31 October 2015

Beauty | Marc Jacobs Decadence

New perfume alert! I have had this purchase in the pipeline since early September originally drawn to the bottle, it reminds me of one of my favourite handbags. 

Hello Marc Jacobs Decadence!

When I found out it was Marc Jacobs I wasn't holding out much hope to like the scent as I haven't had much success with his perfumes before they just haven't really suited me, Lola was probably the only one I liked up to now. 

I absolutely LOVE this new green potion!

Looking for a replacement for my summer favourite (Estee Lauders Bronze Goddess) I  knew this was going to be the one to get me through the winter and festive party season.

This parfum isn't cheap, and I am sure 20% of the cost is the packaging. But isn't it sooooo pretty!!

I bought this in Heathrow airport for £55 (50ml) which was approx 20% less than boots, but as this is a present for myself I really couldn't justify the 100ml price tag (£96 on the high street)  If it becomes a firm favourite, I will happily repurchase in the New Year.

Now for the mini photoshoot :-)

Velvet box is a lovely touch

Beautiful green bottle, python lid with thick gold chain and black tassel

I am not very good at describing scents but I would put this one in the same category as my other winter woody favourites - YSL Black Opium and Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir....so if you like these you will probably like this too.

The advertising for Decadence has this as the combination description:
"Italian plum, saffron and iris with Bulgarian rose, Sambac jasmine and orris root form the heart of the perfume.  Base includes warm liquid amber, vetiver and papyrus wood."

Sitting pretty on my perfume shelf
If it is not already on your christmas list - I would be adding it on, Santa will be collecting lists soon!

What is your favourite winter perfume?

Love Miss K xx
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27 October 2015

Fashion | Alexa Chung - Future of Fashion

Alexa Chung (source of image)
I still remember Alexa Chung from her days on channel 4 Sunday morning TV on Popworld and T4. But I was surprised when I googled that she is only 6 months older than me so I maybe should have identified with her earlier.

I have followed Alexa for her fashion for a long time, she always seems to get the casual festival spot on, a look I have always struggled with. I would put her in the same category as a fashion leader with Olivia Palermo who is our real life Carrie Bradshaw and who can dismiss the Kardashian's. 

Before looking into Alexa's career I assumed she was well known for her appearances on TV but after a bit of research she started her fashion career as a model when she was 16 before quitting by the time she was 21. She now only makes rare appearances in the modelling world unless endorsing products, like Mulberry and Longchamp. 

Over the last month Alexa has been presenting a series on the British Vogue You Tube channel which I have really enjoyed and the purpose of my post as I had to share these with you. Episodes 1, 4 and 5 were my favourites and now I am obsessed with Balmain fashion house. 

If you have an hour to spare and you love fashion I think you would really enjoy the series - I feel inspired to follow Alexa's career a bit closer now.

Alexa Chung - Future of Fashion Series
Full 1 hour episode
Episode 1 How to Break into the Fashion Industry
Episode 2 How to Become a Fashion Designer
Episode 3 Positive Body Image & Diversity
Episode 4 How to Become a Fashion Buyer / Trends
Episode 5 How Social Change can Help the Fashion Industry Progress

Love Miss K xx
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22 October 2015

North East | Yves Saint Laurent exhibition at Bowes Museum

Last week, Miss S and I had a very fashionable weekend!

Part 1 ~ Yves Saint Laurent exhibition at Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle and Part 2 ~ 'Style is eternal' talk with Lauren Laverne & Laura Craik as part of the Durham Book Festival.

@Bowes Museum
(Exhibition finishes on 8th November)

Flags are out at Bowes Museum
OOTD plaid shirt, leather trim skirt and black ankle boots

Before you attend the YSL exhibition you have to pre book a 1 hour slot and pay in advance through Ticketmaster. It is £12.50 each with a small booking fee then you need to print a copy of your ticket out and take it with you. 

The collection was meant to close on the 25th October but has now been extended until 8th November due to high demand. 

The visit itself is not huge there are 2 rooms of clothing plus a catwalk on a large screen of YSL collections. 

