Aran Knits

(Wearing: Primark aran knit jumper, Vivienne Westwood trousers, Chanel brooch, Burberry boots, Fendi clutch)
Aran knits then, what do you make of that? They are having a moment this season as is sheepskin, as they are both often associated with farmers this may not be the most edgy of trends. But there is no denying they keep you warm. Aran knits always remind me of the little hand knitted cardigans I was dressed in as a baby, so they always have something innocent about them to me. I picked this one up for ┬ú10 in Primark after being put off by the vintage shops. Firstly were the prices, most being around ┬ú30-40! For a second hand bobbly knit, I don’t think so. Secondly is the fact I am a bit put off by old knitwear, I am dubious as to how clean it would be as you cant really high temp wash wool. I get funny looks as I always smell the vintage, sorry but if its from a jumble sale fine I know it will need washing first, but when it is in an over priced vintage boutique I expect it to be clean – often they are not, so if I can’t wash it to within an inch of its life it isn’t coming home with me. In these cases polyester has its positives!

These trousers are also embracing all things traditional, in a light wool tweed, they are very cosy to wear. The are called ‘sword’ trousers due to the oversized pleats down the front, they are also really baggy like harem pants, I am really addicted to them this week. I would also like to add however that I had to roll them up three times, on the shop model they were cropped above the ankle, seriously am I shrinking or are these models getting taller? It is a good job I love Queen Viv so much and have a very good tailors, I actually like them rolled up so might not bother getting them taken up, will have to see what they look like with heels.

Lets have a look at where this Aran knit trend has stemmed from:
First up Julian Macdonald sent this fabulous chunky offering down the runway, I hear it was handmade – any one have a Nana with fierce knitting skills?
Then there is good old Alexa Chung, throwing on a cardigan, I am guessing for a festival, so cool! The best look I have seen is from Hanneli’s blog, it just looks so current

This shoot is definitely channeling Alexa’s geek chic look, but I think you ebb on the side of boring if you play it too safe with a knit. Now this shoot I did like, Aran teamed with black kind of makes it sexy almost, something to play around with though.
So fess up, what do we all think of Aran knits? Anyone else been wearing one? How do you style it?

Also would you guys be interested in discount codes for some clothing and jewellery websites exclusive to readers of this blog? Or is that kind of post just seen as spam, I can’t decide if you want to see that or not so please be honest! Another option is to have a new page at the top of the blog with any discount deals so you can read it if you want but it won’t be on the main blog? HELP!

Pearl(Image credits: Julian Macdonald, http://www.handbag.com/, http://www.hanneli.com/, the independant, the telegraph)

Afternoon Tea with Chanel

Today I had the most wonderful afternoon, I was invited by Chanel to an exclusive private talk with Justine Picardie author of ‘Coco Chanel: The legend and the life’ and former features director of Vogue.
It’s funny because I have gotten so used to explaining odd behaviour by saying ‘its for the blog’ so now when I go to events like this which I would love to blog about, but when I am invited as myself not ‘the blogger’ I feel a bit of a dork taking photos and interviewing people. Anyway that’s why there is a lack of photos and also why I blurred the faces of people I didn’t know as this was a private event.
We were treated to an afternoon tea of champagne, cakes and scones, my mum and friend both choose brown shades of Chanel to wear today.

I am always apprehensive about meeting people you have only read about, but any concerns I might have had about Justine were put to bed as soon as she began speaking. Her love of Coco Chanel poured out of her. She told us many stories of her journey writing the book from walking up Coco’s mirrored staircase at Rue Cambon to visiting the nuns Coco had lived with as a child.
Whilst Justine was staying in Coco’s room at the Ritz she had trouble with the light flickering and resulting in the bulb falling right out of the fitting. The next day the electrician could not find any problem. But then the maid whispered to Justine ‘did madamoiselle call?’
Justine also told us one of the biggest surprises she had, I wish you could have heard her tell this. Coco’s only living relative, her niece also named Gabrielle and now 80 years old, invited Justine to her home. Gabrielle must have seen Justine’s passion and respect for Coco as one evening she beckoned her down a long corridor. Inside one room Gabrielle opened the door to a closet filled with couture, all Coco’s own. Gabrielle insisted Justine try on some of the pieces, first she chose a full skirted coat. Reaching inside the pockets, in one still rested Coco’s gloves in the other her handkerchief.

