20 September 2011

All Hail the "Fashion Doughnut"

...As Krispy Kremes are now being called, by publications such as Glamour.



Krispy Kreme, like Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts, is an American fast food chain. But like Tim Hortons in Canada... It's not very fast.

A Krispy Kreme store opened a few months ago, not too far away from me, in Birstall. I'd heard so much hype around it by people I knew on Facebook, naturally I had to go check it out.

So I queued for half an hour for some doughnuts, against my better judgement. It's safe to say... They were worth it!

I bet if I really tried I could go around the supermarkets - and other fast food chains - and find doughnuts that taste just as good as Krispy Kremes. I could find them for 50p each rather than over one quid... And in just as many varieties... But I won't.

Why?

Because I, like so many others, are willing to pay that little bit extra for the brand.

Stupid? Yes.

Clever branding by Krispy Kreme? Extremely... They're having consumers believe that they produce upmarket doughnuts, with an element of exclusivity.

But fair play to them, they do have the product to back it up.

An article in the latest issue of Glamour magazine states that they have collaborated with Krispy Kreme to produce two limited editions in orange and pink - called the Glamour Glaze doughnuts.

I will definitely be sampling these the next chance I have to go down to Birstall. Keep up the good work, Krispy Kreme.
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Canada's Worst Kept Secret: Say Hello To Tim Hortons

It came to my attention during my visit to Calgary that there was one fast food chain that you just couldn't get away from. Like Starbucks in New York, there was one on every corner. It was always busy, whatever time of day you went at... Whether you queued in the Drive Thru or inside, or even in the airport, the queue was always long. Too long to bother with, in my opinion.

Two words: Tim Hortons.



Founded in 1967 and named after Tim Horton - a famous Canadian hockey player - it has slowly become Canada's most popular fast food chain with now over 3000 stores nationwide. Like American chains Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme, it is known for its coffee and doughnuts.

Unfortunately I never got to sample Tim Hortons while I was there so I can't comment on whether a Tim Hortons doughnut would be worth the half an hour to an hour wait.

However, I have been getting on the Krispy Kreme hype. #sorrynotsorry
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19 September 2011

Hollister and Abercrombie's Marketing is Spot On

I think its safe to say that the American casualwear brand Abercrombie & Fitch, and its sister brand Hollister, are starting to take the UK by storm.

The storm has already hit America, and wreaking havoc, with both brands now reaching a high level of awareness and recognition overseas. They're widely known for their innovative in-store environments, interesting VM techniques and model-like Sales Assistants... and recently Hollister has managed to push the boundaries of retail design even further.

Earlier this year the new flagship Hollister store opened on 5th Avenue, which I was lucky enough to see whilst I was in New York in June.

The store has large LCD screens that cover the front of the building and show a live video feed of the California beach - it's so impressive, it kind of takes your breath away! During the day two models stand either side of the doorway dressed in swimwear, which really captures the essence of what Hollister is all about and communicates it to the consumer in such a way that is clear and powerful.



I mean, I must admit, seeing the outside of the store made me want to go in to see what the inside was like... Not because I necessarily wanted to buy anything! It's really clever, because then you go in and you see the product and you're like... Actually, I want a slice of what they're selling... I'll buy a shirt just so I can have a piece of this lifestyle.

Abercrombie & Fitch was just a few doors down from Hollister on 5th Ave. Their building is currently undergoing some sort of renovation - but they, too, had a way of enticing consumers into the store. A model was stood at the entrance, with a Sales Assistant who took polaroids of consumers with the model as they walked into the store. Then she printed them out and put them in a special Abercrombie & Fitch cardboard frame before handing them to the consumer.

It was like a freebie for each consumer, and the sense that they'd received a little piece of Abercrombie and had a good experience without actually even buying into the brand. And then they show their gratitude by going into the store, and purchasing something. It is very clever. It made me feel so special, I almost bought into it!

But being a skint student, I thought I'd settle for the polaroids.

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26 June 2011

Why Coldplay's Glasto Set Was Extremely Postmodern

Last night I watched Coldplay headline Glastonbury for the third time. It's safe to say... They absolutely killed it!

They've got a new album in production and played a couple of songs from it during their set... It amazes me that they've been around for so long and yet they're still managing to churn out good music!

