I actually bought this bracelet a couple of weeks ago, only to return it because I wasn't sure (and I was feeling slightly low on funds thanks to splashing out on my Pistol boots). As soon as I had sent it back, however, I began to have second thoughts, and steadily decided that actually, I did really want it. So I ordered it again. Now that it's arrived, I can't imagine why I ever doubted it, because its satisfying heaviness, shiny gold plaque and Céline resemblance belie its £6 price tag. In a way it's a good thing I returned it, because the fact that I nearly missed out on it makes me love it all the more.
It's fair to say I'm more than a little obsessed with Elin Kling. I mean, how does somebody manage to look that effortlessly stylish at all times?! Anyway, I'm totally in love with this video of her showing off just how glamorous, fashionable and jetsetting her life is, so I just had to share it with you. Anyone else signing up to the Kling fan club right now...?
Simple outfit today, but if I'm ever in doubt about what to wear, the simpler the better is a mantra I try to stick to (well, it works for Elin Kling). Besides, you can't go too far wrong with tee + skinny jeans + ankle boots + blazer/leather jacket. Oh, and don't forget the Ray-Bans.
Regular readers will know I'm a big fan of a perspex accessory. There's something deliciously unexpected about a flash of cold, hard perspex, especially when teamed with a soft, floaty dress or a cosy knit, and I do love a little bit of contrast in fashion. That's precisely why I'm lusting after these lovely Zara shoes: from the front they look very simple, ordinary even, but turn to the side and that unapologetic block of perspex will undoubtedly catch anyone's eye. I also think that nude shoes are incredibly useful and a great summer alternative to black, but they can have a tendency to look a bit boring. So it's lucky for us that Zara have solved this dilemma in one fell swoop. Given that my recent shoe purchases have been somewhat extravagant, I think I might be waiting for the sales for these babies, but they have certainly sped right to the top of my wish list.
One of the things I love most about fashion is the way you can find yourself falling utterly in love with a trend that just six months previously would have brought you out in a rash. Take the current obsession with wedge trainers - two words that in the past would never have been seen in the same sentence. Thanks to Isabel Marant they are now absolutely everywhere and even I, the archenemy of trainers, found myself almost considering buying a Topshop version. That's the thing about really good fashion designers: they can make you want to wear absolutely anything. And so it is with the current trend for pyjamas as daywear. Again it seems ludicrous, but since Stella McCartney championed the notion in her S/S'12 collection it has suddenly seemed like a good idea. It does, however, take a very brave woman to go outdoors in a pyjama suit. I'd love to try it sometime, and if I do I'll be taking tips from Evangelie of Style Heroine (looking awesome in Stella McCartney here). In the meantime, however, I've found the perfect way in to the trend. Less daunting but still slick: the pyjama playsuit. Despite the fact that the Stella equivalent is actually a dress, I think the River Island playsuit above is a great halfway house between a safe dress and an all-out trouser suit. The print, too, nods at Stella's paisleys but again, in a very wearable way. In fact I defy anyone not to be brave enough to give this £30 baby a try. All you need is some high, simple heels, a pair of aviator shades, maybe some earrings, and you're good to go. Who said trends had to be scary?
I love Zara's lookbooks: they are always stunningly shot and showcase the clothes simply and beautifully, without gimmicks or props. April's is no exception; I just love the fresh, clean, springtime images set against the stark white background. And the clothes aren't bad either. I think my favourite look is the dip-dye jeans with white tee and jacket, but I also absolutely love the structured painterly print dress - somewhat Katrantzou-esque, no? Anyway, as always Zara is doing its utmost to convince me to part with my money in its stores... and with campaign pictures like this, it will probably succeed.
It's been a while since the end of Paris Fashion Week now and the trends have had a little time to sink in, so I thought it was high time I posted a round-up of my ultimate favourite shows from A/W'12. As ever there were some fantastic, eye-catching and seriously covetable collections, so I was spoilt for choice, but I've narrowed it down to a select few. Read on to find out which trends I'll be picking up on and which designers I'll be channelling come autumn...
