Tweet of the Week

28 Mar

Since politics have taken over CountryPeopleFashion of late, it is only right that our tweet of the week is influenced by that, Labour leader Ed Miliband has had alot of interesting tweets of late but our favourite is….

“It’s not the Chancellor who is rescuing the country. It is the country that needs rescuing from the Chancellor. #Budget”


Award Winning Student Fashion Designer: Fascinated With War and Russian Royal Family

27 Mar

Since Kate Harrod won the award for the Best Student Fashion Designer for her spectacular and unusual dress, she’s been followed by a number of magazines and journalists, who wanted to get an interview with her, to highlight her success.

Kate told me how she was inspired by Russian Royal family and their tragic life to create this strong award-winning dress. As you can see from the pictures it is massive and very impressive. Red leather top is decorated with epaulette, which Kate ordered from America and had delivered on the day of the show, the medals are real – Kate bought them from a vintage fair paying £30 for each. She has put a lot of effort and money into that dress and obviously is very pleased with the result, as is everybody else.

Kate’s fascination with Russia started when her grandmother visited St. Petersburg in the late 1960s. As a little girl Kate remembers how she used to play with fur hat and other souvenirs her grandmother brought from Russia.

Kate’s approach is very individual and well researched, as she avoided the cliché imaginations about how Russian culture influence on clothes design. That’s why she has chosen the specific period of time reflecting the most dramatic events and designing the award winning dress. She said: “The brief was to choose a country to base your dress on and I immediately interested in Russia. But I thought I’m not going to down this typical theme like Russian dolls or architecture of Russia, I thought I’m going to go a bit deeper.”  She was fascinated how Royal family was so unite and close, they all seemed very lovely to Kate, although they all had so tragic death. Kate was so interested in the story of life and death of the last Royal Family of Russia and war during that period, that she  wanted to fit it into her dress. The Queen and her daughters were wearing diamonds in  their corsets, so when killers shot them bullets were reflecting from them for a while, that is why Kate put a lot of effort and creativity to make the corset. Also because it is traditional for a wedding dress to have a corset. With colours Kate wanted to bring the reflection of country and war, but also she wanted to accent the fact that the whole family died.  “I wanted to make quite a dark dress, as opposed to traditional white or cream wedding dress, so I let my imagination and creativity to go wild.”

By Tanya Andrejeva

R.I.P Dame Elizabeth Taylor

23 Mar


The entertainment industry suffered a great loss today with the passing of Dame Elizabeth Taylor. She died in Los Angeles at the age of 79.

One of the few true Hollywood icons, Dame Elizabeth was arguably one of the world’s greatest actresses and most beautiful women. Since finding fame at the age of 12 she has never been out of the spotlight.

The peak of her film career came in the 1950’s and 60’s. She was nominated for four Oscars in a row from 1958 to 1961, and didn’t take the gold statute home until her fourth attempt in 1961 for Butterfield 8. She won her second Oscar in 1967 for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Just as famous for her marriages as she was her films, she married 7 times. Her most famous husband being actor Richard Burton, who she met on the set of 1963’s Cleopatra- notorious for being one of the most expensive films of all time. Taylor had already been married four times – to Conrad Hilton Jr, Michael Wilding, Michael Todd and Eddie Fisher – before she wed Burton in 1964.

They were one of Hollywood’s greatest romances, starring together in 12 films, divorcing and remarrying in 1975 before she moved onto husbands number 6 and 7, John W Warner and Larry Fortensky.

The double Oscar winning actress had a history of health problems which began with a fall whilst filming her first hit film, National Velvet.  A rare strain of pneumonia almost killed her in 1961 and she also battled addictions to alcohol and painkillers.

In the 1990s, she endured two hip replacement operations and another near-fatal bout of pneumonia and survived surgery for a benign brain tumour in 1997.

In 2004, it was revealed that she was suffering from congestive heart failure, with symptoms including fatigue and shortness of breath, and scoliosis, which twisted her spine.

After the death of her friend and co-star Rock Hudson, she started an Aids charity which she continually supported up until her death.

Her four children – Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Maria Burton-Carson and Liza Todd-Tivey – were at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center when she died.

Her son Michael Wilding called her “an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest. We know, quite simply, that the world is a better place for Mom having lived in it,” he continued. “Her legacy will never fade, her spirit will always be with us, and her love will live forever in our hearts.”

A private family funeral will be held later this week. Instead of flowers, the family has requested that contributions be made to the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation.

By Carrie-Ann Vessey

Sheffield City Council Leader Paul Scriven claims the Budget will not affect the people of Sheffield

23 Mar

Sheffield City Council Leader Paul Scriven reassures the people of Sheffield that they will not be affected by the cuts after Labour leader Ed Miliband accused Chancellor George Osbourne of conning voters with small giveaways that are dwarfed by tax rises.

