26.2.10

Outfits²



Hey y'all. I just wanna say thanks for the comments on my last couple of posts - and in general, actually! I love reading all of them. I've been known to read my comments at 5am when I can't get back to sleep. And 11pm when I can't get TO sleep! I really appreciate all of your opinions and thoughts so thanks! ♥ (god I really do overuse that html heart! But on this occasion I really mean it!)

So anyway, today's look was a bit of a cosy boredom fest. I bought the chunky scarf in h&m mens section a week ago and I have worn it to death already! I'm sitting in my pyjamas and wearing it now!




(Jeans - my new Jamie's from Topshop, Granny boots - second hand, shirt - secondhand)


I recreated my Tuesday LFW look because I didn't take any decent pics of it at the time. Well I hastily took this one in the train toilet, but to be honest I think you deserve better than that.




(My political tee - DIY, mesh body - Urban Outfitters, Necklace - Dusky Ledoux, Pleather jacket - Topshop, crazy wedges - eBay)

I hope you're all having a nice Friday night. I'm being a geek like most nights. But I will be venturing out tomorrow night to celebrate my boyfriend quitting his job at HMV to concentrate on song-writing professionally (writing songs to sell to other artists)! I'm super proud of him for quitting, and am SO looking forward to having him around the house more. It will mean having to end my slovenly ways of staying in my PJ's eating crumpets & reading blogs until 1pm on the days I'm not at uni. But I guess it's worth it...

x

24.2.10

Creature comforts



I'm feeling more 'woohoo!' than 'boohoo' to see that Boohoo have featured a picture of me (and my Dusky Ledoux necklace!) in their street style trend report from LFW! It's actually a really good street style report, organised into specific SS/10 trends with lots of wearable outfit inspiration (from other stylish chicks, I'm not just blowing my own horn here!)



While I'm here, Iet me chuck some pictures and words at you about one of my favourite LFW collections, Topshop Unique. In general, I haven't been as bowled over by collections this season as much as last, but maybe I'm just more of a Spring/Summer person. I was looking through every collection on Style.com today and it felt so weird not to have a Luella collection to gaze at. I really got quite upset about it which is a bit silly. I just loved Luella so much! Anyway, I'll put my violin to one side and entertain you with a few of my favourite Unique looks!






Thank god for Topshop Unique. They really went a long way to filling the fun and quirky void left by Lu. I'd sum this collection up as... Walking in a woodland wonderland! There was scout camp chic with patch-adorned khaki uniforms, as well as nods (well, headbutts, actually) to woodland creatures in the form of Emma Cook headgear and hoofs, as well as plenty of fur and shearling (highlight: shearling bumbag!). I really like the extra long cardigan with squirrels on. It seems peculiar now to imagine wearing a cardigan so long, but I'm sure it'll seem perfectly natural come Autumn! The chunky knit super-high socks are another trend I'm right behind. So cosy looking! The whole collection just makes me feel warm inside.

For god's sake Topshop. Is it not enough that I work for you AND spend my wages in you? Must you dominate my fashion week favourite-list too? You're taking over my life! What next?! I will have to draw the line at fattening up my boyfriend and renaming him Phil.

What have been your fashion week faves and fails so far?

xo

PS - Also glad to see the monobrow is heading for a moment. I'm already ahead of the trend on that one thanks to a mixture of work and fashion week chaos leading to grooming neglect! Probably wrong to feel proud about that.

22.2.10

Dear Bliggers...



So I'm not sure if this is common knowledge to those who aren't Twitter addicts like me (Yes, I hate myself for it!) but there has been a total furore about the presence of bloggers at London Fashion Week this season.

It started with this article about bloggers "invading our press rooms, and eating all the food". Disney Roller Girl said on her twitter "Lots of chat about the influx of bloggers at #LFW Some irked press are calling them 'bliggers' (bloggers + liggers geddit)". Urban Dictionary tells me that a 'ligger' is, "An individual who attends parties, openings, social gatherings and events with the sole intention of obtaining free food and drink - an arch blagger." More blogger horror stories in The Times today ("One insisted they were a staff member of Harper’s Bazaar magazine — until the real ticket-holder showed up") There's also been loads of chatter about bloggers in the front row eating biscuits and playing with their iPhones... Not doing any actual work. If I got invited to shows, I'd bloody get my head down and get a great scoop for you lot! I'd never take it for granted!

Anyway, all this kerfuffle has led to my favourite hobby getting a bad name. I don't want to be tarred with the same brush as these apparent freebie-grasping posers! So my word of advice to the bad eggs spoiling it for the rest of us... Less cavorting, more reporting! Feel free to join my campaign and get your toilet bleach and paintbrushes out!