We spent around 40 minutes in the collection which did seem enough, but i am not sure I would have visited from further afield for this.

Barnard Castle, the village where Bowes Museum is situated is around 40 minutes drive from Durham City. It has beautiful grounds which include fountains and manicured gardens, plus behind the building is a woodland walk suitable for kids and families.

Parking is free surrounding the gardens plus a large car park behind the building.

I have not been since the Vivienne Westwood collection around 5 years ago so I couldn't wait to go and see what was inside.
Bowes Museum

When you enter the collection which is on the first floor of the museum, you walk in to the middle of the exhibition so you might not start in the same place as someone else but there is not specific timeline to the collection.

The room on the left, contains the most history and everything shown is behind glass or in a cupboard where you can open the draws and take a look inside.

We liked the illustrations printed onto sheer material covering the usual museum interiors.

You can take a seat on the FROW and watch the YSL catwalk including clothes included in the exhibition.

Miss K and Miss S on the FROW

REAL hand drawn illustrations from a 20 something Yves which included swatches

My favourite item in the collection was this jacket, who knows how much this item would have cost but the crystal and sequin detail was truly special.

This sparkle top and polka dot skirt really did stick out as something special.

Miss S enjoying the exhibition

Launching masculine fashion with the first female suit illustrations.

This colourful jacket is something I would love to wear today, I can imagine it would be very heavy. LOVE the buttons!

Yves Saint Laurent is known to say 'Fashion fades, style is eternal' which is what the exhibition is named after, and I can understand what he meant. 

Fast fashion seems to have taken over with the likes of Primark and New Look to contribute to this movement, and as much as its great to have more choice in your wardrobe. If you want your clothes to last you have to invest in quality.

Not everyone can afford to buy YSL of course.

I used to work on the high street and I would buy something new every week and rarely would wear something twice in a month.

Now I don't work on the high street anymore and I can see the positive impact on my bank balance by being more selective on my clothing choices and not worry if I have worn items before. 

Now, I would much rather spend £100 on a skirt and wear it to a few events with a different top to get value for money.

Before I buy fast fashion now I like to tell myself... 'buy cheap - buy it twice'.

Lets start making more investments!

This dress was very Carrie Bradshaw!

Look at the back!

Trays of buttons!
Leaving the exhibition, I couldn't resit my pic with the fountain!

Finishing mini adventure with a stop off at Starbucks
SUNDAY ~ Part 2
@Durham Town Hall

To support the exhibition Lauren Laverne and Laura Craik travelled to Durham to talk and be interviewed about 'Style is eternal' statement by YSL.

Tickets for the event had to be booked in advance for the 1 hour slot as part of the Durham Book Festival in October. 

Miss S, Miss A and I took a seat in a beautiful room within the Town Hall ready for Lauren and Laura to arrive.

The event started with a short video of Lauren attending the exhibition and interviewing the Joanna Hashagen, Keeper of Fashion & Textiles at Bowes Museum. 

Joanna advised that she had been working 2 years on getting the collection ready and how the content tied heavily to the french relationship the museum and YSL.

Watch the video shown at the exhibition.

Laura Craik is not a name I had heard of before, but she blew me away with her 17 years of knowledge of the catwalk and even told a story of when she attended YSL's final show where the whole audience ended up in tears.

Lauren and Laura had great rapport and you could tell have a really good working relationship at The Pool website.

They both had alot of stories to tell about fashion and you could tell they were passionate about this topic.

Laura Craik & Lauren Laverne 'style is eternal' discussion

I could probably tell you loads more, but you have probably switched off by now.

If you haven't been and you are local to Barnard Castle, it is worth the day trip. Just remember to book your ticket.

Love Miss K xx
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13 October 2015

Yorkshire | Poppies Tour - Wave at Wakefield YSP

The Yorkshire Sculpture park in Wakefield is full of a life time of family memories for me, I would consider it to be one of my happy places. 

It has changed a lot even over my lifetime but if anything it has just got bigger, but there is a few things missing that I remember seeing as a child, and the reason for this is that installations come and go. 

