Monday, 17 December 2012

Bargain of the week: Lanvin-esque dress at Zara

Emma Stone photo (c) posh24.com
It just wouldn't be Christmas without a bit of glitz and a red dress. I've loved this custom made Lanvin dress (left) ever since the gorgeous Emma Stone wore it to The Met Gala back in May this year.

While this Zara version may not be *exactly* the same, it evokes the same sophisticated cuteness. If that is such a thing.


The pleated skirt and jewelled neckline make this a real festive statement. Go bare legged (if you're feeling brave) or team with sheer black tights and courts to really stand out. 

Pleated dress with jewelled collar, £69.99, Zara

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

DIY: dainty chain bracelets

My latest obsession is making my own jewellery - or should I say reinventing it. These bracelets, created from an old necklace, a safety pin and a charm from a earring, took around ten minutes to make. 


They really are as simple as they look - just measure the chain, add jump rings or a latch, put your charm on and you're done. Thrifty gems perfect for a budget Christmas pressie.

Monday, 10 December 2012

DIY: winter sparkle collar

I love a good jumper. And a bad one for that matter - the more kitsch, crazy old lady like the better. But wearing them day in day out in this chill has left me feeling a little bit drab. So, to add a bit of glitz to my day wear, I'm pairing my knits with a toned down version of this tutorial from Glitter 'n' Glue.

Pop your collar! (Sorry, I couldn't resist)
All you need is a few safety pins and a couple of beads. I've gone for some dark silver angled ovals with this grey angora, keeping it understaded but still making that all important statement.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

DIY: concertina fan decorations

Concertina fan decorations
I'm a bit of a fiend when it comes to stationery. I actually have to stop myself from buying endless stacks of notebooks and letter writing sets - but I just couldn't help myself when I spotted this gorgeous Lisa Stickley flatwrap at TK Maxx. It's been tucked down the side of my wardrobe for a good few weeks now and last night I finally got around to using it.

These DIY concertina fan decorations were so easy to make - all you need to do is cut a couple of squares out, fold them up, glue them together and hang them evenly on a piece of thread. Looks great with this upcycled mirror, don't you think?

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Gift inspiration: Ginger Pickle prints

Avada Ked...av...ra... No, that's not right...
Oculus Reparo print image (c) Ginger Pickle
I am in love with the prints and stationery on Ginger Pickle. The cute and quirky website is a new one on my radar and is full of all the loveliness that I imagine has fallen right out of Zooey Deschanel's brain.

I hate to mention the impending festive season so soon (I haven't even seen the Coca-Cola advert yet so technically it's not even happening for me) but if you're looking for some kitschy stocking fillers for that special bespectacled person, give GP a try.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Wedge wellies: hot or not?

Some brands just so inherently and wonderfully embrace the great British countryside. Mulberry, Barbour, Burberry, they all remind me of strolling through the woods with a large Labrador at my side, on my way to a jolly good picnic. I say 'remind', I actually mean dream. First of all, because nobody in Wales ever dresses like that and secondly because my countryside walks usually end up like this scene from the Vicar of Dibley.

Image from mumseysramblings.blogspot.com
Anyway, all that being said, such British brands, you would think, have an idea of the British weather and how to cope with it. So why, oh why, oh why have Hunter jumped on the totally impractical footwear bandwagon with these heeled wellies? Yes, Darcey Bussell looks like a good old sport strolling along in them, but I imagine she can afford someone to remove all the mud, stones and tree roots from her own private path through the forest.


Fulbrooke Tall, £125, Hunter; Red Wedge Welly, £24.99;  
Pink and black Wedge Welly, £16.34, both M and M Direct
What do you think? Will you be rocking a welly wedge anytime soon?

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

A toast to early mornings

Toast plate, £100, CharlotteMei
This week I have not wanted to get out of bed. I mean in a full on stroppy five year old kind of way: testing my cough to see if a sore throat has arrived; making sure I haven't broken any bones in my sleep; thinking up any and every possible excuse just to stay all snuggled and warm.

I'm pretty sure, however, if I had this little wonder to eat my breakie off, my morning routine wouldn't so much of a struggle. How can you be grumpy with such a cute face looking back up at you?

