Monday, September 26, 2011

Bing Bang bargain


Last month, when ASOS asked me to pick my top 10 sale buys, my credit card took a hammering as I ended up buying nearly all of my choices!

I think my favourite purchase is this gold-plated charm ring by Bing Bang, a New York label from jewellery designer Anna Sheffield. Its quirky range of keepsake pieces give unusual charms an edgy twist. Think Victoriana femininity mixed with a punk-rock sensibility.

I love how interesting this ring looks. The charms and the mix of metals, from gold-plate to brass to sterling silver, offer both a contemporary and antique feel. And I adore the movement of the charms on my finger, from the teardrops and ball-bearings, which look like miniature lead weights, to the teeny-tiny crucifixes. Hung on a simple gold chain, the ring also doubles up as a cool-looking pendant.

So there you have it – two looks for one. What's more, it was already an affordable £65, but it's now a bargainous £24.50. That's a steal for something rather unique.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I wanna be adored


I've long been a fan of tba – the label that is 'to be adored' – even more so since snapping up a tba bargain in the shape of a shirt dress at beginning of the year.

Its spring/summer collection was, well, adorable. I loved the delicious palette of vintage creams and delicate prints in the form of polka dots, ballerinas and ditsy florals.

I got these ditsy floral silk trousers in the ASOS sale, reduced from £115 to £22. There's something about silk that makes the trousers look effortlessly elegant and easy to wear, from the delicate slits at the ankles to the casual side pockets. Plus, unlike synthetic fabrics, creases drop out easily.

They're still available at ASOS in a pale latte colour for £25. Plus, there are more tba bargains to be had, including new-season reductions.

The shot above was taken on holiday last month at the CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art in Bordeaux, France. The mural, which reminds me of Bridget Riley's work, is Mirrors by French artist Philippe Decrauzat. I've teamed the tba trousers with my blush Reiss top and gone full-out on florals with the ditsy prints on my Gap bag and LK Bennett flip-flops. It was my favourite holiday outfit.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bargainista Fashionista's big shoot... for ELLE!

 

Back in July, I tweeted about a fashion shoot the Stickman and I were doing for something very exciting. Well, here it is! I can finally reveal it was for ELLE's Style for Less supplement, out now with the October issue (with Agyness Deyn on the cover). It's been on sale for a few weeks now so get it while you can!

ELLE asked me and fellow bloggers Hanneli Mustaparta of hanneli.com and Susie Lau of stylebubble.co.uk to model a week in our wardrobes, choosing from the high street's new autumn/winter collections and shooting the pictures in the style of our own blogs.

Check it out now for affordable new-season buys from River Island, Urban Outfitters, Benetton, Whistles, H&M, Debenhams, Reiss, Jaeger, House of Fraser, Uniqlo, Topshop, 2nd Day, Gap, New Look, Next, Primark and more. And, if you're looking for a new winter coat, don't go shopping until you've seen the ELLE team's favourites.

I'm so pleased to be in the supplement and very proud of the Stickman – it was a lot of hard work getting seven good pictures of me! We really enjoyed shooting it and hope you like the results.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gold star

PHOTOGRAPH BY TOM BUNNING 

This is what I wore to work last week:
Zara dress
Pierre Hardy for Gap shoes
ASOS necklace
Michael Kors watch
Marks & Spencer Autograph range cotton/cashmere tights (with a 60 denier appearance, these are my favourite opaques. They're an autumn/winter essential as they look smart, are generous in leg length and long-wearing – well worth £9.50 a pop)

The Zara dress is one of my latest purchases. Simple yet striking, I like the contrast of the loose cocoon shape with the skinny three-quarter-length sleeves, and the retro design with the futuristic fabric: a cream waffly cotton painted over with gold.

It's a subtle interpretation of this season's metallics trend, with the gold-leaf effect gently catching the light with every twist and turn. The exposed, chunky copper zip at the back is a nice detail, too.

The dress comes in a one-size-fits-all medium and, although it bore a Special Edition tag, it was a very affordable £39.99.

For more metallics Zara has the trend nailed, from jeans to jumpers to jackets to some cool silver brogues. Meanwhile, for further fashion inspiration, visit the What ELLE Wears blog at ELLEuk.com.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunny delight


This is one of the pieces I picked for my shoot for ELLE's Style for Less supplement, out now with the October issue.

It's by Therapy at House of Fraser and, currently, there's 25% off, so instead of £38 it's £28.50. Click here to shop online. It comes in black, too.

A continuation of the coloured lace trend, I love the sunny, eye-catching yellow and the sexy back-button fastening. It's an easy way to dress up blue jeans.

As to what to wear underneath, a simple white vest looks good. Ditto a cream camisole. The thinner the strap, the sexier.

Just wearing a bra beneath can look great, too, but there is a thin line between stylish and slutty so play it carefully. Lace on lace looks sexy, or have fun with underwear in a contrasting colour.

Lastly, I'd recommend going up a size for a looser fit. The subtle flash of flesh through lace benefits from not being skintight – it's far more sophisticated.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Do you want popcorn with that?


Look familiar? My River Island bear hat teamed with a red sweater has become a signature look on my blog and Twitter. So, when I spotted this tomato-red Primark jumper, I couldn't resist a little photoshoot.

OK, so you might not be ready to stock up on winter woollies just yet, but let me persuade you (you'll thank me later).

Big knits are in for autumn/winter. Last year, we had the Aran knit. And the traditional cable knit is always a classic. But a new addition this season is the bobble. Call it the popcorn knit if you like.

