A Chat With Pure London’s Head of Accessories & Footwear!

I’ve been busy the last few weeks working for the exciting new company Bohemian Jewellery Tattoos! Check out my interview with Pure London’s Head of Accessories and Footwear and keep an eye out for plenty of future posts about this new metallic tattoo brand:

Whether it’s a bright pink hat, a gorgeous fascinator or a pair of metallic shoes, Vicky Ogden’s accessory choices always ensure that she stands out. Over the three days that we spent at Pure, you only had to scan across London Olympia’s grand hall and search for the most striking piece of headwear in order to find her. As you may already know, we love to get creative with our styling, so we couldn’t wait to catch up with her after the show to discover Pure through the eyes of its Head of Accessories and Footwear!

Vicky’s vibrant style seems to be an expression of her bubbly personality. It’s almost as if she is allowing you to get to know her before you’ve even engaged in conversation and because of this, on first impression, she already feels familiar. “I’ve always been quite extravagant” she explained over the phone as she hurriedly packed her bags for an event in Milan this week. “I like to be expressive and am not afraid of colour. Sometimes when I’m waiting for a bus I’ll notice someone smiling at me and I’m sure it’s because of the hat or the shoes that I’m wearing. Fashion should be shared. Communication is what fashion is about.”

Throughout the three-day event, Vicky would often be seen caught up in lively conversation with various exhibitors and visitors to the show. Like a fairy godmother of fashion, she seemed to leave a trail of glitter and good vibes in her wake. Building a friendly and personal connection with each exhibitor is clearly something that she feels extremely passionate about. “I love meeting all of the different brands at the show and finding out their story. I like to think that those exhibiting with us know and trust the people who are representing them. I’ve seen so many new businesses blossom through their involvement with Pure and that’s really rewarding for me.”

When wandering through the show ourselves, we were overwhelmed by the amount of variety there was. Every brand seemed keen on expressing their own unique style. This was something that Vicky was really enthusiastic about. “This year I felt a sense of optimism from designers. They weren’t afraid to go for lots of colour and be a bit different.” Vicky found it hard to choose her favourite exhibitors this year but there were a few that stood out to her! “Tatty Devine’s jewellery was a personal favourite of mine. I bought this wonderful bright necklace from the new collection that looks like a giant paint pallet. You were also a breath of fresh air for us at the show. We’ve never had something like you before and your stand definitely created a buzz.”

Being new to the world of Pure and a new brand on the market, we were keen on receiving some advice from Vicky directed specifically at brands that had recently experienced their first fashion buying event. “Pure provides a great platform for brands to make contacts” she explained. “It’s so important in this industry to network, therefore I always believe that every brand should do at least two shows. People want to know that you’re here to stay. You can also learn a lot from your first show and get something totally new out of the experience the second time around.”

Vicky and her entire team’s passion for Pure is infectious and this is evident by the many brands that choose to return year and year again. On the last day of Pure, I was speaking to a handbag company who were celebrating their 20th appearance at the show and they explained how their experience always seems fresh and exciting every time they visit. “We’ve developed a lot over the past few seasons” Vicky told me. “Fashion never stands still. It’s constantly evolving so we have to work fast to keep up with that.”

Plans for the next event are already under weigh and anticipation is building, especially surrounding the decision to incorporate menswear into the show for the first time. Vicky wasn’t giving too much away but she definitely divulged enough to pique our interest: “Our event in August has a really interesting theme! We’re introducing some new elements that we’re really excited about.” We can’t wait to discover what Pure has in store for us all in five months time and, of course, what stunning accessories Vicky will be wearing at the show!

Hair Salon Etiquette: Top 5 Awkward Stages

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For me, going to a new hairdresser for the first time is rather like being on a first date (only it’s far more physical and far less acceptable to be intoxicated). I’ll admit that I’ve got a slightly irrational fear about the whole ordeal. This probably stemmed from when I was a pre-pubescent 13 year old girl incredibly intimidated by the glamorous scissor-wielding grown-up that I’d have to awkwardly interact with in order to get rid of my split ends. Maybe a fear is too strong a word; let’s call it an awkwardness instead. These are the top 5 awkward stages of the hair salon experience:

1. Attempting a little small talk: Of course, you start with the good info; the holidays, Christmas, any upcoming birthday celebrations. Once this part is over the hard work begins. In your mind you are desperately delving through events that happened 6 months ago, nothing is out of bounds: Gone through a recent breakup? Great! Been cheated on? Even better!
Now comes the moment of silent acceptance as you take in the sad realisation of how boring your life actually is. Your brain punishes your mouth for abandoning it and you go back to exploring the sparse inventory of gossip within your mind.

2. A relaxing soak: Neck slowly craned back, your luscious locks suddenly become a giant clump of matted hair that you can hear gagging the basin’s drain. Your giant head is lolling about against the porcelain rim and reminding you of that time you got horrifically drunk in Magaluf and ended up spooning the bidet completely oblivious of its intended use or the irregularity of the cleaning rota at the hotel.
Another issue at this stage is your decision on what to do with your eyes. Do you pretend that this position is in fact so relaxing that you have begun to nod off or do you stare bulbous eyed at the ceiling for 10 minutes? She usually continues to scrub away at your hair undeterred by how uncomfortable you look or how your left eyebrow has slowly begun to run down the side of your cheek.

