Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Jump Around!

The jumpsuit. Or the Playsuit.
The high street bring these out pretty much every season now, but more so for those (supposed) summer months. They're even a category all of their own on most fashion websites - they have outfit status!
I for one cannot get enough of jumpsuits/playsuits. I think on the last count I have about 6/7 and I have my eye on a good few more for this season. They're almost better than a dress. Outfit in one, marvellous!
With so much variety out there it's hard not to get seduced. Perfect for any occasion - dates, lunch with the girls, weddings even, work, clubbing, dancing the night away, festivals or for strolling along the beach to simply hanging out in.
Admittedly there is a downside, the time it takes to take the damn thing off for those important natural necessities (the loo!). A nightmare if you're wearing at a festival, you know where I'm going with this...but I can't stop my love affair for this wardrobe staple. There's just too many of them to ignore.

Now the dungaree style is creeping into the stores, I'm struggling to contain my excitement as surely this just expands the selection on offer, because, let's face it, it practically functions the same as a playsuit/jumpsuit.
Queue extended wish list (I'm sure this grows by the day.....)

I have seen some fab little denim and tailored dungaree's on the rails at work (queue major excitement and distraction) which are due in stores imminently. I tell you its dangerous working around clothes, far too much temptation. But as I can't share these with you now (boo), here are my fave picks out there this very instance to spend our lovely hard earn dosh on....which one floats your boat?

 Ideal to wear right now....

Leather! Whistles

Lush - Vivienne Westwood
Comfort - Sparkle & Fade for Urban Outfitters

Fantastical Florals - Net a Porter
Perfect for cocktails - Warehouse

Get those legs in to shape and tanned for these mini playsuits, bring on summer please!

Monki - true casual style
Beach perfect - Spell Designs for The Pretty Junk
Super glam - Topshop

Let's not forget the animal print - Topshop

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Burberry AW13

Burberry has by now established themselves as one of the leading British design houses of the 21st century. Those god awful photos of Daniella Westbrook who quite frankly, words fail me on how to describe her, seem like such a distant memory. Surely much to the joy of those who work their socks off developing new material fabrications, designing exquisite bags, trench coats and promoting the brand.

Now a pioneer of new technology they are a brand at the forefront of London Fashion week, and they didn't disappoint by live streaming their AW13 collection too, and, don't tell the boss, but I managed to have a sneak view yesterday afternoon whilst pretending I was beavering away!

Christopher Bailey has trumped again, always one of my fave designers to look out for at LFW, I was left salivating over the feminine cuts with a tough edge. He gets the balance just right. 
For AW13 skirts are longer with a nod to the 40's, which, to avoid looking down right dreary, he vamps them up in updated animal prints, metallic colours, sheer latex, feathered leather effect (to die for!) and bold stripes. Styled with either cute heart printed shirts or comfy chunky sweaters. Burberry has been seriously sexed up.
But as always the main focus is that must have staple in your wardrobe - the trench!
No woman should be without one and again he has delivered an exciting collection of beautiful pieces of outerwear. Some designs are not for the faint hearted and you will need a whole dose of attitude and confidence to wear some of these down the street, but my guess is that people would only look at you with pure envy.

Not only has Burberry been revamped and shaken up the fashion world but I love how Bailey has entrenched the brand in 'Britishness'. We're talking double, no treble A lister's, with the likes of Kate Moss, Agnes Deyne, Emma Watson and now the delectable Cara Delevingne, not to mention the adorable Romeo Beckham, fronting their advertising campaigns.
Embracing new faces of fashion and pioneering emerging music talent (Jake Bugg performed in their regent street flagship store - yes my obsession continues! has made this brand more of an enigma and something to be savoured and truly admired.

In summary, bravo Mr Bailey another triumphant show, I shall look forward to seeing what you install on us for SS14.....

What have been your LFW highlights so far?


Thursday, 14 February 2013

Double Denim....

...The good...

These ladies lead the way for wearing top to toe denim

...and the bad!

Madonna can you believe!


Let's say, thank heavens fashion has moved, no accelerated, forward since these photos!     

'Double Denim', is not only a common alliteration in the English language but a phrase that may conger up mixed feelings, mostly that of dread, possibly even panic, at family photos being resurrected, images gatecrashing your mind that you thought were safely tucked away. Damn the 80's denim obsession, worn big, baggy and in force, hence double denim, or triple for those even crazier kids!

Well, guess what folks, its making another appearance on the high street this summer, its back and bigger than before. Be warned!

But..does this mean we have to break into a sweat at the thought of more fashion disasters we're are to encompass on our ways to work, whilst we're lunching with friends or drinking the night away?
Not really, if you play it safe. 
I think fashion loves to drag up the past but it seems to have learnt from previous mistakes and tried in vain to put them right. Which is why maybe we should embrace the denim clashing revival, again!
Now before you think I'm crazy, let's think at how far the lovely material has come since it was first brought to the fashion front back in the 50's. We have so many fits, shapes, colours, washes, finishes, characteristics, it confuses the hell out of you when you simply want to purchase a pair of jeans. But we love the choice.
So if wearing two pieces this season, it's not like you have to endure the standard 'denim' shirt with a 'standard' pair of jeans. Mix it up, wear coloured shorts with embroidered denim jackets, or acid washed shirts with coated denim jeans, at a quick glimpse people won't even register you are rocking this trend, you can evade the 'double denim' tag if this so offends you.

