Thursday, 12 September 2013

Fragments of Autumn

I often receive shocked looks when I admit to getting a little fed up of summer, but in fact, I adore the chillier months and all the cute things that comes with them! Now the rain and darkening evenings have started to return, I have put together an Autumn-themed post. I know I am anticipating some aspects a bit early (the roaring fire for one!) but September is the start of the run-up to- dare I say it (my boyfriend will kill me!)- Christmas, and that in itself is exciting. This post is a snapshot of everything I love about the fall in a nutshell- the only thing missing is an ultra snug cable-knit jumper in olive or plum (and my labradoodle pup wrapped up in her basket!).
Steaming mugs, literature and cosy cushions by the fireside

 L'occitane Conditioner- Dry & Damaged Hair £15

Moody Romance: Topshop Floral Playsuit £50
Pots of tea and warm teacakes with butter- go to Rye by the way (!) which is where
 this beautiful old-fashioned tea parlor is located
Coffee table books to flick through on rainy days:
Stylists: New Fashion Visionaries by Katie Baron £30
Add a little mystery to fall dressing with dark shades: ASOS Kitten Cat Eye Sunglasses £12
Fail-safe footwear: Boohoo Alice Suedette Elastic
 Insert Flat Chelsea Boots £25

Your new handbag-sized best friend:-fill with a fruity warmer-upper: Not on the High
Street 'Why Not' Hipflask £19.95

Auburn leaves
For showery shopping sprees: Zara Combination Parka £89.99

Romantic lighting: Live Laugh Love Heart Cup Candle Holder £3.95

Herringbone checks are in: Topshop Lilac Check A Line Short Skirt £36

Oven-baked pies and pastries
Autumn, for me, brings endless rounds of marmite toast:
Emma Bridgewater Polka Dot 2 Slice Toaster £165
Hair Ribbons: From £1 per metre at Hobbycraft
Costume Jewellery: ASOS Teardrop Earrings £6
Fall Fruit Jams: £4 at New England Preserves

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Four Ways to Do the Denim Shirt

Philip Lim A/W '13
   Now we're into September, I'm seriously looking forward to the benefits that come with cooler weather- as well as it being an acceptable time to drink hot choccy, sweaters, scarves, parkas (my new obsession) and long-sleeved shirts too come into action. And the fabric on everyone's lips should be...denim. The denim shirt is more versatile than most may realise; it can cater to 'indie-rock goddess' or 'polished city babe' (Miranda Kerr makes one look positively refined), it doubles up as a 'cheat piece' of outerwear and simplest of all, it does make a welcome change from plaid. Philip Lim led the way for the classic material on the fall catwalk, where indigo and sky coloured denim collars peeked out from light-weight camel knits and leather bombers.

The high-street version of Lim's patchwork denim:
Mango Color-Block Denim Shirt £39.99
Lim combines denim accents with lashings of (en vogue) leather
    Frankly, I used to have a real thing against denim- double denim I would never, ever have considered. I used to bully my boyfriend for even considering putting two similar shades of the fabric together- at which he used to back down and place one piece back on the shelf of Topman with a very sad face. It was only recently that I realised I had definitely had a change of heart, as I began to look at his denim shirts/jacket/variant of jeans with envy. I am now thankful to have discovered the subtle allure of a slightly unbuttoned denim shirt over a pair of skinny black jeans and black boots (I'll be donning my Chelsea's). Mary Kate Olsen nails city cool in her light blue and black denim attire, complete with a must-have pair of dark shades and gladiator style sandals (still okay for early-mid September, as long as the rain keeps off!) Add an artistically battered backpack to complete this 'just mooching about town' look- I love this black The Row imitation by Pieces at ASOS, though I did see basically an exact copy in a local charity shop this week which I am totally going to go back and nab. Don't ever forget the promise of thrift and charity stores!

