Personally I love adding a pop of colour to a look, and Alexa Chung gives food for thought on this idea in her new Resort Collection. Alexa gives us strappy checked dresses, a gorgeous layered tulle skirt and mixed prints, but the standout trend of the collection? The splashes of red in the footwear (and this emoji inspired dress )! Now, all those of us that follow fashion probably had an inkling that red boots were here to stay throughout SS18, but with it cropping up in resort collections, I’d imagine we can now expect to see them following through into AW19 as well!
Men’s fashion week has recently begun and as I trawled through the photos from various shows so far I noticed that outerwear for men was making a huge statement- from big bold prints to oversized bomber jackets.
One big trend came from Etro; with the whole collection boasting lots of Japanese influences that included Obi belts wrapped around suit jackets and waistcoats. Not only this but the Italian fashion house also gave us a belted robe, almost similar to the traditional smoking jacket, but with a Navajo style print in luxuriously thick material. If this newer combination isn’t quite your style then those of us with a more classic style can refer to D&G, who also failed to disappoint, offering a silky, embroidered version that gave us matching suit style trousers!
About a year ago I visited Chengdu, home to millions of people, the sizzling Sichuan Hotpot and a world renowned Panda Breeding Centre, but it wasn’t just this that made Chengdu stand out from other cities in China.
It was my first time out of Europe, and in all honesty I didn’t even think about what fashion would be like in China, I suppose I underestimated this, assuming naively that European fashion couldn’t be beaten. So, imagine my surprise when, walking through the busy streets of Chengdu, I had my eyes opened- these women were dressed immaculately and to this day I wish I had taken photographs!
Office workers walked the busy streets in brightly coloured full skirts, some decorated with even floral or polka dot prints, whilst the more casual wore basic tees with English and even French phrases splashed across them. When I visited last year, the women of Chengdu were showing a modern, feminine take on fashion.
So when we think of fashion in Asia, we think of Seoul and Tokyo, but it won’t take long for the likes of big Chinese cities to develop themselves into a unique space for fashion inspiration. In fact, I have read more and more of how it is growing into it’s own, with more sporty, androgynous looks pushing to the forefront.
If you saw my last post you’ll notice that I dressed up a pair of blue jeans with silver block heel sandals and a blue pin striped shirt- what I didn’t show you was how I accessorised this look to dress it up even more. Luckily I took this up close shot of my accessories for that evening!
The details: Clutch bag- House Of Fraser Bracelet (I also wore matching earrings) – Attwood and Sawyer Ring- by a Welsh Designer at Tintern Abbey Nails: ‘Girls on Film’ Glitter Polish from Gosh
My boyfriend’s birthday was coming up and I racked my brains of what sort of cake to make him for SO long- then I realised he loved baileys and coffee.. so why not mix this together and make him a cake in the shape of a frothy latte!
The recipe I used for the Sponge cake underneath and the frosting was taken from here .. but it was getting the coffee cup shape that took longer to research. To get the cup shape I used a deep Pyrex bowl (like this one) and baked in the oven for about 1.5 hours. If you wanted a bigger cake though you could bake a few sponge layers in a normal cake tin and stack for a taller, wider cake.
Once the cake was cooled after baking I began beating the frosting- you definitely need an electric whisk for this as it would probably take a VERY long time to hand whisk this mixture.
I used some of the frosting all the way around the edge of the cake so I could stick the white fondant to the sides to make it look more like a coffee cup, but next time I would probably use something stickier like boiled apricot jam or honey to stick the fondant on instead!
I would recommend getting at least 1 kg of roll out fondant just in case mistakes are made (yes, I’m learning from experience here haha) and when rolled out cut out a long rectangle and wrap around the cake (I did it differently the first time I tried this and it didn’t look good at all)- ooh and don’t forget to leave enough to form the cup handle too!
There was more than enough frosting in the recipe to make the latte foam and cover the outside of the cake but obviously the bigger your cake sponge it the more you’ll need (mine wasn’t too big but I had lots of frosting spare) and it all depends if you’re going to ice the edges as well!
For effect I sprinkled a little Brown sugar around the edges of the foam (where coffee would peak through on a real cup) as well as dusting a little cocoa powder all over the ‘foam’. I would recommend this part is done as you’re about to serve this cake though as otherwise the sugar will start to melt into the cream and disintegrate.
My cake wasn’t perfect but it definitely went down well- I just thought I’d share my photos and experiences because finding Coffee Cup cakes and advice on decorating them wasn’t as easy to find as I originally thought it would be!