Wednesday Wants…. Totes Amazing

I’ve had a thing about bags for as long as I can remember. I recall as a child I’d blow any money I had on a new purse or bag at the first opportunity….and with all my money spent I’d have nothing to put into it! The ‘problem’ once got so bad that I had to limit myself to buying just one bag a month!

I’ve rather curbed the habit since then, favouring buying ‘investment’ bags to last me forever, and I’m currently in the process of streamlining my collection (I have a walk in wardrobe dedicated to accessories and it could do with a tidy up!). I do think though that you REALLY can’t have too many tote bags. They pack down flat, they’re inexpensive, last well, don’t mind being chucked in the washing machine and are infinitely useful to keep around. I have a big one filled with lots of others, and they’re just perfect for using for supermarket shops, throwing parcels and purse in when going to the post office, and for carrying lunches and documents to the office.

I also think tote bags are a rather wonderful way of buying into a new trend you like, your new favourite style, or just to show off your love for dogs or knitting or whatever. The nicest ones in my opinion are the pretty illustrated ones by independent designers, and I do love to carry a piece of artwork around with me!

Koala Screen Print Tote by Depeapa, £14.11 on Etsy, via Craft Gawker

How could you not feel cheered on a shopping trip with this fellow on your arm?! I love a Warly Bear (or Koala Bear if you prefer) and this chap is so charming with his smart yellow jumper!

Rob Ryan Canvas Shopper by Wild and Wolf, £7.50 on sale from £14.95 via Bloomsbury & Co

I actually have this one and I love it! I fell in love with the design when I visited the Ryantown shop on Columbia Road, and the bag itself makes me smile each time I look at it….I think it’s a rather apt saying for me! It’s a good size with a gusset bottom and a little zipped pocket inside, plus it’s a really sturdy, heavy canvas….a total bargain at the sale price!

Dachsund Tote Bag by Jeff Josephine Designs, £10 on Folksy

I adore this little guy! He reminds me a lot of my Digby hound, with his little Queen Anne legs! I am crazy about his striped scarf too!

‘Bad Mother Knitter’ Bag by Kelly Connor Designs, £13.75 via Not on the High Street

Hehehe! I love a pun, and a shiny gold print….. not to mention knitting! This one would be super cute to collect all your yarns and knitting pins together in!

Tipsy Badger Tote by Sophie Parker, £12 on Etsy, via Boys with Banjos

This badger knows how to live! Look at his shorts! I love this guy, and I have a certain badger-mad friend who will go crazy for this I’m sure…. especially as she’s partial to a glass of vino too!

‘Ignition’ Illustrated Rabbit tote by Gallons of Ink, £6 on Etsy

Pretty sure this one is my favourite….there’s something about the juxtaposition of these cutesy little bunnies and the innuendo-filled R&B lyrics of R Kelly’s ‘Ignition.’ So much fun!

How about you? Are you bag mad? Do you have a stash of totes for running errands with and cramming treasures in?

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….. for the pampered pooch

I think it’s pretty fair to say that our hound, Cooper, is a pretty pampered pooch. He gets LOTS of love and affection (maybe even too much if that’s possible!), lots of yummy treats (lucky for him he needs feeding up!) and no less than four very comfy beds all around the house (plus his favourite, the sofa!). As happy as he is though, I don’t really consider him spoiled, and as much as he probably doesn’t *need* anything else, that won’t stop me from wanting to splash out on some seriously luxurious creature comforts for him….

Coops has a lovely waterproof and padded coat, which is very necessary for such a skinny breed in this weather. It looks like he’s going to need to keep wearing it for a good while too, as the weather is set to continue in its vile frostiness….so perhaps it wouldn’t be *too* naughty to splurge on another coat?! And what could be more practical, and befitting of our little country gent, than these gorgeous dog coats from Barbour. I bought one myself last year (a ladies one, not a dogs one of course!) and it’s been one of my best investments ever, with this perpetual precipitation, and I can see it lasting forever. The doggy versions come in waxed, padded and tartan designs, in various sizes to suit your beloved pup, and start at just £29.95.

