Outfit: Being Meryl

This photo was actually taken a while back to help out a blog reader who was working on a project illustrating how the trench coat is a timeless piece. I am wearing my vintage Burberry trench which I utterly love. Do you recognise the pose? I was reenacting the famous Meryl Streep pose in Kramer vs Kramer from 1979. The film was made 3 years before I was born so I think that proves the trench really is a keeper piece! The dress and boots are vintage finds too, but you can find similar chocolate brown boots in this Guess pair and I recommend ebay for finding vintage Burberry trenches.

How to Wear Vintage and Look Current

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Following way 2: Vintage 80s dress and belt, with vintage inspired Vivienne Westwood t-bar shoes, Chanel boucle jacket and brooch, Wendy Brandes Little Woolfe necklace and ONecklace name necklace.

Something I get asked quite a lot is how to wear vintage pieces and still look current and on trend. I had a think about how I wear my vintage and came up with three easy ways to wear vintage:

1. Just wear one vintage piece – the easiest way to work vintage into your wardrobe is to start small. Try adding a vintage necklace or blouse to one of your regular outfits.

2. Wear with modern pieces in vintage influenced styles – designer and the high street both are full of things inspired by past decades. You can use these as a guide to finding and wearing original vintage clothes. If you like the current 1920s influenced trends of drop waists, long necklaces and heavy beading; start looking at original 20s pieces and the styles should look familiar.

3. Look for vintage pieces which haven’t dated– there are some designs which can be decades old yet wouldn’t look out of place today. Think of classic trench coats, black pencil skirts and white button up shirts. These items may be tweaked with each seasons whims but the basic forms will stay the same.

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Following way 3: Vintage Chanel jacket in a blazer style which isn’t recognisable to a specific date, with Topshop jeans, Stella McCartney blouse, Prada shoes

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Following way 1: This Vintage Vivienne Westwood jacket is quite a 90’s statement so I wear it alone with modern pieces- Anglomania blouse and silk trousers, Gold Label shoes, Nichole Farhi sunglasses

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Following way 3: Classic vintage Burberry trench coat’s never date, worn with Vivienne Westwood Red Label dress and Vivienne Westwood pink suede boots.

What the MET Gala 2013 Can Teach Us

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┬áCommenting on trussed up celebs isn’t usually my game but I really couldn’t resist with this years MET Gala having a Punk theme. Having a theme for any event doesn’t usually bode well and the stars out last night fell victim trying to live up to it. Unless you are at a fancy dress party don’t change your style for anyone! Let’s have a look eh…

Starting with Dame Viv and date Lily Cole, if anyone had the right to turn up in pins and rips it was Viv but of course she has been there done that. Instead she chose a sumptuous taffeta dress and cape from AW12, voluminous with a dropped waist. Pinned to her breast was a photo of Wiki-leaks’ Bradley Manning. In a sea of tits and legs it was ironically the most punk look of them all.

Lily wore a Westwood gown of course, the design the same as the iconic Olympic dress however the corset of the MET dress crafted from Amazonian wild rubber, a natural material.When I first saw this dress I wasn’t aware of it’s construction, stating on Facebook how I wished it had been made of rubber! The reason this came to mind being the colour of the dress, recalling the colour of the original rubber and latex punk clothing sold at SEX. The photo I found about just shows up the contrast of the corset and skirts.

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Both Vivienne and Lily wore Clomper shoes which I was immensely impressed with,Vivienne wore a runway version with ribbon ties and intricate embroidery. Had to LOL at the lady in blue carrying her heels down the staircase, not our Viv she can ride her bike in these baby’s.

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Christina Ricci was the only other star to wear Westwood (god knows why, not a bondage suit in sight), her McAndrew tartan gown was incredible, but I think she styled it a little off kilter. I didn’t hate her look but I think she should have worn cobweb or pvc stockings to give it a little edge.

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I think by the far the biggest mistake of the evening befell those choosing evening gloves, both Beyonce and Kim are stunning women but their Givenchy gowns swamped them.

