Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Winter Fur for Lookbook

This is (almost) my first attempt at joining the 'collective fashion conciousness' of, an extremely competitive style community where photoshop rules and the right pose is everything!

Friday, 10 December 2010

Asos Finds and a Few New Outfits

Asos has long been on my radar for it's eclectic mix of inexpensive goodies and designer finds, epitomised by the contrast of a £5 stack of bangles and a £1,700 vintage Chanel bag. However, despite browsing (and buying from it) frequently, I had never before stumbled upon the Asos own brand collections, namely the Black, White, Reclaimed and Revived labels. And what a surprise I had! An achingly dull History session for livened up spectacularly by the cashmere/ wool mix draping of the White collection, the delicate satin lace slips from Revive and the utilitarian sexy/cool vibe of the Reclaimed section.

I'm particularly lusting over the styling of 'Asos Reclaimed' collection; baggy combats combined with studded belts and louche knits, which, when worn with sky high black boots and edgy gold jewellery- think Tom Binns or Daisy Knights- inject a sexy insouciance which definitely isn't tomboy.

Furthermore, the 20s theme of the Black collection made me drool, with it's use of velvets, bugle beads and gauzy transparent ruffles. I have always longed for a vintage flapper dress with Art Deco embellishment and a fringed hem, to Charleston the night away with a boy in jazz shoes. Secretly, I am rather infatuated with those long cigarette holders, again influenced by the 'Great Gatsby' socialites, as well as the eponymous image of Audrey Hepburn elegantly dangling a holder from her be-gloved fingers (said picture may or may not be hanging on my bedroom wall at this precise moment...).
Now is the point to say that I'd never, ever smoke, because of the blatantly obvious reasons... but really, I'm yearning to be able to learn over towards a man, smiling seductively with my Rouge Noir lips and nonchalantly playing with an ebony- and- silver cigarette holder, whilst he falls in love with me (because of my sparkling wit and intelligent conversation, obviously…). Ahh well, a girl can dream! But one thing is certain: the Black collection has dresses to partly facilitate that dream, most notably this gorgeous golden beaded piece. Not exactly a flapper dress, but the beading and bias cut nudge it into that genre whilst the halter neck and backless features make it a more modern update.

And finally, to complete this Asos love- in, I give you two items that would be just perfect when styled together; I'm thinking paired with some thick, cashmere over- the- knee- socks (for these, it has to be Toast) and brown suede heeled boots. The juxtaposition of the silken slip and the cashmere/wool/ suede gives the outfit a cosy, yet stylish, feel and the muted autumnal colours (grey, green, ombre) renders it ideal for the current season.

All images, unless stated, are from

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

A Surprise Dilemma

Issue 1: What to wear to a 'surprise' event when told, in the typical male fashion, to look 'nice'?

Issue 2: So, just how nice is nice?! Are we talking cocktail dresses and 5 inch heels or (I loathe this term) 'smart casual'?

Issue 3: Location- outside or inside? Adequate central heating to render an outer layer negligible, or should one expect the worst Arctic conditions? (And to this point, should I take a larger bag in which to place said cover- up, in case there's no where else to put it?)

Issue 4: What will everyone else be wearing? I am no means a sheep, but turning up in cowboy boots when everyone else is in heels? It's just an annoying loss of the chance to dress up!

Although this unknown event has made me quite speechless with excitement, tonight is going to be a long evening of ransacking my wardrobe to find the perfect solution to my sartorial issues. One thing is for certain: red lips and rails are a must, a la Chanel!
Both images are from Google

Monday, 8 November 2010

Style Icons: Scott Schuman

The other half of previous ‘icon’ Garance Dore, I actually discovered Scott Schuman’s ‘The Sartorialist’ before I found Garance. I was first captivated by his simple, beautiful street photography that does not discriminate between the personal style, age or creativity of the people he shoots. In addition to this Schuman also adheres to the now somewhat forgotten charms of being a true ‘gentleman’; as well as being depicted in the perfectly cut suits and stylish neck ties documented in The Sartorialist, this is more so shown in his prevalent attitude towards style which both follows and breaks tradition, his respect for women, and traditional sartorial crafts such as tailors.

