I HEART Natalia

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

I just saw a cat in my garden and was tempted to invite it in for tea, but my mum made me shoo it away instead. Sad times...

Anyway, I've been waiting for the Marchesa collection to be posted on Style.com and now that it has been, I'm not sure how much of it I really like anyway... hmmm....

I've had my fill of Resort 2010 for the moment; will probably do one final post later this week.
For now though, let's just look at some photos of Natalia Vodianova because I love her.

Did you ever see such a face?!

Resort 2010 - Laid back and slouchy

Thursday, 11 June 2009

All this Resort-ness is killing me; I still have loads of pictures to talk about plus I just looked at the Isaac Mizrahi collection and fell a little bit in love, so might have to mention that too...*sigh....my work is never done*. Seriously though, the more of this stuff I write, the more I realise how much I bloomin' well love fashion!

I thought I'd focus today on some of the most casual and wearable looks I've seen, starting with ADAM.

What I like about this label is that it's easy. No mess, no fuss, just striking pieces that are interesting and wearable. As much as I love seeing crazy concoctions of colours and shapes and patterns, it's sometimes nice to see something thrown into the mix that is just a bit more chilled out. Despite this relaxed feel, I still think there's something edgy and different about Adam Lippes' designs and the overall styling of this collection.

Love the idea of throwing a slouchy sweater over a maxi dress.

Alexander Wang also went for cool and casual with his collection, featuring lots of wardrobe staples such as jeans, white t-shirts and little sporty jackets. Seemingly basic pieces in light denim, soft grey and stark white were given the edge with the addition of clever of details such as cut-out shoulders and interesting draping. The word that's been constantly thrown around in reviews is "effortless"; these are the sort of pieces that are modern and stylish, but still give off that "I really didn't try AT ALL when I got dressed today" feel.

There's something incredibly sexy about the thrown-together, tomboyish look of Rag & Bone's Resort collection. With a pallet of dark and smokey shades of grey and navy, the collection had a rock chick, urban feel, although some of the pieces erred more on the preppy side with over sized denim shirts and little blazers featuring throughout. This collection has been accused of being a bit too 'safe' but while it's hardly 'high fashion' I wouldn't go so far as to say it was 'safe'. Like with Alexander Wang, I think the designers were definitely going for something more relaxed, but there's still plenty going on here to warrant some interest; for example the skin tight leggings with a twisted seam and those low crotch long john type things that are really only for the very thin (I don't think they'd be too forgiving on those of us who are more generously proportioned in the derriere area...) There's also some cool style choices happening here too, with footless tights worn underneath cropped trousers (the YSL Resort collection has done something similar) and those big, wide pashmina-style scarves tied round the head like bandanas.

Is that literally just a massive grey blanket with a handle? Is that what we're carrying instead of handbags now? Where will my purse go?

Resort 2010 - Colours and patterns and prints, oh my!

Friday, 5 June 2009

Onto my fourth post about Resort 2010 and there is still more to come! I admit, I did go a bit mental when it came to saving pictures, but there was just so many wonderful things!

Now I hold my hands up, I quite often err on the safe side when experimenting with my own clothing. As much as I can admire crazy combinations of colour and print, it's unlikely that I'll be emulating such styles any time soon, as I just don't think I can pull them off. This in mind, I'm sure you can understand why my reaction to the Prada show was somewhat mixed. I can accept the subtle combinations of soft camel baige blocked with pastels. I can even go so far as to accept that sometimes, when you're on the beach, you might just get the urge to throw a preppy tank top over your bikini and just be done with it. But THAT many patterns and colours in one outfit?! Surely, surely that's just madness?! I thought outfits like that were only worn by old women who had paid their dues to the world of conservative fashion and just didn't give a damn anymore and, well, mad people. That being said, it was kind of a case of something being so wrong it was right and while I may not be seen sporting an outfit that basically screams, "hey look at me, I'm mad!", I'm sure there will be many folks, much cooler than I, who will wear a Prada-inspired, clashing outfit with style and joy.

I do like the 70s hair though. And the pretty, pretty shoes.

Kids, don't try this at home.

