Thursday, 27 August 2009

So. Much. Fun.

Last night, as I strutted down Oxford Street heading towards the Arcadia A/W preview I was a mix of super excited and somehow slightly anxious. I was excited by the prospect of being in the same room as ALL of Arcadia’s A/W treats, but was anxious as somehow I can be a bit of an awkward geek at these types of social events, and I was quite petrified of finding myself stuck in struggling conversation and awkward silences.
When I arrived I decided the best solution for these nerves was to head straight up to the bar to get my first fix of ‘Dutch courage’. As a waiter was pouring my drink I peeked through to the show room and became immediately excited.
What I saw was a room full of pretty dresses/coats/my favourite seasons brand spanking new clobber. So I nabbed a glass of bubbly and immediately ran over to check them out. The collection was overwhelming. There were feathers, sequins, UBER cute shoes etc, it was like dying and going to fashion heaven. When I looked over at the tiny booth where photos were being taken I immediately became awkward and anxious again and decided against it as I was on my own and felt embarrassed to try stuff on. I got ready to leave when a Miss Selfridge spokeswoman named Halina approached me to talk about the collection. As a result of our conversation (and lots of wine) she managed to convince me to give a photo shoot a whirl, so I donned a trophy jacket and posed for the camera.

After I left the studio and collected my photos I got talking to Michelle of Cheap skate chic, and between us we decided to put something completely outrageous on for fun. I of course put on a couple of the most outrageous things I could find and looked well, pretty horrific. Of course Michelle and her friend Gemma were both wearing pretty incredible outfits so I just looked a bit like a moose, but never mind. Here is a picture all the same so commemorate the event.

Clothes wise, everyone was loving two things the KTZ statement pieces, and the Ashish shoes from Top shop. The Ashish shoes were quirky, outrageous and bang on trend. So if you’re planning in investing in these wacky but wonderful gems then do it quick as Susie advised me she has a feeling they could be sold out as quickly as... tomorrow morning!! :(

Arcadia I applaud you. From something which originally seemed like it could be quite daunting came the most fun I have had in a while, and a collection of clothes I now can’t live without.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Winter Warmers

Right now I’m sat in my room ohhing and aaahing at the Autumn/Winter collection which is slowly but surely being unveiled in shops everywhere. The only problem is my opinion is completely divided when it comes the A/W collection 09, as some bits I absolutely love and some bits I don’t know if I’ll ever be brave enough to try out ( knee high boots?? I’ll come back to this one). Opinions aside I need to decide on a capsule wardrobe before other fashion savvy sisters beat me to it.

As usual I’m finding it hard to decide on one key piece, my Winter coat. For some reason since I can remember I have been absolutely obsessed with coats. I think it’s because no matter how many throw away trends you wear throughout the winter, your choice of coat is always the icing on the cake, the Pièce de résistance of your winter wardrobe if you like. Now I know its still hot (really hot) out there but I always buy my winter coat in August as any fashion insider knows, this is when the best selection is available in stores, it may not be cold but fashion waits for no one I’m afraid...

Since I’m broke (I‘ve already brought a pair of boots and a dress which I cannot live without this winter) I’m meant to be deciding on a coat which sticks to my budget. Therefore I’m looking for something 100 pounds or less.

This week I have already found the perfect coat which supports my current monochrome crazy streak, and my budget. It’s a Top Shop piece which I love so much I have already brought once but, taken back because I think I can’t afford it. But now I can’t stop thinking about it. So I’m considering reinvesting in it as it would be perfect for the Christmas festive season...


Then there is the Urban Outfitters coat I came across last week which ticks every box on my winter coat check list. Perfectly tailored, cute, black and therefore goes with almost everything.

But, its 200 big ones. Money aside I think I need this coat (as I’ve told all my friends over and over to convince myself) as it’s a winter long investment. Plus I was away last winter travelling the world so I owe myself this indulgence as I completely missed out on last winter’s selection... Oh dear. What a tether I have got myself in. So please help me out. To buy or not to buy??

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Liebe Marlene Vintage Queen.

One of my friends has recently told me about an online store from a fellow blogger which I have since become completely obsessed/distracted by. Liebe Marlene’s Vintage store is full of beautiful things I want want want. The clothing is all vintage, and the images she produced look like a hazy summers daydream. Gentle, feminine and utterly adorable. As I’ve just discovered her I wanted to share with others, so here I have picked 5 of her most amazing outfits (which I secretly wish were mine) for everyone to admire and gawp at.

