Posts tagged Event
On Saturday, Charles and I headed down to London to watch the annual Pride parade. We managed to get a front row spot on Oxford Street so we had a great view of the day’s events, and to top it off the weather was beautiful and sunny. This year Pride came one day after same-sex marriage was made legal in all 50 US states, which made the day feel extra special. The atmosphere was so positive and happy, and everyone looked like they were having a fantastic time celebrating. By the end of the afternoon I was covered in confetti and stickers, and had a huge smile on my face.
One of the highlights of the day for me was seeing LGSM (Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners) leading one of the parade sections. The film Pride, which tells the story of how and why LGSM was formed, is one of my favourite films, so it was fantastic to see the group out in force, over thirty years later, especially considering the similarity between our current political climate, and that of the 1980’s.
Unfortunately I didn’t get many photos, and they’re not the best quality as I was using my phone, but here are a few of my favourites from the day.
We also went to see the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A, which was an amazing and overwhelming experience. I’m hoping to go again during July, and I also plan on reviewing the exhibition, so check back soon for that.
Did you go to Pride this year?
A few weeks ago the Highcross in Leicester ran a two-day Spring Beauty Fix event, so I headed down on the Saturday to see what was going on.
I decided to get there early so I could appreciate the event before the centre got really busy, and already there was a buzz around what the Beauty Fix had to offer. There were several displays featuring this season’s fashion trends, with a colour consultant on hand to advise on the best colours to suit your style throughout Spring. I had a quick browse of the rails and spotted a cute dress covered in polka dots, which happens to be my favourite print for clothing, so I’m hoping to see more dotty items in the shops soon!
Another stand which caught my eye was the Beauty Amnesty, which invited shoppers to discard five unwanted items of make-up, in exchange for a £10 gift card to be spent on beauty items that day. A great deal considering several brands were offering discounts, and brands such as Nails Inc, Urban Decay and Hotel Chocolat were all giving beauty advice during the event!
There were also many offers to be had on the day in stores, and several freebies up for grabs. Rituals and Decleor were offering complimentary skincare consultations, and Rituals, YSL and Clinique also had free samples and items to give away.
Whilst at the event I also managed to do a bit of shopping, and whilst browsing Debenhams’ beauty offerings I spotted Ghost’s Eclipse fragrance, which I decided to treat myself to. Ghost perfumes are my all-time favourites, and Eclipse’s light floral and fruity notes will be perfect for the coming warm months. I also headed over to H&M as I wanted a new dress, and managed to get a lovely grey number, as well as some cute mouse slippers.
Overall it was a fun day, and I’m looking forward to the next event that Highcross puts on, as they’re always enjoyable.
On Thursday, myself and Charles attended a VIP event at the Leicester Cinema de Lux, for the launch of the new XPlus screen, with a release day screening of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1.
The event started with a drinks reception in the swanky Director’s Lounge, complete with red carpet. For an hour we were showered with glasses of Prosecco, canapés and lovely little desserts. I particularly enjoyed the mini millionaire’s shortbread which was dusted with gold glitter! We also spotted a few Leicester Tigers rugby players in the crowd.
We then headed up to the XPlus screen, which I was really excited about, and I wasn’t disappointed. As soon as we entered the auditorium I was amazed to see the size of the screen. I knew it was going to be big, but it was even bigger than I expected. It’s literally floor to ceiling, wall to wall, and also slightly curved.
Everyone at the event was treated to yet more refreshments in their seats – a drink, and a bag of popcorn, along with a couple of other goodies. When everyone was settled, the manager of Cinema de Lux, and one of the main men at Dolby both gave a speech. They explained that Leicester’s XPlus screen is one of only five in the country, and is designed to give a premium, immersive cinema experience. The screen is in fact 60 feet wide by 20 feet high, and provides sharp imagery, on point brightness, and vibrant colour.
Another special aspect of the XPlus experience is the sound. The auditorium features a Dolby Atmos sound system, and is fitted with over fifty speakers, which provide 360° sound. Having speakers all over the walls and ceiling, which are controlled by sound specialists, allows for dialogue to follow the characters, and for sound effects to come in at all angles, providing sound which completely envelops the audience. Before the film the sound system was demonstrated with thunder-storm sound effects, and I was blown away. The sound of rain and thunder flooded the room from all angles, and I actually got goosebumps because it felt so real.
