Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Skinted and fashionably minted...

 Now I know some folk might find this post a little random, considering much of my blogging is centred around the luxury and unattainable, the utter fantasy pieces that designer's dream up for you and I to perve at... However, I am of humble beginnings and sadly cannot afford to drape myself in haute couture and carry handbags the same price as a car. Well I could if I saved up for long enough...

 Anyway not long after I started pins and needles a dear old friend of mine (you know who you are Richard!) commented on how I always managed to stay abreast of fashion but on an often meagre budget, and suggested I show the reading folk a few of my finds and how you can look on top of it without a Harvey Nicks budget or a lottery win. I have included some of my most recent (and not so) purchases which I am most proud of.

So here are a few of my recent fancy finds for the not so affluent...

Boots, Zara (recent) £99.99

 First up are my humble Zara biker boots (still in stores, £99.99) I am one of those terribly unfashionable Ugg wearers and am planning on a mini pair in black for this winter, as they are like walking on clouds. However my suede cloud boots are no good in Manchester weather conditions, considering we are the wettest city in the land... So I have been on the lookout for a hard wearing pair to withstand the rain, and snow of recent years, and that I can rely on to last a year or three. I was going to be all grown up and invest in a Jimmy Choo pair, however I stumbled upon these little bad boys in my darling Zara. I love the hard, pinky studded exterior and the double buckle detail which are perfect for toughening up my little vintage dresses and suit my minimal Mondays too. Now some may be thinking "thought this post was about bargains" and I for one believe at less than a hundred quid they are a bargain. I have lost count the number of times I've worn them, and they are of such a high quality I know I will still be bashing them around for seasons to come.

Trousers, H&M (recent), £24.99

  Next up is one of my most recent purchases... I am not really a trouser girl because I have quite chunky thighs and am a big bottomed girl so tend to feel a bit self conscious in anything that highlights my Beyoncé-esque legs but I have been dreaming of a pair of Baroque inspired sparkly-esque cropped trousers. I had my heart set on a gold Topshop pair that looked like something Peince would love but alas, they had sold out of my size in one store and disappeared completely from another. Then to Zara, my failsafe shop of late, but their trousers are clearly aimed at tall skinny Eastern Europeans and had no joy again... Last but not least I popped into the world of Scandi joy that is H&M and fell in love... Not only were there lashings of gold, but an Art Deco style floral print AND my all time favourite hue of the year... NUDE!!!! I was shopping for a pair to service me at two events this weekend and these are just perfect. At £24.99 and with a cute slit up the back at the ankles and just the right amount of ankle flash I was sold. Plus I picked up an oversize grey knit for a Christening and I will be slipping on either an oversize boy tee or slinky blouse for drinks... Plus they look magical with the upcoming Zara shoes I am about to wax lyrical over.

Shoes, Zara (last season) £24.99

  My boyfriend treated me to these little Zara treats back in June, and at £24.99 they made my heart beat faster and look like they cost a whole lot more, they also came in  nude/black/orange and turquoise/aqua colour ways for you to collect. They are perfect for me being bright, high and generous in ankle support while I'm dancing the evening away. The most important part is the fact they are really comfortable and easy to wear, which for me is a major selling point. The second pair is also from my favourite Spanish brand, and at £49.99 I think they are brilliant, they are suede and have leather soles too... The best part of the shoe is the back stud detail on the back, and ankle support again which makes them easy to navigate a pavement and will look awesome with my fancy spangly pants, as well as skirts and dresses. My point with these two styles is that Zara footwear is, well pretty awesome. Not only can you often get a pair of heels for less than fifty quid most of the time, but they are always pretty edgy and exactly what you seem to be looking for at the time. Plus it doesn't hurt that they tend to knock of designer clothing accessories really well, on top of that due to Zara operating a vertical manufacture model the stock is much better quality than most high street product it is also more ethical than other stores too.

