Ya Gotta Love a Leiber Bag!


Last month, legendary maker of lovely bags, Judith Leiber, passed away at the grand age of 97. I absolutely adored her designs. She died in New York, at her home, just hours after her husband of 72 years also died; which is a strangely sweet situation. Budapest born Leiber began making bags after the second world war for the secretaries of the American Legation. and just over a decade after that she relocated to America and her company was born in 1963. Loved by the famous and the fashionable, Leiber’s quirky and covetable designs bring a big ole smile to ya face. ‘You have to have a sense of humour’ she once said, and her delightful delicacies – which include ice cream sundaes, over-sized bows and animals in outfits – proved that playfulness was paramount in her work. Over her career she made leather bags, shoulder bags, snakeskin bags and evening bags, with her iconic signature style being the miniature metal cocktail bags which were completely covered in rhinestones. These sparkling sturdy bags were developed by accident when Leiber once had a metal based bag which had a stain on it, so she covered the stain with crystals, and, ta-daaah, her biggest hit was born! These luxurious bags are all hiiighly collectible and are pretty darned pricey but, so, so delightful. Seen in the hands and on the arms of Bjork, Emily Blunt, Barbara Bush and our very own Queenie, its no wonder that examples of her designs are on display in museums around the world. A swan shaped encrusted bag was featured in an episode of Sex & The City – when Big gave it to Carrie in lieu of saying ‘I love you’ – and this pretty much cemented Leiber’s place in pop culture history. She leaves behind her a real legacy of loveliness.
iooll
jl3
jl4 jl7
jl5

ioo

jl15 jl16
jl20

If you ever find yourself with the desire to spend some big bucks on a brilliant bag, you can see the selection here, or, browse vintage stores for her older designs, they will always be an ace investment.

Be Happy With The Way You Look

There aren’t a lot of people out there who can confidently say they’re totally happy with their appearance. It’s kinda hard to look in the mirror without pointing out every single thing that you feel is wrong, or that you don’t like about yourself, it’s hard to get perspective when you look at yourself every damn day! It’s often the case that we’re just so full of insecurities, we feel we can’t get over them. We’ll always be able to point them out, although, truly, others would barely be able to notice them. But, if you’re going to spend your life not being happy with your appearance, then you’re going to spend your time being a pretty unhappy person. Life is meant to be enjoyed, and your appearance is something you can learn to love and feel proud of; whatever your size, shape, style, and so on. This little article is reaching out to all of you who feel a bit down about the way you look, to you to tell you you’re perfectly ace as you are. There’s loads of ways you can learn to help yourself find happiness in your appearance, here’s just a few I like…..

Pick Out Your Good Features – If you’re always looking in the mirror and picking out your bad points, as I know I ALWAYS do on a bad day, then you gotta try a little reverse psychology. Focus on the good aspects of your body and face, and use them to bring you up, up, UP. If you have good eyes, focus your makeup in that area to help make them stand out. If you know you have killer legs or boobs, wear things to show that bit off, your confidence will soar when you trust that you look great. People hide behind insecurities, and that gets in the way SO much. If you’re sitting there thinking you have no good features, then, lemme say, you, my friend, are most definitely wrong. Some people are so insecure, they struggle to even notice the best parts in themselves, but you have great things about you, we just gotta remember that on days when we feel crappy. If you can’t do that, just ask others around you who you know love and care for you to pick out the best parts for you! You’ll be surprised about what people say, and it’ll make you feel so good for people to actually be pointing out the good bits in you. If you do feel as though you have a ton of insecurities, find out if there are ways to reduce the appearance of them. Like, spots, acne or maybe marks from sun damage, do some research and see what things can be done to improve them, there’s often lovely natural remedies you can try at home, and they may just make you feel that little bit less self-conscious. 

