Giveaway Winners!!!

Some fine examples of pinking shear use!
I am excited to announce the competition winners:
For the Shabby Apple Dress: Midwife – please email me you choice of dress from the original competition post, colour, size and US postal address!
For the Hannah Martin pin: polka dot
For the Child of the Jago pin set: Anna
If you could both email me over your postal addresses

Since When Have I been Sensible?

So after the sales dilemma I was in last post, we now have a conclusion. I went to check on the boots one more time and saw that not only were they reduced by another ┬ú100 but they were also down to the last pair. This brought about palpation’s and I knew I had to order them or forever regret it! Maybe they will be too small, high, whatever but I just need to know so I ordered them quick-smart. They are as you may have noticed the Christopher Kane embroidered ankle boots!!! I had purred over them a good few times on Net-a-Porter where I might add they are still close to ┬ú900, but my new Internet angel Luisaviaroma, not only had them cheaper at retail but very kindly slashed the price 60% on sale. They also have free international shipping, but of course posting things from Italy takes a while so I will be getting giddy with excitement until they come. Lets hope they fit. (I also need to add I am paranoid even writing this post in case I jinx something, I really need to get out more)
What do you think, Cinderella shoes for 2011!
Here is another great site to check out for online shopping full of easy to browse categories for the best bargains around!

Sales Dilemas!

It is all very well deciding to forgo the sales, not getting crushed, shoved or anything vulgar. Rather, choosing to peruse the online sales at leisure, in the warth and comfort of your own home, mince pie in hand (hmm put down that millionth mince pie or the only thing you will be buying is spanx).
There are of course all my favourite brands to be found at great discounts, there also seems to actually be pleny of things in my size too. Yet I have not bought anything (kinda) -and yes I was checking out Vivienne Westwood during the Queens speech. You see I have two dilemas:
First up is the fact I no longer have a credit card. I have my set budget of savings for sales purchase all at the ready. Well actually I have ┬ú100 less due to a little binge on The Outnet before Christmas, but two things need sending back. DHL aren’t collecting till at least the 29th and you know how slow online stores can be at issuing the refunds. I also don’t get paid unitl the 1st so there will be no ‘borrowing’ from bill money and the like. I know very well I could have a credit card for emergencies such as this (buy what I want and then return the least favourite), but I also know too well that I cannot be trusted with one, the temptation is too great (I would keep everything).
So I have my little stash (and a pending addition once the Outnet returns are processed) but I am now stuck like a rabbit in the headlines because I am too scared to buy anthing incase I see something better! Ok, Ok you could say that sencibly if I am about to buy something I think isn’t THE best I shouldn’t be buying it at all, but I just like to know all my options. I also hate it when you decide not to buy something, only for it to haunt you for months, even years later – black and white Chanel heels, McQueen pointed brogues with kitten heel, Chanel heeled metal detailed ankle boots…

The other main problem is that I know the Chanel sale will be happening in a couple of weeks and if I spend all my money now, I know I will see something there I really want (not going is not an option).
So yes I could hold tight until I have been to that sale in two weeks but then we get to my second dilema. I have just found the most amazing pair of boots in the world. They are at an insane % off, so insane I never even conisdered being able to afford them even on sale. No, I cannot say what they are or where from incase I jinx them. The only problem is, that I hate buying shoes online as I don’t know if they will fit, and I can never tell if the heels will be too high without trying them on. I seriously cannot go buying another pair of ‘special’ shoes (for special read ‘shoes I can’t really walk that far in’). I need a pair I can wear a lot. But if I buy these and they need returning I won’t have my money refunded quick enough.

So do I trust in the lure of these beautiful boots and just be happy with that as my sales fix, or do I hold out incase I see something better (more practical). I keep telling myself that if they were ment for me they will wait for me – but keep checking they didn’t sell out like an OCD.
I know Fab is also having a sales seizure but how about you guys?
Any crazy behaviour going on?

