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Saturday, 18 December 2010

Winter Style Part 3 - Where's Your Head At?

Keeping our heads and faces warm and protected from the cold is key to staying comfortable and healthy during the winter months. It's not just about looking good, this one is about feeling good too.

In my final part of this mini-series about stylishly staying warm this winter, lets have a look at the range of headgear on offer.

The no-brainer option here is of course, the trusty hat. Hats are perfect for staying warm and for hiding bad-hair days! A bit nippy outside? Throw on a hat. Are your roots showing? Ditto. And there are so many hats to choose from, there really is no excuse to be complaining of cold ears. One of the most popular styles of hat this winter are very cutesy, animal beanies. It is fair to say that you will spot a lot of these hats on Buchanan Street on a Saturday (or any other day for that matter) at the moment.

These were very sought after by many ladies (myself included) last winter and River Island's polar bear style hat was sold out in several stores and online, particularly after Katy Perry was photographed wearing it. The 'Katy Perry' hat was being hawked on eBay for 4 times its actual price at one point. Clearly on the ball this year, River Island has a huge selection of similar hats with a kawaii style that will keep you cosy. Bunnies, bears, tigers, dogs and even raccoons feature in the range. Some people don't see what all of the fuss is about, some think the style is much too immature for grown women (and men) to be wearing - but the animal beanies tap into my love affair with Japanese street style in a big way. That, and I'm a sucker for anything with a cute face.

For those looking for something a bit more classic, Gap have a great range of knitted hats and this knitted beanie is guaranteed to keep you warm. Feeling like a lady? Check out this sophisticated leopard print beret from Urban outfitters:

Leopard Beret with Pom Pom (£22), Urban Outfitters

Topshop have an excellent collection of hats this winter, and top marks go to their trapper hats. A little tougher than beanies, the trapper hat is easier to pull off than you might think and looks great on. Topshop's selection comes in a variety of colours, styles and textures so most people will find one they will like.

The next two items on my list are making a comeback after a few years out of the limelight. The first is earmuffs, which are extremely popular and can be found in most shops this season. Primark are even flogging them for a mere pound. Urban Outfitters have some very nice fluffy earmuffs for £14. Earmuffs are light, fuss free and their main point of appeal is their ability to not leave the wearer with 'hat hair'. They are, to me the go-to accessory if I think my hair looks good but I still need to keep my ears warm!

Snoods, have been around (or so I am told) since the middle ages (and if my mum can remember them, there must be some truth in that) and are now enjoying another moment of popularity in the recent freezing weather. They are fairly inexpensive and can be worn in different ways - all with the bonus of keeping you toasty and warm. Snoods in the shops just now range from high end, like this Paul Smith snood (£115): the high street with Matalan's sparkle snood coming in at just a fiver.

One final quick tip for feeling and looking good this winter comes in the form of skincare. Make sure you are protecting your skin from the elements and moisturize regularly in order to soothe, calm and restore skin that is irritated by the cold. I recommend Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Skin Protectant. It might be an oldie, but it's a goodie.

I leave you with some pictures of the Botanic Gardens under the recent snowfall.

Remember, wherever you may wander over the coming weeks make sure you wrap up warm!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Winter Style Part 2 - Coat Yourself in Warmth

Continuing from my last blog, I'm still looking at my favourite ways to stay warm during what I am now terming the 'Snow-pocalypse'...

Sometimes I see people out at this time of year without a coat or jacket and think they must be mad. Yes, we can see that that t-shirt is pretty awesome, but accessorised with blue arms and a shiver? Not so good my friend. I move on now to winter coats, a basic wardrobe style staple that - if chosen well - will see you through a few winters.

Personally, I favour a good wool peacoat. Simple, chic and unfussy, a peacoat will keep you warm and with my own navy Anglomania princess peacoat well into it's third year now (and still looking in good shape) the style will always look current no matter what the current trends are. Topshop are doing a few on-trend variations on the classic coat, noteably this tweed Boyfriend style coat (£85) and their Premium Hairy Peacoat (£130).

My other favourite kind of coat - and perfect for this kind of weather - is a glorious, warm faux-fur coat (preferably in leopard print, not that I'm fussy...). Faux-fur coats are fun, glamorous and allow you to channel your inner forties screen starlet while staying toasty at the same time. Second-hand/ vintage faux-fur coats are (usually) very good quality and well-priced (or at least they used to be). A rummage through your local thrift store, vintage emporium or Urban Outfitters (thanks to their Urban Renewal initiative) might result in finding a gorgeous and warm piece.

