Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Fashion Insider : Reflection!!!

'As I reflect back on 2009 and polish off the remains of the Christmas Cake I can't help feeling that amid all the uncertainty and difficult trading there were enormous positives. Will we look back at 2009 as the year that defined who we really are? Had we really lost the 'run of ourselves' and have we now streamlined our businesses ready to take on 2010?
Personally for me 2009 was a positive year, a year where I sharpened up my business. As an agent I am always one step ahead and like many boutiques I focused on the add on sales with 'little and often' being the buzz words. Fashion trends battled between the 80's and the 40's. Lady Gaga sported shoulders of American football proportions while Joan Collins had the right idea and sold all her 80's power suits for charity.
Skinny Jeans, leggings and ankle boots marched on apace with the ankle boot outselling the humble shoe. Retailers sharpened up their businesses and spent more time at home rather than away. They offered better service, better prices and good old fashioned better buying.
On a personal note I joined a pack of Fashion Bloggers who present a unique take on the world of fashion. Some commentators say we're 'pissing in the wind' but with bloggers now sitting alongside Ms Wintour (who did her own about turn with her 'reality' documentary) I can't help but say 'watch this space'

Best Regards and a Very Happy, Prosperous and above all Healthy New Year,



Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Genie Boutique

Genie Boutique is an online ladies high Fashion Boutique.
Our ethos is to be unique. We want your shopping experience with us to be exciting, as if you've just stepped into a small Boutique hidden away in some far corner of the world. "It's your little secret".
There is no limit or rule to what items we can stock. As long as it’s quirky & fashionable you should be able to find it here. We offer a personal service with speedy next day delivery and we can always be contacted by phone and e-mail.
We stock brands including Motel, Vila, Yumi, Miss Real, Mina & many more. Ever seen a friend in a dress and thought "now where did she get that dress", that’s the type of dress you will find on our website. Our clothes range from Modern, Retro to Vintage styles.
We are constantly sourcing the globe to find the latest dresses, tops, belts, jeans, trousers, accessories and costume jewellery. We particularly source products that look unusual and that are different to your typical high street wear. Many items are one off's meaning that we only have one available to sale, other are ordered only in small quantities to ensure are designs are ever changing.
We also have many items by new & up and coming Fashion Designers, making sure you can always find unique clothes and stay on track with the latest fashion trends. .
Our prices are very competitive, as we don’t have all the overheads that a regular retail shop has, we are able to keep our prices down considerable.

Brown Sugar Northern Ireland

Brown Sugar has 8 years experience of bringing beautiful designer collections to Moira, Northern Ireland!

We offer a personal service and we have regular deliveries so you are sure to find something new each time you visit us!

Parking is readily available and we also offer an alterations service.

Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-5.30pm

Stockists of Butler & Wilson, By Malene Birger, Custo, Darling, Day Birger et Mikkelsen, InWear, Joes Jeans, Juicy Couture, Nougat, Stills

The Village Centre Main Street Moira Northern Ireland BT67 0LE
Telephone 028 9261 2187

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Its all about Empowering Women
The Jeminee brand epitomises Opulence & Luxury, her passion for the fashion and couture is reflected in her work. Jeminee has been over ten years of design experience working with prestigious clients such as Selfridges, Liberty's and Fenwicks. Designing ranges of jewellery, handbags and accessories, "It's all about empowering women, when you look great you feel great!". In December 2007 her passion lead her to India, back to her roots to get inspiration for her first collection. Whilst out there she found a group of women who were in shelters as they were victims of domestic violence. The women had no education and no way of supporting themselves or their children and were forced to live in dire accomodation. Jeminee immediately decided that rather than giving them a donation she would give them the skills to work for themselves and provide for themselves and their families. She spoke to the Manufacturer and they agreed to recruit the women to work with them and make the garments. The Opulent Tahiti Collection is so special not only because they are beautiful works of art but because each garment is a piece of freedom that has been given back to these womens lives.
Working and living in China and India Jeminee is passionate about making sure her products are made ethically. The jewellery collection is made in China and Hong Kong and is compliant with ETI standards. Cleopatra Couture and Diamonds are a girls Best Friend are Jeminee's first collections. The most recent collection 'Ultimate Opulence' is out now, exquisite swarovski pieces that are timeless and will be a classic in your wardrobe for years. With her background in jewellery designing each piece has been carefully designed to suit all age groups and needs. The statement Luxe bracelets have been flying off the shelves for Christmas, so place your order early to avoid disappointment.
Jeminee Solanki

