Monthly Archives: October 2011

Leopard Spots

I have been hunting the perfect pair of leopard print shoes for such a long time, but I search no more. My prayers were answered in the form of this pair from Guess. With the perfect stiletto heel, satin print and bow on the vamp, the ‘Kissani‘ is the shoe for me. I think a leopard court will dress up a little black dress and add a kick to vintage printed frocks. I ordered them from Spartoo Shoes, a really easy to use website with lots of brands from all over the world, so you can discover new international brands. They also offer free delivery which is very prompt.  All I need now is to go out and wear them!

What do your think, fierce??

Outfit: Remember the Ungainly Dress??

Wearing: Vivienne Westwood Red Label dress, Gold Label ‘Sack’ boots, bag and belt.

Cast your mind back to February when we got our first glimpse at the clothes we would be seeing coming into stores this Autumn / Winter. Seems a long time ago doesn’t it! But when it comes to clothes I am like an elephant – I never forget. I proffessed my love for this shirt dress soon as it came down the runway. Regardless of the review it was given by the somewhat ignorant Style.com reviewer.

“There were, as usual, too many of Westwood’s overworked garments here, like a weirdly bunched button-down minidress in broadcloth blue, with ungainly pleating at the shoulder” Read the full post  HERE

Vivienne Westwood Red Label A/W 2011

I decided to go for the dress in this soft tartan wool rather than the cotton mainly due to the fact it is warmer but I can never resist a bit of tartan. This was the first time I had worn it but I think it will be a really versatile piece, especially for layering. I really don’t like the cold weather but I certainly like winter fashion.

Have a great weekend,

Pearl

Shoe Saturday: Sweedish Hasbeens

Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams

One of my favourite trends for the coming Autumn/Winter season are these gorgeous clog boots from Sweedish Hasbeens. Already on the feet of all the celebs they are a great study option for the colder months. I really love the range of colours they come in especially cherry red. Whats even better is that these boots will take you right back around to Spring. Wear now with jeans or skirts all layered up with knits, then in the warmer months with bare legs and flirty dresses.

Cilla Chelsea, Heeled Johdpur

Perforated, Classic

(Images via Spartoo)

Virtual Shopping – How SciFi

DEBENHAMS LAUNCHES UK’S FIRST EVER VIRTUAL STORE

Dresses to Pop Up in Albert Square Manchester

In a UK first, Debenhams is encouraging people to come down to Albert Square, Manchester and other landmarks across the UK, and look at them through their iPhone or iPad2 screens to see the retailer’s top party dresses pop up around the attraction. In scenes reminiscent of sci-fi movie the Minority Report, mobile technology is now so advanced that it means the retailer can set up a virtual store anywhere it likes within the country thanks to a clever app designed by GoldRun and geo location know-how.

Shoppers will be able to view ten party dresses, only available at the location, virtually try them on, order them and get the garment delivered to an address of their choice. The store will be popping up in locations across the UK from the 27 October – 29 October in Manchester, London, Birmingham, Cardiff and Glasgow where you can shop the Top Party Dresses for Christmas without even stepping into a store. As a reward for their efforts, shoppers at each location will receive an exclusive 20% discount. An additional feature of the pop-up store is that customers can also upload the pictures of the virtual dresses they try on to Facebook or Twitter to gather feedback from ‘friends’ and followers.

The Debenhams Virtual store can be uncovered at:
London – Trafalgar Square
Glasgow – George Square
Birmingham – Centenary Square
Manchester –Albert Square
Cardiff – Cardiff Castle

Simon Forster, Debenhams.com Director said: ‘This really is the future of shopping. It brings the hassle-free element of online, with the experience of shopping in store combined with the fantastic backdrops of iconic UK locations. It is incredible what the developments in technology mean we can now do, including trying on a dress without even having to remove an item of clothing!”

Sounds like fun to me!

Pearl

No Bangers Allowed: Vix and Pearl v’s Gok Wan

I am sure you are aware of a certain TV show called Gok’s Clothes Roadshow. I am not all that sure why I even watch it. Gok is a likable enough chap, he is friendly and gives woman back their confidence, which of course is great. But I have two really big issues with Gok, firstly his demonic use of belts. Why, why, why would anyone belt an empire-line???? Secondly he wastes money. This series he sets two outfits for each trend, one with a £250 budget and one with a £50 budget. All very well, but what grates with me is his promotion of fast-fashion. Heading down the high street to Primark to spend £50 on a fashion look, then off to somewhere slightly more expensive such as River Island to slam down £250 for the same look. At the end of the show both looks are paraded down the runway for the gathered crowds to vote if they like the cheaper or more expensive look. I never like either because they always look really cheap and terribly over styled. Of course the crowd 9/10 times votes for the cheaper look, so we can all celebrate the fact we can go down to Asda and buy as many £10 frocks as we please.

