Thursday, 29 March 2012

The New Voltaire

Normally, I am a tailored clothes person. I love a sharply cut pair of trousers, an impeccably fitted blazer. I am a fan of having my clothes altered so they fit me to a T. But every once in a while, a girl needs to be comfy. Slouchy. So completely casual that she just oozes cool. So for my imaginary shopping trip today, I'm aiming for just that.

The inspiration for the look actually began with Candide. If you haven't read it, get your hands on a version translated to your native tongue (or read it en francais), because it's wonderful. Voltaire was a sharp cookie.
Anyway, this morning I was looking online for an antique edition of Candide to add to my small but growing collection of old books. I accidentally Googled "Voltaire" instead of "Candide" (it was early). And what do I find? Zadig et Voltaire, the French clothing line. Intrigued by their too-cool-to-do-laundry vibe, I started looking around the net, and that's when I found them. The pants that inspired my look today. So there you have it, Candide ---> pants in 4 steps. Skills.

The pants are thus: Slouchy and cropped, with patched knees and a near-neutral colour palette, I immediately fell in love with them. The very new-school-Japanese waist is a big factor. net-a-porter, £170

On top, I was feeling a slightly darker colour scheme. As a base layer, I want Chinti and Parker's organic cotton tank, in a slightly sheer taupe., £45

And on top of that, I wanted a dark, slightly metallic sweater to keep up with all things shiny this season. Chloe has a beautiful silver and forest green version with a loose open knit. I like that it looks worn in, like it's got a story to tell. net-a-porter, $1185

On my feet, I would wear Stella McCartney snake print ankle boots. The chunky wedge gives a tough edge to a beautiful shoe, and I love the colour palette here. Saks Fifth Avenue, $500

And a big silver cuff, also Zadig & Voltaire, to finish off., €950

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Sonia Rykiel Sunrise

Last night it was finally warm enough to sit outside at night and have a few drinks, a sure sign that spring is really here. Our rhubarb is starting to sprout, and that last chunk of snow in the shade is gone. But this morning it was still too cold for short sleeves, and too warm for knits. I was struck by my lack of long sleeved tops. And there are so many beautiful options out there!

So to start my look today, a radiant silk-georgette blouse from Sonia Rykiel. In beautiful sunrise colours, I really love the tiny gathers at the top of the sleeves, and the pale collar. net-a-porter, £655

To allow the shirt to be a focal point, I want neutral toned pants. I would wear the shirt tucked in, so I want pants with an interesting waist. Burberry Prorsum has a tapered cream trouser that I really like. Burberry online store, $1150

I was looking for other pieces in the same colours at that shirt, and what I found was a pair of perspex-heeled sandals from Stella McCartney. I love shoes, and these ones are beautiful! Stella McCartney online store, £565 

To accessorize, I would buy Roberto Cavalli's Doctor leather tote. Quilted with a crocodile effect, the colour won't detract from the bright pieces, but it still looks rich which is what I like about it. net-a-porter, £1420 

 And while I was looking through Cavalli pieces, I found a bright cocktail ring that I would kill for. I love over-sized floral rings, so this orange-enameled Swarovski embellished ring is right up my alley. net-a-porter, £290

Monday, 26 March 2012

Short Dress, Fur Vest

Lately I've been finding that I'm more and more into Stella McCartney. Maybe it's the huge injection of colour this year, I'm not sure, but in any case suddenly I have half a dozen pieces flagged that I want desperately.

Today I'm really feeling that whole short dress, fur vest look.

I'm going to start with one of those Stella McCartney pieces, a thigh-length silk and lace Joan dress in bright blue. (I really love all the vibrant blues this season, completely my favourite colour.), $1480

On top, I want an open fur vest. I know the fur vest trend emerged like two years ago, BUT, Antik Batik has done some amazing fur vests in the last couple of years, and for fall there is a huge trend for global tribal-inspired pieces (Antik Batik's signature). I love this pale grey rabbit fur vest especially. net-a-porter, sale price $269.50

I think the perfect companion for these two colours are wine-toned opaque tights. There is something about deep burgundy on the legs that I love, particularly with grey. Microfiber Opaque Tights in Maroon, We Love Colors, $12.50

On the feet, I would give a girly outfit a bit of an edge with Harrow boots from Rag & Bone in grey brushed leather. Love the chunky heel and raw leather straps, very urban cowboy. Rag & Bone online store, $495 

And a slouchy, practical leather bag is in order. I would use the leather boot straps to tie the bag into the outfit, so something in a dark chocolate or coffee colour. This BCBG messenger bag would be great slung low over your shoulder., $220.99

All in all, a total indie princess outfit for a busy day around town.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Spotlight On: Rag & Bone

So I've decided that once in a while, when I have a new brand crush, I will run a spotlight article on the line, building an entire outfit out of their pieces. Gives me a chance to get to know the brand better overall, and let's me show what I feel their vibe is on the blog.

Today I'm doing a spotlight on Rag & Bone, who's chunky winter coats I've liked for a while, but whom I've never before looked at closely for everyday. For those who don't know them well, they are a relatively young brand, started in the USA in 2002. My impression after going through their last few seasons is that the line focuses on several well tailored shapes per season, which are duplicated in a few high quality fabric combos. I actually really like this, because if you are a fan of the rather graphic overall shape, there are options for casual and work in the same cut. A blazer that you love for summer in navy and electric orange will also come in a sober charcoal merino.

