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Hyper Japan 2016

MC Itsuka J-pop rap Charisma.com performing live at Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. MC Itsuka J-pop rap Charisma.com performing live at Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. MC Itsuka J-pop rap Charisma.com performing live at Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. MC Itsuka and DJ Gonchi J-pop rap Charisma.com performing live at Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. MC Itsuka and DJ Gonchi J-pop rap Charisma.com performing live at Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. MC Itsuka and DJ Gonchi J-pop rap Charisma.com performing live at Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. MC Itsuka and DJ Gonchi J-pop rap Charisma.com performing live at Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. MC Itsuka J-pop rap Charisma.com performing live at Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. MC Itsuka and DJ Gonchi J-pop rap Charisma.com performing live at Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. MC Itsuka and DJ Gonchi J-pop rap Charisma.com performing live at Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia.

Last month I headed down to London with my friend Sam for Hyper Japan‘s 10th annual summer festival. This year the J-culture event set up home at Olympia, and whilst it was probably the smallest venue I’ve seen it held at, they still managed to pack plenty in.

The act I was most excited to see this time around was Charisma.com, a genre-bending OL electro rap group featuring MC Itsuka and DJ Gonchi. Their sound is quirky, high energy and dangerously catchy. I’m not sure how I first came across Hate, but it’s one of those songs that ends up stuck in your head for days at a time, and it got me instantly hooked! When I saw they had been added to this years line up, I knew I couldn’t miss the opportunity to catch them live.

We arrived just before their set and I must admit I was a little disappointed at first to see they were on the pop-up stage in the middle of the hall. Putting the acts in their own room made such a difference at last year’s Christmas Market and gave it a much more exciting and gig-like feel. Their set definitely didn’t disappoint though, the girls were full of energy and put on an amazing show that was impossible not to want to sing and dance along to. They were every bit as fun live as I had hoped and the crowd absolutely loved them. You can check out a video of their performance here (and see us obliviously getting in the way of this guys shot too! Sorry!)
 

Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. Kawaii cute lolita outfits. Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. Kawaii cute perspex wonderland and solar system jewellery from Little Moose. Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. Kawaii cute stuffed plushes Alpacasso. Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. Kawaii cute and gothic lolita outfits at the fashion show. Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. Kawaii cute and schoolgirl Kogal outfits. Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. Kawaii cute decora outfit at the fashion show. Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. Kawaii cute pastel decora outfits at the fashion show. Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. Kawaii cute lolita outfit details, biscuit bag purse. Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. Kawaii cute and traditional japanese dress kimono at the fashion show. Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. Kawaii cute lolita and gothic outfits at the fashion show. Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. Fashion outfit details. Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. Kawaii cute plushes. Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. Kawaii cute perspex jewellery from Little Moose. Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. Kawaii cute perspex alice in wonderland jewellery from Little Moose. Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. Kawaii cute perspex alice in wonderland and sloth jewellery from Little Moose. Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. Geometric wolf head perspex necklaces from SSTUTTER. Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. Geometric perspex necklaces and jewellery from SSTUTTER. Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. Teas from Camden Tea company. Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. Food stalls. Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. Food stalls mini burgers. Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. Tofu Cute sweets Pocky. Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. Charisma.com super kawaii. Hyper Japan festival 2016 Kensington Olympia. Tofu Cute Amuse plushes giant shiba.

After Charisma.com started our day off on a high, we stuck around to watch the best dressed show off their outfits for the fashion show before grabbing some food and checking out the shopping. As we wandered around the stalls I spotted Phil from SSTUTTER and his gorgeous geometric jewellery again. I love how unique and statement his pieces are and I couldn’t resist buying myself a Nico-like fox head necklace last year. Little Moose also had a selection of beautiful Wonderland themed necklaces, alongside shiny plastic planets, constellations and Sailor Moon inspired pieces.

