I Heart Little Mistress. I.D.S.T.

You'll have noticed that recently I've mentioned the launch of several new brands at my agency in Manchester but I've never really bothered to name them.

I'm not usually one to love pics of myself but this weekend at Pure (fashion trade exhibition) in London one of the girls at one of my newest labels took a shot I actually like so I thought it only fair I give them credit.

The brand is Little Mistress who, incidentally, will be in Drapers tomorrow short listed as Young Fashion Brand Of The Year 2012. Couldn't be happier for them - they're an amazing label who are going from strength to strength.

And here's the shot...

The trousers are my absolute favourite printed pair - they've featured on the blog before; and so have the shoes.

But what you've not seen on here before is the gorgeous top from Little Mistress.

Black chiffon with beautiful gold beading round the neck and cuffs. I wasn't so sure of it on the hanger but as soon as I slipped it on I felt a million bucks. Teamed with my solid gold glitter nails and YSL ring this may be my new favourite outfit.

The top itself will be in stock later this month/early September - I'll try to remember to post a link when it's up. As their agent I have the lovely perk of having the sample to wear. Lucky me!

Special thanks to KK for the great shot.


How To: Wear Peplums; Whoever You Are.

If you follow me on Twitter (@2dyefor_)or Instagram (2dyefor_) you'll have noticed a small addition to my family who has been taking up most of my pictures/tweets. Alfie. A brand new, black, cocker spaniel puppy. I am completely in love with him - he is a lovely little thing with a great nature and a beautiful face.

Because of his sudden presence in my life I have found myself staying at my family home much more, recently (only 45 mins from my apartment on public transport) and it is my most recent stay over the weekend that saw me accepting a delivery from M&S for my Mum.

Convinced it was yet another pair of black linen trousers (they're her version of my chiffon shirts - one for every day of the week) I just thrust the package into her hands and continued about my day. She began to tell me what she'd ordered and I tuned out until the word 'peplum' pierced my daze. "My mum? Cracking out a peplum? Well let's see then, " I thought.

One minute later and she was in front of me looking absolutely great. Which got me thinking; peplums are probably a trend that make a few folks nervous but they look set to stick around right through A/W so I have come up with 5 ways to work them into your wardrobe, whatever your age or the occasion.

This is the most high fashion look - probably a look twenty-somethings like myself would wear. I love a good clashing print but if that's not something that appeals a plain clutch looks great too. This is more a bar/restaurant look that covers a few trends so the wearer would feel great.

Gone for a bit of a sports luxe theme here - with the Olympics just finishing I'm clinging onto everything 'sports' for as long as I can. The Converse and clear plastic panels on the bag give this a great twist and what better than gold nails to represent our nations recent sporting achievements? I think the pencil skirt means anyone from late teens to early 30s can get away with this. If the mesh insert of the top's a little full on try it with a top more like the one below. After all, fashion's about having fun and making styles fit to you.

This is with 40-50 somethings in mind. A more pared down look but still really fashion focused to make the wearer feel comfortable but current. My mum's top is very similar to this one but I know she has more dark jeans in mind than pastel trousers. Still, she rocks a good printed scarf and sack bag so I still think this look is a viable option.

This is for those who want to stay trend based but are in an office environment day to day. We all know how constricting 'office appropriate wear' can be on our wardrobes but this is an easy one to adapt. There are tons of peplum pencil skirts on the high street - Topshop, H&M, River Island, Lipsy etc so that's not a hard one to find. Paired with your trusty white shirt, some cool flats and a nice leather bag and you're set. I also found this amazing Burberry peplum trench - at just over £1000 it's one for the 'wish list' but a girl can dream...*sigh*

Last but not least a more casual look for A/W. Unfortunately so far only Alexander McQueen and Dries Van Noten have shown peplum trousers like these but I'm hoping that the high street will cotton on and get on with producing some budget-friendly options.
If they do I love the idea of pairing them with a chiffon blouse, some pretty pumps and a trusty leather jacket (fur collar optional.) Some fiery talons and lips and you're good to go.

So that's it - peplums 5 ways. All that's left to do is show you my love. Meet Alfie.


Red, White and Blue

Unless you have been under a rock these past couple of weeks you cannot fail to have noticed that small sporting event that is ever so quietly gripping the world(!) Whether or not you like it I'm fairly sure just about every pair of eyes in the UK must have caught sight of at least a few seconds of the amazing London Olympics.

My delight in these sporting Gods and Goddesses quite surprised me - I was prepared to watch maybe a bit of athletics and a few dives but no sooner had Lord Coe said 'Danny Boyle' than I was hooked; and have been since.

