Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Ada Zanditon’s AW10 collection

With a keen interest in biodiversity and having previously paid homage to the honeybee, it may come as no surprise that Ada Zanditon’s AW10 collection – Echolocation – tries to encompass the design of a bat into her pieces. Conceptualising this, she has embraced elegance and sophistication with her dresses that are formalwear for day or night.

Displaying both cocktail dresses and floor length numbers, the designs combine blues, greys and blacks to create powerful winter looks. The colours have been chosen well; none of the fabrics are overly complex, allowing the style to stand out more. Equally, the embellishments add to the impact of the dresses without distracting you from the designs or colours. To put it simply, it’s a very well balanced collection.

And if you’re looking for some statement outerwear for when the British weather inevitably disappoints, then there is a stunning grey belted wrap coat that is bound to impress!

Written by Catherine May

Monday, 23 August 2010

Falling head over heels with Beyond Skin

I won’t lie, when it comes to shoes I know what I like and rarely stray from that. However there are a few pairs from Beyond Skin’s new AW collection that have led me to question whether I should be more adventurous!

The LouLou purple faux leather mid heel is simply beautiful. The detail is incredible: the purple laces are finished with a golden ring and the faux leather has been layered perfectly. And the colour itself is sophisticated, yet warming, making these shoes ideal office wear to get you through the colder months. Combining all these features with the sharp shape, I genuinely believe that these shoes would add some style to any outfit!

Want the ‘wow factor’ then the Maggie – Pink spot pony may be more to your taste. Handmade in Spain from recycled suede, cotton and faux leather, these shoes are bound to impress with their bright colouring and banana heel. The Maggie style comes in a variety of colours and patterns, meaning that if you wish to be a little more subtle with your footwear, then you can still enjoy the shoes shape in the classic black.

I can't forget the quirky Rafa heels, which comes in black recycled suede with three faux patent buttons embellishing the outer side of the bootie. These shoes are the definition of office chic in my book with their 4” stiletto heel, stain resistance and durability meaning they are likely to become a staple in many winter wardrobes. So whether you want style, sophistication or something a little bit different, Beyond Skin’s Autumn/Winter collection is looking to be a great crowd pleaser.

Written by Catherine May

Friday, 20 August 2010

Outgrow ageing with RE9 Advanced from Arbornne

Ladies outgrow ageing with the RE9 Advance range from organic brand Arbornne. RE9 Advance synergises not one, but 9 major age-defying elements and botanicals in a powerful system of products clinically proven to start within 24 hours. The RE9 Advance range contains an age-defying supplement which includes antioxidant vitamin C which supports collagen synthesis and helps restore skin's youthful glow.

There are a few steps to gain firmer and younger-looking skin: facial toner (which was my personal favourite, leaving my skin ever so soft), regenerating toner, renewal serum, corrective eye cream, day cream and the all important night repair cream.

Starting prices start from £26.00

Written by Nyla Sammons

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Cute coin purses from da Lata

Continuing the theme of turning drinks packaging into something more stylish, da Lata have turned the trivial ring pull into a range of cute coin purses.

Each purse is handmade in Brazil, with the ring pulls being collected by local people, which are then linked together using traditional crochet techniques. The purses come in a range of colours and sizes, with my favourite being the flower coin purses for their small circular shape, meaning that they can fit into even the smallest handbag.

The larger, rectangular limited edition gold coin purse has a more classic look to it though. The thread and lining are gold too, matching the ring pulls, and the silver zip adds a slight contrast which finishes the product beautifully.

Prices range from £18 for the flower purses to £24 for the limited edition gold coin purse, you can check them out on the da Lata website
Written by Catherine May

Monday, 16 August 2010

Fly my way Butterfly

The award winning Makki have just announced their new Butterfly Collection using their favourite material: eel skin. Eel skin is a by product of the catering trade, meaning that no animals have been purposely harmed in the creation of the range. With these skins being softer than cow hide – and stronger – they are the ideal material for handbags and clutches. Not only does its texture make it a great alternative to leather, it looks just as stylish as well.

It’s the shape of these bags that I really love; they aren’t your average rectangular design. The shape rings true to the collection’s name with the symmetry, creating the wings of a butterfly. The yellow and black ooze power, reinforcing the idea that this is a collection that really makes a statement.

With great ethics behind these accessories and sharp designs, it’s no wonder Makki won Fashion Product of the Year 2009. It was very much deserved and I believe that this new collection will be just as successful! The new butterfly collection will be available on the Makki website soon

Written by Catherine May

Thursday, 12 August 2010

CAPturing the light

When you think of lights, I doubt bottle caps are the first material you associate their construction with. However Lucy Norman from Lula Dot have matched the two together perfectly!

CAPtivate transforms waste into quirky, yet ambient, lighting. You can vary the colour of the light produced by screwing on different bottle caps setting the mood for all occasions. And whilst you are provided with fifty caps with the purchase of the light, you can still collect your own to add to the effect. So whether you want your light to omit just the one colour, or perhaps be vibrant with a whole array of colours, is up to you!

Where do the caps come from? West Ham United have kindly donated the bottle caps obtained from fans at their stadium, whilst Artenius Packaging have supplied other plastic PET that could not be recycled. These materials are then sent to The Workshop, a registered charity which provides training and employment for people with disabilities, demonstrating how non-recyclable materials can be re-used to not only create an exciting new product, but to help the community as well.

So before you discard your next bottle cap, think of CAPtivate and how your waste could be turned into something amazing!

The Captivate is £88.00 and can be bought online at the Lula Dot website!

Written by Catherine May

Monday, 9 August 2010

French Connection does a Frock Swap!

French Connection has teamed up with Stylist magazine to launch their first every charity frock swap and I must say we are super excited. we are huge fans of swapping clothes parties, especially those supporting charities! 

From the 4th-15th August pop into French Connection and hand over an old season French Connection dress (and get £10.00 off a new one). Then on the 26th-28th August pop into the Regents street French Connection store and purchase any donated dress for £10.00.

French Connection has contacted their celebrity fans, including Ferne Cotton, Cat Deeley and Paris Hilton, so you could be the lucky owner of vintage style from one of your loved icons! 

All proceeds go to Magic Bus and Kids Company, set the date ladies, hope to see you all there!

Written by Nyla Sammons

Thursday, 5 August 2010

A smart choice

With the first shots of Julia Smith's A/W10 collection surfacing the web, I felt it was about time that I introduced you to Julia Smith's Velocity collection.

Julia's label was launched in 2007 upon completion of her Fashion MA specialising in sustainability. Julia worked with the big guns at Topshop creating a range with Global Mamas in Ghana that concreted her desire to know where all her clothes are made.

As for her new 'Velocity' collection that's just been shown on the catwalk at Athens fashion week? It's full of classic wintery colours: Blacks, greys and blues are used to form smart dresses that could be worn for work or a night on the town! In fact, the photos definitely imply that this will be an altogether more formal array of clothes than her summer range whilst the option of matching them with more casual pieces is still there. Gone are the frills and layered detail, replaced with sharp edges, classic shapes and large blocks of colour as evident in the Marina corset dress which I adore. The use of recycled polyester to create the defined shape in such a stunning colour is genius - it'd definitely brighten up my winter wardrobe!

If you're looking for a classic dress that immediately amplifies your power, then this collection is for you. 

Written by Catherine May