Posts tagged ‘Mary Katrantzou’

April 13, 2012

A New Bag: Mary Katrantzou for Longchamp.

I’ve been a fan of Mary Katrantzou for a long time now and so when I heard she was collaborating with Longchamp, another firm favourite company of mine, it felt like a match made in heaven.

I’m a bit feeble when it comes to wearing bold print or pattern in my clothing, as much as I adore to see it, so having a bag with a bold print on seemed like a great way of brightening up my wardrobe without taking that final brave step of really wearing it! Although, having said that, I have got bolder in my clothing choices, which I will tell you about in a blog post another day soon, I promise.

I bought this bag, which is the fourth of my little collection of Longchamp bags. I love my ‘Le pliage‘ range of nylon bags. Many of them fold up so they’re great for travelling and they’re robust enough to use all the time. Over the years, I’ve used them for a variety of things, from city breaks to nappy bags (the glamour…) and they’ve all lasted really well.

Photo from Selfridges.com, where I bought my bag from. (Incidentally, the delivery was impressively quick.)

It has a Chinese lantern print on it, which you can see more clearly in the photo below and the handle is long enough to carry over your shoulder. It’s a bit larger than I was expecting (my maths isn’t great and I ordered it online!) so it will have a slightly different use than I originally intended – it’s my carry-on luggage for my Italy trip. As I have the Cambridge Satchel for everyday, this one will be reserved for overnight trips or longer days out.

Although I haven’t exactly replaced my Mulberry bag, I’m really happy with my two new additions. As I mentioned in a previous post, I really need to love the things I buy and surround myself with so it’s taken me a while to make my decisions, but I’m happy that I made the right ones and look forward to creating lots of memories with them…

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February 24, 2012

In Bed is the New Front Row: London Fashion Week.

As I write this, London Fashion Week is just coming to a close.

Fashion is a subject that I return to time and time again. I love it. I used to work in fashion retail, in between veterinary nursing and my degree at agricultural college. An odd mix, I grant you, and one that probably ensures that I will never be on the Front Row at any catwalk show in the near future. That, and the fact that I’m a thirty-five year old woman with two small kids and a 9-5 job doing something completely different. Oh, and despite a wish list as long as my arm,  no money to spend.

But as luck would have it, I no longer have to sit on the Front Row to see some of the catwalk shows unfolding before my eyes, at the very same time as the people who were actually invited! The wonders of technology, together with some kind of democratisation of fashion and (whisper it) a desire to be profitable in uncertain economic times have led to live-streaming. Lovely live-streaming, which means that I can sit in bed with a cup of tea, and watch the fashion as it happens. In bed is the new Front Row, as the fabulous @Bettymagazine tweeted to me the other day ( I know, I’m name dropping, I might get a ticket one of these days…)

I’ve spoken before about the speed of the fashion industry being a bit of a pain – and at the moment, I’m still not yet wearing the spring and summer pastel frocks I was promised and I’m already thinking about the clothing I might be wearing in the bloody winter. This is because, despite my protestations that everything needs to just slow down a bit, I am still drawn like a moth to a flame, towards the whole thing.

So, what have I managed to see?

Mulberry: Emma Hill’s show, influenced, as far as I could tell, by ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ (although that might just an indicator of how far my life is removed from what is fashionable) was beautiful. Too much fur for my liking – I would never wear it – but the colours and textures of the tweed and lace pieces were stunning, and I am finding myself thinking even more about how the hell I could wear orange, a colour I love, but which does not love me. Most of the Twitter chat around this show was centred around the new Mulberry bag – the Del Rey – which, named after Lana, is a beautifully classic number which will be available in the Autumn. Seriously, Lana Del Rey has been around for about half an hour and she’s got a Vogue cover and a Mulberry bag? That’s some work…

McQ: Livestreamed via their Facebook page, this was a bit less successful, purely because of the way the formatting had been designed. Having said that, it was still easy enough to see that I want everything in this collection. Suiting reminiscent of the war years in olive green and burgundy, incredible petticoated dresses with floral applique and the most beautiful finale by the bride, Kristen McMenamy, it was shiver-down-the-spine wonderful and felt like Sarah Burton had returned to the McQueen archive, and brought the best of it, with her own twists, to the catwalk again.