Justine signing our books, she was wearing the most exquisite jet beaded jacket, Chanel of course, the beads elegantly tinkled together as she spoke.
I feel very honoured to have been able to hear these stories at such a private gathering, I think there were only about 25 of us there. I also cannot wait to start reading the book. Did you know Coco often went fishing with her good friend Winston Churchill! The book also holds many previously unseen photographs from the Chanel archive. The archive unfortunately is not open to the public, but it holds Coco’s own 2.55 handbag and original red lipstick.
(Wearing Chanel bag, necklace, boots, Cos t-shirt, F&F jeans- this has to be my favourite outfit at the moment)
Another thing Justine talked about was how much she loved seeing everyone’s different interpretations of wearing Chanel, and through out her talk she frequently picked out elements of peoples outfits and related back their design history. For me too I adore seeing how other people wear Chanel.
(Wearing: as above with vintage Chanel jacket)
I imposed black; it’s still going strong today, for black wipes out everything else around’
Coco Chanel, a quote from the book.

(My mum looking chic as always in Chanel with Nicole Farhi jacket, her shoes are a modern version of the spectator style Coco designed and wore herself)
Have any of you read the book yet or do you intend too?
How about adding it to your Christmas list, it would make a fantastic present!
Pearl

Mummy Scissors – For Roz

One of my dearest blogger friends Roz had a wonderful idea a few months back, however she has been in hospital so didn’t have time to get it going. My other good blogger friend Jill decided to start it off for her, so she will have a lovely surprise when she gets well enough to get back to blogging. I couldn’t explain better than Jill or Roz so here are the explainations in their own words:

Jill says:
A few months back, Roz had a vision: to wrap a scissor like a mummy, as art. The really spooky thing, for me personally, is I happened to have done the same thing a few YEARS back. As art. For no particular reason.

Roz’s vision was to ask other bloggers to do their creative version. No strings attached. (Sorry, no pun intended). Just to see how far a DIY idea could spread through the fashion blogging community. She’s now in the hospital, and didn’t get a chance to get this started, so I thought perhaps if we did it, shot it, posted it, put the link on her top post.. might cheer her up.

Mine took me a few minutes to make. I used a small nail scissor, for a smaller pennant. In my case, I posted it to her, but that’s not what she’s asking: just to post it on your own blogs. (The Eugene Lim brochure, btw, is for a post coming up). You could then wear it as a necklace, if you want. Or simply unwrap it and use it again as scissors.

In Roz’s own words:
“The idea of make-do-and-mend has had a real revival over the last couple of years.. I wanted to combine this rediscovered DIY ethic with an (I think, so far) unique idea – sharing and ÔÇÿmarketingÔÇÖ a make-it-yourself, identifiable ÔÇÿproductÔÇÖ via the internet…simply for the joy of sharing the idea for and then making – as opposed to selling (or buying) – a styled accessory.

Last year I devised and made a simple pendant design – a pair of blunt sewing scissors (or childÔÇÖs metal craft scissors) wrapped in strips of silk ‘bandages’ and hung on a chain. Subsequently, I’ve had a lot of people commenting whenever I wear this ÔÇÿmummifiedÔÇÖ necklace. I now realise that I made this pendant shortly after I began my blog, and this gave me the idea to put the two together into a novel blogging project.

I want to experiment with the force of the ‘blogosphere’ to see how far one idea can reach – namely, the mummy’s scissors. But the difference is that this is not a publicising-to-sell campaign, it’s a ‘make it yourself’ concept. My aim is to encourage bloggers (and subsequently their readers) and indeed, anyone interested to make their own pendants.. to style it in a personal way for them.