Monday, 19 November 2012

Bargain of the week: CÉLINE style printed top at River Island

CÉLINE Printed t-shirt; Mon Cheri t-shirt, £15, River Island
Ah, CÉLINE. Probably the only label I'd break my rule on wearing brand names across my chest for. Except this time, I'm still not actually going to do that, what with this lovely tee being *slightly* out of my price range.

Instead, I've hunted down this cute Mon Cheri top from River Island. Still oversized, still French(ish) and bearing all the hallmarks of a well aimed homage to the fashion powerhouse.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Statement pull-overs that pop!

A guest post from Matches fashion.


3.1 Phillip Lim Ka-Pow print sweater, £390, all Matches Fashion

Bleak as it is once the long winter nights start to draw in, even the sun worshippers amongst us have to admit to getting slightly excited at the thought of cosying up in a woolly jumper and woolly socks with a big mug of something warming.

I’ve built up quite a collection of knits over the years. My jumper stash has become a mix of everything from animal prints, prints of animals, cropped ones, slouchy ones… I even have a chunky calf length polo neck picked up during a mid-winter trip to Siberia (I kid you not) and, the pièce de résistance, a vintage liquorice allsorts patterned jumper from the 80s.

So as you can imagine, this season’s trend for statement pull overs has been like a dream come true for me! Not only does it mean I can wear my loudest of jumpers and be right on trend; it is a great opportunity to pick up some new beauties. Some of my favourites are the cartoon and pop-art inspired ones. Granted most of these from Matches Fashion are only wish-list material but it’s better than dreaming about next summer already!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Add a bit of glitter to your barnet

There's a chill in the air and frost is creeping across the ground; winter is very nearly here so take the chance to show off a hint of your own sparkle with one of these glittery wonders.

 
1Etoile hairclip, £27, Boticca
4. Kylie crystal hairclip, £15, Coast 

Monday, 12 November 2012

Bargain of the week: £10 Oasis gift card for £1


This is a very last minute bargain but totally worth rushing out for. Look magazine (12 November 2012 issue) has the most amazing free gift: a no strings attached £10 Oasis gift card. All you have to do is pick up a copy of the magazine and you can put the credit towards any full price item - except jewellery - before 18 November.

Even better, Look is just £1 in Tesco at the moment so essentially you're increasing your investment ten times. Smart shopping or what!

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Latest in Beauty's advent calendar

Latest in Beauty advent calendar
All I want for Christmas is this beauty advent calendar. Sure, it's well over a month to go (and I don't know about you, but I'm actually still recovering from Halloween), but this is has to be the best way to count down to the big day.

You get 24 treats worth over £210 for just £59.95 in this Latest in Beauty box. Although if you don't fancy such a big splurge, take a look at their little beauty boxes - at £1.50 for 3 samples, you can't go wrong! Read my review from earlier this year here.
 
Contents may vary of course but you are quite likely to find these tucked behind the calendar doors: Jo Hansford Intensive Masque (40ml), Nicky Clarke Instant Calmer (30ml), Bioeffect EGF Serum (3ml), Balm Balm Organic Lip Balm (7ml), Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation (7.5ml), Philosophy 3-in-1 Cleanser (30ml) or Daily Facial Wash (30ml), the Vintage Cosmetic Company Eyelash Curler, Steamcream Moisturiser (75g; designs vary), Aromatherapy Associates Revive Bath & Shower Oil (3ml), Eve Lom Rescue Mask (15ml), Balance Me Radiance Face Oil (10ml), St. Tropez Instant Glow Body Lotion (50ml), Trilogy Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+ (2.5ml), Espa Lift & Firm Moisturiser (7ml) and Lift & Firm Intensive Eye Serum (3ml), Yardley Refreshing Body Spray (75ml – fragrances vary), Mavala Rouge Rubis Nail Varnish (5ml), Benefit They’re Real! Mascara (3g), L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream (10ml), Richard Ward Volumiser Root Booster (50ml), Dermalogica Favourites Pack (7ml, 7ml, sachet, 5ml), Bellápierre Eye Shadow (2.35g), Mirenesse Lip Lift Moisture Shine (1.5g), Mont Bleu Crystal Nail File (90mm) and AS London Candle.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Bargain of the week: Your new winter shoes for £22

Black sweetheart mid courts, £22, Dorothy Perkins
These shoes are perfect. Perfect point, perfect texture, perfect heel size, perfect price and perfectly versatile.

