Reviewed – AX Paris Laser Cut PU Scallop Skirt

I must confess, I haven’t worn a leather, or leather look skirt since I was 20. The last one I wore was a black leather pencil skirt that I got from Camden Market, wore a few times, and then retired, thinking I looked like a watered down version of a Midlands Joan Jett – so not a good look.

But earlier this month, whilst browsing the AX Paris curve collection choosing a piece to review, I spotted the Laser Cut PU scallop skirt. This was a leather look skirt with a difference. Forget thigh skimming pelmets, or ultra tight tubes, this skirt was demure and modest, almost 1950s in shape. And it was super pretty – with a laser style pattern that reminded me of Giles silver leather from last year. So I decided against all the pretty dresses on the site and opted for the skirt – slightly out of my comfort zone.

Laser Cut PU Scallop Skirt Price: £30.00 click to visit AX Paris

I’ve been waiting for a special occasion to wear the skirt and last night one came along. I was invited to the Harvey Nichols Birmingham fashion show which was taking place in the cool confines of the Old Post Office in the Cities Mailbox complex. All the leading lights of the Midlands fashion scene were going to be there, and the invitation said dress to impress. This skirt was perfect.

With Emily Jayne - check out that gorgeous skirt!

This skirt is gorgeous to wear, and extremely versatile. I teamed it with a simple t-shirt and a statement necklace, adding a touch of red in my Sonia Rykiel bag. The skirt has a thick waistband that I added a belt to, but it looks just as good left bare. I couldn’t believe how many positive comments I had about this skirt, people seemed to want to touch it as it feels so soft, and not at all stiff in the way leather can be.

Front row with Justice Williams from City and Style and Lisa

I am so looking forward to styling this in different ways. As the weather has not got the memo that it is Spring yet, I’m going to be adding a baby pink cashmere jumper with this for a more daytime look, whilst wearing it with a crisp white shirt could give this a very Alexa Chung feel. This is just a fabulous skirt and a welcome addition to my wardrobe.

 

 

 

Harvey Nichols Spring fashion show…Can I have it all please?

Last Saturday saw Harvey Nichols, Birmingham, hold a host of fabulous fashion shows to celebrate the new season. The shows, being held in a fashion theatre on the ground floor of the Mailbox, celebrated all that is new to Harvey Nicks, a mixture of casual daytime and evening glamour. Designers from Malene Birger,Philip Armstrong, McQueen, DKNY and Markus Lupfer were all represented in the show, as was an array of totally gorgeous Louboutins.

 

Scene 1 – Americana

The show started with the boys. This was a true summer look, full of cut-off jeans and t-shirts, at least one of which, you wouldn’t wear in front of your grandmother! (See Penthouse below!) This collection was full of cool t-shirts from labels like ‘Death by Zero’ and ‘No tomorrow’ and had a real holiday mood. Deck shoes completed the look..with no socks in sight.

Scene 2 – Trailer Trash

This was a pretty, bright collection…with a frayed, laddered rock and roll edge. Gorgeous floral playsuits from Alice and Olivia were teamed with very distressed tights. I loved the Rolling Stonish vest top from Markus Lupfer that was teamed with amazing Ugg sheepskin cuffboots. There were also pastel jeans that were anything but girlie.

Scene 3 – Olympia

With the Olympics not that far away, Harvey Nichols turned its attention to more sportier themes. Tracksuit bottoms from D&G and True Religion were teamed with sports themed t-shirts, including a showstopper from Vivienne Westwood that had a medal emblazoned on the front – gold of course.

Scene 4 – Sloane Rangers

This was all about cool, casual daytime looks that are perfect for the English Spring. From yellow Burberry rain jackets to a Michael Kors trench jacket, there were plenty of chic cover ups for the drab English rain. There were also ice-cream colours that were perfect for upcoming festival season, and a touch of land girl in the form of Burberry’s safari style khaki dress.

Scene 5 – Sun bleached sands

This was a collection of preppy, wearable separates that made a great Summer casual look. There were some surprising, stand out elements, like the Diesel shirt with sequined detail that was, quite frankly, wasted on a man’s wardrobe. The omnipresent McQueen scarves looked as good as ever.

Scene 6 -Whiter shade of Pale

The perfect cool, crisp colour was showcased in a series of memorable looks. From Acne’s shirt dress that gave the impression of slipping on a lovers white shirt, to the Pinko trench that was teamed up with an Americana vintage scarf for a Grace Kelly in Monte Carlo feel, this was a collection that was cool and collected. A particular favourite was the Second Day tunic that was the absolute perfect holiday piece.

