Catwalk Inspired Dresses: Phase Eight

     

From head to toe lace, appliqué detail and heavy embellishment, we see an array of classic, intricately detailed gowns hitting runways across the globe every season. Such creations, by the likes of Alberta Ferretti, D&G and Elie Saab, to name but a few, have managed to inspire fashion around the world, regardless of the fact that they are not necessarily ground breaking, but rather breathtakingly beautiful instead.

It is, however, difficult to find such intricately detailed dresses on the high street, because, let’s face it, it will probably always remain a dream for most of us to own any of the dresses we see gracing the runways.

But, it seems we needn’t worry any more, because over the last few months I have taken a shine to British brand Phase Eight’. Every time I pass their designs I note their likeness to high end designers in excitement, from Dolce & Gabbana’s Rose print to whimsical florals at Alberta Ferretti, let alone their signature ‘tapework’ and lace detail that stands them a part from most High Street brands for their high quality occasion wear and a brilliant attention to detail.

Below are a few of my favourite pieces from their collection, which can be found online here or here, though I would recommend visiting them in store (or at Debenhams) to see the full effects of such gorgeous detailing.

This dress reminds me a lot of the ethereal feel at the AW Alberta Ferretti show
Women's Red Paige Tapework Full Length Dress
The classic red, lace gown, reminiscent of one stunning dress showcased during the AW14/15 Tadashi Shoji show.
  Shimmering Tapework embroidery is a signature style at Phase Eight.
Whimsical florals, reminiscent of the designs at Alberta Ferretti.
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A Belated OOTD!

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This is an outfit worn not long ago and I just haven’t had chance to post until now!

I absolutely loved the idea of combining a plain, loose tee with a full, knee length skirt for ages-this pink gingham piece is actually from Primark (yes, I found it discounted on Ebay..). Actually, come to think of it, everything I’m wearing here is from my Primark, jewels and all!

Menswear SS15: Women inspiring Men

We always see some designers going for more masculine tailoring or incorporating a tomboy charm into their collections for Women, but in the more recent shows for Menswear SS15 I’ve spotted several, typically female trends, taking over the catwalks. From prints and colours to clothing and accessories there is no escaping the idea that Menswear has been influenced by many of our own, more feminine trends, and not just by one or two designers either, but a whole host of collections have hinted towards more feminine trends in some shape or form. 

So, firstly you may remember that AW13/14 was the season that welcomed all of those yummy pastel shades, from lilac cashmere coats at Carven to sugary pink hues at Topshop Unique.. well that trend is about to hit menswear in a huge way for SS15. Pastel shades and candy hues are not typically associated with Menswear, a hint of it here and there perhaps, but for SS15 be prepared for head to toe pastels.

[Topman Design, Versace,Kenzo]

Or how about open toed boots? They’ve been around a while for women, but can this Balmain pair, inspired by 70’s sporting icons, make them just as popular with men, too?

Oh, and speaking of footwear for men, do you remember me blogging a while back about Jelly Shoes making a come back for women? Well, I’ve officially spotted them in a range of colours for men at the huntergather menswear show for SS15..

We’ve seen so many styles of bags for men on the catwalks, but how about clutch bags for men? 
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[D&G, MAN]

Couture AW14/15: Elie Saab

I don’t think there will ever be an Elie Saab collection that I won’t be entirely captivated by, whether it be Couture or Ready-to-Wear. Every single show is full of beautiful, intricate detailing, and it is refreshing to see that the designer focuses on what he does best every season, rather than being too trend focussed.

  

Their AW14/15 Couture show may be arguably everything you’d expect from Elie Saab, but it nevertheless impresses me every single time. The show was obviously full of fairytale inspired gowns that consisted of light, sheer materials, silk and tulle, the majority of which was beautifully encrusted with pearls and crystals and somewhat inspired by the mystery of the ocean (seen in the lace black gowns and pearl encrusted deep blue dresses) and even an enchanted forest (in one instance a moss green was offset against colourful crystals and pearls). Whilst keeping to his usual pretty, romantic roots the designer used a rainbow of colours in his tone-on-tone approach to his underlays and embellishments to create a soft, natural and feminine collection.

And of course, the latest show cannot be spoken about without the mention of the beautiful finale wedding gown, although so many of the white, silver and cream gowns displayed were enough for any bride-to-be- or any woman for that matter- to swoon over!

  

 You can view the full pictures from the show here or watch it in full here !

 

Throwback Footwear this Spring!

Anyone remember wearing jelly sandals when they were a little girl? Or how about when you got a bit older, and you looked at Birkenstock sandals with disgust?

Well, guess what? They’re both back for Spring, and they’re causing somewhat of a split between fashion fans. Can jelly shoes really look nice? Is it safe to go out in Birkenstocks without feeling as if you’ve committed a fashion faux pas? Well, although I’m still not entirely convinced, seeing these throwback sandals looking super cool and effortlessly chic amongst the street style elite may be starting to convince me. As usual, the high street are coming up with some great editions, so there are lots of choices to be made if you are nearly as convinced as me!

 

 

I personally prefer the White Arizona Birkenstock sandal, but they are available in lots of different prints ( like blue paisley, for the more adventurous Birkenstock fan). You’re not just limited to the real deal here though, River Island and Topshop both have great quality versions, as well! They’re actually proving really versatile, too- wear with wide leg pants, skinny jeans or dresses for a cool, casual vibe!

