Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Tuesday Shoesday: A Poppin' Mixture

"Oi! Oi, girl!" shouted a male youth at me as I walked along a Hackney street.

Oh, God. This was it, I thought. Goodbye, cruel world, I have been a part of you for such a short time but..

"Your shoes be poppin'!" the youth interrupted my thoughts.

"Er.. thanks!", came my relieved response.

I was wearing my newest Miista shoes - the Hildas - and ironically the reason I was walking along said Hackney street was to pay the ladies of Miista a visit.

I stomped into the office and recounted my tale; we all agreed that "poppin'" was a worthy compliment for a Miista shoe.

Laura Villesenin, designer and founder of the Miista brand, talked me through the new spring collection. The Incas were a big inspiration, and the collection consisted of new styles, colours - some you may not expect from Miista - and shapes, plus classics from previous seasons reworked in a fresh way.

The amazing Saga Sig-shot lookbook continues with the Incan theme, with rich, saturated colours, creating highly impactful photographs.

Patricia busy editing the photographs

Laura has always been into shoes (a girl after my own heart, then) and studied at the London College of Fashion accessory & shoe-specific campus, Cordwainers. She then went onto working for high-street brands, most notably Aldo, until the Miista idea was born.

The team are currently working on their autumn/winter collection, and there is much talk of glitter, stars, and.. Boy George?! I'm allowed a sneak peek at their moodboard for the next season..

Miista are set for worldwide domination. The brand is expanding globally, shipping orders as far as Japan and Australia, plus a full-time team member lives in New York and handles appointments on the East Coast of America (icluding high profile clients such as Nordstrom and Anthropologie).

The team, too, are an international bunch, with a mix of accents bouncing around the office (ever wondered what "Miista" means, by the way? It's a twist on "mixture").

The Miistas are beat after arriving back from a Parisian trade show late the night before. I leave them wearily discussing who will fetch the next lot of Diet Cokes from the fridge.. but not before trying on some of their spring collection. I may have squealed fangirl-style and declared my Miista love (or was it obsession?), but the less said about that, the better..

Thursday, 26 January 2012

The Launch of Karl

I am now back on my sofa in Manchester after my whirlwind trip to London; cat in lap, brew in hand. I have a couple of things to share with you from my time down south, including some bag-hugging and some squealing over shoes, but firstly I will share with you photos from the Karl Lagerfeld for Net-a-porter launch.

The queue was enormous, so I decided to hang around near the front to get a better view of the proceedings (forfeiting my chance of a goodie bag, wah!).

The gang at the front of the queue had been waiting since 12:30pm, but were kept warm by the anticipation of getting a goodie bag.. and the branded Karl koffee van.

The curtains were heavily guarded by Team Karl, whose concentration on the task in hand waned only when a very important text from the Kaiser himself arrived (..probably). Some very dapper male models then took over, waiting to disclose the window shop at exactly the same time as the shops in Paris, Berlin, Sydney, and New York were revealed.

And the Karl is let out of the bag! Large, dynamic images of Arizona, Abbey, Anja, Sui He and Saskia, shot by Karl, displayed the new Karl kollection. Shoppers, clutching their iPads, filtered into the area and used the special Karl app to scan products for purchase or even to win.

Andy (who is originally from Manchester - wahey!) and Rochelle were the pair at the very front of the queue, and were pretty pleased with their goodie bags, containing a t-shirt and the leather fingerless gloves from the collection.

Now for the gratuituous eye candy! The boys from Select and Storm did an great job of generally looking excellent.

This was the only "real-life" look at the collection we had. A real shop would've been fantastic - but I expect komplete Karl-mania would have ensued.

Shop the collection at net-a-porter; my picks are the PVC-sleeve jersey logo sweater (it's too tacky to not) and the pale pink sleeveless denim biker vest.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

To Preen: To Dress Carefully or Smartly

Oh, Preen; How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Lately I have been gabbing non-stop to anyone who will listen, online and in real life, about how much I love the spring/summer collection. Masterminded by Justin Thornton & Thea Bregazzi, the husband & wife collaboration behind Preen, the Virginia Woolf-inspired collection was a step away from their usual deconstructed silhouettes, stretching from sweet pastel pink pixels to tenebrous ink-blot prints.

