Making like a model… sort of

The other day I bumped into Claire from luxury hair accessories brand, Stone Bridge.

I volunteered my hair for their website but didn’t think I’d actually end up being needed however a couple of months later I was asked to pop down to Tonbridge in Kent to lend myself to shooting pictures for their latest batch of hair clips, bands, barrettes and slides.

Shooting some 'hard profile' product images with photographer Neal

Despite getting up at 6.30 am Claire, who’s not only a hair styling maestro but a trained makeup artist, managed to make me look like I’d had a generous lie in with her box of tricks, and company founder Melissa managed to keep my hair looking fluff-free for the majority of the shoot. In fact, I loved the ‘messy chignon’ she teased my hair into so much that I wore it out that evening. (When I took it out finally about 22 hairpins emerged from my barnet!)

Melissa put a proper spread on!

The day before the shoot, Melissa popped over to Bluewater and bought some a-may-zing cupcakes from Buttercup. I love cupcakes that actually taste of something other than sponge – the coffee and caramel flavour was especially spectacular.

Possibly the only time I'll rest my hands on the steering wheel of a sports car... but at least I got to do it wearing my favourite piece; a leather hair band

As well as the more traditional product shots (mostly shot in a dead-on profile), we popped outside to take advantage of the fabulous weather. The only downside to shooting outside (which involved posing with Chester the dog, ‘driving’ an Audi and nearly breaking a china cup) was the bright rays that nearly blinded me via the silver and white reflectors. Hopefully the final shots will be worth the squinting discomfort!

Squinting and bearing the September sunshine with Neal, Melissa and Chester

I definitely enjoyed the experience more than I expected to – and it’s something I think others should try. Why not go out with friends and snap some portraits – whether for a direct purpose or not? As well as helping out a great new company, I got the experience of being in front of the camera for once rather than being behind it (or writing about it). I’ve never seen myself as particularly photogenic so it’s nice when something like this comes along and gives a bit of a confidence boost. Aside from managing the sunlight, I actually found the most difficult element of the shoot was allowing myself to smile fully (I’ve seen rather unflattering photos of myself laughing so was a tad paranoid), but I think I got there in the end!

Find out more about Stone Bridge and their range on their website – and I’ll let you know when the proper photos are unveiled! Also, don’t forget to check out photographer Neal’s site too – he’s a genius!

Head flower

Stone Bridge, the Kent-based luxury hair accessories company have come up trumps again by sending me another fabulous hair clip.

Knowing I love hair flowers and anything borderline quirky, Melissa and Claire decided to send me the biggest hair flower I have ever seen…

Hair flower by Stone Bridge

When it was delivered, lovingly wrapped in luxurious layers of tissue paper (held together by a signature claret red ribbon), I couldn’t quite believe my eyes – it’s the size of a small dinner plate!

Photo by Alex

Whilst I’ve decided I’m not quite ready to venture out with the beautiful chiffon clip on my head without an occasion worthy of its presence (such as a wedding or Ladies’ Day at Ascot!), it does make me think of something Patricia Field might pin onto a Carrie Bradshaw costume. I’m definitely going to pin it onto one of my shift or swing dresses next time I head to a gig or feel like the day deserves more glamour.

As I live a minute away from Columbia road I thought it would be silly to miss the famous flower market yet again, and the lovely corsage gave me yet another excuse to venture out. So, armed with a camera and Alex, I squeezed my way through the throng of people, corsage boldly pinned to my shirt.

Blending in with the merchandise

Strangely enough, despite Alex thinking I was self conscious of my ‘fashion statement’, I was actually just aware of having my photo taken amongst to many people (although I needn’t have worried as there were so many tourists around!). I love the fact that a corsage is an unusual choice to chose as the focal piece of an outfit, but feels apt due to the amazing weather we’ve experienced recently. I’ve seen a few girls wearing beautifully simple swing dresses recently and I’m desperate to get my hands on the perfect one, so as always I’d appreciate any recommendations!

How would you style the huge hair flower up?

Celebrate ethical fashion

With Livia Firth’s Vogue ‘Ethical Red Carpet Fashion’ challenge winning plaudits from both fashion and wider press circles, it seems that the time is right to give ethical fashion a push.

I received an email a few days ago from Melissa of Stone Bridge, the ethical luxury hair accessories company who have been sending me samples of their beautifully intricate alice bands and hair clips.

Rose silk corsage alice band by Stone Bridge

Melissa’s going to be present at tomorrow’s ‘Ethical Fashion in the Age of Austerity‘ event at the V&A Museum of Childhood in London’s Bethnal Green. The event, which is free for all and open for you to stop by between 6 and 9pm, will:

“Uncover hidden workshops, live music, performance, panel discussion and craft stalls set amongst the Museum’s childhood collections. Celebrate the rise of ‘slow fashion’ as London’s leading eco-journalists, green stylists and ethical campaigners come together to discuss the key issues surrounding this growing social movement.”

