…or not as the blisters on my heels will attest to.
I think in terms amazing/ amazingly daft things I’ve bought in the sales these complete and utter beauties have to be up there with the best of them. Since Hedi Slimane took over at YSL, or Saint Laurent Paris as it’s now known, I’ve been a massive, massive fan of the collections he’s produced. Possibly the underlying reason for this is his ability to create luxe versions of the contents of my late teenage/ early twenties wardrobe (which, let’s be honest, is still pretty much the main bulk of my current wardrobe) and, if I had the money, my wardrobe would consist entirely of Saint Laurent ‘upgraded’ versions of my previous loves. Sadly for me, my budget (or common sense) simply won’t stretch to shelling out nearly £1000 for a pair of boots or the best part of the deposit for a house on a dress, however OMGFHAVEYOUSEENHOWAWSOMETHISIS! they happen to be.
As a result of my fantasy lifestyle being faaaaaaaaaaar outweighed by the financial reality of the one I do lead (Oh hello electricity bill! And water bill! AND rent!), I’ve had to become adept at sale stalking and making sacrifices to the Fashion Gods in the hope that the planets may align to send me some wonderous bargain. Which brings me to the boots. Oh the boots. Look at their shiny, glittery wonderfulness.
*takes a moment to simply stare at the boots*
So, the boots. They’re pretty much identical to a pair I saw in Office about 5 years ago which I’m still kicking myself I never bought. My reluctance at the time was whether I could pull off a pair of 60s patent knee high boots without looking like I’d just stepped out of Austin Powers. I’m still not *entirely* convinced I can but it’s an awful lot easier to find the confidence to dip your toe into the water when something you’ve toyed with suddenly becomes the height of fashion (see also dressing like my mum in the 70s). Most of the footwear in Saint Laurent’s AW14 collection made it onto my lust list but out of all the styles (still holding out for the glitter Mary Janes btw if anyone wants to hook a gal up), the patent knee high ‘Babies’ seemed the most wearable. Sadly with a £900ish price tag, to justify a cost per wear it would have meant wearing them until the day I retired and so the sales stalking began.
Sales stalking mainly consists of me perusing various fashion retail websites sighing longingly at the sale items that, although 50% reduced, still cost more than my entire share of the rent for that month and silently cursing when something sells out in my size. On very rare occasions when I’ve been quick off the mark after final reductions have been announced I’ve managed to bag one or two lust items but in general, and especially with Saint Laurent, my size has sold out quicker than the winner of The Voice’s career. In Manchester however, there’s the added advantage of having branches of both Selfridges and Harvey Nics in the city centre and it was during a Selfridges lunchtime browse that I stumbled across THE BOOTS. AT 75% OFF. IN MY SIZE. Reader, I bought them.
I’ve still not worn them as much as I’d like as they still need breaking in and, as I feared, it’s tricky trying to find an outfit to go with them which doesn’t scream 60s fancy dress but, styling issues and blisters aside, I’m completely in love with them. Whilst £199 is a lot to spend on a pair of leather boots, it’s still probably cheaper than buying a full price, well made pair from a decent high street retailer. And they probably wouldn’t have glitter heels.
Most people when they visit New York probably have a ‘must see/ do’ list that includes icons such as Central Park, the Empire State building or the Statue of Liberty. My list however, whilst still including the utter *essentials* of New York site seeing (Grand Central – tick, Gossip Girl tour – tick, sitting on the steps of the Met giving my best Blair Waldorf face – MASSIVE TICK) also had, fairly high up too I might add, a trip to Orla Kiely’s NYC shop. Now I know what you’re thinking, why treck half way around the world just to visit the shop of a brand you could pop to in London?! Whilst in theory this is true, my visits to London over the last few years have been sporadic and so jam packed that by the time I’ve seen all my friends for a catch up, there’s barely time left to marvel at the wonder that is the Waitrose cheese room (trust me, it’s amazing) let alone cram some retail therapy in too which is why I was stupidly excited about *finally* getting the chance to visit Mercer Street and dive headlong into Orla’s world.
