Yucky Duck Fashion

Yucky Duck Fashion

Monday, 27 January 2014

Afternoon Tea on the Lee & #LFW news

I've wanted to go for afternoon tea now for sometime and what better excuse then to head to Castlemartyr Resort for my birthday last weekend. Castlemartyr is one of my favourite hotels, and is a relaxing solace found just off the beaten track on the main Cork - Waterford road. Truly deserving of it's five star distinction, we received complimentary bubbly to celebrate the very important milestone of me gracing you all with my presence a mere 26 years previous. Personally this probably should had been renamed 'Hangover Tea' for the day, as the breakfast brew, mixed sandwiches and sweet cake treats soaked up all the potent liquid badness from the night before. Tip: if you're a fussy eater make sure you enquire about each item before you order so you can enjoy multiples of one instead of another (Guinness cake, apricot slice and the kiwi shot glass wasn't to my taste). The beautiful drawing room provided relaxing surroundings with more than accommodating staff to suit.

Whilst the dress attire was mostly mixed (much to my disappointment), I previously decided on smart-casual for the day with my gold shorts, and a peter pan blouse peaking out from my JW Anderson body-warmer top. And how it was much needed that day outside! Although the print resembles my Dad's paisley pyjamas, I had previously immediately regretted not purchasing the Northern Irish designer's piece first time and luckily thanks to eBay picked it up this winter for a fraction of the cost. And according to the constant emails from Boohoo.com 'quilting' is going to be big this season coming. It was also the first outing of my Charlotte Olympia Kitty pumps which I purchased before Christmas. I've only really been obsessed about two items in my life; these pumps and the Lulu Guinness Lips clutch and I am delighted that I now have both items to help 'complete' my wardrobe (a task that is never-ending). Shop these very similar kitty flats for only €13 here. My ladder resistant Joanne Hynes X Pretty Polly tights and radio clutch kept me both cosy, practical and not over-kill.

Finally, I announced earlier on my Facebook page that I received a really exciting email a few weeks back from the PR company of an internationally known designer that will be showcasing their new AW14 collection at London Fashion Week next month. Not only were they scouting for street-style stars for the brand's 'look', but I also get to attend the show itself in Somerset. The ironic thing is, a few weeks previous I had put up this picture on my Facebook page wishing to be apart of their 'brownie club'.

Pic: FashionistaBarbieUK.com

YES! I am going to be apart of Orla Kiely's SS14 fashion week 'troop' in three weeks time! I am so excited to be apart of the team along with other bloggers and get to attend her coveted show too (I think I even get a seat and won't be lurking at the back in the shadows). I am so delighted to be working with such an iconic IRISH designer and doing my bit to help Irish fashion dominate worldwide press. I absolutely love Orla's designs and it's such a bonus to be wearing a designer I am so passionate about.

I can't wait to share more with all of you once everything is confirmed,
Until next time Ducklings,
Love Vera Xx

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Happy 1st Birthday Yucky Duck

Last week my little corner of the Internet turned one year old, and what a year it has been! This time last year I was miserable working in Brown Thomas, stuck in a rut at home and desperate for a new challenge and adventure. Fast forward twelve months and I've just moved to Kilkenny city for work as an Occupational Therapist, a career I had stalled due to pursuing other projects since I graduated in 2012. I didn't expect anything to come about since writing my first post, so when I think of the opportunities and rewards it has given me in 2013 it brings nothing but joy to my heart. Even when I wrote about blogger's block last September (read about it here) due to my own personal and financially difficulties I was experiencing, the overwhelming positive reaction from friends and strangers encouraged me to explore other alternatives to continue my writing about my own personal journey in fashion.

There has been so many highlights from 2013, from my style appearing in magazines, being interviewed for national press, invitations to events, photo shoots, collaborations and being sent pieces from Irish designers collections. Yes last year subsquently turned out to be truely amazing that it is so intimidating how 2014 could ever top it. I had planned to have a blog party but decided instead to have a quiet affair with a close friend to reminisce on the events of the year gone past.

After much stalking of this AW13 House of Holland maxi dress on ASOS (and much dislike and disapproval from work colleagues) I finally purchased it for the night in question. As some who has never smoked in my life, getting a cigarette burn in the jersey fabric would have been irony overload but luckily it survived our night in The Secret Garden Cork. The dress is part of Holland's 'Rave Nana' 2013 collection, featuring heavily printed and embellished knits and dresses. He has become one of my new favourite quirky designers and I already have an eye on some of his forthcoming SS14 collection.

