Monday, 28 September 2009

Confused by the Seasons.

Yesterday I spent a blissful afternoon having a lazy lunch at a London lido. It was a delight to feel the warm sun against my bare arms, to hear excited children bounce in and out of the glistening blue water, to see smiling sun-worshippers relax by the pool.

Yes, I did say yesterday. And yes, I did say London. It's the end of September - early Autumn -which usually signifies packing away our summer clothes for the next six months. Feeling a tinge of sadness as we say good-bye to light-weight dresses and summer sandals. No Way! Bikinis, sarongs and sunglasses were de rigeur yesterday. The sun continues to shine so we will continue to embrace it with sun-kissed legs and arms.

The intoxication of a late summer seems perfect timing (apologies to those who are sitting under grey skies) to rejoice some of the SS10 collections shown at the Estethica exhibition during London Fashion Week.

"timeless pieces; offering a true meaning, direction and soul"
The collection is created using recycled materials including vintage kimonos and sustainable bamboo fabrics. Garments are produced by a registered women's project in London.

Designed, printed and produced in Australia.
The Bird collection is made from organic fabrics, hand-printed using water based dyes.
The collection is produced using 100% renewable solar power.

"effortlessly sensual garments"
The collection is created using only organic and sustainable fabrics to create a modern sculptural silhouette.
This outfit is one of my favourites!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Re-Design Knitwear

Paul Smith always inspires me. I love his use of print, colour and quirky detail. His SS2010 catwalk collection at London Fashion Week didn't fail to please me. Take inspiration from his cleverly constructed knits. Re-design your knitwear from last season to make it bang on trend again. A sustainable solution to up-dating your wardrobe.

Take your "must-have" cardigan from last season.
Remove one front panel. Cut back panel in half to mirror shape of front.
Remove the remaining sleeve - leaving a portion to create an extended shoulder line.
Make a tie fastening from the sleeve.
Thread one tie through front button hole. Attach other tie to back panel.
Fasten at the side.

Take a looser fitting fine knit jumper or jersey top.
Take a contrast colour, printed or striped strip of fabric or jersey.
(This could be vintage or something cut from a discarded skirt/dress/shirt)
Wrap across the bust - twisting it in the centre. Fasten at the back.
You have now created a bustier effect top - seen on so many of SS2010 catwalks.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

DVF Gets Crafty

Diane Von Furstenburg SS10

I couldn't help noticing the brightly coloured cuffs used to accessorize every outfit at Diane von Furstenburg's SS10 show at New York Fashion Week on Sunday. Models wore them piled high in a variety of vibrant clashing colours.

They remind me of the cuffs from Artisan Life, which are hand-crafted in Colombia from natural fibre. (See my August post - Statement Handbags with a Conscience).

Visit Artisan Life for yours and be one step ahead of the fashion pack for SS10. Remember to pile 'em high. Be on trend with a conscience.

Iraka Palm Cuffs
Image copyright Artisan Life

Monday, 14 September 2009

Where The Heart Is


Rewind to Friday 11th. I found myself in Crystal Palace, south east London with a thumping cocktail induced head-ache, buried within four floors of antiques, treasure and, some might say, junk. Quite a contrast to the previous evening. Oh! But so much more interesting.

It was Crystal Palace Antiques - a ramshackle emporium selling furniture, mirrors, lighting, art, anything really - that lured me to this corner of London. I was here to find a mirror. I am in desperate need of a full length mirror. I know! Can you believe I don't have one? How on earth do I cope? Well I don't. It's a nightmare having to style my outfits each day without being able to see the complete head-to-toe effect. Like I said, I'm in desperate need of a full length mirror. After a good old rummage I left mirror-less but not disheartened. New stock arrives daily so I can always go back.

As I was in Crystal Palace, I decided to check out the 'Vintage Triangle'. A triangle of streets dotted with vintage clothes and interiors shops. It was The White Hart pub that caught my eye. Alcohol was the last thing I wanted to be near so why was I venturing into a pub you might well ask. Vintagehart is the reason.

Vintagehart is a tiny boutique located in the windows along one side of The White Hart pub. Owners Annette and Dawn have styled the shop to create a quirky space with a relaxed feel. The clothes and accessories range from 1950's to the current trend for 1980's. Everything is in excellent condition and the prices are very reasonable. I couldn't resist a 1980's dolman sleeved crepe-de-chine dress for £30 - the silhouette reminds me of Dries van Noten's AW09 collection - it needs a few minor styling adjustments but will look fabulous once finished. If only I had a full length mirror to see the results.

Dries Van Noten AW09

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Cozy Cocktails Courtesy of DKNY

This post is late. I'd like to think of it as 'Fashionably' late. Rewind to Thursday 10th. New York Fashion Week kicked off. And, so did Fashion's Big Night Out. An event organised by Vogue to get everyone spending crazily on fashion again. I found myself, courtesy of my other half, at the DKNY event on Bond Street. As we entered the store, there was a real buzz as excitable fashionistas sipped on their complimentary DKNY Champagne. It was at this point that I realised my outfit - an oversized chambray shirt worn as a dress with a vintage biker jacket - could be perceived as not making an effort for this occasion. And this turned out to be quite an occasion.

Vogue's Emma Elwick demonstrated the many ways to wear a DKNY cozy - an item of clothing that can be twisted, wrapped, tied in a multitude of ways to create different looks. Beautiful DKNY sales consultants sashayed through the store modelling said cozy to great effect. The model Alice Delall hung out by the DJ decks looking far too cool. DJ Tolulu cranked up the volume, the store lights were dimmed and signature Bungalow 8 cocktails flowed all too easily. As Whitney belted out why she wanted to dance with somebody, I knocked back my fourth- or was it fifth- cocktail, almost forgetting I was in a clothes store.

So yes. The clothes? I don't think the entire new collection was instore. As soon as it is I'll pop back in and let you know what I think.

Monday, 7 September 2009

East End Flora

It's September. There's a definite nip in the air to remind us it's late summer here in Britain. How lovely it was to wander along Columbia Road on Sunday to see the glorious colours and florals around at this time of year.

Amazing colours!

Rows of vibrant Cyclamen
"... 3 tubs for a fiver, darlin'..."

Pretty floral print looking stylish and modern

Wow! Are these real?
Can you believe those colours?

Towering palms in a printed retro shopper. Love it!

Wonderful display.
Even the boxes are a great colour!

I couldn't resist this!

(All images by Re-Design for Life)