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I had my eye on these beautiful dog beds from Joules long before Cooper even arrived! They match beautifully all their homeware ranges, and so I’d just adore a complete matching set! There are mattress style beds in various patterns and sizes, but it’s the ‘snuggle beds’ I have my eye on for our hound, who loves to curl up all cosy! They start at just £24.95 for the smaller snuggle beds, going up to £69.95 for the biggest mattress bed.

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Coops doesn’t want for blankets, that’s for sure. He has a whole collection of nice fleecy ones, including one he just inherited (a lovely pale blue one which my Mum gave to him this weekend!). Still, his country gent look would really benefit from the rather luxurios Appleby Harris Tweed Dog Blanket by Lilly Shahravesh, from Love Your Dog. It’s £165 and made from finest Harris Tweed and Sherpa Fleece. There are even matching beds and carriers (not to mention their gorgeous greyhound coats!).

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Cooper already has two lovely collars (with matching leads, obvs)….his smart cherry red collar for weekedays, and his rather more rustic, chocolate brown rope style collar for weekends. But what he doesn’t have (yet) is a bow tie! How adorable is this Chevron Bow Tie Collar from PAWSH Accessories on Etsy?! The hound’s best colours are powder blue and bright red, so he’d look so dashing in this! It’s £18.87 and comes in different sizes to suit your very own pooch.

Chevron Bow Tie Dog Collar: Chevron in Aqua, Red, Gray, and Black... ZigZag, Bowtie, Pet Collar

My first job as a student was at the Wedgwood shop back up in Stoke. When I was there, they released the stunning black and white jasper ware range by Nick Munro, and I remember deciding way back then (long before I even had a dog!) that this beautiful dog bowl would be mine. Unfortunately, they no longer make them, so I’ll have to count on being lucky and finding one on a china matchings website….but it SHALL be mine!!!

Or rather, Cooper’s.

Ems x

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

It’s snowing again…. Thank goodness for Heat Holders!

Way back a hundred years ago at the start of winter, I shared some tips and favourite products to help you through the seasonal chill. I raved on about Heat Holders‘ wonderful thermal socks, and as a result the lovely people there sent me a whole load of their other products to try out! I was delighted to receive two big parcels full of their super-warm treasures, many of which I had very much wanted to try out already!

I’ve been putting the various things through their paces ever since….during our several cold snaps here in the UK, whilst on my trip to Vienna, and now that it’s snowing again….in honesty though I’ve hardly gone a day without wearing the lot! I have to say, I’ve been delighted with each and every product I was sent, and truly impressed by how warm they’ve kept me. I have totally rubbish circulation and really struggle to keep warm from September onwards, especially my hands and feet…..but the Heat Holders gloves, socks, base layers and hat have kept me cosy and warm, and I wouldn’t be without them now!

Also known as ‘The Ultimate Thermal Sock’, these beauties are for us hard-core coldies…. they have a tog rating of 2.3 (I personally find it impressive simply that they *have* a tog rating!) and come in Ladies, Gents and Kids sizes, as well as in longer versions and wellie or skiing options. They also come in various colours, and I personally would recommend having a few pairs! They’re a bargainous £6 for the Ladies original socks, and worth every penny. One word of warning though….they are super thick and you may struggle to get them into some shoes and boots, but their snuggliness is worth the effort of putting on a big pair of boots over them.

The Heat Holders gloves and hat are just as thick and snuggly as the socks, so you won’t be using your smart phone or keeping you posh hair-do neat whilst wearing them, but again they offer unparallelled warmth. These boast a tog rating of 2.7 and 2.9 respectively, and have kept the chill off even my fingers and ears! They’re both available in bright pink and black at £10.