Even if I don’t start ranting about how these garments were produced by underpaid workers, the fact is that the quality is so bad they wont last you over a month. But of course this is what the wheel of fast fashion wants. Together with the glossy magazines the fashion wheel keeps turning making you think you need a new look each week, a new trend to fulfill. What Gok’s show totally misses is the fact that you don’t need to buy new stuff every week and you don’t need to start gluing crap to your old clothes to make them ‘on trend’, all you need is some good styling. As for the budgets well I don’t really agree with going out and buying a full outfit, I prefer to collect pieces I know will work along side my other clothes. That way I can focus my budget on a well made, classic piece that will last for years not just one season.

So, after another headed Twitter debate during the show the fabulous ‘Vintage Vixen’ Vix and I decide to put our money where our mouths were. We will each recreate the four trends featured in Gok’s latest show from our own wardrobes, Vix with the £50 budget and me with the £250. Here goes:

Leather

Wearing: Vivienne Westwood shirt £70 on sale, leather trousers £5 eBay, Day Birger leather necklace a gift but approx £50.

As I have a rotten case of the flu I decide to have a look through past outfit photo’s to see what I could use. At first this was to spare you awful photos of me with a big red nose, but as I started searching I realised that by using past photos I was actually proving a very good point. That all the new trends aren’t all that new at all and most of us have the pieces already in our wardrobes we probably just never felt the need to label them as a look before!

So all my photos have been on the blog before some as far back as three years ago! You can tell this is an old one as I look really thin, I don’t think these pants fasten at the moment! Anyway the ‘Leather’ trend Gok chose a faux leather dress, I don’t want to think how sweaty that would be to wear, and I really don’t think I could pull one off. I know Vix could, wonder if she wears one?? Leather trousers on the other hand are fab, they are a wardrobe staple of mine through winter. This pair are real leather but I also have a faux leather pair of leggings from Topshop which are rally comfy too.

I also want to point out leather necklace, a really great way to take on a trend is to wear a simple accessory such as jewellery. You might have noticed I didn’t include the bag and shoes in the outfit description, well that is because they go over budget, so I want to raise you these two bargains instead. This is my own clutch, it is real leather a lovely vintage find for only £5. I also have to hold my hands up in the case of shoe snobbery, I don’t really own many pairs of cheap shoes mainly due to the fact I cant find any high street shoes to fit me properly having wide feet, being a half size and having inflammatory arthritis in them. But if I wasn’t such a pain I would totally love to wear these heeled loafers £65 from Topshop.

TOTAL – £195

Winter Brights

Wearing: Vintage dress eBay approx. £9, tights Primark £2, Fendi shoes via eBay £17.50, vintage necklace eBay £10, I want to trade this clutch for the vintage one above again.

The idea for summer brights to me is to wear a vibrant colour you would usually reserve for summer such as orange or yellow. Gok’s outfits were both orange party outfits I think – having trouble remembering, maybe it was mental blocking?? But I think most people actually want to wear their outfits during the day too so this shift dress is perfect as it can easily be dressed up or down. I really like to contrast colours so the grey tights were a must, and they will keep me warm! This outfit is a total bargain so I totally earned some expensive shoe saving points!

TOTAL – £43.50

Evening

Wearing: vintage leopard dress £20 thrifted, sequins shoes New Look sale £10, vintage clutch £5 thrifted

This was a hard one for me as Gok used flowing evening gowns, not something I have a call for in my life! Neither do I feel comfortable trussed up like a turkey so even when I do go out for the evening I tend to wear the same clothes I would wear during the day. An easy option for me is a frock and a pair of statement heels. This was actually a photo for when I was selling some vintage items but it is a great look, with a slight nod to the 1940′s I think. I love these shoes they are proper Dorothy shoes but I can’t wear them for long as they are a bit big and really not at all comfy for me. A simple wrap dress is a great option too, really easy to wear and I simply adore a splash of leo print! Oh dear this one is too cheap too!!

