LFW
New Ribbon
Slide 3

LFW: BACKSTAGE AND BEYOND AT PAUL COSTELLOE

think we could all use a dose of soft, pretty and innocent right now. Paul Costelloe brought his unabashed femininity to the runway READ MORE...
Slide 3

CARMEN DELL'OREFICE TO OPEN SINGAPORE FASHION WEEK

Carmen Dell’Orefice...if this is what being in your 80s looks like then I'm looking forward to it! The legendary model, who once declared to Vanity Fair, “If I die, it will be with my high heels on”, is set READ MORE...
Slide 1

BACKSTAGE AT JEAN-PIERRE BRAGANZA

This is what 'sex on a motorcycle' hair looks like! Well, it does to Jean-Pierre Braganza. For his SS15 show, 'Architectonic', he asked the Toni & Guy session team READ MORE...
Slide 3

#UNLOCK ART FILM SERIES ENDS ON A HUMOROUS NOTE

The film series, #UnlockArt, produced by Tate and supported by Le Meridien, concluded with the release of the last of eight films, What's So Funny?, decided by an online poll READ MORE...
Slide 3

NET-A-SPORTER LAUNCHES 7-DAY BODY REBOOT

NET-A-PORTER has gone sporty with their 7-Day Body Reboot, a daily fitness and healthy diet program presented as a video series. I think this is brilliant for two reasons. First, it's a smart way to promote READ MORE...
Slide 3

WeSC & ALTEWAI SAOME LAUNCH HIGH END STREETWEAR

Following the wrap-up of Stockholm Fashion Week is the launch of a new collaboration between two Swedish fashion greats, skate/street brand WeSC and design duo Altewai Saome READ MORE...
Slide 1

MADE LONDON RETURNS TO MARYLEBONE

The Design and Craft Fair, MADE LONDON, returns to One Marylebone 24-26 October to present the very best in contemporary craft and design. Showcasing over 120 READ MORE...
Example Frame

August 09, 2014

Toronto Sea Life: Ripley's Aquarium

The-swelle-life-36 (1 of 1)

It's called Ripley's Aquarium of Canada (as opposed to Ripley's Aquarium of Toronto which would follow the format for their US locations), which is not helping the general notion down south that there's nothing in Canada but a few things. (Hey you're from Canada? Do you know Dave from Canada?) I guess they don't plan to open any other locations in Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal.... 

Odd naming choices aside, Ripley's Aquarium - as in Ripley's Believe it or Not That's the Ticket Price (ok rant is really over now, my holiday from blogging has made me come back with some pent-up feistiness) is a pretty cool place. Located in the CN Tower complex, it's a very busy attraction, especially at the height of summer for tourists and locals alike, so plan for that if you go. What impressed me were some particularly beautiful displays, such as the stunning anemones whose tank was so pretty and serene in its colourful and varied arrangement it appeared to have been styled, as well as the jellyfish which pulsated and plunged to a succession of changing lights in bright hues which coloured their translucent bodies. And I saw some things I didn't know existed, such as a bright blue lobster (which unfortunately just would not photograph clearly for some reason), and one of the coolest things I've ever seen, a Sea Dragon, part of the Syngnathidae family which also includes seahorses.  They float as if in a state of suspended animation. I wonder what they're thinking. If anything. 

Here's a tour from the outside in starting with the CN Tower, the tallest free-standing structure in the western hemisphere at 553.33 metres (which I've never been up because I'm scared crapless of heights and that's never, ever going to change):

  

The-swelle-life-2 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-3 (1 of 1) The-swelle-life-4 (1 of 1)

(Get your scrolling finger warmed up, there's a ton of fishy photos and they get better as it goes along)

The-swelle-life-28 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-1 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-12 (1 of 1) The-swelle-life-7 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-21 (1 of 1) The-swelle-life-10 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-58 (1 of 1)

Lion Fish

The-swelle-life-46 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-48 (1 of 1)

Starfish

The-swelle-life-19 (1 of 1)

Seahorses

The-swelle-life-49 (1 of 1)

Sea Dragons (so cool)

The-swelle-life-51.1 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-55 (1 of 1)

Anemones

The-swelle-life-15 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-17 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-16 (1 of 1)

This picturesque tank marks the entrance of a sea tunnel which you are taken through on a conveyor (and probably will wander off it to get better pictures of the other side of the tank, but nobody is there to chastise you)

