Wednesday, 24 February 2016

#LFW AW'16/17 my highlights...

Hello lovelies!

Yesterday saw the end of yet another London Fashion Week.  I wasn't there, but I always love it and try to catch as many of the shows as I possibly can, Burberry being my all time favourite.  Normally I review the shows that I most enjoyed but this time I thought I'd do things a bit differently.  I'm going to chat a little about the shows I watched, give a little bit of background and then the ultimate challenge; I'm going to choose my favourite piece from each collection-yes just one...not sure I can handle this but here goes...


I was away in York and Leeds for the beginning of fashion week, so the first shows I actually got to watch were on Sunday.  Sunday (minus Monday for Burberry) is usually my favourite day of fashion week.  I always look forward to Vivienne Westwood, glimpse at a bit of Paul Smith and this year there was the added bonus of McQueen.  So much fashion in one day...if only every day was like this...!

Vivienne Westwood: Intellectuals Unite

Here is the introduction to the show from ''

‘Intellectuals Unite’ is the title of our Womenswear Autumn/Winter 16-17 collection, symbolising Vivienne’s mission to bring all intellectuals together and fight against the politicians who are destroying the environment. The renaissance theme from our MAN Autumn/Winter 16-17 show continues on with the “Joker” featuring throughout the collection. The bold prints, tartans and knitwear represent the irony and innocence of this character. 
Two artists from this period heavily influence the collection; the sculptor Donatello and the painter El Greco. Donatello’s effortlessly draped statues directed some of the silhouettes and fluid elements in the collections, while rich colours from the El Greco paintings inspired colour and fabric choices. There are nods to history and modernity, striking a balance between the past and the future.

Vivienne Westwood is an amazing woman and I love that she uses her position in society to fight for what she really and truly believes in.  But for all her eco warrior status, her work never suffers and this AW collection was no exception.  Bold prints, heavenly tailoring and references being made to previous collections, it was wearable and earthy but also incredibly fun.  I hope she lives forever, as fashion would be a pretty dull place without her!

I was stuck between a couple of pieces but in the end I went for this absolutely stunning dress, mainly for its detail, tailoring and wearability.  I love the flattering cut of a Vivienne Westwood dress, and whilst other pieces from the collection carried a stronger political image, this was the one I'd really love to wear; just gorgeous!

Alexander McQueen

My love for McQueen really grew after I visited 'Savage Beauty' at the V&A.  Never have I been so moved by an exhibition that really showed McQueen's genius in all it's glory.  I've visited the Bond Street store a few times since; there's so much warmth there, it's always so welcoming.  What I love about McQueen under Sarah Burton is that she carries the message and stays true to the underlying principles of the house, but manages to capture so much beauty and imagination in her work.

The current AW'16/17 show conveyed this beautifully.  Centred around the idea of women living life half way between fantasy and reality and drawing inspiration from forties tailoring and lingerie, the collection was a true thing of beauty.  I loved the addition of butterflies, harking back to the famous Philip Treacy Butterfly headdress from McQueen's 2008 SS collection.

Image taken from:

I struggled to choose just one look from this collection; it was so theatrical and held so much beauty.  In the end I went for this (not for wearability this time!!) due to the sheer beauty of the detailing; the delicate embroidery and the dreamlike images and embellishments-the look is so definitely McQueen.   Watch the show in full here.



I am not going to spend the rest of this post talking about my love for Burberry.  It's my favourite show of fashion week, I think Christopher Bailey is untouchable, I love the correlation between the shows and amazing British artists, I discovered James Bay because of Burberry, I could go on and on.  Always truly British, always forward thinking and always amazing, I really enjoyed this presentation.  I also enjoyed Jake Bugg's amazing performance, particularly when he broke into 'Songs About Love'.  Thanks once again to the people behind this amazing show.  And Rosie was on the FROW, what more could you want!

The military look was very prominent in this collection; there were some beautiful coats.  Team that up with stunningly embellished dresses and you're on to a winner.  Colours used were warm and autumnal, navy, red, mulberry, teal-you name it.  It would probably be easier if you watched the show (here), rather than listened to me fan-girling about it (go on-you'll love it!)!

Image taken from:

I always seem to enthuse about Burberry coats when I talk about the shows, but this dress is the piece that really stuck in my head this time around-I love the colours (I want to own it and wear it!!) but I wouldn't say no to a beautiful military coat either, j'adore Burberry!!

What were your LFW highlights?


Images are not my own and are all credited accordingly.


Thursday, 18 February 2016

Fashion ode to The Bowes Museum...

