An Interview With Sukki Singapora Part 2

September 27th, 2013
In September 2012, I  interviewed on this blog, the little known Singaporean burlesque star… and now a year later, Sukki Singapora is well known as the globe-trotting Burlesque Queen, next in line to Dita Von Teese’s “Burlesque Throne”. With a dedicated fan base (who refer to themselves as #teamsukki) and a World Tour under her belt, it’s been great following her success as a Burlesque star …. as well as an international role model. So, it’s with great pleasure that I welcome once again my gorgeous friend onto the blog to chat about her year… 
Hi Sukki! Your debut Burlesque performance was in 2011, and I was fortunate enough to interview you in September 2012 …. so, what made you want to become a Burlesque performer in the first place?Sukki Singapora Singapore Burlesque by Trixta Photography
I’ve often talked about how I entered into burlesque - from my upbringing in classical ballet to a discovery of vintage fashion, which in turn led to a discovery of burlesque – but perhaps less so the why. I suppose it was because when I was growing up as a child of mixed race, it was hard to fit in to any one culture. In my teens I discovered vintage fashion as an outlet for this and a way of “belonging” – of course then you hear about burlesque as the two tend to go hand in hand. I fell in love with the art and glamour of it all.
Congratulations on being nominated  for London’s Asian Women of Achievement  Awards in 2013!  Being a role model for Asian women & The Arts is such an achievement in itself… and not forgetting your Royal Invite to Buckingham Palace too!  What was your Royal Day like?
Sukki Singapora arriving at Buckingham Palace Burlesque view 1Why, thank you. The day was wonderful, and it was an honour to be greeted to such a reception. I was shown around on a tour by Master of the Royal Household near the Queen’s quarters, and then sat down for tea and cake from the Royal Bakery. It was my first time in Buckingham Palace, and I was enamoured by just how luxurious the it was. I believe I’m the first burlesque performer to be invited for tea, so it was certainly a huge compliment. Aside from the showbiz and glamour side of the day, I just hope that it help promotes the message of my Society and makes a difference to those who struggle to follow their creative dreams.
 
Could you talk us through the outfit you wore on the day?Sukki Singapora arriving at Buckingham Palace Burlesque view 2
I had the great pleasure of wearing a bespoke dress by one of my favourite designers, Kiku Boutique of Manchester. My heels were by a Singaporean company called Charles and Keith, and I accessorised with Clogau diamonds from the Welsh Gold company. I was acutely aware that it was a moment in history, so I wanted to do that moment justice!
After 5 years of being away from your beloved homeland of Singapore, you returned this year to promote Burlesque!  How did you feel and how was your reception?
Sukki Singapora AWA Awards Sponsor BoardI honestly felt overwhelmed and moved by the reception back home. It was hard not to get emotional when I met some of my fans who’ve supported me the whole way, and knew of my political struggle. It’s still not something that is widely accepted, so to receive an applause after greeting some of my Burlesque Society members and students brought me to tears. It was a difficult moment, but one which I’ll never forget. It’s why I’m inspired every day to push myself further, so that one day I can say I was the first Singaporean to perform Burlesque legally in Singapore.
 
You’re known for your elaborate sparkly costumes… and you’re currently working alongside the awesome Will.I.am‘s jewellery & bling team to create some new pieces for your new Sparkle for Singapore Act!  I’m impressed!!! So, how did you get to work with those awesome fellas and have you managed to meet THE man himself?
I was actually contacted by the designer who founded the celebrity brand, a woman called Bella. A lot of her clients are based in Asia, so I was extremely humbled to be approached by her to represent the company. The moment it became real was when one of the pieces was delivered to my house and I’ve never seen anything quite so exquisite. I love Will.i.am‘s work, so it was a pleasure to be able to work with his team. I’ve not yet met him, but I tweeted him a hello the other day. You never know, it could be on the cards for next year…
Apart from your Burlesque shows & Society, you’ve featured in numerous Corporate Burlesque Entertainment Booking Sukki Singaporaphotoshoots and appeared in several high profile ad campaigns. Do you enjoy modelling? 
I adore modelling. It’s great to be able to do both the live shows, but also to take a moment to create an incredible set, get the lighting just right, and then capture that vision like a work of art. It appeals to the side of me which loves to create that look of unobtainable beauty and glamour.
You’ve been doing an awful lot of travelling lately around the world – where have been your global highlights this year? Any place you haven’t visited that you would love to visit for pleasure or business?
Sukki Singapora Asian Burlesque Singapore All Asian ShowReturning to Singapore was most definitely a highlight, however it was also a joy to be able to tour countries such as Japan. I’ve always wanted to visit Japan, and it didn’t disappoint! The fans there are some of the most wild! In terms of where I’ve not visited, I always said at the start of my journey into burlesque that one day I’d be performing in shows in Las Vegas, so next year will be a landmark year for me in that sense.
Looking ahead to 2014 – any plans in the pipeline that you can reveal to us?
I’m trying to keep next year a surprise, however I can reveal that I’ve been secretly filming pilots for several TV appearances… you’ll have to wait and see!
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
I like to mix my style depending on my mood, as well as incorporating talented individuals to design wardrobe pieces for me. At the moment my favourite pieces are from Armani and Kiku Boutique. My favourite shoes have to be heels.. of all shapes and sizes. I love crazy graphic heel shapes, or platforms which look like they defy gravity. Cubism chic!
What’s next on your shoe wish list?
At the moment designs by Charlotte Olympia and Nicholas Kirkwood are catching my eye. I’ve a soft spot for his lace courts. 
Boots or Shoes?
Shoes! Although as winter in the UK approaches I may be converted!
You can follow and keep up to date with Sukki via facebook: www.facebook.com/SukkiSingapora Twitter:www.twitter.com/sukkisingapora or via her website: www.SukkiSingapora.com
If you would like to read Sukki’s September 2012 interview, press here 
I’ve really enjoyed catching up with you Sukki and I think Las Vegas will be mesmerised by you….!! 
Linda x
Photo Credits:  Photos have been published by kind permission of Sukki Singapora

