Who here has a handbag fetish? Please picture me waving my arm feverishly because I do!! And we have ordered a brand new book which celebrates the glory of the all-important arm candy:
Bag : The Ultimate Fashion Accessory
“Featuring handbags from well-known fashion designers as well as up-and-coming new talent, this book showcases the most exciting and innovative handbag designers from across the globe, including Chanel, Philip Lim, Dolce & Gabbana, and Marc Jacobs. Bag is beautifully illustrated with specially commissioned photographs, alongside original sketches and moodboards, to reflect the rich and diverse range of bag design. Certain bag styles have achieved iconic status and are copied the world over, each with its own instantly recognizable name. Seeking to understand the creative processes behind these covetable handbags, the book also includes an informed and considered commentary on the style and technique of each designer and brand featured.” – amazon.com
I’ve noticed a trend online lately of photographing the contents of your handbag. This is by no means a new thing, but it seems to be especially hawt right now! I also saw that, apparently, the average value of an average British woman’s handbag and its contents is £1,300. Excluding their phone. !!!!!!!!!!! I have no idea where these peeps are buying their handbags from (or their contents, for that matter) but mine is nowhere near that. In case you’re curious…
1: super glam Guess handbag which I was given as a gift! Score.
2: glasses and glasses case (librarian essentials)
3: some soap I bought yesterday and forgot to take out of my bag
5: mint chocolate (more essentials. Now history.)
6: a library book (standard)
7: tea leaves (yes, I am that tragic / fussy / obsessed.)
8: hand sanitiser
9: Furla make up bag
10: teeny tiny deoderant
11: solid perfume (best invention ever!)
12: make up blotting tissues
13: small array of lip balms and lipsticks (my other obsession.)
14: Ferragamo wallet (loaded up with soooo many loyalty cards, you would not believe.)
15: emergency hair tie
Usually my phone would also feature, if I wasn’t using it at that moment to take a photo! But even including that, it’s still faaaar away from being £1,300. Ouch.
If this is a trend you’re enjoying right now, get your fix here, here and here. There’s even a dedicated site. Bag: The Ultimate Fashion Accessory hasn’t arrived on our shelves yet, but you can reserve it now. I have!
Our latest fashion books have a distinctly french flavour, and it’s hardly surprising – that enviable laid-back yet impeccable style of so many french women is coveted the world over. These are two of our newest arrivals:
Paris haute couture / edited by Olivier Saillard and Anne Zazzo ; [translated from the French by Elizabeth Heard and Anna Hiddleston-Galloni].
“A comprehensive history of high fashion in Paris from Madame Grès and Balenciaga to Yves Saint Laurent and Yohji Yamamoto, spanning all aspects from clothing and accessories to perfume. Ever since Charles Frederick Worth dressed the Empress Eugénie in the 1860s, launching a “golden century” for dressmaking, Parisian haute couture has been a source of endless admiration and fascination. Its emphasis on exquisite design and meticulous craftsmanship propelled it to the forefront of the fashion industry. This chronological study traces the history of the esteemed couture houses of Paris, examining the role of the designer and the extraordinary craftsmanship behind the finished creations, the place of haute couture in Parisian culture, and its influence in the wider fashion industry. This volume is richly illustrated with images of the most superb pieces created by exceptional designers.” – adapted from amazon.com
French style / Bérénice Vila Baudry.
This book covers soooo many aspects of french style and has glorious pictures; you’re ♥ gonna it!
This book is a personal favourite of mine – pretty pictures and great ideas:
Paris street style : a guide to effortless chic / by Isabelle Thomas & Frédérique Veysset ; under the direction of Caroline Levesque ; illustrations by Clèment Dezèlus ; photographs by Frédérique Veysset ; [translated from the French by Anthony Roberts].
