Fashion + Tea = Heaven
At the weekend I was lucky enough to go the The Sanderson on Berners Street (just off Oxford St) for afternoon tea. I knew it was going to be a fashionable affair from the outset as when I struggled through the doors with my Christmas shopping (I lie, it was all for me) I caught a glance of a large white Chanel chainsaw – two words I never thought I would put together. Once inside, I felt like I had stepped into an episode of Hotel Babylon, everywhere was draped with white curtains and modern art and was so achingly cool.
For our tea we were sat under canopies and as it got dark lots of little candles were lit – it already felt like a fairytale before the tea even came out! The theme for the tea was a Mad Hatters Tea Party and while this could have ended in childish frolics the dress code ‘No fancy dress’ made sure it was a sophisticated affair. The tea was brought out in teapots featuring the Red Queen with little paper crowns adorning and when the tea stands were brought out it was a feast of colour. Highlights were the little marshmallow magic mushrooms, the ‘drink me’ potion featuring a tropical foam and the dark chocolate tea cup filled with tea flavoured mousse sprinkled with popping candy. The whole experience was so much fun and my friends and I could not stop squealing the whole way through – I definitely recommend! Xoxo
Lounge Style – Get cosy this Christmas
Ever since Marc Jacobs sent out his oriental loungewear inspired collection for Louis Vuitton at PFW SS’11, luxe pyjamas have become a style staple. Whether you look to the front rows and street style pages of the New York Times or to the high street such as Zara and Topshop, evidence of this trend is still lingering.
Nightwear often gets neglected; we are all so ready to splurge on day and eveningwear trends that we often forget about night. I know we won’t even be awake in it but who says you can’t be stylish while you sleep! Above are three of my favourite pyjama sets that will give any fashionista sweet dreams!
Pink dog print pyjamas @ River Island – Top £15, Bottoms £15
Premium satin pyjamas @ Topshop - £50
MC Lounge pyjama set @ Selfridges - £195
New in at Topshop is this gorgeous draped tunic featuring jewel prints and I just need this in my life! It is the perfect go-to for the party season and will go perfectly with leggings or skinnines paired with some killer heels!
The stunning print reminds me of Mary Katrantzou’s gorgeous crystal clear prints which unless you have a minor fortune are way out of reach. For £48 I am going to try and save some money after all my Christmas shopping and snap it up (what makes it even better is Topshop’s 10% student discount!)
Look of the day:
The perfect outfit for any Christmas Ball, add a shock of emerald to your wardrobe taking inspiration from the Katy Perry in this festive jewelled YSL gown. I love this ASOS gold belt to add a touch of tough glamour to an otherwise classic look.
Lavender maxi dress @ Coast - £180
Gem plate belt @ ASOS - £20
Gyal black heels @ ALDO - £64.98
Glitter glob hardcase clutch @ Accessorize - £22
Steal Amanda Seyfried’s Les Mis Style!
You would have to be living under a rock not to realise that Les Miserables is the latest movie phenomenon to sweep the world with last week seeing the British Premier. While I am sure I will get around to seeing the film, as usual I was eagerly watching the red carpet and although I loved Anne Hathaway’s daring Givenchy dress I was stunned by Amanda Seyfried’s stunning Balenciaga look.
The monochrome and structured cocktail dress with frills was one of the biggest hits of the SS13 shows and now it is possible to steal the style with help from Zara. This gorgeous little black dress with white frill pays homage to Nicolas Ghesquiere’s final collection without totally ripping it off and at £69.99 it is a fraction of the designer price tag. xoxo
Chanel Pre Fall 2013
Yesterday saw Karl Lagerfeld take on the role of master of ceremonies as the Chanel circus rolled into town just outside Edinburgh at the rugged Linlithgow Palace to present the Paris House’s Pre Fall 2013 collection.
It may be the Scottish heritage in my blood (it may be distant but my Gran swears it is there) but I fell in love with the collection as soon as I heard where it was going to be shown. The collection was all you would expect when the elegance and style of Paris meets the no nonsense and tradition of Scotland, featuring chunky layered knits, pleating, wools and the most gorgeous range of tartans. Now I have to admit that I have long been obsessed with tartan and just today finished making a party dress in my favourite black watch tartan but this collection made me fall in love with it all over again.
