Monday, 17 February 2014

Catwalk Trends S/S 2014: Alexander McQueen

The oldest memory I have of Alexander McQueen is those big bold red lips, somewhat like a clown, strutting down the A/W 2009 catwalk accompanied a variety of monochrome hounds tooth ensembles. Shocked by this distinct, slightly ugly look, but at the same time intrigued, my twelve year old self went out and bought a hound-tooth skirt suit from Next girls in the coming months via a car boot sale. The skirt didn't fit, and the blazer's one button didn't quite do up comfortably, but there in my wardrobe hung my little piece of fashion.

The next season, McQueen's collection featured alien-like hairstyles, insect-like makeup and digital reptile print dresses. The shoes, curved from the ankle to the toe, balancing on a skinny stiletto heel, were like nothing anyone had ever seen before. I think this was the moment when my mind truly became engaged in the fashion world.

This season, Sarah Burton- now head of the late McQueen's fashion label- has presented us with feathers, gems, glitter and festive colours- but they are in such a way that is suitable for those luxurious summer evenings. Mostly a formal collection, these pieces speak for themselves.

This simple black dress is transformed into a red carpet evening gown by the gems which the neck, arm hole and waist areas, in subtle colours to avoid garish boasting in order to portray true luxury. A series of fine feathers add a peplum effect- a trend seen on skirts, tops, even coats everywhere last season- creating the illusion of a voluptuous figure for even the most boyish body types. The tassles which hang from the small gold and sequin bag nod to the recent Baz Luhrman 'The Great Gatsby' film, this outfit oozing 1920s glamour from head to toe.

Presenting a melange of cultures and trends, it is difficult to understand what this dress is trying to achieve; however, it works. The print is potentially inspired by the aztecs, the ancient peruvian tribe which was famed for its construction of Machu Picchu, considering the step-like design in the centre of the dress. It also contains some shapes which look like barcodes, holly leaves and pacman monsters, which are not too mismatched due to the deep coral red colour, something which is unique comapred to typical sand-coloured designs. Gold Egyptian jewellery, such as cuffs and a choker, makes this short body con dress (a style usually exclusive to house parties attended by the younger end of the teenage spectrum) slightly more mature and appropriate for more lavish affairs. Nonethess, chunky, strappy, heeled biker sandals bring the dress back down to earth and ensure the it does not claim to be something which is not. An ongoing third trend- 'sport luxe' - is touched upon as well, the fabric appearing to be of a neoprene-like texture from afar. By replacing the heels with some Doc Martens, and adding a black biker jacket, this dress would not look out of place for daytime use. 

Another outfit which contains Egyptian elements, this dress could be designed for the Godess of Love. The sweetheart neckline and scarlet colour would have made this dress perfect for a Valentine's ball, the dainty pleats and sheer layers adding a delicate romanticisty without being too cliché. 

Monday, 10 February 2014

Catwalk Trends S/S 2014: Alberta Ferretti

With New York Fashion Week in full swing, I thought it would be wise to rewind back to September and review the trends which are relevant for now, not those that will dominate glossy fashion magazines and edgy street style blogs in eight months. Here are some of my favourite looks for S/S 2014.

Alberta Ferretti
 Growing up, I remember Alberta Ferretti's show as a parade of romantic lace and gothic makeup, some looks inducing an image of 'runaway bride', whereas others oozing with subtle 20's glamour. Intricate detail was always present, and this season is no different. Vogue describes her currently collection as aimed at 'girls with nothing but sunshine on the mind', probably due to the bright colours and floral arrangements. For me, certain looks- those containing black garments- suggested a lost mind, maybe one who's mind was still reminiscing over winter, trying to hide its unwillingness for the heated months with small, summery accents.

Channeling Natalie Portman in Black Swan, particularly with the ribbon-tie ballet shoes, this dress takes a walk through Alice in Wonderland- the scene with the giant pansies and multicolored toadstools. The asymmetric hemline and sheer yoke make this dress slightly more mature, and the orange earrings bring out a focal point in the dress amongst the melange of colours.

With this dress, the first image that springs to mind is a nice, ripe tangerine. Not a satsuma, the colour is much more vibrant and long-lasting than that. Again, with an asymmetric hem line, this dress could work for both less and more formal events. The neckline is a bit more daring, however most cleavage is concealed. Floral additions in a mid-tone lilac hue complement the bright orange fantastically. 

