Inspired by: Being Over Shopped or Under Paid!

 

Sometimes you really do just have to see the silver lining…or gold in my case! So here’s my story…

This month I have been fluttering within the realm of social media more so than usual. This of course is fun! It’s great to see what’s out there, I love to be inspired and it’s important to invest into the blogosphere, as I treasure it so dearly.

Au contraire to what internet phobes and pre-historic anti social media characters might say…there really is some good stuff out there and so inspired have I been that much of this months fashion purchases have been enthused  by fellow bloggers.

Most of my social media travels are concerned with fashion and style and I flit between blogs, Polyvore and Pinterest. On my journeys I discover new styling ideas and new looks that I want to try out…I pin them to my  Pinterest board, I blog about them on Charms of a Dandizette and then I look through my wardrobe to see how I can imitate, recreate or incorporate said style into my own life.

The problem, however, begins when in my wardrobe I can’t find the right print trouser, a top that sits the way I want it to or a shoe that says this about me rather than that. I begin to make mental notes, ‘I need to buy this, I have to   remember to buy that.’  Then I come back to Pinterest, to any particular blog post I have bookmarked, Shared or Liked and then I begin to write my shopping list.

The mid-season sales began this month so I made it my point of duty to purchase as much as I could on my shopping list, with a few little extras that weren’t, but were such a good deal that I couldn’t pass them up! As the weather in London has been generally atrocious I have yet been able to wear half the clothes I have bought, so they sit in my wardrobe, tags still hanging off, awaiting their debut!

On Wednesday, whilst listening to a Cafe Del Mar chill out set on YouTube and envisioning myself sipping cocktails on a beach on the continent or at a roof top bar (if I have to be in London) with the sun beaming its rays on me, a promotional email from Kensington Roof Gardens came through, boasting about the great weather this weekend and Roof Gardens being the place to be. Instantly I got excited, if its true, if the weather really is going to be nice…I want to spend the day in some swanky roof top bar, sipping cocktails that are super overpriced, just so I can finally get dressed up in something new!

This morning I woke up, the sun was shining a little, excitement grew a little more, I apprehensively checked the weather forecast, excitement surged through the roof  – lots of sun promised for the capital this weekend! Then I began to mentally plan what I might wear whilst logging onto my online bank account… ‘snake print trousers with purple top, no, black and white skirt with red top Olivia Palermo style, or…’

Low and behold, my bank balance appears on screen and excitement suddenly disappears so quickly it crashes through the floor. All possibilities of debuting ensembles, spending double figures on cocktails and maybe even squeezing in a purchase of a pair of Alexander McQueen wedges I spotted in the sale are out of the window!

As well as laughing at myself right now for spending so frivolously this month and really expecting to afford some glammed up weekend, I am also laughing at the irony o f  it all! Loads of fabulous clothes, nowhere fabulous to  go. Only a few months ago I wrote a piece about my new found love for the court shoe due to its versatility and suitability to my more ‘mature’ lifestyle. It was inspired by my partner who had said to me, ‘What is the point of your money hanging in your wardrobe when you can have it sitting in your bank?’ A comment he had made off the back of me purchasing party dresses and glamazon shoes, which are still boxed away or hanging in my wardrobe unworn because, truth be told, I rarely party!

Admittedly, I didn’t need to shop so excessively…instead of buying everything on my list and then some, I could have crossed a few things off! I put it down to the occupational hazard of fashion blogging and also to my predisposition of seeing the world through fashion tinted glasses.

My weekend is more than likely going to be less fabulous than I imagined…but, the gold lining is, I can stay at home, save on spending, be productive and write! The ultimate question is…can you consider yourself a fashion blogger without partaking in the accumulation of fashion goods?

