Wednesday, 30 September 2009

An LCF night out on a capsule wardrobe

Duty called and I went to LCF last night to welcome the new MA students. I managed to make the change into the evening look with my capsule wardrobe. Off with the skirt and the loafers and on with the dress, belt, jacket and boots.
A quick pose in the LCF canteen before mingling.

Roy Peach Dean of the Graduate School at LCF and Nilgin Yusuf Course Director for Fashion and Lifestyle Journalism and ex Sunday Times fashion editor.

New MA students studying for MAs in History and Culture of Fashion, Fashion Curation and Fashion and Film

Anna Burel from Paris studying for the MA in Fashion and Film

Another pose in capsule wardrobe outfit with MA Photography 2nd year student Lukas Kroulik

More new MA students studying for MAs in Buying and Marketing, Footwear and Fashion Design & Technology

Finally my last pose with my fellow MA Fashion and Film 2nd year course mate Lindsey Zyzyck ex Fashion Institute of Technology NY graduate and USA citizen. Good luck to all the new MA grads at LCF!

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Day 2 of Capsule Wardrobe

This is what a capsule wardrobe looks like hanging in the closet/wardrobe - agh!

l to r cashmere tee, black skirt, breton top, sequin leggings, white shirt, tuxedo jacket, black bustier dress and shrug

These are my pair of shoes and my boots - could you imaging just having only two pairs of shoes in your wardrobe?

However, it does make life easy in terms of selection. I've repeated my look from yesterday substituting the breton top for the cashmere t-shirt. The weather is still nice and if I have to go into central London this evening for drinks with the new MA students I will take off the skirt and put on my bustier dress and swap loafers for boots.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Capsule Wardrobe

Fellow blogger The Small Fabric of my Life had challenged the fashion blogosphere to a capsule wardrobe challenge for the week. Once I've got new batteries in my new portable Sony digital camera I will photograph my choices properly.

The rules allow for 10 items from your wardrobe and 5 accessories - thankfully underwear and hosiery are unlimited.

I've chosen:

New black Reiss Lucia draped casual skirt
Black satin bustier Wallis dress (years old!)
Gap stripey long sleeve Breton top (2 years old)
Gap grey cashmere t-shirt (2 years old)
H&M white shirt (this season - £14.99)
H&M sequin leggings (this season - £12.99)
H&M tuxedo jacket (years old - best ever £30 spent)
new champagne Reiss shrug cardi
Tods black loafers (3 years old bought in Rome)
Black ankle boots (4 years old and still working them)

My new Toast bag
A purple scarf
Chunky gunmetal Topshop necklace
Green coin Topshop necklace
Navy blue patent belt

As my capsule wardrobe is lacking in colour I've added red to my nails to add a bit of drama.

Today I'm wearing my black skirt and grey cashmere top with the chunky necklace, red nails, bare legs and my Tods loafers. If it gets a bit chilly I'll throw on the shrug cardi.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

What a suprise

It is a long weekend for me as I'm at a shopping centre fitting the public with jeans. Myself and my team of assistants are dab hands at fit and style for any body shape but every time we deal with high street jeans there is always a surprise winner. This season A/W 09/10 it is the New Look skinny flare.

I kid you not from size 6 to 16 they are a wow. The boot flare is not a bad second either. Good old New Look particularly as you can buy in store or order on line from a 28" to a 34" leg.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

High Street Pick of the Week

This is a bit on the expensive side for Warehouse at £120. It does worry me this steady creeping up of prices on the high street. The cheaper priced dresses are becoming cheaper in every sense and I have to say the cut and cloth on this one is good but I'm hesitating over the price - am I a cheap skate or forgetting the price of oil these days?

It is on a par with a Ted Baker or All Saints dress in terms of price and I do think the design team at Warehouse are making great improvements to the retail offering.

Burnout Tartan dress £120 Warehouse

Friday, 25 September 2009

From Lace in London to Knickers from Milan!

