The perfect summer shoe

Anyone who knows me will say that I am a total print fanatic. Whether it be a tropical floral, a monochrome check or an African waxed cotton design, my wardrobe is overspilling with bold patterned pieces. So much so that I have to remind myself to buy basics to balance all the crazy colour. Although who doesn’t love a print clash, right?

So imagine my delight when I was introduced to the gorgeous Saira shoes, whose footwear is an eclectic mix of quality Indian woven fabrics and modern London styling. The brainchild of St Martin’s College educated Aditi, the company is named after her daughter Saira (which also means happy). And one can’t fail to be happy when wearing these shoes. Handcrafted from exclusive limited-edition Indian fabrics and cushioned with leather insoles these are both a treat for the feet and the eyes.

Creative Director Aditi (right) with her daughter Saira

Images: © Hannah Young

The shoes come in a range of different styles, from the holiday-friendly slide to my personal favourite, the city-loving bow-toe mule. All are available in a variety of bold hued fabrics, with prices ranging from £80 – £110.

A selection of the stunning styles available at Saira

This week saw the launch of their first UK pop-up shop in Shoreditch, London. The opening was marked with an in-store event, complete with delicious sugary treats by Cutter & Squidge, bubbles by Skinny Prosecco and tunes mixed by DJ Pips Tayor. Oh and a multi-coloured giant balloon wall, the ideal backdrop for that obligatory selfie.

Photography by Hannah Young

Pips Taylor on the decks (Image: © Hannah Young)

Pretty cakes by Cutter & Squidge

Bubbles by Skinny Prosecco

Fellows guests included The Saturdays singer Vanessa White, Made in Chelsea star Rosie Fortescue and chef Gizzi Erskine (seen here in a pair of the bowed mules).

Photography by Hannah Young

Photography by Hannah Young

From top: Vanessa White, Rosie Fortescue and Gizzi Erskine attend the launch

Images: © Hannah Young

So if you’re looking for a fabulous statement shoe to see you through the remainder of the summer, I would highly recommend you head to Saira. The only problem you face is deciding which of the gorgeous patterned styles to opt for. Trust me, the struggle is real 😉

Saira pop-up store, 189 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6HU. 

Open daily 10-6pm, Sundays 11-5pm until 30th September 2017.

http://www.saira.co.uk/

Advertisements

The bold and the downright beautiful

This week I was lucky enough to be invited to the wonderful Fashion & Textile Museum on Bermondsey Street for the launch of the Gudrun Sjoden exhibition ‘Four Decades of Colour and Design’. I am quite ashamed to say that despite all my years of living in London (and many hours spent on Bermondsey Street) I had never actually been inside this beautiful, multi-coloured Zandra Rhodes owned tribute to fashion. But now I have and it does not disappoint. Accompanying the bold artwork, was a deliciously colourful breakfast of rainbow lattes, flower-filled granola pots and goat cheese and red pepper muffins. I mean… how can you resist when food looks this pretty?!

Breakfast is served:- Juice shots, muffins and granola from Ethos. Rainbow lattes from Black Box Coffee

Gudrun’s work will be displayed alongside the current long-standing Josef Frank exhibition. Both Swedish-based designers are renowned for their use of bold colour and print, with designs translated onto textiles and interiors, and both have a strong affection for watercolour as a medium. This pop-up exhibition celebrates Gudrun’s 40th anniversary, alongside a beautiful hard-back book detailing her years at the forefront of Swedish design. You can view her working process, her inspiration and examples of her playful, childlike prints. When I observed that her patterns are akin to childrenswear, a member of her team described Gudrun’s rhetoric as being – ‘Why stop dressing like a child once you become an adult? Everyone should enjoy colour and print no matter what their age.’

 

Some watercolour artwork and designs from the exhibition

Gudrun’s mantra remains ‘clothing for women who dare to stand out from the crowd’ and she is her own finest advocate. A cross between British fashion institutions Mary Quant and Zandra Rhodes, with a dash of Cath Kidston, she embraces colour like no other. On meeting the designer, I am drawn to her bold hues, warm smile and sunny disposition, all of which belies an incredibly strong woman who spends her weeks running the business and her weekends ‘painting til she goes to bed’.

The inspirational Gudrun poses in front of one of her prints and outside the colourful Fashion & Textile Museum on Bermondsey Street.