“One city always seems to win the award for most-wanted style—Paris, where people walking down the avenues mix timeless and trendy pieces in a way that appears effortless. French fashion writers Isabelle Thomas and Frédérique Veysset break down the “je ne sais quoi” of Paris street style, describing the essential elements that should be in everyone’s wardrobe. Renowned experts on French style—designers, stylists, editors, and celebrities—also chime in to reveal their favorite accessories and how to create multidimensional looks and make affordable clothing appear luxurious. Starring both fashion icons and anonymous women met on the streets of Paris and richly illustrated with hand-drawn sketches and Veysset’s striking photographs, Paris Street Style is an inspirational fashion guide that will allow you, no matter where you are from, to cultivate an everyday style of timeless glamour, careless, easy chic—votre style français.” – amazon.com
Love Alexa Chung? Me too. She is fashion’s latest it-girl and is fast becoming synoymous with style. And guess what? She has a new book out! Titled, appropriately, It:
It / Alexa Chung.
“Fashion muse, model, Fuse News cohost, and British “it girl” Chung’s first book is heavy on style and charm but light on substance. She brings would-be admirers (and current fans who follow her on street style blogs and social media) into her world with this combined style guide, memoir, and scrapbook. Filled with doodles, personal photos, lists, and discussions of her sources of inspiration, Chung lightly sketches a portrait of her universe in an engaging voice. The majority of the book is given to random musings about fashion, with Chung naming Annie Hall, Gwyneth Paltrow in the The Royal Tenenbaums, and Edie Sedgwick as just a few of her influences. Of Paltrow’s portrayal of Margot Tenenbaum, Chung muses, “I love her side-parted bob and preppy Lacoste dresses.” Elsewhere in the book, Chung offers odd pronouncements, such as, “How to rage: Get a balloon and a best friend. Go to a festival in a desert. Be 24.” Die-hard fans will no doubt embrace this slim, whimsical offering, or delight in receiving it as a gift. 149 photos, 17 illus. Agent: Paul Stevens, Independent Talent. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved” (Publisher Weekly)
If you need a more regular dose of Alexa (or if you can’t wait for your reserve to come through!), check out a dedicated tumblr here. You’re welcome.
If you have some time to kill over the next couple of days (last weekend of holidays, and whatnot!) I recommend this book:
Fashion house : illustrated interiors from the icons of style / Megan Hess.
“A collection of beautifully illustrated interiors celebrating fashionable people in their inspirational, eclectic, fun, and always extraordinary habitats. Within the sumptuously illustrated pages of this book, you will find every extravagant interior you’ve ever dreamed of. Fashion House celebrates some of the most decadent and indulgent interiors from around the world and the icons, past and present, who inhabit them. Discover the type of furniture they choose, the style of clothes they wear, and how they style a space.” (adapted from Amazon.com)
an obsessive pore over a look through this book and I fell in love straight away. It’s not a straight-up fashion book; it actually focuses more on interior design but it is SO beautifully illustrated and put together that you won’t be able to resist. It features lots of different interior design styles and lists the items you need to create that look (I’m torn between Warehouse Digs and Tropical Escape – dilemmas). It also has themed rooms – Audrey, Dior or Versace room, anyone?! But don’t worry, even someone who has no interest in updating their digs will enjoy this book. So exquis.
♥ PS – Sooooo, I totally haven’t hit up any of those DIY activities yet (apart from the apricot and coconut balls, they were amaze. But they no longer exist so it doesn’t seem to count, lol). But I’m planning to this weekend! I’ve bought the materials and everything! Stay tuned, peeps. Beautiful things are about to happen! We hope.
Over the weekend I stumbled across a new site which I’m really loving – apairandasparediy.com. Hosted by Geneva Vanderzeil, who is an utter whizz with DIY, the site is filled with aaaaall sorts of fashion DIY ideas for you to try out at home, as well as chic wardrobe inspiration, beautiful travel photos and the occassional recipe.
As usual, I was kinda late discovering this site – when I followed on Instagram, she already had 47,000 followers. Whoa! Pretty popular, then. I definitely recommend checking the site out (if you’re not one of the 47,000 people who already have). There are lots of projects I want to try, including the chevron midi rings, the porcelain jewellery stand (although mine’s going to feature a beautiful tea cup on top, natch) and the leather collar. I really like the rug dress idea, but I’m not sure that I can make a floor rug look that good on me. I’ll admit that I’m not the best at DIY (my achievements are often more along the ‘nailed it’ lines…) but this site makes things look fairly simple, so here’s hoping.