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Katy Perry and Linda Evangelista (Marchesa) look like the went on a journey with Bill and Ted, falling out of the wrong century! I do actually like Katy’s crown and Dolce & Gabbana frock but think the shoes make it frumpy.

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Even when the gowns were that bad, so many of the girls looked like trussed up turkey, overly tanned, hair slick wit gel or stiff with spray. Many translated punk as 80s eye make up, more suited to Halloween.Julianna Moore’s quiff was just ridiculous.┬á Brit chic Cara Delevingne showed how to get it right with soft locks to balance out a smudged, smokey eye. Wanting to stand out from the crowd Jessica Biel donned a fake nose ring and Nichole Richie sported frosted hair – more Rocky Horror Show ladies.

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Ok so I can’t leave out Madonna in her Givenchy outfit, yes it is pure Punk in a costumey sense,but if I’d seen someone wearing this on any other occasion I would have given serious hearts to it. The gilt pyramid studs, the tartan, the pop or fuchsia pink heels, even the damn wig. Gah I love it, I shouldn’t but I do and I don’t know why!

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That’s not to say nodding to Punk fashion without looking like a pastiche is impossible, Miley Cyrus (Marc Jacobs), Cary Mulligan (Balenciaga), Alexa Chung (Erdem), Sienna Miller (Burberry) and Donatella Versace (Versace) all looked sleek and chic. I kind of wish Miley had slashed it across the bust, a la Courtney Love in THAT Dior dress. In fact, why they hell wasn’t Love there!!

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The safest option was to flip the V’s to the dress code theme, Rooney Mara (Givenchy), Anna Wintour (Chanel) and Gwen Stefani (Margiela) all stuck to their tried and tested styles and looked fantastic.

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Last but not least, Sarah Jessica Parker who stole the show, from faux-hawk Philip Treacy hat, Giles gown and thigh high Louboutin boot this was not a look for the feint hearted. What might have looked like over kill on anyone else, frankly looked freakin’ fabulous. She’s SJP and she can wear whatever she damn well pleases.

One thing I always wondered about the red carpet, is how celebs get their hair looking so perfect. Apparently they all wear temporary hair extensions! No wonder I could never get my thin locks to look as good. AmericanDreamExtensions.Com are UK specialists in hair extensions I’ve actually got some and have been trying them out, will show you how to in a post soon.

London Fashion Week SS13: Day 4

Filthy Hipster

On the Street

The street style at London Fashion Week just keeps on getting better and better! One thing I really enjoy about being here is getting to meet so many new designers. Just by stopping to talk to someone about their outfit you get to learn a bit about them and I’m always made up to find someone wearing their own design or supporting a designer friend.

Rhianna Philips

Mich Dulce

Jai Bist

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I also spotted this girl wearing Nova Chiu who I first saw at last season’s ‘Ones to Watch’ show and who happens to be showing tomorrow at Vauxhall Fashion Scout, really looking forward to the show.

On Me

Today I wore a random mix: Jacket, sunglasses and bag TK Maxx; Shoes and skirt Zara; Jumper Alexander Wang; Orange necklace Vivienne Westwood; Silver necklace Jimmy Choo at H&M.

On the Runway

┬áMy show of the day had to be Fashion Shenzhen, a collective of designers from China’s Guangdong province. The two designers which showcased their collection on the runway, Aum and Jixiangzhai (Mascot), both encorporated traditional Chinese dress details with modern cuts, fabric and design.

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Other designers of note today have to be Burberry and Christopher Kane, the former a metalic rainbow, the latter taking a minimal stand. That’s if Frankenstein can ever be classed as minimal!

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Burberry

Fashion Pearls of Wisdom + TK Maxx for LFW

Outfit: The Rain and Other Problems

(Wearing: Vintage Burberry trench, vintage leather boots)

Apparently it’s summer, I’m not at all convinced! What exactly are you supposed to wear when it’s chucking it down but really muggy hot? One minute it’s boiling the next you are covered in goose-pimples! Ah yes I know so British moaning about the weather but as a Northerner I do feel cheated that the only nice day of summer I’ve had was when I was in London. Just one day I got to wear a summer dress and sandals, sigh. So I’ve given up, I give up on you selfish Summer!!

