Welcome to the House of Vans... VansX Eley Kishimoto Launch Party

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Aside from my trusty flatforms for nights out I rarely wear heels, being on my feet all the time at work, living in London and being 5'9 (and a half, that half is very important!) all contribute to why I'm such a lover of flats! Trainers are a go-to for me, be it my trusty Nike Airs, my slip-ons, or a good ol' pair of Vans, I'm a sucker for comfort. So you can imagine my excitement when an email landed in my inbox from the lovely folks at Access All ASOS inviting me along to the launch party of the Vans X Eley Kishimoto collection. 

For those of you not in the know Eley Kishimoto a husband wife design duo who are well known as masters of print and as a girl who loves an out-there print, I've long admired their work, sadly it's just often been a little out of my reach... Till now that is! The Living Art collection is a print lovers dream, with trainers, shirts, tees and even bucket hats, for those who partial to a wee hat.

Mark Eley and Wakako Kishimoto, husband and wife design duo, founded Eley Kishimoto together in 1992 living by the maxim Print the World. Working alongside Vans’ design team, Eley Kishimoto applied two of their archive designs across the collection and introduces three exclusive prints, designed specially for Vans.   

Trainer lusting aside a few weeks ago my little brother Rowen and I headed along to The House of Vans, just by Waterloo station for the Living Art collection launch party. I'm so glad to have now discovered The House of Vans as a concept is incredible, it's a space for art, music, film and skating/BMXing; and it's right on my doorstep, so I'm keeping my eye on events and exhibitions there from now on! (I could easily a right a whole post dedicated to The House of Vans itself, which is likely once I've headed back there to check it out again and next time grab a bite to eat, I hear the cafe there is pretty great!) The space is perfect for a launch party the different tunnels create a really cool atmosphere, it was definitely one of my first tastes of a distinctly 'London' night out, there were lots of performances too representing some of the best of London's music scene. My little brother was gutted that we left early and missed JME and Ghetts (I hadn't heard of either of them, but he was devastated! Whoops!)

Tee- Primark
Skirt- Abandon Ship Apparel (no longer available.)
Old Skool Vans*
Dinosaur clutch- TheWhitePepper

 I've got my eye on the beaut flash print long sleeved shirt, especially as it's work suitable, yay for monochrome! ASOS have 5 of the trainer styles available online and I'm struggling to decide which are my favourites, I'm between the SK8-Hi's in Flash print or the Plimsoles in the Cracked Floral print... so many awesome designs!

The blow up wobbly printed things (technical term there...) were so cool, far too many photo opps'!
Thanks of course to the lovely folk from ASOS for inviting me along and everyone at The House of Vans, we had an amazing night and I'll definitely be back again soon, my little brother is a bmx/skateboarding fiend and was in his element; cool big sister points right there ;)

Sibling selfie!

Not gonna' lie was awfy' tempted to take a balloon home!

Apologies for the radio silence the past week or two, we didn't have internet in the flat for a few weeks (it felt like the dark ages...) so posting has proven a little problematic! And I've just got back from Gentlemen of the Road; Aviemore Stopover, but more on that later... Internet is fixed now so normal posting will finally resume, yay!

If you fancy having a trawl through all The Living Art Vans X Eley Kishimoto collection has to offer check it out here on the Vans website or for ASOS fiends such as myself right here.

"You smell nice" My Gorilla Perfume Collection

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

It's always a little weird/awkward/nice when someone says this to you, it all depends of course on who the person is, a stranger, date or friend, who makes all the difference. That being said using so many Lush products and perfumes means it's a phrase I hear an awful lot. And gathering up my Gorilla Perfume stash today to take pictures for this post I guess it's nice that people notice when you do in fact 'smell nice'.

For those of your unaware Gorilla Perfume is an off shoot of Lush if you like, responsible for creating the unique collection of fragrances available at Lush stores worldwide as well as a number of B-Sides and rare exclusives available exclusively at the Gorilla Perfume Gallery in Islington and the new flagship Lush store on Oxford Street. I'm somewhat of a perfume fiend, I wasn't before I started using Lush fragrances, I never really bought into the whole Lacoste 'Touch of Pink' fad when I was a teenager, it always seemed far too expensive for something that smelt so 'samey'.

