Tag Archive: Birmingham

Oct 01 2011

In Pictures: Day Trip To Birmingham

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I know I have said this before but I take a lot of pictures, and last week I went to Birmingham as a guest of the Bullring to check out Style Birmingham, and while I was out and about in the city I took some snaps with my phone.

I may have been super tired as I had just got back from New York but it was so nice catching up on the train up from London with the lovely Abi Marvel. Instead of coming into Birmingham’s awful New Street station, we came into Birmingham’s Moor Street train station, and what a little surprise this place was. I am quite geeky when it comes to fonts, and I think I actually squealed when I saw this quirky station. Located right in the centre of Birmingham with its retro signage, steam train in the corner *very Harry Potter* and a cute floral shop it was like stepping back in time. I wish all stations were like this.

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It literally sits opposite the Bullring so it was perfect, also great to see the amazing shopping centre bubble-like exterior as soon as we got out of the station.

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After Bullring’s The Show: Redefinition went over to the 102.2 Capital FM to check out their Style Birmingham bus, how nice of them to roll out the red carpet for us!!! Inside there is a radio studio to broadcast live on the go, as well as relaxing area upstairs, doesn’t Abi look at home!!!

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Of course a visit to Birmingham wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Cow vintage store, not enough time to get to the warehouse store but luckily they have a city-centre shop, which is just as good.

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Luckily for my bank balance they didn’t really have any Peter Pan collar action going on so I came out empty-handed, but Abi did pick up an amazing checked shirt.

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I always love the trip over to The Mailbox just for these lights, I don’t know why but they fascinate me.

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Cute Osman designed Style Birmingham canvas bag to add to my ever-growing collection.

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Not sure what this is, or why for that matter, but hey I love a bit of random in the middle of a shopping area, similar ones were dotted all down the main high street.

Sep 27 2011

Style Birmingham: Bullring Puts On An Amazing Show

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A couple of weeks ago I told you guys about the Bullring’s plans to put on a fashion show sporting the autumn/winter trends featuring both real-life and holographic models. I have to admit I was a little worried about what this show would look like, I have been to many shopping centre fashion shows before, and a combination of poor models and styling has generally put me off for life, well my opinion has been changed after seeing this amazing show from the Bullring.

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Not only was I impressed with the models, with the amount of outfit changes they did I was stunned that it looked so slick, I was also super pleased with the styling it was spot on for the autumn/winter trends and really worked in the great variety of stores that the Bullring has to offer. So really adding in the holographic element for me was an added bonus, don’t get me wrong it was impressive, see the pics below *my camera didn’t really like the holograms*, that is actually Tiffany from Britain’s Next Top Model. I loved the spectacular of the technology, but the real-life models really did sell the clothes to me.

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The Show: Redefinition was split into seven key looks for autumn/winter – dark romance, mod squad, heritage, spot it, forties flair, mannish, decadence and the finale was all about feathers and fur. My favourite was definitely the sixties vibe of mod squad, I just love all the block colours and shift dresses.

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I really love this orange look, from the 60′s shift dress with pleated skirt from Forever 21 to that gorgeous orange felt coat from Cos, which at only £135 I think that is a great price for a quality winter coat. I also love the addition of those funky grey and yellow wool socks from Forever 21 and the dark red lace up boots from Office, £85.

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Another great look was this pom-pom chic vibe from Debenhams, I love it so much that the pom-pom scarf, £20 and the triple pom-pom hat, £22 have to be mine. Hey the John Rocha brown check cake with faux fur collar for £110 isn’t bad either!!! I also loved them all being styled with a leather skirt and brogues – such a great working of the heritage trend.

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One of the most fun and cute sections was ‘Spot It’ and I think it was to do with the hologram being of Dalmatian puppies, all together now ahhhh!!

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Forties Flair was another great section full of strong styling and pieces I want to add to my wardrobe. Top of this list is this faux-fur stole especially as it is only £12.99 from New Look, crazy price for such a great AW11 accessory. I also love that Bordeaux clutch bag from Reiss, a little more pricey at £139.

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Great job Bullring, fab show and thanks for inviting me well worth the trip. If you didn’t get chance to see the show, don’t worry a video is coming soon and I will post it as soon as I receive it. You can also check out all the piccies I took of the show on my Facebook page.

 

Sep 14 2011

Style Birmingham Live: Bullring Redefinition Show

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From Friday to Wednesday it may be all about London Fashion Week, but then the fashion moves North for the Style Birmingham Live weekend and this year it is bigger than ever. Running from September 23-25, it is a great three days of fashion, shopping and beauty, which includes an amazing catwalk show hosted by George Lamb. But what I am most looking forward to is The Bullring’s amazing The Show: Redefinition.

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Featuring Last year’s Britain’s Next Top Model winner Tiffany Pisani, the catwalk show will be the first for a UK shopping centre as it will combine real-life and holographic models to showcase the autumn/winter 2011 trends. I have to admit I have seen a holographic fashion  presentation before when I went to the Forever 21 bash, but I am super excited to see how they work both real-life models and technology together, it really is an amazing concept.

