BBC Radio Manchester Becky Want – Listen Again 28/03/2013

I popped along to the incredible BBC buildings at MediaCityUK in Salford this week to visit Becky Want in her studio to talk weddings.

Becky has been chatting about flowers and three tiered cakes all week and I was on hand to talk about the all important fashion element to a Bride’s big day.

We chatted about bridal gown trends, accessories and making that personal mark on the traditional wedding through footwear!

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LISTEN AGAIN HERE, I’m on at around 3 hours and 9 minutes in (Available until 6/04/2013)


Oliver Sweeney Care & Repair The Ultimate Guide

Whilst on a press tour of The Avenue in Manchester, a stretch of luxury retail in Spinningfields, I was pleased to revisit Oliver Sweeney, cobblers to the mighty.

The store is small but perfectly formed with shoes adorning all the walls available and even a sprinkling of apparel and accessories.

After being thoroughly briefed on best-sellers and things by the retail staff, the press tour moved on, but I was given a little take-away from the team at Sweeney in my goody bag, which took the form of a leaflet. Usually the first thing to be thrown away when rampaging through a goody bag, but, this time, actually one of the best bits!

So, you know what I did? I decided to give my brogues a polish.

I realise that I’ve blogged about Sweeney’s care tips before but we all need a refresher once in a while and these tips apparently come from this guy:

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Tim Cooper, Cobbler-in-chief at Oliver Sweeney

First, I gave my brogues a little wipe down. Then, I got my polish, and the handy applicator that I got in my last goody bag!
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Then I rub-a-dub-dubbed.

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Then I buffed and revealed a gorgeously shiny pair of brogues.

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Brogues, Burton (Can’t afford Sweeney dear reader)

Oh, and then repeated with all my other leather shoes….

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Find below snaps from The Ultimate Guide to Care & Repair direct from Sweeney’s Cobbler-in-Chief and the Oliver Sweeney shoe care range!

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Ted Baker Pashion SS13 Look-book doodle.

Popped along the The Avenue in Manchester’s Spinningfields t’other day for a SS13 update on all the the fashiony things going on at the city’s luxury retail stretch. We chatted Ochre menswear at Armani, melted ice cream palettes at Mulberry, soft soles at Oliver Sweeney, heritage at Brooks Brothers, Justin Timberlake’s Tom Ford suit at Flannels and more of the usual at All Saints.

I also picked up the latest Ted Baker look book and found this little doodle that I thought was quite nice, shame I’ve just sold my Ted Baker pocket square on eBay really…

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SS13 Look Book: Grunge Prince

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Despite the rather inclement weather we’re having in the North at present, my SS13 wardrobe is in full swing. Kinda. I’ve been inspired by gritty textures and dark hues of the grunge look this season and what’s more, the look is perfect for Northern English summers, i.e. bloody cold ones!

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Shirt, George
Necklace, TOPMAN
Jeans, Wrangler
Boots, Dr Martens

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I love a good necklace I do and this one is at once semi-grunge and also just a lil’ bit Gaga. Bonus.

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They’re back again, the Dr Martens boots. Clunky but comfy and perfect for this look… mind you, if we do ever get a summer, I might get a little sweaty….


New Look SS13 Wish List

It’s tee time! Well, nearly. The summer months are headed our way (I promise) and it’s time to get those elbows out into the sunshine and what better way to do that than with a t-shirt, ‘eh?

I’ve pulled together some of my favourite tees from good old New Look, a shop I remember fondly from my skint youth and one I still frequent (damn Recession). Here goes my all in one approach to SS13 dressing. It’s simple, ya just top it off.

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Blue Bird Print Crew Neck Sweatshirt £19.99
Navy Geo Strip T-Shirt £9.99
Stone Feather Freedom T-Shirt £12.99
Soft Pink Crew Neck Jumper £14.99
Ok, ok, two aren’t strictly tees but I’m a sucker for a nice sweater. Call me old fashioned but summers aren’t what they used to be and I feel the chill, so sometimes, I crave something a little more covered up. Alright?
I’m loving the cornflower blue trend coming through for SS13, especially in womenswear. I was adverse to it at first (having had lengthy discussions about the pros and cons with various Stylists, as you do) but I’ve kinda come round to it now. *shrugs*.
Oh and the feather thing? Who doesn’t wish they were a Native American Indian High Priest when slut-dropping on the dance floor?
This is a sponsored post.