I couldn't help in noticing the theme of the production though... It was very fluorescent and psychedelic... And extremely on trend with the neon colour palette!





(Images courtesy of Pinterest.)

It made me think back to my study of the postmodern trends that are looking to influence fashion for my final 2nd year project at Uni. One of them revolved around neon colours, paint splatters, sharp lines, shapes and strobe lights - inspired by the past work of designers such as Alexander McQueen and Dolce and Gabbana, as well as films such as Bladerunner.

This trend can be seen especially through the performance of their final song (their new single 'Every Teardrop is a Waterfall') - check out the laser beam lighting, use of colour and pulsating pyramid, in particular!

I want to know the names of the people who are marketing Coldplay at the moment - they are so on it it's untrue!
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22 June 2011

Sometimes It's Better to Choose Function Over Fashion

Sometimes, when it comes to what you wear, you have to be practical rather than fashionable. I was reminded of this lesson during my day at Download festival on Sunday 12th June.



Basically... It rained all day long. And not just the straightforward drizzly rain, but the kind of rain that goes in a sideways direction, blows in the wind and just gets you soaked all over regardless of whether you have an umbrella or not.

My fashion plans for Download? S/S 11 Western Girl Chic (mentioned in a previous post) consisting of a textured white top and high waisted denim hotpants with a skinny tan vintage-style belt, a tan fringed leather handbag and wellies (because wellies are a festival staple... FACT).

Well, that all went up in flames due to the weather. I looked outside in the morning and saw only dark clouds (but at that point it wasn't even raining!) Still, I had to put tights with my hotpants which ruined the summer essence of the outfit, change my bag as I was worried it would get ruined if it rained and add a standard black cardigan.

Then we arrived in Donington Park and the heavens opened. I got soaked to the skin in a matter of minutes and had to purchase a cheap black hoodie, in order to keep myself warm, and the sexiest looking poncho you've ever seen, in order to keep myself dry!

So, instead of looking as good as Kate Moss manages to with her festival fashion year upon year - I looked like this:



GRUNGE-TASTIC! But hey, at least I managed to stay smiling (until the sixth hour of rain):

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10 April 2011

Festival Fashion Makes a Comeback for SS11

It's that time of year again. Everyone's starting to talk about festivals and what might be in fashion this year according to the S/S 11 trends! Western Chic is a big rumour (fringing, checked shirts, anything tan), along with New Romantic (ditsy florals, floaty fabrics, pastel colours)!

I personally love the festival fashion hype. Usually I read about all the trends at the beginning of the festival season as the first ones (like Isle of Wight and Glasto) are occurring... Then I perfect my outfit in time for Leeds festival at the end of August!

BUT this year that's all going to change. Having been to Leeds for three years running now, I've decided to go in a different direction... This year, I'm hoping to get a day ticket for Download in June (same time as Isle of Wight)!

I want to go on the Sunday - Bowling for Soup, The Pretty Reckless and Linkin Park? Yes, please!

I'm really looking forward to seeing The Pretty Reckless... I've always had a bit of a girl crush on Taylor Momsen, ever since she was in Gossip Girl! I like her grungy/gothic style:


And I like her even more now she's the front woman of The Pretty Reckless! I especially admire her confidence and attitude; that's what makes her so stylish!

Girl Power! And bring on the festival season!
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20 February 2011

Film Spotlight: Black Swan

The latest trend, or so it would seem? Going to see the film Black Swan at the cinema!

This pyschological thriller, directed by Darren Aronofsky, is nothing like what we've seen before - hence making it a must see! Especially for fashion lovers, as the costumes were created by none other than the Rodarte sisters - Laura and Kate Mulleavy.

Natalie Portman plays Nina, a ballerina at the prestigious New York City Ballet, who gets chosen to become the protagonist Swan Queen in the company's upcoming production of Swan Lake. The pressure to be perfect ultimately drives her mad.

Not going to lie, the film did freak me out quite a bit! It leaves you questioning what you've just seen and trying to work out your own theory as to how Nina became so troubled.

On another note, the costumes are seriously impressive! The Rodarte sisters were inspired by Anna Pavlova's 'The Dying Swan', backstage images from the New York City Ballet in the 70's and 80's, Degas' sculptures, their own S/S 10 collection and Eva Hesse. Beautiful, no?