Ok, ok I’m really still hoping we will be blessed with an Indian Summer, at least when I am in London for Fashion Week because there are beautiful things hanging in my wardrobe which desperately need an outing. First and foremost this Elie Tahari beige suede jacket, oh yes BEIGE SUEDE, I know what kind of crazy buys such a high maintenance jacket, but look at it!! It’s got more tassels than an 80’s table lamp how could I resist? Who care’s if I an only wear it one a mildly warm and extra dry day, I freaking LOVE IT! It was one of those things where I saw it, touched it, tried it on, pretended not to see the price tag and ran to the check out, hugging the carrier bag all the way home, where I promptly spent the evening dancing around in front of my mirror it it! I’m thinking since it’s short sleeves now might be the time to admit weather defeat and try wearing it underneath anther coat like my trench. What I think will be perfect with this jacket are the Missoni shoes I got ages ago, oh yeah equally as impractical in multicolored crochet but oh so pretty!

Jacket Elie Tahari from TK Maxx, Shoes Missoni from Spartoo

You see the real problem I have is buying and wearing practical clothes. The above outfit for example, sure it follows all the ‘rules’ of classic, chic style. I am forever being told that a trench and tall leather boots are on the ‘ten items every woman should own’ list and all that but OMG I FEEL SO PLAIN!! Sorry I know, I know I should be embracing the stylist mantra but I really, really struggle to wear an outfit like that. Same goes for blue jeans and a white t-shirt, yes it is an easy base for an outfit, yes you can dress it up with shoes and jewellery but it just doesn’t feel right for me. Sometimes I flip through the pages of Vogue and see all the cool French fashion editors in their jeans and Breton tops and look at myself in the mirror and feel like a bit of an overdressed Peacock. Yet for some reason I just feel more comfortable rolling around in a vat of Vivienne Westwood. I find it quicker and easier to get dressed in some insane Westwood outfit in a rush in the morning that I do in a plain t-shirt and jeans. It doesn’t make much sense I know, in theory it should be the exact opposite. So yeah I could probably throw on the the Tahari jacket and Missoni shoes with a white tee and blue jeans, it would look great but it wouldn’t look like me. I could wear them with a little black dress and say the same but there is some tiny fashion-crazy inside my head screaming AZURE BLUE DRESS!

I think perhaps the problem I have with simple, classic, call-them-what-you-will, clothes is that you can’t really hide behind them. When you wear a plain white t-shirt you don’t really notice it, as opposed to when you wear one with a crazy print or slogan blazoned across the front. I guess I feel more ‘naked’ wearing something simple than I do wrapped up in some fantastical, OTT fashion, more vulnerable. My clothes are my armor. They also offer a form of escapism, you can be Dorothy of Oz in a red pair of heels or even the Wicked Witch in a long black gown. Life is more fun if you get dressed up. Clothes can be comforting too, I am sat writing this now in an appalling dark grey hoodie, yet it is fleecy soft inside, I can pull up the hood and snuggle into it, it is almost like wearing a hug. It is my ‘ill hoodie’, it just makes me feel that tiny bit better, comforted and secure as my body acts like a total jerk.

Thank you to everyone asking how I am doing on my new medication, it is too soon to say if it is having any positive effects and so far only minimal side-effects, however this week I have been plagued by so far unexplained muscle-cramps (like when you pull a muscle in sport but it doesn’t go away after hopping up and down for 5 minutes). So that has slowed me down a bit this week and involved the dreaded hospital but other that I’m ok.

Enjoy the Bank Holiday!

Do you have any strange fashion habits? Are you a simple or pile it all on kinda person?