Jumper, Primark (recent) £12  £5

Jumper, Primark (recent) £14

  My next brag is knitwear, both styles come from the Irish bargain super store that is Primark, I buy a lot of my knitwear here as unlike most of what they offer the knitted stuff is actually surprisingly good quality. As long as you take the time to ssh it properly, or at a push dry clean knitwear will last whatever its price. The first piece is a personal favourite, I am currently obsessed with clashing neons and pat els and this acidic chartreuse piece caught my eye because of the holly design and the fact it is boxy and oversized, which in my book is a key selling point. It looks pretty good layered over tee shirts, shirts and if I fancy being risqué I just chuck it on over a bra.
My next bargain knit was this pastel number, I was lusting after a similar Zara piece that was £44.99 and pretty much exactly the same (save for being actual wool not a synth-mix like mine) but I saved myself thirty quid being savvy and popping in Primark. I love a cable knit and still haven't given up my fetish for all things ice cream coloured and this bad boy fit the bill. Plus it has elbow patches in the same colour and I do love a Grandad detail such as an elbow patch. Plus it looks just darling with my new disco trousers as one can see!

  Next up is this fetching (sadly faux leather) tote, I had just bought a navy crombie as my winter coat and wanted a contrasting colour bag to use for work... I am one of these silly bag ladies who carry their life around with them, and pack for every eventuality (you will find an umbrella, supplements, food, painkillers, camera, sunglasses, magazines, water bottles in there on any given day) so need a good sized shopper or tote and this little lady was perfect. At twelve quid (and coming in black too) I thought it was ideal, especially since I'm not too precious about handbags they tend to get a good bashing so I don't spend loads on them... also it's studded and I am currently obsessed with anything with a stud or lashings of metal work. So this bag was perfect... and it was cheaper than the Warehouse one I'd been eyeing up for a few weeks.

Lastly, is my accessory of the moment... Those of you who know me will know I am like a magpie about accessories. Frankly, I have a 'more is more' attitude to the baubles seen dangling off my outfits. I have been buying high street versions of brands such as Mawi, DanniJo and Tom Binns who all specialise in jewellery of the statement variety. I have found H&M to be the high street God of ripping off these brands, and along with Primark (you have to be selective), Freedom at Topshop and Zara most of my accessories come from here. My BFF Nicola gave me a gift card for the store and I went wild on getting some new accessories for my already bulging collection. In this haul I found this bow cuff and I have rarely had it off since. For the price I am muchly impressed and have got a lot of wear out of it. So, I highly recommend the Swedish store for costume jewellery, especially if you want to add an edgy finish to any outfit. 

So, there you have it! My way of being on trend on a budget... Proof you can be poor and fabulous...

*PS sorry about the less than impressive photos... I need a tripod/professional!

This post is dedicated to my dear friend, follower and the one person I can rely on to fight my corner... Richard Brunt. If it wasn't for his tough talking I may not have had the courage to start this blog.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

The merits of pink dungarees

Stella McCartney Falabella

Charlotte Olympia Anastasia

Now I am never really one to wax lyrical about something so, well ugly but I have decided that the fashion god known as Philip Lim has made the humble overall/dungaree/one piece so covetable and fashion perv worthy that I had to post about it. I have wanted these bad boys since I first clapped my peepers on them last month. I have had a secret love for this disgusting item of clothing since I saw my idol the one and only Alexa Chung manage to make the denim variety look oh so fabulous, especially when the boy commented that she looked stupid. I know an item is all the more covetable when my beloved man folk declares it is disgusting, as I for one only dress for myself (and occasionally other girls because knowing I have impressed a fellow boob owner makes me rather happy) and know I have made a proper effort if I have visually offended my boy and my BFF. On the topic of my BFF I know from experience that her and her man friend oft discuss my ridiculous get ups because I tend to shock and amuse them on a regular (used to be daily when we shared a home) basis with my outfits, and I know I have planned my ensemble perfectly if she comments in a piss taking way... I almost pride myself on it! And she would HATE this particular item and take pleasure in telling me so, and how ridiculous I look in said item, and that would further prove that the dungaree of pink variety is a successful purchase. Oh and I would look like a character out of Clueless, and this is a reason as good as any.

