Tuesday, 31 August 2010

You can take the girl out of Manchester…

Well I have finally done it folks…I am taking the plunge and heading to the fashion capital of the UK…LONDON baby!  I have finally managed to get that elusive ‘lucky break’ and I am on my way…into the unknown.  This could be the making of me or the breaking of me…who knows!  But one thing is for sure, exciting and interesting times lie ahead.

It’s been seven years since I set out on my fashion journey and it’s been a long, hard and very interesting road.  I have made many sacrifices and encountered a great deal of negativity from people who told me I would never make it.  I’ve been at the point where I have wanted to give up, and join the 9 to 5 drill that countless people set out on everyday.  But I never gave up, I kept going, despite the setbacks, knock-backs and numerous opportunities that seemed to have leverage but turned out to be nothing but disappointments.

You might be sitting there asking yourself why I am writing this on my blog???  Well  the answer is very simple.  My sacrifices, tears and hard work are starting to pay off.  I never gave up, even when I was down to my last fiver and neither should anyone reading this.  I have loved fashion from the age of five, and I was determined to work in the industry despite the hurdles that I knew I would face.  I have now been given an opportunity that could set me on my path to greatness and what’s even better, is that I have had some fantastic support along the way, from some truly amazing people who I am blessed to have in my life.  There are far too many people to name here, but you know who you are and to all of you, I wish to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Words could never express my gratitude and love for all the people who have supported me on this journey and who will no doubt, continue to support me.  I only hope that I can offer you the same kindness, generosity and support that you have all shown to me.

However, there is one person whom I would like to mention and that is my mum, who over the years, has made many sacrifices for both myself and my sister.  I would not be sitting on this train to London without her and could never thank her enough.  So if you ever read this mum (she has a serious phobia of anything remotely technical), all I can say is…I love you…and thank you.

Stay tuned for further blog posts on my adventures in London…and thank you for reading my blog posts and supporting me.  I am living proof that if you are prepared to put in the hard work required, make the necessary sacrifices and take a risk, then dreams really can come true!

Stay Stylish and stay tuned,

Lisa (aka STYLISA)

Friday, 27 August 2010

Style in Your City: Tokyo Fashion

By Sheila Cliffe

Fun Fashion!

Fun is everything in Tokyo!

Above everything else, fashion in Tokyo is about having fun. Life in Japan, especially in such a big city, can be very busy and stressful, and Japanese tend to work long hours, with short holidays if they are on the corporate ladder. It is thought that Japanese students don’t study hard, but many of them are busy not only with study, but working part-time jobs too, to help pay for their school fees. Where as young people in the Western Europe might associate growing up with increased freedom, and therefore something to be desired, in Japan growing up is associated with more work and responsibility, and therefore young people desire to stay kids as long as possible, and they want to maintain their youthful looks. For this reason, rather than trying to be glamorous, Japanese girls would rather look cute. They also have feelings of affection for their school uniforms, which represent the fun of their school days.

Accessorize everything!

Cute Accessories

Most Japanese girls dye their hair and many boys do too. Long flowing hair is popular this year, and hair extensions are common. Relatively long and spiky hair is popular with young men, and they style their hair after the most popular musicians. Men’s accessories are very important, too. High heels are popular, especially with shorter girls, and they seem happy to wear them all day. Students accessorize everything from their bags, to phones to pencil cases. A fan is a useful accessory in the hot weather, and you can brighten up your room or garden with a wind charm, from the wind charm stall.

Summer trends!
It's all about stripes and florals...

This year there seem to be two popular trends in summer fashion. One trend comes from images of the sea, and this is evidenced in navy blue and white, or black and white horizontally striped T-shirts and tops. “Border prints”. This is the simpler and more casual style. It is often paired up with Converse shoes.

Mini-Me Floral Fashion

The other style that is really popular at the moment is rather a romantic one. There are floral prints on dresses, skirts, play suits and even on frilly shorts. Skirts are of all lengths, maxi to mini, and tiers, lace and frills on the edges are common. Pastel colours appear to be the most popular, but all colours are seen, and there does not seem to be one colour which is representative of the trend. Frills on shorts are in lace as well as in floral patterns.

