Friday, 30 December 2011

My Top 10 Fashion Moments of 2011

To say it's been an exciting year for the fashion world, I think, would be a major understatement... Here, on Parade, is my 'Top 10 Fashion Moments of 2011'...
(In NO particular order!)

1. I'll get this out the way first! This year saw the 20th Birthday of the Christian Louboutin brand, just a few days after the purchase of my very own loubis... eeeek!

2. In August, I payed a second visit to Central Saint Martins, just because I love it so much.

3. I voyaged to one of the Fashion Capitals of the world in April, pretended to be Carrie and helped the US economy spectacularly, returning with £3.20 exactly...

4. As Royal Wedding Fever reached fever pitch in April, Sarah Burton worked secretly to create Kate Middleton's wedding dress. Forget being dress of the year, this is dress of the century.

5. I discovered a love for Macrame.

6. His and Hers, Liverpool's hottest glossy, hit newstands this year, and I promptly put pen to paper to help proceedings.

7. The fash pack waited eagerly to see who would replace Carine Roitfeld as editor of Vogue Paris. Emmanuelle Alt was a very good choice indeed.

8. Don't ask how it happened, but once entered in Miss Liverpool, I wanted it to be a classy, Audrey Hepburn-esque affair.  I was one of only three in one-pieces, success.

9. I had my first foray behind the scenes at LFW, dressing for Ashish in September. Despite the fact the main event was over in 10 minutes, I can't wait to do it again in February.

10. I've always been an advocate of Victoria Beckham, even in her Spice Girls days. Pleased as punch was I when she was named Designer Brand of the Year at the British Fashion Awards.

What an amazing 2011 in Fashion... Roll on 2012.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

The Loubis

I don't suppose that anyone, least of all me, expected it to be so long before The Loubis made an appearance on Parade! I'll blame it on far too many birthday celebrations and use tonight, the eve of their 3rd outing as an opportunity to formally introduce them, just for those who haven't already been forced to bow down to and/or stroke them...

Even my introductory paragraph sounds a bit psycho, and it's safe to say I'm a little obsessed with these shoes, probably too obsessed. If I'm like this now, you should have seen me the day before and on the day of purchase. (For those who did, retrospectively, I'm sorry.)

I can't say I slept on the night of the 11th... remember the blog post? Click here to read it again, all two sentences of it. I described it to someone as "pre-wedding jitters"; I'd been planning it forever, I was definitely going to go through with it, but wow was I nervous. They laughed at me, and I wasn't really surprised. 'Nervous' isn't a feeling that would naturally be associated with shoe-buying, is it? But I was, really badly! I think I was worried because I'd built up this whole event to be something so great, what if it went badly wrong? What if there was nothing in my size? Nothing I liked? Well obviously I was going to like the whole shop, but what if there was nothing that fitted my 'classic and black' bill? I was dragging my whole family and godparents to Paris, to buy a pair of shoes. There was a lot riding on it, and me being stubborn as, I certainly wasn't going to accept defeat and make the purchase in Selfridges or even Cricket. 

Having had 3 hours sleep, read an article about Mr Louboutin in the paper and had another minor nervy b, I found myself sat on an easyjet, wondering what the purposes of everybody elses journeys were. I didn't think anyone was off to buy Louboutins from the flagship store in Paris, family in tow, but I may well be wrong!

We landed, faffed around, got trains, buses, walked, got lost, got distracted, had mini breakdowns and eventually found our way to the hotel by about 12.30pm - too late for my liking. Can't say I remember much of the morning, it was far too much of a tired, overexcited, nervous blur. A lunch followed, a lunch I struggled to eat, as Loubi o'clock was getting closer...

I then took it upon myself to navigate towards the shop. Except I didn't, and when close to throwing up/passing out, I handed the reins to the father, who made it there before me. If I wasn't in such a state, I'd have been really annoyed, but in all honesty I was just thankful to find the place the right side of midnight.

There was a queue, with a very efficient system of 'one in, one out', there were 4 sales assistants, thus only ever 4 Loubi buyers in the shop at any one time... We got in said queue and waited maybe 20 minutes? (Felt like about 3 hours, I was shaking by this point.) The majority of people who entered the shop came out with a bag or three it should be noted, bags at which every queue-er, including me, fully stared at as they walked past...

