Monday, 31 January 2011

today i'm inspired by... carolinesmode.com

I've written before about Carolinesmode.com and its stylish perpetrator Caroline Blomst (see how to channel one of her outfits here). I often like to check it out for a bit of fashinspiration, and yesterday I came across this outfit collage she'd done (see it on her blog, including where to get everything, here). It features my new Topshop clutch and I just love the other items she's chosen to wear it with. I'm especially enamoured with that rose gold Asos watch; I featured the gold version in 23rd January's "today I'd love to wear", but now I can't decide which colour I prefer. It's also available in silver, too, and all three watches are currently temporarily reduced from £30 to £24 (snap them up here). Anyway, the rose gold is certainly the perfect pop of colour in Caroline's otherwise all grey and white outfit, and it's definitely made me impatient for the appropriate weather to wear something like this. In the meantime, I'll be looking out for a cheaper alternative to that divine Chanel nail varnish: love love love it.


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today i'm wearing...

Blouse from Topshop; jeans from Topshop; shoes from Primark; bag from Topshop; ring from River Island; lip gloss is Topshop lip polish in Cherry Picker; silver nail varnish is Barry M nail paint in 724.

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Sunday, 30 January 2011

today i'd love to wear...


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today i bought...

It was love at first sight when I saw this amazing Topshop clutch online, and I featured it as 26th's January's "today I want". After that I just couldn't get it out of my mind, and when I saw that Topshop were offering free next day delivery, there was no way I wasn't going to buy it. When it arrived, I was amazed to find that it is even more beautiful in real life. The leather is so soft and supple, the cracked detail gives it an almost grey/silver sheen, and it's a great size. It's also the perfect way to channel Alexander Wang S/S'11 now, while the weather is just a little too cold for silk dresses and lightweight jackets. I can't wait to use it.

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today i'm channelling... alexander wang s/s'11

Back in September, when I was writing my show reports for New York fashion week, I stated that while I didn't immediately love Alexander Wang's spring/summer show, I was sure that by the time spring came around, so would I. And what do you know? My prediction came true. As the dreary days of winter slowly (oh so slowly) tick by and spring edges ever closer, Wang's loose draped silhouettes in shades of tennis white, silver grey, soft peach and buttercup yellow seem more and more appealing. While my dislike of the grungy hair and piercings Wang saw fit to accompany his clothes has not softened, instead imagining his beautiful clothes teamed with soft, dewy make-up and loose, freshly-washed hair has enabled me to see them from a whole new perspective. Highlights of Wang's stellar collection include beautiful crisp white dresses cut in soft parachute silks; slouchy separates in smoky grey, mint green and smudged white; loose, asymmetric silk dresses with metallic panels, and casual foil-effect bomber jackets. And as the spring collections continue to trickle into high street stores, it's clear that Wang's influence over what people want to wear shows no signs of waning.

With that in mind, I thought I would bring to your attention some of the cheaper items paying homage to Wang's sporty-but-elegant aesthetic. I mentioned
the other day how much I'm looking forward to Topshop's New Age Constellation collection, and from what I've seen so far it seems that crisp white shirt-style dresses, as seen in Wang's show, will prove a strong driving force behind it. In fact, the white dress, always a staple for summer, has been given a Wang-style makeover in many stores, with cleaner lines and details such as collars and sheer panels providing a stronger alternative to the sundress of old. Acne's Arci dress, reduced from £220 to £132 and made from beautiful deconstructed chiffon, is surely the perfect representative of Wang's tendency towards classics with a modern, harder twist. If you do have a little money to spend, though, you can currently get an actual Alexander Wang shirt dress for a mere £157 at Mytheresa.com, reduced from £390. If that's out of your price range, however, then Asos' dipped hem shirt dress, reduced from £40 to £32, is a great cheaper alternative.

Moving on from the shirt dress, then, and when it comes to crisp white separates, there is no shortage of options on the high street.
Topshop's white layered hem mini skirt, £36, is a great structured piece, and would be perfect teamed with Topshop's white drape front sleeveless shirt, £32, or Asos' chiffon wrap back vest, reduced from £16 to £6. Top these off with River Island's silver hooded bomber jacket, £34.99, and you will have an outfit that could have walked straight out of Wang's show.

