Books: David Bowie Style

The first time I ever learnt about David Bowie was seeing him as Jared the Goblin King in Labyrinth. I immediately fell in love with the costumes, the music and the fantasy the film created, like many children of the 80’s I watched it over and over again until I could repeat the entire script by heart. As I got older I discovered Bowie’s music and his passion for using clothes to express himself. Most people it seems take little interest in Bowie’s style after his Ziggy Stardust / Aladdin Sane persona’s, however I think to pigeon hole someone with what they did in their Twenties denies the fact that every one of us changes and grows as we age. In David Bowie Style the author Danny Lewis takes a concise look at Bowie’s style over the past 50 years, from a teenage Mod to a middle aged man who has refined his style to relaxed elegance. The 128 page book doesn’t try to define Bowie’s style into his famous characters, rather comments on his changing look as he experimented with music, traveled the world and met new people. Taking us up to present day ‘retired’ David. This is a very enjoyable book for the Bowie fan but also anyone interested in fashion, to see someones life set out in sartorial choices is a fascinating thing. With an 8 page introduction and 7 conceding chapters the book focuses on the images rather than long lengths of text making it perfect coffee-table reading. I personally find David’s style interesting no matter what period,┬á his collaborations with designers such as Hedi Slimane and Alexander McQueen during later years particularly so. It is also evident just how much influence Bowie has had on fashion, I have a striped Chloe blazer very similar to one David wears as Ziggy and the suit he wears wore in 1972 for Top of the Pops (above image 2) bears striking resemblance to the recent J.W. Anderson at Topshop collaboration. It is food for thought and inspiration for the soul.

David Bowie Style by Danny Lewis is available now from Bloomsbury price £18.99

Lacoste L!VE_Sponsored Post

I recently posted about the new Lacoste L!ve campaign. Now we have cleared up the fact the Mayfair Lacoste store has a fake crocodile chained up outside, I wanted to look at the campaign in a bit more depth. Lacoste has been traveling the globe from Paris, Berlin and New York, now calling in Montreal. The campaign is based upon seeking out and working with Unconventional Talents, in Montreal they meet musicians the Cosmetics and artist Julien Vall├®e. The dramatic background and extreme climate of Montreal seems the perfect setting for the AW12/13 campaign filled with plaid bomber jackets, fun knits, kilts and caps. The colourful artwork by Julien adds a fun, yet dramatic feel whilst the Cosmetics techno sounds give it a cool, laid back edge.

“Julien Vall├®e hijacks objects and materials to give them different meanings and tell new stories, just as LACOSTE L!VE does with its collections. The music created by Nic and Aja from Cosmetics reflects what Montreal is like in the middle of winter: a frozen electro sound with human emotions”.

Above are some images from the campaign but you see more in the short video below. What I really like about the L!VE website is that you can see more videos including fuller profiles of the artists and also videos by bloggers in The City Guide – taking you on a guided tour around the city. So you can learn where all the cool places to hang out are, I’d love to visit the pre-1965 karaoke bar. You can also see the look-book from the collection, which is styled up perfectly for winter no matter what city you are in. Here are my two favourite pieces, I’ve had a thing about baseball caps lately and I can never resist plaid, especially when its in a gorgeous bomber jacket. I’d wear them both with a pleated skirt and sky high heels.

I would really like to know what you think of the video, do you think it gets the idea of the campaign across? Do you think it show cases the collection well? Are you a fan of the collection?

*Sponsored Post

Preview: Behind the Scenes – Shooting the Antipodium AW12 LookBook

Earlier in the year I was lucky enough to get the chance to hang out with the Antipodium team and watch them shoot the AW12 lookbook. It was a great chance to see the collection up close and see the models enjoy showing it off. All the models were great fun, going from chiseled-cheek bone heart breaker to goofball in one second flat. Here are some of my favourite images.

