Friday, 27 November 2009

Quick Fix: Extravagant platforms

I have no doubt this will become a regular feature on this blog as I am always lusting after one thing or another (clothes wise) and these shoes literally left me lost for words when I stumbled across them some five minutes ago. The word amazing doesn't quite cover it - these are so Chanel-esque it hurts, I can completely imagine Lily Allen wearing them on a night out.

For £130 you can own these amazing creations - not the cheapest pair of shoes around but they will have every other female looking on in envy! Topshop Boutique shoes are notoriously fabulous and these are my favourite pair yet. Studded and quilted with gold chain and jewel detail, keeping you on the right side of opulent but edgy at the same time. I LOVE them and I'll be very surprised if you don't too... log onto now or go into store before they sell out.

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Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The LBD debate

I don't know about you, but for me the LBD is always a fail safe, last ditch option for a going out outfit. If I can't find anything else I feel like wearing I go for the trusty LBD and try my best to accessorise it enough to make it look vaguely interesting. Same goes for celebrities, whenever I see a celeb in an LBD I often feel disappointed that they haven't gone for a more inspiring outfit, sometimes a little black dress seems all too easy.

Take the above picture of Cheryl Cole for example: yes she looks gorgeous, but there is nothing particularly exciting going on with her outfit. A black dress can often take a back seat in a sea of bright colours and interesting patterns. However, the LBD is the weapon of choice for many females during the festive party season. I've recently banned myself from buying anymore black clothing in general, but the ban is proving difficult so far, the main factor being the large amount of gorgeous LBDs in stores at the moment.

So for those of you who, like me, often turn to the LBD in your fashion hour of need, I've trawled through this seasons selection and chosen my top picks.

First on my list is this ruffled asymmetric number from H&M. At £49.99 its a reasonable price for a hard-working party dress and will get you noticed for all the right reasons! The ruffle detail is both on trend and flattering as it covers you from your stomach downwards and the one shoulder detail is a much more interesting alternative to a strapless number. I'd wear it with some bright coloured party heels and a statement cocktail ring.

This Giles Deacon for New Look dress is a tad pricier at £75 but is worth it for the embellishment detail. Much more edgy than the majority of girly LBDs, it would look fierce with a pair of multi-strapped platform sandals and some smudgy eye makeup. This dress is perfect for those of you who hate to look too girly and gives you a chance to wear sequins in a less obvious way.

Whilst this LBD is not black in its entirety, I certainly think it deserves a mention in this discussion. At only £25, this black & cream lace dress from Desire Clothing is a bargain for the party season. The fabric gives it a vintage look and the bow adds an interesting detail. Similar to a designer version worn by Alexa Chung, this dress would look great with some eclectic accessories like a box clutch bag and some Pat Butcher style earrings.

Last on my LBD list is this jacquard number from Warehouse for £75. Without the jacquard detail the dress would look fairly plain but the material + the statement shoulders makes for a strong party look that wouldn't look out of place in Victoria Beckham's wardrobe - if it wasn't from a high street store that is! A fashion forward hair do (such as a top knot) and a heavy statement necklace in a bib style would look perfect with this dress.

Although I've narrowed it down to my four favourite black dresses it isn't to say that there aren't plenty of other alternatives available to purchase on the high street at the moment. So instead of choosing the LBD as a last resort this season, think about how you can wear it in an individual way to make it stand out instead of resigning yourself to blending into the background.

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Monday, 23 November 2009

Green with Envy

Makeup artist I am not, but I love a new nail varnish, especially one that warrants the reaction of "Oooh I love that colour!" from friends and acquaintances. Makeup as a whole is not my forte, I tend to wear the same face makeup most of the time, only occasionally trying out something new. But nail varnish is a different story - I love buying new colours and shades and you will never see me in a pair of heels or sandals in the summer without painted toenails.

Maybe it's because I'm excited about Christmas (or maybe it's because I've run out of other colour nail varnishes to purchase?!) but I am loving green at the moment. Green nail varnish has been popular this season with celebs going mad for Chanel's jade green shade but I myself prefer emerald green (much more festive!) and I've found the perfect one for under £3!

Barry M's 'Racing Green' shade is only £2.89 and as with their entire nail varnish range goes on and comes off easily. The shade reminds me of Christmas trees and looks great on all skin tones.

I'll be wearing mine to liven up a plain jeans and t-shirt outfit or with my new silver sequin top, black skinnies and heels come Saturday evening.

Studded cuff, £16.99 River Island
All images owned by runninginplatforms.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Quick Fix: Trendy Tees

I love a graphic print t-shirt. Casual and comfortable, the more original the better. They go with pretty much everything and are always a conversation point, my Mighty Boosh tee has gained me a lot of stick with some anti-Boosh friends but I love it all the same!

Worn slightly baggy looks best and accessories should be kept to a minimum, so don't cover it up with too heavy a necklace.

