Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Yorkshire fashion week (by gum!)

When I read a story in The Mirror about Yorkshire fashion week I thought it was a (not very funny) joke! But actually a quick google search revealed it was true: and still not very funny at all!

I don't know why i'm suprised: The county of Yorkshire sits ajecent to my family's Lincolnshire home, and Leeds and York are teaming with fashion conscious, and fashion forward, young people. It's a little known fact but Yorkshire currently produces fabrics for some of the world's leading fashion houses, including Chanel, Prada and D&G - employing around 40,000 people in the process.

YFW ended three days ago with a spectacular gala show, and I cannot believe I hadn't heard of it before. Still, better late then never, here is the blurb followed by my picks of the collections:

"A new initiative created by the Textile Centre of Excellence in Huddersfield and the region’s Universities and Colleges, Yorkshire Fashion Week 2009 aims to raise the international profile of the region in terms of design and textile manufacturing. To make Yorkshire Fashion Week 2009 happen, we have worked with a number of partners from the private and public sector. Majority funding has come from Yorkshire Forward, with Welcome to Yorkshire and Kirklees council also playing a major part in getting the event off the ground. To ensure collaboration with education authorities, Skillfast UK have lent their invaluable support."
Leeds University

Leeds college of arts

Bradford college

The second dress is my favourite by far; it mixes body con with florals, but still manages to have a gothic edge. And the mix of the florals and polka dots immediately makes me think of Henry Holland: oh how I raved about that collection! The first dress looks fairly generic at first glance, until you realise it is in fact made of wool; i've never seen knitwear look like that before! And the last one? I've always had a secret love of dungarees, since I was a child, and these tailored yet oversized versions could be just what I need to fulfill that fantasy!

Love Tor

NB- I feel awful that I have only been able to attribute colleges to the designers and not names- this info wasn't included anywhere! If i've shown your work and you'd like your name to appear up here then just send me an email!

Monday, 29 June 2009

That which we call a rose..

The pictures you see below represents what I can only describe as the evolution of a monster...

These are in fact crocs. Less cumbersome and chunky rubber versions of hell in shoe form, but crocs nonetheless. They are moulded to the foot more than the originals and certainly look more feminine. However, they are crocs. Naturally therefore, I hate them.

What do you think?

Love Tor

PS-The pics were taken surrepticiously whilst I was standing at swiss cottage waiting for a bus that never came. Whilst the jubilee line was shut. Making it entirely impossible for me to get home to Mill Hill. Thanks again TFL.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Saturday night, feeling alright!

On Friday night the sis and I didn't feel up to conquering Selfridges: the horrible humid weather and the sheer volume of shoppers meant we hit a couple of the highstreet stores (including primark of course!) ate a pizza and then went home.

This was, however, a good thing. In a happy twist of fate, Becky (yes, Rebecca of Wigmore fame) had to make a last minute trip to London for the weekend and we decided to meet and attack Selfridges with all of our might. In fact, we arrived at 2pm, and were still there when Miss B had to run to catch her train at 6.30pm.
Here is Miss B in a vintage 70s maxi dress indulging in a salad from one of the many many cafes of the store. We felt well fancy!
We divided our visit into 4 distinct sections; well, you have to have a plan! First handbags, then designer women's wear followed by shoes and finally what Selfridges call "street fashion" but normal humans call "the highstreet bit"!
To be honest, during our trip I was a very very bad blogger: we were having far too much fun to remember to take photos! However, if you ever wanted to see what I looked like in a too tight Chloe body-con dress that had been reduced from £400 to £130, then here you go:

Tiny changing room with awful strip lighting around the mirror does not make for good photography!

Great dress for anyone without hips or tum; on me? The result was nothing less than an angry hippo! It looked brilliant on the hanger; simple and sexy, but on the body I think it looked fairly cheap and non-descript.

