29 January 2018

Ginuary

It's no secret I enjoy a G&T. It's a fascination I siphoned off my friends, which very quickly escalated into my buying eight bottles of No.3 London Dry Gin, when it was discounted - unbelievably - to £12 a bottle at a local supermarket. Throw in a visit to Silent Pool Distillers, conveniently located around the corner from my office, and so began my liquid love affair.

While mine and my flatmates' gin collection nowhere near rivals the likes of Holborn Dining Room (counting an impressive five-hundred-and-something different gins), I imagine we might have a few more bottles of gin in our livingroom than your local pub. My individual love for gin is easily stirred at the mention of a brand new label or a complimentary tasting, and I often find myself stocking the shelves with new bottles before I've finished those I have already. On top of the many other spirits we have for cocktails, it makes for a striking corner in our abode.

GinJanuary has been no exception for new gins, even if half the country is temporarily tee-total. (Just a couple more days to go, guys!) New additions this month have been the mesmerising Unicorn Tears Gin Liqueur from gift retailer Firebox, Whitley Neill's newly released Blood Orange Gin, and the luxurious X-Gin.

The latter intrigued me with its award-winning status, a beautifully decorated bottle, and its unique selling point as, well... an aphrodisiac. A quick visit to their Instagram page reveals a montage of half-naked ladies posing with the X-Gin, which I suppose reflects the story behind the brand - a reinvention of an ancient Mayan recipe that "instilled passion in those who had the fortune to drink it".

X-Gin

While I enjoyed the subtlety of its cocoa flavour (one of 47 botanicals), I must confess I didn't experience a sexual awakening. Perhaps because shooting flatlays alone in my livingroom isn't the most provocative of situations. Although I do wonder if the Unicorn Tears Gin Liqueur, which is humanely extracted from the tears of a literally horny animal, would have an improved effect on one's libido.

This particular gin was an absolute delight, in terms of flavour as much as visually. Its greatest selling factor is the iridescent glitter, which epitomises the unicorn theme, but could have so easily been little more than a sales gimmick for a humdrum gin. I was therefore pleasantly surprised to taste a spirit with a distinctive palette of citrus, awash with lightly sweet and savoury flavours beneath. I had never thought unicorn tears could get you sloshed, but they make an all-round impressive gin and a guaranteed talking point at a party.

Unicorn Tears Gin Liqueur

Finally, Blood Orange Gin is the brand new release from Whitley Neill, whose previous successes have included their Blood Orange Vodka and Rhubarb & Ginger Gin. Having only just purchased a bottle at the weekend, I have yet to give it a taste, but given how much I adore Whitley Neill's other flavoured gins (Quince Gin is worth a tipple over ice!), I have very high expectations. Unlike the X-Gin and Unicorn Tears, which require a spot of online shopping, Whitley Neill Blood Orange Gin is readily available in the drinks aisle of Morrisons for £26, along with a second new release, Raspberry Gin.

Whitley Neill Blood Orange Liqueur

1 January 2018

Refresh

Reintroduction

Happy new year, and welcome to the new-ish Unlimited by JK. I say "new-ish", I suppose it doesn't look too different to last year. Of course, you will have definitely noticed the snazzy new logo above, courtesy of the exceptionally talented Chris Watts, who took a jumble of 80s inspiration and created something unexpected, but somehow quite perfect. It's the first of many changes taking place in this tiny corner of the internet, as I finally get a grip of this blogging business and re-establish my brand identity - which after little over seven years, you'd think I'd have fine-tuned by now!

In a blog post I wrote in November 2015, shortly after moving to London, I pledged to be a more proactive blogger and post more engaging content, given that living in the big city would offer a plethora of opportunities. Two years later, it became quite obvious I had bombed that resolution. In actual fact, I hadn't felt especially inspired to shoot or blog for much of my time here, partly due to full-time work, but more so that I wanted to enjoy a social life outside of my blog, which had until then taken up the best part of my free time.

It was when I looked through some of my favourite street style photos from three and four years ago that I finally acknowledged my blog had since taken a downturn, and I committed to make positive changes in the new year. Because I do miss going out and about with my camera, which is the heart of Unlimited by JK. And despite the name, my content has admittedly become quite limited. Hence this much deserved refresh, with promise of all-new and exciting features.

It's at this stage that I was going to reel off a whole spiel about said changes, but I'd rather not bore you with the finer details at this moment in time. What you can expect, however, is a greater variety of lifestyle and personal content on top of the usual fashion features, including a secret-not-so-secret side project that I hope to reveal towards the summer. I mean, I'm allowed some air of mystery, am I not? 

So whilst I practice my flatlays and selfies for Instagram, order new business cards, and attempt to restructure my work-social-blog balance (any advice from fellow bloggers regarding the latter would be greatly appreciated), I shall also wish you all a successful 2018, and I hope to see you around these parts very soon.