Now let's talk about Miuccia Prada's other brand; Miu Miu, which had a cool, sporty feel to it. Keeping the silhouette simple and casual, the collection consisted of halter tops, flouncy skirts and long, printed chiffon dresses. The pallet was mainly a selection of pale nudes and while, like Prada, the prints were mixed, the print itself (an interesting, oriental-style floral) was kept constant with only subtle changes made to the colours, making the collection as a whole, much more wearable (at least to me and my non-madness).

And look! Boxing boots!

And finally, Zac Posen. Oh Zac, my offer of marriage is still standing...

Now I've read quite a lot of criticism of this collection, firstly because it's not very "Resort", and secondly because some of the pieces were a bit random and, well, horrible. Case in point;

Well it really is horrible isn't it?

But you see, I love Zac, and I have come to the decision that he must have put a few stinkers in there as a joke, in the hope that some ridiculously stupid rich woman might actually buy them and wear them and then, then my friends, Zac and I will laugh heartily.

Disgusting polka dotted legging and cardigan combinations aside, what I really liked about this collection was the use of colour. While I'm not condoning the wearing of those two prints together in the first photo below, when separated, both prints are lovely. I love the combination of the very rich blue with that zingy green in the third shot, just LOVE it. And of course, Zac's a bit of a showman really, so he had to put a few wonderful dresses in too. While that pink dress is really VERY pink, I think that, as long as the rest of the styling was kept very subtle, it would make a lovely red carpet number. And the black dress with one slashed sleeve? Just perfect.

(photos from style.com)

Hold me closer, tiny dancer...

I love Diane Von Furstenberg, I really do. She seems like she'd be fun to hang out with. And she gives very good advice (see the final episode of The Hills where she tells Whitney "the most important relationship in your life is the one you have with yourself" - yes Diane, you are brilliant!)

The DVF resort show featured cheerful 50s style bathing suits, cheeky mini dresses and billowing maxis, in an array of brightly coloured floral, polka dot and striped prints. Keeping up her penchant for massive headwear, every outfit was accessorised with a matching bow, big enough to make even Minnie Mouse jealous.

That floral and polka dot print dress is to die for!

Another designer big on the headwear was Michael Kors, whose collection had a glamourous 70s feel to it. Those kind of turbans always make me think of that madwoman from Sunset Boulevard... you know, the one who says "I'm ready for my closeup, Mr DeMille"? I could totally see her rocking up in Kors' combination of black turban, diva-ish shades and lots of heavy gold jewellery. There was also an Asian twist in some of the tailoring, for example a white trouser suit with a wide tie-belt and extreme shoulders, not to mention the super high, buckled platforms which brought to mind the effect of foot-binding (not sure if that was intentional but that's what it made me think of...). Some of my favourite pieces were the printed shift dresses, specifically the zebra print one with matching turban.

Norma Desmond, eat your heart out...

I know it looks like I'm a bit obsessed with Chanel Iman here, but they put her in all the best dresses!

As usual, all photos are from style.com. And this is only the beginning; there is a lot more to come!

"Did you see my party dress?"

Thursday, 4 June 2009

So I logged onto style.com yesterday to find the Resort 2010 page literally bursting with new collections for me to ogle. Last week there was three shows listed. This week there is maybe twenty. This suggests that this week may be the official week for Resort 2010 collections and that those other three shows were just being cheeky little early birds. I have no idea if this is really the case; is there an official fashion week for the Resort shows? I could probably quite easily find out if I just Googled it, but, well, I'm not going to.

As I said, there are a lot of new shows to talk about. But sadly I just don't have the time to go into detail about them all (the New York Fashion Week post I wrote back in February very nearly killed me, so I vowed not to do anything like that again. I made a vow. That's serious) So I'm going to feature two today and then maybe, if you're all good little puppies, I'll post some more later in the week.

First up - Donna Karan, whose collection, entitled "Manhattan Tango", was full of floaty feminine pieces in black, white and neutrals, with the occasional juicy pinks and reds thrown in for a laugh. As you may know, I love me a designer who knows how to drape, and in this collection, Karan showed herself to be a woman after my own heart by doing complex things with fabric but still keeping the pieces wearable and elegant. For me, (as it quite often is) it was all about the dresses, the favourite being the black one, third picture down.