It may still seem a bit much to be wearing thermal underwear so religiously, but this Spring thing just isn’t happening fast enough and I sure need the extra layers! The Heat Holders underwear is just brilliant, and I’m so glad I’ve found it. The long sleeved vest and leggings have been a God send to wear underneath every outfit….they are really quite fine so don’t bulk out what I’m wearing, whilst they still offer 0.39 togs of warmth. They have a soft brushed inner which traps extra air next to your skin to keep you warm, whilst the cotton blend ensures you don’t get hot and bothered at the same time. They are both just £15 a pair.
Perhaps the best find though has been the tights and leggings. These are 0.63 togs and finished to look like regular opaque tights and leggings, so they’re ideal to wear on their own as outer wear (or even on top of each other in my case!). They have super soft brushed linings to lock in the warmth, whilst they’re still breathable and comfortable enough to wear all the time. I’m usually incredibly fussy about my tights and leggings becuase I so hate when they wrinkle around the ankles and when the waist band slouches down….but these are about the best tights and leggings I’ve ever owned. The waist band is strong enough to keep everything up, whilst not irritating my skin or cutting me in two, and the legs are stretchy enough to fit perfectly without ever wrinkling. I’ve happily worn the tights into the office, and even had the leggings over the tights when it’s been really cold. They have bobbled a bit after washing, but their matte black finish has remained smart enough to wear with little dresses and heels. What’s more is that they are ridiculously good value….the leggings and tights are just £8 a piece and last really well (I’ve caught them on extremely vicious thorn bushes and they show no signs of even a pluck, let alone a ladder!) so definitely a worthy investment!

You can currently buy Heat Holders online, directly from Sock Shop, but I have been noticing more and more stockists locally….our fab little hardware store in Hitchin, Brookers, sells the socks, as do some of the garden centres. However, shipping to UK addresses from Sock Shop online is only £1.95 for orders up to £10, and is free on orders of £30 or more….so I’d buy one of each if I didn’t already have them!

Ems x

My pick from the Red Carpet

It’s all been building up to today…the weeks of warming up, sneak peaks and the rest of awards season….and now our wait is over….we get to see what everyone wore to the Oscars!

Those of you who read my blog regularly will know that I’m just as much into cinema as I am fashion, but really for me, the Academy Awards are all about the pretty frocks. I rarely agree with who The Academy choose to win, and the cynic in me fears it’s pretty political anyway (I won’t get into the whole Skyfall debate again for fear of raising my blood pressure to dangerous levels), and I’ve never once watched the whole award-giving bit through.

But, snoop, judge and nosey at what everyone wore I CAN do! And here are my favourites from this year…..

I think Reese Witherspoon gets a bit of stick for choosing rather girly dresses for these things, and if I could remember anything she’d ever worn before (brain like a sieve, me) maybe I’d agree. But whilst you couldn’t ask for a more feminine silhouette than this number by Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton, I think she’s pulled off an incredibly glamorous look this year. I’m crazy about the cobalt blue (big for this Autumn I’m hoping!) and her curves are to die for.

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Hello Audrey Hepburn! Anne Hathaway has been going up in my estimation for a while now, and her super cute crop is just beautiful in my opinion. Her gorgeously simple Prada dress matches her look perfectly, and she’s just heavenly in those delicate blush tones. The dress manages to be both modern and classic at the same time, as does Miss Hathaway.

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I adore Amy Adams…she’s cute as a button and always unassumingly elegant. I wasn’t sure at first about the frothiness of her layered tulle dress by Oscar de la Renta, but this IS the Oscars after all, and the pretty lavender shade is stunning with her lovely red hair.

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Just look at all that shiny! I’m a sucker for a heavily draped skirt, and Amanda Seyfried’s dress by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen is a perfect red carpet number. It’d be a little bridal if not for the elegant key-hole neckline, but again, this IS the Oscars so ‘look-at-me’ factor is par for the course.

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And speaking of bridal…here’s the one everyone has been talking about. It would be plain wrong to say that Jennifer Lawrence looked anything less than stunningly enchanting in her Christian Dior gown, and the silhouette is simply incredible. But, I can’t help but think that it’s a little too white, and if only it had some straps going on I’d be fantasising about wearing it on my wedding day! Still, ‘when in Rome’ and all that….and Raf Simons sure has shown the rest how to create a showstopper.

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My somewhat unlikely favourite though is Jessica Chastain’s Armani Prive dress. Actually, it’s more like the complete package in honesty, as Chastain looks nothing short of the ultimate Hollywood starlet with her red lips, curled red hair and porcelain skin.
If *I* was going to the Oscars, this is how I’d want to look!

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Now you know I’m not much cop at talking about what the boys wear….I know their suits are *techincally* different, but I just can’t get myself interested in the particular cut of a dinner jacket. But, I would like to take a moment to talk about facial hair.