GIVEAWAY: Designers Hannah Martin & A Child of the Jago

Is anyone still feeling short on Christmas presents? Let down by sale bargains? Well then maybe you should enter my latest giveaway! As these are prizes of my own selection the giveaway will be OPEN INTERNATIONALLY, and as most of my past giveaways have been a bit girly this one is totally UNISEX because I know I have some fabulous male readers out there too. I also have two prizes up for grabs:

Hannah Martin Lapel Pin

Prize number one is this stunning lapel or tie pin by designer Hannah Martin. It is Sterling Silver and comes in a velvet pouch, retailing at £50.
(Hannah Martin left, with Atlanta Weller)
With a prestigious Central St Martins design education and a handful of awards behind her, it’s no surprise Hannah Martin is shaking up the world of luxury jewellery as we know it. Her exciting brand creates luxurious and decadent collections described as ÔÇÿjewellery for men, that girlfriends will stealÔÇÖ. The look is elegant, sexy and decidedly rock nÔÇÖ roll.
HannahÔÇÖs background boasts work for brands such as Cartier, Givenchy and Tag Heuer, amongst others, indicating clearly where her taste for luxury developed.
Both the British and international fashion press have been hailing Hannah as one of the UKÔÇÖs hottest new designers and recent coverage includes Vogue, Harpers, Tatler, The Sunday Times Style, US Elle, Nylon, Grazia, ID, GQ, Esquire, WWD, Another Magazine, The Observer and The Independent (Read More).
A Child of The Jago Pin Set

(The designers – and my mum in the background hiding from the cameras)
The second of todays prizes is a 4 piece pin set by A Child of the Jago, featuring one of their cheeky slogans ‘Dirty Stop Out’, retailing at ┬ú15.
A Child Of The Jago was founded in 2007 by Simon “Barnzley” Armitage and Joseph Corre (son o Vivienne Westwood and Malcom McLaren). As long standing friends they have for many years been making clothing for them selves as individuals using end of line luxury wools cashmeres and cottons. after many years of dressing up and showing off to each other they decided to open a store in the east end within walking distance of the local tailors shops. A Child Of The Jago is a child of the street. The destitute and illegitimate progeny of a hopelessly rundown environment (Read More).
To be in with a chance of winning:
1. Leave a comment below containing the word WIN so I know who wants to be entered.
2. You must be a follower of this blog either by Google or Bloglovin, new followers are of course welcome.
3. For an extra entry either blog or tweet this giveaway and leave a separate comment to say so.
4. This giveaway is open Internationally so everyone can enter, please make sure you leave a contact email in your comment if you don’t have a blog link.
Two winners will be drawn at random on New Years Eve
Good Luck! Pearl
Don’t forget to enter my Shabby Apple Dress Giveaway too!
(I was lucky enough to meet these designers at the opening of Manchester boutique Hervia Bazaar you can read about it Here)

GIVEAWAY: Win A Stunning ShabbyApple Dress

How would one of you like a stunning extra Christmas gift? The gorgeous boutique Shabby Apple have kindly offered one Fashion Pearls of Wisdom reader a dress of their choice from their Silk Road collection. The winner can choose the size and colour of their choice from one of the designs below, simply click the links to view the options.

The Last Empress, Mandarin Plum

I love the elegant simplicity of the designs from this collection, dresses you could easily dress up for a party or team with a blazer for work.

To be in with a chance of winning:

1. Leave a comment below containing the word WIN so I know who wants to be entered.

2. You must be a follower of this blog either by Google or Bloglovin, new followers are of course welcome.
3. Sorry this giveaway is limited to US postal addresses only (don’t worry I have an international and unisex giveaway up next).

4. For an extra entry either blog or tweet this giveaway and leave a separate comment to say so.

Entries will be put into a hat and drawn at random on New Years Eve. Please leave a contact email in your comment if you don’t have a blog link!
Good Luck,

Pre-Sales Shopping

By Malene Birger Noemine jeans £125 now £37.50, 70% off
For some reason the January Sales are now starting in December. Due to this awful weather, combined with last years sales being closer to a riot I have decided to sit them out this year. I will no doubt go for a look later in Jan, but Boxing Day I will be staying at home. There are so many stores going into sale already online and some doing a pre-sale for email subscribers anyway so I don’t feel like I am missing out too much, though maybe a little bit!
Anyway I decided to take advantage of the online offers and fill some gaps in my wardrobe. I have had my eye out for a pair of high heeled black ankle boots, a pair of worn blue jeans, a cropped pair of black trousers, a pair of skinny black jeans and a gold statement necklace.

