Thursday, 7 April 2011

Experiments in Elegance

So today I decided to make the most of the sun and create a few summery looks, playing with smart wear.

Day 53 - Here I tucked a blazer into some trousers and then layered a sleeveless leather jacket over the top. I really love the outcome and I think the sunglasses finish it off perfectly. This is a Elegant/Smart look but with more of an edge.

Day 54 - Here I've gone for a much softer look. I've stuck to pastel colours to match the blazer. I love the brown tones because they go so well with silver, especially the silver brooch I attached to the lapel. To complete the look I wore some woven leather sandals.

Day 55 - I got this blazer from a charity shop for £3 and as a blazer I wasn't a big fan, so instead I cut off the arms. I really like this sort of Victorian look and the colour scheme. Then to pull the whole thing together I added an un-tied bow-tie and some argyle socks, keeping the colour scheme consistent.

Day 56 - I really like how I've played with the shape of the blazer in this look. I folded in the lapels and buttoned it up inward, then layered some braces over the top. I think a blazer is such an interesting piece of apparel because it can be worn in so many different ways, you just have to play around and get creative!

Day 57 - I wanted to clash patterns in this look, mixing a tweed blazer with stripey shorts. I think the blues go really well with the browns in the tweed and the fur waistcoat really finishes the look off.

Day 58 - I love that vintage school boy look. Here I matched a vintage school blazer with simple green shorts and simple leather shoes. To mix it up I added a brightly coloured tie and a belted the waist, to play with the shape.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Week 2 - Elegance

This week I want to look at Elegance and what it means to be Elegant.

The first thing I thought of when taking this style into consideration were the many 1940s dapper gentleman of Hollywood. In a time where a double-breasted suit and a gold pocket watch were essentials, I'm curious as to see if over 60 years later our opinion on what is Elegant is that same or something else.

For me, I like to play with this idea and dress the look up or down. It's not so much a trend as much as Nautical was last week but it is a style that is constantly reinventing itself as each decade rolls by.

So for this week I'm going to be looking at High-Street, Designer Catwalks and of course my own wardrobe...

But before I do anything creative I need to evaluate my wardrobe. I want to create a really diverse set of looks, something for everyone:

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Nautical on the Catwalk

This iconic look is one that continues to inspire some of the leading designers in the fashion world and I don't think it will ever be completely eradicated from the catwalk.

The Neon Sailor - I have always loved Jil Sander's use of colour and I love how some of their latest looks this spring translate over to the Nautical style. By leaving the shapes very understated, they cleverly focus on precise tailoring and a vibrate colour palette to make their collection really stand out

The Modern Sailor - Junya Watanabe played with the classical Nautical look for their spring line and gave it a modern twist. I love the minimal colour scheme of the collection and even down to the model selection they stayed true to the Nautical look. My Favorite is the look with the stripey trousers :P

The Everyday Sailor - I love how the wide variety in the Pringle of Scotland spring collection is kept together by their Nautical colour scheme. Going for both understated and outlandish outfits they create something for everyone and I personally love their use of texture.

The Dapper Sailor - I recognised a lot of the apparel in the Prada spring 2011 collection from pieces I have seen in various editorials and features. Although not typically Nautical pieces, their colour schemes and shapes are very traditional of the Nautical look. I love their big chunky multi-coloures knitwear.

The Playful Sailor - The typical Tommy Hilfiger look is one that compliments the Nautical look very well. Both of them rely on clean tailoring and yet what the latest Tommy Hilfiger collection has done is had a bit of fun with the old style, adding colours which you wouldn't necessarily expect.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Nautical on the High Street..

Today I ventured out onto the High Street in search of the perfect Nautical look, the High Street nearest me (Kingston) isn't exactly the best but you've gotta work with what you've got..

So basically what I did was scour the biggest names on the High Street and then I created a look based on the Nautical Trend.