After the introductions we got to watch The Hunger Games. Unfortunately I didn’t enjoy the film that much, and I’m not sure it was the right film to show off the Dolby Atmos sound system, but the XPlus definitely improved the viewing experience.
I’m incredibly impressed by the XPlus screen, and after experiencing it once I’m sure a ‘normal’ cinema screen will now just look and sound inadequate. I can imagine the immersive sound working really well for action movies, and I bet it would make horror movies even more scary if you could hear things coming up behind you!
Earlier today I was lucky enough to attend the invitation-only press preview of the new Urban Outfitters store in Leicester, ahead of their official launch tonight. The store is located at the heart of the city in the Highcross shopping centre (right on the edge so it’s easy to find!), and spans two large floors, with womenswear downstairs, and menswear, home and gifts and fitting rooms upstairs.
As soon as I entered the store I could tell that it had a great vibe. The Urban Outfitters team have worked hard to transform what was once a fairly dark and claustrophobic space, into a far more open and vibrant one, which has the subtle industrial look that you expect from Urban Outfitters, with its bare floors and reclaimed metal and wooden interior. Vintage and alternative curios are also spread throughout the store giving it a fun and quirky edge, and hand painted contemporary art and wording adorn the walls. I even got to see some of it being done!
The store boasts a really eclectic mix of brands and styles, including own label collections such as Pins & Needles and Worland, but also well-known brands such as Converse and Levi’s, and up and coming labels like Cheap Monday and Native Rose. I spotted a great mix of edgy basics and classic designs, as well as bolder, more creative pieces (including a very spacey looking silver mini skirt!), that at the same time keep an urban, on-trend theme.
The accessories, gifts and homeware don’t come as an afterthought either. Everything is displayed so beautifully, and items of jewellery, hair accessories and nail varnishes are dotted around the shop so you can really get a feel of how to style different items throughout the store. Everything just seems to fuse together so perfectly, making for an easy and pleasant shopping experience.
I really enjoyed browsing the new store before it opened, and it was nice to meet some of the Urban Outfitters team too. I even got to choose a gift to take away with me, so I went for a beautiful black burnout floral cardigan that will be great for layering during the coming autumn and winter months. I’m sure you’ll be seeing it in an outfit post or two very soon!
Yesterday was a very special day for me, as I went to see Kate Bush perform live – something I never thought I’d have the chance to do. I’ve been listening to Kate Bush’s music for as long as I can remember. At the age of three I would put on my mum’s Kate Bush records and dance around to them, and her music has always provided comfort to me during tough times, but also so much happiness. But considering that her first and last tour occurred eleven years before I was even born, and knowing her reservations about touring, I never even dreamed I’d get to hear her music live. So when it was announced earlier this year that she’d be doing a 22-date run at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, I couldn’t quite believe it, but I was incredibly excited. Luckily for me, I’ve been a member of Kate’s mailing list for years, which meant I received an access code to the fan ticket presale, and as soon as they went on sale I snapped up four tickets as quickly as I could. When the tickets eventually went on general sale they completely sold out in less than fifteen minutes, leaving many people disappointed, so I feel so lucky to have got them.
During the run up to the show the media was buzzing with news about Kate’s first live performance in 35 years, but I managed to avoid hearing much about the show, so it would remain a big surprise, and after weeks of building excitement, the day I got to see Kate Bush finally came around! I won’t say much about the show as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but it was so much more than just a concert. Obviously there was music, but there was also a theme, spectacular theatre, film and props. It was magical, and the mood in the room was really positive and infectiously happy. Kate’s voice is still just as melodic and soul-touching as it always was, and she’s incredibly beautiful in every way. She’s a born performer and her stage presence is quite something, and the best part was that she clearly enjoyed every second of the show just as much as the audience did. I feel so privileged to have been in the same room as Kate Bush and to have heard some of my favourite songs performed live. It was honestly one of the best moments of my life and I’ll never forget it.
I have some news… I am among several bloggers who are all suspected of committing a horrible crime against Mat of buckets and spades blog, and it is your job to work out who did it. Here are the details…
In celebration of the Agatha Christie Festival this week, Waterstones is holding the first ever Blogger Murder Mystery event.
