Saturday, September 23, 2017

Trend Report: Malan Breton SS18 //

Dear Readers,

There isn't a catwalk show I look forward to more than the Malan Breton show. The Taiwanese-born American designer established his eponymous brand back in 2005, and since then has created collections which challenge the forms of womenswear and menswear.

Midnight Blue Ruffle Dress

This season is inspired by a mythological take on the supernatural. This strong collection builds on this Victorian supernatural theme, by playing with textured fabrics, accent pastel colours and some show-stopping sparkle. 

Breton knows how to power-dress a woman. He works continually to exhibit the female frame with intricate tailoring, tie-waist trench coats, double-breasted blazers and figure hugging PVC pieces. 

The most show-stopping pieces featured a co-ord PVC ensemble that had a cream bustier and a long mustard coloured fishtail skirt which grazed the floor. This piece was very reflective of Breton's initial mystical theme.

It is to be noted that most of the PVC pieces use layering to create the illusion of scales or feathers on the garment.

Layered PVC
The other head turning garments were the slinky black, silver and grey dresses which oozed sex appeal. Breton knows how to use these flamboyant fabrics sparingly to create a tasteful collection. He also experiments with organza ruffles and fine feathers to simulate the plumage of a bird.

Malan Breton FROW: Left to right: Shanie Ryan,  Unknown, Darby Ward, Taylor Ward, Unknown, Kimberly Garner
The menswear is experimental with oversized PVC double-breasted jackets and wide leg smart trousers, which are made playful by their floral prints. Breton contrasts the feminine floral print with the standout style of the rubber look jackets, to revive the traditional nature of the garments and blur the lines of the collection seamlessly from womenswear to menswear. His designs always take classic shapes and cuts, and works on reinventing them for a more modern look.

Blazer blouses are the perfect blend of smart and sexy. Paired with flared PVC trousers, this look screams confidence.

Malan Breton
Stay Sweet,

Alice xx


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Trend or Trash? Culotte Jeans //

Dear Readers,

Denim has been at the forefront of the Spring/Summer trends throughout this year, and it doesn't look as if that is changing any time soon in readiness for Autumn/Winter.

Photo: Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest

The denim culotte burst on to the scene in the early months of this year and has been worn in so many ways by different famous faces, from boho-queen Vanessa Hudgens to Leandra Medine of Man Repeller.

Trend or Trash? TREND
Keep it tailored and simple on top when you can - A colourful knit, bodysuit, tight blouse or a floaty crop top for warmer days Photo: Pinterest

Denim culottes are a flirty take on a regular jean, with the movement of a long skirt and the practicality of a trouser. I definitely think denim culottes are Trend rather than Trash, but it is a style which needs to be catered to your figure. 

Shorter women should opt for a simple culotte style that doesn't affect the hem too much. This will stop the piece from cutting off the leg and making you appear shorter. Also heels are a must when possible, as it will further elongate the leg and create the illusion of height.

Taller women should opt for styles which play with the hem and draw attention toward the feet. Horizontal dye effects can help to shorten the leg too if you are aiming to look more petite. Loafers and slides are the perfect footwear addition to this look.

 Style a darker denim culotte with a pastel t-shirt to break up the heaviness of the look. 
Photo: Pinterest
Play with the layering trend by adding an oversized cardigan, duster or slim-line coat. Photo: Pinterest
Keep things minimalistic with monochrome to create an effortless chic look.

Photo: Pinterest

Two-in-One trend: Style your denim culottes with a basic striped t-shirt or jumper. Photo: Pinterest

Denim doesn't have to be blue. Take the trend to the next level by sporting a colourful pair like these red denim culottes.Photo: Pinterest

Pair your culottes with a statement autumnal colour knitted piece like this mustard one.Photo: Pinterest

Hems have become all the rage with regular denim in recent months, so why not experiment with statement hem culottes.
Photo: Pinterest

 Belted culottes are a great way to draw attention to the waist and accentuate your frame. Photo: Pinterest

Split flares are bang on trend and are so fun to wear on a night out. Sport yours with a pair of statement heels for maximum impact. Photo: Pinterest

So will you rock a pair of denim culottes this Autumn/Winter?

