Monday, 30 April 2012

After Dinner Dance Party // She's a Rainbow...

If there's one thing to be thankful of during these relentless April Showers, it's the momentary flickers of sunshine that creates the most amazing double rainbows (...oh my gawwwd) across the sky! Situated quite high up on a hill with rolling fields in front of us, we get a pretty good view up here at Twee Towers. 
This week, James & I have had the Twee Towers record player spinning with all things rainbow too! After up all my plays on Spotify, I decided to take the plunge and bought The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger's album.

The GOASTT are Sean Lennon and his beautiful girlfriend, Charlotte Kemp Muhl. The particular track, 'Rainbows in Gasoline' took a while to grow on me,  offering moments of optimism, quickly down played by striking minor notes and melancholy lyrics. The lyrics are inquisitive, psychedelic to the point of bordering on nonsensical. 
Whilst the album itself, is at times upbeat (as a listener, you almost feel like your interrupting playful moments between the couple), I absolutely adore the acoustic versions of these songs. Recorded in the couple's home studio, the duets are melodic dreams, and usually accompanied by an array of fancy dress get-up...

If you enjoyed these tracks, take a listen to Schrodinger's Cat too - the chorus takes you in directions that you didn't think you were going to go, just too lovely!  
Spotting a double rainbow calls for double the musical rainbow treats, right? We've also been listening to this on repeat...

"She comes in colours everywhere, she combs her hair, she's like a rainbow..." 

Much love,
Lauren xx

PS.  You still have a chance to win a selection of Twee Treats in our One Year Giveaway ♥  

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Twee Towers' Anniversary // One Year Giveaway!

Yay, it's our Twee Towers' anniversary! One year ago, on the day of the Royal Wedding we officially moved into our lovely little home, Twee Towers!

Having barely unpacked the majority of our boxes, we managed to make some space in the corner of the studio for an Afternoon Tea Party, in honour of the Royal celebrations! Pulling together our resources of rescued antiques and a mismatched selection of vintage & pretty crockery for a delighfully twee soiree... and setting the tone for the year to come!

We have to say, it's been quite a year! In this time, we completely overhauled the house, as documented in our Twee Towers Tour feature. We worked flat out every hour we could find around our day jobs, with the help of some our of very lovely friends, (special shout out to Chris & James - you were stars, thank you!), immersing ourselves in interior design, DIY projects, painting and general decorating duties... many of which, we came to with absolutely no experience (hello, power tools! ...yeah... still not mastered those!) Looking back, how on earth we managed to lift desks and bookcases upstairs, downstairs on our own is beyond us, do not doubt the power of ladies with a vision!

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We celebrated in July with our very first, house warming party, which led the way for many more including our Halloween Fairytale Nightmare and our Christmas 1920s style, Flapper or Dapper Party. We've loved hosting ostentatios birthday breakfasts' and having a place for our friends to gather for extremely competitve games of 'Taboo' and girly catch ups on our designated, Monday Wine nights.

It was also in July that we were able to officially launch, She Dressed in Black! We spent hours and hours, excitedly bouncing around ideas of what we'd like to do, and after working with the wonderful Zoe (of Pretty Zoo) to design our blog, we were ready to share our love of After Dinner Dance Parties (which literally, culminated from dancing around the kitchen to make washing up a little bit more fun!), DIY projects, Art, the Sixties, Literature, Style, Vinyl & The BEATLES.

We've been continually overwhelmed as we've watched our blog grow, our prints sell out on Etsy, and meeting a lovely group of people & fellow bloggers along the way.

That's not to say, that it hasn't been hard work - balancing our full time jobs with daily writing, designing and business admin, whilst still allowing ourselves time for play, has certaintly taught us valuable lessons in time management!! Thank god, so many other bloggers have shared wonderful tips of their own and spoke about their own hectic schedules or we might have gone a bit insane! If we ever moaned that we were busy before this year, we take it all back now!

All in all, this year has been pretty awesome for us, and we'd just like to say thank you to everyone that has helped us out and takes the time to have a read over our ramblings from time to time!Which is why we'd like to treat one of you lucky people to a special Twee Towers treat!



