26 January 2013

Winter Galactica

When I blogged about Topshop back in November (you can find the post here), I talked about how galactica, and all things sci-fi, was a key trend in their A/W mid-season range.

Well, next season, sci-fi fashion is set to become even more universal - to infinity... and beyond! (Sorry.)

Yes, this theme could be seen all over the S/S 13 catwalks by designers such as Markus Lupfer, Alexander McQueen and Antipodium.

Therefore I decided to invest in a couple of galactic pieces, and what's more galactic than a lovely galaxy print? However, I had to think how I could layer these pieces for a cool, casual look - that is also warm and comfortable - as the weather has been very snowy recently.

I first invested in a monochrome skater skirt, and added some colour through a cosy, pink, high-necked jumper. Tights were a must due to the cold temperatures in the North at the moment, then I added some frilly socks to maximise the femininity of the outfit and my new leopard print, hi-top flatforms for a hint of street style. I was very snug!

Jumper - Urban Outfitters
Skirt - Urban Outfitters
Tights - M&S
Socks - Topshop
Flatforms - Topshop

For my second galaxy print piece, I chose a long vest top that is more versatile as it can be dressed up or down. It also has more character than the skater skirt as the colours are brighter hues and bring out the print - orange, blue, navy, purple and white can be seen, as well as black.

I teamed the vest top with berry jeans, as berry is still very much a key colour trend in this transitional period between A/W and S/S, a khaki jumper and my leopard print shoe-boots. I do love leopard print!

Then, in order to brave the outdoors, I added my good ol' reliable navy coat and a leopard print scarf to co-ordinate with the leopard print look of my boots

Top - Hearts & Bows at ASOS
Jeans - MOTO at Topshop
Jumper - Topshop
Boots - Topshop
Scarf - Vintage
Coat - NEXT

The second outfit is a lot more colourful than the first, which I like, as it brightens up a cold Winter morning! I, personally, love the galactic trend and might have to invest in more pieces in the future! Watch this space.

(Are you currently wearing the galactic trend? What pieces have you bought? I'd love to know! Also, check out my article for IDEAL magazine here showing you how to get the galactic beauty look! 

UPDATE - The first outfit has recently been featured on Look magazine's website as one of their 'Street Style Fashion' looks - as well as their Facebook and Twitter page!

Check it out on the website for yourself here. How exciting! Katie-xo)

22 January 2013

The Final Gossip Girl Debate: Blair Vs Serena

This is a very special post in tribute to one of my favourite TV series - which has just recently ended - Gossip Girl.

I only saw the last episode the other day. After six seasons of watching the show (an American teen drama for anyone who doesn't know), I am sad to see it end, but it's true that it has run its course. It was on the air from 19th September 2007 until 17th December 2012 and the writers seemed to use every storyline imaginable!

The show focussed on the lives of five privileged young adults: Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively), Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester), Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick), Nate Archibald (Chase Crawford) and Dan Humphrey (Penn Badgley). There were constant elements of competition with all of the characters, but the competition that stood out the most to me (and probably the rest of the fashion-conscious audience) was who had the best style: Blair or Serena?

They both looked fabulous all the time - whether they were laid in bed in their fancy apartments, out running errands in the Big City or attending one of the most high profile parties of the season. I could never decide on my favourite, therefore I plan to settle the debate for once and for all! It's about time that I made my mind up!

I'm going to look at these gorgeous girls in a number of contexts and pick a winner for each 'round', if you like. Then I will pick an overall winner based on each round! Without further ado...

1. At School


Blair was the Queen Bee at her private school, and the Queen of Prep. I love her simplistic, stereotypical school girl look - with her signature headband and over-the-knee socks - but I think Serena wins this one! The clash of the stripes and checks means that there's a lot more going on with her outfit and I love that the colour palette varies from grey to pink to purple. Also, I have major bag envy!

2. Travelling


Blair wore this air-hostess-inspired dress, complete with monochrome stiletto heels, during a plane journey. At the other end of the spectrum, Serena dressed down for her train journey back to New York. She sported a look of Parisian chic, complete with Louis Vuitton designer luggage. Due to the fact that casual comfort is always the best way to go when travelling, and Blair looks slightly OTT, Serena wins again! 

3. Running an Errand


Blair wraps up in a thick winter coat over a shirt, skirt and navy tights - but adds splashes of colour through her accessories. Serena keeps it simple in jeans and a blazer, but the shirt she's wearing underneath is very revealing for a daytime look - therefore Blair wins! I also like how the splashes of colour in Blair's outfit add character.

4. At Work

Blair looks the picture of class in her white, frilly shirt and pencil skirt - teamed with red detailing through her accessories. Serena's work clothes look just as expensive, however her navy dress teamed with neutral accessories is a bit dull in comparison! It's true that Blair is the Queen of Accessories, as well as the Queen of Prep - no one can rock a headband like she can. Blair wins.

