Thursday, 29 April 2010

Folksy V Etsy

I first discovered Folksy when doing an interview last year with Rowan of Kitschen Sink who sells her hand made jewellery through both Etsy and Folksy. For those who don't already know (I guess most people do), Folksy is like the UK version of Etsy, a place to buy and sell handmade crafts online. Lately my lust for slightly different accessories and interesting pieces that are not available on the high street has drawn me back to both Etsy and Folksy. I have previously spent much time browsing their pages but due to shopping bans, lack of money and other reasons I have never indulged.


Now armed with a little bit of birthday cash, I have decided to treat myself to a gorgeous new necklace or two. It kind of makes sense to me to shop on Folksy as it support British crafters and also buying closer to home seems a bit more environmentally friendly, although I am not sure how much. Folksy doesn't have nearly as much choice as Etsy but this isn't too much of a problem for me as there is still plenty of very gorgeous stuff that I would love to own. For someone as indecisive as me and with so little time Etsy can sometimes be a little daunting. Finally Folksy is amazingly cheap (with lower shipping costs, sometimes as sellers tend to be UK based), here are some gorgeous pieces that I found.

handcrafted necklace

Flower and Citrus Necklace


Pocket Watch with Paper Butterfly


tea party necklace

Tea Party Charm Necklace

Etsy too has some amazing finds at very great prices. I suppose the pricing depends a little on the exchange rate. Shipping does vary amongst the sellers so it is worth checking out. I did find a lot stuff that is quite similar on Etsy namely bird cage necklaces - very gorgeous but perhaps takes a little longer to find the unique stuff.

Black and White Brocade Necklace with Butterfly


Bronze Elephant Pendant


Bird Flower Tree Necklace

What did I choose? Well I am still undecided but I will let you know what I get when I make up my mind. I am kicking myself for not using these sites more for buying birthday presents. I guess I just not that organised or forward thinking.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Organic cotton clothing - should I bother?

White Gold - the true cost of cotton from Environmental Justice Foundation on Vimeo.

In the past I have always considered organic clothing as an expensive luxury and have never really got the point of it, seeing it as for people that have got more money than they know what to do with. I have never really even bought organic food as whilst I would love to receive the health benefits of doing so I can never really justify spending the money on it (except for the children when they were really little). Organic clothing does not seem to have any clear health benefits although it is though to be generally beneficial to those who suffer from eczema

Through some of the eco fashion writing that I have been doing over the last few years and information from organisations like the Environmental Justice Foundation (see the video above), I have definitely found myself being swayed to the organic clothing way of thinking. Of course I still think recycling clothes is the most eco friendly option, but there are times when only a fresh new top will do, second hand clothes shopping can take time and you can't always get what you want. Organic clothing which is mainly made of organic cotton is a much more environmentally option than conventional cotton. The problem with conventional clothing is the large amount of pesticides that need to be used in its cultivation. Not only are these pesticides damaging for the environment but the pests also build up a resistance to them, meaning that an increasing amount is needed. This becomes financially unsustainable for the farmers eventually. As if that wasn't enough, there are some serious ethical issues connected with cotton production including the use of child labour in Uzbekistan for harvesting the cotton.

Even with all of these environmental and ethical considerations, buying organic alternatives can be difficult as not only is it more expensive bit there is a lot less choice than for conventional cotton and other non eco friendly options. This is improving all the time with labels like People Tree and Ascension making eco fashion more accessible and affordable.

Whilst organic cotton is a good alternative to conventional cotton, there is just not the capacity of production for it to completely replace conventional cotton. There is also Fairtrade cotton which does eliminate some of the ethical issues involved in cotton production. I have recently come round to the thinking that when buying organic or any other eco friendly clothes, it does not have to be an all or nothing approach (as in most cases it would just end up being nothing). It is OK to mix and match as this is a step in the right direction and is helping the eco fashion industry to grow and hopefully improve in choice and price.

