Day 2: LFW AW 14 – For Realz

Close up with Mich Dulce

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┬áDepending on what part of the world you are from you might know Mich for a variety of reasons, artist, musician, actress, milliner. I know Mich as we share a love for Vivienne Westwood clothing and a ton of mutual friends, we first met over shoe admiration and have been buddies ever since. There are a lot of things I like about Mich, one is her combination of technical skill and creativity in her millinery designs, the other is that her fashion house is sustainable. All her hats are made from a banana fiber called T’nalak which is a traditional Filipino fibre which is hand woven by women who are part of a poverty alleviation community. The women receive training so they can learn skills and help support themselves. If you ever needed an excuse to invest in a new hat, I can see no better reason. I adore Mich’s designs from caps with kitten ears, huge bows and draped veils there is something from the most traditional of tastes to the more avant guarde. www.MichDulce.com

Style it, Be it

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    This is what Somerset House was basically reduced to over most of Friday and Saturday, not the best weather to be stood out in a queue nor snapping street style. Everyone trooped on though and made the most of it. Extra thanks to the lovelies who braved a brolly free minute for me to shoot them. Things I picked up on were accent pops of colour, be it a fab manicure, statement clutch or ring these little highlights can brighten up any outfit. A great way to introduce colour to a conservative working wardrobe too. These personal little styling touches are what really make an outfit your own and move it away from just a trend. DSC_1274DSC_1292DSC_1294

If  huge dollops of colour are more your thing then why not take some tips from these guys, matching hats and scarves, clashing pinks and reds, a smatter of leopard print and white with cobalt blue, all utterly lush.

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As for me you saw this outfit yesterday as I sulked in the rain! I have to say I’ve not dared look at how the satin leopard courts held up 🙁

I have to say I utterly adore this coat from TK Maxx though, bonkers but brilliant. The huge bag is from there too, both part of the new season Gold Label collection. If you haven’t heard of the Gold Label collection it is a carefully edited range of high end designer clothes and accessories which included runway pieces – but at high street prices!! I dare you to go check it out (lists of stores with the collection are available on their website) and not be amazed.

Share your favorite LFW and personal style looks with us using the tag #StyleItBeIt we’d love to see!

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Fashion Pearls of Wisdom hearts TK Maxx for London Fashion Week

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What Pearl Wore 2013

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So many outfits, so little time! I counted 56 outfit posts on the blog this year, that’s just over one per week not bad going. Will 2014 see more? We shall have to see, one selfie mirror much needed. Here are a few of my favourites, you can see the rest in my Facebook album What Pearl Wore 2013.

Here are the past four years round ups!

What Pearl Wore 2009

What Pearl Wore 2010

What Pearl Wore 2011

What Pearl Wore 2012

 Wishing you all a very happy New Year and a fabulous 2014

 

Whirlwind Weekend in London

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I’m am just back from a whirlwind weekend in London. We went down on Friday for two days of shopping, eating and gossiping. I am suffering now, not sure if its too much talking or Tube germs but I’ve lost my voice which everyone thinks is hysterical. I think we must have qualified for the most tartan worn in a group in the Guinness Worlds Records. If one of us gets funny looks walking down the street you can imagine the reaction we got when we are in numbers! #AnnualTartanConvention

Outfit: Doubling Up

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Today I’m wearing: Vivienne Westwood- Gold Label Argyle suit, beloved red Mary Jane shoes; Red Label tartan jacket, Swallow necklace; Wendy Brandes Little Woolfe necklace.

Quick little update today, wanted to share this outfit I wore when I went to Bath, making use of this beautiful mirror. Can’t beat a tartan clash! Also wearing my lovely swallow necklace, it’s quite an old piece now I guess.

Really looking forwards to the Vogue Fashion Night Out on Thursday here in Manchester. My top picks will be Bobbi Brown, Guerlain at House of Fraser, TK Maxx, Vivienne Westwood and Armani to name a few! Hope everyone who can makes it has a fab night and do stop to say hi if you see me!

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Outfit: Vivienne Westwood Inspirations #3 – Like Superman

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Today I’m Wearing: Vivienne Westwood – Gold Label Prince Charming AW10 collection shirt, Yourself tshirt;Worlds End boxers, John Bull hat; Tartan shoes AW11; lips necklace.

