Saturday, 31 October 2009

High Street Pick of the Week

Having just enjoyed a wonderful mild October, with the most beautiful autumnal colour display on the trees and hedgerows, the cold winter weather is around the corner so, it is time to get toasty! And what could be warmer than flannel, and a flannel dressing gown at that. Just add cashmere socks!

Friday, 30 October 2009

That Friday Feeling

Why does Friday make you feel like you want to put on high heels, red lipstick and a glam dress? Come Saturday I'm all for sitting in front of the telly with a cup of tea and X Factor.

If I was sipping a Dirty Martini at Mews of Mayfair (for some reason this place is my latest tipple joint) I wish it were in this Acne dress. The combination of sculpture and denim adds an edge plus I'd be able to dress it down with a t-shirt underneath for daytime styling work - ah I can but dream about my fabulous outfit and my Dirty Martini...

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Girlynomics in the bag

Liberty London Girl raised a very good point in the comment box regarding my high street pick of the week last Saturday, "M&S are very good at giving great quality at a low price point, but my eco head makes me think that it's maybe better to save up for a piece that will last both fashion & quality wise for a few years".

This brings me back to one of my favourite subjects, that of saving up for a splendid item that you covert and really desire rather than lots and lots of items. I suppose it is quality over quantity. And one person's quality choice will be different to another's.

Take, as an example, my dream to have a Chanel 2.55 - this has been for so long now its silly and next year I will begin to address this (once I've paid my career development loan back). If I was to allocate myself a £100 monthly clothes budget then in 12 months, if I hadn't spent a penny, I'd have enough for a 2.55.

By buying lots of little items you deny yourself the opportunity to buy something you really want. Alternatively you could set up a handbag fund by saving £25 per month and take four years to buy the bag.

Whatever you desire then surely it must be worth waiting for - that's the slow fashion bit. If something is worth waiting for then abandon the immediacy of trends and this moments look for something more lasting...

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Inside out

Now I'm not going to pretend that I wasn't a tad jealous that recently fellow fashion bloggers got a preview of Anthropologie before it opened in Regents Street, London. A pale shade of green cast a shadow over my pale complexion.

And then the wonderful Mrs Fashion newly returned to the world of blogging suddenly beat a hasty retreat undone by then new demands of daily blogging, being first and the fact bloggers often get their own press days and info prior to the journalists. Mmmm.

Suddenly the world of blogging looks a bit different and in a sense one has to choose a side? And that side is probably being an insider or an outsider. I feel torn as someone who works within the fashion industry (in some small part) it is a choice between ego and principles. Do I attend to the ego and look to become part of the fashion blogging in crowd (who are all very nice) or do I keep to the principle of my fashion blogging - affordability, good style advice without bias or influence all with a nod to personal economic reality. Mmmm again.

Ah its easy I'd rather keep Mrs Fashion than sell out ...shame she's gone again. Pass the Anthropologie canapes...

What do you think inside or out?

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Dissertation Demands

Apologies to all as this week I will mainly be occupied with my final spurt on completing my MA in Fashion & Film dissertation. Once written I will begin a mammoth edit process. Yikes, it is all very demanding so I'm sorry if I'm neglecting your lovely blogs by not commenting. It is but a short period of time to be so neglectful...

PS Update - I'll still be posting I'm just mindful I'm not commenting or responding to comments and I have standards!!

Monday, 26 October 2009

Thought for the week - proportions

Far be it for me to give an art lesson in body proportions, the idealized 8 heads tall and breakdown of the positions from head to chin, chin to nipples etc. However, understanding body proportions can often be more helpful than focusing on body shapes.

Body shapes reveal where you store fat after puberty. Famously labelled Apple, Pear, Celery or Hourglass. I like to think of these shapes as triangle top, triangle bottom, rectangle and opposing triangles. How you understand shape and proportions helps to create an easier approach to dressing yourself.

I'm using an recent photo of myself which does show off using proportions quite well.

If the belt was higher and the shoes didn't have an ankle strap this would all be out of proportion. These factors are the most important. If I was wearing court shoes I would need to lose the belt or have a skinny one. I might need to pull the skirt down or up to keep the legs and body in proportion minus a belt. My hair is up, exposing my neck but if it were down, then all of this look would need adjusting.