If you fancy adding a little colour, then Wang's ice-cream palette of soft mint, lemon and peach is the perfect way to add interest without introducing dark or harsh colours, which would look out of place against the crisp whites and sharp silvers. I am personally loving these kinds of pastel colours at the moment, and would definitely recommend my
mint green H&M jumper teamed with Topshop's lavender lip polish, £6, as the perfect way to pep up a white outfit. Alternatively, Warehouse's macrame sun silk dress, reduced from £60 to £42, and Topshop's mint tab button short sleeve shirt, £33, are both lovely subtle mint green options.

Finally, if you're looking for a standout evening dress, Wang's deconstructed silk tunics with silver foil strips have surely provided the inspiration for a multitude of high street alternatives. At the top end of the price scale is
Zimmermann's mesh-shoulder silk dress, reduced from £530 to £159 at the Outnet.
Asos' spaghetti strap silk dress, £55, is a cheaper dressy alternative, while Banana Republic's heritage zip-front shirtdress, reduced from £85 to £29.99, is a slouchier daytime option. My favourite of the grey silk dresses, though, has to be Asos White's S-shaped ruched silk dress, temporarily reduced from £75 to £60: love the chiffon overlay.

Whichever Wang-inspired outfit you choose, don't forget to add some suitably chic accessories;
Topshop's white distressed leather clutch bag, £50, would just be the perfect addition to any of the looks above. Then step into either Asos' Ava suede lace up wedge boots in Grey, £65, or Topshop's Abeline grey suede fold down cuff ankle boots, £75, and add Topshop's graduated hoop links collar, £18.50, for the final finishing touch. Just don't forget to team it all with dewy, barely-there make-up and fresh, unstyled hair to bring a touch of uptown chic to the master of downtown grunge.


Pictures: Elleuk.com

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Saturday, 29 January 2011

today i'm wearing...

Coat from River Island; silk shirt from Topshop; faux leather trousers from Topshop; shoes from Zara; bag from Topshop; bracelet from Asos; silver nail varnish is Barry M 724.

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Friday, 28 January 2011

today i'm inspired by... vogue straight talking shoot

I was reading Vogue's February issue today and came across this shoot from the 'More Dash Than Cash' feature, entitled Straight Talking. I love it because it shows that cheaper clothes can look just as beautiful as their more expensive counterparts when styled in the right way. I also really love the colour combinations in this shoot, and the way chiffon is used to soften up what might otherwise be overly sporty looks. The combination of an indigo tee with a black chiffon skirt and pink and grey heels in the third shot, for example, is brilliantly inventive but looks completely effortless. My favourite styling idea, though, is the cropped silk shirt layered over the mesh body: divine.

Aquascutum sleeveless trench, £350; Asos chiffon dress, £38; Hannah Marshall silk-chiffon skirt, £335; Joseph leather legwarmers, £295; Nine West espadrilles, £80

Hannah Marshall cropped silk shirt, £349; Joseph mesh body, £95; Topshop chiffon skirt, £60; Primark espadrilles, £12

American Apparel t-shirt, £13; LK Bennett silk camisole, £75; Antipodium maxiskirt, £299; Pierre Hardy for Gap shoes, £80


Pictures: Vogue UK February '11

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today i love... topshop edited

You will no doubt be aware by now just how much I love Topshop (I shudder to think how much money I've spent there in my life). I firmly believe that there is no other shop in the world that produces such brilliant fashion at such affordable prices (surely no other store opening in New York could have caused such a commotion as Topshop did). So with every new venture they take I am more and more excited. I was beyond happy to welcome their catwalk line Unique, and my shark-print dress from the S/S'10 collection is one of my all-time favourites. I was seriously excited about the launch of their make-up line, and remain a loyal devotee to it. I absolutely loved their A/W'10 magazine, 214, as well (very much looking forward to the spring/summer edition). And now they've set out on another new venture: a brand new boutique-style store called Edited, which houses only the very best of their stock in a sophisticated shopping environment.

