Yucky Duck Fashion

Yucky Duck Fashion

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Hi-Ho it's off to Laois I go..

 



Custom bag from Claireabella Designs (shoes not included)

As I make my way through the long procrastination packing lists and tick off the corresponding items I managed to spare ten minutes to give you a sneak first hand peak of all the wonderful goodies I have gathered together the past few weeks. And before you ask, not ALL the Newbridge Silverware boxes are mine, but I did pick up a few new bits especially from their new eSHe range and I am particular in love with the head piece which i feel is a steal at €25.

I am delighted to say that I will be wearing 8 different Irish designer brands for the festival in Laois this weekend. As it is  my blog ethos to support Irish fashion, it was essential for me to showcase our wonderful design talent at an international stage which celebrates Irish heritage. Of course I will write separate posts for each outfit commencing next week post Festival but until then you can check out all the outfits exclusive on my Twitter and Instagram page which I hope to update (if possible) throughout the weekend.

Lastly, thank you so much to Eileen Healy of OH! Designs who sponsored my wonderful head wear for the occasion. Eileen caters for every customer's individual taste and vision, but I was thrilled to pick out some of her fun pieces including my favourite 'Liqourice All Sorts' hat to sport on one fine day.

Thank you again for all your well wishes and support which I can only describe as one of the most exciting periods of my life! This has been an incredible journey and I am beyond excited to do both Kilkenny, my family, friends, supporters and my followers proud.

Until post-Laois Ducklings,
Love Vera Xx

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

My Dress for Success

 
 

 
 
The packing has commenced! I now have begun to bunch all my dresses, accessories, jewellery and (realise what I have forgotten) together. The excitement has definitely sunk in as I contemplate using black refuse bags instead of suitcases to contain the clothing haul. Amidst the wonderful pieces I have been sponsored, (some by Irish designers and the others I have picked up along the way) I can undoubtedly say there has been one in particular that I have had fun styling and it is of course my 'interview outfit' for Port Laoise. Don't get me wrong, I have not been perfecting the outfit so as to enhance my chances of getting through to Tralee but merely instead due to the past panic I encountered when planning for my Kilkenny Rose selection interview.

I had intentionally planned to wear the outfit from yesterday's post (read here) but had a change of heart last minute as I opted instead to abide by the 'dresscode' guideline with the word 'dress' being the clue. I had remembered I had a gorgeous orange chiffon midi skirt which I picked up a few years back in Topshop Edinburgh as began the big root to find the dress I had not adorned in recent times. This dress was a panic buy many a moon ago when I had a serious outbreak of psoriasis which covered my legs, back, chest and arms but I still felt compelled to wear a formal frock to our last night in the Scottish city. So although I have always had a negative connotation to the piece itself, I decided last month to rewrite a new history for it as I searched high and low only to find out that my mum had donated it to a charity shop (with my apparent blessing) a few months previous.

As I attempted to reunited myself with my orange guna by phoning up charity stores I was faced with the reality that my first dress preference was well gone, picked up by a bargain hunting fashionista. So what did I do? Simple straight on eBay. Bidded, purchased, posted and luckily it arrived two days before the big occasion. I have never tracked a postal order online with such obsession in all my time. And while it technically wasn't the exact same Edinburgh dress, whoever had worn the eBay one before me definitely gave me a bit of luck when walking into that interview room. Unlike the photos before, I finished off the look with my Joanne Hynes bib and of course these 'Valentino'-esque rockstud dupes (above) I picked up on eBay recently (here). I aim to save up for an authentic pair in the near future but for now these nude version will tie me over for the Summer sunshine.

So how could I possibly top the 'outfit of interview' ghost past drama you ask? Simple, there was no drama. I headed up to Atelier 27 a few weeks back in Dublin to trawl through the rails of young Irish designers only to chose a wonderful two piece by Jocelyn Murray Boyne. Her designs are incredibly fun, creative and fashion-forward and I am anticipating sharing some snaps with you of the full 'get-up' when I'm decked out in my glad rags in the forthcoming days.