I spotted them a few weeks back when a friend was working them with jeans at a birthday party and knew right then that these shoes had to go on the bargain of the week hit list. At just £22, these Dorothy Perkins mid courts will see you through Christmas parties and still keep you on your toes for 2013. Perfect.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Watch what I'm wearing

Classic St Andrews, $197, c/o Daniel Wellington; Bracelet, homemade

I took this picture a few weeks back in sunnier climes but have pretty much not stopped wearing this watch since it fell through my letter box.

Rose gold is everywhere at the moment - but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I find yellow gold can be a bit too much for my complexion, whereas silver can get a bit dull; but the pinky tones of this metal are just right for adding a bit of intrigue to autumn work outfits, don't you think?

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Fashion with a conscience

Maybe it's the fact that I'm approaching a quarter of a century - *gulp* - or maybe it's because fashion is getting so much more mindful of itself, but there seems to be a lot more style with high morals on my radar these days. Just take these beauties for example:

Bing Bang set of arrow head rings, £54, ASOS
1. ASOS Green Room
ASOS's platform dedicated to pioneering ethical and eco-friendly brands is, simply put, brilliant. Not only do they stock big labels like People Tree and Dr Bronner, but there are tons of exclusives too. I highly recommend Made jewellery, handcrafted in Africa, and Anna Sheffield's Bing Bang accessories.


Fair+True fair trade Erin dress, £75, fashion-conscience.com
2. Fashion-conscience.com
Fashion conscience stocks the best in organic, vegan, sustainable, recycled and fair trade. But what this online shop really does best is add a massive kick of colour and print to your wardrobe. Check out the gorgeous Fair+True or rely on good old Vivienne Westwood for some fancy footwear.

BHI JAE satchel, £225, Tommy Hilfiger
3. Tommy Hilfiger and BHI
Having a conscience isn't just about the environment, however. For the sixth consecutive year, Tommy Hilfiger is partnering with Breast Health International to raise awareness and funds for women who are fighting breast cancer. This oh-so Tommy Hilfiger style bag may be £225 but one third of that goes straight to the BHI.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Bargain of the week: Richard Nicoll dresses for £50


Long bustier dress (pink and white), £70 instead of £300; 
Mini hoop cocktail dress (pink and white), £50 instead of £250

Oh hello pretty dresses, nice to see you again. Oh, and what's this? You're £200 off in the Topshop sale? Well, don't mind if I do...

These beauties were part of the Richard Nicoll for Topshop collection and are now seriously discounted in the mid-season sale. Ok, so it's *technically* a bridal collection but no one else needs to know that right?

Act fast though, there are limited sizes left!

Friday, 28 September 2012

Better than a letter

Tatty Devine's chip fork necklace, £20, notanotherbill.com
Since discovering notanotherbill.com a few months back, I've become kind of obsessed. Forget your boxes of make up and hair care products, this is real beauty. Every month you receive a parcel filled with fashion, art or other wondrous delights. Past gifts have included a pocket sundial, temporary tattoos, vintage maps and iconic jewellery.

I love receiving post. In a world where fast communication is key, it's so refreshing to sit down with a handwritten note and a cup of tea. If you haven't signed up already, do it now.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Paris v NYC

The two most iconic cities in the world have become the subject of a new project by graphic artist Vahram Muratyan.

Image (c) Vahram Muratyan
His amazing prints compare Paris and New York in their simplest form. The New York Times published this wonderful description of Muratyan's work: "With color-block graphics and razor-sharp wit, Muratyan presents the iconography of each city in dueling juxtaposition that becomes a running commentary on transcontinental difference".

You can view Paris v NYC here.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

LFW beauty: nude nails are back!

The verdict is in: nail art is out and nude is in for SS13! 

Images (c) Company. Read their LFW beauty roundup here.
From delicate mushrooms to pale pinks and light peaches, the natural nail look has come back with a bang - albeit in softest of tones.

Grazia spoke to manicurist Marian Newman backstage at Moschino Cheap and Chic about this season's must have nails: “I can honestly tell you that this season’s nude nail trend is the biggest one I have seen in fifteen years,” Marian told [them] backstage at Moschino Cheap and Chic, where she blended MAC nail varnishes in Cream Delicate and Faint of Heart to match individual girl’s skin tones. “We’re aiming for seamless tips and toes."

