Friday, 22 November 2013

Elfin Craft Christmas

Before you venture up into the loft to dig out that dusty old box of Christmas decorations, take a look at the new designs from Elfin Craft on Etsy. Ok, it's not December yet but if you want to deck the halls with handcrafted, contemporary Christmas decorations this year you'll need to get your orders in sooner rather than later!

A rag wreath crafted from strips of floral or plaid fabric makes a great shabby-chic alternative to the traditional - and very prickly - holly version, and I love the Christmas tree decorations made from brightly coloured buttons and coiled zips.

Needless to say, I've already made a head start on my Christmas shopping at the Elfin Craft shop. At only £5 for a unique zip brooch, I think they'll make perfect stocking fillers. There's an assortment of colours and styles to choose from and they look lovely pinned to a hat, scarf or coat collar.

With gifts like this to make they're certainly going to be busy at the Elfin workshop in the run up to Christmas!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Hunger Games Capitol Collection

I can hardly keep my eyes open to write because I've been burning the midnight oil reading The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - not just so that I can catch up with all the hype and see the film adaptation along with everyone else when it is released this week, but because I can't put the book down!

It's probably wrong to categorise The Hunger Games as another teen series, but I like to think this one could actually get young readers hooked on dystopian fiction before they move on to discover the delights the likes of George Orwell and Margaret Atwood have to offer. But enough lit crit for now.

With the detailed descriptions of clothes and the importance placed on fashion and image in the Capitol it comes as no surprise a lucrative Catching Fire clothing line is going to be launched to coincide with the film's release. A 16 piece ready-to-wear collection by The Hunger Games' costume designer, Trish Sommerville, goes on sale at Net-A-Porter on 25th November. Of course, harmless flames have not been invented yet, but hardcore fans will no doubt love the arrow motif t-shirts (£60) and matching jewellery, but prices do go up to £800 for a dress, targeting Net-A-Porter's share of the luxury market.

Psst... Look out for Lucas Hugh sportswear in the film. Apparently the London based brand was chosen after they came up in a Google search for 'futuristic sportswear'.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Theresa's Tartan Army

Vivienne Westwood always makes sure there's plenty of plaid in her collections, but this season we're taking up the tartan more than ever. It doesn't matter whether you're the model of the moment or the Home Secretary, everyone loves a Vivienne Westwood suit...

Looking at these pictures one has to wonder whether Theresa May has been taking style tips from Cara Delevingne after they were both spotted wearing the very same £1190 suit, but remember Theresa's been spotted wearing Vivienne Westwood pieces numerous times before - so much for being anti-establishment!

On the high street Primark, Topshop and Zara have all produced their own tartan suits. The Zara version (pictured above) comes in at £79.98 - that's £49.99 for the jacket and £29.99 for the trousers. With budgeting like that George Osborne had better watch out. Then again I'd much rather have a Mulberry bag on my arm than that battered red briefcase.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Victoria's Secret is Out...

It sounds like the Victoria's Secret show lived up to its billing! Angels including Cara Delevingne, Karlie Kloss, Jourdan Dunn and Doutzen Kroes all appeared in outlandish lingerie designs whilst Taylor Swift sang her broken heart out - but it was Candice Swanepoel who stole the show. Nominated 'Arch-Angel' she was bestowed the honour of wearing this year's bejewelled Fantasy Bra.

The annual Victoria's Secret show has become famed for these showstopping pieces. More jewellery than lingerie, Miranda Kerr, Alessandra Ambrosio, Adriana Lima and Tyra Banks have all been Angels entrusted with the task of modelling the world's most eye-wateringly expensive bras.

The creation sported by Candice is reported to be worth a staggering $10 million - that's £6.3 million! Well, it does feature over 4200 precious stones including a 52 carat pear shaped ruby!

Fantasy Bra: The Facts

There have been 18 Fantasy Bras since the first was made for Claudia Schiffer back in 1996. However, the Fantasy Bra didn't become a feature of the Victoria's Secret show until 2001, when a bra worth $12.5 million was worn by Heidi Klum. The most expensive ever Fantasy Bra was Gisele Bundchen's ruby and diamond creation worth $15 million - now that's enough to give anyone heart palpitations!

Somehow I don't think too many Christmas stockings are going to be filled with Fantasy Bras, but Victoria's Secret always have plenty more affordable lingerie lines in store.