Famous for documenting not only the street scenes at every fashion week but every style maverick who crosses his path, Schuman portrays both high fashion and individual creativity; by taking samples from around the world he illustrates the impact fashion has on everyday life across the globe. In addition to this he shows that a sense of style has importance and purpose in whichever walk of life you’re from: witness the colour coordinating tramp from New York and the casual street sweepers in Milan. Schuman’s sartorial analysis is often shown on the male outfits, through his explanations of how and why the tailoring on a certain piece works; I now know the ideal shirt sleeve length and how Italians cut their jackets to make them look slimmer. This emphasis on male style has only increased my interest in menswear, resulting in a frantic following of Pitti Uomo and the menswear shows almost as much as the female equivalents, as well as absorbing my boyfriend’s Esquire almost before he does.

From the Tuileries to Ipanena beach, Schuman is the name to follow for everyone with the slightest interest in fashion, menswear or photography. Young or old, fashion forward or individual, the subjects and style of his photographs has the ability to inspire; nothing less could be said about the man himself.

'The Sartorialist' blog:

Image from:

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Lanvin Is My Man

As the name of my blog presumably suggests, I am for than a bit infatuated by the colossal fashion house of Lanvin, currently run by the genius Alber Elbaz. Consistently, season after season he produces the most sumptuous, creative and inspired collections that one can do nothing but drool over.
I must admit that his current S/S '11 collection for the house if one of my favourites, from the shoes to the jewels, to the elegant draping that Elbaz has made his own. A collusion of Grecian warrior princess, urban career girl and a St Tropez 'oh but I never set a foot off my yacht' heiress, the designer also uses innovative fabrics (a silk and neoprene dress anyone?), cut and accessories to fulfill the evolution that fashion demands, whilst remaining faithful the Jeanne Lanvin's heritage of luscious materials and embellishment. Elbaz's use of colour in this collection is also something to dream about...deep, almost burgundy reds, sumptuous, regal purples, mustard, turquoise... and then a sudden flash of neon to juxtapose an otherwise timeless collection.
This is a design house that makes imitation on the high street almost impossible, as Lanvin's raison d'etre is discreet luxuriousness (an oxymoron perhaps?), something that you only get after over a century of being a Parisian couturier. However, help is at hand for us Lanvin addicts; in November Elbaz is collaborating with H&M, to form a high street collection that is sure to be incredible. The 'Lanvin for H&M' fashion show is revealed on the 2nd November... I am so excited!

All images from

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

A Winter List...

In the last few weeks since my last post, it has suddenly become incredibly cold. As a self proclaimed coward when it comes to a bit of frost- one of my biggest fashion regrets it that I ruin almost every outfit by piling layers of jumpers and coats on top- I have compiled a shopping list of those items that will make my winter wardrobe both warm and, as crucially as ever, stylish.

Firstly, a great pair of over- the- knee boots, flat soled and suede, that I can just cram full of cashmere socks and leg warmers without anyone being any the wiser. I have been drawn to this style of boot since the Blake Lively's turn in them in Gossip Girl... although minus the slutty school girl undertones. Flat, in a mushroom or khaki colour and worn with jeans or leggings, would negate the fact that these are essentially thigh high boots (and connotations of streetwalkers spring to mind...) and therefore render them perfect for casual use.

Secondly, ever since the first Ralph Lauren A/W '10 adverts premièred in about March, I have been obsessed by this tasselled woollen hat, worn with tumbled waves of hair that looks both 7os and slightly elfin at the same time. And also very very warm. I would very much like to hunt a similar one down on the highstreet... and perhaps in grey wool?

