Monday, 11 May 2009

Best One Yet

H&M is on somewhat of a roll at the moment. Their sales have been going up in the past few months, with thanks to the Matthew Williamson for H&M range, which launches a second installment on the 14th. And this success also passed through into their most recent press day. 

I always look forward to H&M's press days, I'm not going to lie, mainly for the food and drink. There's champagne and goodies served on silver platters, a far cry from the high street. This time was no different, we sipped fresh orange spritzers and ate mini chocolate fondants- little pots of chocolatey heaven. I'm actually hungry thinking about them now. But anyway, I'm deviating. Back to the clothes.

As with all other press days thus far, the Balmain influence was glaringly obvious. It's all about the shoulders for AW 09. Dominant materials were leather, wool, suede and velvet. Accessorises included thick purple woolly hats, leather biker gloves, fur trimmed scarves and patent leather shoes, a little bit dominatrix and very chic for H&M.  I spied a cream leather jacket and black velvet dramatic shoulder dress that are on my latest wish list. I'm also really loving the floral bustier crop top that comes in store in a few weeks time, but can't decide if it is just a little too over the top 80s. 

Anyway, check the pics below.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Press Day, Day 2

I may be being a high street snob here, but I never usually go into New Look, half because I never find much I like and half because it means walking all the way down to the bottom of Oxford Street, and yes, I am lazy. But the promise of a £100 voucher for 10 minutes of browsing clothes drew me to the New Look A/W 09 press day. And it wasn't half bad. Held in a huge warehouse near Russell Square the press day boasted champagne, six different fresh juices, nibbles and goody bags, oh and some pretty decent clothes too.

Again, the Balmain influence was felt, but unlike River Island, New Look hadn't felt the need to get the Bedazzler out at every opportunity. Shoulder pads were added to blazers, soft wool sweaters and dresses, with only a few studs added for decoration. Mannequins wore some amazing soft leather skinny trousers with zips down the back that I intend to snap up when they hit the shelves. Perfect with the over sized jumpers also on the rails. There was also a gold sequin jacket reminiscent of Dolce and Gabbana teamed with worn jeans that looked very cool.

In the spirit of the high street ripping off designers there were a pair of sequin mid heel courts that were a dead ringer for the sequinned Miu Mius from a few seasons ago, except in black. There was also a Victorian feel evident, with cameo brooches adorning bows and hats. Black knee high lace up boots also fitted in this category, as did some black and gold shoe boots which had a military twist. I want.

However, it wasn't all good. New Look also latched onto the pleather hareem pants, but went one step further with full on sequin ones too. Now, I'm all for the comfort of hareem pants but the sequin pair were so shiny you'd look like you had wrapped tinsel around your legs. Not good. But overall ten times better than than River Island and, hey, it was worth the £100.

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Okay, so the title may be a tad over the top, but it's sunny and it's press day season, which means one glorious thing; freebies abound. Although I'm sad to admit that they've gone way downhill. Take River Island for instance. I went to a press day of theirs about a year or so ago and it was amazing, and that's a word I never usually associate with River Island. There was free flowing champagne, ridiculously good cakes and brownies, beautifully ornate dresses that wouldn't look out of place in a Sex and the City scene, and, the best bit, a £100 voucher. 

But this year they've downsized times a million. Someone's been hit by the credit crunch, big time. The huge warehouse space has been traded in for the tiny PR showroom, champagne has been replaced with value orange juice and the vouchers and freebies are gone. Shame. But anyway, I guess you don't need to be handed freebies left, right and centre to appreciate fashion (but it definitely helps), so back to the clothes.

Hmm where to start? With the pleather hareem pants, or the tie-dye fur jacket or maybe the thigh high blue and silver stiletto boots. Yep, it wasn't great. There was a distinct Balmain influence, shoulder pads were everywhere, but everything was also rather tacky. It was like there had been a silver sequin and glitter explosion. A drag queen's paradise. Clothes were overly shiny and covered in studs and sequins. There were even some fur covered ankle boots a la Solange Knowles. 

