Random Fashion Coolness.

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Saturday 31 March 2007

Mischen - More than geek chic!

When I first heard of Mischen, this was the image that sprung to mind. I think I'd seen it in a magazine and presumed the inspiration behind Carla Knapp's designs had to be Geek Chic...but on further inspection I realised there was so much more to this established designer. Knapp first worked for Jill Stuart and Paper Denim & Cloth, before moving on to her own signature line.

Mischen is characterized by it’s eclectic styling, uniquely researched and refined materials from around the world, quality tailoring, and a combination of edgy, sophisticated, and feminine detailing. Knapp is dedicated to the art of fine detail, craftsmanship, and tailoring found in vintage garments, accessories, jewelry and prints that she collects from around the world. Mischen is the conduit to providing quality garments using these artful and valued techniques.
There's a definite combined vibe from both the 60s and 80s to a lot of her clothing, which is definitely elegant and fashion forward. I love the 80s oversized, camel coat with contrasting button detail - mainly beacuse it has some of my essential fashion ingredients - stunning, deep pockets and unusual sleeve length. Check out the Mischen website for details of online stockists and her full inspired range.

Friday 30 March 2007

Twinkle...You really are a Star.

I always thought Twinkle by Wenlan made gorgeous, designer, chunky knits. Then today I stumbled across an email advertising Twinkle jewellery. On further investigation (I felt thoroughly fashion-unaware!), Twinkle has produced several stunning collections, incorporating a stunning mix of colours and fabrics, layering and loveliness. I adore these outfits above, with their full spectrum of colours, particularly the spotted swing dress, centre. Below is a peak at their eclectic necklaces - the mix of colours and materials makes them truly unique. Wenlan Chia is still a great advocate of fine knitwear but has also managed to move seamlessly into the realm of quirky fashion. Check out the Twinkle website for more details, especially of their stunning wools and knits; plus buy online at Shopbop or from the Twinkle on-line store.

Thursday 29 March 2007

Eley Kishimoto - Now on ASOS!

I had a bit of a shock today, Eley Kishimoto is now available on ASOS! These 70s Court Shoes are just so delightful and original - very Eley. I just really didn't expect ASOS to stock such an avant-garde designer. One benefit is that there are usually plenty of discount codes for ASOS, so some Eley Kishimotos could be yours with a potential 20% reduction. I can't stop looking at them (is that weird?)!!!!

Mike & Chris - Simply Stunning

The photography on the Mike and Chris site completely intrigues me - its dark grungy undertones are the total antithesis of the usually polished, over-stylised fashion shoots I'm used to seeing. I love the messy hair, the sallow skin...unbelievably edgy. The clothes are stunning especially this beautiful array of jackets, each of which has an off-beat name; Nigel, Conrad, Isaac, Donovan...if possible this makes them even more desirable. I also find it truly endearing that this a husband and wife design team:

After embarking on their much sought after hoodie line, husband and wife design team, Mike Gonzalez and Christine Park-Gonzalez decided to broaden their offering to a full collection.

The duo have created collections that better reflected the art and sub-culture of their roots. Born in Queens, NY, Christine, has always been inspired by the arts while husband Mike pursued a career in fashion photography that eventually took him to New York and Paris. "Mike comes from a long line of artists and as a former photographer, his inherent understanding of how colors and the lines of clothes work really shaped a lot of the designs," says Christine. "We knew that the standard hoodie could be more fashion forward with the right detailing without sacrificing wear ability or comfort". The design duo has managed to meld chic and street, resulting in a line that is both laid back yet put together.

Celebrity endorsements have really boosted Mike & Chris' profile. I have to be honest and say I'd never heard of them until I saw Rachel Bilson in this stunning hooded jacket, right. The jacket covers almost every trend, tulip shape, puffball hem and all with the Mike & Chris signature hood. Check out the Mike & Chris website for stockists and their full range. (Sorry can't direct link to anything specific as it opens in flash.)

Wednesday 28 March 2007

Beyond the Valley - Beyond the Norm

Want a fashion piece that's a little different?...well look Beyond the Valley. A lovely online store, full of great treats and goodies. A true fashion triumph is the Little Inside Tee, a piece of design genius and kooky all at the same time. The Love is Enough and There Will Never Be Another Time, brooch and necklace, also manage to incorporate some beautiful lettering that blend seamlessly with the design. Go Beyond the Valley for their full range of products.

Tuesday 27 March 2007

Topshop Boutique - Everyday clothes with a twist.

You all know I'm a Topshop fan - but I haven't posted about their Boutique range. I bought this cardigan in grey last week, from Boutique and I have to say the photos really don't do it justice. It has a great fit, with fab scalloped sides and the back detail is truly unique. A wardrobe staple, with that little extra detail to make it stand out - simply perfect.

Miss. Sixty Bamboo Clutch - Where have you gone?

