Thursday, 27 September 2012

House of Fraser - Biba Bag

Biba is a brand that I have always been drawn too. It is mentioned in the same breath as mini-skirts and the Kings Road which shall forever define the 1960's as a decade that swung. Barbara Hulanicki started Biba by selling her dresses through newspaper ads and by the late 70s the Big Biba emporium on Kensington High Street was the place to be seen and people like Yoko Ono, Brigitte Bardot and Mia Farrow were all wearing Biba. The Biba look consisted of what Hulanicki called "Auntie Colours" - mulberries, blueberries, rusts and plums and the shop interiors had a very art deco feel. House of Fraser re-launched the company in 2009 and it had been a huge success.

House of Fraser provided me with a Biba bag to review and I have to admit, it's bloody gorgeous! I recently bought  Biba clutch bag in the sale which I coveted for months but this leopard print number is now my favourite bag. I love anything leopard print (as all Richey Edwards devotees do) Print is hard to match with outfits but luckily most ofmy wardrobe is black so I don't have to worry about this!


Dress: H&M
Shoes: Clarks
Watch: George
Necklace: eBay
Belt: New Look
Bag: House of Fraser

biba bag


I love all the details on the bag like the huge leather tassel, the art deco logo lining and the fur like material the bag is made from. The bag is big enough for me to take to work or shopping on the weekends. I've managed to fit a brolly, purse, full make up bag and my lunch in it today. It definitly feels like a luxury item but it can handle the demands of daily use.

Have a look at House of Frasers designer handbag collection to find Biba bags and lots of other brands.

biba bag leopard

What bags are on your wishlist at the moment?

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Monday, 24 September 2012

Daisy Street boots

I've got first day of term blues (hence the miserable face in all the photos) students get excited to be back and see all of their mates, I just feel old and miss my uni days. Boohooo! I am looking forward to seeing Sarah this weekend though and I'm happy to see the return of all the lovely term time only staff that I work with.

I bought this dress when Topshop had free delivery because the store never had my size. It was £18 with student discount and the fit is great. I've now also got this dress in navy because I love it so much, can't go wrong with a plain jersey dress. Apparently there is flooding across the UK and the skies looked pretty grey when I left the house so I took the oppourtunity to wear the practical boots that Daisy Street sent me.

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Dress: Topshop
Shirt: Topshop
Necklace: Vivienne Westwood
Shoes: Daisy Street

patent boots

The boots have gone through puddles and my feet have stayed dry and I wore them to work and there aren't any marks of scuffs on them like I was expecting because they are so high shine. I think these boots are a bit of a bargain at £24.99 as real Dr Martens are over £100. I know the real deal might last a lifetime but I'm fickle when it comes to fashion and these are the next best thing.

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Moody face!

I have lots of pairs of shoes and boots from Daisy Steet including a pair of Topshop style allegra boots which I've worn to death and are very comfortablle. The site has also branched out into clothes which are very affordable and I've included a code below for a cheeky little discount. (There are always some good discounts on the facebook page too)

Hope all of you students returning to uni have a fun freshers week. If it is your first year and you're new, don't be afraid to ask staff (people like me in the library) questions, it's what we are there for. If you are going to Cardiff Uni come and say hi to me!              

p.s. selling a few bits on ebay and will be adding loads more this week which you can see here

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Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Bestival - What I Wore

This is my final post about Bestival, I promise! I think I'm having post Bestival blues and need to accept that I'm not going to see any bands tonight and there is no more easy access to wine and Wagamama. I was a totally rubbish blogger and hardly took any outfit photos (did the same at Reading and Paris) but here are the few that I took.


Dress: Geroge via Charity shop
Stag cover up(thought it fitted in with the wildlife theme): Primark
Necklace: New Look
Shoes: High top trainers by Converse


There was a wildlife fancy dress theme on Saturday and I must admit that I didn't put as much effort in as some and had a butterfly hairband, butterfly nails and butterfly face paint and added a wig in the evening. I was going for a woodland nymph/Katy Perry kind of look...

 Dress: Rare c/o Not on the High Street
Necklace: New Look
Hairband: Crown and Glory


I was provided with a great face paint kit and wig by Jokers' Masquerade fancy dress to take with me to Bestival.
I wanted to look like Katy Perry at the end of her Wide Awake video so I chose a purple wig. It was a really good match and had black and purple in it just like Katy's hair in the video. The wig was of a really good quality and was styled with a fringe and curls. It didn't require any styling and was very comfortable to wear. It looked pretty natural for a bright purple wig! It stayed on all night thanks to a secure net underneath the hair. I would recommend this wig, £11.99 is great value for a wig of this quality and it would also make a good witches wig (Halloween is only 32 days away!)


Getting creative with the face paint.


Me in the lovely wig.

