Sunday, 16 September 2012

#LFW - Day Two

Day 2 at London Fashion Week and the madness is only beginning. Here are a few highlights from the mania of Saturday:

The packed Daks show which started the day seemed to be put together in two distinct parts: silky whites and tough blacks, only separated by a few dashes of mustard and touches of the Daks signature check here and there. It seems that with Spring/Summer 13 we may have a season unfortunately void of colour as monochrome emerges as a key trend, and although this might sound depressing, it rather serves to give power to the importance of shape and cut. Daks SS13 collection oozed fluidity and sophisticated minimalism, beginning with a selection of beautiful white dresses which use layering techniques to marry silky fabrics with more crisp ones. Many of the pieces also featured cross-hatching surface techniques which were apparently inspired by abstract expressionist art. One of my highlights of the show was definitely the orange-brown shorts/shirt combo, which added to the 70’s feel of the collection. This same separates look was replicated in the black second half of the show which also featured lots of billowing oversized bottoms on trousers and jumpsuits. It was interesting to see the AW12 key trend of leather carried into the realms of Spring/Summer, as the show closed with black and brown sleeveless tops and pencil skirts. The star of the show, however, was without a doubt the cape coat in their trademark check – uh-may-zing! (see below).

House of Holland
For a much more upbeat, youthful and vibrant show, turn your attention to the magnificent House of Holland. Ever since Henry Holland emerged as thedesigner  best friend of super-cool supermodel Agyness Deyn, House of Holland has been the hipster go-to brand for every young London fashionista out there. So it wasn’t a surprise to see Alexa Chung, Pixie Geldof, Nicola Roberts and Kelly Osbourne in the front row for yesterday’s show. With metallics, crazy tie-dyes, dip-dyes, checkerboard prints and florals, what more could you possibly want from a show? The collection began in a more subtle palette of autumnal maroons and greens and somehow quite smoothly moved into a set of very in-your-face  hippy tie-dyes of blues and pinks on a bright yellow base in which you can definitely see the 90’s inspiration. In terms of shapes, Henry seems to have covered it all as well, with maxi dresses, midi dresses, two-piece suits, crop tops, mini-skirts and stick-to-the-skin tight trousers. My favourite piece has to be the tie-dye printed shirt, but then again I am always a sucker for the shirts!

Issa London
In the evening with Issa London it was all about maximum lengths, in an amazing collection of maxi-dresses, jumpsuits and kimono shaped two-pieces. This was a show that, like Daks, can be split into two main distinct categories, although they weren’t presented chronologically so this time: tropical prints vs. block colours. The prints are to-die-for, with some interesting toucan/rainforest designs which remind me of the illustrations in some of my old children’s books, moving into to leaf prints in a range of pink hues and an absolutely gorgeous deep green one, and then some very busy oriental –looking floral designs. The block colour dresses are all brilliantly bright coloured jersey maxi dresses, most of which featuring knot-detail halter-necks for a beachy vibe, whilst some of the others instead display a revealing plunge-neck shape. The emerging monochrome trend makes a slight appearance mid-way through the show with a few more maxi-dresses and a quite stunning all-white jumpsuit – but for me this show was all about the prints.  

Friday, 14 September 2012

#LFW - Day One

Although the London Olympics have drawn to a close, it’s nice to see that we haven’t all lost our spirit and sense of patriotism. Today London sprung alive once again, buzzing with British pride and relaxing back into the familiar feeling of having the eyes of the world upon it. What is the sport in question this time, you ask? Fashion at its best, as London Fashion Week kick-started with Antoni & Alison this morning. Yes, 2013 may seem a world and a half away right now, but fashion freaks are always two steps ahead of the game, and right now Spring/Summer 2013 is the sole focus for all. It’s very overwhelming, I know, and with so many names and shows it can get a bit confusing, so I’ve broken it down for you – here’s a small selection of just the best bits so that you can get your fill of the action.  

