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/

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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.

Stylitz Oasis Mollie 1

Stylitz Oasis Mollie 2

Stylitz Oasis Mollie 3

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).

 Stylitz Oasis Mollie 5

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

Makeover mayhem with Gok in Poland

Last weekend I had the pleasure of flying to Poland for work.  Not only was this a treat in itself – being of Polish heritage, a trip to Eastern Europe feels like a return to the mother ship – but I also happened to be working with the gorgeous and hilarious Gok Wan.  He had been flown in to host an event in a shopping mall called Karolinka in a town called Opole in SW Poland.  As well as doing interviews, signing autographs and talking about this seasons trends – in English of course, although his grasp of the phrases dziekuje (thank-you), dzien dobry (good morning) and na zdrowie (cheers) was mighty fine – he also had to complete makeovers on three very happy and slightly star-struck ladies.  All in one day!

Gok on stage 2

Gok on stage

Gok onstage at Karlinka shopping mall in Opole, Poland

My job was to assist Gok with the styling of the makeovers, and being able to speak the language, I liaised with the girls beforehand about their body issues, favourite features and areas to cover.  I also did a recce of the shops, bringing together a selection of garments and accessories for Gok to choose from.  On greeting the ladies himself, Gok had several strong ideas about the looks and spent the first 10 minutes running around H&M (I kid you not, the cameraman literally couldn’t keep up) choosing a selection of silky blouses and slim-leg trousers to create the dream outfit for our first lady Magda.  Channelling Mollie from The Saturdays, he proceeded to transform the 33 year old mother-of-one into a full on glamazon, directing both hair and make-up and pulling together a chic look in an impressively speedy fitting. Here are the results, including both before and after shots.  As you can see she looks stunning – her slim legs are accentuated and her post-baby tummy and larger boobs are streamlined.

Before - MagdaMagda before

Stylitz - Magda

After - Magda

Magda after

Magda onstage

Magda working the catwalk

Lady number two was the lovely Maria – a huge fan of Gok’s.  In her mid forties, with a classic pear shape, Maria was looking for a stylish weekend outfit.  She absolutely adored her fitted shift dress with tan boots and matching bag – a medley of soft neutral tones that suited her new warm hair colour.

Before - MariaMaria before

After - Maria

Stylitz - Maria

Maria after

Maria onstage

Maria hitting the catwalk

Maria onstage 2

And onstage with Gok and her family

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Leather accessories in classic tan from Kazar completed the look

The final makeover was the most dramatic… 17 year old Patrycja was perhaps one of the shyest girls I have ever met.  When I first saw her she was hiding behind an oversized hoodie, a long fringe, heavy glasses and boyish trainers.  Her decision to enter the competition was prompted by the fact that in stores she was often mistaken for a boy and directed to the male clothing section.  She also had overwhelming body issues.  Yet below those baggy tops hid a steely character and a teeny tiny waist.  Without wanting to compromise who she was (she had never owned heels, never had a bra fitting and, I believe, never worn make-up) we opted for a rock-chick look that played on androgyny, whilst also adding a more feminine softer touch.  With the subsequent dramatic hair cut and colour – again directed by Gok and inspired by another member of The Saturdays, this time Frankie – and some beautiful soft smudgy make-up, Patrycja was barely recognisable.

Before - Patrycja

Stylitz - Patrycja before 2

Patrycja before

After - Patrycja

Stylitz - Patrycja

Patrycja after

Patrycja on stage

Patrycja nervously takes to the catwalk (after relentlessly rehearsing walking in heels backstage)

Patrycja onstage 2

On stage with her family & Gok

Whilst prepping for the makeovers I snapped lots of great bits in the stores at Karolinka.  Despite being quite a compact shopping mall, there were some fantastic items – the handbags and shoes were particularly strong.  Here is a small selection that caught my eye.

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I love this patterned sweater from Springfield (team with a leather pencil skirt or shorts and heels for a sports luxe look)

Stylitz - P1020239

Stripy monochrome blouse (great for the office) from Quiosque

Stylitz - P1020227

Tweed Chanel inspired jackets from Camaieu

Stylitz - P1020234

Playful colourful socks from Springfield

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Killer stilettos in primary tones from Kazar

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Bold ankle boots from Venezia

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A classic two-tone brogue from Venezia

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On trend this season – Chunky tractor soled ankle boots from CCC

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A selection of autumnal accessories from Orsay

I also made sure to find time to indulge in some placki with smietana (potato cakes with sour cream), pierogi (Polish dumplings – Gok’s ‘new favourite food’) and piwo (Polish beer).  A final shout out has to go to the lovely boys at Qlture events in Poland, who organised the whole thing and made sure we were welcomed and well looked after.  They did a fantastic job.  Polska – do widzenia. Fingers crossed we’ll visit again soon…

All items featured can be found at Karolinka mall in Opole, Poland – http://ch-karolinka.pl/ And here’s a little behind-the-scenes video made by TVN Style in Poland including an interview with me (be warned, it’s all in Polish).

http://dziendobry.tvn.pl/wideo%2c2064%2cn/gok-wan-stylizuje-polki%2c101577.html

Main holding picture: Leather bags and gloves from VIP Collection