Sunday, 27 March 2011

Focus: Carnaby Street - Part Two: The Kooples

So, to continue with merits of the Carnaby Street area... This one is actually a small but not unassuming shop at 22 Carnaby Street, London W1F 7DB. It's called The Kooples and it's one very nice shop. If you are a short-wearer, lace-lover or just someone in need of some sharp, non-suit officewear this is The One.

I have to admit that the website just does not do the shop any justice. Each piece is really beautifully considered. Trimmings, edging, tailoring. So you just have to take my word for it and go in.

The general colour palette of the collection is quite conservative - army green, navy, black and white so they are not too ostentatious for the office but the pieces are amazing. I love both the lace and the plain shorts (each £120) with their scalloped edges. So chic and perfect for that work/going out conundrum.

The label has developed it's line to go together so if you needed a warm layer or to smarten up the shorts for a meeting, there is also a matching suit jacket in the plain fabric. I have to add, that the plain shorts do have excellently considered satin yokes so that they are ultra-flattering. Does go without saying though that you do need reasonably good pins for these.

I also feel duty bond to mention the exquisite skull lace-work. So often, high-street lace can look really cheap but this is beautiful and makes the gulf even wider between the mass-produced and the lovingly crafted. Here is a zoom in on one of Kooples' t-shirts (£130).

And finally, I should mention the leather vest so you can get the full picture (see below). Lovely. £170


Focus: Carnaby Street - Part One: Beyond the Valley

If you are looking to shop somewhere and find truely lovely and original things to wear, look no further than the Carnaby Street area. Yes you have the staple brands in the viscinity - Topshop, HOSS, Jigsaw, COS etc. But if it's independent shops you are after, this is concentrated area of reliable shops I like to keep a close eye on. In the next couple of posts I am going to share with HungDrawn readers my own little black book of stores in the area.

Today: Beyond the Valley (2 Newburgh Street, Lomdon, W1F 7RD).
Currently showing their Cosmic Tropicalia Spring/Summer collection this store is very edgy (see their mood board below). Selling quirky clothes, accessories and shoes, this is stand out from the crowd stuff. This is strictly for the theatrical amongst you.

Often, when a line is using a high-tech or very fashionable print, design can go out of the door but each piece chosen for the shop is highly individual in combining interesting prints and texturing with often-mind-bending pattern-cutting. What I like most about shop is that it does not focus on clothes that will just suit the skinnies. Lots of the pieces aren't fitted and could be worn by all sorts of shapes and sizes. Also, it's not (necessarily) break the bank.

I fell in love with these snakeskin boots by fashion-crowd favourite, London based label Finsk. I think they would look so dramatic on the end of a peg leg trouser.

Also with MOMOCREATURA, a label homing in on my macabre interest in taxidermy with their mamed woodland creature jewellery. I think it's funny. You might not. But you can bill me.

Here endeth the first lesson...

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Turning Japanese

So much high fashion at the moment is about bright, block colouring. I love it. And at the risk of sounding like my grandmother 'it is nice to see a bit of colour on you.' But what if it's not for you? Well, the recent glimpse of spring has shown us a different pallette altogether. Gentle blue skies, pale golden sunsets, delicate pink cherry blossom. It all makes me think of the colours that nineteenth century Japanese print artist Hiroshige captured in his work (see below).

These are the colours I pick up on in Holly Fulton's Spring/Summer 2011 collection. Below you can see a piece typical of the designer's direction. Her pieces are distinctly modern designs with a definite reference to historical styles - in recent collections Japanese and Egyptian. They are often beaded, printed. What they will always be is pricey.

So given that most of us are not minted, the best way to put a look like this together from high street retailers is...
Above: French Connection's Cleo Dress £145

Above: Navette earrings from Accessorize £10.80

Above: Klue shoes at Carvela £100

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

We interupt these messages...Elizabeth Taylor dies

Sad news... Elizabeth Taylor, most fashionably-attired multi-bride ever, died today. RIP.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Victorian Obsessions

The circus is in town.

The town: London, Monmouth Street to be exact. At super-luxurious lingerie store Coco de Mer they are stocking a collaborative label called Circus Child - a playful, made-to-measure collection which takes it's inspiration from iconic circus costumes. At just under £1000 a piece it's (rather appropriately) more of look don't touch collection but it very much homes in on our continuing obsession with all things Victorian: burlesque, the circus, the spectacular.

At these prices, this is firmly a fantasy post so, in for a penny, in for a pound... imagine yourself as Dita von Teese wearing these and working the look whilst strutting round the Big Top. Have fun!

...And a post on the circus wouldn't be the same without a picture of a Bearded Lady...

Sorry. I couldn't resist.

Ultra cool. Chloe Sevigny

Blatant girl crush on Chloe Sevigny's style. She always dresses from the heart, is ever-original, ever-changing. The girl wears vintage, designer, high-street and sometimes wears nothing (just Google it!), and all the while she smolders looking sardonic. She knows that's all you really need to pull of a daring look.

and I just want her on my blog so that I don't have to trawl the internet to see how cool she is whenever I want - so there.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Dark Side of the Moon

At the moment it seems I cannot say no to clothes that are all the colors of Pink Floyd album cover Dark Side of the Moon. Or, as I like to call it, 'Black and Rainbow'.

