All I want for Christmas is…

Ooh yay!  I have finally got my hands on a copy of this month’s Harrods magazine with their annual Christmas gift guide.  And no, I haven’t just won the lottery and am therefore considering my next lofty purchase, but this month is the issue that I contributed to. Back in September I did a 3 week stint at the luxury title (check out my previous blog on the unique experience – https://stylitz.com/2013/08/31/my-week-at-harrods/) and the work has now been published.  My still-life styling skills can be seen on the front & back cover of the Christmas Gift Guide 2013 & one of my cashmere style-ups also made it into the supplement.

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Styling: Alicja Jasnikowska  Photography: Arthur Woodcroft

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Styling: Alicja Jasnikowska  Photography: Studio 21

With regards to the gift boxes featured on the cover – these two images were the result of a whole day of ribbon twisting, petal fluffing and handbag stuffing, but I think you’ll agree the final results look very luxe.  Included was a selection of fabulous accessories from Tom Ford, Alexander McQueen, Givenchy and Smythson (among others).  The boxes were 1 metre squared and the freeze-dried petals had to be pre-ordered – it took over 16 litres to fill each box.  I believe they will be offering this exact gift box in store should you have a spare few thousand to spend on your loved one.  They also used one of the images as the Ultimate page in the November issue of the magazine, which shows details of what is contained.  I hope you like the images…

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Styling: Alicja Jasnikowska  Photography: Arthur Woodcroft

All images courtesy of Harrods Publishing http://www.harrodsmagazine.com featuring the Harrods Christmas 2013 supplement and also the current/November 2013 issue.

All products can be found at http://www.harrods.com

Guilt-free shopping

If the annual round of Xmas present shopping fills you with dread, then head on over to No. 23 Welbeck Street tomorrow where the fabulous Matches will be hosting an event to celebrate the festive season. A selection of great gift ideas for both men & women will be available to purchase, including this gorgeous Stella sweater, sparkly Lulu Frost earrings and some fabulous coffee table books from Lanvin and DVF.  What’s more 10% of net proceeds will be donated to children’s charity The Rainbow Trust, so you’ll be helping others whilst treating yourself to that Givenchy metallic clutch. That sounds like win-win to me.

Stella jumper

Tartan mohair sweater, £700, Stella McCartney at MatchesFashion.com

Lulu Frost earrings

Eclipse earrings, £140, Lulu Frost at MatchesFashion.com

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Lanvin Anniversary book by Alber Elbaz, £250, MatchesFashion.com

Givenchy clutch

Antigona envelope clutch, £755, Givenchy at MatchesFashion.com 

Matches at No 23 Welbeck St, London, W1G 8EG is on tomorrow (Tuesday 26th November) from 11am-5pm. www.matchesfashion.com with www.rainbowtrust.org.uk

An Oasis of summer delights

Every so often in the monthly round up of press days you stumble upon a presentation that is so beautiful it warrants it’s own blog. Last week, that was Marks & Spencer’s stunning SS14 offerings, and this week the title goes to Oasis, who yesterday wowed the fashion crowd with a beautifully styled set and some gorgeous girly garments.

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Described by PR Manager Lindsay Butcher as ‘Stepford housewives meets Edward Scissorhands’, the make-belief world of ‘Matchy-Patchy Mews’ is based on the opening scene of the 90s cult classic – the part where the camera pans down an American avenue of neatly kept lawns and identikit houses.  Yet behind the perfect facade there is a strange murmur of unease and a world of contradiction. I am pleased to report that Oasis’s fashion boulevard was far less sinister, yet equally intriguing (despite the unusual human-sized bright pink bunny rabbits).

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The Spring Summer 2014 press day showed brocade dresses hanging on washing lines, trowels and plant pots filled with statement jewels and sunglasses, and dummies dressed in pastel 50s inspired looks pushing boldly painted pink shopping trollies.

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So onto the clothes… prints featured heavily whether they be ditsy florals, bold botanical clashing prints or snakeskin jacquards.  Denim was found in the form of a cute sundress and A-line skirt, and crop tops, structured leather and the aforementioned pastel tailoring was also showcased.

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Quirky floral print birdhouses and sheds peppered the set – so adorable!

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Rather than matchy-matchy, Oasis are championing the ‘matchy-patchy’ trend for next season (as seen above)

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Fuchsia and scarlet – one of my all-time favourite colour combinations.

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If only I could look this chic whilst mowing the lawn…

As an added treat there was also the gorgeous pop-up cafe, which was serving tea and coffee along with some fantastic ladybird macaroons, plant pots of humous and veg sticks and jam jars of superfood salad.

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With such a gorgeous presentation, who wouldn’t want to live on Matchy Patchy Mews?  Come next Spring, I know where I’ll be heading.

The above images were all taken at yesterday’s Oasis SS14 press day.  Items will be in store from February 2014.  To view the current AW13 collection, including the fabulous Loved by Mollie edit, head to http://www.oasis-stores.co.uk.