Once in the shop, it wasn't at all like we expected it to be, in a really, really good way. I think deep down we expected it to be hostile, the shop assistants snooty, the displays untouchable. Instead, our monsieur was so friendly, helpful and had the patience of an actual saint - handy when I spent well over an hour trying on in excess of 20 pairs. And yes I wandered round in my bare feet, albeit with my beautiful gel nails, and moved shoes off displays without getting a slapped wrist. They didn't follow me round with a duster and suck endless lemons, rather they laughed at my accent and sung happy birthday to me in english. The brown paper box and bag aren't perfect, there's a dint in the box and a bag handle is loose, but I strangely don't mind, makes it all seem a whole lot less pretentious.

So I eventually decided on a pair. Now let's get this clear, I went to Paris saying 'No patent, and no slingback' What did I come back with? Patent Slingbacks... I said it was like having a child, you hope for a girl and have a boy, but you still love them regardless! Another ridiculous comparison I know, but it didn't half sum it up... I tried on all the pairs I'd seen on the website but plain leather was too drab, my british feet were way too wide for Pigalle and peep toe was just a definite no no.

Now I'd never seen mine before, anywhere, not in a boutique (and I've been to a lot), and not online. I still haven't, but he brought them out the back for me to try and we all knew they were 'the ones'. Classic enough for pencil skirt days, yet still party-y enough for partying. Fab-u-lous!

Decision made, the mother paid (and does she not deserve a medal?!) and out we went, ready for the next lucky person to go in. I managed to maintain my dignity whilst I carried my bag past the (now even longer) queue of people, who all stared at it, just as I'd done a couple of hours previously, until I got round the corner...

Where I jumped up and down and squealed in a most un-classy manner! Didn't care I had my Loubis. Whipped them out in the cafe to show dad and godfather, whipped them out in the hotel to check they still fitted (they actually didn't, I'd walked so far that my customary 'Cankles' and fat feet had appeared, oops) and stored them safely in the safe, until their journey home.

Day 2 then of the Paris trip is, frankly, completely irrelevant as it doesn't involve the Loubis, I just floated round in a bubble of happiness. Except for perhaps the flight home, where I hugged them. I got some funny looks, but did I care? Nope!

Now I honestly can't say I've stopped going on about them since November, nor have they left the pillow on the other side of my bed... Somebody said to me the other day " Hannah Ramsay? Are you the one with the Christian Louboutin shoes?" David, if you're reading this thank you again!.

 To conclude... I love the Louboutins, and the mother says yes to another pair from Paris for my 21st... Enjoy the peace until then!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Benna Showroom Launch

This weekend saw the much awaited launch of the new showroom of luxury jewellery e-boutique, I popped along to see it...

Once I'd actually found the right door, (it's 82a so go down the little stairs!), it was like a magpie's paradise, in the classiest possible sense of the word, complete with chandeliers, candy coloured macaroons and the cutest daintiest china teacups and saucers.

Being a bit of a sparkle fiend, I thought the vintage wooden and glass cases looked amazing encasing pieces from Mawi, Zoe and Morgan, Lara Bohinc, Annina Vogel, Kenneth Jay Lane and Erickson Beamon, to name but a few. Then there was a beautiful round table to show off the Repetto ballet pumps next to a dinky black velvet sofa and more vintage wood, this time in the form of many tiny drawers, pulled out to reveal delicate gold chain pieces.  
I have to say I started making a shopping list for after my birthday, including these fabulous emerald drop earrings from Kenneth Jay Lane (above), and these bright Repetto ballet pumps in 'Ketchup'... is that the best colour ever?!

There are so many pieces in here that aren't on the website, so you really should pop in, if not only to see quite how beautiful and how sparkly the new Mawi pieces are, ahh!

P.S. Going to put some pics of the showroom itself up soon!

Friday, 28 October 2011

The Imagine Appeal Clothes Throw 2011 - Event 4 - Friday

So after three days of cocktails, catwalk, and catfights (okay, furious bidding!), The Clothes Throw 2011 has almost come to an end.

But this year's main events were seen off in style with tonight's 'Graduate Throw', where five LJMU graduates each showed 6 looks, available to purchase, with all proceeds going to the worthy cause that is The Imagine Appeal.

It's hard, I know, to envisage the looks of a collection without pictures, so you'll have to see the pics in His and Hers mag soon, but for now, let me give you a taste of what our city's designers had to offer...

