Enter the French


Ok so France has always and will always be a hothouse for amazing fashion and designers....I mean it gave birth to the greats Chanel, Dior, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Herm├Ęs to name a few and I can imagine it must be hard for the smaller to compare or compete with these giants. But here are two French labels on the rise.

(Photo courtesy of Gerard Darel) 
So the Gerard Darel has been on the scene for years, but Britain and the United Kingdom only seem to be cottoning on now to how great this label is, and it's quickly gaining a huge following. I mean it does help when Angelina Jolie steps outs in one of your Maxi dresses and sporting one of your bags, along with Jessica Alba and Hallie Berry. I suppose it also helps when you have the beautiful and talented model/actress Mamie Gumner to be the new face of GD, oh and did I mention she happens to be Meryl Streep's daughter? But saying all of this, the reason why high profile people are wearing the label is because the simply make great, stylish, chic and well tailored clothing in true French style. Not only is there women's line fantastic so are there bags, which are getting equal attention in the press at the moment. Perhaps I am a little bit biased, on the fact that I recently bought a Gerard Darel winter/mid-length blazer/coat which has become a firm favourite in my wardrobe, simply due to the perfect tailored fit and high quality finish of it, I personally am not disappointed and will be sticking with them for a while.

 So another label coming up at the speed of lighting is Zadig and Voltaire, who seem to be everywhere at the moment.....just paging through Glamour and Vogue you will come across there current advert (seen at the top) who who stars Sean Lennon and Charlotte Kemp in true Parisian style. The founder of Zadig comes from a good pedigree you could say, as he happens to be the son of one of the founders of Lacoste. There current line is full of rocky edgy designs using delicate fabrics such as cashmere, washed silk, lace and metallic leather, with glittered skulls and studded eagles it's easy to see why it's become one of rock’n'roll star, Coco Sumner (she was most recently on the cover of Love Magazine) favourite labels. Zadig has recently opened there 2nd shop in London and I look forward to more from this youthful label.

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Drury Petit Salon Jewellery Pop up Show


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Macha Jewellery LookBook (courtest of Macha Jewlery)

Well I know it's a little late, as LFW has now been and gone....but so much was seen and done over that week. it's hard to get it all up at the same speed you take everything in. I forgot to mention the great little pop-up showcase that I went to – the Drury Petit Salon. The venue was beautiful and was located just below Hayato Hair Salon on Drury road. The show featured 5 jewellery designers, some just recently graduate but all equally talented. Bernice of Macha jewellery was kind enough to invite me to the private view....and after a long day of walking around and big crowds it was nice to enjoy a smaller venue with a glass of wine and stunning jewellery - I mean what more could you ask for. Bernice's label, Macha Jewlery had started while she was living in New York (so jealous) and continued after her return to London and is now stocked in an array of international boutiques, I loved her jewellery is was edgy and rock and roll inspired and beautifully hand finished. Coco Kato's collection was full of fine threads and pearls, delicate little rings, almost whimsical but innovative and wearable. Takafumi had very interesting and innovative designs, especially his intricate double round rings with little glass bubbles in it, I just could not get over the amount of work that would go into making that. Yumeko's  feather bracelets were simply stunning and I really really want one, she takes real feathers and curls them in a bracelet shape and dips them in various metals, creating totally one-off, fine and fragile feather bracelets.  Akiko's work was also very individual, infact I don't think there was one piece there that was the same as she uses a melting technique to create what can only be described as dark and sinister but attractive and desirable. It was a really inspiring showcase, which is the great thing about boutique style jewellery, it's individual, it's hand-made and it's not factory driven.

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Getting ready for the Fall



I love this shirt.....it's warm but not too warm....so as the seasons change and it slowly get's colder this is great for wearing in the Day. The skirt is made by True - but I have also done some DIY alterations and added the jagged lace which you just about see in this photo (it comes half way down the skirt), the belt I bought from alittle vintage store in the South of France. The hat is from H&M and the black pumps are from the Office
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Photo's from the street - LFW



As you can image there were loads of cool people at London fashion week....there were also alot of people who were neither press or traders but dressed up to be photographed, anyway lot's of inspiration....now where is my needle and thread
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40 Winks Showcase - 6 Designers


40 Winks boutique hotel

Why of all the weekends does London City have to shut down the whole of Jubilee line (the line I needed because I was staying in Swiss Cottage) and parts of Hammersmith & City and District line during London Fashion Week, so frustrating especially if you wanted to get to the 40 Winks Pop-up Showroom in East London's Mile End. Well anyway after having to make a million changes on the underground and walk from Whitechaple to Stepney Green (which was interesting in itself) I finally made it to what has been quoted as "the most beautiful small hotel in the world" by German Vogue, and it did not disappoint. Going through the very Grand front door I was greeted by the rather eccentric proprietor and interior designer David Carter, who had someone come up with a cup of tea and slippers (as it was a shoeless house). The showcase was spread over three floors with 6 designers each been given a space in which to display their collections.

