The London festival experience

GALA Brixton

As spring is firmly underway – or so we hope… c’mon, it’s still around 13°C most days here in London!– and daylight gets one extra minute each day, we get closer and closer to the wonderful stream of festivals that sweep across the UK. However, it seems like long gone are the weekends of mud, sweat and tears…

It seems that, as years have gone by, people are less interested in what some still love to call *the festival experience*. By that they mean camping for three/four days, often braving horrible weather conditions, large quantities of mud, bad toilet facilities, with little or no possibility of freshening up, let alone having a shower.

GALA Brixton

For someone who loves freshly washed hair (although I thank the Gods every day for dry shampoo!), clean and crisp clothing and the comfort of my own bed, this reads as my description of HELL.

I was never into this idea of ‘festival experience’, and I remember going to V Festival in 2006 and saying “oh my word, I cannot BELIEVE I’m home”. Don’t get me wrong, the festival was incredible! And it was even more so because in 55 minutes I was at my door, skipping happily to my warm shower.

I’m so glad to know that I’m not alone in this. The new festival experience involves VIP bracelets, a “sweat only if you want to” attitude, gourmet food trucks, drinks from independent producers and –the best of it all – a short tube/bus/Uber ride home.

LOVEBOX

It is no wonder that inner London festivals are becoming big players in the music scene. Field Day (Victoria Park), South West Four (Clapham Common), British Summer Time (Hyde Park), Wireless (Finsbury Park), Lovebox (Victoria Park) and GALA (Brixton) are some of the main festivals happening within London this spring and summer, taking advantage of the appeal of being at home after a long day (and sometimes night) of partying.

And let’s not forget that 2017 will be the first year where we’ll be able to use the night tube during summer! This is something I’m really looking forward to, in order to reduce my late night post-partying Uber addiction…

So, if you ever thought that you wanted to experience festivals but wouldn’t be happy applying your makeup in a muddy compact mirror, after cleansing your face with just a baby wipe for the third day straight… I HEAR YOU. Have a thorough look on all events happening within London and I’m sure you’ll find something that tickles your fancy – and with travelling time possibly shorter than your daily work commute!

written by Carol

Right, you know the drill… this is a bit of a PR post.

We are better together: Carol Aquino for So Many Lovely Things

Wow. That’s how I am opening. I never thought I’d get someone other than my selfish and picky self to write on So Many Lovely Things.

The day, however, has come. Welcome Carol Aquino *all clap*.

Our paths crossed randomly a few years ago but just recently we realised we may have more in common than previously accounted for. Add to that the fact Carol, originally from Rio but a good old London soul like myself, has enviable credentials and boom.

In all honesty, I am over the moon (surprised and a bit incredulous, tbh) she agreed to become a collaborator on So Many Lovely Things. I cannot say enough how ecstatic I am to get a bit of her shimmering sea of knowledge, professionalism and fun over the blog.

Ms. Aquino brings extensive fashion, style and communications expertise, plus a ridiculous gift for seeing the future (she works in trend forecasting) to the little blog, to make up for some of my shortcomings, mainly in knowledge, but also in, erm… lazy assness time to create more posts.

The low-dow:

  • MA in Fashion Journalism (London College of Fashion)
  • Extensive experience on international trend forecasting (she worked for Stylus and trendwatching.com)
  • A background in economics, mainly providing poignant research for politics.
  • An undying love of glitter and dancing (hello! <3)

Some of you may have already seen her on my Instagram or at an event, so will not be surprised to see her face (and wise words) ’round here too.

Carol will be covering fashion, trends, style, lifestyle and to be honest, anything she wants, gracing us with her fabulous flair and that eye in the future!

Catch her on Instagram (@carolaquino), Twitter (@querouaquino) and of course, here real soon.

Stepping into another era in Camden, with Collectif Vintage Clothing

100 dresses. No, it is not number I go through every morning before deciding what to wear, silly. It is the number of Collectif dresses donned by lovely ladies at the Collectif Big Camden Party, which lived up to its “night of style, sass and swing” tagline wonderfully.

