Tuesday, 31 March 2015

TREND TUESDAY: THE BLOGGERS CHAT


To celebrate Bristol Fashion Week, we turned the spotlight of this week’s Trend Tuesday onto bloggers Christy Llewellyn and Carolin Schroeter to talk about blogging, fashion trends and the week itself. 

Christy Llewellyn (Top Left Image)

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog?
So, I’m 23 and I recently graduated from UCA Epsom in Fashion Womenswear. I started my blog after I finished studying- it was something I wanted to do for a long time and I was in need of a creative project to keep me motivated. Style Rarebit is a fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog full of lists, photographs and advice that I hope readers will find entertaining and useful.

You mentioned on Style Rarebit that you started blogging quite recently. Do you have any advice for bloggers who are just starting out?
My main piece of advice would be to make sure to get involved with your local blogging community. People who have been blogging for a long time are a wealth of helpful knowledge and are always the first to know about events that are happening nearby. I think it’s also really important to self-promote when you’re first starting out. I really loathed the idea of tweeting and sharing my posts, and I felt a bit embarrassed sharing my blog but I’ve got over that now. Opportunities don’t find you, so it’s really about getting it out there and making people aware of what you’re creating.

We love the way you mix vintage and contemporary fashion in some of your outfits. What’s your favourite vintage item?

Well, firstly, thank you! I've loved vintage since I was little and my grandmothers started passing down designer gems to me. My favourite piece at the moment is this Neiman Marcus dress which I think is from the mid-1960s. It has this block of crazy bright pink and I always get a lot of compliments in that dress. It also has pockets, I don’t know why I'm so obsessed with that, but there’s just something really cool about a smart dress having secret pockets.

What did you most love about Bristol Fashion Week?
I loved the ‘So You Think You Want to Work in Fashion?’ Q&A hosted after the show. I know it was really a side note and not as all singing/dancing as the main event, but I just felt I learnt a lot in that hour of time. I particularly connected to Shelly Vella and Jørgen Simonsen, I thought they both had some really concise advice about breaking into the industry. I actually tweeted about Simonsen straight after the show, I just felt he had such a great energy and passion for what he does and that’s really lovely to see.

Which of the trends on the catwalks of Bristol Fashion Week are you most excited about for Spring/Summer 2015?
I would definitely have to go with Utility, I just fell in love with everything from the Marc Jacobs show and I feel it’s the easiest trend to adapt into your wardrobe. Saying that though, I'm coveting some 70s platforms too, but it’s hard for a girl to choose just one!




Carolin Schroeter (Top Right Image)

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog?
I'm a twenty something German expat, living in the UK and Germany. I'm a passionate M.A. linguist and literature researcher. My blog, Lunch Break Adventures, was born in February 2014 and covers fashion, film and lifestyle from the UK, but I’ll throw in book recommendations or try out beauty products. 

As a true free spirit and art lover, I enjoy exhibitions, plays and a good musical night out in London. I'm full of imagination and inspiration, that’s why I hardly run out of ideas for my blog! When I'm not blogging you’ll either find me at the cinema, or having a dance on the ice, as I love figure ice-skating. I also love fashion and shopping and I would do anything for nachos or pizza.

How would you describe your style? 

My style is very classy and romantic. I'll try to pick pieces that match my personality and character and try not to be someone else. My outfits usually have a clear outline and are pleasing to the eye, and I own some vintage inspired pieces, such as jewellery and handbags. I find street style fashion interesting, but I'd never wear delicate pleat skirts with Doc Martens, as I feel this would be too adventurous for me.

We’re definitely seeing some vintage inspiration in your style! Can you talk us through something you've worn to Bristol Fashion Week? 
My latest Bristol Fashion Week outfit is a boho mix. Shirt from New Look, shorts from Forever 21 teamed up with jewellery from Iridescence. My leather jacket is from Stradivarius and my scarf from Sandwich clothing.

