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Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Tights, Camera, Action!

As someone that lives in skirts and dresses, tights are a daily wardrobe staple. Usually at this time of year there are a few updates to my (and fellow tight-tastic people's) rotation of tights. There are two reasons behind this:

1. Thicker tights are required to combat the cold, and 
2. Fancier tights are desirable in anticipation of the Christmas parties
Point 1 is a no-brainer, last winter it was freezing and if it wasn't for Primark's Super Cosy microfibre tights with fleecy lining (a godsend and only £3 - bonus) I am sure my legs would have snapped in half like a pair of ice poles (the blue ones, obviously). Normally I am firmly in the 'cheap tights are a false economy' camp, but these ones do last pretty well and are cheap as chips so I am more than willing to make an exception.  With loads of other affordable thick tights on the high street, there's no excuse for cold legs!

Recently I treated myself to some new 'dressy' tights for the party season. A while back I blogged about La La Land, a local boutique in De Courcy's Arcade which has quickly become one of my very favourite West End shops. At the time I had spied a very awesome pair of pink tights by Les Queues de Sardines, but at £35 I didn't get them. But! Good things come to those who wait - I got them at the weekend for £20, result! And I love them, they make me feel like a superhero:

Disco Zeus tights, £20 (was £35) by Les Queues de Sardines at La La Land

They will add a pop of colour to my LBD and I can't wait to show them off. Speaking of Les Queues de Sardines, Tatty Devine now have a selection of their cult tights available on their online store. My favourites are the Bouba Bear ones (£40), bringing a whole new meaning to 'bare legs'. In a similar vein, Scotland's own Tights for Sore Eyes have a brilliant range of quirky designs.

Gold by Giles at New Look have a range of pretty tights just in time for the party season. I really like the leopard mock knee high ones - they remind me a bit of the excellent House of Holland for Pretty Polly ones - and at £7.99 they won't break the bank:

Leopard Mock Knee High tights, £7.99, Gold by Giles at New Look

Will you be dressing up your legs for Winter?

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Here, Kitty Kitty

If I could, I would be a crazy cat lady. I'd give that old woman from The Simpsons a run for her money and have a gang of fierce felines like the ones in the Cravendale advert. Such is my love for kitties that I'm always pleased when I see cat motifs popping up in fashion. It was really no surprise that I was donning cat ears and eyeliner whiskers a few weeks ago for Halloween. Cats have started appearing more and more over the last year or so thanks in part to Miu Miu's Spring 2010 collection, and more recently I've spotted a lot more - from high end to high street. Today I look at a few of my favourites...

Topshop's I heart Cats tee (£20) makes a statement and is great for everyday wear and I love Brat & Suzie's Kitten tea dress (£35) - featuring an all-over print of a kitten playing with a ball of wool. River Island's pink Le Chat jersey top (£20) is one of their current best-sellers and is an affordable way to buy into the trend:

Le Chat top, £20, River Island

For feet, there are lots of options. These knitted slippers (£15) are super cosy and make would make even 'dog people' smile:

Knitted cat slippers, £15 at Urban Outfitters

When I heard about Christian Louboutin's 'Alex' lion paw style shoes - now famously worn by Gossip Girl Blake Lively - I had to get a better look. These bad boys will make you look and feel quite literally like a sex kitten and are as close to actual paws as it gets. The price of these heels is much more than I can afford - but they are nice to look at and would make a purrfect addition to any wardrobe: 

'Alex' heels by Christian Louboutin

Katy Perry can do no wrong in my book as it is, but when I seen pictures online of her sporting Charlotte Olympia's Kitty flats (£485 - and dare I say worth it!) she went up yet another notch. It's no surprise that these shoes are selling out fast and as they go with just about anything, they are my top pick:

Kitty flats, £485 by Charlotte Olympia

Finger's crossed for a high street knockoff (or an epic find in a sale)! Speaking of Ms Perry, last year she released her first fragrance, Purr. Now, in time for Christmas, Katy is about to release her second venture, Meow. I'm not normally one for designer perfumes (exactly how many perfumes does Britney Spears have out...?) but Purr smelled pretty damn good. So I am looking forward to smelling the new fragrance, which like it's big sister, is packaged in a super kawaii kitty shaped bottle:

Meow by Katy Perry, price TBC

Will you be letting the cat out of the bag this season?

