Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Get Carter

From the Roxanne to the Alexa, Mulberry certainly know a thing or two about creating the most covetable bags around! The Carter is the latest design to top the most wanted lists. The chain straps give it all the glamour of a Chanel 2.55, whilst the boxy, utilitarian shape makes it perfect for carrying all your everyday essentials. Kate Bosworth, Emma Watson and Kate Moss have been sporting this arm candy all summer, and in my view it is definitely the bag to be seen with this autumn/winter - if you've got a spare £895, that is. Sadly I don't - but a girl can dream...

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

LFW: Catwalk Report

PVC and Ice Cream Colours at Mulberry and Richard Nicoll:

Metallics at Christopher Kane and Giles:

Open/ Two-Layer Skirts at Daks and Mary Katrantzou:

Full, A-Line Midi Skirts and Autumnal Colour Palette at Burberry and Roksanda Ilincic:

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Puppy Love

You simply can't fail to spot Topshop Unique's collection for AW/11! The sheer abundance of Dalmatian print makes it a hard one to miss. Just looking at all the spotted shoes, shorts and shirts stirs more than a little nostalgia for Disney's 101 Dalmatians. Although it may sound like a look Cruella Deville would love to get her claws into, this collection is all about puppy love - more cute than Cruella. The models at Fashion Week back in February even had their hair bunched-up to resemble puppy ears.

You can get your paws on the collection now at

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Don't Be Critical of Kate

Has The Duchess of Cambridge's time as a style icon ended little sooner than it began? It has been only a matter of weeks since Vivienne Westwood criticised Kate's 'hard' eye make-up, and now Gregg Andrews, the Fashion Director of Nordstrom, has become the latest industry insider to hit out against Kate's dress sense. Speaking at New York Fashion Week, he branding her style 'ordinary':

'She's stylish, but she's not setting trends, she's following them. If you take Kate out of the Royal Family, put her on a street in New York, you wouldn't look at her twice. She's a beautiful woman, but she blends into a crowd.'

I doubt Kate would be distressed to hear Andrews' comments. After all, she is not a designer or a model, and it has been reported that she doesn't want to be perceived as a mere clotheshorse.

As a member of the Royal Family, Kate is subject to untold pressures - scrutinised on everything from how she behaves to how she dresses. If she were to wear something particularly avant garde it would look completely inappropriate. As it is, I believe she hasn't put an L K Bennett clad foot wrong. By mixing her designer wardrobe with items from the high street she is showing us that she has not left behind the girl she once was, and is setting a good example in a time of recession. Her elegant, well put together look is one that millions of women around the world are clamouring to emulate - you only have to look at the sales figures for items she has been spotted wearing! Now, if that isn't trend setting, I don't know what is.

The world of fashion can be fickle, but their love affair with Kate is far from over.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

A Record Breaking Royal Wedding Dress

At the start of the week it was reported that Buckingham Palace has seen a record breaking number of visitors for this year's summer opening. More than 354,000 people have filed passed the Duchess of Cambridge's wedding dress since the Palace opened its doors back in July, and thousands more are still expected to view the Sarah Burton creation before the exhibition closes in three weeks time on 3rd October. A spokesperson for the Royal Collection told the Daily Express: 'This year has been our highest year to date. The wedding dress has proved very popular.' The prospect of seeing the exquisite lacework up close certainly gave me the final nudge to visit.

On entering the ballroom there is an opportunity to watch a video of Sarah Burton describing the design process as well as the skilled craftsmanship which went into the production of the dress.

To attach the lace panels to the silk gazar, stitches had to be no more than 2-3mm apart and needles changed every three hours when they had become too blunt to perform the intricate task. The train itself has been weighted so the skirt retains its shape, and up close you can really appreciate how each fold resembles a petal of an opening flower.

Despite being inspired by the Arts & Crafts movement and drawing on traditions of Victorian corsetry, it was important for the dress to give a nod to modernity and not become an historical costume. In my opinion the dress is a complete triumph; it is grand whilst modest, high fashion yet traditional and wearable. Not only does the design remain true to the House of McQueen, but also succeeds in reflecting Kate's personal style whilst living up to our expectations of what a royal wedding dress should be.

From the dress to the shoes, bouquet and cake, the whole exhibition is a tribute to great British design and craftsmanship. There is still time to visit, and I would highly recommend it.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Vanessa G SS/12

Amber Le Bon has been revealed as the face of Vanessa G at the launch of the label's SS/12 collection.

