Fashion

Current favourite kicks from Kurt Geiger

Out and about and online I see reems of shoes I love, but in comparison to many, have a fairly small collection. I’d love to be able to expand on what I’ve got, and current season Kurt Geiger have many a piece that has caught my eye.

It’s the Carvela collection that I think offer most in the way of mid-heel ankle boots that will be perfect come autumn and winter. These are my three favourites:Carvela  kurt geiger agnescarvela kurt geiger solero

carvela kurt keiger swapThe first is the Agnes boot and, a sucker for a toe cap, I love that this detail is featured and combined with the cut out side. This cut out design is one I’ve seen elsewhere, but here I think it’s done to perfection. The second is the Solero boot. The tassels make the boot causal, whilst the suede keeps it chic. I also love this colour boot for paring with white or dusky pink skinny jeans. The last ankle boot seen here is the Swap. This is the most unique of the three, with a chunkier design and heavier detailing – these boots could really set off a simple outfit.

Next up, these are my picks of the courts.
Carvela kurt geiger ashcarvela kurt geiger adara
KG Kurt geiger bastilleThe contrast colours on the Ash courts, as well as textures, makes these really exciting. The cobalt blue could add a flash of colour to a monochrome outfit or be paired with other brights. The black Adara courts were clearly designed to be more serious, but definitely in a sexy way. Again the contrast in fabric makes these shoes stand out, whilst the metallic touches add a feisty feel. The last court is, with out a doubt, fun. I love wearing colour as much as neutrals, and these Bastille courts could compliment many looks. With a lower heel height they’re also more wearable day-to-day, but promote a playful mood too and could be great for a night out.

Finally, my favourites of the loafers or slippers – a style that became big a year or so ago and looks as though it’s here to stay.
carvela kurt geiger larkCarvela kurt geiger later
kg kurt geier lexie

The first of the these, the Lark studded loafers, get me excited. I love detailing and I love the shape of slipper style loafers, so this pair tick my boxes. I also love the pattern of the studding, as it moves these shoes away from grungy and makes them oh so covetable. The next pair – suede, toe-capped and a wine/burgundy colour – I actually already own. I saw these Later slippers whilst out shopping and there was no going back. The toes are actually more pointed than the picture shows, which for me made them stand out from the crowd. This last pair, the Lexie slippers, would fill my craving for a colour-pop nicely. They do say to me ‘summer shoe’, less than ‘will transcend through the seasons’, but there’s no reason why these couldn’t provide a much needed colour injection to early autumn. I think they would produce a fun and causal look, as well as a smile.

I hope you liked my picks of Kurt Geiger. Let me know if you’ve spotted a pair that will get you investing. 

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Fashion

The Bag

Having had mixed feelings about & other stories in the past, the brand has finally won me over. It was this bag that did it:

& other stories two-tone shoulder bag & other stories two-tone shoulder bag 2 & other stories two-tone shoulder bag 3

I recently said goodbye to two much loved ( but old, tired and worn out) handbags after they both broke in quick succession. This meant that I had to buy a new one. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?! So the handbag search began.

My budget was never going to stretch to Mulberry (but maybe one day!), therefore the high street would be my stomping ground. Staying true to my unusual fashion, the internet was my first port of call. I headed onto a website called Shopstyle (on which you can search for various items across many websites) for some inspiration and to gauge what was on offer, but from this in general felt very underwhelmed. I wasn’t sure quite what I was looking for – it was going to be an ‘ I’ll know it when I see it’ purchase, and it couldn’t be any old bag, it had to feel like the one.

After trawling Topshop, a glance at Urban Outfitters, pawing over Zara, and scrolling through many others, I had made no progress. None of these bags were ‘it’. I wasn’t getting excited. So I turned to Asos Marketplace in the hope of something more individual. There were some well priced, reasonable looking, handmade leather satchels, but I do own the most beautiful of 15″ Cambridge Satchels, so these slouchier versions for me just didn’t compare. I should probably mention at this point that I wanted a small bag, but had to be just big enough to fit a 10 inch tablet (I do hate having things like size specifics when shopping, but it certainly narrowed things down!).

So, feeling disheartened and having searched almost every retailer I could think of, I wracked my brain for where else i could look. &Other Stories – now there’s a thought! Their collection of bags had always been both fairly extensive and with the attention to detail which I wanted to win me over. No further than the second row of bags on their website and I was sold. The Two-tone Shoulder Bag was unique, high quality, the perfect size and had that extra something that i can’t quite put my finger on. It took me all of 24 hours to be in the store to see it for real, and another 15 mins of ‘just making sure’ deliberation before I was on my way home, new bag in hand.

