FASHION. MUSIC. BRUTAL HONESTY.

Monday, 29 October 2012

DAILY APPAREL.






Coat: Alpha, Allsaints(similar here) - Shirt: Topshop ((similar here) - Jeans: Verne Ashby, Allsaints (here) - Boots: Hessian, Allsaints (here) - Tote bag: Menswear, Allsaints (here)

While I would love to refer to the desolate, back-country setting of these shots, as a potent inspiration for this look, I cannot. Pure and simply it was baltic outside and the need for my trusty Allsaints wool coat was an absolute must. I must attribute this snaps to my lovely cousin, Em, who became the impromptu photographer while we walked over the fields to my Granny's house for afternoon tea. Jolly good show cuz.

As the clocks went back on Saturday evening to mark the dreary start of British wintertime, I feel a trip back in time in search of musical delight and enlightening is also apt. My retro selection, Fleetwood Mac, need I say more? Pure, unadulterated genius is a label I would attach, with words such as iconic, masterful and generational following swiftly in succession. 'Go Your Own Way', taken from the 1977 album, Rumours, is one of my all time favourite tracks, as relevant today as it was decades ago. Cheryl Cole, you ain't got sh*t on Mac.

Fleetwood Mac - Go Your Own Way, Rumours (1977)

L.

Friday, 26 October 2012

THE PURCHASES & DAILY APPAREL.





Printed tee: Zara (similar here) - Denim Shirt: Ban shirt, Allsaints - Jeans: Jamie, Topshop (here) - Boots: Hessian, Allsaints (here) - Scarf: Vintage (here) - Watch: Folli Follie (here) - Bag: Conker Bayswater, Mulberry (similar here)

Leather paneled knit: Zara (here)

As previously mentioned I had a goosey gander round the shops yesterday before I dragged myself to the gym for what can only be described as a torturous 6.30pm circuit class. Strictly speaking I had originally planned to simply nip to Marks & Sparkle to pick up all necessary cards & wrapping agents for the mothers up-coming age celebrations, but Zara called me and the rest they say in history. Honestly I think I was relatively restrained, check out the delightful printed tee I scored, now see the AMAZING leather paneled khaki knit I wanted to buy but didn't. Firstly they didn't have my size and secondly it's almost a week until payday and I'm attempting to stay monetary-sensible. I'm 22 now and financial competence is sorely required. In all reality I give it approx 48 hours until I succumb and purchase online. I also nipped to Primark in search of the heeled Chelsea boots the lovely Helen from the lovecats inc mentioned yesterday. I was unfortunately unsuccessful, size 7's were all that remained, cue sad face.

I didn't include a track in yesterdays post, not a cracking start to my new blogging style, so here's today's offering. Jake Bugg, ridiculously mod-cool, beyond talented and not too offensive on the eye, i.e. super cute, if a little young for my aging self. I'm planning to go see him in February with my friend, Jenna and couldn't be more excited, obviously in a very aptly understated way when considering the nature of subject.

Jake Bugg - Two Fingers (2012) 
More info here

L.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

DAILY APPAREL & GIRLS.






Scarf: Allsaints Menswear (similar here) - Leather Jacket: Owain, Allsaints (similar here) - Tee: Primark - Jeans: Jamie, Topshop (here) - Brogue boots: Hobo, Allsaints (similar here) - Black leather Tote: Allsaints Menswear (similar here)

Let me firstly begin by apologising for these self-indulgent, rather crap OOTD pics. My sister wasn't about to play photographer and inspiration struck me while trying on some rather grim-ly fitting H&M skinnies. The bargainous £5 price-tag was obviously justifiable, damn my inquisitive, cheap nature.

Style-deconstructed, I was in a serious craze to wear my new Allsaints Lander scarf from the AW11 Menswear collection. It is the most amazing, chunky, snug-as-a-bug-in-a-rug creation to grace Gods green earth. Originally priced at £75, but discounted to £36 in my Archive stores final reductions, not purchasing was NOT an viable option. Teamed with other Saints essentials that you guys have seen a million times, leather jacket, brogue boots, bag etc. I wonder what my wardrobe would resemble minus Allsaints? Probably a bit naff and not nearly as cool. Clocked my latest designer score? Yes my Marc Jacobs phone-case finally arrived and I'm smitten-as-a-kitten. I feel 'SO FASHION' when pulling it out mid-strut down Briggate, Leeds. Oh yes ladies, I did say strut. It's pretty much required behaviour when pounding the streets of Leeds, apparel questing on the mind.


