Thursday, 30 September 2010

Fashion Tip of the Month

So did you like any of last night’s gilets? Or are you already converts?!

Tonight’s blog is the second ‘Edna’s Fashion Tip of the Month’...following on from the success of last month’s Kate Kanzier tip-off from my friend Charlie. I was so stunned that a shoe store that good and so well priced could exist in London and I would be ignorant of it! So I thought that Edna could be a forum for you to share all your best fashion secrets and tips.

This one is courtesy of Huyen and is a good one...Brand Alley

I’d never heard of it but could barely contain myself when I logged on. It’s a designer discount site but you don’t need an invitation to join (as you do with Cocosa) and they have amazing sales. Huyen sent the link to me when I blogged about Max C bags as there was a Max C sale that day...with everything around £5-10 cheaper than I’d shown on my blog.

Some of the great items on sale...right now!

Costume National green shoes, down to £40 from £425 (though bit high for me)

Twenty8Twelve black dress, £44 down from £330

OPI Shrek Forever After Mini Pack - Four Mini Lacquers - £7 (down from £12.15)

Farhi by Nicole Farhi Navy Military Jacket £100 down from £200

They add new sales every day, so always worth a look!

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Grab a Gilet

The queen of the gilet, uber-stylist Rachel Zoe
I know a gilet can sometimes make women a little nervous. Surely it’s just a continental way of saying ‘body-warmer’?! And as much as they may have their place halfway up Snowdon...body-warmers are not the chicest apparel on the average street. And anything that adds extra bulk around our middles doesn’t tend to have us skipping to the check-out!

But gilets are different to the body warmer...even though if you search any website they will bring up a few classic rambler garbs amongst the sheepskin and faux fur! I also think they've evolved past the boho trend of a few years back. Even if you’re not a boho-lady (and I don’t tend to fall into that category) they can still work with your wardrobe.

I bought a black knitted one last year from the Sonia Rykiel collaboration with H&M. I loved it in the changing room but there was a small seed of doubt that I looked like I’d got a bath mat tied around my middle! However, I wore it constantly last winter and it went with almost everything in my wardrobe. Sometimes it was a little too bulky...certainly under some blazers it didn’t feel quite right...but on the whole it was definitely a fashion win!

I tend to hate the way a lot of the gilet’s are styled on shop’s websites...too boho or randomly putting some faux fur with a t-shirt and jeans (yes, you, M&S!) but imagine them over a black jersey dress, or with skinny black trousers, a spotty blouse and big necklace. It gives you a hint of bohemian but still with some tailoring and grown-up accessories.

And when you’re freezing your arse off in the depths of winter, it’s an extra layer between you and the chill!

These are some of my favourites...I’m particularly tempted by the Topshop number.

Topshop sheepskin gilet - £58

Dorothy Perkins Black Mongolian style gilet - £41

Oasis drape gilet - £60

M&S faux fur open front gilet - £45

Next neutral faux fur belted gilet – £45

Warehouse faux racoon gilet - £50 

Debenhams stone shawl collar gilet - £45 (though a little torn on this one...worried it looks a bit Del Boy Trotter...but giving it the benefit of the doubt!)

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Balloons, toadstools, birds & bees!

I haven’t had time yet to take good photos of my weekend’s purchases...just a Twitter photo of my bargain Juicy Couture polka dot woollen coat so far! I will get organised and get my camera out (though given how dark it is in the evenings, the best light is in the morning...and getting organised enough to get Mr W to photograph me in new togs before I leave for work is going to take a herculean level of organisation and morning efficiency!!).

I did want to post about the necklace my sister bought from an absolutely gorgeous jewellery designer called Clara Francis. Her stall at London Fashion Weekend really stood was all beautifully presented, with so much thought and creativity...lots of brown paper, lace, labels all handwritten, old clocks, woodland themes...really enticing and pretty. It is not cheap but then it is all handmade in London, so you are getting something that is lovingly and carefully a great present for yourself (!) or others. And all very quirky and individual.

This is the necklace my sister bought...

Hummingbird necklace - £60 (bought by my sister at a reduced £40 at London Fashion Weekend). I’m hoping my sister will send a photo of the necklace in action!

There were some other lovely standout pieces (including a silver owl...which I cannot seem to find on the website, so cannot include as my owl of the month!). I completely fell in love with the toadstool and hot air balloon necklaces shown below. Unfortunately the photography on the website really doesn’t do these beautiful pieces enough justice.

