Whistles Outlet: Veronica Suit

Ever since the AW12 shows I've had my eyes peeled for sale purchases from AW11 that reflect the themes of the up coming season.  It's the cheapest way to dress for a new look, as the high street are desperate to clear the shelves in time for their spring and summer ranges.

One of my favourite port of calls is Whistles Outlet - a really useful part of their website where they sell past season pieces at a snippet of the original price.  And I've just found a fantastic bargain.  Not sure if you read my write ups on London Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week - but one look that came up again and again was twill/tweed.  

In the US, heritage brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren really used the hunting, shooting and 'all-English' influences in their collections.  Over here, countless designers went 'Downton Abbey' on us and produced similar looking pieces (a few examples below from Paul Smith and Burberry Prorsum).

This Veronica suit set coins the idea perfectly, and the great thing is because it is officially from last season, it's discounted massively.  The trousers (reduced to £50, buy them here) are keeping up with the pencil/cigarette trouser shape that remains key for all of 2012, and the jacket (reduced to £85, buy them here) is a really lovely shape (I annoyingly bought it last November, although saying that I got a hell of a lot of wear out of it over the winter last year) and the double breasted buttons are very much 'in' for AW12.  Really recommend making this purchase, you won't regret it.  Here are a few examples of the look from the runways last week:

Ralph Lauren AW12 @ New York Fashion Week

Burberry Prorsum and Paul Smith AW12 at London Fashion Week

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Kate Spade AW12

My American friends (you know who you are) all find my obsession with this label rather amusing - I am like a kid in a candy store with this amazing brand.  Kate Spade is the Anya Hindmarch of New York.  Self made success by a very driven woman - with the clear goal of creating a classic, functional yet incredibly stylish leather-wear range.  Which has driven a just as successful clothing line.

Her stuff is so fun - and built to last.  After a number of not so subtle hints, my boyfriend bought me a fab purse and clutch from there for Christmas for me - which I am obsessed with. Kate uses colour and sophistication as the key words to her collections - with a little bit of fun thrown in.  Think Blair Waldorf mixed up with Zooey Deschanel and you've got the idea.  For AW12/Fall12 Kate's gone all Parisian on us, I love the T-Shirt (above).  Check out the full collection here and the Kate Spade website here.

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London Fashion Week, Look 7: Silky prints

Alice Temperley AW12

So, this is the last in my London Fashion Week round ups - and my god has it been fun.  This was the first year that I really felt I understood what was going on, proving that this blog has been a little bit of an education for me.  I found doing the reviews really cool, and also feel I have a whole new level of appreciation for British fashion  - really hope the cheeky Arts Council don't pull the plug on any more funding, and we can start to think about bringing manufacturing back home - as we're damn good at it.

Antoni and Alison AW12 / Burberry Prorsum AW12

Clements Ribeiro AW12 / Clements Ribeiro AW12

Anyway, back to fashion - the final look I noticed was a very silky one!  Silk prints - lots with florals and lots with oriental-type styles.  Not very surprising as last year the Christopher Kanes and Mary Katrantzous of this world propelled themselves into fashion super stardom with their organza frocks, so I guess other names want a piece of the limelight for a while too.  

Erdem AW12 / Marios Schwab AW12

I think the primary themes within this look were oriental and a little bit Soviet!  It even tempted traditionally modest names like Alice Temperley into testing out some bolder ideas, with her amazing Russian themed collection (first two pictures).

Michael Van Der Ham AW12 / Paul Smith AW12

Paul Smith AW12 / Stella McCartney AW12

The colours were deeper and richer than last year (Burberry Prorsum has a key example) - and many designers made a  big point in their PF efforts to say that the prints were done by hand rather than machine, which is a significant change from last year when digital prints were at the forefront...  My favourites were from the two names who used fresher colours, Mary and Stella below...

Stella McCartney AW12 / Mary Katrantzou AW12 

So that's it for another year in London, now on to Milan..!

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Neon from Miss Selfridge and my first style post...

