MADRID MANIA

MADRID MANIA

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We had such a great time in Motril, it was really sad to say goodbye to the sea, but I was pretty excited when we set off on the next leg of our road trip – MADRID! We set off on convoy early in the morning, driving through the mountainous region of Granada, the olive groves of Jaen and then up through the sun scorched fields of Castilla de La Mancha – the land where petrol stations stock hunting knives and massive cheeses and where I saw my first ball of tumble weed. TUMBLE WEED :)))! Wouawouawoua (Wild Wild West Music)…Indeed, the motorway stops and motels of Castilla de la Mancha look like they have come straight out of Tarentino’s film “From Dusk Till Dawn”- Creepy vibes from the knife window displays, stares from men with eyes in weird places and the motels look like you would need to sleep with one eye open or you could wake up without a kidney… Needless to say we stopped and had the most amazing Spanish Tortilla and Strong Coffee and we left without a scratch, but with all the knives on show, the imagination does go wild…

The traffic intensified as came into the capital. We drove past sky scrapper’s and along grand boulevards to reach the city centre. It was really nice and sunny and so, after dropping our things off, we went to explore the city straight away. Our first port of call was Puerta del Sol, the centre of the radial network of Spanish Roads. It was super fun standing at the Kilometre 0 point, taking pictures of the iconic billboard signs of Tio Pepe and the even more famous symbol of Madrid El Oso y El Madroño, a giant statue of a bear eating fruits from a tree, the symbol of the city.

Puerta del Sol was pretty busy but we sat for a few moments by the large fountain in the centre of the square and enjoyed the sun. All of a sudden, a gaggle of giant foam cartoon characters appeared and started mingling amongst the crowds in the aim of getting tourists to take their photo. Mr Bean, the Minions, they were all there. I really wish now that I had take my picture with them because they were hilarious, especially when Mr Bean and Bart Simpson started engaging in some sort of photo turf war, which after some comical gestures, required a hot flustered Bob Square Pants to intervene.  Was I in Madrid, or was I actually dreaming?

The cartoon action was getting intense and so we decided to move off in search of some shade and the old quarters of Madrid. The narrow streets were cool  and lined with orange trees. The houses were brightly coloured and in between the old fashioned barbers and coin collectors there were flamenco taverns and tapas bars. This place seemed to embody everything Spanish, from the food to the sounds, it was all there. A must see if you are ever in the area is the Arco de Cuchilleros, the Barber’s Arch, that leads to the grand Plaza Mayor, which has beautifully painted walls, corner turrets and balconied three-story residential buildings –  starring up at those houses was most definitely a “life goals” moment if ever there was one…

Although the open air terraces of Plaza Mayor looked appealing we decided to have lunch at the famous restaurant, Casa Lucio’s, who’s signature dish “huevos rotos”, Spanish Ham, Eggs and Chips has been enjoyed by all sorts of celebrities, from Leonardo Di Caprio to the French President Nicolas Sarkozy. For pudding, because there is always room for pudding, we waddled over to the Mercado St Miguel, an incredible place, full of counters and stands with dried hams, cheeses, olives, wine, coffee, fruit smoothies, exotic fruits and of course my favourite, macaroons and cakes. Not too dissimilar to La Boqueria in Barcelona, along the counters there were stools to sit and it would have been a great place to have a more informal lunch surrounded by locals and definitely the right place if you are looking for some seriously photogenic food! After some amazing pistachio and raspberry macarons, we rounded off our first day at the symmetrical French design Sebatini Gardens and incredible Royal Palace of Madrid, the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family, who unfortunately forgot our invite for afternoon tea..

So here are the pictures from this glorious day, some of you may have seen some of them already in my Madrid Trip post featured in Mess Magazine, but for those who haven’t here they are!

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WEARING

Reflective Glasses – LEFTIES

Blue Faux- Leather Jacket – ZARAS

Blue Jeans – RIVER ISLAND

Shoes – CONVERSE

White Shirt – STRADIVARIUS

White Floral Jumper – LEFTIES

Brick Lane Fun

Brick Lane Fun

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These last few weekends I keep ending up at Brick Lane…It’s not that we don’t try to go somewhere else, but every time my friends and I try to organise something a bit different we can’t help but remember how good the shops and the food were and how fun our day was… so we just end up going back! Simple… I mean if it’s a good time, why not repeat it, right?