This is therefore not so much selling a product as ‘anti-selling it’ – getting everyone to create their own version of an idea – a totally not for profit scheme. Another driving idea behind this item is to create something that is not main-stream, as it is taking the idea of a product but ‘giving it awayÔÇÖ for the individual to manufacture.

IÔÇÖm simply intrigued at this point to see how far this might (or might not) stretch as a concept. I would really love it if you were interested in getting involved, but I understand that you’re probably very busy.”

Mine only took a few minutes to make, wrapped in lace with some charms added. If you would like to take part please post you link to Roz or Jill’s blog, or if you are not a blogger email a photo to Jill who will make sure Roz gets it.
So far you can also see these bloggers versions:

All I Want for Christmas is Yoooooooooooooou!

Naughty Fab tempted me to make a Christmas shopping list, the idea was to give realistic hints to insure we get what we really desire! Well since I do all the Christmas shopping in my family – including my own presents, I thought this was a great idea. My brothers are especially useless so they can even take this post into the shop, easy (just keep the receipt to be on the safe side)!

What I always like for Christmas is new pajamas and slippers and some smellies. I am not overly fussy where the PJ’s come from but these Topshop (┬ú25) ones look very nice and warm. I also love Lush shower gels and soap so this Winter Warmer gift set for a mere ┬ú7.95 will be perfect.
Now mostly I just get money for my presents, because for me the whole going shopping thing is most of the fun. I love nothing better than spending time trying things on, touching sparkly things and just enjoying the whole process. I don’t mind not having a huge gift to unwrap, as I am so excited about going shopping on Boxing Day (although it might be after New Years after the rioting of last years sales). So for my main present I would really love this Chanel brooch. I wanted it last year but then one of the huge seasonal pieces was in the sale so I went for that, knowing that the crystal brooch was a classic piece so I could get it any time.


I also love the Vivienne Westwood sale and after my huge everyday VW bag wore out this year I would quite like another. I also really like the new collection of clutches, this bright pink one will be great for summer (Large £339, clutch £159).

Then just in case the sales fairy decides to call on these lovely Christian Louboutins and Chanel boots, well why not!

What are you lusting after?

The Tale of Louboutins and the Shopping Rage

(Wearing: Dries van Noten jumper- how beautiful is this jumper it has blue sequins sewn into the aran knit on the sleeves must do a close up soon, M&S trousers, Dior shoes, Fendi bag, Chanel pearls and Louis Vuitton scarf)
Thanks to everyone who gave their advice in the last post over which pair of Louboutin’s I should go for but I finally chose…
The Roland Zips!!!

In fact, after a very long story of which I will tell you in a moment – but you want to see the shoes first, right? It was very easy to choose. I decided to wear a pretty boring kind of outfit, still smart and chic but nothing outlandish, the kind of outfit which is practical really and that I like to wear a lot. I tried on a nude pair very similar to the Elisa (they didn’t have the nude Elisa in Harvey Nicks) and I tried on these, I then tried on pretty much every other pair of Louboutins too studded, leopard, chained, glittery but these were the pair that I just knew were THE ONES! That doesn’t mean I won’t be starting a nude Louboutin fund for the summer but for now these were just what I wanted, yay!!

