How To Style: Summer Accessories 2017

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All sunglasses featured can be found via Warby Parker

Summer is undoubtedly one of the best seasons to style. It is time to shove all of your winter boots and thick coats to the back of your wardrobe in order to make room for bright colours and summer dresses.  While the British summer is not always adequate enough to be considered, well… as summer, the new season is always a fitting excuse to undertake a major wardrobe reshuffle and embrace lighter fabrics.

I’m no stranger to shopping. In fact, I take great comfort in bagging myself a few great core pieces to adapt to any outfits. However, in my career as a shopper the one thing that I struggle with has yet to finish haunting my high street escapades: accessories.

In winter it is easy enough to throw a scarf on and be done with it. No thoughts about being too warm, or accessories being a nuisance. The days of styling Autumn/ Winter outfits and throwing on a few basic accessories are behind us. We must now face the battle of not being too overboard with our choices of accessories for the summer months, while still adding something extra to complete a look.

During my never-ending endeavour to find the perfect accessories to complement my summer wardrobe, I stumbled upon the perfect solution: sunglasses.

This may seem obvious- indeed it is difficult not to see everyone sporting a shaded frame in summer. In fact, I rarely leave the house without a pair resting on my head. This proves they are the most versatile and necessary accessory in any summer outfit if you want to actually see when you step out of the house.

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The super accessory can be added to any outfit to instantly add a bit of demure to an otherwise simple look. However, through the summer period I have been through hundreds of pairs. Endless scrolls through Asos and picking up a £2 pair of sunnies from Primark every time I walk past have not lasted me well. The frames also don’t provide a great selection. So, with the weather getting warmer, I decided it is time to start looking to upgrading.

While it is easy enough to follow the trends and order those tortoise shell cat eye frames that you saw Kendall Jenner styling on Instagram; a number of other factors must be considered before pressing ‘confirm’. The shape of your face being the most notable. Admittedly, my slightly rounded face and has prevented me from pulling off many chic Instagram worthy frames. Most retailers show models with thin, pointy faces presenting the glasses and really not giving off the most realistic representation of what the sunglasses will really look like.

After many orders and endless disappointments- the answer to my sun shaded eyes appeared in the form of a website link. Warby Parker the retailer that is the answer to every sunglasses lover’s prayers. Upon entering the website, you can take a frame quiz that asks a series of questions that concern face shape, colour, materials and personal preference. From that, you may make a calculated decision- or rather they do it for you- on which frames suit your face best. In other words, they do all the work for you.  Click on sunglasses from there and the sun shaded world is your oyster.

However, what excited me most was the announcement of a new collection, available at Warby Parker from May 9th.

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This new collection seems to be all about colour. With the new season, there is no better opportunity to sport a pair of vibrant frames. Similar to the colourful sunglasses found at Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci this Summer 2017. Favouring a mirrored lens, the slightly rounded frames are flattering on most face shapes and often a safe bet when you’re not sure which would suit you best. My favourite pair are the blue tinted rounded frames as I find them versatile and a perfect match for most of my summer wardrobe.

All glasses can be found here.

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‘Sometimes you just have to bite your upper lip and put sunglasses on’

-Bob Dylan

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London Fashion Week 2017 Highlights

London Fashion Week will forever remain an iconic event in the fashion calendar. Thanks to the development and meticulous planning of the BFC (British Fashion Council), LFW is now a place where new emerging talent is welcome and encouraged to share their skills by the established greats of British fashion. The BFC even held its first Global Fashion Awards in December, showing the new business-driven mind that the fashion industry is encompassing. Perhaps this is why the shows this LFW shaped up to one of the most commercially appeasing and successful, with the shows being more accessible than ever and far less outlandish. The new mantra of ready-to-wear seemed to dominate this LFW meaning new slicker designs for the first time in years. However, some designers still managed to find the balance between the wearable and the eccentric, creating designs that are fresh, cutting-edge and exhilarating. A balance that seems very much like the city itself.