A selection of vintage coats available at Urban Outfitters (various prices).

Alternatively, many high street stores have caught on to the genius of the faux-fur coat. Mango, Lipsy, River Island and Topshop all have very nice and affordable coats, but full marks go to French Connection's collection of furry beauties. This little number (£175) makes me just want to dive in and snuggle up.

Of course, these are just two of my favourite styles of coat, there are several other options available too. This means that there is no excuse and we should all be trying to stay warm no matter what style of coat we choose. Awesome t-shirt or not.

What is your coat of choice this winter?

Monday, 6 December 2010

Winter Style Part 1 - Best Foot Forward

Like most other people in the UK, a little over a week ago I woke up to find myself under a blanket of dense, relentless snow. I like it when it snows, especially leading up to Christmas. Even though the snow no doubt accentuates my sentimental feelings towards this time of year, it has to be said that the drop in temperature as well as wet conditions calls for a rapid re-assessment of those three words that a lot of us think to ourselves daily: what to wear.

Now, it is looking increasingly likely according to all forms of reliable media that the snow is here to stay for the coming weeks. Brrilliant (sorry), I say, as it means we will probably have a white Christmas. However, it also means that I will have to be a bit more sensible when it comes to selecting my choices in outfits, more weather appropriate I think! It is important that we are well-protected against the freezing weather conditions, but there are lots of stylish yet practical options to consider. These next few posts will take a look at some of my favourite ways to stay warm and stylish during the winter...

Lets start from the feet up. In true Scottish tradition, we have the humble welly. A necessity - let be honest - at most times of the year in this country, our wellies are trotted out during the April (or any other month) showers, the summertime festivals and in the winter snow. Mocked by some fashionistas, yet championed by others (Kate Moss, Kelly Osbourne and the Geldof sisters have all been photographed wearing theirs) it cannot be denied that wellies are one of the most appropriate choices to keep your feet warm and dry. The favourite wellingtons du jour for style mavens are undeniably Hunter Boots, with prices averaging around the fifty to sixty quid mark. They are the most popular brand in the UK (producing wellies for over a century I'll have you know), even creating boots for the Royal family.

Last year, Hunter collaborated with Jimmy Choo to create an exclusive range of wellingtons that proved to be very popular, and are still selling well to this day.

A pair of luxurious Hunter & Jimmy Choo Wellingtons (RRP £275)

Another brand that deserves a special mention is Ness, whose quirky tartan Georgie wellies (£49.99) can be picked up in-store at their St Enoch branch or at their website.

Uggs are normally good for warmth, but I found that due to the volume of snow, my trusty Ugg Classic Shorts ( below, £170) were quickly soaking through (retaining the water like a pair of big sponges) and eventually my feet were wet and cold. Bad times. I would still recommend Uggs (or similar fleecy boots) to anyone when it is cold and dry, but this situation called for a 'welly emergency', and I needed a new pair (having literally worn my last pair 'til the soles came off) and fast.

Ugg Australia Classic Short boots (£170)

Trying to find a pair or decent wellies in the city centre a week ago was, quite frankly, a bit of a nightmare. With most shops selling out of sizes fast, it was clear that it really was slim pickings! It took a while but I got there eventually, and now I can brave the snow while keeping my feet warm and dry.

How are you keeping your feet warm and dry?

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Shops: Hidden Pop-up Shop

I recently blogged about the goodies on sale at Much Too Fun's online store and mentioned that there was a pop-up shop planned. Last Thursday evening was the launch evening of Much Too Fun's pop-up shop at the Hidden Lane, and never one to refuse the opportunity to go shopping, I headed along for a visit.

Scatter cushions by Emily Moir featured at the pop-up shop

The appropriately named Hidden Lane is tucked away just off Argyle Street, but too wasn't difficult to find. For a moment I wondered if I was in the right place - up a dark slightly scary alley - but then I spotted the cheery yellow plastic sign that assured me that I was.

The pop-up shop was full of keen shoppers browsing the shelves in a relaxed and inviting atmosphere. I was asked several times if I needed assistance or would like a drink, the customer service was very friendly and personal - so much that at times I felt like I had wandered into someones flat rather than a shop (as it felt cosy, there was no pressure to spend money and the Much Too Fun girls seemed genuinely happy that we were there). I instantly recognised jewellery by Bonnie Bling and saw Lindsay McDowall's nautical necklace being proudly displayed in a glass cabinet which made me smile.