Anyone else think there's a bit of an oriental theme here? The round shouldered jacket above and the billowing tunics below remind me of kimonos...

LOVE that black dress!!!

Oscar de la Renta continued on from the super glamourous looks of his Fall collection but added a distinctly Parisian twist, with berets a plenty and sweet little black dresses. (is anyone starting to get the feeling that I'm obsessed with LBDs?!) He also went all out with embellishment, with dresses trimmed in an assortment of ruffles, lace, silks and sparkles. Delightful.

When I first saw the third dress in the picture above, I whimpered a little bit - SO PRETTY!!!

And of course no de la Renta collection would be complete without a few fancy schmancy gowns - Cecilia Mendez (the dark haired one) looks stunning.

This is all getting a bit too much, just went back to style.com and more collections have been added!!! I will return with another load of pictures very soon.

(all images from style.com, obviously)

LBD... easy as 1,2,3

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

From left to right - Miranda Kerr (in THAT Jil Sander dress), Rachel Bilson, Leighton Meester, Christina Hendricks and Jessica Alba
So I spent a bit of time last week in London "on business"...kind of, not really, but it sounds cool, right? I also got to hang out with some of my favourite people and one in particular, let's call her "Molly", inspired this post. She was raving about a new black shift dress which, bought on a whim when she needed something smart to wear, had proven to be one of the most versatile items in her wardrobe.

Now, I'm pretty sure that every fashion-conscious lady on this side of the galaxy is well aware that a little black dress is a staple piece in any wardrobe. If you weren't aware of that, don't worry, I won't judge you. But my friend Molly is very, very right; the beauty of a really good LBD is that it's versatile. As long as you've got one of those de-fluffer things (because fluff on black stands out a mile) a black dress can be worn in about 24501 different ways. (I've got research to back up this figure...) Whether it's with a cardigan and some flats for daytime or a pair of heels and a clutch bag for the evening, a black dress (or two) is definitely something worth having in your wardrobe.

Of course, the other good thing about a black dress is the instant chic factor it gives you on a night out. The epitome of effortless glamour, a simple LBD automatically makes you look a million dollars without you having to really try at all; think Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany's - black shift, heels, maybe some jewellery - badabing badaboom... did I really just say that? Think I may need to be more of an old-style New York mafia boss, less 21st century Scouse mentallist to really pull that off, but let's not worry too much about my random outbursts of hitman-speak and get back to the lovely clothes, yes?

Oh Audrey...

Anyway, I've often heard talk of the "perfect" LBD; it's probably a different style and shape for every person, but somewhere out there, there is a dress with the ability to make you look bloody fantastic as soon as you put it on. The fun comes with trying to find it. And with fashion designers doing more and more clever things with tailoring, hemlines, fabric, embroidery and everything else, there is no better time to go out and find the perfect LBD.

I started browsing through a few fashion sites thinking I'd get a handful of photos to post but I found so many amazing dresses I got a bit carried away. Enjoy the pics and let me know which one is your favourite! I'm loving the amazing chain detail on that Sheri Bodell dress in the picture below and the gorgeous strapless Nathan Jenden one in the third picture.

Alice + Olivia, Vera Wang Lavender Label and Diane Von Furstenberg



Clockwise from top left - Miu Miu, ACNE, Luella, Paul & Joe Sister, Chloe and Nathan Jenden

Preen, Giambattista Valli, Catherine Malandrino and of course, Herve Ledger

High Street

High Street

Clockwise from left - Warehouse, Topshop, Miss Selfridge, H&M, Karen Millen and French Connection

Resort 2010 - the story so far...

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Hello my little loves! Apologies for not having posted very much lately - haven't been feeling particularly inspired (this mainly comes from the fact I haven't been shopping in a LONG time -trying to be good and not spend money in the frivolous way I usually do).

