Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Mococo Jewellers

I was very spoilt this Easter weekend, but this time, not with chocolate (actually there was a bit of chocolate in the parcel which was amazing!) but instead, I received the most beautiful Daisy ring from the fantastic jewellers, Mococo. If you've not heard of them before, Mococo Jewellers was established in 2006, and they now have shops all over the UK, with the majority up North (the best part). Working with brands such as Thomas Sabo, Pandora and Swarovski, they have a great selection jewellery and watches. All the pieces are picked to perfection, with quality and luxury speaking for itself with all the brands included in their range.

I chose the stunning 'Halo Sun Ring' by Daisy. I fell in love with the simplicity and delicate design. It's gold plated and is so dainty and beautiful. I've actually worn it nearly every day since it arrived, as it's such an understated, yet classic piece. It was incredibly hard to choose from the range of Daisy pieces that Mococo stock! They have some truly incredible rings, necklaces and bracelets, you can take a look at the full selection here.

The ring arrived lovingly gift wrapped which is perfect if you need a present for someone as it takes out a lot of stress and hassle and it looked so special. To top it off they sent the most amazing chocolate, which I devoured before I'd even opened the ring box (I know...). The ring itself comes in 3 sizes; I chose large as I have deceptively fat fingers, but it's a perfect fit, so maybe size up if you get one.

It was a pleasure to work with such a great company with a truly great customer service, with that personal touch! Speaking of how wonderful Mococo are, they are giving one of my followers a chance to win their very own Daisy ring! To enter check out my Instagram (@fashion_panic) and follower the instructions!

Spring Transitions

What better way to get back into blogging after a very fattening Easter, than to show you a few looks for 'Spring Transitioning'. I find this title rather ironic living in Manchester, or the UK in general, as I feel our whole wardrobe is in a constant state of Spring Transitioning; it's either cold and wet or slightly warmer but still raining. However this does not mean we can't live in hope of a few 19c days guys! I recently worked with the clothing company Be Jealous, who are another Mancunian brand I am proud to collab with. They sent me some gorgeous knitwear, and as Spring is apparently now with us (hmmm) I thought I'd style them up in a "I'm ready to take my coat off" kinda way.

The first look was with my new fave jumper (and it's just £13.99!). I don't know if you can tell in the pictures (which is ridiculous as a fashion blogger, I know!) but the sleeves are flared, making it bang on trend. I have a major thing for sleevs at the mo. You can probably tell if you've read my recent posts, but I literally stalk IG for sleeve porn. I could look at pretty sleeves all day!

The jumper itself it gorgeous quality and it wasn't too warm. I'm like a granny and get hot really easily, so I can't be doing with knitted warm jumpers. I paired it with some 'marmite' jeans aka man repellers! Even I couldn't decide on these jeans, and I love me some unflattering trousers ha! They are wide leg, and cropped, so they aren't the most flattering style. I loved wearing them, but I felt the made me look short and dumpy on my pictures...the jury is out guys! By the way, I only bought them online 2 weeks ago, but they're not there now! You can definitely find them in store, not that I've done much to persuade you to get them ha! I finished the look with my gorgeous new bag from Dash On In. It's perfect for spring, the colour is very neutral, so it goes with creams and whites.

Be Jealous also send me a gorgeous dress jumper! Unfortunately it was a bit too long for me, however, it was so lovely that I decided to do a bit of a remodel. Ok that sounds like I did something amazing and ellaborate, where as actually I just tied it in a knot...but I was obsessed with the result! This is literally tied on my hip and it stayed tied up all day! Knots are another big trend this season, and with this jumper you can achieve the look really easily and affordably!

I wore the jumper over my Zara jeans, which I like better when they are layered, and finished the look with my fish net socks, which I totally get are very love/hate, but I'm definitely in the love camp guys!

First look; Jumper: Be Jealous // Jeans: Zara (similar) // Bag: Dash On In // 
Shoes: River Island (similar)

Second look; Jumper: Be Jealous // Jeans: As before // Bag: Radley // Shoes: As before


Monday, 21 March 2016

The Sleeve

 As mentioned in my previous post; I love a sleeve. They have been 'on trend' for a while now, and I love that everyone can rock this trend no matter what style of clothes you wear. It's such an easy and inexpensive way to achieve a high fashion look, and as styled in the photos below, you can even borrow from you bf/dad/any male with a white shirt!

This particular outfit turned out to be an accidental smart casual look. I wore it to the Manchester Arndale's SS16 shoot and wanted to be comfortable, warm, yet still modern and on trend. This is where I first discovered I could borrow an oversized shirt from my dad. Yes, my dad. He loves the fact he's being mentioned on my blog, but he does actually have a lovely section of white shirts!