My Favourite Shoe

September 25th, 2013

Running until 29 September, the “My Favourite Shoe” exhibition in The Village at Westfield Shepherds Bush explores how vintage shoes inspire and influence contemporary designers. Designed to mimic the look of a designer’s desk, the exhibition asks how designers work and what inspires them. It illustrates the links between current shoe design and the extraordinary shoe collection at Northampton Museums & Art Gallery.  This exhibition showcases some of the most exciting contemporary shoe designers working in the UK – Atalanta Weller, Camilla Skovgaard, Joanne Stoker, Mr Hare and Sophie Cox.  Northampton Museums & Art Gallery invited them to pick their favourite shoe from the Northampton Museums & Art Gallery and pair it with a shoe from their own collection.  the designers talked to them about their design process and how vintage shoes inspire them, highlighting why the Northampton Museums & Art Gallery collection is important to designers today.  Well worth a visit, and tell Northampton Museums & Art Gallery what is your favourite shoe and why, tweeting them @NorthamptonShoe or pin to their Pininterest board.

So, what is my favourite shoe in my wardrobe?  That is really difficult as I love all my footwear!! But I think the pair I treasure the most are my red zipped ankle boots…photo

When it comes to my favourite vintage style shoes then I have to say any shoe/boot with a kitten heel!  Here are 10 fabulous and flirty kitten heels that I spotted online and hitting the shops this week. Purrr!!

1. Brian Attwood Suede Kitten Heel Pumpsbrian-atwood-red-suede-kitten-heel-pumps-product-1-13577862-796921122_large_flex

2. Delman Laci Slingback Kitten Heel

delman-pink-suede-pumps-laci-slingback-kitten-heel-product-1-13474077-327110235_large_flex

3. Kenneth Cole Pointed Toe Pumpskenneth-cole-gold-pointed-toe-pumps-mirror-kitten-heel-product-1-13468894-201999132_large_flex

4. John Lewis Occasion Goring Kitten Heelsjohn-lewis-silver-occasion-goring-kitten-heel-sandals-product-1-7137005-632441627_large_flex

5. TopShop Apple Bee Kitten Heel Bootstopshop-black-applebee-kitten-heel-boots-product-1-13245004-549360619_large_flex

6. Miu Miu Patent Leather Kitten Heel Pumpsmiu-miu-ciprianero-patent-leather-kittenheel-pumps-product-1-12882778-026228806_large_flex

7.  Kurt Geiger London Cara Slingback Kitten Heelkurt-geiger-cara-slingback-kitten-heel-product-1-11664060-771701832_large_flex

8.Pierre Hardy Two Tone Kitten Heel Shoespierre-hardy-redother-pierre-hardy-twotone-kitten-heel-shoes-product-1-13181970-535543979_large_flex

9. Lanvin Kitten Heel Pumplanvin-nude-kitten-heel-pump-product-1-11025681-192568009_large_flex

10. Dolce & Gabbana Embellished Kitten Heelsdolce-gabbana-nero-embellished-kitten-heel-pumps-product-1-12038891-829305364_large_flex

Have fun finding your favourites!

Linda x

Photo Credits: Linda Hobden; Lyst.com

An Interview With Room 31

September 20th, 2013

A couple of months ago I came across a fashion website via one of my Twitter friends – I was looking to buy a swimsuit and this website was offering deals between 12 & 1pm  - and I nabbed myself a fabulous FatFace swimming costume.  I was not only impressed with my bargain, but their customer service was second to none and my costume arrived the next day as standard delivery !! So it gives me great pleasure to welcome onto the blog Ruth from that website, Room 31.  Hi Ruth, please introduce yourself and Room 31:Ruthprofile

Hi, I’m Ruth!  In 2010 I took the plunge to leave a secure well paid job and become my own boss. With just a few hundred pounds I opened a market stall in Bury selling ladies discounted branded fashion. To supplement market takings I sold excess stock on eBay and quickly realised that selling online was the way forward and that you could literally ‘sell while you sleep’ waking up to orders from all over the world and not having to get cold on a market stall. So I took lease on a 3000 square foot warehouse in Culcheth and employed one member of staff with the intention of selling on eBay and setting up a ladies fashion website. Within 2 years the business has grown at a rapid rate and has gone from a one woman band taking home a few hundred pounds a week to a turnover of nearly 3M in year 2 and a passionate team of 10.

Have you always been interested in the fashion trade?

I have always bought almost every fashion magazine on the shelf and had an unhealthy(!) obsession with shoes & accessories. When I was younger I wanted to own a shoe shop called “Ruth’s Shoes” but my career took a different path as I started my career in a call centre but my passion was always for fashion and working for myself.

Congratulations on winning the WiBA 2012 Start Up Business Of The Year Award … you are now operating online and from a warehouse in Culcheth, Warrington… what are your next goals?

RuthWBAWe can now call ourselves a multi-award winning business which is something to be really proud of. We recently won Warrington Business Awards Digitial Business of The Year and have been short-listed for 2 other awards this year and are excited to be attending the awards evenings in October to see if we’ve won! Our next big step is to integrate the wholesale and retail websites, giving our customers a better selection of discounted fashion and sportswear.

Who, in your opinion, has been the most popular designer or brand that you’ve sold in your store? What are your best selling styles?

Vans & Converse have been very popular throughout the summer.

What’s your most favourite item in your collection,past or present?

I love leopard print! and last year we had some really cute leopard print chelsea boots that I will be bringing back out this Winter. In the summer months I love maxi dresses and have a large selection of them, they can be dressed up or down and are perfect for lazy days in the garden with a glass or bottle of vino!WBA13

I love my FatFace swimsuit that I bought from you recently – apart from the fact the item was extremely cheap – I was more than impressed by your customer service and speedy delivery! It felt as though I was buying off a friendly stall rather than an anonymous website!  What were the pros & cons about life in Bury Market as opposed to the pros & cons in the warehouse/online environment?

