A Week in Small Snapshots

Another crazy, crazy week! Kicking off with the STYLEetc magazine launch party for our Spring issue, the off to London for work and a little bit of play. I admit I am probably becoming an iPhone bore but I really am so impressed with the quality of the camera on it, saves me lugging around the DSLR. I also joined the cult of Instagram (@superelevated) what can I say, its fun! Another app which came to my rescue when the Tube was closed this weekend is Hailo – lets you hail a cab with the touch of a button – absolute life saver! Google Maps and the MX data Tube Map made my life so much easier too. I’ve not really checked out many fashion app’s yet, mostly practical ones but let me know any app recommendations. Here are some visual snippets of what I have been up too and wearing last week. Mostly flat shoes due to all the running around and comfy shorts and tartans for layering. With the odd bit of glam, throwing on a heel. Ive been managing to get the packing down to just two pairs of shoes, a flat and a heel which is impressive for me! Visited the Museum of London who have some fantastic costume displays including this Westwood and McClaren Witches ensemble. I dropped by Selfridges and got to see Cath Kidston promoting her new book. Finishing the week with the Vivienne Westwood sample sale, woop!

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Gone Roman

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 I admit I have a very cool job, but some days it seems even cooler than usual. Above you can see my Vivienne Westwood toe shoes, directly above is the leather sole from an archaeological Roman sandal- notice anything similar? Yes it too has a toe shape cut out, some of them just have the first toe and others have all five toes defined. These sandals would have had leather straps attached to the sole just the same as our sandals today. Fascinatingly both my shoes and the Roman shoes were made in London.

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In fact the popular ‘Gladiator sandals’ are inspired by their original Roman counterpart. At the Museum of London they have recently included some modern items in the cases to illustrate their purpose. Personally I think this is a great idea, especially for children to help them gain perspective. We often forget that simple, every day items and steeped in history.

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Sunglasses to Suit Your Mood

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Clockwise from top left: vintage Wayfarers, All Saints Cat-eyes, Nichole Farhi Clubmasters. 

I am so glad the sun has finally decided to put in an appearance, it means we can get out our sunglasses! As with most things I’ve acquired a little collection of different styles, I really like to match my sunnies to my outfits. I think by far my favourite styles are big, thick, black frames as they are easy wear and they go with everything. Above is my ‘handbag’ collection, as in the ones I keep stashed in my handbag. They were all cheap, ┬ú20 or under so I don’t have to worry about them getting broken at the bottom of my bag. Last summer the All Saints pair were my staple, such a flattering shape, year before were the Wayfarers. This year I wanted something a bit different and was taken by the Clubmaster style. I was lusting after the Rayban Clubmasters when I found these Nicole Farhi ones. I liked that they had a lower nose bridge and of course that they were only ┬ú20 from TK Maxx. I do think my next buy will be Rayban though, as the cheapy ┬ú5 vintage ones above don’t offer much protection in strong sunlight so I would like a classic pair of Rayban Wayfarers. Red Hot Sunglasses have some amazing ones and I think their prices are very reasonable, they also have an extra large lens Wayfarer design available which I haven’t seen anywhere else.

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Clockwise from top left: Nicole Farhi, Celine, J MASKREY

Besides from my everyday sunglasses I also have a few pairs of special ones. These were either expensive so I don’t want them clunking around my bag when I’m not wearing them or they go with specific outfits. The ones above are my D-Frames, they kind of have a ‘geek’ glasses feel to them, nice and chunky. The translucent ones are really only for a bit of fancy as they don’t offer any eye protection, whilst the red Celine ones I feel need balancing out with the right outfit. The J MASKREY ones with the crystal kiss are my absolute favourite sunglasses in the world ever, aren’t they amazing!

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Clockwise from top: Gianfranco Ferre, Nike, Miu Miu, vintage Dior

If I want a softer look then I reach for my tortoiseshell sunnies, I have them in a variety of frame shapes from nice big cat-eyes, to oversized honeycombs, delicate gilt trimmed and aviator. One for any occasion really! I tend to wear these with a vintage dress and heels, perfect summer look.

