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Urban Coco xxxxxxxxxxxx

Issue Five

July/August 2012

Helena Jesele Fashion, lifestyle and music magazine

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Lust List

Independent Designers

Mocha’s and Mojito’s

Can reading a book change your life?

Highstreet Highlights

Interview with Laura Creer

Cover girl interview

For and Against

Week in the life of...


Street Chic





This month we have some previews from the highstreet’s A/W collections Back by popular demand. This month we showcase some must see designers that are hot right now. This month we checked out The Village Hotel and grill, Leeds South.

With the fuss of Fifty Shades of Grey, we wanted to find out if this book, or others, can really change your life We have selected the must have pieces available on the highstreet this month

Our writer, Dale Ellis, chats to jewellery designer Laura to find out more about her Read our interview with this months cover girl, Helena Jesele. Find out what makes this sultry singer tick It’s the battle of our writers on this months topic This month’s feature is with a jewellery designer

The girls under the Spotlight this month are girl band VOXE. Watch this space... Did you get papped by the Capital FM street team when they were out for Urban Coco? See what events we have been to this month

Contributors Editor-in-Chief : Laura Bartlett Writers : Georgina Ryall, Dale Ellis Graphic Designers : Anna Wancyzk, Luke Walwyn Retoucher : Lara Ostertag Photographer : Simon Paterson Make up artist : Natalie Willingham Videographer : Tyron Maynard

Editor’s letter

Laura B

artlett :


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coco The September Issue

High-Fashion Edition

COMING SOON Fashionista’s are you ready? Fashion • Beauty • Lifestyle • Culture

anna moutaff is



nna Moutafis is a 22 year old fashion designer from Newcastle who, although in the early stages of her fashion career, has already carved a clear identity for her designs. She has a passion for sport inspired design which is so on trend this season especially with the Olympics being front of mind for everybody. Why did you decide to get in to the fashion industry and become a designer? I have always had an interest in fashion, my mam was a designer when I was young and I always wanted to follow in her footsteps. I was always doodling designs and keeping cutouts from fashion magazines. My textiles A Level influenced my interest in print and fabric. Your collection at the Graduate Fashion show was very sports lead with a hint of hip hop fashion, what inspires your designs? I am heavily influenced by what people wear on the street and have a particular interest in men’s style and silhouette. I take inspiration from sports fashion designers Christopher Shannon and Astrid Andersen who mix masculine and feminine elements of print and silhouette. My collection, Sports Luxe, is inspired by the volume and function of parachutes, which ties in with the oversized hip hop silhouettes. I also looked at batwings to inspire sleeve and cape designs. I contrasted this urban street wear vibe with delicate silks and luxe sequins to create more wearable feminine pieces. My key details include zip piping and drawstrings which add a sporty edge. What’s next for you and your career as a fashion designer? I am keen to gain more experience in styling which is one of my passions and I am also interested in cool hunting. I would love to get an internship with a local magazine as I feel Newcastle is establishing a strong urban street scene and I would love to be involved in documenting it. In 5 years time, where do you hope to be? I hope to be involved in sportswear or sports fashion design, or styling for a fashion magazine. My dream would be to work with designer Astrid Andersen as she is an inspirational street wear designer with strong direction. If any celebrity could wear your designs, who would it be and why? I would love Rihanna to wear my designs, she wears the hip hop style well and has a strong attitude. She can wear baggy hip hop t-shirts and still look sexy and feminine. My collection is about contrasting hard and soft, whether it be colour or fabric and Rihanna does that well. Where can people find out more about your collections? Visit my website (under construction) or contact me on

Independant Designers Section

www.. u www urban-coco rban-coco. ccom

Your collection at the recent Graduate Fashion show played on one of the current trends, print and vibrant colours. Where did you get your inspiration for this collection? My inspiration for the Pure Reflection collection was from the macro trend Wonderlab. It’s a contemporary womenswear range for spring/ summer 2013- the inspiration was mainly lead by modern architecture and influenced by robotic and futuristic traits. The structure of the garments alongside fabrics such as metallic foils and sequins reflect innovative aspects found in contemporary architecture and technology. The print is an explosion of vibrant colours which is an ultramodern representation of the human cells found in microscopic imagery, created by inks. How do you want people to feel when they wear your clothes? I want people to feel sexy and vibrant with a cheeky flirtatious flare with passion for standing out from the crowd and dare to be different! What has been the most important thing you have learned during your fashion design course? I learned never to give up! My course covered many aspects of the fashion industry for trend forecasting and researching to pattern cutting. But most importantly I learnt how to channel my innovative crazy designs on paper into 3D functional garments using industry methods for manufacture trial and error in moulage techniques on mannequins to construct my own unique patterns that created an ultramodern collection. Do you plan on pursuing a career in the fashion industry and if yes, where do you hope to be in 5 years time? Yes, I would like to design freelance for a high street store, but I want to design bespoke garments for events. In five years time though I would of liked to have tried a little bit of everything in the industry along with jetting off around the world and be a clothing/ lingerie buyer for a well established brand.

Tiffany Rose


iffany Rose is fresh from University but already one to watch. With a bright and sexy label in the making, it is clear that she is going to make a name for herself in the fashion industry.

If any celebrity could wear your designs, who would it be and why? Ooh this is a hard one. I would have to say The Saturdays! They are young and vibrant who each have their own unique edgy style, I would love to see Rochelle working the layered up triangle dress and Una in the printed beach dress working it on tour. Where can people find out more? You can email me at tiffanyrose_model@hotmail. and also check out my latest projects/work online at tumblr-Pure Reflection.

www.. u www urban-coco rban-coco. ccom om

Independant Designers Section



Naomi Pullan

aomi Pullan is a recent Graduate who concentrates on innovative pattern cutting whilst paying attention to detail but keeping a minimalistic feel.


Where do you get your inspiration from when designing? I find things that inspire me wherever I go, so it’s not so hard for me to get new ideas. My graduate collection Shades of White for example is inspired by blank sheets which have been cut up, shaped and developed into garment ideas. The colour palette is also drawn from the different tones that the light has created on the paper shapes. Tell us more about your Shades of White collection... White is not always pure white - It is affected by the light. The main inspiration behind my graduate collection are blank sheets which have been cut up, shaped and developed into garment ideas. The colour palette is also drawn from the different tones that the light has created on the paper shapes. Organic shapes are used throughout the collection which is enhanced by the linked elements, drop details and wooden accessories. In contrast to the stiff paper inspiration, soft fabrics are used to reinforce the organic feel. The women’s range concentrates on minimalistic looking garments with great attention to detail. From the white minimalistic oversized coat to the fitted twisted jumpsuit, the collection contains a diversity of clothes that can be worn and combined in various ways. Shades of white creates an minimalistic, elegant feel with an urban edge which makes the woman who wears it appear sophisticated and effortlessly beautiful What can we expect to see from you in 2012? I’m moving to London and will be working as a freelance fashion designer, so you will see more new designs from me in the next few months. However, I am really looking to find work at a fashion house. If you could design for any celebrity, who would it be and why? I think it would have to be either Alexa Chung or Audrey Tautou as they are both naturally beautiful and would reflect the style of my brand really well. Why did you decide to pursue a career in fashion? I never really decided that I wanted to become a fashion designer. I always did what I liked best; this is what I ended up doing and I really enjoy it. Where can people find out more about you? I have two online portfolios where people can find out more about me and my work. How do you want people to feel when they wear your designs? Most of my designs create a minimalistic, elegant feel with an urban edge. I would like the women who wear my designs to feel sophisticated and effortlessly beautiful. Model: Sophie Bailey Photographer: Steve Gabbett