Jewellery by Lindsay McDowall (top shelf) & Bonnie Bling for Obscure Couture (underneath)

Lots of other local designers and creative types had their pieces showcased at the shop, including Downie Allison Downie Bookbinders, Wonky Woolies (whose snowman hat and scarf sets get a special mention for being so cute), Emily Moir's gorgeous printed scatter cushions and The Charm Offensive. I also spotted CDs, handmade cards and yummy cupcakes. It was nice to see some of the products up close in 'real life' after admiring them online. Did I leave empty handed? Of course not.

Some of the knitwear on display by Wonky Woolies

The shop has 'popped up' just in time for Christmas shopping, and is well worth a visit to see what quirky gifts are on offer and also to take the opportunity to support local talent.

Some plastic patter by Bonnie Bling (left) & notebooks by Downie Allison Downie Bookbinders

You can find the Much Too Fun Hidden Pop-up Shop at Unit 24A, The Hidden Lane, 1103 Argyle Street, G3 8ND.

Will you be visiting the Hidden Pop-up Shop for a bit of Christmas shopping?

Monday, 15 November 2010

Say No To Plastic at Oran Mor

My lazy Sunday this week was transformed into an impromptu day of shopping and cake-eating after hearing about Say No to Plastic's Vintage and Craft fair over at Oran Mor. A mere stone's throw away from my flat, and with the promise of goodies from top local creative types, I deemed it too good to pass up. And so, best gal-pal in tow, we headed over to the top of Byres road to see what was on offer.

After climbing up the spiraling staircase and entering the main hall, the first thing I noticed was just how busy it was. Jumpin', as my Dad would say. There was a huge variety of stalls (over 35 at last count) and lots and lots of customers in between. We squeezed through the crowds and slowly browsed around the hall, taking in all of the vintage and reworked clothes, gorgeous gifts, home baking and independent designers.

I couldn't possibly list everything that I liked, but highlights included the super kawaii table set up by I Love Lexy & I Love Spoilt Pig (whose goodies included the very tempting £3 lucky dips), pretty hair accessories by Something Different, knitwear and tweed to keep us warm by Missy Montague & Breagha and far too many vintage stalls to mention (but Vintage Fray and Vintage Inspirations had some particularly lovely pieces). Phew!

Say No to Plastic, as well as showcasing products from local talent, mainly aims to raise awareness of environmental causes - hence the title - by influencing people to reduce their use of plastic bags (more information on this can be read at their website). The event at Oran Mor had an overall message to reduce, re-use and recycle - but certainly showed that being kind to the environment can be stylish with the impressive collection of re-worked and second-hand clothes on offer. As well as the usual vintage fayre, I spotted shoes by Marc Jacobs and a gorgeous Chloe frock.

I enjoyed having a look at all the stalls, there was such variety and the atmosphere was really friendly. I don't know if it was all the cakes, the well-priced fashion, the fact that it was all in aid of a good cause or the fact that Christmas is just around the corner - but whatever it was, it was making people happy. One jolly shopper exclaimed "this is like a car boot sale with attitude" as I squeezed past - and I have to say I agree with him. I purchased a fab ring from the We Are the Robots girls and some gorgeous tights from the ever talented and all-round nice folk at Tights For Sore Eyes...

Love them. A mere tenner and officially my New Favourite Tights.

After the shopping fun we hopped on over to Three Steps to Heaven on Byres Road, to round off the day with tea and cake.

Be sure to keep en eye on the Say No to Plastic website for news, updates and information on any upcoming events.

Were you at Say No to Plastic?

Monday, 8 November 2010


2010 has no doubt been a year for major designer/ high street collaborations. So far we have seen (to name a few) Sonia Rykiel for H&M, Jimmy Choo for UGG Australia, ongoing seasons by Giles Deacon for New Look, Henry Holland for Debenhams and Kate Moss has recently unveiled her last regular collection for Topshop. Across the pond, Target have continued to feature limited-edition joint efforts thus year with an impressive alumni that includes Jean-Paul Gaultier, Zac Posen, Liberty of London and most recently, Mulberry.

