Sunday, 26 March 2017

Outfit Post: Elevated Basics

My sartorial choices have been a little bland recently. This fashion funk happens to me every March, the weird transeasonal period between winter and spring never gives me much motivation to dig around my wardrobe for something cute to wear. Nature is starting to bloom, but the sunshine is still deceptive - I've skipped out of my house sans jacket and instantly regretted it one too many times to trust what I see out of the window!

Shedding heavy layers while still wearing enough not to catch a chill when the sun goes down is a fine art indeed. That's why I prefer to keep things simple at this time of the year, sticking to basic wardrobe pieces which can be easily thrown on instead of trying to put together a "look". Truth be told, I love the low maintenance nature of a look made up of basics, no need to plan or fling clothes around the room while trying things on. It's for this reason that I invest in basic pieces, I feel like a LNA or Alexander Wang t-shirt just hangs a little nicer than a tee from H&M or Topshop. 

Jeans are the ultimate wardrobe staple and, in a slight contradiction to my previous paragraph, I'm a Topshop devotee when it comes to denim. Their collection is spot on and their fit is perfect, on par with designer pairs but naturally for a fraction of the price. Topshop make seasonal denim pieces, like my cutout detail boyfriend jeans, a cute way to elevate your jeans without a huge investment. 

I paired my jeans with a plain black tee from LNA, one of my favourite t-shirt brands. The boots are Isabel Marant, I love the triangular heel which makes my overall look a little more effortless. I slung on this beautiful Levi's Made & Crafted leather jacket, which is a lot heavier than it looks.The heavy leather combined with the sheepskin collar make it the perfect jacket to keep me toasty in the unpredictable spring weather. My cheery cherry red Saint Laurent satchel adds a much needed pop of colour to my look. 


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

My Paris Fashion Week diary

As I mentioned in my previous post, I attended Paris Fashion Week for the first time last week. It was wild. For the first time in a long time, I was flying solo while attending the shows. I didn't really know where the venues were. I was mainly allocated standing tickets as I didn't really know the PRs. It was all brand new. I'm in a fairly privileged position in London, I've been blogging and attending the shows for a long time so I haven't really experienced any of these things for a long, long time.

I felt somewhat like the new kid in class, slightly awkward and unsure. And you know what, I really enjoyed it. There was something really liberating and grounding about being new and starting from the bottom. My time in Paris was a blessing and I really enjoyed going along for the ride. Here are my highlights from Paris Fashion Week:

Lutz Huelle AW17
I was super stoked to attend Lutz Huelle's AW17 show, my first in Paris. If his name seems familiar, it's because Huelle has been putting in work at Margiela's Artisinal label and at Max Mara Group as a consultant, winning the ANDAM award twice and winning the Ackermann Pret-a-Reporter prize at GWAND.

His AW17 collection built on his decontextualised aesthetic; some pieces were heavily deconstructed and some looks mixed grunge sportswear with evening wear. The shoulder was his flourish, oversized, puffed or rolled, as long as it was a voluminous statement. The puffer reigns supreme next season, cut very slim with an unexpected combination of fabrics from houndstooth to Fair Isle. The Margiela connection was easy to see and executed beautifully.

Veronique Leroy AW17
Taking place in the iconic Palais de Tokyo, Veronique Leroy's show was a hot ticket. The show opened with an incredible amber crushed velvet jumpsuit. Experimenting with velvet and denim was a fresh direction for Leroy, who's name is more synonymous with knitwear albeit with a touch of eccentricity. earthy abstract prints and gunmetal lam√© with dirty pastels in ruched minis and tapered trousers contested with teddy bear shearling for a super chic, covetable collection. 

Agnes B AW17

Set in the iconic Les Invalides, resting place of Napoleon, Agnes B's show had a very grand feel, preempting a journey though women's fashion over the last 100 years. The show opened with long, conservative, utilitarian wartime silhouettes in muted colours and the odd jewel tone. The fabrics were heavy and luxurious, contrasting with the feeling of liberation for women in the interwar period - women in the workplace was a huge step forward for women's rights.

The interwar period was followed by boyish looks in will trousers paired with chic loafers and Italian suits, which contrasted with the the more feminine side of the period, gorgeous cashmere gloves and a beautiful velvet dress dress with an arm shawl.

And then the music changed, the time period was fast forward 60 years. A feeling of Carnaby Street in the 60s with leather trousers, cute combers, and geometric prints felt very punk and mod. The 70s followed, with burnt oranges, chevron prints and a touch of suede.

The show felt like a true celebration of women, and of course, I loved it.

The showrooms

The Paris showrooms are extremely different to London. In my beloved London, fashion week is squeezed into just 5 days between New York and Milan. The pace is relentless and 12+ hour days are the norm. Some days, it feels like I'm ping ponging across the city between shows, presentations and showrooms like the Road Runner from the Looney Tunes. I only get a glimpse of each collection.