From the amazing food market on the Sunday, to the vintage shops and famous cereal bar, this street filled with art and music is definitely any hipster’s paradise and the best place to hang out over the weekend, which is why last Saturday, I went there with an incredibly talented designer and fellow fashion blogger, Georgina, the founder of www.georginahart.co.uk whom I met outside the Pam Hogg show at London Fashion Week.

  It was quite grey but we took some fun pictures in front of this new graffiti of pink and red tea pots, right next to the place where we then went and had afternoon tea in a RED TEA POT! I know right! Coincidence? I don’t think so! 😉 We had a great time looking at all the amazing things for sale in the little shops and Georgina found the most amazing boutique that sold really beautiful things at great prices. I can’t quite remember the name of it but I will ask Georgina and then add it [here]… The window was filled with sequin hoodies and the small boutique was packed with shoppers snapping up the remaining pieces, all of which would make great eye catching street style looks. I must admit I got the most insane outfit envy when Georgina picked out the most amazing pair of of jean flared dungarees and black tie crop top with stars, because it not only looked great but it was super creative too! I hope we can shoot it next time we meet up, but in the mean time here are some of the pictures that we took during our afternoon together 🙂 I hope you like them!

I decided to wear an oversized jacket with shoulder pads to keep me warm with a rusty gold top to give the look a more Autumnal feel. The leather trousers have great detail on the knees that mean that they can look good dressed up but also worn in a more relaxed style. I decided to wear light green textured sneakers to give the look a more edgy feel and also because they would be a lot more comfortable walking round.

What do you like to do at the weekend? Do you have a favourite place to go with your friends or family?

Happy Weekend Everybody! 🙂 Abi xxx

WEARING

Gold Neckalce – VANILO

Camel Silk Lined Jacket – JIGSAW

Leather Trousers – ZARA

Green Faux Leather Slip-Ons – ZARA

Gold Top – FRENCH CONNECTION

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Motril Photo Diary

Motril Photo Diary

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Travelling on an AVE in Spain is always a pleasurable experience. Arriving just 30 minutes before departure means that you are well on time, if not early, there is hardly any wait, you can take as much luggage as you can carry and the carriages are kept at the perfect temperature, which in the Spanish summer, is prettyyy darn important if you ask me! 😉 I watched the countryside turn from orange groves to olive trees, from red earth to scorched yellow grass in between chapters of Ernest Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, which tells the story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to a Republican guerrilla unit during the Spanish Civil War. I mean if you are going to go to a foreign country then you might as well immerse yourself completely in it’s culture, right? 😉

It was pretty hot in Barcelona but down South was something else. I couldn’t have prepared myself for the wave of hot air that hit me as I stepped out of the train, even at 9 o’clock the air still hadn’t cooled down. We were met at Alicante station by my boyfriend Gustavo’s lovely parents, whom we were visiting and with whom we would be staying the week with. We had gone to Motril the year before and the great thing about the place is that it is very close to Granada and Gustavo and his family have been going there on holiday for years, so they know all the great things to do, the places to eat great food and have loads of really nice friends. Our time spent here is always super fun, the perfect type of summer holiday, spent in the presence of perfect company.

This week was all about relaxing, enjoying the beach and the pool. The apartment that we stayed at was really lovely and right on the sea front and a short drive to the golf course. A real home away from home! Are days were spent playing gold, going to the numerous chirringitos or beach bars, drinking summer wine and eating sea food on the terrace and of course meeting our friends down at the beach.

Because of the position of Motril on the coast, the sea water is a mix of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean and depending on the tide and the wind, sometimes is very warm, other times ice cold and sometimes just the perfect temperature. Everyday when we walked down the water’s edge we would wonder what it would be like and the topic of conversation first thing would invariably turn to that. We had days when the temperature of the water would change by a whole 10 degrees, days when our feet would virtually turn to ice, days when the water was warm and like a millpond and others where it was super hot but we couldn’t swim because of tiny little purple jelly fish that the kids hunted around the shore and prodded with sticks. The action was undoubtedly down at the beach, but we always had our back up plan, the clear warm pool of the apartment, surrounded by soft grass and palm trees.

