In the past few weeks an influx of Vivienne Westwood Anglomania counterfeits have appeared on auction site Ebay. It is well known that the site is awash with fake jewellery and handbags, even some clothes such as the classic t-shirts and jumpers, however this is the first time I have seen them trying to fake more high profile pieces. The majority are dresses but also jackets and coats have been spotted. These sales are very difficult to detect as being counterfeit from the listings, the sellers are really devious. I have no doubt that the people bidding on them believe they are the real deal, especially considering some of them are selling for hundreds of pounds. They clothes look like the real deal to the untrained eye, especially when you can’t see it in real life. I hate to see people being ripped off, especially as I champion ebay as a great place to pick up Westwood on a budget so I have made this guide in the hopes of helping. There a a few easy things you can look out for to detect the fakes, its a lengthy post with images so click for more:
Today I am Wearing: Vivienne Westwood – Red Label tartan blazer, grey wool shorts, frill blouse; Gold Label Piped Courts in brown.
Just found this half finished post in my drafts, don’t know why it got waylay-ed! If you follow me on Instagram (@superelevated) and Facebook you might remember it was from a few weeks back. I really love this outfit, I know shorts and tartan aren’t suitable for everyone’s work wear but it is perfect for me. I am lucky to have that freedom. This is what I wear for an average smart work look, here I am in the museum carrying out some research and meetings. For something more formal I would switch the shorts for a pencil skirt. In fact that is what I wore for a recent conference, switched the shorts for a black fitted pencil skirt and the shoes for my black suede Animal Toe courts.
I actually really like wearing quite formal clothes, there is nothing better than a suit to make you feel more confidant. I don’t often have such extremely formal occasions to wear a full suit, so I usually wear them as separates. If you have a formal black or navy suit that only sees light of day for job intereviews, try wearing the skirt / trousers with a soft blouse or structured jumper for a smart but chic look. Blazers / jackets work to add a sleek edge to just about any outfit, over pretty dresses or with jeans.
I have been posting a lot on Instagram so let me know if you are on there too and I can follow you, don’t forget I am on YouTube now too, again let me know you channels so I can subscribe!
Commenting on trussed up celebs isn’t usually my game but I really couldn’t resist with this years MET Gala having a Punk theme. Having a theme for any event doesn’t usually bode well and the stars out last night fell victim trying to live up to it. Unless you are at a fancy dress party don’t change your style for anyone! Let’s have a look eh…
Starting with Dame Viv and date Lily Cole, if anyone had the right to turn up in pins and rips it was Viv but of course she has been there done that. Instead she chose a sumptuous taffeta dress and cape from AW12, voluminous with a dropped waist. Pinned to her breast was a photo of Wiki-leaks’ Bradley Manning. In a sea of tits and legs it was ironically the most punk look of them all.
Lily wore a Westwood gown of course, the design the same as the iconic Olympic dress however the corset of the MET dress crafted from Amazonian wild rubber, a natural material.When I first saw this dress I wasn’t aware of it’s construction, stating on Facebook how I wished it had been made of rubber! The reason this came to mind being the colour of the dress, recalling the colour of the original rubber and latex punk clothing sold at SEX. The photo I found about just shows up the contrast of the corset and skirts.
Both Vivienne and Lily wore Clomper shoes which I was immensely impressed with,Vivienne wore a runway version with ribbon ties and intricate embroidery. Had to LOL at the lady in blue carrying her heels down the staircase, not our Viv she can ride her bike in these baby’s.
Christina Ricci was the only other star to wear Westwood (god knows why, not a bondage suit in sight), her McAndrew tartan gown was incredible, but I think she styled it a little off kilter. I didn’t hate her look but I think she should have worn cobweb or pvc stockings to give it a little edge.
I think by the far the biggest mistake of the evening befell those choosing evening gloves, both Beyonce and Kim are stunning women but their Givenchy gowns swamped them.
