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Archive for November, 2009

I just had a frightening thought when i imagined my life without bundlebox.com.

This is the new service that lets you have your own PO box address in the US in which you can store purchases from US websites before posting to the UK. No this is not a dream.

They bundle it all together and help you save a packet on shipping costs- not to mention decreasing C02 emissions from posting separately! This stellar idea also gives you that nostalgic feeling of waiting for Christmas to arrive as you count the days until your box of delights arrive.

At the moment I am patiently awaiting my delivery of new Joe Jeans. Having had trouble deciding on a skinny or high waisted pair, I came across the Skinny Visionaire style. They are a high waisted skinny style with five pocket styling and a clean finish.

They are medium wash denim and have mild distressing throughout and worn spots at edges. Just the perfect thing for weekend mooching or teaming with heels and a fur crop for mid-week PVs. The only problem I have had with bundlebox is not knowing when to stop. I already have my eye on a few other things that will just have to wait patiently before they take up residence in my US half-way house, then the long haul to London.

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The torture that ensues when you are growing out a fringe is something that is glossed over as you sit with your eyes pressed shut and the stylist gently snips away at the front of your hair.

The thing I have always found with having a fringe cut is that if you leave it long enough before having it cut, you forget how annoying it was to maintain the last time. Of course it looks fresh, new and dare I say sexy when your peepers are just visible and this wispy fringe gives your face a whole new dimension.

The problem comes when the fringe takes on a life of its own and you are left with three options; (1) let the thing grow out, (2) Go and have the fringe trimmed at the salon every five minutes, or (3) take matters into your own hands, I mean how hard is it to cut a fringe? In the past, during an attempt to be cost effective and pro-active, I unfortunately took option three and spent the best part of two months with my hair pinned back at the front. I am all about watching what I spend, but some things are best left to professionals!

I am at the decision-making time again with my fringe and thankfully my new obsession with gorgeous headbands is the saving grace! Some of the best I have found on my travels are from www.pretaportobello.com. This is a fashion market on the net, dedicated to selling fashion and accessories direct from the world famous Portobello Road and other fashion markets. The range of delectable headbands come from a designer called Sido.

The range includes a 1920s inspired one with a gorgeous sequined motif (above) available in silver, pink, gold and black. I also love the oversized black bow headband (left). It’s girly but packs a punch on the style front. Priced from £18 these accessories are the perfect finishing touch for day and evening wear.

Then again, I love my fringe so may just have these two lovlies on stand-by for those days my fringe and I need a break from each other.

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I am so in love with Christmas gifts that have a proper purpose and can be kept forever. The boring thing is that when I find something I think would be great I think that everyone should have it!

This year during my first bout of Christmas gift research in London, I discovered artist Trey Speegle’s paint by numbers plates.

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Basically, you purchase the kit which includes a plate and all the bits and pieces and you set about creating you masterpiece. The plate already features the artists cool design so it is just a case of filling in the blanks! Easy, fun and a perfect stocking filler. Available at http://www.anthropologie.com

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Jimmy Choose?

This week I wondered what all the fuss about Jimmy Choo for H&M. Is a label so sought after? whats the use in that if piece is going to fall apart after a week. It has to have some quality- otherwise it just isnt worth it. Out of interest I surfed across to Ebay UK to see how many people had posted their freshly bought wares on their and astonishingly there was 2,100. From shoes to a fur gilet, purses and statement necklaces. It was all there for the taking, plus an added 40% on the sale price. The sad thing is that people are buying them too.

I think bargain chic is on the out. When I am shopping now it is not about how cheap I can get something, it is about substance of it. I might have had a niggling of guilt as I eyed up a gorgeous pair of £800 YSL boots the other day, but I am making myself not think about them in the hope that I will either forget about them or that I will realise that I would wear them for years to come and never grow tired of them.

I think the difference between a pair of boots that cost more and a pair from the high street is that you just feel better and that makes you look better.

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I could’nt wait to get home, log on and tell you all about my new favourite website- http://www.polyvore.com.

polyvore

It is a user-generated fashion magazine filled with user-generated ads. You can basically play at being your own fashion editor and create collages featuring pictures of clothes, accessories and models from across the Web.

Readers view the collages, which the site calls “sets,” and if they click on a dress or necklace, they are taken to the Web site that sells it- its sartorial magic and I love it!

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Julia Smith and Joanne Stoker in their new store on Porchester Place.

I find I ask myself more and more, what it is that makes me fall in love with something in a store, on a website or on a friend and need to have it. We get pictures in our head of how something will look on us and grasping at this fantasy can become a reality for us if we just open our purse, slide the plastic across a counter and beep beep beep beep, its ours, in a bag with a curly receipt jumping right in after it.

No matter if you find something in a store or had it delivered. Everything you need to know is in that first and touch. You slip it on and just ‘know’.

I had a ‘just knowing’ feeling this week when I attended the launch of Julia Smith and Joanne Stoker’s store on 4 Porchester Place in London. The  ex London College of Fashion students and up-and-coming designers are from East London and won a competition to have their own shop for four months and shoe designing legend Jimmy Choo as a mentor. What a dream!

Julia Smith is an ethical clothing designer, using recycled materials and reclaimed fabrics. Her fellow proprietor, shoe designer Joanne Stoker has worked for a number of labels and this year she was shortlisted for an Italian design award. She has also collaborated with Topshop New Generation.

The ethical dresses, tailored coats and bespoke shoes are original, unique versatile and doing their bit for sustainable fashion. I have a feeling I will be popping into the super shiny store again soon to check out how these girls are settling in. I am also curious to hear what they have been learning from their mentor, take some notes and make my very own selection.

I think it is the story behind the things I buy that makes me love them. A story paints a picture in your head and although I love words, I prefer to look at the images in books and magazine.

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As I blitzed through my beyond funky Spotify.com playlist in preparation for my ‘welcome the winter’ party, a thought occurred to me. Do I really need to buy something new (a) for the the party or (b) for winter? It could be true that my wardrobes are full to bursting capacity and that there are four cases of forgotten Autumn/Winter clothes in the attic.

However, in the fine words of Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant ‘leaves are fallin on the ground, and it is time I was on my way’. In my case this can only mean to find my next sartorial wonder. I find the colder months of the year are full of so much opportunity when it comes to enjoying the cosier things in life.

My top three finds for this week include; An immaculately tailored Uniqlo +J coat  (£79 Uniqlo.co.uk) , a pair of flat black thigh high studded boots from faith (£140 http://www.faith.co.uk) to be worn religiously through-out winter with 70 denier black tights from Walfords (£19 http://www.walfords) and finally a ultra chic vintage handbag from birdynumnum.com. Priced from £20 this the site is perfect for finding lovingly reworked vintage statement neckpieces and evening bags fit to rock it out with you on the party scene this winter.

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