Whats on – Exhibition: Sneaking Into Fashion

 


If you are in London any time this week I recommend you go down to Convent Garden to check out the Sneaking into Fashion exhibition. Curated by Tory Turk this exhibition delves into the role of the trainer in pop-culture. Featuring many famous designs from Adidas to Vivienne Westwood, a must see.
I will be going down next week and I can let you in on a secret – there will be vintage Vivienne Westwood shoes. You might recognise the Westwood Tracey trainers above? Yep they are mine which I have loaned for the exhibition, so go say hi.

Outfit: Birthday Girl!

Wearing: Vivienne Westwood Anglomania coat gift from parents,VW necklace gift from Chris, VW Gold Label kilt, VW Gold Label red t-bar shoes, VW Derby handbag;  Primark jumper; Stag brooch gift from Florrie

Just a quick one to show you what I wore for a fabulous Birthday ‘High Tea’ with fabulous friends. Wearing my bright red coat I got for my Birthday present, I feel like Little Red Riding hood! Lots more celebrating to be had, thank you all for the good wishes xxx

How to Buy Vivienne Westwood & Other Designer’s on the Cheap

(Wearing: All Vivienne Westwood – Red Label shirt, shorts, blazer; Gold Label ‘T-Bar shoes)

As I am sure you all already know I am a huge fan of Vivienne Westwood, let’s face it you can’t really get clothes any more unique than Viv. The thing is fancy clothes come with a hefty price tag and whilst I’m perfectly happy to spend my entire seasons clothing budget on one piece of Gold Label I know most of your aren’t! Having said that I do have a hell of a lot of Westwood and I’m no millionaire so how do I do it?

┬áThis is a topic I’ve covered before ‘How to Buy Designer clothes at High Street Prices‘, so in this post I am just going to focus on Vivienne Westwood but the tips do apply to other designers. Conveniently this outfit demonstrates my top tips.

1. Store sale – Blouse RRP ┬ú215 reduced to ┬ú79

If you get familiar with how your favourite stores work their sales, you can start to make educated guesses about what will be left when it comes to the sale and what reductions will be given and when. Most stores start the sale with 30-40% reductions and can go down to anything from 65-90%. With Westwood the sale starts at 30% and goes down to 65% so it is always worth keeping your eye on things. That said if there is something you can’t live without you best get your butt in the queue on the first day of sale or risk it not being there a couple of weeks later. Averages sizes will sell out faster too, so you are more likely to find size 3 and 7 shoes left in the sale over size 5 and 6. Also accessories sell out faster than clothing, so if you are debating over a bag and a shirt I’d always get the bag first. Also learn which items are classic and which are seasonal, with Westwood the Gold Label shoes for example never go on sale.

If you sign up for the website newsletter and follow on Facebook you also get special codes for extra discounts┬á – usually an extra 10% off during the first week of the sale and invited to the Warehouse sale when they hold one.

2. Outlet stores – Blazer RRP ┬ú410 reduced to ┬ú49.99

Everyone who follows me on Twitter and Facebook will have already seen me share photo’s when I spot a great designer bargain. I always keep my eye on the game, even my route to work now involves cutting through TK Maxx so I can check for new arrivals which they get in everyday. TK Maxx recently got in a large load of AW11 Anglomania and a stash of really old Red Label, hell you could even call it vintage. So you never know what their buyers will find. To save you rummaging time the big designers TK Maxx stocks will be under the ‘Gold Label VIP’ section, but do check the other rails as Calvin Klien, Farhi by Nicole Farhi and Clements Ribero are found there.┬á Other outlet stores include Bicester Village and Cheshire Oaks to name just a few. Bicester Village has a dedicated Westwood store but I haven’t visited it myself. The only thing to be wary of with outlets is that sometimes the price can be more expensive than the store sale as the outlet has to make a profit. On the other hand outlets get stock from all over the world so they may stock pieces you have never even seen before, they also aren’t limited to the previous season for sale items, so worth stalking if you want to go back further into the archives. You can find out if your local TK Maxx stocks the Gold Label VIP collection by checking the departments listed on the store locator.

There are also websites which work in a similar manner such as Yoox and The Outnet. Member only websites such as Cocosa get’s different designers in for limited time periods. All these stock Vivienne Westwood.