  Now back to the ensemble in question, I would team this mighty fabulous piece of pink buttery suede with the biker jacket that came a few models later in the show, just to make a filthy old fashion impact. I would have to pop a little white shirt underneath because I am sadly not of the flat chest like Ms Chung, and my bangers would not do unleashed sans top/blouse/shirt/whatever with this particular onesie. To accessorise the flamingo inspired two piece I would add the Charlotte Olympia Anastasia heel... I for one love to clash in order to offend members of the opposite sex so I would do the don't and wear them in red, as I believe the fashion gods say one should never mix pink and red. In terms of handbag, I am incapable of carrying anything smaller than a suitcase on a daily basis and would need something to fit all my worldly possessions (I hate to be unprepared and carry a magazine, cosmetic bag, two purses, umbrella, passport, various supplements and miscellaneous items I believe necessary) so I would carry a Stella McCartney Falabella. Although I am rather offended by the fact the baby Beatle charges upwards of 800 quid for non-leather goods they are well, fit! And the price doesn't deter me, plus it's leopard print and as I have a penchant for this animal based print it suits me just fine. 

So there you have it... The merits of pink dungarees.

This post is dedicated to the wonderful Fran. May I always horrify, amuse and delight you with my outfits for many more years to come.

images courtesy of style.com & mytheresa.com

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

The devil is in the details...

As I previously mentioned waxing lyrical about Céline, I have a full on fashion perv shaped crush on the accessories from this collection, and I personally don't think I have to explain myself but I totally will.

I don't know which I heart best, so I think I just have to adore them all equally and I feel no shame in this. I love the soft, squidgy look of the roll top clutches, first because they look like a fancy luxe version of the all-American paper shopping bag and I love this... it's like an upmarket version of one of life's most basic objects. Secondlt I just think they are wonderful... they look cotton wool soft, like a bovine skin pillow. I also love the soft colours (as well as the bold) that the Philo has designed these in. I have wanted to own a Céline bag for ages now, and this clutch has inspired to save my pennies hard and get a piece of the French fancy pie.

My absolute favourite part of this show, as well as the stunning-as-always main event of the clothing was the shoes... I love the fact that such a minimal, stylish house decided to fuck things up with mink shoes... The Birkenstocks disturb me I won't lie (mainly because I HATE the shoe anyway) and secondly because they are so weird and I love this dearly. Secondly I loved the mink pumps, they have turned a somewhat sexy accessory into something comical and so unsexy it hurts. It looks like an extra from Sesame Street or The Muppets. Hell, it even looks like something Miss Piggy would wear to convince Kermit he wants to fondle her pork fancies...

Last, and so NOT least are this amazing Margiela-esque 'foot shoes' with the toe nail pedicure on the outside, I love the fact they have shown shoes that would normally be at home on the catwalks of much more conceptual designers rather than a brand that has become synonymous with chis and polished style that many a well dressed editor oft drapes themselves in from top to toe. Thy have totally turned the aesthetics of themselves on its head, and I think this is genius, awesome and utterly clever.

So, if you didn't think so already y'all need to get addicted to Céline. Ok?

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

How to make a denim quilt...

Not for a long time have I been seen rocking denim, espesh the patchwork/double dip variety, mainly because I have a massive Kardashian/Minaj-esque arse and don't really feel comfortable wearing anything with a shape or that is tight, especially denim... Mind you I do love a J Brand and they are the only ones that make me less inclined to vomit all over the mirror when I slide them over my snake hips, oh and H&M too. 

  Anyway I have recently been excited by the influx of cut-it-up and rebuild denim that has been trickling onto the catwalks, and thought I would splash this love all over a blog post... Mainly because I is one of my favourite kind of Fash week trends, which is one that is inspired by the wares of street folk. Trashion, 90s nostalgia, Rihanna and Rita Ora have all been inspiring the cool kids on the block of late, and I for one am loving it. Sometimes I feel a wee bit too old to be draping my bad self in acid wash, but it doesn't stop me adding a little element of it, and this patchwork thing I something that I recon I will be investing in for next season... Or now as I have seen a denim smock and pinafore from Topshop that I will be buying, although neither are patchwork but will be nice building blocks in me getting up the courage to rocking it Grandma quilt style.