Situated at 286 Regent Street (within their flagship Oxford Circus store), and also available to shop online, this new concept sees the brand reaching out to those shoppers who are interested in only the finest items, and who don't want to have to elbow hundreds of teenagers out of the way to get them. From what I can tell, the items selected to appear in the store (by head of design Jacqui Markham) are all high-quality and timeless, but with a distinct fashionable edge; a large portion of the stock is taken from their Topshop Boutique line (love, love, love) and much of it consists of luxe basics or classics with a difference. Case in point is the leather-sleeved trench I've been banging on about lately (which is now available in the Edited store, but not yet online): it's timeless, but at the same time undeniably of-the-moment. Other items selected include luxe cashmere tees, soft silk tops and dresses, super-high heels, classic tailored blazers, directional denim and lots of butter-soft leather. In short, it's basically everything I love about Topshop, distilled down into a chic, covetable collection. The items chosen will change every week, but I thought I'd select my top three of the current online picks for you:

Topshop Boutique cashmere vest, £20



Topshop 2 tone round sunglasses, £18



Topshop cream chiffon leather front tee, £45


So get yourself down to Regent Street or the online store pronto. Personally I can't wait to check the shop out for myself.


Pictures: Insideout.topshop.com


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today i want... deena & ozzy perspex shoes

So one of my New Year's resolutions was to wear heels whenever humanly possible, because they look better than flats, make you look better and are generally just great. I've been doing pretty well on this one, but admittedly some occasions really do call for flats. Shopping trips, for example; people who shop in heels clearly don't spend as much time browsing as I do (or maybe they use chauffeurs rather than the train). Luckily, I've come across some amazing flat shoes to help you in your quest to be both stylish and comfortable. I saw these Deena & Ozzy shoes in this week's Grazia and rushed straight online to check them out. I'm a little bit obsessed with perspex at the moment (still so in love with my new perspex clutch); a lovely plastic panel is just the ticket for giving a futuristic edge to an otherwise safe outfit. I just love the idea of wearing my navy lurex socks inside these beauties. The only downside is that Urban Outfitters charge £4.99 postage. Hmm, I think a trip to London is in order...

Deena & Ozzy perspex suede shoe, £32 at Urban Outfitters


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Thursday, 27 January 2011

today i love... shoes

Just thought I'd show you a few of my favourite pairs of shoes...

These are some old favourites from Primark. I remember how excited I was to find them, and you can see from the scuff marks how much they've been used. I just love the snakeskin panels.

I fell in love with these orange Topshop beauties near the end of my time at university, and my graduation ball was the perfect excuse to buy them. I wore them for 12 hours that night and couldn't really walk much after that, but it was worth it.

These were the last pair of their style in Primark and reduced from £15 to a ridiculous £3 (literally as cheap as chips). I just love the mesh panels, which look especially great when worn with some lovely sparkly socks.

I used to buy loads of shoes from New Look, but they seem to have gone downhill in that department lately (while the prices have gone up). Anyway, I love these turquoise sandals: perfect with a tan in the summer.

I got these lovely Topshop heels in the sale a couple of years ago, and they've been faithful friends ever since. I love the patent finish and the bright gold fastenings, plus the heel is a more manageable height than some.

Another Primark find. I've never been able to get over how much more expensive these look than the £17 they cost. The only problem is they look silly with tights, so that rules out half the year, but they'll be a perfect partner for my lime green dress come spring.

I still can't quite believe how much I love these amazing Zara leopard print heels, which I got for Christmas. I would wear them all day every day if my legs could handle it (well, and if I didn't have a problem with wearing the same thing day after day).

And last but by no means least are the amazing Asos ankle boots I got for my birthday. They're just quite simply beautiful.

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today i'm inspired by... topshop new age constellation

I've just come across these pictures on Topshop's blog, Inside-Out, from their upcoming collection New Age Constellation, and I love them. To be honest, the spring collections that have landed so far, Snake Valley, Graduation and Swedish Summer, haven't floated my boat all that much (Snake Valley too hippy, Graduation too preppy and Swedish Summer too 70s). So it's something of a relief to see these pictures and know that my unswerving devotion to Topshop will not be going unrewarded this season. I especially love that white top/dress teamed with the chunky silver cuff. Divine.


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today i'd love to wear...


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Wednesday, 26 January 2011

today i love... elle

Hello everyone! Just a little favour to ask... I've entered a competition to win an internship at ELLE and I would love if you could visit the link below before the end of Friday (28th Jan) and click on 'Pick Me'... you will need to register but this will only take a couple of minutes and it will mean you'll get some rather delicious fashion emails from ELLE in return (though you can choose not to)...

Thank you so much!

Anna x X x

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today i'm wearing...

Coat from River Island; jumper from H&M; shorts from River Island; bag from Topshop; shoes from Primark; tights from M&S; bracelet from Asos; lipstick is Mac Viva Glam Gaga.


