Sunday, 28 February 2010

Aussie Angels photoshoot

On Saturday I took part in the Aussie Angels photoshoot. It was an early start but everyone was so chirpy and excited that it didn't feel so early; in fact that was a theme that continued all day and it flew by: 6 hours felt like 10 minutes!A professional hair stylist and make up artist made us all look picture perfect and the photographer was incredible, making us all feel at ease. The make up artists were using MAC products. This is a brand i've overlooked in the past, but the make up looked lovely and stayed on all day, so it's definitely one to look out for in the future. Obviously our hair was styled using Aussie products. I've used the shampoos before but never the products and I was pleasantly suprised; obviously they smelt lovely (this is Aussie!) but they also held all day; in fact i'm still wrestling to comb out my beehive now!
The theme of the shoot was new season nudes and florals: I wore three different outfits and the focus was definitely on creams and lace, with all the fashion blogger choosing to bring something lace along. I also got a chance to be photographed in my Topshop trophy jacket, which I was very excited about! My favourite outfit was worn by Christina from a sense sublime who looked very editorial in sheer fabrics posing with an umbrella. Amy from Lipgloss86 had enviable hair and make up: her hair is naturally dark and glossy, so it photographed really well!

There were loads of snacks throughout the day (I spent the whole day grazing!) and then afterwards we all went for dinner. I wasn't feeling my best as I still had a hangover from Lady Gaga (meaning no wine or champagne for me!) but it was a really great day. It was such fun, and lovely to meet some more of the Angels that I hadn't met before.

I can't wait to be sent the pictures, and am really excited to share the final results with you guys!

Love, Tor xx

Gaga: Ooh la laa!!

On Friday night I went to see Lady Gaga at the 02 arena in London. It was absolutely fabulous! I'm a massive Gaga fan and the show didn't disappoint: the music, the spectacle, the costumes! I could gush for hours about how wonderful it was .
Naturally I decided I had to Gaga up a little: I went for a skin coloured lace jacket, sparkly top with leggings, and a giant sparkly hair bow. My piece de resistence was the lightening bolt below my eye: I practiced it on my hand before I dared apply it to my face: it was all very Gaga! There were quite a few other people in costume: one girl was wearing a very skimpy leotard, but not as many people were in costume as I thought there would be.

For those of you that want to try the lightening bolt yourself (who wouldn't!) I found the best way to do it was to draw the lightening bolt with a pencil liner, then I filled it with Urban Decay eyeshadow which I mixed with water to make it a paste. Then I went around the lightening bolt again with a liquid liner. It stayed on all night, and was still on my face when I woke up with a hangover the next morning!!

I am aware though that you don't want to see pictures of me: you want to see pictures of the lady herself!

The middle dress was fantastic: it's called the living dress and it moved as she danced, like it had a life of its own. Towards the end of the performance giant wings flew out from the back. The studded boots in the final picture were fabulous, though they broke mid performance. She didn't take them off though and joked that she didnt want her audience to see her without heels. And isn't it time someone brought back the keyboard guitar?! Love it! I know i'm gushing, but I'm developing quite the girl crush! I heart Lady Gaga!

Love, Tor xx

EDIT: When its finished processing, here is a brief video I made of the Lady singing Love Game. Such a great song!

Friday, 26 February 2010

ASOS: Out of Africa

As the weather gets a little bit brighter and spring draws near, it's time to really focus on new season trends. Every year there are two pages you will constantly see in the trends section of any magazine: nautical and tribal. I can confidently predict these will never go away!! So what better time for ASOS to launch its Africa collection: a new collection celebrating the vibrancy of the continent.

