So New York (fab), London (ace) and Milan (not that bothered) are all over and done with for another season, and now it's onto fair Paris. There's definitely a certain Gallic charm about the final of the four fashion weeks which means it holds a special place in my heart: it is after all the home of the alma mater of chic fashion houses, Chanel (although in fact some of the most eagerly anticipated PFW shows are those of labels helmed by British women, such as Phoebe Philo for Céline and Stella McCartney). Anyway, with my own scheduled trip to Paris now sadly postponed until the summer, I'll be forced to pretend I'm strolling around the French capital in Isabel Marant Dicker boots while actually sitting at home in my River Island ones. Oh well. At least there will be pictures galore to look forward to, even if very few of the French houses will be live streaming their shows. As always, you can find a list of my favourite shows below and then head to catwalklive.tv to check out those which are available for you to watch. Plus don't forget to read up on the best of last season in Paris (according to me) here.
I saw these on Elin Kling's blog today and it was love at first click. That girl sure knows how to sniff out a good pair of shoes. I admit Mango isn't my first online port of call, which is probably why I hadn't already snapped these up, but occasionally they bring out a real showstopper. I absolutely love these shoes because they're very simple but also undeniably eye-catching; the huge buckled cuff makes a statement, but a reasonably subtle one. They're the kind of heels that will hold their own against any outfit without overpowering the rest of the ensemble. They also remind me somewhat of Isabel Marant's Gaia shoes, which were definitely my footwear lust-have of last season. Anyway, they may not be that dissimilar to the Zara heels I bought recently (but the lower heel means probably more walkable, I'm thinking) and I may have to wait another couple of months before I can wear either of them, but that hasn't stopped me clicking on the order button and eagerly awaiting their arrival (fortunately Mango offers free delivery over £30 in the UK). What a lovely treat to end February on... Happy leap year to me.
You may notice that these photos are looking rather nicer than usual... A family friend with an amazing camera is currently visiting so I roped him into outfit photo duty. Well, the first Ray-Ban-appropriate weather of the year is definitely an occasion worth celebrating.
I love a clutch bag. No matter what you're wearing, there's something about carrying a clutch tucked under the arm or grabbed nonchalantly in the hand that speaks sophistication, be it a soft and squashy daytime version or a tiny little box for night. They do admittedly have practicality issues though, as anyone who's ever tried to hold a Starbucks while carrying a clutch and rummaging for a train ticket will attest. The other night I took my new Kurt Geiger clutch out and was amazed at how useful the wristlet strap was. Being very lightweight, I could let it dangle from my wrist and magically had both hands free. This Zara clutch is the natural extension of that idea - turning the wrist strap into not just a useful addition, but a downright stylish one. I absolutely love the idea of a bracelet linked to a clutch, and this one is utterly chic: a matt gold band attached to a classic black leather clutch, with just a simple gold zip for detail. Such a brilliant idea and so perfectly executed. That equals accessory perfection in my book.
I'm not a big fan of coloured jeans in general, but this dark berry shade really appeals to me. Seeing a lot of neon and pastel versions around at the moment but I think I'll start off subtle and maybe work my way up...
You'll no doubt be aware that H&M's latest designer collaboration sees cult Italian brand Marni join forces with the Swedish high street giant to release a much-coveted collection on 8th March. Given the almost complete lack of prints in my wardrobe, it's probably no surprise to you that Marni doesn't rate too highly among my favourite brands. But it's not my least favourite either, and I was of course intrigued to see how the collaboration would turn out. Unsurprisingly there aren't many items that would make me rush down to the store, but there are definitely a few that turn my head (the sunglasses, for example, are absolutely on my wish list). Anyway, even if I won't be investing in much of the collection, I can still appreciate the damn fine advert above, the work of the one and only Sofia Coppola. I mean, wow. How much does this make me long for a summer holiday, to lounge by the pool drinking cocktails and setting off my tan with, say, a lovely little printed dress...? Roll on summer. In the meantime, I might just put on those sunglasses and pretend it's 30 degrees outside...
Wore my new Mary Katrantzou for Topshop tee today in honour of the designer's show at LFW this morning. Despite it being so different from my usual style I really like it, especially when teamed with lots of leather.
