Category Archives: Accessories

Swarovski Crystallized’s SS10 collections

There’s only one thing I love more than beautiful jewellery, and that’s being able to get creative and make up my own creations.  So, I went to the Swarovski Crystallized press day to check out which new pieces I’d be lusting after when the sun comes out again.

The Azzaro collection, designed by Vanessa Sewell, is full of bold, simple and sparkly pieces in silver and gold.  One of the main pieces is a vintage-style black and silver shell locket necklace with a chain tassel.  It reminds me of something from Titanic and it would look amazing with a silk, drop-waist evening dress.

My personal favourites from the Azzaro collection are a blingtastic crystal encrusted wave cuff and slim bangles with rows of tiny crystals.

I was blown away by the new collection by French jewellery designer Philippe Ferrandis and would put every single piece on my wish list (mysterious benefactor, take note please).

I’m not sure what most of the stones are, to be honest, so I’ll let you judge the pictures for yourself….

I love the contrast between the iridescent white flower and the spiky crystals on the ring and earrings.  They look quite Japanese and futuristic – perfect for the winter snow queen look.

The pearl and emerald necklace and earrings have a vintage, Jazz Age feel and are priced between around £250 and £500.

The new ready-to-wear collection is inspired by the fresh, clear light of a Scandinavian summer.  Pieces incorporate oval spheres and interchangeable pendants in subtle, neutral colours.  The silk cord necklaces reflect the beach element and they will go perfectly with next season’s nudes.

The mainline collection featured some pretty affordable pearls for under £20 and everyone was fawning over the stretchy crystal bracelets that you can stack up, costing just £10!

We were also treated to a sneak peak at the exclusive Daisy Lowe collection that she designed with the Creative Director.  The pieces are typical Daisy with black, green and silver stars and moons – flirty but a little bit dark and mystical.

All collections are available from January at the Swarovski Crystallized store.

Swarovski Crystallized 25 Great Marlborough Street, London, W1F 7HU.

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Fam Love Gays…and sailorgirls!

I’ve already grown tired of dressing appropriately for the cold weather, although I’ve still been trotting round in a tweed blazer rather than a full-on winter coat, so taking a peak at Fam Irvoll’s SS10 collection has lifted my fashion spirits (which took a dent after seeing Heidi Montag wearing those sequinned Miu Miu socks early this morning).

Fam is a Norwegian designer who shows at Oslo Fashion Week and has just been taken on by Blow PR, so we’ll be seeing much more of her nutty knitwear over here.

After studying at the Ecole Supérieure des Arts et Techniques de la Mode, Fam came to Central St Martins for her BA (Hon) in Fashion Knitwear, graduating in 2008.

Fam’s colourful past collections have featured shrunked dolly dresses, sweaters with 3D ladybirds and ice lollies, ruffled prom dresses and a quirky mouse bustier top – all in eye-popping colours.  My personal diagnosis of Fam’s style would be part Sonia Rykiel crossed with Grayson Perry and My Little Pony – not a bad combo, I might add!

Celeb fans already include Mika and Lady Gaga, who apparently called up Fam and ordered a 3D cherry sweater and a cake headpiece.

But quickly on to Fam’s SS10 collection, I Love Gays, which is dominantly nautical with Hawaiian and 50s rockabilly influences.  It’s very sailor girl meets Dorothy with a bit of Dolly Parton thrown in for good measure.

For summer, Fam has traded in her magenta and purples for more primary colours like banana yellow, pillarbox red and cobalt blue.

The collection features embellished denim, flirty sailor dresses, tutti frutti prints, cherry print skirts, playtime tomboy shorts and a striped jumpsuit with a proud-looking 3D flamingo standing guard.

I absolutely adore the sparkling sailboat headpieces and there are plenty of other accessories to keep your wardrobe entertained, like blue and red bow bobby socks, ruby slippers and berry and floral headbands in the style of Brazilian samba queen Carmen Miranda.  It would really make my day if there was a Fred Butler or Tatty Devine collaboration on the cards – I reckon they could make some mad pieces together.

Fam runs her own club night, Neverland, in Oslo with her equally creative friends and like the name suggests, she gets inspiration from fairytales and east London/Oslo club kids. You can follow Fam’s crazy adventures and adorable outfits on her blog.

Prices start from £40 and you can find stockists by contacting Fam on her website.

From the catwalk to Hackney…

Inspired by Burberry’s new ‘social networking site’, Art of the Trench, I met up with my Italian friend Cristina for breakfast and a long-overdue trip to the Burberry Factory Outlet at Hackney Central (ah, the luxury of Bond Street shopping just five minutes away).

Having heard rumours on the net about Burberry disciples hunting out jackets for a mere £80, we had high expectations and fully intended to emerge dressed like the slightly smug, Sartorialist-snapped hipsters on the site.

The outlet is like a shining fashion beacon, almost temple-like, in the middle of a particularly non-descript part of Hackney. On arrival, we were asked to put all of our world belongings (apart from our purses, conveniently) in the lockers at the entrance. Usually I’d be horrified at the thought of being separated from my keys, phone and other handbag essentials, but it actually lent to more efficient browsing and I knew my possessions would be safe under the watchful eye of the burly security guards and stern Italian lady on the door.

Our hearts leapt when greeted by a large, checked, although slightly hideous bag at the front of the store, which was just £149.  We were ready to scoop up some of the more tasteful pieces, however, the so-called bargain was more of a mirage than a taste of things to come. The bags that you’d actually want to have on your arm, from the runway collections, were priced between £300 and £700, although this was a mighty discount from the original £1000+.

Discounts range from a shy 20% up to a massive 70%.  Cristina found a gorgeous silk and net cocktail dress in either brown or red that was reduced from £1230 to £120!

