[Christmas] Gift Ideas Part 1

It's December tomorrow, so I'm allowed to say the C word... Christmas! It's that irritating time you can't remember everything you've said you wanted over the last few months - and when your mother calls, you can't remember anything other than socks and a romcom DVD (that you won't watch until October 2013). So, I've been accumulating everything I have seen and since the summer - I'm going to pop them into weekly edits until the 25th to keep you going for ideas....

First things up, hats.  I spotted this lovely pink cashmere bobble hat (number 4) by Rosie Sugden way back when, and still (for some unknown reason) don't own it. Mum, please see this... Next up, my friend Claire and I saw these gorgeous glitter pumps in the window in Knightsbridge last week and we've been pining after them ever since. The Reiss mint jumper is something I've been after for a while, looks just like the Acne one in the flesh and I love it... Ooh, and I really do need some more Cowshed Gorgeous Cow Bath Gel as mine is running out - smells amazing.

One of this years best discoveries has been AG Jeans, and the best prices I've found are at online boutique Trilogy Stores - AG jeans feel like silk and are literally the most gorgeous things ever to wear. I'm slightly nuts about fairisle knits at the moment, and this one from Jack Wills is the perfect mix of ridiculous and cosy... (and you can get 20% off with the code 'snow' at the moment). Ooh, and if you can't ask for a cashmere hot water bottle cover for Christmas, when can you? This one from my-wardrobe is gorgeous. Also from the my-gang is this Andrea Garland fox ring; number 1 it's a fox, number 2 it's a lip balm. Genius.  The slightly 'aim high' present is the iPad Mini, I saw a friend's at the weekend and LOVED it - it's not even that much smaller than an iPad - just less edging. So cool, and fits in your hand. SANTA PLEASE....


[Sisters with Style] Fanny and Sophie

My Sisters with Style feature had a little holiday recently, but is now back with full force - promise!  I was absolutely thrilled when Fanny and Sophie from Vestiaire Collective (Style and Communication Directors) asked to take part, Vestiaire is one of the best finds for me of 2012 - and I owe them a lot of thanks for my Marant heels and my new Kenzo tee.  Vestiaire Collective is an online shopping boutique filled with amazing pre-owned designer pieces - all pieces get authenticated before they reach you - so you can rest with full confidence that your purchase is 110% perfect.

Do you both have a defined style, or does it change season by season?
Fanny: My style is always the same, I'm a 'casual chic' girl - jeans are my everyday basics.
Sophie: My day-to-day style is mostly urban chic, with an androgynous flair.  I like wearing high heels to accentuate my height, I'm pretty tall!

How has your style changed over time?
F: I don't think my style has changed but my taste has.  Getting older I prefer buying less, but better quality. I love my basic essentials.
S: My personal style has never changed, although it is becoming more and more precise.  I add refined pieces of quality to my wardrobe now.  For example a well cut men's coat, or the Penfied parka I bought on Vestiaire.

What influences both of your styles? Do you influence each other’s choices?
F: I like the masculine way Sophie mixes her outfits. Since I’ve known her, I wear more and more jackets now as they are great for my shape.
S: We are quite different personalities but I like Fanny’s dress code. She buys all the latest trends of the season! But I must say that I am a bit more conservative.

What are your wardrobe staples?
FJeans, blouses and scarves. Sophie's will be similar I'd have thought...
SMultiplication of basics: jeans, knits, sweaters and tailored jackets.

What items of clothing make you think of each other? Is there a particular outfit that stands out?
F: For Sophie, it would definitely be jackets and jeans. She's always in them, and wears them so well.
S: The Sofia Coppola for LV makes me think of her, everytime.

If you were to be dressed by one designer for the rest of your life, who would you choose?  Who would you guess the other would decide on?
F Right now, it would be a mix between Céline and Forte Forte. Not sure about Sophie actually...
S: I’ve never been like the total designer look, but if  I had to match my wardrobe with one designer only I would chose Phoebe Philo for Céline. For Fanny I would say Carven, she wears a lot of it and it fits her look.

Do you have any particular ‘fashion memories’ with you own (or your sister’s) style?
FYes, my first purchase on VC: a camel wool cardigan from Céline sold by a friend of Sophie. We were both in love with this cult piece. I was the faster one to grab it….
S: Same as Fanny as I feel like I lived through this purchase with her, but I am happy for her! It fits her perfectly!

