If there’s one thing I probably don’t need more of and yet lately I can’t help but keep buying, it’s handbags. Specifically, beautiful summery-feeling wicker and woven bags. I don’t know whether it’s because the delay in our due spring weather is leaving me feeling frustrated to switch up my wardrobe, or whether I’m just so excited for warmer weather that I’m happy-buying items ready for it, but either way, here we are, my credit card and I, a little click-happy, a little over eager, and proud owners of some very cute new handbags. Today we’ll be looking at this Ellen and James beauty.
You guys must know the drill with Vendula London by now, right? They produce cute, quirky bags of varying shapes and styles in an array of unique designs, from handbags that look like the store front of a darling sweet shop to clutch bags that look like old fashioned, luxurious fairytale books.
You may know how their designs stand out, but perhaps you didn’t know that their products are all vegan friendly too. I’ll admit that even as someone who owns multiple Vendula products, that awesome fact passed me by until recently, when one of my vegan friends informed me in delight. And speaking of taking care of lovely little creatures, this super adorable new piece puts you in mind of doing just that: y’all, it’s the Birdhouse Backpack.
It’s often considered the mark of a book lover that they can’t leave home without a book. That’s something that is remarkably easy to do these days given even our phones can house a digital library of hundreds, even thousands, of audiobooks and eBooks for us when we’re on the move. Personally I’m perfectly happy to forsake the beloved paper and ink format of a real book when I’m out and about because instead I can rest content in the knowledge that when I finish one book I have the choice of hundreds of others to hand on my phone instead of one single choice stashed hurriedly in my bag from earlier.
I do kind of miss how nice it is to have an actual book to hold, but thanks to this Vendula book bag, I can take that ‘can’t leave the house without a book’ feeling less literally and more fashionably.
Here’s the thing about London Edge: there’s so many pretty things everywhere that the volume of them is almost numbing and you begin to act a bit like a greedy toddler hopped up on sugar in a vast toy store, leafing through the racks and mumbling ‘want, want, want’ about practically all the lovely things, far more than you could ever conceivably buy.
It can take some serious self-restraint and concentration to organise your photo taking and mental cataloging throughout the day in order to best use the event as a way to plan out your purchases for the upcoming season being previewed. Sometimes I end up mentally dog-earring items I change my mind about later once they actually come into stock, when the druggish enthusiasm of the day has worn off. Considering that, my favourite part of the whole experience comes in the moments when a piece is so gorgeous that it will literally make me pause, my whole body stilling while my mouth gapes. When I’m there with friends I turn with wide eyes to look at them, wordlessly holding out the dress or skirt or bag, and said friends, often Giselle, will say ‘Oh you need that. That is so you.’ I feel validated and gratified. It IS so me, yes, thank you for acknowledging that; I must have it.
Just such a scene happened as I rounded a set of shelves at the Collectif booth in September and clapped eyes on the Lulu Hun Mara heels, this time pointing them out, mouth wide, in glee to Collectif’s own designer Julia. I feel that same glee here today to be able to finally get these sweet, classic little ruby cuties on my feet.
Look, I know you know this about me, because I’ve said it multiple times here on the blog but it’s important and it bears repeating: I love burgundy. I love it all year round but in the colder months it really comes into it’s own. Just think about it–crisp golden leaves beginning to fall from the trees, a slight bite starting to creep into the early mornings, just enough that you wake up wondering if you should have porridge for breakfast even though no one wants to eat porridge over Marmite toast or a cereal that is more cookies than nutrition. And there hanging on the front of your wardrobe, visible from the warm snuggliness of your bed, a perfectly crisp burgundy shirt dress, ready to be layered up and worn out into the world like you’re a dose of festive mulled wine.
Well that’s the Zoe dress from Collectif and I am all about it.
We may be having a late burst of summer here in the UK but I am officially ready for Autumn. Bring me tartans and plaids, bring me windfall apples and slightly cool mornings that allow me to wear one of my many fabulous coats that have hung unworn aback my bedroom door for the last 6 months. And bring me Hell Bunny’s AW17 line, because damn y’all, there are some cute-arse stuff in it that have got me feeling all the fall feels.