As this is my first ever pair I was pretty excited to find the tiny dust bag with spare heels in the box, it is little details like this that really make it for me.
NOW FOR THE RANT!
Ok so we know this story has a happy ending but OMG what a pain in the ass it was to get these shoes.
I actually went into Harvey Nichols first but they had not gotten their A/W order yet, as Manchester Selfridges doesn’t stock Louboutins I had to go to the Trafford Centre (I seriously hate this place it is like a Mall but really, really huge and always packed full and a real pain to get to). Anyway I wanted to try them on rather than buy online as I didn’t know what size I would need in this brand. I went with my mum and they had a lovely range, but seriously out of about 7 pairs I wanted to try they only had one pair in my size – which happened to be the black patent Elisa. They were nice but just weren’t what I wanted. I tried the Roland Zips in a size too small and really liked them so asked if they could order me a pair in but apparently their system was down so they couldn’t check the stock at other stores, I did ask couldn’t they just phone but I guess not, so I was given a number to ring myself in a few days when their system might be working. The sales assistant was lovely so I know this wasn’t her fault but if it had been me I would have rang at least London Selfridges who have a huge stock, it wasn’t busy and I really believe in going the extra mile for customers. If they had found me a pair I would have bought them! I just can’t believe that a store so big had such little stock. There was another lady in there who was also turned away as they didn’t have her size either.
So I got home and figured the size 39 were OK so I would be safe to buy online, Net a Porter had sold out in my size but Browns had a full stock so I decide to place an order. Hmm easier said than done, you choose your size and instead of adding to basket it says to ’email to purchase’ and Outlook email pops up, but I don’t use Outlook email and there is no actual email address. I have this problem quite often with pop up emails. So I ring the store and after being passed around 3 different people, I end up with one very lovely sales assistant who says the email is just a function they have for certain brands but she doesn’t actually have the email address that should have popped up, so she gives me the general website email, which I email but to no response. So I try Matches who also have an email to purchase but an actual form pops up but they don’t have my size!!
Since it was a few weeks since I went to Harvey Nics I decided to give them a ring and see if they have the Roland’s in stock, oh yes actually they do as they just got their A/W delivery they don’t have a 39 but do have a 38.5 which I can come in and try and always order the 39 if needed. As it happens the 38.5 fits just fine and off I hop with my new shoes.
So there is one underlying issue I have with all this, why was it so hard to spend my money?
We keep being told stores are suffering because no one is spending but in actual fact there are plenty of people who want to spend. Selfridges had to turn away myself and another customer as they didn’t have the sizes in stock and didn’t want the extra hassle of phoning other stores, they also lost out on a sale as they did have a pair my mum wanted but the point of going was for my birthday so she didn’t want to buy any if I couldn’t too. That is at least ┬ú1,500 in sales lost!
Then there are the online stores NAP is a huge online store which must have more stock coming and going than anywhere and yet Browns and Matches have this insane emailing system in place – which I can only guess is to stock check prior to taking an order – which in my case is totally unusable and I am sure in a lot of other cases people just didn’t want to wait or want the hassle. I have a lot of business experience and one of the first rules of sales is to make it easy for the customer to buy.
When there is a recession on surely every sale is even more important for the store but it is also more important for the consumer. When luxuries are fewer then when you do decide to indulge you want it to feel like a treat, you want to enjoy the entire experience be it online or in store. If the Harvey Nics pair of shoes hadn’t been right I would most likely have just given up and gone over to Chanel where I know the experience would be second to none. As it happens the staff at Harvey Nics were fantastic and I couldn’t have asked for more, I will be going there in future for my Louboutin’s that’s for sure!
But enough of that I got my shoes, can’t wait to wear them!

Which Louboutins?


Due to a number of problems which I won’t go into or this will be a very long post, I ended up without a present for my birthday which was last week. But I have been saving up and had decided I wanted to buy my first ever pair of Louboutins. I had decided I wanted the simple courts with pointed toe called ‘Pigalle’ in matt leather but none were to be found in the shoe void that is Manchester or online. NAP have them in a stunning peacock blue should you want to see the style. Anyway after scouring the net to no avail and I decided to go and try some on anyway. It turns out they have a fairly similar style called Elisa which has a almond toe and the skinniest heel in black patent. But I realise I already have basic black courts and that I want something really special. Then I found these Roland Zips, probably a bit too high but whatever, in black suede! Of course they didn’t have my size but they can order them in. But I was just double checking online and I found the Elisa comes in nude, pretty special huh?