Alexandra K design
The first designer I had a chance to look at was Alexandra K, who had recently graduated with a degree in Fashion and Textiles from the University of West England and had showed her collection at the London Graduate Fashion Week in 2008. She had both her Spring/Summer and Winter/Fall collections, which were inspired by architecture and the belle epoque period with interesting use of structure and curves and intricate detailing. She used such beautiful materials from fine silks to silk organza and feathers to produce extremely luxurious items that had been hand-crafted to such a high standard and despite only recently graduating she had a full and varied collection and I was thoroughly impressed.

Ruti Danan designs
 The second designer who is somewhat of an industry veteran was Ruti Danan, who creates one off, made to measure couture evening dresses. She learnt her craft from Alexander McQueen and many a celebrity has worn her creations, including Kylie Minogue, Elle Machpherson, Naomi Campbell and Nicole Kidman to name a few. The use of deep reds and greens gives the dresses a magical and romantic quality and the beautiful tailoring reveals her expertise in cutting and draping luxurious fabrics to enhance the female body. Ruti was kind enough to let me choose a dress for the model to try on....and it looked so fantastic, a perfect fit. Ruti also launched her new collection of chiffon cami scarfs at 40 winks. The only downfall is perhaps her collection is simply not very accessible, only been sold in one shop in Covent Garden, which is not a bad thing as exclusivity is key in her company, but I felt it was perhaps marketed for a slightly older generation, or for those who are willing to pay a lot of money for something that would really only be worn once as they where designed specifically for red Carpets or very special events.

Atelier Annick Bags
The third designer was French born Atelier Annick, whose parents originate from the Cote-D'ivoire and from which she draws her inspiration for her handbag collection. The African theme runs through most of her designs and uses a mix of fabrics creating a fusion of interesting textures. She has showed her bags at the highly acclaimed Pret A Porter show in Paris, were she will be showing again in October. Having been born in Cape Town myself I loved her high-end zebra patterned bag, which retails at around £800.

Katherine Wadropper designer piece
Next up was the award winning textile/jewellery designer Katherine Wardropper who uses "sculptural fabric technique" to create her highly intricate and unusual statement accessories. Her collection consists of delicate brooches, neck pieces, hairpieces and belts that swirl and twist with elements of lace and bejewelled snowflakes. Fairytales and fantasy are the main themes with a hint of Victorian charm added in, her pieces are instantly recognisable and are a feast for the eyes as the detailing is incredible.

                                                                      Timothy Foxx Designs
 On the top floor was the tweed label Timothy Foxx, which is the brainchild of Rosalie Eustace. She combines traditional British Tweed with an eclectic range off fabrics giving a new lease of life to old tradition and English heritage. She sources most of her tweed from the Isle of Lewis in Scotland, making it a true British Label. Her collection comprises mainly of tweed skirts with colourful lining and funky silk splits, as well as a beautiful tailored collection of jackets. She also told me that she is working on a range of leather bags. Her label is an interesting concept, I just wonder though what the staying power of a label only really dealing in tweed designs and how much of market there is for that, well I wait to see.

                                                                Dress by Lisa Gibson
The last designer and possibly the youngest, was the just graduated Lisa Gibson, who had recently shown her work at the London Graduate Fashion Show. Lisa had the smallest collection out of everyone and you could see she still had a way to go to find her own sense of being within the industry - not to say her collection was not good because it was, the designs where beautifully hand made, very fragile little pieces, dresses and tops inspired by nature with wonderful flower details sown on. Lisa seemed very shy, unlike the more confident Alexandra, although she is very talented, I just hope she grows and becomes more self assured in her work.

Overall I was glade I came to see the showcase despite of the difficulties of getting there, I just hope for the designers that more people made the effort as all the work was of very high standard and all very different, which I one thing I must applaud 40 winks for doing, as it had something for everyone, evening dress, jewellery, bags, tweed, accessories you name it all set in what felt at times mad hatters tea party with douched in luxury.