Independent Designers Section

www.. u www urban-coco rban-coco. ccom

Tell us about your recent collection which you showcased at the Graduate Fashion show, what inspired this? ARCHITEKT Autumn/ Winter 2013/14 encapsulates the British urban landscape, drawing inspiration from the raw, irregular layering of architectural forms and periods that create our unique cityscapes. The collection uses a combination of traditional and innovative fabrics in a gritty, yet vibrant, colour palette. These features, integrated with statement architecture-inspired prints and signature perspex embellishment, bring together ARCHITEKT a sophisticated, contemporary collection for the urban woman, with a hint of life and youthfullness. Where do you plan on taking your fashion career next? In the long term Iam very interested in setting up my own label, using ARCHITEKT as a foundation for this. I am currently looking for womenswear design roles in order to gain vital industry experience and I intend to continue with my own work as a sideline, perhaps creating bespoke pieces as special orders or selling capsule collections with an appropriate high-end retailer. If you could design for any celebrity, who would it be and why? I’d love to design for a celebrity like Rihanna. She’s such a strong character and her style is so fresh and vibrant. It would be amazing to work on outfits for her tours and photoshoots. I think there would be chance to draw in theatrical elements and a raw edge to reflect what she represents.

jo bowden


hen speaking to designers I am always intrigued to know where they get their inspiration from. Usually its other designers or life experiences but for Joanne Bowden, her inspiration comes from urban landscapes and man-made industrial structures. This said, we couldn’t wait to see how she conveyed her influences through her designs.

During your fashion design course, what has been the most valuable thing you have learned? I’ve learned when to stop. There’s no better way to get something right than have a break and look at it again later with fresh eyes. If you weren’t pursuing a career as a fashion designer, what other path would you have taken? If I wasn’t pursuing a career as a designer I would definately be involved in events management. I worked in an arts venue before and during university and also did an internship with Vauxhall Fashion Scout at London Fashion Week. I absolutely loved both and could see myself running around organising fashion shows and music events. I think I’d definately need a career I could put everything into. Where can people find out more about you? Any projects, potential customers and industry members can feel free to contact me through my website, email or phone. Website: Email: Phone: 01642 730046 / 07977868620

www. urban-coco. com

Independent Designers Section



n 2009, aged only 26, Candy Maaka-Stoten created KeilanaSkye Industries, which debuted her high-end fashion footwear label, KeilanaSkye. On a mission to design a distinctive, comfortable pair of heels, KeilanaSkye was born. Candy has based KeilanaSkye on combining a distinctive, sexy, elegant edge with comfort.


Where do you get inspiration from when designing new shoes? It’s hard to say an exact place. I get inspiration from everywhere I guess; from photos, art, magazines, on the street and outdoors, sometimes an idea just pops into my head and sometimes new ideas happen accidentally or by chance.


Do you plan on introducing anything else to your range in the future, other than shoes? Yes. I have three more ventures up my sleeve. To be announced � If you could design for any celebrity, who would it be and why? I have many celeb girl crushes but I don’t have just one celeb in mind. But looking at the question from a different angle; I’d love to design for Giuseppe Zanotti. If I ever met him, I’d probably faint. In 5 years time, where do you hope to be? I’m finding that my label is getting a lot of interest and orders internationally; so I hope to expand to these countries, not only with my shoes, but also with the three ventures I mentioned earlier. What advice would you give to anybody trying to get in to the industry? Be patient, be realistic and don’t give up. As well as your creative brain, you also need to have your business brain switched on, with a decent business plan in place. Make sure you’re aware of your ‘identity’ as a designer and identify your target market. Make sure your designs are always available to the consumer, so don’t solely rely on getting into stockists. Get your website up and running and then search for stockists; finding stockists may take longer than you’d prefer. Having your designs available online means they’re always available to the consumer and there’s a higher chance of sales and money coming back in. Make the most out of social media - especially if you’re on a tight budget. Ask for advice when you need it (preferably from someone in the industry with experience) and learn to say no, when you have doubts about something. From experience, when I first launched, I was bombarded with advertising offers (that weren’t at all cheap) and the only way I could’ve afforded it, was if the ad worked. If it didn’t, then I would’ve been in strife. Don’t put yourself in that situation, unless you can afford for the service not to work. Always ask questions, research and evaluate first. Be prepared to put in the hours and dedicate yourself 100%. After all, you get out, what you put in. Where can people shop for your shoes? I have a few local stockists in Sydney, Australia but my shoes are also internationally available online via my website www.facebook. com/

Independant Designers Section

www.. u www urban-coco rban-coco. ccom

We caught up with owner, Clare Bottomley, to find out more about what the future holds for this ever growing brand. Tell us about Moo Designs, how did it start and who is involved? After concentrating on bringing up my children, middle-aged madness took over and I decided to start my business in the middle of a recession! From the influence of my daughter Holly we opened Moo Designs - Barnsley in 2009. We wanted to create ‘something / somewhere’ that we would both be happy to shop and work in. I feel it’s this initial idea that makes the shop work so well, we attract my friends and Holly’s friends, so this is what we particularly cater for. As well as attracting new friends and customers along the way! Since 2009 the Moo Designs brand is ever growing, as well as the team and designers continuously expanding too. We opened Moo Designs – Leeds in November 2011 and now have a team of around ten. How do you want women to feel when they wear your designs? Individual, confident and special. How would you describe your target customer? Well we have sold items for babies as young as eighteen months and ladies in their eighties! So I would say we do like to cater for all ages and all sizes – we do this through providing diverse collections. We do have a menswear range suitable for young men with a contemporary quirky style, which is proving very popular and we hope to develop this in the future. What has been your career highlight to date? Opening the Leeds Boutique, expanding the Moo brand was a great milestone for us. We are fortunate to live so close to the fashion capital of the North and with the success of the first branch we knew we had something original and we couldn’t wait to share it. Other highlights were meeting style guru Gok Wan when he came to Barnsley for his Television show, we explained Moo’s story and he said that ‘Every city should have a Moo!’ We even made him his own bespoke bag that he took away wearing. We also met Kat Von D (Tattoo artist from the TLC reality television show LA Ink) in London whilst fashion buying for our latest collections. Kat saw Holly’s Moo Bag and she fell in love with it immediately, so we created her a bag also and had it sent to LA! Keep your eyes peeled as we will be stocking Kat Von D’s collection A/W 2012!

moo designs


ne of Leeds freshest and most on trend boutiques, Moo designs, cater for all ages and sizes. With a diverse and strong fashionable team of people working within their two shops, Moo can guarantee to offer you something unique but on trend.

For any other designers trying to crack the industry, what advice would you give? It’s a lot of hard work, with very long hours, I’m thinking about the business 24/7 but if your passionate about it all, it’s worth it! Hurdles will arise but they will make you stronger and more resilient.

www.. u www urban-coco rban-coco. ccom om

Independant Designers Section



ottonarts was first brought to my attention this year when one of their leather handbag designs caught my eye on Twitter. Cottonarts is a small independent business, each element from designing, selecting the right materials, sewing packaging and maintaining the website is done by founder and designer Jilly Gough.


Your clearly very creative, is that something that runs in your family? I have always been a very creative individual and growing up I had lots of different influence’s from different people in my life from exploring sewing and textiles to learning the values of hard work. I am one of few in my family to graduate, and I am the only one who studied Art!