Unfortunately this year I had to miss the Cosparade, as it clashed with a talk by former Studio Ghibli hand Hirokatsu Kihara. As a huge Ghibli fan, the talk was one of the highlights of the day for me and I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to hear about the behind the scenes workings of some of my favourite films. Mr Kihara worked directly under Hayao Miyazaki and helped to produce some of the studios most famous and beloved titles including My Neighbour Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service. I sat spellbound for the entire hour, as he pulled out original sketches, cells and concept ideas from from his over-stuffed archive and talked us through the story and process behind each one. It was awe inspiring to see first hand how intricate and ‘low technology’ the process was, with each still often containing many layers, all delicately taped onto clear plastic sheets that sat upon beautifully painted backgrounds. Unfortunately, I can’t publish any of the photos I took of the things that Mr Kihara brought to show us. I promise you it was magical though, and if you ever get the opportunity to see him do a talk, go!

Aferwards we went along for sake tasting, and ended up just a little bit tipsy as we wandered off to squeal at and take photos with all the adorableness at Tofu Cute. I also found my spirit animal in the form of this fat black cat plush with the perfect resting bitch face and I regret not buying it almost daily! I’m still a little sad that I didn’t take the giant Shiba home too, though I can’t decide if the happiness on my face there is down to his cuddliness or the sake!

The one downside to Hyper Japan is that I always leave feeling full of wanderlust, and with a craving that I know only jumping on a plane and actually visiting Japan will satisfy. I’ve been wanting to visit for so long now, but with none of my friends keen to go, it’s always been put off. I feel like 2017 is the year to finally do it though and I’m starting to get seriously tempted to just book it, even if I have to go alone.

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The Roof Gardens

The Roof Gardens Kensington London. The Roof Gardens Kensington London. The Roof Gardens Kensington London. The Roof Gardens Kensington London. The Roof Gardens Kensington London. The Roof Gardens Kensington London. The Roof Gardens Kensington London. The Roof Gardens Kensington London. Flamingos. The Roof Gardens Kensington London. The Roof Gardens Kensington London. Flamingos.

Last month I spent a warm Thursday evening nestled within a lush tropical roof garden 100ft above Kensington Highstreet, sipping wine and watching the sun go down with one of my best friends.

We’d been invited along to the Watchpro Hot 100 party, which was once again being held at the breathtaking The Roof Gardens. When we visited for the first time for last year’s awards, we were both blown away with how beautiful and tranquil the whole place felt. A truly impressive feat when you realise you’re right within the heart of London, with all of the hustle and bustle still going on down below. With our holidays and some real sunshine still months away, we couldn’t wait to go back and pretend we were sitting on a terrace in the Mediterranean for just one night.

After mingling with the other guests and trying all of the delicious canapés, we headed inside to hear the nominees announced. Some of the biggest names in the watch world were present, and it was nice to learn of a couple of brands and stores that were completely new to me too.

The gardens are split into three distinct areas, each with it’s own theme and feel. After soaking up the last of the sun in the Spanish Garden we went for a wander to explore the other areas. Walking through stone archways strung with fairy lights and emerging into the English Woodland, complete with striped deckchairs, croquet and flamingos, feels like you’ve stumbled into your own secret Wonderland. It’s a truly beautiful space and it was the perfect way to wind down after a busy start to both of our weeks.

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Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015

Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Traditional Japanese music and cosplay. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Warm sake. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Guests looking at kimonos. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Cosplay. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Tofu Cute siberian husky and alpacasso plushes. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. SSTUTTER perspex wolf necklaces. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Little Moose perspex Alice In Wonderland jewellery. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Tofu cute lolita and decora fashion. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Ippuku green tea. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Sake. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Traditional Japanese Kokeshi dolls. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Cosplay. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Aikido. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Street style Japanese inspired fashion. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 Tobacco Dock Pokemon Pikachu cosplay costumes family Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Fashion show. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Fashion show cute pastel sweet lolita style. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Fashion Show, cute pastel Japanese inspired fashion and dark gothic style, Minori. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Fashion show Minori Shironuri style. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London at night. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Cosparade cosplay. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Cosparade cosplay Goddess Madoka and Homura Akemi from Puella Magi. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Cosparade cosplay Uta from Tokyo Ghoul. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Cosparade cosplay, Kotori and Oerba Dia Vanille from Final Fantasy XIII. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 Tobacco Dock London at night. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Lacroix Despheres performing live holding British UK flag. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Lacroix Despheres performing live. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. Lacroix Despheres performing live. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 at Tobacco Dock London. LadyBaby performing live. Hyper Japan Christmas Market 2015 Tobacco Dock London. Lady Beard from LadyBaby on stage with cosplayers.

