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

Exhibition: My Favourite Shoe, Westfield London

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My Favourite Shoe

Have you ever wondered what inspires designers in creating their new collections? Ever wondered which shoes of their own design have a special place in the designers hearts? Or even what their work spaces look like?

The ‘My Favourite Shoe’ exhibition currently at Westfield, Shepard’s Bush, London (due to tour soon), delves into the designers psyche. Asking popular designers Camilla Skovgaard, Joanne Stoker, Mr Hare, Sophie Cox and Atlanta Weller what their design process involves and how they come up with such unique ideas. The Shoe Collection at Northampton Museums & Gallery (NMAG) is home to the largest archive of shoes in the world, naturally it is a place of inspiration to designers and students. In the exhibition curated as part of the museums ‘Cinderella Syndrome project- Displaying shoes in museums‘, each designer has chosen a shoe from the NMAG archive along side one from their own collections to illustrate their favourite shoes.

Situated in the luxe The Village in the shopping plaza the monolithic display cases, designed to resemble the designers desks, stand proud and eye catching. Peer inside and discover shoes from the most sculptural to the most comfortable! Read the designer bio’s and interviews and even take part in the ‘photo booth’ where you can record a snap of your own favourite shoes. A fascinating and fun exhibition, but be quick as it is only there 11-29th September.

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For full information visit the Westfield website “‘NMAG presents My Favourite Shoe’

and the “NMAG information page.

LFW SS14: Vivienne Westwood Red Label Show Review – Lily and the Red Shoes

Your home is your refuge, the place you feel safe

Vivienne’s idea for the show was to find a way to promote awareness from climate refugees. She gives a quote in the show notes ‘Anyone who gets home late from work and finds she’s forgotten the key. What a disaster! My home is my refuge.’ It is a poignant thought, I like most people have found myself locked out on numerous occasions and it does strike a fear into you, a feeling of disparagement, being lost, a situation you cannot control. Even more so if you have ever been burgled, that feeling of your home being violated, spoiled, no longer safe. Keys can be found, even broken windows and stolen possessions replaced however than feeling of loss will always remain. It is unimaginable how it must feel to not only loose your own house but the place where you live too, the neighborhood you have always known, that feeling of belonging.

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Lily and the Red Shoes

She danced, and was obliged to go on dancing through the dark night. The shoes bore her away over thorns and stumps till she was all torn and bleeding; she danced away over the heath to a lonely little house. Here, she knew, lived the executioner; and she tapped with her finger at the window and said: “Come out, come out! I cannot come in, for I must dance” The Red Shoes, Hans Christian Anderson

Vivienne and Andreas chose to collaborate with close friend Lily Cole who produced and performed an interpretive dance to open the show. The dance was an expression of The Red Shoes by Hans Christian Anderson, the message ‘The dance of death must end’. People world over are left without homes due to climate change disasters, us, the models in the show, we all have our homes to go to tonight, we should help those who do not.

The models faces were painted to look like animals caught in the headlights, trapped in a hostile environment with no means of escape. Stark white faces covered with ash and blood, nails broken from scrabbling to flee, hair wild flowing out behind them. I was reminded of polar bears and badgers, both animals being driven out of their homes by the greed of man. You can see Lily’s dance in the middle of this video:

The Concept and the Collection

For those of you who don’t know the Red Label collection is a diffusion line of the main Gold Label collection which is shown in Paris. The line isn’t directly designed by Vivienne but uses her established techniques to create a more wearable, mainstream range. When you see Red label hanging in stores you see tartan suits, pretty dresses and smart blouses, the effects on the runway are mostly down to clever, trademark Westwood styling. This wasn’t all straight-laced clothes however metaphors with Vivienne’s message were there to be seen. The Gold Label collection I was first reminded of was the S/S 200 ‘Summertime’ collection. An important collection and something of a turning point for Westwood, this collection saw the introduction of the Animal toe shoes, it was an English rose garden of fresh, romantic florals and a handful of tiny, very realistic little insects. A prominent piece were the snail’s used on dresses and in jewellery, metal cast around real snail shells. In this S/S14 Red Label collection the snails returned on necklaces and bracelets, whilst luscious, green florals were there giving abstract prints. Oversized flower corsages were used to add a sense of drama, they represented the giant tropical flowers of the rain forest, flowers of the world brought together. Animals, insects, flowers and people all part of the same world. The snail carries his home on his back, without it he is vulnerable, naked, at risk. Protective chain-mail was draped around models in a trench coat and trousers – paired with a t-shirt and shorts and office shirt and blazer respectively, we need to feel protected in every environment.

