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A Super Chic Look for AW12 Inspired by Carven

I make no secret of my deep love for Carven and as you will see from my review of Guillaume Henry’s Autumn/ Winter 2012 collection for the design house, it is predominantly the edgy wearability that attracts me to the brand.  One of my favourite looks from the collection is this…

It can be said that certain people criticise the Little Black Dress, viewing it as “safe” and boring.  Whilst I am almost certain that there are ten a penny LBDs on the market fitting this description there are many others that are interesting, effortlessly chic and when styled correctly, deliver a strong fashion message.  The shape of the Carven number immediately catches the eye and is on trend in a season where many designers explored the relationship between the fabric and the body in fluid, spacious terms.  I love how the styling is subtle and takes nothing away from the dress; colour comes in the form of a toned down neck scarf and neutral wedges.

Here is how I would style a similar look…

The Bryant Park scarfs from Stella & Dot are a perfect size for you to wear them in a number of different ways.  To keep this outfit super chic, I would only show a flash of the scarf poking out from the neck of the dress.  It may sound like an old cliche, but I am a firm believer in “less is more”.  Simplicity is classy and yet wildly chic.

SAC

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Sacstyle speaks to Susan Baxter of Susan Styles You

Back in the latter end of 2012 Susan Baxter was kind enough to meet me in Didsbury’s Gusto Restaurant for a chat about fashion and her business.  What was intended to be a brief encounter flourished into a friendship and it was Susan that introduced me to the wonderful world of Stella & Dot.  How?  Well yes, Stella & Dot jewellery is fantastic and a perfect brand to complement my blog but it was Susan’s warm, passionate and enthusiastic nature that convinced me that the opportunity was for me.  It is this element of Susan’s personality which has certainly established her as one of the leading Fashion Stylists in the Manchester region.  If a woman wants anything when seeking the services of a personal stylist it is an approachable person, who is going to get the job done and re-vamp their wardrobe but is also going to make them feel great about themselves and I believe that this is the service clients receive from Susan Styles You.  Along with Susan’s involvement with Stella & Dot, she is also a fully trained and dedicated Colour Me Beautiful stylist and offers a range of services from make-up lessons and personal shopping to a complete make –over. 

 

Read below to get an insight into Susan’s fabulously fashionable world…

 

How did you get involved with [Stella & Dot]?

Twitter

Oh, really?  So you just found them on Twitter?

Jewellery comes into Colour Consultation and Style Sonsultation but mainly with a Style Consultation because I show ladies firstly, what colour jewellery they should wear, either gold or silver and then we look at face shapes and we look at proportions so chunky jewellery or fine or longer chains or shorter chains, what shape earrings and things like that.  So I was basically using a big box full of my own jewellery to show [clients], so I just thought, well really I could be selling jewellery at the same time.  So, I was looking around for a nice jewellery line that I liked, because it had to be something that I liked, otherwise there is no point, and I connected with my Sponsor, Liz Cooper on Twitter. As soon as I saw and felt Stella and Dot jewellery, I was like “yep, I love it”.

One thing I hate about people’s looks is when they overload on high street jewellery and it really looks cheap but nothing on Stella and Dot looks cheap.  It looks high quality and classy.

The Chief Creative Officer, Blythe Harris at Stella and Dot was identified as a rising star by top design houses DeBeers and Cartier.  People say, “Oh, it’s quite expensive” and I say, “well the quality of what you’re getting… it is all handmade”.  What they do is, they hand design the samples in New York and then they source the best people for the job for each particular piece or for a particular collection, so they send it all over the world to be made.  It might be India, it might be China, where ever.  Wherever they think is going to make the best job of that particular piece and you know all the beads are all hand threaded.  The craftsmanship is really, really top class and that is what you pay for. 

So is this all Stella and Dot now that you have on?

I only ever wear Stella and Dot now, apart from my watch and my wedding ring. 

I love your ring, it is gorgeous! (in reference to Aurora cocktail ring)

Yeah a lot of it is quite vintage inspired as well.  I was at a vintage fair in the Armitage Centre on Saturday and I had a pair of earrings on and lots of the stall holders were like, “oh my God, they’re amazing” and I was like, “they’re not vintage”!

