Gok Wan for Sainsburys – Latest Collection

The latest collection from Gok Wan is set to launch in Sainsburys stores on Thursday, and it is quite a departure from previous ranges. Where past Gok Tu collections have been very body conscious, with curve hugging dresses, pencil skirts, and flattering wide leg trousers, the new range seems to have taken influence from the high-fashion,  sports luxe designs of Alexander Wang, with a bit of scuba dress design a la Philip Armstrong thrown in for good measure.

This collection is chic, but has a decidedly casual slant, with boucle bomber jackets, acres of khaki and soft grey and retro sports inspired styles all included. I think Gok has been really clever with this collection, making sure there are lots of great pieces that can be worn everyday, like the khaki parka, which is simply perfect for the school run, or watching football on a Saturday afternoon.

But Gok also loves glamour, and so we also get the very slinky black dress that reminds me of the neoprene styles loved by Philip Armstrong. whilst the slouchy styled Bardot jumper are like something the ultra glam Lana Del Rey would wear.

My favourite piece is the khaki maxi skirt, which is just so versatile. This is a piece that will look great with boots and a soft knit jumper right now, or teamed with a simple white vest and tan sandals come the summer. It is very 1990s, very Claire Danes in ‘My so called Life’, and eminently wearable!





Harvey Nichols, Birmingham Blogger Event – Food and fashion!

Last Saturday saw the latest Harvey Nichols, Birmingham Blogger event. Always an unmissable event on the Brum social calender, this one promised amazing food, fab fashion and a touch of beauty, as the bloggers were treated to previews of the Harvey Nichols restaurant menu, Christmas food treats and of course, a presentation of the key fashion trends.

The event started in the Harvey Nichols cafe, where we were able to sample some of the delights from the new menu. There were a range of salads, gorgeous roast beef  and horse radish sandwiches which I just loved (the horse radish was just so peppery – fabulous), and my personal favourite, haddock with chips and mushy peas. The haddock was so succulent, it just broke apart with the slightest of touches. This will definitely be my choice for my next visit to Harvey Nicks.

photograph credit Andy Espin

Lunch was followed with a presentation from the food department. We were shown some of the new arrivals for Christmas 2012, including some rather delicious I Chocs, that come in a case designed to resemble an i pad. Of course, I just had to try them, purely for research purposes, and my favourite was the caramel, which was delicious. There were also varieties in mango, milk and liquorice flavours, mango being another must try.

photograph Andy Espin

I also had a little wonder around the confectionery and just saw so many gorgeous items that would make the perfect gift for the fashionista in your life. From handbag and heels from Charbonnel et Walker, to the most gorgeous choconchoc sweeties, these are really lovely gifts that anyone would be happy to receive.

After the mouthwatering chocolate treats, it was time for the fashion presentation which also promised to set us drooling, albeit in quite a different way. Grabbing a glass of champers on the way, we were treated to a presentation of key looks for the new season.

photograp Andy Espin

With Beth Goodrham from Style Guile

Trend report – Look 1

Look 1 was a very, berry feast. This was a casual look which combined a Isabel Marant Etoile T-shirt (£180) with For All Mankind jeans (£225), a  Karl Donoghue gilet, (£550), Ash boots, (£170) and a fabulous Alexander McQueen bag, £1,095. This was a young, fun look and I personally loved the way the t-shirt, with its mix of purple shades, pulled the whole look together.

Look 2

Look 2 was one of my favourites on the day, a real Zooey Deschenal look that transcends the seasons so well. It combined a gorgeous dress from Alice and Olivia with a simple denim jacket from Maison Scotch, and a cute pair of Chipie trainers. The Chloe bag added a touch of grown up elegance to what was a very cute look.

Look 3

This was a very sexy workwear look, a mixture of Gemma Arterton in St Trinians and Jane Birkin mid 1970s. I adored the Paul Smith shirt which had amazing detail on the cuffs – perfect British tailoring. The other talking point of this outfit wa the fantastic Jeffrey Campbell studded boots which are just amazing. High waisted shorts from Isabel Marant, and the much lauded Givenchy dog bag (the one thing I hated to be honest) completed the look.