The fault isn't really these blogger's themselves (besides being stupid enough to act like entitled buffoons at events many people have worked for years to earn their seat at) but the PR's. After all, they're the ones who have deemed these people worthy to enter the shows. I'm pretty sure there will be much stricter vetting next season.

The whole thing has led to a lot of soul-searching for myself as well as other bloggers. Marian Kihogo wrote a great post which led to a big comment-discussion of the whole situation. It's frustrating to feel ashamed to be a blogger at events like LFW, because other prats are spoiling it. I'm super tired and aware I'm repeating myself so I'm gonna go to bed.

Anyway my t-shirt has provided a slight outlet to my stresses about the whole thing. I think you should all make one, or a little badge for your blog to set ourselves apart! :)

I'd really love to know your thoughts on the whole thing?

xx

21.2.10

New necklace!



I had intended to post more LFW reflections, but am in a state of utter lethargy after a ramshackle dinner of noodles & crumpets (we haven't been food shopping in ages!) So I leave you with a picture of Roxy looking super pleased about my gore-geous new necklace made by the lovely Sophie aka. Dusky Ledoux. It's one of only 50, and was quite the talking point at London Fashion Week!




I was going to wear my necklace to work earlier but realised it would probably make children cry. Cruel? Cool? I'm not too sure. All I know is that I love it. And it definitely adds a new dimension to an otherwise bland outfit!

Dusky has set up a shop that will be selling a new limited edition item each month, so if I were you, I'd bookmark it and check back for more goodies!

Hope you've had a lovely weekend!

My first fashion week!




When I arrived at Somerset House, I got a call from Michelle (Cheapskate Chic) saying she couldn't make it, so I had to face the day alone! To begin with, I had a wander round the designer exhibitions and I was severely taken by the Tata Naka exhibition. It was a kind of western-meets-tarzan affair with lots of fringing and leopard print but the highlight was the shoes, which literally blew me away. This collection was probably the most covetable thing I saw all day. Here's a few pictures I took, but I'm waiting on some hi-res pics from the Press team.


(Not sure if you can see, but below left is a leopard print jumpsuit with cut outs on the body! Mental!)




I had a look in the PPQ exhibition but it was a bit empty because most of the items were being used in the show later on. I was kind of disappointed with what I saw, because PPQ usually have a cheeky streak, but I didn't see any of that. I hoped the catwalk show would prove me wrong, but after watching the live stream of it, I remain disappointed.

The collection felt a lot more grown up than their previous ones (I yearn for the days of the clock prints and peterpan collars!) which I'm sure will appeal to some. But what I like in a collection is a GSOH (Ooh, acronyms, that reminds me to talk about Henry's show!) and some personality. I just didn't see enough of it this time round. But somewhere I saw it in droves was...

At the Louise Gray presentation! The ladies on the door were kind enough to let me in despite not being on the list, on the condition that I 'didn't spend too long' in there! Haha, it's okay ladies, I know my place! (After all, we're having our blogger statuses - or lack thereof - drilled into our heads every five minutes it seems!) The atmosphere in the room was great, with a real sense of fun. Designs were hung on stands where you could poke your head through and 'model' the items, a la 50's seasides! Models styled to perfection struck quirky poses and circulated the room. Louise Gray was there herself, looking amazing in her own designs & a Richard Nicoll for Topshop bra.

Design wise, the theme of this collection was textures. I saw patchwork, quilting, appliqued squiggles of material on trousers, holes punched in shorts... The all-round DIY-fest that I just love about Gray's designs. Oh, and the giant pink fur bodysuit! Ha! The collection was great fun, not as instantly covetable as last season, but I think that's because it was harder to get a true feel for the collection without it on models. Since getting home, I've seen the lookbook on Style.com, and it is just fabulous. The girly girl in me does wish there were more sandals and less sneakers, though!







I really must get ready for work now, but I will be back later to discuss the Unique, PPQ & Henry Holland Shows, my first catwalk show experience at Belle Sauvage, and my necklace from Dusky Ledoux which got a lot of attention!

Have you got any fashion week faves thus far?

xxx

18.2.10

Binge Britain



Just a quickie post as I'm super tired and still hungover from going out for my friend's birthday last night! Thought I'd share a couple of the pics that just emerged on Facebook, as I didn't take a sensible outfit pic beforehand! See my Twitter for a totally cringe x-rated outtake! Haha!

I figured it might be nice to prove that I do have a social life and don't spend every night posing in a stilted manner on my landing... Just most nights!


