Monday, 29 August 2011

Primark boots & bag

My mum came to visit Manchester city centre on Thursday, and just like any visitor from a small town, she wanted to visit Primark. Though not my preferred shopping destination, I decided to get into the spirit, grabbing a basket and adopting a brusque attitude.

Boy, am I glad I did! Their accessories section seems to be better than ever: on-trend satchels, oversized clutches and box bags, in cobalts, mustards, burgundies, and snakeskin print. I snapped up this cool medium sized satchel (a tenner!) in my favourite colours of the moment. I was also rewarded for taking a trip down into the fiery depths of the basement shoe department (whew, they desperately need AC) by these burgundy velvet wedges. Living in Manchester, velvet perhaps isn't the best of fabrics to choose for footwear, but I was so taken with the colour and the simple, wearable shape, that I had to have them (they're also available in camel, purple, and a really amazing vivid aqua).

I'm happier buying Primark accessories rather than the clothes. I realise they're only polyurethane, and may only last the season at best, but at least they don't shrink/stretch in the wash..! (And if they do... well, you shouldn't really be putting your boots in the washer, anyway)

The satchel has some interesting design details you wouldn't normally expect from Primark, like a mini fringe and brogue detailing.

Of course, with Friday just gone being #ILoveMCR day, I couldn't get away with avoiding the paraphernalia altogether...

PS. I'm dreaming of a burgundy velvet baby doll or shift dress. I'd really appreciate it if anyone could point me in the right direction..!

Lanvin a/w 2011 video

Breaking my silence to feature the gorgeous new Lanvin a/w 2011 video. I love the long-limbed clumsiness of Raquel and Karen, the faded glamour of their surroundings; and, of course, Alber stealing the show at the very end.


Thursday, 18 August 2011

Polyvore burgundy & mustard

Waiting in for a delivery is so very boring. Sod's law today has been relatively pleasant, and at 3pm the package still hasn't arrived. Argh! I'm climbing the walls.

To amuse myself I've been playing around with Polyvore. This toy is a fashion bloggers' dream, and has been used since its launch in 2007 to create outfits, moodboards, and pretty collages. I've used it today to justify the purchase of these H&M suede boots: very Prada, and very 1960s, whilst maintaining modernity. I think I was sold on the idea before even making this collage, but now these items are all I want to wear over the coming months!

This is less an outfit, more "what I would wear if I bought the Prada-esque H&M boots". Which I probably will do. Burgundy & mustard is my favourite colour combination of autumn/winter 2011, but the mustard could easily be worn with red, just as the burgundy could be worn with emerald green.

The collage includes a Miss Selfridge bag (real leather, and a fraction of the price of the Proenza Schouler PS1 and the Victoria Beckham satchel, both of which come in burgundy, and are at plus-£1000 price points), the slouchy Topshop blazer, which has been doing the rounds in the fashion weeklies, and some cute Chloe checked cigarette pants. For details of each item, hop on over to the Polyvore page where all items are handily detailed along the right hand side of the page.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Diesel windows, Sunday I wore, TK Maxx boots

I walked into Manchester city centre to visit Hey Little Cupcake (yum - I had an apple mojito) and also to see how the city's retailers were faring. The good news is town was packed with people carrying large and full shopping bags. Great to see people have not been put off spending as a result of the riots; perhaps even encouraged to shop more, to support the retailers!

I happened to pass Diesel on the corner of King Street.

I love that they've made the most of a bad situation! You'll find many boarded up windows around Manchester at the moment, but none as interesting as this. Well done! Maybe parts of these could be kept in-store as some sort of memorial, or a window display made with them when the glass is replaced.

Here's what I wore on Sunday.

This skirt is my best bargain of all time. It cost 50p from a charity shop. Yes, 50p! Initially I bought it for the fabric but it's become one of my wardrobe staples. Worn with t-shirt, cardigan and bag from H&M via charity shop, plus my orange Topshop shoes. I'm always trying to find new ways for orange to work with other colours; this time taking a block colour worn with neutral basics and orange accessories.

I popped into TK Maxx to look at their Gold Label line. I found a £999 acid yellow Versace dress, a £495 Chloe handbag, and a stand full of Philosophy di Alberta Ferreti shoes. 

These boots were my favourite find! At £99, they were still too expensive for me, but I hope somebody gives these bottle-green 1970s style boots a really good home.

Two work outfits #todayimwearing

I have a couple of outfits to catch up on after a busy (read: very lazy and not busy at all) weekend. First up is my new Oasis uniform.

(with my untidy flat in the background)

I love each piece separately; I started wearing the breton top on Thursday and wore it until Saturday (I did take it off for bed though), and the scarf has been around my head or neck some way every day. The skirt is perfect for autumn, being lipstick red, pencil shape, with a small split. All together, though, I think it looks a little "make-up counter girl". I'm not sure what to do to make it less Clarins, and more Parisian! I wore the skirt with a bright blue shirt yesterday, which felt more comfortable style-wise for me. The colour combination was fantastic (I got quite a few comments from customers, and even from a group of businessmen outside at lunchtime).

I told you I wore my breton a lot! This was for work at Afflecks Palace on Friday. Oasis headscarf, vintage blazer, Oasis breton, my trusty Mango suede shorts, and Very platforms. Will I ever post an outfit picture where I'm not wearing some form of orange shoe? ... Probably not.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011


The past 24 hours have undoubtedly been the most bizarre of my life. I was up half the night listening to police helicopters and sirens. This morning, I went into town, feeling sick with anticipation at what I was about to encounter.

