Thursday, 31 July 2008
I'll be trawling the main high street shops and the delightful shops dotted around Central London, but Kingston and Bluewater also need to be assessed.
Today in Kingston-upon-Thames, (it's part of Greater London and has a great shopping area if you want to avoid the crowds) I had a scout around to check the slow progress of the new stock. I'll be delving into detail on specific retailers in posts over the next few weeks. September's British Vogue has a focus on page 127&8 on the new direction at Whistles. I had a quick peek today and liked the look except for the continued use of faux shirts and tops. I call it lazy dressing - when a top is a mesh of jumper and shirt. the shirt bit is sewn in and yuk it is a personal no no for me. Lots of promise and great quality. (I'll just whisper this - it's a bit Topshop for grown ups).
Check, tartan and purple are early offerings with a useful back up of grey with red yet to make a full arrival.
For those hearting Gucci and the trend of Winter Garden (or late bloomers as I like to think of it) then Oasis have a peachy number retailing at £70.
Warehouse have two dresses that wouldn't look improper in Anna Wintour's wardrobe - so if society siren is your style then these winter florals might be your high street finds. The Blurred Rose Tulip dress retails at £70 and the Bouquet Floral Shift Dress at £75.
Whilst the crowds were away I took the opportunity to visit Primark and check out whats coming in. Their accessories are flying in and they've gone their usual homage designs with a clear D&G focus with plaid bags and quite punky gothy shoes and other accessories.
I tried on a clear nod to Marc Jacobs and another dress, with ruffle and pleat detail in two different colour. The MJ number was the better quality of the two and the cheaper at £10.00. The pleated dress was £14.00 and the material was very synthetic and wouldn't last beyond a few wears not least because you'd ruin it trying to yank the zip down. I took some pics in the changing room which was difficult in a small, slightly smelly and quite trashed cubicle. Primark is not for the faint hearted!
A big trend for A/W 08 is the winter garden. Good news for those who
need to get more unit cost per wear out of your summer florals. Just team
with black and add feathers to complete the look.
Aquascutum, image: style.com
Wednesday, 30 July 2008
RM by Roland Mouret
Madeleine crepe dress
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
Monday, 28 July 2008
Following on from Rebekah Roy's fab talk at the Barbican last week and the delightful Wendy B's irreverent views a plenty, I got to thinking do we limit ourselves over a certain age and should we break free of such constraints?
Warning by Jenny Joseph (verse 1)
When I am an old women I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me,
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in the shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.
Friday, 25 July 2008
It took place in a workshop area sectioned off from the main exhibition and one thing is for sure - The Barbican doesn't know fashion. Rebekah's talk was a clear crowd puller. I luckily got there ahead of the crowd to get a seat with a great view to appreciate her talk.
During the talk by Rebekah many quotes flashed up behind her on the wall. The first one was a choice remark by Style Bubble of which I failed to capture on paper but Stylist Stuff will be posting the quotes used during the talk.
The essence of Rebekah's talk was love what you wear. Wear what you love and wear clothes that are a reflection of you. Rebekah really nailed the fact that personal style is an expression of the things you like and hang what anyone else thinks.
But she conveyed it so well, full of enthusiasm for getting the individual to trust their own judgement mixed with attitude. The crowd were led down a path that told them to use fashion or clothes to tell a story, for the choices to be a language and a tool to convey your personality to the world and also to have fun.
It was refreshing to step away from the popular dictates of wear this if you are this shape, avoid X and only do Y. The more structured advice was given to free the individual from imposing any constraints. Basically, firstly ignore celebrities and the world of celebrity fashion. Rebekah rightly pointed out the fact that most often they get paid to wear items (ref Kate Moss interview in US Vogue - perfect product placement regarding her Ray Bans comments - how much did they pay her to say that!).
Equally, try to avoid the pitfalls of archetypes and stereotypes of different looks. Some people use this to define them and Rebekah gave a few examples such as Daphne Guinness and that then becomes a brand identity - a whole other area to talk about!
It was lovely how Rebekah spoke of the body changing as you age and how to adapt with the quality of the cloth to reflect the change in your life stage. All throughout the audience was treated to look changes based on the canvas of jeans and a white t-shirt. Rebekah also picked out items from her rail to tantalise us all with. Some veritable gems were passed before our eyes.
I loved that Rebekah could laugh about fashion but also give credit to it's place in life with some beautiful examples of voluntary work she undertook one of which was with female ex offenders. The fact that someone was given nice clothes and shown their potential by being styled was heartfelt.
I've enjoyed Rebekah's blog for eons, most notably for her handy hints on how to iron shirts - one of my most disliked tasks. Selfishly I needed her talk as when you work on your own as a stylist it can often be hard to give yourself a talking to! Most of my work is personal styling due to the demands of the petit garcon. I don't get to do the editorial and commercial stuff much anymore as a part timer. Rebekah's event gave me some much needed enthusiasm and re-clarification of all I feel and think. A fresh perspective is wonderful.
My only inward smile was her perfect advice of looking at your wardrobe and checking what you've got. Often it is just a matter of re examining items rather than buying new. You see make do style is growing!
I can't stress enough what a pleasurable talk it was. I've hardly done it justice. Rebekah gave so much more. It was lovely to meet her in person not just in the blogosphere. I made a real effort to go as was rather tired after France and mightily glad I did.
The only downside was the photos - not only do I take a dreadful photo, I really need to learn to pose properly. But Susie Bubbles comments of nice food in Normandy came back to haunt me. Forget vintage clothes darlings I'm looking to a vintage diet - cabbage soup!!
Thursday, 24 July 2008
My grandes vacances was in France. We crossed on the ferry, and stopped off for our usual morning coffee at Le Mont St Michel
Then it was onwards to the Loire-Atlantique to stay overnight at Chateau de Cop-Choux
Tuesday, 22 July 2008
Sunday, 20 July 2008
Friday, 18 July 2008
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
Saturday, 12 July 2008
Thursday, 10 July 2008
..well my bags are packed and ready to go. Now given that a week is a long time in fashion, can you imagine what 2 weeks is in blog world!
Tuesday, 8 July 2008
Monday, 7 July 2008
PS you only knew I was joking when I added affectionately - didn't ya?
Friday, 4 July 2008
Thursday, 3 July 2008
Money is sweet but you can go without....if push came to shove you could get by style wise in a pair of blue jeans for a while. Which, is a naff way for me to prompt you to forgo a fashion fix to support a design gem to raise money to help Burmese children via UNICEF -see post by Delicious Industries
And yes I was having a Neil Diamond moment.
Tuesday, 1 July 2008
The one question they didn’t ask was why hadn’t Carrie got herself a pair of glasses if she couldn’t see without them? Now, it was a sweet scene of her in bed borrowing Big’s pair but surely a successful forty something girl would have her own.
Upon further investigation into this matter I worked out why Carrie hadn’t gotten around to buying a pair – it would eat into her shoe budget. The cost of investing in glasses that look good is enormous. You need a few pairs for working with different outfits. Then there is the awful fact of do you suit glasses. Now I do not. I have proven this on several occasions to hoots of derision. I suit a nice pair of sunnies but put me in spectacles and well geek chic it ain’t.