Well, you asked for it, the results of our little poll said so, Dedicated will continue to provide you with our favourites from all the worldwide fashion shows, starting with New York.
Whilst I always enjoy what New York has to offer, it doesn't get me the most excited (my fashion, stomach dwelling butterflies usually save their fluttering for London Fashion Week) This season, however, was quite the exception. I had the hardest time narrowing down this list to ten, and some exceptional collections have been left off (Carolina Herrera, Diane Von Furstenberg, Jenny Kayne, Suno) - I really don't want to just regurgitate the entire back catalog of Style.com images - so I have to limit these posts to my absolute favourites.
That said - there is one very notably left off this list - and that's Imitation of Christ, the collection was so devastatingly gorgeous that it deserves it's own post. So stay tuned. And with no further ado - this is my top ten (in no particular order) from the New York Spring 2012 collections.
Once again Adam Lippes has created a collection that I would wear and wear and wear. Piece by piece the collection is simple, put together it exudes a whimsy that even the biggest sophisticate can pull off. There isn't a piece I don't covet.
Ah Luca Luca - I remember when I first fell in love with your sumptuous velveteen collection many seasons ago, and years later Luca Luca still has me salivating. The collection for the most part is an experiment in draping and layering with a palette perfect for Spring. Whilst not particularly cohesive in reality, it's eclectic "well traveled" muse kept it together as if we were peering into her wardrobe, a wardrobe I covet desperately.
Oof. Colour is not going anywhere, and neither is neon from the looks of this beyond vibrant collection from Nanette Lepore, who sent a tribe of chic, fun and modern women marching down the runway. I love the acidity of this collection and despite the bold palette she successfully avoids a potentially tacky mess with clean silhouettes and equally bold graphics.
Band of Outsiders sells California cool with East Coast prep yet again with a collection that demands a sail boat or at the very least a bicycle. The crisp, largely monochromatic collection was a stark, and refreshing, contrast to the rest of NYFW.
Ok. So all my butterflies were a flapping for Anna Sui. It was everything I'm inspired by, right now, in one collection. One might say that's overkill. I say, nope, perfection. Forties, tea dresses, Thirties bias cut dresses, whimsical prints, Hmong inspired textiles, socks and sandals, pom poms, flowers and kitschy, kitschy jewelry. The whole collection was as if my current internal mood board exploded all over the catwalk.It's both eclectic and timeless.
It's likely I couldn't afford a single piece from this collection, but should the tides turn fortune in my favour, I'll be snapping up as much as I'm allowed.
I don't think there's been a season on record that I haven't adored what Milly has to offer and this season is no exception. They exude preppy, whimsical, librarian chic like no other. The geometry and palette of this seasons collection is reminiscent of the Bauhaus movement and was apparently inspired in part by a recent exhibition of Sonia Delauney's textile work. Every detail was perfection from the shoes (part of a recent collaboration with Sperry) and the jewelry (enameled geometric shapes).
More butterflies ensued upon viewing Jill Stuart, I love this palette, muted neons and pastel shades and the graphic shapes, palm trees reminiscent of the Rorschach tests, birds and polkadots were simply fabulous. The drop waist silhouette makes me nervous and I think I'd have to lose about 50lbs to pull it off - but boy it's pretty. Inspiration is 30's meets Mid Century Palm Springs meets candy. So sweet and so very Jill Stuart.
Rachel Comey produced a collection I'd wear every day (alternating with ADAM of course) A little bohemian, a little preppy and a lot Los Angeles summer time perfection. The palette was fairly neutral which did stand out amidst a sea of brights. - I loved the one shoulder draped dresses, and librarian meets cruise ship chic ensembles - I mean this as a compliment. As always Rachel Comey excelled with shoes, on my wish list for sure.
I always have so much love for Peter Som, he always designs for the modern woman and retains a girlishness that is both wearable and fun. The mix of prints from zebras, florals and houndstooth added just the right amount of playfulness and the silhouettes kept it modern and quite frankly adorable. I want to wear the blue gown, perhaps combined with a breast reduction ;) Last but not least was Victoria by Victoria Beckham. If you'd told me ten years ago, hell, five years ago, that Victoria Beckham, aka Posh Spice, would have a legitimate place at New York Fashion Week, with even one show, let alone two shows, I would have guffawed. Long and hard. But with a couple of seasons under her belt and now a diffusion line, Victoria by Victoria Beckham, she's earned her spot.
