Tuesday, 30 November 2010

today i want... zara leather and jersey dress

I do love a (faux or otherwise) leather dress (see mine here). The jersey panels on this lovely Zara one make it a great daytime option, perhaps with a crisp white shirt underneath, or a huge slouchy knit thrown on top. Or wear it a cappella with ankle boots and smoky eyes for after hours.

Zara strapless dress with synthetic leather skirt, £25.99


today i'm wearing...

Tee: Topshop; faux leather trousers: Topshop; cardigan: Topshop; bag: Topshop; shoes: Topshop; necklace: H&M; ring: Topshop; lipstick: Collection 2000 Lasting Colour in 'Berry Blast'


Monday, 29 November 2010

today i'm wearing...

Aviator jacket: Topshop; shirt: Topshop; trousers: Zara; shoes: Primark; bag: Topshop; belt: Primark; necklace: can't remember; ring: Topshop; nail varnish: Topshop in 'Geography Teacher'


Sunday, 28 November 2010

today i want... asos leopard snood

Just in case you haven't noticed, it's pretty blimmin' cold outside at the moment. This makes it incredibly hard to dress fashionably, given that it pretty much requires you to swathe yourself from head to toe in the thickest fabrics you can find. And don't even get me started on footwear: I tried to wear peep toe heels last week (with tights, obv), but my toes weren't having any of it and I quickly surrendered to my snuggly ankle boots the next day, which in turn meant I had to rethink my whole outfit. Nightmare. Anyway, while I'm still stumped when it comes to winter footwear dilemmas, I can at least offer you something with which to insulate your shivering neck, whatever else you're wearing. Enter this lovely furry snood. Because if there's one thing that will lift your mood on a freezing wintry morning waiting for the tube, it's surely a lovely shot of leopard print (oh, and a Starbucks gingerbread latte... mmm).

Asos short fantasy faux fur leopard snood, £18


Saturday, 27 November 2010

today i'm channelling... reiss 1971

There were quite a few Reiss pieces pulled for the shoot the other day, and they reminded me just how much I wish I could afford to shop there. So I took a little look at their website on the offchance that there might be something within my budget. Sadly there really wasn't (unless you count a couple of basic T-shirts in the sale), but I did happen upon the lookbook for Reiss' offshoot line 1971, which is aimed at a younger demographic and focused on denim and leather. It was love at first sight: this lookbook could pass as a high fashion shoot in any glossy. I just love the nonchalant styling of half-tucked-in oversized shirts, minidresses paired with lace-up heels, and loads of skin-tight denim and leather, all perfectly teamed with mussed-up, rock-chick hair. So, given that I can't afford any of the actual pieces in the lookbook, I thought I'd have a scout around for some cheaper alternatives to recreate them.

First to catch my eye was this beautifully simple look (above), elevated to perfection with a few lovely little details. I adore the oversized cut of the shirt and how it's half tucked in, the zip-detail on the trousers and a flash of ankle above the mesh-detail courts. So, to recreate this, team Zara's Oversize Shirt, £29.99, with Topshop's Premium Black Leather Cropped Biker Trousers, £140. I am in love with the amazing biker detailing on these trousers and they're a perfect substitute for the Reiss version, but admittedly £140 is still not cheap, so if you'd prefer a faux leather version, then try Next's Black Faux Leather Skinny Trousers for a mere £32. Finally step into Asos' Sensation Mesh Kitten Heel Shoes (love these a lot), again a brilliantly cheap £32, and scrunch some salt spray into your hair: try Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray, £14.65 at Amazon. Lovely stuff.

I love the next look (above) so much that it managed to make me see two things I usually dislike (pink clothes and tracksuit trousers) in a whole different light. And that's no mean feat. I've always hated pink clothes; I love orange, coral, salmon and blush, but bright pink = Barbie in my eyes. A couple of weeks ago, however, my new favourite style icon, Columbine Smille, paired black skinny jeans with a bright pink silk shirt and a white fur coat and looked amazing. And now here's another reason for me to reconsider my allergy to pink. The same goes for the grey tracksuit trousers, which I generally think should never be seen away from the sofa. So it's testament to the power of a really well-styled look that two items I'm not sure about have been put together to make an outfit I love. Anyway, onto how to get this look for less. Team Marks & Spencer's Classic Collection 3/4 Sleeve Blouse with Camisole, £25, with George's Jogging Bottoms, £8 - but please never leave the house in these without adding fierce heels! Asos' Tender Lace-Up Peep Toe Shoe Boots, £44, will do nicely. Finally throw on a leather jacket, like Wallis' Black Leather Biker Jacket, £145 (or Warehouse's PU Quilted Biker Jacket, £55, is a great faux option), and you're good to go.