                                 

                             Aurora Cocktail Ring, £40, Stella & Dot

Have your clients responded well to Stella & Dot?

Yeah, everybody loves it.  I think people who are coming to me are making an investment anyway in my services and they want to improve their image so having a quality line of jewellery is just, sort of, second nature really. 

Do you think many women could really shake up their look if they learnt to accessorise better?

I think accessories is the key really because you can just put a dress on and look nice but it’s the way you finish off an outfit.  In Stella & Dot speak we call it  “Finish the Look”.  So if somebody says “Oh I really like the Bianca Tassel, I am going to buy it”, we say, “how are you going to “finish the look”” because that on it’s own looks nice but it just needs a few extra bits to go with it. It is just getting the balance right.  Definitely, finish the look.

                                         

Elle Mcpherson wearing Stella & Dot’s Bianca Tassel Necklace

When you initially planned to become a stylist did you plan to do all the extras like the make up for example or has this kind of come together with the idea of “Finish the Look”?

Erm, well a long time ago, I trained with another company who were colour analysis people, they don’t exist anymore so they can’t have been any good.  I trained with them when I still had a full time job with the intention of doing it as a little part time thing but at the time I didn’t have any resources to put into marketing or anything like that so it just sort of fizzled out but they did make up and style so I got really interested in it then.  The right colour of makeup is so important as well, I used to wear all the wrong colour make up and I look back at some pictures now and think “Oh my God”.

Is it since you have kind of learnt the science behind it that you now know what colours to wear?

It is all about balance and harmony and going with what you have got originally.  You have got a blank canvas; you’ve got a particular skin colour, particular eye colour, particular hair colour.  It is about going with what you’ve got, not trying to change anything.  It is just going with what nature has given you really.  Like with the colour hair that I have got anything that is peachy or golden looks great on me.  Like before, I used to go to MAC and MAC do some amazing make up with some lovely colours and everything but when you go to the MAC counter they say “well, this is our new lipstick”.  They don’t really look at your skin tone, apart from foundation.. 

Well, it just isn’t for everyone is it?  Not everyone can wear the same colour lipstick.

No. 

I think people really, genuinely do not know what suits them.

I think make up is one of the main things where people do follow the fashions unfortunately.  Particularly with the younger girls you know with the black eyeliner and the false lashes and the scouse brow.  That is all in fashion and I mean I did it as a teenager.  I remember a lipstick that I used to wear from Boots called Poncho Pink.  It was a very frosty pink and it just looked awful on me but at the time I thought it was gorgeous.

I [have been thinking] that fashion in general has survived the economic crisis.  I mean there are high street brands that have really suffered and gone under but in general  people still spend on fashion and the expensive design houses do not seem to have suffered at all.  There is the theory that people spend on quality now rather than on mounds of cheaper items.

I think it has to be a mixture really.  I mean I love Primark.  I am a big advocate of Primark.  These shoes (points a pair of fabulous wedges with faux snake skin detailing), I think they were £12.  I have quite a few pairs of Primark shoes and I mean these are clearly a copy of a designer shoe, I have a pair of green snake skin platforms with an ankle strap and a big heel and I think they are a Gucci copy.  There are certain designers that are so recognisable that people will just go, “oh that’s a….” or “that’s a…” but does it really matter at the end of the day?  

(points to a nude, heart shaped Vivienne Westwood handbag)  This is my designer piece that goes everywhere with me.  If I had £1 for every person that has complimented me on that bag it would have paid for the bag.  I have had it for about 2 years and I use it every day so it probably cost me about £1 a day.

I think this is the thing isn’t it?  You need to have a mixture of pieces that need to be good quality and items that, actually, you do not need to spend hundreds of pounds on.  I was in Primark recently and saw a pair of gorgeous baroque trousers…

Were they blue?

Yes.

