The Show: Redefinition

Birmingham's Bullring Centre has always sought to be at the forefront of technological developments.

When I worked at the lovely Created in Birmingham shop at the Bullring over a year ago, I remember Chris Unitt telling me how he'd been working with the centre to help them establish a reputation as the most tech-savvy mall in Europe. As the Bullring is also a hotspot for roadshow events such as Britain's Next Top Model, Jo Frost: Extreme Parental Guidance and Gok's Fashion Fix, it appears apt that it should look to blend large scale events with their technological ambition.

The Show: Redefinition has been described in the mysterious video below as a 'breathtaking collaboration between fashion and technology'. In a nutshell, the idea is to showcase eight hot looks for the new fashion season using a combination of real and 3D 'volumetric' models and holographics, including 2010 BNTM winner Tiffany Pisani (and anyone who knows me will vouch for the fact that I'm a Next Top Model obsessive!) There're rumours of another special guest in the works, but the Bullring are keeping it zipped for the time being.

The show itself will be part of Style Birmingham Live, an event that once led to my friend being hauled onstage by Trinny and Susannah, being stripped of her things behind a makeshift quilt – held up by fellow 'victims' no less – and made over into a party girl (she's an Oxford scholar).
 

Despite the show not turning its audience into virtual catwalkers, it will be showing you where you can shop to recreate the looks and will include garments from Reiss, COS, French Connection and my current favourite Forever 21. You'll also be able to create the hair and make-up by paying a visit to Regis (in Debenhams) and The Body Shop.

Being a fashion telly show junkie, I'm most excited by the prospect of behind-the-scenes videos, which may even give away a few hints about how the effects used in the show were produced. If you can't make the show itself they'll also be style guides based around the looks in the show, revealing exactly how you can reinvent yourself as a Hollywood siren or a gothic beauty.

The run of shows kicks off on Friday and, if you missed the chance to enter the Bullring's VIP ticket competition, you'll still be able to catch a glimpse of the action by watching from the balconies overlooking the Lower West Mall at the following times:

Friday 23rd September: 10.30am, 1pm, 3pm, 5.30pm

Saturday 24th September: 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm

Sunday 25th September:  11.30am, 1pm, 3pm

Also, despite the competition being closed, I was having a cheeky browse of the Bullring Birmingham website when I discovered the Rewards page which is amazing – there's currently a Dune discount offer going on (shoe heaven)!

So will you be going? Have you got a coveted VIP seat? I expect your updates via Twitter please!

For more information, take a look here: http://www.browsebullring.co.uk/fasion-news/the-show-redefinition/

 

This is a sponsored post but don't worry – if I don't like it, it wouldn't appear on here!

Viral video by ebuzzing

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Made in Maidstone

My friend Brendan Kearney is currently having some of his amazing illustrations exhibited at County Hall in Maidstone.

He’s currently on the second year of the illustration course at Plymouth University and is quickly gaining a loyal following over on his (rather charming) blog.

When I visited Brendan recently he gave me a copy of this watercolour, which is now proudly displayed on my bedroom wall in Newcastle.

Print by Brendan Kearney

I actually still have a few doodles ‘from back in the day’ that Brendan gave me, so it’s quite nice to see him ‘go pro’, so to speak! I really want the illustration below too as I think it will look nice on the wall next to the work that Brendan has already gifted my way!

Watercolour by Brendan Kearney

I’ve not been able to ‘collect art’ before because I’ve not had much of a solid base and because I spent the last three years studying and moving around. I loved working in the Created in Birmingham shop last Summer so it would be brilliant to follow some of the artists we sold while I was there and hopefully collect some of their pieces too. I have to confess that I pine constantly for a lottery win and the flat I would buy soon after! (I’d either dedicate different rooms to different artists, or a set of artists such as the artists collectively known as ‘Girls Who Draw.’)

How cute!? (Again, by Brendan Kearney)

If you’d like to invest in Brendan and his artwork (remember, he’s still a student so you know, needs to pay for artwork and that), then you can catch his cat-focused work on sale at Maidstone’s County Hall until the 24th of March. You can also take a look at his Etsy shop. The artwork shown above is currently on display at the aforementioned exhibition and will be available through Brendan’s Etsy store once the exhibition is closed, although you can address questions and questions directly to Brendan himself by emailing brendankearney@live.co.uk.