The face paint went down really well in camp. It came with a set of brushes, sponges and a booklet showing you how to create lots of looks. It would easily be enough face paint to cater for a whole party of people and had every colour you would need to create your desired look. This kit would be great for a kids party or hen night. I loved the pots of glitter and wore these most days at the festival. I think the Snazaroo sets are great quality and good value, to buy all these colours and brushes separately would really set you back.



Jazzing up my converse.


Look at these guys, they really went all out with the Wildlife theme!


Writing this post has made me realise that Summer is finally over, no more festivals or holidays for me. I'm feeling rather sorry for myself!

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Sunday, 16 September 2012


I've just come back from Paris and had the most amazing but tiring weekend. I'm going to warn you, this is a rather photo heavy post. I went to Paris for my friend Emma's birthday and also to meet up with some of our French friends who are studying there. Two and a bit days just wasn't enough but we managed to cram a lot in.

I wore my new Topshop t-shirt and pleated leather skirt to travel in, not the best choice for dragging a huge case in as the skirt was a little short but then I've never very practical...


I needed some comfortable shoes for Paris so I chose these flat shoes from Clarks. They are real leather and rubbed me so badly, do not walk eight hours a day in new shoes. I learnt the hard way :(
We stayed in a great little hostel called Le Montclair in Montmartre. Montmartre is a beautiful area where lots of artists lived like Dali, Modigliani, Monet and van Gogh lived and it is where Amélie was filmed.


Sacré-Cœur Basilica, so many steps to get here!


A Métro original art nouveau entrance




Love locks


Went a little crazy in here and spent loads on make up and cleansers, reviews to follow!


Ladurée Macaron


Picnic in a park on the Seine


Notre Dame


A great little book shop near Notre Dame called Shakespeare and Company. Sadly it was full of hipsters but it had a reading room upstairs where someone was playing the piano, very charming. They had some great second hand books here but also lots of new books in English with limited edition covers. This was a great little place to spend an hour.

I loved Paris so much that I'm already planning my next trip in the new year.

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Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Beautiful Bestival part 2

My first Bestival post was a bit of a thank you to Echo Falls who invited me along and to all the girls who I spent time with that weekend. This time I'm going to share what I got up to and who I managed to see at the festival.
I left Cardiff early on Thurday and met Sarah at Porstmouth Harbour ready to catch the ferry to the Isle of Wight. I'd not been to the island for years and I'm easily pleased so I was really excited by the ferry. As soon as we arrived on site I was blown away by how beautiful it was. Josie Da Bank really does a great job as creative director of Bestival. There are so many flags and beautiful decorations on site. I loved the Bollywood Cocktail Bar, fancy dress and Ambient Forest. It's such a unique festival.


I met up with team Echo Falls at blue camp which was supposed to be quiet... There is a much nicer vibe on the campsite compared to festivals like Reading and V with a older crowd choosing to go to Bestival which made for a more fun and relaxed atmosphere instead of a GSCE results party.


Me and some fellow Echo Falls campers exploring the site.

I was surprised at how well I ate all weekend. Festival food is normally dodgy and from a van but I had a Wagamama veggie katsu curry and an amazing Byron Burger (may have had two... they were so good!) There were lots of cute stands with names like Crumpets for Strumpets and Tea and Toast but my favourite place on site was the Time For Tease tent where you could enjoy a spot of afternoon tea accompanied by burlesque.


All very civilised for a festival don't you think?

(Sarah's photo)
Musically, I think my highlight of the festival was seeing New Order who are one of my favourite bands. I was close to tears when they played Ceremony and Age of Consent although Bernard Sumner had a little dig at Morrissey who is another one of my favourites, leave it out Bernard!

Here is me and Alex waiting for New Order to start. (nicked from Alex)

I also manged to see Two Door Cinema Club, Florence and the Machine, The Horrors (I saw all of these at Reading or in Cardiff this year) and I also caught some of Ben Howard, Stooshe, Delilah and The Lovely Eggs. It is one of those festivals that is about so much more than music. I saw three times the amount of bands at Reading but only had half as much fun

I treated myself to this gorgeous Screenadelica poster which I'm going to frame and put up in my bedroom. It is one of only 100 which is pretty cool.


My final shot is of the backdrop to the last song New Order performed. Hearing 20,000+ people singing Love Will Tear Us Apart was a beautiful moment. I really want to relive Bestival again next year, who's with me?!

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Monday, 10 September 2012

Beautiful Bestival

I don't really know where to begin talking about my Bestival experience... I'm going to split Bestival into two posts because I have so many photos and things to share. I need to say a big thank you to Echo Falls and to Charlie and Simon in particular for organising it all. I don't think it would have been much fun pitching fourteen tents and booking all the trains and tickets but I really appreciated it. (sorry for smearing you in glitter Simon...) I also want to thank Sarah for just generally being lovely all weekend and for putting up with me.


Isn't it beautiful?! we had glorious weather in the Isle of Wight all weekend.