The final look (above) is a great party option, and perfect for the girl who doesn't want to look too saccharine sweet in a cocktail dress. Mixing up the textures means this lace top and leather skirt combo is a much more on-trend and interesting alternative to the potentially boring LBD. It's also très Christopher Kane, ergo very good. First you'll need a lovely lace bodysuit, so either dare to bare by showing off a statement bra under Fashion Union's Lace Bodysuit, £13.50, or, if your party's a little more conservative, try Miss Selfridge's Black 3/4 Sleeve Lace Bodysuit, £20, which has a black front panel but is all lace at the back. Over this, slip on Topshop's Premium Black Paperbag Waistband Belted Leather Skirt, £85, then step into Asos' Tuscan Cuff Wedge Shoe Boots, £45. Finally scrunch some salt spray through your hair, and I'd probably add a slick of bright orange or pink lipstick, too.

So there you have it. Three leather-based, slightly rock chick looks courtesy of Reiss' 1971 line, and perfect for anyone who doesn't fancy looking too sugary sweet this winter.

Pictures: Reissonline.com


today i'm wearing...

Actually, this post should be entitled "yesterday and the day before that I was wearing", but that's not nearly as catchy...


Blouse: Topshop; top (underneath): Topshop Boutique; faux leather trousers: Topshop; cardigan: Primark; faux fur stole: Topshop; belt: Primark; necklace: can't remember


Shirt: Topshop; jumper: Topshop; jeans: Topshop; bag: Topshop; ring: Topshop


Friday, 26 November 2010

today i want... topshop maxi cardigan

Yesterday I got to assist one of my favourite stylists on a Christmas fashion shoot (I won't give any more details in case I'm not allowed, but will post the pics when they appear!) Anyway, this amazing cardigan was one of the items pulled for the shoot. It wasn't originally going to be used, but the model put it on to keep warm while I was steaming her shirt, and it looked so great that it just had to go in the shoot. It's seriously soft and snuggly (and I mean amazingly so) and a gorgeous colour. The only problem is that it would be impossible to wear a coat on top of it, making it reasonably impractical in this weather. But hey, since when have I ever cared about things like that?!

Topshop knitted mohair maxi cardigan, £65


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

today i'm wearing...

Jacket: Miss Selfridge; top: Topshop; skirt: Topshop (customised from dress); tights: M&S; bag: Topshop; bracelet: Asos


Tuesday, 23 November 2010

today i want... topshop rust orange shirt

Oh I do love silk. It's just so fabulously tactile and luxurious. I also love rust orange: the colour of beautiful autumn leaves, and an absolute treat paired with grey or navy. And I love shirts, too. So what a delight to come across this beauty in Topshop's latest drop. I just can't stop looking at the fabulous rich colour (or imagining it paired with chunky gold jewellery and a smart navy blazer). Yum.

Topshop tobacco silk military pocket shirt, £45


today i'm wearing...

Aviator jacket: Topshop; blouse: Miss Selfridge; faux leather shorts: River Island; tights: M&S; bag: Topshop; shoes: Topshop; necklace: don't remember; ring: Topshop


Monday, 22 November 2010

today i love... lanvin for h&m

Unless you've been living in a fashion black hole, where the inhabitants still think leather is only to be worn by bikers, you will no doubt be aware that Lanvin have produced a collaboration with H&M, which goes on sale tomorrow. I am often sceptical about designer/high street collaborations, because they can just be an excuse for a high street retailer to slap a designer name on its clothes and charge much more for them than it ordinarily would. I am also often sceptical of H&M; it's one of those shops where I occasionally find a purchase I fall inexorably in love with, but most of the time find it to be distinctly average, and the quality of its clothes falls far short of that of, say, Topshop's. I have also found some of H&M's past designer collaborations, for example that with Karl Lagerfeld, to be of disappointingly poor quality. But I'm determined to remain optimistic about this one. After all, Alber Elbaz (creative director of Lanvin) is notoriously picky about such things, and once swore he'd never do a mass market collection, so one may reasonably assume that he's been fairly adamant that the clothes he puts his label's name to will live up to his high standards.

