Selfridges ‘Live + Loud’ festival – October 1 – October 4, 2015

Following on from what has been the most memorable weekend in Birmingham’s recent history, Britain’s most talented artists, photographers, musicians and designers are getting ready to celebrate the diversity and culture of the 2nd City at an event  being hosted by Selfridges – the Live + Loud festival.

Live + Loud festival is taking place this week, from October 1 to October 4, with some of the best home-grown and national talent onboard, thanks to an exclusive collaboration between the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London (The ICA), Birmingham’s Punch Records, Birmingham City University (BCU) and a host of top fashion and beauty brands. Faces and talent to look out for across the four days will include fashion designer Ashley Williams, celebrity photographer Tyrone Lebon, film duo Tim & Barry, British Soul Singer Jacob Banks and plenty of up-and-coming home-grown talent who will be starring in the festival.

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Jacob Banks

Jacob Banks

The project has been created by Selfridges to celebrate the city of Birmingham not just as a centre of creativity, but also as a source of inspiration across the country. The event will feature commissioned works of art, photography and live music, which will draw upon Birmingham’s rich heritage. There will also be beauty and fashion pop-ups and specialist talks in store, which will resonate strongly with the city’s underground music and fashion scenes which will all be celebrated.

Visitors to both the iconic store and the special ICA curated exhibition staged in the restored industrial space in Floodgate Street in Digbeth, will be treated to an array of fashion, art, music, food and beauty activities.

Here is a run-down of the events taking place:

ICA Off-Sit

The ICA Off-Site exhibition will be open from October 2 until October 4, and visitors will be able to see work by top photographer Tyrone Lebon, commercial artist Fergadelic, Filmmakers Tim & Barry / Just Jam, self-taught artist Ben Sansbury and one of the most promising young British fashion designers, Ashley Williams.

The artists have been linking heavily with Britain’s second city, and aim to reference recent trends in contemporary urban sub-cultures. The off-site venue will feature the temporary exhibition and music programme that draw on Birmingham’s mix of industrial and post-war brutalist architecture, celebrating the city as the centre of creativity and a source of inspiration. You can find the full timetable here.

Ashley Williams design

Ashley Williams design

 

Live + Loud in store – beauty, fashion, food and events

Top fashion brands will be landing in Birmingham for the festival, including top make-up artists from Charlotte Tilbury arriving in a special make-over taxi (I will be reviewing this later in the week), a Cath Kidston fashion illustrator, the Jimmy Choo Cinderella Shoe being on display, and a Bollywood Pop-Up cinema, to name but a few.

Cinderella x Jimmy Choo-2

For lovers of celebrity make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury, there will be a chance to get an exclusive and complimentary ‘Quick Trick’ treatment in their Tilbury Taxis, which will be parked in Rotunda Square between October between Friday, 2nd October and Sunday, 4th October.

Throughout the four days, there will be a chance for shoppers to see the exclusive Jimmy Choo Cinderella shoe on Level 4, new cult brand This is A Love Song will be launched on Level 3, and denim lovers will be able to get their jeans from Diesel, Religion and Replay customised.

Adam Hockney, general manager of Selfridges Birmingham, said: “As you can see, the Live + Loud event is set to be huge for not just the city, and we hope we get visitors coming along to the store, and the Off-Site venue to catch at least one of the amazing events we have got going on. This is the biggest event Selfridges Birmingham is hosting this year and we are just thrilled to be showcasing such talent, diversity and creativity. We are proud, and honoured, to be working along the ICA, Punch Records, BCU, our fantastic beauty, fashion brands and so much emerging talent, that this really is an event not to be missed.”

For more details, visit www.selfridges.com/liveandloud

 

A Grand Central John Lewis Focus

You would probably need to have been living on the moon or planet Mars not to know that last week was a very special one for Birmingham. Grand Central Birmingham had its official opening and is already proving to be a huge success, not least because of its amazing flaghip John Lewis store. I went along on Thursday to the opening and was just so impressed with how lovely it really is, and from the thousands of people who descended on the city last weekend, and the huge buzz you could feel everywhere, I guess I am not the only one.

