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If Only: Outfit of the Day 9#

White is, and will always be, the best colour of summertime, and just because we’re now creeping towards winter, that doesn’t mean that I’m quite ready to give up this clean, summer look just yet.

19-Aug

1. All Saints Iris Shirt. £138. Available here.

2. Alexander McQueen Silk-Blend Satin Dragonfly Trousers. £2675 £936.25. Available here.

3. Nicholas Kirkwood Textured-Leather Point-Toe Flats. £295. Available here.

4. Victoria Beckham ‘The Victoria’ Matte Leather Tote. £1995. Available here.

5. Maria Black Tube Gold-Plated Necklace. £130. Available here.

6. Astley Clark Faceted Ring. £75. Available here.

7. Valentino Rome Safari Silk Scarf. £255. Available here.

8. Bvlgari Crystal Cat Eye Sunglasses. £727. Available here.

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Vanity Feed

If Only: Outfit of the Day 8#

Today is a Net-a-Porter day. It would have to be one of – if not the top fashion-window-shopping site that I like to frequent. Is I could afford to shop there, it would even top ASOS. It seems, don’t send much colour my way today. I’ve always been a big fan of the cute-dress-and-leather combination; throwing an edgier, harder twist on my signature dresses, and I couldn’t help but fall in love with this Vivienne Westwood jacket the moment I saw it. No horrible buttons/zips that bulge in all the wrong places! The scarf is the only pop of colour that I’m interested in. It’s a monochrome day. Tie it to my handbag in a pretty bow, and I’m a happy bunny indeed.

18-Aug

1. Vivienne Westwood Anglomania Renee Felt-Paneled Leather Jacket. £595. Available here.

2. Valentino Bow-Embellished Wool-Blend Crepe Mini-Dress. £1725. Available here.

3. Saint Laurent Paris Patent-Leather Point-Toe Pumps. £485. Available here.

4. Jason Wu Daphne Floral-Print Leather Tote £1525. Available here.

5. Valentino Carmen Printed Silk-Twill Scarf. £200. Available here.

6. Marni Leather and Crystal Multi-Strand Necklace. £490. Available here.

7. Aurélie Biddermann Knotted Gold-Plated Cuff. £200. Available here.

8.  H & H Gold-Plated Swaovski Crystal Arrow Ring. £115. Available here

Total: £5335… I’m not even going to attempt to convert that into sold bodily parts/fluids.

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Vanity Feed

If Only: Outfit of the Day 4#

What sort of day is it today? An overcast one. Today’s outfit began with the gorgeous Zara skirt that I happened to stumble across while wandering through the realms of the internet. It’s so quirky and different and yet fits with all of the trends perfectly, and I love that. Lately (and by ‘lately’, I mean about a year) my ‘style’ has been to add a touch of the suggestive to my outfit; an extra flash of leg here, a visible lace bra under a low cut top, teamed with something modest, but glamorous, like a kimono. It’s all quite dark and moody really, isn’t it? Boho femme fatale?14-Aug

1. Zara Asymmetric sarong skirt. £39.99. Available here.

2. Topshop scuba plunging V body in white. £32. Available here.

3. Topshop triangle cup bra. £20. Available here.

4. River Island black floral fringe kimono. £40. Available here.

5. Chloe heeled leather oxfords. £772 £386. Available here.

6. Alexander Wang ‘The Rocco’ textured leather tote. £775. Available here.

7. Topshop big felt floppy hat in black. £28. Available here.

8. River Island mixed metal long necklace. £15. Available here.

9. American Apparel girly lace ankle socks in black. £10. Available here.

10. Guiseppe Zanotti eagle bracelet. £495. Available here.

11. Boohoo Laylah multi ring pack. £5. Available here.

12. Boohoo Laura multi ring pack. £5. Available here.

13. Aurelie Bidermann ginko feather ring. £197. Available here.

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If Only: Outfit of the Day 2#

It’s now pretty much mid-August, aka, the dying days of an English summer, and I think it’s fair to say that the summer is well and truly in its deathbed. Luckily, we English have long mastered the art of the multi-season outfit, for those last few glimmers of sunshine that summer manages to splutter out, before succumbing to another sweeping, howling, pelting thunderstorm. I think England is one of the few places where it is acceptable for non-celebrities to venture outside in both knitwear and sunglasses. It’s called preparation!12-Aug

 

1: French Connection City Grid Checked Trouser. £79 £30. Available here.

