As much as I'm excited for Christmas I will be very happy to see the back of sequins for another year. If, like me, you are ready to move on to next season then I have the perfect antidote: neons. For me, SS12 is all about soft neon shades - muted highlighter colours making their way onto oversized jumpers, denim, lace pieces, jewellery and clutch bags.
If there is one style of boot you must have in your wardrobe this Winter, it is the not-so-humble Chelsea boot. Favoured by Kings Road residents, Alexa, Kate and co and now us mere-mortals, thanks to its inclusion in many a high street collection.
Easy to wear and comfortable for the most part, pick up a black or tan pair for day and a jazzier pair for night - think studs, velvet, sequins and animal print.
Slogan tees are no new phenomenon; most people will remember the House of Holland tees from 2006/7, but this Autumn the slogans have transferred onto knitwear for a fun, outspoken take on the classic winter jumper.
Ashish are leading the way with their range of skiwear for Topshop but who says these jumpers should be restricted to the slopes? Invest in one for a cold day and make the most of your fun side by wearing with printed leggings/coloured jeans and some bold accessories:
(Clockwise from top left)
'Chalet come with you' jumper, Ashish at Topshop, £55
'Piste off' jumper, Ashish at Topshop, £55
Necklace, ASOS, £35
Leopard print watch, Timex at Urban Outfitters, £75
Gold 11" satchel, Cambridge Satchel Company at Urban Outfitters, £98
It hasn't escaped my notice that it is very much still Winter at the moment, but as the Fashion world is looking ahead to next season, so am I. One particular SS12 show that has caught my eye is Mulberry, the quintessential British brand best known for its amazing bags but also causing excitement over its gorgeous clothes season after season. For Spring 2012 I will mostly be channeling the big hair and sheer maxi skirt combo, with a real Mulberry bag if I can ever get my hands on one:
For now, why not try a metallic knit with a sheer maxi skirt - throw on some chelsea boots and a statement bag to top it off:
The minute I start seeing sequins and glitter in the shops, I come over a bit silly and start wanting to buy EVERYTHING - I blame Miu Miu this season for the influx of sequined clothing and accessories. I have somehow managed to limit the edit down to the best seven items to update your wardrobe - don't wear them all at once!
So I was doing a little Sunday morning (online) window shopping earlier and came across this stunning pink leather satchel bag from Urban Outfitters - a good quality high street version of my current object of affection, the Mulberry Tillie bag.
Urban Outfitters, £48
Needless to say it is making its way to me this week :) can't wait to wear it with a chunky camel jumper, black trousers and matching lipstain. Love Sunday morning shopping!
Another favourite show of mine this season was DKNY - certainly one of the more wearable collections of the season, dubbed the 'New York Mods', it epitomises the effortless style of New York and the girls who live and shop there.
The collection had the androgynous touch which pervades many an AW collection with chunky shoes, trilby hats and boy-fit blazers but there were still flashes of girlishness in pleats and 60's style collared dresses.
Colour is fresh and similar shades are placed together for a subtle colour blocking look. Bright knitwear is key, I love the fox-orange oversized cardi and the pink and red colour block jumper (N.B - F&F at Tesco do a great version of this for under £20!).
The standout piece of the collection for me was the colour block coral, orange, black and tan pleated maxi dress, dressed down for the show with a polo neck but would look amazing with heels and and some costume jewellery for evening, a la Olivia P.
The details of the show are easy to incorporate into your AW look: chunky coloured knits, mini skirts, chunky ankle boots and natural, just washed hairstyles.
For me, DKNY gets stronger each season and this is a great collection for the style-conscious big city girl with cash to splash.
If there's one celebrity that a designer would want to attend their show, its Alexa: if she's wearing your label, chances are many Alexa-wannabes will follow suit. So it's no surprise that she makes numerous appearances during the various fashion weeks, looking fresh faced and naturally stylish at every one. As disappointed as I was that she didn't attend London Fashion Week, she more than made up for it in Paris and New York sitting FROW at various shows including Miu Miu and Chanel, obviously.
(L-R) In Mary Katrantzou at a Vogue Eyewear event in New York, in clashing pink and red Valentino Resort 2012 at the Valentino SS12 show, a YSL Resort 2012 cocktail dress at YSL SS12 and ladylike Louis Vuitton at the Louis Vuitton SS12 show.
