The shoes are coming

While blankly staring through the window at a dull summers day yesterday, I caught a glimpse of an amber leaf floating to the ground, a poetic reminder that the inevitable is upon us.

SUMMER IS OVER.

As much as I enjoyed the heat wave here in London I have to admit that I’m prematurely (as always) getting excited about the momentum AW fashion will be building in the next few weeks.

For me the key to AW styling lies in 3 things: good outerwear, good shoes and clever layering. Oddly I seem to neglect the third a little too often and am always wooed by dapper footwear and jackets when it comes to September…. The things that I DON’T need more of!

Here are my favourites in the ‘footwear’ category that have (tragically) caught my attention recently.

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These pony hair loafers from the Topman ‘le Marais’ edit are Parisian inspired dazzlers. The patent trip and chunky white sole really do it for me. What they lack in practicality for winter, they make up for in unique style. Careful with your hosiery though! They show a lot of foot. Great option for summer too with rolled up jeans.

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Black brogues are always a wardrobe staple and these KG beauties are up to the occasion. They just keep giving with a reptile texture, a durable rubber sole and a handsome gold toe-plate. Here’s your practical winner!

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These Allsaints brogues for me are the winners. I hate to use such a phrase but they really are a ‘twist on a classic’. I’m not sure whether its the mighty fine rugged rubber sole or the Alexander Wang vibes I get from the pointed toe that’s tugging on my heart strings but these really are my ultimate winter shoe. All that might even justify their £148 price tag. Maybe.

Thanks for reading,

F

2012 Favourites

Hello hello

So let’s just get it out there that I am useless at keeping this blog up to date. Generally what happens is, I come across something I would want to write a post about and instead of writing something then, I save a draft of the idea to develop when I have ‘time’. Of course, having such free time is a rarity and so, nothing gets written. However I thought it would be a shame to let the opportunity pass to share some of the things I had gotten excited about and had since neglected sharing it on here, so I have put together a small selection of favourites from the year. Hopefully 2013 will see more regular posting… maybe.

So here it goes, my standouts from 2012, roughly in chronological order.

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Skolday satchel – Ted Baker

This was certainly the first SS12 I had seen and got excited about, first spotted in the Ted Baker store in Covent Garden back in January, however it wasn’t until June that I actually acquired it for my birthday. What with the surging popularity of the Cambridge Satchel Co’s brightly coloured leather satchels, I thought this gem was the perfect midway between practical and trendy and it’s classic vintage style ensures there will be no loss of appeal as it ages. I have used this very diversely both for work and play and one thing is for certain, it always turns heads. Ted reintroduced this line of satchels for AW in darker hues, some which may still be available at tedbaker.com if you fancy a look.

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Moustache necklace – Topman

Print T-Shirt – Taxonomy 

I’m not a lover of SS fashion at all at all and usually find myself dressing plain plain plain. This was the general gist of my summer wardrobe. I quite possibly wore the moustache more than any other piece of ‘jewellery’ I have owned, particularly during a 4 week long ramble around Europe which has added a sentimental value so I thought it should be included here.

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Malachite cleansing gel – Molton Brown 

I’m not sure how many men admit to being pedantic about skincare products but I for one, am rather choosy. Long story short I had been using other Aveda products which while being desirable from a quality point of view, didn’t quite control oil buildup as much as I would have hoped. I felt the urge (quite randomly) to try this gel cleanser from Molton Brown and I have to say, it would be hard to beat this. It smells fresh, feels divine and controls natural oil without leaving your face looking like you’ve had a chemical peal. HIGHLY recommend.

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Waxed overcoat – Barbour 

What with the weather in Ireland this summer being nothing short of dismal, I discovered a need for a weather-proof reliable jacket and this waxed Barbour is just that. I find the ruggedness of the lobster-clip fastenings and the smartness of the corduroy collar so ideal. It’s also very comfortable to wear with fleece-lined pockets just at the right position for stowing glove-less hands while on a walkabout town, any time of year.

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Vintage tassel loafer – Dr. Marten

These were another staple winter purchase, bought with functional intent along with personal lust! The durability and comfort of Dr. Marten air weir soles is a great attribute to any shoe but with size 11 feet the usual boots are just not for me. These however, are a smarter alternative and in my opinion, are equally as versatile. I found myself reaching for these almost every day during the winter season whether for work, college or weekend adventures. You can’t be lazy with choice of socks, though.