I know LFW was all about the top trumps Burberry show/party/Anna/slash et al but in the background was a really wonderful show by Erdem. Glorious print, cut and colour, sigh, it was a joy.

image, view complete collection here

Now over to Milan, where the first few images of the Prada collection are being drip fed by the fashion editorial pages on line. It seems Miuccia has embraced palm tree prints and a mix of sportswear and 50s glam fabric. Mmmm I seem to have written about sportswear and glam already this week. Anyway, it looks like silk knickers are Prada's new turban!

image The Daily Telegraph

I'm sure will have the full collection on line by now. The Milan Fashion Week will be a glut of fast action packed shows over 4 days due to last minute re-organisation for the main shows.

PS Updated click for the Prada Ready to Wear collection here on

Thursday, 24 September 2009

If you love the man in your life...

...then any gentle nudging towards sartorial styling could land you a nice little voucher for yourself!
Click HERE for more information

Tie Dye Competition Winner

When I said the tie dye tee competition was open to all, I secretly hoped the random competition winner selection would yield a next door neighbour or something. But no, only a winner half way across the globe! Although I am very pleased to say it is the lovely enc of observationmode. I think she was my first ever comment box person all those many blogs years ago.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Say what LFW 25 years ago!

I realised with shock how many years ago the first London Fashion Week was when I put on an outfit on Monday to go shopping at Tesco. It was sunny and I'd been to Paris, my standards were high that day! It was when I saw myself in the mirror that the whole look reminded me of my first ever fashion show week - the black with colour and a slogan send me reeling.

Composed with petit garcon (who really does scoot round Tesco and anywhere he can) wearing bargain See by Chloe top with Reiss skirt, H&M leggings and LK Bennett quilted ballet flats.

And over to me at a young age wearing PX for LFW 1984! Basically the same principle, coloured motif top with black and flats.

I wasn't as young as Tavi but I was a young 'un. I don't know why the shot was in black and white. I remember the sweat top was a pale green with red suede PX on the back. I wonder what happened to them. The shows to model were Vivienne Westwood, Betty Jackson and Jasper Conran and I got PX. Still a very nice Sally Brampton gave me some good advice and I dutifully went to university with my eyes on fashion journalism not prancing on catwalks. I did make enough money to get me through uni and have some spare change though.

I had to snap the photograph with my blackberry as I haven't got a scanner at home. Someone did my hair and make up very nicely which you can't really tell but I do remember how nice it was to be made up. I still love dressing up and am glad I haven't lost my appetite for fashion.

Mind you my best accessory now is my little boy not my backside as it was then! I couldn't wear leggings without something over the top these days....

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

The boy done good

Due to my looming MA deadline I'm enjoying an enforced absence from London Fashion Week. Whilst all around me are dashing towards the Embankment and Somerset House, I'm enjoying a quiet nip in or two to the London College of Fashion library.

There is one show I should have fought for, that of my favourite fellow countryman Julian Macdonald. Ah the boy done good...he restrained his flamboyance, which I love, to the aim of his cut and created a collection of scuba inspired modern pieces for a perfect marriage of sportswear and glamour.


Monday, 21 September 2009

Two euros is all you need

I made two purchases in Paris totalling 2 euros. One on a copy of Grazia and the other on 3 Eiffel Towers - a bargain at 3 for one euro. The Eiffel Towers were to decorate my item that blew my budget a gorgeous bag which is a collaboration between Ally Capellino and Toast the Nairobi shopper
I love the simplicity of the design and the fact it is a fair trade item. I think it makes a change from the lure of the designer worship. I also love my little towers n'est pas.

My other big spend was on a copy of French Grazia, I was slightly amused by their love of Lily Allen, seriously the feature on her was a different angle to our media. In fact the many choices of photos of different celebrities only proves that we are only informed by the images and stories chosen.

The preview of LFW was of interest too. The pictorial choice - will we always be defined by the Union Jack? The rest of the article choose Henry Holland ( Le plus decomplexe - the most uninhibited), Marios Schwab ( Le plus glam - obvious), Christopher Kane ( Le plus actuel - the most current) and Luella (Le plus aristo - obv again) as the best of LFW designers to look out for. Interesting!
However my treat of the week was a super size Sunday Times Style magazine. Not only was Shane Watson occupying her usual position but it included Julie Burchill too. Now next week it will return to its usual insipid ordinariness but I have to say when will publishers get that the texture and size of their offerings are worth it. I love a decent magazine and this edition and the Harper's Bazaar edition in March was wonderful. I always wish someone would be brave enough to do the same all the time.

