Are those chopsticks in your pocket or are you just happy sashimi?
Last month we managed to snap up the last two tickets to an awesome event run by one of our favourite places in Bristol, The Watershed. There are always good vibes and interesting, fun activities going on there, but their ‘Studio Ghibli Forever’ season was particularly eye catching, a month long celebration of the legendary Japanese animation studio, featuring screenings, workshops and all manner of unique events inspired by Mr Miyazaki’s colourful, captivating back catalogue. It was the ‘Build Your Own Bento Box’ that was most alluring to us, as huge fans of both the Studio’s beautiful films and all Japanese food ever. Although neither of us have a natural flair for hands-on practical activities, we enjoyed learning about the culture of Japanese food and the history behind the Bento Box whilst sipping on some green tea. We certainly excelled at tasting all of the ingredients. Just look how pleased we were with our finished tasty boxes!
After some excellent instruction from special guest chef Kiyoko from Your Sushi, we reached the point of nori-turn and it was our time to make some delicious edible art. It was roe much fun! We were pleasantly surprised with our creations and as we got to keep the bento boxes, we’ll definitely be trying to recreate the fun at home. Fish us luck!
Thank you Watershed for treating the good people of Bristol to Studio Ghibli Forever, and thanks also to Clare from Watershed for the action shots of us.
We were super excited to be invited by the fine people of Cabot Circus to the VIP launch of the Bella Sorella Pop Up, run by The Only Way is Essex star Lydia Bright and her gorgeous sister, Georgia.
I must admit that when we first received the invitation I hadn’t heard of Bella Sorella but proud Essex girl Victoria immediately informed me who Lydia was! After this revelation, I wasn’t sure what to expect but Victoria was adamant that Lydia is a bit of a Queen when it comes to vintage style and after a look at the website I soon discovered her line is a veritable vintage dress heaven!
From the moment we walked through the door (next to Starbucks in Cabot Circus if you are a local) I knew I was going to want everything! I wasn’t alone as everyone in attendance seemed to be walking around and stroking all the clothes with lustful eyes. Lydia and Georgia certainly have a great eye for detail as the shop is full of beautiful, feminine shapes and styles. It’s not all about the dresses though (unbelievable, I know) as there were also lots of super cute tops, shorts and cardigans, as well as lots of lovely scented candles and other bits of homeware.
The Florence, as seen above, was my absolute stand out favorite dress! It’s part of Lydia’s own collection, Lydia Rose Bright, and the print is simply stunning! I am always such a a sucker for a 50’s shape. I think I might have to go back and get it as I can’t stop thinking about it! However, whilst I was smitten with one dress, one of the manikins was obviously very taken with me! We had a big laugh when we noticed this picture!
Jo – I was trying to channel a vintage vibe, so I dug out an old favorite Topshop dress of mine and layered it over a mustard slip from Marks and Spencer. I teamed it my navy geek shoes, also from Topshop, and my Cambridge Satchel.
Victoria – I wore one of my staple dresses, a polka dot Primark number. It’s great for any occasion. I teamed this with red ballet pumps from H&M, which are now in the sale here for £4, so I think I’ll be stocking up on some other colours. My necklace is by rachel loves bob, which we were lucky enough to receive when we went to the launch party of the Objets De Désir pop up shop (read about that here). I wore my favourite bag, my chestnut Zatchel. My glasses are from Glasses Direct.
As part of the VIP treatment we were asked if we would like to interview Lydia! Having never interviewed anyone before we nervously accepted! We needn’t have worried though as Lydia was absolutely lovely, and stunningly gorgeous to boot!
Hi Lydia! Have you had a chance to explore Bristol yet?
LB: No I haven’t! But I really want to! I’ve been down to Harvey Nics to have my makeup done so I’ve seen around there and the centre is absolutely beautiful. I came down before to have a look at the shop to make sure it was right for us but I’m looking forward to having the chance to explore a little bit more as I’ve heard you have really good shopping and nightlife! I’m staying here until Sunday so plenty of time to explore.
You’ve picked a good weekend as it’s the Harbour Festival! Bristol will be in party mode!
LB: So I’ve heard! I’ll definitely be heading down there! I’m going to find myself a sailor!
Having your own name on a clothing line is such a dream come true. How did that come about?
LB: Oh my God it’s amazing! So, first of all I got the store which was a massive dream of mine and then I do all of the buying with my sister (Georgia). We were doing all the buying and I found a niche market in that no one was doing vintage inspired for the evening – I just didn’t see anything out there and I just love off the shoulder dresses but it’s so hard to find them! So I decided I wanted to design my own collection! I met up with some manufactures and we opened a factory in London and now I design and manufacturer my own clothes! I stock at Bella Sorella but also at ASOS, New Look and Very so it’s up and up and up! I just launched my Autumn/Winter range yesterday!
What’s your favorite piece from your collection?