The Fashion Industry Insider by Nicky Harris

Working as a Fashion Agent and since last July as a blogger means I have one foot firmly in the next Season and the other fixed in the present

Working as a Fashion Agent and since last July as a blogger means I have one foot firmly in the next Season and the other fixed in the present. Selling Fashion a season forward means that by the time the clothes hit the shops I am already finished selling the following Seasons ranges. If that sounds confusing it’s because it is! Right now as I struggle to get all the gifts and all the last minute cooking sorted for Christmas I find myself continually looking at my calendar for January. I see already that I have a range meeting early in January in South Molton Street, London where we will preview the next Autumn Winter Falke hosiery range. It’s a meeting I can’t miss as it’s really important to go through the range and predict what the strengths and weaknesses are before I see my first customer. I also have a Yummie Tummie range meeting in London later in the month plus a Jaeger meeting. A Nicowa meeting in Munich is sandwiched somewhere in between. It’s just my luck that the meetings aren’t concurrent which means that I will be spending huge amounts of time in that horrible tunnel hanger in Heathrow and the last time I went to Munich I got lost from the Airport and arrived in a bar with thirty Germans playing poker in an Industrial estate miles from my hotel at one O’clock in the morning! I won’t survive any of the travel without a good book and my Iphone. In between all that I will be planning and sending out invitations to all my retailers for the selling season which will start in earnest at the end of January. Organising the ranges as they arrive into the showrooms, ringing customers, talking and making appointments are all part of the lead up. Doing a spot on ‘Off the Rails’ another on Tubridy and writing a daily blog are just on the side…. Phew I’m getting tired just looking at the list.

Oh by the way if any of you great Irish boutiques owners are reading this and don’t have a website I’d like to know why? Ireland is a small country going through what can only be described as a torrent of difficulties. Don’t hide your particular unique brand under a bushel. Shout it from the rooftops and put yourself out there…

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Emma Manley

Up and Coming Designer Emma Manly Tells us a little about herself

Since moving from Dublin to London via New York, I have done stints at VPL NYC and Alexander McQueen. I am now based between Dublin and London and working on my own label ‘Manley’.

I first launched Manley in 2007, beginning at Dublin's Cow’s Lane Market. Here I quickly progressed and was scouted for the launch of The Loft Market in the Powerscourt Town House. After completing my training at The Grafton Academy, I gained invaluable design and market experience in New York and London, working on Fashion Week collections for both VPL and Alexander McQueen.

The Manley line includes contemporary separates and alternative evening-wear. Manley is defined by contradiction, romanticism and the longing for individuality. I work with an unusual mix of fabrics. My current collection is a combination of silk, silk chiffon, jersey, cotton and pigskin. I feel that what I am creating is progressive and individual and I constantly strive to create pieces of timeless beauty.

I am currently working between Dublin and London, concentrating on expanding my market. I will attach links to where you can see my logo and lots of shots from my most recent shoot, which I shot independently and which was shot by Beniamino Baresse


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sands Boutique

Susie Bennett and Sinead Woodley are founders of Sands Boutique. They’re long-time friends united by a consuming passion for fashion. They created Sands Boutique for women like you, who love fashion, but who want to stand out from the crowd – without spending a fortune. Inspire your inner style goddessTheir eye for spotting beautifully wearable clothes, quality fabrics and the hottest new designers is what makes Sands Boutique truly unique. Susie’s interest in unusual, quirky fashions, high street trends and vintage continues to influence her chosen brands and designs. She also knows the secret to being an individual is not just about buying beautiful pieces, it’s about knowing how to put them together. Capture the Look! That’s why each new clothing collection is complemented by a range of exclusive new accessories. It’s also why we give you oodles of ideas on how to style your outfits so you can create a completely original look for anytime, day or not. If you like what we do, every element is here on the site, available for you to buy. So capturing the look is just a click away!

