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PLANS THIS EVENING? YOU DO NOW. Join us for a dinner date to remember.

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James Rodriguez, Footballer


#53

Hello spring. Welcome back to Style, our first issue of 2017 and we’ve pulled out all the stops to make this year go off with a bang. With the arrival of spring comes a host of new collections and trends; turn to page 11 to get the low down on all the latest looks, our shopping pages [page 15] will give you some serious wardrobe inspiration with the hottest looks and staple pieces fresh off the SS17 catwalk. This issue is filled with interviews with some truly lovely ladies. We catch up with former Spice Girl Melanie C to talk all about her new album and tour [page 20], entrepreneur Rosie Ginday reveals the story behind the success of her business Miss Macaroon [Page 32], and star of The Saturdays Una Healy tells us all about going solo [page 76].

Contact@stylebham.com

Editor-in-Chief Andrew Riley

andrew@stylebham.com Creative Director Mike Raven

mike@stylebham.com Sub Editor Lisa Piddington Editorial Assistant Becky Weaver Account Executive Jade Woodhouse Designer Simon Konaszczuk Designer Kati Boniface

Special thanks to:

Throughout the rest of this jam-packed issue you’ll get your fix of city culture in our Insider section [page 67]. Our resident writers Philip Ellis and Tara Tomes are back with some fantastic features covering everything from sustainable clothing [page 68] to the old-fashioned hobbies that have come back with a vengeance [page 78]. Plus, you can forget ‘freakshakes’ there’s a new wave of food trends that are set to take over the culinary world this year [page 81]. Finally, head to page 85 to check out our top picks of where to spend a weekend if you need to recharge and escape the hustle and bustle of the outside world. From luxury spa breaks to hard-hitting fitness retreats, these places are sure to leave you feeling revitalized and rejuvinated. We’re so excited to be back and we can’t wait to share the rest of the year with you. Enjoy the issue!

Philip Ellis, Tara Tomes, Rose Gallagher, Central School of Make-Up, Kim Clay, Sarah Spence, Chris and Beth at Harris Gibbs Hair, Jasmine, Jasmina and Kate at Bookings Models, Matthew Ward at Established Models, Chrissie Trattos, Nicolle Rimmer, Laura Hughes, Zoe McGahey, Royston Blythe, Meg Cherry and Harpreet Dawett.

Style Birmingham is created by RileyRaven Unit 606B, The Big Peg, 120 Vyse Street, Birmingham, B18 6NF rileyraven.co.uk hello@rileyraven.co.uk 0121 769 2808

Turn to page 24 to see our spring shoot! On the cover: Photography: Mike Raven, Assistant: Zoe McGahey Model: Jasmine at Bookings Models, Makeup: Sarah Spence Hair: Chris and Beth at Harris Gibbs Styling: Kati Boniface

All information is correct at the time of going to press. Please note that prices for items are subject to change so may vary from those mentioned, contact individual stores for definitive pricing information. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, without prior permission. We make every effort to ensure that firms and organisations mentioned are reputable, however, we can give no guarantee that they will fulfil their obligations in all circumstances. Contributors’ opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the editor or of Style Birmingham Ltd. Any material submitted is done so at the owner’s risk, and the company can take no responsibility for the safe storage or return of such material.

stylebham.com | 7


CONTENTS

Beauty 041 Beauty Bulletin Our must-

have products this season 042 Scents of Style Rose Gallagher’s guide to spring’s freshest fragrances 043 Art Pop Make a statement with this season’s hottest beauty looks 047 Spring Hair Reboot Royston Blythe’s guide to Boho braids and nailing ice-blonde tones 048 Beauty Talk Singer Frances shares her favourite products

Insider 068 Fashion vs. Style Say goodbye to mass

43 Shine bright this spring with bold colours and glistening sheen

production, ethical clothing is taking over 074 Out & About Our top picks of what to see and do in the city 075 Blooming Blockbusters The hit films and TV shows that are landing in 2017 078 My Favourite Things The nostalgic hobbies to take up this year 081 Hotspots Take a bite of 2017’s hottest food trends from these city gems

Man Women 010 Style Chart The hottest

products you need right now 011 Trend Update From belts to sheer fabrics, here’s what to wear this spring 015 Spring Staples Fresh off the catwalk, take a look at SS17’s top trends 019 Fashion News The latest collaborations and collections 024 The Denim Remix Get ready to reinvent your old-school denim 034 Loosen Up Refresh your spring wardrobe with Next, Bullring

Features stylebham.com For daily fashion, culture and city updates

8 | Contents

020 Melanie C We talk to Melanie about

her new album and tour 032 The Taste of Success Rosie Ginday tells all about her blossoming business 070 A Winning Formula We caught up with previous winners to discuss the importance of Birmingham Young Professional of the Year 076 Una Healy Former star of The Saturdays talks about releasing her debut solo album 093 Fiona Allan CEO of Birmingham Hippodrome talks all things culture

051 In this issue Luke Roper, founder

of menswear brand LUKE talks fashion and the economy. Plus we’ll give you the low-down on the latest must-have gadgets and share this season’s staple pieces.

Life 085 Retreat, Relax & Recharge

The luxury well-being retreats that will get you in top form 091 Find your Happiness We teamed up with Grand Central Birmingham to discover what makes people happy 094 Recipe Cook up a storm in the kitchen with some crispy falafel and taratoor sauce 097 Heath Kick Whip yourself back into shape and work your way to your dream body 098 WIN We’re giving you the chance to win a Champagne stay in a Penthouse suite at Staying Cool at Rotunda


MAILBOX SHOPPING CENTRE


Arm Candy Sleek and sophisticated, we love the rose gold detailing on this classic black Sheffield watch. £139, danielwellington.com

Want to see more of what we love? Visit stylebham.com

As Fresh as a Daisy With hints of blackberry and pear, Daisy Dream by Marc Jacobs is the perfect spring scent. £34.99, 30ml, John Lewis

From fresh scents to delicate jewellery - here’s what we’re lusting after this spring Editor’s Pick

Style Chart

Flower Power Say goodbye to winter and welcome the spring sun. This floral print dress is a perfect addition to your wardrobe. £39.99, Mango

Loose Change Designed with a single compartment, keep all your essentials safe in this rounded leather purse. £19, COS

Light it Up Refresh your interiors and add a funky glow with this sculptural hand-blown Blue Onda table lamp. £85, Oliver Bonas

Song Bird Relax into the weekend with this stunning 12” vinyl album from Laura Marling. £21.99, HMV

Thirst Quencher Give your skin a little T.L.C. Emma Hardie Moisture Boost Cream will leave your skin glowing. £45, Marks & Spencer

Lip Lock Available in 13 shades, this stunning Velvet Lip Glide in Danceteria is a sure-fire way to let your lips do the talking. £22, Nars, Harvey Nichols

10 | Style Chart

On Point Dazzle with this boho graphic ring. Embellished with diamonds to make a stylish statement. £180, Thomas Sabo


Trend Update

Issey Miyake

Balmain

Burberry

WOMEN

Topshop Unique

Burberry

Issey Miyake

Fendi

Balmain

Tod’s

Spring is upon us and with a new season comes fresh trends. From studded belts to delicate tulle, SS17 is in full swing

Trench Coat Takeover

A must-have in any wardrobe this season, trench coats have been taking the catwalk by storm in all different colours and lengths. From the iconic Burberry trench to Fendi’s floral fantasy, you can top off any ensemble with this timeless piece.

stylebham.com | 11


Tod’s

Get Waisted

Burberry

Burberry

Layer up and embrace hourglass silhouettes this season by finishing off any outfit with belts. From Burberry’s stylish studs to striking colours at Issey Miyake, it’s time to get playful with one of SS17’s hottest

catwalk trends.

Burberry Fendi Balmain Balmain

Tod’s

Balmain Issey Miyake

ke

Yves Saint Laurent

iya Issey M

Yves Saint Laurent Issey Miyake

12 | Trends


Balmain

Fendi

Hugo Boss

Balmain

Burberry

WOMEN

Sheer

Fendi

Fendi

Topshop Unique

Burberry

Balmain

Hugo Boss

Burberry

Topshop Unique

Floaty, textured and frilly, tulle never looked so chic. Step away from ballerina skirts and keep it sleek with thigh-high slits like Balmain, or pair your tulle with a suit to keep it classic and effortless.

Topshop Unique

Opulence

stylebham.com | 13


THOMASSABO.COM

CONTACT: +44 (0) 20 77 20 97 25 UK@THOMASSABO.COM


WOMEN

Soft Tailoring

Loose sophisticated tailoring, statement accessories and cool casual pieces, this masculine trend continues to dominate the high street.

WANT MORE?

Marc Jacobs Biker patchwork backpack, £540, Harvey Nichols

Turn to page 24

Boutique Kimono buckle top, £55, Topshop

Next Studded jacket, £65

Stella McCartney Elyse flatforms, £625, Harvey Nichols

Denim Refresh

Forget what you’ve been told about double denim, it’s time to channel your inner Britney and embrace this versatile noughties trend.

Topshop Unique

Waven Burnt orange denim crop top, £25, Topshop

STYLE LOVES!

Spring Staples Blush, Punk and Denim, we’ve rounded up the season’s latest trends from the highstreet, so you can rejuvinate your wardrobe perfectly

Harris Wharf London Wool coat, £310, Harvey Nichols

Topshop Puffer jacket, £65 Sophie Hulme Leather tote, £550, Selfridges

Topshop Crop wide leg trouser, £42 Cluse Minuit watch, £79, Selfridges

Whistles Kenley trainers, £129

You’re Blushing

Step into spring with this fresh feminine colour. It’s not just your cheeks that need a pop of colour, pastel pink is the way to go.

Federica Moretti Pink bow wool beanie, £65, Harvey Nichols

stylebham.com | 15


Boutique Moschino Striped waffle-knit jacket, £570, Harvey Nichols

Taste the Rainbow

Edie Parker Jean pearlescent box clutch, £995, Harvey Nichols

Be fearless this season and give your wardrobe a revamp with garish prints and bright colours. The bolder the better.

Zara Mu

stard skirt, £17.99

Balmain

WE LOVE STRIPES!

Loeffler Randall Clo suede mules, £415, Harvey Nichols

Accessorize Japanese blossom silk scarf, £22

Hugo Boss

Glamorous Brocade skirt, £28, Topshop

New Look Floral embroidered mules, £27.99

Pandora Bouquet ring, £55

Garden Goddess

Spring has sprung with flourishing patterns and elegant embriodery, now is the time to take on the season in true style.

Gucci Silk bomber jacket, £1,615, Selfridges

Fendi

River Island backpack, £32

16 | Shopping

SPRING STYLE ALERT!


WOMEN Whistles Split front sweater, £85

Topshop Paint splatter skirt, £34

Topshop Cropped leather jacket, £185

FAUX

F EV OR

ER!

Isabel Marant Étoile Red faux leather trousers, £145, Harvey Nichols

Givenchy Leather jacket, £2,980, Harvey Nichols

Fendi Hypnoshine sunglasses, £410, Harvey Nichols

£24.99

Fix your Attitude

Unleash your inner rebel and take on the punk trend with full force. Leading with leather, studs and rips, this trend is one not to be messed with.

Step aside sailors, this nauticle vibe isn’t just for you. Clashing colours and textures are key, or head in a different direction and keep it chic by adding some lines into one of your favourite accessories.

t dress,

River Island Leopard print boots, £40

Seeing Stripes

H&M Sh ir

#STYLE LOVES

Isabel Marant Selina cotton trousers, £285, Harvey Nichols

New Look Faux fur cross body bag, £15.99

Marc Jacobs Patchwork crossbody bag, £390, Selfridges

L.K. Bennett Marlowe patent courts, £225 Vivienne Westwood Swarovski embellished earrings, £75, Selfridges

Fendi AllSaints Cacey boot, £248 stylebham.com | 17


S AT U R D AY

M O R N I N G

GRAND CENTRAL, BIRMINGHAM

Home | Bedroom | Candles & Fragrance | Clothing | The Little White Company


WOMEN

Pink Lady If the SS17 catwalk is anything to go by, fuchsia is a staple colour for any woman this season. From delicate satins to striking relaxed chinos, all eyes are on this hot pink that came out loud and proud at the Topshop and Valentino shows.

e op

An te l

n t, £ 4 5 0 nda pe

New Look Suedette shoulder bag, £12.99

Ring, £235

African Adventure Africa triangle necklace, £150

Fashion News

Kurt Geiger London Evie satin courts, £230, Selfridges

Zara High rise trousers, £39.99

Marc Jacbos Embellished denim jacket, £735, Selfridges

80s Baby It’s time to channel your inner Debbie Harry and embrace one of the seasons biggest trends. Think leg warmers, leggings and oversized silhouettes - that’s right, the 80s is back, and this time it’s bigger than ever. Don’t be afraid to step back in time in true style embracing loud colours and playful patterns to make the most out of this bold and brilliant trend.

New Look Denim scrunche trio, £3.99

MOTO tulle skirt, £36, Topshop

Cropped polo shirt, £75

Textiled wedges, £115

The Return of TommyXGigi Following the huge success of its AW16 collaboration Gigi Hadid has once again joined forces with Tommy Hilfiger. Get ready to add some serious style to your wardrobe this spring; featuring apparel, footwear, accessories and bold prints the collection showcases signature Tommy colours, whilst embracing Gigi’s West Coast spirit and Californian style.