Antoni & Alison
With flashes of magnetised picnic-blanket checks and fun doodle print flower designs, the Antoni & Alison show began LFW with a squeal of youthful excitement. With easy-to-wear silk chiffon t-shirt dresses, the designer duo has succeeded in creating the ‘zip up and go’ pieces which they always aspire to create. Many of the designs seem to draw upon modern contemporary art pieces for inspiration with colourful blocks blending into each other like paint splodges, reminding me of my A-level art days and those countless school trips to the Tate Modern. In fact, even the on-going doodle theme which features in many of the pieces remind me of the scribbles of the likes of Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. If the eye-popping colours didn’t wake the audience up for this 9am show, then the marching brass band that closed the show certainly would have. All-in-all the show, which marked the 25th Anniversary for the label, made for an aptly playful start to LFW SS13. After all, isn’t that playful experimental vibe the very essence of London style? I think so.

Eudon Choi
For upcoming talent, the star of the day has to be Eudon Choi. Originally from Korea, where he worked with menswear, Eudon moved to London and began tailoring his tailoring expertise to womenswear, establishing his label in 2009. His collections, as a result of his menswear training, are all about crisp cuts and transferring masculine shapes to wearable feminine pieces. Eudon apparently drew inspiration for the SS13 collection from the 1968 science fiction film ‘A Space Odyssey’ which looks to the ‘future’ of the year 2001. Perhaps this futuristic vibe is where the crazy texture combinations have been drawn from, which seem to characterize the collection, mixing the shine of pvc fabrics with sequin embellishments, crystal studs and fur. The futuristic theme is certainly where the floaty silver metallics have come from, and I love the giant silver satellite dish which formed the backdrop of the runway. You could definitely see Eudon’s attention to detail and love of strong tailored masculine shapes in this powerful, sport chic show.

Fyodor Golan
So we’ve seen inspiration drawn from modern art at Antoni & Alison, Filmography at Eudon Choi and with Fyodor Golan we also saw literature drawn upon, specifically the book “Blue Tattoo” by Margot Mifflin, which tells the legendary story of Olive Oatman, a girl who was brought up by the Native American who killed her family and kept her as a slave. The collection by Fyodor Golan attempts to capture Oatman’s transformation and journey, beginning with simple designs in a striking cobalt blue (presumably taken from the Blue of the facial tattoo that Oatman was branded with by the natives) and developing through to Native American-inspired blue/white wave patterns and then into more complex and quite stunning amber printed gowns. In many of the pieces you can also see hints of a Victorian Silhouette (the book was set in the mid 1800s), and this is particularly obvious in the pink statement gown which plays with excessive ruffles and a top-heavy imbalance which stole the show and stood out as a piece that was fascinating to look at, even if not wearable.

sass & bide
I love love love sass and bide, and the Australian label didn’t disappoint with their show this evening. Like Eudon Choi, sass and bide have mixed up their textures too, bringing feathers, sequins, metals, beads, chiffon and tassels into the mix. This was the show for big names today, with a front row starring twiggy, Delilah, Alison Mosshart and Poppy Delevigne who was there to support her younger sister Cara who was walking the runway alongside the likes of that Topshop girl, Jourdan Dunn. The collection displayed sharp tailoring, clean cut lines and even an even cleaner colour palette with monochrome deisgns featuring heavily. I love that they’ve continued their usual theme of interesting necklines with cut-out shapes and metal necklace styles.

I’m also VERY excited to see what PPQ and Felder Felder had to bring to the mix this evening, but unfortunately without being actually there (if only!), I have few resources to go by, but I hope to bring you an update on those ones tomorrow when photos of the shows come up online.

Saturday, 21 July 2012


Remember those Chloe 'Susanna' boots that shot into the fashion stratosphere at the speed of light back during the Pre-Fall 2008 Collection? Yes, you do. Those slouchy leather ankle boots dotted in studs and draped in thick buckles that sold out in an instant were unforgettable. Chloe had gotten the mannish/feminine balance just right; it was an androgynous shoe that was somehow both statement piece and staple piece, and quite suddenly it became the star of every fashion blog out there. Even now, browsing through the recent outfits worn by those big-time bloggers such as Karen Blanchard we can see the Susanna’s still making repetitive appearances. So versatile, these boots look fabulous worn casual with jeans or leggings tucked in, and even more fabulous with girly dresses. Super-stylish celebs such as Kate Bosworth and Sienna Miller became massive fans of the boots back in 2009, wearing theirs as much as they could and unintentionally doing their part at getting fashionista’s everywhere salivating. But with a price tag of just under £1,000 it seemed that the little people weren’t going to get their fix, and I remember at the time observing that high street copy-cat versions just didn’t seem to get it right.