1. HM - I really like this look, in fact it might be my favorite purely because of how summery it is. I was immediately drawn to those bright red shorts, and so matched them with an XL stripey cardigan and a beige blazer. It's a typical modern Nautical look but one of the best outcomes I could achieve on the High Street. HM is perfect for nautical style stripey tees and brightly colored shorts, as well as it being a cheaper option.

2. TOPMAN - It's probably the most popular shop on the High Street these days, but I was just so disappointed. I opted for a very simple Nautical look that would make a good base for me to then accessorise over the top but as for the latest TOPMAN stock - unless your shopping in the LTD or more expensive sections - it's pretty slim pickings.

3. River Island - I normally avoid River Island like the plague but to my surprise I did manage to put a quite nice outfit together. I think the trick to River Island is that on their own the pieces are quite dull but when you start layering them all together and thinking outside the box you might be able to surprise yourself.

4. ZARA - Usually one of my favorites amongst the High Street, I wasn't a fan of the latest Nautical themed wears at ZARA. I think a lot of they're new stock is aimed for younger people, however the other, better apparel is taking on the Safari look so I'll bear them in mind when I study that style in the next few weeks.

5. GAP - Second to the HM outfit, this is also one of my favorites. It's an outfit that I would never usually consider, it's a bit too plain and laid back for me, but I think it is a good example of a subtle Nautical outfit. Like the TOPMAN one I think I could jazz it up with pieces from my own wardrobe but still I like the faint pastel colours.

If you see anything you like on here then go and explore the High Street near you, just remember to not be a mannequin but instead put your own spin on the clothing and BE BRAVE!

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Nautical Inspired..

Day 48 - With this look I wanted to clash lots of different patterns together. I matched an anchor print Puma tee with a striped hoodie/blazer and a stripey nautical handkerchief.

Day 49 - I went for a much more striking look in this picture. I wore an electric blue shirt and crossed my braces over. It is a much more modern interpretation of the nautical look.

Day 50 - Here I went for a much more laid-back nautical look, including a pink shirt and a plum hoodie to go with the blues and beige shorts. Not all nautical looks have to be focused around navy and blue.

Day 51 - I really love the colours in this outfit. I layered a loose fitting top over my jumper in an attempt to play with layering. I think it works really well.

Day 52 - This is probably my most classically nautical looking outfit. I layered a denim shirt under a striped jumper and then a Ralph Lauren cardigan over the top.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Week 1 - Nautical

I think the Nautical trend is a problematic one in that it so simple and timeless yet is can so easily be over done and made to look cheap. All through the high-street every spring we are swamped in stripey t-shirts and gold anchor pendants, but if your going to try and conquer such a recognisable look, first you have to get
the basics down..

(Above - Clement Chabernaud by Glen Luchford for Vogue Hommes International)

When I was racking through my wardrobe today as usual, I started sorting everything out and began to compile a basic skeleton to build a Nautical look up from:

First things first, with the Nautical trend - before adding your own personal touches - it's important to set the base for your outfit that you can then build on. For me I collated up lots of different fabrics and shapes that I can eventually create into a complete look. In my bundle I managed to find a bit of everything and surprisingly a lot of it. But just a stripey jumper and navy shorts isn't enough for me so now I can go on and add my own personal stamp on things.

The Nautical trend is a blessing when it comes to accessorising and putting your own spin on the look. For me I was playing about with socks and sandals and ignoring the fashion faux pas, taking the look that little bit further. Also one of the most important things about Nautical is to be careful when it comes to bejeweling your outfit in sailor memorabilia. The biggest tip I could give is that when choosing your jewels - ALWAYS GO VINTAGE!

That classic Nautical look dates back to the late 19th Century so do it justice and DON'T drown yourself in cheap looking anchors and chains etc. The two pieces I have that I picked out over the rest are both perfect for this style. The first is a antique silver anchor with hearts on which I got from a friend of my nana's, and the second is a vintage pocket watch that my sister bought me from EBay. There is a big difference between antique and high street, not in price but in quality. Go to antique shops and raid the cabinets for a bargain because they are out there and worth that little bit extra.