As a Preen fan, I'm in very good company: though I don't tend to follow celebrity fashion, I do rather like Carey Mulligan and her sixties chic style. Here she wears a Preen Collection dress at the BAFTA Los Angeles Britannia Awards, sans accessories, bar a very unexpected pair of blue YSL pumps.

I was very excited to hear that this very dress - plus more from the Preen diffusion lines, Collection and Line - is currently on sale at BlackWhiteDenim. Click on over, or visit the beautiful Wilmslow boutique (just a short train ride from Manchester) to get your hands on true awards-season style. Perfect work-to-drinks attire, or dress up with skyscraper heels should that long-awaited Oscars invitation finally arrive.

I'm a sucker for glossy coffee table publications so I have been eyeing up Decade, Preen's 10th anniversary book, since my obsession with the brand began a few months ago.

“This book is a personal record of our journey for the first 10 years of Preen, compiled of images, sketchbooks, photos, personal items and moments that we have collected throughout the decade.” – Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi.

BlackWhiteDenim are giving you the chance to win a copy - simply "Like" their Facebook page and post your favourite piece from their Preen collection. My personal pick would be the Preen Line Bubble Jumper; cozy, chic and grungey all in one knit. Good luck!

* Apologies for lack of Tuesday Shoesday this week - as you read this I will be whizzing my way to That There London. I have a few exciting meetings scheduled so expect some cracking blog posts in the coming week! Also, if you view me through Bloglovin' or Google Reader, click on over to fashiondotty.com where I have a swish new look. Big thanks to Faye of girldoesgeek.com - I was quite nervous about the whole thing but she was very patient and the whole process was straightforward.

Images from style.com, nowfashion.com, glamour.com, and BlackWhiteDenim

Sunday, 22 January 2012

College Credentials

Studying a fashion-based degree is a constant source of style inspiration. From the work and research I carry out, yes, but also from what the other students on my course are wearing. However many fashion magazines and websites I absorb, the real muses are those that dress with panache on a day-to-day basis.

Model behaviour here from Rudy, who is wearing a vintage fur, pale denim, and printed aztec leggings with low-top Converse, which is a micro-trend in our campus.

Paris looks super-sweet in a Topshop puffball skirt, but prevents toothache with the addition of heeled Dr Martens and a leather bomber.

Gabriella mixes her leopard prints with leggings and Converse, grounding the look with a simple, yet effective top half.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Spring Forward

The transitional period always sends me into a bit of a tizz; we remain in the thick of winter, getting rained and hailed upon, but all the glossies are full of spring editorials and adverts. I accept that every January and August my mojo will be totally out of line, and I simply have to throw myself into it wearing new trends until something clicks into place. Sometimes it can be one new piece that completes the season's wardrobe, but often I style something from a previous year in a different way and the outfit is bang on. Moodboards are always helpful, too! Make your own by cutting and sticking inspirational pictures from magazines, and adding any patterns or textures you are currently feeling.

Here I've stolen my boyfriend's French Connection shirt in an attempt to emulate the Preen show I love so much - brightly coloured checks with pencil skirts. This would've worked a lot better with a lighter shoe (see above - the Aldo Rise Preen shoes or ASOS kitten heeled slippers) but there was no stopping me wearing my boxfresh Miista Hildas that day. 

Pastel jeans! Hard to pull off even if you are feeling superstylin'. I was reminded just how difficult it is to wear pale trousers when I had a coffee-and-berry-compote incident in Starbucks, though I do still enjoy the mix of ASOS grungy jumper (boyfriend's again - what is it with him having better clothes than I this season?) with sherbet lemon Oasis pants, dolly mixture ASOS shoes and Parma Violet hair. I refuse to stop using my enormous Zara bag - it fits in the near-A3 style.com/print magazine plus my DSLR - but perhaps this frosted bowler bag from ASOS may be more season-appropriate.