Designer/ high street collaborations prove to be very popular for many reasons. Fans of the designers in question are given the opportunity to shop a new collection, the ranges tend to be limited-edition which attracts dedicated fashionistas and eBay sellers alike, and finally in these frugal economic times, they present a chance to buy a high-end label at a purse-friendly price. Whatever the reason, the collections tend to sell out quickly most of the time.

This month another 3 key collaborations are due to hit stores. The first, due at the end of this week will be Biba designer Barbara Hulanicki's hotly anticipated collection for George at Asda. Hulanicki has designed an affordable range for George at Asda, which makes buying designer fashion literally as easy as buying a pint of milk.

Photo: Pieces from the Barbara Hulanicki for George at Asda collection

Said to be the first of a possible 4 collections, the range of women's clothing and accessories comprises of around 14 pieces and is said to be priced between £8 and "no more than £30" (I have been reliably informed but cannot reveal my source at this time. Lets call him George Asdaman). Earlier this year, House of Fraser relaunched the popular sixties Biba brand and introduced it to the newer generations with some new designs. Hulanicki (who was not involved in the House of Fraser relaunch of Biba, having left the brand some time ago) aims for this new venture to be more economically accessible and with a sold-out collection for Topshop earlier this year under her belt, the George at Asda range will surely be just as popular. The Barbara Hulanicki for George at Asda collection will hit stores on 14th November.

Next up, we have the slickly-campaigned Lanvin for H&M collaboration. H&M are no strangers to successful designer collaborations, a few months back I mentioned some of their most memorable collections while speculating on who would be teaming up with the Swedish fashion brand next. This month sees the launch of Lanvin for H&M which I am sure will be no exception to previous sell-out collections.

Photo: Lanvin for H&M print advertising campaign

Lanvin's Alber Elbaz has come up with an attractive range of clothes, shoes & accessories for men and women, hitting the shops just in time for the Christmas party season. A fairly large collection, it comprises of 48 pieces including party frocks-a-plenty, coats, cute tees, sharp tailoring and statement shoes , this collection will surely have something to please most people. Prices start at £14.99 for sunglasses to £149.99 for some dresses and menswear. This rather chic video showcases the collection very well, displaying the cut and design of each piece in the way of a stylish and atmospheric short film:

Video: Courtesy of via Youtube

The collection will arrive in stores (including Glasgow's own Buchanan Street store) on 23rd November.

Finally, towards the end of this month, high-end fashion house Valentino will be launching their collaboration with Gap. Based on "iconic fashion essentials", the duo will be putting a luxurious spin on basic wardrobe staples. Gap have had previous successful collaborations that have included Mulberry and Stella McCartney. This collaboration is said to be only available in Europe and will be available to buy from 27th November.

Will you be shopping any of these designer/ high street collaborations?

Monday, 1 November 2010

Shops: Much Too Fun

As a self-confessed jewellery fanatic, I knew it wasn't going to be too long before I would be blogging about what treasures have caught my magpie-like eye again recently. Lots of independent jewellery designers and stores have caught my attention lately, through word of mouth, Twitter and simply coming across their pieces while wandering round the shops & craft fairs.

Much Too Fun's online store was one I came across by chance, and I'm so very glad that I did. A fairly new enterprise (it has been up and running around 6 months) hosting in-house and other up-and-coming designers, Much Too Fun specialise in unique pieces that will make their customers smile. While browsing through their collections, I noted a variety of items that expanded beyond jewellery including cushions and bags by Emily Moir, cosy custom knits by Woolly Noodle and Finch & Fouracre's truly lifelike models. Jewellery by The Charm Offensive (specialising in "all things cute and shiny") and Obscure Couture is also on offer, with the latter having recently launched their first collection last month at the Barras centre.

I Heart Tea necklace (£7) by The Charm Offensive

With Christmas fast approaching, there lots of cute and quirky gift ideas to choose from. My favourite collection on the website is the aptly-named Bonnie Bling, which showcases a range of high-quality acrylic jewellery emblazoned with classic Glasgow banter, such as Blether, Peely Wally, Midgies Love Me (so true) and Soap Dodger amongst other well-known phrases. The pieces are bright, affordable and very wearable, sure to brighten up an outfit - here's a few of my favourites:

Peely Wally necklace (£15) by Bonnie Bling

Blether necklace (£15) by Bonnie Bling

Och Aye earrings (£12) By Bonnie Bling

Bonnie Bling have now teamed up with Obscure Couture to release an exclusive jewellery collaboration that correlates with Obscure Couture's Flesh & Bone fashion collection which sees them give traditional Victorian-esque designs a rebellious makeover. Mohawked cameo, anyone?