Cool as cucumbers! Wa-fashions

Pastel Parasols & Kool Kimonos

Japanese styles for the summer change slower than Western fashions, but the craze for black parasols appears to be over. Pastel colours are always popular, as are lace and gauzy and loosely woven fabrics. Images of the sea, and water, and small summer flowers are the summer staples, and kimono wearers perfect the art of looking cool, with several layers of clothing on. Linen and indigo are seen as especially cool for the summer. Polka dots are seen in both Japanese and Western styles this year.

Flashing photographs!

More Kimono Koolness!

The photographs here represent people walking in the street in Ginza, Omote- Sando, Harajuku, and also students at a women’s college on the northern edge of Tokyo. I have avoided some of the more radical and strange street styles of the extremists and concentrated on the everyday! Enjoy the fun fashion looks of Tokyo this summer!

Cool College Cuties!

The guys is Tokyo look pretty cool too!

Check out Sheila's blog here 

Thursday, 26 August 2010

STYLISA guest post featured on Catwalk Genius Blog

Check out the latest STYLISA guest blog post on the Catwalk Genius blog - read it here or click on the logo below:-

Monday, 9 August 2010

STYLISA chats to DisneyRollerGirl

We were lucky enough to chat to DisneyRollerGirl, whose blog has received rave reviews and has been featured in The Time, The Independent, Grazia Daily, 10 Magazine and has been recommended by the Financial Times.  The lovely lady herself was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to chat to Lisa Maynard-Atem.


Firstly, what inspired you to start your blog?
Probably Susie Bubble's blog. I really liked the idea of an online diary-type journal where I could share all my fashion findings and empty my head of information, opinions, pictures and general ramblings. I felt I had something unique to offer - a unique perspective.

Were you surprised at the reaction that your blog has received?
Yes and no. I think a lot of the blogs that started around the same time (three years ago) have received similar recognition because in the UK at that time there were only a handful of them. Any blog that has been going for three years and is still plugging away deserves to get noticed - it's bloody hard work!

Why do you think the bloggers have become so prominent in the world of fashion?
Lots of reasons. People like to get an opinion from someone just like them, someone they can relate to rather than just the 'experts'. Apparently, people trust opinion from fellow consumers as opposed to people who have been paid to write what they write. Also I think online fashion and blogging goes hand in hand, it's easy to source pictures and add links, the resources are there. Blogging is also currently fashionable so it's still getting lots of attention. The fashion industry likes newness and blogs are still quite new so the love is still there. What I particularly like is that blogs are changing the way people look at fashion. Street style blogs have had an incredible effect on helping people experiment with fashion and define their style. And I like how there is no age barrier in fashion blogging. No-one cares.


What in your opinion, makes a good fashion blog?
I like a blog that is updated regularly and has a specific voice. It's hard to stick to *your* thing and very easy to unwittingly copy other bloggers. I notice it a lot on Twitter actually, everyone lapses into a particular tone.

Do you have any favourite fashion blogs?
Loads. I like Coco's Tea Party as she has a great eye for celebrity style. (I don't care for celebrities but I need to know what they're wearing for work.) Garance Dore is a very beautiful blog mixing illustration, writing, photography and even video. The Business of Fashion is brilliant for news. For pure eye candy I like Jackyblue.

What is your definition of style?
I think it's something that's unique to you. When what you wear has a meaning to you rather than wearing clothes because they're 'in fashion'. 

Who are your style icons?
I like men as style icons. Robert Rauschenberg, David Hockney, Andy Warhol. They kind of have one look each and that's it, I quite like that discipline. Otherwise Sofia Coppola and Alexa Chung have lovely taste.

What advice would you give to aspiring fashion bloggers?
Don't start a blog unless you have something to say!

Check out the DisneyRollerGirl blog here
Follow DisneyRollerGirl here

Thursday, 5 August 2010

STYLISA featured in Par Excellence Magazine

Par Excellence Magazine, have featured an article about STYLISA founder, Lisa Maynard-Atem.  Click here or on the logo below to read the piece.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

STYLISA collaborates with Schuh

We are delighted to announce that we have been featured on the Schuh blog, talking about A/W trends for 2010/2011.  Read our guest blog post by clicking on the logo below:

Click here to visit the Schuh website

Monday, 2 August 2010

STYLISA interviews Jessica Lowe from Harvey Nichols

We were lucky enough to get five minutes with the lovely Jessica Lowe, who is the Press and Marketing Manager at Harvey Nichols in Manchester...