Sunday, 30 October 2011

They did the Monster Mash

Halloween is always a fun time of year for me. I think it's my inner 16-year old goth girl screaming to get out. As the years go on, more and more people start to embrace all the spooky festivities and Halloween gets increasingly popular. I noticed some stores in Glasgow starting to stock their Halloween wares as early as the end of July this year. Decorations, costumes, sweets and yes, even greeting cards - it seems Halloween is big business.

Like Christmas and New Year, Halloween weekend is now cause to go out  - with several themed club nights and events advertised every year. Last night seen Ashton Lane's Creatures of the Night, a full after-hours street party with each pub/ restaurant in Ashton Lane taking on a Halloween persona, proving that Halloween's popularity is not lost on Glasgow's party-goers.

Despite the choice on offer - with the above event in particular being right on my doorstep - I have my own tradition for this wicked weekend and it would need to take something pretty incredible to change that. Halloween movie night in our flat has been how I prefer to spend Halloween weekend for the last few years. Call me boring, but I look forward to it every time and this year has been no exception. With friends,  junk food galore (candy coma, anyone?) and the horror genre's good, bad & ugly on DVD (and if we're feeling flush, blu-ray), I always have a great time. This year we watched Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, which was a bit like Saved By the Bell but with lots of people getting stabbed. There was also a pumpkin that accidentally ended looking like John Waters after we carved it and of course, the endless supply of sweets:

As well as watching films  and eating enough rubbish to horrify my dentist, Halloween also gives me an excuse to wear my more eerie ensembles (I did say I was a goth kid at heart) and enjoy the themed pieces that come out. I've always been a fan of Tatty Devine's Ghost necklace (£27) - simple and very cute, it's remained a classic and makes me smile. I also really like this Werewolf Tee by Urban Outfitters, with it's comic-book style print and hole detailing:

Werewolf Tee, £30 at Urban Outfitters

The other day the Boy pointed out these Rosario shoes by Pretty Ballerinas - in perfect Halloween colours featuring pumpkin and witches hat detailing. Good eye! Although at over a hundred quid they may need to be admired from afar.

A couple of years back I won a dress from the totally awesome and now defunct Lady Luck Rules OK website as part of a Halloween contest. The dress has everything you'd expect from a Halloween print - vampires, skeletons, gravestones and pumpkins. I love wearing it and make sure it gets trotted out at this time of year:

One of my favourite dresses ever - thanks LLROK! 

Finally, a quick word on decorating - it's been a total joy to dress up our new flat for Halloween this year. I really think we outdid ourselves and struck a good balance. I just wish I'd seen this cute Halloween bunting (I love bunting!) by John Lewis sooner:

Ghost & Bat bunting, £4 at John Lewis

Ah well, there's always next year.

Happy Halloween everyone! What's YOUR Halloween style?

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Creepy Crawly

I hate to sound like an 'I was doing that way before it was in fashion' type, but when I seen that brothel creepers were becoming fashionable - thanks in part to Prada's much sought-after crepe-soled brogues - I couldn't help but think along those lines. I don't make this kind of claim often, so when I do I really mean it. I remember buying my first pair of Underground creepers when I was still in secondary school, on my first trip to Camden Market - which at the time seemed like the coolest place in the world. I loved my creepers so much that I managed to persuade my mum to let me get two pairs - a black pair for school and a pink spiky pair for the weekend. Many a Glasgow boy and girl have been rocking creepers for years, they are a wardrobe staple for dedicated attendees of rockabilly club nights and concerts. Creepers became popular as fashion footwear in the late 1950's, so lovers of all things retro are also bound to be familiar with them (and probably own a pair or two).