Fast forward a few years to my first experiences with Gorilla perfumes, the first I ever bought from my local store was actually a solid Vanillary which I sadly lost; but it hooked me, though I went 'off' that fragrance for a while, it was my first foray into Gorilla Perfume and I've never looked back.

Some might say I have a bit of a problem, especially as I'm already debating which scents to add to my collection next. Some are as you can see a little more 'worn around the edges' than others, the ones I've chucked in handbags for top-ups on the go. And though I don't wear them equally, I do have my favourites, each fragrance has its own memories attached to it. Deciding on a favourite is pretty much impossible, as mood, season and setting can all influence how we feel about fragrance, so instead I'm going to write a little bit about a few perfumes and the times or memories they remind me of, I've taken a few pictures of the perfumes in 'collections' if you will, gone but not forgotten fragrances, classics and exclusives.

Gorilla Perfume Classics; all of these fragrances are available at your local Lush store, albeit in slightly different packaging, as I have a few older bottles.
I guess when looking at the perfumes available in all Lush stores, the one that sticks out to me in terms of sparking a memory is Vanillary. It never fails to remind me of an impromptu, wine fuelled night out I had with some of my closest friends last summer. My friend Jess had a bottle of Vanillary in her bag and we all doused ourselves with it ready to hit the dance floor after heading out for dinner. None of us were dressed to head out clubbing, as it had been a pretty casual dinner, but ended up being one of the funniest nights out and resulted in one of the worst hangovers ever. Now every time I wear Vanillary it makes me smile thinking of us cutting up the dance floor in Birkenstocks and 'Amish' get-ups, the club can't even handle us...

Taking your fancy? Sadly if you want to get your mitts on any of these
beauties you'll need to head to the Gorilla Perfume Gallery in Islington
or Lush Oxford Street (some are available at www.lush.co.uk too.)
1000 Kisses Deep
If I had to choose an all time favourite Gorilla Perfume though I'd struggle I think it'd have to be 1000 Kisses Deep, I love how sherbetty and sweet it is, it's light yet has a depth to it that I really love. I bought my first bottle of it the day before my first job interview in London, and though I didn't get that job and lost that bottle, I bought another bottle the day after my first-round job interview for my job that I have now. I attach such positive memories to 1000 Kisses Deep, of change and the unknown of courage and excitement.

Oddly when Flower's Barrow was available in Lush stores as part of Gorilla Perfume Volume 2 I didn't really take to it, my Mum loves Flower's Barrow so when I wear it now really reminds me of her. It shares its fragrance with Blousey shampoo, which I often use as it's super nourishing on my colour treated hair, and every time I washed my hair using it I'd find my self catching whiffs of it when my hair moved and loving the fragrance. I was further convinced to give Flower's Barrow a go after my friend Monique visited me in London last month, she bought a bottle at Lush Oxford Street and I fell in love with the fragrance, so much so I had to buy my own bottle yesterday. 

Blast from the past, huh? Orange Blossom is sadly no longer available
however a number of similarly scented products are available.
Orange Blossom
Orange Blossom was one of my first Gorilla Perfume loves, I don't wear it a huge amount, but for me it's a nostalgic one as sophisticated and intriguing and was one of the first more 'grown up' fragrances I tried and liked. Before I would have stuck to 'safe' traditional scents and cloyingly sweet scents. And though it's no longer available there are a few products very reminiscent of it, I'm looking at you Happy Happy Joy Joy!, Zest, Sea Spray and the Orange Blossom bath oil (an Oxford St exclusive.)

Forum and Lush Kitchen exclusives, oh my!
(The little tin with the rubbed off label is a solid Comforter fragrance, for anyone wondering.)
Snow Fairy
I couldn't include Snow Fairy perfume and not write a memory about it, it's the biggie for many Lush fans, the intro, the deal-breaker and what brings so many people to Lush at Christmas. Snow Fairy reminds me of my first Lush Christmas, the anticipation, the training, the busyness and the frantic energy in store. I loved it and Snow Fairy was my go-to, now I'm not as much of a Snow Fairy to be honest, I still like it but I prefer other more complex scents now too. That being said my Snow Fairy perfume is so nostalgic for me and it also reminds me of my 19 year old brother, who is 6ft3, built like a house and loves BMXing and rugby, but also loves Snow Fairy shower gel. When I've worn this perfume I've often had friends and strangers smelling me in the street and remarking with excitement: "you smell like sweets!" 

