Thursday, 28 January 2016

Hello My Name is Paul Smith

If you're looking for some inspiration you're sure to find it at this 'goose bump exhibition'.

"Hello My Name is Paul Smith" is the latest exhibition to launch at The Lighthouse in Glasgow and I was lucky enough to be invited along to the launch, with the man himself, Paul Smith, giving us a guided tour of the fantastic exhibition.

The exhibition invites you into the world of Paul Smith and you're treated to a unique insight into his life, "a world of fashion, creation, inspiration, collaboration, wit and beauty". The iconic striped mini sits outside the doors, teasing you with what's to come. To me Paul Smith reminds me of my Mums dressing table with a striped bottle always in place, or the scribbled logo on my Dads clothes and I couldn't wait to find out more about the iconic brand.

As you make your way round the exhibition you're surrounded by Paul's Art Wall. An amazing collection of his own photos, prints and imagery that he's collected over time. There's no way you can take it all in in one go, but the jumble of beautiful pictures creates a fascinating impression.

The first stop of the Paul Smith journey is his first shop.

It's built to the exact proportions of the original shop and is truly tiny! Paul started off by opening the shop just two days a week with an Afghan Hound acting as the store manager.

Next up on the trip is his first showcase - a tiny presentation in a Parisian hotel room back in 1976. Paul joked how he opened on the Monday, but no-one came until Thursday! But one customer was all he needed to see his collection of six shirts.

You also get to see a replication of his office from the 80's, complete with a mismatched collection of all the items that have inspired him. You can spy plastic Japanese food, the image of which is then printed on a shirt and a skateboard made into a stool. It's an Aladdin's cave of fascinating bits and bobs.

Paul is all about individuality. Every Paul Smith shop is different and has been modelled on a variety of inspirations, each left with an individual look that makes it wholly unique.

Nothing should be the same and some shops have collections, like dominos, or old buttons here. Minimalist, uniform shops are not on the agenda.

Moving on we also see the working studio being re-created. There's patterns hanging from the ceiling and torn fabric with artwork hangs beside images of the end runway creation. Paul explains that they still create the iconic stripes with yarn, rather than them being digitalised. This is because he doesn't want the to be flat and lifeless, he wants them to be energetic and full of life. And Paul certainly isn't a man who's lifeless.

A really special room is a small one filled with objects suspended from the ceiling. They are all gifts that Paul has received annually from an anonymous gift-giver. He explained that it's been happening for over 30 years and each year an object, no packaging, appears from the postman. There's been everything from a ski, to a mannequin torso and each is covered in stamps which reflect the object itself. Paul said, "it's so brilliant, they're never looking for anything" and we were all left to dream about the origin of the unique gifts.

By the time you reach the clothes you realise how creative Paul Smith really is. He explains that when it comes to fashion it's about learning to look and see - and he then proceeded to design a coat out of a grey pillar and black wall, a genius at work.

"Everyday has a new beginning" 

It was fascinating to hear such a successful man talk about his life and his business. He laughed that he had originally wanted to be a racing cyclist, but when this didn't work out he turned his attentions elsewhere. He described how he built a slow and steady career and really just wanted to make clothes that people liked stating that style should be about you and not what's on trend.

"You can find inspiration in anything, if you can't look again"

This is an exhibition built on inspiration and when you leave I guarantee you'll be filled with the stuff.  Throughout you find out loads about the man himself and you're invited into his life. It's a magical concoction of the history of the label and personal stories from the builder of the brand. You're taken on an inspirational journey from humble beginnings in the tiny shop to the impressive brand, strutting down catwalks all over the world.

Paul was inspiring, humble and simply lovely for the whole time we were there and I could've listened to his stories all day. We all came away with a brand new sense of creative energy, with a 'go-get-em' attitude instilled. He made an hour of my day into something really special and I'm so lucky to have met such a legend in the fashion world and simply a legend of a person.

