Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Your Backpack Personality

The bag you tend to gravitate towards may say more about you than you think. Just as the clothes make the man, the handbag make the woman. This post is just for fun, its my idea of what a certain bag says about the owner. Some read palms, some read stars, I like to read handbags. Or in this case, backpacks specifically. Inspired by Mulberry's Carascope quiz for the Cara Delevingne's bag collection. You don't have to be going back to school to appreciate backpacks, they're becoming a bit of a phonomanon. Top designers are experimenting with new shapes and style of adult backpacks with sleek, often luxe styles done in grown-up materials including leather, shearling and ponyskin. For those who's not fully ready to commit and let go of the handbag, there's the top handle backpacks, part satchel part backpack. You can rest it on you arm, hold it like a handbag, one strap on your shoulder or two strapping old school style. Choose one you like and find out what they may say about you...

Mulberry Cara quilted Nappa Bag

You most likely own a black brow pencil or two and likes to make quirky poses in pictures (but pretty at the same time) because you're so silly and you just don't care. Comfort is more important than standing out but by no means are you passive or plain. You like being very British, Tea drinking, biscuit dunking and wellies wearing British who most likely owned a horse or is a proficient rider. You read Tattler, enjoys Sex And The City themed brunch and always have a great blowout. 

3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli backpack

You're versatile and sophisticated at work but knows how to party comes night time. You have the kind of girly chic charm about you. You don't get into the hype of mainstream trends but you're a contemporary woman with a strong sense of self and personal style. You like things scandi and Normcore e.g. COS and & Other stories, minimalist, clean and refined. Your stylish effort is effortless. There's so much monochrome in your wardrobe that it's impossible to find the exact shade of black you're looking for.

Alexander Wang Dumbo backpack

People better not mess with you, you're one tough chick. The weight of the studs on your bag may effect your long term orthopedic health but that doesn't fear you the slightest. YOLO. You always speak your mind and even though strangers may be intimidated by you, your friends know you're a softy at heart. You have an edgy style, slighty androgynous and most likely own a pair of Acne or Rag&Bone booties. You have enough leather jackets for everyday of the week.


Stella McCartney The Falabella faux brushed-leather backpack

Yes, we know you're a vegan. You're easy going but passionate about the environment and make a conscious effort to eat clean and support local farmers. You're first in-line for a cold press juice, you have weekly subcription to Goop and your Instagram is mostly of yoga poses and gluten free recipes. Your gentle and kind hearted nature inspire people to lead a better life. Though you have likely been arrested in the past for protesting for animal rights.

Proenza Schouler PS leather backpack

You lead a busy life, so you need a bag that fits seamlessly into any situation. You appreciate classic good looks and prefer to invest your hard-earned cash in a high-quality handbag You hate clutter and are all about quality, not quantity, in every aspect of your life you want a bag that will see you through the years. You're wardrobe is colour co-ordinated and you're house is feng shui-ed. You're trust worthy and loyal and people look to you for advice.


Chanel Grafitti print backpack

You're most likely a successful fashion blogger and who has a shrine of Coco Chanel. You're the trend setter, creative and fun. Where you go people follow and what you wear people imitate. You live an exclusive lifestyle and know the right people. You have a chauffeur but sometimes like to walk about places to appear more relatable. Your work causes you to jet set around the world so you need comfortable yet lavish pair of Giuseppe Zanotti hi-top wedge trainers to go with your bag. 

Louis Vuitton Bosphore monogram canvas backpack

You're super excited to have your first designer bag, it was a Louis Vuitton and you never let go of what you love. You're starting to feel self-conscious that monogram bag might be played out, but you're a ride or die kind of chick. You appreciate things from the olden days, it gives you a sense of historical pride and you adore vintage clothing. You frequently visit galleries, love to explore European cities while taking cityscape pictures on your secondhand SLR. 

Moschino Biker jacket backpack

You have a wicked sense of humour that people seem to gravitate towards. Your kooky and wild fashion not only turn heads but also make people wonder about your mental state. Kitch is your nickname (your real name is probably Sailor Moon). Barbie was not only your favourite toy but she's your fashion guru. You were born wearing Hello Kitty and your closet looked like a unicorn threw up all over it. You live in a world separate form everyone else.

Grafea Rose leather rucksack

This modern classic structure is for you's with an E something postcode. You enjoy drinks at the pub but your 'The Cambridge' satchel bag was too awkward to carry your pint and a rollie at the same time, so you upgraded. You enjoy Sundays strolling at the farmers market while your DJ boyfriend is gigging in Berlin.  You love to scavenge for pop-up shops to find hidden gems that expresses your Tokyo meets grunge street vibe. The Guardian is how you keep your finger on the pulse.