I will be fighting for a Jade nail varnish, I'm a serial collector of Chanel nail varnish so watch out!

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Paris and the petit garcon

The start of the day

Yesterday, the MDS's decamped en famille to Paris for the day. It was a glorious day in respect of weather, food, drink, browsing and style watching. I have to concede Paris does it better. We can debate London cool for ever and a day but somehow the femme of Paris whatever their age just have the edge. It is even down to the discreet one shopping bag whether Dior or Zara, you just know they bought perfection!

I'm not sure who was the star of the day Paris or the petit gacon. It was his first visit to the capital although his third visit to France. He loved it!

in the flea market

Climbing at the Louvre

Eating olives

Hanging out at cafes

More climbing on the left bank of the Seine

Prize possession an Eiffel Tower from street seller

Asleep on Eurosar

Yesterday, the MDS's decamped en famille to Paris for the day. It was a glorious day in respect of weather, food, drink, browsing and style watching. I have to concede Paris does it better. We can debate London cool for ever and a day but somehow the femme of Paris whatever their age just have the edge. It is even down to the discreet one shopping bag whether Dior or Zara, you just know they bought perfection!

I'm not sure who was the star of the day Paris or the petit garcon. It was his first visit to the capital although his third visit to France. He loved it!

(More photos on autre blog Fashion & Film)

Saturday, 19 September 2009

What I didn't buy ...

Before I did my shop I had three favourites on my wish list. The Gap designer boots got binned as a want due to my high arched feet, I couldn't get them in. The actual boots still haven't come into stores yet!

The Vivienne Westwood Anglomania coat is absolutely gorgeous, however one size was too big and the other too small due to my swimmers shoulders. To fit my well defined Balmain numbers into anything is problem but truly I nearly wept over the coat. And now it has sold out on my-wardorbe! Also the Sonia by Sonia Rykiel fav sold out in my size!

Finally the Brandy dress at £165 in Reiss came in to late for me to buy as I'd blown the budget. Sometimes shops don't stock quick enough! It is a great dress and I'd have worn it well but ce la vie!

Friday, 18 September 2009


The lovely Sharon Rose has graciously given me an award! I feel honour bound to accept and pass on straight away otherwise I'll completely forget. Also I haven't forgotten my tie dye t-shirt comp, will announce winner next week as popping off to Paris tomorrow for the day...

I would like to award the following on the basis I am new to their blogs and have been enticed into their worlds and I like....

Miss Cavendish
The Small Fabric of My Life

Also Tor of FabFrocks for having the best smokey eye look - take a peek it is fab!

Anyway, love ya all! Have a great weekend. I'll be slacking as finally I tear my eyes away from rushes and editing to board Eurostar as petit garcon and I take Mr MDS on his father's day trip (we did book ages ago). A make do tip - I shopped/bought petrol, anything at Tesco and saved all my points as Airmiles to buy the Eurostar tickets.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Duchess style

Well, I had 8 d├ębutantes proper and 15 debs for the day, two Princesses and one Duchess to have hair, make up and get dressed for the evening ball held yesterday in Westminster. The gowns had all been selected and fitted by Pronovias of Bond Street and Harrods ( a Barcelona based wedding gown specialist) as the theme for the ball was of white gowns. A fairytale coming out! The television screening of the Queen Charlotte Ball takes place on Channel 4 in December.

Apologies for photo qualities but as well as the film crew photographer and the You and Your Wedding photographer we did have our own one to take behind scenes photos. I couldn't resist a few blackberry snaps.
Lukas Kroulik had created a fresh faced and hair look to go with the wedding gowns as we felt heavy make up and very structured hair would look too contrived with the fact the girls were wearing wedding gowns and very heavy ostentatious jewellery. Quite nymph like hair and I would have added ribbons to the dresses too - if I'd had my way. However stylistic quirks weren't really the order of the day, more production manger efficiency to execute everything on time.

The main 8 girls were to leave for more filming before the rest and as I helped the last one down the stairs by lifting her dress so she didn't go flying, I rushed back up the stairs to sneak in this shot above. The scene of the gathered girls below did look lovely waiting for their cars - the suits are the jewellery body guards!