Look 4

The next look was one that could be termed Middlton-esque. Featuring a gorgeous peplum dress from Alice and Olivia in a smart grey shade, and a glorious pair of Jimmy Choos, this is the perfect workwear look that could take you easily from the boardroom to the bar by just adding a splash of red lippie.

Look 5

This was a real showstopper look that had ana amazing dress from WAGS and celeb favourite Philip Armstrong. The skirt was unusual in that in was a neoprene fabric which gave the dress fabulous structure.This dress needs no adornment, the skirt is most definitely the talking point for a dress like this.

Following the presentation, there was time to take a good look around the store picking out our own key looks and favourite pieces. Here are some of mine.

New York Fashion Week – Wu, Wang and Prabal Gurung

New York fashion week is fully into its stride, and there have been some much-anticipated collections showcased so far. The front rows have been full of fashionistas and icons including Alexa Chung, Rose McGowan, Anna Wintour and teen blogger Tavi. Here I give you my opinions on three of the hottest designers of the moment – Jason Wu, Alexander Wang and Prabal Gurung.

Jason WU – Ready to wear Autumn/Winter 2011.

Jason Wu’s collection was a mixture of androgyny and high glamour. The collection was strong on monochrome black/whites and greys, but with elements of block primary colours thrown into the mix. There were looks back to the past, with references to Yves St Laurent ‘Le smoking’ in the strong tuxedo suits and cigarette pants, and to Maggie Gyllenhall in Secretary with bow necklines and prints. The white and black florals were an echo of Givenchy’s designs for Audrey Hepburn.

I loved the flashes of colour and the use of lace. It has been reported that 15 different types of lace were used in the collection. The stand out designs for me were the evening wear. I loved the black lace dress and the stunning red strapless column. I would absolutely love to see these on the X Factor next season, with Cheryl Cole rocking the black dress and Danni in the red.

So, was there a dress in the collection for Jason Wu’s most famous patron Michelle Obama? Absolutely. The Givenchy inspired black and white dress with the tulip skirt is just the shape the stylish first lady loves, and with the sleeveless look, it would be perfect to show of those perfectly toned arms!


Mannish tribute to Le Smoking



My pick for Michelle Obama



Would love to see Danni Minogue wearing this...



...and Cheryl Cole would look amazing in this!


Alexander Wang’s sporty chic.

Alexander Wang has christened his collection ‘ironic luxury’. Luxurious it may be, but the irony just doesn’t work for me. The collection wasn’t bright enough, it wasn’t luxe enough, and some parts of it bordered on…dare I say it…chavvy.

There was a slight grungy element to the collection, with oversized knits being teamed with slinky silks and satins. Oversized seemed to be a theme of the collection, with shirts being oversized too. There were black ski style anoraks trimmed with fur which for me, as a renowned anorak hater, were just plain chavvy. What saved the collection was the amazing copper shoes. These had a fold over detail on the back which gave the impression of a mini batman cape for the foot. I loved these, they were glamorous and fun. What I could do without were the furry earmuffs, and don’t get me started on the bumbags…


Prabal Gurung – One word, WOW!

This was a totally amazing collection from Prabal Gurung. There was a strong emphasis on glamour, but the ladder effect tights worn with hot pink shoes ensured that it was fun and memorable too.  Black and white made up a good part of the collection, but with hot pinks and red also added to the equation, often as a colour clashing duo.There were so many looks that could be lifted straight from the catwalk and worn by your favourite icon of style. There was a stunning 1950s style red dress that just evoked La Dolce Vita and would be amazing on Monica Belluci or Christina Hendricks. The 1970s style pink flared trousers and sheer red blouse would be amazing on Chloe Sevigny, whilst the bullfighter inspired outfit with red blouse and black cigarette pants would be striking on Rihanna.

There were references to pirates, Miss Haversham and even The Black Swan in one particularly showstopping black strapless gown. The models were not overstyled, looking beautiful with long flowing hair and smoky eyes. I loved every ensemble in this collection, and look forward to seeing it translated to the red carpet very soon.


Black Swan inspired?



La Dolce Vita - imagine Monica Belluci in this!



Miss Haversham anyone?



Pirate inspired?



Love this on Chloe Sevigny

What about this for Rihanna?

Great for Carey Mulligan