That's it guys. Hope I've been accurate but please take it with a pinch of salt. I'm no expert at this, its just for fun x

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Manish Arora To The Max

For people that know me, they know I like a bit of kitch. I have always been drawn to maximalism style when I was an art student all the teachers use to tell me "edit. edit. edit. There's too much going on in your work.". But I like being bombarded with many ideas at once, it intrigues me. Its like an explosion of creativity that can't be contained. Why is that so wrong? I do understand to a degree. Balance brings beauty and sometimes less is more. But may be its like marmite some people hate it and some just can't get enough.

Manish Arora is like Marmite, though I hate Marmite (not great analogy in hind sight) but I love his work. He is an Indian fashion designer based in New Delhi and no stranger to the runway. He had a successful debut at the London Fashion Week in September 2005 and exhibited some of his work at the V&A in 2007. He has done many collaborations with brands like Reebok, M.A.C and Swatch. He was once creative director of the womenswear for fashion house Paco Rabanne in 2011-12. Manish was dubbed the "John Galliano of India", is known for his signicture rich palette of psychedelic colours and bold motifs. His style combine traditional Indian crafts like embroidery, appliqué and beading with fashionable and more western silhouette. Here's his SS15 collection at Paris fashion week in detail. 

When nearly everyone else is looking back at supposedly more prosperous times, clean and minimal designs. The indian designer never lets reality get in the way of his never-ending cheerfulness. This collection is like taking a trippy space cookie. You're a free spirited traveller on a journey through mountains of candy  and pastel landscape of roses. Guided by a hazy three eyed indian goddess Bhadra Kali into a spaceship dotted with astro lights. It takes a moment to adjust to the fast pace visuals but its a storytelling paradise of modern mythology/space oddysey that's exciting in its presentation. Symbolic hindu beauty of Bindi, coloured hair parting and Naath (nose ring) were his runway signature look, a homage to his motherland.

Prints of kaleidoscopic cosmos world, double vision dreamstate motifs and 3D embroidered roses were displayed on lightweight sporty silhouette. T-shirt dress, jumpers, cycling shorts and glittering tube tops injects a relaxed ease. Pastel colours layered in sheer textures of chiffon and holographic panels creates a light hearted frothiness. Pearlescent, reflective embroidery and pleated sequins painstakingly crafted by Indian artisans were balanced out by breather spaced of iridescent lurex, where large expanses were left blank. This may be his version of editing down. Armed with Gladiator cyber sandals, PVC backpacks, bum bags and beaded baseball caps, Manish's girls are ready to enter the mothership!

Though his work can't be mistaken for anyone else's. There is a softer, normal-ish side to this collection than the previous. He has developed realist perception of what women want today, this will no doubt be the best lure to draw Parisians to his new flagship store. I could also see a similarity of influence by the way singer like MIA dresses (especially the hooded robe pieces). Her MV: XXXO really captured the sort of new take on Bollywood culture and indian art with modern twist.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Statement Coats

I'm not going to pretend this post is about anything more than a collection of coats that I like. Trench and parkas has become British favourites rainwear this year. Trench coat is a great tran-sesonal piece, classic and smart for work. While parkas have become popular with sporty trend for a dressed down, off for a run or around town on weekends. London climate it pretty much cold most of the time so Londoners pretty much live in coats, am I right? I mean apart from those brave souls we see bared legs in heels come rain or snow, but most of us like to be cosy while getting to places. I think its a good idea to invest in a good statement coat. Usually I'm all about high street stuff but if there's two things worth splurging on, those are bags and coats. Ok, may be shoes too. Three things. Problems with high street coat is that, its great value and on trend but you're likely to see someone else in the same coat or similar ones from Zara or Topshop and come next season the once fashionable would seem dated and possibly missing a button somewhere. The difference between quality matters in coats as its something you're likely to wear a lot and needs to stand through wear and tear. Here are some of my standout favourites from the this spring summer runway.

A good coat will last you a life time. I don't mean go out and buy a Fendi fur coat with your three months's wage. I suggest when looking for a new coat think less about trends, go for a more classic style black coat or something that completely stands out on it own. Vintage is a good place to start, you know its good quality if it last through the decades, its unique and possibly has a great story behind it. Boutique brands are also great place to look, in theory they're not so mass produced therefor less chance of spotting the same coat. Consider things like, colours, pattern, embellishments or a flattering cut. Lately I've been itching to get a good satin or metallic coat. Medi and maxi coats are also popular now. I have selected a few coats that will guarantee to turn heads while keeping you warm and without bleeding you wallet dry. You can buy any of these online and the links are below. Enjoy!