This is exactly the kind of service we want to achieve. I really believe in building relationships with our customers and we do this well throughout the various social media platforms. I want our customers to really get to know us and feel that we are their friends. We make a real effort to take on board customers opinions and feedback and react to these. I personally love face to face interaction with our customers and miss the market stall for that reason, however we do take Room31 to pop-up shops and open our warehouse up from time to time for warehouse sales/events so I still do get the face to face interaction but I still miss it. Social media though allows us to talk to our customers and get to know them. Online does mean that you can literally sell while you sleep and can sell worldwide rather than being confined to a local area. Through our wholesale site we have customers from all over the world.

theo-and-ruth-small-slideLooking ahead to Autumn/Winter 2013 – what trends do you think (or hope) will be popular? What, about for Spring/Summer 2014?

I am loving the over-size coats & capes for A/W in particular Victoria Beckham’s collection that a lot of High Street stores have copied allowing us all to be able to afford this cover-up. I’m also loving the feminine and flattering pink tones that we will be seeing a lot of this A/W and lots of texture.

Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

My role within the business is varied and changes from day to day; I can go from a meeting with a potential investor to packing orders in the warehouse within a few hours! So my wardrobe has to be practical and smart at the same time.

Do you have any favourite designers?

I shop a lot on ASOS as you can find everything under one roof so to speak from designers to high street brands to up and coming designers.

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?

It definitely has to be new winter boots & a winter coat. I love leopard print and am pleased to see that leopard print boots & winter shoes are here to stay for another season. I love a good parka too and this is on my wish list for winter. 

Boots or Shoes?

That’s a difficult one – I love both! I would have to say shoes if I had to pick one or the other….I love ballerinas and have just purchased some slipper style flats with tassels on that I am loving right now. 

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can learn more about Room 31.

www.facebook.com/room31bury ;twitter – @room31fashion ;@room31wholesale

website : www.room31wholesale.co.uk - Look out for our new clearance/retail section coming soon.

We have taken the decision to merge our fashion retail site www.room31.co.uk with our wholesale site www.room31wholesale.co.uk giving customers a wider choice of sportswear and fashion and opening it up to men and children rather than just women’s fashion.

Thank you Ruth for chatting with me tonight and I wish you and your company continuing success, you deserve it!

Linda x

Photos published with kind permission from Room 31.

Texture, Texture, Baby!

September 18th, 2013

free-people-plumberry-dress-textured-stripe-knit-city-girl-bodycon-product-1-13470554-701539547_large_flexThis season the word on the street is “TEXTURED” – clothing, footwear, accessories and even beauty products including nails!  This touch of the rugged glam sits well day and night – a bit of sparkle with your office suit, traditional tweed mixed with lace & mesh – and the footwear will blow you away! 

Office wear is looking ever so glam this Autumn.  Invest in a lace blouse, such as the gorgeous white lace blouse from Dolce & Gabbana (see photo)dolce-gabbana-white-blouse-product-1-13523231-844335477_large_flex – this blouse is so versatile and looks equally good with power suits, trousers, pencil skirts, even jeans! I particularly like the new Nina Ricci range of separates – textured boucle trimmed silk trousers (see photo); the boucle trimmed silk jacket; and the boucle stretch silk skirt.nina-ricci-anthracite-bouclatrimmed-texturedsilk-pants-product-1-13525340-772633104_large_flex

For weekends, cosy pub nights, and  dog walking/ rambling through the leafy lanes, nothing is as good as a chunky jumper to wear with your favourite jeans…. again, from Nina Ricci, I adore this great baggy black jumper  (see photo) and if you’re looking for some stylish designer jeans, then take a look at Victoria Beckham’s skinny jeans in dark indigo.nina-ricci-dark-blue-polo-neck-product-1-13533910-163338801_large_flex

Party Season will soon be here (yay!) and I’ve noticed some gorgeous “Little Black Dresses” around already to whet our appetites – the Erdem Livvie Sheer Tweed Dress is a sheer delight but will set you back over £1200; cheaper designer dresses worth considering include the Diane von Furstenberg lace sleeve knit dress and the Nina Ricci (yet again!) Lace Trimmed Radzmir Dress.  TopShop have a great range of affordable party dresses – check out the stunning Ceryn dress (see photo).topshop-gold-ceryn-dress-by-jones-and-jones-product-1-13553431-147880429_large_flex  If you’re looking for party outfits that are more colourful, then I’ve spotted some just for you – French Connection’s Fauna Fantasy Dress; Free People Textured Knit Dress (header photo);  TFNC multi sequin fit & flare dress; and for something for those leggy lovelies, the uber glamourous Isabel Marant lame fabric shorts (see photo) – great teamed with a plain black vest top and chunky gold jewellery.isabel-marant-black-shorts-product-1-13517700-058240166_large_flex

Of course, you’ll need some hosiery for the season…. my vote goes to the pretty Jonathan Aston Starburst Sequinned Tights, sheer black tights with a subtle spray of delicate sequins (see photo).  These are just the ticket to compliment this season’s textured style.JonathanAstonStarburstTightsBlack

Nails next.  I am impressed this week with the Sally Hansen Fuzzy Coat Nail Enamel – the “hundreds & thousands” style strands create a striking 3D feathered effect that’s just right for this season’s texture trend styles.

 

Finally, here’s 10 gobsmackingly divine textured footwear that I’ve spotted this week….I love them all…

 

 

 

1.  Betsey Johnson Blairre Platform Evening Sandalsbetsey-johnson-black-blairre-platform-evening-sandals-product-1-13371872-036188162_large_flex

2.  Camilla Skovgaard Open Toe Textured Leather Ankle Bootscamilla-skovgaard-bronze-open-toe-textured-leather-ankle-boots-product-1-13366395-561651578_large_flex

3.  Guess Elsea Shoesguess-silver-elsea-product-1-13183147-910993899_large_flex

4.   Nicholas Kirkwood Embroidered Ruffled Suede Pumpsnicholas-kirkwood-black-embroidered-ruffled-suede-pumps-product-1-13358916-358965137_large_flex

5.   Christian Louboutin Highness Glitter Platform Pumpschristian-louboutin-taupe-highness-glitter-platform-pumps-product-1-8115868-671390880_large_flex

6.   Alexander Wang Leather and Flannel Sandalsalexander-wang-grey-leather-and-flannel-sandals-product-1-13367093-881143421_large_flex

7.   Steve Madden Marlenee Sandalssteve-madden-rhinestone-marlenee-sandals-product-1-13336228-840163804_large_flex

8.  BCBGMAXAZRIA Whim Studded Lace Ankle Bootsbcbgmaxazria-black-whim-studded-lace-ankle-boots-product-1-13366573-611124721_large_flex

9.   Akira Paulette Platform Sandalakira-black-paulette87-platform-sandal-product-1-12789428-676861543_large_flex

10. Melissa Camapana Flatsmelissa-greyglitter-camapana-papel-iv-flats-product-4-13434052-423568622_large_flex

Enjoy the texture, texture, baby!