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Coated black jeans – the Kooples

I have had my eye on these for quite some time and decided at last, to invest for the Christmas party season. They’re leather-look, slim fit, stretchy, comfortable and the epitome of smart-casual jeans. I have worn them with a shirt and black blazer as well as dressed-down with dark knitwear and fit they are always a safe bet for a smart, polished look.

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Suede leather biker jacket – the Kooples

If you’ve read my other posts, you may have noticed I was swooning over this back in August. I was on the hunt for a biker jacket and rather than forking out the dollah for this bad boy, I decided I would exercise self-control and try find an alternative in London when I was due to visit my sister in September. Surprisingly, I in fact did find an alternative, in the form of a gloriously Acne-esque black biker in a dinjy dodgey Brick Lane leather goods store at the bargain price of £70. This temporarily satisfied by biker lust, but I never forgot about this and payed it regular visits at the Kooples store. What a great end to 2012 it was then when I found this under the Christmas tree from my mother. How do they do it eh? Santa always knows.

I could probably keep extending this list to include the odd bits and bobs of clothing I wore a lot this year but I thought I would stick to things I will continue to love and wear in 2013 also.

Also, I should really turn my attention back to exam revision, as I can be sure this will not be the topic of any medical exam :(

Thanks for reading,

F

What did you give this Christmas?

As I’m sure is the case for many, not only do I love Christmas for the great gifts you receive, but for the great pleasure I get in giving people gifts. So instead of showing off all the things I received, I decided I would show you some of the presents I gave.

One of my closest friends is deeply obsessed with moustaches so when I saw this necklace by Tatty Devine, I knew it was meant to be.

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For sister number one, I chose a mustard wool skirt with leather pocket trims by Maje which I envisaged looking super with navy or black. I also picked her up a matte black metal necklace from COS and a Tom Ford eyebrow pencil and shaper. She’s a London-living fashion-breathing luxury designer so needless to say choosing gifts for her is always a task, but I nailed it.

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For sister number two, the shopping was too easy. I picked her up this beauty again, from Maje. It’s a black suede clutch with leather strap details and removable chain straps. She’d been fawning over this for months so it was a definite safe bet. For her little bits and bobs I went with an old classic cookbook that is known as the kitchen bible in our household, Delia Smiths Complete Cookery Course in a handy, more compact paperback edition. To go with her obsessive and perfectionist nature, I also got her an Alessi electric clothes-shaver which immediately made me think of her when I saw it so I couldn’t leave it on the shelf.

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And then the main event, my mother. Since we were children my mother has always been almost over-generous at Christmas and so, my siblings and I always make our best attempt and spoiling her too. This year, we bought her this beautiful navy-blue leopard print bag by Stella McCartney. It can be carried on the shoulder like shown or the two smaller handles also fold up allowing it to be carried as a large tote. Needless to say it was a show-stopper! As for bits and bobs, we gave her a set of 6 cute Le Cruiset mini casserole dishes.

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Unfortunately now my life has been stripped of all festivity and filled with exam anxiety, talk about January blues!

 

Thanks for reading and Happy New Year,

F

Biker fantasy

So my posting during summer has been non-existent mostly due to the fact that I’ve been working literally every day but also because summer fashion generally fails to grab my attention. However, now as late evenings shrink back to darkness, stores are beginning to fill with AW stock and this is when I begin salivating over statement coats and cosy shoes and the likes. I will do a post or 2 to summarise summer later but this one couldn’t wait….

Which brings me to my first AW12 post. TREND ALERT! Shearling. Yes, those cuddly sheep (or synthetic versions) are making quite the appearance on this seasons outerwear right across the board from top designers to premium brands and high-street.

I’m a fan in some cases and not in others. I’m drawn to a more classic leather jacket with detatchable shearling, then you’ll always get the wear out of your investment. What better fits the occassion than this beauty by the Kooples.

I can honestly say that the picture doesn’t do this jacket justice. The suede leather feels so densely luxurious, the fit is slim and perfect and of course, the fur is detachable so when the trend passes, it can be worn and adored for years to come sans fur. As with all Kooples merchandise, the downside is the price… at €595 it’s on the outrageous side! But definitely a worthy investment in my opinion and number one on my AW wish list.

Here’s what else is on offer in the same category:

As you can see the trend of dual materials with fur accents is quite consistent. I threw in the plain Acne biker simply because of it’s brilliance. The problem with all of these bar TB is the price obviously but replicas will find their way into likes of Zara etc no doubt. Also the Ted model had no face so I pasted him onto the end of the Balenciaga over a coat I wasn’t fond of.. win win.

I hope you’re as excited as I am about winter (weirdo I know). As always leave me a comment if you have any… comments.