Katy Perry and Linda Evangelista (Marchesa) look like the went on a journey with Bill and Ted, falling out of the wrong century! I do actually like Katy’s crown and Dolce & Gabbana frock but think the shoes make it frumpy.
Even when the gowns were that bad, so many of the girls looked like trussed up turkey, overly tanned, hair slick wit gel or stiff with spray. Many translated punk as 80s eye make up, more suited to Halloween.Julianna Moore’s quiff was just ridiculous. Brit chic Cara Delevingne showed how to get it right with soft locks to balance out a smudged, smokey eye. Wanting to stand out from the crowd Jessica Biel donned a fake nose ring and Nichole Richie sported frosted hair – more Rocky Horror Show ladies.
Ok so I can’t leave out Madonna in her Givenchy outfit, yes it is pure Punk in a costumey sense,but if I’d seen someone wearing this on any other occasion I would have given serious hearts to it. The gilt pyramid studs, the tartan, the pop or fuchsia pink heels, even the damn wig. Gah I love it, I shouldn’t but I do and I don’t know why!
That’s not to say nodding to Punk fashion without looking like a pastiche is impossible, Miley Cyrus (Marc Jacobs), Cary Mulligan (Balenciaga), Alexa Chung (Erdem), Sienna Miller (Burberry) and Donatella Versace (Versace) all looked sleek and chic. I kind of wish Miley had slashed it across the bust, a la Courtney Love in THAT Dior dress. In fact, why they hell wasn’t Love there!!
The safest option was to flip the V’s to the dress code theme, Rooney Mara (Givenchy), Anna Wintour (Chanel) and Gwen Stefani (Margiela) all stuck to their tried and tested styles and looked fantastic.
Last but not least, Sarah Jessica Parker who stole the show, from faux-hawk Philip Treacy hat, Giles gown and thigh high Louboutin boot this was not a look for the feint hearted. What might have looked like over kill on anyone else, frankly looked freakin’ fabulous. She’s SJP and she can wear whatever she damn well pleases.
I decided it was about time my long abandoned You Tube channel was revisited. I’ve had a few requests for vlogging content and I agree it does make somethings easier to explain. My first video is a companion to one of my most popular posts ‘Vivienne Westwood Pirate Boots: History & How to Spot Fakes‘ where I can show details genuine Pirate boots have.
Next, the launch of my new regular feature ‘Shoe Closet Tours’, I aim to eventually show all my shoe collection, each pair at a time! You can have a look through my channel, there are also some runway videos, but if you just want the new shoe action I have compiled them all into a Playlist, entitled ‘Shoes!’ Don’t forget to subscribe to my channel to get all my new videos. I will be doing some haul and review vlogs too. Of course if you have a channel, drop me the link so I can subscribe x
Wearing: Vivienne Westwood – Worlds End ‘Gigot’ dress, Gold Label ‘Animal Toe Courts’ and Japanese License ‘Squiggle’ socks
These socks have been long awaited by all the squiggle fans. The length is longer than the original Pirate stockings but made from a cheese cloth so you still get that great slouch effect. My tip if you want to wear them over the knee, use some body-tape to hold them up, or even a suspender belt. If you want a pair best be quick and give Lisa a call as they will sell out fast, £45 from Worlds End. This is the first thing I have tried them with, obviously this is my favourite dress at the moment! But I can’t wait to try them with my other squiggle items. Here is some squiggle sock inspiration for you!
Images via 430 Kings Road Tumblr
Reflecting on the swag
I wasn’t really planning on showing my new stuff until I happened to wear it but you, my friends, are so demanding! So here are a few snaps I just took whilst trying things on. I got a fair amount, two dress, two skirts, a coat, two necklaces, belt, lanyard, tights, legwarmers and some things for my mum. As much as I could carry really! Believe me I would have loved to get more, but what I did get are really incredible pieces.
