Summertime Sadness

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As we all know the ‘January blues’ are a full on state of depression in which you can’t get out of until you start booking things to look forward to for the rest of the year. For myself, this meant spending a lot of money throughout the whole month of January just so I didn’t have a mental breakdown. However, January is nearly over, which means we are one step closer to the summer period. Usually this means that holiday’s start getting booked, diets become a way of life and our wardrobes become a lot more colourful.

The best way to banish these ‘January blues’ for good is to start getting thing booked in to your diary ASAP. For most of us it is payday tomorrow so don’t wait, start saving now because it will be worth it when you are sunning yourself on the beach with a cocktail or having a laugh with your mates at a festival. I would definitely recommend either buying a calendar/dairy to write your events down in because they you can actually see what you’ve got booked in to make your 2017 great. Another way to do this is to download one of the ‘countdown’ apps on your phone and set it all up on that – most of them are free so you can save a few extra pennies towards your summer experiences.

It is a well known fact that ‘the best things in life are NOT free’ so get saving and then get spending. For myself 2017 is going to be a very expensive year, I have already purchased my ticket for Ladies day at Aintree racecourse and therefore on top of that I need to buy a new dress, heels and fascinator so I look the part. I also plan to go on a little holiday once I have finished my final year exams in May and then of course my graduation is going to be something to celebrate.

So, basically even if you’re feeling a bit down it is important to remain optimistic and make a plan of the things you want to do/achieve this year. Once you have a plan set in place is it just a case of working hard, saving up your pennies and then booking it. Don’t make life so hard on yourself and make sure your 2017 is a year to remember.

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“London Baby!” (and Christmas ideas)

At the weekend I went to visit my boyfriend in London. As most of you will know the new Missguided store has just opened in Stratford Westfield shopping centre and so I was eager to go and see it. As you can imagine it was extremely busy due to a combination of ‘Black Friday’ weekend and Christmas shoppers. The store is absolutely insane, it is much bigger than I expected it to be and there is a lot more product in there than what you can see online. Due to it being such a success within the first couple of days there wasn’t many items left in my size which I was disappointed about (my bank account was relieved). If you live in the area or nearby I would definitely recommend a visit, particularly if you are already a Missguided shopper.

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Over the past few weeks I have wanted to get myself organised and ready for the Christmas/NY period. I only have two full weeks left of my first term at university which is quite a scary thought and so I feel like if I set a plan in motion, it will help me to keep motivated and meet all of my deadlines. I find that the best way to keep organised is to keep a diary so that I know what is happening and when. So, last week I order myself my 2017 ‘Scouse Bird Diary’ from http://www.scousebirdproblems.com/shop.aspx this is perfect because it helps me to remember my key dates as well as keeping me entertained and best of all it looks pretty when I get it out in the middle of my lectures. The Scouse Bird shop has so many great ideas from Christmas presents so I would definitely have a look on there if you want something unique.

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Another website that I have recently found and fell in love with is http://www.notonthehighstreet.com/partners/themotivatedtype/products?view=many and there prints are funny, cute and a little bit quirky. This is a great potential present for anyone and you can buy them with or without the frame which I think is great. This particular print below is my absolute favourite because it literally describes my life at university. There are plenty of deals online at the moment, most of them end tonight so I would suggest buying your xmas presents sooner rather than later, you will feel better for it in the long run.

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Don’t judge a degree by its title

As you probably know if you have read my previous blog posts, I am currently in my final year of university studying Fashion Buying and Merchandising. So, of course when I tell people the name of my course their first response is usually ‘Oh, so what does that entail?’ However, sometimes I don’t even get to share this information because most people jump to the conclusion of ‘you learn how to buy clothes then’ when actually, there is a lot more to it than that. Like most degrees, you don’t actually know a lot about the subject unless you are actually studying it, but particularly in relation to fashion students as we are sometimes perceived as not being very clever and people seem to think that we just sit there drawing or looking at clothes all day. I can tell you now this couldn’t be further from the truth. Firstly, I am rubbish at drawing and secondly, I left college with 2 A*’s in Business studies, so I kind of have an idea as to what I am letting myself in for.

Although I am fully aware that my degree will not be the only university course that comes under scrutiny, I am writing to explain the frustration that I feel when people don’t take the time to discuss with me what I have actually be doing for the past 2 and a half years of my life. I have always been interested in Fashion however, it wasn’t what I thought my future career would be in. When I left college at the age of 18 I decided to look in to PR/Marketing. I worked in a company for over a year and then decided I wanted to further my education and that is when I looked in to Fashion Buying and Merchandising. The first thing that struck me about my course was that it dealt with ‘how to work with suppliers’ and this was great for me because that was what I had been doing for the past year and I had thoroughly enjoyed doing it. Now, in my final year I am weighed down with a 7,000 word assignment, an 8,000 dissertation and 3 exams at the end of it and I can tell you now that I won’t receive my end degree just because I like looking at pretty clothes. It has been an intense 2 and a half years which has included many mental breakdowns, sleepless nights and yes some failures, but I wouldn’t change my experience for anything.

The point of this blog post is to encourage people to find out a bit more about people before you know them, particularly university students on courses that you may not know so much about. University isn’t easy for anyone, but it is extremely difficult when people think you have it easy just because of the title of your course.