 


The jelly shoe, however, comes in a lot of on trend variations, from heeled to slingback! I must admit that I firstly thought ‘I’ll stick to black’ (they look amazing with black socks, surprising I know), but after seeing the luscious pastel shades
from Juju I am lusting after a powder pink pair! Wearing them with socks may sound a little odd- we were always told no socks with sandals- but I have to say that they look so cute with frilly white ankle socks! I love the height that a heeled pair will add to an outfit, but the slingback, flat pairs are also a great alternative to summer sandals!

 

What do you guys think? Are you convinced? I think I may have just convinced myself…

How to wear: Sports Luxe

I love the idea of being able to add a subtle sporty twist to my looks this Spring, and what’s great about this trend is that you don’t necessarily need to invest in a whole new wardrobe to nail it. Instead you’ll find that investing in a few sports inspired pieces can be easily mixed and matched with other items in your wardrobe, but what are the best items to invest in?

Here are a few I’m hoping to buy this SS14…

Oversized Jersey Tees

 

 

These look amazing in bold, vibrant hues (especially blues, reds, yellows and greens) giving a not so subtle nod towards the likes of American Football. I personally love this look teamed with a pair of high sandals, as it gives it a more feminine edge, but it would also look great paired with a pair of skater shoes or high tops for more of a tomboy edge!

 

 

 

Mesh

 

From a casual tee with slight mesh detailing (try tucking into a feminine pleated skirt for a great contrast), sheer paneling on a skirt or a mesh racer-back bra peeking out from under a dress, this trend is another, more subtle, nod towards traditional sportswear, if not sexier.

 

 

 

Skater Shoes

 

Okay, so let’s be honest, those Celine skater shoes are the reason skater shoes are even back on the fashion agenda, but luckily for my bank account the high street are full of Celine inspired skate shoes.. Phew!! Make sure you nail it by getting them with thick white soles, and then pick any colour (or pattern) you like- skater shoes go with almost everything. I think I’ll be opting for classic black, wearing them with some ripped boyfriend jeans!

 

 

Runner Shorts

With a slightly looser fit these shorts are a great take on ‘sports luxe’, although they are short, and not necessarily for everyday wear they are so versatile- any colour and material looks great, not forgetting you can wear them with heels or flats. For an edgier look go for black leather or a dark metallic satin pair, or for a softer touch, pastels are a perfect alternative! Another great way to wear your runner shorts is to buy a matching cropped tee or vest- co-ords always add a youthful glow to a look and will definitely sweeten up the sporty vibe.

Gucci at MFW

Frida Giannini, Creative Director of Gucci, has indicated a move away from the brand’s traditional black attire in their newest collection, saying that she wanted  ‘a new palette and clean lines’ from their most recent AW14 collection.With a more optimistic, youthful edge, we can clearly see that this has been achieved in the sugary sweet pastel shades and shorter A-Line skirts and dresses that was showcased earlier on today in Milan. With soft pastel hues we saw fluffy shearling coats, double breasted trench coats and adorable, high-waisted A-line skirts in an array of metallic and matte pastel shades.  Contrasted against this were darker, more autumnal, shades of olive green and deep red, as well as the obvious appearance of snakeskin, in youthful shades of yellow and blue, printed on both silk blouses as well as knee high, patent leather boots. Despite feminine colours, youthful prints and soft, luxurious textures, this collection aims to represent the modern Gucci woman, albeit with a 60’s edge.

Topshop Unique at LFW

As a contrast to their AW13 show, which saw lots of powder pink hues, Topshop Unique’s most recent show had a more tomboy edge. Opening the show came all blue looks, with smart woolen coats casually hanging off the shoulders of models for a disheveled, tomboy charm, which was only highlighted by the occasional appearance of sports inspired puffa jackets. Whilst a feminine element could be seen through the light, soft materials, pastel pink was no more in this new collection, but instead a new pastel colour emerged in the form of lemon yellow. This pretty, bright shade added a youthful, playful edge to the collection, with silky blouses and fluffy yellow furs, but when mixed with tan and darker shades of yellow the look made for a classic, but playful, approach to dressing. And, of course the show didn’t come without major trends that have been spotted throughout fashion week, including knee high boots (in grey and burgundy) as well as patchwork fur, that was seen in sweaters, coats and vests. I loved the femininity in their AW13 show, but this collection has been really clever in showcasing what their youthful, edgy customer wants- a chance to dress in a subtle, but sexy way, without losing their tomboy charm.

                     

                     

Altuzarra at NYFW

                                

It is unlike Altuzarra to create such a vibrant, colourful collection, but during his show at NYFW yesterday the designer contrasted bright pops of cobalt blue, fuschia pink and orange against his usual, more classic shades, of black, grey, white and cream. The double faced cashmere coats were stand out pieces, with contrasting shades of navy and cobalt blue, as well as the brightly coloured patchwork fur coat, which added a whole new youthful edge to the, usually more formal, collection. Altuzarra usually gives us sophisticated, but sexy, runway looks, which is why it came as a refreshing surprise to see the soft fringe detailing that adorned many of his  dresses, skirts and tops in various colourful combinations. As the designer’s most colourful collection to date, it is questionable why he hasn’t been more experimental until now, but it is for certain that his more colourful hues are bound to attract a more youthful customer.