Usually I’d say that an event such as the Oscars absolutely calls for a clean shaven face. However, as fiance to a beardy man myself, I have to admit that I’ve been swooning over the Hollywood chaps who chose to keep their chins warm this year….  Bradley Cooper, Ben Afleck, Liev Schreiber, Russell Crowe and Hugh Jackman all sported rather dashing facial hair, and the silver fox himself, George Clooney, looked yummy. Nicely done boys.

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So, which were your favourites? And are you pleased with the winners?!

Ems x

Wednesday Wants…. I Am A Bird

I came across these stunning treasures on Etsy a few weeks ago, but was very happily reminded of them today when they featured in a daily ‘Etsy Finds’ email!

I Am A Bird is an enchanting Etsy shop hosted by the wonderfully talented Madeleine Belanger, a 21 year old artist and jewellery designer from British Columbia, Canada. Madeleine also has a darling blog that you can find here, but it’s really her stunning jewellery that has my attention.

Taking inspiration from her surrounding Canadian landscape, colors and animals, Madeleine hand paints each completely unique piece featuring owls, deer, evergreen trees, squirrels, racoons and birds.

You can even order a bespoke piece by Madeliene, and I think a pet portrait necklace would be an incredible gift!

fox necklace in wood necklace- framed fox necklace- hand painted unique fox necklae

Fox in wood necklace, £30

How adoringly crafty is this little fox?! This beautiful pendant was made from unique wood retrieved from wine vats, which has been cut, sanded and drilled by Madeleine’s Dad! The pendant has been painted and sanded, then filled with a crystal clear resin.

honey harvest bear- fall fashion wooden bear necklace- wheat field dark wood- iamabird black friday cyber monday sale

Honey harvest bear, £30

I love this sweet little grizzly bear who stands in front of a wheat field. Another original painting, every order is completely unique!

summer owl - turquoise teal summer fashion owl- hand painted wooden necklace black friday cyber monday sale


Summer owl, £27

I adore the teal backdrop to this owl necklace! It just looks stunning against the blonde wood and golden owl.

Framed Fox Necklace- Hand painted wood fox necklace- reclaimed wooden fox necklace

Framed fox necklace, £40

The oval shaped pieces rather remind me of cameos, and I find this little fox utterly enchanting! The wood, which is recycled from old bed posts and the like, has been hand stained.

honey bee spring fashion necklace- hand painted bee necklace- honey comb wooden necklace

Honey bee necklace, £30

I’m loving bees at the moment, so this one was bound to appeal to me. For this particular style, a hole is drilled into the wood and the bee is forever suspended in his quaint little home, safely behind a super glossy resin.

valentines bird wood slice necklace- hand painted wood slice necklace


Love bird necklace, £17

And the super-cute winner is this Love Bird necklace! The little loops are secured into each piece of wood, and from those the pendants hangs on a silver chain….you can even choose the length and colour!

Should funds allow, I’d go crazy and buy all of these….and probably lots more on the shop besides! And with an exceptionally reasonable £3 shipping cost, it’s all the more tempting!

Ems x

Wednesday Wants…. it’s party frock season!

I’m afraid for those of you who don’t like Christmas coming so early, I’m going to be rather intolerable for the next few weeks. I don’t consider myself badly swayed by the commercialism of Christmas now, it’s just that I get so excited about it I can’t wait! And whilst Christmas is very much a traditional, home-made affair for me, I can’t help but be a *little* diverted by some of the Christmassy stuff in the shops! It’s not usually dancing, singing Father Christmas plushes though….more the kind of things I like to wear around the festive season. And as such, I’m getting excited about the excuse to wear proper party frocks, with shiny glittery bits and in festive colours. Who *wouldn’t* want to get into the spirit with this stuff?!…..

Lia Jacquard Skater Dress, Whistles, £175

It’s pretty inevitable that the festive season will bring stacks of sheeny, metallic, jacquard dresses. And whilst they are annoyingly almost always polyester and dry clean only, there is something about this time of year that means you need to be all shiny and glittery. This rather luxurious looking number from Whistles wouldn’t look out of place in an Audrey Hepburn film, and it’s about as ‘me’ as you can get! I love the nipped-in waist, full skirt and the stunning shade of green. Plus, it’s super practical for this time of year with its pretty little sleeves (I bear my shoulders for no-one in the cold!).

