Friday, 24 April 2015

TRAVEL: LONDON DIARY


Hello lovelies!
For a long time I have been interested in Visual Merchandising and unfortunately where I work doesn't really have many opportunities to move up the career ladder and into that field so rather than whinge on about it, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Before Christmas I had looked into it a lot more and came across the Fashion Retail Academy in London and was very intrigued. I didn't even know there was such a thing as an academy for things like visual merchandising! How completely wrong I was! For ages I'd constantly kept going on the website and contemplating booking the 'Introduction to Visual Merchandising' course which had always stood out to me and eventually after the new year I decided to just bite the bullet and booked myself in.

For someone like me who has only ever gotten the train on her own twice in her life and never travelled/stayed away alone before, this was a pretty big deal for me. After months of mini freak outs, it turned out to not be daunting like I had created in my head. I found it really enjoyable and honestly it was good to have a few days on my own away from things back home, I think I just needed some time away and a change of scenery to gain some perspective. I feel like the mini trip boosted my self esteem too which was something I felt I'd be lacking recently, so it was worth it on that level too.

 It wasn't all just hard work though, I did manage to have a bit of time to explore so many an evening was spent walking around and taking in the sights. Of course one of the first things I did when I first arrived in London was go on a spree in Victoria's Secret, which personally was like a pre-reward for all the work I was going to do ;) (Any excuse really!) and treating myself to some tortellini from Carluccio's for dinner always goes down well with me ;)
One of my goals whilst I was here was to go and see my friend Alice perform live in Mamma Mia! at the Novello Theatre. I have known her since I was born and she's always been a close family friend and for as long as I've known her she's always wanted to perform in theatre and this has been her big break! I was so pleased to hear the news and was dying to go see her! Especially as a few occasions she's performed up north and I've been working so hadn't seen some of her performances but I was adamant to see this one especially and lucky I got too. I love Mamma Mia! anyway so I knew it would be good, but as soon as the music kicked in and the curtains opened and I'd seen she was the first one on stage I felt a sudden wash of emotions and an enormous sense of pride. I honestly could have cried right there haha! I managed to keep it together (just!) and the show was absolutely AMAZING! And I'm not just saying that because of Alice. I thought all the main characters were sooo good! They all played their parts so well and were so funny and they sang the Abba songs brilliantly! I was completely entertained throughout the whole evening, I could have sat there all night watching it over and over again. I was also fortunate to see Alice after the show briefly too which was a sweet little cherry on top of a great evening! :)


The Fashion Retail Academy

So back to the main reason why I was in London now. The FRA building from the outside looks so ordinary, I honestly would have walked straight past it if it wasn't for good ol' Google Maps, but when approaching it I noticed these incredible mannequins in the window, I had never seen anything like it before and thought they looked amazing! There was more inside too. I really liked the variety of ways the mannequins had been transformed into a piece of art, I found it really inspiring. I remember walking into the building and thinking 'Omg there's going to be tons of people and they will know everything and I'm going to feel like an amateur!' but wasn't the case at all! There was 9 of us in the class, different age ranges but everyone was pretty much on the same level. The course was for 3 days from 10am-4.30pm and included so much within that short space of time, not in a 'cramming' type way either just through really good organisation on their behalf. It was a good mixture of lectures and workshops, although it was mainly the first day where we sat the most and were talked through the history and technical terms etc and the rest of the time was little introductions to what we were doing that day before the more hands on stuff which was definitely the more fun part! I really came away knowing a lot more than I initially thought I would and a cool little certificate signed by the Dean which was sent in the post days later to say I'd attended the course as a nice memento of the great experience to keep which I really liked that they did that as I'm one of those people who loves to keep my old certificates and reports from school and old hobbies I used to have to look back on.
There is a few other courses that they have which I'm thinking of looking into for another time as I found this course really helpful and would happily venture back to learn more things from their other courses, plus it's always something additional to add to the ol' CV too and I'd happily return back to London again especially to be a full blown tourist as I didn't get a chance too on this occasion ;)

The Things I Learned
I learned about the history of visual merchandising and the technical terms that are used. I was shown store layouts and had to create a layout to match a customer scenario. I was shown the different types of mannequins and the groupings of mannequins. I also got to create my own accessory display, worked as a team in the Mock Shop where we had to create two wall displays using different items of clothing and accessories. I also had to dissemble, reassemble and dress a mannequin, then in a group choose 3 mannequins and group them together and dress them appropriately and finally create a window display where we got to choose however many mannequins we wanted, clothes for them and props.