Alexa wasn't the only one on fine fashion form at the SS12 shows, other notable stylish ladies include Leigh Lezark at Sonia Rykiel SS12, Clemence Poesy at Chanel SS12 (both in Paris) and the lovely Olivia Palermo navigating the cobbles at our very own LFW in a stylish tux and maxi skirt combo.
The weather at the beginning of this week may have been positively baking by the average October records but its getting chillier every day now which can mean only one thing... its time to buy a coat!
Coat shopping both excites me and stresses me out in equal measures - what style to go for, what colour to buy it in, what will it go with, etc etc. This season I've made my mind up to go for a coat in a masculine style, as seen all over the AW11 catwalks and one of the classic looks of the season. Look out for longer than normal length coats with a deep collar line (like the gorgeous blue Diane von Furstenburg one, below), oversized boxy blazer styles and anything with a simple cut to it and minimal fuss when it comes to detailing. Go for a classic black/navy or a block colour over prints and wear undone over almost anything.
My favourite is the cyan blue double-breasted ASOS number - the perfect colour injection for my wardrobe.
Diane von Furstenburg aw11
L-R ASOS £120, Warehouse £75, Dorothy Perkins £69, Topshop £75
So London Fashion Week is over for another season and what an exciting week it was! Lots of amazing new collections from established British designers for SS12 including Mulberry, Burberry, Jonathan Saunders and Giles Deacon to name a few. I was lucky enough to go along to a couple of shows, one of which being the very fabulous Belle Sauvage show, held at The Sorting Office on New Oxford Street.
My knowledge of the label before the show was fairly minimal but after googling I found out that Belle Sauvage was formed in 2006 by Virginia Ferreira and Christian Neuman in London; the brands main focus being eye-catching prints and shapes. It has since been worn by celebrities including Katy Perry and Lady Gaga, a pretty impressive following I think you'll agree. I went along to the show not knowing quite what to expect but was very pleasantly surprised. The collection was, in a word, beautiful, punctuated by photographic/digital style floral prints on silk mini and maxi dresses with chiffon pleats in Spring shades, cut out details and a smattering of colour pop leather.
The clothing was paired with retro, 'Pan Am'-style air hostess hair-dos, red lips and fresh turquoise eyeshadow. The overall feel was glamorous, with an edge of individualism and various strong prints throughout the show.
The below images are a few of my favourite looks from the collection:
Opening look from the show - strong shoulders, assymetric detail and cornflower yellow (THE colour for ss12?)
Cosmic style purple print in the same style, teamed with lilac pleats
Bold red leather shift dress with said 'air hostess' style hat - can definitely see Gaga working this one!
Thigh-high pleats are still big news for ss12
The standout look for me - graphic print tailoring paired with matching bag. A very modern take on workwear
Images copyright of Belle Sauvage, for more info see their website
Every season there are catwalk shows to fawn over, amazing dresses to marvel at and themes to be swept up in. Most importantly, there are collections to find inspiration from for your every day wardrobe and I have found a number for AW11, beginning with Alber Elbaz's creations at Lanvin.
Lanvin has been a popular fashion house for some time and has recently raised its profile within the mass market through the brands successful collaboration with high-street retailer H&M in November 2010. Alber Elbaz designs dresses you would be foolish to not want to wear, who can forget the stunning grey and tan thigh-split maxi dress of SS11, as worn by Blake Lively? Not me, certainly. So I was excited to see his offerings for AW11, and was not at all disappointed.
Lanvin AW11 is in a nutshell: perfect coat dressing. Yes, the dresses are beautiful (I'll get on to that in a moment) but what caught my eye was the simplicity and overall stylishness of the outerwear. From chic swashbuckling capes (for want of a better word) to collarless designs accessorised by cocktail jewellery, the look is highly wearable and strong for this season. The coat can be the point of focus in an outfit and need not be overcomplicated, accessorised by a necklace, a pair of loafers and the all important floppy 70's style hat.
My personal favourite is this red collarless coat: yes, it may be difficult to see from under the brim of that hat but the look is so simple yet so striking at the same time. Definitely one to try for the new season (N.B - fellow Londoners, maybe bare legs is not so advisable come October unless you are a celebrity with your own driver...)
