Last summer I visited the newly opened Dr Martens store in Belfast, only to discover my love for their clothes. While at a recent summer event, I found a new love of the brand in their bags.
Of course, Dr Martens is best known for its footwear, and I saw a few options of shoes I would happily buy for me…
And for my little boy (or if I had a girl?!)…
But on this occasion, I picked up a bag.
As a busy mummy, an over the shoulder bag works best – throw it on, throw a million things inside and go! But I also loved these options…
Now that the summer feels like it’s gone, I’m watching out for their new season coats – that one I saw last year still plays on my mind:( Maybe I’ll just go shopping…
One thing I have really enjoyed since beginning to write here at silverbrogues is the opportunity to find and support local companies. I wanted to give you a little sample of some of the designers, entrepreneurs, creative talents of Belfast and Northern Ireland – go check them out!
First up, Gráinne Maher: Fashion Vault, designer of one of my favourite pieces of jewellery, a pink perspex Butterfly necklace (see photo below). Gráinne opened the doors to the Fashion Vault in Spires Mall, a little spot that has always held treasures unique to Northern Ireland, and more recently held the much loved Fashion Souk, a place where I have found many bargains over the years!
As you step through the glass doors, the minimalist, industrial interior sets the perfect backdrop to focus on fashion and accessories. Gráinne will be stocking a range of independent local designers, both up and coming and well established, and designers from further afield, as well as her own designs of course!
There is never a time when we don’t want to get treats in the post, is there? So when The Foxy Boxy offered to send over one of their boxes, I couldn’t say no! Described as ‘a monthly box for lovers of fashion, fun and frills!’, The Foxy Boxy was set up by two local girls, Jill and Laura. With a different theme each month (June box was entitled ‘Ooh La Laa’), the letterbox friendly box contained a mix of little handbag treats, and at 9am on the first day of each month the next theme will be announced! The website is easy to use, there is no subscription making it easy to sign up as and when you wish to get it delivered to your door, or send as a little treat to a friend! I love how the girls add a little personal touch with a video about the contents!
A lace collar adapted to make my dressing table look pretty! Also check out my Butterfly necklace by Gráinne Maher.
A lover of a bargain, and again, the appeal of finding a unique piece of fashion, Colour Pursuit has been set up by local girl Amanda Rankin as a ‘celebration of second chances’. Check out her online store and see if you can find a piece you can give another chance!
And a post to follow on Lines and Current – until then, check out all that local designer Rebekah has to offer!
And now to some food. Enjoying some healthy treats at Raw Food Rebellion on the Lisburn Road wearing my favourite summer dress by local designer Zoe Boomer (thanks to my photographer Ruth from Willow Lane).
The tasting plates presented on the opening night of Raw Food Rebellion were swiftly devoured – not only because each flavour that entered your mouth was delicious, but the vegan, dairy free and gluten free food is sold as ‘clean eating’. I would happily eat the hummus for the rest of my life;)
And last up, I recently became a Brand Rep for local company Itty Bitty Book Co – a company that, through cards, wall banners, framed pictures and the most adorable little books, basically just want to promote positivity! Great for your handbag, your desk drawer or your mantlepiece and a perfect gift for a friend!
Any locals you love? Send over the links and we can check them out!
I love to hear about local events, products and retailers, and when at a pop-up shop recently in Belfast, I discovered an inspirational collection from The Gallery Clothing Company.
Established in 2013, this is a company that aims to bring together art and fashion. With quotes ranging from ‘Fashion is a Canvas; You are the Artist’ to ‘We are the Dreamers, the Life Architects who shape our own destiny and live life the way it should be lived’, it is hard not be inspired! Managing Director Thom is clearly passionate about his brand – he managed to sell me two pieces;)
The idea is basically to exhibit art from local artists onto clothes – making it wearable fashion – in my favourite way, the printed t-shirt; my own living masterpiece! Designers include Emma Miller, an illustrator who specialises in portrait, Luke McClean, whose illustrations portray an attention to detail, Sara Bak, a photographer ‘with a big imagination’, Alastair Curran an abstract painter, Aoife Fox who specialises in printmaking and Peter Strain, an illustrator who takes inspiration from film, music and issues we deal with everyday.
And here is what I bought…
How I have been wearing my pieces…
And here is what I want to buy…
Lips £19.50 / Dark Night of the Sole Pocket Tee £29.50 / This is Art £19.50 / Flux £19.50
For an original piece of art/fashion, go take a look;)
Last week I had the opportunity to go to two shopping ‘markets’, filled with local creatives and entrepreneurs.
First up, the launch of Studio Souk. For any regular readers, you will know that I have spent many a Saturday afternoon browsing the second hand and local designer stalls and bought a lot of bargains and one off pieces. This concept recently developed to a Studio in Spires Mall where designers came together to work and sell their creations, and then to a store in the centre of Belfast where most of my Christmas shopping was done! Now, the new Studio Souk comprises both – shopping and design, and not just fashion but the perfect space for anyone interested in interiors, art and jewellery. A creative and inspiring space! And to top it off, you can grab yourself a snack as you shop at Cafe Souk.
Studio Souk, Castle Lane, Belfast
Next up, Kloth and Ko put together an event at Sixty6 bringing together local fashion designers, retailers and shoppers. The day event allowed time to shop the collections, while the evening, curated by stylists Orla Eastwood and Lewis Cameron, gave fashion lovers the opportunity to interact with models at a live fashion installation.
Kloth & Co
Fashion Installation by stylists Orla Eastwood and Lewis Cameron
And finally, this one is for you! A COMPETITION!! *competition now closed*
A local company got in touch to offer readers of silverbrogues the chance to win a handbag to celebrate Mother’s Day, well actually, anyone can enter to celebrate the need for a treat! Northern Totes is an online handbag store offering unique, stylish, affordable handbags for every occasion. If you live in the Belfast area, they offer same day delivery or Click and Collect – great for any last minute handbag dilemmas! Here are a few of my favourites…
Trouble in Paradise / Daytime Glam / Patterned Tote / Black Beauty / Joseph’s Coat. Main image – Classy Bird
I love trying my hand at something new so when I was invited to make some jewellery with a local jewellery company, I jumped at the chance! Karma Jewellery is a local based company, who believe in positivity and uniqueness. In fact, with their tagline of ‘Jewellery with Meaning’, and ‘Making jewellery, changing lives’, for every bangle they sell, a percentage is donated to charity, making a good deed out of every sale.
We are passionate about helping others, so for every bangle we sell, we will help someone in need. A positive chain reaction begins with you…
A group of local bloggers met together with the Karma team who, after enjoying some nibbles and browsing the beautiful handmade collections, got to try our hand at making our own bracelets, and this is the result…
Thanks to the girls at Karma for the opportunity to try our hand at a new skill! And after you check out their website, have a little look at who their #KARMAgirl is…