The hostess of this site has also published a book, which we have at the library:
DIY fashionista : 40 stylish projects to re-invent and update your wardrobe / Geneva Vanderzeil.
This volume allows you to re-create the most coveted looks and catwalk trends yourself by doing projects that are professional-looking, inexpensive to make and reuse items you already have or can easily source from markets or secondhand stores.
DIY books usually make me cringe, as the ideas are often super elaborate and require a million different materials and pieces of equipment. (There’s also my lack of DIY finesse that I mentioned earlier). However, most of Geneva’s ideas really do seem to be easy, and there are lots and lots that don’t require a sewing machine (want but seriously cannot afford). So wish me luck! And I’ll keep you posted on my projects, lol.
Oh, spring. Finally!! I recently realised that my wardrobe has a strong bias towards warm weather and summer clothes – things I seldom get to wear here in Wellington!! So I am extra excited to see the return of spring and (hopefully) the start of some nice warm (okay, mild) weather.
To celebrate the start of warmer, brighter days, check out what I’ve been loving lately.
1. Mint bow clutch
I got this little cutie not too long ago, and have been absolutely thrashing it! It’s nice and light to carry, with a touch of vintage whimsy and the gold strap adds both versatility and elegance. Love ♥
2. Juicy Couture piñata charm
Negl, I love this SO much. So cute and colourful, this little charm even has a tiny lolly that falls out when you pull it apart. No way!! I’ll admit, it was definitely a splurge purchase, but it was totally worth all the saving up – it’s adorable. Viva la juicy!!
3. Printed pastle snood
I strongly dislike the word ‘snood’… I’m not really sure why. But there’s nothing else to call this thing ’cause it’s a scarf without any ends!! So anyway. Fun print in pastel colours; I wear it a lot. Good price. Win!!
4. Ted Baker boston terrier tote
I have a HEAP of stuff that I carry to work in the mornings. Lunch, a second pair of shoes, extra layers, books… a girl has to be prepared!! So, in addition to a handbag, I need something extra to cart all my bulkier bits in. This Ted Baker tote, with bucketloads of charm (plus a 3-dimensional red glitter bow, swoon) does the job perfectly.
5. Betsey Johnson heels
These heels!! I haven’t had nearly enough wear out of these yet, but they are so neutral yet HOT, that I’m sure I will.
6. Corey Lynn Calter leopard dress
I am a huge fan of jungle-themed print on clothing (palm trees, bright tropical flowers, appropriate jungle fauna) but, unfortunately, it’s a style that can look real bad real quick! (Check here for a great example of said nastiness… jungle aerobics, anyone?!) Luckily for me, this Corey Lynn Calter dress gets it so right. Bright, beautiful colours with the obligatory leopard. Will be thrashing this when the warmth comes!!
7. Fluro french nails
At the risk of becoming seriously unpopular, I’m going to say it anyway – I’m not a big fan of nail art. Aside from the fact that I’m no good at doing it, I think it can sometimes look too fussy. Instead, I’ve been mixing up my nail polish repetoire with bright french tips – I love this fluro pink, and french nails with gold tips look great, too (I’m on the lookout for a fluro yellow cheapie nail polish at the mo – gimme a holler if you’ve seen any!). This is by no means a new thing (it’s aaaaaall over Pinterest) but I find it a super sweet (and easy!) way to add some extra colour and interest.
While we don’t have any books or DVDs specifically about these designers, Betsey Johnson is featured in both of these:
The tents [videorecording].
New York. The name is enough to make fashionistas weak at the knees. But only a few years ago, New York’s now-famous fashion scene was a mess of mismanagement. THE TENTS traces the genesis of New York as a fashion powerhouse, the success of which is linked almost exclusively to the setting up of “The Tents” at Bryant Park, which finally brought the couture together under one (removable) roof. Featuring interviews with world class designers and fashion personalities such as Caroline Herrera, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Betsey Johnson, Carson Kressley and Miss J Alexander, THE TENTS is an insight into the coveted and glamourous world of New York’s fashion scene…and how it almost failed.
Pop! : design, culture, fashion, 1956-1976 / Geoffrey Rayner, Richard Chamberlain, Annamarie Stapleton.
