While us fashion obsessives are all flicking through the A/W shows and dreaming of fur, it’s time to take a reality check. Spring is on the way and I don’t have a thing to wear. Well, I have some pieces but there you go. Onwards and upwards. When it comes to fashion I love taking it all in, from the madness to the modern, it is all wearable art to me. Not that I would wear an awful lot of it, as it is beyond my budget and the fact that I am not Cara Delvingne. For the uninducted the new season goes a bit like this……….white is huge, monochrome even bigger, anything 60’s is back and for the young folk, add a sprinkling of grunge. However I have worn enough slip dresses in my life to know that to now go out in my nightie…….well, without anything else to support me, it would not be a good look. The last time I wore a slip dress Stephanie Seymour was on the cover of Vogue in Sant Angelo: a tiny slip of cream satin, all long limbs and supermodel hair. So for everyone who is donning one for the first time……….enjoy! For me, this season I am feeling a bit, well, American. Aerin Lauder (her grandmother was Estee Lauder and she is a global beauty guru and an all round perfect-looking-person) is a bit of a style icon of mine and I am loving her new line of beauty, accessories and homewares. She’s got it all, in the words of the great Patsy Stone. So here are MY TOP TWENTY PIECES that are top of the hit list for me for the new season. Enjoy.
My style inspiration Aerin Lauder
TED BAKER Orchid Treasured Jacket (£159)
I hate to admit this but I am not very good at casual. Some people, like Elle Macperson, just have it down to a fine art, do they not? All glossy caramel hair, gold watches, layered cashmere and impeccable manicured hands and toes. So casual is a bit of a struggle. When my niece puts on a parka she looks cool-girl-chic. I look like Vicky Pollard’s grandma. So this beautiful casual jacket by Ted Baker is the answer to all of my prayers. Floral but still beautifully tailored, with a cute hood, it is the full stop to my casual dilemma. Love it!
VICTORIA BECKHAM Power Stretch Lemon Jean (£175)
I do love a good quality jean. One lesson I have learned is that great jeans need to be made of top quality fabric – you buy cheap you buy more! These are from the extensive range at the infamous Cricket Boutique and they are simply stunning. A gorgeous shade and cut, and just the ticket if you want to add a bit of VB glamour to your wardrobe. Perfect with a plain white T.
REISS Olive Geometric Skirt (£95)
This skirt is all about being on trend for the season without being a fashion vicitm. Also available in cream (one of each please!) it is perfect for day to night dressing. Wear it with a classic white shirt for daytime, and swap for something more silky for the evening. The perfect way to show off tanned pins, this skirt is sexy and subtle at the same time. As always with Reiss, the quality is spot on.
MOSCHINO CHEAP AND CHIC Coat (£715)
There will always be part of me that wishes that I could dress like a princess every day, and I am sure even Kate Middleton doesn’t do that. I don’t buy this label often (more chic than cheap!) but when I do, it is always something beautiful, that I keep and wear, and never, ever let go of. The colour is pale mandarin, so all it needs is some black accessories. It’s not an everyday coat but then if all my wardrobe was full of was everyday things well, it just wouldn’t be me. A proper investment purchase.
J CREW Cafe Window Pane Check Trousers (£410)
Even for me, these are a bit out there, but I love them. Chanel did the window pane check to great effect and these trousers don’t need much else to dress them up. Just a white shirt, a great bag, and one of the new midi-heels. And pray Michelle Obama doesn’t wear them otherwise every other bugger on the planet will want a pair!
The jacket for a grown up gossip girl. I seem to have fallen in love with American fashion this year. I hate to say it, but these girls and guys do now how to make covetable pieces that you really want to wear. This one is seriously Jackie-O-meets-Anna-Wintour, and would look great with some dark denims or a white jean. Preferably going for a stroll around Monaco. Yes, dream on.
KURT GEIGER Good Sport Sandal (£95)
Tis the season of the serious flattie. Victoria Beckham sent her models out for the season decked in flat, knee high, pale biscuit gladiator boots and they looked smashing. Back in the real world, these are a bit more my style. It is really liberating to put on a proper flat shoe and it changes the way you dress. These are being saved for some tailored white shorts and brown legs. No boho for me. I want streamlined all the way.
Every now and then, I fall in love with a little LKB. I am not really a cork wedge kind of girl, but sometimes when something catches your eye……….. This bag is perfect for summer. It is roomy and buttery soft and the chain detailing adds a little toughness and a lot of luxe detail. I am so glad that the era of the ‘It’ bag is over and now we can just choose bags that we actually like. This one will be more than a summer love affair, that’s for sure.