Evening dresses wise, Elbaz does not disappoint. The simple cuts of the dresses are the most interesting aspect to me and I love the block colour on the orange-red and fuchsia numbers. Block colour with black is far from a new phenomenon but perfectly displays the notion that a bold colour can speak for itself. The shapes are modern and sleek, my favourite being this stunning off-white asymmetric maxi dress, worn simply with a pair of killer heels for maximum impact. The pink off-the-shoulder number is a close second, I look forward to trawling the high-street for my own version!
Lanvin AW11 has an on-trend, yet timeless feel to the collection. Elbaz has the ability to design clothes that both A-listers and the everyday girl can admire and wear with confidence.
So the new season is upon us and I have finally got round to having a proper look through all the main catwalk collections. I've glanced at specific shows here and there before now but this weekend I had the opportunity to spend some time over each show and found no shortage of amazing looks to covet.
Colours of the season
Every season there is an 'it' colour that everyone raves about and this AW there is literally a rainbow of shades to choose from. Take your pick from bold purple, teal and mustard to name a few. My personal favourite is tomato red, courtesy of Betty Jackson. Wear a bold colour head to toe for a contemporary look.
L-R - Alberta Ferretti, Hermes, Jil Sander, Betty Jackson
Show stopping dresses
You know the ones; the dresses the most stylish celebrities will be choosing to wear on the red carpet... and the dresses the rest of us will wear in our dreams. Maxis are still dominating the runways and there are a variety of styles to catch your eye. I'm torn between the plunging purple berry Elie Saab and the billowing printed Holly Fulton.
L-R - Elie Saab, Erdem, Lanvin, Holly Fulton
There's no disputing that Burberry is King of the coats, case in point: AW10's aviator jacket. However this season I have allowed my eye to be caught by a handful of other brands. Obviously the Topshop Unique dalmation print coat is a big talking point but I particularly like the fur cuff detail on another Unique number (left) and the double breasted, tweed-sleeved Chanel coat that is the perfect mix of stunning design and wearability. Capes are still big news, go black Zorro-esque a la YSL or heritage inspired as seen at Fendi.
L-R - Unique, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, YSL, Fendi
Things I need in my wardrobe
This is a mixture of excitement and torture for me, deciding the items I need to find high street alternatives of to go into the new season. Items I'll be looking out for straight away include a bird print dress in the style of the various Miu Miu numbers, a minty green crisp silk shirt like the Chloe model, a liquid gold maxi skirt to rival the below Moschino one, a fedora hat, a fur (faux, of course) stole and anything in polka dot mesh, as seen at Stella McCartney.
L-R Miu Miu, Chloe, Moschino, Christian Dior, Stella McCartney
Look out for my favourite collection posts coming in the next few days...
Surprise surprise, it has been all too easy to find things I want to buy this week. Maybe its the rubbish weather or maybe its the end of the month approaching but my mind is firmly on Autumn trends and my wardrobe has followed suit. Things I need in my life this week include a couple of stylish, look-more-expensive-than-they-are bags, some patent Chelsea boots and a paneled LBD. Black dresses may not be the most interesting of purchases but I keep seeing ones I like, particularly ones with panel details or cut-out sections. I feel it may become a favoured look this season.
The focus of this post is slightly off my usual topics, more under the arm of beauty as opposed to fashion (although heavily linked to fashion as you will see). Nail art has been popular for the past couple of seasons, making its way onto the nails of models at Fashion Weeks and inspiring fashion and beauty fans alike. Undoubtedly, in the UK, WAH Nails is at the forefront of on-trend nail art, opening its first salon in Dalston in 2009 and now boasting stores in Topshop Oxford Street and Harvey Nichols in Dublin. The popularity of the WAH Nails 'look' has grown and grown; I made my first visit to the Topshop branch in December last year for some Christmas inspired 'frosty' nails and was very happy with the end results. Well worth a visit if you can get there!
If you don't live in London/Dublin however or are looking for a cheaper alternative, you will be as excited as I was to try out the WAH Nails and Models Own nail pen, available from numerous stores including Boots, Urban Outfitters and the Models Own website for a reasonable £6. The pen comes in black and white and has a thin nib on top and slightly thicker brush on the bottom to create different looks.
The WAH Nails website is a constant source of inspiration to me, frequently updated with images of different designs produced in their salons; favourites of mine include Prada Banana Print, Scrabble letters and the WAH Nails classic: leopard print. I gave the leopard print style a go myself and was pleasantly surprised, the pen is a lot easier to use than I thought, even when using the hand I don't write with! I've tried a bit of DIY nail art before (see first image) but using the pen makes a big difference and gives you many more options.
