Monthly Archives: March 2012

Jump From Paper!

I wanted to dedicate a full post to JumpFromPaper, as soon as I posted photo’s of me wearing my bag I knew everyone would be intrigued by it. When I first saw photo’s of the bags I just couldn’t understand how on earth they actually worked! JumpFromPaper originated when two girls were sketching their dream handbags, they thought it would be fun to translate their cartoons into real life!  Chay Su and Rika Lin are all about fun, their cartoony, graffiti-like bags really  trick your eye. It is hard to grasp until you see them in real-life that they are actually really spacious and useable. I chose ‘Play Harder‘ from the Explorer collection as it reminded me of vintage flight bags. It extends behind the front design, so whilst it still looks 2D it can be filled with all your daily needs. It has become my new laptop bag.

Here is a photo I took of Florrie during London Fashion Week, she has the ‘Bonjour‘ bag from the Charmer collection.

Black, White, Denim Salon Show SS12

A warm welcome greeted us as we entered Wilmslow boutique Black, White, Denim. It was my first visit to the store, long over due as I had been intrigued about the concept for some time. Black, White, Denim isn’t just a quirky name but belies the concept and philosophy installed by founder Jo Davies. My initial thoughts went something like this ‘They only sell black, white and denim clothing? Hmmm’, ‘THEY ONLY SELL BLACK, WHITE AND DENIM CLOTHING???’ For someone who walks around looking live Vivienne Westwood and Miuccia Prada’s lovechild minimalism is somewhat lost on me. As elegant and chic as those Celine and Chloe aficionados look I can never do it. I have tried, oh yes don’t be too shocked, there are pieces in my wardrobe which you could call classics, I have a simple white shirt, black skinny jeans, basic black court shoe. I put them on and then feel the need to roll around by closet until I look like I’ve had a fight with a rainbow. That’s just me. Yet this approach to dressing isn’t always a winner. As I mentioned in my last post I can often end up throwing on something in a rush only to catch sight of myself in a mirror and recoil in horror as Ziggy Stardust stares back. Some times I really do wish I kept in mind my simple, elegant classics which of course I can always team with a statement heel or a trophy jacket to add personality. This is what B,W,D is all about.

Finding your perfect ‘go-to’ wardrobe. Investing in the building blocks which you know are flattering and will last you for years to come. Style should be easy. That is the B,W,D philosophy.

But what is that, you see other colours creeping in? Well of course you can’t only live your life in black and white, once you have the foundations you can pepper them with a splash of red and a hint of shimmering sequins. B,W, D is all about luxury, I have always been a big believer in owning just one top quality white t-shirt rather than ten cheap ones. That to me is real luxury, not driving a flash car. The other little luxury I love is jewellery, unique and beautifully crafted pieces will last you a life time, but they don’t have to break the bank either. The shop is home to an exceptional array of pieces from designers such as Cinderela B, Lara Bohinc, Daisy Knights, Ha-Yeon Lee and Husam El Odeh. With prices starting from as little as £22 there really something for everyone’s budget. My heart belonged to Cinderela B (jewellery pictured above) that night especially the golden bee earrings. Designer Rachel Jackson, who I met on the night, explained they were designed with a straight line of dangling chains to form a fringe rather than a tassel, a tiny detail which has a huge impact. All the jewellery is handmade in their London studio so you are not just buying a pretty piece but investing in your own countries talents. Cinderela B also do a high end Vintage Couture range, each piece unique, created from vintage components from the 1920′s- 80′s to form stunning statement necklaces. I find myself dreaming over them so I am sure this isn’t the last you will be hearing about the brand.

Here I am with Lawrence, wearing an Ashish sweater top – ooh look it’s black and white, if you disregard the huge neon pink sequin teddy bear!

Stylish on the school run: Zoe Karssen Sweatpants £108, Acne LS Girl tee £80, Acne Cashmere Cardigan £430, Acne pistol boots £370

Shopping with the girls: Jo whipped this Theysken’s Theory jacket off the models back to pass around the audience. The quality of the fabric, attention to detail with the trim and unique cut really did need a closer look!

