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!