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Finally I have these big, bright D&G ones. Not sure what category these would go in! They are great just for a bit of fun and would be the pair to take to sit beside a pool with a cocktail. I also have this sunglasses chain holder from GOGO PHILIP, I’ve got a real habit of tucking my sunglasses over the neck of my tops – inevitably I end up dropping them when I lean over so this is really useful and a little bit cool I think. All I could use now is a beach…

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STYLEetc Magazine Spring Issue Launch

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Wearing: Vivienne Westwood Gold Label Gigot dress, union jack tights and Animal toe courts, fabulous Designer Earrings I got years ago at H Samuel which you can’t see due to my wild mane and my stunning Wendy Brandes ‘little woolfe’ necklace which you can just see as a tiny blip.

No I did not wear this for St Georges day. Yes I did think I was cool until I got into town and saw armies of drunken men wearing flags #fail. But it’s Vivienne Westwood and it’s fabulous lol.

Anyway I was out to celebrate the launch of STYLEetc’s Spring issue at Harvey Nichols, big pat on the back to Anna-Louise, Gemma and the STYLE etc team for making it happen. You will have to excuse the iphone photos, but I will share some of the official shots when they are available.

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Big woop to @anna0louise, @carnabytwenty1, @elthecool, @riannaphillips, @katekinsey

If you haven’t picked up our latest issue you can read online over at the STYLEetc website

and you can check out Rianna Phillip’s clutches on her website too. I just bought my second clutch from her, the green one pictured here, hand made in Manchester and the perfect size for your STYLEetc!

Outfit: Summer Styling with TK Maxx

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TK Maxx asked me if I would like to be part of their summer campaign to show how you can easily pull together the perfect summer outfit from their online store. As you all know I love TK Maxx, it is where I get a lot of my designer bargains from however I had never actually used their website before so I jumped at the chance. The idea was to choose a pair of shoes and a dress, an easy way to make an outfit. TK Maxx have such a huge selection, with many high street and designer brands. The website, as with the store, is a real treasure hunt, you never know what you will find! Pros of the website vs the store is that you can edit your search by size, style, colour and brand making things easier and quicker for those who don’t have time to rummage. It was really interesting to browse the brands selection, discovering names I hadn’t realised TK Maxx stocked. Since it is summer (apparently) I though it would be nice to look for an easy to wear day dress which could be dressed up or down. I didn’t particularly have anything in mind, so just decided to search by size and see what came up. My eye was caught by all the lovely bright prints but I was torn between a pencil or 50s silhouette. Most of my summer dresses are vintage so I opted for this printed orange silk dress which is a similar style to what I have, full skirt and nipped in waist. As TK Maxx only have limited stock the dress I chose already sold out, however you can browse all their other fabulous dresses.

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For the shoes, of course I wanted heels! But I really wanted to try something a bit different to my staple court shoes. The first pair I chose were a stunning pink, sequin peep-toe pair, but unfortunately they were too big, sob. I returned them, one of the only cons of the website is that you have to pay for posting items back but you can return them in store. Instead I choose these bright, colour block sandals. Even in summer I can’t bear to ditch the socks so these little anchors are my seasonal option! These shoes also sold out right after I got mine, one thing I will advise is buy it when you see it. TK Maxx don’t carry huge stock, that’s how they get such bargain prices, so things sell out fast. Don’t worry though there are lots more gorgeous shoes here waiting.

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Since I had my hair in a messy beehive -new default lazy hair style – I felt the whole outfit looked a bit too vintagey, with the 50s shape dress and cat eye sunglasses. To tone it down a bit I added the cut-off army jacket and belt. The sunglasses are such a nice shape, they only have a rim on the top so are bit aviator, a bit rayban. I actually just bought them myself from the TK Maxx website, designer sunglasses for ┬ú20 (rrp ┬ú100), can’t really argue with that! The designer shoes were ┬ú80 (rrp approx┬ú400) and the high street dress ┬ú29.99 (rrp approx ┬ú120), such great savings! If you have never checked out their website I really do recommend it, you will be surprised what big designer names you find.

