Sunday, 31 July 2011

Continuing along the lines of golden glamour, sequins shine and shimmer, here is a question for you: is it possible to combine animal print and said trend without looking like a high-class call girl? I rediscovered this dress in the depths of my wardrobe (yes just a little short) but am trying to work out whether I can pull off tarty chic at best.

Good as Gold

Clockwise from top left:
Warehouse Spotlight Sequin One Shoulder Dress-£90
Topshop Moto Bronze Snakeprint Skinny Jeans-£60
Debenhams Betty Jackson Cardigan-£45 French Connection Samantha Sequins Dress-£180
Boohoo Gabriel Gold Printed Jumpsuit-£25
Office The Look Shoe (Bronze Suede)-£88

I cannot quite put into words how smug I am feeling right now with my new abilities to work a computer! Yes people, I have finally discovered the full use of the print screen button and transferred my first product pick page onto the blog. I'm so excited that I have almost forgotten the reason for the cuffuffle in the first place but it's about fashion so not quite.

Having just finished an article on the glitz and glam of the Autumn/ Winter Shows, I have been searching for affordable pieces that the average Josephine can afford. According to designers from Dolce and Gabbana to Vivienne Westwood, anything that falls under the razzle-dazzle, shine, shimmer or sparkle category is acceptable. I am so excited about pure opulent, evening glamour being back in for Winter, possibly more than my new found technical skills!

As for this little gem below? No it is not hot off the Gucci catwalk or a Versace creation but straight from the High Street at Mango's runway show. I hardly even wear trousers but I am definitely going for gold this season!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Designer at a Discount

It doesn't happen often but when it does I'm just a little chuffed; discovering a Designer look-alike at a fraction of the price on the High Street. The other day I found Missoni's classic zig-zag print recreated on a shift dress in Primark for just £15! Apart from loving the design, it's perfect for the sixties nostalgia trend and will brighten those cold winter days.
 Straight off Missoni's Autumn/ Winter 2011 Show

I cannot tell you the exact prices of these items but you're looking at the top end of a three figure sum for this maxi-dress at least.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

A Spotty Sign from Above

The Fashion Fairy Godmother has worked her magic again. After writing an article about how dotty Designers went for polka dots in their Fall collections, I realised the only spotty item of clothing I own is a skirt in a soft pink. A pink that never even crossed the minds of Fashion Designers when they were considering their Autumn/ Winter colour palettes full of midnight blues, wine reds and emerald greens. This peplume mini-skirt is miles away from Marc Jacobs’ demure spotted pencil skirts. Oh dear, no resurrecting that purchase this season then...or so I thought.

Like a sign from a fashion-conscious deity, I opened Look magazine to find this picture as the first page to a spread on pink for this summer. Maybe I look for signs where there really are none but just hours after I initially thought this print would never see the light of day again, there it is in all its powdery pink perfection displayed in a magazine!

Well like a superstitious crazyperson, I had to believe someone was trying to tell me something and you know what I have confirmed? I am crazy. I love Fashion and I love looking at Designers’ creations but it is style that really counts. Who cares if my skirt is the wrong shade of pink for this season, infact who cares if I do not go in for polka-dots at all because different likes and dislikes are what make us individual! I’m not aiming to mirror a Gaultier look, partly because he sent his models down the runway in greying wigs but still where would Fi be in that?

As long as I don’t look like spotty candyfloss, I’m happy. In fact, this fashion-conscious deity also reminded me, as much as I love clothes, there really are more important things to be worrying about. Perhaps that makes this entire post pointless but it’s good to be reminded once in a while.

Friday, 22 July 2011


I think I may be a little in love with Elie Saab. To put it simply, when I marry the Prince of Honolulu or walk the red carpet to receive my first Oscar, I know who will be dressing me down to the nines. It was after he sent those Grecian Goddesses along his Spring/ Summer runway that I realised he was the one. His latest couture line had the same effect on me as looking up pets for sale on Gumtree; ‘ohhh my Goddd I want one!’ Added bonuses; these won’t busy-busy on my shoes and they are definitely pedigree!

Commentators may say Saab’s creations are pretty but undaring, the presentation is repetitive and the wind-machine is probably overheating by now. However, I looked through every couture line for Fall 2011 (it was definitely research) and nothing quite compared to his ethereal pieces. Princesses glided along the runway in tulle and chiffon, delicately embellished with beading, fur and silver lace trim, each telling their own fairytale. Whether a flowing, floor-length gown or shorter-eighties style prom dress, Saab embraces the female body with backless details and hourglass silhouettes wrapped up in all that sparkles and shimmers.

The Designer has come a long way since teaching himself to sew at nine years old and making clothing for sisters in his native country of Lebanon. He has commented that, ‘the woman everywhere speaks the same language. She wants to be beautiful,’ and, the fact is, Saab speaks the female language. He knows how to make a woman look and feel beautiful.

Of course, now I am regretting looking for pictures to accompany my forties evening look. I think Mr. Saab may have outdone me but here we go anyway. Yesterday, I gave you the forties day look (woman-meaning-business- but-probably-only-making-it-as-a-secretary-and-having-non-existent-bottom-slapped-repeatedly-by-bosses-in-tweed-suits-look) and today I'm attempting to use my one and only maxi dress to give you evening-wear.

