Random Fashion Coolness.

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Monday, 30 April 2007

It may be summer here but in Australia, winter's on its way.

The southern hemisphere holds a fashion fascination for me. I was inspired to search out these sites after a friend of mine, that has just returned from living in Australia and talked about the reverse seasonal "thing". It got me thinking about what they're wearing there right now, as they move into winter. I know lots of the northern Australian states bask in summertime temps even in "winter" but coats must be required in the south. So perusing the Australian websites I came across Runaway Lovers above and Ruby Smallbone below. Runaway Lovers' winter looks are very 60's/70's inspired - simple yet stylish, loving the accenting leather belt, but hardly wintery! Below are images more in line with what I consider to be Australian fashion - bohemian, summery and a little eclectic. They are from the originally named Ruby Smallbone! Both designers are available from My Catwalk, a fab Auzzie e-store. My favourite Australian designers still have to be Sass & Bide but I shall continue to search for more southern hemisphere inspiration.

The Search for the White Dress is over...I went for a Black one!

OK, so with a big knod to Suzie Style Bubble, I have had to take a picture of myself to show you the outcome of the search for the white dress...I ended up buying a black dress! Of all places, I found it in Oasis - where it was in the sale! Apparently, on speaking to the sales assistant, the puff sleeves really weren't going down well! Excuse the state of the room I have taken the photos in, we are in the process of doing up an old house - so chaos reigns. The shape isn't obvious from the photos, but the sleeves are beautifully voluminous. Also featured are the red jeans. I'm not sure what all of you think but I think they work well when accessories are kept to a minimum and are worn without patterns or contrasting bold colours. Will I ever find a perfect white dress?...maybe but for now my black dress is making me happy.

Saturday, 28 April 2007

The Gladiator Sandal - find it in Athens

The sandal debate rolls on and I've been mesmerised by these gladiator style sandals, called Athens by Ted Baker. They're just really pretty - maybe it's the swirled, circular leather shapes or the pleasing tan shade but I just really like them. Best of all, they can be bought on-line in Ted Baker's e-store.

Interesting Shapes = All Saints

I love to see clothes that incorporate innovative forms and shapes BUT they can sometimes be difficult to find on the High Street. There is one exception, All Saints. Their prices are above the High Street bracket but their looks do last between seasons. Below are three stunning examples; left to right, the Nemi jacket with fabulous puff sleeves, the Hitch skirt, stunning exaggerated layers and the Zion dress, amazing deep pockets. Sometimes these quirky shapes can be unflattering, ie. wide shoulders - the puff sleeves may exaggerate their width. So, be selective, accentuated your best bits OR to hell with it, embrace your body shape and dare to be a little different.

The Oversized, Slouchy Cardigan.

The last time I visited Londinium, I saw one or two very stylish young ladies in fab, oversized, grey cardigans. I've seen a few cardigans that I like. Above are examples (left to right) from, Jigsaw, Reiss and Paul & Joe (an interesting back twist - a bit like the Topshop one I posted about). I found the epitome of the slouchy cardigan at Boutique by Topshop, right. It's huge! Comfortable, cosy, all round loveliness! (I feel like I'm describing a grandma shawl!). My boyfriend, Things of Random Coolness, thinks it looks like an "I'm having a fat day" outfit - but I assure you, when I tried it on, it was surprisingly stylish. The down side - as per usual, when something a little bit different goes online at Topshop, it's almost immediately out-of-stock in most sizes.

Friday, 27 April 2007

R.N. Convertible - Fashion with a Twist.

I saw this article about R.N. Convertible on Nylon's website and had to research these innovative designs further. Designer Rozae Nichols sees clothes as an organic process and the more adaptable and convertible the piece of clothing is, the longer it will feature in your wardrobe. I love these screen shots from R.N.'s website that show the transformation between looks. Their website explains their look:

Ease, comfort and versatility sounds like my ideal wardrobe! I'd never heard of R.N. Convertible before but it turns out they are stocked in several renowned stores in the U.K. and globally. I love something different and R.N. fits that brief perfectly.

The Several Faces of Paul & Joe.

Over The Top Gorgeousness

I adore the spring/summer campaign by Paul & Joe. It is a multi-faceted collection, each look full of elegance, yet quite diverse. There's Over The Top Gorgeousness, Laid Back Formality and Day Time Chic. I love all of the looks but not the prices but...design inspiration can be taken from each look and imitated. The looks above are among my favourites, full of volume and interesting shapes. Check out their stunning website, for more pictures of their heavenly add campaign, left (they've even got doves!) and stockists.