There was a continuation of the 80s vibe that's taken over the high street of late, with a whole accessories range titled 'Bowie', comprising of neon pink triangular bags, oversized belts and earrings and electric purple and blue stilettos. A large amount of the A/W range was largely tacky, shiny and over the top, but it wasn't all bad. Oversized charcoal knits looked beyond comfortable and the leather fingerless gloves were the right amount of retro. There was also a pair of dove grey studded and slightly fringed peep toes that I may indulge in, but on the whole the collection wasn't enough to entice me back into River Island again.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Balmain Bluffing

About a week ago I went to the Affordable Vintage Fashion Fair in Bethnal Green and have been meaning to write about it but erm... well, just never did. Getting there an hour and a half too early was a mistake but I didn't want a repeat of the Angels vintage sale where I ended up queuing behind about 1000 overly eager people. Thankfully this was a much calmer affair. The fair itself was quite small and there wasn't that much tantalising vintage booty to be honest. There was an amazing stall of vintage inspired head pieces made using pearls, feathers and vintage brooches but they were in the range of £70. Hmmm, wasn't this supposed to be the affordable vintage fair? There was also some authentic vintage corseted basques in white satins and cotton that I'm kicking myself for not buying. The pop up tea shop with cupcake proved too distracting. Damn cake weakness.

However I spied a woman trying on a black sequin jacket and willed her to put it down. I was ready to say to her 'I wouldn't bother if I were you' and then snap it up for myself (all's fair in love and fashion) but needn't have as she discarded back on top of a pile of musty wares. Needless to say I grabbed it and promptly handed over the £10 price tag. I got the jacket home, added some shoulder pads and silver buttons and voila, it's the closest to Balmain I will probably ever get. Unfortunately. But I'm pretty happy with my efforts andplan on wearing it for my first day working at Tatler on Monday.


Legging Love

I came across these leggings on a website called Style Stalker, an Australian website and online store. They are inspired by Rodarte, and I reckon would look great with some layered oversized vests and brogues. However, I am definitely not willing to spend $59 on a pair of leggings so am considering making my own. I might just burn some cigarette holes in a pair of leggings in the same pattern, although I could just end up looking like I've had a messy night on the town...

Latest Inspiration

So as usual I've been AWOL from this recently, but with good excuse. The dissertation, or to be exact, the subjugation of the American press during the McCarthy era and modern echoes of McCarthyism apparent in the Bush administration in press and government alike. Phew. But, I am now finished *gets up and does victory dance for longer than necessary*. Yep finished, albeit 4000 word over the limit but whatever. FINISHED!

Aah now back to spending mindless hours trawling the Internet and drooling over clothes. Firstly I'm buying these glasses. Well I would be if an evil ATM hadn't swallowed by card, but not to worry, a minor setback in the path to owning these frankly amazing 50s glasses. My flatmate hates them. Thoughts?

They kind of remind me of the cat's eyes glasses that Marilyn Monroe dons for How to Marry a Millionaire, don't you think? Even more reason to buy them in my opinion. I absolutely love Marilyn and will rattle on to anyone that will listen about just how much. I also completely stand by the theory that she was murdered by the Kennedys for knowing too much. But anyway I'm deviating...

Friday, 3 April 2009

Happenings Across The Pond

As I am having quite the love affair with my dissertation at the moment; devoting my every waking moment to it, offering it many pretentious words and beckoning tomorrow so to be reunited with it once more (yes, I am being sarcastic, not insane), I have gone for the lazy option of a picture heavy post.

As everyone may or may not know, Topshop (my first love, sorry dissertation) has jumped shores and opened up across the pond in the glorious NYC. The lavish opening ceremony yesterday saw a frenzied queue, Kate Moss dancing on a step and snipping the ribbon barrier, a pompous looking Philip Green and a celebrity or two. However, I am jealous. Not that I don't love and devote my loyalty to our good old Oxford Circus flagship, but the NY store on Broadway and Broome just looks so shiny and new, it's hard not to feel a twang of impassioned jealousy. 