1.  M.N Alush  Emerald dangling cape  £232 from
2.  Michael Michael Kors Belted black & white trench coat  £299 from
3.  Raquel Allegra Cotton-twill coat  £475 from
4.  Ainea Zig-zag pattern lurex coat  £286.00 from
5.  Rejina Pyo Cocoon back panelled silk coat  SALE £225 from
6.  Ted Lapidue Vintage Shiny trench coat  £260 from
7.  P.A.R.O.S.H. Satin Jacquard full-length jacket  £202 from
8.  YMC Black & navy panel mac coat  £275 from
9.  Maison Scotch Check pattern coat  £195 from
10.Minus Cianna Animal Leo coat  £180

Monday, 3 November 2014

Rest of SS15: Fashion Week Trend Report

So, here are a few things we have learnt from the fashionable month of september. London proves sport luxe is not budging, anoraks, crop tops and rain coats. Paris embrace the seventies with summer suede, silk neck ties and boho muses. Milan was bold with stripes, grids and denims. While New York went etherial with 3Dflorals and icy blues and iridescent pallet. Here are a few key looks to keep in mind for next spring:

Sport Luxe  The effect of relaxed-luxe dressing were felt everywhere, designer are starting to create clothes with the everyday woman in mind (not their budget). Athleticism conveyed through mesh, neoprene and clinical palette, bomber jackets and draw-waisted trousers, and Carven’s 60s-style zippered dresses, cycling shorts and funnel necks. Whether its tennis visors at Akris, crisp technical fibres at Kenzo and crop tops and sweatpants at Narsir Mazhar, whatever sport you're into its all here. Shiny anorak paired with crop tops are a sure way to keep up the hype.

Pussy Bows  In contrast this trend is ultra feminine. Homage to the 70's, a slither of thin silky neck scarf  billowing down the catwalk, exuding retro appeal. Knot it loosely around your neck or tie it in  a bow will draw attention to your neck which is a sexy understated part of a woman's body. Paired with a shirt  at work to soften the look or with plunging neck line tops or dresses for a slight modest coverage. 

Denim Jeans culottes on the runway at Chloé, Stella McCartney, Valentino and Saint Laurent. The saying goes, if repeated in three then call it a trend. Yes, they went there…alarm bells ringing in my head. I personally will not be embracing this trend only because genetics did not give me long legs. Trousers cut at medi length is tricky, especially a loose fitting shape like culottes. Make sure to wear delicate high heels with this to avoid looking shorter than you are. There are other denim trends though,
at Vanessa Bruno and Leonard they were patchworked, at Kenzo in kick pleat midi skirts and oversized, and embellished at Ashish. It's denim with parhzaz, beaded, sequinned, printed, frayed, its no longer sundays casual mom jeans its sisterhood of the traveling pants!

Ballerina Balance is the name of the game here. Juxtaposition of masculine and feminine, Yin and Yang, with every boyish trend there's a girlish counter trend. This is stuff of girly childhood dreams, fluffy, shiny and elegant. Beware its not for the faint hearted but the 'barely there' trend is where its at, Sheer mesh has been circulating the runway for a few season now but tulle and chiffon are making a comeback. Pretty nudes are good pallet for the effect of barely there without having to bare. Go modest on footwear with pumps or flats like Burberry Prorsum and toughen up the look with leather or denim jacket.

Avant-Garde Every season there are a few designers who press the F**k it button and scraped away the fashion week rule book. They put their hands up and go 'you know what, I think I'll do what I want today'. As kooky as they are I think they should be celebrated for their arts and craftsmanship and the guts to do things differently. Plus, who else will make clothes for LadyGaGa to wear? There are whimsical characters on Moschino and Sibling's runway, Pop-art inspired at Watanabe and naturalistic pieces from Gareth Pugh. All good stuff.  

That's all guys. Thanks for checking in!

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Far East Movement : Trend Report SS15

Fashion houses look to the east for inspiration as Japanese dressing makes a solid appearance on the runways with kimono-style wraps and prints, billowing sleeves and obi belts. Relaxed robe-like silhouette prevails at Marni, Tome and The Row, while traditional obi sashes are translated to modern ensembles at Alexander Wang, Philip Lim and Creatures of the Wind. Gucci lets you slip to the sensual side with a silk shirtwaist dress with floral patterns and gold trims indicative of a lux oriental temptress. Floral prints were key for Saint Laurent and Giambattista Valli, where embellished, applique cherry blossom branches reached over the shoulders of dresses. Carven, Mara Hoffman and Alexander McQueen translate japanese painting into bold graphics on stiff jackets and dresses.

 Clockwise from top: Alexander McQueen, MM6 Maison Martin Margiela, Marni & Gucci