Back in November, before all the Christmas madness kicked off, I headed down to London with my cousin Demi to check out the Hyper Japan Christmas Market. I always enjoy their summer events, but I had never been to any of the Christmas ones before. When I saw this time they were holding it at the Tobacco Dock though, I knew I had to go along, I couldn’t think of a more perfect venue for a Christmas event than here and it definitely didn’t disappoint. It felt so festive with all of the lights and wood, and I loved the way it was laid out too. With all of the different buildings or ‘shops’ it felt more like a shopping mall filled with Japanese goodies and it just made it all seem that little bit more special.

The shopping was as good as ever, and as usual we both ended up buying quite a lot. I love to check out the independent stalls when I’m here, even though most are a little too cute for my personal style, it’s still nice to see what people are creating and talk to the designers. I couldn’t resist the incredibly intricate Nico a-like wolf necklaces from SSTUTTER and Little Moose had the cutest selection of Alice In Wonderland jewellery, I may be biased because he’s my favourite, but I loved the Cheshire Cat pieces. Towards the end of the day I always like to stop by Tofu Cute and Sushi Noms to pick up a selection of my favourite chocolates (strawberry KitKat’s are the dream!) and sweets, as well as making a point of buying a bunch of random things I’ve never tried before to take home to taste. I also got my green tea fix from Ippuku Tea, picked up a few of Beschle‘s award winning matcha chocolate bars and it took all of my willpower not to buy one of the husky or shiba inu plushes they had everywhere this year too!

After missing a lot of the live acts and showcases last year due to a bit of a confusing layout at the o2, we wanted to make sure we caught them all properly this time around. The fashion show was first up, and as always I was seriously impressed with the level of creativity and variety on show. It makes me so happy to see people really go all out on their look, I definitely believe if you’re going to do a style like this you need to go hard or go home, and it’s so nice to see people walking around so proud to show their style and hard work off. Shironuri artist Minori was a special guest, one of only a handful of times she’s been here in the UK and she closed the show in awesome head to toe black. We went off for a little more shopping before coming back to the stage for the Cosparade, this is always such fun and just like the fashion show it’s clear to see the amount of hard work, time and creativity that has gone in to each and every outfit, there are no half-hearted costumes here!

We also were pretty excited to catch kawaii-core band LadyBaby, who were possibly one of the most weirdly enjoyable things I have ever seen in my life! A mixture of metal and cutesy pop, from a team of adorable Japanese teens and a bearded, pigtailed Australian in the most kawaii dresses, it shouldn’t work but it weirdly does and it was just so much fun. I don’t think a single person came away without a smile after their performance. Afterwards we stuck around for rock-opera group Lacroix Despheres, I didn’t know anything about these guys beforehand, so they were a really nice surprise – breathtaking vocals and so enjoyable to watch too, they put on a real show and were the perfect way to end the day.

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Christmas at Narborough Hall

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Do you have Christmas decor envy yet? Back in October I was invited along to Narborough Hall, a gift shop in a beautiful converted Elizabethan house just a short drive from my house to see their newly opened Christmas room.

I took my Grom along with me for a look around and to pick up a few festive bits and pieces. As we walked in we were greeted by the lovely Simon, Sophie and Caroline and given a brief intro on the shop and the halls long history, before being led through a little fairy light lit corridor, prosecco and chocolate truffles in hand, into the back room which had been transformed into a Christmas wonderland. It was absolutely magical, I felt instantly festive as soon as I walked in and everywhere was so beautifully decorated, I just wanted to spend a small fortune and make an identical copy of it at home!

The rest of the shop is full of unique gifts for every occasion, from children’s toys and books to candles, room fragrances, quirky home accessories and even jewellery and clothing too. It’s a great place to have a wander around when you need to buy gifts for those people who you have no idea what to get, there is literally something for everyone so you’re bound to stumble uoon something unique that they’d love.