Although nail art may be one of my favourite things to look up on Pinterest, I have to say that I'm quite pleased low key nails are back. Easily manageable and effortlessly pretty - perfect.


What do you think? Will you be sticking to nail art or going nude this autumn? 

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Back to school style: pinafore dresses

Nora Ephron's beautiful film You've Got Mail features possibly some of the best lines ever uttered on the silver screen:

"Don't you love New York in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies." 

"I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address. On the other hand, this not knowing has its charms."

L-R: Little White Lies Sissy pinafore dress, £85, Urban Outfitters; NW3 Highgate dress, £39, Hobbs; Pinafore dress with buckles, £21, ASOS; MOTO Llama pinafore dress, £42, Topshop.

I love the autumn. The sharp chill in the air, crisp leaves on the ground, pink cheeks and warm coffees in the fading sunlight. Simply wonderful. I'm sure, however, that no matter what age I am, the latter half of the year will always remind of going back to school: buying a new pencil case, shoes that looked like the most unflattering of creepers and dragging my uniform out of the bottom of the wardrobe.

But while this is the first September I'm celebrating with a decent pay cheque and/or no plans of returning to education, I've found my wardrobe has still become a pretty studious affair. I'm lusting after satchels, quirky socks and pinafore dresses - and thankfully this last one is making an appearance on the High Street this year.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Bargain shopping tips

Read my bargain shopping feature on Covered
As much as I was hoping to make this opening paragraph sound like I had some kind of blogging/day job superhero secret identity, it's not quite possible. You see, for those who don't know me, I am a journalist who gets to write on a lot of different things including fashion. Not a far cry from being a blogger admittedly, so I guess that's where my whole Superman analogy collapsed.

Anywho, you're not interested in my bad puns - as much as I'd like to think they add a little charm to the site. Last week I was commissioned to write possibly one of the most fun features I've ever done, divulging my tips on bargain shopping. The resulting article, published by Covered magazine, can be read here. Take a look and let me know what you think - and if you have any bargain hints, please share!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Hollywood at home

Film map image (c) Dorothy
Can you be in love with a poster? Because I seriously adore this movie map by Dorothy. It's in the style of an old American road map and all locations are named after iconic films. Right up my street, so to speak.

You can get a print of the map for just £25 or splash out on a limited edition signed version (£100).

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Sorry Ashish, scrunchies will never be cool

Ah, London Fashion Week, my favourite event(s) of the year. The time when we get to see the wonders that will probably be outdated by the time the actual season comes around, but nevertheless will lust merrily over in the meantime.

Image (c) ElleUK.com
Ashish's SS13 collection was a decidedly retro affair with more than a hint of the styles of the latter decades of the last century to it. Now Ashish is no stranger to old school influences - his AW12 collection featured lots of tie dye and smiley faces - but really, his choice of hair accessory for SS13 is just plain wrong.

Scrunchies are, for want of a better word, awful. Just...awful. How anyone can think of even tempting these back in to the fashion universe is beyond me. Sorry Ashish, but you've missed it this time.

Ok, so what do you think? I won't be sporting a scrunchie (no matter how sparkly they are) but are you saying yay to this little comeback?

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

A/W staple: spike stud shoe boots

Today, ladies and gentlemen, we have a guest post from the lovely Lady Orchid (aka Llinos) on her staple piece for Autumn/Winter. Enjoy!

The nights are drawing in and winter may be round the corner, but it isn't all bad news. Every year I relish the chance to dig into the back of my wardrobe and bring out my winter boots. They are like old friends - my brown flat boots, great for work or a casual day of shopping; my charcoal stiletto ruffle boots, beautiful for a special occasion; my black suede heeled boots, perfect for a sophisticated day look; and my leopard print boots, to brighten up a plain outfit with a bit of grr!

This winter there is a new boot on my radar: the spiked boot. These beauties are serious style winners. I am seriously into the gothic vibe right now: gothic fashion, gothic literature, gothic architecture, gothic beauty. Normally I'm quite a girly dresser, with floral prints, pink blusher and lipstick, pretty ballet pumps and long curly hair, but I love how spiked boots allow me to access a whole new side of my personality. I always feel confident in heels, but the spikes add another level of self assurance and attitude, and make my outfit a talking point.

