Monday, 28 October 2013

Splurge vs Steal?

Magazines have long sold us the idea of having the high street version of a designer look, for a fraction of the cost.  And I used to go along with it, always waiting for the low-end version of the high-end look I was coveting.  When I was about 18, one of my first purchases from Topshop was a faux-leather version of the Ostrich skin Prada bags that were everywhere that season (I'm massively dating myself here, it was somewhere round the turn of the millenium).  I couldn't get over the fact that you could have something that looked reasonably like the designer item it was inspired by, in the same season, for the princely sum of £18.  I was hugely proud of that bag, and it's probably still knocking around somewhere in my old bedroom in my parents' house.  As time passed though, and my obsession with fashion grew deeper, I realised that there was no real point to designer copies.  Anyone with any idea about fashion will soon clock that your high street bag is just that, and not actually designed by Miuccia herself.  So I've slowly lost interest in designer look-alikes.  I don't mind "inspired by" or in the general style of, but I don't think anything currently in my wardrobe could be considered a designer copy in any way.  The floods of designer fakes that have overrun ebay leave me cold (when you see copies of Topshop or Zara styles, it's clearly gone too far).  So I was as surprised as anyone by the item that made me re-think my stance on the issue.  

It's a bloody Bambi jumper.  From Primark.  It cost £10 and I absolutely love it.  In fact when I saw it, I ran over to it and had to stop myself squealing ohmygodgivenchybambiImusthaveit!  Because this look, from Givenchy's A/W 13 collection was possibly my favourite look of the season:

Now, I realise 99% of people who see me wearing my Primark almost-copy will just think I'm a grown woman in a Disney jumper and possibly just assume I'm a bit odd.  The other 1% though will know I'm wearing what I wish were a Givenchy jumper, but is actually just a cheap wannabe.  And I don't know if I'm ok with that.  If I were wearing the real deal, I would still be a grown woman in a Disney jumper, but I'd be smugly secure in the knowledge that it was approved by Riccardo Tisci, and every fashion editor and starlet in existence:

 So basically, I'd still be a fashion victim, but at least one who was wearing something by a hugely covetable designer.  Now I'm just a 30-something in a jumper with a cartoon deer on it.  To be honest, even if I had no idea of the inspiration behind the top, I'd probably still have worn it at home where no one but my boyfriend (who once owned slippers in the shape of big, fluffy dogs and therefore cannot judge) would see me.  But now, the fashion world has deemed it acceptable, so I've worn it in public.  And it's the first thing I've liked that I've really questioned- normally copies of the must-have of any season just bore me because they're overexposed before they even properly land in shops, but Bambi seems to be one look the high street has, for the most part, left alone.  I just don't know if I ought to have done the same...

Sunday, 27 October 2013

So far in October...

& Other Stories brogues, pink nails and my first midi ring, Mozza and a promising find from Daunt Books, amazing autumnal ivy in Hampstead, new Lula and my much-anticipated perfect white nail varnish- Butter London's Cotton Buds, the walled garden and entrance to Fulham Palace, the old pier in Brighton.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Wearing Lately

My inability to pass shops without ducking in to have a quick browse, even if it's the third branch of H&M that day and I'm quite certain I won't find anything I like, means there's been no shortage of opportunities for changing room selfies since I've been back in London.  So I present every single thing (more or less) that I've worn over the past 2.5 weeks...

Clockwise from top left- top and skirt, Zara, boots- Massimo Dutti; top- Topshop, shorts- Oysho, boots- Beau Coops; lace top- Oysho, shorts- Whistles, shoes- Kurt Geiger; jumper- Primark, skirt- Topshop, plimsolls- H&M; jumper- French Connection, skirt- Zara, shoes- Kurt Geiger; jacket- H&M, t-shirt- Gap, skirt- JW Anderson x Topshop, boots- Massimo Dutti

shirt- Asos, shorts- Whistles, boots- Massimo Dutti; jumper- H&M, shorts- Vero Moda, shoes- Kurt Geiger; dress- Cos, shoes- & Other Stories  
top- Cos, skirt- vintage, boots- Massimo Dutti; jacket- Gap, trousers- River Island, boots- Beau Coops
I'm slightly freaked out by how identical my stance is in every single one of these, down to the placement of my fingers as I'm holding my phone.  I am however, quite pleased with the variety of my outfits considering they're comprised entirely of the contents of my 20 kilo suitcase and a handful of new purchases.  Perhaps I've succeeded in building a capsule wardrobe without actually trying?  I definitely need a new pair of ankle boots though- both the pairs I've brought with me probably photograph better than they've actually been holding up...

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Pink Wonderland

This photo from Pink Sweater shoot which I stumbled upon on the Wonderland site made me realise that my wardrobe is still entirely lacking in pink and that I clearly need to do something to rectify this.  I'm thinking the perfectly fluffy mohair jumper I've been lusting after from Cos might just do the trick...  

Monday, 21 October 2013


One thing I find sorely lacking in UK/European fashion is mid-range independent designers.  Even fledgling designers just starting out seem to be completely out of my budget, and the gap between the high street and proper designer is increasingly being filled by brands like Whistles and Cos, which isn't terribly inspiring if you want something that can't be found on every single high street. I'm a bit rubbish about actually visiting many of the independent boutiques I admire, especially the ones based in deepest East London, which would appear to be most of them.  So I'm always happy to stumble upon websites that introduce me to brands and designers I wouldn't have otherwise known about.  A while back, I posted a pair of Chelsea boots by Portamento, available at Swanfield Boutique, which in itself is probably worthy of a separate post.  My hunt for the perfect Chelsea boots is still very much on, after an ebay disappointment, so I was contemplating whether I shouldn't give that particular pair a try after all and I ended up searching out the brand's website.  And I fell a tiny bit in love.  

Prices range from £29, for the espadrilles I wish I had been aware of this past summer, to £189 for the black Chelsea boots.  They do a wide range of styles, including a lot that are far more girly than any of the ones I've posted, but at the moment all I want is classic, men's styles.  According to their website, Portamento is run by a couple based in Hackney, and is "a gallery of art, contemporary fashion and unusual objects in an eclectic mix resembling the world of the owners."  They don't seem to have a physical shop, which is a shame, but I'm incredibly tempted to order at least one pair...