So now I am stuck with which to go for, I can’t afford to buy both and send one back (like one ever gets sent back) which I would usually do as I cut up my credit cards (seriously about 4 months ago, I didn’t want to tell you all in case I caved in and ordered new ones LOL, but since I have stuck to it I might just write a post about it). Anyway lets have your opinion, I mean I could always save up and get both but that will take time and as these shoes seem to be selling out everywhere in a 39 I need to choose pretty fast.
Just to give you an idea of what I want to wear them with I was thinking loose trousers and sweaters, quite masculine so I need a sexy shoe to add a touch of sexy. Things a bit like this:

Left: Prada cardi and clutch, Largerfeld for H&M tee, Zara pants and boots
Right: Vivienne Westwood jacket and bag, Topshop jeants, AA tee, Dior shoes
Help Pearl!

Rocking Horse

(Wearing: Vivienne Westwood shoes, Zara dress)

Please excuse the wild hair, I had just got a soaking in the rain, but I had to quicky get some shots of these shoes whilst the sun peeped out briefly.

The are the famous Vivienne Westwood Rocking Horse Shoes.
Unfortunatley they aren’t mine, well they were for a few hours but unfortunatly too small for me so off they have gone to a new home. The foot part is very narrow, I have this problem a lot with shoes especially Manolos (it broke my heart to discover this), so I doubt I will ever own a pair of rocking horse shoes, oh well at least I got to try them!

The rocking horse shoes are very rare, you can still buy them at Worlds End special order but they aren’t cheap! However in collaboration with Melissa the shoes can now be bought in plastic, modelled here by Kate Moss (in a slightly creepy photo).

Do you love these crazy shoes?

How do you Wear Pierre Hardy?


I was surprised to find myself in the Pierre Hardy ‘How do you wear Pierre Hardy?’ gallery on the Pierre Hardy Face Book page, but also delighted as I am a huge PH fan. They also liked my other PH look which they said will be on the gallery soon.
Pierre Hardy shoes and clutch

Pierre Hardy shoes

Which reminds me I promised some close ups of the latest edition to my PH family!

They aren’t the kind of shoe I would normally go for due to the insanely high heel – I swear they nearly gave my feet whiplash just walking around the house! But I got them from my friend who was going to ebay them, so I figured I would give them a go. They will be strictly night out shoes for me though! I am planning to wear them with the orange dress from the last post, I love a colour clash.

Pierre Hardy always designs the most beautiful, sculptural shoes which are often featured in magazine editorials, also with towering heels!

Then I see Giovanna walking all over fashion week, and this other girl in them all casual and I think boy I need to practice wearing such high heels!

These girls are amazing aren’t them!!

(Images courtesty of Pierre Hardy Face Book Page)

Shopping for Next Season


Vintage dresses
Who says you have to wait till next season before you can start enjoying the new trends? I picked up these two vintage dresses last week which will be perfect for next summer. Even though I wasn’t too keen on Prada’s collection I really loved the accessories (except those bazaar furry things), and the bright stripes. Orange was the accent colour of choice too, a colour I have been clashing with blue lately. This orange dress I won’t be saving for summer as I really want to layer it over some thick grey tights for winter.
The great thing about the S/S11 collections being 6 months before anything hits the stores is that it gives you a head start on the saving. Next summer my first buy has to be a pair of Miu Miu fluorescent shoes in pink or green. I like the shoes better than the boots and can’t wait to see which styles go into production for retail.

Miu Miu S/S11
Next on my summer dream list is a Prada striped clutch, I also really loved the satchel and these insane wedges. If only money was no object!


Prada S/S11

Of course Chanel was filled with wonderful things, such as this unique clutch and statement cuff. I can really see myself in these relaxed biker boots and chunky peep toe boots.

Chanel S/S11

Also on my radar were these desert storm boots at Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang S/S11

Chloe offered up these simple yet exceptionally chic sandals

Chloe S/S11
And finally how could I not give Marc Jacobs a mention for these whimsical animal shoes!

Louis Vuitton S/S11
Best get saving and my mind set back into winter mode. So who’s accessories caught your eye?
Pearl
(Images style.com, sartorialist)