>”POP! Design, Culture, Fashion 1955-1976 explores the impact of music, art and personality on the development of the design and fashion of the times …. Pop! Design, Culture, Fashion 1956-1976 covers all aspects of Pop design in Britain and America, from early rock ‘n’ roll to punk. It looks at record covers and packaging designs by Pop artists such as Andy Warhol, Peter Blake and Richard Hamilton, and the work of fashion designers such as Mary Quant, Barbara Hulanicki from Biba, Vivienne Westwood and John Stephen of Carnaby Street fame, as well as their contemporaries in America such as Betsey Johnson of Paraphernalia.”–adapted from Publisher’s Website.
She’s also one of the four authors who contributed to this book:
And don’t forget dem nails!
Aaaaaaand the fashion events in the capital continue!! This week, I suggest you go check out the WOW exhibition at Te Papa. I was once lucky enough to visit the World of WearableArts Museum in Nelson and, if this exhibition is even remotely like that, it will be amazing and you’re gonna love it!! SO many beautiful outfits. The exhibition started just a couple of weeks ago and there are special WOW events as well, starting this weekend. Check out the guide here.
Also, there’s a hot new fashion documentary!! Mademoiselle C, starring esteemed French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld, opened in New York this week. Will definitely be requesting the library buys this one! …when it eventually makes it to DVD format. Sigh.
This week brings another hot new fashion release: The World According to Karl. Yep!! Karl Lagerfeld’s quotes, which are as famous as his trademark glasses, have been collected into a book, complete with ilustrations. Yikes!! Don’t worry, I’ll request this one as well. You’re welcome.
Do you know what today is (besides Friday)? It’s the middle of the Fashion in the Capital extravaganza that’s currently hitting our city. Starting Wednesday and running for five days, Fashion in the Capital features a whole host of fashion designers, boutiques and jewellery designers hitting the runway. There are lots of events happening over the weekend and tickets start at just $10 (some events are even freeeeeeeee), so you should definitely go!! There are a couple of events I’m looking forward to checking out; view the official calender here and get your weekend plans sorted now.
Photo courtesy of James Yang / fashiongallery.co.nz
As you’ll know, this week has been New Zealand Fashion Week. Oh to have been there!!
There are plenty of places to get the hottest goss on the week’s happenings… my faves are NZ Style Collective (for every juicy detail, glorious pics plus a fun diary of what they wore to fashion week) and also the official NZ Fashion Week website. Under Fashion @ First Sight, you can view about 20 catwalk looks straight after each show. Woop!!
Today, of course, heralds the start of Fashion Weekend… featuring a range of hot shows, parties, and, of course, the Designer Garage Sale. I think it would pretty much make me weep for joy!! All is not completely lost tho… Gorman, one of my most-coveted brands, is showing on Sunday in the Nuffield Street Show and in a stroke of incredible luck, I managed to pick up a swank Gorman tank brand new at a bargain price. Yeeeeyaaaah!!
Today also marks the start of New York Fashion Week (Thursday the 5th in New York, Friday the 6th here). Along with the standard gloss and glamour, this year’s show features an extra-special event. Cabiria, owned by designer Eden Miller, will be the first plus-size label to showcase in New York Fashion Week’s 70 year history. This is exciting news because it marks the beginnings of a much-needed change in attitude towards plus-size fashion… get the full run-down here!!
Diana Vreeland [videorecording] : the eye has to travel / Samuel Goldwyn Films, Epix Pictures and Gloss Studio present a Mago Media production ; directed and produced by Lisa Immordino Vreeland.
“Diana Vreeland wasn’t just a tastemaker; she created the whole idea of tastemaking. She was the oracle of style, a woman who defined the way we looked at couture. Across a career that spanned half a century, she edited Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, discovered Lauren Bacall (and innumerable others) and was style consultant to Jackie Onassis. This is her philosophy: on life, on fashion and on making it in an industry which so many desire to be part of and so few know how to crack”–Container.
We have a sweet new DVD at the library which is a must-see. I was gutted to have missed this when it hit art-house cinemas a wee while ago, so I’m sooo relieved we got this in!! Telling the story of legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland, this DVD has been super popular since it hit our shelves. I am still patiently waiting on my reserve to come in, so I recommend you place yours ASAP!!