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The John Lewis store is bright and vibrant, with a great beauty section including faves like Urban Decay, Molton Brown and Liz Earle, and a fine range of fashion, accessories and fabrics. The displays are wonderfully tempting, making it a brand new destination for shoppers, whilst the cafe is a design dream and has a homage to the Bull. along with the most delicious lemon tarts. (Highly recommended).

Ted Baker

Ted Baker

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I couldn’t resist a few treats on opening day, loving the jewellery collection and the fashion accessories. I have barely had this bracelet off my wrist since and am so tempted to go back and get it in the other colour ways, especially the navy and silver. (Here).

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John Lewis Multi Cord Tube Detail Bracelet, Grey / Gold £12 click to visit John Lewis

I also got some great silver flats and, keeping with the metallic theme, a great clutch/pouch from Day Birger et Mikkelsen.

Et DAY Birger et Mikkelsen Gweneth Small Clutch Bag, Metallic £25 click to visit John Lewis

Et DAY Birger et Mikkelsen Gweneth Small Clutch Bag, Metallic £25 click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Pointed Pumps, Silver £25 click to visit John Lewis

John Lewis Pointed Pumps, Silver £25 click to visit John Lewis

The new John Lewis store got me all excited at the prospect of examining the latest design collaboration in the flesh. Hot on the heels of the very successful, and utterly gorgeous Temperley Somerset range, John Lewis has teamed up with Bruce Oldfield, famous for his designs worn in the 1980s by Diana, Princess of Wales. The Bruce by Bruce Oldfield collection for John Lewis is just exquisite, I have picked out a few of my favourite pieces from the collection below.

Bruce By Bruce Oldfield

Bruce by Bruce Oldfield Velvet Panel Dress, Black £199 click to visit John Lewis

Bruce by Bruce Oldfield Velvet Panel Dress, Black £199 click to visit John Lewis

Bruce by Bruce Oldfield Print Foil Skirt, Black £130 click to visit John Lewis

Bruce by Bruce Oldfield Print Foil Skirt, Black £130 click to visit John Lewis

 Bruce by Bruce Oldfield Appliqué Dress, Black£160 click to visit John Lewis

Bruce by Bruce Oldfield Appliqué Dress, Black £160 click to visit John Lewis

Bruce by Bruce Oldfield Tweed Dress, Cream £129 click to visit John Lewis

Bruce by Bruce Oldfield Tweed Dress, Cream £129 click to visit John Lewis

Bruce by Bruce Oldfield Wool Silk Panel Dress, Black £160 click to visit John Lewis

Bruce by Bruce Oldfield Wool Silk Panel Dress, Black £160 click to visit John Lewis

Bruce by Bruce Oldfield Jacquard Dress, Black/Silver £160 click to visit John Lewis

Bruce by Bruce Oldfield Jacquard Dress, Black/Silver £160 click to visit John Lewis

To view the complete collection, click here.



 

 

 

 

 

 

Bedroom Environment insights with Hillarys

A while ago I was asked if I would be interested in contributing to an infographic that was being produced by Hillarys blinds. The idea was that Hillarys were putting together a useful guide to a how to create a perfect Zen bedroom environment, a place that would make relaxing and getting to sleep easy.

I was asked for my thoughts on how colour can affect the calm of a bedroom, and which colours in particular would be good if you were looking to create an Oasis of calm, and which would be best avoided if you wanted to avoid restless nights. You can read the whole infographic here,  (click on each icon to check out all the different insights), my section is pictured below.

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I talked about how neutral tones are soothing and peaceful, or how colours that sea blues can transport you to the calm of the ocean. I told how you should avoid colours like deep reds and oranges, as these are like a shock to the senses, and are more likely to keep you awake and alert than lull you off to the land of Nod.

The rest of the infographic has also been put together by lifestyle bloggers, and deals with lighting, furniture, scents, the view, plants, electronics in the bedroom and clutter – literally everything that could be affecting your ability to get a good nights sleep.

What tips would you give for a perfect bedroom environment? If you are struggling to get to sleep – maybe your room is part of the problem?