Wednesday Wants: Tatty Devine AW13

It’s here! It’s here! The new Tatty Devine Autumn Winter Collection is here! And as a matter of no surprise whatsoever, I want it all!

The collection is all loosely based around a 60s psychedelic solar system theme, but of course there are some twists! I love all the pearlescent Perspex and the darling little sprinkles of glitz. It’s all super fun, just as you’d expect, but wearable to boot, as usual.

Here I go with my current for-runners though…..

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Head In The Clouds Rainbow Necklace, £95.00

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Head In The Clouds Brooch, £60.00

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La Luna Moon Small Necklace – Opal, £40.00

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Planet Brooch – Amber, £40.00

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Planetary System Statement Necklace, £150.00

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Psychedelic Heart Ring, £25.00

You can see the rest of this wonderful collection here…. What’s your favourite piece?!

Ems x

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Wednesday Wants: Shoe Embassy

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Shoe Embassy was established in 2011 and shortly afterwards, when I found them at a Brick Lane market, I bought my first pair. Two years on, and I can safely say they are the best pair of shoes I’ve ever owned. My camel coloured ‘Foxy Brown‘ boots (pictured above) have seen me through just about as much as you could ask of any shoe….they are fleecey lined and have kept my usually cold toes warm, kept smart and solid despite the hundreds of miles I’ve walked in them, and remained comfy even in hot weather and after hours of pavement pounding and dog walks.

I suppose what impressed me first about Shoe Embassy is the fact that all their shoes are leather inside and out, and that despite their amazing quality, they are incredibly well priced. I have paid through the nose in the past to try to get comfy shoes for my weird feet, but these bargainous boots are the only ones I’ve ever managed to break in right away and with no discomfort.

Now that I’ve moved out of London, I’ve been waiting and waiting for their website to launch, and finally I can now buy online! There is a great choice of boots, shoes, flats, flip flops and heels in all sorts of charming designs. All are leather and made in Europe. You can also buy them at Camden Market, Spitalfields and Greenwich Market, but with the online shopping temptation I fear I’ll be buying up several pairs before long!

Here though are my favourites…..so far!…..

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When I bought my Foxy Brown boots I had a tough choice between all the other lovely brown boots. The colour goes with EVERYTHING and because they’re not too bulky, I can wear them with dresses as well as skinny jeans. These ‘Al Capones’ are a great halfway house between boot and shoe though, with a thin and flexible sole, low top and fancy brogue-ish pixiness. They also come in two-tone versions of black and white, and charcoal and sepia!

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Not only did I struggle to choose a boot style, but I also had to pick a shade of brown! I love the amber richness of my boots, but there is something distinctly retro and classy about these ‘Doodle Dandy‘ boots, which have a beautiful taupe outer, with a flashy violet lining which can be exposed by folding down the tongue! Fun *and* wearable!

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Speaking of fun, how wonderful are these babies?! The Spectator shoes are so wonderfully nostalgic and bright. I adore the soft vanilla panels and dark blue toes and heels, and the cleverly included red trims really make them special.

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And for more red….I am crazy about these ‘Pixie-Oh‘ booties in Chilli. They are wonderfully pointy and buttery soft, and you can fold down the tops to make them even more versatile. And I really *should* have a pair of red boots.

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Back to being sensible though for a while, and these ‘Twirlie‘ shoes in Amber look like a seriously sound investment. Dainty and delicate, these angels have a feather-light sole and a super soft ankle, so your feet will be happy happy happy…. and not to mention beautifully adorned. I can see me wearing these non-stop through summer with girly dresses, frilly skirts and short trousers, as they really do go with anything.

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I am nearly always in need of a pair of sensible black shoes, perhaps because I don’t often find them exciting enough to buy. These ‘Quarter Oxfords‘ in black though are seriously cute and wearable….how lush would they look with brightly colours tights and a mini skirt?!

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I can’t be sensible forever though, and I therefore give you….blue suede shoes! Well, Indigo Nubuck to be accurate, but this Elvis lover thinks the King would approve. And at just £55 I think they are a snip, if only for the chance to dance around in them, singing like a lune.

