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Monday, 30 August 2010

Shop: Style-watching at H&M

Glasgow City Centre now boasts 3 H&M stores within a stone's throw of one another (2 out of the 3 are huge), the most recent addition comes as part of the newly-refurbished St Enoch Centre. I like the big shiny store on Buchanan Street - it opened last year just in time for the madness of the Jimmy Choo x H&M collection and as well as being well laid out, it's conveniently located right next to the subway station, so going in for a look is almost mandatory on a day at the shops. The store also carried both Sonia Rykiel Pour H&M collections and over the weekend, I popped in-store to have a nosey at what H&M has to offer for the upcoming season.

Animal print was abundant - on knitwear, dresses, tees and one very nice coat (which had leather accents not unlike a recent 3.1 Phillip Lim coat seen on the runway). All this leopard print is reminiscent of looks by the likes of Dolce & Gabbana at the moment. In particular, I loved these leopard print cardi's:

More animal prints:

While wandering round the store I also couldn't help but notice these two cute knits. The horse one immediately brought to mind my beloved Luella (who, by the way has a new book coming out this October), while the sparkly Mickey Mouse ears on the other just made me smile:

Horse motifs were seen on a few other items, like cardigans. Other trends I noticed in H&M were ruffles, trenches, denim, camel coats and grunge. Take this floral printed denim jacket for example:

This nails the grunge look perfectly. Layer over a cotton t-shirt maxi dress, throw on a pair or army boots and you're good to go!

With the party season up ahead, there will no doubt be more dresses, embellished pieces and accessories to come. One show-stopper I noticed in-store already was this Balmain-esque jacket, for those brave enough to wear it:

H&M tend to blaze the trail when it comes to designer x high street collaborations (who could forget Jimmy Choo, Karl Lagerfeld, Viktor & Rolf and Stella McCartney, to only name a few), so I'm looking forward to any upcoming announcements. The most recent rumour is that Shiatzy Chen, a Taiwanese fashion house, may be collaborating with H&M on a collection due to be released this November. There have also been rumblings of Lanvin for H&M. We will be hearing who the next collaboration will be with very soon - announcements are said to be made on Sepetember 9th!

With 3 well-stocked H&M stores to choose from in Glasgow, shopping there couldn't be simpler, right? Probably not. But from September 16th, H&M will be launching their online store, so stocking up on basics and quirky updates can now be done from the comfort of your own desk/ home. Easy.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Shear Genius

A while back I seen this gorgeous advertising campaign for shearling aviator jackets by Burberry Prorsum, the models wrapped up in soft leather and fluffy fleece gazing back at me. I knew that this was going to be an important look for Autumn/ Winter, and before I could even hum Highway to the Danger Zone*, versions of Christopher Bailey's designs were popping up everywhere for boys and girls. The difference between the eighties aviator jacket previously favoured by Maverick and his buddies and the styles hitting our stores now is that instead of the fleece only being in the lining, it has been brought to the forefront to display a contrast in texture to the dark leather.

Inspired by uniforms and cadets, Christopher Bailey's collection is the creme de la creme of aviator jackets, but if the £2195 price tag isn't for you fear not - there are several alternatives that can work for any price range.

While out and about this week I seen many brands offering their take on the shearling aviator. Topshop are asking only £58 for this little beauty:

Topshop have a decent selection, with prices ranging up to about £325 for a jacket, with gilets and accessories echoing the aviator look also available. ASOS are offering choices in a couple of colourways at £110 and £120 and also have a hotly-anticipated £350 jacket that is becoming available from October. Elsewhere on the high street, Oasis' take on the aviator will set you back £150, and Warehouse have a pretty nice version going for £300. Marks and Spencer have a really nice take on the aviator in brown with a huge creamy fleece collar for a not-too-shabby-at-all £85!

Got a little more cash to play with? Zadig et Voltaire, Giles, Bebe, Just Cavalli, 3.1 Phillip Lim and Paul & Joe all have nods to the aviator look, and Julien MacDonald has this jacket as part of his Winter 2010 collection.

Pour le males, Acne's aviator (£1400) is proving to be very popular already, and with offerings from D&G, Marc Jacobs, and Armani Jeans to name a few, there are plenty to choose from.

