Being Oreo @ Vogue Fashion’s Night Out Manchester

vogue fno mapVogue Fashion’s Night Out came to Manchester for the first time and I think they made a great choice of location. Well of course I would say that I just recently moved to the city and was as excited as every other fashion blogger that they were forgoing the exclusive London location to the more accessible, friendly and very northern Manchester.

I didn’t think the t-shirt was up to scratch this year so decided not to spend the £18 on the GAP designed version. There was plenty on offer for FNO and it was difficult to work out where to start, but starting at the H&M on Market Street was a great option as I met the lovely Pixie Geldof who was DJ’ing for the clothing brand, she was more than happy to pose for pictures with shoppers!

Pixie Geldof djing

me and pixieOf course the best part about wandering the shops, was the free champagne/wine/cocktails which would put a smile on anyone’s face. It’s the best way to attract shoppers because everyone loves a freebie, even interestingly flavoured mac and cheese the UGG store were handing out. Or the ridiculously strong whisky flavoured ice cream at Hugo Boss which you could have easily got drunk from!

boohoobus

edith make upA stop off at the Boohoo bus showcasing the Manchester-based brand’s next collection available to order on the night with free delivery and the chance of being the first to get your hands on the clothes before they were online. On the top deck was a beauty, hair and nail bar offering three different hair styles, beauty looks and a nail manicure. My friend Edith chose a smoky eye, a really flattering look because the make up artist chose a more natural shade than the standard black make up.

Marks & Spencer were on hand with Prosecco and a style talk, going through the latest limited edition collection with some very covetable pieces including an orange coat with a leopard print collar (right below), and the perfect black tailored trousers all with a 10% off for the night!

marksandspencerHeading to Selfridges was next on the agenda, the store smelt gorgeous with popcorn and crepe stands along with drinks and cute miniature bottles of Diet Coke designed by Marc Jacobs all served by deliciously handsome male models wearing dungarees. I’m not going to lie and say we didn’t wander around a little longer just to gawp.

popcorn

Unfortunately I found out way too late that the talented Sophy Robson was going to be doing nail appointments at a pop up Chanel bar. Definitely a bit gutted, so a picture of my nail idol had to do instead ha! As well as spotting Henry Holland in the Erdem section, on the top floor was the delightfully eclectic Jameela Jamil, also spinning the decks for the store. How awesome would a night out with all these guys be?!

sophy robson

jameela jamilAfter popping into Hugo Boss and UGG on the way back we headed towards my absolute must attend destination: Emporio Armani. Nothing to do with the clothes I might add, but my favourite band The Maccabees were doing a DJ set there and I needed to see them. At The Avenue in Spinningfields this was definitely one of the more luxury venues of the night and right next to the cool entrance to Australasia. The Armani store was serving very strong vodka and Prosecco cocktails and Australasia sushi with chopsticks, which I must say was pretty difficult to manage but very tasty.

the avenue

the maccabeesObviously you need to have a schedule planned for the night to get the best out of what Vogue were offering, especially as we missed creative director Kate Phelan at Topshop and by the time we reached the Arndale Centre later on in the evening the only thing left to do was leave our lipstick kisses on the wall and enter the #puckerup competition.

topshop

You couldn’t fault an evening of free fashion fun and celebrity spotting, and even if you didn’t go with the intention of actually shopping all the beauty and hair bars dotted around gave you the chance to try something new and feel special all at the same time. I hope FNO comes back to Manchester next year!

Keep up with my new adventures in Manchester by following me on Twitter @nlcorner

Shopping: Next

As a woman who is addicted likes to shop I have been trying to curb my ways, I’m currently “saving” but then I bet about 99.9% of us are always saving for something. So on an unplanned trip to Kingswood in Hull, which by the way would never be classed as a shopping destination because there are only a few shops, I ended up spending a pretty penny.

Now I can’t be the only person who categorizes their shopping trips, and there are plenty: going out, casual day, casual night, work wear, gym wear, coats, jeans, shoes, specific item shopping that will go with everything in my wardrobe etc…

This shopping trip was really just for gym wear, which when you think about what it’s for it doesn’t count as shopping really because it’s more of a necessity. I managed to find some new running leggings and a new top and have put them to good use already!

I have to admit I used to class Next as a ‘mum’ shop, my mum always wanted to go in and I hated it with a passion. But then as I matured (ugh) and my fashion taste changed I started noticing how much better quality it was than say Topshop or New Look. This trip was no different, after my recent splurge at Zara  I decided that I wasn’t buying anything but walking around the Kingswood store was just to tempting.

I find it interesting how different stores of the same brand have a different affect on me as a customer, for example I visited the Next store in Scarborough and walked around it within seconds bored at its dark, unorganised store, the Kingswood store was airy, light and organised by clothing categories I couldn’t help but pick up several items.