Now I want to talk about GIRLS, the new US 'it-show' everyone's raving/bitching about. Pitched as the new SATC, but with size 14 thighs, wobbly tums, awkward sex and very-real social commentary. So after missing the UK premier, work commitment an' all that, I stayed up extra late last night (11.30pm, I'm a granny, this was almost dawn in my estimations) to check out what all the fuss was about. And honestly I wasn't that enamored with Lena Dunham (writer & star's) offerings.

Yeah it was ridiculously accurate, the uncomfortable sex with a boy who doesn't love or maybe even like you, the inability to secure paid, post-grad employment and a whole host of other "oh my god, that happened to me" moments. But, and here's my but, it wasn't particularly funny or even inspiring. I didn't laugh at Hannah (played by up-coming possible generational icon, Dunham) being rather embarrassingly taken (I want to say sh*gged, but does that sound, well a bit brash?) on her on/mostly-off boyfriend's sofa, I felt uncomfortable. While watching Jemima (a rather cliched boho Brit), celebrate the need not to abort her unwanted child, as she miscarried in a bar toilet in the arms of a random male, felt slightly offensive to my gender. And generally, spent 30 minutes wondering what the devil I was missing.

Maybe it's a grower. Call me naive, but I adored the unrealistic, airbrushed perfect glamour of SATC. The wash-board abs and slinky pins were gorgeous, inspiring and other-wordly. Yes, Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda had problems but they were also hilarious, decadent and boldly cool. They made it seem possible that intelligence, style and success were reachable. Yes, obstacles arose along the way but these four woman had gumption and self-belief which always prevailed. I think the point I'm trying to make is, from the age of 11 I wanted to be Carrie and sometimes Samantha, whereas I have zero desire to be like Hannah and her very ordinary friends. Some dramas are cuttingly realistic and some entirely escapist, both valid, but when it comes to what I require after a hectic day from hell in the office, GIRLS doesn't seem to have the ability to hit the spot. Opinions? Seriously what do you guys think? TELL ME!?

L.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

INTERVIEW MAGAZINE: MICHELLE DOCKERY.






Michelle Dockery for Interview Magazine, shot by Boo George

God I just adore these shots of Downton Abbey's Lady Mary Crawley, aka actress Michelle Dockery for Interview Magazine. Terribly stylish and mod-chic, they are truly stunning, gorgeous images that conjure a sense of pulsing modernity, Liverpudlian heart and stark female beauty. I love the cool charcoal and blue tones against the fiery red brickwork and of course the drama and sheer retro-indulgence of the monochrome photography. Shot by Boo George, Dockery is the embodiment of pure British magnetism, cigarette in hand perching amongst terraced streets and industrial backgrounds, one does have to wonder does it get much better than this? I am quite in awe and consumed with fash-envy. How dare this woman rock a baker boy cap and not look like a complete tw*t. Also white button-down shirts, leather buckled kilts, beehives and lashings of eyeliner, GENIUS. Ladies and gentleman this is what is commonly referred to in the industry as 'comprehensively bewitching'. Congrats Dockery & Interview.

L.

p.s. Check out the full interview here

Images: Boo George, Interview

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

DAILY APPAREL.




Jacket: Owain, Allsaints
Breton: Menswear piece, Allsaints
Wool mini-skirt: Cos
Letter charm necklace: Primark
Boots: Hessian, Allsaints
Bag: DKNY

Over the last 4 days, I've worked approximately 45 hours, spent a dramatically lower number sleeping, consumed extraordinary quantities of Halloween cupcakes, Salt and Vinegar crisps, toasties, Maoam chews and other general sweet treats and closed down my Allsaints store. Needless to say I'm pretty pooped. Consequently, the post you now read, originally destined for publication on Friday evening, only today goes live.

I will spare you guys my random exhausted ramblings, as I'm planning a catch-up post for tomorrow (and quite frankly the longer I stare at this screen, the worse my spelling gets), so here's the basic deets accompany this OOTD post. I wore this look for Thursday night food & drinks with the Allsaints gang, we went to the Cattle Grid, Assembly Street (next to the Corn Exchange) Leeds, and ate great slabs of perfectly seared fillet steak, double-fried chips and green peppercorn sauce, washed down with several strawberry and lime ciders. YUM. Following the standard formula of minimal, cool basics teamed with excellent pieces of leather, footwear and accessories. I feel the burgundy wool body-con skirt and boyish Breton was a stellar combination, very Parisian-chic. However post-steak my bag did become somewhat of a tummy concealer. There's only so much meat my munchkin stomach can process. Attractive. Possibly a reason fashion people aren't known patrons of steak-houses, their loss, because quite frankly who doesn't love a mammoth feeding every once in a while!

