Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Can we all just take a second to die over the new Melabelle collection for winter '12 please?
Yesterday I headed up to Portobello Road with Ellie to check out the launch of the new collection and actually just generally have a bit of a nose at what was going down.

I was really impressed with the story behind this brand. Bella Cager founded Melabelle independently just two years ago, and even though this is only the second AW collection, it appears to have been generally very well received in the fashion industry. 

This was really one of those strong, capsule collections that meant I could quite literally buy every single piece and wear something every single day. I'm not a 'trendy' girl; personally I like to invest in 'wear again-and-agains' and that is how I would describe the AW range from Melabelle. Subtle colours, floaty and flattering shapes aside, the two things I adored most?
1. The beautiful fabrics, featuring a lot of wool and silk and 2. The signature print.

For me, the significance of a print defines the brand, and I loved the story behind how this beautiful design came about.
Bella told me that her Grandmother Thora had inspired her new collection due to her impeccable style. When I asked her how she came up with the idea for the 'dalton' dancer print, she told me that the print actually kind of, 'found' her; when she found an envelope dating back to 1955 which had been sent to her grandmother from her sister, and happened to be full of these charming silhouettes. That is literally the cutest thing I've ever heard. And seriously, look. at. it. That top can just get on me now.

Bella Cager is a friendly and accommodating woman, proud to showcase her designs and happy to discuss the inspirations behind them. 

So if you were thinking sweet baby jesus where can I get my mitts on some of that, get yourself over to Melabelle. The pop-up shop is at 102 Portobello Road until the end of the month, and I may also add that they have some one off samples going if you get there quick enough.

And if you fancy getting your groove on with some free stuff, email in to and let them know how you discovered Melabelle (cough, me) with your name and address. The winner will get £200 to spend on their website.

Thanks to Bella, and Katie Gwyn (communications director) and to my bud Ellie, who I should probably apologise to for the completely unnecessary walk we had around Notting Hill.   



Sunday, 16 September 2012

My lovely friend from work, Emilia, is getting married in a very scary three weeks time at this lovely little farm in Groombridge near Tunbridge Wells in Kent. We found out they were holding a vintage wedding fair there this Sunday and decided to go along with another friend, Zsuza. 

I've never been to a wedding fair before and this was a lovely place to pop my cherry-not all exhibition halls, bright lights and the dreaded sales people. Just an artsy, crafty, vintage theme, very small and friendly and not too much to take in, which was good because my head was still a mess from the night before (one too many drinks...)

I loved these beautiful, hand painted plaques by Painted With Love, which can be personalised to suit whatever you need for the big day. They also had pretty little plaques for the bridesmaids which came in a gift box and I thought were a really nice idea as a keepsake item.

This I just had to get a picture of, there's something about vintage inspired decorations and designs that make girls go crazy. I could literally just look at pretty things all day long. This beautiful stand belonged to the lovely Pippa Ward, the Events & PR Manager at Pop Creative Food, who hand make all of their delicious food for wedding catering. Two things to say about this; if their food is anything near as good as the (cough) two truffles I ate from the stand, then there's going to be a whole lot of happy wedding guests, and secondly, their package includes the cutlery, which is quite frankly divine.

Yay! This is my lovely friend Ellie, who had a stand at the fair to promote her make-up artistry. Ellie has done the make up on some pretty amazing shoots, including for Sophie Ellis-Bextor. Her friend Kat (right) came to help, and made some pretty darn amazing cupcakes. I know this because..le sigh...I ate one. Om. View Ellie's gallery here.

For those who haven't noticed, I am a pretty massive fan of cupcakes, but more importantly, cupcakes that look too good to eat. I am planning on having cupcakes under my cake on the big day, and I was pretty much blown away by how awesome these babies looked. Vintage Rose Cupcakes is a company based in Royal Tunbridge Wells and all the cupcakes are hand crafted by one super lady, Alexandra Harding. Hats off to you my dear.

I think it is fair to say that this is every girl's dream right here-pretty, floral crockery that you will probably want to keep forever, but failing that, you can have yourself some of this for your special day by contacting Clair at Alice and the Teacup. Quite honestly, I'm thinking about holding myself a random tea party just so I can have this stuff in my house, or a baby shower for my friend, or a Thursday afternoon...

Nothing says vintage quite like a distressed drawer full of ivory and pastel pink roses. The only thing I am sure of about my wedding, (apart from the groom hopefully) is that I want to have these kinds of flowers in my bouquet. Elegant, simplistic and understated, the romantic notion of roses like this just fills me with some kind of emotion. I would pick off all the petals afterwards chanting 'He loves me...he loves me not' and keep them in a chintzy little jar on my dressing table forever after. If you like what you see here, check out Florist in the Forest.

Personally I am a minimalist when it comes to embellishment, but I admit to being a magpie when it comes to being drawn in by these kinds of things. I love to look, and admire, and I do love shiny things. Snow Jewels has some amazing tiaras and hair pieces, and this is what interested me, as I think finding that all important 'finishing touch' can be crucial to the entire look.

The coolest thing I've ever seen-the wedding car bug! Bridal Bug Weddings hire out all manor of VWs for the day, but it is this retro camper van that does it for me. Getting past the free champagne and down to it, practically, it holds six people, and aesthetically well, it ticks all of my fun boxes. The guy had me at champagne. :)

All in all, I have decided on two things for certain after my day. One; I love all things vintage and vintage inspired. Everything from the colours, the richness to it and the elegance of everything sucked me in and has threatened to become all consuming. Two; I actually enjoyed the fair, it wasn't altogether too scary being called a bride and if I'm being completely honest, regardless of whether I was getting married or not, I think I'd go to these things anyway. It could become like some kind of weird and wonderful hobby of mine, to be surrounded by wonderful beautiful amazing things. Anyway, I think I've said enough! 

Happy Sundays, I do not have to work for the coming week, so very happy days indeed.

© Sophie De-Roe
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