Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Marvellous Mabille

Having just graduated and celebrated in style at our university's graduation ball, I've been encapsulated by all things glitz and glam when it comes to my recent fashion finds. The more jewels and silky chic material the better in my opinion when dressing up for a formal occasion and letting your hair down with a glass of champers in hand.

One of the most fabulous designers of formal wear who I have only recently personally discovered has to be Alexis Mabille. He tailors for women of all tastes, from classic and simple style to the most ostentatious and glamorous gowns. His gorgeous collection would fit any number of occasions, perfect for a sophisticated afternoon tea with friends or a red carpet event where you need to turn each and every head.

I absolutely adore the cut of this dress, skimming the body to give a beautiful silhouette. The dark navy colour palette works perfectly to give a real sense of drama and effect within the draping at the front and makes it a fabulous evening dress perfect for any cocktail party.

I love the simultaneous simplicity and complexity of this dress. The neckline is incredibly intricate and delicate, yet the simple draped skirt avoids the outfit becoming fussy or overstated. The muted mustard colours and white lace mean it could be worn to a daytime BBQ or dressed up with glamour gold sandals for an evening soiree.  

Finally, this dress has to be my favourite. It has an Asian vibe with the slit neckline and it's silk and beaded detailing. It, again, seems simple yet super glamorous and chic. If only it came in more colours, I can imagine this piece looking stunning in a midnight blue or rich, mahogony, red. 

When looking for the perfect evening gown this season, look no further than the marvellous Mabille who is sure to have designed an absolutely stunning party piece, ideal for your next big occasion.  

Monday, 23 June 2014

Wowwing at Wimbledon

It's over a year since I started my blog, and I cast my memory back to when I wrote a post early in July, when I still had a thriving imagination for creating witty blog-post titles, about Wimbledon and encouraging my many (four!) readers to embrace the classic colours of purple and green. 'The Ball's in Your Court' was one of my earliest posts, and re-reading it brings such a sense of nostalgia as well as clearly demonstrating how far my fashion has come since then. So much has changed in just 12 months!

Seeing as Britain's most iconic sporting event, Wimbledon, officially started today, with our boy Andy Murray sailing through the first round on centre court, I thought it only right that I comment on what attired I consider to be most appropriate to wear when supporting your favourite player, whether you're sitting at home and screaming at the set-top box, or lucky enough to go and see a game live court side.

For the ladies, the combination of comfort and style is key. Wherever you'll be watching the game, it's going to be for the long haul and - fingers crossed! - the sun will be shining so it's important to choose wisely so you keep your cool and can stay calm to cope with the stresses of near misses and challenged linesmen calls. Florals are a summer staple, as are floaty silhouettes and maxi skirts.

[Dress: Seafolly Rio Maxi dress, £141.00, Available from selfridges.com]

This dress by SEAFOLLY would be absolutely ideal, allowing you to look chic and camera ready if you're in the centre court crowd, as well as the maxi, floaty skirt keeping you cool and comfortable for the hours of play. It can double-up as a World Cup outfit if necessary due to it's Rio inspired design, however for all my English readers that would simply be more salt rubbed into the wound, so let's focus on Wimbledon where we have a far greater chance at success!

For the men supporters, I would suggest going for a polo shirt. They effortlessly ooze style and sophistication so you can look smart whilst avoiding over heating in the summer sun. Personally, I love the classic and simply Ralph Lauren polo such as this one. It's chic and understated, paired with chinos and quality leather loafers it's a winning Wimbledon look.

[Polo shirt: Ralph Lauren, £75.00
Loafers: Harrys of London, £325.00, Both available from selfridges.com ]

So prepare yourself, both mentally and fashionably, to put the hours in and watch the nail biting games that are inevitably to come over the next fortnight. Wimbledon, here we come!

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Show-stopper Sunnies

Accessories can make, or break, an outfit. I love the flexibility that accessories give to your wardrobe, allowing you to create hundreds of looks out of a small number of pieces, elevated with the addition of a statement necklace, chunky cuff or stellar sunglasses. 

