Trends: Style for Any Season

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‘Forever piece’ has been a bit of a buzz word recently but there really are those perfect items in your wardrobe which you can wear for years to come. The best ones are those which you can wear during any season. I’ve had a pair of faux-leather skinny trousers for years – my variation on skinny jeans and they can work just as well with a summer t-shirt as an oversized wooly jumper. I really like the idea of wearing them with a pretty smock top and raffia bag, such as these by Heidi Klein, transforming traditionally summer items into a great autumn look. Getting year-round mileage from my clothes I would usually reserve for summer. Just add a fabulous statement jacket, you can choose anything from a wild fringe jacket like this one from Tim Ryan to an old vintage denim jacket. Adding a pop of colour with a huge bauble necklace, you can go designer or high street as every store has a wide variety at the moment. To finish off add a fabulous shoe. I really love a great ankle boot in an unusual fabric choice such as velvet or lace, these stunning boots from Bionda Castana have been on my wish list for ages. I think a real poster girl for this type of look is Kate Moss. She has an effortless, timeless style and the key to it is simple basics dressed up with fabulous jackets, bags and boots. Kate changes up her look easily just by switching a tailored white blazer for day with a velvet draped jacket for evening. I have always changed over my summer and winter clothes with the season but I really want to try and take away the labels I have given pieces and style them up in different ways. Ok so I won’t be wearing my bikini for Xmas dinner or sunbathing in my faux-fur coat but everything else is fair game!

PFW SS14: Vivienne Westwood Gold Label

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‘Everything is Connected’ SS14

New Vivienne Westwood Gold Label collection, new shopping list for me! Eagle eyes aside, our Viv had an important message for the collection:

I am going to call the show ÔÇ£Everything is connectedÔÇØ because that is the main message of the Climate Revolution and it means that everything each one of us thinks or says or does can make a difference.
Shakespeare saw the disaster we were heading for. In the quotation below itÔÇÖs useful to know that glass means mirror, the picture it gives us is of man holding up his own image to challenge God.

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But man, proud man,
Drest in a little brief authority-
Most ignorant of what he is most assurÔÇÖd.
His glassy essence- like an angry ape,
Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven
As make the angels weep.
-Shakespeare

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Now that our World is at the chaos point I want to know more about the order of the medieval community. My interest in these people deepens. A couple of years ago I went with Andreas to Canterbury. There was a service in the cathedral and we werenÔÇÖt allowed in to the splendor of the nave and alter. IÔÇÖm so glad because instead we gained another experience; we explored the cloisters and vaults within the environs of the building and I felt all along that I was wandering in the presence of ordinary people who lived in a different world to mine and I thought of the specialists- the alchemists of those days who aspired to become more spirit than flesh because they believed in a divine order of things.
Our medieval pilgrims on their journey must be austere, serious and festive each wearing her most important clothes.’

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The collection was an array of classics, the box jackets from SS13 were back, as were the wonderful Tudor cut corset jackets from AW13. I was overjoyed to see the blown-up lace from SS07 reinterpreted in beading and over-dyed printing, with lashings of tulle. There were corsets, capes and voluminous skirts, pieces which Westwood does best, in a light and breezy summer manner. By reminding us of collections past, Vivienne reiterated the message that everything is indeed connected.

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My personal favourite looks were the tartan jacket with lime green lace skirt and the baby pink peephole skirt with hooded white cape. What I wouldn’t give for one of the oversized lace jackets, but I would be surprised to see them realised for retail – one can live in hope. The cute vintage kitten prints were a fun touch as were the floral patch work pieces. Andreas’ favourites are the gossamer knits, which had a feeling of those from SS10. I have to agree I do love a summer knit:

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“P.S Dear clothes lover,
┬áThis season I would like to draw your attention especially to the knitwear. I am very fond of it, and if I were a girl, for sure it would be my absolute must have. Their fine netty yarns and burnt colours are perfect to show off your sun-kissed ÔÇ£super body!ÔÇØ When you wear them itÔÇÖs just like being naked- they will be a great friend on my next holiday. Most pieces are enhanced with recycled mirrored sunglass lenses cut into special shapes and motifs. Again, I can so very much imagine the sun reflecting on them and causing quite a stir at the beach bar. I love VivienneÔÇÖs sense for yarns and what she does with them- Thanks darling.

