Monochrome Chic at Coast

For many of us, Summer is the season where we truly embrace colour, littering our wardrobe with pretty pastels and citrus brights that seem to shimmer and sparkle once we have some gorgeous sunshine. But another chic option for Summer dressing has to be the always classic monochrome.

Black and white are timeless and stylish. It has been a popular choice for some of the most famous style icons of all time, from Audrey Hepburn, who first immortalised monochrome in a beautiful Givenchy gown in Sabrina, and then sent it to new heights in Cecil Beaton’s Royal Ascot gown in ‘My Fair Lady’ (Although Eliza shouting ‘move yer bleedin a*** may have spoiled the effect slightly). Grace Kelly and Princess Diana gave it the royal seal of approval, a seal which has continued through the Duchess of Cambridge and her sister Pippa Middleton. Today monochrome elegance is as popular as ever, with Kate Moss, Emma Watson, Reese Witherspoon and Jessica Alba just some of the stars who wear this look, both on the red carpet, and off.

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Audrey in Givenchy

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Grace Kelly in Rear Window – Edith Head

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The Duchess of Cambridge

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Pippa Middleton

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Kate Moss in Marc Jacobs

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Emma Watson

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Jessica Alba

Coast has just unveiled a gorgeous new collection that is made up of monochrome pieces. There are full-skirted designs that Grace Kelly would’ve been proud to have in her wardrobe, neat shift dresses and pencil designs similar to those sported by Jessica Alba and Victoria Beckham, and chic separates that would easily grace a working wardrobe, or look amazing for evening attire.

Here are some of the best pieces from the Coast monochrome collection – do you have a favourite?

KIRA CHECK DRESS £160.00 click to visit Coast

KIRA CHECK DRESS
£160.00 click to visit Coast

VALERIE SPOT DRESS £125.00 click to visit Coast

VALERIE SPOT DRESS
£125.00 click to visit Coast

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IRRIS CHECK SKIRT £85.00 click here to view
QUEENS SHELL TOP £35.00 click here to view

     Home     Skirts     MILLAS LACE SKIRT       alternative view     MILLAS LACE SKIRT     alternative view     alternative view       zoom     enlarge MILLAS LACE SKIRT £65.00 click to visit Coast

MILLAS LACE SKIRT
£65.00 click to visit Coast

MILLA MONO DRESS £115.00 click to visit Coast

MILLA MONO DRESS
£115.00 click to visit Coast

VADELLA CAMI £35.00 click to visit Coast

VADELLA CAMI
£35.00 click to visit Coast

GLAMOUR BOW DRESS £160.00 click to visit Coast

GLAMOUR BOW DRESS
£160.00 click to visit Coast

TATUM DRESS £115.00 click to visit Coast

TATUM DRESS
£115.00 click to visit Coast

ROSA SEQUIN DRESS £135.00 click to visit Coast

ROSA SEQUIN DRESS
£135.00 click to visit Coast

CANNIZARO SKIRT £75.00 click to visit Coast

CANNIZARO SKIRT
£75.00 click to visit Coast

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

To view all the Monochrome collection, click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1950s fashion inspired by Quirke

For the past two weeks I have spent my Sunday evenings in the 1950s, more specifically 1950s Ireland courtesy of the new BBC serial Quirke. This is a series that has seen mixed reviews, but I have loved the atmospheric lighting, the moody acting of the always fabulous Gabriel Byrne, and, most of all, I have loved the styling and the clothes – oh my, the clothes.

As a real fan of 1950s fashion and glamour, I love anything that harks back to the times when ladies still wore gloves, dresses included a full skirt, and attention to every detail was second to none. Quirke has it’s roots in High Society, the patriarch is a rich judge, and so the female characters that make up part of his family, played by Geraldine Somerville and Aisling Franciosi, are always immaculately turned out in costumes that are truly elegant. In addition, the beautiful Charlie Murphy played a seductive character called Deidre in episode 2, and entered the episode in a stunning backless gown of Grace Kelly styled satin.

Quirke is well worth a look for lovers of the 1950s, the stories have been absorbing and you can just get swept away with the sheer romance of Grace Kelly/Elizabeth Taylor era costumes.

 

 

Quirke

Love Geraldine Somerville’s lace dress.

Quirke

Aisling Franciosi plays Phoebe

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Quirke

Charlie Murphy as Deidre

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Aisling with Gabriel Byrne

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Phoebe working in a hat shop, episode 2.

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1950s styling from Coast

On the High Street there are many examples of 1950s inspired pieces, with Coast leading the way with full skirted evening dresses, stiff satin skirts and strapless sweetheart necklines. With stunning prints, and soft watered pastel shades, these are some of the prettiest looks you will find this Summer.