The-swelle-life-24 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-23 (1 of 1) The-swelle-life-27 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-37 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-22 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-26 (1 of 1)

Inside the Tunnel

The-swelle-life-33 (1 of 1) The-swelle-life-35 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-41 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-42 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-43 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-44 (1 of 1)

Sharks 

The-swelle-life-32 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-39 (1 of 1) The-swelle-life-40 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-38 (1 of 1)

Rays

The-swelle-life-29 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-30 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-62 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-61 (1 of 1) The-swelle-life-60 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-63 (1 of 1)

Jellyfish

The-swelle-life-64 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-68 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-67 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-70 (1 of 1)

 The-swelle-life-69 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-66 (1 of 1) The-swelle-life-75 (1 of 1)
 The-swelle-life-73 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-71 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-85 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-83 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-84 (1 of 1)

This is the kind of jellyfish (below) I see washed up on the beach where I live by the North Sea, in the hundreds. It's not often but it's a scene I've come across many times, both sad and beautiful. From what I've read, it seems high winds bring in the jellyfish from warmer waters and high tides deliver them to their final resting place.  The biggest I've seen is a little bigger than your head and I've seen them as small as a 10p coin. Poor little things. The seagulls get the little crabs early in the morning and leave their legs scattered all over, but they will not touch these guys. They're not good eatin' I guess, maybe poisonous. Though the aquarium tanks have the coloured lights, the four rings in the centre of these jellyfish's bodies are coloured exactly as they appear - almost a neon purple against a mostly opaque, white, firm gelatenous body when out of the water. These ones don't have tentacles, I've never seen any and even turned one over to investigate; their bodies are very streamlined, like jelly disks. 

The-swelle-life-86 (1 of 1)

Finally, before being dumped into the gift shop on the way out, we saw the area with the tanks that regulate the delicate balance needed to sustain the various species living in the aquarium. They've made the tanks look pretty cool:

The-swelle-life-81 (1 of 1)

The-swelle-life-82 (1 of 1)

Goodbye aquarium:

The-swelle-life-79 (1 of 1)

And CN Tower (which I never realised gives a light show at night)

The-swelle-life-80 (1 of 1)

Photos © The Swelle Life

Transseasonal Dressing: The Asymmetric T-Shirt Dress

Asymmetric-dip-dye-t-shirt-dress

As mentioned many times, I like to fill my wardrobe with pieces I can wear beyond a season, especially in the UK where you're never really sure what season it's supposed to be. And storage is at a premium for most of us. It's just smart. So no, I don't have a rainbow selection of cut-offs filling my drawers. (For various reasons.)

My newest favourite that fits the bill is this asymmetric t-shirt dress in blue dip-dye jersey from Label Lab. House of Fraser invited me to select a piece from their womenswear range, and I almost went for a tank maxi in orange to wear for my summer in Canada. Then I saw this dress, and knew it was the one. I could wear it all year round for all kinds of things. I don't dress up much and tend to be on the casual side but never want to look like I don't care. (The actual look of me really not caring is frightening. I could never go out like that!) Extreme asymmetric hems can look outdated, but cut on a slight angle across the knees and in a fitted, t-shirt style, it just always seems current for some reason. Kind of edgy. The body is cut so that the waist gathers on one side which is much more flattering than the straight t-shirt dress which doesn't transfer from warm to cool seasons, but this one does. The jersey has a bit of weight to it which is important. A trans seasonal style means nothing if the fabric is so sheer and delicate that it looks like Tinkerbell's tissue.

Wear the asymmetric t-shirt dress with sandals or flip-flops for summer; ankle boots, tights and a biker or bomber jacket for autumn and winter. Done! Those cool blue are season neutral, and ombre doesn't seem to ever go away - it always looks good if the colours are rich. At just £34.30 (regular price £49), this dress offers a lot of long-term options without breaking the bank. 

July 18, 2014

Sibling Gives the Jacob's Tin a Fashion Makeover

SIBLING

Designer collaboration is the way forward for brands who want to inject style into their products, and now baked snack maker Jacob’s has teamed up with British knitwear design trio, SIBLING, to create a limited edition cracker tin that will fit nicely in any fashionista’s kitchen cupboard. (I kind of love the idea of food brands working with high-end designers to bring their packaging into another realm.)

