Yucky Duck Fashion

Yucky Duck Fashion

Monday, 19 August 2013

Just another night out on the tulle..

It was just another Saturday night spent deciding what to wear. 'Last minute' is my middle name and I left it up to my Facebook followers to be judge and jury of my attire for the evening. The people spoke and it was decided that a little Carrie Bradshaw was to be injected into Cork's fashion nightlife circus. Life would be much more simple if I had on of those electronic outfit builders like Cher in Clueless. A suggestion for a future Christmas present. 

After my designer - blogger collaboration with Samantha Kennedy in July here I instantly fell in love with all things tulle and blue. Unfortunately real light soft tulle can be incredibly expensive so I decided to scour eBay for a gauze-mesh alternative. There I came across a Chinese seller advertising long midi tulle skirts in a variety of colours for €7 (similar here). Yes €7, the same amount of money I spent on my Supermacs snackbox meal last night. 

The colours of the rainbow were on offer and at that price I really could of bought one of each guilt-free. Even the grammatical error riddled description didn't put me off with the seller explaining that: "if layer number of too much will make skirt very heavy, and looks very loose, will seem too fat". 'Too fat'? I laughed. The truth couldn't have been any further, with an elasticated waist it meant I could of eaten Christmas dinner before I headed out last Saturday and not felt any guilt or shame in my happy bloated belly. 

A white gold bangle & some coral nail ink

So for €7 what was the catch you ask? Well for once there was none. It took three weeks to arrive which is the norm for post from China to Ireland, as described and in a perfectly new condition. It didn't even catch fire in the smoking area of The Secret Garden. Calamity Vera had a night off it appears. To 'toughen-up' the softness of the skirt, I sported my studded Penney's sandals and my skeletor Ozzy Osbourne tank that I bought from a brand stocked at Topshop.com 'And Finally' in May. Last weekend, I treated myself to a new statement necklace from Zara which is available to buy online here for €28. If you're buying in-store be sure to double check that all the crystal flowers are intact. 

Last week was really hectic with my trip to Dublin. Not only did I travel for the Blog Awards but also I am proud to say that I will be appearing between the pages of Stellar Magazine next month too. Stellar were seeking applications for couples stories and I am delighted to announce that my boyfriend's and my 'how we met' story was chosen to be featured. We both attended a photo shoot on Wednesday afternoon last for the upcoming feature. When the issue comes out in a couple of weeks I'll be sure to fill you in on all the details but for now here's a sneaky behind the scenes snap:

To say thank you to all my blog followers and a welcome to my new Facebook page 'likers' I am going to run a competition later on this week. Let's just say you'll be very happy to Cee it..

Until next time Ducklings,
Love Vera Xx

Thursday, 15 August 2013

OohLaLa Blog Awards & Penneys A/W '13 Collection Preview

Last Tuesday, I was invited to Dublin to attend the OohLaLa Beauty and Fashion blog awards and official magazine launch party. My blog didn't make the finalists cut, and because of that I am able to write a constructive post-mortem analysis of the night from a neutral perspective. The night had both highlights and lows, and I struggled the last 24 hours of what twist I was going to put on the whole occasion.

My boyfriend and I travelled up on Tuesday afternoon and after a quick browse in Brown Thomas and a stroll around Grafton Street we checked-in to our hotel in the notorious party district of Harcourt Street. I kept cost down by bringing my heated rollers with me and doing my own make-up and tan for the evening.

After looking back on my previous posts I realise that this is the first dress I've worn.  I first tried this red dress on a few months back in Brown Thomas Cork. Despite The Kooples (€110 sale) tag, the commodity of the peplum and strapless detail, both make this dress less Parisian and more Saturday night on the town. I did my best to 'boho it up' with a pork-pie hat from H&M (€10) my Lulu Guinness Radio (€115 sale) and these stone-age Penneys studded sandals circa 2009. My look was finished with a Newbridge Silverware torque cuff. 