Here is Becky pouring over some discounted Marni, however it wasn't the sales that were the highlight of my day: the thing that excited me most was that the new Ashish stuff is now in-store! Going back to try that lot on is going to be a very exciting day!
Yum! Sequins and pompom and glorious OTT details! I've already been charity shop trawling for oversized 80s jumpers to attach home made pompoms to!
Then to the shoes:
Oh if only I had the money to buy one magnificent pair of shoes, it would be this Jimmy Choos! Reduced to just over £300 they were beautiful with their tribal influences and vibrant yellow detailing. The heel was so narrow that even wearing just one shoe I was very very wobbly on my feet! The whole shoe department was wonderful!
In fact, if you like shoes, get thee to Selfridges! The shoe department has such an amazing sale and the discounts were insane. So insane that the boyfriend is taking me back on Monday to choose a pair as a graduation present: good times! There are a pair of black Prada heels that I have my eyes one...watch this space!

Finally, we popped to All Saints where I was drawn by the massive 50% off signs everywhere. However I wasn't impressed by the two dresses I decided to try on:

Note the much better changing room light!? I loved the horse drawn chariot image on this first dress, but I tried on a 12 as they didn't have a 14, and as you can see it was far far too tight! And the second dress? Well the fact I can't button it and my truly frightened face says it all!

Anyway, a great day was had by all! Mike and I are going back tomorrow night, where I promise I will make a considerably more concerted effort to take better pictures of all the great stuff in the sales!

Love, Tor x

Oh, PS - I did buy something; an oversized black cardigan from vince reduced from £250 to £30; quite a bargain! However its far too warm to be messing with cardigans (its an effort to get dressed at all!) so I will show it you in a separate post when I feel less, well, sticky!

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Primark does make up!

Although there were plenty of angular desses and heavily embellished blouses that got my attention in Primark last night, the most noticable thing that grabbed my attention was the addition of a whole new section sandwiched between the underwear and the pajamas; Primark have started making make up and cosmetics!

Although it doesn't say so on the boxes, a quick blog fact search has confirmed that the goodies aren't tested on animals. I've always believed that with make up you get what you pay for; that's why even when i'm broke I always find the money for my Dior foundation and my YSL mascara. But maybe i'm wrong;
Having tried the blusher and a dab of the "stretch eye shadow" (which really does just keep going!) I think Primark could quickly become a go-to shop for fast and fun make up; those varying colour trends that the fashion magazines tell us are our weekly "must haves". I know where i'll be going to next time I need a neon eye shadow or pinker than pink lip gloss!!
I'm also really impressed with the packaging; to say that the stuff is selling for between £1-2.50, you don't feel like this is basics" make up where the packaging has been neglected. The glitter eyeliners look just like the ones you get from Urban Decay and I love the Roy Lichtenstein, pop art-style packaging on the face and eye powders. Although the price is rock bottom, the packaging doesn't make you feel like you are settling for econd best.
Love, Tor x
PS- my Primark pick of the week and overview of the Selfridges sale are coming your way soon!

Friday, 26 June 2009

Uninspired and unevolved

I have no idea what to post about today. I always feel like i'm letting you guys and myself down when I don't know what to write about but everything is leaving me feeling pretty blank and blah today. Hopefully i'll be back on the ball by tonight (have you noticed that i've started posting twice a day? I'm finding the momentum of it helps focus my mind and I intend to keep it up!)
So instead, for your pleasure, here is a list of the things I have been thinking about today that dont quite warrent a whole post of there own (the unevolved part of the title!):
1. Michael Jackson. The sequinned white gloves, the red jacket with the epilettes. Michael Jackson may have had a questionable personal life but his music and fashion choices really were ahead of their time
2. The beginning of the end for Perez Hilton? When is it time to stop hounding celebrities? And does this mean that we should stop hounding Perez, who has become a kind-of-celebrity-of-sorts? And what does this mean for the fashion industry? Oh how refreshing it would be to read a fashion magazine that didn't have an actress/musician on the cover; that's not what i'm reading the magazine for!
3. Relating to my thoughts about no. 2 really: Celebrity clothing lines. Do we buy them for the celebrity of because of the quality of the clothes. And are they undermining the fashion industry and struggling designers trying to build their own label/ their own reputation? This one was just too hard for me to answer in half an hour but I will give it some thought and post at a later date. Answers on a post card please?
I'm heading to primark and then the Selfridges sale after work tonight, so hopefully I will have pictures galore to share in the next couple of posts!
Love, Tor x

