Archive | April, 2011

Trendwatch: British Pride

26 Apr

So… the royal wedding is nearly here and I’m having a Royal Wedding Garden Party!!!!!!! Yay!

BUT… what to wear?!

I’ve gone with the theme British Pride:

and discovered these beauties:

Religion Union Jack Leggings (£35)

ASOS Lightening Bolt Crop Top (£18)

Amplified T-Shirt (was £25 now £14)

Religion Union Jack Printed Body (£35)

Union Jack Smile Tee by Little Fox (£25)

Or you could be very thrifty and make yourself a top/dress out of a flag (I’ve found this one for £1.66!)

There are numerous British-inspired necklaces out there and these are some that caught my eye:

L-R Hoolala God Save the Queen Necklace (£38), Cath Kidston Union Jack Locket Necklace (£35) and Butler and Wilson Union Jack Pendant (£58).

Hoolala have a wonderous amount of charm necklaces and bracelets incoporating the trend, as well as loads of other cute themed pieces (Wizard of Oz and Puss in Boots to name a couple!).

What are you going to be wearing to celebrate the occasion?

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Mango Stylist Reader Event – Work It

21 Apr

So last week I went along to the Mango Stylist Reader Event. It was advertised in Stylist Magazine and we had to request our tickets via e-mail, I rushed to get one and recieved this lovely invite:

I arrived in good time, only to discover two massive queues sprawling out onto Oxford Street, with my one blocking off the entrance to Bershka! They’d made it so exclusive that there was a guest list and they ticked each of us off as we entered! A tad extreme I thought! Anyway about 15 minutes later I’d made my way in, been given my glass of champagne and had my photo taken:

I was wearing:

ASOS Cropped Cardigan

French Connection Vest Top

Topshop Suede Shorts

Topshop Burgundy Ankle Boots

Mulberry Black Soft Spongy Leather Bayswater 🙂

I was sporting my new favourite hair-do: the Topknot inspired by The Look Show (see the how-to video here)

The event was called ‘Work It’ with Stylist selecting their favourite pieces, my 2 favourites were the white tuxedo blazer and cat print dress (cuuuute!).

I also loved they yellow blazer that fellow blogger and Mango girl PoppyD was wearing, but being the midget that I am, it came down to about my knees!!! Instead I decided to channel my energy into finding the top that the mannequin below is wearing. But it was gone in my size 😦 waaah! I don’t think Mango had stocked up enough… and most of the good stuff was gone by 8pm if not before…

I drowned my sorrows drinking what I thought was a mini elderflower cocktail but it actually turned out to be straight liqueur in the form of St. Germain. It was really delicious… and I might be providing some at my Royal Wedding Garden Party next week!

Anywhooo… I thought with the sun daring to make an appearance of late, I’d consider making some additions to my Summer wardrobe… these two pieces would certainly fit in nicely:

The floral dress could be worn to the park or beach, or dressed up for dinner or a wedding. The stripey number is just so casual chic, and I loved the colour combination, perfect for a bit of sailing… or more likely shopping!

These floral handbags are great for festival season, I love the way the subtle print means they would grab attention whilst going with everything.

I really liked this unusual fan-like bag but was shocked to see the £65 price tag… I could imagine finding something similar in Primark for about £8!

At the end of the night we got goodie bags containing lots of loveliness… my favourite bits were Lipton Pink Citrus tea and a Mango silk scarf which I put on my head as soon as I got on the tube (I do love a good freebie)! An enjoyable evening was had and it was lovely to meet PoppyD, but please stock up more next time Mango!

Going GAGA for Geiger – 25% off!

20 Apr

As if we shopaholics needed another excuse to purchase shoes…. not that I’m complaining!

Grazia are kindly offering its readers 25% off at Kurt Geiger both in-store and online HERE.

This means that I can now vaguely consider buying the GAGA shoes I fell in love with at Westfield, London, a couple of weeks ago!

25% off the £120 price tag means they are now, a slightly more reasonable, £90. But which colour to choose? And do I REALLY need them?!

The cream would fill a gap in my shoe collection (I need some neutrals!), could be worn with black tights and are gorgeous for Spring/Summer, but the cream suede platform makes me think, one wrong step and they’d be RUINED, and we do live in rainy England!

The Navy are a bit more ‘safe’, but are they too similar to the ten black pairs of heels I own? They do look fabulous with jeans though, and a dirty puddle would affect the navy suede less! Down side… black tights would not work as well with these… or would they?

What do you reckon? I could really do with some advice! And are you going to be buying anything with the 25% off discount?