TOTAL – £35

Pleats

Wearing: Primark top £8, vintage skirt eBay 99p, clutch bag Primark £8, vintage necklace eBay about £8, Pierre Hardy shoes on sale £100ish.

I love this look, it is so cheerful and it also goes to show that you can wear pleats and not have to do the prim and proper secretary look which dominate the magazines and Gok’s show.

TOTAL – £124.99

Well I am really disappointed in how cheap some of my outfits are ha ha! But of course as I said they were put together from things I had in my closet that I wanted to wear, I didn’t set out to wear a trend. I do love a bargain as much as anyone else and always trawl eBay and vintage shops. But I also love to save up for a beautiful investment piece, my brown Fendi clutch in the first two looks was bought A/W 2007 which I sat up and waited until midnight for it to go on sale in Net-A-Porter for a 30% discount it cost £350 and on cost per wear has more than paid for itself. Same goes for the brown court shoes in the first look, they are Vivienne Westwood and cost £200 when I bought them, they have now gone up to £365 shows how long I have had them for! They are the only shoes which I find fit me perfectly and are so comfy I can wear them all day and night. I would much rather have one pair of these shoes than twenty high street pairs. Quality lasts.

On a final note Gok mentioned a huge pile of pairs of Primark shoes you could get for £160, well here is something for you. A pair of Vivienne Westwood platform riding boots for the same price on sale. Good things come to those who wait!

What do you think, did I do better than Gok?

Now go check out Vix’s post!

Outfit: Drop Crotch Jeans

(Wearing: Vivienne Westwood Red Label jacket, Gold Label Bondage boots and belt, Anglomania + Lee jeans)

I am not usually a jeans person, in fact I don’t really like denim all that much. What I do like are Vivienne Westwood drop crotch trousers hence the reason I just had to snap up these Lee collaboration jeans. I also got another pair in camo print which I have worn loads but don’t seem to have taken any outfit photos of, will have to rectify that soon. I have had this jacket for years, I remember when I first got it – I was three sizes smaller then so it looked even more exaggerated, people would stop and stare at me in the street. Big shoulders were not your every day occurrence as they are now thanks to Balmain, you certainly wouldn’t have seen a shoulder pad on the high street. Must have had it about six years now, doesn’t time fly!

Pearl

Wear the News with T-Post

 When I first heard about T-Post I was a bit unsure how it would work. A new magazine which is not printed on paper but on t-shirts! All my doubts were cast aside when I saw an ‘issue’ for myself. Not only do you get a new t-shirt with a unique artwork but you get to read a news story you might not usually get to see. The story is printed inside the t-shirt and the artwork on the outside but you can choose to wear it which ever way round you like. Check out the YouTube video for a cool explanation all about how T-Post works.


The issue I received is entitled ‘May cause bizarre’ and concentrates on prescription medication advertising in the US. Many Americans are requesting such drugs from their doctors prior even to examination, preferring to self-diagnose. The lists of side-effects these drugs can cause can be as extensional as taking up the entire back page of a full page ad in a magazine. Something that always shocks me when I pick up a copy of US Vogue. Figures show that more people die from legal drugs than illegal drugs perhaps the word ‘legal’ gives a false sense of security. The article questions, are more drugs being prescribed to counteract the side-effects? How are such potentially dangerous drugs being approved in the first place?

Long term readers of my blog will know that this is a subject close to my heart. Even though in the UK we do not have this kind of advertising extreme, there are many legal drugs being prescribed which have been passed for lab trials yet the side-effects research is not ongoing. Side-effects should be monitored and reported in all patients no matter how long the drug has been approved for.

The artwork for this issue was created by Pat Perry. He says ‘I drew the main figure completely with a ballpoint pen. I added the internal shapes escaping with little narratives of what experiences of side effects may be like.’

I intend to wear my t-shirt to the next hospital appointment because I feel exactly like the figure in the artwork, a guinea pig, being prescribed ‘safe’ drugs that have left me in hospital far worse off than with the disease they were meant to fight. I have a great affinity with the little character at the bottom with his head down the loo!

I think T-Post is a wonderful idea, what better way than to get people talking! Here are some more example issues:

You can find out all about T-Post on their website, where you can subscribe to receive one issue per month just like a regular magazine subscription. Back issues can’t be ordered so once they are gone they are gone, making your t-shirt really original.