Social Media, a social game: PushON Magento Event Manchester 2013

Popped along to a rather interesting talk in Manchester’s Northern Quarter t’other week, hosted by PushON Online Marketing Agency. A room full of techy and non-techy peoples had gathered to hear proper techy nerds talk tech and stuff.

The seminar also marked the first time that eCommerce platform, Magento, have appeared in the North West for a B2B event and so discussion surrounded the platform, its features and the wider use for it in eCommerce and Online Marketing.

Now, what was really interesting was what was said about Social Media and Search. The topic came up a few times, it was mentioned by PushON MD Simon Wharton when talking about the importance of an all encompassing approach to best practise with Online Marketing and it was later touched upon by PushON Digital Director, Sam Rutley, when he talked about the importance of layered navigation and mega menus for eCommerce businesses.

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Social Media and SEO are infrequently discussed side by side, because one offers the opportunity to be creative, exciting, create all sorts of wonderfully new things like hash-tags and Hangouts that will confuse your boss. The other, well, it’s SEO. It’s a little dull, complicated but nonetheless pretty vital for eCommerce as a whole because without it, how would we find what we were looking for? 

When both Wharton and Rutley talked about Search and Social, they expressed the importance of the ‘human aspect’, the part of the programme/strategy that ensures machines talk to us like humans and that we can talk to them as humans ourselves.

Take Search par example: we all remember the Penguin and Panda updates from Google, the crap got flushed from Google ranking and everyone searching on the engine started to find what they were looking for with less difficulty. How did this happen? Google started thinking like a person and located the false links, fake websites and Cowboy jargon and started to realise where the faults in its search results lay. The Cowboys were ousted.

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Rutley urged that the attention Google pays to the ‘human aspect’, needs to infiltrate our eCommerce sites to ensure that, when customers search for product, they reach it and make a purchase with increased ease, and less clicks.

Similarly, Wharton touched on the need for a ‘human aspect’ with regards to Social. Too many companies open Social Networks only to refuse to allocate budget/staffing and without any real understanding of what it is that Social can do for eCommerce.

Social Media was born out of people’s need to be sociable. We’re sociable in the physical world and needed a space to interact with one another online. So, why would we think it is OK for a brand/company etc. to talk at us and not with us in this space?

Wharton gave the brilliant analogy, “If I was stood at a bar and talking at you, at you, at you, at you. Would you want to have a pint with me?” The answer, no. Broadcast isn’t social interaction and a Social strategy is dead on its feet if it doesn’t understand this from the get-go.

Whilst Content continues to be King with regards to eCommerce; worthwhile content, engagement, interaction and ease of use are just as vital for the future of the business.


Harvey Nichols SS13 Catwalk Show

Aye up, Spring/Summer is here. Are you ready? Harvey Nichols is.

Last night’s Harvey Nichols Spring/Summer 2013 Catwalk show kicked off the season with the usual fanfare and fabulousness that we in Manchester have become accustomed to. An impressive 400 strong turn-out were greeted by drinks and wafts of the new Jo Malone Earl Grey & Cucumber fragrance, as they perused the accessories department before being seated in the LFW-like catwalk arena on the first floor.

White in colour, with pops of seasonal neon by way of graphic wall plaques reading SS13, the space was a canvas upon which to paint this season’s fashion story.

A major plus was the rather nifty perspex chairs, adorned with Press & VIP’s names. Egotistical, moi?

The looks were separated, as usual, into trends. My favourite for the ladies was the Monochrome theme called Time to Reflect, aptly named due to the metallics also included. I also loved the boy’s in their neon pieces and a particular pair of Acne chinos I fell in love with. Here is the story in picture form!

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Daniel wears Acne jacket (£995), Givenchy t-shirt (£355), DSquared2 jeans (£395), Alexander McQueen shoes (£495)
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Daniel wears Just Cavalli jumper (£190), Alexander McQueen shirt (£195), Acne chinos (£140), Converse (£45), Rayban sunglasses (£130), Casio G-Shock 

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Jade wears Isabel Marant top (£820), Joseph pants (£495), Saint Laurent Paris shoes (£430), Givenchy bag (£1240)
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Paris wears Acne jacket (£1000), DSquared2 shirt (£395), Citizens of Humanity jeans (£315), Jeffrey Campbell shoes (£125)

Oosh, let’s get cracking with SS13!