Tagged: fashion blog

Empire State Of Mind

Peter Jensen Dress

Dress – Peter Jensen, Bag – Orla Kiely, Necklace – Virginie Millefiori, Lip Stain – Sephora in Always Red

I’m not sure if an outfit can technically count as a ‘#TBT’ post if the first time I’ve actually worn it is today but my NYC inspired combo reminds me of the New York trip I had back in October so there’s my tenuous link!

Now I’m a girl who loves a) a good print and b) a bargain so when I found this Peter Jensen ‘Central Park West’ print silk dress in the ASOS sale just before Christmas, it seemed daft not to make it mine. It goes brilliantly with the Orla Kiely handbag I treated myself to which I’d been lusting after since spotting it at Orla’s AW14 presentation. It’s the most I’ve ever spent on a bag (even at 20% off) but it’s utterly perfect and been my constant companion through autumn and winter, giving a dash of colour to dreary days. Orla Kiely bag

For finishing touches, I’ve added a colour pop of Sephora Cream Lip Stain in ‘Always Red’ and my amazing ‘NYC’ necklace by Virginie Millefiori. I’ve previously blogged about Virginie here (she’s the jewellery designer I Google-stalked and raced across NYC to find as I’d fallen in love with her pieces) and this ‘NYC’ necklace is my most recent purchase from her. You can choose from either the gold or silver plated brass version and the enamel detail also comes in a variety of colours (because choosing which of her pieces you want isn’t a hard enough choice already!). I love how the ‘NYC’ letters have been cleverly combined to create the Statue of Liberty’s crown, making this necklace the perfect souvenir reminder of my trip to New York whilst still being subtle and super stylish!

New York necklace

The question is though, can I get away with wearing a New York outfit in New York? As I’m currently in the process of booking a September return trip to NYC, I feel that’s another tenuous ‘#TBT’ post sorted come the autumn…

If you love Virginie’s designs as much as I do, she’s kindly given me a code to get 15% off her e-shop until the end of the year. Simply enter ‘HOLLY’ at the checkout to be the envy of all your friends…

Life In Plastic, It’s Fantastic!

Tatty Devine 15

My name is Holly and I am a Tatty Devine addict. It has been several weeks since my last purchase.

I was fully aware that over the last ten years or so I’d amassed a fairly large number of pieces thanks to gifts, my own indulgences, sample sales and a few friends in the right places but I hadn’t realised *quite* how much I had until I decided to take a quick snap of it all for the #TD15 celebration (I say quick snap but it took nearly two hours to set up once I’d retrieved all the pieces from the various jewellery boxes they all normally live in). When I tweeted the photo, comments included ‘wow and ‘holy shit’ and it was at this point that the full scale of my ‘problem’ (and it’s a lovely problem to have) began to dawn…

As part of my ‘TD Addict 12 Step Programme’ and as a big ‘happy birthday’ to all things Tatty, I thought I’d talk you through a few of my favourite pieces from my collection (I had thought about choosing 15 but no one needs to read that much of my witterings!).

Tatty Devine Name Necklace

Tatty Devine Name Necklaces

Like a lot of people, my first introduction to TD was via their bespoke Name Necklace service and it took me ages to decide on what font/ colour/ charm combo I wanted (the choices have expanded even more in recent years just to make it even more difficult!) before finally settling on ‘billboard’ in ‘bright pink’ with a lightning bolt charm in ‘matt gold’ on a sterling silver chain (an option they sadly no longer seem to offer). I remember counting down the days until the necklace was ready (as each necklace can take up to two weeks) and then impatiently waiting for the postman to deliver the pink and white envelope of joy. I loved my necklace so much that I also bought my sister one in the reverse colour way for her 18th birthday! Over the years I’ve acquired a few more name necklaces, including one blatantly copied from those worn by Girls Aloud in the video for ‘Biology’ as well as what to me, also counts as a ‘name’ necklace – the two small holly leaves from a Christmas collection a few years ago.

Tatty Devine Tiger

Tatty Devine Tiger Necklace

From the first piece of TD I ever owned, to the first piece of TD I bought in their iconic Brick Lane shop. As an occasional London visitor, I’d been to Brick Lane before to scour the vintage shops but I’d never quite managed to figure out where Tatty Devine’s original shop was located. On my next visit, armed with a map and a vague sense of direction, I finally stumbled across it and rewarded myself with not only an epic chat with the amazing girls who worked there (and who quite happily talked me through all the pieces they had in stock) but also with this amazing tiger necklace (and maybe a few other pieces) which I’d been eyeing up for a while. As statement necklaces go, it’s grrreat!