Outfit: How To Look Ten Feet Tall

(Wearing: vintage Burberry trench, vintage boots and necklace; F+F top and maxi skirt)

There are so many fashion myths it dives me mad, stripes make you look wide, no white after Labour day and maxi dresses will make you look short. So here you go, let me break that last one for you, I’m 5.2″, in fact the first thing people always say to me after meeting me for the first time having only seen me on my blog, is wow you are tiny! Contrary to popular opinion I actually think maxi’s can make you look taller, the higher the waist the more elongating the effect too. Just be sure the hem hits the floor and doesn’t bundle up as if it looks too long this can have a shortening effect.

This outfit is actually from F+F, you might remember the ‘Alternate outfit post‘ I created using their fun virtual dressing room. It’s always nice to try something totally different to what you would usually wear , maxi’s are certainly not what I go for but I really like this look. I can’t imagine ever wearing it was flat sandals in that summery way but with boots it works for me.

I’ve had these boots for many years, originally from the 70’s but totally timeless in style. The are Italian leather in a rich conker brown, with a nice black stud detail on the ankle. I remember when I got them they weren’t ones I could wear every day as the heel was so high!┬á How things change, pulling them on for the first time in at least two years, the heel is now what I would call low and wear to run around daily in. Practice makes perfect I guess, although I still can’t get used to my 120mm Louboutin’s no matter how many hours I spend tottering around my house in them. I got the boots off eBay, they were about ┬ú30 I think it was a very long time ago. The quality is outstanding, to get something similar today you would have to fork out for designer. Unfortunately the lining is starting to wither and as I found out with another beloved pair of vintage boots there is nowhere who offers boot relining any more. Isn’t that really sad, that something you really like can’t┬á be fixed, that there is no call for such a service in this throw away world. I had a wonderful pair of grey Bally boots, I took them to three different cobblers to try and get them relined to no avail. It pained me to put them in the recycling. Let’s hope I can get a few more years out of these beauties.

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Outfit: Casual, For Me Anyway

Wearing: Vivienne Westwood Gold Label jumper and boots, Red Label velvet shorts, vintage Burberry trench, Wishing Moon bracelet.

Sick of the sight of this jumper yet? It is my go to item lately, plus these velvet shorts. I’m all about the warm and comfy right now. Giving my new Bag boots their first proper outing too. Not much else to report on this dreary day, although my decorating is nearly done – well the one room anyway, seems like it’s been going on forever. Will get some photo’s uploaded, I’ve been doing a step by step on my Blackberry. I’m not usually an interior’s person but the Tesco Direct has been my Vogue lately – must be getting old!

Outfit: Summer Staple

Wearing: Zara tousers and clutch, LK Bennett shoes and All Saints sunglasses both from TK Maxx, vintage Burberry trench, old jumper, vintage necklace, Primark socks, Chanel Nouvelle vague nail colour.

Showing off more of my recent Zara haul these trousers and going to be my summer staple. Lawrence took these photo’s for me whilst we were lurking around in a stinky old alley like really pro bloggers! Thank you to everyone for your lovely comments on my last post, that really means a lot to me. You will be glad to know the hives have calmed down and I hope to get my decorating going this weekend. So far I have white-washed my pine bookcase and chest of draws, parted with my huge desk and moved around my bed. Small things which have made a huge difference. I have also had a major clear out. I dropped off some stuff at Cancer Research and as I was there a rather large transit van turned up filled to the roof with donations from TK Maxx’s ‘Give up Clothes for Good‘ campaign, I am made up it is going so well. There are quite a few different charity shops in the next town to me so I always divvy up my wares to each of them. They don’t just need donations but volunteers too, I have my behind the scenes at Oxfam to share with you soon. I am really enjoying sprucing up my bedroom but I have to say my favourite thing is my new clothes rail, simple pleasures I know! Once everything is back in place maybe I can give you a tour of my closet.

Outfit: Ticket To Ride

Wearing: vintage 1960’s dress, vintage Burberry trench, Primark shoes and tights, JumpFromPaper bag, River Island earrings.