Expert advice, just for youIf you’ve never been too sure what ‘your style’ is, or you’d like some one-to-one guidance, we’d be only too delighted to help. Just email us your questions and we’ll provide you with personalised styling tips and advice to boost your confidence. We’re here to unlock the fashionista in you! Quality by designAt Sands Boutique, quality is intrinsic to everything we do. From selecting our lines to providing advice, we’re devoted to quality of service. Even your purchases come in a funky shopper bag that you can use again and again. We’d love to hear your thoughts on how we’re doing – and your views on our collections.

Fashion to fall in love with So now you know a little about us, why not get to know our brands. Prepare to fall in love.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Victoria Beckham Speaks

Net-A-Porter has launched Victoria Beckham’s denim collection with an exclusive video.

The singer turned designer features on the retailer’s homepage in video format, with the star welcoming visitors to Net-A-Porter and instructing them, with a call to action, to view her collection.

Victoria also features in a video on the Net-A-Porter digital magazine, which showcases the collection, telling users “No stylish wardrobe is complete without a great pair of jeans that you can where everywhere”.

with thannks to the online fashion agency

click here to see video

Thursday, December 10, 2009

This weeks Newsletter !!

Lots of news on Designers, Bloggers, Boutiques and all things Fashionable and Fabulous!!

Rant & Rave

We are one of Europe’s most exciting up and coming fashion labels. Launched in 2004, we wanted to offer an exciting fusion of creative designs and directional fashion.Progressive collections reflect the core Rant & Rave brand values of creativity, passion & uncompromising attention to detail with a strong Emphasis on fabric, design & fit.If you are into fashion then there is definitely something here for you. It’s every fashionistas dream come true! The most exciting news is you can now view and purchase online now!! So why not log on now and bag yourself some goodies!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Lily Allen ' Fashion Diva'

Lily Allen who is known as a famous singer and WAG announced to Sara Cox on Radio 1 that she is going to take a break from her performing and dedicate her time to pursuing a career in fashion.

Allen who recently sang at Chanel’s fashion show and she is also a spokesperson for them, has been hard at work promoting many of the top designers and luxury brands for the past several years.

Most people who have observed her support and enthusiasm for fashion have expected her to make such a move towards fashion eventually.

While some may have expected to see Allen on the runway, she instead plans to open up a boutique named Lucy in Disguise that will allow shoppers to hire clothes which have become more popular in vintage stores and among those who head online to shop.

Allen stated that the shop is aimed at letting people get their hands on clothes that are extremely nice, without breaking the bank, so that average people can still have the full experience of looking like a star.
The concept is in line with a recent trend by designers to make fashion more accessible to the common person.

The new boutique is not the only iron in the fire for Allen, during her break as she also plans to try out her acting skills and launch a new record label. Those who want to see her sing before she takes her ‘time out’ can catch her with Dizzee Rascal at the O2 Arena in London this March.

with thanks to http://catwalkfashion.co.uk

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Judy French Boutique

The Judy French Boutique opened in July 2007, and has quickly established a loyal following of devoted customers.

Judy has many years experience as a fashion designer and has put her vast knowledge to good use personally selecting a truly wonderful and eclectic collection of wearable clothing aimed at stylish women of all ages.

At Judy French we don't aim to be "cutting edge" or "on trend", we just offer a selection of gorgeous and wearable designs, which can be purchased as one off pieces or mixed with other favourites to create lovely outfits. For us comfort and style go hand in hand, our ethos is" if you feel good, you look great".

Judy only buys from small designers and ateliers, mostly family run and all with excellent and ethical production facilities. Because of this exclusivity, the production quantities are very small, so you will not find these wonderful clothes on the high street.