First up was Laura Wallace who sent out a stripped back collection; models swathed in  neutral muslin. A bold move, but one that paid off thanks to delicate button detailing, intelligent draping, and interesting shapes. Wallace said after the show that her inspiration had come from old letters and photographs.

Jodie Wood was next with bold navy and ecru prints on simply shaped pieces. It wasn't all simple though, there was some great unexpected and experimental shoulder detailing and sharp tailoring. The collection was meant to show personalities, to which people will all respond differently.

The third designer was Lauren Schofield who created a sculptural collection with lots of movement. Taking the idea of a crinoline, jersey, sportswear-esque shapes were transformed with giant rigilene collars and frills. I wasn't able to speak to Lauren as she's currently in New York working for Diane Von Furstenberg - alright for some!

Louise Boarder went for cosy ski chalet chic, with fur, felt and textural knitted pieces in a palette of burgundy, biscuit and black. Inspired by animals and child evacuees, layering was key to the theme of 'protecting yourself', topped off with hats and hoods.

Finally Gemma Howarth showed her collection inspired by old memorabilia, such as her grandad's stamp collection. She said she looked at the idea that certain things mean something to someone, yet are worthless to others, and came up with a classic collection in black and dove grey, featuring intricate beading and flowing silks.

So that's it for 2011's events! The one day pop-up shop launches on Manesty's Lane in Liverpool One tomorrow, so do go and gave a look at that as it's another great way to give to the Imagine Appeal.

 I'm not sure quite yet exactly how much has been raised, but as soon as I find out I shall let you know.

In the meantime, if you've missed either Wednesday or Thursday's event reviews, you can read them by clicking on the relevant day...

Also look out for more coverage and pictures of The Clothes Throw in next months His and Hers Magazine.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

The Imagine Appeal Clothes Throw 2011 - Event 2&3 - Thursday

Today saw two more events in the calendar of this years Clothes Throw.

This afternoon was the 'Afternoon Tea Party', complete with cake and bubbly, where guests could bid for offerings from famous faces including Carol Vorderman, Joan Collins and Brix Smith-Start. These offerings being, among others, Temperley and Halston Heritage, ensured that this was certainly an event not to be missed.

But The Clothes Throw fun didn't stop there, with the 'Finale Auction' held tonight.

The Palm Sugar Mojitos and canapes were delicious once again (ooh the perks of reporting three nights on the run!) and were demolished before the serious bidding commenced. Those auctioneers don't half speak fast, their speedy hum I think was along the lines of "at a hundred pound I’m bid now one hundred one hundred one hundred at a hundred pound now..."

Amongst the lots tonight was a stunning buttery leather jacket from Sienna Miller's Label Twenty8Twelve, an all expenses paid trip to New York, a stunning replica of Lady Gaga's Mobo dress from Philip and Tony Armstrong and Alex Gerrard's leopard print Lanvin Dress. It was beautiful, Lanvin's my favourite, it took some willpower to keep my hands firmly on the keyboard and not in the air...

This was the last of the auction events, the online auction will go live tomorrow.

Tomorrow will also feature the last of this years Clothes Throw events, 'The Graduate Throw'. Look out for my coverage!

Also see next months issue of His & Hers Magazine for more coverage of the event...

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The Imagine Appeal Clothes Throw 2011 - Event 1 - Wednesday

It's proved a huge success in previous years, so it's back this year:  The Clothes Throw 2011, in aid of of Alder Hey's Imagine Appeal.

I've just got home from Palm Sugar in Liverpool One, which hosted the launch of what is quite possibly the most stylish charity fundraiser Liverpool has to offer.

After being treated to Mojitos and tasty canapes (yes, fashionistas do eat!), tonight's first catwalk show featured forties style looks from Wade Smith, where tweed two pieces and sheer pussy bow blouses in bright jewel tones were paired with classic black and charcoal. 

Then came a hair and make up tutorial from Liz and Andrew Collinge, where the forties theme continued with an elegant two minute updo, and striking hollywood make up.

Next was Bullet Vintage; full skirted maxi dresses in sweet shop candy colours with sparkling embellishment, and a particularly fabulous cobalt blue number.

It was then the turn of acclaimed Liverpool designer, Kirsty Doyle, showing her trademark sculptural shapes and clean lines in a palette of purple hues.