Seeing as the summer season is upon us, and I can verify I have officially seen the sun, it's time to maximise the opportunity to don your finest pair of sunnies. Even just within the sunglasses genre, there is huge variety in styles, shapes and colours all impacting greatly on the effect they have on the overall look.

I always gravitate towards the stand-out, perhaps arguably garish at times, but always fabulous sunglasses. I like my UV defenders to make an impression and say something about me and my sense of style. I don't expect everyone to see them and approve of my style choice, but as long as they notice them, that's my job done! My style is most certainly individual and "interesting" as labelled by my beloved grandmother, but fashion is fun and isn't constrained by limits or laws, so I all for pushing the boundaries.

Despite recently graduating from university and with the student debt still weighing heavily on my bank account, I couldn't resist investing in a new amazing pair of sunnies when our lenses met a couple of weeks ago. It was a partnership made in heaven, and any fashion follower would understand when it was a case of needs-must, despite any financial limitations!

They're by designer Orla Kiely, and I'm officially in love. Their 50s inspired shape and patterned rim are really unusual, classic and show-stoppingly glam. The incredible Kiely designs everything and anything, many embossed with her signature flower and petal design, all embodying of air of vintage and classic style, even as far as her candles which are super chic!

Embrace the sun this summer, and bring an outfit to life with a statement pair of sunnies that will turn heads and get you noticed!   

Monday, 16 June 2014

World Cup Wardrobe

World Cup fever has officially broken out and spread across the globe, with flags adorning almost every house and team shirts sported by fans on every street.

I've surprised myself by how much I have enjoyed watching the games so far, and how invested I have got into teams I know absolutely nothing about - vamos Columbia! - it's the dance that got me!

It's unsurprising considering my obsession with all things fashion that my eyes often wander from the players', sometimes less-so, intricate ball skills to their team kit and to the many interesting ensembles within the crowds. So far I haven't been overly enamored, nor hugely offended by any of the sporting outfits this world cup. 

However, although many won't have noticed nor cared, but I must comment on the Uruguay team kit and their oh-so-effeminate neckline which I find looks rather odd on a football shirt. 

It's clearly only a matter of opinion, and perhaps it has a functional purpose to allow for less neck-chafing for the players (?!) but I cannot support such a fashion choice. It's wrong...just wrong. Hopefully I won't have a raging band of crazed Uruguayans after me once I post this!

I'm undecided on my opinions on the French kit. It has an air of preppy street style whilst maintaining it's sense of practicality and sport functionality.

The players do look incredibly smart, which is often a rarity when it comes to football, but I suppose the French are renowned for their fashion credentials and why stop at the catwalk when you can take it to the World Cup stage?

Of course I can't write a World Cup kit themed post without mentioning our boys and their crystal white attire. Clearly I'm biased, but I have been impressed by the team's get-up this year - as well as their performance in Saturday night's game!

They're simple, understated and classic - exactly how a World Cup winning football team kit should look. Or at least the kit of a team who'll put their heart and soul into each and every game, wearing their country's coat of arms on their chest, and hopefully getting a ball or 2 in the back of the net.

In the fashion stakes, I would say that England are firmly up there with the best of them, so lets get behind our boys and cheer them through to the knock out stages!

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Revival of the Rucksack

High fashion is daring to dip into the realms of everyday pieces and practicality this season by adding their designer edge to the beloved rucksack. They've realised the desperate need to give the piece a timely facelift and update it's somewhat tragic reputation, and at long last we can see a revival of the rucksack!
Everyone owns one, and most are scared to bring it out of the back of the wardrobe for fear of capturing a ninja turtle-esque vibe and choosing to go for fashion over the comfort and practicality of the double strap.
Have no fear fashion lovers, as the answer to our social embarrassment fears have been answered by the designer Gods in fashion houses around the globe. Unfortunately most come at quite a price, but what price do you put on saving face and looking good? Hopefully over £1,000 if you're a fan of the offerings from the accessories experts at Chanel.
This creation by Chanel is certainly a chic, designer take on the bog-standard rucksack. It's a piece that you may style to look casual and evoke a 'thrown-together' look, but you most certainly wouldn't want to graffiti tip-ex or pin badges to it like your teen self might have done - that would just be down right (ruck!)sack religious in this case! 
 I'm more of a fan of the this sleek and classic, colourful design from 3.1 Phillip Lim. I love the bold, popping orange and the zip detailing which is both practical, and a nice feature to the piece. It's a sizeable bag so still meeting the rucksack requirements where you can throw in almost everything and anything you own Mary Poppins style, but it's still incredibly chic and makes a fashion statement whilst maintaining the required level of practicality.