Thank you very much to both Sophie and Fanny for doing this interview, and do make sure you check out Vestiaire Collective as they have some amazing pieces on there.  I bought my leopard print Marant pumps and a fab Kenzo tee from there last week - haven't worn the t shirt yet as the weather has been awful, but am very excited to!


[Craving] Hobbs' Party Dresses

Cameron Diaz / Hanneli Mustaparta

Maybe it's that party season is fast approaching, but I've found myself drawn to doing daily 'dress searches' at the moment - and was pretty impressed with Hobbs' selection for this Christmas.  Hobbs is a brand that in my opinion remains vastly misunderstood.  It often dresses it's windows for a much older market, but actually, if you do venture in they have some amazing pieces (including this gorgeous red number I wore to the Drapers Awards last week).

I spotted these two today and love how much they remind me of a winter version of the Valentino (who coincidentally I am meeting this evening at Somerset House - GAH) dress everyone who could afford it wore (from Victoria Beckham, to Mrs Zuckerberg) - pics above.

The embroidered collar and detail in the embroidery in the Carnaby dress bears a striking resemblence, whilst the Chelsea dress is great for a subtle take on the look.  I can't really choose, but if forced I'd go for the Chelsea as it's a little more classic and has a certain Blair Waldorf thing going on.  They both tick the 'little black dress' box perfectly - What do you think?


[Outfit] Wanging out after the Weekend

After a weekend in Cardiff with my favourite girls, I wanted nothing more than to curl up in some comfort clothes and sit in a dark room for long periods of time. Which Sarah allowed me to yesterday, as long as I included a leather skirt and allowed her to take some photos (she's on a mission to encourage my outfit posting, and is gradually bringing the inner-poser out of me). So, excuse the hungover face, this is what 28 and being unable to say no to jagerbombs does to you...

Accessories fans take note of my leather cuff below, which is probably my new favourite thing in the world ever. By French brand Owen and Savary, this Julia cuff is just one style in their collection.  I'm desperately hoping someone who needs to buy me a Christmas present (Hello, Mum) fancies treating me to a Candice in bright pink (the colour was featured in Grazia and I've been lusting after it ever since) ... Their site is great - make sure you have a peek, you can pick out your leather skin, colour and clasp metal = perfect Christmas present...

The skirt is actually a dress from Topshop and the sweater is new from T by Wang at The OutNet - probs the most comfortable jumper I have ever owned... Lipstick is courtesy of the lovely team at Selfridges, who sent me through a rather exciting parcel last week with the new Karl Lagerfeld for Shu Uemura collection.  I'm gradually getting more into lipsticks - I never saw the point and now just can't get enough of them. Saying that, I'm still relatively clueless so if any of you have some recommendations I am all ears!?

PS - speaking of The Outnet, they have a Nicholas Kirkwood sale which started today - check out these bad boys! I love my Kirkwoods, worn them to death and they still looking brand new, worth every penny.


[Trend] White Collar Dresses

Back in September I posted about the white collar trend spotted over the fashion weeks which were going on at the time. Lots of collections from Antonio Berardi to Carven featured the look, but it wasn't until I spotted Emma Stone in a lovely pink dress from Valentino's Resort 13 collection (below) that I decided I really wanted to get in on the look...

Pink isn't really me, and there are loads of the black and white versions but I haven't found a style that doesn't make me look like a church worker, so I went for this red Reiss dress after seeing it in Stylist Magazine a few weeks ago.  I am massively behind on outfit posts as I've been so busy with work and went away for the weekend with the girls, but I'll try and get one together once all is back on track... For now, here are Reiss' picks of the dress from their blog...

Hope you have a good week - mine is (yet again) ridiculously busy but am hoping once I clear the next week out of the way I can start relaxing and getting VERY excited about Christmas! 


[Craving] Sixties Jacquard Dresses

Is it just me or is everything metallic and jacquard at the moment? I posted about it back in February after the AW12 shows, and it's now everywhere! I went shopping at the weekend and every store seemed to filled with back and gold metallic prints, and as lovely as it is it's a bit boring... I went to the Drapers Awards on Wednesday and was on the hunt for a dress, finding anything with any colour on it was mission impossible!

