Friday, 28 September 2012

Better than a letter

Tatty Devine's chip fork necklace, £20,
Since discovering 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)
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!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Flying houses by Laurent Chehere

There's nothing better than spending a rainy Monday evening snuggled up in the warm looking at inspirational images. Tonight's lot come from the Flying Houses series by Laurent Chehere.

Image (c) Laurent Chehere
The series of manipulated photographs, inspired by the 19th and 20th arrondissement of Paris, showcases a different lifestyle in each image. From burning buildings to modern suburbia, this is so much more that just a nod to Pixar's Up. The result of taking such normal buildings (or what we take for granted as 'normal' anyway) out of their bustling surroundings and placing them against a cloudy sky is awe inspiring.

Image (c) Laurent Chehere
Flying Houses was first displayed at Dock en Seine City of Fashion and Design where it won the Prix Special. From 25 October to 4 December, Parisian gallery Galerie Paris-Beijing will be showing Chehere's work.

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Beauty inspiration: statement nails

Image (c)
If you follow me on twitter, you may have seen my statement nails tryout a few weeks back. Ever since I saw them pop up on pinterest, I've been obsessed.

If you haven't heard of the trend, all you do is paint one nail (I usually go for my ring or index finger) in a different colour to the rest. Go for slightly varying shades, make a nail wrap stand out, add a bit of sparkle or clash to your heart's content: just promise me you'll try it out today, yeah?

PS - if you haven't visited, go now for pretty inspiration.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Bargain of the week: H&M do Cambridge style satchels for £20

Recognise this?

Oh yes, of course you do. It's one of those neon Cambridge Satchel Company bags any fashion follower worth their salt has been after for the past year or so. Except it's not. It is, however, an absolute bargain lookalike which costs only £19.99 at H&M.

At the moment, only this charming dalmatian spot version is available online but really, at this price you could just get this one until you get down to the shops. 
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