Monday, 29 November 2010

Fashion Inspiration from Zara

There is a risk that the Edna blog, at times, sounds like an ad for Zara...but once again I am taking inspiration from there! I just find that the collections are completely in tune with my life and the sorts of outfits that suit my working environment. Smart separates, evening wear that can easily be dressed down for the office, a real sense of grown-up clothing for modern women (not girls!).

Admittedly there are dresses and skirts that are too short for me...and every pair of trousers seem to be about a foot too long for me...and the sizing is odd and can be on the (very) small side. But casting all this aside, the clothes are great and the website has a monthly lookbook which is really inspiring. It makes me want to be a grown-up, looking groomed and stylish...which is amazing for a high street store!

Rather than listing items and their prices, I just wanted to share some of my favourite looks from the Zara website. Hopefully in weeks to come you’ll see me being ‘inspired’ by some of these looks in my existing togs (if I have bought anything new, feel free to tell me off, you know I shouldn’t be spending a penny!)

p.s. I'm planning to celebrate the start of the festive season with a Christmas gift guide this please send me your gift ideas (then you can forward my blog on to friends and family and drop hints!!)

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Thermals & Sequins

What I’m lusting after this week is frivolous and a treat. What I’ve actually been buying are thermals! I’ve bought a stack of the Uniqlo heat-tech vests, leggings and long-sleeved tops and bought some thermal leggings in M&S...which I have on as I type this and are a treat!

They are so warm and cosy and actually look pretty too, rather than looking like you’ve got grandma’s long-johns on! They are £18, so not cheap, but I’ve been so cold that they seemed worth the investment. My only advice would be to buy a size bigger than you think you are. I’m a size 8/10 and bought a size 12, which are snug.

Back to the lust item of the week.

Sequins and the festive season are a total cliché, I know. The whole sequin and frill overload is a bit much and actually it’s often nice to go for something completely different and wear much more under-stated outfits and save the sequins for other occasions.

But this time of year is perfect for stocking up on them because every single shop is bursting with sequins! So buy now, use later!

Or with this lovely copper sequin bag from Mango, you can easily dress up a very plain outfit with some under-stated festive sparkle. Boyfriend jeans, stripy top, blazer, with some heels and a cross-body sparkle bag. Perfect for a Christmas pub lunch!

Sequin chain bag in copper - £37.90

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Illustrating Fashion

Tonight I went to see a wonderful exhibition at Somerset House of the fashion illustrator René Gruau. His illustrations are synonymous with Christian Dior and were used throughout the last century for Christian Dior perfumes, as well as sketches of iconic Dior outfits (which were some of my favourites). 

My drawing skills are non-existent and the times I have attempted to sketch, it resembles something a child would produce...if not worse. But I love fashion illustrations...they are beautiful and inspiring. I got a book for Christmas last year “100 Years of Fashion Illustration” and it is a treat. So if you know anyone who loves fashion, you could do worse than buying them a book of fashion illustrations...or if you’re near London, take them to see the René Gruau exhibition!

p.s. Happy Thanksgiving to anyone reading this in the USA...or in fact any American reading this based anywhere...such as my wonderful friend Michelle, a committed Edna reader, based in Perth!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Winter warmers

I haven’t done a little fashion shoot in a while, so tonight’s blog shows one of my fail safe winter outfits. Layers, layers and more layers.

I won’t bore you with all the layers underneath the dress (there are lots) but the dress is one of my favourites that I’ve blogged about before. It’s fitting that in the week of the latest H&M frenzy, I show one of my outfits from a previous H&M collaboration, last year’s Sonia Rykiel collection. Both the black swing dress and the Edna infamous black gilet are from there and will be on my back loads this winter. Both are wool...both are warm.

I'm trying to show the swing of the dress!

The coat is the Juicy Couture number I bought at London Fashion Weekend for...wait for it...£60 (I know!). Even Mr W has said he thinks the coat is one of my best ever buys!

The boots are the fur lined, over the knee leather beauties bought in desperation in the depths of the Copenhagen winter last December.

The handbag is last week’s £10 bargain.

And the necklace was a present from my mum!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Hats On

So the Lanvin for H&M collection went on sale today...and sold out pretty much immediately. Did you have any luck getting hold of anything? Did you queue outside for hours? If you did, you’re a much more committed shopper than I am!

I know my sister made a brave attempt to buy online at 7.30 this morning but had no luck at all. I guess it’s a big marketing ploy – fan the flames of shopping excitement, don’t have enough stock to go around...and never, ever prepare your website so that it can cope with the volume of traffic. If it seems so hard to get hold of anything, it adds to the excitement and exclusivity of the collection.