I have also recently began trying to buy quality to clothes that will last. This is where organic clothing really works for me as whilst you often do pay slightly more the quality is usually a bit better than some of the high street clothes. I don't feel at the moment that I can commit completely to buying eco fashion or organic clothing. Sometimes I do see just what I need in conventional cotton at the right price, but if I try and checkout the eco fashion retailers first before looking at others, I am probably much more likely to end up buying it. There are also a whole raft of other eco friendly alternatives to organic cotton including recycled materials, bamboo, hemp and organic wool, I have yet to try out any of these but will be keeping my eye out for new and exciting labels using these alternatives.

OK my long and rambling post is almost over, for those who prefer visual posts as opposed to loads and loads of words, I though I would share some of my favourite organic cotton pieces for the summer.

What do you think? Do you bother buying organic cotton or any other eco fashion?

people tree organic cotton

Fuji Striped Dress - People Tree

stripey organic dress

Stripey Ruffle Shoulder Dress - People Tree



organic cotton sailor dress

Sailor Dress - Annie Greenabelle



organic cardigan

Lucy Cardigan - Seasalt

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Birthday Carrot Cake and Khaki Trousers

I had an amazing birthday. Not only did I have a whole day off from working (the first in ages), I got loads of gorgoeus presents and cards (most of them featuring clothes, shoes and handbags). I also spent the day doing exactly what I wanted and the weather was gorgeous.

khaki trousers
mango khaki trousers Mr Style Eyes got me some clothes for my birthday (with a little bit of help) which included this pair khaki trousers from Mango, I am guessing they will form the basis of my spring summer uniform. I also got this floral lace vest (from ASOS) and the cream scarf from my children. I did get quite a few other clothes and accessories which I will be featuring on later posts as I can't wear it all in one day. The bag was orginally from Monsoon the jacket New Look and I am also wearing my new shoes from Spartoo.


After a morning of wandering around the shops, I got back to a birthday luch in the garden - Ciabatta and prawn sandwiches - yummy!

And the most delicious carrot cake

My friends and family obviously know me well. I got lots of lovely presents including the Coco before Chanel DVD which I really wanted, Stella McCartney Nude perfume which smells of roses, flowers, hand cream, scarves and sparkly hair spray.

Plus a very lovely bird tea light holder and some scented drawliners.


In the evening I went out for a delicious seafood meal at Lochfyne Restaurant and a few drinks afterwards. The dress is from the Matthew Williamson designer collection at Debenhams, Shoes, Dune, leather jacket, Gestuz from ASOS and bag Dorothy Perkins, all bought last year or before. The necklace was a birthday present from my mum.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Alternative Fashion Week

alternative fashion week
alterative fashion week
On Thursday, I was in London for a business meeting so decided to pop in to Alternative Fashion Week at Spitalfields Market. I didn't manage to get a great view of the fashion shows. As you can see from the photos, I was stood behind lots of tall people and it all seemed a bit distant.
Unfortunately time was quite short as I had to catch a train but I did manage to have a quick whizz around the fashion market and take a few photos. There was so much there that I just didn't have time to get more information on including some great designs from recycled materials.retro jewellery
I couldn't walk by without noticing these amazing retro style accessories by Creme Noveau featuring some of my favourite biscuits - yummy. Very clever and fun!

retro biscuit jewellery
designer high street I loved this knitwear by Elisabeth Hamlyn. The intertwined outer layer of knotwear is made from one continuous piece of knit. Elisabeth has sold her designs to Yves St Laurent and Calvin Klein and visit to her website revealed an amazing collection for SS10 which includes some great holiday pieces including shorts, halter neck tops and mini dresses inspired by origami. There are both figure hugging and draped styles in a fresh and bright colour scheme with some flashes of neon for a sporty feel.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Weekly Shopping and Goodies 15/04/10