3. Consignment store – Shorts RRP ┬ú260 reduced to ┬ú67.50 (were ┬ú75 – 10% special discount)

Another shop I go on about all the time is Elite, a designer consignment store / dress agency in Manchester and a branch in Altrincham. This is the one I go to as it’s local, but do check your own areas for ones nearby. Consignment stores sell on items which people no longer want, sharing a cut of the proceeds with the client. I’ve found loads of bargains in these stores and Elite always have some Westwood in there. Elite also have an online store and post new item on their facebook page. They also have special event evenings where you can sometimes get money off as I did with these. Don’t be put off if you aren’t keen on second hand clothes, many things like these shorts are brand new with the tags – I’m sure we have all bough something and never worn it!

There is also the online Consignment sites such as Vestiaire Collective which stocks a wide range of designers including Westwood. The great thing about this site is that the items are independently authenticated so there isn’t the risk of ending up with a fake like with eBay. You can also keep your eye out whilst shopping vintage stores and charity shops.

4. eBay – Shoes RRP ┬ú330 reduced to ┬ú85 (plus ┬ú4 p&p)

EBay, eBay, eBay where can I start. There is no way I can express my love for eBay, I check it every single day so I know everything Westwood that is on there at any one time! Yeah it is obsessive but if you want to be on top of the game you have to show a bit of dedication. To make it easier you can save searches and have new items emailed to you. I have a couple of previous posts about eBay ‘How to Find, Buy and Sell Vintage and Designer‘ and ‘How to sell stuff and make mega bucks: Guide for Carboots, EBay and Etsy‘ which are full of tips but the basic rule is you have to put some effort into searching regularly to get the good stuff. You also have to beware of fakes on eBay and Etsy my free eBook ‘Guide to spotting Counterfeits‘ has tips on this. One thing I do have to stress about eBay is the huge number of fakes, Westwood don’t have someone working with the sites VeRo program so there is nobody to regulate it. The worst is the jewellery 99% of it on eBay is fake, then there are many pairs of fake Pirate boots and Melissa shoes, some basic knits and t-shirts too so be careful.

You can also check Gum Tree, but again there is the risk of it being fake so beware.

Total RRP =  £1,215

Total Cost = £281.49

Total SAVED = £933.51

Now that’s good fashion sense! Do you have any tips to share? What was your best bargain buy?

Winter Coat Rules, Shopping & Wardrobe Reorganising

Out with the summer, in with the winter

I think by now we have figured out that my ‘taking time off to rest’ only resulted in me being bored witless. I can do the stay at home in the warm part, but can’t seem to stop working, well it’s only a few little blog posts not like I’m hauling bricks around a building site. With my first day off I ended up trawling the internet for hours, I mean seriously I now have a mental encyclopedia of all this seasons new stock. Then of course the browsing leads to the obsessing and the obsessing to the erm major buying! Every winter I really do like to have a new coat, no I don’t need a new coat every winter but I just really like to get one. It gets me in the mood for the season and brightens up my old knitwear. Since I will be wearing it pretty much every day it has to be something┬á I am head-over-heels about.

Vivienne Westwood Anglomania ‘Rac’ coat

Last year I went for a gorgeous Navy Anglomania ‘Limpish’ coat, which I still very much like but for some reason I have it my head that I need a red coat this season. I initially eyed up this ‘Rac’ coat also Anglomania, the perfect shade of cherry red with big gold buttons. But I wasn’t sure if the length was quite long enough. Hunting around I found this ‘Just-au-corps’ coat, in the same cherry red but with a longer flared hem and the added bonus of a hood. Since it was on Yoox.com it was also on sale, win! It was the last one in red, the gorgeous soft grey is still available, and a size larger than I would usually go for so hoping it will fit ok. The model only seemed to have a thin top on underneath and I like to wear massive jumpers so fingers crossed it will be just right. I really love Yoox, it is a bit like TK Maxx and The Outnet in that it sells past season designer items as discounted prices and you know I love a bargain. The site also accepts Paypal, woop, no more struggling to get that annoying Visa Verify thing to work – have you tried it lately no more passwords now a series of bizarre questions – and nope it still doesn’t work. In fact no need to even move from your sick bed to go get your purse. Now with Paypal your shopping can easily be paid via mobile too, perfect for my eBay addiction. I just don’t see why more online shops don’t use it.