Stay Sweet,

Alice xx


Thursday, September 07, 2017

10 Autumnal Floral Arrangements You Need In Your Home //

Dear Readers,

As we are now transitioning into the Autumn season, the home becomes the hub of our social activities, as well as our down time again. 

Flowers are the perfect way to transition your home without having to spend a lot of money or having to commit too much to the season. You also have the flexibility to play with the serotinal colour palettes and the vessels they are displayed in.

Below are 10 of my favourite floral arrangements to inspire your next bouquet purchase.

Photo: WeHeartIt
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In partnership with Bloom & Wild, you can enjoy 20% OFF your floral purchase, just by following the link here.

Be sure to follow Bloom & Wild and tag your bouquet on Instagram.

Stay Sweet,

Alice xx

Tuesday, September 05, 2017


Dear Readers,

Yesterday, I publicly let my followers know that on Saturday evening (2nd September) my Instagram account had been hacked and deleted. This was a global hack, with several million accounts being disabled for 'violating terms'. These hacked accounts are said to have been sold on the dark web, with the users details up for sale. Reassuring huh?

I thought it was important to discuss my experience and everything that has happened in the last 48 hours. 

On the afternoon prior to the hack, I posted an image on my Instagram account, as normal. I noticed that my interactions were slow and I was getting only a fraction of the likes I usually get. I also noticed that my average interactions on my Instagram story had plummeted. I couldn't quite work out why this was happening?

I also had the terms and conditions agreement pop up on my screen, notifying me that the small print had changed and that I needed to review it and confirm the changes. I proceeded to confirm this action, as it did not let me have access to my main feed otherwise. It also requested that I ensure my two-factor authentication was activated so I had to accept that my email address and phone number was correct. I confirmed these were both correct and proceeded to use Instagram normally until I went to bed.

I woke up on the Sunday (3rd September) to find my Instagram had been locked out. I tried to log back in and received this message (See screenshot below).

Customer Service
What frustrates me further about Instagram, is its sheer lack of customer service. There is no way you can speak to a real human being, with real feelings and expressions. Instead you have the limitation of preset questions and having to explain yourself to a computer, typing out what has happened, along with evidence that you are a business who is trading and making money. Now here's the catch. Firstly, the 'attach file' option doesn't work. You have to report your account using a process that is actually corrupted. See Dani Amsalem's article for more on the shambles that are the Instagram "Help" Center. I have had more support from a training bra.

What's more, when I followed the awful process of being emailed a code (which took a couple of hours to arrive in my inbox), I had to write the code, my username and my full name on a piece of paper and hold it up in a picture. I had to also make sure my hands were both clearly shown and that my whole face was lit.

For your entertainment I attach said picture. I look like a criminal featuring in my first mugshot. It wasn't my finest hour and granted I could have got dressed before I took this photo, but I was so upset by the situation that I didn't care. I wanted them to see just how distraught I was.

You've got to laugh at yourself right

It's funny and somewhat educational when I look back at this picture now. This photo demonstrates just how much of a slave I am to social media, in particular, Instagram. Kevin Systrom (Instagram's CEO) really does have a hold on us all. What's more, whilst I was posing for my not-so-Insta-worthy mugshot, Systrom was on business in Tokyo, turning a BLIND-EYE to the madness taking place on his social media site. No statement, no apology, no updates. Systrom has and still is being quiet about the scale of this hacking. I am not sure he really cares about the impact this hack has had on brands, bloggers and business globally.

I kept reporting the account as hacked every hour or so, in a bid to bring it back up to the top of the pile of other hacked account reports. It worked! I received a message saying my account had been salvaged. All I had to do was wait for my password to be accepted so I could change it to a new one. I now have full access to my Instagram account. Thank Goodness!