So what is my advice for the future Roses entering the selection process in years to come?
  • Wear something to the knee especially if you're tall. The last thing you will want to be doing is being self conscious about pulling it down when you're sitting.
  • Don't dress for someone else. Take into account your age and dress appropriate for you. Remember the ethos of the selection process is to be yourself so don't wear anything you don't feel comfortable in.
  • Feel free to ask questions of the organisers if you're not sure about any outfit. They are there to help you and offer advice (even the Escorts!).
  • Borrow a dress from a friend or family member. It's not necessary to have something 'new' and the perfect gem might be hiding in your sister's wardrobe (wink wink).
Let me know if you have any questions or in need of advice and if you found this post interesting?
I can't wait to share my 'packing post' tomorrow with you with a sneak peak of all the style I have planned for this weekend.
 
Until next time Ducklings,
Love Vera Xx

Monday, 26 May 2014

Afternoon Tea part deux





 

Last month I had the pleasure of joining the Kilkenny Rose ladies for Afternoon Tea one sunny Saturday on the eve of the selection day. We all headed to Lyrath Estate, just outside the city where we were greeted and ushered into a private drawing room for our own personal tea experience. Although this was only my second time experiencing such miniature sweet and savoury treats, I am a self confessed sweet tooth connoisseur. The whole experience was very relaxed as we chatted away excitingly and gossiped like little old ladies five times our age in all our dressed grandeur.

Unlike my previous similar tea experience and accompanying attire way back in January for my Birthday (read here), the sun beamed happily through the windows as we explored the grounds and gardens to walk off the sins of calorie past. I love any excuse to whip out this light mint tulle skirt which I picked up on eBay for a steal at €7 (similar here) and of course these LK Bennett shoes will be joining my Port Laoise adventures likewise come this Thursday. The embellished shell tank top is from Topshop as well as these 'Communion-esque' frilly socks.

I am so busy this week finalising outfits for the Rose of Tralee Regionals which begin this Thursday coming and am so excited to share this wonderful experience with all my Yucky Duck followers. It is a very special period of my life and one I am so grateful to be chosen to represent Kilkenny at an international stage. I have two more posts before Thursday which will include a sneak peak at my outfits, accessories, jewellery and of course my elusive evening wear in conjunction with Valerie O'Shea Designs. Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter to follow all the style an craic at the festival as I see it this weekend.

Until next time Ducklings,
Love Vera Xx

Monday, 19 May 2014

Shop 'til you Drop

 


 
 

The closer we get to the June Bank Holiday weekend, the more and more people are asking me how my preparations are going for the upcoming Regional Rose Festival in Port Laoise. I don't know whether it is either they know I am a fashion enthusiast or because this is my own personal version of '5 days of high fashion heaven' none the less I know I want to go all out for the events. With 60 young ladies from all over the world part taking in the Laois festival, the style is sure to be nothing but fierce and extravagant.

Way back since the week after the Kilkenny Rose, I have been busy preparing, sourcing and collaborating with various designers and brands to complete my perfect day and evening outfits. I am delighted to say that I got nothing short of an amazing response, merely only clarifying the status and respect the festival has today amongst the Irish community in 2014. And while I am not going to reveal too much about the final pieces (as the oufits themselves are still a work in progess) I am going to share with you some of the adventures and designs I have picked up so far.

You may remember that I headed to Kildare Outlet Village in March for their secret VIP sale to avail of a special discount? There I could not resist picking up one of these perspex Lulu Guinness lips clutch to add to my already expansive Lulu collection and this bag will definitely add some fun to photo shoots too. A must have for Summer selfies fo'sure. I recently visited the outlet village again last weekend as I made my way to Dublin to check out a store I have been excitingly awaiting to visit for some time now.

There I found Om Diva, located on Drury Street, running parallel a few streets over to the infamous Grafton Street. And while the ground floor emulates somewhere like Amity boutique in Cork, it's rails are full of flirty 50 house wife fun. In the basement however there's bargain rails of vintage goodies housed in a retro living room feel with gorgeous decor to boot! And finally upstairs, you will find the mecca of young Irish talent and design in Atelier 27. There I spent hours trying on the designs of the stars of Irish fashion future. Making decisions on whom I would re-home and who I would leave for a later date was difficult but I think my choices were fun and definitely reflect my fashion sense. I can't wait to reveal to you next week who will be joining me in Port Laoise.