The collection entitled ‘Vermin’ takes influence from East London. the sprawling metropolis of old and new is unique from pie shops to artisan bakeries, launderettes and ateliers.┬á It is about opening your eyes to the beauty of things we see everyday. Slick, with a spots influence the collection has a rich palette of camel, tobacco, lilac and nude; contrasted with vibrant blue and green. Futuristic glossy plastic used for bomber jackets, against tactile faux fox fur highlight the industrial versus hyper-natural notion of the collection. The two feature prints are ‘Local birds’ a scan of the outstretched wings of pigeons and the ‘Eastenders’ view of the sprawling Thames.

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Fashion Pearls of Wisdom + TK Maxx for LFW

If You Go Down To The Woods..

I don’t know if it is because I have become totally hooked to the new series Once Upon a Time or due to the fact I live in a perpetual day dream but as soon as I read the first line of Kelly Love’s AW12 lookbook I couldn’t wait to see what the collection held:
In the depths of the forest a bittersweet tale of love and loss weaves its way into the land…..
Into the woods we go……
Take a journey into the romantic darkness of the Russian woods with rich earthy colours, enticing textures and snippets of folk tales as inspiration.
Exotic wildflower prints wash over silk crepe & cotton tencel, boucle wools are adorned with corded lace & piping while the signature sandwashed silk gives the collection a sumptuous feel.
Ladylike midi dresses, high waisted cigarette pants, classic blouses and the labels iconic jumpsuits are constructed from a palette of blood red, nude, French navy and dusty blue.
Ethereal Darkness is the essence of Autumn/Winter 2012
INTO THE WOODS
By
KELLY LOVE

See what I mean! Who could resist such an introduction and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Full of the shapes I adore, midi length skirts, loose Peg trousers, fitted shirts and draped blazers. Combined with a really unexpected colour pallet, neon green highlights against deep blue and maroon, faux red fox collars with ethereal floral prints. Worn with black slippers and quirky hats, I can’t imagine a more perfect way to spend Autumn, be it running around the city or crunching fallen leaves under foot in a deep, dark forest.

You can find out more about Kelly Love on her website

Black, White, Denim Salon Show SS12

A warm welcome greeted us as we entered Wilmslow boutique Black, White, Denim. It was my first visit to the store, long over due as I had been intrigued about the concept for some time. Black, White, Denim isn’t just a quirky name but belies the concept and philosophy installed by founder Jo Davies. My initial thoughts went something like this ‘They only sell black, white and denim clothing? Hmmm’, ‘THEY ONLY SELL BLACK, WHITE AND DENIM CLOTHING???’ For someone who walks around looking live Vivienne Westwood and Miuccia Prada’s lovechild minimalism is somewhat lost on me. As elegant and chic as those Celine and Chloe aficionados look I can never do it. I have tried, oh yes don’t be too shocked, there are pieces in my wardrobe which you could call classics, I have a simple white shirt, black skinny jeans, basic black court shoe. I put them on and then feel the need to roll around by closet until I look like I’ve had a fight with a rainbow. That’s just me. Yet this approach to dressing isn’t always a winner. As I mentioned in my last post I can often end up throwing on something in a rush only to catch sight of myself in a mirror and recoil in horror as Ziggy Stardust stares back. Some times I really do wish I kept in mind my simple, elegant classics which of course I can always team with a statement heel or a trophy jacket to add personality. This is what B,W,D is all about.

Finding your perfect ‘go-to’ wardrobe. Investing in the building blocks which you know are flattering and will last you for years to come. Style should be easy. That is the B,W,D philosophy.