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Snow White and the seven layers of chiffon

Well as the theme of the day seems to be reintroducing you to websites i've already told you I love, who am I to break the habit? Catwalk genius has a small sale on their website, and as I can't seem to resist the summer sales this week I decided to take a peek. However, once more it wasn't the cute and quirky garments I might actually be able to afford that took my fancy, but the couture that I most certainly couldn't. If you have the money and an eye for a bargain then this Aimee McWilliams dress is for you. And although E2241.75 is an eyewatering amount of money, given that it was E5781.35, that is quite the reduction.
Regardless of the reduction, it is quite the dress...

The gown is made up of over 60 metres of French chiffon in a variety of colours. And if you're interested in celebrities, then according to the website this cut has been ordered by Sarah Brightman and Christina Aguilera amongst other stars. To me it looks like a very fancy couture version of Snow White's wedding dress. Although i'm not that sure how I feel about the panto style padded cups (it fits into the Snow White theme I guess!) that raw edged skirt and I could talk all night. I love the vibrant clashing colours and that in spite, or even because of them, the dress looks very very well made and perfect for a Cinderella style ball. Wow, i'm really channelling the Disney today, arent I? Its a dress made for a wind machine, a bold personality, and a flounce.
I'm not sure i've ever flounced before, but for one night in that dress, i'm certainly prepared to give it a go!
Love, Tor

A Force to be reckoned with!

I know i've written about the millinary wonder that is Tour de Force before, but another glance at the website forces me (oh humour, where art thou!?) to mention them again.

For those of you who missed the last piece, or don't read any of the other thousands of blogs that have featured her work in the past couple of months, here's the blurb: TOUR DE FORCE believes in offering feminine and flattering designs by creating innovative sculptural forms using luxurious fabrics and intricate detail. Inspiration is drawn from Performance Art and the manipulation of graphic line.

Camille Roman, designer and founder of TOUR DE FORCE graduated from Womenswear at Central St. Martins, and gained studio experience at Lanvin, Zac Posen and Johnny Loves Rosie before launching her own range of luxury accessories.
I went to the website to gaze lustfully at the dada bells piece, which I am considering handing over some hard earned cash for as a "pay day treat." However I got far more than I bargained for: Why didn't anyone tell me that the lovely Camille also makes Couture pieces!?
Although obviously these pieces arent built for wearing to the office, or the supermarket, or on a night out or...well, you get the idea, aren't they structurally superb? And how do they stand up unaided like that? Hat engineers, I wait for your response with baited breath!
Camille's influences aren't subtle (i'm seeing the statue of liberty crossed with king tritan, a rio carnival, a spring baby and Queen Victoria in mourning) but the results are astounding. And I would be thrilled to wear a smaller version of the tritan piece to my sisters graduation. Or one of the bows just about anywhere! It must be love...
Love, Tor x

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Liberty, Liberty: Liberated

You know the next best thing to a sale? Why, it's an online sale of course! Liberty is my favourite London department store. It is a eclectic mix of fashions and it has such an amazing atmosphere; whenever I have an hour to kill in central London it is the first place I think to go (after my beloved Topshop of course!) So imagine my delight on browsing their website this evening and finding their online sale? It's like all the fun of shopping in Liberty but without the commute and with the added bonus of being curled up on my sofa wearing my Pjs (pink ones with unicorns on if you're interested!!)

