Thursday, 31 January 2013

The Art of Vintage

The term vintage was borrowed from wine making and evokes the art of fine living. Vintage fashion, introduced to the Oscars’ red carpet by Julia Roberts in 2001, has grown into a full-fledged, multi-generational trend. But what do the teenager on the look out for a worn leather jacket to match her jeans, the elegant beauty who adorns her curves with a suit from 1900, and the chic matron, proud of her 1957 Kelly bag have in common? The art of fine living. Vintage has become something of a statement for the (many) women and (fewer) men who want to set themselves apart from mass consumption and to revisit the history of elegance.

On Sunday 10th Feb (a week this Sunday) The Vintage Fair is coming to the Brighton Corn Exchange and its a great event for anyone in the local area. The vintage fair showcases the UK's finest collectors and traders spanning six decades, covering vintage clothes, homewares, collectible s, jewellery and accessories. There's also a vintage tea party to top up on tea and cake from fine china teacups and a salon for vintage hair do's. You can find out more on Twitter, @Brightonvintage, or on Facebook, The blog is also worth checking out, 

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Film thoughts: Into the wild

My life over the last couple of weeks has been somewhat taken over by exams and deadlines and I haven't had a second to even think about blogging. It's all over now thank goodness and all that's left is to await the results! One thing I did do, however, was re-watch Into the Wild. There isn't much to be said apart from if you haven't seen it already watch it, and if you have, then take this as a reminder to re-watch it! It really is that good. 2 hours of beautiful imagery, a great storyline, interesting character development and poignancy.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Interview: Malakh & Sco

Malakh and Sco is a new online fashion retailer focusing on providing a platform for African designers in a British market. As fashion diversifies and expands as rapidly as it does each season, it's always interesting to see the companies that develop. Malakh and Sco aims to be an extension of independent designers, providing a retail and social media service that larger fashion brands are able to incorporate in house. 

For me, the beauty of the brand is that the pieces aren't limiting. While they stand alone as designs with gorgeous, unusual fabrics and cuts they are not outside of a typically European style and could easily have been bought from a British house. What is being showcased is new talent that may not otherwise have been accessible but it is none the less perfect classic, and most importantly different.

Pieces that stand out for me include Berba Blouse, Lions Mane Shorts (below) and Sparkly Dust dress. The prices are also amazing and often come in under that of the higher end British market, making the designs accessible.

I had the opportunity to put some questions to Demilade Adenuson, co founder of the brand, about the founding of the company, inspirations and goals. 

Can you describe Malakh and Sco for those that aren't familiar with the company?

Malakh & Sco is an online retailer for African fashion designers; we work with African fashion designers from all across the globe with the goal of showcasing and retailing their work to the world. Our mission is to get African fashion lovers and African fashion designers on the same page, well webpage.

What was the inspiration behind the company? How did you start?

The whole team is very passionate about fashion; we are equally passionate about African culture. We believe that African fashion is almost at a stage of maturity. The industry in itself (the designers and their creations, not just the African fabric ) is being accepted in by a world wide audience. There is an opportunity for the designers from the continent to compete on a world stage and we are excited by the prospect of facilitating this.

It started off as a service we were going to offer to an existing online retailer but after we thought about it and did our research, we realised that the industry needs a company that is willing to listen to the designers and help promote them and their brand, which we didn’t feel we would get from this company. We also wanted to have creative control over the website and how to run our business in the most ethical way and this led us to start our own company.

You're both still at Uni aren't you? How do you juggle your studies with developing the brand? It must get chaotic sometimes!

It’s exciting more than anythingIt helps a tonne when you are passionate about what you are doing, it makes the work more fun. Having a very competent and supportive team is awesome in terms of finding balance and shifting the weight from one member to others.

What can we expect from the new season? Will there be any new designers coming on board?

We are working hard to update the website with new features that will bring our users into a deeper knowledge of the brands we work with and the apparel on the website.
With regards to new designers, there are a number of very exciting designers that we are currently seriously with we should be introducing to our website them very soon. Like our facebook page and follow our twitter @malakhandsco for updates!!