Pieces Eline Flapover Backpack £38
     Gillian Zinser is Queen of adding a spot of edginess to her chilled Californian-rooted closet. I love how she has put her fashion-forward foot first here and teamed a stand-out print (leopard print will never date, if worn with panache) with the renowned-for-casual, open denim shirt. Leopard palazzo pants or a maxi skirt like Gillian's will keep a balance between two top and bottom halves and two textures and prints. Though her denim shirt looks literally and effortlessly thrown on, it's doing a lot of talking for her outfit and maintains (along with her fab laidback topknot) that her low-neck and sheer skirt appear audacious and adventurous rather than tasteless.
    If there's one major thing Diane Kruger teaches us with her take on the denim shirt, it's that they can make contact with the femininity in our wardrobes. Diane always puts a fresh spin on street style, and I adore her conventionally odd pairing here; ditsy print trews with a two-tone boyish shirt? It indefinitely works. I think these Zara floral print trousers will work a treat as a nice mix-up to everyday black jeans or a bolder evening experimentation a la Gillian. Add a neutral or even slightly manish tote and some pumps and voila- a comfortable yet stylish shopping outfit sorted.

Zara Floral Print Trousers £29.99
      Finally, and likewise, Kate Bosworth added a dab of womanliness to her J W Anderson denim get-up, styling her long-line shirt with a blooming beautiful mini skirt. Her black ankle boots and tied-back hair keep the look half-androgynous but the clutch and red lippy emphasise her girly tendencies. To mirror Kate's clever 'girl meets boy' contrast, try combining this Topshop shirt dress with cable knit tights, tomboyish brogues and a diverging pearl embellished or flower embroidered cardigan.
Topshop MOTO Vintage Denim Shirt Dress £42
   However you decide to style your denim, take note of these little catwalk-influenced tips: navy is this season's chief colour, as emphasised by Celine, and is worth holding up against different denim hues to achieve the best effect. Burgundy and forest green remain signature colours for autumn and winter, and will compliment your denim on darker days. Lastly, jean material looks good under a khaki or coffee-coloured parka (Coachella has taught the world that) and could also look pretty 'Freja Beha Erichsen meets Audrey Hepburn' under a ginormous winter coat. One thing's for sure- denim shirts are no longer reserved for guys.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

September Style Inspiration: Rose Byrne

So, I was watching X-Men: First Class for the first time the other night, and I thought, "Wow, I love Rose Byrne." I didn't even know she was in X-Men- that just makes her cooler in my eyes; definitely a stark contrast to her oh-so-ladylike role in Bridesmaids. The petite Aussie actress (she refreshingly defines herself as a 'character actress', never a celebrity) has a wardrobe that screams high-fashion but which is actually heavily punctuated by Topshop and Urban Outfitters goodies.
Rose uses a stylist, but no doubt has the last word on her outfit choices, staying loyal to Australian labels Lover and Sass and Bide, and sticking to her go-to city brands, Calvin Klein, Rag & Bone and quirkily, menswear brand APC. A sense of urban influence is often visible in Rose's daywear, which continually consists of simple and classic jeans, boyish sweaters (preferably in grey, she says) and 40's tea-dresses- worn with a tomboy twist; namely strictly black accessories or tights.
   Her taste is consistent- cool and collected, with a hint of Olivia Palermo-esque styling precision. There's no scruffiness in her version of edginess, that's for sure. Standing out for Rose translates as a risk-taking Elie Saab jumpsuit at the SAG Awards (trousers are usually a no-go on the red carpet, but Rose debuted them with heaps of confidence) or citing American cult film "Scarface" as her long-bob inspiration. Her realistic view on Hollywood too sets her apart from her fellow A-listers: "Here in LA the standard of beauty is ridiculous", she says, "I want to be doing this when I'm in my fifties and sixties and this isn't what I'm going to look like!" Judging by her amazing genes, I think she will still look pretty fabulous even then, but her attitude is long-awaited!!

 Rose's actual favourite film is "Thelma and Louise"- feisty. Perhaps this brings back fond memories of her teen-hood; Rose admits her biggest fashion faux pas was her Doc Martens/biker jacket stage. Though the Aussie style queen would still inevitably pull off a Cara Delevingne piece of leather, Rose has conjured a signature style that no glossy magazine nor fashion-hearting femme would want to see change. Her look is accessible- Rose herself refers to it as 'low-key'- and even though she describes Valentino and Marc Jacobs as amazing, it's awesome to know that she hasn't lost touch with the real world, with her partiality to high-street and second-hand finds. In fact, take note of Rose's style mantra; I sure will be- "I've stopped dressing for other people. If I think I look good, that's the most important thing." I love this woman!