Friday, 26 August 2011

updates + bicycle style

I've been enjoying my lovely bike in the sunny weather last week, I'm hoping for the rain to clear up so I can go on some more adventures! Above I'm wearing:

Floral sundress - Topshop
Leggings - New Look
Grey boat shoes - Primark
Black cross-body bag - unknown/vintage

I've also found some pieces that I think are so sweet for bicycle style. Playsuits are perfect for summer (and autumn with tights) for bike rides as you'll stay cool enough not to work up a sweat, and protected from flashing in windy conditions! This leopard print one below is on my want-list as I love the sheer fabric and how it's drawn-in at the waist, giving shape, whereas some playsuits can be comepletely shapeless if not cinched in with a waist belt. If you love vintage-looking rucksacks but don't want to feel like you're back at school again, this rucksack-style satchel is perfect, and great for transporting your essentials while cycling. A pair of brogues are ideal too, as they're comfy and won't slip off the back of your heel.

Topshop, £26

Topshop, £46

Topshop, £30

Urban Outfitters, £42

I think the slate and brown of the satchel look really nice together. Today I bought a new wallet from Cath Kidston, as I've needed a new one for ages - I couldn't close my old one for the crazy amount of cards I have and it was looking a bit battered and scuffed from being thrown about in my bag. This one, also in slate with brown leather clasp and zip-pull, has plenty of room for cards and a seperate coin compartment. The outer is made from oilcloth so it won't get dirty either.

Cath Kidston, £26

One final thing... check out my crazy nails! I did these on Tuesday after being inspired by other fashion bloggers getting creative with their polish, so used Barry M's Nail Paint in Coral, Rimmel's 60 Seconds Grey Matter and Barry M's Nail Paint in Black to create a leopard print design. I gave my nails two coats of coral, then applied spots of grey and then used a cocktail stick dipped in black to give the leopard print effect. I need to get a Models Own Nail Art Pen, the cocktail stick method turned out well but was pretty fiddly and caused my nail varnish pot to dry up a bit as I had to have it open while I was in the process of creating the look. I also intended to apply a clear top coat to help them last longer, so I found a clear varnish in my box, applied it to my little finger nail and it smudged the leopard print! Luckily I realised this before I did my whole hand. I think the top coat isn't great quality, or that I hadn't left my design to completely dry. Despite the lack of top coat, it's now Friday and my nails are still almost completely intact so I'm very happy with the result and can't wait to test out some more looks.

Friday, 19 August 2011

cycle chic

Today I went for a lovely riverside cycle with my boyfriend and I wore:

Grey zip-up hoody, H&M
Butterfly print vest, H&M
Black leggings, New Look
Grey boat shoes, Primark

I apologise for not including a full-length outfit photo in this post but it was just a casual look - once I've built up my cycle style I'll make sure I take some snaps! I was absolutely terrified before the cycle today because I used to go cycling all the time with my dad and brother about 10 years ago but hadn't cycled since. My boyfriend made/painted me this bike for my birthday last year and it's so pretty, with its milkshake pink colour and tan leather grips with little tassles on the end. I felt guilty not riding it but its too pretty to not be shown off so today I conquered my fear and ended up really enjoying the cycle. I think it's just the initial part of getting balance/trying to stop thinking I would get hit by a car and then after that it just comes naturally - I still need more practise though so I can build up confidence cycling on the road.
Anyway, cycling is fashionable. And if you need any proof here it is:

Bikes by Hermes, Chanel and Gucci

Photographed by Julia Kennedy for Tank

Thirty9Steps, the photography duo (also known as Sarah Blais and Hannah Sider) also styled the shoot

The Duchess, photographed by Mikael Wardhana and styled by Olivia Waugh

Vintage bikes add instant chic to any outfit. Add a basket for real vintage charm, some quirky sunglasses and a cute blouse to create cycle chic!
p.s. Check out this blog which has been dubbed one of the 'ten best fashion bloggers' and 'The Satorialist on two wheels' by The Guardian if you're craving more cycle fashion inspiration.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

shoe lust

Today in Russell & Bromley I found these lovely patent brogues. Glossy, cute, cherry in colour - I need them in my life. Brogues are perfect for autumn and a patent pair really catch the eye and smarten up a look. I'd be wearing these with a pair of leggings or skinny jeans and my beige trenchcoat.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

raspberry sorbet

Today I'm wearing:

Top, H&M
Black & white striped cardigan, Topshop
Jamie jeans, Topshop
Grey boat shoes, Primark
Black handbag, Accessorize

Topshop is my go-to for jeans, and their Jamie and Baxter styles are my favourites. I recently bought a pair of black Baxters, which are a skinny/straight fit and sit on the hips. Jamies are a skinny fit and they sit in between the waist and hips so they comfortably stay in place throughout the day. I have another pair of Jamies in an indigo blue wash (I wore them a few posts ago), and they are my favourite pair as the colour's smart and can be worn with anything. I bought this pair in a raspberry sorbet shade in the Topshop sale after Christmas for just £15! I remember them being a bit of an impulse buy but I'm glad I got them before the popularity of coloured jeans meant they were reinvented in different shades for summer and put back up to full price. I love the Primark boat shoes too, I bought them a couple of years ago (and a light blue pair) and they're still going strong - so comfy and cute.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Super Natural

I've been working my way through Love magazine issue 6, the 'Super Natural' issue A/W 2011, '432 pages of discipline, obsession and desire'. Love really is my fashion bible - the themed typography, the photoshoots, the pages and pages of articles and interviews on all sorts of fashion creatives, from fashion designers (Hakaan, Alessandro Dell'Acqua, Meadham Kirchhoff), to filmmakers, to a rather bizarre yet intriguing double-page spread on a dog called Cartier. I love the endless new campaigns and coffee-table feel this magazine has, but my favourite part, as always, is Katie Grand's editor's letter, in this issue entitled 'Return to Romance'. Here's a snippet:

'After seeing all the strictness and sobriety that dominated the autumn/winter shows, three words loomed large in our minds: fetishism, discipline and innocence. Fetishism has always been fundamental to the entire process of creating and consuming fashion, from the effort a designer puts into getting exactly the right shade of black, say, fussing over and perfecting the most minute and seemingly insignificant detail, to the desire enflamed within the rest of us to see, to touch, to own the finished product.'