The exhibition is in The Lighthouse in Glasgow and runs from 21st January - 20th March - and I really would recommend a visit! 

Thanks so much to Aura PR for inviting me along, The Lighthouse for having me and Paul Smith for your fascinating stories! 

Tuesday, 26 January 2016


It was beautiful and snowy and I also wanted to sleep all week!

One Saturday in Glasgow the snow came - yaaa! And it actually lay on the ground in quite a thick powdery blanket - double yaaa! My sister and I popped outside for a day of gallery wandering and shopping. But it was a such a beautiful backdrop that we couldn't resist snapping a few outfit photos. The bobble-hat was more necessary than style....

After a snowy Saturday the best thing to do on Sunday is snuggle into your duvet and flip through a big glossy magazine with a cup of tea. Pyjamas and duvet don't have to match, but what a happy coincidence that they do!

My blog takes me to some amazing places and I recently attended the launch if the 'Hello My Name is Paul Smith' exhibition at The Lighthouse in Glasgow and to make it even better the man himself was there to give us a guided tour. It was a truly amazing hour, with an inspiring, genuine and just lovely man telling us all his stories. I'll be doing a full post all about it so stay tuned! It's a fantastic exhibition and if you get the chance definitely pop along.

And the snowy post in all its glory went up! It features my staple camel coat, a gorgeous burgundy skirt (that's a total bargain) and pretty snowflakes that cause the biggest of smiles. Have a nosey for yourself and let me know your prefect snowy day outfits!

Oh my goodness a 7am train is an awful early one. I was headed up to Inverness with work and caught the first train up North. A big cup of tea and some Silent Witness was needed to set me up.

I can't stop smiling every time I see this post! As I've blathered on about quite a bit, I loved shooting this video with Boya Shen. She also captured some really lovely still shots. The Bridie Library in the GUU was the perfect backdrop and every time I look back at the photos I can't help but smile, remembering how much I enjoyed creating them.

Friday arrived ya!! Time for a train journey back from Inverness and I'd save the latest issue of Stylist especially for the journey. Time to get your bounce on for the weekend!

Although it wasn't the most riotous weekend it was so super exciting in a different way - it was moving weekend! We spent Saturday packing up boxes and emptying wardrobes before going to pick up the keys and then loading and unloading. By the end of the day my bed had never looked so tempting and I was so happy when it was finally time to sleep.

But we had to keep going the next day! By the end of Sunday though everything was coming together and we could get properly excited as we finally relaxed - planning furniture shopping and making the first cup of tea. Our new flat is gorgeous and I can't wait to add in all the finishing touches.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Snow Day

Pretty days in the white stuff call for big smiles and bobble-hats!

The snow was falling in Glasgow one Saturday morning layering the dull January streets in a pretty white layer. My sister was through and we had decided to wander in to town to check out the latest exhibitions at GOMA, before some sale shopping and glasses of wine.

But as the day was just such a wintery wonderland we had to take some outfit photos first...

This jacket has become a firm favourite. I know you've seen it a few times before, but that's simply because it's just perfectly amazing. The dressing-gown, wrap-around style is a big hug of cosiness - ideal for wrapping up against the elements. The camel colour is also a hit as it goes with everything. I think it also makes it look at tad more expensive than it's Primark price-tag really was.

Falling snowflakes could make anyone smile!

I have a huge amount of love for this burgundy skirt. My BF and I decided we'd put a limit on Christmas present spending so that we can put the money towards a ski holiday, but thankfully I'd already spied a bargain that fit right into the budget...

I'd spotted this zip-up skirt in Primark and began to heavily hint and lo and behold it soon appeared wrapped up in Christmas paper - ya! The colour is deep burgundy and gorgeous, a beautiful colour for wintery months. It's also suede and feels so soft and really nice to wear. The zip-up detail is pretty flattering and gives it just a little bit more of an interesting touch. It's also the perfect shape, plus not too short. I can see myself wearing it over and over - plus I also spotted it in other colours this week, so I might just be heading back to bulk up my collection.