Scene 7 -Summertime blues

This was all about the seaside! Deck shoes with turned up jeans, floaty scarves and t-shirts made this your Summer holiday checklist. There were also an abundance of thin knits from the likes of D&G, a trend that seems to be recognising that English Summer’s are not all like the Summer of 76, when you could apparently fry eggs on a pavement!

Scene 8 -La Vie en Rose

Every shade of pink was represented in this collection,which included a Paul Smith shorts suit and the prettiest raspberry floaty dress from DKNY, that had the audience swooning at its light as a feather loveliness. The Finders Keepers dress was also beautiful, with back detail that resembled a cape.

Scene 9 – Futuristic

This was a mixed bag, that although entitled futuristic, had definite nods to the past. From a McQ blazer that drew on Teddy Boy culture of the 1950s, to the McQ graffiti jeans that were almost a tribute to Stephen Sprouse’s 1980s designs, this was full of wild styling for the extrovert.

Scene 10 – Girls go Glam

And so the best was left until last. This was a stunning range of evening and party looks that took in a whole host of exquisite looks, from ‘The Artist’ inspired flapper dress from Sass and Bide, to 1930s Malene Birger bias cut evening dress in Vanilla and black. Philip Armstrong was strongly represented in his structured mini dresses, but my favourite dress was the tight roses decorated shift style dress from Philip Armstrong that had a black bow. This was similar to a Valentino evening dress worn by Anne Hathaway to the Oscars a few years ago. So feminine and romantic.

 

Special mention must also go to the team from Royston Blythe who created the fabulous big hair, and Mac for the flawless make up.

 

 

Harvey Nichols Birmingham hosts a Spring/Summer 12 preview

Last Saturday, the brightest and best of Birmingham’s style bloggers  risked the threat of incoming snow to enjoy a touch of Spring. The iconic Harvey Nichols store in the Mailbox hosted a special Spring/Summer preview,complete with fashion show, trend reports and an opportunity for a store walk. And, this being Harvey Nicks, all that fashion was complimented with lashings of champagne.

The fashion show was a perfect opportunity to introduce some of the new designs coming to the Birmingham store. There was no Victoria by Victoria Beckham, as this collection had literally fled out of the door, snapped up by eager fans who worship at the cult of Beckham. But there was Philip Armstrong, favourite of Dannii Minogue, and already proving to be a big hit with stylish Birmingham ladies. The beautifully structured white and black lace dress was both futuristic and feminine, and when teamed with the highest Louboutins I had ever seen, really had the Wow! factor. There was also a black version, which had a more decadent, brocade style look.

There were short and sexy dresses from the icons. Just Cavali showcased a bright floral print that was clearly designed for sultry hot nights on the dance floor. M for Missoni also showcased a bright mini, but this had a more laid back 60s feel. Think Sharon Tate in Valley of the Dolls, Brigitte Bardot in San  Tropez or that modern-day Mia Farrow, Michelle Williams.

My two favourite looks were both from Pinko. The first had a very 1990s influence, and tied neatly into the summer staple of white. This was a beautiful and delicate leopard print Jacquard dress that almost had the feel of a negligee. It was teamed with a draped jacket and raybans for a luxe grunge look.  The second look was a stunning boho style maxi dress that incorporated print  and beading for the perfect holiday look.

A store walk enabled bloggers an opportunity to enjoy all the other collections on sale at Harvey Nichols this season. Markus Lupfer was a definite favourite of mine, I’ve been a huge fan of his quirky knitwear forever, and this season I adore the embellished flamingoes and handbag designs.

 

Malene Birger was another favourite, featuring a collection of dresses in a black and vanilla palette. This was a 1930s influenced collection, bias cut evening gowns that looked like they belonged to the golden age of Hollywood.

My other favourites were those American classics Michael Kors and DVF. I loved that Von Furstenberg featured colour block dresses that almost had a sporty 1920s feel to them, whilst Michael Kors AQincorporated the sort of nautical tinged features (stripes, navy and white, chain details) that just scream Spring. The cream and gold cardigan was just stunning.

 

Thanks must go to Lisa Piddington and Harvey Nichols for this wonderful event. Everyone enjoyed it and it was a fabulous opportunity to get an up close view of all the new season trends and styling.

 

With Elca from Stylepad and Sunny from Wardrobemag