Wednesday, 24 August 2011

When I Grow Up...

For our next ‘When I Grow Up’ feature, we’ve interviewed Becky Ringer, one of our favourite fashion PR girls. To give you (and us) the inside scoop on her fashionable life, read on! 


Have you always been interested in fashion? 
Always! My mum says I was styling myself from the age of three. For as long as I can remember I was completely focused on working in the fashion industry, there was never an alternative career path for me. I used to put fashion shows on for my friends and I managed to get my whole year group to skip an afternoon of school once just so they could watch a fashion show that me and my friends put on (I was about 10)!  

How did you get your start in the fashion industry? 
When I was at uni I did as much work experience as I could get my hands on, in as many different roles as possible; including graphic design, PR, Marketing and Visual Merchandising. After I graduated I concentrated on gaining more experience in fashion PR and was interning for around 8 months until I landed a job as a Junior Account Executive at Fluorescent PR.  

Why did you choose PR?
After doing work experience at various different PR companies it just felt like the right career path for me. PR is a very sociable job, I’m always picking up the phone, talking to people I don’t know and meeting with journalists. I really enjoy meeting new people, so this mixed with the fashion element, made PR feel like a natural path to take.    

Is there any other area of the industry you'd like to get into?
I’d love to get into styling and be able to style amazing photo shoots around the world, that’s my ultimate dream job after working in PR. I’m also really interested in fashion photography, Tim Walker is my absolute favourite photographer I love his creative imagination. I’m absolutely useless with a camera though so I think I’ll leave the photography to the experts.    

Describe one day at your workplace. 
One day is never the same as the next, fashion PR moves fast, just like the rest of the industry. Most of my days involve a mixture of writing press releases, doing store appointments with journalists, event planning, liasing with clients, arranging samples and answering emails, it really is a big mix of everything. We’re constantly busy but that’s one of the things I love about my job.  

 What do you think is the most important factor in getting a job in the fashion industry?
Aside from a keen interest in fashion I’d say the most important factor in getting a job in the fashion industry is experience; there’s so much competition out there for jobs, if you can show that you’ve worked hard and built up valuable experience it will show that you’re serious about getting into the industry. With getting internships it’s important to show enthusiasm for fashion and in the job role that you’re applying for. If you’re applying for an internship in PR, research what PR is about- there’s nothing worse than an intern who hasn’t got a clue about the job that they’ve applied for.   

What were your motivations behind starting your blog?
I started it after attending the Julien Macdonald A/W 11 show last February. It was such an amazing experience to go to a LFW show, I just felt like I needed to write about it and tell people. After that I just caught the blogging bug and carried on. It’s my way of documenting things I like and a way of keeping myself up to date with what’s going on in the fashion world.   

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get into fashion PR?
Do as much work experience as possible and get as much as you can out of any work placement.  

Want to read more? Check out her blog here.

By Michaela Lock

Friday, 19 August 2011

Operation Cup of Tea

In the wake of the riots that erupted up and down the country last week, numerous facebook groups popped up damning the rioters, and asking for calm. The one that really caught our eye, with its quintessentially Britishness was the Anti-Riot Operation have a cup of tea. The group urged us to do the most British of things, when faced with a difficult situation, have a nice cuppa! 

The mentality is similar to that used in posters produced during the second world war, which have recently had a resurgence in popularity - and the the Keep Calm and Carry on mantra has never seemed more fitting! So what better way to enjoy a nice cup of tea, than in these keep calm and carry on mugs.

And as if you needed any more confirmation, here are some quotes from throughout history, reinforcing the importance of a good cup of tea!

"There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea" 
- Bernard-Paul Heroux (which in fact the Anti-Riot Operation took on as their slogo!)

"To an Englishman, tea is of far greater importance than toilet paper." 
— anon.

"The entire British Empire was built on cups of tea ... and if you think I'm going to war without one, mate, you're mistaken."
From film Lock Stock and two smoking Barrels.