SIBLING, who are well known for their strong use of colour and love of traditional knitting techniques, have used their unique knitwear designs as inspiration for their redesign of the traditional Jacob’s Cream Cracker tin.

Twenty of the limited edition leopard print tins are now on sale on eBay, with all proceeds going to FareShare, the UK’s largest food redistribution charity. 

I had the opportunity to interview SIBLING Joe Bates (wearing the great hat, right) about the project and his own work:

TSL: Sibling is an 'in the know', unique, high fashion brand; not the typical choice for collaboration for such a ubiquitous company such as Jacob's - someone there knows their fashion! When you were first approached with the idea did you see it as an opportunity to introduce Sibling to a wider market?

JB: SIBLING are always keen to reach as broad an audience as possible. We get approached by many companies to collaborate so we have to be very careful who we choose to partner with. Jacobs came with a fun proposal that made us smile....so choice made.

TSL: You referenced Jacob's packaging colours for your striking argyle and leopard print tin design - was this combination an obvious choice or did you try other patterns and textures first?

JB: Colour is a fundamental to the SIBLING DNA, we embrace it wholeheartedly so utilising the Jacobs livery was not a challenge we couldn't meet. The patternation was based on our usual play on historical and traditional knitting, then we put that together with a bit of rebel spirit.

Sibling-Jacobs-tin

TSL: What is it like designing as a trio?

JB: Lovely, it means there's always someone to confer with which makes it great for expanding ideas very quickly. 

TSL: I hear Sibling are big snack fans - what is your favourite Jacob's snack? 

JB: The Cream Cracker of course, the original and the best. 

TSL: Where do you take inspiration from for your designs?

JB: Most often the inspiration will start from a single image. Being very passionate about reportage photography means that it is normally a single photographic portrait that will really fire things off. 

Sibling_finale_ss15TSL: What is your favourite piece you’ve ever created?

JB: The most recent is the finale piece from S/S15 SIBLING menswear catwalk show. It's a giant raffia piece, a real show stopper in red raffia, it was representative of the feeling of being 'cock of the walk' when you're dressed to the nines in your youthful rebellion stage. 

TSL: Who would you most like to wear your clothing?

JB: We have a litany of celebrities who have worn SIBLING, in fact some of our real heroes, Debbie Harry bought a SIBLING dress when she played Manchester, you can't top that in our book. 

TSL: Any words of wisdom to share with aspiring designers?

JB: Work hard and be nice to people. 

What great advice. Thank you, Joe! 

You can buy your own Sibling-designed Jacob's cracker tin here, and keep up with Jacob's at #SnackHappy.

FareShare is a unique charity fighting hunger and its underlying causes by  providing food to more than 1,290 local charities and community organisations across the UK, including homeless shelters, children’s breakfast clubs, women’s refuge centres and luncheon clubs for the elderly, helping to feed 62,200 people every day. 

Transform Your Bathroom With These 3 Simple Ideas

Tiled-bathroom--contemporary-bathroom--Ideal-Home--Housetohomesource

Your bathroom may not be the biggest or the most glamourous room in the house but it is one of the most important to keep up-to-date and fresh. Along with the kitchen, the master bathroom is the most valuable asset, and making sure that it looks good and works well can increase the selling price of your home. 

The bathroom is also a great place to unwind and clear your mind, especially if you're a bath person. So you want the décor and ambience to make it as inviting as it can be. In this guest post we take a look at some of the easiest and most cost effective ways to transform your bathroom to give it that enjoyable and relaxed feel.

Re-Paint Or Tile The Walls    

The simplest and most effective way to make your bathroom look fresh is to update the paint. A new coat, even if it is the same colour, can go a long way to making your bathroom look and feel brand new again. If you want to change the colour, keep it light to make it feel as open and airy as possible. 

Add Ceiling Cladding

Bathroom-ceiling-cladding-dbs-bathroomsOne of the most overlooked areas is the ceiling as it tends to be considered too expensive to change. However, specialist retailers, such as DBS Bathrooms,  are starting to supply new product such as ceiling cladding that can be designed to fit any area while making your bathroom stand out with style.

Ceiling cladding is perfect for the fluxuations in temperature in your bathroom, and unlike paint it won’t suffer from damp in a poorly ventilated area. The cladding is easy to install and with a variety of styles to choose from you can give your bathroom an instant lift. 