Your Andreas x”

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I’m still not enamored with the new shoe manufacturer. I very much like the pointed toe lace up boots we first saw last season in cherry red suede and again here in snow white. The rest I fear are a bit too ‘trendy’ for Westwood, the T-Bar style too similar to that Jessica Simpson / Jeffery Campbell shoe of the past few years. I rather like the gladiator sandals, I think these would be perfect for the summer and can see myself wearing them. I also think the red leopard print was a missed opportunity. Why not use the classic bright pink leopard print the brand is famous for? The fans would have gone wild for it and it would have tied in wonderfully with such a collection full of archive references.

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Carrie knows the pleasures of bright pink Vivienne Westwood leo print!

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(Images via Style.com / HBO)

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

Trends Style for Summer on the Beach

Update your style for summer by introducing some of this season’s hottest trends into your wardrobe just in time for your summer holiday.

If you are fed up of wearing the same old styles and outfit combinations year in-year out, then why not liven up your wardrobe with some catwalk inspired key pieces that will give your usual holiday attire an instant make-over.

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Alexa loves a playsuit, vintage shops like Cow and ASOS Market Place always have a good stock

When those in the know are packing for their holiday, first on the list is always a playsuit. Not only are they super practical, but they are current and come in an array of designs that are inspired by the key summer trends. Whether you are looking for something for the evening or just to throw on at the beach, look out for playsuits that incorporate graphic prints, 60’s inspired designs or white edgy cuts to hold your own amongst the best dressed on your holiday resort. I have a vintage denim one which is my summer staple for lounging around in and a silk nautical print one from Stella McCartney for sipping cocktails in.

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‘Roman’ maxi dress from BonPrix.co.uk ┬ú29.99

Next, always pack at least two maxi dresses like these from Bon Prix.com. These are fantastic for taking you from beach to bar with the simple addition of chunky jewellery, a headscarf or wedge sandal. They are also practical for space saving and for keeping you cool and breezy in that summer heat. I have my eye on this one in bold red with pretty waist ties to give it some shape.

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Vivienne Westwood does the perfect dresses for every occasion, shop online at viviennewestwood.com

And when you have finally got yourself a bit of a tan, you simply must let those pins get some fresh air. Look out for the perfect little summer dress that is elegant, stylish and shows off your best bits for that sunset walk on the beach or dancing with the locals. Again, graphic prints would look fab, but also look out for edgy florals, fluros, brilliant whites or candy stripes to really heat up your summer wardrobe.

Sure, you can still get away with the odd shorts and t-shirt combo this year, but why not add some summer style to your holiday wardrobe!

(Image credits: Fabsugar.com, Posh24.com, BonPrix.com, TheStreetMuse.it)

Trends: Inspire me ÔÇô surprising summer style

┬áEven if youÔÇÖre a hardened shopper, there can be times when you feel completely uninspired. Dresses too short, tops too long, trousers too skinny, shoes too high ÔÇô nothing you look at quite fits the bill. Possibly the worst time to go shopping is when youÔÇÖre lacking inspiration ÔÇô either youÔÇÖll come home feeling down, or youÔÇÖll buy something for the sake of it, and never even take it off the hanger.

So, if youÔÇÖre looking for inspiration this summer, take a look at some of the key trends and styles and think about how you can use them to your advantage. A few simple purchases could make all the difference to your wardrobe, fill you with inspiration and let you get on with summer unencumbered by doubts and bad decisions.

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Hilary Alexander works neon in a subtle way buy incorporating it into a print

Acid and neon colours are all over the place this summer. This is a look that really needs to work with your skin tone, or youÔÇÖll end up looking peaky and washed out. If your skin can take it, go for a fantastic dress that will help you stand out from all those whites and blues, and accessorise with subtlety so that the dress does all the talking. If youÔÇÖre worried about the effect this bold tone will have on your skin, get your hands on accessories that help you to pull this look off and still look fantastic ÔÇô thereÔÇÖs plenty of brightly coloured, shoes, bags, belts, jewellery and scarves in the shops, so you shouldnÔÇÖt have any problem finding something that works for you.

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Anna Wintour is a huge fan of the monochrome trend

If this really is a bit much for you, itÔÇÖs worth looking at the other key trend of the summer season ÔÇô monochrome. Easy to wear and easy to put together, black and white statement clothing makes you look sleek and stylish with very little effort. If youÔÇÖre brave, you can go for geometric patterning, which will turn heads wherever you are, but if youÔÇÖre preference is for something a little more classic, then why not pair cool white linen trousers from Cotton Traders with a monochrome patterned blouse and a black jacket? Or indulge in a pure white dress and accessorise with black shoes, a skinny black belt and an oversized black sunhat. Perfect.