To one reader, we're giving away:
1. An A4 'Hey Jude' print from our Etsy Shop
2. A selection of super cute stationery, including A5 notepad, mini stationary set & post-it notes (we love this range - it looks like Orla Kiely!)
3. Our favourite Twinings Lavender Earl Grey Tea (made popular by our very first Twee Troubles!)
4. Handbag size copy of Jane Austen's Emma 
5. Two hair bows/brooches 
6. We'll also be gifting a single by The Black Belles! (Organised via itunes, upon announcement of winner)

To enter, either: 
1. Tweet the following, "I've entered to win Twee Treats with the @dressesinblack anniversary giveaway" 
2. Share a link to today's giveaway post on Facebook
3. Leave a comment on the blog with some sort of contact details (email, twitter etc)

Or do all three for an increased chance of winning! Winner will be randomly generated upon receipt of all entries. Competition closes Wednesday 2nd May at 12pm (GMT)

Good luck! 

Much love, 
L&R xx

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Outfit Post // She Dressed in (mostly) Black

Wah, it's going to be a quiet week over here at Twee Towes! Rhi has taken a trip up to Scotland with Little M to catch up with family! With my partner in crime and her babe, travelling through time and space (Little M's first time on an aeroplane too, n'aww!) up to the highlands, and the weather reluctant to brighten up, despite my attempts to maintain Spring's calling for pastels & floral prints, I have decided to give in and am spending some time mourning, in all shades of noir...


White shirt with black trim, New Look; Skirt, H&M; Ring, Dorothy Perkins


Black Coat with peter pan collar, Topshop


Oxblood loafers, Ikon 


Black Sequin Blazer, Vintage; Love Heart Polka Dot Dress, H&M; Necklace, Gift from James!


I finally got round to purchasing that black velvet beauts from Alice Takes a Trip!

"Oh dear, what can I do? Baby's in Black and I'm feeling Blue,
Tell me oh, what can I do?
She thinks of him, and so she dresses in black,
and though he'll never come back, she's dressed in black"

 Much love,
 Lauren xx

PS.  To celebrate our first year in Twee Towers on Sunday, we're giving you the chance to win all of our fave twee-treats in a GIVEAWAY! ♥  Remember to check back for your chance to win!

Friday, 27 April 2012

Twee Art // Emma SanCartier

Hey Sweets,

We're always on the look out for exciting new artists to grace the walls of Twee Towers - Lola stumbled upon Emma SanCartier's Etsy shop and picked up the delightful print below for Rhi's birthday last year. There is something about her whimsical water colours and folk lore subjects that are so captivating, we feel we must add more to our collection to compliment our beautiful Little Red taking little wolfy for a walk through the woods. 


Living in San Francisco Bay, as well as being a rather fantastic freelance artist, Emma SanCartier is also a Children's book illustrator, seriously, check out 'The World is Your Oyster' it is just cutest thing - as lovers of beautiful kids books, these lovely pages are sold and on their way to Little M's (*ahem* our) bookshelf as we type!.
Love this one, it reminds us of Philip Treacy's famous Galleon hat!

We're seriously art crushing on Emma SanCartier right now, aside from the gorgeous fairytale and woodland dreaminess we've featured here - she has another incredible shop OddFAUNA - full of the most charming little monster creations and darling sculptures in shadow box frames - beautiful, we definitely need more of this talented artist's work in our home!

Be sure to check out more of her stunning work on her site 

Do you have any new Artsy Etsy discoveries to share? We love hearing about new artists!

Much love,
Rhi xx

PS.  To celebrate our first year in Twee Towers on Sunday, we're giving you the chance to win all of our fave twee-treats in a GIVEAWAY! ♥  Remember to check back for your chance to win!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Twee Troubles // Overcoming 'The Mean Reds.' Pt 1


You know those days when you've got the mean reds.... the blues are
because you're getting fat or maybe it's been raining too long. You're sad, that's all. But the mean reds are horrible. You're afraid and you sweat like hell, but you don't know what you're afraid of. Except something bad is going to happen, only you don't know what it is. ... What I've found does the most good is just to get into a taxi and go to Tiffany's. It calms me down right away, the quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there... ~Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1958

Dearest Holly Golightly, we hear you...

Sometimes the 'Mean Reds' hit us all, unfortunately seeing as we don't live near a Tiffany's or, in fact any luxury jewellery shops that could elevate our mood by filling our tummies with fanciful butterflies while we dreamily gaze at their fine collections, delicious pastry and freshly brewed coffee in hand - perhaps that is why we get the Mean Reds in the first place, sorry, we digress...