Is it possible to love a place so much?  Be still my beating heart, before you is a thing of true beauty.  I wanted to dedicate a post to The Bowes Museum as it is quite often featured on both my blog and my social media accounts.  The fact of the matter is that I absolutely love it and wanted to share with you my story of how it came into my life...

Okay, rewind back a couple of years and I'm ashamed to say that I'd not even heard of it.  My lovely Mister Chris has family in Barnard Castle and aside from driving past it on a cold New Years' Day before our annual family get together, I never really paid it much attention.  But as my love of fashion grew and grew, it slowly moved into my consciousness.  And it all started with Vivienne Westwood.

The 'Super Elevated Gillie'-Vivienne Westwood (Vogue online)

Vivienne Westwood was the first high-end designer that I ever loved, bought and coveted.  I still love her work; she is a revolutionary with such an incredible story and her designs are works of art.  I remember being filled with such excitement to find out that her shoe collection would be visiting The Bowes Museum in 2011 and I just had to see it.  I visited twice during it's month long run and couldn't get enough of the collection.  The gillies, the penis shoe, the coke can shoes, they all stood there right before my eyes, the whole collection in touching distance.  The Fashion and Textile gallery was the perfect setting for the outrageously wonderful collection and was my first foray into the world of the fashion exhibition-I was hooked!  I raided the gift shop and bought the exhibition catalogue, along with the cutest V&A notecards featuring a world famous pair of Roger Vivier shoes. This was long before I became a blogger, I was simply a girl feeding her fashion addiction.

Rewind a couple of years to the announcement of 'YSL-Style is Eternal'.  How exciting to have a full retrospective of Yves' work right here in the North of England.  But I'll come back to that.  By this time my love of the museum had begun to grow.  I loved wandering around its many rooms and admiring its stunning architecture, from the winding staircase to the beautiful chandeliers.  Fuelled with excitement, my lovely best friend and I took a little road trip on a sunny day in March to visit the 'Birds of Paradise:Plumes and Feathers in Fashion' (hereexhibition and to this day it is one of the most exquisite things I have ever seen.

We were particularly excited to see the Sarah Burton for McQueen work in this collection as we'd just bought our tickets to see 'Savage Beauty' at the V&A, so this was our taster.  It was the Thierry Mugler dress 'Metamorphose d'une chrysalide en femme papillon' (backless above) that really did it for me though; I love that dress so much and had it stored as my phone's wallpaper for months after my visit!

Not only did we enjoy the dresses; it was Natalie's first visit and it was so lovely to share this special place with her.  We explored every nook and cranny and got some great snaps along the way!

I loved pouring out my joy for each piece into my blog and couldn't get away from the feeling that through the museum I had experienced something really, really special.

With the arrival of YSL, I asked the lovely PR lady Sheila Dixon if I could come and review the collection for my blog and she kindly offered me two tickets to come and see it and review it on it's opening weekend (I, of course, had Natalie with me once again!).  I was so thrilled and excited to be part of it.  I researched into YSL for months leading up to the opening and couldn't wait to see his work in person.  You can read my initial review here and here.

My favourite pieces were definitely the 'Smoking Tuxedo', a look I regularly try to recreate and the SS '88 jacket in homage to the work of George Braque.  But to simply be in the same breathing space as the work of such an influential designer is something I will cherish forever.  The atmosphere that the exhibition created almost made me feel as if Yves was in the room, I think he'd definitely have approved.

I visited the exhibition three times, taking my niece, Rachel and my Mam the second time and as part of the Fashion Illustration course with Frances Moffatt the third time.  I loved seeing my family's reaction to the collection and waxing lyrical about everything I'd learnt from researching Yves' work.  And then trying my hand at Fashion Illustration was a dream come true (here).

So now I look towards the 'Shoes: Pleasure and Pain' exhibition arriving in June.  I saw it at the V&A in December but I honestly think that it will be a perfect fit for The Bowes Museum and can't wait to see how it will be arranged in the Fashion and Textile Gallery.

Through the museum I have experienced some of the world's most luxurious fashion, I've shared experiences with friends and family members, I've wandered round its grounds in awe of it's beauty and I've learned so much about fashion and fashion history in such a short space of time.  As a side note, Chris told me that his Grandad had his ashes scattered in the grounds and that a memorial bench sits behind the museum in his honour.  Chris's Nan lives almost directly opposite the museum and often visits, a way of always staying close to her beloved husband.

The Bowes Museum will always have a special place in my heart and as I ponder a distance learning course in fashion history (and I've just applied to become a Friend of the Bowes...eek!), I know I'll keep coming back time and time again to keep fuelling my love of fashion, or just to sit in the garden admiring it's beauty.