These ladies and gents show us all how it's done

A selection of Prada's creeper-style shoes, around £510 

From reading reactions to this new footwear trend, it seems to be that creepers divide opinion quite a bit. It's considered a 'tricky' trend and many fashion writers aren't convinced by the wonder of the brothel creeper. True, they aren't for everyone (that was always part of their original allure, all those years ago) but seeing them stocked in Topshop means that creepers have definitely come a long way. Creepers have appeared on the catwalks and inevitably on the pages of fashion magazines as part of an overall trend of androgyny - tipped to be huge for this Autumn/ Winter. It is clear that creepers certainly have a masculine feel - as the song goes, a man with 'rolled up jeans and creepers on' is 'a mighty fine sight to look upon' (I couldn't agree more) - but with so many variations available, I think it's high time the ladies got in on the action.

Creepers are flat, yet chunky, and their stacked sole can help give a bit of height. The thick and sturdy soles mean that they are notoriously difficult to break in - but the effort is worth it and a good pair of creepers will last you for years. Luckily, with creepers being in fashion there are many styles ranging from high stacked soles for those looking to get an authentic teddy boy (or girl!) look, to pairs with thinner soles for those looking for a less exteme style. Topshop really do offer a great range and their Mobee Double Buckle brothel creeper is a lighter take on the look with a flash of leopard print for only £34. 

For a hardwearing pair of creepers, London brand Underground really are the original and best. They have been keeping all manner of rockers in creepers for decades and have an extensive selection - including double and triple soled shoes, which begs the question: how high are you willing to go?

Black Suede Triple-sole Creepers, £109 by Underground

I decided to take advantage of the vast availability of creepers on the high street and give my shoe collection an update with this patent pair from good old H&M - with pointed toes and bows on the front, these bad boys have more of a feminine, dressy feel (or as much as you are going to get with a pair of creepers):

Patent Creepers, £39.99 by H&M

Will you be creeping into this Autumn/ Winter?

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Spot the Trend

I'm really pleased to see that polka dots are back again this season, they are flirty, fifties-retro and totally fun. Once favoured by cartoon cuties Minnie Mouse and Betty Boop (who definitely know how to work the spots), polka dots are popping up everywhere from high end designers such as Marc Jacobs and Dolce & Gabbana, to high street favourites like Topshop and Zara.

It's true that serveral prints are in fashion just now and it can take some guts to pull some of them off, but polka dots are ideal for all fashionistas, shy or brave. As far as prints go, polka dots (like stripes) are clean, simple and un-complicated compared to some of the others (that's right aztec prints, I'm looking at you...) in the shops just now and I would encourage anyone to give them a go. Here are a few of my current favourites...

As far as designers go, Marc Jacobs wins the gold star for his take on the polka dot trend. He offers an extensive collection this season with polka dots on clothes and accessories, in fabrics ranging from fleece to rubber! Check this lady out, modelling Mr Jacobs' A/W 2011 collection - quite literally top to toe in dots:

Marc Jacobs A/W 2011 show

As well as being my dream polka dot ensemble, this outfit also shows that for the style-shy, polka dots don't need to be in contrasting colours. In the same vein, this gorgeous ALICE by Temperley frock is subtly covered in spots:

Dress, £425, ALICE by Temperley

Meanwhile, on the high street I have, er, spotted  a few nice little polka dot numbers too. I really liked this long-sleeved green and black dress at Topshop, cleverly showcasing green dots on a black background and vice versa on the same garment:

Dress, £60, Topshop

Also, Topshop have a great range of polka dot accessories on offer. I seen spotty motifs on everything from tights to purses but in particular these bendy ribbons caught my eye. They'll set you back a fiver and could be worn tied round your wrist or in your hair:

Wire wraps (right), £5, Topshop

Online, ASOS are a one-stop shop for polka dot pieces, with a range of brands to suit all budgets. (and a lot of really nice and affordable pieces by their own brand too). With pages and pages to choose from, and prices starting from a more than reasonable £2, they will leave spot-seeking girls (and guys) spoilt for choice. 

Will you be rocking polka dots this season?

Sunday, 18 September 2011


Is it really September already? Whoops. I feel like a lazy blogger, I'm sorry. I took a leave of absence from the blog to go on holiday and before I knew it the whole Summer had passed. A lot has happened in the last few months. I have:

  • been on holiday (America, I love you)
  • moved house (from Hillhead to, er, Hillhead) the day after I got back from America (take THAT, jet lag)
  • started a new job
  • been busy in my Bridesmaid's duties (one wedding down, one to go)
  • celebrated my birthday, plus the Boy and the BFFs' birthdays
  • Been on jaunts to London and Tynemouth

Phew! So it's been a busy few months but a brilliant Summer.