I am fairly pleased with the finished result:
To create this luminous leopard print style I used Pop Beauty nail colour in 'Orange' (one coat was bright enough), then added different sized spots of Models Own 'Carat Gold' and Nails Inc 'Shoreditch'. I then left it to try for a while before using the WAH Nails/Models Own pen in black to outline the pink and gold and add smaller spots and squiggles in the gaps. The orange shade is fairly garish so I wouldn't necessarily go this bright again but it should be perfect for Notting Hill Carnival tomorrow.
If you are a fan of nail art I would definitely recommend picking up one of the pens and experimenting with it; the steadier your hand the more intricate patterns you will be able to do. For inspiration, check out the originals here
Nail art pen image from www.modelsownit.com
Other images owned by Running in Platforms
As much as I love flicking through the catwalk looks from Fashion Weeks, my favourite part of the new season has to be seeing the campaign shoots for both high street and designer brands; how the clothes are put together, the models they use and the the locations they are set in. One particular high street brand whose AW campaign shots has caught my eye is Bertie; I find their adverts are continually of high editorial quality and always inspiring.
I love the retro tomboy feel to this first shot with the red and black colour palette and scarf tied in the models hair. The composition displays the shoes in a more subtle way that some other brands ad campaigns and that is refreshing to see.
The overall feel of the shoot is homely and warm with heritage elements including the chintzy lights and stags head in the second shot and bar in the background of the third. The shoot displays easy, natural style which seems to sum up the brand well. Needless to say I am in love with the metallic platforms in the below image and inspired by the burgundy tube skirt and leather jacket combination.
The third shot is coy and feels very natural; the inclusion of knitwear and denim shows the casual side to the collection.
Bertie always suceed in producing a strong AW collection and I can't wait to see the new styles landing into store and online soon! Check out their website here for more inspiration.
Apologies for the unimaginative title, it does what it says on the tin - I bought some new jewellery today and thought I'd share it with you.
After work I paid a fleeting visit to Forever 21 to check out the collection. I popped in a few days after the grand launch but it was far too full of slow moving people for my liking so I thought I'd leave it a few more weeks and brave it again. Having been impressed by their accessories and jewellery collection online and at their AW11 Press Day I was expecting big things and wasn't disappointed! The jewellery collection is extensive and very reasonable - earrings for £3, necklaces for £5 and I didn't see many items for more than £10. I picked up the below items and could easily have bought more; three necklaces and a pair of earrings for just over £20 was a bargain in my eyes. Definitely worth a visit if you live in London/Birmingham or have a look online here.
I couldn't believe my eyes when I spotted pictures of Lady Gaga almost passing for a normal human being whilst out in LA recently. Where was the rainbow coloured hair, food-based apparel and thigh high knickers? Don't get me wrong, I love Gaga's wacky dressing but was pleasantly surprised to see her trying out some (slightly) more subdued looks and ones that can be copied much easier than faux pregnant bellies and full face masks.
Whilst I love the striking print of the first dress, it is the all-black look that caught my eye: perfect for the dark sultry looks of AW11 seen in many a collection including Chanel, Giorgio Armani and Julien Macdonald. After seeing this picture of Gaga I will be buying the below dress from Boohoo that has caught my eye. The midi length is very flattering with a pair of platforms and the lace detail on the top keeps it interesting. And not to mention it's a bargain at £20!
Not the most original of looks from Lady Gaga but it's definitely one of her best so far. If it ain't broke...
I can't start this blog post without mentioning the horrible scenes happening in London and around the UK at the moment. I've been shocked and saddened seeing the violence that has broken out and can't get my head around it. Sitting at home watching the news/refreshing my Twitter feed has proved to be a stressful task so I have decided to tear myself away for some temporary escapism and for me, that comes in the form of online (window) shopping. This is obviously not a solution to anything that's going on but I sometimes feel that a temporary distraction can be a good thing so I've gathered together a few items new-in stores this week that have caught my eye and hope you enjoy them also.