"If you are cold, tea will warm you. If you are heated, it will cool you. If you are depressed, it will cheer you. If you are excited, it will calm you." 
William Gladstone. (British Prime Minister)

Monday, 15 August 2011

Book Club: The Vanishing Act of Esmé Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell

With the holiday season upon us, we’ve been searching for the perfect book to read while we’re away – something easy to digest but thought-provoking and beautifully written at the same time. The Vanishing Act of Esmé Lennox is exactly that kind of book, even at only just over 240 pages - making it our pick for the perfect alternative summer read…

Simple but poetic in style, Maggie O’Farrell’s 2007 novel tells the stories of three women and the dark, interwoven secrets that bring them together. We meet an elderly woman, Kitty, who is ridden with Alzheimer’s and whose glimpses of memories from her younger days flitter through the book mysteriously. We meet Kitty’s granddaughter, Iris Lockhart, a modern career woman stumbling her way through life and affairs with married men, who gets a call asking her to look after a great aunt she never knew existed. Finally, we meet Esmé Lennox, the great aunt herself, locked away in a mental institution at sixteen by her own family; and, as the plot develops, we’re shown her life and how she came to be in such a place.

O’Farrell’s writing almost always includes themes relating to family ties and love, and the Vanishing Act of Esmé Lennox is no different; it’s full of acute observations both about the women in the book and about sisterhood more generally. Once you do begin reading, you’ll most probably find yourself racing through the whole thing in one sitting. One of those mysterious, thoughtful books, be prepared to find yourself wondering about it months after reading the final page. Oh, and watch out for the twist at the end…

Friday, 12 August 2011

Something for the Weekend

Started by two friends, Drink, Shop & Do started life as a pop-up shop and was so successful that it’s now open permanently. Set inside an old Victorian bathhouse, Drink, Shop & Do comprises of 2 separate rooms joined by a staircase.

 The first room, which you enter from the street, is a shop selling the kind of kitchsy goodies that we all have too much off but still can’t resist buying:  cute mugs, adorable earrings and silly badges.  The second part of the shop is the cafe/bar of dreams containing such delights as tealights, floral fabrics, scotch eggs and cocktails….  And if you’re not a fan of a scotch egg, there’s so much more on offer. Stew of the day (screw soup of the day!!), quiche, sandwiches and an intimidating selection of cakes. No cup cakes here, instead huge slices of classics such as Victoria sponge and Bakewell tart.  And being licenced means that Drink, Shop & Do also offer beer, wine and cocktails along with the usual range of teas and coffees. But be warned that the staff aren’t stingy with their wine measures. 

The ‘Do’ part of Drink, Shop & Do is a range of activities such as comedy nights, gingerbread decorating and scarf knitting which are on most nights of the week to try and keep you out of trouble. Scrabble Sundays are going to be a firm Cellardoor favourite. Although we’re not promising a high score once after a few huge glasses of the house red.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Art on the Underground: Acts of Kindness

After recent events, it’s fair to say that Londoners might well be in need of something to make them smile on their journeys around town - which is why we love the new Art of the Underground project, Acts of Kindness.

An idea conceived by artist Michael Landy, Acts of Kindness is a project encouraging anyone who’s ever used the tube - Londoners and visitors alike - to share stories of compassion and generosity shown to them by other passengers. Celebrating those rare moments when silent commuters stop to talk and help each other out, the project’s aim is to examine the rare feeling we get on the London Underground of being ‘connected’ to each other.

Landy, who defines an act of kindness as breaking out of the “bubble” that we disappear into on the tube and “going beyond yourself to acknowledge someone else’s feelings”, takes all the Acts of Kindness stories submitted and develops them into visual artwork displayed at various stations around the Circle Line.

We love reading some of the acts of kindness that have been submitted anonymously to the Art on the Underground site - like this one, which we can all relate to:

I cried on the Victoria line, last Friday. Boy trouble. When I got off at Stockwell a girl of about 22 came running up to me to see if I was OK. She gave me a hug and looked right into my tear soaked eyes and said 'sometimes you just need a hug from a random stranger on the tube.' As she walked off in the opposite direction I realised she was right. She'll never know how much her kindness meant to me.

