She and Home: Bella Sorella

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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It was wonderful to meet Andree from style-on-sea! Photo by Cabot Circus

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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.

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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!

J&V x

Hem and Away: Osiris Launch


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Last week we were lucky enough to be invited to London to attend the launch of the vibrant new collection by Osiris eyewear, in collaboration with Paris based fashion designer Jørgen Simonsen. Simonsen’s A-List clientele includes Madonna, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lopez and now, She and Hem! The event was held in Searcys on the top floor of The Gherkin, so with the sun setting in the background the views were absolutely phenomenal and it was the perfect place to celebrate both the glasses launch and the eve of Jo’s birthday! 

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Jørgen, seen above with Dame Mary Perkins, representing Specsavers and two models, gave a warm welcome speech and described how the glasses are designed in mind for ‘people who like to dare’, as the designs are modern and empowering, using contemporary shapes and materials. They certainly make a statement. Jørgen was on hand all night to offer styling advice, which was lovely to see and very informative too. We had great fun trying on the range, and deciding which frames were our favourites. As part of the fantastic goodie bags, we were both given the chance to go to Specsavers and choose a pair of glasses from the new range once it hits the shops on August 14th. We cannot wait!

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The Osiris 2013 range comprises three key collections; Colour Pop, Frosted Hi-tech and Super Translucent, which all stand out from the crowd. We found the collection to be really sleek, fresh and minimalistic. The glasses felt incredibly light, without losing any of their quality. Jo was a big fan of the white frosted hi-tech, and I have my eye(s!) on the super translucent frames Jo is modelling exceptionally well below. I think the glasses have a beautiful shape and would be suitable to wear to work, and to play!

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Photo by Gina Dyer.

What could be better than a launch party in a lovely location with the food and drink flowing you ask? Well, how about 2 awesome DJs in the form of top fashion designers Henry Holland and Giles Deacon. I’m sure all guests at the event will confirm what great fun these two were, and their musical choices were spot on, making the event even hotter. Literally…it felt like a greenhouse in there! The stunning Pixie Geldof was also on hand to support her friends’ japes on the decks.

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Jo –  I wore my new pink organza prom dress from Topshop that I picked up for £15 in their sale! I own the dress in green too and just love the pretty shape and texture. It’s only available in one size on the website now but I’ve seen plenty in store. I felt that a special occasion warranted special shoes so I broke out my most treasured possession, my Miu Miu shoes that I bought from My Theresa. I love them so much, especially the beautiful curved heel, and they set the dress of perfectly! In a bid to try and make my outift look a bit less girly I added my gorgeous Rachel Loves Bob necklace that we received when we went to the Objets De Désir Pop Up! I did feel like a bit of a Princess, although granted a Princess who regretted wearing her hair down on one of the hottest days of the year to a building made entirely of glass. Whoopsie!

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Victoria – Having worn glasses for the last 17 years, I was super excited about attending this event, so decided to buy something new. I choose this eye catching quirky dress by Voulez Vous, available at Debenhams. I had shortlisted a few dresses in store that I liked, and although this was the cheapest of the bunch, when trying them all on, this was the clear winner! I was worried it may be too casual for the event, but it just felt comfortable and very ‘me’. I decided to be brave and wear my highest heels, which definitely made me feel more confident, especially when surrounded by all of the glamorous guests (and fellow bloggers of course!) They are from George, who as you may remember from a previous post, I love because they do half sizes. My silver clutch  is from Topshop, and is a life saver as it can hold a spare pair of shoes and my SLR while still looking glam.

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Thank you to the beautiful Gina for asking us along.

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Follow up blog post to come once we choose our smashing new specs!

V & J

She and Home: Objets De Désir

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Last Wednesday we hopped on down to the opening of Objets De Désir, a new pop up shop in Bristol, that will be selling its wares until July 18th. This lovely new boutique is the brain child of Rachel Drake, who has lovingly selected new and established designers in order to create a collection of unique, fun and beautiful lifestyle products. The shop is a virtual Aladdin’s Cave of delightful jewellery, adorable accessories and homeware and some of the best darn owls you will ever see! Despite being a Bristol based pop-up shop, Objets De Désir is a new online boutique allowing you all to enjoy their handpicked selection of emerging designers and artists.

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On arrival we were greeted by the lovely Rachel, who was super enthusiastic about her new venture and very kindly presented us each with a glass of bubbly and a delightful goody bag (more on that later!). We then had a little browse and fell in love with everything! To our surprise we also bumped into the lovely Pandora, from Petit Dora, who we had previously met at the Crafty Blogger Meet. It was lovely to see her again, and to make a new friend in Bristol based blogger Michelle from Eclectic Threads. Check out their blogs to see their thoughts on Objets De Désir.

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Victoria: After work on Wednesday I rushed home excitedly and pulled out this peach and tan Primark dress from my overflowing wardrobe. It was a warm evening, so I wanted something to wear that I didn’t need a coat with, and this fitted the bill perfectly. I love the clash of colours on this dress, the long statement zip on the back, and I’m a big fan of any dress with which has sleeves. My stripy brown tights are from M&S, and the amazing nail varnish featured in the second picture is from Nails Inc. I’ve never worn a nail varnish which has had so many compliments, it is such a versatile shade.

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Jo: In typical Workwear Wednesday style, I headed down into town straight from work. This outfit is slightly jazzier than my usual efforts but as I knew I was going to be schmoozing and boozing I decided to push the boundaries. I love this shirt dress from M&S Limited Collection, I think the design is really unusual and I love the 60’s influences. I accessorised it with collar clips from Ever Ours, which were actually a free gift when I bought something else! I also decided it was the day to break our my new giraffe tights from Topshop! Turns out if you wear giraffes on your legs the world and his wife will stop you to talk about them! They are pretty great though. My boots are from Urban Outfitters.

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So! After all that hard shopping, chatting and a couple of glasses of bubbly, we decided the night was still young and went for a cheeky G&T at The Big Chill. Here, we delved into our awesome goody bags which came in the form of a wonderful Deborah Ballinger tote bag. Each bag contained a few of the lovely items on sale in the shop, which was a lovely touch. We were both over the moon to discover that we each had been given the Rachel Loves Bob necklace that we had been eyeing up earlier, a Little Seeds owl magnet, an Alice Shields Brooch and some beautiful cards.

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Thank you to Rachel for such a wonderful evening and such a generous bag of delights. Good luck with your new venture. We will no doubt be back very soon, as we have our eye on many an owl.

V & J