Waterstones needs your help, dear reader. There’s been a crime most horrid committed against fellow blogger Matthew Pike at http://www.bucketsandspadesblog.com/. We need your help to find the culprit and be in with a chance of receiving a £100 reward of Waterstones vouchers. Detective Michael Scott is on the case, so be sure to follow him on twitter @DCIMikeScott where he will be revealing clues throughout the week until Friday 20th September. You can question any of the bloggers using their twitter handle and the hashtag #BloggerMystery to find holes in their alibis.
The list of suspects are:
Naomi @Bewitchery_ http://bewitcheryblog.co.uk/ (You know I wouldn’t do it though, right?)
Jane @ITYDarling http://isthatyoudarling.wordpress.com/
Lucinda @ljbarton http://www.bakesbooksandmyboys.com/
Katrina @carouseldiary http://carouseldiary.com/
Sophie @sophiepatricia6 http://ileftmyheartinmiami.blogspot.co.uk/
Kel @kellovesclothes http://www.kelloves.com/
Eleanor @ebsnare http://threewordoutfit.com/
And here’s what the detective on the case has to say…
From DCI Michael Scott
“Waterstones invited six prestigious fashion and beauty bloggers – Elly, Kel, Sophie, Naomi, Katrina Louise and Mat – to its very first Fabulous Fashionista of the Year Award, held amid a lavish cupcake dinner at Cryptic Hall. However, events have taken a dark turn and Mat, the winner of the award, has been found dead in the bathroom. Foul play is most certainly suspected.
Details of the night are still sketchy, but we know all six fashionistas were known to each other at the time of the killing and enjoyed a friendly rivalry in the world of fashion blogging. Also in Cryptic Hall at the time were Jan, the owner of the manor, and a chef, Lucinda, who was hired to put on a delicious spread of cupcakes for the guests.
According to my interviews, the guests arrived at Cryptic Hall at around 6pm or just before. They sat down to enjoy Lucinda’s cupcakes and discuss their blogging with one another. There was a short break for coffee at around 6.40pm, during which time many of the guests seem to have left the table for various reasons. At 6.55 or thereabouts, we received a phone call from the suspect who found the body, claiming there had been a murder at Cryptic Hall.
Unfortunately, many of the suspects seem unwilling to cooperate, for reasons that are still being established. If you think you can tease more information out of them, ask them about their activities on that night via Twitter – and when you think you ascertained the culprit, the motive and the method, please relay your suspicions to me, DCI Michael Scott. Together, we can get to the root of this tale of intrigue, jealousy, high fashion and sweet, sweet cupcakes.”
Now, I wasn’t particularly keen on going to the award ceremony because Mat, my ex-husband, was bound to win and I didn’t really fancy spending any time with him. He was going with his new girlfriend Katrina, too. But I went anyway just on the off-chance that I was chosen as winner, and I thought it’d be a good opportunity to score points against Katrina. I don’t know who did what to Mat at the ceremony, but of course you know it wasn’t me!
So, get thinking… Who do you think did it? Once you think you know who the culprit is send a tweet to the detective giving the name of the killer, the motive and the method by Friday 20th September at Midnight. The winner will be selected on Monday 23rd September.
Good luck, sleuths.
Note: this competition is only open to UK residents
Don’t forget to tweet me and the other bloggers your questions to help work out whodunnit!
At the weekend my fiancé and I decided to go into town to watch the Leicester Pride parade, before heading to the local park where the parade ended, to join in with the Pride celebrations. Neither my fiancé or I are LGBT, but we both strongly advocate the equality and diversity that Pride encourages, and we wanted to show our support for the LGBT community. The whole event had a really peaceful, friendly atmosphere, and it was nice to spend some time in a relaxed, happy space which is inclusive of everybody. There was music, dancing, entertainment, food and lots of fun, and I’ll definitely be going again next year. Here are a few photographs I took of the parade as it passed through town, and one of my aptly decorated rainbow nails!
Will you be attending your local Pride event this year?
On Tuesday, my sister, my mum and I headed down to the Leicester Tigers rugby stadium for a special event – a Vintage Charity Fashion Show organised by Victoria British Boutique. The fashion show was in aid of “20-20 Voice” Cancer Appeal, a charity who provide support for head and neck cancer sufferers, with the aim of purchasing new, up to the minute camera technology with the money they raise, so hospitals can detect such cancers early.