Often the first thing we examine is our body shape, the bits we perceive as 'fat' and work to alter our view. But if you change to a proportions based analysis you might see how clothes can construct a head to toe look that creates a different image.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

High Street Pick of the Week

Lots of press on the M&S bags suggest there might be something in going for a non leather bag to get fashion over quality. If you're a vegan or opposed to buying leather then this season's choice of bags are a winner.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Men's socks - petit garcon does Juergen Teller

Due to much generosity by Mr MDS with the Hermes bracelet, the poor man can no longer afford to keep himself in Paul Smith socks. Thankfully I could attend to this matter with the help of Steve of Style Salvage thanks to a wonderful post on Monday. Not only was his post a marvellous adventure in colour but he revealed the wonder of Uniqlo socks. In between meetings, college library stint and tutorials I dashed into Oxford St Uniqlo yesterday, downstairs to the menswear bit to buy 3 pairs of socks for £4.99.

Obliged to share the sock spoils and information I put them on the bed to take the photo when the petit garcon jumped on and immediately involved himself in what was a straightforward, nay down right dull shot of socks. I can claim no creative input I merely snapped when I heard the command of 'cheese' from inside the paper bag!

petit garcon auditioning for Marc Jacobs

Men's socks £1.99 or 3 for £4.99 Uniqlo

Thursday, 22 October 2009

London - Vienna versus New York - Paris

Tuesday night was delightful. There is something I love about dressing up to go out. The style challenge is always about balancing the look with the setting. Given it was a Tuesday I didn't want to over dress (so no statement earrings) although it was a special occasion. I wore my Roger Vivier wedding shoes, my Hermes leather bracelet of course, my first anniversary Cartier ring and a DVF dress (2007) I bought in Bloomingdales, Soho, NYC with a wedding gift card I received. It was the perfect excuse to fly over to New York. I added a metallic grey snood from Zara with a white faux fur 3/4 length coat I bought from TK Maxx and a sparkly black evening bag with fringe I bought years ago from Accessorize. Plus fishnet tights.

Our meal at the Wolseley was lovely, I'd not been before and it made me long for Balthazar due to its pastiche of a European restaurant, in this case Austrian not French. Afterwards Mr MDS made me take a walk through Mayfair mainly to discuss the fact there was a jumper in Hermes for a thousand pounds. He really can't come to terms with this....we stumbled on the Christmas lights being put up on Oxford Street - a sneak preview below. They are quite understated this year, umbrellas and presents being one theme!?

DVF dress, my self timer effort doesn't do justice to the detail

The complete look in Piccadilly Arcade

Oxford St Christmas lights sneak preview

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Vote Make Do Style

In lieu of a good night out, it is a lazy posting day but a reminder to vote for me!
Vote here or on the image top right of blog. I don't know where I've got this competitive streak from it is hardly fashion!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Hurrah for Hermès

Well actually hurrah for Mr MDS as he made the perfect call for a wedding anniversary present with the leather Hermès bracelet.

Some snaps of the photos from the wedding album - having hair done, my accessories and the bit were it all became official, signing stuff.

And tonight we dine at the Wolseley what's not to love!

Monday, 19 October 2009

Thought for the week - style rules

When I'm working I always try to remember there are no rules. It helps when having to deal with whatever is thrown at you and in styling this is extremely useful. It means even if you've created a mood board with a director to deliver on a commercial you know it isn't set in stone.

So when the director says jump, you can say I'll give it a try - I never say how high!

I think this is a good idea when it comes to shopping for clothes or reappraising your wardrobe. It doesn't mean you can't decide what you like but it does stop you from limiting your options. When it comes to fashion trends, again there are no rules. you don't have to like it or go for a complete look and it also means you can change your mind. You can embrace something you thought wasn't a good look. It allows you to change tack over a previous dismissal - you won't catch me in harem pants/80s shoulders/cage skirt etc - oh you just did!

Last winter over tea and cakes Wee Birdy and I discussed dinner guest and she selected Anna Piaggi whom I was a bit dismissive off at the time. In fairness I had read The Beautiful Fall the summer before and was in team YSL mode. Yet the other day I caught a photo of her amongst the same old fashion crowd and I was filled with admiration.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Style winner on X Factor

When it comes to X Factor the biggest loser is style or stage costume. Somehow all semblance of a look goes out of the window. My sport on a Saturday night is just as much about shrieking at the TV and the contestants outfits as it is with agreeing with mainly everything Simon Cowell says (I am slightly worried by this does it mean I'm good or getting long in the tooth!)

And when Simon Cowell comments on how badly dressed someone is, you know it must be bad as this man doesn't have a fashion bone in his body, he doesn't care. Yet in his three X Factor contenders we have the first ever naturally stylish person ever to have been on the X Factor in Jamie Archer (pictured above, image courtesy of Daily Mirror). The likely lad in Olly Murs with his easy modern modish look beloved of the Essex hinterlands. Even Danyl Johnson had been polished into a non descriptive but effortless smart look much improved on his dreadful shorts and dare I say Fat Face default style due to not having a clue. All three exude confidence and polish with Jamie finally making an X Factor finalist a cool creature not a naff wannabe.