My rather disheveled outfit on the way home
Taking my new coat and skirt for a whirl the day after sale
I also got asked a few questions about how sample / warehouse sales work, its pretty simple. All the items are price by type, dresses are a set price, coats a set price and so on. The sale was dearer this year some example prices are large bags £140, red label dresses £70, t-shirts £20, with Gold Label being individually priced. It wasn’t dirt cheap Primark prices which some people bizarrely seem to expect, but it is a huge discount on what you would pay in store, even at the seasonal sales. The cheapest things I saw were Melissa shoes for £20 and plastic jewellery for £5, however getting a Red Carpet dress which can cost £3000 for £350 is still a bargain in my books, I guess it just depends on what you are looking for.
After last years crazy scrum of a sale, this year they controlled the amount of people allowed in at a time, I think around 20 people. This made queue times a bit longer but made the shopping experience so much easier and more pleasurable for customers and staff. There was plenty of time and space to have a good look around. I believe the average queue time was 1 hour which I don’t think is too bad considering, this was also the time most people gave themselves to get there early. The sale started at 10am and the queuing really began around 9am. If you don’t like to queue aim to get there around lunch time or on the 2nd day when it is quieter.There was absolutely plenty of stock, no need to panic but of course there was still some kerfuffle outside with idiots trying to queue jump. They were swiftly made to leave. You generally aren’t able to try things on at a sample sale, you can try shoes on if you can manage to do so standing on one leg. Some sales allow you to try clothes on over your own. A cloakroom is provided which means you can go in the sale with your hands free! I guess the main tip for shopping sample sales is to have an idea of your size with the brand, if it’s not a brand you usually wear then try to go into a store and try on. There is nothing more frustrating than buying something fabulous to find it doesn’t fit. If I am unsure of a size I tend to go for the bigger size as you can always have something easily made smaller, it’s not so easy to make things bigger.
Huge thanks to all the staff for organising the sale <3
Due to popular demand, I updated my original post ‘Vivienne Westwood Pirate boots – History & How to Spot Fakes’ and also added a short Youtube video to demonstrate what real Pirate boots look like in the flesh. You can also check out the video below, where you can see I am not a Londoner like many people mistake me for, but a real Northerner! I also have a cold so its a bit sniffy sorry!
Another crazy, crazy week! Kicking off with the STYLEetc magazine launch party for our Spring issue, the off to London for work and a little bit of play. I admit I am probably becoming an iPhone bore but I really am so impressed with the quality of the camera on it, saves me lugging around the DSLR. I also joined the cult of Instagram (@superelevated) what can I say, its fun! Another app which came to my rescue when the Tube was closed this weekend is Hailo – lets you hail a cab with the touch of a button – absolute life saver! Google Maps and the MX data Tube Map made my life so much easier too. I’ve not really checked out many fashion app’s yet, mostly practical ones but let me know any app recommendations. Here are some visual snippets of what I have been up too and wearing last week. Mostly flat shoes due to all the running around and comfy shorts and tartans for layering. With the odd bit of glam, throwing on a heel. Ive been managing to get the packing down to just two pairs of shoes, a flat and a heel which is impressive for me! Visited the Museum of London who have some fantastic costume displays including this Westwood and McClaren Witches ensemble. I dropped by Selfridges and got to see Cath Kidston promoting her new book. Finishing the week with the Vivienne Westwood sample sale, woop!
I admit I have a very cool job, but some days it seems even cooler than usual. Above you can see my Vivienne Westwood toe shoes, directly above is the leather sole from an archaeological Roman sandal- notice anything similar? Yes it too has a toe shape cut out, some of them just have the first toe and others have all five toes defined. These sandals would have had leather straps attached to the sole just the same as our sandals today. Fascinatingly both my shoes and the Roman shoes were made in London.
In fact the popular ‘Gladiator sandals’ are inspired by their original Roman counterpart. At the Museum of London they have recently included some modern items in the cases to illustrate their purpose. Personally I think this is a great idea, especially for children to help them gain perspective. We often forget that simple, every day items and steeped in history.