Thursday, 26 April 2012

Fabfrocks chats to: Tats and Tempest

Hi guys,
Ever since I got my ipad, I have been slightly obsessed with it. And when my parents got me a leopard print Steve Madden case for it, it became my favourite fashion accessory: it gets all dressed up and goes everywhere with me! So I totally get why technology accessories are becoming such a fast-growing market. And where there is market growth, there are new brands popping up all the time!

One such brand is Tats and Tempest. Founded and designed by Marcus Tezcan, this is a brand that specialises in gorgeous leather technology accessories: think cases for ipads, laptops, and mobile phones. As soon as I checked out the website I fell slightly in love with a couple of the designs: on-trend enough to make you stand out, but subtle enough to match whatever else you're wearing. Here are some of my faves:
Because i'd fallen slightly in love with his brand, I decided to ask Marcus a couple of questions about his inspirations and where the brand began:

1.When and why did you start making technology accessories?
I started making technology accessories about two and a half years ago on my mums old Singer sewing machine. I'd never sewed anything before so was a bit of a mess to start with, but I got the hang of it pretty quickly and managed to make something that I could actually use. There wasn't a lot available from other designers at the time so I made a sleeve for my new laptop.

2. Why do you work with leather?
Because leather feels great, is luxurious, there are lots to choose from and good quality leather will last a life time which is how long i want my products to last!

3. What inspires you?
People, designers, blogs and Twitter; I love seeing what people are talking about on Twitter. And my mum.

4. Who is your favourite designer?
Currently JW Anderson for his design and structure of clothing. And because they're quite simple but effective. Also, Chris Bailey because he's from Yorkshire and the impact he has had on Burberry has been amazing.

5. Which celeb would you most like to see using your products and why?
I think Alexa Chung would be cool because she is beautiful (like Tats & Tempest products), I think she's going to be around for long time (like Tats & Tempest products) and quite fun (like Tats & Tempest products).

Are you addicted to your ipad? And how many cases do you have for it? I currently only have one for mine, but I'm giving serious consideration to getting a couple more, so that I can mix and match them which every item! As technology is definitely here to stay, it looks like figuring out how to make it more fashionable is going to be my next step!

Love Tor xx

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The history of your M&S undies

Hi guys,
I'm always been a big fan of M&S undies (they're comfy, they wash well, they're available in a bigger cup size: what's not to like!) so you can imagine how delighted I was to read that they have raided their archive to create a new vintage underwear range.
To celebrate the Queens Jubilee year, the lingerie design team have taken inspiration from original 1950’s designs to transform them into more wearable pieces for a new collection launching at M&S. Consisting of four looks, the beautifully constructed collection uses silk, lace, luxurious satin and mesh combinations to emulate the glamour of the 1950s, including designs based on the original conical bra, corsetry and the big knicker shape. The collection was inspired by some research M&S had done on their rich underwear history...

Want to find out more about the history of M&S lingerie? The team have created a surprisingly interesting interactive graphic showing the history of lingerie from the 1920s through to the 1980s. I geek out about stuff like this, so I love reading snippets of information I haven't read before. Did you know, for example, that the first M&S bra launched in 1926 and was designed for use under flapper style dresses to flatten the chest?
If you don't want to geek out about bra facts, get excited about pretty pants instead. The collection is available in store and online in May. Form an orderly queue behind me, ladies!

Love Tor xx

Monday, 23 April 2012

Fabfrocks loves: Lady Gaga and Giorgio Armani

Hi guys,
My love of Lady Gaga is well documented. From copying her make up to lusting after her dresses, if she does it then I want it. I normally despise all forms of pop music, but with my hand on my heart I can say that going to see her on her last tour was one of the best musical nights of my life.

So how excited was I when I saw the sketches of the costumes for her latest Born this Way Ball tour (which hits the UK in September)? The answer is pretty damn excited: Photobucket Photobucket The custom Giorgio Armani wardrobe created for Lady Gaga is characterized by extreme forms and futuristic materials – latex, metal, studs, PVC – crafted with couture savoir faire. Each outfit is completed with detailed, other-worldly accessories.

The first design includes a black bodice made of tubular PVC elements connected with metal studs, with mirrored metal inserts to define a curvaceous design. The ensemble is highlighted by a matching headpiece, robotic thigh-high boots, and exaggerated gloves ending in mirrored nails.

Another look is created via a shiny black grid-patterned PVC bodice with matching headpiece and embroidered ankle boots. Highlights include shoulders outlined by a play of sharp spikes, black Swarovski jet crystals and flowing fringe, creating a moving architecture.On the third black bodice, transparent Plexiglas, black crystals and luminous studs create a Cubist composition of abstract guitars. The matching headpiece follows in the shape of a keyboard; the boots are black vinyl.