So what of poor Stacey Solomon who was possibly put in the worst dress and make up ever. As a stylist I know women have one breast bigger than the other but on Saturday night the whole of the viewing public would have noticed Stacey's larger right breast a bit lopsided in dodgy prom style dress. The girl is a complete dear and without any pretensions so she wouldn't dream of complaining... so on her behalf please get her styling right she needs to wear a good supportive bra. Her garments need to fit and sheath style is far better for her frame than a New Look cut in any length.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

High Street Pick of the Week

For those of you already over sequins it's time to figure out the alternatives for the party season nearly upon us.

I was rather taken with the crystal stud rival to the sequin skirt in the form of Reiss's Madyson, however it couldn't be my official high street pick of the week as I couldn't save the image and I am too all about the spontaneity to request an image.

Therefore pride of place goes to the black feather skirt from Oasis - which is the perfect blend of fun, flirty and fashionable to work the season to be merry!

Friday, 16 October 2009

To Beard or not to beard

The beard is enjoying something of a renaissance and a bearded Beckham arriving at Heathrow the other day for the England international football match is evidence of this sartorial shift. One of my tutors at LCF has gone for the growth and we couldn't decide if his look coupled with his hair was that of the authoritative bohemian or Frank Gallagher from Shameless! This was with my lovely tutor and the equally lovely course director, not behind his back!

Are you for the beard or do think it is a romanticised return to Victorian times we could do without?

Thursday, 15 October 2009


Mr MDS sent me into a spin. Its our 3rd wedding anniversary next week and he's obsessed with getting me something in leather - the traditional gift according to anniversary rhubarb stuff. This is all very thoughtful and lovely but I'm a dreadful ditherer over these matters.

He phoned me to discuss what he wants to get me during my fourth revision of my dissertation introduction! I turned down the offer of a Bvlgari leather pendent which I know I won't wear. I quite like the Hermes night bracelet and also quite like the Michael Kors leather watch from Red Direct although I can't make my mind up between white or tan. I normally love a surprise but I think I need to steer him on this one or I might end up with just a nice leather diary as he gets disillusioned with my deliberations and indecisions over his nice thought! Please help...

Bvlgari 125th anniversary pendent

Hermes Night Bracelet

Michael Kors watch

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Fab Fabric of Fun

Of late the postman had been very late with the deliveries, sometimes not until 5pm! However we seem to have a new whipper snapper of a postie, I saw him jump over a hedge saving a dull walk and he's wearing big trendy closed backed headphones. Anyway he was, unbeknownst to him the deliverer of a lovely parcel from The Small Fabric of My Life. When I entered into the Capsule Wardrobe challenge, I had no idea there was a prize it was such a great challenge I just wanted to do it. To win was brilliant and so it was very exciting to be sent a prize.

I received a gorgeous silk scarf which I tied round my bag as it added zing. It will be the perfect spring/summer scarf. I took a photo of it on the bag whilst on the train into Waterloo.

I had to pop into the London College of Fashion and as I had no childcare the petit garcon was with me. He is the perfect young boy around town and insisted upon wearing a shirt and his best coat! He has a little life ruck sack on his back with a safety strap firmly attached to my hand.

petit garcon in LCF canteen

We met up later with Mr MDS for supper and I made him take a photo of the second item in my parcel a great necklace! Thank you Jane for such a gorgeous and unexpected present.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Vintage Saturday surprise

On Saturday morning I caught up on blog posts and had a good read of Sharon Rose's tips on thrifting and vintage. A friend of mine who runs an ebay business Closet Encounters came and picked up my wares to sell for me and then I popped to my parents to see how they are getting on a week later after moving.

Driving there I was thinking of life post MA, going to car boots sales, reading fiction and what things I could do to the house. I don't know how it happens but any time I have a quick Sharon Rose channel regarding thrifting something unexpected happens.

My dear mother had unearthed 3 maxi dresses of hers from the 70s to give to me. I couldn't believe my luck. They fit although the cut does highlight the change in living, I will be adding full focus on losing 8 pounds to my post MA to do list - it's all that comfort eating during my writer's block moments which are in greater proportion to my outputs.

pattern of dress and rope detail on waist, which is also finishes the neck of the dress. The dress was actually made in the UK

Bit of a snug fit but it is a lovely summer number. I was amused as this dress was from C&A, however the design and construction of the dress is far superior to most high street offering, I realised how cheaply made are the cheaper items we have today. This dress will look wonderful accessorised with gold

pattern of dress

the kimono style sleeves are brilliant and it's probably from Fenwicks (most of her clothes were from Fenwicks - there's another old Fenwicks velvet maxi dress which I shortened and added heavy beading bought from John Lewis

this snap shows the colour of the third dress which is another Fenwicks number we think

a closer look at the sleeve detail

the evening maxi dress

Alas that's my lot, no more hidden gems. I won't dwell on a Balenciaga number she lost....