Over the past couple of months ASOS have been working away with artisans and small producer groups in Africa to launch a capsule collection of clothing and accessories with the aim of supporting trade in Africa.
I'm in love with the scarf wedges but can't see a price for them - I hope they're part of the collection. I also really like the turbans; i'm a big fan of headwear and think it's a nice, brave way of incorporating a trend into your wardrobe without having to vear away from my standard range of blacks and grey. The prints in this collection are so bold that you wouldn't need any other jewellery of accessorise with them: they're real statement pieces!
The vast majority of the collection is handmade and each piece comes packaged in its own pouch made from Kanga fabric with a handmade coconut button fastening.

The ASOS Africa collection will be housed onsite within The Green Room, an online marketplace which brings together and highlights brands that promote people and the planet. Its a great cause and also a great range if you're looking to explore your tribal side this summer.
What do you think of the new collection? Are there any pieces that really stand out?

Love, Tor x

Thursday, 25 February 2010

LFW A/W10: Belle Sauvage show review

This will be my last London Fashion Week post. I feel really lucky and privilaged to have been invited to so many shows and had a really great time. But i'm glad it's over and life can go back to normal; i'm still feeling really run down and looking forward to a long bath and a night without lots of posts to write up!


I always love the Belle Sauvage show; I am a massive fan of their digital prints and bold use of colours. And check out those futuristic shoes! But this season is much darker than last one with more focus on black and monochrome than on the acid brights of last year. This collection was inspired by the industrial imagery found in German expressionism especially in early 1920’s films.


I just love it, especially the faces printed within the fabric: Black and white prints of fierce piercing eyes and daunting faces leave a lasting impression. As well as the usual silk prints this year the brand explored new elements adding quilting and Swarovski stones to wool and silk fabrics.

What I most love is that each piece is like a work of art; the more you stare at each collage the more you find to look at, and there's always something new to explore: An incredible show!

Love, Tor xx

PS -Before I say "so long" to LFW for another six months, I also want to say thank you to my Style Compare, their sponsorship definitely made my week a little easier! I hope you guys enjoyed all the coverage too!

Style Compare has over 6,000 dresses by more than 350 labels.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Mannequins: What's your size?

I wanted to write about this last week, but what with the fashion week craziness I just didn't get the chance. Debenhams are trialling size 16 mannequins in their Oxford Street store windows.


Currently Debenhams use standard size 10 mannequins in all its windows display, but the majority of women in the UK are either a size 14 or 16; in fact, 42% of Debenhams sales come from selling garments in those two sizes.

I think they look great but I kind of wish they had opted for a size 12 or 14 mannequin: something a little more representative of a normal healthy weight rather either than one extreme or the other. I feel like a size 16 is heading more towards the plus sized category than something that is realistic and aspirational and achieveable that loads of women can see and appreciate as beautiful. Still, bigger women like myself being represented on the highstreet can only be a good thing, and it will be nice to walk down the street and see a mannequin that I can relate to in a size I could actually wear!

What do you think? Do you think this is a step in the right direction? What model size would you prefer?

Love, Tor xx

Primark pick of the week: The nudes and florals edition

Having spent a week looking at what we'll all be wearing next winter (and possibly channel it into our wardrobes now, given the horrible weather) it's time to go back to look at what we'll be wearing in the spring and summer; they're fast approaching, and the high street knows it!

Primark is full of sandals and swimwear, which feels weird when it's snowing outside, but now is the time to think about buying it; Primarks leather gladiator sandals sell out every year and if you're budget is tight you'll want to get them before they're gone! If you can't plan that far ahead they also have a great selection of Spring macs and patterned blazers.

This post though is for all the Angels going to the Aussie event next weekend, where the dress code is new season florals and nudes: if you want to buy something new then Primark has you covered!
After months of the price point slowly creeping up the Primark price point is starting to decline again: The floral and mesh dresses above are only £5 and the scalloped lace top is only £8. Despite having spend a week lusting after high end clothes, i'll always love Primark: It might not be where you would go for your classics or basics (this is where you should spend your money) but it's perfect if you want an ontrend wardrobe pick-up, without breaking the bank.