Who are your favourite illustrators? Let me know!

Hair-y goodness!

I arrived at a flu-stricken Amazing Radio office yesterday to discover a surprise parcel on my desk.

The contents didn’t remain a mystery for long, however, as the box had a tell-tale Stone Bridge sticker adorning it.

The signature Stone Bridge sticker

 

From the perfect brown paper packaging, to the generous layers of crease free tissue paper inside, Stone Bridge clearly doesn’t believe that online shopping should mean a lack of customer service. There’s even a little red ribbon that keeps the parcel in one neat place.

Some of you might remember the Rose Silk Alice Headband that I received late last year. The deceptively large box contained another beautiful headband, and a crystal feather hair slide.

Crystal feather hair slide, £14 by Stone Bridge

I’ll be posting a bit more about the indulgently girly hair slide above later this week, and I’m hoping to ‘borrow’ my friend Anna’s hair too, in order to see what it looks like on shorter hair than my own.

Satin rose corsage headband by Stone Bridge

This satin rose corsage headband is a beautiful Cadbury shade of purple. It reminds me of a rose on a hat we once randomly had in the dressing up box of my younger years. Usefully, the rose can we adjusted around the headband so that it’s easy to sit on the right place on your head!

The alice band in action!

Evidently, I was so excited by this headband that once I had fitted it onto my head, I couldn’t resist taking it off. It certainly livened by my jeans and Created in Birmingham T-Shirt combo! Like all Stone Bridge products claim, the band is incredibly comfortable, meaning that my voluptuous head doesn’t get sore behind the ears. I’m definitely looking forward to wearing it with this Topshop dress (that looks like a recycled net curtain!)

I’ll post more pictures of the crystal feather hair clip shortly, but for now I’m going to swan around the house like the cat who got the er… headband!

You’re a sister and let me introduce mine.

Really excited about the You’re A Sister gig we’re playing for Oxjam on April 16th. It’s being held in support of Oxfam’s Sisters on the Planet campaign. Entry is a donation of £3 or more… bargainous! You can find out about more of the acts by following the previous link. We’re playing with brilliant poet and compere Jodi Ann Bickley, my most fabulously heeled/voiced friend Stav and The Electrilickers, folk star Abie Budgen and of course, the lady fronted Che. We’ll also be entertained by the Atta Girl DJs – I’m particularly looking forward to their female records, particularly as Atta Girl’s Claire is a regular in the CIB shop, which is where I spend my Sundays.

Here’s a nice picture…. use for twitter/facebook profiles if you’re feeling supportive (please!)

So, to celebrate all things sister-hoody, I wanted to introduce you to the current line up of Get Frank.

First up, we have Mr James Chester on acoustic guitar. James is former Uni Rock Soc president and the longest serving musician of the group (alongside myself.) He joined after Nick Mannix had to leave to spend more time studying rocks and stuff. James accompanies me on many a journey to many a random venue. We have played in the wind, the rain and sometimes even indoors! We played outside New Street’s tourist info centre for Artsfest and hopefully we will continue playing for the foreseeable future. James loves a bit of Ska and Rage Against the Machine so often we like to slip in the odd RATM reference (ie. HUOGH! or similiar sounds…)

Next up, the genius that is Eve Hunt on drums. Eve has helped revolutionise the Get Frank sound. Suddenly we’re tighter, more upbeat and practices are even more fun. Eve keeps things light, punchy and pacey. And she doesn’t know how good she is, so if you ever see her at one of our gigs then please do tell her! She also copes mightily well to keep the boys in check, particularly as I have an odd appreciation for putting pauses in so many of my songs and it could otherwise be hard to keep up all together!

Then we have Miss Desiree Benson on glock and keyboards. Now I know I’m guilty of going up to Dezzie in practices and telling her to play something just once but she works it out anyway, because she’s awesome like that. I’m going to start writing more stuff specifically for keys so we can start showing her off a bit more! She’s also a darned skilled stylist and I very much need her in my life to dress me for gigs. Oh, and a great Burnfm DJ too!

The latest member to join our lineup is tallest member Richard B Brookes (or Richie B Brookes for short.) Richie brings with him a love of ska and nineties hitmakers Babybird – so much so that he spent the last weekend stalking them (he calls it ‘going to two gigs in a row’) We would do a cover of ‘You’re Gorgeous’ but it’s only a ‘feminist song’ when its sung by a man… maybe.