A Few Goody Gumdrops knows Mom will love dramatic and sexy lashes! Enter to win Tarte Lights Camera Lashes Mascara for your Mom. Wink Wink!
Being High Maintenance, not Bitchy has some hot gifts for your hot mama!
Couture In The City has hand-picked a few fabulous gift ideas for mom.
Fashion Cents helps you immortalize your Mom this Mother's Day.
Fashion Fille wants to help you win an awesome gift for your mom- free Tarte mascara! Enter here today!
Fashion Hippo discovers Top 5 Chic Leather Jackets for Spring
Handbag du Jour tells you where to get mom the exclusive, limited-edition handbag by Peter Copping for Nina Ricci. Only 10 will be made and sold!
Ladybrillemag.com says Give Mom a Pair of Amisha earrings for Mother's Day!
Princess Dominique believes Fashionable Heel Skinz will Make Your Moma Happy!
Quinta Trends introduces Agua Bendita, just for sexy mommy
Shopping and Info loves these La LOOP necklaces for Mother’s Day seen on Heidi Klum.
Simply Sample Sales Shares The Best Sales, Deals & Giveaways For Mother's Day!
SomeoneSpoilMe.com has the best gifts for Mom!
Spork Fashion show Mom how she is your ideal woman with jewelry from artist Allie Pohl
Style Eyes explores the potential for grey marl to be the new black
StyleMaven
is inspired by stylish MOM Sarah Jessica Parker's multi-tasking style - the cross body bag!
The Well-Heeled Society
shows how you'll become her favorite with a stylish Mother's Day Gift Guide.
TheFind
suggests a pretty layered bib necklace tank to indulge the most stylish MOM on your list.
What's Haute Magazine finds some sweet shoes all stylish Moms would love - the Vivienne Westwood Anglomania + Lady Dragon Heart II by Melissa shoes!
picture from Style Maven

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

A Beach Safari and the Best of British Eco Fashion Blogs


As I seem to have spent such a lot of time working lately, yesterday, I decided to take a much needed break and take the children to the beach at Weston Super Mare for the day. I love Weston Super Mare and had a great time making sandcastles and watching children taking donkey rides. Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera but hopefully I will go back again soon and can take lots of lovely pics.

As the weather is at that sort of in betweeny stage (not sure if it is winter or spring) I couldn't make up my mind what to wear. Not quite warm enough for t shirt and shorts but out of the wind and with the sun out, it did get quite warm. The answer - one of my trusty cardigans (from George at Asda). I decided to go for a safari theme with a mixture of animal skin pattern and the lovely Antelope T shirt recently sent to me by Your Eyes Lie. The tribal style necklace was a present from my mum a while back.

I was really pleased today to recieve an email from Eco Fashionista, informing me that Style Eyes had been featured in the best of British Eco Fashion Blogs post for their special features in the run up to Earth Day.It is great to get some recognition for my constant struggle (OK perhaps it's not that difficult) to wear sustainable clothing, recycle and refrain from buying clothes that I do not need and whilst also trying to promote sustainable clothing to others. The other blogs featured were Eco Princess and Eco Goddess Fashion. I would definitely recommend a visit to them, for great ideas on how to be both sustainable and stylish.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Grey marl - the new black?

grey marlBy Zoe Elia Cropped Jersey Biker Jacket - My Wardrobe

grey marl draped vivienne westwood dress

Vivienne Westwood Grey Fortune Dress - My Wardrobe

grey marl cut out dress
Best Behaviour Cut Out Jersey Top - Urban Outfitters

karen walker ruffled grey marl Karen Walker Ruffle Cross Over Dress - Urban Outfitters



Grey marl / checked blazer - H! by Henry Holland, Debenhams


Every where I look recently I am confronted with jersey grey marl pieces. I realise that I am probably being slightly boring by announcing that we have yet another 'new black' but with it looking to be such a huge trend for the summer dare I say I think it could be.

Grey marl is something that I have great affections for, perhaps due to its association with my teenage years. In fact I only recently threw away a pair of grey marl trackie trousers that served me throughout my teens and twenties. I love the comfy relaxed look of it, the slightly textured appearance and its neutrality. This season, I am loving even more for it is being mixed up with patterns like florals and checks as well khaki, neutrals, ruffles and tailored pieces (all other favourites of mine).