Mr Scriven’s comments came after Mr Miliband likened Mr Osborne to Derek Trotter, the cockney wheeler dealer in the BBC comedy Only Fools and Horses during today’s budget. He said: “The Chancellor has cut fuel duty by 1p, but he’s whacked up VAT on fuel by 3p. Families won’t be fooled’ its Del Boy economics.”

In the budget Mr Osborne cancelled next month’s 4p rise in fuel duty and a further 1p will be cut from pump prices at 6pm- all paid for by a £2bn tax on oil companies. He also froze alcohol duties and air duties- but increased tobacco tax by 2%.

Mr Osborne told MPs: “Last year’s emergency Budget was about rescuing the nation’s finances, and paying for the mistakes of the past.

“Today’s Budget is about reforming the nation’s economy, so that we have enduring growth and jobs in the future.

“And it’s about doing what we can to help families with the cost of living and the high oil price.”

To help families with the high costs of living, council tax is to be frozen or reduced this year in every English council and a 10% discount on inheritance tax is to be given for people leaving 10% of their estate to charity. With Mr Osborne stating: “Do the right thing for charity and the Government will do the right thing for you.”

Sheffield City Councillor Leader Paul Scriven claims the spending cuts will not cause a problem for the people of Sheffield: “One thing I have been clear about is that we wouldn’t be having mass closures. There have been no closures of public buildings such as libraries, leisure centres or public toilets.”

Despite Mr Scriven’s reassurance that Sheffield will not be affected by the cuts, not everyone is convinced.

Student Nurse Rachael Davy, 21, said: “It’s ok saying public buildings are being kept open, but the fact of the matter is there are less jobs and unemployment is high. That is what they should be working on.”

There also seems to be a worry about the future of students in the city, student Alex Unwin, 22, said: “Sheffield brings in thousands of students every year, they want to graduate and get a good job, as the government has cut so many jobs it is less likely they will find jobs adding to the unemployment rate.”

Rise in petrol prices is also a big concern, food innovations assistant Rachel Rasouli, 20, said: “They’re trying to sugar coat it, but petrol prices are rising, the cost of living is going up and it doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.”

Justice Minister, Kenneth Clarke, also didn’t seem convinced by the Chancellors ‘budget for growth’ as he appeared to doze off during his speech, prompting a dig by Mr Miliband: “Indeed the Justice Secretary fell asleep during the Chancellor’s speech, his growth strategy was so compelling.”

By Carrie-Ann Vessey

Burberry Designer To Recieve An Award At Sheffield Hallam

17 Mar

Chief creative officer of Burberry, Christopher Bailey, will receive an honorary doctorate at Sheffield Hallam University in recognition of his services to the fashion industry and his charitable work in the UK.

On 18th March a special ceremony will be held to award Bailey with the honorary doctorate. Fashion students and lectures at Hallam will have the chance to watch the ceremony. This is set to be his third doctorate, having already received two from the University of Westminster and the University of Huddersfield.

Yorkshire born Bailey is responsible for the design of all Burberry collections and products, as well as advertising, corporate art direction, architectural design, multi-media content and overall brand image.

In 2008 he set up The Burberry Foundation with Burberry CEO Angela Ahrendts, which helps young people achieve their goals and potential through the power of their creativity.

He says: “I am looking forward to spending time at Sheffield Hallam University and to meeting their final year fashion students. I am extremely honoured to be recognised by the University in this way, and I am particularly passionate about supporting the next generation of British design talent.”

Professor Philip Jones, vice-chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University said: “Christopher is an internationally successful figure in the industry, with a passion for sharing his talent by educating others. We are proud to welcome him to Sheffield Hallam.”


By Carrie-Ann Vessey

Pictures from Google

Tweet of The Week

15 Mar

This weeks tweet of the week comes from Lily Allen who’s new Channel Four TV Show From Riches to Rags follows the pop star as she and sister Sarah attempt to launch their own fashion show.

“Have just googled myself, am depressed. going home and switching off broadband.”

You can catch Lily Allen: From Riches to Rags every Tuesday at 10pm on 4.

Peaceful Protests in Sheffield

15 Mar

Protests held in Sheffield at the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference went ahead with no major incidents.

A massive security operation, costing an estimated £2million, had been put into place as an 8ft high concrete and steel fence was erected around the City Hall and 1,000 police officers were deployed.

Around 5,000 protesters, half the expected amount, took part in the march which set off from Devonshire Green at 11am and finished at City Hall where the Lib Dems conference took place.

Despite concerns the protesters would mirror the chaos of vandalism and violence protests in London last November caused, the weekend proved to be mainly a good natured affair, with only one arrest.

South Yorkshire Police confirmed a 24 year old man had been arrested for a public order offence and the discharge of a firework in a public place. He was given a £80 fixed penalty fine and released.

The march was organised by a range of groups including Right To Work and the Sheffield Anti-Cuts Alliance.