Tatty Devine AW12

Tatty Devine Paisley Necklace A/W12

For some reason, I’ve always preferred Tatty’s A/W offerings over their S/S ones (maybe I just tend to wear more jewellery in the winter months) and, whilst I loved their A/W11 collection, in my opinion their A/W12 collection is the strongest they’ve ever produced and marked the moment when the brand went from ‘cult and kitsch’ to ‘holy shit these pieces are take your breath away beautiful!’. Although at the statement necklace end of the collection some pieces pushed the £300+ mark, the sheer brilliance and intricacy of the paisley multi-necklaces showed that Perspex could be more than just cheap and cheerful and meant that Tatty Devine purchases could be justified as ‘investment pieces’… Whilst my budget sadly didn’t stretch to the mega jewelled paisley necklace, I did pick up the smaller multi-version as well as quite a few other bits from the collection (thank goodness for seasonal and sample sales!) which are amongst my most worn items.

Tatty Devine Charlotte Olympia

Tatty Devine for Charlotte Olympia Autumn 2011

One of the things that sets Tatty Devine aside from their competitors is the sheer number of people tripping over themselves to collaborate with them. In my collection I’ve got pieces from collaborations with Belle & Sebastian, Camera Obscura, Eley Kishimoto and Jean Paul Gaultier and TD have also worked with Peaches, Robots In Disguise, Gilbert & George, Rob Ryan, Disney, Louise Gray and the London Transport Museum to name just a few! Of all their collaborations however, I think my favourite one has got to be the dagger necklace they produced for Charlotte Olympia’s A/W11 collection ‘To Die For’ which was based around Agatha Christie and the Golden Age of crime fiction (and was also the debut outing for the now iconic ‘kitty’ shoes). Aside from fashion, I’m a massive book geek and in particular crime fiction so anything that combines the two goes straight to the top of my ‘must have’ list, even more so if it also has the words ‘limited addition’ attached. As the necklace was included in the goodie bags for those attending the launch of the collection, I had to use the Dark Arts to get my hands on one but it was well worth the effort. I’m now on a quest to track down the mermaid necklace that was produced for CO’s S/S12 ‘Sirens’ collection…

Tatty Devine Bunting Necklace

Tatty Devine Bunting Necklace S/S11

One thing that Tatty Devine do well are statement necklaces but as I’m not the biggest of frames, some of their amazing creations are just a little *too* big for me to wear. Thankfully, as the above multi-strand bunting necklace is made up of smaller pieces, it hangs a long better on me than a lot of their other big necklaces I’ve tried on (although I do run the risk of getting it caught in the shredder when I wear it to work!). I initially spotted it during my first trip to their Brick Lane store but it was sadly out of my price range so I had to settle for the smaller version which has had a lot of wear over the years. Thankfully, the larger version finally came into my possession last year thanks yet again to the joys of ebay stalking so it’s no longer ‘the one that got away’.

Tatty Devine Charm Necklace

Tatty Devine Charm Necklaces

My final picks include one of the newest and one of the oldest pieces from my collection. I possibly spend far too much time browsing fashion blogs on the internet so when a couple of these a few years ago mentioned that a TD ‘Charm Club’ was going to be launching I got *very* excited! Sadly, said club never materialised (which is a shame as it would have been brilliant: club + jewellery = WIN) but a revised version of the bespoke charm service was launched just before Christmas at TD’s Birmingham and London Selfridges concessions (but annoyingly not at the Manchester one or online!) and so on my pre-birthday London trip last December I made sure I popped in. I went for the maximum number of charms allowed as I figured I could always swap the selection about and if I really want to mix things up a bit, I can always add in the little pair of sterling silver shoes which I’m pretty sure are the oldest piece in my collection and took a lot of tracking down.

I hope you’ve enjoyed have a closer look at some of my collection and much as I’d like to say my addiction is cured, I’ve currently got my eye on one or two pieces from the new collections including the Pink Poodle Necklace and the Cocktail Umbrella Necklace from their 15th birthday collection. Oh well…

Tatty Devine 15th birthday

Happy 15th Birthday Tatty Devine!