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today i want... topshop white leather clutch

I do love an oversized clutch at the moment. There's something very elegant about a handheld bag, free of the clutter of straps and handles, tucked nonchalantly under one arm or dangling from your hand. And this bag is surely the epitome of that downtown chic. The white and silver makes it minimalist enough to give a nod to the grungy/sporty vibe championed by Alexander Wang, while the tactile cracked leather steps up the luxury factor. I'm a little bit obsessed with it.

Topshop white distressed leather clutch bag, £50


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Tuesday, 25 January 2011

today i'd love to wear...


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today i love... simple pleasures

Could there be anything better on a grey drizzly day than a cup of tea, a scented candle and a copy of Vogue?

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today i want... asos mint skinny belt

It's January, and what with Christmas shopping and my recent trip to Paris, I'm just a wee bit poor at the moment. So I'm trying not to shop quite as much as usual (though an exception may have to be made for the Topshop leather-sleeved trench). Anyway, if, like me, you are looking for ways to update your wardrobe without breaking the bank, then I've found the perfect little pick-me-up. At a mere £6, this belt basically doesn't count (just forgo your morning coffee for a couple of days instead!) I just love the minty blue colour, and it's the perfect way to update your tired old jackets (fastening it around your trench will look tres Burberry S/S'11), or your boring black dress that's crying out for a pop of colour. So go on, treat yourself. I promise I won't tell.


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Monday, 24 January 2011

today i'm inspired by... the guardian 'jagger edge' shoot

I just love this Bianca Jagger-inspired shoot, which appeared in the Guardian Weekend a couple of weeks ago (see all the pictures and where to get the clothes here). It was styled by the lovely Priscilla Kwateng, whom I was lucky enough to assist last December, and who, as always, has done a stellar job here. She's managed to interpret the potentially scary 70s trend into looks that are chic, luxurious and simply show-stopping. I also recognise the orange silk Topshop shirt in the third look, which myself, Priscilla and fashion assistant Sara all bought in the space of a week! See me wearing it here.


Pictures: Guardian.co.uk

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today i love... trench coats

The trench coat is almost certainly one of the top ten items every woman should have in her wardrobe. It's the ultimate in easy-chic dressing. You can throw one on over pretty much anything and look immediately stylish in an understated, model-off-duty sort of way. In terms of versatility, it's the biker jacket's grown up, classier sister. And given that the ultimate champion of the trench coat is none other than my favourite ever designer, Christopher Bailey, it's safe to say I'm a pretty big fan.

This year Burberry launches its bespoke trench coat service, where super-rich clientele can pretty much design their own version of the iconic piece, deciding on its colour, length, fabric and additional details. A-mazing. A couple of months ago Burberry muse Emma Watson debuted her personalised version, a ridiculously beautiful pale grey number with black leather sleeves. She also stepped out in three other amazing Burberry trenches in the same week; see how to imitate my favourite of the four looks
here. And of course Emma isn't the only celebrity who favours a classic smart trench to update any outfit; check out Elleuk.com's Starstyle feature to see six lovely ladies showing us all how to wear this incontrovertibly brilliant fashion item. My favourite of these comes from model-of-the-moment and current Burberry darling Cara Delevigne (see her modelling in the latest Burberry Prorsum campaign here). I love that Cara has styled her trench in a very Burberry S/S'11 way: simple white tee, luxe black leather leggings and a tangerine bag to add a vibrant shot of colour. I will definitely be channelling this look when wearing my own trench this spring.

Talking of which, let's move on to where to get your own Burberry-alike (of course, if you can afford the real McCoy, then go for it, and I envy you greatly). Sadly, for many of us Christopher Bailey's designs are a little out of reach financially, but luckily, as with all great iconic fashion items, the trench is in no short supply on the great British high street. My own favourite trench coat is actually from Primark; it cost a mere £13, but has been one of my go-to pieces of outerwear ever since I bought it a couple of years ago (see me wearing it
here). It's tan, short, single-breasted and with a flared skirt. I love this style but I'm also looking to add a slightly more classic stone double-breasted version to my collection. Of course, that's the beauty of the trench: you can reinvent it in a thousand different ways but it never fails to look classic and timeless. So the style and colour is entirely up to you; the only thing I draw the line at is hems that fall below the knee: just don't go there, or you will look like Sherlock Holmes (and not in a yummy Benedict Cumberbatch kind of way).

