31 May 2013

Spring Bank Holiday Haul

Hello, my lovely readers! Hope that you are all well.

Last weekend I went back up North for the Spring Bank Holiday and had such a great time! It was a busy one catching up with both family and friends, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

I drove back to Wakefield on the Thursday night, then spent the day with my Mum on Friday! I finally got the chance to check out the new (well, not-so-new any more) Trinity Leeds shopping centre after it first opened in March.

Needless to say, I was genuinely impressed! It has a wide range of shops, bars and restaurants with a modern, contemporary design and pleasant environment.

I don't quite understand the significance of the glitzy silver horse statue in the middle, but oh well - it's pretty!

Here's what I bought:

Denim Pinafore - H&M - £9.99
Polkadot Plimsoles - H&M - £9.99
Frilly Socks - Primark £1.50 each

Pink Gem Gold Ring - Primark - £2.50
Oblong Gold Ring - Primark - £1.50
Pearl Gold Ring - New Look - £3.00

Vanilla and Strawberry Candles - Primark - £1.00 each
Diamonds Perfume - NEXT - £6.50

Short Sleeved White Shirt - NEXT - £26.00
Cream Jewelled Neck Top - NEXT - £28.00

Coral Frilly Socks - Topshop - £3.50
Set of Stud Earrings - Topshop - £3.50

This dress was my favourite purchase - a perfect holiday buy! It will look fabulous with a tan:

Zig-zag High Neck Dress - Topshop - £26.00

I had a brilliant time browsing the high street, but it's a good job that the shopping centre had a roof because the wind and rain that day was atrocious! However, it completely changed on Saturday. Sunshine, blue sky and warmth called for a day out around Wakefield with my family.

This also gave me the opportunity to (finally) visit the Hepworth Gallery. It's been open to the public since May 2011 and I've been meaning to check it out for ages - I've heard good things from the media.

I've always had a keen interest in art from studying it at AS Level, therefore I decided it was worth a look around. I'm quite like the large majority in the sense that I don't understand how some things that are exhibited in galleries can be classed as 'art'. I remember visiting one of the Tate galleries in London on a school trip and there was a basketball in a glass case - seriously, what's that about?

But I do love a good painting or sculpture. Barbara Hepworth's work wowed me slightly, especially the ceiling high sculptures:

I'd honestly recommend a trip there if you're local. After all, it's attracting art lovers from around the country, and it's free to get in, which must surely mean it's worth a look around?!

After the Hepworth, we went to my parent's local pub - The Ruddy Duck. This is also a new establishment so I'd never been - it was a weekend of new experiences really!

The Ruddy Duck has a beer garden where you can sit out overlooking the canal - it was amazing! I didn't even feel like I was in Wakefield.

I'm glad to see that they're finally improving the city with places like this because, let's face it, Wakefield has never been the nicest place in Yorkshire.

Then on Sunday night, my ladies and I went out on the town for Bank Holiday drinks and fun times! As always, we had a blast.

Our attempt at getting a photo of all of us before we went out:

As you can see, we had a bit of an issue with the self-timer! 

I wore my new Topshop dress as I couldn't wait for my holiday, after all!

Typical, impatient Katie when it comes to fashion.

(Do you like my Bank Holiday purchases? What did you get up to?

You may already know that I've recently started a new job as a Marketing Executive for a small children's products retailer. Please support my work and keep up to date with what I'm doing by liking their Facebook page www.facebook.com/kinderbase or following them on Twitter @NurseryUpdates. I'd appreciate it massively - thanks!


26 May 2013

New Girl Crush: Game of Thrones' Daenerys Targaryen

I'm sorry - but if you haven't heard of Game of Thrones yet - where have you been?!

It's an epic American fantasy TV series based on George R.R. Martin's novels, currently in it's third season. When people ask me about it, I tend to describe it as a more violent, raunchier, TV version of The Lord of the Rings.

There are a number of different characters and story lines, but the gist of it is that they all want the (Iron) throne. I have already established my favourites. Tyrion Lannister, the dwarf played by Peter Dinklage, is the best male character by far. But the best female character has to go Daenerys Targaryen - played by Emilia Clarke - my new girl crush.

Not only is she beautiful, but Daenerys Targaryen (aka Khaleesi) is smart and always gets what she wants. Not meaning to quote the Spice Girls, but she brings a huge amount of GIRL POWER to the proceedings, and she does it with dignity and grace (apart from the time where she had to eat a horse's heart in front of all of the Dothraki tribe). She's also the 'Mother of Dragons', which means she's automatically cool.

She has a heart of gold. However, what most impresses me about our Daenerys Targaryen is one simple, shallow, little thing - her hair. It's amazing - long, blonde and wavy! I'd love for mine to be like that.

I tried to recreate her waves the other week when I went out in Nottingham for my sister's birthday (read about it here). I used my VO5 curlers, but the waves looked nowhere near as good as hers!