Tommy Hilfiger

Topshop Unique

Journey deep into the jungle with Thomas Sabo’s Africa collection. Featuring earthy tones, shining metallics and tribal patterns, this edit of culturally inspired pendants, earrings, and necklaces is sure to warm your heart.

stylebham.com | 19


Melanie C: My New Chapter She’s conquered the West End and the world of TV, now Melanie C is back with a brand new album, an intimate tour and a fresh outlook on life Words: Becky Weaver

20 | Melanie C


E

WOMEN

very so often there comes a time when you speak to someone who’s genuinely lovely. Someone who embraces what they do with their heart and soul, and speaks of their career with such passion that you feel like you’ve known them your whole life. Melanie C is one of those people. I only get a short time to chat to the former Spice Girl who has, it’s safe to say, left the days of Sporty Spice behind her - despite telling me that “there’s a time and a place to party” - but it’s enough to allow me to get to know the real Melanie Jayne Chisholm, not the tank top, pony-tailed, tracksuit Mel C that I grew up listening to. Now, following the release of her sixth studio album Version of Me, the 43-year-old is preparing to embark on a seven-date whistle-stop tour of the UK and Ireland which will head to Birmingham’s O2 Institute on April 9 before she jets off for further dates in Germany. “I’ll be having a bit of fun that night,” she playfully giggles. So, how’s life treating Melanie now she’s back on the road? She’s just returned from a weeks promotion for the album in Germany, but it won’t be long before she’s back on the tour bus and doing what she loves most performing live. “I’ve always felt comfortable on stage,” Melanie says. “It’s funny when I’m up there because I’m not really extrovert, I’m not someone in an everyday situation. Some days I might feel a little bit uncomfortable or a little bit shy, but on stage, I always feel quite courageous. Being a bit older I do definitely feel like I care less about what people think.” Back in the 90s when the Spice Girls were the queens of pop, Melanie performed in some of the biggest venues in the world to millions of people, but having matured she now prefers the more intimate venues to share her music with her fans. “Don’t get me wrong, playing places like the O2 and Madison Square Garden was phenomenal and so exciting, but I prefer to experience the smaller venues where you just feel more of a connection with the audience, you kind of feel like it’s more fulfilling for the crowd as well,” she explains. A mother to Scarlet Starr, Melanie tells me that she decided to keep her tour short and sweet to remain closer to her daughter. “I’ve been really

spoilt in the last few years because I’ve been able to take her to school most days but I do miss her when I’m away. “I love my job, but I also want to teach my daughter to have a good work ethic just as my mum taught me. It really is about learning that balance of getting out there and doing what you love but not neglecting your role as a mum,” she continues. “I’m trying to juggle the same life as all mums.” It’s been five years since Melanie released her album Stages, which would lead many to think that she’s simply taken the time to put her feet up and enjoy life with her daughter, but the truth is she’s barely taken her foot off the breaks. What Melanie calls a break was simply a chance to take on other projects, or, as she explains has “given her the chance to live” in between recording her album and all the other exciting opportunity’s that have come her way. “Previously I’ve just dedicated a year to going to the studio and writing loads of songs and I think sometimes when you do that you can repeat yourself, you start to feel like that you’re losing a little inspiration and enthusiasm,” she tells me. “I’ve had so many experiences over the last few years; I played Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar in the UK and Australia. We actually did two nights in Birmingham and it was filmed for the DVD. I’ve toured with Jools Holland and been a judge on Asia’s Got Talent. It’s just been really nice to have new things to talk about and express on the album.” A busy lady she’s been indeed. Coming off the back of one of the biggest girl groups of all time was never going to be easy, yet Melanie has gone on to become one of the most successful girls in the group dabbling in TV, stage work in the West End, not forgetting landing two number one singles and two top 10 albums in the UK charts. She is, in short, a sheer talent. No stranger to penning incredible songs and duetting with some of the biggest names in music, including the legendary Brian Adams for the 1998 hit When You’re Gone, Melanie has created what has to be the bravest album of her career that has seen her step away from her traditional pop sound, crafting an electronic album inspired by her love of artists Jack Garrett, Massive Attack and MØ.

"Being a bit

older I do definitely feel like I care less about what people think"

stylebham.com | 21


I’m curious as to what made Melanie make such a drastic change with her music for Version of Me. Her signature pop style has never let her down before, so why take her sound in a completely different direction? “When I started working on this album I wasn’t sure what I wanted to achieve. I knew I wanted to produce something different because I feel very different.” she says. “I feel like I’m at a new chapter in my life and I wanted to express myself not only lyrically, but with the way that my music sounded as well. I’ve always wanted to create an electronic album in my career but there’s never really been a right time to do it until now.” Stepping into a different style of music has opened many doors for Melanie. Whilst she continued to work with Peter Vettese and Adam Argyle, three tracks from the album were actually co-wrote with Sons of Sonix, a young production duo who have previously worked with artists including Ariana Grande and Tinie Tempah. Melanie tells me that she wasn’t sure if working with Sons of Sonix would be the right fit for her, but after heading into the studio she quickly changed her mind. “We come from such different parts of the music world, the boys’ focus is very much in grime and R&B and I’m from this pop background, but our common ground is that we just love music. “We got talking about what we wanted to express and we just hit it off. It’s probably the only time in my career where all the songs we wrote in three sessions made it onto the album.” The mother of one has never been one to shy away from her inner demons and personal life in her songwriting, making sure her lyrics are truthful is something that remains key to her. “I’m a bit of a drama queen,” she laughs. “I’ve found that people really identify with a song if it’s honest. “I find if I’m singing a song on stage and it’s a very real emotion that comes from a situation I’ve been through in my life - even if it’s a difficult time - it’s so fulfilling to be able to express yourself, sing those lyrics and relive those emotions. “It’s so nice to hear from fans how your music has helped them and that they can identify with something that you’ve been through; I’ve done that myself, I’ve found solace in music, it becomes your friend in the darkest of times.” Version of Me by Melanie C is out now. To get tickets to her tour visit melaniec.net

22 | Melanie C

"I’ve found solace in music, it becomes your friend in the darkest of times."


WOMEN

Images buy Marlene Marino

stylebham.com | 23


Gingham re-worked shirt, £34, dree cropped denim kick flare, £38, red ankle boots, £75, sunglasses, £22

24 | The Denim Remix


WOMEN

The Denim Remix

It’s time to reinvent your old-school denim. From patchwork to gingham, dare to be different with this season’s staple

Photography: Mike Raven Styling: Kati Boniface Assistant: Zoe McGahey Hair: Chris and Beth at Harris Gibbs Makeup: Sarah Spence at Central School of Make-Up Model: Jasmine at Bookings Models All clothing from Topshop

stylebham.com | 25


Red peplum sleeve top, ÂŁ19, true denim pinafore, ÂŁ36

26 | The Denim Remix


WOMEN

Asymmetric gingham frill top, £29, Jamie high waisted embroidered jeans, £59, yellow suede mules, £52

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28 | The Denim Remix Blue stripe shirt, £75, yellow suede mules, £52, dree cropped denim kick flare jeans, £38, sunglasses, £22


WOMEN

Blue denim dress, £55, zebra western belt, £26

stylebham.com | 29


30 | The Denim Remix Black denim dress, ÂŁ59, embroidered ankle boots, ÂŁ89


WOMEN

Gingham reworked shirt, £34, dree cropped denim kick flare jeans, £38, red ankle boots, £75, sunglasses, £22

stylebham.com | 31


R

The Taste of Success Founder of Miss Macaroon entrepreneur Rosie Ginday is crafting a revolutionary business that is putting Birmingham on the map for all the right reasons Words: Becky Weaver

32 | Miss Macaroon

osie Ginday is slowly building an empire. In the space of six years, her macaroon business has seen her accelerate not only in the world of patisserie but in profit growth through her dedication and inspirational entrepreneur programmes. Set up in early 2011 Miss Macaroon is not just a business, it’s a social enterprise that’s giving young people - including ex-offenders and care leavers - a chance to get their foot on the career ladder. It’s a risky business, but for Rosie it’s one that’s certainly paid off. “We invest all our profits in providing training for jobs for unemployed young people,” Rosie says. “We work with people who have been unemployed for six months or more; some of them have come from the Criminal Justice System, some of them could have been homeless, others may be care leavers or have mental health problems.” Miss Macaroon offers two courses to its students, a kitchen course that runs for four weeks and a retail course that runs for two. By working alongside Rosie’s team of eight across her kitchen based in Jewellery Quarter and shop housed in Great Western Arcade they’re provided with mentoring, helping them to build up their skills that will lead them to either employment with the company or one of Miss Macaroon’s partner businesses. “Sometimes people don’t get the opportunities that they deserve and they just need a bit of hand holding and someone to believe in them,” Rosie says. “Quite often people are told that they’re terrible at school and that can have a really negative affect on someone, they might lose their confidence in trying to get a job.” The entrepreneur mission course provides not only vital in-house training but teaches students the importance of a five-year plan, the foundation that helped Rosie evolve her business and open her first shop last year. “I really wanted to open the shop five years ago but there’s so much investment that’s required, building a strong team and getting the product perfect takes such a long time. One of the things that we actually teach on the


WOMEN course is how important it is to have a five-year plan and how to break it down into manageable tasks. “Things in a business change all the time, but as long as you have a plan you will always have something to work towards. The growth of the business is a great thing to show the trainees that things might not always go to plan but they will work out if you just keep working hard.” It’s not just her entrepreneur programmes that make Rosie’s business unique, Miss Macaroon is the only macaroon company in the world that can Pantone-match the colours of the delicate French patisserie, which means her small team can create bespoke high-end products for customers including John Lewis, EE and Pandora. “It’s great for customers who have a specific colour scheme for their event but mainly it’s for large corporate customers who have quite strict branding policies,” she tells me. “We match the macaroons to a couple of the companies bright colours and then logo-print the ribbons and provide them with bespoke gift tags and bags which are perfect for conferences or giveaways at exhibitions.” Michelin trained under Birmingham chef Glynn Purnell at his restaurant Purnells, Rosie discovered her love for food whilst studying her degree in fine art at Leeds Metropolitan University. The inspiration to help young individuals came after she met a homeless man who had lost all of his possessions in a house fire, leading to the birth of Miss Macaroon. “When I was in my first year I realised my passion was in food, it was where I wanted to make my

career but my Dad gave me the advice of completing my degree because it would be a qualification that would open doors for me,” Rosie explains. “Once I completed my degree I felt like I was a bit too young to set up my own business but a bit too old to go straight back into college and train properly. I ended up going to Taiwan to teach English and whilst I was there I opened a vegan and vegetarian restaurant with my friend and it really gave me the confidence to come back and do something similar.” But what attracted Rosie to creating a business built around macaroons? It’s a difficult craft that takes a lot of time to perfect, a process that Rosie tells me she loves because “it’s quite scientific, mathematical and has elements of everything I love intertwined.” For Rosie, the goal is to make macaroons mainstream, allowing people to understand that they are accessible to everyone, not just a luxury treat that they are often identified as. The Miss Macaroon team are continuously developing new ways to attract more customers. “We have some amazing pastry chefs in the kitchen who love doing new product development, they can make around 7,000 macaroons per day. We also run Twitter polls as a way to test new flavours and select our promotional flavour of the week that’s sold in store for £1.” Rosie opened her first retail space in the city last October; not just a space for the business to sell its product, the shop also offers seating for customers to enjoy their sweet treats washed down with a crisp glass of Prosecco. “This shop is our test space,” Rosie continues. “The team are always coming up with new promotions and ways that we can get more customers. A lot of the feedback we get is about how friendly the staff are, how knowledgeable and passionate they are and that’s what it’s all about. “People host events with us too, in the past we’ve had hen parties come in and it’s a great opportunity for

customers to come in and create their own personal flavoured macaroon with different ganaches and toppings.” The business may be in its early stages but everything seems to be going incredibly well for Miss Macaroon. “We supply all over the country as far as Inverness,” Rosie says. “Last year for Boots we created 48 macaroon towers with the branding on to launch its new emporium service. We’ve been the preferred suppliers to Pandora since 2012 and we also supply to Michelinstarred restaurants.” “A lot of our customers are based in London but this is our first retail space. We’re currently working on a second retail in Leeds and we’ve also started a relationship with Network Rail.” So, what’s next for Miss Macaroon? “I have plans for this company to be much bigger, the shop is just a stepping stone. The goals are always going to constantly expand when you’re an entrepreneur, you’re aways going to be pushing to be bigger and better. “The team are doing a fantastic job and the past six months have been insane - we’ve taken up our first retail space, we’re taking on our first bit of investment and we’ve almost doubled our headcount. We’re kind of competitive in the business,” Rosie adds. “We’re always pushing each other to achieve the best. Not only does it allow us to become better role models to the trainees but it’s a bit of fun for the team as well.” Watch this space, Miss Macaroon is heading for world domination. Visit Miss Macaroon in Great Western Arcade & online at missmacaroon.co.uk stylebham.com | 33


Loosen Up Soft fabrics meet structured tailoring to create the ultimate laid-back look courtesy of Next, Bullring

Photography: Mike Raven Styling: Kati Boniface Assistant: Simon Konaszczuk Hair: Justina Kairyte at Central School of Make-Up Makeup: Chrissie Trattos Model: Kate at Bookings Models

34 | Spring Style


WOMEN

Ruched sleeve shirt, £32 Culottes, £45 Nude tubular glam sandals, £35

stylebham.com | 35


Vintage tie detail dress, ÂŁ58

36 | Spring Style


WOMEN

Rust vintage balloon sleeve dress, ÂŁ55 Rust wide heel sandals, ÂŁ32

stylebham.com | 37


Leather look A-line skirt, £10 White linen sleeve detail shirt, £32 Black leather wooden clogs, £65

38 | Spring Style


WOMEN

Grey floral tie cuff shirt, £14 Khaki tie waist cropped trousers, £36

stylebham.com | 39


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THE BEAUTY EDIT

Flawless Skin The key to the perfect makeup look lies in the base. (1)Stila’s Aqua Glow™ Perfecting Primer, £20, Harvey Nichols will prep your skin creating the perfect canvas for your makeup, soothing any redness and decreasing under-eye puffiness. Team with (2) Estée Lauder’s Set + Refresh Perfecting Makeup Mist, £20, Harvey Nichols applied before your makeup to boost your skin’s natural radiance and help your products stay in place.

