certainly done this with a bang.   Northumbria University has kicked off the open events with a fashion weekender which has included catwalks shows, talks from industry highflyers, celebs, pampering and decadent treats.
The weekender began in style by the Clothes Show’s very own Carolyn Franklin, who looked as chic as ever, wearing a pair of black harem high waisted trousers with a matching waistcoat, the wardrobe staple white shirt, and printed stilettos.
The catwalk shows displayed local talent, showcasing the designs and creations of students at Newcastle College, high street stores including Burton, BHS, Fenwick, Next, the one and only Primark, the online fashion giant ASOS Marketplace and Motel.  The major trends that featured on the catwalks were monochrome, stripes, sports luxe, pencil skirts with oversized cropped tops; think shoulders a good inch past your actual shoulder, very Victoria Beckham.  The American 50’s also dominated the runway, with floral prom dresses, letterman bomber jackets, and demin shirt dresses (something that I wish I could pull off).
Beautiful clothes were not the only entertainment.  Talks were given by fashion industry figures including Louise Wedderburn from C4’s The Human Mannequin, Samantha Bennett from Asos, Vita Taylor (merchandising manager for Motel), and a very special guest, Victoria White, Editor of Company Magazine.   Carolyn Franklin also gave a talk about her most recent project, All Walks. 
All Walks is an inspiring incentive to promote diversity in the fashion industry, to get women, regardless of their size, age, height or ethnicity into the world of fashion.  All Walks is now attracting big name designers including Matthew Williamson, Giles Deacon, and Alice Temperley, to name but a few, showing how important healthy body image in the fashion industry is.  I have to say as a someone who is not a size 6, or 6 feet tall, but loves fashion, it was quite surreal to be around models yet somehow feel like the winner.  For more info go to:
To keep all the fashionista’s regularly fuelled The French Oven, which is located in Newcastle’s amazing Aladdin’s Cave, aka The Grainger Market, had a mouth watering selection of cakes, cupcakes, coffee’s, and even a healthy alternative of green tea.  If something stronger was needed Vivello Lounge was on hand, with an extensive and eclectic cocktail menu to suit all tastes.  I have to say my favourite had to be the Marshmallow Martini, and the fact that this was served by a helmeted ‘Daft Punk’ bar tender only added to my enjoyment.
If the fashion and food wasn’t enough shoppers were treated to stalls from Warehouse, Primark, Union, Oxfam, Burton, Asos Marketplace, and Nikki Lissoni, where they could abuse the plastic.  Happy Shoppers.
Northumbria Fashion Weekend did however really save the best for last, with a talk from fellow blogger Poppy Dinsey, CEO of WIWT (What I Wore Today).  A blog set up as a New Year’s resolution, which has turned into a global company.  Poppy gave a very honest talk about life as blogger, the perks (travel, life experience, and of course the odd gift), and the harsh realities, especially in this Devil Wears Prada fashion industry.  The talk was so inspiring that someone like myself, a real person with no fashion degree, but a simple love of clothes and one too many subscriptions to fashion magazines, is finally giving it a go, so here we go.....