The final design is a long tunic with leg-o-mutton sleeves made of skin-toned latex. Luminous PVC elements create flashes of synthetic light inside the garment. The same avant garde lighting is featured on the triangle decorating the chest, on the headpiece, and on the platform of the matching latex ankle boots.

So what does the man himself think of his creations? “Collaborating with Lady Gaga is always an exciting experience for me. I admire the way she uses fashion as a scenic element and as a means to build a character," says Giorgio Armani. "She is an artist of many talents and great intelligence. Creating stage costumes for her is a stimulating and creative exercise." And what do I think? Well I have only two words: "Yes please!"

I can't wait til Gaga lands in London in all her glory!

Love Tor xx

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Shoes: They call me mellow yellow!

Hi guys,
Although I'm still wearing a jacket (and most days, lets face it, a scarf) in my heart it's summer, so I decided to inject a little sunshine into my feet. Yes! Yellow shoes! Photobucket
These particular beauties are from a lovely little brand called Jonak (c/o Sarenza) Since I started shopping for shoes on Sarenza I've had a real soft spot for Jonak shoes, because I like what the brand represents: The brand is underpinned by the philosophy that all women should have access to high quality, contemporary products at supremely affordable prices. And that's exactly what they do: these little wooden and leather beauties were only £50!

Created by Joseph Nakam in 1964 in Paris, Jonak gradually evolved from being a multi-brand shoe distributor to becoming a fully-fledged design label in its own right. Jonak now offers urban styles for dynamic women in major international cities and they launch at least 400 new styles a season. That meant that when it came to choosing a pair I was very spoilt for choice!

But it was always going to be the yellow clogs for me. My third pair of clogs in 12 months, and I still say they're the comfiest way to wear sandals. Everything about these sunshine shoes make me happy, and they seem to make other people smile too. I teamed these with contrasting toe nails to add to the summery feel, but threw on my skinny jeans, a blouse, and a nice cozy jacket because no matter how warm I want it to be, it's still damn cold!!

Still, the yummy mellow yellow shoes are like a little promise to myself that summer will be along soon....

Love Tor xx

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Fabfrocks picks: The best rainy day rain coats

Hi guys,
It's raining, it's pouring, it's time to dig out your raincoat!

If, like me, attempting to dig out your mac made you realise that a) it doesn't fit you and b) it's not actually waterproof then it may be time to hit the shops and find a new one. Sadly, in a country as wet as ours, a raincoat is an essential piece of kit: more so even than an umbrella, which is 90% likely to blow inside out as soon as it's hit by a little wind. But if you're looking for a waterproof jacket (i'm not talking chic macs here!) it also isn't something you generally want to spend alot of money on: after all, you're only going to wear it when it's raining, meaning that no matter how great your outfit, your shoes will still be soggy, and your hair will still be frizzy!

With that in mind, here are my picks of the best affordable waterproof raincoats on the highstreet (only one is over £50!):

Victorian rose raincoat, Cath Kidston, £35
Yellow plastic rain mac, ASOS, £50
Clear plastic mac, Topshop, £35
Red rain jacket, H by Henry Holland @ Debenhams, £27
Metallic long jacket, Topshop, £45
Floral rainy day mac, Boden, £97

I always think rain coats should be fun: they remind me of being a kid and splashing around in puddles wearing wellies with frogs on them. Which is why I haven't chosen a single black rain coat: it's just not a garment that should be taken that seriously! My raincoat is a cag in a bag (or mac in a sac, whichever you prefer) from primark which is pink with a red cherry pattern all over it. And, as far as I'm concerned, that's exactly how a raincoat should be!

How are you protecting yourself from today's deluge of rain? Do you have a comedy raincoat, or are you more of an umbrella kind of gal?

Love Tor xx

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Bicester Village goes vintage

Hi guys,
I fell slightly in love with the vintage styling of this new Bicester Village campaign. It makes me wish I had the kind of decadent life that involves long summer holidays spent lounging around the pool indulging in deliciously expensive cocktails, wearing hand-delivered couture, and looking moody! And lets face it, any ad campaign that has a dog in its finale is always a winner with me!

I am long overdue a trip to Bicester Village: I really want a new Vivienne Westwood scarf (preferably the same as my red one, but in black) and I always spend far too much money in the Cath Kidston and French Connection stores. In fact, it might be the perfect activity for this weekend, given the rainy weather!