Melissa herself has posted a blog about the event, which also reveals a bit more about Stone Bridge as an ethical trading company and who they purchase items from, as well as why they are priced as they are. Melissa is also offering to bestow VIP status on attendees who email her at Hello@Stone-Bridge.co.uk (apparently this means freebies!)

I wish I could go but I’m up here in Newcastle… so go and represent for me please!?

Get Frank’s Feather… literally!

In my last post I mentioned that the lovely Melissa and Claire from luxury hair accessories company Stone Bridge had sent me another fabulous box of goodies from their online emporium of hair combs, alice bands and hair clips.

I featured the Rose Alice Band they sent me in my last post, and I thought it was time to show of the shine-tastic Crystal Feather Slide I was also sent.

"Off the face"

I usually wear small hair flowers to assist in keeping my curls out of my eyes, but this feather makes a pretty change, and adds a touch of glamour at the same time! The clip is also cleverly designed in that it features various shades of pink crystals to add depth and extra sparkle. Such a feature might make one fear that the hair will be weighed down, but the clip is still light enough to be worn without irritation – it sits comfortably and happily on my head (when worn as in the picture above).

"Bun"

I also had a go at using the clip to hold all of my hair in a textured bun (yes, there’s no hair elastic utilised in the above photo). I’m not great at putting my hair in a bun with a headband but I might have a go at some of Stone Bridge founder Melissa’s tutorial videos as I think she could teach me a thing or two about using accessories for more than mere decoration!

"Half-up, half-down"

(Obviously the clip can be used for the more obvious ‘half-up, half-down’ style! I just couldn’t get the camera angle right!) The clip isn’t a spring clasp but a simple wire fastening which means that you can get inventive and use the clip for other purposes! I imagine it would look good with the bar threaded through knitwear (such as a scarf, beanie/beret or jumper) or even through a jacket buttonhole.

Crystal feather hair slide by Stone Bridge

And guess what? If you fancy one of these clips for yourself I’ve been given access to ‘Get Frank’ exclusive offer by the Stone Bridge team… All you need to do is follow this link and you can get this twinkly treat of a hair clip for a £14 which is a bit of a bargain when you consider it was originally £32! It’s the first offer I’ve ever posted on this blog so needless to say I’m excited!

Hope you enjoy your hair slides!

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!

Stone Roses

The other day I received a parcel…

 

The welcoming label!

 

I don’t really get many parcels so I was rather excited… particularly when I opened it and found a note handwritten on luxury paper just for me!

 

How pretty!?

 

I was sent the mystery package by Stone Bridge, a Kent based luxury hair accessories company that had spotted my curly tresses and thought that they could do them justice!

I lived in Kent for about eleven years so hearing that an international company was successfully flourishing not far from where I grew up was something to feel proud of. Kent isn’t really known for much other than hops and livestock, so it’s nice to see something slightly more… well… fashionable!

The company was set up by entrepreneur Melissa Hill. In 2006 she spotted a gap in the market for couture hair accessories and set about commissioning wearable works of art from around the world as well as ordering pieces from highly skilled designers from America, France and Italy (and further afield.) Due to the handcrafting processes that go into each piece, each design is of limited quantity which means I’m rather unlikely to turn up wearing the same head gear as someone else!

 

Almost real: Rose Silk Alice Band by Stone Bridge

 

Now I have to apologise for the following pics… I have finally spent some pennies on a nice compact camera, but I’m awaiting the delivery of a tripod so I can finally start posing proper. What I’ll be doing in the near future is assembling potential outfits to match one certain item, such as this alice band or other hair bands and barrettes.

My approach to fancy headgear is a bit like shoes – why own something if you can’t wear it more than once? The white colour of this headband makes many think of formal occasions such as weddings and christenings but I think it’s got potential for far more outings. I’ve often worn dramatic feathery headbands and fascinators to Get Frank gigs in the past so I’m definitely looking forward to having fun with this white beauty.

 

Lipfinity Lasting Lip Tint in #06 by Max Factor, £6.99

 

 

Click on the pic to check out more Rose Silk Alice Band colours.

 

I also like to post outfits for occasions so my next challenge is to compile something to wear for my first gig with The Union Choir on Friday. It’s at Plugged Inn in Sunderland (yup, no idea where it is exactly) and I’m going to have to head straight to the venue after work at Amazing Radio. I’m thinking that this head band is absolutely perfect for the gig because even if I’m stuck wearing my casual work clothes, this head band will provide a slice of instant glam to proceedings!

Another lovely thing about this head band is that it’s ultra comfy – some alice bands I’ve owned in the past have been too tight or snagged my hair upon removal – causing headaches in both senses of the word! Also I don’t face the problems I had with my headband in this post, where the head band kept slipping so much I’ll probably never wear it out of the house again.

My super talented friend Ruth Kilpatrick took a couple of photos of me wearing the head band at an Amazing Radio session interview I did with Charly Coombes and the New Breed for this Wednesday’s Afternoon Show so hopefully I’ll post those soon with a potential Friday gig outfit and a bit more about Stone Bridge themselves – let’s get supporting independents eh?

Where do you think I should wear the Rose Silk Alice Band? Comments and suggestions much appreciated!