So there we have it a bit of a nosey into my Gorilla Perfume collection and a few glimpses into the memories I've attached to a few of my favourites. I'd love to find out what your favourite Gorilla Perfume fragrance is if you have one? And if you have any memories you instantly think of when you wear a certain perfume? If you're intrigued by Gorilla Perfume why not check out this article on the Lush website, it's well worth a read.

Till next time lovelies.

Sounds of Summer

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

I've got a confession to make and those of you who know me personally won't be surprised, my name is Iona and I am addicted to Spotify. Yup. My premium subscription is something I simply couldn't part with, music is so important to me and I love having so much music at my fingertips.

I've put together a wee playlist of chilled summery (ish, not all are summery) songs I can't stop listening to at the moment. Some are long time favourites and others I've only discovered recently. Maybe I'll pop up a Summery chart inspired playlist next week of the hits I'm addicted to this summer; yup Cheerleader will obviously feature!

If you only listen to a couple of songs from the playlist I urge that you give Prides- The Kite String and the Anchor Rope and Austra- Home a listen.

Anyways I'm off for a wander around Camden, it is my day off after all might as well enjoy it!

7 Things I Didn't Realise I'd Love About Living in London

Sunday, 5 July 2015

It's been sub-tropical here in London the past week, 35 degrees; safe to say there's some interesting scents on the tube. We all complain about the weather, be it hot or cold, but it has been scorching the past few days, thank the lord for air conditioning eh?! All the same it's been so nice to actually have a Summer and enjoy it a bit, since moving to London I've found I make much more effort to spend time outside, city living and all that. Whether I'm catching some rays by Southbank or reading my book in the park, there are some definite advantages to living in London I'd not even thought about before I moved. So here's a list of 7 things I didn't realise I'd love so much about living in London.

I love South Bank so much...
1. Reading books. My daily tube journeys provide the perfect opportunity to read, it's something I had to neglect whilst at uni but it's so nice to finally read again! (I'm almost finished Yes Please! by Amy Poehler and it is hilarious.)

2. Feeling a lot more anonymous. Living in a fairly small city in Scotland before I was often recognised as that girl with the blue hair... And even though I don't see loads of mermaid haired lovelies in London, it's quite nice to wander and not bump into hundreds of people you know everyday.

3. That there are friendly people in London. This may come as a surprise to many, so many people always say to me, people aren't as nice in London, but I meet so many lovely friendly people everyday. A favourite moment was when a lady came up to me in the park to tell me her little boy (who looked about 5) had told her I was the prettiest lady he'd ever seen and that he loved my hair. It was so cute, but she said she thought I should know, so sweet.

4. Choices. I'm talking variety, choices of where to drink, where to eat, where to shop; I love that in London there's something for everyone. And I'm enjoying making my way around little by little and finding all the different places.

5. The weather. I mean 35 degrees, we can complain and all, but it was hotter than Egypt and Florida in London on Wednesday, that's insane and amazing, and I loved it- mainly because it was my day off and I sat in the park reading my book, but still.

6. Transport. I was back in Scotland last week, and boy did it hit me just how good transport in London is, I mean come on it might be as hot as the Sahara desert on the tube, but it's fast and easy! And the buses and Overground are good, and Ubers ain't so bad either for when you're ballin', as long as it's not a Surged fare... :/ No fun!

7. Feeling like I've found 'my place'. It sounds so cheesy and corny, but it's true. I can't believe how fast I've settled, and feeling like this is where I'm supposed to be, I love where I live and where I work, I've got some friends and generally things are going well. Hey I even paid my first instalment into my pension and my first payment of my student loan; I'm growing up!

Brixton Village, honestly it's the cutest.
I'd love to hear of any things you love about the place you live? Especially if you recently moved there and didn't realise you'd like it so much! Till next time lovelies.