On Tuesday night the most amazing market that appears along the promenade, between the palm trees and the sea, where people sell all sorts of things including locally grown mangos, bananas and peaches. Motril is on what is called the Tropical Coast and Spaniards have named it such due to the micro-climate and warm weather that is so typical of the area. The winters are so mild that sugar cane grows there and rhum is even made locally! At the market Gustavo’s family bought me a really pretty bikini, some cute floral espadrilles and some lovely earrings that I couldn’t take off. Those little stands were just full of treasures and the perfect place for anyone looking for good value pretty pieces. In fact I am wearing some of my purchases in the pictures below…

Last year when we stayed here on our Andalusian Road Trip we went to visit Granada and the Alhambra which is a must see if you ever travel to Spain or if you love UNESCO heritage sites, because it was one of the most magnificent sites that I have ever been to. This time though we stayed locally, going for walks to a nature park close to the house, playing beach tennis and making great new friends.  One night we even went to the local fisherman’s village fair complete with children’s rides, candy floss machines and shooting range, where singers performed until the early hours of the morning and salsa dancers danced next to streets of low lying white washed houses decorated with colourful bunting. It felt like I was back in Cuba for the night!

I couldn’t get used to walking past the most incredible flowers and tropical plants. Large bushes covered in massive Hawaiian type flowers, some red, some white and some pink were growing everywhere. I absolutely love palm trees, the rustling noise that they make in the wind and the fan shape of the leaves and being surrounded by so many of them really made me feel as if I was a a lot further away, maybe even the Caribbean!

So here is the photo diary of my time in Motril, I hope you like it!

Abi xxx

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Fierce Street Style Fashion at London Fashion Week – Rein & Field of Ponies SS16

Fierce Street Style Fashion at London Fashion Week – Rein & Field of Ponies SS16

There was some pretty cool fashion going on in the Designer Showrooms and after 3pm a DJ started mixing music and the people drinking at the bar spilled out into the show space, turning the whole place into one massive party. It was during such times that some particularly fierce fashion came on show, with two designers in particular that I can’t wait to tell you about.

REIN was founded in 2013 by Rebecca Morter and Gemma Vanson, is rapidly becoming an industry favourite and has been worn by Lady Gaga, Lisa Maffia, and featured in Cheryl Cole’s ‘Crazy Stupid Love’, so it was no wonder that the fierce models and lazer cut monochrome collection really caught my eye. The pieces were really strong and very edgy, a rebellious and strong feminist statement. I loved it and I couldn’t help but think that the pieces would be great for cool street style look and would definitely offer a one of a kind design. Indeed, REIN is all about a celebrating the female form,  and their designs are inspired by and for women, focusing on the body as a medium and in keeping with their signature look, there was a real exploration between the body and clothing, revealing and concealing, a play upon the socially acceptable and clothing’s ability to empower women.

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In total contrast but equally as fierce was the collection from Field of Ponies. Eye catching bubble gum pink designs didn’t take away from the wild nature of the pieces. This London/Montreal based label designed by Julie Bérubé, is undoubtedly perfect for anyone looking to make a mark and find their “tribe” with monster shaggy hand woven coats and quilted pieces which really played with the relationship between man and nature. I just loved the use of different fabrics, woven rope and faux fur it was so different and really unique. Some of the most original sweatshirts I have seen, these unisex creations really stood out as amazing street style wear.

Let me know what you think

Abi 🙂

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Backstage with Maybelline at London Fashion Week

Backstage with Maybelline at London Fashion Week

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London Fashion Week was incredible and so much fun. I have so many beautiful shows and talented designers to share with you but first I wanted to post about the outfits from Day 2 and behind the scenes in the Designer Showrooms with Maybelline.

People have been divided as to whether Soho was a better place than Somerset House to host London Fashion Week, but I loved how the new venue was so close to all the great tourist sites and beautiful London buildings, so as I walked around I couldn’t help but take some lovely pictures of the center of the city which was basked in sun light. Our journey to Soho took us part the lovely St Paul’s Cathedral, Covent Garden and of course many many red telephone boxes! It was all very pretty and I loved how the new venue was so close to all these beautiful sites and the one of the best cake shops ever, Cutter & Squidge!