And also next time I visit New York I can no longer return with a smug smile and the knowledge that, no matter how good the shopping may be, they don't have their very own Topshop. Except now they do. And it looks better. Hence jealous.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Sex In London

Sex In The City is frankly past it's best. Somewhere around season 3 was my favourite, when Carrie was undecided between Big and Adain, no one was yet boring and settled and the show was truly seen as a fashion force to be reckoned with. Hot Child In The City was also the best episode ever. A couple of seasons later it all ended with a climatic Paris triste, everyone mourned it for a while and we all did the 'which character are you' quiz in Grazia, well I did anyway. It ended on a high, and went out while it was on top. But then, well, it didn't.

By the time the film rolled around, I think I was fairly over the phenomenon. Granted I went to see the film, cried a bit when Big left Carrie jilted, and went out for some girlie cocktails afterwards. But in Peckham, not New York, unfortunately. It was a bit less glamorous. But the whole film just felt a bit, well, past it. I wasn't into watching a wrinkly woman pushing 50 having sex. The characters felt like my mum, and the last two sentences should never be associated again. Gross.

And now we have to see it all again. There's a sequel on its way. What more can they do? Surely every possible scenario has been covered, short of killing them all off. Well, actually that might be the plan. There has been whispers of killing off Samantha. Her breast cancer is set to return and this time not all the brightly coloured wigs of her last bout can save her. Kim Cattrall is apparently fighting this decision and battling to save her promiscuos alter ego, probably because if there's a third she'll lose out on big bucks. I hope Samantha isn't disposed off, she was always the most fun; surely they could kill off the boring Big instead? But apparently they've got other plans for him.

The rest of the plot sees Big being affected by the credit crunch, losing all his dosh and moving to London to live a life of lesser luxury, where he becomes depressed and beds another woman. Carrie finds out, freaks out, flies out to comfront him, leaves him, and then realises (sound effect) dun dun dun, she's preggers. This could all change however, as scripts are still in the first draft stages. But one thing that should stay the same is the innovative fashion. Patricia Field again takes the reigns with Vivienne Westwood set to lend a helping hand. Vivienne originally wanted to write the script, but after a polite no she's on board for wardrobe instead, most probably a much more apt place for her. The clothes may be more age appropriate for your mum, but will still be worth a look. And yes, I will go and see it, despite my ranting. I may even take a trip to the set when they film in London this winter for a sneaky peak. Yes, I am that sad.

Sex And The City at its vintage best.

Hot Child In The City. Best episode ever.

Carrie: How old are they?
Samantha: Thirteen.
Carrie: But they sound....
Samantha: I know...
Carrie: And they dress...
Samantha: I know, just like us.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Going, Going, Gone

Supermodel, Texan and Alexander Wang muse Erin Wasson held a garage sale last Saturday that I would have actually chopped my own arm off to attend. I'm not joking.

The 'garage' sale was held in her boyfriend's LA boutique Rogue Status so not exactly a garage but oh well. Erin wanted to rid herself of wardrobes past and donated anything that hadn't been worn for 6 months. "My style has gotten a lot simpler and now that I'm designing, I want to wear my own stuff." All proceeds of the sale went to an animal charity. Girl after my own heart. The sale included "Balenciaga, Givenchy, Burberry and Chanel and a sizeable cache of Marc Jacobs" with nothing priced over $100 and much for $20.  Oh. My. God. Chanel for a tenner?! I may actually have even swam to LA if I could do more than the doggy paddle.

Chaos was expected and as soon as the frothing at the mouth (probably) bargain hunters got through the doors, the racks were cleared within minutes- a pair of Balenciaga shoes given to Erin personally by Nicholas Ghesquiere sold within seconds. 

I'm afraid I can't write anymore, I'm overcome with envy, but if this ever happens in London then I'm setting up a campsite outside.

The only things left on the racks after 5 minutes.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Louis Vuitton Gets Something Right

The shoes of the season. Start drooling. Start saving. Copies guaranteed to be flooding the high street any day now.