Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Almost, but not quite a Mulberry...

Just a quick post, 1) So you know I've not given up on you all entirely and 2) Because I've been dying to share this bag...

We've had this in the shop for a couple of weeks now, but I was waiting to get hold of a picture before I blogged about it. Imaginatively named the Tan Satchel Bag, this chic bag would be perfect to debut in spring, see you right into summer, and cheer you up in the dreary winter months. It looks enough like the Mulberry Alexa to have the same effect, yet it's got enough of it's own personality to avoid looking like a cheap copy because we don't like them.

Tan Satchel Bag - £130 - Phase Eight http://www.phase-eight.co.uk/

Friday, 14 January 2011

Brit Awards 2011: The first re-styled statue

I've just been sent these photos from the Brit Awards 2011 shortlisting event last night, where singer Jessie J was confirmed as the recipient of the Critics Choice Award.

But it wasn't just any Brit statue she received, as this year things have been shaken up. The new trophy is a blank white canvas, leaving it up to to leading British creative individuals to style it each year. Jessie J has received the first of this years statues, which has been designed by fashion designer Vivienne Westwood. "Vivienne stands for all the things we want to inspire in tomorrow's generation of artists." said Brits chairman David Joseph.

And I couldn't agree more, I love the deconstructed Union Jack design and rich colours, and the sketch is almost as beautiful as the real thing. I'm now just wondering if there's a dress version to be modelled at the event... Watch this space!

Photos John Marshall / jmenternational

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Oh no... It's Colour blocking.

I knew it was coming, way back in September when I went to LFW. I saw it everywhere, it covered the catwalks, everyone was talking about it, anticipating the return. I meanwhile chose to bury my head in the sand - or should it be the camel? I didn't write about it, though everyone else did. And now I think I have hit the point where I have to at least acknowledge it, for fear of either being seen to be completely ignorant towards this seasons trends or just grossly unprepared...

So here it is, I face my fears and accept that: Colour. Blocking. Is. Back. In. Vogue.

I just don't like it, I never have. I groaned in despair when I saw "The September Issue" for the first time and found they had a colour blocking shoot featured. I wince in pain at bright colours in shops and retreat in horror when I see the pages of Elle splashed with clashing neons, which should only be seen inside highlighters. Those who know me, know I wear black most often. The Mother asked me the other day why this is, and I replied that I didn't know.

But when February Elle dropped through my letter box yesterday, it dawned on me why not. I must be terrified of colour. Well that is an exaggeration, I'm not scared of all colour, I love neutrals, I really loved last seasons camel; and I love jewel tones, warm, luxurious colours. I think my problem lies with brights, I can't get my head around how children's toybox colours translate into stylish, wearable clothes.

Time to turn to the catwalk.

Jil Sander, the most hyped Milan show of the season. This outfit together looks beautiful, it works, it looks expensive, it looks high end.

Phoebe Philo gets it right again at Celine. It's refreshing to see a white base to neutralise the acid brights.

At Christopher Kane, it's like grannies lace curtains having a fight with the box of Stabilo Boss. It's so wrong, its right.

Reassured by the designer offerings, I'll attempt it, albeit slightly tamer, quite complimenting and just generally more me. Is this how you do it?

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

My Lanvin for H&M Dress

I know it's taken me ages to get this post up here, but trust me, it's not through lack of loving the dress, it's lack of time to write all I want to about it. In the meantime, the beauty has just been merrily hanging up in my bedroom and honestly makes me smile - and sometimes squeal a little bit - when I see it. You may call that sad, I call that Lanvin.

The Mother whooped when I tried it on post-shower on Christmas morning (I couldn't disrespect it and put it on straight over my jarmies as much as I wanted to), the Brother grunted and announced he wouldn't wear it himself. Best of all the Father said "It was worth it." I'm taking that to mean both the money and the stress meaning an all round success. The Grandparents had a full presentation and explanation at the importance of the dress, and the importance of Lanvin, aided by the presence of the hefty Lanvin book, and I think they bought what I was saying. Double success. Only one friend has seen it so far, she gasped, and I wasn't expecting that. Triple success.

See it's not like I need everyone else's acceptance for me to do something, I just wanted them to appreciate the beauty of it, not just pass it off as another dress I've bought. The Mother bought me the dustbag off the Internet, which arrived on NYE. I wasn't expecting it, as I didn't know she'd bought it. At that point I knew they'd got it.