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In the morning I wore a street style look inspired by the New Yeezee Collection showcased at New York Fashion Week a few days before – some might call the look Hobo Chic and as I kept being asked by staff to show my ticket and pass everywhere I went, I think the London Fashion Week organizers thought I was definitely more hobo than chic. One benefit of dressing street style strongly put me in the camp of the bloggers who could quite easily be recognised in their eccentric, sometimes over the top or at least more casual attire, but I noticed that lots of the established fashionistas wore more tailored, chic looks which achieved a very expensive eye catching look.

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So, for my behind the scenes with Maybelline, I decided to wear a tailored which cream suit, which immediately made me feel so confident, plus a girl in a suit always looks sexy! I’ve lately been obsessed with suiting and playing with the suit concept and I thought that it would really fit with such a cool New York brand. Pairing a perfectly tailored pair of trousers with a wide shoulder boyfriend blazer, is really easy and elegant. And guys, trust me a good high waisted flared pair of trousers is the best thing to get for fall. It elongates the silhouette and adds this super cool 70’s vibe *So Fetch!*

 Maybelline has been one of my favourite make-up brands ever since I tried their Watershine lipgloss when I was 14, so I was super excitted going into their area was just behind the Press area. I wasn’t disappointed, it was super pretty. A giant “M” was decorated with red roses, they had the coolest celebrity Hollywood mirrors with lights all around the edge and enough make-up to last a life time! Well…maybe not a life time, but a few months 😉 It was great to get your make-up done there, to try all their amazing new products and different colours that I otherwise might not have had the creative ability to pair together. I shared the whole experience on my Snapchat * (Abigail Royston add me!) as well as my final look but unfortunately I didn’t save the video so I can’t share it here for you 😦 But let’s just say that it was super fun and super girlie! :)) xxxx

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WEARING

Cream Suit – NEXT

Printed T-Shirt – H & M

Beige Suede Heels – DUNE 

Hema Kaul SS16 LFW Press Breakfast

Hema Kaul SS16 LFW Press Breakfast


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The Youjia Jin show end and I quickly made my way through the door. It was only 10.30am but I had to rush because I didn’t want to miss the incredible showcase of Hema Kaul’s SS16 Collection!

Members of the press were invited to view Hema’s latest collection whilst enjoying a variety of pastries and drinks at Soho House. This showcase was very private and intimate and as I made my way down the stairs of Soho House, House Basement, I couldn’t help but feel that this event would be very special. Indeed, when I had descended the narrow staircase, the double room opened up and I entered a fabulous world of haute couture. Models dresses in Hema Kaul’s beautiful dresses mingled amongst the guests and artists sat on plush velvet sofas drawing fashion illustrations of the pieces. Tea, coffee, plates of fruit and pastries were served at the bar by professional waiters dressed in their penguin suits, TV camera crews interviewed Hema Kaul herself and bloggers snapped away on their phones.

My first instinct was to head over to the bar to get some morning coffee but as I moved across the room I was literally stopped in my tracks by the beauty of Hema Kaul’s designs. A tall blonde model with striking make-up had just walked out wearing an incredible dress made from dark purple lace and dusty pink mesh that ran all the neck and gathered at the waist in an origami fan like bow. Wow! She was quickly joined by another model wearing a white and blue panelled dress which also had the same mesh like detail, this time in blue and fanning down the side of her body. Forget the coffee, it was time to take some pictures!

I just couldn’t wait to learn more about the collection and thanks to lovely Fran and the amazing Pop Pr Team who invited me (Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!) I actually got to speak Hema Kaul herself and find out more about her and her beautiful traditional yet feminine, futuristic collection. Hema was incredibly nice and it was a real joy speaking to her and finding out about her inspirations. Her Spring / Summer Collection is strongly inspired by Japanese elements, with structure silhouettes using sheer yet stiff organza and origami techniques. I couldn’t help but admire the mix of traditional and futuristic and the interesting choices of fabrics that she had used.The mesh really gave her pieces a wonderful structure and turned the dresses into a 3D eye catching fashion statement. Hema told me how she often uses lace in her pieces, giving her dresses an ultra-feminine aesthetic and that this combined with her use of pastel colours and muted tones of blues and deep purples really made these soft pieces perfect for a glamorous or sophisticated occasion. It wasn’t hard to see why Hema’s designs were proving to be so popular not only here but also in Asia and especially in the Middle East.