Mina UK Boutique

19 Apr

Whilst on my walk from work to Oxford Street, I stumbled upon the Mina UK Boutique on Great Titchfield Street.

For those of you who haven’t heard of Mina, they were established in 2005 and have become known for their vintage inspired pieces (particularly dresses). They are often found within larger stores such as Topshop and ASOS, whilst also being stocked in small boutiques. The success of the brand led to Mina opening their very own boutique in the heart of London, just seconds from shopping mecca Oxford Street.

As a bargain hunter, what particularly drew me in was the lure of the sample sale:

Here, there were amazingly cute dresses from £28 (they’re usually £50-70)! The joy of the sample sale is you get next seasons pieces at bargain prices… which basically means more wears for less money AND looking way ahead of the game! You know it makes sense!

The Spring/Summer pieces are absolutely gorgeous, and I think what really makes them special is that depending on how you style them, they work day and night, whether you’re going to work or to a wedding! Two pieces that particularly caught my attention are the Pink Ranger Dress (£59) and the beautiful Egypt Dress (£55) which I just discovered comes in yellow <3.

Now I’m dangerously browsing the website, there’s a new contender for favourite dress: the Esme (£75). Here we are talking polka dots, a pretty dolly collar, buttons, 3/4 length sleeves….  and it comes in navy or pink! Uh oh!

Desperately in need of a summer jacket, I also totally fell in love with the Brooke (£79), but couldn’t decide which colour I preferred! What do you think?

  

They also do vintage inspired jewellery and accessories (from £7). My favourite accessory has to be the Brown Utopia Scarf (just £11!):

The boutique is spacious with a real vintage feel and there is honestly no better place I can think of to get a classy vintage inspired dress. This is the kind of shop a girl to go to for a last minute ‘I NEED A NEW OUTFIT!’ occasion; in a panic I would come here confident that I was going to find something.

If you’re anything like me, you’re already browsing the online site and about to add the Esme or Brooke to ‘your bag’… but WAIT! The lovely people at Mina have sent me this flyer, which means, until the end of May, you can get 15% in store! So get down to Great Titchfield Street quick!

Have you got any Mina pieces in your wardrobe? Will you be buying anything with the 15 % discount? Either way, I’d love to hear from you 🙂

The Whistles Carrie Skirt is MINE!

18 Apr

O.M.G. I only went and bought myself THE Carrie skirt!

I’d pretty much written it off, I’m MEANT to be saving for travelling, I’d never track it down in my size/the coral colour I wanted etc. It just wasn’t meant to be (the logic I like to use when something I really want cannot be had for one reason or another).

But let me start from the beginning….

I decided to pay a visit to Whistles on Saturday afternoon, just to see whether they had the skirt… to see what all the fuss was about… (I mean, I hadn’t paid enough attention to it on the Whistles staff member I met at the Westfield Golden Ticket Event as the free beverages had got the better of me!). So, I stepped in the store and had my very first Whistles shopping experience. And it was nice!

I know I know… nice? In my years of studying English, I’ve continuously been told that nice is a word that should never be used… but this is the only word I can think of to describe it. The store is ever so light and airy. There’s pleasant music filling my ears. Just the right amount of stock is on display to make me want to look at everything and not feel overwhelmed at all.

A sunshine yellow, coral pink or highlighter blue skirt would jump out at me… so looking around the small-ish store, I’m sad when it’s clear they don’t have any. Instead I decide to go and fall in love with the Coral Angora Jumper (£85). Turns out its the same one in the picture I posted of the Taupe Carrie Skirt (only just realised this).

I take it off the rack… size 10 (it’s meant to be oversized right?!), it feels ever so soft against my skin and the colour is lush. The fitting rooms are amazing with these thick curtains and expensive furniture. The jumper comes up a little too oversized… so I head over to the till… politely asking the sales girl: ‘do you have this in a size 8?’, off she goes… ‘No, sorry’ is announced on her return, which results in a sad yet relieved face from me (it’s just not meant to be).

Seeing as I now have her attention, and they most definitely don’t have the skirt (it would be out on show surely), I ask: ‘Have you had any of the Carrie skirt in?’…. ‘We have one in’ she responds quickly…. My jaw drops. ‘We didn’t actually get any but Someone JUST returned it, she ordered it online thinking it was the shorter version!’ She takes me over to where it is…. but there it is not, resulting again in a sad yet relieved expression (’twas not meant to be).