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Have you ever shopped at TK Maxx online? What do you think of my picks?

Things for the Alternative Bride

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Don’t be getting the wrong idea, there are no wedding bells for me just yet, however I have been talking to a few people about weddings and how traditions are changing. Rock and Roll Bride is a fabulous blog documenting how creative weddings can be these days, reflecting the couple not just traditions. J MASKREY recently launched her new online store, with it her bridal range. I absolutely love the idea of a bride carrying a box clutch and rocking a pair of glamourous shades instead of a veil! Her crystal encrusted body jewellery would look really pretty but edgy too and who wouldn’t want to walk up the isle in these incredible shoes! Click here to see the full J MASKREY range

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When it comes to wedding gifts I know toasters and crockery are traditional, snooze! Wouldn’t it be lovely to create something which the couple could treasure? I thought a charm bracelet such as the Pandora ones would be a wonderful gift, each guest could choose a charm. Padndora also do leather thong bracelets and necklaces suitable for men so it’s not just a gift for the bride. Click Here for Pandora Charms

A Catch Up – New Worlds End Buys & Travels

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Where to start? I’ve been up to so much lately, traveling up and down the country with my new job. My iPhone has been a godsend, the camera is really good so I can still snap outfit shots without having to lug around my DSLR. That does mean you get random dodgy backgrounds, mostly public toilets! I was lucky enough to visit the V&A (of course I saw the Bowie exhibition) and stately home Canons Ashby, more on both of those in a separate post. I know what you really want to know is what I was doing at Worlds End!

After posting teasing snaps on Instagram (@SuperElevated) and Facebook I guess I should spill the beans on what I brought home with me. If you haven’t guessed already I got the huge Clomper Pirate Boots in brown on brown squiggle! I hadn’t planned on getting these actually, I thought I would get the Mock Croc Elevator court shoes however they just didn’t fit me, 5 too narrow and 6 far too big. They are a narrow fit and if you are a half size like me I think you will struggle with them. I wanted to try on all the new Gold Label shoes, as a duty to everyone who couldn’t get to the shop and needed sizing info (See how good to you guys I am, I tried on all those shoes just for you). I find the Clompers are a wide fit but they are a small fit due to the low vamp (bit where your toes go) so I would recommend you go up a size, they don’t fit the same as regular Pirate boots, I went for a 6 in these. The same for the Slave Clomper sandals, which are now available in a myriad of colours!

When I tried the Clomper boots on I was surprised how comfy they were, heavy yes, but once you get used to them they are so fun to stomp around in. Eye wateringly expensive but I couldn’t leave without them, simple as that and it’s not often you feel that way about a pair of shoes (lies, all lies). Alright, alright I do often feel that way about shoes, but can we times that by 10 for these!! I also got the dress I am wearing here, its called the Gigot dress and is on the Worlds End label, it’s available in white or black at the moment, however I also have it on the Gold Label in Union Jack print. I’ve wanted this for ages, it will be my summer staple. I also wanted something light and billowy to balance out the Clomper boots, no idea what else they are going to go with yet. I can add more info on all the new Gold Label shoes if anyone wants, just drop me a line, right I’m off to do some stomping!

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1. Fashion galleries at the V&A, 2. packing issues, 3&4. Wearing Vivienne Union Jack print Gable trousers, 5. Lichtenstein coffee, 6. Casual wearing Anglomania sweater dress, 7. Trying on Elevated Courts at Worlds End, 8. Westwood ribbons, 9. Bedpost carving at Canons Ashby (more on that soon), 10. Comfy Pirate Boots, 11. Cuppa with the gorgeous Zoe from Penny Blossoms blog, 12. Clompers!

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Beautiful Vivienne Westwood shoes!

Jennifer Lawrence On & Off Screen

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Jennifer Lawrence on the red carpet, image from MyVue

I’m not usually one for celeb watching, however I couldn’t help noticing how incredible Jennifer Lawrence’s style is! On screen she often plays the girl-next-door, wearing practical, sporty clothes as in the Hunger Games and Silver Linings Playbook. Off screen she is a blond bombshell in the sleekest, figure hugging dresses and chic trousers.