Jessica Lowe with shoe designer, Nicholas Kirkwood

What is your role at Harvey Nichols Manchester?
I am the Press and Marketing Manager. It is my job to think of different ways to entice new and existing customers into the store whether it be through communication about products and promotions in the local press, social media, e-newsletters or our website, arranging fabulous events for our customers or working to bring some Harvey Nichols Magic to external events, especially the charity events that we support.  In summary it is my job to spread the Harvey Nichols word!

How did you get into the world of luxury fashion?
I've always had an interest in fashion, even from an early age.  In fact when I was eight years old I came second in a competition to design a new outfit for Barbie.  I was on the Clothes Show, and even got the opportunity to meet Jeff Banks.  Whilst I studied English at the University of Manchester, I worked for Topshop and was quickly promoted to being a Style Advisor.  I also used my fashion knowledge to write for the student paper and decided to pursue a career in fashion journalism.  I spent two years as the fashion Editor at legendary Magazine (in its original incarnation) City Life, which was a great experience.   Manchester has such a great retail mix from the boutiques of the Northern Quarter to world renowned brands like Harvey Nichols and I got paid to write about it every week.  I freelanced for a number of local magazines and I have written for Vogue.com.  My role at City life led to a number of freelance positions working with Urbis on the Little Black Dress exhibition, taking a group of home-grown designers on a selling expedition to Barcelona for the Northwest Textiles Network, as well as styling shoots and arranging fashion shows.  Then I saw the job at Harvey Nichols and it had everything I wanted, not to mention the beautiful clothes and gorgeous beauty products and scrumptious food I get to work with every day!

What is an average day with the press and marketing office?
There is no such thing as an average day in the Press and Marketing office.  One day can involve brainstorming ideas with the store management team on events, and the next day I could be running around like a loon on fashion show day, making sure the models get to hair and make-up on time, or it could just be as simple as updating our website or twitter with fabulous new products.

What are the highlights of the job?
Well the obvious perks are getting to work with, try on and sometimes buy (at a discount!) very beautiful and expensive clothes.  We also have some incredible beauty brands and I get treated to lovely facials and get to try out revolutionary new products.  But I think that the main thing that has stopped me from straying from the job over the last four years is the amazing feeling you get when you pull off a really fantastic event. Especially when I get up the next morning, and see our event on the cover of the Manchester Evening News and hear nothing but great things from our customers.

And the challenges???
Working alone on a lot of projects can be tough, as can the long hours. But it's all worth it!

Do you have a favourite designer?
I have several, and it can often change from season to season depending on the collection, but winners for me include; Marc Jacobs, whose collections are always fun, youthful and very wearable; I also adore Lanvin dresses, I love the beautiful fabrics and interesting cuts but the fact that they are slightly roughly finished just suits my personality perfectly, I don't do too polished; and Miu Miu accessories are always at the top of my wish list.

When dressing for work, do you wear purely designer clothing or do you mix your designer with high street labels?
I tend to buy what I like, regardless of the label (price permitting of course!).  I like things that are unique or that I can style in a slightly different way.  Fashion should be descriptive not prescriptive, I hate it when magazines tell us what we 'should be wearing this season'. Clothes should express who we are or what we feel on that particular day! 

What do you believe true style is?
I think that style is the ability to translate your personality through the way you dress.  If you get this right, your clothes will always suit you. You can spot it a mile away when someone isn't comfortable in what they're wearing no matter how 'This Season' it is. 

What is your top tip for spring/summer fashion?
Summer is the time to be girlie! Get our your prettiest prints and floatiest frocks and you can guarantee the weather will feel fine even if the sun doesn't have its hat on!

Finally, what advice would you give to anyone who wants to get into the world of fashion retail?
Know the business as a whole, it's an ever changing industry so always be aware of you customers, your competition and product. It's not enough to just love clothes... but it does help!

Check out Harvey Nichols Manchester here