Winter in MCR

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It is that time of year in Manchester again; the city centre is manic due to the return of the Christmas markets. If you haven’t yet been to the markets, it is definitely worth a visit this year as there seems to be more stalls than ever before. This is a great time of year to visit the city, whether you just want to walk around and look at the seasonal decorations or you want to find unique Christmas presents for your family/friends. You are guaranteed to have a great day out. If you aren’t one of the locals, you might find yourself getting lost between all of the wooden stalls and unsure where you are heading, don’t panic. All of the different markets link together in some way and it is lovely to see all of the different products that are on offer. They have also brought back the ice rink this year which is great for families, children and students who are just up for a laugh. Finally, if you do get the chance to visit this year, grab yourself either a glass of prosecco (possibly a German beer for the men) and/or a mulled/wine hot chocolate, you will receive this in one of the famous Manchester markets mugs or glasses. You will have to put a deposit down on your mug/glass so it is up to you whether you give it back or take it home as a cute souvenir.

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Places to go:

Whether you are a local or not, there are a number of bars/restaurants that you need to visit in Manchester. Two that I have only recently visited are Albert Schloss and Tattu, I would highly recommend both. They both have great atmospheres and the drinks are amazing, especially the cocktails that they have on offer. I know the run up to Christmas is expensive, so we don’t always have the money to spend on going out for meals/drinks. So, a good time to potentially visit these restaurants would be in January as they usually have lots of offers on then which won’t hurt your bank balance too much.

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Vogue 100: A Century of Style

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A couple of weeks ago I went to Manchester Art Gallery to view the Vogue 100 exhibition. It was a great opportunity for me to go and do some research on a subject that I am looking in to for my dissertation.

Vogue 100 actually starts in the here and now with modern covers and unexpectedly a film showing models in close up, playing in a mirrored alcove so everywhere you look are reflections upon reflections. Then you can trace a path back through the decades of celebrities and approaches, ending up where it all began in 1916.

There is no specific route that you have to take through the gallery, whichever way you chose to go this is clearly an exhibition about the artists that have made Vogue what it is today rather than the story of its production, editorship or backroom dramas. It enables us to see how popular culture was presented and influenced by the pages of this magazine through the choices of models, designers, photographers, celebrities and actual artists who drew works for the early spreads or, like Picasso, were featured in the magazine itself.

The 1920s and 30s show a selection of early prints in decorated glass cases which is a nice touch reflecting the particular style of each era and the major players of the day. This decades represent a stagey look to the images with models in formal, often classical poses against pillars or architecture that infer the silhouette of the outfit. Often ‘moody’, the use of lighting creates contrasts of light and shadow that add considerable atmosphere to the black and white prints, as well as an elegance that colour photos just never seem to emulate.

On to the 40s and the décor becomes a bold striking red as it contrasts its war coverage of pilots and military workers with the New Look that Dior introduced after the conflict. It’s an interesting approach that offers both sides of the magazine’s work. The full-skirted elegance of the 50s gives way to a much more relaxed approach to modelling in the 1960s as formal poses are replaced with ‘action’ shots of fashion in everyday lives. Twiggy of course being one of the most familiar faces. By the time we reach the 70s and 80s it’s those experiments with colour and composition that seem to take precedence.

Vogue 100 doesn’t claim the magazine has profoundly changed the world, but for 100 years it has reflected society’s changing values while offering entertainment and escapism to its readers. Although it is all glossy photos of a world that doesn’t exist, try to view it as an expression of a changing fantasy life.

Vogue 100 is at Manchester Art Gallery until 30th October and entry is free. I would definitely recommend going to see it if you have time.

Work Hard, Play Harder

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Since my last post at the end of August, I have been a busy little bee. At the beginning of September I was given the opportunity to work at Matalan HQ in Liverpool, I absolutely loved my time there and it gave me some insight as to what I can expect when I finish university in June next year. During my time there I was able to work within the Childrenswear department, specifically with the Disney team which was very exciting and enjoyable. Since then, I have moved back to Manchester to continue and complete my studies. I thoroughly enjoyed my freshers week, although I can’t seem to hack going out more than 3/4 times a week now (which my bank balance is very grateful for)

For my first week back in Manchester me and my flat mate celebrated with many drinks, including prosecco on the balcony of our new flat. We also went to a fairly recently opened restaurant in Manchester called ‘Menagerie’ which I would definitely recommend for anyone who wants a very edgy vibe with great music whilst dining.

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And of course, with it being the start of a new term I just had to treat myself with my first installment of student loan. I got the below heeled boots from Miss Selfridge and managed to get a massive 20% off them – they will be perfect for winter in Manchester.

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Pretty in Print

The print on clothing is constantly becoming bigger, brighter and better. This summer, big prints have been a must have. They allow us to add some colour to our wardrobe and really show off our unique styles through colour and different patterns. As a pre-payday treat I bought this beautiful bodysuit from Zara. I love the colours and it will be perfect to pair with a white skirt/pants for a night out. We all know that Zara accessories are always on points, and so I couldn’t resist the below sets of chokers. I can’t wait to wear them with many different outfits.

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I bought the below shirt just before I went on my holiday to Amsterdam at the beginning of August. It is from Boohoo and I absolutely love the print and it has been the perfect summer buy. I have noticed that recently other retails, such as Missguided have also got products with this print on too, so if you want it but potentially in a different style, try them.14192631_10206781450717233_319476212019326920_n