What did you most love about Bristol Fashion Week?
I really love the atmosphere at Bristol Fashion Week and the entire team is so professional. Mark is such a charming host (I would love to go shopping with him one day) and he always runs the presentation so smoothly. This year, I particularly loved the flight theme to take off for spring. That was a genius idea and the potential, with the passport representing the voucher book and the shows the destinations, was used so diversely.

Which trends are you most excited about for Spring/Summer 2015?
Florals and pastels for spring are always a bit boring and uninspiring, that's why I found it interesting that the Spring Summer ‘15 show featured some bright colours. Spring is all about regaining energies and strength, happiness and joy and this is best expressed through bright shades. 

Loafers and plimsoles are set for a big revival this season. The shoe shape is a bit old fashioned but there are great ones out there with refreshing prints and materials that give the loafer a modern twist. 

Interviews by Anam Rahim

Monday, 30 March 2015

HOPELESS WANDERER...


This week we popped over to Bristol’s Tube Diner, located in the Paintworks. Its quirky design (the diner is made up of two chrome Airstream trailers) meant this has been high on our list of gems to visit, and our lunch was a welcome break from a hard morning’s work!

The largest trailer is decked out as a 50s style diner, and we love the checked floor and red leather seats. The diner itself serves food that is the perfect match: think classic burgers (with fries and a shake of course), quesadillas, breakfasts and some seriously incredible coffee (the menu varies from day to day, with daily specials displayed here).

While the thought of burgers can conjure up images of processed food, what makes the Tube Diner even more special is that it serves fresh, handmade dishes, often using locally sourced ingredients. 
So. Much. Good. 


(A big thank you to the Tube Diner for giving us such a friendly welcome and letting us snap away.)

Photos by Stef Formica.
Words by Anam Rahim and Stef Formica.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

REMEMBERING JOAN CRAWFORD...




Before her Broadway debut as a chorus girl, Lucille Fay Le Sueur began her career as a dancer in travelling theatrical companies. By 1925, she was signed to MGM Studios and made her first silent screen appearance in Pretty Ladies, closely followed by bit parts in the hits The Only Thing and The Merry Widow. MGM’s Head of Publicity took a dislike to Le Sueur’s name, however, and, following a ‘Name that Star’ contest in Movie Weekly, Joan Crawford was born.

Crawford’s role as Diana Medford in Our Dancing Daughters (1928) made her, for F. Scott Fitzgerald, ‘doubtless the best example of the flapper’. While the introduction of ‘talkies’ killed the careers of several silent film stars in the late twenties, Crawford’s first sound film, Untamed (1929), was a success. Titles such as Grand Hotel (1932) and Sadie McKee (1934) proved equally popular. Against a background of economic depression, Crawford’s portrayals of hard working young women who found love and financial success made her popular amongst audiences of the early thirties. She quickly became one of Hollywood’s most popular stars and, in 1937, was dubbed ‘Queen of the Movies’ by Life magazine.

Soon after, however, things couldn’t have been more different. In the same year, Crawford slipped from seventh to fortieth place in box office popularity polls, closely accompanied by a decline in public popularity. The Bride Wore Red, in which she played club singer Anni Pavlovitch, became one of MGM’s biggest failures of 1937. The following year, she and a handful of other stars were dubbed ‘Box Office Poison’ in a letter published in the Independent Film Journal. Her contract with MGM was terminated in 1943.

That same year, Crawford was signed to Warner Bros. Her first release with them, Mildred Pierce (1945), won her an Academy Award and re-established her career. Crawford soon started in Humoresque (1946), Possessed (1947) and The Damned Don’t Cry! (1950), and was nominated for two further Academy Awards. Following the death of her fourth husband, Alfred Steele, in 1959, Crawford took his place on the board of directors at Pepsi Cola until she was forced to step down fourteen years later. She passed away in 1977.

We remember Crawford as an award winning actress who perfectly encapsulated several Hollywood eras: the silent screen of the 1920s, the 1930s rags-to-riches plots, and the glamorous film noirs of the 1940s. 