Thanks for reading!
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74 comments

  1. Sounds like you had an amazing time, this was such an interesting read! And your photos are lovely :)

    Carolyn x
    Carolyn’s Simple Life

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  2. I love your dress; it looks like such an amazing day.

    Lizzie Dripping

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    1. Aw thank you Lizzie :) I had a great time :D xx

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  3. Lovely photos, love the last one the flowers are hugee! Abi :)
    http://www. myw0rldmyview.co.uk

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  4. Lovely photos and diary! I went to London last summer and couldn't even find a place to start it's that huge and busy!! Definitely a place I'd like to visit again and get more done :) I haven't even been to the Victorias Secret shop so this would be amazing as I love watching the shows x

    www.krystelcouture.com

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    1. Thank you very much Jenny :D I know! I completely agree, there's so much to do and see I wouldn't know where to start haha! I'd definitely recommend Victoria's Secret, I absolutely love it! :D thanks for the comment :) xx

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  5. I'm all for going out and getting the experience you need yourself, in order to get the job that you want - go you! That's what I did with my blog 3 yrs ago and now I'm in the industry that I really wanted to be in x
    www.article21.co.uk

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    1. Aww thank you so much Sindy for those encouraging words :D xx

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  6. Hi sweetie!! Amazing photos! Really a wonderful post!! I'm interested too in a lesson like that..congrats you finally made it! Sounds great! :)

    www.fashionizein.com

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    Replies
    1. Hi Theano! Thank you so much :D if you'd like to know the links and everything please don't hesitate to ask :D thanks for the support! xx

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  7. What a fabulous adventure! The course sounds really useful and I love that you still managed to find time to do other things. How lovely to see your friend perform, and you can't go wrong with Carluccio's :)

    Style Sunrise ☀

    :)
    x

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    1. Aw thank you very much Karen :D definitely can't go wrong with it ;) I'm obsessed with the tortellini there haha xx

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  8. Love the pictures, and London is just amazing!

    http://www.notesofglam95.blogspot.it/

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  9. You look lovely, and looks like you had a nice time.

    El |zekalin.com

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  10. such cool pictures! xo

    thewatercolourjar.blogspot.co.uk

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  11. Seems like you had an amazing time. I love London (I'm a Londoner haha), so I'm glad you enjoyed yourself here! It's so cool that your friend is acting in Mamma Mia by the way!

    vvnightingale.blogspot.co.uk

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  12. London looks amazing!! Sounds like you had an awesome time:) X

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    1. Yeah it was a great time, thanks Nikki, I had a great time :D xx

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  13. Oh it´s so great that you found something exactly in your interest! : ) So brave of you to go to London by yourself and I am happy you had such a good time, while you were there.
    xo,
    Céline blogging on http://smultronstaellen.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Aww wow! thank you so much Celine for this lovely and encouraging comment :D xx

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  14. Great photos.You look so cute :)

    http://maariemarie.blogspot.com/

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  15. Sounds like a really good course, and how amazing that your friend is part of Mamma Mia! Must have been so amazing watching her!

    The Velvet Black // UK Style & Beauty Blog

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    1. Yeah it was really worth while :) Aw it was fab! A really surreal feeling but was fantastic seeing her perform :) Thanks for the lovely comment Alice :D xx

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  16. I love your makeup in the first photo! Absolutely flawless skin.