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Outfit for 3rd day of London Fashion Week


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So by the third day my feet where hurting so I opted for flats......with my favourite style of the moment - turned up jeans and no socks. So this is my kind of vintage geek look - vintage Shirt and belt and Vintage Italian bag paired with an Alex and Co jacket and Next skinny jeans with MK shoes bought in a boutique in Amsterdam.
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Sideshow Scrapbook has gone dot com

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So I have decided to go dot com

So please continue to follow me at

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Mulberry carnival and Nicole Farhi


So it was an early start and I did not want to be late for the 10:00am Mulberry salon show at the one and only Claridges Hotel in London. The one word that pop straight into my mind walking in was opulent...it almost felt like fashion on an LCD carnival ride with every colour in a sort of mixing pastel shade that had melted into each other without any conflicts or contridictions, so wrong yet so right. As Mulberry described it in their press brief - "This season Mulberry gives us a dreamy take on schoolgirl crushes and fairground iconography", inspired by Sofia Coppola's virgin suicides and Tim Walkers photography this may give you a feel of what I mean. The show started with a sort of distorted fairground jingle as the first extremely tall and thin model came around with alittle pug dog in tow. The bags and outfits were of course of the highest quality and were all amazing and very decadent in style with lots of subtle colour,seasonal prints and oversized details, just like the oversized hair of the models. The heels came both in high and mid hight and most where covered in tassels, while the little betty bow sandals feature cute ankle ties. Fuzzy floral and crazy carousel's really was the running theme. The bags consist of subtle changes on there iconic series with a few new editions, the one standing out for me was the bright neon pink leopard print one that really screamed teen angst and youthful edgyness. I really felt I had stepped into another world, it was like one big dream, I had to shake myself back into reality when I left.

Another amazing venue and show was the Nicole Farhi at the Royal Opera house. Nicole Farhi launched her collection in 1982 and has been showing since London Fashion Week began. Thank-fully the weather was good because the show was running quite late which meant a lot standing around. The house was packed out and the runway was in a sort of sharp-edged figure 8. I stood above the runway and had a great view. Her designes consisted of quite a geometric theme with lots of straight, architectural lines and blocks of colour. Also a few loose knits and vests and dresses with stripes and lines running through most. Overall her collection was very impressive, quite safe but also with enough interesting details and accessories to keep that individual feel

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On/Off Ones to watch catwalk show at LFW


I was wondering if I had been too harsh about the A La Mode catwalk, and looking back the designs where not terrible, some where in fact quite interesting, but they just didn't compare to the professionalism of the equally youthful  (in fact actually younger) designers showcasing their work on the On/Off stage, who's work was of such a high standard of craftsmanship and with such flowing and intricate designs, the A La Mode designs seemed in comparison too simple and badly fitted with lower quality materials used. Anyway with that out of the way....here's what I thought of On/Off

On/Off launched in 2007 to showcase and introduce emerging and pioneering designers and giving them exposure on a UK and International stage. This show featured four progressive designers who had been carefully selected by On/Offs Fashion director Claire Ginzler and included Joanna Vanderpuije, Michela Carraro, Prose Studio and Yang Du. This event was sponsored by clothing at Tesco's and to celebrate the partnership each designer had been given the chance to design a one off piece of clothing for Tesco's, which were on display in the reception area, and despite them being under the tesco's label, they were all stunning. While waiting for the catwalk reception too open, On/Off had taken over a floor to use as an exhibition area for all the designers that would be involved with their catwalk over the week, it was a great opportunity to walk around at see the collections. Once the reception, invite only area was open you were welcomed with champagne and buzzing room full of young fashionable people, one man stood out too me....he had white trousers and Yacht shoes with a fly blue mac that was buttoned up with a tied belt, he was just so dapper. As well as the tesco one-off designs, also on display was some fashion short films projected to the walls, unlike a lot of events this one ran pretty smoothly and on time.

Prose Studio Designs

After taking my seat the show started within 5 minutes with Prose Studios taking stage first. Prose studios is a design duo - Sabine Egler and Miriam Lehle who describe their vision in women's wear as pure aesthetic language. Earlier this year they presented their first collection at Rendez-vous femme in Paris. Their designs were free and flowing, interesting prints with a small hint of an African animal theme and wonderful use of colour. The fabrics were soft and just seemed to fall in place, showing off the female form without clinging to it.

Michela Carraro Designs
The next designer was the Italian born but London based Michela Carraro, who graduated from London College of Fashion in 2007. She had  capsule collection exhibited at the Milan Fashion Centre during September 2008 Milan Fashion Week and she has worked with high profile designers such as Alexander McQueen and Danielle Scutt. Her collection comprised of draped dresses and billowing blouses with a feeling of greco style and layering effects. Mainly using pastel colours combined with the beautiful and intricate shoulder details, her designs are like works of Art, really stunning.

Joanne Vanderpuije designs

Next up was the fashion and textiles designer Joanne Vanderpuije, who like Michela has also worked with Alexander McQueen and most recently designed prints for Diane Von Furstenberg in New York. Her designs where filled with sharp edges and angular lines combined with her graphic hand drawn screen prints to create a fresh and exciting collection. I loved her perspex snowflakes sowed onto a skirt that just created that extra dimension that cannot help but catch your eye.

