Tuesday, 29 September 2009

the september issue

skinny black hairband: ?, my thick side messy braid (trying out the wang), assortment of gold & black bangles: H&M/Primark, gold rings: gr.8 grad ring/H&M, purple ring: F21, oversize jean "boyfriend" shirt: silence + noise, layering shirts-> black tank: H&M, light yellow tank: abercrombie, lace top: kismet, flowered high waisted shorts: urban outfitters, sheer black tights

SO I think I like listening to my teachers here more...because they all have the English accents of course! We had classes from 9 till 5 today (with a break in between) on research methods and fashion business, so studying things like globalised supply chains and retail rankings. They make it really interesting with examples of UK retail companies, such as Marks & Spencer.

One of the highlights of Dr. Redfern's class ("he's lovely" as laura would say in her Irish accent) would be him talking about the new VOGUE trends including velvet, charcoal colours, 60's cuts, leather, 80's glam/shoulder pads, and teal blue as the new black.

FYI: Anna Wintour "The September Issue"
---gotta see it!

After lectures were over Cassie, Lucy and I went into Piccadilly Gardens to get a few things in the shops and headed to the vintage sale event @ no angel ltd. where they were giving us cupcakes and champagne and I found just what I was looking for!!!

Day off school tomorrow...gonna run some errands and then brush up on my fashion reading!


Monday, 28 September 2009


Had my first day of 'official classes' in fashion technology- 2 lectures and 1 practical! Got some intro's into garment preparation, product development and anthropometrics (more interesting than it sounds- all about clothes and human body shape). In our practical we were split into groups and looked at 8 different pairs of trousers (with all the labels taken off); we had to analyze what we thought the quality, style, store seller, price range and materials used for each pair! Got off at 2PM so that was sweet.

Going to a pole dancing lesson in the city tonight with some of the girls- should be interesting...but fun!!!!

Here's a simple outfit for a night out in Manchester:

black lacy shirt: F21, 3-coloured skirt with zippers: primark (but looks like a mod-style dress!), silver bangle: market in italy, nailpolish: danielle's from boots, assortment of silver bracelets & rings...

I wore it out with my black booties from TopShop (wasn't in a pumps mood). Ideally, I'd put it with some Christian Louboutin black ankle boots with the silver studs ahhh now that would complete the look!

Sunday, 27 September 2009

guilty pleasures

Went shopping today in the city center...bought some great pieces at Urban Outfitters and Primark (of course)! I want some things in one of the vintage shops but they're having a 25% off sale on Tues from 6-9 PM so i'll hold off till then.

Here are some window displays that caught my eye/some UK stores I'm currently liking:

HARVEY NICHOLS- a department store and definitely the highest market of all the deptartment shops on high street...even the name sends a rush through me! I fell in love just looking at the colourful window displays. To be honest, I didn't even go inside because I knew it would be too tempting to buy one of the beautiful things in here.

ALL SAINTS- one of the coolest store window displays...with a collection of old sewing machines behind the glass! This store sticks with neutral and darker colours (no bright patterns or anything really) giving it a much darker, edgy, grudgy feel. There's lot of chunky knits, leather purses, scarfs, cotton shirts but with a funky cut to them, clunky boots and choker necklaces at the back. A bit of the pricey side but I love its stuff nonetheless.

TOPSHOP- gotta love this place! I seriously could buy out the entire store if I wasn't a poor masters student...They have the most amazing sequined dresses in, some really hot tops, nice blazers/jackets, vintage-inspired tops (and an actual vintage section)...not to mention the greatest accessories and shoes- but it's overpriced for what it is a lot of the time- I'm still doing that double the £'s into $'s thing! But I like looking even just for inspiration, the whole place screams Kate Moss's style, no wonder she has a line for them! Wasn't too, too impressed with the Christopher Kane stuff though (other than some killer platforms), there wasn't much and it all kinda looked the same.