Any way, it was on this trip that I came across two absolute dead ringers from Oasis and Topshop.  The Topshop style (above right) has been worn to death by the usual suspects, but I love it.  The Oasis one is a new entry, and I really like it - a dead ringer for a VERY similar one from Victoria Beckham's AW12 collection too.  I like the sixties necklace and the fabric feels very luxe and well put together. I wasn't sure it was quite right for the awards, but I definitely need one of these. Any suggestions on which?


[Loving] Victoria in Tran Hin Phu for Breaking Dawn

Last week I spent an afternoon helping my beautiful friend Victoria Pattinson out to get ready for the premiere of Breaking Dawn, which her little bro' Rob stars in.  Excuse the slightly rushed photos, but mid way through getting her ready we realised this would make a great post.  She wore an amazing Tran Hin Phu couture dress which was originally made by Phu (a friend of Victoria's) for Zurich Fashion Week.  It was literally the most gorgeous fabric (silk velvet with chiffon) and the colour was almost electric it was so bright...

shoes: Diane Von Furstenberg / earrings and rings: Trisori

Her shoes were from Diane Von Furstenberg - a last minute hero effort by the wonderful team at My Wardrobe. I was so jealous of them I almost couldn't speak - I had spotted them months before at a blogger event and couldn't believe Vic had managed to find a pair!  Her jewellery is by a friend of ours, Valeria at Trisori who makes the most, amazing, pieces, in, the, world, ever. Vic lives in the black hard candy ring you can see in the picture, and Vale's also named a bracelet after her (have a look here).

Her hair was perfected by the massively talented Sadie (who also just finished doing the hair for the TV Series The Hours), who spotted a gorgeous snake broach on Vic's dresser and decided it would make a lovely hair accessory - and it did!  As it was so cold that evening, she also put on her trusty leather jacket from Whistles when she arrived at the red carpet - well done to everyone who stood out there to see the cast, it was bitterly cold that night... Gah, it's tough having such stylish friends at times :)


[Loving] Sienna Miller's Classic Style

Sienna Miller in Breton Tee (buy here from Petit Bateau)

Sienna Rose Miller was probably one of the most talked about British women of the noughties.  We would be kidding ourselves if we didn't admit that it was dating Jude Law (not once, but twice) that shot her up to meteoric levels of super-stardom, but it probably helps that she looked very pretty doing it.  Blonde tussled hair, simple style, simple wardrobe - all the things I really wish I had, and she definitely inspired the Essentials element to South Molton St Style. She's obviously going to be counted as a bit of a hero when she wears her Breton shirts and Kain grey tees to death, as above and below...

Sienna Miller in Kain T shirts (buy here)

Sienna has two elements to her look - boho and classic. I'm not really into the whole boho-chic thing, but I do like the pretty florals and summer dresses she wears (when she and Savannah ran twenty8twelve I loved their whole collections). You can still find some of the stuff they were involved in at discount stores, the OutNet have some good pieces here.

For the purpose of this post, I'm going to stuck to Sienna's capsule-look.  She is brilliant at mixing looks together, such as soft and sharp tailoring, or leather and lace/florals - but essentially her look is cool, calm and seemingly effortless - with lots of Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, Seven Jeans with those infamous Chloe Susanna Boots thrown in (have a read of my post on them, or do the sensible thing and buy the Office versions here for £55).  Her Rayban Wayfarers are never far from her side either...

What I really like about Sienna is that she is not afraid to wear the same thing twice, particularly with shoes. As above with the red Chloe boots, she's worn her Russell and Bromley ankle boots to death over the years. At £295 so she should... But if you base how many times she wears something on a price per wear theme, she does actually do her expensive clothes some serious justice...
To get her look, you're going to need to get to know some French labels like Maje, Sandro and Zadig and Voltaire who all do leather and edge incredibly well.  Mix that up with staple basics from brands like Zara, Jaegar Boutique, Whistles and also (girl after my own heart) make sure you buy yourself that Breton shirt from Petit Bateau! She loves hats too - have a look at my post from last week or where to buy the best ones, and I've made an additional find from Miss Selfridge for £25 here.



[Trend] THAT Acne jumper...

