Tuesday 25 February 2014

Beyoncé Dazzles at the Brits in THAT Green Dress

Did you watch The Brits last week? Of course you did. 

Did you swoon when Beyoncé took to the stage in THAT dress? Abso-bloody-lutely!

The dazzling emerald dress looked electric and Mrs Carter was every inch the Goddess of Music.  

No stranger to the sequin, Beyoncé challenged the opinion that all over sequins belong on Joan Collins circa 1978. And good for her, too.

It makes me so sad to see vintage glittering dresses and tops stranded on the rails of charity shops. I rejoiced when the sequin dress made a come back two years ago, but my elation was marred by the fact that the majority of dresses were fashioned from dull non-shiny sequins. I know we're in the age of austerity - but what sort of message does it send? Wear sequins, but make sure they don't sparkle. Make sure they look like they've lost their lustre and vivacity. Symbolise a generation. Bleurgh. 

Fashion and politics are intrinsically linked, so Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne should consider making more of it in their speeches. 

I long for the good old days of velvet and taffeta a la Laura Ashley - I'm sure life was all sunshine and garden parties then! 

So, Mrs Jay Z, I applaud and thank you for bringing sequins that sparkle back into our lives. I can't wait to see Theresa May and Harriet Harman sporting them...

Wednesday 19 February 2014

Dress of the Month February Susy Harper

The Dress

White Poppy Dress

The Deets

Sleeveless fitted bodice with front ruched flower detail. Gathered skirt, finished to give volume at the hem. £275. This dress is gorgeous - the fabric is light enough to make this your go-to summer frock, but substantial enough to provide structure in the bodice and skirt. You're paying for craftsmanship and creativity here, so while it's not cheap, it is the perfect investment piece. 

The Designer

Susy Harper is the label of designer Michelle Anslow.

The idea is to make beautiful, thoughtful, uncomplicated clothes, for women looking for something different.

We use natural fabrics; where texture, structure, movement lead the design into cuts that work; to create wardrobe staples you'll wonder how you did without.

Our cross seasonal 'favourites collection' is because we believe that if you have a favourite thing it's nice to be able to replace it, or have one for the wash, or in different colours.

In addition we bring out two Seasonal collections each year in Spring and Autumn, often featuring our own limited edition prints.

Our clothes are lovingly made 'in house' at Camden Passage. Production is artisan, small scale and concise.  We make what we need, we do not over produce, which helps towards how we think the world should be; and also helps keep our prices fair.

Whether shopping in store or online you will find most of our collection is in stock and 'Ready to Send', however some pieces are only available 'Made to Order'; this way though, you get something lovely specially made for you.


Alexa Chung at New York Fashion Week FROW

As celebrities, socialites and fashionable types draw a quick intake of breath in anticipation of Fashion Week, I tend to be a little more interested in what they themselves are wearing. 

And this year has been no exception. Paris, New York and London have showcased some absolutely dazzling designs (Oscar de la Renta, anyone?) on and off the catwalk.

To celebrate, I was invited back to the London Designer Outlet and given another bargainista challenge. One hour; one hundred pounds; one FROW-inspired outfit. My muse was Alexa Chung in this beautiful floral dress, which she wore to the Miu Miu show. I just love the crisp and fresh colours, the delicate feminine tailoring, coupled with the sharp black ankle boots/sock combo. 

 Rex Features

Armed with the £100, I set off on my quest. For those of you who don't know the London Designer Outlet, shame on you because I've already written about it! It's right next to Wembley and, in terms of fashion, is home to M&S, Phase Eight, Gap, H&M, AllSaints, L K Bennett and Guess among others, (more will be opening throughout the year). Unlike most other outlets, it's not a sprawling area, so I didn't get too tired running between the different shops!

I really didn't know if I'd be able to do it; £100 for a FROW worthy outfit is tricky indeed. But, the prices at the outlet really are a bargain-hunter's best friend. I chose the Fleur Check Dress by AllSaints (£198 down to £78) and black ankle boots from M&S (£18.99), leaving £3 to spare for black ankle socks.

What AllSaints say about the dress:

A soft silk yarn, specially sourced in Europe, creates a dress with an easy fluidity. The Fleur Check Dress has an oversized silhouette, formed by draping on the stand in our London design studios and features a feminine print combining a mixture of delicate photographic florals, all applied on a hand stamped and painted check base. Detailed with asymmetric rib detailing on the neckline and given a seductive edge with a slight sheer finish, our dress leaves a classic AllSaints impression.

I don't know about you, but I reckon Alexa would be proud.  


Friday 7 February 2014

Sarah Jessica Parker Shoe Design

Who wouldn't want Carrie Bradshaw's shoe collection? 

Oh, to tread the broad sidewalks of Manhattan in a pair of Jimmy Choos! And who could forget the blue Manolos she wore to marry Mr Big? It's no wonder cheaper versions are available to buy - a popular favourite with brides-to-be. I did indeed consider them myself, but I fell in love with Lucy Choi's dazzling designs.

But now, we can all walk in Carrie's shoes. Literally. Because Sarah Jessica Parker has launched her inaugural shoe campaign. Be still my heart.

Now, it's fair to say the designs have received a mixed reception. Too mumsnet? Too much Charlotte and not enough Carrie? 

I think we all need to remember the disparaging comments that haunted Victoria Beckham's initial sojourn into fashion. Oh how they did fleer and scorn, and oh how they've changed their tunes! So, let's give SJP a chance; these designs might not be groundbreaking, but they're still welcome upon my feet.

The Edit

Can't wait? The collection launches on 28th February on Nordstrom.com.