Yang Du Designs

The last designer of the day was Yang Du from China who had recently graduated with an MA in Fashion design from St Martins. she has assisted high profile designers including Vivienne Westwood and Giles Deacon and was awarded the St Martins prestigious Colin Bornes Drawing Prize in 2008. Out of all the designs hers where probably the boldest and most risky, with bright colours and animal cartoon like faces printed on many of the garments. One of the things that stood out for me where the knitted blue bunny ears. the interesting backpack and the bat jumper. It really was a feast for the eyes and you couldn't look away whether you liked it or not.
Overall the On/Off "Ones to Watch" was a great event, showcasing four very talented designers, whose work was off the highest standard. The music was mixed very well and everything appeared to run very smoothly....I left very impressed.

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Quick update from LFW



London fashion week street style
                                                         Lot's of street style at LFW

On/Off catwalk
Prose Studio design from On/Off Catwalk at LFW

On/Off catwalk
                                     Black tights was the accessory of the day.

Ok so just a very very quick post.....so I am at London Fashion Week and it's pretty crazy and insane here in best of ways. I attended an amazing show today in the Strand 120 building...called On/Off presents "Ones to Watch"....a show designed to feature four progressive designers (who have been carefully selected) to enable them more exposure to a wider audience. The four designers where Joanna Vanderpuije, Michela Carraro, Prose Studio and Yang Du, and I have to say they all produced extremely high quality collections. There are some great exhibitions going on and the Match pop-up shop is fantastic. The A La Mode catwalk...was unfortunately in one word - disappointing, an independent Catwalk (and therefore not overseen by London Fashion Week itself) was badly organised with the music being way to loud and not mixed properly, the presenter was under experienced and stumbled - a lot, and the designs bar a few were badly fitted and not of  the high standard expected in the industry today and neither were the models used, which is a pity beacause the venue was beautiful, small and intimite which is perfect for a boutique catwalk. I was really hoping the event was going to showcase five talented designers that perhaps could not get onto the LFW proper circuit and I really was crossing my fingers for this event to be good, but it simple was not. There were one or two outfits that were fairly interesting by MYA and Veronique B though but overall very disappointing, and I was not the only one who shared this opnion, as the room was full at the beginning of the evening and by the end the capacity had dropped to less than half. But never fear, lots more to see and do and today I am off to the 40 winks pop-up showcase, LFW exhibition to see the Fred Perry ready to wear line, the Showstudio exhibition and the private view of Macha Jewellery. I have also decide to stay for abit of sunday aswell after been given an invite to the Nicole Farhi catwalk show and the private viewing of Ghost's summer/spring collection.....full reviews to follow.

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London Fashion Week and my 1st Day Outfit


Canon cameras

So London fashion week has arrived and I am off to the big smoke for Saturday and Sunday, unfortunatly I have University and cannot stay longer than that...but it should be an experience...one that I am very much looking forward too. I will be attending the On/Off "ones to watch" show, Veryta Salon Show and A La Mode Catwalk...aswell as going to the 40 winks Pop up Shop and Hayato Jewellery showcase....so lot's will be reported back.

Personal style
So this is what I am wearing to day 1 of London Fashion week - Gerard Darel Jacket, Zara Top, Levi's and my Mulberry day bag
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What's happening.....Wales


Well with London Fashion week starting in just two days....so exciting, I will be attending the A La Mode catwalk show and some of the pop-up shops over the Friday and Saturday of LFW....of which I will be putting up lot's of posts.....so with all that excitement one can forget about other events that are happening right here in Wales. On the 2nd of October is the The Cardiff Design festival launch, the annual festival is a celebration of design and gives an opportunity for Welsh designers to showcase their talents in the fields of graphics, interior design, advertising and packaging to name a few. Events run through the duration of October and range from the Design Awards to showcases, talks and markets.

The Cribs - Photo taken by Me at SWN 2007

October is also when the SWN festival takes over Cardiff with some of the best music around It's over three days from the 22nd to the 24th of October. I went to this festival in 2007 and it was really good, loads of venues where invovled and it works in the same way as South by South West in the States where bands play in different venues across the city. Bands this year include The Pipettes, Cate le Bon and The Longcut to name a few.

Photo by Hype on Fashion

Another two events happening in the area is the Trendsetter party on the 1st of October at The Revolution Vodka Bar in Newport, a club night that celebrates fashion, creativity and paired with some great DJ's should be a good night. There is of coursee as I have mentioned before Bristol Fashion week from 26th Sept-4th Oct at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, which will have a catwalk show running everyday, showcasing the best the High street has to offer with labels such as Reiss, Jigsaw, LK Bennett, Whistles and Hobbs to name a few, there will also be hair advice and makeover styling from SAKS.
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