Monday, 25 March 2013

Pounds or Practically Pennies: Feeling Blue

Roberto Cavalli and Erdem have a lot to answer for. We have become swamped by ornate prints against creams and whites and, while I've never been a big fan or wearer of the colour blue, I am inescapably in love. 
Erdem 1 - 2 - 3 ;
Roberto Cavalli 1 - 2 - 3;

Erdem's feminine and contemporary designs feature the dreamy French Milandes chateaus and landscapes framed by beautiful filigree. I love how these prints aren't symmetrical but are still weighted similarly on each side making them slightly more relaxed but just as refined and romantic. The Roberto Cavalli 'Resort' pieces are much more structured in terms of print placement and the simple shapes are made up for with extravagant and detailed prints and features. The prints are classic, and Cavalli lends a hand to incorporate the contemporary; the skirt features a daring side split while the shirt boasts a clashing geometric print and the neckline on the dress connects with white metal flowers and collar cutouts. 

Enough of those though, what just-as-lovely pieces can we find for a fraction of the above prices?
H&M // Primark // Matalan // Glamorous // Next;
(Prices and stock are subject to change from the creation of this image!)

Inspired by the classic porcelain crockery and dinner sets your grandma probably owns, the porcelain prints are sure to be a big Spring/Summer 2013 hit - here's hoping for colour variations as the seasons progress . I adore the Primark dress and how the neckline just touches the shoulders, unfortunately, I haven't been able to find it in store yet. I'm also a massive fan of the H&M blazer and the Topshop pop socks (that's a mouthful). I have some brown wedges just dying to be paired with this print!

Are you loving China blue?

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Cambridge Style Week night 2: Cutting-edge Cambridge Design

The second night of Cambridge Style Week paid homage to the next generation of fashion designers and really did set the bar high for the rest of the week. Showcasing exclusive one of a kind designs from final year students from the Cambridge School of Art, the catwalk played host to an array of stunning materials and incredible shapes that wouldn't have looked out of place on the LFW catwalk. 
Cambridge Style Week
There were a wealth of designs and styles flashing before our eyes, ranging from gothic glam and futuristic frocks to embellished co-ords and effortlessly chic pieces. Each design was innovative and unique and I really would have loved to have heard about the inspirations and reasoning behind them all. There were clear trends featured throughout; leather/PU detailing was featured on large number of outfits, it's clearly still a winner for both bloggers
and designers, metallics also made a feature along with the classic cut out, embellished two piece looks, monochrome, jacquard prints and androgynous sharp cut designs. 

Cambridge Style Week student design
This striking dress was the hit of the night, incredible right? It received spontaneous applause from the outset, something about it hit the right spot. Every inch of the fabric was carded by hand and constructed on a live model ensuring a flawless finish and fit. 

As the night progressed I, and others alike, completely forgot we were watching student's works and became immersed in the fashion. This wasn't a night dedicated to 'classic' and wearable designs, it was quirky, it was somewhat eccentric but most of all, it was great. Some designs were ready-to-wear but these was easily overtaken by the arty and more 'out-there' pieces, yet I wasn't put off - not one bit. In my opinion, a catwalk night so dedicated to this type of fashion and design definitely added towards what constitutes an event to be a 'real' fashion week. What better way to celebrate Cambridge and all it has to offer by unveiling the hidden talents of the city and the next generation we will put our style and fashion faith in. See my other favourites from the night below.

Cambridge Style Week gothic student designs
These are my second and third absolute top picks, can you spy the gothic inspiration? The fierce dress on the left would have been at home on the Brit Awards red carpet alongside other black and gold numbers, it incorporates the much loved leather/PU panelling along with sheer fabric and classic split leg design. The whimsical Alice in Wonderland-esque printed collar and skirt dress on the right would be fitting for a Tim Burton film and is seriously cutesy.  I'm still not over collars yet and love the quirky mirror print.
Cambridge Style Week student designs dip hem
Two more wearable dresses here both featuring dipped hem and asymmetrical cuts. The left featured a laser cut bodice and hem while the right focused on layering.

Cambridge Style Week student designs jacquard monochrome
I adore this beautiful jacquard style glitter threaded 2 piece suit with navy ruffles, it definitely full-frills (ha!) this seasons statement frill trend. The simple monochrome satin top with nipped in waist is an elegant colour block number.
Cambridge Style Week student designs
Look at those stunning trousers! Another jacquard style piece accompanied by an on trend oversized white shirt and cape. I love how romantic and flowing this beautiful empire line dress is. It gathers just under the bust, and although it has a deep cut and exposed skin either side, it's not at all revealing or at all inappropriate. Perfect!

Cambridge Style Week student designs pu detail
These are two rather classic looks taking an update. The stunning grey blazer has embraced leather/PU detailing around the collar and elbow patches while the halter neck shift dress features a leather/PU neckline, asymmetrical front and dip hem back.