After spending the winter swathed in thick black clothes, by the spring and summer I am completely ready for an alternative that is lighter and fresher. Grey marl is just that, admittedly it will never be as versatile or slimming as black but it is much less draining on the complexion and adds instant laid back chic to almost any outfit.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Don't step on my beige suede shoes

After 4 months of not shopping at all, I decided that I actually needed a new pair of shoes for the spring and summer. At the moment the only really wearable every day shoes that I have is a pair of black ballet pumps which are great but don't really go with many of my summer dresses. In keeping with my principles of sustainable clothing I am trying to buy only what I realistically need (and I do need these), also items that I will get lots of wear out of, so versatile and quality or made to last.

In order for me to get a lots of wear from a pair of shoes, they need to be amazingly comfortable, I walk quite a bit and a pair of shoes that is difficult or uncomfortable to walk in will just end up in the back of my cupboard (I have bought plenty of these in the past). It is a huge bonus if they also give me some extra height, the right pair of shoes can make so many outfits look better.

So here they are, the shoes of my dreams. I am going to wear these babies just about every day this summer and hopefully for many summers to come. If I were to rate them on the comfort scale of slipper to stiletto, they are definitely slippers (with sheepskin lining). The beige colour is perfect for my summer wardrobe and will go with just about anything. Finally, they add height but are still really casual, so I can wear them with my everyday casual clothes.

My lovely new shoes are by No Name and I bought them from Spartoo. You might not actually be able to see from the picture but they are made of suede with tiny sparkly bits.

no name
wedge trainers

Friday, 16 April 2010

Links à la Mode : April 15th

Fashion is Booming

Edited by Fashion Pulse Daily

Style cares not about the economy, so we continue on, falling in love with a fabulous pairs of shoes, lbd, and the perfect little cardie. New boutiques, designers, ideas, and innovative, avant garde concepts continue to emerge, and we can’t help but start a new love story with our latest DIY project, amazing vintage find, department store score, or simply a fabulous floral umbrella. And so, as the title suggests, fashion is booming, creativity is soaring, and we can take a big exhale and shove our worries aside – it’s time to allow ourselves to get excited about wearing some new or all-time favorite spring-weather garments and accessories.

As expected, there was a fabulous round-up of links in the forum as well, all worthy of your eyeballs!

[Note from Jennine] Oh, and if you’re looking for something to do this summer… IFB is looking for interns!

Links à la Mode : April 15th

  • 39th and Broadway – An Interview With The Person Who Really Determines How Your Clothes Fit!
  • Chic Steals – What happens to a piece of clothing once it is donated to a charity such as Goodwill?

  • Dedicated Follower of Fashion - Explores the new Spring/Summer Collection from Stylesmith:

  • Denim Debutante – Three Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Your Jeans

  • Evoluer – My best friend & I came across mint condition vintage Chanel at the local thrift store!

  • Fashion Pulse Daily – Discovers a new way to think about dress via Linda Grant’s ‘The Thoughtful Dresser’

  • Fasshonaburu - Need inspiration on fun color combination? Try looking at wedding palette articles!
  • For Those About to Shop - Breeyn McCarney’s eco-conscious collection finds beauty in despair

  • House in Tillford – An interview with two big blogs: learn from their experience on how to grow your own blog

  • Idiosyncratic Style – Recycled Style Project: DIY paperclip necklace

  • Independent Fashion Bloggers – Microsoft Launches KIN : The Social Media Phone

  • Maple Sucre – The Women x Women Exhibition: Inspiring Young Women to get Behind the Lens

  • M.I.S.S. – The Rag Trade: Wear it Now or Wear it Later

  • Oranges and Apples - Ways of wearing vintage

  • Retro Chick – Video Tutorial: Vintage style victory roll fringe bangs

  • Some Kind of Style – Mr. Sartorialist In Town…

  • Style Eyes - Couture: What’s the Point?

  • The Coveted - March Springs, April Showers…. Floral Umbrella for Spring

  • TheWellAppointedCatwalk – Suneri on Newbury

  • TheWorkingWardrobe – Battle of the Blazers: 25 different blazers for 25 different styles and body types

  • TrueQueen – Can Sweat Pants be Sexy?