RIVER ISLAND- the window display caught my attention and they have some cute pieces in here. I remember the one in London too when I visited 2 years ago (I picked up a long cami with small buttons at the top)- they have a lot of good accessories too. Prices are moderate, not as much as Top Shop, but then again I don't think the style of the pieces are as nice either so I'd rather spend that extra bit more!

LIPSEY LONDON- ahh the cutest dresses in here! We carried a few of their dresses in Mendocino and always sold out of them so fast. Any time you need a great cocktail dress, birthday dress, semi dress, have an event coming up or even just want to look really hot for a night out check out this place. They also carry a few jackets, nice tops, skirts etc. The prices aren't bad (especially for a nice dress!) ranging from £50-150.

On another note, tomorrow is my first day of fashion marketing, strategic fashion buying and clothing product development classes (official classes now I don't even know?) but I start at 9am (until 5?) and I still don't really know what to expect...but that is expected right?! haha I will keep you posted on how it all goes. We have Wednesdays and Fridays off so the fashion girls (plus hopefully our amazing gay fashion friend, Ray!) are going to plan a night out for either Tues or Thurs this week!

Also, my friends from home have been asking me to post pictures so I made a facebook album with some of my adventures so far...to give everyone a more visual sense of what I've been up to haha!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

updating the fall wardrobe

My 5 favourite fall trends:
-black studded leather bomber jacket
-leather leggings
-ankle hardware booties (with buckles)
-long-sleeved mini-dress
-military style jacket/vest

...I'm currently loving that biker chic look but obviously mix & match pieces...never wear all these items together or you'll look too bad ass!

Trends I adore on the runway but aren't as wearable:
-super high sculpted shoulders
-thigh-high boots

After examining my closet here are some essentials I need for Manchester weather:
-some chunky coloured knits
-a warmer tweed jacket
-more scarfs for layering
-probably some hunter rain boots (or wellies as they call them here)

Some current things I'm liking in my closet:
-my chain strap purses
-my chunky chokers
-my sequined dress
-my flowered tights

Friday, 25 September 2009

this girl is ready for the weekend!

braid and twists in hair, pearl earrings: mom's, acid wash cropped jean jacket: zara, flower shirt: H&M, blue shiny mini: american apparel, black leggings, tall black boots: pop boutique, mustard chain purse: primark, beaded bracelet: market in siena, italy, heart ring: murano glass in venice, brown bracelet with gold: BCBG

Just got in and my feet hurtttt...so much walking today!

We had a fashion treasure hunt for school so we had to walk all around the city and especially in the shopping districts (city centre) finding out things like the name of a fabric place, a costume institute, details of museums/fashion venues, department and boutique names (and whether they were low, medium or high end), two designer stores on king street, labels and their sections in Selfridges to name a few...the list goes on! We got bonus points if we proved we went into certain places so we got leaflets and things (we wants to win) and called our team name the 'fashionistas' hahah we hand in our final list of everything on Monday.

We even fit in lunch at the sushi bar in Selfridges, I've never been to one before, sooo cool!

Just have to report that I LOVE the vintage here (there is a whole street of shops) and I adore Vivienne Westwood's store! I still have to check out TOPSHOP, All Saints, NEXT, River Island, Harvey Nicol's, Lipsey London...and everything else here! AH so I've decided I am going on a personal dedicated shopping day tomorrow and it will be my own homework because I want to learn even more about all the UK fashion stores here. After we finished our scavenger hunt Lucy and I went vintage shopping...I tried on the most amazing long sleeved black mini dress with studded details and one of those cropped tops that are longer at the sides (so 80's I love it) -have to go back!