Scarlet Lady

Top - H&M, Skirt - Topshop, Shoes - Lotta From Stockholm, Bag - c/o Cut Make Trim, Necklace - Tatty Devine, Nail Polish in Coral - Barry M, Lipstick in Lady Danger - Barry M

Top – H&M, Skirt – Topshop, Shoes – Lotta From Stockholm, Bag – c/o Cut Make Trim, Necklace – Tatty Devine, Nail Polish in Coral – Barry M, Lipstick in Lady Danger – MAC

As classic colour combinations go, red, white and blue takes some beating. A good chunk of my wardrobe seems to consist of variations on a breton theme and I’m always on the hunt for the perfect stripe. I love nothing better than teaming these timeless tops with some dark denim and colour popping accessories to create simple, stylish looks which can be worn pretty much anywhere. The above outfit consists of an H&M top which has been a wardrobe staple for many years and is as close to perfect as any I’ve found on the high street (to the point where I repeatedly chastise myself for not buying in bulk!) and a Topshop denim skirt that I bought at the end of last year which looks equally good with tights as with bare legs and has also been worn to death (and it has pockets which I LOVE!).

Cut Make Trim barrel bag

Bag – c/o Cut Make Trim

In my head this look is ‘classic with a twist’ so I’ve tried to keep the colour palette fairly restricted so that the hints of red really ‘pop’. My beautiful barrel bag gifted to me by Cut Make Trim (which I’ve raved about before here. Still haven’t learnt to not overload it though…) is perfect for this outfit as its timeless shape and colour compliment the neutral base pieces of the outfit.

Lotta from Stockholm clogs

Shoes – Lotta From Stockholm

My red Lotta From Stockholm clogs are another piece I’ve previously blogged about and I love the pop of colour they bring to the outfit and the leather ‘buckle’ detail on the toes echo the shapes found in the barrel bag.

Tatty Devine necklace

Necklace – Tatty Devine

If there’s one word that I can’t stand when it comes to fashion it’s ‘kooky’ and even just typing it makes me shudder and want to vomit in my mouth a bit. I’m all for having fun with fashion and injecting personality but for me, ‘kooky’ conjures up reductive connotations (see also ‘adorkable’ and ‘anything recommended by Zooey Deschanel’) that only serves to belittle and infantilize those it is applied to. Thankfully, Tatty Devine’s creations although whimsical, never manage to cross into this territory. Their ‘Dog On Wheels’ necklace whilst cute, is simple enough to be extremely wearable without crossing the line into the dreaded ‘K’ word (and dachshunds are definitely in this season if Orla Kiely AW14 is anything to go by…).

Nail Polish in Coral - Barry M, Lipstick in Lady Danger - MAC

Nail Polish in Coral – Barry M, Lipstick in Lady Danger – MAC

Finally I’ve added slick of MAC’s ‘Lady Danger’ lipstick (could there be a better colour for making you looked a bit more with it when you really can’t be bothered?) and a couple of coats of Barry M’s ‘Coral’ nail polish to pull the whole outfit together.

As a bit of a reader treat (it’s Bank Holiday weekend, what else is there to do but a bit of internet shopping?!), the lovely people at Cut Make Trim have offered a 15% discount on their beautiful bags to the first 50 readers who enter ‘highheelsandrecorddeals’ in the voucher code section of the shopping basket on their website (oh and they do free delivery too!).

We Are Adventuring, We Are Adventurers

Clarks Hotel Image

Dress – vintage, Belt – vintage, Shoes – Clarks, Bag – & Other Stories

A combination of watching Moonrise Kingdom one too many times and being completely in love with Orla Kiely’s entire SS14 collection (well being in love with everything Orla Kiely in general) has resulted in my own outfit homage which I can only really describe as ‘Seventies Safari’. I’m very lucky in not only having a mum and aunt who can sew but who also both have wardrobes full of handmade vintage lovelies that they let me raid. This dress was originally my mum’s which I permanently ‘borrowed’ a few years back and has been a summer staple ever since. I love the pattern (and amazing pattern matching), the blue accents of the fabric and the slightly OTT collar plus the combination of cotton and a full skirt makes it perfect for keeping cool in the current heat wave.