House of Holland

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House of Holland are known for their exuberant, quirky style, utilising bright colours and patterns to create stand out pieces. This LFW, designer and creative director Henry Holland did little to disappoint. Every season, his shows drop with the similar vociferous energy and indistinguishable graphics/gimmicks. As the show attendees sat down in the bare concrete setting to the sound of Tennessee-born singer Miley Cyrus’ album ‘BANGERZ’, it was an ample indication for the show to come. When the models finally hit the runway, the immediate ambient of the American Wild West was obvious. Star prints, fringe jackets, flares, graphic knee high boots and cowboy hats took the industrial setting by storm. The cuts and silhouettes of  the pieces ensured that a strong reference to the Wild West was maintained throughout. Standout pieces included maxi chiffon dresses branded with fringed stars, billowing long red trousers with fringed details and over-exaggerated flares, large checked fur coats and a series of items inspired by Woody Woodpecker including thigh-high boots brandishing his face. As a whole, the collection was impressive, but the unique ability of House of Holland to create a collection that accommodates to all buyers, not just those willing to dress as a cowgirl. Despite the high-key Wild West vibes and a prominent American Rodeo aesthetic maintained throughout the collection, there was something for everyone;  graphic tees, tartan skirts and velvet bomber jackets prove that the ready-to-wear collection is cutting edge as well as accessible.

J.W.Anderson

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Jonathon Anderson’s J.W.Anderson collections are the most highly anticipated and sought-after shows of LFW. Every season, Anderson draws more inspiration from more and more eclectic sources. Thus, not only is the brand constantly evolving in an exciting way, but also every show contains a new and exciting collection to present. Due to the ever increasing number of people wearing his clothes and using his accessories, Anderson seems to be on a winning streak. Audiences have seem his style evolve from statements about gender fluidity, to refining his style to feminine glamour.

The designers 2017 Autumn offering appeared to be very much inspired by the woman’s silhouette. Described as being something of a ‘style odyssey’, Anderson focused on the stripped back nature of clothing as well as the structure of building up from there. When creating the collection, Anderson admitted that he attempted to create something very feminine, only to have it crash, and attempted to build up from there. This is perhaps most evident in his work through the layering. The show opened with a capacious black key hole dress with a cinched-in drawstring waist, providing emphasis on the natural figure. Tailored jackets, floral prints matched with feathers and a relatively neutral colour palette (minus the vibrant purple silk dress) dominated the catwalk and provide a hint as to what to expect this Autumn/Winter in high street stores.

Molly Goddard

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One of the hottest designers to emerge from last year, Goddard is known for her immense tulle dresses, smocking, embroidery and crocheting. Although the crowd at LFW are used to daring styles, nothing could prepare them for the experimental designs created by Goddard.

Fascination of preserving a child-like dream in which the perceptions of princesses is still very much real is evident in Goddard’s previous work, and this LFW helped to preserve this image. Keen to perpetuate her image as the go-to designer for the most hardcore party girls in London, this collection provided fashion with a side of fantasy. People involved very heavily with the social circuit will revel in Goddard’s familiar and yet faultless use of embroidery with cross stitch detail, pink cupcake tulle and cinched in smock dresses and sleeves. Sheer dresses over graphic shirts, tutu mini skirts, satin ballet shoes and glittering knee high socks seemed to be reoccurring looks on this seasons catwalk. It is evident that Goddard is looking to reawaken the inner girly-girl inside every woman and their child-like fascination of parties in her newest, exciting Autumn/Winter 2017 collection. Instead of diminishing this inner feminine innocence, it appears that Goddard is attempting to embrace it in a socially modern way that is distinguishable to the brand of Molly Goddard.

Topshop Unique

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Topshop perhaps holds one of the most recognisable names in the high street setting. Translating that onto the catwalk is no easy feat, and yet the Topshop Unique show managed to faultlessly make the transition. Not only that, but the show produced a strong sense of youthful energy and fun.