The perfect for any occasion Victoria, Victoria Beckham dress: Black & Cream Drop Waist Dress £530, Carven Court Shoe £280, By Malene Birger Bag £209

Ready to party, stunning detail of the sequin By Malene Birger jacket £335

Victoria, Victoria Beckham again with her cute cat print, another dress for any occasion, £495

 Here are the gorgeous models Emma and Kirsty. You wouldn’t know this from the photo’s but neither of them are professional models! They are both local mum’s, who like all of us, have busy lives and need to look good with ease. I thought it was a fantastic idea to use the stores customers in the show, as I heard many a lady on the night say it made it much easier to relate to seeing the clothes how they would be worn in real life. The looks shown were based around essential outfits: School run, Shopping trip, Big night out, Easy denim, Off to the airport and the essential fashion daydream a Victoria, Victoria Beckham dress! Another great thing about having the show in the store is that Jo could grab things off the rails as they came to mind. Easily illustrating how a pair of mint green jeans and beige Acne Pistol boots with a white chiffon blouse could quickly be transformed with a sleek black blazer. Throughout the evening Jo relaid a wealth of tips to everyone on how to built their own key wardrobe and fashion insider know hows: ‘Try an evening dress with pockets to help you feel more relaxed at formal events’, ‘Not a fan of jeans? Try J Brand Maria which feel just like a pair of Opaques, you can even go down as size as they mold and fit to your shape’, ‘Look out for the signature V backs on Theyksen’s Theory pieces’, ‘J Brand 811 earns it’s moniker from the 8″ rise and 11″ leg hem circumference’ .

 All in all it was a lovely evening, Jo and her team really made everyone feel welcome and if anyone there wasn’t already a customer I am sure they will be. The beauty of having such an intimate event is that you really do get a hands on approach. I am a big supporter of independent boutiques because you get the knowledge and help which is lost in huge department stores. If you do pay Black, White, Denim a visit you will be guaranteed a one-on-one service from people who know about fashion, but also know about how hard it can be building a functional wardrobe. The edit of the store is perfection, you could go in and pick up any top, jeans and shoes and know that it will work as an outfit, all thanks to Jo’s perfectionist eye, she really knows her stuff. Now where did I put those black skinny jeans…

Watch the highlights of the evening on BWD TV

Thanks to Jo, Jordan and the BWD team and it was lovely to see Claire of Tweet, Sarah of Fashion Dotty and the I <3 Manchester girls.

Outfit: When its Old New and New New

Wearing: Vivienne Westwood Gold Label ‘Galo’ jacket, Worlds End shirt, vintage VW necklace, vintage Wrangler jeans, D&G shoes.

You know when you buy something out of season, it sits looking at you. You have to shove it in the wardrobe out of site. Yet it keeps glinting at you every time you open the door. This ‘Galo’ jacket has been sat looking at me since around January, however it first glinted its beady eye at me last year when the Vivienne Westwood S/S Gold Label show images were released. The it appeared in the shop, I didn’t dare try it on, in case I fell in love with it. I guess somethings are just inevitable and the fashion gods decided it needed to go home with me. Here it is, the first hit of sunshine and I whipped it out of the dust bag.

Vivienne Westwood Gold Label S/S10

This is one of those outfits where I can’t decide if I especially like or not. Perhaps it has something to do with the jeans, I don’t particularly like jeans all that much. They look fantastic on other people, Emanuelle Alt for example, but they aren’t for me. Which also doesn’t explain the 15 or so pairs in the bottom of my wardrobe either hmmm. Anyway I still decided to post the photos because this is what I wore and that is the point of this blog. Much as we would all love to look like we jumped right out of Vogue, truth is that isn’t real life. Now if someone could invent the real life version of an air brush that I could use. Fat day? Meh brush that muffin top away. Oh well we can dream!

LFW AW12: Orla Kiely

Join us for a Tea Dance as we slip into the magical world of Orla Kiely. With tidy, glossy pony tails, barely there make-up and berry red lips the girls sat and waited around the dance floor for some one to mark their dance card. Wearing pretty full skirted dresses and blouses in tiny floral printed chiffon, contrasted with gold sequin collars and vibrant orange shorts. Butter soft deep red leather pinafore’s with shiny black buttons. Maroon boiled wool and retro cat prints for beautiful dresses. The collection had a distinct girlish charm with a coquettish wink. More structured dresses in striped taffeta and metallic flecked skirts with shimmering golden blouses for the evening. Topped off with sparkly ankle socks and smartly polished dancing shoes. The lights dimmed, the mirror ball spun and the band started to play. Handsomely suited gentlemen appeared and the couples waltzed around the room. All in all the perfect prim and proper wardrobe, yet add a flash of a heel and the Head Girl could soon be transformed into the wild tear away!

I cannot express my surprise and also sheer delight as I walked into the wonderland Orla Kiely created that day. I only wish I had gone earlier so I could have sat at one of the pretty little tables laden with good old fashioned treats, jam tarts Battenburg cake and Bourbon biscuits. When I arrived the room was packed, everyone excited to see what Kiely was going to treat us with this season. The room was softly lit to create the perfect atmosphere for dancing and frivolity. Exactly what I think these clothes were intended for.