And lastly, I offer a subject that is of slight controvsy: fur. In today's world one does not have to slaughter animals for warmth, and despite faux furs slightly declassé image in the past few decades, it has been making a virulent come back recently. And if it's good enough for Karl Lagerfeld, its good enough for me! Currently, I'm torn between a shaggy fur waistcoat, to be worn belted and with bare arms like the Vogue Paris girls, or an all enveloping fur coat of about thigh length, which will truly protect me from these cold winter nights. However, with my propensity for sensitiveness to the cold, it'll probably be the latter.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Haul: Recent Charity Shop Pillages

I have had rather good fortune in terms of charity shops recently, and one in particular I MUST keep under wraps! Said shop has so far delivered to me a Dolce & Gabbana men's shirt (to be worn with the sleeves rolled to just above the elbows, and belted with a skinny belt) and as of today, a vintage Gucci bag. I have also discovered a patent, crocodile- esque bag, of unknown origin (no label), which saw me around Paris.

These miracle finds, costing £5.99 and £3.49 respectively, have converted me absolutely to the joys of charity shop 'vintage' shopping. I've never been a fan of sales shopping; apart from the obvious price reductions sales racks seem to consist solely of a gorgeous dress/ jacket in a size 18, trousers with zips and buttons missing, and out of season velour beach shorts. However, with revelations such as these steals, rummaging through the rails of 'dead men's' shirts no longer seems so tedious.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Raw Romance- Donna Karan

The S/S '11 collection, from feted 'city girl' designer Donna Karan, was a departure from her usual pared down minimalism, and chic work attire. Celebrating 25 years in the industry, Karan proves that to evolve is to survive, with a collection that is a far cry from her debut 'Seven Easy Pieces', and perhaps just as remarkable.

Karan utilised a neutral palette of cream, taupe and greige, which communicates perfectly the desolate, tribal and distressed edge to her collection; presented on a catwalk of rough sand, the models looked like stranded city girls striding out of the desert. The crushed raw silk, cut on the bias to hug the curves of the body and fall in a loose, languid manner, was sometimes screen printed with contour lines in ochre or plum, sometimes embellished with rough- edged crystals or bugle beads. Translucent chiffon made an appearance, and contrasted texturally with rough twill fabrics, perhaps to emphasise the savage effect of nature on man made items.

This collection, with echoes of 'safari chic' without the jodhpurs, plays romantic silk and organza dresses- draped, embellished and often slit to the thigh- off with utility style crushed jackets and pencil skirts. A very distinct departure for the designer known for black, chicly tailored separates and a clientèle consisting of the unmistakable NYC career girl. Whether this interpretation of dishevelled luxury will be suitable for an office environment is debatable; what is certain is that it would be that same girl striding out of desert, calling for her BlackBerry.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

A Minor Obsession...

Flipping through September's Vogue, Vogue Paris and this week's Grazia, I was suddenly struck with the realization of my newest obsession: accessories. Since my acquisition of a £2 steal of a bag, a trip to Paris where everyone- EVERYONE- wears heels, and not least the sudden inundation of new season accessory spreads, the desperate gaps in my shoe shelves and bag collection have been sadly highlighted.

Most particularly, in a true back- to- school spirit, I am in dire need of a new 'tote' bag for hauling the necessary folders, books, notepads and stationary to school and back again. However, I should now state that this is by no means a straightforward task- I'm inordinately picky when it comes to bags (and shoes), the size, shape, colour, embellishment and, sadly, price inevitably lead to one bag's dismissal after another.
The Mulberry Neely (above, with Olivia Palermo) would be my ideal school bag; it has a sleek, chic- yet- business like structure and a luxe (but not too luxe for the daily grind of school) appearance. Sadly, it is also perhaps £600 above my budget... so that's a no then.
An option could be one of the plethora of black tote bags currently on the high street, of which Dorothy Perkins and River Island have perfect examples. But sometimes, especially with the gloomy days of winter drawing in, black can be just a bit too... black.
River Island leather bag

Moving on to footwear, I am currently trying to track down THE perfect pair of knee high boots... or do I want ankle boots? With heels? Wedges? Embellished? Laces or buckles? It's a minefield of choice, but I do know that the high street is currently having a bit of a 'moment' with covetable new season shoes- head for New Look for shearling detail boots, Topshop for bandage wedges, Dorothy Perkins for utility ankle books and Miss Selfridge for one of the best homages to Louis Vuitton's kitten heels I've seen so far.

