Monday, 24 September 2012

Fashion: This season’s must-have winter coats - Fashion -

Fashion: This season’s must-have winter coats - Fashion -

Here is a little in depth peek at my pick of the six chicest coats to keep the cold out. I have to say I'm obsessed by the little tartan blazer from River Island. Which one is your favourite?


It is time to wrap up in this season’s must have coats.

From classic cut blazers to full on wooly wonders the high street is bursting with a new season of outerwear to keep you cozy over the next few months. And here are my picks of the best six on offer right now.

This season monochrone has proven popular with high street buyers, which is great news if you are looking to investment buy one winter coat to take you right through to next summer. Grey, black and white tones will work with most colour co-ordinations so it is the sensible style option.

The pea coat is making a comeback. This oversized masculine shape looks great over skinny jeans and simple shirt. If choosing this don’t be frightened to add a touch of print or colour with your underneath outfit. The very nature of this coats shape means you can get away with a multitude of clashing fashion trends with it.

Studded leather biker jackets aren’t going anywhere, they are rapidly becoming a wardrobe staple thanks to their ease in going with different outfit combos. There are a lot of faux leathers and pleathers around but if your budget allows it opt for leather. I say this purely for a heat reason, a properly lined leather jacket will keep you toasty on a frosty day and can easily be carried on into warmer months. These cropped jackets look great toughening up frilly feminine frocks as well as popped over jeans and t-shirts. Proving great value for money when you tally up how many times you’ll get wear out of it.

Duffle coats have a bit of a bad reputation but are a favourite with fashionistas. Great for when you want to bundle up inside something warm and practical to walk the dog and even better when adding a little imagination to an outfit and glamming things up. Duffles work really well if you go very girlie underneath. This style juxiposition is simple to achieve by adding blush pink tones and cute court heel to counteract the bulkiness of the coat.

Statement collars are another strong trend for the seasons. If you are brave enough try a jacket that only fastens at the neck then shoots out to reveil your underneath outfit. There’s not hiding with this style, outfits must be polished and well thought out before breaching the front door.

Price list

Look 1 - Floral blouse £38 topshop £40 Trousers topshop Pumps Dorothy Perkins £7.00 Navy coat £129.00 Zara
Look 2 - Skirt topshop £22 denim shirt Zara £29.99 tartan blazer river island £45 sunglasses Zara £19.99
Look 3 leather jacket New Look £69.99 bowler hat topshop £26 blue dress topshop £50 leopard print boots Zara £79.99
Look 4 - coat topshop £98 tartan jeans New Look £22.99 boots Faith £58 lace top Topshop £34
Look 5 - Duffle coat £75 snakeskin heels Internationale £6 trousers Warehouse £45 top Warehouse £35
Look 6 - Jeans bleulab £205 at ACL coat Urban Outfitters £185 top Urban Outfitters £45 Leopard heels Nine West £105

Styled by Louise Arnot.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Lily Vanilli's Sweet Tooth

A long overdue catch up with a dear girlfriend resulted in a bit of book swapping.

The book in question was Lily Vanilli's Sweet Tooth. A baking bible with a bit of soul.

Christine was one of the instrumental figures in getting my own book 'A Girl's Guide To Vintage' onto shelves and now works at Canongate who have just published this precious tome.

She obviously knew it would be right up my street as there is a bit of a back story attached to Lily's ascent in baking. Starting out her bun baking days as a hobby, one summer it supplied her with some extra cash when she was unemployed and running out of savings, setting up a cake stall at a small market in London's east end.

This self taught baker loves the rituals of baking and takes you through a colourful guide of her recipes.

Lily now has a shop that employs a staff of seven, supplies Harrods with tasty treats and has even baked for Elton John's 'White Tie&Tiara Ball'.

But despite the dizzy heights of success she seems like just the kind of girl you'd love to split a cake with over a cuppa.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Indian Summer

An Indian Summer is on the card this September but it has nothing to do with the weather.

Embroidery, gold accents and rich opulent fabrics have hit the high street giving us one last colour burst before the subdued side into autumnal trends.

Take a leaf out of traditional Indian dressing and layer clothing. It is all about draping which is flattering across the board on age and body shape.

Team dresses over trousers, add scarves for more fabric definition and place embellished sheer tops over light lace dresses.

You want to create the illusion of a lot of rich fluid fabric. For dramatic evening dressing introduce black and gold together. Depending on how game you are throw in a piece of ornamental head wear. You can paint on a simple bindi with make-up or pin some statement jewellery into your hair.

Maxi dresses are a great way of gaining maximum material drop and there’s an abundance of them around. Imitate a Sari and opt for beading work on your frock. This can be as subtle or spectacular as you like.

Tear drop jewels in the hair line that rest on the forehead simulate Indian bridal head pieces called Tikka’s. These are really easy to do with necklaces secured to the hair with pins. Finish the whole thing off by flinging a large statement piece of jewellery over the top of the frock.

We’ve seen a lot of studded embellishment on clothing over the last few seasons. This look featured heavily in Versace's diffusion line for H&M in the summer. Pairing a daring dress over the top some brocade breeks will gives a westernised feel to the Indian trouser top combos called Salwar’s.

Throw a little 1970s reference in by popping on a pair of patterned cigarette pants with a sparkly vest. Add chunky beads in fresh citrus tones to emulated more exaggerated bead work to the neck line of the top.

Use accessories to enhance the outfit. Large gold cuffs and waterfall necklaces will work best. Choose pieces that look like they have been sewn into the design of your garment as it will give the illusion of hand stitched embroidery without the hassle of any needle work which will save you a fortune.

Maxi Dress £59.99 H&M
Purple shoes nine west £145.00
Necklace £20.00 Topshop
Necklace on head Debenhams £18.00

Dress £29.99
Trousers £24.00 both H&M
Necklace on head £16.00 Debenhams

All Zara
Boots £80.00
Dress £89.00
Top £40.00

Images by Phil Wilkinson
Venue Rutland Hotel Edinburgh
Model: Hannah Colours Agency - Model and Creative Management

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Arm in Arm with Armstrong's

It has been a while since my last shoot using stock from Armstrong's, Edinburgh's oldest vintage emporium, so when they joined forces with high street giants Miss Selfridge mid month I knew it was time to pay them a visit.

The Arcadia chain approached Armstrong's about popping a clothing concession within their Edinburgh city centre branch. An opportunity Carol McMorris (Armstrong's owner) jumped at. Cue me to do a wee fashion feature and spread on our vintage instruction for the Edinburgh Evening News.

Enjoy the pics.

*all clothes available from Armstrong's and Miss Selfridge.
Model Shauni Douglas
Hair&Make-by Alexis Miller
Photographs by Kate Chandler

Here's a wee link to Armstrong's blog post on it...