Since it is the start of spring though, I'm going to go for bright, clean and transitional, something these guys do well.

To start, one of my favourite things on their site right now, the turquoise eyelet long sleeve top, $275

On top of that, I would wear the white merino Bromley Blazer with blue piping, $495

The blazer needs a sharp line, but the casual top needs something equally laid-back. Crisp white linen blend shorts will do the trick, a nod to warmer temperatures. $275. 

On my feet, I would go for white nubuck leather ballet flats, $295. Love the toe detail, with the geometric seam.

As for accessories, I absolutely love Rag & Bone's cork handbags this season. Simple and chic, with a caramel leather wrist strap, it's an interesting and practical day bag. $220. Also, the sunny yellow cotton Clement Scarf, to toss round my neck if it gets breezy. $115.


All in all, I really like the ease of this line. It's a very relaxed prep school feel, tailored just enough to feel well dressed, but still young and fun.
All pieces sourced from, and available at,

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Pretty in Peplums

Everyone is in love with The Peplum this year. This makes me ecstatic, because I've always loved the peplum, and it's nice to welcome everyone into the fold. And whether you want to wear it understated, small at the hem of a shirt, or huge and ruffled with a sculpted skirt underneath, it's sure to draw the eye.

Today I'm wishing for a piece from Peplum Paradise, aka Alexander McQueen's FW12/13 line. I've settled on a gorgeous silk and lace top in antique rose and deep black., £1,195

I would pair with D&G's stretch satin tuxedo inspired skinny trousers, in black. They have a bit of a sheen, and will create a sleek, long line below that peplum. net-a-porter, £230

A strong, striking, and yet still subtle shoe is required. It has to have a bit of an edge, be beautiful, and still complement the intricate top, not draw away from it. I wish I could wear all this with these YSL Trib Too platforms. A strong shape, to fit with the tux pants, with barely-there swirling embroidery, tying in with the feminine lace up top. Harrods, £485

And to accessorize, one of my favourite clutches, in it's SS12 reincarnation, the McQueen skull box clutch, this season in pale gold sequins. Wish I had one in every colour! net-a-porter, £1,265

Sleep Chic

This morning I woke up, twisted my half-asleep form out of bed, stood up, and promptly tripped over the dog. The result was a bump on the head and a rip in my favourite pajamas. Not to mention an indignant hound who no doubt felt I was up a bit too early for his liking.

Now, with dark roast in hand, I'm window shopping for some new sleep duds. Not that I won't get out the old Singer and sew up my faves, but it's nice to spend the morning dreaming.

 Stella McCartney makes adorable PJ's, and one of my first buys would have to be one of her silk playsuits. Today I'm really into this simple, deep blue number with adjustable straps. It would be great for lounging around the house in, comfy, but pretty. Harrods, £115.

Of course, sexy sleepwear doesn't always equate skimpy sleepwear. There is something to be said for swathing your body in gorgeous fabric when you climb into bed. If you, like myself, love a beautiful set of pajamas, you must, MUST look at some from Natori. Some of the most gorgeous pajamas I've ever seen, with bright Asian-inspired prints. Right now I love the silk charmeuse Miwa print., $190

Natori also does amazing couture caftans, which I would snap up if I could afford them. This silk Lotus print is so incredible. I would take this with me on a tropical holiday, and just walk from bed to beach. Perfect. 
Also, $2500

And of course, for chilly nights, you have to have something to keep the toes warm. I actually love bare feet, even when it's freezing, but every once in a while I really need something soft to snuggle my toes into (if warming them against my surprised boyfriend's leg doesn't work). Betsey Johnson makes some of my favourite footwear, including slippers. Super comfy, and with a signature hint of bad-ass, the classic leopard print slipper is my number one choice today. Zappos,, $34

Sleep Chic!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Keep It Colourful

My apologies for the absence of late!
  Today, I had a few ideas for a post rattling round in my head, but then I did my customary sweep over The Sartorialist (among the other amazing blogs I peruse with coffee in hand every morning), and the latest photo, which I've just seen now, has a small book in the hand of the stylish person. A journal I think, in the most beautiful pattern. Made me think of the intricate tile work you see in places like Jerusalem, or on walls in the old parts of Lisbon in Portugal. This in turn got me thinking about eye-catching patterns. So today I'm wishing for a handful of items covered in colorful designs. And as I've had a couple of requests from readers, I'll be including prices wherever I can in case anyone else wishes they had these as well.

 To me (and generally to everyone), Missoni reigns when it comes to patterned knits. The eye loves repetition,and the skin loves comfort, so right now I'm wishing for their SS12 strapless dress in sea green and lapis. It's gorgeous, and it has a built in strapless bra, so it's practical too! Net-a-porter, £1,210.

In keeping with the massive 20's trend going on, I would snap up this little number from Etro. Always intricate, this flapper-inspired dress really grabbed me. The added dimension of the big beads gives it a really playful, cut-and-paste feel that I love. Net-a-porter, £2,695.

  I'm really in a kick for bright wedges this spring, and I wish I had both of these, as I really can't choose between them. Firstly, from Burberry, these hypnotic sunburst prints, $1,150 CDN, which I love because the huge pattern and great heel are balanced by a very prim toe. And secondly, these strappy orange leather platforms by Tory Burch, £325, which are a great example of that flat platform look that dominated several runways for SS12. Both pairs would definitely brighten up my day the moment I slipped them on.

Any questions on where to find items, please let me know!