    Em xx

    http://maidenbell.blogspot.com.au/

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    1. Aww thank you so much Em, that's so sweet :D xx

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  17. Sounds like you had a lovely trip - that's so awesome that you got to see your family friend perform in Mamma Mia! I'd love to see a show in London, either that one or the Lion King! :)

    Gabby xo

    Blog - What She Buys / Instagram / Twitter

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    1. Thanks Gabby, I had a great time :D yeah it was a surreal experience to see her :) Lion King is fab too! I recommend either, both fantastic performances! :) xx

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  18. First of all Mama Mia is a play that I've really been wanting to see, and second congrats on going for it! Looks like a great trip :))
    www.fashiontrendforward.com

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    1. Thank you very much Annette :D definitely go and see it if you get the chance, it is fantastic! :) xx

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  19. Good for you! I'm glad it was a rewarding trip for you and I hope it will help you progress, and that you'll find something within visual merchandising! xxx

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    1. Thank you very much for your encouraging words Carly :D xx

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  20. traveling by yourself definitely gets less scary once you start doing it more! really hoping to get back to london this year :)

    danielle | avec danielle

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    1. Yeah I hope the more I do it the more it eases off. Hope you get a chance to return to London :) thanks for the comment Danielle :) xx

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  21. Awesome post! I loved all the photos!
    Would you like us to follow eachother on GFC and keep in touch?
    Have a nice day,
    xo from Italy,
    Sonia Verardo
    http://www.trenchcollection.com/

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  22. That window display is super pretty and summery! Looks like a productive/fun time!

    istylelooks.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you very much K.C :D it was a great time! :D xx

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  23. heeey! hope you have a great day! do you want to follow each other via bloglovin? if yes, just follow me there and i'll follow you back soon! http://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/anna-alina-3947784

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  24. Oooh, the course sounds like such fun, and the mannequin display right outside the Academy is incredible! So happy for your friend Anna, and I'm sure I would've burst into tears if one of my closest friends were making their mark on theater. The course sounds so great, too! Glad you had a great time!

    May x • The MaydenBloglovin'

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    1. Aw thank you very much May :D Yeah it was fab! I had a great time and a lot of fun thanks :D was so worth it! xx

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  25. You have a wonderful blog and great post. Do you want to follow each other on BLOGLOVIN? If you decided to follow me, please let me know so I can follow you too.

    http://emmajane01.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Aww wow thank you so much Emma :D xx

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  26. Glad you had a good time, London is my hometown and couldnt live anywhere else!

    Lovely blog and post <3

    Katie Loves ~ A Fashion & Beauty Blog.

    Follow on Bloglovin' ~ 'Katie Loves'

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  27. Sounds like to had an amazing time! I work in VM and I really enjoy it x
    eleanor's adventures // UK Fashion & Beauty Blog

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    1. Thanks Eleanor :) Oh wow! that sounds so cool! Very envious, it must be a great job to have :D xx

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  28. I actually did the Buying course at the Fashion Retail Academy a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. Sophie :) xxx
    www.fashionnomads.com

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    1. Eee no way! haha when I went in the lobby was a few people for the buying course, it seemed pretty popular :D Thanks for the comment Sophie :D xx

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  29. Wow what cool adventure! Looks like such an inspirational place and I love your window display!
    http://rainbow-roseblossom.blogspot.co.nz/

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    1. Aww it was! I'd definitely do it again :D and aww thank you so much Rainbow-Rose it means a lot :D xx

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  30. What a cool trip you had. I think it's awesome that you went to see your good friend in her show, that probably meant so much to her. It looks like you're doing cool things with your life in fashion and design and such :)

    Brooke | brookewrote

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    1. Aww thank you very much Brooke :D I was so pleased I got to see her perform! xx

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  31. Sounds like you had a great time and your pictures are amazing. I love the display in the last photograph.

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    1. Aww thank you so much Jessica, really appreciate it :D xx

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  32. hi it's fran, you were following me on annaboho.blogspot.co.uk :) I've changed my URL to franalibi.blogspot.co.uk, so if you haven't seen my latest post, I'm just letting you know - you might need to refollow me if I don't come up on your reading list. Have a nice day xx

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    1. Hi Fran, thanks for letting me know as I love your blog :D just followed your new url now :) xx

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  33. nice as always :)

    http://www.itsmetijana.blogspot.com/

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