Also there’s another very special guest joining the models on stage, I tried to persuade the PR team to tell me but their lips are sealed, not even any clues.

Fancy going to the fashion spectacular? Well pop on over to the Bullring’s website.

The Show: Redefinition
Friday 23rd September: 10.30am, 1pm, 3pm, 5.30pm
Saturday 24th September: 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm
Sunday 25th September: 11.30am, 1pm, 3pm

 

Dec 14 2010

Birmingham Shopping: Cow Vintage – Full of Delights

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Pic: All about the presentation at COW

One of my favourite bits about my Birmingham shopping trip has to be finding this vintage store, Cow. I am not the best at rummaging for a bargain in a charity store, or even working the vintage markets, but I have heard great things from the vintage store with the bright yellow front! To be honest it didn’t take much convincing to check it out when I realised it was called Cow, as I am kinda obsessed by the four legged animals *not that there were any to be seen*.

I am not sure what I expected from a vintage shop, I think in my narrow-minded ways I was thinking it was going to be more jumble sale, but Cow is certainly not that. The Birmingham store is huge and greets you with cool vibes of 60s and 70s music, it really welcomes you into to its creative displays *see above*.

You can generally buy anything you could possible want here, there are racks of womenswear, accessories – including a great scarf section *I nearly fell in love with an YSL scarf, which was only £35*, and lots of bags; but there is also a dedicated menswear section *had some great chunky jumpers*. But best of all what Cow offered me were vintage items for current trends, I love the amount of capes they had, which were all more amazing than what the high street has to be offer.

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Pic: Cow - I really loved this Mark Fast inspired jumper

I came away with two amazing knitwear pieces: a gorgeous butterfly embellished C&A jumper, I know C&A ruled didn’t it, and best of all it was only £5 and it is perfect, baggy and pink!!; and the other piece was a chunky black and white floral print cardigan – both excellent cover ups for this winter freeze.

One piece I was tempted with was this Mark Fast inspired red and silver jumper *above*, so well designed with different styles of knit and would have been tiny on me – but was gorgeous. That it is the beauty of Cow, there are so many pieces that I adored, I only had a short time here but I would definitely recommend it.

Dec 12 2010

Birmingham Shopping: Finally Got To Check Out Forever 21

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Pic: Forever 21 - Birmingham Bullring

Ever since I heard that Forever 21 was coming to Blighty, I have to admit I have been pretty excited, but as I said in my blog post for its launch event I would have to see the store in action to fully give my opinion. Well last weekend I went to Birmingham with so much hope that F21 was going to be my new, go-to store, but sadly my fears over quality and pricing came true.

Firstly, considering the rest of Birmingham was crazy with Christmas shopping, the three floors of Forever 21 seemed to be filled with more staff *gossiping about Tinie Tempah stopping by* than actual paying customers. Which was the first shock.

Secondly, the pictures I have above are the only ones I was able to take, as they were outside, as I was told by a very rude sales person that I couldn’t take pictures on my Blackberry. Sad state of affairs to be honest, as the displays that they had up were the only things really going for this brand in the UK – as they were creative and fun.

Thirdly, the pricing doesn’t really seem to reflect the quality, I feel that pricing for fast-fashion, which is how they talk about themselves should be closer to Primark than Topshop, sadly the American dream did not come with them. So be prepared to pay a bit more to cover their import costs.

Fourthly, if like me you are not an xs or even s, then be prepared to ask the many sales people just standing around *or in some cases following you around* to ask where the larger sizes are. It seems like M and L isn’t hot on their to-do list to stock on the shop floor – which is quite annoying.

Fifthly, it seems like they don’t have enough stock, as I found the same items in fourth different areas of the store, I get it put it nearer the door and then further back, but four times is a little repetition overload.

Sixthly, when I did find things I liked, mainly the Miu Miu inspired pieces, and the limited-edition Disney holiday collection, I was waiting in line to pay, may I add it isn’t like Primark where all tills are utilised this was one slow girl, I was asked to remove all my coat hangers before I got to the till. Apparently, this was to speed things up, but to be honest me struggling to carry my purchases, with my Christmas shopping, isn’t actually the way to impress a paying customer. Seriously, the staff either need more training or they need to look into who they employ.

So in conclusion, I wouldn’t ever buy anything online as my touchy-feely approach to shopping was extremely disappointed, most of the clothing was thin and of poor quality. One of the highlights of the UK launch event were the shoes, unfortunately this is the smallest section of the store, so I was quite disappointed I didn’t get to pick up the Miu Miu platforms *I asked about them – but of course the staff have no clue about the brand*.

I think I will also check it out when I am in Birmingham, or even when it comes to London next year, but to be honest I don’t think I’ll be rushing back or recommending it to my friends!!

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