When released from my prison of poverty, I intend to shop... so that this time next month I find myself locked inside another prison of poverty! Ah well, three out of four wonderful weeks a month ain't bad! And if left alone in Liberty for an hour or two, I suspect I will be coming out with a massive credit card bill and one of these:
Vivienne Westwood red iris crepe full dress, £178.50 (was £255)
Red Batik Silk Satin T Dress, Peter Pilotto £311.50 was £445
Coral bow front dress, See by Chloe. £238, was £340

Grey Duchamp Silky Tea Dress, Acne £136.50 was £195
It's always dresses with me isn't it? I didn't even take the time to look at the seperates! I love the shape of the VW dress which would be really flattering on my figure, I can't get enough of the pattern on the Peter Pilotto dress despite it's awkward length. It's like waves crashing against a wall of asian spices. But the dress that sends my pulse racing (and which I will be running down to Liberty to try on tomorrow) is the beautiful dove grey Acne dress. The beautiful layering, the ruffle details and the cutout shoulder; perfect (sigh of delight!)
Dear lord, I love the summer sales!
Love, Tor
PS- Vivienne Westwood fans might be interested to note that it seemed there was a lot of the grand dames garments scattered throughout the sale. Probably worth a look!

Get your Deac-on!!

Save this date for your diary. Do it now! Friday 17th July (that's Friday 17th July for the lazy ones at the back!)

Victoria&Albert’s next Fashion in Motion will be all about UK fashion designer Giles Deacon. On Friday 17 July 2009, Deacon will show a selection of his favourite pieces in a series of free catwalk shows in the V&A’s Raphael Gallery.

Giles said: “I am thrilled to be taking part in fashion in motion, as the V&A is one of the world’s most interesting museums and my personal favourite. I have been visiting it regularly since my teenage years and to see my work there is amazing."
There will be shows at 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, and 8pm, and it is a free ticketed event. Tickets are available from 8th July, and if I were you i'd put it in your diary and get your diary finger at the ready. In fact, i'll even give you the number; call 020 7942 2820 on the 8th July or you'll be sorry!

Bugger, I hope I haven't scuppered my chances of getting a ticket by promoting this to you 'orrible lot (sorry, feeling all on the buses!)

Hopefully see you there!
Love Tor x

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

You: the fashion jury!

So, in less than a month I will return to Norwich for my congregation: I will walk across the big old stage in a silly hat and collect my Masters certificate, This of course requires a very specific outfit: black trousers and a white shirt to be precise. (yawn!)

I have a lovely shirt from BCBG Max Azria that I picked up from the US, but am really struggling to find the perfect trousers. I toyed with harem pants (I’ve been toying with buying a pair for a while) and thought they could bring a much needed element of fashion detailing to the look. That was, of course, until I went to Dorothy Perkins and tried a couple of pairs on:

Looking at these I suspect I just don’t have the harem pants kind of body; the first pair look like normal trousers that are just too baggy around the waist (giving me unsightly fat-lady crotch) and the second pair look like a nappy skirt worn over leggings, and leave me looking far to wide. So that’s a no on the harem pants then; at least the ones from Dorothy Perkins; I think the next step is to try a pair with a slightly more pronounced drop-crotch.

Whilst on the black trouser hunt in DP’s I did find another thing I quite liked however;

This is another thing on the list of things I have been looking for (well, nearly!) I wanted a black jumpsuit with longer legs, but really liked the ditzy white pattern printed onto this cotton number. It’s comfy (it felt like wearing PJs) and I think it looks good. But before I got to the check out I had a crisis of confidence; cropped legs and oversized jumpsuit device on someone of my height and width? I would definitely normally advise against this kind of thing. Which is why it’s over to you:

What do you think? Am I pulling off the crop legged jump suit? Or should I put it back on the shelf and save my money for something equally ridiculous from the Selfridges sale on Friday?

My life (or at least £40 of my hard earned cash and my dignity if you feel I look ridiculous) is in your hands.

Love, Tor

Lust-have item of the day!

Today's lust-have item is courtesy of London Darling's twitter feed. As soon as she announced that the Smythson sale had started, I hot-footed straight to the website to have a look. I love quality stationary. In fact, I love all stationary, but especially the quality stuff. And I have been lusting after a Smythson lambskin leather notebook in one of their delicious candybar colours since the first time I saw them in Harrods on a special shopping trip with my mum.