It was too big to wear on its own, but under this coat you can't tell, yet you get the over sized sleeve detail! I went for (another accidental choice) of my black coat, black wide leg trousers and black bucket bag. I lightened the look with my grey knitted scarf, which hides everything and is super cosy. I was really happy with the final look, as it really wasn't planned, but looked nicer than I had imagined. I don't know why I'm a fashion blogger, all my looks are usually an accident!

Coat: Mango (similar here) // Trousers: Asos // Shirt: Dads! (similar here) // Bag: Zara


A twist on A Classic

If you're like me, and love fashion, you will know that sometimes, it's a little 'out there'. Personally, I honestly only ever wear what I like and what I feel comfortable in. However, this doesn't mean I don't like to try some new trends...that I may be a bit dubious to start off with. On this occasion, it was the the whole boob tube over a shirt trend. Yes, you read right, boob tube! I'm not sure if that's the technical name for it, but that's what I called it growing up in the 90s. I first spotted the trend on some bloggers at the SS16 shows last year. I didn't immediately realise that it was layering tops, I thought they were all wearing fancy designer shirts. It was only when the trend was featured in last months British Vogue, that I realised it was a boob tube (I'm sticking with the name).

This was a pleasant suprise as I had both in my wardrobe. Having just bought the actual love of my life AKA the wide sleeve babe from H&M, I thought I'd shake up the classic white shirt with this new trend. Sleeves have become my new addiction. I am obsessed. They can update any outfit in an instant. A little trick I discovered was to borrow my dad's shirt, which is obviously oversized. If you wear it under something, a coat/jacket for example, and just have the sleeves showing, they look oversized; a cheap way of getting the look (stay tuned for my next post where I'll be debuting my dad shirt look!)

For this particular outfit, I made sure I kept the shirt/boob tube combo as the main event and kept the rest simple, wearing my fave jeans and point flats. I think it's a great way to look mega on trend, without being too OTT and feeling ridiculous. It's great to be brave and try new styles, you never know, you may just find something you like!

Shirt: H&M (similar here) // Boob tube: Boohoo // Jeans: Asos

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Collaboration With Initial Underwear

I love working with up and coming brands, I especially love working with up and coming brands when they're from my home town of Manchester! Initial underwear was founded when the girls behind the brand struggled to find fashionable, good quality underwear at a reasonable price; so they made it themselves! I've just written a post about personalisation, and yes, I'm at it again! My beautiful new underwear set has my initials on the front and back of the bra top and on the knickers - SO cute! I actually have worn the set as PJs and under my gym wear. They are comfortable, fantastic quality and best of all just £25 for the set!

The sets come in three colours; grey, black and white. Perfect for every style and every body shape, they are not just comfortable but also practical!

To have matching, personalised underwear makes me feel incredibly put together. It's the base of any outfit, and just knowing that you're all matchy makes you feel all warm and fluffy (can you tell I don't match my underwear on a regular basis...). But to have a set that is so versatile, comfortable and affordable means that everyone can feel matchy matchy all the time!

You can find Initial over on Etsy, just click the link here!

Collaboration With CaseApp

 It seems that everyone is going mad for personalisation lately. Well, why not!? In a world full of everyone following the same trends, buying the same phones and going to the same places, it's nice to have something unique to you. My favourite way to show off personalisation is definitely with my accessories. Somewhere not to obvious, but a classy little way to show something is yours. Not being an Apple user (I know...) I find it really hard to find phone cases. Plenty of places make Samsung ones, but only give you a few choices. That's why I was so excited to collaborate with the fabulous Swedish case company; CaseApp.

The provide endless choices of stylish covers for phones, laptops and tablets! You can either choose one of their designs, and edit and add bits to it, or you can start from scratch. I mixed it up a bit, and chose their very on trend palm leaf pattern, and I added my initials. I took it with me to LFW and I got lots of compliments, especially from Samgung users!

I spent an hour deciding which one to choose, they are so many options, and art work that you can add to make you case unique to you. Of course the amazing marble designs are really popular, but the fact you can put your stamp on it makes it that little bit different.

The lovely people over at CaseApp have given my readers 20% off all designs, so you can go and treat yourself to a fabulous new case. Just use code: PANIC20CA at the checkout!

My Very First London Fashion Week

LONDON FASHION WEEEEEK! I finally attended (well almost, I'll explain later) my very first LFW. To say I was excited, would be a major understatement. I'd grown up watching The Clothes Show, Trinny and Suzannah (am I showing my age!) and all the live shows on my friends Sky TV. So when I was invited to a few of the Fashion Scout shows at the Freemason's Hall, I snapped their hands off! None of my Manchester blogger friends could make it this season, so my lovely husband/forced personal photographer said he'd come with me. Unfortunately I could only make the Monday and Tuesday, and only one of the shoes was on whilst I was there. However, I completely missed my one and only show! Our train was delayed getting into the station, that and the traffic in London, meant I couldn't make it. I decided not to let it ruin my experience, as I was actually down for PR meetings too, so it wasn't a waste of a journey. 