Words by Anam Rahim

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

TREND TUESDAY: THAT 70s SHOW




With this season’s seventies fascination set to storm into the next (read our AW15 round-up here), it was only fitting that we devoted this week’s Trend Tuesday to the decade. We’ve delved through some vintage issues of Vogue (as though we needed an excuse) to bring you some original seventies style inspiration, and to put together a selection of wardrobe staples to nail this season’s biggest trend. 

It was the seventies that first saw denim boom and, by the end of the decade, designer jeans were making their way onto Fashion Week catwalks. We love the versatility of denim. Simple, yet chic and the perfect base to build any outfit on, denim is perhaps the easiest way to add a seventies feel to your style. Replace your skinnies for some high-waisted flared jeans or, for more a feminine look, a denim shirt dress, as worn by Verushka.

Perhaps it’s the romantic feel or the effortless, yet neat, style of the white blouse that makes it so alluring. Look for sheer, delicate materials decorated with embroidery and crochet (Jane Birkin’s crocheted shirt collar means we'll never look at a plain white shirt in the same way again). Tuck into a camel or dark brown A-Line skirt for a simple, but feminine look.

The seventies it girls wore long fringing on wide sleeves, gladiator sandals and crop tops, giving clothes a romantic feel. Channel the trend with (much smaller) fringed details on bags, shoes and hemlines. Continuing the boho feel, a floor-sweeping maxi dress in a warm, earthy colour is another perfect item to dress up in and get into the seventies spirit. Paisley, folkloric and floral prints make the dress an ideal investment piece to wear into the autumn (layered under chunky knits of course). Though the vibrant prints of the seventies maxi can be quite intimidating to wear, they look best when accompanied with minimal styling, and go perfectly with our final wardrobe staple, the wide-brimmed floppy hat. Parfait!


Words by Anam Rahim

Monday, 23 March 2015

HOPELESS WANDERER...







Bristol is full of hidden gems that we just can’t stop ourselves from sharing with you. In the coming months, we’ll be showing off some of our favourite haunts around the city. To kick things off, we headed over to the 
Birdcage.


The café is perched on Clare Street, just a stone’s throw away from Saint Nicholas Market. With its sweet mix of vintage interiors (the mismatched leather sofas and crockery are perfect for any Pinterest lovers out there), live music nights and home-made food, we found it impossible not to fall in love with the Birdcage. Of note is also its huge selection of teas, from traditional Earl Grey to the unusual: Turkish Chunky Apple, Orange Pekde and Spiced Masala Chai.

It's relaxing atmosphere makes the Birdcage ideal for catching up with your friends over a cuppa (with a free refill, we might add!), a romantic date, or a slightly quirkier place to bring your laptop for a few hours of writing. In short, it’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon.  

(We’d also like to say a massive thanks to the wonderful staff who let us wander around the Birdcage, camera in hand). birdcagebristol.com

All images by Stef Formica Photography.





Friday, 20 March 2015

REASONS TO BE HAPPY...


To celebrate International Day of Happiness here at BettyRae, we got thinking about the little things that cheer us up. In case you haven’t heard about it, this amazing cause is all about raising awareness of happiness as a key human goal. This year’s campaign, Your Happiness is Part of Something Bigger, encourages us to combat social isolation by connecting with each other and, in a world where we’re constantly rushing around, we feel it couldn't be more relevant.

So what’s making us happy right now? After a seriously gloomy winter, we’re excited to finally get out from under that pile of duvets on the sofa, to go outside without having to pull on about seven layers, and to wake up to sunlight (admittedly the sky has been the same shade of grey all week, but you get the idea, right?). We’re looking forward to soaking up the summer sun, to blue skies, entire days spent doing nothing in the park with friends. To flowers, blossom, the smell of freshly cut grass, summer fruits and wearing colourful clothes, to watching the sunset, long drives, festivals and beaches.

Sometimes we feel like the negative parts of life completely outweigh the positive. When, in fact, maybe the mistake is that we channel so much time into concentrating on the bad that we completely end up ignoring the good things around us. Sometimes it’s these little things that can make a lot of difference. 


