Wednesday, 27 February 2013

My First Blogger Event: 'Plastic Fantastic' at Porta, Brighton

Last Thursday, I attended my first ever invite-only blogger event; 'Plastic Fantastic', at jewellery and handbag shop Porta, on Brighton's Bond Street.

I really enjoyed myself, and it was lovely to spend some time with my colleague - and fellow beauty blogger - Nazilla (of lillaloves.com) outside of work. I got the chance to chat with a few other bloggers there too, and I'm pleased to say everyone was really friendly (being my first blogger event, I wasn't quite sure what to expect!)

The event was set up to showcase  new designs by four artists specialising in the creation of acrylic jewellery; Sugar Jones, Maggie Angus, designosaur, and KatzeShop, all of which are stocked by Porta.

All attendees were lucky enough to be given a goodie bag to take home too, containing a piece from each of the brands. I'll show you what I got at the end of this post!


The collections


Sugar Jones

Sugar Jones Cat, goldfish and bowl necklace
Sugar Jones' Cat, goldfish and bowl necklace: This was probably the most popular piece at the event, everyone - including me - went bonkers for it!

Sugar Jones' Strawberry and ants necklace: Excuse my cup of complimentary red!
Sugar Jones Kite necklace
Sugar Jones' Kite necklace
Sugar Jones Space Hopper collection (image credit Porta Brighton Facebook page)
Sugar Jones' Space Hopper collection & dragonfly necklaces (Image credit: Porta Brighton Facebook page)
I was fortunate enough to spend a good 15 minutes or so talking with the designer behind proudly-British jewellery and accessories label brand Sugar Jones - Carla Ballantine.

Carla Ballantine of Sugar Jones
Carla Ballantine of Sugar Jones
Carla was really lovely and was more than happy to answer my questions regarding how she creates her - often bespoke - designs through freehand drawing and using a laser-cutting machine. I'm now really interested in buying such a contraption for myself some day (I'd have to save for a while though, research shows they're not cheap!)

We also discussed our love of Space Hopper iconography - we love his ever-manic face! A very cool Lego watch she was wearing also caught my attention.

Sugar Jones Dragonfly Necklace Porta Brighton
Sugar Jones' Dragonfly Necklace
Sugar Jones Dragonfly necklace close detailing
A Sugar Jones necklace up close: Carla told me this detailing takes a very long time to achieve!

Maggie Angus

Maggie Angus As Fresh As a Daisy collection Plastic Fantastic Porta
The Maggie Angus display 
Maggie Angus 'As Fresh As a Daisy' necklace: I couldn't be more in love with the black version of this necklace! WANT!
Maggie Angus As Fresh As a Daisy matching bracelet
...or the matching bracelet! MORE WANT!
I also spent some time chatting with the bubbly Anna Evans, the designer behind Maggie Angus; a jewellery brand which has had much attention in the press recently. Maggie Angus has celebrity fans in the form of Fearne Cotton, Little Mix and Jessie J, and Anna has even created bespoke designs for Marina & the Diamonds!

Since a few of the new Maggie Angus pieces comprise really thin lines, I was really interested to know how Anna manages to created these, since they first appear to be a tad more delicate. Anna told me she is really clumsy (just like me!) and so if her items pass the test of her handling them, she's knows they'll be fine in the hands of her customers.

Anna asked me a few questions about my own job too, which I thought was incredibly sweet of her!

Maggie Angus designer Anna Evans
Anna Evans: The woman behind Maggie Angus. In case you're wondering, the brand is named after Anna's late, jewellery obsessed, Scottish grandmother.
Maggie Angus bracelets
Some Maggie Angus bracelets, rings and earrings.
Maggie Angus heart necklaces
Cute Maggie Angus heart necklaces
Maggie Angus press coverage board
Maggie Angus press coverage board (I REALLY need a better camera, bleurgh!)

designosaur


I didn't get the chance to talk to designosaur's designers (product design graduates Jacques and Karli), but I did manage to take a few pics.

As the name suggests, many of past pieces have involved dinosaurs in their design, but this brand is far from being a one trick pony (stegosaurus?)!

designosaur display Porta Brighton
designosaur's display
designosaur Brighton Pavillion necklace
Brighton Pavilion necklace: My fave piece from designosaur's collection!
Dodo and mammoth necklaces designosaur
Dodo and mammoth wooden necklaces: Not extinct any more!
designosaur necklaces pop art
Loving designosaur's pop art-inspired statement necklaces!
designosaur heart necklace yellow green
Jammin'!

KatzeShop

I missed out on talking to KatzeShop's designer (Rosa Pietisch) too, but again, I managed to take a few snaps. This collection was the most surprising at Plastic Fantastic, since the range mixes laser-cut acrylic, wood, cast resin, and even more materials besides, to create a very original aesthetic.

I'm particularly keen on Rosa's use of twisted 'rope' instead of chains.

KatzeShop Plastic Fantastic jewellery display
KatzeShop' display
KatzeShop 'lamp' necklace Porta
KatzeShop' 'lamp' necklace: I was very taken by this necklace, as was everyone else in attendance at Plastic Fantastic! Note KatzeShop's very cool light bulb collar tips too!
KatzeShop 'lamp' necklace Porta closer
A closer look.
Look at all the intricate detailing! I'm digging KatzeShop's gold and silver leaf effect. 
Katzeshop poster Porta Brighton

.....

The contents of my goodie bag

Plastic Fantastic goodie bags
Plastic Fantastic goodie bags (Image credit: Porta Brighton Facebook page)

Sugar Jones black iceskates earrings
Sugar Jones black ice skate earrings: I can't iceskate at all (understatement!) but I still love these earrings - the detailing is what makes them so awesome!
Maggie Angus single daisy necklace black
Maggie Angus single daisy necklace: Since I adored the 'As Fresh As a Daisy' chunky chain necklace and matching bracelet as soon as I spotted them, I was thrilled to find this in my goodie bag! Love the signature tag Anna includes on all of her pieces too!
designosaur triceritops stack ring purple
designosaur triceratops stack ring: How cute is this! I can't get over how well it is cut despite it's small size!
KatzeShop cats eyes silver leaf wood necklace
KatzeShop cats-eye silver leaf wood necklace: I actually received a gold version of this necklace (which i liked), but Nazilla and I swapped - she's prefers gold jewellery, whereas I prefer silver. I think this is awesome!
KatSick and Lillaloves at Porta, Brighton (Plastic Fantastic)
Me and Nazilla (Lillaloves.com) at Plastic Fantastic: Not really appreciating my mid-sentence face here! (Image credit: Porta Brighton Facebook page).
Zatchel handbags at Porta Brighton (image credit Porta Brighton Facebook page)
Just some of the gorgeous Zatchel leather handbags at Porta Brighton (Image credit: Porta Brighton Facebook page)
.....

A massive THANK YOU to Porta, and all of the designers involved in putting on this great event (and for inviting me)!
.....

Which of these collections most takes your fancy? Let me know in the comments below. Be sure to visit each of the collections' respective websites also, to see even more awesome designs.

*All photos in this post without image credits were taken by me.*