By Malene Birger Imala pants £75 now £22.50 and T by Alexander Wang denim and jersey shirt was £85 now 50% off £42.50
This morning I actually managed to buy some stuff off The Outnet before it all sold out in my size. I got a pair of By Malene Birger jeans which I am hoping will fill my worn in looking jeans lust, brought on by this picture of Sarah-Jessica Parker. I also got a pair of slim leg, cropped trousers. Not on the list but in my shopping basket is this Wang shirt it just jumped out at me so it will be interesting to see what it looks like – in fact I half presume all my online purchases will have to be sent back due to sizes, looking vile in real life etc, but I might be in luck!

ASOS Alto pony skin effect boots were £80 now £44

I also bought these black ankle boots from ASOS last week in their pop-up sale, which came as promised with free next day delivery! I was really surprised they managed that which makes me even more annoyed that some other things I have ordered weeks ago, and also presents and cards sent haven’t turned up yet. So here’s hoping The Outnet order turns up and all fits, then I might get to look for that statement necklace and pair of black jeans I have in mind.
Are any of you taking advantage of the Pre-sales or waiting to hit town on Boxing Day?

Half Light

(Wearing: Chanel fantasy fur gilet, jacket and bag, Topshop jeans, vintage boots)

I decided to brave the wild weather, which actually wasn’t all that wild, and venture into town on Sunday. Due to the mess the postal system seems to be in I have given up my plans for ordering everything online and had to got get my brother a birthday present, his birthday is Christmas Eve. I also discovered it is actually easier to walk in the snow wearing a small heel – it kind of works like ice spikes, digging in for leverage! You can see my hair cut better in this photo, for what I thought was quite a monumental change no one has even noticed the difference until I pointed it out, it was as long as my waist!

The beautiful light in the photo is being caused by the sun reflecting off the golden Our Lady on the Cathedral. The second photo was taken in the summer, you wouldn’t know it would you? It always looks beautiful whatever the season or weather.

Designer Vintage Finds

(Pierre Cardin dress)

I hadn’t been into Cow Vintage for a while, mainly due to the fact that I really don’t need any new clothes, but since it was so cold outside and I was passing by I thought I would take a quick peek. I would really like a nice maxi dress, the length that is just above calf length boots for an kind of Russian look, so that was initially what I was looking for but all thoughts went out the window when I spotted this 80’s Pierre Cardin dress. It is the most beautiful bright blue with white floral design and the cut is absolutely phenomenal. I rushed to the fitting room and even tried on over jeans and a jumper (like I said it was cold) it looked stunning, the perfect fit. I usually only tend to wear vintage dresses like this in summer, with heels and some big jewellery but I tried it on again at home and this it will actually work well for winter with boots and thick tights (that is if I can stand to wear anything other than layers of sweat pants and hoodies, again it is cold). Cow have a new little section for the designer and branded finds, which is useful when you don’t want to trawl through every thing. My dress was ┬ú36 which I think is reasonable, the branded items are all more expensive that the rest of the stock but not excessively so.

I really love discovering designers that you don’t hear so much about these days such as Pierre Cardin. Cardin started as a clothiers apprenticed aged just 14 so he really has had a life time of fashion. At 17 in 1939 he worked as a women’s wear tailor in Vichy, later moving to Paris where he worked for Madame Paquin, Marcelle Chaumont (Vionnets assistant), Shiaparelli, Jean Cocteau, Christian Bernard and finally Christian Dior (1947 to 1950).

In 1950 he set up the Maison de Couture and entered his own world of haute couture, designing day coats, suits and dresses. His design signatures were coats with raglan sleeves, dresses in a sack shape with nipped waists and bubble hem skirts. In 1957 he took his first trip to Japan and was to go on to be the first designer to turn Japan into a high fashion market. During the 60’s his designs took on a futuristic and spacy edge often shocking but always desirable.

Cardin was one of the first designers to branch out from haute couture into ready-to-wear, he was always ready to push his brand and move with the times. He amassed a huge personal fortune but some say he ‘sold out’ pushing the brand too far, with practically anything imaginable – hairdryers, alarm clocks, even pans, all bearing his name. All this undermining the sense of exclusivity and luxury of the brand. Did the Cardin brand loose it’s cool? Maybe but the brand licence is reported to still bring home 36 million euros a year!