I’ve got them.  I did a blog recently and included them.  They are being altered actually because you know the length this year is seven eighths?  And a little big above the ankle?  My legs are not that long so they are going to have to be altered but I think they were about £12. 

I mean that is great, baroque is not something that is going to last forever, so it is great to be able to pick something up for only £12…

And then just ditch them next year. Or turn them into a pair of shorts or something. Bermuda shorts will be big for Spring 2013.

Do you do much of that?  Customising and altering your own clothes? 

I don’t no, I am rubbish at that sort of thing.  It would save so much money.  I did a presentation last week and I was showing slides on what was coming into fashion and one of the ladies said to me, “all of the slides are showing quite high necks” and she was quite a busty lady so she said, “what can you advise me to do?”.  If you like something, buy it and get it altered.  Find someone who is a good tailor and you can usually have it made into a scoop neck or you know, something that is going to be more flattering.  So, you know, don’t rule out things just because on the hanger they are not for you.  You can always take something out or change something to make it suitable for you.

What could a customer coming to you for a full colour and style consultation expect?

Firstly we would decide what their dominant was.  We have six dominants when it comes to colour and I would show them their best colours.  Then I would give them a makeover using  the best colours, using Colour Me Beautiful cosmetics.   Then we would do a style consultation.  Firstly in the style consultation I would start off with a questionnaire about their personality and their lifestyle and we use six style personalities so I will tell them which style personality they are and maybe they will want to push that in another direction.  They might be one thing but that might actually want to be something else.  They might be a combination of two things and it is about showing them how to bring out that style personality.  We then look at face shapes and body shapes.  We have seven body shapes so we look and those and decide which one they are, then I will give them advise on the best lines of dresses, trousers, jackets.   I do a little critique where I ask them to bring maybe six, maximum of ten, pieces of clothing that they either like or they don’t like and usually by that stage, I’ll pull them out and they’ll say, “I know why that’s wrong now” because it will either be the wrong colour or the wrong shape and everything I will have told them up to that point… they’ll know it’s wrong but they won’t know why it’s wrong until that point and then they’ll go, “Oh yeah, that’s because…”  I will try and show they how they can wear it, if it’s possible, if it’s not, I’ll say “Ebay it, if it is worth selling or a charity shop if it’s not”.  Then I maybe give them some things that they could add into their wardrobe along with what they’ve already got and then [..] go through some shops that they might not have thought about going to,  and that’s about it really.

Example of the Seven Different Body Shapes

I know you like Marks & Spencer’s and Primark, are there any other shops that you are a big advocate of?

It depends of the age of the person.  For somebody a bit younger, I think River Island.  For someone around my age I think Zara is amazing.  I do love Zara because they are so quick at turning around the fashions and they have something for everybody; they do a lot of tailoring, they have a lot of casual, they do a lot of separates like dresses, coats, everything, it’s brilliant.  And shoes, they do great shoes as well. 

Zara is a shop that I can go into with my Mum and we will always both find something.

I think it’s quite… yeah you’re right, there is something for everybody but I think particularly 30s and 40s, it’s really, really good for somebody of that age.  For more classics, Banana Republic is quite good and Cos, they are quite good for someone who is a bit more classic but it really does depend of their age and what their style personality is really. 

Do you often find that when you suggest shops to people they do say, “oh, I’ve never been in there”, “I’ve never thought of shopping in there”?

If I am personal shopping with someone, what I do is, I go round first, maybe a few days before and pick out some things that I think they might like and then I say “right, I’ve got a few pieces in Marks & Spencer that I want to show you” and they’ll say, “Oh, I was in there last week and I didn’t see anything” and I’ll say “Try that on” and they’ll go, “really?!?!” and I’ll go, “just try it on!” and then they go, “Oh my God, I love it!”  When somebody does that, that’s really good because they have walked past it in the shop without even thinking about trying it on.

It is crazy isn’t it?  There must be so many things in shops that we don’t even look at which would probably be great for us. 

And it is putting things with things, they might pick something up and say, “oh, I like that” and then, I’ll think of things that they could put with it which they haven’t thought of before and that’s a way that I can give them something to complete the look.