I’ve been desperate to buy this Peebles 50s dress for weeks now, after first seeing it previewed in a London Edge promotional email. I may or may not have bugged Hell Bunny’s designer and PR manager Sarah one too many times about its potential release date in my eagerness ever since–sorry Sarah! But finally it’s here, the dress that has literally everything I ask for from my favourite cold weather styles–flattering three quarter length sleeves, a fitted bodice that emphasises the waist, a full swing skirt, a gorgeous green tartan print and, finally, beloved pockets. I can’t think of a single thing I would add to this dress to improve it because it is all my winter dreams come true.
I’ve spoken before on the blog about wanting to challenge myself more often with styling statement shoes, so I’m pleased I’ve been given the chance again to do just that.
For me, shoes featuring multiple colours, varied textures or even a solid print feel harder to style in an outfit than something plain when held up against my print-heavy wardrobe. Still, I often see such shoes and am instantly enamored with them, wishing I was better at knowing when to clash patterns and mix in unusual colour combinations. You know what they say, though–how can you expect to get better at something without practise. And so practise I shall, this week thanks to the lovely offerings from the Spanish retro boutique brand La Veintinueve. Continue reading
As much as I love bright colours, I’m not much one for clashing. I’ve actually been known to say before how much I hate pink and red paired together, with an unnecessary amount of passion. Turns out, that dislike is more of a contextual thing, because when I spotted this Eden frilly fronted cardigan I was totally on board. I immediately pictured it paired with a sky blue skirt and a wicker basket handbag, and then when it arrived I styled it exactly so. It’s just like I pictured it would be. Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together?
The Fairy Doll dress by Collectif is one of their staple dresses that receives new print and colourway releases every spring/summer. This year the offerings are tropical themed samples of deliciousness, and I’ve been eagerly waiting for this orange and green combo of bamboo summer fun to be released since I saw the preview of SS17 last September.
I knew I loved the dress instantly purely for its vibrant print, but I didn’t realise it was going to be such a comfortable, easy wear. With no zips and only stretchy, stretchy smocking, this is a perfect dress for wearing on hot summer days when tight waistbands can pinch and rub as your body temperature rises. Plus, that stretch factor means it’s an excellent dress for travelling in both style and comfort, something I appreciated massively when I wore it this past weekend in the hot glasshouses of the Royal Edinburgh Botanical gardens and walking round the gorgeous (but hilly) city.
Shoes, glorious shoes! One of the things I most love about the transition from winter to spring is being able to get out all my summer shoes again. Whether it’s wedges, peeptoes or my prettiest flats, it’s nice to be able to add more variety to my footwear in a way I feel winter just doesn’t allow. In spring and summer, I can mix it up between brights and pastels, raffia and cork, ankle ribbon ties and slim straps, metallics and leather.
Admittedly, for all my excitement to bust out the lofty wedges, I do spend 90% of my social time still opting for flat shoes. As much as I love the extra height and sass offered by a stacked wedge or precarious stiletto, the reality is I live a car’s drive from absolutely everywhere I need or want to go, and remembering to take my heels with me to the car as I slip into my safe-to-drive-in flats some days is just too much to ask. Plus, while I feel comfortable and capable in heels, I don’t hate my feet enough to want to walk in a pair of them for an extensive period of time (read as: more than 200 feet) so flats tend to just win out for comfort and practicality’s sakes.
That brings me to this season’s Lulu Hun offerings, which include several pairs of adorable flats. I tend to just buy plain ballet flats in every colour from New Look because they’re easy to find and are cheap, but they are just that, plain. Lulu Hun, on the other hand, is offering bows and cut outs, stripes and gingham, as well as sandals adorned with pineapples, bananas, and cherries. For ladies who want to keep their feet planted firmly on the ground but clad in a cute shoe as they do so, there’s a lot to choose from.