You can see his recent collections on the website (link below), I absolutely love the abstract enamel necklace.

(Frank Usher blouse)

My other vintage designer find is this bright pink Franks Usher blouse I picked up on eBay for about ┬ú10, the cut is gorgeous! It is interesting to look at the brand as it couldn’t be further from the history of Pierre Cardin. Frank Usher was set up in 1944, during the war years, a time where textiles were being rationed. The first collection of tailored dresses were sold in departments stores for reasonable prices, much to the pleasure of women who could not afford Dior’s prices but still wanted the New Look. The label continued to grow through the 50s and 60s with exports to other countries growing in the 70s, 80s and 90s. Today the brand has four labels Frank Usher: a classic label for all occasions such as a day at the races or a walk down the red carpet; Dusk: the sexy collection favoured by TV celebs; Coterie: a couture label for society labels and Frank Usher Destination Bridal: a bridal label focused on weddings abroad.

You can view the collections on the website (linked below), I particularly like the embellished shoulders on the black dress, and the sculptural shouldered purple dress in the Frank Usher collection.

I can’t wait to show you both pieces styled up,
(Sources: Pierre Cardin, FragranceX, Fashion Brands by Mark Turngate – one of my favourite books ever, Frank Usher )

Expert Sales Tips

After my last post on sales shopping tips my friend sent me this link to Hilary Alexanders sales shopping tips for the Guardian. She is one journalist who I always enjoy reading and her tips were pretty good (though not as good as mine, of course) but it was the section at the end which totally killed me. The ‘ask the experts’ part which I just had to share with you, so, so funny. The article seemed to have been spliced by another article on the Noisettes – I have no idea why they felt the need to include a random statement on Shingai at the end and the video doesn’t actually show her top sales buys but her being shot in some sales items, random (I do like the Noisettes though)! But anyway the experts:

Follow the experts:
Averyl Oates: Buying director of Harvey Nichols:
“I always look for classics. In Harvey Nichols’s sale, for example, an Alexander McQueen red-and-gold dress, ┬ú1,910 (was ┬ú3,820), from his last collection, epitomises iconic British heritage and is a piece of history. I’d definitely fight someone for the Marc Jacobs grey shearling coat, ┬ú1,540 (was ┬ú3,080), because shearling has been huge and is set to live on. And the Lanvin burgundy velvet pouchette, ┬ú308 (was ┬ú440), is a luxurious accessory that will add style and class to an existing LBD.”

Marigay McKee: Fashion and beauty director of Harrods: “It’s a good time to buy a coat, such as Balmain’s chain-detail, double-breasted style, ┬ú8,300 (was ┬ú13,900), or Givenchy’s wool jacket with oversized collar, ┬ú799 (was ┬ú1,650). Evening-wear is also a smart option – Lanvin, Roland Mouret, C├®line, and Balenciaga are reduced by up to 50 per cent. Ski-wear (up to 30 per cent off Spyder, Moncler and M Miller) is a good investment; it doesn’t matter if it’s from previous seasons, as long as you like it and it’s a good fit.”

Erin Mullaney: Buying director of Browns: “I’d buy anything by C├®line [designed by Phoebe Philo, who won British Designer of the Year 2010 at the British Fashion Awards last week]. I also buy classics, collector’s items or showpieces. I’ll always buy a coat, usually Marni, and I have my eye on a Rick Owens leather jacket, ┬ú765 (was ┬ú1,270). For evening, I want the Mark Fast red dress with suede skirt, ┬ú845 (was ┬ú1,408). I’m a shoe-aholic, so I’d pick the Giuseppi Zanotti shoes for Christopher Kane’s show, ┬ú765 (were ┬ú1,530), or the Laurence Dacade biker boots, ┬ú465 (were ┬ú664). A bag is a good idea, but it should be a timeless style – the Chlo├® tan, two-handle tote is a good example.”

I think this should have been titled ‘Follow the experts – for ensured bankruptcy’!! Made me laugh anyway!
Oh yeah I also used this post as an opportunity to share some of Hilary’s kick ass outfits, LOVE her!!
(Image credits: wikipediacom, scottishfashionawardscom, lifecom, papermagcom)