Choosing from seven beautiful Collectif vintage inspired dresses, we were treated to a fabulous retro hair do as well as a few glasses of prosecco and an unlimited amount of fun at the Collectif shop at Stables Market, in the heart of Camden Town.

I am a huge vintage inspired clothing fan. I don’t make it a lifestyle and don’t really stick to an era, but I pepper it around my own style; and the 50s are by far favourite time.

I love pencil skirts, cinched waists and I think that’s the best shape for my body; I feel comfortable and of course, pretty!

After squeezing myself into the gorgeous Yvonne Hanna Check Trim pencil dress and with my head suitably adorned with Victory rolls (by Lucy’s Vintage Hair) we moved on to Solomon’s Yard for the party.

And what a party it was. We were promised live bands, DJs, burlesque, magic, hoola hooping and Unicorns (yes, UNICORNS) ad boy, did they deliver that and more.

Welcomed by a vintage car and motorbikes, the stage was always filled with the most amazing acts: the Victory Sisters, an impeccable wartime vocal trio wearing pretty Collectif Maria Woodland Bloom Swing dresses.

There was beyond sassy burlesque from stunners The Folly Mixtures, with two cute and sexy acts, music spanning the eras between performances, courtesy of DJ Gem Precious and Diana Thompson.

Fabulous in orange drag queen Meth killed the comedy lip-syncing and got us all singing and laughing, and I even got some bonus spanking from the hilarious Levitating Elvis, with his boxing glove hair, an act so weird that is wonderful.

I do have to single out the not only gorgeous but super talented The Tootsie Rollers.

All five of them wore sultry siren Ingrid Fishtail evening dresses and left me smiling throughout the whole performance of pop sons with a swing twist. Extraordinary.

Finally, the unicorns. They came all the way from The Fabulus of Unicorns, a group of horn wearing, glitter-spreading people whose sole purpose is to disseminate love and happiness among humans. I mean, I just felt so happy around them that it’s not even funny.

I was of course, “kissed” by a unicorn and can still find glitter all over my house.

And there was dancing. Laughing. Such a fabulous atmosphere, fantastic happy people, all supporting a great brand with glamour that keeps giving.

My dress (and all the others I tried – sorry guys, you were fabulous and so kind trying to accommodate me) has an excellent finish and detailing, amazing cut, fits well and made me feel a million dollars.

All their clothes are amazing, the designs are obviously, vintage inspired, but very wearable. I have my eyes on a few little numbers, I tell you!

You can browse the beautiful Collectif Vintage Clothing collection on their website, I highly recommend it.

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Get ready to party with Topshop

topshop_party_roomCertainly I am not the only one that wished I had a lovely place to get changed after work to head off to a party. This festive season, Topshop gives you just that.

The Topshop Party Room at Oxford Circus is a little secret that gives you the comfort of a private room to get ready with your friends, from the 12 November to the 23 December.

Personally, I find the concept super interesting. I hate getting ready in the office or gym toilets, especially when the event is more sophisticated and demands special hair, makeup and clothes.

Just adding a pic of Lola's cupcakes because I can...

Just adding a pic of Lola’s cupcakes because I can…

The experience comes with a personal stylist, complimentary makeovers (Topshop Beauty) and hair styling (from Hershesons), refreshments and cupcakes from Lola (yum) and a festive good bag with party survival essentials and makeup.

Oh, and there’s a photobooth (you all know my love for photobooths) and a bar open to those who are 18+!

It costs £10 per person, minimum of 4 people, and the amount is redeemable against purchases on the day, which frankly i find super cheap. Get mor info on the Topshop website. I took a look and is selling out fast. HURRY!

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My very own red lipstick from MDMflow

mdmflow lipstick - somanylovelythingsYes, you read it right. I had the pleasure to blend my very own custom colour of the gorgeous MDMflow lipstick at the Bratz dolls launch event.

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