By Carrie-Ann Vessey

Exclusive, Organiser of Sheffield Protests: “Hang your heads in shame Lib Dems”

14 Mar


Last weekend saw the Spring Liberal Democrat conference in Sheffield and with it thousands of protesters took to the streets to show Nick Clegg exactly what they think.

Despite it being expected that around 10,000 people would protest only an estimated 5,000 did. The £2million worth of defence measures, including 1000 police officers drafted in from bordering counties, only gave the protesters more fuel to use against the government.

Maxine Bowler from UNITE gave a passionate speech and attacked them for cutting £5million from Sheffield’s Children’s Hospital. She then accused them of spending nearly half of that on, “barricading the Liberals in because they can’t face the people of this city.”

She also went on to say: “We had Thatcher saying there is no such thing as society, now we have Cameron with the Big Society. This Big Society is a cover for privatisation.” She claimed that the government expect the public to, “volunteer and live on air.”

The crowds were encouraged by this, and similar speeches, but the atmosphere remained peacefully defiant. There was only one reported arrest but this was not for the violence that was expected.

One of the organisers of the protest was Martin Mayer from Sheffield Anti-Cuts Alliance who encouraged a peaceful protest to the crowd.

He also wanted to tell the Lib Dems to, “hang your heads in shame, re-think what you’re doing, pull out of this coalition while you’ve still got a chance and save this country from the appalling damage that your government is doing.” He maintained that all there were on the “moral high ground” and would work with the police to keep it a peaceful protest.

Also speaking at the protest was Paul Brandon from Right to Work. He said: “This government and the Lib Dems say that we’ve got to pay off this deficit, but since the Second World War we have had a greater deficit compared to the GDP.” He named Nick Clegg the, “liar in chief” and said: “he won’t get away with the lies, cheating and vandalism he’s trying to get away with in the country.”

Throughout the day no member of the Liberal Democrats gave a statement to the protesters. They were even booed out of a pub next to the City Hall but some did stand on the steps of City Hall to look at the crowd. Nick Clegg stayed in the conference behind the Wall of Steel built for him.

By Sarah Walters

International Women’s Day: Overcoming Tragedy and Bereavment: Katie’s story

9 Mar

Katie Jayne Spencer from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, had to deal with the death of her little sister nine years ago, and last year had to drop out of university because of a mystery illness. At only 20 years old she has had to find strength in herself to overcome more than any young adult should have.

When she was 11 she was in a car accident. Her, her sister Stacey and her aunt were on their way to Skegness when they were hit by a lorry as their aunt tried to overtake it. Her sister died at the scene and Katie was air lifted to hospital. Here she was treated for her physical injuries but overcoming the death of Stacey was a longer and more painful struggle.

Because her aunt was driving the car she was blamed by Katie’s side of the family for what happened. This went to court and she was found guilty of Death by Dangerous Driving. She got a suspended sentence and a two year driving ban, a sentence Katie feels is, “just not enough.”

This justice did not help the conflict between the two sides of the family and on one occasion Katie saw her in town. “I had a panic attack” and said her aunt accused her of shouting “murderer”. This is but one of the confrontations between the divided family.

                                               Stacey, Katie’s little sister

To help overcome the ordeal Katie saw a psychiatrist but did not feel she could talk to him, or her family. She said: “I felt I had to stay strong, I didn’t want to upset them.” This was until the pain of keeping it all inside “exploded” and she spoke to her mum about everything. She eventually realised that, “dwelling on it won’t change what happened; you just have to get on with things.”

Katie has now come to terms with the ordeal and has campaigned to help raise awareness for the air ambulance that saved her life. She speaks more of what happened and thinks it has made her, “a stronger person.”

But, last year at Christmas Katie became ill. She had lost her appetite and being sick was a daily problem. She was taken to the doctors on many occasions but even from blood tests they could only say that she was slightly anaemic.

Weeks later she collapsed and was taken to hospital where she had to have a blood transfusion. She stayed there for months before she was finally diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. During this time she had daily, and sometimes intrusive, tests to try and diagnose her illness. Her weight dropped dramatically and the emotional strain was constant; “I thought that was it, I thought my life was over.”

However, once she got her diagnosis and treatment she built up her strength and is out enjoying life again. She is back at university studying Law with Psychology, has a great social life and, despite her fear of cars, has just got her driver’s licence. She says she is, “trying to live life to the fullest, because Stacey never got that chance.”

I interviewed Katie to find out how she felt during these experiences and what advice she would like to offer to anybody else. She was emotional but stayed strong which shows just how far along she has come in the past 9 years.

By Sarah Walters

Personality Quiz: Which Influential Woman Are You?

9 Mar

As you can see below we (controversially) decided on 3 different influential women. So here’s your chance to find out which woman you are most like, just take our quiz below! 🙂
By Carrie-Ann Vessey

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