Select the Right Lighting

In the majority of bathrooms, the main lighting source will be overhead and usually attached to the ceiling. While this is often the most practical place for the lights, it is not necessarily the best place if you spend a lot of time using the mirror. By adding a lighting source around eye level next to your mirror you will be able to see what you are doing – perfect for applying make-up or shaving, especially if your space is lacking in natural light.

Custom-LED-mirror-lightingsource

While changing the electrics is better left to a professional, it is still possible to do all the ground work of mounting the light. It’s essential when working with electrics, or indeed any aspect of your bathroom, to have the right tools. Quality is important for effectivness, longevity and safety, so use a specialist retailer like The Big Tools Shop for equipment to help get you on your way to updating your bathroom. By using one or all of these simple and cost effective tips you can keep your bathroom looking fresh and up-to-date without breaking your budget. 

July 09, 2014

Finding the right shower for your home

Tile-bathroom-shower-greySource

Our bathroom reno is still a while away, but it's good to start figuring out what you want well before your old one gets ripped out. I recently I visited a showroom and had some looks at options, particuarly showers because we're getting rid of our tub/shower combo, which as previously mentioned, really needs to go. I think there must have been around 75 showers in this place, but rather than be overwhelmed by choice, the perfect shower revealed itself - minimalist and very little hardware so it looks like floating glass panels and nothing else. Finding a shower that is right for your space - and you - depends on several factors. Think about which design, style, and features will give you the best shower possible. 

Coordinate your theme

What kind of feel and style are you looking to create in your bathroom? The small yet significant details such as the design of the tap, shower head and shower tray - or absence of the latter - will help follow through on your theme. 

Take time to figure out the perfect design to complement your theme and look at lots of pictures so you can visualise your ideas in your space. 

Maximise practicality

Determine which type of shower will work best for your situation. If you have children, a shower needs to be easy to get into, simple to use and safely set to the right temperature. A mixer shower will ensure no scolding or freezing for the kids.

Another benefit of a mixer shower is that the flow remains consistently strong regardless of the water pressure. This is particularly helpful if you want to minimise water usage without compromise when many family members are taking showering in the morning.

If you have a second bathroom, you may want to look at vibrant colour schemes to make the dreaded 'getting ready' routine more fun for both adults and kids.

Click here if you want to find out more about mixer showers and how the feature could be perfect for your home.

Tiny-modern-shower-small-bathroom

Glass shower panels help strike a balance in this small bathroom. Source 

Use space efficiently

You should also consider how effectively your bathroom space is being used. If you don’t have children, have a small bathroom, or simply don’t use the tub that much, it might be worth redesigning your space for a shower alone, as we're doing. It frees up space and if you go with a minimalst design will instantly make your bathroom appear lighter and more open. (And I'm hearing that more and more homeowners are opting for this, so selling your home with no tub may not be a problem and shouldn't hinder you doing what's right for you.)

However, if you are still a fan of a relaxing bath, you should find a shower that complements the style of the tub and doesn’t let the water spray out onto the floor. A shower screen will work better than a curtain, and while those bi-fold style panels are meant to keep water from leaking out, be sure you buy something well made or you could be accumulating damage beneath the floor. 

Choose your experience

Finally, it’s important to think about the sensation you want to experience when you shower. Do you want a feeling of total immersion? If so, look for an oversized showerhead or model featuring multiple streams. If you prefer a deep and massaging clean, you may want to invest in a power shower.

Take your time to browse all of your options, and you may even find one or two you'd never considered. The shower is where we begin our day so the time invested will be worth it!

Grey-shower-wetroomSource

July 07, 2014

LC:M: Backstage at Orlebar Brown with Toni & Guy

Theswellelife-orlebar-brown_2 (1 of 1)

I'm taking you backstage again! This time at Orlebar Brown's Covent Garden shop where the SS15 collection of tailored beach and resort wear was shown both in in the shop, and to the delight of the neighbours, the street. Downstairs, the Toni & Guy session team were busy creating the 'groomed beach chic' look under the guidance of Silje Vincent. Silje explained that working with the models' individual hair texture was the best way to achieve the look. As you can see, the result is a polished style without any fussiness; it makes the guys look like they just have great hair. It worked particularly well on the models who had longer hair to work with, and it would move nicely with a breeze running through it on the beach (not that I'm thinking about it too much or anything).  