And what's your favourite piece from the collection?

Hmm, that’s a tricky one. We are really careful with the pieces we select and we make sure we are in love with every piece that goes up on the website. That being said, we feel the more important question would be asking you the consumer what your favourite piece is or what your favourite African designer is (regardless of if they are on our website or not) because we live for your feedback and suggestions. So contact us through our website or on facebook and twitter with ideas, suggestions and the like.

Have you got any upcoming showcases?

Currently, we do not have any on the cards, but we are working on photo shoots and videos for the new collections of our designers coming to a social media site near you.

Any tips for readers looking to get into fashion buying or styling from your experiences?

What I have had to learn is culture; each look, each piece, each outfit is an extension of a certain culture. So with regards to buying and/or you have to think of what culture does the brand or company you are buying for represents and what items best exude or celebrate that culture. Once you truly understand that, the rest is up to your creativity.

And finally, what are your plans for the future?
As a company we are really interested in showcasing the whole creative class of the continent on a world stage and we are in the conception stage of diversifying into another industry. So expect to see something else asides fashion from us in the near future.

For more information on the brand and to explore the collection visit

Monday, 7 January 2013

Mr Selfridge

Fashion and heritage are two of my favourite things so it comes as no surprise that I was really looking forward to the start of Mr Selfridge on ITV last night. Selfridges today remains one of the most beautiful and iconic department stores in London but it is the legacy that the American entrepreneur left behind, his revolutionary understanding of retail, along with his ability to bring sex appeal to shopping that must really be praised, despite his well documented womanising ways!

The drama centers on the real-life story of the flamboyant and visionary founder of London's legendary department store. The theater of retail that was created by Harry Selfridge was pioneering and aimed to embrace the new found freedom and modernity of women in 1909. The focus of the drama is very much on the women; the fashion, cosmetics, technology and domestic affairs, all showcased through beautiful outfits and eccentric moments.

I spent the whole hour and a half of the debut episode completely engrossed and am looking forward to seeing the story unravel over the next 9 weeks. Having seen the amount of tweets and posts about the programme after it was aired last night I think that most of you probably feel the same way!

Mr Selfridge is broadcast on ITV at 9pm on Sunday evenings.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Wagamama inspired yumminess

Wagamama has to be one of my favourite restaurants, for its bold Asian flavours and fresh ingredients. I'm always a little perplexed, however, by their 'fast food' approach to serving a table - with each person receiving their dish separately and waiting for up to 10 or 15 minutes before the whole table has been served. I'm of the old fashioned nature (or is it simply polite/British!?) that you shouldn't start eating until everyone has a plate in front of them so this approach to service can be a little challenging!!

My favourite dish on the menu has to be the Prawn Raisukaree; stir fried prawns and veggies in a coconut and lime curry sauce. Its heavenly, and unfortunately for my bank account has become one of my go to meals when I'm in need of something yummy at Uni.

Last night I decided to do a bit of recreating and make my own version of the Wagamama inspired yumminess for summer for mummy and I. It was delicious so I thought it was only fair to share the recipe!

Ingredients (for 2/3 people):

* White basmati rice
* Olive oil - 2/3 tbs
* Thai green curry paste (I used 'Thai Taste') x 2 tbs
* 1 tin of coconut milk
* 1 red onion
* 2 spring onions
* Thumb sized piece of ginger
* 1 x red chilli
* 3 cloves of garlic
* 1 red pepper
* 2/3 of a pack of sugar snap peas/mangetout (depending on the season)
* 1 pack of prawns - approx. 200/250 grams 
* Coriander to serve

Cooking time - approx. 20 minutes

Begin by washing your rice (follow the instructions on the pack for servings per person - I have no idea as approximate the majority of my recipes  in cold water to remove excess starch and then pop the rice in a pan to cook with a pinch of salt. Once cooked, drain off any excess water.