Sienna Miller, Kate Bosworth and Mischa Barton love their Susanna's

However, today walking into Windsor’s Office branch, the boot that they are calling the ‘Nighthawk’ immediately jumped out at me. This one’s finally got it right with the perfect leather/metal combo and a shape that won’t cut your calves in half. They’ve even released the shoe in that darish red which Chloe had succeeded in making wearable three years ago. At £80 the Office versions certainly seem a bargain in comparison to their designer counterparts. However, it seems that I’ve been a little slow off the mark on this one and apparently the Nighthawks have been around since the beginning of this year, evidently becoming such a high bestseller that Office are cashing in on their popularity once again with a re-release.  So grab them quick before they sell out again!

Office, £80

Monday, 16 July 2012


There’s one look which had been consistently catching my eye these past couple of months, but it was a look that hadn’t completely gotten its foot through the door yet – and that’s paisley print. There were hints of it here and there, for example in Vogue’s July supplement they dedicated a couple of sentences to paisley denim and the range of printed jeans which Citizens of Humanity had produced for spring/summer. But the design stuck in my mind and I found myself on the hunt for these ‘Persian Pickles.’ It is only now that it seems the big high street names have cottoned on, and Topshop have just released several paisley pieces including some very interesting jeans which are tempting me more and more by the second.
Looking back to Spring/Summer I think that Stella McCartney’s take on the design (see below) incorporating the pattern into the pyjama trend works really well, and those blue tones compliment the look where other colours would have tipped the precarious balance over into a hazardously overpowering look. There is something about this matchy-matchy idea which we have seen so much of this year which I think really works, and Stella McCartney’s paisley pieces get it right.
Sticking with the matchy-matchy, patterned suits hit the Autumn/Winter catwalks hard last month, which is why it would seem that the best way to invest in funky graphics now would be with two matching pieces, and I’m placing my bets on River Island producing something close to perfect. With baroque patterns taking centre stage at Dolce and Gabbana as well as Giles amongst several other names for their A/W 2012 shows, I think that investing in paisley now will pay off, for the Iranian-originating tear-drop shapes seem to blend nicely into the baroque trend. And the safest way to handle this busy design? Monochrome. Topshop lead the way with their cigarette trousers, recycling the same print for skirts too. Take a look, and see what you think – will you #PayAttentionToPaisley?

Citizens of Humanity, £255

Topshop, £35
Topshop, £40
ASOS, Was £60 Now £30
River Island for Men, £25

Thursday, 12 July 2012


Madonna at the American Music Awards in 1985
Looking around the shops at the moment, you can't help but notice several 80's inspired micro-trends, from neon colour-blocking to high top trainers, but most notably cross imagery. Crosses have been everywhere you look on the British high street these past few months with the symbol adorning bracelets, rings, necklaces, earrings and t-shirts in every imaginable shape, size, colour and even angle (upside-down crosses being a curious take on the trend). Bringing a grunge/gothic vibe to the spring summer collections, this key theme has been a micro-trend that I have completely fallen sucker to. However, wearing my silver cross pendant the other day provoked an interesting discussion with a friend of mine who said that she was discouraged from wearing crucifix imagery by her own anticipation of the offense it could cause to Christians who consider the fashionising of their sacred symbol as blasphemy when worn by non-religious persons. Rather ignorantly of me, this wasn’t a consideration that I had taken into account at all. But it’s a debate that harks back to the 80’s when the former Catholic singer Madonna hung huge crosses from her ears and crucifixes round her neck, causing outrage from religious sectors who understood the wearing of rosary beads as a jewellery statement to be a sacrilegious act. As an atheist and fashion-lover, it’s impossible for me to take an unbiased view on the argument but it is undeniable that once Madonna had made crosses a part of her signature look, it was to inevitably snowball into a hugely popular fashion which would not be curtailed by the outcries of religious leaders. The fact that the trend still survives today is simply a reflection of the extent of Madonna’s absolute icon status. As the singer is set to celebrate her 54th birthday next month, I urge we look back to those heydays at Madge as the ultimate 80’s style queen. Looking at the current trends today, I can’t help but see the original Material Girl everywhere – not just in the crosses, but in the return of corset-silhouettes (everyone has seen those famous images of Madonna in her cone-shaped bustiers), mid-riff bearing crop tops, headbands, colourful bomber jackets, and black mesh detailing. Madge’s style has always relied upon shock-tactics to take the world by storm and her success is signalled in the very fact that these once outrageous looks have become socially acceptable today. It is for this reason that I believe fashion owes endless credit to her and those controversial looks which still continue to provide designers and artists with creative inspiration.