Bleeding Cameo necklace (£40) by Obscure Couture & Bonnie Bling

The Bonnie Bling collection was created by Mhairi Mackenzie and Sarah Richardson, who are also the dynamic duo behind the Much Too Fun website. Much Too Fun is currently solely online-based, but they have enjoyed successful guest-spots at events such as the 3D/2D West End Festival in Edinburgh, Technofest and Hillhead High School's Fundraising Fete (Ooh! Just next to my house...).

Also, Mhairi from Much Too Fun tells me that the girls are planning a pop-up shop in time for Christmas that will house lots of gorgeous gifts like mirrors, handmade notebooks, natural bath goodies, specially made Christmas cards and prints as well as regular favourites from the online store. The first pop-up shop is set to take place on the 18th of November in Glasgow's Finnieston area, giving fans and newcomers alike the opportunity to browse in person. Details are still to be confirmed so be sure to keep updated by checking out Much Too Fun's Twitter, Facebook and e-newsletter.

A selection of goodies available from Much Too Fun (various prices)

What I really like about Much Too Fun, apart from the awesome range on offer, is the genuine love of creating unique and beautiful pieces behind it. You can really tell that these girls love what they do and the website has a really personal feel to it. You feel like you are buying from actual people and not just another faceless shop brand. More than an online shop, Much Too Fun is a celebration of local creativity run by the designers themselves.

I am excited to see what the Much Too Fun girls get up to in the near future, and with more collaborations, a Bonnie Bling Christmas collection and appearances at Supermercado coming up, I am sure I won't be disappointed.

You can check out Much Too Fun's online store here!

(All photos in this post used from Much Too Fun's website with loads of thanks x)

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Leopard Love

There's no denying that fashion is currently having a bit of a love-in with leopard print. Or maybe that should be re-kindled romance, since leopard print is by no means a new and innovative style staple, but rather one that re-surfaces every so often. The old saying goes that a leopard never changes its spots, and even though this print is nothing new it can be argued that every time this little comeback queen roars back into fashion she brings a few new ways to be worn.

Daisy Lowe in leopard print Agent Provocateur

This season is no exception, with leopard incorporated into some big trends and must-have accessories.

First things first. Don't be afraid to wear leopard print. I overhear a lot of girls in shops admiring spotted pieces and muttering longingly "I wish I could pull off something like this". Well, you can! And this season is the time to dip your toe into this printed pool, as it has never been easier to wear leopard - whether making one big statement or a subtle flash. Let's have a look at what's on offer this Autumn/ Winter to show that leopard can be classy, not brassy.

Earlier this year on the runways of Milan, Dolce & Gabbana showed us several ways to wear leopard - on silk bodys (£580) for an updated underwear-as-outerwear look, colourful leopard print cocktail dresses (around £1300) and many more feminine, luxurious pieces. Biba at House of Fraser have made leopard print a prominent pattern of their new collection - I especially love their Portobello faux fur coat, simply gorgeous and a good example of the iconic leopard print coat. French Connection also offer a good take on the faux fur coat for a not bad £120.

Elsewhere on the high street, H&M have cleverly adorned basic wardrobe staples (such as cardigans and jersey tops) and on-trend pieces (the maxi dress and jumpsuit) with leopard print. The basics have the potential to help animal-print newbies introduce it into their wardrobes easily, while fashionistas can nail two trends at once by wearing it on the trickier pieces. Over at Topshop it's very much the same, leopard is making an impact on everything from these Harem pants (£38) to luggage. And party girls everywhere will love this bandeau dress:

Dress by Topshop, £26

APC's leopard-print cotton cardigan (£145) shows us that leopard needn't mean brown. There are ways to explore leopard print in other shades - another example is this rather excellent acid yellow skirt by Evil Twin at Urban Outfitters (£61).

Not quite ready for this level of commitment to the cheetah cause? Fair enough. There are plenty of accessories to experiment with and make a subtle tribute to leopard this season. These leather & ponyskin gloves by John Lewis (£40) will give a hint of leopard without making a huge statement.

