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Casual Dressing: Converse

Mango Coat | Vintage Polo Neck (similar here) | Zara Bag | ASOS Jeans | Converse* 

I once dated a guy who told me that he preferred girls in skinny jeans, a plain white t-shirt, and Converse. Of course it's a classic combination, but at that moment in time when he delivered his womenswear preferences I happened to be dolled up in a gorgeous Topshop Boutique Silk dress and Kurt Geiger heels. It probably doesn't come as a surprise to you that I wanted to throw my espresso martini in his face over his lack of appreciation for my efforts. There I was, trying my best to look all 90's minimal glamour and all he really wanted was a plain Jane.  

Casual dressing has never been my thing (as a five year old I would wear prom dresses just to go to the corner shop) but with the huge infiltration of normcore (it still hurts to use that term) and the fact it's just so comfortable and easy, the casual has become unavoidable.

Street-style photographers and paparazzi seem to have developed an obsession with chasing down 'off duty models' between catwalk shows wearing a pair of skinny jeans, an oversized tee and a leather jacket, so it's no surprise that there has become an element of laid back glamour pinned on to the most basic sartorial choices. 

But I can't ever be a total plain Jane. So when Cloggs got in touch with me to take part in customising a pair of classic Converse, I couldn't resist turning the laces a bright neon pink with a set of Dylon Fabric pens. With the addition of a bold pink lipstick (Nars Audacious Claudia lipstick incase you were wondering), black skinny jeans and hazy grey layering, this is casual dressing meets casual glamour. 

Plain Jane who?


Can I Really Pull Off Over The Knee Boots?

Topshop Control2 Boots | Mango Coat | Zara Jumper | Topshop Skirt | Zara Bag | ASOS Sunglasses

Over the knee boots are my forbidden fruit: something that I always really wanted, but never thought I could (or should) have. The chocolate cake to all dieters. The tall-dark-handsome-man my best mate just started dating (sorry...) 

Why? Whilst the models in Vogue and street-style stars with lean-queen proportions seem to pull these boots off in a state of what can only be described as over-the-knee nirvana, a more bottom-heavy and curvaceous me would more likely fall into the territory of moderately-priced-dancer in a Magaluf strip club

But despite tweeting this a year ago, and writing at the top of my New Years Resolutions for 2014 "get skinny enough not to look like chubby hooker in over the knee boots," I seemed to have had a change of heart.

No, I certainly haven't lost any weight this year (*cries into burger*) despite joining two different gyms and coaxing several free sessions out of the personal trainers, but I did disregard all of my own personal views to try out this trend, probably due to overexposure to over the knee boots on Instagram.

The main issue I faced? (Not including my thigh circumference)

Finding the perfect pair. It seemed everywhere seemed to be stocked with flat heeled boots (purrfect if you really want to look like puss-in-boots), Stiletto heeled boots (if you really want to unleash your inner-dominatrix publicly), Pirate boots (too flappy at the top, a bit too Captain Jack Sparrow for me), and Chunky Platform heeled boots (I'm just not that into emulating Posh Spice before she became the modern VB incarnation we all now love.) 

This left one question on my mind for months:

Did a pair of black suede over the knee boots with a small but chunky heel exist anywhere on the planet that wasn't going to withdraw £500+ from my penniless purse?

All hail Topshop. Queen of the High Street. Topshop's Control2 over the knee boots have padding in the leg to hold the boots in place, and have the perfect sixties-esque 3inch heel.

The biggest surprise? They were oddly flattering and I didn't look like Pretty Woman post-pizza binge.



The Tartan Suit

ASOS Check Blazer | ASOS Check Trousers | Christian Louboutin Shoes | ASOS Sunglasses | ASOS Top | Zara Bag

Tartan suits are a bit of a weird one. They are an unknown territory that I previously assigned only to very dapper men who know their tailoring, or tall and thin models who have very dapper boyfriends they could 'borrow' tartan suits from and wear with all of the nonchalant elegance of a rock-star-ballet-dancer.  

I am not a dapper man. Or a model or a rock star. And I gave up ballet dancing when I was four years old because they would't let me wear a pink tutu to class. So in a complete lapse of sensibility and self identity I ordered a tartan suit anyway hoping for the best... and this is what I got.