& other stories two-tone shoulder bag 4

The last time I wrote about &Other Stories I wondered if it was mine or the brand’s fault that they never stuck in my mind as a ‘go to’ retailer. I feel now that it might have been me who was missing out. The bag has had many compliments already and I can’t stop admiring it myself. If you’ll excuse the pun, &Other Stories I think you might have bagged yourself a more regular customer.

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Fashion

My picks of Mink Pink

mint velvet grey fur gilet

Last year I discovered Mink Pink for the first time and bought a fur gilet. It’s one of my favourite items and I love how I feel when I wear it. I’ve never looked back.


This season they have a similar gilet, but in grey tones instead of the white of last autumn/winter. But this is certainly not the only new season piece to lust after. My favourites include the Ivory Pleat and Lace Blouse, as well as the Charcoal Waterfall Front Jacket, and the Wine Leather Pencil Skirt.

mint velvet ivory pleat blousemint velvet wine leather pencil skirtmint velevet charcoal waterfront jacket

The collection of intricate blouses continues with the Ivory Embroidered Blouse, also available in black, which definitely deserves to go on my wish list. I’m also taken by the Black Buckle Long Boots, particularly as they remind me of some I used to have but wore out, so I’m certainly in the market for a new pair in this style. Plus, their Shell Pink A-line Jacquard Dress is a really unique design, and would be a lovely one for autumn.

mint velvet pink shell a-line dressmint velvet ivory embellished blousemint velvet black buckle long boots

I can’t wait to get my hands on some of these.

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Fashion

Lust Haves: Reiss AW13

reiss joanna zac trousersI’m always lusting over Reiss, and commiserating myself when I don’t have the funds personally to go beyond coveting their collections. Last season it was a certain royal blue jacket, which nipped in perfectly at the waist and lay beautifully at the back, that had me yearning. Alas, I couldn’t part with that much money.

New season has now arrived, and AW13 at Reiss features a lot of work-wear inspired items, these particularly in duck egg and royal blues, as well as some chic accessories, and some noteworthy winter coats.

reiss montage 1 I love their Brina Asymmetric Court Shoes as a new take on the classic court. I’m not a big heel-wearer day to day, but I think I’d make an exception for these. And, as a sucker for a soft, light-weight knit, and for powder colours, I can’t resist the pale blue Lewes Crew Neck Jumper. I particularly like wearing knits tucked into waisted items  – my favourite Reiss offering on this front are their Rosie Geo Print Silk Shorts. The Liza Embossed Croc Shoulder Bag also caught my eye.

One of my particular favourites from Reiss this season is the Sophia Lace and Silk Shirt. It’s intricate and sexy, and the design strikes me as having a certain uniqueness when seen against others on the high street; and the Joanna Zac Straight Leg Trousers in soft neutral could provide a nice pairing. These also come in Cobalt Blue, which I’d love to wear to brighten up the winter – perhaps whilst cosy and wrapped up in the Board Large Collar Overcoat.

reiss board coat Reiss sofia shirt reiss joana zac trousers

And then for the evening? I’d pick the Mia Contrast Fit and Flare Dress with Jolene Cross Body Envelope Bag. I love the mixture of textures here, as well as the feminine silhouette. Plus, the dress would be great for swing dancing (a favourite past-time).

reiss mia bress reiss jolene bag

So, on a very big budget, Reiss has the coming season sorted.

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Fashion

Has ‘& other stories’ been a one story brand?

With the promising launch of ‘& other stories’ in March they were looking to become a new high street fashion favourite. So why then have they fallen off my radar?

I checked their website regularly at first, intrigued and interested, but then this faded out. Not only did ‘& other stories’ not make it into my regularly viewed websites, such as Topshop, Zara and ASOS, it occurred to me that I haven’t heard anything about the brand in the press since its launch!

I wondered whether this was due to a lack of awareness on my part or to the brand’s lack of exposure. Taking to the internet I discovered an article on Vogue News from May about a collaboration of ‘& other stories’ with US-based artist and illustrator, Alyson Fox. The pieces shown of this collection in Vogue’s gallery were devine.
‘& other stories’ -1, Holly-0.
But as I looked further all I could find were articles from March 2013 written around the initial launch.
I think that brings the score to 1-1.
A more directed search at Look and Grazia magazines told the same story. Of course, this isn’t to say that ‘& other stories’ pieces haven’t featured in these and other similar magazines, but I don’t believe that awareness of the brand would be this narrow had they achieved more coverage.