I've come across some great tees on t-shirt website Here are a selection of my favourites, check out the website for more great styles.

The Jetsons t-shirt, £24.99

Rocky Horror Picture Show t-shirt, £21.99

Michael Jackson History t-shirt, £20

Dennis The Menace T-shirt, £14.99

To update the classic printed tee for this season try tucking it into a sequin body-con skirt with some killer ankle boots. Silver and gold sequins would look great with a black tee and black sequins would provide a great contrast to a white one.

Images from

It's what's on the inside that counts...

As modelled by Lily Allen , an important ‘mini trend’ for AW09 is underwear as outerwear – to put it bluntly, flashing your underwear to the world. But before you hear alarm bells ringing, I’m not talking about going out in just your bra and knickers, a la Katie Price and other such attention grabbing celebs. The look is subtle, a hint of lace or satin peeking out from under a knitted jumper is the perfect amount of sexiness mixed with practicality for the cold winter we are bound to be having any day now. Kate Moss’ most recent range for Topshop encompassed lingerie pieces, and if it’s good enough for her…

The trend can be divided into two key looks – satin and lace. Satin adds a luxe look to any outfit especially in muted tones with a chunky knit layered over the top. I love this satin dress from for £38, versatile enough to wear both day and night.

There are a number of satin pieces on the high street at the moment but if you want to make your outfit that extra bit individual then consider wearing a silky pyjama top instead for that ‘I’ve just rolled out of bed looking fabulous’ look.

Lacy numbers are best worn mixed in as a subtle element of your outfit, this lace body from Topshop for £18 would look great teamed with a black body-con skirt and oversized denim shirt. The denim shirt would cover up the majority of the body leaving only a hint of lace on show making the overall look understated and more appropriate for everyday.

For night, pair the body with some silky trousers and sexy heels; the baggier the trousers the bigger the contrast to the body and the more effortless the outfit looks.

The key accessories for this look are glamorous but subtle – lacy tights, pearl necklaces and beaded headbands. This layered pearl necklace from Accessorize is perfect at only £20 – the more layers the better!

If you want to go against the grain and turn the trend on its head then try rocking up the look with a pair of edgy ankle boots. Satin cami + skinnies + ankle boots = laid back, rock chick perfection.

This trend can be as simple or as complicated as you like – just flashing a lacy bra strap adds an extra edge to your outfit and reveals a bit of your fashion personality to the world. It’s perfect for lazy Christmas days at home – satin and lace can add glamour to any outfit. Think relaxed elegance and you’ve hit the nail on the head. But wear it with your reindeer pyjamas bottoms and you’ve definitely gone too far.

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Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Jimmy's Shoos

If you don't know already (and you should) Jimmy Choo has collaborated with H&M for a high street range, going into selected stores on Saturday 14th November.

The Jimmy Choo brand was launched in 1996 by shoe designer Jimmy Choo & Tamara Mellon, Vogue accessories editor and was catapulted into the public eye when Sarah Jessica Parker first donned a pair of Jimmy Choo stiletto's as 'Sex and the City's Carrie.

The brand is popular with numerous celebrities and it is no suprise that the fashion press have given their attention to the collaborative range with popular high street chain H&M. H&M has previously collobrated with clothing designer Roberto Cavalli, Stella McCartney and pop Queen Madonna but this is the stores first outing with Jimmy Choo.

The collection comprises of pumps, heels, clothing, accessories and jewellery. The range retains the glamorous Jimmy Choo look - strappy sandals, buckles and animal print feature in the collection with reasonable price points - prices range from £14.99 jewellery items to £180 boots, all in all fairly reasonable for die-hard Choo fans who want to own a statement piece but don't quite have the bank balance for the main collection.

The Jimmy Choo for H&M launch party was certainly a celeb 'who's-who'; Paris Hilton attended the event wearing my second favourite piece from the collection - the £39.99 black jumpsuit. The Hilton heiress paired the jumpsuit with another piece from the range, the £39.99 pink box clutch.

Stores are bound to be mobbed on launch day this Saturday so if you really want to get your hands on a piece of the collection then get there early and be prepared to queue! I think for the sake of my purse and my own personal safety I may stay away but I will leave you with my favourite item of the collection. Behold these gorgeous metallic blue sandals, perfect with a silver structured dress...

... check out for more details, and happy shopping!

Images from

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Quick Fix: Belt Up

I want/need this gorgeous belt from Topshop! At £38 it's not the cheapest accessory update but it definitely has the power to take a boring outfit into party territory. Chuck it on over a plain black shift dress with a bit of red lipstick and some newly painted nails (try dark green for the latest look). Or belt up over a boyfriend cardi, white tee and skinny jeans to add a bit of sparkle to your day.