I really can’t tell you just how comfy my Shoe Embassy boots are, and I constantly get complimented on them. It’s so wonderful to finally have found a company who sells such a great range of styles, exclusively in leather (for my feet will not last two minutes in anything else!) and at such a great price point. And if I could only ever buy shoes from one place ever, I wouldn’t be too upset knowing that Shoe Embassy have me covered!

Ems x

Wednesday Wants: Liberty and Marc by Marc Jacobs collaboration

Oooooh….Marc by Marc Jacobs has joined forces with Liberty for the first time in an exclusive collaboration, which launches this very week! The exclusive collection features classic designs in two vintage Liberty prints, including a tote bag, tablet case, backpack and cosmetics case.

Two classic ditsy floral prints have been selected from the Liberty archive of over 40,000 prints to work alongside irreverent Marc Jacobs hallmarks….The Emma and Georgina print is a zesty green and pink mix of two tiny dense floral designs, inspired by Liberty’s large collection of Victorian pattern books. Emma was first produced on Tana Lawn in the 1970s and Georgina was launched in 2000. And the purpley-pink Wiltshire was actually designed in 1933 and has been on classic Tana Lawn fabric since 1979.

The collection is super cute, fun and practical….here are my favourites….

Emma and Georgina Liberty Print Pretty Nylon Tablet Case, £60.00

Clashing prints of Emma & Georgina (main body) and Wiltshire (trims), this tablet case has a plush interior and a nice zip closure. It’s 110% nylon too, so about as practical as you can get for something this pretty.

Wiltshire Liberty Print Pretty Nylon Backpack, £160

A fun new take on the classic Marc by Marc Jacobs backpack, this cute number combines the Standard Supply design with contrasting classic Liberty prints. It features the chunky logo plaque, two side pockets, big contrasting top handles and adjustable shoulder straps. And everyone needs a pretty rucksack.

With its all-over stitched oversized logo and boxy shape, I think this is a really sweet little carry-all. The lining is printed too (a must for makeup bags as they realistically don’t stay makeup free for long!) and in the nylon again is a really practical little piece.
Ems x

Blog Every Day in May: Pampering

“What is your ideal way to pamper yourself and relax?”

I’ve never really been into the traditional pampering stuff. I don’t mind a mud mask every now and then, but I don’t enjoy it enough to do it regularly and I’m not organised enough to do it far enough in advance of a special occasion. I have NEVER been for a facial, not because I have any kind of adversity to them, I’ve just never gotten round to it. And I’m not really into relaxing type massages…I’d much rather get my back cracked by my great osteopath!

If I do want to relax, treat myself and prettify though, there is one thing I’ll always make time for. Painting my nails is something I just love to do…not just getting the nice end result, but actually taking time to decorate them to perfection. I’ve hardly painted them at all recently, just because they get ruined so fast when I’m cutting and gluing all day or out in the garden, but when I had a proper job in a proper office I painted them religiously.

It’s a bit of a ritual I suppose, filing and buffing them, moisturising them and tidying the cuticles…then base coating before starting the real fun of applying colour. I have a huge collection of nail polishes (well in excess of 50 at last count) so it’s always a tricky choice, but I tend to go with the seasons and my moods or fads…I’ve been loving really dark colours of late (a throw back to my gothic youth and a response to the lack of spring weather!) but very often wear ridiculously bright shades, or even ten different colours all together!

I love to coordinate my nails with my outfit, and have even been known to replicate a pattern in detail to match! If I have enough time I very much enjoy using a tiny brush to paint on little pictures and whatnot too! I’m currently after a really good set of neon colours….proper fluoro shades of pink, orange, yellow, green and blue!

My favourite brands are O.P.I, Essie, Nails Inc and good old Barry M….I know lots of people don’t get on with it, but I find the slender brush really great on my tiny nails, and they always have the best colours and are great value too!

I currently have no nail polish on actually, having spent the entire day sticking and sanding and scalpeling, so I thought I’d share some past creations….

Ems x

Wearing my current favourite, Barry M Greenberry (which nicely matched the water tester for the new coffee machine!)