Giant Rabbit sculpture is a constant feature 

There has been some fabulous visiting sculptures over the last few years and now that YSP is getting awards it seems to be in scope to get more exciting artists and is considered to be an 'Open air gallery'.

Last week I visited the most popular attraction that I think YSP has had in a while, part of the Poppies Tour that were originally shown at The Tower of London earlier in the year called 'Wave'

It is a smaller volume and displayed in a slightly different way but this attracted over 20k visitors in its first weekend in September.

The #PoppiesTour is at YSP until early January so I am sure as the seasons are changing from Autumn to Winter that the park itself will change from my photographs.

I had a rare Friday off from work last week so I decided to jump at the chance of visiting on a 'quieter' day compared to the weekend.

If you haven't been to the sculpture park before, it's a great day out as the majority is outside but it does have some interior galleries too. It was the perfect warm and sunny autumnal day so I decided to ditch my coat and just accessorise up with my tartan scarf... I didn't even need that it was super HOT and no clouds in sight!

There are 2 entrances to the park, we opted for the Lower Car Park and it does cost the same money at both car parks (wasn't like that a few years ago) but they do not charge for entry so paying per vehicle doesn't seem too steep approx £6 for 5 hours. 

The poppies are around 15 minute walk from both car parks so I would say it doesn't necessarily matter where you park but if you are a first time visitor I would suggest the top main car park as you will benefit from the gift shop, cafe and interior galleries first then you can pick up a map to find your way.

Miss K in Mulberry scarf, Ray Ban Erica's and of course my usual denim shirt
It was a lovely walk from the car park to the poppies with lots of sculptures to observe on your way. 

You can see here what looks like bales of hay by Helen Escobedo called 'Summer Fields' made from what I think is 2 cylinders of mesh in red and yellow to give the illusion, you can't see but there was around 20 sheep sitting under the tree on the right, taking some shade as it was such a lovely day. Look at that sky!? (Great YSP review from a few years ago)

Love this bridge!
This tree refuses to acknowledge the change in season yet
My parents joined me on my poppy adventure they are the best

You do get a map, but I liked the touch of adding the poppy signs so you didnt get lost

Surrounded by tree's I never get bored of looking up at the mix of colours
It took just over 15 minutes to get to where the poppies were as I get distracted looking at the animals and sculptures on the way. There was a lot of people there even for a Friday lunchtime who also wanted to get close, take photos and touch them.

The sun was beaming (maybe in the wrong direction) which meant I couldn't get a clear image that really showed how red the poppies really were on the lead up.

I managed to squeeze through in order to take some pics, but I have to be honest if it was any busier, I probably would have been in for a short wait to even get close by. 

Next has to be one of the best photos I took where you can see the old teaching college 'Bretton' in the background, you can now also see how red they were and they felt a bit like leather but they are actually ceramic. 

Favourite pic that I took

Couldn't get close enough to get a photo with the poppies
so this is from the opposite side of the bridge
We stopped around 20 minutes around the poppies which was long enough, there wasn't loads to see but it was interesting to see close up how the installation had been made. 

I bumped into some good friends there too so it was lovely to catch up, its amazing you can go at a random time on a day I would normally be at work and still bump into someone you know... bonus! 

If you read my post about the Angel of the North you will like the next sculpture from Anthony Gormley 'One and Other' standing tall, I really like his style and this was made from the same material as the Angel - rusted iron.

As the park is so large you don't ever need to walk the same way twice, so we walked back through the park so I could stand on some crunchy leaves and pretend I was 5 again.

We loved this galloping horse installation which was viewable on both sides

Inspired by a Taxi Meter in Korea and a currency exchange board this moving LED horse was created by Julian Opie. 

This was my Dad's favourite piece of the day.

Hope you enjoyed this photographic post, I would recommend visiting the #PoppiesTour I believe they are moving to Liverpool next year so if this is a bit out of your way, there maybe another opportunity to visit them. 

Even if you do not get to visit before January, I can highly recommend the YSP for a family day out all year round for lots of walking and plenty of space to picnic, there is always a variety of sculptures.

Yorkshire Sculpture park is approx 3 minutes drive from the M1 near Wakefield.

Love Miss K xx
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