This Green drink was the downfall of me. For once, I don't mean literally. Most nights out at clubs end up with me trying to 'drop it down low' (as they say on da streetz) and not being able to get back up again! Ha! Yep, it's a pretty sexy affair.



(The outfit was a total h&m bargain fest! Oversized tee £12, bow belt £2.99, leggings £7.99, the shoes are Topshop)

You might notice I'm rocking a shorter hairdo! My hairdresser went a bit crazy with the clippers. At £7, I can't really complain! TIP: If you have short hair, get it cut at a Barbers! It's dirt cheap, and if you're like me and hate all the hairwashing, awkward head massaging and manhandling at hair salons, it's a quick and easy alternative!

Hope you're all having a nice week. Thanks for all of your fab entries to the style compare competition! Keep 'em coming!

Love xxx

PS: OMG LFW 2MRO!!! IRL!!! lol.

PPS: As usual my 'quickie' post has become a lengthy one! Soz!

16.2.10

Style-Compare-tition!



Bonjour!

How are we all?

I'm pretty happy as I had a really productive morning at Uni and got lots of research done for my dissertation preparation... I have decided to do mine on 'How the internet has changed fashion promotion', ie. a chance to rabbit about blogs etc for 10,000 words!

In other news, my blog is one of the few selected blogs to take part in a competition for the website www.StyleCompare.co.uk. If you haven't heard of this site, it is epic (and I don't use that term lightly!) It's basically fashion's answer to 'compare-the-market' (the car insurance comparing thingy!). You type in whatever you're after (in my case, usually playsuits!) and it chucks a ton of them at you from all kinds of brands including Urban Outfitters & Asos. Definitely the quickest way to shop!

Anywho, they've offered you guys the chance to win £250 to spend on the site, by styling up one of their items. Unfortunately, the chosen item is a very tricky one. It's this military dress a la Luella SS10. But apparently your chances of winning are VERY high, as only a few blogs are involved in the comp, so if you want £250 to spend, take the time to give it a go! Even if it's just putting a cute pair of shoes with it.

To enter, either comment below or email me at: contact@gemfatale.co.uk with the links to the chosen items you'd style the dress with (up to a value of £250), and I will send them over to the StyleCompare clan. Please send your entries by 28th Feb. If one of you win, I also win £250 to spend too so give it a go, for both our sakes! I've got my eye on some bits from the Louise Gray ASOS collection!! :)

In other news, I wore my new skater dress today, which I found in the sale at Topshop for £8 with my staff discount! It's nice to have a dress with long sleeves, as my arms are not my best feature!





(necklace - random gift shop in Eastbourne, brogues - Guerrisol, a huge Parisian secondhand store)

I'm planning to get my eiffel re-inked in the near future. Because it's situated in a place that's always moving when you walk, it didn't heal well and lost lots of the blackness. :(

Hope you're having a lovely start to the week, and the weather isn't making you fellow UK-ers feel as gloomy as it is me!

Lav lav lav (in the words of Gaga!)

14.2.10

True Romance



Happy love day, everyone! I hope you've had a nice time whether you're single or loved up?

Here's my day in food...

Pancakes for breakfast:




[I shamefully ate some leftover Dominos pizza from last night for lunch, while Alex was playing football with his mates. I don't think you need to see a picture of cold pizza!) Back to the romance...

Spaghetti Bolognese for dinner cooked by Alex, plus cheesy garlic bread made by moi (well, I added some mozarella to a Tesco garlic baguette! Watch your back, Delia!) It was delicious. Cherry Tango was our poison for the evening.



Here's my hunky Valentine, and his custom made and gorgeously cynical tote bag, made by our friend Sophie (Do check out her blog, too!). My Valentine's wish was for Alex to get rid of the beard, but as you can see, it fell on deaf ears!




I was dressing for comfort today, as I've had a very lazy day indeed. Excuse picture quality. I've been road-testing a new phone, the X6, kindly gifted to me by Nokia. The food pics came out fine but I was disappointed with the outfit picture quality. I think I need a bit more practice with the phone, it's still early days!



(Sweater - Blue Inc, Stripey top - H&M, Leggings - H&M, Shoes - Primark, Bow - Topshop)

Here's what I wore later on for dinner etc. The blazer is from the H! By Henry Holland Debenhams collection which is finally online (I've been waiting for this since the launch in November!) I went to the preview of the collection the other day, but more on that soon, am too excited about the chocolate cake we're about to eat, so I'm gonna wrap it up now!





(Striped dress worn as top - H&M, Shorts - Topshop, Tights - H&M, Belt - H&M Kids, Brogues - Lillywhites via charity shop)

It's been a nice day, pretty chilled really. Just good food and giggles, the story of my life!

