Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Marisota AVA Collection by Mark Heyes

What a week I have had! Last Wednesday the lovely team from Marisota and SCPR invited me to the launch of celebrity stylist Mark Heyes' AVA Collection. The event was held at Kettner's in Soho, a glamorous building full of character; there was a great atmosphere from the moment I arrived. I met so many lovely people and caught up with old friends; I feel I ought to mention them all, but I'm petrified that I might miss someone out!

Images © Big Fat Betty (Perusing the Collection & Settling Down to Dine) | One of the first people I spoke to was Sally from The Human Mannequin, who introduced herself to me as a reader of my blog though she is also a blogger herself ;) I was flattered and she was great to chat to. I also met Vicky of The Curved Opinion; another lovely lady!


Images © Big Fat Betty (The AVA Collection) | I spent some time perusing the collection, which was neatly organised into sizes so that we could try things on. I was immediately drawn to the Floral Print Jeans (£39.00, sizes 12-32); as a lover of jeans, particularly skinny fit, I find it frustrating that there are rarely print options available in plus size (and only recently a variety of colours). I teamed it with the Studded Blouse (£45.00, sizes 12-32), a style I love on others but don't often wear myself. The jeans were soft and stretchy with an elasticated waist, I picked my usual size and they were a perfect fit. I was pleasantly surprised to find the cuffs on the blouse were elasticated, which was great for me as I often find them too tight. Again I went for my usual size in the top though I don't think it would have mattered if I had sized up for a looser fit.

Image © James McCauley for Marisota/SCPR (Big Fat Betty [Me!] Modelling the AVA Collection, Details Above) | It was fantastic to have the opportunity to have a professional photograph taken, though as per usual I confused matters by having an alias! It felt strange, having not been in front of the camera for so long; I think the nerves kicked in and I didn't know what to do with myself, but James (the photographer) was very helpful and I got three great images sent to me the following day. I'm now sad I didn't try more outfits on! I also enjoyed watching the other ladies at the event being photographed and brimming with confidence.

It was a wonderful treat to have a three course meal and the food was delicious. Over dinner I chatted to the Marisota team as well as to Monica from London Mums, Amanda from The Ana Mum Diary and Rivkie from SLiNK Magazine. I also caught up with Caroline from Curvy Wordy earlier in the evening. It was really a great event, full of amazing people.

There's one last thing I'd like to mention. During the evening we watched a brief video about Shapeology, which (in the words of Mark Heyes) ls all about the "yes, you can wear it!" attitude. Marisota have introduced different fabrics, cuts, lengths and styles into their ranges to support women in making the most of their assets (which is not always your breasts, dearies!). You can find out more about Shapeology and browse the various ranges on the Marisota website.

Oh, okay, just one more thing...congratulations Marisota on winning the Prima High Street Fashion Award for Best Plus Size Retailer 2013!

Thanks again Marisota, SCPR and of course the lovely Mark Heyes for a wonderful evening.

NB: Thanks also to Marisota for gifting me the items from the collection reviewed in this post.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Upper Street by Nicole Smallwood

Last Monday I was invited to attend the launch of Nicole Smallwood's collection for Upper Street. It was held at the Rook & Raven, a modern gallery space in the heart of London's centre of fashion, Oxford Street. I hadn't heard of the brand previously and enjoyed hearing about it from both company representatives and customers.

Upper Street is a revolutionary fashion-forward shoe company, through which customers can design their own shoes by style, colour, material and more. They also offer design galleries and guides to get you started on creating the perfect pair.

In addition to custom designs, Upper Street have recently launched a ready to wear collection designed by Nicole Smallwood. These stunning shoes are specifically for larger feet and are available in UK size 7-10.5 in both standard and wide fit, with alternative sizes and cusomisations being available on request.

My favourite pair is the 'Ridgway' (£190.00, pictured bottom left), covered in pink metallic suede. Definately an essential for any party girl and the upcoming festive season!

What pair would you buy, or would you design your own?

I'd like to thank Nicole and the Upper Street team for inviting me to the launch, I had a lovely evening.

I also enjoyed showing off my suede effect nails following my mini manicure by Shh Nails (pics to follow as my Dropbox has frozen, oops!).