Animal-print has made quite a few appearances on bags by Mulberry recently, appearing on their faithful Bayswater and newer Lily designs. Shoe-wise there is a lot of choice and something for every style of shoe and price range, with ladylike courts from Kurt Geiger, Next's satin platforms (£25), and Zara's moccasins (£39.99). For the ultimate in leopard luxe, Jimmy Choo's Wheel - a slip on, flat 'smoking slipper' - will set you back about £295. For a leopard quick-fix I love printed tights and this super cute Mega Bow ring by Accessorize, which at a mere six quid will give your outfit a fast fashion update.

But what to wear your leopard print with? Most people fall into two camps here - print-clashers and 'one key statement piece' lovers. Personally, I like to wear mine with blocks of shades such as black and grey or a slogan tee (I like this Ashish for Topshop one) for a high impact. Leopard on leopard may be the new double denim but I'm not so keen on either, sorry! Black does not need to mean boring, a punky handbag (like Alexander McQueen's Novak bag, £1265) or a leather biker jacket toughens things up for a punchy take on leopard print.

My own love-affair with leopard print started when I was still at primary school. The Spice Girls where everywhere and Mel B (whose image was synonymous with leopard print) was my favourite. Although I didn't start wearing it until I was older (something that I think now was a good idea, as children in animal print is something I find a little strange), it was at that point I knew I what I liked. A bit later, when discovering punk I came across leopard print again - this time on Debbie Harry:

To me, leopard print (as well as looking cool) symbolises being feminine and a bit of a rebel. It's always been around and I think it will always come and go from style, but it's always been something I genuinely like and will continue to wear even when not on-trend. Anyone that knows me will tell you there is barely a day that passes when I don't wear something in leopard print, and like Scary and Debbie all those years ago, I like to think I too have incorporated it into a personal signature look. Just don't call me Bet Lynch (yet), OK?

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Caped Crusaders

Autumn is now in full swing, and it's time to start wrapping up to fend off the chill. This season, it appears we are spoiled for choice in the outerwear department. Military coats, aviator jackets, faux-fur and camel coats are all big news this season. But for those who like to push the style envelope towards the theatric I bring you good news - the cape is back.

Grey Wool Cape (£59.99), River Island

Capes have been in and out of fashion in various forms since the late 19th Century. They have also been a dramatic style staple of superheroes and supervillains alike in comics, films and books. Sherlock Holmes, Batman and Wonderwoman are just a few examples of characters for whom the humble cape contributes significantly to their famous iconography:

But what about its recent incarnation? The cape most certainly still makes an impact whether on the recent runway shows or as new additions to our favourite high street stores. Depending on the cut and fabric, they can be chic and even sexy (see Givenchy, Jaeger London and Yves Saint Laurent) or comforting and cosy but still stylish (as Rag & Bone, Matthew Williamson and Missoni's designs will testify).

Capes are wonderfully practical and impractical all at once. They can protect its wearer from the elements, and essentially feel like you are wearing a blanket (without veering too much into 'poncho' territory) which, in the next few months will be much appreciated when the temperature continues to drop. Topshop's Ultimate Heavy Jersey Cape (£85) looks especially snug, and won't break the bank with it's price tag.

While being cosy and easy to throw on is a huge plus point, capes have a few minor disadvantages - the main one being how restrictive some capes can be. Hailing a taxi? Want something off of that top shelf? With a cape on sometimes the most simple of tasks can be tricky. But a lot of designers have thought ahead and produced clever capes for the new season with little sleeves or slits for the arms to slip through. This Hooded Military Cape (£70) from ASOS does just that.

It's difficult to say why exactly the cape is having it's fashion moment again this time around - some say it's partly down to the vampire-mania inspired by Twilight, True Blood et al (few can picture Count Dracula without his trusty cape). And while I agree that Givenchy's caped vamps give a chic nod to the gothic trend, I also believe the cape's recent popularity can also be attributed to the grown-up, ladylike looks of the season - as seen on the sophisticated ladies of Yves Saint Laurent:

Whatever the reason, choosing a cape to stay warm under this Autumn/ Winter will make a statement that is striking, stylish and invites its wearers to channel their inner superheroine.

Will you be wrapping up warm in a cape this season?

Thursday, 7 October 2010

"Mirror, Mirror on the Wall..."

A few months back, I blogged about MAC Cosmetics and Disney's upcoming collaboration, the aptly named Venomous Villains collection. The products were finally launched today and I managed to hot-foot it down to the newly refurbished MAC counter at Frasers to get a piece of the action. And I certainly was very glad that I did!