Words by Anam Rahim


Tuesday, 17 March 2015

TREND TUESDAY: FASHION MONTH ROUND-UP




After four weeks of shows, here's our round-up of the key trends for Autumn-Winter 2015. First of all? That 70s trend is going nowhere. Catwalks were awash with 70s styling, with models sauntering out in fringing, suede, pussybow blouses and flares. They wore the warm, earthy colours we so often associate with the 70s: brown, green, burnt orange, deep red, and the white polo neck quickly established itself as next season’s wardrobe staple. Burberry presented toned-down psychedelic prints paired with over-the-knee boots and fringed coats. Look to Chloe and Orla Kiely for 70s styles you can wear on a daily basis: we love Chloe’s deep v-neck blouses and dusty brown corduroy dungarees, while Kiely presented the sweetest check pinafore dress paired with a delicate blouse. 

Moving forward, designers also paid homage to the 80s, and models were clad in shiny fabrics, voluminous mini prom skirts and colourful knits (shoulder pads obligatory). Missoni’s signature zigzag transformed into a fluid marble print, teamed with clashing metallics and huge beaded earrings, while Saint Laurent’s vamped up models marched out in leather miniskirts, ripped fishnets and fur coats. Monique Lhullier offered a more subtle take on the 80s trend, consisting of silky evening wear and jewelled tights that we absolutely adore. Linking to Saint Laurent’s Gothic mood were Thom Browne and Alexander McQueen’s Victoriana outfits. Browne’s collection was inspired by the Met Museum’s Death Becomes Her mourning dress exhibition, an influence clearly evident in the elegant, ethereal mood of the collection. Models glided down the catwalk in sheer, delicate fabrics featuring frills, lace and high collars aplenty.

The fur coat looks set to be the favourite cover up trend for the colder months. Louis Vuitton and Stella McCartney’s collections featured huge creations of black, cream and leopard print fur, while Celine offered chic animal print coats. Elegant and cosy at the same time, we can’t wait to snuggle under a (slightly less enormous) faux fur coat next winter.

50s inspired outfits were present throughout the shows, and Chanel’s pencil skirts, floral coats and tweed suits were a nod towards the femininity of the era. We seriously adore Marc Jacobs’ updated 'New Look', where elbow length leather gloves, dark colours and leopard print gave the classic ensemble a dark twist.


Florals are set to continue on into next season (can they ever go out of fashion?). Sarah Burton sent the McQueen models out in sheer rose printed fabric, while Dolce and Gabbana favoured sequins and bold embroidered florals. Prints weren’t just feminine though. Carven’s rich blue and green floral suit offered a masculine twist on the floral trend, Christopher Kane created a bright red coat with bold black zigzags, and Christian Dior’s models wore classic animal prints in clashing colours. Perhaps most striking were Valentino’s Op-Art inspired tunics, showing that this season’s monochrome trend will continue on into the next.

Words by Anam Rahim

Monday, 16 March 2015

STREET STYLE...




We decided to move the spot light onto the fabulous fashionistas of Bristol! A huge thanks to these two lovely ladies for chatting with us and letting us snap then in their outfits!

Name Phoebe Orchard
Occupation Art student
Where do you buy most of your clothes from? Definitely in Charity shops, but my guilty pleasure when I can spend a bit more has to be Urban Outfitters.
Where are your favourite spots in Bristol? The Blue Lagoon, Stokes Croft in general.
What is your latest obsession, any trend you're into right now? Dungarees, I have seven of them!

Name Michelle Wang
Occupation Economics and Finance student
Where do you love to shop? I buy all of my clothes on websites, my favourite has to be ASOS. I do love a good old vintage fair too.
What's your favourite item of clothing right now? Anything that is comfy and nice to wear. I love these trousers I'm wearing from Uniqlo, just so cosy.

Photos by Stef Formica

Friday, 13 March 2015

TWENTIETH CENTURY INSPIRATIONS...



Though International Women’s Day may have been last week, it’s never too late to chat about women who inspire us. We’ve created a roundup of some of our favourite leading ladies from the twentieth century creative industries, some of whom are still continuing successful careers today. Revolutionary clothing designers, singers and actresses, these are some seriously creative and talented women. 