This H&M jumper is another staple I've been living in. The over-sized, slouchy fit is perfect for cosy days and really comfy. The light brow knit is also perfectly simple and easy to pair with anything. I also have it in a gorgeously pale pink and find myself alternating between the two every weekend! Just tuck the front into your skirt to add a bit of shape and show-off the zip detail and voila.

All you need to add is some heeled ankle boots and warm bobble-hat and you're all set to hit the snow!

Winter Wonderlands are definitely the best kind of backdrop!

Coat - Primark 
Jumper - H&M
Skirt - Primark 
Boots - H&M
Hat - Barts

Saturday, 16 January 2016


Lots of lovely things I've been up to and an exciting project thrown in!

I was so happy to be asked to take part in a little project called MoveIt, a beautiful video look-book. When Boya emailed me to let me know the video was ready I was at home for Christmas and was so excited to share it with my family! It was amazing to film and I had so much fun!

Before 2016 hit I joined that Instagram craze #2015bestnine. It was so nice (and pretty interesting) to see my top Instagram posts - and so lovely to reminisce. Mine seemed to be filled with selfies, fashion and food - well whatever floats your boat.

Any excuse to put on a sparkly dress! I loved wearing this full-length silver sparkly number that I borrowed from my sister. It glittered all night and looked perfect with long wavy curls. I want to dress up all over again - please?

I skipped a few Insta-Happenings lately and decided that I would do something different, almost like a bumper edition so you could see what I got up to over the Festive period. So, Holiday Catch-Up is filled with all my holiday adventures - lots of skiing, drinking and sparkles! I had a really amazing time seeing family and turning myself into a little cheese, wine and Ferrero Rocher ball.

One of my oldest friends, I met her the first weekend I went to University and then went on to live with her for the next four years, is moving to Australia. As I type this she's sunning herself in Dubai en route (and I'm not jealous at all nope, not even a little....) and I'm going to miss her loads! To say goodbye we all got together for a farewell dinner at Zizzi's in Royal Exchange Square. It's such a lovely building and I was dreaming of a big bowl of pasta on a cold January eve.

Back to my MoveIt look-book! As well as wonderful videos, Boya is also pretty fantastic at photography. This is one of the stills she sent me over and I was so pleased to include a bunch of them in a post all about the experience of shooting the video. I can't say enough how much I enjoyed taking part and how wonderful, creative and inspiring the project is!

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

MoveIt Lookbook #22

Recently I took part in a really fabulous project - MoveIt - and I was so, absolutely delighted with the results!

MoveIt is a youtube Lookbook and fashion channel that aims to capture the individual style of real people. It's "a candid camera, capturing all styles, every style, and a digital platform celebrating personalities and creative expression". Quite simply, it's the loveliest collection of beautiful imagery celebrating all the varieties of style out there, worn everyday by everyone. Boya Shen is the incredible artist behind the stunning little videos and you can tell she's got a pretty impressive talent, showcased in the selection on 40-second videos.

I'm not going to lie I was pretty nervous before we started filming, but over a steaming mug of green tea on the wettest, drizzliest day Boya chatted over her vision with me and I soon relaxed. She was fantastic at putting me at ease and I soon warmed-up and it didn't take me long to convince myself that I'll soon be chasing Kendall J down the runway (in my dreams).

As the afternoon went on it was easy to see why Boya's videos turn out so beautifully, she's got a fantastic eye for details and was brimming with creative ideas. It was so much fun to try new poses, different angles and new ideas as we went from each location.

The videos are all about individual style, so I decided to wear an outfit that you'd find me in almost every weekend. I pulled off the hanger clothes that I wear constantly, over and over, as I felt that this was the best way to represent me and my style.