And, with the launch of Zara Online last week and the addition of H&M Online in five days time (!!) the high street will finally have complete representation on the internet. Who needs to spend a day trudging around town, when you could find it all from the comfort if your own laptop!

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Paris, Zara and Bag Love

Paris has been a revelation in so many ways; firstly, I have fallen even more in love with fashion than ever before, with just a little help from the fashion galleries, Chanel boutique and the all encompassing Parisian chic. Secondly, I have decided that a wardrobe transformation for the coming season is a must, commencing with a trip to Zara...

Oh Zara... I burn, I pine, I perish! After spotting a girl on the Tube in tailored, cropped chinos, khaki chinos, paired with simple leather sandals and a black strapless top, I was desperate to own the same. So, Paris arrived with a myriad of Zara shops, and for a measly 30€ I started my personal wardrobe transformation. I also intend on owning an A- line, hooded and thickly knitted waistcoat, with the most covetable leather toggle fastenings; the perfect pair of knee high, medium heeled boots; and a sleekly elegant trench coat.

Of course, none of these purchases will be student- budget cheap , but I fully intend on pairing them with my recent charity shop acquisitions. A £5.99 Dolce & Gabbana men's shirt; oversized but perfect belted with the sleeves rolled up- a nonchalant 'oh look I just threw on my boyfriend's shirt' look. And also, a £2 steal of a bag that saw me stylishly around Paris; black, patent and crocodile skin- esque, it fits in absolutely with the current trend for lady- like chic. It's shape, size and general appearance is is remarkably similar to Nancy Gonzalez's current line, which I saw in a brief visit to Harrods, before catching the Eurostar.
(From, not me!)

Furthermore, Paris proved a bag heaven for accessory- philes such as myself. Trips to Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Chanel only fuelled this obsession; nothing found on the high street can meet the patent glamour of Gucci, the luxury of a leather, richly studded trunk from Louis Vuitton, or especially the draw of a classic such as the 2.55 Chanel hand bag, an infatuation that my 31 Rue Cambon visit only increased. Notably, I spotted in Paris two bags which I would do ANYTHING to own (start saving?Possibly...). Firstly a Lady Dior in shiny, patent scarlet, in the crook of the arm of 'une fille trs chic', also sporting an enviable trench; and secondly my first ever sighting of a classic Hermès Birkin. This was slung on the arm of a less chic woman- tight, white jeans (oh how I detest white jeans!) stacked heels and a perma tan. But somehow, the Birkin eclipsed all of this; in its subtle- yet- immortal shape, the softest of calf leather and elegant amber shade, this bag personifies the timeless, pared back aesthetic of Autumn/ Winter '10, as well as being a true life time classic.
I burn, I pine, I perish....
The Lady Dior- Marion Cotillard on the Eiffel Tower

The Classic: Chanel 2.55

And finally... the Hermes Birkin, in a divine shade of blue.

Saturday, 21 August 2010


The elegant streets of Paris are calling, and I have an itinerary planned as long as my arm. A tad too efficient, perhaps? But spontaneous, immediate adventures are all well and good, until the end of the 5 days and one realises that nothing much has been accomplished; the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, La Musée de la Mode et du Textile, Colette... these can all be enjoyed, perhaps more so, between wandering the Parisian boulevards and parks, and exploring chic little bohème cafés.