Vivienne Westwood Anglomania ‘Just-au-Corps’ coat

When I’m looking for a new winter coat for everyday wear I have a check list I make sure it fits with:

-Must cover the bum (because otherwise it is really a jacket and wont be warm enough, I live in Manchester, its cold up North)

-Must be a style which works with both heels and flats (I’m 5’2 I don’t want my coat trailing in the snow if I have to switch to flats)

-Must be warm (sounds daft but some coats look warm but actually don’t retain the heat so you feel the wind right through it)

-Must have pockets (I mean seriously who designs a coat with no pockets)

-Must fasten (edge-to-edge coats look amazing yes, but really they don’t keep the cold and wet out)

Ok so yes I am a certified old lady these days but coats aren’t cheap so I want to be sure I buy one that is going to last. I have a few coats in classic styles which haven’t dated even though they are years old now. I really liked this Harper’s Bazaar coat edit, helpful if you want some inspiration about what style of coat to go for. I also picked up an amazing shaggy faux-fur jacket in TK Maxx which I can’t wait to wear. This week I’m going to finish off switching my wardrobe over from summer to winter. Hey, if we have to be cold we might as well look chic!

The realisation you will be colour blocking red all season

Any winter must-haves you are lusting after?

London Fashion Week SS13: Day 5

On the Street

London Fashion Week draws to a close today and as much as I HEART it I am seriously in need of some sleep! Brand of the day once again had to be Kenzo the new range of jumpers and hats were all over. Shoes of the day were the Valentino studs, I must have seen around five pairs of the beauties. Accessory of choice was still the baseball cap.


On Me

Today I wore a random mish-mash of stuff I had lurking around my suitcase, since the outfit I planned involved 5″ heels and I really couldn’t be bothered. So I am wearing Vivienne Westwood jewellery, bag, skirt and boots,LFW┬á Black Score vest, TK Maxx leather jacket.

On the Runway

I should probably now talk about all the amazing show I saw to day too but there were too many to do justice to here so here is one image from my favourite show of the day Jen Theo. I will do a Day 5 Part two tomorrow for y’all. Night, Night fashion folks.

Fashion Pearls of Wisdom + TK Maxx for LFW

Street style featuring 1. Holly Rivers Show; 4&5. Alexandra Moon-Age

London Fashion Week SS13: Day3

On the Street

The Street Style for London Fashion Week Day 3 was a beautiful medley of┬á Crayola coloured prints and wondrous patterns. One trend still reigned supreme – Sportswear, baseball caps, bomber jackets, trainers from bright Nike’s to Marant style wedges all dressed up of course not like you are off down the gym! Wooly jumpers were also a key item in acid colours or clashing prints, with Kenzo being the most sighted brand around.

On Me

I fit right in with the trends I had been spotting all day, I guess it was a constant fashion mind set! I wore a vintage 80’s Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren ‘Savages’ jumper, vintage Vivienne Westwood shoes, random vintage necklace eBay, tights and skirt TK Maxx

On the Runway & Backstage

I joined the super-fabulous Sharon (@Sharon1nails), Pebbles and Zaida backstage at Nicole Farhi to see them work their magic. Nails were kept short and clean with a polished sheen to compliment the fresh, nude tones and autumnal prints used in the collection. The designer herself stopped by to get a quick manicure before the show too. You would not believe how chic this lady is, she pulled up to the show driving her drop-top vintage Porche, wearing wooden wedges and wide leg grey trousers, so elegant. Make-up was a dewy glow with sculpted cheekbones and hair a sleek half-pony tail. with a small bouffant on the crown. The details in the collection were awe inspiring, from tiny rivets to hold pleats to rectangular sequins forming a stripe down crisp white trousers.

Today also saw Margaret Howell, Marios Schwab, Matthew Williamson, Paul Smith, Mary Katrantzou and Vivienne Westwood Red Label. Trends so far are wide and varied but one thing which does seem to be constant is a softer, romantic vision for summer.

Vivienne ended her show with her poignant message ‘Climate Revolution’, wearing the dress she first reveled at the Paralympics closing ceremony. Yesterday Vivienne explain how the slogan was kept a secret and was carefully constructed and designed. The dress tied at the neck like a cape and had a 7ft train. Pockets were integrated either side so that her son and husband could place their spears into it and haul it up as a huge banner when Vivienne slipped it off, revealing her slogan to the world. The had asked Vivienne to embody the character Boudica for the ceremony, the warrior queen, that is one thing they certainly got right!

Fashion Pearls of Wisdom + TK Maxx for LFW

Vivienne Westwood Warehouse Sale Haul!