‘I think someone’s trying it on’ she says kindly (again… not meant to be)…. I want to see it (just see it…. not buy it…. definitely NOT BUY IT) so I linger…. the lovely attentive sales girl asks whether I want her to ask the woman trying it on if she wants it…. my head is saying no, but my heart is saying YES YES YES! I accidentally nod my head. Totally accidental.

SHE. DOESN’T. WANT. IT. And then I see it for the very first time… in its glorious beauty… the coral colour, the pleats, the layers of fabric mingling in the soft light…..

‘Do you want to try it on?’ lovely sales girl asks politely. It’s a size 6…. definitely not going to fit me (sad-yet-relieved-it’s-not-meant-to-be expression once more). Suuure why not spend a few more moments in the company of the IT skirt of the season.

I step into the luxurious changing room, take off my Topshop skinny jeans and black leather boots. ‘It’s fine… it’s not going to fit’, I say to myself. I try doing it up… and the zip gets STUCK….. the beautiful sheer layer has caught…. no no NO NO! Lovely sales girl is sneakily eyeing me up semi-naked in the fitting room spotting my difficulty asking, ‘how is it?’. ‘IT’S STUCK!!’ I yelp. She comes to the rescue and sorts the problem out presto. IT FITS. IT BLOODY WELL FITS!

It’s okay, as I have the boyfriend with me, who doesn’t comprehend ‘weird’ fashion trends (his words) such as the midi pleated skirt. He will definitely say I look AWFUL… and that with £110 he could buy some really good headphones or something….

So I step outside, waiting for a guffaw or eye roll. But there he is sat on the expensive furniture smiling. SMILING! He only goes and says I look elegant and how I need to find the right occasion to wear it (occasion… who needs an occasion?!?). I think he must be joking… but no, he actually likes it. And how often do straight men like trends that don’t involve bodycon dresses and hooker heels?!

So…. with everything coming together in such a way…. I decide maybe this time…. it is meant to be. Stepping towards the till, I say I’m going to get it. It’s a little long on my petite frame but what the hell. I WANT IT… no! I NEED IT! Then MY skirt gets wrapped in Whistles tissue paper and put in a fancy Whistles bag. I feel special, out of all the women trying to track it down… the Carrie chose me!

The Evening Standard Plugs Pleats

13 Apr

After writing my Trendwatch Tuesday post on Monday night, and publishing it Tuesday morning, I was CHUFFED to see the pleat trend being discussed by fashion editor Laura Craik in the style pages of The Evening Standard on Tuesday evening! They even used the same Chloe picture as I did…. and the House of Holland blue number is ever so similar to the blue ASOS midi that I fashioned in my post! Love it!

Check out the article here.

Trendwatch: The Midi Pleated Skirt

12 Apr

It was waaaay back in September that the midi pleated skirt appeared on the catwalks of London, Paris, New York and Milan. My particular favourites were at Chloé, Richard Nicoll and Yohji Yamamoto (L-R).

Ever since I’ve wanted to blog about this structured yet flowing S/S ’11 wardrobe staple, but the weather just wasn’t quite right. With the sun shining and temperatures soaring over the last few days, we’ve all felt that much more confident getting our legs out. But if you, like me, aren’t a fan of the sudden jump from jeans and leggings to mini-skirts and hotpants, then the midi is just for you! It’s a transitional piece that covers up enough whilst being ever so Spring/Summer.

On the high street the IT skirt is Whistles’s Carrie. I even stumbled upon a Carrie-skirt-wearing-Whistles-staff-member at The Golden Ticket Event at Westfield.

I love the taupe… but it also comes in a beautiful neon pink colour. Completely out of stock it can now be found selling on Ebay for about £150! Due to the incredible demand, Whistles are re-stocking the pink as well as adding lemon yellow and highlighter blue versions *sigh*.

At £110 and incredibly hard to track down in my size… I bought the ASOS Premium Pleated Midi Skirt instead (£40). It comes in a beautiful rust (probably more sensible for longevity), but I went for the pale blue for a more Summer-y feel.

The catwalk photos above show how versatile this skirt can be: dress it down with a slogan t-shirt and sturdy boots, wear it to work with a basic polo neck and flats or with a sheer top and heels for dinner/cocktails. But when tweeting for Trendwatch Tuesday ideas… a lot of people said they weren’t sure how to wear the midi, so I put together these two looks for us non-models:

For daytime I teamed my skirt with ASOS’s Strap Detail Body, Topshop Scarf (S/S ’10), Tan Ballet Pumps (Dune S/S ’10) and Topshop’s nod to Mulberry’s Alexa bag (S/S ’10). I kept accessories to a minimum, just wearing my Gold Casio Mini Digital Watch.