Moving away from the high street, are there any designers that you particularly admire?

Vivienne Westwood, obviously.  Another English designer, Alexander McQueen.  I also love American designer Betsey Johnson.

Are you much more an advocate of high street fashion [than designer clothing]?

I think it really depends on the person again, it depends on the client.  If somebody has a lot of money to spend, they aren’t really going to want to want to go to Zara but the type of person that comes to me is generally going to be a high street shopper. 

Are you a fan of vintage?

Yes- I love vintage.  It is difficult finding the right things and I don’t have a lot of time to go to vintage fairs and things like that but I do love vintage.

And Manchester’s a great place for Vintage shopping as well.  Actually, I saw on your website that you had wrote, “Manchester the City of Fashion”.  Do you think that Manchester is a particularly fashionable city?

Well it is, don’t you agree? 

Absolutely, I think that people have a bit more courage here to express their individuality through the way that they dress.

Have you seen my Susan Styles You feature?  I did one today on a girl that works in one of the restaurants in Manchester.  She has a really, edgy, androgynous look and she just looks fantastic.  When I do that, I try to pick different age groups and different styles, different ethnic backgrounds.  I don’t want to use all young girls.  I want to mix it up.  I want to do a cross section of women.  Women are so flattered when you approach them and say, “I really love your style, can I take a picture of you for my blog?”

Manchester, City of Fashion

Where would you like to take your business in the future?

I would like to take it as far as I can take it really.  I am quite ambitious and I don’t see why I can’t be one of the top stylists in Manchester. 

And you will never achieve anything if you don’t think that you can achieve it.

And if you have the enthusiasm as well, and I am really, really enthusiastic.  Anybody who knows me will know that I never shut up about colour, fashion, Stella & Dot…

To find out more about Susan Styles you visit www.susanstylesyou.com.

SAC

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A Super Chic Look for AW12 Inspired by Bill Blass

So, party season has come to an end but I am still pretty sure that my readers have a hectic social calender.  What better runway show to look to for inspiration for evening dressing than the Bill Blass AW12 RTW show.  The collection included rich fabrics, regal colours and luxurious embellishments.  One of my favourite looks is this…

Click here to see my review of the the Bill Blass RTW AW12 Collection.

Here is how I would style a similar look…

One style that I have really been in love with over the past couple of seasons is a knee high boot meeting the hem of a skirt so as to not show any leg.  I think that this looks incredibly chic and the mixture of the suede and glitter effect fabrics in on trend of AW12 as laying of different fabrics was very prevalent at the shows.  The laying of the fabric here also brings about a harmonious balance to the outfit as a whole; the soft suede against the tougher glitter, next to the soft wool with the intricate necklace on top.  

The Adrienne Mixed Chain necklace is one of my favourite pieces from the Stella & Dot collection.  It can be worn in so many ways.  I have worn it as head band, choker, long necklace, bracelet and even a belt.  It is the most versatile piece of jewellery I have ever come across!

SAC

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Stylein Ready to Wear Spring Summer 2013

Less was almost definitely more at Stylein’s Ready to Wear, Spring/Summer 2013 show.  As my loyal readers will know, I find simple clothing dramatically chic because it oozes confidence.  These items are not trying to prove anything, they are well made, quality garments that are fashion forward in their choice of fabric, colour palette and cut.  This may not be the most detailed collection but it is lacking in nothing!

Many looks in the collection continue the theme of volume which was very prevalent on the Autumn/ Winter 2012 collections.  A lot of the cuts are very masculine, particularly in the trousers where there has been a clear focus on space between the fabric and the body and how the fabric falls off the body.  This is perfect for summer, who wants to sit around sweating cobs in tight fitting clothing when you could be feeling chic in more floaty, voluminous designs?

The fabric is luxurious; there has been use of silk, chiffon and even wool in the addition of cardigans.  The prestige of the fabric choice is juxtaposed by the subdued colour palette; neutral moods of white, black and grey dominate with a splash of lemon, burnt orange and a print constructed from navy, lemon and mint green.  There is a freshness and a balance to this collection which is perfect for Spring!