On Thursday I went along to view the collection - and where better to view a luxury fashion line than at luxury London hotel, The Goring. Despite being located in the heart of Belgravia, the garden had been transformed into an enchanted forest for the occasion thanks to a metalwork art installation.

Art plays a particularly important role in the brand philosophy behind Vanessa G, who's aim is to produce wearable art. Each piece really is a work of art.

Over the past couple of seasons Vanessa G have worked hard to develop a signature look - producing pieces of a classically simple silhouette which feature original artwork reworked into prints. The SS/12 collection continues in this vein with three capsule collections; Renewal, Ethnic Dazzle and Framed Vintage.

Renewal: Inspired by our throw-away society, the collection explores how discarded items can be redesigned into beautiful works of art. This seemingly abstract print features plastic and metal waste upon closer inspection.

Ethnic Dazzle: Cultures and colours clash as this print is built up from layered photographs, paint techniques and applique to create an almost 3D design. Look closely and you'll see faces emerge.

Framed Vintage: My overall favourite of the capsule collections, Framed Vintage features a montage of black and white photographs from the Belle Epoque. The exquisite gold frames around each image highlight the glamour of the era.

Every piece is incredibly detailed, but it is for the beautiful printed macs that I think Vanessa G will become best known.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Crazy About Crochet

As fashion's love affair with the 70s continues, crochet is beginning to experience somewhat of a revival. In recent years the multi-coloured knitted squares have more commonly been seen on woolly blankets keeping your Granny warm than on the catwalk - that is until now...

Ever since I saw the House of Holland A/W 11 show I have been crazy about crochet. I was even inspired to pick up a pair of crochet hooks and give it a go myself - in the hope of producing my own oversized scarf in the style of HoH in time for Autumn. Make a loop and hook it through may sound simple enough, but it definitely takes perseverance. When (or rather, if) I manage to make something presentable, I'll be sure to post a picture.

Wool Week is the perfect time to give crochet or knitting a go. Look out for a class near you, then once you've got the basics down you'll be able to join a Stitch & Bitch group (that's Knit & Natter to the more polite amongst us). Now that really does sound like fun to me - any excuse for a good gossip!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Winter Woolies

As it's Wool Week, what better time to think about winter woolies? Whether you are a stickler for traditional aran and fairisle patterns or you favour more quirky knits, there is definitely something wooly out there for you...

Monday, 5 September 2011

Celebrate Wool Week - 5th-11th Sept 2011

It's time to celebrate all things wool as today marks the start of Wool Week. Events are set to take place across the UK to inspire the future use of wool amongst everyone from shoppers to students, industry insiders to artisans.

The campaign aims to break traditional perceptions of wool and show that it has diverse potential. The 'Wool Modern' exhibition in La Galleria on Pall Mall proves just that. Featuring unique pieces by leading designers the exhibition establishes wool as a modern, innovative and avant garde material.

'Wool Modern' is free to the public and runs from 8th-29th September. You'll see work by the likes of Erdem, Galliano and Vivienne Westwood, who praised the versatility of wool:

'Wool is one of the world's great natural fibres, famous for its versatility and comfort - warm in winter, cool in summer.'

The list of benefits goes on and on. Not only is wool environmentally friendly, being a natural fibre which is entirely renewable, sustainable and biodegradable, but it also provides naturally high UV protection. With so many buzz words it's a wonder the wool industry has ever been in trouble. But with competition from so many man-made fibres and faced with the plummeting price of wool, the industry has undeniably suffered. Support the Campaign for Wool and it need never go out of fashion. Now is the perfect time to invest in some winter woolies - or even knit your own!

For more information visit

Friday, 2 September 2011

Spot On!

Polka dots are a HUGE trend for autumn, so here are some of my favourite high street and designer pieces you're sure to go dotty for...

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Pixie Lott Wears Krystof Strozyna

Last night saw a star-studded awards ceremony with a difference. celebrities were presenting the awards rather than receiving them...

The event was organised by Well Child - a charity who help sick children and their families across the UK. The Well Child Awards recognised some of the very brave and truly inspirational children they have worked with.

Pixie Lott attended the awards ceremony in central London wearing a LBD from Krystof Strozyna's SS/11 collection. Since graduating from Central Saint Martin's back in 2007 Strozyna's sculptural and sharply tailored designs have earned him a legion of celebrity fans including Lily Cole and Nicola Roberts. Russian supermodel and actress Natalia Vodianova has been spotted sporting this very same dress.

Krystof Strozyna's SS/12 collection is to be showcased during London Fashion Week, so there isn't long to wait until we can see what treats the designer in store for next summer...