Don't fret though, have got a few posts coming up which should be quite interesting. I'm working on something in particular that will probably be a big'un, not sure how long it's going to take me, because I want it to be well-written, but soon, children, soon. Anyways, over the past week or so, a few Resort collections for 2010 have popped up, so here's some of my favourite pieces so far...
Compared to the Bottega Veneta and Chanel collections (which I'm going to talk about in just a moment), Erdem was minimal to say the least. The pieces were relaxed yet elegant; lots of feminine, wearable dresses and skirts, which not only looked stylish, but also really comfortable. (does that make me sound like an old women? "Oh it looks SO comfortable!") I love the floor-length cocktail dress with the slouchy t-shirt neckline. The floral prints reminded a little bit of recent Basso and Brooke collections, but then, Basso Brooke are print fiends so it's easy to make a connection...

The Chanel show took place in Venice, one of Coco Chanel's favourite locations, and the show itself, according to style.com, was full of clever references to the city, most of which I would never get because I'm not very up on my knowledge of Venetian history. Regardless of references, this show was ridiculously good and I'm particularly loving the 1920s-style hair and makeup; those dark, smudgy eyes look FA-HAB-ULOUS! Also really enjoying the nautical feel of the beachwear and quite desperately want the bag in the first photo!

So, this is a reference to gondoliers, right?

Other highlights for me, include, this incredibly decadent, dirty gold dress with matching cardigan type thing (it's hard to tell from the picture, ok?!) and that lovely, uber-1920s lacy number.

And finally, proof that Karl Lagerfeld is not only a genius, but also has a sense of humour;

Sunglasses, on a stick! Like a masquerade masque! How can nobody have thought of this before?!

Despite Chanel's crazy eye-wear, my favourite collection so far has been that of Bottega Veneta, as it made me have one of those moments where I just kept going "Oh, but I love it all!" Very chic, very simple, very cool. Tomas Maier went in a very different direction with this show, opting for vibrant block shades of oranges, pinks and blues, rather than the usual, more subdued tones. I just love the really relaxed tailoring of these first pieces;

After the smart stuff came some playful beachwear and killer accessories. Massive necklaces are well and truly here to stay - they're everywhere! Also, isn't it weird how, what is ultimately a black pair of Bridget Jones pants, can look so glam?

Last of all came these beautiful gowns. Sometimes less really is more - no frills, no embroidery, no fuss. Just lots of lovely, floaty fabric. Imagine being clad in that much pink!

Chanel Iman has stolen my heart a little bit - she is truly FIERCE! And with a name like Chanel Iman, it'd be a crime for her not to be...

So that's what we've got so far from the Resort shows. There will surely be more coming soon - I'll keep you posted!

(all photos from style.com)

Well, did you ever?!

Sunday, 17 May 2009

jeezie creezie



Mr Bojangles

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Just a quick post, following on from yesterday's.
Despite Sheniqua's claims that the fashion show would be a formal affair, I decided to wear my new black dress from the Topshop sale, the leather jacket of dreams and these crazy pompom shoes (again from Topshop);

I love these shoes - I very rarely wear them because they're so bloomin' special - look at the pompoms! Look at the heel! They even came with a little silky shoebag to keep them all protected and clean!

I also wore my new massive earrings (again from the Topshop sale - what's wrong with me?!), which are jangly to the max, but also exceptionally heavy. I did fear that my earlobes would become elongated during the course of the night, due to the sheer weight of the things. I suppose it all comes down to the question of would you be willing to risk developing freakishly long earlobes for the sake of some fabulous earrings? The answer is clearly yes, yes I would.

Pat Butcher eat your heart out

Seriously - SO heavy!

Anyway, the moral of this story is that when you go out wearing an outfit which consists of fabulous yet somewhat painful shoes and super jingly jangly earrings - manage your time carefully. Otherwise you end up having to leg it for the bus which results in majorly sore feet AND sore ears!

Let this be a lesson, kids - jangly earrings and running do not mix...


Saturday, 9 May 2009

I just got back from seeing the UK touring production of Little Shop of Horrors - it was wonderful and has filled me with a desire to get back on a stage and sing to my little heart's content... sadly I'm not sure when I'm going to get the chance to do that, so for now I'll have to just stick to belting out showtunes in the comfort of my bedroom and looking at this photograph of Audrey II from time to time...