2

Let your lips do the talking and embrace pastel shades with Clinique’s limited edition Crayola™ Chubby Stick™ Moisturising Balm, £17.50 in Pink Sherbet, available at Selfridges. With seven shades to choose from these lip smackers are loaded with shea butter and mango leaving you with luscious lips all day long.

Shine On Add a subtle warmth to your nails this season. Pale pinks are the epitome of spring, but make sure you find a match that complements your skin tone and doesn’t leave you looking washed out. We’re in love with this Marc Jacobs Enamored Hi-Shine Nail Lacquer in Peep, £15; delivering high shine with a smooth application it’s an absolute must-have.

1

Beauty Bulletin

Effortless Glamour We instantly fell in love with Stila’s spring collection, proving that glitter isn’t just a staple for Christmas. Make your cheeks pop with the (1)Heaven’s Hue Highlighter, £28, Harvey Nichols. Available in three shimmering shades and bouncy to the touch, this stunning ultra-fine highlighter will give your skin a natural looking glow, perfect for a spring getaway. Pair with (2)Urban Decay’s Naked Illuminated Trio, £29, Selfridges to create a dazzling shine.

1

Pucker Up

The hottest colours and products you needs this spring

2 1

Au Naturale

2

The natural skin look dominated the SS17 catwalk with artists stripping back key looks to create a cleaner appearance. Concealers are a girl’s best friend when it comes to covering up those dark circles, unwanted blemishes and redness. (1)Collection’s Lasting Perfection Concealer £4.19, is an absolute steal, but if you’re looking for a little added luxury (2)Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit, £19 will help aid your skin’s moisture levels whilst holding a long-lasting coverage. Apply your concealer with the (3)Urban Decay Domed Concealer Brush, £18, John Lewis for a flawless finish.

3 stylebham.com | 41


THE BEAUTY EDIT

Scents of Style From subtle playful notes to strong citrus scents. Rose Gallagher is back with her top fragrance picks that will keep you feeling fresh all spring

L

ast summer, I spent the afternoon with perfume designer Azzi Glasser at Vogue House. She reminisced on a life long love of fragrance with me, sharing stories and anecdotes behind some of the most iconic fragrances of all time. Although the beauty world is saturated with clever marketing techniques, when it comes to fragrance Azzi likes to match a scent to a personality. With this in mind, I wanted to share a few fragrances that I wear frequently and who I picture them to be perfect for.

1 2

Jo Loves, Mango Thai Lime

50ml, £70, joloves.com A sweet citrus scent, this is my favourite from the Jo Loves collection. Despite sitting as a fresh and pretty fragrance, the citrus notes (lime, for me, is the real punch in this) give it a powerful quality. Sickly sweet with a hidden sharpness, this would sit wonderfully on a lady who embraces her femininity and who knows her own mind.

Lancôme, Oud Bouquet

100ml, £170, Selfridges A strong and heady concoction, Oud Bouquet is not for the faint hearted. Comprised of notes from woods gathered across three continents, this has a seamless power that has no clear beginning or end and gradually encompasses those who smell it. Though intense, this scent is incredibly warm with notes of honey and rose. It’s the fragrance of a strong and loving woman who causes everyone to watch when she enters a room.

42 | Scents

5

YSL, Le Vestiaire Saharienne

125ml, £205, yslbeauty.co.uk I’m drawn to various fragrances, in particular anything strong or - quite the contrary - anything citrusy. So when Saharienne hit me, I realised how lucky I was to have found both in one fragrance. Despite the zesty accords of pink pepper, neroli and bergamot, a subtle warmth from jasmine and musk wanders through this fragrance, giving it mystery and stature. A lady who doesn’t want to overpower with her scent but wants something elegant and sexy would love this fragrance.

Atelier Cologne, Silver Iris Absolue

100ml, £145, John Lewis One of the most bizarre fragrances in my collection, I have to be in a particular mood to wear Silver Iris. When I first tried this I hated it, and then as time went on the peculiarity of it was the very thing that drew me to it. A sharp, cold fragrance, this is something I turn to when I really need to make an impact. There is something about the blend of silver, pink pepper and blackcurrant that makes me stand taller and takes away any soft edges. This, to me, is balls in a bottle.

4 3 Twisted Iris by Azzi

30ml, £95, Harvey Nichols An earthy, playful fragrance, this smells bohemian and carefree to me. Notes of fig and moss make this a grounding fragrance, but elements of violet and jasmine keep it pretty and feminine. One of my all time favourites, this is the scent of a girl having too much fun at one with nature to care about whether her clothes are getting dirty.


THE BEAUTY EDIT

Tropicana Make a statement with daring shades. A sharp burst of colour is sure to make you the new queen of the jungle. Citrine and diamond pendant, ÂŁ450

Art Pop Stand out from the crowd with dazzling tones and outlandish hues for a bold beauty statement this season with jewellery from T.H. Baker

stylebham.com | 43


THE BEAUTY EDIT

Into the Deep Immerse yourself in oceanic blues and dazzling tones. Finish with a subtle lipgloss to create the ultimate dewy finish Diamond and topaz ring, ÂŁ5995, Diamond and amethyst ring, ÂŁ1195

44 | Art Pop


THE BEAUTY EDIT

Soft Mint Draw attention to your eyes with a hint of mint. Sweet and simplistic, you’ll be the apple of everyone’s eye Swarovski Green bangle, £79

stylebham.com | 45


Bittersweet Channel your inner Snow White with a bold lip, topped off with glossy eyes create a glistening sheen Drop pendant ruby necklace, £595

46 | Art Page Pop Information

Photography: Mike Raven – Hair: Kim Clay at Central School of Make-Up - Makeup: Chrissie Trattos - Model: Jasmina at Bookings Models - Jewellery from T.H. Baker

THE BEAUTY EDIT


THE BEAUTY EDIT

Spring Hair Reboot Have your locks taken a hit during winter? Don’t worry, the team at Royston Blythe are on hand to help get your hair back to its former glory

W

ith a new season comes new colours and the temptation to dash to the salon for a make-over. Ensuring your new look is on point is down to trusting your stylist and sticking to styles and colours that suit you.

Spring Colour Wheel

Style it up:

BOHO BRAIDS

1. Cleanse your hair with a volumising shampoo and condition lightly. We love Kerastase Bain Volume Shampoo, £18.60. 2. Apply L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni ART Full Volume Extra Mousse, £9.80 and blow-dry. 3. Once your hair’s dry, spritz a texturising spray onto the tips. We recommend L’Oréal Pli, £10.85 for a textured finish. 4. Take a piece of hair and wrap it around large tongs to create a natural curl. Repeat the process. 5. Volumise the hair by gently teasing the roots to achieve an effortless look. 6. Make a centre parting and take two sections from each side. 7. Plait each side and secure with a see-through elastic. Once in place, gently pull out pieces of the plait to make it more loose. 8. Secure the look with (1)L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni ART Wild Stylers 60s Babe Savage Panache, £10.50.

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Whilst blorange is tipped to be SS17’s must-have colour, we suggest experimenting with tones that brighten your complexion. Brunettes should opt for beautiful rose gold shades and wearable hues to enhance the skin tone. For blondes, team icy tones with statement bobs and pixie cuts to create an edgy style. A more bohemian look can be achieved with a softsweeping side parting and soft waves. Those with darker locks can also adopt an icy blue undercurrent to introduce these fresh, cool tones. Take inspiration from Eva Longoria and Kim Kardashian. Investing in a good shampoo, LÒreal Professional Serie Expert Silver Shampoo, £11.50, will help to lock in your colour in between salon visits.  

Leading Looks We're smitten with seductive waves that work beautifully with the embellished lace trend that’s huge for SS17. Feminine waves are easy to maintain, effortless to style and completely versatile to work with any occasion.  

Achieving Perfect Waves If you’re blessed with thick hair, take random sections and wrap them around your curling wand, creating an unstructured look. If your hair is finer you may want to consider Rapture Hair Extensions. These super-natural, damage-free extensions hold waves like never before, keeping your hair looking beautifully thick and healthy. Always use the best heat protection spray that you can get your hands on; we recommend Kérastase Elixir Ultime Versatile Beautifying Oil, £39.50. stylebham.com | 47


THE BEAUTY EDIT

Beauty Talk Singer Frances talks about keeping her skin on top form, natural-looking makeup and the beauty products she can’t live without

Do you wear makeup every day? If I’m just at home working I don’t tend to wear any makeup. I tend to spend a lot of time focusing on my skincare; when I’m really busy my skin gets really dry and quite tired looking and I like to give it time to breath and repair. If I’m going out in the evening then I really enjoy taking my time to do my makeup, it’s the one occassion where I’ll pay a bit more attention to my eyes if it means I can achieve a good smokey eye.

What’s your go-to makeup look? My look totally depends on what I’m doing. If I’m playing live then I don’t tend to go too heavy on my eye makeup because it normally smudges, I like to keep that simple and then go with a really bold lip. I keep my makeup quite simple. After I’ve cleansed and moisturised I use a little of (1)Laura Mercier’s Foundation Primer - Radiance (50ml, £30, John Lewis) to 48 | Beauty Talk

prepare my skin and then I’ll finish my base applying my (2)Chanel Perfection Lumière Foundation,(£32.40, debenhams.com). I have quite a lot of freckles, so I try not to cover them up too much to give my skin a natural look.

on my skin. I’ll finish off by using the (4)Emma Hardie Moisture Boost Vitamin C Cream (50ml, £45, Marks & Spencer.)

Are there any up-andcoming brands that we need to look out for?

There are definitely products that I have in my makeup bag that I can’t go anywhere without, my Chanel foundation is one of them without a doubt. I own a couple of (5)NARS Radiant Creamy Concealers (£23, Harvey Nichols) too which are an absolute musthave if my skin’s looking a bit tired; I use the shade Vanilla for most of my face and then I use the shade Chantilly for under my eyes.

I have to say that I’m pretty mainstream when it comes to the makeup brands and products that I use. If I had to recommend a brand to someone for their skincare routine then it would be Emma Hardie, I’m not too sure how well known the brand is but the products are amazing. I take a little pot of the Cleansing Balm with me everywhere.

What does your skincare routine consist of? I use the (3)Emma Hardie Amazing Face Moringa Cleansing Balm (100g, £30, Marks & Spencer) every day, it’s a natural cleanser and really light

5

Is there a beauty or skincare product that you couldn’t live without?

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2 1

What’s your top makeup skill? Applying my lipstick. I have a really exaggerated Cupid’s bow so I like to take my time using a lip liner to keep my lips looking crisp. Frances’ album Things I’ve Never Said is out now.

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THE

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Contents

Contents 55

54

Style Chart

From fragrance to fashion, check out our spring essentials

Spring Style

The staple pieces you need to nail this season’s trends

Luke Roper

We talk Brum and Brexit with the founder of LUKE

59

Smells Like Teen Spirit Unleash the 90’s with Harvey Nichols and Selfridges

58

56

Gadgets

The coolest tech pieces to get your hands on

64

Seven9Signs

We delve into the world of modern sign painting

65

Health

Work your way to Popeye arms with these simple exercises

Cover

Editor’s Letter an is back for 2017 and we’ve pulled together a fully-loaded issue to get you ready to take on spring. A new season means a new wardrobe gents, so turn to page 55 to get to grips with all the latest staple pieces that will keep you looking your best. And if you’re still struggling to shift that post-Christmas beer belly then don’t worry, head to page 65 and get ready to burn some serious calories whilst working your way towards those Popeye arms. We’ve got some great interviews for you to feast your eyes on too; Philip Ellis talks all things fashion with Luke Roper, the leading gent behind designer menswear brand LUKE [page 56], plus we took a trip to meet Jim Kerr, the brains behind Seven9Signs to discuss painting giant works of art on Birmingham’s most expensive luxury apartments and the craftsmanship of traditional sign painting [page 64].

M

All this and more is waiting for you inside.