Linda x

Photo Credits: Lyst; Essexy Legs

An Interview With Prick Your Finger

September 13th, 2013

Knitting and craft work in general has been making a big comeback over the last year or two and it is great to see a whole new generation picking up those knitting needles – the styles, ideas and enthusiasm just blows me away.  So I’m really excited to welcome onto the blog tonight the uber funky Rachael from wool shop emporium Prick Your Finger…but it’s not just a wool shop…. as Rachael will reveal… prepare to be as awe struck as I was!! Hi, Rachael, welcome…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hi, I am Rachael Matthews and I run an independent yarn shop and textile school in Bethnal Green.  I love fashion and art and making things.   I have made clothes and knitted from a very early age.   Growing up in the Lake District, there were no fashion stores so I created my own looks from my grandmother’s old sheets, curtains etc.  This was my greatest education.  I went to art school in London, did a degree in textiles, and a teacher training course, but it was making stuff in my bedroom which taught me the most.  These days, I run the shop, show works in galleries, and write about textiles.

I adore your idea of a knitting shop with a difference – selling yarns, having artists in residence, teaching knitting techniques and your website & blog are very informative too – where did you get your inspiration from?

The ideas come from my day to day life, the people I meet, the books I read, things that are happening all around me.

IMG_0347 - smaller As a child our knitting shop in the village which was very old fashioned with hilarious window displays under that funny 1950′s orange cellophane, which stopped things fading.  I would dream up designs for jumpers I wanted to knit, based on what I had seen on telly or in magazines, and my mum would take me to the knitting shop.  I would try to explain to the lady what I wanted, but the yarns and patterns were never quite right, and I was scared to ask for help.  Prick Your Finger is my teenage fantasy yarn shop.  A place where you might meet great knitters, and be able to discuss your ideas, ask for help, and find a way to knit the ideas you have in your head, or copy a designer garment you can’t afford or even be invited to a party to meet other knitters.  The shop is a very organic place. The artists help form the character of the place, and the customers bring new energies and ideas. 

I love to teach people to knit, because it is actually quite easy once you understand what is happening, and very good for you.  I have never failed to teach anyone yet!  I have successfully taught men with huge workman’s hands, ladies with long nail extensions, and people who describe themselves as Kak-handed.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What’s the most unusual item you’ve designed or have you had any strange design requests?

In the early days of teaching knitting in pubs, the men I taught would often joke that they were making a willy warmer.  This went on and on, until one day  I thought I would write a pattern for an anatomically correct willy warmer called ‘Penis in Cable’.  I sold it as a kit, and it went down very well with hen nights and groups of older ladies. 

To date, what has been your most popular yarn, type or colour or both?

 

We have a range called Knit by Numbers, which is a Double Knit Merino yarn, in 7 colours, but over 70 shades.  It is great for designing in bold blocks of colour, or you can create subtle shades accross your knitting.  We also sell a chunky hand dyed ‘Slub’ which is a lumpy, felty, soft and mottled yarn, which is great for the beginner knitter scarf, as the lumpy effect hides the mistakes, and looks very chic. IMG_0345 - smaller

What’s your most favourite item that you have ever made?

It’s a difficult question because I have made so many different things.  When I was 16 I made a multi-coloured stripey jumper, and I have just started wearing it again.  It’s special because it was the first piece I made without a pattern, and at the time I was delighted with it. Rainbow is quite in at the moment, so it’s back out of the loft and I am proud to say I made it when I was 16.

Your teaching workshops offer an array of subjects to cover all abilities – from macrame to making socks before Christmas – do you enjoy the buzz of teaching? What came first – the shop or the teaching workshops?

I have been a teacher for much longer than the shop. I started off teaching people with learning difficulties which was a great experience.  Teaching in the shop is easier and more intimate.   I love the buzz of teaching because I love giving people the opportunity to make things.  I keep the classes small so that my students learn deeply and thoroughly.

You have some impressive talented international artists in residence – and your shop, website and workshops offer a chance for everyone to admire their talents – whose work should we not miss an opportunity of seeing?amnestyflyer

Our current show by Lisa Anne Auerbach from California, shows us how we can write or draw anything in our knitting. Lisa’s ‘Sweaters’ are publications with protests and riddles and quirky symbols, knitted into them so you can wear your opinion on your sleeve. 

Our next show will be with East London Textile Art’s work with the Down Syndrome stitchers.  The pieces are beautiful and very abstract, but what is interesting is that what ever kind of person you are, if you spend time putting stitches and colours together repeatedly, in a calm and loving environment,  the soul shines through and out comes beautiful work.
Knitting, and craftwork in general, is becoming popular once again – even in my small village we have 2 craft/knitting groups circulating – what do you think will be the knitting trends for the next season?

Great you have a knitting group in your village!  

This next season is exciting in that you can mix pattern and colour in quite a wild way.  I have seen a trend of people buying an ecclectic selection of yarns, to knit simple garment shapes in a collage effect. We all have a favourite ball of wool in the stash, which is not enough to create a garment, but you can bring it in and choose it a selection of complimentary colours and textures, and then stripe a jumper or knit blocks to stitch together.  The idea is to go wild with the fabric and thrown it on.  In the same way we also have a double denim selection of yarns which a great to mix.

Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

I try to do glamourous workwear.  I am simultaneously serving in the shop and dying yarns out back.  I like to wear something I have made everyday, so usually tights, hotpants and a sweater, topped with Tatty Devine or a bernstock spears hat. OR I wear a plain dress or jumpsuit, with a multicoloured knitted hat. 

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?