Trust Issues
So after this whole ordeal, I have spent the last 48 hours contemplating everything I have worked for. It is so scary how a company like Instagram hold the power over my success, my intellectual property and my brand. I put my full trust in them every single day, sharing exclusive content to my followers and using their app as a platform for my brand.

I feel let down knowing that whilst users (businesses, brands, bloggers, artists among a few) panicked, commenting on forums and on Instagram's insensitive posts, which were not addressing any issue of a hack, that still nothing was said by the company itself.

I know I am not over the Instagram hype, but a stubborn part of me wants to cut ties completely with the social media site and take my business elsewhere. We will have to see if Systrom and his team can salvage the other accounts affected. I was so close to losing four years of photography, blog content and contacts for good. Some people have unfortunately not been so lucky.

But there are many positives to this situation
I got so many lovely messages and comments, almost as soon as my account was deleted from Instagram. I am so thankful for every message of concern and encouragement. The social media community has really come together to support those who have had their accounts taken from them. I would like to thank @Primalguise for sharing my Instagram handle to his followers and getting my name out there again. I would love it if you gave him a follow. Also check out his blog here.


I have collated some relevant articles for you to take a look at, which I think will benefit keeping your social media safe.

Related Articles:

I have taken this entire experience on board as a major learning curve and I am more determined than ever to post cool content for you guys. This girl is going nowhere!

If you have been affected by the recent hack or know someone who has, please share their handle with the hashtag #BloggersHelpingBloggers and lets get this community of Instagrammer's back on its feet again.

Stay Safe & Stay Sweet,

Alice xx


Monday, September 04, 2017

5 Back-to-School Habits Successful #GirlBosses Still Practice //

Dear Readers,

If you are anything like me, you never quite lose the nostalgic feeling of getting ready to go back to school. From the fresh set of pens and highlighters, to the idea of tackling a new set of ambitions for the autumn, there is something therapeutic about that 'Back-to-School' mindset.

Even after moving on to that post-student phase, there is still a tendency to associate September with school/college and uni, and there are ways we can capitalise on all of those productive associations and translate them to a clean slate in our careers.

1. Expand Your Circle/Network

When you're forced back into a structured setting, you'll find yourself speaking to new people, creating new bonds and friendships for the following year. Autumn is a great time to revisit being more diligent and expanding your network, rather than working closely with your usual contacts. Reach out to people on social media, speak to different people at in your work environment and make an effort during conferences or events. Most of your professional contacts are just getting back in the swing of things after the de-stress of summer.

2. Check in on Career Goals

Without set deadlines and terms/semesters to keep us on track, it can be tricky to find other ways to measure our progress. Set yourself an appointment either for the week you are planning or for a goal you want to achieve in say, a months time. Dedicate a time on that day to review whether you have been successful or not. By creating a deadline, you will be naturally encouraged to get that task or goal done.

3. Assign Yourself Homework
Without a strict schedule edging you to work on your skills and passions outside of work, set little tasks for yourself so you can be proactively challenged. Take up learning a skill you've always wanted to know how to do, like how to take professional photography or how to code. It can be literally anything.

4. Freshen Up Your Desk
It wouldn't be back-to-school without some fresh supplies. De-clutter your workspace either at home or in your office. As we go into our careers, we often neglect to upgrade our work supplies.Treat yourself to a fresh set of pens or a new laptop case, rather than just splashing out on new clothes. 

5. Learn to Switch Off
Back in the day when school meant working 9am-3pm, Monday to Friday, it gave us clearly defined boundaries. When the day was over, we could check out of that regime after hours. A good lesson to take with you to your career,  is to find ways to define your workday ending. It will help you switch off.
Let me know in the comments below if you have employed any of these techniques.

Stay Sweet,
Alice xx 
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