Monday, 28 September 2009

GIVe and Mint Velvet affordable luxury fashion

I read an article yesterday about a new womens store - GIVe by George Davies.  New stores open from 1st October and I believe the Regent Street store opens tonight.

The new brand is meant be affordable luxury for women who want to purchase something they really love, the finest fabrics, expert service and George wants us to enjoy shopping again.  Apparently in his stores, there will be one of each garment on display and the sales advisors will bring out your size from discreet wardrobes behind the rails.  There will be shoes of varying heights for you to try so you don't have to imagine what the garment would look like with heels.  A team of tailors will be available to adjust garments to fit and sizing will be in roman numerals, which explains the name of the store.  Apparently the style advisors are going to be style advisors, helpful, knowledgeable and not look down their noses if your face doesn't fit.

It's an interesting concept, the clothes look really nice and are certainly suitable for over 30s without being boring.  It seems really well thought out and I am really looking forward to taking in the experience of the store and seeing if it really does make a difference.

Another new label for over 30s is Mint Velvet.  This brand has been set up by three women who want to give us affordable fashion.  Apparently they are all working mums who were frustrated by the lack of clothes that they could wear for the school run and still look a little dressed up.

This label looks really cool, they are due to launch mid October, in  some House of Fraser stores, boutiques and online.  I am loving this dress, can't wait to see it up close. You can sign up for updates on their website

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Dover charity shops

Charity shops in London are a bit hit and miss.  The best ones know it and re-invent themselves into vintage shops, others lately are always a bit of a disappointment.  I have been banging on about driving out of London and hitting some charity shops for months.  I felt so inspired by Sharon Rose thrifting that I took a trip down to Dover on Friday afternoon.  When I logged on on Saturday morning,  I was thrilled to see that Sharon had given me an award - a circle of friends award.  I promised that I would upload pics of my purchases so here goes.

I started in off in Bromley and popped into Sue Ryder Cancer Shop and managed to pick up the following items.

Black Marabou Feather Jacket from River Island 9.99 still tagged at £44.99.  I had been looking at Net-a-porter and seen a Phillip Lim sequin backed one for £1800 which was sold out!!!  There was also a Vanessa Bruno jacket reduced to £305 which is exactly the same.  I will be putting this one up for sale on ebay

I bought these M&S Limited Collection shoes for £4.00 - nice chunky heel, fit nicely but un-decided if I will keep these or sell them on.

In Dover there were probably around 10 charity shops in the Town Centre, which was really small.   My partner was with me so I felt a little guilty as I was wading through rails whilst he was waiting patiently.

Red dress £1.49 to sell

The black wooden necklace was a previous buy at £1.50
Vintage Gina Bacconi three colour sequin dress - reminded me of a mermaid, £5.00 to sell.

Girls Kenzo dress to sell 25p

Lady Hathaway vintage style shirtdress £2.99 I haven't tried this on but I may keep it if it suits me.

A diamante brooch -  £2.00 which is definitely a keeper.

A pair of vintage white gloves, I bought these for £1.50.  A few weeks ago I went to a 'Rat Pack' party and I ended up buying a really cheap looking pair of white gloves for £6.  I had decided that these can stay in my drawer because you never know when you might need a pair!

I saw this and thought it was really cute and that it would look great hanging in my daughter's room.  It was £1.25

I thought I did pretty well for one outing.

I also popped into Primark this week to pick up some tights and socks for the kids.  Primark are doing 80 denier black tights now which is great.  Last year I was wearing two pairs of 40 denier to get the right effect.  I also bought this studded bangle which I am loving, it is wooden and cost £2.50.  Malene Birger has two on Net-a-porter for £70.  Apart from the fact the Malene has the two, can you really tell the difference.

All together, not a bad week.  Overall, I thought the shops in Dover were great and definitely worth a visit.  I am going to try and take in Folkestone and Canterbury sometime soon.  Anyway, have a great Sunday evening, mummy duties call, I am off to iron school uniforms.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Lemon and White Chocolate Tart

So much for my sewing plans.  Yesterday evening I ironed something like 12 shirts, two pairs of school trousers, a school skirt, jumper, PE kit.  I then darned a hole in a pair of suit trousers, sorted my clothes for work had a shower flopped down to eat some dessert.  My partner and I watched a little catch up TV on Saturday and watched 'Britain's Best Dish'.  He decided to make the Lemon and White Chocolate Tart.  Twas a beautiful thing. 

He served it with a strawberry coulis and strawberries on the side.  I sprinkled it with a little coconut and tucked in.  It was so good, I did it twice.  After that I was finished for evening.  The recipe is here

I need to roll over the sewing until next week and I must stop eating desserts!  I have resisted eating the last piece this evening, despite the fact that my nephew is sitting on the sofa with me, discussing how good the pastry case tastes.

I read an interesting article recently about Jay Hunt's gastric bypass surgery.  She lost five stone in a year.  Jay is a fashion stylist and tv presenter.

Jay Hunt

It's a really interesting article.  I used to run a slimming class for a well known organisation and am always impressed  with a great weight loss.  I have recently noticed a couple of women at work who have lost a significant amount of weight over a relatively short period.  When I have asked how they lost the weight, both said they had just stopped eating crap and joined the gym.  One had lost three stone the other four stone over nine months.   

Even in my slimming class days, my members that achieved anything close to that type of weight loss worked really hard. Given the weight loss Jay Hunt achieved with such extreme surgery  - is it easy to lose this amount of weight by just eating healthily and attending the gym regularly?  Or do we women collude in making out losing weight is easy.  I would be interested to hear your views 

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Spent a good portion of Friday reading other blogs and came away feeling inspired. Decided I would achieve something creative this weekend. Dusted off my sewing machine and starting digging into my fabric bags. I buy so much fabric and dress patterns it is ridiculous. I get this great feeling in my fave fabric shop, it is always justified for the following reasons:

a I am being creative
b It costs less than buying it from a shop ready made
c It will be unique and tailormade to fit me perfectly

I then take my purchases home and put them in the corner of my wardrobe, planning to make the said garment very very soon.

Hey, sometimes I even cut them out. Then I put them back in the wardrobe for stage two.

So this weekend, I took out a dress that I had cut out early summer and decided bite the bullet and commit myself. My daughter and partner didn't like the fabric, (to be honest, I didn't even like the fabric anymore) but I had made the commitment and didn't want to lose my momentum.

Three hours later, when I tried (ahem, perhaps squeezed) into the dress I looked into the mirror and hated it. I hated the colour, hated the style on me, hated the time I had wasted on it. I expected to have acheived a new garment to add to my wardrobe but it was not to be.

This morning, I have sorted out more fabric and I have a plan. I am about to eat dinner and promised myself I will make a quick top later this evening. If it comes out good I will post a pic tomorrow.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

4" all day

Yay, today I suffered for style and managed to wear my 4" heels all-day-long. Today looked quite grey, winter is coming so I am feeling excited. New styles to think about, winter clothes to take down from the loft. Today is the first day that I have worn tights for ages and I felt compelled to wear high heels. One of my colleagues asked me if I had done modelling before as I walked like a model. I think she was referring to my 'horse walk' as I struggled to correct my posture. Nevertheless, I will be positive and take the compliment!

I hear that heels are out this season and flats are making a comeback. Personally, I can't see it taking on. I still think there are outfits when only heels will do