My boyfriend James and I pictured at 37 Dawson Street

We arrived at the venue 37 Dawson Street at 7.30pm and much to my disappointment were told there were no goody bags left which were packed with a Penneys voucher, Coco Brown tan, nail varnish, make-up voucher and other delicious treats. The place was jammed as bloggers mingled and flashes of cameras were in synch with the strobe lighting. 

With award nominee Ciara O'Doherty from WildChild Stories

After lengthily speeches from magazine reps, the winners were announced. Literally just announced, with no credit or mention given to the list of other nominees. And with that the crowd dispersed and the night was over. I know I will be criticised for saying that, but my heart went out to both the winners and losers on the night. Everyone who writes a blog knows how many other people in their lives contribute to it's construction through photography, web design and even proof reading. It was very clear that the night was very much about the magazine and less about the bloggers who travelled from around the country to attend. 

My biggest congrats to the winners on the night!
Nuala Gorham - Best fashion Blog for Penny & Polaroids
Leanne Woodfull - Best Video Blog for Thunder & Threads AND Blogger of the Year Award
Nessa Cotter - Best Blog Newcomer for Life's Lust Haves
Yavanna Evans - Best Beauty Blogger for The Make-up Monster

A highlight of the night, however, was getting the chance to preview the Penneys Autumn Winter Collection. I am very excited about the various new season coats I saw, especially the hot pink, blush pink and faux-fur coat. The quality of which looks on par with other more expensive high street versions. There was a strong emphasis on tarten and a favourite piece was the gold embellished black knit which won't be appearing in shops for another couple of months. 

Here's some pics from the sho'

Until next time Ducklings,
Love Vera Xx

Friday, 9 August 2013

The Girl with the Golden Concertina

Describe your fashion personality in three words: 'professional' 'materalistic' 'shopaholic'? Yes my name is Vera and I am an addict. And like a true addiction i have still managed to fund it despite my resources not being quite so flush as they were when I started this in January. It has become a welcomed challenge, and luckily for me I've got eBay on my side. I definitely enjoy the bidding chase, but have become quite strict on my limit. I even fancy myself as a bit of an fashion actuarist, knowing the personal value and worth of others second hand tat. Or don't you know it's called 'preloved' now, darling. Some rights activist is hugging themselves over that politically correct relabelling somewhere.

So my latest eBay orphan? Well earlier this week I re-homed this gorgeous gold skater skirt by Jones and Jones. I actually spotted this skirt way back on the MTV music awards a few moons ago worn by a girlband member we have heard nothing good come about since. Who knows, it may even be hers. I bought the skirt for a cool £10. Sweet. 

Pic: coolspotters.com

As the skirt is quite short I sported some over the knee socks to mind my modesty. A nod to a trend to come, expect to see thigh high riding boots everywhere this Autumn/ Winter 2013. Try your best to channel Jilly Cooper and not Julia Roberts 'Pretty Woman'-esque. I got these socks back in Topshop a few years back, but you can pick up some not so similar ones here

As you can see from the photo above, there is a small postal stamp stuck to my envelope clutch. A guy in the pub decided it's hilarity one night to attach it to my handbag. The large envelope bag is from River Island and is old enough that the stamp attached would no longer cover the postage. 

My western shirt is from The Kooples Autumn / Winter 2012 collection, with it being such a popular seller that they re-released it for Spring / Summer. Lazy or genius, you decide. The black embroidery is beautiful though, and I am particularly fond that it continues on the back of the shoulders for a peek-a-boo touch. 

My red soled wonders

I purchased the skirt from eBay.co.uk and they would only ship to Great Britain so it was my first time using the 'Parcel Motel' service, which allows you to deliver items to a intermediary UK address from companies which only only post to Great Britain. I gave the seller my designated Parcel Motel address, which when arrived there was then transferred to Ireland and subsequently to a pick-up spot at your local Topaz Filling Station. With two free goes when you sign up, the service cost me nothing (usually €3.50) and was very efficient. Find out more about the service here

Next week I am attending the OohLaLa blog awards and launch party in Dublin. Despite not making it as a finalist, I decided not to be a party-pooper and go hang out with some of Ireland's best dressed fashionistas for the night. I've already picked out what I'm going to wear and look forward to the fashion show and awards ceremony. 