For a night time look I went for a classic cardigan and pearls look (one of my favourites!). I teamed the beautiful pale blue midi with a black vest, cropped Illustrated People Lover cardigan (£10 reduced from £40 in the Topshop sale last weekend!), three-strand vintage pearl necklace (£3 from a charity shop) and faux pearl bracelets (made from pearl beads and elastic bought from Hobbycraft). Pulling the look together is my beautiful Mulberry Bayswater in Black Soft Spongy Leather (still can’t believe that it’s mine!) and Office T-Bar Wedges (Circa 2006).

I felt so lady-like in a longer length skirt, and the high waist is incredibly flattering. I can’t wait to see how the pleated midi skirt fares through Autumn-Winter too, and look forward to styling it with thick knit tights, a chunky cardigan and a skinny belt! If there’s one KEY piece for Spring/Summer ’11 this is it! So get down to Whistles… or start browsing vintage stores for the perfect midi pleated skirt. I can promise that you won’t regret getting on this bandwagon!

The Oxfam Curiosity Shop at Selfridges, London

11 Apr

The Oxfam Curiosity Shop… another curios to add to le blog! Having read about it online, and being the charity shop lover that I am, I HAD to visit it, even though I’ve had a busy busy week! And I certainly wasn’t let down by its wonders!

I stepped through the doorway and fell down the rabbit hole into my very own wonderland. There were gorgeous good quality second-hand clothes all around!

Apart from the range of vintage clothing, I loved the curios set up. The inclusion of comics, records, patterns, board games and homeware really gave the pop up store it’s own personality.

The only hint of it being in Selfridges was the impeccable sales staff who let me put about fourteen items aside to try on later (my arm was hurting!) whilst I shopped around for a little longer!

It was at this point I discovered the celebrity donations store:

In here were all kind of goodies pre-loved by celebrities such as Annie Lennox, Kate Moss, Scarlett Johansson and Dannii Minogue. My favourite was Colin Firth’s aviator jacket, priced at £950, I couldn’t afford to buy it for my boyfriend, so made do with sniffing it thoroughly and I can tell you Mr Firth smells just as good as he looks!

A more reasonable purchase were French Sole pumps donated by Natalie Imbruglia (£75):

They were so unbelievably cute, looked new and cheaper than French Sole, but sadly were a little bit tight for me.

Moving onto greener pastures I eyed up a peach jacket (and I’m actually in need of a Summer jacket!). It turned out it was MULBERRY and pre-loved by stylista Alexa Chung!

However, I couldn’t justify purchasing it seeing as I’m meant to be saving for travels… so I quickly put it back on the hanger and tried on these more affordable numbers instead:

The two jackets were £20 each (LOVED them both), the floral dress was £25 (bought it as I convinced myself I need summer work wear!) and the striped dress was reduced to £30 from £40 (decided I wasn’t statuesque enough to pull it off…). All quite reasonable for proper vintage pieces.

I fell in love with the silver 80’s jacket, particularly fabric and tailoring from behind and just had to have it!

I also found a jacket more suited to everyday wear (£45), which I justified buying with the pound per wear rule.

I’ve already worn it three times so think I’m well on track! I also bought a lovely pink and purple silk scarf for £15 which I shall have to take some photos of.

So for £105, I bagged myself 2 jackets, a dress and scarf. A little pricey compared to average charity shop, but MUCH cheaper than buying stuff new!

I happened to be there when A Girl, A Style and Liberty London Girl were styling up some models. I think they definitely did the best job out of the lot.

I didn’t realise the styling sessions were on or I totally would’ve got involved!

It was such a fabulous second-hand shopping experience, and nice to know that the money raised was going to such a good cause. I was really impressed with all the celebrity involvement, as well as the brilliant location. It’s in its second year now, and I was so happy to be told it’s definitely going to be a regular event. So if you didn’t make it down this year, don’t worry, just keep an eye out for the next Curiosity Shop!

Fashion Event: The Golden Ticket Event at Westfield London

7 Apr

So two consecutive Westfield posts…. it may be becoming my favourite shopping destination! Today I’m blogging about their Golden Ticket Event which took place on Tuesday night, which I can barely remember due to the copious amounts of free alcohol!

With promised discounts, freebies and cocktails, there were plenty of stylish people queuing to get in. I was pleased to see it was, as promised, an exclusive event, open only to ticket holders and felt rather important walking down the sparkly gold carpet!