The brooch and corsage detail gives a nod to the opulence trend whilst allowing you to pretend to your friends that you made it yourself... they never have to know the truth!

Image from

Fashion's Impracticalities

Whilst trying on my new 5 inch platform ankle boots ahead of going out this evening I got to thinking about the practicality of fashion and how seemingly designers go out of their way each season to create pieces that are less and less practical for everyday life.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not for a moment suggesting that we should all turn our backs on trends and slob around in Ugg boots and tracksuit bottoms 24/7. Impracticality is exciting, I for one have a particular penchant for impractical footwear, hence the purchase of said platform boots and various other amazing pairs of shoes including a pair of wedges covered in black and gold sequins which, if I’m honest, aren’t particularly stable to walk in.

However, at the grand old age of 22(!) I am starting to consider the practicality of what I’m wearing. I’m sure my friends would agree that I am often the one towards the end of a night out complaining that my feet hurt and sometimes even taking off my shoes to walk to the night bus/taxi – I know, I’m not proud of it!

Being a regular visitor to I recently came across a pair of £150 wedges, part of the collaborative range with designer Ashish (see below). Although it wasn’t the price tag that caught my attention, but the design of the shoes themselves. Available in black, zebra and leopard print, the shoes are, by anyone’s standards, very high, and the thought of wearing them actually scared me somewhat. There is no denying that these particular wedges have been designed to be attention grabbing and a statement buy and I’m not for a minute suggesting that they aren’t amazing to look at but to wear? A different story entirely.

Whilst on the subject of practicality in fashion our attention ought to be drawn to celebrity examples. One particular example that springs to mind is Cheryl Cole’s rather strange outfit on the X Factor last weekend. The dress in question was designed by recent St Martin’s graduate David Koma and has sparked off a lot of discussion. Simon Cowell commented on her outfit during the show and is said to have received an angry response from Cheryl during the ad breaks. Although I wouldn’t say I was exactly a fan of Cheryl Cole, there is no disputing that she is a beautiful woman and up until this point I have liked the majority of the outfits she is styled in every Saturday & Sunday night (with the possible exception of the outfit she wore to perform her new single ‘Fight for this Love’). However this outfit was definitely one step too far. Cowell’s comment that risqué outfits such as this “just don’t work outside of a fashion shoot” is fair and is perhaps something that we should take note of when shopping for new, sometimes impractical trends: what works on the catwalk doesn’t always work in real life.

Cheryl is not the only celebrity ‘guilty’ of making a fashion faux pas. Beyonce was seen wearing a similar David Koma’s sci-fi creation at this weeks MTV European Music Awards in Berlin. Katy Perry presented the event and wore a total of 12 different costumes during the night, including a West Ham themed underwear set in honour of current boyfriend Russell Brand. Katy Perry is well known for wearing elaborate costumes to perform in, including in the past wearing an outfit that was half male, half female, and also a dress with a carousel for a skirt. However the key word here is costume, Perry dresses up in these outfits for her performances and videos but in her personal life is quite the opposite.

I think the ‘lesson’ to be learnt here, if we want to call it that, is that some designer creations are not really made to be worn by the general public, travelling by bus and tube to crowded nightclubs, queuing to get inside, queuing to get the bar, queuing for the toilet and so on. By all means, have fun with fashion, adding quirky touches to everyday outfits to reveal a bit about your personality but at the same time think about what you feel comfortable and confident in, sometimes wearing a statement outfit leaves you feeling awkward and out of place.

I will probably still end up buying shoes that are very high and uncomfortable, but I do think a line needs to be drawn and I am drawing the line at anything that resembles Cheryl’s X Factor dress and advise you to do the same.

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Friday, 6 November 2009

Feathered Fashion Frenzy

Unless you’ve been hiding your head in the sand so far this season you won’t have failed to notice that feathers are big news.

From subtle feather earrings and headbands to all out feather party wear, there is a large choice of feathered items available to buy this season. The trend has been favoured by numerous celebrities and if they think it’s good enough to wear on the red carpet then who are we to argue?!

Feathers featured in the AW09 collection by Alexander McQueen, including an elaborate red feathered strapless dress (see below) and a feathered headband; a copy of which is now available on the high street from Topshop in a number of colours for less than £30.

Burberry Prorsum have also gone mad for feathers, creating a light brown feathered dress for AW09 as worn by Kate Bosworth (see below) and feathers have even graced the wardrobe of US Vogue editor Anna Wintour, spotted wearing a long white Ralph Lauren dress with a white feather collar.

Having had a quick browse on there is no shortage of exquisite feather clothing and accessories to spend a small fortune on this season, if you have the money to spend of course (my eye’s on the gorgeous black Oscar de La Renta dress!).