2: River Island Beige Floral Embroidered Cami Top. £25. Available here.

3: Max Mara Teresa Cardigan. £430 £215. Available here.

4: Pieces Birgit Canvas Mocasin  £30. Available here.

5: Chloe Paraty Leather Tote. £1195. Available here.

 6: Topshop Fine V Midi Rings Set. £6.50. Available here.

7: Elise Dray Left-Handed Four Finger Serpentine Ring. £5720. Available here.

8: Ileana Makri Triple Disc Gold Ring. £1175. Available here.

(I know, how many pints of blood, eggs and kidneys would I have to sell to purchase number 7 and 8… and 5! Expensive taste indeed… it will be my downfall!)

9: Olivia Burton Tan Leather Watch. £65. Available here.

10:  Atterley Road Aria Tortoiseshell Sunglasses. £15. Available here.

11: Atterley Road Lauris Pyramid Cuff. £15 £4. Available here.

12: Mango Crystal Stone Cuff in Black. £14.99. Available here.

13: Atterley Road Menton Spot Cuff. £7. Available here.

14: Eddie Borgo Tassel Pendent Necklace. £77.31. Available here.

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Workaholic

Meg’s Collection

_MG_7103

It’s that time of year, when students are struggling with repeated all-nighters to meet their big deadlines. No, we weren’t all like that, some of us spent the entire semester pulling all-nighters purely because we wanted our final work to be perfect. Meg, a University of Derby fashion student, is one of those students. Just look at the detail that has gone into these laser-cut designs… beautiful!

I was the lucky photographer who she selected to photograph her collection. It was a beautiful day for a photo shoot, and as we had chosen Wollaton Hall, a stately home in Nottinghamshire that is open to the public (and a spot where I have worked before with a University of Derby fashion student, as well as for one of my own personal shoots), we had quite an audience, members of the public lining the various benches that surrounded the greenhouse, watching us work, complimenting our gorgeous model sisters. The sun was shining, perhaps a little too harshly, but we made do. Thank god for reflectors.

Besides a small incident with a bee somehow getting trapped in our model’s trousers (all was well – none of us have ever laughed so much in our lives!), everything went without a hitch. A shout out has to go not only to my lovely assistant, Gem, but also to Meg’s boyfriend, her chauffeur who stepped in as a second assistant when we were experimenting with spontaneous ideas. It was such a great team to work with.

_MG_7171 _MG_7187 _MG_7251 _MG_7279 _MG_7309 _MG_7321 _MG_7340 _MG_7352 _MG_7377 _MG_7381 _MG_7455 _MG_7486 _MG_7535 _MG_7592 _MG_7654 _MG_7747 _MG_7781

 

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Kate Moss for Topshop

Everyone with an even remotely fashion-minded blog is talking about Kate Moss’ new Topshop collection, and of course, I felt it only right that I join in. It’s been eagerly awaited since it’s announcement last year… probably longer in fact, as I think many die-hard fans have spent the last three and a half years with cramping crossed fingers for a return of their favourite fashion model-slash-designer. Thinking about it… has it really been seven years since her first Topshop collaboration??

One thing that I have noticed, however, is that my personal ‘top picks’ from her long awaited new collection, seem to differ from the top picks of most bloggers. It is a gorgeous collection, for sure, but no matter how many fashionista models or designers try to persuade me otherwise, I won’t be joining in with 2014’s cow girl trend. Not even Chanel can convince me otherwise. Nor am I a fan of seventies inspired fashion. I’m just not one for fringe.