I love September because I get to start planning and wearing my Autumn/ Winter wardrobe. I admit, as much as I love the Summer, I prefer the clothes and accessories that come with the colder months much more. I love the looks for this A/W - gothic, retro ladylike, rock star, eccentric, faux fur, luxe fabrics and rich colours (I've never been much of a flouro girl). I love being able to pile on hats, scarves and bags like a crazy person and argue it's to help keep me warm. Sometimes in the Summer months I feel a little lost because I don't like a lot of the trends or collections in the shops (take for example, Boho) and so I tend to wear a simplified, less layered version of what I'd wear in winter with lashings of higher SPF.

This week is London Fashion Week and I as I type the folk at Topshop Unique are getting set up for their SS12 show. The great thing is that instead of having to wait a week or a month to see the runway shows in your favourite magazines a lot of the designers will stream their shows live online, and you can also see the highlights on internet channels like LFWTV. The wonders of technology!

September's fashion week is all about what is going to be big in Spring & Summer 2012, and although I am curious to see what lies ahead, I want to revel in the Autumn/ Winter a little longer. I'm going to enjoy what is here and now (call me sentimental) so bring on the crisp morning air, candy apples, falling leaves and winter coats.

I will sign off with my current crush - the Mulberry Autumn/ Winter ad campaign. The owls! The foxes! The bags! Heaven. I first seen these ads in July while wandering around Selfridges Oxford Street with the Boy and have loved them since then. They summarise what I feel British Fall fashion is all about:

Next time I won't leave it as long - promise.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Back Soon...

I won't be blogging for a few weeks - sorry!

I'm off for an American adventure, but I will be back soon...

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Prints & The Revolution

After what has felt like ages of colour blocking, statement brights and the 'new nudes', prints have rolled back into town to shake things up just in time for Summer. Not too long ago, I blogged about fruit motifs and have noticed more and more of these fresh prints being served up in the shops along with tribal designs, floral pieces and bold stripes (to name a few).

I'm pleased to see that there is a huge range of prints available - it's no secret to those that know me that I am a leopard print fiend and when it comes to clothes and accessories, the more detail the better tends to be my mantra - this blog will cover my top picks for looking pretty in prints, with a particular focus on bags.

Stripes are making a huge comeback this season with Prada and Jil Sander leading the way with their bold multicoloured designs. Prada's new (and already iconic) stripy handbags are coveted by many and can currently be drooled over in the window display at House of Fraser, Buchanan Street in a selection of stripy variations that would give Bertie Bassett a run for his money. Most of Prada's current season is adorned with some kind of bold print, but it seems to be their take on stripes that is causing the biggest stir. Karen Millen's stripe box bag (£250) will give a similar look for less - but as it is limited edition you'll need to be quick!

I'm really liking Jil Sander's Market striped bag (below) - it reminds me of a Tesco carrier bag and it's nautical blue and white stripes get the thumbs up from me:

Market striped silk-twill bag (£445) by Jil Sander

Want the look for less? You could always sail round to Tesco and buy a loaf, they are literally giving these bags away. Or you can check out this nautical stripe bag for £15 at ASOS.

Floral prints are definitely growing on me (sorry) this season, and twee, flowery pieces normally championed by Cath Kidston are everywhere. My favourite floral prints so far have to be those featured in D&G's collection. D&G to me have totally nailed floral prints and I have seen few do it as well as they have for Spring/ Summer '11. I especially love this satchel, perfect for a picnic in the park. However, with price tags averaging around the £600 mark for a D&G bag I doubt I would have anything left for picnic food. Fear not, Urban Outfitters have a cute range of floral bags for a fraction of the price, hurrah!

Nike's collaboration with Liberty has seen the sportswear brand give their sneakers a feminine fash-over, with their famous Blazer mid and low tops, Dunk hi skinny & Air Force 1 lows decorated with Liberty's iconic floral ditsy prints. These shoes have been flying off the shelves ever since the first collaboration a few years ago and are girly enough to convince those of us who wouldn't normally wear a pair of trainers to try them out. This month another collection was released and at around £72 a pair they are sure to be just as popular.