Inda Quilted Dress in Sage Green, Reiss, £179

And sticking with the colour green, and practicality….I’m loving this quilted dress from Reiss. It’s double layered so it’ll keep you that bit more cosy and stays super cute at the same time! I have a darling little vintage shrug in emerald green with white polka dots that would go beautifully with this! See how I made a pretty little dress sound all practical?!

Oriental Jacquard Dress, Oasis, £95

Back to the jacquard now…. I’ve been eying up this oriental styled dress from Oasis for a while now. The pattern and colours look like something that would look great on the Christmas tree, but it’d still be ever so wearable all the same with a lovely cardi over it.

Invitation Vanessa Maxi Dress, Hobbs, £69 down from £119

Now I hardly ever go for a maxi dress, but there is just something so incredibly glamorous about this rather Grecian dress from Hobbs. The colour is just stunning, and all those ruffles would nicely hide all those mince pies with style and grace! It’s actually made from a jersey fabric, so easy to wear and look after, and I can’t think of anything better to glide around at a festive ball in!

Monogram Short Sleeve Lace Dress, Banana Republic, £99.50

It wouldn’t be party season without a little black dress now would it? And to that end, I’m lusting after this beautiful black lace shift dress from Banana Republic. With its smart and flattering tailoring, and cute little cap sleeves, this looks like a real wardrobe life saver to keep up your sleeve!

Iona Duchess Satin Dress, Coast, £150

Iona Duchess Satin Dress, Coast, £150

And I couldn’t let a Christmassy party frock post go without a red dress now could I?! Nothing says Christmas day attire more to me than a shiny red dress, and this one from Coast is the Christmas dress of my dreams. Made in luxurious duchess satin, and with a double layered tulle petticoat underneath, it’s just the perfect number to get all giddy and Christmas-day-excited in! In fact, if I had it, I’m pretty sure I’d wear it every day up until New Year!

I hope you’re enjoying getting excited about party season too?!

Ems x

Wednesday Wants: Elizabeth Kate Scarves

It’s not often I’ve found a real treasure through Twitter, and I certainly can’t recall one falling into my lap before. But that’s just what happened when I gained a new follower recently, in the shape of EK Scarves. I dutifully clicked on the link in the profile to have a snoop about for who this new follower was, and was utterly delighted that I had.

Elizabeth Kate is a new label by Chelsea College of Art and Design, first class honours graduate and print designer Liz Bush. Having freelanced as a designer of hand-painted silk prints for international fashion houses and high-street suppliers, Liz is now following her dream of starting her own label.

Anyone who knows me well will tell you I’m pretty obsessed with silk scarves…..I have totally lost track of how many I own but it’s probably more than fifty. True to form though, that doesn’t put me off drooling over new ones….especially in the case of such stunning designs like these. In fact, for me at least, all the boxes are ticked with Liz’s stunning designs….there’s whimsy, vivid colours, opulence, magic and wild creatures. I just adore the juxtaposition of the geometric pattern with the organic, and there’s a real fairytale secret garden enchantment about it all.

It’s not all style over substance either at Elizabeth Kate, as each scarf is crafted from 100% silk or cotton, and roll-hem stitched in Como, Italy. There are different sized scarves, and two types of silk (crepe de chine and chiffon) to choose from. All are a wonderful shape and size for wearing though, whether you prefer knotting, twisting or wrapping yours. Each purchase comes packaged in a beautiful Elizabeth Kate box, in either pink, green or orange.

They’re not cheap, but then when you consider the detailed design process and beautiful fabrics, not to mention the fact that a good scarf can brighten up practically any outfit, I think it’s a good deal for a most wearable piece of art.

As usual, I’ve done my virtual shopping trip and rounded up my list of favourites. You can see more on the website though, at the Kingly Court boutique, or at a few other stockists in and around London as well as online.

 

I love the rather ostentatious colours in the Garden Fairies design, and as a firm believer in fairies it’s rather an apt choice for me. The flowery background almost makes it psychedelic, and once folded to wear, the flashes of colour are a real treat. It’s in 100% silk crepe de chine, 90cm squared and £120.

Birds are one of my favourites, and I have some gorgeous scarves with birds on them. I also love a minty green paired with pink, so the Birds design is definitely on my hit list. This one is 100% cotton voile, 100 x 200cm and £149.

