Saturday, 23 March 2013

Cate Wood Collections

This year I am going to buy a house (big dreams!) and in January I went to look at a few. In one of the houses I discovered the fantastic Cate Wood and the house search was temporarily forgotten. This talented jewellery designer and creator handcrafts pieces which are ornate with a modern vintage inspired feel. Leather, horsehair and vintage items are reclaimed and repurposed from car boot sales, markets, charity shops and eBay to create bespoke pieces. As Cate so rightly puts it “The design is dictated by what materials are available.” Talk about upcycling!

Necklaces, bracelets, earrings and trinkets abound on her website and there is also an option to personalise some of the products. My personal favourites are the bracelets: stackable, they are a ready-made wrist full of festival accessories, a calling card for summer times. Durable and long-wearing, Cate has just started a range of alternative christening bracelets made to stand the test of time.

After school Cate went to Batley Art College and studied Surface Pattern Design and then went on to study Fashion and Textile Design at Manchester University, graduating in 1992. During a career break which was supposed to encompass a worldwide yearlong travelling spree, the best intentions were scuppered when Cate happened upon Brazil: the rest of the world could wait. After falling head over heels in love with the city, she returned to the UK full of passion and started Saving Face jewellery. Three years later and Cate Wood Collections was born.

Just under a year old, the brand has already picked up a motley crew of devoted fans (just check her Facebook Page for positively bubbling comments on her work) and Cate’s work is now stocked in selected galleries and shops. The icing on the creative cake is that Cate also does commissions so please contact her directly if you have something specific in mind.

Before I left I ordered a Tally, a Button it Up and a two elliptical friendships bracelets. Can’t wait to get them worn in before the summer! 

Cate Wood Collections: for more information click here

Friday, 15 March 2013


A properly fitted bra can literally help you drop a dress size, not to mention improving your posture and making you feel supported at the same time. So how did I get on with my bra fitting? Well, I was pretty confident I was wearing the correct bra size but once I was in the fitting room with my top whipped off I felt …well…vulnerable. Was I wearing the wrong size? The wrong cup? My mind was a heady mix of bra confusion as I tried to remember the date of my last fitting. Surely in the past year? This was the Boob School examination – was I going to pass the test?

I was running through the 7 classic bra faux pas pretty sure I wasn’t guilty of the Side Boob, the High Rider, the Big Stand Off and the Ledge but since I stopped training as much after my marathon I have put on a tiny bit of weight on my boobs. Oh dear lord! Was I guilty of the dreaded Quadraboob? Or worst still the Super-drooper?

Now this is what’s great about Bravissimo – everybody I met at Boob School was immeasurably passionate about their products. Due to the location of the store – heart of Oxford Circus – naturally the demand from customers is high. So when it came to my turn to be fitted Bravissimo’s Head of Stores did mine. You wouldn't get many senior figures in companies taking such an active role! She took one look at my bra and immediately clocked the too small a cup size. Measuring just by sight and without the use of a tape measure the Freya bra which was brought in fitted fabulously. With straps adjusted and my girls now fully encased in their cups I popped my top back on and left a very happy lady indeed.

I came to Boob School a 30E and left a 30F. Graduating with flying colours and no sign of a Quadraboob in sight! Thanks Bravissimo!

For more info head over to the Bravissimo Facebook page (here), check out their website here or head into stores and have yourself a fitting!

Sunday, 10 March 2013


I have already professed my love for Bravissimo so when I was invited to their Boob School I was beyond excited. I loved school – folders, fountain pens and coursework – so settling down to learn about boobs for a morning was something I eagerly anticipated. Off I toddled to the Bravissimo flagship near Oxford Circus, London.

Boob School was hosted by a number of Bravissimo’s head honchos and boy do they know their stuff. Bravissimo surveyed 1000 women and came up with some staggering statistics:  

Only 1 in 5 women are extremely confident they are wearing the correct bra size yet 24% of women have never had a bra fitting and 21% of women haven’t been for a fitting for at least 4 years.

Time to look after your girls, ladies! 

I was chatting to Holly from Pepperberry (previously of Bravissimo) and she made a really good point – the fit of the bra depends on the make, the shape, the type. Much like I am a size 8 in M&S and a size 12 in Miss Selfridge, the size of your bra will fit differently depending on which brand you have purchased it from, much like clothes do when purchased from different retailers.

It’s funny how often we refresh our wardrobes and yet neglect what’s going on under our clothes.  Many women are on the holy grail of that last 7lbs and swear they will go for a fitting once the weight is off. The simply magical thing about a correctly fitting bra is that it can drop a dress size for you. I know! How awesome! Forget slaving away at the gym and counting calories – get a bra which fits and let that properly fitted back strap and seamless cups do all the hard work!

To spur you into action here are some pictures of some little known celebs who clearly should have enrolled in Boob School. Or just should’ve stayed indoors.

Meeting Betty Pamper (check her blog out here) and Elena of The Frivolous Mrs D fame (check her blog out here) was also a high point of the day! Those girls rock old school vintage glamour like never before.

Check back for another post about my bra fitting experience with Bravissimo and the fab bra I took home.