Here’s what’s been inspiring me…Be charmed, stay inspired! x

Coveted Collars…

The Perfect Collaring…

Gold Louis Vuitton Collar with Gold Chanel Chains
The Perfect Black and Gold Ensemble. Gold Louis Vuitton Collar with Gold Chanel Chain

Designers, stylists and fashion enthusiasts have been paying a particular  attention to the embellishment of shirt collars for some time now. However, it would appear that the trend has evolved, in typical fashion manner, and the collar has now graduated from being a mere aspect of a garment, that when accessorised appeared fashion savvy, to being an actual accessory in its very own right.

Although the Peter Pan collar has been gracing the high streets with its presence for some time now, the rounded, almost cutesy collar climbed the ladder and reached critical claim amongst the fashion big wigs when Marc Jacobs designed his autumn/winter 2011-12 Louis Vuitton collection that featured a motif of the collar throughout the entire collection. Models walked the Louis Vuitton runway adorned in dresses, coats and blouses that appeared to have been designed with the Peter Pan collar as the leading stimulus.

The collar is absolutely huge this season, literally, and walks hand in hand with yet another trend of the season, the sweater. However you choose to wear your collar and which collar style you opt for is entirely up to you. I have found the collar to be the perfect accessory to revamp simple black dresses and sweaters. I have  been slipping printed shirts with classic collars beneath round necked jumper dresses, woollen sleevless dresses and v-neck sweaters. The classic shirt collar and the likes of the long pointed style collar, like Rihanna wore beneath her Alexander McQueen dress on the  X Factor UK 2011, can appear serious and buttoned up if not careful. However, Rihanna’s collar worked because of its complete unpredictability and frivolity.

The key to implimenting the new collar trend into an ensemble that  leans itself more towards fashion savvy as opposed to formal work wear,  is to keep it quirky and unpredictable –  particularly when donning the classic shirt collar.

Coveted Collars

Louis Vuitton Peter Pan Collar - Louis Vuitton Winter 2011 Collection
Louis Vuitton Peter Pan Collar - Louis Vuitton Winter 2011 Collection
 
Louis Vuitton Gold Collar
Louis Vuitton Gold Collar - The perfect accessory this seasonRihanna X Factor UK 2011 wearing Alexander McQueen Dress accessorised with shirt collar

Embellished simple shirt collar
Accessorised Sweater and Denim shirt collar
Louis Vuitton Autumn Winter 2011 CollectionA Collection of Collars

Rihanna wears Alexander McQueen on X Factor

McQ Alexander McQueen Dress worn by Rihanna on X Factor
McQ By Alexander McQueen dress worn by Rihanna on UK X Factor 2011

On Sunday  night Rihanna bounced around the UK X Factor stage wearing beetle crusher shoes and a cutesy Alexander McQueen dress. Admittedly, this may not have been the sexed up performance we would have expected or hoped for from Rihanna.  It was a major contrast to the femme fatale, seductress many of us associate Rihanna with.

The performance didn’t even remotely compare to her previous X Factor appearances, that have seen her under dressed in bra tops and barely there shorts, sculpted in a power shouldered body con dress and sensuous in that full length black dress, cut away from the top of the hip the entire way down the leg, that nearly sucked the voice out of Matt Cardle.

The beetle crusher shoes may be a little way out there for me in terms of fashion, but because I am absolutely all about the collar this season I was excited by the fact that she embellished the Alexander McQueen frock with a perfect pointy collar.  

Marella Ferrera – Sicilian Treasure

Marella Ferrera is possibly one of Sicily’s most influential and inspirational fashion designers still living and working in Sicily. Sicily always at the heart of her artistic endeavours, Marella Ferrera has provided the island not only with its very own claim to high fashion, but possibly one of the most imaginative and intelligent fashion designers to date.

Sicilian fashion designer Marella FerreraMarella Ferrera is an acclaimed Haute Couturier and Prêt a Porter designer who began her career in 1974 after attending the Accademia di Costume e di Moda (Academy of Costume and Fashion, Rome). She has won numerous awards across Europe that have crowned her ‘Best Couturier’ and given her recognition globally. The precious works of Marella Ferrera are not only the proud possessions of Sicilian art and fashion, but are the treasures of Sicilian culture, history and geography.