Love, Tor xx

PS - Do you know they're still not letting you take photos in Primark? I can understand why they wouldnt let you take pictures in a designer or wedding shop, but wonder who would be photographing and then stealing Primarks designs!!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

LFW: Burberry goes live in 3D and 2D around the world

When it comes to engaging with social media and reaching as wide an audience as possible, Burberry really know what they're doing. This year, Burberry went 3D! Yup, as well as the celebrity audience at somerset house and the thousands of people around the world like you and I watching in normal 2D on our computer screens, Burberry also hosted live 3D screenings of their show in locations around the world: how exciting is that? I'm an absolute sucker for 3D technology and love watching 3D movies (Alice in Wonderland is coming out in 3D next week and i'm really looking foward to seeing it)

Now back to the fashion: The collection was called the Burberry Cadet Girls, and although i'm not really a "burberry girl" I enjoyed it. I loved the biker style fur lined jacket, the windsor blue coat and the strappy high ankle boots. The collection had a lot of attitude with a grown up biker feel. Again we saw mustard as an accent colour: that's another I bet we will see all over the high street by next Autumn.

If you missed the live streaming you can watch some of the show here:

For the record I think show live streaming is the future of fashion, making it accessible to everyone, and such a good idea. Although I missed out on the atmosphere, the mood in the room, and the gossip, I got a much better view of the collection from my laptop than I ever would have in the crowded venue. It's a not too unhappy alternative for the ordinary fashion lover, or any press/bloggers who can't make (or in my case aren't invited to) the show.

Love, Tor xx

LFW A/W10: Bally and CSM collaboration

When I was a kid my mum always said to me "you look with your eyes not your hands." I never thought it was true. Now i'm a grown up I still need to hold things in my hands as well as look at them "with my eyes". Which is why I was so excited to be able to touch and stroke the Bally/Central Saint Martins shoe collaboration as well as admire it.


The shoe above looks like it would be really heavy, but it is actually quite light: the curved heel is cleverly hollow. I initially thought my favourite shoe was the pointed toe one below, but with a few hours to ruminate, it was actually this one I kept thinking about. If only it came in the nude colour! I was quietly impressed with the collection. Five MA students from Central Saint Martins (four first years and one second year) were briefed to create designs that have high editorial value and a strong luxury feel. The chosen students work particuarly focused on the heel: creating innovative shapes and using different styles to accentuate different parts of the foot. It was a shame we couldn't see the designs on a foot to see how this played out in practice.


My mum said of Bally "they're the kind of shoes anyone can wear from you to your nan" and I think this is as true of this collection as of any other. They are shoes that have a touch of the extraordinary whilst still remaining fantastically wearable; the heels aren't too high nor the toes too warped.


So many different textures and materials were used in the collection ranging from the perspex shown above to suede, patent and the softest leather, which Bally is known for. You can't go out and buy this collection yet, but Bally do plan to incorporate some or part of the students designs into future collections: what a great way to start your career! And apparently the collaboration doesn't stop here as Bally and Central Saint Martins will continue working together for the foreseeable future. I think its a really great idea, especially for the students involved.

Love, Tor xx


Style Compare has over 2,000 shoes by more than 200 labels.

LFW A/W10: Topshop blogging workshop

Topshop always have a great array of activities around London Fashion Week and this year is no exception. Today three top bloggers (Disney rollergirl, Oh-Elle, and Cocos tea party) are spending the day giving advice on blogging, and how to set up your own blog.
Photo shows: Elle of Oh-Elle and the lovely writer of Coco's tea party
The event finishes at 7pm tonight, which gives you two hours to get down there if you'd like some advice from the experts. I spoke to two of the girls and found that they are giving advice on how to set up a new blog and how to promote it. They're also really fun to have a gossip with!! And they're handing out flyers containing great tips that you can take away with you:
If you can't get down then here is my list of the top 5 bits of advice listed on the handy leaflets they were handing out. There were 13 points of advice listed in total. 