Why I loved it / Let's face it, Marant never disappoints. She absolutely has that trait which I consider to be indicative of a truly great designer: she can design whatever she likes and make you really, really want to wear it. Some of her shows don't convince me initially, but by the time the season in question rolls around I am always 100% converted. This season, though, I was immediately won over. A collection with a midwestern feel to it, it showcased as ever the casual, offbeat clothes that Marant does so well. With embroidered shirts, belts slung low on the hip, ankle-cropped trousers, fringing trims and hints of lace, it was very much made for the modern Parisian cowgirl. Highlights for me were the laced-up leather skirts and trousers, the embroidered black minidresses and the cowboy boots which, mark my words, will soon be gracing the feet of everyone who's anyone.
Why I loved it / Wang is consistently one of my favourite designers because he understands the appeal of boyish minimalism like no other. He also shares my penchant for leather, something which definitely showed in this collection. It was a very hard-edged show, a fact obvious right from when the first model emerged with her face half-obscured by a mesh mask. An almost entirely monochrome collection made up of about 75% leather, it was certainly simple but tough. There were some flattering silhouettes, though, and a smattering of fringing in a few looks softened things up a little. All in all not a collection I'd wear straight off the catwalk, but mixed in with other softer pieces it would provide the perfect basis of a no-nonsense winter wardrobe.
Why I loved it / Topshop Unique is a label whose collections I always want to love, but I haven't always got there every season. In the past, motifs have been overly hammered home (the wild animal collection complete with fur everywhere; the dalmatians with matching noses and nails) and it's all been just a little try-hard. But the last two seasons have been edging in a different direction. S/S'12's Egyptian-themed collection spoke of a more sophisticated focus, with the clothes ever more covetable and easier to work into your existing wardrobe (still can't get the rose gold leather shorts out of my head); it was still very much centred around a theme, though. A/W'12, however, really was all about the clothes. It was slightly grungy and slightly military, but with no central motif as such, and all the better for it. There were mannish silhouettes as models wore oversized coats with work boots and clutched leather bags under the arm; there were checks and caps and loose, slouchy trousers; there was a slightly 90s feel from boyish dungarees, tempered nicely by a crisp shirt here and an opulent finish there. It was grungy and utilitarian, but utterly modern, too. In short: I was thoroughly impressed.
Why I loved it / Definitely one of my favourite ever Proenza collections. Like many other designers this season, McCollough and Hernandez relied heavily on leather, but where Alexander Wang took the fabric's hard-edged connotations to the extreme, they made head-to-toe leather looks seem utterly wearable. In a fresh and colourful palette, the Proenza Schouler show played on leather's motocross roots, giving it (in quilted, patent and mesh finishes) a sporty feel. They interspersed the leather with playful embroidered pieces hinting at Chinoiserie influences, and put slouchy sweaters with shiny surfaces against asymmetric miniskirts. After each look it was impossible to predict the next, but still everything tied in together. The cherry on the cake was the furry clutches: an unexpected but inspired touch.
Why I loved it / I've featured Rocha on my blog a few times now and she's definitely one of my favourite up-and-coming names to watch. Her simple designs - minimalist but with a standout edge - are right up my street, and A/W'12 was no exception. 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.
Why I loved it / So for the second season running Mr Lim has acquired the (obviously much coveted) title of my favourite show of the season (though Proenza came a close second). He just seems to be able to read my mind: the A/W'12 collection was pure perfection. Sleek monochrome tailoring dominated the show, alongside oversized chunky ribbed knits in grey or navy, and the occasional flash of burgundy, teal or pumpkin orange. Texture was key: there were layers of sheer chiffon peeking out over skirts and unexpected coatings of fur on shoulders and sleeves, while zip details adorned to-die-for structured biker jackets and three-quarter-length trousers. The accessories were particularly perfect: bags were either soft leather clutches folded in the hand or minimalist perspex zipped pouches (obsessed with these). Shoes came in stark black, pristine white or deep molten gold, while the defining accessory was the collar: unattached, sitting aside a tailored blazer or a chunky jumper, and in clear or black perspex or shining silver. All in all: pure fashion joy.