Below are some of my favourite looks from the collection… 

SAC

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You may be broke after the festive period but that does not mean that fashion has to take a back seat in your life.  There are some incredible fashion retailers out there at the moment selling “fast- fashion” at incredibly low prices.  Yes- I hear you, there is nothing more special than when your Net-a-Porter box arrives and you get your hands on that piece you have been dreaming about.  However, we cannot always afford such luxuries and sites like Boohoo.com and Missguided.co.uk are providing us with low cost solutions to fill up our wardrobe even when are bank account is almost cleared out!

Berry colour palets have been massive this season as have skater skirts so kill two fashion birds with one stone with this simple and chic dress from Missguided.  Team with opaque black tights and these killer shoe boots from Boohoo for youthful chic.

Fur on the AW12 catwalks came in the form of accents rather than full on coats etc.  Therefore, the hint of fur (faux of course) in this collar, also from Boohoo is super-cute and bang on trend for the season.

SAC 

You may be broke after the festive period but that does not mean that fashion has to take a back seat in your life.  There are some incredible fashion retailers out there at the moment selling “fast- fashion” at incredibly low prices.  Yes- I hear you, there is nothing more special than when your Net-a-Porter box arrives and you get your hands on that piece you have been dreaming about.  However, we cannot always afford such luxuries and sites like Boohoo.com and Missguided.co.uk are providing us with low cost solutions to fill up our wardrobe even when are bank account is almost cleared out!

Berry colour palets have been massive this season as have skater skirts so kill two fashion birds with one stone with this simple and chic dress from Missguided.  Team with opaque black tights and these killer shoe boots from Boohoo for youthful chic.

Fur on the AW12 catwalks came in the form of accents rather than full on coats etc.  Therefore, the hint of fur (faux of course) in this collar, also from Boohoo is super-cute and bang on trend for the season.

SAC 

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How to Wear the Oversize Coat

This season volume was a huge hit on the runways when it came to outerwear.  This can create a dramatically chic and sexy look when teamed with the right outfit, however, masculine cuts can be a little scary for a woman with a more feminine disposition.  See my three different styleings for a super chic Mango oversize coat…

I would always suggest keeping the legs skinny when wearing an oversize coat.  Otherwise, when you look in the mirror you will just see volume and you will not feel flattered by your look.  Fashion is not only about looking great, it is also about feeling fabulous and balance is very important in any outfit. 

The Chelsea boot has continually cropped up in my looks for AW12.  As much of a heel lover as I am, the weekend demands a more comfortable style and the Chelsea boot is so fashion forward you will not loose any of the style points your weekday heel achieves.  

Did you see Victoria Beckham at the Viva Forever premiere?  I will NEVER consider a black-pant-white-shirt look boring ever again!  She looked the hight of glamour and so can you if you accessorize the look correctly.  For me, cropped trousers demand a heel, particularly in the office.  I love how the gold rim of of these Boohoo courts match the bangle and earrings from Stella & Dot and bring just enough glamour to an otherwise professional look.

I would suggest leaving the coat open for this look, or even just drape it over the shoulders.  The stand out piece is the coral coloured Stella & Dot necklace which needs to be shown off.

Either team with sheer black tights or go bare legged, weather permitting.  Remember if you are going bare legged, clean shaved, moisturised legs with a hint of colour is the chicest way to go.

SAC

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My Week Through the Instagram Lens…

Ladies and gents I hope you have all had the most fabulous Christmas and I wish you health and happiness for 2013.

If you are not already following me on Instagram, do search for “SACSTYLE” where you will find various images I capture in my every day life. 

Some of my favourites from this week are as follows…

Me and the Tman on Christmas Day!

Me and my lovely Grandmother, Rose, enjoying Christmas lunch

Yum!

My boy…

Where I plan on spending my birthday in 2013!

