P is for Paloma Faith

I’m spending the evening trying to persuade my hubby that the best birthday present I could receive this year would be Paloma Faith tickets for her June 7th gig at the O2. It would be true to say I’m more than a little obsessed with the singer, her sublime voice is the sort that could sell you a nursery rhyme, whilst her style combines the best of the quirky, the unique and the decidedly retro, sort of what would happen if Rita Hayworth had been combined with Minnie Mouse.

Even when we consider all the beautiful and stylish, and mega talented female singers we have on the music scene at the moment, from Emeli Sande to Rita Ora, not forgetting Rihanna, Jessie J and Taylor Swift, Paloma stills stands out, she’s funny and says exactly what she thinks (did you see her putting Ugg boots into Room 101?), and yet can reduce you to tears with the tender beauty of her songs, the voice sounding bruised and fragile on songs like ‘Just Be’.

2013 has been a vintage year in terms of style for Paloma watchers. From lace and jeweled beads at the Brit Awards, to outshining the acting talent in sequins and an Art Deco style headdress on stage at the Baftas,  then getting set to wow America, and Perez Hilton in particular wearing a unusual pink dress and a hat Cruella De Ville would skin a multitude of puppies for, Paloma is never knowingly under-dressed, and I frankly love her all the more for it. Can you imagine her sporting this seasons dungarees, or a pair of Converse, or even, heaven forbid, a hoodie? Paloma is a byword for glamour, and that makes her style refreshing and inimitable, a feast for the eyes on every occasion.

Would love to know what you think of the fabulous Paloma, and her exquisite style choices.

Cambridge Satchel Company come to Harvey Nichols, Birmingham

And so we’re on to a new year, and the school runs begin again. So what better reason do you need for investing in a new bag that will make you the yummiest mommy on the school run?

The Cambridge  Satchel company may just have the answer to all your bag needs. The stylish leather satchels that they produce came in a range of classic and vibrant neon shades and are roomy enough to carry everything you need for your day, whether it be related to work or pleasure.

These bags give a modern twist to the traditional school bag that any child of the 70s and 80s now wish they had held onto.  The satchels have been created by Julie Deane and her mother Freda Thomas who set up the business from their kitchen table in 2008. They were inspired by a love for Harry Potter, but discovered they had a cult hit on their hands, with the bags  featured in Italian Vogue, playing a starring role at some of the world’s leading Fashion Weeks and been subject to a very stylish collaboration with Commes des Garçons.

 “I honestly thought my market would be schoolchildren,” explains Julie Deane, who started the company to pay her daughter’s school fees. Instead, the satchels have become the perfect accessory for countless new season trends and their wistful nostalgia has made them a massive success with canny fashionistas. The choice of sizes and colours mean that they are suitable as school bags for fashion savvy  teens, work bags for stylish executives, and even mother and baby bags for Yummy Mummies. Soft leather makes them hardworking, and these bags only look better as they age, making them a real investment piece.

 

The great News for Midlands Fashionistas is that the bags are now available in Birmingham’s stylish Harvey Nichols store in the Mailbox. Prices start at £95 for the smaller size, £115 for the large size. So grab yourself a slice of retro nostalgia..I’m loving that apple green shade!

 

River Island A/W 2011 – It’s all about Retro.

Thursday saw the River Island A/W  press day, where they showcased the womenswear collections that will hit the stores for Autumn and Winter 2011/12.  The six collections, ‘Savage’, ‘Sandy’,’London Girl’, ‘Gigi’, ‘Hustler’ and ‘Deadly’  all have a decidedly retro feel to them, think Faye Dunaway in ‘The Eyes of Laura Mars’ and you’ll get the picture.

Here are my thoughts on each of the new collections.

Savage

This is a perfectly stylish daytime collection for even the coldest winter. Taking its inspiration from Native American Indian styling with blanket style knitwear in bold and bright colours to add drama to even the  darkest day. Feathers and Furs make add to the outdoorsy elements to this collection, which is made to be layered.

Sandy

1970s stylish daytime dressing is the name of the game for the Sandy Collection.  The shades of mustard, red and teal combine in the form of pussybow necklines, polo neck jumpers and over-the-knee a-line skirts. This is 70s icons Faye Dunaway in Laura Mars and Network, Cybil Shepherd in Taxi Driver and a stylish Julie Christie. This is a sophisticated look that can take you easily from work to play. The look is complemented by t-bar platform shoes and Trilby style hats which add another layer to the   sophistication.

London Girl

This was my absolute favourite look from the new collection. This is Katherine Hepburn androgyny updated for the modern girl. Wide leg trousers, blazers and tuxedos in a range of checks and tweeds, teamed with striking fake furs for that jet setting luxurious look. The  key is sex appeal through covered-upness – this is not for  those who want to flash the flesh. Think Janelle Morae, Tilda Swinton and La Roux – girls who dress a little bit like boys, but with a slash of red lips.

Hustler

A collection that brings to mind Studio 54, Bianca Jagger and Halston, this is River Island’s new take on grown up glamour. Bright,  jewel colours, long-sleeved catsuits, gold lame style skirts and chiffon dresses with the floatiest feel, these are clothes that are filled with femininity and elegance.

Deadly

Deadly is River Island’s signature evening dress collection, which pulls from every era. These are prim dresses with a twist, the 1960s brocade dress with a huge fur collar,simple shifts that have a flapper feel thanks to acres of  feathers around the hemline, lace and bodycon making 1980s styling feel fresh and new. These are beautiful dresses made to be cherished.

Chelsea Girl

The second Chelsea Girl collection retains that 1960s feel, with cute mini’s with graphic prints, air stewardess style bags and sheer blouses for that dollybird feel. This collection is made for cute Mary Janes and long false eyelashes.

All in all, a series of fab collections that make for a cool, retro Autumn.