Balenciaga bomber, £1,060 Valentino Camo print t-shirt, £425 Kenzo Light wash jeans, £150 all from Harvey Nichols Photographer Mike Raven Model Matthew Ward at Established Models Stylist Kati Boniface Assistant Meg Cherry

is created by RileyRaven • rileyraven.co.uk • hello@rileyraven.co.uk

Editor-in-Chief Andrew Riley Creative Director Mike Raven

Editorial Assistant Becky Weaver

Account Executive Jade Woodhouse

Design Simon Konaszczuk, Kati Boniface and Meg Cherry

Contributors Philip Ellis, Laura Hughes and Harpreet Dawett 53


Style

Deep Clean

Tech Savvy

Check your commute time, order food and control the electronics in your home all through voice control. The Amazon Echo Dot is the ultimate gadget for 2017. Amazon, £49.99

Keep your skin on top form this season. Kiehl’s Facial Fuel will leave your skin feeling refuelled, re-energised and revitalised. Kiehl’s at Grand Central Birmingham, £33

One to Watch

Track your fitness levels with Fitbit’s Charge 2. The slimdesign sports watch tracks your calorie count, steps and much more, working alongside an app available on iOS, Android and Windows. John Lewis, £149.95

Get Sneaky

Step into the new season in these braided sneakers. Pair with cropped smart joggers for effortless cool. Zara, £29.99

Jog on

Cool and casual, joggers are a staple piece for any man’s wardrobe. Zara, £19.99

Style Chart Hot Pot

Start your day with a strong coffee brewed in this Caffeine & Gasoline Moka Pot. P&Co, £32

Earn your Stripes

Cool and casual, stay bang on trend and rock some retro vibes with this minimal Alexander McQueen jumper, Harvey Nichols, £620

Spring Scents

Voted Best New After-Shave Balm at The GQ Grooming Awards 2017 Dior’s Sauvage After-Shave Balm is a shaving essential this spring. The Fragrance Shop, 100ml, £38

Tick Tock Adventure Time

Get ready for your travels with this Cove Canyon Backpack. Urban Outfitters, £48

54

Channel industrial vibes with this contemporary Croesi clock. made.com, £69

Gold Rush

Complete your look with this DesignB London classically designed bracelet. Asos, £10


Style

Let’s go Outside Whilst the man bag continues to reign strong, the backpack makes a comeback this season. Opt for hidden compartments, pockets and cushioning, backpacks are a trusty piece that will complement any look.

Spring Style Edit From staple seasonal colours to the must-have accessories. Refresh your wardrobe with spring’s freshest pieces Words: Laura Hughes

Weekend Hero

Who ever thought outerwear could rule the catwalks? If you’re the kind of guy that always wants to keep on-trend, a parka is a wardrobe essential for the season. Spotted at the Dior Homme, Prada and Lanvin, this shower-proof piece is ideal for those upcoming April showers. Look out for bold colours paired with industrial-style boots to nail this trend. RAINS, £95, Topman

Whistles, £135

And it was all Yellow

No colour is stronger than yellow this season, and you don’t need to dress head-to-toe in the shade to be bang on-trend either. A sharp burst of this bold and brave hue is enough to nail one of the most solid trends of the season.

Athletic Propulsion Labs, £165, Harvey Nichols

Cos, £89

The Right Stripes Whether it’s horizontal or vertical, thick or thin, stripes in every shape, size and colour are dominating SS17. This pin-striped shirt is sure to keep you looking sharp. H&M, £12.99

Jack Wills, £45 55


Talk

Words: Philip Ellis

Luke Roper: Made in Birmingham During a visit to his flagship store in Link Street Bullring, fashion designer Luke Roper talks Brum, Brexit, and what it takes to make it long-term in a notoriously faddriven industry irmingham-born fashion designer Luke Roper is the dictionary definition of a local boy made good; a fashion founder who dresses celebrities and has stores all over the country, but always stays true to his roots. “A wardrobe should reflect every aspect of your life and personality,” he says. “It’s really difficult to pigeonhole our customers; I try to design for everyone I know.” Which is why, in addition to

B

56

the Technical Tailor and Luke Sport brands, the label is now introducing the slightly more formal Luke Black line. “We cater to different customers in each of our three brands,” Luke explains. “You might see our clothes on a lad on the terraces, or on a lad in the bar.” With five individual collections coming out every year, Luke works closely with mills in Korea so that he can constantly keep bringing new fabrics to market. “Shapes in menswear rarely change, so you’ve got to make those shapes as interesting as possible,” he says. He’s currently preparing to launch the Autumn 2017 collection, which will incorporate “smoky camo” prints, and a more streamlined Winter collection focusing on subtle branding and slimmer silhouettes. The thing he’s most excited about right now, though, is next year’s Spring collection, which he’s currently working on. Tentatively titled ‘For The Benefit Of The Tape’, it will include pieces, displays and installations accented with boldly coloured tapes.

SS17


Talk

The son of a dressmaker, Luke was just 12 when he made his first garment. “There was a sewing room at the back of our house, and for the first 12 years of my life, I was treading on the pins in that carpet,” he says. “Then one day, I decided to have a go myself. I found out I was actually good at it — sewing came naturally, without a doubt. From 12 to 15, I was making all sorts of clothes, mainly for myself.” That all changed when he turned 16, and started going out with his mates. “This was the mid-90s, it was a far dressier scene then. Teenagers actually went out in suits. That was a catalyst for me to start making clothes for friends.” Luke carried that passion for menswear through sixth form and onto a design degree at St Martin’s. It was there that he reconnected with Simon Poole, a longtime family friend and fellow Brummie who was running French Connection Menswear at the time. They, alongside Director of the brand Deborah Poole, soon decided to develop their own label. “We wanted to be the first Birmingham menswear fashion brand,” he recalls. “You had a plethora in London, a handful from Manchester and Nottingham, but nobody had ever really done it in Birmingham.” The original plan was for Luke to graduate and get two years of industry experience. But after graduating in 2000 and landing a job in River Island on the high street, Luke lasted all of four months. “I handed in my notice and called Simon, saying ‘let’s do it now, and make our own mistakes.’ That’s when we started the brand.” The brand, such as it was then, initially consisted of just three T-shirts. Luke remembers going up and down the country “in a clapped out van my brother gave me,” knocking on doors and pitching to independent businesses. From those three T-shirts, Luke and Simon slowly built out their range. “As a business we were earning nothing, it was really hand-tomouth,” he says. “But we were constantly learning, and getting more accounts each season, at a time when independents were the lifeblood of our industry.” Since launching the brand in 2001, Luke has seen the fashion world go through some of its biggest changes, with physical stores increasingly taking a back seat to online shopping. “The industry is such a different place now, with e-commerce and social media,” he says. “Luckily, we were an early adopter of the web side of the industry; we set up our first online store 11 years ago. It’s the most profitable part of what we do.” Being able to navigate the latest online trends and engage with customers on

SS17

social media has been a big part of the brand’s success, but Luke knows that followers alone don’t guarantee longevity. “The social media shift has revolutionised our industry,” he says. “Instagram is killing it for the young fashion generation; a kid in his bedroom can create a label and become cool overnight. Back in the day we had to graft for years to get industry recognition and respect, and build a brand from that. These younger designers are getting an instant following overnight, but they are burning themselves out… We’re building on our history and experience, as well as on digital.” One of the most rewarding aspects of his career, he adds, has been gaining popularity and credibility as a Birmingham-based brand. Indeed, the company’s growth over the last 16 years mirrors the renaissance the city itself has undergone, as more and more local businesses have flourished and the rest of the world has slowly woken up to everything Birmingham has to offer. “Pre-2003, before the new Bullring development, we were stuck in a bit of a slump, trailing behind Manchester,” he

SS17

says. “But the Bullring and the constant evolution of areas like Digbeth have changed all that. I was travelling back from the Far East last week, via Paris, and in a French magazine there was a 10 page article all about visiting Birmingham, praising its art scene, its shopping, its architecture — isn’t that great?” Not that there aren’t still all manner of curveballs facing the brand, and British businesses in general. “We’ve faced recent challenges that we’ve been going through since Brexit, with the weakening of the pound,” he says. “Maintaining margins, while providing great product within our pricing structure is where the difficulty lies.” But in typical Brummie style, Luke remains confident that the label is resilient enough to whether any changes that might come its way. “If things aren’t quite working, you can always rework them in time for your next collection,” he says. “That’s what we do! We’re in a business that reinvents itself all the time.” You can visit the new LUKE flagship store in Link Street Bullring or visit luke1977.com 57


Tech

Bose QuietControl 30 Earphones £259.95, bose.co.uk

There’s nothing worse than still being able to hear your surroundings when you wear your headphones. Thankfully Bose has released the new QuietControl 30 wireless headphones, where you can set your own levels of noise cancellation. Including a lightweight neckband designed to give maximum comfort, sound has never been so good.

Gadget Radar The coolest new gadgets have landed, and they’re slimmer, smarter and more entertaining than ever Words: Harpreet Dawett

Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 From £1,349

Carrying around a laptop and a tablet can often be a real pain if you’re constantly on the go. Now, Dell has created a laptop/tablet combo that offers the best of both worlds - a laptop that can turn into a tablet with just a flip. The Dell XPS 13 is the world’s smallest 2-in-1 with InfinityEdge touch display and UltraSharp QHD+. This laptop is incredibly compact and elegant, making it very easy to carry around.

PowerVision PowerRay Pricing to be released PowerVision PowerRay is an underwater drone. Yes, you heard right. It couldn’t get any better than this, now we will be under the sea rather than in the air. The drone will film in 4K video and stream directly onto your phone. It can also detect fish up to 131ft and draws them to the blue light, because why not? 58

Aiptek Mobile Cinema £250, Urban Outfitters

Instantly turn your phone into a projector with no wires or batteries required. With built-in WiFi and a HDMI port this nifty gadget is ideal for work presentations and creating your own in-home cinema; so you can binge-watch your favourite films and TV programmes in the comfort your own home.


Streetwear

Photography: Mike Raven Model: Matthew Ward at Established Models Stylist: Kati Boniface Assistant: Meg Cherry Maharishi Nylon strap back cap, £80, Maharishi Nylon jacket, £275, Thom Browne Pocket T-shirt, £260, Gucci Stripe trousers, £400, Reebok Classics, £80, All from Selfridges, Socks, Stylist’s own.

59


Streetwear

Calvin Klein Logo T-shirt, £50, Moschino Silver swim shorts, £135, Moncler Grey gilet, £360, Fendi Leather sliders, £465, All from Harvey Nichols, Socks, Stylist’s own.

60


Streetwear

MCQ Sleeveless T-shirt, £90, MCQ Tailored trackpant, £260, All from Harvey Nichols.

Balenciaga Oversized bomber, £1,060, Valentino Camo print star T-shirt, £425, Kenzo Light wash jeans, £150, All from Harvey Nichols.

61


Streetwear

Nicole Farhi Polo top, £135, Harvey Nichols.

62


Streetwear

MCQ Shirt, £195, Moncler Side stripe sweatpants, £295, Moncler Side stripe zip up cardigan, £385, All from Selfridges.

63


Talk

The Man Behind the Signs We meet with the man behind the city’s most striking signs to talk about craftsmanship, the evolution of sign painting and making his mark on the city even9Signs may not be a name you’re all too familiar with, but their work on the other hand is something you probably walk past on a daily basis without knowing. The businesses extensive portfolio is beginning to crop up more and more across the city; the Peaky Blinders mural in Jewellery Quarter, the signage and gilding in shops such as Provide and Tilt. But who is responsible for these creations? The answer, a gentleman called Jim Kerr. We arrive at his studio, just a stone’s throw away from the Custard Factory, to get an insight into the world of Seven9Signs. “I wasn’t expecting the business to go this way,” Jim tells us when we ask him about the attention that Seven9 is receiving, “this was just something I decided to do so that I didn’t have to go and get a proper job. “I was an exhibiting artist when my son came along. I found myself sitting in a studio painting pictures, telling myself that I needed to find something that would pay the bills, and this was just the logical step for me,” Jim tells us. A passionate painter and graffiti artist from the age of 15, Jim’s career in the sign painting and gilding industry began with a fascination with letters that linked to his dyslexia. “I got into the sign painting aesthetic, brush scripts and burger van casual lettering, it was things like that that really excited me. I found myself a sign painter and convinced him teach to me.”

S

64

Words: Becky Weaver

Jim is just one of the few remaining sign painters in the city, there’s him “and a handful of 80-year-olds,” yet his work seems to be becoming increasingly popular not only in the city, but across the country with his signage and gilding appearing in both major airports and large chain restaurants. His most recognisable however is with Elevate Property Group, the brains behind Concord House - the living space that houses the city’s most expensive penthouse - alongside its latest development Queensway House. “I’ve been working with Elevate ever since they started Concord House,” Jim beams. “Before Concord they’d done a lot of developments but not to that level of luxury, so it was great to work with them on that.” Jim’s work lies not only in the interior of both Concord and Queensway, but on the exterior too. He’s responsible for painting ‘Less is more, more is less’ on the side of Concord - which can be seen from Marco’s Steakhouse at The Cube in case you’re wondering - and he recently painted ‘A matter of opinion’ on Queensway House that can be clearly seen from Snow Hill. Painting on such a large scale can’t be easy and must take serious time and skill. Jim’s top tips for becoming a successful sign painter and gilder are “You’ve just got to learn not to shake or spell anything wrong.” Which is easier said than done when he was painting on the back of Concord House. We ask Jim about the amount of skill that goes into sign painting - shaking and

spelling aside. It’s no easy feet, especially when it comes to gilding windows in 23carat gold leaf. With Jim’s bold and brilliant work appearing more and more across the city, we ask him if he feels like he’s creating a new trend. “Trend is such a dangerous word when it’s your business. If it’s a project within a business then a trend is wicked, but trends come and go and I don’t want hand painting to die out. “The world’s massively changed but I love seeing hand painted stuff not only because I’m a sign painter, but because it means that someone cares. There’s so much warmth to a hand painted sign.” Read an extended version of our interview with Jim on our website stylebham.com


Health

Work your way to Popeye Arms Looking to get toned muscular arms? We’ve got the answer, and it’s not just eating spinach by the bucket load The barbell curl

1

4 sets of 10 reps Stand up straight while holding a barbell at a shoulderwidth grip, with your elbows close to the torso and the palm of your hands facing forward. Moving only your forearms, curl the weights forward while contracting the biceps. Continue the movement until the bar is at shoulder level, holding the contraction for a second before slowly bringing the bar back to the starting position.