And from what I've seen so far, it certainly seems that way. This is not a collection of H&M t-shirts simply emblazoned with the Lanvin name; this is a range of beautiful show-stopping dresses, accompanied by a selection of blazers, tops, shoes and jewellery. Check out the full range on Vogue.co.uk
here. My personal favourite is the one-shouldered yellow dress (below); I just love the ruffles and the contrasting black waistband.


The only problem is that the dress still costs £99.99, which, although a darn sight cheaper than a Lanvin dress would normally be, may still prove too expensive for my unemployed self. Upsetting. But if you would like to splash out on any of the delightful pieces, be sure to log on to the H&M website tomorrow at 7am, or fight your way into your nearest store at 9am.

In the meantime, check out the amazing video trailer for the collection below... it's pure bonkers genius.



Saturday, 20 November 2010

today i want... river island grey aviator jacket

I know, I know... another aviator. But bear with me, because this is a really good one. After showing you some excellent Burberry-esque versions the other day, I've moved onto imitating Acne's really rather fabulous collection of flying jackets. If you're not familiar with this Swedish mega-brand (it stands for 'ambition to create novel expressions', FYI), then you really have been missing out. It's one of those brands that you could actually wear head-to-toe and look amazing. The only drawback, however, is the prices, leading me to search for high street lookalikes. And what do you know? River Island have produced a sensationally beautiful piece of outerwear which is a dead ringer for Acne's Rita jacket (see the original here). And it will set you back £150, rather than £1,135. That's quite some saving.

River Island grey leather boyfriend aviator jacket, £150


Friday, 19 November 2010

today i'm wearing...

Jacket: Miss Selfridge; jumper: Topshop; top (underneath): Topshop Boutique; jeans: Topshop; bag: Topshop; shoes: Primark; lurex socks: Topshop; owl ring: Accessorize


today i want... topshop grey lace dress

Party season is just around the corner, and that calls for new dresses aplenty. This beauty arrived on Topshop.com today, and I reckon it's just the ticket for any Christmassy soirées you may be attending in the coming weeks. There's something incongruous about wearing bright patterns or tropical colours in December, so summer party frocks should be relegated in favour of something altogether more festive. This lovely grey dress is almost the clothing equivalent of a snowflake, what with its delicious lace and sparkles. And, in homage to Harry Potter (which I'm seeing in three short hours!), there's definitely something of the Fleur-Delacour-at-the-Yule-Ball about it. Magical.


Thursday, 18 November 2010

today i'm channelling... emma watson

I've always liked Emma Watson. Anyone who has been in the public eye since the age of nine and still manages to retain some elegance and grace surely deserves respect. Besides, I'm a huuuuuuge Harry Potter fan (sooooo excited to see The Deathly Hallows Part 1 tomorrow!) But it's Emma's style that has intrigued me the most over the years. Obviously she didn't get the knack of it until she was about 17 (and to be fair, most of us don't), but as soon as she employed super-stylist Caroline Sieber, the fashiontastic looks started arriving in quick succession. 2008-2009 were particularly stellar years for Miss Watson fashion-wise; I'm guessing becoming the face of Burberry helped somewhat. When trying to pinpoint my favourite look of hers I'm torn between the embellished gold Burberry minidress and the vintage Ossie Clark maxidress: both simply superb.

But we haven't seen much of Miss Watson this year, appearance at the Met Ball clad in snow-white Burberry aside. This is probably due to the fact that she's been across the pond studying at Brown University. And without Caroline Sieber by her side, her off-duty fashion has been pretty, well, uninspiring. But luckily a new Potter film has sparked a new promotional tour and therefore a string of new looks. If I'm honest, none of the outfits she's been seen in this year even compare to last year (she seems to have shed some of her fashion mojo along with her hair). I was not loving the velvet Vionnet number she wore to a photocall the other week, partly because she committed a cardinal accessorising sin: dangly earrings plus dangly necklace (= yuck). The shapeless Calvin Klein dress she wore to the New York premiere was really not good either. Her London premiere look of a vintage Rafael Lopez lace and feather dress teamed with mile-long legs was much better, but still not a patch on the Watson of old.