And for today's track. K West & Jay Z, Clique, such a killer beat. Taken from the 'Kanye West Presents Good Music Cruel Summer' album, Clique is pure essential hip-hop excellence. Too frikin' good. Amazing. 

Kanye West, Jay Z, Big Sean - Clique (2012)

L.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

DAILY APPAREL.




Jumper: Limited Edition, M&S
Jeans: Jamie, Topshop
Boots: New Look
Bag: Allsaints

Now this may be an early sign of new found maturity or fast-approaching heredity senility (my mother is the definition of 'off her rocker'), but I have recently discovered two very significant things. I enjoy researching, sourcing and creating baked delights (relatively normal) and also M&S is once again a pretty decent shopping destination. Now bear with me on that second statement, that wasn't a typo, I honestly think Marks & Spencer is a relevant and stylish establishment of cool apparel and accessories. Really, it's true. Now read on and hear my justification.

Take for example the delightful concoction of soft British wool in stripes of rose pink, washed black and chalk, that is my newly acquired M&S Limited Edition cropped jumper. Nice isn't it? With large weaves of knit, batwing-style sleeves that neatly taper in at the wrist and a loose, draper body finishing in a cropped jumper style, I consider this find a steal at 35 fine English pounds. Aside from the jumper I picked up on Sunday while shopping with the mother, I spotted several other noteworthy treasures I plan to grab in coming weeks, once the bank balance has been restored to a healthy state of being (well relatively healthy, all things considered).

Carrot cake with lemon and cream cheese frosting.

Onto a sweeter topic, while attempting to distract oneself from recent post-graduation developments, I decided to attempt to bake a low-fat carrot cake, surely a paradoxical concept, but a worthy task nonetheless. Here's the result. While I'll admit I invariably doubled the topping quantities, (I'm a stucker for lemon and cheese) I was quite true to the recipe, using Splenda sweetener instead of soft brown sugar, low-fat olive oil spread instead of my life-long love, Lurpak and walnuts and lemon juice opposed to oil, usually used to bind the cake mixture. Not bad for a first attempt. Mary Berry eat-your-heart-out.

Finally, it is my express desire to start including a track with each OOTD post, therefore securing the terribly cool musical relevance of my blog. Here's todays. Jessie Ware, what a goddess.

Jessie Ware - 110% (2012)

L.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

DAILY APPAREL.




Leather shirt: Lorrimer, Allsaints
White shirt: Trend, H&M
Jeans: Jamie, Topshop
Scarf: Vintage, stolen from the mother
Boots: Hessian, Allsaints
Bag: DKNY

Currently of the belief everyone should owe a leather shirt. They are blooming brilliant. So versatile and wearable. This is my newly acquired Lorrimer shirt, scored on my Allsaints uniform allowance. Deliciously soft and perfect with indigo skinnies and Chelsea boots, this taupe number is a product of premium Nappa leather & pearl-stud popper buttons. Surely a wardrobe essential every self-respecting style-kid must rock.

As this is an archive piece, it isn't part of the current Allsaints collection, similar styles can however be found within archive (outlet) stores dotted across the country. Down South, head to Camden and Bicester. Up North, check out Chesire Oaks, Glasgow Ingram Street & Clarence Dock (my store). A steal at £49.50 reduced from £165, not owning one of these jackets should literally be a crime.

Check out this suede version available on ebay http://bit.ly/QemPbW

L.

ACCEPTABLE LISTENING - PLAYLIST.


Music content has been somewhat lacking recently on FDK, something I find utterly unacceptable and in need of serious attention. Hence this comprehensive post detailing my recent musical musts. Prepare for the low-down kind folks.

Albums. So let's start with my latest downloads. I have a innate belief downloading singles and disregarding mere album tracks is hideously wrong. Hit singles are formulated to be just that, 'Hits'. Commercial easy-listens, developed to attach themselves to our sub-conscious. Meaning album tracks represent the experimental, innovative face of the artist. This is why they're so great. Adding flavour, identity and diversity, album tracks in my mind of the saviors of popular music. Example, Dust Bowl Dance taken from Mumford & Sons' debut album, Sign No More. A heavy, emotive, yet purely brilliant listen.