Where do you get your inspiration from when designing? I have a huge passion for art photography and fashion/ illustration, all I feel are important factors in my designs. I spend my spare time exploring my interests and this helps fuel for designing and creating original bags each season. I have a collection that solely focuses on my love for photography, the ‘Shutterbug’ collection, featuring original digital and film imagery of inanimate objects and interesting scenery that I take from day to day. I like to name all my collections in ‘families’ and I try to have diversity and design something for everyone. The ‘Bowlicious’ (pictured) has a classic, sophisticated style. The ‘Anarchy’ dives head first into the more alternative, rock chick elements and then there’s the ‘Candy’ collection with its complex detail, an expression of the energy I feel whilst sewing. The ‘Rocket’ collection (see picture) is one of my latest families of clutch bags; it has a sleek hand groove to add an extra element of originality and the clean cut edges step aside from the raw irregular edges of some other collections, pushing the fearless, elegant side to Cottonarts. What can we expect to see from you in the next year? This year in December I will be attending the Clothes Show Live in Birmingham for the first time and I am unbelievably excited about this! What advice would you offer anybody trying to pursue a career as a designer? When designing, I try to tell a story within my collections. Whether it is to push your own individuality or to help express yourself with an original bag, it has to be much more than just making or selling something, if you believe in yourself and what you do, others will feel your passion and believe in your brand too. Where can people shop for your designs? My website has a good selection of products to order from, rings, purses, wrist cuffs, bags and satchels. I am always making designs so it’s worthwhile checking in every few months to see the colour trend updates and new available bags, I update daily with pictures and info and Twitter@cottonarts.

Independent Designers Section

www.. u www urban-coco rban-coco. ccom

Now you have finished your degree, what have you got planned? I’m currently overseas for 3 months travelling around America trying to achieve work experience, especially in New York. I lived here last summer and afterwards I felt I grew hugely and finally realised what I would like to aspire to be; I want a job that I would jump out of bed for in the morning, so it had to be something to do with fashion! When I return I will be applying for a variety of fashion jobs around the United Kingdom and rest of the world such as New York. I would love to take my designs further too and may even concentrate on developing my brand and fingers crossed, possibly opening a bespoke boutique. Where do you hope to be in 5 years? My plan is to excel even my own aspirations. I believe in living each day as it is your last and grabbing each opportunity with both hands. I would love to become not just a successful fashion designer but a successful brand too, possibly with several boutiques open or designing for a high end fashion house. I never want to look back on my life and say ‘I really wish I’d travelled, I really wish I’d taken that job opportunity’, so live life the way you want to, doing the things that make you happy and I thrive on living and thinking this way. I’m also interested in other aspects of fashion such as editorial writing, styling and fashion photography, so I would love to have dabbled in this part of the industry as well.



resh from University, Lucy Sharrock is clearly one to watch. Her brand is already strong and this is a girl that really knows how to take things to the next level.

If you could design for any celebrity, dead or alive, who would it be? Alexander McQueen because he is classic. Mysterious and leaving you wanting more, just as a brand like my own should be. I look up to his creativity and dedication and would love to see what went on in his mind when designing. Everything he did had my jaw to the floor. His designs leave you talking and anticipating his next big move. They are not too over the top and create an atmosphere just with their styling and presence. This reaction is what I am aiming for with my clothing, creating a good reaction not because they are too over the top or over designed but because they create something unique. How would you describe your designs in 3 words? Unique, innovative, original Describe your target customer? The target customer is a woman who is interested in investing into a brand that will provide a fresh unique style for them that can lead through from season to season but that gives them that edge over other fashion buyers. Where can people find out more about you? You can find out about ‘LuciaSo’, at Faebook will be up and running end of September. Do not hesitate to contact for any enquires or bespoke requests

www. urban-coco. com

Independent Designers Section


hannah victoria



annah Victoria is a young and very exciting designer. When I recently spotted her designs at her Graduate show she totally blew me away. With an intricate detailing that can usually only be achieved by established designers, Hannah had me hooked

For a first collection, it is fair to say that more established brands could be given a run for their money. I, personally, am very excited to see what this designer pulls out of the bag next season. Now you have finished your degree what have you got planned? My plan is to get a foot in the fashion industry to gain experience and industry knowledge to be a valuable member of a team, work free-lance or ultimately start my own label. Where do you hope to be in five years? Part of a team or developing my own label that designs and makes bespoke garments; evening-wear, wedding dresses, anything really that someone may want for an event that they cant buy on the high street. Fashion is a tough industry, why did you decide to pursue a career in fashion? It was a combination of art at school which I always loved and had a talent for and wanting unique clothes to wear. I often altered high street clothes and began making my own. I enjoy the challenge of creating unique garments that are eye catching and break away from the norm. I feel my fine art and textile background influences me in designing garments from a more artistic point of view which I feel will give me an edge to be successful in this industry. If you could design for any celebrity, dead or alive, who would it be? Helena Bonham Carter, she’s fun and outgoing and always looks classy and stylish. How would you describe your designs in three words? Bold, complex, original. Describe your target customer? Confident women who like to make an entrance. Where can people find out more about you? or email me on

Independant Designers Section

www. urban-coco. com

s ’ a h c Mo

&& &

Mojito’s Mojito’s

s ’ o t i j o MW

hen I think of the Village hotel I imagine business people visiting for overnight stays or fitness fanatics going to use the gym. For some reason I have always overlooked the fact that Village hotels also offer dining facilities.

I recently visited Village Hotel Leeds south and dined in their Victory pub and Kitchen. It was late afternoon and the restaurant had a pretty buzzing atmosphere with groups of friends meeting for dinner and men in suits working on their laptops whilst dining. We were seated in a comfy corner and mulled over the menu. There’s a good choice to select from and the usual pub favourites such as burgers, gammon and meaty steaks. We went to the bar to make our order of Deep fried whitebait ‘salt n shake’ (£4.95) and Prawn Cocktail (£6.75). Both arrived pretty quickly and were well presented on wooden boards and the whitebait in a cute little pot and smelling delicious. We got tucked in and enjoyed it, the whitebait went down perfectly with some vinegar and the prawn cocktail had a nice light

Marie Rose sauce to accompany it. Moving on to our mains, we opted for 7oz Rib Eye steak (£13.50) which was served with fried egg and chips and then my guest chose the Mac and Cheese (£6.95) from the pasta menu. The steak was cooked perfectly and went down nicely, the portion size was pretty big but I still managed to eat it all – you don’t get a figure like mine just watching food! We thought it would be rude not to get desserts, I chose Chocolate Brownies (£5.50) and was given the option to have whipped cream or ice-cream (I chose Ice-cream). When it arrived it was massive and as much as I tried I couldn’t get through the whole thing. It was nice but would have preferred it to be hot. My guest chose the Lemon meringue pie (£5.50). Considering her plate was empty I think it was a good end to the meal. The staff were attentive but not over the top like some places, they asked if we were happy with everything and offered to get anything else we might need. The whole experience was very relaxed and that was thanks to the chilled out (but helpful) staff. It’s certainly a place I would visit again for a chilled out Sunday lunch or a meal one evening after work.

20% Discount on Food Enjoy a 20% discount off food in both The Victory Pub or Verve Grill Restaurant at Village Leeds South. Simply show this page on ordering to claim your discount. For more information please visit

www. urban-coco. com

Offer valid until the 31st August 2012. Valid at Village Leeds South only. Discount is applied to food only on full priced menu items. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. No cash value alternative. Standard terms and conditions apply.