The show opened with model Lily Donaldson wearing a baggy silk black jumper plastered with the words ‘Happy WKNDR Forever’ across the chest, paired with stripped pajama style trousers. The casual outfit set the tone for the rest of the show as juvenile and boyish- and that was just the beginning. What followed was  PVC skirts, cut out dresses, jackets with green-faux fur and zip up high neck collars. The clothes remained joyful, with masculine and casual figures for the Autumn/Winter 2017 season as well as clothes inspired by Western Indian states, nightclubs and exotic countries. The brand continues to reach commercial success due to the new ready-to-wear strategy adopted last year by many design houses. Pieces are now available online for anywhere between £60-£400.

Ashish

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The brand of Ashish will forever remain bold, youthful and exciting. After reaching commercial success and good reviews from their use of graphic shirts in previous collections, creative director Ashish Gupta utilised the graphic tee again, this time more politically focused. With glittering shirts plastering comments directed towards American President Donald Trump, such as ‘This Pussy grabs back’ and ‘unity in adversity’. The strong political and social messages are not where the collection ends, however.

Although superficially wrapped up in sequin and glitter, London based, Delhi-born designer Ashish produces some of the most thought-provoking shows of the LFW period. Transporting us in a glittery universe away from the mundane everyday life, even the setting saw a glittery yellow brick road with ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’ playing in the background. Perhaps the broken heart and red poppy decor indicated that the show would be symbolic and embedded with lots of meaning. Rainbow stripes and sequined check board pattern and glitter rugby shirts dominated this catwalk as well as recognisable iconography from American sport. The formatting of teams such as Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox were reimagined in a loud and exuberant way, amplifying Ashish’s position as a designer invested in the art of escapism, and yet still grounded in the political agenda of reality.

For a full review of Burberry, click here.

‘The minute your brand can be predicted, you’ve got a problem’

– J.W.Anderson

Victoria Beckham AW17 New York Fashion Week #NYFW

Claimed to be one of her ‘best collections yet’, Victoria Beckham took New York in her stride with the debut of her new Autumn/Winter 2017 collection.

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Her family populated the front row, sat next to Anna Wintour. The family gifted Beckham a pre-show surprise of a bouquet of flowers to wish the brand good luck, as seen on her social media.

In a statement given before the show Beckham appeared to pay homage to the current political climate for women, with emphasis on the importance of speaking up and taking a stand against oppression. It seems that Beckham has the intention of moving away from showpieces and instead creating looks that could be worn in the bustle of everyday life.

This new re imagining of woman power in fashion saw Beckham display baggy silhouettes and androgynous styled clothing. The collection saw multiple pieces of tailored jackets and wide leg trousers, often donned by Beckham herself, take the runway. Very far away from the tightly fitted dresses of her previous collections, it seems that baggy is the new fitted.

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It is notoriously hard to pull off wide fitting clothes in a sophisticated way that does not look like you’ve drowned in material from your parent’s wardrobe when you were younger. In fact, anyone who remembers arriving to school on the first day of term in a blazer four sizes too big and still feels the sting of the words ‘you’ll grow into it’ may not be the biggest fan of the new AW17 collection. The ample clothing, therefore, is not the most accessible to her clients. However, this collection seems to have perfected the best way to style and wear the clothes. Elegant, tailored and fresh. The collection is fundamentally a glimpse into Victoria Beckham’s own wardrobe.

Ahead of her show, Beckham even said “It’s always fundamentally about what I like to wear”. By using tailored suits, rich colours of navy, oxblood, red, oranges and wide leg trousers, Beckham has succeeded in sending a subliminal message of strength. No loud political statement is required, only the subtlety masculine figures.

Coats had large sculptural sleeves and the boots were knee high and slouchy, suggesting that baggy clothes and masculine figures are the way to go for Autumn Winter 2017. Contrasting with the block colours, vibrant patterns were used. Inspired by artist Paul Nash, Beckham created the colourful pattern injected into her collection. Despite the masculine clothing, there is always room for elegance and sophistication.