She has won several entrepreneurial awards, received a royal medal from the King of Sweden and has stores all over the world. Despite four decades in the industry she remains true to her concept of ‘comfortable, colourful clothes in natural materials with a Nordic design influence.’ The use of organic cotton and sustainable eco-friendly fabrics has always been of immense importance to Gudrun and her love of travel and exploration – such as her recent visit to India to explore traditional craft techniques – often influence her designs. Here are a few fabulous extracts from her recent book:

 

If you feel inspired and fancy a trip to the boldest museum in London to view a plethora of multi-hued textile designs you’ll need to be quick. Both shows end on 7th May, which gives your precisely 9.5 days to get yourself along to this fabulous tribute to colour and print. Just be sure to wear something yellow. Or fuchsia pink. Or cobalt blue. Who needs grey anyway? I would much rather view the world in Gudrun Sjoden and Josef Frank Technicolor!

Above: Prints from the current Josef Frank exhibition at Fashion & Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, London, SE1 3XF. http://www.ftmlondon.org. Ends 7th May 2017.

Open Tuesday – Saturday (11am – 6pm); late night on Thursday (until 8pm); Sunday (11am – 5pm). Closed Monday. Tickets for exhibition: £9.90 (adults), £7.70 (concessions), £6 (students). Children under 12 are free.

For more information about Gudrun and to view her collections go to http://www.gudrunsjoden.com/uk.

Main holding image: Seb Higgins

 

Stars, sleeves and copious amounts of colour at London Fashion Week AW17

First of all Happy Friday everyone. Only a few more hours until you can break free from the shackles of the office and let loose for two whole days. If, like me, you find yourself a little distracted on a Friday afternoon, perhaps I can interest you in a little melange of fashion to carry you through until home time.

If you caught my post on Wednesday you will know that this season I am actually planning three blogs about London Fashion Week. I have already covered all the selfies with my last ‘What I wore’ piece. Today I will show you what I saw on the AW17 catwalks and tell you a little about the labels that I loved this season.

FASHION SCOUT – ONES TO WATCH

Ones to Watch is always a great way to start Fashion Week as it highlights some of the newest talents breaking through. By far my favourite of the quartet of designers showing was the gorgeous Krasimira Stoyneva, whose fringed statement jackets and star motif prints were a colourful crowd pleaser. Her signature use of synthetic hair is supported by her hashtag: #WearHairNotFur. Do not be scared this is not real hair or real fur!

img_2248

img_2244

https://krasimirastoyneva.com/

MARK FAST

The Canadian knitwear designer Mark Fast showed a bold and beautiful collection featuring a colourful clash of purple, fuchsia and orange fringed dresses, balanced by delicate, pastel feathered and beaded frocks. Renowned for his use of plus size models at previous fashion weeks, it was interesting to see the designer revert to the industry norm, allowing the clothes to be the talking point this season.

img_2291

img_2288

http://markfast.net/

PAUL COSTELLOE

Held at the prestigious Waldorf Hotel, the delightful Paul Costelloe show featured all his signature show stoppers – exquisite cashmere coats, metallic silk jacquard baby-doll dresses and a stunning sheer-print leather finale gown. A nod to the Tudor period came in the form of exaggerated bell sleeves and multi-layered ruffled collars and hems. Beautiful!

img_2318

img_2332

img_2333

img_2343

http://www.paulcostelloe.com/

EDELINE LEE

Eschewing the traditional catwalk and opting instead for a presentation, Edeline Lee showed her AW17 collection against a backdrop of raw brick walls and abstract hand-painted panels at the Oxo Tower Barge House. Inspired by the collage artist of the Dada movement Hannah Hoch, Lee’s strong play on proportion, cheeky feminist references and exquisite use of colour (think saffron yellow, muted aqua and brick red) made this one of my favourite shows of LFW.

img_2408

img_2424

img_2419

img_2417

img_2426

https://edelinelee.com/

ASHLEY ISHAM

Always one of my favourites on the LFW Fashion Scout schedule, Ashley Isham didn’t fail to disappoint with a jaw-dropping medley of prints, statement ruffles, hand-beaded embellishment and oversized looping headpieces (is it a hairband or is it an earring?). I was particularly in love with all the bold clashing prints and the fab gold star jumpsuit.

img_2439

img_2442

img_2452

img_2463

img_2448

http://ashleyisham.co.uk/

MALAN BRETON

By the time Malan Breton showed his gorgeous collection, my phone battery had died and my back-up rechargeable battery had also run dry. Fashion fail! However, the eye-catching metallic brocade suits, leather frilled dresses, velvet tux jackets and clever play on sharp masculine tailoring for women was definitely worth a mention.

img_2492

http://www.malanbreton.com/

ASPINAL OF LONDON

A strong presentation of all the styles that we have come to expect and adore from Aspinal of London. Next season’s new additions include a kooky Breakfast at Tiffany illustrative print and, channelling fashion’s obsession with customising and monogramming, their fabulous Mini Trunk can now be emblazoned with your favourite phrase or initials. Magic!