And here is an appearance from Miss Scarlet of the board game Cluedo. A fierce red dress always impresses, yet Alberta goes the extra mile by combining different textures and features, such as sheer panels, three-dimensional flowers, and a layered neckline. This gown produces a sexy image without giving too much away; the unique layering makes it call for more investigation.

 Not only is this dress black, but it contains crochet: should we be sceptical? Alberta ingeniously turns our assumptions upside down and inside out by bringing typically 'Winter' trends into a Spring/Summer Catwalk. Needless to say, she has done so successfully. I have always considered black to look chic on a sunny day, however it is not easy to pull off. Long sleeves may be intimidating, but made less so due to the fact the top is sheer. Finally, orange earrings alleviate any suggestion of a sombre mood.

Something one would wear to a Harajuku music festival, this crop top and skirt combo shout summer from angles. The stripes aren't quite as uniform as those in the 2010 Sonia Rykiel for H&M collection, if anyone remembers those days? The colour combination of white and various warm shades of pink is easy on the eye, while still attracting the odd glance. The unexpected addition of blue mirrored lens aviators keep this outfit cool, effortless and not-giving-a-damn-about-what-anyone-thinks.

All photos taken from Vogue

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Docs and Dungarees

After searching high and low for a pair of black leather dungarees, a mission which proved unsuccessful, I managed to pick up this pair of black waxed denim full-length overalls from River Island. An outreaching trend, it serves a range of people from the four year-old American pre-schooler to the hairy biker. It is safe to say I aimed to style more like the latter.

It may look like a one trick pony, but I can assure you these dungarees can be worn with so many different pieces; white t-shirts, Breton stripe tops, Christmas jumpers, formal dinner shirts.. the combinations are pretty endless. 

Here, I am wearing an M&S men's long white oversized pyjama top, Topshop chain necklace, grey H&M beanie and -another new addition- Doc Martens. Justification: they are a classic, work with anything, and are simply and utterly beautiful. Also, my creepers are falling apart after almost two years of daily wear through wind and rain. 


My mum said I looked like a 'Harley Davidson'; I had to break the news that that was indeed a brand of motorcycle and not a person. #oldageproblems

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Sale Edit: Motel A/W 13

 Motel is a brand renowned for its Black-Milk inspired leggings, use of mesh and mermaid sequins. Never a place I've shopped at before; however it is taking a turn for the best by introducing some more mature and at the same time grunge-y items. No wonder it is a hub for the young crowd, the website offers 20% discount for students and free UK delivery and returns. Here are some of my top sale picks:

Vintage Girl Dress in Red - was 45 now 27

Thinking ahead to Wedding Season, this dress could be teamed with a fascinator for a more formal affair, and can be toughened up with a leather jacket and a statement necklace for the after-party.

This would look great with high-waisted jeans and Dr Martens, or some laid-back dungarees and a pair of low-top converse sneakers. There is a variation of this top with the word 'ZAP' instead in yellow and pink sequins. If necessary, this can be used for superhero-themed fancy dress.

This is a great summer piece that would look great city-roaming with leather sandals and some round quirky sunglasses. Black is a colour which I think is easy to pull off in the summer, looking instantly chic and definitely different to the myriad of bright hues and garish florals we are bombarded with, so this playsuit is an easy and multi-purpose piece, with uses for both day and night.

Yes, it probably is not acceptable to wear this top anywhere other than a rave, with its short hemline and daring transparent nature. However, it does not fail to catch eyes, and is perfect if you have a sporty collection of bras which would otherwise remain untouched. Paired with trousers or jeans, this top will keep a party outfit understated yet undeniably cool; a body-con skirt or skimpy shorts will not do this top any favours, however, and will scream 'try-hard' and 'sci-fi freak' and possibly attract some other insults about lack of clothing in this cold weather.

talia xoxo

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Sale Edit: Zara TRF

 Following the earlier post, here are some items from Zara's younger line, TRF, aimed at teenagers. With a more youthful feel, I feel like these items are less suited for work wear and more for the weekend. All would look great with a leather jacket and Dr. martens or Underground creepers.

Sheer fabric, girly florals, what better way to wear than with chunky leather accessories? Other than that, this dress would be appropriate with dainty nude stilettos and a cream blazer for a summer wedding.