Mix Up Your Look – Sometimes mixing up your look a bit is the best thing you can do to get happy with your appearance. It can be so boring looking in the mirror and seeing the same thing each time. So, let’s work from the top down. The first thing you could change, is your hair. Doing something completely different is exciting and scary, but it can be one of the best moves you’ve ever made. There’s so many different styles available, such as the shag haircut, that could suit you and give you a renewed look, mix a colour change with a cut, and you could end up really happy with your appearance! I’m feeling my hair is a bit too dark and saturated with dye so I’m looking at getting some subtle highlights to lift me a bit. But it’s not all about what you look like physically, it’s how you dress, which is easier to influence without having to worry about a drastic change. Your style should reflect who you are as a person, and you should never be wearing something you’re not happy with, on days where I wear my favourite items, I feel my most content. But, depending on what your style is, there’s plenty of trends for you to be following. All you gotta do is check out the internet, or take note of people you’re seeing on the street, there are new ideas all around, and sometimes just a small change can make a big change to how you feel.

Take Care Of Yourself – Sometimes you’re just too busy to take good and proper care of yourself. I feel a bit pale and tired at the moment so I’ve just added an iron supplement to help restore me. Sometimes it’s hard to even do the most simplest of tasks, such as making sure you get the right amount of sleep each night. Sleep itself will massively affect your appearance. If you spend your time rushing around, and then leave yourself with around 5-6 hours sleep each night, you’ll begin to notice fatigued looking skin, and those pesky bags will appear beneath your eyes. Try and focus on getting a full 8 hours of sleep a night, no matter what that means you’re having to sacrifice, cut back on the late night Netflix for a bit maybe? *that’s more of a note to myself there!* You should also try looking after yourself in terms of your diet and what you eat on a daily basis. Again, it can massively influence your appearance. If you’re eating the right food, you’ll look so much more radiant.

Daily Remedies – If you’re looking for a daily remedy to better your appearance, I have a few. The first is to make sure that you’re following some sort of routine in the morning, so that you can actually prepare and maintain your appearance. Wake up earlier to make sure you can calmly shower, eat, put a bit of makeup on, and make sure your hair is the way which makes you happy. So many people hate their appearances because they wake up with just 10 minutes to spare, just because they aren’t getting enough sleep! So my best daily remedy is allowing yourself to get enough sleep, and to wake up early enough to manage your appearance so you can feel confident through the day.

Trust me, on days when you feel frustrated and unhappy with how you look, you really do look so much better than you think, we just gotta stop being so harsh on ourselves, and that takes practice. Look at yourself as you look at your bestie, you wouldn’t pick out their worst bits would ya? So try not to be hard on yourself, be your own best friend and tell yourself you’re lookin’ GOOOOD!

 

Going North West To One Of Mexico’s Most Livable Cities

Travel and adventure are what makes my heart happy, so I’m always looking to learn of new places to explore, especially ones that aren’t on the radar of regular tourists. I’ve been a lucky girl who has seen lots of places but Mexico is so far, still unexplored by me. It’s now being nudged to the top of my travel list though, for it’s history and sights which I really wanna see. In the northwestern state of Sonora, Mexico is having a little industrial revolution. The city of Hermosillo was voted to be the one of the nation’s most livable cities in 2013, it’s up and coming, and you can see why. A recent spur of automobile production, improvements to local education, office buildings being born and artistic cultural revivals, the city is now getting kinda competitive as a cool and cultural place to visit. With a population set to be around 850,000 by the end of 2018, the city is fast becoming the powerhouse of not just the state but the region too; I wanna see it before it becomes busier. It’s the capital of Sonora and like all capital cities, the history of Hermosillo is fascinating and goes far, far back. There’s archaeological evidence of the most earliest residence of settlers coming there 3,000 years ago, ooof, that’s a lot of lovely stuff to learn about! 