There was a distinctly festive feel to the collection and I could just imagine models dancing around the castle in their layers of knit on Christmas Eve like young children wearing oversized sweaters, baggy tights and school like kilts. At times the collection slipped into more traditional and Renaissance styling with neck ruffles and regal embroidery however the true beauty came through in the care free and eccentric layered looks. Though the true highlight has to be the super cute 3 year old muse to Lagerfeld, his Godson Hudson Kroenig who took to the catwalk with his model dad Brad in a little kilt and bobble hat!!
3 of the Best: Heeled Brown Boots
No winter wardrobe is complete without the perfect pair of boots whether they are ankle, calf or knee length and flat, heeled or wedge. This season I am in love with these tan knee high boots from the high street which are perfect for smartening up any casual outfit. They would look stunning with anything from skinny jeans and a jumper to a ditsy floral dress and jacket, I personally would pair with a thick woolly tight, smock dress and a cute overcoat with a cable knit scarf thrown round the neck to keep away the elements – after all it is all about being cosy! Xoxo
Top: Topshop Champ Pull on Boots - £110
Middle: Zara Leather Cowboy Heel Boot - £59.99
Bottom: Hobbs NW3 Elma Knee Boot - £186.75 reduced from £249
Meadham Kirchhoff x Amazon
I just love these super kitsch sweatshirts that design duo Meadham Kirchhoff have designed for internet super-retailer Amazon to celebrate Online Fashion Week. The sweatshirts priced at £75 each and feature the brands famous childlike prints, they are so cute and are bound to make you reminisce of childhood sweatshirts in years gone by.
This is not the first time Meadham Kirchhoff have collaborated, for SS11 they created a gorgeous sell out collection for Topshop and have since been releasing limited edition t-shirts for the brand. For Amazon this seems to be one small coup in trying to break into the notoriously tough fashion market. In some ways I think that they should stick to what they are good at and not dilute their product range and focus, however if this collaboration is a sign of what is to come I LOVE it!!
Creative Director Musical Chairs
Last week bought us the almost inevitable news that Alexander Wang would be taking over from Nicolas Ghuesquiere at Balenciaga and while to some it may seem like a shock, this year has seen so much movement in the top rungs of design houses that it is becoming to seem like the norm. We have seen Raf Simons leaving Jil Sander and taking over at Dior, Stefano Pilati leaving Yves Saint Laurent and Christopher Kane parting with Versus for Versace just to name a few. It will be interesting to see what the New Year brings and whether the direction of these iconic fashion houses changes dramatically – it is already possible to see the paired down elegance that Raf Simons has bought to Dior and replaced the drama and extravagance that Galliano had focused on.
I am particularly excited to see what Alexander Wang brings to Balenciaga, it was only relatively recently that I really began to love Balenciaga which was mainly down to the youthfulness and edginess that Ghesquiere focused on while still creating beautiful structured garments. I have lost count of the number of times that I have seen Kristen Stewart in Balenciaga and really loved her look (she has become the fresh face of the brand). While Wang has bags of youth and edge in his design arsenal being one of New York’s brightest creative talents, I wonder how this will transfer to such a huge fashion house based in Paris where there will surely be limitations and influence from those above. xoxo
(Images: Alexander Wang & Kristen Stewart in Balenciaga
Christmas Gift Lists:
It is getting to that time with year when you can’t go into a shop without hearing Mariah, McCartney or McCall and fairy lights are going up around the country (I even have mine up in my tiny uni room!) so I thought it was about time to do a post about the best fashion gifts this season.
Above are some of my favourites that I am sure any fashionistas would go crazy for!
1) Burberry Body 60ml - £55 – Perfume is the perfect gift for anyone, I mean who doesn’t want to smell amazing, Burberry Body is my favourite and there is no better excuse to go to the new Regents Street flagship to get it.
2) Hobbs Cawthorn Belt - £39 – There is no chicer way to accessorize your jeans than with this gorgeous mock pony skin belt to add a bit of luxe to everyday casual.