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Jennifer’s many glam looks, image from Handbag

Jennifer always keeps things simple, which is the key to her look. She adopts a make-up-free make-up look, barley there foundation, a little bronzer and a pale lip. Long, healthy sun-kissed hair is either left loose and tussled or in a soft up-do. For evening events she keeps away from fussy prints and sticks to bright block colours or chic blacks and navy. Accessories are a no-no, she may choose a delicate pair of earrings but gobstopper rings and statement necklaces aren’t for this girl. The same goes for shoes, either a classic pointed pump or an elegant heeled sandal makes the perfect, chic look. It is hard to choose my favourite look, but the sunshine yellow reflects her upbeat personality and the navy jumpsuit is the epitome of well tailored chic.

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As Katniss in the Hunger Games, image from the Telegraph

How to create next seasons looks now – Back Stage with Bobbi Brown

How to create next seasons looks now -Back Stage with Bobbi Brown at LFW

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During the whirlwind that is London Fashion Week I took the chance to go backstage with Bobbi Brown, to give you an insiderÔÇÖs look into the hottest beauty trends for AW13. There is no need to wait until next season to try these out though, as the two statement make-up looks are perfect for summer too. Taking influence from the swinging 60s lead artist Florrie White created a sultry Brigitte Bardot style look for the Orla Kiely show. Toned down to keep it fresh and easy to wear to the office a smoky chocolate brown eye was smudged on. Blush was kept to a light sweep of pink and lips a subtle shimmer of golden beige. With a messy bun this is a perfect daytime look, just let down your hair and add a shimmer eye shadow and slick of eye liner to take the look to after dark.

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In contrast for the Jena.Theo show lead artist Kim Brown opted for a modern grunge look. Gorgeous dewy skin was created with lots of moisture, blush kept neutral and a soft mid-brown eye shadow to keep the focus on the statement lip. A vibrant pop of colour in matt acid orange made the look oh so modern. Defined brows, reminiscent of model of the moment Cara Delavigne, gave a youthful feel.

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If you fancy trying out either of these looks the friendly make-up artists at Bobbi Brown counter will be keen to show you how. If you want to try it yourself the Orla Kiely look is easy to recreate all you need is a soft, eye shadow crayon which you can smudge on Bobbi Brown Cream Shadow Stick in ÔÇÿBarkÔÇÖ was the backstage favourite, then add lashings of mascara. For the Jena.Theo look keep everything simple so you can create a statement with a bold orange lip, try Bobbi Brown Creamy Matt lipstick in ÔÇÿJennaÔÇÖ as used for the show. Above you can see the gorgeous Irene from Bobbi Brown rocking a pink tipped Tux-mani using two of the new Bobbi Brown summer shades. This is such an easy look to recreate with any colours, but looks super sleek.

Outfit: Jumbo Tartan Scarf

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Wearing: all Vivienne Westwood – Anglomania ‘Limpish’ coat, Gold Label tartan scarf, ‘Rubbish’ print Pirate boot, double prong Alex belt

I LOVE this coat so much, it is smart with a military edge. I actually wear it most days but because I tend to take my coats off for photo’s I’m not sure if it’s even been on the blog?? This scarf is immense, it’s basically like a blanket and something which has been my must have all through winter. It’s a really old scarf, my mum actually bought one years ago and I’ve been trying to steal it ever since – with no luck. One came up on ebay last year and I snapped it right up! It is similar to the World’s End scarves, though not so big, I’d love one of those too one day. These boots are a bit good aren’t they, for some odd reason one foot is a bit tight so I don’t wear them much. I decided today was going to be the day I broke them in and took them on a tour of the post office and supermarket, oh yeah my life is so fashion. What I really need right now are some new Wellies, it hasn’t stopped raining lately. I’ve got my eye on these cherry red hunter wellies aren’t they fun and they would match my scarf.

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Here are the boots on the Vivienne Westwood runway from S/S 2004. This as with many other collection gone before has me longing for pieces from it! The print is called the ‘Rubbish’ print and was made from photo’s taken of the rubbish in Westwood’s studio.