Sunday, 30 September 2012


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Prints Please...

There are two LFW regualrs who for me define "How to do Prints" and that would be Holly Fulton and Mary Katrantzou. Both designers have always been heavily invested in print and textile design from the get go, and this is almost where the similarities end... Although their ethos is rather similar the aesthetics aren't, both seem to specialise in an innovative trompe l'oeil approach but the subjects and execution are from similar. 

Holly Fulton s/s 13

This season Holly Fulton looked to the West Coast for inspiration and style and this was prevalent in the colour palette and addition of swimwear... Far from the trendy, worn-by-Rihanna likes of We Are Handsome, Fulton's printed to pieces were beach ready in an all the more different approach, and for me that was the best way to do it. Early on Fulton was famed for her perfume bottles and art deco inspired jewellery illusion designs and as she has evolved the prints have become more abstract and there has become more of a focus on the silhouettes and pattern execution and I love this. I loved the summery blues, pinks and oranges that were boldly emblazoned all over the models, and it was an altogether edgy take on the upcoming season and nicely devoid of the usual trends, looks and themes that often trip off the catwalk and onto our backs. If there is one thing the high street can take off the catwalk it should be to invest in prints and motifs inspired by these two renegades. In an upcoming season of ditsy florals, and gentle tailoring I dream of bold prints, edgy florals and the joy of Fulton's quirky trompe l'oeil prints... it'll cheer me up and help me forget my woes. I dream of the eclectic and the so uncool it's cool. 

Mary Katrantzou s/s 13

Mary Katrantzou is one of my current faves to pop out of London, I think she is just bloody brilliant! Her approach to print is bold, intricate and verges on the couture like, and this is reflected in her prices. Even better, is that when she created a collection for Topshop she recreated images almost identical to her mainline collection and it was retailed at a fraction of the prices... She has created illussions of lampshades, underwater creatures and antique vases emblazoned onto bodies that have caught the eye of the one and only Anna dello Russo who regularly wears her pieces. For next season Katrantzou relived the idea of childhood holiday keepsakes, and emblazoned floaty silk pieces with stamps, currency and other keepsakes you fill your case with as a kid. I love that her foray into denim wasn't as you might expect, and made slinky flares the centre piece of a Greek-architecture printed sinuous fabric landscape. I adored the flowing silhouettes and balloon like sleeves printed lovingly with images that evoke memories of childhood jaunts to the Mediterranean... I dreamt of olives, deep blue seas, and salty sea air, Vespas and cobbled streets when I peeked at this collection. In a time when we are scrimping pennies ad the weather is crap, a bit of daydreaming via fashion perving is much needed.
It was refreshing and wonderful to see these kind of prints being used by designers, as opposed to those usually associated with summer such as dots, stripes and florals. I love a collection that is rather far removed from commerciality, and a designer bold enough to do so. I t has become quite apparent that some consumers love this to, yes classics and failsafe pieces are important in a recession, however if you aren't short of a few quid and you like to make a statement and the Eurozone crisis isn't about to bankrupt you then make a statement. 

Altogether now... "PRINTS PLEASE!"

all images courtesy of

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Pretty, Pretty

 Now I am not one for trends or any of that old guff, but there was a definite mood at London fashion week, and that was for all things twee, pretty and ladylike, albeit with an edge. The Londoners took their hats off to a bygone era and with it the look of a prim and proper lady, who left her morals at the door. For all the exaggerated waists, twin sets and hand embroidered lace, there was transparency, boobs and teeny little body suits. So here is to the London lady... chic, twee and halfway drunk on champagne!