So what's a girl to do when she doesn't have a blue box bestowing fantasy shop a short taxi ride away? We recently received some 'funk busting' guidance from some very thoughtful friends, and thought we'd share our top tips for beating those days one would rather stay hidden beneath the sheets than be anywhere else in the world (apart from Tiffany's, of course.)

We've recently started putting these pearls of wisdom into action, making a conscious effort to incorporate this advice into our day to day lives and we thought we'd share what we've learnt from you you...

1. Breath - Well of course, Lola and Rhi, we breath to live, non? How many of us actually take time to stop, slow down, breath, clear our heads, take a moment to ourselves. We swear, making the effort to do this first thing in the morning and unwinding at night has made so much difference (and brings us onto the next step)...

2. Practice Yoga - We kept getting recurring messages (not least Amber's inspiring yoga & fitness tales) that kept hinting at us to take up Yoga -  we started a week or so ago with an amazing teacher, we leave each session feeling so relaxed, and freed of the stresses of day to day life (because sometimes juggling working, toddlers, boys, running a blog and a business and any attempts at a social life can leave us She Dressed in Black girls feeling a little off balance!) - such an enjoyable and peaceful time out of our hectic schedule to realign (mentally and physically - ooh stretch!) 


3. Eat Well  - one of our favourite blogging ladies Kate from Wake Up, Lovely created this wonderful illustration - think its one to cut out and keep on the snack cupboard (and/or the door to the utility which is currently housing about 500 Easter Eggs that have yet to be consumed!) - another thing that is so easy to forget to keep on top of when you're so busy or when you've had a tough day and a freezer meal is all your craving (for easy carby goodness/badness!) - it's not just about not eating junk though, it is, as Kate's illustration says it's about Eating the Food that's Good for You. So pleased the weather is turning and the lure of wintery stodge is lessening, and salads are back on the menu, tasty fruits are in season, it's the perfect time to fill up on the good stuff! 

4. Avoid toxins - We've looked, we can confirm it is not there - the answer that we've all been searching for at the bottom of the wine glass... Avoiding toxins where we can, nothing worse than a serious case of 'wine ouch' the next day to make those mean ol' reds seem 10 times worse!

5. Think (& speak) positively about yourself and others - we try and keep this blog a positive place, it is something that we decided to stick to very early on, so besides from our silly rants about the wind and tea you're unlikely to hear us whine too much - however, scandalous She Dressed in Black confession: and our real life friends can vouch, that when we get stressed out we can rant like the best of them... It's tough to change a mindset, but working on being more positive is really making a difference, instead of complaining we're looking for the good in every situation - less of the 'stinking thinking'. (Kate has some more tips for this too on her blog!)

We'll leave you here for part 1 - there is more to come shortly. Put it into practice today and see if you can feel the difference that we can already!

Much love,
Rhi xx

PS.  To celebrate our first year in Twee Towers on Sunday, we're giving you the chance to win all of our fave twee-treats in a GIVEAWAY! ♥  Remember to check back for your chance to win!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

What's in my Bag // Lauren

Hey lovelies, 

Last week Rhi shared the contents of her bag, after the purchase of a new bag forced her into evaluating the just what exactly her shoulders were bearing the weight of everyday and so it's time for me to do the same! 

As I currently split my time between Twee Towers & the boy's house, I am forever lugging around bigger overnight bags, so my daily satchel is as streamlined as possible, reserved for absolute essentials...


1. Moleskine Journal - I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I cannot live with my journal. I'm continiously dragging it out of my bag throughout the day to scribble down ideas to come back to later, writing to-do lists, sketching, scheduling the week ahead, taking notes on new things I'm learning & also for taking stock of goals, achievements & aspirations. I know that sounds especially sickening, but it really does help to reflect back on to maintain creativity & productivity when you're having a bit of a lull! I also happen to have the worst short term memory in the word, so I really do have to jot everything down and soon as an idea slips into my head!

2. Books - 'Love Letters of Great Men', a collection of the most romantic letters in history from the likes of Lord Byron, Beethoven & Alexander Pope! I'm currently making my way through The Berlin Novels by Christopher Isherwood but the book is so bulky to carry around, I usually just pick up something like Love Letters so I have something to read if I need it! 

3. Sunglasses - Ready for all weathers! No idea why I need the two pairs in there, sometimes you need a classic RayBans moment and others, it's good to pretend your Lennon. The glasses are usually accompanied by an Umbrella but due to the relentless downpours we've been having recently, that hasn't had the time to get back into the handbag! 