I have been saying a lot of thank you's in my previous posts but once again I would like to thank all of you, my ducklings, for your ongoing following and support. Without you, I would have stopped blogging a few months back and missed out on all the opportunities that came about since. I would just like to end this post by sharing my blog highlights from 2013. Here's to many more in 2014!

1. First national press feature in Xpose Magazine, June 2013 showcasing summer fashion in the city, shot down Carey's Lane, Cork. Read about it here.

2. First collaboration with Irish designer Samantha Kennedy of 'Molly Loves Bowie'. I had alot of fun prancing around in her fairytale tulle and bow top combo. Not only did I gain a fashion label obsession but a new close fashion friend also. Read about it here.

3. Meeting Irish design legend; Orla Kiely. She was just so friendly and we discussed everything from fashion to my first name and how it reminded her of her print idol Vera Neumann. It was a surreal and sincere conversation, and one I'll never forget. Starstuck. Read about it here.

3. Collaboration with British acessory idol; Lulu Guinness. She saw I was a big fan and sent me this green eye bag. I've since appeared on her blog on numerous occasions. We're tight.
Read about it here.

 5. Wearing Colin Horgan's dress to Cork Fashion Week 2013. This guy is going to be huge, and I feel honoured I was first to be sent and sunsquently wear one of his pieces. Move over JW Anderson. Read about it here.

 How could anything top these highlights?
Until next time Ducklings,
Love Vera Xx

Monday, 20 January 2014

From Hair to Herbal - Heat Magazine Special

Those of you who have been following my blog over the past couple of months you will be completely aware of my trips to London for Herbal Essences last month. I have, however, been only in contact with the Irish Herbal office recently preparing to publicise it to Irish press, leading the way to new readers interested in discovering something that will be then old news to you guys. As incredible as it was, I don't intend on flogging a dead horse (for better words) so this will be my third and final post about that whole experience. If you haven't read them already, you can catch up on the previous two posts on meeting Nicole Scherzinger, and the #ScherzingHair wrap party here and here.

I had intended to writing this post last month when the issue of Heat Magazine was first published, but instead of writing another 'shoot post', I decided last week to blog about my hair journey, from tot to tomboy teen, and kidulthood to ladyland (I try). I get asked often how do I get my hair to be so thick and subsequently super healthy, but today I prove that good hair genes is fundamentally my biggest hair-care secret. As embarrassing as some of these photos are, I am quite accepting that this was me then and each photo represents my growth not only as a person and also contributes to the establishment of who I am now. So enjoy my horror picture story, from yucky duck teen to hair queen!

Born with a full head of hair which was so long I had curls at the back of my head down my neck (and plenty of heartburn for my poor expecting Mum!)

Age 2 with a thick curly bob styled by my Dad and a pair of kitchen scissors.

Long light brown locks which I myself liked to cut my own layers into. A plastic hairband kept my unintentional rockabilly fringing in place for my 7th Birthday.

A clear disinterest in hair hygiene at age 13 with a greasy slicked back ponytail back in 2001.

This is why persons with thick hair should not have an unlayered bob. Cut for practicality for sport, easy maintenance and quick blow-drying at aged 15. Note the unflattering posture too.
Modelling for the Coca Cola Form & Fusion Design Awards back in Transition Year. Our costume was based on 'Medusa' and I had pipe-cleaners plaited into my hair.

Mid length up-style, post Leaving Cert for my debs back in 2006.

Single and ready to mingle a year later with a dodgey full fringe and corkscrew curls and plenty of boob.

Goodbye full, hello uneven side parting a year later in 2008.

Channeling Lana Del Rey back in 2011 with a few halo highlights.

First time dye job back in 2010 - blonde balyage transformed my hair to a more trendy boho (couldn't be arsed brushing) hair look. My Mum hadn't allowed me to dye it until then. It was kinda a big deal. This was the picture I submitted to Herbal Essences taken back in August 2013 which subsequently lead to.......

December 2013 - Goodbye balyage, hello award winning chocolate hair! Heat Magazine feature!

January 2014 - Healthy, shiny and in the best condition it's ever been.

My phone has gone into overload dealing with press, media and other bloggers mentions today. I have spent most of the afternoon doing interviews with various national radio and newspaper agencies which I will link on my page when released. People often ask me the reason for the name 'Yucky Duck' and presume that it is due to a physical transformation from my teens through to who I am now and you wouldn't be blamed for mistaking that resason based on the forementioned photos. However,Yucky Duck is a mainly a positive spin on a personal journey from both inside and out and one that has truely come full circle since winning the Herbal Essence competition. So it is due to that fact that Herbal Essences suggest that I now have decided to rebrand my blog as 'Yummy Duck'.