img_2520

img_2528

img_2529

https://www.aspinaloflondon.com/

CLIO PEPPIATT

A favourite of Kylie Jenner, Lady Gaga and Lena Dunham, the presentation by 24 year old South London based Clio Peppiatt was a far cry from the usual catwalk parade. Here models perched, chatted and danced around a cavernous space beneath The Strand in a youthful clash of faux fur, sheer embellished dresses, cheeky prints and Converse high tops. Kitsch, sassy and above all fun, this is definitely one for the cool kids. Oh and it featured my current colour combo obsession – bubblegum pink and red!

img_2533

img_2537

img_2547

http://cliopeppiatt.co.uk/

ALEXANDRA MOURA

Portugese designer Alexandra Moura showed her collection at the glorious Banking Hall in the heart of the City. The grand location provided a fine backdrop for her oversized romantic ruffles and deconstructed tailoring. Half-worn, half shoulder-robed jackets featured underlying cross-body straps, which doubled up as rucksacks. These were juxtaposed by gorgeous gold lame jacquard prints, inspired by traditional Indonesian fabrics. The earthy brown, mustard, russet and cornflower blue colourway was stunning as were the gorgeous exaggerated sleeves (I smell an AW17 trend coming). A well-executed, beautifully romantic collection balanced by strong, masculine tailoring. I truly loved this show!

img_2574

img_2580

img_2572

http://www.alexandramoura.com/1617/?lang=en

J. JS LEE

On the final day of London Fashion Week, I had the privilege of sitting FROW at the beautiful J. JS Lee show (another personal favourite of mine). Held at the main LFW venue – with it’s super-sized catwalk – the show was inspired by the childhood urge to dress up in adult clothing. This play on scale took the form of oversized tailoring, dropped shoulder lines, elongated lapels and cute knot detailing. All in a delicate colour palette of charcoal, pistachio, camel, rose and white. A delightful collection from a wonderful designer.

img_2592

img_2602

img_2595

img_2604

img_2618

http://www.jsleelondon.com/

And that concludes today’s post about London Fashion Week. Please do let me know your thoughts and comments. And keep an eye out for this weekend’s post where I will give you the low down on the designer stands, with close up details of all the fabulous accessories. Enjoy your weekend!

With special thanks to Pop PR, Dust PR, Trace and Wolves London for my LFW tickets.

http://londonfashionweek.co.uk/ http://fashionscout.co.uk/

What I wore to London Fashion Week AW17

So today I FINALLY settled down to write my post on London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2017. While the fashion editors are now happily ensconced in Paris, the capital of couture (via a stylish week in Milano), I have been stuck in front of my computer trawling through and editing a ridiculously large number of images. So you’ll have to forgive me for the week long delay. In fact there are so many pics I would love to share, that I have decided to write not one but three blogs over the next few days. Lucky you 😉

Today’s will be a synopsis of my outfits for LFW, so get ready for some serious selfies people. Details of the shows I attended and all the gorgeous clothing I saw will follow later in the week, but for now let’s talk OOTD aka ‘outfit of the day’…

DAY 1 – FRIDAY – Channelling my inner Lagerfeld

On day one I decided to opt for a Chanel inspired look combining herringbone, a pussy-bow blouse and a bold faux-pearl necklace.

img_2268

img_2230

img_2233

Pink coat, Dorothy Perkins; Faux-fur collar, boohoo.com; White pussy-bow blouse, Uniqlo; Herringbone dress, Zara; Sunnies, Jeepers Peepers; Necklace, car-boot sale; Bag, Oasis.

img_2267

My gorgeous friend Davina and I enjoying cake at the Fashion Scout Ones to Watch show. Yes that is actual cake at Fashion Week. Hard to believe I know!

img_2358

Dashing photographer Paul Allen and I posing in our matching herringbone monochrome outfits at The Waldorf Hotel prior to Paul Costelloe.