Picnics on the banks of the Seine, strolling across Le Jardin des Tuileries, visiting 31 Rue Cambon and Les Galeries Lafayette... I cannot wait! Expenditure will have to be (and already is...) strictly reigned in; sadly, no Michelin starred experiences on this little break, but freshly baked croissants, baguettes and pain au chocalat from tiny boulangeries each morning, sounds infinitely better to me.

And the pièce de résistance? Sharing brie, a baguette and a bottle of wine under the Eiffel Tower at night, as it is lit up by 20,000 light bulbs every hour, on the hour.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Style Icons: Garance Doré

The epitome of Parisian insouciance and 'je ne sais quoi', I have admired and (frequently) endeavoured to emulate this illustrator turned blogger/ photographer for a good few years now.

Garance's website,, is the place to go for an in depth, yet discreet, view of the fashion community; she combines her illustrations with behind the scenes photos of her own photo shoots, and intimate meetings with the fashion industry's brightest stars with street style titbits and musings.

Always funny, clever, thought provoking and charmingly Française, Garance, with her boyfriend, 'The Sartorialist', Scott Schuman, is a knowledgeable, entertaining powerhouse of street style and sartorial savoir- faire; her website proving an excellent addition to the world of on-line fashion journalism because of its ability to captivate, educate and inspire any willing reader (i.e. Me).

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Giles Deacon for New Look

I'm not usually a fan of New Look collaborations; however prestigious the designer (e.g Giles Deacon), the collections inevitably become tainted by that New Look blemish of cheap fabrics, gaudy prints and unflattering, generic tailoring.

However, I must admit that the new seasons' Giles Deacon collection is a revelation; Erdem- esque prints, lady- like Louis Vuitton inspired silhouettes and accessories, and a strict minimalism in terms of palette, cut and embellishment.

The only qualms I have are over the (seemingly) lurex, batwing tops, embellished with an unoriginal web of sequins. And that's it. I love the prom dress, the shift dresses, the curve hugging, off the shoulder, Mad Men inspired one... I even covet the pretty, Louis Vuitton- tribute 'mini stilettos'. And to think 6 months ago I was aghast at the very thought of a less than 4 inch heel!

Monday, 9 August 2010

I Want...

A cropped Aran knit jumper, as shown by Dolce & Gabbana in their A/W '10 collection. Perhaps not red precisely, although that rich scarlet wool does have a certain appeal.
No, I would prefer the classic cream version, cropped and thinly knitted to reduce bulk, and belted with a slim leather belt, a la D & G.

For the present inclement summer weather, this knit is perfection when paired with short shorts and boots; snug but yet suitable for the wind chill factor. Come autumn, follow Miuccia Prada's lead and layer over the new skirt shape du jour. Knee length and A line, waist definition is again brought by the addition of a skinny patent belt; glamour by Belle Epoque- style stilettos and seductively coiffed hair.

Friday, 6 August 2010

The New Chic

The coming Autumn/ Winter '10 has been hailed by many of the industry's most notable soothsayers as the dramatic rejection of the ostentatious glamour and exaggerated trends that epitomised the Noughties. Instead, minimalistic, sculpted refinement has clawed it's way back to the periphery of 'cool', led by a all woman cast of designers that include Celine's Phoebe Philo, Frida Giannini at Gucci and Stella McCartney. These trend ideals will prove difficult for the high street masses to emulate, for it relies on the luxe appeal of expensive fabrics, tailoring and classic accessories- and there isn't a sequin in sight.

Just a quick glance at street style blogs such as 'The Sartorialist' and Garance Dore will promote the advantages of luxurious, minimal, almost masculine clothes. Character is expressed in the individualistic manner of accessorising; soft brown leather, a metallic edge to your jewellery and structured 'ladylike' handbags are all shown to be the way forward.

I particularly covet the return of the trouser; lean cigarette pants at Celine and Mulberry (shown above), just cropped to reveal a slender ankle; the high waisted, 70's style flares at Gucci, Chloe and Yves Saint Laurent (below), which, paired with a skinny belt, chiffon blouse and stacked heels, just screams ladylike glamour.