For a little vintage inspiration for your next Bicester Village trip (and gratuitous cute puppy shots!) check it out:

Love Tor xx

Sponsored Post

Monday, 16 April 2012

How to wear a classic white shirt

Hi guys,
You may remember that a couple of months ago I wrote a little post about how I would style a white shirt, for shirting company TM Lewin. I choose to dress my shirt up with a little sparkle: shirting in the daytime has never really fitted in with my lifestyle. Well back in February, as part of the same TM Lewin campaign, I was invited to a photoshoot where I got to style my classic white shirt again. Here are the results:
Now I'm not much of a white shirt wearer (for me they're a rare piece in my wardrobe, rather than an everyday occurence) but here are a few tips from my point of view on how to wear a classic white shirt:

1. Make sure you get the fit right. A good shirt should sit on your shoulders, have room for two fingers inside your collar (any more and its too big, any less and its too small) and not gape at the bust. It's hard to find the shirt that fits right - like finding the perfect pair of jeans. But when you find it you'll know!

2. Don't make the mistake of thinking white shirts are only good for office wear. I would never wear a shirt during the daytime: it's too formal. Instead, my favourite way of wearing a white shirt is to team it with a sequinned mini skirt or fuller A line skirt and killer heels for a super-sexy evening look.

3.Acessorize, accessorize, accessorize! See your white shirt as a blank canvas: a wardrobe basic that needs some personality injecting into it to make it your own. It's amazing the difference a nice pair of cufflinks, oversized chunky necklace, or even a little ribbon bow like mine, can make to the look and feel of what is fundementally a really simple outfit.

Are you a white shirt wearer? How do you style yours? I'd love to here your ideas and tips!

Love Tor xx

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Fabfrocks at home: Loves Oliver Bonas

Hi guys,
I saw this chest in the 'wanted' pages of this week's Stylist magazine and immediately fell in love. It's everything you could want from a piece of vintage inspired furniture, and I've already mentally given it a spot in my living room. It's made in India from Mango wood and each handle, shelf and drawer is different. I didn't even know Oliver Bonas did furniture! But now I do, there is hardly a single piece I don't want. Not to mention all of the trinkety jewellery and pretty feminine dresses on their site I also covet on a regular basis... But this isn't about fashion, this is about the home!

Here are some of my 'must have' pieces from their furniture collection:
Herbert wood chest, £495
Raspberry velvet love tub chair, £545
Yellow ochre tub chair, £385
Decorative door knob, £6.50
Philippe Starck transparent chair, £149
Butterfly door hook, £16

The velvet chairs come in 3 different sizes and a matching Ottoman. They come in a dozen different colours, although the raspberry and the ochre are my personal favourites. I love that the ochre chair matches the drawer in the cabinet too: perfect for a hallway or little unused nook!

The biggest bargain on this page though is the door knob. I'm currently having a love affair with door knobs. I picked up six from a vintage shop in Horncastle (each had a different bird on it) and am planning on using them to replace the standard ones on my Ikea vanity table. Much like I always suggest changing the buttons on Primark coats to make them look more expensive, changing the handles on cheaper pieces of furniture is a sure fire way to make them look more expensive, and inject them with some personality.

Do you have any hints and tips for modifying your home on a budget? I'd love to hear them!

Love Tor x

PS - Don't forget to enter the latest fabfrocks competition! You could win a whole outfit from!

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Label lust: Zakary le Stele

Hi guys,
My love of oversized chunky jewellery (as big and gold as possible, in fact!) continues unabated. I have stuck to my New Year's Resolution not to buy any more cheap jewellery: I haven't been inside the Topshop or H&M jewellery departments once! But that doesn't mean I'm not still as obsessed as ever with oversized bling: it's just my jewellery habit is becoming increasingly more expensive!
When I was sent over this lookbook from accessories designer Zakary le Stele I immediately fell in love. That could, of course, be because it features gorgeous French model Priscilla Miegemolle Dime and was shot on the streets of Paris (my favourite city in the world). But it's more likely to be because I immediately wanted to add the oversized cuffs to my jewellery box, then buy as many of the shoes, followed by the gorgeous digital print frocks as possible!
This is the designer's first complete womenswear collection, and it will be available this autumn/winter. Entitled 'L'ardeur' the print-heavy collection features pieces infused with sexual intensity and drama (according to the blurb!). Since I saw the first Matthew Williamson collection featuring them, I fell in love with digital prints so I have a soft spot for them, whatever the designer. And the soft structure of this collection really did capture my imagination!

I should really have prefaced this post with the disclaimer that you shouldn't fall in love with this collection too quickly, like I did. Unless you all have a secret you're not telling me, sadly the collection is far too expensive for we ordinary girls to afford. As in, high end couture prices. It's probably too late. But it's nice to dream!!

Love Tor x

PS - Don't forget to enter the amazing COMPETITION where you could win a whole outfit from

Thursday, 5 April 2012

COMPETITION: Win a whole outfit from Fashion Pony!