Skull and Cross Earrings, Topshop, £8.50
Mesh Body, Motel, Was £32 Now £15
Lace and stud corset bralet, ASOS, Was £40 now £12
Studded Crop Top, Topshop, £18
Scarf print bomber jacket, River Island, Was 40 Now £20
Cross body chain, Topshop, £20

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

#KeepCalmandCarryOn - H&M Sale

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
I am the queen of sale shopping, there is no two ways about it. However, I can understand those people who complain that the sale rails are overwhelming, being especially put off by those crazy middle-aged women who throw clothes everywhere, hurriedly piling their baskets full with mounds upon mounds of crap. During the sale season I tend to live by one famous motto: Keep Calm and Carry On. Look for pieces that are timeless, ones which won't just pass by with the transitory trends of that month. Sales are great for picking up basic wardrobe stables too, such as plain blazers, jersey tops and smart trousers. But if you're really clever you can enter the shops having done your research into what trends will be hitting the next seasons ranges and try and manipulate the bargains into those future key themes.

However, right now its only half way through June and we have before us the mid-season sales. I've been wandering around looking for solid summer pieces which I can bring out year and year again and have found myself refreshingly surprised at what H&M has to offer. Usually, I'm not a huge fan of H&M; I find their sizing ludicrously out of touch with reality and their colour palettes too simplistic (I also think the deceiving, extra-flattering mirrors that they place in their changing rooms is a tad too cheeky, have a look next time you're in there!). Yet, today when I paid a visit to their Windsor store I found a lot to work with. I came out with some great bargains including a LWD (Little White Dress) for only £15 that I have absolutely fallen in love with. The dress is made of mesh which has been delicately embroidered with dragonfly and skull shapes, thereby incorporating a curiously gothic image into an otherwise very feminine piece. The shape is perfect also, so much so that the dress could almost be a part of one of the popular designer collaborations which H&M often do - its not too tight and not too floaty, with a slight flare on the 3/4 length arm which adds to the bohemian feel of it all. I also found a pair of over-sized glasses with thin bronze-frames which go great with the dress, at only £3!

Also at a crazy £3 I found a basic knee-length navy dress with pocket detailing which would be great for the beach or for an easy, casual summer look. I particularly like the longer length of this dress as I am getting bored of my standard mini-skirt habit.

(you'll have to make allowances for my cringe mirror photo's btw)

For only a pound each I also found these fab 2-in-1 nail-polishes in popping colours which take me back to being a kid and the fun 'Glitter Babes' range which Boots used to do.

So I say get down to H&M and bag yourself some bargains! But don't forget: Just #KeepCalmAndCarryOn.