The first bit of entertainment was a performance from up and coming girlband Parade. I presumed they were just another girl band with good looks and excellent styling (sequins, heels and leather shorts) but their acoustic version of Cee-Lo Green’s ‘Forget You’ really won me over. I also LOVED Lauren’s sequinned trousers, which she told me she bought from ASOS… but I can’t find them on there now booo!

Soon after the performance, fellow blogger Madison arrived and we headed straight to our favourite store… Mulberry! There was a lengthy queue, but we were kept occupied by free booze and people watching. Here we had the opportunity to win a Mulberry Tillie *sigh* and experience the Mulberry photo booth which was great fun (as you can tell!).

Hershesons were on hand to let us try on wigs and hair pieces. As Madison and I have too much hair to consider either… we tried on some coloured streaks and hair bows instead!

There was a sudden commotion and we realised it was none other than Naomi Campbell opening her pop-up store Fashion for Relief. We attempted to use our blogging credentials to get into the private party and failed, whilst Sophie Ellis-Bextor swanned straight in… ah well!

Having had 3 cocktails, 2 glasses of champagne and a tequila shot (I never drink tequila unless I’m TOTALLY wasted)… food was a necessity and we managed to get our hands on one mini fruit tart and a mini eclair (a nutritious dinner or what?!). Alcohol + mini desserts = ridiculously happy bloggers.

We then stumbled upon some more entertainment in the form of erotic ballet dancing. What amused me most was the religious looking lady covering her son’s eyes in the middle picture… haha!


We headed towards Toywatch to enter their competition and on the way introduced ourselves to blogger and DJ Bip Ling who was wearing AMAZING floral wedge shoes… which the security guard taking the photo clearly didn’t notice….!

Grabbing another glass of champagne we headed to Kurt Geiger… most definitely a dangerous activity when under the influence of this much alcohol. I literally fell in LOVE with a pair of shoes… yes I may have had beer-goggles on… but I’m sure they were THE ONES. They were comfy(ish) 5 inch heels, which could be worn both day AND night. The price was a less attractive £120. I drunkenly tried to persuade the salesman to give me a discount at which point he told me they’d closed 10 minutes ago… Whoops!

Stumbling out of the store, I had the dutch courage to ask complete strangers whether they’d like to appear on my blog for being their stylish selves… these two sets of ladies were my particular favourites.

On the left are the beautiful ladies who work at Whistles, Westfield… I loved the pleat skirt combined with the leopard print platforms and vintage scarf. On the right were some lovely girls also enjoying the free booze as it was one of their birthday’s. Wearing a midi high-waisted skirt, moccasins, timeless Mulberry Bayswater AND a bright blouse…. what trendsetters!

The evening had flown by and I must say Westfield London certainly know how to throw a party. It was a fabulous night… even if I only partially remember it!

Fashion Event – Big Fashion Wardrobe at Westfield London

5 Apr

On the weekend I went on a little shopping spree to Westfield London, and stumbled upon their ‘Big Fashion Wardrobe’.

Of course it’s every girls dream to have a walk-in wardrobe, but this took it to another level! Various shops including River Island, French Connection, NW3, Firetrap and Ted Baker had set up pop up shops resembling wardrobes with various themes and decor.

My personal favourite was Ted Baker which had a garden theme and their wardrobe had faux greenery attached as well as deck chairs!

My favourite collection was River Island’s Chelsea Girl. I literally wanted to buy EVERYTHING!

Funnily enough… Chelsea girl is a re-launch of the brand which became River Island. The website states ‘Chelsea Girl was a high street favourite of the 60s, 70s and 80s before evolving into River Island in 1988’. There was a great selection of print tops and little boxy shoulder bags.

I thought this print dress was so cute and could be dressed up with heels and a long length necklace or down with brogues and a skinny belt.

Other noteworthy wardrobes were Paul’s Boutique for the hot pink-ness and decor. French Connection followed the ‘era’ trend including this old school TV/piano combo and mannequin with slightly provocatively spread legs…?!

I’m still in love with French Connection’s Shelby’s Summer Maxi Dress which they also had on display… though I think the price tag is a little steep at £155!

They also had huge bag and shoe walls…. *swoon*

My favourite pair had to be these black wedge sandals by Marta Jonsson.

Westfield always seem to be having fantastic retail events (as well as having too many shops for even me!)… so check their website regularly or sign up to their newsletter to stay updated.

This week they’re launching the ‘Fashion for Relief’ Pop Up Shop endorsed by Naomi Campbell which will be open Tuesday 5th– Wednesday 13th April 2011. It will be selling designer outfits, raising money for The Prince’s Trust (I do love fashion related charity events!). I’m going to try to head over so will blog about it if I do!