Sunday, 30 October 2011

The fashion news round up 30/10/11

Today sees the start of a new Chic & Cheerful regular: the fashion news round up. Every week we'll be summing up the latest fashion news you may have missed in one handy post - so let's get started!

This season's Primark menswear - not too shabby!
1. Primark in Selfridges
Yes ladies and gents the rumours are true: Primark is to open two concessions in the Manchester Trafford Centre and Birmingham Bullring Selfridges stores. 

However, the sad news is is that the 100 piece collection is menswear only. I know, I know, what are they thinking?! Surely this would be an amazing opportunity for the high street chain to put together a limited collection for us girls? Apparently if this venture is a success, bosses are keen to expand but there are no plans for a womenswear collection as of yet. Boo!

Image (c)
2. Mary is coming back to Topshop
When all the fashion editors were invited to see the Spring/Summer 2012 Topshop offerings this week, Twitter went crazy. Sure there were some typically gorgeous pieces on offer but that's not what everyone was so excited about. It was the news that Mary Katrantzou was bringing her gorgeous demi-couture dresses to the High Street. Only one image of the Mary/Topshop collaboration has managed to make its way onto the internet but, as you can see, it's very similar to her Autumn/Winter line - although without the £8,000+ price tag.

The line is coming out next season, as is Mary's range for Longchamp (stylish bags with extravagant prints? Where do I sign up!), meaning we get even more of the gorgeous Greek's sensational work at affordable prices.

More Katrantzou treats at Longchamp
3. Elle Collections redesign
Ah Twitter, you offer such a legitimate way of Facebook stalking. This week, the news that my favourite magazine (and an absolute must read for all fashion lovers) is to undergo a redesign before its next issue early next year. Collections Editor Avril Mair tweeted blogger Bryan Boy the good news - and has apparently asked him to do some work for the mag. Eek!

The girl with the H&M tattoo?
4. H&M have been busy
It's just over two weeks until the Versace for H&M collection launches so you'd expect H&M to be pretty busy right now. But the fashion chain has managed to squeeze in another collaboration announcement. As of mid December, clothes inspired by The girl with the dragon tattoo protagonist Lisbeth (and designed by the upcoming film's costume designer Trish Summerville) will be hitting the shops. Expect lots of punky, grungy looks, perfect for Winter style.

5. And finally...
Well, this may not strictly be fashion news as such but we have a very exciting announcement: this little website won best lifestyle blog runner up in the 2011 Wales blog awards!! The judges loved our sassy take on fashion and unique opinions pieces. Thank you so much for your support over the last eight months, its very appreciated - and we look forward to bringing you more of what you love here at Chic & Cheerful.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Versace for H&M

All images (c) Versace for H&M
After getting my hands on a pair of Swedish Hasbeens for £39.99 this summer, I have a new found respect for H&M collaborations. These aren't just cheap look-a-likes of designer pieces. These are exclusive, well made, coveted pieces perfect for high street fashion junkies.

Collage by
So it is with complete and utter glee that I am writing about Versace's fantastic collection for H&M. It's not in the shops until mid-November yet Donatella's work is already being hailed as the best from Versace in years. 

The range, which includes accessories, menswear and home furnishings, is a glorious expression of Versace's sexy, bold, very Italian vibe. Everything is just so Versace. The colours, prints and embellishments are exactly what you'd expect from the fashion house. The collaboration harks back to the days when Gianni was in charge and Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista were strutting down the catwalk. 

Are you more than just a little bit excited yet? 

Take a look at the full collection here.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Hats galore: five of the best autumn headwear

Every autumn I get serious hat lust. As soon as the leaves start to fall off the trees my fashion radar starts picking up on headwear trends - nevermind the fact they never sit right on top of my funny shaped head.

So although they may not be on the top of my shopping list, Autumn/Winter 2011 is proving to  a particularly good year for hats. The combination of 70s inspirations, heritage and androgyny trends means that there is a fantastic range of styles available to keep you cosy in this crisp weather.