Before the collection launched, Beckham stated that  “I have always been about empowering women, and that’s never felt more relevant than it does this season.” The result, a collection very much celebrating narrow and yet fluid figures. Beckham described the collection shown in Downtown Manhattan as “emancipation with optimism” and “feminine with a practical streak”. A chic take on big jumpers and double breasted jackets shows a new style for Beckham, but admittedly one that works. The new relaxed style of clothing that could be seen on the woman herself proves successful and another great show was given by the brand; a show that combined political agenda with the power and hope of women, as well as the practicality of fashion itself. It seems that Beckham is accustomed to change up her brand, and perhaps the face of fashion itself.

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‘I think the sexiest thing about a woman is confidence, but confidence in a humble way, not in an arrogant way. Sense of humor is definitely important. And sunglasses always hide a multitude of sins. Sunglasses and a great pair of heels can turn most outfits around.’  

-Victoria Beckham

Vivienne Westwood at London Men’s Fashion Week 2017

After completing shows around Europe, Vivienne Westwood finally made her long awaited and much needed return to London to debut her men’s Autumn Winter 17/18 collection.

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The fashion crowd seemed far from restless as they took full storm to the streets of London for the last day of London Fashion Week Men’s. It may have seemed odd to anybody not involved in the multitude of fashion reporters, styles, bloggers and lovers. The contrast of the tube strike and the drab weather with the feverish mob appeared to be a fitting embrace of one of fashion’s greats. The national treasure who led the punk movement and is now a full time environmentalist campaigner, Dame Vivienne Westwood debuted at LFWM.

The themes of environmentalism and politics seem to have been a running trend throughout this collection entitled ‘Ecotricity’. These issues seemed to have dominated Westwood’s mind for the past decade or two, and this notion was only highlighted in the stripped back and seemingly hand crafted clothes featured on this seasons catwalk. Some models wore patches plastered with  anti-climate change logos. Handmade paper crowns and outlandish hats perpetuated the crucial theme of climate change, whilst still adding an edgy side which nods in the direction of punk, as is Westwood’s custom.

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Even those with the haziest knowledge of fashion will recognise Westwood’s name as the pioneering force behind the punk movement. This show did little to disappoint on the punk front. The different location and the barren ambience of the room may have been unfamiliar to the show-goers, but the show had all of the recognisable features of  a Vivienne Westwood display. The show featured designs for both men and women and even featured a plastic knife that had been reworked into an earring.

Rips, tears, mohair pieces and seemingly hand crafted pieces further prove that Westwood and her designer partner, Andreas Kronthaler, are aware of the punk heritage that the name holds. Even with the new interests into preserving the planet, Westwood seems to effortlessly combine her passions into one fluid show that never disappoints the multitude of people watching. There may have been edgy pieces in the collection, but the glamorous dresses and outerwear reminds the loyal fanbase what that Westwood brand is all about.

The show notes read ‘What’s good for the planet is good for the economy/what’s bad for the planet is bad for the economy’. Fashion remains one of the biggest contributors of pollution in our society. Westwood’s collection helped to perpetuate the message that we need to rethink our fashion choices even more. From the string belts to the patched clothing, Vivienne Westwood will not shy away from continuing to convey her revolutionary messages through the medium of fashion; the £33.8 million turnover for 2015 only proves that the Vivienne Westwood brand continues to perform well and provide their customers with the classic style that has become associated with Westwood herself.

With extended applause for her closing of a run of four days of shows, Vivienne Westwood walked surrounded by her models and holding a bouquet of flowers, tears glistening in her eyes. It seems that five decades of fashion will do nothing to stop her, as the leader of the punk movement focuses her talent on the ever impending threat of climate change.

As successfully as she pushed the punk revolution, Westwood will continue to bring the environment to the forefront of all of our minds.

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‘I think it is a good thing to buy less and choose well- It’s good for the environment and to be fair it’s also good for me because my clothes are quite expensive.’

-Vivienne Westwood

Stocking Fillers Under £20

It seems like Christmas has popped out of no where this year. One minute, I was starting the new year by setting up my blog, and the next minute it was time to get the decorations out from the attic and start the exciting and yet arduous process of Christmas shopping.