To read more stories of everyday gestures on the tube that have raised people’s spirits, visit the Acts of Kindness site - and if you’d like to share any encounters you’ve had on the Underground, you can share them with the Acts of Kindness project here. We think it’s a great idea - we might all be in need of showing a little kindness to each other right now!

Monday, 8 August 2011

From Pearl With Love...

With a music career and clothing line under her belt, Pearl Lowe is clearly a woman with her finger firmly in many pies. So we were delighted to discover that she's been busy designing her own gorgeous stationary rangeThe collection features vintage-inspired greeting cards, gift tags and ribbon with an added touch of rock 'n' roll. "Black lace is my signature style and you will always find a touch of lace, weaved into all of my designs, lending each and every design a glamorous, vintage feel." Says Pearl. 

Photography: Holly Booth
Available exclusively at

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Something for the Weekend - Edinburgh Fringe Special part two

Whilst Edinburgh becomes the city that doesn’t sleep during August, it’s certainly not the city that doesn’t eat (thank god!). You’ll be spoiled for choice with the selection of cafes, restaurants, bars and coffee shops on offer but luckily for you, we’ve chomped through the best and the worst to find you your new favourites, so you won’t have to.

Howie’s is a bit of a Scottish institution, having been part of the Edinburgh culinary scene since 1991. Offering simple, but well cooked food in a selection of comfortable surroundings. With 4 difference branches within Edinburgh, you’re never far from a Howie’s.

Another home grown Edinburgh restaurant, successful enough to spawn brother and sister sites, Seadogs in the seafood specialist within the Dogs chain (the others being The Dogs, which serves traditional modern Scottish food, and Dogs Amore, their Italian cousin). Run by the slightly eccentric and dog loving David Ramsden, Seadogs offers good food at great value prices and in a stylish, central location. Don’t be put off by the framed dog photos dotted around... they don’t bite.

The Outsider
Situated on the George IV Bridge, The Outsider serves a fantastic selection of meat and fish, as well as a range of lighter bites that are served with salad, and their home made, and unforgettable beetroot coleslaw. Their cinnamon ice cream is also to die for, and the view of Edinburgh castle is absolutely breathtaking.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Something for the Weekend - Edinburgh Fringe Special part one

If there’s every a time to visit Edinburgh it’s RIGHT NOW! No, not because you’re guaranteed some Scottish sun (fat chance! If you don’t get drowned in a surprise shower at least once, then think yourself lucky) but because during August, the stunning city is home to the Edinburgh festival.  A whole month of exciting culture, from dance to film, from theatre to literature, from art to comedy (a whole heap of comedy) complete with a striking backdrop and a castle on top.

With thousands of performances taking place in hundreds of venues throughout the city, there is literally something for everyone.  And just because Edinburgh is the city that doesn’t sleep throughout August, it doesn’t mean that you’re not expected too.  Here are our tops tips for where to rest your pretty, high-brow, cultured, and occasionally mind-blown heads:

Tigerlily – We just can't get enough of this place (remember our last post?)

The Rutland Hotel – Located on Princes Street, you’ll not find a more central or convenient location.

The Bonham Hotel – Feel inspired by the hotel’s permanent art collection

Royal Garden Apartments – Going with friends? These one and two bedroom apartments are right in the heart of the city.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Having a Field Day

“Next year, I’m definitely going to Glastonbury!” How many times have you said that? And then the time comes to actually put your money when your mouth is (or where Ticketmaster’s mouth is) and you find all sorts of excuses not to go: You didn’t register in time, you haven’t been paid yet, you don’t want to commit until you know who is headlining, you’re scared because it always rains. And before you know it, you’re watching it on TV from the comfort of your own living room and vowing “Next year, I’m definitely going to Glastonbury”

Well if the thought of a 5 day behemoth of a festival scares you, why not try something a little smaller and go to Field Day instead? Fives stages, various group activities (last year it was boot hurling and tug o’ war), a whole host of yummy stalls and a cracking line up of hot bands, all encased within the stunning surroundings of Victoria Park in East London. It’s your summer festival fix in bite size form. And the best bit? You can sleep safe in your own bed at night.  No tent required... but we can’t promise you won’t need your umbrella.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

When I grow up...