Here's how you can get Toni & Guy's groomed beach style, using the label.m Black Tourmaline Dryer and label.m Cutting Comb:

1. Prep hair with label.m Volume Mousse, label.m Blow Our Spray or label.m Sea Salt Spray depending on the hair texture (I have the label.m Sea Salt Spray which is great for adding texture to fine hair and perfect for a 'day at the beach' look)

2. Finger dry hair for tousled separation with label.m Black Tourmaline Dryer

3. Using a label.m Cutting Comb move the hair either off the face or across the forehead, which ever suits the face

4. Finish with label.mSouffle or label.m Power Paste for separation and

Label.m must have products: Volume Mousse, Sea Salt Spray, Blow Out Spray, Souffle, Power Paste.

Theswellelife-orlebar-brown_1 (1 of 1)

Paddy Mitchell gets styled.

Theswellelife-orlebar-brown-b&w (1 of 1)

Aside from surprise parties, I don't think I've ever seen a room filled with so many excited, smiling people. It's a nice change from the usual 'I'm over it already' attitude you tend to see at the collections. You really know how to make a splash, Orlebar Brown. (You'll see why as you scroll down.)

Theswellelife-matthew-miller_3-full

Dogs! Everyone was happy because people love dogs! A particularly beautiful specimen accompanied each of the tailored beach shorted models, including a massive Great Dane. In case you're wondering, the dog carer/trainer was right there the whole time and gave them water every 15 minutes, then after a while the models were told to put on flip-flops and take the dogs for a walk around Covent Garden to the delight of the neighbours. What a scene that was.

Theswellelife-orlebar-brown-4 (1 of 1)

Theswellelife-orlebar-brown-two

Theswellelife-orlebar-brown-8(small)

Theswellelife-orlebar-brown

Theswellelife-orlebar-brown-6 (1 of 1) TheSwelleLife-Orlebar-Brown-15 (1 of 1)

July 04, 2014

Wimbledon Fashion A Slam On and Off the Court

Lacoste-ss14-tennis-skirtLacoste SS14 brings court style to the street; however, 0nly the trim on the sleeves would be allowed at Wimbledon

Wimbledon is all about tradition, from strawberries and cream with a Pimm's chaser to plain-as-possible tennis whites. While the All-England Club isn't forcing anyone to consume red fruits and heritage liqueurs, the esteemed grass court slam remains the only event on the tour to enforce a strict dress code. And until just before this year's Wimbledon, it even extended to spectators in the spectacularly priced debenture section, who were only allowed to enter if wearing a smart jacket and tie and dresses, but can now wear open-neck shirts, trainers (as long as they're not dirty),  jeans (not torn) and shorts (can't be the sporty kind and must be tailored). If you thought this subtle reform signals a more relaxed attitude toward the players' kit, you'd be wrong. In fact, even coloured trim is limited to a meagre 1cm in width, and ladies can forget about finding a loophole up their skirts in coloured knickers - Sharapova's bright orange shorts of last year are now banned - and yes, they are checking. But there's a reason for this heavy-handedness beyond the traditional notions; it keeps Wimbledon free of bold and unsightly sponsor logos - notice there aren't any brands screaming at us from around the court? There are sponsors but they're discreetly placed, and they want that reflected in the players' clothing. 

Caroline-Wozniackis-dress-for-Wimbledon-2013-Adidas-by-Stella-McCartneyLimitations brings challenges, and this can actually be a good thing for fashion as it makes the designers think more creatively. So how do you make all-white tennis outfits exciting, stylish and above all else - covetable? Well, on the women's side, you can use layering, cut-outs, and transparency as seen in the new dresses from Adidas by Stella McCartney (one of my favourites for activewear), worn by Caroline Wozniacki (right). Or you can keep it simple with flattering cuts and textured techno fabrics. There's still something for everyone. As for the men, some of the clothes typically seen are such eyesores with their clashing colours and patterns that a clean slate can come as something of a relief. Roger Federer, the men's most stylish player - Anna Wintour wouldn't be sitting with his camp at his semi-final and final matches if he wasn't - thinks the all-white rules are too strict and hopes they'll relax, but says for now that he 'respects' them. 

Tennis fashion has become so good that there's a demand for the look on the street. Activewear reflects active lives and therefore is becoming more and more a part of our every day wardrobes, with both high-end designers and the high street consistently churning out new interpretations. 