So, I saw this fab clutch by Miss. Sixty a few days ago and after a little deliberation thought, "Mmmm. I like you, you'll fit in great with any summer look." I then when to purchase the very original, handheld beauty in bamboo and it was nowhere to be seen! ASOS had sold out! Oh well, at least I found out Miss. Sixty now has an online store (U.S. and Canada only!) and I can peruse, longingly, the Miss. Sixty website!

Abercrombie & Fitch - Logo Hell...but wait...there seems to be a glimmer of hope!

I'm not the biggest fan of Abercrombie & Fitch, in fact I'm not a fan of blatant logo-wear full stop. A&F (as they are also known) used to epitomise all I hated about logo emblazened fashion but since my last visit to the U.S.A. some key pieces have slowly changed my way of thinking. Of course Abercrombie still displays a plethora of logos but with the advent of its inoffensive moose logo, some subtilty has crept into their designs. Touches of grey creep into my look on a daily basis, so I was pretty impressed with these items. I adore the little grey, short-sleeved hoodie, the mini-pockets are extremely cute and not a hint of a logo in sight! The cable knit, chunky, hooded grey cardigan is also pretty gorgeous - the little bows on the pockets adding a very feminine touch. All the other pieces have the aforementioned, very unobjectionable, moose logo.

I read a really interesting article about the company in last weekend's Sunday Times Style section. It tells of how only very specific types of people are employed in their stores, those who embody the A&F "look", i.e. toned, young and beautiful. This form of exploitation does worry me in our image obsessed society as do the perfect clones that model on their website (a.k.a. the A&F "New Faces"). But Abercrombie has always been the flag bearer for all that is young americana and I suppose that isn't going to change anytime soon. The one good thing for you A&F lovers is that you now don't have to pop across the pond to get your fix of Abercrombie - the new London flagship store and U.K. based website can fulfill your logo cravings. I think I'll settle for these more subtle wardrobe staples and try and ignore the frankly unobtainable perfection (unless you've been blessed with amazing genes!) of their models and staff.

Monday 26 March 2007

Bobby Pins, Matches...perfect design inspiration.

Now these necklaces, by Oath, are special. I just love how they've taken such everyday objects and created pieces of high end jewellery. My one reservation - the market is flooded with costume jewellery, therefore do these pieces stand out as $300 necklaces? The sterling silver versions are a little more affordable at around $120. My personal favourite is the bobby pin charm, as bobby pins form an essential part of my daily hair routine! Despite the elevated price tag, I still adore the concept behind these accessories. Check out the Oath website for more designs and another great NYC accessories store, Catbird, for even more quirky jewellery.

Rags to Bitches - Online Vintage Boutique

I found the fab online vintage boutique today - Rags to Bitches. Their store is located in Manchester but they have a fab but small selection of vintage pieces online. The website is amazing very "Victorian" (see screenshot below) and links directly to the online store. I adore this graphic print 70s dress below and at a mere £37 for an original vinatge piece, I think it shall be mine.

GLITTER & twisted - Costume jewellery at its best.

The lacey, doilly look is something I haven't explored but these fab pieces of costume jewellery, by GLITTER & twisted, are persuading me to try it out. I saw someone wearing one of these lace look collar necklaces on the weekend and it really did look like part of her t-shirt, I was truly impressed. If such a simple accessory can give any top a vintage look, I'm willing to give it a try. I also love the lace cuff bracelets. I don't wear bangles very well, the noise of them clanging together is too distracting but I do like the idea of this lace cuff. Check out the website for more fab, kitsch jewellery ideas. You can't buy directly off the site but there is a link to contact them about how to make purchases.

Matthew Williamson - Embellished Shift Dresses

I was a little unsure when I first saw these dresses last year by Matthew Williamson but the simplistic chic behind these seemingly over-the-top dresses is now starting to shine through. I think it may be a mirroring the start of spring! I saw Cat Deeley on a U.K. quiz show a few weeks ago, wearing the black floral shift, left. She looked stunning and at the time I remember thinking, "what a great dress, I wonder if it's high street?". I then remembered where I'd seen it before, on the Matthew Williamson catwalk, at a definitely un-high street price of approx £1,400! I adore the way these dresses fall and hang and when worn the O.T.T. details seem to disappear. Have a few thousand to spare?!! Pick one up at Browns or Net-a-Porter.

Sunday 25 March 2007

Vintage by Suzie High Heels

Suzie High Heels is a great online store with a truly eclectic mix of vintage pieces and work from new designers. I love the site navigation, gorgeous little drawings to lead you to each section. Two items that really stood out were this dress and scarf. The Biba inspired dress has a stunning plunging neckline and a great floor-sweeping length. The scarf has everything I love in my neckware - length and a bold design, all for only £6. Suzie also showcases new designers and I adore the little skull bracelet by Lolapeachy. I know skulls are very "Now" but I love the fact that all their jewellery is handmade. Suzie aslo has a great policy on returns, so don't worry if the item isn't exactly what you imagined it to be, you can always send it back. Apologies if any of the links take you to an item that is sold, these vintage pieces are one-offs, so once purchased, they're gone!