Toadstool necklace - £80

Bee necklace - £90

Hot air balloon necklace - £90

It would be helpful if the website had a list of all the current stockists. There is a little too much flowery language and not enough hard edged information, such as where to buy...and the online shop doesn't have the same level of stock that we saw at LFW.

Hopefully this will improve...and the wonderful jewellery from Clara Francis will reach a wider audience.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Fashion Weekend Outfits

Following on from yesterday’s massively over-excitable blog, tonight tackles the difficult question of what the hell you wear to London Fashion Weekend.

I think I would have a proper wardrobe meltdown if I actually had to dress for Fashion Week itself (though I guess it helps if you’re famous and well-connected and the designers just lend you something to wear...panic over). Back in the backwater of south London in which I reside, there is no designer borrowing, just panicky scanning of my wardrobe and hating everything...but thankfully I had my sister there to slap some sense into me and we reached outfit decisions.

Firstly the attempts to convince myself that I could wear heels all day were put to rest quite quickly! I also knew I wanted to wear a dress...and inevitably a stripe was going to be involved. So here is my London Fashion Weekend outfit...and I was quite pleased with myself!


One of my favourite dresses, a beautiful green BCGB Max Azria number (bought from a designer discount outlet in Pennsylvania!), stripey Gap top, sparkly black tweed Zara jacket (the £10 bargain I've mentioned before), my new Max C handbag, Bex Rox neon friendship bracelet (bought from discount site Cocosa...and the subject of mocking because I bought a friendship bracelet for myself!), ring from Accessorise and a corsage from Oasis (bought years ago in the first flush of Sex & the City).

And this is my lovely sister! She did attempt heels...brogues on the journey there, changed into heels when we arrived, changed back out of them a few hours later! But the raspberry M&S numbers were good while they lasted!

The rest of the outfit was a Kate Moss for Topshop jacket, black Gap trousers from the new range I’ve blogged about before (I think she said she got the curvy cut), the scarf is from Primark, the handbag from House of Fraser, and the lipstick was Lancome and was beautiful!

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Catwalk Frenzy!

There is a risk that in this post I am going to come across as a bit of an air-head...but here we go...

Yesterday was one of the most exciting days of my life. I went to London Fashion Weekend and saw my very first catwalk show...and I almost passed out! Ridiculous, over the top, slightly embarrassing, I know, but it’s the truth...and I loved it.

If you don’t know what London Fashion Weekend is, it’s not the same as London Fashion Week, which is a trade, invitation/press-only event for those in the industry. The Weekend is for us non-industry folk and you buy tickets...and it’s a designer discount shopping frenzy. You can either buy standard tickets to get in; tickets that include the 30 minute catwalk show; or tickets that also include a goody bag on top of all this.

My sister and I went yesterday and went for all three (we’re not the sort of women to not go for a goody bag!) and everything about the day was brilliant! I’ll try to limit the exclamations of joy but trust me, if you love fashion and shopping, you would have been with me on the passing out!

I’m going to do another blog tomorrow on the purchases made (though I did manage to exercise some restraint) and what we wore for the day (one of the few times I planned an outfit the night before!) but tonight I wanted to post about the catwalk show.

I’m sure if you go to shows frequently this sounds very naïve but it was exhilarating and wonderful! When the lights went down, the music started booming out and the models came onto the catwalk it was incredible.

I cannot imagine what it’s like if you’re watching some of the amazing productions of top designers, with supers on the catwalk. If you're ever at the stage when you’re blasé about it then it would be a huge shame because it's exciting and fun. I guess a bit like the female equivalent of watching a live football game. Enjoyable in magazines and onscreen but amazing in the flesh! I think I’d be tempted to cheer on my favourite models!

I know that the high street has started to put on its own catwalk shows. The Westfield shopping centre and shops on Regent Street in London have just put on catwalk shows. I’m sure other cities do the same and I would love to hear about them and your experiences.

I love the idea of the high street...and smaller independent boutiques...putting on their own fashion shows around the time of fashion week...and throughout the year. It’s such as great way of engaging and exciting your clients...i.e. us!

We may not be spending £1000 on a handbag and flying to Milan to catch a catwalk show but we are shopping and spending money and keeping shops in we deserve a little treat in the form of a catwalk show now and again! It’s good for business, it’s showcases new trends, it encourages us to open our purses...and it’s ridiculously enjoyable!

My sister and I sat at the catwalk show pretending we were full on of us Wintour, the other Coddington (though not sure who was who!) and looking around the room, women were all doing the same! It’s fun and funny and I cannot recommend it enough.

So if there is a catwalk show taking place near you, go!