I'm a fan of this look because it works for both sexes and depending on how you wear it, the aviator jacket can be very masculine or feminine. When it starts getting a bit chilly again, it looks like the ideal wardrobe staple to stay cosy in. I don't think I will be investing in one of these jackets myself just yet (it's just not my bag, baby), but I can see that it is going to be one of the key pieces seeing us through the coming season.

* - have no idea what I'm talking about? Watch Top Gun.

Monday, 16 August 2010

She's a Lady...

1950's retro style is all over the Autumn/Winter catwalks right now. Ladylike looks featuring circle skirts, gloves, blouses and cardigans are the order of the day this upcoming season and even though it's still - technically - summer, I'm looking forward to it.

(The ever stylish ladies - and gents - of Mad Men)

The prim and proper ladies of Louis Vuitton are leading the way with swishing skirts. Prada's printed dresses are cute and very wearable - Miuccia has the Mad Men look down to a fine art (not bad for someone that has apparently never seen the show!) - and ensures that pulling off this look is easy. For those wishing to achieve a more subtle nod to this trend, pencil skirts are also very ladylike and classic. Channel your inner Marilyn and get wiggling. Classic fabrics such as satin, wool and tweed and prints such as florals and checks all feature also feature heavily in this tribute to timeless femininity.

As for accessories, the ladies on the catwalk have made it clear that for this particular look, there are two main footwear teams: pointed toes (championed at Louis Vuitton) or square toes (as featured at Miu Miu). Pick a side. As for me, I'll be rocking my ladylike threads with my trusty brogues for a bit of a twist! Kitten heels are also making a bit of comeback for this one, so girls with platform fatigue can relax for a while.

The modern lady keeps her essentials in a simple and stylish top handle handbag. Some of the best designer offerings so far include Mulberry's Neely, Dolce & Gabbana's Miss Sicily and Louis Vuitton's Neo Speedy. But our high street is offering very stylish, affordable alternatives at Urban Outfitters, Topshop and River Island. Perfect with a cinched-in waist, scarlet lips and a pair of gloves, darling.

(Mulberry's Neely - £650.00)

(River Island's red faux snake print doctors bag - £39.99)

While writing this blog I got to thinking about why I personally love this look so much. I think it's because it appeals to my inner retro-vixen, and it is a chance to champion womanly silhouettes, femininity and as Marc Jacobs has said, "Celebrate the beautiful intrinsic value and the joy of being a woman".

This Autumn/Winter just got flirty, feminine and fun - so enjoy. It's a perfect excuse to dress up and feel glamorous. I know I will be. Elocution lessons optional.

Monday, 9 August 2010

Cyber Candy: Lindsay McDowall Jewellery online

Last month I blogged about Jodie's Jewellery Boutique, and being the accessory-loving magpie that I am, I recently came across Glasgow-based jewellery designer Lindsay McDowall, who's eye-catching pieces had me interested from the get go.

Lindsay is inspired by vintage brooches, uncovering them like hidden treasure before giving them a unique twist and lovingly turning them into something new and unique. Designs include nautical-influenced anchors and boats (still on-trend this summer):

...and the aptly-named totally OTT (in a good way) Bollywood Bling earrings:

Jewellery by Lindsay McDowall is available in her new online store, which has been up and running since May. Off-line, it is exclusively available in Nancy Smilie stores in the West End. Lindsay has taken her passion for jewellery as a hobby and transformed it into a business, sourcing her materials from vintage stores, charity shops and eBay. Some of the styles in the collection are quirky & current, others retro fabulous (hello, Betty Draper), and some of the designs seem to literally say Hollywood glamour (take for example red-carpet ready The Oscars necklace).

Large pieces of statement jewellery have been on-trend for the last few seasons, and for Autumn/ Winter this year a main theme running throughout is about being yourself and owning your own unique style with confidence. The great thing about Lindsay McDowall's pieces is that as well as ticking the statement jewellery box, the necklaces are mostly one-of a kind and it is unlikely that you will turn up somewhere wearing the same necklace as someone else.

One of my favourites has to be this Scottie dog necklace, too cute for words:

Lindsay McDowall's full collection which includes necklaces, earrings and bracelets can be viewed on her online store, along with news, twitter updates and stockist information. Lindsay assures me that she is already planning her next pieces, having already sourced more vintage brooches, so be sure to check back for the next creations!

Photo's: used with thanks from