As I walked round and put outfits together in my head, I had to stop myself from picking up more and more. I went through a phase of buying pencil skirts to wear for work, purely so I could wear tights all the time as the climate is so cold inside and out, but I’ve been looking for that pair of black trousers for so long that I couldn’t believe my luck at the ‘ultimate capri pant’. I know Victoria who has a great blog over at Lily loves Lola was looking for a pair of the perfect black trousers and these are definitely mine.

Ultimate Capri Pants, £38 // Laser Cut T-Shirt £25 // Snakeskin Print Blazer £36

Ultimate Capri Pants, £38 // Laser Cut Top £26 // Python Animal Jacket £34

I used my new Zara shoes as an example but I wore these with boots as the cut is just fitted enough to wear with them, and it sounds silly but my feet get so cold I can’t wear ballet style shoes for long without my feet getting ridiculously cold which is another reason for not wearing trousers so often!

My full outfit consists of a white laser cut top (which also came in a lovely cornflower blue) and the best lightweight blazer ever, it caught my eye because of the python print and skinny fit. As soon as I put this on in the changing room I knew I’d be walking out with it all, the perfect work wear outfit and its all monochrome with a nice bit of texture and print what more could you want?!

And just because I couldn’t help myself I also bought another pair of trousers, that are an absolute perfect fit and length and such a nice subtle print. Seriously, Next is my new place for trousers without a doubt.

Black and white checked print pants £38

Black and white checked print pants £38

Side detail: pocket love.

Side detail: pocket love.

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Shopping: Zara

So I had a few splurges over the past month online at Zara, I keep telling myself that I just need this and I just need that, but I really can’t help it there’s so many pretty things to shop and buy.

I had my eye on this electric blue suede messenger bag for a while, and it is just a beautiful in hand as it is on the site. I just want to add though and I don’t know if others find this with Zara it’s already fallen apart! As much as I love the stuff there it just can’t seem to hold itself together, maybe that’s due to the rumour of slave labour but who am I to comment on such things when I love the store so much and keep it in business…

Blue suede messenger handbag, £22.99, Zara.

Blue suede messenger handbag, £22.99, Zara.

I also added a couple of other things to my basket including this oriental print combination top, £22.99,  and I’ve been looking for some turqouise jewellery for a while and came across a fabulous necklace (£19.99) which doesn’t appear to be available online anymore. My second haul included a black faux leather peplum top, £22.99, and knitted leather leggings, £25.99, as well as the best pair of shoes that look-like-designer-but-are-most-definitely not nude and coral sandals with a gold heel, £29.99.

Turquosie necklace

Turquosie necklace

Zara shopping haul

Faux leather peplum top // Oriental print top // Combination sandals

Admittedly I forgot that when ordering trousers form Zara, it’s kind of hit and miss. Simply ordering a medium is not an option which I did and found they were more like a size 6 than a thought to be size 10. This has happened before trying on large/extra large just to get a good fit means you leave the store feeling slightly deflated which is typical of every high street store these days when they all have different sizing.

And returns are so difficult for Zara that the easiest way to get your money back on things that don’t fit is to go to your nearest store within 30 days of purchase. Remind me why I love this store again…?

Shopping time!

There are so many printed trousers around this season, a really popular trend seen on the runway for ss 12 and aw 12, and I’ve been dying to get my hands on a pair for a while now. On a shopping trip to the Metro Centre in Newcastle, I bought an awesome pair I’d seen   in Grazia from River Island. The print is slightly garish but they look fantastic on and the fit of the trousers is really flattering and the perfect size so I was more than happy to part with £30 for them!

River Island Floral Crop Trousers £30

They’re available on ASOS here and I’m even tempted with the matching blazer! I also bought this great skirt from Topshop that I’d seen Ashley Madekwe wearing and had to have as well, it’s pretty thin stretchy material so I have no idea why they included a zip!

Ashley Madekwe, Topshop skirt £28

Also fell in love with this silky floral printed bomber jacket from Zara. In fact I pretty much could have bought the whole of the Zara store, some really great stuff in there.

Zara Printed Bomber Jacket £30

Mini, midi or maxi?

I saw Style Souk tweet this question the other day with a link to an article from the Telegraph fashion section and wondered what I would really answer to this question?

I’ve owned mini skirts but not really in stylish sense that are so popular right now, the staple denim mini and a couple of other ones that I probably wouldn’t wear again are in my wardrobe but I don’t think I would go out to purchase a mini skirt right now. I’d rather by a short dress…

The problem I have with midi skirts is odd. I like the style, shape, patterns they come in and can’t believe how good they look when I see them on the pages of fashion mags. However, now every time I’m in my home town (which is choc-a-bloc with OAP’s) I can’t help think how stylish they look. WHAT? Yes that is correct, the midi is the summer style staple of grannies up and down the country Everywhere you turn there’s a sliver of calf and then a swoosh of midi. Brights, floral, stripes, and chiffon any look you can think of. So then I get the urge to go to a granny store see what treasures I can dig up but my brain tells me this is not a good idea hence the midi also not been a good idea. I know there are ways to ‘sex’ up the look but for now I cannot get my head around the granny favourite.