Not that I’m bitter or anything!

I’m having a bit of a winter theme with the last few posts on Edna...and given that snow is possible later this week, it’s still all I can think about. How to stay warm in the freezing cold?

A hat is essential. I cannot survive the winter without them. Each year I buy a new one to add to my collection...also because for some reason the hat I’ve pretty much lived in and loved the previous winter doesn’t seem to look right the following winter! (I can feel Mr W rolling his eyes at this statement already!)

I’ve never heard of this brand before but Asos stock Catarzi hats and there is many a hat I would like to have sitting jauntily on my head this winter.

Catarzi felt riding hat - £23

Catarzi felt trilby with ribbon - £23

Catarzi bowler hat - £25

Catazrzi felt school cap - £25

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Wrap up Winter

I always get to this point in the year and feel as if somehow autumn has completely missed me and we’ve gone straight from the tail-end of summer into utterly freezing winter. All my light-weight jackets only seem to get an airing in the spring...I go straight from summer cotton jackets to multiple layers and a big winter coat on top. And not to be too depressing on a dark Sunday night in November but we’ve got months of it left!
However, there is something cosy and reassuring about putting on a thick winter coat and heading out into the chill. A good winter coat makes the winter bearable and enjoyable. As long as it’s not chucking it down with rain, I love going out for winter walks and feeling the cold on my face. And if it’s snowing it is physically impossible to keep me indoors!

So as we edge further into winter, I’ve done a round-up of some of my favourite winter coats on the high street. The most expensive is £129, so none of them are financially horrifying...though given we live in a cold(ish) country, a good winter coat is an investment worth making. I have quite a classic military styled black woollen winter coat with satin detailing which is about five years old and gets worn a lot every single winter.

Red Herring black blanket coat - £36

Peacocks ladies Victoriana coat - £40

Butterfly by Matthew Williamson black flecked cape coat - £63.75

M&S collarless coat - £69

Topshop faux sheepskin cape - £70

River Island light brown swing coat - £74.99

Uniqlo +J wool singled breasted coat - £99

Asos premium dip back coat - £100 (gorgeous coat but a shame that they seem to have a child modelling it!)

Dahlia buckle detail check coat - £110 (would probably pair with clothing on my bottom half just to make the outfit winter proof!)

Wallis 1948 red bow back skirted coat - £120 (but 20% off everything online until midnight Monday)

Zara mao collar coat - £129

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Stripes from Max C

This is turning into a bit of a Max C week. Not only has my new red Max C handbag cheered me up no end but this week’s lust item is also from Max C.

I spotted this dress in the same shop where I bought the bag and fell in love immediately. You know how much I love a stripe and to find a stripey dress with so much lovely detailing was a dream! It was £35 and with the 20% discount was down to £28 (it’s £40 on the Max C website).
But Edna readers, you would be proud of my self-control because I didn’t buy it...or even try it on! It is much easier to resist buying clothes in winter because of the ordeal of trying it on. Just the prospect of having to peel all the layers off is so unappealing that I have to either be so convinced that I am going to buy it and completely in love or find a stack of clothes to try on, so that the time taken in undressing is equalled by the length of time in trying on!

On Thursday’s shopping trip I knew I shouldn’t buy it and couldn’t face the ordeal of undressing just for one dress. So on the hanger it stayed.

But it has stayed with me and I’ve been musing on the multitude of ways I would wear it. And for now, I thought it warranted a little appearance on Edna as my lust item this week.

Friday, 19 November 2010

The £10 handbag

Here is my £10 bargain bin Max C handbag (I did quite literally fish it out of a bargain bin!). I've customised it with a little monkey!

My friend Lisa also found a little beauty in the we were both very pleased with ourselves. We got them in an amazing shop called Style Showroom in the gorgeous Kingly Court next to Carnaby Street. I'd never been in there before and was beside myself with excitement wandering around! Amazing dresses, accessories, knits...and handbags! And all reasonably priced. They don't seem to have a website so it looks like a treat for Londoners only at them moment, I'm afraid!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Fashion failure

I've been a blogging failure this day job has been killing me and leaving very little time or energy to do anything else other than sleep. I promise by the weekend that I will make some time for Edna and stop the neglect!

I have been at the Carnaby Street 20% off EVERYTHING shopping night tonight...which has given me some fashion inspiration (and helped me recover from work!) so will blog about it at the weekend. I've also cheered myself up with a bargain bin purchase of a £10 Max C will follow!

