Currently Coveting #21: Nike x Liberty

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Time to hold my hands up and take back everything I said about not being a trainer kind of girl – these babies are just too cute to pass up!

For Spring/Summer 2014, Nike and Liberty London have once again collaborated to create an on-trend collection that combines the sports giant’s classic footwear with floral prints from Liberty’s extensive print archive. In pretty shades of blue, with laces and trimmings in beige, the collection manages to combine sporty and delicate with stunning results.

Anoosha, a 1930’s print featuring blossom and bell flowers; Lora a print based on a 1970s version of William Morris’ ‘Willow’ pattern; and Crown, a design based on various paisley block prints, adorn the Air Max 1, Air Max 90, Roshe Run. For the first time, vintage running favourite the Internationalist also receives a Liberty makeover as do basketball classics, the Blazer and the Dunk Sky Hi.

Launching today, the full collection, which also includes running shorts, a windbreaker, and a vest is available in-store and online but it’s selling fast so hurry, hurry!

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Which is your favourite? I like the Internationalist (bottom left in the picture above) and the Blazer hi-tops (below) the most as they have thinner soles than the other styles.

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Currently Coveting #20: Ruth Tomlinson jewellery

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As someone who writes about fine jewellery for a living, being confronted with temptation on a daily basis is a hazard of the job. Most of the pieces I write about are either way beyond my budget or too ostentatious for my lifestyle  (or more often that not, they fall into both these categories) but the other week I came across a designer whose creations really speak to me. UK based jeweller Ruth Tomlinson’s unique designs are inspired by the idea of life cycles and changes in nature, from birth to decay. She launched her first collection in 2001 and has recently expanded into diamond rings and wedding bands.

With prices starting at £90 for a pair of earrings, these pieces from her Sketch collection (top row in the picture) are definitely going straight onto my birthday and Christmas wish lists. You can view all Ruth’s collections and buy online here

The Fashion Clinic #8: Favourite Flats

Before I had children I never wore flat shoes. Ever. Since becoming a mum, however, I seem to wear nothing but flats, even though at 5′ 2″ I need all the extra height I can get. But let’s face it, heels aren’t exactly practical when you’re running after a three-year-old on a scooter, who is determined to keep up with her big brothers. So until they are old enough to make their own way to and from school, my beloved heels will only grace my feet on special occasions. Luckily, flat doesn’t have to mean frumpy and I’ve rounded up what I think are some of the prettiest around at the moment. In my dreams I would have those Chloe ballerinas in all three colours…

For some reason I never wear lace up shoes or trainers unless I’m going to the gym. I do have a pair of Converse stashed away in a cupboard and I like the look of them on other people but (in my mind at least) they don’t suit me or my style. I am, however, very tempted by these Ash trainers in shimmering gold. Practical AND glam – now that’s something I can really get behind.

The best flat shoes

1. Virgo gold glitter trainers by Ash; 2. Darcy Snake ballerinas by Oasis; 3. Asos Last Dance pointed ballet flats 4. Leather Ballet flats by Repetto; 5. Metal-heeled leather ballet flats by Lanvin; 6. Lauren metallic leather ballet flats by Chloe; 7. Toms Moroccan cut-out flat shoes

Spring Fashion & Beauty Essentials

Happy Sunday my lovelies! It is party time in the blog world today thanks to the fabulous Clarity and Ellie over at Beauty Stalkers who are hosting a Fashion & Beauty Spring Essentials link party. Below is my contribution and when you’ve finished reading, head over here to join the party and celebrate the first weekend of spring!

Here in the UK the arrival of spring tends to be gradual, with a chill in the air that can linger until May (or longer if we’re unlucky..) so it’s all about making subtle tweaks to welcome in the new season, rather than baring it all. Cropped jeans, 3/4 sleeve lightweight knits, and accessories in lighter neutrals and cool ice cream colours are the order of the day for me. Make up needs to go lighter as well with a sheer base, pastel nails, neutral lips and eyes, and a touch of peach blush. Switch to a summery scent like Marc Jacob’s Daisy Sunshine edition and start prepping your pins for warmer weather and you’re good to go.