Religious roots  – Mexico is mostly, a really religious nation, with Catholicism as the dominant choice. It was brought to the country by the Spanish and has stayed as the chief church. The La Catedral de la Asunción (also known as the Cathedral of Assumption) is a place where locals living in the city come to worship and it looks like something you’d wanna put on your list of things to see in this city. The architecture is very early European style Baroque with an elegant emphasis on detail and grandeur. Painted in pale sandy yellow, the entire cathedral has a classic Mexican charm. Either side of the building are the two towering pillars that both have large iron bells which ring almost every day. I adore seeing places and forms of worship in the world. With no religious leanings of my own I’m intrigued by the variations of peoples devotion, it fascinates me, and places like this cathedral, well, the grandeur just makes me gasp.

Desert landscape – The largest desert biosphere reserve El Gran Desierto del Pinacate is right there in Sonora. The amaaaazing volcanic landscapes (El Pinacate) and sand dunes (Gran Desierto de Altar) have meant it has become part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the architecture of Sonoran Stadium is actually inspired by this one-of-a-kind natural monument.
2e4fd4cfcb15cb6344e90231f002caf6

In the courtyard – Contemporary and very cool, the Courtyard Hermosillo looks like an ace place to stay. When I’m dreaming of travel I always check out hotels to see which one I’d wanna book, this one looks like a pure paradise. Verging on the near perfect score of 5 out of 5, the service seems superb, and the cleanliness too. The hotel stands conveniently next the large Plaza Sendero mall that is just 350 meters away, so Mexican shopping can be on my list too. All good hotels in hot places have a pool, and the pool here looks like perfection. If you don’t have time to pop out to the nearby local eateries, the hotel restaurant Centro will feed your energy stores with classic Mexican cuisine or room service. The rooms have hip modern decor that mixes Mexican and Western styles, it is always nice to have a bit of home comforts while away. With wi-fi and big televisions too, you’ll be able to upload your Instagram pics from the day and watch a movie before bed, a holiday haven indeed. 

Tribal history – Sonora is a happy home to 8 indigenous groups and seven of them live in their own autonomous regions, which I think is wonderful. The Yaquis are the indigenous group with most inhabitants, said to be around 35,000. Sonora’s state symbol is their Danza del Venado (Deer Dance) which represents a battle between the hunter and deer.

It’s really rare to find a city that thrives in a subtropical and desert environment, and with it’s traditions and history, Sonora looks like a place I really wanna visit soon.   

Adventure Accomplished

img_9455-1

Close your eyes and jump! I said to myself as I hit the *Book Now* button on a 10-day solo trip to Bali. I wanted my very own adventure, just for me. I wanted to become my own best friend and learn to rely on myself, but I was also kinda terrified. New territory, new terrain, somewhere as far away as possible where all I recognised was the skin on the back of my hands. A self-proposed challenge, I faced it fuelled by a whole heap of anxiety and anticipation. I wanted to do this to grow. I had to.

Bali, well, it bloomin’ embraced me. New sights, sounds and smells surrounded me so densely that I didn’t have a chance to feel alone. Engulfed by new experiences, my eagerness to explore replaced the doubts which had dominated, my senses were too preoccupied with pleasure. I based myself in Ubud, a haven of Hindu traditions. Green, green rice fields, temples and streets strewn with the prettiest Canang Sari; twice daily handmade flowery offerings to the gods, thanking them for peace. Such a calm pace of life I could hardly even contemplate for life back home, their dedication to devotion defied my usually busy life. This calmness was the coolest feeling I have ever had.
image-5Walking the patchy pavements avoiding holes and uneven surfaces, I felt I was forever stepping carefully over these sweet scattered offerings, so many that the streets looked like they’d been littered with Party Poppers, explosions of cute colour at my feet. Scooters swarmed like mosquitoes, injecting a rush of activity, Mothers straddling bikes, no helmets, with children held on laps, trusting their own way of life. Markets had a super stench in the heat. Leather, spice and sweat coupled with constant calls to buy, all stimulating my senses to the point where, I could not stop smiling.