3.1 Philip Lim s/s 13

I'm loving the luxe 3.1 Philip Lim version, that I can imagine a sleek and well put together CEO wearing with a sharp white shirt and sky high Rupert Sandersons and a Stella tux to the office, as well as seeing the pieces chucked on with lashings of leather and ghetto gold by some cool scenester on her way to the local club... And this is what I absolutely love about Lim. He manages to make the most basic, and non luxe fabrics and items highly covetable and fabulous and with the likes of Net a Porter and Selfridges clamouring to throw it at their customers who will more than likely lap it up like champers at an after party.
Ashish s/s 13

I am also appreciating the total opposite style that Ashish has provided in his collection, I love that he hasn't just patched pieces of the workman garb together but he has also patched chunks of it together with sequins, polkadot tulle and alphabet printed denim too. This is like the eighties fashion student version of the trend, and I rather bloody loved it. I love how one trend can be interpreted in two totally opposite ways, kind of like sweet and savoury or black and white, or Mary-Kate and Ashley... actually I like the Olsen analogy best... two of exactly the same things but all the more different. Plus I got to use an analogy that involved my all time have twins. BOOM! I'm a winner baby. Ashih did it the way I would probably wear it most, bit cray cray, bit messy with a mismatched sweater and sloppy hair and make up. However when I occasionally dress like a grown up I would definitely werq a piece of the Lim pie.

This is one of those slow burning trends that Jonny Johansson actually did for Acne a few seasons ago, and as anything done by the Scandi powerhouse, I am sure this will become a super trend worn by all and many and eventually so cool it gets knock off in a few months by Primark... and then we all proceed to drop it. Because that's how fashion rolls. So if you haven't been been rocking this since 1993 or at the very least circa 2010 when the Swedes were rocking it a la Acne do what I do and lets all start dressing like a denim patchwork quilt... You know you want to...

Monday, 22 October 2012

The Showstopper

Every season I wait with baited breath for the end of fashion month to see the Paris heavy weights thrash it out with huge, fancy show stopping moments... There has been clams, steam trains, ice bergs made of crystals, the Palais de Versailles and a cardboard Rue Cambon over the past few seasons... And this season didn't disappoint...
However there was one show that stuck out for me in terms of scene setting, or stealing depending on how you see it. That, dear readers was Louis Vuitton... after smuggling a steam train into the room last season I didn't think the delectable and delightful Marcy Marc could outdo himself. Alas! He did! I was amazed to see that two escalators had been installed into the venue, and the models ascended in pairs showing off a simple, chic and rather un-Louis collection. Considering recent collections have been couture-esque and have made a great deal of showing off the skills of the ateliers, this collection was very "Paris" in the sense it was beautiful, simple, effortless and beyond stylish. I loved the windowpane checks, and the giant overblown chess board style checks that gave a cool sixties feel to proceedings.
The way that the models outfits were often in corresponding/opposite colours and prints as they presented themselves made an awesome visual impact for me... I loved the checks, florals and stripes and the super duper short minis. It seems I will be a sucker for all things sixties next season as this has been my fave look so far, and LV didn't disappoint, not one bit. There were flirty minidresses and matching coats, square necklines and empire dresses, the best bit though was the working girl-independent lady-yes bitch I take the pill and work-boom! twin sets that were matched with cute beehives.

I liked the last look, which was like a total Alexa Chung-ish take on red carpet wear... The super check "evening dresses" with empire lines and block colours that looked so un-red carpet it was lovely? I could see my idol Zooey Deschanel or Michelle Williams rocking up to the Met Ball in one... You know being all so achingly hip you can turn up in. Plain, simple yet still shockingly bank balance busting dress and still look a squillion dollars. This has always been my favourite type of look at fancy schmancy awards dos... When there is something a little off... Like flats, or a sky high hemline, messy not done hair or very simple make up. I look forward to seeing one of the cool girls rocking up to a super swank bash rocking one of these bad boys... And all the uber hotties will eye her enviously wishing they had the guts to be so, well cool. And carefree.

So thank you Marcy Marc for another triumph...