F

ART DISCO Prints

I don’t know have any of you explored the Asos Marketplace site, I have numerous times and while I have yet to buy anything, one thing is for certain. It’s oozing with fresh talent! People can individually sell items or you can set up a boutique and sell collections, so what’s on offer ranges from vintage boutiques to contemporary collections as well as just second hand clobber.

I do recommend you have a scout around the site if you do like shopping for things a little different, but one boutique in particular immediately caught my attention which I am now obsessed with, ‘Art Disco’. The collection is designed by two girls who grew up as school friends and sing in a band together. While touring, they discovered that their custom print t shirts were selling out at every gig and had the idea to start an official collection… good decision girls! The stuff is amazing. The theme is simple, plain classic pieces screen printed with their custom ‘on-trend’ artwork. You’ll see a lot of Aztec inspired prints as well as the ankh cross and the likes.

My personal favourites are the white T-shirts, purely for the simplicity. I’d fancy them with black skinnies and white converse.

The denim jackets are also rather funky and are all different varieties of vintage denim, again with screen prints on the back.

I’m not sure what it is about that Pharoah print… it just looks exciting! It’s very much in keeping with globally blown out of proportion fashion obsession with aztec print, but still a little different and quirky. One thing I would be sceptical about is the quality, which for now I can’t comment on because I have yet to order something (pharoah will be mine soon!), but at £28 for the T’s and £90 for the jacket, it would want to be good.

Hope you share my love for this interesting collection and make sure to check out the ASOS marketplace, some great discoveries to be made.

F

Oh and here’s a snap of the ladies themselves, Lucy Catherwood and Marie France

TOUCH ME and everyone else…

Firstly. My blogging has been neglected after a mere 3 posts on this blog, so apologies for that but life took over for quite a period. Now it’s crunch time with exams around the corner… so naturally I’m welcoming distractions.

So to start off my new year of posting (in April.. I know), I want to introduce you to Coiscéim Dance Theatre. I danced with the Creative Steps group in Coiscéim for most of 2010/2011 but have been absent since November last. I took the plunge again however only yesterday, and joined choreographer Emma O’Kane to begin rehearsals for a contemporary piece to be performed at the Irish Youth Dance Festival 2012.

If anyone has ever been to a Coiscéim show, you will know what I mean when I say their performances are powerful, evoking emotions you never thought possible from such simple movement. I experienced a perfect example of this recently, when I brought a dance newbie to see their latest production TOUCH ME at the Project Arts Centre, Temple Bar.

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I was watching him avidly to see his response to the performance. Was he staring absently hoping the madness on stage was soon to end, or ready to kill me for making him come? Certainly not. Instead his cheeks were showing glistening evidence of emotional involvement with the performance. As were mine! I can’t and won’t attempt to describe the theme of the piece because it is too complex and has a large personal component, but I will say it was unlike anything I have seen before. So kudos to creative director David Bolger.

Emma O’Kane was a performer in this piece and I had taken classes with her before, which of course meant I was full of excitement to be joining this next project. Her movement is beyond inspiring. Last night was class 1 and already, in that mere 3 hours, my creative juices were flowing and I was exploring areas of movement inspired by various pieces of music. It’s such a complex thing to understand without doing it, but standing in a mirrored dance studio and freely investigating a piece of music through movement brings me to a euphoric place. Your confidence  grows. Emotions you don’t even know you are feeling come the surface. Your muscles may also ache (as I am learning today).

So what I want to convey through this example is that if you have seen any contemporary dance shows or any dance pieces for that matter, and feel like you want to try it. Do it. It’s both good exercise and emotionally therapeutic. You might even get to be on a poster (the ninja is me).

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I am going to try post more regularly, if somewhat sporadically to stay tuned if you like what you have seen. Comments or shared thoughts are appreciated!

F

Oh dear… look at those patterns

Topman Designs Spring Summer 2012 Collection was launched Wednesday 21st at LFW. Unfortunately I didn’t get to watch live (work… ugh), but I have since had a look. Above are some of what I thought to be the key stand-out pieces, but overall, I wasn’t all that impressed.

Some of the prints are wearable (I like the third from the right), but the majority are not. I know it’s the case with most runway shows, but I can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of impracticality. Neon patent leather shoes? It’s an exciting idea, but I would never wear them. Same goes for silk-esque flowing trousers. I do however like the double-breasted jackets, those I can do. Oh and the black shorts.

In summary it’s a very original and vibrant collection, but for a minimalist like myself, completely unwearable.