4. Nail Varnish - Again, probably non-essential in the grand scheme of things, but it's always handy to keep key colours in there if I'm traveling back and forth between my house & James' to tidy up the colour! Current faves are minty green and custard yellow! 

5. Beautifying Bits! - To be honest, I wouldn't carry these around day to day, I'm a 'fix my hair and face in the morning' kinda girl and that's it for the day! That's unless, I know I'm heading somewhere which would require a quick refresher, in which case I love, Mac & Benefit for Face & Lips and Bourjois Blush. My Gran gave me the Lancome foundation brush as she'd got it free with her perfume and it's honestly, the best brush I've ever came across, blends so well! A little tip: I use Body Shop's Tea Tree Oil Cleanser to wash my Foundation Brush with - it gets all the foundation out of it! 

6. Perfume - Marc Jacobs' Daisy, always. 

7. Purse - This was a quick little purchase from New Look, intended only to be used as a replacement for my normal bigger purse on a night out, but it's kinda stuck with me. The only annoying thing is that I never have my store cards (namely costa) to collect points! 

8. The absolute essentials - Never take these out of my bag, a cute little compact and Aloe Vera Vasoline (love it, my lips smell like mojito!)

9. Keys on Ribbon - Like Rhi mentioned, especially handy if you're forever trying to find your keys in the depths of your handbag! 

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Forgot about my ipod, the trusty satchel companion, it's always hanging around too! Well, that was pretty damning evidence, that I am perfectly prepared for a switch in weathers but not at all prepared for  any kind of practicality... I really need to add plasters to the essentials with the amount I've been falling over recently!

Hope you enjoyed taking a peek into the things we can't live without! 

Much love, 
Lauren xx

PS.  To celebrate our first year in Twee Towers on Sunday, we're giving you the chance to win all of our fave twee-treats in a GIVEAWAY! ♥  Remember to check back for your chance to win!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Outfit Post // Vogue Festival 2012

As anyone who is following us on twitter or instagram will be well aware, on Saturday we were lucky enough to attend Vogue's very first fashion festival at the weekend. We will warn you now, this is probably going to be a long post, so much to tell you!


Our journey to the Royal Geographical Society, the venue for the second day of the Vogue Fest, was somewhat less than stylish. We sleepily dragged ourselves up and out of bed at the ungodly hour of 5am, to manically rush to the train station, attracting some dubious stares from passers-by on our way as we coated up on layers of lipstick and clumped by in completely unpractical platforms (further confirmation on the unpracticality of platforms coming later...) 

We then had an anxious 40 mins of watching announcements of our train getting more and more delayed! We made it to London with 15 minutes to make our way over to South Kensington, so we got our fast-as-we-can-in-huge-heels walk on!

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Lauren wore: Coat, ASOS Premium; Collar, Lou Lou Loves You; Jeans, Topshop; Shirt, H&M (ribbon added!); Wedges, ASOS; Socks, Topshop; Satchel, H&M.

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Rhi wore: Dress, Christopher Kane for Topshop; Coat, Topshop; Cardigan, Matalan; Shoes, Next; Bag, Primark

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Equilibrium was restored once more as we flounced up Exhibition Road, home to the marvelous Natural History Museum and the V&A, stopping to take a few snaps of the magnificent architecture... until, Lauren stacked it and went head over heels (platform drama)... and came back up with a cut hand and damaged pride, gah. Luckily, there was only one other lovely man in the vicinity that viewed the disaster, and came over with concern and a whole lot of pity in his eyes. C'est la vie!

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First up was a talk by the absolutely incredible Diane Von Furstensberg, entitled, 'Turning a passion for life into a penchant for business'. We've all heard about formidable impact that Diane made upon the fashion world, creating the first ever wrap dress, and staying true to the goals she set for herself at an early age. She began her fairytale (literally, she married a Prince!) by recalling how she created her very first collection whilst heavily pregnant, and then continued by leading us through an enchanting labrinyth of her life, career twists and turns, her walk away from fashion, and finally her phenomenal comeback! 

