Arcadia Preview Event

Last week I went to the Arcadia press day and had a grand time perusing the spring summer 2015 collections from all the brands, chatting with other bloggers and making off with free plants.


So what are we going to be wearing next year? One word- CULLOTTES. Around 1993 I LIVED in a pair of black cullottes that I bought in Evans. They were the most comfy and practical thing I owned (I never wore jeans in those days) and wore them until they begged me for retirement. I’m happy to see that come summer, I can relive my student days in an array of fabrics and colours, but maybe without the aztec patterned waistcoat I used to team them with. And the jheri curl.


Apart from cullottes that will be just about everywhere, we will apparently be wearing lots of pastels, white, and seventies style big prints which are all alright by me.


As usual, I spent the most time looking at the Evans collection and while there are always pieces that I like in their main range, this season they have given us extra fashion power with their Cut for Evans and Design Collective ranges. Select pieces from the latter almost reduced a grown woman to tears of appreciation. Honestly.



Cut for Evans, designed by Ellie Northway and eve Turley

This is the Evans dress to end all Evans dresses. The standout piece designed by Giles Deacon is truly a sight to behold and a real showstopper. The back is sheer, (you can just about tell from the photo) the fabric is luxurious with a subtle sheen, and the factor is WOW. A real class act which clearly amplifies the fact that I really need to broaden my social horizons as I have absolutely nowhere to where such a glorious creation to. My life revolves around school, church and sewing and this display of splendour is wholly unsuitable for  them all.
p4 p5


I have no immediate need for a wedding dress, and if I did plan on getting married I’ve always said I would never wear white as there are too many colours in the rainbow to choose from. However this dress had me rethinking my decision.



A beautifully beaded (and very heavy) heirloom piece with Downton Wedding written all over it. Another showstopper.


Now this dress……p7 p8


I really wish I’d taken better photos of it as its a must for my wardrobe and it rendered me speechless when asked by Evans PR to give my opinion on it. I love the bold camoflage print, the sheer lace panels, the drop waist- it basically ticks all my boxes.


Other items I loved from the entire Evans collection….p9 p10 p12 p13 p15

d15 d25 d23

And from Dorothy Perkins…



d20 d22

and Topshop…


I can’t fit into it but boy, do I love the print.

So that was the preview folks. Now back to reality with the wind, rain, and the current six degree temperature.




Tata Naka SS 2015

Man, I love fashion.

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Evans Almighty

I may be a little biased but London Fashion Week has always been my favourite fashion week since day dot, and this season the promise of the  Evans Design Collective show gave me another reason to look forward to it. Imagine- Evans on the main LFW schedule slap bang in the middle of the week. Well where else would it be- could you imagine putting any Phillip Green associated show off schedule? Ha! I think not. The Evans team plus six established designers- Giles Deacon, Clements Ribeiro, Hema Kaul, Lulu Liu, Jamie Wei Huang, and Vita Gottlieb- all showcasing clothes I can fit into. The collection looked great and it was good to see directional pieces that wouldn’t have looked out of place in any other LFW show for younger customers, alongside more classic fare for their core customer. The mix was good and as a brand that tries to be everything to every fat body, I think they did well.

Watch the show. What are your favourite pieces? Mine are the green evening dress, the white asymmetric dungaree dress and the silver leather laser cut skirt. Oh and the white burnout midi skirt. And the translucent silver floaty skirt. And the……..

Can I get an Amen?

Just saw this vid on the Pocket Rocket blog and had to re-post. Going by the comments under Lauren’s post, opinion is split about 50/50 with those who love the clothes and those who don’t. I personally don’t. But I do love the attitude of the show. It’s a catwalk show during fashion week season that thrusts a huge middle finger up at the industry and says f*ck flattering, this is what I want to wear. It’s fun and its a stark contrast to the work of most designers that do plus ranges and thats a bonus. Not every fat person loves Monif C’s jersey dresses, Anna Scholz’s bold prints or Elena Miro’s tailored looks. Thats not to negate the work of those designers, I’m just illustrating that what the industry needs is some diversity. You can wear a different type of look every day if you wear a size 10- why not have this option in a size 22?

I hope Gisela Ramirez goes far. The show reminds me a lot of Henry Holland’s first catwalk appearance in 2006 where he sent a load of t-shirts down the runway, emblazened with slogans in homage to supermodels. Look where he is now. Since then he’s become a more serious designer who has maintained his irreverant sense of humour,  gained a solid following and has also shown he can go the commercial high street route by designing a range for Debenhams. The boy done good.

Gisela Ramirez’s online store is here.

PS- Its good to see Kellie-Jean Drinkwater back on the catwalk. I was wondering where she had gotten to, she has been missed.

Evans Preview, Autumn Winter 2010

Want to know what you’ll be wearing next season? Well lemme tell ya…..

Last week I was invited to attend the Arcadia (parent company to Evans, Topshop, Dorothy Perkins plus others) preview event for autumn winter 2010 and caught a glimpse of the collections that will be in store for us next season.