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he world has been going mad for Fifty Shades of Grey, which, if you haven’t joined the masses and read, is an erotic novel by E.L James and has got everybody wishing they had a Mr Grey. I’m not going to lie, I haven’t read it yet but I write this whilst I wait for my book to arrive from Amazon which I ordered a couple of days ago. Women have said their sex lives have seen a massive improvement since reading the trilogy and this got me to thinking, can a book really change your life? As a busy woman myself, I struggle to find the time I once had to curl up reading a good book and tend to opt for trash on TV and reality shows instead as reading a book somehow seems like a chore. However, when a friend told me about The Power, a book by Rhonda Byrne, and how this had changed her whole outlook on life overnight, I had to get stuck in. The book is a handbook to life and strongly states that by reading and following the book, you will have everything you want. Sounded too good to be true to me and as a non believer in God I thought it might just be another way of somebody shoving their beliefs down my throat so I began reading, sceptically. It’s an easy read and can be divulged in small chunks, after each chapter there is a round up and bullet points of what has been discussed. I’ll cut a long story short (pardon the pun), I read the book, cover to cover, in just two days. I was hooked. It’s basically about the laws of attraction and what you give out you get back, treat people how you want to be treated, remain positive in all aspects of your life and your guaranteed happiness. Pretty much. I spoke to Leeds-based writer Clancy Walker who is currently working on a project about the capacity for a book to change, or at the very least heavily influence, our lives and put out a request on Twitter as part of her research. “I asked for people to share the book that has had the most impact on their lives - asking for for both non-fiction and fiction titles.

Responses included The Bell Jar, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Female Eunuch and The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists and I’ll confess to not having read all of those. I’ve read one, but I’ll leave you guessing as to which! “What struck me is that, with the exception of a couple, the responses were largely of fictional titles and not a single self-help book in sight! I think the imagination is much more likely to be sparked by others’ imaginations, and, most importantly, great stories. I’d never underestimate the power of a good yarn to change someone’s outlook on life.” I then caught up with some other females to find out if reading a book had changed their life. ‘After reading 50 Shades of Grey it made me hornier. Changed my life for at least a week!’ Emma Murray

to convince a relative to bring her to the UK to act as a maid to his family). Through everything, including being abandoned and left homeless in London, ended up getting spotted and becoming one of the best supermodels in the world, marrying a Brit she didn’t love to stay in the country, making money, and learning English and she is now campaigning against Female Genital Mutilation (something she was put through at the age of 3) all over the world. Very inspiring, true story and definitely changed my perspective on life. Sepi Maganu

A book I read called Feeling Good which is all about helping people get over their fears of anxiety, depression, confidence etc. It made me feel better about myself and helped me realise I’m not alone going through life’s ups and downs. It’s a great read. Sue Bingham

Henreitha by Joyce M Johnson because this book shadowed my steps in life good and bad, I couldn’t have related more it gave me strength from its inspiration! Kadesh anderson

There is a book called Desert Flower, by a Somali former supermodel called Waris Dirie. She was born and raised in the deserts of Somalia to a nomadic family, didn’t even have shoes until the age of about 10. Ran away (ran through the desert for 9 days). Lived and cleaned for different family members, managed

The Alchemist by Paulo Coello. Everybody read it and it has been a favourite amongst celebrities, it really is a brilliant book! Kate Astall

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Spa Luxe We all love to be pampered and have time out and Macdonald Hotels and resorts are totally aware of this which is why they have been investing in to their spa properties. I was recently invited to stay at the Macdonald Valley spa, hotel and golf resort in the beautiful Shropshire countryside in the historic town of Whitchurch, home to the oldest clockmakers in the world. The hotel and spa has just undergone a £500’000 revamp to its Vital health & wellbeing club, it’s a total transformation and the sizeable extension now boasts eight charming treatment rooms, a new RASUL mud therapy area, a large relaxation suite to unwind in, a dedicated spa lounge to enjoy light refreshments in comfort and a private spa changing room.

Driving up the long drive it was nice to take in the views over the golf course, such a stunning location. After checking in at the hotel, and being greeted by the well groomed girls at reception, I popped in to check out my room before heading down to the spa. I had a room on the first floor which meant I had doors leading outside where I could take advantage of the table and chairs on offer to enjoy a cheeky glass of wine. The room was airy and spacious and had two large, cosy arm chairs to curl up in (and read a bit of Fifty shades of Grey). My treatment was booked in for 3pm so it wasn’t long before I had to go and see the facilities on offer. In the Spa I was welcomed by a friendly young guy who was very enthusiastic and helpful.

After filling in my details I was shown to the new relaxation room which had dimmed lights and relaxing beds, I was told to wait here until my therapist arrived. I was so relaxed I was almost ready to drop to sleep when my therapist came in and showed me to my treatment room. After explaining the process for my full body massage she left the room giving me time to get comfortable on the bed. Upon returning, she soon had me relaxed again with the hot oils and also asked if I was happy with the pressure which usually therapists tend to just go for it without asking so this was a good start. An hour later the treatment was over, I could have easily snoozed for some time as my whole body had reached extreme relax mode. I was brought a glass of water and then made my way back to the relaxation room to get in one of the beds, listening to the soothing sound of the waterfall, and had a little nap. The whole spa experience was fantastic, after having a swim and taking advantage of the steam room and other facilities on offer I made my way back to the room.

It was getting late and I decided to order room service instead of going to the restaurant. The staff were very accommodating. I ordered steak with chunky chips, it was slightly disappointing as they didn’t offer any sauces to accompany it but nevertheless it was cooked to perfection. After catching up on the soaps I ordered warm chocolate brownies with ice cream which were to die for. I retired to bed, after a hectic week I was in need of an early night. Waking up I had slept so well, the bed was very comfortable, the hotel nice and quiet and the blackout blinds did their job. I had breakfast delivered to my room and caught up on the morning news before packing to head back to Leeds. All in all a lovely relaxing break, I would gladly return and would probably opt to book more treatments and stay for a couple of days. It’s the perfect place for a girly break or even a romantic weekend away. They offer several spa packages, a great one on offer at the moment is the Turn Back the Time Spa Break which includes all the indulgence of the spa with a choice of two 30 minute treatments and an overnight stay in a luxurious en-suite bedroom with breakfast. Prices start from £129 for two people. To find out more visit :

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Laura Creer

Laura Creer


aura Creer is a jewellery designer from Leeds who has been selling her pieces professionally for eight years. Her current collection features reticulation and fusing which are heat manipulating processes that create individual, unique ‘foil like’ patterns and has become part of her signature style.