I have to admit that up until a few years ago, I was only aware of Orla Kiely as the designer who put 60s style stem prints on a vast selection of homewares and didn’t have a clue that she also designed clothes too. At some point during the cold days of February 2013 however, whilst hitting up Google to keep updated with all things London Fashion Week, I stumbled across a couple of blogs carrying photos from her AW13 presentation (beautifully styled by the amazing Leith Clark) and fell hopelessly in love.
It’s probably no surprise that my love for Orla Kiely started around the same time as discovering Wes Anderson’s films (again, *very* late to that party) as both artists share the ability to create entire worlds around their ideas that are so appealing and considered it’s impossible not to be drawn in. Orla’s Fashion Week presentations (and supporting campaign films) are never merely just catwalks of clothes but instead feel more like snapshots of some wonderful retro dream that the viewer has stumbled upon. This sepia-tinged aesthetic extends to the New York shop where offerings from the AW14 collection sit alongside homewares in a faux-domestic setting that includes a kitchen, lounge area (complete with TV showing ‘Singin’ In The Rain’ – always a good thing in my book) and erm, caravan resplendent in Orla Kiely print.
After trying on a few bits and pieces from the current collection, I discovered a rail of sale items including a skirt from the AW13 collection I’d been lusting after and having purchased it, was brave enough to ask the very lovely sales assistant if I could take a few snaps of the shop interior to share on here (is it just me who gets slight sales assistant fear when I’m in shops that my budget wouldn’t normally stretch to?!?).
Thankfully my limited American budget meant that I couldn’t walk away with the whole shop (although I’m sure the little brushwood fox would look right at home in my flat…) but it was a lovely excuse to have a glimpse into Orla’s world and add one or two items to my every growing wishlist…
Now I’m not generally one for overly themed outfits (dressing like you’re a character from a Wes Anderson film doesn’t count) but as a Yorkshire lass, I couldn’t let the weekend pass without a homage to ‘Le Tour Yorkshire’ which is dominating the TV this weekend and showing the world exactly why Yorkshire is the best place on Earth!
People may criticise the disposable nature of ‘fast fashion’ but I very rarely buy things that I only plan to wear for a season and so even when buying at the cheaper end of the high street, I try to pick pieces that have longevity. I purchased this bright yellow Primark dress several years ago (and in several colours) and it’s still a wardrobe staple that can be worn with bare legs in the summer and a pair of black opaques when it turns a bit cooler. Primark can be very hit and miss and when buying from there I tend to stick to natural fabrics such as cotton or wool as they tend to last longer than man made fabrics and not look ‘cheap’.
I’ve teamed the dress with cream Topshop heels for a 60s vibe and I’m keeping the yellow theme going with Barry M nail paint in ‘Lemon Ice Cream’. No celebration of ‘Le Tour Yorkshire’ would be complete without some snacks and a limited edition bottle of Yorkshire’s finest sauce, Henderson’s Relish, is the perfect accompaniment (it’s seriously good sprinkled over popcorn).
Although I’m not the biggest cycling fan, the last two days spent watching the race travel through some of the most beautiful countryside in England has made me very proud of my home county and for those of you not familiar with ‘God’s Own County’, I definitely recommend a visit – Vive La Yorkshire!
Long time no blog and although I’d love to tell you that my blog silence has been due to the glamour of attending wall to wall Fashion Weeks daaarlings, sadly I am simply a victim of that horribly demanding thing called ‘my day job’. So, whilst the higher echelons of the fashion world are concentrating on A/W14, I thought I’d turn my attention to this season, and in particular Boohoo.com’s S/S14 campaign images.
I’ve been a fan of the monochrome look since I first laid eyes on the achingly cool sleeve of Blondie’s iconic Parallel Lines LP and quite frankly, who wouldn’t want to channel a bit of Debbie Harry?! Not that Blondie are the only band to understand the impact that simple black and white can have as both The Hives and Gwen Stefani during No Doubt’s ‘Rock Steady’ album campaign have used it to striking effect. Boohoo.com’s monochrome pieces not only offer an alternative to this season’s pastels but also show how you can rock the clashing prints and textures trend without looking like an explosion in a textile factory! The colour pops of hot pink bring a playful and summery touch to the edginess of the black and white and demonstrate how sometimes, the simplest of styling tricks can create the biggest impact.