And for shops everywhere...look after your customers, value us, and celebrate what you’re selling by putting on a catwalk show. After experiencing one for the first time yesterday and almost weeing with excitement (clearly not something Wintour would do!) I can honestly say every woman who loves fashion (but doesn’t have fashion industry access) should still get to experience the exhilaration of a catwalk show.

So tonight is a celebration of losing my catwalk virginity...tomorrow is shopping and fashion choices!

Friday, 24 September 2010

Cosy slippers

This week’s lust item is the very antithesis of yesterday’s summery post. It sums up how I feel in London today. Accessorise describe them as “cosy slipper boots” and I want them on my feet right now!

I bought some slipper boots last winter when I had proper, full-on barely able to move flu. I had to drag myself into the office one day for something that was essential and impossible to do from home. I dragged my carcass into central London, worked for an hour, then staggered home via Accessorise after I spotted slipper boots in the window...bought them and wore them to death last winter...and I’ve now got them back on even though they are battered and knackered.

There’s something really comforting and cosy about them...but admittedly not very rock and roll. And to make matters worse, when I bought them in my flu-induced daze last year, bending over in the middle of the shop, arse in the air, Rhys Ifans, the hairdresser James Brown (Kate Moss’ best mate) and a very tall gorgeous model friend (though thank god not Miss Moss!) walked in and started looking at ‘amusing’ party accessories. I quickly bought my cosy slipper boots and scuttled home.

But I’m not ashamed...and tonight I’m celebrating the slipper boot in public (though only once this winter, don’t worry!).

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Last of the summer outfits

Returning to London and going back to work today, with the joys of the morning commute, was a shock to the system. It was also a shock on the fashion front. To go from mid-twenties sunshine, in sun dresses and swimwear, to rain and cold and the need for woollen trousers, scarves and umbrellas was unpleasant to say the least.

Sorry if this is rubbing salt into the weather wound but this is the view, house and weather I left behind yesterday.


I thought I would celebrate an outfit that is probably my last summer outfit of the year. When the sun is shining, I seem to dig out the most colourful items in my wardrobe. Clashing, colourful clothing works in sunny weather in a way that often jars against a gloomy, grey sky (as shown on the Prada catwalk today for SS11...clashing patterns, bright colours, quirky prints...everything I love about summer dressing!).  

I wore this for an afternoon wandering around the gorgeous village of Nyons. And despite the fact that there was a Medieval festival taking place with most of the village dressed up in full re-enactment regalia, this outfit still seemed to garner a lot of attention! I think it was compounded by the fact that Mr W was dressed in skinny jeans, floral shirt, aviators and a jaunty hat (though he was unamused when I used the ‘j’ word!).

The outfit is a Uniqlo maxidress, very, very old Gap cropped jacket, H&M military style bag, Clarks pink and brown sandals and white Oasis cuff.

Mr W in his 'jaunty' hat!

Back in London today, I found myself in Accessorise looking at woollen slipper boots and gravitating towards everything that looked cosy. A huge change on the fashion front in a matter of days. Goodbye summer!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

The return from France!

I'm back in the blogosphere! I've had massive withdrawal symptoms since Friday...but no internet access, so no access to Edna.

I've had an epic day of travel - long drives, long waits at airports, depressingly convoluted journey back from Gatwick. So I am literally saying hello again and going to bed.

I have been trying to catch up on all the goings on at London Fashion much to see, I love it! And, I'm even more excited by the fact that I'm going to the discount shopping mecca that is London Fashion Weekend for the first time on Saturday with my sister (we're whipping each other into a frenzy about it!).

Anyway, for tonight I thought I would just post a link to what the Elle team wore to London Fashion Week, just for some fashion fun! There are lots and lots of photos...maybe the odd bit of fashion inspiration too!

Friday, 17 September 2010

French excursion...and flirty polka dots

I am getting some late summer sunshine tomorrow and going to the south of France. Something that was booked a long, long time ago – and has been organised by my lovely in-laws to celebrate 40 years of marriage! – is now here and I cannot tell you how thankful I am to be heading off for a few days of sunshine. I got ridiculously excited packing and getting out summer dresses again (though I’m not sure how some of my more outré outfits will be welcomed in the historic village of Nyons!).

Sorry if I’m now is just genuine joy at getting away after being in London the whole summer!

However, the downside is that I’m not sure whether there is internet access where we’re staying (cue sweating palms and panic attack)...which means I’m not sure whether I’ll be able to blog. Aaaahhhhh!! I know you should be able to download an app and do it from your phone...but I’ve mentioned before I’m a bit of a techno-phobe, so after time spent today huffing and puffing, I’ve had to admit defeat on that front.