(Clockwise from left)
Backless dress, Zara, £39.99
Teal faux fur collar, River Island, £13
Black biker books with tartan lining, Forever 21, £27.75
Star print embellished tee, Topshop, £32
Burgundy denim jacket, Topshop, £42
Gold arrow earrings, House of Holland at Urban Outfitters, £38
Burgundy fluffy bag, River Island, £150
Unicorn necklace, Forever 21, £3.15
I'm developing a slight obsession with burgundy... expect to see more of it on here in the coming weeks!
N.B - Might I suggest some online shopping during the current conditions. Stay safe everyone.
It's officially still Summer but you and I both know that a) the sunshine is likely to be few and far between for the rest of the month and b) that the best clothes for the new season go in and out of store in a flash before you can say 'leopard print brogues and star print dresses'.
Who would've thought one of the must have items for next season would be inspired by these little guys?!
The Topshop Unique AW11 show began by showcasing this stunning Dalmatian print coat, complete with buns in the models hair made to look like dog ears. And Topshop have gone and produced a version for their mainline collection for £98 - a fairly reasonable amount for a good quality coat. I particularly love the black faux fur collar and cuff detail - can already see myself strolling through Central London on a chilly evening doing some Christmas shopping...
My favourite thing about the AW catwalks: all the different colours. I can't wait to wear emerald green, tomato reds, royal blues and the mid season favourite: yellow. In case you've haven't noticed, its everywhere at the moment ranging from canary yellow to mustard - on shoes, bags, coats and blouses to name a few. Snap some up now for the perfect transitional look. Here are my favourites:
I have been compiling my Wednesday Wish List for many months now, originally doing it every Wednesday, then every other, and then every now and again and I've got rather lazy with it in the past month or so. I've decided to scrap it for now due to a lack of enthusiasm and a desire to only write blog posts that are interesting to me and hopefully interesting to you in turn. In that vein, I bring you a new feature, simply called 'Things I need'. This feature will occur as and when I come across an item (or items, as is the case this week) that I need in my life, and feel you ought to see for yourselves.
So now that's been clarified, I bring you the things I need in my life this week - because lets face it, clothes that excite you are definitely a need!
(Clockwise from top left)
Cut out panel leggings, Boohoo, £15
Longline blazer, Boohoo, £25
Fedora, Topshop, £25
Turquoise and black dress, Motel at ASOS, £32
Burgundy lace t-shirt, Urban Outfitters, £35
Checked satchel bag, River Island, £37
Grey speckle t-shirt, Dorothy Perkins, £16
Burgundy jeans, Miss Selfridge, £40
Purple sequin low-tops, Converse at Schuh, £46
Leopard print loafers, Urban Outfitters, £38
Blue star print shirt, ASOS, £35
Charm bracelet, H&M, £7.99
Green suede loafers, Topshop, £28
You'll notice that the colours are all within a similar palette - lots of strong, bold Autumnal colours and recurrent prints including leopard and star print. My favourite items have got to be the jewel green loafers and burnt orange fedora hat - the colours are so strong and versatile. Not quite sure if I could pull off a fedora hat but I'll certainly be trying it out this Autumn - watch this space!
British Summer seems to be cateogorised by two things: crap weather and festivals. Thankfully this blog post is mainly about the latter... with a brief mention of the former.
The past two weekends I have been enjoying music in large doses at T4 on the Beach and Lovebox. I went along to T4 on the Beach and loved the sunshine and all the fashionable celebs mingling backstage including the lovely Made in Chelsea cast (I'm an unashamed MIC fan, sorry) and then to Lovebox this weekend with some friends where the sunshine was not so prevalent and we got rather muddy to say the least! Below is what I wore to both festivals:
T4 on the Beach - Top and shorts from Topshop, bag from Zara, sandals from New Look
Lovebox (day one) - Top from Vila at ASOS, shorts as above, sandals from Blowfish, bag from Matalan and earrings from River Island
Lovebox (day two) - Parka jacket from River Island, dress from Topshop, boots from Linzi Shoes, knee socks from Primark, necklace is vintage
Lovebox (day three) - Dress from Sugarhill Boutique, earrings from Topshop, jacket and bag as before
By day three of Lovebox I just wanted to keep my feet from getting muddy and keep dry, which incidentally my jacket did not do :( If you're off to a festival in the next few weeks I would advise wearing something waterproof, try this Topshop 'pac a parka' on for size for £30 and go for boots over wellies if you're expecting a large amount of slippery mud as they have better grip.