Printed trousers in blue 15.99 from 22.99
 An over sized t-shirt, Dr. martens and leather jacket + these leopard print jeans = match made in heaven. A felt fedora or bowler hat and some red lipstick would add even more character.

Flared miniskirt in black 9.99 from 17.99
 An inexpensive staple workable for many years and seasons to come. Could be worn for casual or formal wear.

Crop t-shirt in grey marl 9.99 from 15.99
Wear alone or with a white shirt underneath, trousers or a skirt, or even on top of a dress: this grey marl t-shirt serves a purpose, with its long sleeves and high neck, but also its dainty nature is multi-purpose, and great for layering, too.

The Sale Edit: Zara Woman A/W 13

Zara are renowned for their sleek workwear and Jil Sander dupes, this season reflecting that no less. On the other hand, I find Zara sales fairly poor, with miniscule discounts and a lack of variety in sizes. This season, I've had a look and picked out the items which I think are real classics which will be on trend for multiple seasons to come.

 Two-sided coat in grey marl 89.99 from 109.00
 A classic school girl item, I think this coat would complement autumnal hues such as burgundy and navy perfectly. It would look great teamed with skinny jeans and ballet pumps or thrown over a shirt, tartan skirt and loafers.

Faux leather dress in black 29.99 from 39.99
 This dress would work for both casual day-time and more formal affairs, with black stilettos and a holiday tan in the summer, and with a crisps white shirt, large pussy bow and creepers in the winter. 

 With black jeans, heels or flats and a leather jacket, this jumper can be modified from day to night in a classic print that never goes out of fashion.

This is another 'school girl' item, encompassing the cheeky style of a teenage urban outfitters shopper with thick grey cable knit tights. And who could ever resist a little bit of leopard print?

 Sitting in the area between cable-knit and mohair, this jumper is more for workwear. Again, team with a crisp white shirt, A-line skirt and patent loafers to make the perfect autumn outfit.

 Tartan trousers? Black jeans? Leather skirts? Potential parings for this Markus Lupfer-inspired jumper are endless.

 A classic without being too cliché, swap your typical french Breton stripe top with this for a more up to date look.

Cropped trousers in pink22.99 from 29.99
 Pink was all over the A/W 13 runways, from Carven to Topshop Unique, Valentino to Mulberry, and is here to stay along with other pastel colours next S/S. If a mohair over-sized coat is slightly too candyfloss-esque for your liking, these trousers with black patent brogues will be slightly more tame.

Possibly something more that would fit in more with John Galliano's infamous punk collections, this tweed skirt can in fact fit into a modern working woman's wardrobe with a shirt and suit jacket, or worn more casually with berry-coloured roll-neck sweater and knee high boots.

 No explanation needed.

Perfect for those New Year's Eve parties for which you will need to stand on your feet for hours, and want to add a bit onto your height without sacrificing for it. Comfortable and stylish, nude leather upper (flattering!) and glitter platform (stylish!), these shoes are perfect!

Floral print wallet 9.99 from 15.99
 Although not real leather, this bag could be used as a clutch or to store makeup. Team with all black leather if you're extra daring.

Can be teamed with a white cotton or black leather round neck t-shirt, keeping the rest of your outfit simple. Also could transfer into tribal trends for summer.


Sale Edit: Zara Woman A/W 13

Recipe: A hungry girl's quick 4-cheese, garlic and herb pasta

Don't get me wrong, I'm usually a health freak. Chocolates are a no-go. Carbs are definitely a no-go. But some times, there is nothing more that I crave than midnight noodles. Here is a quick make-it-up-as-you-go-along recipe I made today:

1. Boil some 3-minute spaghetti noodles in a pan. To quicken the process, I boil the water in a kettle first before putting on the hob. Drain the noodles through a colander and then pour back into the pan.

2. Throw in 1/3 tub of Philadelphia cream cheese (it can be herb and cheese flavour but I used original). Then grate in various cheeses of different proportions- I used feta, gorgonzola, smoked Bavarian and red Leicester. It's a great way to get rid of those cheeses hiding at the back of the shelf that you wouldn't necessarily put on a cheeseboard at a dinner party. Watch the pan carefully and stir regularly so that the pasta does not stick to the pan/burn.

3. Add in garlic powder and Italian herb seasoning to taste.

4. Chop some black olives and sun-dried tomatoes (the ones you get in a jar) in half and throw on top of the pasta. I'd recommend doing this while the water is boiling as after this the cheese melts fairly quickly.