I hope that with rest this weekend, my sanity will return...and fashion inspiration!!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Short, sweet inspiration

I have only just finished my working day (aaarrggghhh!) and have no time to blog as I need to sleep (though on a plus, I have more network coverage tonight!). I thought I would just post a photo for fashion inspiration of someone turning into a big fashion crush for me...Carey Mulligan.

I could post many photos of her; I've loved so many outfits. They're youthful and fresh but also elegant...which can be a difficult combination to do successfully.

I'm intending to copy this outfit - big, mid-length skirt with simple tank top and statement heels - this festive season. It's such a breath of fresh air in the festive onslaught of sequins and sparkle!

Monday, 15 November 2010

Blogging Nightmare

I'm having a blogging nightmare. I am in Brussels for a couple of days and had planned to properly blog from here (tis the modern age, surely internet access is no issue in Belgium's capital?!). However, I am operating with one tiny bar of network coverage and just opening my blogger account has taken 10 minutes! So I think until Wednesday I may be limited to text only blogging...and will have to keep it brief!

Please don't abandon Edna...I'll be back at full network strength on Wednesday and promise a good blog then!

For tonight, I'm only posting a link to a blog I love and the shop where you can buy the illustrations. It's the fashionable rabbit Fifi Lapin. I love her prints - they are quirky and wonderful and cheer me up no end on this slightly depressing Monday night!

I managed to post a picture...hurrah! Last year, Topshop collaborated with Fifi Lapin on Christmas cards, which were wonderful. You can buy prints off the website and the new book "What Shall I Wear Today"...possibly Christmas present territory!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Mawi Statement Necklace

I’ve got a couple of weeks of big meetings ahead of me, when I have to wheel out my super smart work wear and channel uber-businesswoman (that’s the aim, anyway!).

I mentioned a few weeks ago in Edna’s work wear week that I tend to keep my smart work wear quite simple – a limited colour palette, quite classic styles but with a twist and that I dress them up and give them some personality with accessories.

The accessory that makes a huge difference for my work wardrobe is a big statement necklace. It gives character to an otherwise simple outfit and makes me feel like I don’t completely disappear into the corporate grey background!

For this week’s lust item, I have chosen a statement necklace that would cheer up all of my work wear. It’s from a range that jewellery designer Mawi has done for Asos.

I love Mawi – most of it isn’t for the faint-hearted being very bold and with a large dose of quirk. I have a skull necklace that I bought from Cocosa at quite a big discount, which is a little more discreet and I can wear with lots of different outfits. There are actually regular Mawi sales on Cocosa, so if you do love Mawi you should sign up for Cocosa and keep an eye out for them (if you’re not already a member, let me know and I can email you an invitation).

Anyway, the range for Asos is obviously a lot cheaper but still retains the look and feel of the mainline Mawi collection.
If I was feeling flush, this necklace would be joining me at my meetings over the next week. Alas, I am not so for now it is only making an appearance on Edna!

Mawi gunmetal and gold row necklace - £65

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Looking forward to Lanvin

Prepare yourself, ladies, because on 23 November it is likely to be handbags at dawn on the British High Street. There will surely be tears, some squabbles, maybe even scuffles. On 23 November the latest H&M designer collaboration launches and it is with the king of the cocktail dress, Lanvin. 

I've bought clothes from the H&M collaborations before - a very chic white shirt from Karl Lagerfeld and a dress and my beloved black gilet form Sonia Rykiel last year. It can be a bit hit and miss at times and I think it's best for all of us if we overlook the Madonna collections! 

But Lanvin looks like it is going to be a very big hit. The dresses are phenomenal and really are recognisable as Lanvin dresses (obviously the quality is not going to be quite the same but who cares when it's never been in your reach anyway!). 

And there are accessories - jewellery, shoes, bags...the lot! 

It pains me to say this but I won't be buying anything this year. A combination of bathroom renovations, roof repairs and electricians has meant the shopping coffers have dried up. So I am admiring from a distance and wishing Edna readers the best of luck in next week's competitive shopping event...handbags at the ready!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Oasis Top Ten

Tonight I’m going to be brief...I've been worn out with work and have barely a word left in me! So more photos than words!

I decided to visit one of my favourite shops and pick my top here are my favourite ten items from Oasis (I ignored all the stripes, which you know I love, as it would have been a little dull to have a stripe dominated top ten!).

And, to further encourage shopping, there is 20% off online until 16th November...the code to use is on the website.

Animal print dress - £50

Ruffle hem dress - £55

Sheer lace insert blouse - £45

Pinspot pencil skirt - £40

Tokyo car coat - £95

Drape aspen jacket - £80

Contrast strappy dress - £75

Alexa heeled desert shoe boot - £65

Ava satchel - £40

Filigree chandelier earrings - £10
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