Next years key word- TEXTURE. It was everywhere and it was on everything from clothing to accessories and everything in between (not that there’s much in between but you know what I mean), in the form of heavy looped knits, fur,  feathers and velvet. There was lots of black which we’ve seen a lot of over the past few winters and I was happy to see that some of the neutral tones of spring summer 2010 were still around, albeit in deeper, more intense, warmer hues.

Of all the brands on show,  Evans  was of course the one I headed to first and it didn’t disappoint. All the major trends were there including a gothic Twilight inspired range with all black ensembles highlighted with an abundance of  metallic detailing and embellishments, lace, beautiful wool coats and scrumptious velvet including  long velvet boots that were just LUSH.

Other looks on show…..

Also spotted fur-lined ankle boots- a definite necessity if we’re going to continue to have horrid winters, and the perfect accompaniment to…..

…… big knits and blanket style jackets.

One of my personal favourite stories from Evans was entitled Biba and featured vintage looks with floaty bead embellished dresses and fur collars on coats and jackets that reminded me of Gosford Park……………

ADORE this dress. Heart print!

I’m certainly not looking forward to next winter in general as I’m a certified summer person, but at least Evans is ensuring that when the zero temperatures hit again we won’t look anything less than superfab.

I can’t keep quiet any longer…

I’ve not really done any coverage on this ‘ere space about the fashion week season as I’ve been pretty busy although I have been regularly checking in with and to see what’s new on the runways. One show I was looking forward to seeing so that I could laugh and point was at Emanuel Ungaro with its newly appointed creative advisor- um… Lindsay Lohan at the helm.

When I first heard rumblings along these lines some months ago- I dismissed it as another internet rumour which would no doubt go the same way as all the other internet rumours that have been revealed to be utter nonsense. Then I started getting emails from fashion heavyweights like WWD, Vogue et al and I started to take notice. LINDSAY LOHAN?!?! In the words of Bethamint from a comment on Tuesday’s post-


We all know that fashion is struggling at all levels of the market and people need to do what they can to stay afloat but LINDSAY LOHAN? at UNGARO?  I saw the show pics a few days ago and didn’t comment but the words in my head have been clawing away at my brain and the insides of my fingertips and I need to set them free. WHAT. THE. FUG?

I don’t even know where to start but my first thought about he whole thing is that its akin to giving a 17-year-old a brand spanking hand made Aston Martin to drive as soon as they take their first driving lesson. If you are going to be appointed advisor of anything at all then surely the position calls for the appointee to have a wealth of knowledge and experience in that area to bring to the role. The 6126 leggings label that Ms Lohan recently launched appears to be doing really well and Lindsay is forever in the news but is that enough to be handed the Aston Martin keys?I don’t blame Ungaro for wanting to align themselves with a celebrity in a bid to increase profits/ profile because everyone does it from H&M to Marc Jacobs- theres no shame in it, but for a luxury house to want to join forces with Ms Lohan has ruffled more than a few feathers including those of the designer at Ungaro, Esteban Cortazar who was fired for refusing to work with her. It could all backfire.

When I saw the first few pics in the collection I instantly thought of this lady….


….then my mind immediately jumped to this lady……


…..and I thought- eek! I like Dame Barbara Cartland and I liked Barbie as a kid, I just don’t think either of them should have been influencing this particular show. Oh- there was a good dose of this lady too…


 IMHO the collection was largely a hot mess. It made me cringe and I’m sitting at home looking at photos on the net. If I had been at the show itself I’d probably have slouched low in my seat with my notebook covering my face. If you’ve never seen an Ungaro show you only have to look through the archives to illustrate my point. Who is the collection supposed to be targeting? It wasn’t all bad. I liked the fuchsia and orange colour clash especially when combined in a paintbrush type print that was used throughout the show, and there was one red skirt I liked with a white heart print all over it but it was really more suited to Topshop than Ungaro. There were a few glimmers of potential but the styling was off. On the whole there were more misses than hits and the heart shaped nipple covers were straight up stripper.

Do I have a problem with celebrity fashion lines in general? Sometimes. The issue of whether you need a fashion design degree to be a designer and celebrity fashion collections in general has often been debated (eg: here and here) and I personally don’t think a design degree is absolutely necessary but it certainly helps a lot and actual industry experience is invaluable. Then again- how many of these celebrities are actually sitting in a design studio filling out specification sheets, and creating working drawings? How many have a clearcut vision of what they want the business to be how to go about developing it? How many just pay someone else to do the hard graft and put their name to the finished product? For some celebrities owning your own label is just another commodity like the multi million pound mansion or a driveway full of luxury cars and I don’t think everyone understands how much work is actually involved- it’s a business afterall, not a hobby and the average designer doesn’t sit around drawing pretty pictures and twirling hair round their fingers all day.