3) Grace: A Memoir @Amazon - £17.60 – Ever since I watched the September Issue, the most fashionable documentary following Vogue and its ‘High Priestess’ Anna Wintour, I have been obsessed with the work of unsung hero Grace Coddington. Her memoir released in November is sure to shine a new light on the magazine.
4) Michael Kors MK8160 @ ASOS - £219 – Michael Kors’ chunky watches have been adorning the wrists of fashionistas for seasons now and for good reason. It is that perfect combo of the chunkiness of a guys watch and the glam of a girls – I LOVE!
5) Swash IPhone 4 Case @ Net-a-Porter - £45- This has to be one of the cutest and quirkiest IPhone cases I have seen and is perfect for those who want a stylish phone but have outgrown Marc Jacob’s bunny ear cases. I only wish they made them for the sad people like me who haven’t let go of their IPhone 3’s.
6) Topshop Nail Varnish - £6 – Nail paint is the perfect stocking filler and if you don’t fancy shelling out £18 for Chanel’s latest lacquers Topshop is the perfect cheap alternative with a range of this season’s hottest colours.
7) River Island Baroque Collar – A decorative collar is a fun way to accessorize any outfit and this baroque beauty from River Island is bang on this season’s trends.
8) The Satorialist Prints (frame not included) @ Net-a-Porter - £25 – Collecting fashion prints and arranging in eclectic frames is one of the easiest ways of bringing style to any room and I just love this print by Scott Shuman of the Satorialist featuring style maverick Anna Dello Russo.
Louis Vuitton takes us back to the 60’s:
I have already tweeted how the 60’s are shaping up to be a key trend for Spring/Summer 2013 and Marc Jacob’s made sure we won’t forget the era which graced us with creative icons such as the Beetles, David Bailey, Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy! The show was carried out on a lemon yellow checkerboard and this patter was key to the collection being featured in yellow, white, black, pink and nude and reminded me of battenburg cake and models descended to the catwalk on esculators.
The silhouettes of the collection were short and sweet and celebrated the concept of teens and young adults which really took off in the early 60’s. The cuts of the garments were slim yet boxy giving them a fresh but retro look and as with Marc Jacob’s self named collection there were very subtle oriental references penetrating this mod-ish look, such as blossom prints adorning dress suits. While we often associate 60’s youth culture originating in Britain, this collection remained very French with a sophisticated and lady like twist, accessorized with cute boxy handbags and bow adorned Alice bands.
I don’t think I would be able to pull off the loud colour combinations of this collection, but next season I will definitely be keeping my eyes open for box jackets and shift mini dresses. xoxo
Look of the Day: Inspired by Lindsey Wixson for Mulberry
One of the things I love the most about Mulberry is that even though they are on of the biggest British accessories and womenswear brands, they do not take themselves to seriously. The case in point can be seen with the stunning ad featuring ‘IT’ model of the moment Lindsey Wixson hiding in the forest with two yetti like creatures which harks back to childhood stories such as the Gruffalo. Today’s look of the day takes its lead from this image and is a combination of British country casuals with a fantasy twist.
Bootcut jeans are one of the most flattering styles for those with curves and paired with a cute heeled ankle boot can make the legs go on forever! The fun fox print tee and belt are perfect are a nod to this seasons heritage trend and the furry jacket adds a little luxe to this laid back look.
Bootleg jeans - NW3 at Hobbs, £85 http://www.hobbs.co.uk/product/display?productID=0112-8189-3476L00&productvarid=0112-8189-3476L00-INDIGO-6&refpage=nw3
Andreas lace boots - Topshop, £70 http://www.topshop.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?beginIndex=1&viewAllFlag=&catalogId=33057&storeId=12556&productId=6678760&langId=-1&sort_field=Relevance&categoryId=208544&parent_categoryId=208492&pageSize=200
Faux fur jacket - Topshop, £250 http://www.topshop.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?beginIndex=0&viewAllFlag=&catalogId=33057&storeId=12556&productId=6158450&langId=-1&categoryId=&searchTerm=fur&pageSize=200
Fox print tee - Burberry Brit @ Net-a-Porter, £135 http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/320054
Felix fox belt - NW3 @ Hobbs, £39 http://www.hobbs.co.uk/product/display?productID=0212-1027-021W250&productvarid=0212-1027-021W250-DARK HAZEL-XS&refpage=nw3
Alexander McQueen SS13 Collection:
Every season there is an excited buzz around the McQueen show and this season even more so as the inspiration for the collection was bees. Since the death of the great McQueen I have anticipated the shows with part excitement and part apprehension. I have always admired Sarah Burton for work at the design house, as for a relatively new brand it is hard to make it make commercial sense whilst sticking to its creative origins. Burton has achieved the previous through her close work with the Duchess of Cambridge who as well as wearing a McQueen wedding dress has also chosen a number of r-t-w pieces for engagements.