LB: I would say from my new collection there’s a dress called the Evangeline that comes in a really beautiful berry colour – that’s definitely one of my faves. It’s kind of a mix of my two best sellers from my previous Autumn/Winter collection so I’m sure everyone will love it. From my Spring/Summer collection I would say a dress called the Gabriella which has completely sold out. It was beautiful and had a lovely crochet neck and a ribbon to tie up the back. I have kind of recreated it in my new collection. What I try and do is take my bestsellers and then evolve on them so that everyone knows what they are getting and so that everyone likes it!
We write a fashion blog together and we wondered if you read any fashion blogs for inspiration?
LB: Yeah! I actually have my own fashion blog (check out her Youtube channel here) and I do like to read others. I like to read Zoella as she’s a Youtuber as well and I like Fashion Junkie. People always tweet me links to their blogs and I just go on them all and read them. Blogging does take up a lot of time so mine is heavily focused on pictures, I do have some writing in there too though.
We are quite awkward when it comes to having our photo taken! Do you have any posing tips for us?
LB: You have a very good shape if you put one hand on your hip and then when you want to smile pull your face up, so you don’t get a double chin, and then put your tongue to the roof of your mouth. If you then turn your head slightly down you should get a really good pose! (we then all had a little practice at this!). Oh and lots of tall girls like to cross their legs but I’m not really tall enough to do that.
Sadly for us, we asked Lydia for posing tips after all of our photos had been taken! I hope you are all prepared for a lot of hand on hip action in the near future!
Cabot Circus have put together a lovely film from the event which features the lovely Lydia and, if you look closely, you might spot a couple of familiar faces fawning over a dress.
The Cabot Circus Pop-Up is there until July 28th so Bristolians, you have two days to get your skates on and check it out! The tour has only just begun so there is ample opportunity to pay Bella Sorella a visit and if the Bright sisters aren’t coming to a town near you, the line is available online too.
Thanks again to Lydia, Georgia and the team at Cabot Circus for putting on the event! It was brilliant! A big thank you as well to Harvey Nichols for our incredible goody bag! We can’t wait to use our makeover voucher! Fingers crossed we come out looking as glam as Lydia!
A couple of months ago, the lovely Deesha (of MS Fundraising fame) rather marvelously won a Tea Party for herself and her friends at Bristol based Cox & Baloney. If you’ve never been there before, it’s a wonderful hybrid of vintage shop and tea room that’s beautifully decorated throughout with gorgeous wallpaper, mirrors, signs and furniture. It’s also filled to the brim with the most beautiful vintage crockery! It’s an absolute dream come true!
The date was set for July 14th so last Sunday we prepared ourselves for a good old spoiling!
First up was a little browse around the shop, which stocks a great selection of vintage and handpicked items. You can tell a lot of care and thought has gone into what they stock with brands such as Emily and Fin and Trollied Dolly rubbing shoulders with vintage items on the rail.
After we took our seats, we were asked to choose a pot of tea each from their extensive menu! On seeing our overwhelmed faces we were encouraged by the lovely staff to come and smell the teas, which were all in pretty jars around the counter. This was actually a rather wonderful experience and certainly helped with the decision making! I plumped for Greensleeves, a lovely and refreshing green tea whilst Victoria went for Sir Bountiful, a rather coconuty affair. Sufficed to say, we were all very happy with our choices.
Much excitement duly ensued when we were presented with a variety of tiered cake stands, jam packed with sandwiches, cakes and scones! We then proceeded to have a very civilised (and delicious) high tea. We were never wanting for anything as the staff ensured that anything we liked was replenished until we were all truly full! Victoria was rather taken with their brownie whilst I might actually have dreams about the lavender cake. It was scrumptious!
Once we had all finished we were then asked to choose our teapot cocktails! There was a lot of excitement around the table as menus were dished out and we pursued the variety of alcoholic delights on offer.
As you may well have noticed, we have been experiencing some rather hot weather of late, which left us all feeling a little flustered. As part of the prize a photographer was due to take photographs of us so we had been asked to wear our finest vintage frocks! We were all so excited about the opportunity to get all dressed up but sadly, due to the heat, a lot of the dresses simply weren’t going to be appropriate. We certainly still tried our best to look glamorous but it’s very hard to achieve when your knees are burnt, your hair is stuck to your face and you’re fanning yourself with whatever comes to hand, which in my case was Kelly’s lovely straw boater! I was definitely feeling the heat but as you can see I was in very glamorous company. I opted to wear my Cath Kidston sail boat dress as it’s lovely and cool and ticked the vintage look I was going for. The blue on the dress matched my glasses from Glasses Direct perfectly. Victoria decided to choose the lightest dress she owned for the balmy occasion, which was a floral Therapy dress from House of Fraser.
It was an absolutely wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon. If you are in the area make sure you add Cox and Baloney to your list of places to visit. It’s a truly special place and we must all support it!
A big thank you to all the staff for looking after us and to Deesha for winning the prize!