The first thing I noticed when approaching the store was the window decor. In honour of the new collection, Frasers have emblazoned their windows with huge tributes to the characters that inspire the collaboration - Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmatians, Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty and The Evil Queen from Snow White & the Seven Dwarves:

All of these characters are ones that I grew up watching in the films and being the MAC (ahem) addict that I am, I was doubly excited to see the products, especially after reading the press release:

"A potion to poison, an apple to bite, a spell to cast… Bad never looked so good. A crystal ball of colour created from our favourite Disney Venomous Villains, inspired by the three most infamously frosty, fabulous and formidable of Disney’s dark ladies… and one dastardly Dr. Facilier. Don’t you love it?

A MAC and Disney collaboration to celebrate the dark side in every one of us, in a glamorous sort of way. Who’s the fairest one of all? Four separate mini-collections, in haute animated couture...Uniquely designed iconic packaging you will kill for, cunning characters and bedeviled beauties that are so alluring, you can’t help but wonder what it would be like to be one!"

The products themselves are very high quality and the nice packaging is a very welcome bonus. The collection is very extensive, with each character assigned a mini-collection so although it was tempting to buy almost everything I limited myself to five items. That was a struggle! This is my haul:

The nail polishes are by far my favourite items, the colour intensity is incredible - like petrol, the colour changes depending on the lighting. I must not be the only one that likes them - one of the colours has sold out already! I bought two nail polishes, a lipstick, a lipglass and an eyeshadow duo. It was a tough choice because most of the colours in the collection are very wearable.

It was also a pleasure to shop for the new collection in Frasers' shiny new MAC concession area. It's bigger (at least twice its original size), better laid-out and was very well-staffed. I was served almost instantly and a pleasant shopping experience will always get the thumbs-up from me. Bravo!

The collection be be viewed and purchased from the MAC website here, or you can browse in person at Frasers.

Will you be indulging in your dark side?

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Supermercado at The Barras

After wandering into the Granny Would Be Proud Vintage & Craft fair at Hillhead Bookclub over the summer this West End Girl has been keeping her eyes peeled for similar events popping up in her fair city. I was pleased to see that a new regular Saturday 'indie' market, encompassing vintage fashion, arts, crafts, homewares and...oh yes, cake was being launched called Supermercado.

I decided to pop along today in spite of the dreary weather to check out the market on the day of its launch.

As someone who doesn't frequent the Barras often, I didn't find Supermercado as quickly as I'd hoped (especially as the clouds were getting darker and darker), but I am sure that finding it again after I have been once would be a doddle. Situated in the courtyard of the recently refurbished Barras Centre, I stumbled in to find a laid back bazaar with an array of unique stalls at one side and a cafe on the other.

There was certainly a variety of things to look at and so with some retro-tastic tunes echoing in the background I made my way around the stalls for a nosy. The first stall to catch my eye was the beautiful vintage wares of Love Me Again, promising such treasures as fine crockery and more brooches than I could count, displayed on this here mannequin:

Lovely. I then had a quick look at Breagha's creations - mainly scarves and handbags - made from high quality materials including Harris Tweed. I felt warmer even just looking at the scarves - perfect for winter. I also spotted hand made greeting cards by Konnie Kapow (I especially liked their 'Owlvis' design, featuring an owl dressed as Elvis - Jailhouse Rock outfit and all), sushi in cute boxes at Jo Sushi's table and some of my favourite good enough to eat jewellery brands at Sparklecandy's stall.

Speaking of good enough to eat...

All that browsing must make a girl hungry, because it wasn't too long before I had clocked the gorgeous sweet treats being sold by the nice folks of The Flamingo Bakery, complete with larger-than-life-sized pink flamingo 'serving' sample-sized mini cupcakes. Love it.

I was lucky enough to be treated to not one, but two pieces of glittery gingerbread which I made very short work of - so much so that I didn't manage to get a photo. The gingerbread, shaped like a flamingo (naturellement) and cupcake was delicious and I was assured that the chocolate cupcakes were equally yummy (scored 4 out of 5 by an appointed cupcake aficionado).

After getting my sugar fix, I spend a lot of time admiring the goods on sale at the table being run by Stella My Star and t-boo. Many a bargain was to be had at this table, including some rather excellent superhero badges, Eiffel Tower pendants and cute-as-a-button earrings. Full marks for their very nice display skills too!

Surrounding the main courtyard of stalls was indoor studios - one of which is the new home of Che Camille, who offer award-winning service and custom tailoring (open for appointments now).