Spring essentials

Metallic jumper from Hush; Odette cuff from Stella & Dot; Cassini mid heels in suede from Whistles; Sutra Hobo leather bag by Diane von Furstenberg; The Skinny Boy cropped jeans by Current/Elliott; Playful Dots scarf by Becksondergaard

Spring beauty

Nars Blush in Sex Appeal; Essie nail polish in Lovie Dovie; This Works Perfect Legs Gradual Tan; Laura Mercier lipstick in Tea Rose; Marc Jacobs Daisy eau de toilette Sunshine Delight  ; Dr Jart + BB Beauty Balm; Bobbi Brown  Eye Palette

Currently Coveting #19: The Perfect Sweatshirt

Lately I’ve developed a bit of an obsession with sweatshirts. They are perfect for this time of year and easy to throw on in the morning when you don’t want to think too hard about what to wear. I also like the idea of teaming them with skinnies or a leather skirt and heels for a casual, yet glam, night time look. There are loads of nice sweatshirts out there at the moment, from bright coloured ones with brash slogans (which I’m definitely on the wrong side of 20 to wear! Only college kids could get away with those in my humble opinion) to more subtle options in muted hues like the ones I’ve picked out here. Comfortable AND stylish is always the best combination!

Sweatshirt 1

Karen Millen sweatshirt with sport detailing, reduced from £60 to £48.50; People Tree Love Heart Sweatshirt, reduced from £60 to £45; Asos sweatshirt with glitter heart, £25

Swaetshirts 2

Hamptons NY Baggy Beach Jumper from Wildfox, £101; Noisy May Varsity Sweatshirt, reduced from £20 to £15; Ribbed Sweatshirt by Boutique at Topshop, £45

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W Applique Sweatshirt from Whistles, £75; Whistles Fleur Logo Sweatshirt, £75; Cities Tri Marl Sweatshirt from Topshop, £24

Dreaming of Chanel

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Tonight, my dear friends, I am dreaming of a classic, quilted Chanel flap bag. Nonchalantly thrown over the shoulder it would be the perfect accessory to set off my spring wardrobe. I like it best when it’s paired with a casual outfit like the ripped jeans or slouchy sweater in the pictures above – the juxtaposition of polished and dishevelled gets me every time…
The price tag may be steep (to put it mildly!) but a classic Chanel bag will always be in style. And if your appetite hasn’t been sated by these pictures, there is of course a Pinterest board with even more inspiration – check it out here

Which accessory would you love to own if money was no object?

Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore!

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I finally made it to the Isabella Blow retrospective at Somerset House, on the penultimate day of the exhibition. Entitled Fashion Galore! it certainly lived up its name – spread over dozens of rooms on two floors, it was a real feast for the eye with one creation more spectacular than the next. As one would expect, Alexander McQueen was everywhere: from pieces she bought from his graduation show at Central St Martins in 1992 to his famously controversial ‘Highland Rape’ collection in 1995 and video footage of the 2008 “La Dame Bleue” show that the designer dedicated to Issy after her death in 2007. Among the more than 100 pieces on display were also a number of designs by Hussein Chalayan and Julien Macdonald.

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And the hats! What can I say – Isabella was as famous for her headgear as for her blood red pout and each ensemble in the exhibition was complemented by the most fantastical and outrageous Philip Treacy creations. How about a hat adorned with a ship made entirely out of black feathers or another one with cut-out mouths on long sticks jutting out from every angle?

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There was also a room filled with images of the many models that Issy discovered, from Stella Tenant and Honor Fraser to Plum Sykes, although strangely I didn’t see any pictures of Sophie Dahl, who was one of her most famous protegees.

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I never met Isabella Blow but I have friends who did, and they say she was just as amazing and eccentric in real life as interviews and photographs of her would suggest. However, while her life and work at The Sunday Times Style magazine and Tatler, seemed glamorous on the outside, she battled inner demons. I have read the biography written by her husband Detmar Blow after her suicide in 2007 and it bears out reports that her depression was rooted in a difficult early life and a sense of abandonment by her parents.

While there is some mention of Issy’s personal life (mainly in the form of newspaper articles) this retrospective was very firmly focused on her fashion legacy. My friend and I spent a good couple of hours looking at the outfits (and marvelling at how whippet thin Issy must have been to fit into them!) and watching video footage of interviews with her and McQueen catwalk shows.

