The ultimate black leather biker jacket

For her recent birthday my little sister asked for a black leather jacket. My mum immediately declared that she had an authentic biker jacket in the attic (from her succinct motorbike/Hell’s Angels phase) but I advised that whilst perfect for actual riding, this would be far too cumbersome to wear on a day-to-day basis. So instead I offered to do some online research for the ultimate black leather jacket. Most people dream of the perfect wear-with-anything biker jacket and once you have this piece in your wardrobe I am assured that you will wear little else. Whether thrown over a pretty dress, or added to skinny jeans and a tee, a classic biker adds a dash of Kate Moss magic to a look. I would like to add that I do not say this from personal experience. I myself have never been able to pull off a leather jacket, particularly a black one, and look far more bad Brando than rock chick Chrissy Hynde whenever I have attempted the look.

Kate Moss leather jacket Image - Dave Bennett

Kate Moss leather jacket

Kate Moss is famous for topping her outfits with a black biker (Top image by: Dave Bennett)

Whilst we all dream of having the funds to buy a buttersoft piece from Balmain, Alexander Wang or Isabel Marant, my budget on this occasion was set at around £100. Starting out, my only real criteria was that it was 100% leather (no plastic PV or pleather) and that it had interesting detailing and a good silhouette. Whilst my search is by no means exhaustive, I think it may be very helpful for anyone also looking for a well-priced leather jacket this autumn. Also, unless you object for ethical reasons, do ensure that it is 100% real leather. Although this means the price is higher, the fabric will wear well and last far longer than any cheaper imitation. All the below are 100% leather versions. I have also included some with a higher price point in case your budget is bigger. Here we go…

Biker # 1 – Zara £89.99 (Sizes XS – L)

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Biker # 2 – Zara £99.99 (Sizes XS – XL)

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Biker # 3 – ASOS £100 (Sizes 4-18)

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Biker # 4 – Mango £119.99 (Sizes XS – XL)

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Biker # 5 – Mango £119.99 (Sizes XS – XL)

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Biker # 6 – Oasis £158 (Sizes XS – L)

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Biker # 7 – Warehouse Alexa £180 (Sizes 6-18)

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Biker # 8 – Whistles cropped Cara £295 (Sizes 4-16)

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Biker # 9 – All Saints Dare with removable collar £358 (Sizes 2-14)

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Biker # 10 – A curveball in pale pink suede from Dorothy Perkins £120 (Sizes 6-20)

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And in case you wanted to know which jacket was eventually chosen and subsequently bought it was the ASOS Ultimate Biker Jacket at £100. I have been informed that the present was ‘a definite hit with the birthday girl, particularly the detailing on the arms’. These words come straight from the horse’s mouth. It also smelt amazing. Happy shopping!

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.

Oasis launches ‘Loved by Mollie’

This week saw the launch of Oasis’ first ever celebrity partnership, with The Saturdays bombshell Mollie King fronting an edited collection of her favourite pieces for AW13.  Entitled ‘Loved by Mollie’, the 45-piece selection includes leather pencil skirts, oversized pastel coats and a sprinkling of printed pieces.

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Mollie, a long-time fan of Oasis, has been chosen for her ‘gorgeous girl-next-door looks and style know-how’ and takes on a stylist/model role for the high-street brand.  A favourite of fashion mag best-dressed pages and a regular on the catwalk FROW, the gorgeous blonde is a natural fit for Oasis’ chic feminine style.  Make like Mollie did at the launch and pair a plum leather skirt with a printed sweater in the same hue.  Or go top-to-toe print with a floral jacquard top and skirt (this season matching is the new clashing).

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Mollie King arriving at the launch party in ‘Loved by Mollie’ for Oasis (very Burberry AW13)

Stylitz Oasis Mollie animal print jumper £42

Animal print jumper, £42, Loved by Mollie for Oasis

Stylitz Oasis Mollie leather pencil skirt £85

Plum leather skirt, £85, Loved by Mollie for Oasis

Stylitz Oasis Mollie jacquard floral top £45 crop

Floral jacquard top, £45, Loved by Mollie for Oasis

Stylitz Oasis Mollie jacquard floral skirt £48 crop

Floral jacquard skirt, £48, Loved by Mollie for Oasis

Stylitz Oasis Mollie pastel wool coat £110

Pastel wool coat, £110, Loved by Mollie for Oasis

This wasn’t the only announcement of the evening, as it was revealed that Mollie has been snapped up by top model agency Next – which also represents style icons Rita Ora, Alexa Chung and Lana del Rey.  Sarah Leon, head of Next Models, says of their new signing ‘you can just tell when somebody, like Rita Ora and Mollie, has that super star quality’.  With great taste and a clear passion for clothing, expect plenty more fashionable pairings from Mollie in the future.

The Loved by Mollie King collection ranges from £28-£350 and is available in 17 flagship stores and online at www.oasis-stores.com

Think pink

Ah pink! The colour of rose petals and sunsets and healthy flushed cheeks, and traditionally, the colour most associated with young girls. Furthermore, as decreed by Vogue’s AW13 trend guide (aka the fashion bible) head-to-toe pink is this season’s top trend, with Lanvin, Celine, Mulberry and Dior all opting for rosy hues in their catwalk collections.

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Vogue Autumn/Winter 2013 catwalk edit (August issue)

Supremely feminine and particularly striking on blondes, this season’s top garments include oversized outerwear, 60s inspired skirt suits and slinky silk dresses. The high street has been quick to pick up on the trend with Oasis, Jaeger and Marks & Spencer all producing baby pink cocoon coats ready for the autumn chill.

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Jaeger AW13 press day

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Dress, £42, Topshop; Fake fur stole, Warehouse; Pearls, vintage.

Tying in with the theme are 2 personal items:- my shoot for this month’s Country & Town House magazine (aptly titled Pretty in Pink) featuring a Roberto Cavalli SS13 pale pink leather lace dress & floral garland hairpiece; and my outfit for a forthcoming 20s inspired wedding party (see above). My friend Danielle – who dons pink on many an occasion and is not shy of declaring it her favourite colour – will be most pleased. This one’s for you hun…

Pretty in pink, shot for Country & Town House Magazine. Photography: © Clara Copley. Styling: Alicja Jasnikowska. Beauty Editor: Nathalie Eleni. Hair: Laura Lawson. Model: Fifi Newberry