I stumbled upon these two little pieces of bright wonderfulness on a little shopping trip after work last week.  Contrary to my usual habit of being 'over' a trend after a month, years on I am still crazy about the neon.  They are only £26 and tick so many style boxes for SS12.  Go and get them, here for the pink and here for the yellow.

Ooooh also, did my first little self-style post with my friend Sarah of StyleOnTheCouch at the weekend. I've been so nervous about it as I am not exactly 'model size' and I think it's a weird-big-blogger-step to start putting your face on your blog.  Any way, have a look at Sarah's blog to see it here - she's on her way home to New York now, sob.  Here is a little peak, below.  I need to work on not looking like I want to punch the photographer when the sun is out, but not bad for a first attempt!

jacket H&M - peplum top Closet - trousers River Island -shoes Tory Burch - sunnies Whistles - belt Reiss - watch Michael Kors

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Get the Louis Vuitton look

Louis Vuitton SS12 show, Paris

The collection that seems to have most influenced the high street is Louis Vuitton's SS12.  Hardly surprising, the show and everything from fair ground rides to Kate Moss.  And the clothes, well - just amazing.  The pastel colours, the embellishments - the Mad Men style boucle jackets and pencil skirts.  I just love it.  But me being me, I refuse to pay the prices (even though I spent a good hour trying it all on for fun at Harvey Nichols last week).  So here are the best pieces I have found/hunted down so far...

A special mention really does have to go to River Island who have totally nailed the look.  So impressed with this company - they arguably lost their way a few years ago, but now every collection really does impress.  I love ALL of their pieces around this trend - going to take some serious willpower not to spend a lot of money in their stores this summer.

So as you can see, very easy to find pieces that tick boxes for this look.  Buy yourself an alice band and a kohl liner - and you're all set.

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London Fashion Week, Look 6: Twill

Burberry Prorsum AW12

Britmania is back! Following on from a year of patriotism at sky high levels, and British brilliance ranging from a spectacular royal wedding to period drama phenomenon Downton Abbey, it is hardly surprising that we're showing off our original manufacturing talents and proving we can make one of our oldest, truest fashion talents alive: Tweed.  In 2010 this was purely used for posh people to go hunting, and in 2011 posh people became cool (thanks Kate, Pippa, the Downton Abbey lot and the Made in Chelsea crew) so we all started wearing it.  Britain owns twill/tweed - Scotland and Yorkshire in particular.  

Erdem AW12 / Jonathan Saunders AW12

Jonathan Saunders AW12 / Paul Smith AW12

I suppose this look isn't a massive surprise given the androgynous theme that have been building up season by season (twill was traditionally used for racing and hunting jackets for men).  Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger, who are reknown for recreating British equestrian-type style had similar themes in their shows in New York, but given our heritage with the fabric it is no surprise that it was in London that the look really stood out.  NYC may have the talent but it doesn't have our Yorkshire or Welsh wool!  It will be interesting to see if the other equestrian/sport based houses in Paris (Louis Vuitton) and Milan (Prada) will do the same...

Paul Smith AW12 / Aquascutum AW12 

Burberry Prorsum AW12 / Zoe Jordan AW12 

McQ by McQueen AW12 / Antoni and Alison AW12

Grey was the most prominent, and most went for the speckled-style colour effect (some even went bigger with their tartan and dogtooth prints) - I loved the traditionally English collections from the 'proper' Brit crew - Paul Smith and Aquascutum's talents really took hold but it was great to see emerging names using the same idea.  As I said before, this look often sits with the military and masculine themes, and AW12 was no exception with lots of tailoring (jacket were where the fabric was most used), belts, buckles, black and little hints like farmer's caps and military jewels.

PPQ AW12 / Daks AW12

Jasper Conran AW12 / Paul Smith AW12 

PPQ AW12 / Erdem AW12

I really think the overall idea of AW12 womenswear was to embody a successful, powerful woman - so a fabric traditionally worn by the wealthy, important, dominant, land owning Britons seems rather fitting. I love it!

Check out the rest of my London Fashion Week reviews here.

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