"Feed me Seymooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrr"

Anyway, that's not really the point of this post; what I really wanted to tell you about was what I did on Wednesday.

What did you do on Wednesday? Huh? HUH?!

Well kiddies, on Wednesday evening, I went to my very first fashion show! I know! Exciting right? Well, exciting for me because I've never been to one and (due to my friend being very well connected) we were treated as VIPs and I thought maybe this could be quite a good opportunity for me to meet some fashiony people and do some networking!
The show was for House of Suga's S/S 2010, they're a new brand from Liverpool, designed by four local girls. It was held in the Anglican Cathedral, which is a breath-takingly beautiful, massive old building with a huge aisle that served as a catwalk and stained glass windows all around. When we arrived we were treated to free wine and lovely, lovely canapes (I'll be honest, I pretty much gorged myself on smoked salmon blinis - the wonderful thing about fashion parties is that nobody actually eats the food; fortunately, my friend and I weren't interested in fitting in with the fashion crowd, and quite frankly, we were bloody hungry!).

It got even better when I realised that, being VIPs, we'd be sitting on the front row for the show itself and that we would be getting GOODIE BAGS!
I tried to be cool about the freebies, I really did. I figured that a seasoned fashion show go-er probably wouldn't nose dive into a goodie bag like a three year old faced with a pile of bubble wrap and cardboard boxes on Christmas Day. However, my friend (for the sake of anonymity, we'll call her Sheniqua) had told me that the goodie bags would be filled with gifts from Harrods, (God only knows why I believed her...) so I did get a bit over-excited.
Contents as follows - lots of those mini perfume samples they give you in John Lewis when you buy something from a makeup counter (including Viktor & Rolf's Flowerbomb, which I think smells a lot like Angel by Thierry Mugler...), some random fliers about local Liverpool beauticians etc, a magnetic backgammon set by Dunhill which was lovely but, well...why?! and some weird tasting chocolate buttons and chocolate Lambananas -

This is a chocolate Lambanana - modelled on the Super Lambanana, which is a stupid sculpture in Liverpool, that everyone, apart from me, loves. Basically, imagine the above, but bright yellow and about the size of a rhinoceros - it's shit.

So the goodie bags weren't exactly filled with the stuff of dreams, but a freebie's a freebie in my book, and those mini perfumes are really useful for when you're travelling and don't want to take a massive bottle of perfume with you. As I already said, I don't know why I believed Sheniqua's ramblings about Harrods - she had also told me that all the guests would be wearing floor length gowns and tuxedos - fortunately I'd had the foresight to check and found out that this really was not, in any possible way, the case. Basically, Sheniqua's mental.

You may, at this point, be wondering why I am rambling on about goodie bags and chocolate mutant sheep when this is a fashion blog and I was at a fashion show - what about the clothes?!

Well, I don't have a lot to say about the clothes because they weren't really to my tastes at all. Think Miss Sixty and River Island - very bright colours, lots of sequins and patterns - a mixture of clubwear and beachwear for the very daring or very attention seeking. I wasn't massively impressed, but at the same time, this was their first show, and they had also been faced with the major setback of some of their garments not being delivered to the venue, meaning that they had to drop several models and didn't get to show all of their designs.

However, if you're going to put on a fashion show in the Anglican Cathedral and make a big old song and dance about it, and have loads of press there, well, you should probably bring the goods to back it up and in my eyes, what it all came down to was that House of Suga seemed a bit out of their depth.

I just don't think they were ready for such a big event - some of the designs looked more like mock-ups than actual finished pieces and a lot of their models were awkward and had horrendous walks; I'm pretty sure that Miss Jay Alexander would have had a nervous breakdown. Hopefully, with a bit more time and experience, the House of Suga brand will grow into something notable and exciting; it's always nice to see something new come out of Liverpool, but for the moment, no number of smoked salmon canapes and mini perfumes could distract from the fact that they've got a long way to go yet.

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