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Laura Creer Creer’s work is all about the individual and you can tell when you meet her in person that’s she’s very much that herself. She has a look that nails simplicity but with vintage twists here and there. Meeting her and seeing her work it is clear that she draws inspiration from her interest in fashion as well as her passion for arts and crafts, what she calls a “handmade culture”. She even draws motivation to create her work from surrounding herself with beautiful objects, “I collect handmade blue glaze ceramic cups when I visit contemporary craft fairs, and a simple cup of tea out of one of those beautiful creations gives me the inspiration to continue what I do, so I can make a piece of work someone else will treasure.” After three years studying jewellery at Leeds College of Art and Design Creer went on to work within the jewellery trade for a large jewellery manufacturer. She believes that an integral part of her designs comes from her experience and the subsequent insight she gained in both of these environments in the creative and constructive aspect of jewellery making. After leaving the larger manufacturer she set up on her own. Ask her if she sees herself as a business woman, and that certainly isn’t the case. “I am not sure I have ever called myself a business woman, but in theory I am. I suppose it sounds so formal, and the emphasis is on the business aspect, which doesn’t lie so well with me. I suppose the passion and the business aspects need to both be there to make it successful, neither one would exist without the other. I think of myself as a designer-maker before anything else.” Creer believes that anyone with a passion and an artistic eye can make jewellery. When asked what advice she would give to women wanting to

Everyone has a favourite piece of jewellery so when asked what hers is Creer says that it was a vintage gold cocktail ring with a large ‘claw set’ Iolite stone. This was a piece inherited from her grandmother that she believes is her favourite because, “the sentiment plays a large part in why I love it so much... along with the fact it is eye catching

have a similar career to her she says, “Like any creative business, it has its ups and downs. It takes over your life, but the rewards are never ending. You need to be prepared for a lot of hard work, and huge expense setting up your workshop.” If she had to give a piece of practical advice it would be to get as much industry experience as possible for example shadowing another designer to get a feel for all the work. One way Creer keeps going professionally is by working in a two tiered way. As well as being a jeweller Creer is also a teacher spending 70% of her time as a jeweller and 30% teaching. “I find teaching very inspiring, and love seeing what lovely work my students create and I often learn new things alongside them.” Creer’s work is simple, feminine and pretty. Her current collection draws on flowers as her inspiration with more colour than in previous collections which she says came from her love of the fabric of a particular vintage dress she owns. Each piece is and looks lovingly handcrafted. They are perfect for anyone who likes simple design but with subtle detail in texture and colour. Creer believes that her work is “contemporary yet classic and could hold its own faced with any fashion trend.” The piece she sees as most timeless in her current collection would be her Silver Cuff. A classic wide cuff with a contemporary surface texture that is unique to that piece of jewellery is popular with all ages. More recently Creer has used splashes of 24ct gold in her pieces, in particular her ‘petal necklace’ (which happens to also be her favourite piece) which she has often shied away from before, “being a redhead, I always thought gold was a no-no for the fair skinned but this necklace changed that opinion for me.” She also puts this new exploration of gold down to her love of Gustav Klimt. So how does Creer work? To this question she states very clearly and immediately that she is not one for sketchbooks. She has an artistic process that is very much hands on after working in industry before going it alone. She locks herself away in her studio when inspiration takes hold and starts working out her ideas, “the making of my jewellery is where my passion lies, so you won’t find me spending hours drawing in my sketchbook, I’ll be trying out new designs in my workshop”. Her pieces can take as little as hour to create but most often can be anything from three hours or more depending on what she is working on. Her work is easy to wear and doesn’t break the bank, “I pride myself on my ability to make contemporary handmade jewellery that is affordable.” As a jeweller herself, who does she believe to be the great designers out there right now? “I love so many; it’s too hard to narrow it down. My latest additions to my jewellery collection are a beautiful hand painted glass and

and a stunning piece in its own right”. Just like how she would love for other jewellers to wear her pieces she has an active interest in the work of others. “My latest additions to my jewellery collection are a beautiful hand painted glass and pearl necklace by Jed Green and a quirky chunky resin bangle by Manchester designer Jane Dzisiewski. I bought both of these at a show I did in South Wales and they bring back fond memories of a fantastic weekend, I had been eyeing up the pieces during the whole show and treated myself at the end.” A final word from Creer; “for me timeless pieces of work are ones that hold a degree of sentiment and that are essentially unique. Handmade jewellery hopefully gives people the opportunity to have something made entirely to their requirements and hold a story. Each piece I make is individually made, so no one else will have exactly the same piece of jewellery.” To see a showcase of Laura’s upcoming work visit the Yorkshire Sculpture Park this summer ( You can purchase her designs from: and you can take lessons from the woman herself at The Bowery in Headingley ( or at Swarthmore Education Centre ( Written by Dale Ellis

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pearl necklace by Jed Green and a quirky chunky resin bangle by Manchester designer Jane Dzisiewski. I bought both of these at a show I did in South Wales and they bring back fond memories of a fantastic weekend, I had been eyeing up the pieces during the whole show and treated myself at the end. A jeweller I admire and love their work is Warrington based Silver Kitsune (jeweller Heather Fox). Her designs are so diverse with lovely personal touches.” When asked who she would love to wear her jewellery Creer is humble, “I get so much pleasure knowing there are people all over the country wearing my work, that to be honest I am just so happy that anyone wears it! No one person stands out, but if I was pushed I’d say someone like Stella McCartney, or a fellow designer-maker. If someone appreciates the time and effort that goes into a handmade piece of jewellery, then I want someone like that to wear my work.”


Cover Story

Helena Jesele


n my opinion, music makes the world go around. Especially music that comes from the soul, which it certainly does with this month’s 6th foot tall, stunning cover girl, Helena Jesele.

Helena was born in Manchester but raised in Dublin and has a sultry voice that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand to attention. During our photoshoot we grabbed sometime to find out more about her: How would you describe your music in 3 words? Soulful sultriness with an edge...Technically that’s 5 words, but the ‘with’ and ‘an’ don’t count! When people listen to your songs, how do you want them to feel? Music is such a personal thing and more often than not our choice of music reflects our mood. So if someone’s feeling happy they’ll select some uplifting music, if they’re down they’ll choose something melancholic, and if they’re feeling frisky it’s something sexy etc. This album seems to run the gamut of emotions, so hopefully there’s something for every mood on there. But really, I’d love to think that people will be able to connect and relate to the stories in the songs. There’s nothing nicer than when someone says they were touched by a lyric in some way, that’s an amazing feeling for an artist. Lovesick Avenue is one of my favourite songs of yours, it’s clearly about heartbreak. Do you draw on your own personal experiences when writing songs? Yes I definitely write from personal experience. This album maps the journey of the last two years of my life so it covers everything from the dizzy heights of falling in love, to the dark depths of deceit and heartbreak, and back again. Actually Lovesick Avenue was inspired by a conversation I’d had with a friend. We were both going through difficult times in our respective love lives so we met up for a drink to drown our sorrows...Anyway he was telling me about this girl that had been giving him the run around and as I had an almost identical story with the guy I’d been seeing, the words


‘Welcome to Lovesick Avenue’ popped into my head, and the song was born! I’ve learnt to always carry a little notebook in my bag wherever I go, because there’s nothing worse than when a great lyric comes to mind (especially if wine’s been had and the memory isn’t too sharp) and there’s nowhere to write it down! What has been your career highlight to date? That’s a tricky one as so many incredible things have happened. But going to New York to write with Truth & Soul is definitely an experience I’ll never forget, so that’s probably my career highlight so far. I was so nervous when I arrived at their studio in Brooklyn...I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to write anything! But I needn’t have panicked as we seemed to click straight away and the songs just poured out. It was like that dusty little music room existed outside of all time and space, it was such an amazing experience. It was funny actually because one morning I got hopelessly lost on the Subway, it was pouring rain outside and needless to say I was feeling a bit miserable...I ended up in the Bronx, the wrong side of the Bronx...and what with my height, paired with the look of sheer terror in my eyes, I stood out like a sore thumb! But mercifully a kindly down and out told me how to get back to Brooklyn. Anyway when I eventually arrived at the studio (very late and soaked through) and told the guys the whole sorry story, they thought it was hilarious and said, “well, there’s your next song!”. So that whole fracas ended up as becoming the inspiration for Pretty Pretty Lights, which is one of my favourite tracks on the album. In 5 years time, where do you see yourself? Living in a beautiful brownstone apartment in Manhattan, stepping over Grammy’s as I head out the door, hailing a yellow taxi and whizzing off to a fabulous studio to finish recording my 3rd album! I have a bit of a love