LFW: S/S12 Carlotta Gherzi

Charlotta Gherzi s/s12 for SADO

‘Join Caroltta on this a-la-mode female remake of Avatar, in a forest where the women get to wear contemporary clothes and live forever in a world full of glamour.’ So the show notes introduced the collection, as I sat eagerly waiting the show to start I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would the models be painted blue? The answer was no, but the clothes were fit for Amazonian women stalking the rainforest as much as they were for the streets of London. The abstract prints the Sado designers created were inspired by fossils in the British Museum, these prints along with the strong purples and oranges gave a blast of colour to the collection. Which was grounded by softer lighter blues, blush and cream.

The entire collection summed up a real summer in the city for me. I can see women scrabbling to wear her wide leg trousers and slinky tops. Slipping into one of Carlotta’s flowing dresses for evening. The full stop of the collection were the beautiful heels, embedded with richly coloured stones to enhance the collection.

FPOW + TK Maxx for LFW

LFW: S/S12 Bunmi Koko

Bunmi Koko

Allure of the Sirens S/S12

As soon as we stepped into the Freemasons Hall show space the theme of the collection was set. With fisherman’s nets and ropes strewn around the doorway and patriotic flags laying as if cast adrift after a shipwreck.

If the ship had be thrown against the rocks by the wild sea, there were surely a crew of lost sailors lingering in the mists. The siren calling out in this case was Tallia Storm, the gifted young songstress who sang live thorough out the show. The myth of the siren is based upon allure and danger, beauty and destruction.

‘The woman that comes to mind is cast out from society and finds pleasure in using her beauty as a weapon often deceiving and misleading.’ Bunmi Koko

The designer  explains ‘The feeling of a scavenger woman, clothing herself in salvaged items from shipwrecks is strong.’ Yet far from wearing rags the designs were sleek and sharp. With tailored pieces and neat knife pleats these sea-goddesses were reminiscent of beautiful oceans, shells and coral reefs. Salvaged elements were there, subtly, such as an over-sized blazer which could have be taken from an admiral and ropes, knotted into necklaces.

The collection will appeal to the hidden romantics, those who like luxury and opulence but are resourceful and practical with a playful edge.

You can find out more about Bunmi Koko on the website

For more of my LFW videos subscribe to my YouTube channel and Facebook

FPOW + TK Maxx for LFW

Styling This Seasons Trends With TK Maxx

Early in September I went to the TK Maxx press day to see what they had for the coming season. Whilst in London over Fashion Week I called into the Kensington High Street branch to see for myself if what they had promised was on offer. It was, in abundance!

Here I styled two looks around the trends featured during the press day: Country Heritage and Party Wear. (You can read the press day coverage here and here). TK Maxx has a fantastic range of this season key pieces, with deliveries being made every day there is always something new to see. I call into my local branch every time I am in town to check I am not missing out on any bargains. You need to view shopping in store similar to vintage shopping. Have a good look at everything, take you time, try things on and the real gems will soon reveal themselves. If you haven’t got a local store or aren’t the rummaging kind then you can now shop online too.

Country Heritage

Many elements of the heritage trend are very easy to wear from moss coloured knits to tweed skirts. Cocoon yourself in complimentary layers for a chic yet warm look. Dress up a simple outfit of jeans and sweater with a wax jacket and statement ankle boot.

Party Dresses

With Christmas and New Year fast approaching it is time to bag yourself the hottest party dress. Out smart your friends by turning up in something unique – don’t you hate it when every girl in the party is in the same ‘must-have’ High Street frock. With TK Maxx offering a vast range of limited designs no 0ne is going to outshine you. From wine colours to glittery details, neon flashes and sequins the options are endless, just don’t forget your heels.

Click for full size


Click the thumbnails for full size images or check out the entire album on my Facebook page

Look 1: Dress RRP £2280 TK Maxx price £599.99, cardigan RRP £1220 TK Maxx price £199.99, boots RRP £304 TK Maxx price£105

Look 2: Dress RRP £3060 TK Maxx price£199.99, shoes RRP £418 TK Maxx price£99.99

All items from TK Maxx designer Gold Label section

Styling by Pearl Westwood

Photography by Florrie Clarke

So what do you think were you surprised you could score runway looks from TK Maxx or have you been stalking the rails for years? Which trend is your favourite for Autumn / Winter?