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Glasgow : Day 1 & The Scottish Style Awards

FAIIINT Scottish Style Awards 2015 at Kelvingrove art gallery and museum in Glasgow.

A few weekends ago I was invited along to Glasgow with Tara to attend the Scottish Style Awards and check out a few of the cities highlights. I always have this weird sense of guilt when I have to admit that even though I’ve been all over the world, I’ve hardly visited any of the UK. I had never even been to Scotland until now either, so I was super excited to be given this opportunity to go and explore Glasgow for the weekend, and it made such a great first impression too.

Both of us flew in the night before, so we hopped straight into our waiting taxi and headed to the hotel (more on that soon!) to get ourselves checked in. We grabbed a cuppa each and had a good catch up before getting an early night ready for the next day. Well, I say an early night, it would have been if I hadn’t spent an hour playing with the cool iPad control in my room and generally being too excited to sleep! On Saturday morning we got up early to make the most of breakfast, stuffing ourselves on pastries, waffles and full English, before we made our way down to the lobby to meet the lovely Fiona and Erin from People Make Glasgow who were showing us around for the weekend. We were also joined by three other bloggers and some of the nicest girls I’ve met, Lizzie, Emma and Chloe who’d all arrived that morning, completing our little group.

 

Bubbles & Brunch at Hutchesons…

FAIIINT Hutchesons Glasgow Bubble & Brunch. Croissants, orange juice and prosecco. FAIIINT Hutchesons Glasgow Bubble & Brunch. DSC_5521_2 FAIIINT Hutchesons Glasgow Bubble & Brunch. Eggs royal and prosecco. FAIIINT Hutchesons Glasgow Bubble & Brunch. Caramelised banana pancakes with chocolate and maple syrup.

I wish I could start every day with bubbles & brunch, I was already excited for all of the fun things that had been planned for us but this really put me in the best mood for the entire rest of the day! It was also the perfect first stop as it meant we all got to have a good chat and get to know each other a little better before heading off for the rest of the days activities.

The award winning Hutchesons is housed in an iconic Grade A listed building, originally built as a hospital in 1802, it’s a beautiful space full of high ceilings, ornate decorative features, stained glass and chandeliers. It’s basically the perfect place for drinking fizz in the AM and not feeling guilty about it, as their menu says – “Brunch without booze is just a sad, late breakfast” and I couldn’t agree more!

As we decided what to order, our table was laid out with fresh croissants, jams and orange juice, and our glasses filled up with a seemingly endless supply of prosecco. The others went for classic Eggs Royal and Benedict, and Tara ordered French toast stuffed with bacon, mozzarella and drizzled in maple syrup, I have never felt so sad to be a vegetarian! I finally settled for the pancakes layered with caramelised bananas, chocolate and maple syrup, and they were every bit as incredible as they sound.

 

Trying on hats at William Chambers…

FAIIINT Milliner William Chambers hat shop in Glasgow. Gold and navy blue flowers wedding hats. FAIIINT Milliner William Chambers hat shop in Glasgow. Bloggers trying on hats. FAIIINT Milliner William Chambers hat shop in Glasgow. Tara of The Style Rawr trying on a colour block fedora. FAIIINT Milliner William Chambers hat shop in Glasgow. Gold, silver, grey and navy blue flowers wedding hats.

After brunch we all took a short (and slightly tipsy!) walk over to visit award winning milliner William Chambers and his partner Niall at his city centre store. William creates bespoke handmade hats, headpieces and bridal millinery, his pieces are incredibly beautiful and elegant, but with a modern edge making them highly wearable. He has been praised by the likes of Stephen Jones as one to watch and his pieces have been worn by numerous style icons, including Roisin Murphy and Anna Dello Russo amongst many others.

William and Niall talked us through how it all got started, the creative process and how William crafts each hat to perfectly fit it’s wearer and the occasion. We were invited to try on any pieces we liked ourselves, which of course lead to lots of selfie and photo taking, I’ll let Tara do the showing off here – how much does she need that hat? My favourites were a huge black wide brim hat, which sadly my camera did no justice to and the headband topped with golden flowers and netting.