Designers at Alexander McQueen have given their very individual spin on updating the rucksack, with a typical McQueen rock inspired design and edgy detailing. This piece, again, makes a real fashion statement and would add to any outfit with an injection of style whilst fitting the bill to act as the ideal accessory for a day out with friends.

Throw away the old tatty 90s throw-back rucksack you haven't dared let yourself be seen in day light wearing, and allow yourself to avoid the arm-ache and shoulder agony of the usual handbag by investing in one of these designer rucksack beauties. They're both stylish and sensible - it might not sound sexy, but if you work it right there's no reason why it can't look fabulous!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Á La Mod

The Jam are musical legends, firstly because of their ingenious talents of songwriting but secondly because of their legendary style. Paul Weller is nothing short of an icon and catapulted the mod style into the mainstream.

The fashion movement began in the early-mid 60s and has remained a key look for music lovers across the globe, but particularly within the Brit-pop community. To be a mod is to be fashion conscious, but not conscious or care what others think - of your outfit nor your lifestyle. It encompasses an attitude that's care free, suave and smart, and lets not forget - beautifully British.

I'm so happy to see, despite it's strong prevalence in certain areas of the country, it's making a revival. Seemingly gracing the Parisian catwalks first, but it's only a matter of time until it explodes back onto our British pavements. I can't wait until it becomes the norm once again to see a man fully suited-and-booted, along with a classic mod hair-do, groomed pain-stakingly until it reaches the perfect 'just out of bed' look.  

Carven has hit the mod nail on the head at this year's Paris Fashion Week with their women's fashion.

This tweed shift dress is great. The colour is really fresh and perfect for spring 2014 whilst effortlessly paying homage to the 60s.

Both of these designs encompass the mod's fundamental sense of style and sophistication through great tailoring and simple accessories. I love that both are designed in cutesie baby pink, yet they simlutaneously give off a vibe of strong, empowered feminity and a real "don't f*** with me" attitude - true á la mod!

Let your true 60s soul emerge this season, and update your wardrobe by harping back to the dream decade and adding a few pieces á la mod.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Say Yes to the Dress

So I've just handed in my final honours dissertation and I'm feeling absolutely ecstatic. The cocktails have been flowing since 11am so it's time to power nap in preparation for tonight's celebrations. Writing the 16000 word dissertation was certainly a hard slog, but the decision as to what to wear for the celebratory pictures was possibly even more challenging. Do I go all out or keep it cool yet casual? TRICKY

At least when it comes to the end of year ball, that is a slightly easier decision. Definitely a full-length gown, although considering my almost dwarf-like stature that means shortening any dress I decide on well in advance! It's important to pitch the outfit at the perfect level of class and sophisticated glamour, yet practical enough to allow room for the 3 course meal, drink and ceilidh dancing at the end of the evening. So many things to think about!

This Halston Heritage One-Shoulder Georgette Dress is perfect, and actually very similar to the one I will be wearing on the night of my final ball. It's chic, glamorous and classy yet very wearable and tailored perfectly to allow for a good ol' dance later on in the night.

I'm generally apposed to the classic LBD, always choosing colour in favour of the cliché all-in-black number, although I do think that can look knock-out, but rather wanting to stand out more from the crowd if possible. This colour-block number from TIBI certainly ticks those boxes, whilst still remaining undeniable classic and beautiful with a stunning silhouette and great tailoring.

I always support daring to step out in a bold coloured dress and standing out with a bold, striking number. So why not try something new and go for an eye-catching gown and wow the crowds?