Happily, though, her style away from the red carpet has been coming on in leaps and bounds. The first look to really catch my eye was worn in that hallowed place of style, Heathrow Airport. On Sunday Emma tweeted, "That's London done, now off to New York! Wearing my favourite trench that Christopher Bailey @Burberry designed for me. Love it! x" (Follow Emma
here). That's right, a bespoke Burberry trench. Jeeeeeealous! Said trench turned out to be a spectacularly beautiful pale grey number with black leather sleeves. And that wasn't to be the only Burberry beauty Miss Watson would parade on her sojourn overseas. No, over the last couple of days I've spotted her in not one, not two, but three more Burberry trenches: a classic navy military style, a dove grey suede and an amazing beige guy with studded sleeves. It was this last one that really made me sit up and pay attention, especially when, for her appearance on The Today Show, Emma teamed said studded trench with an adorable grey Carven minidress and sky-high peeptoes (see it here).

Finally, Miss Watson appears to be back to her fashionable best. I just love the juxtaposition of the super sweet Sixties-style minidress with the fierce studded coat and killer heels. Her haircut, which I'm generally not in favour of (sorry Emma, but it just doesn't quite suit you), actually works pretty well with this gamine outfit. So, how to get this look for yourself? Well, as you can no doubt imagine, it's hardly been easy to find a replica of such an individual and amazing Burberry trench coat. But
Rare's Embellished Mac, £79 at Topshop, is really not a bad substitute; it has chain details on the shoulders rather than studs on the arms but the general idea is there. (Alternatively, I love the idea of imitating Emma's leather-sleeved version by pulling a sleeveless mac on over a skinny leather jacket.) Her cute Carven dress, however, is much easier to replicate. Simply layer Mango's Dress Totta (not sure what that name is all about) in Mole, £37.90, over Topshop's Sleeveless Silk Shirt, £35, buttoned right to the top. Finally, slip on Zara's Gathered Peep Toe With Heel shoes, £49.99, and there you have it. Simply spellbinding style, and certainly worthy of some house points, if you ask me.


today i want... river island leopard ring

I have something of a weakness for animal-shaped rings; I'm not sure why, but I love them. I already have a swallow, a tortoise, a snake and an owl. And I think this River Island beauty would make a brilliant addition to my collection. In fact, River Island has a surprisingly good jewellery range at the moment, although some of it does seem to suffer from a case of over-diamanté-itis (one of the rings even has the word 'bling' in the name, which is a death sentence if ever I saw one). But I love this bold, graphic leopard ring, and I reckon it would make the perfect stocking filler.


Wednesday, 17 November 2010

today i love... lisa eldridge's christmas gift ideas

If you haven't heard of Lisa Eldridge, then you're in for a real treat. Make-up artist extraordinaire and creative director of No.7, Lisa is also purveyor of the truly brilliant lisaeldridge.com, where she regularly posts videos of all manner of make-up tutorials (read all about it here). Lisa's incredibly easy-to-follow vids could make even the most make-up shy girl pick up a brush, so I strongly urge you to check them out. I just had to share her latest offering with you, because it's all about perfect gift ideas for Christmas, and I for one have been inspired to start brainstorming ideas for my friends. Hope you enjoy.

Video: Lisaeldridge.com


today i'm wearing...

Coat: Topshop; jumper: Topshop; faux leather shorts: River Island; tights: M&S; bag: Topshop; bracelet: Asos; ring: Gogo Philip at Topshop; lipstick: Collection 2000 Lasting Colour in Berry Blast


today i bought...

This Topshop jumper, £42, is knitwear perfection. I just love the Isabel Marant-esque stripes, lurex thread and the fact that it is super, super soft.

I have a subscription to Grazia and I buy Vogue when I'm feeling extravagant. This month I just had to have it because I've got a bit of a style crush on Emma Watson. The lipstick is Collection 2000 Lasting Colour in Berry Blast.