FPOW + TK Maxx for LFW

Outfit: Always The Weather for Tweed

Wearing: Vivienne Westwood Red Label Harris Tweed jacket, VW Anglomani trousers, VW Gold Label shoes, Coz t-shirt, vintage sunglasses.

How hot was it today? Well I guess that is a matter of opinion. As everyone surrounding me donned shorts and vest tops I was wearing my Harris Tweed. Maybe it is time to dig out the summer stuff!

An Alternate Outfit Post

 

Look 1: Maxi skirt and desert boots, I don’t own even one maxi so thought this would be fun to try!

Look 2: A smart work look with loafers, casual but smart.

Look 3: This is kind of cheating I already have one of these striped skirts in red but it was nice to see how it worked with flats.

When F&F at Tesco asked me if I wanted to trade a regular outfit post for a go in their new Facebook Fitting RoomI had to admit I was intrigued. You can upload your own photo, input your weight and height and create a virtual you! Whilst the virtual Pearl ended up with a skin tone to match her fringe, it was certainly fun playing dress up! Whilst the fitting room doesn’t have the full range available it does have a selection of their current season clothes which you can play around with and also purchase easily in the app. One thing I do think the fitting room is useful for is seeing how the lengths will hang, something I always have a problem with. But the big question is, how will the virtual clothing will square up in real life? Well we will get to find out as F&F have offered to send me one of my styled up outfits.

So which one should I go for?

Beauty: The Body Shop at Vauxhall Fashion Scout

As anyone who reads my blog regularly knows I am no make-up expert. Sure I love trying out new products and having fun playing with bright lipsticks and eye shadows, but I can’t say I am particularly skilled in applying make-up in any way. I actually find it easy to do other peoples faces (must be my arts background), but when it comes to my own I do struggle. I also lack patience so can’t be bothered spending an hour every day trying to achieve a cover girl perfect face. A dusting of powder, a flick of eye liner, mascara, a smear of lippy and I’m off. For a night out I might take an extra minute to smudge in a smokey eye. Having said that I am always up for a challenge and I really do adore discovering new tips and tricks. When The Body Shop asked if I would like to recreate the look their make-up artist had used for the Ones to Watch runway show during London Fashion Week I jumped at the chance. I had seen the show, review to come soon, and really liked the make-up and styling, kind of 1960′s with a modern glow.

 The kit – Products: Shimmer Cubes Palette 20, Eye Shimmer 01, Liquid Eye Liner, Super Volume Mascara, Eye Definer’s in White 05 and French Navy 06, Brushes: Slanted, Eye Shadow and Eye Shadow Blender.

Armed with my kit I watched the video below and whilst it had some tricky bits, I thought it was generally easy to follow. In fact I found it fairly easy and quick to do. I also learnt some interesting tips such as using the concealer under the brow and trying a brush for eyeliner ‘flicks’. You can see my version of the completed look above and also in my outfit post Ticket to Ride which has 60s influenced styling too. I really liked the effect that was created around the outer eye with the contrasting blue and white, underlined with the eyeliner flick. I don’t think I went as full on as the original look, but it is something I will certainly be trying again. I really liked the products and with the eye shadow cube especially I think there is plenty of scope for creating a fair few variations on this. It would work well with the dark grey as the main colour and would also be really interesting to try with totally contrasting colours such as throwing in a bright green or pink. It was a novelty for me to be using so many brushes too. I only use one brush for powder usually so having all these different ones was great fun! It did take a bit of getting used to applying eye shadow with a brush as opposed to my finger but it does give you more control especially when shading and blending.