Burberry tend to go for one style of shoe for the catwalk shows, and low and behold, I spotted the black patent leather heels with ruched straps from the Autumn/Winter 08 show and the olive green lace-ups from the Spring/Summer 09 collection, all gracing the tootsies of models like Agy, Daisy, Irina and Sasha.

My tops picks of the trip included a delicate, iridescent silver mac for £150, some studded/warrior leather gloves for £89 and some incredible black lace-up, calf-lenth boots for just £200. Cristina hunted out a gorgeous silk and net cocktail dress in chocolate brown or berry red that was reduced from £1230 to £120!

There are some more affordable items like perfume gift sets from £29, checked wool scarves from £69 and a selection of purses and jewellery, including the square warrior cuff from last summer.  The great thing about the Burberry outlet is that there are timeless, investment pieces that you buy for a snip of the price and can keep forever.  The prices aren’t exactly cheap, but if you’re in the market for one excellent quality bag or trench, then you can upgrade from high end high street to luxury for just a little bit extra.

The outlet doesn’t offer refunds or exchanges, so make sure you’ve tried on your purchase, that there are no visible production faults and most of all, that you really love it.  It can be quite easy to kid yourself into liking the best of the pile in the name of a bargain! Come armed with Christmas money and scour the clearance rails with a fine tooth comb for the real discounts.

Burberry Factory Outlet, 29-53 Chatham Place, Hackney, London, E9 6LP

Opening hours: Monday – Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 11am-5pm.

How to get there:  Overground: Hackney Central   Tube: Bethnal Green + 106/254 bus to Hackney Town Hall or 20 minutes walk.

Anthropologie arrives in London

So, I finally got to see the new Anthropologie store on Regent Street and in just a short visit, I managed to compile a pretty extensive Christmas wish list.

I first came across Anthropologie on a trip to New York about six years ago and I remember being in awe of their Snow Queen-style silk dresses and embellished homeware. 

blankets

This is Anthropologie’s first European store out of America, which will be followed by another store on the King’s Road, housed in a former gentlemen’s club.  All of the Anthropologie stores are unique and the three-floor Regent Street branch is pretty spectacular, with a wall tapestry of over 200 sq. metres of living plants, sustained by the rain-water collected on the roof.

green stairs

Inside, it is a wonderland of bobo, Amélie-style patterned dresses, rustic Americana bed linen and velvet embroidered cushions and good, old-fashioned crockery with a modern twist.

Some of the clothes can be a bit on the twee side, but the collections have clearly been picked because of their excellent quality and fine details, like felt patchwork hearts sewn on the inside. 

clothes

It’s great to finally have access to Anthropologie’s designer labels like Leifsdottir and Moulinette Soeurs, as well as New York-based Mise en Scene by Ruffian and Eva Franco and high-end pieces from Sara Berman.  I am currently lusting after a Mise en Scene by Ruffian black velvet cocktail dress with a white silk collar – think Eva Green wearing YSL and smoking a cigarette in The Dreamers, that’s how fabulous it is!

spot dress

Anthropologie’s buyers have scoured the world to source some of the most beautiful things for your home. I recognised some of the stationary that is stocked in Selfridges, but they also have an enormous collection of jewelled, wooden and ceramic drawer handles, hand-painted china cups and saucers and exquisite bold striped and patchwork quilts.

cushions

I had serious envy on their amazingly-styled in-store bedroom and had the store assistant not being restocking the drawers, I would have been tempted to curl up among the cushions.  While I already have a gorgeous handmade patchwork quilt in my room at home, I can’t help feeling that this bedroom would make me into the organised, serene and breezy person I’ve always wanted to be (must make storage notes).

bedroom

The greatest addition to Anthropologie’s Regent Street store would be a cafe (see Avoca, Belfast’s adorable lifestyle store) where you could have afternoon tea, as judging by Style Bubble and disneyrollergirl’s mouthwatering pics from the press day, they have some real cakemaking talents.  If you’re reading, Anthropologie, grab some of those tea pots and cake stands and get a pop-up shop going, we’ll be in there all day!

Anthropologie, 158 Regent Street, London, W1B 5SW

Fred Butler’s new head candy at LFW

My first hint that London Fashion Week was just a few hundred metres away as I left Charing Cross station was spotting a pretty girl with an even prettier (and NEW collection) Fred Butler kaleidoscopic head piece complete with a shiny present bow. 

Our paths separated at Waterloo Bridge, as I crossed over the river to Blow Presents… at Royal Festival Hall, but I was excied to know that there was more Fred Butler goodness to be found at the exhibition.

Fred Butler

Fred has single handedly revived the stale old craft of origami and fabric yoyos and each season creates vibrant, avant-garde and sculptural accessories that are surprisingly wearable.    The origami hat and cape in irridescent white remind me of a kind of East End snow queen and the colour-bursting kaleidoscopic neck ruff is so spectacular, it feels like something out of a dream.

Fred Butler

The bright origami ‘scarf’ (for want of a better word) snakes itself around the body and also incorporates the snow queen material. It makes me think of my crazy patchwork quilt by designer Kaffe Fassett (which Fred will undoubted know), handmade by my very talented mum.  I’ll post a pic soon, so you can see how important the craft element is in Fred’s work.

Featured here are the larger collection leaders, but there are also a range of exquisite head pieces and no doubt some necklaces for you to add on your Christmas list – I know I will be!

Fred Butler accessories are stocked at Kabiri and the Autumn/Winter 09 collection can be viewed on her website.

Kabiri – 37 Marylebone High St / 18 The Market, The Piazza, Covent Garden / Selfridges concession store