With the shock of Christmas coming so early, the inevitable rush of shopping commences. Whether you’ve put off going shopping this year or you have absolutely no idea what to get the person in your life, I guarantee you there is some one in the same position. Often Christmas shopping can be difficult, especially if you are on a budget. In light of this struggle, I have put together a list of items and advice of gifts that are assured to be great presents for a range of different personalities. Stay calm and happy shopping!

Always remember…

  1. Steer clear of clothes unless you know the person extremely well (and they have directly hinted of what they would like as well as telling you their size), everybody has their own personal style and it is better to get them something else rather than getting them something that will only gather dust and take up space. That being said, pyjamas make a great present and are sized a lot more effectively (when in doubt, most people will take a medium as lounge-wear is meant to be over sized).
  2. DO NOT BUY SHOES. Slippers and socks, yes. But not shoes. If you do, make sure to include a gift receipt.
  3. Jewelry can be great, but make sure it is dainty and not too much of a statement. It is better to go for plainer and yet pretty bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Steer clear of rings as it is difficult to estimate size.
  4. Think about every thing you use and like, but you never buy for yourself. Socks, slippers, stationary, bath stuff. These are usually always successful presents, and shops such as Boots (look out for their great 3 for 2 offer that runs for the festive period) and Lush always have great sets with a range of prices that will accommodate any budgets.
  5. If in doubt, give a gift card. It may seem slightly impersonal, but remember that it would be better to get a gift that you can personalise to yourself than something that you would not enjoy.

WARNING: ROYAL MAIL ARE HAVING A STRIKE FROM NEXT WEEK TO CHRISTMAS EVE. BRITISH PEOPLE ORDER CAREFULLY!    

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Paperchase Notebook £12

NYX Lip and Eye Collection £15

Soap and Glory Clean Get Away Gift Set £10

Sanctuary Candle £10

Primark Slipper Socks £3

Inside Vogue £11.89

Little Women £7.49

Charlotte Tilbury Party Eyes Kit £20

Lush Golden Wonder Set £9.95

New Look Pyjamas £7.49

New Look Mug £5.99

Lindt Chocolate

‘Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping’

-Bo Derek

How to Layer: Winter 101

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Layering remains one of the best fashion trends of the Autumn/Winter season. It can be both fashionable and incredibly warm and cosy. However, it still terrifies most people. In fear of looking ‘bigger than they actually are’ people either incorrectly layer, or avoid the trend all together. In my experience of layering clothes in order to shield myself from the biting British weather (…or rain), I have compiled a list of the best way to layer clothes in order to keep warm this winter.

  1. Start off with the base layer. Much like building something, you need to start out with a good foundation. I recommend a t-shirt. It’s best to keep something form-fitting, in order to add bulk with more layers. I tend to gravitate towards solid block colours in order to get the seasonal colours in, or more recently, a good stripped tee (which is necessary in everybody’s wardrobe!).
  2. Next, we build on top. This is where the real layering starts, so take advantage of it to it’s fullest. I tend to add either a cardigan or jumper, or anything knitted for that matter. I love chunky cable knit items in the winter. Wear something that goes well with your t-shirt. If you have a plain tee, this step is the place to add a bit of colour into your look.
  3. It is finally time for the coat! Either a coat of jacket will work on this step. I am personally a massive advocate of coats and I love them (stay tuned for a blog post coming soon!). Coats can either make or break an outfit, so I suggest staying with basic colour, such as navy, grey and camel. Bomber jackets will also work, as they are a great trend for this season. This is also a great opportunity to start experimenting with textures. Add different fabrics to add some detail to each layer in your outfit. In terms of silhouette shape, it is your preference. I normally either wear a boyfriend coat, or a duster of some sort.
  4. Finally, to keep yourself extra warm, feel free to add a scarf and gloves to protect yourself from the harsh wind!

Coats: New Look Topshop River Island

‘Knitwear can play a vital part in layering. The simplicity of a lightweight cardigan makes it one of the best ways to layer outfits. I love granddad cardis for winter, worn over a vintage lace shirt, waistcoat and full skirt with slouchy boots’

-Twiggy