I found out a few more things, namely that Hema would probably be sticking to her pastels and muted colours in the near future, that a westward brand expansion would probably be on the horizon and that her next destination was Dubai, which she was flying to that very night! I leave you now with some of the pictures that I took of this beautiful event that I was lucky enough to attend and this quote from Hema Kaul’s Website

Hema is centering her designs on innovation.Her dresses speak to women who like her are confident to fulfil given responsibilities but never stop seizing opportunities to become better and pursue that which they truly love.

Let me know which dress is your favourite 🙂

Abi xxx

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High Fashion in the Skies

High Fashion in the Skies

imageIt is true that not everyone can go to New York Fashion Week or afford a Burberry coat and I don’t know about you but sometimes it can just be intimidating going into a very expensive boutique knowing that you are not going to buy anything… But if you love fashion as much as I do, then there is one place that you can find some iconic designs by some of the world’s most famous designers. You do not need a VIP pass and you can look to your heart’s content…You can see haute couture, both men and women’s, on your way to work, on your way to see friends and family and when you go on holiday… Yes, that’s right! Incredible fashion is available to everybody who joins the Style High Club, thanks to some of the world’s most famous airlines who have been collaborating with couture designers for generations!

I first realised this when I was travelling to Cuba for New Year’s Eve with my sister and she pointed out the incredible red coats worn by the cabin crew of Virgin Airlines which had been designed by Vivienne Westwood.  What an incredible idea, I thought, after a blink interrupted my Gollum like gaze (“My Precioussss”)….To steal or not to steal that is the question… In fact, after reading an incredible post on Cheapflights, I found out that famous designers have been creating the crew’s outfits ever since the glamorous heyday of flying in the 60’s when Emilio Pucci designed Braniff designed International’s futuristic hostess uniforms and Pierre Balmain created the iconic Singapore Airlines sarong kebaya in the 1970s.

I love travelling and once I have taken my shoes off at customs and have stuffed as many things into my hand luggage bag as possible, it always feels pretty glamorous jetting off to an exotic location. For me knowing that the crew are wearing haute couture makes the trip that much more special and I love spotting the different designs and then finding out who they are by. Each airline has its own character which reflects it’s country’s culture. For example Kenya Airways’ uniform features blocks of leopard print, Emirates’ khaki outfit evokes sand while British Airways’ cabin crew neck scarves echo the Union Jack. The best thing is that it isn’t just the top airliners either, even economy carriers like Ryanair and Easyjet use designers too!

I will be sharing some more of my latest photos from London Fashion Week and I can’t wait to post some of my most recent trips on the blog, including my top tips on staying stylish when flying and my time in Madrid which has just been featured in Mess Magazine! However, in the meantime here are the the incredible graphics that inspired this post and don’t forget, next time you fly, to spot some incredible high fashion!

Graphics by Cheapflights –  Twitter/ Facebook/ Instagram

Style High Club: Where fashion meets the skies 30

Ashley Isham SS16 London Fashion Week

Ashley Isham SS16 London Fashion Week

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This was my first Spring/Summer London Fashion Week Catwalk and I couldn’t have been more excited! After a long time admiring the collections in the Designer Showroom and then some impressive cake in Cutter & Squidge I walked over to Freemasons’ Hall, about 15 minute walk from the BFC Show Space in Soho.

It was nice and relaxing walking through the busy streets of Covent Garden and the Freemasons’ Hall was really pretty impressive. There was an incredible buzz and queue outside, photographers took pictures and there were again so many bloggers dressed in amazing street style looks! There were a few fashion celebs in the front row, including Pandamonia, an artist who dresses as a human blow up doll!

In the morning I had to shelter under a shop store front when suddenly started raining and it took some time to get everyone into the show space. Winter felt as if it was fast approaching and it was starting to get quite cold so it was really lovely seeing Ashley Isham’s bright, block print, fun floral summer holiday feel collection.

Thin layers of lace and floating fabric gave the whole collection a summer feel and pinwheel headpieces and flower garlands really reminded me of summers spent at the beach. This was a collection that everyone could enjoy and it really harped back to fun summer times spent with family and friends.

It really had a sense of good girl gone bad, the models were vibrant and took some took selfies going among the runway. The dresses were really etheral and accentuated the female form, creating beautiful silhouettes and floral snapbacks were worn with feminine dresses. The show started off with semi naked buff men showcasing the men’s swim short range which is always a plus if you ask me 😉

Here are some of the looks from the show! I hope you like them! Abi xxx

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