Tatty Devine, Bernstock Spiers, Ebay, Style Bubble.

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?

One of my students, Kay Davis, is painting an old pair of shoes for me, so I am excited to see what she does!  They will be quite wild.    I am also waiting for a Navy blue hat from Noel Stewart, which I ordered for after fashion week…it will top the double denim slouchy jumper I am knitting.  Then jeans is a problem – they are at their best when they have totally fallen apart, but not quite fallen apart, and they are all dangerous close to completely falling apart.  This is a big job to find a new old pair!

Boots or Shoes?

Oh and I need a new pair of sandals to wear with knitted socks in winter, which I know is a fashion faux pas, but it’s fun if I can find the right pair…

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more about you and your products.

Twitter: prickyourfinga 

Facebook:Prick Your Finger  

www.prickyourfinger.com

 

Thanks Rachael …. your ideas are fab, I love your shop and I wish you continued success…

Linda x

All photographs are published with kind permission of Rachael Matthews. Photo Credit also to Harriet Vine and Antranig Basman.

Denim Heaven

September 11th, 2013

nasty-gal-blue-outsider-denim-jacket-product-1-11974133-131996601_large_flex-1Whether you live in London, work in London or visiting London …there’s one place I urge you to visit …Selfridges… or more specifically Selfridges New Denim Studio!  For a jeans fanatic like myself  this place is denim heaven, literally! The studio covers an astonishing 26,000 square feet, stocking 60 brands of jeans and staffed by no less than 50 denim experts.  They have jeans for every shape and budget, from £11 to £11,000.  Don’t despair though if you can’t get to London, check out Selfridges awesome website instead – www.selfridges.com

Denim on denim?  What’s your view?  Me? I love wearing my bleached denim shirt with my indigo denim jeggings… I think wearing different shades of denim together can look pretty cool. So does that apply to denim footwear too?  I think so! Here’s some lovely denim footwear that I’ve recently spotted that wouldn’t look naff worn with your jeans or cut off shorts:

Office Aqua Flat Espadrille
office-denim-aqua-flat-espadrille-product-1-11843396-657928810_large_flex

Sergio Rossi Blue Denim & Cork Wedgessergio-rossi-blue-denim-and-cork-wedges-product-1-8679138-278098332_large_flex

Maje Blue Leather & Denim Ankle Bootsmaje-jeans-leather-and-denim-ankle-boots-product-2-9916437-959198030_large_flex

Laurence Dacade Denim Blue Doony Open Toe Sandalslaurence-dacade-denim-denim-blue-doony-open-toe-sandals-product-1-6962815-719514229_large_flex

ASOS Popular Platformsasos-denim-asos-poplar-platforms-product-1-7246710-813779488_large_flex

Dolce & Gabbana Rubber & Denim Bootdolce-gabbana-denim-rubber-and-denim-boot-product-1-10978669-416197550_large_flex

 

Whilst I’m talking denim, check out these two natty denim jackets : the Modcloth Talking In Memphis Jacket (see photo) and the fab alternative to the biker jacket, the Nasty Gal Outsider Denim Jacket (see header Picture).modcloth-blue-talking-in-memphis-jacket-product-1-13089508-544621125_large_flex

I, for one, am going to wear my denim with pride this Autumn… anyone joining me?!!!

Linda x

Photo credits: Lyst.com

 

An Interview With Tiffany Wright

September 6th, 2013

Tonight I’m really pleased to welcome onto the blog, journalist and author Tiffany Wright, who has written for some of the top fashion magazines including Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Company, Elle … and has a novel out called “Somebody Else’s Shoes”… so,without further ado, welcome Tiffany:The Proposers

Hello, I’m Tiffany – journalist, author and Proposal planner (WHAT? I hear you say? Don’t worry- I’ll tell you more about that later!) So, how did I become a writer? Well, I suppose it all started when I was doing work experience for Marie Claire magazine. I was surrounded by clothes, accessories and shoes (ahh, the shoes!)and I felt like I had discovered my spiritual home. I ended up working at Elle for nearly a year, before landing a job at Company magazine where I became their Senior Writer. I  lived out my magazine days writing about relationships, interviewing celebs and spending hours in the fashion cupboard lusting over every pair of shoes that came in. I  eventually left Company and headed ‘down under’ to write for Cosmopolitan magazine in Sydney where I  became their ‘Sex and the Cosmo girl’ columnist. Ooh, that was fun!  Whilst in Sydney, I  decided to write a blog where she wore a different pair of shoes every day for a year. I  did it, and has the blisters to show for it! The blog swiftly turned into an idea for my  first novel “Somebody Else’s Shoes.”

So,spending time in Sydney, writing for Cosmopolitan mag,  and being their “Sex and the Cosmo Girl” columnist  for nearly 2 years, what city would you say is for the single woman, Sydney or London?! 

310406_2465651754962_1062301386_2787766_859163210_nDepends on the sort of men you are after!! If you’re after the sporty surfer types with freckled skin, sandy hair and muscles galore then I’d definitely head for Sydney.  However my husband would kill me if I didn’t say that the best sorts of men are from Ireland (Yup, I bagged myself a handsome irish man – how lucky am I?)

You’ve been a journalist/writer for some of the top women’s magazines in the world – Company, Grazia, Elle, Glamour, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan to name a few…is there any magazine/newspaper you would love to write a feature in that you haven’t already?
I’ve been really fortunate in that I have managed to write for most of the magazines and newspapers I really admire. I think my desire to write for certain magazines changed with age – when I started out I was desperate to work for Company (my fave magazine at the time) and then as I got older I wanted to write for the top glossies like Grazia and Marie Claire. I suppose if I had to pick one magazine that I am yet to write for then it would have to be American Marie Claire –  any excuse to head over to New York and write whilst sitting in Central Park!
Bit of a nasty one but…. which magazine(s) do you read most often?
As part of the job, I have to read every magazine out there! It’s so important as a journalist to know what is going on in the magazine world, so you’ll often find me in newsagents grabbing every possible magazine off the shelf. I am, however, a complete sucker for Celebrity gossip mags – but at the moment I get to call that “research” as my next book is set within the world of celebs and glamour. 
 