Monday, 18 June 2012


Follow my blog with Bloglovin
Lately I've been going a bit crazy for sunshine yellow (see pic on the right, but ignore my crazy background warping, I got a bit carried away in photoshop!) – much to the annoyance of many of my friends who complain about being blinded by the brightness of it all. However, rather than put me off, this reaction actually spurs me on to wear brighter colours more often. Too many people out there are stuck in a rut of wearing a safe wardrobe of blacks, greys and blues. Admittedly it’s an easy trap to fall into and I have definitely fallen victim to it before, but with neon and colour-blocking trends returning to the shops, it’s a trap that summer has no tolerance for. Instead, many catwalks sampled sunshine yellow mini-collections within their Spring/Summer 2012 shows, notably Elie Saab and Missoni. Ellie Saab’s collection in particular really inspired me: the yellow tones weren’t too loud, even bordering on a subtle mustard hue whilst the dresses incorporated delicate lace detailing which served to remove the risk of overly harsh blocking. Missoni on the other hand, took a less feminine approach with a blazer/trouser combo which I feel could be easily translated into a casual workwear look, worn with a plain white top (rather than the crazy tribal dress which Missoni have opted for!? #wtf). Below, I have found alternative ways to create these runway exemplars. Firstly I found a few designer alternatives (all still available online at Net-a-Porter) and then I managed to hunt down comparitively affordably options from the high street.  So take note and #DareToGlare this summer:

Elie Saab, S/S '12
Hakaan, £960
French Connection, £30 (Sale)

CATWALK: Sass and Bide, S/S '12
DESIGNER: Equipment, £230


Elie Saab, S/S '12
DESIGNER: Giamabattista Valli, £1,605
HIGH STREET: A|X Paris at New Look£21


Missoni, S/S '12
Rag and Bone, £410Trousers: J. Crew, £260  
Topshop, £40. Jodhpurs: Boohoo, £10 (Sale)

Friday, 15 June 2012


I don’t know about you guys, but I am totally loving the colour cream right now. It’s my new favourite neutral hue for the season - partly because I’ve decided that nude tones look strange on my coffee-coloured skin tone and have been looking for an alternative, and partly because I’m trying to clutch at summer amidst all these depressing June showers. So I’ve been trying to lighten things up in my wardrobe my replacing those staple black items with cream ones, and I have found some amazing pieces out there to do this with.

Firstly, I fell completely and utterly in love with this incredible cream leather studded biker jacket from Zara. Now, usually I would NEVER be able to justify spending £170 on any one piece of clothing, for a bargain hunter like me it’s a criminal atrocity but I am a total sucker for studs, and it truly is a rarity these days to find a good quality leather jacket in a user-friendly shape. Restrictive clothes are a pet-hate of mine (this is why I choose not to wear jeans) and I always find restriction a huge problem when trying on leather jackets because if the material is too tough and thick at the elbow then I can barely move my arm. But Zara have got it entirely right with this one: the softness of the leather allows for easy movement and the cream hue stops the leather/stud combination from looking too gothic or grungey. I’m a huge fan, salivate over it with me:

Unfortunately, it seems that I got incredibly lucky finding this one in the Windsor Zara store, and having sold out in stores the jacket is now selling for £300+ on ebay!? Alternatively they have it in black still available on the Zara website, or there is also a similar but studless plain cream jacket online:

 Zara, £169.00
Zara, £149.00
Secondly, following my #BackToThePack post last Sunday, I was inspired to invest in a new neutral backpack that could go with most of my outfits. Originally I was looking for a classic, tan style but when I found this Jobis one in cream I had to have it. Reduced to only £27 in T.K.Maxx it was a bit of a steal, especially considering that it’s genuine leather.



Okay, so following my last post, #DoTheSplits, I’ve been thinking about how easy it would be to do this trend without actually having to spend a penny. After all, it’s a micro-trend that won’t stick around for long, and once it’s gone you’ll be left with a foolish item you spent too much money on. My solution? Do it yourself. If you know your way around a sewing machine then why not try your shot at cutting up two pairs of different old trousers and attaching the two mismatched legs together to form a new pair of split trousers. This could be easier with leggings. An even easier solution for those of you who, like me, are hopeless at sewing, I’ve come up with a simple way of creating the look with tights. Isn’t it frustrating when that brand new pair of tights gets a horrendous ladder down one of the legs? Well this no longer means that they’re fit only for the bin, instead you can recycle them. Find yourself a pair of thick opaque tights and cut one of the legs off up to the thigh, then simply wear the opaque ones over the top of the ripped ones so that the opaque leg covers the ladder. This technique can be transferred also to the split leg trend, simply just wear your cut up opaque tights over the top of a pair of totally different coloured or patterned tights. I tried the look only the other day combining plain back with a pair of sheer spotted ones, and I was really pleased with the result.