My new aim in life is to, one day, be able to have Daenerys Targaryen's hair. As well as be able to kick as much ass as she does!

In the mean time, I'll just carry on drooling over her every time I watch a new episode of Game of Thrones.

(Do you watch Game of Thrones? Who's your favourite character? Katie-xo)


7 May 2013

Model Behaviour: The Kirsty Buttle Interview

Fashion models have always intrigued me. Nowadays - no matter what age, shape or size - they are portrayed in the media as beautiful, glamorous and practically perfect. But I always wondered whether life behind the scenes as a model is as perfect as it seems. The fabulous clothes, working with famous people and earning hundreds of pounds per shoot – is it all really true?
As a child, I explored modelling as a potential career path as I’m sure all young girls who are besotted with fashion do. But not all of us are of the right weight, height or have the general ‘look’!
Step forward, Kirsty Buttle.

Photography: Thierry Sewell
MUA: Jess Tressidder
Clothing: Jes Coates
Kirsty is a 21-year-old Freelance Fashion Model who has just started out in the industry. Having previously worked with her when we were both Sales Assistants at Faith Shoes in a shopping centre in Leeds, I can confirm that, not only is she stunning, but she is a beautiful person on the inside too.
There is always that question of: do these people, who make a living out of their looks, actually have brains? The answer in Kirsty’s case is yes. I wanted to talk to her about what it’s really like to be a model - the upsides, the downsides and general model behaviour – and see whether the media portrayal matches the reality. So, without further ado…

Me: How long have you been modelling for?
Kirsty: I've been modelling for about two years - since I was 18 - so not too long really!
Me: What made you get into modelling and how did you do it?             
Kirsty: People always commented on my figure; they said I was thin and that I should be a model. I didn't do much with the comments when I was younger. To be honest I was bullied quite a lot in school for being so thin, so I didn't want to attract attention to the fact that I was so slender. High school was the worst - I would get laughed at if I wore a skirt. They called me anorexic or 'chicken legs.' It was horrible and it made me hate the way I looked! I would try and wear bigger jumpers or clothes to hide it. When I turned into my later teens, I started to fill out more and became slightly curvier. I started looking at fashion shows online and decided that I would cast for one. I applied for the End of Summer Fashion Show in Leeds, and was delighted to get a call back. I drove there on my own and got stupidly nervous at the fact that I was a beginner. Girls had massive portfolios and business cards and I just had... well, myself! But after a week or so, I got a call saying I’d got the job and things spiralled from there! I met designers, photographers, models and I worked hard to build up my modelling business.

Photography: Sophie Abbott
Hair/Makeup/Styling: All Kirsty’s own
Me: How often do you model?
Kirsty: It can vary, as I still do have a full time job that I work around. Some weeks I can do three or four shoots, then not do anything for a while. It’s about finding the right balance.

Photography: Amie Parsons
Styling: Hannah Raymond, Lucie Palmer, Georgia Littlewood, Kim Ryder & Sasha Jones
Me: What else do you do alongside your modelling?
Kirsty: I studied Fashion Journalism at college and enjoy writing my own blog, alongside a column for On: Yorkshire magazine. I am a Freelance Fashion Writer and submit articles as and when I can. I'm also toying with going to university at the moment, but I'm not 100% sure and don't want jump in and commit myself. I also work as a deputy manager for Mint Velvet in Harrogate. I absolutely love my job!  Mint Velvet is such an amazing company to work for. Working there fulfils my fashion craving every day. Aside from fashion, my hobby is poker.
Me: What's your favourite shoot you've ever done?
Kirsty: I've done so many shoots with so many amazing people! I would have to say the ‘Marry The Night’ shoot with Emily Bailey Photography. The entire team were such a laugh to work with, and the talent and magic she works with a camera is astonishing! Rina Deb was the Make-Up Artist and she's a wizard with a make-up brush! Then there's Lou Marie Wheatcroft  - the Stylist. Her style is awesome - she definitely reflects her work. I worked with another model called Pippa and we had our hair done by Tony Waterhouse at Rebel Pin Up Hairdressing in Leeds. The shoot took place in the Outlaws Yacht Club; the atmosphere was electric and it made it so relaxing and comfortable to work in.

Photography: Emily Bailey
MUA: Rina Deb
Hair: Tony Waterhouse at Rebel Pin Up
Styling: Lou Marie Wheatcroft
Clothing: Birds Yard
Me: Can you talk me through 'a day in the life of' a model?
Kirsty: This is when people get surprised at what models say. They expect a glamorous charade of being chauffeured everywhere and being pampered. I'm not quite there yet. It’s seriously hard work - a lot of travelling, trains, buses, maps and walking – as well as long days. You can be at a shoot or a show for six hours, or more, just waiting around to be fitted in the clothes or have your hair and make-up done. Then, when you're ready and made up, it's a waiting game with lots of rehearsals making sure that the timing is right. Or, if it's a shoot, it’s being in front of the lights, getting my hair and make-up being touched up every few minutes, changing outfits and getting going again. But it's what I do, and I love it.