Finally, thank you to Holly Shortall for my new Yucky Duck illustration for my blog. Any work enquiries can be directed to her here

Until next time Ducklings,
Love Vera Xx

Sunday, 4 August 2013

With Love From Lulu, KISS KISS

After spotting a promotional offer on Twitter, my friend and I headed on a road trip up to Kildare Outlet Village last Friday. I had been there previously but was excited to see what the newly opened Lulu Guinness store as well as favourite haunt; All Saints, had to offer. If you have been following my blog over the last few months you will have seen me write about my previous Lulu purchases HERE and HERE. After a quick pitstop at the McDonalds super-stop at the Cashel exit (yes I am actually an eight year old), we arrived in Kildare in real time.

Shopping is my drug

The sun beated down as we made our way from top to bottom of the shopping village. First stop was All Saints. The British brand which was founded in the early nineties, has left a huge hole in the Cork shopping circuit since it's departure from Brown Thomas Cork a few years back. Starting off as a menswear brand, it's statement women's pieces can be found in sequin and sparkle night wear. As a total magpie, I trawled through the rows of skirts and dresses. The good news is if you are between a size 10-14 you'll be in a sequin dream, but any size smaller and you'll leave disappointed.

I went into the majority of shops, but felt the demographic age of the target audience of the brands was a bit old for me. Definitely worth a look though is the David Clulow sunglasses shop, whose prices aren't bargain basement, but stock is quirky and unique. After a quick calorific frappe in Starbucks, important shopping life or death decisions were to be made in Lulu Guinness. Despite it's designer status, a trip there can cater to various budgets.

As requested, I have included my top picks. All of the items below were €35 & under. This silver tone charm necklace was €20. The kitsch dice purse was €35. The 'I love London' pouch, which also doubles up as a small make-up bag or a small clutch was €25. Finally as we live in rain-ville, the super fun umbrellas ranged in price up to the more expensive birdcage style at €35. This particular one just reminds me of the Sminky Shorts Dopey Spider.

And if your budget stretches a bit further, here are my top shop picks:

Pic: yournexthandbag.com
The 'Dial M For Murder' cross body bag was €135

The fan clutch usually retails up to nearly £800 so still expect to pay half that. Not cheap, but perfect I think though for a bride-to-be. The kitty purse was €35, a subtle present for a friend whose's future looks like it may be full of cats. Finally, the snakeskin rose gold lips clutch was my favourite of their lips collection. All lips bags there were Autumn / Winter '12 stock, with no red coloured stock. I took a quick snap of the 'Lips' collection to show you what's on offer. Expect to pay €150+. 

There are reasons why I don't have a credit card and I found around ten new reasons why last Friday. I couldn't however leave totally empty-handed, and decided that one bag stood out more than others. It cried to me to take it home, so I chose the responsible thing and did just that. 

Welcome to the family! Anyone for a game of snakes and ladders?!

As the weather was so interchangeable, I sported my new Markus Lupfer jumper with my Zara skort, Penneys converse and vintage shop-front Lulu Bag. Markus Lupfer is known for his statement knits and I'll include a full brand background in a future post. If you have seen any of the 'WOW' or 'OMG' jumpers from Penneys, they were replicated from Mr Lupfer's designs.

Finally, i'd like to thank the girls of the Lulu store for their patience at our indecisiveness and for being so helpful and pleasant. I can't wait to style my new 'dice' bag. I've turned into such a bag-lady of late, but hopefully with a bit more class than the Tesco hair cover-up from the rain kind.