When you’re 5.2″ posting photos of yourself next to 6ft+ glamazonian beauties isn’t generally the best idea but hey the things I do for fashion. Canary yellow tights, I’m not gonna lie, wouldn’t usually be top of my list of flattering items either. So the fact I’m doing all this wearing just a pair of boxers with tights over the top a la Superman just about put the cherry on the cake for today’s escapades. I had to do it though, out of all of Westwood styling tricks I’m going to say this is the most erm eye-catching :/

It looks undeniably amazing in the ad campaign and as it has appeared numerous times on the runway. Exposed boxers were also a big feature for SS09 where they were worn with loosely strung, crotch slit trousers. Dame Viv famously took centre stage at the Paralympics closing ceremony and later for the finale of her SS13 Red Label show, wearing the look to unveil her Climate Revolution campaign.

Dame Viv can basically wear anything she wants and make it look cool, although on a positive note she is closer to my height. Either way there was no denying this was going to be really difficult to pull off so I decided to just go for it wholeheartedly, tights, boxers, hat, crazy make up the works.

The verdict? It’s not one I will be wearing, but it is stunning for the runway and of course Dame Viv. It was really fun to try and in the next Inspirations post I will share how I made it more wearable which you might like to try yourself.

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Worldwide Woman AW11 campaign

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Dame Viv herself storms the runway in her war-paint after the Red Label SS13 show

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Runway Do It Yourself SS09

(Image credits: VivienneWestwood.co.uk, Getty via DailyMail, Style.com)

Outfit: Luella & Chanel Pretty in Pink

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Is it just me or are these so many Social Media options these days! I have been fully immersed in Instagram since getting my iPhone (and super grateful for its share to Twitter & Facebook function), but I keep getting told off by those of you who shun all forms of Social Media. So I decided I would keep on sharing just my very favourite Instagram snaps on the blog to try and make it fair to those of you without Instagram / those who see the same snap on all my channels! It is hard to please everyone I know, but I do try. Big thanks for all the lovely feedback on my Inspirations series, I hope to make it regular.

This pretty pink outfit is what I wore to see the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty last week at the Lowry. A lovely treat from my gorgeous friends┬á Z & A who spoil me and Mother of Pearl far too much. It was the first night off we had both taken in a long time so it was nice to get dressed up and get swept away for the night. I adore the ballet, the dancing, the costumes, the incredible orchestra, everything about it. It has been many years since I donned a tutu and leotard (must dig out those photos for you) but I did feel a little princess-like in this poufy Luella dress.

You might remember the agonising I did over it when I first found it in TK Maxx reduced from ┬ú600 to around ┬ú200. I didn’t wear pink, certainly didn’t do girly and really couldn’t afford to buy a dress I might never wear. But it had pockets and I love pockets. It also made a rather satisfying swishy sound when I walked. I made myself put it back on the rail and that was that. I went home and thought about it. Thought about it a bit more. Went back for it and alas it was gone.

A few weeks later, I was back in the store and there it was, magically it appeared on the sale rail. I figured that was fate and took it home with me. Some how I now find myself with the exact same dress in orange and  a skirt version of this dress too. Obsessively addictive personality, me? I paired it with other fanciful things and off I went, a fairytale night in a fairytale outfit.

Outfit: Vivienne Westwood Inspirations #2 – Capes & Contrasts

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┬áFor my second lookbook inspirations post I decided to choose something from this seasons AW13 Gold Label collection. I am in the strong belief that life is much better when you wear a cape so shrieked a little when the show opened with a full on cape-fest. The second look which was later used for the ad campaign was right up my street. I loved the delicate pink silk ragged hem skirt contrasted with the oversized heavy knit, over the knee spotty stockings, clumpy boots and cape of course. For retail the cape lost it’s hood and was produced in a dark grey with the ‘climate revolution’ slogan or a light grey Prince of Wales check with the ‘save the arctic’ logo, both utterly fabulous. This styling would be easy to recreate all you need are the basic contrasts of a chunky knit and delecate skirt, you could drape a large scarf around your shoulders if you don’t have a cape. It was so windy when we were trying to do these photos so I had to tuck my hair in my jumper, I really want to try out the braids with ribbon woven in at some point.

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Wearing: Vivienne Westwood – AW13 Gold Label cape and jumper both ‘Climate Revolution’ print, old Red Label rag hem skirt, Gold Label Bag boots, Limited green crystal Cupid Tiara. None-branded Spotty tights.

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Look 2 from the AW13 Gold Label collection, in action on the runway and in the seasons ad campaign.

For more Autumn style inspiration you can see my post alongside fellow bloggers on Mis Papelicos’s Autumn Share in Style round up!