Not into wearing cute ruffle skirts and second-skin, breathable tops? You can still get the Wimbledon look at home, quite literally, with an official Wimbledon bath or beach towel from Christy Towels. And there's always the strawberries and Pimm's. 

Christy-towels-wimbledon

Showstudio Illustrates the Men's Collections SS15

Showstudio_john-booth_juun-j-paris-fashion-week-illustrationJohn Booth's collage interpretation of looks at Juun J in Paris

Each season Showstudio invites their favourite fashion illustrators to create their own unique view of the collections, then they present each series on their tumblr. Whereas New York kicks off the women's collections, it's where the men's wraps up, so these are being conjured up right now. So far we've got London, Milan and Paris, interpreted through a variety of media and perpectives. (Just a thought after browing the Showstudio homepage, something I do often - Is there a better site for conveying the visual excitement and energy of fashion? I don't think there could be. If there is, please show it to me!) 

Here are a few that stood out to me, and if you see an illustration you love, you can buy the original from Showstudio's online shop

PARIS by John Booth, London-based illustrator and textile designer: 

Showstudio_john-booth_paris-fashion-week-illustrationDior Homme

Showstudio_john-booth_henrik-vibskov-paris-fashion-week-illustration

Henrik Vibskov

Showstudio_john-booth_paul-smith-paris-fashion-week-illustration

Paul Smith

 

MILAN by Marie Cunliffe, London-based womenswear designer:

Showstudio_frankie-morello-marie-cunliffe-milan-fashion-week-illustration

Frankie Morello

Showstudio_dsquared2-marie-cunliffe-milan-fashion-week-illustration

D-Squared2

Showstudio_bottega-veneta-marie-cunliffe-milan-fashion-week-illustration

Bottega Veneta

Showstudio_prada-marie-cunliffe-milan-fashion-week-illustration

Prada

 

LONDON by Eduardo Mata Icaza, Marseilles-based illustrator: 

Showstudio_eduardo-mata-icaza-alexander-mcqueen-london-fashion-week-illustration

Alexander McQueen

Showstudio_eduardo-mata-icaza-j-w-anderson-london-fashion-week-illustration

J.W. Anderson

Showstudio_eduardo-mata-icaza-KTZ-london-fashion-week-illustration

KTZ

Showstudio_eduardo-mata-icaza-jonathan-saunders-london-fashion-week-illustration

Jonathan Saunders

A Guide to Choosing Enagement Rings

SeattleBride-engagment-ringsSource

The summer months mean wedding season; there’s no getting away from it, especially if your social calendar is anything like my friend's (I don't actually have any to go to!), and you seem to be going to a wedding every other weekend in July and August. With all of these weddings come countless tales of proposals: The when? The where? The how much?

Nigel O’Hara have been going through some of the most frequently asked questions from men wishing to buy an engagement ring for their other half, so they've put together this handy little guide to help you out.

How much should I spend on an engagement ring?

This is most common question from men looking to buy an engagement ring, and fortunately the answer isn’t complicated – it’s up to you. There has been a lot of hype around how much one should spend on a ring. Some will tell you three months’ wages is a good benchmark, while others will say one month’s wages is sufficient, and shockingly, some will even suggest taking out a mortgage in order to pay for the ring. In most cases you will find that the question answers itself once you find the right ring.

What type of diamond should I choose?

With so many different shapes, colours and styles it can often be confusing as to what type of diamond you should select for your ring. The shape of a diamond refers to the outline when it is viewed from above – the most common shape for an engagement ring being a round, brilliant-cut diamond. There are, however, many different shapes available, some with self-explanatory names like oval, pear and heart shaped, while some of the less obvious styles are princess-cut, asscher and cushion. There is no right or wrong answer; it depends on personal taste. 

Tip: It is always a good idea to consider the type of hand that the ring is for – someone with long, slender fingers may not want a big heavy set diamond, but rather something more sleek and delicate.

Nigel-O-Hara-diamond-cuts


What types of bands are available?

Another essential consideration is the type of material to choose for the band. Gold, white gold and platinum are three most popular options. But they are not the only ones, so if you want something a little different don’t be afraid to shop around.

Tip: If you an unsure of what to get, have a look at the colours of any jewellery she currently wears, or ask friends and family for advice (if they can keep the secret).

What if I choose the wrong one?    