Kate Moss Topshop collection 2014 preview

Kate Moss Topshop collection 2014 campaign

Nevertheless, it is a stunning collection, and no doubt it will remain on rails for all of five seconds. I think I’ll have to avoid Topshop for a while unless I wish to be trampled to death. I’ll stick to online shopping for my favourites. Maybe I can just about squeeze the gorgeous black jumpsuit into my suitcase.

My Topshop Top Picks:

Also, who was the photographer for her collection?? Brilliant.

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The Curvy Ups and Creepy Downs of Optical Illusion Fashion

At school, I was always the kid who sucked at spotting the hidden tigers and butterflies in the Magic Eye books that would be shared between us beneath the branches of the willow tree that stood in the corner of the playground. Though I’m not entirely sure that my friends were being honest when they’d swear that they could see the possibly non-existent exotic animals hidden between swirling lines of ‘grass’.

So when the trend for optical illusions reached fashion, I loved it. Why strain yourself searching for pointless pictures of exotic animals hidden in a pointless painted jungle, when we can put the age old tricks to good use? Now a simple bodycon dress can give the impression of curves in all the right places, balancing out those somewhat un-proportioned figures. A godsend if, like me, you have what I would call a ‘crazy pear’ shape going on. While I do love my ‘curvy’ bum and my clothes-sit-well-on-me boobs… dress shopping can be a nightmare. Bodycon’s are a no no, unless I’m deliberately going for the ‘two aspirins on an ironing board’ look teamed with the ‘will that bum fit through the doorway’ look. The basic bodycon is a cruel illusion in itself, exaggerating my proportionate differences. That’s fine, I can rule out bodycon’s from my wardrobe. I can be a pear-shaped quite happily. After all, to be a perfect hourglass, with my waist and hip measurements, I’d need 30F boobs (according to a quick online calculator) – no thank you!!

So I’d resigned myself to a lifelong bodycon ban, sticking to a rule of baggy tops with pencil skirts or fitted tops with flared skirts – both fine, cute, easy enough.

Then I saw Kate Winslet in that Stella McCartney dress circa Autumn 2011.

I’m not saying this was the first optical illusion within fashion. I mean, look at corsets! And my ‘baggy/pencil skirt, fitted/flared’ rules But for me – and most women worldwide, judging from the stir that this dress caused – it was a definite moment of ‘yes – finally!!’

Before this dress popped up on every celebrity with boobs, there was the interesting Viktor & Rolf dresses of their Spring 2010 collection.

And since, there are been so, so many adaptions of the Stella dress (who made several restyles of her own), that I could dedicate an entire blog to each design.

how to look skinny kim kardashian optical illusion dress Alexander McQueen dress hot kim K hourglass figure pretty please us

Alexander McQueen

stella mccartney panel polka dot dress jennifer lopez kate winslet skinny dress figure flattering dress pretty please us

Stella McCartney

However, yesterday, this trend took a strange turn for me. It was a first – never has a photograph of Keira Knightley ever sparked such creeped-out horror to my eyes. Nor has a photograph featuring Chanel couture – and especially never have I disliked a combination of the two, as much as I do in this moment.

I give you, the weirdest ready-to-wear optical illusion outfit I have seen to date:

It’s like… Chanel’s version of the Skittle family of Toy Town.

Optical illusions should be used to flatter our curves, and create them when we have none! It’s about making a woman more womanly, more beautiful. Not… separating our upper and lower half, burying our natural curves beneath swathes of shapeless fabric and wrapping a teeny tiny waist until it no longer looks slender, but sickly.

And for this outfit to be Chanel… while I get how this outfit fits perfectly with their theme of the ‘incredible lightness of being’, I’m disappointed.

Then again, I saw their Pre-AW14 collection. Cowboys and Indians? Really? That’s the look you’ve chosen for this season, Mr Lagerfeld? Ok… you’re the boss.

Please, please, please.. no more scary illusions, ok? I know that the hourglass enhancing bodycon dresses of Stella McCartney’s collections are three years old now, but you know… if it’s not broke.

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