Nothing perks up my day quite like a freebie, so I love to ask for perfume samples in department stores. They usually have loads and it's a great way to try out new scents. These are the ones I got today. I actually have a proper bottle of the Chloé one and it's one of my all-time favourite perfumes.


Tuesday, 16 November 2010

today i'm channelling... columbine smille

You'll know by now that I'm pretty obsessed with a certain Columbine Smille, Swedish stylist and fashion blogger extraordinaire, for her exceptional sense of style (read all about her here). Each day Columbine posts yet another brilliant outfit, and demonstrates her expert use of texture, colour and proportion. Today I'm taking inspiration from the below look because it's a great example of Miss Smille's ability to take basics (black coat, white knit, grey jeans) and pep them up with quirky accessories and unusual colour combinations (rust orange shoes and berry pink lips).

The best thing about this look is that it's so easy to replicate on the high street. Columbine's exact shoes, Zara's Suede Court Shoe With Heel, are still available for a very reasonable £49.99, and though I can't guarantee it's exactly the same, Topshop's Knitted Cable Jumper, £48, is a dead ringer for our muse's (which is also from Topshop). Pair these with Cheap Monday's Used Black Narrow Skinny Jean (Columbine's favourite jeans brand), £45, and then throw on Yuki's Juliet Tie Jacket, £95 at Topshop. All that remains to complete the look is to apply a slick of 17 Lasting Finish Lipstick in Showbiz, £3.49, and perfect your model pose. And there you have it, a lovely wintry look courtesy of this stylish Swede: simple but beautiful, and guaranteed to turn heads.



today i want... topshop sno thermal top

It was -2 degrees here in the south of England when I woke up today, and the streets are swathed in thick white fog as far as the eye can see. If any weather calls for a thermal top, it's surely this. Luckily I've found a contender that combines warmth with style (and at a very reasonable price). This bright coral top is perfect for keeping your arms nice and snuggly while providing a lovely hit of colour. I'm envisaging it paired with black leather trousers, nude heels and a slick of blood-red lipstick. Just perfect for braving the elements.

Topshop Sno coral thermal long sleeve top, £16


Monday, 15 November 2010

today i'm wearing...

Aviator jacket: Topshop; body: Miss Selfridge; skirt: Topshop; belt: Primark; tights: M&S; bag: Topshop; boots: Topshop; necklace: can't remember; bracelet: Asos; scarf: Topshop


today i'm channelling... burberry prorsum a/w'10

Regular readers of this blog (I'm sure there's at least one of you) will know that I am completely in love with Christopher Bailey and everything that he does. The man can do no wrong, as far as I'm concerned. His last three Burberry Prorsum collections in particular have been exceptionally good, and I've wanted every single piece he's clad his models in (check out my review of his latest show, S/S'11, here). My obsession truly reached fever pitch back in February, though, when he presented his stellar A/W'10 collection in London. It was simply the best collection I'd ever seen, and sparked an insatiable desire to get my hands on an aviator jacket, which culminated in me spending a ridiculous amount on one in August (read all about it here).

So in truth, I've been trying to channel Burberry Prorsum A/W'10 for a good few months now, but given that it's only recently been cold enough to actually do so, I thought now would be a good time to share with you a bevy of Christopher Bailey-inspired delights from the great British high street. After all, as much as sacrificing one's student loan repayments in favour of cladding oneself in the genuine article might seem a good idea at the time, in reality it's probably better to spend a little less on clothes in order to leave enough money to feed oneself (I know, who knew I was so practical?!)

Besides, what is the high street there for if not to provide reasonable copies of designer pieces at a fraction of the price? And they've certainly been going all out to imitate Burberry this season. You can't have failed to notice that every single shop has been chock-a-block with aviator-alikes for months now, with everywhere from Primark to Whistles producing versions (with varying degrees of success). But if you're anything like me then you probably snapped up your sheepskin jacket long ago. The issue, now that we can actually wear our cosy outerwear, is what exactly to wear it with. And, as with so many of life's questions, Christopher Bailey has the answer.