Thankfully, Manchester is more resilient than I thought. There were many broken windows, but I'd say only around five shops were completely gutted; Links of London, Miss Selfridge, Swarovski, Jessops, and Office. The Swarovski shop was only two weeks old, and was a gorgeous retail space.

The #manchestercleanup team met in Piccadilly Gardens, armed with brooms, gloves, and binbags. Most of the city had already been cleaned by the council, but we were determined to make our city safe and free of broken glass. I'd say it took around three hours for the streets to be completely clear. There was a huge sense of comraderie, with volunteers helping each other out, and small teams going inside devastated shops to help clear up broken windows.

I did want to feature window displays in this blog, it's just unfortunate that the first are in this state:

Massive congratulations to the team at Office St Ann's Square, who managed to get the shop organised and fully operational within the morning. I wish all retailers the very best at this hard time, and look forward to seeing what they will do with their brand spanking new stores.

I'm off for a well-deserved cup of tea, and maybe a nap while it's all quiet. Let's hope it remains quiet overnight.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

£20 off Oasis dresses

The news has been all-consuming for the past 24 hours; last night I went to sleep not knowing what state the capital would be in, and whether the riots would have affected my beautiful city of Manchester. I've woken up to the heroes of #riotcleanup, restoring my faith in humanity. Greater Manchester Police also reports no serious trouble or disorder overnight. Thank you, Manchester, keep up the good work.

Whilst some people may say fashion is shallow, and worth little in the scheme of things, to many people it is a great comfort. The fashion industry remains solid in spite of what is happening in the world around us.

A little distraction for me was provided by an email from Oasis, informing me of a £20 discount on a range of dresses. For a moment I managed to click away from the Guardian Live Blog and immerse myself in frocks. Featured are some great styles for autumn/winter: jewel tones, shift shapes, and a one-shouldered lovely perfect for parties.

My particular favourite is this one, down to £35 from £55.

Emerald green is sure to be autumn's hottest colour, yet the lack of sleeves and cut-out detail are perfect for that transitional period between summer and autumn. I think you'll also be pleasantly surprised by the quality of Oasis dresses - they wash well, keep their shape, and the fabrics always feel much more expensive than they really are.

Stay safe, wherever you are today. London, I am thinking about you. If this blog provides you with a moment of relief from the real world then I've done my job.

Monday, 8 August 2011

ASOS Premium Satchel

Just a quick post to show you this super gorgeous bag I found on ASOS.

I've been looking for a bag which I can use for uni for a while now, but nothing has really tickled my fancy, until I clapped eyes on this. This beauty has all the practicality of a satchel, whilst having some really gorgeous design features; I love the contrast of the chocolate against the cognac, the generous-sized tassels, plus the petal shape around the buckle. I can see me trudging to uni through winter with this slung over my body, and then skipping around town holding it by the top handle in flats and a shift dress.

The design features remind me of the Prada Spring 2012 Menswear shoes:

Get the ASOS Premium Leather Satchel here, and for the Prada shoes.. well, good luck! If they're anything like last season's flatforms, you'll be lucky to get on the end of a very long waiting list.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Stompy vs sleek

Seasons upon seasons now, the chunky platform has been the shoe de jour. It started with a 5-inch chunky heel, to most recently Nicole Formichetti for Theirry Mugler's 5-inch platform-only shoe. Can you imagine even trying to walk in those, let alone run for a bus, or navigate yourself through a bar to the bathroom, with potentially slippy floors, and four Cosmopolitans on board?

I, for one, have had enough. I'm going on a platform detox. Recently, I've been lusting after more streamline shapes, with delicate heels and no platform. I'm particularly feeling pointy toes, you can probably blame Miuccia Prada for that. Even flats, which, for the past few years I've considered a waste of money, and have only bought the simplest pairs in order to save money for "real" shoes (ie, heels) seem attractive again. Isn't it funny how cyclical trends are?

(In order, Jimmy Choo, YSL, and Ralph Lauren, all at Net-a-porter)

Look how sleek, chic, and ladylike they are..! Perfect for Isabel Marant-style skinny cropped trousers for a modern look, or with a colourful A-line shift for a 1960s twist.

I recently treated myself to a pair of suede point pumps from Topshop. I normally wouldn't go near the place with a bargepole (overpriced with terrible sales assistants), but these shoes represent everything I'm feeling right now; a bright, but not garish colour, a flat sole, and a simple, understated shape, with pointed toe.

(As I searched for shoes to feature in this post, it dawned upon me that perhaps it's not Prada or an act against platforms; maybe Middleton Mania has finally affected my brain. Argh! Maybe tomorrow I'll wear my highest, biggest, most vulgar stompy boots)

Welcome! Late summer Oasis uniform

Welcome to my blog! I'm about to start my International Fashion Marketing degree in Manchester, and I'll be updating my blog to support my degree work. I'll be blogging about trends, fashion shows, window displays and visual merchandising, street style, and whatever else I've been up to.

I'll start with #todayimwearing.

Excuse how tired I look, I blame the party-work-late night cinema-work pattern my life has been in this weekend.

My current Oasis uniform is a suede skirt (I can't go on enough about how much I love this A-line beauty; you'll find it on sale here for £10, or in stores, if you're lucky), silk blouse, plus an old Liberty scarf and even older Topshop tights. The orange shoes are my new loves which I'll post about soon.

I got my new uniform today so I will be featuring that later this week!