Tell me what you guys got up to?!

11.2.10

Ellie Goulding: Restyled.



Ellie Goulding is tipped to be a pretty big deal this year, and I can't get her song 'Starry Eyed' out of my head! I do have a weakness for an over-produced and slightly Icelandic-sounding vocal (though she's actually from Hereford!)

One thing bugs me about Ellie, but it's not her fault...

For a hot young singer/songwriter that NME are drooling all over, you'd think her record label would put more effort into her image. I'm not being bitchy when I say that, but you can see from pictures on her Myspace that she obviously has a bangin' bod, but in both of her music videos, she has been styled in the most unflattering (and unappealing) outfits ever.



I was reading an interview with her in Company magazine on the train earlier and she says she's only a size 8-10. But in her videos she looks bigger due to bad clothing choices. She's on a major label which means she'll have no control over her image. With her distinctive sound, if the label gave her the right image (I'm not saying that's a Little Boots full on fashion affair, but there's a way to look 'different' without looking frumpy), she could be a style icon. She's extremely gorgeous and talented so she'll obviously be successful, but a new stylist certainly wouldn't hurt her chances...




Here's the kind of looks I'd put Ellie in if I was her stylist... (enlarge for better view!)

Ellie Goulding Re-brand!


Ellie's label, sort it out, please! There's a stylish badass waiting to get out!

Hope you lot have a lovely Friday night and aren't stuck in doing housework like me. Well I'm about to do housework... Polyvore seems to have made 2 hours disappear into thin air!



PS - Change of plan with the winner of my Valentine's comp. The original winner didn't get back to me, so my NEW Valentine is Gemma from Retro Chick! Congrats, Gemma, and GREAT name if I may say so myself. Ha!

10.2.10

TEAM TOPSHOP



(Congrats to the winner of my Valentines competition, Ella Rose! Thanks for all of your entries. I'd also like to give a special mention to Rebecca, The Clothes Horse, Freelancers Fashion Blog & Dusky Ledoux, for your especially lovely comments. If I were the polygamous type and, um, had more prizes, you'd all be my Valentines! ♥)

My boyfriend's mum always keeps fashion articles from newspapers for me, in case they're any use for uni projects etc. Her latest offering was an article from The Guardian's Style section which got under my skin so much that, naturally, I just had to come on here and vent! A little birdy tells me that Topshop HQ were pretty peeved about it too.

The article is by Jess Cartner-Morley, entitled 'Dear Topshop'. It is, essentially, a piece about high street/online stores that are (in Jess's opinion), having a moment. Sounds fine to me! What isn't fine is the way she has begun this piece with a letter to Topshop, 'dumping' it, in favour of these 'new stars'. The intro reads, "The love affair is over. Jess Cartner-Morley bids a sad farewell to an old favourite and reveals the new stars of the high street". (This is what it says in the printed article, the online version differs slightly).

I mean, it's a funny idea in theory, but her argument for dumping Topshop in favour of erm, Oasis (and New Look, Asos & River Island) is really very weak. It just seems like she is dissing Topshop for the sake of it. Using Topshop as a means to liven up what would otherwise be a pretty run-of-the-mill article. If you're going to take on Topshop, you should at least make a convincing argument and have a bit of conviction.

So what is her argument? She says, "I remember when shopping at Topshop was a guilty pleasure, a secret that most people wouldn't understand. But all that changed when Kate Moss came on the scene. These days everyone knows, and all that excitement seems like another lifetime... Also, a girl needs to feel special, and it's hard to keep up a meaningful ­relationship when every shopping date is shared with approximately half of all the female tourists under 40 in the city at that time."

I've got to say, people belly-aching about how popular Topshop is is one of my pet hates. I know I'm biased as I work for Topshop and am in a bit of a Topshop bubble, but I enjoy the challenge of buying clothes from there and making them look different from the other thousand people who own the same top/dress/jacket. It’s that old saying, it’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it. It couldn’t be truer. These girls are all wearing a Topshop piece, but do they look like Topshop clones? It’s a question of personal style.



(Style Bubble, Lookbook.nu & Cheapskate Chic)

At the end of her letter to Toppers, in big bold letters it says, "WHERE TO GO INSTEAD". It's that line that is the worst part for me, and detracts from what is, in fairness, quite a funny piece. Actually telling people to not shop there anymore has turned the tone of her jesting letter into actually being anti-Topshop which is a pretty bold move. Like I said, it wouldn’t be so bad if she’d actually based it on something other than ‘everyone goes there’.

