Archive for September, 2011

September 3, 2011

Burghley Horse Trials and equestrian influence in fashion.

I spent the day at Burghley International Three Day Event yesterday. This, one of only a handful of four star three day events across the world, is even more influential this year as it forms part of the run up to the London 2012 Olympics for many of the competitors. I will be watching with interest, after Great Britain’s rather disappointing finish at the European Championships in Germany. Having said that, many teams would be thrilled with bronze – we have such high expectations of them after so many years of gold!

Horses have long been a passion of mine, and for many years I basically lived in jodhpurs. Of course, equestrian influences of a rather more elegant nature have long been part of fashion history, particularly with British brands such as Burberry, Paul Smith, and one of my favourites, the sadly lost Luella, but also further afield. After all the Gucci horse-bit is an iconic image of their brand and only a few seasons ago Dolce and Gabbana were influenced by none other than HM Queen Elizabeth in a collection of heritage pieces with silk headscarves. Even in this AW11 season, despite there not being as many overtly equestrian influences making their way along the catwalks, the heritage theme features strongly.

Everything you see here is available to buy from Net A Porter and thank you to them for the beautiful images.

Stella McCartney Cape

Burberry Brit Jeans

Esquivel Boots

Chloe blouse

Gucci Belt

A.P.C. wool tweed jacket

As well as the obvious country tweed hacking jacket and jodhpurs (the J Brand version of which already have a waiting list) I have been inspired by less overt influences from dressage. Elegant black jackets and high necked shirts form the backdrop to this look.

Boy by Band of Outsiders blazer

Yves Saint Laurent necktie blouse

Alexander McQueen draped silk-georgette blouse

Tory Burch silk-georgette blouse

Stella McCartney wool blazer

Whilst being completely on-trend for this AW11, all of these pieces have a beautiful classic quality meaning they would earn their place as a ‘forever’ piece in any wardrobe.

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September 1, 2011

Paper Dress Vintage, Leeds

I often struggle with vintage shopping. There are two main causes for this. My top half and my bottom half! It is a sad truth that we are generally larger than our 1920’s and 30’s counterparts, and even with the best will in the world, I cannot change my shape enough. Plus, my love of cake is too great to whittle my waist down to the required size. Ah well…

The other problem I often have with vintage shopping is that although I do like a rummage around vintage shops and antique markets, sadly I rarely get the time to spend hours doing so, and it’s a bit disheartening to find myself looking through row after row of tired old tracksuits when I do get the chance for a browse.

Luckily, I have found a new solution to this. Paper Dress Vintage has just opened a store in Leeds, and after a visit there yesterday I can tell you that it wins on all counts. Firstly, the store is light and open, so no more hunting around stale old dusty corners. The pieces of clothing are of great quality, nice and clean and really well priced. Most of the items I saw were from the 1940’s onwards, with a good selection of day and evening wear. The staff are lovely and helpful, and, rather wonderfully (along with Rebel Pin Up, a great-looking hairdressers) they’re open until 7pm! So, needless to say, I accidentally bought a dress.

1960's shift dress

Waffle fabric detail

And here's a not-very-flattering self-portrait!

Quite when I’m going to wear a powder blue 1960’s shift, I’m not sure and I have yet to work out how I’m going to style it (all ideas welcome!), but for £25, I couldn’t leave it behind. If you’re in Leeds, pay a visit to this great store. You never know, we might bump into each other…