1 -This photo is a 60’s dress from an antique store which I would love to wear. Alas anything white I wear never stays white for very long, so I’ll leave this one with Liebe...

2 -This is a navy floral tea party dress I’m massively lusting after, perfect for the summer picnics which i never actually find the time to go to.

3 – This denim smock dress is pretty much perfect. I love the button details on the top of the dress.

4 – I need this blazer. Period.

5 – This grunge mini floral is the sort of piece every wardrobe needs, perfect from taking you from daytime elegance to evening couture.

So there are five of many many gorgeous dresses. You can find her blog spot here and her eBay shop here . Chances are the stuff for sale on eBay is the sort of thing you will either find slightly sickly in a indulgent girlie sense or you will fall head over heels in love with. I’m definitely in the latter category so I’m off to gawp some more now, and hopefully invest in an item or two, tata...

Crystal Palace of Treasures

One day last week, whilst I was on the south London Charity circuit a little old lady pulled me aside to inform me of a secret vintage market. Situated in the heart of south London, she told me tales of bargain priced vintage shoes, coats and hats.

As a result of course I was incredibly intrigued, and demanded to know the finer details of the markets location immediately. So she wrote the address down on the back of a receipt and pointed me in the right direction.

Titled Hayes lane Market, I could see why it was known as a secret market when I arrived. Hidden behind the Sainsbury’s in Crystal Palace high street, what we found as we entered the building was a cute little outlet loaded with treats. There were vintage fur jackets draped around the place, jewels galore, dresses, bags, you name it they had it. Absolute vintage heaven. My friend Nat managed to pick up an amazing pair of vintage shoes for a tenner, and we found some cute Jaeger jumpers for 15 pounds. Which I think is great value considering the clothes were in top nick.

But be warned it is only open from 11 until 5 on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Dont worry so much about arriving early, its pretty chilled in there so its a perfect outing for a lazy Sunday afternoon.
So don't miss out, make sure you do head down there at your nearest available opportunity. This week there was alot of gorgeous clothing like this web knitted black dress.

Ive been advised that alot of the clothing gets snapped up quick so if you do see a gem you can't live without be warned it really is a case of buy now or regret it later, and of course as always remember to barter. No prices in vintage land are ever set in stone.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Floral Fusion

So yesterday, when a friend and I were heading over to the junky styling launch, we suddenly realised we were both in florals and moments away from the ‘first ever liberty fash mob’. So we thought we would be rude not to pop into the event enroute, as you do. One of the first things I noticed when we arrived was the floral wallpaper placed on the side of Liberty’s head quarters. The whole event was to promote and celebrate the launch of the liberty print collection. Which is really, really cute.

So, to celebrate their new collection, they held a fash off which consisted of contenders heading up the liberty catwalk strutting their stuff for the chance to win prizes. Fun all round. Unfortunately I didn’t participate in the fash off as I can’t strut to save my life, but I did take some photos of some great contenders.

I loved this look, the skirt is super cute. There was also a rather large group shot which Liberty have posted in lightning speed, so I’ve nabbed it. (Can you see me??! Can you??)

The winner Natalie Cox, was the clear style winner. I loved the relaxed French Rivera feel that Natalie oozed.

Also we got a great (floral, of course) wrist band to commemorate the event. I shall definately be keeping mine in my fash souvenir pot.

Oh also, check out these super cute glasses. I will most definately be investing in a pair.

So with this event a success theres bound to be plety more to come with prizes galore to be gained, keep your eyes peeled on their blog, ( and hopefully next time I'll see you in the front row.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Not Just a T shirt.

If you still havnt heard of then I'm sorry but I just have to ask, where have you been?? Armed with the hottest designers on the web, the black sheep of fashion is definitely where it’s at right now. With a designer directory anyone would envy and a shop full of pieces to dies for, they are definitely winning the war when it comes to high end fashion in the dot com market.

But anyway the reason I want to talk about NJAL today (that’s short for Not Just a Label, don’t you know) is that they have launched a competition in cooperation with London for London which made me reminiscent of my favourite primary school project, T shirt design. Back in the day when I attempted to put my hand to design I mixed bold colours, florals and all kinds of stick on beauties, to create an original but pretty jumbled piece of couture. Unfortunately it turned out later on in life that design was not one of my hidden talents (obviously as if it was I would be designing a tee right now rather than writing this) So as a way of expressing my excitement for this project I’m appealing to anyone who believes they may have a hidden flair for design to get involved in this super fun project.