Let's face it, it's something that all designers & celebs alike have dabbled in over the years, but now we seem to have perfected how to wear with sassiness and style.....but there will always be help avoid here are my top Dashing Denim Delights...

Hat, Boots & Skirt - Topshop, Shirt - Warehouse

Straw Hat, Denim longer line jacket - Urban Outfitters, Shoes - Hudson


Sunday, 10 February 2013

Crazy Cushions

I'm a novice sewer with a lot of enthusiasm but not a lot of time. The easiest thing I have managed so far are cushions, much to my husbands dismay (it now takes him 2 minutes longer to get into bed as he has to remove all the cushions, oops!).
You don't need me to tell you cushions are an easy way to update and brighten any room, plus fun and easy to make.

I was introduced to an exciting way of using up scrap bits of material called 'crazy patch'. Creating cushions this way means no cushion will ever be the same and because the bulk of the work is sewn by hand its a handy craft to do sat in front of the telly.

Here is my final cushion for the bed, I would love to add more but don't want to run the risk of getting divorced!

You will need;
1 x piece of calico cut to the size you desire for the cushion (can be ordered from Amazon or Ebay, or your local fabric store)
Scraps of material, enough to cover the size of your cushion
Sewing machine
Zip 30cm(optional)
Piece of material for back of cushion
Cushion pad (I used a duck down cushion pad from John Lewis)

Choose your fabrics, they don't have to perfectly match, in fact the more mismatched the better.

Step one
Cut the calico to the size of your cushion and add 1.5cm seam allowance all the way around. Here I am working on a 40cm x 40cm size cushion.

Step two
Take your first piece of fabric and position roughly in the centre of the cushion. With the piece of fabric wrong side up, sew down one side using a running stitch. Then flip over so the fabric is right side up.

Step three
Work out what size and colour fabric you wish to use next and where you want it positioned. It needs to overlap the first piece you have already sewn. Use the same method as before, sewing down one side with the fabric wrong side up, then flip over once sewn.
* Handy tip - try and use odd shapes rather than the obvious square/rectangular ones so your cushion looks less contrived.

Step Four
Repeat this process using all different size pieces of fabric and in as many patterns/colours you like until you have covered the size of the calico. Once its finished it will look larger as the pieces of fabric will overlap.
Trim these overlapping fabrics so you are left with a neat square (or what ever size you are working to).

Some shapes will have a side which is not sewn down. The easiest and most effective way to approach this is to use a decorative top stitch. My sewing machine is quite old and dated so I have just used a normal straight stitch but by all means use which ever stitch you can.

Step Five
To complete the cushion you can either use a piece of material, pin with your crazy patch square, with right sides together and stitch 3 sides of the square. Turn inside out, insert the cushion and then blind stitch the final side.

Or if you would like to be able to wash your cushion, you can add a zip so it's easily removed.

Measure 2 pieces of fabric so they are exactly half the size of the cushion you are making, here my two back pieces measured 20cm then I added a 1.5cm seam allowance around each piece.
With right sides together, pin in place and sew approx 8cm in from each end.
Open and press the seam. Take your zip, I used a 30cm invisible zip, and pin underneath.
Using your zipper foot, sew down each side as close to the zipper teeth as possible.
Taking your crazy patch panel, place right sides together and stitch all the way around. Make sure the zip has been left slightly undone so you can open once sewn and turn inside out easily.
Insert cushion and away you go!

 Here is a another cushion I did a few months back with a different backing technique.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

New York, New York

Wind Swept!

Secret Bar.....


The amazing Jake Bugg

We found an original speak easy bar hence the wine and beer in teacups, so cute

Me and the hubby went to New York a few weeks ago and thought I would share a few photos. There aren't really any outfits to show as this was before I had decided I would take up blogging again - sorry!
However, it is nice to share photos of your travels with people, it's nice to see a place you've never been, or if you have been, I could be showing you an area you have yet to explore. We all have friends that have been to where we're heading to and make loads of recommendations, but you always seem to discover a new restaurant, new cool bar, or an area of town none of your friends have happened upon. That is the joy of visiting yourself and of travelling full stop. Each city, or destination, is different to us all as we have our own memories. We can only share, we can't instill our memories on others, they have to make their own. That is why I love to visit everywhere myself - my husband groans every time I pipe up and say 'oh add 'Berlin' to our list of places to visit'....I think I'm driving him mad!

So even though I share these photos, I by no means say I went to the best part of town, this is simply where we strolled and the sights we took in.

I have been twice now, first time for work and this time for pleasure (and both times to shop!!)
I have to say my fave spots to wander, hang out, shop, dine, drink must be Williamsburg, Lower East Side and East Village. There is something about the graffiti, unusual quirky bars and shops that really intrigues me. If you like design etc then these areas I found to be really inspirational and I can see why creative people (and anyone) would make sure they visit the big apple to get their creative juices flowing. I came home filled with ideas for work and for our home - again queue more annoying of husband!
If you have not been to the Museum of Modern Art then make sure you do, it was chock full of classic art from Andy Warhol, Edvard Munch the 'Scream' and loads of Picasso - it was just amazing to see these well known paintings in the flesh. 

For any music lovers out there, we got the chance to see Jake Bugg perform a live gig, he is truly an amazing talent, check him out on youtube here. I'm hooked!

Enjoy and let me know which cities you have fallen in love with, or where are you just dying to visit?