2

Alternate incline dumbbell curl

3 sets of 10 reps Using an incline bench grip a dumbbell in each hand at arms length. Hold the upper arm still, curling the weight forward; as you do, rotate the hand so the palm is facing up. Repeat this movement until the dumbbell is at shoulder level. Bring the dumbbell back to the start position and repeat the movement with the other arm. 3

One arm dumbbell preacher curl 3 sets of 10 reps Grab a dumbbell and place the upper arm on top of the preacher bench. Lower the dumbbell until your upper arm is extended and the bicep is fully stretched. Curl the weight up until the bicep is fully contracted. Squeeze and hold the bicep for a second before lowering, repeat this and then switch arms.

4

Cable hammer curls rope attachment

3 sets of 10 reps Connect a rope attachment to a low pulley and stand facing the machine about 12 inches away from it. Grasp the rope and stand straight with your elbows stationary for the entire movement. Using your biceps pull your arms up until your biceps touch your forearms, then slowly bring the weight back to the original position and repeat movement.

Words: Laura Hughes

ight gents, winter’s come and gone, so now’s the time to work towards those Dwayne Johnson arms. Now we’re not saying that you have to consume a ridiculous amount of spinach or lift weights everyday for the next month, but if you want arms like Popeye then you’ve got to work for them. There’s no time like the present to get those bis and tris back to their former glory, so we’ve pulled together four workouts for you to incorporate into your gym session or at home (if you have the right equipment.) Remember not to get too carried away and overwork the muscles, one day a week is enough. It’s not just about that hard work in the gym though, you need to keep your diet in check too. Carbs and fats aren’t the devil, get them on your weekly shopping list to make the most out of the time in your gym.

R

Bicep Building Diet

Flex your guns at the gym and feed them in the kitchen. Muscle growth is key to getting bigger arms.

Protein

Complex carbs

Fats

Increase Calories

grow. You should have it

carbohydrates fuel the body

you after all, in fact the body

up your calorie intake. If you

Protein helps your muscles in every meal aiming for at least 30 grams of protein

per plate. Meats, fish, dairy products, eggs and beans

are good sources of protein.

Did you know that

with energy? Try and stick

to complex carbs like whole grain breads, rice and oats,

while ditching simple carbs like sugar and soft drinks.

Fats aren’t all that bad for

burns fat as an energy source, saving the protein in your

body for muscle building.

Stick to healthy fats found in fish, avocado and nuts.

For once you’re being told to want to get those powerful

arms you need to make sure you have enough calories in

your body to aid muscle gain.

Aim to eat four to six meals a day. 65


D E LI V ERIN G SARTO R I A L E XCEL L EN CE clementsandchurch.co.uk


Retail, culture and the city explored.

THE INSIDER

stylebham.com | 67


Insider

Words: Philip Ellis

Fast Fashion vs. Sustainable Style Mass production is out. Ethical clothing is in

W

e’ve all been there. You’ve got a party to attend at the weekend, or maybe a date. Your wardrobe is so full of clothes that the doors won’t even close properly, but in your mind you haven’t got a stitch to wear — so you hit the high street on Friday afternoon to pick up something that’s cheap and only just hit the rack. What could be the harm? Fast fashion was initially seen as a good thing, as expensive designs were swiftly reproduced at a lower price point and made more accessible to the middle-market consumer. But what started out as a means of levelling the playing field has led to an untenable pace and scale of production, and made shopping a competitive sport. It started in the United States in the 1960s, but fast fashion has really taken off over the last 10 years, as social media and online shopping have become the norm. Now, when you see an item you like, it takes only a couple of clicks to track down the cheapest option on the web and complete a purchase. The simplicity and addictive nature of the process, coupled with the relatively low quality of cheaper clothes, mean that the average garment’s lifecycle, from runway to rubbish tip, grows ever shorter. “We live in a culture where people will see something on Instagram or on a celebrity and they want that

68 | Rhys Ellis

immediately,” says Elizabeth Cline, author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion. “I see how ferociously the pace of trends move now and that has definitely been driven by the internet.” But that could all be about to change, as fashion lovers are wising up to the environmental impact of mass production. For instance, pretty much every aspect of textile manufacturing and transportation yields pollutants. The farming of cotton, often marketed as an “all-natural” material, still requires significant volumes of harmful pesticides. And while European law prohibits the use of many of the toxic chemical dyes previously involved in clothing production, that ban doesn’t extend to Asia, where almost 80 per cent of our clothes originate. In turn, fashion houses are slowly starting to realise that younger consumers have an increasingly different set of priorities; they want to protect the environment, and they prefer products that are ethically made. The people with buying power have whole wardrobes full of stuff, but now they’re looking for something different. “We’re seeing a backlash against fast fashion from consumers in the millennial generation,” says Cline, who believes that there are huge opportunities for brands that are willing to embrace sustainability in their business.


Retail, culture and the city explored.

Rhys Ellis is a designer from Birmingham who has incorporated the consequences of our throwaway culture into his first collection of showpieces, constructed entirely from thousands of repurposed coffee pods. Inspiration struck while Rhys was studying in Milan, where he saw somebody in a market crushing capsules and reselling them as earrings. It got him thinking about what else could be done with these otherwise unrecyclable materials. “Because this is my first collection, I wanted to make a conscious statement,” he says. “This is how I mean to go on.” The dresses are currently on display on the top floor of Selfridges in Birmingham as part of its ‘Material World’ project, which looks at the provenance of clothing and explores new sustainable avenues of production. For Rhys, things have come full circle with the Selfridges partnership: “I used to work in this store when I was studying,” he says. “To see my work on display in my city makes me so proud.” Rhys finds inspiration in the works of Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, and Dutch designer Iris van Herpen. He admires creators who aren’t afraid to experiment and throw out new ideas. Because if there’s one thing the fashion world sorely needs right now, he says, it’s innovation. New technologies and alternative textiles are slowly emerging; wearable technology and ‘smart fabric’ are disrupting sportswear, while brands such as Chanel are dabbling in 3D printing. But the fashion industry at large is yet to embrace the possibilities offered up by these newer mediums. “It hasn’t really taken off yet,” says Rhys. “It needs a big brand like Burberry to kick-start it, and everyone will follow.” In the meantime, he’ll be working on his next collection. “I want to introduce sustainably made, wearable pieces,” he says. “The commerciality of fast fashion can’t last; too many clothes are being produced, and they all look the same. A few more years

Ethical Fashion Brands We Love People Tree A leader in environmentally friendly, Fair Trade fashion, People Tree creates beautiful clothes in partnership with businesses in developing countries.

Made

and everyone’s going to be bored of it, they’re going to want pieces for themselves. You can see smaller designers pulling back already, and just doing bespoke orders.” Rhys is hopeful that a shift away from the ‘what next?’ mind-set, towards sustainable manufacturing and ethically sourced materials, will help consumers to appreciate real artistry. “I think everything should be crafted properly,” he says. Will it be the brands that can entice customers with exclusive apparel and reduce their impact on the environment that will be the most sought-after in the new, socially conscious marketplace? It looks like a return to “slow fashion” might be on the horizon.

Every piece of jewellery in Made’s product line has been handcrafted from environmentally friendly materials in a workshop in Kenya, which employs and trains people from local communities.

Stella McCartney No fur or leather products are used in Stella’s clothes, a conscious decision she has made as a vegetarian. The Stella McCartney brand also remains vocally dedicated to addressing environmental and ecological issues in the fashion industry.

Read the extended interview over at stylebham.com

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Insider

A Winning Formula Ahead of Birmingham Young Professional of the Year 2017, BPS Birmingham Future’s flagship event, we catch up with some of the previous winners to talk about what the awards mean to the city, the impact it’s had on their careers and their advice for finalists Words: Becky Weaver

Karl George MBE The Governance Forum Limited Finance BYPY Winner 2002

70 | A Winning Formula

Ruth Pipkin Rewired PR Marketing and Communications BYPY winner 2006

Clare Edwards Independent Creative Producer HR, Recruitment and Training BYPY Winner 2007


Retail, culture and the city explored.

Suzie BranchHaddow

Katie Kershaw Node Urban Design Property and Construction BYPY Winner 2015

Greater Birmingham Professional Services Academy at BMet Marketing and Communications BYPY Winner 2009

Abby Corfan Jodie Cook JC Social Media Marketing and Communications BYPY Winner 2014

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Marketing and Communications BYPY Winner 2016

stylebham.com | 71


Insider

B

irmingham Young Professional of the Year Awards is one of the biggest business celebrations in the city. Every year, BYPY celebrates emerging talent across the business professional services sector. Alongside 2016 winner Abby Corfan, we’re joined by six previous recipients of the award who have reunited ahead of this year’s ceremony. Each winner comes from a different professional service industry, but they all have their own experiences of BYPY. “When I went to my interview I didn’t have any sense of what it would be like,” Abby says. “I went in quite cold; I felt like because I came from a sector that was out of the norm I didn’t really stand a chance. I decided that I was just going to go for it and see what happened.” It’s a good job she did as Abby went on to pick up the biggest award of the evening, and not even a year later she’s joined the board of a national organisation in her sector, that’s given her a new wave of confidence. And she’s not the only one; director of Node Urban Design Katie Kershaw tells us that BYPY has also had a huge impact on her development skills, especially when it comes to public speaking. “Before winning I was a bit of a wallflower but BYPY absolutely draws that out of you,” she says. “By the end of the year I felt better equipped for public speaking.” BYPY creates a platform for young professionals work to be recognised, as 2014 winner Sales Director of JC Social Media Jodie Cook explains, “the winner is someone that represents the young professional sector in the city and understands the instrumental part they play in growing Birmingham.” The process begins with a application or nomination before each candidate goes on to be interviewed by a panel of judges,

72 | A Winning Formula

which includes the previous year’s winner. Everyone seems to have the same advice when it comes to acing a BYPY interview, ‘be yourself.’ “I’ve been on the judging panel and you see those people who are genuine and passionate about what they do and what they can do as part of the city, you can’t prepare that,” says Clare Edwards. “Talk about what gets you going, be enthusiastic about your subject,” she adds. We want to know what winning BYPY is like. It’s not just the immediate effect of collecting the award, it’s everything that comes after. Business Development Director of Greater Birmingham Professional Services Academy Suzie Branch-Haddow, says “You go from doing your job to being on a stage in front of thousands of people, and actually that’s quite nerve-wrecking.” Independent Creative Producer Clare Edwards adds, “BYPY makes us more visible to the outside world because it shines a light on the city and who’s out there working in your sector. I think people external to Birmingham have a particular view of the city as being very industrial and BYPY helps to change that perception and shows that there’s something interesting going on in the professional services.” When asked about what BYPY means to the city, Managing Director of Rewired PR, Ruth Pipkin, tells us, “We’re a city that celebrates its young talent and nothing is more important than that. BYPY is something that we can be immensely proud of, I don’t see many other cities doing it. The fact that Birmingham and the companies here take the time to invest in young talent and celebrate that is really special.” BYPY awards take place on 18 May 2017. Get your tickets from bpsbirmingham.co.uk/bypy

THE WINNERS’ TIMELINE Gary Taylor, winner 2001 Karl George MBE, winner 2002 "I spent a year as an ambassador for Professional Services." Chris Robertson, winner 2003 Victoria Garrad, winner 2004 "Winning the title gave me confidence and opened up the door to lots of opportunities." Stefan Lewandowski, winner 2005 Ruth Pipkin, winner 2006 "BYPY gave me the confidence to believe in myself." Clare Edwards, winner 2007 "The following year I won Young Music Entrepreneur of the Year for the UK."” Anthony McCourt, winner 2008 "Winning BYPY might get you your goals quicker than you imagined possible." Suzie Branch-Haddow, winner 2009 "BYPY has completely changed my life and opened up so many doors for me."” James Villarreal, winner 2010 Hilary Smyth-Allen, winner 2011 "It gave a self confidence and a purpose to explore new avenues and take risks." Aktar Islam, winner 2012 "BYPY bought me closer to the professional community of Birmingham." Sean Sales, winner 2013 "After winning I was given the opportunity to relocate to our Florida office." Jodie Cook, winner 2014 "JC Social Media has grown massively since I won BYPY." Katie Kershaw, winner 2015 "It led us to winning Practice of the Year at the National Urban Design Awards." Abby Corfan, winner 2016 "Since winning, I joined the board of the national membership organisation that represents my sector."


BIRMINGHAM YOUNG PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR 2017 Now in its 17th year, BYPY rewards and recognises emerging talent from Birmingham’s business professional services sector. For booking information, please call 0121 270 8000 or email hello@bpsbirmingham.co.uk Make sure you’ve got your tickets for the biggest event in Birmingham’s business calendar!