First up is a lesson in how to style a classic black or khaki aviator with white shearling collar (above): team it with tiered lace pieces in sludgy colours like mustard, puce or olive green, and thigh-high leather boots. So, to the high street. If you are still on the hunt for such a jacket, I suggest Zara's Sheepskin Perfecto Jacket, £69.99: not real sheepskin but one of the best budget versions I've seen. Under this, slip on Topshop's Lace Front Zip Back Shell Top; the lovely sludgy yellow will look perfect against the khaki jacket and it's a snip at £20. Pair this with some skinny black jeans and Topshop's Brittany Over Knee Boots, £80, and you're all set.

But if you prefer a black version of the aviator, then take inspiration from this look (above) and add luscious layers in rich, berry colours for a beautiful wintry look. I adore Topshop's Curly Sheepskin Panel Leather Jacket, £225: not cheap, but surely worth it for the butter-soft leather and luxe sheepskin detailing. Team this with Topshop's astonishingly Burberry-esque Chiffon Frill Front Zip Skirt, £35, and New Look's Velvet Bow Back Vest in 'Thistle', £10.39. Finally step into River Island's amazing Shutter Mid Fur Boots, £74.99 (want, want, want).

And lastly, we move away from the ubiquitous aviator and onto the other Burberry-inspired outerwear of the season: the smart military coat (above). I'm a sucker for anything utilitarian; I just can't say no to a row of gleaming gold buttons on a smartly tailored jacket in navy or khaki. And while khaki would probably be my military coat colour of choice, because it's very British officers circa WW1, navy is possibly my all-time favourite colour for any clothing: it's just so flattering and goes with everything. So I love the above idea of layering different textures of navy and black to create a seriously chic silhouette. The best military coat I've seen on the (virtual) high street has got to be Asos' Military Button Coat, £75, which comes in both navy and khaki (and also black and red, but I'm less keen on those). I love the idea of the navy version slipped on over Asos White's Silk Hitch Hem Shirt in navy, £50, in turn tucked into Topshop's Lace A-line Skirt, £35, to create a lovely textural mix of blues.

So there you have it. Three beautiful Bailey-worthy looks courtesy of the high street: all sumptuously stylish, seriously snuggly and won't force you to max out your overdraft. What more could you want this winter?

Pictures of Burberry Prorsum A/W'10: Elleuk.com


Sunday, 14 November 2010

today i want... h&m duvet set

H&M have recently launched a home range - and what do you know? It's really quite good. You'll find vintage-style teatowels, throws and rugs in all colours of the rainbow, cute dining utensils and lovely printed cushions, all at very affordable prices. My favourite piece, though, has got to be this adorable duvet set. Just perfect for snuggling into on a cold winter's night.

H&M duvet cover set, £19.99


Saturday, 13 November 2010

today i want... next leopard print clutch

I can't resist a bit of leopard print. It adds a lovely kick of fierceness to any outfit, and goes with everything. And my favourite way of wearing it is definitely on accessories. I am in love with the Zara ankle boots I featured last week, but if you're not a heels girl, or you'd just rather carry your print around than wear it on your feet, then this clutch is surely the perfect alternative. Its appearance belies its tiny price tag, with the faux ponyskin texture and chunky chain edging adding interest and style, and it's also roomy enough for daytime. Purrfect.

Next faux pony skin leopard effect clutch, £22


today i love... elin kling

Sweden has become pretty cool recently, what with books like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, actors like Alexander Skarsgård, bands like Miike Snow and brands like Acne. And lately I've discovered that it's full of fashion icons, too. Today I present to you yet another stylish Swede whose blog I'm currently obsessed with: TV presenter and stylist Elin Kling (my other two favourite Scandinavians are Columbine Smille and Caroline Blomst). Elin seems to be something of a celebrity in her native country, and with her glossy blonde hair, screen siren smile and fashion sense to die for, it's not hard to see why. In her blog, Style by Kling, she shows off her outfits, her current style inspirations and episodes of her online TV show (unfortunately that is in Swedish, though).

