Midi Madness

Midi length dresses. And skirts.

When they hit the catwalks a while back I'll admit I didn't quite know how to take them. Their inability to either be in the mini or maxi camp irked me somewhat. I like people, and my fashion for that matter, to choose a side. Sitting on the fence annoys me. And that's what I thought midi length dresses were doing.

Until last week that was...

During one of my, increasingly frequent, clicking sessions on ASOS I stumbled upon a dress that seemed to hold my attention. It was initially the print that hooked me (Yoko Pop) but then I realised the length. Midi! Although I was unsure it was the bodycon and full sleeve elements that eventually convinced me - a quick 'add to basket' later and it was en route. Get yours here

It arrived last week in my office and, handily, I had somewhere to be this past Saturday night so decided to immediately test drive it.
The heavy black and white print did cause me some initial 'how to accessorise' quibbles but I soon decided what better excuse to get out my favourite candyfloss pink MAC lipstick and Ruby&Millie nailpaint?

Teamed with 5-inch lace up shoe boots, a leather crop jacket and my trusty Chanel 2.55 and we have my new favourite outfit. In fact I'm going to wear it again tonight.


So surely spring can't be too far away now, yeah? And I wish it would hurry because I have a set of T-shirts and vests I want to get my mitts on and envelope into my wardrobe for the sunnier months.

It's not often I look at a printed/slogan T and feel anything near interest in it but that's where Alternative 7 is different. The designs are edgy, fun and clever and I, for one, cannot wait to throw them on over denim cut offs, some gladiator sandals and a pair of Wayfarers.

There are 7 designs in the collection (makes sense with the brand name, non?) and the designs are based around our beloved capital city. With quirky slogans like, "Maybe It's Because I'm A Londoner," and, "Peace Begins With A Smile," it's hard not to fall in love with this collection. And its size and reasonable RRP (approx £38) means you can have one in every print!

I say I can't wait until spring but after seeing the promo shots of the beauties teamed with skinny jeans, biker boots and furs I think I might be cracking on from tomorrow.

And with the Olympics fast approaching is there a cooler way to support our country?

Mary Mary, Quite Contrary

Earlier this year you saw me salivate over this woman's S/S '12 collection and I think I speak for the whole fash pack when I say I waited with bated breath for this morning's LFW showing from her.

And she hasn't disappointed. Ladies and gents: Mary Katrantzou A/W '12

The designer is clearly not letting the trends from S/S be totally forgotten and opened her show with some amazing voluminous pastel dresses. All baring her trademark prints, naturally.

Happily she has also refused to let go of the summer brights so while most fashion houses tend to mute their colours for the autumnal period Katrantzou has bucked the trend and kept some incredibly vibrant pieces which I, for one, am thrilled about.

The collection developed into a rainbow range of colours after the initial neons which pleases me greatly as there's nothing worse than the lack of vibrancy clothing stores usually have to offer in the darker months.

That said Katrantzou did show some more season-led pieces in neutral tones so I'd say really, colour wise, there's something for everyone from Mary this coming A/W.

Enjoy, I know I will!

A Stella Performance

I think it's safe to say that come A/W 12 I'll be having a 'blue moment'.

No, I won't be depressed. Au contraire - I'll be elated!

I intend to don head-to-toe Stella McCartney and not remove it until Spring arrives (and, if this year's anything to go by, that's a real commitment.)

Unless you've been under a rock I'd imagine her show - which really can only be described as a production - has reached your eyes by now but here are my favourites from the catwalk for you to savour just that little bit longer.

Not to mention that party...


Shoes, Glorious Shoes

In the showroom I work in in Manchester we have a weekly subscription to Look magazine (y'know, as we're in the biz and want to appear professional whilst calling reading a weekly glossy 'work') So as Tuesday morning rolls round I anticipate the postman's delivery with excitement equal to knowing an Internet purchase is upon you.