  • Think carefully about the name you chose for your blog as you'll have it forever. We prefer short and sweet!

  • Blog about what you love, otherwise it will become a chore. Only write about what you're truly inspired by, not because you're being paid to

  • Stay true to your personality, opinions, likes or dislikes. Hits aren't everything.

  • Make sure you link back to where you get your content from.

  • Finally be patient.It takes time to develop your own blogging style
I know i'm biased but I think blogging is a great hobby, and although i'm not a Topshop blogging expert, if you have any questions about how to get started your welcome to get in touch.

Love, Tor xx
Style Compare has over 6,000 dresses by more than 350 labels.

LFW: In which I do not look like any kind of rodent

Thank you to the lovely ladies of emerging fevour for taking a picture of me smiling that doesn't make me look like an overactive chipmunk!

(I know you've seen this outfit before - It's the one I was wearing on Friday)

Love, Tor xx

PS - Today is a busy day, and I have quadruple checked that my camera is secured in my handbag, so expect loads of posts to pop up over the next 24 hours!

Monday, 22 February 2010

LFW A/W10: Louise Amstrup Presentation


This is the second season that I have seen Louise Amstrup at London Fashion Week and I enjoyed this collection just as much as the last one, despite the subdued mood in the presentation hall. It was quite dimly lit, which meant it took your eyes a moment or two to adjust and see properly.

The collection played with light as much as the presentation hall did: lots of black, grey and navy blue, with occassional flashes of light grey and white which came though in both stripes and the print shown above. There was also subtle use of feathers which I enjoyed: I love feathers and thought they might not be included anywhere this season because of the overkill with them last year. I also really want one of the coats from the collection, which would be a great stand-alone addition to any wardrobe.

Unfortunately, having taken my daily wear pictures, I left the house in a rush this morning, and left my camera on the coffee table. This has to be one of the most stupid and unprofessional things I have ever done! The image above was taken from the vauxhall fashion scout blog. I just wish I should have shared more pictures from this great collection with you- I really recommend you check it out, with someonewho had the forethought to take their camera!!

I'm interested to know, what has been your favourite collection from London Fashion Week so far?

Love, Tor xx

Style Compare has over 6,000 dresses by more than 350 labels.

LFW: Day four daily wear

It's hard to know what to wear when it's raining then snowing then raining again and you have to spend the whole day running between venues and queueing outside waiting to get into shows. That means sensible shoes and loads of layers.


So today I opted for thick black tights and brogues. Then I layered on a thermal heat-tech top. This was followed by a denim dress from Topshop, my snake print jacket from River Island and my black H&M snood. I intend to add gloves and a hat for extra warmth. Accessories-wise I went for my oversized tan bag and double wrap tan belt.

This isn't the outfit I had planned for today: i've spend the last couple of days fighting off and ultimately sucumbing to a horrible cold/'flu type creature. I even had to miss some shows yesterday so I could be wrapped up warm at home. I don't feel much better but I know I would really regret it if I don't drag myself out to some of the shows today. I just hope I feel better soon!

Love, Tor xx


Style Compare has over 1,000 jumpers by more than 100 labels.

LFW AW10: Twenty8Twelve presentation

After milling around for ten minutes with a glass of wine in one hand and a square of bitter chocolate in the other, we were lead up an incredible staircase and into the presentation room which was set up like a Medeval banquetting hall. The models were on a slightly raised platform posing and chatting to each other: the atmosphere was very relaxed.

The presentation was at 2 Temple Place which is a folly building and very very beautiful: almost more impressive than the collection we were there to see. And on that note, on to the clothes:

The collection was very punky, and like lots of other collections i've seen the hem lines were either very long or very short: nothing in the middle here! There was also a nod to a Sixties bohemian aesthetic, notably in the patchwork cardigan and the thick velvet turban headbands several of the models were wearing.