From Nike & Liberty's collaboration

Finally, we have my favourite print - leopard. I have already published a blog professing my love for the mighty animal print so will keep this mention brief. This season, my jackpot* leopard print piece is Vivienne Westwood's 4646 Leopard bag with pink accents (£355). Purrfect.

Will you be rocking the prints this season?

* a 'jackpot' item is my most recommended/ wanted piece.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Shops: La La Land

One if the best things about living in the West End is the shops. You won't find too many chain stores up this neck of the woods, and shoppers feel well and truly spoiled for choice with so many unique boutiques, vintage stores, gift shops and cafes to choose from. On the other hand, it can be hard to stand out in a crowd of offbeat and exclusive retailers who all try to offer a break from the norm. De Courcy's Arcade on Cresswell Lane is home to a handful of independent stores, and La La Land has quickly become my favourite store of the bunch.

La La Land opened in September 2010 and occupies a bright ground floor shop at the entrance of the arcade. The store specialises in selling clothes, accessories and gifts by cult labels and Scottish designers. After visiting the store I had to write about it, as I was blown away with the selection and cute displays and frankly wanted to buy almost everything myself!

Some of the cute jewellery displayed in-store

I recognised some of the labels on offer such as old favourites Tatty Devine and Lazy Oaf, as well as pieces by lesser-known labels like Brat & Suzie and the ever-amazing comic-strip style headbands by Janine Basil. The store displays were extremely eye-catching and quirky, such as a selection of rings and brooches on a cake stand and necklaces being displayed on coat hangers:

A selection of jewellery and accessories displayed with a La La Land twist

What sets La La Land apart from most other West End Boutiques is the attention to detail and selection of designers. There aren't many other stores that support Scottish independent labels as passionately as this one and although the store started with the aim of exclusively stocking Scottish designers, they now hand-pick unique smaller designers from all over the world. This initiative gives new talent without the opportunity for retail a platform, and La La Land are still on the lookout for new designers. The shop is run by the multi-talented Sarah Graham, who has a background in vintage retail, fashion journalism and styling. Sarah - who is also the Editor of the rather excellent Coveted Magazine (known as 'Scotland's first and only fashion magazine dedicated to supporting & promoting The Scottish Fashion Industry') - decided to open La La Land to offer a change from the busy and predictable high street, to support Scottish design and to stock the cult labels that she (and so many others, myself included) loves.

Accessories and headpieces available at La La Land (including my favourite POW! Comic-strip headbands by Janine Basil)

La La Land offers independent fashion at affordable prices - from just £3 for a set of Lazy Oaf badges, to mid-range (about £25 for a hand printed Brat & Suzie tee) and the most expensive item in store will set you back £180 (a gorgeous handmade jacket made from luxurious fabrics such as wool and mohair). The customers that walk through the door can vary from young girls to students, to the more mature customers, and even though the products sold cater predominantly to les femmes, La La Land hasn't forgotten about the guys with their 'Token Men's shelf' attracting boyfriends and hip dads alike!

Clothing includes tees by Brat & Susie, £25 and other independent designers

Sarah specially selects her stock from smaller original brands and the shop has a selection of unique pieces you will struggle to find in other stores. I chatted to Sarah about the pieces in store and she showed me her current favourites, cameo necklaces made by the super-talented Untamed Menagerie. These beauties are priced at £25/ £28 and are delicately crafted with slogans such as 'Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History' and 'Carpe Diem':

A selection of necklaces by Untamed Menagerie, £25-£28

I also enjoyed looking at other items, particularly the well-made and eye-catching tights by Les Queues de Sardines, which at £35 I may have to save for a pay-day treat:

Lightning bolt and Winged design tights, £35 by Les Queues de Sardines

La La Land are official stockists of cult labels and at times even exclusive stockists - colouring books (£7) and paper dolls (£10) by I Love Mel won't be found anywhere else and make great gifts. The store also exhibited designs by fashion illustrator Shona McGuiggan and now stocks gift cards by the designer. The shop is also open to collaborations and keeping local talent involved and there are projects and events planned for the near future. An upcoming project involves designing the shop window, and local artists specialising in fashion illustration/ patterns will be commissioned to design a display for it (which has a prominent placement on Cresswell lane). The store will also be launching its Spring/ Summer 2011 collections very shortly and the sale featuring items from Autumn/ Winter 2010 will continue for the rest of this week.