But what is that, you see other colours creeping in? Well of course you can’t only live your life in black and white, once you have the foundations you can pepper them with a splash of red and a hint of shimmering sequins. B,W, D is all about luxury, I have always been a big believer in owning just one top quality white t-shirt rather than ten cheap ones. That to me is real luxury, not driving a flash car. The other little luxury I love is jewellery, unique and beautifully crafted pieces will last you a life time, but they don’t have to break the bank either. The shop is home to an exceptional array of pieces from designers such as Cinderela B, Lara Bohinc, Daisy Knights, Ha-Yeon Lee and Husam El Odeh. With prices starting from as little as ┬ú22 there really something for everyone’s budget. My heart belonged to Cinderela B (jewellery pictured above) that night especially the golden bee earrings. Designer Rachel Jackson, who I met on the night, explained they were designed with a straight line of dangling chains to form a fringe rather than a tassel, a tiny detail which has a huge impact. All the jewellery is handmade in their London studio so you are not just buying a pretty piece but investing in your own countries talents. Cinderela B also do a high end Vintage Couture range, each piece unique, created from vintage components from the 1920’s- 80’s to form stunning statement necklaces. I find myself dreaming over them so I am sure this isn’t the last you will be hearing about the brand.

Here I am with Lawrence, wearing an Ashish sweater top – ooh look it’s black and white, if you disregard the huge neon pink sequin teddy bear!

Stylish on the school run: Zoe Karssen Sweatpants £108, Acne LS Girl tee £80, Acne Cashmere Cardigan £430, Acne pistol boots £370

Shopping with the girls: Jo whipped this TheyskenÔÇÖs Theory jacket off the models back to pass around the audience. The quality of the fabric, attention to detail with the trim and unique cut really did need a closer look!

The perfect for any occasion Victoria, Victoria Beckham dress: Black & Cream Drop Waist Dress £530, Carven Court Shoe £280, By Malene Birger Bag £209

Ready to party, stunning detail of the sequin By Malene Birger jacket £335

Victoria, Victoria Beckham again with her cute cat print, another dress for any occasion, £495

┬áHere are the gorgeous models Emma and Kirsty. You wouldn’t know this from the photo’s but neither of them are professional models! They are both local mum’s, who like all of us, have busy lives and need to look good with ease. I thought it was a fantastic idea to use the stores customers in the show, as I heard many a lady on the night say it made it much easier to relate to seeing the clothes how they would be worn in real life. The looks shown were based around essential outfits: School run, Shopping trip, Big night out, Easy denim, Off to the airport and the essential fashion daydream a Victoria, Victoria Beckham dress! Another great thing about having the show in the store is that Jo could grab things off the rails as they came to mind. Easily illustrating how a pair of mint green jeans and beige Acne Pistol boots with a white chiffon blouse could quickly be transformed with a sleek black blazer. Throughout the evening Jo relaid a wealth of tips to everyone on how to built their own key wardrobe and fashion insider know hows: ‘Try an evening dress with pockets to help you feel more relaxed at formal events’, ‘Not a fan of jeans? Try J Brand Maria which feel just like a pair of Opaques, you can even go down as size as they mold and fit to your shape’, ‘Look out for the signature V backs on Theyksen’s Theory pieces’, ‘J Brand 811 earns it’s moniker from the 8″ rise and 11″ leg hem circumference’ .

┬áAll in all it was a lovely evening, Jo and her team really made everyone feel welcome and if anyone there wasn’t already a customer I am sure they will be. The beauty of having such an intimate event is that you really do get a hands on approach. I am a big supporter of independent boutiques because you get the knowledge and help which is lost in huge department stores. If you do pay Black, White, Denim a visit you will be guaranteed a one-on-one service from people who know about fashion, but also know about how hard it can be building a functional wardrobe. The edit of the store is perfection, you could go in and pick up any top, jeans and shoes and know that it will work as an outfit, all thanks to Jo’s perfectionist eye, she really knows her stuff. Now where did I put those black skinny jeans…

Watch the highlights of the evening on BWD TV

Thanks to Jo, Jordan and the BWD team and it was lovely to see Claire of Tweet, Sarah of Fashion Dotty and the I <3 Manchester girls.

