Sunday, 23 October 2011

ART - Inspiration From the Saatchi Gallery

My boyfriend recently started a design course and I've been surprised by how much I am getting inspired from it. With projects to work on at home and tasks to complete I've been enjoying hearing all about it. One such task was to visit an art gallery or exhibition so we both went along to the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea. It's free to visit and well worth taking a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon to wander round.

I took lots of pics and have picked out a few of my faves below...

Saatchi gallery Sept 2011

Saatchi gallery Sept 2011

These crunched cars are by Dirk Skreber and taking them out of the usual, and rather distressing setting, they actually become striking and intriguing. Quite how it was all put together I don't know, but it was great to be able to see everything up close.

Saatchi gallery Sept 2011

I snapped this picture because the colours worn by the girl sitting in the foreground tied in with the art installation behind her. The hollow tree trunk had been filled with brightly coloured foam. Rather surreal, but good fun too. The pictured art is by Folkert de Jong, as are the next few pieces I photographed.

Saatchi gallery Sept 2011

Saatchi gallery Sept 2011

Saatchi gallery Sept 2011

Below are some rather ambiguous looking figures, sculpted by Rebecca Warren. They are crudely crafted with exaggerated body parts, and made from clay.

Saatchi gallery Sept 2011

Saatchi gallery Sept 2011

I loved this next piece as it reminded me of Tron. It's by Bj√∂rn Dahlem and called The Milky Way. 

Saatchi gallery Sept 2011

And here's another using light, this time coloured neon. I love the chaotic mix of brights which make up these two separate installations.The first is by David Batchelor. There seems to have been lots and lots of light used within modern art, and it doesn't show signs of slowing down if these are anything to go by.

Saatchi gallery Sept 2011

Saatchi gallery Sept 2011

Thursday, 13 October 2011

GADGETS - Philips PerfectCare Iron Review

I hate ironing. In fact, I hate it so much that I rarely do it, perhaps twice a year I might break out the iron and tackle those creases. But when Philips got in touch to see if I wanted to give their PerfectCare Iron a go I figured I had best say yes. My boyfriend also encouraged me... but I think that's just so I could get started on his shirts.

Here's what the PerfectCare iron claims to do:
  • 100% effective on all fabrics, iron any fabric in any order without having to change the settings
  • Up to 2 hours of steam ironing from one tank of water
  • 100% safe on all ironable garments
  • The SteamGlide soleplate has great scratch resistance, excellent gliding and is easy to clean
  • Ready to use in 2 minutes
Philips PerfectCare Iron review

Being the good girlfriend that I am, I did start with his shirts and t-shirts. The claims that this iron glides over all fabrics easily are definitely true. It's a breeze! It did feel quite gentle on the shirts and t-shirts though and I think the overall finish could have been slightly better. Perhaps a few extra minutes taken over each garment would have resulted in perfection but I figured the quick method was good enough. Round 1... 7/10.

But to really put the claims to the test I decided to get out a silk dress that had been folded in a basket for months (it fits me again after a stint on Weight Watchers hurrah!) The dress is an ombre silk dress from Principles that I've had a while and to be honest I didn't even think I could iron it due to the shiny finish to the fabric, but after checking the label I saw that yes I could.

This is where the iron really becomes worth the money. There is only one heat setting but the claims say that it won't burn your clothing. I tentatively put the iron on the fabric and low-and-behold there was nothing but gentle steam and creaseless fabric. No nasty scorch marks, no dodgy patches. The fabric I was ironing was extremely light and thin and I was totally impressed with the results. Round 2... 10/10.

Philips PerfectCare Iron review
Philips PerfectCare Iron review
... and after.

The size of the steam generating part of the iron is pretty bulky, or at least I might struggle to store it inconspiculously in my tiny flat, but it is pretty quiet when in use and the iron itself isn't very heavy. As for the claims, yes it did heat up straight away, I didn't have to worry about changing fabrics and it does glide almost effortlessly. It's the fact that it makes ironing so much easier that means the £230-£280 price tag could be well worth it for those who don't want to feel like ironing is more of a chore than it needs to be.

So my verdict? This is the must-have accessory for the fashionista's wardrobe to keep those fabulous purchases looking their best. Will I be using it on his shirts? Probably not, life's too short to slave away ironing other people's clothes and frankly I'm selfishly saving this iron for all my special garments.

You can buy it at John Lewis.

Philips PerfectCare Iron review

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

BEDROOM - Agent Provocateur Bed Linen Collection

From high-end lingerie to homeware... it might not seem like an obvious step, but in the case of Agent Provocateur it makes perfect sense. The new collection of bedding aligns with everything the brand stands for - it's luxurious, sensual and premium.

The models seen posing with the bed linen will certainly catch the eye but with frills, satins and beautiful details the bedding really does stand alone too. The colour palette is rich and opulent, but I'd be interesting to see how it shifts come Spring/Summer. The price tags are pretty steep, but if it makes you feel like the woman in the video preview then perhaps it's worth every penny...

Sunday, 2 October 2011

NEWS - Wayne Hemingway Creates A Unique Umbrella

Coca Cola and British designer Wayne Hemingway have teamed up for a special eco project. Coca Cola recently launched their new PlantBottle™ Plastic, their first ever 100% recyclable bottles which are partially made from plants and Wayne has designed a special umbrella to celebrate the launch.

Wayne Hemingway champions sustainable living and each umbrella is made from only five plastic bottles.  The fabric of the umbrella is made entirely from 100% recycled plastic bottles which have been crushed and then processed back into yarn. Clever! The look of the brolly design is inspired by Brazilian sugar-cane, which is the sustainable source of the plant-based material used in the new packaging.

The best thing about the new plastic bottles is that the customer won't be able to tell the difference between the recycled ones and the old ones. It's an important step in reducing the company's carbon footprint. When you are a company as massive as Coca Cola, it's a responsibility to play a key role in sustainable projects.

Wayne Hemingway comments: “We hope this limited edition umbrella will get people thinking and ultimately inspire them to play their vital role in recycling their bottles – so Coca-Cola‘s new PlantBottle™ packaging can be re-used again and again.”

The designer umbrella will be available in Harvey Nichols Stores nationwide from September 12th for a limited period only and from the 26th September, it will also be available on

Find out more about the 100% recyclable bottles

I'll be carrying my Wayne Hemingway designed umbrella as soon as this heatwave gives way to the inevitable British rainy weather.