I was obviously stressing about my outfits for weeks, but when Ego Official aksed me to take over their snap chat, they very kindly sent me some perspex heel boots that I have wanted FOREVER, so I ended up working the outfit around them! I added my absolute fave Coast faux fur jacket and my perfect Radley acoss body bag. I feel a bit 'out there' but also really comfortable, so it worked well.

Coat: Coast (similar here) // Boots: Ego Official // Bag: Radley

My next look was a lot more casual as I had to run between meetings, so I had to be a little more practical. I'm OBSESSED with sleeves. I know every blogger seems obsessed, but I could wear big sleeves every day. My shirt from H&M instantly updated my look, along with my Mango cropped aviator jacket which was so warm as well as on trend. I was totally spoilt by Radley and they sent me another baby to add to my collection. The beautiful Green Park (which is now in the sale!) which was so perfect to fit all my tickets/camera/random crap in. I finished the look with my 'granny' shoes, which again, were on trend but comfortable.

Jacket: Mango (similar) // Shirt: H&M (similar here) // Bag: Radley // Shoes: Zara


Sunday, 6 March 2016

The Power of the Blazer

As a fashion blogger, I often get asked what my 'go to' piece is. Until last year, I really wouldn't have had an answer for you. I was, let's say...eclectic with my style. I bought what I liked, rather than what I liked to wear. You may ask what the difference is; well, it's what I think looks nice, for example patterns/colour/over the knee boots...but I don't enjoy wearing any of those. Over the past 18 months, my style has evolved. I now really think about an item before purchasing. I don't just think about where I would wear it to, but I also ask, what would I wear it with, is it similar to something I already have or will it go with my style? The only item in my wardrobe that I genuinely don't have to think about, is my classic, unassuming blazer. I bought the blazer 2 years ago (yes 2 whole years!) from Mango, for a rather pricey £80. At the time, and even today, that is a lot for me to spend on one item. However, it is without doubt the best £80 I have ever spent!

When I say it goes with anything, I literally mean anything! Worn over dresses, shirts, crop tops or even just a basic top like in this look, it simply works. I feel I've become more comfortable in my style with the older I get. At 27, I don't feel I look 'too old' when I wear a blazer (yes I thought I looked old at 25, but 2 years makes all the difference!). I now feel like I can wear what I want! Obviously, it helps that it's black, beautifully cut and pretty simple, but do not underestimate the power of the blazer. The outfit it this look was worn to a meal out with friends. All day I had been working and I was wearing the jeans and grey top. It was a last minute invite and I had 15 minutes to get ready; blazer time! Instantly updated, smartened up and polished off my very casual outfit. 

I will never get tired of my blazer, and if there's one thing I would recommend that you invest in, it's the blazer!

Blazer: Mango (similar here, here and here) // Jeans: Asos
 Boots: River Island (similar here) // Bag: Catwalk Killa


Collaboration With Abbott Lyon Watches

It's fair to say the watch is having a bit of a comeback. There's always a new designer on the scene, with the latest hot watch having an Instagram phase. But every once in a while, you come across a watch that you actually really like. It's no secret that I've worked with watch brands before, and blogging has led me to work with some fantastic time pieces; this time it was with new brand, Abbott Lyon. With Spring on the horizon, I thought it was high time that I went for one with a more 'sunshine' feel. White is a colour that I always wear. I feel fresh, clean and stylish. Unlike clothes, which stay white for less than an hour of wear, my new Abbott Lyon baby is going to give a great aesthetic and stay bright white!

I chose the 'Dove White Smooth Kensington' which caught my attention after browsing through the gorgeous designs. With it's leather strap and gold plated details, you can tell it's amazing quality and it looks SO good on! At £125 it's an investment piece which will definitely last you years. Needless to say, it goes with anything and just finishes off the look. I'm also loving their coloured watches, the spring pastels are perfect to add a bit of colour to your wardrobe without going all out. I can't wait to wear it on my travels this year, I'm definitely going to be able to tell the time stylishly. 

To get £25 off any Abbott Lyon watch, use code CokgulerAL25 at the checkout!