Hi guys,
I love two things: the new pastel jeans trend, and Fashion Pony. Fashion Pony is a gorgeous little website that stocks a mix of very cool independant designers (they're also a lovely fabfrocks advertiser) So when I wanted to run a new competition on the site for you guys, they were my first port of call. And they kindly agreed. And even better, the prize involves pastel coloured jeans. What's not to love?!

The Prize
You can choose ONE pair of coloured jeans from the site (they come in green, pale pink, lilac, and lemon yellow) and then any ONE top you fancy to go with them (the value of the top can be up to £40). Here are a selection of my favourites, but it would be almost impossible to choose just one:
To Enter
All you have to do is 1) Be a follower of this blog and 2) Leave a comment telling me which coloured jeans and top you would choose from Fashion Pony if you won the competition. It really is that simple!

The competition closes at 12 oclock noon on Saturday 5th May, when I will draw and announce the winner. The winner will be chosen completely at random, so everyone who enters has the same chance of winning. Good luck!

Love Tor xx

ThePrizeFinder - UK Competitions

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Discover your holiday style!

Hi guys,
Easter weekend is nearly upon us (the perfect time for a long weekend away), the week after Easter Mike and I are heading to Disneyland Paris for three nights in the Disney Hotel New York and endless disney character fun, and last night we started brainstorming ideas for locations for our long summer holiday. I think it's fair to say that holiday season has officially begun!!

I love holidays and I really love the adventure of travel, but I am officially the worst suitcase packer ever! When I headed out to live in Beijing for a while my poor dad paid a small countries national debt in excess baggage for my luggage. And Mike bought me extra luggage allowance as a present before we even flew on our honeymoon. Travelling light is not in my vocabulary!

Now packing for the trip to Disneyland is easy: 4 Mickey Mouse T shirts and my comfiest pumps will probably do it! But packing for a long summer holiday is more problematic. Enter

Style Passport are celebrating their first birthday this month. And although i've only just discovered them (late to the table as usual!) I'm already slightly in love! The website offers you capsule wardrobe and beauty suggestions for different holiday options. SO for example I inputted that I was heading for a beach holiday and this is what it came up with:
You can then click to buy, shop, and explore more options. More useful than the shopping aspect though is just the knowing what to pack aspect! I'm going skiing in Scotland with my parents in the New Year, and i've never been skiing before. So I have no idea of the kind of things I'll need. Just two minutes on the ski pages though, and I had loads of ideas!
And if you haven't decided where to take your next holiday to, the site also includes recommendations, top tips, and destination ideas (as well as what to wear when you get there of course!) It's like the optimism of summer bottled up and created in website form!

I'm feeling inspired to trawl through my wardrobe and start packing some suitcases: starting, of course, which 4 matching his 'n' hers Mickey Mouse T shirts, and two pairs of comedy ears!

Love Tor xx

Monday, 2 April 2012

Spring cleaning for money saving!

PhotobucketHi guys,
This weekend I spent a glamorous Sunday wearing my rubber gloves and spring cleaning our house. Everything was cleaned from top to bottom. But more importantly, I also de-cluttered every room to create space in our overstuffed cupboards and draws. And now that process is over (thank God!) I want to make a little money from the things that otherwise would be thrown away. Whenever I spring clean I clear out clothes, shoes, books by the hundreds, and take them to our local car boot sale. And now car boot sale season is starting up again (hurrah!!) there’s no better time to spend an afternoon sorting your cupboards out too!

Here are some top tips for clearing out your clutter and making some cash in the process:

-Check for duplicates! Mike and I have similar tastes in films and CDs. Which means when we moved in together (all those years ago!) we acquired duplicates of nearly everything: something I only realised when I was having our big spring clean this weekend! There are loads of sites you can sell your old multimedia to quickly and easily. Or why not box them and take them to your local car boot sale, or sell them on eBay?

-Don’t take any jewellery to a car boot sale or eBay though! You’ll get much more money selling it elsewhere: a cash for gold website is a good first port of call for any gold jewellery you have that you don’t want any more, and would rather have the cash for (think twice before selling any family heirlooms though!)

-Wash all your clothes first! OK so this isn’t a money saving tip, but if you’re going to take bundles of clothes to a car boot sale, please make sure they’re all clean. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been pawing through a pile of clothes only to be immediately put off by a stain and not be able to buy any of it!

-If you have kids, get them to have a clear out too! The stalls that always seem the most popular are those that are full of toys and baby clothes.

- Have a goal in mind! This isn’t essential, but it always helps me when I’m going to the effort to get rid of stuff to know that I’m doing it for a good reason. At the minute, that’s buying our first house. But it could be anything, no matter how frivolous: a night out, or even the Mulberry handbag fund!

Love Tor xx

PS - Want to find your closest car boot sale? Check out they're a great carboot sale listings website!