It is in the creations of Marella Ferrera that one can truly begin to decipher the distinction of Sicilian fashion from Italian, ‘true Sicilian style is not related to the clichés of “mafia, coppola (1) and lupara (2)”, but it is the unique and elegant melange of tradition, heritage; all the conquerors that signed the identity of this land,’ she explains. Using materials that are rustic, raw materials that are geologically Sicilian and materials that may not necessarily be associated with fashion design at all gives Marella her distinctiveness. A Marella Ferrera creation not only acts as an emblem of Sicilian fashion and art, but gives her designs an unmatched exceptionality. The core of a Marella Ferrera design, beyond its sicilianita’ is her desire to create, ‘garments unlike anything you would normally see,’ she says.

A Marella Ferrera dress might be embroidered with terracotta or embellished with thin clay flowers. She incorporates lava rock, rock crystal, copper wire, papyrus, textile paper, cork and palm roots, to name just a few, into her designs. ‘For my professional fulfilment I have always trusted in the potential of my birth land. I have never cut the cord that ties me to Sicily, Sicily is my creative limb.’
Italian Sicilian Catanese Fashion designerThe bodice of a Marella Ferrera dress can take up to one month to be created, she describes the process of making a terracotta dress, ‘it must be painted, then it is broken, pierced with holes, and crocheted together like a piece of embroidery.’ The final result is a dress that one might assume to be heavy or stiff due to the materials used to create it. Surprisingly a terracotta dress weighs only a hundred grams. Using science and geography to create pieces without a mind that continuously seeks knowledge and takes on experimentation might seem impossible, but Marella persists to take on challenges to make new discoveries and push physical boundaries. The advances in technology are paramount to her designs, as this provides her with the tools that allow her to reinvent and present the innate materials of Sicily in original ways.

Her creations have a sensitivity about them that evokes her spirit and her sentiment. Her work is poetic and picturesque, whilst remaining romantic and sensual. Marella’s designs can transform any woman in to a goddess, so much so she designed the wedding gown of Princess Elvira Grimaldi di Nixima, the cousin of Princess Carolina of Monaco and frequently sells her creations to Arab princesses. Her designs are favoured as wedding dresses and ceremonial events. A Marella Ferrera dress is for the occasion that is to be memorable, worn by women who want their garments to have significance and discourse.

It is clear to see that she is a couturier at heart. Placing a Marella Ferrera design in the middle of a room transcends its purpose, from protection and functionality to a piece of art ornamenting a space – a memento of her dreams, her childhood, her travels and her origin. She creates designs with such intricacy and attention to detail that she is any fashion technicians dream. Her fashion design and creative process is just as intriguing and inventive as that of the wondrous Karl Lagerfeld or the talented and late Alexander McQueen. One might indeed find a likeness comparing the work of Marella Ferrera to an artist or a sculptor and this is what makes both her and her work so unique and enchanting. Marella’s designs are a castle in the air, a wonderland or a fairy tale that have been miraculously brought to reality. The utilisation of outstanding technique and an approach to fashion design that is out of this world creates designs that are literally like no other, thus far. Marella Ferrera truly is a Sicilian treasure.

Visit Marrella Ferrera’s multi-functional Museum come Artelier in Sicily Catania. Read more about Sicily in Platform Magazine.

Sicilian cap
1) Sicilian Coppola Cap2) Lupara, sawn down shot gun

 

Powerful Heights

Powerful Heights

There is something significantly powerful that women feel when we dress in garb that is strictly female. We worked so hard for our recognition, why now would we muddy it up with yet another manly tool in our wardrobe?  