After a heavy Friday evening with some friends (including the lovely Ella) at the Leon Max launch in Notting Hill, I spent Saturday evening in catching up with myself and having some very important dog-and-owner time. We ate chinese, cleaned out the Sky +'s supply of terrible television and checking out all my favourite blogs. Tamu of All The Pretty Things is one of my favourite street style photographers, and I found these shots that summed up a pretty cool trend - caused by Acne's AW11 collection...

When blogger Caroline Engman got hers (photo above) I nearly bit off my knuckles with envy - mint is never a colour I thought would work on me, but it's actually pretty flattering.  I love Elle's Carrie Tyler in hers, she's wearing exactly how I would with leather and a collar to give it a little structure.

You can buy the Acne jumper still at Net A Porter occasionally, even though it's not current season. At the moment they have the style in yellow for £220 here. I went along to the Reiss blogger' evening last week and won £500 vouchers, so I'm thinking of buying this Reiss version, what do you think?


[Outfit] Muse on the Mews

coat, (old) Reiss / jeans, Benetton Pin Ups / shoes, Clarks at Very

This weekend I was a little tourist guide for Sarah, and around Little Venice we really aren't short of nice places to see.  This little mews is around the corner from my flat, and although we were supposed to be out to take some photos of Sarah, she snapped a few of me in my trusty Reiss coat that actually turned out to be very blog acceptable!

coat, Reiss (old) / watch - Michael Kors

I'm wearing the leopard print flats from Clarks which I mentioned over the summer here. I spotted them in ELLE in June and knew I had to have them. For £40, they are £250 cheaper than the Russell and Bromley versions, and I've worn them to death this year (and they still look brand new).  The Rayban sunglasses were a gift from Sunglasses Shop, and have turned into another 2012 staple.

The bag is from Burberry, I totally forgot I had it until I was moving some stuff around the flat and found it behind a load of shoe boxes.  I wore it constantly years ago, and will probably do the same this winter. The quality of the leather is absolutely amazing - I found it one of their sample sales which they have (sob) stopped doing. All of my friends used to go and we'd stock up on scarves and trenches for the cold ahead. Jeans as always are my trusty Benetton Pin Ups the watch is from Michael Kors which I bought on holiday in New York last year... serving me very well!  Any way, best go and get on with my week - hope you have a good one!


[Craving] A Little Bit of Pink

Maybe it's the greyness outside causing my eyes to be drawn to anything with some colour on it, but I spotted a picture on Chic Couture last week and fell in love instantly.  Big fan of a neon outfit injection, and here are some great example of how a bright pink jacket can do that...  I really need a pink piece in my life, such a good statement and love how the colour is more widely used now and not so thought of as really girly...  

I've had a scout around, and decided given the appalling weather we're better off choosing something coat-like as jackets are just not warm enough for this climate!  Here are the pieces I have found:



[Trend] Wide Brimmed Fedora

I have spent a lot of time on Pinterest these last few days, and have fallen in love with fedora hats which I spotted on all of my favourite muses.  The short brimmed styles are gorgeous, but the wider ones are amazing (and having checked with a milliner, it is a fedora not a trilby when the rim is set flat...) - and they're everywhere!

I get the fedora trend is a continuation from the cowboy themes of 2010, which slowly developed into a stronger more androgynous idea - it sits well with all the military pieces too.  I'm not sure if I could pull it off, but I love the whole look - plus, they're amazing for covering up roots!

All my favourite people are wearing them: Miranda Kerr, Kate Moss, Erin Wasson, and one of the best 'outfit inspiration' bloggers Lucy Williams is always spotted in them during the shows. I love that because the hat itself is pretty tailored, you can wear lots of oversize pieces and neutrals with them... Easy, breezy gorgeousness.

I've had a little browse around the shops and found the following fedoras, not sure which to get but know I need to try this look ASAP. Reiss have come up trumps to start with, these two are lovely - I'm really liking the dark green one (which is actually in menswear) even though the brown is definitely more practical...

I then obviously had a long browse on Net A Porter and spotted these two - the Emilio Pucci one is a brilliant colour, and as always I managed to find a Rag and Bone piece (and it's that oxblood red that everyone is going nuts for at the moment).  Neither are cheap, but I bet the quality is amazing.

I also found a great little bargain at French Connection reduced from £40 to £24 here, ASOS have a few which you can browse here and finally this Paul Smith one is a winner for £85.

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