However, returning from the fantasy world of designer clothing, it is just as easy to get involved with the feather trend on a much more reasonable budget. A good place to start is with accessories, I’ve had my eye on this feathered clutch bag from for weeks now and it would look perfect teamed with a velvet dress, a statement necklace, some pearl earrings and some black ankle boots. At £25 it’s a great investment for the Christmas season as black clutches can be worn with pretty much anything.

Urban Outfitters are currently stocking a selection of feathered hair clips and hair bands for under £20, giving you an easy way to introduce feathers into your everyday wardrobe. Subtle yet interesting, they would look particularly on trend with wavy hair and perhaps some matching blue/green eyeliner to add extra interest.

To up your fashion credentials even more this season, why not purchase this feathered skirt from Topshop (£75). Nude shades are key this season and highly versatile; worn with bare legs and a black silky cami top tucked in this skirt screams old school glamour. Whilst not the cheapest option around, feather-ware is best bought on the more premium side of the high street, as no one wants to leave a pile of feathers behind when they stand up.

If you’d rather not wear literal feathers then there are many items available with feather print, taking the trend from the glamorous to the casual. Oasis do a feather print sleeveless top (£45) that can easily be worn with jeans and pumps. Subtle hints of feathers are a great way to stay on trend without taking too much of a risk.

The last word in feathery fashion is eyelashes. There are so many great sets of false eyelashes out there it would simply be foolish not to give them a go! I love these genuine peacock feather ‘Strut’ eyelashes by Eylure. Practical? No. Gorgeous? Yes!

If I haven’t convinced you to join in with the feathered frenzy never fear. I’m sure it won’t be long before you spot the perfect item to convince you that feathers can be practical and highly stylish at the same time.

Catwalk images from

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Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Gaga Style

Lady Gaga, real name Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, is undoubtedly one of this years highest selling artists who is as well known for her music as her sense of style. I myself am not only a fan of her music, but also of her personal style and unique fashion sense.

In my opinion, Gaga’s fashion sense can be described using one word: daring. Here is a young woman who never blends into the crowds. Never has she been photographed looking casual in jeans, a t-shirt and trainers. Unlike so many other celebrities, she does not give the public a chance to see her ‘off duty’. This particular aspect of her appearance makes her sense of style so difficult to emulate in real life.

However, it is not impossible…

I am obviously not suggesting that we all go into work tomorrow dressed in a leotard, sunglasses and killer heels. Lady Gaga’s outfits in their entirety are not suitable for us mere mortals, commuting on the tube to our office jobs five days out of seven. However there are certain key pieces of Lady Gaga’s ever expanding wardrobe that can be adapted for every day life.

One key element of Gaga’s outfit is the bodysuit or leotard. This 80’s look has become increasingly popular and is available on the high street in a large variety of styles. A plain black body is always a good place to start, this can be worn with pretty much anything, tucked into a bodycon skirt with tights and pumps for daytime or teamed with a pair of glitzy high-waisted sequin trousers for a very ‘now’ look for evening. American Apparel has a great range of bodies, ranging from a plain black cami style for £22 to a black lace number for £32 that Gaga herself would be proud of.

The bodycon trend doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon and has numerous updates for AW09. Topshop has a selection of bodies including ones in velvet and sequin materials that are a great update for your wardrobe.

Continuing with the subject of bodycon, Gaga is often pictured in pvc and leather clothing. I am sure the idea of wearing pvc, commonly associated with bondage gear and THAT Britney catsuit leaves most people running scared, but leather-look clothing is versatile and can easily be worn in the daytime without making you look like a fetishist! The ‘glam rock chic’ look is big for AW09 and is increasingly popular with other celebrities including Kate Moss and Cheryl Cole who have both been photographed in a pair of leather trousers.

A leather look skirt is a safe place to start. Gaga herself has been seen wearing wet look leather skirts in black and pink and whilst she teams hers with a bra style top and other leather accessories the leather skirt can look a lot more casual and on trend with a rock-chic style t-shirt, ankle boots and some heavy duty jewelry, such as a statement silver cuff and a multi-chain necklace.

Many of Lady Gaga’s outfits are all about volume. Big shoulders, peplum skirts and statement accessories. Structure is key, and there is little fluid movement in her clothing. Volume and structure are particularly key for AW09 and there is a wide variety of evening and work wear available to reflect this. The below picture shows the lady herself in a structured pink dress, and there are many similar styles available in stores at the moment. ASOS do a great structured strapless dress in burgundy for £100 that would be perfect for a Gaga-inspired look at a Christmas party.

If you’d rather not emphasize your hips, then shoulder detail is another look favored by Gaga. Miss Selfridge are currently selling a number of exaggerated shoulder dresses that would be perfect worn with tights and heels for a smart work look or with big jewels and platform heels for a night out.

Although very few of us will ever be lucky enough to live the life that Lady Gaga lives, we can all learn from her original and edgy look and constant reinvention of her style. One suggestion though, leave the blood-stained costumes and full face masks to the Lady herself.

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