Unsurprisingly, there are hundreds of high street trenches to choose from, but here are a few of my favourites. Starting off at the classic end of the spectrum, we have
Asos' double breasted trench, reduced from £50 to just £22. Available in classic stone or black, or a slightly more adventurous khaki or blue, you surely couldn't get anything better for that price. Uniqlo's long trench coat is also a very classic style, and I especially like the pale grey version. If you're in the market for a slightly more feminine take, then Topshop's camel belted capelet trench coat, £95, is the one for you. Or, if you'd prefer a military-inspired version, I love Dorothy Perkins' navy colour block trench coat, reduced from £75 to £45. Moving into the slightly more imaginative interpretations, then, first up we have Zara's leopard raincoat, £79.99, for the feline-inclined among you. Next, taking inspiration directly from Burberry's spring/summer catwalk, is Karen Millen's posh trench coat (rubbish name though), a little more expensive at £225, but surely worth it for the wonderful black piping. And lastly, for the very brave, there is Oasis' leather trench coat, reduced from £150 to £90, available in navy or grey.

But personally I'll be holding out for Topshop's leather sleeved trench, which I featured as 15th January's "today I want". As you can see from the above spread, taken from last week's Grazia, it will cost £120 and looks amezzing (bottom right corner of the pic). I'll be saving my pennies and waiting for the day it lands in stores. But whichever trench you choose, you can't go far wrong: that's the beauty of this perennial fashion failsafe. However, if you aren't quite sure how to wear yours, just look to Burberry Prorsum S/S'11 (below) for inspiration. Quite simply amazing.


Pictures of Burberry Prorsum S/S'11: Uk.burberry.com

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Sunday, 23 January 2011

today i'm channelling... caroline blomst

Zara messenger bag with fastener, £39.99; French Connection Laura fur coat, £79 (reduced from £120); Mango PU insert jeggings, £29.90; Topshop Aiden black zip front ankle boots, £68; Kew chunky cowl neck jumper in Dark Grey, £68


So I know I said the other day that I would be embracing colour this summer, but let's be honest: it ain't summer yet. In fact, it's January, and we've got a good three or four months left before it's coats off and sunglasses on. So today's outfit inspiration, courtesy of Swedish blogger Caroline Blomst (read all about her here, and visit her blog here), is decidedly wintry. Fur, leather and a gorgeous little Céline bag are surely all the ingredients you need to protect yourself from the elements while still looking fantastic. What I love about Caroline's style is how she manages to dress almost entirely in dark colours but never looks boring, thanks to interesting textures and luxe details. Here, her simple grey jumper and black trousers combination is fashioned up a notch with leather panels, a deliciously furry coat and a super-expensive cult bag. Simple black ankle boots are the perfect finishing touch to an outfit that is laid-back and perfect for everyday. As ever, I've chosen some high street alternatives, so that you can reproduce Caroline's excellent fashion formula for a fraction of the price. And if you really can't wait until summer to wear a bit of colour, why not try forgoing the grey jumper for a coloured one (my mint green H&M number would be perfect) instead? Lovely and indeed jubbly.

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today i'd love to wear...


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Saturday, 22 January 2011

today i'm wearing...

Jacket from River Island; blouse from Miss Selfridge; leggings from Topshop; boots from Asos; feather bag from Miss Selfridge; bracelet from Asos.

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today i'm inspired by... zanzan sunglasses

As someone who enjoys nothing more than the freezing snowy months leading up to winter, and swathing myself in coats and scarves and drinking hot gingerbread lattes, I sometimes find it hard to gear myself up for summer. While most people are counting down the days until the weather gets warmer and the tights can come off, I just want summer to be over so it can be Christmas again. It's also a fashion thing; I always much prefer the autumn/winter collections and can find spring trends like bright colours hard to stomach. But this year I'm determined to get excited about summer. I'm slowly coming around to in-your-face colours (my new lime green dress is a case in point), and I've been tracking down some summery inspiration to get me in the mood. Today I came across these amazing pictures advertising Zanzan sunglasses on Topshop's blog, Inside-Out, and I completely love them. Imagining myself in cat-eye sunglasses and red lips, lounging beside a pool with a cocktail in hand, is definitely helping me to get over my post-Christmas blues and look forward to the season ahead.



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