Rant satisfied, here's the compilations of September/October.

1: Mumford & Sons: Babel - quite frankly, utterly outstanding.
2: Frank Ocean: channel ORANGE - bloodly brilliant. You MUST catch 'Novacane'. SO GOOD.
3: The Vaccines: Come of Age - a grower.
4: Elvis Costello: My Aim Is True - Surely a boost to my cool rating?
5: HipHop Jamz: Various artists - Gangster tracks that make 5K runs at the gym bearable.
6: This is BBC Radio 6 Music: Various artists - Brimming with alternative 'album' tracks.

Tracks. Some old, some new. All fine beats in my humble opinion.

1. Lil Kim: Lighters up - just because, I'm not willing to justify, Lil Kim is cool. FACT.
2. Murray James: Protect Me - very Ben Howard-esque, pretty great.
3: Fabolous: You Be Killin Em (EP Version)
4: The Black Keys: The Go Getter
5: Metronomy: The Look - Standard.
6: The Strokes: Reptilia - An oldie, but a goodie.
7: Grouplove: Gold Coast - feel-good indie.

And finally...


A Real Hero - College, Electric Youth (Drive Soundtrack 2011)

L.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA FOR H&M.




Maison Martin Margiela for H&M

Ekkkk, scream, yikes, it's finally started. The countdown to Maison Martin Margiela's capsule collection for H&M, presented in the uber chic form of the campaign ads shot by queen-cougar, Sam Taylor-Johnson. The imagery beautiful, terribly European-chic and stylishly superior. Sharp, androgynous tailoring with willowy pins and disheviled 'bed-head' loose curls, arhh to be a woman of elegance and un-reputed style. One day my friends, one day.

Right that's me enthused with excitement and eager anticipation. Where's my credit card?

L.

Images: telegraph.co.uk (thanks)

Sunday, 7 October 2012

ACCEPTABLE APPAREL & PURCHASES.









Well hello there distant, somehow familiar blogging community, it's be a while, I apologise, sh*ts been crazy. General Allsaints business, teamed with top-secret career related adventures and everyday business has left me somewhat engaged, and otherwise unable to fulfill blogging expectations, but kids I'm back and firing on all cylinders. I take the fact that I just demolished a 12" Americana pizza and lemon meringue cupcake, as further, almost essential fuel for action.

So, today, shopping, food and my'gurl. Amazing. We (myself and the cousin) escaped to retail heaven this fine Sunday, positively pillaging the shelves and rails of Leeds for slick, fashion-forward pieces, and here my lovelies are the treasures of this trip. I also stocked up on several woolly delights (hats, gloves etc) from Primark, along side some Jersey essentials and a variety of tights, I always seem to be low on tights! Is this a common annoyance? It certainly drives me insane, like stark-raving-mad. I also picked up some rather lovely baroque-style embellished cigarette pants from Primark, at £16, I was somewhat astounded, I mean £16 for chinos from PRIMARK? Really, flummoxed. But after getting over the ambitious pricing, I considered how much I would have to pay for something similar in Cos or Topshop, debate over, immediate purchase.

Right, essentials & bargains covered, now for the pricey treasures. First, Dior make-up. Now recently with work, social and gym, I seem to be looking slightly jaded and in need of 50 winks. Hence the investment in some rather posh cosmetics. DiorSkin Forever Fluid Foundation was a recommendation from a friend when I specified my requirements of ultimate coverage, like infallible, will-not-leave-my-face makeup. I also picked up DiorSkin Nude Skin Perfecting Hydrating Concealer to tackle those pesky dark circles. Beauty review, to follow.

Now, I know you've spotted the rather gorgeous nude and jet black, snake-skin effect Mary Jaynes. Yes they are mine and yes I am BESOTTED. From the ever-bountiful Zara shoe collection,  coming in at a cool £69.99, I see these shoes as a tangible representation of the polished professional I once hope to be. I mean, aren't they just amazing?

Apparel-wise, I wasn't very adventurous today. The words black-on-black spring to mind. Allsaints leather jacket & Chelsea boots. New Look neck-candy. Topshop ripped jeans & shirt and my conker Mulberry Bayswater. Simple.

L.