You can find inspiration from online stores, high street window displays, fashion hints and tips or just from observing how other people are putting their summer style together. Get back out to the shops, buy a couple of key pieces and youÔÇÖll be laughing.

(Image credits: zimbio.com, glamour.com)

Trends: Look stylish on the beach this spring/summer

Look stylish on the beach this spring/summer ÔÇô opt for cool, simple separates

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ItÔÇÖs almost the peak summer season and understandably youÔÇÖre fretting about what is going to make you look glam on the beach. It feels like forever since youÔÇÖve worn your ladies swimwear and now youÔÇÖre thinking of the best way to feel beach confident. DonÔÇÖt feel like you have to bare all when on the beach, La Redoute can show you how simple separates can make you feel confident, yet beach ready.

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Possibly the number one beach essential you need ÔÇô apart from a swimsuit ÔÇô is a kaftan or tunic. When heading for a quick bite to eat after swimming in the pool or sea, the last thing you want to do is go back to the hotel and completely change. A loose fitting, lengthy kaftan, tunic or maxi dress is perfect for throwing over swimwear when youÔÇÖve dried off. These can come in a range of styles and patterns too so they can achieve a range of looks. Embellished and sequin designs can be thrown on for an evening where you need not be uber glamourous. Even though a kaftan or tunic is semi casual, the patterns and added extras ensures that you will look ready for your evening out. Cotton kaftans and tunics look great in the day when shopping and lunch on the go is on the agenda. The cool cotton material guarantees that you will keep cool in the summer heat. If you feel uncomfortable simple wearing a long tunic or kaftan, opt for shorter styles and wear with linen shorts.

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If you are simply lounging around the pool on your holiday, a loose slash neck t shirt teamed with denim shorts are perfect summer separates to cover up when the sun dips behind the clouds. These items create a laid back bohemian feel, especially when teamed with chunky jewellery, feather earrings and a headband. Add gladiator sandals to complete the look.

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For the evening, step away from the long dresses you always wear and instead opt for cool, simple separates. In order to stand out from the crowd, team crisp linen trousers with a bright top in a jewel or coral tone. Add wedges to add height and oversized jewelled earrings to add glamour. If you would prefer a sleeker silhouette, tuck a simple vest top into your linen pants for a streamlined effect. In this instance, navy works well with white linen trousers. Add an oversized sun hat for Riviera chic. For a sailor chick look, add a striped Breton top.

These separates can be interchanged and incorporated into different outfits and this is ideal for those who have limited packing space. The tunic you can just throw on after the pool can be teamed with the denim shorts mentioned earlier to create an evening look and the linen trousers can be worn with a strappy top during the day if the weather dips.

(Images – 1. Vogue.com, 2, 3, 4 laredoute.co.uk)

Outfit: Squiggle Pirate Scarf

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Wearing: Vivienne Westwood – Worlds End Squiggle Sash, Composite Jersey Square t-shirt (Personally I think that’s a lame name so I’ve been referring to it as the New Propaganda Tee), Anglomania Skirt, Gold Orb belt, Accessories Label Brocade Squiggle 3-Strap court shoes; Agent Provocateur socks.

Finally a proper outfit post, I know, I know. I just don’t think I have been wearing anything of particular interest lately with the rotten weather. I mean how many photos of my coat do people really want to see! It has been a lovely, bright Bank Holiday weekend so I took the chance to snap some photos. The tee and scarf are new it at Worlds End, I had chance to pay an ultra quick visit whilst working in London last week. This is the yellow and red sash / scarf, they also do duck egg blue with gold squiggle (scroll on down for a piccie). The square t-shirt has one of the best prints I have ever seen, it is a composite of many popular Westwood prints which have appeared over the years including Blow Me Up and Liberty. They are all different depending on where the cloth was cut. I don’t think either of these items will be around for long so I would get Worlds End on the blower ASAP if you are interested. I have more photo’s of both items over on my Instagram @SuperElevated.

I am feeling pretty bummed about this skirt, it’s been my ‘go-to’ easy item for the past few years, but now its gotten a bit stretched out and last time I wore it the hem totally fell down. In a rush I used iron on bonding web to stick it back up, as you can see it was a bit of a botch job. So I am now on the look out for a replacement. I do have a fab Iceberg one but it is very tight and calf length, making it a true wiggle skirt and a bit difficult to walk in, but it looks damn good with heels!

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Sneaky peek at Worlds End

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