I've never really been a fan of minimalism (hello, have you met me?) so the past few Beckham collections haven't really appealed to me - but this line is younger, fresher and a hell of a lot more whimsical (Beckham was inspired in part by Emily Strange) Scalloped edges, a fun palette and cartoonish prints, including cats that were somewhat reminiscent of Miu Miu, and that darned drop waist that's sending me to the gym, all create a fun and contemporary collection.
Ok one down. Four more to go! Bring on London Fashion Week!
Arriving at The Hoxton in East London was one of the happiest moments in the world. And I'm not actually exaggerating.
After travelling for around 24 hours (Los Angeles > Dallas > London Heathrow > London Paddington > Circle Line > Old Street Station!!!) upon walking through their big open doors to their cosy lobby and being greeted by their charming staff, this massive wave of homeliness just washed over me. I was home, in many senses, literally home in the country in which I was born and raised and figuratively home in this excessively welcoming hotel.
The efficient and chatty (a combination I approve of) gentleman at check in, whisked us through the process with finesse and travel anecdotes and after a few chuckles and a few key pieces of information we were on our way to our room.
Etched Wall Art.
The View from Our Room.
For a hotel that celebrates the "Easyjet" budget model of hotelier-ing (the earlier you buy, the cheaper your room) I was pleasantly surprised at the size of the room. We're not talking a full suite by any means, but certainly bigger than the Paddington hovel I stayed in last time I was in London for sheer convenience that cost a great deal more.
The room came equipped with all the mod cons, tv, hairdryer, Pears Soap (my little sister was a runner up Miss Pears in the 80's so this was very novel for me), safe, wardrobe, fridge, kettle, spacious desk, couch, super comfy bed, shower and for this blogger/social media junkie FREE WiFi! I'd been starved off internet for what felt like a lifetime of travel - so that was beyond welcome.
The room was hip and for a corporate hotel (it's owned by Sinclair Beecham, one of the Pret a Manger founders) had tons of personality and lots of fun touches - I particularly loved the "boring signs". A small Pret breakfast was also included, consisting of a banana, granola and yoghurt and fresh orange juice. The room featured free tea and coffee and even had milk and mineral water stocked in our fridge, free of charge.
Something that I thought was quite fabulous was the travel guide that came with the room. A tiny, credit card sized guide that folded out to reveal all the coolest places to shop, eat and play within the area. Many of the locations featured in the guide had already been recommended to me by the highly cool Hedonist's Guide to London (more on that later) and as my bestest friend, Lauren, pointed out, were genuinely "cool" places. A very good indication of the level of hip the hotel exudes and the great surrounding area.
Beyond our beautiful bedroom, the hotel also features a restaurant and bar, and a ton of meeting rooms for events and, well, meetings. Fascinatingly all of the meeting and event rooms were bustling during our mid week stay - one featured a party and most had hoards of people tapping away at laptops. A perusal of the website revealed that for competitive rates the rooms were all inclusive with WiFi and a fully stocked larder - no wonder they were full! You can even rent a private day office for £19 a day!
We did manage to stop in at the Hoxton Grill, the onsite restuarant, during our stay. Whilst affordable and in a gorgeous setting with extremely friendly staff, it was disappointingly generic (and American..ha!) the food was good, but with the plethora of amazing restaurants and bars in the area (including the infamous Brick Lane) I'd skip it.
Check out was incredibly simple, and we were able to leave our luggage in a secure storage room whilst we wandered the streets of East London - always a traveling plus!
All in all, The Hoxton was one of the best hotels I've stayed in in awhile. It beat out my most recent stay at a luxury hotel in Las Vegas by about a million (if you follow me on Twitter, you know where I'm talking about) and for a fraction of the price. I highly recommend staying there and checking out the Shoreditch/Hoxton area on your next trip to London - and keep an eye/ear out for their £1 room sale that comes around twice a year!