A side effect of all these inspiring athletes taking up my television every day and night (I stream it on my BBC app while at work!) is my new found fervent patriotism - and not only to England. After the Jamaican 1, 2 ,3 in the 200m I have found myself wondering if there is any Jamaican blood in my family tree - but alas, I very much doubt it.

Browsing the web this morning I came upon Swarovski's Olympics inspired new Erika and Eliot collection which has somewhat delighted me. A tiny little girl and boy on pendants dressed in nation-representing colours and outfits.

Here are my favourites:

China, GB and South Korea

USA, Spain, France and Switzerland

Russia, Brazil, Netherlands

These remind me so much of the Marc Jacobs characters and I think I may love them a little bit more even. Especially GB - what better icon is there of my country than a Queen's guard - and after that opening ceremony clip the Queen is surely at one of the peaks of her popularity. Brilliant woman.

Out of interest I typed 'London' into the Swarovski search bar and was surprised to be presented with a number of smaller pictures.

Upon closer inspection it turns out they've also gone and created a very chic London charms collection for those who may not be into the characters of Erika and Eliot. Savvy folks in Swarovski.

A tube stop, a very Twiggy-esque girl, a Rolling Stones platform shoe and a rainy umbrella. All in all a pretty accurate representation of my nation. All primed and ready to be attached to a lovely charm bracelet and worn with pride.

I'd be a very happy girl if I received one of these - I do love an alternative way to support things and let's face it, dragging a Team GB flag through the streets on a regular day just doesn't cut it when up against these beauties. All available at Swarovski online take a look and fall in love like I have.


Luxurious Legs

Let's face it. This summer has been overwhelmingly underwhelming weather-wise for us all. I think it's the first summer I can ever remember where it's actually been this bad - I know we complain every year (what do we expect, sudden Mediterranean climate behaviour?) but this year has really taken the (soggy, rain drenched) biscuit.

I've mourned my inability to bring some of my favourite summer dresses out from storage and dealt with it the way any sane fashion obsessed girl would. By wrapping myself in a fur throw, stropping onto my (cold) balcony and drinking red wine with The September Issue in hand. Don't judge me - you know you've done a variation!

Now my mourning period is over I've decided to look to the future and just on the horizon I can see my shiny new Autumn/Winter wardrobe glistening; tempting me with it's chunky knits and metallic skirts (thank you for the inspiration Mulberry!)

I always feel, however, that with a good A/W outfit there's a key area of the body not being viewed in quite the same sartorially important way. The legs. Brilliantly my idol, Mary Portas, has come up with a fashion appropriate solution.

Introducing Mary and Charnos:

With a huge range to chose from available in House of Fraser and online through the Charnos site here (site links to online retailers) there's really no excuse why we can't all have perfect pins all the way through the darker months.

I'm particularly loving the indigo sheer spot pair teamed with a nice collar detail dress and heels for a trusty work- to -bar look.

Can't wait to get mine!


Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

Just now as I logged into my blogspot backdoor it suddenly hit me just how long it's been since I last wrote.

Too long. This is mainly because my beloved little netbook (named Lovely) finally gave up the ghost about 2 weeks ago and until I replace her my access to the internet is somewhat limited. Happily I have a friend who works for Toshiba and is hooking me up with a shiny new girl so soon all blogging capacity will be restored.

About 3 weeks ago I was very kindly invited to Matalan's A/W preview day in a very slick hotel in Covent Garden in London. It was a strange feeling - looking at Christmas samples in mid July; and it turned out to be an absolutely sweltering day in The City which only added to the slightly surreal feeling of it all!

That said I had an absolutely fantastic time and I think it's safe to say most of my wages from here until the party season is over are spoken for. I want everything from the metal toe capped brogues to the slightly ethereal looking digital print tshirts and jackets.

And the price point is incredible. Shoes for £16 - PU Leather jackets with stud detailing for £35. I almost had to rub my eyes and check I didn't need to make a Specsavers appointment.

Matalan have really pushed the boat out this season and seem to have most of the major A/W trends stitched up for us. (Pun sort of intended...) The colour palette is rich and luxurious while the fabrics used echo those we saw on the catwalks all those months ago - plush brocades, expensive looking sequin detailing, grunge-chic tassles. I cannot say enough positive things about this collection.

Even the homeware was stunning - I've already briefed my housemate on the gold rimmed wine glasses. they will be mine.

I think my favourite bits have to be the following though. The fabric of the crop top is completely beautiful in person ad will look fantastic with a black high waisted maxi skirt I scooped up in the Mango sales recently. Not to mention the special space I've already made in my wardrobe for those cobalt blue animal print Chelsea boots. In faux pony hair they really look so expensive so when I found out they were £16 I nearly fell over.

The whole preview was set out beautifully so I'll leave you with a few shots and simply say...bring on the eggnog!