Most jewellers offer a returns policy in case she doesn’t like the ring or you want to change it, so do check the terms and conditions for any purchase before buying. It can be difficult to get the right size, so resizing requests are common and most jewellers will offer this service free of charge.  

One final thing to consider is that the style of engagement ring will influence the type of wedding ring choices, as traditionally they are worn together. So it’s worth bearing that in mind if wedding ring ideas have already been decided – you will want to find something that matches.

Tip: If the pressure of getting it absolutely right first time becomes too much, you can always go ring shopping together, as more and more couples are doing. Make a day of it and have fun!

Selecting the correct engagement ring can seem like a stressful and daunting situation with endless possibilities, but know that the effort and research you put in will really help make the proposal that much more special.  

5 Fires that Changed the World

Kanto_Hamada WaterNyosen Hamada, Chased by the Fire, Drowned in the Water. Source

From an early age we are taught that fires are one of the biggest dangers to human life. Colourful mascots visit schools educating kids about the dangers of playing with matches and the importance of smoke alarms, while we are all born with an innate fear of fire.

It is arguably the single most important discovery in human history, and yet it has been responsible for some of the most infamous disasters of all time. Read on as fire safety and home security experts Checkfire Group (Fire Seals Direct) and Banham take you through five fires that changed the world.

Rome - 64 A.D.

It is the most enduring image of Emperor Nero, fiddling as Rome burned during the great fire of 64 A.D. There is no actual evidence that this is what happened - the fiddle wasn't even invented in 64 A.D. - yet the fire that gutted the heart of the Roman empire still eventually led to the downfall of the hated leader, when he built one of his grandest palaces atop of the ruins - a show of opulence and lack of compassion that was the final straw for Nero's embittered subjects.

The Great Fire of London - 1666

The Great Fire of London of 1666 was actually at least the sixth time the Capital had burned between 1130 and 1666, however it is the latter incident which is most and, oddly enough, fondly remembered. Despite making thousands of London's citizens homeless, the Great Fire only claimed the lives of six people, while it is also thought that it finally dispensed with the Great Plague that had ravaged the city the previous summer.

The flames destroyed many of the filthy slums that had harboured the disease, effectively sterilising the land and giving the authorities an impetus to rebuild afresh.

Chicago-in-flames

Chicago - 1871

Another fire that proved to perhaps be ultimately beneficial (despite claiming the lives of nearly 300 people) was the fire that swept through Chicago in 1871. Over 17,000 buildings were destroyed and 90,000 were left homeless, however its slow spread ensured a limited number of people died.

Much like the Great Fire of London, the Chicago fire allowed for a complete rebuild and improvement of the city, providing the foundations for the city to become one of the USA's great metropolises. The incident also led to fire-fighting reforms that helped the Chicago FD become one of the best in the country and provided a template for other large cities to follow.

Tokyo - 1923

Back in 1923 Tokyo suffered a major disaster which comprised of two devastating elements. The first was a massive earthquake at lunchtime when much of the city was cooking - leading to a number of small fires which swept through the rubble and led to a death toll of around 140,000.

The fire spread so quickly because of high winds from a nearby typhoon off Japan's coast, and what's more, a tsunami created by the quake added to the damage further still. A veritable Dooms Day.

Texas City - 1947

This last incident in our list of history's greatest fires may not have shook the world - but the largest industrial explosion the US has ever seen certainly shook the surrounding area - literally.

A small fire on a docked freighter may not sound like much of a big deal, but when you consider that this freighter was carrying 2,300 tons of ammonium nitrate fertiliser (the same material used to carry out the Oklahoma City bombing), you might be able to see the problem.

The blast was so massive that over 1,000 buildings were destroyed and almost 600 people died - including the entirety of the Texas City volunteer fire service who were tackling the blaze. The shock waves were felt 250 miles away in New Orleans, while windows were shattered in Houston 40 miles away. After the explosion the only identifiable part of the ship was the anchor - after it had been thrown a mile through the air.

This guest blog was written by John Rooney on behalf of Fire Seals Direct and Banham - home and commercial fire safety equipment specialists.

FacebookTwitterPinterestinstagram

Heal's

Cupcake Monday!

Interiors & Exteriors

Floral Friday

London Fashion Week

Fashion Illustrator Series

Artist Series

Paris & Cities

Painted Houses Project

Colour Colour 

Colour

Pretty


  • Creative Commons License
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...