SAC

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A Super Chic Look for AW12 Inspired by Emilia Wickstead

So this winter I did not totally think through my choice of winter coat.  Chic?  Of course!  On trend?  Now you are just insulting me… Warm?  Not even remotely!!  This year I chose a ridiculously chic cape from Mango as my main winter cover up but I really did not think about the fact that my arms would constantly be poking out and therefore, exposed to the elements.  However, I then looked back through the AW12 runway shows and remembered one of the most prevalent accessory trends of the season; elbow length gloves!  Divine, I love them!!  They bring such a Femme Fetale element to an outfit, check out how chic the look is in this Emilia Wickstead ensemble…

Below is my take on a similar look…

SAC

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HAVE YOURSELF A VERY STELLA & DOT CHRISTMAS…
No time for Christmas shopping?  Always stuck for gift inspiration?  Want to give quality, stylish gifts this Christmas but don’t want to break the bank?  Check out these fabulous gift ideas…
From Top Left Clockwise:Signature Iphone Case £25Swallow Studs £15 Wonderland Charm Bracelet £85Queen Bee Charm £22 Suzanne Cocktail Ring £32Bryant Park Scarf £45Deco Drop Earrings £35To place an order email me to sacstyleblog@gmail.com or shop the whole collection at www.stelladot.co.uk/sac
SAC

HAVE YOURSELF A VERY STELLA & DOT CHRISTMAS…

No time for Christmas shopping?  Always stuck for gift inspiration?  Want to give quality, stylish gifts this Christmas but don’t want to break the bank?  Check out these fabulous gift ideas…

From Top Left Clockwise:

Signature Iphone Case £25
Swallow Studs £15 
Wonderland Charm Bracelet £85
Queen Bee Charm £22 
Suzanne Cocktail Ring £32
Bryant Park Scarf £45
Deco Drop Earrings £35

To place an order email me to sacstyleblog@gmail.com or shop the whole collection at www.stelladot.co.uk/sac

SAC

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10 Essential Fashion Buys for Men AW12

I often have men asking me for fashion advice.  I have previously done features on menswear but I feel that it needs to become a slightly bigger dimension of SACstyle as I do have some loyal male readers and it can be great for women to get inspiration for dressing up their men or in fact, themselves.  As androgynous styles go from strength to strength on the catwalks, us ladies could learn a thing or two from menswear collections.  Therefore, my intention is to do a monthly feature on men’s fashion which may be further developed at a later date.

There are various similarities between menswear and womenswear for AW12; lots of earthy tones were seen on the catwalks, layering was a key look and designers explored volume, for example.  One thing I am ecstatic about is that, generally, menswear is continuing to get smarter and I am a women that longs for the days when men were suited and booted.  The military influences have got much smarter than previously; out are The Libertines-esque red military jackets and in are well cut, more subtle, longer coats, nodding to the trend rather than screaming it from the roof tops.  There are still elements of down dressing in the cords, biker jackets and oversized cardigans but these items still have a fashion message.  With any luck the days of jeans and a t-shirt are on their way out!!

Here are 10 must buy items for AW12…

1.  The Military Coat

£69.99- H&M- www.hm.com

2.  The Oversized Knit

£39.99- Zara- www.zara.com

3. The Long Scarf

Multi Coloured Patterned Scarf

£12- Topman- www.topman.com

4.  The Man Bag/ Holdall

Black Faux Leather Holdall

£38- Topman- www.topman.com

5.  The Check Shirt

ASOS Check Shirt In Brushed Twill

£28- ASOS- www.asos.com

6.  The Chunky Cardigan

Diesel Chunky Cardigan

£170- Diesel- www.asos.com

7.  The Earthy Tones

ASOS Skinny Chinos

£25- ASOS- www.asos.com

8.  The Biker Jacket

£39.99- H&M- www.hm.com

9.  The Cords

£30- Pop Boutique- www.pop-boutique.com

10.  The Country Boots

"Venice" Chukka Boot

£65- Topman- www.topman.com

SAC

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A Super Chic Look for AW12 Inspired by J. Mendel

