Vauxhall Fashion Scout Exhibition – Edward Finney

Vauxhall Fashion Scout is a veritable hotbed of new fashion talent, with the exhibition a great showcase for new design. I had a good look around yesterday and totally fell in love with the unique, unusual designs of Edward Finney. My first words on seeing his collection were ‘This is a man influenced by Alexander McQueen‘,  and I was fascinated to learn  that Edward Finney had worked with McQueen, and also with another fashion genius, John Galliano , with whom he worked as assistant designer for four years. After viewing his offbeat designs, I don’t think it will be that long before we mention Edward Finney in the same breath of McQueen and Galliano.

Using a host of ‘heritage’ plaids and checks, Finney has created a wonderful collection rich in character and design.  Using the American socialite turned Happy Valley Vixen Alice De Janze as inspiration, this is a collection that, like Alice, breaks all conventions and has a seriously wild side. From sophisticated shift dresses that turn out to be seriously cute playsuits, to the use of shoelaces for adornment, this is a collection that requires you to look and look again.


Finney’s collection re-creates the hedonism of the 1920s ex-pat community with ‘a modern blend a fusion of tribal strength and classical style.’ So you have classic dress styles with full skirts and Prince of Wales check bands that are subverted with ultra sexy and modern cutaway details. Or the traditional plaid fabric turned into a 1980s style puffball mini dress.

My absolute favourite piece is the totally fabulous dress that bleeds ink, a stunning, innovative piece which leaks ink slowly spattering  the snow-white skirts with black ink as the model walks and moves. This is a dress filled with drama that is totally breathtaking.

I love this collection, and think there are enough quirky, edgy beauties on the red carpet who could really do it justice. Jaime Winstone would look amazing in the red tartan, full length dress below, whilst I would love to see Emma Watson in the puffball style strapless dress, this would look fantastic against her elfin beauty.

A designer whose works combines a sense of the dramatic with the element of fun, Edward Finney is truly a name to remember.

Style Renaissance at the Mailbox

This Friday, as Style Birmingham live begins, The Mailbox launches Style Renaissance, where we are promised a glamorous assortment  of fashion, jewellery, accessories and beauty. A Showcase for a whole host of exciting and new brands and boutiques, Style Renaissance  will run until the end of December, giving Birmingham fashionistas a new and exciting destination for all those Christmas presents.

There will be a range of  fabulous designers, artisans and jewellery-makers, and visitors will also be able to  meet and chat with beauty, fashion and interior experts and stylists, all bursting to share their creations and ideas.

So who’s there? Those taking part in Style Renaissance include: Stastia exclusive footwear and slippers; beauty innovators Arbonne; Notting Hill-based designer Nancy Pop; Felt So Good accessories; silk ties from Fox & Chave; E-Vintage, which boasts a stunning range of fashions from the 1920s to the Seventies; Julia Burgess metallic lace jewellery; bespoke lighting company Mullan; Pastiche Couture prom dresses; and Italian designer shirts from CBmenswear.

Lamis Khamis

 Here’s a preview of what will be on offer throughout the three-month celebration:

STYLE CLINIC: Learn from those in the know. Dedicated style advisors will help take the legwork out of shopping and use their knowledge of the latest trends to pick the perfect look. Not only that, visitors will get the chance to shop the new season collections from the featured fashion, jewellery and accessory labels.

INNOVATIVE BEAUTY: Confused by the latest skincare advances? Want to catch up on the new cosmetics trends? Mailbox experts certainly have their fingers on the pulse when it comes to the beauty breakthroughs … perfect timing for the fast-approaching party season.

HOME STYLE: Pick up essential tips from a professional interior designer, who can guide shoppers through the new season trends for the home. From bespoke furniture to Christmas decorations, there will be plenty of inspirational gifts and accessories on sale too.

JEWELLERY BOX: Step inside to discover a must-have range of opulent pieces that will go straight to the top of anyone’s Santa wish list. There will be great advice on jewellery and gems, as well as the chance to splash out on a fabulous statement piece.

STYLE CENTRE: A treasure chest for trend-setters, the marketplace will feature an impressive selection of designers, vintage and couture fashion, millinery, costume jewellery and lavish gifts.

THE GENTRY: The guys don’t need to feel left out, with a dedicated area highlighting up-to-the-minute men’s fashion and grooming. Personal shoppers and style consultants will be on hand to give advice on a new winter wardrobe.

REJUVENATION CENTRE: Spotlighting the best of the best, this collection of elite services focuses on wellbeing, cosmetic treatments, personal training and positive mental health.

So make sure you add the Mailbox Style Renaissance to your list of must  visit destinations next time you are in Birmingham. You are sure to find something beautiful and unique, and may even be able to grab a few early Christmas presents!

Ruxx (backpack pictured, from £395)


For more info about Style Renaissance, and to keep up all the news and developments about this exciting event, please check out the Mailbox website.

Pippa Middleton – One wedding, one birthday and a whole host of fashionable looks.

It’s been rather a busy week for Pippa Middleton. Whilst sister Duchess Kate is holed up who knows where, Pippa has been spotted enjoying a friend’s wedding, a whole host of shopping trips, and her own 28th birthday. As usual, there was a whole lot of fashion on display. Here is a rundown on some of her latest outfits.

First up, Pippa was spotted showing off her special brand of smart casual on her way to work in London. Black skinny jeans were teamed with a frilled French Connection top and vibrant red accessories, including a rather gorge red Prada bag. I love the splash or red adding red-hot colour to this look.

Next up we have the birthday girl in…wait for it…H&M! This look is so right on many levels. The great bargain bucket of a dress (just £24.99), the smart monochrome colour pallete, and a great way of showing that white lace can make a great, vintage style day look. By teaming this with the knee-high boots, this has a real 1960s vibe, tapping into one of the key trends for Autumn.

H&M lace dress £24.99 click to buy

Pippa is a huge fan of French Connection and is often pictured wearing pieces from their collections. This colour block dress is another great piece for chic daywear, with the darker colour palette perfectly suited to the dull Autumn days we are currently experiencing.

Streaky Stripe Dress £120.00 click to buy

Another day, another really pretty dress and another wearing for that gorgeous red Prada bag. This swan print dress is from Zara, another fave of both Pippa and Kate, and one of my favourite looks of the week. With cute ballerina flats that I think may be French Sole, and the Knomo laptop bag, Pippa looks very cool and fresh as she pounds the London streets.

Swan Print dress Zara

The final look of the week is one which seems to have split some opinions. Pippa attended a society wedding on Saturday (yes..another one!)and wore a dress that some have described as elegant, others as frumpy. I am firmly in the first camp, this Alice Temperley dress is exquisitely pretty and in the hot colour, according to Prabal Gurung, for next season. I love the lace inset, and the little hat is plugging into the Wallis Simpson trend. The only criticism is that this seems  to be the silk  that creases quite badly once you’ve sat in a car, but otherwise,  another flawless Pippa look.