This is the very pretty Echo Falls Social Boutique tent where we got to hang out and charge our phones which is a bit of a luxury for a festival. There was lots going on there with DJs in the evening and you could get your face painted, have feather hair extensions and have some photobooth fun. You can see all the photobooth photos and all the bloggers who attended Bestival here.

Me, Heather and Aisling in the mirror.


Charlie from Echo Falls sporting some lovely leopard face paint.


Alex getting some red face paint to match her ladybird fancy dress.




I love this photo that Claire took. I loved meeting Claire but I never thought I would because we live so far apart. Can't get rid of Sarah though, see her all the time... ;) It was so nice meeting bloggers who I've never met before and seeing some old faces.

Will do another post about what bands I saw and all the fun things I did at Bestival. Just want to say a final thank you to all the people I spent time with at Bestival.

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Friday, 7 September 2012

Top picks from the Debenhams A/W 2012 collection

I just got paid and I’ve been looking to expand my wardrobe and I’m on the lookout for some workwear that isn’t boring and is also on trend. The military trend is going to be huge this season and I've seen all the high street stores go khaki crazy. The colours red, purple, gold and black will be feature heavily. Velvet and fur will be textures you definitely need to keep an eye out for and a country look will also dominate the high street.

So what did I do when I chose my  favourite a/w dresses by Debenhams? I've basically ignored all of those things and picked things with pretty prints! haha I don't know how much life heavily embillished baroque item would have so I'm sticking to what I know and looking for sensible items that will work beyond one or two seasons.

My first choice is a floral Red Herring dress. I think this would be great for work with black tights and boots or flats. You could also dress this up in the evening with heels, a clutch and some lippy.

The next three dresses are all from the H! Henry Holland range. I always love the items in this range and there are usually plenty of cute animal prints to chose from. I think these dresses would look great with some thick tights, boots and a tweed jacket to fit in with the country classic type trend that is emerging at the moment. The dress in the middle has a squirrel print, I feel a shopping trip coming on and I'm 99% sure this will be coming home with me.

The final dress is from the Oasis concession and it has a rather lovely key print. Again this would be great for work because of the length and would look great paired with a blazer but it would also be equally as lovely for the weekend. I don't think I've seen anything with a key print anywhere else yet so I will be snapping this one up pretty quickly.

What have you been eyeing up from all the new collections hitting the stores at the moment? Are you a dedicated follower of fashion or more or do you keep an eye out for classic pieces?

*collaborative post

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Wednesday, 5 September 2012

What I'm taking to Bestival

I didn't really do many posts about Reading Festival and what I took with me and wore there etc so I'm being more organised this time and plan on taking plenty of photos! I've put together a post about all the important things I'm taking but I've also giving you a sneak peak at my fancy dress costumes and what I'm going to be wearing.

bestival collage 1

I've got miniature versions of all the toiletries I use, even if you take half empty full versions they are still to heavy and take up way too much room. I bought products that I already use so that when they are empty I can fill them up again to take on my next trip. I go away quite frequently so the miniatures were a good buy even though they are about the same price as some full size products. I've also packed some pain killers because you don't want to traipse across the festival site when a headache/hangover looking for some of these. Jokers' Masquerade sent me some facepaints and a wig to review which was very handy considering there is a Wildlife fancy dress theme at Bestival on Saturday. I've got enough facepaints to paint forty full faces so if you're going to Bestival and fancy some face paint send me a message on twitter I'm @Gemma_DS I will also be tweeting throughout the festival. Expect moaning about showers and love for lots of bands. I picked up the butterfly nail transfers in poundland which will fit in with my butterfly/Katy Perry wide awake video theme very well.

Make sure you check out Surfdome's festival page for loads of essentials like this inflatable mattress which is invaluable for a good night sleep.

As I have already mentioned, I'm rather lucky and off to Bestival courtesy of Echo Falls who have been very generous and sent me a festival survival pack and some rather fetching pink wellies. I'm going to be encouraged to 'Take the Moment’and enjoy spontaneous fun and new experiences (don't need to be encouraged to do this really).

bestival collage 2

I've bought myself a very pretty Crown and Glory headband for the fancy dress day and it comes with some pretty clip on butterflies. It is so well made and I'm glad I spent a few extra pounds on this because all the ones on the high street just couldn't compare.
I've got some healthy snacks packed after scoffing loads of bread and cheese at Reading, trying to behave a little bit and represent Team WAMK. The survival pack that Echo Falls and Superdrug sent was amazing and contained all the essentials like face wipes and hand gel but also contained an amazing penguin torch (I'm easily pleased)
I'm getting into that fancy dress spirit and want to go animal themed for a few days so I'm taking my new asos leopard print dress and headband that Sarah (my tent buddy for Bestival) sent me a while ago. I will also be taking denim shorts which you can wear more than once so I can save space in my bag and my new shirt which I picked up in Brighton at Beyond Retro.

Are any of you going to Bestival? Are there any essentials I need to take that are missing?

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