Cambridge Style Week student designs metallic
The only way I can really describe these designs is 'galactic' and that's probably not the right term at all. I was drawn towards the metallic fabrics in this collection and the contrast between the metallic texture, skintight black gloves and white panelling. The shapes are to die for.

Cambridge Style Week student designs
The amazing plastic bubble neck dress demonstrates perfectly what futuristic fashion is all about, experimenting with new materials and making something great. The woolen cape and bralet combo with tailored trousers is androgynous chic at its best; I love the high waisted trousers with their PU leather detailing and peach highlights, a definite ready-to-wear element amongst an 'out-there' piece.

All jewellery here was from the fabulous Cambridge based Catherine Jone Jewellery and complimented all outfits perfectly. The actual necklace Princess Leia wore in the final scene of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope resides with them now and made an appearance on the catwalk. Unfortunately, my photos didn't turn out great but trust me, it's a beaut! If you have a spare £1,998.00 you can buy it here

Night 1 coverage // Nights 3&4 coming soon.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

£50 Savvy Saver Outfit

I know for a fact that I'm not the only one out there who likes a good discount code or deal. Just because we like to save money; therefore, unquestionably getting more for our money, doesn't mean we're scrimpers - it means we're savvy.

So, when I was challenged to create an outfit costing no more than £50 using netvouchercodes, I headed over immediately and got my stalk on. After clicking through deal after deal and spending an age searching through clothing, footwear and accessories, I settled on this outfit. 

£50 outfit challenge

Blacks and golds will never get old, prints and boots won't either. 

Inspired by our god-awful ever changing weather, this is the perfect season transition outfit. At the moment I'd be inclined to wear with black tights and a dark grey marl boxy boyfriend jacket, but as the weather finally improves I'd go bare legged and pop on a pair of oversized sunnies.

My first stop was Debenhams after I found the 50% off womens dresses deal here. I'm still loving faux leather and, while it may be 'so last season', black is going nowhere as this seasons monochrome trend so wilfully shows. As a faux leather dress, this Beloved Tunic could appear heavy, but the scalloped edges and laser cut detailing ensure a lighter looking garment for the transition into spring. I found this little beauty reduced from a whopping £69 to a mere £15 and yes, that is well over 50% off!

My second and final stop was at Get the Label. It was out of pure curiosity as I'd never heard of this store until happening across them in the netvouchercodes directory and seeing the 75% off designer clothes and accessories deal here. My first stop was footwear, if I'm creating an outfit and only have limited amounts of money, I'd choose footwear over bags anytime. I loved the mix of classic chelsea style and playful print of these leopard print heeled boots; with an RRP of £22.99 but reduced to £14.99, I can afford to pick a bag too! Satchels are great, and this black Pieces snake print number, reduced from a corking £47.99 to £12.99, is ideal alongside the black dress to keep things muted and make the boots pop. With a few pounds to spare I needed a little something on the top half of the dress. I was quite intrigued by this Pieces chunky chain necklace, reduced from £17.99 to a teeny £5.99; I suppose the classic gold chain does hold quite a stigma, but this statement double wrapped piece has something chic about it.

The overall price for this outfit is £48.97 as opposed to the cray-cray original price of £157.97; just imagine what you could do with that spare £109!

I suggest you go take a look, you could save some serious dollar! Hands up if you love a deal?

*Partnered post, content written by myself.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Cambridge Style Week night 1: Best of British

As models practised their walks, bottles of wine were being laid on ice and finishing touches being put to pop up shops in the boutique experience; Nicky Shepard, Cambridge Style Week director and co-founder, was gliding around amazingly stress free. The first night of the first ever Cambridge Style Week was about to go live to the public and not an ounce of panic or anxiety graced Nicky's face. What a pro. 

As guests entered the first stop boutique area, single roses in a wide array of colours were gifted by Purely Roses, I got a beautiful lemon shade which sat proudly in an Asti bottle on the kitchen table for the rest of the week. It was a beautiful welcome touch along with a goody bag for seated guests and complimentary welcome drink as well as plenty of smiling faces. Guests, and myself alike, then had an hour to peruse the boutique experience meeting local Cambridge companies including: Victoria Egg, Curious Orange, Retro Vert, The Cambridge Raincoat Company, Design Essentials, B Jewellery Ltd, Cambridge Interiors, OJT Designs, Tweed Vixen, Debbie Wallwork Photography, Velvet Bakehouse and Pole Fitness. The hour of browsing and admiring was up quickly and we were soon lead into the catwalk area as we anticipated the start of the first catwalk of the week.