5. Summer Chic


I absolutely love the snakeskin prints and textures in Serena's outfit. The colour palette is lush and suits her blonde-hair-blue-eyes beauty. I bet that the dress is perfect for warm weather being a silky fabric and loose! However, Blair's dress is just so much more fun and playful! The shape and print of it makes it look like she's just stepped out of the fifties and the colour palette is so young and fresh. It's summer chic at its best! Bravo, Blair.

6. Party Time 


Blair looks a little bit over-accessorised in this outfit. I like the monochrome look on her, and the sequinned skirt screams 'it's party time', but the fussy blouse teamed with her signature headband is a bit too much. Serena, on the other hand, wears lace and satin to perfection. You could argue that this dress is quite provocative, but if you can't dress a little bit sexy for a party then when can you? Serena wins.

7. Red Carpet Event 


Serena looks stunning in this gold number; it really suits her skin tone, hair colour and figure. However, no one can do princess like Blair Waldorf - after all, she was a princess in the show for a while! Her brick red gown reminds me of Valentino haute couture and is accessorised beautifully with a silver and purple stoned necklace and purpley coloured shoes (which shouldn't go with this dress but, weirdly, do)! This one's a close call - as Serena also looks the epitome of luxury - but Blair wins.

If my calculations are correct, Blair is the overall winner! To be honest, I'll always love both of their styles. I think Serena's appeals to me because it's a lot like mine - she tends to throw looks together rather than polish it to perfection. It looks cool in an effortless way. On the other hand, Blair is so well put together and - in a way - I think that's more admirable. More effort goes into her outfits and the way it is done is like a work of art!

I hope that you've enjoyed reading this little post because I've really enjoyed writing it! I will miss Gossip Girl but I will miss the style more! That's for sure.

Do you agree with my winner for each round? Do you prefer Serena's style overall or Blair's? Let me know. Katie-xo

13 January 2013

My First Giveaway

Hello, everyone!

Recently I've been very active in the blogging community, taking the time to visit fellow fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogs and appreciate the hard work that each author is putting into them.

I've noticed that bloggers running giveaways is a popular idea, in order to reward their readers for their loyalty and continued interest in their blog and hard work. THEREFORE, I have decided to host my first giveaway - for all my lovely readers! :)

I know I only have a small readership at the moment but the subscribers that I do have are incredibly loyal and I just want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH! I'm coming up to 5,000 hits and it still astounds me that people are taking the time out to come and have a look at my work - it's flattering and humbling. I dedicate this giveaway to you guys, and I hope that you continue to follow 'I Spy Trends' as blogging is my passion and, in all honesty, I'M LOVING IT.

The Goodies

Here's what you could win!

Cath Kidston Make-Up Bag
Barry M Colour Chameleon Nail Varnish
Secret Garden Co Double Stacked Gold Ring
Benefit Lipgloss Set
Topshop Gold Triangle Dangle Earrings
Retro 70's-Style Badges

Secret Garden Co were kind enough to donate this beautiful, fashion-forward gold ring for my first giveaway:

For those who don't know of them: Secret Garden Co is the exclusive lifestyle brand that specialises in statement fashion, jewellery and homeware pieces for women. You can read more about them in my interview with the founder, Nicki Silvanus, here. Secret Garden Co is available via Etsy. They have some lush pieces, so make sure that you check them out!

On a different note, two years after I first blogged about them and people are still going Cath Kidston crazy! How lush is this make-up bag?! I can't get enough of their cute floral prints - I love them!

I have also included this fabulous lipgloss set by Benefit - there are five different shades to suit whatever mood you're in and whatever look you're going for this season! A must-have!

How to Win

I'm running this giveaway through Rafflecopter, UK-only. Basically, how it works is that you follow the requirements on Rafflecopter below to earn entries. The top two requirements are: follow my blog and comment on this post with your email address and blog name. You can also do various other things, such as following myself and Secret Garden Co on social networks, to earn more entries.  And the more entries you have, the more chance you have of winning these gorgeous goodies!

Rafflecopter will then randomly choose the winner, who will be notified by email to ask for their address and then the goodies will be mailed to this lucky person!

The closing date is two weeks from now: Sunday 27th January. So get entering!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck everyone! And thank you again for reading my blog!


11 January 2013

Harry Potter and the Charity Shop Shirt

Happy Friday, my lovely readers!

As you may, or may not, know - my Christmas present from the boyfriend was tickets to the Harry Potter set tour at Warner Bros Studios in Watford. Being a complete and utter Harry Potter nerd, you can imagine my excitement when I found out!

Kane and I were lucky enough to spend eight days together over New Year, four in my home town and four in his - and drove from Bristol to Watford on Monday 7th January for our tour time of 3.30pm.