Christmas cheer!

Alternative French Manicure

Crazy brights to match my awesome vintage 60s dress

To match my favourite shoes for my friends’ wedding

Sugary sweet to go with my bubble gum ring

Bunting to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee

Blog Every Day in May: Book Love

“Tell us about your favourite book. Or maybe give us a top 5 of the books that changed your life.”

I love to read. Most of the time. I tend to go through phases where I’m addicted to a book and read text after text….but at other times (like now!) I just lose interest! And whilst I could still tell you all about some of my favourite books I have read (Orlando by Virgina Woolf….all of Ian Fleming’s James Bond books….the Dexter books by Jeff LIndsey…..and most of PD James) because I’m having a bit of an ‘off’ period at the moment, I thought I’d be better placed to rave about a different kind of book…..

The book shelves in my little studio are crammed with colourful and creative books, and the biggest collection of all is that of my fashion books. I am just crazy about them. The glossy covers, the amazing photography, and of course the wonderful subjects! I’m definitely a style over substance girl, so browsing through these to give me inspiration is a favourite thing to do for me.

Here are some of my favourites….

Radical Fashion by Claire Wilcox

I used to use this a lot when I was at college (studying for my Degree in Theatre Design, a big part of which was Costume Design) so I just had to buy it when I no longer had access to the library! It’s really inspiring though, and full of, well, *radical* fashion.

Dior: 60 Years of Style by Farid Chenoune and Laziz Hamani

This was a very generous gift one Christmas and I really cherish this book. It’s absolutely HUGE and won’t fit on even the massive Victorian bookshelves we have in the house….it’s a true coffee table book (heck, you could even use it *as* a coffee table!) and it offers an enthralling history of one of my favourite design houses.

Put on Your Pearls Girls by Lulu Guinness

How pretty is that cover? SO damn pretty! And what’s more, this is actually a POP-UP BOOK!!! It doesn’t get much more charming than this….named after one of Lulu’s favourite expressions, the book is made up of all the darling little phrases she uses in her accessories. I love it!

Manolo Blahnik Drawings by Anna Wintour and Andre Leon Talley

I want a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes more than most things….they are just so wonderfully fun and exciting and glamourous. But as that’s not on the cards, I do make do rather well with this book. Blahnik’s designs are very much like theatrical costume drawings, and his style, colours and drama put me in mind of the wonderful Inigo Jones. I love this book so much I have two copies…one coffee table size and one mini version for the studio!

Merry by Koji Mizutani and Paul Smith

On the cover wrap of my copy of this book is a quote from Paul Smith: “The energy of the street makes me happy”….and this book certainly does make me happy! A super-bright collection of hundreds of incredibly smiley and fashion forward Japanese girls, this book is an inspiration, a mood lifter and just plain brill.

Ems x

Wednesday Wants…. Fluoro Neon Shiny Fun

What is it about Spring that makes us go crazy for colours?! Yes, I know all the flowers are blooming in their cheery tones, but wouldn’t it make more sense to get vivid in the winter months when there aren’t so many pretty shades about?

Nevertheless, I’ll embrace the idea with gusto as usual, and what could be more colourful than a full-on palette of super bright fluorescent neons?! As such, I’ve rounded up a few ways to put a vibrant zing in your outfit….

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French Sole‘s new neon collection features bright and shiny patents in solid fluorescent blue and yellow, as well as plain whites with neon piping. It’s their neon Henrietta design featuring darling little cut out hearts and contrasting trim though that really has my attention. I’m in love with all the colourways….pink with green trim, green with pink trim and orange with blue trim….and I really can’t decide which ones I’d choose! They are £120 a pair.

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I adore the classic Cambridge Satchel Company‘s bags, and have for ages had my eye on their Fluoro collection. Just like all their other satchels, they are made by hand in high quality leather and you can have your initials embossed for a little extra. They start at £115 for the 11″ satchel, but you can get £15 at the checkout with the offer code ‘SPRINGFLO’.