DAY 2 – SATURDAY – Savage Youth

On day two I had a number of shows to attend and also was planning to party in the evening, so I opted for multiple layers of floral embroidery, customised denim and my fave pink coat.

img_2383

img_2498

Pink coat and collar, as before; Denim jacket, New Look – beautifully customised by Pistache Artists; Floral embroidered dress, Primark; Ankle boots, River Island (available here): http://www.riverisland.com/women/shoes–boots/boots/black-leather-wide-fit-buckle-boots-698635.

img_2401

A selfie with my lovely little sis Zosia who accompanied me to shows on Saturday. Twinning in our faux-fur collars 🙂

DAY 4 – MONDAY – Checks and tassels

After giving myself Sunday off (naughty I know) my ensemble on day four was a riot of colour – grass green checks, baby pink outerwear and a canary yellow bag.

img_2875

Jacket and collar, as before; Checked dress, charity shop; Yellow leather bag, Hobbs; Over-the-knee tasselled boots, River Island.

img_2879

Engraved 18ct gold plated pendant, by Hurley Burley from http://www.NotontheHighStreet.com (similar available now); Star studs, Forever 21.

NB. If your ears react badly to non-precious metal then the gorgeous jeweller Laura Gravestock has 18ct gold plated star earrings here: http://lauragravestock.com/shop-by-item/earring/dainty-star-stud-earrings-1177.html

img_2869

img_2885

Necklace, gift; Sunglasses, KG by Kurt Geiger.

DAY 5 – TUESDAY – Leather snake-print skirt and pumps

The final day called for flats and this tonal outfit was just the answer. I balanced a leather snake-print pencil skirt with an oversized Aran sweater and simple trainers. All topped off with a masculine 3/4 length khaki coat, which I found for £5 in a charity shop in Jan #winning

img_2873

Vintage wool khaki coat, charity shop; Sweater, Mango; Leather snake-print skirt, charity shop; Trainers, Lacoste.

img_2880

Yellow leather bag, Hobbs; Berry heart key ring, Aspinal of London (available here): https://www.aspinaloflondon.com/products/heart-key-ring-in-berry-lizard.

img_2878

Necklace, gift from my sister-in-law (from Accessorize); Earrings, Topshop.

I was also lucky enough to get my hair cut by the lovely Toni & Guy team at London Fashion Week headquarters. They did a fantastic job. Thanks again guys!

img_2624

BEFORE

img_2633

AFTER

All in all I had the most fabulous Fashion Week ever. Please let me know your thoughts on all my outfits. Do you have a favourite? Are there any you don’t think work? And also watch out for my posts later in the week with all my images from the shows and a thorough synopsis of all the gorgeous designer stands.

Oh and one more thing… I also had the pleasure of meeting the astonishingly beautiful supermodel and photographer Helena Christensen at a Lights of Soho event. Life goal achieved!

img_2764

Me and my fave 90s super, Helena Christensen

http://londonfashionweek.co.uk/ http://fashionscout.co.uk/ https://lightsofsoho.com/ http://toniandguy.com/

 

While away an hour at Liberty London

This week I found myself with an hour to kill between appointments in central London and rather than opting for the classic time filler (a whip around Topshop’s flagship store) I popped into Liberty’s. Eschewing the usual choice of the second floor fashion department, I decided to ride those gorgeous wooden lifts up one extra floor. And I am so pleased I did. The third floor houses all manor of fabulous things from adorable childrenswear to stylish gifts, trendy tomes to colourful fabrics. I loved it so much I spent most my hour taking pictures so that I could share it all with you. Here’s a little guided tour of what caught my eye…

image

image

image

image

It’s a Taschen fashion haven in the book department. The hilarious illustrated ‘Man Meets Woman’ by Yang Lin (£10) makes a great little gift.

image

image

image

image

image

Frames and crockery – from the colourful to the kitsch.

image

image

image

image

Fabulous retro phones and kooky clocks (Milk Bottle clock, £40)

image

image

Add colour and print to a games room with these classic sets.

image

image

image

Rory Dobner’s macabre letter tiles would bring gothic drama to a bathroom or kitchen (tiles, £39.50 each). I love the use of neon lighting in the store too.

image

image

image

image

image

Ditsy florals – the famous Liberty print adorns plates, aprons and kitchenware. Also check out the paper floral installation by Zoe Bradley (zoebradley.com)

image

Everybody loves rhubard and custard (Sweets, £6.95 a jar, Flowers of Liberty)

image

image

image

Get inspiration for this season’s 70s trend in the fabric department – a printed paradise. I love how colour co-ordinated these bold textiles are.

image

image

image

And finally (if you’re feeling generous) a little designer childrenswear to treat a mini one

So next time you have an hour to spare in central London or need to buy a unique gift for that difficult to please friend (we all have one) then you really should pop to Liberty London. What’s most amazing is the grand setting and stunning wooden interior. As a fellow shopper merrily remarked in the lift, ‘Ah Liberty’s! Couldn’t you just live here’. Yes, indeed I could!

image

Liberty, Regent Street, London, W1B 5AH. http://www.liberty.co.uk