 

On to Rainbow Room to get our hair sorted…

FAIIINT Rainbow Room salon George's Square Glasgow. FAIIINT Rainbow Room salon George's Square Glasgow. Rainbow Room salon George's Square Glasgow. Tara of The Style Rawr with her hair finished ready for the Scottish Style Awards. Rainbow Room salon George's Square Glasgow. Stephanie of FAIIINT with hair ready for the Scottish Style Awards.

Finally it was time to start getting ready for the evenings awards and we were all booked into Rainbow Room in Georges Square for their award winning team to work their magic on making our hair look awesome. I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted doing with mine but I knew the dress I would be wearing had shoulder details that I wanted to be on show, not hidden behind my mane. I mentioned this to my wonderful stylist and she knew exactly what to do, we ended up going for a deep side parting with the rest pinned back to show off one shoulder. It was perfect and so nice to feel like I was in such capable hands, happily letting her do her thing and just knowing it would look great.

I don’t normally do a whole lot with my hair and I pretty much wear it in the same style no matter what I’m doing, as you’ve probably realised, but I actually really loved this look and will definitely be trying it out again in the future.

 

The Scottish Style Awards!

FAIIINT Scottish Style Awards 2015 at Kelvingrove art gallery and museum in Glasgow. Sophie Cave Floating Heads installation. FAIIINT Scottish Style Awards 2015 at Kelvingrove art gallery and museum in Glasgow. Tables with Moet and Chambord. FAIIINT Scottish Style Awards 2015 at Kelvingrove art gallery and museum in Glasgow. White band perform. FAIIINT Scottish Style Awards 2015 at Kelvingrove art gallery and museum in Glasgow. FAIIINT Scottish Style Awards 2015 at Kelvingrove art gallery and museum in Glasgow. Tables and chairs with gift bags. FAIIINT Scottish Style Awards 2015 at Kelvingrove art gallery and museum in Glasgow. Winners Hutchesons collect their award. FAIIINT Scottish Style Awards 2015 at Kelvingrove art gallery and museum in Glasgow. FAIIINT Scottish Style Awards 2015 at Kelvingrove art gallery and museum in Glasgow. Catwalk show Jane Davidson. FAIIINT Scottish Style Awards 2015 at Kelvingrove art gallery and museum in Glasgow. Catwalk finale. FAIIINT Scottish Style Awards 2015 at Kelvingrove art gallery and museum in Glasgow. Red carpet bloggers.

A quick taxi back to the hotel to get dressed and redo our makeup and before we knew it we were on our way over to Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum for the awards. The museum itself is so grand and beautiful, it was a perfect setting for the evening. I got to have a little peek inside some of the galleries but I would love to come back here in the daytime to be able to have a proper look around at their collections, which includes one of the finest collections of European arms and armour in the world plus works by Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet and Dali, a vast natural history collection and one of the largest collections of 17th century Dutch and Flemish Old Masters in the UK.

As soon as we walked in we were greeted by Sophie Cave’s ‘Floating Heads’ installation, which looked even ghostlier in the dim lighting and I couldn’t stop staring at it and all of the different expressions as we made our way upstairs for cocktails. After drinks and a little mingling (and my foot getting maimed by a dropped bottle of Moët! It’s always me!), we were lead back downstairs to our tables for dinner and the main event, hosted by Sophie Kennedy Clark. After a wonderful 3-course meal and plenty of champagne we were treated to a short set from White, followed by the main awards and a catwalk show featuring pieces from some of Glasgow’s best boutiques.

I was having a little panic about what I was going to wear the week before, until I remembered I’d scored this beautiful Todd Lynn dress on eBay for such a steal a few months ago and hadn’t had an occasion to wear it to, until now! Sadly I wasn’t able to get any decent outfit photos of it on, other than these fuzzy iPhone shots, as it was just far too dark inside for my camera. I’m planning to put it on again for a re-shoot though soon, so I can show it off to you guys properly as it really deserves to be seen in all it’s glory.

We all had such a wonderful evening and were feeling pretty knackered after such a busy day, knowing we had to be up early for another day full of exploring, we briefly checked out the after party before climbing into a taxi and finally falling into bed with a cup of tea ready for tomorrow.

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