After going round the stalls a few times and enjoying what the market had to offer it was time to head back towards the city centre, still licking the glittery crumbs from my lips. I would recommend paying Supermercado a visit, I am sure that - especially in the warmer months - heading over for a cake and a browse on a Saturday will become a regular outing for Glasgow's vintage vixens.

Supermercado is being brought to the masses by the Made in the Shade gang, more info on Made in the Shade can be viewed on their own website - here! The market is on every Saturday from 10:30 - 5.

Were you at Supermercado today?

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Girl About Town, Part Deux

This weekend I was a-wandering in town, on the hunt for the perfect boy-shoes*, weaving in and out all of the shoppers as the weather threatened to turn nasty (but luckily never did).

In Debenhams, I was wishing for sunglasses as I walked through their newly remodelled and relocated beauty hall, which was startlingly white and shiny in all its neo-sci fi glory. It's a huge step up from their old beauty department, which was hidden at the gloomier back end of the shop. While taking in all the products and perfumes I noticed a huge display for Marc Jacobs' BANG! fragrance (love the packaging for this one).

In no time I was spotting key pieces for A/W such as capes, military greens and winter coats from Debenhams, Warehouse and Topshop respectively...

Topman's impressive lines for the new season should keep any fashion-forward male keen, with an ever-expanding range of trouser cuts, which now include the carrot and arc cuts.

At this point it was surely time for a rest & refuel - luckily I was close enough to swing round to Oko Express on Queen Street in a mere moment for some sushi action...


On to Frasers next, parts of which are still under reconstruction. With new sparkly concessions being unveiled all the time (hello, Hermes, Biba and - hopefully not too much longer now - MAC), the store is a heavingly successful 'work in progress'. Wandering around and taking at all in (so much to see) I couldn't help but notice this baby winking at me:

She was all the way up on the top shelf at the Mulberry concession. I'm a sucker for pink and leopard print so this temptress ticks all the boxes.

Working my way (slowly) up Buchanan Street I visited the good folk at Vivienne Westwood, H&M and after a sweep of Buchanan Galleries (noted: some nice pieces at Mango - tweedy wools and elbow patches), I was exhausted. Empty handed (well, not empty handed but I definitely did not buy shoes and that was sort of the point) and in need of a rest I headed to the cinema. Oreo milkshake in hand, I watched Twilight star Kristen Stewart do her best Joan Jett in The Runaways. Not bad. Made me want to pull on my Chucks and start a girl band.

That was my weekend, how was yours?

(*- as in, a pair of shoes for a boy, not a pair of boy-style shoes for me)

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Into the Wilderness...

With the last few sunny summer days being squeezed out in the last few weeks, it's pretty safe to assume that Autumn has arrived. In preparation for the new season, most stores have started to carry their Autumn/ Winter lines since August.

I love this time of year. Let's layer up and go on an adventure.

A recurring theme for this Autumn/ Winter has been that of the Great Outdoors - layering outerwear with rich heritage fabrics. Knitwear, thick tweeds, chunky socks and - yes - hiking books. Male and female explorers seeking outdoor excitement can brave the woods, moors or even the local high streets mixing earthy tones with a flash of brighter checks. Take for example, this green parka, courtesy of Topshop:

This item mixed with a muddy brown sweater and layered over a lumberjack-style checked shirt would prepare you for any adventure, rural or urban. At D&G, their cosy Nordic knits will guarantee that you are protected from the elements

Boys - a pair of boots, whether hiking boots, army boots or wellingtons will ensure that you are well-equipped for stomping though the crisp brown leaves, puddles and (eventually) snow, and will see you through the season. The same goes for us girls:

In particular for les femmes, stack-heeled hiking boots are sure to be a key staple this season. Good thing there is a range available to suit all budgets, from ASOS' suede pair (£55) to Chloe's wedge-heeled beauties (£575). Don't forget to pair with long, thick socks, a la Rag & Bone and Michael Kors' recent Autumn/ Winter shows.

While roaming in the wilderness, carrying one's essentials is well, essential. A satchel bag (below, left) or shearling backpack is practical and bang on trend.

A chunky scarf or snood will keep the cold wind at bay and a tweed baker boy hat (as seen at DKNY) will help you to embrace the countryside in style.

Now that the outfits are sorted, all that's left to do is get out there and explore. I leave you with a few snaps from one of my last outdoor adventures...