So, onto their website I go. ‘& other stories’ – show me what you got.
The first thing to strike me was that either I directly recognised a lot of the items, or it all looks the same. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as I do admire their basic pieces (although a couple that I tried on in store a few months back did not see me a fan of the fabrics. I’ve never been too keen on polyester or viscose). It took some searching, though, to unearth some new favourites.

Sleeveless Top £29 Silk Scarf £29 Denim Shorts £29

My first pick was the Sleeveless Top. I would have been tempted by if this if wasn’t polyester, but overall I was pleasantly surprised by their use of cottons and silks in many items, so long as you select carefully. I own a silk scarf, bought from the store a while back, which I adore, and a couple more have now caught my eye. And, as scouted by Vogue, the Alyson Fox pieces, scarfs, shorts and skirts, are punchy and exciting.

Alyson Fox Cotton Shorts £39 Alyson Fox Silk Skirt £45 Alyson Fox Geometric Print Scarf £39

I also liked their basic denim shorts and the choice stock of some Nike trainers, as well as a few pairs from their own shoe collection.

Overall though, I still don’t think I’ll find myself gushing to others about ‘& other stories’. There are a few choice pieces, but also a lot I could scroll past without batting an eyelid. What I would say however, is that if I don’t  occasionally check in for new items, I think it’d be my loss. So that leaves the tally at a draw, one all. I think you’ll have to up your game ‘& other stories’ if you want to be a winner.

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Fashion

Start of a Story – March

What better to inspire me to write my first post than a new fashion-selling website set out like a blog. Think the type that sees you scrolling down a page tiled with different sized pictures all tessellating together. Not only does ‘& other stories’ or stories.com have a different layout to the expected retail site, it also has a collection that I would not be able to directly compare to another. Usually one would be able to say, “similar to Topshop” or “French Connection sort of designs” or “around the Forever 21 price range”, but this one has me perplexed, in a good way.

??????


The collection of accessories is vast in comparison to many sites selling clothes that are presented in the boutique guise that I feel this one is. There’s also a huge collection of shoes to choose from. Both the words ‘vast’ and ‘huge’ in terms of stock do tend to be a contradiction in terms when placed next to ‘boutique’, and yet, this retail site manages to produce a browsing experience that I would rarely associate with the opportunity to purchase a wide variety of stock.

It strikes me in particular that the collections themselves are also hard to categorise. I think this chiefly comes from the minimalism coupled with attention to detail – this seen most obviously through the bags, belts and shoes. This detail moves it away from your standard high street store. There are pieces here I would expect to find on a vintage stall, or among the listings of asos market place, and some even from a higher end designer. There are of course items that are fairly regular to the website’s price range, and remind me a little of Zara, but the diversity of pieces available really stands out.

On top of this, they even have their own beauty range! This is joined by some products from a select few better known beauty brands. And again, the choice provided, particularly by their own-branded products, is sizeable. They also stock the largest range of hair accessories I’ve seen from a general fashion retailer of this size for some time. All this is sat next to a much smaller, but well thought out, clothing collection, giving the site a skew that I don’t think I’ve come across before.

It therefore came as quite a surprise to find out that ‘& other stories’ was created by the people behind h&m. I am told by Marie Claire that the making of this higher-end high street store has been kept very ‘hush hush’ for three years, which may explain my ignorance to its upcoming existence, but there has obviously been some hard work going on behind the scenes. Anna Teurnell, Head of Design, explains: ‘Our diverseness comes from building collections around different fashion stories. Ranging from masculine tailoring to feminine chic we’re offering our customers endless styling choices.’ This aim, in my opinion, has achieved a fantastic collection, which does succeed in offering the opportunity for personal styling that can transcend through the seasons.

The retailer has not only launched online, but has constructed a flagship store on Regents Street. It opened yesterday, and has already been graced by fashion teams and celebrities alike. Clothes, shoes, jewellery and accessories are laid out within 1,200 metres set across two floors, and it is being highly commended in many reviews. I think that my excitement and curiosity are great enough that I might brave the weekend crowds and head on down there today.

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