Another darn good collaboration…

Sometimes I feel all I write about is designer high-street collaborations, so sorry if you’re a little tired of the subject, but there have been so many awesome ones of late that I find it hard not to mention them all.  Isabel Marant for H&M, L’Wren Scott for Banana Republic, Meadham Kirchoff for Topshop – the list is constantly being added to.  Today’s announcement is about the lovely British designer Georgia Hardinge (whom I have met and can attest is both gorgeous and supremely talented) and her new range for River Island, which launches in-store and online tomorrow.  If you think this sounds familiar, you’re not mistaken, as this is Georgia’s second collection for the high-street store (the first was clearly a winner) and coincides rather nicely with the forthcoming party season.

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The lovely lady herself – Georgia Hardinge

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An image from her first collaboration launched in-store in April 2013. 

Renowned for her stunning use of digital prints, voluminous shapes and a savvy way with an origami fold, Georgia’s designs are inspired by her passion for architecture and sculpture.  Her main collection has been worn by fashion icons and new label champions such as Jessie J, Florence Welch, Lady Gaga and Nicole Sherzinger – who looked stunning in her printed frock (& is that a cake pop I see there?)

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Nicole Scherzinger, Jessie J & Florence Welch – all sporting pieces from Georgia’s main collection

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The book sculpture that inspired her latest print (as seen below)

Georgia’s 13-piece collection for River Island includes dresses, skirts, crop tops and leggings.  My best-seller predictions are the printed cap-sleeve dress, and the chic knee-length number with folded waist detail, which comes in bold cobalt or classic black.  All three would be perfect for a Xmas party and would look stunning paired with a chunky gold choker and sexy stilettos.

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From top: Structured printed dress, £80; cobalt blue dress, £60; black dress, £60, all Georgia Hardinge for River Island AW13.

For those that are a little braver the printed leggings are amazing and would look great with a biker jacket and long line tee.  Or if you have killer abs, then pair the neoprene cropped top with the pencil skirt and shrug on an oversized white jacket to channel this season’s key minimalist trend.

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From top: Printed leggings, £30; printed top, £35; cobalt blue crop top, £35, and cobalt blue miniskirt, £40 (both also available in black), all by Georgia Hardinge for River Island AW13

With prices starting at £35 for a top and peaking at only £80 for the structured dress, this is the perfect way to tap into some edgy, in-the-know designer chic at an affordable price.  And with the unique prints and architectural shapes these garments will ensure that you stand out under the mistletoe this year.  So go on, treat yourself, it’s nearly Christmas (well, sort of) and you’ve been such a good girl…

Georgia Hardinge for River Island AW13 launches in key stores and online on 20th November at http://www.riverisland.com/women/design-forum

On your Marks

It’s press day time again – the biannual month where all the brands, from River Island to Ralph Lauren, present their next season collections to the press.  So, just when I have finally succumbed to a coat and scarf, I am now spending my days looking at next Spring’s sunglasses, swimsuits and tiny shorts.  Such is the bizarre nature of the fashion industry.

Most press days tend to fall on a Wednesday or Thursday, which means there can be up to 20 different brands showing in one day, all at different venues across London.  Clearly you have to be selective.  Yesterday I managed only a handful, which ranged from Jaeger’s new offerings shown at the gorgeous Somerset House to Marks and Spencer’s at One Marylebone.  I also popped by Flax PR and Reiss who each presented lovely garments for next spring (vintage clothing and homeware by Cabbages & Roses from the former, and feather prints, pistachio green and minimal white suiting from the later).

The one that really caught my eye yesterday however was Marks & Spencer.  I have a huge affinity for the store.  I fondly remember buying their prawn and mayonnaise sandwiches as a teenage treat on a busy Saturday shopping with my friends.  Equally, my gran, who I love dearly, would give us a voucher for the store every year as our birthday gift.  Whilst I possibly would have preferred one for Miss Selfridge or Next at the time, that paper voucher (this was before the current card vouchers) was carefully spent and much deliberated upon.

So to yesterday’s press day, which I think was one of the best I have seen from the brand.  Not only was the venue stunning but the clothes were organised into clearly defined (and very photogenic) trend groups, which ranged from the impactful White Out to the pastel Pretty Things.  Other trends included Worldwide (prints and tribal influences), Paint Box (bold brights) and 90s Luxe (oversized layers of Celine inspired minimalism).  So those are the themes that M&S is predicting for next season. I loved it and I really hope that the collection is as well received by the consumer next February as it was by the press this week.  Check out the pictures below and let me know your thoughts…

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Trend 1 at Marks & Spencer SS14 Press Day – White Out

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Trend 2 at Marks & Spencer – Worldwide (read prints and tribal) – I love this bird print bomber!

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Trend 3 at Marks & Spencer – Pretty things

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I love this white lace midi dress and the sheer panelled pencil skirt

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M&S’s take on the Victoria Beckham oversized drop-waist dress

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Bold colours dominate Trend 4 – Paintbox. The pink leather T-shirt is a stand-out piece for me.

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Trend 5 – 90s Luxe is a key theme across lots of brands for SS14

The clothes seen above will not be available until next Spring.  This is only a preview to give you a taste of what is to come. To shop the current collection, including the fabulous Best of British range, go to www.marksandspencer.com