(Image courtesy of Pinterest)

And because they're so beautiful, they've been capturing the attention of fashion's most loved magazines - such as Elle and Vogue.

Go see the film! For the fashion, if for nothing else.
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6 January 2011

SS11 Trend Alert: Colour Punching/Blocking

The future is bright with this S/S 11 trend!


(Magazine scan courtesy of Marie Claire)

I remember when colour blocking was 'in' a few seasons ago... But I found it difficult conforming to it. My personal style is quite grungy/edgy... so colour blocking is a bit out of my comfort zone, to say the least! I think it's important to only follow trends that are right for you, and relate to your personal style. Otherwise, how do you expect to rock it when you feel super silly? Confidence is key to pulling off any outfit. FACT.

But back to the subject at hand - tangerine, acid pink, egg yolk, grass green, cobalt and violet are set to be the colours to buy - taken from designer catwalks such as Roksanda Ilincic, Prabal Gurung, Giambattista Valli, Fendi, Miu Miu, Stella McCartney, Hermes, Burberry Prosum and Viktor & Rolf.

Just because this trend is not for me doesn't mean it's not for you. If you want to colour block, it is suggested you pair your piece (or pieces) with neutrals and whites so that you don't look like a walking rainbow! And, this way, you can just let your pieces stand out and do the talking.
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3 January 2011

My Very First Cath Kidston Haul

When I come home for the holidays it's the norm for my Mum and sister show me the new things that they have bought since I last saw them.

One of the things my Mum pulled out was a Cath Kidston apron... 'Lovely, Mum'... Then she pulled out a Cath Kidson tea towel... 'Lovely'... Then my sister showed me her Cath Kidston make-up bag... 'Wow you've got Cath Kidston too, nice!' Then a gadget case... 'Yeah, okay'... Then a keyring... Then a purse... 'Right, now it's getting old.'

Then to top it all off when I saw one of my friends from home she had a Cath Kidston case on her Iphone 4! People are going Cath Kidston crazy!



I could see it happening at some point. I mean, Cath Kidston products are truly endearing - I just adore the prints and colours that are used - but why is it happening now?

When I think of Cath Kidston, I think of ditsy florals, chintz, cherry patterns and of course, the typical 1950's housewife. The only reason I can think of as to why there is a higher consumer demand for this brand's products at the moment is the trend of nostalgia.

The brand hasn't done anything differently, apart from open at least 10 more stores in the UK in the past year or so. Okay, so a more well known high street presence could be helping to increase the demand... But I honestly believe it's nostalgia. The fashion sector sparked off the trend, and now other retailers are jumping on board.

Having realised this - I might have sold out a bit and bought myself a few Cath Kidson items in the sale in York. Cheeky, I know!

But I seriously couldn't resist.

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Why I Love Betty's Tearooms in Yorkshire

Yesterday my parents took me to York for the day and we had lunch in the cutest place ever - Betty's.

If you're not from Yorkshire, you probably won't know of Betty's... And that's a crime! Betty's is described as 'cafe tea rooms'; it is a brand well known for their chocolates, cakes and speciality teas. There are five cafe tea rooms in total - in Harrogate, Harlow Carr, Ilkley and Northallerton, as well as York.



It was my first time in Betty's yesterday and I have just fallen head over heels in love with the brand. It has been established since 1919 and as soon as you step through the doors there is a sense of heritage and traditionalism through the decor and the music, which consists of the Pavilion String quartet! A scene from the film Titanic came to mind, where Rose allows Jack to escort her to dinner in the dining hall and all the rich people are sat having a meal to the sounds of the String Quartet. 1900's chic!

We bought a couple of things from the bakery and I noticed the fact that 'Est. 1919' was written underneath the logo on the carrier bag... Then I looked around and noticed that everywhere the logo was featured (on the menu, on the walls, on the napkins even!), so was 'Est. 1919'.



It just made me realise there are so many brands out there using their long-established heritage as a promotional element these days... And it's not just fashion brands like Barbour and Burberry!

I'm not sure you can quite call it a trend, because it is likely these brands have always promoted their heritage and it has only just come to my attention! But it's something I have definitely noticed more than one brand doing... So it must be of significance to write about, right?

Either way, I now love Betty's! And that's not going to change anytime soon.

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