As usual, it's the pictures of Miss Kling's outfits that I love the most. Elin favours quite a rock-chick look, with a lot of leather, studs and skin-tight trousers. She frequently shows off her legs in hotpants paired with slouchy vests or oversized shirts, or teams a minidress with dishevelled hair and lashings of eyeliner on the red carpet. I love the way she can take very basic pieces - skinny jeans and a simple white tee, for example - and make them look effortlessly chic with the addition of carefully chosen accessories and scarlet lips. Elin's brilliant outfits aren't the only thing that will have you coming back to this blog again and again, though. Part of its appeal is that Elin clearly has an amazing life and loves to show it off - cue pictures of her numerous fashion show invites, examples of her magazine spreads and photos of her rubbing shoulders with the likes of Alexander Wang at celebrity parties. And you know I love to get a sneaky peek into the lives of the fashionable and fabulous. So I suggest you check out this stylish Scandinavian's fashion credentials, because I can assure you there's a smorgasbord of inspiration on offer.

Pictures: Stylebykling


Friday, 12 November 2010

today i want... river island faux leather shorts

In fact, I want these cutout-detail faux leather shorts so much that I've just ordered them (really hope they fit!) As I mentioned in my post about my faux leather dress, I've been searching for some leather-look shorts for a while, but until now I hadn't been able to find any that a) didn't cost a bomb, b) were nice and high-waisted and c) weren't so teeny tiny as to rule out daytime wearing. But this afternoon, while browsing Asos.com, I came across this charming pair. I adore the cutout detail, and also the very doable price tag. Best of all, if you put the discount code GRAZIANOV into the checkout before midnight on Tuesday 16th, you get 20% off everything at Asos. So actually, these babies were a mere £24. Nice one.

River Island cut work shorts, £29.99 at Asos.com


Thursday, 11 November 2010

today i want... topshop faux sheepskin backpack

I think I may have an addiction to shearling. This season I just can't get enough of it. I already own a huge aviator jacket made from the stuff and boots lined in it, and now I've got my eye on all manner of sheep-inspired accessories. Top of my list is this wonderful faux sheepskin backpack from Topshop. A few weeks ago they had a similar version that cost £75, and though I loved it, I couldn't quite justify the price. Now, to my joy, they've brought out this equally fabulous fellow for a much more reasonable £45. Quite the baaa-gain. (Sorry...)

Topshop faux sheepskin backpack, £45


today i'm wearing...

Coat: Topshop; jeans: Topshop; top: Topshop; cardigan: Topshop; bag: Topshop; necklace: H&M; ring: Topshop; boots: Topshop


Wednesday, 10 November 2010

today i bought...

I just had to show you these beautiful shoes I picked up in Primark today. I love their mesh panels and elegant heel. Best of all, they were reduced from £15 to a ridiculous £3 (three tiny pounds! I mean, seriously, you can barely get a coffee for that!) So get yourself down to your nearest Primark pronto...


today i'm wearing...

Coat: Topshop; jumper: Silence + Noise at Urban Outfitters; top (underneath): Topshop; jeans: Topshop; necklace: Topshop; scarf: Miss Selfridge


Tuesday, 9 November 2010

today i want... whistles flying jacket

If, like me, you consume fashion magazines like oxygen, then this won't be the first time you've set eyes on this absolute beauty of a jacket. Ever since 'aviator' became the buzzword of the season back in August, this beautiful navy number with its fluffy snow-white collar has been at the top of every lust list as an alternative to the leather utilitarian versions. And it's now finally arrived in stores. Unfortunately I've already splurged on one aviator jacket this season so can't justify buying this as well (sob), but if you're still looking for the perfect autumnal outerwear, then call off the search.

Whistles Clare Flying Jacket, £225


today i'm channelling... karen gillan

I should confess that I'm a huge fan of Doctor Who. I love a bit of good old British family TV, and it's surely the epitome of this (Merlin comes a close second). I fell in love with it when the delectable David Tennant came along and made the role his own, injecting his lovely cheeky wink into Saturday night TV. Such a fan was I of Mr Tennant that I, like many, was sceptical of his successor, Matt Smith. Luckily I was soon won over by the new Doctor, and series 5 proved to be my favourite so far. But if I'm honest, Matt wasn't the reason for this. No, it was his fiery assistant Karen Gillan (who plays Amy Pond) who made me sit up and pay attention. Fiesty, stunning and possessing the best hair, like, ever, ex-model Karen fast became my new girl-crush. And I was happy to see that this red-haired beauty is also in possession of some rather enviable style sense, too.