And finally, one Irish brand I am honoured to be courting at the festival is the wonderful 'Kiyoni' which specialises in beautiful silk scarves. This design duo behind the brand are from Galway and were recent winners of the Irish Fashion Innovation Awards 2014 in the accessory category and I am much in love with their fairytale 'stories on silk' designs. Any one who really knows me is aware that I am a scarf magpie and am delighted to have found a homegrown brand to support. Thank you again James and Lisa McKeon for being such wonderful sponsors.

I have a store of posts to get through so make sure to check back on Thursday where I will share my recent afternoon tea attire. And you thought I couldn't find an appropriate elasticated waisted skirt to enjoy all that cake? Think again!
 
Until next time Ducklings,
Love Vera Xx

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Stoppin' Traffic - Kilkenny Rose Launch



Previous photos: all Pat Moore

 
As I busily prepare to head to the Rose of Tralee Regional in under three weeks, this weekend I looked back on my outfits for each occasion involved in the run up to the Kilkenny Rose. I spent some weeks excitingly obsessing over the two main events in particular - the launch and my interview with the judges, only to end up both wearing something that was already attracting moth balls in my expandable wardrobe. Despite frankly searching for something new, it's funny how some key dresses can rescue you from any styling predicament.
 
I had picked up this Peter Pilotto x Target dress back in February when his exciting collaboration with Target flooded Net-a-Porter. Most of his key pieces sold out instantly and I longed for a item from Peter to adorn my wardrobe rails (his capsule collection can reach >1000€). I set my alarm clock bright and early on launch day on that Sunday morning similar to a 16 year old setting hers for her One Direction tickets. And while I had underestimated American fit (rather generous in this instance) one nip and tuck later from my seamstress in Newpark meant this bright floral tea dress swayed in the sunshine on launch day. Only now do I realise that the dress itself looks suspiciously similar to a Kilkenny GAA jersey like with its vertical striping and black and yellow hues. Coincidence? Most definitely!
 
With the sun on our side, we had so much fun that day in the 'garden' of the Ormonde Hotel and strolling across to the parade outside the castle. And while some may have mistaken us for a very well behaved hen party, others hooted their car horns and cheered on while we were papped arm in arm for the Kilkenny People Newspaper by photographer Pat Moore. I had booked in with Yasmin in Peter Mark MacDonagh Junction earlier that morning for a blow dry and finished the look with a pair of Penney's strappy sandals. It was such a fun day and we even made the front page a few days later!
 
This weekend I went on the hunt for outfits for Port Laoise for the 5 DAY FESTIVAL! Eek! Any excuse to go shopping! I can't wait to share with you what I have found so far and hopefully provide some kind of guidance or inspiration for Rose entrants for years to come. I have so many outfits and adventures to catch up on so keep and eye out this week for more posts!
 
Hope you've all had a wonderful weekend!
Until next time Ducklings,
Love Vera Xx

Monday, 28 April 2014

My Kilkenny Rose 'Oscar' Moment

Wearing my beautiful NewBridge Silverware prize, bouquet & new sash

With former Kilkenny Roses
 
Signing my first ever autograph for a Rose Bud

The Rose 'Selfie'

There's 'Oscar Moments' and there's 'Rose of Tralee Moments'. Little did I think on the 1st of February last when I turned up unaccompanied to the very first Kilkenny Rose meeting did I think I would be writing this blog post today. Those of you who have been following me will recognise my style of blogging; my ethos is to emphasise positive from negative and poke plenty of fun at myself in between, but this takes the biscuit for fairytale (hey and I get fairytale, hence the blog name!). And while last week was a whirlwind spent mainly entertaining press and buying too many Kilkenny People newspapers that I should ever admit to, I finally have the chance and reflect and fill you in about the night itself.