Utilitarian jackets in khaki, denim shirts, and a khaki shirt dress added a masculine touch to the collection, at did the slouchy hat shown in the next image:
The "grunge" styling that has been very popular this season and the tough wedge ankle boot and sandal trend doesn't appear to be going anywhere. Tartan was also used, adding both to the grunge and the punk themes, and giving a "Highland fling" overtone.

The collection was inspired by the early club scene of the 1980s, hence the drain pipe skinnies and the acid wash overload.

This collection is a mash-up of so many themes! Nonetheless I enjoyed the contrast between the luxe dresses and the layered knitted daywear, and found the collection very very wearable. What do you think?

Love Tor

PS - For those of you that like the celebrity spots, I saw Sienna Miller who was dressed in black and looking very pretty and crazy thin. She is even more petite in "real life" than you imagine she would be when you watch her on the big screen.

Style Compare has over 1,000 jumpers by more than 100 labels.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

LFW: Bloggers take it in the neck again!

It all started with this article on the global herald. (Not sure how much sense this will make until you read the article!) I think that there are some interesting and valid points in the article, but there are also many that seem so wrong to me. It's them I want to address.

Firstly, I don't like the suggestion that there should be a fixed hierarchy of blogger or press types that all PR agencies should follow. Yes there is a hierarchy and rightly, big publications and buyers come first but the hierarchy of bloggers is more difficult to define. So why should there be just one? I'm sure this would make things "easier" but easier doesn't mean better Why should there be unity? Some deisgners are ready to accept bloggers and some aren't. Some designers want as many blogs as possible to cover their shows. Surely that's up to them!

There also seems to be a bit too much focus in the article on Danish pastries: if all the bloggers promise not to eat any baked goods will they leave us alone!? Its a difficult situation. I'm sure there are some bloggers who do turn up to take as much as they can but it hurts to be tarred with the same brush.

Regarding these "bliggers" everyone is tweeting about today: I kind of resent the idea some people have that all bloggers are only attending LFW for the "freebies": i'd like to point out that I haven't had a free glass of champagne or so much as a cup of coffee all week. I've also only received one goodie bag, and I usually save the stuff from them for giveaways for you guys!

I go to watch the shows, I head to Starbucks to write up my reviews, and then I go to the next show. Repeat until tired and ready to go home. I work hard and i'm proud of the coverage I post. I'm also prepared to accept that it doesn't compare to the coverage from Vogue!
I agree there does need to be some quality control, and the best way to do this would be for the PRs to take two minutes and look at the blogs they're thinking of inviting. If somebody decides that this blog isn't good enough or doesn't have a large enough readership to warrant my attending the shows then that's fair enough: I would be prepared not to go if the powers that be decide to bring some order to things. But please don't treat us like second class citizens. This sentence in particular made me angry:

Either that, or create a different ticket for bloggers, and create a “bloggers room” which is full of computer terminals and tap water.

I mean really? Separate tickets and tap water? It seems to me if anyone is "blagging" its the chap writing this article who's scared someone is going to take the cup of coffee he's so entitled to!! I mean are we really reigniting this debate again because "real" journalists dont want to miss out on a cup of tea?!

This debate isn't going to go away until the blogger versus 'real' journalists issue is resolved.
LFW is an overcrowded event as it is, and I can see that people would be worried about it only getting more crowded: but there has to be a way of handling this constructively without alienating the bloggers that are there to work, and do the best job they can.

Love, Tor xx

Style Compare has over 2,000 shoes by more than 200 labels.

LFW AW10: niOka at A la Mode

Yesterday I mentioned that there were two designers at the A la Mode show who warranted special mention. The first was Hanako Narahira and the second is NiOka.

I realise this isn't a particularly "fashion forward" thing to say, but of all the shows I have seen this week, the NiOka one is the one I can imagine taking pieces from and slotting them straight into my wardrobe. The coats in particular were incredibly well constructed with incredibly attention to detail such as zig zag lapels or button detailing and trim.