First up in my lady line up is Burberry Prorsum, with all the fanfare of the technical wizardry of the Regent Street flagship opening and their live streaming of the catwalk Burberry showed with a bang. The theme of the show was announced as "Corsets and Capes" and Mr Bailey did not disappoint. As always the focal point was outerwear, but Burberry's lady was ravishingly well dressed, tousled of hair and clearly lacking in the bottom half of her outfit... Corsets and capes were given a slinky, cool update. The catwalk was awash with shrunken trench inspired capelets, corsetry that focused on the breast and lashings of stiff and heavy duchesse satin. The dresses that did appear were form fitting and panelled, this was set off with fabulous form fitting trenches that ballooned at the sleeve to show off slender, lithe bodies. Oh and don't get me started on the colour palette... it was bold, rich and dashed with Quality Street wrapper inspired metallics. A triumph... and I so want a pleated, metallic leotard thingy...

Christopher Kane is always a London highlight and this season he lived up to that, at first the collection looked to be perfectly well put together and polished, especially after last season's dark and gothic offerings. However on closer inspection pieces were held together with bolts and images of Frankenstein flashed up on tees halfway through... There was something strange going on. There were dresses that looked crinkled plastic, and fabric that had been injected with rubber... The only girlish difference was the beautifully soft pleats in saccharine sweet pastels. Oh and then came the lace and organza smattered with gaffer tape... it was almost as if his prim heroine was caught in a horror film... And this is what made Kane's vision of lady like absolutely perfect.

Mulberry did 'the lady' in a traditional, London cool girl way... Like an updated Shoreditch version of the look, I may be making it sound cliched but it totally wasn't. There were subtle beautiful florals worked into floaty, pretty tea dresses, like the kind Kate Moss made cool. However they were updated with boyish biker jackets skimming the hips and with rounded shoulders, a look that seems to have been carried over from this season. There were hints of pastels and nudes to give it a soft, spring mood and there were sequins and lovely bags as always... I loved the start - lashings of buttery caramel and toffee hues especially the thick, soft looking leather. My favourite bit was the flash navy in the middle, especially in the high waisted silk trousers, so stiff they looked like they could walk on their own.

Images courtesy of

Python and Posies...

There was a definite trend trickling through from the recent London shows, and that was python print, which has been hanging around a few seasons now, teamed with luscious florals to create a fantstically edgy mood that has become synonymous with the collections paraded down the catwalks of London Fashion week...

Preen s/s 13

Preen duo Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi celebrated their ten year tenure by returning to the birth place of their fabulous after showing in New York for the past few years... They added lashings of patch work python to their fabulous overblown graphic florals to create a strangely edgy take on this look. What I love most about this mash up of summer prints is that much of the silhouettes and collections have a very ladylike mood to them, totally juxtaposing the print mash up and making it look all the more London. As usual Preen has been one of my favourite London shows, mostly because it is just plain gorgeous, and secondly because I could imagine myself wearing it all. O h and lastly because they came home, mind you even in NY they never lost their touch, or started to look decidedly 'New York.' Welcome home...

Erdem s/s 13

Erdem brought a filthy edge to his usually ultra feminine floral proceedings by starting off with mixing python prints with perfectly pretty florals and lace, and then throwing it all on its head with an infection of neon floral. He kept things super un-Erdem by using transparent lace and bold palettes of neon orange and pink, all with big granny knickers on show. I utterly adore Erdem and spend many a season dreaming of coating myself in piece after piece from his collections, and this offering made me love him even more. I never thought he could make me obsess over florals more than I already do, however adding a tough girl hit of neon and snakeskin into the mixing bowl he has. I know next season I will definitely mixing a little python with my peony...

Monday, 24 September 2012

Snap backs and String...

Meet Ali, he is a shop boy at Dior. Tee, knit and shorts, Topman. Jacket, sunglasses and boots, vintage. Cap, Versace x HM.

I heart Ali... And not just because I know him. Girl never fails to werq it... I caught him dashing off to London to visit a friend and had to snap his little ensemble. I've been loving this 90s grunge inspired look a lot of the boys have been doing in Manchester... I just love how cool and street inspired it is. I am inspired by many things when toting my camera hunting fancy looking folks but I tend to veer towards looks more inspired by street wear rather than trad trends and runway looks.