LK BENNETT Satin Skirt (£175)
In the wrong hands, a pleated skirt can be a nightmare. However, I became a bit obsessed with them when I saw Charlotte weara Prada one in SATC. It was white with a red lipstick print, and I have never gotten over not owning one. This one by LKB is just right. The pattern, colour and cut set it apart, and like everrything else I like in print, I wear it with white. The clashing prints thing never worked on me, but this skirt will get me nearer to that Prada one, and that’s a step in the right direction.
SOMERSET by ALICE TEMPERLEY Cream Tailored Jacket (£190)
Bianca Jagger has a lot to answer for. Ever since she wore that white Le Smoking to marry Mick Jagger, she redefined what a sexy jacket could be. It stepped up from outerwear to a piece in its own right and something that needs no adornment. Minimalism is rearing its head again and as an aesthetic it really has some appeal – sharp, sleek tailoring never hurts. The worst thing you can do is wear it with boot cut black trousers – so ageing! Wear with a bright, jewel colour trouser and an even brighter shoe.
MARK MELIA Jumpsuit (£280)
There is something totally old-school Lauren Bacall about this jumpsuit. It is the epitmome of glamour and deserves an occasion all of its own. The sheer top allows for a little daring, the adornements lift the black, and the trousers are super-flattering. Mark Melia has been working away in Liverpool for over 20 years, making superb clothes that look like they belong on a Paris couture catwalk. Truly a thing of beauty.
CARLINE ISSA for LK BENNETT CANVAS SANDAL (£275)
As soon as I set eyes on the Caroline Issa range I wanted the lot, but forced into a corner I would go for these sandals. Classic design, beautiful embroidery, and for a high heel, oddly comfortable. Perfect for a summer wedding. To wear with………
CAROLINE ISSA for LK BENNETT CANVAS BOX CLUTCH BAG (£275)
Now that Vogue has decreed that matchy-matchy is OK again, it is time to co-ordinate shoes and bags, and I am more than happy about that. This is just a gorgeous little box bag, great for all those summer occasions heading our way. A little piece of fashion heaven.
REISS 1971 Hestia Dress (£139)
I love a white dress in summer but it has to be a careful choice. Anything maxi with a hint of cheesecloth gets the thumbs down. I love this new 1971 range and this dress is one you can dress up or down, and the coloured underlay sets its apart and adds a bit of depth. Great for holidays. Wear with metallics to give it a little edge.
I do love a nude shoe, but I am a bit bored of the almond-toe-with-a-platform (sorry Camilla P-B!) These by Kurt Geiger are adorable, super-smart and even though they are not the cheapest on the High Street, the quality and craftsmanship is the same that you would see in those ones with the red soles. Completely ladylike and utterly addictive.
I have a confession. I have unpierced ears. It is a style nightmare. The ones I usually manage to find online are a bit tacky so these, by my favourite designer, are just divine. They are a piece of Oscar style that I can finally add to my wardrobe. My ears will never be so well dressed!
RED VALENTINO Polka Dot Tulle Blouse (£285)
If I were a billionaire……….. I would live in Valentino. Until then there is the Red range, and I covet every single piece. Beautifully constructed, the coats and dresses are classic-with-a-twist, but this blouse is my pick of the bunch. Super-versatile, it will go from this season to the next with ease. Spot on!
CAROLINA HERRERA WHITE FRILLED SHIRT (U.S. only)
Ms. Herrera is known for her chic white shirts, which she even pairs with an evening skirt, which is a style ultimate. She has just launched a new range of all-white shirts and all ten are fabulous, but the frilled one is an ultimate buy. Worth a trip to NYC? For sure!
So if there is a trip to New York………… may as well have a great retail time! Aerin Lauder launched her cosmetics line last year and has now moved on to shoes and, as always, she does everything with impeccable taste. These gorgeous sandals are perfect for a party in the Hamptons. Or a party anywhere, really. Near-perfection for a shoe.
LANVIN Embellished Bow Dress (don’t ask the price!)
Every girl has her dream dress and this is mine. Exquisite gazar, with a huge bow on the back, it is draped and tailored and the ultimate in fairy tale dressing. Dare I say it would make the perfect wedding dress? Dream on, Part II!
Victoria Beckham at http://www.cricket-fashion.com
Moschino Cheap and Chic, J Crew, Tory Burch and Oscar de la Renta at http://www.net-a-porter.com
Somerset at http://www.johnlewis.com
Mark Melia at http://www.fashonfinds.co.uk
This blog post is especially for my good friend, Karen Caddick, a lady who has great taste in everything. Especially friends!