On the original promotional tour for series 5 of Doctor Who, Karen earned her fashion stripes in a series of lovely ensembles, including a metallic DVF skirt suit, a silky black jumpsuit and a flowing aubergine maxidress. Since then she's been papped out and about continuing her run of fashion successes: she attended a festival decked out in a cornflower blue Vivienne Westwood shirt dress, did a radio interview in a crisp white Victoriana shirt and Mulberry 'Alexa' bag, and turned up to the TV Choice Awards in a beautiful rust-orange lace dress.

But it's in the last few days, when scurrying about promoting the release of the series 5 DVD (which I so would get for Christmas, but it's a wee bit on the pricey side), that Karen has really struck fashion gold. The other day she showed off her mile-long legs in a sheer taupe playsuit teamed with a black blazer and Heidi-style plaits, and has also pulled off the tricky velvet trend by way of a gorgeous patterned dress. But it was her outfit for an appearance on ITV's morning show Daybreak yesterday that really piqued my attention (see it here). Erdem's beautiful digital floral prints have been seen on every stylish celebrity worth her salt recently, from Keira Knightley slipping into a floor-length maxidress to Leighton Meester stepping out in printed shorts. But it's Karen's take on the trend that really stands out. Teaming the statement dress with zero accessories, soft natural make-up and lightly teased hair allows it to speak for itself, but without overwhelming its wearer.

Now, obviously it wasn't easy to find a copycat of this dress on the high street, given the individuality of its beautiful intricate print (read: impossible). But sadly I can't afford the original (though I really, really want it) so I've decided to offer up some suitable printed alternatives. However, even this hasn't proved the easiest of challenges. Most of the high street's printed offerings are either mumsy ditsy florals (shudder) or unbecoming monotones. But I do quite like
Topshop's Midnight Berry Midi Dress, £55. The rich berry tones are lovely and wintry, and I'm a fan of the chiffon overlay; just remember that midi-lengths always demand heels. For a shirt-dress style like Miss Gillan's, Mango's Flako Dress, £54.90, is a pretty good option, but it's worth noting that paisley is very tricky to pull off. I hate how they've styled it on the website: for one thing, mid-calf boots + dress is one of the worst fashion sins in any situation, in my opinion. Also, paisley paired with tan accessories = bad 70s throwback. Instead, take tips from our redheaded muse and team this dress with bare legs and simple black heels, and button it all the way to the top. However, if you're a wee bit scared of paisley (and I admittedly am), and put off by all the sickly sweet florals, then may I suggest a bit of animal print? You can't move for leopard print on the high street at the moment, and if you get it right, a fierce bit of feline can really update your look. French Connection's Blurred Animal Print Drape Dress is not cheap at £85, but has a very Erdem-esque colour palette and is probably much easier to pull off than my other suggestions.

Happily, the fact remains that whether or not we can successfully emulate Karen's exact choice of dress, we can still take inspiration from the brilliant way in which she wears it. Her genius formula of simple heels + nude make-up + swept back hair can, and should, be applied to any and every printed item of clothing you own. Try slipping on
Topshop's Angelica Mid Heel Shoeboots, £75, sweeping Maybelline's EyeStudio Mono Eyeshadow in 'Silken Taupe' (my absolute favourite eyeshadow) over your lids, and backcombing your hair a little. And with that you'll be ready to take on anything the day throws at you, even a Dalek...


Monday, 8 November 2010

today i want... topshop sequin balcony bra

As the party season approaches, so sequins begin to make their annual assault on the high street, smothering everything from leggings and dresses to tops and scarves in their festive twinkly glare. But I have to say, this sequin-encrusted bra is a new one on me. Yes, it's a little tacky and OTT, but gosh, I love it. Imagine this beauty peeking out from beneath a casual cotton cami, or adding a bit of interest to a low-cut LBD. It puts an end to that age-old dilemma of the dress that you can't wear without a bra, but the bra shows through: just replace your boring old brassiere with this sequinned delight and make a statement of it. And it's surely much subtler, and infinitely more stylish, to wear your sequins under your clothes, rather than on them.

Topshop beaded sequin balcony bra, £40

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