3. A frightful sight: Now sopping wet and resembling Severus Snape caught in a rainstorm, you are forced to stare at this reflection whilst the drying process slowly gets under way. You furrow your brow and desperately rub at the part that you have suddenly noticed has made its way over to your ear. 

4. Acting abilities: Your cut is finally finished and you prepare your best fake smile (that you luckily perfected during Christmas) in order to completely over exaggerate the joy that you feel over an inch of hair having been removed. ‘It feels so much healthier’ you say, which she has probably already heard three times that day. 

5. Tipping time: It’s safe to say that at the age of 21, I have not yet mastered the art of tipping. Every time the moment presents itself I feel like I’m attempting to do some sort of shady drug deal as quick as humanly possible before anybody sees. The worst scenario is when you are forced to pay in change. Do you just open up your purse at the end and begin placing random coins into her palm or do you grip your choices in your fist for half of the cut? I tend to just throw a selection of warm and slightly sweaty pounds at her and evacuate the building all in one swift movement. 

Somehow, miraculously, despite all of these scenarios, the experience is never as bad as you originally anticipated and you usually end up having a pretty good chat. Hairdressers seem to have this wonderful ability to remove the awkwardness from any situation so that even when your eyebrows are abseiling down your face and you are discussing the details of the time you pissed yourself on holiday you still feel rather comfortable with everything. Is this the start of a beautiful friendship or just the fact that she’s caught sight of the stingy tip that you are clutching in your left hand? … Probably the latter.

Living In a Female Habitat: The Top 4 Issues

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I live with three other women and my father (who may be slowly turning into one due to all the female pheromones and hairspray in the air). Women are tricky creatures and can be extremely difficult to live with, especially if you are one of them. These are the top four beauty related issues that I have with living in a female habitat:

1. What’s with all the hair?: There is hair everywhere. Constantly. You can brush your fingers across the carpet of any room in the house and have gathered enough human hair to earn yourself £50 on e-bay by sewing it together, attaching a few clips, and selling it to some sixteen-year-old living down the road from you.

The shower drain is the mother-ship when it comes to hair-prone areas in the household. Every day a new bundle of fur will appear by my toes and I will shriek with fear as I stand on it, convinced that I have crushed a newborn kitten that has entered the home and somehow managed to crawl into the bathtub with me.

With the amount of hair that escapes down our drains on a daily basis, I genuinely believe that one day a mass of dirty fluids will suddenly erupt from them and a blonde creature with brunette undertones will emerge. It will escape from its watery lair through some roadworks on the street and wreak havoc on the neighbourhood, leaving a stench of strawberry infused shower gel in its wake. I’m sure of it.

2. Apologies, I didn’t realize that was your tampon: That L’Oreal shampoo I spent an extra few pounds on because of it’s gold packaging is empty in less than a week. I look at it like an unfaithful lover, hands shaking with the weight of the large black TRESemme bottle I’m having to substitute it with. Drained and wrinkled, L’Oreal looks up at me from a damp bathtub corner as I lather up my head with an unfamiliar product. … You made your choice L’Oreal. Deal with it.

Women truly are monsters when it comes to stealing others beauty products. Nail varnishes, hairspray, even tampons; nothing is off bounds to a girl with chipped polish or a lack of volume in her hair. Face wipes, however, must have their own entire category. You will understand why soon enough.

3. Face wipes: Face wipes. Simple is the only brand to go with in this house, the majority of other supermarket options will leave you battling an outcrop of spots and plotting a skin blemishing revenge on those closest to you (of course I’m joking, you don’t mess with another girls skin regimen, that would be barbaric).

Whenever you buy a new stash of Simple wipes, three days later you will reach into the packet and feel an overwhelming sense of panic as your fingers brush against the plastic bottom. Even if you hide them in a drawer, someone having experienced the same panic earlier in the day will have undoubtedly found them and stolen them from you.

Due to the immense value of these face wipes, if you ever see a loved one living in your household mistreating one (such as using it as a cleaning product), any physical violence directed towards that individual may be pardoned. Strangling the offender with one hand, rubbing a soggy clump of toilet roll down your face with the other, and screaming ‘those aren’t Tesco Value wipes you fucking monster!’ is completely acceptable after witnessing them dusting down a windowsill or cabinet with such a precious item when you still have half a pot of Max Factor foundation smothered on your face. It really is that Simple.

4. Keep your tits out of my tops: When you see your twin sister with tits twice as big as your own wearing your new white crop top it can seem somewhat of an inconvenience. A heated debate may occur, harsh words may be exchanged… This is nothing in comparison to when one of them goes back to uni.

Of course you’ve secretly rummaged through their packed bags multiple times, what fool living with a woman of similar size wouldn’t?  You’ve said your goodbyes and waved her off. You’ve taken all the necessary measures of protection. You’ve gone up to your room and you have heard an echo as the door clicks open, revealing what seems like an empty cavern. Did she tape your stolen items to her fucking back?! I thought it was an odd decision for her wear an oversized jumper in this weather.

All you can do is send her a spiteful text and an inventory of all that appears to have been taken from you (1 low-cut crop top from Missguided, 1 new pair of cleated platform heels, and all hopes of pulling the hot bartender that you’ve been Facebook stalking since he served you last weekend).

So there are basically three main things that you can take away from this post: 1. Women’s hair malts…a lot. 2. They will steal anything from each other if it results in them feeling slightly less greasy, ugly, or unstylish. 3. Always check the wash basket before accusing someone of stealing all of your clothes and taking them to uni.