The Victoria's Secret show will be broadcast 10th December on CBS - sorry boys, you'll just have to wait...

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Are you Ready for Isabel Marant?

Are you poised and ready to join the queues outside H&M? Buzz has been building for what seems like months, and now the Isabel Marant collection is all set to go on sale tomorrow - that's Thursday 14th November. Available online and at just 250 H&M stores worldwide, you can guarantee it won't stay on the shelves for long. However, I do suspect that a great deal of the stock sold will end up on ebay in the hope that items will attract bids of five times the RRP. Two years ago when all we could think about was Versace for H&M I did get the silk crocodile scarf I wanted a day or so after the launch, but that was pure luck as you can never guarantee what you want will be left after the scrum.

If you're willing enough to brave the crowds then look out for this chain scarf. At just £29.99 it is one of the cheapest items from the collection, but I think also one of the chicest. A statement piece like this can easily transform a plain old outfit into a going out ensemble. It has that rock chick edge Marant is renowned for, and I bet you anything Kate Moss owns something similar.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Soho Silver Nails

Along with all the latest goss from Katy Perry this month's
Glamour magazine comes complete with a great free gift. Nails Inc. have teamed up with Kate Spade to produce a fab collection of nail polishes, and there are full sized bottles of silver, gold, red and black worth £12 to collect. I wanted to get my hands on the Soho Silver, and after rooting through the shelves of magazines in three different newsagents I finally found one!

It takes three coats to achieve an opaque finish, but it dries really quickly so you can get it done in no time. Can you believe the finished result is even shinier in real life than it is in the picture? It almost looks like I've glued tin foil to my nails - dazzling is not the word! It's a great look for parties and as Christmas draws closer I'll definitely be trying it out with the new snowflake effect polish from Nails Inc.

Note, I would recommend using a top coat for longer lasting results as I found that it does chip easily without.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

The History Girls

You only have to look at the latest crop of weathergirls in creased cocktail dresses to work out that dressing for TV must be an absolute nightmare. Along with the horror of the camera adding pounds to contend with, certain prints can come across fuzzy on screen whilst anything to showy will ultimately distract the viewer from what you are actually saying (hence I never know what the weather is going to be like). Maybe you really do need a PhD before you can get it right!

Both Dr Lucy Worsley (left) and Dr Helen Castor (right) found perfect camel coats to wear whist fronting their latest BBC 4 history programmes. The 3/4 length belted camel coat marks somewhat of a change for Lucy Worsley, who is usually to be seen in brightly coloured vintage inspired coats  - that is when she's not decked out in period costume, of course. Constantly questioned as to where she buys her coats, Lucy kindly let's us in on the secrets to her on screen wardrobe over on her blog and reveals the coats she buys for TV appearances must be one plain colour and available on the British high street for under £250. As for Helen, I think I might just have found that classic camel coat in the Best of British collection from Marks & Spencer.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

More Bang for your Buck at Zara...

No question Zara have some gorgeous winter coats in stock this season, but for a high street store they don't fall within every girl's budget - especially when there's an expensive festive season to plan for. With an average price tag of £120-£170, I had to double check it really did say £29.99 on these double breasted wool coats (pictured below) - surely they'd accidentally forgot to print the number 1 in front and I'd be left red-faced at the checkout! Thankfully they hadn't made a mistake and I bagged myself a real bargain.

Part of Zara's new rage of items with 'Special Prices', you'll find v-neck jumpers for £7.99 and trousers for £12.99 alongside this coat, which is available in grey, green, black and navy. And before you ask, no they haven't scrimped on quality - the coat is fully lined and even has the added detail of an inside pocket. Wonder how many people have been tempted to buy it in all four colours?

Friday, 1 November 2013

All Saints Day

Where better to shop on All Saints Day than erm AllSaints?!

If those Singer sewing machine shop window displays aren't enough to draw you in their dark arts will soon do the trick. A grey and black colour palette is never boring in the hands of AllSaints and anything with a skull motif is fine by me!

Of late it's the quirky knitwear designs with signature ladders, cut-outs and asymmetric sides that have grabbed my attention.

The Pirate cardigan (pictured left, £88) is a versatile piece that can be worn wrapped or draped, and it makes a welcome addition to my winter wardrobe.