I think it's easy to forget that they are called the "ready to wear" collections because people are actually expected to wear them, and there wasn't a single piece from this collection I wouldn't slip on this morning.
Not a single piece uses any black (just charcoal grey) and this is because the designer thought it would be too obvious given the theme of the collection: the physical and mental scars we all carry. Not very chirpy is it? But on this occassion I don't actually think the theme translated well: i'm not sensing scarring, disapointment or misery in any of these pieces!!

Looking at this collection made me wonder: What would you rather see? The spectacle or the clothes you can wear?

Love Tor xx

*A la mode is an off schedule show organised by La Geneve North - you might remember this, because I invited you all to attend a couple of months ago!
Style Compare has over 2,500 coats by more than 150 labels.

LFW AW10: Bryce Aime show review

I really enjoyed the Bryce Aime show. To the lilting sway of Eygptian beats, the models strutted down the catwalk. There was a very Eygptian theme to the show and it pleases me to say that black seems to be the new black. Like Ashley Isham, Bryce Aime also made use of lame'-type fabric. I am definitely sensing a revivial of this for next Autumn/Winter!
The hair was very simple with models wearing thick purple or black hairbands and the colour pallet was very muted; black, purple (again!) and burgundy red. The emphasis seemed to be on the shape and structure of the dresses rather than the length, colour, or pattern and the dresses were very geometric and angular.

The dress that drew gasps from the crowd was this "boxy" number: taking geometry to the limit, i'm afraid my picture of it is awful but it doesn't make it any less impressive:
One for Lady Gaga, methinks?? I love it when something unexpected comes out, and it really lifts the atmosphere in the room too: everyone starts snapping away, probably to share with their friends and collegues.

The majority of the dresses were actually very wearable (I suppose that's the point!) and the great thing about this collection was that I could see it being accessible to so many people; from young fashion crazy kids to more demure women. There was a lot of small ball-stud detailing, especially on the collars. However this seemed more luxe than grunge or rock-chic, as the balls were tiny sophistiated drops in shiny gold.
Somebody in the crowd afterwards compared this show to one from Alexander McQueen. I couldn't agree less, but that doesn't detract from the fact that it was a great show: fun, great music, great dresses, and a couple of showstoppers to get us all talking afterwards.

Love, Tor xx

Style Compare has over 6,000 dresses by more than 350 labels.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

LFW AW10: On/Off exhibition

As well as being a place to watch catwalk shows, it's important to remember that LFW (and all fashion weeks) are trade events where people go to show their collections, sell them to buyers, and make money. And it is a massive business ( I wish I could find a figure saying exactly how much!) I'm sure you all knew this already and are rolling your eyes, but it seemed worth mentioning because although the national press cover the glamour of the shows and the celebs, they never mention the real reason the event is put on!!

The main exhibition is at Somerset house, and I will be checking that out on Monday. There is also a smaller exhibition of smaller designers at On/Off (which this year is at Bloomsbury Square) and I had a wander around that this morning.

The exhibitions are the perfect places to go if you want to experience serious wardrobe envy. I suppose some lucky people go to plan out their wardrobes for next season (I can't imagine being that rich!) and of course most people are there to buy for their shops, big and small. It's so fun watching the sales people smoozing with the buyers (and leaving me alone. It must be obvious i'm a humble blogger!)!

Here are some of my picks from the On/Off exhibition. Its unlike me to become so interested by the clothes because usually I wander round going crazy over the shoes:


Top to bottom: Richard Emden handbags, RJS by Richard Sorger dresses, Tessa Edwards red dress and crown, the last dress made the kid inside me go giddy and I wrote down the name of the designer but now can't read it! Does anyone have any ideas?

Love, Tor xx
Style Compare has over 6,000 dresses by more than 350 labels.