Clarks Hotel Image

Shoes – Clarks £65

My life seems to be one long endless search for the perfect summer shoe and I’ve been wearing these off-white lovelies from Clarks pretty much non-stop since I bought them a few months back. Granted, you might question the wisdom of 1) buying shoes with cut out bits when you live in rainy Manchester and 2) buying shoes of such a light colour when you live in rainy Manchester but so far my feet have (for the most part) avoided being drenched and any grubby bits have generally been seen off with protector spray and a bit of a wipe with a damp cloth. Plus they’re possibly the most comfortable shoes I own to the point where I’ve already bought a second pair in the sales for when I eventually end up wrecking these a few years down the line and I’m currently busy eyeing up Clarks’ AW14 offerings…

& Other Stories Bag

Bag – & Other Stories

I’m one of those people who will happily stalk items over many, many months until they eventually end up in the sale at a fraction of the original price. I spied this box bag from & Other Stories in a magazine at the start of the year and really loved its colour and utilitarian shape but couldn’t justify spending nearly £100 on it so I patiently waited until it ended up at 50% off in their summer sale and finally became mine.

& Other Stories Bag

Bag – & Other Stories

Finally to complete my safari theme, I’ve added a vintage belt (Must. Remember. To. Replace. Slightly. Grubby. Elastic.) with a gold tiger clasp that I picked up in a charity shop back when I was a student which mirrors both the gold hardware of the bag and the off-white of the shoes.

Belt - vintage

Belt – vintage

Whether or not I’ll stumble across any wildlife that exotic whilst lazing in the park is debatable but should the need to safari suddenly occur, I’m all prepared! Now, where did I put my binoculars…

Mellow Yellow

Primark Dress

Dress – Primark, Shoes – Topshop, Nail Polish – Barry M, Henderson’s Relish

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’.

Topshop heels

Heels – Topshop

Barry M Lemon Ice Cream

Nail Polish – Barry M in Lemon Ice Cream

Henderson's Relish Le Tour Yorkshire

Limited Edition Henderson’s Relish

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!

Le Tour Yorkshire

Even my Ted is rocking the yellow look! Yellow jersey c/o my mum.

Barrels Of Fun!

I’ve always thought of myself as a shoe girl and if you were to see the floor to ceiling stack of boxes in my wardrobe, you’d probably agree. Over the last year or so however I seem to have switched my allegiances (or run out of shoes to buy…) and my collection of bags has grown at quite an alarming rate. I think my initial hesitance towards bags stems from my dislike of the whole ‘It Bag’ craze which swept through the fashion world in the early noughties as I’ve always been the sort of girl who once I’ve found something I love, I tend to wear it to death and the thought of spending extortionate amounts on a piece of arm candy (or buying a high street copy) which would then be deemed ‘unfashionable’ a season later just seemed a bit daft. Thankfully the need for statement bags seems to have abated and for those of us who like our fashion to last longer than one A/W or S/S season, the decline in all things ‘It’ has coincided with a renaissance in mid-price, classic, well made bags from British companies. When one such company, Cut Make Trim recently got in touch to ask if I’d like to road test their bags and new website I jumped at the chance.

Cut Make Trim Barrel Bag

Barrel Bag in Dark Tan c/o Cut Make Trim

Based in London, all of Cut Make Trim’s products are made by a small team in their Dalston workshop and their new website is another milestone for the growing brand who also have a stall every Saturday and Sunday at Covent Garden’s Jubilee Craft Market (which is now firmly on my ‘to visit’ list the next time I’m down in London).

The company currently offer three styles of bags on their website – the Satchel (which comes in three different sizes), the Saddle and the Barrel – and each of these come in a myriad of colours including fluorescents and pastels along with more traditional shades which makes it a little hard for the indecisive (i.e. me) to choose which of the gorgeous bags is best! As you might be able to tell from previous ‘OOTD’ posts, I tend to favour an 11″ satchel when it comes to bags (as I think anything larger looks a bit too big on me) but this does mean that I generally have a cloth bag with me too for any overspill. Whilst CMT’s satchels are all very lovely indeed, the style which really caught my attention was their Barrel bag as despite its classic shape, it’s not a style I’d seen elsewhere and I also had a sneaking suspicion that with its 220 x 310 x 190mm dimensions, I might just be able to leave the cloth bag at home. I opted for a dark tan version as I realised recently that I don’t actually own any bags in ‘classic’ colours and as the Barrel bag has such a striking shape, I felt that it didn’t need a bright colour to show it off (plus in my head it reminds me of an old fashion doctors bag and the dark tan will look great teamed with my brogue boots). The website is very user friendly (once you’ve decided on your style and colour options – decisions, decisions!) and delivery was both free and super speedy! I think my only criticism would be that at the moment there is no embossing service offered which is a shame as the chance to have items initialled does make them feel that little bit extra special.