Date: 18th May 2017 Venue: The ICC, Birmingham B1 2EA Drinks reception:18:00 bpsbirmingham.co.uk/bypy


Insider

Out&About Words: Becky Weaver & Laura Hughes

BRUNO MARS Barclaycard Arena | 24 - 25 April

DIGBETH DINING CLUB Spotlight | Every Friday & Saturday | Free Entry! This year Digbeth Dining Club is bigger than ever with the multi award-winning street food event taking place weekly. Showcasing some of the city’s top eateries you can sink your teeth into everything from indulgent sweet treats from Bournville Waffle Company to delicious pizzas, curry’s, burgers and so much more.

24K magic will be in the air this April, as Grammy Award winner Bruno Mars touches down at the Barclaycard Arena with his massive world tour. Following the release of Mars’ eagerly anticipated thrid album, featuring tracks Chunky, Too Good To Say Goodbye, and the number 1 smash hit 24K Magic. As one of the biggest male solo artists of the moment, it’s sure to be a night to remember.

BIRMINGHAM PRIDE Gay Village | 27 - 28 May After celebrating its most successful year yet, Birmingham Pride is returning to the city for a weekend of celebrations for the UK’s largest LGBT festival. Last year saw more than 75,000 people flock to the The Village and this year is set to be the biggest yet. With four stages and massive street parties, this incredible annual event is one not to be missed.

HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE™ IN CONCERT | Barclaycard Arena 15 May BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL Birmingham Hippodrome Now - April 29 Based on the inspiring story of a motherless young lad who swaps boxing gloves for ballet shoes, Billy Elliot the Musical is now on at Birmingham Hippodrome. Twelve years after it first opened in the West End, the timeless musical finally began showing around the country from last year. This fun, uplifting and spectacular theatrical experience is a must-see for all.

74 | Out & About

Step back into the Wizarding World this May, Harry Potter is heading to Birmingham in the form of a concert with a live orchestra. The much-loved film series continues to delight millions of fans around the world and this nationwide show will give you Muggles the chance to relive the magic of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone. Be swept away by the sparkling display of live music and film along with the orchestra performance of John Williams’ award-winning score.

OLIVER BEER | Ikon Gallery Now - 4 June For the first time since 2011 British artist Oliver Beer returns to Ikon allowing you to to view his most new and recent work. I Wan’na Be Like You will be the name of one of his works which is a ‘re-animation’ of a scene from Walt Disney’s Jungle Book featuring drawings made by 2,500 local school children up to the age of 13.


Retail, culture and the city explored.

Blooming Blockbusters The TV programmes and movies you need to watch in 2017

Words: Becky Weaver & Laura Hughes

STRANGER THINGS Series 2 | Netflix | October 31

MAKING A MURDERER Season 2 | Netflix | Season one of Making a Murder didn’t disappoint, in fact, it seemed to turn viewers into lawyers. Series two will continue to investigate the case of Steven Avery’s and Brendan Dassey’s involvement with the murder of Teresa Halbach. After ending up in jail the pair will continue to battle against the court to prove their innocence, but will we be any closer to discovering exactly what happened on the night the homicide took place?

Fans of the one of the biggest Netflix shows of 2016 might at last get all those questions answered in the next series of Stranger Things. Will Eleven be returning? Will we meet any new characters? Will all the kids be involved? So far the writers have remained very secretive about what the next series may hold, but what we can tell you is that there will be nine episodes and plenty of thrilling adventures.

GAME OF THRONES Series 7 | Sky Atlantic | July 17 The last nail-biting season of Game of Thrones left fans suffering from serious withdrawal symptoms - us included. Well, the good news is the award-winning show is back for its penulitimate season. After waiting for more than a year, it looks like we’re all in for yet another highoctane journey that will leave you wanting more. Get ready, winter has finallly arrived and we absolutely can’t wait.

What’s to Come in 2017 APRIL 14

APRIL 28

MAY 26

FAST AND FURIOUS 8: THE FATE OF THE FURIOUS

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: SALAZAR’S REVENGE

Get ready for some high speed chases, the Fast & Furious crew are back. Just when the globetrotting team thought they had finally found a semblance of normal life a mysterious woman seduces Dom into a world of crime; but will it cause him to betray those closest to him? Hold onto your seatbelts, it’s going to be a rough ride.

Marvel fans everywhere can escape to this Sci-fi world once again. The Guardians must fight to keep their family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s (Chris Pratt) true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favourite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid.

Climb aboard and join Disney’s Captian Jack Sparrow as he tries to defeat his arch nemesis Captain Salazar, who is leading an army of deadly ghost pirates out to hunt down and kill every living sea pirate…including Jack. Can our favourite pirate defeat his nemisis and rule the seas once again?

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Insider

Una Healy: New Beginnings The former star of The Saturdays talks about going solo, motherhood and penning her debut album

S Words: Becky Weaver

THE HOT LIST

From thrilling books to dramatic DVD releases, here’s what we’re loving this season

THE AGENT - AN ISABELLA ROSE THRILLER | Mark Dawson | April 6 | £8.99 Looking for a dark and mysterious read? Mark Dawson’s The Agent is the third part of a continuing story involving trained killer Isabella Rose, who’s on the run with former handler Michael Pope, forcing them into hiding in India. After a mysterious informer passes them clues on the whereabouts of Pope’s family, the prey see an opportunity to become the predators. This thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat as it becomes a tense race against time.

76 | Music, books, films

he was once part of one of the biggest girl bands in the country, now 35-year-old Una Healy is returning to her childhood roots and embarking on a brand new journey. She’s at her home in Northampton when she calls me, taking a break from promoting her debut solo album The Waiting Game, spending some time with her two young children and husband Ben Foden. Best known as being one-fifth of The Saturdays, Irishborn Una’s life has always been filled with music. Writing her own songs since the age of 12 after her mum taught her the basic chords of playing the guitar, Una’s now getting the chance to pursue the solo career that she’s always dreamt of. “I always wanted to be a singer/songwriter so I was doing gigs, I released my own EP and then I was in The Saturdays,” she tells me. “It was such an amazing opportunity for me I learned so much about the industry, I had the time of my life but I’ve gone back to my roots of organic, folky music.” Released in February, The Waiting Game is a far-cry from music that fans of The Saturdays will be used to hearing from Una. A soothing blend of folk and country

SPLIT | MAY 29 | £14.99 Kevin (James McAvoy) suffers from dissociative identity disorder, a condition which means he holds numerous personalities. After he captures three teenage girls who are on their way to a party Kevin’s therapist discovers he’s on the verge of a mental breakdown, putting the girls in serious danger. Whilst desperately trying to find a way to escape the girls become exposed to Kevin’s dangerous personality shifts. But can they break free before his monstrous side takes over?


Retail, culture and the city explored.

the album has been three years in the making. “I had that luxury of writing when I felt like it,” says Una. “All the songs are personal to me, but now I’m handing them over to the public and saying, ‘these are your songs, and you can make them yours.” A gifted songwriter, Una teamed up with some incredible writers whilst penning the album including Grammy Award-winner Amy Wadge, who co-wrote Ed Sheeran’s number one single Thinking Out Loud and Una’s debut single Stay My Love. “She was amazing to work with, we got on really well,” she tells me. “I went down to Wales to co-write with her there, and then she came up to Northampton and wrote with me. “We actually wrote Stay My Love in my living room; it was a melody that I had in my head, I played it to her and she loved it, we actually finished it in an hour. It wasn’t until we listened back to it that we realised it was missing something and we knew it needed to be a duet.” The end result saw Una release the single with Sam Palladio, star of the American TV series Nashville. “I was so lucky to have someone like Sam,” she cheerily says down the phone to me. “He’s an amazing singer who’s starting to get his own music out there because he’s more well known for being and actor. He’s very busy continuing to pursue his acting

career, but he has a huge love for music, it’s one of his other passions in life so I was so happy to duet with him, I love his voice.” Una tells me that she wrote countless tracks over the years, some which she describes as ‘awful’ and tells me she’d “never play to anyone because you always write bad tracks before you get the good ones”, but it was important to her that she selected tracks for the album that she felt represented her starting her new journey as a solo artist. “Even now I listen to some of the demos that didn’t make it onto the final track listing and think that some of them should have gone on the album. But then that leaves me the hard decision of wondering if I could swap out a song that I really love to make room for one of the demos.” Being part of The Saturdays for eight years was a challenge for Una and her bandmates Frankie Bridge, Molly King, Rochelle Humes and Vanessa White. Alongside touring, promoting and recording, the pressure of trying to secure a top spot in the charts is something that they all had to deal with. I ask Una if she feels the same pressure for her music to do well in her solo career, but it’s quickly made clear to me that she’s not just in the business for the success, she’s just happy to share her songs with everyone.

“I just want people to make up their own mind on whether they like it or not. I’m not thinking about the charts, I just love performing. I don’t consider success as what number you are in the Top 50, it’s more that people appreciate and enjoy the music and want to come and see it live.” As far as the response to her music Una couldn’t be happier. “It’s been so positive,” she joyfully says. “I couldn’t have asked for more amazing reviews, people are being really nice and it’s so encouraging for me. It’s very scary releasing an album, you don’t know whether people are going to like it, but so far so good.” So, what does 2017 hold for the Irish beauty? With her year already starting off with visits to radio stations and a few headline gigs in London, Una tells me she’s hoping to return to Birmingham again after supporting American duo Maddie and Tae at the O2 Institute last October. “I hope to do more gigs and travel around,” she says. “I’d absolutely love to do my own tour again.” It may not be easy juggling being a mum of two and a fresh career, but Una has reinvented herself as folk music’s hottest new act with an incredible career lying ahead of her. The Waiting Game by Una Healy is out now! Words: Becky Weaver & Laura Hughes

INTO THE WATER | PAULA HAWKINS | MAY 2 | £10 If you couldn’t put The Girl on the Train down and loved it as much as we did then we can probably guarantee you’ll feel the same with Paula Hawkins’ latest book Into The Water. The new novel of psychological suspense is set to be just as thrilling as the global phenomenon that came before it. The book follows the story of two sisters who live in a small, riverside town that will make detectives of us all.

PASSENGERS | MAY 8 £14.99 Starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this action-thriller features Jim and Aurora, who wake from hibernation 30 years too early on their journey to another planet. After discovering that something has gone seriously wrong, the pair learn they are at risk of dying before they reach their destination. Forced to unravel the reason as to why their pods malfunctioned they must solve the problems before the ship collapses.

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Insider

These are a Few of My Favourite Things Looking to start a new hobby this spring? From baking to knitting Tara Tomes is on hand to help pass the time

S

omeone great (I can’t remember who; let’s be honest, I probably saw it on Pinterest) once said: “a job isn’t just a job, it’s who you are,” and working in PR and events has meant that I’ve been able to live by that. However, this year I decided that maybe I should be more than my job so made a New Year’s Resolution to have hobbies, tangible hobbies that weren’t related to work. And I’ve achieved it, kind of. I chose to take up floristry and photography, and now I’m setting up a florist (check out @florescenceflowers on Instagram) and using my new photo skills for work, so I’ve achieved my dream of having hobbies but have totally failed at getting away from work. It got me thinking, though, about how hobbies seem to be back in fashion. When telling someone about a floristry course I had booked, they told me they were learning how to make Roman blinds. Maybe it’s 2017’s version of the Kardashians, the escapism from every day life that we all crave so much. So, if you’re looking to fill your spare time with more than ‘Netflix and Chill’, here are some of the skills you can learn in Brum.

78 | Hobbies

Floristry So, my love of flowers started with a eucalyptus obsession and progressed after attending a Christmas wreath-making workshop by the uber-cool Willow Crossley at Harvey Nichols last year. There’s something so therapeutic about getting to grips with some beautiful blooms and creating hand-crafted creations. If you fancy giving it a go yourself, check out the workshops at Birmingham Botanical Gardens – home to the most gorgeous greenery in the city. If it’s something you want to do more long term, there are also some great part-time courses at local colleges so check them out and you, too, could soon be turning your hobby into a business.

Jewellery Design If you prefer your frosting to be of the diamond variety, why not take up jewellery making? This is definitely something I thought was best left to the experts but the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter’s Valentine’s campaign made me think again. They put on a superfun one day silver ring workshop, led by designer Grace Page, that took you through the techniques of jewellery design with your very own ring to take home. There are some great events happening over the next few months, including pendant and earring workshops at mac Birmingham, and short courses at the School of Jewellery in the Jewellery Quarter of course. It’s not a cheap hobby but I think it’s safe to say you’d become the king or queen of gift giving if you perfect it.


Retail, culture and the city explored.

Baking

Knitting I’ve tried my hand at knitting a couple of times but I think I lack the patience and creativity to pull it off. I’m pretty sure I have a halffinished scarf that I started at uni still sitting in the back of a drawer, alongside some sort of patchwork quilt I tried to create. I failed. But I have high hopes for knitting and there are loads of cool young folk on Instagram showcasing their skills so it’s definitely something for those of you who are nimble fingered. Check out the Library of Birmingham’s ‘Knit and Natter’ event or head over to City Knits in Bournville to improve your skills.

Over the past few years, baking has been at the forefront of popular culture; cupcakes, doughnuts, macarons - they’re on rotation for the nation’s most popular sweet treat. Thanks to shows like The Great British Bake Off we have become obsessed with baking and are now giving it a go for ourselves. I’ve heard great things about Loaf in Stirchley; it’s a food-based social enterprise (so 10 points for giving back to the community) and it runs regular cooking courses; from baking bread to producing pasta. I’ve also recently discovered the classes at Sarehole Mill; a 250 year old working watermill famous for its association with author J.R.R Tolkien. Part of Birmingham Museums Trust, it hosts fun workshops like pizza making and kids’ baking, so it’s worth checking out.