Cover Story

affair with New York actually and I’m not quite sure why. Maybe it’s because when you see all the yellow taxi’s and smell that gorgeous scent of fresh bagels wafting from the street vendors, you kind of feel like you’re in Sex In The City or Madmen or something! But I think there’s something special about New York, it’s got a certain magic about it that gets to me every time I visit. For any artists trying to get in to the music industry, what advice would you give? This is a very tough business to be in, there’s a lot of rejection and disillusionment around, and it can be difficult to keep your head above water sometimes. But if you keep going and don’t lose belief in yourself as an artist, the hard work does start to pay off. I’m always reminded of an Ella Fitzgerald quote that I try and remember when things have seemed really hard - “Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong”. Also, I think it’s important for artists to immerse themselves in whatever scene they’re into. For me it was the jazz scene in London, which is where I really cut my teeth as singer. All that time going to open-mic sessions, meeting musicians, getting a band together, increasing my repertoire and gigging all around town was invaluable. Growing up, who inspired you musically? When I was growing up its fair to say that compared to my contemporaries, I had rather eccentric tastes in music. So while everyone was listening to pop acts like New Kids On The Block and Take That (in their hay day) I was always listening to jazz artists from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s like Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra and Julie London. I loved the way that kind of music instantly transported me to a dreamy, glamorous land, far far away from the confines of the convent school and the disapproving nuns. People always used to say I was stuck in the wrong era, and perhaps in some

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respects that’s still true. I suppose I’ve always had an affinity with yester-year, but obviously I still embrace the present. There’s no time like it! What can we expect to see from you for the rest of 2012? Well the next single - Sun Is Rising - is being released in August, and actually, I’m going to be shooting the video for that this week which is very exciting! I talked about Ella Fitzgerald earlier, and funnily enough I mention her and reference some of the songs she sang in the lyrics of Sun Is Rising. Her voice and music have seen me through many highs and lows in my life, so it felt right to honour her in a song. So as for the rest of 2012, well there’ll be lots of gigs coming up and the album will be released towards the end of the year, so I’m really looking forward to that. If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be? Hmmm...there’s so many great artists to choose from! Ok I’ll give you one from the past and one from the present. From the past I’d say Ray Charles. His music spanned through blues and soul as well as jazz, and I really like his version of Come Rain Or Come Shine, so I’d have loved to have done a duet of that with him. From the present I’d say Plan B, I think his Defamation Of Strickland Banks album is brilliant, so to write and record a song with him would be pretty cool I think. Where can people follow your journey? The facebook page is where all the gig updates and new videos etc are posted - You can see me randomly tweeting about all kinds of things on Twitter And on the website there’s clips of some of the songs and links to all my videos -


all that Glitters Jewellery is personal not a trend. Or at least that’s what I think, though I must admit that my jewellery box will probably betray me. I only wear jewellery of personal significance these days but I suppose if said piece of jewellery was one of those 90s style tattoo chokers I would argue that it should probably find its resting place in a keepsake box. I’ve always had a penchant for old shiny things. As a child I would collect gems in little glass corked bottles, lumps of solid lava and slices of amethyst. As a teen I went through a stage of very elaborate costume jewellery that anyone’s gran would have been proud of. Nowadays I stick to three pieces, a swirl tunnel in one ear, a ring through the crook of my other and a pearl ring. The tunnel is a hangover from my teen days, the ring in my ear was a spur of the moment decision with my twin sister on our birthday last year and the ring a graduation gift from said twin sister that hasn’t come off in five years – apart from when she borrowed it, lost the pearl, called me drunk and hysterical and then came with me to the jewellers to have it replaced.

Why do I have a problem with new, ‘on-trend’ jewellery? I have clearly unearthed some issue. Growing up I used to wear what would be considered ‘chav’ jewellery even though I was what was considered ‘alternative’ because I used to enjoy subverting signifiers. Why now do I still reject the notion of being ‘on-trend’ with jewellery? After all, my graduation ring was new. Though I must admit that it was from the bridal collection and Id argue is ‘classic’ rather than ‘on-trend’. Pandora’s current campaign shows pivotal moments in a models life with the line “celebrate your unforgettable moments with Pandora”. So maybe I think my issue falls into jewellery for fashions sake that I have the problem with. Picking a ring because it looks nice and is reasonably cheap, I hate the idea of that.

The strangest thing about this is that jewellery can start as personal and then end up turning into a trend. You could buy Kate Middleton’s recently inherited sapphire and diamond engagement ring for a pound from Primark and various other fashion outlets. I suppose for enthusiastic royalists it brings them all that bit closer to their new fashion icon. Or what about the kids? There’s nothing sweeter than seeing young girls exchanging friendship bracelets but wait a few Personal sentiment and jewellery go hand in hand. years and suddenly it’s considered part of the ‘tribal Jewellery is a signifier of ‘you’; it is a way of showing trend’, just get the colours right. I think it boils down people your style and personality and well as personal to being a seasonal fashion wearer and when I say stories. You may have to wear a suit for work for season I’m talking weather not collection. I just don’t example but you can pack a punch with your earrings. see the point in accumulating a collection of pieces That ring you wear that everyone thinks is ‘out of date’ that will date just because they’re considered on-trend or not ‘on trend’; well it belonged to your grandmother. at the time. Jewellery is something to keep and to Jewellery should have a story, I much prefer to hear cherish, to adorn. Not to throw any or leave rusting in which vintage fair a piece was picked up from or the a jewellery box. story of a lost loved one. That’s far more interesting to By Dale Ellis. me than how much it cost or even just recognising it from a magazine spread on Freedom at Topshop.

ain’t always Gold Jewellery is very rarely personal.

an easy way to impress someone, a bit of a failsafe present. The hoards of diamond necklaces in jewellers’ Anyone who has ever been to a museum or watched windows really, all look the same to me, and I know Indiana Jones will be familiar with the early types of many will disagree but if someone presented me with jewellery. Made from gemstones, precious metals, something expensive and silver, gold or diamond that beads, shells etc. Throughout history jewellery served they’d seen in a window and blown a ridiculous amount a purpose, whether it be a representation of class and of money on I wouldn’t find it particularly significant. wealth, used as protection from evil spirits or worn Various charm bracelet companies have also cashed in death to ensure a graceful transfer to the afterlife. in on this notion of jewellery with a ‘deep meaning’. Our approach to jewellery now can be most closely While you can’t dispute the initial excitement of being linked to the romanticism movement in the late 18th presented with a bare metal chain...How much are you century when we properly developed a ‘middle class’. really looking forward to knowing what you’re getting A middle class with a penchant for renaissance art and for birthdays and Christmas every year from now on until that chain is full? ‘costume jewellery’. This kind of jewellery is the predominant kind today whether it’s your first set of plastic pearls from Claire’s or something a bit special from your local jewellers. While, contrary to popular belief, most women aren’t gazing in the window of Tiffanys, we do all become magpies to some extent when we see the glimmer of something special. Whether it be something kitsch and affordable from Topshop’s rare range or Swarovski crystals that wouldn’t be out of place in a P Diddy video. But I think such a small part of it is personal. Jewellery is adornment and decoration and shame on the jewellers who try and pass off objects that are purely costume as having some deeper meaning. The thing I own which has most meaning to me at the moment, believe it or not, is a tiny yellow rubber duck, because of the memories attached to it. That and only that are what make an item sacred and unique, if that happens to be a piece of jewellery at that time then so be it. But twinkling gems and pretty necklaces, I always feel, are