I guess it's quite a lot to "get". Take the raw hems for example. I sensed a little bit of reluctance of the Grandparents as I tried to explain how it was a feature of all Lanvin garments and made them unique. There was the suggestion that they were left like that for you to decide on the length yourself, but then I pointed out the two lines of stitching above. But honestly, I'm not really bothered if people think its unfinished, it is. It's meant to be and that's what makes it Lanvin (and H&M but we'll say that quietly). I was so hoping it would have the raw edges and silly as it may sound, I would have been really disappointed if it didn't have them. I don't think it would have been true to the Lanvin brand and its subtle yet overwhelming French chic-ness.

Then there's the zip. Its not just any nylon zip. Oh I sound like I'm on a Marks and Spencer advert, but honestly if a zip could be stylish, this one is. Long, which always seems to look expensive, because there's enough fabric to hold it, ribbon sides, with a heavy aged metal zip. Even the pull is a shape I've never seen before. And yes in that picture the tag is still on, and no I don't plan on taking it off until I wear the dress - and yes it probably will go back on after! The tag itself is a work of art, thick ivory card, gold eyelet and glossy writing, all reminding you of the luxury which you have bought. The only downside is the white sticky label on the back (admittedly it is perfectly clean and stuck smack bang in the middle) featuring the familiar H&M text, a barcode and a huge great 36, which brings you back to earth, reminding you that really it is a H&M dress. Give them their due, there is no price on the tag - that would ruin the illusion completely. As would putting at picture on of said sticky label, so I'm not!

And that's only the detachable tag, the label in the back of the dress is just as fabulous in a chic, nondescript and slightly raw way. Its not a gold brocade firmly embroidered plaque, its a small piece of canvas, attached only with two black stitches, featuring the scrawl that has become synonymous with the collection. It's got that same attraction as the raw edges, that slight undone-ness, that makes Lanvin so French. A properly sewn in label would be far too British. It's almost as though you could snip those two stitches, remove the swing tag, and your dress isn't defined by a brand, only by it's design, which would without doubt give the game away.

The burning question then, if I'm so unbelievably happy with this dress, is when am I going to wear it? Someone said Christmas Day, someone said NYE, but I'd already decided back when I ordered it. It is being saved for my 18th in November for a very uncharacteristic, materialistic double whammy of Louboutins and Lanvin (H&M) dress, just seeing as I've never done it before. Hence the fact there's no pictures of me wearing le robe, you'll have to wait 'til November for that...

Sunday, 2 January 2011

FD - 2nd January 2011 - Gotta love the leopard

My apologies for being a day late but Happy New Year to you all! Somehow I feel I have to fill my first post of 2011 with something super exciting or some breaking news... but I'm sorry you're getting my New Year dress 'cos I love it!

I know I'm getting boring but the dress is from (drumroll please!) Zara. It wasn't actually a deliberate decision, it just happened to be the nicest leopard print dress I saw, and we all know how stubborn I am - I wanted a leopard print dress and that's what I was getting! My stubborn nature forced me to be in town far too early on Thursday morning when honestly I was feeling a pretty ropey and I had no voice. I croaked down the phone to get it on hold then croaked a bit more in the shop, the Zara staff probably thought I was weird, but it was most definitely worth it.

It's such an easy shape to wear and will look great with bare legs when I have a tan. For now, while I'm in pasty territory, Marks and Sparks' 60 dernier will serve me well! Besides which leopard print won't date as such, when it goes quiet, into the wardrobe it will go, and back out again it will come within a few seasons. It's a dress im sure I will be wearing for many years to come. Whats more, I found, while  trying the dress on, (over my clothes because  I was too cold/lazy to take them off) that it actually looks fab dressed down with my over the knee boots and leggings, so I'm quite looking forward to trying that one out when I have a slightly-more-formal-than-casual occasion to attend. Rest assured you'll hear about it when I do!

But back to Friday night/Saturday morning... As you can't see in this distinctly spontaneous picture I am wearing my fabulous shoes, the black patent ones with the leopard platform that I blogged about. If you didn't see the post, (or you did but by some unfortunate fluke their beauty has accidentally slipped your mind!), click here to read it. 

I kept it simple accessories wise, just my sparkly (and very very heavy) 80's deco earrings. I was going to wear a bracelet but I was most concerned it may interfere with the cocktail shaker... seriously! Not wanting to look too "done", and bored of messy "down" hair, a messy up-do completed the look. I only needed a metal detector yesterday to find all the 30 kirby grips, having deemed it more sensible to sleep with them in than take them out before I went to bed...