  • Tweet - Simon Ekrelius: Chalk, Mirrors and Confessions

  • Widespread – An Interview with a new SF based store who gathers inspiration from the world

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Happy Earth Day and Some Amazing Discounts

dicount Vivienne Westwood Anglomania


Next Thursday 22nd of April is Earth Day.Its purpose is to broaden and diversify the environmental movement worldwide, and to mobilize it as the most effective vehicle for promoting a healthy, sustainable environment. If you want to find out more on how you can get involved visit http://www.earthday.org/

I don't usually post about discounts but in celebration of Earth Day and as these are so amazing, I just had to share:

30% off all full price designer dresses at My Wardrobe when you enter discount code MYDRESS at checkout until midnight on Sunday 18th April including dresses by Acne, Fahri by Nicole Fahri, Vivienne Westwood, McQ by Alexander McQueen and By Malene Birger to name but a few! To take advantage of this offer click here.

I am all for investing in clothes to last, as opposed to buying cheap throwaway fast fashion, this discount is a great way to get your hands on an investment buy at a fraction of its original price. Much better for the environment and much more satisfying.

Another great way of making your wardrobe greener and more sustainable is by buying clothes in organic cotton. Ascension has some great pieces in organic cotton and other ethical and eco friendly pieces. In celebration of Earth Day, they are offering a 20% discount. The details are below:

To celebrate Earth Day on Thursday 22nd April, Ascension are launching a 20% off voucher code valid until midnight on 22nd April on all full priced products, so that you can get your wardrobe ethically spruced up! Click here to shop Ascension and enter the discount code earthday at checkout.

picture - red dress by Vivienne Westwood Anglomania from My Wardrobe

Cosmic Dress - Your Eyes Lie

cosmic print dress

bodycon print dress

I was very excited to receive a parcel the day before yesterday (I love parcels) containing a dress and t shirt from Your Eyes Lie in Carnaby Street. Whilst I never would usually wear anything so body con or short, I definitely had to make an exception for this dress just because I loved the cosmic digital print so much. Mr Style Eyes assured me that it wasn't too short and he regularly sees girls wearing much shorter skirts than that (I am guessing they are usually younger and slimmer than me though).

An unusual and quite subtle design which makes me think of what it would look like in space (although as I haven't ever been there so I wouldn't actually know!). I love the colours and I also love the 3/4 length sleeves which are great for short people like myself. It has a very low cut back, which I might consider showing off in the summer. But for now, I really love it with one of my favourite tailored jackets, black tights and my Topshop wedge boots. The print really stands out under the jacket too.

My excuses for the not particularly good photos, I had my hair cut and coloured yesterday, which is great, but even after washing, it is still suffering from a little post haircut frizz. I was also up at 4.30am, yes 4.30!!! this morning with my daughter. I am struggling to look awake in the photos, actually I not really sure if I am awake.

More about the T shirt that I was sent in another post soon. In the meantime, you can check out the Your Eyes Lie website for some other great cosmic print dresses and t shirts and lots more. They also have some great pendant necklaces, I love this camera.

camera necklace

Weekly Shopping and Goodies 14/04/10




With spring well on its way, we have a great selection of posts on spring style and beauty from my shopping and goodies friends. Enjoy!