Next, heat 2/3 tbs of olive oil in a saucepan or wok on a low heat until and heat for a moment or two. To this, add a spoonful of coconut milk and the curry paste and stir together gently. Allow to simmer for a couple of minutes until the spices are cooked but don't allow the mix to burn.

Meanwhile, chop the red onion, spring onion, garlic and ginger into small pieces. Slice both ends of the chilli and discard. Slice 5 or 6 'rings' from the chilli, including seeds for serving, and then finely chop the remaining half.

Once the curry paste has been simmering for a couple of minutes add the onion, spring onion, ginger and chilli to the pan and mix well. Don't add the garlic at this stage or else it may burn. Allow to cook until the onion is soft.

Next, chop the pepper and about half of the sugar snap pieces into large chunks and add these and the garlic to the mix. Allow to cook for a couple of minutes and then add the remainder of the coconut milk. Bring the mixture to the boil and then allow it to reduce for a couple more minutes.

Finally, add the sugar snap peas that were left whole, the prawns and some chopped coriander to the mix. A good way to serve this is by popping your rice into bowls and then turning out onto plates to give a dome like shape. The curry can then be placed on and around the rice. This recipe really is delicious, quick and healthy - and most likely one that I will return to again and again now I know how easy it is to make; and perhaps not just at Wagamama! 

Saturday, 5 January 2013

I lost my heart to Union

While my wrists are normally adorned with festival bands, bracelets and ribbons, I'm not a big jewellery wearer. I struggle to find classic, statement pieces that are timeless yet wearable. Both my 18th and 21st birthdays were spent wandering from Harrods to Harvey Nics to Selfridges trying to find something that jumped out and was special; and that moreover, wasn't Links.
These days it is just as much about statement accessories as it is about a killer dress or suit. With seasonal changing trends a piece of jewellery or a statement accessory, that is timeless enough to work across seasons and be simultaneously wearable is a rare find. A few weeks ago, I came across Union. Situated in the Brighton South Lanes, the store is not only filled with incredible pieces, gorgeous accessories and lovely staff but the collection is indeed wearable. And most certainly statement. These are the kind of pieces that would make a Little Black Dress.
The shop has been renovated with vintage display cabinets and props and product images are dotted about on the walls. Minimalistic and yet inviting its difficult to know where to look first!

Kansas Short necklace
Kansas Short Necklace
Union says: A real statement piece, it combines Miquella's signature silk-wrapped crystal chain and chunky knot design. We love this necklace worn with a T-shirt, skinny jeans and your best leather jacket.

Navajo Violet and Emerald choker
Union says: Hand woven violet, emerald and gold plated galvanised glass bead choker. This colour-popping creation is guaranteed to add glamour to any autumn/winter outfit.

Gina Twist Blue Bracelet
Union says: The Gina Twist Blue cuff screams extravagance and style whether worn on it's own or stacked up with other cuffs. Featuring blue satin cord, 24 carat rose gold plated chain and Bex Rox engraved magnetic clasp.

Pretty Tough Tose Gold Honeycomb cuff
Union says: Pretty Tough honeycomb brass and gold plated cuff. This stunning rose gold plated bracelet is wearable, and effortlessly chic. Whether you are wearing this for a night out, a special occasion or with daywear, you won't need any other accessories! Cuff width is 4 cm and length is 19cm when laid out flat.

Union and their incredible pieces - I really do want them all - were one of the designers  at the Sussex Fashion Soc Charity Fashion Show in November of last year and I could't resist sharing these gorgeous shots with you.

The brand was only established in 2011 and I think it's definitely one to watch! Especially when I finally manage to get away from student budgets and into the 'real' world...

You can see more of the pieces on the Union website - - or alternatively visit the store on Union Street in the South Lanes, Brighton. 

Thursday, 3 January 2013


-thinking of the perfect retort just a moment too late.

A few gorgeous pictures, that make me more excited about 2013; spring, summer, stories, fashion, memories. All pictures are courtesy of Tumblr and Pinterest, apart from a couple which I took over the last few months here and there.