I visited a Hindu healer, with no idea what it would hold. After him repeatedly banging hard on my head and pushing his thumbs so forcefully into my closed eyes that I wondered if it was a joke, he told me, I had to be my own hero.

As I spent my last evening watching the sunset at Tanah Lot, I took it all in, every single bit of it. I’d had monkeys on my head, eaten fruits I’d never heard of, shared a bedroom with lizards and lingered with locals. I had done this, I had navigated my own adventure. Faraway from anyone I knew, I felt an intrepid confidence blooming. Teaming tour groups around me, selfie sticks obstructing the view, and with a somewhat hands-on tour guide trying to sit too close, I caught on to just how far I’d come. I realised right there, I already was my own hero.

Mon Dieu, Dior! An Impulsive Pop to Paris

d1

So, Paris is always a good idea, so the saying goes, and I kinda think it’s true, as I discovered when I impulsively popped to the very pretty city. Paris played host to what I can now confirm to have been a dreeeeam exhibition of Dior, and since it opened in July 2017 I had been properly pining to go. I wrote it off as too indulgent and costly, but, when I realised I had no plans for New Years Eve, and that the exhibition ended in early January of 2018, well, the pangs for Dior proved to pull me towards booking a solo trip. A treat for myself after a very tough year. ‘Couturier De Reve’ (dressmaker of dreams) was an exhibition I just couldn’t miss. I imagined being an old lady and saying ‘I nearly went to Paris to see that amazing Dior exhibition, but didn’t go in the end’, and that thought made me sad, so I booked a seat on Eurostar, and went.

Pop! Paris was calling.

It did cost me money, and it did feel feel indulgent, but it did make me very happy and I’m so bloody glad I went. Dior did not disappoint, not one teeny bit. Paris itself was wonderful, an exciting and elegant city, and travelling alone was just what I needed, (more on the city and travelling solo in my next posts) but Dior, damn, it was divine. Celebrating 70 years since The House of Dior was created, it was an exhibition of epic proportions. I’d arrived late one afternoon so wandered down to The Musee Des Arts Decoratifs so that I knew where I’d have to get to the next morning, and what the queuing set up was like. Getting there from my hotel was straightforward as the Metro was real easy to navigate, and even though the museum was due to close in an hour the queue was still wiggling a long way down the street. Gah, I’d have to pitch up real early in the morning to ensure I got in on my only full day in Paris. So I got there bright and breezy with a croissant in my tummy on the morning of New Years eve, and the queue was pretty short. Phewf! I stood and chatted in line with a lady from Stockholm and we got in as soon as the doors opened. I kinda knew I’d be flabbergasted by it all, my tummy was all of a fizz with excitement. It totally blew me away. Like a combination of all the best bits of any fashion exhibitions I’ve seen in my life, this was simply spectacular. I’m a girl in love with dresses, and this Dior show was dress paradise. It was insightful, educational, expertly curated and so, so beautiful. There were loads of rooms, each completely different to the next, and it covered Dior himself and his design beginnings and went on to showcase the work of all the designers at the helm of this house up until now. It was an absolute heck load of lovely. And, as a vintage dealer who has often referenced his iconic New Look outfit -which defined a decade of dressing- to see that in up close was pretty fluppin’ brilliant. It was busy, but calm, all of us in awe of what our eyeballs were seeing. The final room of course had been instagrammed to the heavens and I was most excited to get in there for real. It was like a fashion finale with everyone in there like, literally gasping at the utterly magical feeling it created. Sparkling lights like stars moving around the high painted ceilings of this grand space, music kissing our ears, and dresses, showstopping dresses which I’ve only ever seen in fashion history books, right there in front of my own face. I don’t think I’ve ever been this immersed or amazed by an exhibition before, absolute perfection. Dior sure made my dreams come true in Paris that day.

d4re

d5

d6re

d7re

d9re

d10re

d12re

d13re

d14re

d16re

d17re