Thank you for reading


PS-I visited the gift shop again on Monday-I really couldn't help myself...




Tuesday, 16 February 2016

French Connection sale #OOTD...

Hello lovelies!

Does anyone else do this?  That's right, I'm talking the obligatory changing room photo!  I quite often take photos from the changing room and send them to my poor Mister waiting outside for his opinion (then I always go with my gut feeling regardless of his response!!).  For someone who constantly covets and waxes lyrical about fashion-you'd be surprised to know that I very rarely shop.  After realising that my wardrobe was starting to look a little bit played out, I managed to hit the French Connection sale two Thursday's ago, just as some of the dresses had been marked down so there was lots to choose from (yay!)...

All three were a bargain at £39 each!!  I only bought the second two, the navy dress with the collar and the flowery one (which I was least excited about until I tried it on-it's a beauty and was my favourite!).  I preferred the orange dress in blue but there weren't any left; it wasn't that flattering on me anyway, it was too big.

Back to the point of this blog post, I wanted to share my OOTD and how I styled out the navy dress.  I nearly didn't buy it but felt amazing in it when I wore it last Sunday, so I'm so glad I did!

I paired it with my new Valentino dupes here and my beloved Louis.  I went for my trusty 'Kayleigh' necklace and a bit of a quiff to the hair!  My lipstick is 'Oxblood' from the Burberry Kisses range here.

I'd been having a bit of a rough week, so wanted to dress up to make myself feel better and although we were just wandering around Durham for the afternoon, I felt great.  The power of clothes right there!

You can check out what the French Connection sale has to offer here.  You never know, you might bag a bargain!  Happy hunting!

Kay xxx

PS-you can still vote for me in the SunFM awards for most stylish blogger (and I'll love you forever!) read all about it here and drop me a little vote...thanks! xxx

Monday, 8 February 2016

Pleasure and Pain...I'm talking shoes...

Hello lovelies!

First off I want to tell you about an amazing pair of shoes.  I've been lusting after some Valentino shoes for as long as I can remember, but shoes aren't like handbags.  Handbags can be wrapped in cotton wool, kept away from dirty floors and hung precariously on hooks on the back of toilet doors.  Shoes however have to be exposed to the elements, so a £600 price tag does not appeal to me in the slightest; one slip down a cobble and it'd be curtains for the studded beauties.  So imagine my delight when I came across some AMAZING dupes.  Yes, good old eBay came good once again.  Here they are, my Valentino look-a-likes...

Now for the price.  They were £13.99 and £1.99 postage.  I know right?  They're so comfortable and versatile-and yesterday a girl asked me if they were Valentino; so they're duping the originals perfectly for a fraction of the price.  Available in a range of sizes and colours, you can buy yours here.  I'm off to order them in a second colour as we speak!!

For their first outing I teamed them with the following...

...I was off to do my teaching thing in a school so teamed them with a leather skirt, pussy bow blouse and blazer and finished off with my trench coat.

So with shoes on the brain, the day I christened them was also the day that it was announced that 'Shoes: Pleasure and Pain' will be the next exhibition to come to my favourite place on earth, the Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle.

I saw the exhibition when I visited London for my 30th at the V & A and whilst I enjoyed it there, I think it'll suit the Bowes Museum perfectly.  Exploring the agony and ecstasy of shoes over the last two thousand years, expect everything from the weird to the wonderful.  There are also some famous shoes to keep an eye out for too!  Hope to see you all there!

Tickets for 'Shoes: Pleasure and Pain' can be bought here.


Monday, 1 February 2016

#OOTD-YSL inspired...

Hello lovelies!

On Saturday I went for an incredibly belated birthday night out (my birthday is Christmas day!).  It also coincided with my niece's 18th fancy dress birthday party, so I made an appearance at both.  I chose not to go in fancy dress, due to the fact that at my birthday meal I would've been the only one dressed up!!  I've been really embracing a YSL smoking tuxedo vibe lately-never underestimate the power of a black and white ensemble!

Inspiration (from

Jacket (old; a cast off from my bestie), lace shirt and jeans (Primark), bag; Louis Vuitton (pochette)

I went for a subtle smoky eye and Burberry Oxblood winter red lips, for a more dramatic look and a trusty pin up quiff for windproof hair (I used a LOT of spray!).  

I don't often wear black and white, but always feel classy and elegant when I do-especially when it's paired with my amazing French Connection snakeskin heels (I love them but must learn to walk in them!).

Here are a few photos from the night, my Mam, my beautiful niece Rachel (I couldn't pin the birthday girl down for a photo she was too busy being a Greek Goddess ha!) and my brother who made a great Edna Turnblad!!! 

Thanks for reading!

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