You asked and you shall receive, here it is my haul from the Vivienne Westwood Warehouse / Sample sale which took place in London this weekend. I’ve already talked about it the sale a bit and posted some phone snaps up on the blog’s Facebook page – go check it out if you were wondering how long the queue was, put it this way I couldn’t see the end!! I went down with my buddy Rich, traveling down from Manchester on the day and getting there half an hour before it opened and there was already around 50 people in front of us (I’d gotten up at 5am as it was so no I couldn’t have gone earlier ha ha). We waited eagerly, throwing side eyes at everyone in front of us as we itched to get inside.

Our time came and it was what I can only describe as absolutely insane. On my first circuit I couldn’t spot any Gold Label clothes which is what I was really after so I went right over to the shoes which was surprisingly quite. I snapped up three pairs and had to fend off Rich who was trying to make me get about ten more pairs ha ha- if money was no object right!┬á I ended up with a pair of boots, a pair of court shoes with a large heart and a pair of floral mules. I still couldn’t find any clothes so I went off to the second room to look at the bags. As I was laden up with goodies who should we bump into but Boy George, as if I wasn’t over excited enough already this nearly caused me to have a break down. He was so friendly and down to earth and an incredibly beautiful man. For those of you who didn’t know, Boy George has been my hero since I was a little girl, Karma Chameleon was the first every record I had and I would make my mum braid my hair with ribbons just like George! From nowhere Rich acquired me some Gold Label and we made it to the pay desk before I collapsed with the heat and generally being squashed like a sardine. I went to sit outside and let Rich tackle the accessories for us and got to chat to some lovely fellow Westwood fans. When Rich emerged about an hour later I steeled myself to go back in for the jewellery which was pretty much pillaged by then but I snaffled a few pieces. I also bumped into one of my favourite blogging buddies who was skiving off work so I won’t name names ha ha! Sale prices ranged from ┬ú5 for earrings up to ┬ú160 for Gold Label gowns.

After the sale we of course had to end the day with a visit to World’s End where I picked up my new ‘AR’ cap and a calico sample jacket which was used for the AW 2011 collection. I pretty much didn’t have a clue what I had ended up with until we raided our bags on the train but I’m somewhat amazed I ended up with complete outfits.

1. Gold Label silk dress, Red Label bolero, Silk cap, Metallic printed suede boots

2. Gold Label ‘Africa’ print dress, purple orb bag

3. Red Label dress, floral print heels, ‘Pearly Queen’ orb necklace, lilac ‘Alex’ belt

4. Calico sample jacket, Gold Label blouse, ‘Broken beads’ necklace, rubber pin badges

Vivienne Westwood’s Red Carpet Collection Show in Beijing

ÔÇ£My clothes allow you to project your personality, and are quite theatrical in the sense that they are real clothes, well-designed, and they give you a chance to express yourself. They are also invitingÔÇôpeople to respond to them and want to come and talk to youÔÇØ

ÔÇ£You have a much more interesting life if you wear impressive clothesÔÇØ Vivienne Westwood

Vivienne Westwood showed her Red Carpet collection in Beijing to celebrate the UK governments Britain is Great Campaign. The campaign invited the world to take a fresh look at what Britain has to offer. The collection comprised  the specially designed Red Carpet collection along side selected pieces from AW 2012. Inspiration was credited to the 17th century, a period of great change and drama, Characterised by elaborate opulence. Highly embellished cocktail dresses reflected the glamour of the Baroque era, whilst silk taffetas and bones corsets were created to invoke the court of King Charles II. Yet every single gown retains signature Westwood style.

You can view the full collection on my FaceBook page.

Now all we need are some fabulous occasions right girls?

Outfit: Alien Jacket- Oversized Men’s Tailoring

(Wearing: all Vivienne Westwood – World’s End ‘Alien Jacket’, ‘Alex’ belt, ‘Animal Toe Court shoes in black suede, Gold Label ‘Gage’ shirt; American Apparel leggings)

┬áI’m not really into the wearing of leggings instead of trousers, I prefer to wear them under dresses or skirts. But I have a selection of oversized shirts which come down long enough to get away with it and I think this is a great look, a bit sexy. A look I wear all the time.┬á What I don’t usually do is wear a jacket over the top but it was chilly so I threw on this Alien jacket, with the over sized shirt and oversized tailoring it is quite a masculine looks so definitely needed heeled court shoes and a slick of lippie to balance it out. A bright pink belt for an extra girlie touch!