Paris, by contrast, stretches over a week and is much more commercial in nature. This is where all of the selling and buying takes place, which is why visiting showrooms is key for the international buyers who flock to Paris. All of the London designers and PRs decamp to Paris for this season. I didn't have time to pop into the BFC London Showrooms but I did spy some of my favourite London designers in other showrooms alongside some incredible designers from the likes of Canada, Russia and Korea, which gives you a flavour for how international Paris Fashion Week is.

The food

While I was visiting Paris for fashion, I obviously indulged in some delicious food too. My Air Bnb was situated in Pigalle, my favourite neighbourhood which has a ton of amazing places to eat, including Buvette, Hotel Amour and Rose Bakery. I got a super early Eurostar over to Paris and headed straight to Hotel Amour for brunch in their conservatory, which is the prettiest space in Pigalle. I also discovered a new bar to add to tried-and-tested favourites in the area. Le Mondian is a cute little neighbourhood bar with a great rum selection AND the most beautiful cocktail in all of Paris.

Away from "my neighbourhood", I also had the BEST vegetarian grilled cheese sandwich at Mabel, a grilled cheese sandwich shop at the front and a kick ass bar at the back. A favourite with Parisians, it's only a hop and a skip away from Bourse metro station.

For more comprehensive recommendations, check out my Ultimate Guide to Paris post.


Sunday, 12 March 2017

Outfit: Shedding Layers

Spring has sprung and it feels so good! After what feels like a long, endless winter, the days are getting longer and the temperature is very slowly rising. I've slowly shrugged off my heavy layers and piles of accessories, which feels strangely cathartic. Transitioning from winter to spring always feels therapeutic, like emerging from a cocoon and becoming a butterfly. I guess it's a season of rebirth and new beginnings so shedding layers of clothes, or emotions, is inevitable. I love spring and it just feels liberating in many ways.

Despite the autumnal colours, I really like this outfit for spring. The aesthetic is slightly gritty and urban compared to my usual style but the sleek Rupert Sanderson heels are still very much in keeping with my normal aesthetic. The burgundy jumper by Public School has great proportions, it's slightly cropped cut is offset by exaggerated length sleeves, which I wear pushed up. I balanced the cropped, voluminous top half is balanced with a sleek floor length skirt and simple grey booties by Rupert Sanderson.

Outfit details:
Jacket - vintage
Jumper - Public School
Skirt - MbyM
Booties - Rupert Sanderson

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

International Women's Day 2017

Happy International Women’s Day! I’m sure that you know today is day to celebrate women and I’m so pleased to see amazing messages of positivity all over Twitter, Instagram and traditional media. I really hope that you haven’t been able to escape the much needed celebration of women and the overarching message that women are important. While today is a lovely day and gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling whenever I log onto Twitter and Instagram, the fact that we must continue to stand up for women’s rights and equality shouldn’t be forgotten. 

International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women as well as to highlight gender inequality across the world. The aim is to accelerate gender parity, sadly IWD has been fighting this fight for over 100 years. IWD has been celebrated globally since the early 1900s - no one organiser, government, charity or network ‘owns’ IWD, it’s a global movement. As Gloria Steinem put it; The story of a women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all those who care about human rights”. I think this is a very key point, feminism is about equality and giving women the same human rights as men. The word feminist is somehow misunderstood and misconstrued, but it’s essentially fighting for women to have the same rights as men. 

The concept of women being seen as lesser than men is so foreign to me. I’m surrounded by so many strong, independent, sassy women who inspire me everyday to be fearless and grab life by the balls. The women I know are so driven, determined and ambitious and a constant source of help and support, I don’t know where I would be without these women, so thank you. All of you. 

I’ve only ever known women to be strong and powerful, coming from a matriarchal family that’s the energy I was surrounded with from birth. My grandmother and mother raised my brother and I with no differences between us, we were raised as equals and treated the same. I was never weaker or lesser than my brother just because I was a girl. I climbed the same trees, jumped off the same roofs and had matching cuts and bruises to show me that we were the same. I’ve carried this grounding with me through my life and I credit my mother for teaching me that I can be as good as, if not better than, any man. 

But this is my little bubble and I’m wrapped in my own privilege. I know the reality and understand the importance of celebrating IWD and celebrating women today and everyday. In the words of the brilliant Dr Maya Angelou “Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women”. We all, men included, owe it to each other to celebrate women and work towards a world of gender parity, which simply seeks justice for both genders. To find out more about how to get involved, visit the IWD website

* Not a sponsored post, just a huge advocate of equality :)


Friday, 3 March 2017

Bonjour, Paris Fashion Week!

After a glorious, wonderful 14 seasons at London Fashion Week, I have the urge to try something new. So I'm skipping over to Paris today to experience my first season at Paris Fashion Week. Keep up to date with my adventures on Instagram
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