It was a small collection 22 looks, the usual is around 50, with this seasons A/W13 only totaling 30. After the somewhat schizophrenic S/S13 collection and the change to Peron from MEG producing the Accessories label shoes there has been some debate as to where the label is heading. This collection though stripped back did have classic elements of Westwood design which she is revered for, the beautiful drape fronted suit (look 3) and the elastic trimmed top (look 13) wouldn’t have looked out of place in a Gold Label collection. The floral printed, sequin drape dresses were beautiful and should sell well. The neon orange heart printed pieces looked out of place overly trend conscious ideas carried over from last S/S. The real stand out feature of the show were the abstract flower corsages in richly coloured satin, embellishing the waist of a black dress, the lapel of a blazer and shoulder of a gown. I really do hope we will see this element realised for retail and that it wasn’t just dressed for the show. Other commercial pieces were the squiggle print satchels and wrap bracelets, squiggle has been a license to print money since it was first used, I just hope it is kept to a minimum there can be too much of a good thing. I still have mixed feelings about the Peron shoes, I really was impressed to see the famous ‘Carrie Bradshaw’ multi-strapped sandals again and the little ragged patchwork ankle boots were fantastic. I can take or leave the basic flat leather sandals and flat pointed pumps, they didn’t signify anything special about Westwood to me. All in all it was a collection which has me very much looking foward to seeing the pieces produced for retail next year, clashing blue pinstripe with florals and little pixie boots with huge corsages is very Westwood indeed.

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Lily’s footsteps…

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LFW SS14: Ready to Roll

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It’s that time of year again, London Fashion Week for the Spring /┬á Summer 2014 collections. Seeing what we will be wearing next summer just as autumn hits here! The weather forecast isn’t looking promising but lets hope it holds off as sensible shoes weren’t made for LFW! My gold glitter boots were from TK Maxx, they are a similar shape to the Ash Spiral – I know a few bloggers have done glitter DIY’s on plain boots. If you like the look of glitter but don’t want a full on, in your face look. Try a glitter heel like the Clarks Sarong Curtain sandals.

Stay tuned for all the show highlights and street style, here we go x

London in the Sun

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Visiting Worlds End, all decked out in Vivienne Westwood! Christine wears Dr Marten’s from the Agyness Dyne collection with the extra thick soles, I heart the velvet version so amazing!

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Magnificent Pompadour in Fortnum & Mason 

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The intricate gates at Buckingham Palace

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Burgers at Bluebird

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Battersea boats

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Couture at Vivienne Westwood

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Lunch on the Queen’s lawn

We took to London to enjoy the last of the summer, two days of relaxing and fun. I’ve never done the tourist route before so we took the chance to go to Buckingham Palace for the Jubilee exhibition, absolutely magnificent workmanship on all the garments especially the Queen’s coronation gown. We hit the shops of course to Vivienne Westwood and along Bond St, I had to marvel at the Tom Ford boutique utter perfection in ever way. Lunch at Bluebird and drinks in Soho with friends was the perfect way to end the summer. Back home there is a chill on the air and I am left wondering what London will be like next week as I head back down for Fashion Week. Don’t know about you but I do feel that autumn excitement creeping in, much as I love summer I do like to snuggle up in huge knits and light the fire.

Event Invite: Bill Cunningham Street Style Film Screening and Q&A, London 12/6/13

Ultra Vie presents Bill Cunningham Private Screening, Soho Business Club, 12th June 2012 6pm-9pm

You are invited to join me at a private screening of the cult documentary film ‘Bill Cunningham, New York’ which delves into the life of the first street style photographer. After the sceening there will be a Q&A session with fashion experts and a networking reception.

The film sheds light on Bill’s life as an artist and his exploration of the way people dress through photography. The event will welcome an exclusive audience from the fashion industry, with a focus on fashion blogging, offering a unique networking experience. The Q&A will see a panel of street fashion professionals, whose specialties range from writing to photography, including Dan Stern from Street Fashion Monitor, Pearl Westwood from Fashion Pearls of Wisdom and Vogue photographer Dvora Lan from Fashionistable.

“I said many times that we all get dressed up for Bill. He has been documenting me since I was a kid, one snap, two snaps, or he ignores you… which is death.” Anna Wintour, Vogue editor-in-cheif

Guests will enjoy the screening in the heart of London in Soho, with flavoured gourmet pop-corn from Proper Corn and refreshing drinks supplied by Peroni.