As previously mentioned, La La Land are always interested in new designers and you can get in touch with Sarah by email (please include photos of your work) or just by popping into the store in person.

Be sure to visit La La Land on your next trip to Cresswell Lane, I promise you won't be disappointed by this brilliantly cute and quirky store.

To learn more about La La Land, or to shop online visit the website
Designers/ contributors can contact the store directly at:

Sunday, 27 March 2011

A Sunday Granny Would Be Proud Of

After that freak snowstorm the other week it was nice to wake up to a nice calm and sunny Sunday. When I looked out the window and seen the weather I couldn't wait to go for a stroll around the neighbourhood (my new favourite Sunday activity). I'd heard that Granny Would Be Proud vintage and craft fair was on at Hillhead Bookclub and being no stranger to the GWBP events or Hillhead Bookclub itself I knew it would be well worth a visit. With the promise of a lazy Sunday lunch following a browse round the stalls I was happily accompanied by my beau.

Hanging about Hillhead Bookclub on a Sunday whether there is a fair on or not is still good fun, thanks to the shabby-chic decor, relaxed atmosphere, friendly staff and great food (more on that later). While weekend regulars and visitors alike lunch on the ground floor all of the vintage and craft stalls are set up on the mezzanine looking over. Today there was an excellent selection of vendors and a few really stood out to me as being extra appealing.

First up were the friendly and very helpful guys of Eyedresser Vintage, set up at the top of the stairs next to Flamingo Bakery's tasty treats. I loved this stall and it really made me wish I needed glasses (although having to work with computers every day makes me think my spectacle-free days are numbered...). Eyedresser Vintage specialise in vintage, retro and antique-style glasses. They had literally hundreds of styles and as professional opticians they offer to expertly fit prescription lenses. The staff were very attentive and assured me that although the website isn't quite ready yet (keep checking back), they can be contacted by email at the moment ( As a fifties vintage fanatic I was especially drawn to Eyedresser Vintage's cat's eye style glasses, but there were far too many fabulous frames to pick just one favourite pair.

A selection of glasses available from Eyedresser Vintage

As we wandered around the fair to an excellent soundtrack (I could have sworn they had my iPod on shuffle...) the next stall to catch my eye was the handmade goodies by Something Different. I remembered seeing this vendor from previous craft fairs, including Say No To Plastic at Oran Mor and it's always nice to see what cute creations are on offer.

Something Different's stall

Today I was especially excited by the bow-shaped shoe clips, which can be seen at the front of the table in the photo above. At first glance I assumed these were bow hairslides, but these little cuties actually clip onto the front of your shoes, instantly glamming them up from drab to fab! Genius. The shoe clips (£6), along with pretty headbands and other accessories can be purchased online at Something Different's store if you didn't make it along today and want to see more.

Lastly, but by no means least, I fell in love with some of the original handmade pieces at West End-based Pure Brass Neck's jewellery stall. With earrings, necklaces and brooches made from silver and plastic, featuring skulls and animals (two of my favourite motifs) I was truly spoilt for choice. Also, the girls at the table were cheery and approachable, which always makes for a pleasant shopping/browsing experience I think!

A selection of quirky jewellery by Pure Brass Neck

Even though I didn't buy anything from Pure Brass Neck today, something tells me I will next time. Until then, there is always the website to peruse or I am reliably informed pieces are locally stocked at Lupe Golightly (639 Great Western Road) too. Bonus!

Phew, after all that I needed a sit down and the boy was ready for food so we headed downstairs for some lunch. Hillhead Bookclub is a local haunt for many people on a Sunday and getting a table between 12 and 2pm can be slim pickings but we still managed. The brunch menu is a little more succinct compared to the lunch menu, but the prices are great and the food is yummy so no complaints here. I had the french toast & bacon (below) and the boy had the biggest burger we'd seen in a long time!