Victoria British Boutique (VBB) is a vintage boutique owned by the lovely Vikkie, which specialises in a mix of unique, vintage pieces and current, stylish designs, both evening and day wear, all of which are British. The boutique is situated online, on eBay, so people from all over the country can browse and buy from Vikkie’s store. The boutique also prides itself on aiming for 100% customer satisfaction, so you know you’re going to get good service when you buy from VBB.
On the night there were a lot of one-of-a-kind outfits and items of clothing for sale at very reasonable prices, with most of them being modelled on the catwalk by six gorgeous nurses who work at local hospitals. I was lucky enough to get a front seat next to the catwalk so I had a really good view of the show and the clothes on offer. There were some really lovely pieces for sale, including a purple floral dress and a green and purple skirt suit which you can see below. I just wish they were my size! The models did a great job and were really well-received by the audience, and the show was a lot of fun to watch – well done, ladies!
As mentioned earlier, the aim of the evening was to raise as much money as possible for the “20-20 Voice” Cancer Appeal, so there were also stalls selling handmade jewellery and other goodies, and there were several raffles and competitions to join in with. Unfortunately we didn’t win anything, but congratulations to everyone who did!
Overall, all three of us had a great evening at the Victoria British Boutique Vintage Charity Fashion Show and I hope it raised a lot of money for such an excellent cause. You can find out more about the “20-20 Voice” Cancer Appeal here, and you can find Victoria British Boutique here. You can also follow Vikkie’s boutique on Facebook and Twitter if you want to keep up-to-date with all the latest news from VBB!
Last Friday I was among a few lucky bloggers and press who got to attend the Zatchels Factory Shop VIP launch event in Leicester. For those who don’t know (and I’m sure there aren’t many) Zatchels are a fashion brand who design and create leather satchels, saddle bags, barrel bags, duffel bags and other accessories, using traditional British manufacturing methods. Their factory is located in Leicester, where highly skilled staff make every single bag by hand, and everything is made to order. Leicester used to have a thriving manufacturing industry, which many of my relatives worked in, so as a Leicester girl born and bred I like to see a Leicester brand doing so well, and I was very keen to support them on their factory shop launch day.
The event started with a chance to meet the brains behind the brand, including Company Directors Dean Clarke and Brian Brady, and Zatchels Creative Director and celebrity stylist Gemma Sheppard, who it was great to meet. We also got to preview some bags from a few new collections which are yet to be launched, and they are absolutely stunning! This pretty little thing was my particular favourite…
Once everyone had arrived Dean and Brian took us on a tour of the Zatchels factory, which had a friendly atmosphere and bright interior, what with all the piles of different leathers – it was amazing to see! We got to watch how each bag is made by hand, from selecting the leather, cutting it and putting all the parts together, right up to quality control and packing. It was so interesting to see the process from start to finish, and I can assure you that so much care and effort is put into every single product.
After the tour, we were taken to the factory shop for its official opening. There were some yummy ‘Best of British’ nibbles on offer, including Zatchels cupcakes from Bitsy’s Cupcakery and Sweet Eve strawberries, and we had the opportunity to browse the bags on offer and have another chat with the other guests and Zatchels directors.
The Zatchels Factory Shop is based at 10 Charter Street, Leicester, which is located very close to the city centre (about a 5 minute walk) and has ample parking. The shop will be open every Wednesday to Friday from 12pm until 6pm, and Saturday 10am until 5pm, and there is a mix of factory seconds and sample bags for sale, as well as quality retail products. Every bag in the shop has been graded and priced accordingly, as follows:
Grade A – Perfect Quality – Full Price
Grade B – Slight Imperfections – 30% off
Grade C – Stitching Imperfections or Scratches – 40% off
I checked lots of the bags over myself to see how noticeable the imperfections are, and even the Grade C bags are still brilliant quality (I could barely find anything wrong with them) so you really can get yourself a bargain.
I had such a fun day at the Zatchels VIP event. It was really nice to meet some other Leicester bloggers and chat to the Zatchels team, and I loved having a look behind the scenes at the process that goes into making every single Zatchels bag. All guests left with a goody bag too, which was a really nice touch. I plan on doing another post soon with advice on how to style your Zatchels bag, so keep an eye out for that!