Danielle's friend is visiting tonight and we're going out of course! Having some drinks with the girls first then heading to Cambridge halls to predrink. Time for me to eat some dinner and get ready!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

fresh fest

"SKULL IT" -Danielle
(aussie word; meaning finish your drink; or as we call "CHUG IT")

Last night turned out to be a crazy night! Went over to Danielle's to see her place...and her new items from her shopping spree at Primark...and so we could head together to the usual big predrink with the gang (we basically live there) in the Cambridge halls. Got sooo lost trying to find Danielle's street and ended up walking around in heels for ages just to take a 1 minute cab in the end but that's a whole different story...Perry's friends came down to visit. We took our sweet time pre-ing and went to the student union bar and then another bar and proceeded to have a post jam back at their hall till 5 AM...

Oxford Rd was sooo packed today- students everywhere and flyers being passed out like mad cause of the fresher fairs going on at both Universities (kinda like MAC's clubsfest except there are sooo many nightclub promoters that hand out stuff ALL the time). It's so crazy that Man Uni and MMU's main campus' are only a block away from each other! Makes it always such a happening area!

I am still dying right now...but I'm impressed with all the errands I managed to get accomplished this aft. I've barely been home. It's Thursday so of course we have to go out again! All I can say is that the Brits like to drink!!!! May as well take advantage of going out as much as we can before the school work starts up right? I think I just need to take a nap first...

were the words to transpire

cardigan: american apparel, tiered flowy top: F21, high waisted belt with gold detailing: mom's old vintage belt, cut-off jean shorts: abercrombie, black tights, tall black leather boots: pop boutique in leeds (vintage), side purse: urban outfitters, scarf: coach

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

let me be your supernova

quilted purse with chain: primark, boyfriend blazer: zara, long white tank: F21, murano glass necklace: got in venice, ripped acid wash jeans: jbrand, scarf: H&M, black boots: topshop

Today was another day of intro's to my program- picked up my student ID card, finalllly got a letter from the uni to open a bank at NatWest and learnt all about our course work and what our classes will be like! Jon Spragg is our quirky British senior lecturer in international fashion logistics and strategic fashion buying. He's such an adorable and funny man... "I'll be like your Dad throughout your MSc course". We are going to have a class trip to either Berlin for fashion week, Turkey or Paris to see a fashion show/go to a factory/attend fashion events of some sort. We all can't waitttt for that and to see what the staff decides on! Either way I fully intend on traveling to the major fashion capitals while I'm abroad like Paris, Milan and London! I'm the IFM (International Fashion Marketing-> you'll hear me use this a lot) student representative so Lucy (the SFB (Strategic Fashion Buying) rep) and I get to attend meetings and be the "voice" for all us masters students in this program... Jon goes "are you sure you all want a 'foreigner' as your rep?" haha...
Debating whether to go out or not tonight. It was another long and tiring day...I'll have to consult with Danielle, my partner in crime, to see what she thinks!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

sister sister

(L) necklace: F21, print dress: F21, studded belt: vintage, heels: spring, bracelets: H&M.

(R) top: club monaco, high waisted jean skirt: mendocino, gladiators: her own.

Styled by me

This was the weekend before I moved to the UK. My little sister is my everything/biggest supporter and I love her to death and miss her!!

new friends :)

I already love the girls I met today in my program! We all get along so well and I'm so excited! I was dead tired this morning and waking up at 8am was not fun to say the least. We went on our field trip to Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet to observe fashion retailing in the UK. Basically we were supposed to observe brands, promotions, merchandising positioning, consumer behaviour and the marketing mix. We're going to go into the city centre later and compare those shops with the outlets. It was kind of hard for me to compare the stores here because I'm not familiar with ALL the stores and brands in the UK yet. But the girls kept me up to speed. "Do you have this in America?" ..."Oh sorry I mean Canada" haha! We were there for farrrr too long- our bus didn't leave till 5 pm so it was 6 hours of walking around and just browsing the shops. We found that there was no visual merchandizing/interesting store displays, older consumers and families and no high fashion in terms of trends or edgy designs. Everything is very simple because it is pretty much the designer reject stuff that gets shipped to the outlets to sell but there are significantly cheaper prices here. Laura ended up getting the cutest Karen Millen purple dress with jewel embellishments on the sleeves for only £49! (originally £180) with our 10% IFM discount too. We all bought some inexpensive stationary supplies (aren't we great students? ...although of course we were all tempted with some gorgeous shoes)

Things I'm looking forward to with my new MSc fashion friends:
-pole dancing classes
-shopping for pole dancing gear (haha Lucy)
-"diva" dance classes
-sushi bar
-the 20% off Topshop event in October (they open the store up late at night and give out free champagne!)
-planning out a fashion show with Cassie
-night out on the town with everyone!!!