Sunday, 14 October 2012

A New Dawn

  After John Galliano's shock departure from his lengthy tenure at Christian Dior the fashion world has waited with baited breath for the announcement of his predecessor... the answer came just before the fall couture collections in the name of Raf Simons (soon after his time at Jil Sander came to an end back in February) and I for one was ecstatic to see the outcome. I have been counting down the days for his first RTW collection after the utter loveliness that was his first ever collection for Fall Couture. This collection didn't disappoint either, sadly it was wrapped up in a big, silly "two icons at war" thing becuase fellow designer Hedi Slimane shoed his first collection for YSL, oh sorry Saint Laurent Paris or whatever I am meant to call it, and all eyes were on both to see who did better, or whatever. I am not going to comment on that, but I am going to comment on how I thought Raf did a stellar job at the French powerhouse that is Dior. Under Galliano's reign Dior was eclectic, OTT and the symbolof maximalism and did nothing but show off the talents of the petit mains in Paris' famous ateliers. 

  However proceedings last month in Paris were an altogether different aesthetic, Raf stripped back the feel and aesthetic of what was to be offered, he nodded to the great Yves Saint Laurent with his edgy and sexy take on the Le Smoking which took on various forms of tuxedoes and sultry tuxedo dresses. Everything was simple, beautifully tailored and looked like it was worth every penny of it's no doubt extortionate price tag. The dresses varied in lengths, with thigh grazing minis and ankle ticklng maxi and midi lengths. There was gossamer light organza and flashes of bold colour and neon. The silhouettes were edgy and chic all at the same time, and I loved the simple cashmere knits teamed with the couture-esque New Look inspired circle skirts. It was like going back to the couture salons of the forties, but taking a cray cray acid trip halfway through. 

  I felt that Simons gave the house a much needed update, and the aesthetic of Dior an update, it has been brought into the present and is giving its clients options other than Galliano' show stopping occasion wear. Don't get me wrong, I thought John Galliano was irreplaceable, and his work is nothing short of that of a genius but it was fabulous to see the Dior girl rocking something totally different. I am excited to see what direction the brand will take under the hands of Raf. I adored his work at Jil Sander, but was shocked about his post at Dior, because as a designer his style was so far removed from that seen at Dior I was excited to see what he was going to do. There was minimalism, cocoon shapes or just out and out edgy and directional that he is famed for, and I think that proved he is more than up for the challenge and capable of doing wonderful things at the top of Dior. So, here is to next season and what that brings...

Long live King Raf!

Paper or plastic?

Sometimes the most simple things in life can be the most wonderful... and can bring you the most pleasure so I hear. Well, for Raf Simons' last Jil Sander collections he did nothing but make an impact and has created some of the most coveted and marvellous pieces and people have been clamouring to get a piece of history... For the men's collection Simons decided to monopolise on life's simple pleasures by selling one of them... the brown paper lunch bag. Created in coated re-renforced paper, stamped with the brand logo and stitched together... oh and there are little air holes just in case you wish to carry a little mouse or tiny dog around in there (so you don't feel like you are being short changed and proof it is very good quality) so it is functional and not just a paper bag and a way of justifying the price... because wait for it... it retails at £185! Now in fashion speak that is a bargain for a designer bag, scandalously cheap even, however this bag isn't made of your usual lamb/calf/goat/buffalo/python/croc so it can't command an eye watering price... it is however paper, and I have been spending the past week figuring out whether it is worth... well the rest of the world does! It has sold out globally!!!! I know, that many people think the humble paper bag is worth that much. Well in girl terms I think it is, it'd make a so-cool-its-a-bit-try-hard clutch, however you could run the risk of looking super poor (but actually totally clued up and super fashwan fabulous) to the naked eye and folk might stare for ll the wrong reasons too.

If you love the shape but can't justify nearly 200 bangers on a bag Celine (my all time fave brand) have just showcased some beautiful, ever so glossy LEATHER clutches in a very similar shape which would look lovely dangled casually or tucked under your arm like the army of super bitches that stalked the Victoria Beckham runway for a/w 12. 

Back to the case in hand and my verdict, I sadly am a super fashion pervert and think that the price is justified for what will be one of the most iconic, well remembered shows in recent fashion history as the shock departure collections of Raf Simons at Jil Sander, so I would consider it greatly, plus if you felt silly you could re-sell it and make a disgusting profit no doubt, seeing as the item is super sought after and I am sure many an empty handed fashion editor will be trying to pull some PR strings to get one as I write. So, sensible amongst you, I apologise for being such a fashion hag, but I so would...