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The clothes on show were loaned to Somerset House by Issy’s friend and fellow style icon Daphne Guinness who bought the entire collection in 2010 to stop it being auctioned off at Christie’s. The question on our minds as we left the retrospective, which finished yesterday after a four-month run, was: what will happen to the clothes now? These are pieces that were acquired by someone who intended to wear them and enjoy them (as was evident by the scuffed Givenchy shoes and the McQueen coat complete with cigarette burns) so it would be a great shame if they were now left to languish in a storage room somewhere…

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Porter magazine

I’m a sucker for a glossy magazine and, although I buy fewer now that so much content is readily available online, a tantalising cover will always draw me in. And so it was that a copy of Porter somehow found its way into my possession when I was browsing the shops in Gloucester Road after a meeting last week.

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{Gisele graces the cover of the launch issue}

A brand new publication from the team behind online luxury store Net-a-Porter it claims to be “the fashion magazine for the stylish, intelligent woman of now”. Just as with the retail operation, the magazine oozes pure luxury so don’t expect to find any ‘Get the look for less’ or ‘More dash less cash’ features. The fashion, as one would expect, is nothing short of spectacular with dresses by the likes of Lanvin, Versace and Louis Vuitton (and plenty of POA – price on application…)

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The beauty features are refreshingly down to earth and, unlike some mags, seem to be targeted at a wide age range, not just 20-sonethings with flawless skin. Mixed in with the high octane glamour are some more meaty reads such as an interview with Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Lynsey Addario who was kidnapped in Libya in 2011. There is also a 12-page spread dedicated to actress Uma Thurman (who, funnily enough, I had just been thinking about a couple of days before I bought the magazine) and shorter profiles on designer L’Wren Scott and J.Crew creative director Jenna Lyons. An impressive line-up of contributors includes photographer David Bailey (on his banned documentary about Andy Warhol), movie mogul Harry Weinstein (on the allure of silver-screen star Grace Kelly) and shoe maestro Manolo Blahnik who writes about the return of the mule.

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I’m not sure why, or even if I’m alone in this, but I always read the back page of a new magazine first. And Porter magazine doesn’t disappoint: its back page, appropriately if somewhat unoriginally, entitled ‘Last word’, is dedicated to wrap dress queen Diane von Furstenberg.

All in all, as one would expect from the brand headed up by Natalie Massenet, one of the most powerful women in fashion, this is a confident launch that manages to stand out in a crowded market at a time when many are predicting the demise of Old Media. I , for one, can’t wait for the next issue of the bi-monthly publication to hit the shelves…

 

My Spring Wish List

Spring Wish List

As the first day of spring is less than four weeks away, I think it is perfectly legitimate to start thinking about updating the wardrobe for slightly warmer weather. Here in the UK, we’re not likely to get any really hot days until June at least so layering is the name of the game when it comes to trans-seasonal dressing. In many ways this is my favourite time of year: when you can dispense with the heavy winter coat and warm boots in favour of a light jacket and ballet flats. Just make sure you’re carrying a bag big enough to hold both an umbrella and sunglasses!

Here are some of my favourite pieces for Spring 2014:

1. Printed leather ballet flats, £325 by Miu Miu at Net-a-Porter

2. Grey lace hem skater skirt £20 from Topshop

3. Embroidered Nerine top, £98 from Anthropologie

4. Table Cloth Scarf in Lite Chalk, £149 from Odd Molly

5. Jacket in a textured weave, £29.99 from H&M

6. Grineeh printed bag, £199 from By Malene Birger

7. Zippy Knit in pink ash, £149 by Hunky Dory

Currently Coveting #17: The Many Shoes of Carrie Bradshaw’s Closet

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As soon as I saw this poster on the fabulous Stalking Beauty blog, I knew I HAD to have it. As any Sex and the City obsessive will know, Carrie Bradshaw’s amazing shoe collection played almost as big a role in the series as the star herself. To me, nothing has replaced Carrie and her gang for pure fashion indulgence (Gossip Girl came close, but still not a patch on the weekly sartorial feast that was SATC) and I still regularly watch my favourite episodes on the box set.

In an ideal world, this poster would hang in my own spacious walk-in closet complete with shelves heaving with Manolos and Jimmy Choos. Sadly, that is but a dream (for the moment at least!) so I will have to find another place for it when it arrives. Wherever it goes I am sure it will provide me with daily inspiration…