1. Black wide brimmed felt hat, H! by Henry Holland, £20
2. Felt floppy hat, Urban Outfitters, £28
3. Wide brim fedora, ASOS, £10
4. Navy floppy hat, Miss Selfridge, £25
5. Chandelier print trim trilby, Ted Baker, £55

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

A limited collection from who?

Guess where this jacket is from. Go on, guess. No, it's not Topshop. Nor H&M.

Give up? It's Primark. That's right, the bargain bin of the high street is going all out for Autumn/Winter. They've worked their low price magic on some gorgeous on-trend pieces at jaw-dropping prices.

Satin jumpsuit: hot or not?
The only thing I'm left wondering is, well, firstly will there be any left? And secondly, will the products on the self look as good as in the photos? I've got a sinking feeling that that silky jumpsuit may be a bit, er, static in the jumble of my local Primark. Still, with prices staying under £45 who could possibly refuse!

See the full collection here.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Chic and charitable: Fashion targets breast cancer

Karen Gillian for Fashion targets breast cancer UK
Breast cancer is sadly a disease very close to home for a lot of us. As October 2011 is breast cancer awareness month in the UK, we here at Chic and Cheerful would like to show our support for the event the best way we know how: through fashion.

Fashion targets breast cancer has raised more than £11.5 million in the last 15 years for Breakthrough Breast Cancer. This year, they have released four designs of a rather lovely bungee cord bracelet, available for a minimum £2 donation at shops such as Outfit, Topshop and River Island. This chic friendship bracelet is not only a lovely addition to your jewellery box but also a simple way to support the charity's cancer research work.

If you do just one thing to support the cause, please pick up a bracelet next time you're at the till. You never know what your £2 could do.

Ruth shows off her FTBC support!

Monday, 3 October 2011

New York fashion week flashback: Victoria Beckham

I have a confession to make: Posh was my least favourite Spice Girl. She was just so...boring. Her little black mini dresses, the little black bob, that odd finger point pose she used to do: it just wasn't for me.

So it is with some trepidation that I have viewed Victoria Beckham's design career. Up until a few months ago I actually saw it as kind of a joke/just another part of the Beckham brand. That is until I read a rather revealing feature in the latest ELLE collections. It showed VB in a new light: here was a woman who was honestly trying her best to be a designer. 

Over-sized handbags are Victoria Beckham's staple accessory for another season
Image (c)

Victoria does this lovely elegant simplicity. Sure she designs for herself but this is a woman that dresses well anyway. And for SS12 her envied style was translated into beautiful colour blocking and fine tailoring.

The show

Colour blocked shift dresses and coats in navy and black quickly transitioned into tangerine cut out maxi dresses, pleats and patterns. The first part of the collection was definitely more Spring than Summer but I was pleased to see Mrs Beck's work pick up on one of the biggest trends of NYFW: sportswear. The flippy skirts, feminine colours and flirty dresses were toned down with flats and androgynous caps. It reminds me (in a really obvious way) of Wimbledon's tennis dress fashions - which surely can only be a good thing, right? VB has transported our take on sports gear over the Atlantic to show NYFW what we make of the trend.

Pleasantly surprised by the pastels at VB
Image (c)
Overall a very surprising, albeit very Victoria Beckham collection. Well done Posh.

See the whole show here.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

A little bit of housekeeping

Vote for Chic & Cheerful!
Not much that isn't about fashion makes its way onto the pages of Chic & Cheerful but we just couldn't keep this quiet: we're very proud, pleased and generally ecstatic to announce that Chic & Cheerful has been shortlisted in the best lifestyle blog category at the Wales Blog Awards 2011!

We'll find out how we've done on Thursday 27 October but in the meantime there is a people's choice award category which we would love for you to vote for us in. Just visit the website, scroll down and check the box next to our old URL Then sit back, relax and wait for the good karma to come your way.

And on that note, for everyone who doesn't follow our Chic & Cheerful exploits on Facebook or Editor Ruth Dawson on Twitter then what are you waiting for?! Shameless plug aside, we launched our new website address, last week so bookmark/RSS/write it down today!
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