27 November 2017

Rohmir SS18

Rohmir SS18

I remember my first invitation to Rohmir's runway show at Fashion Scout, some years ago now. The room wasn't madly busy, at least compared to many of the other shows Tazz and I had squeezed into, and there was a silky scarf on top of the usual array of minature beauty products and health drinks in each of our goodie bags. I recall at the time feeling somewhat underwhelmed by the collection, although I must admit my younger, naïve mind was very much more excited by flamboyance and eccentricity over refined glamour. In hindsight, the collection was probably very wearable.

Despite having been invited to every Rohmir fashion show since, this is my first blog post featuring the Russian designer Olga Roh, and of the many and varied collections I saw at London Fashion Week this season gone, hers was - much to my own surprise - my favourite. Truly, it was a pleasure to observe just how much the label has evolved, and to acknolwedge my own appreciation for beautiful fashion.

Rohmir SS18

Appropriately titled "Sparkling", the Rohmir SS18 collection is one of timeless beauty and sophisticated glamour, with dazzling details throughout. The luxury ready-to-wear pieces, which include summer dresses, pant suits, capes and flowing gowns, not only take inspiration from classic Italian allure, they are a celebration of quintessential feminity. Floral prints and lace took centre stage on the runway, alongside bejewelled dresses, sheer blouses, and glittering statement jewellery. It is difficult not to imagine many of these ensembles parting the crowd at a grand ball, or even - dare I say it - upstaging the bride at a wedding.

The collection aside, there were many additional elements that made the show as much a spectacle as the clothes. The soundtrack of the show was live Italian opera over a modern backing track, an aural reflection of Rohmir's modern-classical woman. The models, too, walked the runway with poise and elegance, many with a smile that shone as brightly as the spotlights bouncing off the gemstones.

More importantly, however, was the choice of models themselves. The decision to include maturer women on the runway would be commended by Caryn Franklin's All Walks Beyond The Catwalk, which campaigns for greater diversity in the fashion industry. As Caryn has herself asserted, it is the maturer women who often have the most money to spend on designer fashion, therefore to frequently use younger, often teenage models in fashion shows and advertisements would appear counter-intuitive.

In contrast, a delightfully unexpected addition to the catwalk was the three young girls wearing childrenswear equivalents of the main collection. Walking down the runway in very little (if any) make-up, hand-in-hand with the professional models like younger siblings emulating their big sisters, the girls stole the show with their equally beautiful attire, and a sweet and smiley innocence that lit up the room.

Rohmir SS18 Rohmir SS18 Rohmir SS18 Rohmir SS18 Rohmir SS18 Rohmir SS18 Rohmir SS18 Rohmir SS18 Rohmir SS18

25 October 2017

Explore The City

If, like me, you are neither a runner, gym-goer, or active sportsperson (that is to say mildly to moderately lazy), it's all too easy to overlook how very little exercise you might be doing compared to your peers. That however changes when you start wearing a FitBit Charge 2 fitness tracker, which over the past several weeks has been wonderfully useful in informing me how relatively unfit I am. Because if anything is going to nudge me towards a more regular exercise routine and longer lunchtime walks (to the village shop and back doesn't count), it's a pedometer shamefully displaying fewer than two-thousand steps before I crawl into bed.

John Lewis | Explore The City

Of course, I could always do with extra motivation. And to that end, the clever people behind Britain's beloved department store, John Lewis, have developed an interactive tool to encourage said exercise while exploring the abundant delights of the capital. After inputting your London postcode, the tool highlights local attractions and green spaces, with the estimated number of steps one might achieve during each visit.

After investigating the Barbican Centre at the end of summer, it seemed appropriate to visit another local landmark I knew full well existed, but hadn't yet made any effort to explore. It was only a few fashion weeks ago that I realised just how close Tate Britain was to my flat, having wandered over Vauxhall Bridge to see a fashion show at the Chelsea College of Arts next door. And so it was that on a remarkably hangover-free Sunday, Maddy and I crossed the Thames for an afternoon of British art.

Tate Britain Tate Britain Tate Britain Tate Britain Tate Britain

For a spot on the river that appears strikingly untouristy compared to London's South Bank, Tate Britain was teeming with visitors. We all wandered about the gallery in a similarly unhurried fashion, scanning the rooms as we passed through, hovering occasionally in front a painting or sculpture that caught the eye more than others. Half the ground floor was dedicated to artwork by J.M.W. Turner, which begged the question: just how much time did a single artist have on their hands to produce several rooms' worth of near-priceless artwork?

However many thousand steps later, Maddy and I had completed our circuit of the Tate, although quite possibly having missed a dozen rooms on account of galleries and museums being built like mazes. A tad more culture in our noggins and a few more kilometres' worth of activity in our legs can never be a bad thing.

Tate Britain Tate Britain Tate Britain Tate Britain Tate Britain Tate Britain Tate Britain Tate Britain Tate Britain Tate Britain

© Joseph Kent / www.unlimitedbyjk.com

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