Gabrielle Chanel
Designing simple, modern garments that freed women from the constraints of tightly structured clothing (corset, anyone?), this lady was responsible for some truly elegant wardrobe classics: the LBD and the tailored suit. We love her comfortable, yet classy, monochrome jersey dresses and her costume jewellery is something we’ll always drool over. Chanel is the only fashion designer to feature in Time’s list of the 100 most influential people of the twentieth century.

Edith Head
Responsible for some seriously dreamy costume designs, Edith Head secured herself a job as a costume sketch artist at Paramount Pictures (without any relevant training, we might add). Head kitted Elizabeth Taylor out in a white full-skirted strapless gown for A Place in the Sun (1951), and it’s this costume that the classic 50s prom dress is inspired by. As if all that wasn’t enough, she won eight Academy Awards, more than any other woman in history.

Audrey Hepburn
Hepburn appeared in films such as Funny Face (1957), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) and My Fair Lady (1964), winning three BAFTAs and two Academy Awards. The American Film Institute ranks Hepburn as the third greatest female screen legend in the history of American cinema. From 1954, Hepburn worked with UNICEF, later being appointed its Goodwill Ambassador. We could rave on about her for another couple of hours, but we’ll leave it there...

Mary Quant
Quant will always be known for creating (or, according to some, merely popularising) the miniskirt and hot pants. Nonetheless, her designs came at a time when the fashion industry didn’t target young consumers, and young women were expected to dress like adults. Her designs were a contrast to the structured styles of the 50s, and were made up of simply cut shapes paired with bold colours. Quant said she wanted women to “play with colour and have fun”- we definitely think she succeeded.

Deborah Harry
Forever one of our favourite style icons (who doesn’t love leopard print, denim shirts and a red lip?), Harry began her singing career at the end of the 60s, working as a backing singer for The Wind in the Willows. She later formed Blondie with Chris Stein, earning world recognition; their third album, Parallel Lines, sold twenty million copies worldwide, and the group were nominated for two Grammys. Harry also launched a pretty damn successful solo career, releasing five albums.

Words by Anam Rahim

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

TREND TUESDAY: 1950s SPRING


Although we've learnt that the sun being out doesn't actually make it hot outside, last week’s sunshine and blue skies have definitely got us excited for spring. While we count down the days until we can pack away our winter coats, what better way to celebrate the arrival of sunny weather than to share some of our favourite 1950s inspired spring and summer looks?

The Shirtdress
Originally dubbed ‘shirtwaist dresses’ in the 50s, the shirtdress was introduced as part of Dior’s 1947 New Look, consisting of a full skirt supported by a crinoline. The look trickled its way down into everyday fashion, with more practical cotton and striped versions becoming 50s wardrobe staples. 

The Capri Pant 
Introduced by Sonja de Lennart in 1948, capri pants rose to popularity in the late 50s and early 60s and were a huge contrast to the wider, masculine trouser styles of previous years. Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly were just some of the stars to adopt the trend. Green, pink and blue were popular colours for the 50s capri pant, making them a perfect Spring/Summer piece. We love Marilyn’s floral pair, pictured below.

The Breton Top
Its ability to practically match everything makes the Breton top the perfect investment piece to pair with fast changing style trends. Introduced as resort-wear fashion by Coco Chanel’s 1917 nautical collection, the Breton stripe was worn by icons such as Audrey Hepburn (below) and Brigitte Bardot, as well as making its way into 50s film costumes in Funny Face (1956) and To Catch a Thief (1955). 

The Full Skirt
The shape of this skirt flattered hips, slimmed waistlines and exuded that 50s elegance and femininity. Some skirts were assembled from as much as 4 to 5 yards of fabric gathered or pleated around the waist (phew!). Channel that 50s elegance by investing in a more practical staple midi skirt that will serve you during autumn months as well. For a unique and affordable vintage piece (we adore this Patsy high-waisted skirt, £7) head over to bettyraevintage.com.



Words by Anam Rahim