Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Who Wore It Best?

It's happened before, and before long it'll happen again... we're talking 2 girls and 1 dress. Just a matter of days apart Caroline Flack and Jenna-Louise Coleman were spotted sporting the very same Aztec print dress. I know, I know, It's not the end of the world - and it's not even like they turned up at the same party or anything - Caroline was snapped on duty at the X-Factor auditions whilst Jenna-Louise was promoting Dr Who at Comic-Con 1000s of miles away in California. The problem is now that everyone's seen it Topshop have only gone and sold out of the £65 skater dress.

So, who wore it best? Has Caroline Flack got the X-Factor or does the Time Lord's assistant Jenna exterminate all competition? Call me a cop out but I think they both look great - I just can't wait until it's back in stock and I can buy one for myself!

Monday, 29 July 2013

Dead Romantics

Today I went along to see what's in store at the new Elkin pop-up shop - now open at Kingly Court off Carnaby Street - and came away with this gorgeous Dead Romantics friendship bracelet in power ballad black, (£35, pictured below). A fiendishly addictive collection of friendship bracelets, I struggled to choose between the rainbow of colours available - so I went for the ever practical option. It looks great next to my rose gold watch, but I know I'm going to want pile on loads more in different colours...

If you're tempted to start your own Elkin jewellery collection, make sure you visit the lovely Eliisa and team in store before 4th August. Don't forget, if you can't make it down you can still find lots of skull jewellery on the brand new Elkin website.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Elkin Pop-Up Shop

Everyone knows the area around Carnaby Street is pop-up shop central, but you might not have heard which store will be swinging open their doors at Kingly Court next week...

From 29th July - 4th August you'll be able to get your greedy hands on gorgeous Elkin jewellery at their Kingly Court pop-up shop.

If the name Elkin is new to you, the brand was launched by London-based fashion stylist Eliisa Makin when demand grew for the bracelets she was making in breaks between photoshoots. I love the 'Dead Romantics' skull friendship bracelets which come in a variety of different colourways, (£35 each, pictured above).

I'll be popping along to Kingly Court on Monday to check out the new collection, so I'll be sure to keep you posted about what's in store.

If you're not in London, don't worry - Elkin are just about to launch a shiny new website so you can shop online.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Diana's Dresses

Last night's TV highlight had to be Channel 4's documentary about Princess Diana's dresses, which charted her evolution from shy Sloane with a see-through skirt to style icon by telling the stories behind 10 dresses that were auctioned in London earlier this year, raising in excess of £850,000. Indeed, Diana's dresses read like a diary with each sartorial choice a sign of the times.

It's easy to forget that in the early days Diana made mistakes - given no guidance on how a princess should dress - and I was shocked to learn that a young Diana was turned away from Bellville Sassoon. Pointed in the direction of Harrods to buy something off the peg by a shop assistant who had no clue that she was in fact talking to Prince Charles' new fiancee, it's like something out of Pretty Woman. After seeking advice from Vogue, the Princess was introduced to the then relatively unknown designers, Elizabeth and David Emanuel - and the rest, as they say, is history.

Of the 10 dresses put up for auction the star of the show had to be the ink blue velvet gown Diana wore to the White House in 1985 - the night she famously danced with John Travolta. The Victor Edelstein gown was sold for a staggering £240,000 to a British gentleman who said he wanted to buy it as a surprise to cheer up his wife!

The designer, somewhat modestly conceded that the same dress not worn by Diana would struggle to reach £400 - the beautiful dress that it is, it's the history collectors are buying into. These dresses will never be dry cleaned. They are studied for stains - one like a tiny hand print calls up images of William or Harry tugging at the skirt not wanting mummy to leave them.

At least two of the dresses are said to have been snapped up by important British museums, and as the auctioneer Kerry Taylor quite rightly said; 'Diana was the people's princess, so the people should be able to see the dresses. This is our heritage, our history.'

If you want to see examples of Diana's enviable wardrobe on display, a glamorous new exhibition has just opened at Kensington Palace. Fashion Rules features 21 couture gowns worn by HM The Queen, Princess Margaret and Diana, Princess of Wales.

Get On Yer Pretty Ballerinas Bike

Fed up of the expense of running a car? Don't fancy being crammed up with a bunch of smelly strangers on public transport? Want to do your bit for the good of the planet? Then maybe it's time to get on yer bike!

Now I have a confession, or actually two confessions to make. First of all, since passing my driving test a number of years ago I've never driven, and secondly I never learned to ride a bike without stabilizers. I know, I know - don't laugh! I'm determined things are going to change this year... and a very pretty electric bike might just be the way forward.

Pretty Ballerinas, yes the brand behind our favourite ballet pumps, have teamed up with eco-transport specialist Yamimoto to design a limited edition electric bike so you can get around the Pretty way.

Available from the Pretty Ballerinas website for £1264, the chic pink and black bike can reach speeds of 18mph and has a 50 mile range. Don't forget to buy a pair of matching ballet pumps too!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Palm Beach

So here we are in the midst of a heatwave - in Great Britain! (I know - wasn't expecting to be writing that this summer.) We might not need to jet off to exotic climes in search of sunshine, but a trip to the shops might be in order to stock up on summery styles before all those autumn arrivals take over. Palm prints will make you feel like you're somewhere tropical even if you're just soaking up the sun in your back garden.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Alex and Ani Bangles

When it comes to jingly jangly bangles, the more you pile on up your arms the better - but Alex and Ani bangles look just as good stacked as they do when worn as an individual statement piece. That said, you might struggle to choose just one! Each expandable wire bangle comes with a flat coin charm - and you can choose from spiritual symbols for peace, love and good luck as well as zodiac signs and initials. Make mine a Leo, or should that be an H?

Available from £20 at Argento, Alex and Ani bangles are handcrafted from recycled metal, plated in Russian gold or Russian silver with an anti-tarnish coating.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Betty Boop's Back!

Back in the day I had a baby pink Betty Boop sweater covered in little black hearts - and I loved it so much it's probably still lurking somewhere in the depths of my wardrobe 20 years on. Now looking at the latest drop of goodies to arrive at Topshop I think it might be time to dig it out. Yes people, Betty's Back!

Riding on the wave of early '90s nostalgia, we're seeing the return of many a childhood favourite - from jelly shoes to crop tops and dungarees - and it looks set to continue for a while yet. Summer may be all about Fresh Prince inspired neon tie dye and baggy denim, but come autumn Cher from Clueless will be firmly back in place as our ultimate '90s style icon - just you wait and see!

MOTO Shorts, £35 Topshop

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

The Perfect Present? A Purse!

They say it's the thought that counts, but when it comes to gifting I say put a little bit more thought into it and you'll be parting with your hard earned cash to buy a present they might actually adore. Trained from an early age to pass on rather obvious hints about jewellery from Mum to Dad, I like to think I'm pretty well tuned in to what people want. So, when my sister said the lining had ripped in the Osprey purse I'd bought her for Christmas a few years ago I instantly knew shopping for her birthday present would be easy this time around - especially as she already has the handbag that matches this J by Jasper Conran purse (£25, Debenhams).

Happy Birthday Rachel - hope you like your new purse!