My stab at spring continues with more bright jeans - this time pink. Very pink. These are from some years ago, but I did have a whirlwind trip around Primark last night and picked up this cream with neon trim blouse; very useful to pull some springtime looks together (how cute will it look with the Topshop pink shorts suit - pieces here and here - come the warmer months?). The tweed jacket, black leather belt and black Miista boots ground the look and stop it from looking too wacky. I didn't realise quite how masculine this was until seeing the picture, though I do love how striking the look is. 

Slowly, slowly, my outfits progress into the new season. It's all trial and error at this time of year. Which new trends will you be trying in the coming months?

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Coming Up: The Spring Fashion Show

Ah, Spring! A time of hope, newness, and regrowth. Unfortunately there's a distinct lack of baby lambs and chicks in Manchester, and the only daffodils you'll see in the city will be on the lapels of the charitable. All is not lost, however: we have the Spring Fashion Show to look forward to.

Now in its third year, the show displays up and coming collections from designers based all over the UK. My pick is Crystal Padmore's "Coincide"; directional chunky knits combined with bamboo jersey pieces.

One of the designers will be awarded "Best Emerging Designer", giving them the chance to sell a six piece collection on the online independent fashion boutique, Fashion Pony, plus a super photoshoot is included in the prize.

Oxfam will benefit from the sale of tickets, available here, so wow with your FROW style from 8pm on Wednesday 8th February.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Tuesday Shoesday: Miista Cheaper with a Tweet

My affair with Miista shoes has been well documented throughout this blog; it was true love at first sight. My affection for them has grown and I now own two pairs of Miista badboys - my treasured, well-worn birthday Luanne boots, but also my new Hildas. It may surprise you to hear the latter pair cost a mere £1. Yes, ONE POUND. Let me give you a moment to pick your jaw up off the ground.

This was made possible by the "Cheaper with a Tweet" campaign, which ran from the 3rd to the 13th of January. Put simply, you tweeted a link from a special button on the Miista site, which then decreased the price of the shoes you tweeted about - the percentage depended upon your Klout score. The actual campaign has been dissected and discussed by many who are much more marketing- and social media-savvy than I - in fact you can hear the ins and outs of it from the agency which coordinated the whole thing, RAAK. What I do know is that within one day the site had crashed due to sheer volume of visitors, within a week nearly every shoe from the site had sold out (unless you're a size UK3.. in which case, what were you waiting for?!) and the whole of Twitter was abuzz with the campaign. Even Paloma Faith got involved, decreasing the cost of the Hera Black by 17%.

I spoke to Chloe Dinga, branding and marketing guru at Miista, who said that although they were initally very nervous about the campaign - mainly due to its complexity - it was a huge success. "We did have to make some tweaks after the first day, the response was even more than we expected and we had some difficulty with the site crashing from all the traffic", said Chloe. Once the site was fixed, the Miista team then made sure everyone participating was only allowed one tweet, and to be able to buy one pair of shoes. Had they not done this, "everything would have been gone within a day!"

The gorgeous Daisy Kate of Fashion Stereotype wears her £1 Hildas

The ultimate goal was to get the Miista name out there, and to involve the entire fashion community - especially bloggers, as Chloe states that "more and more [trends are] being set by bloggers instead of magazines and other established elements of the industry". I picked some numbers up from the RAAK report: unique visitors to the site increased more than ten times over the course of the campaign, with 62% visiting for the first time. That's a big bunch of new Miista fans.

I'm told by Chloe that the SS12 collection will be available for purchase online "at the end of next week". Until then, feast your eyes on the lookbook preview pictures, shot by Saga Sig in Iceland, who has also worked with Topshop, Dazed & Confused, and i-D online. If you squint hard, you can just about see the shoes in the last picture, but this little taster seriously whet my appetite for the SS12 drop!