Trends: Some Ideas on How To Wear Pastels

Pastel shoes from Dune

When I first started seeing all the pastel colours coming down the runway I got lost in the beautiful dream world they were offering. Like a kid in a candy store, I couldn’t wait for spring and with it the new season collections. But then it got here, I wandered around all the shops, touching the delicate beading and floral applique. Running my hands over lace skirts and dresses in mint, lilac, pink. But when it came to the crunch I struggled to buy anything for myself. You see I was looking at it all wrong. I had this image of Kate Moss on her carousel horse at Louis Vuitton, in a flouncy lace dress and matching pastel heels. The thing is I’m not Kate Moss and if we are honest she wouldn’t wear that outfit outside of work either.

When it comes to translating runway trends it is all too easy to get caught up in the image the designers create. I know we all have things in our wardrobe that we bought on a whim, only to find they don’t actually go with anything else in our closet, or even perhaps ourselves. Because that is the key rule when embracing a new trend, it needs to work with US, it needs to be our own version of the trend. So I sat back and had a think about what I already owned which could be translated into the pastel trend. I have a baby pink blazer and erm that was about it! I am a black girl, it is true, with varying shades of grey! There is colour in my wardrobe but they are bright and bold. Embracing pastel was all quite new to me.

I thought about the shapes I like and the cuts I wear. I thought about the things which are my ‘go to’s’. In the end I got a pair of printed trousers in my usual high waist style but with a pale blue print. I have a baby pink top yet it has a metallic sheen, I adore metallic’s so it felt more approachable to me. I picked up a baby blue vintage dress, in the same style as my other dresses so it remains in my comfort zone. I can wear it with black shoes or maybe I will try it with a pair of neutral or even pastel ones too. Here are my top tips for wearing the pastel’s trend:

1. Take it slow, try adding a pastel coloured top with more neutral things like blue jeans. You get the same effect but it is less full on.

2. The shoes! Or in fact any other accessories such as a bag or scarf. You can play around with accessories really easily, trying them with different things.

3. Consider your usual silhouette. If you always wear trouser suits a super girly prom dress might not be you, look for similar shapes and cuts but in the new colours.

4. Try a different take. Pastel shades but in tribal prints for the pattern lover or baby pink studded shoes for the rock chic.

5. Add in contrasting colours. You don’t need to have a full pastel outfit, bright neon’s and block colours such as orange and blue work really well against softer tones.

Lots of pretty applique at River Island, even on the shoes!

Pastel colours yes, but in tribal, striped and floral patterns we are familiar with, River Island.

Spikes on pastel shoes, the perfect antidote for the not so girly girls, River Island.

More applique at Very.co.uk.

Pastels with a punch, pairing pastel blues and greens with neutral an contrasting orange tones down the full on candy colours, Very.co.uk.

Hot New Things

1. Anna Lee, 2 & 4. Malene Oddershede Bach, 3. Helen Bullok, 5. Mawi, 6. Katie Eary, 7. Simone Rocha, 8. Kirk Originals.

Hot new things: S/S12 Collection previews. The collections here illustrate perfectly this seasons foremost trends, prints, neon, metallics, pastels, statement jewellery, Luxe shoes. More on that later but for now, enjoy the ride.

Preview: Vivienne Westwood S/S12 Anglomania

In some ways waiting to see Vivienne Westwood’s Anglomania collection is always most exciting. Of course waiting to see every new Vivienne Westwood collection is insanely exciting but rather than storm down the runway like Gold Label and Red Label, Anglomania subtly sneaks into my inbox (or post box when the brochures are printed), where it quietly makes an impact. (Sometimes Anglomania is shown on the runway away from the main fashion weeks, but that’s another story). The Anglomania line was launched in 1998, gaining its moniker from the A/W 1993 collection, and reworks Westwood’s classic designs and prints. It is now produced by the same team that make Gold Label, which I think you can see in the attention to detail.

One thing I adore about Westwood is the constant references to past collections, she has a rare talent designing pieces which do not date. I have ‘vintage’ pieces from her early collections which you would not be able to date on appearance, they could be from the 80’s or 00’s. I also like the fact that pieces from past seasons can be update with new accessories. I will be getting a pair of the tan sandals and the harness belt without a doubt.