And finally the Duchess of Somerset - I had just tied her mink stole on and had someone to lift her dress and put her shoes on so not the best of shots plus quality issues but I wanted a memento because we had quite an encounter. The poor duchess had arrived with luggage at the hotel but of course there were no rooms available for a freshen up and shower. I had to send someone to Harrods for shampoo and luckily I had a towel with me and the Duchess of Somerset literally had to freshen up in the washroom and have one of the hairdressers wash her hair there.

In the midst of it all I caught some of the debs using black eyeliner and adding to their make up! I told them off as the dresses and more importantly the jewellery had to be protected. Later on the Duchess told me she was impressed with my telling them off, I equally complemented her on her ability to muck in, in the washroom. And of course she uttered the words which were music to my ears. 'Well Kate, when I had a job for a while as a fashion assistant at Vogue we were taught to make do in any situation.' Ah Duchess style you've got to love it!

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

1959 to 2009

Today I'm working on the recreation of the Queen Charlotte Ball. The image above is a 1959 Henri Cartier-Bresson photo of the Queen Charlotte Ball.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Hectic times ahead...

Nothing disappoints me more than not posting or commenting on a daily basis but...this week I have to work on a Channel 4/magazine collaboration - I will post pics of this after Wednesday. Then I have to finish editing my short film. Excuses, excuses but normal service will resume....

Monday, 14 September 2009

Hot off the Blogging Press

Imagine my surprise and delight when I got an email from Mrs Fashion - yep she is back!!
If you are new to blogging i.e. in the last 18 months it is your chance to read the delightful and insightful posts that are MRS FASHION.

Make Do Style Givaway!

A reminder of my competition.....You to can look as cute as a button in a tie dye tee.

I'm offering a tie dye t-shirt to a lucky Make Do Style reader. Go on jump for joy!

All you have to do enter the competition is be or become a follower of this blog (just click to follow at top right, just a little something for moi) and specify in the comment box - what colour, what size tee-shirt, what shape of tee, choose from a vest, round or v neck style t-shirt and state which choice of tie dye, circle, small circles or marble effect - you would like. I can do more but I find these give the best results. If you would like marble effect please choose two colours!

The competition is open to all and closes on the 17th of September.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Warm hands for cycling

My only practical purchases in my recent splurge was a pair of bright pink fingerless gloves, which are essential for my daily cycling. Unless is gets really cold and snows, then fingerless gloves keep your hands warm and afford good handling of ones bicycle!

The other item is a pair of plum arm warmers. I like to wear just a short sleeve or sleeveless top and coat as the train and tube get so stuffy when commuting, but on the bike I need to keep my arms warm. Now I can still wear a short sleeve top under my coat but add warmth when I need it. Crazy huh!

Gloves and arm warmers - Toast

Saturday, 12 September 2009

High Street Shop of the Week

I've sort of over done it this week, what with having a rant. I do have to say my dyslexia causes me dreadful argument skills, a mixture of creative passion and jumbled words in my head don't always make for orderly objective communication, so I struggle to get it out in a specific order without resorting to brain dump passion. Still one day I'll crack it.

I behaved very well on Thursday night at London Fashion night, although I regret not getting the t-shirts. Probably just as well I might tie dye them in a moment of madness.

Anyway I popped into Kingston upon Thames mainly to get some new knickers from M&S, but I didn't get passed TK Maxx. Basically I blew the budget on 4 tops of which one was a £5.99 grey Ice Age film long sleeve t-shirt for the petit garcon. I also managed to barter down the price of one of the tops, I am very cheeky like that 9 times out of 10 it works.

I'd kept a bit of money back for the Gap suede boots which should hit the stores on the 1st of October now. However there is a design flaw if you have a foot with a high arch - not enough room to get you foot in. I managed with effort to get into a larger size but then my foot was flapping about inside. This is all immaterial now as I've spent the money on the following:

A sheer floral Dolce & Gabanna shirt
I've been hunting for 3 years for a floral shirt I could love

a Hussein Chalayan tank of exquisite design and material
(it was a real died and gone to heaven fashion moment when I found this in my rummage)

a long sleeve See by Chloe tee which is a this season second and also had a little teeny tiny hole at the back near the bottom and so it was a complete bargain after bartering!

All hail TK Maxx, a bit more than thrifting but worth every penny.