Most of our brands are stocked in sizes 8-18, and we are able to do personal fittings with our own seamstress, in order to get that perfect fit.

Whether you are looking for a stylish special occasion outfit that doesn't scream "special occasion", but just looks stunning or a more casual outfit you are sure to find something at this wonderful gem of a boutique.

Many of our customers return again and again and comment that our clothes are very fairly priced and offer great value for money.

Do come and have a browse - Judy, Julie and Suzie look forward to welcoming you.


3 The Green
TN16 1AS, UK

T: 01959 562 575

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sales Shopping The low-down!

It’s that time if the year again – in fact it’s actually a month earlier than it used to be but you don’t hear me complaining! The Sales have started and you will see a treacle of reductions in the coming weeks as more and more shops start to follow suit! So faced with rails of choices and shopping centres full of potential mistakes how can we reduce the waste and increase the taste? How do we know when a bargain is really a bargain?
The first and most important rule (which in my opinion should be in the shopping rule book for women – (yes ladies I think there should be rule book) is that a bargain is only a bargain if you actually wear it! Sounds ridiculously like common sense yet open the doors of our over crammed wardrobes and you will quickly find out what I mean. The floral cardi that would go with the perfect pencil skirt you don’t yet have, the sky high stilettos that Kate Moss rocked down the red carpet have yet to be rocked outside your front door due to your fear of heights or remember those black leggings? The two pairs you bought to go with your new stylish casual winter ensembles only to pile them into an already overcrowded mixed up jumble of mistakes. Am I being harsh? Perhaps. But at least this way we have some semblance of the predicament our wardrobe may find itself in if we let ourselves lose before reading some top Style Fish Sales Tips!
When you’re braving the shops think about it logically. What were you looking for before the sales? What did you try on in November, love and didn’t buy because it was too expensive. This is always a good starting point. Its one of the biggest mistakes all women make! If it’s reduced by a huge amount we somehow feel an overwhelming allegiance to the Item purely based on the fact we have found it amongst the mounds of clothes and hordes of shoppers. It’s almost as if it is our job to love it. Well, if you liked it in November and you still like it now – it will be a good purchase.
If you do find something you truly love only to find it’s not left in your size, don’t fret. It wasn’t meant to be. In fashion just like in life – something’s are better left to chance! Unless it is easy to alter and you know you won’t just leave it hanging in your wardrobe, leave it back. In my experience anything we buy with the intention of altering, never sees the light of day again and if we do bring it to the tailor more often than not, the rejigged version is never like it was on the mannequin – so think twice. If it doesn’t fit, move on and find something that does! It’s like trying to change a man – it just can’t be done and usually isn’t worth the effort.
Really start to think about the reasons we buy our clothes. We buy them because we love them! They make us feel good and allow us to tell a little part of ourselves to the world – they allow us to express ourselves and we think and expect each and every item we buy to fulfil its duty no matter how much it cost. And rightly so or why buy it! Why then does this part tend to go flying out the window at the sight of a big red tag with the magic words ‘marked down’ blazoned across it? When we start buying clothes because they are cheap – we need to step away from the counter and start evaluating our wardrobes…closely.
We have all made mistakes, we have all made impulse purchases, it is sometimes part of the fun but when our wardrobes are ruled by a red tags rather than by a real reason, we need to stop! It’s what became much too common place before the dreaded ‘R’ word became came to the fore. So to make the sales really working for you, start looking at your basics – your Jeans, your day dresses, your coats, your good boots etc. Sometimes if we are not happy with this section of our wardrobe, the sales can be a good opportunity to fine tune these more expensive Items. It’s only when we have this right that we can comfortably have fun with the ‘fun’ element of the sales – buying something we wouldn’t normally touch, just because it is marked down!
We all need our wardrobes to start working harder than ever before and to see this happening; we too need to be part of that process to really see the results!
Julie cobb – http://www.stylefish.ie/

Brand Alley Releases Viral Video

The Boutique Buzz

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Kate Fearnely wins Cosmo Award

Kate Fearnley Cosmopolitan Award winner

TEESSIDE fashion designer rubbed shoulders with the stars as she was named Ultimate Young Fashion Entrepreneur by a top women’s magazine.