About half way through my trip home to England I realised that I hadn't actually been into Exeter City Centre - shocker! We resolved that by ambling in, on a blustery day, family in tow, for some serious shopping, eating and sightseeing.
I moved to Exeter from the outskirts of London when I was 14 years old. Amusingly enough, despite moving to the countryside from a town 27 miles away from London, Exeter always felt like the big city. My suburban hometown (Amersham, Bucks) was far from exciting and Exeter had it's own Topshop, I mean c'mon, what more would a teenage girl want? Oh yeah, bars, clubs, vintage shops, coffee shops resplendent with cheesy chips and hot chocolate with marshmallows. Growing up in Exeter, in reality a city in miniature, was really great.
Topshops aside, Exeter is a truly historic city, a large portion of the original city wall, built in 200AD still stands and the litany of ancient buildings still glorify it's historic past. Much of the city was damaged during the Blitz through 18 raids between 1940-42, so many of the historic buildings were leveled. In their place came post war block buildings, a definite scar on the beauty of the city.
I moved to London, and subsequently Los Angeles in 2005 amidst controversial plans to regenerate an area of the city known as Princesshay saving it from it's post war ugliness and replacing it with an outdoor, pedestrianised shopping area, with cleared views of the cathedral. Despite protestations the plans did go ahead and the resulting area is lovely and invited in new stores, new restaurants, new housing and plenty of jobs. I don't think anyone is complaining today.
Remembering that this is fashion blog, and not a history or architecture blog. Exeter is a wonderful city to visit for a fashionista that wishes to remove themselves from the hub bub of London and be near the coast and the moors in the beauty of Devon. It boasts, amidst independent boutiques, all the major high street stores, Topshop, Reiss, Dorothy Perkins, Primark (mostly around the Princesshay and High Street area) alongside House of Fraser and Debenhams department stores and plenty of restaurants and café's.
A wander downhill to Fore Street (the former indie/hippie hub of Exeter) reveals more independant boutiques and vintage stores including the infamous Real McCoy complete with café (my favourite teenage hangout).
Gandy St, just off the main High St, is an adorable cobble-stoned street used to filled with independent boutiques, whilst a few remain, it's definitively become the preppy home to South West, Abercrombie competitors such as, White Stuff, Seasalt and Rampant Sporting. Exeter also boasts other infamous South West Preppy brands such as Jack Wills and Fat Face - all of which exemplify the coastal preppy aesthetic of the South West of England.Gandy Street is also home to the Exeter Phoenix, an arts hub, boasting a gallery, theater, cinema and restaurant and café.
Below are a few pictures from around the city - a city I am priveledged to call home.
P.S - Seen as this is officially a Pavement Princess post - you probably want to know what I'm wearing! Denim Shirt: Miley Cyrus and Max Azria for Walmart (with DIY'd collar tips), T-Shirt: Cotton On, Belt, Necklace and Skirt: Vintage, Bracelets: The usual suspects. Boots: Courtesy of BC Shoes, Purse: Courtesy of Fossil.
Today Mr Style and I celebrated our two year wedding anniversary. I say celebrated, but not really as we were on an 11 hour plane journey back from England which was pretty horrific. I say two years, but not really as we've actually been married four and a half years. So the whole thing is a sham really ;)
For those that don't know the story Mr Style and I dated for exactly six weeks before eloping to Vegas. It was a whirlwind romance and a little over two years later, still madly in love, we decided to have another wedding, one that everyone could share.
It occurred to me today that I have never actually shared pictures of our amazing day on the blog - I shared a few here and there - but not a full set. So here they are!
We were married in the Great Barn in Devon, right on the border of Dartmoor on one of the most sun shiniest days Devon has ever seen. It was simply beautiful.
My Mum made all the bridesmaid dresses (isn't she talented!?) I wore a handmade dress based on a Carolina Herrera I had fallen for and could neither afford nor track down, with cowboy boots, I made all the accessories and did the flower arrangements (aside from the heart wreath and my bouquet) and Mr Style wore a vintage suit with Chucks!