So please don’t desert me Edna readers if I’m off for a few days (potentially may not be able to blog again until Thursday)! I really would love to be able to and will try to find somewhere that I can access the internet...but if I fail, I will be blogging again regularly on Thursday. So don’t leave me for good!

I will be on Twitter this week and will post French fashion musings (?!) all week, so follow me there if you miss the blogs

Ok, begging and bragging lusting!

This week’s item is something I saw a few weeks ago in Uniqlo and have been thinking about it every since and everything it would go with in my wardrobe. I love the length of the skirt, which is about an inch above the knee. The polka dots are flirty and cute but the black on black makes it a little more chic. It comes in plum too, which is lovely but I think I would wear the black far more. And it’s a very reasonable £24.99.

Uniqlo tuck flare skirt

Thursday, 16 September 2010

H&M Embraces Modern Age

A theme has been emerging recently...shops that for such a long time had resisted the march of online retail have caved in and embraced the internet in all its powerful glory!

First Gap and Banana Republic, then Zara and now H&M.

What took them so long is anyone’s guess...maybe they thought it wouldn’t last?! But with the power of Asos and the appeal of online shopping for so many women...particularly if you’re not near a city or shopping centre or not able to free up time to spend a day really wasn’t going to be a fad.

I’ve had a look over the H&M website and there are improvements to be made. The main is the stock level - they don’t seem to have anywhere near the level of stock that they have in store. One of the joys (and pains) of H&M is wading through rail upon rail, hating most of it, and then coming across something that is so perfect, so much in your own style and so well priced that you feel the effort has been rewarded.

I also love their designer collaborations. Last year they collaborated with Sonia Rykiel and amongst
the more popular stripes and brights, were a couple of items I bought...a black woollen swing dress with flower corsage and a knitted waist-coat – again in black – which wasn’t off my back all last winter and will probably be the same again this photos will follow.

And hold on to your handbags, this autumn the collaboration is with Lanvin. Cocktail dresses ahoy!

These are some of the items I like on the H&M site (or already own!)

Leopard print wedges - £7.99 (I know!!)

Military canvas bag, which I bought and have used daily and loved. Lots of pockets, lots of space and lightweight in itself, perfect - £14.99

Camel coat - £59.99

Classic striped top - £7.99

Spotty top - £9.99

Striped shirt - £14.99

Necklace - £12.99

*Sorry that links don't go to direct page - another 'issue' on the website but scroll through and you'll find them!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Dainty doll not death like pallor!

I am very pale, bordering on pasty some days...and in the depths of winter my skin takes on a cadaver-esque pallor. I’ve experimented with fake tans in the past but they have either caused allergic reactions (sensitive skin has meant some make me come out in a rash...much worse than just being a bit pale!) or streaking...or I generally couldn’t be arsed. Bronzer doesn’t really work on my colouring, although I like a little as a highligher. I do, however, worship at the temple of blusher. It brings me to life.

And generally I don’t mind being pale. I don’t really want to look tanned. I just want to look healthy. So when make-up specifically targeted for pasty folk is launched, a wide smile spreads across my face!

Nicola Roberts, the lovely pale redhead from Girls Aloud, launched ‘Dainty Doll’ a couple of years
ago with the Jelly Pong Pong brand. Not sure what the deal is now but a new range of Dainty Doll products has recently gone on sale on the Harrods website.

And it’s lovely! I have yet to purchase...Harrods is not on my usual shopping trail...but I’m definitely tempted. The packaging is charming and the colourings all look great.

If you’re not pasty, apologies for the exclusion of tonight’s blog. If you are, enjoy...and get some blusher on!

Loose powder - with SPF 18, vitamin E and rich in antioxidants!

Eye shadow in ‘Treat her like a lady’

Blusher in ‘My Girl’

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Discovering Max C bags

I am still on a shopping high from the Max C handbag I bought on Sunday. I love finding brands that are reasonably priced and’s like a door opens on wonderful future shopping opportunities!

I had a look
on the Max C website and it stocks clothes and other accessories, as well as bags...but it is the bag collection that I think really stands out. All of the bags below I would happily go out and buy tomorrow...the lion cross-body pouch bag in particular...I love the chic navy with the quirky lion.

Gemma bag - £30.40

Envy bag - £30.40

Lion pouch bag - £20

Folded over studded tote - £24

Masai bag - £24

Honeycomb bag - £28
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...