This Tuesday was, as we all know, Valentines Day so as I was putting together my evening of self bought chocolates and Bucks Fizz the doorbell crashed through my thoughts to remind me Look was here.

Queue a cup of tea and a shoving desk paraphernalia to one side.
A few flicks later and I had stumbled upon my dream shoes.

They're Jeffrey Campbell for Office and not the cheapest I've ever seen but I haven't felt this way about a pair of foot smotherers in ages so I knew I had to somehow make them mine.

Jeffrey Campbell is known for his creations that look totally mad and uncomfortable but he's worked out perfectly where the weight is distributed on the foot so all his shoes are actually a dream to walk in.

I'd been thinking about them for a few days when, this morning, temptation got too much and I logged onto the Office website. What happening next I cannot be held responsible for; it can only be described as a clicking frenzy then black-out.

Anyway, when I came round I had a 'Thank you for buying with us' email from Office but, surprisingly, a guilt-free conscious.

And I found them on Feb 14th - I'd say that's my best Valentines Day in years!

(*update* They are now sold out online so I got the last pair - if that's not a sign that it was fate for me to purchase them I don't know what is!)

Dating Disasters

I've been debating for some time whether to share this as I'm not sure who comes off worse..me or the guys I was on the dates with. But I just couldn't resist the comedy element to the tales so here goes.

A week or so ago you'll remember I blogged about a good 1st date outfit. (I stuck with option #3) I needn't have bothered. I guess I was a little enthusiastic due to glowing recommendations I'd received from his colleagues that he was a great guy/a bit eccentric/had a heart of gold etc. The kind of things you list when putting together attributes you'd like in someone. But we'll come back to him later...

The week before I'd gone to meet a guy I'd been set up with. In his own words he was about 6ft tall (this is good as I'm 5'5" but I love my heels), a journalist and a gentleman. In retrospect I should have walked out the minute I arrived - he'd been 5 minutes early and got himself a beer. I had to get the 1st 'round' in.

Now, before you think I'm the kind of girl who, as soon as a date is set, locks her bank card in a safe as it won't be used, I'm not. I am all for 50/50-ing bills but the first drink? C'mon! £2.30 for a beer can't be asking much, can it? Not very gentlemanly if you ask me..

Eventually, after we'd finished the drinks (bought by me) he offered to buy one. I say 'eventually' as my glass was empty for 45minutes before he appeared to notice.

I wasn't overly impressed but thought I'd give it one last ditch attempt, before he went to the bar. I asked who he wrote for - y'know, as he'd told me he was a journalist - and he sort of spluttered a bit before explaining he is actually a spell checker for medicine bottles in a pharmaceutical company and has been for two years. It's not the job itself that put me off but the ENORMOUS lie about being a journalist!

I began to wonder what else he'd lied about - but I didn't need to wonder long. When he did decide to venture to the bar I was witness to his height. 6ft? In your dreams fella! Try 5'7" - and with my 5 inch heels this is no good. What with that and the buying my own drink and the job lie I swiftly drank my beer and made some silly excuse about working early and made my exit.

So..with that in mind you can understand my nervous feelings towards the date I went on a week later. The night before said date I was having dinner with a friend and after a brief chat about my upcoming encounter discovered she knew a few of his friends. A couple of texts later and I was being assured by people he was a lovely guy, good fun etc etc. So I went on the date.

Now, I don't want to lie and create a story about a date full of comedy sketches as it wasn't. He greeted me with a warm hug (he's a rugby player so you can imagine the size of him - a nice hug) bought the first few drinks and suggested moving on to several bars. Time flew and before we knew it it was 1am. I had to remind myself I wasn't out with a friend and that it was in fact a date so I should probably end it and leave it open to a second. That is exactly what I did and, handily we were two minutes from my apartment so I walked home.

No sooner had I stepped through my door than he called and, in a huffy tone, demanded to know why I hadn't invited him for 'coffee'. When I explained that's not the kind of girl I am I got a short, "Fine," and a dial tone.