Outfit: Vivienne Westwood Inspirations #1 – Corsets Over Volume

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I am often asked what kinds of things inspire my outfits, how I come up with ideas for styling and also what the hell am I wearing! I tend to divide my clothes into two categories: Westwood and everything else. I mix all my clothes up, designer with vintage and high street, Chanel with Zara. Everything except the Westwood. I just think Westwood clothes, no matter which label they are on, compliment each other better. I will occasionally wear a Westwood jacket or pair of shoes with ‘other’ outfits, but in the main I keep them separate. There is no real reason for this other than my own folly, I am just partial to the full on Westwood look.

I obviously wasn’t born with a hard-drive of Vivienne Westwood info, after I first discovered the designer I delved into the history and current brand, learning more and more. One of the things which really added to my love of the brand was they styling. I would go into the shop as much to see the the girls who worked there, styled to perfection, as much as too see the merchandise. This was far too many years than I care to admit too now, but at the time my three favourites all had really distinct looks showing how diverse the brand could be. The beautiful glossy look books produced for each collection really showcased the clothes, in the days before Style.com they were a much longed for glimpse at the runway shows.

In a celebration of Westwood and how I have been inspired by the wonderful styling I will be doing a series of posts featuring outfits based around lookbook images. The first is from Anglomania AW 2009. I have loved this corset to death since I bought it, I have it in plain black too. Dame Viv corsets are a signature of course, but what would you wear a corset belt with? A slim fitted dress perhaps? A blouse and pencil skirt maybe? Least likely a great big, poofy taffeta frock but that was the stamp all over Anglo AW09 and it is one I’ve been a firm fan of myself. The lookbook was quite restrained, using classic burnt orange tights and black heels as a back drop and letting the beautifully shaped garments speak for themselves. Here I decided to play it up a bit more and clash tartans and baubles for fun autumn look.

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Details: All Vivienne Westwood – Anglomania dress, Red Label tartan belt, Gold Label yellow leather Bag boots, Japanese license tights, old 90’s pearl drop choker, Pearly Queen 3D Orb, gold diamante bone brooch, AR badge.

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Anglomania AW 2009 Lookbook

Outfit: High Street Hotties

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Wearing: French Connection Popcorn jumper*, TK Maxx skirt, Vivienne Westwood tartan bag, Vivienne Westwood Anglomania + Melissa Lady Dragon shoes, Jon Richard Mood black and gold pleated necklace*, vintage long jewel necklace.

Oh my gosh an outfit post without the use of Instagram photos! I know, I know, I admit I am pretty proud of myself for managing this too. I crawled under the rails amongst boxes and bin bags to pull out a reasonably appropriate outfit for leaving the house yesterday. Of course the renovations which have now progressed to my bedroom are going to take much longer than originally planned so once again I am left without access to my clothes. My brother is now regretting the offer of storing some of my stuff for me since he can’t get out of his own bed without tripping over boxes of my shoes. It’s funny because so many of my friends have gladly offered to look after my shoes for me…

Anyway I am hoping to have my bedroom back at least in some shape by next week, the rest of the house could go on until Christmas at this rate. My awesome builder/interior designer has gone from constructing me an Ikea Billy bookcase for my shoes to building an entire walk-in wardrobe so it will be worth it in the end. The shoes will finally get to come out of their boxes!

Amidst the chaos my rummaging managed to unearth this outfit for the ever changing weather we are having this week, fully prepared for hot, cold and wet all at the same time. This pink pleated TK Maxx skirt has been a favourite since I first wore it to London Fashion Week way back in Sept 2011 (that photo makes me cringe hated that hair cut and haven’t a cut since). It ended up being quite a nice day but the strong wind – as you will see below where I try and look serious and fail, made it a bit chilly so I took the chance to try out this new French Connection ‘Popcorn’ jumper. I’ve been on the look out for a new cable knit jumper since I got a lot of wear out of my old one last year, I really liked the little side splits on this one giving it a bit more detail. The shoes had their first outing too, pretty but reminded me why I’d gone off wearing Lady Dragon’s, they do pinch a bit. Melissa shoes are great for the rain though as they are waterproof. I feel a bit Minnie Mouse in these with the huge bows, so cute. Paired with these sweet anchor print socks, you know I love socks.

I’ve really had to think a lot about my wardrobe these last couple of weeks, since I had to empty my bedroom I was forced to look at every single item of clothing I owned – no more stuffing things into draws, no more denial about quite how much I have. I guess I can write a full post about that alone, but one thing that came to mind whilst writing this post is that is doesn’t matter where your clothes come from, or how much they cost, there is never any indicator until an item is in your life, just how much – or not, you will wear it.

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