All About Vivienne Westwood World’s End

Who:

World’s End is a tiny crooked looking shop on the Kings Road, Chelsea, London. Set amongst the High Street stores, bars and coffee shops it could be quite unassuming if it weren’t for the huge clock on the front, with the hands going backwards – time never stands still in World’s End. Climb the crooked steps, ring the bell – no riff-raff please and enter through the crooked door.

Why all so crooked? Vivienne designed the shop to look like a Pirate ship, the floor is slanted just like the galley of a ship.

Why like a Pirate ship? Early on in Vivienne’s career whilst she was collaborating with Malcolm McLaren they first moved into 430 Kings Road when it was called Paradise Garage in 1970, they just rented the back room in those days selling Rock and Roll records. It was so successful they soon took over the entire shop selling Teddy boy clothing, the shop was fitted out to resemble a suburban Ted’s front room and in 1971 they changed the shop’s name to Let it Rock. Soon the duo bored of the Teddy boy fashion and became interested in Rock, the clothes became all about leather, zippers and studs. With the new fashion came another name for the shop Too Fast Too live Too Young Too Die, after James Dean. In 1974 another new look for the shop and the clothes being sold, SEX brought fetish gear into the main stream. It was in 1977 however when the shop became Seditionaries that brought about the fashion which most people know Westwood and McLaren for… Punk. Yet it was not until 1980 that the shop took the name World’s End. The galleon design came about with the Pirate collection, influenced by pirates of the high seas. This was the last collection Vivienne worked together with Malcolm on and since she liked the design so much the shop remained that way ever since.

What:

Isn’t it just the same as the other Vivienne Westwood shops? Nope, it’s not just the name and look of the shop that is different but the entire philosophy: ‘Timeless Fashion, Recycling and the Best Price’

World’s End issues their classic designs and accessories, therefore they don’t have to add the cost of months of design and development work into the retail price of the garment.

  • “Sell direct, which cuts out extra mark-up.
  • Use our left-over fabrics; these were originally more expensive.
  • Extract a new design out of the Gold Label collection and sell direct through WE.
  • Samples, toiles, show jewellery and accessories.
  • Political badges and artwork.
  • Special WE designs, D.I.Y. items, boxers, towels, and hats.
  • Never have a sale: Buy less ÔÇô Choose well ÔÇô Make it last! ”

– Vivienne Westwood

Cowboy hat £145, badge set £15 for 6, jewellery pin set £28 for 6, Liberty heart & key pin £5, babygrow £20, Belts £65 narrow /£86 wide

Why:

Well if all that doesn’t make World’s End sound special enough here are a few more reasons you might want to take a trip down there, if only just to visit such a historical shop! Vivienne herself personally chooses her favourite pieces for the shop, one design she particularly likes is the ‘Shirtwaister dress‘. This dress design was originally a piece from the Gold Label collection and would have come with the price tag of around┬ú1,000 but at World’s End you can purchase it for ┬ú295. I know this is still expensive but it is a piece that will last you a lifetime and it’s special cut is the most flattering fit for any body shape, trust me it is worth every penny. There are other classic items which don’t have a big price tag at all such as the brooches and t-shirts, even a pin for ┬ú5, there is something for every budget- how many designers can say the same? Vivienne’s aim is to make it possible for everyone to come to the shop and find something they can take home to treasure. Most of the clothes on the World’s End label are made in England, at the London studio so you are also supporting the British economy and it is hard to find clothes produced over here these days, it really does make it more special.

Classic print World’s End t-shirts ┬ú35 each

Lisa

As if you even needed another reason to visit but here you go, you get to meet Lisa the store manager who keeps the place buzzing. She is also one of the coolest people I know and always happy to help you should you need a mail order – world wide available, help with stock and sizes or just style inspiration. Lisa is always head to toe in Westwood and is just generally fabulous!

Awesome World’s End looks

World’s End also stocks an edit of Gold Label, Lee Denim and Anglomania to compliment the WE pieces. There are probably many more things I could say about World’s End but this is already a super long post, so anything else can be saved for another day. I have to dedicate this post to my friend Danny for sitting all night tweeting me reminding to finish this post and stop wondering off getting distracted, I know I promised it ages ago.

Vivienne Westwood and Agyness Deyn on the counter at World’s End

Visit the World’s End Blog

Read my friend Jason’s blog post about World’s End he has some fab photo’s

(First image my own, rest courtesy of Vivienne Westwood World’s End)