Midnight blue is a sultry colour for evening-wear, a flattering alternative to black and very much on trend for Autumn and Winter. 100% viscose is not exactly tulle and it is not quite encrusted with crystals to shimmer and shine but with some sparkling jewellery and a glitzy belt, I could take this dress out for a smart soiree. I mean let’s face it, I’m more likely to be hoovering a carpet than walking one and the Prince of Honolulu is a bit well...imaginary.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Forties Fever

Marc Jacobs 

Jean Paul Gaultier 

My friends will vouch for the fact that I have never really dressed like a lady. I can’t think of a single skirt, worn frequently, which reaches my knees and I often realise, when it is too late and the wind has already blown, that what I am attempting to class as a dress is really a long tunic (once again I apologise to the passengers on the 146 bus). So why am I so attracted to the forties nostalgia trend on the Autumn/ Winter catwalks?

To put it simply, the likes of Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs and Gucci delivered sex kittens wrapped up in modesty. Beneath the knee length pencil skirts, pearls and fur was the feminine silhouette in all its glory; a reminder it doesn’t take a bare midriff, mini skirt or cleavage to catch a man’s eye. As a girl with the body of a gangly boy who has clearly never entered a gym, I am filled with excitement at how this trend can find an hourglass upon your person whether one is naturally there or not!

 Ralph Lauren

Donna Karan

Tea-dresses have never really been my thing but if you are partial, look to Miu Miu’s oriental blossom and swallow pieces for inspiration. For me, it was all about Donna Karan's tailored pieces in muted shades, Marc Jacobs figure hugging pencil skirts and Gucci's deep burgundy lips. I have already been routing through my wardrobe to try and recreate a forties look and resurrect a few items.

The grey skirt is from a suit I wore for sixth-form (as soon as it is on, I am reminded it is not suitable attire for running for a bus) and may have cheated slightly by adding a purple ribbon to an old warehouse turtle neck top to create a pussycat bow effect. Despite tottering rather than sauntering in them, I am still in love with my Minnie Mouse heels and didn’t really want to add another colour to the look so they work well with the top for block colouring. The belt breaks up the colours and dark racing green is a good shade for the winter months (check out Ralph Lauren’s racing green evening gown for true forties glamour).

The lipstick is Olay’s 589 Metro Maroon. I never really wore colour on my lips, choosing to go all out on the eyes but, since my friend confirmed it was bordering on panda rather than smouldering, I am experimenting. Today’s look was inspired byPat McGrath’s screen sirens at Gucci with deep lips and simple eyes.  I did avoid the make-up artist’s cloggy lash effect though; not sure about you but spider eyes have always been used to compliment a Croydon facelift in my area.

So in conclusion, I am learning less can certainly be more in terms of the amount of skin on show. This autumn, the forties style is all about ‘look but don’t touch’; ‘yes the woman is there but you can admire my clothing first!’

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

A Little Word

I've been wondering what to write for my first post for about a week; my favourite trend? Style icon or era? Myself? Don't worry, I have saved you the terror because then this piece of art appeared in my emails (of course I've signed up for the Kurt Geiger updates, I'm not that slow!) And I decided pictures speak louder than words (though I'm still going to ramble a bit...well a lot sorry).

Just in the way they sparkle and shine, these little gems can explain why I love Fashion better than I ever could. It's all about being able to look at a piece of clothing and imagine. I might be sitting here in my jogging bottoms, walking fleece and cow slippers-all in the most fashionable way possible-but one pair of shoes can transport me to the dancefloor in a second. Possibly, in one of Stella McCartney's paillette creations from her Autumn/ Winter collection (this is definitely just a fantasy now). Basically, apart from being a human magpie that is in awe of everything sparkly-or is that just women generally?-I am in awe of 'the story'.

Suddenly, I am sipping Louis Roederer Cristal (Champagne don't you know) in Mahiki. I don't even drink Champagne but a gin and diet Coke just isn't appropriate for this fantasy! Kate (Duchess of Cambridge) and I are catching up on her recent trip across the pond as the Princes bust a few moves on the dancefloor. We laugh delicately about William's impending comb over until Emma Watson, Rihanna and Pixie Lott approach (don’t ask, this is my fantasy, just go with it). Commiserations are shared over the end of Harry Potter before we share a Mahiki Treasure Chest, it serves eight but we'll manage. Then, just before I finally pluck up the courage to ask Ri-Ri which man is actually getting the whips and chains, the moment arrives.

Emma turns to me and exclaims how much she loves my shoes and before I know it they are all cooing over my sparkling footwear. 'Oh they've been catching my eye the entire evening, I want to branch out from my LK Bennetts, where did you get them from?' Kate asks.
'These? Ah they're Carvela Amelia from Kurt Geiger. Pixie I know you love a High-Street steal, they were only £120!' She is ecstatic.

And that is how one item of clothing can allow you to escape. There was no sign of my strangled-cat-cackle, for which my mother has actually advised me to get a new laugh. For once, my signature moves to Single Ladies were attractive in reality as well as in my mind and we completely bypassed the flat feet, which would normally have made me lose a shoe at some point.

Wow, I really have rambled, though I did warn you I was quite capable of it. Essentially, what I’m trying to get across is that Fashion allows you to create a character; it’s just up to your bank account whether you can make it a reality or not. Either way, I am this passionate about Fashion because I am a dreamer and, as sad as it sounds, just one image like this one gives me inspiration. I’d love to hear why you love Fashion? Or why you don’t for that matter and what pieces have inspired you recently?