Monday, 24 February 2014

Pretty Pastels

The weather is most definitely improving - finally! - so my thoughts are already turning to my spring/summer wardrobe. It's never too early and does nothing but good for the soul to think of sunny thoughts to help get us through the tough rainy days.

Whenever the sun is out, however rare it may be, I love to wear a super feminine outfit full of floral patterns, pastel colours and light, floaty material. There's nothing better than wearing a flowing chiffon skirt and soaking up the sun, life doesn't get much better!


This spring/summer looks set to be another great one thanks to the design team at Peter Pilotto. Their 2014 collection is breathtaking  and so wearable that any girl would fall head over heels to wear one of their pieces. The colouring is stunning first off, but the detail and intricacy of the designs are simply outstanding. They deserve to be in a glass box and admired, but I'm more than happy to wear them instead!


The silhouette on the dress above is absolutely beautiful and really compliments the female figure. The team at Pilotto really seem to understand what women want, and how to dress to suit their shape. I'm certainly wowed and would love to spend a summer's afternoon with a picnic in the park, feeling the epitome of style and sophistication wearing one of their incredible creations. Well, a girl can dream!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Underwear is the New Outerwear

Trends each season can often be a little risqué, with exposed skin here and there and the odd bit of lace doing nothing to cover our dignity. It's fun to be daring and designers are continuing to push the boundaries of where the line should be drawn between day wear and night-time attire.

Rodarte have managed to create a Spring/Summer 14 collection which encapsulates the beautiful femininity of lingerie whilst maintaining a perfectly socially acceptable level of daily wearability by covering just the areas, just the right amount.

These pieces manage to hit the spot by allowing us girls to feel sexy and young, yet paired with a longer, more demure, skirt keeps the outfit classy and chic. The only problem I would find would be ever having the weather to be able to pull it off without looking pained, but they do say no pain no gain so perhaps a little risk of hypothermia would be worth it!
Not only have Rodarte managed to bridge the gap between nightwear and daywear seamlessly, but they're almost bringing Ying and Yang together in perfect harmony too - what a team of design geniuses!

I adore these monochrome looks, especially the right-side harlequin ruffle halter top. That would be perfect paired with a cute pair of shorts on a summer day, or with a high-waisted leather skirt for a sexy, seductress look.

Ladies, if you want to feel sexy, feminine, glamorous or all of the above (as well as perhaps a little chilly!), head to Rodarte where you will undoubtedly find a piece to fit the bill.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Crop Top or Crop Flop?

In recent seasons, the crop top has made a real come-back, with the revival being paired with a sophisticated pencil skirt or more casually with jeans being seen on every pavement internationally. It's been a feature on red carpets as well as within street style globally making it out to be one of the most versatile yet daring wardrobe pieces.

I'm still on the fence as to whether I'm a fan. I can understand that if you've got a set of rock hard abs you want to show them off, but there are more subtle ways to do so without literally shoving them in everyone's face. For me, I'd rather show off my figure in a stylish piece of tailoring which equally allows others to notice I don't frequent Maccy D's on a daily basis, rather than catching a cold with my stomach out and hesitating every time I need to sit down and the inevitable 'rolls' are unleashed.

However, despite my ranting, I have to admit that I do have one cropped piece. I feel I can justify it considering it's a 40s style tie top, so it's not a slogan tee at least! If I were to ever take the cropped-top purchase plunge again, I could be tempted by an ASOS bargain.

This Recalimed Vintage Floral piece is a great fabric and I really like the simple shape and neckline. And for £30, it doesn't matter if you only where it a couple of times!

My favourite of the ASOS crop offerings has to be this tartan vintage piece though. Currently in the sale for a bargain price of £19, it's a steal. Paired with the matching skirt, it's a great example of an uber-cool patterned twin set, which shows off an iron-board stomach but with 3/4 sleeves so there's no danger of over-exposure!

