Sunday, 30 September 2012

Crass Stitch Christmas

Whoop whoop! It's the first instalment of my alternative Christmas Gift Guide! Up first we have the lovely Crass Stitch! If you are are easily offended look away now - she is exactly as she sounds....

A couple of months ago I met Kat Nower of Crass Stitch who has taken a lovely, homely hobby of cross stitching and subverted it into a hilariously sullied business. Not only does she produce a prolific amount of beautifully crafted cards she also creates commissions for people wanting their own specific brand of filth mounted on their wall. Businesses have hopped on her naughty worded band waggon and her work is proudly displayed in Home Sweet Home and Almost Famous Burgers both located in Manchester’s Northern Quarter.

Forget bunches of flowers and teddy bears, Crass Stitch is the physical embodiment of Kirsty Allsop gone bad. Miss Nower’s own brand of swearware blatantly sticks two very prominent fingers up at polite social methods of recognising “life events”. With cards starting from just £3.50 (and look great mounted in a frame) and individual commissions from £40, what better way of brightening up your Christmas and those closest to you by adding some saucy language to the traditional gift giving ceremony?  

There are all sorts of offerings in her Folksy shop. Take a look and order now so she can get them stitched in time for the festive season. 

I’m off to wash my mouth out…

Saturday, 22 September 2012

My Alternative Christmas Gift Guide!

Christmas decorations and cards are already in the shops, my dad inadvertently bought a Christmas cake thinking it was just a normal fruit cake and I have put the heating on. Ah yes, tis the season! Christmas will be snipping at your heels before you know it! So here on my blog I am shining a blogger light on a few brands I extra specially love this time of year! They are cool, quirky, fun and couldn't be farther from the gifts which inhabit the Gift Guides landing on a door mat near you soon. Kicking off 1st of October....

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Hire Expectations

The number of times I have pulled a questionable dress out of a stuffed wardrobe and turned to find my client sat on the end of her bed, head in hands confessing “I needed a dress for a wedding and I had left it really late and it was the only one I could find which fitted.”  Said dress is swiftly put on eBay and sold. Buying a dress for a specific event can throw up a whole host of nightmares:  firstly, you can never find one when you need one. Secondly, if you are lucky enough to find a dress, they never have the one you want in your size. Now add into this heady mix a body changing daily with pregnancy or a body feeling the after effects of pregnancy and a new born baby. Then let’s move onto nightmare number three: the cost. No woman who is pregnant or has just given birth wants to spend (read ‘waste’) over £150 on a dress which, realistically she is only going to wear once.

Enter Hire Expectations. The brain child of two sisters, Hire Expectations is a rental company dealing in sumptuous event gowns for pregnant and breastfeeding ladies in sizes 6 – 18. When I chatted to Robyn she animatedly described how many pregnant friends she had seen at events wearing dresses that were not ‘them’ or that they were blatantly uncomfortable in, and how many times she had heard the phrase ‘I’ll wear it if I have to.’

“We just felt that women shouldn’t have to make that compromise or feel that way at an event so we thought it made sense to offer an alternative.”

A very astute man once proclaimed “Fashion Fades, Style is Eternal.” That well-known man was Yves St Laurent and didn’t he hit that fashion nail on the head? Wisely, the clever ladies at Hire Expectations have taken this fashion moniker to heart and worked their whole business plan around it. Simple to use (they even send you a back-up dress if you are unsure what size you are) and with stunning photography to inspire, this gap in the dress market has well and truly been filled in amazing style with brands such as Peaks and Butter by Nadia

With trans-seasonal garments, there is not a whiff of fast fashion about the site but just pure, unadulterated glamour. You can read more about them in this month’s Pregnancy and Birth magazine and be sure to head by their Facebook page and point your thumbs skyward!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

It’s all in the name: The Editeur

I did an English (and American Studies) degree so I know my italicised words from my non-italicised words. When I received an email from Fashion Dotty about a blogger event at The Editeur in Chester I was confused:  Chester isn’t known as a hot bed of fashion and for all intents and purposes, this boutique was saying they were the hot bed of Chester fashion. Intrigued, I fired up the wardrobe mobile and made my way down the M56, through Chester’s town centre and spied The Editeur nestled on the top of one of Chester’s quaint two-storey streets. 

Reminiscent of Diana Vreeland’s sumptuously decorated Manhattan salon, this hotly tipped fashion emporium is also is super conducive to successful shopping. Accessories from the likes of Sam Edelman and Michael Kors are all within a hands grasp and there are plenty of thoughtfully styled mannequins should you need inspiration. With a well edited collection ranging from Red Valentino to MW Matthew Williamson via Acne and Equipment, the rails are dripping with taste which makes shopping between the brands delightfully effortless. And the delights continue.  At the rear of the shop lays the scaffolding behind (or should I say underneath) each successful outfit: lingerie. They have Stella, Elle and Spanks all lining up to smooth, mould and shape your birthday suit beneath the designer treats you have selected.

If you can’t make it to Chester, their online shop is a treasure trove: swimwear and sale saddle up alongside carefully crafted trends and a monthly New In section which reads like a “Who’s Who” of fashion must haves and seasonal essentials. And if you really can’t make it to Chester (i.e. you are abroad) not only am I insanely jealous but The Editeur can send you your goodies VAT free for countries outside the EU.

The blogger event was a screaming success:  the atmosphere, a heady mix of fashion lust fuelled by champagne and cupcakes, had some bloggers seriously thinking of selling an organ or two to fund their wish-list purchases.

Thanks to Sarah of Fashion Dotty Fame (who should consider DJ-ing as a second career FYI) and Clare of I Like Tweet and the wondrous Annabel, Adam, Jess and Emily from The Editeur. It was awesome! I had to nip off prior to the outfit fest but check out these stylish peeps:  Science Geek Chic, Frances Cassandra and Gemma Satire

And when I did nip off I was rewarded with the best goodie bag ever. Lord knows we all love a freebie but Wolford tights, a Chlo-bo bracelet and a divine head piece by in-house designer Laura Apsit Livens? Goodie bag nirvana. What else do you expect from the  Chester boutique staking their claim for fashion in the North?