Monday, 12 October 2009

Thought of the week - Creativity

The hardest element of teaching as opposed to just doing one's job is imparting confidence and knowledge in equal measures. When I teach trainee stylists I am always aware of the nurturing aspect of talent with need to know foundation that helps talent flourish. The point being a blend of creativity and common sense goes a long way.

I love the fact one of the trainee stylists is an organised turn up on time type. She managed to bag a styling job with Joanna Sykes, as the booked stylist she was assisting was late and they needed to press on. On the spot promotion!

One element of the styling course is colour. It is on this matter I am the least prescriptive. To keep it brief, there are no rules, when it comes to colour use your eye, experiment and add lipstick if you feel a bit drained. Reference nature for inspiration, flora is fab for experimentation. Reference fashion history and have fun. There is always a shade of a specific colour to suit you and skin tone which is yellow based for everyone always changes in different lights. Light reflects and refracts and in differing ways depending on the time of day and time of year.

You see the moment one engages with logic and reason the creativity begins to falter. I think there are enough rules in life to get bogged down with, I prefer the anything goes approach when it comes to colour and clothes.

D&G shirt
Reiss Skirt
Wolford purple tights
Topshop gold cuff bracelets
Pierre Hardy for Gap shoes not in picture!

Sunday, 11 October 2009

In the name of... mother (more of her later this week) Ann. I love this dress from French Connection, I might against all my sensibilities i.e. cash flow succumb. I think it is the colour as the cut is quite unforgiving. All my hopes might be quashed once I try it on!

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Bitch Factor

Great hair, great style yes Dannii Minogue to use an X Factor phrase nailed it for this series.
So why on earth did she turn into a complete bitch right at the end of the show after a stunning performance by Danyl? What was that remark all about? Mmmm.

Geez just goes to show you can take the botox out of the gal but the poison remains.

Pick of the Month

Being supportive is both a metaphor for lingerie and the bosom pal nature of blogging. One of my major obsessions is the correct fitting and wearing of bras. I would like to introduce a code for the standardisation of fitting methods, an obligatory annual fitting and more research on this matter.

Whilst incorrect bra fitting isn't a cause of breast cancer, better knowledge and awareness of the breasts is a major factor in early detection and therefore the treatment of breast cancer/

As October is Breast Cancer Awareness month I've given over the High Street Pick of the Week slot to a special Pick of the Month post. A number of fashion bloggers have already highlighted this item and its support of the charity Breakthrough Breast Cancer but have done an excellent job at promoting the Zoe and Morgan exclusive collaboration to raise money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

I much prefer good old fashioned honest pitches than the charity street muggers (chuggers) I avoid on a daily basis. And Zoe and Morgan have produced three limited edition items for my-wardrobe to raise money and awareness.

Silver Swallow Necklace £108

Gold Swallow necklace £125

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Make me a winner

I've been nominated for the Dorset Cereals Little Blogs Awards. And would be very appreciative if you could show your bloggy love and vote for me by clicking here.

Broom leaping for Chanel

When it comes to shoe talk I usually leave it to the Queen of Shoes,the one and only Imelda.
However, when it comes to clogs I have the claim on them. Years of practice for the traditional clog dancing for the Eisteddfod season rendered the best bored face I could muster to prevent any revelation of my disdain for Welsh clog dancing. I love dancing and I love clogs but my school participation in clog dancing was supplemented by extra curricular ballet and Irish dancing, both far superior to clog dancing. There I've said it!

The traditional Welsh clog dancing, making the right stepping beat, plus my own spirited interpretation (as was encouraged) never put me off the wearing of clogs, because outside of the stricture of the performance they were great to wear. I moved on from the traditional clogs to Swedish ones which I could get away with wearing outside of the house and this love of clogs has been a secret until now, mainly on Mr MDS's insistence. Come on who would 'fess up to this.

Whether you like them or not Karl Lagerfeld has propelled me into the fashion forward stakes with his inclusion of clogs in the Chanel S/S 10 ready to wear collection. My battered old black numbers will have to be replaced by one of these!


Admit it you'll be joining me...

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Capsule Wardrobe from Celine...


... in my dreams. Might I wake up one morn in the spring of 2010 to behold these in my wardrobe?