Don't get me wrong I love a haute ensemble but I'm obsessed with folk who have a little 'devil may care' element to their look.

I was mostly in awe of the fact Ali had the balls to wear shorts on a VERY chilly Manchester afternoon... Espesh since he had only topped it with denim and a few slinky layers... But that was the beauty of it. I think a heavy slab if outerwear would of killed it.
The best part? His baroque inspired dash of Versace atop his perfectly quiffed head. I'm a sucker for anything Versace, even better if it is more Gianni-esque 90s era, baroque scarf print. I will never tire of a little ostentatious print to marvel at... I'm also a total grunge lover and feel it never goes out of vogue on the right folk and if you ask me Ali is killing it... Love his work!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Cut up and keep

According to Philip Lim's show notes announced that he had been exploring the Dada literary technique of 'cut-up'... for example writing a list of work, selecting  some of them and creating an altogether new sentence with your selection. This technique was favoured by William Burroughs and later used by David Bowie and Radiohead...

Basically a fancy euphemism for patchwork and mish-mashed eclecticism favoured by us Brits. I as usual fell hook, line and sinker for the lot. I have and always will be a big fat Lim fan, and never fail to love his concepts and collections and generally want to own the whole lot, I even adore his pre-collections. I think that is mostly because not only is it all lovely but much of it is wearable, workable into most wardrobes and not too horrifically priced.

For me I liked the way that Lim turned Dada-ism into a grunge inspired collection... I love the ay that he has made patchworking and mis-matched fabrics and textured desirable, edgy, chic and what every girl in the world wants to wear. I love that there is something for everyone... Whispy silk parkas with massive pockets? Check! Patchwork denim? Check! Shredded khaki knits and checked shirts? Check! Diaphonous floral tea dresses? Check! Pink suede dungarees? Check! Logo tees? Check! There was a bit of grunge for every side of grunge, no matter what you want Lim covered it... With aplomb!

images courtesy of

Diffusion? What diffusion...

  Now I am not a personal fan of the way Mrs Beckham dresses herself of a morning, it is far too well put together, harshly groomed and perfectly executed for me... And the whole heels noon and night thing is a wee bit boring, especially her choice of hooker shoe. However, I am a huge fan of her work. The mainline collection that takes her name is a lesson in marvellous, teaching even the most unstylish how to dress... Or at least give you a solid idea. 

  My main point is that her second collection Victoria, Victoria Beckham is classically known as with any other second, cheaper line a "diffusion collection." I don't think this goes anywhere near to doing it justice, "sister line" is more fitting... Or even "second brand" because there is nothing diffusion about the collection. If her mainline is the grown up, honed more well put together of the two, Victoria, Victoria Beckham is the cooler, unrefined generally awesome little sister. She is the one you would ask for styling advice, the one who knows all about the most up and coming designers and brands, the one that can rattle off names and brands you have never even heard of. She is the one at all the coolest parties and shows at fashion week, the one at all the best FROWs, she has the newest handbags and  the most coveted hair. She is the one you wish came to your party... 

  She may have blasted LL Cool J over the speakers, and mentioned that people always asked if her collections are inspired by living in LA, but one thing is for sure... This collection is the furthest thing from the LA look you could imagine. The always loose, deconstructed shapes and girlish hemlines of this collection never fail to disappoint... However she added a few demure  knee length pieces to the proceeding, which may have been austere in silhouette but they more than made up for it with cool prints, and edgy details. I like that the pieces are mostly short, and that the prints are bold and overblown, it adds a sweet taste to the proceedings. My favourite thing about this line is there doesn't often appear to be a concept or theme, and this is reflected in the palette and use of fabrics, it is just all about good, honest, beautifully made clothes. That you would kill for.

Whatever you opt to label this brand, a diffusion it ain't... 

images courtesy of