What was the inspiration behind the creation of your debut novel “Somebody Else’s Shoes”?Thillnew2
I was writing a blog whilst in Sydney where I was challenged to wear a different pair of shoes every day for a year (it’s a tough life!) Unfortunately I couldn’t afford to buy a new pair of shoes every day so I ended up borrowing friends and families. Suddenly I realised that I was getting to actually experience what it was like to walk in somebody else’s shoes for the day – and that is where the idea was born.
 
What sort of book genre do you like reading? Favourite books or authors? 
I’ve just been blown away by JoJo Moyes “Me Before You.” It really is one of those books that had me laughing out loud and sobbing at the same time.
Are there any new novels planned?  Are you sticking to the same format or going to be trying something different?
The current book I am writing is a real jet setter of a novel – we have characters flying across the globe to LA, Switzerland, Paris, Cannes and Whistler. It oozes glamour, expensive perfume, fur coats, designer sunnies and lots of badly-behaved men.
You are such a busy bee, but your love of writing shines through!  Tell me a bit about your Online Writing Courses…. what was the motivation behind that idea?  
I run an online course for people who would like to write for women’s magazines called “The Stiletto Bootcamp.” I decided to start running a course after receiving at least 5 emails a week from wannabe journalists asking me for tips on how to get into magazines. in the end, I decided what better way to help than share my experience with an online course! So far it has gone really well – all of my students have gone on to be published in top magazines and some have even landed full time jobs. I’m so proud of them! The course runs every month for 6 weeks. As it’s online it can be done from anywhere in the world! You can find out more about it here: http://www.tiffanywright.co.uk/courses.php
Not forgetting your Be In The Media Agency, that focuses on selling real life stories to magazines, newspapers and TV shows… have you had any memorable/unusual stories that have gone via your agency that you can tell us about? 
photo-45
Oh wow…that’s a great question. To be honest, most of the real life stories that have been published are pretty memorable – from the controversial ones (I interviewed a woman who admits she only sleeps with married men) to the heart wrenching ones (a woman whose boyfriend forced her to dig her own grave.)  I think my favourite story of all time has to be a guy who left his wife and married his dog. I kid you not.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
Having worked for fashion mag (Elle) I am afraid I am hopelessly obsessed with shoes. For my wedding present my sister bought me a pair of Louboutins (BEST SISTER EVER). They hurt like hell but I wear them everywhere I go!!
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?
I’m addicted to Net-a-Porter and ASOS.
Boots or Shoes?
Shoes. In fact, scrap that. HEELS. I can’t go anywhere without heels. They instantly make you feel more glamorous and as though you can take on the world.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers of the blog can learn more about you!
p.s. You know I mentioned I’m a  proposal planner too? Intrigued? Check it out: www.theproposers.co.uk

Thanks Tiffany for chatting to me tonight – I look forward to reading your new jet setting novel and I wish all your ventures every success!

Linda x

All photographs published with kind permission from Tiffany Wright.

Get The Point – Shoe Collection

September 4th, 2013

A couple of weeks ago I received an email from one of my blog readers, Angela, asking whether I thought pointy toe boots would come back into fashion this season.  I was so pleased to reply enthusiastically that, this year pointy toed footwear is definitely making a comeback and that I, too, am a big fan of pointy toe ankle boots.  So, for pointy toe fans here is my collection of the best 20 pointy toe footwear to hit the shelves this Autumn…..

1. Borgio Degli Ulivi Brown Caramel Calfskin Leather Pointy Pump Shoesborgo-degli-ulivi-caramel-caramel-calfskin-leather-pointy-pump-shoes-product-1-6625345-923588071_large_flex2. Belle By Sigerson Morrison Calfskin Crust Pointy Low Boots

belle-by-sigerson-morrison-burgundy-40mm-calfskin-crust-pointy-low-boots-product-1-10674449-015635674_large_flex

3. Aquazzura Green Belgravia Lace Up Pointy Pumpsaquazzura-green-belgravia-105-lace-up-pointy-pumps-product-1-13142162-584564013_large_flex4. Kurt Geiger Bond Court Shoeskurt-geiger-black-bond-court-shoes-product-1-12688693-280018677_large_flex5. Jimmy Choo Tia Pointy Toe Jewel Pumpjimmy-choo-blackcrystal-tia-pointytoe-jewel-pump-product-1-12077287-488643650_large_flex6. Marc By Marc Jacobs Beige Tuxedo Logo Plaque Pointy Toe Flat

marc-by-marc-jacobs-nude-black-tuxedo-logo-plaque-pointy-toe-flat-product-1-12081931-037483848_large_flex7.  Diane Von Furstenberg Brett Pointy Toe Stretch Bootiediane-von-furstenberg-black-lizard-print-black-elas-brett-pointy-toe-stretch-bootie-product-1-12183506-291936674_large_flex8.  Dolce & Gabbana Red Lace Pointy Toe Pumpdolce-gabbana-red-black-lace-pointy-toe-pump-product-1-11672204-279083731_large_flex9. Alice & Olivia Pointy Toe Wedge Bootiealice-olivia-black-alice-olivia-owen-pointytoe-wedge-bootie-black-product-1-12472017-315046475_large_flex10. Cole Haan Chelsea Matte Patent Pointy Toe Wedgecole-haan-sandstone-chelsea-mattepatent-pointy-toe-wedge-product-1-10413989-914708758_large_flex11. Alexander McQueen Toe-Cap Pointy Stilettoalexander-mcqueen-royal-blue-toecap-pointy-stiletto-pump-product-1-12921951-946311160_large_flex12.  Manolo Blahnik Grey Campari Mary Jane Pointy Toe Pumpmanolo-blahnik-black-white-campari-mary-jane-pointy-toe-pump-product-1-12965555-053718087_large_flex13.  Versace Ankle Strap Pointy Toe Pumpsversace-black-ankle-strap-pointy-toe-pumps-product-1-12281342-230627141_large_flex14. Alejandro Ingelmo Pointy Toe Pumpalejandro-ingelmo-taupe-pointy-toe-pump-product-1-9858254-585173783_large_flex15. Le Silla Suede Pointy Toe High Heel Bootsle-silla-black-suede-pointy-toe-highheel-boots-product-1-12494921-414042167_large_flex 16.  Giuseppe Zanotti Ester Crystallized Pointy Toe Pumpgiuseppe-zanotti-black-ester-crystallized-pointytoe-pump-black-product-1-12074878-131346435_large_flex17. Casadei Suede Pointy Toe Cut Out Shoe Bootcasadei-purple-suede-pointy-toe-cutout-shoe-boots-in-gunmetal-product-1-11207809-584050718_large_flex18. Zara Shiny Pointy Ballerinazara-nude-shiny-pointy-ballerina-product-1-12295427-696204004_large_flex19. See By Chloe Studded Point Toe Bootiessee-by-chloe-black-studded-point-toe-booties-product-1-13205174-338992562_large_flex20. Delman Belle Pointed Toe Pump
delman-deep-red-crocodile-print-belle-pointed-toe-pump-product-1-13123840-842768849_large_flexLinda x