The photoshoots are suitably themed, with Strangelove by Solve Sundsbo including a predominantly black palette and models with vampire-like, flawlessly retouched, glowing skin. What Lies Beneath, based on the 2000 film by the same name, by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott is beautiful as it is disturbing. Featuring Kristen McMenamy, Lara Stone and Mariacarla Boscono, amongst others, the models are bound in rope, semi-naked and submerged in a lake. If it wasn't for the early Italian renaissance influence and inclusion of the Greek myth of Leda and the Swan, resulting in surreal scenes and vivid colour against the nightscape, the shoot would be more forensic than fashion. Fortunately Mert and Marcus know what they're doing, also having shot 8 haunting covers of tear-streaked models and actresses for the issue. Here's their first ever fashion film to accompany the photoshoot of What Lies Beneath:

Saturday, 13 August 2011

stars vs flowers

Looking at the magazine stand recently, I was struck by stars (in both senses of the word) with Lily Allen for Elle, Jessie J for Glamour, Anne Hathaway for Marie Claire and Freja Beha Erichsen for Vogue, all wearing Dolce & Gabbana's new season twinkling dresses, foreshadowing the popularity of the print for the coming months.

Vogue Sept 11, Elle August 11, Marie Claire Sept 11, Glamour August 11. All UK editions

Gucci's floral applique silk chiffon dresses have also appeared on numerous celebrities, and despite the focus on the 1940's trend that dominates their A/W11 collection, I have a feeling 3D floral and pussybow neck details will be making just as big an impression as star-print on the high street.

Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Kristen Stewart, Florence Welch, Salma Hayek and Lea Michele

Friday, 12 August 2011

black lace and sheer fabric

I'm loving the fetish trend as seen on the A/W11 runways of Louis Vuitton, Dior, Alexander McQueen and Lanvin, amongst a host of other designers. Black lace, sheer fabrics, leather, rubber and PVC create 'gothic romance' and 'erotic innuendo' (Suzanne Clements & Inacio Ribeiro, Vogue A/W11 Runway Round-Up). I love sheer black fabric, whether as a shirt, an overlayer maxi skirt or simple scarf, it's so gorgeous and tactile.

(Salvatore Ferragamo, Dior, Louis Vuitton. Images from

This is what I wore last night for my friend's birthday night out, making lace and sheer fabric less fetish and more feminine.

Dress, H&M
Belt, Primark
Suedette wedge platforms, New Look
Patent clutch bag, unknown
Watch, Urban Outfitters

Thursday, 11 August 2011

the blouse

Yesterday I wore:

Ecru frill-sleeve blouse, Zara
Jamie skinny jeans, Topshop
Patent mock croc bag, Faith
Black suede pumps, Primark
Watch, Urban Outfitters

The handbag is a deep, rich purple colour that shimmers with pink/red tones in the light, and it has so many handy compartments, I don't know why I don't use it more often! I wore this blouse in my birthday post last week with beaded culottes, as it's one of those new items that I want to wear all the time, in so many different ways. It's plain but pretty, allowing itself to be worn with skinny jeans, shorts and high-waisted skirts. It would also look cute with some printed palazzo trousers or a bright pleated skirt.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

black jumpsuits

Today I wore:

Jumpsuit, H&M
Beaded clutch bag, Faith
Gold studded sandals, Faith
Watch, Urban Outfitters

I love playsuits and jumpsuits and chose to wear this one today as the weather was cloudy and sunny; it's light enough for when the sun comes out and doesn't blow about when it's windy! I bought it for a mere £14.99 which is so cheap for such a versatile piece. I can dress it up with black platforms and a gold clutch or wear it in the day like I am here. This autumn/winter I'll be updating it with statement jackets as seen at Balmain A/W11-12 (below).

Understated and elegant: luxe fabrics and cuts at Stella McCartney

I love this twisted, single-sleeved piece from Elie Saab

Chanel updated the black jumpsuit with quilted, glitter and sheer textures

Monday, 8 August 2011

today i'm wearing

Corset detail light pink t-shirt, Topshop
High-waisted black shorts, Mango
Black belt, Primark
Studded and sequined gladiator sandals, Faith
Watch, Urban Outfitters

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Prada A/W 11-12

Prada's Autumn Winter 2011-12 collection, along with Dolce & Gabbana's star print/boys vs girls collection, Gucci's Forties glamour collection, and Louis Vuitton's fetish collection, contains some of the best statement pieces of the season. The oversized aquatic sequins ensure they'll catch people's eyes for all the right reasons. I love how Prada always manages to inject a hint of the sixties into their collections whilst making it fresh and exciting with contemporary accesories and beautiful textures.
Here's some unedited outtakes from a sixties-themed photoshoot I styled and photographed earlier this year.