Reviewed – Kiera PU midi skirt from Boohoo

Boohoo.com are having a rather busy Spring. As well as launching a very successful new collection with the uber gorgeous Nadia Aboulhosn (which you can read about here), the main Boohoo plus collection continues to grow in strength and style. It has everything, including skirts in mini, midi, maxi and skater lengths. My current favourite from the collection is the Kiera midi skirt in faux leather style. It is sassy, stylish and fun to wear. It can be worn so many different ways that it is an ultimate wardrobe no brainer. It is also something a long way from my comfort zone, but it was my first choice when it came to choosing something to review from the current collection. Why? One reason – Marianne Faithfull!

Keira PU Midi Skirt £16 click to visit Boohoo

Keira PU Midi Skirt £16 click to visit Boohoo

In my late teens I discovered Marianne Faithfull and her awesome 1960s rock chick style, and that was how I dressed for the next few years. A-line suede skirts, acres of scarves and bell bottom jeans and trousers, all these made their way into my wardrobe, courtesy of Birmingham’s rag market. And even though those years have flown by, one iconic photograph of Mick and Marianne still gives me style inspiration. imagesI totally love this image of a fluffy jumper teamed with a black skirt, and, although I know Marianne’s skirt is a skater style mini, I prefer to think it might be a leather pencil skirt. This was the look I was going for with my Boohoo skirt – a sort of an (aging) rock chick! The skirt is super easy to wear as it has an elasticated waistband – a simple pull on, pull off style. The length is midi, and, at the moment, I am wearing it with tights, but I do think this would look great with bare legs and a suntan. The fabric is great, it doesn’t feel too thin, and it has some stretch in it too. It is a bodycon fit, but I haven’t felt the need to add shapewear with this.

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Primark fluffy jumper teamed with Boohoo skirt

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The skirt gets a wearing at Disney on Ice…not quite so rock chick!

As well as wearing the skirt with the fluffy jumper, I also teamed it with a pink blouse (another charity shop find) and Mary Janes for a slightly more formal look. The fifties print clutch adds a little fun to the look. DSCN6675[1] DSCN6676[1] Boohoo never fails to give style inspiration at affordable prices, and the current collection is well worth a look. Here are a few more skirts that have caught my eye.

Georgina Leopard Print Midi Skirt £12 click to visit Boohoo

Georgina Leopard Print Midi Skirt £12

Marie Zip Front Midi Skirt £15 click to visit Boohoo

Marie Zip Front Midi Skirt £15

Ailsa Contrast Trim Scuba Midi Length Skater Skirt £15 click to visit Boohoo

Ailsa Contrast Trim Scuba Midi Length Skater Skirt £15

Polly Pinstripe Midi Skirt £8 Click to visit Boohoo

Polly Pinstripe Midi Skirt £8

Ivy Double Mesh Midi Skirt £20 click to visit Boohoo

Ivy Double Mesh Midi Skirt £20

 

Family Fever

Ossie Clark being relaunched by Debenhams – super exciting

If you think of a designer who epitomised the late 1960s/early 197os, the name that probably springs to mind is Ossie Clark. The flamboyant designer created a wealth of beautiful, floaty garments that featured the glorious prints of his wife, Celia Birtwell. These were the clothing of choice for all who were famous, beautiful and beloved of the generation. Bianca Jagger wore an Ossie Clark design for her 1971 wedding to Mick Jagger, Anita Pallenburg. Marianne Faithfull, Ali McGraw, Angelica Huston, Twiggy and Mick Jagger himself all shone in Ossie’s designs, which were characterised by beautiful prints, fluid movement and those long sweeping sleeves.

Bianca Jagger

Amanda Lear in Ossie Clark

Marianne Faithfull in Ossie Clark 1973

Ali McGraw 1969

Twiggy

Mick and Bianca 1971

Ossie Clark died in 1996, murdered by his ex-lover at the tragically young age of 56, but the Ossie Clark legacy has long lived on. Many designers have been influenced by the shapes and prints, including Matthew Williamson, who boho creations certainly have echoes of Ossie Clark in his heyday. And with maxi dresses and jumpsuits now an integral part of our wardrobes, there has never been a better time for a relaunch for Ossie Clark, and Debenhams is doing just that.

Nicholas Georgiou, a graduate of Saint Martins, will oversee the creative direction, which will look to the Ossie Clark archives in order to revive classic designs and re-imagine the prints in new settings.  Retail prices for the collection will range from £49 to £189, and will be available in 45 Debenhams stores across the country, and online from February.

One of the new designs on display at the Debenhams Press day

I was lucky enough to have had a chance to view a few of the designs during the Debenhams Spring/Summer press day. I was impressed with the element of fun that was visible in the clothing. The prints having a definite retro feel, but the clothing feeling modern none the less. Ossie’s original designs are now highly sort after and sell for huge prices, so this is a nice way to tap into the Ossie Clark look without having to re-mortgage your house.

 

One of the new designs for Debenhams

 

Kate. Marilyn and Elizabeth and the Allure of Pearls.

Kate Winslet looks stunning on the cover of  V magazine this month.  A shot of her beautiful face and a string of pearls in all that is needed to create a wonderful image. But the pictures also evokes the movie  queens of days past, and speaks volumes about the eternal lure of pearls.

The Daily Telegraph says  that Winslet is paying some kind of tribute to Elizabeth Taylor, the last of the immortal  love goddesses, who  dies earlier this year. A famous still of Taylor from the film Ash Wednesday was used to illustrate the similarity of the pose. But the image of Kate reminds me of those Bert SternLast Sitting‘ poses by Marilyn Monroe, the ones where she was photographed with pearls and rhinestones just a month before her death. These were almost a last hurrah for Marilyn, and ensured she pushed Elizabeth  Taylor from all the world’s front pages. Marilyn had also posed with pearls in the publicity shots for ‘Some like it Hot’ in 1958.

So the picture of Kate celebrates screen goddesses of the past, but it is also as much a celebration of pearls as it is of  the females who wear them. I think pearls are the most mysterious of jewels…what do they actually symbolise? They are often seen as presenting a real lady, sometimes in the form of conservative dressing, the twinset and pearls brigade for instance. Debutantes and Duchesses wear pearls, old ladies wear pearls,  Ladies on the cover of ‘Country Life’ and ‘The Lady’ wore pearls. And yet…

One of the most famous courtesans of the 19th century, Cora Pearl, is said to have appeared before Edward VII wearing a long string of pearls…and nothing else. One of the  most notorious rock paramours of the 1960s, Marianne Faithfull, was photographed wearing a conservative pearl choker at the height of her heroin addiction,  subverting the image of the necklace as something for good girls. And Madonna added pearls to her Boytoy bride look in the 1980s.

 

So, what is the truth about pearls, good girl accessories, or ultimate bad girl attire? Maybe the truth is a little bit of both. Good girls love the prettiness and the glossy sheen or pearls, whilst bad girls like to subvert the jewel that is considered a sign of class, breeding and landed gentry. While all this is true, pearls will be continue to fascinate.