In fact you are more than welcome to interview the above without me. As I’ve only really been interviewed once and I forgot to ask for everyone’s names to be published in the article, nor did I ask for Kate Hindley’s wonderful artwork to be credited.

So yes, any questions for the band please ask away!

We’re playing a free gig at the Bulls Head, Mosley tomorrow at 8pm with a fantastic lineup including A Bull, Greatest Hits and Boat to Row so please do come along!

Frankie x

None of us are tw*ts…

 

Joanna Geary at the Journalism Leaders Forum from Chris Unitt on Vimeo.

I had problems with websites run by big news publications after the Daily Mail wrote a factually inaccurate article about the radio station I now manage, Burnfm.com. This was duplicated by other papers’ websites before filtering to blogs. The good thing about the bloggers is that I could write to them without fearing being quoted on the front page of a paper.

Blogs are vital to students like me who don’t study media, (or even do study media) and would like a job within the media sector. From being involved with CIB, Gigbeth and my own blog I’ve managed to gain experience with the BBC and Channel 4. If it were not for blogs, and the Birmingham blogging community my CV would be dramatically shorter.

By talking utter nonsense about how blogs and UGC are ‘scary’, it is the media ‘pundits’ who make themselves look like idiots, particularly as I’m sure many people who read their publications have their own blogs or take part in social networking. Their narrow minded attitudes could damage their careers.

I am 20, the negative men in the video are clearly a lot older than myself (and Joanna Geary) and may be struggling to cope with how fast the blogging community is growing….(and perhaps I am trying to create excuses for the ‘experts’ because I can’t believe how hysterical they are about blogging for goodness sake!)

Created in Birmingham wins Best UK Blog

Created in Birmingham has won the 2008 Best Uk Blog in the Weblog awards.

Hurrah!

This has pretty much entirely been down to Chris Unitt who has been entirely dedicated to the site for over a year and is now handing over editorial duties to Kate Spragg. Thanks also must go to fellow nominee Pete Ashton who gracefully told all and sundry to vote for CIB rather than himself. Also to everyone who facebooked, twittered and blogged about voting for us. There’s a list of heroes on this CIB post.

I need to get in contact with Kate and sort out if I am still contributing to CIB, and I definitely want to but having had to start doing heaps of coursework I have been a bit on the quiet side! I still want to do interviews though, specially as now I have a portable camera, filming will be much easier.

If you want to see any of the interviews I’ve done for CIB you can see them by clicking on the following hyperlinks:

Lee Parsons of Ditto Music

Photographer and Birmingham Live! founder Steve Gerrard

Clare Edwards of Gigbeth Festival and Conference

Musician and Birmingham Jazz Manager Mary Wakelam

Ian and Pip of 7″ Cinema

Jenny and Lisa of Capsule

Again, well done to Chris and everyone else involved

Frank xxx

continued from below

So I thought of something to say!….and then I forgot!

The brumlive photographer I’m working with tonight is the lovely-seeming (I’m making assumptions having never come face to face with her, but her myspace is cool and she sent me a nice message) Kate Snape.
I must say I’m also quite jealous because she’s my age (19) and she’s photographed loads of really cool bands so I’m looking forward to have a natter between acts. Also she taught herself and developed her own style of photography only a year ago so it gives me hope that I, one day, will actually be able to operate an SRL camera….or is that SLR…I think it’s SLR!!!
(Ask me what you like about mics, recordings, gaming, music, sound etc but I’m awful with camera knowledge.)
Tonight the first support act is Birmingham based Kate Finch who has got an acoustic-punk feel to her music. I’m looking forward to seeing her live because I think that she’ll sound fresher on record…would be interesting to see if she ever plays with a band when she’s live too.
Also playing are two full bands with punk-rock stylings, The Kamikazes and The High Society.
I’m having a listen to The Kamikazes right now and I’m getting really excited…It’s gonna be a high octane gig I think…I’d get out my skinnies if I had them!
Unfortunately I haven’t…(I’m the girl who bought skinny jeans 2 sizes too big to avoid muffin top…and therefore lost the skinny effect) So its another dress I think! (with some customisation of course!)
So if you’re there tonight please say hi, Ill probably have a button headband on my person. It’s my current signature
Frank. x