Barrel Bag in Dark Tan c/o Cut Make Trim

Barrel Bag in Dark Tan c/o Cut Make Trim

The bag itself is made of gorgeous leather and sturdy enough that the bag won’t lose its shape over time. The gold hardware of the buckles beautifully compliment the warm tones of the dark tan and it comes with a detachable shoulder strap which makes it comfortable enough for day to day wear but also gives the option of turning it into a more ladylike handbag for the evening. Size wise, I possible should have ordered the royal blue version to reflect its Tardis-like properties! At the last count it’d not only managed to fit my everyday essentials (keys, money, lipstick) but also the book I currently have my head buried in as well as a small umbrella which is an essential when living in Manchester. My cloth bag days are definitely a thing of the past!

The quality and choice of Cut Make Trim’s products along with their easy to use website are a winning combination and I’m completely in love with my new bag. With a shift back to quality rather than quantity in the fashion world and a growing desire to know more about the ethics and origins of the pieces we buy, there is a resurgence for British made products and Cut Make Trim are definitely a name to watch out for.

*The Barrel bag was gifted to me by Cut Make Trim for review purposes but as ever, all opinions, words, spelling mistakes and photos are my own!*

Luella Love!

Spring has well and truly sprung and whilst the glorious weather makes me think of holidays, all of my allowance this year seems to be taken up by attending weddings (although it has meant I have a legitimate excuse to visit New York in October – outfit planning started before the flights were even booked!). At the start of April I headed up to Glasgow for my cousin’s wedding and my four day mini break not only gave me the chance to finally tour the stunning Mackintosh designed Glasgow School Of Art building but also gave me an excuse to wear my amazing Luella prom dress from the SS09 collection.

Luella Prom Dress

Dress – Luella, Heels – Miu Miu, Clutch Bag – PS Besitos, Nail Varnish – Barry M

I’m a massive fan of Luella Bartley and her now defunct ‘Luella’ label (I’m still in mourning!) and this prom dress was yet another eBay find at just a fraction of what it originally cost. I’ve previously documented my love affair with eBay and regular readers may recognise the Miu Miu heels featured in this outfit as another eBay find (after several years of stalking!).

Miu Miu Heels

Miu Miu Deco Heels

Along with Luella Bartley, Miuccia Prada is another designer whose genius I can’t get enough of (it’s just a shame my bank balance rather restricts me!). I fell in lust with these heels at first sight and of all the pairs I own, they’re definitely my favourite. The deco detailing on the heels echoed the venue for the wedding reception, House For An Art Lover (yet another Mackintosh designed treasure) and despite the ridiculous height of the heel, they’re surprisingly comfortable and I managed to survive a particularly fast Gay Gordons without toppling over!

PS Besitos Dracula Clutch

P.S. Besitos Dracula Clutch

Apart from fashion, another great love of mine is literature so anything that combines the two is a bonus! I stumbled across P.S. Besitos’s range of book clutches whilst browsing Etsy and after much deliberation as to which title to buy, I plumped for ‘Dracula’. Unlike quite a few book clutches I’ve seen, the ones from P.S. Besitos aren’t made from real books (I’m not sure fashion ever justifies destroying a book!) and instead the covers are printed on cotton which is not only much more book-friendly but also means that Jessica, the woman behind the brand, can create custom orders if you have a favourite title (keep an eye out on her Facebook and Twitter for more details). The clutch itself is roomy enough for everything you need for a wedding (camera, phone, money, make-up, confetti…) and certainly provides a talking point!

Barry M Nail Polish in Black and Gold Glitter

Barry M Nail Polish in Black and Gold Glitter

To reflect the colours found in my shoes, I painted my nails in Barry M black with gold glitter tips which also helped to strengthen the tips and keep them chip free all day!

I absolutely love, love, LOVE this outfit and am already wondering if it’d be impolite to wear it to all the upcoming weddings I’m attending. If it ain’t broke etc…