I'm not ready to give up on the Summer yet. I'm one of those sad souls marching on stubbornly with the tight-free look, choosing instead to flaunt the natural pattern of my chicken-skin in the now so frosty mornings. Subtle reminders of the August sunshine are still fresh in my mind, and I want to hold on to that thought for just a little bit longer (thank you very much!) Rachel Zoe's Autumn/Winter take on the tunic injects the lightness of the brighter seasons into my steadily thickening wardrobe, and is the perfect smart-casual balance for a Friday. And for a more dressed-up affair, with a bit of an edge, here's a sneak peak of Zoe's SS15 collection - fresh off the catwalk today.
Thursday, 11 September 2014
Sunday, 13 July 2014
If you haven't come across Uterqüe yet, you have been missing out on a paradise for the smart-casual minimalist. Created in 2008 by the Spanish group Inditex, the brand is the most recent addition to the likes of Zara, Massimo Dutti, and Oysho…with a twist: it heralds the revival of accessories as the key to a well-finished look. Garments are discreet, handbags inconspicuous, but accessories are gold, bold and the life of the look.
These snake skin ballerinas, accessorised with a gorgeous chain strung over the front, is the epitome of what the brand is about: basics framing the beauty of detail. It's an immaculate recipe for well-rounded wardrobe.
Saturday, 28 June 2014
Amongst the crooked houses and cobbled pathways that nestle the heart of Lisbon, lives a handcrafted fairytale. Two young tailors spin stories from trails of ethereal fabric, pinned onto the bodices of earthy-wood figurines. From their fingertips emerge rouged ruffles and satin sashes dripping in cobwebs of lace. And with that, extraordinary sillouhettes emerge from the ashes of childhood fantasies.
The atmosphere in the atelier is thick with the eccentric mystery of João Branco and Luís Sanchéz. Their boyish cheekiness combined with an air of darkened romance is somewhat reminiscent of a young Tim Burton, their talent thrusting the era of the Brothers Grimm right into the 21st Century. Collections weave in and out, between childhood memories and gaunt adulthood, romantic fluidity and gothic obscurity. In short, the Storytailors brand floats somewhere between reality and our wildest, most enchanting dreams.
Perhaps what is so captivating about the designs are that they challenge contemporary waves of fashion, whilst retaining their relevance to today's audience. Whilst more modern, futuristic fashion houses set out to defy conventional shapes, Storytailors restores the allure of the traditional female figure with a twist. In fact, their signature piece is a fantastical corset, a garment which sparked a chain of reactionary styles throughout most of the 20th century. But when swaddled in the floaty fabrics of haute couture, it is difficult to see anything more than a perfect portrait of delicate empowerment.
Through the ready-to-wear brand Nårke, the duo place pockets of their wild imagination into every day garments. The volumes are softened into one-of-a-kind pieces that burrow themselves nicely into a working wardrobe. Their fitted white shirt with a ruff-inspired collar is my personal favourite, and the most the compelling argument for wearing my heart on my sleeve.
Thursday, 15 May 2014
Sometimes I feel that fleeting moments of mad social rebellion are the ones that end up typifying a decade. And the evidence is almost always dug out of a dress-up box, or the spidery back of your closet, for a cringe-themed dress up party that you’d rather not remember anything of. The staple bell-bottoms for the 70s, a pair of leg warmers for the 80s, and an unforgivably short crop top (and a fake bejeweled belly-button piercing to match!) for your own favourite – the 90s. We reflect upon the loveable ridiculousness of fads from generations gone, laughing all the while as we jig to cheesy one-hit-wonders, now dubbed ‘classics’.
Don’t get me wrong – I love a little boogie in my halo of hippy flowers, which I whip out for the occasional old-school music festival. But sometimes I feel that the best that once-upon-a-time has to offer is forgotten behind a smokescreen of glitz and glamour. But every now and then, a stroke of luck has you stumbling across a genuine diamond in the rubble.
That’s how I rediscovered Jean Shrimpton. Beyond the Beatle boots, tie-dyes and gaudy patterned wallpapern of the 1960s, lives the legacy of a fresh-faced English rose, who transformed the two worlds of fashion and style. In the realm of fashion, ‘The Shrimp’ was the quiet, unassuming beauty that had been eclipsed by the loud voluptuousness of the 50s girl. She had the sleight, waifish frame of British youth, that became the figure swathed in the movements of Youthquake and Swinging London. In one fowl swoop, ‘sensual’ became broader and more capricious than the standard pin-up girl.
However, it was in the realm of style that Shrimpton really made her mark. Some of the classic looks today, that fall safely in the domain of both the elegant and the effortless, have their roots in her gamine gloves. So here it is, a 50-year old legacy, that is almost certainly here to stay…
1. The Peter Pan collar
Before Shrimpton, sexy was strictly a 'womanly' thing (explicit content). There was no tease to be found in fun, and no allure in awkward adolescence. The Peter Pan collar brought the world attraction within reach of the young, and Swinging London was their Neverland… Today an oversized collar is a statement, and even an accessory in itself.
In 1965, YSL released the dress that would change how women’s clothes were viewed and worn forever. Beyond the carnal splendor, the body was a canvas for the contemporary artist. And so, Yves Saint Laurent distilled a world of shape and shades onto a shift dress on the frame of Jane Shrimpton as an homage to form and colour. Today, the artistic movement of De Stijl, which literally means The Style, weaves timelessly in and out of catwalks, shop-windows and magazines. Block colour and linearity is everything.
3. Men's watch
You can almost imagine the intrigue that a men’s watch worn on a woman must have provoked in the 60s. Sort of like casual sexiness of tossing on the boyfriend’s shirt to buy a loaf of bread on a Saturday morning. The evolution of style in the last 50 years has revealed that there is an uncanny appeal of a masculine touch on the female physique. And the order of the day in the 21st Century is that unisex is sexy.
4. The original mini
It’s funny to think that half a century ago a hemline a mere 10 cm above the knee could cause such a stir. Elders, conservatives and aristocrats alike were scandalised at the audacity of such leggyness. And girls, teens and libertines were emancipated from the exhausted playpen of full-circle skirts. So here it is, an ode to the original mini – an elegant framing of limbs, and about a foot away from being confused with a belt.
5. Pointed flats
A pointed flat has the grace of a heel on the ground. It somehow elongates your legs just by framing your nestled toes. From Valentino’s studded number to Alexa Chung’s vintage finds, pointed flats have become the sophisticated duo that gives the heels a rest.