Calligraphy It may sound strange but another hobby on the rise is calligraphy, it must be all those weddings that I’m going to. A very cool, local brand called Feather & Flourish is holding regular workshops in Birmingham, giving you the chance to impress with your hand-lettering skills. You spend the session learning the tricks of the typography trade and even get to go home with your own calligraphy starter kit. Living in a digital age I love how popular calligraphy has become and who knows, maybe your skills will become the next Pinterest craze.

Painting Now, the last hobby on my list is one that I’d love to be good at but after five painful years of art at school, it’s safe to say I’ll never be the next Picasso. For those of you whose skills go beyond a stick man, there are some seriously cool events happening. If I didn’t think my creations would be a total embarrassment I would definitely head to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery’s Drink and Draw event – perfect for anyone who loves to doodle. Park Regis also held a fun ‘Paint and Wine’ event last month, and whilst the vino part tickles my tastebuds, I’m still not convinced my creative juices would flow, but it’s worth trying out if your art teacher used to praise your work. I hope I’ve given you a bit of inspiration and encouraged you to take some time out of every day life to learn something new. Like I say, who knows, it might even turn into a money maker.

stylebham.com | 79


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Retail, culture and the city explored.

The Great Birmingham Menu With a new year comes a wave of new food trends. From daring eating challenges to sharing plates, here are our top places to keep up with 2017’s mouth-watering crazes WE LOVE: El Borracho host events throughout the year. From live music to Tapas Fiesta nights, you’re sure to find something to spice up your night.

SHARING PLATES El Borracho de Oro | Edgbaston

1

One of the strengths that food creates is the ability to bring people together, so it’s no surprise that sharing plates such as tapas are remaining one of the strongest trends of the year. If you fancy venturing a little further out of the city centre we suggest you check out El Borracho de Oro on Harborne Road. Showcasing the best tapas dishes the independently owned restaurant has a selection of sharing dishes that don’t shy away from change, the restaurant even caters to vegetarians and celiacs. elborracho.co.uk

AMERICAN The Smoke Haus | Brindleyplace

2

Bringing a taste of the U.S. to Brindleyplace, The Smoke Haus is the place to go if you’re after some deliciously smoked and marinated food. From sticky ribs to classic and speciality burgers, the extensive menu offers both vegetarian and gluten free options. Fancy a challenge? The Mixed Grill is the dish to go for. At £31.95 the fry-up includes brisket, pulled pork, pastrami served with a Haus Chilli Dog, a full rack of pork sheet ribs, a large portion of skin on fries and slaw. If by some miracle you have room for dessert, why not treat yourself to a classic Mississippi mud pie? thesmokehaus.co.uk

WE LOVE: If one of the hearty meals isn’t quite cutting it for you add some fuel to the fire with a side dish. Mac ‘n’ cheese or cheesy chilli fries anyone?

stylebham.com | 81


Insider

WE LOVE:

MODERN BRITISH Bistro 1847 | Great Western Arcade

3

Forget all you’ve been told about vegetarian food being dull and bland - it’s far from the truth. Yet another hidden gem in Great Western Arcade, Bistro 1847 is pushing the culinary boundaries of vegetarian food, creating courses with a modern British twist sure to please any foodie. It may be cosy inside, but Bistro 1847 packs a punch; spread across two levels the cosy restaurant is proving that meals don’t have to contain meat to be truly scrumptious. Go along and try it out, we promise you won’t be disappointed. by1847.com

WE LOVE: Served until 4pm on weekends, why not treat yourself to one of the best brunches in the city at Yorks. The House Breakfast is the perfect choice for anyone craving a great fry-up!

YOLKS AT YORKS Yorks Bakery Cafe | Ikon Gallery, Stephenson Street, Great Western Arcade

STREET FOOD Hawker Yard | Pershore Street

5

Street food is continuing to become increasingly popular across Birmingham with the likes of Digbeth Dining Club showcasing some of Birmingham’s independent eateries. But D.D.C aren’t the only kids on the block anymore as Hawker Yard opened up as the city’s first purpose built street food centre last year. The permanent venue on Pershore Street near Arcadian is not only supporting local street food talent, it’s also a super-cool place to hang out in the city if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the Bullring. hawkeryard.com

4

One of the more unusual trends that seems to be cropping up across the board this year is egg yolks. We decided to put a twist on this rather peculiar food trend and turn our attention to one of our personal favourites in the city, Yorks Bakery Cafe. Recently recognised by The Guardian as one of the top 50 places to grab brunch in the UK, there are plenty of yolk filled dishes to treat yourself too. Our favourite has to be the Arabian Buttered Eggs at the Stephenson Street cafè; served with two poached eggs, cumin and garlic butter sauce, fresh herbs, labneh, cirus red onion and sumac, it’s the ultimate brunch. yorksbakerycafe.co.uk

82 | Hotspots

Bistro 1847 offers a fantastic lunchtime deal during the week. Simply book your table on the website quoting £10 Lunch and you can treat yourself to an à la carte main course washed down with glass of wine, beer or soft drink. Cheers!

WE LOVE: Hawker Yard is incredibly quirky, built from scaffolding and covered in fairy lights, venders dish out delicious food from shipping containers that have been transformed into stalls.


Retail, culture and the city explored.

WE LOVE:

MEXCIAN Habaneros Café | Pigeon Park

6

Taco fever is taking over the UK as one of the hottest trends for the year. Who can resist that crunchy taco shell or soft burrito packed full of spicy flavours? When it comes to Mexican food in the city, Habaneros WE LOVE: Café by Pigeon Park dishes If you’re too busy in out some quality food to the the office but craving good people of Birmingham. a scrumptious With four bases to choose Mexican meal, from (burrito, taco, nachos Habaneros is or burrito bowl) you can introducing orders build your dream Mexican by text, which will dish finished with traditional be ready for you to toppings and tasty salsas. collect in 30 minutes. habvan.com

Sushi Passion’s bridge sets are ideal for sharing with a wide selection of sushi and rolls. Plus, with any bridge set you get two bowls of miso soup for free what’s not to love?

JAPANESE Sushi Passion | Great Western Arcade

CARIBBEAN Turtle Bay | John Bright Street WE LOVE: Nothing beats a cocktail after a long day and you won’t be short of choice at Turtle Bay. With 2’4’1 offers running during happy hour seven days a week the drinks will be flowing all night.

7

Over the years sushi has become quite a trendy delicacy in the city with numerous restaurants cropping up, but for us nothing quite beats Sushi Passion. Hidden within Great Western Arcade, Sushi Passion is a delightful little restaurant bursting with culture, personality and most importantly amazing sushi. The restaurant offers beautifully presented and flavoursome fish and vegetable dishes, so if you’re a bit intimidated by sushi you can still enjoy the delicately crafted veggie choices. greatwesternarcade.co.uk

8

A popular venue for Friday night cocktails in the city, you can’t go wrong with a visit to Turtle Bay. It may be a long wait before you’re jetting off for some summer sun, but thankfully this lively Caribbean-themed restaurant is on-hand to bring the holiday vibes to Birmingham. A two minute walk from Grand Central, make your way to a place inspired by the vibrant Caribbean islands. Tuck into a succulent dish from the jerk BBQ pit, or opt for a traditional One Pot dish served with the classic rice ’n’ peas. turtlebay.co.uk

stylebham.com | 83


Oooh, look who’s trending! Get insider knowledge with Style Birmingham The Style Insider is our e-magazine delivering everything you need to know about fashion, culture and lifestyle in and around Birmingham, straight to your inbox. Packed full of exclusive offers, opinion and up-to-the-minute knowledge of whats hot, it’s the perfect solution for people who want to be in the know, all of the time.

To find out more and to sign up, visit stylebham.com


LIFESTYLE

Retreat, Relax and Recharge Need some time to yourself or want to kickstart your fitness journey? From challenging training sessions to award-winning spas, here are our top picks of well-being retreats Gleneagles Perthshire | Scotland

WELLNESS

Lime Wood New Forest | Hampshire

FYI! CLASSIC SPA DAYS AT LIME WOOD START AT £105 PER PERSON

Escape to the wilderness with a relaxing break at Lime Wood. From adorable cottages and cabins to luxury airy rooms, this charming spa is dedicated to all things natural, taking inspiration from its forest surroundings. Spread across three levels, which each look out over the stunning views, Lime Wood features include a sauna, hot pool, eight single treatment rooms, two double treatment rooms and a Mud House. If all this wasn’t enough, there’s also a rooftop gym, 16metre pool with glass doors, an extensive range of fitness classes, and you can tuck into some seriously delicious and nutritious food in Lime Wood’s Raw & Cured. With a selection of spa days at various price ranges, you’re sure to find something to leave you looking and feeling your best. limewoodhotel.co.uk

MINDFULNESS SPA DAYS START FROM £175

Home to three championship golf courses, an award-winning spa and the only two Michelin star restaurant in Scotland, Gleneagles is perfect for a couples getaway. A member of The Leading Hotels of the World, off-road driving, archery or falconry are just a handful of activities on offer to guests. Break away from your daily routine and take a dip in one of the two pools, release any tension or stress in the sauna and The Spa by ESPA, or take part in one of the fitness classes on offer. Recognised by the likes of Condé Nast Traveller, you won’t be disappointed. gleneagles.com

stylebham.com | 85


The Scarlet Newquay | Cornwall Voted one of the top 20 hotels by Condé Nast Traveller readers, The Scarlet takes relaxation to a whole new level. Eco-friendly, The Scarlet embraces all the glory of its natural Cornish surroundings, creating a place of peace and tranquillity. Designed for adults who want to escape the hustle and bustle of their day to day lives, the hotel offers everything from cliff top hot tubs to a natural reed-filtered swimming pool - not forgetting the Ayurvedic-inspired spa with breathtaking views of the beach. A well-being break like no other, The Scarlet works hand-in-hand with the environment to protect its surroundings. Discover deep relaxation with one of the hotel’s spa packages which include full use of the steam room, indoor pool and outdoor pool. scarlethotel.co.uk

TAKE A BREAK: SPA AND WELL-BEING BREAKS FOR TWO FROM £1,105 MIDWEEK

Lucknam Park Chippenham | Wiltshire

The epitome of luxury retreats, the grand Lucknam Park Hotel, Spa and Estate combines both country living with five-star facilities, creating an environment like no other. Winner of a Visit Gold England Award, you can dine in the Michelin-starred Park restaurant or explore the 500 acres of parkland on horseback before heading to the spa for a revitalising treatment and indulging in the state-of-the-art facilities. For those seeking somewhere to repair and recharge, Luckham Park offers three Mindfulness Retreats where you can work towards controlling anything from anxiety and fear to helping yourself feel more controlled, happy and focused. lucknampark.co.uk 86 | Well-being

ESCAPE

DAY ESCAPES AT THE SCARLET START AT £75 WITHOUT TREATMENTS


LIFESTYLE SPA DAY PACKAGES FROM £69 WEEKDAYS AND £79 WEEKENDS

Mottram Hall Macclesfield | Cheshire

Disconnect yourself from the rest of the world and retreat to the opulent Mottram Hall. Tucked away in the Cheshire countryside this stunning manor house is a great spot for anything from a spa day with your friends to a chilled-out weekend getaway. Challenge yourself in the state-of-the-art fitness centre or rejuvenate your mind, body and soul in the UK’s first Alfresco ThermoSpace. Dine in style at Mottram Hall’s AA Rosette Carrington Grill, or indulge your sweet tooth with a mouth-watering afternoon tea, washed down with a crisp glass of Champagne. qhotels.co.uk

COASTAL FITNESS BREAKS AT WATERGATE BAY HOTEL START AT £390 PER PERSON INCLUDING BREAKFAST, BASED ON TWO PEOPLE ATTENDING THE RETREAT

Images: Champneys

Champneys Various resorts

One of the most well-known health spas on our list offers various retreat packages to help you get into the best shape of your life. Invest in a healthier and happier you through a Health Management retreat, or de-stress at a Yoga and Pilates retreat at one of their four resorts. champneys.com

Watergate Bay Hotel Newquay | Cornwall

FITNESS Images: Lucknam Park

Love nothing more than being by the sea? Then a coastal fitness weekend at Cornwall’s Watergate Bay might be just what you’re looking for. Make the most of the environment around you whilst challenging yourself with activities including fitness, beach circuits and guided cliff hikes lead by professional personal trainers. Running from Friday to Sunday on selected dates the Coastal Fitness Weekends are aimed at all levels of fitness and can be tailored to you. After a hard day’s work, return to the hotel and take a dip in the gorgeous infinity pool before grabbing a bite at Zacry’s, or take a leisurely stroll down to Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall. watergatebay.co.uk stylebham.com | 87


Looking to get into shape for your summer holiday? Why not escape to Cuckfield for a fitness retreat at the lavish Ockenden Manor. Including two nights accommodation in one of the Elizabethan manor houses' grand bedrooms, a private consultation and one-to-one personal training session, Nordic walk, Power Plate session and circuits class; plus an award-winning healthy lunch and full use of the fabulous spa and the in-and-outdoor swimming pool and more. With spectacular views and top facilities, you’re sure to leave feeling relaxed, replenished and ready to work towards your ultimate beach body. hshotels.co.uk