The fabulous jewellery throughout, from Mawi, Erickson Beamon and Kenneth Jay Lane was courtesy of Benna at

Finally was the first celebrity auction of the event, where bidders fought for Chloe and Mulberry arm candy, a cuff designed by Karl Lagerfeld and a Temperley dress, to name but a few of the celebrity offerings.

Tomorrow and Friday's events will see two more auctions before the online auction goes live, so keep checking back this week for more about The Clothes Throw events as they happen!

Also see the next issue of His and Hers Magazine for more coverage of the event...

Friday, 7 October 2011

PFW - Louis Vuitton

Anyone who knows me well will know I've got a bit of a thing for merry-go-rounds and on finding one, I generally will go on it... Yes, at my age.

So imagine how much I love the set for the Louis Vuitton S/S12 show at Paris Fashion Week complete with perfect, white as snow, merry-go-round.

And doesn't Kate Moss look all beautiful closing the show.

Friday, 23 September 2011

London Fashion Week: Part I

My apologies for the delay in getting this post up, or any post at all regarding LFW, it has been a very busy week!

Still laptop-less, getting any pictures on here is tricky but tomorrow night, I promise 'London Fashion Week: Part II' will appear! I'm not going to give you the lowdown from every show from LFW, you can get that on, but there's a lot of fab new designers that I saw in the exhibition that I will definitely feature alongside all my backstage pics...

Until tomorrow x

Saturday, 10 September 2011

NYFW - Jason Wu

It's only day 2 of New York Fashion Week and already I'm excited by what's on offer. Loving Jason Wu; very grown up, a fresh take on ladylike... And those dresses at the end are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. My favourite's got to be the chartreuse one.

Pictures from

Sunday, 4 September 2011

London Diary 2 - Friday 2nd September

Obviously it's not the 2nd September as I write this, as actually the 4th, but let's just pretend it is, for the sake of keeping my diaries in a nice, chronological order.

Today was the last day of college, and my last day ever in that building.  Most upset I was when I left.  So upset I was, that I lost last night's finely honed taxi hailing abilities as I stood meekly by the side of the road, trying not to winge over a derelict uni building... odd I know. A foreign gentleman, who's nationality I'm still none the wiser over, strode into the middle of the road and stopped the first cab, packed me in and shut the door - very sweet of him. Sadly straight to Euston but into Accessorize to cheer me up... A few phonecalls in the sun before Nandos for tea and the nervous wait for the platform announcement. I say nervous, has anyone else getting a train from London to Liverpool ever noticed the speed at which everyone runs when the platform number goes up on the screen?! No one else except scousers seem to move so fast, hilarious, but at the time, rather stressful indeed.

Outfit as above... Liverpool, pretend you haven't seen it before, London haven't!

Anyway, during the day we had a look at our pictures, and decided with fresh eyes, to change half of them!

So here are the new set entitled 'The Evolution of the Lady'...

We spent our last afternoon working on the layout of the story for if it were to go in a magazine and looking at everyones' work, the plans of which I may put up sometime. Then after a final critique, CSM 2011 was over. 

At this point now it's possible this can go from a serious fashion blog, to a huge CSM related cheeseball. I will try not to, but all l'll say is I now want to go there even more, if that's even possible.

Who knows if there'll be a 'London Diary 3', with any luck it'll be a CSM Fresher's Week Diary next summer...

But in the meantime, look out for my Behind the Scenes at LFW blog - I go on the 17th and will be working on Ashish!

Until then,


P.S. I have now put my outfit pic on Thursday's blog - If you have missed any this week, click on the links below to read them!


P.P.S. Look at this gorgeous installation from the MA Exhibition, love, love, love.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

London Diary 2 - Thursday 1st September 2011

Well what an eventful day that has been! I say that as I'm not actually typing this on my laptop, since I cleverly pulled it off the table earlier this afternoon (oops) and completely wrecked the screen, therefore all I can gaze at is a work of white abstract art... As if, I'm only saying that to make me feel better. It also unfortunately means that I haven't got my outfit photo, so I shall pop it into this post when I can.

2/9/11 - Outfit pic! >>>

Today then, was shoot day!  It was always going to be interesting with just a digital camera, a white wall and no lights or photoshop, but we're surprisingly pleased with the results. Hopefully, you can see Milly's evolution through the 20's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 80's and 90's, though they do look more effective arranged horizontally. My favourite's got to be the 50's with its makeshift couture skirt - it's amazing what you can do with a few pins!