Tickets are available at £25, reserve your place at http://www.ultravie.co.uk/Bill_Cunningham_Private_Screening_and_Q_A

(just use your email to sign into the Ultra Vie website and receive free membership)

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Bill Cunningham Private Screening and Q&A

Wednesday 12th June 2013: 6-9pm
5.45-6pm: Arrival at Soho Business Club
6-7.20: Private Screening
7.30-8pm: Q&A
8-8.30pm: Networking Reception

Drinks sponsored by Peroni
Popcorn sponsored by Propercorn

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!

PicMonkey Collage

 

LW AW13: Day 2

The Shows

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Antipodium

The most incredible colours and textures, next season it will be velvet boots with everything!

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Dans la Vie

The prints, the prints always the most incredible prints! This season was no different with a serpent feel.

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Orla Kiely

I joined the Bobbi Brown team backstage again, huge thanks to Irene, today at Orla Kiely. The look was a chic but laid back Bardot, smokey eye and subtle shimmer lip.

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The show it’s self had a sexy-secretary cheeky nudge to it, one thing Kiely never fails to offer is a beautifully thought out show set. She put the girls to work 9-5, although in the most stylishly dressed office I have ever seen!

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Bolzoni & Walsh

Tough biker girls, smouldering insouciantly in velvet and leathers, luxury basics at their best.

Street Style

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A beautiful array of pretty prints and bold colours, enjoy!

What Pearl Wore

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Keeping with the knitwear theme I wore Vivienne Westwood again, I also had these beautiful vintage sunglasses from TK Maxx for when the sun decided to put in an appearance! I was wearing my Comic Relief t-shirt although it was a bit to chilly to show it off.

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Fashion Pearls of Wisdom + TK Maxx for LFW

LFW AW13: Day 1

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Street style trend of the day was snug knitwear and cosy hats – shame the sun came out and everyone was boiling!

Celeb Spotting

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The beautiful Kate Nash took her place on the front row at many shows today, she is always ready with a lovely smile. Strutting around the court yard were Made in Chelsea’s Lucy Watson, Mark-Frances Vandelli Orlov-Romanovsky and Victoria Baker-Harber.

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Due to insane weather confusion – S/S in the shops, snowing in Manchester and sunny in London packing for LFW was a bit of a fail! I ended up leaving behind all the gorgeous light and breezy clothes I originally had marked for LFW and stuffing heavy coats and knits into my cases (yes plural). Then spent the entire day being far to hot and wishing for snow, never can win! Luckily I had packed these amazing sunglasses from TK Maxx, they remind me of beetle wings. The rest of my outfit was Vivienne Westwood and my gorgeous Rianna Phillips clutch.

My make up is all Bobbi Brown, who I had the pleasure of joining back stage too…

The Shows

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Saving the best for last here are my two personal favourite shows of the day, up first was Bora Aksu (first two images). A Gothic-romance of 1920’s skull cap style head wear and floaty dresses, cinched in with intricate corsets. The chiffon capes were otherworldly, I look forward to writing the full review. Next Jena.Theo, a more personal presentation where I got to go backstage with the Bobbi Brown team. The make up look was fresh and dewy with a pop of reddy-pink lipstick to match the footwear of course! The nails were an amazing contrast of black leather-effect polish and bright orange and pink neon. This all made sense when the collection was revealed, a bright and cheerful array of smiley face emblazoned over-sized jumper dresses and striking broken graphic prints in black, orange, yellow and pink. You can also see Irene’s nails from the Bobbi Brown team, she has a version of the mani I showed on my blog last post but shaped the tips into more of a heart shape for Valentines day, cute right!

More tomorrow and don’t forget to pick up The Sunday Telegraph for the Stella magazine this Sunday 😉

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 Fashion Pearls of Wisdom + TK Maxx for LFW

Vivienne Westwood Conduit St Mini Exhibition

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The amazing climate revolution outfit Vivienne Westwood wore to the Paralympics closing ceremony and in her following Red Label show is now on display in the Conduit Street, London store along with two installations in the windows by artist Joe Rush. I did ask Emu san if I could try this on and run around the shop but she didn’t take me on. World’s End also has some amazing new climate revolution t-shirts on sale FYI. The rest of Vivienne’s outfit includes the Climate Revolution t-shirt, boxer shorts with tights over the top, large skeleton necklace, slouchy socks and the Clomper platform sandal shoes.

14 February 2013. Vivienne Westwood and London Born artist Joe Rush join together their talent, their indignations and their combativeness in an artistic and political process whose war cry is: Climate Revolution!

Just ahead of London Fashion Week, Vivienne WestwoodÔÇÖs 44 Conduit store window reveals an installation created by artist Joe Rush. The revolutionary sculptures made from recycled metal and found objects are featured alongside placards, alerting passersby to join the Climate Revolution.

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