After the latest of Sarah Burton’s collections for the house which was shown in Paris, I am at the front of the queue waving the flag for the designer. It was simply stunning, following the bee theme throughout with mesh bee keeper-esque visors, comb jacquards, honeycomb pleats and bee embellishments. The collection ventured far enough away thematically from anything McQueen has done before but stayed true to the brand with beautiful and structural tailoring as well as crowd pleasing ball gowns which anyone would love to wear! The colour palette of the collection consisted of honey golds, buttercup yellows, poppy reds and tortoiseshell browns and evoked bees and their homes as well as the meadows that they frequent.
I was even more excited to see that the collection also paid homage to past McQueen collections subtly with the structured basques, cinched waist belts and crinoline skirts which reminded me of my favourite collection from SS 08. xoxo
Tim Walker: Story Teller at Somerset House
A good fashion photographer has the ability to turn what are merely clothes (very beautiful ones at that) into an all encompassing fantasy that the viewer dreams to be part of and in my view none comes better than Brit Tim Walker. Ever since I came into contact with Walker’s work (most likely on the pages of Vogue, he has been shooting for them since 1996) I have fallen in love with every piece.
His photos do not have the sharpness or saturated colours which are popular of today but thy are more blurry, ethereal and dream like with dots of light dancing around them. When I first showed my Mum the ‘Tim Walker: Pictures’ book I had bought she didn’t get it and said they seemed to be out of focus, but what she did not understand that this is the beauty of his work - he can turn something that might not technically be right and from that create something that is all the same perfect.
It is because of all this that I am so excited for the up coming exhibition at Somerset House (running from 18th October-27th January) where many of his most famous images will be on display as well as installations of sets that he created for his shoots. That is another thing that makes his work so inspiring, he treats every shoot as if it were a film, creating a magical world of props in some of the most beautiful locations.
Along with the exhibition the book Story Teller by Tim Walker will be released by Thames & Hudson which I am looking forward to adding to my collection.
(Above image from Tim Walker Pictures book)
It’s all about the frills in Paris!
Every major fashion capital has it’s own fingerprint that is as recognizable as the flash of red on a pair of Christian Louboutin’s. New York is the sporty and edgy one, London the quirky and fun one, Milan is the smouldering and sexy one and Paris is the classic and romantic one. There are obviously those designers who subvert these generalizations however if you take the biggest houses and designers that show they tend to fit into these categories.
We are now coming to the end of the fashion weeks, New York seems like a dot in the distance, it seems like weeks since we oo-ed and ah-ed at Christopher Bailey’s dip dyed trenches in London, and the vampish red lipsticks from Milan have now been replaced with more demure pinks. PFW is coming to an end and it is now coming to that time where we can fully see all the trends that are going to be big next year.
Having sorted through my favourite of the collections from the city of love, I have found that one reoccurring trend is that for frills and ruffles. They sit perfectly among the girliness and romance of Paris and have cropped up everywhere from Chloe (above left) to Balenciaga (above middle) to Givenchy (above right) softening the silhouettes and whetting our appetites for Spring/Summer 13. They remind me of Alber Elbaz’s wonderful collections at Lanvin from a few years ago when he played with jewel tone silks all ruffled and volumized and this can be no bad thing! I am sure we will be seeing many a high street store interpreting these stunning garments so that the rest of us can indulge in some of that Paris romance! xoxo