The black leather or suede, the spikes and the heel open up opportunities for a whole new look. Out with the floral dress, in with a statement tee, skinny jeans and leather jacket. Out with the curls, in with a messy bun or ponytail. Out with the pink blusher, in with plum or red lipstick and contoured cheeks.




Lita platform ankle boot black spike, Jeffrey Campbell at Office, £150
Suede spiked ankle boots, Missguided, £48.99

So where can you get your hands on a pair? My favourites are these beauties from Office and Missguided. Gothic fan Fearne Cotton has also been seen wearing a pair, and her current collection at Very includes these bestselling showstoppers. Now there's no excuse not to include these fashion must-haves your winter wardrobe!

Monday, 17 September 2012

Bargain of the week: batty for jumpers

Bat grey sweat, £95, Zoe Karssen; Bat handknit sweater, sold out,
JW Anderson x Topshop; Jumper, £19.99, H&M
 
The supermarkets may be looking forward to Christmas but I'm fully focussed on the spaghetti brains and peeled grape eyeballs that come with the spookiest night of the year. 
 
I'm planning on spending my Halloween eating toffee apples and watching scary movies with the other half so a comfy jumper is definitely the best way forward. And what better way to snuggle up in the autumn chill than with with these suitably themed sweaters? I spotted the gorgeous JW Anderson for Topshop bat jumper in the pre-release info but *shock, horror* failed miserably in getting one. But all is not lost: the splurge and save versions above are perfect substitutes.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Interview: Cecilia Lake, Graduate Fashion Week designer

Cecilia Lake (image from eBay)
Cecilia Lake was one of the stars of the University of Epsom's Graduate Fashion Week back in June, showcasing an elegant simplicity. 

After studying the 1930's photographer and journalist, Annemarie Schwarzenbach, Cecilia fell in love with her androgynous style which she found interesting and intriguing. She took Annemarie's masculine silhouette and combined it with elements of her extensive travels from Geneva through to Afghanistan, using a vintage silk Persian rug to drive the collection. This ethnic influence translated into the inspiration for the colour palette, print and fabric - to not only create a modern wearable womenswear collection but a statement in itself.

I spoke to Cecilia about style, fashion week and what's next.

Chic & Cheerful: Hi Cecilia! So for the readers, can you please describe your style? What do you love to wear?
Cecilia Lake: My style is classic: I love tailoring and elegant silhouettes. It's understated but with a bit of fun and colour as well.

C&C: Where are your favourite places to shop?
CL: I love the Scandinavian influence of Cos and Acne - they are a couple of my season after season favourites. Otherwise London markets are great, you never know what unique things you're going to pick up which is part of the fun of shopping and fashion - the unexpected.

C&C: When did you decide you wanted to go into fashion design?
CL: When I was just three and refused to let my mum dress me for play school!

C&C: So how did you start your career? Where did you train?
CL: Whilst at university in London I worked on Savile Row learning how to construct suits at an unrivalled standard. I learnt so much, it was an incredible experience.

C&C: Who is your favourite designer? Who do you admire most in the fashion industry?
CL: Great things always come from Marni and Celine, they are both, in their own way, great with colour, print and proportion whilst keeping things sleek and feminine. 

Cecilia Lake designs
C&C: Who is the 'girl' for your new collection?
CL: This androgynous but elegant and adventurous woman.

C&C: What's your favourite piece from the collection?
CL: I love the silk printed shorts, you could wear them anywhere and look great.

C&C: What was your typical day like leading up to Graduate Fashion Week?
CL: A bit crazy. It was a lot of hard work creating it all and overcoming the many problems of the day - whether they were in the studio or had me dashing out around London. There were highs and lows, but it was mostly good fun and I really felt I achieved something everyday.

C&C: What was it like backstage? How did you feel when your clothes hit the runway?
CL: I just tried to stay out of the way! The dressers and models knew what they had to do, it was out of my hands at that point which was a weird feeling. I could only hear the music backstage as the models went out and this moment I'd been working towards for so long had arrived, it was a feeling I'll never forget! 

C&C: What's next for Cecilia Lake?
CL: I'm staying in London for now and designing and working on my next collection which is very exciting - my official debut I suppose!
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