So it’s the maxi that’s the winner for me, floaty or tight, and easy to wear. I have a nude chiffon one with a mini skirt underneath so I guess it’s a mixture but perfect to dress up or dress down especially for the summer months. I have a black fitted jersey one that is a casual alternative and a few maxi dresses to add on top of that. WINNER.

I think if I were to sample the midi style it would be the pencil, the new styles around this season are fitted, tailored, casual, glam, leather and lace, a shed load of choice maybe I’ll dip in and try one out…

PU leather pencil rib side skirt £36 // Jersey pencil skirt £25 // PU waistband pencil skirt £30 all Topshop

Unwritten Rules

I have several unwritten rules about outfit choices when going on a night out. You may or may not agree with them, sometimes I break them as they are my rules so I can. But one that I will not be breaking again is never wear trousers.

Yeah I hear you say what are you talking about but think about it, you want to feel all girly and pretty skirts and dresses are a must. Leopard print silk trousers are apparently a faux pas, as much as I loved them when I bought them from Urban Outfitters I think that the town of Bridlington is not ready for something quite like them.

The only thing that stopped me from turning around and going home, after yet another comment about MC Hammer, were my brand spanking new Swallow Cut-Out Wedges from Toppers (another rule always wear heels). I mentioned them a couple of months ago, told myself I should not buy anymore shoes and then on Saturday saw them they had my size and whaddya know they’re wrapped up in a lovely box ready for me to take home. (I feel the need to add that technically because I was returning a dress these beauts on top of student discount only cost £20!)

Day Twenty Seven – This Month in Great Detail

Yeah it 22:18, I’ve put this off loooooong enough. So here goes, the month starts from 18th May.

It’s the day after my last (and first) exam, I laid in bed all day suffering from an extreme hangover but what a great night with the journo bunch… miss you guys.

Spot the journo

That week was pretty much a blur of drunken haziness. Wednesday night out, with Kelly and Edith, planning on a easy going night out ended up preeetty hammered without realising haha love those times. Thursday attempted the last ever Promo and failed. Then Friday came and we ventured to Blackpool for a lovely day out on the pier and in the arcades trying to win tickets so we could buy stuff like a waterpistol, an etch-a-sketch, sweets, and playdoh. Then everyone congregated at the Last Ever Manorgate Party to bid a fond farewell to the huge house that has held many a crazy party in it. Everybody say ahhhhh.

Err then this weekend was amazing because it was gloriously sunny, a great end to time spent in Preston. You did me well oh Prestoncity, bidding me a sunny farewell. Bbq’s in the park with Tequilaville. Love it.

Siobhan The BBQuer

Then said my byebyes to the lovely folk on Monday, shared a big fat Indian with Kelly and then bye to Tequilaville. The packing took forever, even though I had already made about 3 trips home with stuff already, how does stuff just gather?!!

Then I think those first few days at home were spent not doing much, unpacked in a day but it’s really not unpacked just stuffed under my bed haha. I promise that I will sort all that junk out soon. When I can find the time….

The first night out back home is always an event, I can’t actually remember what happened as there weren’t any photos taken. I think I remember dancing to videos on Youtube, most likely Beyonce Rolling on the River. Then a lot of vodka and more dancing. I think it took me a whole day to recover from that hangover.

I must have joined the gym at some point in the first week or so at home, been going ever since as I don’t have a lot to fill my days. Err and I think I went to a pub quiz as well, must have done. Yes I remember I shared a whole bottle of wine with Claris, and caught up on Brid gossip.

I pulled a muscle in my arm that rendered me incapable for a few days after going to a studio resistance class at the gym, agony I tell you absolute agony.

I think also since I’ve been home I’ve probably bought about 4 new Barry M nail varnishes. A new denim jacket, a crochet dress, a couple of maxi dresses, leggings, sandals, blue shorts, pink top, trainers, jogging bottoms, sports bra, make up.

I have this maxi but it's all cream, love it. Looks good with the dj and I heart my slash knitted dress. (All Toppers)

Also just recently purchased the complete boxset of The OC, but I still need to finish watching Dawson’s Creek otherwise I’ll get confused. Then I’ve just received the True Blood books, which will no doubt confuse me to no end because they aren’t exactly the same as the television series which has just started again.

Erm I can’t think of anything else I’ve done that I haven’t already blogged about and I’m boring myself. So goodnight I’m tired.