Lunch at Hillhead Bookclub (soon to be demolished by yours truly)

After a long and lazy lunch we were suitably stuffed and headed out into the sunny afternoon to walk it off. All in all, a great day.

Be sure to check out the vendors' websites (all linked above) for more info.

What did you do today?

Friday, 25 February 2011

Tutti Fruitti

This season, fresh, fruity features are everywhere, not just the supermarket and the local greengrocers. As well as bold colour-blocking in shades such as candy apple-red and vibrant banana-yellow on the Milan runways, there are lots of cute fruit-themed accessories available now to start putting you in the mood for Spring/ Summer (even if it is still freezing outside).

I first noticed the recent rise of fruit motifs when I seen Miu Miu's cute apple embellished plexiglass bangle (£180) a little while ago, closely followed by Prada's fun banana earrings:

Earrings, (£140) by Prada

Other high-end designers such as Stella McCartney have shown their fruity side this Spring, with the look also being adopted on the high street. Bright fruit shapes and coloured clothes and accessories can be found at Debenhams, New Look and Topshop to name a few. Topshop in particular have a pretty varied collection, raging from hosiery, jewellery (like this apple locket pendant, £8.50)and clothes . Even Primark have got in on the act with this sparkly apple brooch, a snip at just £2.00 - an affordable way to update your wardrobe with this juicy trend:

Brooch, (£2.00) Primark

Tatty Devine have dedicated their new season collection to plastic fantastic fruits featuring mouth-watering pineapples & peeled bananas with prices starting at £45. Also, super-talented Punky Pins have a great and affordable selection - my favourites are this watermelon brooch (£7.50) and these excellent pop-art style banana earrings at £6.00 (a bit like the Prada earrings but much more purse-friendly) which also come in a range of colours.

With so many fruity motifs around to brighten up our outfits this Spring, from high end to high street, how will you be getting your fashion five-a-day?

Saturday, 12 February 2011

The Look of Love

It's Valentine's weekend and love is in the air! Time for people to make bold declarations of their undying passion to each other while the folk at Clintons et al rake in the dough. Actually I'm not quite as cynical as that. Yes, many stores jump at the chance to hawk tacky and overpriced goods at this time of year in a bid to convince shoppers that said goods will validate their devotion to their significant other but I have found there are still lots of affordable, worthwhile and style savvy ways to get the message across. And besides, even if it's not considered 'cool' I like the cheesiness of Valentine's Day, I suppose in the same sort of way I like Christmas and Halloween (but on a smaller scale). Valentine's Day can be silly and fun if you don't take it too seriously.

I considered writing a Valentine's Day gift guide as I really feel sorry for all the nervous and perspiring gentlemen hanging around outside La Senza and Ann Summers, plucking up the courage to eventually go inside (you know the ones I mean, and if any of them are reading this, you know who you are). But, I am not best placed to give advice on gifts for people I haven't met so the only thing I will say on the matter is: buy them something they will like, and if it is to wear make sure it is the right size!

Instead, as I tend to enjoy a good theme, I wanted to share my top picks for Valentine's Day themed clothes and accessories. And if they happen to inspire anyone that still hasn't bought a present along the way, that's fine by me too. First up, I noticed a trio of cute and purse-friendly goodies at H&M. This peppermint coloured cardigan with a sweet kissing love birds design is perfect for Spring:

Cardigan, £14.99 at H&M

Also spotted was this bold 'Be My Valentine' slogan tank top, which at £6.99 is an affordable and confident way to get the message across if you aren't the secret admirer type:

Tank Top, £6.99 at H&M

And I couldn't resist this Lulu Guinness inspired lips shaped coin purse:

Lips purse, £3.99 at H&M

ASOS also have their share of loved-up accessories, my favourite being their Heart Shaped Ring with Cat Portrait (£8.00) very cute! A close second was these amazing Gipsy Back Seam Hearts tights (£7.00) and a special mention goes to this Wall Street-esque Two Tone Metal Bracelet watch, as wearing it will no doubt ensure it' always love o' clock (sorry, couldn't resist). ASOS (who at the moment are offering free delivery on all offers) have an extensive collection of heart-print clothing ranging from their own brand to garments by designers such as Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, all of which are worth a browse if you're in the mood for love.