One celebrity who has surprised me with a sophisticated and credible collection is Victoria Beckham. I may have said this already on here so I might be repeating myself but when she got in on the fashion game I was mad. Seriously- I was. I rolled my eyes with DvB jeans but I was fit to burst when I heard about her plans to launch The Victoria Beckham Collection. However- I’ve been silenced. I haven’t got a single bad word to say about any of it. Her collections are well designed, wearable and cohesive. There has been no big flashy catwalk show, only small private showing to a select few buyers and journalists and she has pulled it off in fine style. Does she have a design degree? Nope. How involved is she in the design process itself? I couldn’t tell you. Should she go on to be the next creative advisor at a luxury label? NO!

Foot Stamping and Tantrum Throwing at LFW

Did you hear the one about the stylist who threw a mega-strop and resigned over a designer’s decision to use size 12 and 14 models in his show? Not a joke- actual fact.

Pic from Grazia

London designer Mark Fast is known for creating highly covetable sculptured body con knitted dresses that cost an arm and a leg. His latest show for SS2010 featured three models of sizes 12 and 14 but the decision was not favoured by all and one stylist actually resigned over the decision. RESIGNED!! I’m still laughing now! He/ she must have been high on the smell of all that hairspray backstage and momentarily lost their grip on reality. The whole damn world is in recession, people are hanging on to their jobs like life jackets in a storm, and there’s one drama queen throwing a hissy fit and walking out over a size 12 model. It’s not your collection, just get on with it! Freelance work can be hard enough to get in the first place so once you secure a gig you want to be hanging onto it firmly I would have thought.

Grazia pic 2

Thankfully someone else with a little more sense/ professionalism/ maturity stepped in and the show went on without a hitch. These fashion types I tell ya- an endless source of entertainment.

Elena Miro Autumn/ Winter 2009

Trying to find images of Elena Miro’s Autumn Winter 2009 collection has been a bit like looking for a needle in the proverbial haystack. When Elena Miro showed her Spring Summer 2009 collection in September last year there was more coverage in the UK press, primarily I feel because hers was the first collection to kick off the Milan shows. I had hoped that that premier slot in the SS 2009 schedule would stir the press suffienctly enough to continue their interest in any subsequent shows that Miro exhibited in. How naive of me. I’ve had to search the internet inside out to find these few pictures of the show and they come courtesy of Italian blog, For more photos see another Italian blog,

Gok Wan, Day One

Gok is in town! Today was the first day of filming in my home town and it was great. I didn’t realise that they were actually filming the entire series this week, all in the same location, I thought they were filming each episode in a different city but what do I know about TV? I know the team are in Selfridges all week but I thought there must be something scheduled for the other days- or repeating the same show to different audiences. Oh what a dunderhead I am.

Well as I said in my last Gok themed post, there are shows at 1pm and 6pm from now til Tuesday. What I didn’t realise was that each of these shows would constitute a different episode of the series. I went to the first show at 1pm but couldn’t stay too long as I had to get to work. Work always gets in the way of the fun stuff. I left work around 5.15, grabbed a sandwich and raced to Selfridges so that I could get a ticket to enter the inner voting circle. I got there in time and was handed my pink and black A4 sheets  with which to cast my vote. The show started and out came Gok and Brix in different outfits to what they had on earlier because of course- its a different episode. Of courrrrrrse!  I felt like I was in on a secret as they talked about the events of “last week” when in fact what they meant was “a few hours ago” (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) and as you have probably guessed, I was grinning like a 6 year old in Disneyland. Why was I so excited? Its fashion baby, and I just love it.

Gok was great and I have to say, I had a hard time figuring out which looks were high street and which were designer. The earlier show that I saw part of was a bit easier but this one wasn’t as obvious. Of course, you’re not supposed to stand there trying to figure it out. The idea is toas to vote for whichever collection you like best and you find out which is which afterwards. Regular watchers of Gok’s Fashion Fix will know that he wins EVERY week. Well not this time. The designer collections won for the first time ever and Gok hit the floor. It was so much fun. The only downside was that you had to watch the show over and over and over and over and over and…….. because I guess they need to have enough material to edit and piece together so that the finished piece is perfect. I don’t think I have the patience to work in film and TV because that would drive me crazy.

Unfortunately I don’t have any pics yet. I took a few on my phone but I don’t have the USB cable with me so they’re just stuck in my phone. I don’t think they are great anyhow but it would be nice to have some photos to look at instead of just my endless stream of text, even if they are just blurred images of the backs of people’s heads.

I’ve had a great evening and I’m looking forward to tomorrow!

Gok Wan Comes to Brum

TV fashion stylist Gok Wan is coming to Birmingham next week to film part of his new series of Gok’s Fashion Fix at Selfridges. If you have no idea who I’m talking about, click here for the crash course.

He will be filmed doing his fashion face off against designer boutique owner Brix Smith- Start (co- founder of Start) in a bid to prove that you can achieve catwalk looks with high street clothes. Filming will take place from Tuesday March 10 to Friday March 13 and there will be chances to see him in action at 1pm and 6pm each day. Also, the first 200 people there will get the chance to vote in the final catwalk showdown. For more info visit