I'm a lover of the Breton stripe, so my fail-safe stripy top was a must. On top of this a cosy cardigan, always needed in a chilly Glasgow and pretty simple jewellery, with an elegant design, the jewellery I find myself wearing day in and day out. Amongst this though I always add a few little quirks; leather-look trousers instead of plain black jeans, gold buckle boots that jingle when I walk and unique earrings with a new shape. Just don't forget the staple camel coat.

And the finished product.... voila!

I had such an amazing time filming with Boya and I couldn't be happier with the video - hope you lovely lot enjoy it!

*** All of the lovely imagery featured is by the fantastic Boya herself! Twitter: @BoyaShen Instagram: MOVEITLOOKBOOK or BOYAAASHEN 

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Holiday Catch-Up

An extra special edition on Insta-Happenings - with some extras thrown in!

Now that the lovely holidays are over and nothings quite as sparkly and exciting anymore I decided to share what I've been up to! Use it to reminisce about mince pies, presents under the tree an Festive feelings. Grab a leftover mince pie and an unopened bottle of New Year fizz (anyone got one? No?) and celebrate Christmas all over again with me.

At Christmas I jet off to Switzerland to spend some time with my favourite people - my family! After a long delayed flight to Geneva my older sister and I were reunited before jumping on a train to Bern. It was a few hours filled with gossip, Maltesers and the amazing Christmas Coke labels - and yes, I stuck in on my nose and pretended to be Rudolph...

We finally reached Lauterbrunnen, up in the Swiss mountains and quickly got to adding presents under the glittering Christmas tree! We always have a treat hanging in the tree, it's been edible chocolate baubles and even Tiffany bags! But this year we had these gorgeous Ferrero Rocher golden stars filled with the best and tastiest treats.

One of my favourite things to do in Switzerland? Ski of course! We climb up on the cog-railway to Wengen, strap the skis on and hit the slopes. The views are simply stunning with the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau bearing down on you - breathtaking and majestic. The best way to admire the view is on a Bombardino stop! The little yellow drink warms you up from the top to the toe and gets you ready to tackle the next black. A morning must-have.

On Christmas Eve we all went to a perfectly gorgeous place called Interlaken. It's originally where the Victorians would go to 'take the air' and they've left their mark with stunning Victorian Hotels lining the streets. After a wander around the Winter Wonderland we headed to the grand, elegant and simply beautiful Victoria Jungfrau Hotel. We sat out on the Terrace, staying cosy in sheepskin-lined-chairs and gazing up at the amazing view. As it was Christmas Eve you can't not have a little Christmas cocktail! I went for a Victoria's Gin Tea, so delicious and it looked so Christmassy with the little red berries perching on the glass.

And then it's time to get properly ready for the big day! With two sisters this means nail-painting. There was Frozen themed manicures and all different times of glitter, but I'd been saving a special one for the day. After being invited along to a Crabtree and Evelyn event I was delighted to discover that they did nail varnishes. This one is Tomato and has the loveliest gold shimmer to it, perfect for the Festive season, as well as being glossy and gorgeous. Once you're all beautified light up the star and lay the stocking out and get ready for Christmas!

Next up is Boxing Day - the ultimate lazy day! I spent the day discovering a new found love for colouring. I know a lot of people have been hooked for a while, but I totally missed the boat on this one. Until Christmas. On Boxing Day I spent the morning colouring in a Christmas scene and now totally get why everyone loves it - it's so relaxing and calming! I did take a quick break to visit the cutest cafe and sip on some revitalising green tea and the star-shaped biscuit completed the Christmas decorations.

Now that we were completely filled up and chilled out the next day we were back on the slopes! We had the most amazing lunch for our last day. After slipping down an off-piste track we arrived at the most beautiful restaurant.

The sun hadn't quite reached the terrace yet so we wrapped up in blankets and sipped on champagne. But as soon as the sun hit us the scene was transformed into the most glorious slope-side lunch area. We drank delicious wine under the Eiger and dined on a stunning lobster-pasta dish. The perfect end to the most wonderful Christmas break.

What did you lovely lot get up to on your holidays?