A Few Goody Gumdrops is Poised in Turquoise! We're giving away an Amrita Singh Chalchi Turquoise Necklace and Bracelet. Enter to Win!
Couture In The City is loving stripes this spring.
Fashion Cents wants to know what you think of the Project Runway designer's dress on the cover of Marie Claire. Give her your two cents now!
Fashion Fille admits a guilty pleasure, as well as shows her readers a slammin' pair of shoes she wants!
Fashion Hippo reviews the best lip stains for 2010
Handbag du Jour is going ga-ga for this gorgeous green bag - the Lockheart Zipcode Estelle Clutch.
Ladybrillemag.com gives the scoop on "Chris Aire Hollywood Glamour Collection" Launch Party!
Princess Dominique asks her readers to Support TOMS Shoes as TOMS Supports Others!
Quinta Trends talks to Colombian designer Juliana Correa about her brand OnA
Shopping and Info adores these Prada black ballerina flats for mommy and daughter.
SomeoneSpoilMe.com is hosting a series of giveaways for Mother's Day. Enter to Win!
Style Eyes looks at very high end fashion and asks Couture - what is the point?.
StyleMaven spotted Sarah Jessica Parker shining pretty in a white dress tunic dress for Spring!
The Curvy Fashionista shares a true plus size fashion guide fashioned by a plus size fashionista with The Curvy Girl’s Guide to Style. by Chastity Garner!
The Well-Heeled Society heightens the most popular hue of the season in one of the most popular shoe trends of the season.
TheFind is a giving away a prize package worth $420 including celebrity hair stylist Tara Smith's natural and organic haircare product range and a fashion items from the Boy Meets Girl collection to celebrate Tara's launch on April 15th in NYC - Enter to win!
What's Haute Magazine features a sexy, stunning shoe - the Michael Antonio 'Karina' Open-Toe Pump.
picture from fashion cents

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

You can now follow Style Eyes on Bloglovin

Follow my blog with bloglovin

Polka dots and pink


polka dot dressYesterday I decided to wear one of my favourite dresses from good old Marks and Spencers. I know some people find Marks and Spencers a bit boring, but I find the quality and fit of the clothes great and they have a great petites range. The dress and cardigan were actually a birthday present from Mr Style Eyes and the children last year, although I did pick it out myself. Yet another monchrome outfit with a bit of pink to brighten it up.

Having a very busy month so far working every evening and weekend. Hoping to make a bit more time for relaxation, going out and blog posts on Style Eyes soon. On the plus side, I haven't had any new clothes for a while because of my shopping ban but have managed to make just a bit of time for clothes swapping so should have some new clothes on the way and should be able to do some more outfit posts soon.

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Couture - What is the point?

I love the couture shows and the luxury, the drama and the fact that it is all completely over the top. But I am sure many others have written and posted on this subject and I am still not really getting it, what is the point of couture?

By Couture, I mean 'Haute Couture', the very highest end of luxury fashion, the luxurious, hand crafted pieces of artwork made with intricate detail and expert tailoring made by a select few fashion houses as opposed to Juicy Couture, Tesco Couture or anything else which uses the word 'couture' in its name.

I know that unless there are some very dramatic changes in my life (perhaps a very big lottery win), I will never wear couture or probably even get to see it up close. So for me the point has always really been an art form to look at. I have also always thought that couture is important as inspiration for all sorts of other fashion. However, the main point of couture is its attention to detail and craftmanship, if this other fashion can't replicated on a lower budget, then is there any point?

From the fashion brands like exboutique.com point of view couture is part of their overall marketing . Whilst they often make a loss on couture is is considered a worthwhile exercise in building the brand and like many branding or marketing activities has a subtle effect that cannot neccesarily be measured by a return on investment. The Haute Couture shows recieve massive press coverage, this is so much more valuable than advertising. But with the current economic situation and so many fashion houses struggling (The loss of the Christian Lacroix label is a real shame), is couture still relevant? and with conspicuos consumption being very out of fashion, will it sell any more?

The latest of the couture collections seem to have set out to prove that couture is still very relevant. Young models to appeal to a new generation of fashion lovers and subtle luxury that is not overtly opulent. They are appealing to a whole new range of customers notably from Asia, so their relevance is evolving and changing all of the time - as is everything in the fashion world.

I think for those select few houses that do have couture collections, it is a sign of their status of being top of their game. With new up and coming labels launching all of the time, Haute Couture allows these labels to stay ahead of the pack. I guess the point of couture is not really whether it sells, I expect they can always give it away or lend it to celebrities for red carpet events. It is a marketing tool and one which the rest of us can enjoy as an art form, so lets enjoy it (even if we can't wear it). Here are some of my favourites from the SS10 couture collections:

Armani Privé



Dior

Jean Paul Gaultier

Chanel

pictures from http://www.style.com/
Givenchy