NJAL and London for London have announced that the top prize for one lucky winner will be their design, organically produced (yes their even eco conscious, I love them) and sold in “the hippest stores in London.” Also all the profits also go to a good cause as “2009 is all about raising awareness of violence amongst young people in the capital and every penny of every pound raised will go towards 3 organizations working to combat it” Fun and beneficial to our capitals kids? I love it. The competition runs until the 16th of August which gives you a few days to get creative. So what are you waiting for? Check out the competition site now and aim to contribute something truly remarkable, for me please. (I tried yesterday but my colours ran and looked more like a tie dye design reminiscent of an era better forgotten...)

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

From Russia with Love

For some reason, since I can remember I have been very envious of men’s underwear. Practical, comfortable and flattering, boxers are definitely one of the greatest creations of the 20th century. After years of frustration from the G string concept (I haven’t tried it and I never will) I can often nowadays, be seen lounging around in my other half’s Calvin’s. So imagine my excitement when I heard about the new Calvin Klein Steel range. The colourful new selection of boxers released from Calvin Klein represents 9 different countries England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Spain, and Sweden. From vibrant blues to hot oranges, the collection is cultural, colourful and fun. To top it all off, those clever PR people over at Calvin Klein have also thought of a really fun way to market their new product whilst having a lot of fun. The concept (9 countries, nine men, one winner) is a novelty competition which allows you enter a hot bod of your choice posing in his undies for the ultimate chance of a modelling contract with Select Model Management. Just in case you are completely off the model radar, Select models are THE modelling company of the moment. They discovered Agness Deyn, Daisy Lowe and Paul Sculfor, the super hot Essex boy who has been seen out and about in LA cosying up to both Jennifer Aniston AND Cameron Diaz. (Lucky boy.) So this contract is nothing to be sniffed at.

So to submit yourself or someone who’s super hot visit the completion website (the website goes live on the 14th of August). Also if you happen to think you look better in the flesh then head to one of the in store castings which will be announced on the website. In the meantime, get snapping.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

French Toast

When I think of Paris, I think Picnics, playsuits and lazy summer afternoons. So when my boyf told me we were heading there as a surprise for the weekend to visit my BFF, I could hardly contain myself. We drove there (which he told me he regretted after I finished bellowing the 29th song of the journey) and arrived in the early hours of Saturday morning, tired and in need of some food and shelter for the night. As we stopped to get our French map out for the 10th time that hour, we noticed a crazed lady waving her arms frantically staring straight at us. It was only then I realised it was my friend Hannah jumping up and down shouting “Up here, up here bonjour!!” whilst waving us up to her place. And so, we ran up her winding staircase and finally arrived at her apartment to check out her French digs. As I walked in and saw her classic Parisian window frames, her cosy living room and her very tall French style Kitchen, I knew I’d arrived in Zi citi of luuurrvve. Absolutely beautiful.

The next day we wandered around the city enjoying the Louvre, and hopped on a fair ground ride which gave us a great view of Paris. We then spent the evening drinking Moet along the river Seine with the back drop of an accordion, a microphone and hundreds of Parisian’s singing along to ‘Non Je regrette rien’ by Edith Piaf, before heading for a late bite of Moule mariniere et frites. Perfect.

When I finally awoke on Sunday from my Moet induced stupor I was desperate to experience some of the less touristy Paris, and Hannah decided the best way to do that was to head to a Flea market. Hannah managed to pick up a denim jacket, a skirt and shirt for 5 Euros... bargaiiin. I picked up an amazing vintage skirt and a pair of sunglasses for 10 Euros, which I LOVE.

So for those visiting Paris and fancying a Sunday morning bargain, you should really pop by a flea market. The market I visited is called Marché aux Puces de Vanves and the nearest metro stop is the Mº Porte de Vanves. Its infinitely smaller then its big sister in Cligancourt, but as a result it’s less daunting and more manageable. Open from 7am to 7.30 pm every Sunday, but be warned the vintage end of the market comes to a close early afternoon. So if your vintage hunting then make sure you arriving earlier rather than later (a trader informed us we missed alot of the vintage treats due to out tardiness).
Finally make sure to pack your phrase book and calculator so as you don’t come unstuck mid barter, and as always remember if you’re going to bargain in Paris, do as the Parisian themselves do take no prisoners, and bargain hard.