A couple of days before, we decided to visit a little village not too far from Kane's house called Thornbury - known for only consisting of charity shops and pubs.

Admittedly, I hardly ever go charity shopping. Lots of fashionistas boast about how they find bargains in them, but when I'd been previously I found nothing but old tat. UNTIL THAT DAY IN THORNBURY!

I picked up this little beauty in the Multiple Sclerosis shop:

Vintage shirt - £3

And wore it to the studios on the Monday! Encapsulating the dark romance of A/W 12, this floral shirt is the final trend-driven piece I will buy for this season! Purchases from now on will be bought with S/S 13 in mind.  I paired the shirt with jeggings, thick socks and Chelsea-style boots for a look that was comfy and casual, yet fashionable:

I then added a vintage leather jacket to toughen up the look, and a warm, cream scarf in order to battle the cold:

Needless to say, the set tour was amazing! I was astounded. You don't realise how much hard work goes into creating the sets, props and costumes for the films. Just being able to walk round the place where they filmed a lot of the scenes blew my mind.

I don't want to spoil it for people who haven't been, therefore I'm only going to upload a few photo highlights. But if you're a fan of Harry Potter, you should definitely go if you get the opportunity! It's not to be missed.

Outside the entrance:

In the Great Hall:

Admiring Dumbledore's office:

Having a poke around Hagrid's Hut:

Exploring Diagon Alley:

Buying my first Butterbeer: 

It's very tasty! Sweet, creamy and not quite fizzy - but certainly scrumptious!

Outside Number 4, Privet Drive:

Us on Hagrid's motorbike:

And, finally, the pride and joy of the Art department - a 1:24 scale model of Hogwarts - which was really impressive:

I also bought myself a few goodies from the gift shop (it had to be done!):

My favourite is the Deathly Hallows symbol necklace. Expensive, but SO WORTH IT. It's incredibly cool:

I can't wait to wear it!

Thank you to Kane for taking me to the set tour, thank you to the people behind the scenes for creating such a wonderful experience and thank you J.K Rowling for the magic that is Harry Potter!

(Check out the article I wrote for IDEAL, on the do's and don'ts of charity shopping here. Note: this post is dedicated to my Grams, who loved Harry Potter almost as much as I do. RIP, forever in my heart. Xo)

6 January 2013

New Girl Crush: Taylor Swift

Admittedly, I didn't used to like Taylor Swift. Like Justin Bieber, I thought she was overconfident for her years and some would argue that this meant she fitted into the 'annoying little American' stereotype. I also didn't take too much to her country music, being an indie rock girl at heart.

However, as Taylor became increasingly popular with the music industry, building a solid fan base and winning award after award, I worried that I had judged her too quickly. She has won several awards for her musical talent including six Grammy Awards, eleven American Music Awards, seven Country Music Association Awards, six Academy of Country Music Awards and thirteen BMI Awards. In addition to these, as a songwriter, she has been honoured by the Nashville Songwriters Association and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

I thought it was about time that I actually sat down and listened to her music and gave the girl a chance! I was curious to see whether she lived up to the hype. I came to realise that, upon the release of her fourth studio album 'Red', she seems to have matured; this is conveyed through a series of songs where she talks about love and loss. As someone who has taken the time out to listen to the whole album a handful of times, it sounds like she's really lived even though she's only 23 years old. With this wisdom, and extended knowledge of the world, has also come humbleness.

I surprised myself and found that I could really relate to her and the experiences that she has gone through, for I am almost the same age as her. The title track is just sheer gold for any girl who has fallen in love and been stuck in a dead-end relationship.

I also really like her current single, 'I Knew You Were Trouble', which features her new ombre hair that goes from blonde to pink (read my feature on ombre hair here)!

I should probably mention that, as well as being respected in the music industry, she has become somewhat of a fashion icon. I recently had to write an article for IDEAL on how to get her look (read this article here).

Research showed that her usual style is quite feminine and preppy. But in the 'I Knew You Were Trouble' video she is sporting more of a punk rock look through her new ombre hair, a ripped tee, skinny grey jeans and black leather boots. I think it suits her (see the video here)!

I have to admire her for coming from a small town - Wyomissing, Pennsylvania - and managing to become so successful at such a young age. It seems to me like she is at the peak of her music career and it wouldn't surprise me if she expands into other industries - she has already branched out into acting with her small part in romantic comedy 'Valentines Day', as well as just having launched her own perfume 'Wonderstruck'.

I reckon she will take the fashion industry by storm. We are going to see big things from Taylor Swift! Mark my words.

(Check out my other articles that have been recently published on IDEAL:
1. How to: Winter Tan.
2. Top Ten Suitcases.
3. Christmas Weekend Jumpers.
4. Zara and Levi's Ban Toxic Fashion.
Let me know what you think! Katie-xo)
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