My advice is to tread carefully in the cropped department, ensuring that if you dare to bare that you do so by going for a chic piece like the ASOS Vintage Tartan top above. Don't go falling into the cliche trap of a lycra polo neck which graces the wardrobes of almost every wannabe hipster in existence!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Kick off the New Year in Style

Last night was a celebration of the Chinese New Year, full of colour and aspirations for a prosperous and happy new year. Looking forward to what the future holds is exciting both in terms of what major life events we may have coming our way or opportunities on the horizon, as well as what on earth we're going to wear at each and everyone of them!

As well as being a cause for celebration of new beginning, the Chinese New Year has influences far wider reaching having a large impact upon the fashion world. Designers have been taking inspiration from the Orient in their latest designs and transforming them into wearable stunning designs for us all to enjoy.

Dolce&Gabbana's Spring/Summer 2014 Collection is nothing short of stunning. Their collection truly stands out to me as a result of their exquisite choice of materials and superb tailoring. The shapes and textures created by the incredible Italian design team are simply beautiful and the quality speaks for itself. These looks will add glamour and elegant style all across the globe, and are statement outfits for all the right reasons.

These pieces transcend any office or street style, they can be worn almost anywhere and anytime as long as it's complete with the necessary 'Audrey Hepburn' esque attitude of effortless style. I can see these pieces becoming classics, timeless outfits which despite being heavily patterned never going out of fashion. Chic is chic, and these are chic!

Embrace the orient this coming season and invest in a piece from Dolce&Gabbana's SS14 collection which will undoubtedly serve you well for years to come.

Start the New Year off in style with a quality, chic D&G design.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Gig Get-Up

When you're getting yourself ready for a night out at a gig, it's important to get the perfect combination of style and comfort. You want to spend the time to find the perfect outfit which looks effortlessly thrown together in minutes - much easier said than done!

If you're anything like me and usually in love with the musician performing, you clearly want to impress for that fleeting moment his eyes skim the crowd and he might catch a glimpse of you, whilst also preparing yourself for 2 solid hours of standing in a hot, sweaty crowd and not wanting to wither from those oh-so tight skinny jeans.

My ideal gig get-up would be a funky pair of leggings, preferably with extra loose elastic to allow for a couple of extra beers whilst you enjoy the evening! I'd pair those with a chunky knit jumper, with a loose tank underneath so if things get rowdy and you feel the need to de-layer it's easy to whip of your sweater and feel comfortable.

I love the selection from American Apparel and would happily choose pretty much any pair and wear them any day of the week. For a laid back concert, I'd go for this pair which are suitably attention grabbing and edgy but the classic monotone colouring keeps the piece wearable and avoids the try-hard trap which is so easily fallen in to.

Paired with a simple over-sized jumper it'll ease thrown-together style, as well as being comfortable and ideal to dance in - perfect for that next gig.

So think ahead and plan your gig garm before you head out to ensure you turn heads whilst avoiding the cramped, sweaty crowd suffering!

Friday, 17 January 2014

Battle The Post-Christmas Blues

The month of January is difficult for all of us. Taking down the Christmas decorations, putting away the Bublé crimbo CD until the following year and still facing the decidedly less than pleasing wintry weather outside.

After already having gorged for the past 2 weeks, although all you want to do is turn to yet another piece of cake and down half a bottle of wine, we know deep down it's for the best to join others for depressing "dry January" and head over to the gym. GRIM!

Well that's not the only possible answer to the post-Christmas blues. The sales are still on with bargains to be bought, so turn to fashion to lift your mood!

A bright new frock can't fail to bring a smile to your face, especially when it's a price which can keep your purse happy too.

I love this 'Leader Of The Pack' floral satin dress by Finders Keepers. I can't resist using a cheeky pun as it really does pack a punch - ouch... and reduced from £145 to £58 (Available at harveynichols.com) so it won't hit your bank account too hard.

The print is bold and blues-bursting with colour, but in tones which keep it muted and perfect for casual day wear or dressed up for the evening. It's multi-seasonal too, as it would look so cute with a pair of sandals on a summer's day, but equally with tights and ankle boots if you're daring to face the outdoors this Winter.

So don't turn to the biscuit tin - again! - to deal with the turmoil of getting back to work and re-entering reality. Use your wardrobe to add colour to your life and give you the boost to start 2014 looking fab!