As far back as January I was contacted by an Irish designer who was proposing we work together on a project with her new formal wear collection. And while the timing did not suit back then I kept her in my thoughts until we finally got to meet at Kerry Fashion Week in March. Her name was Valerie O'Shea and after recognising the name from previous fashion weeks, I checked out her Facebook to view her latest collection. One dress stood out from the others, a beautiful pale pink gown with a train to the back and a sheer cape covered over a sweetheart bodice with handpainted gold flowers. I came close to knowing the feeling a bride gets when they find their dress. It was 'the one'.

Valerie, like many other young Irish designers trying to break into a very competitive fashion market does what likened new designers do, and that is lead a 'double life'. She has her day job and then she has her design brand and business and spends evenings and weekends drawing up new sketching,  sourcing fabric, pattern cutting and sowing. A lifestyle not so different from my Occupational Therapist / blogger mix.

So I arranged to travel to her studio to meet her for a fitting of this near perfect specimen of a dress I loved. And the bad news was ...? It wouldn't fit. I've been big-busted since my teens and I've been known to force a zip or two and my sister being a whizz at heaving that zipper up but alas the model sample size was no match for my decolletage. Distraught I left without 'the' dress and we began planning option B instead. I spend most of that week obsessing over the pale frock that was not to be before Valerie did what no other designer would do in Ireland. Let's say she  'made it fit'. Scissors were whipped out and seams were cut and for my shame and joy it worked.

After steaming the dress the day before the Rose final with a hairdryer (top tip) I made my way down to the Kilkenny Ormonde Hotel with it draped across my lap in a taxi on Sunday last. After interviews, rehearsals and lunch we all got ready and headed to the function for the night ahead. Valerie travelled especially to support me on the night and I would like to say a huge thank you to her for providing me with a dress in hindsight that I am so proud to have worn in photographs which I will have for the rest of my life to remember the whole occasion.

After being selected as Kilkenny Rose, Valerie has so kindly offered to make my evening gown for my night on stage for the regional festival in Port Laoise on June Bank Holiday Weekend. And the big news is we will CO-DESIGN it together! This is something I have wanted to get involved with now for a long time with a fashion designer and I will be so honoured to wear something both myself and Valerie will have produced for the festival together.

I am so excited and am busy already sourcing inspiration to build my dream dress from.Thank you to everyone involved in the Kilkenny Rose centre for producing such a wonderful event and being so supportive and to my fellow Roses on the night, this post is dedicated to you and our new friendships. Thank you all again. And of course to photographer Pat Moore for allowing me to use his photos in this post. I'd be lost without the paparazzi!
 
Be sure to check back tomorrow as I share my next Rose outfit post and story!
Until next time Ducklings,
Love Vera Xx

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Xpose magazine feature - April




I'M BACK!!! After an unexpected blogging break the past few weeks I now have a back log of outfits, posts, and fashion going-ons! Life has been a bit hectic of late between work and moving house and as a result I had to temporarily delegate my blogging time elsewhere. So expect frequent posts over the next two weeks to get us back on track until I make it up to you guys!

I had been asked in February by Xpose to join their nationwide 'blogger panel' after featuring in the magazine on numerous occasions in 2013. Of course I was extremely flattered to represent Kilkenny street style and it was so important for me to feature items from local shops in April's edition. Although I'm not a major fan of black in Summer time, my task was to style up 'monochrome' and I'm really happy with the tran-seasonal look I created using lighter fabrics and hints of softer hues. This look wouldn't look too out of place at a festival either (as I begin to scheme my Electric Picnic mood board!). You can find out the full outfit details here.

One of things I love about fashion in Kilkenny is the influence and popularity of local boutiques in contrast to UK high street chains domineering the city's main street. It really is the place to go to shop one-off special occasion pieces as well as browse the vintage rails in Shitterbug and New York Doll. I LOVE that! I've also welcomed the opportunities to get involved in the local fashion circle too and recently modelled for charity fashion shows. Building rapport with local traders and fellow fashionistas is so important as a blogger and I am excited to have worked with the girls from Shutterbug on this feature for Xpose. A big thanks to Alice for taking these snaps on a bitter Spring day!
 
Check out my next post on Thursday evening when I'll be sharing some exciting news about the weekend ahead! Plus I reveal my latest Lulu Guinness sale steal from Kildare Outlet Village too!
 
Until next time Ducklings,
Love Vera Xx