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I’ve been thinking for ages that I’d love to design my own Converse….you can create your very own personally designed pair of hi tops or low tops in various styles on their website. I only just found their neon version though, the Chuck Taylor All Star Ox Canvas Neon (£54) and the Chuck Taylor All Star Hi Canvas Neon (£60). You get to choose which colours you want where on the shoe, and you can even add your name or initials at the heel!

What do you think about these crazy shades? Too much? Or just enough?!

Ems x

Wednesday Wants…. Mary Katrantzou clutches

I remember hearing the name Mary Katrantzou for the first time, many fashion weeks ago (and wondering how the devil to pronounce it, or spell it!), and I remember thinking ‘here’s something fresh’. Ever since, I’ve paired the name with fun, original and quirky prints, as well as awesome colours and shapes. So, when I heard that the Central Saint Martins graduate had launched a range of clutch bags based on those same fantastic digital prints, I was desperate to see them.

I’ve not been disappointed either…in fact I want them all. No surprise I know, but just look at these beauties…..

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Sorbonne printed leather pouch, £490, NET-A-PORTER

I love me some vintage stamps with birds on. I have stacks of them stashed in my studio, and love making jewellery out of them. So it’s no wonder I’m in love with this vibrant ‘Sorbonne’ print, and would happily carry by stuffs and things about in it.

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I adore this blue print, another postage stamp design printed onto the gorgeous ‘Kathmandu’ pounch. I also love the soft leather and the ‘shove it all in’ size, which would will easily hold an iPad, small laptop, and all your other bits and bobs.

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Pound printed leather pouch, £490, NET-A-PORTER

This one has to be my favourite though. Made again in luxuriously supple leather and lined in super-soft cotton-twill in a stunning shade of green, the ‘Pound’ pouch is just so incredibly pretty and clever. I’m crazy about this print, even though I’ve always found our sterling monies quite dull compared to the notes in other countries. I’d be delighted though to carry this around.

What do you think? Like the over-sized clutch idea? And what about these crazy prints….wonderfully wearable or for dressing up only?
Ems x

Wednesday Wants…. Sika ‘The Seven’ Collection

After chastising my friend Jo for pointing me in the direction of the new collection from Sika earlier today (like I need the temptation!),  I realised that if nothing else their stunning dresses were the perfect wednesday wish list….

I’d really not come across Sika before, but as soon as I saw their collection of dresses I decided I want them all. There is something so wonderfully retro AND modern about them, all at the same time….the cuts and fabrics are simultaneously vintage and contemporary, and just absolutely perfect I think. Lots of the new The Seven Collection are made from gorgeous Liberty print cottons, and I would happily fill my wardrobe with their dresses, skirts and troos.

Here are my favourites….

Celine Dress, £225, 100% Cotton and fully lines

Kate Skirt, £125, 100% Liberty Print Cotton

Georgia Dress, £189, 100% Liberty Print Cotton

Cosmic Trousers, £159, 100% Liberty Print Cotton

Hepburn Dress, £249, 100% Liberty Print Cotton

Kate Combi Top, £95, 100% Liberty Print Cotton

Pretty lush non?

Ems x

Wednesday Wants…. Wet, Wet, Wet

No, not the band.

Anyone else fed up of this bally weather?! I have had it up to here (*points to head*) with the sogginess. If it’s not raining it’s sleeting, and if it’s not sleeting it’s snowing. I’ve had it with the precipitation thanks very much.

However, whilst it looks like this Spring is going to be a bit of a washout, there’s no use feeling all dreary whilst staring into the shop windows laden with floral pastel frocks and whatnot….so I’ve decided I may as well embrace it and moon over more weather-proof beauties….

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Joules Umbrella, Regatta Brolly, £19.95

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ASOS Coated Cotton Parka, £55

Wednesday Wants…. The Coast V&A Ballgowns Collection

When I heard a few weeks ago that Coast were teaming up with the V&A to create a capsule collection of evening dresses based on the museum’s recent exhibition, I was of course, pretty intrigued. Whilst I was really pleased that the high street stalwart would be the one to take on such a task, I couldn’t quite imagine how even they would be able to create anything to come even close to those stunning historical ballgowns, especially at a high street price. And whilst ‘classic meets contemporary style’ has seemingly been done to death (not to mention fashion collaborations….although I’ll personally never tire of them!) Coast has really pulled it out of the bag, with stunning silhouettes, luxurious fabrics and ‘a magical sense of celebration’.