Not to mention the fact that there is currently a swarm of wrists sporting the same false sense of intimacy as you, every time you leave the house. Wedding rings it could be argued are the most deeply personal items of jewellery you can buy. But when the day does (eventually) come that some poor bloke wants to ask me to marry him, I dread the idea of girls cooing around me about how many carats my engagement ring has. And if I lost my partner or we were struggling financially, you can bet it would be the first thing to go. Any children, the house we made together and drawings and photos would be the things that meant something to me. “Remember that time I had absolutely no choice on spending thousands on this ring because I couldn’t have properly asked you to spend the rest of your life with me otherwise?” Golden memories. While I love jewellery in all its different types and wear it like a lunatic I just don’t carry with it any false sense of momentous value because it’s purely decoration. By Georgina Ryall










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A week in the life of


s the owner and founder of Dainty Damsel Ltd, I’m based in the office for the majority of the time, running the business on a daily basis and designing new collections for our range, so I tend to wear mostly jeans with comfy t-shirts. My hair is usually tied back so I can work properly without it irritating me all day and sometimes I wear make-up, sometimes not, depends if I have time to apply it in a morning while getting my 9 month old daughter ready at the same time! I love fashion and have worked within the industry for over 20 years so when I go out, I make a special effort to remember what I was like pre baby days! I’d say my style is smart casual and I love a dress when the occasion calls for it, all teamed with my Dainty Damsel jewels of course!

At my baby Olivia’s Naming Day: wearing Metallic vest top - French Connection, Cream Jacket & Khaki Trousers – Dorothy Perkins, Accessorised with our Dainty Damsel delicate skull & Starfish Limited Edition range. Mum wears a dress by Next and Dainty Damsel Leather Bow Bracelet. I wanted something smart but practical for running around a 9 month baby all day!

Showcasing our Dainty Damsel Jewels at the Margin Trade show in Bond Street, London with Sarah who works alongside me. Wearing Levi Jeans, vest top by Dorothy Perkins, Green Polka Dot Shirt from Warehouse.

A week in the life of... 36

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A jewellery designer

Desk Shot: I’m designing here our new ‘Rescue Me’ necklace and rings to match, wearing T-shirt from Tophop and our jewellery. I wear our jewellery everyday as it’s important for me to be as close to the product as possible from a design and wearability point of view.


Accessorising our stunning model for a Dainty Damsel Photo-shoot at Cave Castle. Wearing floral top from Crave Boutique, Khaki Pants from Warehouse Here with the owner of Crave Boutique in Hessle, doing a charity fashion show at a local nightclub. The models all wore Crave clothing and our jewellery. We also did a set with a local lingerie company and the results were stunning! I’m wearing a dress by Religion; I do love Religion clothing and have a fair few pieces in my collection!

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ominating the bustling Millennium Square, The Electric Press, offers a fantastic selection of cuisines, from Italian to Indian, Asian to modern British, there’s something to suit the most demanding of taste buds.

The Electric Press for Eclectic Dining Home to Epernay, All Bar One, Revolution, Spice Quarter, Red Chilli, Casa Mia and The Carriageworks, The Electric Press offers drinking and dining solutions for breakfast through to supper. Epernay Champagne Bar, the city’s only champagne and cocktail bar boasts over 100 champagnes, more than 30 carefully selected rare and exclusive wines and over 70 cocktails. For those looking to really let their hair down, Revolution Bar is the place to do it. Home to a wide range of cocktails, classic bar food, guest DJs, themed nights, and special promotions make for a lively night out. Spice Quarter offers Indian, Italian, Thai and Chinese dishes for those who can’t quite decide what they fancy! With a selection of up to 100 different dishes, along with live cooking stations and regular entertainment, Spice Quarter provides a lively dining experience. For lovers of classic Italian dishes, independent restaurant, Casa Mia Millennium offers fine dining over two floors and also includes a coffee bar, deli, and extensive outdoor seating. All Bar One Millennium Square, provides a stylish setting for dining from brunch through to evening time. The new brunch menu includes Ever So Eggy Bread (served with crispy bacon and maple syrup), American Style Pancakes and Eggs Florentine. For coinsurers of the finest in Beijing and Sichuan dishes, Red Chilli has an extensive menu, with familiar dishes such as Sizzling Beef Fillet with Black Pepper Sauce, and some lesser known delicacies, including Stir Fried Frog’s Legs with Cucumber in Tomato Sauce and Braised Pig’s Leg in Hot Spicy Sauce. Finally, The Electric Press is also home to The Carriageworks Theatre which showcases some of the best national and regional performances.


For venue opening times and details of events visit, or follow at and

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The next big thing ?

Clothes : Maria Franco & Stylists own Photography & Styling : Voir Hair : Kymberley Jefferson at Cutting Rooms Creative MUA : Stacey Borg assisted by Amy Saville


un, fearless, females. Three words that describe the freshest girl group in town. VOXE. Made up of Sophie, Victoria, Melissa and Lauren. Four girls that have been friends since their teenage years, they are an all singing, all dancing girl group that your guaranteed to be seeing more of over the coming months. With a fresh attitude and a addictive sound, VOXE are definitely one to watch. We caught up with them during their busy schedule to find out what the future holds.

Clothes : Dancing Dolls & Stylists own.

How do you girls know each other? Since being teenagers our shared passion to perform brought us closer together where our paths met frequently. Sophie: Me and Vik met at college where we played Sandy and Rizzo in Grease.... Victoria: Let’s hope that video doesn’t come back to haunt us! Melissa: And Lauren and I met at an audition for a local dance troupe Lauren: Where we spent many a Sunday morning busting a move. How did the name voxe come about? We wanted a catchy name, not too cheesy, as well as having something of relevance. Vox means Voice in Latin which was perfect, but we wanted 4 letters VOXE it was! What is your career highlight to date? Back in May we were in a competition called Live and Unsigned in which we found ourselves a little out of our comfort zone. Most of the acts were cool, laid back with guitar in hand, while there we were with heels, glitter and lashes. However to our surprise we won a place in the Grand final but more significantly we won the award for best original song. “Spacecat”. We didn’t win the show but it was an amazing experience performing at the O2 arena in London. How would you describe your music in 3 words? 80’s Disco Punk How do you deal with the competition within the industry? We’ve each had experience in the industry so competition comes as no shock to us. However, having each other helps us to stay focused and positive. We like to stay in our own little bubble and ignore the negativity. We call it our Voxe Box. What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into the industry? Work hard, never give up on your dreams, think out of the box and be true to who you are. It’s all about the journey, not the finishing line! Where do you shop? Sophie: H and M Victoria: American Apparel Melissa: Aqua

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Lauren: Zara We’re all high street girls at heart! Musical inspirations? As a group we are creating a strong 80’s vibe with our music but individually we have different influences. Victoria: Madonna, Ed Shereen Lauren: Missy Elliot, Aaliyah Sophie: Luther Vandros, Beyonce Melissa: Jennifer Lopez, Michael Jackson ALL: Spice Girls!!!! Who would you collaborate with? Calvin Harris for sure as his music has a similar feel to ours and Will I am because he is “dope!” In 2012 what can we expect to see from you? Right now we are enjoying writing our own material, performing and having fun! If that’s what 2012 has in store, then watch this space.................!