River Island and New Look are renowned for having a bit of a ‘If you can’t beat ‘em, copy ‘em!’ attitude when it comes to Topshop anyway! Jess has tried to play these shops off against Topshop, which can’t be done... It isn’t just a high street store is it? It’s the only brand of its kind that show at Fashion Week, it funds new designers, it allows those designers to show at Fashion Week in its showspace… Writing it off because ‘everyone else shops there’ is just ludicrous. As is suggesting somewhere like Oasis could even come close to that.

Sorry for getting on my high(street) horse about this one, but careless journalism irks me, especially when it comes to one of the UK’s most important brands. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not Topshop’s number 1 fan. I don’t like the Kate Moss stuff (or Kate Moss for that matter), I can barely afford Topshop stuff even with my 25% discount and shopping at the flagship store requires physical and mental strength I could only dream of possessing. But I respect their place in the fashion industry and that can’t just be written off in such a flippant way in the name of promoting other high street stores. The clue is in the name, and love it or hate it, in terms of the high street hierarchy, Topshop will always be exactly that.

What do you think of the article in question? Am I overreacting..? I am feeling pretty hormonal today!

xo

3.2.10

New trend for 2010? God, I hope not.



Howdy!

Thanks to everyone who has entered my competition!! Some of your entries are just so lovely I wish you could all have a prize. But you can't. So keep following me on Google Connect etc to up your chances! Haha!

So I've noticed a really, truly disturbing trend cropping up. I first saw it on a female Topman sales advisor in Bluewater, and felt really awkward that she obviously hadn't noticed she was having a bit of a wardrobe malfunction... But after seeing a few more instances, I'm beginning to think it was deliberate. Here's what we're dealing with, people.





(Pics via cobrasnake and somewhere else... Can't remember!)

At what point do women wake up and think, 'Today, I want to create the suggestion of an immense camel-toe.'

Has anyone else seen this occurring? Does it offend you as much as me? Maybe I'm over-analysing. But I, for one, have got better things to do than be subconsciously lured into thinking about other women's vaginas... Such as wearing my Bob Fossil (of Mighty Boosh fame!) badge.





(Shoes - eBay, Badge - Free promotional badge from HMV courtesy of boyfriend, Jacket - Topshop, Top - Next, Leggings - h&m)

I hope you're enjoying your week. I have a new uni project to create a promotional Fashion Short film on Pam Hogg with the inspiration word 'absurd'. Hmmm! I'll be setting up a temporary blog (as instructed by uni) to illustrate my inspirations and processes & eventually a film - hopefully! Yes, apparently you don't hand in Research Books anymore... Blogs killed the stationery star!

ell.oh.vee.ee.

xo

1.2.10

Love is in the air!




So, Valentine's Day is nearly here, and I thought it might be nice to thank y'all for reading this blog by sharing the love... So how would you like to take part in my Valentine's competition - 'Be My Valentine'?

Whoever wins the competition will win a Valentine's goodie box packed, with love, by moi! Contents include:

A big Continental Heart (RRP £11.99), supplied by the lovely folks at Thorntons specially for this competition! You can't have Valentine's Day without some Thorntons, that would be like Christmas without Turkey (Hint hint, Alex, if you're reading this!) The Continental Heart includes 24 scrummy European inspired Continental chocolates in milk, white and dark choc, presented in a lovely red keepsake heart gift box. It has taken all my might not to keep these for myself!



A telephone ring by Tatty Devine, brand new and giftwrapped. I own one of these rings (pictured) and it is plain awesome - and a great talking point! (I'm wearing my frumpy comfort sweater as I have come down with a cold. Boo.)



A cute pair of Unicorn earrings, from a little boutique in Canterbury. A tin of Rose Petal beauty balm by Rose & Co, perfect for Valentine's smooching! Plus a supercool Vintage Paisley stationery card set. Ideal for penning love letters!



I will also be throwing in a couple of extra treats! I expect my boyfriend will be most jealous that you lot get all this effort and all he'll get is pancakes for breakfast! Ha!

This is my first competition open to readers from every country, so get involved!

For a chance to Be My Valentine, please indulge my nosiness and post a comment below telling me something you love.It could be a person, a pet, a colour, a song - anything! If your email address isn't on your Blogger profile, add it in the comment.

For a better chance of winning, I'll need you to show me some love too (it's a two-way street, y'know!) Follow me on Google Connect, Twitter and/or Bloglovin - for each one you follow, I will enter your name again into the winner generator I'll use to pick my valentine!

Competition closes on Monday 8th February at 9pm GMT.

Good luck, girls! Get commenting and Be my Valentine!!