Here are some of my favourite pieces which are similar to those from the new collection:

Loose fit harem pants are a Westwood staple I have a number of pairs in different fabrics,

Westwood makes the perfect shape dress for me and I add a couple to my collection each season, I love how this one has been styled with a mini crini as an underskirt something I am dying to try now. I also really like the new mini crini from this collection in the printed pattern. The first mini crini’s were shown in the S/S 86 collection (I have an original blazer from this collection it is one of my most treasured pieces), and I have been eagerly waiting their appearance again as they haven’t been done for a while.

The Eight skirt is another classic, called so as the fabric twists into a figure of eight shape, you can wear it in a number of different ways so it is really versatile.

You can view the full Anglomania S/S12 collection on my Facebook page

TK Maxx A/W Collection Part 1

On Tuesday I traveled down to London for a fabulous bloggers (including Pink Bow, WolF Whistle, These Girls Turn Heads and Side Street Style) lunch hosted by TK Maxx and to view their A/W 12 collections. The lunch was a delicious 3 courses in the 32nd floor Paramount restaurant, which has panoramic views across the city. We wined and dined whilst chatting away with Sophia, TK Maxx’s head buyer, who you will recognise from the TV ads. I am sure everyone knows by now that I am a huge TK Maxx fan so it was great to get up close with the team and find out lots of behind the scenes secrets. Did you know they are constantly out there searching for new stock which they refresh daily. The rails are always packed tight as they do not have stock rooms, everything they have is put out on the shop floor for you see.

What I like best about TK Maxx is that you can get discounted designer goods, but also high street labels. You will find beautiful classic pieces but also the latest trends, which were illustrated in the displays set out with a circus theme to match their look book. The atmosphere was fun and fabulous.

The key trends focused on where Seventies, Country Heritage, Jewel Colours and Nordic. Rails of deep colours, tactile fabrics and an array of lust worthy accessories. The Menswear also echoed each of these trends with country quilted jackets, ombre blazers, coloured jeans and smart shirts.


The mannequins and look books gave some great styling tips, I for one will be colour clashing my tights. I have many more photo’s to share so I will upload an album to my Facebook too. Part 2 will focus on a Party wear special. What is even better is that all the garments you see were pulled from store so you can head over and shop till you drop right away, it is getting cold after all.

Pearl

Review: Reebok Easy Tone Trainers

Sponsored Review

As you all know I am up for anything that means I don’t have to go to the gym, so when http://www.fitnessfootwear.com/offered me the chance to review these Reebok EasyTone trainers, I of course obliged.
The main thing that I liked about these trainers is that unlike all the other toning footwear available these actually look like regular trainers. The have a sleek design and subtle colours, perfect for someone concerned with style!

The trainers come with info leaflets explaining what muscles they target, specifically the butt and legs. They tone whilst you walk around due to the slightly imbalanced sole. I thought that this would be uncomfortable but slipping the trainers on they were so soft and bouncy, I wanted to go running right away! The pink circles on the soles are the air cushions so it does feel slightly strange at first, like there is something stuck on your sole but after wearing them for a day they felt just like regular trainers. I was also very impressed with the fit. I often find many shoes and trainers too tight in the width but these had plenty of room, the soft perforated leather will also let the skin breath. The entire shoe is padded and very supportive to the foot, they are expertly designed.
The Reebok easytone trainers are available from Fitness Footwear, who have a wide variety of styles and colours of the EasyTone trainers. I highly recommend the site for a fast and informative service. As these trainers are so new and pretty exclusive the design I chose was not yet in stock, but Fitness Footwear let you pre-order. They gave me the date they were expecting the stock, then kept me up to date via email at every stage of my order and when the trainers came in they were shipped immediately. They also have a wide variety of other specialist training shoes and UK delivery is free too.
(Disclaimer: This post is entirely separate from my taking part in the Reebok EasyTone trial. I received these trainers free of charge in order to review them, this was on the understanding that my review would be posted entirely unedited)