Photography: Amie Parsons
Styling: Hannah Raymond, Lucie Palmer, Georgia Littlewood, Kim Ryder & Sasha Jones
Me: What are the pros and cons to modelling?
Kirsty: There are many pros to modelling; you get to travel, meet some amazing people - different photographers, models and make-up teams – and be involved in creating art. However, there are cons too. Aside from the days being long and tiring, there's the prospect of things not going to plan. As a model you have to be wary - wary about the people you work for. I tell lots of girls who are starting out 'don't pay for photographs.' Too many girls think that they need to pay for fancy portfolios. It's not true. I haven't paid for a single shot that I've got in my portfolio. If you have an agent, they'll sort everything for you. But if, like myself, you work freelance then you are your own wall of defence. Always look into people you are planning to work with. Ask to see portfolios or people that they've worked with and be sure before you agree. If you want to bring a chaperone, then you should do. Do whatever it takes to make you feel comfortable on a shoot. If you're comfortable, it shows, reflecting in strong photos.
Me: What is next in your modelling career?
Kirsty: Although I work freelance to fit in with my job and lifestyle, I would love to be signed by an agency. Getting regular work and being able to do what I love everyday would be amazing. I'm working hard to strengthen my portfolio and build up a good client base. Hopefully that will result in a positive future.

Photography: Amie Parsons
Styling: Hannah Raymond, Lucie Palmer, Georgia Littlewood, Kim Ryder & Sasha Jones

So there you have it. Believe it or not, modelling is just like any other job - with positives and negatives. The final results that are portrayed in the media may look perfectly glamorous, but they are the end product of a process – a process that people have spent hours and hours working on and fine tuning.

I think we can all agree that Kirsty’s work speaks for itself – these shots of her are gorgeous, and only a small slice of what her portfolio has to offer.  She works hard, but she gets the results, and there is no doubt in my mind that she will achieve the ‘positive future’ that she says she is striving for. I wish you all the luck in the world, Kirsty!

Do you want to see more of Kirsty’s portfolio? You can find her work on the following social media sites:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/kirstybuttlemodelling
Twitter: @KirstLeedsModel
Instagram: @KirstyLeedsModel
Model Mayhem: #2328291

(What do you think to these shots? Is the life of a model what you thought it would be like? Until next time… Katie-xo)

3 May 2013

Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee!

I have always adored the film Grease, being a musical lover. It was constantly on the TV when I was growing up so, as time went on, I learned all the words and moves to be able to dance, sing and quote along with my big sister. We would even ask our Mum to buy us some bubblegum so we could chew it like Cha-Cha does at the dance!

How amazing is it that, 35 years later, we are looking to films like Grease for our mainstream fashion trends? The crop tops, varsity jackets and - most importantly of all - the disco pants.

Olivia Newton-John introduced disco pants to the spotlight when her character in the film, Sandy Olsen, tries to impress her on/off romance, Danny Zuko, by dressing like the girl of his dreams at their end-of-year high school carnival. Her outfit - made up of a fitted black cropped top, with sleeves that sit just off the shoulder, tucked into high waisted disco pants and complete with heels and a leather jacket - does all the talking. It has Danny speechless before they break into one of the most popular musical numbers of the film 'You're the One that I Want'.

Fast forward 35 years and I'm trying to make disco pants look as cool as Olivia! It's no secret that Olivia was incredibly skinny when she shot Grease in 1978 - and even she had to be sewn into her disco pants! I think all fashionistas can agree that disco pants look better when you're slimmer, wear a fitted top tucked into them and have the confidence to rock them. They're all about showing off your curves!

Not too long ago, I bought a black pair from eBay (see the original post here). They come in a variety of colours now, some really stunning, but I thought that black would be the most flattering for my size 12 pear-shaped frame.

It was my sister's birthday night out last Saturday in Nottingham so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to showcase them for the first time!

My outfit also hit the other current S/S 13 trends of monochrome, through a geometric print sleeveless top, and neon, through my new electric blue flatform wedges and bright hued necklace:

Sleeveless Top - Primark
Disco Pants - eBay
Flatform Wedges - New Look
Neon Necklace and Gold Hoop Earrings - Primark
Gold Bangles and Rings - Topshop

I also copied Sandy with big, wavy hair and gold jewellery for added statement.

Me and my sister Nicola, the birthday girl:

We did karaoke and it was such a fun night! At first I was a little apprehensive about the disco pants as I felt really exposed, but my friends were very complimentary and, as the night went on, I just felt more and more fierce.

I can't wait to wear them again!

(Do you like my disco pants look? What do you wear yours with? Katie-xo)

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