We finished the shoot very quickly, and after a trip to starbucks, a bit of laptop smashing and a bit of photo editing, we headed down to an exhibition called 'Corinne Day THE FACE', which documents the late photographers work, namely of a very young looking Kate Moss. It was only a dinky exhibition but very interesting indeed.

Heading home, I came across a Brown's stocking Louboutins, so in I went, to see what they had. Nothing was the answer, but the very posh lady told me to visit the Louboutin boutique, apparently 10 minutes walk away. Like a woman on a mission I followed her directions, ish, and after a quick consult of google maps, found it - hooray! It was a 'ring the doorbell and have the locked door opened for you' arrangement, which was all rather exciting, and the staff, as they were in Selfridges last night, were very helpful and remarkably friendly. Again though, none of the ones I wanted, so Mr directed me to Motcomb street, the home of their second boutique. Straight to google maps this time as frankly, I didn't have clue where I was or where I was heading. I walked round in circles for about 15 minutes, pretending I knew where I was going, then did something awful...

Okay, it wasn't necessarily awful, but horribly indulgent. I hailed a black cab, in front of Claridges of all places, and found myself being taxied down Bond Street past all the amazing shops, through Belgrave and into very pretty Knightsbridge. Pulled up in front of the Louboutin shop and out I hopped, exactly what, or who, did I think I was?! Tried on 3 pairs, one a definite possible, and didn't take pics tonight, as I was on my own and that would have really been sad, plus of course I was living in the dreamworld where you don't need to take pictures of your Loubis. I even found myself asking if they had the particular ones I was after in stock in Paris, probably too loudly than I should have. On leaving the shop, without purchasing, I realised I had even less of a clue where I was than before. On the grounds I'm coming home tomorrow, and I was already laughing at my ridiculousness, there was only one thing for it, *another disgustingly indulgent moment coming up*, taxi no.2 in Knightsbridge. Only this time, it was back to reality, and took me as far as the tube station, and the taxi driver said I could have walked it...

On a packed rush hour tube, I found myself most amused at my hour living the high life. I do disgust myself sometimes... Ah well it was fun, and a fab end to my eventful day.

Can't say I want to come home really, but I have another day, no doubt with something else fabulous, tomorrow.

Until then, (actually it will be Saturday night that you get Friday's Diary!)


Wednesday, 31 August 2011

London Diary 2 - Wednesday 31st August 2011

fear this may be a long one tonight, despite the fact I'm nodding off in front of the screen, as today has been very busy and very exciting and that's not just in college...

Scribbly graphic t-shirt, jeans and my cream leather blazer today, much more practical for the tube - which I have decided I hate. I was also asked for directions today, so those two combined, I've decided I'm an honorary Londoner.

Firstly here's my drawings of yesterday's outfits...  

After discussing what we liked about particular fashion editorials, we started planning our photoshoots. We've chosen the theme 'Primitive', and are planning on producing an editorial entitled 'The Evolution of the Lady'. Following Darwin's illustration of evolution, and giving it a stylish twist, we're going to show womens' style through the 20's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 80's and 90's, as our model evolves.

Only a sneaky peek for tonight, this image was a test for the 90's girl.

I got a bit depressed today when it hit me that the Charing X Road building is really closing in 2 weeks; I love the thought that Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney and so many others have walked the same stairs, and sat in the same classrooms as me. Off I went with my camera to get a few snaps of admittedly a wrecked, but equally completely magical building.

We loved this neon pink classroom, tucked away at the end of the first floor corridor.

I know it's only stairs, but there's a lot like this in the building, and I'm a bit obsessed by who will have walked them.

This is an installation in the MA exhibition, it's huge and really imposing, but my picture doesn't really do it justice.

Finally, I loved the contrast of my sparkly pencilcase against the dilapidated building, in black and white, like the others, as we were testing for the photos tomorrow!

 I left college at 5pm but the excitement didn't stop, hot-footing it to Selfridges, to pay a visit to the Louboutin boutique. They only had the style I was after in red, not black, but I tried the red on anyway, you know, just for size!

Shoot tomorrow, so another huge post tomorrow night! Until then...