The high heeled shoe is an emphatic device that can turn an unpretentious jeans and t-shirt combination into a red carpet worthy, iconic ensemble, documented for years to come. It is no revelation that the science and magic in heel heightening has sophisticated itself so expertly that men, women, designers, fashionistas and civilians just can’t get enough of the shoes that keep us so elevated from the world and confident that we shan’t fall or won’t care if we do.

Shoes have become so magnificent that we can no longer survive on the simple Court, the T bar or the Mary Jane, we want higher heels, perspex heels, chrome heels, heart shaped platforms, cantilever heels, heels in the shape of the Eifel tower and wedges just as high and the designers have just kept them coming and coming; higher, sexier and more jaw droppingly magical every time.  

Christian Louboutin designed the vertically heeled shoes for DavidChristian louboutin, art exhibition, david lynch, paris, red sole, shoes, high heels Lynch’s Fetish exhibition at Paris’ Galerie du Passage in 2007, Miucca Prada had models toppling over their platform sandals in Milan 2008 and 2009; Alexander McQueen designed the Alien versus Predator shoe that everybody in 2010 is raging about. These shoes, like the lady we first to wear them send us totally Gaga; neither is exactly beautiful, but both are ridiculously tremendous and both make us question, ‘Can you really wear that?’  

 

 

 

Alien shoes, twelve inch heels, lady gaga shoes, alexander mcqueen shoes

Well, of course these shoes are far from practical, but it didn’t take this shoe to reach impracticality, the predecessors have been just as impractical – in fact there is no such thing as a practical, high heeled shoe. This is what fashion is all about, being excessive, a little bit quirky, sometimes understated, other times over the top, but always unnecessary. Are high heels worth all the hype?

In a word – Yes. Feminists may disagree, but high heels are a woman’s super power and they are intrinsically female; It’s ok that Marc Jacobs, absent of Scottish heritage wears a kilt, but how would we feel if he wore six inch high, Mini Bout Killer Louboutins?

Yet this fashion terminologAlberta Ferretti Brogue, creme brogue, summer broguesy ‘boyfriend’ seems to be knocking about almost too frequently, applied to almost too many items of clothing, seeming as though it’s definitely here to stay; we have boyfriend blazers, boyfriend shirts, boyfriend cardigans and boyfriend jumpers and even without the boyfriend title we can wear their belts, their watches, their caps and their satchels. Surely we want to draw the line there and keep our feet strictly female, strictly feminine and strictly sky scrapingly high? The overflow of flat shoes on the runway, the saturation of Brogues and other mannish shoes on the streets would obviously prove not. The Brogues in the ss2010 Alberta Ferretti collection are most certainly pretty and have been made effeminate, however they still render the man’s shoe.

Lee Wright indicates that the stiletto heel has been extensively perceived by both men and women as a symbol of female subordination, photographer David Bayley made a statement, ‘I like heels, I know it’s chauvinistic. It means girls can’t run away from me’, the Brogue and the mannish shoe could be the rebuttal to this comment. Maybe these shoes are an act of freedom or a rebellious act, here to save us from the crippling of our feet, the excruciating pain at the end of an evening out and the back pains we will suffer, if not already suffering. But once upon a time the heeled shoe was the act of rebellion and liberation, just as the brogue and the masculine shoe may be today.

Topshop flat chunky lace up boot, brown boot, womens lace up boot,I am by no means submissive or subservient and have zero in common with the Stepford Wives. If you wanted to, you could go as far as to say I may possess some feminist traits, I give a go at being a womanly woman or at least a powerful woman and I try to dress accordingly  – after all I am a heterosexual who guiltily enjoys the look of approval from a man and lucky enough to be born in an era where I can love every minute of being a woman. Having said that, my partner hates my heels, but that’s a power struggle he’ll have to give in to.

Lady Gaga with Alexander McQueen, Alexander McQueen hugging Lady Gaga, Fashion Designeralexander mcqueen, lady gaga shoes designer, alien shoe designer,

Thank you McQueen for the power packed twelve inch heel and everything else you have done for fashion. RIP X x x