Many things inspired this post, after collecting a few things separately they all came to together and resulted in this. It is strange wearing a wig, when you don’t recognise yourself in the mirror, you can become a character. I didn’t wear the wig to go out in and without it the outfit looked quite normal but I thought it was fun. If I had thicker hair I would totally go for a bob, as for the pink I would love my hair in a washed out colour, neon is a bit much even for me. In this outfit I felt like a Mod. Stood waiting for something, perhaps a get-away car? Waiting and waiting, until deciding to make a dash for it!

The Body Shop make-up look and JumpFromPaper bag are something pretty special I want to talk about in more detail and will do so in separate posts.

The Burberry Trench: a history & a rather good buy

I love my Burberry trench!

I have wanted a Burberry trench coat for what seams like forever. I have had many trench coats in the past but always hankered after a Burberry one. I just loved the history of it and the assurance that this would be a coat to last a life time. I was also very particular in the exact features I wanted the coat to have, after experiencing not so perfect trenches. My trench needed to be the soft tan colour and not the lighter beige, long past my knees, fitted, especially on the shoulders, but with room for a light sweater under, with check lining. I had long given up on trying to find a vintage one, as many had 80’s shoulders, which really wasn’t what I wanted. I would always check ones glimpsed in vintage shops but again never found the right one, many are in such bad condition too. I decided to stop looking at vintage and save up for a modern one, when I found this by chance!!
The trench coat was born after Thomas Burberry in 1914 was commissioned by the War Office to adapt the standard officers coat, making it more suitable for all weather conditions. After the war ended many officers kept their coats, as they were so well made and practical sparking an interest in the coats from civilians. The trench coats were made from a special fabric created by Thomas Burberry called Gabardine, wool treated chemically to repel rain. Gabardine is also tear proof, virtually uncreasable, and still remains breathable for comfort. The term ‘trench’ coat comes from the coat being worn in the trenches of WW1 to keep the soldiers as dry and comfortable as possible.
Many of the original features of the WW1 trench coat are retained in the modern coats produced today. Such as the double breast with 4 (later 10) buttons, the gun flap on the shoulder was to add reinforcement, straps on the sleeves to keep the rain out, slotted pockets, adaptable collar with strap and the waist belt with D rings to attach paraphernalia such as grenades in the war and later game when hunting.
Audrey Hepburn tests out the trench’s waterproof qualities
The coats were first lined in wool with the Novacheck being introduced in 1924.
Check out my lining! Also wearing Vivienne Westwood erm everything
The Novacheck is one of Burberry’s most recognisable brand features however in the UK the print become associated with everything as far away from traditional Burberry as you can imagine. During the 90s the check became the notorious ‘look’ of the chavs (i.e hoodlums, football hooligans, general unclassy trouble causers). Burberry actually laugh this off, mainly due to the fact the items the chavs were wearing were not in fact Burberry but counterfeits or look-a-likes.
Daniella Westbrook a la Chav
With the appointment of Christopher Baily as creative director in 2001 (chief creative director since 2009) and a new advertising campaign featuring top models such as Kate Moss and actresses like Emma Watson, the brand has certainly shook off any bad image. With live streaming of the runway shows, and innovative instant shopping from the runway Burberry is at the forefront of cutting edge fashion.
However the great British brand dealt its country a blow with the closure of its Treorchy factory in 2007. Saying the factory was no longer financially viable and moving production to China and Hong Kong – despite announcing a 22% rise in profits earlier in the year. This meant that 310 jobs were lost. To me one of the beautiful things about the brand is it history, originating in Britain and built up over the years. I love to buy clothes with a heritage, it is part of the allure. So I fully support the petition to remove Burberry’s royal warrant if they move any more jobs off shore.
In fact the whole ‘Made in’ topic is something I want to discuss further in another post. Anyway this was one of the reasons I wanted a vintage trench, made in Britain not cut in China, assembled in Hong Kong and just a few buttons sewn on in Britain! I have to admit I was a bit disappointed to see my boots I had bought from Burberry last year were stamped ‘made in Italy’.
But anyway, I have my trench and am damn well pleased with it!
Pearl