I came to realise that there is a very fine line between a gritty-grunge-chic aesthetic and emulating TV presenter extraordinaire Lorraine Kelly circa 1992. The vital difference between the two lies in the colour palette of the checks, the tailoring of the suit, and the accessories you wear with it (I stand by the fact that Louboutin's are capable of resurrecting any poor sartorial choice. Lorraine darling: take note.)

A major criticism? The trousers. They fit on the hips, rather than the waist. Cue flashback to my youth when 'hipster jeans' were all the rage. And not as in trendy East-Londoner hipster jeans. I'm talking about those awful low-rise, hip-hugging, muffin-top-inducing, g-string-revealing jeans that should be suppressed deep in our memories along with Furby's and that time your boyfriend cheated on you with your best friend at the school disco...


Inside the Studio with Matthew Williamson


Ask anyone working in the fashion industry what's so great about London Fashion Week and they'll tell you it's all about the designers. Words like fresh, gritty, and edgy are thrown about to describe the homegrown city talent. Still, LFW can sometimes viewed as inferior to the classic Paris and Milan fashion weeks, but there's something so innately different about the London fashion scene that you cannot find anywhere else.

London has no boundaries. There are no limits. 

Elements of electricity and dynamism fuel the creativity of the capital. London has the environment that nurtures homegrown talent, providing a platform for new designers to develop and adapt to the ever-changing landscape of fashion, design and technology. In a city of diversity and constantly streaming inspiration, it is a young designers playground for experimentation.

Here we find Matthew Williamson. After showcasing his first collection at LFW in 1997, three years after graduating from Central Saint Martins, he is a classic example of native British talent putting London on the fashion map. 

"Our brand has a super clear DNA it's rooted in that sense of bohemian, jet-set sensibility so that's always the cornerstone, the anchor of each collection." - Matthew Williamson.

The SS15 collection was a revision of Williams' signature roots. Kaleidoscopic colour palettes were fused with eclectic prints, giving a relaxed bohemian Seventies energy. Feather-weight silks twist, lift and billow in the breeze. Fluorescent-paradise shades in peacock blues, hibiscus pink, and sunset oranges painted trademark maxi gowns and pencil skirts.

Every designer needs a muse. Matthew works alongside Georgie MacIntyre, his Artistic Director, who shares his visions of print and textile mastery and design.

“My job as artistic director really is to inspire Matthew and help him realise his vision. More recently we've worked a lot closer on the inspirations and designs.” Georgie MacIntyre.

For SS15 the vision is clearer than ever: a Seventies revival drenched in the rich colours of a hot summers day. The whole collection was crying out for an exotic beach break on the white sands of Ibiza.

Harrods and the BFC are currently profiling four of the best British designers. Want to know more? Go inside the studio.  



I wear: Topshop Bonded Trench Coat (similar here, here and here) | Zara Jumper (similar here) | Zara Skirt | H&M Boots | H&M Bag | Topshop Sunglasses (old- similar here)

As if I already needed an excuse to wear pink, Friday 24th just so happened to be Wear It Pink day

From the significant rise of boob related things in the news, adverts and in stores, I'm sure most of you are all ware by now that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Every single year 50,000 women and 400 men (yes- guys can get it too!) are diagnosed with breast cancer, so if that isn't reason enough to start checking yours boobs (and his, for that matter), then I'm not quite sure what is. 1 in 3 people will get cancer, so there is always cause to raise more awareness and raise money to help discover a cure and give support to those living with cancer. 

On the 24th October people throughout the country are encouraged to wear pink to raise awareness, and pledge a donation to help cancer research. Major landmarks across the UK turned pink to mark the event, but for this occasion, I teamed up with Carl Thompson, founder of Pin Collar Shirts, to do anything pink related that we could think of. 

With fashion being our forte, it seemed only sensible to pull our favourite pink pieces out of the wardrobe. Cue the ultimate pink bonded trench coat from Topshop. This was followed by buying the best pink flowers that the local Tesco had to offer (because we're clearly very classy people), making pink cupcakes (definitely not my idea), and several bottles of Rosé (well, it was a Friday after all...)

Throughout October Pin Collar Shirts are donating 10% of all Pink shirt sales to Breast Cancer research. For the full details of what Carl's wearing check out his #WearItPink blog post

If you didn't wear pink, hate pink, or only wear pink on Wednesdays, you can still help by texting PINK to 70660 to donate £3 to Breast Cancer Campaign.