Joke! There's always room for improvement!

Thank you to everyone for their support since I started this blog 12 months ago. And of course I couldn't have won the Herbal Essences prize without your votes and encouragement.
I am forever grateful for your following, interest and feedback.

Let me know if you enjoyed this embarrasing flashback post,
Until next time Ducklings,
Love Vera Xx

Monday, 13 January 2014

Call me Queen B

It's nearly impossible to open a magazine in the month of January without the words gym/health/fitness/diet/ or weight loss sprawled across it's pages guilting us all from the post-Christmas belly splurge we all indulged in. Even the high end magazines, much to my disappointment join in the health kick bandwagon except of course pushing to be head to toe in Stella McCarthy for Adidas instead of necessarily performance dressing typical your body's needs and exercise. So what better month to review a product that fits in with the month's fad fitness trends.
When you get sent anything by a company, it's tempting to re-gurge the press release when you end up enjoying a product. Instead I'm just going to give you the practical reasons why I LOVED these 'Lizzie' leggings by Cork company Queen B Athletics. Figure flattering (they give great shape to your legs), stretchy and extremely comfortable, they made my first jog of a few lengths of Inch beach down in east Cork last weekend more tolerable even if it was subsequently my fitness which failed me in the end! The super thick band, sits on your hip bone without letting that Christmas muffin spilling out over the sides and the moisture management feature meant my rear dried quickly even after I thought it was a good idea to sit on the wet Winter sand. No kidney infection here!
Who says you can't be stylish in sweats? Up top, I put my Kooples skullhead sweater (€62.50) to the test, even if it wasn't from their sports range. Straight in the washing machine it went after! I bought these Nike Air Relentless 3 in Champions Sports before Christmas. They provided enough adequate support for me but I do suggest a high tech test for serious running shoppers. Finally, this leather collar by Irish design duo Lennon - Courtney made this look more street style ready. I am a big fan of the presenters-turned-designers latest efforts and you can shop their A/W13 sale pieces here.
So what's the verdict? These stylish leggings get the thumbs up and if they're good enough for international hurdler Derval O'Rourke, they're good enough for me! Price-wise they are more expensive than mega-international companies 'Adidas' or 'Nike' but at €54 you're not only supporting Irish design but production too. Win-win all round!
Did you enjoy this kind of post?
Let me know what you think of the fitness craze & gym gear you recommend in purchasing!
Until next time Ducklings,
Love Vera Xx

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Just went down to London town...

This month is a mark of change and celebration. This weekend I make the move to Kilkenny to pursue my degree qualification. The dirth in jobs in this sector has been something you've listened to me moan about in the past, and staying in Cork was no longer an option but I'm excited to start my career in such a beautiful city. As well as that I am planning to explore the fashion circle of the county, and based on my most recent visit, I was really impressed by the style of the young women of the marble city. Don't get me wrong, as an avid Cork GAA supporter, I'm sure I will only be delighted to frequent the journey home especially at the start, but I do hope to meet like-minded (fashion obsessed) people and make it a home anyway from home amidst the impending slagging.

I am in love with the colour of these photos, and I was spoilt for choice of location on my most recent visit to Shoreditch for Herbal Essences last month. Once a die-hard Pokemon fan, the rich colours of this professionally graffitid area was a blogger's photo-shoot dream. I have worn to death these wax effect jeans from IClothing and hope to pick up a second pair when they restock, as well as my River Island western studded boots from AW12. I purchased this blue bomber coat from Topshop (shop the shorter version here) and picked up this amazing chunky knit beanie from Warehouse @ ASOS after trawling through many menswear departments in town.

I have planned a series of posts to celebrate my blog birthday as well as other suprises I will announce next week. Make sure you check back to see my hair-care / Heat Magazine special post as it will be live this weekend. On a final note, how impressive is this rat picture on the side of a random building in Shoreditch? The area was a wash with artwork as we strolled down to browse the vintage shops of Brick Lane for hours. I even picked up a vintage kilt while I was there for cheap as chips.

Please note I failed to notice Pikachu's controversial exposure until after I had finished editing this post. If you haven't seen it, look back above! My eyes are scarred! 

Happy hump day!
Until next time Ducklings,
Love Vera Xx