Ladies, do you remember how your breath was taken away when you saw how exquisite J. Mendel’s AW12 Collection was?  Well… the time has finally come to start channelling the looks!  Two words immediately spring to mind… PARTY SEASON!  The evening wear in this particular collection was seconded by none on the fall catwalks; short dresses worn with elbow length gloves, opaque tights and ankle boots, gowns with intricate beading and slightly less conventional but all the same divine looks.  The look I am channelling today falls into the latter category…

When you think of evening wear, gowns are usually the first garment that pops to mind.  However, dresses are not for everyone, or indeed every occasion, and you can create an equally chic look with a great pair of trousers, J. Mendel proved that in the look above!  Below is how I would style a similar look…

I think navy blue and black really look divine together so when I spied these Mango palazzo trousers, navy/black styling ideas flooded my brain.  It is such a regal and classic colour combination that oozes sophistication.

I have recently signed up to be a Stella & Dot stylist and I have totally fallen in love with their jewellery and accessories!  This Femme Fatale necklace really finishes the look off and along with the Rachel Zoe faux fur, provides enough detail so it was important to keep all of the other items minimalistic.  

I am sure you are well aware that I am having a love affair with Boohoo as well at the moment; their prices points are fantastic for such a fashion conscious brand.  Who can squabble at just £18 for a classic pair of patent courts?

SAC

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Rachel Zoe Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2013

When Rachel Zoe first announced that she would be launching her own fashion line, I could not have been more excited.  I had long been a fan of the Rachel Zoe Project and truly believed that no-one in Hollywood was as capable of dressing the red carpet as she.  I imagined an expensive, extremely well made collection of gowns. Then, when she presented her collections, I reluctantly say, I was a little disappointed.  The focus was predominantly on daywear and there was too much going  on in the aesthetic for my simplistic preferences.  I concluded that as much of a Zoe fan as I was, her collection just was not for me.  That was, until she showed her Spring Summer 2012 Ready to Wear Collection at New York Fashion Week.  The looks are still very Zoe, which is a good thing.  There is an integrity about her designs in that you can picture her wearing the majority of the looks but it almost feel as thought Rachel is now in her stride and is ready to push her own boundaries.  A simplicity has arrived with this collection that is so majorly chic.  My favourite look is the first shown below; a simple white dress with long, slightly balooned sleeves teamed with a black blazer and black waist belt.  Waists in gereral and cinched with black leather belts and gold detailing but in general Zoe explores fluid fabrics and volume which we also saw at Orla Kiely and was big on the AW12 catwalks.  Prints are few in favour of colour blocking and many looks are monochrome.  A deep turquoise used for a jumpsuit and maxi dress is divine!  The jumpsuit is beautifully teamed with tan leather and the overall look brings a real 70’s vibe.    

In short, RZ you have converted me!  I cannot wait to shop this collection and I am already excited about what AW13 will have in store for the star, watch this space…

Here are my favourite looks from the Spring/ Summer 2013 Collection…

SAC

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A Fall 2012 Look for Under £50

It will not be long now before party season is upon us.  The final quarter is one hell of an time; not only do we have to buy gifts for our nearest and dearest, we also need a fabulous look for each and every festive party we attend and that is before we even think about New Year’s Eve!  (NO male readers, buying one dress and wearing it to all parties is an absurd idea, please do not ever say/think that again).  So this for many of us calls for some savvy, economical shopping.  You will see from my, "A Fall 2012 Look for Under £50" post on 22nd August that it is definitely possible to find entire, stylish looks on a small budget.  Below is just one idea to start off your preparations for party season…

Brocade garments were all over the AW12 catwalks.  A focus this season is the richer, the more luxurious, the more desirable.  What better way to channel this trend than with a thigh skimming, baroque inspired dress at the bargain price of £25?  Even if you only wear this dress to one event and never again, you will still get your money’s worth.  As with any item with intricate detail, I suggest keeping accessories minimalistic.  Simplicity brings a chic edge to the look and allows the detail of the dress to shine out in it’s glory.  The black courts and clutch will also complement many outfits which adds to the idea of budget shopping; recycle the accessories, invest in the dresses- I can already see these shoes with a skinny jean and chic knit for an autumnal evening date.

SAC

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