 

An Interview With The Essex Beauty Group

August 30th, 2013

Tonight we are talking beauty services with my blog guest, the delightful Gemma of the Essex Beauty Group, a website that covers beauty services across Essex so whether you are a resident or a visitor, if you want your nails done, your teeth whitened, a spray tan, hair styling, etc, the Essex Beauty Group can help you to locate the services in the area of Essex you’re in.  Not only that, the website has plenty of exclusive offers and discounts from the participating salons, there’s a job board and a Mystery Shopper service…. so without further ado, I’ll let Gemma reveal all…welcome Gemma! me

Hi! My name is Gemma Norcross and I am the owner of Essex Beauty Group.  The Essex Beauty Group is a brand new online directory offering a one-stop hair and beauty haven for customers looking for that special place to be pampered, with beauty salons, hair salons,mobile therapists, clinics, retreats and suppliers – you are really spoilt for choice. Our vision is for the consumer to only have to look in that one place to find everything they need.
What was the inspiration behind The Essex Beauty Group?
Being in the industry for over 10 years, then having a baby and not being able to work as much I was wanting to, I wanted to support and help the local industry as much as I could.  I worked many years as a mobile nail technician and I know that it can be lonely and hard to think of ideas of how to get new clients and promote yourself, so I tried to think of what would of helped me! And so Essex Beauty Group was born.

Your website has amongst its features a job board, business directory, gift voucher scheme, mystery shopping service and lots of group promotions, so what feature on your website has been the most popular?

Our Directory is the core of the business, followed by our jobs board

image14-150x150What type of treatments seem to be most popular currently in Essex?
That’s a good question there are so many but I would say the most searched for on our site is nails, shellac, hair extensions,  brows, make up and semi permanent make up.
I love the Mystery Shopper Service – what a brilliant way for salon owners to check not only the customer service their employees provide but the overall cleanliness and standards of treatment.  Do you award salons a grade like the hotel star system? 
No. We put this in place so the salon owner gets a better insight of what happens in the treatement rooms and when they are not actively around, coming from a Steiner background has made us aware of very high standards.The-Smile-Boutique-Image8-200x103
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
Nowadays, since having my baby you will find me in flat pumps, converse and flip flops/sandals, skinny jeans, shirts and lots of dresses.
When you get a chance to be pampered, what treatments do you like to indulge in?  Any new treatments you haven’t experienced yet but would like to try?
The chance for me to be pampered is far and few between but when I do get the chance I love deep tissue massages, pedicures and facials. I haven’t tried many of the new laser/light therapy body treatments out but aim to try them all!  
Logo-With-BackgroundDo you have any favourite shops or online sites?
My ultimate favourite shop is Victoria’s Secret. I like boutique shops so you can find unique pieces and get more of a personal experience. I am twitter mad and love salongeek to keep up with things and tips in the beauty world.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe/ bag wish list?
I am a big bag fan and my favourite is Mulberry or Hermes. Hermes, I think, will only ever be a wish, but a girl can dream!!! And I’ll be holiday shopping in a few weeks.
Boots or Shoes? 
Shoes, more elegant and easier to slip on and off.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more about The Essex Beauty Group
Thank you very much for chatting with us today Gemma!  I love your idea and I wish you every success as the directory grows … and, readers, if you are based in Essex and provide a beauty service but are not yet in the group, why not give Gemma a call and add yourself to the already popular directory … as for the rest of us residing in Essex and looking to be pampered, or perhaps just visiting… give the Essex Beauty Group a try!
Linda x
All photographs and artwork have been published with kind permission of the Essex Beauty Group

An Interview With Kellie K Apparel

August 28th, 2013
Image 3Strapless bras!!! Love them or hate them, there comes a time in a woman’s life when you definitely need them!  Finding the right sort of strapless bra is the key – some flatten your boobs, some are bulky that they become uncomfortable, some ride up as the night goes on (that has happened to a friend that wishes to remain anonymous!) and some fall down!  In a few months the party season will be upon us… those little black dresses and glitzy bandeau tops beckon …. and, yes, we need help ladies in finding that perfect strapless bra!  Kellie experienced the same problems, and as she stood in front of her wardrobe having a moan that her strapless bra didn’t look right in the drop dead gorgeous dress she hoped to wear …her husband took note …and the rest is history …so I’m really thrilled to welcome onto the blog tonight the Founder and President of Kellie K Apparel (and Kellie’s husband)… Dr Anthony Roy  and Kellie K Apparel’s VP of Marketing, Tara Clark…
Hi, please introduce  yourselves and Kellie K Apparel :Tony_Roy_Headshot_Square_compact
Dr. Anthony Roy, Founder and President: I founded Kellie K Apparel with the goal to provide all women with a superior strapless bra.  I’ve had prior experience in designing prototypes in the support of various multi-million dollar start-ups as a research engineer at Idealab.  I received my B.S. and M.S. from The Ohio State University, and my Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology, all in mechanical engineering.
Tara_Headshot_compactTara Clark, VP of Marketing.  I have over 10 years of experience in customer care and developing small businesses. Prior to Kellie K Apparel, I was the Senior Manager of Customer Care at SlideRocket, where I expanded to product scope from a small private beta to a large-scale operation with over 1.5 million users and acquisition by VMware.  I attended the University of Oregon, where I double majored to get bachelor degrees in both psychology and philosophy.
Kellie K Apparel launches our revolutionary strapless bras through our Kickstarter campaign on August 26th. Our American-made strapless bras are engineered to provide the necessary support and refined to deliver the utmost comfort. The patent-pending lining that keeps the bra in place without irritating the skin! Finally a strapless bra that women will want to wear.