I particularly love the rows of bobbles down each arm of this jumper. Playing up to the season's texture trend, the bobbles looks deceptively tough, while actually being tactile and soft. As well as adding a new dimension to the humble sweater, they makes it more fun, too.

Oh, and it's a steal at £12. Now that's almost cheaper than a cinema ticket and a tub of popcorn! It comes in off-white, too.

For another Primarni bargain, check out the black and white heart-print coat I'm wearing in ELLE's Style for Less supplement (out now with the October issue). With its faux-fur-trimmed hood and pom-poms, it super-cute – and just £25.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Jonathan Saunders at Debenhams: part 2


Just remembered this detail shot I took of the Jonathan Saunders for Edition at Debenhams dress I blogged about last week. A distinctive geometric pattern on chiffon, it highlights the Scottish designer's talent for mixing colour and print. I like the contrast of fabrics, too: print on plain, sheer chiffon on heavier-weight polyester.

What this designer/high-street collaboration also showcases is Saunders' intuitive knowledge of the cut and shape women like and what they feel comfortable in. As the designer says himself, 'I make real clothes that women want to wear.' And, thanks to his Debenhams Edition range, that includes real women.

So, returning to this LBD (and the full-length picture on the previous blog post), you'll note that the elegant box pleats are forgiving on the hips, while the detailing at the top of the skirt flatters the waistline. Add to that the fact that it's effortless to wear but extremely chic and it's easy to see why Jonathan Saunders is the label on every fashion editor's shopping list this season.

Just last week, ELLE's fashion director Anne-Marie Curtis said on Twitter: 'Jonathan Saunders you are a genius and so are your dresses. That's all.' @amcELLE

And ELLE's associate editor Avril Mair tweeted: 'Just bought fantastic skirt by Jonathan Saunders for Debenhams Edition. A mere 36 quid.' @avrilmair

With praise like this, what are you waiting for? Check out Jonathan Saunders for Edition at Debenhams now. And, with London Fashion Week starting tomorrow, keep an eye out for what Saunders sends down the runway at his show on Saturday as that's what you'll be wearing next season.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Jonathan Saunders at Debenhams


Yesterday, I mentioned a shoot that the Stickman and I did recently. Well, it was for ELLE's Style for Less supplement, out now with the October issue (with Agyness Deyn on the cover) – check it out!

This is one of the looks I shot. It's a dress by Jonathan Saunders for the Edition range at Debenhams. Edition is a designer concept that brings creative talent to the high street, with a changing showcase of new names. Just this week, the autumn/winter Edition ranges by Jonathan Saunders, Preen, Jonathan Kelsey and Roksanda Ilincic landed in store.

Add Debenhams current store-wide discounts and you can get 20% off the new-season Edition launches until Sunday 11th September (plus, get up to 25% off throughout the rest of the store). So, this Jonathan Saunders dress, already a bargain at £72, is a steal at £57.60.

Taking the classic LBD, Saunders has added his trademark print in chiffon around the neckline, front and back. Its flattering cut, cute pleats and a surprisingly good quality fabric for a polyester-mix, meanwhile, make this a simple yet elegant piece that's ideal for day-to-night dressing. It's just as suitable for the office as it is for an evening out.

It comes with a slim faux-leather belt, but I preferred it without for a more fluid silhouette, especially as there's detailing at the waist anyway. So, will this be your next LBD? Let me know.

Here's the details of my outfit:
Polyester-mix dress, £72, by Jonathan Saunders for Edition at Debenhams
Suede court shoes, £159, by Reiss
Metal owl necklace, £15, by River Island

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

+J The final collection


The good news is that the latest +J for Uniqlo collection launches online in just over an hour at 1am Thursday 8th September and goes on sale in selected stores tomorrow, too.

The bad news is this is Jil Sander's final collection for Uniqlo (sob).

So, don't miss out. This is your last opportunity to buy a piece of Jil Sander at high-street prices.

Top of my wish list is this navy wool wrap coat. I was lucky enough to borrow it for a shoot recently (more about this soon, I promise!) and fell head over heels.

I love the simplicity of the design and luxuriousness of the wool. And I love that it looks just as good worn loose or cinched in with a belt. Elegant yet understated, it will ensure I look effortlessly groomed. Plus, it'll go just as well with jeans.

A versatile classic, it's a great investment buy at £179. It comes in grey, too. I just have to wait a little longer as it doesn't go on sale tomorrow, but I know it will be worth it. Let me know what +J pieces you've got your eye on!


As for the rest of my outfit, here's the details:
Polyester dress, £85, by Vaudevill & Burlesque at Urban Outfitters
Leather heeled brogues, £175, by Russell & Bromley
Metal watch necklace, £28, by Urban Outfitters
Faux-leather bag, £15.99, by New Look
Cotton-mix tights, £9.50, by Autograph by Marks & Spencer
Leather belt, £14.99 for two, by H&M

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Blue velvet


It wouldn't be autumn/winter without a spot of velvet in the shops. But, this season, the point of difference is the use of velvet for footwear rather than clothes.

Take these navy velvet platform sandals – they'll ensure you're all set for party season. Luxurious and sexy, you won't believe me when I say they're a mere £18. Just head to Primarni, where you can take your pick of claret velvet, too.

The beauty of this shoe is the towering five-and-a-half-inch heel, tempered by the one-inch platform. Height balanced with comfort means these aren't just good for the dance floor, they'll see you through a whole working day, too. Just keep your outfit simple and sophisticated for a daytime look.

Meanwhile, for a full-on velvet evening shoe, turn heads with these cerise-pink platform sandals from Topshop. They're totally sumptuous at £58. And, for flats, look out for velvet slipper shoes. A signature shoe style this season, velvet and glitter are the key looks.

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