As you can imagine I've not been on a date since and I'm pretty much honing the whole 'spending some time on me' vibe as, evidently, spending time on others seems a little disaster prone for me right now.

Ah well, there's always this solution I suppose...


A Revolution Revelation

There's bitch. There's bad-ass bitch. Then there's Kelly Cutrone.

Founder of People's Revolution and an absolute legend in her own life time. If you don't know about this woman, put it this way: you should.

I first came across the undeniable force that is Cutrone whilst watching The Hills when Lauren Conrad went to intern in her Los Angeles offices. I immediately fell in love with her style, personality, no-bullshit attitude but above all her business. Fashion PR.

You can imagine my sheer delight when The City filmed Whitney Port working in the New York offices and we, the viewer, were given even more insight into the company and Kelly's work ethic.

Most people hear that I work in fashion (I'm an agent for a few labels in the UK) and think it's a world of freebies, pretty colours, vacuous phone calls and we're in the bar by 8pm every night (I wish). I hate those people. What goes on is far more intense and I love that People's Revolution have embraced this and use it to full effect with all their clients.

A little while ago I was made aware that Cutrone had written a book entitled If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You. I had to have it. A whirlwind of clicks on Amazon and I was the proud owner. (get yours here)

My copy no longer looks this way - it has been in hundreds of handbags, been leant to people, been retrieved from people, taken on holiday, kept under my pillow...you get the idea. It is looking loved. And as well it should - it is like a bible, of not only how to get on and behave in what has the veneer of glamour but is actually a vicious industry, but also how to get on and behave in life.
Cutrone cannot be accused of not having a grip - she has a tight hold on her life and is someone I most certainly would trust with mine. It is an aspiration I have, to work for her.

When the People's Revolution twitter feed posts pictures at weekends of their employees working ahead of fashion weeks or big events I don't think, "Poor sods, working weekends." I think, "Lucky people, in an amazing company, honing their skills under a huge influence like Cutrone."

If you haven't read her book I will happily lend you mine (but will be making daily calls until I get it back) as I have a new read - her second book. Normal Gets You Nowhere. The title already speaks to me.

(get yours here)

If you read nothing else this year please make her two books a priority. She writes for, in her own words, the young female and the gay man. And I'm at least one of them.

I'll leave you with this. An accurate representation of what's in store once you open the cover. And if that doesn't get you I don't know what will..


Dating Dilemma

First dates.
By their very nature they're pretty stressful things but what makes them worse, in my opinion, is deciding what on earth to wear.

This is the very dilemma I have found myself in today. I'm out this evening and he's already scored some points - has suggested meeting in one of my favourite traditional pubs in Manchester. So kudos. But what to don is still somewhat escaping me.

The pub itself has quite an eclectic mix of clientele but is in the heart of the Northern Quarter which is known for its trendy frequenters and being a fashion agent only piles the pressure on (on a personal level - I like to make an effort.) So I've narrowed it down to three options.

PLEASE tell me which is best (I'm personally leaning towards #3..)

Bright watermelon jeans, casual Breton stripe tee, leather jacket and bag and a nice necklace.
I like this look but I do tend to associate it with work or weekend lunch with friends so although I feel comfortable and good in it it might not be a front runner.

Now, if you know me/have been reading my blog you'll know I'm an animal print kinda gal so no option list is complete without at least one of my printed beauties in the line up. And we all know I've a penchant for a good portion of accessories so a big ring and my favourite colour pop feather necklace would top this off nicely. Teamed with black jacket, bag and leather trousers I'm thinking this is my 2nd favourite idea.

Really I may have made my mind up on the above. I got some amazing new shoes this week similar to the ones above (but chunkier heel) and a leather jacket and I love to wear new things as quickly as possible. That combined with my absolute adoration of my shirt dresses and necklaces and I think I'm set. But let me know...I might be massively off course with my choices. Help!