Today has been a lovely day. Not only did I leave work at 3.30 to live stream the Burberry show from the comfort of my sofa and was treated to a sensational front row line-up (Clémence Poésy and Kate Bosworth were of course favourites), but I was also greeted by a lovely brown spotted paper bag when I got home. I do love coming home to a Topshop delivery, especially when it boasts such a prize as this lovely Mary Katrantzou tee. It's one of the capsule collection of Newgen tees which Topshop commissioned to celebrate 10 years of sponsoring the scheme, and I just couldn't resist ordering it when they landed on the website on Friday. It's a far cry from my usual palette of black, navy and grey, but there's something irresistible about this neon floral mash-up; I think it's because it's so far removed from the traditional cutesy connotations that florals often have. I can't wait to team it with lots of leather to toughen it up. But that's not even the best part. The second picture shows the three - that's right, three - freebies that arrived with my order: a Newgen pouch, an LFW newspaper and a Mary Katrantzou print shopper. Oh Topshop, how I love you.
I had thought I would have to say goodbye to these lovely jeans, but happily my sister managed to track down the smaller size for me (be warned if you're thinking of buying them: the sizing is very generous). Anyway, super pleased because I am loving them.
I first discovered Simone Rocha (daughter of John) when I stumbled upon her S/S'11 collection. It was a vision in white, sheer chiffon, palest pink and plenty of bright orange perspex. Now as someone who is more than a little partial to a perspex accessory, I immediately sat up and paid attention. But actually the whole collection called out to me, and I was astounded that someone so early on in their career could produce such accomplished designs. And since then she hasn't failed to impress with her ensuing collections (including her covetable capsule range for Topshop a few months back). Her A/W'12 collection, shown yesterday at LFW, was another hit with me (see it all here). Rocha stuck to what she does best with a mainly black and white collection, peppered with flashes of silver and neon green. Texture as ever was where she excelled, fusing at once satin, chiffon, lace, smooth fur, feathery fringing and (hooray) plasticised finishes. Although I wasn't a fan of the flat shoes (not a heel in sight!), everything else won me over immediately. The silver coat (pictured above) was a particular favourite, and everything was supremely wearable but with a fashion-forward twist: just the way I like it. I say, keep up the good work, Simone.
This fashion week Topshop celebrates ten years of sponsoring up and coming designers through the British Fashion Council's NewGen scheme, and boy, do they know how to celebrate. There had been whispers about this stunning video for months, and now the final product is here it definitely lives up to the hype. Shot by Nick Knight, it showcases the stunning Karlie Kloss in the best of ten years worth of Topshop's NewGen collaborations with designers such as Christopher Kane, Mark Fast, David Koma and of course Mary Katrantzou. Stunningly shot and full to the brim with cutting-edge fashion, it's a visual wonder. I have to admit it's slightly painful for me to see all the pieces I let slip through my fingers over the years (darn you, bank balance), but I can't help but admire what the high street brand has achieved through the scheme. As part of the ten year celebrations, Topshop has gone back to 20 of its partnered designers and asked them each to design an exclusive tee for the website, all of which you can find here. Each tee costs just £30, with £7 going to homeless charity Centrepoint. Fashion, value and a good cause? As always, it's a recipe for surefire fashion success from Topshop.
My obsession with all things perspex shows no signs of waning, so this latest addition to my accessory arsenal is most welcome. I posted about this clutch a couple of weeks ago, and am now delighted to call it my own (big thanks to my sister for buying it for me so I didn't have to pay postage!) It's a perfect size, a beautiful versatile colour and the translucent perspex gives it a distinct edge over your ordinary clutch. It's an accessory that will become the focal point of any outfit but without overpowering it - which is, after all, surely exactly what an accessory should do.
So New York Fashion Week is over and fashion's elite are even now descending upon our humble shores for our very own London Fashion Week. Of course I'm biased, but if you ask me LFW is hands down the best of the lot. Nowhere else is creativity, innovation and fun in fashion celebrated in such a way. Not to mention that London of course boasts the most exciting street style and the most stylish of front row guests. And best of all its shows are also the most accessible. LFW offers by far the most live streams, meaning we can easily get a piece of the action for ourselves. There are so many in fact that I'm gutted to be missing quite a few while at work, but I will of course be leaving early on Monday to tune in to the cream of the crop: the Burberry Prorsum show. After two seasons which left me underwhelmed, I'm crossing my fingers for a return to form from Christopher Bailey. But that's not the only show I'm eagerly anticipating; check out all my favourites below. Plus don't forget to head to catwalklive.tv to check out the times of the live streams and set your calendar reminders. In the meantime, top up your LFW knowledge by reading up on my round-up from last season here.
Simone Rocha / Saturday 18th February @ 12pm GMT (available to live stream)
Mulberry / Sunday 19th February @ 10am GMT (available to live stream)
Topshop Unique / Sunday 19th February @ 3pm GMT (available to live stream)