MFW Milan: Smoking Jackets with a Twist

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!

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How to wear: The Safari Inspired Trend

Usually my trend reports are inspired by high end designer collections that I have spied in catwalk shows, but this blog post has actually been inspired by the SS15 collection I have been eyeing at Warehouse!

So, what can you exactly expect to see from this trend?

Colours to look out for:
Ranging from beige and khaki green  for that traditional safari vibe to vibrant oranges and greens in the form of bold prints, this trend really does have a colour spectrum for everyone!

Pampas Leaf Cocoon Dress

It’s all in the details:

Fringing and tassels are seen adorning sandals, handbags and even dresses and kimonos whilst even loose cotton shorts are seen with cute little pom poms attached to the hem!
Even the fabrics echo cool safari vibes- thick fabric shopper bags are embroidered with bright ethnic prints, and as part of their holiday shop collection Warehouse have an amazing range of loose fitting cotton dresses, shorts and even wide leg trousers!

TILE PRINT SHORTS

Styles to grab now:

A part from a few mentioned above, I am absolutely loving the gypsy dress- off the shoulder, with an air of both cool and casual in light cotton materials screams safari, or at least for most of us a nice sunny holiday abroad. But let’s be honest, I’ll be wearing mine everywhere- I love dresses that can double as day and night attire.. (I will just have to wait until pay day). If you don’t fancy a dress though, why not get yourself an off the shoulder, boho style tee instead? And not forgetting the fringed kimono and poncho that have returned for another season!

Fringed Gypsy Dress


The prints:

We’ve seen how amazing just the plain brights and neutrals can look, but if you aren’t afraid of a little print then this trend is the perfect way to update your wardrobe. Think oversized African Florals for the more bold efforts, or for a more subtle approach why not try paisley or Aztec?

African Floral Midi Dress

Don’t forget to accessorize: 

I’ve mentioned the beautifully embroidered selection of fabric handbags, but what about jewellery? I accept that maybe it isn’t the most practical for a real safari trek- but we are probably just playing pretend when we try out this trend. So when on the hunt for some new jewellery this Summer, why not think about layering a few necklaces together? Or if you want something a bit louder, why not try something new with chunkier ethnic bracelets, even fabric bracelets are a great alternative!

MULTI WRAP BRACELET

Sexy, smudged lips at Vivienne Westwood

Okay, so Vivienne Westwood doesn’t always bring us the most wearable looks, but she certainly finds new ways to encapsulate the Vivienne Westwood woman every season.

This time we saw smudged red lips and flushed cheeks- a subtle hint that there is perhaps a more mischievous side to the Vivienne Westwood woman, a woman who dresses in such smart, luxuriously tailored attire, but is not quite as well behaved as what first meets the eye.

I love the sexy, mysterious quality that such a simple make up look has created, and although smudging lipstick around the outside of your lips may not be a good idea in reality, I am very tempted to try and recreate the look in a more wearable way.

Gosh Long Lasting Lip Marker Red 2
Instead of perfectly appl ying red lipstick in a way that adds a bold pop of colour to the lips, why not try using a lip stain or pen instead. I use the Gosh Long Lasting Lip Marker in Red (Cruelty free and the most long lasting lip product I’ve ever owned) making sure to smudge across the lips with your fingertips straight away before it has time to stain. For extra smudge and dimension I may even blend a touch of the Gosh Long Lasting Lip Marker in Berry Red in the centre of the lips.

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.

According to Vogue…

….we should look to Meryl Streep in the 70’s for AW wardrobe inspiration.

What do you think?

The effortless style of a loose fitted Oxford shirt and long, flowing skirt.
Now & then-we’ve always loved a chunky turtle neck sweater.
An extra long, belted trench coat paired with knee high boots.
The pairing of a checked shirt with an A line skirt looked amazing then, and now.

Dolce & Gabbana say so…

Dolce & Gabbana says:
The Classic White Shirt
Why we agree:  
Who knew this staple wardrobe item could look so good with embellished red hotpants? Granted, it isn’t an everyday look but I’m looking forward to taking the white shirt away from the office!
How to wear:
Okay, so we won’t all be wearing the white shirt in such an extravagant way, but how about taking a tip from Gucci ( sorry, not sorry about the constant Gucci name drop) and wearing this classic piece with an A-line leather mini? I’ve recently bought a burnt orange patent leather look skirt from Primark and I can’t wait to pair it with a crisp white shirt, black tights and over the knee boots or even simple black flats.

Dolce & Gabbana says:
Embellished Jeans
Why we agree:
Could this look a little garish to the untrained eye? Of course, but who really cares when you’ve got jewels all over your jeans? Plus, I love that you could actually make this even more unique with a little DIY, I like this video for inspiration.
How to wear:
Once embellished your jeans can take you from day to night! Keep the rest of the pieces simple though, not everything will work with such a bold pair of jeans!

Close Up 94


Dolce & Gabbana says:
Red Roses everywhere
Why we agree:
I’m not sure why you wouldn’t want to wear fresh roses in you hair everyday, but these lovely floral decorations (in hair, on shoes and embroidered onto dresses) add a bold dimension to a pretty, feminine look. Did I mention it reminds me of the Mediterranean sun?
How to wear:
Firstly, put them in your hair! Secondly, embrace the oversized rose print and then if you’re feeling really brave, use them to embellish your accessories.. but not  all together though, I think that might be a little too much…

Dolce & Gabbana Says:
[Almost] Flat Shoes
Why we agree:
Heels always look really glamorous, but let’s face it we all love a good flat shoe because they’re pretty and nearly always comfortable. And look! The D&G versions are still glamorous with all the embellishments and the cute Mary Jane style strap! Now I just need to find a more affordable dupe..
How to wear:
The show was for SS15, but I think they’re a great substitute over the AW period for when it is a little too warm to wear boots. Do as D&G have and wear with loose fit jeans and mini dresses (add tights for the cooler weather

Alice & Olivia at NYFW

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Why do I love this collection so much..?

Well, let’s think about this for a moment…

[Hint: it ticks all my fashion boxes]

Luxuriously embellished jacket  ✓

Even more embellishment 

Big, bold florals

Full, floor length skirts 

and..

A little Charles James inspiration – ✓

What’s not to love?

Kate Spade SS15

When I saw that the looks from the latest Kate Spade show had been released I anticipated the usual bold and bright collection, so I must admit that I was a little disappointed when I saw that the first look was all over neutrals… where was the vibrant colour and quirkiness I knew and loved?

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Well it’s good that I kept my faith in one of my all time favourite designers, because after that first look, things started to get a little more interesting. We saw a lovely scalloped edge detail  that made those somewhat boring neutrals way more appealing. Stripes and over sized blooms add a pop of colour, not to mention the appearance of the fuller skirts, some lined with tulle, giving each look a touch of feminine glamour.

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Bold, bright colour came in the way of gorgeous forest green hues, a possible nod towards garden parties and the luscious green grass of Spring. This is when quirky accessories came into play, with flowerpots, watering cans and a snail making an appearance. And if this wasn’t enough the designer took on an under water theme, too-think crabs, goggles and a slight nod towards scuba diving via bold red hues.

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Yet again Kate Spade gave us a very impressive show- perhaps that first look served as a great pallette cleanser before viewers were treated to a colourful fashion journey..

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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 !