A short while ago I picked up a dynamite vintage cover-up in this colour-way (see below for a close-up) and now it keeps popping up on my radar. 

Yesterday marked the sad (but necessary) passing of my favourite striped t-shirt. Unwilling to face even a day without this wardrobe staple in my life I strode forth to replace it. I happened to pass a Ted Baker concession and found a solution in the form of the Balfour wrap which hits two-fashion sweet spots, stripes (on the front), and Black & Rainbow (on the back). See Below.

I love the colourway for it's versatility. It will go with leather, this seasons big trend bright block colors, gold or silver jewellery, patent, matt, I could go on but I won't, you get the idea.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

PJ Harvey

Easily the coolest female singer of all time. She transfixed us all at the Troxy in London earlier this month on her Let England Shake tour.
For such a demure stage persona she wore a spell-binding, macabre stage outfit. Diaphanous black petticoats and smooth leather bustier were topped off with a beautiful feather headpiece that reminded me of the plumage I had seen on exotic birds in display cases at the weekend when I visited Tring’s Natural History Museum (see below).

Pictures of PJ Harvey courtesy of

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Spring Must Have: Pleated skirt

If there is one look that appears over and over again this season it's the pleated skirt. The most flattering length is knee-length (calf-length pleated skirts are for the bold or willowy limbed). I love this Whistles job that converges the pleated trend with that of blocking bright colours. It's £95 and a suitably flirty length.

Mine (below) is this season's daredevil colour: tangerine. I bought it in Australia a few years ago when she was an extraordinary 70s dress that only large-specticalled women called Zelda would have pulled off in the 70s. I had fallen in love with the pointed concertina pattern of the skirt so I cut off the top of the dress, hemmed the top, put a zip in it and the pleated skirt was mine.

Also find pleated skirts in more wearble colours at Topshop (they do navy, maroon, or black at £38)...

...and Zara (who do a caramel one for £39.99). Only attempt this look if you are prepared to take the Zooey Descahnel geek-chic look by the horns and win.


It isn't easy to find eco-conscious pieces on the high street. There are so many things to consider, the dye, the packaging, is it fairly traded and ethically produced? It's hard for labels to cater to all of these whilst remaining commercially priced and still hold on to fashion-forward designs. But hard shouldn't be an excuse. There are labels that fit the bill with lovely designs that make more than just an attempt to be ethical.

Below Emma Watson models her third and final collection for People Tree. The label 'creates Fair Trade and organic clothing and accessories by forming lasting partnerships with Fair Trade, organic producers in developing countries.' Here is the Bella Silk Dress (£95) available online now.

The next two dress are by From Somewhere, a label that re-uses fabrics discarded by fashions' wasteful production process. You can buy the first dress at for £206.

Below: Footwear label Terra Plana makes these gorgeous Juniper shoes (£82) in red but also available in blue and black. Terra Plana use recycled materials and considers comfort with its non-toxic biodegradeable gel pad 'for support and comfort.' I love the idea of these worn with jeans everyday clashing quirkily with all manner of tops.

Edun is also an eco-firendly label by Ali Hewson who produces fairly traded pieces inspired by Africa. Available on the Edun website but also selected for sale on Matches, her collections are good (jackets on particular) but stray into the high-price bracket that makes it a little too price un-friendly. Worth keeping an eye on in the future.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Being Thick

You can rely on Miuccia Prada to turn her eponymous luxury brand on it’s head every season. The Spring/Summer 2011 collection magnifies fashion’s staple The Stripe making it seriously chunky. Celine (below) did the same.

You don't have to look far to find the look on the high street. Below are a few choice finds that would look great styled with leather - I am thinking the black leather mini-skirt from Zara ( as featured in previous HungDrawn post) or some black leather shoes with opaque tights.

Above: Warehouse striped tunic dress, £65

Above: Tabio knee-high socks £20

Above: Topshop £32 available in two colourways red/navy or navy/cream

Above: Zara silk top £29.99 available in two colourways, blue/black or green/black.

I Dare You

There is a common anxiety dream that people have where they walk into class or a meeting before realising that they are naked. It's going to be inevitable in an outfit like Chloe's Spring/Summer 2011 look below but would you be bold enough to try it out if it meant you could keep the outfit?

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

In the Nude: Again

We have covered the merits of nude colours in previous posts. But for those of you who weren't paying attention, here is lesson 2. They are super sexy but as before make sure you wear bright lipstick so you don't look washed out.

Top: Sonia Rykiel,
Bottom: Raoul at Matches £285

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Gardener's World

My grandparents had the most beautiful wallpaper in their house, enormous wild roses sprawled across the walls of the spare room I stayed in as a little one. I think that is what is prompting me to fall for floral prints in a big way at the moment. Erdem's recent collection is a feminine reminiscence of life in the great outdoors. This Giselle dress (below) is heavenly. I also love the way Jigsaw styled a possibly frumpy chintz print (also below) with this pewter top to make it more edgy.

Also find beautiful botanical prints by Sportmax at Matches, Liberty - a shirt in one of their signature floral prints or DIY and make a creation of your own using a piece of their fabrics.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

It's the little things...

...that make me happy. Collections of keys, hair-grips, watch faces and motel room keys all photos I took at the Affordable Vintage Fair at Bethnal Green last Sunday.