She was beautiful, inspirational, funny and unbelievably grounded. What a lady! We think everyone left wishing that DVF would be their fairy godmother, appearing whenever we had a momentary crisis of confidence, or were in desperate need of one her figure loving wrap dresses. We might even allow ourselves to watch all the re-runs of The City to get more glimpses of the DVF HQ! Here's a few of our favourite quotes from DVF,

"Be the woman you want to be."
"I was told to focus on the vintage, after all I am myself, vintage", DVF on bringing back her 70s wrap dresses.
"I had three children, a boy, a girl, and a brand."
"As a young girl, I did not know what I wanted to be, but I knew the woman that I wanted to be... independent, a woman that pays her own bills, can go out with a man without worrying if he'll call."


We left the main auditorium as fast we could to try and catch Tim Walker, only to find that that the session was already in progress and the queue for the second was so big it spiralled through 3 rooms. We are sad to say that we sacrificied our position to ensure that we didn't lose a seat for the next few talks back in the main theatre. 

However, we did manage to find out that he only uses film rather than digital cameras and natural sunlight, amazing (thanks Emma!). For the hour that we had spare, we had a wander through some of the other rooms, and stumbled across the cover shoot room (where you could dress up in designer and adorn yourself with a Chanel bag and leave with a professionally taken photo of yourself on the front of a mocked up Vogue cover) The other highlight was the red lipstick bar... we died and went to red lipstick heaven!


It was then time, to head back for the next session. Fashion Question Time! We definitely should have got ourselves a quick refreshment from one of the lovely make-shift cafes that Vogue had set up, dehydration is not cool. Anyway, Fashion QT was a panel of fashion's finest talent, including Christopher Kane, Holly Fulton, Henry Holland, Roksanda Ilincic, Mary Katrantzou and Nicholas Kirkwood, interrogated by a selection of questions sent in via twitter and the audience. 

To our surprise, they were all incredibly humble and dare we say, quite shy. We were expecting Devil Wears Prada esque attitude from someone, but they all seemed, lovely. They were also all incredibly knowledgeable about the design business as a whole, and most of all realistic about their profession. Recalling moments of excitement as their business began to explode across the fash-o-sphere, divulging secrets about their pre-show nerves, post-show celebrations (they party hard) and offering fascinating insight into their brands and helpful advice to audience member's questions.

It has to be said, Roksanda Ilincic is Not only is she one of the most beautiful ladies in the whole universe, with a wardrobe and collection to die for (a collection that has been worn by Michelle Obama & Kate Middleton no less), but she is also blessed with the most enchanting, ethereal manner, it would be difficult not to be captivated by her absolute loveliness!


We have been banging on about our excitement for the David Bailey relentlessly for a week now, we apologise profusely if you follow us on twitter. It goes without saying that he is one of the most iconic photographers of our time. In fact, iconic doesn't even cover it. There's not anything that we can say about his back story that everyone shouldn't already know. Interviewed by Vogue Features Director, Jo Ellison, Bailey was an absolute gem. Completely charming, endearingly brash, charismatic and oh so, cheeky (admitting that he was unsure about the casting of Karen Gillan as the beautiful Jean Shimpton, joking that he'd rather bed Aneurin Barnard than Karen, eek!) In addition to this he spoke about his more recent ventures, namely the photography he's been doing out in Afghanistan. He had the whole auditorium laughing with him and at him, the entire time. Here's a few of our favourite Bailey quotes,

"Everybody has a story, I just have to find it"
"This shirt I'm wearing is, David Lawrence, Ralph Lawrence? what is it? Ralph Lauren!"
"Most people don't like the photos I take of them at first, it takes about 10 years and then they say that it's the best picture of them ever taken... it's probably because the photo is too honest"
"I'd like to photograph everybody in the world"

Uh, us first please, Mr Bailey!


We met Alexa outside, who was also in attendance for the great, DB!

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By this time, we were well & truely parched so we took a wander through Knightsbridge for a lunchtime beverage... and ended up in Harrods, lusting after Mulberry's and trying not to purchase every delicious looking thing from the food courts! Mmm. Though, just who buys milk from Harrods?

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We did however, allow ourselves to purchase some teeny treats, including a very yummy strawb & champagne preserve for Lauren's mum & the cutest box of Macaroons in all our favourite flavours from the Laduree Cafe! We went for Rose, Violet & Blackberry, Raspberry & Coconut, Lemon and Salted Caramel! Best ever!

All in all, a pretty good day!

Much love,
Lauren xx

PS.  To celebrate our first year in Twee Towers on Sunday, we're giving you the chance to win all of our fave twee-treats in a GIVEAWAY! ♥  Remember to check back for your chance to win!
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