And now that the sale is on and payday is fast approaching, here is my chance:
Apt, right? This particular model comes in fuschia and emerald green, and has been reduced from £40 to £26.13. This is, without doubt, my lust-have item of the day!

If the brightly coloured stationary isn't for you, there are definitely other massive bargains to be had:
This mirrored handbag pendant has been reduced from £85 to £15. The make up brush roll my sister coveted so desperately on that same trip has been reduced by 50% from £280 to £140 and the think pink notebook is down from £36 to £14!!

If the reductions are this good in all of the summer sales, then I can see myself spending some serious money this month!
Love Tor x

Monday, 22 June 2009

Forget the summer solstace, it's time for the summer sales!

Today's post comes to you courtesy of this evening's London Paper, where I saw an article so useful, I felt the need to repeat it here for my non-London dwelling readers viewing pleasure.

First though - what do you think of the new site design? There are still a few tweeks to make and the header isn't quite finished, but basically, this is it. I rather like it. It reminds me of the inside of a Victorian ladies knicker drawer.

And now back to the important business of today's news which is, of course (the clue is in the title!) about the summer sales.

The London Paper produced a comprehensive list of when the main sales are starting, and what kind of discounts to expect. As I can't find this online, my summary is below:


Liberty - Up to 50% off
Faith - Up to 50% off
Banana Republic - At least 30% off
Anne Summers and Knickerbox - Up to 70% off
Ben Sherman - 30-50% off
Donna Karan - Up to 50%
Luella - 50% off bags, 30% off womenswear and 40% off knitwear
Netaporter - Discounts undisclosed
Selfridges - Up to 75% off


Christian Louboutin - Up to 50% off


Chanel - Discounts from 30%
John Lewis - Up to 50% off


Alexander McQueen - Up to 50% off

Sadly, I don't get paid until Friday, and so am sat in my pajamas hoping that everyone else is as broke as me until their respective paydays, meaning there will still be some bargains to be had. I truly am going to try to stick to the mantra of "quality not quantity" this month.

Love, Tor xx

Friday, 19 June 2009

Work in progress

For the next three days the blog will be under maintainance. Like a tiny catepillar it suffers under my terrible lack of creative influence and appalling html skills. I am hoping that by Monday it will emerge, butterfly-like, and you will have something beautiful to behold!!

See you then!
Tor x

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Cool Britannia!

Oh yes, cool Britannia is back, baby. And in a big way! If it's red, white, and blue, and it has the union jack on it then apparently it is your "hot new trend" for the summer.Does anyone else find it a little scary and perculiar how fast trends are moving in their cyclical nature nowadays? At 25, i'm not sure that the clothes of my childhood should be the new retro, or the new vintage. But in the past 5 years we're raped the 20s, 50s, 60s and the 80s, so it's back to the 90s we go! And it's worrying to hear kids on the bus refer to things less than 1o years old as "vintage" dont you think?

