Thursday, 14 November 2013

The Grey Gatsby

I went to see The Great Gatsby a few weeks ago and naturally wanted to dress up in the spirit of the film. Not wanting to look too costumey or over-dressed at the cinema, I reined it in a bit with a simple outfit jazzed up with some key accessories (yes, this is me reining it in...I was tempted to wear an ostrich feather boa. I didn't even add a brooch to my turban!).Silk harem trousers, obligatory turban, spectator shoes and an antique beaded sash worn as a necklace/scarf completed the look.

The beaded sash is a favourite piece of mine, sitting somewhere between clothing and jewellery. The craftsmanship involved from the intricate pattern down to the end tassels is superb. I hardly ever wear it due to my paranoia over catching it on something and watching as millions of beads scatter all around me. 

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Festooned in Feathers

Just a super casual Sunday outfit.... leggings, cardigan and a vest, topped off with a confection of feathers. The shoes are a lovely burgundy velvet with a patent leather toe cap, to which I added some shoe clips. Really enjoying a good block heel at the moment too.  

Monday, 14 October 2013

How to Haider

Haider Ackermann is very much a designer who 'owns' their look, who doesn't follow the fickle trends of fashion. The collections vary, but retain a core aesthetic instantly recognizable as Ackermann. His latest collection was once again a glorious show of tailoring, jewel tones, metallics, silks, draping, fringing and a certain nonchalant masculinity. New for Spring 2014 was a looser, free-flowing ease, with swathes of sheer black tulle in tops and skirts, worn over trousers, under silk shirts...just about everywhere. Jackets took on a slightly longer, boxier line than seasons past, with a hint of the 50's Teddy Boy. 

Despite being a Spring collection, the signature use of layering and deep jewel tones work nicely at this time of year, going into winter. I hate to reduce a talented designer down to a checklist of components, but when thinking about 'How to Haider' certain key elements naturally emerged. I enjoyed styling a few looks around the checklist, starting off with the good intention of just using the highstreet and reasonably priced items (ASOS has a great range of jacquard and metallic trousers, the perfect starting point in any Ackermann outfit). But this is the internet; if I can't fantasy style here then where can I?! 

So......How to Haider (without actually wearing Haider)...

Ackermann is a colour master; mix emerald green with copper tones, add a mannish overcoat and brogues, plus a hint of feminine tulle to balance the look. Don't forget the requisite tasseled scarf!

How to Haider

Head to toe shine can work in different tones. Lace up shoes and a tailored overcoat work for day; add heels and a contrasting necklace for evening. 

How to Haider

Wear a sheer blouse open over a silk cami, keeping warm with an oversized coat and a classic Ackerman jacqard/brocade/silk scarf. Metallic skinny fit trousers and pointed lace-ups complete the androgynous look.

How to Haider

Wear tone on tone, just keep the textures different... coated metallic denim, silk, jacquard, tulle. Metallic purple brogues may be a step too far but they were too awesome to leave out.  

How to Haider

Midnight blue and gold jazz up tuxedo dressing. Add a silk print slipper shoe as an alternative to the lace-up brogue.  Add a tasseled evening scarf and draped tulle tee for extra movement and to keep a formal look from feeling too stuffy.

How to Haider

How to Haider by nailsbeast featuring an asymmetrical tank

images from

Friday, 16 August 2013

Mid-century Monochrome

Few shots I took before the summer heatwave we enjoyed recently. I'm wearing a beautiful mid-century lightweight swing coat with bishop sleeves. Probably an opera/evening coat, but I wore it in the day as a Spring cover-up when I just needed something light. I fell in love with the couture-like proportions: the gathered volume of the sleeves; the shawl lapels which continue down to the hem and of course the lush textured fabric. The sheeny fabric looks like brocade but is actually embroidered upon with a sinewy abstract floral pattern. Blush pink silk lining and a label with 'Eileen' on it (my great-grandmothers name) were the cherry on top!

I'm rather enjoying all the monochrome around at the moment, especially when it comes to shoes. These triple-strapped pointy stunners are from ASOS, and are complimented with a monochrome striped skirt. 

Vintage coat, skirt, belt and bag. Shoes; ASOS. Blouse; Math Collective. 

Glorious starburst patchwork snakeskin bag, in mint condition. Love at first sight. I used it obsessively throughout last winter and plan to do so again this winter. 

This vintage (antique?) brooch features the Latin oxymoron Festina Lente - meaning 'make haste slowly.' The 1541 and 1888 inscriptions must relate to Berkhamsted School in Hertfordshire, founded in 1541, which established a School for Girls in 1888, whose motto was Festina Lente. (Thanks Wikipedia) The K.I  inscription I have no idea about though...anyone have a clever idea? And who is the crowned lady?

**4 years later, mystery solved! K.I is Katherine Incent, the mother of the school's founder.**

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Carcassonne 2013 - Part 2

Few more shots from my Summer holiday to Carcassonne. Seems like a distant dream now! Some photos of the area are at the bottom of the post, including probably the most impressive stained glass work I've ever seen, inside the Basilica of St.Nazaire.  






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