UNWIND

Ockenden Manor Cuckfield | West Sussex

FULLY INCLUSIVE BREAKS AT THE CLOVER MILL START FROM £550 PER PERSON FOR A 2-NIGHT RETREAT

A place of peace, tranquility and relaxation, The Clover Mill aims to rebalance your body, mind and spirit with its wellness retreats. Take time away from the pressures of the outside world and allow yourself to become immersed in the beauty that surrounds The Clover Mill. With retreats running throughout the year from yoga to a range of specialist breaks for the visually impaired, The Clover Mill gives you the chance to rediscover your roots, dine on delicious and healthy meals whilst staying in one of the stylish and contemporary eco-lodges encased in natural beauty. theclovermill.com 88 | Well-being

The Grove Watford | Hertfordshire

If you’re stressed, tired and everything in between, there’s nothing more relaxing than a luxurious spa break to release all that unwanted tension in your body. Home to one of the best golf courses in the country and a spa fit for a queen, London’s The Grove is the five-star hotel that will get you back on top form. The Hertfordshire-based estate sits within 300 acres of spectacular countryside whilst being just a short distance from Piccadilly Circus. Take advantage of the kitted out fitness centre, take a dip in the indoor heated pool, or head out into the great outdoors and explore The Grove’s parkland and woodland. Whether you’re looking for relaxation or a quiet weekend away The Grove has everything you need. thegrove.co.uk

RELAXATION Images: Nick Clark

The Clover Mill Malvern | Worcestershire

SPA DAYS FROM £175


LIFESTYLE Hencote Estate Shrewsbury | Shropshire

PRICES START AT £1200 +VAT FOR A BOOKING OF TWO GUESTS PER NIGHT

HOLISTIC

“A place to rediscover your equilibrium and balance.” The beautiful Hencote Estate is the most local and expensive on our list offering a unique take on the wellness break and spa experience. Only a short 45 minute drive from Birmingham and nestled in 60 acres of Shropshire countryside, it offers holistic focused personal well-being breaks for private groups. We even took a visit to make sure it lived up to the hype. Hencote’s tailored retreats are aimed at both challenging and relaxing the mind and body. You’ll receive a pre-planned itinerary of country walks, runs and HIIT and yoga classes, curated under the guidance of a well-being director and fitness and yoga experts. But of course these are optional in case you wanted to spend the morning relaxing in the sumptuous Winny Hill suite complete with a roll-top bath (which comes with the Style Birmingham seal of approval.) The programme is tailored to 80% health and 20% pure bliss, and to ensure you leave feeling relaxed and rejuvenated after an intense introduction to yoga, you’ll have a personal nutritionist, massage therapist and private chef at your disposal. The team are on hand to help rid your body of any energy-sapping toxins.

Holistic well-being packages run for a minimum of three nights and each day you’ll have the opportunity to sample the healthy home-made dishes prepared especially for you. From freshly made granola and smoked salmon at breakfast, to lentil curry and seared chicken breast with cleansing vegetables at dinner - be prepared to ditch the Pinot for your stay though (hard, we know.) Water is their poison of choice. Hencote can accommodate groups of three to 12 people in their restored barn with dedicated staff, and provide a concierge style service. The unique offering ensures you can take advantage of the surroundings in style and really make yourself at home, whilst leaving a whole new you. We can’t recommend it enough. hencote.co.uk stylebham.com | 89


WE’LL MEET

WHERE FASHION MEETS FLAVOUR GRAN D C EN T R AL B I R M I N G H AM . C O M

W E ’L L M E E T AT

SHOP. DINE. DISCOVER.


LIFESTYLE

Find your Happiness Words: Andrew Riley

From friends and family to living in a city bursting with culture, Grand Central Birmingham customers told us exactly what makes them smile from ear to ear

y p p a H g n #Feeli

With the media seemingly focusing us all on impending doom: the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, Article 50, what’s, if’s and maybe’s, it was an absolute delight to be asked by the team at Grand Central Birmingham to go on a mission that could’ve potentially been ‘mission impossible’. My task was to take a stroll around the shopping and dining hub to ask the people of Birmingham ‘what makes them happy?’ Quite a challenge you may think? Well, so did I.  At first I approached the task with a little apprehension; would anyone even want to speak to me on a very gloomy Wednesday in the centre of Birmingham? Well, you’d be very surprised and by the end of the day I was in fact pleasantly fulfilled by a feeling of optimism and positivity.  It’s clear Birmingham really does have a huge amount of civic pride these days; people were easy to approach and happy to get involved with a multitude of answers ranging from spending time with friends and family, singing the praises of the city’s diverse culture and its ability to live in harmony, to its great places to eat, nightlife, shopping, and my personal favourite, a group of ladies having a ball at 10.45am on a Wednesday enjoying carafes of Prosecco at Frizzenti.  With its eclectic mix of shops, bars and restaurants at the heart of the city, Grand Central’s buzzing ambiance has given us all place to meet-up and is certainly a hive for happiness.

Watch the video at thebriefgrandcentral.com stylebham.com | 91


I Want! I Want! Art & Technology AN ARTS COUNCIL COLLECTION NATIONAL PARTNER EXHIBITION AT BIRMINGHAM MUSEUM & ART GALLERY

1 APR – 1 OCT 2017 This exhibition will present the work of contemporary artists working with technology.

birminghammuseums.org.uk @BM_AG Funded by:

/birminghammuseumandartgallery

#ACCNationalPartners City of Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery Development Trust

Arts Council Collection is managed by Southbank Centre on behalf of Arts Council England. Image: Rachel Maclean, Feed Me 2015. Courtesy of the artist, Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London.

Donations welcome


LIFESTYLE

Take a seat with

Fiona Allan Fiona Allan joined Birmingham Hippodrome just 18 months ago with a passion to grow not only the culture within the theatre, but across the entire city Words: Becky Weaver

H

er career background is impressive, having discovered her love for the world of theatre from a young age, Fiona Allan has worked at the world-famous Sydney Opera House and Leicester’s Curve Theatre before she took on the role of both Chief Executive and Artistic Director at Birmingham Hippodrome in 2015. “It was impossible to turn down the opportunity to lead the next phase of development for what is already Britain's most popular theatre,” Fiona beams. “Birmingham is an exciting city with a lot going on, and I want to make sure the Hippodrome helps drive the city forward.” As CEO of the theatre, Fiona is responsible for running the business and taking control of its artistic leadership. “It’s a really big job,” she laughs, “the Hippodrome is like a large puzzle, and my job is to pull it all together.” Birmingham Hippodrome is incredibly well-known for its exceptional calibre of shows, and part of Fiona’s role as Artistic Director is to fill each season. “The bar is already so high from previous shows,” Fiona says. “There’s a huge pressure, especially as a new CEO to keep up the standards and I

need to make sure we can keep the same level of quality coming in.” Having achieved so much in just 18 months, Fiona has a lot planned for the Hippodrome. Her main goal is for the theatre to “become an inclusive cultural centre that genuinely welcomes people from all walks of life, enriching lives through culture.” She wants the Hippodrome to welcome not just the hit shows that come its way over the next decade, but also create more opportunities for young performers, and welcome diversity in every shape and form. “I’d like theatre to become a career option for people of all backgrounds, for the faces we see on our stages - and the stories we are telling - to be much more reflective of contemporary British society.” Her homeland may be sunny Sydney, but Fiona’s got a huge passion to enhance Birmingham’s cultural sector, not only just within the theatre, but outside it as well. “One of the things we are trying to do is forge new relationships, especially with the many and varied festivals in Birmingham. It's really important to me that we collaborate at all scales across the city, not just with other big players,” Fiona explains.

Whilst the Hippodrome may be thriving, some of the city’s cultural sector has taken a hit over the last few months with funding being cut across at numerous hotspots including art galleries and theatres. “I believe it’s critically important that we’re collaborative and generous as a sector,” Fiona says with severity. “Some cultural organisations in this city are now balancing their businesses on a knife edge and will need extensive remodelling in order to survive.” Yet there are things that we, as a community can do to make sure that Birmingham’s cultural sector doesn’t die out due to funding cuts. Fiona’s advice is simple; “go and see more,” she says. “Take part, buy tickets, introduce your friends, family and neighbours to the joys of an exhibition or show they might not have thought of going to. “It does feel like Birmingham is becoming more confident in talking about itself as a cultural city - we should be confident, and we need to be confident, if Birmingham is to be internationally competitive.” Read an extended version of our interview with Fiona over at stylebham.com stylebham.com | 93


Ingredients:

Falafel with taratoor sauce These crispy and soft falafel with taratoor sauce are the perfect snack for a tapas night with your friends 1. Soak the dried chickpeas in a large bowl of cold water for at least 12 hours. 2. Drain the chickpeas and add to a food processor, along with the onion, salt, black pepper, garlic, bread, parsley, and red (bell) pepper, cumin and ground coriander. Blend until it reaches a granular consistency. Add the flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder and 175ml water and mix well. 3. Moisten your hands and form small balls of the chickpea mixture and flatten them slightly. 4. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep fryer or a large frying pan/skillet to 190C or until the oil is bubbling steadily. Fry the chickpea balls until golden brown. Remove the falafel and drain carefully using paper towels. 5. For the taratoor sauce, in a deep bowl, beat the tahini with the lemon juice and crushed garlic until it becomes quite creamy. Add water little by little, and continue to beat well. Add the salt and parsley and stir. Taste and if the sauce isn’t tangy enough, add a little bit more lemon juice. Refrigerate until ready to use. 6. To serve, stuff a couple of lettuce leaves into each pitta/pita bread and add 2–3 falafel. Add the tomato slices, parsley, mint, salt and pepper. Drizzle on the sauce and serve with a gherkin/pickle. 94 | Recipe

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

500ml dried chickpeas 1 onion, quartered 2 teaspoons salt A pinch ground black pepper 2–3 garlic cloves 2–3 slices stale bread 3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped 1⁄3 red (bell) pepper 2 teaspoons ground cumin 2 teaspoons ground coriander 1 teaspoon chilli/hot red pepper flakes 2 tablespoons plain/all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 litre vegetable oil, for deep frying

For the taratoor sauce: • • • • • •

175ml tahini Juice of 2 lemons 1 garlic clove, crushed 175ml water 1 teaspoon sea salt A handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, plus extra to serve

To serve: • • • • • •

8 pitta/pita breads, toasted A few cos/romaine lettuce leaves 2 tomatoes, sliced Fresh mint leaves Salt and freshly ground black pepper 4 gherkins/pickles 101 Bar Bites, published by Ryland Peters & Small, photography © Ryland Peters & Small, £12.99 101 Bar Bites is available to Style Birmingham readers for the special price of £9.99 including postage and packaging (rrp £12.99) by telephoning Macmillan Direct on 01256 302 699 and quoting the reference KA7


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1

LIFESTYLE

On your bike

Pedal your way around your local park and take in the fresh spring air with a relaxing bike ride. A leisurely cycle is a great way to add a fitness activity into your day. Cycling strengthens your thighs, hips and rear end as well as burning off those unwanted calories. Why not mix up your ride with a range of speeds and climbing hills to really get your leg muscles burning.

Hit it

Health Kick

Dust off your fitness equipment and get ready to burn some serious calories, it’s time to whip yourself back into shape Words: Laura Hughes

2

Don’t worry if you’re not the fighting type, boxing exercises are a great way to hit away those bingo wings. Boxing blasts up to 600 calories an hour while sculpting your arms, shoulders, core and legs. You don’t have to be Muhammad Ali to give it a go; whether you’re at home or at the gym, practice the core boxing skills of the jab, right punch, hook and uppercut sequence to get you started.

Super Supplements

It’s super easy to add superfoods into your daily diet and they are packed with health benefits.

Walnuts

Zumba

3

Kick-start your summer body with Zumba. The latin dance inspired all-over body workout combines both dance and fitness. Zumba classes are fun and play fast-paced music to get you pumped for that dream body. The workout also has huge health benefits. There are many Zumba classes on around the city so there’s no excuse not to get your shake on.

This superfood is brimming with vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids which is excellent for maintaining a healthy heart. Studies have shown that eating walnuts can reduce the risk of a heart attack from between 15 and 51 per cent.

Spinach This leafy green is loaded with nutrients and is important for your skin, hair and bone health. Mix it in salads or cook it up and serve alongside the meat. If you’re not a fan of spinach’s flavour throw it in a smoothie to avoid the taste.

Blueberries Eat them on their own or whiz in a smoothie. Blueberries contain loads of antioxidants which help prevent cancer, diabetes, and age-related memory changes. This delicious fruit is high in potassium, vitamin C and are an anti-inflammatory. stylebham.com | 97


W

e’re offering one lucky reader the chance to win a one night stay with Staying Cool at the Rotunda. One of the most iconic buildings in the city, we’ll put you up in one of Staying Cool’s boutique penthouse apartments complete with picturesque views of Birmingham’s skyline that can be enjoyed from your private balcony. If all this wasn’t enough, we’ll throw in a bottle of Champagne for you and your guest to enjoy, and we’ll treat you to breakfast the next morning.

W! ENTER NOom .c

stylebham

Win

A Champagne stay in a Penthouse apartment with Staying Cool at the Rotunda For your chance to win a one night stay in a Penthouse with Staying Cool at the Rotunda, simply answer the following question: What year did the Rotunda open as a hotel? A. 1965 B. 2011 C. 2008 To enter and see full term & condition visit: stylebham.com/win

98 | Win


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Style Birmingham Issue 53  

Spring 2017

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