As a living-in-the-sticks kind of girl it's never easy or cheap to get to London or Manchester for fashion weeks - so, when I heard there was going to be a 'Cambridge Style Week' I was extatic and dying to get involved. The first show was better than I ever expected, there were a diverse range of designs and styles from a mix of Cambridge based stores and British designers - many of which I had shamefully never heard of, but that's what this event was about. While designs were evidently different with varying inspirations, functions and aesthetics, they were all united in the fact that they are all quintessentially British; and they're ours to be proud of! 
Prohibido LingerieProhibido Lingerie, a Cambridge based luxury lingerie boutique, featured Mary Portas' Kinky Knickers as a great start to the show. Each pair is handcrafted in Britain out of the finest Nottingham lace, models sported some of the range which are perfectly suitable for everyday wear yet have a sexy and playful edge. 
Cambridge Raincoat CompanyThe Cambridge Raincoat Company showcased their classic and timeless mac designs with a modern and colourful twist. Originally started as a fashionable alternative for cyclists and unattractive lycra, The Cambridge Raincoat Company have become the epitome of stunning rain wear. Perfect for those little April showers.
Angels Carrying Savage WeaponsAngels Carrying Savage Weapons were absolutely, the most jaw dropping designs on the catwalk. Their intricate corsetry and handmade designs can easily rival the corset's Victorian creators. Each dress is handmade to order from the designers own cuts in Nottinghamshire, and their range includes bridal and evening wear, 50's style skirt suits, capri pants and the classic boudoir corsets and lingerie.
Olivia RubinBaska, a Cambridge based boutique boasting renowned international designers, showcased their Olivia Rubin London collection. This was one of my favourite sets and summed up my favourite part of British fashion - bright colours and playful prints! I adored this 'Porch Gate' printed silk mini dress with gathered sleeves, gathered waist and full skirt - it would look perfect amongst a field of daisies accompanied by the ornateness of a champagne and strawberry picnic. The classic Olivia Rubin brick print has been revamped in popular pastel colours specifically for SS'13 and this shirt dress was my favourite style the print was adorned on.
Alice Temperley SomersetAfter our blogger preview event of Somerset by Alice Temperley at John Lewis, I couldn't wait to see the SS'13 pieces styled to a tee and hit the catwalk. Alice focused her Somerset collection on feminine yet workable and everyday pieces which can effortlessly form part of a capsule wardrobe. Think pretty embellishments, classic cuts and sumptuous fabrics, Alice Temperley hasn't slacked on the collaboration with the high street brand. It's hard to pick favourites within this line as everything is so effortlessly stunning, but the blue wallpaper tile print jumpsuit is up there.
LibelulaBoudoir Femme, another Cambridge boutique, featured their stunning SS'13 Libelula collection. A UK based label designed by Sophie Cranston, Libelula draws attention to, and focuses on, timeless styles and cuts set to flatter the feminine figure. Having set up Temperley alongside Alice Temperley in the year 2000, I noticed this label draws slight similarities like classic British cuts such as the pink boucle skirt and white cardigan; but is much more eclectic in terms of print and colour. I love the vibrancy of the green and pink bug print dress, yet the clash of the red and pink georgette dress is striking - who said you can't wear pink and red together and make it work?
Bourne EnglandBaska did it again by featuring their Bourne, England SS'13 collection. With refined styles and polished details, Bourne commit themselves to creating British made and British designed products for those of us who want a luxury wardrobe on a competitive price level with other labels. Their SS'13 pieces see a mix of classic summer colours like nudes, pinks, whites and peaches and put elegance right at the forefront of their designs. 
Nehru LondonNehru London jackets are based upon traditional Indian fashion as devised by Jawaharlal Nehru. This classic Indian styling has diversified over the years to embody quirky British design by experimenting with bright colours and striking linings especially for those with a penchant for good tailoring. Their ladies collection, as previewed here, will be released later this year.
John Lewis MenswearThere was of course something for the guys in the crowd as the John Lewis menswear collection so proudly displayed. I'm sure many of us ladies love to see a well dressed man, and hopefully you guys like to make an effort too sometimes. The heritage look on the far left is a winner for me; I really enjoy the combination of earthy colours, elbow patches and a shirt and jumper combo topped with a check blazer. The second from left is a great smart/casual look, there's something very Ryan Gosling about it isn't there? The third in however, is a look my boyfriend Phil would be most likely to rock out of this selection - an untucked shirt, classic jeans, military boots and bomber jacket is much more his style. 

Modish Shoes, a Cambridge and Saffron Walden based shoe boutique, also made an appearance in some of the sets on catwalk boasting their classic union jack sequin platforms and other gorgeous footwear. They're on a mission to offer fantastic looking and fantastic feeling shoes to all women as well as stocking more difficult to find brands and new designers. Clamp Optometrists, an independent Cambridge based company with a wide selection of well known brand, designer and boutique glasses and sunglasses, supplied the brilliantly styled eyewear in this show. I'll hopefully be giving them a visit closer to summer to treat myself to a pair of more expensive sunglasses to cherish, there's only so many cheap £10 or under sunglasses I can buy.What pieces/brands are you liking the look of? Hopefully I've given you a few new designers works to lust over.Night 2 coverage // Night's 3&4 coming soon.