Laid Back Formality

Day Time Chic

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Look what's back...(sorry it's Topshop again!)

One of my very first posts is back in stock at Topshop. When I decided to buy it first time around, it was already out of stock. This time it shall be mine! It's the Topshop, printed, swing dress. Perfect over jeans, fab with flip-flops and amazing with heels - what more do you need from a dress?

Jigsaw, looks that are well put together.

I'm not usually a huge fan of Jigsaw but their spring summer ad campaign has sparked my interest. I love the light, airy feel of the photo shoot, it is almost erethral. The nude, neutral pallet is perfect for the summer and floaty whites - everything I've been searching for. So the next time I pass a Jigsaw, I think I'll pop in and take a look. They always strike me as being a "masstige" brand, see my post on Reiss...now maybe I may become one of the masses that shop there.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Asymmetrical Wonders

I'm loving the one-shoulder asymmetrical look. I know it's a little 80's but the 80's is also very now. Miss. Moss has incorporated the one shoulder look in her Topshop Collection (see below) but they've already done it successfully in the shape of this blue dress, above left. On the right is Warehouse's interpretation of the look, in stunning chiffon layers with a great cinched waist. Asymmetry is definitely the way forward.

The Summer Flip-Flop Debate

As those of you who are regular readers know, I have feet like boats but still love flip-flops, so what options are out there for me? Office shoes spring to mind with their great range of the slops. I'm still a sucker for the metallics, I think their shiny glare detracts from the size of my feet! My personal favourite is the Drake soft gathered thong, top right. The leather looks unbelievably soft and I hate to use this word...but "dreamy"! (can't believe I just said it!!) The Donna buckle toepost, top right, is a classic thong sandal but I love the high ankle strap. Below, the Dovita X-Stitch, ankle strap in black leather, has that distinctive gladiator look, that seems to be everywhere but is still undeniably cool. So..it looks as if the boats may make an appearance this summer and they'll be wearing Office!

I'm Loving the Maxi Dress.

The maxi dress can be quite a controversial piece. I wore one to a wedding last year and many people commented on my "strange" choice of 70's retro. I found this aversion to the dress quite disconcerting; many people find it hard to draw the line between fancy dress, vintage and retro. Now though, it seems to be a different matter. Maxi dresses are in, which pleases me no end and therefore fashionably acceptable. I adore these ultra-long dresses but for me they have to have a truly retro feel to them and as an added bonus a great print.

Above are my favourites from the catwalk collections. Top row are by Jovovich Hawk, who have truly captured the vintage look, even the photography has a 70's aura. Above left, is by Biba, the true purveyors of retro, with bell sleeves and the famed print. Left, is a simply beautiful piece, by Paul & Joe, the amazing lose hood adds a great finishing detail.

What of the High Street? There are plenty of maxi-dresses on offer but to be honest many of them have quite a fake synthetic feel. Two that I adore are pictured below. On the left is a stunning floral, festival dress by Miss.Selfridge, in a true boho style. Some of you may remember I featured this dress before but in brown tones. On the right is a surfy take on the maxi by Roxy (Quiksilver). Every summer I buy a long Roxy dress, as they epitomise the laid back style that I try to achieve when the sun appears. Extremepie stocks this fab sunburnt orange dress, with beautiful embroidery. So, it's summertime...embrace the maxi.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Laid Back Simplicity - Reiss

While perusing The Times Online I came across an article/review about Reiss. It's quite strange because I spent the weekend with a friend in Londinium who had spent a small fortune at the afore-mentioned store. She wowed me with some beautiful pieces of clothing that were understatedly elegant, yet relatively funky. I was impressed. I then came across the article. Anne Ashworth refers to Reiss as a "masstige” retailer, which means that it deals in luxury at prices that many, not just the few, can afford. As I noticed, looking at my friend's haul and as Anne points out, the prices are still pretty eye-watering and yet "non-designer". Reiss is also becoming a global brand, with not only stores in Great Britain but across the U.S. Take a look for yourself; the quality - undeniable, style - evident throughout the store, laid back chic - in abundance; enough cash?...cash?, now where did I put it?