In case your interested in this kind of thing, the phrase "Cool Britannia" is a media term which was first used in 1967 as a song title by the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. The phrase then reappeared in the mid-1990s as a registered trade mark for one of Ben & Jerry's ice-creams (vanilla with strawberries and chocolate-covered shortbread). The ice cream name and recipe was coined in early 1996 by an American lawyer called Sarah Moynihan-Williams who was living in London. Her Cool Britannia icecream was the winning entry in a Ben and Jerry's ice cream competition. Her name for the ice cream as "Cool Britannia" was meant to presage the era of New Labour, which came about with their election win in May 1997. The phrase was quickly adopted in the media and in advertising, seeming to capture the "It" quality of London at the time. The election of Blair's government in 1997 on a platform of modernisation and with Blair as a relatively young Prime Minister gave the idea fresh currency. To the extent that it had any real meaning, "Cool Britannia" referred to the transient fashionable London scene, 1990s bands such as Blur and Oasis, fashion designers, the Young British Artists and magazines. Cool Britannia also summed up the mood in Britain during the mid-1990s Britpop movement, when there was a sudden influx of lively British rock and pop music from bands such as Oasis, Blur, Suede, Supergrass, Pulp and The Verve, as well as the Spice Girls. Many link popularity of the Austin Powers films and the resurgence of James Bond 007 as factors of the spread of Cool Britannia. The movement, along with political factors, saw a renewal in British pride, typified by such things as Noel Gallagher's Union Flag guitar and Geri Halliwell's iconic skimpy Union Flag dress.
And now it's back. I suppose it's only to be expected. Patriotism is always at its most apparent during times of crisis (I'm thinking of the two world wars) and the current economic crisis is bringing the people of the country together once more. As well as enabling the BNP to get a foot in the door and tearing our government apart. Which makes the union jack take on a more sinister overtone, no? Isn't it sad that one political party can make what should be a source of National pride seem like something to be ashamed of? The ugly face of patriotism. Anyway.

With the cool Britannia theme continuing to rage on the highstreet, and my realisation that I could "make do" a lot of the theme with the current contents of my own wardrobe, here is my take on "Cool Britannia Cool". But more of a cool Brittannia got hit by the credit crunch, lost all their money, and had to start working as a dinner lady....
Dishevelled hair, dinner lady dresses and smeared dollops of make up. Oh yeah, I bet there are models everywhere eating their hearts out!
Love, Tor x
PS - The pic at the top is French designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac paying tribute to Princess Diana in his 2006 collection. I sort of, actually, definitely love it!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

ASOS have taken over the world!

Hi Guys,
First we fell in love with the cheap celebrity copies on "as seen on screen" (the quality wasn't that great though) then those clever folks over there at the as seen building started a blog, they changed the company name into into simply ASOS and introduced more premium brands and great designer ranges that made them a first-stop online shopping experience. THEN.....

they followed net-a-porter who introduced the outnet by introducing "ASOS red", the ASOS outlet with up to 70% off not just their own stuff, but top brands too (that is where the Irregular Choice tassled shoes of yesterday's post came from, if you're interested. Then finally...

...today, when i thought they couldn't do anymore, I noticed a banner ad on vogue.co.uk for ASOS kids (!) A new collection of high street and designer wear for babies, boys, and girls.
The range features my least favourite thing in the world (little girls dressed provocatively as tiny little hookers) but with some of these ranges, I suppose that can't be helped. I'm no expert on baby or children's wear, so i'm not about to review, but the range seemed fairly extensive, so it might be worth checking out.
Meanwhile ASOS are in their evil ASOS tower plotting to take over Starbucks, MacDonalds.... and create a whole new website called ASOS Pets. And the scary thing is, i'm probably not joking. Tiny chihuahua, here I come...
Love, Tor

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Daily wear

Hi Everyone,

The sun is shining and my garden is starting to bloom; I actually ate my first strawberry this morning, straight from the plant, and I grew them from seeds! To celebrate this rare blip in standard British summertime gloom, I decided to wear something bright and floral to work today:

Dress; dorothy perkins, Ring; Topshop, Headband; Accessorise, Necklace; A gift from the bf, Sunglasses; Rayban

And when I wasn't watering my sadly drooping flowers (they looked fine yesterday! I don't know what i've done wrong!) I was working hard writing some very important newsletter copy. This, of course, required shoes and a handbag:

Handbag; vintage from bootsale, Shoes; Irregular Choice

Aren't these shoes the best thing you've ever seen? They have an inverted stack heel and the softest leather fringing. It's so rare to find a pair of shoes that are comfortable to walk in for hours and hours, and these are it! I thought the unusual accessorise gave a quirky twist to the prim and proper Dorothy Perkins dress.

I felt pretty. Oh so pretty. And on that note it's time for me to go back out in my garden and enjoy the beautiful sunshine a little more.

Love, Tor xx