Finally, one of my favourite jewellery brands Tatty Devine have top marks this year with their 'For your Valentine' selection at their online shop. Featuring earrings, necklaces, brooches and rings in heart-shaped and other sweet designs, Tatty Devine also sell a selection of cards by artists such as Lisa Jones and Rob Ryan (who also collaborates with Tatty Devine on a wonderful and whimsical jewellery collection inspired by romance and adventure) in their Valentine's section. Prices start at £2.50 for a card and can range up to £230 for a special edition necklace.

That concludes my top choices of love-themed items just in time for Valentine's Day. How are you spending this weekend of grand amour, and who are you going to spend it with? Also - what will you be wearning?

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Please Give Fashionably

This weekend I looked at local and national campaigns that offer 'fashion for a good cause'. Earlier in the week I was delighted to hear about one of my favourite designers, Dame Vivienne Westwood, designing this years t-shirts for Comic Relief sold exclusively at TK Maxx stores across the UK. I couldn't wait to see the designs for myself and yesterday I trotted into town with the boy in tow to grab a piece of the action. I found a good selection of t-shirts featuring a range of designs for men, women and even teeny tiny children's' ones. If only I got to wear Westwood when I was that little!

Vivienne Westwood is no stranger to advocating the need to contribute to a good cause. It's rare that we see her do mainstream media interviews, but when she does she uses the platform to raise awareness for cultural and political issues - most recently acting against climate change - more than to promote her designs. Her manifesto, Active Resistance to Propaganda and her blog have more detail on her campaigns and her thoughts. As a pioneer of statement fashion, Westwood has displayed her views and campaigns through her collections for several years (see Spring/ Summer 2007's I Am Expensive collection as a noteworthy example), so it seems like a natural choice for TK Maxx to collaborate with her on their latest 'chari-tee' range for Red Nose Day (which takes place on March 18th).

The collection features striking prints of historical figures, art, classic Westwood images and even characters from Blackadder on soft, fairtrade organic cotton and given a Comic Relief twist. Never ones to shy away from a bit of Westwood, the boy and I both got t-shirts, coming in at a total of just under £25:

'The Laughing Audience' by Hogarth T-shirt, £9.99 by Vivienne Westwood for Comic Relief

'Louis XIV Lady' T-shirt, £14.99, by Vivienne Westwood for Comic Relief (featuring a pair of cheekily placed red noses)

With at least half of the proceeds going towards Comic Relief, which promises to help people across the UK and Africa, this is a win-win situation. Nice one, Viv. If accessories are more your thing, TK Maxx are also selling limited edition Liberty print scarves and tote bags for the same cause. All the Comic Relief pieces can be bought in-store or by visiting TK Maxx's website.

On a more local level , I headed off to Oran Mor today to Say No To Plastic's vintage, charity and craft sale to enjoy a rummage through the vintage rails and show my support to home-grown designers. This wasn't my first visit to Say No To Plastic, so I was already aware of their campaign, set up over three years ago to help encourage the eradication of plastic and polythene bags. As there was a similar vintage fair being held over at Hillhead Bookclub at the same time (the rather excellent Granny Would Be Proud event) I was unsure if it would still be busy today, but I was glad to see lots of keen shoppers and lively ladies excitedly browsing at both Oran Mor and Hillhead Bookclub. I guess us West End Girls were blessed with a double whammy of retail therapy too keep us occupied during today's football! Lucky us!

Taken at Say No To Plastic, earlier today at Oran Mor

Say No To Plastic gently encourage a charity donation on entry, which most people are only to happy to contribute to. It's a small price for a great selection of handmade and pre-loved pieces. I meandered round the stalls and saw old favourites We Are The Robots selling their ever popular Scrabble and Lego inspired jewellery, countless vintage treasure and had to stop and look at Bunny's Beads' cool cameo pendants (really wishing I'd bought the skull one now), sweetie jewellery and cute rings.

A selection of goodies from Bunny's Beads

More vintage trinkets at Say No To Plastic

I always enjoy these events, and setting them up to help a good cause is even better. So whether it's a national campaign or a local held event, 2011 could be the year that sees feel-good fashion with a heart go from strength to strength.