On the runway, Ones to Watch, Vauxhall Fashion Scout, London Fashion Week A/W 12

What did I think of the products? Well I’ve actually been using some Body Shop products already for quite some time. I have yet to find anywhere else which sells a clear / invisible lip liner. I love to wear dark lipsticks and find even with a coloured liner I still get bleeding, however using this clear liner first really prevents that. It has been my miracle product for years. I also use the cheek and lip stain. I previously used Benefit Benetint but found it leaked and annoyingly stained your fingers after applying, it was also drying when used on the lips. The Body Shop stain however is gel based and in a sleek lip gloss sized tube so more practical to carry around. It doesn’t leak and it doesn’t stain your hands but it stays perfectly well put on your face! I haven’t looked back since discovering it. I also use the Vitamin E face products, which I do want to go into in a separate post. Apart from the odd eye shadow I hadn’t tried any other Body Shop products. I was extremely impressed with the brushes first of all, very soft bristles and a nicely shaped handle for a secure grip. The liquid eyeliner is probably my favourite thing, it blew me away! I have been using a pot liner recently after giving up with liquid’s altogether. Yet this one with its precision, felt-tip like applicator and non-runny formula, not only gave a neat line but it lasted all day too. It was also pretty much idiot proof! Honestly it was so easy to use, not a wobbly line in sight! It has been granted a firm place in my make-up bag. The eye shadows were great colours and easy to apply, not the softest consistency I have tried and they did require a bit of working to get the product onto the brush but once on bright and deep pigments. The only products I didn’t feel suited me were the eyeliner pencils, I found them much harder than the ones I usually use and having to press in and really keep working the pencil irritated my sensitive eyes. I found breathing on the tips and rubbing it into the back of my hand softened them up a bit, but I would personally have preferred them to be softer. All in all I would really recommend the products and definitely suggest having a watch of the video and trying out the look for yourself.

The video showing how the look was created for the fashion show

Outfit: Tip Your Hat

Wearing: Vivienne Westwood Gold Label kilt and VW boots, Primark jumper and hat.

Yeah, yeah, blah, blah I know the rest of the UK is in some kind of heat wave but where I live it is still pretty cold so you won’t be seeing me in summer frocks and t-shirts just yet! I did get one of my straw hats out though as a nod to spring. You know when you have something that you just love so much, that is just such a pleasure to wear well that has to be these boots. Other people seem to find joy in them too, can’t tell you how many ‘nice boots’ comments I get when wearing them. My dog Sirius likes them too he always has a cheeky nip of the rosettes. I seem to be living in this jumper lately, it is the best for just throwing on with everything. I bet you have something similar? Almost like a comfort blanket, you know it will look good and you know it involves no effort. Well it is almost the weekend, so enjoy the sun wherever you are!

Trends: Some Ideas on How To Wear Pastels

Pastel shoes from Dune

When I first started seeing all the pastel colours coming down the runway I got lost in the beautiful dream world they were offering. Like a kid in a candy store, I couldn’t wait for spring and with it the new season collections. But then it got here, I wandered around all the shops, touching the delicate beading and floral applique. Running my hands over lace skirts and dresses in mint, lilac, pink. But when it came to the crunch I struggled to buy anything for myself. You see I was looking at it all wrong. I had this image of Kate Moss on her carousel horse at Louis Vuitton, in a flouncy lace dress and matching pastel heels. The thing is I’m not Kate Moss and if we are honest she wouldn’t wear that outfit outside of work either.

When it comes to translating runway trends it is all too easy to get caught up in the image the designers create. I know we all have things in our wardrobe that we bought on a whim, only to find they don’t actually go with anything else in our closet, or even perhaps ourselves. Because that is the key rule when embracing a new trend, it needs to work with US, it needs to be our own version of the trend. So I sat back and had a think about what I already owned which could be translated into the pastel trend. I have a baby pink blazer and erm that was about it! I am a black girl, it is true, with varying shades of grey! There is colour in my wardrobe but they are bright and bold. Embracing pastel was all quite new to me.

I thought about the shapes I like and the cuts I wear. I thought about the things which are my ‘go to’s’. In the end I got a pair of printed trousers in my usual high waist style but with a pale blue print. I have a baby pink top yet it has a metallic sheen, I adore metallic’s so it felt more approachable to me. I picked up a baby blue vintage dress, in the same style as my other dresses so it remains in my comfort zone. I can wear it with black shoes or maybe I will try it with a pair of neutral or even pastel ones too. Here are my top tips for wearing the pastel’s trend:

1. Take it slow, try adding a pastel coloured top with more neutral things like blue jeans. You get the same effect but it is less full on.

2. The shoes! Or in fact any other accessories such as a bag or scarf. You can play around with accessories really easily, trying them with different things.

3. Consider your usual silhouette. If you always wear trouser suits a super girly prom dress might not be you, look for similar shapes and cuts but in the new colours.

4. Try a different take. Pastel shades but in tribal prints for the pattern lover or baby pink studded shoes for the rock chic.

5. Add in contrasting colours. You don’t need to have a full pastel outfit, bright neon’s and block colours such as orange and blue work really well against softer tones.

Lots of pretty applique at River Island, even on the shoes!

Pastel colours yes, but in tribal, striped and floral patterns we are familiar with, River Island.

Spikes on pastel shoes, the perfect antidote for the not so girly girls, River Island.

More applique at Very.co.uk.

Pastels with a punch, pairing pastel blues and greens with neutral an contrasting orange tones down the full on candy colours, Very.co.uk.