Now I can’t say I’ve ever worn turquoise with scarlet, but the Peacock scarf makes me wonder why! I love the symmetry and tessellation of this design, and would even consider framing it to go on the wall to see it in its full glory! It’s 100% silk crepe de chine, 90cm square and £120.

How adorable is this one?! I knew I’d love the Poodles design before I even clicked on the images, but it’s even more darling than I’d imagined! I’m crazy about the sugary sweet colours and all the different poochy characters. I think this one may well be my favourite in fact. It’s 100% silk chiffon, 135cm squared and £145.

The White Striped Butterfly scarf reminds me of those wonderful marbled ink pictures we used to make at school for some reason. I’m crazy about the swirling colours, but love even more so the geometric pattern they fall into. This one would get a LOT of use with my wardrobe I think! It’s 100% silk crepe de chine, 110cm squared and £149.

I also found this beautiful little quote on the website too, and was so delighted with it, I thought I’d share…..

Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon.  A happiness weapon.  A beauty bomb.  And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one.  It would explode high in the air – explode softly – and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air.  Floating down to earth – boxes of Crayolas.  And we wouldn’t go cheap, either – not little boxes of eight.  Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in.  With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest.  And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination.  ~Robert Fulghum

Ems x

Wednesday Wants: The Oasis Modern Heritage Collection

It was no surprise when in February, London Fashion Week was filled with autumnal trends on a very ‘Heritage’ theme. As sure as florals and nauticals are bound to every Spring, we can be pretty much be certain that we’ll be seeing Military and Heritage trends each Autumn.

It’d not that I mind though. I’m quite comfortable with a bit of predictability, and at least for those of us who buy things to last more than one season, we know that we’ll still be on trend the next year round!

Whilst I’ve been coveting the tweeds and knits at the likes of Hobbs, Tommy Hilfiger and Joules though (and wincing a little at their budget busting prices) I was delighted to see this morning that one of my High Street favourites, Oasis, have put together an entire collection dedicated to heritage fabrics and styling. AND at affordable prices!

I’m loving the little photographic stories they’ve styled for the launch….there is something more honest and believable about their shots than one would usually expect, whilst retaining lust-worthy value. It could be the shelves of mismatching colours, the untidy books, the bunting and carousel horse, or even that super cute pooch. Nevertheless though, the pieces themselves stand out on their own, and what’s more, each piece in the Modern Heritage range, is made with tweeds woven in England, produced exclusively by the Yorkshire based mill, Abraham Moons & Sons. I’m so pleased to see a brand like this taking on such a commendable idea, and not hiking up the prices so much as to make buying English made fabrics a total luxury. Here’s my round up of a few favourites….

Heritage Scallop Trim Dress, £89

I’m in love with this tweed. It’s such a gorgeously rich colour, but not over the top (and therefore would go well with so much!). The dress itself is just lovely I think….the prety scallop hem detail and nipped in waist get my vote, and I love that it goes over a blouse so well (very necessary in the current chill!).

It’s 100% wool, and therefore dry clean only as you’d expect. The model here wears the size 10 (she is 5’10) but it’s available in sizes 8 to 16.

There are also some super cute shorts in the same style, as well as a lovely jacket to go with them (although I can’t see me wearing shorts of any kind with my legs so I’ll stick with the dress!).

Heritage Flare Skirt, £65

How adorable is this little skirt? I would love to wear it with a big knitted jumper and my brogues…..and probably a big thick pair of tights in this weather! It has a darling flippy hem and the pretty pattern makes it mega wearable, although interesting to boot.

It’s another Dry Clean Only and comes in sizes 8 to 16.

Elastic Back Dress, £85

Now this dress just screams Christmas Day to me! The gorgeous claret is so festive, and the full skirt and elasticated back are very gluttony-friendly. I love the v-neckline, and adore that is is lined with a heritage bird print fabric too. It’s a great length too for popping on over leggings and wearing with little boots.

This one is also 100% wool and Dry Clean Only. The model wears the size 10 again (she too is 5’10) and it’s available in the usual sizes 8 to 16.

I want the whole collection really, but I’d be dead pleased to own these three pieces….. And by coincidence, you can currrently win your three favourite pieces from the collection in Oasis’ Facebook competition here, as well as an extra £250 to spend online at Oasis!

Ems x