And finally, the biggest news this coming season is the return of the 'it coat'. This can come in a variety of equally desirable forms: the cape, the camel coat (choose MaxMara if you want a lifelong classic), Burberry's aviator shearling jackets, the duffel coat, anything structural and tweedy... I have a particular lust for Erdem's hooded, floral cape, which just conjures up images of strutting around, cocooned in fabric, pretending to be the Scottish Widows advert...

Monday, 2 August 2010

Icons: Inspiration and Adoration

The classic 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' poster hangs above my bed, the protagonist, heroine, ingenue and icon mutely observing my daily life. La Hepburn is undoubtedly the world's favourite muse, and this I cannot argue with; I fell under her spell of simplicity, elegance and a Givenchy wardrobe a long time ago.

No, what I disagree with is the lavish attribution of the term 'icon' to faces with less than 100% fashion credentials; the use of stylists is increasing evermore (to the extent that they themselves become the celebrity... Rachel Zoe, for instance) and true inspiration, creativity and sartorial savoir- faire is disappearing as quickly as the fashion victims appear.

So I present thus: my own 'icons', presented as I see them and their individual effect on my personal style and fashion knowledge. Their 'credentials' are variable, but for me, each are sartorial geniuses and have inimitable individual style.

Olivia Palermo, the quintessential Manhattan fashion girl; impeccably groomed, even more impeccably connected, she lives the socialite dream of endless parties, paparazzi and arm candy. However, she is also a lot more than that; her outfits are the last word in accessorizing, showcasing the newest of the 'hip' designers alongside highstreet and classic brands. Her signature, perhaps the very epitome of New York glamour, along with the glossy blow- dried waves of hair, is a fresh scarlet manicure- this particular habit cost me a bottle of red nail polish as I tried to emulate. Her style is 'high fashion casual'; never overdone, never try- hard, her polished manner of bringing together outfits in a way that is neither ostentatious or pretentious, but subtly chic, belying a style intuition that I can only dream of.

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Latitude: A Round Up

My first ever music festival proved to be a complete delight; months of planning, anticipation and outfit planning resulted in a happy, sunny daze of a weekend. The diverse line up, of literature, comedy and dance as well as music, meant an even more diverse range of sartorial tastes. Hotpants, florals, wellies and a sea of bleached denim were embraced by the gaggles of teenage girls, who paired their playsuits with big, backcombed, 'Batisted' hair, and armfuls of bangles. Identikit indie boys, with carefully undone fringes, cream chinos, boat shoes and Barbour jackets paraded next to them.
Particularly impressive were the two boys in the line in front-brothers, friends, gay lovers? Whichever, they 'rocked' the insoucient, determined- not- to- look- like- they're- enjoying- themselves look; an all black palatte, quilted Barbour- esque jacket, box fresh Hunters, skinny jeans and, most essentially, vintage Fred Perry kit bags and satchels, the perfect festival luggage!
Glamour was brought by a series of well accessorized girls in maxi dresses, whereas the older generations opted for Converse and the luxe casual tshirts personified by Alexander Wang.
Overall, it was a good haul of delights for a girl who enjoys sartorial eyecandy, and can appreciate the art of dressing whilst bent double, in an overheated tent.

Image from:


I think this quote, however ancient, sums up this era's (and the preceeding and the forthcoming...) preoccupation with image, status and material wealth. However negative these three sentiments are portrayed by popular opinion, it cannot be denied that "fashion" has a phenomenal impact upon society. Whether it is through "keeping up with the Jones" or a front row seat at Paris couture week, fashion is a medium that describes an ever increasing number of forms; it is ostensible that one of the human races' most basic instincts is the following and emulating of others.
This blog hopes and endeavours, through an overwhelming passion, curiosity and love of fashion, to explore and develop a more thorough knowledge of what is no longer considered a subject, but a way of life.