I can never get enough of travelling. That's probably why I'm a freelance journalist who specialises in travel, lifestyle and fashion. Thanks to low cost airlines, I often escape London and discover European hotspots where I meet locals and enjoy their culture. One day I will relocate to Barcelona and spend my life eating jamón and playing the Spanish guitar. (Hopefully)
Take a look at my clippings and feel free to get in touch with me at [email protected] Thanks!
Maria McKenzie takes a look at the best places to eat, drink and enjoy local life in Barcelona.
If you're looking to stay somewhere a little different for your next holiday, why not try a prison hotel? The idea of spending the night behind bars has never looked so appealing. Het Arresthuis is an old prison turned luxury hotel in the Netherlands.
Step inside these cool airport lounges, where a dance floor and in-house cinema are some of the attractions making waiting time fun.
By 2015, mobile apps, social media, smartphones and location-based (NFC) technology will have changed the way we travel, says a new report
Large parts of Brooklyn - one of New York's five boroughs - have reinvented themselves. Here's our round-up of hip places to stay outside Manhattan.
In July, American tycoon Sheldon Adelson is expected to reveal which of Spain's two largest cities has been chosen for his planned 'Vegas' strip.
Heathrow, Gatwick, British AIrways and Virgin Atlantic are celebrating the Jubilee with a host of British-themed events for travellers jetting off over the long weekend.
It seems all types of bricks-and-mortar businesses can, and are offering their own slice of coffee culture.
A honeymoon is the perfect end to a perfect wedding. Some couples choose sun-kissed beaches, others choose exploration and adventure while others just want to hide away together. Maria McKenzie selects a couple of the best places to honeymoon.
Looking for bargain shopping in the Big Apple? Some of the best savings can be made in outlet malls outside Manhattan, writes Maria Mckenzie.
From May, travellers passing through New York JFK’s Terminal 5 will be able to pay upfront for lounge access – regardless of the airline they’re flying with.
With all the stresses that come with planning a wedding it is easy to overlook or completely forget something that could make a big difference to your day. That's why Isabel Smith Wedding Designs have set up a new service to ensure everything runs smoothly, writes Maria McKenzie.
Maria McKenzie takes a look at some of the most popular wedding presents around at the moment.
Fashion & Art
Maria McKenzie talks to Kate MccGwire about art, her sculptures and what it’s like to work with feathers
Every girls dream is set to come true this Christmas- well that’s if Harrods latest designer collaboration is anything to go by.
It seems he rather enjoyed his venture into the world of couture last year, so this year he’s gone back and bought us a set of 30 fashionable friends with him.
There was a lot of excitement building at the Roksanda Ilincic AW13 runway this morning where a pale pink ballroom had been set up in preparation at the Savoy Hotel. Fresh from her success of winning at the Elle Style awards last week, the designer bought us a collection that was inspired by sinister fairy tales.
It was a paradoxical affair on the AW13 Prada runway today where glamour met gritty. Made up of fit and flare skirts, slim fit dresses and boxy pencil skirts the collection steered clear of trousers and focused on the feminine form.
Chunky gold earrings added a classic Moschino touch while over the shoulder bags emulated Scottish sporrans. Blazers were teamed with most looks and whether they were emblazoned with Moschino crests or covered in tartan they were smart and assertive.
This week, Nicole Farhi's newly appointed Chief Exeutive, Francois Steiner has been quoted saying that the brand is "returning to what it does best," and if Joanna Syke's first collection for the house is anything to go by, it's definitely getting there.
It was a busy show that had us queuing out the doors, but everybody wanted to see what the knitwear duo would come up with this season, and we weren't to be disappointed. Transporting us back to the 1970s, Leutton Postle bought us a SS13 collection that was innovative, colourful and full of little details.
Jacquard dresses with peplum waists came in black and muted jewel tones whilst oversized leather jackets had fringing all over. Grommet covered leather leggings were edgy and toughened up long sleeved silk jumpers, whilst thigh high slits came about in longer length organza gowns.
Attention was drawn to the waist with cut outs, crop tops and peplums whilst striped button down shirts were teamed with boxy tops, giving the collection a masculine twist. Shirt dresses, oversized bomber jackets and high waisted pencil skirts all made an appearance and longer length silk dresses bought the show to a strong finale.
All in the spirit of the occasion, Matthew Williamson put out a collection that represented everything the brand has stood for in its 15 years- electric colours, striking prints, extravagant embellishment and bohemian dresses. He even popped in an extra treat for us by premiering his first venture in shoe design!
Silhouettes were clean as tailored trousers skimmed the ankles, knee length capes were attached to sleeves and tops came with peplum waists. Standout pieces came in the form of a pair of high waisted shorts which had rose petal shaped back panels and the floor sweeping evening dresses that were classically elegant.
Taking the runway in beige, coral, black and electric blue, models wore pleated tennis skirts, drop waist dresses and chunky heels. There were no trousers here, so it was all about flashing the legs. Flesh also peeped out through small cut outs whilst boxy sheer panelled tops fell down to the hips.
As we all sipped the specially designed 'Odessey' cocktail, we had plenty of time to view the wearable collection, which had beautifully tailored shirt dresses, sharp jackets and super silver biker jackets. Acknowledgement of the past came in form of classic tailoring and carefully sculpted silhouettes whilst metallics injected a futuristic vibe.
A play on fabric was an interesting element that ran through the collection and worked to distress classic pieces. Crumpled satin separates, tie dyed fur stoles and darkened denim pieces revealing luxurious satin lining, all came together to bring a rebellious twist to the sophisticated glamour puss.
There were Madonna-esque bralets teamed with high waisted briefs, belted floral print prom dresses and cherry red mini skirts. Leather wrestling boots made interesting footwear whilst retero sunglasses and large silk visors were quirky. Luxe ivory slip dresses oozed sex appeal whilst smart polo shirts were belted and worn with tailored silk skirts.
In an effort to embrace their popularity within the mass market, structured mini dresses were the focus, but playsuits and jumpsuits also made an appearance. Kimono style tops, origami folded skirts and warm shades of yellow and orange bought an Asian twist whilst leather looks and darker shades of petrol and burgundy bought about a sense of androgyny.
And indeed they were, strapless dresses played with proportions and saw cascades of delicate fabric flowing gracefully down the runway. Soft sheer fabrics were layered one over another and the golden palette made everything seem so elegant, so feminine and so un-Owens.
Floral prints came in black, white and poppy red, covering everything from dresses and shorts to tie up shirts. Then came a wave of paisley printed skirts, jackets and tunics which were followed up by a series of head to toe white outfits.
Last year saw April Crichton debut her first collection for the brand, but with Fung Brands coming in to scoop a major share of the label earlier this year, it was announced that SS13 would be Crichtons last.
Sheer crop tops revealed slices of the midriff, tailored trousers skimmed the ankles and dresses had tiers of ruffles whilst belted trouser suits sashayed down the runway featuring even more ruffles. Layering was a key aspect of the collection, with skirts peeping through sheer fabrics and tunics laid under oversized jackets.