Kate Fearnley, from Saltburn, was among the Cosmopolitan Ultimate Women of the Year award winners, who also included X Factor’s Dannii Minogue and Girls Aloud’s Kimberley Walsh. Kate Fearnley and Zoe Salmon

The 33-year-old, who runs a boutique on Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough, has a growing reputation as a designer and her clothes have been worn by stars including X Factor winner Alexandra Burke and model Katie Price, aka Jordan.

She was presented with her award at a glittering ceremony in London by TV presenter Zoe Salmon, who also wears Kate’s designs.

After an evening celebrating with stars, including host Fearne Cotton, Denise Van Outen and Holly Willoughby, Kate spent the next day in a photo shoot for Cosmopolitan magazine.

She also went to 10 Downing Street where she had tea with Prime Minister’s wife Sarah Brown, one of the judges.

Kate said: “It was incredible, and there were so many inspiring people who achieved a lot - such as working in Congo and overcoming a brain tumour - it made me feel ‘what the hell am I doing here?’

“Zoe Salmon gave me my award which was really nice considering I’ve made her a lot in the last year.

“I met Dannii Minogue, which was incredible, and Fearne Cotton. It was a really relaxed atmosphere and everyone was really friendly.”

Kate was awarded a trophy and made many contacts on the night.

She said she hoped her success would further increase the profile of her business. “I hope it gives us a lot of opportunities which we didn’t have before,” she said.

X Factor judge Dannii was named Ultimate TV Personality of the Year, Holly Willoughby was named Ultimate TV Presenter and Kimberley Walsh was voted Ultimate Woman’s Woman.

There were also a number of “real life” winners selected from hundreds of nominations.

Source: www.gazettelive.co.uk

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ooh La La! British Women & French Chic?!

Why is it that French women can get pool side perfection & lunchtime leisurewear so right while sometimes it feels like no matter how hard we try, instead of Oh La La, it’s more like Ooh so utterly wrong!
Having sauntered down the streets of Paris not to long ago, it utterly amazes me how simplicity in Fashion seems to have been overlooked so much in so many other European Countries. That City Chic, simple basics, classic cuts and elegant lines that looks so effortless just seems to be the epitome of cool yet over the pond we struggle, mostly trying to get layering, colour blocking, metallics and jeggings into an art form all the while forgetting completely it seems where we need to start. That is building our confidence in the basics before we attempt to work a Kate Mossesque ensemble.
It’s all about the basics and believe it or not it’s about understanding more what you really need in your wardrobe, getting the basics right and building around these. So what are the basics? They are the items that can be used to mix and match with everything else, the Items you can update each season with new accessories, scarves etc – the great pair of Jeans, the Fab little Black Dress, The crisp white shirt, the neutral cardis, good leather boots, Fab Coat. Get these right and the ‘Nothing to wear’ Scenario will become a lot less on a Saturday morning as you rush out the door to meet your girlfriends for lunch. It may be hard to believe but these Items will become your Fashion Saviour, giving you so much more in terms of choice and Ideas. If we have 20 tops we love but nothing to base them around that’s how we all start to lose French Chic and just become frustrated!
It struck me as I wandered through French streets greeted by the Fabulous French; it’s all about getting French Chic down! Fashion starts with getting the simple things right. End of. It’s no coincidence that half the beauty brands that spring to mind are French; L’Oreal, Givenchy, LancĂ´me & Chanel and its no coincidence that after a trip to the wonderful Paris we come home feeling like freshly washed, simple hair styles are good news, that a fabulous pair of simple black trousers with a great shape can be worn with utter style & panache and that neck scarves are the way forward to update your white shirt! Go forth and copy the French ladies!
Article by Julie Cobb http://www.stylefish.ie/