What was the inspiration behind making your strapless bras in the first place? 

Kellie K Apparel started one evening when my wife was lamenting her lack of clothing options.  She wanted to wear a particular top that bared her shoulders, but didn’t want to wear the strapless bra that went under it.  When I asked her what was wrong with her current bra, she said she didn’t feel like having to deal with pulling up the bra all night.  When I said she should get a new one, she said it wouldn’t matter because she can never find a bra that is both supportive and stays up.
I set about making a crude prototype that consisted of me super-gluing the very first iteration of GeckTeck to one of the strapless bras my wife said wouldn’t stay put.  She tried it on and said it fixed the problem.  However, I knew I had truly struck gold when one night we were going out, and she once again wanted to wear that top which required her to wear a strapless bra.  Instead of using one of her store-bought bras, she grabbed the prototype I built and enjoyed a night of not having to worry about her bra once.  At that moment I realized I truly had a great idea for a business.”

Image 1The unique patent pending lining uses the same principles as geckos use to cling to virtually any surface – it must have been quite an “eureka” moment when you discovered that this gecko idea will help solve a nightmare when it comes to the world of strapless bras!  What made you turn to the gecko for ideas?

It was actually, it was the other way around. I had been aware of the gecko-inspired, wall climbing robots for years. The eureka moment came when I realized my wife had a problem of never being able to find a bra that stayed in place. Once I realized my wife preferred my crude first prototype over her store bought strapless bras, I knew this idea was a winner.

I wear quite a few tops and dresses that require the services of a strapless bra, especially as I’m a lot older and bigger busted than I was as a teenager when going braless under a camisole/ bandeau dress was not an issue. The bras look very pretty and not at all bulky – so who picked the material, look and choice of colours?  Did you have an opinion poll, or did Kellie state her preferences or a bit of both?  

Image 2Thanks! A bit of both. Our team at Kellie K is made up of highly trained individuals who have come together to create a cooperative bra that feels good and is functional with a variety of clothes.  We’ve explored LA’s fashion district to the get the right fabrics. We’ve worked pattern makers with decades of experience, and gone through tons of trial-and-error to make sure the fit was perfect. For the colors Kellie and Tara separately stated their preferences, then several potential customers were polled.

Apart from your strapless bras,have you any plans to introduce other items too?

Currently, we’re focused on creating the best strapless bra on the market. Of course, we’re always bouncing around other ideas.

Dr Roy, what other items have you created or have helped create a prototype, not necessarily in the fashion field?
One of the first pieces of complicated hardware I ever helped create was on a team that made an autonomous robot that could navigate an obstacle course. For my master thesis project, I created a two degree of freedom probe and haptic controller where a magnetorheological fluid would provide force feed back to the user when the probe collided with an object. For my doctorate, I used simulated evolution to generate robotic controllers based on neural networks. After school, made several heliostat prototypes, which are mirrors that track the sun to collect solar energy. I also made a refrigerator shelf that could tell when an item was almost empty and order more of that item, a case for an iPhone that could be plugged directly into a wall for charging, helped in the design of a giant ski-lift for electrical smart-grid technology, and this weekend I’m using a program I wrote to determine my draft picks for fantasy football! Some worked well. Many didn’t. But, we always knew very quickly when we had a winner!
These beautiful bras are American- made … so apart from the USA, will they be available to purchase in the UK, Europe and Australia too? Image 4

Yes, during the Kickstarter the bras will be available for purchase and shipped globally.

Dr Roy, what would you like to try to make that you haven’t tried as yet?

I had planned on making a program that could properly size a woman’s bust from iPhone pictures, but a group in the Bay area may have beat me to it! Continuing my doctorate work and making systems that could learn would be nice too. And I’m sure in a few months I’m going to be cursing that fantasy football program and wanting to make it better!
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?

Dr. Roy- Shorts or blue jeans, and a t-shirt or casual button. However, my favorite shirt is one made for my former softball team, Base Invaders. It’s a great shirt!
Tara- Most of the time I’m in NY and Company Jeans, Banana Republic shirts and Naturalizers shoes. Since I have a toddler, if it’s not machine washable it’s not in my wardrobe.

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?

Tara- I buy almost everything online. The delivery guy and I are on a first name basis.
Dr. Roy- I honestly don’t buy many clothes online! In fact, I haven’t bought clothes myself in a long time. Somehow, my wife took control of my wardrobe!
Tara- And she does a great job with it!

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?

Tara- Either An incredible pair of shoes to wear to my friend’s outdoor wedding this fall. Or a pair of gray ankle boots.
Dr. Roy- Ask Kellie K!

Boots or Shoes?

Dr. Roy- Shoes. I live in LA and it never snows or hardly rains here, so there no reason for me to wear boots.
Tara- Can I pick both? All boots are shoes, but not all shoes are boots, so shoes I guess.
Fun Fact- The cowboy boots our actress Kamala wears in the Kicstarter video are her own. She wore them to the shoot and we loved them so much we included them in the video.

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that my readers can follow the progress of Kellie K Apparel and start wearing comfortable strapless bras!

www.kelliekapparel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/KellieKApparel
https://twitter.com/KellieKApparel

Thank you very much for chatting to me at the start of what could be an exciting era in bra history … I wish Kellie K Apparel a lot of success and I’m sure you’ve not only solved your wife’s dilemma, Dr Roy, but solved the dilemma for women globally.
Linda x
Photo credits: The photographs above have been published with kind permission from Kellie K Apparel
PS  Whilst we are Stateside this week, Californian company Access Tattoo are offering readers of this blog a brilliant 10% off their tattooing products…just quote the coupon code!

 

Get 10% sitewide when you shop at Access Tattoo. Valid until October 2013!

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