Monday, 21 September 2009

all settled in!

So this is my very first blog post! I've decided to create a blog about my experiences here doing my masters in international fashion marketing at MMU and everything fashion wise as well! This way all my friends from home can follow what I'm up to and then I can always look back at this- remember the days when you'd write everything down in a journal?? (then knowing me I'd lose the journal and all that writing would be for nothing! haha) Here I can post pictures and things as well.

Here's an update of what I've been up to so far:
I moved across the pond just over a week ago now and I'm starting to get more and more comfortable in my new city! The more I see of it, the more I love it! Manchester is such a vibrant city with so much to do- great shopping, restaurants, theaters, museums, pubs and clubs. It is the perfect mix of the old with the new. The fact that there are 2 large universities here and a bunch of colleges makes it very student based and a lot of fun! I'm living in a flat in Fallowfield (just outside of the city centre) with 3 other housemates. This is perfect because I'm just a 10 minute walk to my campus and there is a Sainsbury's grocery store and strip of different pubs and restaurants just across the road.

Last week we had welcome activities for international students- on Thursday we went to this place called Tatton Gardens which was beautifulll and there was a BBQ and irish dancing (it was jokes!). It was great because I got to meet people from all over, Australia, France, the states, Sweden etc. mainly people doing exchanges this semester at Man Met. On Friday Danielle (my new aussie friend!), Sara (from Phili/going to school at Ryerson) and me decided to go with the Alton Towers option aka a super fun theme park and the biggest in the UK. Picture a much, much prettier wonderland in the English countryside. We all felt like little kids again going on a school field trip and had an absolute blast!!!

I then spent the rest of the weekend with my parents cause it was their last few days in the UK so we shopped, dined, drank some pints in some very traditional English pubs and walked all around the city. It was so nice having them here, helping me get all settled and they got to familiarize themselves with Manchester as well (...and kept saying how lucky I was to be living here!) We even went on the big wheel in the city centre (had to be done!)

On Saturday night, after I said my goodbyes to my parents (tear), my roomate, Becky (from Norway!) and I ventured into the city to have a predrink at Sara's hall. Danielle and her roommate from Greece met us there too. We had a predrink with all of Sara's new flatmates who just moved in!! Played never have I ever which seems to be a favourite of the Brit's and was a hilarious ice breaker. We then went to the MET which is in the student union building where it was a fun night of 1.50 pound VK double fisting, shots with irish guys and lots of dancingggg! It reminds me exactly of the old 1/4's @ MAC awww.

Sunday we were supposed to get together to watch the Manchester United vs. Manchester City game but were all too tired/hung over to make it to the pubs in time to see it! Ended up just walking around Fallowfield with Becky and Danielle- it was a gorgeous, sunny day and it was entertaining just to see the jam-packed pubs and the fans going crazy in the streets! Danielle and I bought tickets for some fresher events which included a camo party @ the birdcage that night so we took a bus into the city centre to go to Primark (most AMAZING store) and find some cheap army gear!!! It ended up being quite the adventurous night! Had my first day of induction week for my program today...there are events going on every day this week and then we'll find out our schedule for classes later. ROUND 3 TONIGHT ahhh this is freshers week after all! It's an 'i heart ibiza' UV rave tonight! It better not get too out of control though because I have to be on campus for 9 AM tomorrow! Us IFM masters students are going on a field trip to cheshire oaks retail park. Woo I think this is definitely the field for me...going to UK's largest outlet centre as part of my program orientation? love it!