Mary Katrantzou: One of my very favourite designers ( I wrote about her prints here) and  the toast of the fashion industry with collaborations with both Top Shop and one of my perennial favourites, Longchamp. Now, I’ll say here, that this live streaming was a bit of a nightmare to watch, clashing as it did with the school run (honestly, what were they thinking?)  Still, I kind of managed it. And, WOW, was it worth it. For the first time, the Parisian couture embroiderers, Lesage, have worked with a London designer and the addition of this incredible embroidery to the  intricate and unique digital prints brought a whole new dimension to her work. An amazing collection and one that cements her position at the very top of the fashion industry.

So, in bed is the new Front Row. It’s been a pleasure to see some of the the Autumn Winter 2012 collections on the catwalk. Now all I need to do is work out how I’m going to afford some of them…

December 16, 2011

Beautiful New Scarves!

As I shared with you in my last ‘Margot Friday’ post, I am a scarf addict. I thought I’d show you some scarves from some different designers who are making some beautiful pieces. As much as I adore my scarves by the legendary houses of Hermès and Missoni, it’s exciting to see some different designers and these are simply works of art:

A design from the remarkable collection from Richard Weston: Designs from Nature. The digital image of the mineral fluorite has been enlarged and printed onto silk-habotai. The rest of the collection is equally beautiful and would be something you would treasure forever…

Very cool We Are Owls print – the guy in the middle reminds me a little of Vince Noir (Noel Fielding) from The Mighty Boosh!

A pretty bow print in a bold colour from the British Fashion Award winner Mary Katrantzou

A beautiful print from the master in eternally fashionable florals: Erdem.

All of these beautiful scarves are available from Net A Porter and thank you to them for the images.

August 23, 2011

Dressing like my daughter: a new approach to colour.

My daughter likes to choose her own clothes. At the age of nearly five, she already has very definite ideas about what she wants to wear, and on the whole I do let her choose. The time is rapidly approaching for school uniform, where conformity beckons. It’s an interesting contrast, the truth that Britain is a nation of eccentric, unique and bold dressers and yet from a very young age, we find ourselves in uniform. Perhaps the former is a direct result of being subjected to the latter. Anyway, all I know is that at the age of four, my lovely daughter is braver in her clothing choices than I may ever have been.

Recent discussions around her outfit choices have made me realise how different our approach to dressing is. I try to persuade her to wear something that at least has some semblance of being a cohesive outfit. She, on the other hand, wants to wear every colour she can; clashing prints, fabrics and textures on a whim. Fancy dress every day, with the supreme sartorial self confidence that only a four year old in a tutu and wellies can possess.

She already appears to be a true British eccentric. Or perhaps she has seen these rather exquisite prints by the wonderful Greek designer Mary Katrantzou. Her work features bold, feminine but strong print and every piece seems already destined to be a priceless heirloom of the future. The boots are Louboutin for Mary Katrantzou, AW 2011. I particularly love the darker ones.

Mary Katrantzou prints

I like to think of myself as a classic dresser. I prefer to buy things that are not purely driven by any particular season, but those that are well made, plain, simple and stylish. After all, we do know that whilst fashion editors may well be extolling the virtues of the latest collections, many of them are sitting on the FROW wearing black. Unfortunately, the more I look at my wardrobe of black clothing, the more a few truths are coming to light:

1 – The simpler and plainer the clothing, the better quality it needs to be. Where there is nothing to catch the eye in the form of print or embellishment, the more you notice the quality of the fabric or the state of the tailoring, cut or seams. Which, for me, is a shame as it appears I spend most of the household clothing budget on my daughter given the extent of her wardrobe. Something that perhaps needs addressing!

2 – Every black is not the same. My wardrobe of classics, washed many times, left out to dry in the sun, or (at my house at least) accidentally left for the cat to sleep on, has become faded, dull and greying. The reason fashion editors can wear so much black, is that they obviously choose carefully and then look after the pieces better than I seem able to.

3 – Classic needs to have a twist. Otherwise, it can be ageing and (dare I say this?) dull. So, therefore, what it needs is something to lift it – a pop of colour, a print or an update on a traditional shape. Something that tells the world ‘I know what is current’ instead of, ‘I’ve dressed this way forever’ or ‘I cannot be bothered’. A printed scarf by Mary Katrantzou, in a world where I could afford such things, would be an ideal addition to my wardrobe.

On the strength of this, I have decided to embrace some more colour, to be bolder in my clothing choices and to try a few prints. In short, to dress a little more like a true British eccentric, my daughter…