Thursday 30 September 2010

You think you know fashion, well fashion's a stranger.

What's that, you say? More London Fashion Week? Okay...

Fashion Mode in conjunction with Vauxhall Fashion Scout

This was a collection of four up and coming designers. Carlotta Actis Barone was my favourite - she mixed a theatrical concept (the models wearing skin-tight garments printed with text which looked like tattoos) with some really gorgeous, wearable pieces. Lots of nipped in waists and full pleated skirts, two things that instantly make me a fan on a personal level.

Barone's collection was based on the fight against racism, particularly before the 1865 civil war, and not only is this reflected in the text the models wore, but also in the style of clothes -
'rich drapery and cuts inspired by the worn, knotted and over-sized appearance of slave's garb'. Yep, most of that last paragraph was lifted from the info sheet but I genuinely was impressed. So often I see shots of fashion shows and think 'That's amazing, but no one would actually WEAR it...' so mixing some classic cuts with a contemporary twist whilst making a statement is a big accomplishment.

James Hillman had men in shorts with see-through cut out panels, and one guy in a dress. All your boyfriends will be wearing this next year, ladies.

Elson Figueiredo had a couple of male models who I really thought were girls at first. That's kind of all I remember... but I am definitely not an expert on male fashion.

I liked Florian Jayet though - funky ponytails (is it weird that I want to learn how to make my hair do that?) and massively over the top fake eyelashes. And pretty dresses, too.

Nico Didonna

Nico Didonna was last - at the very posh Millennium Hotel in Knightsbridge. The press release said that they intended on pampering their guests and they did indeed - we both got free Essie manicures, and if either of us had been drinking, there was free vodka and champagne flowing all night.

The clothes were lovely if unremarkable, but most of them would look at home on the red carpet. Lots of draped, silky material, luscious colours (I'm genetically programmed to love anything turquoise), accessorised with stylishly smeared eyemakeup.

And one model with really weird hair.

And that was it! Monday morning I was back in the office, my fashionista experience just a memory. But hey. At least I still have the goody bags.

See you in Primark. :)

Monday 27 September 2010

I'm avant-garde, I'm the heir, I'm the Vogue.

Somehow, last weekend, I found myself standing inside Somerset House clutching a handful of crumpled invitations. The lovely Mariana at Sketchbook Magazine had nabbed me on Twitter on Friday and asked if I fancied coming along and playing photographer for the day, and I jumped at the chance.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take any photos of myself (I really have to get better at doing 'What I Wore Today' shots - or remembering to take them at all) but after a heated (not very) debate on Twitter, I wore a spotty Topshop number which I'd customised with red buttons (the only customising I ever do is add red buttons to dresses), accessorised with black tights, bouncy ringlets and bright red shoes.

What follows are my observations... but before I launch into it and get carried away with flouncy descriptions (and I will) I need to make a quick disclaimer: I love fashion, but I don't consider myself a fashionista. I don't even own skinny jeans. I KNOW high street, but designer? Not so much.

So consider this an outsider's perspective...

The first show we saw was Clemency - you can read Mariana's write-up here. It was the most laid-back show we went to, with the models standing for a good 45 minutes, and then circulating and posing for photographs.

There were photographs on easels around the room of the collection - stills of a short film (more of a music video, really) which I believe was shot by Rankin.

I'm so used to being an observer in photography that it was a little odd having them pose when I pointed my camera at them.

Overall though, the collection was lovely - very wearable and effortless. Love this spiky belt. Also, I was impressed that my first experience of real life models WEREN'T scary skinny. Beautifully slim, sure, but they definitely looked like they ATE.

According to this article, Abbey Clancy, Michelle Williams and Jimmy Choo were at the show. I didn't spot any of them, but I did spot some lush dresses. Lady Gaga would wear the almighty hell out of all of these.

There were also some hot, galactic leotards that are slightly less wearable, but still kind of awesome.

Finally, a lovely collection of maxi-dresses. The prints on all the clothes really were stunning, so much colour. A combination of tribal, animal-style and galactic-style prints. Lush.

My expert opinion: Pretty! Sparkly! Oooh.

Visit the On|Off website and Falguni & Shane Peacock's website.

Part 2 of my LFW experience (featuring Nico Didonna and Fashion Mode) will be up later this week!

Thursday 16 September 2010

Betty Boo just doin' the do.

I love the fact that I have lots of friends scattered across the country. Especially since learning to drive (3 years ago, nearly, but I still appreciate it) as on a boring weekend I can just hop in my little black Ka, show up, and order my friends to entertain me.

One such friend, Ali, lives in Derbyshire, and whenever I visit (and often, when our other friend Nic visits too - from Canada) we make a point of going somewhere interesting and different. Haddon Hall was one such destination. Anyway, back in July, the three of us went all over the shop, and ended up in York. Which meant I squealed 'BETTYSBETTYSBETTYSBETTYSSCONESANDTEASCONESANDTEAPLEASE' until, um, we went to Betty's. And then my friends were like, 'Sarah, don't you hate tea?' BUT THAT WAS NOT THE POINT.


We also popped into Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair, which was mad busy but I managed to elbow my way through and nabbed some jewellery - this beautiful necklace (not my usual style, but I love it) and this adorable hat-shaped brooch.

Doing random wanderings with friends is like my favourite thing ever. Especially when there are scones.


Monday 13 September 2010

Home, the spot of earth supremely blest, a dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest.

I'm a lucky girl and have been granted super special access to the new H&M website with super special shopping action. Which I got by signing up to the newsletter... so, not that super special after all.

But the website IS!

I freaking love the landing page. Faintly ominous.

It's great, though, that H&M have finally done this. A little late to the party, to be sure to be sure, but let's face it, we're all grateful that they stopped teasing us. H&M is one of those shops - like Zara, who've also just launched a new site - where you'll see fifty of one item in one store, then go down to the road to another and find no trace.

Being me, I went straight to the dresses. I want these ones please.

I also need these boots in my life. My H&M has them, but in sizes 3 and 9. Curse you, average-size-sixes!

But the most exciting thing about the new website - far more exciting than all the lovely, lovely clothes - is that there's a HOME SECTION.


I actually think I love buying home stuff more than clothes. I can spend a few minutes in the clothing part of TK Maxx but HOURS in the home (and kitchen!) part. LOVE. I don't know why more fashion stores don't launch home lines, it's a fantastic idea. Also, I just moved, so it's damn good timing.

Need this pillowcase (but where is the matching duvet?)

These are almost worth downgrading to a single bed for.

And how beautiful is this towel? (Not a sentence I often say. But why SHOULDN'T towels be beautiful?)

How much do I love these napkins? (Answer: I FLIPPING LOVE THESE NAPKINS.)

Even the bath mats are adorable!

See, this is the thing. There are certain ugly functional things that we just put up with because they've always been like that. Like doormats. And I've been in my house for two and a half months and still don't have a doormat because we can't find one that's actually NICE. This is me dropping hints to H&M that they should do doormats.*

*Laura Ashley actually DO have nice doormats, but they're expensive, and I resent spending money on doormats when I could be buying shoes.

H&M's website opens properly on Thursday 16th September. I get paid on Wednesday, so that's pretty much perfect timing.
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