The collection of six ‘objects of beauty’ are already receiving lots of attention, and given the funds, each one would quickly find its way into my wardrobe! Each piece draws on a classic and highly coveted look from the past, and celebrates the art of dressing to impress….

CECILY MAXICECILY MAXI

Cecily Maxi, £895.00 (currently out of stock)

This to me is the epitome of evening dress glamour. Incredibly elegant, with a fishtail skirt echoing the luxurious silhouette of the 1930s, the Cecily Maxi is expertly crafted in dreamy Duchess satin, with panels of silk Georgette. The hour-glass shape alone would be enough to make you feel like Greta Garbo, whilst the hand sewn crystal embellishments and train ramp up the drama as far as it can go. The cleverly detailed open back make this dress modern and sexy though too, and if I trusted myself not to over-eat and spoil the effect with a pot belly, this dress may well have been a potential wedding dress for me.

LOTTIE MAXI DRESSLOTTIE MAXI DRESS

Lottie Maxi Dress, £695.00 (sizes 6 to 16 currently available)

Decadent much?! Just imagine walking down a red carpet in this…easy isn’t it? Inspired by the architectural dress shapes of the 1950s couture houses (a style of which I’ve always been a devotee) this romantic number boasts a fully corseted bodice, and silk blend fabric. The hugely voluminous skirt draws the eye to an accentuated waistline, whilst the glimpse of leg is enough to make you feel like you’ve just stepped out onto the red carpet.

BLANCHE DRESSBLANCHE DRESS

Blanche Party Dress, £550.00 (currently available in sizes 6 to 14)

I love this fresh and fun party dress, inspired by the full skirted ball gowns of the 1950s. Featuring luxurious layers of scalloped tulle and organza with a sprinkling of beads and sequins, this special number would see you through from formal reception to late night dancing, and allows you to show off a pretty pair of shoes to boot.

PATIENCE MAXIPATIENCE MAXI

Patience Maxi Dress, £895.00 (currently available in sizes 6 to 14)

I remember learning about the bias-cut as a teenager, and thinking that this surely must be the most luxurious way to cut a dress. And this floor-sweeper typifies that gentle elegance of the 1930s, with its luxuriously fluid silk satin and low back. The geometric patterns of hand sewn crystals make this dress Gatsby-party-worthy and I can clearly imagine being spun around a mirrored ballroom in it.

DAPHNE DRESSDAPHNE DRESS

DAPHNE DRESS

Daphne Dress, £550.00 (currently available in 8, 10 and 14)

I’m still crazy about anything yellow, and this pretty primrose colour is just so deliciously perfect for Spring. Echoing again the romantic silhouettes of the 1950s, this playfully girly dress would be my most wearable piece from the collection. Crafted from delicately soft tulle, with a bodice embellished with hand sewn crystals and cording, this full skirted frock is lined with a tulle petticoat. I think I’d wear it every day. Yes, even with wellies when walking the hound.

PHOEBE MAXIPHOEBE MAXI

Phoebe Maxi Dress, £695.00 (currently available in sizes 6 to 14)

This one is the real showstopper though, in my opinion at least. This is a ‘true ballgown’, inspired by the debutante balls of the 1950s, and ridiculously glamourous. Crafted from layers of softly structured organza to create its dramatic volume, the internal construction of the bodice holds in the figure, whilst the soft layers of tulle add movement and accentuate the waist. For me, the frothiness and sculpting of this dress make it a perfect occasion piece, and utterly timeless with it.

Whilst the price labels prohibit snatching all of these up, I think they represent incredible value, considering the luxurious fabrics and expert pattern making involved. Should someone decide to whisk me off to a ball in Vienna, or invite me to a black tie wedding, I’d be snapping one of these up in a minute….and even if I’m not, they’re posing quite the temptation nonetheless!

Which dress is your favourite? And when or where would you wear it?

Ems x