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Katerina Malioti Age: 22 Skirt - Primark Top-topshop Jacket - no name brand, Shoes- toms

Loredana Longo Age: 22 Jacket - vintage shop Shirt- Topshop Leggings - Topshop Boots- LK Bennett

Brittanie Morgan O’Brien Age: 16 Jacket-Zara Top - charity shop, Skirt-topshop, Shoes - Camden market, Bag - charity shop

Danielle Gates Age: 22 Top- Miss Selfridge, Skirt - HnM Bag - A boutique Necklace - Miss Selfridge

Lauren Uttley Age: 20 Jacket - Miss Selfridge, Top-primark, Jeans-Zara Boots-primark, Bag-Gucci

Alicia mottram, Age: 19 Jacket- Primar, Play suit- Shoes - Primark, Bag - River island



Street Chic

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Chloe Gallagher Age: 19, Jacket - Pop Boutique, Shorts - Ryan Vintage Shoes - Office, Headscarf - Pop Boutique, Bag - HnM

Ruby Kelly Age: 17 Jacket - Levi Top - Jordan Air Shorts - Topshop Shoes - Urban Outfitters

Lucie Baillie Age: 16 Trousers- American Apparel, Shoes - Office Top - Pop Boutique Necklace - Topshop Jacket - Primark Bag - Topshop

Zainab yusuf Age: 21 Top - Primark Trousers - New Look Shoes - Primark Bag - Topshop

Amelia Watson Age: 21 Shorts - Levi, Shoes - school shop Top - Topshop Jacket - HnM Bag - primark

Lauren Burton Age: 22 Jacket - Miss Selfridge Scarf - Spain Shoes - Dorothy Perkins Dress- Ark Bag - Miss Selfridge

Faye Hurley Age: 18 Dress - New Look Jacket - Bhs, Boots - Clarks, Bag - TK Maxx, Brolley - TK Maxx

Selina Parmer Age: 25 Leggings-HnM Top - Urban Outfitters Bag - Blue Rinse, Hat - Topshop

Street Chic




e had a fabulous night at the recent Swing night at Blackhouse Grill, Leeds. The band on the night, Dominic Halpin and the HoneyB’s were a mixture between Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and a bit of Elvis. The atmosphere in the restaurant was electric and as ever, the food was divine.


Blackhouse Grill have a live pianist on every night from 8pm. The swing night which we were at was the first of it’s kind and was a huge success. Following this they are having a Buble night on the 21st August. We would recommend booking early as this is set to be a sell out night. Also for you organised lot, their Christmas menu is out now and party planners receive a £60 gift voucher as a thank you! So book early! Ring 0113 2460669 for more information.

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ONNECT is our monthly networking event hosted in association with ourselves, Pink Gorilla and Leeds Fashion show. This month we had fun a plenty at Oracle Bar Leeds where guests were treated to cupcakes, canapĂŠs and cocktails on arrival and a fun, informal evening with the opportunity to mingle with like minded young professional in the city. Look out for details of our next event taking place 2nd August

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Socialite Pictures by Romeyo Hines from Digital Colours


nce again we had a fun filled night at the recent Mannequin fashion extravaganza at Alea casino Leeds. Guests were treated to Malibu cocktails on arrival along with gorgeous stalls to browse before the show started. With the usual mix of fashion, dance, singing and performers it was a brilliant evening with some top class talent. We cant wait until the next one.


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lack Diamond Marbella 2012 was epic, the opening pool party @ Sisu Boutique Hotel really set off the weekend to a flying start. The party continued on to the early hours @ Sleek (Marbella No.1 night club). Saturday night Black Diamond hosted @ Pangea “Snap bask & Red Bottoms party� where it was truly event to see who could pop the most champagne. Join the facebook group and follow on twitter @BLACKDIAMONDUK

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e were invited to an evening with Tom Parker-Bowles to find out more about his tasty Pork Scratching’s. Guests were treated to an informative yet funny evening in association with Ilkley Brewery who were on hand to supply us tasty beers for each course.



riends and Family Summer Party on Thursday 14th June at Norman bar where guests enjoyed Champagne Cocktails and Sushi upon arrival. Djs Paul Dunphy and Adrian Playle had the guests dancing till the early hours.

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Men in Business


his month we focus on Edward William Dugdill, General Manager from The Living Room, Greek Street, Leeds. He has been this position for just over a year now and is definitely like part of the furniture. We caught 5 minutes with Ed to find out more about his plans to take The Living Room forward and what the future holds for him

Edward William Dugdill ‘Even though I may not sound like it I am actually a Yorkshire man, I grew up on a farm just outside of Dewsbury before moving down the south coast when I was 5. My upbringing was pretty normal with my sister Anna. My Dad has a building company and my Mum used to be a teacher and she has now turned our house into a B & B (clearly hospitality is in the blood!). I think I always knew this is what I wanted to do, it’s a job that gives you an ability to put a smile on people’s faces and that’s what me makes me happy. My first proper job was in clubs, I used to be at Majestyk many moons ago so this is my 2nd time in Leeds. It’s incredible to see how the city has grown, a real power house of the north! How long have you been working in this industry? 12 years now, I had a really random job working for The Oman Royal family when I was 18 in Paris in my GAP year. It gave me a taste of hospitality, I then went to university in Hull and started in a club as a glass collector (a slight change from the Paris gig!!). I then worked my way up, I have been lucky that people have given me chances and that they believed in me, but I still believe you make your own luck. What do you think are the keys to been a successful general manager? To be fair and firm, to never look too stressed even when inside you could cry and to look like everything is perfect! I have 46 people in the team at The Living Room and as is fairly common in the industry, most of the team are in their 20s - so with that comes all the ups and downs of 20 somethings! Every so often I get the knock on my office door and one of the team says “I need a chat”, I take it as an honour from my team they feel I am approachable. It is important to have a good team round you and I am sure all the other general managers out there will agree. I have 3 teams in the business, the

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kitchen, bar and restaurant and we created a team that has mutual respect for each other, it is great to have that synergy in the business. I have a brilliant head chef who has worked up from kitchen porter, the GM and head chef relationship is so important and I think we have one of the best. I would be lying if I said that we have not gone toe to toe a few times but we always show a united front and if we do disagree, we don’t let it linger and have a beer after work to sort things out. My management team all bounce off each other, Matt is my AGM and is the best I could ask for and his organisation saves me! Louise, my bar manager, is fearless and is never afraid to speak her mind, her honesty is her best feature and last but not least Stacey, who looks after all our events and marketing, her creativity never ceases to amaze me. What is the future looking like for The Living Room Leeds? Bright! We have just had a refurb signed off for The Study Members Bar, so we are all working on who to invite to be members. The Study used to have such a large following in the city and the kudos attached to it was huge, I cannot wait to bring that back! The new Autumn winter menu looks like the best yet! In five years time, where do you hope to be? Doing what? I am definitely going to be around here for the near future, but maybe the big bright lights of London or abroad could beckon!


Urban Coco Issue 5  

Urban Coco magazine is for fun, fearless females that love all things fashion, are passionate about good music, career focused and love to s...

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