We've been totally inspired by the work of photographer India Hobson, her dreamy style is right up our street. So we caught up with her and got the low down on her on her new book 'Boys by Girls' with Cecilie Harris. 

If you hadn't realised your photography dream, what would you be doing instead?
I always wanted to be a visual merchandiser – but then discovered I had to use a drill and do hardcore things like put up shelves and that put me off...I'm sure if I hadn't picked up a camera I'd have found my way into window dressing. The psychology of VM fascinates me. Probably a good thing I found photography though, as I can't use a hammer for toffee. 

Have you got a favourite image that you've taken?
This was shot (below) on Mamiya 6x7 with a Polaroid back and the rollers had become clogged up with excess acid, trapping the paper inside the camera. I had absolutely no control over it and could never reproduce the effect, but I take all of the credit for it!

What inspired 'Boys by Girls'?
Phil (M&P models) is the first male model that I worked with, and he surprised me. He was a brand new face and I couldn't believe how easily he moved – and, of course, he's amazingly cool. I remember he had this weird phone that looked like some kind of 80s games console. I think he's still my favourite guy to work with – we always have a good laugh and I like that he continues to teach me things. For an 18-year-old choir boy, he knows a hell of a lot about the world, and generally makes it hilarious. That's something I love about working with guys – they like to make it fun.

Is there a different approach to photographing boys compared to girls? 

In my case, I'd say no; I photograph my models as though I were shooting myself. I give them scenarios and ask them to get into character (the self-portrait is important to me, so I see my fashion images as an extension of that, encouraging them to pose/feel as I do) so in terms of mindset there's nothing different. The difference comes in the proportions and portrayal of their bodies. We've always been used to images of women in fashion and art, so I've developed an idea of what is classed as beautiful. I think a lot of the time I'm correcting that view in front of me because of the way the lens works, but boys don't need curves. They look how they look, and that makes the whole process quicker. I think I'm still developing that 'ideal' that I'm working to/from.

(Model: Phil Ellis Grooming: Jodie Smith Styling: Lora Avedian)

If you could photograph anyone or anything, who or what would it be and why?
In terms of male models, I have a soft spot for Canadian model Simon Nessman – he's been the face for Emporio Armani, Dolce & Gabanna and Ralph Lauren. There's something about his brow line that fascinates me... I think he'd do a great 'angry child face' for me! In terms of everything else, I'd go for something en masse, like a portrait series of interesting people. Half of me wants to choose famous photographers because it would be a challenge to say the least, and  I'm sure there'd be plenty of interesting conversations and friendships made...

By Frankie Murray

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Perfect Picnics

There’s something magical about picnics that makes them much than the sum of their parts. Who would have thought that a sandwich and some grass would ever amount to so much or would end up the single most enjoyable way to spend a sunny day? (After going to the beach, but how many of us live close enough to enjoy that?) But it is, and most of us will jump at the first chance to have one.  And the modern picnic has come on in leaps and bounds from the days of Enid Blyton’s picnic fare of shrimp sandwiches and hard boiled eggs (thank god). Instead we’re all the height of culinary sophistication... and we’re coveting picnic sets to match!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Show Us Your Space

Following on from our last Show Us Your Space post, we've taken a peek around another reader's room. This time Stephanie has allowed us to have a nosey around her space. 

The bunting hanging around her bed looks so kitsch and it's so easy to make - remember our post?

Steph's an avid music fan, as you can probably tell from her record player on the side and the gig tickets scattered across her pin board, mingled in with pictures of friends. The room is dotted with all of Steph's interests - records, DVDs and books, all the things she likes to enjoy in her spare time. 

We love the artwork on her wall, brightening up her room. Good art is easy to come by; you can even make some yourself!

If you think your room is worth us taking a look at, let us know!