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Behind The Scenes At The Manchester Arndale SS16 Campaign

When you've grown up twenty minutes from Manchester City Centre, it's hard not to appreciate just how integral Manchester's Arndale Centre is to the city. It's the collective home of some of the cities best fashion, beauty, technology and food stores. You could easily spend the entire day there, finding everything you could possibly need. Over recent years, the centre has stepped up it's game when it comes to the latest on trend fashion brands; working with bloggers and embracing social media. Being a proud Mancunian blogger myself, I was super excited when I was asked if I'd like to have a sneak peak, behind-the-scenes look at Manchester Anrdale's latest SS16 campaign along with another blogger, the lovely Stacey from Style Speaks Louder Than Words

The brief for the campaign was 'Made For Me'; showcasing the wide range of fashion available for all styles, covering all aspects of dress and all easily accessible under one roof; "no fuss, no hassle, it's like it was made just for me". With uber cool marketing agency, Refinery on board, and casting the absolutely stunning Nicole Harrison as the model, I couldn't wait to see what was in store!

The shoot was held at the Spiggs Photography Studio, owned by the campaigns photographer, Ben Spriggs. It was only around 15 minutes from my village, and was situated in what I can only describe as the middle of a field. Little did I know that when I stepped inside, it would be one of the coolest studio spaces I've ever been to (ok only been to one other before) but trust me. I tried to capture just how incredible it was, I hope you can get the feel from the shots above. Everywhere you turned was a Instagram worthy chair or strategically placed tree; a bloggers dream! 

After getting over the amazing space, my attention was soon turned to the excitement of the shoot itself. We were introduced to the campaigns Creative Director, Darren Price, who told us a little about what he had in mind for the finished product. He explained he wanted something for shoppers to be inspired by and aspire to. More high fashion than previous years, yet still attainable to us normal folk. 

Nicole was just stunning, (I was majorly girl crushing) and she looked incredible in all of the looks. It was fascinating to see the logistics of the shoot; the lighting, fan and even the music playing in the background, were all perfectly staged to ensure the pictures were perfect. The energy was fantastic, such a buzz, and incredible to watch it all coming together. We could see the shots instantly on the monitor, non of which looked like they needed even a hint of editing, Nicole was just perfection (okay, I'll stop now!).

The shoot consisted of seven of SS16 top trends; abstract acids, ruffles, statement stripes, orange attitude, high shine, wider legs and monochrome gingham. It truly was heaven. We were talked through the looks by the shoot's stylist, Gemma Harrison and the Arndale's Marketing Co-Ordinator and stylist, Debs Hatfield. Expanding of Darren's vision for something for shopper's to be inspired by, they explained that although every piece was from the brands in the centre, a lot of the looks were exaggerated and had an editorial feel. Obviously the final shoot will be used across the Arndale, so they needed to be bold, bright and high fashion. A lot of people, me included, would be able to select a look or style and hand pick the pieces that would fit our own personal style.

It was a great chance to see the best picks from Manchester's High Street stores. There was an incredible array of pieces from some of the Centre's most popular brands, including Tophsop, H&M and River Island, but the stand out store for me was definitely TK Maxx. I'd forgotten how utterly amazing that place was! Gemma had needed a shopping trolley to contain her choices! One of my favourite pieces had to be the Love Moschino chequered blazer in pink and black. The colours were stunning, and the shape was exquisitely structured. For the pictures, it was thrown over a simple black dress and finished with white sixties sunnies - perfection!

The orange leather blazer was another major hit with me. Orange is going to be massive this spring/summer and the contrast of the blush pink trousers that Gemma paired it with looked amazing on camera. I was also a massive fan of the 'high shine' pieces, including a beautiful sequinned top and metallic silver denim dress from Levis. Yes, some of the looks were definitely OTT, but that's exactly what you want for inspiration. I don't look through Vogue and copy their looks, I use it for inspiration and tailor it to my personal style (and bank balance!) which is exactly the purpose of the shoot. 

After a good half hour swooning over the clothes and accessories, it was on to hair and make up, which was provided by the lovely Michael Richmond. We were lucky enough to get a few questions to the very busy Michael, whilst he was applying another look on the beautiful Nicole. We wanted to know how he got the inspiration for the looks he was creating. Explaining that he hadn't seen the actual clothes for the shoot until that morning, he had planned the looks from the brief. He wanted to stick with the 'high fashion' feel and use make up and hairstyles that were big on the catwalks. He said that with the ever expanding world of the make up blogger and social media, people can see what's 'on trend' instantly, and expect that same contemporary looks from brands. It was amazing to see how quickly he created the new style, and with one quick adjustment, change the whole look.

We finished the afternoon watching the team shoot some more looks. It was such a great experience; I thoroughly enjoyed being with such a creative team that were so enthusiastic in creating a fantastic vision. The fact the this was all for Manchester's Arndale Centre, an iconic place which has had a massive impact on my life as a Northerner, made it all the more special. A massive thank you to Helen from Manchester Arndale and the girls over at Refinery, Katie and Luci for a wonderful experience, I can't wait to see how the final campaign turns out!

Stay tuned to my Instagram and Twitter to find out how you can win a £50 voucher to spend at the Arndale Manchester!
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