Please give 'Yucky Duck Fashion' a 'Like' on Facebook and i'll be eternally grateful. 
Until next time Ducklings,
Love Vera Xx

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Small Duck in a Big City - Meeting Orla Kiely

With the wonderful Orla Kiely
When I wrote my first blog post over six months ago now, I referenced the 'Devil wears Prada' scenario of working in a new, alien environment with a clueless attitude about designers, customers who thought I slept under the till at night, and work colleagues who would sacrifice their rent for a have-to-have purchase which was more than likely a third of their paycheck. I was out of my comfort zone, and had to make strides to fit into a world I didn't belong in.

When i subsequently left, (not to change to my dream job like my parallel Anne Hathaway character) I hadn't put any more thought into that borderline school yard scenario. That is until I had three hours to stew on it on the bus journey home from Dublin on Tuesday last.

I received an email last month from a marketing company, commenting on my collaboration with Cork designer Samantha Kennedy HERE. The email itself was full of praise for showing initiative for promoting Irish fashion and local designers. Thus I made the journey to Dublin on Tuesday morning to attend the launch of Irish designer Orla Kiely's collaboration with coffee giant Kenco.

The event was held in the McCall Studio, Bond Street, with photographs of actress Saoirise Ronan adorning the wall along with scantly clad women posing with a Diet Coke bottle. It was the closest thing to stepping in to a scene from Sex and The City I had ever experienced. The location was full of invited journalists, TV personalities, designers, and presenters who mingled among an air kissing crowd. Then there was me.

A sceptic selfie in BT2, shirt & belt The Kooples, boots Irregular Choice, skort Zara. 

Thrown in at the deep end, I approached various fellow invitees to be met with both either friendly receptions or standoff-ish grimaces, with one even belittling the role of a blogger, and was topped off by getting scolded by a well known TV personality for getting her name wrong. Lead balloons were grenadine everywhere. With glasses of prosceso and five star canapes dished out, I noticed I seemed to be the only one with making strides with leaving a dent in the platter of the chocolate strawberries. 

My weakness for the chocolate dipped strawberries (All gaps made by me)

After a short presentation about Orla, and a quick interview conducted by Sonya Lennon, Orla herself mingled with the crowd. I can only describe her as wonderfully modest and borderline awkward as i mostly talked AT her of how much i loved and respected her work. I guess I wasn't the only one finding it to be a tough crowd, as she shyly entertained everyone despite looking uncomfortable at being the centre of attention. 

Sonya Lennon, Orla Kiely & a rep from Kenco
The new Orla Kiely travel mug with inspirational mood boards

As i left with my goody bag in tow, after receiving countless new Twitter follow offers, I stupidly offered to share my taxi with another well known TV personality, only for them to skip out on paying their share for the fare. The taxi man offered if I would like a receipt to bill RTE with. I blushed and kindly refused, and he gave me a euro off my total fare. How generous.

After a quick browse in BT2 and a pondering coffee in Bewleys, I was well glad of my Kenco umbrella which I found wrapped at the bottom of my goody bag. Only in Ireland, would you find an umbrella an acceptable parting gift. As we journeyed south on the M8, my 'Devil wears Prada' past crept back into my thoughts. Along with that scene from MTV's The Hills when Lauren and Whitney are working back stage at an event and Kelly Cutrone bluntly asks, 'But...who are you?'. I refuse to let people believe that I didn't belong there as I attempt to climb some kind of invisible social blogger ladder. It was such an important learning experience and only regret not selling myself more when faced with negativity. Literally. I eventually triumphed when educating myself about fashion, and I am just as determined about growing my blog.

The limited edition Orla Kiely travel mug will be available with promotional packs of Kenco Millicano coffee, in selected supermarkets and stores from mid August. As an avid coffee lover, I'm definitely going to make good use of mine.

This weekend I am off to Indiependence Festival, with thanks to those at Bacardi Oakheart.
 Expect lots of welly selfies!

Until next time Ducklings,
Love Vera Xx