GRACE MAXI DRESS £495.00 click to visit Coast

GRACE MAXI DRESS
£495.00 click to visit Coast

AMALI PRINTED DRESS £495.00 click to visit Coast

AMALI PRINTED DRESS
£495.00 click to visit Coast

HELSINKI SKIRT £115.00 click to visit Coast

HELSINKI SKIRT
£115.00 click to visit Coast

 

DARLING DRESS £295.00 click to visit Coast

DARLING DRESS
£295.00 click to visit Coast

CORDELIA SKIRT £125.00 click to visit Coast

CORDELIA SKIRT
£125.00 click to visit Coast

LILY-ANNA DRESS £175.00 click to visit Coast

LILY-ANNA DRESS
£175.00 click to visit Coast

HARPER SKIRT £75.00 click to visit Coast

HARPER SKIRT
£75.00 click to visit Coast

HARPER CO-ORD TOP £45.00 click to visit Coast

HARPER CO-ORD TOP
£45.00 click to visit Coast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dial M for Murder spellbinds at The Rep

Can a perfect murder ever be committed, or do human frailties mean we miss tiny details that would inevitably get us caught? That is the premise for ‘Dial M for Murder’, a claustrophobic thriller by Frederick Knott that was most famously bought to life by the genius of Alfred Hitchcock and the beauty of Grace Kelly. A new production by Lucy Bailey is currently playing at The Rep theatre in Birmingham, and I went along to see how the suspense holds up 60 years after it was originally written.

The story is many layered. The glamorous Kelly Hotten plays Sheila Wendice, a once adulterous, now devoted wife of ex- tennis player Anthony Wendice. Her ex-lover Max Halliday has returned to her life after a spell as a television crime writer in New York, but she is determined to stay loyal to her husband. There is only one fly in the ointment, a love letter from Max to Sheila had been lost during the theft of her handbag a year previously, and Sheila has seemingly been blackmailed, although no money has actually been claimed. Sheila is therefore frightened that the dormant affair will be discovered, and put her now perfect marriage to Tony at risk.

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Philip Cairns (Max Halliday) and Kelly Hotten (Sheila Wendice) photo credit Manual Harlan

Unknown to Sheila, Anthony, bitter and dried up in his professional life, knows all to well about the affair, and has been plotting the demise of his wife through the perfect murder. But, as crime writer Max states, there is no such thing as the perfect murder, as human’s are often given away by the tiniest detail that they completely forget about. This proves to be the case, but the clever, calculated Tony Wendice has another plan up his perfectly tailored sleeve. Enter an Inspector with an eye for detail – will he so easily believe the perfect murder?

Kelly Hotten (Sheila Wendice) Photo credit Manual Harlan

Kelly Hotten (Sheila Wendice) Photo credit Manual Harlan

The cast of five players are uniformly excellent. Sheila is played by Kelly Hotten as a kittenish mixture of sensuality, who gradually falls apart as it becomes apparent the police don’t believe she is a victim, but a killer. Christopher Timothy exudes decency as Inspector Hubbard, a little world weary, but still having a real nose for a case that seems to good to be true. Philip Cairns as Max Halliday plays the role like a retro matinee idol, a real Hitchcock style hero who never gives up on trying to protect the leading lady. Robert Perkins is brilliantly seedy as Captain Lesgate, aka Swann, a charming bad apple who finds his past catching up with him in the most terrible way possible. A brilliant cast through and through, but it is Daniel Betts as the charming sociopath Tony Wendice who steals every scene he is in. A cold, calculating, but utterly charming character, Wendice channels the gamut of emotions, from chilling, methodical calculation as he outlines the perfect murder, to faux outraged indignation on behalf of his ‘beloved’ wife.

Christopher Timothy (Inspector Hubbard) Photo credit Manual Harlan

Christopher Timothy (Inspector Hubbard) Photo credit Manual Harlan

Daniel Betts and Kelly Hotten

Daniel Betts and Kelly Hotten

 

Everything else in note perfect in this production. This is a play that is all about the little details, and they are covered to excellent effect, from the blood red set that revolves, allowing you to watch scenes unfold from all perspectives, to the use of silence to build tension. The jazzy theme works very well, especially when it rises to crescendo at key points, and the red curtain that is pivotal to the plot leaves the audience acting almost like a voyeur.

Quite simply one of the best plays I have ever seen, Dial M for Murder is one not to be missed. It runs at the Birmingham Rep until Saturday 17th May. For ticket information, click here.