a little bird told me

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Berlin Fashion Week with Tamaris


Earlier this week I wrote about the first day of my trip to Berlin with German brand Tamaris. Day 1 was about exploring the city, while day 2 was the main event - Berlin Fashion Week.


I've been to my fair share of Fashion Weeks - London many times, New York a handful and Milan just once. Although it's always fantastic to see style in different cities, Fashion Week often feels the same wherever you are, especially when you're working. It's stressful, it's judgemental and it's very, very tiring.

Berlin, however, felt very different. Usually Berlin's Fashion Week is held near the Brandenburg Gate but due to the World Cup, this season's event was at Erika-Hess-Eisstadion - an amazing, almost greenhouse-like space that was filled with flowers and sunshine. Immediately it felt more relaxed, more friendly and much more accepting than any other Fashion Week I've been to. There were no posers and very few 'street style' photographers which meant the pressure to dress perfectly was off. Although there were stylish people everywhere, the fashion was more accessible and less 'early 90s Courtney Love' (as is often the case in London).

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There was also LOADS more to do at Berlin Fashion Week. The main space was full of branded stalls offering free manicures, champagne, photobooths, leather notebooks and much more. As a guest of Tamaris, we headed straight to the Tamaris stall where a huge electronic graffiti wall was set up for visitors to design their own shoes. Very cool!

With nails freshly painted and a glass of bubbles in hand, we settled ourselves in the bloggers' lounge where there was even more champagne (and iced coffees, Diet Coke and sparkling water - so fashion) and delicious food to enjoy while we waited for our first show.

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After a couple of shows, we were treated to a backstage tour and a sneak peek of the big show for the day - Marc Cain.

Marc Cain Show - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015 Marc Cain Show - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015 Marc Cain Show - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015

The Marc Cain show was an absolute highlight of the day. The circus theme was perfectly expressed through sparkly curtains, elephants honking, tigers roaring and a breathtaking performance by acrobats to kick things off.

Marc Cain Show - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015 Marc Cain Backstage - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015 Marc Cain Show - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2015

And the clothes were just as special as the staging, with slouchy suits, big, bold floral prints and sharp tailoring. Right up my street and straight onto my wishlist.

The whole day was a welcome departure from the usual Fashion Week nonsense and thoroughly enjoyable. It was interesting to learn about the Tamaris brand, too - it's not a well-known name over here but I think that's about to change. One in two German women wear Tamaris shoes and it's one of the biggest brands in the country, so I'll definitely be keeping an eye on them!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Discovering Berlin with Tamaris


Last week I ticked off a long-wishlisted destination - Berlin. I was invited across to Germany by Tamaris to discover the city and visit Berlin Fashion Week and despite having only two days, I was determined to cram in as much as possible.

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After a slightly stressful journey from Schönefeld Airport (would probably still be riding the Berlin train system without EE data bundles and Google Maps!), my travelling companions Vicki, Kristabel and I reached our hotel - the Melia, which sits right on the River Spree in the heart of Berlin.

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After a quick pitstop at our rooms, a freshen up and a rifle through our Tamaris goody bags, we headed straight back out for food and a wander. Our hotel was on the corner of Friedrichstrasse and Am Weidendamm and there was plenty going on - a short stroll down the river led us to a restaurant with a view, a glass of Riesling and a pork schnitzel. Delicious.

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After lunch we walked along the river towards Museum Island. The buildings were absolutely spectacular and I just wish we'd had more time to go inside.

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Dress, ASOS | Flats, Zara | Bag, Mulberry | Watch, Michael Kors | Necklace, Vera Meat | Sunglasses, Orla Kiely 

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As we walked through a park, we spotted the Berliner Dom and the Fernsehturm between the trees... and then the heavens opened and we were caught in an epic thunderstorm! Luckily we stumbled on a cafe and sat drinking coffee as the rain poured - how very European.

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Another quick change at the hotel and we headed back out, first to the shop launch of another German brand - Marc Cain - and then on to dinner. I had chance to snap some of Berlin's infamous graffiti-ed streets in the Mitte area of the city before we went inside to eat.

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Dinner was an absolute highlight - the lovely team at Task PR, who look after Tamaris, took us to Clarchen's Ballhaus. An original WWI ballroom, this beautiful building has been entertaining since 1913. The walls shimmered, the food was delicious and the swing dancing was brilliant to watch (one more G&T and I would've been up there). Apparently there's an even more amazing room on the first floor, full of ornate mirrors and chandeliers - another reason I really must go back soon.

Day 1 in Berlin was hectic but I'm so glad we had even a little bit of time to explore this vibrant city. Come back later this week to see what happened at Berlin Fashion Week!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Planning Paris

planning a trip to paris

I know it's a cliché for any twenty-something white girl, but I love Paris. In fact, j'adore Paris. It's been a couple of years since my last visit and I've finally booked another trip - in September, along with three of my best girlfriends, I'll be in the City of Light to see Beyoncé and Jay Z's On The Run tour at Stade de France. SCREAM.

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Jeans, Topshop | Top, Zara | Slip-ons, c/o Daniel Footwear | Bag, Mulberry | Necklace, Vera Meat | Sunglasses, Orla Kiely

In celebration of our upcoming trip, I wore my best Parisian outfit and pranced around singing Zou Bisou Bisou like Megan from Mad Men.

We head over the channel in early September and we're staying in a beautiful apartment in Montmartre with a spectacular view of the Sacré-Coeur. I really want to make the most of our two days in the city, so I'd love your recommendations. Restaurants, cafés, bars, sights, museums, activities - share the things you love about Paris in the comments below and I'll add them to my list.

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Merci beaucoup!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Exploring Yorkshire: Ilkley

what to do in ilkley

Last weekend, Tour de France fever hit Yorkshire as the entire county (and their dogs) donned yellow jerseys and lined the streets to cheer on the cyclists as they whizzed past.

I watched it in the centre of Leeds on Saturday, but on Sunday Rob and I drove up to Ilkley to take in the aftermath.

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Ilkley is about 30 minutes away from Leeds. It's somewhere Rob and I like to go when we want to escape the city and take in some greenery while maintaining close distance to civilisation. The perfect small town, nestled in a valley with spectacular views, beautiful old buildings... and a branch of Boots.

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I can imagine myself living in Ilkley when I'm older - maybe running a chic interiors shop on the high street and living in a Victorian terrace with roses around the door.

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Although the bikes had cleared out and the people of Yorkshire had moved on to Haworth, there was still a great atmosphere in Ilkley and plenty to see and do. We visited the street food festival and had pizza from Dough Boys (hands down, the best in Leeds) and a Patty Smith's burger, then wandered down the high street to listen to some live music.

lifestyle blogger uk things to do in ilkley
Top, Gap | Jeans, Topshop | Slip-ons, c/o Daniel Footwear | Bag, Gap | Necklace, Vera Meat | Sunglasses, Orla Kiely 

After a few outfit snaps in the park, we headed to Betty's for - what else? - a box of macaroons.

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Then it was back to the car (which cost £1.20 to park for 2 hours... man, I love the countryside!) and a short ride back to the city. A lovely day out, so easy to get to and perfect if you need a little time away from the hustle and bustle.

See you soon, Ilkley!
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