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.
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 bluedresses) 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 !
Here are a few items that I have purchased on both Ebay and Vinted (a swap and sell app, similar to Ebay) over the last month or so. I’ve found that a lot of high street stores can be quite over priced, which is why I’ve been searching for bargains elsewhere before I commit to buying from the high street. You can find some gems from the high street on Ebay and Vinted anyway, so it is definitely worth having a little look! The only thing I found was that it is very easy to get addicted to bidding on an item, it gets very competitive, which is why some of the items may aren’t neccessarily the cheapest, but I’d like to think I saved some money in the process!
Grey Acid Wash Dress- Urban Outfitters
Black Fringed Kaftan- eBay (originally New Look)
Black and Gold Necklace-New Look
Black skater shoes- Internationale (closing down sale, only £1!!)
I’ve been living in these slip on skater shoes, a trend I was keen to jump on, so when I saw these for only one pound I knew I’d found a bargain, and they’re SO comfy!! I would have preferred leather Croc effect ones, but at £1 these will do me just fine! I’ve been trying my hardest to find bargains for the few items I want this season, and making the most of the Spring/Summer items I’ve already got! I’ve really wanted a kaftan too, so I’ll probably buy another colour at some point 🙂
Personally, I feel that Peacocks can often be a little hit and miss with their collections, but recently I spotted one serious catwalk dupe (here) that I just had to tell you about, and I think you’ll be just as pleasantly surprised as I was…
Yep, that’s right it is just like that amazing print we saw at Chanel for SS14, and I am sooo excited to find a dupe! Not only is this the first copy of the print I’ve come across on the high street, but the items are so decently priced (£8 and £12), that I’m not sure I can resist (although I do have to wait it out until pay day). I just wish the colours were a little brighter, and I’m hoping they’ll bring in dresses and skirts in this print, too!
The retailer has also created dupes of the brush stroke print seen at Celine (here), as well as the pastel lace skirts and dresses seen at Burberry (here and here), and although they are nice enough, I would have liked more from these dupes (I’m not fond of the length of the Celine dupe tee, and I would have liked to have seen the Burberry dupe transformed into co-ords, but maybe that’s just me?)
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.
It seems a mix of traditional and modern prints was the inspiration behind Preen’s most recent show in London this week. We saw Moroccan tiles digitally printed onto coats, dresses and skirts in either bright orange hues or in charcoal grey, but the modern twist came in the form of Darth Vader being printed on top of these traditional Moroccan tiles. Despite how odd this sounds, it actually seems to make sense- we’ve seen sweatshirts with all kinds of motifs and logos, and Preen have obviously taken this concept a step further by printing a sci-fi inspired logo on light, airy materials.
As if Darth Vader didn’t give enough of an edge already, there was a mix of both feminine and masculine elements. Inspired by Annie Hall, there were tailored suits and faint pinstripes, giving an androgynous feel to the collection, but this was softened by the feminine shapes of the skirts, dresses and blouses. Despite the use of black and white in the more tailored parts of the collection, the star of the show has to be the use of fiery hues in creating bold cashmere coats, fluffy oversized sweatshirts, a gorgeous velvet dress and, of course, the Moroccan tile print. The great part about this whole collection is that it is so wearable- we could buy a lot of it now and wear it now- especially those fur trimmed, shiny khaki parka coats and black knee high boots (a huge trend across fashion week so far).
Kate Spade never disappoints when it comes to creating bold, youthful collections, and their AW collection, which was showcased during the second day of NYFW, was of no exception. This time the story behind the collection comes from the creative director’s recent trips to both Shanghai and Tokyo, which is clearly demonstrated by the designer’s use of obi bows, silky pajama pants and, of course, that ‘Hello Tokyo’ clutch bag. In this collection, rich colours are reminiscent of the vibrant South East Asian culture, especially when they are mixed with lots of textures, quirky accessories (that Chinese take out handbag) and bold prints (think bright florals and leopard spots). As usual, the Kate Spade New York collection has provided everything it promises to it’s loyal fashion followers; its playful, its bold and brings a youthful glow to the otherwise dull AW months. And what does the creative director have to say about the more subdued colours in the collection? ‘Navy is the new black’ (for a more classy Kate Spade look) and ‘Pale pink is the new neutral’ (For a softer, feminine edge contrasted against those brilliant vibrant hues).
Known for his gorgeous red carpet gowns, Tadashi Shoji definitely didn’t disappoint during his New York show yesterday as he presented a whole host of beautiful, flattering dresses. It was a romantic affair, with pretty lace and light chiffon (not forgetting a few regal looking capes and Victorian-esque high collars), but what really stood out was the designers symbolic nod towards ‘intricate tile work’ that was especially represented in his gorgeous lace numbers. The collection was a beautiful mix of bold colour, fresh white, as well as softer hues, which embodied the feminine, romantic charm of his entire collection. Now we’ve just got to sit and wait for his dresses to hit the red carpet ..
For a few weeks now I’ve been admiring how trainers look on other people, wishing I was both brave enough and edgy enough to pull off such a stylish, sporty twist on my otherwise feminine style. But today my fear of looking a little silly amongst the street style elite has miraculously subsided thanks to the jewel encrusted, couture trainers at Chanel. Now, I’m not usually one for sportswear, but these couture beauties have really persuaded me. Maybe it’s because they’re teamed with pretty pastel shades, white lace and jewels, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that once Karl Lagerfeld puts something on a Couture runway that is that wearable to the outside world, it won’t take long for the trend to catch on across the high street, too.